Being a guy who was born in the 1990s, I don’t really think about it if I see a badly spelt gang name or a pentagram spray-painted on a high school wall, but would you believe me if I said that there was a time when suburban American families were absolutely terrified of satanic cults? It’s true; Occult rituals were, at a time, prime-time topics because as news stations then broadcasted – there were high reports of stolen babies, threats of ritual sacrifice, and even sexual abuse were all being committed.. under the guise of evil cults who claimed to be worshiping the devil himself.
Call it what you will, but “Satanic Panic” was a big business in the late 80s and early 90s. Naturally, this went on to spawn hundreds of books, videos, and television specials aimed at pushing the fear of the occult into soccer moms and stay at home dads across the country, and it guess what? It worked. In fact, it worked so well that Police and other Law Enforcement agencies across North America began to look into typical graffiti – like the kinds I mentioned above – and investigate the ideology behind the pentagram; stating that it was evidence of what they called “a satanic presence.”
The Law Enforcement Guide to Satanic Cults is a instructional video that Police were required to watch as part of their “training,” and it’s quite the experience.. On this educational tape, we see “occult experts” with mullets [I mean, it was the 80s] and for those still not convinced, there’s even interviews with alleged victims of satanic rituals! The VHS tape is only 73-minutes long, but it is a glimpse into the “Satanic Panic” era that’s as frightening as it is hilarious.
I’ve always been a huge fan of weird toys, old instructional videos, and other such obscurities. The Law Enforcement Guide to Satanic Cults is no different. It’s a lot of fun to watch, even if you can’t take it seriously. If you feel like you can handle “Satanic content,” [and the mullets!] You can watch the whole video below, and if you manage to watch it until the end, you’ll be treated my favorite part! A clip of a woman [in a bikini] being “prepared” by some older man who seems to be demonstrating “a ritual sacrifice.” Of course, as expected, this final clip is complete with the dotted lines to show where to slice and dice your “victims.”
All laughs aside, I know it’s easy to laugh at the awkward acting, over-the-top assumptions [that are made] and ridiculousness of the video, it’s important to remember – this was actually used to train police! Because of videos like this one, countless metalheads, goth kids, and occult enthusiasts became quickly [and unfairly] singled out as “suspects” in crimes they did not have any part in. In case you weren’t aware, this has happened before.
How do You feel about this “training video?” I know it’s a little obscure, and it’s definitely something from the 1980s, but remember: this was an actual fear that a lot of people had. In their defense, the Law Enforcement Officers were only doing what they thought was right for their respective communities; even if some people were wrongly accused for crimes they did not commit.
[Friendly Reminder: there was a time when I used to look like this – chances are, I would have been accused of something drastic too! For a more recent photo of me, click here!]
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