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I was about to go on a long rant about what’s bothering me today — the same thing that’s been bothering me for some time — the general lack of research that goes into the average item posted on someone’s Facebook wall or Twitter feed. I started out looking for a way to blame this all on Neptune, but actually came across something even more interesting on the subject of “delusion.”  So let’s take a trip down memory lane to that Golden Era of Human Civilization, the 1980s… back when the world in general (but America specifically) was overrun with Satanic ritual abuse in elementary schools and human sacrifice at your local daycare.

Ah, nostalgia!

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What has come to be known as “Satanic Panic” doesn’t have an actual birth date, but it has something close to that: the publication date of a big bestseller called Michelle Remembers, on November 1st 1980.

For those of you who weren’t there or don’t recall, Michelle Remembers was an account drawn from the therapy sessions of Michelle Smith, who spent over 600 hours under hypnosis recounting the details of her childhood, specifically her recovered memories of being tortured, kept in a cage, being made to watch human sacrifices, and various other features of your worst nightmare. The book was a huge best-seller, ritual child abuse became a hot topic in the media, and everyone was terrified. This, despite the fact that we all later learned that none of it was true.

The success of Michelle Remembers led to a chain of wild-eyed accusations over the years, in which numerous elementary schools and daycares in America and beyond were shut down, and lives were ruined, based on absolute nonsense. Crazy, dangerous, and stupid ideas didn’t need the internet to spread back in the 1980s.

In part this deadly intellectual infection was fueled by another popular delusion at the time: that children don’t lie. They are humans, aren’t they? More to the point, in psychological and therapeutic circles it was generally believed that children would not play along with an overzealous therapist by making up insane sounding details about a make-believe story. But of course this is exactly what happened.

It turns out that if you start asking a child some leading questions, they’ll pick up on it and play right along. And the Satanic Ritual Abuse idea had gained such momentum by the mid 1980s that otherwise sane adults were arresting people based on the say-so that yes… helicopters did land at our school every day to take us off to the woods to worship the Devil! And look, Junior is playing a game called Dungeons And Dragons, and it’s got demons in it! We’re surrounded by Satan!

Meanwhile, as a result of all this, plenty of real cases of child abuse went un-investigated. After all, there only so much investigation money to go around… and if there’s one magical threat that 1980s believed in more than Satanic Ritual Abuse, it was the horror of raising taxes.

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Michelle Remembers was “born” (publication date: November 1, 1980, New York) with a Mars-Neptune conjunction in Sagittarius. Those two planets aspecting each other in a mutable sign strikes me as prime time for the birth of a major delusion. The publication date also saw a Venus-Jupiter conjunction at between 1 and 2 degrees Libra… where Jupiter is now. Thus, the title of this blog entry.

And now, here we are with Saturn in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces. Kind of makes you wonder what sort of insane, damaging crap that’s going to ruin a lot of people’s lives unnecessarily is being born right now, doesn’t it?

Please keep this in mind when you are on Facebook or Twitter sharing a poorly researched meme or clickbait article just because you happen to agree with the basic premise. Do a little fact-checking first. The self-deluding land of Neptune is a fun place to visit every once in awhile, but sometimes when too many people spend their time living in the same Palace of Paranoia, a stupid idea can become a stupid but very dangerous idea.

…That isn’t really Neptune’s fault. It’s our fault.

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