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Madam Satan (1930) - Cecil B. DeMille [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
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Satan is a Abrahamic term which is traditionally applied to an angel, demon, or minor god in many belief systems. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satan

Satanic ritual abuse

Satanic ritual abuse, or SRA, refers to the belief that an organized network of Satanists engages in brainwashing and abusing victims, especially children, throughout the United States or even the world. These claims remain controversial and law enforcement sources, criminologists, psychologists, and religious affairs commentors generally consider this belief false or at least grossly exaggerated. At present, press and media figures and much of the public treats claims of Satanic ritual abuse with great skepticism. Many sociologists class the public outcry in the 1980s concerning SRA as an example of a public moral panic. Nevertheless, claims of Satanic ritual abuse still appear and there remains a significant but unknown number of people in many countries who believe in the existence of organised communities perpetuating SRA.

Historical origins
The belief that certain people worship dark forces and use magic powers against others, commonly known as witchcraft, is probably as old as mankind and can today still be found in many cultures. The allegations of Satanic ritual abuse are more complex and allege that organised groups systematically and repeatedly torture and kill others in the context of devil worship. The earliest such claims can be found in the medieval witch-panics. For instance, in 1334 there was a trial of 63 presumed witches who were accused of worshipping Satan, eating infant flesh, engaging in sexual orgies with others and with Satan himself. Eight of them were burned and the rest imprisoned. Earlier witch panics are usually not well documented, especially when there was no official trial. Witchhunting reached a peak in the 16th and 17th centuries, when many mass trials against presumed worshippers of Satan took place.

Even though some religious fundamentalists continue to believe in the occult power of witchcraft, most religious leaders denounce these persecutions. Within the scientific world, they are generally recognized as an example of mass hysteria and a symptom of the irrationalism of the time. Modern Wiccan and Neo-Pagan religions may be confused with the medieval "witches", but they are only peripherally related to them.

Some critics of the modern belief in Satanic ritual abuse believe that similar irrationalism still exists in modern society, and that the SRA scares of the last decades were in fact comparable to historical panics regarding witchcraft and devil worship. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanic_ritual_abuse [Apr 2005]

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