Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.649963
Title: Satanic abuse, false memories, weird beliefs and moral panics
Author: Waterhouse, R. T.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 2570
Awarding Body: City University London
Current Institution: City, University of London
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Abstract:
This critical analysis focuses on my investigations over the past almost 24 years into what I term the ‘Satanic ritual abuse myth’ – or ‘Satanic panic’ – the controversy over recovered versus false memories, and, more recently, the validity of the diagnosis of multiple personality disorder (MPD), now known as dissociative identity disorder (DID). This reflective analysis, written for the PhD by prior publication, explores how my journalism has made an original and significant contribution to knowledge in my own field, investigative journalism, and how it relates to – and has contributed to - the literature in several academic disciplines – the psychology of false memories, the anomalistic psychology of weird beliefs, and the sociology of moral panics. I was one of the first researchers internationally to conclude there was no physical, forensic evidence that Satanic abuse existed. My ‘Making of a Satanic Myth’ feature, published in the Independent on Sunday in 1990, has been cited in the literature, along with key investigations since. I describe the methodology and conduct of research during my continuing investigations into the origins and spread of the ‘Satanic panic’ and related controversies of false memories and multiple personalities. The dissertation itself adds significantly to academic theories and historical accounts of these events from the 1980s until today. Through a wide reading of the literature I have pieced together a forensic chronology which provides a unique overview of a particular era of striking and peculiar phenomena. On reflection, I conclude that my investigations provide evidence for the concept of moral panics created through an ‘explosive amplification’ of anecdote, social and official concern about issues such as child abuse, spread by ‘claims-makers’ and a globalised mass media. Although sporadic claims of Satanic abuse continue I conclude there is still no corroborating evidence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.649963  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences
Share: