||Breaking the Circle of Satanic Ritual Abuse
||Comp Care Publishers, © 1992
Comp Care Publishers
2415 Annapolis Lane
Minneapolis, MN 55441
The author of this book, who is writing under a pseudonym, claims to have been a
victim of satanic ritual abuse in his childhood and has spent years in therapy
and twelve step programs recovering from this trauma. His
265-page book consists of 23 short chapters and 4 appendices, including a
chapter entitled "Twelve Step Ritual Abuse Groups." The book is simple, easy to
understand, written in large, easy to read print. It presents many case histories
from "survivors," drawings of cult symbols, and lists of symptoms to aid in
diagnosing ritual abuse. These symptoms are extremely inclusive — i.e., fear of
circles, overreaction to violent films, problems with sex, fear of authority
rebellion against authority, exaggerated codependency characteristics, use of
alcohol, avoidance of alcohol, sleep disorders, eating disorders, allergies,
phobia about snakes, using red and black in art therapy, fear of one's birthday,
childhood bed wetting, depression, and black and white thinking. Behaviors
engaged in by the alleged cults are described in detail, along with the
recruitment practices. Treatment strategies are discussed, including the twelve
step program that has been adapted for ritual abuse survivors.
At the end he presents a list of therapy resources for ritual abuse along with
an extremely limited and one-sided bibliography.
The author presents no corroborating evidence of the existence of these cults
and completely ignores the ever-growing skeptical literature. All of the
allegations in the case histories are accepted uncritically and Ryder assumes
that ritual satanic cults are widespread and that many satanists are lawyers,
judges, police officials, and other community leaders.
At several points, Ryder's beliefs and claims appear frankly paranoid. For
example, he accepts the claim that satanists are in high positions and thus can
influence public policy. He notes that the fear of infiltration by cult
perpetrators is a constant concern for the members of the twelve steps groups. He believes that cult members follow survivors to trigger the "code of silence"
programming. He thinks that cult members infiltrate the case loads of the
survivors' therapists in order to file trumped-up malpractice suits.
This book is not useful for any professional except as an example of just how
farfetched are the beliefs of those who believe in the satanic cult conspiracy.
Reviewed by LeRoy Schultz, Professor of
Social Work, West Virginia University.