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Rupert And Rituals

June 28, 1992

Like any sect of true believers, the promulgators of satanism paranoia deal in faith, not fact. Like the alternate universe of UFO buffs, the "defenders of the faith" feed not from truth but from tracts handed out by itinerate fundamentalist preachers and others who make a living reprinting baseless "facts" about this so-called widespread activity.

It is obvious, in the wake of the McMartin debacle, that children can and do lie, particularly when prompted by well-meaning, wrong-headed adults. And both children and adults often cloak their own psychosexual traumas in fantasy.

That supposedly rational adults could buy into this netherworld of occultism on the basis of the unsubstantiated ravings of a disturbed 9-year-old and the tragic but distinctly non-satanic discovery of a dead infant shows what a tenuous hold some people have on lucidity.

TED NEWSOM

Woodland Hills

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