Saturday, September 10, 2016

Sex, Satanism and Sacrificial Slaughter

The Fall River Cult Murders, 1979-80

The new age may have dawned in the 1960s, but it would never fully shine. For many, spiritual awakening would lead to something of an existential crisis as the harsh realities of the following decade began to encroach on their lives. Some found refuge in communes, others turned to drugs or diet fads. And many would join the ranks of the New Religious Movement: a cluster of fringe Christian, Eastern mystic, neo-pagan and various self-help groups that claimed to offer a path to self-discovery and higher purpose. The spirit of religious revival was in the air, but not everyone was celebrating.

The inevitable backlash to these often strange (and sometimes dangerous) new religious sects led to the rise of the "counter-cult movement." Not surprisingly, Christian fundamentalists would play a leading role. The shock propaganda of these “counter-cultists” successfully tapped into the social anxieties of the day and found broad support among concerned parents. With more women joining the workforce and increasing numbers of teenagers left to their own devices, there was a new level of fear and uncertainty within the nuclear family unit. The threat of one’s children falling victim to some crazed cult seemed very real. Or so the public was led to believe.

From within this social context a cultural phenomenon known as ‘The Satanic Panic’ was born
.1 Fueled by religious fanatics, quack psychiatrists and the tabloid media, it was claimed that a vast Satanic criminal network existed throughout the country. Organized devil-worshipers were responsible for any number of heinous acts – including kidnapping, child abuse, animal mutilation, rape, torture, human sacrifice and cannibalism – all of which was taking place under our very noses.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Ritual Murder in Rural England

The Strange Case of Charles Walton

A brutal murder is reported in a quiet West Midlands village. Local authorities are unable to come up with a suspect or motive so Scotland Yard sends their best detective to help crack the case. It could be the plot line to any number of classic English murder mysteries. However, the investigation into this particular homicide would soon take an unexpectedly strange turn. Hushed rumors of witchcraft, spectral black dogs and ritual sacrifice would surround the case as it became entangled in the dark folklore and history of the region. Was this the work of a lone madman... or something far more sinister?