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Author Topic: Question for the oldsters: Were you impacted by the 70s - 80s Satanic Panic?  (Read 5640 times)

jhkim

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Question for the oldsters: Were you impacted by the 70s - 80s Satanic Panic?
« Reply #30 on: October 07, 2019, 09:18:06 pm »
I was only indirectly affected by it. I was born in 1970, and I was first introduced to D&D while I was still in preschool.

My parents wouldn't have listened to anything from the Religious Right. However, the panic did fuel a bunch of negative portrayals of RPGs -- and my parents did have a negative view of the games based on secular things, like some magazine articles about them. As far as I know, they weren't aware of Mazes & Monsters, but that might have lent to a negative view. They never burned my books or anything, but they did give me long lectures about how I had to be careful about them.

I think the most major concern was RPGs might be a distraction from getting into medical school. :)

SavageSchemer

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Question for the oldsters: Were you impacted by the 70s - 80s Satanic Panic?
« Reply #31 on: October 07, 2019, 09:20:21 pm »
Quote from: cenmarik;1108155
Most of it seemed to be aimed at "rock music" where I lived...

I got hit with that, too (see my post above). I forget the guy's name but there was this minister who traveled the world and preached against the evils of Rock N Roll with a program he called Hells Bells. There was all kinds of stuff about "back masking" (I think it was called), and about how the rhythms of rock produce graphs or charts or something vaguely similar to cancer and blah blah blah. Ironically, even Christian rock was verboten.

This thread is making me remember just how badly the 80's sucked for me. I think I'll go pour a drink and do some casual reading of the D&D player's handbook...
The more clichéd my group plays their characters, the better. I don't want Deep Drama™ and Real Acting™ in the precious few hours away from my family and job. I want cheap thrills, constant action, involved-but-not-super-complex plots, and cheesy but lovable characters.
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Crusader X

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Question for the oldsters: Were you impacted by the 70s - 80s Satanic Panic?
« Reply #32 on: October 07, 2019, 09:33:34 pm »
I started playing D&D in the early 1980's, and the satanic panic was a huge nothingburger where I lived.  My devout Christian mother bought me D&D stuff for Christmas and birthdays.  I attended Catholic school, and nobody ever said anything bad about D&D, or any other game.  Nobody I knew had any problem with it whatsoever.  And my friends and I enjoyed the Mazes & Monsters movie, because it was so far removed from reality for us.  I've actually been waiting for that film to come out on Blu ray.  I'll buy it when it does.
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danskmacabre

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Question for the oldsters: Were you impacted by the 70s - 80s Satanic Panic?
« Reply #33 on: October 07, 2019, 09:59:06 pm »
Quote from: SavageSchemer;1108164
This thread is making me remember just how badly the 80's sucked for me. I think I'll go pour a drink and do some casual reading of the D&D player's handbook...


Sorry raising this thread brought up crappy memories for you. :(

The whole "Satanic Panic" thing for me at the time was more of a laugh and RPGs in general were a big refuge for me then and for years to come.

I did have a fun experience when playing Call of Cthulhu years ago and Jehovah's Witnesses knocked on the door.
To cut a long story short, we wound them up a bit, trying to sell a copy of "The Necronomicon" to them.
They left in a hurry and never returned.  lol

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Question for the oldsters: Were you impacted by the 70s - 80s Satanic Panic?
« Reply #34 on: October 07, 2019, 10:13:43 pm »
Quote from: cenmarik;1108155
Most of it seemed to be aimed at "rock music" where I lived. (Weened on my brother's Brit-invasion tastes, I had a thick skin by the time gaming came around.) But it did keep our group small due to failed recruiting attempts.

Before gaming I was on the edge of being held back at school, after I was ahead in all my subjects. It was like a light switch. It was so dramatic an especially religious teacher called me "unnatural" which actually turned into a parent/teacher conference since she also loudly claimed I had to be cheating.


Yeah, it wasn't exclusive to RPGs.
I remember the back masking thing, which I think started around the 70s, but carried on over the 80s as well.
There was even a horror movie in the 80s which had a storyline around backmasking.
It was called Trick or treat
It was a good laugh!  :D

Aglondir

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Question for the oldsters: Were you impacted by the 70s - 80s Satanic Panic?
« Reply #35 on: October 07, 2019, 10:16:25 pm »
Quote from: danskmacabre;1108094
Were you impacted by the Satanic panic? If so, in what way?
Not at all.
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SavageSchemer

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Question for the oldsters: Were you impacted by the 70s - 80s Satanic Panic?
« Reply #36 on: October 07, 2019, 10:17:52 pm »
Quote from: danskmacabre;1108171
I did have a fun experience when playing Call of Cthulhu years ago and Jehovah's Witnesses knocked on the door.
To cut a long story short, we wound them up a bit, trying to sell a copy of "The Necronomicon" to them.
They left in a hurry and never returned.

OMG that's hilarious and brilliant! There's a couple that keep coming around my place that we've asked explicitly to not come back, but they keep doing so anyway. And now I know exactly what I want to do the next time they come knocking on my door. C.J. Carella's Witchcraft should serve perfectly for this.
The more clichéd my group plays their characters, the better. I don't want Deep Drama™ and Real Acting™ in the precious few hours away from my family and job. I want cheap thrills, constant action, involved-but-not-super-complex plots, and cheesy but lovable characters.
From "Play worlds, not rules"

danskmacabre

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Question for the oldsters: Were you impacted by the 70s - 80s Satanic Panic?
« Reply #37 on: October 07, 2019, 10:32:10 pm »
Quote from: SavageSchemer;1108175
And now I know exactly what I want to do the next time they come knocking on my door. C.J. Carella's Witchcraft should serve perfectly for this.

Haha! please post a synopsis when that happens.  it'll be good reading! :D

Opaopajr

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Question for the oldsters: Were you impacted by the 70s - 80s Satanic Panic?
« Reply #38 on: October 07, 2019, 10:47:30 pm »
Quote from: GameDaddy;1108147
When I went to Saudi Arabia in 1987 I brought me AD&D books with me. At customs in Riyadh my suitcases were opened without my knowledge or consent and search for contraband by Saudi Customs people which happened to include a group of Mutaween, otherwise known as The Committee for the Promotion of (islamic) Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. They happen to be looking for books, especially non-islamic religious books, and they routinely censor or deface objectionable illustrations and text in regular books, magazine and media like movies, completely marking out objectionable content, drawing extra clothing on scantily glad women. Because it is against Islam for them to steal, they can't actually tear out any pages of an objectionable book or magazine, but I have had plenty of books that have been colored in heftily with a black sharpie, so much so, that it they were completely worthless as reading material. Same for VHS movies, they just pull the magnetic tape out cassettes and tore it all up. the Mutwaheen would beat anyone smoking or talking to Saudi women (50 lashes), or caught out wandering the street during prayer (10 lashes). They were constantly out messing with foreigners, bullying them. I was usually on a work compound, out in a tent in the desert or on the coast, or in my private walled villa, in the penthouse suite the General had given me.

Anyway, I get my luggage at customs, and both suitcases I had checked in were destroyed. Now these were Samsonite suitcases, that you could literally drop them out of a flying aircraft right on to a runway, and they would be completely unscathed. The locks had all been forced open and were busted, and I couldn't even properly close the suitcases anymore. I opened the first one up, to check if anything was missing, and right at the top of the pile, completely untouched was that 1e AD&D DMG with the Demon on the cover, completely pristine and brand new looking. Every one of my magazines that were in the suitcase had been defaced, as well as a few other books. The D&D books were completely untouched though. I was mystified. All the customs people didn't say a single word, they just stared at me.

When I was in Al-Taif a few weeks later I met a Imam (Islamic Priest) who had come to a dinner party hosted by some of my Saudi business partners, and I asked him why the Mutaween had trashed my Luggage, and pretty much all of my books, except for my D&D books. He wanted to see them, ...of course, and I showed him. He knew the Demon on the cover the the 1e AD&D very well, and grew wide-eyed when he saw the image. He explained to me that in ancient times, Demons had walked the earth, and they looked just like the giant Efreet on the cover of the DMG. He told me that the Mutawaheen probably would have very much liked to beat me senseless right when I had arrived, and imprisoned me, but that they were afraid that the books contained actual knowledge of how to summon such a demon, and they didn't want me to summon a demon that would torment them.

I never told him it was just a game, and quietly put away my books. Later I would only take them out to play D&D when I was in my villa, with my American and European friends. I never showed those books to another Saudi, or Arab, in Arabia again.


Huh, my family left Saudi by mid-1980s (work contract done), and my brother's D&D was similarly unscathed. In fact, I remember getting hooked onto Demigods & Deities book in Saudi as a wee child, inspiring a love for diverse mythologies, and I guess diversity in general. :) That explanation you got probably explains why it was untouched.

Pretty much all non-children magazines were black sharpied... except for National Geographic articles. The Western woman in an ad's tennis outfit would have her shorts and polo sharpied to her wrist & ankles -- studiously avoiding the tennis bracelet or watch being advertised -- but the following page with a native tribe with bare chested women would be untouched. Probably has to do with their concept of ignorance and innocence not extending to the 'people of the book'. :)
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danskmacabre

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Question for the oldsters: Were you impacted by the 70s - 80s Satanic Panic?
« Reply #39 on: October 07, 2019, 10:51:52 pm »
Quote from: GameDaddy;1108147


When I was in Al-Taif a few weeks later I met a Imam (Islamic Priest) who had come to a dinner party hosted by some of my Saudi business partners, and I asked him why the Mutaween had trashed my Luggage, and pretty much all of my books, except for my D&D books. He wanted to see them, ...of course, and I showed him. He knew the Demon on the cover the the 1e AD&D very well, and grew wide-eyed when he saw the image. He explained to me that in ancient times, Demons had walked the earth, and they looked just like the giant Efreet on the cover of the DMG. He told me that the Mutawaheen probably would have very much liked to beat me senseless right when I had arrived, and imprisoned me, but that they were afraid that the books contained actual knowledge of how to summon such a demon, and they didn't want me to summon a demon that would torment them.


Wow, that whole thing would have been a scary experience.. eek!

EOTB

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Question for the oldsters: Were you impacted by the 70s - 80s Satanic Panic?
« Reply #40 on: October 07, 2019, 10:52:50 pm »
I had hyper-religious parents and heathen older brothers who played, so they looked not very favorably on the game.  When I started playing it mom asked me if it was dangerous/occultic.  I pulled out my copy of beowulf and pointed at the Narnia books we had, and I said it was little different than they, except you could roll dice to see what happened.  That didn't make her entirely at ease, but she never stopped me and my friends from playing it.

FWIW I wouldn't have been too bothered if she had said "not in my house"; i.e., no owning or keeping those books there.  I mean, it's their house and they should be comfortable in it first and foremost, if they're weirded out by the art, content, or whatever.  Unlike kids today I moved out immediately after high school so, like many other things they definitely did not want in their house, I'd have simply done it elsewhere.
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Tait Ransom

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Question for the oldsters: Were you impacted by the 70s - 80s Satanic Panic?
« Reply #41 on: October 07, 2019, 11:15:19 pm »
I started playing red box and then AD&D in 1980.  We lived in south Texas and were members of a Baptist church and then an evangelical Bible church. The satanic panic missed us altogether.  My friends and I played at our house all the time, my parents and grandparents bought me the various books and boxed sets, and I don't recall anyone from the church saying anything about D&D one way or the other.

After I left for school, my gaming buddies would still come by my house to see what was for dinner, and my folks would feed them - even though I wasn't there!

Omega

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Question for the oldsters: Were you impacted by the 70s - 80s Satanic Panic?
« Reply #42 on: October 07, 2019, 11:20:12 pm »
Sadly I saw the Satanic Panic in action first hand.

Librarians trashed the rented library room we were renting each week to RPG game in while we were out taking a break. And blamed it on us.
And around the same time a priest shows up at the library and was asking me about one of my players. And that player then disappeared after giving me a bunch of his gaming material.
And the mother of two of my other players freaked out and just up and moved out of state to "escape from that game".

And this is mild compared to the absolute hell others were put through because of these nuts.

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Question for the oldsters: Were you impacted by the 70s - 80s Satanic Panic?
« Reply #43 on: October 07, 2019, 11:51:36 pm »
I played here in Los Angeles starting in the late 70s and through most of the 80s. I did not even hear about the Satanic Panic during that time. I guess because I am Jewish (so not my religion driving that stuff) and it's Los Angeles (not as many evangelicals here per capita as many other places).

SHARK

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Question for the oldsters: Were you impacted by the 70s - 80s Satanic Panic?
« Reply #44 on: October 07, 2019, 11:58:03 pm »
Greetings!

The "Satanic Panic" didn't have any significant impact where I was growing up, in Northern California in the late 1970's and into the 1980's. A friend of mine, who was Baptist, heard about it from some folks at his church, and his parents were initially pretty caautious. Once I taught him the game though, he was able to explain D&D to his parents, and they relaxed. My other friends, whether Catholic or otherwise, didn't have any real pressure or harassment. My junior high school, as well as the high school I went to, both had organized game clubs, sponsored by at least one teacher, from which we would often gather everyday at lunch to play, as well as after school. Lots of pick-up games and different groups forming and playing together. It was a blast, and a lot of fun!

As for my own home, aside from my best friend who had originally taught me how to play, and got me into a campaign, I started my first campaign as a DM with my best friend, another friend, and my own mother and father. I remember my father playing an educated, crusader-Cleric, something like a Bishop Turpin from the Middle Ages, or famed warrior-priests from the Crusades fighting against the evil forces of Islam. My father was excellent as a player, being decked out in his heavy armour, carrying a heavy mace, and stomping the shit out of Orcs and evil bandits. *laughs* My father would frequently preach at the enemies encountered, and use some Biblical quotation, before smiting them with his mace, and calling down fire from the heavens against them. Meanwhile, my mother, she rolled up a Barbarian. As this was AD&D, class-wise at the time it was a Fighter, but she wanted to wear furs, and have necklaces of wolf teeth and carry a giant sword. My mother also embraced playing the game with great enthusiasm, and she was very zealous in slaughtering any enemies that the group encountered. All this modern talk about getting triggered, whaa, whaa, whaa. My own mother said that enemies they captured would be tortured with sharp knives and shimmering fire. Enemies would be made to talk, and they would suffer judgement of pain and death for their crimes against the Kingdom! My mother was epic as a fierce, warlike barbarian woman! *laughs*

Both my father and mother would take me to this cool local game store, and walk about it with me for several hours, buying me bags of coloured weird dice for the game, as well as books and modules, and boxes of lead figures. My first box of figures my mother bought for me--a variety monster pack, of Monsters by Grenadier. My parents gave me the whole hardcover set of books for AD&D as a Christmas present, as well as more dice, and more boxes of figures. My father used to help me paint figures on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, where he would primer them for me, and suggest colours for different monsters, as well as paint and colour schemes for different knights and medieval warriors.

There were many weekends where I would invite 3, 4, or 5 of my friends over to my house, often sleeping over, where we would have these epic marathon game sessions lasting the whole weekend. My parents would often play as well, or at least supervise us. Lots of pizza, steak, pasta, salads, and sodas then, as well as cookies and chips! Good times! Even when my parents were not playing, they would often relax nearby, watching and listening to us play the game. Cheering at us, or making suggestions as we battled hordes of Orcs, trolls, evil bandits, Pagan rebels defying the King, and savage dragons! My father would sometimes relate war stories that were similar to medieval combat, echoing some of his experiences in combat while serving in World War II, or explain mythology or stories from the Middle Ages and the days of Knights and great Kings, barbarian hordes, and the ancient Roman Empire. That was always such fun, too!

Great times indeed!

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
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