Author Topic: The Satanic Panic of the '80s  (Read 8050 times)

Adam Dravian

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The Satanic Panic of the '80s
« on: August 20, 2014, 08:49:28 AM »

Rijst

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Re: The Satanic Panic of the '80s
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2014, 09:31:12 AM »
Wow, I never realised this was such a big issue at the time. Perhaps it wasn't where I'm from.

People actually believed the whole Jezus, Mary and Michael coming down to stop the summoning of Satan thing? Amazing..
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Rijst

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Re: The Satanic Panic of the '80s
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2014, 09:43:18 AM »
Watching the 20/20 report (only two minutes in), I think it's possible that all these 'rituals' took place but that people were inspired by the stories rather than the other way around. Kind of like crop circles..
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Adam Dravian

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Re: The Satanic Panic of the '80s
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2014, 04:51:59 PM »
Wow, I never realised this was such a big issue at the time. Perhaps it wasn't where I'm from.

It was a much bigger concern in the rural, more religious parts of the US where many evangelical Christians used it as a political tool, but it certainly had some effects on the suburbs like where I grew up. Even if most adults didn't fully buy into the panic, they were still nervous that there might be some partial truth to it.

I don't think any country experienced it quite as much as the US did during the '80s, but there were cases of satanic ritual abuse reported in the UK, Australia, and other countries. In fact, it's still a bit of an issue in some parts of Africa.

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People actually believed the whole Jezus, Mary and Michael coming down to stop the summoning of Satan thing? Amazing..

The ending of Michelle Remembers was downplayed by the media, likely because it was so hard to swallow. They mostly just focused on the fact that she was apparently subject to a year of abuse by a secret cult of satanists.

Watching the 20/20 report (only two minutes in), I think it's possible that all these 'rituals' took place but that people were inspired by the stories rather than the other way around. Kind of like crop circles..

I think a big part of the media's confusion is that there really were satanists that would get together and perform rituals. But the problem is that actual satanists (members of Anton LeVey's Church of Satan that was founded in the '60s) are against the sacrifice of living creatures and in fact don't even believe in Satan (it's an atheistic religion that uses Satan as an icon for independence and rebellion). But they did like to wear black robes and perform spooky ceremonies for fun.

And then you had the occasional incident of a teen murdering another teen. The media would latch on to the fact that the teens involved listened to "satanic" heavy metal music or played "occult" games like Dungeons & Dragons and would therefor conclude that the murders must have been related to satanism. In reality, most of these murders were over things like drug disputes. The story of Ricky Kassa is one of the most famous examples of this.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 05:41:58 PM by Adam Dravian »

Michigander1911

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Re: The Satanic Panic of the '80s
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2014, 05:51:48 PM »
This comes from a time when it wasn't so easy to research things for yourself.  You could do it obviously, go to the library check out a dozen books, spend evenings reading about stuff that only vaguely interest you, finally come to a conclusion that it's all BS.  My point being that people trusted public media way to much.  (maybe why people still do)  This is kind of all on the line as people poisoning Halloween candy, it may have started with an bit of truth and then became a tool to push an agenda. 
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Adam Dravian

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Re: The Satanic Panic of the '80s
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2014, 09:20:13 PM »
This comes from a time when it wasn't so easy to research things for yourself.  You could do it obviously, go to the library check out a dozen books, spend evenings reading about stuff that only vaguely interest you, finally come to a conclusion that it's all BS.  My point being that people trusted public media way to much.  (maybe why people still do)  This is kind of all on the line as people poisoning Halloween candy, it may have started with an bit of truth and then became a tool to push an agenda.

Exactly. One of the best things about our current information age is that it's a lot harder for the general masses to fall into a big panic about nothing. It's certainly not impossible, but it's harder.

On a related note, this era is pretty much the death knell for urban legends. Now when someone tells you that Phil Collins wrote "In the Air Tonight" about a guy he saw who refused to save a drowning victim, it's a simple matter to look it up online and discover that it's complete bullshit.

Rijst

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Re: The Satanic Panic of the '80s
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2014, 06:15:50 AM »
Exactly. One of the best things about our current information age is that it's a lot harder for the general masses to fall into a big panic about nothing. It's certainly not impossible, but it's harder.

I'm not sure about that, bullshitters can write convincing webpages too. Take the anti-vaccination movement, some people still believe vaccines cause autism even though that original claim has been debunked countless times and the researcher who pushed this message shown a fraud with mixed commercial interests. Despite this, there have been recent outbreaks of measles in the western world, simply because people haven't been vaccinated. The same could happen with polio, which is making a comeback in Syria and Pakistan.
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Adam Dravian

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Re: The Satanic Panic of the '80s
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2014, 06:49:21 AM »
You make a depressingly good point.

Rijst

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Re: The Satanic Panic of the '80s
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2014, 01:02:12 PM »
I'll try to be more cheery from now on  :-[

Now when someone tells you that Phil Collins wrote "In the Air Tonight" about a guy he saw who refused to save a drowning victim, it's a simple matter to look it up online and discover that it's complete bullshit.

Was that ever a thing? I know Eminem mentioned it in Stan..
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Adam Dravian

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Re: The Satanic Panic of the '80s
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2014, 05:31:55 PM »
Was that ever a thing? I know Eminem mentioned it in Stan..

Oh yeah. It was totally a thing. I heard it mentioned several times when I was growing up. It seemed to mostly be an urban legend in the states. Phil Collins has said that he'd get asked about it all the time whenever he'd tour over here.

The truth about the song is still a little creepy. Apparently he did most of the vocals in a single take, singing whatever words came to him in the moment. So he honestly has no idea what the song is about.

Michigander1911

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Re: The Satanic Panic of the '80s
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2014, 07:20:37 PM »
Exactly. One of the best things about our current information age is that it's a lot harder for the general masses to fall into a big panic about nothing. It's certainly not impossible, but it's harder.

I'm not sure about that, bullshitters can write convincing webpages too. Take the anti-vaccination movement, some people still believe vaccines cause autism even though that original claim has been debunked countless times and the researcher who pushed this message shown a fraud with mixed commercial interests. Despite this, there have been recent outbreaks of measles in the western world, simply because people haven't been vaccinated. The same could happen with polio, which is making a comeback in Syria and Pakistan.

You may have a point to an extent.  There are still many people who can't figure out how to source information and tend to be constantly fooled by the internet.  Unfortunate the case for foregoing vaccinations has had some big name Hollywood figure's backing it and leading to a bigger confusion.  The good news is people like the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation has pushed hard to cure many diseases in the world like polio and hopefully the truth and results will talk for themselves.
Sonny Crockett: Man, it's so hot you could fry an egg on my face.  Det. Ricardo Tubbs: Hope I never get that hungry.

Rijst

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Re: The Satanic Panic of the '80s
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2014, 03:14:02 AM »
and hopefully the truth and results will talk for themselves.

I sure hope so but I won't hold my breath.

Part of the polio resurge (especially in Syria) is caused by the civil war up there so people can't get vaccinated. In Pakistan certain religious groups actively discourage people to accept the vaccinations. As for the west, I think people are getting complacent because they've never seen the effects of these diseases. Would anyone refuse a vaccine for ebola, for example, should it spread to western countries? There isn't any unfortunately, but I doubt anyone would be willing to face a 60% mortality rate because someone says vaccines sometimes cause autism.
Quote from: "The Boy" (Bad-Ass Ninjas)
I read on the internet that ninjas are hungry, you want some food?