ISP #23 – The Satanic Panic

Here are the notes from this show, originally broadcast May 17, 2014. They’re lengthy, so I’m just going to dump them all, raw and uncut. Enjoy!

(Also, note that the Dark Dungeons movie is out now! You can get it for $5, and the bonus features for another $2.50.)

Poor ol' Satan...

Poor ol’ Satan…

Hello and welcome to the Irreverent Skeptics podcast! I’m your host, Jon Ownbey, and joining me today in the unending fight against the forces of darkness are Erno Marttila, Michael McElroy, Mike Bohler, and Dumbass!

And special guest – The Astronomer Royal of Karl Mamer’s “The Conspiracy Skeptic” Podcast and the brains and brawn of the “Exposing PseudoAstronomy” podcast, Stuart Robbins!

Today, we’re going to talk about the Satanic Panic – that period during the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s when the devil was always lurking just around the corner. If the Religious Right is to be believed (and if not them, who can you trust?), diabolical influences were everywhere in pop culture – from music and movies to games and toys. Where did it all start? What were some of their wildest claims? Is it still going on today? Let’s dip our toes into the lake of fire, pinch our noses to keep out the smell of burning brimstone, and take a journey through hell to find out the truth.

In the Beginning – Allegations in the Satanic Panic

  • 1987, Broxtowe, UK. Children were removed from their families in Nottingham and were subsequently charged with multi-generational child sexual abuse and neglect. A 600-page report on the incident concluded that there was no evidence of satanic ritual abuse.
  • 1989, Oude Pekela, the Netherlands. A conservative magazine published allegations by a group of parents who claimed that their children had witnessed satanic ritual abuse over a period of about 17 months in ‘87-’88.
  • 1990, South Africa. Gert van Rooyen and his accomplice were accused of murdering several young girls. They ultimately committed suicide while on the run from the police. Later a son of the accused was accused of murdering a Zimbabwean girl in 1991. The son claimed that his father’s victims were involved in international child pornography rings, slavery and Satanism rituals. No evidence was ever found to substantiate the claims.
  • 1990, Rochdale, UK. Twenty children were removed from their homes by social services who alleged the existence of satanic ritual abuse after discovering ‘satanic indicators’, whatever the fuck that’s supposed to mean.
  • 1990-1991, Orkney, UK. Nine children suspected of being sexually abused by their families and an alleged child abuse ring were removed by social services. The parents approached the media and the case made national and international news. In April 1991, a sheriff ruled that the evidence was seriously flawed and the children were returned home.
  • 1991, Perth, Australia. Scott Gozenton, a self-professed Satanist, was linked to organized child sexual abuse. His lawyer claimed that 13 Satanic covens existed in the area, holding bizarre orgies involving children, and that Gozenton had been followed and threatened by “coven” members throughout the court proceedings after his arrest.
  • MM 1998, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Six adults who were arrested and charged with prostituting their own children and the production of child pornography, were reported to have been involved in satanic rituals.
  • MM 1999, New South Wales, Australia. Two journalists from the Sun-Herald claimed to have seen evidence of ritual abuse of children. In interviews with six mothers of children who had disclosed experiences of organized Satanic ritual abuse. The stories were corroborating, although they had never met one another, and the children were able to draw representations of “satanic” ritual sites, similar to sites uncovered by police on the coast.
  • JO 2001, Melbourne, Australia. Diocese of the Catholic Church acknowledged allegations that a Melbourne priest took part in Satanic ritual abuse in which a number of deaths occurred in the 60s as “substantially true” and paid compensation to a surviving victim.
  • JO 2002, Pescara, Italy. Four people were arrested for “satanism and paedophilia”. Reportedly the group may have abused dozens of children in rituals involving stolen corpses from ceremonies. (presumably funerals?)
  • JO 2003, Lewis, Scotland. Three children’s allegations resulted in the arrest of eight people for sexual abuse occurring between 1990 and 2000. A 2005 investigation by the Social Work Inspection Agency found extensive evidence of sexual, physical and emotional abuse and neglect. Police investigation resulted in allegations of an island-wide “Satanic paedophile ring”, though charges were dropped nine months later following an inconclusive investigation.
  • MM 2007, Dublin, Ireland. A jury at Dublin Country Coroner’s court ruled that an infant found stabbed to death over three decades ago was the daughter of Cynthia Owen, who claimed a rather extensive story of ritual satanic sexual abuse involving her family. Allegations included an older brother, father and mother all offending parties in the abuse of her and her other siblings. This one has a longer and more detailed story that was interesting to read, but alas, we shall move on.
  • MM 2007, Rignano Flaminio, Italy. Six people were arrested for sexually abusing fifteen children and filming the children engaged in sexual acts with satanic overtones.
  • EM I’ll just add something from Sweden here.. Excellent
  • MM I’ve got one from 2014.

Famous Cases in the United States … (‘Murica!)

  • Kern County child abuse cases: These started the day care sexual abuse hysteria of the 1980s in Kern County, California.The cases involved claims of pedophile-sex-ring-performed Satanic ritual abuse, with as many as 60 children testifying they had been abused. At least 36 people were convicted and most of them spent years imprisoned. Thirty-four convictions were overturned on appeal. The district attorney responsible for the convictions was Ed Jagels, who was sued by at least one of those whose conviction was overturned,and who remained in office until 2009.Two convicts died in prison, unable to clear their names.

McMartin Pre-school trial


  • The McMartin preschool trial was a day care sexual abuse case of the 1980s. Members of the McMartin family, who operated a preschool in California, were charged with numerous acts of sexual abuse of children in their care. After six years of criminal trials, no convictions were obtained, and all charges were dropped in 1990. When the trial ended in 1990 it had been the longest and most expensive criminal trial in American history.

The Claims

  • In 1983, Judy Johnson, mother of one of the students, complained to the police that her son had been sodomized by her estranged husband and by McMartin teacher Ray Buckey. Buckey was the grandson of school founder Virginia McMartin and son of administrator Peggy McMartin Buckey. Johnson’s belief that her son had been abused began when her son had painful bowel movements.
  • Johnson also made several more accusations, including that people at the daycare had sexual encounters with animals, that “Peggy drilled a child under the arms” and “Ray flew in the air.” Ray Buckey was questioned, but was not prosecuted due to lack of evidence.
  • It was alleged that, in addition to having been sexually abused, they saw witches fly, traveled in a hot-air balloon, and were taken through underground tunnels. When shown a series of photographs by Danny Davis (the McMartins’ lawyer), one child identified actor Chuck Norris as one of the abusers. There were claims of orgies at car washes and airports, and of children being flushed down toilets to secret rooms where they would be abused, then cleaned up and presented back to their unsuspecting parents. Some interviewed children talked of a game called “Naked Movie Star” suggesting they were forcibly photographed nude. During the trial, testimony from the children stated that the naked movie star game was actually a rhyming taunt used to tease other children—”What you say is what you are, you’re a naked movie star,”—and had nothing to do with having naked pictures taken.

The Interviews

  • Several hundred children were interviewed by the Children’s Institute International, a Los Angeles abuse therapy clinic run by Kee MacFarlane. The interviewing techniques used during investigations of the allegations were highly suggestive and invited children to pretend or speculate about supposed events. By spring of 1984, it was claimed that 360 children had been abused.
  • Later research demonstrated that the methods of questioning used on the children were extremely suggestive, leading to false accusations. Others believe that the questioning itself may have led to false memory syndrome among the children who were questioned. Ultimately only 41 of the original 360 children testified during the grand jury and pre-trial hearings, and fewer than a dozen testified during the actual trial.
  • Videotapes of the interviews with children were reviewed by a British clinical psychologist and professor of psychiatry as an expert witness regarding the interviewing of children. He was highly critical of the interviewing techniques used, referring to them as improper, coercive, directive, problematic, adult-directed in a way that forced the children to follow a rigid script and that “many of the kids’ statements in the interviews were generated by the examiner.” Transcripts and recordings of the interviews contained far more speech from adults than children and demonstrated that, despite the highly coercive interviewing techniques used, initially the children were resistant to interviewers’ attempts to elicit disclosures. Recordings of these interviews were instrumental in the jury’s refusal to convict, by demonstrating how children could be coerced to giving vivid and dramatic testimonies without having experienced the abuse. The techniques used were contrary to the existing guidelines in California for the investigation of cases involving children and child witnesses.

Shenanigans in the Trial and the Media

  • Johnson, who made the initial allegations, made bizarre and impossible statements about Raymond Buckey, including that he could fly. Though the prosecution asserted Johnson’s mental illness was caused by the events of the trial, Johnson had admitted to them that she was mentally ill beforehand. Evidence of Johnson’s mental illness was withheld from the defense for three years and, when provided, was in the form of sanitized reports that excluded Johnson’s statements, at the order of the prosecution. One of the original prosecutors, Glenn Stevens, left the case and stated that other prosecutors had withheld evidence from the defense, including the information that Johnson’s son did not actually identify Ray Buckey in a series of photographs. Stevens also accused Robert Philibosian, the deputy district attorney on the case, of lying and withholding evidence from the court and defense lawyers in order to keep the Buckeys in jail and prevent access to exonerating evidence.
  • During the trial, George Freeman was called as a witness and testified that Ray Buckey had confessed to him while sharing a cell. Freeman later attempted to flee the country and confessed to perjury in a series of other criminal cases in which he manufactured testimony in exchange for favorable treatment by the prosecution in other cases, in several instances creating false confessions of other inmates. In order to guarantee his testimony during the McMartin case, Freeman was given immunity to previous charges of perjury. Under immunity, Freeman admitted to fabricating Buckey’s confession.
  • The media coverage was skewed towards an uncritical acceptance of the prosecution’s viewpoint, and there were several clear conflicts of interest involving romantic relationships between the prosecutor, the social worker who organized the interviews of the kids, and a couple members of media outlets that refused to report on the flaws in the case. David Shaw of the Los Angeles Times wrote a series of articles, which later won the Pulitzer Prize, discussing the flawed and skewed coverage presented by his own paper on the trial.


  • The trial lasted seven years and cost $15 million, the longest and most expensive criminal case in the history of the United States legal system, and ultimately resulted in no convictions. The McMartin preschool was closed and the building was dismantled; several of the accused have since died. In 2005, one of the children (as an adult) retracted the allegations of abuse:

    Never did anyone do anything to me, and I never saw them doing anything. I said a lot of things that didn’t happen. I lied. … Anytime I would give them an answer that they didn’t like, they would ask again and encourage me to give them the answer they were looking for. … I felt uncomfortable and a little ashamed that I was being dishonest. But at the same time, being the type of person I was, whatever my parents wanted me to do, I would do.

  • Mary A. Fischer in an article in Los Angeles magazine said the case was “simply invented,” and transmogrified into a national cause celebre by the misplaced zeal of six people: Judy Johnson, mentally ill mother who died of alcoholism; Jane Hoag, the detective who investigated the complaints; Kee MacFarlane, the social worker who interviewed the children; Robert Philibosian, the district attorney who was in a losing battle for re-election; Wayne Satz, the television reporter who first reported the case, and Lael Rubin, the prosecutor.
  • Shortly after investigation into the McMartin charges began, the funds to research child sexual abuse greatly increased, notably through the budget allocated for the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN). The agency’s budget increased from $1.8 million to $7.2 million between 1983 and 1984, increasing to $15 million in 1985, making it the greatest source of funding for child abuse and neglect prevention in the United States. The majority of this budget went toward studies on sexual abuse with only $5 million going towards physical abuse and neglect.
  • Federal funding was also used to arrange conferences on ritual abuse, providing an aura of respectability as well as allowing prosecutors to exchange tips on the best means of obtaining convictions. A portion of the funds were used to publish the book Behind the Playground Walls, which used a sample of children drawn from the McMartin families. The book claimed to study the effects of “reported” rather than actual abuse but portrayed all of the McMartin children as actual victims of abuse despite a lack of convictions during the trial and without mentioning questions about the reality of the accusations. Another grant of $173,000 went to David Finkelhor who used the funds to investigate allegations of day care sexual abuse throughout the country, combining the study of verified crimes by admitted pedophiles and unverified accusations of satanic ritual abuse.
  • The case and others like it also impacted the investigation of allegations that included young children. Normal police procedure is to record using video, tape or notes in interviews with alleged victims. The initial interviews with children by the CII were recorded, and demonstrated to the jury members in the trial the coercive and suggestive techniques used by CII staff to produce allegations.
  • These interviews were instrumental in the jury members failing to produce a guilty verdict against Buckey, and several similar trials with similar interviewing techniques produced similar not-guilty verdicts when juries were allowed to view the recordings. These records ended up being extremely valuable to the defense in similar cases. In response, prosecutors and investigators began “abandoning their tape recorders and notepads” and a manual was produced for investigating child abuse cases that urged prosecutors and investigators not to record their interviews. (Sounds kinda shady.)

Continued Allegations

  • In 1990, parents who believed their children had been abused at the preschool hired archeologist E. Gary Stickel to investigate the site. In May 1990, Stickel claimed he found evidence of tunnels, consistent with the children’s accounts, under the McMartin Preschool using ground-penetrating radar.
  • Others have disagreed with Stickel’s conclusions. John Earl wrote in 1995 that the concrete slab floor was undisturbed except for a small patch where the sewer line was tapped into. Once the slab was removed, there was no sign of any materials to line or hold up any tunnels, and the concrete floor would have made it impossible for the defendants to fill in any tunnels once the abuse investigation began. The article concluded that disturbed soil under the slab was from the sewer line and construction fill buried under the slab before it was poured. Further, Earle noted that some fill from beneath the concrete slab was dated to the year 1940.
  • W. Joseph Wyatt’s 2002 report concluded that the “tunnels” under the preschool were more plausibly explained as a rubbish pit used by the owners of the site before the preschool’s construction in 1966. Materials found during the excavation included bottles, tin cans, plywood, inner tubes, as well as the former owner’s old mail box. Only three small items found near the edge of the concrete slab were dated after 1966, which Wyatt suggested were most likely dragged into the pit by rats or other scavengers. Moreover, Wyatt speculated that Stickel’s conclusions were colored by his collaboration with the parents of the McMartin children.

West Memphis 3:

  • In May of 1993, three 8 year-old boys – Steve Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers – were reported missing in West Memphis, Arkansas. The following day their bodies were discovered in a drainage ditch. The boys had been hogtied and killed by a knife attack.
  • 16 year-old Jason Baldwin and 17 year-old Damien Echols had initially been arrested for vandalism and shoplifting, respectively. 17 year-old Jessie Misskelley, Jr. was also arrested. At one point, Echols had been arrested for breaking into a trailer with his girlfriend and police heard rumors that the two had planned to have a child and sacrifice the infant. This led Echols to be committed for psychiatric evaluation. He had a confirmed history of some violent confrontations with other kids by this point.
  • Two other local teenagers had been initially suspected and had failed a polygraph examination when questioned about it. And we all know just how reliable polygraphs are, right? FFS (I’ll try not to go off on a tangent about that).
  • A black male was a possible suspect and nicknamed “Mr. Bojangles” because he had been reported to seem “mentally disoriented” inside the ladies room of a local restaurant named Bojangles. He was reportedly bleeding and had brushed against the walls of the restroom. When a potential connection was reported to police, they received a pair sunglasses that may have belonged to Mr. Bojangles, a scraping of the blood (which was subsequently misplaced) A hair that was “identified as belonging to a black male” was later recovered from a sheet which was used to wrap one of the victims.
  • Police thought the crime had “cult” overtones and Damien Echols was a possible suspect because he reportedly had an interest in occultism. *opinion* The interrogation was seemingly full of intimidation, sleep deprivation, leading questions, coercion, and shitty polygraph usage. *end opinion* A municipal judge has since written a detailed critique of what he asserts are major police errors and misconceptions during their investigation.
  • A friend of the deceased made a statement about the boys having been killed at “the playhouse”. The bodies had indeed been discovered near where he indicated. Upon further questioning he claimed that he had witnessed the murders committed by Satanists who spoke Spanish. His further statements were wildly inconsistent and he was unable to identify any of the three suspects from a photo lineup. Another witness claimed that she and Echols had attended a Wiccan meeting and that he had openly bragged about killing the three boys. In return cooperating with the police, charges of stealing money from her employer were dropped. She later recanted her statements claiming she had made the statement to avoid criminal charges and to obtain a reward for the discovery of the murderers.
  • In the trials, Misskelley was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison for one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder. Echols received a death penalty and Baldwin was sentenced to life in prison. The trial included Dale W. Griffis, whose only bona fides I could find are that he graduated from Columbia Pacific University, as an expert in the occult to testify that the murders were indeed a Satanic ritual. UGH.
    • Wikipedia: Columbia Pacific University (CPU) was an unaccredited nontraditional distance learning school in California. … CPU was closed by California court order in 2000.
  • In the many years following the case and convictions many criticisms have been laid out against the investigation and the detectives who conducted it. DNA evidence obtained from the original crime scene failed to place the convicted at the scene and could showed that an as of yet unidentified person had been present. The three convicted men reached an agreement with prosecutors and entered Alford pleas, which allows them to assert their innocence while acknowledging that the prosecutors  have enough evidence to convict them. At least one of them has claimed that it was their only hope given to them of leaving prison at the time that they were made.
  • Little Rascals Daycare Center:  A daycare in Edenton, in the North Carolina run by Betsy and Bob Kelly. In January, 1989, allegations were made that Bob Kelly had sexually abused a child. After investigation by a police officer and social worker, the conclusion was the allegations were valid and parents were urged to have their children evaluated for abuse. A total of 90 children, after many therapy sessions (in some cases up to ten months’ worth), also made allegations leading to accusations against dozens besides Kelly and charges against seven adults (Bob and Betsy Kelly, three workers at the daycare, a worker at a local Head Start center and the son of a judge). The charges ultimately involved rape, sodomy and fellatio, while other bizarre allegations were also made, including the murder of babies, torture and being thrown into a school of sharks. During the trial, children were asked to testify about events that had occurred three years previously, with memories “refreshed” in therapy sessions, meetings with the prosecution and repeated discussions with their parents. While the alleged abuse was occurring, no parents noticed anything unusual about their children’s behavior to indicate abuse or torture. The eight-month trial against Bob Kelly was the most expensive in North Carolina history, ending in conviction on 99 of 100 charges and twelve consecutive life sentences, though on May 2, 1995 all convictions were reversed in the Court of Appeals. The remaining six defendants faced a mixture of charges ending in a variety of sentences from life imprisonment to seven years.
  • Oak HIll Satanic ritual abuse trial: Oak Hill, Austin, Texas, in 1991 when Fran Keller and her husband Dan, proprietors of a small daycare, were accused of repeatedly and sadistically abusing several children. The Kellers were convicted of multiple charges and sentenced to decades in prison, but were freed in late 2013 based on newly-revealed information about misconduct by the prosecution and other authorities.

Common Claims

Rationalwiki lists a few things that evangelicals and the law enforcement officials they had suckered in believed about these vast networks of Satanists:

  • There are families of devil worshippers, and they tend to be multigenerational.
  • Teenagers are enticed to join Satanic cults.
  • Human sacrifice is common.
  • Disappearing pets were used for animal sacrifice.
  • Ritual child abuse is rampant.
  • Satanist networks are part of a broader conspiracy, e.g. the Illuminati.
  • Wiccans and other neopagans are Satanic in nature.
  • Wiccan symbols such as the pentagram are signs of Satanic activity. Some Christian books on Satanism (and materials provided to law enforcement) included the peace symbol and the anarchy symbol in their lists of “Satanic symbols” to watch out for. (Warning! There are pentagrams in the American flag and in the EU flag.)
  • Some parts of popular culture are functioning as recruiting tools for Satanism, including heavy metal music and the game Dungeons and Dragons.
  • Halloween is a Satanic holiday; urban legends and scares over poisoned candy were claimed to be the work of Satanic cults.
  • Some towns, agencies, or even major corporations (i.e. Procter & Gamble) are secretly under the control of Satanists.
  • Satanist “infiltration” of the military.
  • Washington, D.C. is infested with Satanic symbols designed into the city.
  • Atheists are really satanists.

(In)Famous “Documentaries”

Geraldo Rivera – Devil Worship: Exposing Satan’s Underground

(abominable schlock pseudo-journalism all about how satanism and heavy metal were leading to murder, child abuse, animal/human sacrifice, etc.)

Key takeaways:

  • The general theme: blaming Satanism for what people do and not the people themselves. Sensationalist schlock pseudo-journalism at its absolute worst.
  • They clearly didn’t think to vet anyone. They bring on a kid who was the youngest person ever on death row, who was convicted of multiple murders. But he’s not alone. They interview him… with a guy who is a self-proclaimed expert on Satanism. According to a review of this man’s book on Amazon, “This book informs that Satanic murders are hidden from the public, digging deeper in other books they tell you “the Elite” are doing this. So I’ve come to the conclusion: your children get kidnapped by the Elite, for ritual, the Police know and are told by their high ups not to tell the public!”
  • According to Geraldo, heavy metal and drugs lead to Satanism, and the Weekly World News and conspiracy theorists are legitimate sources.
  • He talked to parents and therapists involved with the false memory scandal at the McMartin pre-school. The spokesman for the parents said that ⅓ of the children in Manhattan were victims of satanic molestation.
  • They play an interview between Geraldo and Charles Manson. Manson starts talking about how he’s God. Geraldo says “or Satan,” and Manson runs with it. Geraldo pushes the “you think you’re Satan” line a few more times, and Manson rants crazily about Satan and demons. In the voiceover, Geraldo then calls Manson satanic.
  • Ted Gunderson, former head of the regional FBI office in LA, alleged that satanists have a network of very active people with a “rest & relaxation farm”, loose ties to drug trade and motorcycle gangs, and experts in surveillance, photography, and assassination.
    • Gunderson was recently a massive conspiracy theorist. He claimed that the CIA and FBI are behind most terrorist attacks. He also claimed to have proof of the chemtrail conspiracy. He was an apocalyptic nut about Y2K.
  • The first person to say anything that makes sense is Danish metal artist King Diamond: “How much can you influence kids? … I think people are too clever to be influenced by watching a band or listening to an album to go out and do the same. Because if they were that easy to influence, watching the news you get the real thing, and everybody knows that, right into your living room.” Geraldo then says that lyrics which talk about death, graves, and evil are Diamond ‘preaching satanism’.
  • A guy from the slightly kooky Temple of Set comes across as another one of the only somewhat rational people on the show: “I think that there is some confusion tonight because this same term means something different to Satanists than it does to Christians in the united states. By our own standards, the people who you’ve shown in these films clips would not be Satanists, either present or in the past. Rather, they would be the failures of a conventional religion. … Originally, the Church of Satan, when it was founded, was composed not of people with a hatred for Christianity, but of people who, by and large, were agnostics and atheists because they felt that the institutions which had arisen around Christianity had failed in their moral commitment. So Satanism itself became an emphasis on rational self-interest and on taking responsibility for your own intellectual and ethical decisions.”
  • They blamed cattle mutilations on Satanic rituals. Eyes/ears/tails/internal organs removed – the same sort of thing you hear from UFO people that turns out to just be the result of scavenging.

Gary Greenwald and Phil Phillips: Deception of a Generation

(all about how toys, comic books, cartoons, and breakfast cereal were occult and evil)

  • Per Rationalwiki: Dr. Gary L. Greenwald is a California-based pastor who strongly promoted the Satanic Panic movement in the 1980’s through a series of videos. Greenwald has made a career in interpreting occult or satanic symbolism in almost everything ever.
  • The video is based on the book Turmoil in the Toybox (1984) by author and guest Phil Phillips. Phil started investigating the toy industry because he walked into a toy store while on a 14-day fast and saw occult symbols. So… he starved himself crazy and then started obsessing.
  • Quotes from Phillips:
    • “There’s a vast movement toward the occult within the cartoon and toy industry. Most people don’t realize it. 80% of all cartoons deal directly with the occult, and 40% of the toys on the market have occultic influence.”
    • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe had “a vast effect on the whole United States and other countries around the world.”
    • “He-Man is being lifted up as a god, and many children are receiving him as such.” He heard of a woman whose young son heard a radio preacher talk about “our lord God, the master of the universe. And her boy jumped from the back seat of the car and said ‘Mommy, God isn’t master of the universe – He-Man is!’”
    • Talks about a boy playing with He-Man toys, running around in a church parking lot saying “He-Man has more power than Jesus!”
    • “We have a good versus evil battle here, but the good is empowered by Satanic power. … Actually, these cartoons are making real what Satan has had for a long time.”
    • Apparently, talking to the dead is called “necromology.” Not necromancy…
    • Regarding Star Wars:
      • “The Force is a word used by witches down through the centuries to describe the power they receive from Satan.”
      • Darth Vader apparently looks almost exactly like Odin.
      • Obi Wan Kenobi: there’s a form of witchcraft called Obi witchcraft where they chant “Obi” over and over again.
      • Yoda was called the Zen master? He’s always seen with serpents around him? “Zen Buddhism says there’s one force in the world and it can be either used for good or evil.” Nope. Just no.
    • E.T. was a camouflaged occult movie including levitation, psychic healing, mind control, mental telepathy, etc. There were inferences to homosexuality.
    • “I think one of the things they tried to do on this movie was make people accept that there’s more Christs than just one. … Maybe Jesus was an alien.”
    • “I was listening to one commentator’s talk about the feelings in Russia, and he said that the Russians were more upset about this new trend in America of the children wearing fatigues and being more militaristically minded than they were about our nuclear arms.”
    • Smurfs are depicted as blue with black lips. When you die, you turn blue and your lips turn black. The smurfs are depicting dead creatures!
    • “The whole storyline is that the smurfs get in trouble. And every time they get in trouble, they run to Papa Smurf who whips up a spell or an incantation to get them out. In fact, he said the name Beelzebub numerous times in the cartoon.”
    • Phil claims Gargamel made a pentagram, lit candles at the points, danced in it and chanted a magical chant, and a spirit left a magic book to enter him and give him the power to levitate. In reality, Gargamel makes a pentagon, hops on one foot, says a phrase that includes “whosy-whatsits” and “31 flavors”, and suddenly finds himself riding an ostrich.
    • “What I’m seeing in Care Bears is almost like they’re setting up their own religion – that children are to tell these Care Bears their problems instead of telling God or their mom and dad. And they’re to depend on their Care Bears to take away all their troubles.”
  • Quotes from Greenwald:
    • “The witchcraft and occult practices are not make-believe. They’re taken from actual witchcraft, actual pagan religions. Levitation, mind control, astral projection, and other forms of witchcraft ceremonies are portrayed within the cartoons.”
    • Regarding D&D: “I have letter after letter where people took the pieces – now, there’s sixes involved in the pieces of the game – but they’d take the pieces of the game, they would throw them in the incinerator or the fireplace, and screams would come out because there seemed to be some kind of spiritual forces inhabiting those pieces.”
    • “Transforming from a man to an animal is a very occultic and new-age concept.”
    • “A parent who allows his child to watch this on television and also brings these toys into the home or buys them for the child is actually breaking a commandment of God and inviting curses upon the family.”
    • Smurfs are an all-male community (wat). Smurfette was magically transformed from a male into a female; she wasn’t born a female (wat). “Now what you’re telling me, then, is that even Smurfs carry a homosexual connotation in that most of them are male.”
    • My Little Pony (they call it ‘My Pony’) has unicorns and pegasus which came from mythology. It also has a satyr which uses evil magic to transform the ponies into dragons. “I can see that we’re actually destroying our children by letting them watch even the innocuous things because they’re all going that direction.”
    • Rainbow Brite cereal box: “The rainbow represents the networking of the new age. And it’s interesting that she has a little five-sided star on her cheek … and it’s upside down … that’s a pentagram again. That’s another New Age and occultic symbol.”
  • They repeatedly talk about the *bad guys* on the show using occult powers, but never mention that they’re the bad guys.
  • They keep trying to connect monsters that are part human, part animal with Egyptian deities.
  • While looking at a toy that is a sort of hand puppet insect with motorized wings that has a figurine riding on its back, Phil brings up the verses from Revelation about flying beasts with riders on them. The host seriously looks like he’s about to start cracking up…
  • G.I. Joe is “occult” because of characters that use martial arts. “Occultic toys” seems to include toy grenades and gum that looks like shrapnel (???).
  • They cannot come to grips with the fact that this is all fantasy. They keep talking about how in D&D, there are white and black witches and wizards, pitting good against evil on equal footing, but “in reality”, God is supremely powerful and evil doesn’t stand a chance. They start by talking about how kids can’t separate fantasy from reality, and they end up demonstrating that they’re incapable of viewing fantasy as just fantasy!

Big Names in the Satanic Panic

  • Bob Larson
  • Geraldo (for his idiotic TV special)
  • Gary Greenwald (for his numerous audio and video programs about satanic pop culture – toys, music, movies, games, etc.)
  • Ted Gunderson (for being an all-around gullible fool who believed everything anonymous people told him and used his position as ex-FBI to try to make him seem reliable)
  • Jack Chick (for his fantastically goofy Dark Dungeons tract, the movie version of which is funded to over 200% on Kickstarter)

What’s Satan Up To Today?

The Satanic Panic is alive and well today, though not nearly as prominent. Alex Jones, for example, is certain that there are still baby-eating Illuminati masterminds plotting the downfall of Christianity and America. For example, speaking of atheists, Jones recently said on his radio show:

This is their religion. See, you’ll find at the highest level, the atheists really aren’t atheists at the higher levels. These people write books. They worship Lucifer. And they do. They love death. And I’m just in love with life. And I’m sorry for those who have never experienced it. And they laugh at us, all these unhappy atheists and psychologists and psychiatrists, all out there, talking about how horrible their lives are and their incredible rates of suicide.

In recent years, some evangelical Christians have tried to make the Halloween holiday their own… by calling it JesusWeen and using it to spread gospel messages and tracts door to door:

Every year, the world and its system have a day set aside (October 31st) to celebrate ungodly images and evil characters while Christians all over the world participate, hide or just stay quiet on Halloween day. Being a day that is widely acceptable to solicit and knock on doors, God inspired us to encourage Christians to use this day as an opportunity to spread the gospel. The days of hiding are over and we choose to take a stand for Jesus. “Evil prevails when good people do nothing”. JesusWeen is expected to become the most effective Christian outreach day ever and that is why we also call it ”World Evangelism Day”


Ken Ham Challenges Pat Robertson To A Debate On Young Earth Creationism

On May 13, Robertson ridiculed Ham’s young-earth creationism on the 700 Club (see 37:50 to 40:56):

The truth is, you have to be deaf, dumb, and blind to think that this earth that we live in only has 6,000 years of existence.

On May 14, Ham accused Robertson of heresy:

Many Christians believe that the world is very old based on fossil records that are presumably dated at millions of years. Indeed the dispute between an old earth and a young earth is hotly debated within the Christian community. Unfortunately, those who subscribe to an old earth theory do not realize the enormity of their compromise.

The compromise is that as soon as one allows for an earth millions of years old, then one has accepted death, bloodshed, disease and suffering before Adam’s sin. In other words, the Garden of Eden would have been seated upon a mountain of dead animal bones. This doesn’t sound much like paradise.

Now if the world were millions of years old as suggested by evolutionists, blood was shed and death occurred before Adam’s original sin. This would destroy the foundation of the atonement brought by the death of Christ on the cross. According to 1 Corinthians 15:54, sin and death have been swallowed up in victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus the enormity of compromise is revealed. To believe in evolution undermines the entire gospel message of Jesus Christ. All Christians believe that Jesus Christ suffered physical death and shed His blood because death was the penalty for sin. Therefore, teaching millions of years of death, disease and suffering before Adam sinned, is a direct attack on the foundation and message of the Cross.

On May 15, he challenged Robertson to a debate, either on the “700 Club” or at Regent University, the school founded by Robertson.

I wonder if Pat Robertson would be prepared to discuss these issues with me or one of our AiG scientists on the 700 Club? Or maybe in some sort of debate format at Regent University? We are certainly willing to do that—maybe all of you reading this could challenge CBN/Regent University to allow such a discussion, debate, or forum to occur publicly. I wonder if Pat Robertson, who is allowed to state these things so publicly through CBN will agree to have his statements publicly challenged and tested!

McElroy’s take on this: Oh boy. Dumb and Dumber! Ham must’ve burned through his earnings from the debate with Bill Nye. Seems like he’s looking for a new influx of cash.

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