Satanic Ritual Abuse? Prove It!
Public concern over the undesirable and damaging effects of ritual abuse is not new. The Roman historian, Livy (b. 59 B.C.E., d. 17 C.E.), wrote about the Roman Senate's investigation of the cult of Bacchus. According to Livy, this cult practiced human sacrifice and sexual rituals which included incest. Subsequently, the cult's criminal acts eventually led to its dissolution and being outlawed by the Roman senate in 186 B.C.E. (Livy, 1976). The Bible is another document which attests that there were ancient people who believed that some middle-eastern religions engaged in child sacrifice and other abusive ritual acts. In fact throughout recorded history there have been numerous accounts of abusive practices and ceremonies discovered or alleged to exist in a wide variety of cultural contexts (e.g., see Katchen, 1992). More recently, there have been reports that ritual and cult abuse may be occurring as contemporary phenomena in North America (DeCamp, 1992; Friesen, 1991, 1992; Galanter, 1989; Gould, 1992; Greaves, 1992; Hassan, 1988; Johnston, 1989; Ritual Abuse Task Force, 1989; Rose, 1993; Smith & Pazder, 1980; Warnke, 1972, 1991; Young, Sachs, Braun, & Watkins, 1991), South America (Kilduff & Javers, 1978; Tierney, 1989), Europe (Jonker & Jonker-Bakker, 1991), and Africa (Oke, 1989).