To: An Cli'un
Date: 15 Feb 1998
There are a number of different fields who're exploring the connections between the Satanic Panics and the Burning Times. And I think this is some of the most exciting "historical" research going on!
Historians work backwards. They use our rumor panics as a way of understanding what happened in the Burning Times. So far the analyses I've seen haven't been terribly in-depth, which is disappointing.
The best work has come from scholars who study modern folklore, like Dr. Jeffrey Victor (author of _Satanic Panic_). Folklorists, being more familiar with the social dynamics of current Satanism scares, are a lot more alert to the similarities between the two periods. Many stop at a superficial level. They try to discourage rumor panics by pointing out that people who promote Satanic panics are doing what people did in the Witch hunts. A useful tool for making people think, but I'd like to see more in-depth analysis and advice about -- as you say -- what strategies worked and which ones didn't.
I hope that Neo-Pagans get interested in this area soon, because I think we're uniquely situated and could add a lot of insight into these discussions.