It is a daunting subject, because the term "Satanism" has been separated from necessarily meaning evil or malicious in the past few decades,
especially in Western thought.
I think most people now know that self-styled Satanists aren't the bogeymen of horror movies (even if sometimes not the most pleasant of people).
We have the Church of Satan who are essentially atheists and meritocrats, who believe their rituals are psychodrama.
In line with them there are similar movements who are a satire of religion, or an anti-religion, and only religious fundamentalists who still think
Wicca is "Satan's little white lie" will still think they are truly evil behind the scenes.
Then there are also theistic Satanists and Lucifarians, who may love their "misunderstood" renditions of the scriptural dark lords, perhaps also from
Hardly evil, and this scene is even more likely to include vegans with liberal values by my experience than the pagans or Church of Satan.
Then we have Satanic-Panic, which has created a mythology or urban legend that some rebellious youngsters try to emulate.
This can lead to a kind of pseudo-Satanism, where everything from Christian books purporting to be on Satanism are used to invent rituals.
This can be harmless, but can also end in crimes.
Satanic-panic has also been used to discuss the fraudulent Christian books that helped to create a hysteria around Satanism in the 1980s and early
1990s, and which sociologists now see as a cultural hysteria.
Some dodgy mental health experts were also involved in spreading the hysteria, which saw families split apart and had similarities to medieval
All the evidence-based court cases eventually led to nothing of substance, although their protracted nature often meant that innocent people were
vilified and incarcerated, and children were removed from their parents.
I'd say that black magic goes on.
In South Africa we have cases of muti murders, usually associated with a small minority of traditional African "witchdoctors" who use human body
However, although there have been cases of using body parts of children, there's no direct link to ritual abuse.
I'm sure they also have some white customers, and others who believe in it.
I think the OP has created a criteria though where we can call sects and cults highly evil, malevolent and sadistic when they abuse children.
The evidence here points mainly at mainstream religions and groups within them however.
It's hard to find this in the teachings very often, and even harder to delineate it as a "ritual abuse" rather than the tendency of religious
organizations to cover-up and silence their internal scandals (which makes them very attractive to sociopaths and pedophiles), because they are
hell-bent in proving that they have a lucrative formula for morality.
But yeah, following the Cult News Network there's hardly any group or religion that presents itself as good to the world, where the child abuse
scandals don't keep coming on a weekly basis.
OK, nasty people worm themselves into good organizations, and the practices regarding sexuality in some organizations are also often so restrictive
and unnatural that some normal and borderline people might crack and go crazy.
In that sense there may be abuse from pedophiles, and/or people who actually might come to practice it as a taught or ritualized sexual outlet.
I'd like to think though that any organization that is truly moral will actually make a concerted effort to wipe out such practices where they do
occur, and that devotees will turn from corrupt gurus, elders, priests, preachers, rabbis and imams.
Sadly this is rarely the case, and usually it is the whistle-blowers who are ex-communicated.
That makes one wonder whether there isn't an inner sanctum in some religions that deliberately and intergenerationally believes that sexual abuse
serves some mind-control purpose.
edit on 9-10-2014 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)