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Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 1994 Oct;42(4):265-88.

Satanism, ritual abuse, and multiple personality disorder: a sociohistorical perspective.

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Université de Paris, France.


During the past decade in North America, a growing number of mental health professionals have reported that between 25% and 50% of their patients in treatment for multiple personality disorder (MPD) have recovered early childhood traumatic memories of ritual torture, incestuous rape, sexual debauchery, sacrificial murder, infanticide, and cannibalism perpetrated by members of clandestine satanic cults. Although hundreds of local and federal police investigations have failed to corroborate patients' therapeutically constructed accounts, because the satanic etiology of MPD is logically coherent with the neodissociative, traumatic theory of psychopathology, conspiracy theory has emerged as the nucleus of a consistent pattern of contemporary clinical interpretation. Resolutely logical and thoroughly operational, ultrascientific psychodemonology remains paradoxically oblivious to its own irrational premises. When the hermetic logic of conspiracy theory is stripped away by historical and socio/psychological analysis, however, the hypothetical perpetrators of satanic ritual abuse simply disappear, leaving in their wake the very real human suffering of all those who have been caught up in the social delusion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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