[excerpts from The Watcher, Order of the Left-Hand Path, edited by Kerry Bolton]
ANTI-SATANIST HYSTERIA SPREADING
NZ newspapers have recently carried a few items on ‘Satanism’ which give us an inkling as to the nature of the hysteria that has been whipped up in the USA by Christian preachers and their dupes in media and police depts.
The latter-day witch-hunt began in the USA with all manner of stories of Satanic child abuse, ritual murder of animals and babies, ‘infiltration’ of day-care centres, etc. These wild and weird allegations were quickly picked up by sensationalist-mongering journalists and talk-hosts who gave an instant and credible platform for all manner of neurotics to parade before t.v. audiences with their tales of how they had been molested by Satanists as children.
Despite the publicity that has been given to such allegations, and the fervent Christian policemen who have made a personal crusade out of combating the devil’s disciples, an FBI study has concluded that the claims are baseless. Of course this does nothing to diminish the paranoid delusions of Christians, nor does it hamper those who have made their reputations and careers out of anti-Satanism, as can be deduced from the article reprinted below relating to yoga classes being cancelled due to fear of encouraging ‘Satanism’!
Now the anti-Satanist lunacy is spreading to England and South Africa. At least the police in England appear to be made of stuff more rational than their counterparts in the USA and South Africa. Several newspaper reports have reached us from SA showing that the embryonic witch-hunt there is taking on truly idiotic proportions.
The Sunday Tribune (10 June 90) and Personality (14 May 90) have reported on the testimony of an ex-High Priest (isn’t everyone?) named Peter. Among Peter’s revelations are that in most sects it’s the rule to sacrifice humans, and that high-ranking members of the military and judiciary are involved. At coven meetings a demon appears in the form of a shadow, and of course sex and drug orgies are engaged in, including the centuries-old past-time of copulating with demons. The latter appear in half-man, half-animal form, naturally. The focus on recruitment is in a 10-16 year age bracket. These young girls are sexually assaulted while drugged.
Peter told Tribune that he was obliged to have sex with his mother, the high priestess, as part of his initiation. On the other hand, Peter states to Personality that his mother was and is ‘a big Christian’ who knew nothing of his Satanic involvement. (The Devil certainly has poor Peter mixed up). Nevertheless, his story is treated with the utmost seriousness by these papers, and by his Church congregation, for Peter has now been saved by Jesus.
A Freudian analyst would have a field-day here: a classical Oediups complex; incestuous, cannibalistic and paedophiliac fantasizing; the need for public recognition and belonging. Personality also features the good workers of Major Jonker, commanding officer of the East Cape Murder & Robbery Unit. His stories are almost as bizarre as poor Peter’s, despite his responsible position.
His story begins with hysterical schoolgirls enslaved by Satan, and the heroic Major discovering the HQ of the Satanist church in SA. The girls, having been introduced to the Satanic cult, steal Bibles from their school and rip them up (some torn pages accompany the article as documentary evidence). The girls tell the Major that they can’t sleep at night; the high priest appears at their bedroom windows (in one case three stories up). Visiting the high priest’s black painted house, he confiscates (on what grounds we’re not told) black candles. Placing these on top of a ‘witch-craft’ book in a cupboard, the Major “was amazed to see that the candles had burned two neat holes in the plastic cover containing the book.”
The Major’s heroic battle against the hordes of Hell has given him nationwide attention, and he is campaigning for legislation to ban Satanism. “Although there are many factors that attract young people to this awful cult, there is only one way out – and that is to return to the Christian faith,” pontificates the Major.
“The fact is that far more crime and child abuse has been committed by zealots in the name of God, Jesus and Mohammed than has ever been committed in the name of satan. Many people don’t like that statement, but few can argue with it.
“The author has discovered that the facts of so-called ‘satanic crimes’ are often significantly different from what is described at law enforcement training conferences or in the media. The actual involvement of satanism or the occult in these cases usually turns out to be secondary, insignificant, or nonexistent.
“After all the hype and hysteria is put aside, the realization sets in that most satanic/occult activity involves the commission of NO crimes…”
-K.V. Lanning, Satanic, Occult, Ritualistic Crime: A Law Enforcement Perspective, national Centre for the Analysis of Violent Crime, FBI Academy, Va., Oct 1989.
Refs: Christchurch Star, Wednesday, September 19, 1990 – Satanic abuse probe
Evening Post, 8/9/90 – Practice of yoga linked to devil cult
The Evening Post, Tuesday, October 9, 1990 – Church warning as hysteria grows in UK over Satanic cults
THE MAKING OF A SATANIC MYTH
….That was the headline carried across page 8 of The Independent (Sunday ed. 12 Aug 90), a leading British newspaper. The topic was that dealt with by The Watcher #5, in which we examined the spread of lunatic christian smear-mongering against Satanists, from the USA to Britain and South Africa. In that article (“Anti-Satanist hysteria spreading”) we pointed out that christian fundamentalists, and those neurotics and worse claiming to have been sexually abused by Satanists, to have witnessed blood sacrifices and demonic manifestations, etc., were receiving support and superficial ‘respectability’ from allies in the tabloid press and police depts.
Although the anti-Satanist lunacy pushed by the tabloids and the Christian crusaders has been taken seriously by social workers, psychiatrists, et al., fortunately a responsible paper such as The Independent has done a thorough job on the allegations. The Independent backgrounds the hysteria in the US and UK, and exposes the origins which are apparently to be traced back to British Columbia, Canada. Here in 1976 Michelle Smith, a 22 yr. old who was under the care of a psychiatrist after having miscarried, began to remember the long repressed events of her childhood. From the age of four she had suffered sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of a satanic coven, which included her mother. She witnessed blood rites, including the sacrifice of babies and the mutilation of animals.
Michelle and her therapist, Lawrence Pazder, went to the Vatican “to alert the church about the previously unheard of dangers to children from Satanic cults worldwide.” To warn the world they wrote Michelle Remembers, published in the US in 1980 and in Britain the following year.
Thus was born from a psychiatrist’s couch the anti-Satanist hysteria which over the next decade was to spread throughout the USA, and which is now cropping up in the UK and SA, with fallout in NZ arising occasionally in the form of teenage ‘Death Metal’ fans performing bloody rites and Christian bookstores stocked full of books on the Satanic dangers of yoga, acupuncture, eastern Mysticism, etc. ready and waiting for the hysteria to reach NZ shores.
The Independent relates that in early August a conference on incest was held at a London hospital, where a woman claimed “she had been the victim for 16 yrs. of ritual abuse by Satanists”, and told delegates “that human foetuses were being killed and eaten by members of ‘Satanic sex rings.’”
Perhaps the most alarming aspect that emerges from the anti-Satanic hysteria is that the wild and whacky tales are taken seriously by people in responsible community positions. The heavily-publicized incest conference was co-organized by a Harley St. psycho-therapist, Vera Diamond, who stated that several children had been killed at Satanic rituals in Britain. Psycho-therapist Norman Vaughton said that there were an estimated 10,000 human sacrifices a year in the USA, most of them “fetuses that have been bred specially.”
The Independent reports that over the past two yrs. the British public has been hearing increasing reports of ‘Satanic ritual abuse’ from social workers, therapists, and churches. The paper states that having investigated the claims it has found that “nobody has produced evidence.”
“There have been police investigations across the US, in Canada, the Netherlands, and now in Britain. They have produced no evidence, no bodies, no bones, no covens, no underground tunnels, no animal carcasses, no blood-stains. Nothing. Just the occasional court case where the pretence of supernatural powers was used to obtain silence and submission.”
Continues The Independent, “our investigations have revealed that the Satanic abuse myth originated in the US. It has been spread largely in fundamentalist christian circles, and it is now accepted as fact by many psychotherapists and police officers. The allegations began to surface only after the publication of the book Michelle Remembers.”
The co-author, Dr. Pazder, now married to Michelle, began organizing “Satanic cult crime” seminars across the US for therapists and the police. Panic began to spread. From 1984-1989, 100 people were charged with ritual sexual abuse. Of those approx. 50 were charged and half were convicted of child abuse. “No evidence of satanism was found in these cases.”
“In other cases the allegations were dismissed as the worst outbreak of mass hysteria since the Salem witchhunt.” (A plot hatched by a military chaplain against Dr. Michael Aquino and his wife Lilith, of the Temple of Set, resulted in the police officers involved being disciplined, a shake-up of the SF police dept. procedures, and the total exoneration of the Aquinos, the doctor himself being a respected member of both the military and academe).
In establishing how the “Satanic child abuse myth” spread from the US to Britain, the article cites the work of Robert Hicks, an analyst with the criminal justice dept. in Virginia, who “blames ‘a loose network’ of therapists, fundamentalist christians, serving and ex-police officers and also the media for ‘perpetuating the myth’”.
He told The Independent, “there were no such stories before the publication of Michelle Remembers.”
Dr Sherrill Mulbern, an anthropologist from the Uni. of Paris, who has studied self-declared Satanic abuse survivors, notes the interpretation between therapists, patients, and the hysteria, which results in a “paranoid reading of the data” by supposed ‘experts.’ The article relates the story of a woman who claimed to a C of E vicar (with whom she now stays) that she had been initiated into a Satanic coven when a six week old baby, married to Satan when 11; raped by coven members and by demons; and witness to blood sacrifices. Some of the happenings were conducted in a public park, but Satan made the coven invisible (this explanation being sufficient to convince the vicar).
The Independent is to be commended for producing a responsible report debunking the “satanic abuse myth” (as it is referred to). No doubt the paper is now blacklisted by Christian zealots as being under Satanist control.
Letters to the editor
(From: Evening Post 18/9/91)
Allegations not credible
Sir, Allegations of so-called “Satanic” child ritual abuse have about as much credibility as the claims of UFO abductees (The Post, Sept 3). While one may forgive, indeed expect, social workers to swallow such nonsense indiscriminately, of greater concern is the degree of respectability given to the claims by Senior Sergeant Laurie Gabites. He should be aware that these allegations, which have amounted to an hysterical later-day witch- hunt in the US, have been exhaustively investigated by Kenneth Lanning of the FBI, who concluded there was no evidence of a single case of “Satanic” ritual crime, and that the subject had become a “growth industry” for self-styled experts.
Robert Hicks, an analyst with the criminal Justice Department of Virginia, described a loose network of therapists, fundamentalists and policemen perpetuating the myth. Dr Mulbern of the University of Paris, after studying the “adult survivor” claims, accuses therapists of “a paranoid reading of the data”.
At the risk of providing further grist for Senior Sergeant Gabite’s mill, he may be interested to know that the latest revelation of the anti-Satanist crusaders is that Paul Daniels and Prince Charles are in league with the devil. With similar claims being made against yoga, astrology and acupuncture our local witch-hunters are guaranteed many busy years.
By Michael Brax (Canada)
The 1980 publication of the book “Michelle Remembers” was a milestone in the development of “anti-Satanist” hysteria. This book had the advantage of quickly moving to claim the “moral highground” by supposedly “revealing” various outrages performed on mental-patient Michelle Smith by Satanist when she was only a young girl. “Michelle Remembers” was co-authored by her therapist, Lawrence Pazder, who actually married Smith after counselling her for some time. In the psychological-services industry, a code of ethics frowns upon sexual relations between counselled and counsellor, the idea being that the patient is often at a disadvantage, and can be sexually mistreated by the therapist. This rather sensible notion has been ignored in the case of Michelle Smith and her co-author-husband Lawrence Pazder, yet the media has gleefully pounced on her stories of sexual abuse, taking them at face-value, and publicizing the contentions of various therapists with a stake in the public-consumption such stories of world-wide conspiratorial organizations of Satanists tied up in sexual abuse of children, child pornography, and drugs.
Ancient Romans applied the question, “who benefits?”, to contentious issues, and this question can be applied to the entire “Satanic abuse” industry. When this question is asked, it is little surprise to see that the people who benefit the most — the Christian Protestant fundamentalists — are also the ones responsible for some of the biggest promotion of “therapists” and others involved in anti-Satanic hysteria. In actual fact, examination of the problem reveals the fact that many “therapists” who are involved in “exposing Satanism” are closely linked with Christian fundamentalist sects. “University”-trained “therapists” are often graduates of fundamentalist-run post-secondary institutions. Fundamentalist leaders such as Jerry Falwell, whose wealthy financial backers include the State of Israel, have enough clout to actually run their own universities, awarding accredited degrees. Falwell’s own Liberty University in Lynchberg, Virginia, offers a myriad of courses taught by fundamentalist Christian professors. Degrees awarded by such universities are recognized by American academia, yet the entire atmosphere of such schools is ripe with biased study-schedules. Being private institutions, Christian colleges in the U.S. can set down rules that continue the stunted environment that many of the students experience in their home environments. At Liberty University, for example, students must attend chapel meetings daily; they must refrain from smoking or drinking; many activities on campus are segregated according to gender in order to prevent sexual misdemeanour. It is no surprise, then, that America is seeing a rash of fully-accredited “therapists” and “Christian counsellors” flooding the therapy-market, ready to promote “Satanic-abuse” theories, despite the fact that such theories are often devoid of such things as valid documentation.
One example of ridiculous “experts” is Carl Raschke, a professor of religious studies at Colorado’s University of Denver. Raschke authored the book “Painted Black”, an “expose” of Satanism in America which is full of simple, factual errors.
In June of 1988 a Crowelyite in British Columbia named Lion Serpent Sun brought a law-suit against Len and Sheila Olson, a husband-and-wife “evangelist” combo. On the fundamentalist show “100 Huntly Street”, hosted by David Mainse, Len Olson accused Lion Serpent Sun of attempting to kill him in 1972 during a ritual working when both Sun and Olson had belonged to a Wiccan cult. Olson had left Wicca, which he referred to as “Satanism”, but said Sun was still active. Clearly, the inference was that a psycho-Satanist would-be murderer was still stalking the streets.
“100 Huntley Street”, of course, played up the whole “Satanic” hysteria issue. At the trial, Raschke was called as an “expert”. He testified that the date of the ritual working, October 14, 1972, was exactly 666 years and a day from the October 13, 1307 arrests of the Knights Templar in France. It was little surprise that such bizarre theorizing about a “white light” Wicca cult was taken with a grain of salt by the court. Even so, while the court ruled in Sun’s favour, he was forced to pay halt the court costs; a legal lynching of a member of a religious minority.
Many human-rights activists fear that holding to crazed “ritual sexual abuse” theories denies woman who claim to have been abused the proper treatment they obviously need. Sensationalizing such unfounded claims may rob these woman, who are so sick, and so starved of attention, of proper therapy. However, it is perhaps more important that sensationalizing such claims endangers the rights to freedom of speech and freedom association of members of groups or affiliations that are unpopular.