Two Recent Films that Promote Satanic Panic

Jeremiah Films has released a documentary entitled PopCulture Paganism, taking a right-handed swipe at the teen vampire trend, which they call “Neovampirism”. The filmmakers try to lump it in with Paganism as well as New Agey stuff like The Secret. The PopPaganism page features a glut of links to crimes and outrages that have pretty much nothing to do with the topics of the documentary. This film is apparently unconnected to the 13 other anti-Pagan films J.F. has made.

As you probably know, Jeremiah Films is the low-budget Christian Right/conspiranoia production company that churned out The Clinton Chronicles in the ’90s. Despite plugs on The 700 Club, the video ended up losing money after J.F. CEO Pat Matrisciana lost a defamation lawsuit. Since then, J.F. has stuck mainly to safer targets: Harry Potter, Mormons, and of course Freemasons.

The other film is a low-budget horror flick about a Satanic cult that ritually sacrifices random folks, aptly titled Satanic Panic. This wouldn’t be a big deal on its own, but unfortunately the movie is being promoted as “inspired by true accounts”, just like The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Haunting in Connecticut, and The Fourth Kind (which was really just a hoax). The film’s official website explains that the real Satanic Panic of the ’80s was sparked by a “rash” of unexplained disappearances throughout the U.S. This is not true. Disappearances played a very minor role in the hysteria to come, and at any rate the disappearance rate was not elevated in any noticeable way at that time. People were simply paying more attention to disappearances after the high-profile cases of Etan Patz, Adam Walsh, and other children.
Besides that, it strikes me as rather inappropriate to base a schlocky slasher film (complete with an ugly hillbilly) on the testimony of unbalanced people who, for the most part, really believed they had been tortured by Satanists as children. Real Satanic Panic ruined many lives, families, and minds. It’s not entertaining.

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