My grandfather belonged to a secret cult. He and other prominent members of our community met in secret to worship Satan at our high school. I still get flashbacks of their ceremonies: the cross hung upside down, the dead animals, and the room with pregnant women who were giving birth to infants. The newborns were sacrificed to Satan, and everyone drank their blood. Mom forced me to go to these meetings, even though she knew that Grandpa and the others had sex with me and the other kids.

This grim tale isn't borrowed from a paperback horror or an episode of The X-Files. Things like this really happen. Or, at least, they happen in the minds of self-described victims of ritual abuse. These people whisper their painful stories into the ears of spiritual warfare counselors and therapists. When Christianity Today spoke with several victims, they told of dehumanizing sexual molestation, brainwashing, and other torture by their closest relatives who allegedly belonged to a secretive but widespread satanic cult.

Spiritual warfare counselors realize that many people who tell these stories have dissociative identity disorder (see "Alter Possession," p. 51). In many cases, the disorder is said to have resulted from a severe childhood trauma, often ritual sadism. That's why spiritual warfare counselors attend workshops on ritual abuse.

Most of them, including C. Fred Dickason, and some Christian psychologists, such as Jerry Mungadze and Larry Crabb Jr., believe that some satanic ritual abuse (SRA) tales may be true. But many therapists—including John E. Kelley, director of the Biola Counseling Center—dispute the accuracy of most so-called recovered memories.

The boom in SRA reports began with the release of a book. Thousands of people began ...

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