“In the late 1980s and into the 1990s claims of memories of Satanic Ritual Abuse and sexual abuse began to arise from the therapeutic “sofas” of psychiatrists and psychologists at an alarming rate – under the general description of “Repressed Memory Syndrome” by its advocates and “False Memory Syndrome” by those who were falsely accused.”
(Don & Joy Veinot – Midwest Christian Outreach) If someone is accused, should they be automatically presumed guilty? This is not really a new question but an age-old issue. For example, in 1642 Salem Village, Massachusetts over 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft. Most, like Caribbean slave, Tituba, “confessed,” hoping to avoid conviction by becoming an “informer” leveling accusations against others. …
Nearly all the accused were Christians and church attenders, and if the accused had merely “confessed” their witchcraft, and “repented” of it, they would have been spared trial, conviction and punishment. But as you can imagine, many Christians were not willing to admit to crimes and sins they had never committed. Of those who refused to confess and maintained their fidelity to the Christian faith, 19 were hanged, one was pressed to death and 13 died in prison. What was the evidence? Well, the accusation itself was all the evidence needed! In support of the accusations, since no real evidence was offered, “spectral evidence” was brought forward. The accuser claimed to see the spirit or shape of the accused in a dream or vision. No one actually witnessed the accused dancing around a boiling cauldron or casting spells or gathering eye of newt – nothing so tangible as that. But evidence schmevidence – they all just knew the accusations were true. Wait though – there was a test given:
1.) The town would watch as the accused would recite the Lord’s Prayer. If they were truly the devil’s servant, they would not be able to say the prayer.
2). If any marks or scars were found on the person’s body they were said to be the marks of evil. (William Phips in Salem witch trial?)