By David Frankfurter
Outsiders to the Q-Anon conspiracy system evolving over the past few years may be confused by its references to Satanic rites in which children are supposedly abused. Of course, there’s never been the slightest evidence of murderous, child-abusing Satanic cults, despite extensive forensic investigations (by the FBI, in fact) back in the 1980s and 1990s. But in the world of Q-Anon conspiracy, Satanism is one facet of—indeed, the motivation for—a vast conspiracy of elites to exploit children through trafficking, sexual abuse, and rape.
The imputation of Satanism to secretive cabals seems to come out of nowhere—or perhaps out of late medieval superstition. Yet, even if they have roots in medieval and early modern notions of ritual crimes perpetrated by Jews and witches, modern allegations of Satanic ritual abuse in fact only go back to the 1980s in America and the U.K.
Although the last popular panic about Satanic ritual abuse died down in the 1990s, the mythical image of children abducted, abused, and ceremonially sacrificed still has the power to inflame audiences. In 2016 one North Carolina believer was so enraged by the idea—spread on the internet—that children were being “ritually” abused and sacrificed beneath a popular Washington D.C. pizza parlor that he drove up to liberate them, armed with an assault rifle. Still today Q-Anon culture maintains a belief that international elites, including both Hilary Clinton and Rihanna, are operating a massive child-abduction scheme whose goals range from sex-slavery to abuse and sacrifice in the context of Satanic ceremonies.
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