Thursday, January 09, 2014

Forgotten witch hunts

Instapundit on the Satanic Ritual Abuse hysteria

This was, of course, only one of numerous such dumb cases. But “dumb” is too kind a word. Evil might be better. And in asking this question “Why did psychotherapists and investigators conclude that these fantastic allegations were true?” it’s worth noting that the supposedly scientific nature of our current age doesn’t seem to provide much protection against mass hysteria, with tragic consequences.
From the comments, a point worth remembering:

The Travis County District Attorney at the time was Ronnie Earle. Tom DeLay could offer some commentary about what happened to the Kellers.
Earle was not unique as a progressive willing to jettison justice in pursuit of hysterical headlines. Massachusetts's Martha Coakley remained fiercely committed to persecuting Gerald Amirault. Her predecessor, Scott Harshbarger, also pursued the witchhunt beyond all limits of reason. Instead of opprobrium, he was rewarded with the presidency of Common Cause.

The laughable intellectual foundations for the "expert testimony" in these cases was brilliantly exposed by Frederick Crews. Yet, prosecutors and cops happily relied on it to ruin innocent people's lives.

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