[RITUAL ABUSE, SATANISM, OCCULTISM; (Religious Tolerance): http://web.canlink.com/ocrt/ocrt_hp.htm ]
DOES SATANIC/SADISTIC RITUAL ABUSE EXIST?
(Ritual Abuse is also called SRA, Satanic Ritual Abuse, Ritualistic Abuse, Sadistic Ritual Abuse, Cult Related Abuse, etc)
WHAT PEOPLE BELIEVE:
- Some believe that a high-tech, secret, international Satanic organization engages in horrendous ritual abuse, mutilation and torture - largely of children.
- Some attribute abuse to mind and behaviour control cults or other hidden groups.
- 50,000 ritual human sacrifices are commonly estimated to occur each year in the US alone.
- Perpetrators are believed to drink the blood and eat the flesh of the victims and engage in sexual excesses.
- Generational Satanists are believed to exist who sacrifice some of their children and pass on their killing and mutilating rituals to other children.
A SRA industry composed of seminar speakers and authors has sprung up to promote this belief system.
DOES IT EXIST?
The simple answers are yes and no. It does not exist as an international conspiracy. It does not exist as a widespread underground inter-generational cult that passes its abusive beliefs and practices from grandparents to parents to children. There have been a few, isolated cases of activities that might be called "Sadistic Ritual Abuse", although none match the belief system described above and none are done by intergenerational secret "cults".
Investigators are thus divided on the existence and nature of this form of abuse. Some believe that there are an average of 50,000 ritual murders per year in North America; others believe very few or none.
It is essentially impossible to prove that something does not exist. For example, who can prove that they did not beat their spouse last year on the evening of January 15th?. However, there are strong indications that SRA is not practiced at any significant level in North America.
INDICATORS THAT SADISTIC/SATANIC RITUAL ABUSE DOES NOT EXIST
1. 1800 YEAR HISTORY OF UNSUBSTANTIATED RUMOURS:
Rumours of an evil, underground, abusive religious group were well documented during the early history of the Christian church in the Roman Empire. The government promoted a rumour that the early Christians kidnapped babies, ritually killed them, drank their blood, ate their flesh and engaged in degenerate sexual practices. The "urban folk tale" was based on:
- the practices of some Christians to seek out and save the lives of abandoned infants; the rumour implied that the babies were later murdered in rituals
- the communion ritual in which Christians consumed wine and bread, with the belief that it had been transmuted into the blood and body of Christ; the rumour implied that real blood and body parts were used during the ritual
- the practice of early Christians to have a shared meal and social gathering; the rumour implied that these were orgies
The same basic story has continued intermittently in many variations for some 1800 years. The Church used it against the heretics, lepers, Cathars, Knights Templar and Witches during the period 1000 to 1800 AD. Hitler used it against the Jews and Gypsies during the 1930's. The USSR used it against the Jews more recently. A variety of SRA promoters are using it against Satanists, followers of minority religions, men's fraternal organizations, self help groups, etc today.
Historians do not believe that these tales were true in the past; there is no reason to assume that the latest manifestation of the same rumour is true today. Promoters of SRA are simply continuing the lies of the Inquisition, of Nazi Germany, and of the USSR into the 1990's. Most are believed to do this unknowingly; most firmly believe in the reality of SRA.
2. FRAUDS IN THE SRA INDUSTRY
Much of the public's current beliefs about Satanism and SRA can be traced back to four books: Michelle Remembers, Satan Seller, Satan's Underground and He Came to Set the Captives Free. All contain what the authors claim to be personal experiences with Satanism - as victim or perpetrator. All four have been proven to be frauds by various Evangelical and Wiccan investigators. Various television exposes of SRA (20-20, Geraldo, and other talk shows) featured these authors. There are many dozens of additional books which are mainly written by Evangelical authors which appear to use combinations of these four books for source material. A study by the Wiccan Information Network has shown that there is no agreement by these authors on the Satanic seasonal days of celebration; the dates mentioned in these books appear to be guesses by their authors. If Satanic dates are simply invented, one may wonder whether the rest of the books are based on reality.
The most important book (the one which originally triggered the SRA panic) is Michelle Remembers by Dr. Lawrence Pazder and Michelle Smith (Pocket Books 1980; ISBN 0-671-69433-2). An investigation by the Wiccan Information Network revealed that the horrendous rituals described in the book originated in Pazder's personal study of benign African native religious practices.
Ultimately, all of the beliefs about Gothic Satanism can be traced back to the above four books, to people's imagination and to the Malleus Maleficarum (the text book of the Witch burning times).
If SRA existed, then one would logically expect that a SRA survivor somewhere who had continuously present memories would write a non-fraudulent book describing their abuse experiences, either as victim or perpetrator.
3. LACK OF SURVIVORS' DOCUMENTATION PRIOR TO 1980
The term "SRA survivor" is used to describe adults who have memories of SRA which happened. Usually, they had not been aware of these experiences until recovered memories are developed during therapy. There are no records of SRA survivors having gone public in the 20th century prior to the publishing of Michelle Remembers.
If SRA has been practiced for many generations (as the promoters of SRA believe) then someone should have come forward before 1980 to reveal their abuse.
4. OTHER FRAUDS IN THE SRA INDUSTRY
Many of the promoters of SRA are Fundamentalist or other Evangelical Christians. The latter are in part motivated by religious reasons: they devoutly believe that Satan is a real person with quasi-God like powers, who is alive and very active in the world today. So they reason that he must have profoundly evil human helpers.
Some of these SRA promoters SRA have been investigated by both Neo-pagan and Evangelical Christian groups and shown to be frauds. Many lecturers in the industry say that they were once Satanists or "black Witches", rose to a position of great power, engaged in horrendous rituals, converted to Evangelical Christianity, and then became an author and seminar leader.
If SRA exists, then one would expect some lecturers to have left Satanism as a "plain ordinary member". Some should have converted to mainline Christianity, to liberal Christianity or to a religion other than Christianity. Yet none fitting these profiles has ever been found.
5. COURT CASES IN THE EARLY 1980'S
There were dozens of court cases involving SRA in the five years following the publishing of Michelle Remembers. Typically, charges were brought by a young adult against her/his parents, accusing them of SRA which allegedly occurred during the 1960's and/or 1970's. The testimony revealed rituals identical to (or essentially duplicates of) those described in the book Michelle Remembers. But, as has been shown above, that book is fiction; those rituals only existed in the mind of the authors. One must conclude that the survivors were either lying, or were basing their testimony on false memories. (False memories feel like real memories; however they are of events that never happened. The survivor is usually unaware of these memories until they are recovered during Recovered Memory Therapy, which may use hypnotism, age regression or guided imagery). It is very doubtful that they were lying; no known researcher in the field accuses the survivors of perjury. We conclude that they were based on false memories.
If SRA really existed as a secret, inter-generational underground movement, we would have expected court cases to have been brought forward during the entire 20th Century. And the testimony given at the trials would not have been based on a fraudulent book.
6. THE NATURE OF RECOVERED MEMORIES OF SRA
SRA survivors have similar memories of abuse, involving a Satanic "motif". They remember evil, robe-clad adults, candles, knives, an altar, etc. This is the sort of image that we all have of Satanists; it is derived from countless children's stories, horror movies, sermons, comic books, etc. However, survivors memories of details of Satanic ritual do not agree. Since Satanism is believed to be a rigid, authoritarian religion, details should be consistent across the country. These includes: dates of major rituals, type and colour of knifes, colour of robes, whether female and male clothing was differentiated; whether the Satanist's rank was identified by different coloured belts, etc. Details also rarely agree with known Satanic practices.
If a highly structured Satanic group is involved in SRA, one would expect that ritual details would be consistent among local cells, and that survivors' stories would agree. We would expect that their memories of rituals would match known Satanic practices.
7. THERAPISTS AND AGENCIES PROMOTING SRA
A recent study funded by a US federal government agency among over 6,900 psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers showed that 70% had never had an SRA patient, most of the rest had handled one or two, but that 1.4% had over 100 cases. This indicates that a small percentage of therapists are detecting most of the survivors
The same study of police departments, district attorney's offices and social service agencies revealed a similar pattern: 80% with none; most of the rest one or two, and 2.2% over 100 cases. There are counselling centres that suspect that all of their clients have been victims of incest or ritual abuse. Memories of abuse often surface after Recovered Memory Therapy, which often involves hypnotism and guided imagery, The American Medical Association, and many Psychiatric and Psychological professional organizations around the world warn that recovered memories may have no relation to real events. However, many therapists continue to believe that all memories are absolutely true and accurate, whether recovered or always present.
If SRA were widespread, one would expect a more even distribution of cases among therapists and agencies. In reality, a very small minority of therapists and agencies are creating most SRA survivors - apparently those who personally believe in extensive SRA, and see it in most of their clients or patients.
8. INCONSISTENCIES IN SRA MEMORIES
Children with memories of SRA tend to recall scary experiences; e.g. being put in a coffin and lowered into a grave. Their stories often involve urine and feces, which are typical fascinations of children. Adult survivors' stories tend to be very different. They often recall horrendous torture, mutilation, ritual murder, cannibalism, drinking of blood, etc.
If SRA existed, one would expect that child and adult memories of the same rituals would be similar.
9. COURT RECORDS
Very few criminal cases in the US actually go to trial. About 90% are settled by plea-bargaining in which the accused pleads guilty to a lesser crime in order to avoid being found guilty of a more serious offense. There is only one case on record in the US of a person pleading guilty to abuse involving a Satanic ritual component. He is a special person - one who has been proven capable of entering a self-induced trance and creating his own false memories. He pleaded guilty because he believed his own false memories and wanted to spare his daughters the stress of a trial. He has since recanted and is appealing his sentence.
If SRA were widespread, one would expect large numbers of perpetrators charged with SRA to admit their guilt and plea-bargain for lesser charges. It is believed that this has never happened.
10. LACK OF SUPPORTING EVIDENCE
During the 1980's, many promoters in the SRA industry were police officers. They were concerned that thousands of Satanists (and similar groups) were literally getting away with murder. In recent years, most have realized that no hard evidence of ritual abuse or murder has ever been found. Most police are now openly skeptical of the reality of SRA. Some police officers, who are Evangelical Christians, remain; they are sometimes called "cult cops" by skeptics.
The FBI Behavioral Sciences Laboratory is the main law enforcement group in the United States specializing in SRA. They have been called in as consultants by local police forces in hundreds of cases of suspected SRA. Although they have found many cases involved sexual and physical abuse of children, none have involved SRA. The FBI has successfully infiltrated the Mafia, KKK, Communist cells, corrupt union organizations, and are now penetrating the state militias. But they have never infiltrated the "Satanic conspiracy".
If SRA were widespread, one would expect some hard evidence of the 50,000 ritual killings per year. One would expect the FBI to have infiltrated and exposed any criminal Satanic organization if it existed.
11. MISSING EVIDENCE
As mentioned above, no hard evidence supporting SRA has ever been found. Support for the existence of SRA is in two types: the recovered memories of tens of thousands of survivors and scars allegedly caused by physical abuse. Sometimes survivors' memories contain elements that are open to verification. For example, some remember having been forced to conceive and had an abortion or delivered a live baby for sacrifice. Many children in the famous McMartin Preschool case recalled being taken down through trap doors in the floor and through underground tunnels (5) that originated in the day care basement. Others remember rituals in which victims of human sacrifice were buried. Others recall horrendous childhood experiences involving extreme physical abuse and mutilation. Some remember being abused in a basement or attic or other specific location.
Police investigations typically show that the survivors who remember pregnancy were never pregnant; that no human remains were discovered after excavating the locations remembered; scars or other marks that would have remained visible are missing - scars which do exist could have been made by the survivor or have logical causes unrelated to ritual abuse; no survivor's lack of school attendance for other than known medical reasons, is on record. Inspections of the day care revealed that no trap doors were present or could have existed. Excavations around the day care centre revealed no non-fraudulent evidence of tunnels has been found. No shoring was found; it would have been needed in the sandy soil around the day care center. (Some books, like The Courage to Heal falsely claim that tunnels were found). Some locations for abuse are nonexistent: the attics and basements never existed.
If SRA occurred as survivors remember it, then certain evidence would be present. The fact that it is missing indicates that the memories are probably false. As mentioned above, this does not mean that survivors are lying; it means that their memories (which are very real to them) are of events that never happened.
12. BURIAL OF CORPSES
There have been countless instances in which a SRA survivor has taken police investigators to the exact location where she saw bodies being buried after human sacrifices. The police search the area and sometimes bring in heavy earth moving machinery to help. At most, they will recover a few bones from animals who have died of natural causes. No bodies have ever been unearthed.
SRA promoters will counter the lack of corpses with the assertion that the Satanists came back later, secretly dug up the bodies and buried them elsewhere. They would have done this in order to ruin the credibility of any member who turned against the "cult". But this theory does not hold water. One has to dig a pit in order to bury a body. And, even when the pit is filled in, it is still detectable - often for tens of thousands of years. The change in soil consistency between firm, compacted dirt and loose dirt is easily detected. Bacteria will grow quickly in loose earth and change the soil color significantly. So, even if the bodies are removed, the filled-in pits remain in place.
13. ACCIDENTAL DISCOVERIES BY POLICE OR FIRE FIGHTERS
One would expect that a building somewhere where SRA was practiced would eventually catch on fire. The fire fighters would then find evidence (pens for holding victims, blood soaked altar, etc). Similarly, a SRA location would sooner or later be entered by the police in a drug raid, and evidence would be found. No such cases are known.
14. MAJOR GOVERNMENT STUDIES
Investigations have been completed by four governments: the state of Virginia (1991), and the governments of Great Britain (1994), the Netherlands (1994) and the United States (1994). All have shown that SRA does not exist at any significant level in their jurisdictions.
If SRA existed in any level, one would expect at least one government study somewhere would have found evidence of it.
15. GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF SRA
Belief about widespread SRA and a strong SRA industry exists only in countries, where belief of the reality of the Christian devil as an evil, active, person is widespread. These include the US, Canada, and England. With the possible exception of the Netherlands, "Satanic panics" have not been triggered in countries in which belief in the Satan is rare. They have fizzled in the rest of Europe.
If SRA exists internationally, one would expect it to be present in all nominally Christian countries. The prevalence of SRA beliefs appear to be related to our beliefs about Satan rather than any objective reality.
16. WHERE DO THE HUMAN SACRIFICES COME FROM?
There are about 25,000 known homicides in the US each year. SRA promoters typically claim that an additional 50,000 people, mostly infants, are killed in human sacrifices by Satanic (and similar) groups. Since the kidnapping of even one child can trigger a nation-wide search, it is difficult to comprehend how 50,000 could disappear and not be noticed.
SRA promoters often answer this argument with the concept of breeding camps. These are concentration camps in which thousands of women are kept prisoner, and continually kept pregnant. Their new-born babies are then transported across the US and Canada for sacrifice. One such camp near Cornwall ON is supposed to imprison 2,500 women. This would pose serious problems of concealment. Such a camp would be many times larger than the largest of Canadian penitentiaries, and would require a total staff of about 1000. Any of the staff could become instantly very rich by simply telling their story to the National Inquirer; it would be the story of the decade. Such a prison would be impossible to hide for long.
SRA would require a plentiful supply of babies for sacrifice. No such supply exists.
17. GENDER IMBALANCE AMONG SRA PERPETRATORS
The SRA industry promotes the concept that most abuse and programming is done by parents of survivors; i.e. by both mother and father. The abuse, torture and human sacrifices by Satanists (or other groups) is viewed as both:
1. intra-family: involving the victim, her mother, her father and perhaps grand parents
2. inter-family: involving a Satanic grotto composed of many mothers, fathers and their children.
The perpetrators are thus evenly divided between men and women.
However, the vast majority of sexual predators of children are male. Convicted pedophiles are almost all male; few females are ever involved. Thus the SRA industry's belief concerning the gender makeup of the perpetrators does not agree with decades of studies of sexual abusers.
18. INTER-GENERATIONAL CONTINUITY OF ABUSE
The SRA industry promotes the concept that abuse is inter-generational in nature. That is that grandparents abuse their children who then grow up, become parents, and abuse their children, etc. Their belief is that SRA has existed for many decades, perhaps for centuries, and that one of the reasons for the abuse is to perpetuate the Satanic movement to include future generations.
At the same time, they promote the concept that survivors of SRA (adults with memories of having been ritually abused as children) are not child abusers themselves. They believe that children of survivors are not at risk.
These two concepts are mutually exclusive.
19. THE LACK OF CONTINUOUSLY PRESENT MEMORIES
Adults who report memories of childhood incest fall into two groups:
1. those who have recovered memories during therapy - memories which were not present before therapy
2. those who have always had the memories - continuously from childhood to the present time
Many professionals in the memory research and mental health fields suspect that many of the first group's memories are false. However, there are (sadly) plenty of people in the latter group who prove the existence of childhood incest, our most serious social problem.
Adults who report memories of childhood SRA fall into the same two groups. But only three people are known to be the second group: Michelle Smith, Laurie Stratford and "Elaine". Michelle and Laurie wrote books about their abuse which have been shown to be frauds. Rebecca Brown wrote a book about Elaine which has also shown to be a hoax.
If SRA really existed, one would expect that there would be thousands or tens of thousands of adults whose memories of childhood SRA were continuously with them - just like horrific memories of the Holocaust, Cambodian atrocities, etc have always been present in their victims. There seems to be no "always present" memories of SRA.
20. THE NATURE OF RECOVERED MEMORIES
About 20% of adults who report memories of childhood incest recall being victims of SRA. As mentioned above, many professionals believe that these are false memories - memories of events that never happened.
Analyzing the recovered memories of SRA reveals internal flaws:
- In one area, a group of SRA survivors all reported human sacrifices in which the bodies were completely destroyed by burning in a bonfire. A skeptic later mentioned that fires are not hot enough to destroy the evidence: bones would remain behind. After a while, the survivors' stories changed.
First one of them, and later all of them remembered bodies being destroyed in undertakers' crematorium. So the police staked out these crematoria and found no criminal activity was going on. After a while, the survivors' stories changed again. This time, they remembered that bodies were destroyed in mobile crematoria owned by the Satanists. These portable machines were hidden in caves and wheeled out during rituals. If SRA really exists, then one would expect the survivor's recovered childhood memories to be constant.
- Survivors universally report very solemn Satanic ceremonies which are conducted without error or distraction. Nobody ever drops a ritual tool; nobody ever cracks a joke; nobody has problems lighting candles, etc. All rituals are perfect. If SRA really exists, then one would expect the memories to include very human errors, just as they occur in other religious settings.
- A sizable proportion of survivors report that they were being trained to take over the role of Chief Priestess or Chief Priest of the Satanic group. However, it is commonly reported that such groups consist of 13 members. If SRA exists, then one would expect that fewer than 1 in 6 survivors would report this training; more than 5 out of 6 would be trained to become plain members.
If SRA existed, then every high priest, high priestess, POM (plain ordinary member), and peripherally involved person would have sufficient information to blow the lid off of the most important news story of the century. He/she could probably make hundreds of thousands of dollars by selling their story to the media.
This has never happened.
22. LACK OF SRA DOCUMENTATION PRIOR TO 1980
There are no known 20th century SRA books or articles prior to the publishing of Michelle Remembers in 1980. If SRA has been practiced for many generations (or even centuries as many promoters of SRA believe) then someone should have come forward before 1980 to document their activities.
WHAT IS THE REALITY OF SRA?
We conclude that SRA does not exist at any significant level. Ritual abuse is a very small problem when compared to the level of conventional (non-ritual) physical and sexual abuse of children (except of course to that rare individual who has been ritually abused).
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF THE SRA INDUSTRY?
Promoters are having an increasingly difficult task convincing people of the reality of SRA. 15 years have gone by since the publishing of Michelle Remembers, and there is still no hard evidence of any Satanic conspiracy. As memory researchers and members of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation demonstrate how false memories can be created in adults and children, we expect that the SRA scare will gradually fade. However, if
- an example of hard evidence can be found, or
- an adult can be found with always present memories of SRA
then the SRA industry would be given a tremendous boost in credibility.
Unfortunately, new victims are being created every day. Families continue to be destroyed as adult children recover false memories and accuse their parents of SRA. Children are sometimes removed from their families because of suspicions of SRA. Although they are later returned when the fears are found to be groundless, the parents live under a cloud of suspicion for the rest of their lives. This makes life difficult for followers of many minority, non-Christian religions, which are often confused with Satanists.
The message being promoted by the SRA industry is changing. No longer are Satanists being exclusively fingered as the perpetrators. Followers of Neo-paganism, Native Spirituality, the New Age and dozens of other non-Christian religions are being accused. Even the Masonic Order, Quakers, men's service groups, 12 step programs and a variety of self-help groups have been named as perpetrators. Stories of "Manchurian Candidates" being created by the CIA are circulating. This is causing these unjustly accused groups to form defensive alliances. In the future, there will be many more challengers facing the SRA promoters.
Rumours of human sacrifice and abuse have been with us for almost two millennia; it is doubtful that it will disappear overnight. It is expected that the SRA industry will increase in power during the latter part of the decade, as religious anticipation of the end of the world in the year 2000 reaches a fever pitch. However, the industry is expected to decline in power and influence by the year 2010. By that date, we expect that three decades will have passed without any hard evidence of SRA, and a consensus will be reached among mental health professionals about the lack of reality of many recovered memories.
There are many self-help, Christian and other groups who believe in the widespread nature of Ritual Abuse and Satanic Ritual Abuse. You can consult:
for information from one group who believes this.
A second resource is:
Their home page describes SRA from a Christian perspective. They are skeptical of SRA accounts. Their home page contains an excellent review of the history of SRA beliefs and lists many indicators of its non-existence.
A more "middle of the road" page is
1. The Alliance for Magical and Earth Religions (AMER) has an on-line copy of the FBI report on the (non)existence of evil Satanic cults by Ken Lanning, titled "Investigator's Guide to Allegations of 'Ritual' Child Abuse". See it at:
2. G.S. Goodman et al "Characteristics & Sources of Allegations of Ritual Child Abuse", Clearing House on Child Abuse & Neglect Information, Suite 350, 3998 Fair Ridge Dr, Fairfax VA, 22033. [Free summary available by calling (703) 385-7565]
3. John Earl, "The Dark Truth About the 'Dark Tunnels of McMartin'", Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, Vol. 7, #2, 1995 Spring, Institute for Psychological Therapies, 13200 Cannon City Blvd., Northfield, MN 55057. An expose on the McMartin day care centre underground tunnel myth. $15 USF; $20 USF (foreign).
4. Ellen Bass & Laura Davis, "The Courage to Heal, Harper Collins, New York NY, (1992). The book accepts all memories uncovered during recovered memory therapy as true.
5. Paul & Shirley Eberle, "The Abuse of Innocence : The McMartin Preschool Trial", Prometheus Books (1993). ISBN: 0879758090. The authors attended the court sessions lasting over many years, and concluded that there was no case against the accused.
Portions of this document were extracted from information sheets provided by the Wiccan Information Network. Used by permission.
[reformatted: boboroshi ] [original URL: http://web.canlink.com/ocrt/ocrt_hp.htm]
- The Ordur of Kaos Under Satan (TOKUS)
-- the underlying k@s that makes all this possible
- Satanism Archive
- Smackers -- self-described Satanist expressions
- Compare outsiders' descriptions of Satanism and satanism:
- Propaganda -- non-Satanist religious and academics
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- Mother Church (CoE)
-- the progenitrix of eco-ethics
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items referenced in this archive are
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