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October 27, 2020 63 mins

Robert is joined by Jake Hanrahan to discuss Satanic Panic.

FOOTNOTES:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDTFpof39-U&feature=emb_title
  2. https://delanirbartlette.medium.com/the-satanic-panic-and-the-west-memphis-three-e833532970b0w
  3. http://www.religioustolerance.org/ra_baker.htm
  4. https://theconversation.com/the-legacy-of-implanted-satanic-abuse-memories-is-still-causing-damage-today-43755
  5. https://dangerousminds.net/comments/sex_lies_and_satanism_the_rise_and_fall_of_christian_comedian_mike_warnke
  6. https://www.vox.com/2016/10/30/13413864/satanic-panic-ritual-abuse-history-explained
  7. http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mcmartin/mcmartinaccount.html
  8. https://www.cbr.com/1980s-dungeons-dragons-satanic-panic/
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHf0TIO0Axs
  10. https://io9.gizmodo.com/a-brief-history-of-satanic-panic-in-the-1980s-1679476373
  11. https://greyfaction.org/resources/grey-faction-reports/satanic-panic-misogynist/
  12. https://www.nytimes.com/1994/10/31/us/proof-lacking-for-ritual-abuse-by-satanists.html
  13. https://archive.org/stream/a_cristian_response_to_dungeons_and_dragons/a_cristian_response_to_dungeons_and_dragons_djvu.txt
  14. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079J6GXMS/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
  15. https://www.amazon.com/We-Believe-Children-Moral-Panic-ebook/dp/B00X2ZW9H2/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=we+believe+the+children&qid=1603768283&s=digital-text&sr=1-1

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Transcript

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Hmm, what alleging networks of child abuse that don't really
exist my entire world now, Jesus Christ, that was a
bad introduction. Um, thank you, Sophie, thank you for your
relentless positivity. Uh, this is behind the Bastards. I'm Robert

(00:24):
Evans and my guest today is my my friend and colleague,
Jake Hanrahan. Jake, how you doing man good? Thanks to me,
Thank you having me on again. Yeah, and you, Jake,
you have a podcast now, another podcast. You've always had
a podcast, another one, Yeah, only doing Q Clearance. Sophie's
been hoping. We've moved me with a podcast about Q

(00:45):
and On uh, and about you know, the the searching
for the person or persons behind it, right, Yeah, trying
to trying to kind of lay out for people that
are not one familiar as well. Like I kind of
realized that a lot of the Q and On media
is refocused on either like for Q and On people,
or it's kind of for the community. They're research and

(01:06):
I kind of want to bring everybody together to be like,
let's make everyone understand it. You know what I'm saying.
And so far, so good, you know, Jake, I I
admire what you're doing. I think it's important and I
wanted to help you out. And the way I wanted
to help you out was by lending a bit of
historical context because what we have with Q and On,
I think it's it's fair to say, in brief, is

(01:26):
like a massive, almost now international delusion about networks of
Satanic child murderers and traffickers. Right, M have you figured
it out yet, Jake? Q and On is not is
not the first time this happened. And today, Jake, we're
going to talk about the Satanic panic. Okay. I couldn't

(01:53):
have guessed that one man. Um No, it's interesting, it's interesting,
it's perfect for me. Thank you so much. I just
can't believe you haven't listened to episode two of Q
Clearance where we talk about syntantic this, this is it's
it was enormous. I don't I didn't know most of
this stuff when I started reading about it. It's a

(02:14):
fucking nightmare. And uh, you're gonna hate this episode. I
hated writing it. Um. It involved a lot of reading lurid,
lengthy stories of child molestation that never happened, but that
children were convinced had happened. To them, which is somehow yeah,
more disturbing almost than actual child molestation, like the idea

(02:35):
that like a kid, people convincing them it happened to them, right, yeah,
Like why would you make someone feel the worst thing
ever if they didn't actually feel it. You know, it's
completely fucked. I can't believe this is what you picked for, Jake.
Oh yeah, Yeah, we're gonna talk about some fun ship.
We're gonna go dungeons and dragons. We're gonna talk about

(02:57):
the West Memphis three. We're gonna talk about the mcmarh
in preschool scandal. It's gonna be fucking terrible. Um. But
first we're going to go back in time a little bit, Jake,
because the ideological soil that Q and on and the
Satanic Panic grew in didn't start with either of those things.
So let's talk about A hundred and seventy seven A

(03:17):
D or c E or whatever we're supposed to say Europe.
Let's let's let's talk about that. This is about you know,
A hundred seventy is about a century or so before
Emperor Constantine was like, you know, brought Christianity to the
Roman Empire and stuff. So things are still pretty pagan
in Roman society, but Christianity exists and the Pagans do
not like it. They've got these like weird people, um,

(03:38):
who are kind of on the fringes of society, and
they start making up ship about them. So in the
city of Lyon in modern day France, rumors started spreading
that members of the Christian community there were secretly raping
and cannibalizing their own children. Angry and probably drunken, mobs
of pagan Romans chased the Christian community out of their homes,
beat them, stone them, and tortured their households slaves until

(04:00):
the slaves admitted that their masters had been eating and
molesting babies. With confessions in hand, the mob than massacred
the entire Christian community of Leon. So like when you're
it was cool, basically rads. So that massacre was an
example of what anthropologists call demonology. So not demonology, demon

(04:23):
o I O G y um. And Yeah, the authors
of Satan's Silence, which is have you read that book,
It's fucking Satan Silence. Yeah, it's really good, the defining
work of the Satanic Panic era, and the authors of
that book define demonology as the narrative specific to every
culture that identifies the ultimate evil threatening the group. During

(04:44):
periods of social turmoil and moral crisis, societal preoccupation with
its demonology intensifies. So in Pagan Rome, the ultimate evil
was like the the ultimate outsiders. The Christians at this point,
like the people saying, now there's only one got right,
So they get demonized and people start telling stories of
about the molesting and murdering children. Now, once Christianity became
the dominant religion in Europe, its adherents found their own

(05:06):
evil to oppress in the way that they've once been oppressed.
In the twelfth century, a myth began to spread across
the English countryside, initially about Jewish rabbis murdering Christian babies.
That's quickly spread all over Europe, and you start having
this like it's still around yeah, yeah, they of course, yeah,
they're always yeah, this kind it's kind of like it
was an early meme and it's spread that way around Europe,

(05:28):
and like pamphlets and even like you can still find
churches in Europe that, like in stained glass reliefs will
have like images of what's called the blood libel rabbi's
murdering Christian babies to make mods that. Yeah, um, and
it's the same kind of thing, right, myths that this
this group of social outsiders is gathering up and murdering
and probably molesting children. Um. And Christians like killed so

(05:51):
many Jews during this period as a result of the
spread of this myth that later during the Reformation, there
weren't like any Jewish people left in a lot of communities,
so they had to find a new ultimate evil inside
their community to go after. And this is where we
get the witch hunts, right like that everybody knows vaguely
the story, and these two they took different forms over
the centuries, but the gist of the threat was always

(06:11):
the same. Satan is real, and he's trying to destroy
our community via some member on the fringe of our
community who's working with the devil, right Like, that's the
the idea, and it happens a bunch of times. It
happens in Europe, it happens obviously in the United States.
You get the Salem witch trials, and you have different
groups of people targeted. Right. Sometimes it's midwife. Sometimes it's
just like members of the community like in Salem, who

(06:32):
start accusing each other of things. Um, and kind of
one of the things that always marks witch hunts is
that like there may be initially a specific group that's targeted,
but once a real good witch hunt gets going, pretty
much everyone winds up accusing everybody, right, Like that's what
we do. Yeah. Yeah. I remember reading the Weird Story
where like a guy like pronounced something like differently to

(06:53):
the rest of the town and they were just like, yeah,
he's a witch exactly. You know, people go fucking it
is one of those things. You know, I'm a I'm
a pretty staunch fan of the concept of democracy, um,
but man, reading too much about witch hunts makes you like, we're, well, yeah,

(07:18):
they voted, yeah yeah, drowning. Um. Yeah. So once the
United States became a thing, it showed a marked talent
for witch hunts. And I have to say, like, y'all
over in Europe and ship can do some pretty good
witch hunts, but the USA, like, who, we are good
at mass murdering each other over rumors of the devil? Um, yeah, yeah,

(07:44):
we're fucking great at it. And of course, like we
you know, Jewish people got blamed for a variety of things,
but also Catholics um. During the eighteen thirties and forties,
Protestants in America were so frightened of Catholics that rumors
started to spread about nuns consorting with the devil and
Moleste murder ring a bunch of little kids. And the
quote again from Satan's Silence here, because this is some
ship that sounds exactly like the ship happening now. Several

(08:07):
books were written by women claiming to be x Nuns
who had escaped from convents where they witnessed orgies, torture,
witchcraft in the slaughter of infants. One account was so
popular that in the years before the Civil War, it's
sales were surpassed only by Uncle Tom's cabin. During the
same period, X Nuns and Priest real or Famed made
a handsome living touring the country and testifying about the
slaughter of innocence at the hands of Mother's superior and bishops.

(08:28):
It's the same fucking thing, Like they're going around and
making money off it. You've got like fucking pre medic
types in eighteen forty. Yeah, it's kind of funny though.
It's like later the Catholics did do a lot of
the kids, but oh absolutely, but not the Devil's yeah no,
and like, yeah, you have to assume that some of
this started from like well, yeah, a bunch of preestar

(08:50):
molested kids, right, just throwing the devil as well, Like
why not they eating them as well? Yeah, now they're
eating them yeah my peoples. Man. Yeah. So that's kind
of the backstory of this really weirdly consistent thing that
humans do, which is accused groups on the margins of
murdering and molesting children. Right, It's like very consistent that

(09:13):
it's always like, if you're going to really demonize a group,
you accuse them of going after little kids. Um, and
it's it goes back way more than a thousand years.
I think it's like the Oats and the Evil, right,
Like that's the worst thing you can do. Like I'm
a kid, let's go with that. Yeah, let's fucking go
with that. Um. Now, we're gonna have to cover a
lot of other backstory in the United States before we

(09:34):
actually get to the Satanic Panic because the reason that
the Satanic Panic was able to get so bad, and
the reason that like, like one of the things you
have with the Satanic Panic is you have all of
these like lurid stories of devil worship and these kids
testifying that they've been raped because they've had false memories
and planted in them and stuff, and all of that
was only possible because of a shipload of things that

(09:54):
happened in the United States that made it the perfect
soil for something like this. So we're gonna explain kind
of all of different things that made it possible. First.
So one factor in the Satanic Panic being a thing
that could happen was the fact that starting with our
old buddy l Ron Hubbard in the nineteen fifties, colts
started to get super mainstream in the United States in
the nineteen sixties and seventies um and one of the

(10:15):
ones that like got the most public perception was the
Manson Colt, which carried out a string of grizzly murders
in August of nineteen sixty nine. The most famous Manson
killing was the murder of Sharon Tate, Abigail Folger, and
several other less famous people. I think they killed five
people at once in this like big compound that was
like Roman Polanski's house, but he was out at the time.
And these murders were incredibly grizzly, and they had elements

(10:36):
that police at the time described as ritualistic. I don't
know that they actually were ritualistic murders, but it was
described as ritualistic murders. So you have these cults. Is
that great book Chaos O'Neill, and it just dispels all
of that, like it was just again they just rolled
with it exactly. Yeah, yeah, and it is bullshit, but

(10:56):
people at the time believe it. So you've got suddenly
number one, cults are all to the place, um. And
then you've got this cult murdering people. And then in
the nineteen seventies you get the Zodiac Killer and the
Son of Sam and the Alphabet Killer, and all of
these were mass murderers whose slayings had like weird ritualistic
and occult seeming overtones to them. So people start to
like get like really convinced that that this is a

(11:20):
thing that actually happens, right that like, and they have
some you know, if you are a person who reads
the news in this period, you've got what you think
is solid evidence that this is a problem, that there's
ritualistic cults out there murdering people for a cult you know, purposes. Um. Now,
the nineteen seventies also happened to be the decade where
Satanism went I don't know, mainstream is probably saying too much,

(11:42):
but it became like it became like an organized thing, right.
Anton the Vey publishes the Satanic Bible in nineteen sixty nine,
which became the central text for the Church of Satan,
which probably had its heyday in the nineteen seventies. Now,
the reality is that the Satanic Bible was both largely
plagiarized and more or less just a self help book
with an g rapping to it. This did not stop
people who hadn't read it from flipping the funk out.

(12:04):
So the Church of Satan, again fundamentally pretty peaceful thing,
has maybe five thousand members in the US at its
height during this period. But all of this ship happening,
like you know, with the Mansons and with these ritual murders,
and then all the ship that's happening in Hollywood in
terms of like the movies that are coming up, kind
of cooks it into the center of a conspiracy. So
in nineteen seventy three you have the best selling novel

(12:26):
The Exorcist adapted into a film. We all know about
the Exorcist, big part of it is demonic possession. Um
And in order to improve ticket sales, its producers claim
that it was based on a true story, which was
a lie. Um. They were like, some elements were taken
all out of a story of an actual priest who
had an x an exorcism, but like it had bore
no resemblance to anything that happened in the book. Priest. Yeah, yeah,

(12:49):
priests once existed and he was a little off. Yeah.
Demonic possession hadn't been a massive topic in American culture
in this period, um, but after the Exorcist, it becomes
like a huge topic of discussion. For one thing, there's
hundreds of like movies that come out that are based
on like similar premises, right. The thing that all that
that like little bitty shitty b movie producers always do

(13:11):
like they rip off the big popular movie. Um. And
for most Americans, obviously, this just meant that we got
a bunch of fun horror movies that involved demonic possession.
But among the nascent Christian right, which in this period
was starting to form into a political block for the
first time in the United States, the Exorcist was seen
as a deadly warning. This was helped along by a
new species of evangelical Christian grifter themselves inspired by the

(13:34):
Church of Satan, the fake former Satanist. So you start
having former former Satanists kind of like these former Catholic
nuns popping up in this period and lecturing about things
they had supposedly done. Now, the most prominent of these
guys was Mike Warnkey, who published his book Satan Seller
in nineteen seventy two. Uh Satan Seller recounted a childhood

(13:57):
and young adulthood that Warnkey claimed had been spent like
as a a hardcore devil worshiper. He claimed that he'd
been a Satanic high priest and that he'd been involved
in ritualistic sex orgies. He went into detail about ritual murders,
child murder, and mass rape, claiming that he'd participated in
a variety of capital offenses until Jesus saved him by
sending him to Vietnam. Um that's what he Yeah, well,

(14:21):
horrible guy. Yeah, there were a lot of Satanists back
in the sixties and seventies. We had to get him
all off phenomen to clear that ship out. Um. Yeah,
it's pretty wild because all of these guys like Warren
Key would like they would all claim to have taken
part in like serious crimes that never got investigated. So

(14:43):
you'd think people would be like you said you murdered
a bunch of babies, Like, oh, like, yeah, he's just
admitted it in right, Yeah, it's it's it's just absolutely
it does. And Warren Key, Mike Warrenkey is kind of
the biggest person, like who starts this avalanche, and he's

(15:04):
within the bubble of Christian media, which was a lot
smaller back then. He was a huge celebrity and he
actually cracked over in the mainstream to an extent. He
showed up on Oprah, on Larry King and telling lurid
stories about his supposed past as a devil worshiper. He
also used his past as a Satanist to launch a
career as a Christian stand up comedian. Yeah it's story. Yeah,

(15:29):
it's very funny now. For reasons I will never be
able to explain, Warren Ca saw massive success hybridizing his
stand up routine with his claims about child like sex
abuse and satanism um, which led to some really baffling
recordings like the one I'm About to play you from
his nineteen eighty nine stand up routine, Do you hear

(15:50):
me in it? He starts with incredibly lame jokes, and
I'm gonna play you a selection of his jokes just
so you can get an idea of what the tenner
of his stand up act is. Like, told me this
is gonna be a Christian playing and I tell you
right now that bow up our own stage. He is
not a Christian because he's got that long hair. Why
do people drive on parkways and park on driveways? What

(16:17):
is daylight savings time? And if we're saving so much
of it, who's got it all? How do you know
when yogurt's gone bad? How do you get tehlone to
stick to a skillet when nothing sticks? To tell I'm
not hearing you laugh, Jake. Do you not enjoy his comedy?

(16:38):
I mean, you know when you're Christmas you get like
a joke in the crack up like it's that it's
that level of like sun Cracker jokes into like stand up.
He looks like he just I don't know, man, he
looks actually kind of like the devil worshiper from like
Three Detectives. You know, does he does look like a
Satan's right, like like like a movie satan it's not

(16:59):
a no offense to the actual Satanists in the audience.
He would cast him as one, right, Yeah, like this
guy looks evil, yeah, and he definitely so. Like You've
got those jokes, which are like the most milk toast
nonsense that you could possibly put in a stand up routine,
And then in the middle of them, he starts talking
about deadly serious anecdotes about ritual genital mutilation and sacrifice.

(17:22):
And again this is in the middle of a stand
up set to a bunch of kids. Christian kids are
Christian kids and their families. I'm talking about a little
girl who was murdered last year in the state of
Louisiana by having her sexual organs cut out while she
was still A lot a lot of you think that

(17:45):
when a Satanist kills, they do so because they want
to spill blood. You've seen enough late night movies to
think that. But if a Satanist or any other kind
of occultist kills an animal or a human sacrifice, it's
not to spill blood. It's to release the life force.
Because when the life force is released and you've done

(18:05):
the right incantations and rituals. You can absorb that force,
they say, and it makes you a stronger wizard, warlock
or whatever. The death, more reorganizing the death, the more
force is released. So they took this little girl and

(18:28):
they killed her by cutting her sexual organs out while
she was still alive. Yeah, okay, really wait to lighten
the mood. So you know, I've done some stand up
by a friends who did it. That's a definite choice
in terms of how to end your set. Yeah. By
the way he's saying, he's yeah, yeah, it's not it's

(18:54):
complete nonsense. Why isn't he being investiga. I'm mean you
listened to that though, and like the audience is deadly quiet.
You have to assume they were all buying this ship.
Like there seemed to be taking him very soon, and
he was taken very seriously. Um, which is a problem
because he was a preposterous liar. Actual journalists sat down

(19:16):
with Warrenkey's family and friends to ask them about his claims,
which included the fact that he lived in a witch's
coven with fift other people, um, and that he'd been
a horrible drug addict and all of his like family,
everyone who knew him laughed at all of this, like,
of course, like we fucking grew up with him. He's
like he's he's just a nerd exactly. Uh. And there
were a bunch of obvious holes in his story. For example,

(19:38):
he claimed that Charles Manson had attended one of his
deadly ritual sacrifice parties in nineteen sixty six. Unfortunately, the
exact time that he claimed the party happened occurred during
concurred occurred at the same time as one of manson
stints in federal prison from a parole violation, so he
could not have been there. There's actually a whole book
that like was published proving beyond a shadow of a

(19:58):
doubt that Warren Key was a liar. And in fairness,
the journalists were too, Christian journalists who worked for like
an evangelical news site, who were like, this guy is
like fucking full of ship, clearly, and yeah, like you know,
there's nothing wrong with Christians, is like even taking advantage
of like, yeah, evangelical who you know exactly, He's he's
grifting these people by staring at them. Like it's very

(20:21):
horrible what he's doing. Not only is his comedy bad,
but he's he's frightening people, and it's bad to frighten
people for no reason. I would say, yeah, so unless
it's funny, unless it's funny, yeah, I mean, yeah, it's
funny that Yeah, he's absolutely not. Yeah. Um but yeah.
The fact that Warrenkey was like he had a private
jet at one point, like he's he was at least

(20:43):
he claimed he had a private jet. I don't know,
but he was very popular like it, and he was
a huge deal for a while. Um. Now, right around
the same time Warnkey was starting to preach about ritual
satanic murder, which is again in the midst of all
these cults and zodiac killers and ship something else was
happening in Americans, I d people were starting to accept
that child sexual abuse was a thing and was a

(21:04):
major problem, which is a good thing, right obviously, and
for a long time, like people, you know, it is
one of those things when you go back in time
like they were. It was kind of people really didn't
give as much of a ship about kids as you
might expect back in the day. It was the same
in the UK, yeah, absolutely, people like, oh, we used
just let our kids out and play anytime you could

(21:26):
do that back then, like as if poptos didn't exist.
Yeah it was. It wasn't like ignoring kids yeah back
then either. But yeah, they people start to accept that
it's a thing, and there starts to be like an
industry starts to build up with people who are our
child protection advocates, which again is a good thing, but
aspects of it go terribly wrong. Um yeah, it's it's

(21:51):
really messed up. Because getting people to accept that child
sexual abuse was a problem was one of the first victories,
major victories of the modern feminist movement, right, not talking
about like the suffragets, but like people like Glorious Steinam
and stuff like like like so it is like and
this is like a really big victory that they that
they getting people to take this seriously. And initially their
understanding and the understanding of most people was that most

(22:13):
abuse victims were young girls, primarily daughters, who were violated
by incestuous fathers. Um. And it's it is absolutely true
that most kids who are molested are molested by a
close family member that or afraid of the family. Um. Now,
as a result, the problem of child sexual abuse was
generally referred to as a problem with incest during this period,
So you'll see a lot of people talking about incest,
and they're not talking like when we talk about incest today,

(22:36):
it generally means something different. They're talking about child sexual
abuse as a rule when they talk about incest in
this period. So, feminists argued that the solution to this
was greater gender equality, which would enable girls to more
effectively say no to the demands of their abuse of
male relatives, and it would allow wives to stand up
to their husbands. And they also argued that part I
don't think is accurate, But they also argued that it

(22:56):
would give mothers the option of taking their kids out
of the house because they'd be able to have a
job at a checking account. And that part actually does
seem like a realistic remedy. So again, yeah, right, like,
there's nothing wrong with that. Yeah, um, it does make sense.
It's a good thing to do. But like everything that
people do, there were problematic and and faulty aspects of it,

(23:17):
including the fact how people began to sort of look
at the problem of the men who were doing the molesting.
And I'm gonna quote again from Satan's Silence here, these
feminist visions were obscured however, by an inTransition by an
intransigent society, White insistence that the problem lay merely in
the minds of a few troubled men. Accordingly, the cure
for sex abuse was psychotherapy coupled with family counseling. And

(23:40):
if treatment was all that was necessary, sex abuse was
not so much a crime as an illness. Hence, rather
than calling for careful and partial investigation by the police,
accusations demanded intervention by psychotherapists prepared to take the side
of the grief daughter and to heal the perpetrator, even
if he insisted the charges were false. Um, so again
this we'll talk about some of the problems that the causes.

(24:00):
Obviously good that it's being taken seriously, but also yeah,
well we'll cover the aspects of this that are problematic.
So the first comprehensive legal remedy to the problem of
child sex abuse was Walter Mondale's nineteen seventy three Child
Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act or CAPTA and captives set
aside money to reach research child abuse for the first time,

(24:20):
which is great, definitely a good thing researching like the
causes of it. It also gave money to states, so
they could set up treatment programs, which was more of
a mixed bag because in order to get the Act
through congressional Republicans and get it approved by President Nixon,
Mondale had to water down some things. See the data
suggested that the most significant driving factor behind child abuse
of any kind was poverty, but Republicans didn't want to

(24:43):
hear that, so out the door it went. Corporal punishment
was also understood to be a major part of child abuse,
but talking about that was seen as undermining the authority
of parents, so instead the Act focused on physical abuse
and the idea that abuse of parents were suffering from
a psychological illness, one that could strike any parent and
one that could be cured quote. By the time Senate
hearings for Captain convened, this medicalized interpretation of child abuse

(25:06):
was so firmly established that experts like Brandeis University professor
of social policy David Gill found it impossible to promote
a different analysis to the politicians. After doing a groundbreaking
national survey of child abuse in the nineteen sixties, Gil
had concluded that neglected battering were intimately tied to poverty,
and that the federal government's reluctance to correct social and
economic inequality made Uncle Sam the country's worst child mistreator.

(25:29):
But Mondale interrupted Gil and reminded the audience during the
hearing that this is not a poverty problem. It is
a national problem. So again, the biggest part of child
abuse is not child molestation, it's neglect and physical abuse,
which is primarily driven by poverty. But nobody wanted to
hear that in Congress, so instead they just focused on
child sexual abuse. Sorry, as I said, you know what
that kind of like reminds me of, Like, so I've

(25:51):
done research on all this kind of child abuse stuff,
and it is true that there are there have been
like communal child abusage, absolutely for sure. Yes, And then
but then when they bring the devil in tweet, it's like, oh,
get the priest to sort it out, and it just
completely flies out the window and it isn't taken seriously anymore.
It's so annoying. Yeah, it's it's very frustrating. Yeah. Yeah.

(26:11):
And one of the things that you see here too
is people who have no experience in like investigating cases
being assigned to these cases because they stopped being seen
as a criminal problem. Um. Yeah, So Congress didn't like
Professor Gill's testimony, but they really enjoyed the testimony of
a woman named Maureen Litvin, a southern California mom who

(26:32):
went by the pseudonym Jolly Kay. Now Jolly told a
heartbreaking story about how she'd been abused as a child
and how this abuse had led her to abuse her
own kids. She testified. She testified that she had once
tried to strangle her daughter and had thrown a knife
at her daughter on another occasion. Now Jolly k described
her long process of seeking treatment until finally her therapist
advisor to start a self help group, which she eventually

(26:53):
called Parents Anonymous. Now, a group like this being sort
of touted as a cure for child abuse was a
dream come true for Congress because Parents Anonymous Number one
put the responsibility on abuse of parents themselves for fixing
the problem, and it costs basically nothing to support as
opposed to alleviating poverty. Right, That's exactly right, Yeah, pan

(27:20):
on Um, So Congress did give federal support to Parents Anonymous,
but it was a hell of a lot cheaper than
like fixing the broken social safety net or raising the
minimum wage or any of the other things that might
have actually done a real like significant help. Uh. Not
that it's a bad idea to have support groups for
parents like this, but I would say that that shouldn't
be your first priority when parents are throwing knives at kits,
you know. Yeah, yeah, So Captor was enacted in nineteen

(27:45):
seventy four, and among other things, that made therapists, teachers
and school administrators mandatory reporters. I don't know what you
have if you have this in the UK, but basically,
if you're a mandatory reporter and someone discloses child abuse
to you, you have to report it to the authority,
which is again a thing that makes sense on paper
and sometimes is a good thing, but also is sometimes

(28:06):
a bad thing because the police often do a very
bad job of handling these cases, and it makes the
kid not trust whatever authority figure they'd confided in about
the abuse in the first place. Like it's a very
mixed bag, you could say, um, But the first thing
that happened when they you know, Captive gets past is
it leads to a massive search and reported child abuse.
Suddenly it goes from something that like very rarely got

(28:27):
reported to something that fucking all over the place which
is because child abuse was all over the place, right, Like,
it's not a bad thing that suddenly people are like, oh, ship,
a ton of people are abusing and molesting their kids.
But this led to a massive problem for federal and
state governments because an awful lot of working men were
revealed to be abusive to their children. Locking these guys

(28:48):
up would force the state to pay for their care,
and it would remove like tax money from the state,
and it would force them to like pay in welfare
to support the family. This was unacceptable. Thankfully, self help,
the self help therapy group models solved this problem because
instead of going to jail, abusive fathers were sentenced to therapy,
which their families were often mandated to attend with them,

(29:09):
including the children they've been fucking or hitting, like the
way to like destroy the victim even more, right, like
like you couldn't come up with a better way of
doing it. How horrible, it's so fucked up, um, And
it's yeah, it's it's it's yeah. This is not to
say that the situation for abused children was better prior

(29:31):
to this, because like for girls, and it was nearly
always girls who reported abuse back in the early nineteen seventies,
the standard procedure before captive would be to make a
report to the police, who would then force you to
undergo an invasive genital exam, and then the cops would
usually do a follow up interview which they would they
would like, show up at your school to interrogate you
and ship um and you'd be sent to a foster
home or a juvenile home, while your abusive dad stayed

(29:53):
with the rest of your family so that he could
threaten them into getting their stories straight, and the charges
against him would inevitably hit the local news, which means
he would lose his job, which with the family would
fall in the It was just a whole fucking it's
always been bad, right Like when criticizing captain, I don't
want to pretend that like it was good before, because yeah,
but it's it's like putting salt in the wound a
little bit more, you know what I mean. It's like

(30:14):
trying to bail out the ship with the thimble exactly exactly.
So the self help therapy group option allowed police to
keep these kind of cases quiet, which saved on embarrassment
for everybody. It also allowed the fathers to stay employed
and it avoided breaking up the family, which religious right
wingers considered to be as much of a priority as
treating battered kids. Jake, do you like weddings? Have you

(30:38):
ever been at a wedding and been like, boy, I
wish I could find a way to get several dozen
grams of hexogen explosives delivered to this wedding, but I
just don't have a missile guidance. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so yeah,
Well the good people at Raytheon can help you out
with that, Jake, because the missile guidance chips they make
are guaranteed to hit weddings, school buses, mostly those two targets. Um.

(30:59):
So yeah, no, no, it does help if you're in Yemen.
Raytheon big presence and all right, here's the the actual ads.
All right, we're back, we're back. We're talking about bettered kids.

(31:19):
Kind of deflated a little there. So the self help
therapy group option was was considered great by everybody but
the actual kids who were being abused. Um And oddly enough,
one of the things that's weird about it in this
period is that both kind of like a lot of
left wing folks and feminists and the religious right kind
of all get on board this idea for very different reasons. Right,

(31:39):
the religious right likes keeping the family together, um, and
it likes you know, they want to avoid divorces and
and what and whatnot at all costs. Feminists like it
because all of these groups do involve these men talking
about like they're like the things that the horrible things
that they've done, like they're horrible sexual fantasies and stuff,
which was seen as like a use whole thing at

(32:00):
the time, right, like there, So it is this weird
kind of situation. And there's also you can find some
writings from some people who are like advocate like child
defense advocates and very left wing at the time, who
also like that kind of the confessional nature of these
things mirrors like what you see in certain like left
wing political movements, the self criticism sessions. So it's weird

(32:21):
you get all these different like like, all these groups
who should who normally are at each other's throats all
get on board of a very bad idea for wildly
different reasons. Yeah, a very different tech mil you know, yeah,
yeah exactly, Yeah, a very different one. Yeah, it's bizarre. Um,
it's a really strange period to study So if you're
starting to say, boy, it seems like all these new

(32:43):
programs prioritize the feelings and security of male abusers over
their female child victims, you would be right. Uh. And
the growing field of child protection was rife with misogyny.
The best example would be Dr Roland Summit, who was
a massive piece of ship. He went on to be
a major Satanic ritual abuse expert, and obviously everything he
ever said about Satanic ritual abuse was nonsense. But before

(33:05):
that he was an incest expert, and in his expert opinion,
child sexual abuse by fathers was largely the fault of
their wives. So this guy, who was again one of
the most prominent doctors in the field and this time
describes the behavior of child molesters as family romance. I'm sorry,

(33:25):
did you have any siblings? He had some daughters that
you have to worry for them. Um. He believed that
fathers who molested their daughters would never molest a stranger's daughter,
which obviously is wildly untrue. In his argument was that
the attraction of these fathers was purely two in his words,

(33:47):
the delicious little creatures that the father had helped to create.
So somem It felt that basically all men considered their
daughters to be delicious, and that the impulse to commit
incest was nearly universal from middle aged men who were

(34:07):
anxious about the end of their own youth men and
healthy man projecting a little bit. Yeah yeah, So since
all men clearly want to suck their daughters, the only
reason that most men don't is because they have healthy
marriages that let them deal with their horny nous by
fucking their wives. So when incest happens, it's the fault
of the abuser's wife who was quote absorbing herself in

(34:30):
a job rather than fucking her husband hard enough to
stop him from raping their daughter. She's it's the right
wing like defense. It's like outrageously fucked up. And he
said this officially, like yeah, yeah, he was very open
about this, and no one went, hang on, like, this

(34:53):
guy is up to something. I would argue the right
response when someone tells you that is to just start
hitting them and not stop. Just just immediately started punching,
but no one did. Instead, he was taken seriously. So
these beliefs were unfortunately quite common, and one of the
most popular abuse treatment programs at the time was called

(35:14):
Child Sex Abuse Treatment Program or c sat UP, SAT UP,
CASSETTAP s A C C S A T P. I
don't know how to acronymic CASSATTAP, so you did not
do great. Cassett UP first launched in the Bay Area,
and it was geared towards preserving nuclear families. That because
basically what happened is in the Bay Area because of

(35:36):
a number of things, including affluence, it's one of the
first areas that starts getting like really good reporting about
child sexual abuse. And it turns out that a bunch
of fucking dudes in the Bay Area we're raping their
kids um, which created a problem because these guides were
pretty high income. So again, the state doesn't want to
lose tax money, doesn't want their parents to go on
the doll or their their families to go on the
doll um. So c sat UP was geared towards preserving

(35:57):
nuclear families, and it taught that the of sexual abuse
of children was a dysfunctional marriage. Part of the repair
work mandated by the therapy involved the mother apologizing to
her daughter for her husband's sexual abuse and saying you
are not to blame daddy and I did not have
a good marriage. That is why Daddy turned to you. Wow,

(36:20):
it's just unbelievable, unbelievable. That's like, I can't believe that
when the Yeah, this is the fucking like the late seventies. Yeah,
thank you, you know what I mean? Like, no, no, really,
fucking pretty recently. Um, we'll probably get at least one
person who as a kid like went through Sea sat

(36:41):
up and stuff with their family. In the comments in
this episode from I wouldn't be surprised. Um, it's it's
so fucked um, it's so fucking wild. So, starting in
San Jose, se sat up was increasingly mandated for father's
accused of sexual abuse. Courts often made fathers what became
known as the god fought their offer because it was
an offer they couldn't refuse. So you get caught, you

(37:03):
go to therapy, take probation, and avoid jail. Almost overnight,
the confession rate among accused child molesters went from very
low to nine And again, I don't wanna. This is
a really flawed system. So we're going to cover all
the ship that's bad. It's also the aspects of it
were good because most of these guys at this point,
very few sexual abuse allegations made by children against parents
were false, right, So the vast majority of these guys,

(37:25):
you have to assume some innocent people took the basically
the equivalent of a police bargain just because they didn't
want to go to trial. But the vast majority of
these guys were guilty, and at least something happened um
but c sat up led to a number of very
unsettling changes in the way these problems were dealt with.
For one thing, police shifted away from interviewing the child
in these cases and instead started talking to their teachers,

(37:47):
their mother, and other adults who knew the kid. And
these second hand accounts of people who knew the child
were considered to have the same legal weight as if
they'd come directly from the child. This is problematic for
a number of reasons. I think that as a journalist
we want to stand right, yeah, a little bit, yeah,
And it feeds into the satanic panic stuff we're gonna
talk about later. When the child was eventually questioned, the

(38:08):
work was done by a social worker rather than a detective.
And this may not sound like a problem because, like,
if you have a social worker who specifically trained for
this ship. That sounds good because cops are not great
at talking to kids all the time, right, right, But
there was a crime committed, right, So it's like you
need more than the social worker, right like us, one
would say. And also the social workers were not well
trained to do this. They were well trained on how

(38:30):
to interrogate someone without asking leading questions, right, Police are
at least in theory, taught not to do that. Like,
obviously that's a problematical yeah, But theoretically, a detective who's
questioning a child is number one, not supposed to assume
the allegations are true. They're not supposed to ask the
leading questions. They're just supposed to try to have the
kid talk about what happened, and the accused enjoys the

(38:51):
presumption of innocence. And the social workers questioning these kids
weren't trained that way. They were trained to believe that
it's always the case that like this is this is
this per and is guilty, which is a problem for
the person interrogating the kid in this situation because they
tended to push the child to talk about like things
that the child might not otherwise have talked about. Now, again,
not a huge problem at the time because virtually all

(39:13):
of these allegations of child sexual abuse were true. But
when the Satanic panic came about, the allegations were false,
and the social workers still did the same thing. They
pushed kids. Yeah, you're seeing all of this infrastruction their
own thing against them. So yeah, forward right exactly, Like
so you're seeing all this kind of infrastructure that created

(39:33):
that allows this to happen later. So, by nineteen seventy five,
c sat UP had become so popular that the entire
state of California adopted as the standard. Our friend. Dr
Summit attended c sat UP training and was so taken
by it but that he wrote a manifesto titled the
Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome. In it, among other things,
he pushed the idea that children never fabricate the kinds

(39:53):
of explicit sexual manipulations they'd divulge in complaints or interrogations.
As a result, they should always be believed, even if
their story included fantastic, wild details that seemed impossible. Again,
like you're seeing the groundwork get laid here. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
By nineteen eighty, child sexual abuse was no longer a
dark national secret. It was a topic widely discussed by

(40:16):
Americans and featured in the media, and I'm gonna quote
again from Satan's Silence. Thanks to an alliance among feminists, therapists,
and law enforcement officials, it was becoming possible for daughters
to disclose their victimization and for fathers to admit their guilt,
and national media from The New York Times to Playboy,
The and Landers Encyclopedia and Donna Hue testimonials abounded from
repentant fathers, newly asserted wives and girls regaining their dignity.

(40:37):
Yet later research would reveal that many incest defenders also
rebeless children outside their families, and they rape grown women
as well. Further, there is evidence that, regardless of what
kind of treatment, sex abusers get, as many as one
in seven goes on to offend again. Ironically, then politicians
and child protectionists further to keep fathers in families left
many youngsters and women at risk of further abuse, and
by pushing godfather off for confessions, the therapy attle of

(41:00):
sex abuse intervention replaced skilled forensics personnel with social workers
and others who knew nothing about how to test the
validity of criminal sex abuse charges. And who unstintingly believe
them all. So by nineteen eighty, all of the infrastructure
we're going to need to let a satanic panic happen
and had to have the legal system in Like, further,
it is in place, right, didn't just come out of

(41:22):
nowhere built on without them, I guess, without trying to
do that. But like I can see what you're saying,
like it just became the perfect ground for it, right. Yeah.
And obviously like fun dr summit, But the vast majority
of the people involved in the setting this system up
are people whose motivations are the purest it could possibly be.
They want to protect kids right there trying it's a problem,

(41:42):
but it's a new way to tackle it. Yeah, yeah,
And again probably up to this point the system still
does more harm than good because it was it replaced
basically nothing, right um, But it's about to stop being
a system that does more good than harm, right, Like,
that's that's about to change. So there's some more background
we have to lay. In nineteen seventy nine, Jerry Fallwell

(42:04):
and some other assholes founded the Moral Majority, which was
the first large scale Christian right wing political organization. This
is the first time that the Christian right is like
a block in politics and it has been ever since.
The Moral Majority was initially formed due to an opposition
to Rove Wade and to force an opposition to force
integration of Christian schools. They didn't want black people to
be able to go to Christian colleges. That was a
big part of the Christian of the very Christian of them,

(42:26):
extremely love the neighbor, and it was Jerry, Yeah, yeah,
very surprising stuff, um so, and like yeah, there's there
were other a lot of other people obviously, but yeah,
the Moral Majority was fueled also by a sense of deep,
deep anxiety because women are starting to work at this point,
like full time, Like it's becoming a very major thing.
One of the things I didn't realize until I was

(42:47):
doing this research actually is that during this period, from
like the seventies to the eighties, women it becomes the
norm for women to work, but the average income of
households doesn't really raise because like this is also at
the time that workers protections and right are collapsing, and
like Reaganomics starts to take over in the eighties, so
like more people like you would think that having two
incomes in a household would increase the amount of any

(43:09):
like disposable income people have, but it really didn't. And
again yeah, yeah, great countries. So in nineteen eight, a
psychologist named named Lawrence Pastor published a book about his
wife and former patient, Michelle Smith, which you know, if
your wife is a former patient as a therapist, you
might not be a great therapist. So her memoir, Michelle Remembers,

(43:35):
detailed a childhood of horrific a cult sex abuse. Pastor
claimed to have used hypnotic regression therapy to help his
wife uncover buried memories of abuse at the hands of
the Church of Satan. Pastor also claimed, with no evidence
that Anton LaVey's church wasn't the real Church of Satan
and the one that molested his patient wife had existed
for centuries. So and Michelle Remembers is basically so. The

(43:59):
claim she's making is that she became the victim of
a Satanic cult for several months during nineteen fifty five,
when she was a five year old, she was imprisoned
by them. She she like, had all these recollections being
tortured in houses and mausoleums and seminitaries, of being raped
and sodomized with candles and being forced to shoot on
a bible. Uh, and on a crucifix, of seeing babies
and adults murdered. It's awesome because you know that two

(44:20):
Christians of the day like her being like, I help,
I watched babies get murdered was the same as like
and I pooped on a Bible. Like both equally bad
devil things like the guy like with their memories like
a little bit more a little bit more offensive. Yeah,
she also had memories of having a devil's tail and
horns surgically attached to her um. Yeah, she there. She

(44:42):
had memories of a cult attempt to kill a child
and make it look like an accident by placing her
in a car with a corpse um and then crashing
the vehicle. And this is said to we have gone
on for close to a year until her faith, the
fact that she was so Christian made the Satanists give
up because they just couldn't couldn't turn her. Uh. And
then she him that she forgot the experience for twenty
years until she entered therapy with Dr Pastor, who then

(45:04):
became her husband. Now this was all lies. I feel
like the therapy he was like weak, Yeah, yeah, yeah,
if you remember, we can sell a book. And I
don't know, there's a There's been a lot of writing
on this too. I haven't done enough research to know
how you know the con Michelle was, but I'm almost
certain her her husband was in on the con or

(45:24):
it was a con on his behalf. Incredible. People debunked
the book immediately. For one thing, there's a picture of
Michelle in her grade school yearbook that was taken during
one of the months when she was supposed to be
hidden like locked in a house by Satanists, which you know,
all of her names and family members who knew her
during this period basically say like, nothing out of the
ordinary happened during her childhood. Uh, certainly nothing satanic ritual molesti.

(45:48):
The only abuse that Michelle endured, for certain was at
the hands of her therapist husband. The whole idea of
repressed memories, which now we got, we're laying a lot
of groundwork here, so let's talk about the fucking idea
of repressed memories comes from. It goes back to the
eighteen hundreds when early psychologists decided that hysteria, which is
what they called women having emotions in those days came

(46:08):
from someone suffering a childhood trauma that was so terrible
that they developed amnesia to dissociate from the event. And
this is a mix of because like Freud is involved
in this and it's not all bullshit. Dissociation is a
thing that happens when you under begin with PTSD, right,
Like we've all dealt with it, Like it's a fucking thing,
But it doesn't involve forgetting the horrible thing that happened, right,

(46:29):
Memories become blurry. Yeah, yeah, I don't know, but it
doesn't sound very real. Yeah. Yeah, Like I definitely have
had memories like that, like periods I don't remember during
the the dealing with PTSD itself, but the actual trauma
that caused it I remember pretty darn well. Uh. And
the fact that I don't remember other things was probably

(46:50):
because I was like drinking and abusing drugs massively. Yeah,
so there. Yeah, and you know you have to assume
everyone was drunk in the eighteen hundreds too, and they
were definitely on cocaine because that's how Freud did all
of his psychotherapy, So yeah, that may have influenced the Yeah,

(47:11):
so Freud decided that hysteria was inevitably caused by childhood's
sexual violation, and he pressured his female patients to tell
him detailed stories of their abuse. And again a lot
of these were probably true, um, but also a lot
of them weren't, and he convinced himself that these stories
were hidden memories, at least for a while. He did
eventually realize that a lot of the abuse stories his
patients told him were like physically impossible because they were

(47:33):
just like the outlandish fantasies um. And he kind of
dropped this idea that child that like emotional issues like
mental illness as an adult was inevitably caused by like
some sort of sexual trauma as a child. He did
kind of drop that idea. But in the late nineteen seventies,
therapists started reviving his old theories, and among an influential

(47:54):
subset of the field, repressed memory therapy became the go
to explanation for things like eating disorders and depression. Right like,
you go to the psycho psychotherapist because you've got intorectually
there or whatever, and he's starts trying to recover memories
of you being raped as a kid, because you must
have if you have intorectsia, right, it couldn't be caused
by anything else. Um, and yeah, this was basically nonsense.

(48:16):
And the problem about trying to recover implanted memories is
that generally what actually happens is the therapist creates memories
of things that never happened from a write up in
the conversation. Now, experimental psychologists have repeatedly demonstrated with ease
which false memories can be implanted in a sizeable proportion
of the population under well controlled laboratory conditions, but it
is undoubtedly the case that such false memories can arise

(48:37):
spontaneously as well. In the context of psychotherapy, one of
the techniques that has been shown to result in false
memories is asking people to imagine events that never actually
took place. It appears that eventually, and especially in people
with good imaginations, the memory of the imagined event is
misinterpreted as a memory for a real event. The use
of hypnotic regression is a particularly powerful means to implant
false memories. So this became before though, Like as a kid,

(49:03):
there were things that I was certain was like what happened?
And then I get old on I think that must
have been a dream. Was like, no way it would have,
especially as a child, Like there's all sorts you could
get confused about, absolutely, and like a lot of this
is like this is part of the problem. This is
part of why. Also, if you look at like eyewitness
testimony like generally sucks. Actually, like people are very bad

(49:26):
at being eyewitnesses because our brains it all starts a
wild ship. Yeah yeah, especially when there's like a traumatic experience,
you know, yeah, important exactly. That's why reporters take notes,
and it's why you should never listen to anything anyone
ever says. Just fucking put on headphones to block out
all noise, fucking put on blinders so you can't see,

(49:48):
and just stumble through the world and you will not
believe anything untrue. You will probably bump into things a
lot though. Yeah, yeah, yes, here's an ad for a product. Okay,
we're back, so yeah. Hypnotic regression and repressed memories mostly nonsense,

(50:12):
basically all nonsense, but it was considered to be pretty
settled science at the time, not by like an overwhelming
number of scientists, but by cops and judges and TV
hosts and the kinds of psychologists who are good at
talking to cops and judges and TV hosts, right, Like,
that's the group of people to whom this has settled
science for will actually incredible researchers like, there seem to
be problems with this. Um. So, Michelle Remembers was a

(50:34):
hugely influential book. Uh, it was treated as gospel by
a terrible number of people, and it actually became a
standard textbook for social workers in the United States. Um, yeah, yeah,
it's not good man. So Lawrence Pastor became a recognized

(50:55):
legal expert, and Satanic ritual abuse, which exploded into the
mainstream is a real problem thanks to his book. So
what we have in nineteen eighty is a situation where
evangelical Christian paranoia over the devil and the black arts
leaps over and starts to infect mainstream society. This would
come to have a terrible impact first on two families

(51:15):
in Bakersfield, California. And now we're finally into the satanic panic.
Ready excited? Yeah, yeah, I'm so excited. It's it's fucking awesome.
So these two families are the mccuen's and the knife
Ins or Niffins. Uh. And I'm gonna quote from a
write up in Religious Tolerance dot Org that kind of
goes over the basics of the case. The triggering incident

(51:36):
occurred in nineteen eighty when Becky mccouhen disclosed that her
grandfather Rod Phelps had touched her inappropriately. The family doctor
confirmed the abuse, no charges were late. Becky's mother, Debbie mccuhen,
arranged for her daughter to obtain counseling, but Debbie's stepmother,
Mary Anne Barber, who is believed to have had a
history of mental illness, felt that her stepdaughter granddaughters were
not being sufficiently protected. She obtained the assistance of the

(51:58):
Mothers of Baker's Field, a group concerned about child abuse.
Jill had dad took particular interest in the case. She
was the spokesperson for the group and had many relatives
working for local police forces. Miss Barbara claimed that Alvin
and Debbie mccuhen were not good parents and that Debbie's
daycare license should be revoked. She asked the Social Services
Department to make a surprise inspection. The social worker, Betty Palco,
found no major infractions and took no action to revoke

(52:20):
the license. So again, no actual evidence of serious child
abuse here, although I will say that mcwan's weren't exactly
ace parents, because later that year they did take their
two daughters on a supervised visit to see their allegedly
abuse abuse of grandfather, and this caused Marianne to have
a psychotic episode which sent her to the psychiatric ward
at a local hospital. She eventually succeeded in getting custody

(52:41):
of the kids and convincing county officials to file child
endangerment charges against the mccuen's, But because she was not
at all well, Marianne took things a step further, and
she had begun believing that the mccuhans were part of
a massive, insidious, satanic sex ring in Kern County. As
she told social workers, there's a group of people involved
in molesting the girls. They're all in on it. So
you have one in a case of actual abuse to

(53:03):
some parents who probably are not being as careful as
they need to be around, a guy who's dangerous and
a woman who's maybe schizophrenic, definitely is mentally ill, and
his hospitalized as a result. That who becomes convinced that,
as opposed to a just a single act of of
child molestation by one guy there's a massive conspiracy to

(53:23):
molest all of the kids in town. Um And unfortunately
for a shipload of people. The social workers in Baker's
Field had been trained using the textbook Michelle remembers. So
when this very ill woman starts claiming that there's a
massive network of satanic sex abusers in town, they believe her. Um.
And by the time the social workers sat down with
the kids, Becky and Don, both kids had spent months

(53:45):
listening to their very, very sick stepgrandmother tell them they
had been the victims of a ring of ritual abusers.
So these kids get repeatedly questioned and they confirm what
there's They basically parent what their step grandmother had told
them to say, and over the months their disclosures become
like weirder and weirder. They claimed that they had been
hung from sealing hooks, beaten with belts, rented to strangers
and motels, and had been forced to act in kittie

(54:06):
porn movies. They claimed they were abused by a sex
ring which involved their grandparents, their parents, their father's brothers,
friends of their parents, uh and the social worker who
did the inspection, a coworker of their father, and to
one named welfare workers, and all these fucking people start
catching charges and getting arrested and ship um, and their
life just dynamites these people's lives, right, like, just just

(54:27):
based on this one testimony. Yeah, yeah, based on this
woman and these kids who had been in her care
listening to her talk about But it's like, you know,
the thing I always think about things like this is
like racism. Right, No one is born a racist. Kids
become racist from hearing what they from parents usually, So
it's the same kind of concept, right, they'll just repeat
that exactly their kids, Like if you tell them as

(54:49):
you tell your if you tell you're like three year old,
over and over you were raped by the devil, like,
they will look I guess I was. Yes. So the
social worker and their father's coworker eventually had their charges
dropped after their lawyer introduced Marianne's medical records into the trial.
Was like, this woman has psychotic episodes and as paranoid
and probably schizophrenic. Perhaps we need more than just your testimony, right,

(55:13):
Not that those people can't testify when they're the victims
of abuse, but if you have them making lurid, wild
allegations and there's no physical evidence for any of it.
Perhaps you should not trust those allegations. Maybe, yeah, Um,
So this convinced the DA to try to drop those
two people's charges. But then the medical records were sealed

(55:34):
and forbidden from being used by the defense for the
mccuen's and the Niffins, which is something else because again
all of the cops have bought into this too. So
I'm gonna quote again from that that right up uh
in Religious tolerance dot Org quote. The Niffin's sons, Brian
and Brandon, were repeatedly and suggestively interrogated. The interviewers would
describe a sex act and then act that asked the

(55:56):
child to confirm or deny that it happened. When questions separately,
each was old falsely that their brother had disclosed abuse
by both the parents and the rest of the sex ring.
Brian and Brandon claimed that they were yelled at and
terrorized by the interrogators. They were told that they could
go home again if they testified about the abuse. These
manipulative and coercive interrogation methods are now known to generate
false allegations. No fucking dar right yeah. Questioning in Baker's

(56:21):
field went far beyond the definition of leading and was
in fact coercive, threatening and brainwashing of young children's is
like a legal finding later. Unfortunately, in early nineteen eight three,
basic research into child interview techniques was in its early stages.
Direct questioning and manipulation of children was common practice. The
Niffin boys finally caved in under the pressure and said
that abuse had occurred. So yeah. During a surprise supervised visit,

(56:45):
Brandon Niffin was asked by his grandmother whether the charges
were true. He answered, no, none of those things ever happened.
The grandmother was arrested for discussing the case with her
grandchild when she brought this up. When she said, like, hey,
he told me that he was lying because the interviewers
terrorized him. It's like, he tells his grandmother they made
me give a false confession. She goes to the judge
and she gets arrested and is banned from testifying at

(57:07):
trial and has her right to having custody visits like
terminated for years. Because again, all of the people in
the legal system believe all this ship and have to
seem like, oh, she's got to be part of it,
because she's trying to like there. It's so it's unbelievably
fucked up. They just they just with each other, right,
it's amazing. Yeah, yeah, it's fascinating. Actually, yeah, it's it's

(57:29):
incredibly like there's a lot that like that is and
should be studied about this period of time because it
says so much that's very frightening about human psychology. It's
that crowd like it's very scary. Yeah, yep, exactly, Like
it's a lot of the same stuff that makes fascism work, right,
it's just like the way people are and the way

(57:50):
people act in groups, um, and the way people act
when they are in a group and all get scared
of the same thing, right, Yeah. Uh so both Niffin
boys later recanted entirely and stated that they've been coerced
to testify, and they testified again in nineteen ninety six
after the end of the Satanic Panic, and we're able
to convince a judge to overturn both sets of convictions.

(58:10):
But again, like the Niffins, like their parents, has been
like a decade plus in prison along with the mccohen's
like like four people in prison for years and years joking. No,
it's like it's unbearably fucked up. There's a partial happy
ending here because the Niffins, like once the kids like
realized what had happened to have been done to them

(58:32):
and testified, like they got to be a family with
their parents again. The mccohen's never did, because both Becky
and Down continued to maintain that their testimony was true,
and it's almost certain that both children had false memories
forced on them as a result of improper interrogation methods.
But the family never fucking healed. Um, it's deeply bad.

(58:53):
That's the side of the Satanic panic. You don't really
hear a lot about. It's like it's kind of funny
the whole things, Like, oh yeah, it's so stupid. But
then like I was doing research for this this podcast
episode the other day and it's like wow, Like, I mean,
one woman in the Italian case I was looking at
like a mother, she just killed usself. And it's just
like you just couldn't handle it, right, It's like all
based on literally nothing, nothing at all. It ruins people. Um,

(59:14):
I mean, the same thing in a different way is
happening with Q and on. Right, Like you have hundreds
of families at least that have been torn apart by
this sort of stuff. It's fucked it's super fucked um
and it kind of if you kind of look at
what happens with the book Michelle remembers and how it
helps both spark the satanic panic and how it infests
you know, this this system for dealing with child to

(59:34):
bease that we talked about, it's almost like an infection
that comes into it and deal all these problems and
it suddenly become actively toxic. And yeah, it did not
stay limited to Kern County out near Baker's Field. The
case of the mccuon and the Niffin families was just
the beginning in nineteen eighty three. Not long after there
and after their initial conviction Evince in another part of

(59:54):
southern California. We're about to take the nation by storm.
And next episode we're gonna talk about the mcmah in
preschool trial, which is the longest, most expensive trial in
US history and one of the most fucked up things
I've ever read about in my entire life. You're happy
to read, Uh, you want to plug some ship. Yeah,

(01:00:19):
it's just the podcast right like Q Clearance is out
now obviously with you guys um. Popular Front is always
around popular Front dot cr um. One thing I do
want to say though, is like, especially considering this copic,
you know, I've done a lot of research into like
various kind of child abuse scandals, and the thing is
like they do exist, and even some of the more
lurid insane stories have happened for real, but on a

(01:00:43):
way that where it's like it's nowhere near as ritualistic
or movie like, you know. So there's a great example
that people to look into, um, like the Monster of Belgium,
a guy called Mark the Troll, and like he would
just had this horrific kind of child abuse scandal thing
where he was like snapping children for higher and it
involves like some of the most yeah, involves some of

(01:01:04):
the most high level politicians. This isn't a conspiracy, like,
but it's one of the least known ones. Because stupid
stuff like this gets the hearing right, the more sensational,
the more easy to understand. Satanic stuff is what people
are queuing on often put out. Meanwhile, people are doing
very dark things and it kind of goes by the
wayside because obviously real life is a little bit more

(01:01:26):
kind of intricate and confusing, you know, and it's it's
a real shame. It's this fucking thing that happens in
the Satanic panic too. Were like no, like we could
all there is a conspiracy to traffic people who are
legally children, rich and doubtful. Like it absolutely happened, it
probably still is, but like focused on that, not this

(01:01:47):
is not Michelle's whatever the hell, it's cool. Well, it's weird.
It's interesting to me that like the things that go
viral are always like to focus on tiny, tiny kids,
which are very it's very uncommon for like two and
three and four year olds to be molested. It's like
it's like like yeah, it's yeah, men fucking teenagers, right,
Like that's that's bad. It's right terrible and it doesn't

(01:02:09):
make it any better. But again it's like this is
the issue, right, It's like when you have people like
t and On specifically, one of my biggest problems with
them is that they make people just go, oh, that's
just queue and on stuff, and a lot of it
is just nonsense doing on stuff. But in between that,
there's things that really need to be looked out for
the safe of the victims, you know, and it's like, thanks,
You've completely destroyed any relevance because you're making things up

(01:02:32):
all the time. It's yeah, I mean I get why,
Like it just come out the Virginia Jeffrey, I think
her name is pronounced, who's one of the Epstein victims,
and like she's the one I can't blame for it
because it's like, yeah, you were part of a giant
sex abuse like conspiracy, right, and even that now it
makes you think it's like not to say you want

(01:02:54):
to believe of it. Now some people will just go, oh, exactly,
I've heard it to do with you, and they won't
look any deep. It's fun. It's all. Everything is horrible. Um,
thanks for listening to the podcast. People. We'll be back
on Thursday with some of the worst stories you've ever
heard in your life. Yeah, h h h

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