May 18, 2018

“Despite the acquittal in [the McMartin Preschool case], the hysteria kept raging there and nationally; mainstream news still gave it credence, police still made arrests, prosecutors still prosecuted, and true believers among psychologists and psychiatrists (and their clients) still believed and proselytized, often with a government imprimatur….

“In a small town in Tidewater North Carolina, children testified that a satanic cult operating a day care center had ritually abused them – and taken them in hot-air balloons to outer space and on a boat into the Atlantic where newborns were fed to sharks; several people were sentenced to long prison terms and served time before their convictions were overturned or charges dismissed.”

– From “Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History” by Kurt Andersen (2017)

The ripples from McMartin were even more pronounced in Edenton, after prosecutors brought back from California a crucial lesson: Conceal, obscure or destroy the therapists’ notes that would reveal how relentlessly the child-witnesses had been manipulated.