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Thought provoking questions we have received, with our responses

Part 4

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This topic continues from the previous essay

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Interesting Emails discussed in this essay:

bullet Will Africans form the bulk of the deaths during the end times?
bullet Satanic Ritual Abuse happens a lot.

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Will Africans form the bulk of the deaths during the end times?

Incoming Email: The Bible states that during the end times, about one third of the world's population will die. Do you think this will mainly involve the citizens of Africa?

Our response: Most of the end time prophecies in the Bible are derived from two books: Daniel and Revelation.

Christianity is a divided religion. There are over 1,000 Christian faith groups in North America alone. They may be roughly divided into two groups: conservative and liberal believers.

According to liberal theologians:

bullet The Book of Daniel  was not prophecy written by Daniel in the 6th century BCE. It was rather past history written in the early 2nd century BCE by an unknown author, and disguised to masquerade as prophecy. It thus refers almost entirely to events that happened prior to about 180 BCE. Where it attempted to predict events that would occur after the book was written in 180 BCE. it was invariable wrong. The book has nothing to do with today's events or future happenings.

bullet The Book of Revelation is a fairly typical example of  writing in the Jewish Apocalyptic tradition which was common from 200 BCE to about 200 CE. It dealt with the persecution of the early Christian church under Nero and other Roman emperors, and has nothing to do with today's events or future happenings.

According to conservative theologians:

bullet Daniel and Revelation are the main sources of end-time prophecy. The Bible contains many references to a great battle at that time which will result in massive loss of life. Revelation 9:15 talks about four angels killing one third part of humanity in a massive act of genocide -- apparently by cremation and chemical warfare. But there is no indication in the Bible which identifies which third will die. The holocaust could be spread over the entire earth, or might be concentrated on one or more continents. To identify the deaths as coming from Africa is purely speculative.

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Satanic Ritual Abuse happens a lot.

Incoming Email: There is an error on your web site. Incidences of Satanic Ritual Abuse have been documented throughout history. Almost everyone knows this is true. Why do you insist that this form of abuse does not exist. It seems to be part of the hoax which maintains that sexual abuse of children is non-existent. Why you are spending so much time discrediting survivors? You are aiding the perpetrators by taking this stance. If you want to stop the suffering of children, open your minds to the reality of Satanic Ritual Abuse.

Our response: First of all, we do not deny that Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) exists. We do say that it is extremely rare and may even be non-existent. Recall that we have a very restrictive definition of SRA: it must be abuse motivated by a desire to worship Satan. Other groups have a much broader definition of SRA.

Events that some people include within their definition of SRA have definitely happened:

bullet There does appear to have been an incident in France in (as I recall) the 17th century which would qualify as SRA by some group's definitions. But it appears to have been motivated by financial considerations and not Satanic worship.

bullet There were also tens of thousands of documented cases of memories of SRA, starting shortly after 1980 when the book "Michelle Remembers" was published. These cases surfaced over about a 15 year interval until they essentially stopped in the mid 1990s. But these cases have been traced back to recovered memory therapy which involves hypnotic techniques, guided imagery, interpretation of dreams, the use of drugs, etc. These techniques are now known to create enormous quantities of false memories in people. It seems that all (or almost all) of the alleged victim-survivors either went to therapists who believed in SRA, or to mutual support groups who believed in SRA. In an ironic twist, some parents in Ontario, Canada were accused by one of their children of engaging in SRA. But they knew nothing about Satanism, so they asked me to address their group and explain to them what Satanism was.

bullet There was a very large study done in the U.S. involving about 13,000 therapists. One case of Satanists abusing their child was uncovered. But it was not the conventional type of SRA; rather it was the parents engaging in consensual ritual sex, and doing it in the presence of their son. This is regarded as child abuse in most jurisdictions.

bullet Finally, there was a massive study in the UK where investigators found that three abusive pedophiles, working independently, engaged in sexual molestation of children. But the perpetrators knew nothing about Satanism; they simply used Satanic trappings and pretend rituals to better control their victims.

Depending on one's precise definition of SRA, there certainly have been some proven cases in the world. But none, to our knowledge, meet our definition. None were actual physical or sexual abuse motivated primarily by worship of Satan. All were either motivated by mental illness, a sexual interest in children, or financial gain.

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Some people do indeed "know" that SRA is widespread. But we feel they are basing their knowledge on faulty data. To our knowledge, there has never been a real case of Satan worshiper(s) sexually or physically abusing children in a valid Satanic ritual in North America during the past century.

Most investigators have found that the accusations of SRA are without grounding in reality. They are based on false memories created during therapy or attendance at a mutual support group, or (rarely) by an individual following procedures in a book such as the Courage to Heal. They also note that most people with memories of having been abused by Satanists have gone to therapists who use Recovered Memory Therapy (RMT). Decades after the SRA hoax dissipated, a near consensus of therapist agree that the memories recovered were not of events that actually happened. Today, a very few therapists believe that emotional problems in adults are caused by abuse to their clients:

  • During a former lifetime, or

  • By LGM (little green men) onboard UFOs.

There is even a case of a therapist who believes that emotional problems in adults are caused by abuse events that have not happened yet. She finds that most of her clients develop memories in the present time of abuse that will only happen in the future.

People who discount the validity of SRA:

  • are motivated by a desire to stop the suffering of people with false memories, and their estranged families of origin.

  • realize that conventional -- non-ritual -- sexual abuse of children is a widespread problem.

I have never come across a person who discounts the validity of SRA and who also believes that child molestation is nonexistent. They believe that SRA is non-existent (or at least extremely rare) and are very aware that abusive pedophiles and hebephiles are a real problem -- perhaps our main social problem.

Please consider the possibility that tens of thousands of individuals have had their emotional health destroyed by false memories of SRA. That is, they have real-feeling memories of events that never happened. This, I feel, is the source of the real SRA problem. Many of these victims of RMT are severely disturbed, have suicidal ideation, are slashers, etc. They need help to realize that their memories are unrelated to real events. I believe that only by that route will they be healed.

We do see an incredible amount of suffering by people who have SRA memories created during therapy. But we feel confident that these memories are false. The way to healing is for the alleged victims-survivors to realize that they were never abused, and that their memories are an unintended, accidental result of an experimental, unreliable, and dangerous therapy whose efficacy and safety had never been studied before it was widely applied.

If we uncover a real case of SRA in which victims were physically and/or sexually abused and in which the prime motivation on the part of the perpetrator(s) was to worship Satan, we would try to be among the first to report the details. However, it is now about two decades since the SRA abuse bubble burst. Most therapists now believe that the widespread belief of the reality of SRA was not grounded in reality. But there are still people suffering from false memories of childhood abuse who are now in their late 30's and early 40's who are still troubled by the memories. Many have accused their parents of abuse.

During 2009, Chris French wrote a report in The Guardian titled "Families are still living the nightmare of false memories of sexual abuse" in the Guardian. He describes how families were broken up years ago and are still suffering decades later. 1

Unfortunately, we have not been able to uncover any follow-up studies of victims of RMT therapy to see how they are coping today. That would seem to be an important study for some group to undertake.

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References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. Chris French, "Families are still living the nightmare of false memories of sexual abuse," The Guardian, 2009-APR-08, at: http://www.theguardian.com/

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This topic continues in the next essay

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Copyright © 2000 to 2014, by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2000-SEP-23
Latest update: 2014-OCT-02
Author: B.A. Robinson

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