From the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, January 25th, 1976: WITCHES EMBROILED by Wes Hills, Dai
From the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, January 25th, 1976:
by Wes Hills, Daily News Staff Writer
The next time there's a meeting of witches and wizzards [sic] in the Dayton
area, they will have armed guards on hand.
One of the topics for discussion at the meeting will be public demonstra-
tions against alleged harrassment by police.
And if that doesn't get authorities to stop violating their civil rights,
says Johnnie W. Todd, 26, local Grand Magnus [sic] of the Wicca Church, said
his covens will resort to their ultimate weapon -- witchcraft.
Todd, who operates the Witches Cauldron at 3140 N. Main St., said the
Aquarian Anti-Defamation League, the church's legal arm, will assist in
efforts to gain religious freedom for the pagan church's three million
Todd claims there are 5,000 members of the church in southwestern Ohio.
TO BACK UP HIS claims of police harassment, Todd cited the one-day
suspensions given to a pair of Dayton police officers last October after Todd
file complaints against them in connection with a private collection business
He also said his business has been subjected to two police searches, and his
home has been broken into at least three times.
He said he believes his problems with police stem, in part, from allegations
made to police by a mentally disturbed and "phony" member of his occult group
that the coven "has been hiding out runaways and having orgies with girls,
with narcotics present, and even sacrificing girls in blood rituals."
One of the police officers accused by Todd is Det. Robert R. Keen of the
Dayton Police Department's juvenile unit.
Todd alleges Keen searched his business last December without a warrant
after being refused entrance into his occult store by an employe.
Keen said, "The allegations are untrue, and I've contacted my attorney about
SGT. T. A. TUNNEY, head of the Dayton Police Internal Affairs Unit, said his
investigation found no basis for Todd's complaint against Keen. Tunney said
the only active investigation into a complaint by Todd concerns an allegation
that a patrolman failed to make a report of a break-in at Todd's home.
Tunney said patrolmen A. F. Holley and J. B. Peterson received one-day
suspensions after they were found in violation of Dayton civil service rules
by operating a private collection business.
Todd said he and his attorney met with Tunney's unit in an effort to have
Peterson charged with extortion but was told they couldn't "take my word over
that of a police officer."
Todd, who goes by the name of Lance Collins, claimed that when Peterson
attempted to collect on a bad check written by his common-law wife on their
joint checking account, Peterson told his common-law wife, whom he declines to
identify, that if she didn't pay him twice the amount of the check "for his
time and effort," he would arrest her on a bad check charge.
BOTH PETERSON and Holley deny Todd's allegations, but acknowledge that they
operated a collection business before it was found in violation of civil
During one search of his business, Todd said, police told him they were
looking for a runaway girl and drugs.
Todd concedes that he was the subject of an FBI investigation regarding a
runaway 17-year-old girl.
He said the girl told him she had been beaten by her father and asked him to
take her to Chicago.
While in route [sic] to Chicago, Todd said he learned of an all-points
kidnap bulletin put out by the FBI. He said he returned with the girl to
Dayton and she turned herself in to authorities.
"No charges were pressed against me," Todd said.
FBI officials declined to comment.
Police have no legitimate interest in investigating his occult activities,
Todd said. He claimed that allegations of orgies, narcotics, blood rituals
and Satan worship are untrue and are merely "Christian propaganda to dis-
THE FBI AND LOCAL police are harassing the Wicca church, Todd said, because
many wizzards [sic] and witches hold sensitive military positions and other
Members, Todd said, are required to maintain secrecy vows, have "very
liberal sex habits," and are opposed to polution, war and street crime.
"Its major law is you can do anything you want as long as you don't harm
anyone in any way," Todd added.
He said until last year he was an ordained Pentacostal church minister, is a
graduate of Duke University, and received an honorable discharge from the U.S.
Army's Special Forces.
"People want something supernatural, and witchcraft gives supernatural
power," Todd said.
But Todd concedes that any public demonstration by the Dayton coven may not
be very large. "Only three or four of our members can publicly say they
practice witchcraft. If they admit they're into it, they'll lose their jobs."
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From the San Francisco Chronicle, June 5th, 1978 (2-1/2 years later):
GROUP THAT'S PREPARING FOR WITCH WAR
Zionsville, Ind. (United Press)
An evangelist has convinced some members of a fundamentalist Baptist church
congregation they must prepare for a war against witches conspiring to conquer
Those members are stockpiling food, buying weapons and even considering
purchase of property in Christian retreats, according to the Rev. H. Eugene
Riker, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Zionsville, a community near
The moving force behind it all is evangelist John Todd, a self-styled "born
again" Christian, who claims he once participated in the high decision-making
councils of a group of witches called the Illuminati.
Todd, 28, said he was born and raised in witchcraft, but six years ago was
"saved" from the pagan religion.
"John Todd has spurred folks to draw nearer the heart of God," explained
Riker. "He's stirred people more than any speaker we've had."
Riker said Todd has preached at his church on several occasions -- the last
in late March -- and will return in September. He added Todd also has
engagements at several other Indiana communities this fall.
Todd preaches that the Illuminati has plans for creating a major crisis as
early as 1980 through disruptive strikes of the food and transportation
The base for Illuminati in the United States is the Council of [sic] Foreign
Relations, according to Todd. He charged the financial backing is from David
Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Com.
The evangelist says the strategy to combat the witches is to stockpile food
for three months to a year, have firearms for self-defense and, if possible,
purchase land and move to "almost impregnable Christian retreats."
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Observation by Brad Hicks, Discordio-Pagan, sysop of WeirdBase:
Have you noticed that the chronologies in the above two articles don't match
up, at all? The previous articles, combined with JTC?.DOC, the transcript
from a sermon of his in 1977, yield the following chronology:
Alleged Incidents: The Year His Age
Joins the Special Forces (JTC2.DOC): 1968 18
Two years later, gets honorable discharge (ibid): 1970 20
Meeting in San Antonio with "Raymond Buckland" (ibid): 1972 22
Is "born again," renounces witchcraft (#2 above): 1972 22
Gets degree from Duke University (earliest 1974 24
possible date, based on military discharge):
Is a Pentacostal minister (#1 above): 1975 25
Is a Wiccan "Grand Magnus" in Dayton! (#1 above): 1976 26
Denounced publically by Bonewits and Frost as a fake 1976 26
and a Satanist. Denounced by Gardnerian Order, who
claim his credentials are fraudulent (JTCLETT2.TXT)
Gives lecture that forms JTC?.DOC, denouncing Frost, 1977 27
Bonewits, and the Bucklands, exactly as predicted the
previous year by Bonewits (JTCLETT2.TXT)
Doing anti-witchcraft crusades in Indiana (#2 above): 1978 28
Spotted it yet? John W. "Lance Collins" Todd appeals to the AADL and the
Church & School of Wicca to get him out of trouble with the police: they
TURN HIM IN to the police for using and dealing drugs and for corrupting
minors. One year later, he's working the circuit, claiming (a) that he was
actually "born again" FOUR YEARS BEFORE the incidents in Dayton, and (b)
that the people who denounced him to the police and the media are actually
the guilty parties.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank