Let’s start out this article by observing a disturbing, but well-documented fact: Abuse of children is real, and is far too common. Though most children are raised lovingly, some children encounter horrific abuse from their parents.
Now, let’s note another fact: There is no corroborated evidence of a nationwide Satanic conspiracy to ritually abuse children across.
Rampant child abuse has been associated with organizations that also engage in elaborate rituals of symbolic sacrifice. The widespread sexual and physical abuse of children by the Catholic Church, which protected the abusers, is well known. In their 2003 study, Religion – related Child Physical Abuse: Characteristics and Psychological Outcomes, researchers Bettie Bottoms, Michael Nielsen, Rebecca Murray, and Henrietta Filipas found that some sects of Christianity engage in violent rituals of child abuse, but justify these rituals by calling them a form of exorcism.
“Some believers (and even mental health professionals; Friesen, 1992) even equate children’s misbehavior with the actual activity of Satan or other evil spirits who literally possess the children and who must be exorcized by beatings,” they wrote, adding that “‘cult’ beliefs and practices may differ only in degree from those of mainstream religious groups such as Methodists, Baptists, and Catholics, who believe the physical punishment of children is religiously sanctioned, especially those who are Biblical literalists.”
It’s not this sort of ritual abuse that the 16th Annual Ritual Abuse, Secretive Organizations and Mind Control Conference, to be held in Windsor Locks, Connecticut this August, will focus on, however. The conference will instead focus on the idea that there is a nationwide conspiracy of satanic ritual abuse of children, with presentations such as So we have been Betrayed and Satanically Ritually Abused by those we loved… Now what do we do?
In the three decades in which allegations of widespread networks of satanic ritual abuse have been made, no objective evidence of the existence of these networks has ever come to light. The claims of satanic ritual abuse have long been thoroughly debunked, most ably in the book Satanic Panic, by sociologist Jeffrey S. Victor.
How are the people involved in this conference able to maintain their belief in networks of satanic ritual abuse, when the evidence that does exist indicates that stories of satanic ritual abuse have been created through manipulation by therapists that itself could be viewed as a form of ritual abuse? Believers in satanic ritual abuse have built up a labyrinth of contorted mental passageways to protect their belief.
According to the organizers of the conference on satanic ritual abuse, for example, when people recant their belief that they were the victims of satanic ritual abuse, the recanting is itself evidence of satanic ritual abuse. The conference organizers assert that satanic cults insert neurological programs into the minds of their victims. Among these programs, they say, is one that makes therapists who push their patients to talk about “repressed memories” of satanic ritual abuse look stupid.
Another method of keeping the absurd belief alive is to prevent believers from coming into contact with anyone who might challenge their belief. Standard academic conferences are supposed to be open to anyone who is interested in the subject, so that ideas can be challenged. That’s not how things work at the Ritual Abuse, Secretive Organizations and Mind Control Conference, where members of “unsympathetic organizations” are banned from attending.
The conference web site also stipulates that “Members of secret organizations… are excluded from the conference.”
How exactly would a conference exclude members of secret organizations from attending? By their nature, secret organizations are secret. Anyone could be a member, secretly. Furthermore, the instant a member of a secret organization at the conference was revealed as a member of a secret organization, the secret organization wouldn’t be a secret any longer, and the person accused of being a member of a secret organization would then become eligible to keep attending.
Are there any members of secret organizations that would be willing to attend the Ritual Abuse, Secretive Organizations and Mind Control Conference, and report back to me what happens there?
Wait… don’t tell me. That would just ruin the plan. Do it in secret.