Deeply concerned Mom, Jamie Gooch, from Central Texas popped a posting on Facebook. Within this she issued a warning about kids watching the new Disney Hocus Pocus II movie.
To be specific it was this posting …
She does, somewhere in the middle write, “It seems silly” … yes, Jamie, you nailed it. While I have no doubt that you are deeply sincere about all of this, your stance is indeed profoundly silly.
It’s literally just a fun movie. Yes there are witches in it, but this is not a horror movie for adults. It is a very hokey fun movie for kids with lots of humour. Jamie, when you watched the movie adaption of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by well-known Christian writer CS Lewis, did the presence of a witch in that movie also cause you concern that it was all part of some nefarious Satanic plot to get you?
There is an issue here of deep concern.
Satanic Panic Mythology
She is resurrecting the old Satanic Panic myth.
Towards the end she writes .. “Please hear me when I tell you the truth that Witches and Warlocks in the satanic church abuse and sacrifice children in their “spiritual rituals” to gain more power in the underworld.“
No seriously that is not just your normal everyday dung, it is off in a very distinctly unique class all by itself. This is Grade I, gold plated, olympic class, thermonuclear bovine waste.
In the 1980s and 1990s the satanic panic gained traction within many religious communities and went viral. It resulted in roughly about 12,000 documented accusations. Think of it as a religious form of McCarthyism.
How many turned out to be true?
None, not one.
Thousands of innocent people faced the utterly false allegation of involvement in Satanic Ritual Abuse.
For a deep dive into it all, the Wikipedia page on the topic is a rather good primer.
So here it is again, popping up, and being promoted as “truth”. What perhaps has happened is that while it faded from the mainstream, it never actually went away, but instead lived on within fundamentalist micro-cultures as “truth”. Those acted as reservoirs for the belief, nurturing it and passing it on the the next generation. Inevitably, it bursts out every now and again.
It also resides within the core of QAnon conspiracy thinking. (Let’s not go there right now)
Just to be transparently clear – credible evidence for all these claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse is exactly zero.
Jamie Goes on TV
You might be wondering why I’d babble on about one obscure FB posting. Wade into FB and such posting are quite frankly, to use the old phrase, a dime a dozen.
Well, it’s not just that one FB posting.
Somebody over at KWTX saw it, and thought, “Hey let’s interview her”.
Whoever it was, also had a camera man who thought, “Hey, let’s zoom right in on her face for the full crazy-mom effect”.
You can find the official clip on the KWTX website here.
What is fascinating about it all is that she does not appear to have even one friend to step in and suggest that going on TV as the Crazy Christian Mom might not be all that wise.
She is quoted as follows …
“A worst case scenario is: you unleash hell on your kids and in your home,” said Jamie Gooch, “The whole movie is based on witches harvesting children for blood sacrifices.”
Given the observation that it is October, then I did have to wonder about something else.
Sure enough …
“We have not participated in Halloween in about four or five years, it’s just now how we live our lives,” said Gooch. “It grieves me, the thought of exposing our kids to darkness.”
Somebody took that TV clip and annotated it to mock her …
Thinks I’m OK with
If she really dislikes Hocus Pocus II, that’s fine.
If she is indeed deeply concerned and wishes to opt out of normal society, then she should sell the TV and not go to movies.
Yes it’s weird, but consider the thought that everybody is “normal” … until you get to know them.
Things that Trigger me
The promotion of pure fiction as fact crosses a line.
Satanic Ritual Abuse is not real. That’s where I pop my head up to push back.
There is one other thing I do have to wonder about
The producers of Hocus Pocus II must indeed be truly thankful to KWTX for the free advertising.
The skeptic within me does wonder if this is just a very cleaver bit of marketing by Disney.
Sadly no. She is a real person. It is also wholly credible that there are indeed people who latch on to a fantasy and decide it is a real threat.
In the end, regardless of what you might believe about such stuff, it is a child safe movie that will no doubt be enjoyable for the kids to watch.
Having scary witches as the villain of a story is not something new, the Wizard of Oz established that as a movie trope back in 1939 so I do have to wonder how she feels about that story. Especially the part where the all powerful wizard turns out to be just a normal guy behind a curtain doing tricks.
Here is one last Scooby snack to toss into the mix.
The kids show, Scooby-Doo, has lots of ghosts, ghouls, goblins, and witches. Within each and every episode the big reveal at the end is that it was not real, but instead was some normal person playing the role in order to manipulate other people. There is a lesson there about skepticism that Jamie and the many others who buy into these cultural myths as “truth” truly do need to embrace.