Talk:Satanic ritual abuse

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Many of these questions have been raised in the scientific and popular literature, and are summarized here for ease of reference.

The main points of this FAQ can be summarized as:

  • Satanic ritual abuse is considered a moral panic by most scholars in psychology and sociology
  • Only a tiny minority of scholars, publishing in low-impact journals or vanity press support the idea that there was any reality to the SRA moral panic.
  • Wikipedia:Neutral point of view requires that minority views not be given undue emphasis.
  • This is the result of long-standing consensus, with many, many discussions covering the same topics and arguments repeatedly without any new information being added or progress being made.
  • The extensive, repeated abuse editing privileges of sockpuppets by an editor banned for POV-pushing means there is little tolerance for new editors bringing up these same points.
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Batley[edit]

I removed the paragraph which was added about Colin Batley. Only one article refers to him being "Satanic" and that rests entirely on connecting him to books of Aleister Crowley, who was not a satanist (see Crowley's article and all of its references). Rather than justify a real basis for the moral panic, it seems to provide additional evidence to the contrary, being another criminal labeled as "satanist" without actually being one -- or, I should say, without there being evidence of being one. But maybe I'm missing something? --— Rhododendrites talk \\ 14:48, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

I agree with the removal. The case is adequately covered at List of satanic ritual abuse allegations#Kidwelly. The media's description of it as a "satanic sex cult" does not make it so and as far as I know it was not described as Satanic or SRA in any official sense so we cannot call it "genuine satanic ritual abuse". HelenOnline 15:09, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

-- I disagree. "Satanic sex cult" was a direct quote from judge and also verifiable via independent.ie, news.bbc.co.uk etc. Not all evidence was reported: judge clearly states it is SRA based on evidence of whole case not a single book. Convictions are distinct to allegations. Amousey (talk) 15:59, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

None of those sources appear to say what you're saying they say. Please stop edit warring over this until consensus can be reached here. A search for "satan" returns hits in only the Walesonline link you posted, and it destroys its own credibility by citing "arch-satanist Aleister Crowley". --— Rhododendrites talk \\ 16:15, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Which source quotes the judge as saying "Satanic sex cult" (or SRA)? HelenOnline 16:26, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Amousey I'm happy to have a discussion here, but it's unlikely you'll be able to participate if you add that material for a fourth time (Wikipedia has a bright-line rule called WP:3RR to deal with edit warring). You may ultimately be right and it may ultimately be included, but edit warring is not the way. --— Rhododendrites talk \\ 16:41, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Amousey you can't keep re-adding content which is not adequately supported by the sources you have cited when two other editors have agreed to remove it. If you add it again without addressing the issues raised here, I or someone else will remove it again. You may also end up blocked for edit warring. HelenOnline 16:56, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

User:HelenOnline On what basis is it not adequately supported? The references to satanism and abuse are both very clear and sources are independent. In the last edit I used a direct quote as well as added corroborating sources.

User:Rhododendrites The sources are independent, verifiable and were cited directly. Sources cannot be removed on this basis. The correct approach is to reword the sources in a way which is appropriate for the consensus, as accurately as possible, or to cite opposing sources should the sources have potential bias. I did not cite the word Satan, but satanic (because Satan was not the one committing the crime). "Satanic sex cult" is the correct wording, one source also states "satanic rites". This is not an attack on the religion per se. Removing sources is not appropriate based on your argument. The consensus needed is how to reword appropriately.

You have reverted 3 edits of mine today, hence edit warring yourself. I find your response that I must not edit again a threat rather than informative. This is about representing a legal case correctly. We need to work together for accurate consensus reflecting how these sources should be represented. How do you feel the convictions should be described? Amousey (talk) 17:21, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

As I said above, the case is adequately covered at List of satanic ritual abuse allegations#Kidwelly. It does not belong in this article, which is about the moral panic in general and does not list all SRA allegations. You have not cited any sources quoting the judge or another similar official describing the offences as "Satanic" or "SRA", genuine or otherwise. Please don't keep repeating that claim without a link to a reliable source that explicitly corroborates your claim. HelenOnline 17:29, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
  • On what basis is it not adequately supported -- you're asking for a negative to be proven. The burden is on whoever wants to include it to provide sufficient sources, and here you're adding something to the article while providing sources that don't back it up.
  • The sources are independent, verifiable and were cited directly. Sources cannot be removed on this basis. -- these are requirements for reliable sources, but just because a source is independent doesn't mean it's required to remain in the article per common sense. A source isn't what needs to be verifiable; the content is what's verifiable via the source, and the sources you added do not verify the content and therefore are not reliable for our purposes.
  • I did not cite the word Satan, but satanic (because Satan was not the one committing the crime). "Satanic sex cult" is the correct wording, one source also states "satanic rites". -- by searching the page for "satan" that includes "satanic" and so on, of course. You said the sources say it's verifiably a satanic cult. The sources do not do that. The only use of Satanic is in the Wales Online source, as I've already said, and in the context of linking the cult with Crowley, who is not a satanist. Even that one, as far as I can see, fails to support your claim that the judge defined the cult that way. (And I'd add that even if the judge used those words, context matters, but it would be helpful if you could point us to where specifically it quotes the judge).
  • I find your response that I must not edit again a threat rather than informative. -- please look around the policy pages of Wikipedia, including those already linked like WP:3RR. It's not a threat, it's the way Wikipedia works to ensure someone can't insert whatever they want and keep re-adding indefinitely. If you change it back, and I then revert again I will also be in violation of 3RR and subject to being blocked. We're in the same position in that regard.
  • We need to work together for accurate consensus reflecting how these sources should be represented. - consensus is not the same as compromise. It's kind of a technical term on Wikipedia described here: WP:CONSENSUS.
  • How do you feel the convictions should be described? -- if anything, it's further proof of people calling things satanism when they're actually not, so certainly not to support anything validating the moral panic as you've added it, and likely not included at all given the scope of the article and the scant sources that exist supporting its relevance. --— Rhododendrites talk \\ 17:49, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Actually, the WP:BLPREMOVE edit warring exemption probably applies here, even if Batley is an "evil" criminal according to the judge. It is advisable to mention it in your edit summaries. HelenOnline 18:31, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Not suggesting you revert again, I can do that if necessary. HelenOnline 18:33, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
User:HelenOnline WP:BLPREMOVE does not apply. Material is not "unsourced or poorly sourced", meets WP:VERIFY, there is no conjecture because the sources were cited in the words used in the original articles to avoid interpretation or conjecture. He is in jail, that is a fact and not conjecture. Multiple sources reliable use the same wording. This argument does not allow the sources used to be removed.

User:Rhododendrites - a line at the top of the page linking to "moral panic" does not circumvent WP:NPOV. A moral panic does not mean no cases existed, only that an OTT reaction occurred, on the moral panic page it clearly gives McCarthyism as an example: it does not mean no communists were accused, only that the public response was disproprotionate. This page is title Satanic Ritual Abuse. Convictions regarding Satanic Ritual Abuse are clearly relevant.

  • On what basis is it not adequately supported
I have shown it is supported, if you state it is not supported you need to provide evidence of that and state it alongside.

I did not cite the word Satan... etc

Several sources uses the exact words "satanic sex cult". Those words were the ones I cited. You need to read ALL the sources I cited in addition to Wales online, which as a local, print newspaper cannot automatically be assumed to have bias.

The BBC website were also cited, the BBC charter states it must have a neutral point of view. The Guardian articles [www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/mar/11/sex-cult-leader-colin-batley-sentenced] and [30] are sources for the direct quote "occult rituals" and one uses "paedophile satanic cult" in the URL with the article the heading "Paedophile cult leader convicted for 'satanic' rape campaign", subheading "Colin Batley was self-styled high priest of group that handed children around for sex in Kidwelly, west Wales". The "satanic" part is correctly cited. A further BBC article [31] states

'As residents went about their daily life, they could not have imagined that Colin Batley, described as an "evil paedophile", was running a satanic sex cult from his home.'

again WP:VERIFY is met for the term "satanic sex cult", see Wikipedia:Identifying_reliable_sources#News_organizations for reference to BBC reliability, plus the Guardian is a national newspaper which is not a "red top" but a broadsheet Verifiability#What_counts_as_a_reliable_source again meeting WP:VERIFY.

Another source is [32] which has the heading "Woman Tells of Years of Sexual Abuse in Welsh Satanic Cult". One of the victims has written her biography, again using "Satanic Sex Cult" in title. This is also citable when worded as her own personal experience.

  • How do you feel the convictions should be described?
reliable source - both the Guardian and BBC meet reliable source. Your attempt to exclude minority evidence conflicts with WP:NPOV.
  • Convictions for satanic ritual abuse belong on the satanic ritual abuse page
These belong under both [{WP:NPOV]]. and WP:UNDUE (for the view that no convictions exist). The page about a moral panic is separate, the point that SRA is a moral panic is not disputed by the existence of the convictions. The panic was about a world-wide, large-scale conspiracy. See Moral_panic especially Cohen for definition of moral panic, which is covered elsewhere.

Finally, since the page is now protected, WP:CONSENSUS needs to reached for WP:DR

User:Jimjilin made the original edits for Batley/Kidwelly, which I added to and verified. User:HelenOnline and User:Rhododendrites oppose the inclusion of both the sources and the wording, so there is no consensus or majority.

  • Suggest alternative solutions or compromises that may satisfy all concerns

My suggestion is to keep the sources and see what both of you suggest for the wording, although it's clear to me that "satanic sex cult" needs to remain, having met 2 WP:RS and WP:VERIFY sources. User:HelenOnline - is there a rewording based on the sources stated above that would be agreed by you? User:Rhododendrites has rejected this - what is your suggested solution or compromise to allow WP:CONSENSUS to be reached?


Amousey (talk) 21:38, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

  • Administrators may enforce the removal of clear BLP violations with page protection or by blocking the violator(s), even if they have been editing the article themselves or are in some other way involved. In less clear cases they should request the attention of an uninvolved administrator at Wikipedia:Administrators Noticeboard/Incidents.
This is not a biography page, Colin Batley was not the only one convicted and is referred to as the "leader" of the cult in articles. I'm unclear what you are objecting to here, if this is not dealt with by sources then please cite the words you object to. Additionally, User:HelenOnline has used the same term "Satanic sex cult" on List_of_satanic_ritual_abuse_allegations and also cited BBC news.

Amousey (talk) 00:13, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

@Amousey:

  1. Wikipedia's BLP policy does not only apply to biography pages: "Material about living persons added to any Wikipedia page must be written with the greatest care and attention to verifiability, neutrality, and avoidance of original research." Do you really think lawyers care which page we put defamatory material on? We need to be even more careful when we are talking about crime in the context of living people. You are making a contentious statement about living people that is not adequately supported by the sources you have cited. As far as I can tell, only the media has used the "satanic" word regarding this case (some clearly do not know what they are talking about and the more careful ones use quotation marks indicating it is an allegation to cover their backs), not the judge and not Batley himself. It therefore remains an allegation, and belongs with all the other SRA allegations in the List of satanic ritual abuse allegations article. List of satanic ritual abuse allegations#Kidwelly says: The group led by Colin Batley was described by the media as a "satanic sex cult", a "quasi-religious sex cult" and a "paedophile cult". It does not say the group's crimes are genuine SRA, or genuine SRA leading to convictions, as you have done. In a subject such as this it is very important that we do not mislead people about what the sources actually say. We know that the media among others was complicit in the moral panic, and apparently hasn't reformed altogether. We therefore need to be extra careful when interpreting sources on this topic.
  2. Even if the case was described as "satanic" in an official sense, we would have to consider whether or not it is undue to mention the case in this article which is about the 1980s–1990s moral panic in general.
  3. I have already stated twice this time around that I do not believe the content belongs in this article (in any form). It is adequately covered in the appropriate place, i.e. List of satanic ritual abuse allegations#Kidwelly. Please don't ask me again. Your failure to hear others because you don't like their answers is disruptive. HelenOnline 08:21, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

@Rhododendrites:

You have not stated what exactly is contentious about Colin Batley. This is a brief mention and cannot be considered a "biography". Neutrality is covered by avoiding the mention of "evil paedophile"[sic] as User:HelenOnline pointed out. I saw Batley was quoted as saying that "no cult existed" - would that be an appropriate addition to add to neutrality? Clearly the jury verdict was guilty and the quotes make it clear that he was the leader, and it was a "Satanic sex cult". I am also entitled to cite appropriately from a survivor biography (just released) if I make it clear it is her opinion only, nor have I listed the 35 charges they were collectively found guilty of, or named the man found innocent, or the rest of those convicted within the cult, although it would be allowed to do so since this is factual WP:VERIFY. At this point I have not done so and this gives increased neutrality. I have also used the most neutral sources available, as discussed above, including the BBC which has a specific mention as a neutral source on WP. I did not use the terms "genuine SRA" as you are well aware, and neither did the original person who cited this case @Jimjilin:. It is inappropriate for an editor to state something is or is not "genuine SRA" if this cannot be cited so I am ignoring your personal view that it was not "genuine SRA" and not using the term in edits.

If you do not agree with this additional attempt at WP:NPOV then explain your precise objection (cite the words you have an issue with) and suggest alternative wording. Whether it goes on the SRA or List of SRA allegations both page names include SRA in the title so your point is irrelevant on this. It is a conviction, not an "allegation" and as such does clearly belong under the Evidence heading.

The term SRA

The "Cult-based abuse" heading states this is the most severe form of SRA on the page, this is clearly "cult abuse" and Batley himself used the term "cult" in his denial. The page also states "only a small number of verified crimes have even remote similarities to tales of SRA" - clearly this is an acknowledgement that a small number of crimes have similarities, although this reference should be cited and is not. Additional secondary source ISBN 0415689775 (2013) by Michael Salter, named "organised sexual abuse" states on page 38 that - "In clinical and research literature, abusive groups are generally referred to as 'cults', and 'cult abuse' is a term that has been used interchangeably with 'ritual abuse'."

Your assertion that the media in 2011 was complicit with the "moral panic" is unfounded since the page states the moral panic died down in the 1990s, ie. over a dozen years prior to the convictions, again as described more than once on the page. If you wish to make this claim as regards 2011 then you will need an additional, neutral source to back this up. Avoiding all non-conforming evidence gives a clearly biased article, which breaks WP:NPOV and is also less persuasive since the bias is blatant. As I stated - a tiny number of proven cases does not change the fact the page's majority view will remain that SRA is a moral panic.

Refusing all other evidence - not opinions but legal rulings - is not meeting neutrality and is WP:UNDUE. At this point you are not aiding in the reaching of a WP:CONSENSUS. I would appreciate it if you read the page in detail prior to responding in order to clarify the details. Please be helpful by giving a suggestion of the wording you would like and cite which source(s) this comes from for WP:VERIFY. 95.147.206.69 (talk) 23:42, 6 October 2014 (UTC) Amousey (talk) 01:49, 8 October 2014 (UTC) User:Amousey - forgot to sign yesterday

You're not making a lot of sense. Did you mean to address me or Rhododendrites (as you have done)? If you are Amousey then please log in so we can identify your contributions. If you are Amousey then you definitely called it "genuine satanic ritual abuse", as did Jimjilin. That is what is contentious about the addition.
WP:BLP applies regardless of how brief the mention is. Repeatedly saying it doesn't when it clearly does is disruptive.
If you are going to say I said something then please include a diff. I don't know what you are referring to by Neutrality is covered by avoiding the mention of "evil paedophile"[sic] as User:HelenOnline pointed out. Whose personal view is it that it is not genuine SRA? I don't see where you are getting that from either. Assuming you are addressing me, where did I say the media in 2011 was complicit in the moral panic? (Note that WP:NOR does not apply to talk pages so I wouldn't need to cite any sources for such a statement anyway.)
Nobody is disputing the fact that Batley was convicted of crimes and this is already covered in List of satanic ritual abuse allegations#Kidwelly. The allegation relates to the SRA angle not the crimes per se. Are you being purposely obtuse? Assuming you are Amousey and assuming you are addressing me, I will also assume you didn't really ask me again to tell you what I think we should say about the case on Wikipedia after I asked you not to ask me again. HelenOnline 06:47, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

I'm glad Amousey is trying to improve this awful, biased Wikipedia article. We should of course mention instances of genuine SRA in the article. Moreover, blame should not be unfairly focused on the dreaded "Christian conservative". These Christian conservatives seem to function as witches/demons/Satan for some of the more gullible or fanatic liberals. lolJimjilin (talk) 12:59, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

User:Jimjilin thanks for your input and the original edit of course. User:Rhododendrites I did forget to sign yesterday and added my name under that section just now. I now understand where 'genuine satanic ritual abuse' came from - those words are from User@Jimjilin since it was in his original edit description. It was not even on the page itself. I asked several times for an explanation, which you have only just given, hence not disruptive on my part.

If you read the actual content of the page you will see the moral panic is being defined for SPECIFIC DATES which ended in the 1990s. So clearly this evidence does not actually contradict the page's assertion that a moral panic took place in the 1980s and 1990s, which I think should reassure you. You are again failing to state what wording you would like for these sources. Here is roughly what my proposed edit will be:

Addition to page: under Evidence heading In 2011, four members of a "satanic sex cult" based in Kidwelly, Wales (UK), were convicted of a total of over 40 sexual offences against children and young adults.[1] The cult's leader, Colin Batley, subjected victims to 'organised and systematic' abuse [2], using "occult writings and practices" to "brainwash" them.[4] Colin Batley was convicted of "more than two dozen acts of sexual perversion linked to his activities in the cult", including rapes, causing prostitution for personal gain, and possession of child pornography.[3] One victim said that when she became pregnant after being raped Batley prevented her from having an abortion, telling her the unborn baby was a "child of the occult", and threatening to kill her if she spoke out.[2]

Description - Addition to Evidence section Sources 1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-12677043 2 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1365331/Ruler-sick-kingdom-Sex-cult-leader-Colin-Batley-jailed-released.html 3 http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/mar/09/paedophile-satanic-cult-batley-kidwelly 4 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-12690580

Is there a WP:CONSENSUS on this? If not suggest the rewording which would lead to a consensus.

Amousey (talk) 01:49, 8 October 2014 (UTC)Good plan! Jimjilin (talk) 03:04, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

@Amousey: there are several issues with some of the comments and representations of what I've said above, but the gist of my position comes down to this: Convictions regarding Satanic Ritual Abuse are clearly relevant. For every SRA case there exist sources calling them satanist whether or not they actually are. As HelenOnline pointed out, we have a whole article for List of satanic ritual abuse allegations. The key here is that you and Jimjilin have been trying to add this as an example of "genuine" satanic ritual abuse, when in fact there's no more to say this one is "genuine" than for any of the others. --— Rhododendrites talk \\ 03:45, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
@Amousey: The explanation was not "only just given". My very first comment above dated 4 October says The case is adequately covered at List of satanic ritual abuse allegations#Kidwelly. The media's description of it as a "satanic sex cult" does not make it so and as far as I know it was not described as Satanic or SRA in any official sense so we cannot call it "genuine satanic ritual abuse". If you want to expand the Kidwelly section of the List of satanic ritual abuse allegations article citing reliable sources and without calling it genuine SRA (for which we do not have reliable sources as far as I know), I have no objection to that. It is not appropriate to decide on a consensus for the exact wording here however, as this is the talk page for a different article and you may have other editors to contend with there. The content does not belong in this article. I am not going to repeat myself again. HelenOnline 06:27, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Agree with HelenOnlines and Rhododendrites last comments here. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 07:23, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Batley should be restricted to the "list of" page. This page focusses on what could be called 'strong' SRA, the grand conspiracy theory launching the moral panic that led to McMartin and related spurious accusations. This page is about a broad social phenomena, not about a single example. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 16:36, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Page name request[edit]

What are views here on the page name changing to Ritual Abuse alone? Potentially with SRA on its own, shorter page? It feels unfair on satanism to be singled out this way. This form is abuse is actually best documented with political purposes e.g. MKUltra, and has been documented in other religions and belief systems most notably witchcraft.

Has this has been a previous discussion? Amousey (talk) 17:21, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

As stated in the hatnote at the very top of the article: "This article is about the moral panic. For abuse administered under the guise of religion, see Religious abuse." HelenOnline 17:31, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
This is part of why the content you added is hard to work in, even if the sources supported it -- it has limited relevance to the moral panic, which is specifically about satanism. The catch-all ritual abuse (which I guess is the same as religious abuse, given "ritual" is otherwise not descriptive?), is much, much broader indeed. --— Rhododendrites talk \\ 17:51, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

I saw the religious abuse page - it is not appropriate because religious abuse is distinct to ritual abuse. Ritual abuse may or may not be linked to a religion, it be be political or linked to non-religious beliefs. This is currently the only place for it. Looking back at the history of the article the "moral panic" heading only appeared a few years ago and belong on Moral_panic. All abuse pages need to be about abuse. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Amousey (talkcontribs) 18:02, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

This is an established article about a very specific topic and you may not usurp it without a very good reason. Check potential existing candidates listed in the Abuse article. I doubt what you are looking for is not already covered elsewhere on Wikipedia. HelenOnline 18:41, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

User:HelenOnline be polite in future. I have asked for input and do not expect to be attacked for it. There is a redirect from "ritual abuse" to "Satanic ritual abuse". References to physical and sexual abuse and torture are not the same as "religious abuse" and ritual abuse is not defined as involving religion per se, only a belief system'. Religion is not always involved. I will take a closer look at the Abuse categories although that's a very long page. Amousey (talk) 02:03, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Amousey I have been very polite with you. If you have a problem with my behaviour please ask an administrator for assistance, otherwise refrain from such accusations. HelenOnline 06:11, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

User:HelenOnline it was this comment that I objected to: "you may not usurp it without a very good reason" You do not "own" this article, as per WP:OWN, and neither does any editor have the right to claim ownership or control of the page. Amousey (talk) 12:53, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

I have not claimed ownership or control of the page. I was merely referring to WP:USURPTITLE. Please stop misrepresenting me, it is unhelpful. If it is unintentional, please take more care interpreting others' comments. HelenOnline 13:41, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
User:HelenOnline I followed the guidance on that {WP:UNSURP]] and other pages, including - "If in doubt, holding a discussion before such a move following the instructions on the requested moves page is recommended." - you accused me of attempting to usurp the page when I absolutely did not. I'm simply asking you not to make such comments. Lets move on from this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Amousey (talkcontribs) 20:12, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
I did not accuse you of any such thing. Stop misrepresenting me. HelenOnline 20:50, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

Everybody calm down. The term Satanic Ritual Abuse originates from a tremendous amount of research that was done throughout the 90s and 00s on a very specific (American) cultural phenomenon of the 80s and 90s. The "Satanic" part of the term is important, because the abuse allegations always included assertions of satanic cults and were used by opportunists at that time to advance a theory of a vast satanic conspiracy. Basically, this term Satanic Ritual Abuse refers to a very specific thing, centered within a very specific cultural milieu. The research into the specific phenomenon was scholarly and rather exhaustive, and nothing in this article needs to go through WP:SYNTH. User:Amousey, the article name stands as is: the term is not a moving target, therefore neither should the article be. AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 00:56, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Agree with AGTTH. As used generally, SRA and synonyms refers to a broad social movement, an exemplar moral panic. It never really existed, and MKULTRA is not an apt comparison. No name change necessary or warranted. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 16:40, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Per the last two editors, there is no legitimate reason for a change; SRA has been so called for decades, and is understood by professionals and the public alike by that name. Finis. --Seduisant (talk) 17:36, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

No citations in summary section[edit]

I was surprised that the topic is summarized (the section before the TOC) without any citations. I am not interested in challenging the veracity of the article, but I feel it is crucial to cite sources in every section, not just after the summary.

as it says right above this box: " Encyclopedic content must be verifiable." 107.167.99.183 (talk) 06:54, 9 December 2014 (UTC) davidetoy

Hello! On WP, the lead is supposed to be a summary of the rest of the article, and everything said there should be expanded on and cited in the body. So it can be quite ok not to have any cites in the lead, but we also have a guideline that tell us we should judge this on a case by case basis, WP:LEADCITE. If you feel there are cites lacking in the lead, you can add them. If someone disagrees with you, you can discuss it then. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 13:20, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

Protestantism[edit]

Quote: Protestantism was instrumental in starting, spreading and maintaining rumours through sermons about the dangers of SRA, lectures by purported experts and prayer sessions, including showings of the 1987 Geraldo Rivera television special.

This statement could hardly be more vague. Maikel (talk) 22:09, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Protestantism might have been instrumental ....
Sorry. I recently reread Hawk, and couldn't resist. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:53, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

This Article Reeks of a Personal Agenda[edit]

I just read this article and the talk page for the first time and it comes across as "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" (a quotation from the 1602 play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. It has been used as a figure of speech, in various phrasings, to indicate that a person's overly frequent or vehement attempts to convince others of something have ironically helped to convince others that the opposite is true, by making the person look insincere and defensive.)

There clearly were cases where SRA did occur and to discount them all all false mass hysteria or moral panic does not do justice to the actual victims. To say there is no church of Satan, that they don't perform rituals, and that their performance of rituals never came under the legal or common definition of abuse is simply unbelievable. That a group of anti-satanists woke up to the existence of SRA and then capitalized upon it unfairly ad nauseum is also very likely. So what this article needs to achieve editorially is to achieve the following objectives to state that:

1) SRA is real and defined as _ _ _ _ 2) The scope of SRA was over-reported in many cases 3) The academic community considers the period of 1980-1990 the peak of a moral panic fueled by Christians 4) There are cases where SRA was confirmed and there are people serving prison sentences for it 5) This is how it was perpetrated 6) This is why it was perpetrated 7) These are the perpetrators who have been accused and/or convicted 8) These are the laws against it 9) These are the organizations that deal with it

It this article could be edited to meet these 9 objectives then I would say it achieved a NPOV. RIght now it looks like there are two groups (Christians and Satanists) warring over the edits to achieve their agendas (expose SRA and get the panic going again, and deny deny deny SRA even exists). That there was a moral panic doesn't mean it wasn't real and didn't exist. It means it was blown out of proportion. ItsUpandItsGood (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 07:39, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Except for the fact that it indeed was a moral panic, and it wasn't real, and didn't exist. Not a shred of evidence. --jpgordon::==( o ) 16:26, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
There may be satanists (small s) who have been abusive, but the Church of Satan is quite innocuous. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 03:02, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
The article doesn't deny there's a church of Satan, or that they have rituals. But the article (hopefully) makes clear that academics who have studied SRA for decades have demonstrated that there is no connection between any "church of Satan" and SRA accusations, other than that which was entirely manufactured by fundamentalist Christians - and which, by the way, usually included pagans, new-age, hippies and such as "Satanists". Read the cited works in the "references" section, please: especially Victor, deYoung, Lafontaine and Bromley. Reality truly is on the side of the academics. AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 00:52, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
The criticisms of the article here seems quite reasonable to me. There have been problems in the field that the article more than clearly points out, but there's no counter argument, or balancing section that clarifies some of the reality of this subject that has been exposed in court cases and the testimony and statements of victims. SRA, or now just "RA", remains a controversial subject and such controversy can lead to problematic articles on Wikipedia. I think WP often reflects the prevailing attitude (obviously, with the edit button there) but that does not mean that editors cannot endeavour to improve articles. The page on the Face on Mars comes to mind (yes, I can hear the groans now!) which had a history of rejecting pro-face evidence, and even said "there has been no scientific research done into the face". I had a book and a few papers which were serious research into this and discussed this with one of the prominent page editors. We agreed the reference to the research could be included (even though he, of course, vehemently disagreed that any such "face" had any validity). The reference is, at least last time I checked, still there. My point is that if this article is to be improved such as the above comment suggests then it has to be done in a dispassionate way with respect between editors. 95.144.145.96 (talk) 20:45, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

Ritual abuse[edit]

The article does a good job explaining that its topic is a moral panic and redirecting readers looking for religious abuse elsewhere. However, it says nothing about the concept of "ritual abuse", while "ritual abuse" redirects to SRA. The problem is that ritual abuse is a wholly independent concept from SRA or even religious abuse, because it is accepted by mental health professionals to signify a specifc type of abuse (along child sexual abuse, of which it can be a subcategory), characterized by being especially severe and repetitive, and performed by members of a cult ("In the sociological classifications of religious movements, a cult is a religious or social group with socially deviant or novel beliefs and practices."). This means that RA can be religious, but it is often not linked to a religious system and even more rarely - to a satanic church. While the existence of any particular cult can be put in doubt, the existence of ritual abuse, as, simply put, a form of physical and mental abuse cannot. That's why the redirect from "ritual abuse" to SRA (detailing a specific occurrence of moral panic) seems irrelevant.

Any proposals? Ignostic199 (talk) 12:32, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

Well, actually, the article does speak about the concept of "ritual abuse", in the "definitions" section. --jpgordon::==( o ) 13:30, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
I apologize. Haven't read this carefuly enough. The problem is that this is very misleading. Ritual abuse is a more general concept than satanic ritual abuse. The article talks about SRA as a moral panic, only to discard all possible evidence of its existence. However, by doing so, it also degrades the testimonials and evidence of ritual abuse, which isn't considered a conspiracy theory or a moral panic, but rather a type of repetitive and organized abuse committed by groups (very simply put). The page portrays RA only as a notion that derives from generalization of SRA cases. I am not against presenting the evidence against SRA, I am against putting all the RA-related info on the same page as SRA and rejecting both notions. Ignostic199 (talk) 14:25, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
May I write an article on ritual abuse myself? I'd do that without asking, but Talk:Ritual abuse says this page can't be recreated without achieving consensus here first. Ignostic199 (talk) 19:00, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
I would recommend creating one in your sandbox and then come back here to discuss it. --jpgordon::==( o ) 13:15, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
I see problems already. AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 23:40, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I am a new editor to Wikipedia and it's also a difficult topic. But I'd be really glad if you could help by pointing out at least some of its flaws! Ignostic199 (talk) 22:16, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I see little which is potentially sourcable. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 17:00, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
Well, I haven't sourced much yet (actually I don't think I have sourced anything at all, in the proper sense of the word), but I think a lot of it is sourcable. The info on MKUltra is sourced in WP's page on it. The aspects needing to be highlighted are RA aspects that have been described by most of the researchers in the area. There's also a bit about how empirical truth and therapeutic truth are not to be confused, but this comes directly from an interview with a researcher conducted by the BBC Radio 4 and I'll make sure it's presented as his opinion. Still, I'd be really grateful if you could leave more suggestions, here or on the article's talkpage, and maybe even help by proposing what you think needs adding! Any help would be really appreciated. Ignostic199 (talk) 22:43, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
Problem #1 is a lot of the "researchers in the area" were either insane or just scammers trying to sell books. If you're only trying to write an article summarizing a discredited pop culture phenomenon, that's probably not going to hurt your efforts, but if you're trying to write a serious article on the topic then I fear you're not going to find any serious sources. Also, please check out WP:SYNTH. AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 17:44, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Also, if you're specifically referring to "child sexual abuse specifically involving or masquerading as rituals", why can't that just go in a Child sexual abuse article, if there is one, say as a subsection? My suspicion of the topic "ritual abuse" stems from how the term only seems to be used to refer to the discredited leftover of the SRA lunacy of the 80s. AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 17:54, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
"Ritual abuse" could (depending on the definition) range from the old "priests molesting altar-boys" cliché, to polygamous child marriage by fundamentalist Mormons, right up to Jamestown-style suicide cults - and that's looking only at the "religious" end of the spectrum. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 18:17, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
And thus it would be WP:SYNTH. But in fact its definition doesn't range, they're talking about one very specific thing that they want to keep separate from the SRA of fundamentalist Christianity while not letting it get subsumed back into social work. AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 18:45, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
"performed by members of a cult". Are you suggesting using written sources from the anti-cult movement? If so, there could be several claims which can not be corroborated and with no way to know how accepted they are by current academia. The very definition of a cult seems to be disputed and the more neutral new religious movement has gained in popularity among scholars. Dimadick (talk) 05:32, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
Dimadick: I am not suggesting anything, because ritual abuse is mostly often linked to some cult, in its traditional definition - a group of people linked by a set of social and/or religious beliefs, that can engage in socially deviant behaviour. This is all the definition given by the Wikipedia article on cults. It is just a way of classifying that group of people without attaching any sort of judgement to it.
AllGloryToTheHypnotoad: are there are any sources justifying your arguments? Especially "in fact its [the RA's] definition doesn't range, they're talking about one very specific thing that they want to keep separate from the SRA of fundamentalist Christianity while not letting it get subsumed back into social work". I don't want to engage into a debate on SRA, as even though the two terms are indisputably related, I do not wish portrary any cultural phenomenon but a type of abuse. I'd follow your advise about the Childhood Abuse article, but the problem is RA doesn't always imply children. In its broadest definition, RA is just an especially severe and extreme kind of abuse (both moral and physical). The word "ritual" doesn't necessarily imply religion, it's a way of indicating that the abuse was repetitive and pre-arranged/organized. I am not sure about leftover. There is clear evidence of there being groups of individuals engaging in ritual abuse, whether it be sex cults (like Colin Batley's) or other types of organizations. There is also an undoubtful presence of ritual abuse in popular culture, such as in Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom.
Dodger67: I agree: this is a very broad thing. Some even argue different forms of military training are ritual abuse, too. The need to have a unified article on this broad phenomenon is explained by the fact that "ritual abuse" is still a common term in psychotherapy, reuniting important patterns in psychology (of both the perpetrators and the victims). It is an academically accepted way of talking about and reuniting things such as identity destruction or mind programming. Ignostic199 (talk) 17:41, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
OK, well I still don't know what "ritual abuse" you're talking about. Your response doesn't seem to identify a particular definable concrete topic. BTW, because of this confusion I looked up "ritual abuse" on Google Scholar, and aside from SRA references and SRA scaremongering books all I saw was a few articles from Child Abuse & Neglect ca. 1991, which lost its status as a respected academic journal by being suckered by the SRA scare. So, unless you can at least define "ritual abuse" as a thing, there's really no way to further this discussion. AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 23:15, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your comments. I checked Google Scholar as per your suggestion and came up with some sources. Please check User talk:Ignostic199/sandbox, where I've listed and summarized all of the ones I've investigated. What is clear is that there is no single definition of "ritual abuse", but it is a more accepted term than satanic abuse, if you want to talk about crime and not a moral panic. Some researchers assimilate "ritual" and "satanic", while some see it as "abuse inflicted upon a victim in a repetitive, systematic, stylized, and methodical fashion" (not necessarily linked to religion). However, I don't think it's a major issue, seeing no definition can be so clear as to prevent any debate on the object it's describing. I still feel it necessary to have a separate article on the topic, which the sources justify (as no matter what definition or what vision of organized child abuse researchers in my list relate to, they still use the term "ritual abuse" to speak about it). Therefore, to be as objective and neutral as possible in my opinion, this article should not present a single precise definition of the phenomenon (as I initially wanted it to be), but rather a structured overview of various definitions, issues and debates around the topic which your comments have now incited me to do. Ignostic199 (talk) 16:45, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Looking at your sandbox, the sources are all discussing satanic ritual abuse, what this page does. Based on what you have presented, I don't think there are enough reliable sources to split the page, and I think you are attempting to synthesize a case based on original research by using interpretations of the sources say things that the original authors did not intend (having read Lafontaine and Lanning at least, certainly these two shouldn't be used in the way you intend). It looks like you are trying to create a topic where there is currently not one; that's fine in the scholarly world, but not for wikipedia. Also, the sole mention of MKULTRA is in reference to Cathy O'Brian's book, and it is not sourced wikipedia, it is sourced to Knight, 2003. Citation is at the end of the sentence. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 16:10, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
Hi WLU! I've re-read these sources and it was certainly very unprofessional of me to summarize them the way I did. Thanks for pointing this out and I hope my changes make these summaries more accurate. I still notice that even in Lafontaine's source "satanic" does nor equate "ritual". And many researchers talk about "ritual abuse" without ever referring to any form of alleged satanism. So I don't think I am creating this topic. Ignostic199 (talk) 21:24, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

too many decades[edit]

"These methods began in the 1980s and continued for several decades until a series of court cases and medical malpractice lawsuits resulted in hospitals failing to support the approach." This sentence appears toward the end of the article. "Several" = 3 or more; 3 decades from the 80s would be right now. But these lawsuits started in the 90s, (eg http://www.nytimes.com/1997/11/06/us/memory-therapy-leads-to-a-lawsuit-and-big-settlement.html) a good two decades ago. Perhaps "several years" or "about a decade" would be accurate? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.100.218.159 (talkcontribs) 08:40, 11 January 2016‎

Good point. I changed decades → years. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 00:05, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Should not this be part of the Religion Portal?[edit]

The only people who believe in this shit are religious people. Shit like this and ISIS is what makes secularists wary about religion. Even if you are not religious, you may still want to understand the other side. Hence it should be part of the religion portal.

As told in the lede and detailed in the body, The movement gradually secularized, dropping or deprecating the "satanic" aspects of the allegations in favor of names that were less overtly religious such as "sadistic" or simply "ritual abuse" and becoming more associated with dissociative identity disorder and anti-government conspiracy theories. The perpetrators were alleged to believe in Satan, rather than the accusers. But since the article conclude there were no actual Satanists, it becomes difficult to consider it a religion. (Are religions of non-existent people real religions?) Grammar'sLittleHelper (talk) 21:48, 21 January 2016 (UTC)


Wikipedia relies on what reliable sources state. Absent strong bona fides of an editor stating what he or she believes to be the "truth", Wikipedia does not care about your personal opinions. In short: Hell No! Collect (talk) 14:17, 22 January 2016 (UTC)

Sources of "Satanic ritual abuse" moral panic[edit]

The article which user :bloodofox: seems to want to defend says "the appearance of the social work or child protection field, and a group of professionals dedicated to the protection of children" is one of the causes of the SRA moral panic. Now am I smoking something, or does anyone want to blame SRA on the existence of the field of social work or child protective services, which governments and universities have had around for a long, long time for SRA. I'm new to this entry, so someone please help me out. Why does this  :bloodofox: call that "apologetics"? Anybody know this guy? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gateofhorn (talkcontribs) 05:47, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

I was specifically referring to your refactoring of the explanatory material next to the Carl Raschke "see also" entry. As for the "social work or child protection services"... I'm assuming that the text could be better phrased. Might want to check the reference—I didn't write it. :bloodofox: (talk) 06:01, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
It's been well established in the scholarly literature that the two most important groups of moral entrepreneurs in the SRA panic were (1) fundamentalist Christians spreading a "spiritual warfare" narrative and (2) child protection workers campaigning against child physical sexual abuse. E.g., Diana Napolis was a big name in the American SRA panic, and she was a social worker. Another example, an important part of the institutional side of the SRA panic was CPWs' assertion that small children's testimony could be valid in court, and CPWs' invention of techniques of interrogating children to manufacture SRA claims for court cases. Hell, there could have been no legal claims of SRA like the McMartin preschool trial had it not been for the work of CPWs.
So, Gateofhorn, if you're looking for someone who seriously blames SRA on the existence of the field of social work or child protective services, I'm your guy, and yup I have read the literature.
I don't want to boorishly reverse your edits, but I'll give fair warning now that I will be reverting this article to 2 Feb unless recognition of the role of the CPWs in the SRA panic is maintained in the article. AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 15:18, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
I support the Hypnotoad here. --jpgordon::==( o ) 15:36, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

OK, I reframed the sentence about child protection workers. Looks better now. Also reverted the Cheit section til this article's regular editors (incl. me) have time to look into it. AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 16:07, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Just FYI the user who opened this thread has been blocked as a sock. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 02:12, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

and as for Cheit[edit]

And as for Ross Cheit's book, if it is a moderate and nuanced investigation into actual cases of CSA that got reframed into a Satanic narrative, I'd be happy to see it included as a source. I'm not going to read it right now cos I have midterms to study for; but the two abstracts I've seen from Cheit makes me doubt his professionalism (you don't say "so-called False Memory Syndrome Foundation" in a scholarly article, that's just unprofessional; and JCAN is no longer a scholarly journal, it was actually this pro-SRA nonsense in the 80s and 90s that destroyed their reputation). I'm also wondering why a polisci prof is wading into a topic that's been done to death in sociology. But the misspelling of his name in this section, as well as the outright bullshit ("praised in academia and in the mainstream media", with selective quoting from an even-handed and skeptical NYT article as support), make me think this section was written by a pro-SRA/anti-FMSF campaigner. It's WP:UNDUE and WP:CHERRYPICK at a minimum, and if I'm wrong about Cheit and he's a scholarly fellow then it's also WP:COAT. The section is deleted. AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 15:47, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

PS note that I'm not asserting "no SRA cases involved real CSA" - nobody asserts this and some cases certainly did. E.g. read Kevin Marron's book on the Hamilton SRA family court case, which involved real children who were likely really sexually abused for years by family members - just not by a Satanic cult who made snuff movies at CHCH TV, led by a dude called "The Blob". Put simply, the existence of actual CSA does not "debunk" SRA. There were outlandish allegations of a world-spanning Satanic cult that were really made, and that is the essence of the SRA moral panic topic. AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 15:55, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
You seriously doubt that Cheit, a full professor in a highly regarded field (political science) at an Ivy League university, can be considered "scholarly"? Maybe you should read the book. What Cheit argues flat out through detailed case analysis in the book is that the narrative of a "Satanic ritual abuse moral panic," which dominates this entry, doesn't stand up to the actual evidence. He shows how the claims of numerous people people wrongfully jailed is, well, to use your own "scholarly" term, "bullshit" (That's not a quote from him, of course). I would think that WP:NPOV would insist that you at least include a reference to the book. As for calling me a "pro-SRA/anti-FMSF campaigner", please refrain from that, because you have no evidence as such. I'm a media studies professor who is very concerned about how things are reported and represented. I don't campaign, but I am a feminist, and proud of it. Of course, that doesn't necessarily discredit me any more than being a "social worker." Gateofhorn (talk) 16:38, 3 February 2016 (UTC)Gateofhorn
Note that this is user has been apologizing for academic Carl Raschke's role in the Satanic panic since he popped up (with about a dozen total other new users) after Raschke's article started seeing a lot of edits from me. Looks like Cheit's book deserves an article of its own though. Seems highly controversial to say the least ([33]). :bloodofox: (talk) 16:50, 3 February 2016 (UTC) 16:46, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

A media studies professor who socks on Wikipedia? God, why am I not surprised? AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 02:44, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Note that I added Cheit's book as a citation with a brief summary. It's a very reasonable inclusion - but it shouldn't unbalance the article or imply that SRA is real (which as far as I can tell it does not). It really comes down to "the hysteria may have obscured some actual abuse", which hardly seems unquestionable. It's attributed to him, and it's a single sentence. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 19:46, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Carl Raschke[edit]

Editors involved with this page might want to take a look at the Carl Raschke page. Raschke is currently only mentioned in the "see also" section here, but he appears to have been an important figure in that he was an academic enthusiastically fanning the flames of the Satanic panic. I'm sure there's plenty more out there that can be added to his article (and here) about the situation. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:26, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Carry on, bloodofox, carry on.

Gateofhorn (talk) 16:42, 3 February 2016 (UTC)Gateofhorn

Note that User:Gateofhorn has been blocked for abusing multiple accounts. --jpgordon::==( o ) 18:19, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Why is there so much hysteria about denying the existence of SRA?[edit]

It's a crime, and it's been confirmed. Why the controversy on documenting it? Why has so much effort been dedicated to discrediting its existence? This calls into mind the Franklin sex scandal, and cover-up, which as an aside, should be mentioned in this article. I've never seen such nit-picky statements attacking every common sense presentation of evidence and facts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Allen frey (talkcontribs) 04:25, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

When you say "it's been confirmed" you probably mean "one person claimed it has happened, and some other people agree". It does not follow that it's a real phenomenon. The people who believe in SRA believe in it because they first believed that recovering lost memories is possible. But they are wrong, and their conclusion (SRA is real) is also wrong. --Hob Gadling (talk) 14:06, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
Actually, the people who first believed in SRA believed in it because they read fictionalized accounts in books like Michelle Remembers, and it fit with their Fundamentalist sci-fi fantasy of spiritual warfare. The multiple personality and memory recovery fantasies came along a while later. AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 15:51, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
More denial? History is full of monstrous events in the name of religion, anti-religion, sex, racism, nationality, and anything/everything else. Marquis de Sade filled books with quasi-fantasy on the subject. The ancient Hebrews accused the Phoenicians. Medieval Christians accused the Jews. John Gacy and a dozen others practiced it. Sure, some are false accusations, but some are true. Why the wholesale denial? Grammar'sLittleHelper (talk) 23:28, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
Not sure what you're saying here. But the issue is that SRA simply didn't exist—it's as simple as that. :bloodofox: (talk) 04:01, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
I was responding to the comment directly above. Culture and history is replete with examples, factual and fictional, including the Vanger Nazis in the first book of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and all the other examples named above, possibly including Jack the Ripper. It is a continuous vein of rumor -- and possibly practice -- in Voodoo, which is heavily ritualistic and abusive at times, too. SRA is only tangentially related to "Fundamentalism". It may have been concretized by Michelle -- but only for people who are culturally deprived. Michelle did not invent the idea. Grammar'sLittleHelper (talk) 04:38, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
"People wrote novels about stuff and other people accused foreigners of stuff" is not an argument that can establish the factual existence of a secret world-spanning satanic cult who molested and murdered children in the 1980s. AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 16:15, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
Hm. We went from denying that ritual abuse is a "real phenomenon" to denying it is "world-spanning cult". Such is the folly of absolutes. There are certainly cases, documented and proved, of ritual abuse extending through rape to murder and massacre. Do you deny that Aztecs carved the hearts from living victims and threw their bodies down wells? Does that fail on the "ritual" prong, or is it not "abuse"? Jack the Ripper ritualistically carved up his victims. Here is the case of a Nigerian who ritually massacred his newborn daughter for witchcraft.[34] Florida.[35] Liberia/[36] Malawi/[37] Singapore.[38] Etc. Denial has all the foolishness of whistling past the graveyard. Grammar'sLittleHelper (talk) 19:16, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
You've rather conveniently left off the word "satanic" which is rather the entire point of the argument. There has never been a single proven instance of the specific involvement of Satanism in any of the many known cases of ritual abuse. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 20:02, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The article states in the top line, "sometimes known as ritual abuse, ritualistic abuse, organised abuse, sadistic ritual abuse and other variants." "Satanic" is a descriptive, not a trade mark. The ordinary meaning of the word "satanic" (not the trade mark) is "extremely evil or wicked." If you object that no incident is found where perpetrators the words "We love you, Satan!" scrawled across the wall in blood, you might be right -- but that is as pointless as arguing there are no "Marxists" in Russia or China because they don't use the Roman alphabet. Grammar'sLittleHelper (talk) 20:58, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

Lumping all of those news articles together as "witchcraft" implies a strong ignorance, just to start. And then this stuff about "Satanic" as simply meaning "extremely vile and wicked"? This conversation isn't worth continuing—it has moved off topic into the realm of inevitable introductory book recommendations. :bloodofox: (talk) 21:00, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
I have used the word "witchcraft" in one context only, not all as you pretend here. To those who believe in the Jewish-christian bible, all evil is "Satanic." The existence of extremely wicked and evil incidents is not contingent on "Satan"'s actual and provable existence. Grammar'sLittleHelper (talk) 21:24, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
Of course not, and none of that has anything to do with the subject of this article, which is specifically the "Satanic Ritual Abuse" hysteria, not the existence of wicked and evil incidents. --jpgordon::==( o ) 22:05, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
Your denial is still puzzling, almost ritualistic. The article clearly refers to actual and more generic events, as I have shown here:

The term "satanic ritual abuse" is used to describe different behaviors, actions and allegations that lie between extremes of definitions.[72] In 1988, a nationwide study of sexual abuse in U.S. day care agencies, led by David Finkelhor, put forth a threefold typology to describe "ritual abuse" — cult-based ritualism in which the abuse had a spiritual or social goal for the perpetrators, pseudo-ritualism in which the goal was sexual gratification and the rituals were used to frighten or intimidate victims, and psychopathological ritualism in which the rituals were due to mental disorders.[73] Subsequent investigators have expanded on these definitions and also pointed to a fourth alleged type of Satanic ritual abuse, in which petty crimes with ambiguous meaning (such as graffiti or vandalism) generally committed by teenagers were attributed to the actions of Satanic cults.[74][75][76] These definitions later appeared in an episode of the police procedural drama Criminal Minds,[77] one of several in the series that referenced the satanic ritual abuse moral panic.

By the early 1990s, the phrase "Satanic ritual abuse" was featured in media coverage of ritualistic abuse but its use decreased among professionals in favour of more nuanced terms such as multi-dimensional child sex rings,[46] ritual/ritualistic abuse,[78] organised abuse[79] or sadistic abuse,[44] some of which acknowledged the complexity of abuse cases with multiple perpetrators and victims without projecting a religious framework onto perpetrators. The latter in particular failed to substantively improve on or replace "Satanic" abuse as it was never used to describe any rituals except the Satanic ones that were the core of SRA allegations. Abuse within the context of Christianity, Islam or any other religions failed to enter the SRA discourse.[80]

Conclusions on the origins of allegations of cult-based abuse can include actual abuse by organized groups, pseudosatanism, distortions and false memories, mental illness resulting in false reporting, deliberate lying or hoaxes and in the cases of child testimonies, allegations may be artifacts of the questioning techniques used, and TV special broadcasts.[81][82][83]

Note that "Satanism" per se is not an absolute requirement. And you still assert it was ALL a total fiction, never happened, not a real phenomenon, etc.?
If you're suggesting that Aztec ritual sacrifices, Jack the Ripper, some Nigerian dude, and John Wayne Gacy are all instances of satanic ritual abuse, then you're trying to change the definition of what this Wikipedia article is about. AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 23:43, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
Sorry you are having difficulty following this conversation. The initial statement was a flat denial that anything like SRA had ever happened anywhere, and a categorical assertion that anyone who believed SRA ever happened had (1) read the book and (2) attended a Christian Fundamentalist Church. I was showing that those are erroneous presumptions, and you have been misconstruing my statements and arguing with me. That denial is just as foolish as the original panic that SRA was happening all over the place. (The text I quoted in italics is taken from the existing page -- contrary to your horrors, I did not change it and I am not trying to change it.) Would you like to read the whole thread from the beginning so you understand the context? Grammar'sLittleHelper (talk) 16:30, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

If you want to understand why this article is like that, that is, one of the most prejudiced I have seen in Wikipedia, failing to "simply report" the various view-points without this excessive value-judgement that will disgust even those who have absolutely no dog in the race - if you want to understand why this article is like that, follow the edits and comments of AllGloryToTheHypnotoad . Only an omniscient being can ascertain the "absence" of a phenomenon, but here we find a Wikipedia editor, along with others to be sure, who have taken upon themselves the task of denying, ridiculing, and stereotyping a phenomenon (SRA) which, however much occasionally exaggerated, certainly and factually exists, with profoundly diminished and suffering victims who still live with us today. 182.64.102.3 (talk) 05:55, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

I feel like wasting some time today, anon IP. How's about you provide us some evidence (links, books, whatever) that you feel will demonstrate to us that Satanic Ritual Abuse "certainly and factually exists, with profoundly diminished and suffering victims who still live with us today"? AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 14:43, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
And around in a circle we go. Please see my comments above ca. 19:16, 22 March 2016 (UTC). You might argue that it could not be "satanic" because Satan does not exist. Equally, then, you must agree there are no Christian churches because Christ does not exist. If we accept all the terms and synonyms in the lede, do you still assert it has never happened? Would you then address my arguments from two months ago in this same section? Grammar's Li'l Helper Talk 18:01, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
He might argue that, but didn't. I guess you felt great when you totally rebutted the reasoning he did not use, defeating no actual person but a hypothetical being which could have used the spurious, easily refuted nonsense you easily refuted. Maybe you should not go all around in circles and instead answer the question he actually asked? --Hob Gadling (talk) 08:49, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
Ad hominem sauce, anyone? If "Satanic" is not your objection, then let's move onto "ritual abuse". Many sociopathic murders, mutilations, and other criminal acts are ritualistic, now and in the past, in America and elsewhere. The KKK was totally ritualistic. I provided more examples above, totally answering AllGloryToTheHypnotoad. The question is answered. Grammar's Li'l Helper Talk 15:07, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
What's ad hominem about me refuting your silly straw man fallacy? "If "Satanic" is not your objection" totally misses the point. His objection was A, and you refuted B. Strawman. That is all I said. --Hob Gadling (talk) 10:53, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
You are just confused. You seem to think that unfalsifiability of an idea is a boon, when in reality it dooms the idea from the start as utterly useless. Also, quality of evidence counts for more than its mere existence. And there are people who can tell good reasons from bad ones, rendering some controversies uncontroversial among those people. Read some philosophy of science, IP. Or some science, to see how it is done. --Hob Gadling (talk) 08:49, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
Just for example http://www.inquisitr.com/1590101/north-carolina-satanist-and-cannibal-arrested-for-murder-bodies-found-in-shallow-graves-in-backyard/ 182.64.74.114 (talk) 16:44, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
And again: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/tennessee-satanist-gregory-scott-hale-arrested-murder-cannibalism-1452200 / there is much more but, being a lowly anon user, WP police wouldn't let me post links. Enjoy the horror, you over analytic deluded sufferers !! 182.64.74.114 (talk) 17:02, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
By the way all this is from Google search!! It's not years of research or something like that!! And you talk about science to see how it is done?!?! http://abc13.com/news/prosecutor-teen-confessed-three-times-to-killing-friend/1195993/ 182.64.74.114 (talk) 17:13, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
The article explicitly says "This article is about the moral panic". It is not about the tiny minority of Satanists among murderers or among serial killers (who are themselves a tiny minority), it is about the crazy delusions of a bunch of people who use invalid methods to incriminate everyone and their dog of secretly being part of a Satanic cabal.
Maybe the article should be renamed to get rid of the people trying to make it about something else? --Hob Gadling (talk) 10:53, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
THANK YOU!! We have thus succeeded in our task , first is the admitting that SRA exists as a real phenomenon (it being rare is something that we agree on and that is quite irrelevant to our debate here, for moral panic involving SRA can be argued to be rare also!), and second (and consequently) it is improper to confuse SRA with a moral panic about SRA. Hence the title of this article should explicitly state its subject. I have done my task! The rest is in your hands, or shall I say, those of the devil!! ;-) I shall say no more. 117.222.197.4 (talk) 09:24, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

http://images-cdn.9gag.com/photo/arezQY7_700b.jpg AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 13:59, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

Veracity of the claim SRA is a myth[edit]

Hi,

Because of the controversy and the knee-jerk response these days to say that "its been proven a myth", I thought I would write here first rather than edit the page because of the sensitive nature of the topic.

While there was a "moral panic" and some people were wrongly convicted, it does not mean that there should be reason for concern. There are people wrongfully convicted of crimes and the Justice System is at fault for that in what it allowed and prosecutors not acting properly. They should have never even charged some of these people. Prosecutors are in IMHO too aggressive looking for a high number on the win list instead of looking for the truth. That said.

The article seems to imply SRA is nonexistent a complete myth fanned by uptight Christian fundamentalists. I can say it does exist. I came from a freemason family and were fully aware of some of these rituals that go on. Here is a video of and FBI raid and the people found there did go to jail. It is quite graphic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wg00xoWptw

This article seems to take a complete skeptical side and says no evidence exists or has ever existed regarding SRA in the US and Europe and cites books. Well the FBI raid above is evidence is it not?

There is hidden camera footage taken of some like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbRmRkZxYk0 was compiled into a film with English subtitles. A simple search on you tube can get you links some of which involve a person who was present telling the story. Most skeptics will simply dismiss them though. The page seems to imply that people just make it all up. Maybe for those you documented yes. However, the ritual practice does go on and is kept under wraps. There is a code of silence that is enforced.

It does not take much to find real evidence: Like the mutilated backwoods remains of a cult victim’s body in Massachusetts. The bloody pentagram carved into a cult victim’s corpse in San Francisco. (see below)

The most shocking report I find is the widely cited Law Enforcement Perspective report out of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Center in Quantico, Virginia as written by supervisory special agent Kenneth Lanning. It is been cited consistently throughout the media and I believe here as well. An HTML version that is divided into smaller sections is here. The report is quite large. http://www.religioustolerance.org/ra_rep03.htm

The report states, in regards to "organized" Satanic ritual abuse homicide (that is, two or more Satanic cult members conspiring to commit murder): "The law enforcement perspective can’t ignore the lack of physical evidence (no bodies, or even hairs, fibers, or fluids left by violent murders."

Really? No bodies? What were those in FBI sting operation in the link above? Fiction? Howabout the following short list of admittedly satanic murders.

From March 13, 1981, UPI article:

"Fitchburg, Mass. -- The alleged leader of a devil worship cult was found guilty of first-degree murder Friday in the ritual killing of a young Fall River, Mass. prostitute last year. Carl Drew, 26, stood pale and expressionless as the verdict was announced. He was immediately sentenced to life imprisonment by superior court judge Francis W. Keating...Miss Marsden was allegedly killed, mutilated and beheaded by Drew and two others in a blood-soaked night time ritual in a wooded area because she wanted to leave the cult." [1]

In 1993, House Bill 1689 was introduced in the Massachusetts Legislature. It is a bill prohibiting "Certain Ritualistic Acts." Some of these acts include: ritual mutilation, dismemberment, torture, the sacrifice of animals, humans. A similar bill was passed in Idaho in 1990 too.

In the 1993 Avon Books release: "Raising Hell", author/investigative reporter Michael Newton writes: "While some cult apologists may be forgiven their ignorance of current events, (FBI) Agent Lanning -- with access to nationwide police files -- should know better. As this volume amply demonstrates, cult related killers stand convicted of murder in 23 states and at least nine foreign countries. Numerous other occultists are now serving time for practicing their "faith" through acts of arson, rape, assault, cruelty to animals, and similar crimes." Amazon.com has it here https://www.amazon.com/Raising-Hell-Encyclopedia-Worship-Satanic/dp/0380768372 and Google books has it as well.

Here is a book https://www.amazon.com/Aldrete-Serial-Killers-Devils-Ranch-ebook/dp/B0172KFIQ6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1470683647&sr=8-3&keywords=Satanic+crime#nav-subnav called "Sara Aldrete and the Serial Killers of Devil's Ranch"

and it is described " Sara Aldrete, a seemingly normal college student, and cult leader Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo were the Godfather and Godmother of the most sadistic serial killing cult in modern history. They formed a religious group/drug gang which terrorized a Mexican border town with ritual torture and human sacrifice. These sacrifices were undertaken in order to "bless" their illegal drug dealings in Matamoros, Mexico. The disappearance and death of Mark J. Kilroy during Spring break of 1989, however, would finally put an end to their reign of sadism and terror "

Here is more footage. It is not satanic per-se it was taken inside a freemason lodge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks_D2drIs6E It shows a stripper doing what she was paid to do no doubt. Nothing new about men hiring and watching strippers, but it does go to the point that nefarious things do happen in some lodges.

To be part of the rituals, people are vetted thoroughly. A code of silence is enforced as I will cite a case below.

A book "The Medusa files" has documentation of a case in Florida of human trafficking for instance related to rituals.


Satanic cults are somewhat similar to Mafia crime families.

There is, for instance, extreme secrecy through a code of silence. This is usually initiated with the signing of a "blood" contract. Wendell Amstutz, author of "Satanism in America", said these contracts are generally signed in the initiate’s own blood. The contract, according to Amstutz, usually demands life-long obedience. And breaking it means death.

As an example, four California Satanic cult defectors one night in 1990. They were tracked down to an apartment on Elm Street in the town of Salida.

They were beaten and stabbed. Then, they were decapitated.

What was left behind rivaled the carnage of the Tate-LaBianca crime scene.

The trail led back to five Satanic cult members, You can look this up.

The five who were indicted were part of a 55-member Satanic cult that was operating out of a compound in Salida. Cult members stretched across a three-county are, with a number of them living in a Salida compound (homes and trailers). What went on in the Salida compound, for the most part, was gruesome and left lots of evidence.

Randy Cerny, Director of the Northern Chapter of California’s Ritual Crime Investigator’s Association followed the cult closely. And after they were indicted, he interviewed several of the cult members and reviewed extensive diaries they’d kept.

the case is detailed here at findlaw: "Supreme Court of California The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Richard John VIEIRA, Defendant and Appellant. No. S026040. Decided: March 7, 2005": http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-supreme-court/1445606.html

He said the cult worshiped Satan, following renowned Satanist Aleister Crowley. They engaged in sexual abuse, ritual torture including electric shock, child abuse, murder.

In other words, they reported and participated in many of the things Satanic ritual abuse survivors have consistently reported.

Cerny also said: it was reported cult members were from all walks of life. This even included a dentist, a minister, and a woman enrolled in a law enforcement class at a local community college. (Satanic cult members aren’t, by any means, tattooed teen bikers. Often, Satanic ritual abuse survivors report their cult perpetrators are respected members of the community: doctors, law enforcement officials, upstanding members of the community at large...This all, apparently, is part of the facade.)

One of the Matomoros cult members responsible for some of the 13 grisly murder/sacrifices in Mexico a few years back, was majoring in law enforcement at Texas Southmost College at the time she was arrested.[2]

"The California cult was a very secretive, close-knit, sophisticated group," said Cerny. A documentry is here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2wRFYl2YJQ I am not sure if the original air date.

The Satanic cult was run under the iron fist of high priest, Gerald Cruz. Cruz used sleep deprivation, brainwashing, torture...to keep members in line. At the trial in Oakland in December, 1992, cult expert and psychologist, Daniel Goldstine, would characterize Cruz as "evil and sadistic."

The jury thought so too. Cruz and two other cult members were sentenced to death for the murders. Two other cult members got life. "Now let’s project this 20 to 25 years down the road," Cerny continued. "Say someone walks into a police department or therapist’s office and says, ‘I’m starting to have memories that my dad was a leader of this Satanic cult in California. And they would brainwash people, torture them with electric shock, sexually abuse me, sacrifice animals, kill people...’ "

Cerny wondered if that would all be passed off as a "false memory." So do I given artles like this one.

Nationally syndicated columnist Molly Ivins might well have passed it off as just that. In a May, 1994, column, Ms. Ivins wrote: "...social workers who deal with child abuse have nightmares about the people who come up with patently false recovered memories of Satanic ritual abuse."

Monika Beerle seemed to be nobody’s "false recovered memory." The following is a February 18, 1992, Newsday article excerpt:

" New York -- Members of a cult here killed ballerina Monika Beerle in August, 1989, and then dismembered her and fed her flesh to the homeless as part of a Satanic ritual, law enforcement sources said yesterday after arresting a cult member in connection with the slaying. "The public isn’t generating enough momentum to get police mobilized around this (Satanic ritual abuse) issue at this point," explained Akron, Ohio Police Captain Jerry Foys. And John Hunt, Sherman, Texas ritual crime investigator says that "because of the FBI report, the stigma around Satanism and other factors have made it hard to get internal police department support in following up on the ritual aspects of a crime."[3]

Hunt and Foys both said "they believe the Satanic ritual abuse is quite widespread -- and extremely dangerous". These are Law Enforcement officers saying this. People who have seen the bodies.

Another case in point: Alcoholic drifter known only as John Doe No. 60, his body was found in San Francisco. According to a May 6, 1988, San Francisco Chronicle article:

"The victim had a pentagram carved into his chest, lash marks across his buttocks, a stab wound to his neck, wax in his right eye and hair, and a sliced lip. The naked body was virtually drained of blood."

Clifford St. Joseph, 46, was convicted and sentenced to 34 years to life for the killing. This again was real ritualistic murder and real people convicted of the crime.

In the book, Raising Hell, Michael Newton writes:

"when police came to St. Joseph’s apartment nine days after the body was found, they found St. Joseph dressed in a black robe, companion Michael Bork, 26, stripped to the waist, his face daubed with cosmetics, and another man, Edward Spela, 26, passed out from drugs. In the middle of the room was a 19-year old man, who was laying on the floor, handcuffed and surrounded by candles."

According to the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Investigators said that St. Joseph appeared to be part of a Satanic cult that involved men of means in San Francisco’s gay community."

Again, John Doe No. 60’s mutilated body was real. It was nobody’s false memory. [4]

A term popular culture has latched onto, is the very clinical sounding, "false memory syndrome". This is a term coined by the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF). ( It is an advocacy group for people whose children have accused them of sexual abuse and/or Satanic ritual abuse).

You have used this term in the article failing to tell about the source and who coined it.

Despite the scientific sounding title, there is actually no such thing as a clinically acknowledged category for "false memory syndrome," This is according to Judith Herman, an associate clinical professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, who authored the book, "Trauma and Recovery". "The very name FMSF is prejudicial and misleading," said Dr. Herman. "There is no such syndrome, and we have no evidence reported memories are false. We only know they are disputed."

This issue of SRA I think is not a "moral panic", but has real concerns and very real evidence, including the dead bodies and convicted felons. It seems the media had more of a panic. The old adage of "If it bleeds it leads" is still true.

This article makes has many citations to support what it said, However, the bodies say otherwise as do the convictions and court records. The cases above are a tiny few of the total.

Again it seems as though SRA is something the church has made up over the ages and that there is no evidence either in the US or Europe. There are books and court cases related to the subject and forensic evidence that counters this claim and certainly the FBI report must have been ignorant of these facts and the FBI's own cases.

Here is some more on the side of the Bizzare: A Fall 1989 Cleveland Plain Dealer article excerpt reads:

"Three Norwalk area residents charged with opening two graves, beheading the corpses and stealing the skulls, were part of a cult that had recently gotten instructions on how to sacrifice babies to Satan, Norwalk police said yesterday. "We’re taking this very seriously," he [Police Chief Gary Dewalt] said." "

and: May 5, 1993 -- Three eight year old boys were riding their bikes down a country road in West Memphis, Arkansas. Suddenly they were forced off the road and horribly killed. One of the suspects accused in the murders, Jessie Lloyd Miskelly, Jr., 17 according to wire service reports, told police that the murders were tied to a teen Satanic cult sacrifice. "Miskelly said the children were lured into a wooded area of West Memphis known as Robin Hood Park, choked until they were unconscious, then brutalized in various ways -- including rape..." from http://search.commercialappeal.com/jmg.aspx?k=West+Memphis+3 articles.

The west Memphis Three are detailed on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Memphis_Three

According to a March 8, 1994 article on the trial appearing in the West Memphis The Commercial Appeal: "A witness last week told him Baldwin (one of the accused) told him he sucked the blood from one victim after he mutilated him."

Diaries indicated the Satanic cult in Salida, California, followed the teachings of renowned Satanist Aleister Crowley. In his book, Magick in Theory and Practice, Crowley wrote, "The blood is the life...any living thing is the storehouse of energy...at the death of the animal this energy is liberated suddenly. The animal should therefore be killed within the Circle, or Triangle, so that it’s energy cannot escape...For the highest spiritual working one must accordingly choose that victim which the greatest and purest force. A male child of perfect innocence is the most satisfactory and suitable victim."


Maybe we should take it more seriously too. By that, I do not mean panic, but to take a serious look at the satanic cults in America and Europe and deal with it realistically not exaggerating or denying the truth. I feel the article as well should have a section on the very real murders and crimes that did happen and were satanically motivated (via the cult worship). Whether you are Christian, Atheist or whatever, these crimes should be considered and not written off as myths. Certainly, there is a pile of evidence that the FBI is apparently unaware of. That should be noted here as well

You can look these and other cases up along with court records. After all it did not take much to google and get fully vetted cases. Sglazier456 (talk) 20:10, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

If your text had been one-tenth of its length, it would have been too long to read. There are two possibilities:
  • You want to propose changes to the article. In that case, just propose them, without talking such a lot. Be sure to add reliable sources.
    • If you do not have any reliable sources, forget it.
  • You don't. In that case, you are at the wrong place. Go to a forum. --Hob Gadling (talk) 08:06, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
Also, before editing Wikipedia articles like this one, please read WP:RS, WP:NOR, and WP:UNDUE. Wikipedia is not a place for original research, and Wikipedia does not allow fringe sources to trump serious academic investigation. AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 15:08, 10 August 2016 (UTC)