Satanic Panics

Tue, 21 Jun 1994 11:07:58 -0400

> To whom it may concern,
>I don't have a reference for this but I know of a dissertation written on the
>belief in some parts of Central America that relatives, children et al., are
>kidnapped and taken to America to be processed as ham and resold in cans in
>stores. This completes the picture of economic woes, that the north is
>"devouring" poorer peasants and reselling them back to their families.
> All of this, of course, has no reference, but I remember attending a
>lecture on this work by a PhD candidate from the University of Chicago(?)
>Sorry about the lack of a source.
Hmm... I've been hearing quite a lot about these "Satanic panics" in
Guatemala recently. A friend of mine even knows one of the people who was
attacked in Guatemala for being an American "baby-stealer."
I think the rumors go somewhere along the line that children and
others are stolen and killed so that their organs go into organ banks in
the U.S. I haven't heard about them being processed into ham sandwiches...
(hmm, I've always wondered what goes into Spam, anyway... UUUGH!)
I think some medical anthropologist wrote about this recently. It's at
least partially a metaphor for the labor situation - Central American
youths come to El Norte looking for work, are "processed" by our values,
and then when they return to their families they are now "changelings."
The metaphor of organ extraction could simply be an expression of
economic relations - the basically extractive way in which the U.S. sucks
Central American countries dry of their resources through multinationals.
But they also said it reflects, however dimly, the "political-medical
economy" of the U.S. and Central America. Since many poor people do donate
blood and organs for cash, it is true that the organs of central American
people are flowing northward, while many blood and organ banks in C.A. go
Further, they said it has something to do with American adoption of
Central American children, and the fact that some real-life babyselling
does go on, largely to childless couples in the U.S.
The links between these rumors, and earlier cases of blood
libel/ritual abuse accusations are interesting. Most of the time, the
victims of these rumors were minority, relatively powerless, out-groups
(Templars, Jews, Christians in Rome, heretics in the Middle Ages, etc.) But
in this case the Accusation is being aimed at the relatively powerful,
dominant culture of El Norte...

And to the more general point of "Satanic panics" in the U.S. I think
this topic is fascinating, especially because of the debate over "False
Memory Syndrome" that it's provoking. It may be that "Satanic ritual abuse"
is a screen for memories of other forms of abuse, or maybe just a
projection/fantasy confused for a memory.
Most real-life Satanist groups (Anton LaVey's for example) have
protested innocence for these crimes. Interestingly, they have often been
blamed for mysterious cattle mutilations out west - just as Santeria
practicioners are blamed for every diced-up cat in Miami.
The amazing thing, sociologically, is that police departments all over
the U.S. now have investigative units for "Occult crime." They really have
bought into the Satanism rumor mill. I think that one of the groups that
fanned the flames of this nonsense in the mid-1980s was the Parent's Music
Resource Center (PMRC, Tipper Gore, please stand up), claiming to find
Satanic symbols, lyrics, and imagery in every album they could get their
hands on.
One thing that does have me wondering, though. One survey revealed
that one area in which Satanic cults are extremely active is the U.S.
Military. It was recently revealed that Col. Michael Aquino was a leader of
the Temple of Set.
Of course, I consider it pure coincidence that Aquino is also an
expert in psychological warfare and disinformation, or that he was in
charge of applying these tactics against dissidents in the Phillipines.

Seeker1 [@Nervm.Nerdc.Ufl.Edu] (real info available on request)
CyberAnthropologist, TechnoCulturalist, Guerilla Ontologist, Chaotician
Discordian Society, Counter-Illuminati Operations Branch
"The map is not the territory." -- Alfred Korzybski
"The menu is not the meal." -- Alan Watts