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I started playing in '82. I remember the stigma that some media groups presented (like 700 club. he picks up the 1e PHB with the demon statue on the front and starts with "now... (pause)". That's when he lost me). I never encountered any specific protest against my interest in playing it, though. My psychology professor once playfully pressed me on whether or not the game affected me, but he didn't seem convinced he had to show concern. If anything, the largest complaint was the time I spent prepping the game and writing adventures instead of doing other things I should have been doing.
The games I played didn't feel demonic. They felt tactical, explorative, story-based, even brilliant (Castle Amber was the most fun I had losing a PC in almost every room we visited).
Also, since we didn't have the internet, we felt like our worlds were our own and we could present things exactly as we wanted without someone trying to present an overqualified opinion of what things should and shouldn't be like - except for a fixated ex-Marine that complained about the layout of a castle map I designed.
Even the modules that dealt with demons (Queen of the Demonweb Pits) portrayed the PCs as planar heroes dealing with an evil force left unchecked.
Granted, there were... behavorial oddities that occurred. One of my players said after finishing Temple of Elemental Evil, especially after the encounter with Iuz and St. Cuthbert, he would wake up from nightmares, running into the hallway and hitting the wall. I'm not sure what to say about that, except that I myself became a bit fixated on how long the PCs I built would survive. I hated losing them, not getting to that point of 'success' that I saw other characters achieving. And there just wasn't any way other than DnD of experiencing that. After I finally got to the higher levels and reached superhero status with all the magic items I had, I had gotten my fill of that.
Probably the biggest epiphany I had was that the GM really determines the quality of the game. When the ex-Marine GM'd, it was a merciless struggle to survive. With another guy that GM'd, it was playing against his whims (which I didn't enjoy). With the guy that ran into hallways after a nightmare, the games felt heroic and rewarding. That was the DnD I fell in love with.