130123NathanJan. 23, 2013

“Ritual sex abuse is back. Recently (in 2003) I heard that a conference on the topic was being held for psychotherapists.

“It was planned not to critique a nasty period in the annals of American hysteria but rather so that attendees could learn to ask patients if they’ve ever been raped in day care by secret devil worshipers.

“This stuff was debunked in the 1990s as a type of urban myth. Yet it keeps cropping up, complete with pseudo-scientific theories about the psychology of so-called victims – theories that likewise refuse to die.

“One such theory is that children who are molested often grow up to deny that the crime ever happened. Many do so, the theory holds, because people commonly repress or dissociate from memories of horrific trauma – particularly sex abuse.

“This idea has been repeatedly discredited by research psychologists. But… in pop culture and among many child-protection workers, it’s still de rigueur to think that a child who was fondled or raped is at risk of burying the memory.”

– From “The Exorcists” by Debbie Nathan in the Washington Post (May 4, 2003)