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satanic panic

This Year in Satanism

…ews, Gilmore and Greaves dismissed Barbour’s claims, diffusing some of the Satanic Panic. MARCH Fred Phelps died on March 19. Amid rumors that the anti-gay pastor was on his deathbed, Greaves announced plans to hold a ritual over his gravesite that would posthumously make Phelps gay. Last year, Greaves travelled to Mississippi and performed a similar “pink mass” over the grave of Phelps’s mother. Local police vowed to charge Greaves with grave des…

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Satanic Temple Protests Pseudoscientific Therapies for Satanic Abuse and Witchcraft

…disorder), repressed memories, and hypnosis. These theories were key to a panic in the 1980s over “Satanic Ritual Abuse” in which numerous people underwent therapy and became convinced that they had suffered abuse at the hands of Satanic cults. Some even came to believe that their minds harbored repressed “cult programming” and that they could be a danger to their own children when this programming was triggered. In 1995, a former patient sued Be…

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Is the Satanist Behind 10 Commandments Challenge Sincere?

…democratic and religiously plural society. Greaves came of age during the Satanic Panic when a coalition of talk-show hosts, dubious psychotherapists, “cult cops,” and Christians interested in spiritual warfare sent America into hysteria over Satanic conspiracies that resulted in innocent people being prosecuted and imprisoned. Greaves initially assumed stories of criminal Satanists must have some basis in fact. He sought out self-identified Sata…

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Satanic Temple’s ‘Satanic Abortion Ritual’ May Challenge States’ Anti-Abortion Laws

…us Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) laws must provide abortion on demand for Satanic women. Mandatory waiting periods or requirements such as reading anti-abortion literature, listening to fetal heartbeats, or viewing sonograms would violate the religious freedom of Satanic women by disrupting their sacred ritual. As Jane Essex, Spokesperson for TST’s Religious Reproductive Rights Campaign puts it, “It would be unconstitutional to require a waiting…

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Mexico’s Own Satanic Panic

…read phenomenon (like an outsider religious movement). The result is moral panic. We’re seeing evidence of this exact link in English-language news coverage of these murders. In court, Meraz claimed she had only been a follower of Santa Muerte for about two years; the beliefs of her group were not rooted in a larger tradition of devotion to Santa Muerte. Furthermore, everyone implicated in the murders is a member of the same family (one suspect is…

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Olympics Opening Ceremony as Satanic Ritual

…ically resulted in moral panic and the persecution of innocent people. The Satanic Panic that peaked in the 1980s and 1990s is constantly threatening to return. This week’s Time magazine recounted the story (headline: “New Jersey Police Suspect Cult Activity in Grave Robbing”) of a body taken from a mausoleum in Pleasantville, New Jersey. As police sometimes do when no motive is apparent, it suggested the crime might have been committed by a “cult…

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Satanic Temple’s IRS Recognition Rekindles Fierce Debate Over What Is ‘Really Real’ Church

…it didn’t help that in the 1970s a CoS member named Martin Lamers opened a Satanic “abbey” in Amsterdam’s red-light district where visitors paid to watch “Satanic nuns” perform sex acts. Lamers argued that his abbey was tax-exempt because the sex acts were religious services and the payments were donations. LaVey considered revoking Lamers’s charter over his claim to be tax-exempt. In 1987, after a decade of police raids and legal battles, the abb…

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Should Satanic Temple Have Threatened Netflix Over Baphomet Statue in ‘Sabrina’ Series?

…escribe a pattern in which “people think the know enough about others to make decisions about how to treat them, but that familiarity is based in ignorance.” In other words, producers looking for Satanic images online likely assumed the Satanic Temple were “just trolls” or otherwise not a “real” organization with the same rights and concerns as everyone else….

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Satanic “Black Mass” at Harvard Excites Conservatives

…e of propinquity with extraordinary evil. For Christian claims-makers, The Satanic Temple’s educational re-enactment of a black mass is even more useful than Warnke’s witchmobile: It provides physical evidence of the reality of demonic evil and, in turn, affirms their own sense of a divine order. But while the Satanic Temple and the claims-makers may be looking at the same script, there are likely some surprises in store. It will be interesting to…

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dungeonsanddragons

My Childhood Hobby Was Satanic, Or So They Told Me

…There are two parts to this book. The first part tells the history of the panic from the origins of the fantasy role-playing game in the 1960s until 2001. (The panic never fully died, but 9/11 and the War on Terror gave Americans a much more tangible focus for their fears.) In telling this history I found a lot of information that most gamers never knew about. The full extent of the panic is simultaneously fascinating, frightening, and tragic. Fo…

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