In the Eighties we saw the rise of the "Satanic Panic" and such subjects as satanism, devil worship, black masses, human sacrifices and the so-called worldwide satanic conspiracy were discussed in magazines, newspapers, television "news" programs and especially the talk shows. Actually these things were not discussed; they were exploited for the sake of circulation, ratings, and reputations. The pretense was to warn the world, to inform parents, to break wide open the satanic threat to the American Way of Life, but it was only a pretense, at least for most of those involved. There were some who probably did believe that they were "doing good" or "doing God's work", but the harm that was done to our society during this latest "witchhunt" in history was tremendous, and more than we will actually know for many years yet to come.
Soon after the "witchhunt", this "Satanic Panic", had begun, some of the more socially conscious and responsible members of the occult community began speaking up to counter the hysteria, differentiate between subjects like satanism and Witchcraft which were being blurred and merged, absolutely everything esoteric or occult being labelled "satanic" by the media and the fanatics of the "Christian" fundamentalist community. We contacted the media, we wrote articles, some of us appeared on the talk shows, and many of us exercised reason and logic that was not expected of us. We showed the world that we were "normal" people with respectable values even though we are not members of the Judeo-Christian community. Gradually we began turning things around. Gradually the worst of the Satanic Panic ended, the subjects for this reason and others seldom taken up by the news media. Ever so gradually a calm and dignified story was told by the media and the television talk shows about this or that person recanting his or her statements about having been raised as a Satanic Baby Breeder or of being a high ranking member of a vast nationwide satanic cult. This was in contradistinction to the hype and the hoopla of the Satanic Panic, the virtual carnival sideshow attraction of such programs as Geraldo. No apologies were made for previous misleading programs or the slanderous remarks made about Wiccans (Witches for those of you still afraid to use the W-word), Thelemites and students of the occult in general. No apologies were made for the panic that was fueled by the talk shows and the media in general, nor for some of the devastating results of that Satanic Panic, such as fathers and/or mothers losing custody of their beloved children when falsely accused of being "satanists", some going to jail. No apologies were made to the children who were abused, not by one or both of their alleged evil satanic parents, but by the media itself as well as unscrupulous "therapists" out to make a fast buck or a name for themselves. No. Just ever so quietly there was this and that story, someone recanting an oft told tale of satanic horror that proved to be a complete fabrication. We began to hear about False Memory Syndrome, having already become acquainted with the phrase Multiple Personality Disorder, supposedly being the result of satanic abuse. Things started to turn around, but the media has never truly addressed the issue of their blatant disregard for the truth and good journalism at the height of the Satanic Panic. The media has never admitted to and apologized for its role, for having stoked the fires of the new, more "civilized" burning times. However, here we are in a New Millennium and it's all over now.
Or is it?
Occasionally there will still be a story in some magazine or newspaper, on the TV news or even, although rarely, on a talk show about mostly teens becoming involved in "satanism" or "Witchcraft" with terrible results. And of course the fundamentalist "Christians" never really let up. They go on with a fanatacism that knows no bounds. I have always found it amusing when they rant about the supposed "Gay Agenda" trying to convince society that gay men and lesbians are "recruiting", turning otherwise straight individuals into "faggots" and "dykes". As if that were possible! And all the time, what is the "Fundamentalist Agenda"? Well, to convert the entire world to their idea of Christianity, everything else to them being ignorance and "the work of the Devil". As is so often the case, the people making the false charges against others are themselves guilty of those "crimes".
Is the Satanic Panic over? The answer is, of course, no. Not really. At a future time, when circumstances are ripe, when the lessons learned during this last panic are almost forgotten, when there is need for something sensational to boost circulation or ratings, to build a reputation upon, something with which to frighten people into church, it will start up again with new vigour. Unless we follow the example of the Jewish community which will never let the world forget about the Holocaust. Unless we never let society forget about this last Satanic Panic and continue to educate the masses, provide good examples of what it really means to be a Witch, a Druid, a Thelemite.
The articles below originally appeared in The Newaeon Newsletter and its supplemental Encyclical Letters, for you see, I was one of those socially conscious and responsible people who spoke out against the media hype and misrepresentation. I wrote these articles, I contacted newspapers and gave interviews, I even appeared on a talk show, although the host, reputedly a Baptist, successfully did his damnedest to keep me from speaking even though others on his staff had arranged it so that I could speak, seating me appropriately. Mostly I was one of the ones who worked behind the scenes, contacting newspaper and magazine editors, providing them with information about the differences between satanism, Witchcraft, Thelema and the various sects of Voodoo and Santeria. I communicated with police officials and district attorneys in my home state of Pennsylvania and with those of other states. Most of the television talk shows and so-called TV "news" programs heard from me, and I was either treated with respect or apparently ignored. Yet the changes took place, the situation turned around, and like so many in the occult community who will never be given our due credit for making this happen I feel that the results were reward enough for our efforts. But the efforts to keep it from happening again must never end. And so I will present to you the articles that I have written which are related to the Satanic Panic. Here are the arguments you will need to use should this begin to happen again. And if you are a member of the community who started the panic or heightened it, here are articles that may educate you so that you will never make this mistake again.
As time permits, I will continue to add the published articles to this section of the Castle of the Silver Star, but I hope that once they have all been placed here, on the Internet, there will never again be a need for new articles on this subject ... unless it is to report upon the progress made in preventing the Satanic Panic from ever again rearing its ugly, bigoted head.
Michael A. Aquino - Part I
The Temple of Set
Michael A. Aquino - Part II
The Temple of Set
Satan Wants You: The Cult of Devil Worship in America
by Arthur Lyons
The Satanic Panic - Part I
The Satanic Panic - Part II
The Satanic Panic - Part III
The Ultimate Evil
by Maury Terry
Satanism: A Guide to the Awesome Power of Satan
by Wade Baskin
Dictionary of Demons
by Fred Gettings
The Satanic Panic - Part IV
Cults That Kill: Probing the Underworld of Occult Crime
by Larry Kahaner
Satanism: The Seduction of America's Youth
by Bob Larson
The Satanic Panic - Part V
by Carl A. Raschke
The Satanic Panic - Part VI
The Satanic Panic - Part VII
The Satanic Panic - Part VIII NEW!