Satanic Sex on Sunday: Gunilla Ekberg, Sex War and Extremist Feminism

Note: This post was first published in May 2011.

Feminist Satanism. No, that’s not right. Satanic Feminists. To be fair, no, it should be Feminists Who Believe Men are Pedophilic Satanists (or Satanist Pedophiles). No matter how you look at it, these words don’t immediately make sense together. This is the Rescue Industry with a vengeance – and Extremist Feminism indeed.*

Gunilla Ekberg has not appeared in public in Sweden in quite a while, I believe, but she has been giving anti-prostitution talks in Canada in support of a campaign to defeat Judge Himel’s decision to decriminalise many aspects of sex work in Ontario (Ekberg is apparently a citizen of Canada now). Admirers in Canada are billing her as a famous international lawyer, but she was publicly criticised in Sweden for calling herself a lawyer – does anyone know about Canada?  Her notoriety derives from her unyielding attitude as a campaigner, so authoritarian even some Swedes with similar ideas stopped wanting to be associated with her.

In 2005 she worked for Sweden’s Ministry of Industry as an expert on prostitution and was closely allied with ROKS, an organisation that runs shelters for women in trouble. At the time, ROKS’s management claimed Swedish patriarchy could usefully be compared to Afghanistan’s and advocated separatism: women living apart from men. As if this were not enough, ROKS management came to believe that pedophilic satanism was a real threat to girls and women in Sweden. Phew.

Other European countries have suffered mad bouts of belief in satanic cults in history, and the US is famous for its Satanic Panic all through the 1980s, but the oddity with Sweden is how such extremism can dwell so very close to mainstream government: get funding, have prestige, function as if ordinary and unremarkable.

The story of Ekberg’s embarrassing moment and public disgrace occurred in 2005, when journalist Evin Rubar (a woman) was making a programme about ROKS for Swedish Television, Könskriget (Sex War – link to first part),  in which the story of the satanic pedophiles is told, including the testimony of a young woman supposedly saved by ROKS who complains about her treatment by the rescuers. You will see in the clip below that Rubar, assuming Ekberg to have been closely involved, asks questions Ekberg refuses to answer. Leaving the room, Ekberg, assuming the microphone is off, threatens Rubar: Don’t count on any help from the shelters. The whole Sex War programme is two hours long; this is the clip in which Ekberg threatens Rubar:

Ekberg did not lose her job over this, but she did eventually leave it. The affair generated much criticism of her behaviour and that of the ROKS people, who come across as maniacs (at least one writer calling their thought patterns feminist fundamentalism, with which I concur, here on the blog and in Sex at the Margins). Numerous Swedish bloggers followed the disgraceful affair, reported here in the newspaper Aftonbladet. The ROKS manager was replaced.

Here is Part One of Sex War in Swedish, and here is a website that does a summary in English. After which, you will need a laugh.

Today, 25 June 2012, numerous people wrote to me to say, about another blogger’s post: Didn’t you write about this already? The answer is yes, in May 2011. Oh blogs, so easy to ‘absorb’. Sometimes the absorber says ‘but I only used the links you gave!’ Not good enough, say I, as defence against parasitism.

–Laura Agustín, the Naked Anthropologist

22 thoughts on “Satanic Sex on Sunday: Gunilla Ekberg, Sex War and Extremist Feminism

    1. Thaddeus Gregory Blanchette

      (Answering my own question after reading your last link)

      Ahn, no! It’s Margareta Winberg I’m remembering. She was the one who did the abolitionist song and dance here in Rio back in 2003. That was a sight to behold!

  1. Petra Östergren

    This is great, Laura.

    I wrote two articles in 2005 re this that might be of interest for you. First one in Aftonbladet, where I also mention the 1996 article and chain of events that led me to begin doing research in this field.

    And thanks to the Aftonbladet article I got more information on what was happening in the Ministry of Gender Equality, and had one more article published in Expressen.


  2. Alice-Dagen 365

    While this entry is interesting reading, I am concerned about your use of the word “pedophiles”.
    You don’t have any quotes here indicating that it is these extremist feminists who use the word, so my conclusion is that it’s your interpretation?

    What bothers me is that it’s a very prejudice inclination to use this word and then talk about satanic ritual abuse and other extreme criminal acts against children.
    I don’t think I am exaggerating because the witch hunt on pedosexuals is already so extreme. So I would not use the word so carelessly.
    Pedophilia is neither an act or a crime. It is a sexual orientation involving love and attraction like any other sexual orientation.

    Lastly, I can honestly not see a huge problem with thinking that males are pedosexuals, because it is a natural variation and as a side note it also concerns women. It’s only to split hairs to try and estimate how many have the orientation or not.

    I think facts are important. These are both my facts as well as my thoughts, which I thought appropriate to share.

  3. laura agustin Post author

    alice-dagen, for heaven’s sake, why make these criticisms if you didn’t check out the source of the information? pedophilia is precisely the accusation the extremists make in the film. take a little trouble and you will see.

  4. Iamcuriousblue

    I remember when the whole “Satanic Panic” was going strong in the 1980s and 90s in the United States. It was mostly spread by Christian Fundamentalists, but the idea was picked up by recovery industry feminists who were pushing dodgy “recovered memory” therapy. The book “The Courage to Heal” was the bible of this movement. A particularly low moment came when Ms Magazine ran a cover story urging readers to “believe” in the idea Satanic Ritual Murder.

    The larger panic led to the prosecution of a number of innocent people, notably in the McMartin Preschool and Wenatchee “satanic abuse” cases. In the case of the “West Memphis Three”, three men have been in jail for over 15 years based on questionable murder convictions the received as teenagers based mainly on claims that they were “satanists”.

    What’s interesting is that while panic largely blew over in the US by the late 90s, it apparently lives on in Sweden, spread mainly by extremist feminists rather than extremist Christians.

    1. Polly S

      I give much more credit to Radical Feminists for starting the panic and have always been bothered by those who downplay their involvement (not about you specifically). That’s why lunatics like Gloria Steinem & Catharine MacKinnon are back in the spotlight again today.

      Repressed/Recovered Memory therapies started the Satanic Panic. Radfem’s starting pushing women to go into RMT after the 1973 release of the now long debunked book Sybil. Thousands flocked into the therapies. The two main groups that practiced the fringe therapies were radical feminist and religious fundamentalist therapists. Radfem & Fundie therapists and advocates campaigned for changes to the DMS based on the lies of Sybil/Shirley Mason and Dr Wilbur. Gloria Steinem praised the therapy and wanted hysterical neurosis to be changed to Multiple Personality Gift, aa opposed to Disorder. The changes were made to the DSM in 1980 and we went from 90 speculative cases of hysterical neurosis, changed to MPD in 1980, in 200 years to thousands overnight.

      Those undergoing the therapy started coming up with more bizarre accusations in the 1970s – 1980s, and Satanic Ritual Abuse was one. This depended on the patient and therapists beliefs. Radfem’s did produce accusations of SRA in patients and Radfem advocates demanded that everyone listen to and believe the children.

      This continued to grow for 10 years, and in 1983 the day care accusations started after many started questioning why “the children” were grown, mentally ill women in fringe therapy. All the same RM therapists were involved in the day care cases, and radical feminists were also heavily involved.

      The hysteria really didn’t go away in the U.S. In the 1990s some believers “secularized” the movement. This just means they stopped mentioning Satan in mixed company, encouraged patients to do the same, changed MPD to DID, and starting using Ritual and Organized Abuse.

      They hysteria has repeatedly morphed and came out in other ways. See today’s Sex Trafficking hysteria. It has its roots in the Satanic Panic and Radfem’s & Fundies are responsible for pushing hysterical narratives that many have adopted.

      Also see today’s feminist reincarnation of Repressed/Recovered Memory Syndrome. It’s being called The Neurobiology of Trauma/Trauma Informed Investigative Practices and Delayed Recall. It’s being pushed in multiple countries as part of End Violence Against Women International’s Start By Believing crusade. Elizabeth Loftus, American expert in memory who fought tooth and nail against RMT and SRA fraud reviewed it as it was being pushed on college campuses and said it is eerily similar to Repressed Memory psychiatric folklore. That’s because fringe RM therapists are the ones promoting it. No neurobiology is involved. Some of those supporting in multiple countries (see James Hopper) are listed as reliable sources on SMART’s Satanic Ritual Abuse pages. Some, in multiple countries, pushed RMT & SRA the first time.

      Then we have newbies on the scene like Australia’s woke, millennial male feminist and associate psych and criminology professor Michael Salter. He chairs the ISSTD’s Ritual/Organized Abuse and Mind Control division. The ISSTD (international society for the study of trauma and dissociation) was formed by Satanic Ritual Abuse shrinks. He has sat on the board of Australia’s crazy SRA conspiracy group ASCA. He has had legal/ethical restrictions on RMT removed in Australia in the name of feminism.

      Google Michael Salters Struggle to rebrand the Satanic Panic, Michael Salter’s Dangerous Deductions, and Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion’s Blog about Salter/a self styled criminologists defending recoverd memories and Cathy Kezelman, a quack SRA/RMT therapists who claims to be a victim of Satanic Ritual Abuse herself.

      Salter had his feminist students using Complex Trauma Treatment training manuals written by Cathy Kezelman and endorsed by Valarie Sinason, the U.K’s longest running SRA hack.

      1. Polly S

        Started, DSM. Over look any other errors. I’m in a cold medicine fog and beyond help

      2. Polly S

        Also worth mentioning that Salter tries his hardest to come off as secularized, though he has slipped.

        Professor Chiet, another woke male feminist, has been running a Recovered Memory project for years at Brown University and recently wrote a book claiming most of the McMartin accusations were real. It was praised by many on the Radfem far left and most of the quacks he lists as credible resources in his Brown Uni blog are also listed as credible by SMART (group made up of SRA/RMT therapists and patients). He, like Salter, claims there is no such thing as false memories produced in mentally ill fringe therapy patients on a truck load of drugs and psychotropics. He does not go as far as Salter, though. Salter claims the concept of false memories was created by liberal pedo’s that started the sexual revolution and wanted to hide their tracks. One might think he’s a fundie in disguise but he’s just channeling Dworkin.

        A look into Jacqui Dillon is also quite eye opening. She’s a paranoid schizophrenic with auditory hallucinations who claims to be a victim of Satanic Ritual Abuse and thinks the voices she hears are demons, mind controlling Satanists and multiple personalities created by SRA. Jacqui bills herseld as an activist, is being given honorary psych doctorates by East London Uni’s (2017-2018) and is hosting lived experience workshops for the woke feminist students. I tried to talk to her on Twitter and was met by a gaggle of students and social workers, calling each other “comrade”, who were terribly upset that I dared question her truth and lived experience.

      3. Laura Agustín

        Thanks for all this. Your comments tie the current survivor-syndrome to the past for me.

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  7. C

    Someone might want to mention this to the rather naive Paisley branch of Amnesty International …/

  8. Pascal

    I am wondering if you are aware of the criticism of Rubar’s documentary? It was cut in a way that it leads you to some minsundrstandings, like the girl rescued was in fact NOT criticising the rescuers but the kidnappers. Other things like that contributed to the fact that the documentary was deemed partial and unfactual by Granskningsnämnden.

    1. Laura Agustín

      And Rubar complained back – multiple accusations and also prizes. But even without the over-dramatisation and probable manipulations that happen in all films, Ekberg’s behaviour stands out and speaks for itself.

  9. Passerby

    God, I can’t believe that woman didn’t lose her job for threatening to withhold emergency services to a reporter. I’m not suprised she said it, but for getting it filmed I would have at least expected Ekburg to be fired to save face.

    1. Laura Agustín

      Ekberg was indeed badly discredited when this incident became public and soon stopped being active in Sweden, made a career abroad, now getting a second law degree this time in Scotland. She always has offers to talk and consult from abolitionists.


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