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Satanic Ritual Abuse Expose Study

To: alt.satanism
From: (Michael Aquino)
Subject: "Satanic Ritual Abuse" Expose Study
Date: 01 Nov 94 20:33:37 

- by Daniel Goleman, _New York Times_
_San Francisco Chronicle_, November 1, 1994, Page #A8

Tales of Satanic ritual abuse, with well-organized cults sacrificing animals 
and babies and engaging in sexual perversion and cannibalism, is the stuff of 
tabloid television.

Now the first empirical study of its actual prevalence, based on information 
from district attorneys, social service workers, police officials and 
psychotherapists, suggests these tales are usually just that - figments of 

Although the survey found occasional cases of lone abusers who used ritualistic
trappings, it found no substantiated reports of well-organized Satanic rings of
people who sexually abuse children.

In a survey of more than 11,000 psychiatric and police workers throughout the 
country, conducted for the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, 
researchers found more than 12,000 accusations of group cult sexual abuse based
on Satanic ritual, but not one that investigators had been able to 
substantiate. The organizers of the survey say it is the first authoritative 
national survey on the subject.

Accusations of molesting by cults have been made in thousands of cases over the
last decade, and in retrospective claims by adult patients in psychotherapy who
say they were abused as children. Combined with sensationalistic press 
coverage, these lawsuits and other reports have led many people to believe that
there is a nationwide network of Satanic groups preying on the young.

"After scouring the country, we found no evidence for large-scale cults that 
sexually abuse children," said Dr. Gail Goodman, a psychologist at the 
University of California at Davis who directed the survey.

"Since the McMartin Preschool case there have been claims of ritualistic and 
sadistic child abuse in cases all over the country, and we've been concerned," 
said David Lloyd, Director of the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. 
"The survey was to see just how well-founded these concerns are - if these are 
just based on mistaken perceptions or there is some firm evidence."

The survey included 6,910 psychiatrists, psychologists, and clinical social 
workers, and 4,655 district attorneys, police departments, and social service 
agencies. They reported 12,204 accusations of ritual abuse that they had 

The survey found that there was not a single case among them where there was 
clear corroborating evidence for the most common accusation, that there was "a 
well-organized intergenerational Satanic cult, who sexually molested and 
tortured children in their homes or schools for years and committed a series of
murders," said Goodman.

But Goodman said her group did find "convincing evidence of lone perpetrators 
or couples who say they are involved with Satan or use the claim to intimidate 
victims." She added that they "unearthed a few cases where there were 
confessions or photographs."

One of the best-documented cases, reported by a district attorney in the South,
involved four boys and a girl whose grandparents are accused of molesting them 
from age four into early adolescence; the case came to light when the children 
refused to visit their grandparents. "The grandparents had black robes, 
candles, and Christ on an inverted crucifix - and the children had chlamydia, a
sexually-transmitted disease, in their throats," said Goodman, citing the 
district attorney's report.

But the overall results show little or no support for the more extreme claims, 
Goodman said. "While you would not expect to find corroborating evidence in 
many sexual abuse cases, you would expect it when people claim the rituals 
involved murders, and the reported cases come from district attorneys or 
police," said Goodman. "If there is anyone out there with solid evidence of 
Satanic cult abuse of children, we would like to know about it," she said.

There are, of course, people who will be unswayed by this new study because of 
their belief that abusive Satanic groups do exist but are successful at eluding
detection despite the efforts of the authorities.

Nonetheless previous, smaller studies done by the Michigan State Police, the 
Virginia Crime Commission, the Office of the Attorney General in Utah, and a 
study by the British government had similar findings. In Britain, for example, 
of 80 cases where extensive, ritualized abuse was alleged, no evidence of any 
organized group involvement was found, although in a handful of the cases lone 
child molesters used "black magic" or Satanic trappings to scare their victims.

Many psychotherapists who have been vocal about a supposed epidemic of sexual 
abuse by well-organized Satanic rings have grown more cautious of late. 
"There's clearly been a contagion, a contamination of what people say in 
therapy because of what they see on TV or read about Satanic ritual abuse," 
said Dr. Bennet Braun, a psychiatrist who heads the Dissociative Disorders Unit
at Rush-North Shore Medical Center in Chicago. Braun used to lecture on ritual 
Satanic abuse to psychotherapy groups, but stopped because of growing doubts of
such abuse.

Braun said that over the last decade he had treated more than 200 patients who 
claimed to have been childhood victims of ritual Satanic abuse. "In about 10 
percent of cases I can document that it did not happen," said Braun. "And 
there's a significant percentage above that where I'm suspicious of the claims 
but have no proof. But then there's about 20 percent of cases where everything 
hangs together, and I'd have to say it probably happened but I couldn't prove 
it." Goodman contends that an atmosphere of hysteria has led to false claims 
that can have damaging consequences.

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