NOTICE: This report is copyrighted 1989 by Robert Hicks and is Licensed to
Cassandra-News a news service of the United Wiccan Church a 501(c)(3)
California non-profit, tax-exempt religious corporation. Cassandra-News
grants License for Non-Commercial electronic and print reproduction and
distribution as long as no fee is charged for these reproductions other
than the cost of reproduction and printing. The name and address of the
United Wiccan Church, Robert Hicks and this notice must be preserved on all
United Wiccan Church
P. O. Box 16025
North Hollywood California, 91615-6025, U.S.A., NA.
(818) 899-3687 (3/12/2400 Baud 8N1)
Satanic Cults: A Skeptical View of the Law Enforcement Approach
Adapted from a presentation given at the llth annual crime
prevention conference of the Virginia Crime Prevention Association,
Chesapeake, Virginia, June 23, l989
NOTE: The views expressed herein are those of the author and do
not necessarily reflect opinions of the Department of Criminal
Justice Services or the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Criminal Justice Analyst/Law Enforcement Section
Department of Criminal Justice Services
805 E. Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 232l9
I wish to alert you to a dangerous cult that has implanted itself not
only in Virginia but throughout the country. This group, called the
Tnevnoc cult, is a "communal, sectarian group affiliated with a large and
powerful international religious organization."/1 I can communicate
something to you of the methods and goals of the organization by describing
the cult's recruitment and indoctrination practices. The cult aims to
recruit young women, either teenagers or young adults, and does so openly
at schools and colleges. Following indoctrination into the cult, young
women eventually lose any power of will, succumbing entirely to the regimen
of the cult.
Cult members must abandon their former lives, even surrendering their
outside friendships and personal possessions. Cult members' activities,
then, involve the cult exclusively. Members must arise at 4:30 in the
morning, wear prayer beads attached to their wrists, engage in long,
monotonous chants and prayers, and in one of the most bizarre activities,
members consumed food they were told represented the dead cult founder's
body. Women must even pledge in writing absolute obedience to the cult.
To further distance itself from worldly affairs, the cult assigns new names
to members and designates as their birthdays the dates of their entry into
After hours of performing menial tasks such as scrubbing floors
coupled with the incessant recitation of ritualistic prayers, members might
occasionally transgress rules which are punished harshly. For example,
punishment might require women to go without food, having to beg on their
knees for the crumbs from others' plates. But the most shocking ritual of
all required members to become brides to the dead cult leader.
I hope that I have sufficiently aroused your curiosity, if not your
indignation and anger that such activities could happen in the United
States. In case you haven't figured it out, Tnevnoc is Convent spelled
backwards. I have just described the socialization of young women into
Christian convents. But, you say, convents are harmless, in a criminal
sense anyway, and in part comprise established religion in our society. In
short, convents are legitimate.
I have described the working of Christian convents in this way for a
few reasons. First, I have used the jargon of police satanic cult seminars
to describe a familiar phenomenon. Viewed in cult seminar terms, convents
appear evil and pernicious. I sprinkled in the description words which are
never defined by cult crime experts, that is, "cult" and "ritual." Cult
crime experts, as they call themselves, by not defining such words, impart
to them connotations of evil, the demonic, the supernaturally criminal. If
you don't think my description of Christian convents provides a fair
comparison to the way non-Christian religions are described at cult crime
seminars, think again. When convents appeared in the United States during
the last century, many citizens objected to their manipulative,
authoritarian methods by describing the same practices in the same ways to
arose public mortification. Similarly, one reads newspaper accounts
nowadays of how officers investigate ceremonial sites with altars,
pentagrams, melted candle wax in ritually significant colors, all
frequently involving innocuous teenage antics but sometimes attributable to
small non-Christian groups who show no criminal involvement.
Law enforcement officals flock to training seminars about satanic
cults and crime. The seminars offer a world view that interprets both the
familiar and explainable--and unfamiliar and poorly understood--as
increasing participation by Americans in satanic worship. The seminars
further claim that satanism has spawned gruesome crimes and aberrant
behavior that might presage violent crime. I suggest that the current
preoccupation with satanism and cults involves nothing new: the phenomenon
has a firm and documented historical and sociological context. I also
suggest that the news media have largely defined the law enforcement model
of cult activity since the evidence offered at cult seminars for cult
mayhem is nothing more than newspaper stories. Frequently, though, the
same news stories don't even attribute nasty incidents to cults, but the
police have been quick to infer from them cause-effect relationships
anyway. The law enforcement model of cult crime is ill-considered, based
on nondocumented secondary sources or other unsubstantiated information,
and is rife with errors of logic. Such errors include false analogies,
faulty cause-effect relationships, and broad, unsupported generalizations.
The cult crime model betrays an ignorance of a larger academic context of
anthropology, sociology, psychology, and history.
Even the law enforcement literature makes the same mistakes. For
example, Law Enforcement News, a publication of the John Jay College of
Criminal Justice in New York, began an article on cult crime with a
titillating opener: "A l4-year-old Jefferson Township, N.J., boy kills his
mother with a Boy Scout knife, sets the family home on fire, and commits
suicide in a neighbor's backyard by slashing his wrists and throat.
Investigators find books on the occult and Satan worship in the boy's
room."/2 The article, then, implied some connection between reading books
on the occult and the murder/suicide. But did the boy have a collection of
spiders? A stack of pornographic magazines under his bed? A girlfriend
who just jilted him? A history of psychiatric treatment for depression?
Newspaper accounts never mention other attributes of a crime scene since
only those touched by a nameless, faceless evil will suit the reader's
hunger for an explanation of why good boys do terrible things. And the
same newspaper article will be reproduced and circulated at cult seminars
to substantiate the satanic connection.
The cult crime model is in part driven by Fundamentalist Christianity.
The most notable newsletter circulating among cult crime investigators, the
File l8 Newsletter, follows a Christian world view in which police
officers, who claim to separate their religious views from their
professional duties, nevertheless maintain that salvation through Jesus
Christ is the only sure antidote to satanic involvement, whether criminal
or noncriminal, and point out that no police officer can honorably and
properly do his or her duty without reference to Christian standards. But
more of File l8 Newsletter in a moment. Other cult crime seminar speakers
make a living at it: Thomas Wedge, a former deputy sheriff, maintains a
Baptist line of thinking at his seminars by beginning with his brand of
"Theology l0l."/3 And while cult seminar presenters caution about
respecting First Amendment rights of citizens practicing unusual beliefs,
the same officers can't help but inflict their bias on audiences: anything
that is not mainstream Christianity is dubbed a "non-traditional belief."
Cult officers distribute handouts at seminars showing symbols to identify
at crime scenes, accompanied by their meanings. The cult cops attribute
fixed meanings to the symbols as if satanists world-wide universally use
the symbols in precise configurations with identical meanings. The
handouts typically attribute no sources but many derive from Christian
material. For example, the peace symbol of the l960's is now dubbed the
"Cross of Nero." Someone decided that the upside-down broken cross on the
symbol somehow mocks Christianity. In fact, common knowledge has it that
the symbol was invented in the l950's using semaphore representations for
the letters "n" and "d" for nuclear disarmament. But cult officers go on
their merry way, uncritically disseminating borrowed, undocumented
Fundamentalist Christianity motivates the proponents of cult crime
conspiracy theories in other ways. For example, arguing against their
theory is, to them, attacking their world view. Special Agent Ken Lanning
of the FBI understands this quite well. Lanning, an agent who specializes
in child abuse cases, has offered skeptical observations about satanic
crime at many seminars, only to be branded a satanist himself by Christian
groups. Lanning has noted the irony of this, since he raises his own
family according to Christian principles. But to some cult crime officers,
arguing against their model denies the existence of Satan as a lurking,
palpable entity who appears to tempt and torture us. Satan becomes the
ultimate crime leader: the drug lord, the Mafia don, the gang leader.
Chicago police investigator Jerry Simandl has demonstrated the cult officer
world view in his work. He doesn't just investigate crimes, he also
interprets cult behavior--particularly that which threatens Christians--
according to the cult seminar world view, interpretations that were once
the province of crusading clergy. He can tell whether a church vandalism
was mindlessly committed by kids or purposefully by a cult group: "For
example, an organ might be vandalized by having its keys broken. That
means the vandals were seeking to deny a congregation the ability to
'communicate with God' through music."/4 Simandl draws amazing inferences
about a crime that experiences the lowest clearance rate because we are
frequently left with no suspects and no evidence beyond the vandalism. And
it apparently occurs to no one to link a church vandalism to, say, a bias
crime, a term coming to the fore these days in law enforcement practice, a
term now taking on a legal definition.* But no: the vandalism so shocks
Christian sensibilities that the cult officer--armed with his new world
view that cults cause crime--can only interpret the crime as satanic.
As I noted before, cult crime officers do not define their terms: the
words "cult," "occult," "satanic," and "ritual" find casual usage, the
words imbued with demonic and evil associations. Evil is, indeed, the
operative word. Law enforcers who meld cult crime theories with their
professional world views have transformed their legal duties into a
confrontation between good and evil. So back to the File l8
* "Bias crimes, or incidents of hate violence, are words or actions
intended to intimidate or injure an individual because of his or her race,
religion, national origin, or sexual preference. Bias crimes range from
threatening phone calls to murder. The impact of these types of offenses
is far more pervasive than impacts of comparable crimes that do not involve
prejudice because the consequences frighten an entire group. The fear that
such acts generate . . .can victimize a whole class of people." From
Justice Research, November/December l987, p. l, published by the National
Criminal Justice Assocation.
Newsletter. The publication's editor, police officer Larry Jones, believes
that a satanic network exists in all levels of society, a network that
maintains extreme secrecy to shroud its program of murder. Defensive about
the lack of physical evidence of cult mayhem, Jones states:
Those who deny, explain away, or cover up the obvious
undeniably growing mountain of evidence often demand
statistical evidence or positive linkages between
operational suspect groups. At best, this demand for
positive proof of a 'horizontal conspiracy' is naive. . .
Consider the possibility that the reason supposedly
unrelated groups in different localities over various
time periods acting-out in a similar manner, is that
consistent directives are recieved [sic] independently
from higher levels of authority. Instead of being
directly linked to each other, these groups may be
linked vertically to a common source of direction and
control. This 'vertical conspiracy model' is consistent
with the 'authoritarian'. . .structure seen in many cult
and occult groups.
Those who accept this theory as a reasonable possibility need to rethink
the meaning, scope, and effects of the term conspiracy!/5 In other
words, if the evidence doesn't seem to fit a particular conspiracy theory,
just create a bigger conspiracy theory. Other hints of File l8
Newsletter's Fundamentalist bias show through in other ways. Writer Arthur
Lyons recounted receiving a copy of the newsletter accompanied by an
article from a Christian magazine, Passport, entitled, "America's Best Kept
Secret."/6 The article described the "best-kept secret" as the conspiracy
of satanists in America among all classes and races, and the article
further noted the "Wicca Letters," a spurious document which offers a
blueprint for takeover by satanists. Jones has apparently not decided to
abandon Passport of late: in a recent issue of File l8 Newsletter (Volume
IV, No. 89-4) the Passport article is once again available with an
accompanying videotape for "an effective training combination." But Jones
and other cult officers impose any model they can contrive on a hodge-podge
of ideas, claims, exaggerations, or suppositions.
For example, cult investigators would have us believe that cult
practitioners learn skills in the vivisection of livestock and household
pets. One investigator, retired police captain Dale Griffis, says that
"occultists will stun the animal on his back with an electric probe. Then
they will spray freon on the animal's throat. . .The heart's still pumping
and they will use an embalming tool to get the blood out. It's fast and
efficient. Hell, the farmer heard the animal whine, and he was there
within five minutes."/7
A sheriff's investigator, in a memorandum about cattle mutilations,
interviewed a young woman who claimed to be an ex-satanic cult member who
had mutilated animals. Her cult, which consisted of "doctors, lawyers,
veterinarians" were taught by the vets how to perform the fatal surgery.
The animal's blood and removed organs, it seems, were used for baptismal
rites. She further related:
When using the helicopter [the cult members] sometimes
picked up the cow by using a homemade. . .sling. . .and
they would move it and drop it further down from where
the mutilations occurred. This would account for there
not being any footprints or tire tracks. . .When using
the van trucks they would also have a telescoping lift
which. . .was about 200 feet long mounted outside the
truck and would use that to extend a man out to the cow,
and he would mutilate it from a board platform on the end
of the boom and would never touch the ground. . .They some-
times do three or four cows./8
Of course, the cult members went
to such lengths because they delight in baffling the police.
The sheriff's investigator reported to his supervisor each detail of
this story from a convincing woman, but he was obviously unacquainted with
a principle of logic, Occam's Razor. This principle suggests that when
faced with two hypotheses for an explanation, each of which can explain the
phenomenon, one chooses the simpler. The investigator never considered
here the work of a predator, or even the action of a vandal. Of course,
news accounts of such livestock deaths, particularly if related by cult
officers, will attribute deaths to cultists, and newspapers will use one of
my favorite adverbs for such activities: the animal was killed and organs
were surgically removed. Did a surgeon do the work? Can a police officer
tell the difference between a hole in a cow's head put there by a bullet,
scalpel, or predator's bite? But back to Occam's Razor. Imagine the
woman's story: trucks with 200-foot booms are not plentiful and would
appear conspicuous in rural America, particularly when the cultists call in
helicopter air support.
In other areas, cult crime officers simply deny facts. For example,
one of the recent murders dubbed satanic by cult officers was that of
Stephen Newberry, a teenager from Springfield, New Jersey, whose friends
bashed him to death with a baseball bat. Even though Larry Jones quotes
local investigators, a prosecutor, a psychologist, and an academic cult
expert who claimed that no satanic sacrifice of Newberry occurred but
instead blamed drug abuse, Jones nevertheless offers the opinion that the
do not give credit to the strong influence of the
tenets of the satanic belief system over its initiates.
In some cases the subjects become involved with satanism . . .
prior to the onset of family problems. . . [T]he only true and
lasting solution to 'devil worship' or satanic involvement is a
personal encounter with true Christianity . . ./9
Jones's earlier guess that a "vertical conspiracy" might exist, that a
higher authority directs groups to murder as a form of worship to Satan
within an authoritarian cult led by a charismatic leader, is a ghost of the
cult officer's mind: the police have identified no such groups.
Characteristically, law enforcement cult seminars all parley the same
model of satanic cults, circulating the same second-hand information, most
of it without documentation or sources for quotations. The model convinces
many because it takes phenomena familiar to the officer and imbues them
with new meanings: officers learn a new vocabulary to describe old
phenomena and therefore see the cult problem as a new threat to public
The self-proclaimed cult experts who teach the seminars advise
officers not to interfere with constitutionally-protected civil liberties,
yet proceed to do just that. Investigator Bill Lightfoot, Richmond,
Virginia, Bureau of Police, recommends confiscating books on the occult
whenever law enforcers find them during investigations (ritual crime in-
service seminar, Petersburg, VA, September l3, l988); other cult experts
such as Dale Griffis have advised officers to ask public libraries to turn
over to police lists of patrons who have borrowed books on the occult./10
The same self-proclaimed experts take the bigoted stand that because a
person commits a vile crime and identifies himself as a satanist, then by
extension all satanists must have condoned the crime; the crime must be
sanctioned by the satanic order or church. That relationship between the
person and the belief, then, justifies police surveillance of non-Christian
groups. By contrast, they don't follow the same reasoning when Christians or
Jews commit crimes. In Richmond recently, police arrested a man who had
years ago murdered his family. He had since been living under a new
identity with a new wife. The fact that the murderer was a conservative
churchgoing Christian did not lead anyone to label his acts as Christian
crime, but if the man had professed a belief in Satan, or in any other so-
called "non-traditional belief," such as Yoruba, voodoo or hoodoo, cult
cops would be quick to label the crime as evidence of cult activity in
Larry Jones provides an example. In his File l8 Newsletter, he
discusses some "non-traditional" beliefs and ends up finding fault even
where he can't connect crime with the belief. In a discourse on Wicca
witchcraft, he posits, for example, that any belief system must set
absolute standards of conduct. Relative ones won't do because they "open
the door to excesses."/11 So in a treatment of Wicca he can only find
fault by abstracting this standard of absolute conduct that measures
somehow the legitimacy of belief systems. While concluding nevertheless
that Wicca is benign and that its practitioners claim no connection with
satanism, Jones lumps Wicca in with "Luciferian" Aleister Crowley with his
ties to Black Magic organizations. Larry Jones forgets that if a belief
system "opens its door to excesses," the history of Christianity provides
no small example of excesses committed for holy purposes.
One doesn't condemn Christianity because Jim Jones and his group--all
Christians--committed mass suicide or because the Pope spurred a murderous
crusade in the Middle East some centuries ago. Whether or not people can
get criminal ideas from belief systems--whether from Buddhism,
Christianity, voodoo, Islam, or anything else--has little to do with the
belief system but rather with a person's own psychological make-up. And in
this realm the police have no jurisdiction. It is not a law enforcement
responsibility to guess at what might prompt a citizen to commit a crime.
Police arrest people who commit crimes under the influence of alcohol, but
we don't blame the alcohol. People who have domestic disputes live in
homes with guns and knives, but we don't take away such weapons to prevent
In the cult crime seminars, cult officers give a disjointed history of
satanism and witchcraft and usually peg two contemporary satanists who have
molded the philosophy of their movement: Aleister Crowley and Anton LaVey.
Crowley, described in police seminars as an "influential satanist,"
although indulging in pagan shenanigans during the early part of the
century, promoted the Order of the Golden Dawn and the Ordo Templi
Orientis, "the largest practicing satanic cult operating today," according
to Griffis (advanced ritualistic crime seminar, Richmond, VA, September 22,
l989). Further, say the police, the main belief fostered by groups
deriving from Crowley's legacy involves "sexual perversion."
LaVey, on the other hand, a former police photographer and circus
performer, founded the Church of Satan in San Francisco in l966 at the
zenith of Haight Ashbury hippiedom. Police officers teach that LaVey's two
books, The Satanic Bible and The Satanic Rituals Book, can be dangerous.
In particular, cult officers cite LaVey's nine principles of the Church of
Satan which include:
l. Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!
5. Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the
8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they
lead to physical or mental gratification!/12
Cult officers maintain that LaVey's dicta foster in his followers the
attitude, "If it feels good, do it," thus justifying criminal acts.
Aleister Crowley, apparently, added a more wicked dimension to this
philosophy for in his Book of the Law he states, "Do what thou wilt shall
be the whole of the law."/13 Taken in context, however, the book consists
of a metaphorical jaunt through the ancient Egyptian pantheon full of
erotic and Masonic allusions. What Crowley said was not meant to be taken
literally, but figuratively.
A reading of Crowley's text reveals that the damning statement refers
to people inevitably moving through their lives according to their
destinies, that people will act according to experience, impulse, and the
"law of growth." In other words, people are going to do what people are
going to do. Put another way, people are what they are. But Crowley did
not worship Satan nor spur his followers to worship Satan.
I heard Investigator Lightfoot (noted earlier) give a cult crime
seminar (September l3, l988, Petersburg, VA) in which he held up a copy of
Crowley's book and said that short of obtaining one from a member of the
highly secretive Ordo Templi Orientis, one can only obtain a copy from an
obscure Pennsylvania occult bookstore. He said that he could not reveal
how he obtained his copy. I happened to examine the officer's copy, noted
the reprinting publisher's name and address, and called their customer
service representative. The company, Samuel Weiser, publishes quite a few
books under the New Age category. I asked how to obtain a copy of Crowley:
she replied that I need only send a check for $5.50 and I would soon
receive one. When I told her what Lightfoot had said about the difficulty
of obtaining a copy, she exclaimed, "But we'll sell it to anyone who asks!"
She apologized, though, because the book was only available in soft cover,
LaVey, on the other hand, operates without mysticism or even a deity.
To the Church of Satan, the Evil One is no deity but rather a symbolic
adversary. The Church of Satan pulls a clever trick:
'What are the Seven Deadly Sins?' LaVey is fond of asking.
"Gluttony, avarice, lust, sloth--they are urges every
man feels at least once a day. How could you set your-
self up as the most powerful institution on earth? You
first find out what every man feels at least once a day,
establish that as a sin, and set yourself up as the only
institution capable of pardoning that sin./14
LaVey, then, tries to subvert Christianity by offering what Christian
churches forbid. Since people's guilt, apprehension, and anxiety make them
ill rather than the urges themselves, the Church of Satan offers people a
release: indulge yourselves, says the Church, as long as you abide by the
law and harm no one. Some members have even found the Church of Satan
therapeutic: the Church engineered, for example, a psychodrama in which a
woman afraid of her domineering husband role-plays him to help reduce his
menacing effect on her. An anthropologist confirmed the therapeutic value
of Church of Satan membership for some people years ago in an academic
study based on months' long participant observation./15
Church of Satan deities even invoke fictional sources, such as H.P.
Lovecraft, H.G. Wells, and Ursula LeGuin. Writer Arthur Lyons observed,
"In joining the Church of Satan, these people not only managed to inject a
little mastery and exoticism into their otherwise banal lives, they
achieved a mastery of their own fates by the practice of ritual magic."/l6
If LaVey's ideology is contrived of fiction, symbolism, and a
deliberate antidote to Establishment Christianity, and Crowley retailed in
what we now call New Age thinking, why the law enforcement interest? Cult
officers focus on these two because they have published, because their
philosophies are within easy reach. They make easy targets. One article
in a law enforcement journal even pointed out that LaVey uses a symbolic
Satan and noted in context that the Church of Satan condemns sex crimes
including bestiality, but nevertheless stated, "It seems contradictory for
a group to encourage all forms of sexual expression, and at the same time
place parameters on that activity."/l7
Again, in the fashion of Larry Jones, law enforcers can't resist
criticizing others' beliefs. Consider, for a moment, law enforcers
teaching cult seminars by parading books by LaVey, Crowley, and others,
noting the dangerous ideas these books represent. But what is this? Is
this crime prevention? Is crime prevention served by providing officers
with lists of dangerous books? If we wanted to alert officers to books
that might incite people to slug it out, we'd also have to list The
Autobiography of Malcolm X, Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler, the Bible, the
Koran, to name a few.
But some officers claim that books on the occult have some inherent
force of evil, that weak-minded people may pluck criminal ideas from them.
One law enforcement book went so far as to state, "[The authors] urge you
to continue your education in [satanism] by reading as widely as possible
on the subject. But note: intense study of resource books and materials by
occult sources or practitioners is hazardous. Preferred is studying
overviews and synopses. . .Study and/or experimentation are to be
avoided."/l8 I have tried to show with Crowley and LaVey that their own
purported guides to the occult hold no particular power or force other than
what readers may impart to them. The satanic or occult books that cult
officers use for show-and-tell either derive from scholarly sources or
represent modern invention. Few can be traced to some remote, pre-
Christian occult mysticism.
Cult officers not only cite LaVey and Crowley as some compendia of
occult knowledge rising from the dim horizon of ancient history, but also
cite as dangerous the occult symbols on rock music albums, the songs'
lyrics, and the fantasy characters that appear in the popular game,
Dungeons and Dragons. Yet as the game's designers take pains to point out,
the D&D gods derive largely from the imaginations of game designers and the
Cult investigators have constructed four general levels of satanic or
cult involvement. The outer, or fourth level, finds the "dabblers," mostly
children, teenagers, or young adults who might play with satanic bits and
pieces. Supposedly Dungeons and Dragons, heavy metal rock music, Ouija
boards and the like rope kids into the occult. Investigator Lightfoot,
like many other cult cops, maintains that satanic messages are present in
rock lyrics when the music is played backwards. But cult officers don't
distinguish between the presence of messages and their efficacy; they do
not critically discuss what effect the messages have nor agree on their
actual wording, and never describe how kids' brains are supposed to
assimilate the messages anyway. No studies prove the efficacy of
subliminal messages, satanic or otherwise.
Cult officers strike at Dungeons and Dragons as the essential evil
where kids are concerned, estimating that anywhere from 95 to l50
documented deaths of children exist that can be attributed to the game.
While similar figures appear in the press, the fact is that outside of
reporters' suggestions, no documented killing or suicide exists directly
attributable to playing the game. No reputable authority has ever detected
a causal link between playing D&D and anything but a healthy adventure in
the creative imagination.
The next level of involvement includes self-styled satanists, the
killers such as John Wayne Gacey or Henry Lee Lucas. These men, social
isolates and psychopaths, invented or borrowed satanic trappings to justify
their crimes. This idea is the single most plausible component of the cult
crime model: sociopaths or psychopaths may choose an ideology that helps
them reconcile their crimes with their conscience.
The second level of satanists we have already discussed, the
organized, public groups such as the Church of Satan or the Temple of Set.
While cult officers are forced to admit that such groups have small, fluid
memberships with doctrines that oppose violence and crime, the same
officers recommend placing them under surveillance because they may harbor
criminals or breed psychopaths. By this logic,then, we will have to do the
same for most Christian churches. What's more, no one even knows how many
cults exist in the United States. Estimates vary from 500 groups on up,
with total memberships from l50,000 to over ten million. Which brings us
back to the word "cult" and its lack of definition.
What and who are cults? Notoriously lacking from cult seminars is the
voice of the "non-traditional belief." Law enforcers declare themselves
experts in and give seminars on groups whose members they've never met.
They interpret signs and symbols of groups that may not even exist. The
scholar of comparative religion Gordon Melton has noted that, "The term
'cult' is a pejorative label used to describe certain religious groups
outside of the mainstream of Western religion."/20 Melton's approach to
surveying cults, which he has published in The Encyclopedia of American
Religions and Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America, prefers to remove
bias and terms other beliefs as "alternative religions." I refer you to
Melton for further discussion of cults, sects, churches, their definitions
Finally we reach the last level of satanic involvement, the real evil
meanies, the traditional satanists. These folks belong not to different
denominations of the same thing but rather to an international megacult
tightly organized in a clandestine hierarchy. Dale Griffis has been
selling law enforcers on the model of these people as driven by mind
control methods, slavishly participating in cult ceremonies including
sexual assault, mutilation, murder, to name the most important activities.
These satanists' belief in magic propels them to sacrifice people: they
release some primal energy force through killing which enriches the
participants. The abuse of children itself is a form of worship. While
these satanists use their own children for sacrifice, satanists sometimes
collect their lambs for slaughter at daycare centers. For example,
Lightfoot noted one daycare center at which parents dropped off their kids
at the start of the day, whereupon the daycare staff herded the kids onto
busses, took them to an airfield, flew them to a ceremonial site, used them
for rituals, sexually assaulted them and so on, then returned them to the
daycare center by the end of the day. The parents picked up their kids,
none the wiser.
Supposedly, then, we have much to fear from these satanists. Ex-
deputy sheriff Thomas Wedge, who makes a living giving cult seminars, says,
"It doesn't matter what you and I believe. It's what they believe that
makes them dangerous . . .For the first time, we in law enforcement are
dealing with something we can't shout at. . .can't handcuff."/21 Larry
Jones has echoed the same sentiment, even pointing out that Christian
police officers are particularly well qualified to confront the menace.
Cult officers say that the ranks of secret satanists boast the
intelligentsia of our society, hence the moneyed power behind the rituals.
Patricia Pulling, a mother whose son committed suicide which she attributes
to playing Dungeons and Dragons and who founded Bothered About Dungeons and
Dragons (BADD), maintains that satanic ranks include "doctors, lawyers,
clergymen, even police."/22
Despite this large-scale conspiracy, police still have uncovered no
evidence of cults' murderous activities. Police say that the lack of
evidence owes to the cults' success: cultists eat bodies or dispose of
them without a trace. FBI's Ken Lanning has pointed out many times that
human history cannot produce a single example of any large scale organized
murder (on the order of 50,000 human sacrifices a year, as some cult
officers claim) without someone breaking ranks sooner or later. No such
enterprise has ever existed, one that can commandeer so many people to
carry out for so long thousands and thousands of violent crimes. People in
any group change their minds, get jealous, build empires, develop
rivalries, disagree, ally themselves in factions. Why should satanists be
Cult officers cite two prime examples of the work of traditional
satanists: cult survivors' stories and child abuse cases. Cult survivors
are the offspring of satanic parents bred to a life of abuse and witnessed
murders. The prototype survivor is Michelle Smith who, with her
psychiatrist husband, Lawrence Pazder, wrote Michelle Remembers (l980). By
her own admission, Smith endured a rough, unhappy childhood with a violent,
alcoholic father. After years of psychotherapy with Pazder, a new story
emerged. Without prompting, Smith entered a trance in which she regressed
to a childhood persona. In that persona, she told of ceremonies she had
witnessed replete with black candles, black drapes, goblets, dismembered
bodies, sexual abuse, having dismembered baby limbs rubbed on her,
imprisonment in a snake-infested cage, confrontations with red spiders, and
watching satanists rend kittens with their teeth. And all of this through
the introduction of Michelle to satanism by her mother. Some curious loose
ends remain, though. Smith's father denied the incidents, Smith loved her
mother very much, as did her two sisters, not mentioned in the book, who
never witnessed any satanic involvement. One sister has been deeply
distressed at Smith's representation of her mother. Not mentioned either
was the Catholic Pazder's divorce, Smith's conversion as a Catholic and her
own divorce in order to marry Pazder, practices frowned upon by the
Catholic Church, yet the book extols Catholic ceremonies and ritual as a
way to combat Smith's terror./23
Nevertheless, Pazder reacts to the lurid stories of his patient thus:
"'I happen to believe you. . .for many reasons . . .but mostly for what I
feel with you. It feels real. . .I think the way you are expressing the
experience is very touching. It is authentic as an experience."/24
Remember, this is a psychiatrist's talk, not a police officer's. Feeling
the authenticity of Smith's experience may aid a physician's clinical work.
Police officers must approach such stories differently. Smith is cited as a
Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) sufferer, a complex phenomenon that
afflicts some genuinely abused people, but not others. For a fuller
clinical description consult the DSM-IIIR, or Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition, revised, l987. Recent research
even reveals that distinct physiological changes accompany personality
changes in MPD sufferers. Such changes include rapidly appearing and
disappearing rashes, welts, scars, switches in handwriting and handedness,
allergies, vision changes and even color blindness. Such symptoms might
easily confuse and alarm an investigator.
The preoccupation of cult officers with MPD sufferers presents police
with some contradictions. On the one hand, police cite the growing number
of cult survivor stories and their sameness as evidence of the satanic
underground (that is, people who have never met telling identical tales).
Yet most MPD sufferers, usually young women, do not present verifiable
stories. None has yielded physical evidence of crime other than
physiological symptoms which are part and parcel of MPD anyway. Hypnosis
for police purposes produces no results. MPD sufferers can take years to
interview to ascertain even a few facts.
But another interpretation of cult survivors' claims can be offered.
As Ken Lanning has noted, he has been unable to find accounts by cult
survivors of Smith-like tales before the publication of her book. The mass
media have fanned Smith's experience through the tabloids and TV sets of
the world, supplemented by the slasher films and television shows that
produce quite creative and believable monsters. Some MPD sufferers
describe ceremonies and rituals that can only be traced to fiction since
many of them have no historic derivation.
Stories of ritual abuse (that is, abuse committed incidental to a
ritual as a form of propitiation, as cult officers use the term) present no
new phenomena, as folkorist Jan Harold Brunvand has described in his
popular books about urban legends, The Choking Doberman (l984) and The
Mexican Pet (l986). Stories of abduction and mutilation of children, plus
regular appearances of Satan pervade European and American history.
Brunvand describes urban legends as "believed oral narratives," though not
necessarily believed wholely by their narrators all of the time. Some
stories are rumor, or "plotless unverified reports" as opposed to the
legend, or the "traditional believed story." Most importantly, "urban
legends. . .often appear to be 'new' when they begin to spread, but even
the newest-sounding stories may have gone the rounds before. A 'new urban
legend,' then, may be merely a modern story told in a plausible manner by a
credible narrator to someone who hasn't heard the story before, at least
not recently enough to remember it."/25
One can find abundant folklore literature--particularly the
dictionaries of folkore motifs--which contain all the satanic stories that
appear in the cult seminars, folklore with a very long history. I'll give
an example of a recurring urban myth the spreading of which takes place
every few years. A spurious police circular found its way through South
Carolina a few years ago telling of an LSD-impregnated Mickey Mouse
transfer, thus endangering children./26 Without verifying the circular,
the Pendleton, South Carolina, Police Department warned the community about
the transfers. After the public sufficiently worried itself, someone
checked out the source and found it was bogus. The same story, with the
same anonymous police circular, recently traveled throughout New Jersey
alarming citizens and police./27
In some cases, police have tried to keep citizens from believing
macabre stories about garden variety violence. In Eloy, Arizona, a
murdered man turned up in a trash bin, having died of head injuries, his
throat slashed. Nevertheless, the police had been powerless to stem local
rumors which persisted in creating the story that the victim had his chest
opened up, his heart ripped out, his blood sucked./28 In Roanoke, high
school faculty and some law enforcers have perplexedly tried to locate a
gang of violent youths, The Posse, to whom students attribute much violence
and disruption, but the local police have begun to suspect that the gang
doesn't exist. The Roanoke County Sheriff said, "All you have to do is get
two kids talking at a table in the cafeteria. Two other kids at the next
table hear half the conversation, and a rumor is spread."/29
Sociologist David Bromley of Virginia Commonwealth University
classifies such tales into three categories, one of which is the subversion
myth where many satanic tales fit. These myths are "cautionary tales,"
stories that reveal tensions which "emanate most directly from pervasive
anxieties about dangers to children."/30 Another sociologist, Jeffrey
Victor, tracked down satanic rumors in western New York, stories which
became widespread and publically accepted, stories Victor likened to a
"collective nightmare." Throughout the region, rumors of cult meetings,
animal killings, ritual drinking of blood, and an impending sacrifice of a
"blond, blue-eyed virgin" reached a peak of hysteria on Friday the
thirteenth of May, l988./31 In this case, the Jamestown, New York, Police
Department acted with remarkable restraint and insight and even forestalled
a mob bent on vengeance. The police headed off a group of armed and angry
citizens that showed up at a rumored cult site. But another site, a
warehouse rumored to harbor cult meetings, received thousands of dollars in
I'll give you another example of the police response to myth and
hysteria. The Allenstown, New Hampshire, Police Department received
reports a few months ago that six cats had been found hanging from a tree,
a decapitated dog turned up nearby, and the sound of drums could be heard
in a state park at night. A woman walking her dog came upon what was
described as a makeshift altar supporting a carcass of a mutilated beaver.
The beaver had been skinned. Another beaver turned up, found upright
surrounded by stakes. The police decided to turn to cult officer Sandi
Gallant, San Francisco Police, for help, who--though in San Francisco and
unable to inspect the animals--interpreted the findings as indicative of
satanic rituals. Since the carcasses were found near May l, the cult
officer said that the recent Walpurgis Night, a satanic holiday, probably
stimulated the sacrifices. The sergeant in charge of the investigation
worried about these events, linking those who sacrificed animals to drug-
taking, listening to heavy metal music, a view confirmed by a local Baptist
minister who believed the devil responsible. The sergeant wanted to find
the satanic group behind this. Characteristically, he said, "Their freedom
of worship is protected. . .but we want to monitor them."/32 The next day,
the Manchester, New Hampshire, Union Leader ran an editorial which stated,
"We have reached a sorry state of affairs when following the Devil is
defined as 'worship'. . ."/33
Within a few days, the mystery unravelled. In fact, no dead cats were
found in trees. The beavers were legally trapped in the state park. Other
dead animals reported by local residents were ones killed on the road and
stacked off the road for later pick-up./34 But even though the phenomena
turned out to be mundane, other law enforcers didn't remember the follow-up
news story but only the original news report. After the whole incident
passed from the headlines, the mayor of Manchester tried to ban the
appearance of a heavy metal band in town because they would stimulate more
incidents similar to what occurred in Allenstown, forgetting that the
Allenstown events had non-satanic explanations./35
In another incident, a few years back in Brown County, Indiana, a New
Age group called the Elf Lore Family (ELF) arranged to have a public
gathering at a public park. ELF posters around town mentioned camping,
feasts, dancing, "New Age workshops," "bardic tales and tunes," and other
similar events. Many of the organizers described themselves as witches and
even distributed "witchcraft fact sheets" to explain their beliefs./36 So
far, no problem. But by the ELF weekend gathering, a local church group
had planned a strategy to proselytize the ELFers, and the local sheriff's
department became involved through a deputy who had attended a cult seminar
given by two Indiana state police officers, self-proclaimed experts, who
had in turn received their information from cult consultant Dale Griffis.
Following the weekend, the local newspaper reported the event under the
title, "Satanic rites held at Yellowwood Forest," the article discussing
animal sacrifice, drinking blood in rituals, nude dancing, or dancing by
people in "devil-like costumes." Finally, the ELFers were seen eating "raw
flesh." The news reporter used one source for the article: the deputy
sheriff. Neither a local Baptist minister nor the park conservation
professionals nor the ELFers at all could corroborate the sacrifices, blood
drinking, nude dancing, or any of the other sensationalistic claims of the
local sheriff's department. The article dutifully noted, though, that
"[the sheriff's department] could not stop the satanic rites because of the
Constitutional right to freedom of religion that protected the
worshippers." But the ELFers are not satanic. The satanism was created by
the seminar-trained police who spent much time and effort watching the
ELFers simply because they were not Christians celebrating in a
conventional way. The sheriff's department, by feeding information to a
gullible journalist, created a new myth: the news article then becomes a
cult seminar handout proving that satanic activity is rampant in the USA.
An Indiana University folklorist who documented the event noted, "The
influence of second-hand opinions proved especially strong among the law
enforcement element." The preconceptions of the law enforcers colored
their perceptions of an innocuous camp-out, and thereby created a legend.
Thus far I have mentioned cult expert Dale Griffis in several
contexts. Although Griffis appears to act out of concern for improving law
enforcement's handling of bizarre crimes, and although he certainly earns
no big bucks on the lecture circuit, his effort misleads and confuses.
Griffis, a retired police captain, used the title, "Ph.D." and other cult
cops refer to him as "Doctor Griffis." In truth, Griffis holds a doctorate
from Columbia Pacific University in California, a non-accredited non-
resident campus that offers low-cost degrees with only several months of
effort (according to the CPU brochure and detailed by John Bear in How to
Get the Degree You Want, Ten Speed Press, l982, and by William J.
Halterman, The Complete Guide to Nontraditional Education, Facts on File,
New York, l983). Primarily, CPU offers credit for life experiences, the
type of institution currently under scrutiny by Senate Bill l90 in
California which aims to tighten licensing standards for such "diploma
mills" (detailed in Community Crime Prevention Digest for May, l989, p. 8).
Griffis's degree is in law enforcement, based on a doctoral thesis, Mind
Control Groups and Their Effects on the Objective of Law Enforcement, which
carries no date and is even signed by Griffis with his title, "Ph.D."
The dissertation reveals Griffis's cult pitch: almost a fourth of it
contains an ad misericordium argument that his message is grounded in
sincerity, fidelity to the police brother-and sisterhood, and concern for
our posterity. The following statement is typical: "I am a veteran member
of the 'Thin Blue Line'. that which lies between chaos and democracy" (p.
88). Griffis relies heavily on the work of Robert Jay Lifton (Thought
Reform and the Psychology of Totalism) to argue a priori that cults,
nebulously defined, deceptively recruit members, place them under control
of a charismatic leader, and direct members to commit crimes. To Griffis,
the link between the existence of cults and crime is also a priori.
Griffis even takes excursions into psychology with odd results: "Let it be
noted that a common factor among recruits is that a high percentage suffer
from sub-clinical depression" (p. 52). Griffis does not substantiate this
assertion, but as proof he offers that "recruiters carry out their
assignments with trained skills and precise detail. One only has to travel
through O'Hare Airport to see this in operation" (p. 53). Of the estimated
3000 cults in the USA (Griffis's estimate, not substantiated), he asserts
that "the interest, purpose, magnitude and ultimate goals differ from cult
to cult; however, all demand in common devotion, obedience, and ultimately,
submission" (p. 5l). Again, Griffis offers such statements repeatedly but
without substantiation, no critical review of pertinent literature on
cults, nor with any professional correspondence with academic experts. And
his dissertation has become his cult seminar platform. While the CPU
degree might academic standing somewhere, officers attending cult seminars
point to Griffis as the man with credentials in both worlds--the police
front line and the academy--to justify his role as cult ideologue.
I can't discuss myths and legends without referring to the Matamoros
drug killings. When the news accounts first appeared in early April
concerning the discovery of bodies on a Mexican ranch near the Texas
border, the Associated Press dubbed the killings "satanic." That adjective
graced many newspaper headlines for weeks. Now, information concerning the
murders continues to be ambiguous because we have depended on second- and
third-hand information about them. The Mexican police promptly placed
their suspects before cameras to tell gruesome tales. We do not know much
of the backgrounds of the murderers in the drug gang, but recent evidence
suggests that the drug leader, Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo, hobnobbed with
the Mexican city elite, providing drugs and limpias, or folk "cleansing
rites," recruited assistants from the northern Mexican prosperous families,
mostly young adults./37 Apparently, Constanzo did not employ the semi-
literate impoverished Mexicans from the northern part of their country, the
same type recruited for other criminal activities: gun and stolen vehicle
running and herding illegal aliens into the USA.
Where does the satanic label come from? Rex Springston, a reporter
for the Richmond News Leader, decided to trace the label. In talking to
the American investigators cited in the news releases, he learned that none
of them classified the murders as satanic. Only the Texas attorney
general's assistant responded that the attorney general might have used the
label early on. So officials don't view the killings as satanic. Officials
now think that most of the murders victimized rival drug dealers, not
innocent people snatched off the street. The drug gang leader, Constanzo,
according to current thinking, was a Charles Manson who gathered whatever
symbolism and ritual he could to intimidate rivals and his own lackeys. So
he invented his own symbology (not a belief system, which he did not
invent) to justify his behavior, to offer his workers protection which he
was in fact powerless to provide, to convince people to risk their lives to
become involved with drug dealing where the monetary rewards for most are
meager. Matamoros represents violence associated with the drug trade with
a hint of borrowed religious ritual, nothing more. No evidence exists--
insofar as details of the incident have been made public--of any
participation by Constanzo and his group in satanic activities, involvement
with a satanic organization, or human sacrifice to propitiate the devil.
By April l7, even the mass media had begun to focus on the incident as
drug-related, not satanic, almost one week after the first reports of the
But although the Matamoros story is far from over, at least one local
police investigator still misrepresents the events, thus creating urban
myth. Detective Don Rimer, Virginia Beach Police, recently gave a seminar
citing the Matamoros killings as satanic. Rimer was quoted in the
newspapers as saying that the Matamoros killings "prove that human
sacrifices by Satanists are not simply 'urban myths.'"/39 "'Now, those
people who talked about the 'urban myth' and asked, 'Where are the bodies?'
are silent," the officer said to a citizens' group. Well, the Matamoros
business displaces nothing about urban myth, proves nothing about satanism,
and should be properly viewed in the context of Mexican border drug running
and its associated violence.
The central aspect of satanic crime which has seared the American
conscience is child abuse. Beginning with a daycare center in Manhattan
Beach, California and another in Jordan, Minnesota, in l983, stories of
ritual abuse of children in daycare centers has spread to over l00 American
cities. At the core of such stories, one finds stories by children. The
same stories, uncorroborated by physical evidence or adult testimony, have
resulted in indictments of innocent people, their careers forfeited to the
publicity. In the most comprehensive and critical examination of such
investigations to date (conducted by the Memphis, Tennessee, Commercial
Appeal), investigative journalists found that the system of prosecution
fostered the spread of unfounded allegations. One social worker observed,
"During the course of the investigation, virtually every name that was ever
mentioned became a suspect." Alarmed at the manner in which parents and
therapists prompted and rewarded children's testimony, a psychiatrist
commented, "If [the investigator] got a child to the point where they
believe [the child] helped kill a baby or eaten flesh, I want to know
whether you're a child abuser."/40
The Jordan case, for example, began with a single child's allegation
of molestation and quickly thereafter 60 children began to claim the same
abuse. The phenomena reported by the children included being bussed to
ceremonial sites, digging up coffins, dismembering bodies, being thrown
into shark pits, cooking and eating babies, nude photography, and having
foreign objects inserted into a rectum or vagina, performing oral sex on
daycare staff, and sacrificing animals. In the end, though, after heated
accusations, the FBI concluded that the children made up the stories of
murders and noted that the investigations had been so flawed that people
truly guilty of child molesting may have gone free.
So what has happened? Many states conduct trials unhampered by rules
of evidence that apply to adults: all states have dropped the requirement
that children's stories be corroborated by evidence or adults' testimony.
Therefore an opportunity develops to suggest the story to the child: their
stories evolve through coaxing until a coherent narrative emerges.
Psychiatrist and child therapist Dr. Lee Coleman has noted that
[i]n all too many cases, the interviews with the
children are horribly biased. The interviewers assume,
before talking with the child, that molestation has
taken place. The accused persons are assumed to be
guilty, and the thinly disguised purpose of the inter-
view is to get something out of the child to confirm
these suspicions. It is all too easy, with repeated
and leading and suggestive questions, to get a young
child so confused that he or she can't tell the
difference between fact and fantasy./41
Dr. Coleman provided the Commercial Appeal with the
following interview between a social worker and a four-year-old:
Interviewer: What's Miss Frances doing while children are in the other
Child: I don't know.
Interviewer: Come here. . .I want to talk to you a second. (Boy's name),
you do know. Look at me. Look at me. You know about the secret. But
see, it's not a secret any more, because (another child) told us about it
and (another child) told us about it, and your parents want you to tell us.
. .You can be a very good boy and tell us about it. . .
Child: I don't know.
Interviewer: Yes, you do. [Later, near the end of the interview, the
social worker asks if the same things happened to the boy that were
reported by other children.)
Interviewer: She did it to you, too.
Child: No. She didn't do it to me.
Interviewer: It's not your fault, OK?
Child: She didn't do it to me.
Interviewer: Yes, she did; yes, she did (stroking the child's head).
Some therapists and counselors--and police officers--inject into these
cases an ideology that presumes that children don't lie about abuse. We
have even created aids to encourage and facilitate children's stories.
Anatomically-correct dolls have proven useful, but not exclusively so: the
dolls themselves can constitute leading questions by suggesting abuse, or
the dolls themselves may have bodies so disproportionate and bizarre that
children can't use them. And recently two psychologists have estimated
that "for every person correctly identified as a child sexual abuser
through such techniques, four to nine are incorrectly identified."/42 In
abuse cases, children may undergo up to fifty interviews, most by parents
and therapists even before the police become involved. Again, the same
parents or therapists feel that the children must be believed because they
have neither the experience nor vocabulary to talk about sexual
molestation. But the parents and therapists ask leading questions, offer
rewards, and refuse to accept children's denials that molestation occurred:
the kids are called "dumb" for not admitting to abuse.
Law enforcers must remember that they themselves and the therapists
pursue different goals in these investigations. Therapy overcomes trauma;
police investigate offenses for prosecution. Of danger to law enforcement,
one criminal justice academic noted that if in interviews, "children denied
victimization, then it was assumed they were concealing the truth, which
must be drawn out by some inducement or reinforcement. The therapeutic
process thus became an infallible generating mechanism for criminal
charges. . ."/43 Police must not simply believe the children; rather, as
FBI's Lanning urges, police must listen. Don't ignore the possibility of
bona fide molestation by losing a case in the pursuit of Satan.
So where do we stand? Child abuse does exist. Some people commit
violent crimes while invoking the power of Satan. Such people may act with
others. But law enforcers cannot demonstrate the existence of a widespread
satanic conspiracy: the evidence doesn't exist. No evidence links fantasy
role-playing games to teen suicides. No evidence supports the idea that
daycare workers subject children to abuse in propitiation of Satan. No
evidence exists supporting the literal truth of cult survivors' claims.
Officers can and should stick to the Constitutional basics: they
investigate irregular behavior based on a well-founded and legally-defined
reasonable suspicion; they arrest based on probable cause. No one expects
police to ignore pentagrams drawn in blood at a homicide scene: complete
documentation of crime scenes has always been the rule. But we have no
justification for carrying on unwarranted explorations of the beliefs of
the unpopular few, or from waving books at seminars and pronouncing them
Law enforcers have taken on the role of religious theorists. As
Gordon Melton observed sadly:
The Satanic literature has been carried almost
totally by the imaginative literature of non-
Satanists--primarily conservative Christians who
describe the practices in vivid detail in the
process of denouncing them./44
Law enforcers do have tools adequate to do their jobs, if not always the
money to buy them. Advances in criminal investigation from the Automated
Fingerprint Identification System or from DNA typing promise to
revolutionize the business. The FBI's serial crime psychological profiling
model incorporates, without the satanic bias, the proper questions to ask
to correlate a possible criminal ideology to ritualized (that is, committed
similarly on multiple occasions) violent crimes.
In short, law enforcers must remove the "cult" from cult crime and do
their jobs accordingly. Thank you.
1/Bromley, David G., and Shupe, Anson D., Jr. The Tnevnoc Cult.
Sociological Analysis, 40(4): 36l-366. l979
2/Clark, J.R. The macabre faces of occult-related crime. Law Enforcement
News, XIV (279, 280). October 3l, November l5, l988.
3/Hyer, M. Blue Knights and the Black Art. The Washington Post, April l8,
4/Clark, op. cit. 5/File l8 Newsletter, IV (89-l), l989. 6/Lyons, Arthur.
Satan Wants You. The Mysterious Press, New York, l988, p. l49. 7/Kahaner,
Larry. Cults That Kill. Warner Books, New York, l988, p. l46.
8/Ibid., p. l48.
9/File l8 Newsletter, op cit.
10/ American Library Association, Office of Intellectual Freedom,
Memorandum, January/February, l988. 11/File l8 Newsletter, III (88-3),
l988, p. 7.
l2/LaVey, Anton. The Satanic Bible. Avon Books, New York, l969, p. 26.
l3/Crowley, Aleister. The Book of the Law. Samuel Weiser, Inc., York
Beach, Maine, l976 (reprint), p. 9.
l4/Lyons, p. lll.
l5/Moody, E.J. Magic therapy: an anthropological investigation of
contemporary Satanism. In I.I. Zaretsky and M.P. Leone (eds.), Religious
Movements in Contemporary America. Princeton University Press, New Jersey,
l6/Lyons, p. ll6.
l7/Barry, R. J. Satanism: The Law Enforcement Response. The National
Sheriff, XXXVIII (l): 39, l987.
l8/Smith, Lindsay E. and Walstad, Bruce A. Sting Shift. Street-Smart
Communications, Littleton, Colorado, l989, p. l04.
l9/Stackpole, Michael. Game Manufacturers' Association. Personal
20/Melton, J. Gordon. Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America. Garland
Publishing Company, New York, l986, p.3.
21/Hyer, op. cit.
22/Briggs, E. Satanic cults said to entice teens with sex, drugs.
Richmond Times Dispatch, March 5, l988.
23/Things that go bump in Victoria. Maclean's, October 27, l980.
24/Smith, M. and L. Pazder. Michelle Remembers, Congdon and Lattes, Inc.,
New York, l980, p. l93-4.
25/Brunvand, Jan H. The Choking Doberman and Other "New Urban Legends" W.
W. Norton, New York, l984, p. 4-5.
26/Ibid., p. l62.
27/Kolata, G. Rumor of LSD-Tainted Tattoos Called Hoax, The New
York Times, December 9, l988.
28/Satanism reports mostly rumor, detectives say. Tucson Citizen
(Arizona), December l9, l988.
29/Hammack, L. Fears grow as rumors spread. Times and World News (Roanoke,
Virginia), November 25, l988.
30/Bromley, David. Folk Narratives and Deviance Construction: Cautionary
Tales as a Response to Structural Tensions in the Social Order. In C.
Sanders (ed.), Deviance and Popular Culture, in press, p. ll.
31/Victor, Jeffrey S. A Rumor-Panic About a Dangerous Satanic Cult in
Western New York. New York Folklore, XV (l-2): 23-49, l989.
32/Recounted in Noonan, Veronica. Satanic Cult Killed Animals in
Allenstown, Police Say, Union Leader (New Hampshire), May 3, l989.
33/Satanism in NH. Editorial in the Manchester Union Leader, May 4, l989.
34/Zitner, Aaron. N.H. police chief discounts alleged signs of cult
activity, The Boston Globe, May 5, l989.
35/Zitner, Aaron. Cult scare seen as overrated, The Boston Globe, May 28,
36/Guinee, William. Satanism in Yellowwood Forest: The Interdependence of
Antagonistic World Views. Indiana Folklore and Oral History, l6(l): l-30,
37/Miller, Marjorie, and Kennedy, J. Michael. Potent Mix of Ritual and
Charisma. Los Angeles Times, May l6. Also, Debbie Nathan, investigative
reporter, El Paso, l989.
38/Applebone, Peter. On North-South Line, Violence Grows, The New York
Times, April l7, l989.
39/Crocker, Bonnie. Detective warns of Satanism, Daily Press (Newport News,
Virginia), June l0, l989.
40/Charlier, T., and S. Downing. Justice Abused: A l980s Witch--Hunt, The
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee). Six-part series printed in
41/Coleman, L. Therapists are the real culprits in many child abuse cases,
Augustus, IX(6): 7-9, l986.
42/Moss, D.C. "Real" Dolls Too Suggestive. American Bar Association
Journal, December l, l988, p. 24-26.
43/Jenkins, P. Protecting Victims of Child Sexual Abuse: A Case for
Caution, The Prison Journal, Fall/Winter l988: 25-35.
44/Melton, p. 76.
- 3 0 -