James J. Lippard Lauren Stratford's _Satan's Underground_ This book, published in 1988, wa

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

James J. Lippard Lauren Stratford's _Satan's Underground_ This book, published in 1988, was shown to be almost entirely fabrication by an investigative report published in 1990 in the Christian magazine _Cornerstone_ (copies of this article have circulated the net). I just discovered, however, that the book was reissued in July 1991 by a different publisher: Pelican Publishing Co., a small Louisiana publisher. This new edition features cover blurbs from such people as Hal Lindsey and Johanna Michaelson (who helped get the book published in the first place, but who I thought accepted the _Cornerstone_ criticisms) and Mike Warnke (whose claims of being a "former Satanist High Priest" have just recently been shown to be false by _Cornerstone_). What is most galling about the new edition of the book, however, is its afterword, by three Los Angeles clinical psychologists, all women sporting either an M.D. or Ph.D. after their names. The two-page afterword does not address *any* of the _Cornerstone_ criticisms, but alludes to them by saying that (paraphrase) "some critics state that this book should not have been published unless every single fact within it could be verified and documented." It goes on to say how unreasonable these critics are, and that numerous other people have reported stories "like" Lauren Stratford's. I suspect that the "some critics" referred to do not exist; that no one has made any such claim about Stratford's book. The _Cornerstone_ criticism thoroughly documented the fact that the book is almost entirely a fabrication by Laurel Wilson (the real name of "Lauren Stratford"), a very disturbed young woman whose story has changed radically over time. Surely both the publisher and these clinical psychologists must be aware of the details of these criticisms. To go ahead and republish the book is the height of irresponsibility. Those interested in the address of the new publisher may send me email.


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank