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Ritual abuse (RA) & Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA)

Books and other resources
that are skeptical of RA and SRA

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Books which are skeptical of the existence of SRA:

bullet Church of all Worlds staff, "Witchcraft, Satanism & Occult Crime: Who's Who & What's What, a Manual of Reference Materials for the Professional Investigator," Phoenix Publ., (1994)  Review/order this book. This book, and Kerr Cuhulain's book (below) are a great investment for every Wiccan or other Neopagan who might be faced some day by a police officer who has attended a Satanic Ritual Abuse misinformation seminar. At about $17 plus shipping for the pair, they are a very wise insurance policy.
bullet Kerr Cuhulain, "The Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca," Horned Owl Publ., (1997). Review/order this book. A very useful book, written by a law enforcement officer who is also a Wiccan. Explains that Wicca and other Neopagan religions are benign.
bullet J.M Feldman, et al., "Stranger Than Fiction: When Our Minds Betray Us," American Psychiatric Press, Washington DC, (1998). Review/order this book Discusses false memories.
bullet E. Goldstein & Kevin Farmer, "Confabulations: Creating false memories, destroying families," Upton Books, Boca Raton FL, (1995). It describes destruction of families as a result of therapists creating false memories of childhood sexual abuse. Review/order this book
bullet M. Hertenstein & J. Trott, "Selling Satan, the tragic history of Mike Warnke,"  Cornerstone Press, Chicago, 1993 (Expose of the fraudulent claims of Mike Warnke, the Christian seminar leader who may have been the person most responsible for spreading the Satanic panic throughout North America). Review/order this book
bullet Robert Hicks, "In Pursuit of Satan: The police and the occult," Prometheus Books, Buffalo, (1991) (studies misguided police investigations; exposes what he calls "cult cops" - police officers with religious agendas). Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store.
bullet Malcolm McGrath, "Demons of the Modern World," (2001).  Review/order this book. The author asserts that "the illusion of a world of demons lurking behind our day to day reality is built right into the structure of modern western culture." It emerges from time to time in the form of the Salem witch trials, beliefs about Satanic Ritual Abuse, abuse in preschools and day care centers, UFO abductions, etc.
bullet Gareth J. Medway, "Lure of the Sinister: The Unnatural History of Satanism," New York University Press, (2001) This is debunks the outlandish accusations of abuse made against Satanists, Pagans and followers of other minority religions. The book discusses the history of SRA from the 19th century to the present day. Read reviews or order this book
bullet Debbie Nathan & Michael Snedeker, "Satan's Silence: Ritual Abuse and the Making of a Modern American Witch Hunt," Basic Books, (1995). This book is out of print.
bullet Mark Pendergrast, "Victims of Memory, Sex abuse accusations and shattered lives," Second Edition, Upper Access, Hinesburg VT, (1996). (Discusses the unreliability of recovered memories and deals with some ritual abuse cases). Review/order this book
bullet James Richardson et al, The Satanism Scare, Aldine de Gruyter, New York, 1991 (18 chapters written by various social service specialists on the Satanic Panic) Review/order this book
bullet Colin Ross, Satanic Ritual Abuse: Principles of Treatment, University of Toronto Press; Toronto, Buffalo, London (1995). (It asserts that perhaps only 10% of the recovered memories of Multiple Personality Disorder (Dissociative Identity Disorder) have any basis in reality, and that the latter are distorted recollections of Christian exorcism rituals, KKK activities, or rituals by isolated Satanic groups). Review/order this book
bullet Jeffrey Victor, "Satanic Panic: The creation of a contemporary legend," Open Court, Chicago, 1993 (examination of the satanic cult hysteria; how rumors become publicly accepted fact; documents dozens of Satanic panics) Review/order this book
bullet Hollida Wakefield & Ralph Underwager, Return of the Furies: An investigation into Recovered Memory Therapy, Open Court Publishers, 1994. (Discusses recovered memories, and Satanic ritual abuse hoaxes) Review/order this book
bullet Wiccan Information Network, WIN INTELLIGENCE REPORT, SAMHAIN 1993 Wiccan Information Network, PO Box 2422, Main Post Office, Vancouver BC, V6B 3W7 Canada. Expose of Michelle Remembers.
bullet Lawrence Wright, Remembering Satan, Knopf, New York, 1994 (Story of one family's disintegration due to false recovered memories). Review/order this book

Articles and videos which are skeptical of the existence of SRA:

bullet A.U. Bottoms et al, "An Analysis of Ritualistic and Religion-Related Child-Abuse Allegations", Law and Human Behavior. V. 20, # 1, 1996-Feb., pp. 1-34. Authors conducted a stratified random sample survey of clinical members of the American Psychological Association. They found that only a minority of those who responded had encountered ritual abuse in their clients. Evidence (particularly in cases of child ritual abuse reported by adults) is questionable.
bullet John Earl, article in Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, journal published 1995-AUG, Institute for Psychological Therapies, 13200 Cannon City Blvd., Northfield, MN 55057, $15 USF; $20 USF (foreign)
bullet Various authors, "Journal of Psychohistory", vol. 24, #4, (1994-Spring). Has one skeptical article followed by a series of articles by believers in SRA
bullet R Waterhouse, "The making of a satanic myth," The Independent on Sunday, 1990-AUG-12, Pages 8 to 9. 
bullet Robin D. Perrin and Les Parrott III, "Memories of Satanic Ritual Abuse: The truth behind the panic," Christianity Today, 1993-JUN-21, Pages 18-23.
bullet Television program "The Search for Satan" was broadcast by PBS's Frontline program on 1995-OCT-24. It dealt with the extensive use of drugs, physical restraints and suggestive therapy techniques to convince patients that they were involved in multi-generational Satanic groups. Video copies at US$ 78.45 and transcripts at US$12.00 are available from Journal Graphics, 1-800-825-5746, Extension 322 (Rebecca Larson).
bullet "By Satan possessed: The search for the Devil," a HBO movie by Antony Thomas. It was aired on 1993-SEP-7. The movie describes in detail the 1991 abuse by the police and child protection officers of the Wallis family in Escondido CA. Their children were taken into care for 68 days. The only hard evidence against the parents was that the father had named his sailboat "Witch Way."

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Internet resources skeptical of the existence of SRA:

The following are some skeptical Internet sites which consider SRA to be non-existent (or almost non-existent)

bullet A list of skeptical web sites dealing with Satanic Ritual Abuse and Childhood Sexual Abuse can be found at:
bullet Robert Hicks, "Satanic cults: A skeptical view of the law enforcement approach," at:
bullet "Satanic Media Watch and News Exchange - Fighting the Myth of Subversive Satanism," at:
bullet Answers in Action, a Christian resource, is skeptical of SRA. This home page contains an excellent review of the history of SRA beliefs and lists many indicators of its non-existence. See:
bullet Michael Hill, "Satan's excellent adventure in the Antipodes." at:
bullet Charles Nemo, "Serial murders and the Satanic/Ritualistic crimes myth," at:
bullet Mary deYoung, "Sociological Views on the controversial issue of Satanic Ritual Abuse: Three faces of the devil," at: She analyses SRA as subversion ideology, rumor panic, and contemporary legend.
bullet Y Tylwyth Teg - Welsh Tradition in America  Religions, "Law enforcement guide: Witchcraft, Wicca and other Earth Religions," at:
bullet Diane Vera, "The 'Satanic Ritual Abuse' scare, and the larger child sex abuse panic of the early 1980's and 1990's," (2005), at: This is a very impressive resource.
bullet Stop Bad Therapy has a page on "The Myth of Satanic Ritual Abuse" at"

Books that take an intermediate view:

bullet G.B. Palermo & M.C. Del Re, "Satanism: Psychiatric and legal Views," Thomas (1999). Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store
bullet D.K. Sakheim & S.E. Devine, "Out of Darkness: Exploring Satanism & Ritual Abuse," Lexington Books, (1992). This book is out of print, but can often be purchased used. This is a book which was quite influential during the early 1990's. It was written when belief in SRA was near its peak. Yet it includes some material that is skeptical of SRA. A fascinating historical document.

Copyright 1995 to 2006 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2009-AUG-16
Links checked: 2004-JUN-10
Author: B.A. Robinson

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