D&D General [Nonfiction] [Review] Dangerous Games by Joseph P. Laycock AKA The Satanic Panic or Arguing with Morons

If a person wants to understand the Satanic Panic, I think it's important to read the primary sources of the time - Dear's The Dungeon Master, Pulling's infamous BADD pamphlet and The Devil's Web, Weldon's Playing With Fire. It's easy to write off the bizarre stuff like people claiming that they heard the demons in D&D books screaming when they burned the books. But the Satanic Panic was arguably at its most dangerous when it presented itself as something reasonable, something logical. The aforementioned Playing With Fire puts on a veneer of scholarly even-handedness when its conclusion was made before the book was even written. Pulling and Radecki spoke as (self-appointed) "experts" to police, parents, teachers, courts.
 

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If a person wants to understand the Satanic Panic, I think it's important to read the primary sources of the time - Dear's The Dungeon Master, Pulling's infamous BADD pamphlet and The Devil's Web, Weldon's Playing With Fire. It's easy to write off the bizarre stuff like people claiming that they heard the demons in D&D books screaming when they burned the books. But the Satanic Panic was arguably at its most dangerous when it presented itself as something reasonable, something logical. The aforementioned Playing With Fire puts on a veneer of scholarly even-handedness when its conclusion was made before the book was even written. Pulling and Radecki spoke as (self-appointed) "experts" to police, parents, teachers, courts.

The most brutal deconstruction of the Satanic Panic is simply listing facts about a lot their arguments came from experts who were themselves known liars (one was a doctor with his license removed due to trading sex for drugs), how the statistics they quoted were often completely made up (suicide levels among gamers is lower than the national average), and they would routinely find themselves arguing for the defense as witnesses in murder trials.

Basically, Pullman would show up at a trial, rant, and then say the murderers involved were corrupted by the game--which meant she could very well have released killers if she'd had her way as long as it made her political points.

Thankfully, the D&D defense (which was used DOZENS OF TIMES) never worked.
 
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Thomas Radecki is a vile snake, to be sure. Patricia Pulling, while I don't agree with her at all, I can at least understand that she was coming from a place of grief and it was easier for her to blame the game. Radecki was just an opportunist.

The most brutal deconstruction of the Satanic Panic is simply listing facts about a lot their arguments came from experts who were themselves known liars (one was a doctor with his license removed due to trading sex for drugs),
 

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