A documented case of ritual
abuse in a Mormon family in Utah
After the King and Jacobson report on ritual abuse in Utah was issued in the
spring of 1995, some media outlets concluded
that the investigation had been a failure. 1,2 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."
The abuse occurred within a Mormon family. The parents also confessed to
officials of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
and were excommunicated. No prosecution was possible because the statute of limitations
interval had expired. The events happened circa 1970, 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,
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. When
she was 17 years-of-age, she ran away from home and has not lived with her
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:
|Rachel actually experienced Satanic Ritual Abuse as she believes, or|
|She 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, the latter are probably of events that never happened.|
It is impossible to determine on the basis of available data which of these two
explanations is correct. Unfortunately, once a person enters into recovered
memory therapy, any images that appear to be memories are of doubtful accuracy.
In 2008-DEC, Rachel Hopkins, whose real name is Anne A Johnson Davis,
published a book "Hell Minus One," describing her abuse memories.
- "Satanism Probe Comes Up Empty," Associated Press, published in Salt Lake
Tribune, 1995-FEB-28, Page D-3. Online at:
- Jeff Spangler, "Report Finds Little Proof of Ritual Abuse," Deseret News,
1995-APR-26, Page B-2. Online at:
- "Case reports of the Mormon Alliance, Volume 1, 1995," Chapter 6: Ritual
- Jerry Spangler, "Ritual abuse does exist, victim says," Deseret News,
- Anne A.J. Davis, "Hell Minus One," Transcript Bulletin Pubishing, (2008).
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Copyright © 1996 to 2009 by Ontario
Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2009-AUG-15
Author: B.A. Robinson