Safety Notice

If you are a survivor, please be careful in reading the information compiled here. It is impossible to give information on ritual abuse, and about people's opinions about ritual abuse, in a way that is not upsetting and/or triggering. Only you know how much is wise to read, and how much information you can absorb at one time.

Journal Articles, by Author, S to Z


Sachs, Roberta G. “The role of sex and pregnancy in Satanic cults.” Pre- and Peri-Natal Psychology J 5(2) 1990 pp.105-13.
Describes the sexual practices and abuse during pregnancy in Satanic cults and suggests that this may cause dissociative disorders to develop in (former) members. This occurs as a result of selective breeding for high dissociative ability and repeated trauma, which forces the continual exercise of’ the dissociative defense in order to survive. Those that do survive have been conditioned since childhood not to reveal cult practices, and this secrecy may lead many health professionals to miss or overlook the signs and symptoms of past and present Satanic abuse and prevent the victims from receiving needed treatment.

Sarson, J. and MacDonald, L. (2008). Ritual Abuse-Torture within Families/Groups.  J Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma 16(4) 2008 pp.419-38.
AUTHOR ABSTRACT: RAT also organizes violent group gatherings that use “rituals and ceremonies.” RAT families/groups manipulate rituals for a complex array of purposes. As mothers, fathers, and kin, they present a front to the community as a normative family. They serve as volunteers, members of civic groups, and participants in mainstream church-going. Behind this normalized front, however, they perpetrate socialized sexual victimization and aggression under the strict enforcement of gender-based roles. The most powerful environment, method of indoctrination, and training in the hidden family culture is the use of group rituals. Socializing girls into the role of perfect victim, perpetrators associate being a woman with submitting to rape. A boy child is socialized to be an aggressor, as he is forced into sexual acts with other children as part of the ritual of “how to be a man.” These group rituals are ordeals that destroy the child’s connectedness to an identity beyond what is imposed by the dominant patriarch. The ritualistic gatherings reinforce gender-based identities. Pedophilic perpetrators assert their adult positions of power and domination over child victims, shaping the adult-perpetrator/child-victim relationship. Bestiality is also included in the rituals, as are pornographic photographs. This article advocates recognizing RAT as an emerging form of non-state actor torture, stopping the use of language that sexualizes adult-child relationships, and promoting human rights education. The latter should include the exposure of all forms of violence, gender inequality, and sexual exploitation while promoting empathic, responsive, and humane interactions between adults and children and males and females.

Scannell, Tim. “Occult literature: Creative and involving or macabre and Satanic?” English J 76(2) 1987 p.22.
Schafer, John R. “Investigating child sexual abuse in the American Indian community” American Indian Quarterly, 16(2) 1992 pp. 15--167.

Schmuttermaier, John and Veno, Arthur. “Counselors’ beliefs about ritual abuse: An Australian study.” J Child Sexual Abuse, 8(3), 1999 pp.45-63.
AUTHOR ABSTRACT: This study compares the beliefs held by Center Against Sexual Assault (CASA) workers, psychiatrists, and psychologists about ritual abuse. These beliefs were examined across a number of dimensions, of which five are discussed here: definitions of ritual abuse; number of cases identified between 1985-95; belief of client statements; religious beliefs; and training in therapy for sexual assault. In spite of the literature indicating broad disagreement with the definition of ritual abuse in other studies, results indicate 70 percent of all counselors agreed with a single definition of ritual abuse, and 85 percent agreed that ritual abuse was an indication of genuine trauma. There were 153 cases of ritual abuse identified by counselors between 1985-1995. Not one of these counselors believed that any of the claims made by their clients were intentionally fabricated. Overall, the CASA workers were much more likely to believe their client’s ritual abuse and marginally more likely to identify ritual abuse cases than other therapists. Religious beliefs had no relationship to the identification of ritual abuse. Training in recognition and treatment of sexual abuse was significantly positively related to the identification of ritual abuse cases.

Schnabel, Jim. “Chronic claims of alien abduction and some other traumas as self-victimization syndromes.” Dissociation 7(1) 1994 pp.51-62.
Discusses the case of an alleged alien abduction (AA) victim in her late twenties who claimed a range of dissociation-related and traumatic experiences. There was a heavy thematic emphasis upon sexual abuse, extending back to a traumatic childhood non-abuse incident, for which she apparently was never amnesic. The AA syndrome and some or all narratives associated with multiple personality disorder and “Satanic ritual abuse” do not derive exclusively from severe exogenous trauma and may be more usefully viewed as self-victimization syndromes.

Schmuttermaier, John and Veno, Arthur. Counselors’ beliefs about ritual abuse: An Australian study. J Child Sexual Abuse 8(3) 1999 pp.45-63.

Schmuttermaier, John and Veno, Arthur. Counselors’ beliefs about ritual abuse: An Australian study. Sage Family Studies Abstracts 22(3) 2000.

Schmuttermaier, John and Veno, Arthur. “Counselors’ beliefs about ritual abuse: An Australian study.” Violence and Abuse Abstracts 6(3) 2000.

Schmuttermaier, John. “Cult and Ritual Abuse: Sadism Not Sophism.” PsycCRITIQUES  46(6) 2001.

Schreiber, Nadja. “Interviewing techniques in sexual abuse cases - A comparison of a day-care abuse case with normal abuse cases.” Swiss J Psychology - Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Psychologie - Revue Suisse de Psychologie, 59(3) Sep 2000 pp.196-206.

Schreiber, Nadja, Bellah, Lisa D., Martinez, Yolanda, McLaurin Kristin A.,  Strok, Renata, Garven, Sena and Wood, James M. “Suggestive interviewing in the McMartin Preschool and Kelly Michaels daycare abuse cases: A case study.” Child Abuse and Neglect 18(4) 1994  pp.387-92.

Schumacher, Ruth B. and Carlson, Rebecca S. ”Variables and risk factors associated with child abuse in daycare settings.” Child Abuse and Neglect 23(9)  Sept 1999  pp.891-898.
The article reviewed the literature regarding child abuse (physical [PA], sexual [SA] and ritual [RA]), with emphasis on identifying variables associated with victims, perpetrators and settings. PA most frequently occurred in the form of over discipline, was a response to prior conflict with the child and may have been inadvertently supported by parental permission for corporal punishment. Although SA occurred less frequently in centers than in homes, effects on the victim seemed worse in centers. SA often included PA. A Satanic overtone was frequently associated with RA, and RA coupled with SA was most devastating. Effects were not temporary. Males predominated in the perpetrator profile.

Schutte, James W. “Repressed memory lawsuits: Potential verdict predictors” Behavioral Sciences and the Law 12(4) 1994 pp.409-16.
Examined the relationship between verdict and juror sex, ethnicity, religiosity, authoritarianism, and case type in lawsuits involving repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse. 251 undergraduates read excerpts from 1 of 2 hypothetical lawsuits (involving claims of incest or accusations of Satanic ritual abuse), rendered an individual verdict, and responded to demographic questionnaires and measures of religiosity and authoritarianism. Jurors who were female, highly religious, and highly authoritarian were most likely to sympathize with the plaintiff. There was no significant relationship between case type and verdict. Females found for the plaintiff 34.7% of the time, while males found for the plaintiff 18.8% of the time.

Schwartz, L. L. “The historical dimensions of cultic techniques of persuasion and control.” Cultic Studies J 8(1) 1991 pp.37-45.

Schwecke L.H. Beyond childhood sexual abuse: Ritual abuse-torture and human trafficking. J Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services 49(1) 2011  pp.8-10.

Scott, Sara, and Kelly, Liz. “Demons, devils and denial.” Trouble and Strife No. 4 1991 p.3.
Calls for a feminist understanding of ritual/Satanic abuse.

Scott, Sara. “Beyond belief: Beyond help? Report on a helpline advertised after the transmission of a Channel 4 film on ritual abuse.” Child Abuse Review 2(4) Dec 1993  pp.243-50.

Scott, Sara. “Here Be Dragons: Researching the Unbelievable, Hearing the Unthinkable. A Feminist Sociologist in Uncharted Territory.” Sociological Research Online, 3(3) 1998.
This paper describes a number of ways in which the dominant societal response to allegations of ritual abuse as untrue - as being produced by a combination of ‘moral panic’ and ‘false memories’ - impacted on research conducted with women and men who identified themselves as survivors of such abuse. (In Britain the research conducted by Jean La Fontaine and the press coverage it received is taken to exemplify this response.) The author’s research was based on life history interviews conducted with 14 adults aged between 19 and 58 (11 women and 3 men).

Scott, Sara.  “A living hell: Ritual abuse has become an unmentionable topic for many child protector professionals.” Community Care July 2001 pp.28-9.

Scott, Sara.   “An extract from Sara Scott’s new book on ritual abuse.” Trouble and Strife 41 (2000) pp.24-33.

Segerberg, M. “Satanic abuse, with focus on the situation in Finland.” J Clin Forensic Med 4(4) Dec. 1997 pp.188-91.
AUTHOR ABSTRACT: This paper outlines Satanism and devil worship as practiced in the Western countries and reviews the occurrence of Satanism in Finland. Two principal groups can be distinguished: the Satanists, mainly adults embracing the philosophical aspects of Satanism with no interest in hurting others, and the devil worshippers of Satanic cults, who accept teenagers into their group and whose activity may take violent forms. The main Satanic cult activity is vandalism, but other activities are now becoming more aggressive: causing bodily and mental harm to members and victims and luring young people into criminal activity. The views of the police and the medical community are discussed in this paper and current intervention is examined.

Shaffer, Ruth E.  and Cozolino, Louis J.  “Adults who report childhood ritualistic abuse,” Special issue: Satanic ritual abuse: The current state of knowledge, Psychology and Theology, 2031992 pp.188-93.
Interviewed 20 outpatients (aged 28--53 yrs) who reported memories of ritualistic abuse. Questions focused on the nature of the abuse and its perceived impact on interpersonal, occupational, and spiritual development. Ss entered therapy with similar psychological complaints. Reported psychiatric sequelae included dissociative, affective, somatization, and eating disorders. Abuse experiences were reported to have affected every aspect of their adult functioning. Only 1 S reported vague memories of ritualistic abuse before entering therapy. A composite clinical case study is presented based on the data to illustrate the psychotherapeutic process of uncovering memories.

Shaffer, Ruth E. “Better to investigate ritual abuse than to ignore or deny it: Shaffer responds to Ganaway.” J Psychology & Theology, 20(3) 1992 pp.208-9.

Shopper, Moisy. “Ritual abuse of children.” Amer Acad Child and Adoles Psych 30(6) 1991 pp.1023-4.
Comments on B. Nurcombe and J. Unutzer’s (see PA, 78:24632) article on the ritual abuse of children.  Recommendations are made concerning Nurcombe and Unutzer’s interview of a girl thought to be so abused. The recommendations concern the use of anatomically correct dolls, reality testing, checking consistencies with other documentation, and a possible diagnosis of folie-a-deux.

Shopper, Moisy. “What I learned from the Edenton “Little Rascals” sex abuse trial.” Psychoanalytic Inquiry 29(6) 2009 pp.513-27.

Sidey, Kenneth H. “The horror and the hype: While Satanism has been thrust into the limelight, experts are calling for careful analysis and reaction,” (includes related article), Christianity Today 33(17) 1989 p.48.

Sidey, Kenneth H. “Publisher withdraws Satanism story (Satan’s Underground by L. Stratford)” Christianity Today 34 1990 pp.34-35.

Silvey, Lee A. “Experiment in group therapy for Multiple Personality Disorder.” Treating Abuse Today 1(2) May/June 1991 pp.22-4.
A narrative report and description of a single experiment with a therapy group for people with Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). Includes group guidelines, therapeutic themes. and the use of as art and play therapy.
KEY WORDS: Adults - Battery - Child Abuse - Dissociative Identity Disorder - Emotional Abuse - Group Psychotherapy - Incest - Play Therapy - Psychotherapeutic Processes - Rape - Ritual Abuse - Survivors

Singer, Margaret T. “Thought reform programs and the production of psychiatric casualties.” Psychiatric Annals 20(4) 1990 pp.188-93.
A thought reform program (TRP) is a behavioral-change technology applied to cause the learning and adoption of an ideology or set of behaviors under certain conditions. The techniques used appear related to the type of psychiatric casualty the program tends to produce (e.g., mood/affect disorders, panic disorders). The TRP impinges on cognition, defenses, affects, values, and conduct. Each person’s genetic-biological makeup, life experiences, personality, and mental makeup interact with the stressors induced by the interface of the person’s old value, belief, and behavior codes with new beliefs and behavior promulgated by the program. Two case examples are presented.

Sivan, Abigail B. “Preschool child development: Implications for investigation of child abuse allegations.” Child Abuse & Neglect, 15 1991 pp.485-93.
Analysis of research on child development disputes notion that children’s disclosures of ritual abuse are fictitious.

Sjoberg, Rickard L. “False allegations of Satanic abuse: Case studies from the witch panic in Rattvik 1670-71.” Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 6(4) 1994 pp.219-26.

Sjöberg, Rickard L. “Child testimonies during an outbreak of witch hysteria: Sweden 1670-1671.” J Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines, Sept 1995 36(6) pp.1031-51.

Sjöberg, Rickard L. False claims of victimization: A historical illustration of a contemporary problem.”   Nordic J Psychiatry 56(2), 2002. pp.132-136.

Sjoberg, Rickard L. “The outbreak of mass allegations of Satanist child abuse in the parish of Rättvik, Sweden, 1670-71: Two texts by Gustav J. Elvius.” History of Psychiatry 15(4) 2004 pp.477-87.

Sjoberg, Rickard L. “Satanic ritualistic murders and child abuse--evidence-basing versus ideology” (Article in Swedish) Lakartidningen 102(40) 2005 pp. 2824-5.

Smith, Martin R. “A reply to Ganaway: The problem of using screen memories as an explanatory device in accounts of ritual abuse,” Dissociation 5(2) 1992 pp.117-19.
Comments on the article by G. K. Ganaway (see PA, 78:24404) concerning alternative explanations for clients who report accounts of ritual abuse in their backgrounds. Ganaway describes a screen memory as not a real memory but a fantasy. The authors suggest that Ganaway seems to have made a glaring conceptual error in confusing manufactured fantasy material with the idea of screen memory. Ritual abuse should be studied further.

Snow, Barbara and Teena Sorensen. “Ritualistic child abuse in a neighborhood setting.” Interpersonal Violence 5(4)1990 pp.474-87.
Describes common characteristics in 5 cases of ritualistic abuse that occurred in 5 neighborhoods. 39 children (aged 4-17 yrs) described in clinical interviews at least 6 elements of ritual abuse. Three distinct components to the abuse were identified: incest, neighborhood juvenile perpetration, and organized adult ritual sex rings. These components operated simultaneously and interacted with one another. Lack of understanding of these separate components led to oversimplification of the problem, inaccurate investigative work, and attempts to discredit victims and therapists. The cases of 5 victims (aged 5-16 yrs) illustrate how most Ss showed little symptomology at initial referral with significant increases during disclosure. perpetrators involved religious leaders, women, and many juveniles that were considered conscientious, responsible members of their community.

Snyder, Neal. “Who tells the truth about sexual abuse?” California Lawyer.  April 1988 pp.10-11.
Affirms the reliability of children’s testimony by citing studies conducted in Michigan, Colorado and California.

Socarides, Charles M. “Comment on Special Issue --- Cult Abuse of Children.” J Psychohistory, 21(4) 1994.

Sone, Kendra. (1994). “Tales of evil.” Community Care, June 30 - July 6 1994  pp.16-17.
Interviews with British front line professionals disputes the La Fontaine finding that Satanic abuse does not exist.

Sone, Kendra (1990). “Strengthening the resolve.” Community Care, 13(12) 1990 pp.13-15.
Interview  with Sheila Youngson, principal clinical psychologist at Pontefract Health Authority, who treated British children believed to have been ritually abused.

Sotos, James G., “Devil gets his due: Prison must accommodate Satanic rituals.” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin 141(3) 1995 p.6.
KEY WORDS: Howard vs. United States--864 F. Supp. 1019 (D. Colo. 1994); Freedom of religion--Litigation; Satanism--Litigation; Prisoners-Religion; United States

Spanos, Nicholas P. “Past-life identities, UFO abductions, and Satanic ritual abuse: The social construction of memories.” Special Issue: Hypnosis and delayed recall: I. International J Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 42(4) 1994 pp.433-46.
Examines research associated with past-life experiences, UFO alien contact and abduction, and memory reports of childhood ritual Satanic abuse. In each case, elicitation of the fantasy events is frequently associated with hypnotic procedures and structured interviews which provide strong and repeated demands for the requisite experiences, and which then legitimate the experiences as “real memories.” Research associated with these phenomena supports the hypothesis that recall is reconstructive and organized in terms of current expectations and beliefs. (German, French and Spanish abstracts).

Speltz, Amy M. “Treating adolescent Satanism in art therapy” Special Issue: The creative arts therapies with adolescents, Arts in Psychotherapy 17(2) No. 1990 pp.147-55.
Attempts to call attention to what seems to be an expanding adolescent population interested in Satanism. The primary goal of the therapist is to weaken the link with Satanism between the patients’ emotions and their art productions. For some patients, artwork can release emotions that were somehow satisfied by Satanism. Some helpful techniques for therapists have been (1) avoiding acknowledgment of the sensationalism in the artwork, (2) discussing artistic techniques in the early stages when there is great resistance to the exploration of meaning, (3) exploring meaning when the patient is ready, and (4) developing objectification when the patient is not ready.

Spicer, David. “Abuse by process.” Child Abuse Review Sep 1994 3(3) pp. 159-163.

Stafford, L. L. “Dissociation and multiple personality disorder: A challenge for psychosocial nurses.” J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv 31(1) 1993 pp.15-20.
1. MPD is a disorder in which two or more distinct personality states exist within an individual. At least two of these personalities recurrently take full control of the person’s behavior. 2. Most MPD clients report histories of severe childhood trauma, particularly physical, sexual, and ritual cult abuse. MPD most likely originates in childhood, but is not usually diagnosed until adulthood. In most reported cases, the first dissociative episode is thought to have occurred at a very young age. 3. Signs and symptoms that may suggest MPD include a history of medical and psychiatric diagnoses; inconsistencies in accounts of elapsed time and physical behaviors; psychophysiological complaints; experiencing voices inside the head; and an individual referring to herself as “we” instead of “I.”

Stafford, Lynn, and Steven, Jay. “Cultural scripts, memories of childhood abuse, and multiple identities: A study of role-played enactments.” J Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis  50(1) Jan 2002 pp.67-85.

Steck, Gary. “Satanism among adolescents: Empirical and clinical considerations.” Adolescence 27(108) 1992 pp.901-14.
Reviews the literature on adolescent involvement in Satanism. Results from a pilot study with 8 adolescent Satanists (aged 14--16 yrs) are presented along with a case study to illustrate factors that may alert practitioners to adolescents who are susceptible to Satanic influences. Interventions for dealing with this adolescent subpopulation are discussed.

Steele, Howard. “Unrelenting catastrophic trauma within the family: When every secure base is abusive.”  Attachment & Human Development  5(4) Dec 2003 pp.353-66.

Steele, K. “Sitting with the shattered soul,” Pilgrimage: J Personal Exploration and Psychotherapy, 15(6) 1987.

Steele, K. “Sitting with the shattered soul.” Treating Abuse Today 1(1) 1991 pp.12-5.

Stevens, Phillips, Jr. (1992). “Universal cultural elements in the Satanic demonology.” J Psychology & Theology, 20(3) 1992 pp.240-244.

Story, Donald W. “Ritualistic crime: A new  challenge to law  enforcement.” Law  and Order. September 1987.

Summit, Roland. “Digging for the truth: The McMartin tunnel project versus trenchant disbelief.” Treating Abuse Today 4(4) 1994 pp.5-13.
This article discusses evidence found in a 1990 archaeological dig supporting the school children’s claims that a secret tunnel system existed beneath the McMartin Preschool.

Summit, Roland. “The dark tunnels of McMartin,” J Psychohistory, 21(4) 1994 pp.397-416.
Overview of the McMartin preschool case, with emphasis on the evidence uncovered in an archaeological dig conducted by E. Gary Stickel, Ph.D.

Swatos, William H. Jr. “Adolescent Satanism: A research note on exploratory survey data.” Review of Religious Research, 34(2) Dec1992 pp.161-9.

Swett, C. and Halpert, M. “Reported history of physical and sexual abuse in relation to dissociation and other symptomology in women psychiatric patients.” J Interpersonal Violence 8 1993 pp.545-55.



Tamarkin, Civia. “Investigative issues in ritual abuse cases. Part I.” Treating Abuse Today 4(4) 1994 pp. 14-23.
This article discusses the pitfalls in the investigations of two seminal cases of alleged multi-perpetrator, multi-victim childhood sexual abuse in the early 1980’s.

Tamarkin, Civia. “Investigative issues in ritual abuse cases. Part II” Treating Abuse Today 4(5) 1994 pp.5-9.
This article discusses how political obstacles may hamper ritual abuse investigations. The author profiles several cases where evidence of organized abusive rituals, child pornography, or child smuggling was obtained but cover-up of political considerations blocked the

Tate, T. “Web of deceit.” Nurs Times 86(32) 1990 pp.16-7.

Taub, Diane E. “Satanism in contemporary America: Establishment or underground?” Sociological Quarterly 34(3) 1993 p.523.

Taylor, Hilda. “Alleged link between Satanic rites and child abuse debated.” Youth Law News. May-June 1986 pp.12-3.
Discussion of professional debate concerning allegations of ritual child abuse.

Tennant-Clark, Cynthia M., Fritz, Janet J. and Beauvais, Fred. “Occult participation: Its impact on adolescent development.” Adolescence 24(96) 1989 p.75.
This study investigated the relationship between occult participation, substance abuse, and level of self-esteem in adolescents. Data were collected from 50 adolescents who ranged in age from 12 to 19 years and who spoke English as their primary language. The combined group of adolescents consisted of 25 clinical and 25 nonclinical youth.

Thorne, Stephen B. “The role of suggestion in the perception of Satanic messages in rock-and-roll recordings.” Psychology 116(2) 1984 pp.245-8.
Examined the role of suggestion in the perception of hearing Satanic messages in rock-and-roll recordings presented backward to 65 undergraduates. Ss were placed in 1 of 3 groups: (1) no suggestion regarding message; (2) suggestion that words could be distinguished in the record; and (3) suggestion’ that Satanic messages could be distinguished in the record. A significantly greater proportion of Ss in the 2nd group reported hearing more words than the members of the other groups. A significantly greater proportion of Ss in the 3rd group reported hearing more messages with Satanic content than the members of the other groups.

Thornton, Edward E. “Fragmentation anxiety and the balm of empathy: A pastoral care perspective on Satanism.” Review and Expositor, 89(3) 1992 pp.515-26.

Trostle, Lawrence C. “Nihilistic adolescents, heavy metal rock music, and paranormal beliefs.” Psychological Reports 59(2) 1986 p.610.
Data from a witchcraft scale completed by 66 adolescents (half of whom were self-identified “stoners” (actively engaged in demonic worship and Satanic rituals) indicate that self-identification as a stoner was directly correlated with preference for heavy metal rock music.

Trzcinski, Jon. “Heavy metal kids: Are they dancing with the devil?” Child and Youth Care Forum 21()1 1992 pp.7-22.
Discusses the rise in popularity of heavy metal music with young people, and the associated increased concern among adults about its influence. It is alleged that heavy metal promotes violence, suicide, Satanism, and the occult. An examination of adult reaction to rock and roll in the 1950s and 1960s and the diverse messages of heavy metal put such concerns in a different perspective. It is proposed that parents, teachers, and other caregivers achieve an awareness of what young people are hearing, assist them in critical listening, and open channels of communication about the place and meaning of music, including mutual discussion of values, ethics, and morality.

Tucker, Robert. “Comment on Randy Lippert, “The construction of Satanism as a social problem in Canada.” Canad J Sociology: Cahiers Canadiens 17(2) 1999 p.184.



Ulsperger, Jason S. and Hodges, Stan H. “A historical and theoretical look at ritual abuse laws: Part III: Applying an integrated conflict model analysis to The California McMartin Case.” Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology 38(1) 2010 p.14.

Underwager, Ralph. “The Christian and Satanism.” Special issue: Satanic ritual abuse: The current state of knowledge. Psychology and Theology 20(3) 1992 pp.281-7.
Asserts that it is not Christian doctrine or Christian faith that fuels the belief in a Satanic conspiracy. Discipleship in the Christian tradition is inimical to the notion of a worldwide Satanic conspiracy that brutalizes children and to any fear or anxiety about an organized Satanic worshipping cult. There are no historical, theological, or psychological grounds for believing in the existence of such a conspiracy. Rather, scriptural and theological data confirm that Satan is a wholly vanquished foe whose sole remaining capacity is telling lies. The penal freedom from the law achieved in the Gospel permits the believer to accept the claims of God and to refuse to believe the lie of Satan.

Underwager, Ralph and Wakefield, Hollida. “‘A veil taken away’: A Reply to Arnold.” J Psychology & Theology, 20(3) 1992 pp.292-4.



Valente, Sharon M. “The challenge of ritualistic child abuse.” J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs 5(2) 1992 pp.37-46
Survivors of ritual abuse have endured physical and psychosexual trauma typically compounded by mind-altering drugs. Some abused children have never known a trustworthy adult to protect them from harm. Children often cope with the anxiety and terror of abuse through psychological defenses such as denial, self-hypnosis, and dissociation, but more extreme responses such as self-mutilation or multiple personalities may occur. Reports of ritual abuse of children are so shocking and bizarre that professionals initially respond with confusion and disbelief (Cozolino, 1989). Nurses need to assess clues and detect symbols of abuse in drawings or flashbacks, to build trust, and to monitor their attitudes and countertransference. Nurses are in a critical position to detect and begin healing wounds of ritual abuse.

Valente, Sharon M. “Controversies and challenges of ritual abuse.” J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv 38(11) Nov 2000 pp.8-17.
AUTHOR ABSTRACT: Children who have survived ritual abuse have endured physical, psychological, and sexual trauma; brain-washing; and mind-altering drugs. Their trust in adults has been eroded. Their coping strategies include anxiety, denial, self-hypnosis, dissociation, and self-mutilation. Although reports of ritual abuse initially seem hard to believe, nurses have a responsibility to detect clues to abuse, diagnose the child’s responses, and recognize controversial issues regarding ritual abuse. To evaluate ritual abuse, nurses should avoid interview strategies that influence the child’s recall (e.g., coaching, suggestions) and recognize that some reports are discounted as false memories because they emerge from fantasy, distortions, innocent deceptions, false beliefs, lies, or adult coaching. Nurses play an important role in case finding and treatment. They can evaluate clues to ritual abuse to reduce sources of error in assessment, build a child’s trust, monitor their own attitudes toward ritual abuse, and intervene to increase self-esteem, empathy, boundary establishment, and coping. Nurses have an important opportunity to detect and begin healing the wounds caused by a child’s abuse.

Van Benschoten, Susan C. “Multiple personality disorder and Satanic ritual abuse: The issue of credibility.” Dissociation 3(1) 1, 1990 pp.22-30.
Presents characteristics of ritual abuse and discusses similarities and differences between child and adult multiple personality disorder (MPD) patients reports. Inevitable questions regarding the validity and accuracy of MPD patients’ Satanic abuse memories are explored. Substantiated occurrence of ritual abuse in contemporary, non-Satanic, dangerous cults is discussed as a framework for considering the authenticity of MPD patients’ Satanic abuse accounts. It is proposed that an attitude of critical judgment concerning reports of Satanic ritual abuse is necessary to avoid either denying the issue or over-generalizing the nature and extent of the problem.

Van der Hart, Onno, and Boon, Suzette. “Contemporary interest in multiple personality disorder and child abuse in the Netherlands.” Dissociation: 3(1) 1990 pp.34-7.
Reviews the current history of multiple personality disorders in the Netherlands. Recent developments closely resemble those that have taken place in the US and Canada. Clinical, theoretical, and research developments are outlined, and the incidence of victims of Satanic cult abuse in the Netherlands is discussed. The need for more international cooperation is expressed.

Victor, Jeffrey S. “Fundamentalist religion and the moral crusade against Satanism: The social construction of deviant behavior,” Deviant Behavior 15(3) 1994 pp.305-34.
Presents a symbolic interactionist model of the social dynamics of moral crusades to define a new form of deviant behavior. It identifies the collective behavior processes through which a contemporary legend leads to the social construction of deviant behavior, particularly when underlying sources of social stress activate the search for scapegoats. The contemporary legend enables the claims of moral crusaders to reach a wide audience because their propaganda will appeal to familiar preconceptions of the nature of evil in society. The model was developed from research on the claims-making activity of fundamentalists in the moral crusade against Satanic cult crime. Fundamentalist religion plays a central role in the social construction of Satanic cult crime because it offers (1) a receptive ideology, (2) a well-established communication network, and (3) organizational resources for moral crusaders.

Victor, Jeffrey S. “Ritual abuse and the moral crusade against Satanism.” Special Issue: Satanic ritual abuse: The current state of knowledge.
Examines what accounts for widespread belief in allegations of ritual child abuse by Satanic cults in the absence of any verifiable law enforcement or scientific evidence. It is hypothesized that allegations of ritual abuse are manifestations of the social construction of an imaginary form of deviance that is being promoted by a moral crusade against Satanism. Events of a Satanic cult ritual abuse scare in England are used to illustrate the collective behavior dynamics. Controversies surrounding claims about ritual child abuse can be best understood if they are studied in the social context of the moral crusade against Satanism.


Wakefield, H. and Underwager, H. R. “Recovered memories of alleged sexual abuse: Lawsuits against parents.” Behavioral Sciences and the Law 10(4) 1992 pp.483-507.
AUTHOR ABSTRACT: These memories are recovered with the help of therapists who use concepts such as repression and dissociation to account for the lack of memories and who then use techniques such as hypnosis and survivors’ groups. Despite the lack of empirical research, psychologists or other mental health professionals who become involved in cases of involving recovered memories should use several criteria in assessing the probability or improbability of an allegation of recent remembered abuse. When no corroborating evidence exists, and the alleged behaviors are highly improbable, it is unlikely that the abuse actually happened. In addition, recovered memories of events during infancy, of highly deviant events, of ritual abuse by intergenerational Satanic cults, or of abuse by a women are also less likely to be true. Furthermore, accusations that emerge only after reading “Courage To Heal,” hypnosis, survivors’ group participation, or dream analysis, are likely to be the result of the therapy.

Wares, Donna. “The unleashing of memory; An unusual case involving child abuse and Satanic cults results in an ambiguous conclusion (California).” California Lawyer 11(7) 1991 p.19.

Wass, Hannelore, et al. “Adolescents’ interest in and views of destructive themes in rock music.” Omega J Death and Dying 19(3) 1988-89 pp.177-186.
In a survey of rock music preferences and views on themes about homicide, Satanism, and suicide (HSS), 694 middle and high school students (aged 12-19 yrs) were administered a questionnaire of structured and open-ended questions. Nine percent of the middle school Ss, 17% of the rural, and 24% of the urban high school Ss were HSS rock fans. Three-fourths of these fans were males and nearly all were White. HSS fans more often claimed to know all the lyrics of their favorite songs than the non-HSS rock fans. HSS fans more often said young children should be permitted to listen to rock music with destructive themes and fewer of them believed that adolescents might commit murder or suicide after having listened to such songs.

Wass, Hannelore, et al. “Adolescents and destructive themes in rock music: A follow-up” Omega: J Death and Dying 23(3) 1991 pp.199-206.
Determined rock music preferences and views of themes advocating homicide, suicide, and Satanic practices (HSSR) in 120 13-18 yr. old offenders (77.5% male) in 2 youth detention centers. Ss were administered a questionnaire of Likert-type, categorical, and open-ended questions. 91 students were fans of rock music. Of those, approximately 54% were HSSR fans. HSSR fans were more likely to be White and school dropouts, to spend more time listening to music, to think it is harmless for young children to listen to HSSR music, and to assume that HSSR lyrics do not lead to destructive acts. Males and females, from intact and broken homes, were fans.

Wass, Hannelore, et al. “Factors affecting adolescents’ behavior and attitudes toward destructive rock lyrics.” Death Studies 13(3) 1989 pp.287-303.
Explored the rock music preferences of 894 9th through 12th graders in rural, urban, suburban public, and metropolitan parochial schools. 17.5% were fans of rock music with lyrics that promote homicide, suicide, or Satanic practices (HSSR). Parents’ marital status and Ss’ sex, race, and school environment were significant predictors of HSSR status. As compared with non-HSSR fans, the HSSR fans were more likely to have parents who were never married or remarried and less likely to have married parents. HSSR fans were more likely than expected to be male and White and enrolled in urban but not parochial schools.

WaterWomon, Cheryl. “Healing from ritual abuse: A personal journey.” Canadian Woman Studies 12(3) 1991 p.128.

WaterWomon, Cheryl. “One survivor’s experience of ritual abuse.” Canadian Woman Studies 11(4) 1991 p. 70.

Webster, Sallye L. “Double homicide by a 17-year-old self-described Satanist.” American J Forensic Psychology 1987 5(4) 1987 p.520.
Discusses the forensic evaluation of a 17-yr.-old male self-described Satanist indicted on a double homicide. Following suicide threats, the defendant was evaluated by a prison psychiatrist and a forensic case worker. Results from a battery of tests including the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale--Revised (WAIS--R), the Rorschach test, and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) are presented.

Weir, I. Kirk and Wheatcroft, M. S. “Allegations of children’s involvement in ritual sexual abuse: Clinical experience of 20 cases.” Child Abuse and Neglect 19(4) 1995 pp.491-505.
Twenty cases were evaluated in which allegations had been made of children being involved in ritual sexual abuse (RSA). A selection of case histories are presented together with a summary of the salient points in the other cases. Using a standard format developed for assessing the validity of allegations in sexual abuse cases, it was concluded that false allegations of ritual sexual abuse occurred in three-quarters of the cases and true allegations only in one-quarter. This high rate of false allegations is unlike the author’s clinical experience in other cases of child sexual abuse where the rate of false allegations is much lower and similar to other published series. Reasons for the high rate of false allegations are discussed.

West, Louis J. ”A psychiatric overview of cult-related phenomena.” Am Acad Psychoanalysis 21(1) 1993 pp.1-19.
Describes techniques employed by cults to bind and exploit members and the psychiatric consequences of these techniques. Topics discussed include brainwashing, hypnosis and hypnotic suggestion, thought reform and identity change, and the psychological effects of civilian hostage situations such as the Stockholm syndrome of victim identification with the aggressor. Stressors of cult indoctrination are listed, and psychosocial factors of vulnerability in cult members are examined. It is noted that cult influences seem to provoke psychiatric sequelae including psychiatric symptoms that often meet the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The status of cult-related litigation is discussed.

Wheeler, Barbara R. “Assessment and intervention with adolescents involved in Satanism” Social Work 33(6) 1988, pp.547-50.
Suggests guidelines for interventions with adolescents involved in Satan worship. The symbols and activities associated with Satanism are described. It is suggested that adolescents become involved in Satanism as an escape from feelings of alienation and isolation and because they are disconnected from community values and conventional peer-group activities. The individual motivation involved in Satanism may be a need for power. Case examples of 2 15-yr.-old males illustrate the problems in establishing rapport with these clients in therapy and the need to distance such clients from their subculture. The goals of therapy for these individuals include motivational insight and resolution of identity and self-esteem issues.

Wong, Bennet. “A case of multiple life-threatening illnesses related to early ritual abuse.” Special issue: “In the shadow of Satan: The ritual abuse of children.” Child and Youth Care 1990 pp.1-26.
Describes the case of a 25-yr.-old woman with a life-threatening lymphoma who had as a child been involved in ritualistic abuse. In group and individual counseling, the S was able to work through the meanings beneath many medical symptoms and overcome numerous episodes of unrelated cancers. The S believed that the cancers protected her, at times, from her memories and from the cult killing her when she refused to come back. The S also felt that the cancers permitted her to express her will in a way that is distinct from the cult programming.

Wood, Hazel. “Ritual abuse: Exposing the secret.” Social Work Today 22 1990 p. 1218.

Wynkoop, Timothy F. “Differential diagnosis of adolescent Satanic cult dabblers: A critique of Moriarty.” Mental Health Counseling 15(2) 1993 pp.184-89.
Notes that, in recent work, Moriarty proposed use of differential diagnoses with adolescent Satanic cult dabblers and suggested new diagnostic nosologies. Examines Moriarty’s work, scrutinizing its justifications, methodology, and technical aspects. Provides suggestions for clarification of diagnostic typologies and directions for empirical research.




Yeager, Catherine A and Lewis, Dorothy Otnow.  ”False memories of cult abuse. (letter). American J Psychiatry” 154(3) 1997 p.435.
AUTHOR ABSTRACT:  We report here a case of false memories in a patient who presented with signs and symptoms that met DSM-IV criteria for dissociative identity disorder as well as bipolar I disorder. This case illustrates the need for clinicians to keep an open mind regarding a patient’s productions, explore the context in which memories first emerged, and attempt to obtain as much objective data as possible regarding the nature of childhood experiences.

Young, M. “The cult member as a patient.” Can Med Assoc J 119(8) 1978 pp.851-2, p.854.

Young, Walter C., Sachs, Roberta G., Braun, Bennett G., and Watkins, R. T. “Patients reporting ritual abuse in childhood: A clinical syndrome. Report of 37 cases.” [see comments] Child Abuse and Neglect 15(3) 1991 pp.181-9.
Describes 37 patients (aged 18--47 yrs) with dissociative disorders who reported ritual abuse in childhood by Satanic cults. Ss came from a variety of separate clinical settings and geographical locations and reported a number of similar abuses. The most frequently reported types of ritual abuse are outlined, and a clinical syndrome is presented that includes dissociative states with Satanic overtones, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), survivor guilt, self-abuse, unusual fears, sexualization of sadistic impulses, indoctrinated beliefs, and substance abuse. Questions relating to issues of reliability, credibility, and verifiability of the Ss’ reports are discussed. Two clinical vignettes involving 2 female patients (aged 30 and 38 yrs) with multiple personality disorder are presented. (French and Spanish abstracts).

Young, Walter C. “Patients reporting ritual abuse in childhood: A clinical response,” Reply, Child Abuse and Neglect 15(4) 1991 pp.611-613.
Replies to the comment by S. Mulhern (see PA 79:9401) concerning the original article by W. C. Young, et. al. (see PA 78:24666) on patients reporting ritual abuse in childhood and argues that the original article meant to publish the accounts for further investigation and not to argue for their veracity.

Young, Walter C., Roberta Sachs, Bennett G. Braun and Watkins, Ruth T. “Patients Reporting Ritual Abuse in Childhood: A Clinical Syndrome. Report of 37 Cases.” Child Abuse & Neglect 15 (1991) pp.181-9.
Study of 37 patients presents similarities of abuse reports and psychopathy.

Young, Walter C. “Sadistic ritual abuse. An overview in detection and management.” Primary Care 20(2) 1993 pp.447-58.
Sadistic ritual abuse, including Satanic cult abuse, is emerging as a syndrome among people with severe dissociative disorders, including multiple personality disorder. This article discusses the essential features that compose the clinical picture of sadistic ritual abuse in adults, adolescents, and children. Particular attention is paid to the differences between adolescents who may have been victimized by adults in sadistic and ritualized ways and disenfranchised “teenage dabblers” who may temporarily adopt a ritualized lifestyle as a way of expressing or acting out. The article also covers guidelines for appropriate medical, pharmacologic, and referral interventions. The controversy surrounding sadistic ritual abuse is discussed thoroughly, and primary care physicians are advised of the current status of understanding and validation in this area.

Youngson, Sheila C. “Ritual abuse: Consequences for professionals.” Child Abuse Review Dec 1993 2(4) pp.251-62.
Results of a questionnaire survey completed by 71 members of a national support group of British workers in the field of ritual abuse, investigating  the extent and nature of personal, interpersonal and professional stress factors.


Kathryn J. “Recurrent pancreatitis presenting as fever of unknown origin in a recovering bulimic. International J Eating Disorders 12(3) pp.337-40.
AUTHOR ABSTRACT: A case is presented of a patient with bulimia nervosa who developed fever of unknown origin. A comprehensive medical workup revealed that the patient suffered from acute recurrent pancreatitis. The case demonstrates how acute recurrent pancreatitis may present without abdominal pain or other hallmarks of the illness in a patient who has been in excellent control of her eating disorder. It behooves clinicians who treat eating disorders to be aware that their patients may present unusual symptom constellations while holding back crucial historical data about their illnesses. The treatment of the pancreatitis and preparation for diagnostic procedures by cathartics led to a rapid exacerbation of the patient’s eating disorder.
KEY WORDS:  Adults - Bulimia Nervosa - Case Report - Child Abuse - Differential Diagnosis - Females - Psychiatric Inpatients - PTSD - Rape - Ritual Abuse – Survivors

Zerin, Marjory F. “The Pied Piper phenomenon and the processing of victims: The Transactional Analysis perspective re-examined.” Transactional Analysis J 13(3) Jul 1983 pp.172-7.
Discusses the attractions of cults and cult figures from a Transactional Analysis perspective. From such a perspective, each person is in charge of his/her own thoughts, feelings, and actions; yet a substantial body of evidence suggests that victims can be processed without their knowledge by the systematic manipulation of social psychological influence in controlled settings (brainwashing). Brainwashing occurs in 3 steps: (1) gaining control of the victim’s time, activities, and mental life; (2) placing the victim in a position of powerlessness; and (3) suppressing the victim’s former identity. Cults are characterized by deception, debilitation, dependency, dread, and desensitization. The author contends that vulnerability to cult recruitment depends on how long the victim is exposed to the organization. Length of exposure also affects chances of rehabilitation. In order for therapists to help cult victims, they must (1) understand what the victim has been through and is experiencing internally, (2) be clear about the difference between a psychotherapeutic community and a cultic environment, and (3) know how to defend themselves against subversion and exploitation.

Zimmerman, Michele L., Wendy A. Wolbert, Ann W. Burgess and Carol R. Hartman. “Art and group work: Interventions for multiple victims of child molestation.” Archives of Psychiatric Nursing 1(1) 1987 pp.40-6.
Focuses on case in which civil litigation was used as a catalyst for implementing a model of group family intervention and assisting children in accessing self-assertiveness.

No author cited.
“Visitation suspended amid ritualistic sexual abuse charges.” Illinois Trial Court Divorce Digest, 6(3) 1990 2-4.
Summary of a case in which custody was awarded to the protective parent and visitation with the father was abated.

No author cited. “Ritual child abuse.” (1991). DCBA Brief: A Publication of the Dupage County Bar Association, 3(2) 1991 pp. 0-5.
Recommendations to attorneys written by an anonymous survivor.

Anon. “After McMartin: Who Walks Point?” (1990). Roundtable, 2(4), pp.6-15.
Panel discussion of errors in the investigation and prosecution of multi-victim cases.

No author cited. “Survivors of sadistic abuse: How to spot them.” Emergency Medicine 25(11) 1993 p.83.
In both children and adults who have been subjected to prolonged physical and sexual abuse, including the “ritual” abuse that sometimes occurs in religious belief systems, dissociation is often a presenting symptom.

No author cited. “Ritual child abuse: Where do we go from here?” Children’s Legal Rights J 12(1) 1991 p.13.

No author cited. “Manson revisited: The story behind Matamoros.” Executive Intelligence Review 16(20) 1989 p.32.
One week before the grisly Matamoros murders, the FBI’s top expert on child abuse claimed that there is no such thing as Satanic ritual human sacrifice. The official cover-up claims that the Manson murders, the Atlanta child murders, and the Matamoros killings are isolated instances of psychosis. The dossier we present here begins to expose this dreadful hoax.

No author cited. “Members of Satanic cult sentenced for rape, murder.” Current Digest Post-Soviet Press. 49(18) 1997 p.18.

No author cited. “Practice panel: A young man claims he was subject to ritual abuse when he was a child. How should services respond?” Community Care/London No. 1651 Nov. 2006 pp.38-9.



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