PAINTED BLACK by Carl A. Raschke


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A cautionary tale of the spread of Satanism in America, in the tradition of Hal Lindsey's The Late Great Planet Earth and Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth. Raschke, director of the Institute for Humanities, Univ. of Denver, detects Satanism everywhere, in day-care centers, at heavy-metal rock concerts, in drug dens. Satanism is the dark side of the 60's counterculture, Raschke insists, the manifestation of the void that resulted when much of American society abandoned the traditional ""verities."" To prove his point, he is nothing if not thorough. He roves from the murders committed in 1989 by a spaced-out drug lord and his followers in Matamoros, Mexico, to the well-publicized case of the McMartin preschool in Manhattan Beach, California. Charles Manson is evoked, along with General Manuel Noriega--both devil worshipers, according to the author. Hundreds Of incidents, ranging from the inconclusive to the ludicrous, are trotted out. (One teen. age Satanist purportedly was unable to carry out his Halloween murder plato because his folks wouldn't let him use the family car.) Many of the cases Cited seem to have more to do with drug addiction than with diabolism. It is when Raschke tries to establish the reality of ritual sex abuse of children, as in the McMartin and Presidio day-care-center cases, that he finds himself on the shakiest ground. Far from being an objective observer, he dismisses the possibility that the children's accusations may have been prompted, either consciously or unconsciously, by parents and others. Raschke finds Satanism even in family playrooms: Watch out for those games of Dungeons & Dragons.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1990
Publisher: HarperCollins