Dissociation : Vol. 2, No. 1, p. 039-044: Satanism: Similarities between patient accounts and pre-inquisition historical sources

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Title: Dissociation : Vol. 2, No. 1, p. 039-044: Satanism: Similarities between patient accounts and pre-inquisition historical sources
Author: Hill, Sally; Goodwin, Jean, 1946-
Abstract: Today patients who describe to a therapist fragmentary flashbacklike scenes of participation in satanic rituals face the same credibility problems that twenty years ago would have confronted a patient who was recounting scenes of sadistic incestuous abuse. Some clinicians have only one conceptual framework within which to place such material; they hear it as delusional. This paper presents another set of descriptions of satanic rituals: those drawn by historians from pre-Inquisition primary sources. The aim is to assist clinicians in considering as one possibility that such a patient is describing fragmented or partially dissociated memories of actual events. As early as the fourth century elements of a satanic mass were well described: 1) a ritual table or altar; 2) ritual orgiastic sex; 3) reversals of the Catholic mass; 4) ritual use of excretions; 5) infant or child sacrifice and cannibalism often around initiation and often, involving use of a knife, and ritual use of; 6) animals; 7) fire or candles; and 8) chanting. Extending the historical search from 400 to 1200A.D. yields only a few new elements; 9) ritual use of drugs, and 10) of the circle, and 11) ritual dismemberment of corpses. Two clinical accounts of satanic rituals are compared with historical accounts. Ideally, the possibility that a patient had experienced actual involvement in some bizarre and abusive ritual would be one of many possible viewpoints explored in the therapeutic unraveling of such material.
Description: p. 039-044
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/1408
Date: 1989-03


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