Ritual sex cults
Grounds included technical dismissals, constitutional challenges and prosecutorial misconduct. Psychiatrist Roland Summit delivered conferences in the wake of the McMartin trial and depicted the phenomenon as a conspiracy that involved anyone skeptical of the phenomenon. Missing memories among the victims and absence of evidence was cited as evidence of the power and effectiveness of this cult in furthering its agenda. The latter in particular failed to substantively improve on or replace "Satanic" abuse as it was never used to describe any rituals except the Satanic ones that were the core of SRA allegations. The report found cases of sexual abuse, of which 36 were classified as substantiated cases of ritual abuse.
These cases garnered the label "satanic ritual abuse" both in the media and among professionals. These cults were also thought to sexually abuse and torture children in order to coerce them into a lifetime of Devil worship. Compared with a set of interviews from Child Protective Services , the interviews from the two trials were "significantly more likely to a introduce new suggestive information into the interview, b provide praise, promises, and positive reinforcement, c express disapproval, disbelief, or disagreement with children, d exert conformity pressure, and e invite children to pretend or speculate about supposed events. In some cases this was simultaneously presented with the idea that it did not matter if SRA actually existed, that the empirical truth of SRA was irrelevant, that the testimony of children was more important than that of doctors, social workers and the criminal justice system. Corydon Hammond publicized a detailed theory of ritual abuse drawn from hypnotherapy sessions with his patients, alleging they were victims of a worldwide conspiracy of organized, secretive clandestine cells who used torture, mind control and ritual abuse to create alternate personalities that could be "activated" with code words; the victims were allegedly trained as assassins, prostitutes, drug traffickers, and child sex workers to create child pornography. They were eating those babies, bones and all. Prosecutors used Michelle Remembers as a guide when preparing cases against alleged Satanists. The primary witness in the Country Walk case repeatedly made, then withdrew accusations against her husband amid unusual and coercive inquiries by her lawyer and a psychologist. Law enforcement trainers, many themselves strongly religious, became strong promoters of the claims and self-described "experts" on the topic. The McMartin Trial in re-cast Ray Buckey as a victim of overzealous prosecution rather than an abusive predator and marked a watershed change in public perceptions of satanic ritual abuse accusations. Now discredited , the book was written in the form of an autobiography, presenting the first modern claim that child abuse was linked to Satanic rituals. Science as a Candle in the Dark to a critique of claims of recovered memories of UFO abductions and satanic ritual abuse and cited material from the newsletter of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation with approval. Grounds included technical dismissals, constitutional challenges and prosecutorial misconduct. Proof was provided in the form of unconnected bits of information such as pictures drawn by patients, heavy metal album covers, historical folklore about devil worshipers, and pictures of mutilated animals. The case caused tremendous polarization in how to interpret the available evidence. Blood libel , Moral panic , and Child cannibalism The SRA panic repeated many of the features of historical moral panics and conspiracy theories,  such as the blood libel against Jews by Apion in the 30s CE,  the wild rumors that led to the persecutions of early Christians in the Roman Empire , later allegations of Jewish rituals involving the killing of Christian babies and desecration of the Eucharist , and the witch hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries. Such changes in the prosecution of cases of alleged incest resulted in an increase in confessions by fathers in exchange for plea bargains. Finkelhor, upon receiving a "confirmation", would collect information from whoever was willing or interested to provide it and did not independently investigate the cases, resulting in frequent errors in their conclusions. The investigation of incest allegations in California was also changed, with cases led by social workers who used leading and coercive interviewing techniques that had been avoided by police investigators. Buckey was re-charged and two years later released without conviction. The atheistic or religious beliefs of the disputants have also resulted in different interpretations of evidence, and as well as accusations of those who reject the claims being "anti-child". In the United States, evidence was reported but was based on a flawed methodology with an overly liberal definition of a substantiated case. After asking the children to point to the places on the dolls where they had allegedly been touched and asking leading questions, MacFarlane diagnosed sexual abuse in virtually all the McMartin children. Reasons for the collapse of the phenomenon include the collapse of criminal prosecution against alleged abusers, a growing number of scholars, officials and reporters questioning the reality of the accusations, and a variety of successful lawsuits against mental health professionals. The latter in particular failed to substantively improve on or replace "Satanic" abuse as it was never used to describe any rituals except the Satanic ones that were the core of SRA allegations. No data is provided beyond case studies and brief summaries. Belief in SRA spread rapidly through the ranks of mental health professionals despite an absence of evidence through a variety of continuing education seminars, during which attendees were urged to believe in the reality of Satanic cults their victims, and not to question the extreme and bizarre memories uncovered.
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