Report of the Ritual Abuse Task Force – excerpt

http://www.geocities.com/kidhistory/ra.htm

Report of the Ritual Abuse Task Force – Los Angeles County Commission for Women – Ritual abuse is a brutal form of abuse of children, adolescents, and adults, consisting of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, and involving the use of rituals. Ritual does not necessarily mean satanic. However, most survivors state that they were ritually abused as part of satanic worship for the purpose of indoctrinating them into satanic beliefs and practices. Ritual abuse rarely consists of a single episode. It usually involves repeated abuse over an extended period of time. The physical abuse is severe, sometimes including torture and killing. The sexual abuse is usually painful, sadistic, and humiliating, intended as means of gaining dominance over the victim. The psychological abuse is devastating and involves the use of ritual/indoctrination, which includes mind control techniques and mind altering drugs, and ritual/intimidation which conveys to the victim a profound terror of the cult members and of the evil spirits they believe cult members can command. Both during and after the abuse, most victims are in a state of terror, mind control, and dissociation in which disclosure is exceedingly difficult.

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Descriptive Definition

Ritual abuse is a brutal form of abuse of children, adolescents, and adults, consisting of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, and involving the use of rituals. Ritual does not necessarily mean satanic. However, most survivors state that they were ritually abused as part of satanic worship for the purpose of indoctrinating them into satanic beliefs and practices. Ritual abuse rarely consists of a single episode. It usually involves repeated abuse over an extended period of time.

Ritual abuse is usually carried out by members of a cult. The purpose of the ritual elements of the abuse seems threefold:

  1. Rituals in some groups are part of a shared belief or worship system into which the victim is being indoctrinated;
  2. Rituals are used to intimidate victims into silence;
  3. Ritual elements (e.g., devil worship, animal or human sacrifice) seem so unbelievable to those unfamiliar with these crimes that these elements detract from the credibility of the victims and make prosecution of the crimes very difficult.

Many victims are children under the age of six who suffer the most severe and longstanding emotional damage from the abuse. These young victims are particularly susceptible to being terrorized and indoctrinated into the abusers’ belief system. During and even long after the abuse victims live in a state of terror and dissociation and suffer from the impact of mind control techniques. All this makes the initial disclosures of abuse exceedingly difficult, and can make each subsequent disclosure a terrifying and painful experience.

Ritual abuse is known to occur as an integral part of the life of some families in which one or both parents participate in conjunction with the extended family or other group. These groups are typically satanic in their symbols and beliefs. Children in these settings are severely abused on an ongoing basis with little time during which they are safe from abuse. The results are devastating.

Ritual abuse has also occurred, without parents knowing, at pre-schools, day-care centers, churches, summer camps, and at the hands of baby-sitters and neighbors. The ritual abuse in such an institutional setting is not incidental to its operation, but is in fact intrinsic to it, the very reason for the institution’s existence. Children are subjected to sexual abuse, ritual/intimidation to terrorize them into silence, and ritual/ indoctrination to convert them to the belief or worship system of the group.

Ritual abuse of adolescents, and participation by adolescents in perpetrating ritual abuse, can take place in family or school settings, or in youth gangs which orient themselves toward a self-styled satanism or other ritualism, and violence.

Many adults who are victims and/or perpetrators of ritual abuse came under the influence of such beliefs and practices in their childhood or adolescence and may function with severe dissociative disorders, including multiple personality disorder  Such adults are often working members of society whose identity as members of satanic or other cults is not known outside the cult. Some perpetrate abuse, infiltrate, and/or recruit for the cult in the context of their jobs.  Some adults join the cult later in life, enticed by sexual promiscuity and perversion, the availability of illicit drugs, the promise of money, and the satanic spirituality oriented toward power and moral license.

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