Satanic/sadistic ritual abuse (SRA)
3: More indicators of its non-existence
Ritual Abuse is also called SRA, Satanic Ritual Abuse,
Ritualistic Abuse, Sadistic Ritual Abuse, Cult Related Abuse, etc.
Indicator 6: The nature of recovered memories of SRA:
SRA survivors have similar memories of abuse, involving a Satanic "motif".
They remember evil, robe-clad adults, candles, knives, an altar, etc. This is the sort of
image that we all have of Satanists; it is derived from countless children's stories,
horror movies, sermons, comic books, etc. However, survivors memories of details of
Satanic ritual do not agree. Since Satanism is believed to be a rigid, authoritarian
religion, details should be consistent across the country. These includes: dates of major
rituals, type and color of knifes, color of robes, whether female and male clothing was
differentiated; whether the Satanist's rank was identified by different colored belts,
etc. Details also rarely agree with known Satanic practices.
If a highly structured Satanic group is involved in SRA, one would expect that ritual
details would be consistent among local cells, and that survivors' stories would agree. We
would expect that their memories of rituals would match known Satanic practices.
Indicator 7: Therapists and agencies promoting SRA:
A recent study funded by a US federal government agency
among over 6,900 psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers showed that 70% had never
had an SRA patient, most of the rest had handled one or two, but that 1.4% had over 100
cases. This indicates that a small percentage of therapists are detecting most of the
The same study of police departments, district attorney's offices and social service
agencies revealed a similar pattern: 80% with none; most of the rest one or two, and 2.2%
over 100 cases. There are counseling centers that suspect that all of their clients
have been victims of incest or ritual abuse. Memories of abuse often surface after
Recovered Memory Therapy, which often involves hypnotism and guided
imagery, The American Medical Association, and many Psychiatric and Psychological
professional organizations around the world warn that recovered memories may have no
relation to real events. However, many therapists continue to believe that all memories
are absolutely true and accurate, whether recovered or always present.
If SRA were widespread, one would expect a more even distribution of cases among
therapists and agencies. In reality, a very small minority of therapists and agencies are
creating most SRA survivors - apparently those who personally believe in extensive SRA,
and see it in most of their clients or patients.
Indicator 8: Inconsistencies in SRA memories:
Children with memories of SRA tend to recall scary experiences; e.g. being put in a
coffin and lowered into a grave. Their stories often involve urine and feces, which are
typical fascinations of children. Adult survivors' stories tend to be very different. They
often recall horrendous torture, mutilation, ritual murder, cannibalism, drinking of
If SRA existed, one would expect that child and adult memories of the same rituals
would be similar. More details.
Indicator 9: Court records:
Very few criminal cases in the US actually go to trial. About 90% are settled by
plea-bargaining in which the accused pleads guilty to a lesser crime in order to avoid
being found guilty of a more serious offense. There is only one case on record in the US
of a person pleading guilty to abuse involving a Satanic ritual component. He is a special
person - one who has been proven capable of entering a self-induced trance and creating
his own false memories. He pleaded guilty because he believed his own false memories and
wanted to spare his daughters the stress of a trial. He later recanted and
unsuccessfully attempted to withdraw his plea.
If SRA were widespread, one would expect large numbers of perpetrators charged with SRA
to admit their guilt and plea-bargain for lesser charges. We are unaware of an
instance where this has
Indicator 10: Lack of supporting evidence:
During the 1980's, many promoters in the SRA industry were police officers. They were
concerned that thousands of Satanists (and similar groups) were literally getting away
with murder. In recent years, most have realized that no hard evidence of ritual abuse or
murder has ever been found. Most police are now openly skeptical of the reality of SRA.
Some police officers, who are Evangelical Christians, remain as believers; they are sometimes called
"cult cops" by skeptics.
The FBI Behavioral Sciences Laboratory is the main law enforcement group in the
United States specializing in SRA. They have been called in as consultants by local police
forces in hundreds of cases of suspected SRA. Although they have found many cases involved
sexual and physical abuse of children, none have involved SRA. The FBI has successfully
infiltrated the Mafia, KKK, Communist cells, corrupt union organizations, and
more recently have
penetrated state militia movements. However, they have never infiltrated the "Satanic
If SRA were widespread, one would expect some hard evidence of the 50,000 ritual
killings per year. One would expect the FBI to have infiltrated and exposed any criminal
Satanic organization if it existed.
Indicator 11: Missing evidence:
As mentioned above, no hard evidence supporting SRA has ever been found. Support for
the existence of SRA is in two types: the recovered memories of tens of thousands of
survivors and scars allegedly caused by physical abuse.
Sometimes survivors' memories
contain elements that are open to verification. For example, some remember having been
forced to conceive and had an abortion or delivered a live baby for sacrifice. Many
children in the famous McMartin Preschool case recalled being
taken down through trap doors in the floor and through underground tunnels
that ran through the day care basement. Others remember rituals in which victims of human
sacrifice were buried. Others recall horrendous childhood experiences involving extreme
physical abuse and mutilation. Some remember being abused in a basement or attic or other
Police investigations typically show that the survivors who remember
pregnancy were never pregnant; that no human remains were discovered after excavating the
locations remembered; scars or other marks that would have remained visible are missing -
scars which do exist could have been made by the survivor or have logical causes unrelated
to ritual abuse; no survivor's lack of school attendance for other than known medical
reasons, is on record. Inspections of the McMartin pre-school building revealed that no trap doors were
present or could have existed. Excavations around the day care center revealed
the existence of many ancient trash dumps, but no evidence of
. No shoring
was found; it would have been needed in the sandy soil around the day care center.
locations for abuse are nonexistent: the attics and basements never existed.
If SRA occurred as survivors remember it, then certain evidence would be present. The
fact that it is missing indicates that the memories are probably false. As mentioned
above, this does not mean that survivors are lying; it means that their memories (which
are very real to them) are of events that never happened.
Copyright © 1995 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2009-AUG-16
Author: B.A. Robinson