False Memories and Satanic Panic Debunked again
ichelle Remembers (1980) was written by Michelle Smith and Lawrence Pazder (M.D.). The book detailed the terrors of Smith’s expereince as a child of five in Victoria Columbia (1954-1955). Michelle Smith claimed that her mother gave her to devil worship rituals and that she witnessed ritual killings of animals and infants. Michelle, in her alleged recollections, claimed that she was shut in coffins and put into graves and made to defaecate on the cross and renounce the Christian god. She recollected seeing the Devil, a not-so congenial gentlemen with lashing, snake-like tail, which struck her neck and seared her flesh.
Diane Vera disagrees with the Satanic Kindred Organization article History of Satanism which says:
Perhaps most dangerous of all are small cults whose members call themselves Satanists and practice ritual murder and animal mutilation. Such groups are said to kidnap runaway children and the homeless and use them as sacrificial victims.
Such cults were alleged to be commonplace in the 1980’s, and were a common feature of the highly questionable “recovered memories” that were faddish back then. However, in real life, only one cult even remotely resembling this description has ever been found and prosecuted: the drug gang led by Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo.
She refers to the Bakersfield case of 1985 in which a ten year old boy, in Bakersfield, California, claimed that he and about two dozen other boys were forced to participate in gory satanic ritual in a “bad church.” Diane Vera points out, with references, that the 34 convictions related to the Kern County Child Abuse cases were overturned in appeals. She debunks the “Satanic Ritual Abuse” cases as “full-fledged witch-hunt which ruined the lives of thousands of probably-innocent people.” She also refers to the 1992 report by FBI special agent Kenneth Lanning ,who concluded that the “Satanic Ritual Abuse” cases were “almost entirely nonsense.”