IPT Book Reviews

Title: In Pursuit of Satan: The Police and the Occult   Positive Review Positive Review Positive Review
Author: Robert D. Hicks
Publisher: Prometheus Books 1991

Prometheus Books
700 East Amherst Street
Buffalo, New York 14215
(716) 837-2475


This 416 page book examines the claim that there is a network of satanic cults that sexually abuse children, commit infanticide and cannibalism, and engage in bizarre and sadistic sexual orgies.  Hicks gives the evidence for both sides in depth and discusses many topics related to the controversy.  He concludes that there is no evidence for the existence of a widespread satanic conspiracy.


This is a "must read" book for anyone who is involved in issues of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse in children or adults who were victimized as children.  It is one of two books published this year that provides an objective grasp of all aspects of the satanic ritual abuse controversy.  Mr. Hicks, who is a criminal justice analyst with a master's degree in anthropology, demonstrates an ability to ferret out the facts about the phenomena associated with satanic ritual abuse.  In addition to his excellent grasp of sociological, anthropological, psychological, and criminological aspects of his subject, he carefully identifies the players in this controversy.  They are also well researched.  The standpoint of the book is that of a responsible skeptic who searched for any evidence either pro or con, and it should encourage further research and investigation at a more sophisticated level in the future.  The focus is the underlying law enforcement model and its generation of methods that cannot confirm or disconfirm incidents on an empirical basis.  The thought processes that are promoted by the "cult cops" are then taken up by therapists, some of whom may not feel that evidence about external events is either important or necessary to do their jobs.  This volume should be in the reference library of any law enforcement professional, attorney or forensic mental health professional working in behalf of victims, perpetrators, or the mistakenly accused.

Reviewed by Martha L. Rogers, Tustin, California.

Order this book: Hardcover

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