Piracy / Copyright Notice Break out of someone
else's frames here
In August of 1997, a poster using the nickname "Peter" posted a pseudo-survey that asked questions of ritual abuse survivors on a recovery newsgroup. What follows is my response.
I've been following the conversation over the last couple of days - interesting...
I'm responding to your questions because your questions, for me, enable me to look at my own life from a somewhat different perspective, and have also enabled me to crystalize somewhat my own thoughts.
Before I go on to answer the questions you asked, I want to note that the another respondant has a good point: Perpetrators are not stupid.
Mine weren't; the two primary abusers both had extensive medical knowledge and were highly educated. The other respondent's abusers weren't stupid either - the abuse she endured went completely undetected by her neighbors and community.
It is so very easy for our "civilized" culture to ignore abuse of any kind - after all, aren't we the epitome of civilization, aren't we SO civilized and cultured and educated and enlightened and technologically advanced? Oh, my - nothing like that could ever happen here in America, oh no...
Sarcasm? Yes. Cynicism? Yes.
Like so many others here - I lived it, endured it - and endured the willing disbelief of so many "civilized and cultured" folks... feh...
I don't care who does or does not believe me - I lived it; I have gotten and am getting painful validation - and am upsetting the living hell out of my family in the process.
One might ask why dig up old bones, why bother with stuff that is over and done and gone? Easy... I and my family members are finally getting closure - real closure - on a lot of what happened. As painful as closure is, it brings a peace that cannot exist as long as each of us wonder and question our own sanity.
THAT is one of two things that is important to me as far as my own personal involvement goes - validation and closure.
The other is that our "culture" is becoming more aware of all types of abuse, not just [s]ra; and the culture is slowly (far too slowly in my opinion) becoming active in keeping children, teens, young adults - and adults - safe.
In one of the posts, someone noted that horrendous things were done in the name of Christ - so how much harder is it to realize that horrendous things can be done in the name of Satan? Or Gaia? Or Santa Claus? Or the Wizard of Oz?
Intentional, systematically-applied abuse designed to coerce and train a person to behave in predetermined manners exists.
Some call it "brainwashing", others call it "conditioning" or "programming" - the label is not important. The methods used and the results - the repercussions - are what is important.
It is the systematic and conscious application that makes it "ritual"; be it mental/verbal only, mental/physical only, or full spectrum mental, physical, and sexual abuse.
The commonality is that some "higher power" is used as the motivational tool - and that "higher power" can be literally anything.
In the US Armed Forces, it is "The Country" - yes, I consider the training methods of the armed forces institutionalized ritual abuse. The methods are ritualistic, repeated, consistent, and include various ceremonies at critical junctures - all designed to break down the individuals' will so that they will obey orders immediately, so that they will be "good soldiers" and literally "kill on demand."
Many pimps use drugs to gain control of their stables; and use intentional repetitive mental, physical, and sexual abuse to "train" the prostitutes. Here, the "higher power" is a combo of the pimp, money, and the promise of a constant drug supply.
Many religious groups use similar methods. The Moonies come to mind, as do scientologists, Jonestown, Heaven's Gate, the Hare Krishnas and so on. For them, the "higher power" is "god", whatever they define that to be.
It is real; and is world-wide. I do doubt the controversial concept of a "world-wide conspiracy", for what it is worth. Conversely, I don't think anyone here denies that abuse, particularly ritualistic abuse, is a world-wide problem. I do wonder sometimes, though, considering some of the stuff I've read here.
Satanic Ritualized Ause (SRA) is just one small aspect of Ritualized/Ritualistic Abuse in general, one small part of a problem our culture just does not want to face or admit exists.
I personally know (some face to face, some via e-mail only) well over 50 RA survivors. Only a very small portion of them are Satanic ritual abuse survivors.
I believe the reason it has become such a flash-word is the media.
Simply said: Satan sells. Santaniera (which is not Satanistic) is a flash in the pan to the media, and is consigned by the media - like so many other non-Satanistic/non-Christian groups - to the back pages as "oh, here's some more droll stuff about the poor uneducated and so-superstitious citizens of our backwards third-world neighbors."
Just my $0.02 worth; your mileage may vary, of course.
On to your questions.
> You state you were raised in a multi-generational satanic cult.
I was. My maternal grandfather - a satanist, and a man whom assumed the identity of my deceased Granduncle Ray (A master warlock) were the "priests"; the position of high-priestess was that of my grandfather's partner/girlfriend, and the master priestess was a woman to whom my grandfather referred as "Mother" - and whom I had to refer as "Grandmam" - she was not my grandfather's mother.
During the "training", grandfather, granduncle, and Grandmam taught us (me, sister, and an older girl) that the "priesthood" passed down to the first born in each generation. Grandmam repeatedly stated much of what she taught us was taught to her by her own parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.
The "higher power" always referred to and worshipped was called on as Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, The Fallen One.
> Are any member of your family who were (are) members of the cult or
> subjected to the cult still alive? If so, are they still active cult members?
Yes; my mother still lives, as do my siblings. They are no longer subjected to the cult; none of us were willing members.
> What is (was) the name or emblem that the cult is known by??
Name: The Family; emblem, none public. The pentacle and a modified Neptune's Trident were used within the cult.
> What is the leader's title?
High priest, High priestess.
> How many took part in the rituals and how often did the rituals
> take place?
The smallest was 13 adults. The larger "ceremonies" involved carefully-screened adults, and were twisted, perverted blends of druidic, wiccan, and earth-mother ceremonies; the small and very private ceremonies were satanic. Each full moon was reason for a minor "worship"; the main rituals occured on each soltice and equinox as well as in parallel to the Christian holidays of Christmas and Easter, and again during Samhain (Holloween) and May Day.
> What rituals would or did include abuse?
All of them. The majority of the rituals only went as far as animal sacrifice (cats and dogs for minor rituals, goats for major ones) and mutual blood-letting and consumption of the blood followed by orgies.
> Is this cult still active and do you suspect continued abuse rituals?
I do not know; my last contact with them was in 1971 when members relocated me and gave me some of Grandmother's journals.
I suspect they are still active, since one of those who came to my door in 1971 was a relative on my maternal grandfather's side, and he was about my age.
> How or why did you leave the cult and when?
I and my siblings were "rescued" when I was almost 10 years old.
I and my siblings were repeatedly severely beaten; bruises, contusions, and wounds were common. I found out in 1996 that both my paternal grandparents and my maternal grandmother (who had divorced my mother's father shortly after my mother was born) were aware of some of the abuse, and had notified the authorities.
That resulted in a social worker making a purported visit to the house next door - when it reality that was an excuse for the social worker to park on the street where I lived and walk past our yard to check on us. It took several months before he found us alone in the front yard.
He saw the bruises and asked me how I got them. I was nine years old; and I no longer cared if I died; as long as I get my sister and brothers to safety, that's all that mattered. I told the worker that my stepfather had beaten me - and my sister panicked and started crying "no, we fell down, we fell down".
Laughing softly - Big Red Flag for that social worker, hmmm?
I pulled up my shirt and dropped my britches, and showed the worker my backside. He then ran to the house next door, and came back out a few minutes later and continued talking to us.
Within a few days officials arrived late one evening and broke up the family; shipping myself and my sister to one foster home, and my two baby brothers to another foster home.
I saw my mother once more while I was in the foster home - she and my stepfather stopped at the foster home on their way to move out of state to get away from cult and from my maternal grandmother, and were met in front of the foster home by a plain-clothes police woman to "safeguard" me and Peggy. That was in 1959, and that was the last time I saw my stepfather alive.
The next time I spoke to her was via phone in 1986 - after which we spoke and wrote to each other at least once a month. I did not physically see her again until 1995.
> Did you know of anyone in the cult prior to your leaving cult who
> also left??or are you the only person to have left the cult?
The one I know of came back and submitted himself for discipline for "betraying The Family." I never saw him again. I do not know if any others left permanently other than my mother, and she and my stepfather broke free by moving out of reach of the cult in late 1959.
> Did you ever try contact those deserters after you left??
No, see above. I was a child then, and incapable of that kind of effort. My mother and I have spoken to each other about the cult since 1986; and I have also spoken to her half-sister and two cousins on my father's side as well. The aunt and cousins were not involved with the cult, but were aware to varying degrees of what was happening.
That "disbelief" mentioned by one poster in this thread is very real and very active, for what it is worth. Not one of them spoke up about the ritual abuse simply because they were humiliated each time by the authorities, who scoffed at their accounts and accused them of being "witch- hunters" and "sensation-seekers".
> Do you have anyone who has left the cult who could witness that
> what you saw they also saw?
Yes. My mother and my brother.
> Why, for your own consideration, is the issue of your abuse being
> SRA more important than the fact that you were abused?
One, because there are far too many people who totally discount and disbelieve that any kind of ritual/ritualized abuse does occur - the same people who have no problem believing and taking action regarding physical and sexual child abuse - and that, for a long time, made me feel discounted, dismissed, and worthless.
I struggled with that for a very long time, and have finally reached the point where it just doesn't matter any more to me. Believe what you will; I, my siblings, and my relatives know what we endured, as do many of our friends from those times and years. Nothing will change that.
Now I pity those who dismiss RA survivors. As long as there is disbelief, all abuse flourishes, not just [s]ra.
Second, and you touch on this in the next paragraph, [s]ra is intentional, designed to train the child to perform in specific ways. "Incidental" abuse perpetrated by "...relatives with control issues" does not have that aspect of intentionally-applied systematic training.
I focus on the [s]ra issues because I want to undo that training and conditioning. The "good" part of this process is that it also helps undo the "incidental" conditioning induced by the relatives - and pedophiles - that used us. Kind of "killing two birds with one stone" so to speak.
> Would you feel less abused if the abuse was NOT SRA but simply
> mean-spirited relatives with huge control issues and no group
> conspiracy. Would you feel less anger and hatred at your offenders
> if you saw them not as evil conspirators but as sexually and emotionally
> bankrupt individuals?
Snort. The first question is "abuse-sizing". Abuse is abuse is abuse, regardless of the label - got that?
Second question: I had both kinds of offenders - and vowed at a very early age to remember every damned thing they did so that when I "grew up", I could return and take them out - those who perpetrated the RA, and those who were the "NOT SRA" child-molesters. Anger and Hatred??? Oh yes, Steve, oh yes. For both types.
That anger and hatred was the major motivating force for me; the only other force was that of doing what I could to take care of my sister and brother, and in later years, my sister. My hatred for the perps, and love for my siblings - is all that kept me alive, kept me going.
I hated all of them - the cult members and the pedophiles - they knew what they were doing, and there is no excuse, no reason for that.
Art, "Grandmam", Ray, "Lilith", my mother and stepfather (how can a child tell the difference between people forced to participate though use of drugs and conditioning and blackmail, versus willing participants?); yes, I hated them passionately for a very very long time - and only recently have been able to let go of that hatred and rage - largely because they themselves were also abused mentally, physically, and sexually by their own relatives and by the cult, and perpetuated that training on the next generation: me and my siblings. It does not alleviate the harm they did; it does not excuse what they did - it only serves to help me understand some of the why and how; and that understanding in turn helps me face reality - and gives some measure of peace.
> I can not answer these questions for you and I do not need to
> know your answers but I would hope you would see how your
> consideration of them may help you deal with your own abuse issues.
First part of sentence above; obviously.
Second part - laughing softly - Steve, it was my consideration of the issues after 40 years of denial that got me to where I am now. Prior to that, my approach was "it's over, done, it ain't happening anymore, get on with your life, fella" - but my burying and ignoring the trauma did not make it go away, and did not bring it to closure.
Your questions served, for me, as a tool to lay out feelings and conclusions I reached a while ago.
Thank you for that, though.
> Take care..
I do, Peter, I do. This kind of process is not one to jump into willy-nilly.