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NCJ Number: 136420 Find in a Library
Title: Satanism: Myth and Reality in a Contemporary Moral Panic
Journal: Crime, Law, and Social Change  Volume:17  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1992)  Pages:53-75
Author(s): P Jenkins; D Maier-Katkin
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 23
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: During the past few years there have been many allegations about the prevalence of occult or Satanic criminality, ranging from vandalism to child abuse and serial murder.
Abstract: According to these authors, satanism is a tiny fringe movement that should not be consuming scarce police resources. There is little or no evidence that occult crime is linked to many other contemporary dangers identified by the claim-makers. The evidence presented for a Satanic crime wave in the U.S. is unconvincing and based on improbable charges levied by questionable witnesses. The current concern over the occult has all the signs of a classic moral panic, where a peripheral issue suddenly assumes the proportions of a major social menace. In this case, the panic reflects the moral and political agenda of extremists representing the fundamentalist religious right, who are calling for the formation of "ritual crime task forces" comprised of local, State, and Federal law enforcement agencies as well as extensive training for police officers. 79 notes
Main Term(s): Ritualistic crimes
Index Term(s): Religion; Social psychology
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