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Satanic/sadistic ritual abuse (SRA)

5: More indicators of its
non-existence. Conclusions.
Future of SRA. Other resources.

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Ritual Abuse is also called SRA, Satanic Ritual Abuse,
Ritualistic Abuse, Sadistic Ritual Abuse, Cult Related Abuse, etc.

This essay is a continuation from Part 4

Indicator 20: The nature of recovered memories:

About 17% of adults who report memories of childhood incest recall being victims of SRA. As mentioned above, many professionals believe that these are false memories - memories of events that never happened.

Analyzing the recovered memories of SRA reveals internal flaws:
bullet In one area, a group of SRA survivors all reported human sacrifices in which the bodies were completely destroyed by burning in a bonfire. A skeptic later mentioned that fires are not hot enough to destroy the evidence: bones would remain behind. After a while, the survivors' stories changed. First one of them, and later all of them remembered bodies being destroyed in undertakers' crematorium. So the police staked out these crematoria and found no criminal activity was going on. After a while, the survivors' stories changed again. This time, they remembered that bodies were destroyed in mobile crematoria owned by the Satanists. These portable machines were hidden in caves and wheeled out during rituals. If SRA really exists, then one would expect the survivor's recovered childhood memories to be constant.
bullet Survivors universally report very solemn Satanic ceremonies which are conducted without error or distraction. Nobody ever drops a ritual tool; nobody ever cracks a joke; nobody has problems lighting candles, etc. All rituals are perfect. If SRA really exists, then one would expect the memories to include very human errors, just as they occur in other religious settings.
bullet A sizable proportion of survivors report that they were being trained to take over the role of Chief Priestess or Chief Priest of the Satanic group. However, it is commonly reported that such groups consist of 13 members. If SRA exists, then one would expect that fewer than 1 in 6 survivors would report this training; more than 5 out of 6 would remain plain members.

Indicator 21: Secrecy:

If SRA existed, then every high priest, high priestess, POM (plain ordinary member), and peripherally involved person would have sufficient information to blow the lid off of the most important news story of the century. He/she could probably make hundreds of thousands of dollars by selling their story to the media.

This has never happened.

Indicator 22: Lack of SRA documentation prior to 1980:

There are no known 20th century SRA books or articles prior to the publishing of Michelle Remembers in 1980. If SRA has been practiced for many generations (or even centuries as many promoters of SRA believe) then someone should have come forward before 1980 to document their activities.


Back in mid 1995, when these 22 indicators were first compiled, we concluded that SRA did not exist at any detectable level. [Yes, this website dates back to early 1995; we were about the 6,000th website to be placed online].

We concluded that ritual abuse was a very small problem when compared to the level of conventional (non-ritual) physical and sexual abuse of children (except of course to that rare individual who has been ritually abused).

We have found no reason to change these opinions.

What is the future of the SRA Industry?

Promoters are having an increasingly difficult task convincing people of the reality of SRA. Almost three decades have passed since the publishing of Michelle Remembers in 1980, and there is still no hard evidence of any Satanic conspiracy. As memory researchers and members of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation demonstrate how false memories can be created in adults and children, we expect that the SRA scare will continue to fade.

However, if
bullet an example of hard evidence can be found, or
bullet an adult can be found with always present memories of SRA

then the SRA industry would be given a tremendous boost in credibility.

There are two indications that belief in SRA reached its peak in the early to mid 1990's and is currently in decline:
bullet The number of calls to the False Memory Syndrome Foundation has decreased in recent years. These are typically distressed parents whose adult child has recovered memories of sexual abuse during childhood. The percentage of these calls that involve memories of SRA is constant at about 17%. So, the total number of SRA calls is also in decline.
bullet The number of books authored in a given year is a very crude indicator of how popular the SRA hoax is. We sampled the Amazon on-line bookstore on 2001-MAR-19 and later on 2009-AUG-16, looking for books that promoted the reality of ritual abuse. The books were sorted by year of publication. The results were:
bullet 1990 2 **
bullet 1991 3 ***
bullet 1992 1 *
bullet 1993 3 ***
bullet 1994 6 ******
bullet 1995 5 *****
bullet 1996 2 **
bullet 1997 3 ***
bullet 1998 1 *
bullet 1999 -
bullet 2000 1 *
bullet 2001 2 **
bullet 2002 -
bullet 2003 1 *
bullet 2004 -
bullet 2005 1 *
bullet 2006 1 *
bullet 2007 -
bullet 2008 *

There is a great deal of "noise" in this data. But it would seem that the interest in SRA may reached a peak in the mid 1990's and is now in decline.

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Other resources:

  1. An on-line copy of the FBI report on the non-existence of evil Satanic cults by Ken Lanning, titled "Investigator's Guide to Allegations of 'Ritual' Child Abuse" is available.
  2. G.S. Goodman et al "Characteristics & Sources of Allegations of Ritual Child Abuse", Clearing House on Child Abuse & Neglect Information, Suite 350, 3998 Fair Ridge Dr, Fairfax VA, 22033. [Free summary available by calling (703) 385-7565]
  3. An excellent essay "Hysteria For a New Millenium" links beliefs about SRA to recovered memory therapy and urban folk tales. See:
  4. John Earl, "The Dark Truth About the 'Dark Tunnels of McMartin'", Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, Vol. 7, #2, 1995 Spring, Institute for Psychological Therapies, 13200 Cannon City Blvd., Northfield, MN 55057. An expose on the McMartin pre-school underground tunnel myth. $15 USF; $20 USF (foreign).
  5. Ellen Bass & Laura Davis, "The Courage to Heal, Harper Collins, New York NY, (1992). The book accepts all memories uncovered during recovered memory therapy as true.
  6. Paul & Shirley Eberle, "The Abuse of Innocence : The McMartin Preschool Trial", Prometheus Books (1993). ISBN: 0879748090. The authors attended the court sessions lasting over many years, and concluded that there was no case against the accused.
  7. Bob & Gretchen Passantino, "The Hard Facts About Satanic Ritual Abuse" Christian Research Journal, 1992-Winter, at:

Book search for ritual abuse:

Most of these books promote the reality of Satanic ritual abuse:

Portions of this series of documents were extracted from information sheets provided by the Wiccan Information Network. Used by permission.

Copyright 1995 to 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2016-SEP-24
Author: B.A. Robinson

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