The conspiracy theory named QAnon has risen to considerable prominence in our nation with many, including members of our government believing in the theory to various degrees. It’s beliefs are complicated and long reaching, but generally, QAnon believers claim that world governments, religious organizations, financial organizations, as well as other things are being run by a group of elites that are Satanic pedophiles. They also believe that Donald Trump was trying to combat this group of elites, and that these people would eventually face justice in a day referred to as “The Storm”. While QAnon itself started out on the imageboard website 4chan, some of its beliefs are not exactly new.
There have been numerous conspiracy theories with similar ideas such as Pizzagate. Pizzagate was a conspiracy theory that came to prominence in 2016 which falsely claimed that emails leaked from the Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager contained messages that detailed a child human trafficking ring. This conspiracy theory led to a North Carolina man to “self investigate” the theory, by shooting up the Comet Ping Pong, a pizzeria supposedly involved in the theory. However, the belief that children were being abused by high institutions is not new to Pizzagate either.
In the 1980s a moral panic often referred to as the “satanic panic”, swept the nation. The panic was over allegations that widespread sexual abuse with occult and Satanic themes were occurring in schools all around the nation. A memoir named: Michelle Remembers written by a controversial psychologist named Lawrence Padzer details a case where he supposedly managed to obtain repressed memories of ritualistic abuse through hypnosis. Almost immediately after its release, the book was met with criticism and debunked, but media praise helped propel the fear of ritualistic sexual abuse into the mainstream. Further exacerbating the situation was the number of subsequent psychologists asking children questions that were designed to fit a narrative of abuse. Other accusations of abuse were that children were being used in pornography rings and even being prostituted.
These allegations, referred to as satanic ritual abuse, were almost always false as no forensic or other physical evidence failed to bring anything up. However, there were real victims such as the faculty of the McMartin Preschool in which many of the staff and faculty were accused. It was not until about seven years later that the last McMartin staff members were dropped of all charges. Other ritualistic abuse cases also existed around the nation with some ending in jail time before being released.