The 45th Parallel: What Alien Abductions and Satanic Ritual Abuse Have In Common

Some proponents of the Demonic Hypothesis of UFO have made a big deal about a study presented on the third night of an MIT (yes, THAT MIT) alien abduction conference held June 13-17, 1992. During that conference, California therapist Gwen Dean noted forty-four parallels between alien abduction and Satanic ritual abuse (SRA).

According to CDB Bryan’s Close Encounters Of The Fourth Kind: Alien Abduction, UFOs, and the Conference at M.I.T., Dean began her presentation by saying, “Although there is no satisfactory definition of ritual abuse, there are striking similarities between accounts of ritual abuse and alien abductions.”

Let’s stop right there. If there’s no satisfactory definition of ritual abuse, how can we know we’re accurately comparing it to anything else? Just saying.

She then threw a transparency on the overhead projector.

She claimed to have found 44 parallels between the two phenomena.

The next day (according to Bryan), religious historian J. Gordon Melton remarked, “Satanic ritual abuse stories and alien abduction stories emerged at approximately the same time. And there are a number of parallels. The format of retrieved memories is similar.”

Think about that. Both emerged as widespread phenomena in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and both often use hypnosis to recover lost or suppressed memories. The scenarios and narratives offered by alleged abductees and SRA victims feature similar elements. Are they related?

Proponents of the Demonic Hypothesis of UFO overwhelmingly concur that they do. By the end of this article, they may regret that opinion.

For those not familiar with the Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) phenomenon or the more general term Satanic Panic, I offer this summary in the form of the back cover text of Jeffrey S. Victor’s Satanic Panic: The Creation of a Contemporary Legend:

“Again and again we are told — by journalists, police and fundamentalists — that there exists a secret network of criminal fanatics, worshippers of Satan, who are responsible for kidnapping, human sacrifice, sexual abuse and torture of children, drug-dealing, mutilation of animals, desecration of churches and cemeteries, pornography, heavy metal lyrics and cannibalism. This popular tale is almost entirely without foundation, but the legend continues to gather momentum, in the teeth of evidence and good sense. Networks of “child advocates,” credulous or self-serving social workers, instant-expert police officers and unscrupulous ministers of religion help to spread the panic, along with fabricated survivors’ memoirs passed off as true accounts and irresponsible broadcast “investigations.” A classic witch-hunt, comparable to those of medieval Europe, is under way.”

A more detailed synopsis of this moral panic that swept the US in the 70s and 80s can be read here:

Here is the takeaway.

It’s two primary sourcebooks, the Satan Seller by Christian comedian Mike Warnke and Michelle Remembers by Canadian psychiatrist Lawrence Pazder and his psychiatric patient and later wife Michelle Smith, have been thoroughly discredited.

Despite a plethora of religious and clinical experts, government, citizen and police task forces, myriad court cases, and a whole lotta hype, the FBI’s January 1992 Lanning Report determined that there was no evidence for the existence of Satanic Ritual Abuse except perhaps as a psychological phenomenon. Supervisory Special Agent Kenneth V Lanning concluded:

“Until hard evidence is obtained and corroborated, the public should not be frightened into believing that babies are being bred and eaten, that 50,000 missing children are being murdered in human sacrifices, or that satanists are taking over America’s day care centers or institutions. No one can prove with absolute certainty that such activity has NOT occurred. The burden of proof, however, as it would be in a criminal prosecution, is on those who claim that it has occurred. The explanation that the satanists are too organized and law enforcement is too incompetent only goes so far in explaining the lack of evidence. For at least eight years American law enforcement has been aggressively investigating the allegations of victims of ritual abuse. There is little or no evidence for the portion of their allegations that deals with large-scale baby breeding, human sacrifice, and organized satanic conspiracies. Now it is up to mental health professionals, not law enforcement, to explain why victims are alleging things that don’t seem to have happened.”

So with these lovely facts in mind, let’s, um, look at those parallels between SRA and alien abduction accounts.

Everyone admits that SRA and alien abduction phenomena both began around the same time; furthermore, the alleged incidents are most often recalled through hypnosis.

Hypnosis is problematic, at best. Many experts concur that hypnosis makes someone suggestible. For example, Fred Frankel, at the time a Harvard Medical School professor and psychiatrist-in-chief at Boston’s Beth Israel hospital, stated:

“Hypnosis helps you regain memories that you would not have otherwise recalled… But some will be true, and some will be false. The expectation of the hypnotist and the expectation of the person who is going to be hypnotized can influence the result.”

Dr. Jacques Vallee believes that hypnosis can create “abductees”:

“I think that the way abductions are being handled is wrong. It’s not only wrong scientifically, it’s wrong morally and ethically. I’ve been telling people, don’t let anyone hypnotize you if you’ve seen a strange light in the sky. I think a lot of those people prominent in the press and in the National Enquirer and in the talk shows and so on are creating abductees under hypnosis. They are hypnotizing everybody who’s ever had a strange experience and telling them they are abductees by suggestion. And they are doing that in good faith. They don’t realize what they are doing. But to my way of thinking, that’s unethical.”

It is interesting that Dr. Gwen Dean herself was once accused of creating a Satanic Ritual Abuse victim through hypnosis. The allegation was published in an article called “County Panel Scrutinized for Satanic Claims,” appearing in the Sunday, December 13, 1992 edition of the LA Times.

The article concerns criticism of the Ritual Abuse Task Force of Los Angeles County, which reads in part:

“Some blame therapists for spreading the cult story. They say a group of therapists became fascinated several years ago with the phenomenon of multiple personality and proceeded to discover it in their patients. They then attributed it to brainwashing satanists who were so sophisticated that they could expunge memories and program the unwilling to have children for Satan.

“Our hypothesis is, many of these people may be making suggestions” to vulnerable patients, said Pamela Freyd, executive director of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation in Philadelphia.

The foundation began operating in March and has received 2,000 calls from parents who claim that they were falsely accused by their children of ritual abuse. The largest percentage, 315 calls, came from California…

Some critics charge that the task force has caused harm to people by spreading false stories of satanic abuse.

A Redondo Beach woman, Carol Conaway, said her family was nearly ruined by a therapist with the task force who said several family members were multiple personality victims.

Conaway also said therapist Gwen Dean influenced her son to identify her husband as a high priest of a satanic cult and hospitalized her husband and son.

“This task force operates in an environment of total paranoia,” Conaway said.

Dean, a marriage and family counselor, denied the allegations, saying she did not diagnose the family. She said the satanic abuse allegations were raised by a family member, not her. She also said Conaway has a vendetta against her.

“This woman is out to destroy my practice and out to destroy me,” Dean said. She said Conaway has spurred an investigation by the State Board of Behavioral Science.

Kathleen Callanan, executive officer of the board, which oversees marriage and family counselors and clinical social workers, said she could not comment on the investigation, but said reports of therapists planting suggestions in patients is “a matter of concern.”

Please note that the accusation of suggesting SRA to the child of Carol Conaway occurred in the very same year Gwen Dean presented her list of 44 parallels between SRA and alien abduction.

It is here that we add the 45th and most important parallel between Satanic Ritual Abuse and Alien Abduction: People alleging “things that don’t seem to have happened.” Or more bluntly, No evidence anything really objectively happened.

Perhaps we could add a 46th parallel: the phenomena is made out to be much bigger than it is.

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi, Tony Breeden.

    The aliens are quite real. Anything one can interact with is real and exists–in some form or another. The interesting question centers around what is their actual ontological nature, i.e., in what form do they actually exist.

    The veridical answer to that question is that the aliens (and their precursor edition, the demons) are particular naturally-evolved parts of our own mind, i.e., they are particular subsets of our own consciousness: mostly the aliens/demons/etc. exist in our subconscious, but there exists various mental techniques to bring the aliens to the fore, to the conscious level. These aliens are the gods of old, the ones that required human sacrifice.

    For much more on what is going on with the aliens/demons/spirit-guides/etc., see my following article:

    * James Redford, “Societal Sadomasochism”, Daily Anarchist Forum, May 29, 2018, , .


    1. Tony Breeden says:

      That makes it sound like we subconsciously desire human sacrifice. No thank you, sir.


      1. Hi, Tony Breeden.

        As I said, the aliens/demons are quite real. Anything one can interact with is real and exists–in some form or another. The interesting question centers around what is their actual ontological nature, i.e., in what form do they actually exist.

        There are actual mental techniques to summon the aliens/demons.

        What humans subconsciously desire is far, far worse than what you state. The Christian doctrine of Original Sin is quite real. Humans are truly sick creatures. For much more on that, see my above-cited article “Societal Sadomasochism”.


      2. Tony Breeden says:

        Actually, if they are only constructs of our subconscious, they aren’t real at all. If demons are real, and the Bible makes it clear that they do, they exist apart from our subconscious as autonomous entities.


      3. Tony Breeden says:

        It should be said that demons and aliens as discussed on this site are quite distinct from one another. Spiritual entities and extraterrestrial biological entities are not the same thing.


      4. Hi, Tony Breeden. You wrote, “Actually, if they are only constructs of our subconscious, they aren’t real at all. If demons are real, and the Bible makes it clear that they do, they exist apart from our subconscious as autonomous entities.”

        That’s a non sequitur. The aliens/demons exist in the exact same ontological manner which the human mind exists, as the human mind is itself a particular type of computer-program operating on the wet-computer of the human brain. You would do well to read my above-cited article “Societal Sadomasochism”, as it addresses your objections.

        You also write, “It should be said that demons and aliens as discussed on this site are quite distinct from one another. Spiritual entities and extraterrestrial biological entities are not the same thing.”

        On the more literal level of extraterrestrial life, it is likely that very simple forms of life exist throughout the universe. Yet the ancient alien hypothesis along with the idea of current intelligent extraterrestrial visitations has been pushed hard by certain sectors of the corporate media, and it is low-grade B-movie science-fiction schlock. A species powerful enough to cross stars–let alone galaxies–wouldn’t come to Earth as humanoid creatures in ponderous starships, but rather would use extreme nanotechnology. If they were malicious and wanted to seize the Earth, they would fall to the ground as microscopic dust, infect our craniums, and we’d all be brain-dead before we hit the ground. It would be lights-out before any human even knew that anything had occurred.

        Which is to say, if a species powerful and intelligent enough to cross stars were to land on Earth, where they would land is quite literally inside everyone’s skulls.


  2. Revealingly, many reptilian Dracos, in charge of all other alien types, are too often demon possessed, more subject to demonic possession than humans are, and again, lines are blurred, but reptilian ET behavior is too often aligned perfectly with the intent of the demonic : predatory, sinister, and self-justifying…


    1. Tony Breeden says:

      And you *know* this how? Did you perform an exorcism on a Draco? This sounds like Bolshevik.


  3. Evonne Wu says:

    I feel the author of the article is part of satan’s defence system, and found him unconvincing. My brother has no memory of being abducted, but had an alien chip implanted in his hand between the thumb and forefinger. He has had it removed, but i can’t be convinced alien abduction or satanic ritual abuse are by any means rare, nor are not satanically linked.


    1. Tony Breeden says:

      I’m the author of this article and your response bears a number of assumptions. An alien chip? Did a doctor examine it? And if so, why did you reject his medical advice in favor of science fiction speculation?

      If the complete and total lack of concrete evidence for alien abduction and SRA can’t convince you it’s rare, then nothing I can say will help you because you’ve already ruled out evidence as a means to convince you. You’ve made up your mind it was alien and that it has something to do with the devil. I’m afraid this poor preacher is ill-equipped to help you overcome your strong delusion. Of course, by your way of thinking, you have no way to deny the possibility that faeries exist and they turn your milk sour.


  4. Charles says:

    Good golly these idiots will believe anything! Granted I was once privately obsessed with nephilim back in the days when my family watched Perry Stone (haven’t watched him in ages because I realized a lot of his eschatological stuff is baloney). It seems like Christians have an ungodly obsession of finding some satanic conspiracy to fight against, especially since ONE specific group of people who are always accused of stuff that suspiciously resemble the SRA accusations are no longer an acceptable target (I’m talking about the Jews but that doesn’t stop some idiot Christians from accusing them of everything under the sun).

    I would really like to see some work from you discussing Christianity’s obsession with anti-Biblical conspiracy theories, my family and I used to watch JD Farag as well and he’s become a full on Anti-vaxxer conspiracy nutter. Good thing there are people with level-headed heads like you Mr. Breeden. Maybe you could also do some posts about what actual extraterrestrials could look like under a creationist model (I’m asking this as a creationist fan of science fiction).


    1. Tony Breeden says:

      Hats off, Charles! I am humbled by your kind words.

      I do have a book on the Christian obsession with conspiracy theory on my writing slate. I write both fiction and nonfiction (my book website is It is 3rd on the list on my nonfiction slate, behind the 2nd Volume of Gray Barker’s Book of Monsters and a book on the roots of the Demonic Eschatological Hypothesis of UFO.

      Your idea for posts on what extraterrestrials could look like under a creationist model is intriguing. Let me give it some thought.

      Tony Breeden


  5. Nick says:

    Aliens and ufos are a demonic deception


    1. Tony Breeden says:

      This post pretty much proves they’re not.


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