Analysis of the ritual crime
report by the state of Utah, 1995
3. Occult groups (Cont'd); Definitions; Symbols
This essay is of historical interest only. Belief in the Satanic Ritual Abuse
hoax started in the early 1980's, reached a peak around 1990, and
and started to decline a few years older when no hard evidence ever
surfaced to show that ritual abuse by secret groups actually existed.
We include this essay here simply to record events at the time
when belief in this non-existant form of abuse was widespread.
Pages 12-21: Groups involved in occult practices, and definitions:
King and Jacobson discuss:
||Witches and Pagans or Neopagans: The report has many errors in just a few lines:|
||They identify these groups as worshipping a duo-divinity - a Goddess and God. This is
true of many Neopagans, but definitely not of all. |
They say that "Contemporary witches and pagans" do not identify their
God as Satan; this implies (incorrectly) that past "witches and
||They state that Neo Pagans would label as a Satanist anyone who practices black magic;
this is not correct. A Satanist is generally defined as a person who
regards Satan as either a deity to be worshipped or a symbol of
individualism, self-indulgence, lust, and 'eye for an eye' morality.|
||They quote an interesting phrase: "Least ye harm none, do what
you will, love under law, love guiding will." They refer to it as
the "Wiccan Creed." It is not. It appears to be a combination
of the actual Wiccan Rede (not Creed), confused and combined with
a greeting ritual in the Thelema religion.|
There are many versions of the Wiccan Rede which differ very
slightly. One of the most common is: "A'in it harm none, do what thou wilt."
It means, in modern English, to do whatever you wish, as long as it
harms nobody, including yourself.
Thelemites customarily greet each
other with the phrase, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of
the Law" to which the customary response is, "Love is the
law, love under will."
||Satanism: They divide Satanists into 7 sub-groups, some of which are known to
exist; others appear to be nonexistent:|
1. Self-Proclaimed Satanists: These are generally called religious Satanists by other
authors. King and Jacobson mention the First Church of Satan which
is a splinter group of The Church of Satan. 1 Followers are
described by the pejorative term "self-proclaimed Satanists"; this
implies that their beliefs are not valid. The authors state that Satanists "profess
to denounce criminal acts by occultists and criminals"; this implies that they
may be lying. It also implies that occultists perform criminal acts.|
2. Theatrical Satanists: These are young people from 9 to 17 who dabble in Satanism. A few
pass onto the next stage. |
||3. Experimental Satanists: These are typically 14 to 20 years of age. They are described as
more sophisticated practitioners who engage in "a wide range of crimes from
vandalism to homicide." Here, the authors are confusing two completely different
||Satanic youth who dabble in Satanism and often write graffiti on buildings, deface
tombstones in cemeteries, etc
||Psychotic or psychopathic youth who are motivated by their mental disorder to murder
people, and who sometimes blame it on Satanism. Here, the crimes are quite serious, and
are caused by mental problems, not by belief in Satanism. Many such murderers are found to
have little or no knowledge of Satanism.
||Classifications of Satanists (Cont'd):|
Afro-Christian Syncretized Groups: They describe a number of Caribbean religions
which contain embrace both African Aboriginal beliefs and Roman Catholicism: Santeria, Palo Mayombe, Voodoo etc. These groups do sacrifice animals during their religious services,
much in the way that the ancient Israelites sacrificed sheep and goats prior to the
destruction of their Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE. The US Supreme Court has determined this to be a religious practice protected by the US Constitution. This appears
to be more anti-religious propaganda which is unworthy of the authors and should never be
given official support by being included in a state document.
Definitions of terms:
King and Jacobson define a group of words:
Demons: they describe a variety of beliefs about demons, spirits, evil angels
from Greek Pagan religion, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism. They
mention that "thousands of suspected sorcerers...were burned at the stake"
during the Renaissance. Actually, there were tens of thousands of innocent victims,
mostly condemned by secular courts.
Satanism: The authors' definition is largely based upon late Middle Age beliefs
and are essentially unrelated to actual religious Satanism as practiced today.
Passage Rites: an anthropological term to refer to celebrations and rituals timed
to the transition points in life: birth, puberty, marriage, death, etc. All
religions have such rituals.
Initiation: this includes rituals for both boys and girls at or near puberty,
including various tests, vision quest, religious confirmation, etc.
These definitions are certainly interesting, but appear to be totally unrelated to the
topic of the report.
Pages 22-23: Examples of Occult Symbols:
The report uses the term "occult sexual abuse" which remains
undefined, but seems to imply that all occult pursuits involves the sexual abuse
of children. In common with many religious and social conservatives, the report
defines "occult" very broadly to include many harmless activities, men's
spiritual organizations, religions, etc. from Wiccans to members of the Masonic
Order to fortune tellers. No information source from the 1980s and 1990s that promotes the reality of
Satanic Ritual Abuse would be complete without
a display of occult symbols. King and Jacobson have followed this pattern in their
report. Some observations:
version of the Ankh cross is incorrectly drawn as a circle on top of a conventional Christian
cross. The correct shape is shown at the left, with an inverted tear-shape
at the top. This symbol is often used by women who follow Goddess
worship, and feminists. It is unclear why the authors of this report
would include an Ankh cross, thereby associating it with ritual abuse.
They present the peace sign as a
"Broken Cross" symbol which "represents the
defeat of Christianity" Actually, it is made from the flag semaphore symbols for
the letters N and D. It originally represented the Nuclear Disarmament
movement until it became associated with peace advocacy. Again, the connection of
the peace symbol with ritual abuse is not clear.
The "Upside Down Cross" is presented as a Satanic symbol. Actually it was not Satanic
originally. However it has been presented incorrectly by so many conservative Christian
books on Satanism that some teenage dabblers have adopted it.
The Broken "S" is presented as a
Satanic symbol. Actually, it was originally used by the German Nazi
Schutzstaffel -- the "SS". It is now used by hate groups, extremist
organizations, and neo-Nazi groups. Again, the linkage to sexual
abuse of children is not obvious.
The First Church of Satan has a web site at: http://www.churchofsatan.org/
Copyright © 1996 to 2015 by Ontario
Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2015-NOV-05
Author: B.A. Robinson