sacrifice/satanism/child abuse

Mon, 20 Jun 1994 17:23:47 EST

Diane, please do post more details about Mike Hill's research. I for one would
be _very_ interested.

I don't know what anthropologists have done in this area, but we folklorists
have been tracking legends about satanic ritual abuse (SRA) and the selling of
parts, etc., for some time. The newsletter of the Society for COntemporary
Legend Resaerch, FOAFTale News, has a regular "Eye on Satanism" column in which
news reports pertaining to SRA are reported. Jeffrey Victor, a sociologist,
published _Satanic Panic_ in 1993; a somewhat disorganized but thorough study
of the current rash of satanism rumors and panics in the U.S.

As for baby parts, see Veronique Campion-Vincent, "Demonologies in Contemporary
legends and Panics: Satanism and Babyparts Stories," _Fabula: Zeitschrift fur
Volkskunde_ 34 (1993):238-51.

One of the thrusts of folkloristic commentary on these matters is
that contemporary rumors and legends recycle traditional slurs that have
recurred throughout European history (as described in Norman Cohn's _Europe's
Inner Demons_ and in Alan Dundes' _The Blood-Libel Legend: A Casebook_. Today,
"Satanists" perfrom ritual sexual abuse of children and infanticide; during the
witch hunts the same charge (even down to the details) was laid against
witches, heretics, the Knights Templar, and Jews; in ancient Rome the early
Christians were supposed to do the same things.

Is this particular demonological charge peculiar to Europe? (I'm inclined to
doubt it, but you folks would have firmer examples to bring forward than I do).

Must go--dinner's burning....

Moira Smith