Wednesday, November 02, 2005

McMartin Preschool Graduates

Anybody remember the McMartin Preschool trials? The cesspool of Satanism, drugs and child molestation? Well, one of the kids who testified has now grown up and says that he was pressured to lie.

I remember thinking to myself, "I'm not going to get out of here unless I tell them what they want to hear."

So, it wasn't true? But, isn't that beside the point? We need to believe in Satanic cannibal pedophiles and wild pathologies for some reason. I'm guessing that this is an uncomfortable side effect of our increased obsessive fascination with our children. As parents hover over their kids, micromanaging their lives, and trapping them in a gentle asylum, we need desperately to believe in the omnipresence of child molesters and other monsters to mark off how far is too far and to justify our increased surveilance. Every generation has its hysterias, and it's fairly revealing that the 1980s slowly forgot about the Soviets and returned to the fear of witches.

8 comments:

Becky said...

This almost reads as if you believe there is no such thing - no danger to children from pedophiles, etc. Which I know all too well is not the case. I agree that parents can take things too far, and that some prosecutions (especially the one you reference) smacked of hysterical paranoia, but please don't dismiss the very real danger that is out there.

Rufus said...

Sorry if it reads that way.
I'll change it a bit.

What I was referring to was the case in specific and the series of very similar trials in the 1980s aimed at wiping out the alleged underground satanic pedophile network.

What I don't take seriously is the accusation of a coven of satan-worshipping pedophiles abusing children and killing and eating some of them.

Sorry for the confusion.

Rufus said...

Okay, I've re-written a bit.

Pantiespantiespanties said...

Have you seen Capturing the Friedmans? That documentary describes what you just said - the need to find demons within our midst, so we have something to project our fears onto.

-Hiromi

Rufus said...

It was an odd time. I remember going to group therapy when I was about 15 and the therapist was absolutely convinced that all of our problems would eventually be traced back to repressed memories of being molested. No matter what we were there for, she wanted us to "search our memories" for sex abuse. The Satanic panic was just a part of it in the 80s.

But, I guess what I was also getting at was how strangely fixated on children the mass media was in the 80s. It's that Steven Spielberg pedophile aesthetic. Nearly every movie he makes is about an adult male who gets to go on adventures with little children far away from the rules of adult society. The typical pedophile fantasy, but it plays very well to mainstream America. I guess what I was getting at was that, as mass media became more unhealthy in it's little kid fixation, the popular image of "actual, real" child molesters became much more way out and bizarre. They weren't just fixated on little kids like Steven Spielberg is; they were Satanists who network to drink little kid blood.

Thankfully, now, we have terrorists to worry about.

Becky said...

Thanks, I appreciate it. I guess that topic is a little too close to home for me to have any perspective on it. Not the Satanism though. That's just bizzare.

Rufus said...

Yeah, I felt bad because it did read as if I was saying that there are no child molesters, which is a pretty awful thing to suggest.

I mean, there are Satanists too. But, what was so incredible in the 80s was the willingness to believe in vast conspiracies of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who were constructing vast networks to facilitate mass child abuse, and then brainwashing the children who lived to forget it all.

Capturing the Friedmans is indeed a deeply disturbing movie. I suspect that the father was guilty of something, but not nearly what he and the son were arrested for.

laurie said...

I do believe the day care abuse cases grow from hysteria of the parents. However, it is not because they are micromanaging their children's lives. That seems an odd statement on the face of it, as you are talking about kids who are NOT with the parents most of their waking hours.

I believe the hysteria about day care abuse grew from the guilt parents RIGHTLY feel at putting young children in the care of strangers. It is damaging to the children even if no sexual abuse occurs, day care is damaging to young kids even if the day care is of stellar quality (NICHD data.) Therefore, parents got hysterical because they were hurting their children and couldn't face it, so they went along with wierd tales of other people hurting their kids.