What year is it again? The Satanic Panic is currently trending on Twitter because of a tweet that has gone viral. Of course, this has led to a division on the social media platform, with some in favor of a “Satanic Panic 2.0,” and others against it.
The Satanic Panic was a period of widespread hysteria throughout the United States that started in the 1980s, and resulted in over 12,000 “satanic ritual abuse” allegations made without any substantial evidence. Parents — mostly religious conservatives — accused daycare and school employees of physically and sexually abusing their children, and it snowballed into a nationwide phenomena. Thousands of investigations were conducted, children were interviewed by psychologists and many people have even served time in prison for crimes they may not have committed.
Musicians and various forms of media were accused of being connected to the occult, which led to the formation of Tipper Gore’s Parents Music Resource Center, the notorious black-and-white “parental advisory” sticker and Dee Snider‘s attendance at the committee’s senate hearing in 1985.
The situation that’s likely responsible for reigniting the Satanic Panic conversation this week was Pope Francis’ visit to Maskwacis in Alberta, Canada today, where he apologized in front of thousands of Indigenous Canadians for generations of physical and sexual abuse that occurred in the country’s government-funded Christian schools from the 19th century to the 1970s [via AP News].
The tweet that went viral may or may not have been directly related to the Pope’s apology, but it reads, “Steps out of the shadows. The ‘Satanic Panic’ was largely justified and there was actually widespread abuse in the ’80s by the way. Just thought I’d share. I’ll see you on the timeline.”
In response to people reacting negatively to their post and calling it “idiotic,” the user said, “Lots of Stockholm syndrome-type responses at people who learned to love their gaslighting.”
“Two main problems people have with accepting this stuff: The cases were massively overcharged [and] the media at the time focused on the most obviously absurd elements of the abuse (magic and the occult),” they continued. “Another problem is outgroup anxieties about ‘le stupid suburban Christians!'”
Now, there are over 8,000 tweets discussing the Satanic Panic and how detrimental it would be to endure another one.
“Saw a big account earnestly arguing that the Satanic Panic was justified because sexual abuse of children has actually occurred, which is akin to saying flat-earthers are right because the earth exists,” one person stated.
“Speaking again as someone who was sexually abused during original recipe satanic panic days: Even this parallel belies how actually damaging it was to us. It actively shifts blame away from actual perpetrators and onto totally innocent people, which just harms kids,” wrote another.
On the other hand, someone remarked, “How can someone look at stuff like Aquino, the Franklin Scandal, the fucking temple on Little St. James, the Matamoros cult, Marc Dutroux, Bush pardoning Henry Lee Lucas, the tunnels at McMartin, etc. and just be like, ‘Nah the Satanic Panic was 100 percent dumb evangelicals overreacting?'”
See the initial tweet and various responses below.
Oh, and black metal is trending, too. What an interesting day.
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