Created by: Frederic Bush (email@example.com)
Comments are welcome, nay, encouraged! Let me know what you think!
A recent phenomenon in clinical psychology is the emergence of widespread claims of repressed ritual child abuse. That is, lots of people are going to see psychiatrists for minor complaints such as headaches or sexual dysfunction, and then suddenly remembering that they were abused as children. These memories are often quite a shock to the rememberers, and to their families, who often hotly deny the rumors. However, these memories have been used in several cases as the sole evidence to convict family members of abuse.
Within the psychological field there is little agreement on whether or not such memories can actually be repressed, or whether the "memories" are in fact created by overzealous psychiatrists. Many of these memories are obtained under hypnosis, a fact which in some eyes weighs against their possible truth.
Here's the kicker: oftentimes, the memories of child abuse involve Satanic elements. Accusers will describe how, over a period of years, they were inducted into a Satanic cult of murder, mayhem, and ritualized sex, after which they lost all memory of the event. FBI investigations haven't turned up one shred of evidence that Satanic ritual abuse is a real phenomenon.
Well, an actual network of Satanic ritual abuse does exist, surprisingly enough. The demons with the word of Satanism, who are in charge of Lucifer's organized believers, live a dangerous life; if their activities become too blatant, their followers tend to get slaughtered and they themselves demoted to Demon of Moldy Pumpernickel. The succession of demons who held the post in the Middle Ages were unable to maintain a coherent organization; the new Demon, Paimon, is fairly effective.
A balseraph, Paimon maintains a bunch of aboveground Satanists, such as Anton LaVey and Aleister Crowley, who are not involved in any way with evil or criminal activities, but who siphon off unwanted angelic attention and get all the bad press. Meanwhile, the actual work of the Church is carried on in small cells, consisting of families related by blood. New inductees are first horribly tortured through ritual abuse as young children, and caused to perform horrible deeds. After a cell has been active for a while, the memories of the evils they have committed is removed by Paimon's servitors. With their memories carefully erased, they set out and begin new lives.
Haunted by memories of their past misdeeds, the children exposed to these Satanic rituals marry, and live somewhat normal lives until, at some point, shockingly, their memories return to them. Some commit suicide; some, however, reveling in what they have done, start the cycle afresh with their own families.
Ritual child abuse will call Paimon's attention; he then sends servitors to "clean up" any messy evidence of ritual murders on the scene of the crime; heal scarring, and in general remove any evidence of the crime.
All in all, a clean, underground cult bringing power to Lucifer, perverting the family, and destroying the lives of youth. Paimon can trigger the memories of cult members at any given time; if he needs agents in a particular area to carry out some sort of deed, he can wave his hand and perhaps your next-door neighbors, the ones with the chow-chow, will murder you with long ritual knives. Oh yes, Lucifer is happy with Paimon.
However, recently Novalis has gotten wind of this scheme. Novalis has great influence over the therapeutic community, and one of her Mercurians, moonlighting in his Role as a kindly trauma counselor, found himself talking on a suicide hotline to an individual who had just awakened to the memory of being involved in gruesome acts a child. Counselling the man, the angel realized with a start that he was telling the truth, and reported the matter to Novalis. Novalis, highly disturbed, put the word out among other archangels, and instructed her social workers to be aware of the problem. A couple of Michael's Malakites, incensed at this blatant evil, tracked down the man's family, found the nearest demon, and kicked his ass. The demon managed to burn down the family's house, conveniently removing all evidence of the crime. Paimon was pleased; a potential leak had been covered up.
Then, all hell started breaking loose. Reports flooded in from everywhere of ritual satanic abuse. Lots and lots and lots of people started reporting the same symptoms, and a book on the topic just reached Oprah Wimfrey's Book Club. However, angels who investigate these stories are coming up blank. They are beginning to suspect Novalis went a little overboard.
Paimon is baffled. While these reports are all false (!), they attract attention to the real incidents that he covers up. He is confused as to how people are suddenly coming up with these outlandish stories that match in perfect detail what he is up to.
The answer to all of this is Kobal. He's planting lots of rumors of demonic abuse, and having a blast as both angels and demons scramble to figure out what's going on. Typically, he'll instruct his Impudites to drain a mortal's essence to such a degree that the mortal feels illness. Essence draining causes a general, diffuse malaise that's hard to quantify. The Impudite might suggest going to see a shrink. The Impudite follows the patient to the shrink, then creates a crazy, wacky, bizarre illusion of ritual cult abuse that only the patient can see. Because psychologists tend to be deathly dull, they don't get the jokes, but the players might: describe scenes that are twistedly funny. In any case, the scenes enact all the key rituals of Paimon's cult.
(Note--I don't want to suggest that child abuse is not a widespread and dangerous phenomenon, nor that most memories of abuse are not true. The jury's still out.)
From: "John Karakash - Lucent ASCC" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Re: IN) Long Adventure idea: Satanic Ritual Abuse
[Interesting story idea snipped]
Two possible red-herrings (or, if the players read this list, maybe one of these is the REAL truth and the rest are the red-herrings!)
1. The abuse happened... in Beleth's realm.
2. The psychologists/Shedim are deliberately convincing people of the abuse. Maybe some direct mental surgery involved here.
From: Elizabeth McCoy (email@example.com)
Subject: Re: IN) Long Adventure idea: Satanic Ritual Abuse m
At 9:50 AM -0400 4/21/97, John Karakash - Lucent ASCC wrote:
) [Interesting story idea snipped]
) Two possible red-herrings (or, if the players read this list, maybe one of
)these is the REAL truth and the rest are the red-herrings!)
) 1. The abuse happened... in Beleth's realm.
) 2. The psychologists/Shedim are deliberately convincing people of the abuse.
)Maybe some direct mental surgery involved here.
#3: Shedim of Malphas are involved, driving away the tormenter's(') mind(s)...
--firstname.lastname@example.org // email@example.com // firstname.lastname@example.org
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