Wednesday, August 8, 2012

KCPW Radio Interview

KCPW Radio in Utah interviews Judy Byington, who states that all abused children disassociate, and that repressed memories -- a term Byington confuses with decades-long amnesia -- are a "common" reaction to trauma.

Patheos review of Twenty-Two Faces

At Patheos, Fred Clark, former managing editor of the Christian magazine Prism, reviews Judy Byington's Twenty-Two Faces of Jenny Hill.

Clark's article -- "Utah charlatan attempts to revive Satanic panic" -- pulls no punches, calling the book "brazen bullshit" and "the same familiar stew of blood libel, Jack Chick, Vincent Price, Alice Cooper and Mike Warnke served up yet again.... For someone so determined to live in an imaginary world, Byington has a dreadfully unoriginal imagination."
It’s as old as the original blood libel and as contemporary as the latest radio broadcast from the American Family Association. The Satanic baby-killers may be a figment of our imagination, but that hasn’t stopped us from reshaping American Christianity in opposition to them....

It reads like a flashback to the Satanic panic of the 1980s. The delusion and paranoid fantasizing in this story might be comical, unless you remember Michelle Remembers, or the West Memphis 3, or the thousands of other lives ruined during that period of transitional mass-hysteria.[1]
Clark is also stunned by Utah Daily Herald — "a newspaper with, apparently, no editors or ethics" — for the paper's unblinking reportage on Byington's dubious claims, credentials, and motives. "Byington is an authority on Satanists," the Herald reports, "and as a clinical social worker she spent years helping others heal from wounds...."

“This is a huge breaking story validating the existence of human sacrifices of children in our society,” Byington told The Daily Herald.

To which Clark responds,
No. No it isn’t. This is a huge steaming pile of nonsense validating nothing other than that Judy Byington is a self-righteous fool seeking other self-righteous fools so that she can separate them from their money.
And later:
Part of what’s most disturbing ... is that both Byington and the Daily Herald staff are so cheerfully titillated by all of this. They know they’re just playing make-believe, so they’re able to enjoy the thrills that come from imagining such things.
Others, however, haven’t had the luxury of a life so far removed from real evil that fantasies of Satanic baby-killers seem gleefully exciting....

For Byington, this brazen bullshit is just part of the game. For her it’s nothing more than a source of self-righteous titillation and, she hopes, lucrative royalties.

But as we learned in the 1980s, this game is not harmless.
Read Clark's entire article at Patheos.


[1] Fred Clark. "Utah charlatan attempts to revive Satanic panic." Patheos. August 7, 2012.