April 8, 2013

“The panic over satanic ritual abuse in the United States… subsided rather abruptly, as panics usually do, whether they are individual or social. They are like an acute anxiety attack – absolutely absorbing while in course and then suddenly gone, leaving in their wake bewilderment, fear of confronting the causes of the panic, and bafflement about what just happened….

“But traces of its presence can be found without much difficulty in the child abuse and neglect (CAN) literature. The panic, and the way CAN personnel had contributed to it, made the field more self-reflective and self-questioning. CAN practitioners had been shocked by the spectacle of their colleagues battling one another in courtrooms… unable to distinguish between real events of abuse and mass hysteria over alleged satanic abuse.”

– From “Childism: Confronting Prejudice Against Children” by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl (2012)


“More self-reflecting and self-questioning” may describe the current generation of child abuse professionals, but those who did such unspeakable damage in the 1980s and ’90s remain wedded to their junk science.