Satanic Panic

I always wondered about the era of the Satanic Panic. By the times the 70’s turned the corner, I was an adult, and admittedly, for myself there was a huge association with the 80’s that brings to mind not only the Satanic Panic, but ‘movements’ such as re-pressed memory and abuse ‘recall’ idiocy, and the surge of a myriad of 12 steps groups.  It was and is a marriage of  twisted faith and pop-psychology, disguising faith as a perogative and justification to destroy in the interests of salvation and self justification.

Though having been in the U.S for a couple of years, my country of origin is Canada. There, as I am sure in the U.S, the horrifying abuse against the aborignals, especially children, at the hands of  residential schools run by the church  is an issue the Canada continues to grapple with as the decades old residual effects slither down the generations. It’s as if those who played a part in the Satanic Panic simply decided to take a rest from previous infractions and find a new target.

The targets change, but faith remains the abuser.

Below is a piece I found on the internet that in the simplest of ways briefly explains the Satanic Panic.

What is the Satanic Panic

The Satanic Panic was a time period roughly covering the 1980s when many people became growingly concerned about Satanic conspiracies spreading throughout the United States. People were particularly fearful that Satanists were targeting children both physically and psychologically, and they warned that unwary souls might fall under the sway of Satanic influences if they did not remain vigilant.

How Did It Develop?

The Satanic Panic was a result of hysteria, much like the historical witch hunts. Upon hearing a tale of alleged Satanic activity, people attempted to be more watchful, eventually erroneously identifying various members of their community as part of the Satanic conspiracy. The hysteria spread quickest when children were the supposed victims and they were asked leading questions.

Suggestions of Physical Abuse

Teachers and day-care workers were notably targeted during the Panic as communities convinced themselves that those in positions of authority were ritually molesting groups of children.

This alleged molestation is now known as Satanic Ritual Abuse, or SRA, and the FBI has concluded that it is a myth. No group was ever found guilty of wrongdoing in these cases.

Satanic Recruitment

There was also growing concern that Satanic organizations were attempting to recruit people through a variety of manipulative means. This included the allegation that various music albums would reveal Satanic messages when played backward, and that be hearing these messages in reverse they would be subconsciously imprinted upon listeners. Scientists consider such suggestions to be junk-science.

Another potential source of recruitment was roleplaying games, particularly Dungeons & Dragons. Many of the accusations circulating about the game were flat-out untrue, but since many who read the allegations were completely unfamiliar with the game, that fact was not evident.

Rise of the Religious Right

The United States is considerably more religious than most Western countries, and the conservative branch of Christianity really started to entrench itself in American culture by the 1980s. Satanic Panic allegations most often came from (and still come from today) conservative and fundamental Protestant Christians.

Suggested Reading

LaVeyan Satanism

Satanic Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Satan? Satan in Different Religions

Suggested Reading

Is LaVeyan Satanism a Cult?

What is a Cult?

Evaluating Religions as Dangerous Cults

Elsewhere on the Web

The Hard Facts About Satanic Ritual Abuse, Christian Research Journal

Satanic Ritual Abuse, FBI Report

10 thoughts on “Satanic Panic

  1. Greetings Mistress,
    I remember the SRA in the UK, bad business indeed, and yet not one family which was torn apart was anything to do with any Order of Satan, and only half were Pagan, just goes to show. I myself tried to help the only organisation which was doing anything about this, and the family concerned were Christian and abusers so not doing ritual abuse.

    Cool site


  2. I am old enough to remember the satanic panic first hand. It was in the mid 80s and I think it was near May Day. Some witch friends of mine had their pre-teen girl in a nearby little town, and at the bank and at a store they were told “you better keep an eye on your girl because the satanists are looking for a blonde blue eyed child to sacrifice tonight”. I kid you not. Nowadays we find out that it was the Christians we had to worry about, from catholic priests to others in the church. Yesterday a guy who taught music at a fundy oriented school was charged with corruption of minors etc.

  3. I remember “The Satanic Panic” well. As a member of the Church of Satan and the Black House staff, we heard all of the horror stories out there, because no matter how outrageous or far fetched, the seemed to eventually make their way to our door. People today look back at it as a time of ignorance and paranoia, and indeed it was, but few can ever understand what it was like to be an open target. Working late nights and into the early morning hours at the Black House, you were always aware of your surroundings as you left and made your way to your car. There were threats and sometimes more, so you had to keep your guard UP.

    And it didn’t matter how outlandish the claims were… or that there was no evidence to support them. There HAD to be a vast Satanic conspiracy. It was necessary because without it, someone might actually THINK and see how crazy and improbable and blatantly stupid the allegations became. We were ALL murderers and pedophiles and rapists. They just couldn’t prove it, and evidence be damned, they didn’t care. Satanists were guilty.

    But out of the Satanic Panic came a realization that was probably akin to the realization at the end of the “burning times” that this all just didn’t make sense, and that they were being manipulated with fear over something that was as gossamer as “angels wings.” Eventually cooler minds came to bear. Still, even today, I keep my guard up most times. That’s just common sense.

  4. O.M.G. I was born in 1961. At some age, probably around 10 or 12, I remember my mom telling me her version of stranger danger. I specifically remember her telling me that there were bad people who were looking for blonde-haired blue-eyed girls to take. To this day I wondered where she had heard that. I’ll be damned. Thank you for giving me a clue to this 40-year mystery.

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