Archive for September, 2015

Conviction of Things Not Seen: The Uniquely American Myth of Satanic Cults

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

“Satanism lacks a Jones or Koresh. Satanism has no Jonestown, no Waco, no Kool-Aid, no casual point of reference. This is because Satanic cults, as imagined in popular culture, do not exist. Still, some places across the country—West Memphis, Arkansas; Manhattan Beach, California; Edenton, North Carolina; Austin, Texas—belong to a brotherhood of cities united not by the stunned, silent grief of a tragedy like Waco’s, but by the shame of having left innocent families’ lives in ruin in the fervent pursuit of an imaginary evil.”

Read the full article by Dan Shewan in Pacific Standard.

The Pointless Banishment of Sex Offenders

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

“Protecting children from sexual abuse is, of course, a paramount concern. But there is not a single piece of evidence that these laws actually do that.”

Read the editorial in the New York Times.

Great Review of We Believe the Children

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

“Sure there was no evidence. The dead animals weren’t found. The missing and murdered children don’t seem to have been missing or murdered. The pornographic films (or the studios where they were made) weren’t discovered. The gouged out eyeballs and lopped off body parts don’t seem actually to have been gouged or lopped. But the press dutifully (and enthusiastically) reported as true. And juries often believed.

“Because like Julie Bates, nobody could believe that little kids would lie. At least not about something really awful being done to them. And after all, the more you had to threaten them for not telling or reward them for telling, the more obviously true the allegations.”

Read the full review by Jeff Gamso, Ohio criminal defense lawyer/