Aufsätze - Ritual Abuse:
Severe and systematic physical, sexual and psychological abuse and torture of one or more children, adolescents and adults, usually by a number of perpetrators, in which rituals are used, not only to intimidate and control the victim(s), but also as an essential part of a belief system.Satanist abuse falls within the definition and although since the government survey by the anthropologist Jean La Fontaine, it is not considered prudent or politic to mention Satanism, the vast majority of survivors and therapist who ring SAFE and RAINS are talking just about that. Satanist abuse can be defined more descriptively as:
Severe and systematic abuse of one or more children, adolescents or adults, usually by a number of perpetrators of both sexes, frequently over a period of many years. It is associated with a belief system involving the worship of Satan. It includes sexual, physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual abuse, especially of young children, often within ceremonies in which rituals, symbols and so-called magic are employed. Control is the essential feature. Indoctrination and mind-control are achieved with the aid of Dissociation, induced by using drugs, hypnosis, cognitive deception, torture, humiliation, enforced perpetration and blackmail. In the cases of generational Satanism, much of the procedure is carried out at home by members of the family.
Although I, like most RAINS members, do not believe in a personified devil, there is no doubt that some people do. Even La Fontaine acknowledges that satanists do exist, but she reckons they are intelligent professional people who do not abuse children; whereas the alleged perpetrators in her survey came from bleak housing estates and she referred them as ‘the marginal poor’.
This does not correspond with our experience which is that far as occupation and class are concerned, satanists fall right across the board. ‘The marginal poor’ are the ones that social services have access to, but we are constantly hearing of others from the professional classes who do not advertise their allegiance to Satan, but who, we are told, do abuse both children and adults.
Children recruited in ritual abuse may not, initially, be aware of the religious significance, but most survivors who claim they were born into and abused within generational Satanism, tell us that they were taught from a very early age that Satan was their god. All those that I worked with were under no illusions as to what it was about. They talked about ‘the cult’ as other people may talk about the Church or a political party. Although individual memories had been repressed or dissociated, the awareness of Satanism was not a recovered memory. They had always recognised that this was the background to their personal trauma, that made them feel different from other people. This is in accordance with the experience of Valerie Sinason and her work in the Clinic for Dissociative Studies.