Modern Christian Mythology: Ritual Satanic Abuse in the ’80’s
Remember the 1980’s, when pretty much everyone in America was either abused by or accused of being in a satanic cult? And Ronald Reagan was in office, too. Ah, good times. It all seems to track back to 1980, which saw the publication of a book entitled, Michelle Remembers. Michelle Remembers contained the supposed “recovered memories” of satanic ritual abuse by it’s author, Michelle Smith. Once published, it caught on like wild fire among evangelical Christian circles, and it started a wave of “recovered memories” all across the nation. The book has since been pretty thoroughly discredited for containing uncorroborated events and highly unlikely scenarios (hey, when the Church of Satan threatens to sue for libel, it’s pretty bad). But, at the time, no one seemed even remotely interested in questioning the book and it was viewed as an accurate testimonial of a victim of a secret nationwide underground ring of satanists groups that were continually killing babies and sacrificing animals (and, of course, continuously re-hiding the remains so they would never be found). Several other books were published in it’s aftermath, most where also discredited.
Not only where the existence of these satanic cults called into question, but the entire practice of “recovered memories” and the use of hypnosis in therapy was ended by all credible therapists. For a couple of light reading books about the belief in recovered memories and the chaotic mess sloppy investigation can cause, see Remembering Satan and Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens. And, of course, there’s also the Salem Witch trials, which should always be kept fresh in our minds.