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Christians Say the Darnedest Things: How to Detect Satanic Ritual Abuse

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If you were an Evangelical in the 1980s, you surely remember the Satanic ritual abuse hysteria that swept through many churches. The following was published on the Christian Nightmares website — a must read site if you are interested in the bat-crazy stuff found in more than a few Evangelical churches, denominations, and colleges.

Here’s what Christian Nightmares had to say:

From Joel Huschle: “Here are a few handouts I was given in a college class in the late 80s. We were also told that many of us were likely victims of Satanic Ritual Abuse and to seek out therapists who are trained to detect it.”

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    John Arthur

    Hi Bruce,

    Where do these people get all this nonsense from? Although the bible is book steeped in ancient culture with a belief in invisible demons and Satan, none of this nonsense is found there. Although a former Fundamentalist, I never held to any of this nonsense nor do I know of any regular Evangelical church goers who do. This group, and their followers, are crazy. Maybe in the bible belt of the USA there are more of these crazy types than in Australia. I don’t know.

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    I was a child/adolescent/teen in the 80s and remember the big Satanic scare. It scared me to death. Even in the news it seemed there reports of Satanic symbols being given found at crime scenes, probably people capitalizing on fear.

    Seriously, what child doesn’t find poop and far jokes funny? Some of the things on the list are normal childhood behavior. Others are disturbing.

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    Growing up in the Pentecostal movement, these beliefs were everywhere. I used to lay in bed afraid until I fell asleep because the adults would tell stories of demons coming toward them while they were praying at home. Of course, then the stories progressed to how they rebuked said demon and he ran because of their strong faith Also, many preachers would tell stories of casting out demons from the pulpit. Combine that with all the crazy screaming,crying,yelling,rolling, speaking in tongues, etc. that happened in every church service. . I stayed fearful until I realized in my early teen years that this was all hokum. I left the Pentecostal movement when I left home and never looked back.

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    Projection? Lots of religious people see abuse everywhere because there’s so much going on within their own circles and they struggle to admit it to themselves.

    As for children behaving in a precociously sexual way: this IS in many cases a big sign that they have indeed been sexually abused. Forget about the “Satanic” aspect; chances are they have been abused by someone whom the family trusts (the pastor, the teacher.)

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      Exactly. Industrial-strength, weapons-grade projection going on here. Many of the things on this list are indeed signs of possible sexual abuse, but some (what normal kid doesn’t go through a preoccupation with burp and fart jokes?) are normal childhood behavior, outside the fundie bubble anyhow.

      I lived through the “Satanic Panic,” and have long since come to the conclusion that much of the concern about “ritual satanic sexual abuse of children” was, at best, an idea built on hysterical stupidity and ignorance of the outside world; and, at worst, a deliberate smokescreen designed to deflect and cover up the rampant, widespread sexual abuse going on within fundie families and fundie churches. I remember my uncle, a pentecostal minister, who stood up in his church and warned his congregation against letting their kids go trick-or-treating, lest they be “kidnapped by witches and satan worshippers and used for group sex and blood sacrifice.” At the same time, this “man of god” ignored and dismissed his own daughter when she told him her grandfather had been molesting her for years. My cousin eventually ran away from home, became a heroin addict, and took her own life. To this day, her parents insist she “gave herself over to Satan.” I wonder how these people live with themselves…by creating phoney boogeymen like the “Satanic Panic” I guess…

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Bruce Gerencser