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date: 16 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The notion of an international Satanist conspiracy became prominent during the so-called Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) scare. This scare—also referred to as the ‘Satanic Panic’—peaked in the late 1980s and early 1990s. During these years, significant segments of the law enforcement community and numerous therapists believed in the existence of a vast, underground network of evil Satanic cults sacrificing and abusing children. Less responsible members of the mass media avidly promoted the idea as an easy way of selling copy and increasing ratings. Although the Satanism scare did not involve an empirically-existing new religion, it shared many themes with the cult controversy. Anti-cultists, for example, jumped on the Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) bandwagon as a way of promoting their own agenda, and NRM scholars spear-headed the academic analysis of the scare. In “Satanic Ritual Abuse,” James R. Lewis presents a systematic survey of this phenomenon.

Keywords: Anti-cultism, Ritual Abuse, Satan, Moral Panic, The Satanic Bible

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