Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part One: The Satanic Panic: America's First QAnon

Part One: The Satanic Panic: America's First QAnon

Tue, 27 Oct 2020 10:00

Part One: The Satanic Panic: America's First QAnon

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Hey, Robert here. It's been like two months since I had LASIK and I'm still seeing 2020. All I had to do was go in for a consultation, then go in for a maybe 10 minute procedure and then my eyes have been great ever since. You know, I healed up wonderfully. It was very simple, couldn't have been a better experience. So if you want to explore LASIK plus I can't recommend it enough. They have over 20 years experience in the industry and they performed more than two million treatments right now if you want to try getting LASIK plus you can get $1000 off of your surgery when you're treated in September, that's $500. Of per eye, just to schedule your free consultation. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried true crime. And if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's breaker handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioral discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. What? Alleging this. Networks of child abuse that don't really exist my. Entire world now. Jesus Christ. That was a bad introduction. Thank you, Sophie. Thank you for your relentless positivity. This is behind the ********. I'm Robert Evans, and my guest today is my my friend and colleague Jake Hanrahan. Jake, how you doing, man? Good. Thank you, mayor. Thank you. Having me on again. Yeah. And you, Jake, you have a podcast now. Another podcast. You've always had a podcast? Another one? Yeah. My this new one. We're doing Q clearance stuff. He's been helping with me. Me with a podcast about Q Anon and about you know the the searching for the person or persons behind it, right? Yeah, trying to trying to kind of lay it out for people that are not 100% familiar as well. Like I kind of realised that a lot of the Q Anon media is very focused on either like 4 Q Anon people or it's kind of for the community that researching it, I kind of wanted to bring everybody together to be like, let's make everyone understand it, you know what I'm saying? So and so far so good. You know, Jake, I admire what you're doing. I think it's important and I wanted to help you out and the way I wanted to help you out was by lending a bit of historical context. Because what we have with Q Anon, I think it's it's fair to say in brief, is like a a massive almost now international delusion about networks of satanic child murderers and traffickers, right. Have you figured it out yet? Jake is not the is not the first time this happened. And today, Jake, we're going to talk about the satanic panic, OK? I I couldn't have guessed that one, man. No, it's interesting. It's interesting. It's it's perfect for me. Thank you so much. I just can't believe you haven't listened to episode two of Q clearance where we talk about Satanic panic. Yeah. This is so much to it. It's it was enormous. I don't. I didn't know most of this stuff when I started reading about it. It's a ******* nightmare and you're going to hate this episode. I hated writing it. It it involved a lot of reading. Lurid, lengthy stories of child molestation that never happened, but that children were convinced had happened to them. Which is somehow, yeah, more disturbing almost than actual child molestation. Like the idea that, like a kid, people convincing them that it happened to them, right? Yeah, like, why would you make someone feel the worst thing ever if they didn't actually feel it? You know? It's completely ******. So. I can't believe this is what you picked for Jake. Except, yeah, yeah, this is yeah, we're going to talk about some fun ****. We're going to get Dungeons and Dragons. We're gonna talk about the West Memphis three. We're gonna talk about the Mcmartin preschool scandal. It's gonna be ******* terrible. But first, we're going to go back in time a little bit, Jake, because the ideological soil that Q Anon and the satanic panic grew in didn't start with either of those things. So let's talk about 177 A. B or CE or whatever we're supposed to say Europe, let's let's let's talk about that. This is about you know 177 AD is about a century or so before Emperor Constantine was like you know, brought Christianity to the Roman Empire and stuff. So things are still pretty Pagan in Roman society, but Christianity exists and the pagans do not like it. They've got these like weird people who are kind of on the fringes of society and they start making up **** about them. So in the city of Leon and modern day France, rumors started spreading that members of the Christian. Community there were secretly ****** and cannibalizing their own children. Angry and probably drunken mobs of Pagan Romans chased the Christian community out of their homes, beat them, stoned them, and tortured their household slaves until the slaves admitted that their masters had been eating and molesting babies. With confessions in hand, the mob and massacred the entire Christian community of Leon. So back when you were was cool, basically. That's ******* rad as hell, man. So that massacre was an example of what anthropologists call demonology. So not demonology. Demon, OIO, GY. And yeah, the authors of Satan silence. Which is have you read that book? It's ******* incredible. Satan silence. Yeah, it's really good. The defining work of the Satanic panic era. And the authors of that book define demonology as the narrative specific to every culture that identifies the ultimate evil threatening the group during periods of social. Turmoil and moral crisis, societal preoccupation with its demonology intensifies. So in Pagan Rome, the ultimate evil was like, they're the ultimate outsiders. The Christians at this point, like the people saying, no, there's only one God, right? So they get demonized and people start telling stories about the molesting and murdering children. Now, once Christianity became the dominant religion in Europe, it's adherents found their own evil to oppress in the way that they'd once been oppressed. In the 12th century, a myth began to spread across the English countryside, initially about Jewish rabbis murdering Christian babies. Just quickly spread all over Europe and you start having this like, it's still around always Jews, isn't it? Yeah. Yeah. They of course. Yeah, they're always right. Yeah. This is kind of like, was an early meme and it spread that way around Europe and, like, pamphlets and even, like, there you you can still find churches in Europe that, like, in stained glass reliefs will have, like, images of what's called the blood libel rabbis murdering Christian babies to make matzah. Yeah. And it's the same kind of thing, right? Myths that this this group of social outsiders. Is gathering up and murdering and probably molesting children and Christians like killed so many Jews during this. As a result of the spread of this myth that later during the Reformation there weren't like any Jewish people left in a lot of communities. So they had to find a new ultimate evil inside their community to go after. And this is where we get the witch hunts, right? Like everybody knows vaguely the story and these two, they took different forms over the centuries, but the gist of the threat was always the same. Satan is real and he's trying to destroy our community via some member on the fringe of our community. Is working with the devil right? Like, that's the the idea. And it happens a bunch of times. It happens in Europe. It happens, obviously, in the United States. You get the Salem witch trials and you have different groups of people targeted, right? Sometimes it's midwives. Sometimes it's just like members of the community, like in Salem, who start accusing each other of things. And kind of one of the things that always marks witch hunts is that, like, there may be initially a specific group that's targeted, but once you're real good, witch hunt gets going, pretty much everyone winds up accusing everybody, right? Like, that's what. Yeah, yeah. I remember reading the weird story where, like, a guy, like, pronounced something, like, differently to the rest of the town and they were just like, yeah, he's a witch. Yeah, exactly. There was no escape. You know, people go *******. It is one of those things. You know, I'm a I'm a pretty staunch fan of the concept of democracy, but, man, reading too much about witch hunts makes you like, oh **** maybe. I don't know how we're gonna get well. ****. They all voted to kill him. Yeah, they voted. Yeah. Yeah. Drowning. Yeah. No good. Yeah. So once the United States became a thing, it showed a marked talent for witch hunts. And I have to say, like y'all over in Europe and **** can do some pretty good witch hunts. But the USA, like, who we are good at mass murdering each other over rumors of the Devil witch hunts on steroids, right? Yeah, yeah, we're ******* great at it. And of course, like we, you know, Jewish people got blamed for a variety of things, but also Catholics during the 1830s and 40s, Protestants in America. They're so frightened of Catholics that rumors started to spread about nuns consorting with the devil and molest, murdering a bunch of little kids. And the quote again from Satan silence here, because this is some **** that sounds exactly like this **** happening now. Several books were written by women claiming to be ex nuns who had escaped from convents where they witnessed ****** torture, witchcraft and the slaughter of infants. One account was so popular that in the years before the Civil War its sales were surpassed only by Uncle Tom's Cabin. During the same. Ex nuns and priests, real or feigned, made a handsome living touring the country. Testifying about the slaughter of innocence at the hands of Mother Superior and bishops. It's the same ******* thing. Like they're going around and making money off it. You've got like ******* praying medic types and 1840, like it's ******* yeah. It's kind of funny though. It's like later the Catholics did do a lot of ******** to the kids, but ohh, absolutely. Yeah. But not the devil stuff. Yeah. No. And like, yeah, you have to assume that some of this started from like, well yeah, a bunch of ******* pre star molested kids, right? Just like just throwing the devil as well. Like, why not? Yeah, they're eating them as well. Like, OK, yeah, now they're eating them. Yeah, my peoples man. Yeah. So that's kind of the back story of this really weirdly consistent thing that humans do, which is accuse groups on the margins of murdering and molesting children, right? It's like very consistent that it's always like, if you're going to really demonize a group, you accuse them of going after little kids. And it's it goes back way more than 1000 years. I think it's like the ultimate evil, right? Like that's the worst thing you can do, like harm a kid. Exactly. Let's go with that. Yeah, let's ******* go with that. Now we're gonna have to cover a lot of other. Back story in the United States before we actually get to the Satanic panic. Because the reason that the satanic panic was able to get so bad. And the reason that, like, like one of the things you have with satanic panic is you have all of these, like, lurid stories of of devil worship and these kids testifying that they've been raped because they've had false memories implanted in them and stuff. And all of that was only possible because of a **** load of things that happened in the United States that made it the perfect soil for something like this. So we're going to explain kind of all of the different things that made it possible first. So one factor in the satanic panic being a thing that could happen was the fact that starting with our old buddy L Ron Hubbard in the 1950s, Colts started to get super mainstream in the United States in the 1960s and 70s and one of the ones that like got the most public perception was the Manson cult, which carried out a string of grizzly murders in August of 1969. The most famous Manson killing was the murder of Sharon Tate, Abigail Folger, and several other less famous people. I think he killed 5 people at once in this like big compound that was like Roman Polanski's house, but he was out at the time. And these murders were incredibly grizzly. And they had elements that police, at the time described as ritualistic. I don't know that they actually were ritualistic murders, but it was described as ritualistic murder. So you have these cults, there's that great book, right? Chaos by O'Neill. And it just dispels all of that. Like, it was just, again, as part of the Satanic panic. They just rolled with it even though. Exactly. Saying stuff was. Yeah, yeah. And it is ******** but people at the time believe it. So you've got suddenly number one Colts are all over the place, and then you've got this cold, murdering people. And then in the 1970s, you get the Zodiac killer and the son of Sam and the alphabet killer. And all of these were mass murderers who slayings had, like, weird ritualistic and occult seeming overtones to them. So people start to, like, get, like, really convinced that that this is a thing that actually happens, right, that, like, and they have some, you know, if you are a person who reads the news in this. You've got what you think is solid evidence that this is a problem, that there's ritualistic cults out there murdering people. Or a cult. You know, purposes. The 1970s also happened to be the decade where Satanism went, I don't know, mainstream is probably saying too much, but it became like, it became like an organized thing, right? Anton Lavey publishes the Satanic Bible in 1969, which became the central text for the Church of Satan, which probably had its heyday in the 1970s. Now the reality is that the Satanic Bible was both largely plagiarized and more or less just a self help book with an edgy wrapping to it. This did not stop people who hadn't read it from flipping the **** out. So the Church of Satan. Again, fundamentally pretty peaceful thing has maybe 5000 Members in the US at its height during this. But all of this **** happening like, you know, with the the, the mansons and with these ritual murders and then all the **** that's happening in Hollywood in terms of like the movies that are coming up, kind of cooks it into the center of a conspiracy. So in 1973 you have the best selling novel, The Exorcist, adapted into a film we all know about, The Exorcist. Big part of it is demonic possession and in order to improve ticket sales, it's producers claim that it was based on a true story, which was a lie. They were like some elements were taken all out of the story of an actual priest who had an ex an exorcism. But like it, we had bore no resemblance to anything that happened in the book. A priest once existed. Yeah, priest once existed. And he was a little off. Yeah. Demonic possession hadn't been a massive topic in American culture in this. But after the Exorcist, it becomes like a huge topic of discussion. For one thing, there's hundreds of like, movies that come out that are based on like, similar premises, right? The thing that that that, like little bitty ****** bee movie producers always do like, they rip off the big popular movie. And for most Americans, obviously, this just meant that we got a bunch of fun horror movies that involved demonic possession, but among the nascent Christian right, which in this. Was starting to form into a political bloc. The first time in the United States The Exorcist was seen as a deadly warning. This was helped along by a new species of evangelical Christian grifter themselves, inspired by the Church of Satan, the fake former Satanist. So you start having former former Satanists, kind of like these former Catholic nuns, popping up in this. And lecturing about things they had supposedly done. Now the most prominent of these guys was Mike Warnke, who published his book Satan Seller in 1972 Satan Seller. Recounted a uh, a childhood and young adulthood that wonky claimed had been spent like as a a ******** devil worshipper. He claimed that he'd been a satanic high priest and that he'd been involved in ritualistic sex ******. He went into detail about ritual murders, child murder, and mass rape, claiming that he'd participated in a variety of capital offenses until Jesus saved him by sending him to Vietnam. And that's what he saved him by. Yeah, yeah, what a horrible guy. The big brick bit grim in it. Yeah, there were a lot of Satanists back in the 60s and 70s. We had to get them all off to Nam to clear that **** out. Yeah, it's pretty wild because all of these guys like Warren Key would like, they would all claim to have taken part in, like, serious crimes that never got investigated. So you'd think people would be like, you said you murdered a bunch of babies, like, like, right? No, no one was like, oh, like, yeah, he's just admitted it in writing. Like, yeah, it's it's it's just all feeds into itself, right? Absolutely it does. And Warren Key, Mike Warnke is kind of the biggest person like who starts this avalanche. And he's within the bubble of Christian media, which was a lot smaller back then. He was a huge celebrity and he actually cracked over into the mainstream to an extent. He showed up on Oprah, on Larry King and on 2020 telling lurid stories about his supposed past as a devil worshipper. He also used his past as a Satanist to launch a career as a Christian stand up comedian. Yeah, that's so American. I love it. Yeah, incredibly American. Come up with a better, like, quick story. Yeah, it's very funny. Now, for reasons I will never be able to explain, Warren Casaw massive success hybridizing his stand up routine with his claims about child like sex abuse and Satanism, which led to some really baffling recordings like the what I'm about to play you from his 1989 stand up routine. Do you hear me in it? He starts with incredibly lame. Jokes and I'm gonna play you a selection of his jokes just so you can get an idea of what the tenor of his stand up act is like. You told me this is gonna be a Christian thing, and I can tell you right now that boy appear on stage. He is not a Christian because he's got that long hair. Why do people drive on parkways and park on driveways? What is daylight savings time? And if we are saving so much of it, who's got it all? How do you know when yogurts gone bad? How do you get Teflon to stick to a skillet when nothing sticks to Teflon? I'm not hearing you laugh, Jake. Do you not enjoy his comedy? I mean, you know, when you're Christmas you get like a joke and a cracker, like it's that. It's that level of like, it's just fun cracker jokes into like stand up. God, that's bad. He looks like he just, I don't know, man. He looks actually kind of like the devil worshiper from like 2 detectives, you know? He does look like a Satanist, right? Like. Like, like, like a movie Satanist, not a yeah. No, no offense to the actual Satanist in the audience. You would cast him as one, right? Yeah. Like this guy looks evil. Yeah. And he definitely so, like, you've got those jokes which are like the most milktoast nonsense that you could possibly put in a stand up routine. And then in the middle of them he starts talking about deadly serious anecdotes about ritual genital mutilation and sacrifice. And again, this is in the middle of a stand up set to a bunch of kids, Christian kids. Yeah, Christian kids and their families. I'm talking about a little girl. Who was murdered last year, 1987? In the state of Louisiana. By having her sexual organs cut out while she was still alive. Oh, lot of you think that when a Satanist kills, they do so because they want to spill blood. You've seen enough late night movies to think that. Would have a Satanist or any other kind of occultist kills an animal or a human sacrifice? It's not to spill blood, it's to release the life force. Because when the life force is released and you've done the right incantations and rituals, you can absorb that force, they say, and it makes you a stronger wizard warlock. Or whatever. Wizard, warlock. Long the death, and the more agonizing the death, the more force is released. So they took this little girl, and they killed her by cutting her sexual organs out while she was still alive. Yeah. OK. Great comedy, Sir. Really? Yeah. To lighten the mood. Hello? You know, I've done some stand up. I have friends who did it. That's a definite choice in terms of how to end your set. Yeah. Oh, by the way, the killer got caught up in it with me, like, Gee, let me lie. So he's saying he's a part of all this, right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's complete nonsense, right? Like, obviously can go, like, why isn't he being investigated? No, I mean, you listen to that, though. And like, the audience is deadly quiet. You have to assume they're all buying this ****. Like, there seemed to be taking him very and he was taken very seriously. Which is a problem, because he was a preposterous liar. Actual journalist sat down with Warren keep family and friends to ask them about his claims, which included the fact that he'd lived in a witches coven with 1500 other people, and that he'd been a horrible drug addict and all of his, like, family. Everyone who knew him laughed at all of this. Like, of course, like we ******* grew up with him. He's like, he was just a nerd. He's just a nerd. Exactly. And there were a bunch of obvious holes in his story. For example, he claimed that Charles Manson had attended one of his deadly ritual sacrifice parties in 1966. Unfortunately, the exact time that he claimed the party happened occurred during occurred at the same time as one of Manson stints in federal prison from a parole violation. So he, like, could not have been there. There's actually a whole book that, like, was published proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Warren Key was a liar. And in fairness, the journalist who were two Christian journalists who worked for, like, an evangelical news site, who were like, this guy is like ******* full of **** clearly. And we have to yeah. Like, you know, there's nothing wrong with Christians. It's like, no, you even taken advantage of. Yeah, the evangelicals, you know, exactly. He's he's grifting these people by scaring them. Like, it's very horrible what he's doing. Not only is his comedy bad, but he's he's frightening people and it's bad to frighten people for no reason. I would say yeah. So unless it's funny. Unless it's fun. Yeah. I mean, yeah, absolutely. It's funny that he's absolutely not. Yeah. But yeah. The fact that Warren Key was like, he had a private jet at one point, like the he's he was, or at least he claimed he had a private jet. I don't know, but he was very popular, like it, and he was a huge deal for a while now. Right around the same time, Warnke was starting to preach about ritual satanic murder, which is again in the midst of all these cults and Zodiac killers and **** something else was happening in American Society. People were starting to accept that child sexual abuse was a thing and was a major problem, which is a good thing, right? Obviously. And for a long time, like people, you know, it is one of those things. When you go back in time like there, it was kind of people really didn't give as much of a ship. About kids, as you might expect back in the day, it was the same in the UK yeah, absolutely. You know, people like, ohh, we used to just let our kids out and play anytime you could do that back then, like as if pedos didn't exist. Yeah, it was. It wasn't a great thing to like ignore your kids. Yeah, good, yeah. Yeah, back then either. But yeah, they people start to accept that it's a thing and there starts to be like an industry starts to build up of people who are are child protection advocates. Which again is a good thing, but. Aspects of it go terribly wrong. Save the Children. Am I right? Yeah, it's it's really messed up because getting people to accept that child sexual abuse was a problem was one of the first victories, major victories of the modern feminist movement. Right. And I'm talking about like, the the suffragettes, but like people like Gloria Steinem and stuff like, like, like, so it it is like, and this is like a really big victory that they that they getting people to take this seriously. And initially their understanding and the understanding of most people was that most abuse victims were young girls, primarily daughters, who were violated. Incest you as fathers and it's it is absolutely true that most kids who are molested are molested by a close family member. That or a friend of the family. Now as a result, the problem of child sexual abuse was generally referred to as a problem with incest during this. So you'll see a lot of people talking about incest and they're not talking like when we talk about incest today it generally means something different. They're talking about child sexual abuse as a rule when they talk about incest in this. So feminists argued that the solution to this was greater gender equality, which would enable girls to more effectively. They know to the demands of their abusive male relatives, and it would allow wives to stand up to their husbands. And they also argued that part I don't think is accurate. But they also argued that it would give mothers the option of taking their kids out of the house because they'd be able to have a job at a checking account. And that part actually does seem like a realistic remedy. So again. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Like, there's nothing wrong with that. Like, that makes sense. Yeah. It does make sense. It's a good thing to do. But like everything that people do, there were problematic and and faulty aspects of it, including the fact how people began to sort of look at the problem of the men who were doing the molesting. And I'm going to quote again from Satan silence here. These feminist visions were obscured, however, by an entrance by an intransigent society wide insistence that the problem lay merely in the minds of a few troubled men. Accordingly, the cure for sex abuse was psychotherapy coupled with family counseling. And if treatment was all that was necessary, sex abuse was not so much a crime as an illness. Hence, rather than calling for careful impartial investigation by the police, accusations demanded intervention by psychotherapist prepared to take the side of the aggrieved daughter and to heal the perpetrator even if he insisted the charges were false. So again, this we'll talk about some of the problems that this causes. Obviously good that it's being taken seriously, but also, yeah, what we'll cover the aspects of this that are problematic. So the first comprehensive. Legal remedy to the problem of child sex abuse was Walter Mondale's 1973 child abuse prevention and Treatment Act, or CAPTA and CAPTA set aside money to reach research child abuse for the first time, which is great, definitely a good thing, researching, like, the causes of it. It also gave money to states so they could set up treatment programs, which was more of a mixed bag, because in order to get the act through congressional Republicans and get it approved by President Nixon, Mondale had to water down some things. See, the data suggested that the most significant driving factor behind child abuse of any kind. This property, but Republicans didn't want to hear that, so out the door it went. Corporal punishment was also understood to be a major part of child abuse, but talking about that was seen as undermining the authority of parents. So instead, the act focused on physical abuse and the idea that abusive parents were suffering from a psychological illness, one that could strike any parent and one that could be cured. Quote by the time Senate hearings for captive convened, this medicalized interpretation of child abuse was so firmly established that experts like Brandeis University Professor of Social policy David Gill. Found it impossible to promote a different analysis to the politicians. After doing a groundbreaking national survey of child abuse in the 1960s, Gill had concluded that neglected battering were intimately tied to poverty, and that the federal government's reluctance to to correct social and economic inequality made Uncle Sam the country's worst child mistreater. But Mondale interrupted Gill and reminded the audience during the hearing that this is not a poverty problem, it is a national problem. So again, the biggest part of child abuse is not child molestation. It's neglect and physical abuse, which is primarily driven by poverty. But nobody wanted to hear that in Congress. So instead, they just focused on child sexual abuse. Sorry, I just said, you know, that kind of like, reminds me of, like, so I've done research on all this kind of child abuse stuff. And it is true that there are, there have been like, communal child abuse. Absolutely. For sure, yes. And then but then when they bring the devil into it, it's like, oh, get the priest to sort it out, you know? And it just completely flies out the window and it isn't taken seriously. It's so annoying. Yeah. It's. It's very frustrating. Yeah. Yeah. And one of the things that you see here, too, is people who have no experience in, like, investigating cases, being assigned to these cases because there's they stopped being seen as a criminal problem. Jesus. Yeah. So Congress didn't like Professor Gill's testimony, but they really enjoyed the testimony of a woman named Maureen Litfin, a Southern California mom who went by the pseudonym Jolly Kay, now Jolly told a heartbreaking. Worry about how she'd been abused as a child and how this abuse had led her to abuse her own kids, she testified. She testified that she once tried to strangle her daughter and had thrown a knife at her daughter on another occasion. Now, Jolly Kay described her long process of seeking treatment until finally her therapist advised her to start a self help group, which she eventually called Parents Anonymous. Now, a group like this being sort of touted as a cure for child abuse was a dream come true for Congress because parents anonymous number one put the responsibility on abusive parents themselves for fixing the problem. And it costs basically nothing to support as opposed to alleviating poverty, right? Right. So get the optimists to put out the fire. You're right. Yeah. Yeah. PN on. So Congress did give federal support to parents anonymous, but it was a hell of a lot cheaper than, like, fixing the broken social safety net or raising the minimum wage or any of the other things that might have actually done a real, like, significant help. Not that it's a bad idea to have support groups for parents like this, but I would say that that shouldn't be your first priority when parents are throwing knives at kits, you know? Right. Right. Yeah. Yeah. So Capta was enacted in 1974 and among other things. Made therapists, teachers and school administrators mandatory reporters. I don't know what you have if you have this in the UK, but basically if you're a mandatory reporter and someone discloses child abuse to you, you have to report it to the authorities. Yeah, yeah, yeah. A thing that makes sense on paper and sometimes is a good thing, but also is sometimes a bad thing because the police often do a very bad job of handling these cases and it makes the kid not trust whatever authority figure they confided in about the abuse in the 1st place. Like it's a very mixed bag. You could say, hmm. But the first thing that happened when they, you know, Captain gets passed is it leads to a massive surge in reported child abuse. Suddenly it goes from something that like very rarely got reported to something that ******* all, all over the place. Which is because child abuse was all over the place, right? Like it's not a bad thing that suddenly people are like, oh **** a ton of people are abusing and molesting their kids, right? Yeah, but this led to a massive problem for federal and state governments because an awful lot of working men were revealed to be abusive to their children. Locking these guys up would force the state to pay for their care, and it would remove like tax money from the state, and it would force them to like pay in welfare to support the family. This was unacceptable. Thankfully, the self-help, the self-help therapy group model solved this problem because instead of going to jail, abusive fathers were sentenced to therapy, which their pet families were often mandated to attend with them, including the children they've been ******* her hitting. What a great solution. Way like the way to like, destroy the victim even more, right? Like it's like you couldn't come up with a better way of doing it. How horrible. It's so ****** **. And it yeah, it it's it's yeah. This is not to say that the situation for abused children was better prior to this because like for girls, and it was nearly always girls who reported abuse back in the early 1970s. The standard procedure before CAPTA would be to make a report to the police, who would then force you to undergo an invasive genital exam. And then the cops would usually do a follow up interview, which they would, like, show up at your school to interrogate you and ****. And you'd be sent to a foster home or a juvenile home while your abusive dad stayed with the rest of your family so that he could. Putting them into getting their stories straight. And the charges against him would inevitably hit the local news, which meant he would lose his job, which meant the family would fall in the IT was just a whole ******* it. It's always been bad, right? Like when I criticizing capped. I don't want to pretend that like it was good before because. Right, yeah, but it's it's like putting salt in the wound a little bit, man. Yeah, you know what I mean? It's like trying to bail out the ship with the thimble. Exactly. Exactly. So the self-help therapy group option allowed police to keep these kind of cases quiet, which saved on embarrassment. For everybody, it also allowed the fathers to stay employed. And it avoided breaking up the family, which religious right wingers considered to be as much of a priority as treating battered kids. Jake, do you like weddings? Hello, buddy. Have you ever been at a wedding in been like, boy, I wish I could find a way to get several dozen grams of hexogen explosives delivered to this wedding, but I just don't have a missile guidance. Yeah, yeah, yeah, some. Yeah. Well, the good people at Raytheon can help you out with that, Jake, because the missile guidance chips they make are guaranteed to hit weddings. School buses, mostly those two targets. So yeah, you know, in Yemen. So, no, no, it does help if you're in Yemen, Raytheon. Big presence and all. Right, here's the. The actual ads. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. 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We're talking about battered kids. Kind of deflated a little there. So the self-help therapy group option was was considered great by everybody but the actual kids who were being abused. And oddly enough, one of the things that's weird about it in this. Is that both kind of like a lot of left wing folks and feminists and the religious right kind of all get on board this idea for very different reasons. Right, right. The religious right likes keeping the family together and it likes, you know, they want to avoid divorces and at what and what not at all costs. Feminists like it because it all of these groups. To involve these men talking about like they're like the the things, the horrible things that they've done, like they're horrible sexual fantasies and stuff which was seen as like a a useful thing at the time, right. Like they're so it. It is this weird kind of situation. And there's also you can find some writings from some people who are like advocate, like child defense advocates and very left wing at the time who also like that kind of the confessional nature of these things mirrors like what you see in certain like left wing political movements, the self criticism. Sessions. So it's weird you get all these different, like, all these groups who should, who normally are at each other's throats, all get on board of a very bad idea for wildly different reasons. Yeah, a very different tech mill. You know what I mean? Yeah. Yeah, exactly. A very different one. Yeah. Oh dear. It's bizarre. It's a really strange period to study. So if you're starting to say, boy, it seems like all these new programs prioritize the feelings and security of male abusers over their female child victims, you would be right. And the growing. Field of child protection was rife with misogyny. The best example would be doctor Roland Summit, who is a massive ***** ** ****. He went on to be a a major satanic ritual abuse expert, and obviously everything he ever said about satanic ritual abuse was nonsense. But before that he was an incest expert, and in his expert opinion, child sexual abuse by fathers was largely the fault of their wives. So this guy, who is again one of the most prominent doctors in the field in this time, describes the behavior of child molesters as family. Romance. I'm sorry, what happened? Did he have any siblings, by any chance? He had some daughters that you you have to worry for them. He believed that fathers who molested their daughters would never molest a stranger's daughter, which obviously is wildly untrue sex. That's all right then, yeah. In his argument was that the attraction of these fathers was purely to, in his words, the delicious little creatures that the father had helped to create. Red alert. Red ******* flag. So Summit felt that basically all men considered their daughters to be delicious, and that the impulse to commit incest was nearly universal for middle-aged men who were anxious about the end of their own youth. Men and healthy men like projecting a little bit. Dude. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So since all men clearly want to **** their daughters, the only reason that most men don't is because they have healthy marriages that let them deal with their ********* by ******* their wives. So when incest happens, it's the fault of the abuser's wife who was, quote, absorbing herself in a job rather than ******* her husband hard enough to stop him from ****** their daughter. She's so ****** **. It's it's the ultimate right wing. Like defense. Yeah, like bio outrageously ****** **. And he said this like, officially, like, yeah, yeah, he was very open about this and no one went hang on. Like, this guy's up to something. I would argue the right response when someone tells you that is to just start hitting them and not stop. Like you like to just just immediately start punching. But no one did. Instead, he was taken seriously. So his beliefs were unfortunately quite common and one of the most popular abuse treatment programs at the time was called child sex abuse treatment program or seasat up sasada up cassette tape, CCCS, ATP. I don't know how to acronym CASSATA, so you did not do great. Cassada first launched in the Bay Area and it was geared towards preserving nuclear families. That because basically what happened is in the Bay Area because of a number of things, including affluence. One of the first areas that starts getting like, really good reporting about child sexual abuse. And it turns out that a bunch of ******* dudes in the Bay Area were ****** their kids. Uh, which created a problem because these guys were pretty high income. So again, the state doesn't want to lose tax money, doesn't want their parents to go on the dole or their families to go on the dole. So see, sat up was geared towards preserving nuclear families, and it taught that the root of sexual abuse of children was a dysfunctional marriage. Part of the repair work mandated by the therapy involved the mother apologizing. To her daughter for her husband's sexual abuse and saying you are not to blame. Daddy and I did not have a good marriage. That is why Daddy turned to you. Wow, that is just unbelievable, isn't it? ******* shocking is just unbelievable. That's like, I can't believe that. When was this in the 80s? Yeah, this is the ******* like the late 70s. Yeah, I think, yeah, not even long ago, you know what I mean? Like, no, no, really ******* pretty recently. We'll probably get at least one person who as a kid like went through PC setup and stuff with their family in the comments in this episode drops and I wouldn't be surprised about for them. And it's it's so ******. It's so ******* wild. So starting in San Jose, C sat up was increasingly mandated for fathers accused of sexual abuse. Courts often made fathers what became known as The Godfather offer because it was an offer they couldn't refuse. So you get caught, you go to therapy, take probation, and avoid jail. Almost overnight, the confession rate among accused child molesters went from very low to 90%. And again, I don't want to. This is a really flawed system, so we're going to cover all the **** that's bad. It's also the aspects of it were good because most of these guys at this point. Very few sexual abuse allegations made by children against parents were false, right? So the vast majority of these guys, you have to assume some innocent people took the basically the equivalent of a plea bargain just because they didn't want to go to trial. But the vast majority of these guys were guilty and at least something happened. But C sat up led to a number of very unsettling changes in the way these problems were dealt with. For one thing, police shifted away from interviewing the child in these cases and instead started talking to their teachers, their mother, and other adults who knew the kid. And these second hand accounts of people who knew the child were considered to have the same legal weight as if they'd come directly from the child. This is problematic for a number of reasons. I think that as a journalist, you understand, right? Yeah, little bit, yeah. And it feeds into the satanic panic stuff we're going to talk about later. When the child was eventually questioned, the work was done by a social worker rather than a detective. And this may not sound like a problem because, like, if you have a social worker who specifically trained for this **** that sounds good because cops are not great at talking to kids all the time, right? Right. But there was a crime committed, right? So it's like you need more than the social worker, right? Like, geez, one would say. And also, the social workers were not well trained to do this. They weren't well trained on how to interrogate someone without asking leading questions, right? Police are, at least in theory, taught not to do that. Like, obviously that's a problematic 1 to do that. Yeah. But theoretically, a detective who's questioning a child is #1 not supposed to assume the allegations are true. They're not supposed to ask leading questions. They're supposed to try to have the kid talk about what happened. And the accused enjoys the presumption of innocence. And the social workers questioning these kids weren't trained that way. They were trained to believe that it's always the case that, like, this is this is this person is guilty, which is a problem for the person interrogating the kid in this situation, because they tended to push the child to talk about, like, things that the child might not otherwise have talked about. Now, again, not a huge problem at the time because virtually all of these allegations of child sexual abuse were true. But when the Satanic panic came about, the allegations were false and the social workers still did the same thing. They pushed kids. Yeah. You're seeing all of this infrastructure, their own thing against themselves. Yeah. Push this satanic thing forward, right? Exactly like so you're seeing all this kind of infrastructure that created that allows this to happen later. So by 1975, C setup had become so popular that the entire state of California adopted as the standard. Our friend Doctor Summit attended C set up training and was so taken by it but that he wrote a manifesto titled the Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation syndrome. In it, among other things. He pushed the idea that. Children never fabricate the kinds of explicit sexual manipulations they divulge in complaints or interrogations. As a result, they should always be believed, even if their story included fantastic wild details that seemed impossible. Again, like you're seeing the groundwork *** **** here. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's on its way. Yeah. By 1980, child sexual abuse was no longer a dark national secret. It was a topic widely discussed by Americans and featured in the media. And I'm going to quote again from Satan Silence, thanks to an alliance among feminists, therapists, and law enforcement officials. Was becoming possible for daughters to disclose their victimization and for fathers to admit their guilt and national media. From the New York Times to Playboy, the Ann Landers Encyclopedia, and Donahue, testimonials abounded from repentant fathers, newly asserted wives and girls regaining their dignity. Yet later research would reveal that many incest offenders also rebelled children outside their families, and they rape grown women as well. Further, there is evidence that regardless of what kind of treatment sex abusers get, as many as one in seven goes on to offend again. Ironically, then, politicians and child protectionists fervor. Keep fathers in families left many youngsters and women at risk of further abuse and by pushing Godfather offer confessions, the therapy model of sex abuse intervention replaced skilled forensics personnel with social workers and others who knew nothing about how to test the validity of criminal sex abuse charges and who unstintingly believe them all. So by 1980, all of the infrastructure we're going to need to let a satanic panic happen and to have the legal system in like further it is in place. Android didn't just come out of nowhere and built on without them, I guess, without trying to do that. But, like, I can see what you say. Like, it just became the perfect ground for it, right? Yeah. And obviously, like, **** Doctor Summit. But the vast majority of the people involved in the setting the system up are people whose motivations are the purest it could possibly be. They want to protect kids, right? They're trying. It's a new thing at the time. Exactly. Problem. But it's a new way to tackle it. Yeah. Yeah. And again, probably up to this point, the system still does more harm than good, because it was. It replaced, basically. Nothing, right? Right, But it's about to stop being a system that does more good than harm, right? Like that's that's about to change. So there's some more background we have to lay in 1979, Jerry Falwell and some other ******** founded the Moral majority, which was the first large scale Christian right wing political organization. This is the first time that the Christian right is like a block in politics, and it has been ever since. The moral majority was initially formed due to an opposition to Roe V Wade and to force an opposition to forced integration of Christian schools. They didn't want black people to be able to go to Christian colleges. That was a big part of Christian of them, very Christian of them. Extremely sad. Love thy neighbour, right. Wow. And it was Jerry Falwell of all people. I was shocked. Yeah. Yeah, very surprising stuff. So and like, yeah, there's there were other, a lot of other people, obviously. But yeah, the moral majority was fueled also by a sense of deep, deep anxiety because women are starting to work at this point, like full time, like it's becoming a very major thing. One of the things I didn't realize until I was doing this research actually is that during this period from like the 70s to the 80s, women, it becomes the norm for women. To work. But the average income of households doesn't really raise because, like, this is also at the time that workers protections and rights are collapsing and like, Reaganomics starts to take over in the 80s. So, like, more people. Like, you would think that having two incomes in a household would increase the amount of, like, disposable income people have, but it really didn't. And again, yeah, yeah. Great country. So in 1980, a psychologist named named Lawrence Pazder published a book about his wife and former patient Michelle Smith, which, you know. If your wife is a former patient as a therapist, you might not be a great therapist. Creepy alarm? Yeah. So her memoir Michelle remembers detailed the childhood of horrific occult sex abuse. Pastor claimed to have used hypnotic regression therapy to help his wife uncover buried memories of abuse at the hands of the Church of Satan. Pastor also claimed, with no evidence, that Anton Lavey's church wasn't the real Church of Satan and the one that molested his patient wife had existed for centuries. So. OK, and Michelle remembers is basically, so the claim she's making is that she became the victim of a satanic cult for several months during 1955 when she was a 5 year old, she was imprisoned by them. She she like had all these recollections, being tortured in houses and mausoleums and cemeteries, of being raped and sodomized with candles and being forced to **** on a Bible and on a crucifix, of seeing babies and adults murdered. Yeah, it's awesome because you know that to Christians of the day, like her being like, I I watched babies get murdered. It's the same as like I and I pooped on a Bible. Like, both equally bad devil things like the guy, like, with their memories, like little bit more, little bit more offensive. Yeah, shot in the Bible. We've got it. Yeah. She also had memories of having a devil's tail and horns surgically attached to her. Yeah, she there. She had memories of a cult attempt to kill a child and make it look like an accident by placing her in a car with a corpse and then crashing the vehicle. And this is said to have gone on for like close to a year until her faith, the fact that she was so Christian. Made the Satanists give up because they just couldn't couldn't turn her. Uh. And then she claimed that she forgot the experience for 20 years until she entered therapy with Doctor Pastor, who then became her husband. Now this was all lies, Jake. I feel like part of the therapy. He was like, we got the book. Yeah. Yeah. If you remember, we can sell a book. And I don't know, there's there's been a lot of writing on this too. I've done enough research to know how in on the con Michelle was, but I'm almost certain her her husband was in on the con or was it was a con on his behalf. Incredible people debunked the book immediately. For one thing, there's a picture of Michelle and her grade school yearbook that was taken during one of the months when she was supposed to be hidden, like locked in a house by Satanists, which you know. All of her neighbors and family members who knew her during this. Basically say like nothing out of the ordinary happened during her childhood. Certainly nothing satanic ritual molesty. The only abuse that Michelle endured for certain was at the hands of her therapist husband. The whole idea of repressed memories, uh, which now we got. We're laying a lot of groundwork here, so let's talk about where the ******* idea of repressed memories comes from. It goes back to the 1800s, when early psychologists decided that hysteria, which is what they called women having emotions in those days, came from someone suffering. Childhood trauma that was so terrible that they developed amnesia to dissociate from the event and. This is a mix of cause, like Freud is involved in this and it's not all ********. Dissociation is a thing that happens when you under you're dealing with PTSD, right? Like, we've all dealt with it. Like it's a ******* thing, but it doesn't involve forgetting the horrible thing that happened, right? Right. Just remember, you become blurry. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don't know. But it doesn't sound very real. Yeah, yeah. Like I definitely have had memories like that, like periods I don't remember during the the, the dealing with PTSD itself, but the actual trauma that. Caused it. I remember pretty darn well. Right? Yeah. And the fact that I don't remember other things was probably because I was like, drinking and abusing drugs massively during that. You know, that's cool to blackout, Robert. Yeah. Yeah. So there. Yeah. And, you know, you have to assume everyone was drunk in the 1800s, too. And they were definitely on cocaine because that's how Freud did all of his psychotherapy. So, yeah, that may have influenced thinking Freud, man. Yeah. So Freud decided that hysteria was inevitably caused by childhood sexual violation. And he pressured his female patients to tell him detailed stories of their abuse. And again, a lot of these were probably true, but also a lot of them weren't. And he convinced himself that these stories were hidden memories, at least for a while. He did eventually realize that a lot of the abuse stories his patients told him were, like, physically impossible because they were just, like outlandish fantasies. And he kind of dropped this idea that child that like emotional issues like mental illness as an adult was inevitably caused by, like, some sort of sexual trauma as a child. He did kind of drop that idea. But in the late 1970s, therapist started reviving his old theories. And among an influential subset of the field, repressed memory therapy became the go go to explanation for things like eating disorders and depression. Right? Like, you go to the psycho psychotherapist because you've got anorexia or whatever, and he's starts trying to recover memories of you being raped as a kid because you must have if you have anorexia, right? It couldn't be caused by anything else, right? And yeah, this was basically nonsense. And the problem about trying to recover? Implanted memories is that generally what actually happens is the therapist creates memories of things that never happened coming from a write up in the conversation. Now experimental psychologists have repeatedly demonstrated with ease which false memories can be implanted in a sizable proportion of the population under well controlled laboratory conditions, but it is undoubtedly the case that such false memories can arise spontaneously as well. In the context of psychotherapy, one of the techniques that has been shown to result in false memories is asking people to imagine events that never actually took place. It appears that eventually, and especially in people with good imaginations. The memory of the imagined event is misinterpreted as a memory for a real event. The use of hypnotic regression is a particularly powerful means to implant false memories. So this becomes. I've heard that before, though, like as a kid, there were things that I was certain was was like happened. And then I get older, I think. Hang on, that must have been a dream was like, there's no way it would have never that way, you know? And especially as a child, there's all sorts you could get confused about. Absolutely. And like a lot of this is like, this is part of the problem. This is part of why. Also, if you look at like eyewitness testimony, like generally sucks, actually. Like, people are very bad at being eyewitnesses because our ******* brains you all sorts of wild. Read it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Especially when there's like a traumatic experience, you know? Yeah. Where notes are so important. Exactly. That's why reporters take notes. And it's why you should never listen to anything anyone ever says. Just ******* put on headphones to block out all noise. Uh, ******* put on blinders so you can't see and just stumble through the world and you will not. Believe anything untrue. You will probably bump into things a lot, though. You're more fun though. Yeah, yeah, yes. Here's an ad for a product. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. 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So yeah, hypnotic regression and repressed memories. Mostly nonsense. Basically all nonsense. But it was considered to be pretty settled science at the time, not by like an overwhelming number of scientists, but by cops and judges and TV hosts and the kinds of psychologists who are good at talking to cops and judges and TV hosts. Right. Like, that's the group of people to whom this is settled science for. Well, actually credible research is like there seem to be problems with this. So Michelle remembers was a hugely influential book. Uh, it was treated as gospel. By a terrible number of people. And it actually became a standard textbook for social workers in the United States. Jesus, really? Yeah. A lot of show remembers. Yeah. It's not ******* good, man. Ohh dear. So Lawrence Pastor became a recognized legal expert and satanic ritual abuse which exploded into the mainstream as a real problem thanks to his book. So what we have in 1980 is a situation where evangelical Christian paranoia over the devil and the black. Arts leaps over and starts to infect mainstream society. This would come to have a terrible impact first on two families in Bakersfield, CA and now we're finally into the Satanic panic. Ready? You excited? Ready? Yeah, yeah, I'm so excited. It's it's ******* awesome. So these two families are the mccowans and the knife fans or Nickens, and I'm going to quote from a write up in that kind of goes over the basics of the case. The triggering incident occurred in 1980 when Becky Mckewen. Disclosed that her grandfather, Rod Phelps, had touched her inappropriately. The family doctor confirmed the abuse. No charges were laid. Becky's mother, Debbie Mckewen, arranged for her daughter to obtain counseling. But Debbie's stepmother, Marianne Barber, who is believed to have had a history of mental illness, felt that her stepdaughter granddaughters were not being sufficiently protected. She obtained the assistance of the Mothers of Bakersfield, a group concerned about child abuse. Jill Haddad took particular interest in the case. She was the spokesperson for the group and had many relatives working for local police forces. Miss Barbara claimed that Alvin and Debbie. Who? And were not good parents and that Debbie's daycare license should be revoked? She asked the Social Services Department to make a surprise inspection. The social worker, Betty Palco, found no major infractions and took no action to revoke the license. So again, no actual evidence of serious child abuse here. Although I will say that the Fewins weren't exactly Ace parents, because later that year they did take their two daughters on a supervised visit to see their allegedly abusive, abusive grandfather, and this caused Marianne to have a psychotic episode which sent her to the psychiatric ward at a local hospital. She eventually. Succeeded in getting custody of the kids and convincing county officials to file child endangerment charges against the mccowans. But because she was not at all well, Marianne took things a step further, and she had begun believing that the raccoons were part of a massive, insidious satanic sex ring in Kern County. As she told social workers, there is a group of people involved in molesting the girls. They're all in on it. So you have one and a case of actual abuse 2. Some parents who probably are not being as careful as they need to be around a guy who's dangerous and a. Woman who's maybe schizophrenic definitely is mentally ill and is hospitalized as a result of it. Who becomes convinced that, as opposed to a a single act of of child molestation by one guy, there's a massive conspiracy to molest all of the kids in town. And unfortunately for a **** load of people, the social workers in Bakersfield had been trained using the textbook, Michelle remembers. So when this very ill woman starts claiming that there's a massive network of satanic sex abusers in town, they believe her. And by the time the social worker sat down with the kids, Becky and Don, both kids, had spent months listening to their very, very sick step grandmother told them they had been the victims of a ring of ritual abusers. So these kids get repeatedly questioned and they confirm what they're they basically parrot what their step grandmother had told them to say. And over the months, the disclosures become, like, weirder and weirder. They claim that they had been hung from ceiling hooks, beaten with belts, rented to strangers in motels, and had been forced to act in kiddy **** movies. They claimed they were abused by a sex ring which involved the grandparents. Their parents, their fathers, brothers, friends of their parents, and the social worker who did the inspection, a coworker of their father and two, one named welfare workers. And all of these ******* people start catching charges and getting arrested and ****. And they're like just dynamites these people's lives, right? Like just just based on this one testimony. Yeah. Yeah. Based on this woman and these kids who had been in her care listening to her talk about. Yeah, yeah. But it's like, you know, the thing I always think about things like this, it's like racism, right? No one is born a racist. Kids become. Races from hearing what they hear from race parents usually. So it's the same kind of concept, right? They'll just repeat that ****. Exactly. They're kids. Like if you tell them, if you tell you, if you tell you're like 3 year old over and over, you were raped by the devil. Like they will eventually believe it. Yeah, alright, I guess I was, yes. Yeah. So the social worker and their father's coworker eventually had their charges dropped after their lawyer introduced Marianne's medical records into the trial and was like, this woman has psychotic episodes and his paranoid and probably schizophrenic. Perhaps we need more than just her testimony, right? Not that those people can't testify when they're the victims of abuse. But if you have them making lurid, wild allegations and there's no physical evidence for any of it, perhaps you should not trust those allegations. You know? Maybe. Yeah. So this convinced the DA to try to drop those two people's charges, but then the medical records were sealed and forbidden from being used by the defense for the mccowans and the muffins, which is. Something else, because again, all of the cops have bought into this too, so I'm going to quote again from that that write up and quote. The NIF and sons, Brian and Brandon, were repeatedly and suggestively interrogated, though. Interviewers would describe a sex act and then act that asked the child to confirm or deny that it happened. When questioned separately, each was told, falsely, that their brother had disclosed abuse by both the parents and the rest of the sex ring. Brian and Brandon claimed that they were yelled at and terrorized by the interrogators. They were told that they could go home again. They testified about the abuse. These manipulative and coercive interrogation methods are now known to generate false allegations. No ******* duh, right? Yeah. Wow. Yeah. You don't say. Yeah, yeah. Questioning in Bakersfield went far beyond the definition of leading and was in fact, coercive threatening and brainwashing of young children. This is like a legal finding later. Unfortunately, in early 1983, basic research into child interview techniques was in its early stages. Direct questioning and manipulation of children was common practice. The Niffen Boys finally caved in under the pressure and said that. Use had occurred so. Yeah. During a surprise supervised visit, Brandon Diffin was asked by his grandmother whether the charges were true. He answered no. None of those things ever happened. The grandmother was arrested for discussing the case with her grandchild. When she brought this up, when she said like, hey, he told me that he would was lying because the interviewer was terrorized him. So like he tells his grandmother, they made me give a false confession. She goes to the judge and she gets arrested and is banned from testifying at trial and has her right to having custody visits like terminated for years because again, all of the people. The legal system believe all this **** and have to assume like, oh, she's got to be part of it because she's trying to like, claim Mark. It's so it's unbelievably ****** **. They just they just, ooh, great. Yeah. Right. Conspiracy with each other, right. It's ******* amazing. Yeah. Yeah. It's fascinating actually. Yeah. It's it's incredibly like there is a lot that, like, that is and should be studied about this period of time because it says so much. That's very frightening about human psychology. It's that crowd mentality, right. Like, it's very scary. Yeah. Yeah, Yep, exactly. Like, it's a lot of the same stuff that makes fascism work, right? It's just like the way people are and the way people act in groups and the way people act when they are in a group and all get scared of the same thing, right? Exactly. Yeah, yeah. So both Niffen boys later recanted entirely and stated that they've been coerced to testify. And they testified again in 1996 after the end of the Satanic panic and were able to convince a judge to overturn both sets of convictions. But again, like the kniffen, like their parents spent like a decade plus in prison. Along with the raccoons, like like four people in prison for years and years. You're joking. No, it it's like it's unbearably ****** **. Yeah, there's a partial happy ending here because the tiffins, like once the kids like, realized what had happened to that, been done to them and testified like they got to be a family with their parents again. The Magoons never did, because both Becky and Dawn continued to maintain that their testimony was true, and it's almost certain that both children had false memories forced on them as a result of improper interrogation. Methods. But the family never ******* healed. It's deeply bad. That's the side of the Satanic Panic Rd that you don't really hear a lot about. It's like, it's kind of funny, the whole thing. Like, Oh yeah, it's so stupid. But then, like, I was doing research for this podcast so the other day and it's like, wow. Like, I mean, one woman in the Italian case I was looking at, like, a mother. She just killed herself. And it was just like, she just couldn't handle it, right? It was like, yeah, all based on literally nothing. Nothing at all. It ruins people. Yeah. I mean, the same thing in a different way. Happening with Q Anon, right? Like, you have hundreds of families at least that have been torn apart by this sort of stuff. It's ******. It's super ****** **. And it kind of, if you kind of look at what happens with the book Michelle remembers and how it helps both spark the satanic panic and how it infests, you know, this, this system for dealing with child abuse that we talked about. It's almost like an infection that comes into it and and deal all these problems in it suddenly become actively toxic. And yeah, it did not stay limited to Kern County out near Bakersfield. The case of the Macon and the Niffen families was just the beginning. In 1983, not long after their after their initial conviction of Vincent, another part of Southern California, we're about to take the nation by storm. And next episode we're going to talk about the Mcmartin preschool trial, which is the longest, most expensive trial in U.S. history, and one of the most ****** ** things I've ever read about in my entire life. You happy, Jake? You ready? Yeah, yeah. Psyched up, man. Let's ******* do it, that is. Yeah, you want to plug some ****? Yeah, man, it's just the podcast, right? Like, you clearance is out now, obviously, with you guys, Popular Front is always around popular And one thing I do want to say, though, is, like, especially considering this topic, I've done a lot of research into various kinds of child abuse scandals, and The thing is, they do exist, and even some of the more lurid, insane stories have happened. For real, but on the way there. Where it's like it's nowhere near as ritualistic or movie like, you know? So there there's a great example that people should look into, like the Monster of Belgium, a guy called Mark Detro and like, he would just had this horrific kind of child abuse scandal thing where he was like kidnapping children for hire. And it involves like some of the most. Yeah, it involves some of the most high level politicians. This isn't a conspiracy like, but it's one of the least known ones because stupid stuff like this gets the hearing right the more. Sational, the more easy to understand satanic stuff is what people are queuing and often put out. Meanwhile, people are doing very dark things and it kind of goes by the wayside because yeah, obviously real life is a little bit more kind of intricate and confusing, you know? And it's it's a real shame. It's this ******* thing that happens in the satanic panic too, where like, no, like, we could all there is a conspiracy to traffic people who are legally children for the rich and powerful. Like it absolutely happened. It probably still is, but like. Focus on that. Like, not this, not Michelle's memory or whatever the hell it's called. Well, it's weird. It's interesting to me that, like, the things that go viral are always like the focus on tiny, tiny kids, which are very it's very uncommon for like 2 and three and four year olds to be molested. Yeah, it's like, it's like 15, like, yeah, it's yeah, men. ******* teenagers, right? Like, that's the thing that's bad. Like, it's right. Yeah, terrible. And it it it doesn't make it any better. But again, it's like, this is the issue, right? It's like when you have people like. One specifically, one of our biggest problems with them is that they make people just go, ohh, that's just queuing on stuff, and a lot of it is just nonsense, qanon stuff. But in between that there's things that really need to be looked out for the for the sake of the victims, you know? And it's like, ohh thanks, you've completely destroyed any relevance here because you're making things up all the time. It's yeah. I mean I get why like it just came out that Virginia Jeffrey I think her name is pronounced who's one of the Epstein's victims his gotten through to now and like she's the one I can't blame for it cause it's like yeah you were part of a giant sex abuse like conspiracy right and but even that now it makes you think, yeah it's like not to say you wouldn't believe it, but now some people would just go ohh exactly. I've heard it's to do with queue and they won't look any. It's ******. It's all. It's everything's horrible. Thanks for listening to the podcast. People. We'll be back on Thursday with some of the worst stories you've ever heard in your life. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting. Dreams let's break our handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioural discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio, this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. The story about the man who simply become known as. Lamaster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.