Since ritualistic Satanic abuse and its associated conspiracy and
false memory issues are of concern to skeptics, I thought the readers
here might want to know about an upcoming documentary on HBO.
The following article gives a good description. It looks like an
interesting documentary. I particularly liked the last sentence.
HOLLYWOOD (UPI) -- Satanism goes to the devil in a new hour-long cable
expose of Lucifer-loving cults and psychiatric counselors who contribute
to the fiction by "bringing out" multiple personality disorders.
HBO, the pay cable service, presents "By Satan Possessed: The Search
for the Devil" beginning Sept. 7, to be rerun a half-dozen times during
It is produced, directed and written by Antony Thomas, the skeptical
English producer who gave us the 1992 "America Undercover" documentary
"Never Say Die: The Search for Eternal Youth."
Thomas interviews an FBI specialist on devil-worshipers, a variety of
Satanists and one of the most frightening clergymen ever smoked out on
the subject of Satan, a guy who claims a large number of his flock is
tainted by the same Satanist.
Most of all, Thomas tears to shreds the so-called international
"Satanic conspiracy," in the process interviewing a British
psychiatrist who alleges 10 percent of the English population, including
members of the royal family, are Satanists.
The show appears to have rounded up a fair sampling of loose-cannon
therapists and would-be Christians.
Thomas even found a Christian lawyer who defends teenage Satanists
and a radio host who counsels people under Satan's spell as part of his
Thomas' credentials are superb. He's won Emmys, the British Academy
of Film & TV Arts Award for best factual series, the International Film
Critics Award and many others.
"There's something called freedom of religion, but it certainly is
open to abuse, isn't it?" Thomas said recently.
"Many of the clergy who make war against Satan sincerely believe the
devil to be the anti-Christ with great and widespread evil powers.
"They are quite a different breed from the televangelists who are a
bit cynical and often speak of the devil with tongue in cheek. I did
some interviews with Jim and Tammy Bakker just before they fell.
"After interviewing Doug Riggs, the Missouri pastor in 'By Satan
Possessed,' I better understand what went on in Waco with David Koresh.
You can clearly see the hold a charismatic man like Riggs has over a
"It is astonishing this pastor is convinced so many of his
congregation were abused by the father of one of his women parishoners.
The man was a salesman who never left his own state, but the flock was
told he controlled the Vatican and the British government and that kind
"Some of the people in this film are highly educated with Ph.Ds.
Catherine Gould, for instance, is one therapist who believes judges are
Throughout his research for the show, Thomas was unable to find a
single verified incidence of child sacrifices, cannibalism or various
other high crimes due to Satanic ritual.
"The real danger of Satanism is the excuse it provides for child
abusers who say 'the devil made me do it,' thus expiating their own
crimes," Thomas said.
"And that's where the multiple personality syndrome, so favored by
some psychiatrists, comes in. They, too, blame their antisocial behavior
on one of the 'other beings' who inhabit their bodies.
"There is no evidence whatever of an international network of
Satanists doing the devil's work.
"But what we are finding is genuine pedophiles who are hooking into
this, using 'Satanism' to frighten children into silence. FBI agent Ken
Lanning is concerned this trend will remove all credibility of child
witnesses against abusers."
Asked why Satanic cults apparently are more numerous in the United
States than elsewhere, Thomas said, "Probably because more people call
themselves Christians in this country. I'm sure less than half of the
English population would say it is Christian.
"In my search for the roots of a Satanic conspiracy, I wondered why
certain segments of the media and clergy were promoting this phenomenon.
I try to give both sides of the story and let viewers make up their
own minds. For instance, I spent time with teenage Satanists in Oklahoma
asking, 'Where is the evidence?'
"I wanted to meet this lot and demonstrate how far they are from a
true Satanic conspiracy involving bankers and doctors and politicians."
The documentary includes an interview with a self-styled teenage
devil's disciple who stabbed his girlfriend 39 times.
Perhaps most frightening of all is what happened to a San Diego
couple whose young children were taken from them -- based on rumors and
backed by a woman psychologist -- that the parents were Satanists who
abused their children.
The cops took their children forcibly and put them in a foster home
for several weeks with no substantiation of any kind. The parents' civil
rights were utterly trampled. They were forced into bankruptcy. When the
children were returned they suffered horrible nightmares from the
Thomas' film suggests if Satan does exist, it wouldn't be a bad idea
to look for him in law enforcement, the ministry and the offices of