On January 14, 1697 five year after the famous Salem witch trials, the entire community of Massachusetts Bay took part in a day of fasting and remorse. They did so as an act of contrition for the "great hardship brought upon innocent persons." Three-hundred years to the day, on January 14, 1997, a new "Day of Contrition" was held in the Salem MA to address the nationwide epidemic of accusations and prosecutions, that began in the 1980s concerning the day care child sex abuse phenomenon. There were about 100 such cases in which many people were accused, convicted, and imprisoned without any corroborative evidence -- no blood, semen, bodies, or anything else was ever found.

Many parallels can be drawn between the Salem witch trials, and the day care sex abuse phenomenon of the 1980s. Both were propelled by hysteria. I read an article specifically about one day care that had a sexual abuse scandal. At this day care called the Breezy Point Day School one mother complained that her 4 year-old daughter had been sexually abused, and like in the Salem witch trials one accusation sparked a chain reaction to many more. During the Salem witch trials many innocent girls confessed to things they hadn't done because of the great pressure put on them. The same type of pressure was put on the day care kids when they were continually questioned about being abused. As a result of this extensive questioning "there are many area children with implanted memories of horrendous forms of abuse that never happened." During these investigations the accusations became more and more ridiculous. Teachers were accused of locking the children in cages, force-feeding them feces and urine, making them watch rabbits being slaughtered, and many other preposterous things. The same kind of exaggerations took place in Salem. One innocent event would turn into accusations of murder and witchcraft. Although at the Breezy Point Day School all charges were eventually dropped, many other daycares were not so lucky. Just like in Salem many lives were consumed by the hysteria. One daycare teacher and her daughter -- Cheryl and Violet Amirault were imprisoned for 14 years before their convictions were finally overturned.

The Bucks county, PA Day School Ritual Abuse Case
Harvard law school conference - A special report
Picture of Cheryl and Violet Amirault