Quick Summary

The Satanic Panic is a moral panic that took root in the United States, and spread internationally, characterized by a widespread fear of a Satanic cult conspiracy alleged to be committing secretive acts of ritualized murder, kidnapping, human trafficking, ritual abuse, “trauma-based mind-control,” and other criminal activities meant to demolish the moral order of civilization. A book titled Michelle Remembers, published in 1980, co-authored by Michelle Smith and her psychiatrist-turned-husband, Lawrence Pazder, established the notion that memories of Satanic Ritual Abuse were so unusually traumatic that victims of this extreme and invisible sadism were likely to repress their memories of it, which could only then be drawn forth by use of hypnotic regression, guided imagery sessions, dream interpretation, or other “memory recovery” techniques. As is easily demonstrated by the prevalence of past-life “memories,” alien abduction reports, and a multitude of provably impossible “recovered memory” claims, memory recovery tactics tend to produce bizarre confabulations with no basis in reality, though these “memories” can come to be truly believed as factual reports by those who cultivate them. A subculture of therapists, persuaded by Pazder’s claims of a Satanic conspiracy began digging for “repressed memories” of Satanic abuse in their clients, creating a community of “survivors” living with delusional “recall” of horrific cult crimes.

Sociologists tend to date the Satanic Panic as beginning with the publication of Michelle Remembers in 1980 and ending around 1995, when mainstream media began approaching claims of Satanic cult crimes more skeptically in light of relentless debunkings of Satanic Panic claims.

Through investigative research Grey Faction has discovered that the most harmful aspects of the Satanic Panic still persist today. Memory recovery techniques are still employed by irresponsible licensed mental health professionals leading to confabulatory claims of Satanic cult crimes. Self-appointed “occult crime investigators” are still, at times, consulted by law enforcement, despite their propagation of thoroughly discredited claims. While mainstream media outlets learned to exercise slightly more discretion in reporting upon Satanic Ritual Abuse claims after the 90s, mental health licensing oversight boards have done nothing to censure the practices of those credentialed professionals who continue to make conspiracist claims of a Satanic cult conspiracy and instill these paranoid delusions in their clientele.

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