14 September 2008
Satanic Ritual Abuse is it Real?
How real is the threat of satanic ritual abuse? Are people actually recovering repressed memories of satanic abuse as a child? Is there a widespread epidemic of Satanism sweeping the country, or is it all a hoax? We will answer these questions and many others in the next few pages, as we sift through the facts to find the truth about satanic ritual abuse.
In the article, The Devil, You Say, David O’Reilly of the Philadelphia Inquirer claims that the idea of rampant Satanism in America is more hype than fact. O’Reilly says that despite the lack solid evidence the “satanic panic still surges, fanned by the sensationalist news organizations, preachers, zealous police, and eager psychologist who contend that countless infants are being slaughtered in secret satanic rituals”(2). O’Reilly contends that leading questions such as “If you had been abused, what might have happened?”, or “Were the people wearing robes? Did any of them have horns?” can steer people to remember things that did not happen(5). He goes on to say that most Satanism is pseudosatanism, there to bait young emotionally abandoned kids into pornography, sex, or drug distribution. O’Reilly believes that the satanic hysteria is distracting us from the real problem of child abuse by friends, parents, and other relatives.
David O’Reilly seems to take on the topic of satanic ritual abuse very fair-mindedly. Instead of constantly inserting his opinions, he uses the voice of other experts to express it for him. He tries to show both sides of the argument, by comparing the claims of people on either side of the issue. I found that some of the most convincing arguments came from people like Kenneth Lanning, the head of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, and Dr Pamela Freyd of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. Although there seemed to be a little bias, the way in which O’Reilly presented claims and...