This article was published at Disinfo.com, which has now vanished from the worldwide web without explanation, hence I am re-posting it here.
- After 25 years researching so-called “Satanic Ritual Abuse” (on and off and part of a much wider inquiry, but still), I was recently stunned to find out that the idea there is no hard evidence, no proof, is entirely false. SRA is not even remotely like the UFO. There is charred earth everywhere.
- Apparently, one primary reason most people dismiss the subject is because of the connection with Satanism. Our modern materialist bent “instinctively” (unthinkingly) rejects anything that smacks of mysticism or religiosity as not being credible. Add to this the strong association with mobs of hysterical, moralistic Christians, and a subject that was already highly unappetizing can all-too-easily be deemed “beyond the pale.”
- In this regard it’s curious to note that the recent Disinfo article advocating Satanism as a “benevolent” religion also insisted that Satanic credos were 100% scientific and rationalist. There is ample reason to believe that the “satanic” aspects to organized ritual abuse are at least partially included as a deliberate strategy to discredit victims’ claims, by tarring them with a “mystical” and “fantastic” taint. If so, the strategy has been diabolically effective.
- The notion that ritual abuse of children (which is often associated with Satanic imagery and ideology) can all be explained by mass hysteria, “Satanic panic,” and “false memory syndrome” is now widely believed. It has even been recently promoted—unconvincingly—in a piece of obvious Hollywood propaganda called Repression, starring Ethan Hawke. This belief is “supported” by (and supports) the equally erroneous belief that no evidence has ever been found for ritual child abuse. The truth is that the evidence is quite overwhelming, but that it has been almost entirely buried by a counter-narrative, generated by mainstream media. Phrases such as “No proof,” “Just a rumor,” and “Satanic panic” work like a mantra which the majority of people pick up and, after hearing it and repeating it for long enough, end up believing.
- If we compare claims of ritualized sexual abuse to claims of alien/ET contact, it’s clear that the latter are both considerably more popular as entertainment and more widely represented in the so-called alternative media. Somewhat incredibly, they are even taken more seriously in semi-intellectual circles (you will not see a John Mack or Jeffrey Kripal advocating an inquiry into ritual abuse). Yet, while claims of alien contact are outlandish by just about every criteria, claims of ritualized sexual abuse are a central, if much ignored, part of human history.
- Lloyd Mause’s statistics indicate that the sexual abuse of children (independent of any allegation of ritualistic elements or government programs) may be as high as 50% in the US and, by extension, the western world. (It is not likely to be any better in the rest of the world.) De Mause also believes that things are better now than at any time in history. If this is even half true, it means one or both of two things: most people do not talk about their experiences; many people do not even remember them. It also means far more individuals are complicit with these crimes than many of us can imagine. De Mause has also written about “satanic” ritual abuse and provided a credible argument for its prevalence, one that does not require a “worldwide conspiracy” but only a consistency of human psychological reactions to extreme trauma. For example: “[Ritual abusers] weren’t following a worldwide conspiracy; most of them were just neighborhood sadists torturing kids for sexual pleasure, people who never read a book on Satanism in their lives. Yet they all spontaneously follow a ritual whose elements and even details are the same. . . . They seemed to me to be acting out a very specific drama. What could such a bizarre collection of acts mean? Cult abuse, like all sadistic acts, individual or group, is a sexual perversion whose purpose is achieving orgasm by means of a defense against severe fears of disintegration and engulfment.”
- Relatively few children claim to have memories of alien abductions, as compared to adults. On the other hand, countless children do make claims of being sexually abused, and frequently within an organized, ritualistic context, without any need for hypnosis to bring out their memories. The idea that they are being coaxed to invent these stories (as in the recent Hampstead case) has become increasingly common; but it should be asked, which is easier (more palatable) for most people to believe? More importantly perhaps, why would children make up these stories? Would not doing so itself require extremely adverse conditions that are not being addressed?
- Simply put, while the existence of organized abuse that is kept hidden, suppressed, and is often pushed into unconsciousness, could account for “Satanic panic,” as well as (possibly) alien abduction memories and all manner of other “delusions,” the reverse is simply not the case. “Satanic panic” can’t explain away these stories, because it leaves unaddressed the original cause of the delusional and hysterical behavior. Only severely traumatized people are prey to such extreme delusions; and yet, it is severe trauma that is being reported. Hence we have effects without cause.
- Of course everyone has a tendency to believe one way or another. Yet I would say that the tendency to disbelieve claims of widespread and systematized child abuse,including those associated with intelligence programs and/or occult ritualistic practices (which I think are often the same) is easy enough to understand. Denial is likely to go pretty deep when the alternative is to begin to recognize that the society we live in is essentially a breeding and feeding ground for sexual predators.This is a profoundly painful and destabilizing process, especially for anyone who has children of their own. People in the US seem to have so far kept their illusions about this relatively intact, unlike in the UK, where the revelations have continued to come hard and fast, ever since the death of Jimmy Savile.
- So what about the inclination in some of us to want to believe that this is true?This is less easy to understand, unless we allow for some sort of experience of these realities to begin with. There is nothing reassuring about believing these accounts—unless, that is, a person has lived a life struggling to keep memories of equivalent (even if less extreme)experiences out of awareness, having grown up in an environment in which it was not safe, or even possible, to speak about such things. While I don’t think I was a victim of organized ritual abuse, this was almost certainly my own experience.
- From my own experientially informed point of view, anyone who denies entirely the veracity of accounts of organized, ritualized sexual abuse of children (i.e., who suggests that they can all be chalked up to “delusions” and false memories), is either a) lying; b) uninformed; c) rigidly opposed to the possibility for unconscious, emotional reasons; or d) a combination of all three.
- Since I have been writing and speaking of my own experiences over the past year or so, while still lacking any clear-cut memories of severe or systematic abuse, I have encountered more and more people who claim to have been sexually abused as children (and in more than one case ritually). This suggests that such victims (as well as the perpetrators) are indeed everywhere among us, in fact, that they are us. But until a person feels safe enough to speak, or even think, about this subject, most people will push the experience out of awareness as much as possible. This may even be to the point of never really thinking about it; or perhaps, not remembering it.
- In my own experience, it is in keeping with extreme trauma for a person to recount early experiences that clearly indicate an element of abuse, sexual or otherwise, and in the next breath to say that “Nothing happened,” or “It didn’t affect me at all.” Fragmentation and dissociation can be deduced from how a person remembers events and yet, at the same time, attaches no significance to them. For the record, I am not suggesting these memories should be dug up, much less by using hypnosis. I am merely stating what I have come to see as an unpalatable truth.
- Returning to the question of evidence of organized ritual abuse, what follows is a passage taken from the Child Abuse wiki site, which I recommend to anyone who is sincerely interested in the subject, and unable to simply dismiss it unexamined. They will also find extensive citations to these passages.
There is a great deal of evidence supporting the existence of ritual abuse crimes as a worldwide phenomenon. Bottoms, Shaver and Goodman found in their 1993 study evaluating ritual abuse claims that in 2,292 alleged ritual abuse cases, 15% of the perpetrators in adult cases and 30% of the perpetrators in child cases confessed to the abuse.. “In a survey of 2,709 members of the American Psychological Association, it was found that 30 percent of these professionals had seen cases of ritual or religion-related abuse (Bottoms, Shaver & Goodman, 1991). Of those psychologists who have seen cases of ritual abuse, 93 percent believed that the reported harm took place and 93 percent believed that the alleged ritualism occurred….The similar research of Nancy Perry (1992) which further supports (the previous findings)…Perry also conducted a national survey of therapists who work with clients with dissociative disorders and she found that 88 percent of the 1,185 respondents indicated ”belief in ritual abuse, involving mind control and programming.”
Recently an online surveyof over one thousand people answered questions about ritual abuse and extreme abuse crimes. In a summary of the survey, it was found that ritual abuse/mind control is a global phenomenon. Fifty-five percent stated they were abused in a Satanic cult. Seventy-seven percent of the adult survivors that responded “had been threatened with death if they ever talked about the abuse.” Also, “257 respondents reported that secret mind control experiments were used on them as children.” Eighty-two percent reported being sexually abused by multiple perpetrators.
Anne Johnson Davis in her book Hell Minus One reported that her parents confessed to her abuse in writing and verbally to clergymen, and to the detectives from the Utah Attorney General’s Office. Her suppressed memories started when she was in her mid-30s, which were fully substantiated by her mother and stepfather.
Many scientific journals articles have discussed the reality of ritual abuse and its effect on its victims. Some of these articles have discussed the extreme nature of these crimes, proof of the reality of the ritual abuse phenomenon and victims’ symptoms, the connection between ritual abuse, multiple personality disorder and mind control and the connections between ritual abuse reports and the higher levels of symptoms of childhood sexual and physical abuse. Several additional studies and organizations have compiled research on the reality of ritual abuse crimes.
Ritual abuse occurrences have also been found in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. A ritual abuse case in the United States in 2006 had a confession and convictions. From Daily Telegraph, “Satanist paedophile ring ‘ritually rapedup to 25 children’, by Tom Leonard in Ponchatoula, 6/3/05:
“In a case that has horrified Americans way beyond the Bible Belt, Louis Lamonica Jnr and eight members the Hosanna Church are accused of being members of a Satanic paedophile ring who ritually raped up to 25 children, as well as performing animal sacrifices. Police say some of those charged – who include Lamonica’s wife and a deputy sheriff – have already admitted devil worship inside the now defunct church on the outskirts of Ponchatoula, the parish’s main town. The discovery of badly rubbed-out pentagrams on the floor and eight boxes of hooded black costumes —allegedly used both in the abuse and in ‘morality tales’ performed to prepare the young victims—bear out some of the claims. . . . Lamonica himself astonished police by walking into a neighbouring sheriff’s office a few weeks ago and confessing out of the blue that over five years he and other church members had sexually abused boys and girls aged between one and 16 and taught them to have sex with each other, as well as with a dog. Lamonica, 45, said he had drunk cat’s blood and poured it over the bodies of his young victims, some of whom were the abusers’ children. Local police say his claims have been confirmed by some of the victims, of whom half a dozen have so far been interviewed, and by some of the fellow abusers, whose names Lamonica freely gave to police.”
Stephen Kent, Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, believes that inter-generational satanic accounts are possible and that rituals related to them may come from a deviant interpretation of religious texts.
Once again, the amount of documented evidence of organized ritual abuse, even for someone like myself who never had a problem believing in its reality, is astounding. It is time for those people who have disbelieved, and who thoughtlessly repeat the mainstream mantra of “Satanic panic” and “No proof,” to give a hard look at this evidence. Ignoring it has already had a massive negative impact upon thousands upon thousands of survivors—some of whom we may personally know and never even suspect it.
The non-explanatory explanation of “Satanic panic” is so effective because it itself requires no proof, and no further extrapolation. It essentially argues that, since crimes of organized ritual abuse are impossible, all reports, allegations, and even confessions, can be dismissed as hysteria. Yet there is as much evidence for ritualized abuse as for any number of other crimes, crimes which go entirely unquestioned because, if there is victim testimony, corroborative evidence, and a confession, we generally consider the case to be closed. So why the special standard and unusually high degree of “skepticism” and denial around organized ritual abuse?
What I have deduced is chilling in its simplicity: The very extremity of organized ritual abuse
provides a “natural” cover for it. Such crimes are unthinkable to most
people, for one reason or another (though apparently not to Christians). But if
we are unable to think about something, how can we expect to reach any
reasonable conclusion about it?
 Cozolino, L.J.; Shaffer, R.E (Fall 1992) “Adults who report childhood ritualistic abuse.” Special Issue: Satanic ritual abuse: The current state of knowledge. Journal of Psychology and Theology 20(3) “Skeptics question the legitimacy of these reports, but many factors point to the reality of the phenomenon of ritualistic abuse. First of all, the degree of consistency between reports of individuals from different parts of the country is very high. The fact that children as young as 2 and 3 report ritualistic abuse experiences that mirror those reported by adult victims is especially striking in light of the fact that young children do not have access to the kind of printed information that might conceivably allow an older person to fabricate such experiences (Gould, 1987). Second, experiences of ritualistic abuse reported by victims of all ages are virtually identical to written historical accounts of Satan worship and the like (Hill & Goodwin, 1989; Russell, 1972), findings that substantiate our present-day understanding of Satanism and ritualistic abuse as intragenerational phenomenon. Third, the symptoms from which individuals reporting histories of ritualistic abuse tend to suffer are consistent with our current understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder and the dissociative disorders. The progression in which ritualistic abuse survivors respond to psychotherapy places these victims squarely within the category of individual who have suffered real-not imagined-trauma.” [Emphasis added]