- Patricia Pulling
Patricia A. Pulling (
30 June, 1948– 18 September, 1997) [ Social Security Death Index; Patricia A. Pulling; 223-68-4625 ] was an anti-occult campaigner from Richmond, Virginia, and the founder of Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons (BADD), a one-personFact|date=March 2008 advocacy group that was dedicated to the elimination of the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons(D&D) and other such games.
Pulling formed the organization after her son Irving (known as Bink, a nickname he allegedly hatedFact|date=March 2008) committed
suicideon June 9, 1982. Irving was an active D&D player, and she believed his suicide was directly related to the game. The grieving mother first filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her son's high school principal, Robert A. Bracey III, holding him as responsible for what she claimed was a "Dungeons & Dragons" curse placed upon her son shortly before his death. She also filed suit against TSR, Inc., D&D's publishers.
When her lawsuits were dismissed, she founded BADD and began publishing information circulating her belief that D&D encouraged
devil worshipand suicide. BADD described D&D as "a fantasy role-playing game which uses demonology, witchcraft, voodoo, murder, rape, blasphemy, suicide, assassination, insanity, sex perversion, homosexuality, prostitution, satanic type rituals, gambling, barbarism, cannibalism, sadism, desecration, demon summoning, necromantics, divinationand other teachings." [http://www.usask.ca/relst/jrpc/art9-roleplaying-print.html Role-Playing Games and the Christian Right: Community Formation in Response to a Moral Panic] in "Journal of Religion and Popular Culture"]
BADD achieved some success in airing its views in the press, both through conservative Christian media properties as well as mainstream outlets. The organization distributed its materials in
Australiathrough conservative advocacy groups affiliated with the Reverend Fred Nile, such as the Australian Federation for Decency. Pulling also obtained a private investigator's licence, became a consultant to law enforcement, and was an expert witness in several gaming-related lawsuits. All of these suits lost in court. Ms. Pulling was also the author of a book, "The Devil's Web: Who Is Stalking Your Children For Satan?" published by Vital Issues Press in August 1989 (ISBN 0-910311-59-5). The book revealed that Pulling had, at best, only a basic working knowledge of the alleged occult activities she was crusading against. The book not only treats the Necronomiconas a real publication, but refers to it as if it were widely available for reading and used regularly by teenagers; one portion of the book urges police officers to open interrogations of suspected teenage occultists with the question, "Have you read the Necronomicon, or are you familiar with it?" [http://www.rpgstudies.net/stackpole/pulling_report.html] As the popularity of D&D and other role-playing games increased, Pulling's more extreme views and statements were increasingly called into question. For example, she once told a newspaper reporter that eight percent of the people living in Richmond, Virginiawere Satanists. She had arrived at that figure, she explained, by estimating four percent of adults and four percent of teens to be involved with Satanism, and adding them together to get eight percent. When the reporter informed her that mathematically that was four percent, not eight percent, she claimed that it did not matter because even eight percent was a "conservative" figure." Richmond News Leader" story published April 7, 1989] The American Association of Suicidology, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and Health & Welfare (Canada) would all eventually conclude that there is no causal link between fantasy gaming and suicide. [http://www.rpg.net/realm/critique/gama.html QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT ROLE-PLAYING GAMES] , Loren K. Wiseman and Michael A. Stackpole, ©1991 by Game Manufacturers Association] In 1990, the writer Michael Stackpoleauthored "The Pulling Report", a review highly critical of BADD's methods of data collection, analysis and reporting. [http://www.rpgstudies.net/stackpole/pulling_report.html The Pulling Report by Michael A. Stackpole] ]
BADD effectively ceased to exist when Pulling died of cancer in 1997.
Notes and references
Dungeons & Dragons controversies
History of role-playing games
* [http://www.holysmoke.org/wb/wb0017.htm Introductory letter from BADD]
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