We’ve been talking recently about how the noxious idea of Satanic ritual abuse gained a foothold in the UK, and how deliberate suppression of the truth by SRA enthusiasts—in those days a strange amalgamation of fundamentalist Christians and radical feminists—enabled the idea to spread more or less unimpeded until Prof Jean La Fontaine released her 1994 study.
Unfortunately, while Prof La Fontaine’s study damped down the Satanic hysteria, it didn’t completely expunge it, and the infection continued to fester amongst certain groups, who kept the myth alive until it was taken up with gusto by conspiracy theorists like David Icke in the early 21st century.
A conversation we had on Twitter with @RDobbson1 suggested, though, that there might be more than one way to look at the picture. We’re going to summarise this view, with our own notes, as we think it’s important not to get locked into a single viewpoint.
The Satanic Panic perspective is factual & valid, but there’s another perspective which I believe is equally valid: an extended campaign to fraudulently generate “validating evidence” for a small collection of adult SRA survivor claimants.
People may not be aware, the origin of [Australian criminologist, Dr Michael] Salter‘s “little obsession”. Salter claims, aged 19, he intuitively diagnosed a roommate as a CSA victim, which she subsequently confirmed. Her story: she was victimized by a ritual abuse cult run by police, and they still controlled her.
Later, while a social worker, he participated in the Rigorous Intuition paranoid conspiracist forum where he met and befriended SRA-MC claimant Lynn Schirmer.
Lynn Schirmer interviewed Michael Salter for the conspiracy-oriented publication Borne. In the news biz, this interview would fall into the category of “puff piece”—a news article which is so complimentary and one-sided as to constitute an advertisement for the interviewee.
Back to @RDobbson1:
RAINS, [Tim] Tate, & Sara Scott all “adopted” teen SRA claimant Natalie/Theresa and adult claimant “G”, attempted to exploit CSA allegations to generate fraudulent validation of their narratives. [Dr Lawrence] Pazder‘s career as an SRA evangelist, [was intended] to incite fraudulent validation for Michelle?
McMartin, et. al., attempts by Joan Christiansen and other adult SRA claimants to manipulate investigators & therapists into generating fraudulent validation for their narratives? …
(A)nother way to explain the panic and its apologists – as conscious attempts to generate fraudulent validation for specific ADULT SRA claimant’s narratives, by manipulating perceptions of contemporaneous CSA victims.
At this point we interjected:
So individuals might say, “It’s not a (sociological) Satanic panic, I’m just telling you all this stuff which validates what happened to ME”? The stuff is fraudulent, but it matches the claim, so it works…for them?
Example: The JET report and your Broxtowe documents demonstrate two things; Team 4’s adult survivor claimants emphasized the importance of “the underground” to their alleged cult. Team 4 was obsessed with claiming Broxtowe kids abused in tunnels – because that lie validated the adults?
Traditionally, we interpret those things the opposite way, i.e., adult survivor claimants supply false claims from their narrative to support misinterpreting child statements as SRA. I believe that is true. But the opposite is also supported, and even more psychopathic 🙂
Watch “When Satan Came to Town” again on YouTube. Note investigators ignore rational explanation of boy’s ghost stories, (à la Judith & the scar), persistently misinterpret as SRA evidence. Satanic panic delusions, or determined to validate belief in Natalie & G narratives? Both?
In other words, if we’re understanding this correctly, two things happened simultaneously to build the SRA narrative:
- Those who supported adult SRA claimants needed to generate belief in their protegées’ narratives, in order to confirm their own standing as “expert sources” delivering a credible message to the world. People like Dr Lawrence Pazder, who dined out on his patient/wife Michelle Proby’s alleged experiences of Satanic ritual abuse, therefore fed their beliefs to those who worked with potential “SRA victims”—social workers working with abused children, for example—in order to generate “genuine” SRA victims, whose existence appeared to validate the fictional experiences of the adult SRA claimants.
- Ideas about Satanic ritual abuse gripped the imaginations of social workers and others involved in child protection. These people saw “evidence” of this “new” sort of abuse everywhere they looked, and interpreted every symptom they saw in terms of lists of “Satanic indicators”. They used bizarre sources such as the medieval Malleus Maleficarum to validate their belief that hundreds, thousands, perhaps even millions of children were being subjected to hideous Satanic rituals (even though no evidence of this has ever been found). In essentially creating new SRA victims, social workers were helping to the system self-perpetuate.
If you think about these two perspectives feeding into one another and creating a constant flow of SRA stories, the entire phenomenon of Satanic hysteria becomes much more understandable: the existence of alleged child victims validates the stories of the adult claimants, who in turn provide stories and beliefs which can be used to create more child victims.