the Craft usually develop from a desire for power, rather than a desire to be of service.
the Craft usually develop from a desire for power, rather than
a desire to be of service.
As a result of the ethical, magickal, and religious considerations being
addressed by the Witch, we have been known to gravitate to various causes:
vegetarianism, the ecology, personal freedom, gun control, with each Witch
making the decisions that seem "right" to them (and believing nobody else
qualified to make that decision for them). Few Witches will share the same
ideas of what is "right", but we each try to understand that everyone has the
right to make these decisions.
Another question has arisen: "Why do you think the police equate Wicca with
Satanism?" I admit I was shocked to receive this question from a police officer
in Florida. When the movies, the newspapers, and certain fundamentalist
ministers are not busy trying to shove this equation down our throats, the
police are next on the list. At CWR, we choose to believe that this is due to a
lack of information (something that is NOT true for Hollywood and is usually
not true for newspaper reporters); otherwise, we would not be publishing this
newsletter. We hope that, by presenting topics on cults (whether called
witchcraft, satanism, or whatever), we can provide you with the information you
need to determine the difference between a cult and a religion.
Our first issue generated quite a bit of response from a number of police
officers and departments, including a request for information on a specific
Let me state that, first and foremost, CultWatch Response, Inc., exists for
the purpose of educating law enforcement officers and the media as to the
reality of Witchcraft in America. We are not, and never intend to be, some kind
of clandestine Wiccan Police Force, and we will not, now or in the future,
release any information on a specific group.
It is, indeed, a terrible temptation to set ourselves up as the people the
police turn to when they can't get the information to "bust" some "obviously
unethical" group, but even if we could get adequate information, it simply
cannot become our job to interfere with police work on these and related
issues. We can, however, help teach and inform the various law enforcement
agencies what to look for in determining "occult crime".
We also feel that there is adequate information available in print dealing with
these issues, although it is frequently overlooked by various people who are
involved in presenting "occult crime" issues. We intend to bridge that gap,
with this newsletter and with any other materials we can help to disseminate.
If you responded to our questionnaire in the last issue and have not heard
back from us, please let us know; we have given at least a written reply to
every questionnaire and letter we have received, and have copies on file.
Being aware that this issue is late, I will end my ramblings and get to work.
IN THIS ISSUE OF CultWatch Response:
Rowan Moonstone presents the first part of her article on "Ritual Child
Kerr Cuhulain re-presents the first part of his excellent series, "The Plight
of the Pagan Policeman";
Hal Mansfield submits an excellent article entitled, "Pseudo-Satanism in
School Systems Today";
FEATURED IN CWR NEXT ISSUE (Candlemas 1989):
Rowan Moonstone continues her treatise on "Ritual Child Abuse"; Part 2 of
"The Plight of the Pagan Policeman" (a continuing series).
Pseudo-Satanism in School Systems Today
compiled by Hal Mansfield, Director
Religious Movement Resource Center
This paper is designed to provide observations and opinions from our center
on the issue of Pseudo-Satanism and the links to our school systems. Our
intention is to provide topics for discussion, and this is not intended to be
the last word on this topic. We also have covered things in a general manner to
keep it as simple as possible on a complex problem. The topics presented are in
no particular order, and we would appreciate any feedback as to what
information the reader may have.
GROWTH OF PSEUDO-SATANISM
There seems to be a growth of this "religious" system within our public
schools. Our office has had a great increase of calls in this area. Other
centers across the U.S. and Canada have also received increased calls. Police
departments, school systems, and mental health facilities have increased their
attention on Satanism. The media has certainly increased coverage, though many
reports seem to be sensationalized.
WHY THE INCREASE
There have been many theories on why we are seeing such an increase in
satanism or pseudo-satanism. We have selected a few that we feel best fits. One
is the effect of changing value systems and socio-economic shifts. Any time you
have radical changes in society, you have increases in cult activity. This has
been proven down through the ages to include the Industrial Revolution,
Renaissance, etc. One reason that causes us great concern is certain family
patterns: too many families are shifting responsibility of teaching basic moral
values to schools and law enforcement officials. Basic right-from-wrong
differentiation needs to be taught at home; not to do so invites disaster.
Another pattern too often seen is that whenever we find an adolescent we also
find a family that avoids talking about AIDS, drugs, cults, sex; they simply
don't talk. The parents had no clue their child was involved despite obvious
WHO GETS INVOLVED
There seem to be two distinct backgrounds. One - the curious, intellectual,
bright kids. The tend to dabble in the occult and experiment with magick. The
lure, in this case, seems to be the magick. The other background, which is more
dangerous, is that of the substance abuser. In this profile, self-confidence
and esteem are very low. Some turn to pseudo-satanism to boost the self image,
as if to say, "I'm special; I'm magickal; don't mess with me." Control by the
leader of such a group over someone with this background can be very powerful;
that power can be used by the leader to get his group to sell drugs for him,
with the fear of saying anything about it because "the Devil will get me".
Whichever background is in play, it is important to remember that "belonging"
needs are very important to an adolescent, which is why you frequently see the
gang mentality surface in many of these groups.
There are definite ties with substance abuse and the pseudo-satanism
movements. As one researcher found out through many interviews, not everyone
who is a drug user is a satanist, but every pseudo-satanist is a drug user.
This seems to be true in over 90% of the cases our center has been involved in
and has been further confirmed by many drug rehabilitation facilities. This is
where the most danger comes from, and if there is violence in these groups, it
is most likely to be a link to a member who is a drug user. Drugs are used in
rituals and rites of passage; many times, and obsession with death and dying
occurs in these groups. That, plus the use of hallucinogenics, leads to
paranoid behavior. Many suicides result from this double-whammy of drug use
plus a self-destructive belief system. Secondary crime relating to support of
the habit results from this, and a person's own dementia many times involves
serious criminal behavior. This dementia leads to the more bizarre behavior to
include digging up graves and perversions of all sorts of magnitude.
What we have found in the majority of cases is a "do-it-yourself" coven.
Usually it is one leader who is basing the group's beliefs on a certain group
of books, movies, or combination of magick, beliefs, and practices from many
religions. In fact, most have such a blending from so many different areas that
they are not a legitimate ANYTHING, even though they call themselves Satanists.
The more common books found in these groups include: The Necronomicon, The
Egyptian Book of the Dead, The Satanic Bible, and any book dealing with Magick.
These books can easily be found in many bookstores. Aleister Crowley is a very
popular author with these groups, as is Anton LeVay (founder of the Church of
Satan). The number of members in these covens (or, more accurately, groups) can
be any size, though most tend to be fewer than ten members. The leader can be
male or female, although most tend to be male. The income level of families
whose children are involved tends to be middle-to- upper class, with very few
from lower class families. We see a racially mixed makeup, with a prevalence of
Caucasians. These groups are very dynamic for one simple reason -- kids tend to
graduate, move, or grow up. This is why so many of these groups are hard to pin
down; most of these groups come and go. There are a few (very few) that have
adult influences in the coven. These can be very dangerous, and tend to be more
oriented toward drug distribution. Fear and guilt, along with paranoia, run
strong in this kind of group, and control over members is extremely strong.
FANTASY ROLE-PLAYING GAMES
There has been a lot of speculation that games such as Dungeons & Dragons
(D&D) lead some people to these groups. We tend to doubt that. There is no good
objective evidence or study available that points to D&D as part of a
cause-and-effect relationship. What can be said is that someone who is obsessed
with the game [or nearly any game or activity - Ed.'s Guess] is showing a
symptom of a problem. When we say obsessed, we don't mean someone who plays D&D
on the weekends with their buddies; we mean someone who does nothing else with
their free time, substituting fantasy for reality. The problem may be
pseudo-satanic activity, or it may be a drug problem, family problem, social
problem, or simply acute depression. The important thing here is not to remove
a symptom but to address the problem itself. Taking away the game rarely
improves anything, much like putting a Band-Aid on a gushing wound.
SYMPTOMS OF PSEUDO-SATANISM
A lot of the symptoms in this area are identical to those of drug use:
radical mood shifts, a drop in grades, introversion, and loss of sleep are all
part of the picture. Other things to watch for include obsession with death and
dying, wearing of jewelry with an inverted pentagram (the single point pointing
downward), and an obsession with negative magick. It might be wise to visit the
room with your child to see if there are remnants of these items and/or drug
These vary greatly, since each group will have its own operating rules. Most
common are signs of mixed blood and urine, which is passed around during a
power ritual. Small animal remains can be found. Symbols drawn on walls or
trees are common, although there is usually a mix of these symbols. Sometimes
herbs, oils, and candle drippings can be found, and there is usually a fire
One of the most common mistakes made when dealing with this subject is
confusing Satanism and pseudo-satanism with Witchcraft and other systems; these
are all separate, and most Witchcraft-based groups (i.e., Wicca) are not
producing the violence. Any legitimate practitioner would be the first to tell
you that. We need to take each case on its own merits. Most kids that are
dabbling with devil worship are trying to shock their parents with spray-
painted symbols; a legitimate Satanist is not going to be spray-painting
anything, since it would call attention to them. Each case must be handled as
being unique, as there are many different reasons that someone gets involved in
these groups and each group has its own rituals, beliefs, etc. It is far too
simplistic to lump everything together.
The most effective defense we have is education and information- sharing. No
single center or organization has all the answers; we must work together on
this problem. Cooperation must also exist among agencies that deal with
adolescents. Getting adults to be aware of what is out there and teaching basic
moral values at home would put a big dent in this problem. There is far too
much sensationalism on both sides of this house; we need good data to provide
patterns and information on how to counter them in a positive manner. There is
a workable solution to this problem if we all work together.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, we would like your input on
this situation and any thoughts you might have. If we managed to get you to
think about this problem, whether you agree with our conclusions or not, we
have accomplished what we set out to do. Please send your comments to: Hal
Mansfield, Religious Movement Resource Center, 629 S. Howes, Ft. Collins, CO
80521. You are welcome to reprint this paper, share it, or throw it away if you
CultWatch Response, Inc.:
WHO WE ARE
Gerald L. Bliss (Exec. Secty. & Editor) is a Second Degree Witch from
Colorado Springs, CO, trained in a Neo-Gardnerian tradition in addition to
having Discordian roots prior to his Wiccan training. He studied for two years
at a Presbyterian college in Kansas and a State college in Colorado, and has a
background in music, history, geography, math, and the Bible as a result of
Vicki M. Copeland (Co-Founder) is a Second Degree Witch from Oklahoma City
trained in the Georgian tradition. She has been engaged in private research on
occult crime for the past three years,and maintains extensive newspaper and
magazine clippings on occult crime, as well as Witchcraft, dating back to the
early 1970's. She currently is the Oklahoma chapter head for the Witches League
for Public Awareness; her work with WLPA has put her in close contact with many
law enforcement officers and others who have dealt with the question of
"occult-related" crime. (Editor's Note: CultWatch Response, Inc. is neither
connected to nor endorsed by the WLPA, regardless of Vicki's close
association.) Recent efforts include assisting Thomas Zane in Florida with a
revision of his college-level training material for law enforcement officers
concerning Witchcraft, and working with Dr. Lowell Streiker on his forthcoming
book "New Age Comes to Main Street" for a chapter concerning Witchcraft. The
majority of her published works are under the pseudonym, "Rowan Moonstone".
We are also developing a network of Witches and other Pagans across the
country to be able to deal with the issues presented to CultWatch Response,
Inc., by the various local and state police departments and service
organizations. As these people wish to come forward and outline their
credentials, they will be published herein.
RITUALISTIC ABUSE- FACT OR URBAN LEGEND?
by Rowan Moonstone
Consider carefully the following scene: An old man is on trial. He confesses
to heinous crimes including denying God, desecrating the cross, and finally,
sacrificing his own baby daughter to the devil. The judges condemned him as a
heretic, idolater, apostate, and invoker of demons.(1)
Some current day survivor of a ritualistic child abuse Satanic cult you ask?
No. This case history belongs to one Pierre Vallin, who was tried in France in
1438. Today, many similar stories are being told by supposed survivors of
ritualistic child abuse cults and devil worshipping groups, and yet the actual
evidence in no more real than that presented at Vallin's trial.
The current round of accusations had their beginning in 1981 with the
publication of "Michelle Remembers" by Dr. Lawrence Pazder. During therapy
sessions with Michelle Smith, Dr. Pazder began to uncover horrible memories of
a ritualistic nature in his patient. She told stories of ritualistic rape,
animal mutilation and human sacrifice, culminating in something she called the
"Feast of the Beast". It is a horrifying account of torture that would do
credit to Stephen King, however, it has absolutely no corroborating evidence.
Dr. J. Gordon Melton of the Institute for the Study of American Religion says,
"It was Michelle's fantasy, and Pazder encouraged it."(2)
Perhaps the most widely publicized account of supposed ritualistic child
abuse today is the McMartin Daycare Center case in California. In Aug. 1983,
Judy Johnson, of Manhattan Beach, CA, brought a case of alleged child sexual
abuse to the authorities. By Feb. 1984, allegations of human sacrifice were
also surfacing. By 1985, police had dug up a great deal of ground which
supposedly held remains of ritualistically slaughtered animals. They found two
tortoise shells. As the case progressed into more bizarre areas, even some of
the prosecutors began to doubt the evidence and the methods of gathering it,
until finally Glenn Stevens, a member of the prosecution team resigned, stating
"Kee MacFarlane (the psychologist interviewing the children involved) could
make a 6-month-old baby confess to being molested."(3) Despite numerous
allegations of Satanic and/or ritualistic activity from the children involved,
no hard physical evidence has ever been produced, and even the stories the
children tell conflict from child to child. No two children tell the same
The same facts hold true for any number of the supposed child abuse cases
which have been brought to trial. As one newspaper story stated, "The principal
obstacle confronting them, say those investigating the various cases, is the
almost total lack of physical evidence including bodies to confirm the
children's allegations."(4) According to Arthur Lyons, in his book "Satan Wants
You", of the thirteen cases which have come to trial in nine different states,
none has produced any physical evidence, and no convictions have been
obtained,(5) and in the May 1985 story entitled "The Devil Worshippers" (which
ran on the "20/20" television series), San Francisco police officer Sandi
Gallant admits that no bodies have ever been found, despite numerous
allegations of their existence.
Some of the allegations of ritualistic abuse have been proven to be
physically impossible. Take for example the case cited in "Satanism: Is Your
Family Safe?" by Ted Schwartz. "In one police case, there was definite proof of
child molestation but the allegation went much further - children being forced
to drink blood that had been taken from their bodies. One boy said that the
blood was taken from the back of his leg, and that story was repeated by
others, yet the pediatricians examining the children said that there were no
veins that could be used in this manner in the areas the children described."
(6) Schwartz's book also illustrates an excellent example of how children can
confuse issues. He relates a story of a child who told of witnessing a murder
from the window of her mother's bedroom. The scene she described fit the facts
quite well until police took her in the bedroom and asked her to point out
which window she observed the crime from. She pointed to the television set,
and it was only then that authorities realised she was describing a scene from
a movie which happened to fit many of the facts of the actual crime which was
Certainly crimes of violence and abuse against children do happen, and happen
all too frequently; but another all-present danger in the phenomenon of
"ritualistic child abuse" is the "Salem syndrome", so named for the infamous
witch trials in the Massachusetts colony, in which 19 innocent people were
accused of witchcraft, condemned, and executed, all on the evidence of
hysterical children who later admitted to fabricating the entire story. It
behooves everyone involved, parents,law enforcement personnel, medical
personnel, and educational authorities, to view these stories with a critical
eye for FACTS which can be proven, not hysterical reactions based on unfounded
rumors and allegations.
(1) Russell, Jeffrey B., "A History of Witchcraft, Sorcerers, Heretics and
Pagans", Thames & Hudson, 1980, p.78.
(2) A.S. Ross," A Presumption of guilt. Child Abuse Cults: How Real?"
San Francisco Examiner, 9-29-86, p. A7.
(3) Gorney, Cynthia, "The Terrible Puzzle of McMartin Preschool in
California, the Long-Running Trial of a Baffling Child Molestation Case",
The Washington Post, 5-17-88.
(4) Crewdson, John, "Satanism Haunts Tales of Child Sex Abuse", The Chicago
Tribune, 7-29-85, p. 10.
(5) Lyons, Arthur, "Satan Wants You", The Mysterious Press, N. Y., 1988, p.2.
(6) Schwartz, Ted & Duane Empey, "Satanism: Is Your Family Safe?" Zondervan,
Grand Rapids, MI, 1988, p 181.
(7) ibid., p. 184.
PLIGHT OF THE PAGAN POLICEMAN
by "Constable Cuhulain"
Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Lately there has been a fair amount of attention paid by the media to the
subject of Satanic worship and its connection to criminal activities,
particularly involving young people. "Devil worship", "Satanism", and
"Witchcraft" are some of the terms used to describe it. We are treated to the
usual descriptions of "covens" practicing "Black Mass" and equating Witchcraft
with "Black magic".
It's not hard to see where these kids got their ideas from. For many years we
have been bombarded with Hollywood's version of what Witchcraft is. More
recently this has expanded into the realm of heavy metal rock and its
accompanying videos. Originally, of course, Hollywood got its ideas on this
subject from the inventors of Satan, the Christians. Now these impressionable
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank