Bethan Juliet Oake


I previously undertook both my BA (Hons) and MA in Theology & Religious Studies at the University of Leeds. My dissertations focused on Contemporary Paganism and Nonreligion.

I began my PhD in October 2021, with funding through the AHRC via White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities.

My current project explores contemporary ‘Satanic Cult Conspiracy’ (SCC) discourse online. SCC refers to the longstanding conspiracy narrative that claims the existence of secret criminal, Satan-worshipping cults who engage in the ritualistic abuse and/or sacrifice of children. Satanic cult legends can be traced back to the 11th century, frequently resurfacing on and off throughout history to the present day – most recently, during the (predominantly) American ‘Satanic Panic’ of the 1980s. Today its rhetoric has again re-emerged, now intertwining itself within a far more diverse range of conspiracy narratives and religio-spiritual frameworks. My project analyses the current landscape of public SCC discourse online, looking into how it relates to the wider field of ‘conspirituality’ and what this can indicate regarding its future influence upon public social attitudes.

Research interests

  • Conspirituality
  • Contemporary Occultism
  • Online Religion
  • Cults and New Religious Movements
  • Nonreligious Identity



  • BA (Hons) Theology & Religious Studies
  • MA Theology & Religious Studies