How Prevalent is Satanic Ritual Abuse?


Question: How Prevalent is Satanic Ritual Abuse?


Satanic Ritual Abuse, or SRA, is essentially a myth. While self-styled Satanists occasionally commit brutal crimes, these are the result of disturbed individuals whose beliefs often have little in common with mainline Satanists.

The accusation of an organized group of Satanists perpetuating sexual, physical or emotional abuse upon victims has never been substantiated.

Thus, the FBI has concluded that SRA is a myth, and stories of SRA were largely generated and circulated during the Satanic Panic.


Common Accusations

Supposed SRA victims are most commonly women or children. Victims are allegedly brought to a ritual location where a number of injustices might be visited upon them, including:
  • Forced drug use
  • Rape or sexual molestation
  • Torture and terrorization
  • Brainwashing to indoctrinate victims in Satanic beliefs
  • Murder, or being forced to commit murder upon another
  • Cannibalism


Lack of Evidence

There are a variety of reasons why the FBI remains skeptical of such claims. First, many victims only come forward years after the alleged crime took place, claiming to have discovered "repressed memories." These memories most commonly come out during therapy, and psychologists now believe that many supposed SRA victims are actually the victims of leading questions posed by their own therapists who impress false memories into a vulnerable psyche.


The stories presented by victims are generally lacking in detail. The only details of rituals provided are often what can be found in books or in horror movies.

When multiple victims are alleged, the stories of individuals do not agree with the stories of any other victim.

Physical evidence is largely or entirely absent.

No location can be found that bears any suggestion that it witnessed a Satanic ritual, or any other kind of ritual, for that matter, even when accusations are made soon after the supposed abuse took place.

People tell stories of ritual murder, yet no one is reported missing and no corpse is discovered. Indeed, people who are convinced of a wide Satanic conspiracy cite annual number of child victims in the tens of thousands (or even greater), while missing person reports can only account for a tiny fraction of that number.


Real Satanic Practices

The practices of mainline Satanists, whether LaVeyan Satanists or other varieties, have no use for the horrific actions suggested in SRA. Many so not believe in any actual being called Satan. Even those who do believe in such a being do not envision him as Christians do. He does not thrive on suffering, human blood or perversion. The accusations of SRA are just as abhorrent to these Satanists as they are to everyone else.
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Your Citation
Beyer, Catherine. "How Prevalent is Satanic Ritual Abuse?" ThoughtCo, Feb. 4, 2017, Beyer, Catherine. (2017, February 4). How Prevalent is Satanic Ritual Abuse? Retrieved from Beyer, Catherine. "How Prevalent is Satanic Ritual Abuse?" ThoughtCo. (accessed January 23, 2018).