Satanic Panics

This website was created in 2006 to oppose a brief mini-resurgence, during the previous few years, of the "Satanic Ritual Abuse" (SRA) scare of the 1980's and early 1990's. Fortunately, the scare seems to have died down since then, at least in mainstream law-enforcement circles here in the U.S.A. But, in many other countries around the world, full-scale Satanic panics are now happening along with other, more classic kinds of witch hunts. Even here in the U.S.A., the issue continues to be worth watching, because the religious and political trends which feed Satanic panic have continued to grow.

Like the witchhunts of the 1600's, the "Satanic Ritual Abuse" (SRA) scare of the 1980's and early 1990's harmed lots of innocent people. The falsely accused weren't just law-abiding Satanists, nor were they just people of religions (e.g. Pagan Witchcraft) or other subcultures (e.g. goths) that have been popularly confused with Satanism. The vast majority of the falsely accused were ordinary mainstream folks.

The SRA scare was largely discredited by the mid-1990's. But it never completely died. McMartin-like cases still do occur now and then, though usually not in daycare centers these days.

In 2002 to 2007, there were signs of a renewed "Satanism" scare. Since then, the scare has largely been banished, once again, to the religious and political fringes. But those religious and political still do manage to attain mainstream political clout -- as evidenced by, for example, the fact that someone like Sarah Palin was even considered as a vice presidential candidate.

Future "Satanism" scares will most likely take new forms, different from 1980's-style SRA allegations. The 2002 to 2007 mini-resurgence did not include nearly as many many false accusations against ordinary mainstream people. Instead, religious minorities and other nonmanistream subcultures bore more of the brunt. There was also a resurgence of general cultural paranoia, e.g. about innocent childhood pastimes like the Harry Potter books. But the 2002 to 2007 mini-resurgence did include some 1980's-style SRA allegations too, including probably-false accusations against mainstream folks. There were also some probably-false allegations against Catholic priests, as part of an overreaction against the way Catholic priests previously were unfairly protected against charges of child sexual abuse.

This website aims to provide a resource for activists, scholars, journalists, and anyone else with an interest in the topic of "Satanism" scares. This website was first made public in March 2006.

  1. General introductory commentary

  2. Recent developments

  3. To people in affected religions, subcultures, and social movements

  4. Collections of quotes
    • Coming eventually:  The law-abidingness of most real-life Satanists - a collection of statements by Satanist groups and leaders and by reputable outside experts
    • Coming eventually:  Satanism's real-life criminal fringe - a collection of statements by reputable experts

  5. Collections of links

  6. Contact

Unless otherwise noted, all contents are copyright © 2006 Diane Vera. All rights reserved.

Note to website owners:   Feel free to link to any page on this site. However, please do not post your own COPY of anything without my explicit permission.

This site hosted on Diane Vera's Theistic Satanism site.