This knowledge base aims to provide a comprehensive overview of all things pertaining to Satanic Panic and the mental health field. Here you will find information on individuals and professional organizations within the mental health field that promote the pseudoscientific practice of “recovered memory therapy” and propagate unfounded conspiracy theories of Satanic ritual abuse (SRA) as a cause of mental illness – particularly dissociative identity disorder (DID), formerly known as multiple personality disorder (MPD).
We aim to cite every claim, place quotes in appropriate context, and provide all information we deem relevant to the topic of Satanic Panic in mental health. All references contain direct links to the source wherever permitted by copyright. For paywalled journal articles we recommend using Sci-Hub – search for an article’s digital object identifier (DOI) if it has one (we supply DOIs in the references whenever we find one), but the title might work also.
At the bottom of some pages you will find a folder of documents relevant to the page topic that we host ourselves. The documents include complaints to licensing boards, court records, and other documents we obtained through public records requests.
This wiki is a work in progress. If you notice any inaccurate claims or glaring omissions, please let us know. Please also feel free to get in touch with any feedback or suggestions about how to improve the wiki.
Continue reading below for an overview of Satanic Panic in the mental health field as an introduction to the wiki, or skip ahead to find a list of all pages below.
Satanic Panic — broadly, the fear that devil-worshiping Satanists engage in criminal, antisocial acts on a massive scale – exploded in the 1980s, primarily in the United States. During this time, a fear that Satanists were sexually abusing and sacrificing children in bizarre rituals gripped the nation. For many, skepticism regarding these invisible crimes was tantamount to complicity, fostering a situation in which even the most improbable of claims went unquestioned by jurors and the public at large. Individuals were imprisoned for crimes stemming from unsubstantiated SRA allegations – often the product of recovered memory therapy techniques. Families were torn apart by gruesome and impossible accusations. Some were repaired after supposed victims learned they were suffering from false memories; others remain destroyed to this day.
This moral panic over nonexistent Satanic cults arose out of an unholy alliance between well-meaning but misguided mental health professionals, law enforcement, prominent feminists, and Christian leaders. And it was catapulted into living rooms across the country by credulous television hosts – such as Geraldo Rivera and Oprah – who platformed self-proclaimed survivors, opportunistic “ex-Satanists” who asserted past involvement in Satanic crime, and reckless therapists who demanded the public believe these strange accounts.
Although Satanic Panic began to dwindle by the mid-1990s, the mental health field has not entirely rid itself of this plague. In fact, many of the same licensed therapists who contributed to Satanic Panic during that time continue to do so today, including as members of respected professional societies – such as the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD). These professional organizations sponsor conferences – eligible for continuing education credit – featuring presentations that promote pseudoscientific recovered memory therapy and SRA. We refer to licensed mental health professionals who practice recovered memory therapy and/or promote Satanic Panic conspiracy theories as “conspiracy therapists.”
Moral panics don’t happen in a vacuum; they require the endorsement of trusted people in positions of authority. For decades the mental health field has permitted a fringe but formidable group of colleagues to actively contribute to Satanic Panic.
That must end. Grey Faction, a campaign of The Satanic Temple, aims to hold these organizations and therapists accountable and end Satanic Panic in mental health once and for all. As part of that effort, we established this wiki to expose conspiracy therapists and the ostensibly professional organizations that harbor them.
If you want to know more about the Grey Faction campaign, please see the menu options at the top of the page.
Pages currently available on the wiki:
- International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD)
- ISSTD Conferences
- Bennett Braun
- Bessel van der Kolk
Other pages which may be of interest:
- What is a conspiracy therapist?
- How does a conspiracy therapist practice?
- List of known conspiracy therapists
We are continuously adding new pages to our wiki, so check back here often!
Last updated: April 22, 2023. Have more information to add or want to suggest an edit? Please contact us.