These theories didn’t come from nowhere. Back in the 1980s a similar “satanic panic” swept through the country and led to lawsuits that alleged preschool teachers were performing evil rituals with children. These claims were debunked but the accusations themselves had staying power.
NPR’s Ari Shapiro reports on what factors contributed to the original “satanic panic” and what it can teach us about the conspiracy theories that attract followers today.
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