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on May 10th 2000, 21:00:18, dan b pearl wrote the following about


This talk of the devil recalls the media reports of »satanic abuse« in the early-1980s United States and mid-1980s Britain and their emphasis on purported devil worship – as if this would have made the sexual abuse and torture of children any more abhorrent. Drawing on Wilson (1951), anthropologist and DHSS-commissioned investigator La Fontaine (1998:93) attributes this to »shared fears of figures of evil«:
»There is no evidence in these cases that what is alleged to have happened has happened... There is evidence that children have been sexually abused and subjected to perverse treatment and there is also evidence that children's interest in magic and witches may be used to lure them into participating in sexual activities and to make sure that they keep these activities secret. However, the satanic conspirators of the satanic abuse allegations, like night-witches or the celebrants of the witch's sabbath, reflect «the nightmares of the group.»«

La Fontaine, Jean S. (1998): Speak of the devil: tales of satanic abuse in contemporary England Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Wilson, M. (1951): »Witch beliefs and social structure« in American Journal of Sociology 56 307-313

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