Oh No! Vengeful Republicans Are Gonna Tear Down Our Precious Satanic Statues That Don't Exist!
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So there's this episode of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer." Season three, right after Joyce — Buffy's mother — finds out Buffy is the Slayer and what a Slayer even does. It's called "Gingerbread."

Joyce goes with Buffy on one of her patrols and ends up finding some murdered kids on the playground with an occult-looking symbol written on them. Naturally, everyone is very horrified, Joyce in particular. Soon, the whole town is hysterical over the poor children having been murdered by witches, and they all get increasingly riled up and outraged and pitchforky and the ghosts of the two children haunt Joyce, telling her she needs to "hurt the bad girls."

Long story short, the Scoobies figure out that not only does no one actually know who these kids are, or who their parents are, but that the exact same kids have been "murdered" in towns across the world for centuries and were the basis for Hansel and Gretel. And each time the same thing happens. Giles (Buffy's watcher/the school librarian) explains that demons often feed off of human ignorance and persecution, and that this is probably what's going on there. Unfortunately, before they can fully communicate this to everyone, Buffy, Willow and Amy get rounded up to be burned at the stake.

Sorry for the spoilers on a show that aired in 1999, but it's just eerily similar to what is going on now with all of this new Satanic Panic crap. Because while there is a hell of a lot of outrage, while people are getting extremely pitchforky, no one can say who the actual victims are.


One of the more horrific aspects of the first Satanic Panic was the fact that organizations and people that were meant to help children managed to convince them that they were sexually molested, that they were victims of Satanic ritual abuse, when they were not. Even adults, mostly women, were convinced by their own trusted psychologists that they had "recovered memories" of Satanic ritual abuse. Maybe we didn't know then, but we know now how unreliable "recovered memories" are, and also how easy it is to implant them.

Lost in the Mall (False Memory) www.youtube.com

We understand that children often look to appease adults and will go along with and even contribute to these bizarre stories if they are getting positive feedback. It's not quite as easy to pull off a bunch of kids claiming they were abused in tunnels that didn't exist or taken to Mexico and back in private planes owned by daycare employees before their parents picked them up after work and no one ever noticed this, because we understand these things now. We went through all of that as a society and we came out of it a little wiser. Or, you know, it seemed like we did for a while.

And yet, as horrific as all of that was, it made a lot more sense that people would believe it. There wasn't a lot of information out there debunking it, and there were actual victims. Victims they could see and hear and read about. It was on the news, it was on Oprah and every other talk show. Which is a thing one might mention the next time people suggest that the media is silent on this only because they are afraid of retribution from these very powerful people or because they are somehow complicit.

Vicki Devil Worship - 1989 Oprah Winfrey Show Interview With A Jewish Woman youtu.be

(One of the bigger ironies of all of this is that this new crop of believers thinks Oprah is involved with the evil Satanic cult and was in fact arrested for her crimes.)

There were court cases. People were actually arrested. People — innocent people — were found guilty and sent to prison for decades. Many of them remained there even after their victims recanted and explained how they were manipulated into claiming these things.

It was horrible — but it was understandable that people believed it. Hell, very few people at the time even questioned it. Those who did were told "Of course it's true. Children never lie." (My own mother did not buy this, as she had a daughter who was positively convinced that she was adopted and that her real parents were horses.)

There are no victims now. There are no court cases. There are no arrests, despite the endless mass arrest fantasies described by the QAnon crowd. There's no endless parade of media attention. There is nothing approximating evidence of any kind. The closest thing this movement has to an actual victim is the obviously unwell woman who claims to have been Tom Hanks's sex slave, brainwashed and sold to him by her parents who are supposedly high-ranking members of a sprawling 10,000-year-old cult that controls the world, that no one has ever heard of or mentioned before.

Curiously, while the Tom Hanks nonsense has made it into the narrative, the rest of her story really has not. In fact, outside of her claim that she was sexually abused by a celebrity, her story bears almost no resemblance to the narrative that these people have created.

But that's pretty much it! There is literally no one out there claiming to have actually taken adrenochrome (oxidized epinephrine/adrenaline), or seen anyone procure it from a child's pineal gland (or pituitary gland, or, in rare cases, the adrenal glands, which actually produce adrenaline, depending on who you are asking). Someone just tossed the idea out there that celebrities were taking it to get high and/or immortal and some other people said "Oh, for sure, that definitely sounds like a plausible thing that could happen!"

The lack of evidence, the fact that people must "draw their own conclusions" after being led in a very specific direction, is exactly why they get so entrenched. The best way to sell someone on an idea is to make them think they came up with it themselves. If you're just believing stuff you saw on TV, if you're believing actual first person testimony that people are giving, you have an out that doesn't make you feel like a huge idiot. There's no straight story, no official narrative, because every single person involved is pretty much making it up for themselves as they go along.

I should not argue with these people, but I do. Every once in a while, I give in and I feed the trolls. Because I am on an epic quest to figure out what the hell is even going on here, and I cannot know what is actually going on here unless I talk to these people. And the number one thing they always do is ask bizarre questions no one could possibly know the answer to -- a recent favorite was "Think. Why did Ghislaine Maxwell have a license to operate a submarine?" -- or that begin with the word "Imagine."

This is their evidence. This is how they are doing "research." You know when they talk about "doing their own research?" Aside from watching YouTube videos, this is how they do it. They are putting out writing prompts for fan fiction, they are imagining things, and calling that "critical thinking." Because apparently, if they can hypothetically imagine something being true, then it is true. This means that there is, essentially, nothing that is not true. To them, anyway.

I call them QAnon people or Pizzagate people, but the truth is, a very large percentage of the people who are repeating these claims have never even heard of QAnon. Hell, half of the people tweeting #WWG1WGA (the QAnon slogan "Where we go one we go all") and #SaveOurChildren have no idea about the totally bizarre theories those slogans are attached to. They get bits and pieces from Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. They hear a few things here and there that seem somewhat plausible. Statistics about the amount of children that go missing every year (with the part where 99 percent of them are found conveniently left out), information about Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell that is true, combined with things about Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell that people made up. Usually there's a grain of truth somewhere, and that's what makes it all seem possible.

It's basically working the way Scientology works. They leave the crazy Xenu shit for the end. By the time people get to "Anthony Weiner had a file on his computer called frazzled.rip that was a video of Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin skinning a child's face and then wearing it like a Halloween mask," they're not going to take the time to look up the fact that .rip files are audio-only. They're just going to believe it. And even when you get them to concede that one thing is obviously wrong, they will still believe in the gist of it all and they will still want to "save the children."

And all without ever have heard from a single one of them.

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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