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, modeled 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
TEMPLE OF SET
Post Office Box 4507, St. Louis, MO 63108 * MCI-Mail: 278-4041 * Telex:
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-
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
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 development.
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
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
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
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
(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
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 children.
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
* 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
* 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
* 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
* 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
* 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 settlement.
* 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,
* 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 romantic aspects.
(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
(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 testimonies of such children and should not be
(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
As Washington columnist James Kilpatrick recently reported in his
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
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 changes".
(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 violence.
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
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
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
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
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