Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s

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9781903254868: Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s

In the 1980s, it seemed impossible to escape Satan’s supposed influence. Everywhere you turned, there were warnings about a widespread evil conspiracy to indoctrinate the vulnerable through the media they consumed. This percolating cultural hysteria, now known as the “Satanic Panic,” not only sought to convince us of devils lurking behind the dials of our TVs and radios and the hellfire that awaited on book and video store shelves, it also created its own fascinating cultural legacy of Satan-battling VHS tapes, audio cassettes and literature. Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s offers an in-depth exploration of how a controversial culture war played out during the decade, from the publication of the memoir Michelle Remembers in 1980 to the end of the McMartin “Satanic Ritual Abuse” Trial in 1990.

Satanic Panic features new essays and interviews by 20 writers who address the ways the widespread fear of a Satanic conspiracy was both illuminated and propagated through almost every pop culture pathway in the 1980s, from heavy metal music to Dungeons & Dragons role playing games, Christian comics, direct-to-VHS scare films, pulp paperbacks, Saturday morning cartoons, TV talk shows and even home computers. The book also features case studies on Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth and Long Island “acid king” killer Ricky Kasso. From con artists to pranksters and moralists to martyrs, the book captures the untold story of how the Satanic Panic was fought on the pop culture frontlines and the serious consequences it had for many involved.

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About the Author:

KIER-LA JANISSE is the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Spectacular Optical, founder of The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies and author of the books House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films and A Violent Professional: The Films of Luciano Rossi, as well as co-editor of Spectacular Optical’s first book, Kid Power!

Since 1999 Paul Corupe has shared his passion for Canada’s film history at Canuxploitation.com, a site recognized as the essential source for uncovering the forgotten films of Canada’s past. He regularly writes about genre film and Canadian cinema in publications including Rue Morgue magazine and Take One: Film and Television in Canada, and has appeared in several documentaries about Canadian film.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

I was eight years old when the hysteria-inducing “memoir” Michelle Remembers was published in 1980, but the Satanic Panic first touched my life by way of an uncle who moonlit as a supplements writer for Dungeons & Dragons―which we were warned to never speak about in mixed company―and my mother’s refusal to buy the gel toothpaste that beckoned me from a torrent of rotating commercials promising “a new Crest flavor children will love!” Our household brand, Colgate, had not yet caught onto the gel market, but mom was steadfast in her decision. Without a hint of irony, she explained that we could not buy Crest because it was a Procter & Gamble product, and “they worship the Devil.” As proof of this, she cited the company’s logo, which supposedly boasted a barely-veiled 666.

Many of the essays in this book recount tales of apathetic or lost teens turning to heavy music, extreme movies and role-playing games as a means of escaping a confusing and overwhelming world. For my own part, this included playing with guns, flirting with Nazi iconography and an obsession with serial killers, none of which were considered acceptable pastimes by the various social groups I tried in vain to latch onto. This combination of aimlessness and morbidity that characterized many teens of the era was alarming to parents because they felt it opened up their kids to dark compulsions and temptations. But for parents unable to think of solutions or to accept accountability, a scapegoat as tangible as the Devil proved too tempting in itself.

Even though the media freely bandied around the name of Anton LaVey as the personification of the dark force that had ensnared children and teenagers worldwide, these exaggerated fears had virtually nothing to do with the actual Church of Satan and its adherents as much as a fictional brand of Satanism cooked up by fraudulent “experts.” Ironically, if there had been a Satanic conspiracy, every parent and well-meaning preacher in North America would have been playing right into it. They created a ridiculous fervor, provoking an inevitable backlash that denounced the entire Panic as the decade came to a close. And both this hysteria and the response had their respective casualties.

Keeping this in mind, we approached this book from a fairly neutral standpoint, allowing our authors to express their own opinions but being mindful of the lives that were harmed the first time around and being cautious not to encourage history to repeat itself.

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Descripción FAB Press, United Kingdom, 2016. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the 1980s, it seemed impossible to escape Satan s supposed influence. Everywhere you turned, there were warnings about a widespread evil conspiracy to indoctrinate the vulnerable through the media they consumed. This percolating cultural hysteria, now known as the Satanic Panic, not only sought to convince us of devils lurking behind the dials of our TVs and radios and the hellfire that awaited on book and video store shelves, it also created its own fascinating cultural legacy of Satan-battling VHS tapes, audio cassettes and literature. Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s offers an in-depth exploration of how a controversial culture war played out during the decade, from the publication of the memoir Michelle Remembers in 1980 to the end of the McMartin Satanic Ritual Abuse Trial in 1990. Satanic Panic features new essays and interviews by 20 writers who address the ways the widespread fear of a Satanic conspiracy was both illuminated and propagated through almost every pop culture pathway in the 1980s, from heavy metal music to Dungeons Dragons role playing games, Christian comics, direct-to-VHS scare films, pulp paperbacks, Saturday morning cartoons, TV talk shows and even home computers. The book also features case studies on Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth and Long Island acid king killer Ricky Kasso. From con artists to pranksters and moralists to martyrs, the book captures the untold story of how the Satanic Panic was fought on the pop culture frontlines and the serious consequences it had for many involved. Nº de ref. de la librería AAT9781903254868

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Descripción FAB Press, United Kingdom, 2016. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the 1980s, it seemed impossible to escape Satan s supposed influence. Everywhere you turned, there were warnings about a widespread evil conspiracy to indoctrinate the vulnerable through the media they consumed. This percolating cultural hysteria, now known as the Satanic Panic, not only sought to convince us of devils lurking behind the dials of our TVs and radios and the hellfire that awaited on book and video store shelves, it also created its own fascinating cultural legacy of Satan-battling VHS tapes, audio cassettes and literature. Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s offers an in-depth exploration of how a controversial culture war played out during the decade, from the publication of the memoir Michelle Remembers in 1980 to the end of the McMartin Satanic Ritual Abuse Trial in 1990. Satanic Panic features new essays and interviews by 20 writers who address the ways the widespread fear of a Satanic conspiracy was both illuminated and propagated through almost every pop culture pathway in the 1980s, from heavy metal music to Dungeons Dragons role playing games, Christian comics, direct-to-VHS scare films, pulp paperbacks, Saturday morning cartoons, TV talk shows and even home computers. The book also features case studies on Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth and Long Island acid king killer Ricky Kasso. From con artists to pranksters and moralists to martyrs, the book captures the untold story of how the Satanic Panic was fought on the pop culture frontlines and the serious consequences it had for many involved. Nº de ref. de la librería AAT9781903254868

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