SYSOP'S NOTE: The following file is the complete text of a letter sent by Dr.
Michael Aquino to CBS after they aired a made-for-TV movie entitled "Do You
Know the Muffin Man?" This movie was a fictional account of a "typical"
ritualized child abuse case in a "typical" day-care center, modelled closely
after the allegations in the McMartin, Bakersfield, and Akron scandals. Dr.
Aquino's letter thoroughly rebuts these charges.
No response from CBS had been received as of 12/18/89.
This letter is reprinted with permission of the author, who asked me to point
out that documentation for everything he says in here is available on request
to the address shown.
-- J. Brad Hicks, Sysop WeirdBase
TEMPLE OF SET
Post Office Box 4507, St. Louis, MO 63108 * MCI-Mail: 278-4041 * Telex: 6502784041
Michael A. Aquino, Ph.D.
High Priest of Set October 25, 1989 CE
51 West 52nd Street
New York, New York 10019
Your broadcasting of the television-movie DO YOU KNOW THE MUFFIN MAN? on
October 22 displayed extremely shocking bias and disregard for the truth. To
the extent that this film is interpreted by audiences to represent the general
truth behind the epidemic of day-care "Satanic child abuse" witch-hunts which
have convulsed this country for the last several years, you will be
responsible for the encouragement of further injustices of the most traumatic
kind on innocent people falsely accused of such horrors.
You may shrug this off by citing the fine-print disclaimer at the end of
the film that this was a "fictional" drama. Yet the references to real-life
incidents ("the Presidio, El Paso, and West Point") in the film as though they
were proven examples of the kind of crime depicted, coupled with the TV GUIDE
and on-screen announcement that "according to government statistics some
39,000 children were sexually abused last year", made it clear that the film
was to be understood as thinly-fictionalized "docu-drama".
From McMartin onward, the epidemic of day-care "child abuse" scares has
been characterized by spontaneous and violent attack upon chosen targets the
moment they are selected. Presumably child sexual abuse is so heinous a crime,
as witchcraft during the middle ages, that it is unthinkable for anyone to be
accused of it unless he or she is indeed guilty. Everyone wants to go on
record as denouncing such individuals vigorously, lest one become suspect
oneself for not showing sufficient enthusiasm for the hunt. On the other hand,
no individual or official wants to take responsibility for stating that the
alleged abuse did not occur.
Permit me to itemize the more conspicuous fallacies of Muffin Man:
(1) YOUR TV GUIDE/ON-SCREEN ANNOUNCEMENT THAT "FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
ESTIMATES THAT APPROXIMATELY 39,000 CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF SIX ARE SEXUALLY
ABUSED IN THE UNITED STATES EACH YEAR" IS MISLEADING, IMPLYING AS IT DOES THAT
"DAY-CARE SATANIC" EVENTS SUCH AS THAT DEPICTED IN THE FILM ARE THE PROBLEM.
What your announcement failed to state is that THE VAST MAJORITY OF SUCH
CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE OCCURS IN THE HOME, NOT IN DAY-CARE CENTERS. According to
David Finkelhor, Associate Director of the Family Violence Research Program,
University of New Hampshire, the primary threat of sexual molestation comes
from MEMBERS OF THE CHILD'S FAMILY, NOT FROM PORNOGRAPHERS OR PEDOPHILES WHO
ARE STRANGERS. Projection of such crimes upon day-care personnel may be a
device to cover up incest, or to destroy women's options for child-care
outside the home, thus forcing them away from personal/professional lives of
their own and back to the fundamentalist model of "a woman's place". In CHILD
SEXUAL ABUSE: NEW THEORY & RESEARCH, Finkelhor writes:
In many respects the moralists were mistaken about the problem, since
they portrayed the greatest danger to children as coming from strangers
and depraved individuals outside the family, not from within the family,
where, as recently documented, the more serious threat is.
(2) USE OF ROLAND SUMMIT AS THE SOLE CONSULTANT TO THE FILM.
Dr. Roland Summit testifies so consistently for any accusation of "child
abuse" that he has become nationally known as the "prosecution doctor". (Cf.
Paul & Shirley Eberle, THE POLITICS OF CHILD ABUSE, Lyle Stuart 1986.) He now
has a distinguished record of participating in several celebrated "child abuse
industry" scandals in which scores of innocent people were randomly accused,
put through nightmarish ordeals, and professionally ruined.
Why did you not also consult some of the many distinguished physicians who
expose and deplore the "child abuse industry", such as Dr. Lee Coleman,
Director of the Center for the Study of Psychiatric Testimony in Berkeley,
California? Were you afraid that you might discover "inconvenient" facts which
invalidate the pre-determined theme of the film?
(3) SCARRING IN RECTUM AS EVIDENCE OF CHILD-RAPE.
This was presented in the film as "conclusive proof" that one of the
children had been raped. In the case of at least one real-life witch-hunt -
that at the Presidio of San Francisco - it was also used in the case of the
child whose parents originally instigated the scare. Later on the physician
who originally diagnosed the child's rectum as injured retracted that
diagnosis on a television news documentary. By that time, of course, the
witch-hunt was in full swing and no one paid attention to this inconvenient
Dr. John McCann, Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the
University of California, San Francisco, has produced a study that reveals far
more normal variations in the vaginal and rectal areas of children than most
physicians are aware of. He and his assistants examined the vaginal and rectal
areas of some 250 prepubertal children with no history of sexual molestation
and found that "private parts - particularly girls' genitals - can be as
variable from person to person as noses or breasts". Responsible physicians
are accordingly becoming more cautious about diagnosing "rape" from such
variations. See the article in MS magazine, March 1989.
(4) PARENTS' AND INTERROGATORS' REFUSAL TO ACCEPT DENIALS OF ATTACK BY
As your film showed, this is a staple of "day-care child abuse"
witch-hunts. Once their minds are made up, zealots simply keep working the
children over, again and again, for months or years if necessary, until the
children are ready to say anything expected of them. Moreover any statement at
all from such children which can be "interpreted" by parents or "therapists"
into sexual context is construed as "evidence". MUFFIN MAN presented this as a
perfectly normal and acceptable practice.
As the MEMPHIS COMMERCIAL APPEAL noted on January 20, 1988 as part of its
6-part series on the "child-abuse" epidemic:
Investigators in El Paso sometimes refused to accept denials,
retractions, or silence from children. They attributed those actions to
stress-related "avoidance" behavior or to the "child sexual abuse
accommodation syndrome", a controversial doctrine that says abuse
victims inevitably recant allegations.
The COMMERCIAL APPEAL further observed that:
Luiz Natalicio, an El Paso psychologist who evaluated tapes of
interviews in the abuse case there, compares the questioning techniques
to those used by Communist Chinese forces on American soldiers captured
during the Korean War. Like the POWs, children in the El Paso case were
isolated in unfamiliar and usually barren surroundings. They believed
their release from questioning, and satisfying such needs as drinking
water and going to the bathroom, depended upon whether they provided
information, Natalicio said. "If we can do it with adults, you can
imagine how effective it can be with children, who are dependent on us
totally for their conception of reality," said Natalicio, a former
University of Texas professor who taught courses on the psychological
aspects of interrogation.
(5) TRANSPORT OF CHILDREN FROM DAY-CARE CENTERS TO REMOTE SITES FOR MOLESTING.
This invention was created by accusers to explain away the inconvenient
fact that day-care centers are generally open places with lots of observation
and access, parents and children coming and going, and no opportunities for
molesting, much less elaborate "Satanic rituals".
Merely proposing such an idiotic "explanation" does not validate it, no
matter how often it is tried. Not one "witch-hunt" has validated this absurd
allegation. So why did your movie present it as an "accepted" practice?
(6) INTEREST OF SATANISTS IN CHILD-MOLESTING, PARTICULARLY AT DAY-CARE
This must rank with the survival of Elvis Presley as one of the most
asinine myths of the 1980s. It is in COMPLETE CONTRADICTION to the official,
published doctrines of the Satanic religion, as contained in Anton LaVey's
SATANIC BIBLE of the old Church of Satan (1966-1975) and in the CRYSTAL TABLET
of the contemporary Temple of Set (1975-present):
Under no circumstances would a Satanist sacrifice any animal or baby.
There are sound and logical reasons why Satanists would not perform such
sacrifices. Mankind is the godhead to the Satanist. The purest form of
existence reposes in the bodies of animals and human children who have
not grown old enough to deny themselves their natural desires. They can
perceive things that the average human being can never hope to.
Therefore the Satanist holds these beings in a sacred regard, knowing
that he can learn much from these natural magicians of the world.
The Satanist is aware of conventional religions' universal custom of
killing their gods. The Satanist, however, does not hate himself nor his
gods, and has no desire to destroy himself or anything for which he
stands. It is for this reason that he would never willfully harm an
animal or child.
The Satanist would not intentionally hurt others by violating their
sexual rights. If you attempt to impose your sexual desires upon others
who do not welcome your advances, you are infringing upon their sexual
freedom. Therefore Satanism does not advocate rape, child molesting,
sexual defilement of animals, or any other form of sexual activity which
entails the participation of those who are unwilling or whose innocence
or na•vetˇ would allow them to be intimidated or misguided into doing
something against their wishes. - SATANIC BIBLE
Children should not be allowed to attend any Black Magical ritual.
They will not understand it, may be frightened by it, and may wrongly
represent it to others. Pets may be present only if they may be depended
upon to enhance, not to disrupt the atmosphere. Under no circumstances
is any life-form ever sacrificed or injured in a Black Magical ritual of
the Temple of Set. Violation of this rule will result in the offender's
immediate expulsion and referral to law-enforcement or animal protection
authorities. - CRYSTAL TABLET OF SET
The senior Supervisory Special Agent of the FBI in charge of "Satanic
abuse" investigations is Kenneth Lanning, FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia. As
the MEMPHIS COMMERCIAL APPEAL reported on January 18, 1988:
Lanning said he was perplexed by the growth of such stories with no
evidence to support them. "Some people believe there is large-scale
abduction of children," Lanning said, "that individuals are going around
snatching little children, keeping them captive, transporting them to
other locations where they're being murdered in Satanic rituals. Is that
possible? I guess it's possible. Is it probable? I don't see any
evidence of it."
While Lanning has patiently repeated this authoritative statement any
number of times since then, it seems that anti-Satanism fanatics are
determined not to hear it. I understand that some of them, furious over this
"inconvenience", have simply labeled Lanning a Satanist himself (which he is
not) and continued their campaigns. This is in keeping with medieval practice,
in which anyone daring to defend an accused witch was simply accused in turn.
The theme of "sexual abuse of children" has been loosely used as
hate-propaganda by Christianity for centuries against any other religion it
wished to slander. Along with "child sacrifice", it was a theme used
aggressively against the Jews up to World War II, after which time Nazi
violence against that religion made it unfashionable for Christians to openly
attack it. The Satanic religion, on the other hand, appears still to be
considered an appropriate target for such slander.
The effect of such hate-propaganda, of course, is to create a social
atmosphere in which Satanists must fear any association with children
whatever, whether their own or someone else's. While Christians may
indoctrinate their children with Christian ideology - including at the many
day-care centers run by Christian churches - any hint that Satanists might
even be DISCUSSING their religion with their children, much less teaching it
to them, is guaranteed to provoke social and, to the extent it can be
effected, official persecution.
As it happens, neither the old Church of Satan nor the current Temple of
Set ever operated any programs for minors, nor accepted them as members.
Nevertheless it is outrageous that Christians should expect us to accept a
social climate in which ONLY they, not anyone else, can discuss religion with
Also as it happens, the religion with a PROVEN RECORD of child sexual abuse
by its officials is CHRISTIANITY, not Satanism. I am talking not about mere
allegations, but about PROSECUTIONS and CONVICTIONS - and also about official
policies to cover up such crimes when they have occurred. To take just the
Catholic Church as an example: In the December 30/31, 1988 SAN JOSE MERCURY
NEWS, court records and sworn testimony in civil and criminal cases involving
35 priests in dioceses across the U.S. over the past five years - most since
1985 - show that in one or more cases Catholic Church officials have:
* Ignored parental complaints that a child has been molested.
* Failed to inform authorities, even though most states have laws
requiring that such complaints be passed along to police or child
* Transferred the offending priest to another parish or other
church-owned facility, such as a hospital or school, without warning
parents in the new location of the trouble in the old parish, and
often without even requiring the priest to stay away from children.
* Refused to help priests who have asked for psychological help.
* Attempted to discredit parents who complained, even when parish
officials knew of earlier complaints against the priest in question.
* Fought, usually with success, to make sure that the files in civil
lawsuits against the church are sealed and that settlements remain
secret even after the payment of millions of dollars in claims
* Failed to seek out probable victims and declined to turn over files
containing information about accusations of other molestations to
attorneys suing the church.
Catholic Father Thomas Doyle, a Washington, D.C. priest and canon lawyer
who has looked into the issue of pedophiliac priests, told the MERCURY NEWS he
knows of about 200 Catholic priests who have molested children in the past 4-5
years. He said that as many as 3,000 priests could be pedophiles.
F. Ray Mouton, a lawyer working with Doyle, added:
I have consulted with dioceses and Catholic religious orders from
every part of this country, and it is my impression that there is not
one single, solitary bishop or vicar in this country who has not dealt
with the problem of a pedophiliac priest under his supervision.
Conservatively I would estimate that in the last several years, hundreds
of priests and other clerics have been discovered as pedophiles, leaving
a trail of thousands of Catholic child victims.
The SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS provided the following examples [among others]:
* In 1987 priest Roger Trott, Diocese of Greensburg, Pennsylvania
pleaded guilty to one count of corrupting a minor, a 13-year-old altar
boy, in a plea arrangement providing for no jail time. Afterward the
district attorney discovered that Trott may have molested as many as
15 boys. A year before, the diocese reportedly paid $375,000 to two
families on behalf of children alleged to have been molested by
another priest, Father Dennis Dellamalva, who was never charged.
Neither the families who sued nor the diocese would discuss the
* In 1987 priest Richard Galdon, Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, was
sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of
first-degree aggravated assault and two counts of second degree
aggravated assault against three boys. Galdon, 57, admitted engaging
in oral and anal sex with boys for 17 years. DA investigator George
McGrath said that he talked to 18 boys at a school who said they were
molested by Galdon.
* In 1985 priest Carmelo Baltazar, Diocese of Boise, Idaho was sentenced
to 7 years in prison for luring two teenage boys to his house,
fondling them, and giving them liquor, drugs, and pornography. He had
been kicked out of the U.S. Navy (where he had been a chaplain) as
well as transferred from three previous dioceses for similar conduct.
An attorney who sued the diocese said that Baltazar's previous job was
at a hospital in Napa, where he fondled a boy on a dialysis machine.
Despite being told about this, a Catholic hospital in Boise hired him
and then took no action after an Episcopalian minister reported to the
bishop that Baltazar had fondled a boy in double leg traction.
* In 1987 priest John Salazar, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was sentenced
to 6 years in prison for engaging in oral copulation with two altar
boys. He had been left in his position despite one mother's report
that her son had been molested in 1985.
* In 1985 priest Alvin Campbell, Diocese of Springfield, Illinois was
sentenced to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually
abusing 7 boys. Campbell later admitted that he had molested boys for
more than 20 years.
* In 1987 priest Walter Weerts, Diocese of Springfield, Illinois was
sentenced to 6 years in prison for performing oral sex on three
teenage boys. The diocese paid $2.5 million, one source told the
MERCURY NEWS, to three families who sued when a pattern of
transferring him from parish to parish was uncovered. The diocese
refused to discuss the case.
* In 1986 priest Ronald Fontenot, Diocese of Spokane, Washington was
sentenced to 1 year in jail and 2 years in a treatment program after
teen-age boys complained that he had engaged in oral copulation with
one and fondled four others.
* In 1986 priest Andrew Christian, Diocese of Orange, California
received 5 years' probation on condition he go to a treatment facility
after being found guilty of 26 counts of child molestation. The church
never told authorities of abuse reported 3 years earlier, when it sent
Christian to counseling and did not remove him from supervising boys.
When the counseling stopped, molestings began.
* In 1986 priest William O'Connell, Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island
was sentenced to 1 year in prison and 2 years in a treatment center
after pleading no contest to 26 counts of sexually abusing 12 boys.
* In 1985 priest Paul Leech, Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island was
sentenced to 3 years in prison for molesting 3 boys.
* In 1986 priest Timothy Slevin, Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. was
sentenced to 3-12 years after pleading guilty to four counts of
sodomizing a boy at Sacred Heart Catholic School. Slevin told police
he sexually abused 6 other boys aged 10-16.
In contrast to this shameful record, there has never been a SINGLE charge
against or conviction of ANY Satanist for child sexual abuse, anywhere, any
time. The reason is quite simple: WE DON'T DO IT. Ours is a religion in which
sex is NOT treated as a religious fetish, nor restricted between consenting
adults. It is regarded simply as one more bodily function with pleasurable and
(7) PORTRAYAL OF SATANISTS KILLING RABBITS AND FAMILY PETS.
Animal sacrifice is strictly forbidden by this nation's Satanic churches,
per the above quotes from the Satanic Bible and the Crystal Tablet.
(8) THE FILM'S DISMISSAL OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PRESCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN
SUDDENLY USING COMPLEX SEXUAL WORDS LIKE "VAGINA".
In fact this is one of the MOST conspicuous indices that the child in
question has been coached by zealots. As such it is an important indicator
impeaching the testimony of such children and should not be minimized.
(9) AN OLDER CHILD INSISTING ON THE WITNESS STAND THAT HE HAD "PASSED A
POLYGRAPH" CONCERNING HIS ALLEGATIONS.
While the film showed the defense lawyer objecting and the objection
sustained, this scene was clearly added to "substantiate" the older child's
statements. The reason that polygraph results are not allowed in court, of
course, is that they are NOT reliable. There are many reasons why they may
give false readings. The history of their use in child-abuse witch-hunts is
that they are ignored by prosecutors if they support the accused person's
innocence and are treated as "proof overwhelming all other evidence" if the
accused is judged to have flunked.
As Washington columnist James Kilpatrick recently reported in his column:
A witness for the American Medical Association testified that the
results of such examinations are "only somewhat better than chance".
Another estimated that polygraph machines wrongfully hang a label of
"liar" on at least 400,000 honest persons every year.
A Senate report described the problems. A standard polygraph records
changes in blood pressure, respiration patterns, and sweat. By analyzing
a chart of these changes, the operator reaches conclusions on the
honesty of the person being examined. The physiological data may be
quite accurate, "but there is no evidence that these recorded changes
are unique to deception". Such factors as "anger, fear, anxiety,
surprise, shame, embarrassment, and resentment can cause identical
(10) PORTRAYAL OF A "SATANIC CEREMONY" IN A DAY-CARE CENTER, WITH VIOLENCE
ATTEMPTED TO PREVENT POLICE FROM SEEING IT.
No Satanic religious ceremony has EVER been held in a day-care facility,
nor have implements or persons involved in such a ceremony EVER been found in
the way your film implied. No law-enforcement official curious about any
activity of the Church of Satan or Temple of Set has EVER been resisted with
To further highlight the film's ignorance of authentic Satanism, a ritual
knife was referred to as an "athame", and the "Satanists" were shown in red
robes. An athame is a device used by the Wicca pagan religion, not by
Satanists. And Satanists do not wear red robes for rituals. [Perhaps you
confused us with Catholic cardinals?]
Even more preposterous was the film's use of "Satanic names" such as Isis,
Medea, Triton, and Pegasus. Obviously you - or Roland Summit, or whoever else
your "expert" on Satanism happened to be - knows as little about mythology as
about athames. In Egyptian mythology Isis is the wife of Osiris, OPPONENT of
the "Satanic" god Set. Medea is a figure from Greek mythology having nothing
to do with Satanic symbolism. Triton is a fish, and Pegasus is a horse.
Genuine magical names are chosen carefully, with precise attention to the
mythology in question. Or perhaps you intended your "conspiracy of Satanists"
to include a frogman and a jockey?
(11) ACTOR JOHN SHEA'S CITING OF "THE PRESIDIO, WEST POINT, AND EL PASO" AS
PROVEN INCIDENTS OF SUCH ABUSE AS PORTRAYED IN THE FILM.
PRESIDIO OF SAN FRANCISCO: This 1986-87 scandal was simply one more scam in
the "McMartin copycat" series. Neither prosecutions nor convictions of anyone
resulted. A Baptist minister by the name of Gary Hambright was initially
targeted in that witch-hunt; later on an Army chaplain decided to attack my
wife and myself as well.
All charges against Hambright were ultimately thrown out by the court or
withdrawn by the prosecution, and thus he is entitled to the presumption of
his innocence. More than that, the U.S. Federal Public Defenders in his case
state that the evidence quite clearly exonerates him of any such crimes. Ask
them yourself: Ms. Nanci Clarence & Mr. Jeff Hansen, Federal Building, San
Francisco - (415) 556-7712.
No charges were ever brought against me or Mrs. Aquino, because the
evidence conclusively proves not only that we could not have committed crimes
as alleged, but also that they never occurred at all. On the other hand, I
preferred court-martial charges against that Army chaplain, Lawrence
Adams-Thompson, for making knowingly false and malicious accusations against
us. I am still at this time insisting that the U.S. Army Criminal
Investigation Division follow through with investigation of these charges
which I preferred, and of Adams-Thompson's attempt to defraud the U.S.
Government of several million dollars in fraudulent monetary claims based on
his fake allegations. [Following the West Point pattern as noted below,
parents in the Presidio witch-hunt filed over $66 million in claims against
the government in an attempt to make a little money from what they had put
their children through.]
WEST POINT: This July 1984 scandal began after a girl came home bleeding in
the vaginal area. In the usual pattern allegations then mushroomed to include
several children, animal sacrifice, pornography, and "rituals involving people
wearing bloody, Dracula-type masks". Ultimately 950 people were interviewed
including hundreds of children aged 2-6. No charges were ever brought against
anyone because of lack of evidence. Nevertheless a Captain Grote refused a
promotion to Major and proceeded to accuse Army officials of covering up "the
presence of ritualized/Satanic child abuse at West Point". [There were no
Satanists at West Point at the time.] Perhaps as disappointing to the accusers
under the circumstances was the fact that 8 families had filed claims against
the government totalling $110 million, easy wealth which was unlikely to be
realized if the scam would not be officially endorsed.
EL PASO: In June 1985 this McMartin-copycat got under way after parents
questioned their 3-1/2-year-old daughter about a word she had used. Two YMCA
female teachers were eventually accused as the feeding-frenzy grew. Nine
children talked about monsters, being kissed and fondled, and "having pennies
put in their pee-pees". This case was prosecuted, and both women were found
guilty. One conviction was later overturned, and [as of the most recent
account I read] the other is on appeal.
Again it is interesting to consider the role that monetary claims played in
this affair. Insurers for the YMCA reached a $600,000-plus settlement with
parents after an appellate court overturned the conviction of one of the two
female workers accused. Parents had originally sued for more than $24 million.
If there is any "pattern" to be demonstrated by these cases, it would seem to
be one of parental greed rather than of "Satanic child molesting".
The United States has now been through several years of such disgraceful
witch-hunts, which films such as MUFFIN MAN purport to excuse and justify. To
the extent that audiences accept its theme, you have acted to stimulate and
encourage further outrages of this sort. This is genuine child abuse, as it is
always the children, along with the targeted adults, who are the sufferers
from these orgies of greed and hatred.
It is ironic that, at the same time these ferocious witch-hunts are being
promoted, the country is bewailing its lack of adequate child day-care
services. Under these circumstances only a lunatic would have anything to do
with operating or working in a day-care service, no matter WHAT salaries are
offered. Nor does one have to be male to be targeted; such witch-hunts have
victimized young and old, male and female alike.
If this is the situation you sought to endorse by your broadcast of MUFFIN
MAN, then I expect you are quite pleased with yourselves. If after considering
the facts cited in this letter you have second thoughts about what you did,
then perhaps CBS should make a statement to that effect and remove this
disgraceful film from further circulation. It belongs in a trash-bin along
with Nazi Germany's THE ETERNAL JEW and similar hate-propaganda filth.
Michael A. Aquino