In Manhattan Beach, CA in 1983 members of the McMartin family were accused of a variety of abuse charges against the children in their care.
It was reported that the children:
"were victimized by teachers who were members of an intergenerational Satanic conspiracy."
"were required to participate in "major, major sacrifices" connected
with the "Satanic Church." source
There were all manner of other abuse allegations filed, but in the end all accusations were found to be either baseless or completely disproven. The case has become now become an example of a modern-day witch hunt.
It lasted six years -- the longest US criminal trial in history. At a cost to the state of $15 million, it was also the most expensive. No convictions were obtained. The main evidence of abuse was based on what the children testified were memories of repeated, sadistic, ritual molestation. Years later, child psychologists realized that such memories can be easily implanted in children's minds by the interview techniques which were used at the time. Since psychologists and police investigators have changed their methods of interrogating young children, no more MVMO cases have surfaced in the U.S. and Canada. The children's testimony was supported by medical tests, which were believed at the time to be accurate. Years later, they were found to be useless. same source
While no one can argue that throughout history, there have been killings where religious inspiration is a primary motive, in America the spectre of Satanic cult killings looms mostly in stories, movies, and urban legends which tend to crop up around particularly gruesome or unexplained murders. These claims reached a peak in the 1970-1980's.
It seems logical, even for skeptics that since believers of most faiths gather together to practice their rituals and worship that Satanic churches or cults could logically be assumed to do the same.
But do these rituals really include murder and human sacrifice?
A quote from LaVey's Church of Satan states
Due to the high volume of mail that we receive from young people who are new to Satanism, we have put together some information to help answer your specific questions and concerns.
If you have read our books, you know that Satanism isn’t about taking drugs, and it isn’t about harming animals or children. Unlike many religions and philosophies, Satanism respects and exalts life. Children and animals are the purest expressions of that life force, and as such are held sacred and precious in the eyes of the Satanist. Besides, it is very un-Satanic to take any creature’s life against its will. source
However, there are many, many cases where organizations (public, religious, private, legislative) have said one thing and practiced another.
After some searching I have found may claims which have been hard (or impossible) to verify that Satanic churches or cults have committed anywhere from hundreds to thousands of murders nationwide over the years.
However, I have been unable to find any hard evidence for specific cases where a Satanic church/cult has been proven guilty (or legitimately claimed responsibility for) of either ritual murder or human sacrifice.
While the Church of Satan does exist, I can find no evidence that it is engaged in any national conspiracy to commit ritual murder/sacrifice and/or cover up evidence of such.
But you can find internet warnings such as
There are an estimated 100,000 or more Satanic cults in America. Those numbers sadly are out-dated and from the 1980's. The numbers are much higher now of course. But it's not a priority of the F.B.I. to track anymore. Police are NOT allowed to call a ritual murder done to someone as so. There are certain codes for these type Satanic murders source
The question is...
Is there any evidence that there are organized Satanic churches or cults committing ritualistic murder and/or human sacrifice across America? Or is this another conspiracy theory/urban legend which could be possible, but has little to no proven basis in reality?
The question isn't...
- meant to include murders committed by individuals who claimed Satanic motives after the fact or to account for the actions of disturbed or mentally ill individuals.
- meant to include speculation as to whether or not any other religion is spreading this information to further their own agendas
- About anyone's personal beliefs regarding the existence of Satan.
- Able to be answered by saying "Satan covered up the evidence"