Mad "Witch Hunt" in the US.

"In addition to other incredible statements, the interviewed children said that the kindergarten owners flushed them into the toilet, that underground tunnels were dug under the building, which they were taken to secret ceremonies, that they had sacrificed a baby to the ritual sacrifice, . "
When, in 1980, in Bakersfield, California, social workers read a newly published book by Michelle Remembers while studying, several children stated that they had been abused by a local secret occult sexual organization.
Two girls were persuaded to do this by a grandmother, who had previously suffered from a mental illness. Over the following months, their stories about occult sexual acts became more and more eccentric - they told how they were hung from hooks in the living room, forced to drink blood, look at the ritual sacrifice of babies, etc.
From 1984 to 1986, the investigation of these intricate stories about satanic ritual violence led to at least 26 people being imprisoned on interconnected charges,although absolutely no real evidence supporting the charges was found.
Subsequently, almost all of these sentences were canceled, including the sentence imposed on a local carpenter named John Stoll, who by that time had served half of his 40-year prison sentence.
Spouses Scott and Brenda Kniffen were sentenced to 240 years in prison, when excessively zealous psychotherapists forced their sons to accuse their parents of molesting minors. Both children subsequently repented, and the Knifen spouses were released, having served 12 years in prison. Some children who became persons involved in this process, having matured, told about the emotional trauma that had caused them to perjury.

John Stoll.

Scott and Brenda Kniffen.

One of the many failed trials involving satanic ritualistic violence in kindergartens was the case of Mac-Martin, which became the loudest, longest and most expensive process in California history.
An extensive investigation into this case began in 1983, when a mother of one child accused employees of the preschool educational institution Virginia Mac-Martin fromManhattan Beach, California, in that they committed violence against her son.
While the police were investigating the allegations, one non-profit guardianship service (“Children's Institute”) interviewed 400 children who attended the same kindergarten. Conversations were conducted by a woman named Kay McFarlane, an unlicensed psychotherapist.
McFarlane did not have any psychological or medical education. Her highest academic success was a welder diploma. However, she and her two equally incompetent assistants were allowed to conduct an investigation.
It is widely known that for this they used "anatomically accurate" mannequins and other dubious methods. These extremely unprofessional conversations led to the fact that children had false memories, and those, in turn, gave rise to completely fantastic stories about violence, in which other kindergarten workers also appeared. The commission found that 359 out of 400 children were abused.

The materials collected by the Institute of Children, became the basis for the establishment of 321 facts of abuse of minors, in which 41 children accused seven employees of the kindergarten.(Pazder, who is now considered an "expert" on satanic ritual violence, was one of the consultants.)
Among other incredible statements, the interviewed children said that the kindergarten owners flushed them into the toilet, that underground tunnels were dug under the building, which they were taken to secret ceremonies, that they had sacrificed a baby to the ritual sacrifice and that they could turn into witches and fly.
Due to the extravagance of the allegations made in the Mac-Martin case, the public gradually began to be skeptical about the claims of satanic ritual abuse. “After searching the whole country, we didn’t find any signs of the existence of major cults that are sexually abusing children,” Dr. Gail Goodman, a psychologist who conducted a large-scale survey on this hysteria, told the New York Times in 1994. among american social workers.
All criminal charges brought in this connection were in fact the result of mental illness, false memories that were introduced during psychotherapy, and most often - fantasies that people had under the influence of hysterical press reports about satanic ritual violence.The current surge of fear of clowns occurred for very similar reasons.
Virginia McMartin.

In 1990, the Virginia Mac-Martin kindergarten building was demolished, but the "satanic panic" has already fully embraced the United States. It even spread to the UK, where allegations of ritual sexual abuse were also made.
The McMarthin case lasted for seven years. Los Angeles County spent $ 13 million on it, as a result of which no one was convicted at all. All that this process has achieved is that it has ruined the lives of the accused.
McMartin Kindergarten was closed and never opened again. The defendants were ravaged, they could no longer do their work. They had no choice but to live out their days, as their reputation was forever tarnished. Once such horrific suspicions arose, it was impossible to completely get rid of them.
How could a series of such horrible events happen as those that occurred in Manhattan Beach? We will explain this briefly. Let's go back to the roots of the McMartin case for a moment. Remember the mother of the baby who first went to the police in Manhattan Beach in 1983?
What happened to her? And why did she have suspicions, which she reported first? Yes, it later turned out that the poor woman had long been suffering from a mental disorder. The whole affair almost certainly arose in the diseased brain of this woman.
A film about the McMartin case.

By the mid-1980s, the United States launched a wave of seminars, textbooks, and video courses for government officials and evangelical believers on how to recognize and confront the satanic cults that flooded the country.
In 2003, Nathan wrote that security forces in El Paso, Texas ... were willingly sent to seminars on "ritual crimes", to classes for law enforcement, and conducted mostly by other police officers. , psychotherapists, preachers, and reborn Christians, who called themselves former high priests or members of sadistic cults who subjected people to indescribable torment.
But despite all this fanaticism no evidence of the existence of such sadistic cults was found. Instead, the justice system continued to sacrifice innocent adults who, in fact, became hostages of witch hunts in the 20th century.
In many of these cases, court sentences were eventually revised due to flaws in the investigation and lack of evidence. However, some cases deserve special mention, since they indicate a catastrophic inability to measure the rights of children and the rights of the accused.

In 1984, Cuban immigrant Frank Fuster and his cohabitant Ileana were accused of molesting eight children (twenty children in total) were brought to the infant care center in Miami. The investigator was Janet Reno.
The court accepted the case for consideration, although all the flaws were present in it as in other cases: the lack of real evidence and the rapidly growing number of children who, under pressure from psychotherapists, appeared with unfounded and embellished tales of dark satanic rituals.
After Ileana was held in solitary confinement for several weeks, and the psychotherapists talked to her, using dubious “memory recovery” methods to induce her to change her testimony, she was asked to testify against her husband.
In the end, Ileana pleaded guilty, declaring to the court that she was innocent,but wants to "get it over with." She was sentenced to 10 years in prison, she served three years, after which she was expelled from the country.
Frank was sentenced to six life sentences in prison, that is, at least 165 years in prison. In 1990, based on this story, the feature film Unspeakable Acts ("Forbidden Subjects") was shot, in which two psychotherapists are depicted as noble heroes. Frank Fuster is still serving a prison sentence.
Frank Fuster and Ileana.


In 1984, three members of the Amiro family from Malden, Massachusetts, were convicted of molesting minors after a regular session of intense questioning, with which abutting children were forced to give wild, grotesque and completely baseless testimony - among other things, it was said that children in a clown costume.
Despite the well-founded criticism of the interrogation techniques used in this case, all three defendants were convicted. Gérard Amiro was never rehabilitated and served 20 years out of his 40 years, after which he was released on parole in 2004.
His mother, Violet Amiro, died of cancer in 1997 - there were heated arguments in the judicial system about whether the sentence should not be reviewed.Her daughter Sheryl was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but in 1999 she was released on 10-year probation.
Amiro's family.

In 1989, James Toword, director of a Montessori school in Glendale, California, and his secretary Brenda Williams were found guilty of satanic ritual abuse. The key figure in this case was a psychotherapist named Alan Tesson. The prosecution relied on a characteristic set of extravagant and baseless statements from children, all of which were Tesson's patients.
In 1996, Dr. Tesson was sued because he introduced memories of satanic ritual abuse to the memory of an adult patient. During the investigation, it turned out that over the years, Tesson had consulted with a number of "specialists" on satanic ritual violence and since the time of the trial in Glendale has been "obsessed" with this topic.
Toword pleaded guilty to the Olford deal to reduce his prison sentence, but in 1998, when he was supposed to be released, a law was passed in the state of Florida according to which a prisoner should serve 85% of the full term before can get out by parole.
When, in 2010, the 80-year-old Toword finally got out of prison, he was told to leave the United States; the local press stubbornly continued to call him a "villain" and a "child molester."
The arrest of James Toword.

In 1991, in the city of El Paso, a three-year-old girl’s statement that the owner of a local kindergarten "cried and wrote" on her head increased to the scale of a full-fledged charge of satanic ritual violence, in which two more children appeared.
In 1992, the defendants, Dan and Fran Keller, were sentenced to 48 years in prison. As in all previous cases, the methods used by psychoanalysts led to completely exotic, insane stories about ritual sexual acts and other, even more unprovable and incredible tales.
This time it was about the dismemberment of people, the baptism of blood, blood lemonade and flights to Mexico on private jets. Keller spouses were released in 2013, having spent 21 years in prison.
Dan and Fran Keller.

A relatively recent example of “satanic panic” is the murder of Meredith Karcher in the Italian city of Perugia and the excitement that the press has arranged around the court, the retrial and the subsequent justification of her roommate Amanda Knox.
Despite the scarcity of real evidence and the failure to prove Knox’s connections with the occult, the overly zealous prosecutor accused her of having killed her neighbor for the purpose of performing an occult rite. She was found guilty, later acquitted, then found guilty again, and finally finally acquitted in 2015.
Amanda Knox.

Already in 2014, the authors of the podcast Sword and Sorcery ("The Sword and Sorcery") published two sensational episodes in which they hinted that rumors that had long been refuted about the existence of a secret organization in the 1980s that forced children into prostitution were not at all rumors, that it was a genuine large-scale government-level conspiracy, in which a secret camp of occultists and several US presidents were involved, and that the missing and still not found boy named Johnny Gosh was one of the victims of this conspiracy.
In the same year, the documentary Who Took Johnny? ("Who kidnapped Johnny?"), Which also developed a sensational version. This movie has recently become available on the Netflix channel.
In addition, in the beginning of November 2016, the premiere of a new documentary took place on the channel Investigation Discovery, which shows that the whole story still does not want to let us go.
The film “Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four” (“Southwest of Salem: the story of fours of San Antonio”) tells how in 1997 four lesbians were convicted of molesting minors, and this process was accompanied by a surge of "satanic panic" characteristic of a conservative state.

As Debbie Nathan writes in his book Satan’s Silence, the main paradox of “satanic panic” is that during diligent investigations in an atmosphere of mass hysteria, those who were considered victims of violence, that is, children, were deprived of the right to vote.
And the reason for this was not the defendants, but the prosecutors, psychotherapists and organizers of the polls, who refused to listen to the initial testimony of children and squeezed more sensational statements from them, until they finally changed their testimony.
According to Nathan, the medical findings presented during these processes were dubious and looked like a "more technologically advanced version of the medieval obsession with studying the female genitalia in order to detect traces of sin and witchcraft, as well as characteristic of the XIX century attempts to find signs of dissolute life and homosexuality by studying forms of lips and genitals. "

All this time, the press poured oil on the fire of fear that had afflicted society. This hysteria encompassed entire groups of people — parents and prosecutors, psychotherapists and investigators, jurors and judges, journalists and readers — turning them into a reckless crowd. The idea swept away everything in its path - including the victims, regardless of their age.
In other words, the same mechanisms as in previous periods of mass hysteria, from a witch hunt to McCarthyism, were behind the lawsuits about satanic ritual violence.
In times of deep social upheaval, such mechanisms are too easily activated, demonstrating a willingness to hit another light target, another unruly stranger, and stick a “danger” label on it.



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