120409ThreeApril 9, 2012

“Where do epidemics go when they die?…. Have all the sadistic pedophiles closed down their day-care centers?”

– From “Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)” by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson

I asked Mary de Young, author of “The Day Care Ritual Abuse Moral Panic,” whether this epidemic might have gasped its last in Edenton as a result of “Innocence Lost.”

“Ofra Bikel certainly pounded a nail in its coffin,” De Young said. “Her excellent work on the Little Rascals case appeared after the last day care ritual abuse case was prosecuted, but she created a reason to be profoundly skeptical of all the cases that came before.

“I would give a lot of credit to Debbie Nathan (Village Voice) and Dorothy Rabinowitz (Wall Street Journal) for bringing an end to this craziness, but to be honest I think the moral panic really collapsed under its own weight – i.e., it was impossible to sustain these allegations in the absence of evidence, as well as to sustain the suspended disbelief that was required.”