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[This excerpt is from Second Thoughts: Understanding the False Memory Crisis and How It Could Affect You, pp. 75-78, by Paul Simpson. Thomas Nelson Publishers, Atlanta, GA. Copyright (c) 1996. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Read our review or order it from]

Old Habits Die Hard

Wendy represents only one case of thousands of patients who have been convinced that they were raised in multigenerational satanic cults.  Here's another Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) story you might have read about.

In '92 one of the most sensational cases of satanic ritualistic abuse in the United States was discovered.  Seventeen girls from a small East Coast community exhibited traumatic symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder.  Experts were called in to examine the girls.  While initially unable to recall what had occurred, the girls were eventually able to recover repressed memories of ritual abuse.  Before the investigation was over, the largest SRA scandal to date had been uncovered, and 140 people were indicted in the subsequent investigation.  Though there was no actual evidence of SRA, the authorities found the testimony of the girls to be compelling and convincing.  Local community leaders were stunned that this could occur in their town without anyone suspecting.

Of the 140 people that were originally indicted, thirty-one were found guilty of ritualistic abuse.  Of those found guilty, eleven were sentenced to prison and served varying amounts of prison time, nineteen of the guilty were hanged, and one man was slowly crushed between huge stones until his death two days later.

The year, of course, was 1692.  The place was Salem, Massachusetts.

Between 1484 and 1723 approximately two hundred thousand people were tortured and murdered during waves of witch hysteria, which cycled across various European countries.  Typically a community would become panicked that there were witches causing various calamities (hailstorms, cows giving sour milk, young girls with unexplained afflictions, etc.). Ministers preached against the horrors of the witches and the need for God's people to ferret out evildoers and bring them to confession and justice.  Magical lists of "indicators" were developed that allowed God's faithful to detect a witch.  After torture with some of the cruelest techniques ever devised, the accused would admit guilt or die during the proceedings.  The confessions were then used as proof that the original "indicators" were correct.  Shortly after confessing, the accused was murdered (typically strangled, hanged, or beheaded) and burned.  The witch panic would progress, leaving in its wake up to thousands murdered in a particular region before it would eventually subside.  Often the satanic panic would resurface decades later in the same community and the cycle would start anew.

Three hundred years later, the witch-hunters are back in full force, looking for new victims.  Webster's Third International Dictionary defines a witch-hunt as, "An investigation of or campaign against dissenters conducted on the pretext of protecting the public welfare and resulting in public persecution and defamation of character."2

In a definitive work on witch hysterias of the past, Rossell Robbins noted aspects of inquisitional laws that were created to guarantee that the accused would be found guilty.3  His historical review was published in 1960, yet perfectly describes today's False Memory Crisis:
Convictions in the 
Witch Trials 
Today's Convictions in
1. The procedure was secret.  1. The development and confirmation of abusive fantasies are done under the guise of "client confidentiality" and the parents are never allowed a defense.
2. Rumors were accepted as an indication of guilt, which the accused had to disprove. 2. Unsubstantiated fantasies of abuse are accepted as indicators of guilt, which parents have the burden of disproving.
3. Frequently the precise charges were concealed from the accused. 3. The large majority of parents don't know the specific crimes they are accused of committing. Their accusing child assumes the parent already knows, and the therapist maintains confidentiality.
4. Persons normally debarred from giving evidence in all other trials were permitted and encouraged to testify in witch trials--children of ten years and younger, perjurers, felons, and excommunicates. 4. Severely mentally disturbed patients are always assumed to be describing real events in their fantasies, including those they describe when regressed into infancy or the womb.
5. No favorable evidence was permitted about the accused's previous life and character. 5. Any evidence of the parents' integrity or Christian character is reinterpreted as a perpetrator's clever disguise.
6. A witness for the accused would be presumed to be a friend, and therefore guilty by association of the same crime. 6. Anyone who defends the accused is also 'in denial" and accused of being an accomplice as well.
7. The most severe torture was reserved to make the accused an informer; often the names of "accomplices" were suggested to him by the judges or hangmen. 7. With a macabre twist, the therapist is able to suggest potential abusers to the hypnotized patient, who then incorporates the suggestions into her fantasies.
8. No one accused was ever found innocent.  At best, his case would be declared Not Proven, and the trial could be reopened at any time.  However, this was theoretical, for in practice the accused was tortured until he confessed or died. 8. Once accused, the parents are never able to clear their names.  Therapists, accusing children, lifelong friends, and church members assume that the needed evidence has simply disappeared decades ago in an attempted coverup.

When I was practicing regressionism, I deeply believed in multigenerational satanists.  Through different seminars and readings, I had learned deep, intricate conspiracy theories about them.  With their legions of followers, immense wealth, and tremendous power, they were the "unseen hand" that guides the events of nations.  The notion appealed to my beliefs as a Christian in an actual Satan.  It seemed to explain so much of what was wrong with our world.  I listened to national 'experts' teach with hushed tones about intricate theories and expound on horrific crimes satanists were committing.

The more popular version teaches that multigenerational satanists are believed to have existed for centuries and thousands of them have infiltrated positions of power throughout the world. In their worship and service to Satan, they torture and murder thousands of adults and children each year. They also have ancient, magical techniques that they use in their rituals to create alter personalities in helpless victims. In regression circles these "victims" are identified as suffering from multiple personality disorder. It's interesting to note that before therapy the client has no knowledge of the other personalities within her. Regressionists believe the knowledge of the cult is locked away in one or more of the hidden personalities, and the regressionist is the only one who can uncover the secret past by the use of different hypnotic techniques. Like the earlier witch hunts, the conspiracy theories have an anti-Semitic theme, maintaining that Jewish mystics (who are allegedly multigenerational satanists) were smuggled out of Nazi Germany by the CIA and then taught undercover law enforcement how to create alter personalities in helpless victims. Since then the CIA has also supposedly used these techniques.

The multigenerational satanists are said to be so advanced that they are able to plant "triggers" in the victim, so that decades later the victim can be preprogrammed to kill herself on a particular anniversary r return to the cult if she ever discovers the truth of her past. So, once in therapy, the regressionist will forbid the client from reading any mail or accepting any calls from family members because at any moment a trigger word can be read or heard and the client will then kill herself or drop out of therapy and return to the cult. Regressionists estimate anywhere from 200,000 up to 500,000 people have survived the multigenerational satanists' tortures and secretly carry the knowledge of the cult and the implanted triggers outside of conscious awareness.

With all this talk there must be something to the conspiracy theories.

Or is there?

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