The authorship of these files on cults has his or her own motivations for providing them a

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[Fredric Rice, The Skeptic Tank: The authorship of these files on cults has his or her own motivations for providing them and will contain his or her own bias. What I find typical is that individuals and organizations which report on cults are usually themselves a competition cult yet like to think of themselves as "a religion, not a cult." In actual fact, _ALL_ religions are cults by the primary, secondary, and terciary usage definition of the term. Some of the information you find here is inaccurate and contains urban legend -- take what you find with a grain of salt. If you wish to acquire a copy of the Law Enforcement Guide on Occult Crime, contact myself at frice@stbbs.com or at The Skeptic Tank (818) 335-9601 and I'll forward the address and information you need.] Voodoo Voodoo, the occult and Santeria [Fredric Rice: This description is wildly inaccurate and makes many unfounded accusations -- accusations which many police agencies around the world have researched and found to be urban legends. The authorship has elected to group many diverse and widely different religious groups into one under this general heading for some reason.] According to a book called The Secret World Of Cults, one in every 200 peoplein Britain is involved in the occult and 10 per cent of those are seriouslyinvolved in satanism. Apologists for the occult claim that child abuse mediascares deflect public attention away from the age-old tradition in which they follow. Many are well- educated and well-read in the history of their own persecuted movement; from Middle Age Satanists, through Rosicrucians to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which included Aleister Crowley and W B Yeatsamong its members. Though they happily admit to clandestine ceremonies that others would consider bizarre (and in the case of animal sacrifice illegal) they insist that this does not include human slaughter. Even so, Crowley himself went so far as to recommend which humans would be most appropriate: "A male child of perfect innocence and high intelligence is the most satisfactory and suitable victim." They meet each other through notice boards in specialist occult bookshops and,increasingly, the Internet. They claim that they have no more in common withone-offpsychopathic child abusers than most football supporters do with hooligans. Thepolice agree; social services and the tabloids don't. A similar growth in fascination for pre-industrial demonology has been detected in America. Among the Cuban community in Miami, a resurgence of interest in Santeria (CubanVoodoo) has been noted, with some well-heeled exiles paying up to $5,000 forsecret initiation ceremonies involving animal sacrifice and trances. A jury in Louisiana recently had to deal with a case where a woman had asked her sister toremove her eyes because she believed she had been cursed by a Voodoo spirit. While this residual Western interest in black magic is often cause forconcern (if not incredulity), it is not necessarily cultic. All forms of black magic are rooted so deeply in the past and in oral tradition that 'recruiting',deception and contemporary figure heads do not feature as they do in classicdefinitions of cult dynamics. To comment about this Website, our paper and all associated articles, you can mail us at the Observer: bill@dial.pipex.com

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