I am completely convinced that there is a small amount of organised and ritual abuse in this country [U.K.] which, I think, has a definitely Satanist belief in it or is used by paedophiles to make their rituals more terrifying.”
– ‘Children born for sacrifice’, by David Taylor, The Daily Mail, February 10, 2000.
All right, so the UK’s Daily Mail isn’t exactly a reliable source for such claims.
However, in amongst it’s heavy conservative bias and xenophobic “Little-Britain” mentality, it has the occasional gem. And Mr. Taylor is correct on this one.
A case can certainly be made for the existence of Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) within society as a whole with tributaries to formalised networks laid down by the Establishment. There is enough Black Magick folklore and cultural influences to stimulate those who are attracted to such things. It is also a very big part of what we may call the ceremonial psychopath’s leisure time.
The perpetrators of ritualistic abuse appear to fall into five categories:
- The lone teenager or the twenty-something loner which seems to be the most common form.
- A mixed gender gang practising small time ritual abuse separated from any external network.
- The extended community network of intra-familial ritual abuse.
- Family inter-generational ritual abuse that remains strictly within that family.
- The male and female duo. The male frequently perpetrates the actual crimes where the female assists. She may also be the instigator and subsequent observer.
All five categories are separated from Establishment and high-level activity and therefore act as a reflection (and a deflection) of the former, while underscoring the psychopathology that has been progressively seeded in our societies.
Sociologist Dr. Sara Scott’s extensive interviews with British intra-familial ritual abuse victims show a wariness and reluctance to give the abuse a wider context by attaching it to a particular belief system. There is a common assumption from sceptics and full-time detractors of SRA that all ritual abuse is part of a network of international Satanists. While the latter is not untrue, there is a grey aread or middle ground to be found, as is usually the case.
Scott claims her interviewees had “little knowledge about how their abusers networked with others,” their main concern was how they coped with assimilating what was done to them and how to manage their lives. They also gave several different reasons as to why they thought their abusers were carrying out such acts against them, reinforcing the idea that most abusers use the mantle of satanic practices to indulge their psychopathic whims. While one was driven by “greed and lust” another was a “true believer,” honour bound to continue the tradition.
Scott asks her young interviewee:
And what was this for, were you told what any of this was meant to be about?
Well I was told it was Lucifer, but I was never told in great Detail, apart from about eating the flesh. ‘Cos my Gran thought she would be immortal if she ate human flesh. That’s proved wrong ‘cos my Grandma died this winter. 
A lesson there, for grandma.
The loner type with a background of Black Magick is common. Returning to the United States, a report from 1997 in the Daville; Illinois; described the conviction of Robbie Moore who was jailed on three counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Several children, some as young as 4 years old, complained of being sexually abused after joining an informal witchcraft club led by Moore. He was sentenced to a total of 67 years. 
Over in Arkansas three 8-year-old boys, Steve Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore disappeared while riding their bicycles in May 1993. Their naked bodies were found the next day in a watery drainage ditch. The boys had been bound, raped and beaten and one child sexually mutilated. In the following month Jessie Lloyd Misskelley, 17; Michael Wayne Echols, 18; and Charles Jason Baldwin, 16, were arrested: “During the trial prosecutors presented evidence suggesting that Echols was a Satanist. Acquaintances said Echols carried a cat’s skull to school, wrote satanic poems, and claimed to worship the devil.” The Chicago Tribune also reported that Jessie Lloyd Jr. “related that the cult held orgies in the woods, and that to join, members had to kill dogs and eat their back legs…” […] ‘We go out, kill dogs and stuff, and then carry girls out there …’ and we have an orgee (sic) and stuff like that,…’
Not exactly an example of a well-adjusted youth…but quite a sound indication of clustered psychopathy.
Moving to Jordan, Minnesota, in 1984, 27-year-old James John Rud, gave police a 113-page statement in which he described sadistic assaults on children. The garbage collector already had a history of sex abuse convictions. Knowing he would be in for a long stretch, he agreed to plead guilty and testify against 24 other adults charged with molesting 37 children – from 2 to 17 years old – in ritualistic orgies. By doing this he would receive a reduced sentence.
Following Rud’s arrest: “a police officer reported seeing a stack of approximately 12 VCR cassette tapes, a large box containing pornographic magazines, two green garbage bags of pornographic material,…and numerous items of children’s clothing.” Rud’s parents interrupted the search and became “so abusive and threatening” that the officer “vacated the premises to avoid an altercation.” When he returned the next day, all the above items had disappeared. In a subsequent search of another suspect’s home, police did retrieve candles and miniature bowling pins children alleged were used to violate them. Lab tests confirmed the objects were contaminated with human faeces.  Parents, relatives and family friends were all said to be involved in the abuse. Pornographic photography, sexual assaults and the use of drugs and alcohol were described by the children, some of which took place inside Rud’s trailer.
One child witness recanted his accusation of abuse against two defendants who were acquitted. This led to Attorney General. Hubert Humphrey III formally asking Scott County Prosecutor Kathleen Morris “…to explain publicly why she suddenly dropped all criminal charges against 22 remaining defendants,” even though a 126 pages of police notes contained allegations that implicated some of the former defendants in ritualistic child murders.Rud was sentenced to 40 years in January 1985.
In February 1984, in Virginia, Richmond, 12 year old Jessica Hatch had set out to walk to her grandmother’s house. She never arrived. The upper torso was discovered outside the city with wounds and markings suggestive of ritual abuse. Just a few months previous to the murder, two children, ages 7 and 5, were taken into care after allegations that their mother and her boyfriend had been sexually abusing them. The children said they were forced to witness the murder of a 12-year-old girl during a cult ritual. While the police later found occult paraphernalia, at the home of the abused children testimonies were unforthcoming as they would “would freeze up…” and the police “couldn’t tell whether they were telling the truth or fantasizing.” The sexual abuse charges were dismissed. 
convicted sex offender and friend of the two suspects Gary Jay Beattie was: “arrested for making indecent proposals to a 9-year-old girl and two 13-year-old girls. All three girls knew Jessica Hatch and said that Beattie had also propositioned her. Beattie was acquitted of accosting the 9-year-old, but entered a plea bargain on outstanding sex charges involving the 13-year-old victims. His 5-year prison sentence was suspended.” 
Beattie continued to be in and out of court on multiple charges of voyeurism which is hardly indicative of satanic abuse. However, he was seen as the closest thing to a suspect, although his history and character did not fit the butchering and mutilation characterised by the Hatch case. According to the local magazine in the area, it was not until a Richmond homicide detective “leaked” the true story that the crime was officially labelled as a satanic sacrificial killing. The police officers who were interviewed claimed there was a certain “police dilemma” in handling the ritual-in-progress situations which meant that the “police couldn’t legally interrupt a Satanic sacrifice ritual until the High Priest’s hand is actually seen arching downward toward the sacrifice-victim-to-be.”  Constitutional protections of the free exercise of religion were cited.
While important constitutional rights continue to disappear we have the exercise of freedoms for those to prey upon others still in place. Ergo, Jessica Hatch murder remains unsolved.
We now cross over to Toronto, and memories of Canada’s longest child welfare trial. The book Ritual Abuse (2006) describes the a women known as “Sharon Wells” a mother in need of a kidney donation from her own daughters. The only problem was that her daughters had accused her of horrific abuse and satanic murders almost 20 years previously.
The three young sisters were taken away from their mother by a judge who ruled she had sexually abused them in what was known as the infamous Cannibalism Case. Claims of sexual orgies, graveside Satanic murders, pornography and bestiality were recounted. The videos were alleged to have often been filmed at their home or at Hamilton TV station’s studio.
7-year-old Janis and 5-year-old Linda gave graphic descriptions of “midnight graveyard scenes with dancing and singing, of people with masks, of opening of graves and coffins together with gross sexual activities suggests cult activities,” …the murder of children as well as adults, of dismemberment, of cutting flesh from bones. ‘They have a camera,’ the foster mother quoted Janis telling her.
At the end of the 18 month welfare hearing Wells always protested her innocence despite her own history of trauma from an abusive father. Their stepfather was alleged to have been an equal partner in the crimes. The police never fully believed the children’s stories and no charges were ever laid. However, Judge Thomas Beckett “was convinced that the children’s ‘rich detail’ was evidence enough of deep trauma. 
Although a 1993 survey by the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and Family Law determined that 26 percent of prosecutors nationwide have handled cases involving ritualistic or sexual abuse, the cases that are genuine and not confused with what we may call “standard” sexual abuse, these seldom obtain prosecutions due to the disbelief of authorities and the possibility that severely traumatised children will be able to withstand cross-examination. Despite victims’ accounts indicating ritualistic abuse the clear categorisation and focus is missing in most cases.
There are some court cases that are dismissed or convictions overturned due to the tiniest of technicalities, thus allowing the perpetrators to freely abuse again. Cases that stretch to two or three retrials on the defence purposely using loopholes and technicalities to nullify the prosecutor’s case are a common tactic. They know that the parent’s love of their already traumatised children will not put them through a third trial.
One thing is certain, when enough cases of Satanic abuse are proved to be hoaxes, a highly subjective purview on the part of authorities and an unnecessary muddying of sexual abuse with Satanic themes, this allows a very effective buffer in society that equates all Satanic abuse with disbelief and delusion. There are no shortages of cases that show the stigma of these associative factors. The FBI Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) statistics list only 16,504 total homicides reported to law enforcement in 2003 while the FBI officially believes a satanic conspiracy to be untenable, as do many academic institutions and organisations.
SRA lends itself to what has been called “satanic panic” and not without good reason. The hysteria induced by the religious right and Christian fellowships further complicates the matter. If one believes in Satan and God then it often follows that ritual abuse not only exists but is to be found everywhere. A religious belief in the hierarchy of angels and demonic forces battling each other through the human world is a common belief in many Christian minds. For those of a more secular persuasion, this so-called evidence of a “demon-haunted world” is nothing more than the same irrational belief that places its faith in Jesus walking on water, and by extension, conspiracy theories of SRA.
“Levi’s image of Baphomet is not a representation of the Christian Devil but a symbol of the astral light, the dual current of occult force behind all magical work. This force may be employed for either good or evil ends, but is neither good nor evil in itself.” – Michael Osiris Snuffin
The late scientist Carl Sagan passionately believed similar superstitions were bringing the world into a New Dark Age and had to be resisted at all costs. But is it not possible that between the stigma of the religious label of “Satan” and the hysteria from Christian reactions and over-zealous researchers that there is a source of compelling testimony, where ritual abuse is a reality? All abuse could be seen to be Satanic in the sense that it is birthed from evil and produces evil effects. We may just as easily call it “ceremonial psychopathy” – the results are the same.
Examples of this confusion include the infamous trails in Nottingham, Rochdale and the Orkney Islands which were akin to the Salem Witch trials of old. While intra-generational abuse may have been a reality in the Nottingham cases, it was side-lined when Satanic ritual abuse was brought into the mix. In fact, during the 1980s and 90s there were scores of high profile cases which saw many persons spend a number of years in jail who were completely innocent. Sex abuse has often been thrown out when the more “risky” accusations of SRA surface.
Since that time, there have been less cases of Satanic networks of the kinds that were alleged to have been operating, further suggesting signs of panic, a subsection of the wider “discourse of disbelief” that partly gave rise to the “moral panic” discussed in Crowd Control. Suggestive interrogation techniques used on children have added to the confusion causing many a case to dissolve into farce. Even if abuse was present, without physical evidence, cases often start placing exclusive importance on child testimony alone, which eventually leads to the dismissal of the case.
One possible example of Satanic panic follows.
In 1994, Canadian Darren Koehn was baby-sitting his 3 year-old son Jeremy who was poorly. He had taken a nap and had awoken to the cries of his son needing “the puke bucket.” He instinctively hopped over the coffee table to attend to his son and no doubt retrieve the receptacle. In his haste to do so, he landed on Jeremy who had been lying on the floor behind the table. Koehn checked his son to see if he was unhurt. The baby appeared to be fine, a conclusion of negligence that would cost Jeremy dear. In fact, he had internal injuries in his abdominal area. A couple of hours after the accident, his son had a convulsion and aspirated on his own vomit. When the paramedics arrived, Koehn and his neighbour were desperately trying to revive him, but to no avail.
By the time Darren and his son were at hospital in the emergency room, suspicions were being voiced from the doctor and emergency crews about the minor scrapes and bruises on Jeremy which “fit the profile” of potential abuse. Koehn was arrested at the hospital and charged with negligence. The charges were to become much more serious based on a catalogue of flawed evidence, bias from police, the courts, the pathologist and Koehn’s vindictive in-laws. According to one report on the case, a “hand-picked” pathologist was chosen with a clear bias towards SRA and where “her extraordinary testimony was needed to convict in a ‘satanic ritualistic crime’.” Her work as an impartial and objective pathologist was therefore called into question along with errors, distortions and contamination of key evidence that was not discovered as false until after the trial.
The New-Age items and décor also helped to categorise Koehn’s tragic mistake as a profile for a “Satanic Crime.” Koehn and his mother were Wiccans, (Wicca is a Neo-pagan religion found in many different countries and with a generally benign history). With potential abuse already foremost in the investigating police officers’ minds, they arrived to investigate Koehn and his mother whom they had been living with since a custody battle with in-laws. It would be these in-laws, devastated by the loss of their nephew that would accuse Koehn of Satanism, adding further fuel to an already hysterical mob clamouring for blood. With grossly distorted forensic evidence which was not presented in court, Darren Koehn remains in prison with little chance for an appeal lawyer. 
From his own independent investigations which included Pamela Hudson’s research into child ritual abuse cases in the 1980s and spanning some 35 years of experience working in mental health for both in-patient and out-patient, SRA Researcher James Quan is in no doubt about: “the internal consistency present in current reports of SRA” which he describes as “astounding.”
Quan offers one example from Hudson’s research:
“In 1988, she conducted a telephone survey of one set of parents from each of 10 day care cases and the non-offending parent of two brothers from a coven case – for a total of 12 children representing 11 locations – on the East Coast, Texas, and up and down the West Coast. No parent knew beforehand that she would be calling, and therefore no one had an opportunity to compare responses before her call. She spoke only to the parents, not the children.” 
37 Adults from 5 separate wards in 4 separate hospitals across the country were surveyed over the course of two years of treatment. There were extensive correlations and similarities between child survivors from 11 locations and adult survivors from 4 hospitals across the country, both within each study and between the two studies. 
In fact, it may be something more complex that is allowed to hide behind normalised dynamics. But the systematic and organised networks of sexual abuse using Satanism as a convenient method of “masking” may not be a fantasy. Or as Quan eloquently suggested, perhaps the: “…consistent symptoms do reflect a sadistic reality of a self-perpetuating addiction to power through sexualized evil, in which there is a confirmed code of secrecy.” 
Unless accompanied with suitable “conspiracy theory” derision, Satanism in the media is taboo partly due to sensationalism and the seemingly outlandish claims described by some victims. To be fair, SRA has in the past become a classic example of tabloid journalism, which of course it is. Picture busty High Priestess torch-lit with skulls and candles strategically placed in foreground under a banner: “Horror of Blood-soaked Bedlam in Bedford: Suburban Housewife conducts Black Magick Rituals against Estranged Husband!” It works perfectly as a double layer, with isolated cases of paedophilia and incompetent police investigations, or community “network” loosely termed. A satanic element to the crimes can be revealed and lurid details are splashed across the newspapers. All this may serve to keep a lid on the true nature of satanic abuse that can often be enmeshed with organised crime, blackmail and mind control all of which are considered the province of conspiracy theorists and thus not worth pursuing. The mainstream media do their best to see that such a perception continues.
What is now being discovered is that ritual abuse in a Satanic context may actually be a form of international ritual abuse beyond the confines of the lone paedophile but well within the context of child rape network and human trafficking.
Various strains of existentialism and Kabbalistic cross-overs can all be blended into forms of Satanic occultism. It has become a generic term for certain forms of occult practice known as “the left-hand path” where the God of Matter is worshipped and manipulation for selfish ends takes precedent. Can we not label any ponerised results of ideologies and political or social practices which induce large-scale pathology as “Satanic”? Dictionary definitions characterise Satan as: “extremely wicked; devil-like; diabolical” with “Satan” sourced from “Abrahamic origins … traditionally applied to an angel, demon, or minor god in many belief systems.” The manifestations of Satanism can be seen clearly enough, in both implicit and explicit terms. It matters little what labels are used. A deeper definition of Satanism, beyond the confines of masks and robes could be said to be the form of evil that induces aberrant forms of pathology in the populace on its behalf. This serves to keep such evil firmly ensconced behind whatever organisation, government body or Establishment institution deemed suitable.
If we are to look for more overt examples we need only follow the recent history of the military-corporate complex, a Nazi heritage of which forms the background of much of the Conservative and Anglo-American Establishment. Could it be that Satanic rituals practiced by the SS and high ranking officers of the Third Reich continue under the auspices of NATO and the US military?
It may not be as far-fetched as it sounds.
 ‘Ritual child-abuse allegations draw attention to Danville case.’ By M. Kelley, Associated Press, January 27, 1997.
 ‘Murders of 8-year-olds reportedly a cult ritual,’ Chicago Tribune, Jun 8, 1993.
 Moss, D.C. ‘Are the children lying?’ by D.C. Moss, ABA Journal, May 1,59-62. 1987.
 ‘Sexual abuse case continues to haunt town in Minnesota.’ By J. Crewdson, J., Emmerman, and E. Ogintz, Chicago Tribune, December 16, 1984.
 ‘Dropping of sex cases investigated’ by Eileen Ogintz, Chicago Tribune, Oct 17, 1984.
 ‘Sensational cases across the country.’ By A. Ross, San Francisco Examiner, September 29, 1986.
 Style Weekly, Richmond, Issue January 19, 1988, http://www.styleweekly.com.
 Daughters asked to donate kidney to ailing mother they accused of horrific sexual abuse, By Michele Mandel, Toronto Sun, January 29, 2006.
 For more information about Darren Koehn visit the website http://www.freedarrenkoehn.com. The website links to an Online Petition demanding attention to the appeal and the case reopened.
 ‘A Consolidation of SRA and False Memory Data.’ By James Quan, November 1996. (various websites).
 ‘Ritual child abuse: A survey of symptoms and allegations,’ by Pamela Hudson, Journal of Child and Youth Care, Special Issue, 27-53.
 op. cit. Quan