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Satanic, Occult, Ritualistic Crime: A Law Enforcement Perspective

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 56 Issue: 10 Dated: (October 1989) Pages: 62,64,67,68,70,72,77,78,80,82,84
K V Lanning
Date Published
11 pages
Law enforcement officers should avoid overreacting to satanic and occult activity in their communities and should recognize that their focus should be on legal definition of a crime rather than on the group spiritual framework within which it is committed.
Thus, they should recognize that satanic cults have no more law enforcement significance than many other potentially destructive cults, despite the hysteria often shown by anti-satanists. Although police should have a basic knowledge about satanism and the occult, they should critically evaluate the information often disseminated in conference presentations and be cautious in discussing the subject with community groups. Conference presentations and other discussions often use the terms ritualistic, occult, and satanic interchangeably and are strongly influenced by the presenter's personal religious beliefs. In addition, they often overlook the responsibility of the police to respect people's rights to engage in noncriminal teaching, rituals, or other activities.