Against Satanic Panics > To humanists > Dawn Perlmutter
Book by pseudoscientific anti-Satanist scaremonger published by major scientific textbook publisher!
by Diane Vera
Copyright © 2006 by Diane Vera. All rights reserved.
Recently, I was shocked to find out that CRC Press, a major publisher of scientific textbooks and of such venerable reference books as The Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, is also the publisher of Investigating Religious Terrorism and Ritualistic Crimes by Dawn Perlmutter, who is definitely not a scientist of any kind.
Do you remember the long-discredited "Satanic and occult crime experts" who used to run around giving police-training seminars back in the 1980's? Well, there's now at least one new "expert" on "ritual violence," Dawn Perlmutter, who has evidently managed to convince quite a few people to take her seriously. Here are some of the places where she has given or will be giving seminars:
- 14th Robert Carell Trauma Symposium: EMS in a Crazy World, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, New Jersey, Saturday, October 28, 2000; included a session on "Recognizing Occult Violence" taught by Dawn Perlmutter
- Attorney General Jim Petro Offers Ohio Law Enforcement Insight Into Unusual Crimes: Nationally Renowned Expert In Investigation Of Ritual Crimes, Religious Extremism Instructing Course on the website of the Ohio Attorney General's office; the course, taught by Dawn Perlmutter, began October 25, 2005
- Investigating Religious Terrorism and Ritualistic Crime - seminar taught by Dawn Perlmutter at the University College of St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA, December 5-7, 2005
- Utah Division of the International Association for Identification: Trainings (see Fall 2005)
- Oklahoma Division of the International Association for Identification: 2006 Training Conference: "Saints, Sinners, & Cops"
And here are some news stories about her, including accounts of some of her TV appearances - and accounts of some of the criminal investigations she's been consulted on by police.
I've written a collection of critiques of her online publications. For those critiques, and for more information about her, please see Dawn Perlmutter and her Institute for the Research of Organized and Ritual Violence. Also, for some further information on her academic background and philosophical stance, please see René Girard, "sacred violence," Christianity, and "anthropology": Dawn Perlmutter's philosophical background, as best I can figure it out.
If you are a skeptic or an opponent of pseudoscience, I hope you will share my outrage that a book by a pseudoscientific anti-Satanist scaremonger is being given credibility by being published by CRC.