For reasons unknown to me, I've recently developed something of a fascination with these hysterical media types of the past that sought to demonized and destroy music, P&P RPG's, video games, or any other relatively harmless forms of escapist entertainment they perceived as a threat. In the 1980's the godfather of these witch hunts was a man I'm sure many of you have heard of, cursed the name of, or generally despised; Geraldo Rivera. Geraldo has had his fair share of media mishaps (Google Geraldo's Vault) but one of the most detrimental was his involvement in perpetrating Satanic Panic.
For those of you too young to remember, Satanic Panic was a dark period of the 80's (When wasn't though?) in which there was a literal outpouring of claims involving ritual sacrifice, child murders, rape, self-mutilation -- the list goes on and on, but all of these things were linked in one way or another to devil worshiping cult and to some extent heavy metal.
All over the nation kids were having their records and 8-tracks taken away by their parent, metal musicians were put on trial by the media and in extreme case the courts as well. Television programs documenting the supposed crimes were a dime a dozen, books and "scientific" papers were written and everyday there were more and reports of satanic ritual abuse or music-inspired suicide. It was a mess.
The kicker is... it was all bogus. There weren't ever any bodies discovered that suggested all this was going on on as big of a scale as was claimed, reports began to surface that many of the children reporting involvement in the "rituals" were either flat lying or being coached, rape victims were simply and sadly being attacked and taken advantage of by sick people who could use the old "the devil made me do it" defense and be believed. In addition television shows like the one you can see above would seek out unfortunate people with mental illness to exploit their story and use it to their own crooked ends. In short, there is an overwhelmingly abundant lack of evidence to suggest anything along the lines of satanic ritual abuse ever occurred.
There can be no doubt that there were atrocities committed during this period -- just as there have been since the beginning of time! Logistically speaking it's impossible to say that none of these have or will be done by people that listen to heavy metal or "worship the devil", though I'm fairly certain many of them will also dive honda's, own toothbrushes, and possibly read the same books. While many of them may do it in the names of any one of those things, that doesn't mean any one of those thing made them do it.
I have faith in our readership, so I think most of you are smart folk that know all or most of this already. It has
very little no relevance to anything really, but has been on my mind a lot lately so I thought I'd just get it out there. With my diatribe I've included all nine parts of Geraldo's trite hour and a half long special, Exposing Satan’s Underground, because at the very least it ought to be good for a few lulz, and at best make everyone examine under a new light the things or people they may blindly persecute and belittle, or believe and coddle. Sic Semper Geraldo!
*I ought to note just for the sake of the big picture that Geraldo, despite being discredited on more than one occasion, is still on TV (Fox News Network, surprised?) viewed by many as a legitimate journalist, slinging mud like a pig with convulsions, and still rocking that amazing 'stache.
Chief Editor and Writer for Metal CallOut. Favorite sub genre of heavy metal includes Black, Death, Folk and Traditional. Josh can be found at Google+.