Emerging Epidemic?
July 22, 2005 6:59 PM   Subscribe

http://www.ritualabusetorture.org/ Personal stories and cartoon self-help tools. "maps" link to adobe bbs
posted by longsleeves (22 comments total)
Rare or non-existant?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:07 PM on July 22, 2005

Damn, that's what's wrong with those freaky people next door. All this time I thought they were Scientologists, Opus Dei members, Republicans or even, dare I say it... aliens.

/Sits back and anxiously awaits the anal probe. Why does everyone talk about the probe like it's a bad thing?
posted by cedar at 8:42 PM on July 22, 2005

I searched unsuccessfully for the name "McMartin" on their site... oddly enough it doesn't come up.

Perhaps that's because the McMartin case was so egregiously maliciously and insanely handled that it came to be a synonym for the manipulation of children by overeager social workers and for baseless hysteria regarding ritual abuse.
posted by clevershark at 8:58 PM on July 22, 2005

They're not talking about satanic ritual abuse. Their definition pretty much covers everything from domestic violence to honor killings and clitoridectomies.
posted by swell at 9:03 PM on July 22, 2005

longsleeves, you need to explain yourself.

Peter's link is accurate and I quote from it:
A SRA [Satanic Ritual Abuse] industry composed of seminar speakers and authors sprang up in the 1980's to promote this belief system. The "Satanic panic" has largely dissipated by now (2002-MAR) because of lack of hard evidence.
This site is no different than the others.

In the late 1980's I worked on a project to develop training for Child Protective Services in Washington state. The RA flap was in full swing. My duties included content development relying on content experts approved by the Department of Social and Health Services.

RA enthusiasts were included in the project. They had discovered that RA was a powerful issue for promoting their personal advancement and they were ruthless in the way they approached opposition.

I flat out chalenged them to produce evidence of cases. They could not. There weren't any. The best they could do was provide a videotape of a TV talk show that featured a mentally ill woman and the parasitic unlicensed "therapist" who was exploiting her. Having lost that battle, they were successful in getting accurate information excluded. I assume they just went on with their shabby little campaign.

There have been a tiny handful of cases. I know the details of one confirmed case (two Northern California survivalists who were serial killers.) That's it.

This site is irresponsible and does not include sufficient qualifying information about the incidence rate, nor is their definition of RA useful or accurate in either a clinical or investigative sense.
posted by warbaby at 9:18 PM on July 22, 2005

Anyone have a link for clitoridectomies?
posted by Balisong at 9:19 PM on July 22, 2005

There have been a tiny handful of cases.

Sounds like another case of War On....
posted by Balisong at 9:21 PM on July 22, 2005

I personally know of two different victims of satanic ritual abuse-one in Florida and one here in NC. I believe it exists judging from the aftereffects I observed. Not to mention I believe what they told me.
posted by konolia at 10:03 PM on July 22, 2005

longsleeves, you need to explain yourself.

No I don't.
posted by longsleeves at 10:25 PM on July 22, 2005

But OK if you need it: These people speak for themselves, and I enjoy them because it's so funny when you explore the site. Please do not interpret the post as an endorsement of crazy ideas.
posted by longsleeves at 10:33 PM on July 22, 2005

konalia, I don't mean to be difficult but I would love to see one credible reference to -- I can barely bring myself to type it -- 'satanic ritual abuse'. Anecdotal stuff doesn't count. I know a guy, who I find otherwise credible, who is convinced that Freemasons have secret chambers beneath Catholic churches.

Is it possible that the after effects you observed stem from the same disorder that led these people to believe that any abuse they suffered was satanic or ritualized rather than run-of-the-mill assholery? Just because some maniac killer calls himself a 'Satanist' no more means that it is an 'emerging epidemic' or related to his religion than Ted Bundy being a Protestant means we should start watching those damn Episcopalians.

More than anything else I'm surprised that people are taking this tripe seriously. This whole business was resoundingly descredited decades ago. The absurd opinions of a couple of 'relationship educators' with a few bucks for a domain doesn't change the fact that it's idiocy.

On preview: Yes, longsleeves, you do. What's with the single link to a couple of nutjobs and the creepy 'Emerging Epedemic' title? Is this new to you? Do you find them amusing? Do you mean for us to take them seriously? Is that your sister? A little context would be helpful.

Why are these fringe sites always butt-ass ugly and require endless scrolling?
posted by cedar at 10:36 PM on July 22, 2005

RA enthusiasts were included in the project. They had discovered that RA was a powerful issue for promoting their personal advancement and they were ruthless in the way they approached opposition.

I was also involved in this back in 1989-1990. We were attempting to add a SA-RA track to our drug treatment program. The training I had in this was laughable at best. I too, challenged the trainers to provide one single documented case and they could not. To this day, I have seen not a single case on this. I refused to be involved after that.

These women, at worse, are traffickers in hysteria and at best, at addressing a valid aspect; that is ritualistic abuse.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:59 PM on July 22, 2005

I personally know of two different victims of satanic ritual abuse-one in Florida and one here in NC. I believe it exists judging from the aftereffects I observed. Not to mention I believe what they told me.

I do not doubt that you know these people and they told you these things. My issue is that there is little evidence whatsover, to back up these claims.

One pattern I noticed with the few teens we "treated" was that they all experienced the same symptoms we were trained to look for. By that I mean, it all seemed to fit too well. There was no nuance to the experiences they were reporting and it was as if they were repeating things they heard or thought they should say - some of it for shock value and some of it because they thought they should say it. It got to a point where they would tell anyone who listened about "drinking blood", witnessing "sacrificing babies" and outright murder. If pressed for more info, their stories evaporated quicker than dew in the sun.

There was also the additional issue of the "recovered memory" syndrome which was huge around that time. We think some of the teens we treated were simply repeating things they had heard and making them their own.

There's so much more I could write about this but I'll leave it up to the others here. It still makes my blood boil.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:09 PM on July 22, 2005

metafilter: Anyone have a link for clitoridectomies?
posted by afu at 11:54 PM on July 22, 2005 [1 favorite]

> They're not talking about satanic ritual abuse

Oh, I think you'll find they are. Read a little more carefully.

Sure, in the hopes of appearing credible after the horse they backed turned out to be a donkey, they've expanded their definition, and are embracing other areas but fundamentally, their core interest appears to be what they call 'ritual abuse torture'. It seems to me that they are members of that same group of poorly-trained therapists turned moral entrepeneurs who were responsible for disasters like McMartin, etc. Certainly, their methodology and ideology appears very similar.

Given all of the problems associated with these claims, I'm not sure why anyone thinks this 'self-funded' 'kitchen-table research' deserves even a moment's glance.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:11 AM on July 23, 2005

Some of the peronal accounts on the map are quite disturbing:

I was taken to various locations in Western Europe and tortured in a ritualistic fashion. A lot of the abuse took place in castles. I was forced to memorize the layout of the buildings and internalize them under traumatic circumstances.

Or this one:

birth to present day, trying to create safety in my life and stop/limit the accessing...freemason connection, also illuminati connection, some abuse similar to govt mind control in the U.S...home life just as bad as cult life...don't know any survivors in NZ, wish I did, hard to fight this alone

Ha! I knew the illuminati are in on this.
posted by sour cream at 1:44 AM on July 23, 2005

I personally know of two different victims of satanic ritual abuse-one in Florida and one here in NC.

Everybody in Massachusetts probably knows at least one victim, too: the Fells Acres Daycare case involved hundreds of kids. The ritual abusers are clever-- according to the prosecution, they had a huge subterranean dungeon, fire-breathing clowns and an R2D2-style robot that bit kids if they refused sexual advances. Of course, they were so clever that digging and sonar never turned up the huge tunnel network, and the clowns and robots were stashed away, too.

At one point, the daycare's elderly owner, Violet Amirault caught a squirrel and ripped the legs off-- in front of children that were tied to trees in the front yard! The whole community was so well-infiltrated by satanists that no one reported driving by and seeing the kids tied to trees. Or the cops were in on the abuse and covered it up.

It should make you happy to know that we sent these people to prison for a long time. Fortunately, they got convicted without any physical evidence. Testimony was enough.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:21 AM on July 23, 2005

From our driving need to understand and give meaning to the horrendous reality that we were bearing witness to as Sara unfolded her horrific lived experiences of ritual abuse-torture, grew the kitchen table research project. Conducting the interviews meant we took nothing but our-Selves to the interviews. We sat, we listened, as asked questions, we left without notes...This kitchen table research project has been our way of “doing” the research.

OK. I can move on.
posted by nj_subgenius at 7:05 AM on July 23, 2005

My objection is that the panic (and the whole "recovered memory" deal) caused problems with protecting children from harm. And it created a dodge for real abusers to attack witness credibility. It's really really really hard for kids to disclose after they've been groomed. The RA flap makes it harder for them and aids abusers.
posted by warbaby at 7:49 AM on July 23, 2005

If ritual abuse of children is really secret then most of the time we in Internetland would have no idea whether it was happening or not. So just because a whole lot of what we have heard through responsible channels like Reader's Digest has turned out to be utter bullshit doesn't mean that there's never anything like that going on anywhere. And if there is a big world-wide conspiracy featuring say politicians, generals, World Bank higher-ups and so on, we'll probably never hear about it -- unless Karl Rove blabs again.

By the way, some kinds of transgenerational ritual abuse of children have been fixtures in human societies for thousands of years. "Social scientists" call them "rites of passage". Clitorectomy is a case in point.

As for "recovered memories", 15 years ago I had a girlfriend who was into that; I wondered why anybody would want to remember that stuff if it was real. I'd rather forget third grade entirely, even though sexual abuse had nothing to do with it.

By the way, to top Lebowskifest, we of the Greater Louisville Satanic Conspiracy will be holding our second annual Top Secret Baby Roast and Torture Party next Friday at 8pm in front of the Idol of Satan (cleverly disguised as a statue of the French King Louis XVI) downtown across from City Hall and the county jail.
posted by davy at 11:20 AM on July 23, 2005

What Warbaby said.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:13 PM on July 23, 2005

See also: Victims of Memory. We read this book in a psychology of memory class I took back in college & it (along with books by Elizabeth Loftus) makes you realize that some of these recovered memories / ritual abuse incidents may not be real-- even though the people 'recovering' the memories or the children coerced into making such claims may have thought their memories were true.
posted by jcruelty at 2:42 PM on July 23, 2005

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