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Analysis of the ritual crime
report by the state of Utah, 199
5

5. Recommendations.
Conclusions. Exhibits

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Pages 45-46: Recommendations:

Since the Legislator funded the ritual abuse survey, the number of ritual abuse accusations in the state has increased. However, no criminal charges have been filed in any of the cases. The authors recommend continuing providing expert assistance on ritual abuse from within the Attorney General's office. Also recommended was training in ritual crime for all levels of law enforcement, continuing in-service training, and updates to the Training Academy's curriculum.

We would agree in part with these recommendations. We believe that it is beneficial to have a group actively looking for ritual abuse cases. Otherwise SRA promoters may take the position that cases are being overlooked because nobody is specifically looking for them. We would agree with their recommendation to train police in ritual crime; however, we would hope that skeptics would be allowed to participate in the training, along with persons who passionately believe in this type of crime.

Pages 47-48: Conclusion:

They conclude:

"Utah's police officers and their departments have dedicated thousands of hours as they followed up on allegations, searched hillsides for ritual sites, 'staked out' potential ceremonies, etc. Their combined efforts were unable to uncover any physical evidence to support the claims of the existence of organized cults."

They claim that evidence has been uncovered that individuals have and are committing crime in the name of Satan or other deity; they are presumably referring to child molesters who pretend to be Satanists in order to better control their victims.

Therapists and religious leaders stated that they have dealt with ritual abuse survivors, but feel that it is not their task to investigate the allegations and seek corroborating evidence.

Even in the absence of confirming evidence, the authors conclude that ritual abuse has occurred and is happening throughout Utah. They base this belief on the old adages: "where there's smoke, there's fire" and "anything is possible".

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Pages 49-59: Exhibits

The authors provided a number of exhibits:

bulletA map of Utah.
bulletLaw Enforcement/Professional Visits.
bulletQuestionnaire and Results.
bulletPublication for Law Enforcement.
bulletExample of Monthly Ritual Abuse Newsletter.
bulletExample of Press Release.

An actual ritual abuse case:

After the King and Jacobson report was issued, some media outlets claimed that the investigation had been a failure. It had failed to show that Satanic Ritual Abuse -- or any other form of ritual abuse -- actually happened in Utah.

A woman going by the pseudonym "Rachel Hopkins" came forward to confirm that ritual abuse did happen in at least one family. She said that she was a victim of ritual abuse, and that she had signed confessions from the perpetrators -- her parents. "Rachel" described her recovered memories of horrendous abuse. She had allegedly been threatened with death if she ever told anyone.

According to the Mormon Alliance:

"Mike King and Mart Jacobson, ... reported: "Both the mother and the father admitted to serious sexual and physical crimes against the [three female] children and named several other individuals who were also involved." 8

The abuse occurred within a Mormon family. It could not be prosecuted because of the statute of limitations. The events happened over 25 years previous to the report by King and Jacobson.

She said that both of her parents signed confessions that they had sexually and physically abused her. She also has a child photograph of herself which shows bruises. Her siblings have corroborated the events. She said:

"The truth is they do wear black robes, they do abuse children, they do kill animals...It exists, and to say otherwise is to deny the facts in front of them. Our society used to deny the existence of incest, too, because we didn't want to believe it...I was sexually abused in every way you can conceive. I was tortured and had the bottoms of my feet cut. I was made to believe I was killing a baby, and they forced me to kill dogs and cats...I was bathed in a tub of blood and forced to look at myself in a mirror. I was tied up and hung upside down and spun. I was suffocated and electrocuted to the point of being bowed and paralyzed. Sometimes they forced me and my siblings to hurt one another. They would tell me, 'now you're one of us. If you tell anybody, they won't believe you and they'll put you in a mental hospital.' And they threatened to torture me until I was dead."

She believes that she was given more intense abuse than her siblings because of her blond hair and blue eyes, and because she did not submit willingly.

It seems relatively certain that "Rachel" and her siblings were sexually and physically abused during childhood by her parents and other adults. But the parents apparently admitted only to repeated abuse, not to Satanic Ritual Abuse -- ritual abuse motivated by belief in Satan.

It is not clear is whether:

bulletRachel actually experienced Satanic Ritual Abuse as she claims, or
 
bulletShe was subjected to repeated physical and sexual abuse motivated by the parent's sadistic desires. Later, false memories of a Satanic ritual component to the abuse emerged during Recovered Memory Therapy. Like most recovered memories of abuse, they are of events that never happened.

It is impossible to determine on the basis of available data which of these two explanations is correct.

References

  1. Lt. M.R. King & Lt. Marr Jacobson, "Ritual Crime in the State of Utah: Investigation, Analysis & A Look Forward", Utah Attorney General's Office, State of Utah, (1995)
  2. 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)
  3. The Alliance for Magical and Earth Religions (AMER) has 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". See it at: http://sanctum.net/amer/abuse.html
  4. Prof. J.S. Lafontaine, [Great Britain] Department of Health, "Extent & Nature of Organized Ritual Abuse" ISBN 011 11 321797 8; 1994-May. Available from Unipub, 4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham MD 20706, for USF$ 11.49
  5. The First Church of Satan has a web site at: http://www.churchofsatan.org/
  6. "Satanism Probe Comes Up Empty," Associated Press, published in Salt Lake Tribune, 1995-FEB-28, Page D-3. Online at: http://www.smwane.dk/
  7. Jeff Spangler, "Report Finds Little Proof of Ritual Abuse," Deseret News, 1995-APR-26, Page B-2. Online at: http://news.google.com/
  8. "Case reports of the Mormon Alliance, Volume 1, 1995," Chapter 6: Ritual Abuse, at: http://mormonalliance.org/

Copyright © 1996 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2009-AUG-15
Author: B.A. Robinson

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