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Allegations of satanic child abuse became widespread in North America in the 1980s. Shortly afterwards, there were similar reports in Britain of sexual abuse, torture and murder, associated with worship of the Devil. Professor Jean La Fontaine, a senior British anthropologist, conducted a two year research project into these allegations, which found that they were without foundation. Her detailed analysis of a number of specific cases, and an extensive review of the literature, revealed no evidence of devil-worship. She concludes that the child witnesses come to believe that they are describing what actually happened to them, but that adults are manipulating the accusations. She draws parallels with classic instances of witchcraft accusations and witch-hunts in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Europe, and shows that beneath the hysteria there is a social movement, which is fostered by a climate of social and economic insecurity. Persuasively argued, this is an authoritative and scholarly account of an emotive issue.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521629348
ISBN-10: 0521629349
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 14mm)
Pages: 240
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 12-Feb-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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