Archive for the 'witchhunt' Category

The Satanic Kindred Organization’s “History of Satanism” page, recently echoed by “God Discussion”

June 9, 2011

On a website called God Discussion, with the ability to send its blog posts to Google News, there’s a post titled “Theistic Satanism Booming on the Internet, says Catholic Conference: But Why Would anyone want to Worship the Devil?” by johnthomas didymus, June 7, 2011.

First, thanks to the author for linking to a page on my Theistic Satanism website. Alas he also linked to, as an alleged authoritative source, a page about “The History of Satanism” on the website of the Satanic Kindred Organization. That page contains some serious errors which are echoed in the God Discussion post.

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Catholic priests who secretly practice Satanic rites?

March 3, 2011

In a comment on my previous post, Preliminary response to Michael Cuneo on exorcism, Raul Gil requested a separate thread to respond to my page about the murder case of Father Gerald Robinson in Toledo, Ohio (U.S.A.) on my Against Satanic Panics site. So here it is.

Raul, thanks for respecting the topicality of the original comment thread.

In particular, Raul wanted to discuss allegations about Catholic priests who secretly practice Satanic rites.

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The Catholic exorcism trend and Italy’s Satanic panic

February 9, 2011

The recent movie The Rite is loosely based on a (supposedly) nonfiction book that was published two years ago, The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio. The book is about an American priest who spent his sabbatical year in Italy training to be an exorcist.

As Laura Miller explains in “Eat your saints, purge your demons,” Salon, March 27, 2009:

Father Gary Thomas, Baglio’s trainee exorcist, half fell into the job; he volunteered when, in 2004, the Vatican asked every Catholic bishop to appoint an official exorcist to his diocese. This startling development can be explained by the fact that for the past decade Italy has been gripped by an intermittent satanic ritual abuse panic similar to the hysteria that swept through the U.S. in the 1980s.

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The JBFCS Cult Clinic and Satanism: A response to Arnold Markowitz, LCSW

January 27, 2011

(revised February 10, 2011)

Here in New York City, there is a Cult Hotline and Clinic run by the JBFCS (the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services). They provide various helpful services to ex-members of “cults” and to estranged families and friends of “cult” members. They are, as far as I can tell, the only place in New York City that offers such services.

Truly harmful religious groups certainly do exist, and it’s good that there are at least a few places, like the JBFCS Cult Clinic, where people who have been hurt by such groups can get help. But the website of the JBFCS Cult Clinic associates Satanism in general with “cults,” even though the vast majority of Satanist groups (or, at least, most of the ones I’ve run into) do not fit the JBFCS Cult Clinic’s definition of a “cult.”

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Reply to venusinpieces

September 20, 2010

On my Theistic Satanism blog, venusinpieces posted a comment below my post Christine O’Donnell’s alleged “little midnight picnic on a satanic altar”, asking me to look at her allegations of what she calls “satanic ritual abuse” while at the same time saying that “the label of satanic ritual abuse somewhat of a misnomer, because the majority of these organizations tend towards a more syncretic religious style.” She also says, “I am actually quite inspired by many cultures that could be classified as satanic.”

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Aloysius Fozdyke, Satanic conspiracy hoaxter

June 15, 2010

Yesterday, Satanic panic promoter (and all-around bigot) Henry Makow published an email from one “Aloysius Fozdyke,” alleged to be a “prominent Satanic insider.” This email was the latest installment in a saga which began, back on January 2 of this year, with the publication of a message from “Aloysius Fozdyke” by a grand conspiracy website called “Love for Life.”

The long, rambling January 2 message is obviously a prank. I mean, just look at the section about the “Order of the Toilet” and its “latrine doctrines.” To me, this reads like a parody of traditional occult orders.

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Beer-lovin’ anti-Satanist

May 22, 2010

More foul-mouthed nonsense, this time from an anti-Satanist believer in grand conspiracy ideology — or, perhaps, from someone whose idea of a joke is to pretend to be an anti-Satanist believer in grand conspiracy ideology? Below is an edited version of a rejected comment from someone named Jesse, with an email address proclaiming a fondness for beer. Apparently he had consumed quite a bit of his favorite beverage before writing the following:

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America’s Most Wanted: The “Satan worshipers” who allegedly killed Kimberly Simon

March 10, 2010

I’ve been working on a Statement against violent crime and vandalism for the Church of Azazel. We absolutely need to finish writing this statement now, because, on Saturday, March 13, America’s Most Wanted will air a show about an old cold case of a murder committed back in 1985, for which the currently suspected perpetrators are a local group of “Satan worshipers.”

Previously another person, Steven Barnes, had been convicted of murdering Kimberly Simon, a 16-year-old who had been attending Whitesboro High School in Oneida County, New York, back in 1985. Last year, Steven Barnes was exonerated after having spent more than twenty years in prison. So the investigation has been reopened.

Suspicion now falls on a group of “Satan worshipers” who had been interviewed by the original investigators and who were not charged with the crime back then.

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A book about the SRA scare by Paul R McHugh

July 7, 2009

I’ve come across some reviews of a book, written within the past year, about the recovered-memory aspect of the Satanic Ritual Abuse scare: Try to Remember: Psychiatry’s Clash over Meaning, Memory, and Mind by Paul R McHugh.

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San Fernando Curt on the SRA scare

July 3, 2009

I recently came across a very interesting blog post about the “Satanic Ritual Abuse” scare of the 1980’s and early 1990’s: Inconvenient untruth, San Fernando Curt’s Blog, Talking Points Memo (TPM), June 22, 2009.

San Fernando Curt observes that the Satanic Ritual Abuse scare isn’t talked about very much anymore. He quotes and links to a Summer 2001 Women’s Quarterly article, Sex, Lies, and Audiotapes – hysteria over rape and sexual child abuse by Rael Jean Isaac, who points to the role of feminists in launching the panic. Curt claims that the reason why the SRA scare isn’t talked about very much anymore is because the feminist movement is, allegedly, a sacred cow whose mistakes no one dares discuss.

I disagree.

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Hank Hanegraaff — an example of fundamentalist/evangelical Christian beliefs about Satan

May 1, 2009

Today I surfed onto a blog belonging to a fundamentalist/evangelical Christian named Hank Hanegraaff, who runs something called the Christian Research Institute (CRI).

He seems to be, in some ways, one of the more honest and reasonable evangelical Christian public figures. Back in the early 1990’s, CRI published some articles debunking the “Satanic ritual abuse” scare , for which I would like to thank him. Back then, standing up against the SRA scare required quite a bit of courage.

In most other ways, though, I still have to regard him as being very much in the enemy camp, for reasons aptly summed up here on RationalWiki (although, as I’ll detail later, the RationalWiki page contains some inaccuracies).

Anyhow, I would like to call attention to some things he says that are of interest both to Satanists and to Pagan Witches.

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Witchhunts and (real) ritual murder, in Africa and India – roundup of recent news

April 26, 2008

Some interesting speculation: Does Climate Change Mean More Witch Hunts? by Freakonomics, New York Times Blogs, NY, 4/25/2008:
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Witchhunt in India

May 5, 2007

Horrible witchhunt story: Couple burned alive for “black magic”, Reuters, Hyderabad, India, Thu May 3, 2007. Another copy of this story, with a few more details, can be found on the website of Reuters India (Andhra Pradesh couple burnt alive for “black magic”).

More detailed versions of this story can be found on India eNews.com (Couple burnt to death for practicing black magic), on RxPG (Couple burnt to death for practicing black magic), and on the Independent Online site in South Africa (Couple burned alive for ‘witchcraft’).

Even the short version says: “Belief in black magic is common in some parts of rural India, despite the country’s robust economic growth and cutting-edge high-technology industries. Dozens of women are murdered each year after being accused of witchcraft.”

Some of the longer versions add, “In the last decade, about 300 people were killed in the region on the suspicion they were practising black magic. The practice is prevalent in Medak, Nalgonda, Ranga Reddy, Warangal, Karimnagar, Nizamabad and Adilabad districts. The actual number of deaths could be higher as many of the ‘bhanamati’ deaths are treated as deaths caused by illness.”

The short version ends with the following, on the separate issue of human sacrifice: “Last year, a barber in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh killed his four-year-old son by slitting his throat with a razor after the man started seeing visions of the Hindu goddess Kali demanding a sacrifice.”

Satanic panic in Russia?

April 17, 2007

A Russian Orthodox public movement called the “People’s Council” has made some ill-informed, panic-stricken claims about Satanism:

  • “People’s Council urges authorities to equate Satanists to terrorists,” Interfax-Religion, Russia – Apr 2, 2007

It released a statement claiming that “ritual murders” and various other nasty activities are all “characteristic of Satanic organizations.”

The statement is said to mention several ritual murders including the allegedly notorious “murder of three Optino monks killed by a Satanist on Orthodox Easter.” (I found no further information about this crime via Google.)

The statement also says, “There is an enormous number of Satanic organizations and groups acting in Russia today. Many of them are united in a single branchy network.”

Yeah, right.

The statement then goes on the mention the “Church of the Satan” [sic], failing to note that the Church of Satan has been an above-ground organization for over 40 years and does NOT endorse any kind of criminal activity.

I found the following blog entry:

  • “‘Satanists as dangerous as terrorists! World at risk from Satan cults’ claim Russian Orthodox,” Signs of Witness

It closes with the comment, “It could be that Religious Right Hysteria is the real ‘danger to Society…'”

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