Note: This is a continuation of my series looking at the Hellier docuseries. Additional entries exist within this blog.
In season two of the docuseries Hellier, we meet “Amy” who spins a yarn of Satanic conspiracies in high places (and in underground caverns). Unfortunately for the team, they fail to recognize Amy for what she is: a repeat offender whose tendency to take things that don’t belong to her have landed her in jail and possibly a decade-long prison sentence.
Amy has problems, and I can certainly sympathize. I’ve chased my own demons a time or two and I know what it’s like to have a monkey on my back. That said, once I was clean, I knew that I and I alone was responsible for my behavior. The devil–nor his followers–didn’t make me do those things; I did them because they felt good.
In order for Amy to get better, she has to accept what she’s done, that she was caught doing what she did, and that she and she alone bears the responsibility for what’s happened to her and where she is. We can argue about systems of oppression until we’re blue in the face but, if she ever wants to make parole, Amy will need to fess up, face facts, and recant her insane statement about devil worshippers in law enforcement, in the Marines, and in civilian government. She evokes the horrors of the Satanic Panic which swept North America in the 1980s and 1990s in order to make her claims and, unfortunately,
Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, and Velma the Hellier team bites into it hook, line, and sinker.
Amy is compounding her personal problems by spinning a lie that has the potential to create serious problems for innocent people. The genuine horror of the Satanic Panic (SP) resided in the wrongful arrests, convictions, and incarcerations of innocent people. Further, the template created by the SP has been used by dissatisfied Evangelical Christians to form their own “Satanic” cults that focus on the ritual abuse of children. That is, the old stand by that “the devil made me do it” has become a reality for pedophile preachers that seek justification for their abusive behavior.
If the Hellier team has a shred of integrity, if they can muster up a modicum of human decency and compassion, they will publicly apologize and distance themselves from Amy. They need to do this not only to salvage what’s left of their tattered integrity, but also help Amy face the reality of what she’s done. Providing someone like Amy with a platform to spread lies and conspiracies helps her maintain the delusion that she did nothing wrong and is a pawn in a vast conspiracy; it keeps her from working on herself and prevents her from seeking true rehabilitation. Promoting Amy’s story has harmed her more than the Hellier team (who lack training in psychology) can begin to understand.