HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Conviction of Things Not ...

Sun Jul 11, 2021, 08:08 AM

Conviction of Things Not Seen: The Uniquely American Myth of Satanic Cults [View all]

Last edited Sun Jul 11, 2021, 06:33 PM - Edit history (1)


The period of nationwide moral hysteria that came to be known as the Satanic Panic began in 1980 with the publication of Michelle Remembers, a biographical account of the repressed memories of the childhood ritual abuse purportedly suffered by Canadian psychiatric patient Michelle Smith. Written by Smith and her psychiatrist Lawrence Pazder, whom she later married, Michelle Remembers detailed the abuse that Smith alleged she experienced at the hands of her mother and other members of a Satanic cult during the mid-1950s in her native British Columbia. Pazder, who was originally treating Smith for depression following a miscarriage, helped Smith surface these memories by means of regression hypnosis, a highly controversial psychotherapeutic technique whose validity has been widely called into question by members of the mental health community.

The book, which earned Pazder and Smith more than $340,000 in hardcover and paperback rights alone, became a phenomenon. Tabloids publicized the new book widely, after which Pazder and Smith embarked on a lengthy book tour across the U.S. As Michelle Remembers gained in popularity, the media rarely questioned the truthfulness of Smith’s account of her supposedly abusive upbringing and the atrocities she endured. Smith claimed she had been imprisoned in cages among live snakes, forced to watch as members of her mother’s cult slaughtered kittens in front of her, and even endured 81 consecutive days of consistent physical abuse as the cultists engaged in a prolonged ritual to summon Satan himself. In 1989, almost 10 years after the publication of Michelle Remembers, Oprah Winfrey featured Smith as a guest on her show alongside Laurel Rose Willson, author of the equally fictitious Satanic ritual abuse survival memoir Satan’s Underground, which was published under the pseudonym Lauren Stratford. Both women’s experiences were presented by Winfrey as incontrovertible fact, and not once did she question the authenticity of any claim in either book.


In the vast majority of reported cases of Satanic ritual abuse, it was the testimony of the allegedly abused children themselves that damned dozens of innocent people to lengthy prison sentences and a lifetime of social exile. However, subsequent review of these cases revealed that much of this testimony was obtained through coercion and suggestive interviewing techniques by overzealous social workers, and that these statements were rarely questioned by investigating officers. Despite the utter lack of evidence to corroborate claims of Satanic cult activity, new cases continued to be reported—and believed—nationwide, yet officials were no closer to uncovering any vast organized conspiracy by intergenerational Satanic cults.


Lanning’s report critically examined the often-fluid definitions of Satanism that were used interchangeably by many law enforcement agencies, as well as debunking supposed indicators of Satanic crime highlighted during police training seminars such as symbolism in heavy metal music and fantasy role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons. Lanning also offered several alternative explanations for similarities among the disparate eyewitness accounts, including pathological distortions commonly observed in cases of Munchausen syndrome. It was the first time anyone had objectively challenged the commonalities in cases of ritual abuse that police forces across the country were taking as irrefutable evidence of Satanic cult activity.


I remember Mc Martin pre-school and many of these Satanic Ritual Abuse stories. Back then I said they were crap and I was not surprised when they all fell apart. That none of these 'experts' lost their licenses or went to jail was criminal

27 replies, 1504 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Conviction of Things Not Seen: The Uniquely American Myth of Satanic Cults [View all]
rpannier Jul 2021 OP
jimfields33 Jul 2021 #1
Buckeye_Democrat Jul 2021 #2
Scrivener7 Jul 2021 #3
Effete Snob Jul 2021 #5
Scrivener7 Jul 2021 #12
Effete Snob Jul 2021 #17
Elessar Zappa Jul 2021 #8
slightlv Jul 2021 #9
Scrivener7 Jul 2021 #11
slightlv Jul 2021 #18
Scrivener7 Jul 2021 #24
niyad Jul 2021 #13
slightlv Jul 2021 #19
niyad Jul 2021 #22
Bucky Jul 2021 #4
WhiskeyGrinder Jul 2021 #10
Merlot Jul 2021 #15
multigraincracker Jul 2021 #6
Effete Snob Jul 2021 #7
niyad Jul 2021 #14
mopinko Jul 2021 #16
Deep State Witch Jul 2021 #20
Deep State Witch Jul 2021 #21
KentuckyWoman Jul 2021 #23
A.M. Kittenplan Jul 2021 #25
I_UndergroundPanther Jul 2021 #26
GulfCoast66 Jul 2021 #27