Sons of Sam

I suppose it’s fitting that Netflix would release a docu-series about Maury Terry’s: the Son of Sam was part of global Satanic cult nonsense. One has only to look at Q-Anon to see the Satanic Panic has never really gone away. And it’s not surprising that it wouldn’t.

The Satanic Panic is such a perfect product of American culture and societal disfunction. This ridiculous notion of a vast network of the diabolic committing atrocities was birthed in the disillusioned 70s from the ritualistic crimes sensationalized by the changing face of journalism and super-charged with a big dose of the occult thanks to a popular culture drunk on the success of The Exorcist.

But the Panic truly came of age during Reagan’s 80's as societal trust plummeted, greed was labeled as good, and countless opportunists came out of the woodwork to shill made-up memoirs of life in Satanic cults, peddle their services as “occult crime experts”, or send innocent people to jail thanks to “recovered memories.” And, of course, the entire time, this whole fantasy has been intimately tied to the rise of Evangelicalism and the Christian Right.

Yes, the docu-series is really about how our true crime obsession can get the best of us and about how news coverage feeds fear and that fear in turn feeds more news coverage in a vicious moebius strip. But I don’t think the majority of people will stick that landing and instead tumble headfirst into vast Satanic Conspiracies. 

And I get it, I used to write for the counter-culture/magick-fueled website Disinformation. Satanic conspiracies are a lot more fun and sexier than the idea of some tubby postal worker shooting people because he’s mentally ill. But I wouldn’t be surprised if in a week’s time from this release, in some dark corner of the interwebs, there isn’t some conspiratorial nonsense about Trump catching the “real” Sons of Sam any day now.


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