TO ALLEGATIONS OF
RITUAL CHILD ABUSE
The following essay and its hyper-links describe a guide written by K.V. Lanning
on ritual child abuse. It is perhaps the most important and influential document ever written
on the topic. Its wisdom has held up well, even though there have been enormous
developments in the subject since the essay was written in 1992.
Kenneth V. Lanning is a Supervisory Special Agent at the Behavioral Science
Unit at the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime.
The Center is located at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA. It assists police
forces throughout the US. The group is often called in as consultants by
local and state police forces.
Lanning began working in the field in 1981. Allegations of ritual abuse began to surface circa
1983. At first, he tended to believe that the abuse really occurred. He
But the number of alleged cases began to grow and grow. We now
have hundreds of victims alleging that thousands of offenders are abusing
and even murdering tens of thousands of people as part of organized satanic
cults, and there is little or no corroborative evidence. The very reason
many "experts" cite for believing these allegations (i.e. many victims, who
never met each other, reporting the same events), is the primary reason I
began to question at least some aspects of these allegations.
Lanning defines a satanic murder as "one committed by two or more
individuals who rationally plan the crime and whose primary
motivation is to fulfill a prescribed satanic ritual calling for the murder."
Using this definition he has been unable to identify even one documented
satanic murder in the United States.
Introduction Personal info. Concern about
unsubstantiated allegations of bizarre sexual abuse & public hysteria.
Historical Overview Methods society uses to
deny sexual abuse of children; the hoax of the 50,000 murdered children; 50
young children per year are kidnapped and murdered by strangers
Law Enforcement Training Law enforcement
officers' uncritical acceptance of worthless information at anti-Satanism
Definitions Explores various meanings given to some
indefinable terms: Satanism, ritual, ritual child abuse, Satanic crime.
Multidimensional Child Sex Rings (Multi-Victim,
Multi-Offender (MVMO) cases
involving impossible events. Characteristics of such cases. Lack of corpses
and other evidence. Impossibility of an organized Satanic conspiracy. Past
CRA [Christian Ritual Abuse] by KKK.
Alternative Explanations Why are victims
alleging things that seem not to have happened? Possible answers: pathological
distortion, pseudomemories, traumatic memory, childhood fears and fantasies,
tricking, confusion, overzealous interviewers, urban legends.
Do Victims Lie About Sexual Abuse and
Exploitation? Children rarely lie but do not necessarily tell the truth.
Children learn of ritual and torture from viewing material, being abused,
the media, suggestions and leading questions from interviewers,
misperception and confusion, and educational programs.
Law Enforcement Perspective Some seminar
leaders are unqualified; police need to avoid paranoia; Satanism linked to minor
crimes (e.g. vandalism), but not child abuse or murder; teen Satanism usually
symptom, not cause of a problem; definition of "Satanic murder", real history
Kenneth V. Lanning, "Investigator's Guide to Allegations of 'Ritual'
Child Abuse", Behavioral Science Unit, National Center for the Analysis
of Violent Crime, Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI Academy, Quantico,
Virginia 22135 (1992)
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