Thursday, December 01, 2005

Criminal Minds

Last night's episode dealt with the agents investigating a so-called "Satanic" crime. On behalf of people waiting to catch the episode during the rerun season, I'll limit my description of the plot. Basically, dead people are found in a forest near a tree where Satanic symbols have been carved. The FBI agents are called in to assist.

I was very pleased to see the agents disabuse the police (and the viewers) of several myths. They described the "Satanic Panic" of the 1980s that spawned a number of urban legends about Satanists sacrificing people, abusing children during rituals, etc. The agents identified these legends as such, explaining that oftentimes the investigators/therapists inadvertently provoked the sort of 'recovered memories' they were looking for. They concluded by stating that there has yet to be a single proven case of Satanic human sacrifice. In contrast, there have been several non-Satanic cults that did perform murders.

Sadly, they did do the usual Satanists ='teenagers listening to heavy metal' bit. Maybe there is a grain of truth in the description; I'm sure that many self-described Satanists fall into this category. At least they didn't do the "Dungeons and Dragons is connected to Satanism" bit.

I found the interview with the leader of the "Satanists" to be the most interesting. He explained that all the word 'satan' means is 'opposer' (or 'enemy'), and that he viewed himself as opposing God, and His religion. He opposed the hypocrisy, the telling people how to live their lives, the restrictions.

He described Satanists as atheists, though, which is inaccurate. In order to oppose something, you generally need to believe it exists. I think mistheist might have been a better term. I notice that his intellectual world view didn't stop him from wearing black mascara, drawing inverted pentagrams, listening to thrash metal, or collecting a group of high school 'followers'. I think there might have a little bit of 'scare the mundanes' in his brand of spirituality, too. ;-)

I realize that Satanism really isn't a 'Pagan' topic, but Pagans do often get lumped in with them as a group. Anything that busts the 'you sacrifice babies, don't you?' mentality helps. I was pleased with the episode, even though they didn't get things 100% right.

Sarah G

5 Comments:

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Frank Glenn said...

As your proud papa, I can say I was puzzled and a little perturbed by your "gothic period", d&d enthusiasm, and the occasionally tortuous trail from there to your current paganism. After all, our "eggs" were in two baskets and neither was a "typical teen" from my "r&b rockabilly-existentialist" '50's background.

The thing that turned it around for me was you choice of friends. You ran around with some outstanding folks and that was indicator enough for me that I had no more than the average "Ozzie and Harriet" dad to worry about. Your were about as dangerous to yourselves and society as the WCTU. (OK, an exaggeration :)

Love,

Dad

 
At 10:21 AM, Blogger Sarah G said...

Well, technically I was in my "punk/new wave" period. Us folks in Generation Jones precede the goths by a few years. However, I love the goth look.

Sarah G

 
At 4:43 PM, Blogger Wanderer said...

"I realize that Satanism really isn't a 'Pagan' topic,"

Unfortunately, Satanism is a Pagan topic. It is if for no other reason than you have already indicated. The Judeo/Christian mindset puts them in a grouping with us. Whether or not we identify with them and to what extent does then become an issue.

The grouping of religions referenced as "Pagan" are very diverse, and while they are lumped together, some are very different. An important distinction we frequently have to make to those out there who try to subvert these various beliefs.

If you take it down to a basic, practical level, though, the biggest difficulty if trying to disassociate yourself from the Satanists, is that they shop for many of the same ritual materials in many of the same places we do. They often order from the same catalogs, and defend themselves from many of the same adversaries. Disagree with their standing if you wish. I tend to. But note that even if by default, they do fall into the broadest category of Pagan practices.

 
At 4:39 AM, Blogger sophia said...

it is the best crime action drama on tv. i have been following this show since its premier and have nevver missed to watch Criminal Minds ever.

 
At 11:07 AM, Blogger 123 123 said...

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