Speak of the Devil: Tales of Satanic Abuse in Contemporary England
Allegations of satanic child abuse became widespread in North America in the 1980s. Shortly afterwards, there were similar reports in Britain of sexual abuse, torture and murder, associated with worship of the Devil. Professor Jean La Fontaine, a senior British anthropologist, conducted a two year research project into these allegations, which found that they were without foundation. Her detailed analysis of a number of specific cases, and an extensive review of the literature, revealed no evidence of devil-worship. She concludes that the child witnesses come to believe that they are describing what actually happened to them, but that adults are manipulating the accusations. She draws parallels with classic instances of witchcraft accusations and witch-hunts in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Europe, and shows that beneath the hysteria there is a social movement, which is fostered by a climate of social and economic insecurity. Persuasively argued, this is an authoritative and scholarly account of an emotive issue.
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Introduction the problem
The personification of evil
Witches satanists and the occult
The extent of the allegations
The question of proof
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abuse of children accepted accounts accused activities acts adults allegations of satanic appear associated belief Britain campaign century changes chapter child Christian Church claim clear common concerned confessions considered cult culture described descriptions devil earlier early modern effect Europe evidence evil existence experience explanation fact figure followed foster-mother girl given groups happened human ideas identified included indicated individuals influence interest interviews involved Jenkins lack later magic material meaning mentioned movement nature occult occultists organisation parents particular person pointed police practices present problem protection published question reasons recorded referred religious reported represent respondents ritual abuse satanic abuse satanic rituals satanists scepticism seems seen sexual abuse similar social workers society stories survey survivors taken talk teenagers tell term therapists told United victims witch-hunts witchcraft witches
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