Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Satanic Panic! Are Secret Satanists Controlling Our Minds?

RationalWiki has a nice summary of the Satanic Panic of the 80s and 90s, when roving gangs of Satanists were believed to be going around committing murders and molesting children.

Stereotypical characteristics of Satanists and Satanism 
Evangelicals and the police and prosecutors that they influence usually believe that the network(s) of Satan worshipers are characterized by the following: 
There are families of devil worshippers, and they tend to be multigenerational. 
Teenagers are enticed to join Satanic cults. 
Human sacrifice. 
Disappearing pets are used for animal sacrifice. 
Ritual child abuse. 
Satanist networks are part of a broader conspiracy, e.g. the Illuminati. 
Wiccans and other neopagans are Satanic in nature. 
Wiccan symbols such as the pentagram are signs of Satanic activity. 
Some Christian books on Satanism (and materials provided to law enforcement) included the peace symbol and the anarchy symbol in their lists of "Satanic symbols" to watch out for. Warning! There are pentagrams in the American flag and in the EU flag. 
Some parts of popular culture are functioning as recruiting tools for Satanism, including heavy metal music and the game Dungeons and Dragons. 
Halloween is a Satanic holiday; urban legends and scares over poisoned candy were claimed to be the work of Satanic cults. 
Some towns, agencies, or even major corporations (i.e. Procter & Gamble) are secretly under the control of Satanists. 
Satanist "infiltration" of the military. 
Washington, D.C. is infested with Satanic symbols designed into the city. 
Atheists are really satanists.

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