Please don’t make me read this book, Mommy!

Lately we’ve been discussing the origins and prevalence of the ‘Satanic ritual abuse’ myth that continues to drive the obviously false Hoaxtead case.

Justin Sanity notes:

Dr Lawrence Pazder literally coined the terms; “satanic ritual abuse”, “ritual abuse” and “ritualistic abuse”. They did not exist, in any literature, before him. Pazder used the terms interchangeably, and this was his definition for them:
“repeated physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual assaults combined with a systematic use of symbols and secret ceremonies designed to turn a child against itself, family, society and God.” Pazder noted that “the sexual assault has ritualistic meaning and is not for sexual gratification”.

While Pazder did give examples of what he meant by “ritualistic abuse” in his lectures, he never provided any case citations for these examples. They came simply from his imagination. For Pazder, what was important about this definition was the MOTIVATION: “designed to turn a child against itself, family, society and God”. In other words, the physical, sexual or emotional abuse inflicted upon a person during the course of a ceremony or ‘ritual’, MUST be motivated by a desire to cause the child to CHOOSE EVIL and pledge allegiance to Satan in his/her heart, or IT IS NOT “RITUAL ABUSE”. When you leave that motivation out of your use of the term “ritual abuse”, you are using the term out of context to the meaning assigned to it by the person who literally invented it.

Use of the phrase “ritual abuse” as a paraphrasing of “any physical, sexual or emotional abuse inflicted upon a person during the course of a ceremony or ‘ritual’ “, absent of Pazder’s qualifying motivation, became popular after the fraudulence of the persons who DID use the term as Pazder intended, was demonstrated beyond all question – persons such as Mike Warnke and Lauren Stratford. It was popularized, in part, as apologetics for sincere persons working in child protection who had taken these people at face value and been suckered by them. It was necessary, to prevent the entire field from falling into disrepute, to create alternate definitions for “ritual abuse”, but doing so effectively rendered the phrase meaningless.

Dr Pazder was the psychiatrist who treated, then married Michelle Smith of the infamous 1980 book Michelle Remembers. As we’ve discussed previously, this was the book that started the myth of ‘Satanic ritual abuse’.

But it wasn’t the only book on the subject: another commenter brought this gem to our attention today…no, your eyes don’t deceive you: it’s a book for small children on the subject of ‘Satanic ritual abuse’. Let me repeat that: A BOOK FOR SMALL CHILDREN.

satancoverCrying, naked children standing in the woods in a circle being told that nothing can be told outside the circle and that their parents have given them to the hooded people…I may have nightmares from this one. Are you supposed to read this to traumatized children after they’ve been part of a satanic ritual?

Hoaxtead commenter FairlySane says:

The author, Doris Sanford, wrote a whole series of story books for small children on “issues” including the cheerily titled “David has AIDS” and “It Must Hurt a Lot: A Book about Death and Learning and Growing “. The infamous “Don’t Make Me Go Back, Mommy: A Child’s Book about Satanic Ritual Abuse” was her ridiculously credulous and inappropriate take on the McMartin Preschool hoax.

Just the thing for any child’s bookshelf, we’re sure.

That is, if you’re into psychologically traumatising small kids…like some hoaxers we know.

11 thoughts on “Please don’t make me read this book, Mommy!

  1. There were, and are today, a myriad of alternate definitions for “ritual abuse”. David Finklehor headed up the apologetics, originally, developing various alternate definitions himself. He co-authored an entire book of Ritual Abuse apologetics – “Nursery Crimes”. Dreadful, pseudo-science at its worst really.

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      • Ritualized abuse, which has nothing to do with Pazder’s or Finklehor’s “ritual abuse”/ “ritualistic abuse”, and nothing to do with SRA, is a real phenomenon commented on way back by Freud and his colleagues.

        A manifestation of OCD, perhaps, ritualized abuse means “making a ritual of” abusive treatment of a child.
        Example: daily, or perhaps weekly, bathing of the child that occurs at the same precise time, carried out in the same precise manner every time, with excessive scrubbing-manipulation of the genitalia accompanied by lectures on cleanliness being next to godliness, and unwarranted accusations of the child’s “dirty” sinfulness.

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