We brought the two professors together to discuss their views on technology, social media, and the Lordship of Christ. Hunt In my field, we have the delight of creation in building software. As we build software, we act as sub-creators. What has happened with Facebook and Twitter, and now many more media outlets, is that young people tend to spend more and more time enmeshed and immersed in those technologies and less and less time in face-to-face presence with each other.
The point of mediation is usually to get you to face-to-face contact. But we often use technology without the goal of face-to-face contact. I think there is a problem when we could be face to face, but we choose to text or write on Facebook instead. We pick the mediator over the real thing. You look around at a restaurant, and you see families having dinner while all of them are looking at their own phones—the kid is playing a game, the dad is checking on a sport. None of them is talking. The problem is that we use them instead to distance ourselves from other people.
Or do these technologies have their own sets of values that give the technology a certain trajectory? On the other hand, technology is not simply neutral. But swords do tug at us in a different way than plowshares. I think we need to consider how we use technology.
We need to ask ourselves—do I use these technologies to build better relationships, or do I use them as an excuse to not work on my relationships? Madueme Our narrative is the story of creation, fall, and redemption. We need to see technology as part of that story. So there is goodness in technology. But we also live in a fallen world, so there is always a tendency for technology to let us down or for us to use it to subvert what God is doing in our lives. Hunt I think one of those temptations is the desire for self-sufficiency. We have a large desire to be self-sufficient, and often technology replaces the role of our dependence on God.
We start to believe that we can fix all of our problems with new technologies. Madueme The technologies may not even be bad at all. They may be good and helpful, but we then use them in nefarious ways. We were designed to worship and love God and seek after Him. Technology gives me the resources to insulate myself from God.
Hunt One problem with our culture is an incredible reluctance to leave silence for God to speak into. We want to fill every moment with noise that drowns out thoughts that could lead to reflection. I find it very hard to relate to God without some silence. It helps to put things in perspective. Sexual ritual is something done by an offender because of a need. Such compulsive behavior frequently involves rituals. Although such behavior usually involves noncriminal activity such as excessive hand washing or checking that doors are locked, occasionally compulsive ritualism can be part of criminal activity.
Certain gamblers or firesetters, for example, are thought by some authorities to be motivated in part through such compulsions. Ritual can also stem from psychotic hallucinations and delusions. A crime can be committed in a precise manner because a voice told the offender to do it that way or because a divine mission required it. To make this more confusing, cultural, religious, sexual, and psychological ritual can overlap. Some psychotic people are preoccupied with religious delusions and hear the voice of God or Satan telling them to do things of a religious nature.
Offenders who feel little, if any, guilt over their crimes may need little justification for their antisocial behavior. As human beings, however, they may have fears, concerns, and anxiety over getting away with their criminal acts. It is difficult to pray to God for success in doing things that are against His Commandments.
A negative spiritual belief system may fulfill their human need for assistance from and belief in a greater power or to deal with their superstitions. Compulsive ritualism e. Under stress or in times of change, this need for order and ritual may increase. Ritual crime may fulfill the cultural, spiritual, sexual, and psychological needs of an offender. Crimes may be ritualistically motivated or may have ritualistic elements.
The ritual behavior may also fulfill basic criminal needs to manipulate victims, get rid of rivals, send a message to enemies, and intimidate co-conspirators. The important point for the criminal investigator is to realize that most ritualistic criminal behavior is not motivated simply by satanic or any religious ceremonies.
These subtle distinctions, however, seem to be of no significant value to the criminal investigator. I am frequently forced to use it as throughout this discussion so that people will have some idea what I am discussing. Use of the term, however, is confusing, misleading, and counterproductive. Certain observations, however, are important for investigative understanding. Most people today use the term to refer to abuse of children that is part of some evil spiritual belief system, which almost by definition must be satanic.
This definition may have value for academics, sociologists, and therapists, but it creates potential problems for law enforcement. Certain acts engaged in with children i. If the ritualistic acts were in fact performed for spiritual indoctrination, potential prosecution can be jeopardized, particularly if the acts can be defended as constitutionally protected religious expression. The intent of the acts is important for criminal prosecution. Not all spiritually motivated ritualistic activity is satanic. Santeria, witchcraft, voodoo, and most religious cults are not satanism.
In fact, most spiritually- or religiously-based abuse of children has nothing to do with satanism. If a distinction needs to be made between satanic and nonsatanic child abuse, the indicators for that distinction must be related to specific satanic symbols, artifacts, or doctrine rather than the mere presence of any ritualistic element. Not all such ritualistic activity with a child is a crime.
Almost all parents with religious beliefs indoctrinate their children into that belief system. Is male circumcision for religious reasons child abuse? Is the religious circumcision of females child abuse? Does having a child kneel on a hard floor reciting the rosary constitute child abuse? Does having a child chant a satanic prayer or attend a black mass constitute child abuse? Does a religious belief in corporal punishment constitute child abuse? Does group care of children in a commune or cult constitute child abuse? Does the fact that any acts in question were performed with parental permission affect the nature of the crime?
Many ritualistic acts, whether satanic or not, are simply not crimes. The day may come when many in the forefront of concern about ritual abuse will regret they opened the box. When a victim describes and investigation corroborates what sounds like ritualistic activity, several possibilities must be considered. The ritualistic activity may be part of the excessive religiosity of mentally disturbed, even psychotic offenders. It may be a misunderstood part of sexual ritual.
The ritualistic activity may be incidental to any real abuse. The offender may be involved in ritualistic activity with a child and also may be abusing a child, but one may have little or nothing to do with the other. The offender may be deliberately engaging in ritualistic activity with a child as part of child abuse and exploitation. In all the turmoil over this issue, it would be very effective strategy for any child molester deliberately to introduce ritualistic elements into his crime in order to confuse the child and therefore the criminal justice system.
This would, however, make the activity M. The ritualistic activity and the child abuse may be integral parts of some spiritual belief system. In that case the greatest risk is to the children of the practitioners. But this is true of all cults and religions, not just satanic cults. A high potential of abuse exists for any children raised in a group isolated from the mainstream of society, especially if the group has a charismatic leader whose orders are unquestioned and blindly obeyed by the members. Sex, money, and power are often the main motivations of the leaders of such cults.
If that is the criterion, why not label the crimes committed by Protestants, Catholics, and Jews in the same way? Are the atrocities of Jim Jones in Guyana Christian crimes? Some would answer that it is the presence of certain symbols in the possession or home of the perpetrator. What does it mean then to find a crucifix, Bible, or rosary in the possession or home of a bank robber, embezzler, child molester, or murderer? If different criminals possess the same symbols, are they necessarily part of one big conspiracy? Others would answer that it is the presence of certain symbols such as pentagrams, inverted crosses, and at the crime scene.
What does it mean then to find a cross spray painted on a wall or carved into the body of a victim? What does it mean for a perpetrator, as in one recent case profiled by my Unit, to leave a Bible tied to his murder victim? Some would argue that it is the bizarreness or cruelness of the crime: body mutilation, amputation, drinking of blood, eating of flesh, use of urine or feces. Does this mean that all individuals involved in lust murder, sadism, vampirism, cannibalism, urophilia, and coprophilia are satanists or occult practitioners?
What does this say about the bizarre crimes of psychotic killers such as Ed Gein or Richard Trenton Chase, both of whom mutilated their victims as part of their psychotic delusions? Can a crime that is not sexually deviant, bizarre, or exceptionally violent be satanic? Can white collar crime be satanic? A few might even answer that it is the fact that the crime was committed on a date with satanic or occult significance Halloween, May Eve, etc.
What does this mean for crimes committed on Thanksgiving or Christmas? What does this say about crimes committed by perpetrators who claim that God or Jesus told them to do it?
The church and its history
One note of interest is the fact that in handout and reference material I have collected, the number of dates with satanic or occult significance ranges from 8 to This is compounded by the fact that it is sometimes stated that satanists can celebrate these holidays on several days on either side of the official date or that the birthdays of practitioners can also be holidays. The exact names and exact dates of the holidays and the meaning of symbols listed may also vary depending on who prepared the material. The handout material is often distributed without identifying the author or documenting the original source of the information.
It is then frequently photocopied by attendees and passed on to other police officers with no one really knowing its validity or origin. Most, however, would probably answer that what makes a crime satanic, occult, or ritualistic is the motivation for the crime. It is a crime that is spiritually motivated by a religious belief system. How then do we label the following true crimes? Parents defy a court order and send their children to an unlicensed Christian school. Parents refuse to send their children to any school because they are waiting for the second coming of Christ.
Parents beat their child to death because he or she will not follow their Christian belief. Parents violate child labor laws because they believe the Bible requires such work. Individuals bomb an abortion clinic or kidnap the doctor because their religious belief system says abortion is murder. A child molester reads the Bible to his victims in order to justify his sex acts with them. Parents refuse life-saving medical treatment for a child because of their religious beliefs.
Parents starve and beat their child to death because their minister said the child was possessed by demonic spirits. Some people would argue that the Christians who committed the above crimes misunderstood and distorted their religion while satanists who commit crimes are following theirs. But who decides what constitutes a misinterpretation of a religious belief system?
The individuals who committed the above-described crimes, however misguided, believed that they were following their religion as they understood it. Religion was and is used to justify such social behavior as the Crusades, the Inquisition, Apartheid, segregation, and recent violence in Northern Ireland, India, Lebanon and Nigeria. In this country, we cannot even agree on what Christians believe.
To compare it to a book written by multiple authors over a period of thousands of years is ridiculous, even ignoring the possibility of Divine revelation in the Bible. More importantly it is subject to some degree of interpretation by individual believers just as Christianity is.
The criminal behavior of one person claiming belief in a religion does not necessarily imply guilt or blame to others sharing that belief. In addition, simply claiming membership in a religion does not necessarily make you a member. The fact is that far more crime and child abuse has been committed by zealots in the name of God, Jesus, Mohammed, and other mainstream religion than has ever been committed in the name of Satan.
Although defining a crime as satanic, occult, or ritualistic would probably involve a combination of the criteria set forth above, I have been unable to clearly define such a crime. Each potential definition presents a different set of problems when measured against an objective, rational, and constitutional perspective. In a crime with multiple subjects, each offender may have a different motivation for the same crime. Whose motivation determines the label for the crime? It is difficult to count or track something you cannot even define.
The actual involvement of satanism or the occult in these cases usually turns out to be secondary, insignificant, or nonexistent. The officers in the other jurisdictions, also unable find it, assume the same. Sometime in early I was first contacted by a law enforcement agency for guidance in what was then thought to be an unusual case. The exact date of the contact is unknown because its significance was not recognized at the time. Many of the aspects of these cases varied, but there were also some commonalties. Early on, however, one particularly difficult and potentially significant issue began to emerge.
These cases involved and continue to involve unsubstantiated allegations of bizarre activity that are difficult either to prove or disprove. Many of the unsubstantiated allegations, however, do not seem to have occurred or even seem to be possible. These cases seem to call into question the credibility of victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.
These are the most polarizing, frustrating, and baffling cases I have encountered in more than 18 years of studying the criminal aspects of deviant sexual behavior. I privately sought answers, but said nothing publicly about those cases until In October the problems in investigating and prosecuting one of these cases in Jordan, Minnesota became publicly known.
These cases have also been discussed at many recent regional and national conferences dealing with the sexual victimization of children and Multiple Personality Disorder. Few answers have come from these conferences. I continue to be contacted on these cases on a regular basis.
Inquiries have been received from law enforcement officers, prosecutors, therapists, victims, families of victims, and the media from all over the United States and now foreign countries. I do not claim to understand completely all the dynamics of these cases. I continue to keep an open mind and to search for answers to the questions and solutions to the problems they pose. They all involve allegations of what sounds like child sexual abuse, but with a combination of some atypical dynamics.
These cases seem to have the following four dynamics in common: 1 multiple young victims, 2 multiple offenders, 3 fear as the controlling tactic, and 4 bizarre or ritualistic activity. In almost all the cases the sexual abuse was alleged to have taken place or at least begun when the victims were between the ages of birth and six.
This very young age may be an important key to understanding these cases. In addition the victims all described multiple children being abused. The numbers ranged from three or four to as many as several hundred victims. In almost all the cases the victims reported numerous offenders. The numbers ranged from two or three all the way up to dozens of offenders.
In one recent case the victims alleged offenders were involved. Interestingly many of the offenders perhaps as many as percent were reported to be females. The multiple offenders were often family members and were described as being part of a cult, occult, or satanic group. Child molesters in general are able to maintain control and ensure the secrecy of their victims in a variety of ways.
These include attention and affection, coercion, blackmail, embarrassment, threats, and violence. In almost all of these cases I have studied, the victims described being frightened and reported threats against themselves, their families, their friends, and even their pets. They reported witnessing acts of violence perpetrated to reinforce this fear. It is my belief that this fear and the traumatic memory of the events may be another key to understanding many of these cases. This is the most difficult dynamic of these cases to describe. Is the use of urine or feces in sexual activity bizarre, or is it a well-documented aspect of sexual deviancy, or is it part of established satanic rituals?
As previously discussed, the ritualistic aspect is even more difficult to define. Victims in these cases report ceremonies, chanting, robes and costumes, drugs, use of urine and feces, animal sacrifice, torture, abduction, mutilation, murder, and even cannibalism and vampirism. The experts usually had only dealt with one-on-one intrafamilial sexual abuse cases. Recently an even more disturbing trend has developed. More and more of the victims have been identified or evaluated by experts who have been trained to identify and specialize in satanic ritual abuse.
I am, however, not sure if this is truly a distinct kind of child sex ring case or just a case not properly handled. As many as percent of the offenders in these cases are reported to be women. This is in marked contrast to historical child sex rings in which almost all the offenders are men. The offenders appear to be sexually interacting with the child victims for reasons other than a true sexual preference for children. Both boys and girls appear to be targeted, but with an apparent preference for girls.
Almost all the adult survivors are female, but day care cases frequently involve male as well as female victims. The most striking characteristic of the victims, however, is their young age generally birth to six years old when the abuse began. It is my opinion that the motivation may have more to do with anger, hostility, rage and resentment carried out against weak and vulnerable victims.
Much of the ritualistic abuse of children may not be sexual in nature. Some of the activity may, in fact, be physical abuse directed at sexually-significant body parts penis, anus, nipples. This may also partially explain the large percentage of female offenders. Physical abuse of children by females is well- documented. Although many of the victims of multidimensional child sex rings claim that pictures and videotapes of the activity were made, no such visual record has been found by law enforcement. In recent years, American law enforcement has seized large amounts of child pornography portraying children in a wide variety of sexual activity and perversions.
Perhaps these offenders use and store their pornography and paraphernalia in ways different from preferential child molesters pedophiles. This is an area needing additional research and investigation. Control through fear may be the overriding characteristic of these cases. Control is maintained by frightening the children. A very young child might not be able to understand the significance of much of the sexual activity but certainly understands fear.
The stories that the victims tell may be their perceived versions of severe traumatic memories. They may be the victims of a severely traumatized childhood in which being sexually abused was just one of the many negative events affecting their lives. In adult survivor cases, adults of almost any age — nearly always women — are suffering the consequences of a variety of personal problems and failures in their lives e.
As a result of some precipitating stress or crisis, they often seek therapy. They are frequently hypnotized, intentionally or unintentionally, as part of the therapy and are often diagnosed as suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder. Gradually, during the therapy, the adults reveal previously unrecalled memories of early childhood victimization that includes multiple victims and offenders, fear as the controlling tactic, and bizarre or ritualistic activity.
The multiple offenders are often described as members of a cult or satanic group. Parents, family members, clergy, civic leaders, police officers or individuals wearing police uniforms, and other prominent members of society are frequently described as present at and participating in the exploitation. The alleged bizarre activity often includes insertion of foreign objects, witnessing mutilations, and sexual acts and murders being filmed or photographed.
The offenders may allegedly still be harassing or threatening the victims. They report being particularly frightened on certain dates and by certain situations. If and when therapists come to believe the patient or decide the law requires it, the police or FBI are sometimes contacted to conduct an investigation. Some adult survivors go directly to law enforcement. They may also go from place to place in an effort to find therapists or investigators who will listen to and believe them.
Their ability to provide verifiable details varies and many were raised in apparently religious homes. A few adult survivors are now reporting participation in specific murders or child abductions that are known to have taken place. In day care cases children currently or formerly attending a day care center gradually describe their victimization at the center and at other locations to which they were taken by the day care staff.
The cases include multiple victims and offenders, fear, and bizarre or ritualistic activity, with a particularly high number of female offenders. Descriptions of strange games, insertion of foreign objects, killing of animals, photographing of activities, and wearing of costumes are common.
The group is often defined by geographic boundary, such as a cul-de-sac, apartment building, or isolated rural setting. Such accounts are most common in rural or suburban communities with high concentrations of religiously conservative people. The stories are similar to those told of the day care setting, but with more male offenders. The basic dynamics remain the same, but victims tend to be more than six years of age, and the scenario may also involve a custody or visitation dispute. The four dynamics described above make these cases extremely difficult to handle. When complicated by the strong emotions of this scenario, the cases can be overwhelming.
Some of these parents or relatives may even provide authorities with diaries or tapes of their interviews with the children. However well-intentioned, these self-appointed investigators severely damage any chance to validate these cases objectively. Some of what the victims in these cases allege is physically impossible victim cut up and put back together, offender took the building apart and then rebuilt it ; some is possible but improbable human sacrifice, cannibalism, vampirism ; some is possible and probable child pornography, clever manipulation of victims ; and some is corroborated medical evidence of vaginal or anal trauma, offender confessions.
The most significant crimes being alleged that do not seem to be true are the human sacrifice and cannibalism by organized satanic cults. In none of the multidimensional child sex ring cases of which I am aware have bodies of the murder victims been found — in spite of major excavations where the abuse victims claim the bodies were located. The alleged explanations for this include: the offenders moved the bodies after the children left, the bodies were burned in portable high-temperature ovens, the bodies were put in double- decker graves under legitimately buried bodies, a mortician member of the cult disposed of the bodies in a crematorium, the offenders ate the bodies, the offenders used corpses and aborted fetuses, or the power of Satan caused the bodies to disappear.
Not only are no bodies found, but also, more importantly, there is no physical evidence that a murder took place. Many of those not in law enforcement do not understand that, while it is possible to get rid of a body, it is even more difficult to get rid of the physical evidence that a murder took place, especially a human sacrifice involving sex, blood, and mutilation. Such activity would leave behind trace evidence that could be found using modern crime scene processing techniques in spite of extraordinary efforts to clean it up.
The victims of these human sacrifices and murders are alleged to be abducted missing children, runaway and throwaway children, derelicts, and the babies of breeder women. It is interesting to note that many of those espousing these theories are using the long- since-discredited numbers and rhetoric of the missing children hysteria in the early s. Department of Justice, reports that researchers now estimate that the number of children kidnapped and murdered by nonfamily members is between 52 and a year and that adolescents 14 to 17 years old account for nearly two-thirds of these victims.
These figures are also consistent with the National Incident Studies previously mentioned. Those who accept these stories of mass human sacrifice would have us believe that the satanists and other occult practitioners are murdering more than twice as many people every year in this country as all the other murderers combined.
In addition, in none of the cases of which I am aware has any evidence of a well-organized satanic cult been found. Many of those who accept the stories of organized ritual abuse of children and human sacrifice will tell you that the best evidence they now have is the consistency of stories from all over America. It sounds like a powerful argument.
It is interesting to note that, without having met each other, the hundreds of people who claim to have been abducted by aliens from outer space also tell stories and give descriptions of the aliens that are similar to each other. This is not to imply that allegations of child abuse are in the same category as allegations of abduction by aliens from outer space.
It is intended only to illustrate that individuals who never met each other can sometimes describe similar events without necessarily having experienced them. The large number of people telling the same story is, in fact, the biggest reason to doubt these stories. It is simply too difficult for that many people to commit so many horrendous crimes as part of an organized conspiracy. Two or three people murder a couple of children in a few communities as part of a ritual, and nobody finds out? Thousands of people do the same thing to tens of thousands of victims over many years?
Not likely. Hundreds of communities all over America are run by mayors, police departments, and community leaders who are practicing satanists and who regularly murder and eat people? In addition, these community leaders and high-ranking officials also supposedly commit these complex crimes leaving no evidence, and at the same time function as leaders and managers while heavily involved in using illegal drugs. Probably the closest documented example of this type of alleged activity in American history is the Ku Klux Klan, which ironically used Christianity, not satanism, to rationalize its activity but which, as might be expected, was eventually infiltrated by informants and betrayed by its members.
As stated, initially I was inclined to believe the allegations of the victims. But as the cases poured in and the months and years went by, I became more concerned about the lack of physical evidence and corroboration for many of the more serious allegations. The first possible answer is obvious: clever offenders. The allegations may not seem to be true but they are true. The criminal justice system lacks the knowledge, skill, and motivation to get to the bottom of this crime conspiracy. The perpetrators of this crime conspiracy are clever, cunning individuals using sophisticated mind control and brainwashing techniques to control their victims.
Law enforcement does not know how to investigate these cases. It is technically possible that these allegations of an organized conspiracy involving taking over day care centers, abduction, cannibalism, murder, and human sacrifice might be true. But if they are true, they constitute one of the greatest crime conspiracies in history. Many people do not understand how difficult it is to commit a conspiracy crime involving numerous co-conspirators. One clever and cunning individual has a good chance of getting away with a well- planned interpersonal crime. Bring one partner into the crime and the odds of getting away with it drop considerably.
The more people involved in the crime, the harder it is to get away with it. Human nature is the answer. People get angry and jealous. They get in trouble and want to make a deal for themselves by informing on others. If a group of individuals degenerate to the point of engaging in human sacrifice, murder, and cannibalism, that would most likely be the beginning of the end for such a group.
The odds are that someone in the group would have a problem with such acts and be unable to maintain the secret. During the Middle Ages, serial killers were thought to be vampires and werewolves, and child sexual abuse was the work of demons taking the form of parents and clergy. We find it difficult to believe that one bizarre individual could commit a crime we find so offensive. Conspiracy theories about soldiers missing in action MIAs, abductions by UFOs, Elvis Presley sightings, and the assassination of prominent public figures are the focus of much attention in this country.
On a recent television program commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of Jack the Ripper, almost fifty percent of the viewing audience who called the polling telephone numbers indicated that they thought the murders were committed as part of a conspiracy involving the British Royal Family. The five experts on the program, however, unanimously agreed the crimes were the work of one disorganized but lucky individual who was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.
In many ways, the murders of Jack the Ripper are similar to those allegedly committed by satanists today. I have been present when parents who believe their children were ritually abused at day care centers have told others that the cults had sensors in the road, lookouts in the air, and informers everywhere; therefore, the usually recommended advice of unannounced visits to the day care center would be impossible.
The answer to the question seems to be a complex set of dynamics that can be different in each case. In spite of the fact that some skeptics keep looking for it, there does not appear to be one answer to the question that fits every case. Each case is different, and each case may involve a different combination of answers. I have identified a series of possible alternative answers to this question. The alternative answers also do not preclude the possibility that clever offenders are sometimes involved.
I will not attempt to explain completely these alternative answers because I cannot. They are presented simply as areas for consideration and evaluation by child sexual abuse intervenors, for further elaboration by experts in these fields, and for research by objective social scientists. The first step, however, in finding the answers to this question is to admit the possibility that some of what the victims describe may not have happened.
Some child advocates seem unwilling to do this. The first possible answer to why victims are alleging things that do not seem to be true is pathological distortion. The allegations may be errors in processing reality influenced by underlying mental disorders such as dissociative disorders, borderline or histrionic personality disorders, or psychosis. These distortions may be manifested in false accounts of victimization in order to gain psychological benefits such as attention and sympathy factitious disorder. If you can be forgiven for mutilating and killing babies, you can be forgiven for anything.
Noted forensic psychiatrist Park E. Dietz personal communication, Nov. The most efficient means of inducing pseudomemories is hypnosis. They are often perplexed that they recall some details vividly but others dimly. When first telling others of pseudomemories, these individuals do not have the unshakable but irrational conviction that deluded subjects have, but with social support they often come to defend vigorously the truthfulness of the pseudomemories. Even where the events described are implausible, listeners may believe them because they are reported with such intense affect i.
The second possible answer is traumatic memory. Fear and severe trauma can cause victims to distort reality and confuse events. This is a well-documented fact in cases involving individuals taken hostage or in life-and-death situations. Through the defense mechanism of dissociation, the victim may escape the horrors of reality by inaccurately processing that reality. In a dissociative state a young child who ordinarily would know the difference might misinterpret a film or video as reality.
Another defense mechanism may tell the victim that it could have been worse, and so his or her victimization was not so bad. They are not alone in their victimization — other children were also abused. Their father who abused them is no different from other prominent people in the community they claim also abused them.
Satanism may help to explain why their outwardly good and religious parents did such terrible things to them in the privacy of their home. It may be that we should anticipate that individuals severely abused as very young children by multiple offenders with fear as the primary controlling tactic will distort and embellish their victimization. I do not believe it is a coincidence nor the result of deliberate planning by satanists that in almost all the cases of ritual abuse that have come to my attention, the abuse is alleged to have begun prior to the age of seven and perpetrated by multiple offenders.
It may well be that such abuse, at young age by multiple offenders, is the most difficult to accurately recall with the specific and precise detail needed by the criminal justice system, and the most likely to be distorted and exaggerated when it is recalled. The third possible answer may be normal childhood fears and fantasy. Most young children are afraid of ghosts and monsters. Even as adults, many people feel uncomfortable, for example, about dangling their arms over the side of their bed. While young children may rarely invent stories about sexual activity, they might describe their victimization in terms of evil as they understand it.
In church or at home, children may be told of satanic activity as the source of evil. Children do fantasize. Perhaps whatever causes a child to allege something impossible such as being cut up and put back together is similar to what causes a child to allege something possible but improbable such as witnessing another child being chopped up and eaten. Misperception, confusion, and trickery may be a fourth answer. Expecting young children to give accurate accounts of sexual activity for which they have little frame of reference is unreasonable.
If a grown man does not know when he has had vaginal intercourse with a woman, how can we expect young children not to be confused? Furthermore some clever offenders may deliberately introduce elements of satanism and the occult into the sexual exploitation simply to confuse or intimidate the victims.
Simple magic and other techniques may be used to trick the children. Drugs may also be deliberately used to confuse the victims and distort their perceptions. Such acts would then be M. As previously stated, the perceptions of young victims may also be influenced by any trauma being experienced. This is the most popular alternative explanation, and even the more zealous believers of ritual abuse allegations use it, but only to explain obviously impossible events. Overzealous intervenors, causing intervenor contagion, may be a fifth answer.
These intervenors can include parents, family members, foster parents, doctors, therapists, social workers, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and any combination thereof. Victims have been subtly as well as overtly rewarded and bribed by usually well- meaning intervenors for furnishing further details. In addition, some of what appears not to have happened may have originated as a result of intervenors making assumptions about or misinterpreting what the victims are saying.
The judgment of intervenors may be affected by their zeal to uncover child sexual abuse, satanic activity, or conspiracies. This is the most controversial and least popular of the alternative explanations. Allegations of and knowledge about ritualistic or satanic abuse may also be spread through urban legends. Absurd urban legends about the corporate logos of Proctor and Gamble and Liz Claiborne being satanic symbols persist in spite of all efforts to refute them with reality.
Some urban legends about child kidnappings and other threats to citizens have even been disseminated unknowingly by law enforcement agencies. Such legends have always existed, but today the mass media aggressively participate in their rapid and more efficient dissemination. Many Americans mistakenly believe that tabloid television shows check out and verify the details of their stories before putting them on the air. Mass hysteria may partially account for large numbers of victims describing the same symptoms or experiences. Training conferences for all the disciplines involved in child sexual abuse may also play a role in the spread of this contagion.
At one child abuse conference I attended, an exhibitor was selling more than 50 different books dealing with satanism and the occult. By the end of the conference, he had sold nearly all of them. Most multidimensional child sex ring cases probably involve a combination of the answers previously set forth, as well as other possible explanations unknown to me at this time. Obviously, cases with adult survivors are more likely to involve some of these answers than those with young children.
Each case of sexual victimization must be individually evaluated on its own merits without any preconceived explanations. All the possibilities must be explored if for no other reason than the fact that the defense attorneys for any accused subjects will almost certainly do so. Most people would agree that just because a victim tells you one detail that turns out to be true, this does not mean that every detail is true. As previously stated, one of my main concerns in these cases is that people are getting away with sexually abusing children or committing other crimes because we cannot prove that they are members of organized cults that murder and eat people.
I have discovered that the subject of multidimensional child sex rings is a very emotional and polarizing issue. Everyone seems to demand that one choose a side. There is a middle ground. It is the job of the professional investigator to listen to all the victims and conduct an appropriate investigation in an effort to find out what happened, considering all possibilities. Not all childhood trauma is abuse. Not all child abuse is a crime.
The great frustration of these cases is the fact that you are often convinced that something traumatic happened to the victim, but do not know with any degree of certainty exactly what happened, when it happened, or who did it. If they have details, it must have happened. It is almost never questioned or debated at training conferences. In fact, during the s, there was a successful crusade to eliminate laws requiring corroboration of child victim statements in child sexual abuse cases.
The best way to convict child molesters is to have the child victims testify in court. If we believe them, the jury will believe them. Any challenge to this basic premise was viewed as a threat to the movement and a denial that the problem existed. I believe that children rarely lie about sexual abuse or exploitation, if a lie is defined as a statement deliberately and maliciously intended to deceive. The problem is the oversimplification of the statement. Just because a child is not lying does not necessarily mean the child is telling the truth.
I believe that in the majority of these cases, the victims are not lying. They are telling you what they have come to believe has happened to them.
FBI Report – Satanic Ritual Abuse – CULTWATCH
Furthermore the assumption that children rarely lie about sexual abuse does not necessarily apply to everything a child says during a sexual abuse investigation. Stories of mutilation, murder, and cannibalism are not really about sexual abuse. Children rarely lie about sexual abuse or exploitation, but they do fantasize, furnish false information, furnish misleading information, misperceive events, try to please adults, respond to leading questions, and respond to rewards.
Children are not adults in little bodies and do go through developmental stages that must be evaluated and understood. In many ways, however, children are no better and no worse than other victims or witnesses of a crime. They should not be automatically believed, nor should they be automatically disbelieved. The second part of the statement — if children can supply details, the crime must have happened — must also be carefully evaluated. The details in question in most of the cases of multidimensional child sex rings have little to do with sexual activity.
Law enforcement and social workers must do more than attempt to determine how a child could have known about the sex acts. These cases involve determining how a victim could have known about a wide variety of bizarre and ritualistic activity. Young children may know little about specific sex acts, but they may know a lot about monsters, torture, kidnapping, and murder. Victims may supply details of sexual and other acts using information from sources other than their own direct victimization.
Such sources must be evaluated carefully by the investigator of multidimensional child sex rings. The victim may have personal knowledge of the sexual or ritual acts, but not as a result of the alleged victimization. The knowledge could have come from viewing pornography, sex education, or occult material; witnessing sexual or ritual activity in the home; or witnessing the sexual abuse of others. It could also have come from having been sexually or physically abused, but by other than the alleged offenders and in ways other than the alleged offense.
Young children today are socially interacting more often and at a younger age than ever before. They do not even know what videotapes their children may have seen, what games they may have played, or what stories they may have been told or overheard. Children are being placed in day care centers for eight, ten, or twelve hours a day starting as young as six weeks of age. The children share experiences by playing house, school, or doctor. Bodily functions such as urination and defecation are a focus of attention for these young children. To a certain extent, each child shares the experiences of all the other children.
The odds are fairly high that in any typical day care center there might be some children who are victims of incest; victims of physical abuse; victims of psychological abuse; children of cult members even satanists ; children of sexually open parents; children of sexually indiscriminate parents; children of parents obsessed with victimization; children of parents obsessed with the evils of satanism; children without conscience; children with a teenage brother or pregnant mother; children with heavy metal music and literature in the home; children with bizarre toys, games, comics, and magazines; children with a VCR and slasher films in their home; children with access to dial-a-porn, party lines, or pornography; or children victimized by a day care center staff member.
The possible effects of the interaction of such children prior to the disclosure of the alleged abuse must be evaluated, Adult survivors may obtain details from group therapy sessions, support networks, church groups, or self-help groups. The willingness and ability of siblings to corroborate adult survivor accounts of ritual abuse varies.
Others will vehemently deny them and support their accused parents or relatives. The amount of sexually explicit, occult, anti-occult, or violence- oriented material available to adults and even children in the modern world is overwhelming. This includes movies, videotapes, television, music, toys, and books. There are also documentaries on satanism, witchcraft, and the occult that are available on videotape.
Most of the televangelists have videotapes on the topics that they are selling on their programs.
- 1992 FBI Report – Satanic Ritual Abuse.
- The Influences of Lucifer and Ahriman: Lecture 4 of 5!
- BBC - Religions - Christianity: Salvation Army.
- F.A.Q. Fundamental Beliefs | Church of Satan.
- The essence and identity of Christianity?
- Ultiminium (The Sci-fi Adventurew of Dr. Kenneth Messenger: The Parallel Universe Series Book 3).
- Jusquau dernier instant (Emergence) (French Edition).
Cable television and the home VCR make all this material readily available even to young children. Religious broadcasters and almost all the television tabloid and magazine programs have done shows on satanism and the occult. Heavy metal and black metal music, which often has a satanic theme, is readily available and popular. In addition to the much-debated fantasy role-playing games, there are numerous popular toys on the market with an occult-oriented, bizarre, or violent theme. Books on satanism and the occult, both fiction and nonfiction, are readily available in most bookstores, especially Christian bookstores.
Several recent books specifically discuss the issue of ritual abuse of children. Obviously, very young children do not read this material, but their parents, relatives, and therapists might and then discuss it in front of or with them. Much of the material intended to fight the problem actually fuels the problem and damages effective prosecution. It is my opinion that most suggestive, leading questioning of children by intervenors is inadvertently done as part of a good-faith effort to learn the truth. Not all intervenors are in equal positions to potentially influence victim allegations.
Parents and relatives especially are in a position to subtly influence their young children to describe their victimization in a certain way. Children may also overhear their parents discussing the details of the case.
Practical Devil Worship (For All the Family)
Children often tell their parents what they believe their parents want or need to hear. The tape recording indicated just the opposite. Why then did the father voluntarily give it to the police? Therapists are probably in the best position to influence the allegations of adult survivors. The accuracy and reliability of the accounts of adult survivors who have been hypnotized during therapy is certainly open to question. One nationally-known therapist personally told me that the reason police cannot find out about satanic or ritualistic activity from child victims is that they do not know how to ask leading questions.
Types and styles of verbal interaction useful in therapy may create significant problems in a criminal investigation. It should be noted, however, that when a therapist does a poor investigative interview as part of a criminal investigation, that is the fault of the criminal justice system that allowed it and not the therapist who did it. The extremely sensitive, emotional, and religious nature of these cases makes problems with leading questions more likely than in other kinds of cases. In another case, pennies in the anus turned out to be copper-foil-covered suppositories. The children may describe what they believe happened.
It is not a lie, but neither is it an accurate account of what happened.
- ‘Satanism became my life’?
- Código Civil Brasileiro (Portuguese Edition).
- UNA SINFONÍA CONCERTANTE (Spanish Edition).
- Devil Proof Your Family (Paperback)?
- Gale (Pandoras People Book 1)?
- One For The Rook (Blake Hetherington Mysteries Book 2).
- The Egg- and Dairy-Free Cookbook: 50 Delicious Recipes for the Whole Family.
Some well-intentioned awareness programs designed to prevent child sex abuse, alert professionals, or fight satanism may in fact be unrealistically increasing the fears of professionals, children, and parents and creating self-fulfilling prophesies. Some of what children and their parents are telling intervenors may have been learned in or fueled by such programs. Religious programs, books, and pamphlets that emphasize the power and evil force of Satan may be adding to the problem. In fact most of the day care centers in which ritualistic abuse is alleged to have taken place are church- affiliated centers, and many of the adult survivors alleging it come from apparently religious families.
The perspective with which one looks at satanic, occult, or ritualistic crime is extremely important. As stated, sociologists, therapists, religious leaders, parents, and just plain citizens each have their own valid concerns and views about this issue. This discussion, however, deals primarily with the law enforcement or criminal justice perspective. Some police officers may even feel that all crime is caused by evil, all evil is caused by Satan, and therefore, all crime is satanic crime.
This may be a valid religious perspective, but it is of no relevance to the investigation of crime for purposes of prosecution. Many of the police officers who lecture on satanic or occult crime do not even investigate such cases. Their presentations are more a reflection of their personal religious beliefs than documented investigative information. They are absolutely entitled to their beliefs, but introducing themselves as current or former police officers and then speaking as religious advocates causes confusion. As difficult as it might be, police officers must separate the religious and law enforcement perspectives when they are lecturing or investigating in their official capacities as law enforcement officers.
Some police officers have resigned rather than curtail or limit their involvement in this issue as ordered by their departments. Perhaps such officers deserve credit for recognizing that they could no longer keep the perspectives separate. Paranoid type belief systems are characterized by the gradual development of intricate, complex, and elaborate systems of thinking based on and often proceeding logically from misinterpretation of actual events. Paranoia typically involves hypervigilance over the perceived threat, the belief that danger is around every corner, and the willingness to take up the challenge and do something about it.
Another very important aspect of this paranoia is the belief that those who do not recognize the threat are evil and corrupt. In this extreme view, you are either with them or against them. You are either part of the solution or part of the problem. Overzealousness and exaggeration motivated by the true religious fervor of those involved is more acceptable than that motivated by ego or profit. There are those who are deliberately distorting and hyping this issue for personal notoriety and profit. Satanic and occult crime and ritual abuse of children has become a growth industry.
Speaking fees, books, video and audio tapes, prevention material, television and radio appearances all bring egoistic and financial rewards. Bizarre crime and evil can occur without organized satanic activity. Some individuals believe in and are involved in something commonly called satanism and the occult. Some of these individuals commit crime. Some groups of individuals share these beliefs and involvement in this satanism and the occult. Some members of these groups commit crime together. The unanswered questions are:. What is the connection between the belief system and the crimes committed?
Is there an organized conspiracy of satanic and occult believers responsible for interrelated serious crime e. It is easy to blame involvement in satanism and the occult for behaviors that have complex motivations. The rock band Judas Priest was recently sued for allegedly inciting two teenagers to suicide through subliminal messages in their recordings. What issues did the trial and the subsequent mass media coverage emphasize? In most cases, including those involving satanists, it will have little or no legal significance. If a crime is committed as part of a spiritual belief system, it should make no difference which belief system it is.
The crime is the same whether a child is abused or murdered as part of a Christian, Hare Krishna, Moslem, or any other belief system.
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