Primarily a myth
of the Christian right
in the U.S.
during the mid-1980s
, fueled in part by psychotherapist
s with hidden agenda
s. That didn't stop a large number of people from being charged with various crimes
they probably didn't commit. See, for example, the story of Paul Ingram
, who was accused
of ritual abuse by his daughter
s; he was eventually pressure
d (some would say brainwash
ed) into giving what most believe to this day to be a false confession
. He is currently serving a twenty
Carl Sagan, in The Demon-Haunted World, discusses UFO abduction, ritual Satanic abuse, and false memory syndrome.
Note: I am not saying that child abuse
does not happen; it does, with alarming frequency
. However, I have not heard of a single
case where the abuse
was part of a satanic
ritual. I have
, however, heard of cases where it is part of a `Christian
' ritual. This is probably not because of anything particularly nefarious
, but rather the fact the it is the most common religion
in the U.S.
Every religion has its bad apples; unfortunately, when those bad apples fit the stereotype which closed-minded people already have of that religion, things get bad. `Ritual Satanic abuse' became another reason for people to hate witches and other neopagans. As my best friend is a witch, and I have another friend who was abused by her uncle, I feel especially sensitive towards both sides of this issue.