Factors that contributed to Satanic Panic in the late 60s and early 70s
Manson Killings in 1969
The founding of the Church of Satan with Anton Lavey at its helm in the late 60s. In 1966 Lavey published the infamous Satanic Bible
In 1971, the book The Exorcist came out. It was said to be based on a true story. The movie came out in 1973 – Ruined the OUIJA board forever.
In 1972, Lavey published his book Satanic Rituals, and the book Satan Seller by Christian evangelist Mike Warnke came out. In the book, he claimed he was a satanic priest, and performed rituals including sex orgies. The book was largely discredited and it later came out that most of it was fabricated.
In 1977, the Amityville house became popular with the talk show circuit from the DeFeos and the movies. The Warrens went on television talking about their fight against demonic entities. Movies based on their life include the whole Conjuring series. They also had a hand in the Haunting in Connecticut. The book: Demonologist came out in 1980. Much of it is said to be fiction or overhyped to sell copies. Their nephew is John Zaffis who has a purported “demonologist” and has a show called Haunted Collector on Syfy.
There was also the rise of the former Satanic cult member to fundamentalist Christian conversion arc. Where men including outspoken activist John Todd who talked proclaimed the world was run by satanic cults and spoke out against witches, rock and roll, and dungeons and dragons as gateways to satanism. He worked heavily with Jack Chick of Chick-Lit pamphlets. They were these little comic pamphlets with a lot of Baptist fire and brimstone. My dad used to make me throw them on street corners.
In 1977, there was the Son of Sam killings and his stories about the demonic dog. A new doc came out this year about Berkowitz called Son of Sam Descent into Darkness. https://www.netflix.com/title/81059887 The premise is that Berkowitz didn’t act alone and he was part of a Satanic cult in NY in the 80s called “The Children”.
Juxtaposed to that we had a resurgence of the Spiritualist movement in the form of what we call New Age. Trance channeling, crystals, sage, indigo children, starseeds, alien contact were all a thing. Shirley McClaine wrote a book about her past life regressions. She found out she saw the sinking of Atlantis. She also believes in karma and reincarnation. Her book, Out on a Limb came out in 1983. Brad Steiger’s books about starseeds came out in the early 90s. Furthered the evolution of what the new age movement was about and the Delores Cannon furthered the movement with her books about past life regression and creating a new world.
The 80s – Ronald Reagan – a godhead for the Nuclear Family. Getting back to good ol’ fashioned family values (this should start to sound familiar to you.) He was fighting against the AID pandemic (gays are bad), kids being kidnapped while playing in the middle-class neighborhoods (by pedophiles and Satanists) – which led to kids being on milk cartons, clown murderers – John Wayne Gacy and Ronald Clark O Bryan aka the Candy Mankiller. Used cyanide laced pix stix to kill.
Trump ran on the platform of Make America Great Again. Again, good ol’ American values. He fought against the border (Mexicans are bad), Christianity (Dems are Satanists and pedophiles via Pizzagate), Hillary (women are inherently evil), trans-rights (gays are bad again, and our children are at risk). White male Christians and the women who enable them are the only inherit good.
The 80s was also the rise of extreme evangelists like Jerry Falwell and anti-cult spokesman like Pat Pulling. She started BADD (Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons) after her son committed suicide. She claimed that role-playing games like DND brought demonology witchcraft and satanism into the home. Late she wrote a book called the Devil’s Web: Who is Stalking Your Children for Satan where she added that police should investigate anyone who has a copy of the Necronomicon because they are Satanists. She also declared that 8% of the population were practicing Satanists – 4% were teenagers.
The media got on the bandwagon. Especially Geraldo Rivera. He’s like the forefather of the shock documentary. In 1998, he produced a documentary called Devil Worship: Exposing Satan’s Underground. Today, Rivera still is going strong. He is a Fox news correspondent, a huge proponent of the alt-right and supported the Trump movement. He later suggested Trump sucede after the Jan 6th insurrection and backpedaled a bit even though he claims he’s very good friends with Trump
In 1991, 20/20 aired “My name is Minga” an official Roman Catholic exorcism
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcffUDCFA7Y which brought on a lot of fear that anyone could be possessed by the devil or demons. The difference between mounting and possession.
There were also documentaries like Hells Bells which concluded that all rock music as a gateway to satanism, devil worship, and possession. (This should also sound familiar: Lil Nas Montero and Travis Scott’s Astroworld)
Bob Larson had a radio show called Talk Back where he spoke against satanism, rock music, and role-playing games, and satanic ritual abuse. He’s still going strong today and now performs exorcisms. His claim to fame is confronting “Satanists” and debating them on tv shows. https://youtu.be/-06m0M75w7s
Teal Swan has proclaimed to be ritualistically abused during her childhood by a Satanic cult run by one of her father’s friends and babysitters. She was put under regression by Barbara Snow who was fundamental in one of the child abuse cases from the Satanic Panic movement. She was later denounced as a fraud. https://gizmodo.com/weve-launched-an-investigative-podcast-about-a-controve-1826416613
Mentions in this Episode:
Satanic Panic instructional videos for law enforcement
Satanic Panic podcast from Uncover playlist:
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Music by: “Guiton Sketch” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License