Satan's Silence: Ritual Abuse And The Making Of A Modern American Witch Hunt
a book by Debbie Nathan and Michael Snedeker
(our site's book review)
Maybe the kids were born evil and asked for it? (NOT!)
Society has undergone, in the 80s and 90s and into the 21st century, both a throwback to the witch hunts of the Inquisition and a questioning of said activities. False memory syndrome accounts for some of the amazing number of people who have been falsely accused of molesting their kin, their students, and their neighbors’ kids. We’ve heard about ritual-abuse and sex-ring prosecutions that have turned out to be wholly in the minds of the warped interviewer-inquisitors (who’ve read too many fundamentalist treatises on the evils of Satan and Satanism), not in the actions of real people. And yet we know that real child sexual abuse, particularly incest, remains grossly underreported.
The devil made them do it—or did they really do anything at all?
According to the authors, “The only real answer to these dilemmas is to cease thinking obsessively about what to do after sexual abuse has occurred, and take real steps to prevent it in the first place. . . . Children develop [psychological and sexual integrity, abilities to respond to threats] by being given the chance to live in egalitarian families, to study in schools that value their intellectual, moral, and creative capabilities, and to live in a society where they are encouraged to engage in meaningful decision making, with peers and with adults.”
The sexual abusers of kids do evil and should be jailed, but even they were not BORN evil