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.
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.
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.
Elsewhere on the Web