Satanic Panic: The Creation of a Contemporary Legend

Front Cover
Open Court, 1993 - Social Science - 408 pages
11 Reviews
Again and again we are told - by journalists, police, and fundamentalists - that there exists a secret network of criminal fanatics, worshippers of Satan, who are responsible for kidnapping, human sacrifice, sexual abuse and torture of children, drug-dealing, mutilation of animals, desecration of churches and cemeteries, pornography, heavy metal lyrics, and cannibalism. This popular tale is almost entirely without foundation, but the legend continues to gather momentum, in the teeth of evidence and good sense. Networks of 'child advocates', credulous or self-serving social workers, instant-expert police officers, and unscrupulous ministers of religion help to spread the panic, along with fabricated survivors' memoirs passed off as true accounts, and irresponsible broadcast 'investigations'. A classic witch-hunt, comparable to those of medieval Europe, is under way. Innocent victims are smeared and railroaded. Satanic Panic uncovers the truth behind the satanic cult hysteria, and exposes the roots of this malignant mythology, showing in detail how unsubstantiated rumor becomes transformed into publicly-accepted 'fact'.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BruceCoulson - LibraryThing

How does an urban myth go rogue? During the 1980s and 90s, otherwise rational people elevated an urban myth of satanic worship into a serious matter that destroyed lives and families. Victor explores ... Read full review

Review: Satanic Panic: The Creation of a Contemporary Legend

User Review  - Marty Monahan - Goodreads

An excellent book. An interesting look at how psychology, sociology and history mix together to form panic. Read full review

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About the author (1993)

Victor is a professor of sociology at a branch of SUNY.

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