A Guide to Alternative Religions

And Their Opponents (Vers. 2.0)

Chapter 12

What About Satan?

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                                        -an anonymous Christian

     In order to bring home to us just how much ignorant superstition has 
grown around the words "satan" and "devil," (the word "devil" being commonly 
used as a translation of the Greek word "diabolos"), let us suppose that two 
men visiting a Zoological Garden came upon a huge serpent in captivity, and 
one exclaimed, "Look at the huge dragon!" 
     "Dragon!" the other would say scornfully, "That's a serpent."
     Yet the first man was not exactly wrong, but he was not speaking the 
language intelligible to an Englishman.  In the same way, if he was passing 
an old enemy in the street and remarked to his companion, "See that man 
passing us?  He is a devil!"  His companion would not understand him merely 
to be intimating that the man in question had defamed him and made 
accusations against him falsely. 
     One can see then how our English thinking minds are led along strange 
paths ending in confusion, by our use of words which, to us, are foreign and 
surrounded by mystery.  Such words are "satan," "devil," "dragon," which 
ought to appear in our English texts of the Scriptures as, respectively, 
"adversary," "accuser" or calumniator,' and "serpent." 
     If there is an English equivalent to the Hebrew word "satan" and an 
English equivalent to the Greek word "diabolos," why not use them, instead of 
confusing our minds by the use of words which are foreign to us, and which on 
that account, have been handed down to us through the centuries draped in 
tangles of incomprehensible lore and fable and allegory? 


     It would appear that with regard to the "satan" of popular theology, 
i.e. the mythical, supernatural evil genius, the majority of Christians have 
no clearly defined ideas on the subject, and do not consider it a matter of 
importance to have such.  A small minority, however, make an important issue 
of the matter, and this small minority appear to be divided mainly into two 

 (1)  Those who believe the word "satan" to refer to a supernatural evil 
genius who has made a specialty of leading human beings astray, and 

 (2)  Those who believe the word "satan" to refer to any adversary, either 
human or heaven-sent, (as, for example, the heavenly messenger sent to block 
Balaam's path - Num 22:22), and "diabolos," to refer to any accuser, 
calumniator or slanderer without qualifications, and regardless of sex. 

     This wide difference of opinion between these two companies of 
Christians, constitutes a barrier which prevents them from seeing eye to eye 
or understanding each others language, just as effectively as did the "babel 
of tongues" at the building of the notorious tower.  This is greatly to be 
deplored, as, in very many cases that is the only insurmountable obstacle to 
that very desirable unity which our Lord Jesus desired for His followers. 
     In order to define these two opposite opinions for the purpose of our 
search for the Truth, we can describe them briefly as:  (1)  Those who 
believe that the source of evil, wickedness and iniquity in every form is 
outside of man, and is centered in a supernatural being who is antagonistic 
to God and His Will.  (2)  Those who believe that the source of evil and 
iniquity is the carnal nature of man, as opposed to the Spirit of God. 
    We take it for granted that both these classes are in agreement 
concerning the testimony of the Holy Scriptures, and that neither would 
embrace a man-made doctrine if they positively knew it to be opposed to the 
teachings of the Word of God.  With Paul, they would emphatically declare, 
"Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar."   Are we then agreed concerning 
the truth, and willing to submit that our Lord does not speak wrongly whoever 
else may do?  If so, we are ready to consider His statement upon where 
iniquity originates. 
     Let us proceed then to hear what our Lord Jesus Christ has to say about 
the matter. 


     To deal now with a text which is invariably quoted in support of the 
"supernatural devil" theory, let us consider Paul's statement to the Hebrews 
when explaining the reason for Christ's sacrifice of Himself.  (Heb. 2:14). 
"Forasmuch then, as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He (that 
is Jesus Christ) also Himself took part of the same; that, through death, He 
might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the accuser." 
     Whom did Paul mean by "the accuser" who had the power of death?  Do you 
believe that God had given the power of death into the hands of a rebellious 
spirit being?  If so, do you claim that it was to that rebellious spirit 
being that Jesus referred when He said, "...but rather fear Him which (who) 
is able to destroy both life and body in Gehenna"?  (Matt. 10:28).  You will 
agree that Jesus was referring to the Almighty One, to GOD.  How then could 
it be true that a "fallen spirit" had the power of death?  But "the accuser" 
had the power of death; we say "had" advisedly, because when Jesus died on 
the cross "the accuser" was DESTROYED.  And "the accuser"?   Was the written 
decree which had been contrary to us - the word of God which decreed that we 
were all under sentence of death in Adam.  Jesus Christ, by HIS death, dis-
annulled that decree by which we, as heirs of sin in Adam, were doomed to 
     Paul explains it thus to the Colossians:  "And you, being dead in your 
sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened (made alive) 
forgiving you all trespasses.  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances 
(the signature of decrees) that was against us, which was contrary to us, 
nailing it to His cross."  (Col. 2: 13-14). 
     The decree of death passed upon all flesh by reason of inherited sin was 
annulled by Christ's sacrifice.  This decree constituted "the accuser" 
(Greek: diabolos) which had the power of death and which was destroyed by 
Christ's sacrifice. 
     Time and time again, Paul stresses the fact that the great foe of the 
spirit is the flesh, as, for example Romans (7:14), "For we know that the law 
is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.  (16-17)  If then I do that 
which I would is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me, 
(18) for I know that IN ME (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing.  
(22) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man, but I see another 
law in my members (flesh) warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me 
into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. ( That is to say, 
his spiritual-mindedness and his flesh were opposed)  (25) so then with the 
mind I myself serve the law of God; but WITH THE FLESH THE LAW OF SIN."  Chpt 
8:1-13 also stresses this point (8:3).  "For what the law could not do in 
that it was weak THROUGH THE FLESH, God, sending His own Son, in the LIKENESS 
OF SINFUL FLESH and FOR SIN, condemned sin in the flesh."  
     (Verses 5-7)  "They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the 
flesh.  For to be CARNALLY MINDED is death. Because the CARNAL MIND is enmity 
against God."  That is to say, the carnal mind is the enemy of God - the 
adversary (satan) against God.  
     Poof!  Satan is dispelled to the realms of fiction and fairy tale. 

   **Annonymous Essay**   

POLICE BELIEVE, BUT CAN'T PROVE, SATANISTS ARE `OUT THERE' By Charles Walston Staff Writer From the _Atlanta Journal and Constitution_, 5/22/88 `I don't know of any convictions [for satanic-related crimes]. But I know some of these officers and they don't overreact. I don't think you can chalk this up to us looking for something that isn't there.' - Cobb police Capt. Sharon Moody Armed with shotguns, automatic weapons and a no-knock search warrant, a dozen police officers entered an east Cobb County home around midnight. They held the owner at gunpoint in his underwear, according to a federal lawsuit filed last month, and searched the house for blood, bones, cages, altars and other bizarre items. They were looking for evidence of satanism. They found nothing. In the year since that incident occurred, some local law enforcement authorities and religious leaders have expressed increasing concern about devil worship. Newspapers, magazines and television stations have reported allegations that satanists commit hideous sacrifices and sexual abuse. Despite police scrutiny and publicity, however, few cases of satanic crime have been proven. "There are lots of published accounts of people saying they were victims and they witnessed murders, which may very well be true, but as far as I know you're not gonna be able to substantiate it," said Cynthia Kisser, executive director of the Cult Awareness Network, a non-profit group in Chicago that distributes information about cult activity. Ms. Kisser knows of only one case in which a satanic murder was proven in court: Members of a satanic group in California were recently convicted of killing a drifter and carving a pentagram on his chest during a ritual, she said. But there is no comprehensive source of information on suspected satanic crime, she said. There have been a few instances of such crime alleged in the metro Atlanta area. The most notable case is in Douglas County, where three teenagers were charged with the January slaying of a 15-year-old runaway girl. Investigators said the suspects were satanists who had killed their victim during a ritual. One of the defendants, Terry Belcher, was convicted of murder Monday and sentenced to life in prison. Belcher admitted he had been involved in the slaying but denied any cult involvement, and the case shed no light on the veracity of the allegation that satanism was involved. Two other defendants are scheduled to stand trial in June. Even when authorities suspect an occult connection to crimes, their theories often are not presented in court, according to Donald Sparry, director of the Coastal Georgia Police Academy in Brunswick, who speaks about violent groups at seminars around the country. Prosecutors are wary of trying to prove a motive that some jurors or judges may find unbelievable. "You have a dead body, malice, a murder," he said. "Why complicate it with all these allegations about rituals?" While prosecutors may be wary of raising the issue in court, there has been increasing police interest in learning about it. Some jurisdictions have designated law enforcement officers to gather information and intelligence about satanism. After the Douglas County slaying, the sheriff's department created a task force to investigate devil worship. No arrests have been made, but a department spokesman said this week that the group is monitoring suspected cult activity in the county. Many police and prosecutors are convinced that devil worshippers commit crimes ranging from cruelty to animals to desecration of churches to murder. "Worshipping the devil is not a crime, but there are sometimes crimes related to the rituals," said Douglas County District Attorney Frank Winn. "When you find literally dozens of officers communicating, and the facts being very similar in cases, it makes you sit up and take notice that there must be some truth to it," said Cobb police Sgt. Joe Renner, who has attended several seminars about satanism in the past year. "I don't know of any convictions," said Cobb police Capt. Sharon Moody, who heads the unit that investigates crimes against children. "But I know some of these officers and they don't overreact. I don't think you can chalk this up to us looking for something that isn't there. "I do think it's out there." Renner said more parents of teenagers in metro Atlanta are calling him to discuss their children's possible involvement, and Ms. Kisser has noted heightened interest at the national level. "It might be getting to the point of hysteria in some communities," she said. There are several degrees of cult involvement, according to Ms. Kisser. Satanists who are part of established "orthodox" groups, often stretching back for several generations, shroud themselves in secrecy and seldom attract attention. "Dabblers" in satanism, often teenagers, are more likely to leave evidence such as animal remains or significant symbols, including pentagrams or the number 666, the biblical sign of the beast. Even when such signs are present, cult connections are sometimes tenuous. Ms. Kisser estimates that 95 percent of teenagers who dabble in satanism are interested only in trappings such as heavy metal rock music, clothing or jewelry, and are not likely to become seriously involved. Some people worry that concern over satanism could become a misguided obsession, creating an environment in which the statements and beliefs of suspects overshadow their alleged crimes. "People love this idea of `The devil made me do it,' " said Kenneth Lanning, a supervisory special agent at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., who is an expert on child sexual abuse. "This is not only not new, this is the oldest theory of crime that there is." Police must guard against placing too much significance on theories or evidence of devil worship, Lanning said. "I think that a great deal of what's being alleged and talked about [regarding] satanic crime may have nothing to do with a crime," he said. "In law enforcement, you're investigating the crime. If I'm a sociologist or a scholar, all this [the occult] may be real interesting to pursue." Sparry said he has never known of teenage devil worshipers who were not involved with drugs, and illicit sex is a lure for many youths. "They're using devil worship as a vehicle for what they were going to do anyway," he said. "I don't see it so much as a cause for crime as a justification of crime," Lanning said. "I see individuals who go out and kill and rape. . . . The satanism is a symptom of their problem, not the cause of the problem." Allegations of human sacrifices and cannibalism may mask the real objective of satanists, some experts believe. Some child molesters may trick children into thinking they have witnessed murders to scare or confuse them, Lanning said. If the victims do tell, their stories are implausible and impossible to prove. The search of the home in affluent east Cobb, in the early hours of May 1, 1987, indicates that police suspicions about satanism are sometimes unfounded. That incident has resulted in a federal lawsuit filed April 19 in U.S. District Court on behalf of William Oakes and his wife. The complaint alleges that the search of the Oakes' home violated their constitutional right to privacy, and that it was the result of a "reckless" police investigation. Named as defendants are Cobb County, Ms. Moody, police Officer James Davis, and Nancy Aldridge, a nurse. The futile search resulted from allegations that arose in a protracted divorce and child custody dispute involving a couple whom the Oakes do not know. A 7-year-old girl and her younger brother told counselers and police they had been sexually abused by their father and others during satanic rituals, and had witnessed the sacrifice of four adults and 10 children. The girl also said she had witnessed her father having sex with foxes and other members of his family. The girl said some of the rituals occurred in a "gray house," which Davis later determined to be the Oakes residence. In a six-page affidavit that he signed to obtain a search warrant, Davis stated that the girl had pointed the house out to him, but he later testified during the divorce case that she had initially seen the house when she was riding in a car with her mother. Oakes has never been accused of a crime, according to his attorney, Harvey Harkness. "The only sin he committed in his life was painting his house gray." No criminal charges have resulted from that investigation, and Cobb police decline to discuss the search because of the lawsuit. An Emory University professor said some aspects of the incident have disturbing historical precedents. "That sounds so incredibly reminiscent of the Salem witch trials," said professor Nancy T. Ammerman, who specializes in the sociology of religion. About 30 women were hanged as witches in Salem, Mass., during the 16th century, Dr. Ammerman said, many of them named by children who had heard stories about witches from a slave from the West Indies. Some people, particularly religious fundamentalists, may have a need to identify evil in order to explain to themselves why human atrocities occur, Dr. Ammerman said. "We should exercise caution of people who are engaged in these [satanic] activities, and we also have reason to be cautious of our response," she said. "We have ample evidence in history that accusations of satanism and witchcraft have been used as reason to persecute people."
HALLOWEEN: MYTHS, MONSTERS AND DEVILS by W.J. Bethancourt III (c) copyright 1992 W.J. Bethancourt III: used by permission ---------------------------------------------------------------------- MATTHEW 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. LUKE 11:39 And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. LUKE 11:41 But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Every year, right around Halloween, we are treated to an outpouring of what can only be described as "scare" literature telling us all about how the holiday is 'satanic' and evil, and should not be celebrated by Christians. These opinions are backed up with some rather unusual, and very frightening, fantasies masquerading as historical facts. This article is -not- intended to address whether or not Satan exists, nor to show that 'witches' are all nice, grainola-eating vegetarians and tree-huggers who wouldn't harm a fly, nor is it an attack on Fundamentalist Christianity, but rather to discuss some of the so-called 'facts' offered in some of the anti-Halloween publications. Let's look at four such tracts circulating around the computer nets: "Halloween Oct. 31: What's It All About?", by someone named Sylvan Margadonna, Mrs. Gloria Phillips' "Halloween: What It Is From A Christian Perspective" (Bay View Church, P.O. Box 9277, Mobile, AL 36691), and two anonymous tracts, here identified as "Tract 1" and "Tract 2." I have not corrected transcription errors in either of these tracts. They are exactly as received. Margadonna: Halloween (the name) means the evening before All Hallows or All Saints' Day, which is Nov. 1. All Saints' Day is observed by Roman Catholics, Episcopalians and Lutherans, to honor all the saints in Heaven, whether known or unknown. The day also used to be called Hallowmass from Old English word hallow, meaning sanctify. In the Roman Catholic Church, it is, with all solemnity, considered one of the most important observances of the church year. It is a day on which all Catholics are obliged to attend Mass. It is preceded by a vigil of preparation on the evening of Oct.31. And it is this vigil, All Hallows' Eve or Halloween, that is the most widely known feature of the observance. This is true, though Margadonna's linking the Church vigil to the current American celebration (in the light of what is said later) seems to me to show a possible agenda of anti-Catholicism, (and a mild quibble over the use of the word "Old English," as OE is more the language of "Beowulf" than Chaucer or Shakespeare.) Even so, the tracts tend to very quickly degenerate into myth and pseudo-factual statements that cannot be backed up by hard data. Margadonna: However, Halloween is really of DRUIDIC origin. Most of the customs connected with the day are remnants of ancient "religious" beliefs and celebrations of the New Year, first of the Druids and then of the Romans who conquered them. Margadonna: For the Celtic tribes who followed the religion of the Druids and lived in Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and Britan, Nov. 1 was New Years Day. It was also a joint festival honoring their Sun "god" and "Samhain", the lord of the dead. Phillips: In 834 A.D. Gregory IV extended the feast for all the church and it became known as All Saint's Day, still remembering the dead. Samhain, a Druid god of the dead was honored at Halloween in Britain, France, Germany and the Celtic countries. Samhain called together all wicked souls who died within the past year and that were destined to inhabit animals. Tract 2: It was the Druid's belief that on the eve of this festival, Saman called together the wicked souls that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals. They were released in the form of ghosts, spirits, witches or elves. Tract 1: Halloween is a rite with pagan, demonic roots. The Celtic people who lived over 2,000 years ago, feared the evening of October 31st more than any other day of the year. It was the eve of the Lord of the Dead. To celebrate, the people built bonfires, wore masks and costumes in order to prepare for the arrival of spirits. Fire rituals and divination were part of their celebration. Pagan priests even offered human and animal sacrifices. Tract 2: The American celebration rests upon Scottish and Irish folk customs which can be traced, in a direct line, from pre-Christian time. Although Halloween has become a night of celebration to many, its beginnings were otherwise. The earliest Halloween celebrations were held by the Druids in honor of Saman, lord of the dead, whose festival fell on November 1. The Druids were an 'oral' tradition; they didn't write down their teachings. Unfortunately, most of what we have on them from pre-Christian times was written by their mortal enemies: the Roman Empire. To take what the Romans said about the Druids as fact is rather like taking what the Romans said about Christians as fact. (Athenagoras, in 176 CE, writes a whole tome to repudiate the accusations of atheism, cannibalism and lust directed by the Romans at the Christians). The attempt to associate Hindu-like reincarnation beliefs with Druidic beliefs has no basis in fact. We know that the Celts believed in an afterlife, as they would do things like promise to pay debts "in the next life," but there is no evidence of a belief in reincarnation (coming back to this world, as an animal, insect or human, not another life in Heaven or wherever) as such. The link with Irish customs is ephemeral (to say the least!) as the Romans never conquered, nor even invaded, Ireland. There is no Roman overlay on Irish folklore and myth before the advent of Christianity. Had Halloween come to America from France (Ancient Gaul), whose Celtic culture was thoroughly Romanized, I might have bought into this connection, but it is a fact that Halloween came from Ireland. There was no Roman occupation in Ireland, therefore (and archaeology bears this out) there was no Roman culture in Ireland, so it follows that there can be no credible Romano-Pagan connection with Irish pagan beliefs. This is significant for Scotland also, as the inhabitants of Scotland at the time of the Roman occupation of Britain were the Picts (a generic term for a confederation of different tribes.) They were not conquered by the Romans either; Hadrian's and Trajan's Walls mark the limit of Roman conquest in Britain. The people that we know as "Scots" (the word "Scot" orignally meant "Irishman") are actually an amalgamation of Norse, Pict and Irish that happened well after the Romans left Britain. As for "Samhain" being the 'lord of the dead,' this is a gross fallacy that seems to have been perpetuated in the late 18th and 19th centuries CE. I have found it in Higgins (first published in 1827, and trying to prove the Druids emigrated to Ireland from India!) where he quotes a Col. Charles Vallency (later a General, who was trying to prove that the Irish were decended from the inhabitants of Armenia!!!) Higgins also refers to an author named "Pictet," who gives this name as that of a god, associating the word with "sabhan," (which word I cannot find in any Gaelic dictionary at my disposal) and trying for a connection with "Bal-sab," to prove a Sun god and Biblical association. Bostwick (originally published in 1894) associates "Samhuin" with the Moon, but translates "Samhain" correctly, though he tries to derive the roots of Gaelic and Erse from Latin. He refers to a book named "Bards" by a person only identified as "Walker" as his reference. I have not been able to locate this work, nor Col. Vallency's ("Collectanaea de Rebus Hibernicis" circa 1770 in 6 volumes.) With modern research, archaeology and the study of the Indo-European migrations, these conclusions can be seen as the complete errors they were, (though further research into proto-Gaelic is still going on, and may yet hold some surprises.) All of this may be connected with the "British Israelite" sort of thing so popular then, when British antiquaries were trying to connect the Druids of the British Isles with Biblical nations and races, Freemasonry, the "religion of Noah," "Helio-Arkites," and many other fanciful blind-alleys. Some of the more luminous (?) names of this movement were William Stukeley, Edward Williams (who called himself "Iolo Morganwg" and can be viewed as one of the classic British cranks, forging documents right and left to back up his theories), John Williams ab Ithel, Owen Morgan (who called himself "Morgan O. Morgan"), the epic-forger James MacPherson (he wrote the "Ossian" stuff), Edward Davies, the aforementioned Godfrey Higgins and James Bostwick, and others. It rather reminds one of the Mormon identification of the indigenous populations of North America with the Lost Tribes of Israel, or the Blacks with the descendants of Cain. Seumas MacManus, in his book "The Story Of The Irish Race," quotes a source only identified as "O'Halloran" as identifying "Samain" with the Moon, though later he correctly translates the word as "Hallowday," (and includes the three days before and after in the name) in connection with the supposed first Irish Parliament at Tara under Cormac, and as the occasion for Fairs at Muiremne. Hardly the appropriate time to hold such festive occasions, if these tracts are to be believed! I should also quote a well-known Wiccan, "Rowan Moonstone" (pseud.): "There is no such deity as "Samhain, Druid god of the dead"!!! The word Samhain means summer's end. (Sam + Fuin = Samhain). The "Great God Sam" myth seems to have come from Col. Vallency's books in the 1770s before the reliable translations of the extant Celtic literary works and before the archaeological excavations." Ms. Moonstone further comments: "I've spent several years trying to trace the "Great God Samhain" and I have YET to find seminal sources for the same. The first reference seems to be from Col. Vallency in the 1700s and then Lady Wilde in her book "Mystic Charms and Superstitions" advances the "Samhain, lord of the dead" theory. Vallency, of course was before the work done on Celtic religion in either literature or archaeology. Wilde, on the other hand, gives NO references in her book, claiming it to be first-hand field work. (NOT!) I have no problems to Christians being theologically opposed to Samhain. What I absolutely refuse to tolerate is sloppy and improper scholarship!" In more current books in print I have only found "Samhain" named as the 'lord of the dead' in Claudia DeLys' book on American superstitions (see my bibliography below) and I find it interesting that both these tracts seem to reproduce, almost word-for-word, what Ms. DeLys has to say on the subject relating to 'Samhain, lord of the dead' and about Halloween in general. Looking thru Maclennan, we find that the (Scots) Gaelic "Samhuinn" (pronounced in Scotland as "SAV-im") is translated as "Hallowtide; the Feast of All Souls" and is the same word as Erse (Irish Gaelic) "Samhain" (pronounced "SEW-ain (sort of!)" in Erse), Early Irish "Samfhuin" (also found as "samuin" and "samain") and has the possible Old Celtic root of "samani-." Herity/Eogan also mention "Bealtaine, Lughnasa and Samhain" as holidays of the Iron Age Irish. The Celtic Gods of the dead were Gwynn ap Nudd (British) and Arawn (Welsh.) I have not found any Irish "lord of death" as such, and neither have I located any Gaulish (French Celtic) god's name, if any. Lugh would be the nearest thing to a sun-god of the Celts, and even that association is a bit tenuous. Bear in mind also that the Celtic "Lord of the Underworld" was -not- considered to be anything similar to the Judeo-Christian Satan, (we are, after all, dealing with an entirely different mythos here!) but rather something different, and -not- an evil anti-God. (I will not address the issue of the various Horned Gods of Western European paganism being Satan. The concept of "God and His adversary" seems to have had no place in pre-Christian Celtic mythology.) "Samhain" is the name of the holiday. There is no evidence of any god or demon named "Samhain," "Samain," "Sam Hane," or however you want to vary the spelling. The association of "ghosts, spirits, witches (and) elves" in Tract 2 is also interesting, as it betrays the author's lack of knowledge of Irish folklore. Ghosts, spirits and witches were regarded by the post-Christian Irish as evil indeed, but elves had a rather unique position in Irish folklore as being neither of Heaven or of Hell. They were not regarded as evil so much as very different and very dangerous to mess with. There is a differentiation made between "good" and "bad" elves/fairies in the "seelie court" and the "unseelie court." Insofar as the -ancient- Celtic attitude towards the four items mentioned there is no hard evidence. Margadonna's usage of the phrase "ancient 'religious' beliefs," implying that ancient religions were not really "real" religions, is also interesting. If they weren't "real" religions, what were they? They may not have been Christianity, they may have been wrong, but they were still "real" religions. Tract 2: It was the Celts who chose the date of October 31 as their New Year's Eve and who originally intended it as a celebration of everything wicked, evil and/or dead. Also during their celebration they would gather around the campfire, and offer their animals, their crops, and sometimes themselves as a sacrifice. And yet again we see statements being made that are not supported by available hard evidence. I fail to see how a "celebration of everything wicked, evil and/or dead" would be made the occasion for the beginning of a new yearly cycle and for feasting, parliaments and formal games as recorded by MacManus. A culture-wide Celtic celebration or honoring of Evil would certainly be something that cultural anthropologists would jump on, since it would require hundreds of tribes/clans in several separated geographical areas to be doing something that no other major human culture has ever done, that is, to define Evil and Good, and conciously celebrate Evil. Such a culture would not be expected to adopt Christianity as quickly and easily, not to mention as strongly, as the Celtic peoples did, would it? Besides, there is some evidence that the Samhain holiday would actually occur (in the modern Gregorian calendar) on November 11 (Martinmas), which is regarded as "Old Samhain" in some Celtic countries. The ballad "The Wife Of Usher's Well" (Child #79) could provide some clues towards this. Phillips: This celebration of the dead honored the god of the dead on this particular night. Margadonna: The Celts believed that the sinful souls of those who had died during the year had been relegated to the bodies of animals. Through gifts and sacrifices their sins could be expiated and their souls freed, to claim a "heavenly" reward. Samhain was the one who did the judging and decreed in what form their existence was to continue, whether in the body of an animal here on earth or in a human body in "heaven". Once again, we have information on Druidic beliefs that I have seen nowhere else, save in unsupported theories in publications of the 18th and 19th centuries, and no references are given by Margadonna. And the mysterious god 'Samhain' pops up again. The "gifts and sacrifices" bit sounds suspiciously like a dig at the Roman Catholic Purgatory dogma with no justification from extant knowledge of Celtic religion. Margadonna: Therefore it was common for horses to be sacrificed since they were sacred to the Sun god. There were also human sacrifices. Men, mostly criminals, were put in wicker thatched cages and were set on fire by the Druid priests. The human sacrifices were prohibited by the Roman conquerors. However, horses were still being sacrificed as late as A.D. 400. The -only- reference to Celtic human sacrifice as described is from Julius Caesar in his wonderful justification of "why we have to conquer these people." Remember that the Romans, with some justification, regarded the Celts as the ultimate enemy. And considering the Celts periodically invaded Italy (and sacked Rome several times) during Roman history there is certainly some justification for their attitude. Caesar was also drumming up popular support for his wars in Gaul against the Gallic tribes and the Germans. Ol' Julius was writing propaganda to make himself look like the bringer of civilization to the benighted savages, and reads rather like the writings of similar American military men in the mid-1800's CE discussing the Indian Wars, or the Boers talking about South African Blacks. Ross/Robbins make a good case for Lindow Man being a Druid voluntary sacrifice about 65 CE, but that was not by burning, and was a single man. There is general agreement that the Celts did in fact practice human sacrifice, but then, most cultures at that stage of development did. Even the Romans had, at the time of Julius Caesar, only recently abandoned human sacrifice. Frankly, for the point at hand, it winds up being moot. We still sacrifice humans, 'mostly criminals,' but we call it the "death penalty." The culling of animals was a usual practice at this time with rural peoples. Most medieval illuminated calendars show such things; do we then conclude that medieval European peasants 'sacrificed' animals every Fall? Or that the "in kind" offerings to the Church (animals, food and labor rather than money) were 'sacrifices?' Horses were sacred to the goddesses Rhiannon (Welsh) and Epona (Gaulish), and the last recorded horse sacrifice, as part of the coronation of an Irish petty King in the 12th cent. CE, at Tyrconnell, was recorded by Geraldus Cambrensis in his "Topography of Ireland." Such horse veneration was apparently connected with the sea-god in some way, and -may- be older in the British Isles than the Celtic peoples themselves. Margadonna: And throughout the Middle Ages, in Europe, black cats were thrown into fires, in wicker cages, because they were thought to be friends of witches or even witches transformed. Tract 2: The Druids, an order of priests in ancient Gaul and Britain, also believed that the cat was sacred because cats once had been human beings but were changed as a punishment for evil deeds. From these Druidic beliefs come the present-day use of witches, ghosts, and cats in Halloween activities. Phillips: The Samhain celebration used nuts, apples, skeletons, witches and black cats. Divination and auguries were practiced as well as magic to seek answers for the future. Black cats were considered to be reincarnated beings with the ability to divine the future. During this festival supernatural beings terrified the populace. Even today witchcraft practitioners declare October 31st as the most conducive time to practice their arts. Tract 1: (Cat and Witch): Both symbols obviously relate to witchcraft. Druids believed the black cats were reincarnated human beings. Tract 2: The celebration remained much the same after the Romans conquered the Celts around 43 A.D. The Romans, however, added a ceremony honoring their goddess of fruit and trees, thus the association with apples, and the custom of bobbing for them. What do the superstious practices of medieval Christians have to do with the ancient Celts? Domestic cats were apparently not introduced to Northern Europe until post-Julius Caesar, and didn't really "catch on" until after 1050 CE. And with (I repeat) no Roman occupation of Ireland, we should not expect cats to figure very much in their pre-Christian myths .... and they don't. There is a marked -lack- of cats, as a matter of fact. We -do- find cats as one of the attributes of the Norse goddess Freya, but that's not a culture that brought us Halloween, and may be a later interpolation by the medieval chroniclers of the myths of the Old Norse. We also find a wild cat in Scotland, but it is not known whether it is a long-feral domestic, or a native breed. What with all this about cats being "demonic," I am surprised that I have not seen tracts calling on people to get rid of their pet cats! In addition, the throwing of cats into a bonfire was a folk custom of one or two towns in France, not a custom of medieval Europe as a whole, and still less a general custom in Ireland. And once more we have a listing of supposed Druidic practices that cannot be backed up by research: the supposition that Romano-Pagan practices were grafted onto a people that Rome never conquered (the Irish), and another attempted link with the Hindu reincarnation belief. Insofar as "witchcraft practitioners" and Oct. 31 .... I guess that would depend on who you talk to. The books on Wicca that I have read show it as a time to honor and remember the dead, and not any better than any other time to perform "magic," other than perhaps divination of the future. It -is- regarded as a time when the "veil between the worlds" is "thinner" than normal, however. Satanists might be another story, and it would be well to mark the difference between the two. Most modern Pagans seem to dislike Satanists just as strongly as Christians do, and to equate them as the same will only close the Pagans' ears to the Christian message. Margadonna: In an effort to suppress and offset this pre-existing paganism, Pope Gregory III, around A.D. 735, made Nov.1 All Saints' Day. About 100 years later Pope Gregory IV, still trying to put an end to the pagan customs associated with the day, decreed that the day was to be a universal church observance of the "highest" rank. Phillips: The Christian church tried to eliminate the Druid celebration by offering All Saint's Day as a substitute. As Christianity spread over Europe and the British Isles, it attempted to replace the pre- existing pagan cult worship of Apollo, Diana or Ymir, but to no avail. Yup. Just like Christmas, and several other customs and traditions of Christianity, many pagan holidays and customs were absorbed and -changed- by the Church. The operative word here is "changed." The customs and traditions are no longer pagan, being "made new" in Jesus. (As one major example, December 25th was the supposed birthday of Mithra, who was supposedly born of a virgin, and visited by Magi! Incidentally, the word "Magus" is the singular of "Magi," it means "Zoroastrian priest," and is the root of our word "Magician.") All Saint's (Hallows) Day was first introduced in the 7th cent. CE, and was originally on 13 May. It was changed to 1 November by Pope Gregory III. "Apollo" was a Graeco-Roman god. "Diana" was pretty much Graeco-Roman too (though there was quite a little "ecumenical" movement to identify Diana with the other primary goddesses in the Roman/Greek/Middle Eastern pantheons) while "Ymir" was in the Norse pantheon, but -not- worshipped like the Aesir and Vanir (Thor, Odin, Frey, ect.) were. Why the implication that these gods continued to be worshipped (Margaret Murray's thesis of the underground survival of Mother Goddess/Horned God paganism is clearly cut from whole cloth) in the face of all available evidence is unclear to me. And how in the world do they tie in with Irish Catholics bringing the Halloween holiday to America? Or even Irish paganism? Does Roman Catholicism have "secret rites" that we don't know about? I don't think so. Phillips: The custom of Halloween is traced to the Druid festival of the dead. Then the Roman Pantheon was built by Emperor Hadrian in 100 A.D. as a temple to the goddess Cybele and other Roman deities. It became the principle place of worship. Roman pagans prayed for the dead. Rome was captured and the Pantheon fell into disrepair. Emperor Phocas captured Rome and gave the Pantheon to Pope Boniface IV in 609. He reconsecrated it to the Virgin Mary and resumed using the temple to pray for the dead, only now it was "Christianized", as men added the unscriptural teaching of purgatory. Hadrian became Emperor in 117 CE. In 100 CE Trajan was the Emperor of Rome. The Pantheon of Rome was begun by the Emperor Agrippa in 27 BCE, and Hadrian's involvement was merely a rebuilding. Boniface IV reigned from 608- 615 CE. Phocas (of Byzantium) from 602-610 CE. The Church of the Virgin Mary and All Martyrs (it's proper re-naming) was dedicated in 609 CE. Guess we have to holler 'Shame!' at those early Christians for taking over available, unused space, and saving some of the Roman art treasures into the bargain. Further, any research at all will show that Cybele was -not- a goddess of the dead! Better go after St. Peter's in Rome, too. It was built over a graveyard, of all things, located outside ancient Rome. The juxtaposition of so-called Druidic beliefs and the Bishop of Rome (aka: the Pope) is rather confusing. How does it apply to the matter under discussion? Do we see more of an anti-Catholic agenda? Margadonna: Halloween was not widely observed, in America, during the first few hundred years of settlement. However, when the potato famine in the 1840s in Ireland, brought thousands of Irishman to America, they in turn brought the custom with them. Now our children have taken over this "holiday", making it an occasion to dress in costumes, carve "jack-o'-lanterns", go "trick-or-treating" and share ghost stories. Not many realize that these customs have their own origins in various ancient Halloween/New Year festivals. Brought to America by the devout, militantly Catholic Irish .... quite a piece of evidence this .... but for what? Perhaps more anti-Catholic bias is showing here? And how these tracts connect Roman paganism with Irish paganism is still a mystery to me, since (I repeat) Ireland was never conquered by the Romans. Tract 1: (Trick or Treat): The Druids went from house to house asking for a contribution to their demonic worship celebration. If a person didn't give, their trick was to kill him. The people feared the phrase "trick or Treat." Tract 2: The Pagans believed that on one night of the year, souls of the dead returned to their original homes. These wandering spirits were in the habit of haunting the living. To exorcise these ghosts (that is, to free yourself from an evil spirit) you would have to set out food, (give the demons a treat) and provide shelter for them by the night. If you didn't, they would "trick" you by casting a spell on you or hurting you. Tract 1: The Druids wore masks, skulls and costumes, even offered human sacrifices on October 31st, to ward off evil spirits. Margadonna: The custom of going door to door begging for candy, apples and pennies while masked and dressed in grotesque or outlandish costumes goes back to the pagan New Year feast. There was an ancient Celtic practice on Halloween, of groups of peasents going from house to house, asking for money to buy food for the feast; and demanding fatted calves and black sheep be prepared for the occasion. These "contributions" were requested in the name of Muck Olla, a Druid deity. Prosperity was assured liberal givers and threats were voiced against those who were stingy. Then, at the feast itself, the ghosts, that were thought to throng all around were greeted with a banquet table. At the end of the feast, the masked and costumed villagers, representing the souls of the dead paraded to the outskirts of town leading the ghosts away. Phillips: Trick-or-Treat came from and ancient Druid practice. Prosperity was promised to all who were generous donors, and tricks to all who refused during the Irish Druid event of trick-or-treat. The contributions demanded were in the name of Muck Olla, an early Druid deity. Very nice, and totally misleading! First of all, there is no documentation for "Muck Olla" being a 'Druid deity.' None. It is apparently a 'boogy-man' type of mythical figure in Yorkshire, which is in England, not Scotland or Ireland. It is quite common for local residents of Britain to ascribe the origins of old folk customs, or old monuments or whatever, to "the Druids." Taking this as fact is poor scholarship indeed. Second of all, the customs described may be simply survivals of 'Morris Dancers' and 'Mummers,' which appear several times through the year, and more than probably date back to pagan times, but which now are thoroughly Christianized indeed, using a player representing St. George, and other Christian symbols and characters. These dancers appear in England, but not Ireland or Scotland. The masked guisers, in horrific masks, would seem to be to scare off the demons, or to represent the souls of the dead. (At least, that's what most anthropological sources for such acts in other human cultures at the same or similar stage of development show.) Thirdly, the Celtic New Year and the Roman New Year were not the same. The Celtic New Year was indeed Nov. 1, but the Roman was on April 22, (and the Medieval Christian tended to fall on Easter.) Fourthly, the major domestic animals of the pagan Irish were the pig and cow, not the sheep. Sheep were not introduced into Scotland as a whole until the Highland Clearances of the mid-1800s, though they did exist as a domestic animal in Ireland by circa 800 BCE, and were found on the west coast of Scotland in small numbers. We can infer, from the fact that wool and sheep are so seldom mentioned in the pre-Christian Irish poems and so forth (in comparison to linen, silk, cattle and pigs) that sheep were probably not considered all that valuble. They certainly had no supernatural connotations, like pigs and cattle did. King Cormac MacArt is represented as being a shepherd in one tale, but that story may be corrupted by medieval interpolations. Were this story pre-Christian, as is intimated, I dare say we would find black -pigs- (an animal sacred to the Underworld) or -cattle- (one of the indicators of great wealth) being requested, not black -sheep.- As for the Irish Druids practicing 'trick-or-treat,' (and killing or cursing people who didn't "treat") .... once again, we have no hard evidence. The only real evidence of solicitation for gifts and treats on Halloween seems to be found only in Christian times. Margadonna: It was believed that Halloween was the gathering time for unsanctified spirits; due to this belief a cult of witches devoted to the worship of Satan sprang up, during the Middle Ages. They held periodic meetings, called Witches Sabbaths; the most important of which was All Hallows' Eve. At this sabbath the Prince of Darkness would appear, to mock the coming feast of the saints. The popular thought was that the witches would hold orgies at these sabbaths; and that they would be accompanied by their black cats, and that they would fly them on broomsticks. Uh-huh! And all of this information from the 'Malleus Maleficarium,' Cotton Mather's 'Wonders of the Invisible World,' and other such books written by witch-hunters of notable credulity and superstition. This is rather like taking what the Nazis wrote about the Jews as the truth. I also seriously doubt that the supposed belief in Halloween as outlined above was the reason for the "witch-mania" of the 12th thru 17th centuries CE (the greater part of which happened in Germany) though the practices outlined above seem to have only come into real popularity -after- the publication of the various anti-witchcraft books and tracts. The sexual sadism and lack of true Christian values of the leaders of the witch-hunts should be obvious to anyone. Margadonna: With some variations the basis of the Jack-O'-Lantern is as follows: There was a stingy drunkard of an Irishman named Jack; who tricked the Devil into climbing an apple tree. Then Jack quickly cut the sign of a cross into the trunk of the tree; thereby preventing the Devil from climbing down. Jack made the Devil swear that he wouldn't ever come after Jack's soul again or claim it in any way. However, this did not stop Jack from dying and when he did he was not allowed into Heaven, because of his life of drinking, being tightfisted and being deceitful. And because of the oath the Devil had taken Jack was not allowed into Hell either. "But where can I go?" asked Jack. "Back where you came from!" replied the Devil. The way back was windy and dark. The Devil, as a final gesture, threw a live coal at Jack straight from the fire of Hell. To light his way and to keep it from blowing out in the wind Jack put it in a turnip he was eating. Ever since Jack and his "lantern" has been traveling over the face of the earth looking for a place to rest. Tract 1: (Jack o'Lantern): An ancient symbol of a damned soul. "Jack-o'- Lanterns were named for a man called Jack, who could not enter Heaven or Hell. As a result, he was doomed to wander in darkness with his lantern until Judgment Day." Tract 2: The apparently harmless lighted pumpkin face of "Jack-o-Lantern" is an ancient symbol of a damned soul. They were named for a man named Jack who could not enter Hell or Heaven. As a result, he was doomed to wander in darkness with his lantern until Judgment Day. Fearful of spooks, folks began to hollow out turnips and pumpkins and to place lighted candles inside to scare away evil spirits from the house. This is a nice little 18th Century Irish folk myth, variants of which have been heard as explainations for the will o'the wisp, but hardly hard evidence for anything other than the wonderful Irish talent for making up stories .... and as a professional folklorist, I have learned to look very hard at any supposed folk story written down in the 18th and 19th centuries; the authors/collectors had a tendency to 'improve' on the supposed 'bad literary qualities' of the stories and songs. Percy, for example, ("Reliques Of Ancient English Poetry") was notorious for such bowlderizations, and many were guilty of taking stories down from wandering story-tellers, who did not just tell folktales, but tended to make up stories out of whole cloth, on the spot, as often as not. Also, look at the changes in emphasis within the three tracts quoted. Margadonna gives the folktale pretty much straight. Tracts 1 and 2, however, extend the story further to give the jack o'lantern the meaning of an "ancient symbol of a damned soul." If this were true, we would find it in the Christian iconography of Western Europe, or the pagan carvings, or somewhere in graphic representations. It is notable by its absence, even as a carved turnip. I should remind everyone that the pumpkin is a New World vegetable. While I have no hard evidence of when it was popularized in Europe, we have evidence of other New World vegetables being grown and eaten in Western Europe as early as 1550 CE, but even that is quite some time after the Christianization of Western Europe as a whole. The hollowing out of a turnip to serve as a makeshift lantern would be simply a clever way to solve a technical problem in the absence of available metal. I would also point out that the Big Bad Druids in England adopted Christianity with NO killings of Christian priests! There are no authenticated English martyrs from the time of the Druids in Britain. One would expect such a blood-thirsty belief system as the Druids are represented to be to have killed the missionaries as fast as they arrived, when, in fact, they gave them land, listened to them, and adopted Christianity with very little trouble at all. The only British martyrs date from the Diocletian persecutions by the Roman Empire. Phillips: The uninformed Christian has no idea that there truly are demonic spirits which are contacted and activated as people call out to them in jest or in seriousness. Every act around Halloween is in honor of false gods, which are spirits in the realm of the Satanic. Those who have been deeply involved in witchcraft and who are now free, declare that even those who say they worship spirits of nature are in actuality contacting the Satanic realm without knowing it. Phillips: Through the ages, Halloween has gone by various names but all have been tributes to the same dark force, Satan. There is no place in the life of the Church or the Christian for such participation. One could make a comment about the 'haunted houses' sponsored by various Fundamentalist Christian groups that, (to use one local group's as an example) first show a lady smothering a baby and saying "I couldn't stand its' crying anymore" and then show what purports to be a 'typical' abortion, in graphic detail, and -not- saying in advance to people what was about to be shown to them, and with a man dressed up as a 'demon' at the door! (news broadcast, 10:00 pm Ch. 10 Phoenix, AZ, 31 Oct. 1992 CE) Phillips: To pray for the dead is against scripture. If one knows Jesus before death, their spirit is already with the Lord. Paul says to be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord, II Corinthians 5:6. If one is an unbeliever at death, the scripture says there is no second chance as it is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment. Therefore, prayer for the dead is in opposition to God's Word and a pagan practice that became "Christianized". While living, one must make a choice "for" or "against" Jesus and that determines the destination at death of the spirit. No amount of prayer can reverse the decision made on earth by the person concerned while they were alive. Obviously, Mrs. Phillips is a hard-line Protestant, and here her anti-Catholic agenda comes on quite strongly. Phillips: Although the outward forms of such worship disappeared, the belief in these deities did not. They found an outlet during the Middle Ages in the open practice of witchcraft which is presently enjoying a revival in many countries, including the U.S. In Germany the occult is considered more prevalent than in the Middle Ages. The deistic cults held periodic meetings known as witches sabbaths, and it is the same today with October 31st being of more importance. The "deistic cults?" The -what-? Does she mean the so-called witches, or does she mean the Unitarians? In this context, the statement is essentially meaningless. It should be remembered that the accusation of "witchcraft" was a common means of attacking proto-Protestants, such as the Albigensians and Stedingers, or, through the practice of informers receiving a percentage of the "take," of getting your hands on your neighbor's land and money. The word "witch-hunt" is a very ugly word indeed, smacking of mobs and lynching more than the Love of Jesus. Killing your neighbor (or hassling him or her because of their beliefs) is not loving him .... or loving Him either. Phillips: The Bible instructs us to have nothing to do with the deeds of darkness. Both Christian and Jew are forbidden to participate in the occult practices listed in Deuteronomy 18:10. Necromancing is the delving into contacting the dead. God said all such practice was an abomination to Him. Phillips: Some may reply, "But we only do this in fun...we don't practice witchcraft." That which represents Satan and his domain cannot be handled or emulated "for fun". Such participation places you in enemy and forbidden territory and that is dangerous ground. I make no statement as to the validity of these paragraphs. Each Christian must decide for themselves whether dressing up in funny clothes and asking for candy from the neighbors is 'satanic' and 'necromancing' or not. Allowing your children to dress up as mass-murderers and as villains from the Hollywood slasher movies may or may not be 'satanic,' but it certainly is stupid. Making such creatures objects of 'hero-worship' might not be giving the kind of message to children that necessarily enables them to become sober, productive adults. I will say that Jesus Himself hung out with a crowd that the local Pharisees did not approve of (I heard them described once as "Republicans and sinners.") perhaps because these were the very ones in the most need of Him. Holding oneself apart from the World is perhaps a good thing, but remember that we are reminded to be "in the world" as well as being "not of it." I would think that Halloween would be a wonderful opportunity to include small, easily understood tracts in the candy given to children, with more appealing and detailed ones given to teenagers that are out trick-or-treating. A smile, and a "God bless you!" will save more souls than a grumpy, Pharisaical frown. At least the two anonymous tracts offer workable alternatives to the worldly celebration: Tract 1: One successful alternative used by a number of churches is a "Faith Festival" in which children dress as their favorite Bible character and gather for a special children's service with puppets, a Christian film, or something special. This offers an ideal opportunity to explain the spiritual significance of Halloween and to encourage the children to remember Hebrews chapter 11, which features great men and women of faith who have gone before us. The "Faith Festival" can be a time to thank God for His many blessings. Tract 1: As believers, we can take this opportunity to provide a creative alternative to this celebration of darkness. In ancient Israel, the majority of Jewish festivals occurred at the same time as pagan festivals. God did not simply tell his people not to engage in pagan festivals, He provided an alternative. During every major pagan festival, the Hebrew people would take part in a God-given alternative, a festival celebrating the same general subject but with a completely different focus. I would think that All Saint's Day would serve this purpose very well indeed, and the Apostolic churches (Roman Catholic, Anglican, Greek and Russian Orthodox, Old Catholic and so forth) seem to agree. One final observation may be in order: If the holiday is of such antiquity, and survived so long into Christian times among the Scots and Irish, then we would expect to find it as a major event, or even a minor event, in the lives of the Scots-Irish of the Appalachian Mountains and the Ozarks. In fact, we do not find it there at all, even among the practitioners of "folk magic," or "witchcraft," except after the cultural assimilation of the area into the American mainstream following World War One. We would also expect to find it, along with all or most of the so- called "Druid" customs associated with it, in Medieval Western Europe. We do not. It may be safe to assume therefore that the customs now attached to Halloween entered America in the mid-19th century CE, probably with the immigrations of the Irish after 1840, and may have entered Irish culture after 1750 CE. We do not find the holiday as much of anything other than "All Saints'" in modern Ireland or Scotland, however, so it must be said that "Halloween" as we know it in America, with all the folk stories and urban legends attached to it, is a distinctly American phenomenon. I love to see the children, out in the neighborhood streets with their parents, dressed in funny clothing, having a wonderful time .... and mocking the Devil with laughter. I am reminded of a story a friend told me: in a class on electricity, the Professor asked the class "What should you do if you see one of your classmates being fried by a wrongly-connected circuit?" The Professor's answer was: "Point and laugh: he didn't follow directions." This Halloween, watch the children pointing and laughing. Do a little pointing and laughing yourself, and watch the Devil squirm. He didn't follow directions. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Mrs. Phillips, and the anonymous author of Tract 2, attach bibliographies to their articles. Unfortunately, many of the sources must be regarded as suspect (for the purposes of this article) because of their author's obvious Fundamentalist Christian agendas (marked with asterisks). I have done the same with the Neo-pagan references in my own bibliography, using those so marked as references for modern Pagan and Wiccan _beliefs only_, and have checked any historical information taken from them against other references. I must also point out that bibliographies such as Phillips' and that of Tract 2 (Margadonna and Tract 1 had none) would be laughed out of a freshman High School English class. They just give names of publications, with no publishers and few dates, making it difficult to check the references for oneself. I have been able to check most of the magazine references, and the results of that check are noted below. BIBLIOGRAPHY (PHILLIPS): Encyclopedia Americana Encyclopedia Brittanica The World Book Encyclopedia (note: Ms. Moonstone's comments on these references are most interesting indeed:) "When these books and pamphlets cite sources at all, they usually list the Encyclopaedia Brittannica, Encyclopedia Americana, and the World Book Encyclopedia. The Brittannica and the Americana ..... do, indeed list Samhain as the Lord of Death, contrary to Celtic scholars, and list no references. The World Book ..... lists as its sources several children's books (hardly what one could consider scholarly texts, and, of course, themselves citing no references)." Christian Life, October 1980* The Standard Dictionary of Folklore Babylon Mystery Religion* (note: this buzz-phrase has always fascinated me. It seems to stem from a Mr. Texxe Marrs, who has outlined quite an elaborate Sumerian/Babylonian religion that does not seem to be supported by archaeology.) The Satan Seller, Mike Warnke* (note: Mr. Warnke has been recently exposed as something of a fraud in "Cornerstone" magazine, (Vol. 21, No. 98) showing his stories of his involvement with Satanism as being quite impossible.) Freed From Witchcraft, Dareen Irvine* Time Magazine, June 19, 1972 (note: This is actually Vol. 99 No. 25, and has a good article on the occult revival, but no reference to Halloween whatsoever.) The Supernatural, Grolier Enter., Inc. Christianity Today, Oct. 21, 1977* (note: This is really the issue for Oct. 22 (Vol. XXI No. 2) and has nothing on the occult or Halloween that I could find.) BIBLIOGRAPHY (TRACT 2): Encyclopedia Britannica World Book Encyclopedia (note: see Ms. Moonstone's comments above) "Halloween Through 20 Centuries", Ralph Linton The Book of Festive Holidays Newsweek (Feb., 1974) (note: There is an article on exorcism in Vol. 83 #5/6 Feb. 4/11 1974, but nothing on Halloween.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- BIBLIOGRAPHY (BETHANCOURT): Adler, Margot, "Drawing Down The Moon" (Boston: Beacon Press, 1986)* Bostwick, James, "Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions" (------, Dorset Press, 1986; orig. published in 1894) Briggs, Katherine, "An Encyclopaedia of Fairies" (New York: Pantheon 1976) Cavendish, Richard, "Man, Myth and Magic" (Vol. 1 et. al.) (New York: Marshall Cavendish Corp. 1970) Chadwick, Nora, "The Celts", (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1982) Child, Francis James, "The English And Scottish Popular Ballads" (Vol 1-5) (New York: Dover, 1965) Coglan, Ronan, "A Dictionary of Irish Myth and Legend," (Dublin: 1979) Cooper, J.C., "An Illustrated Encyclopaedia Of Traditional Symbols," (New York: Thames And Hudson, 1979) Delaney, John J., "A Dictionary of Saints" (New York: Doubleday, 1980) DeLys, Claudia, "A Treasury Of American Superstitions" (New York: Philosophical Library, MCMXLVIII) Durant, Will, "The Age of Faith" (New York; Simon & Schuster, 1950) Elder, Isabel Hill, "Celt, Druid and Culdee" (London: Covenant Publishing 1962) Graves, Robert, "The White Goddess" (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giboux, 1966) Herity, Michael and Eogan, George, "Ireland In Prehistory" (Southampton: Camelot Press 1978) Herm, Gerhard, "The Celts" (New York: St. Martin's Press 1976) Higgins, Godfrey, "The Celtic Druids" (Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Society Inc. 1977; orig. published in 1827) Keightley, Thomas, "The World Guide To Gnomes, Faeries, Elves and Other Little People" (New York: Avenel Books 1978) (nb: this is a reprint of "The Fairy Mythology" of 1880) Lane, C. Arthur (Rev.), "llustrated Notes On English Church History" (Vols. 1 and 2) (London: Society For Promoting Christian Knowledge 1886, 1888) MacCana, Proinsias, "Celtic Mythology" (London: Hamlyn House 1970) MacCrossan, Tadhg, "The Sacred Cauldron: Secrets Of The Druids" (St. Paul: Llewellyn Pub. 1991)* Maclennan, Malcolm, "A Pronouncing and Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language" (Aberdeen: University Press 1979; orig. published in 1925) MacManus, Seumas, "the Story Of The Irish Race" (New York: Devin-Adair 1921) Moonstone, Rowan (pseud.), "The Origins of Halloween" (tract) (Colorado Springs: Cult Watch Response 1989)* Oman, Charles, (Ed.) "A History Of England" (7 Vols.) (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd. 1910) Powell, T.G.E., "The Celts," (New York: Thames & Hudson, 1980) Piggot, Stuart, "The Druids" (New York: Praeger Pub. 1968) Rees, Alwyn and Brinley, "Celtic Heritage" (New York: Thames and Hudson 1961) Rolleston, T.W., "Celtic Myths and Legends" (London: Bracken 1976) Ross, Anne and Robins, Don, "The Life And Death Of A Druid Prince" (New York: Summit Books, 1989) Starhawk (pseud.), "The Spiral Dance" (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1979)* Starkey, Marion L., "The Devil In Massachusetts" (Garden City: Anchor Books, (1969) Squire, Charles, "Celtic Myth and Legend, Poetry and Romance," (New York: Newcastle Publishing Co., Inc., 1975) Wedeck, H.E. and Baskin, Wade, "A Dictionary Of Pagan Religions" (New York: Philosophical Library, 1971) Wright, Michael and Walters, Sally, "The Book Of The Cat" (New York: Summit Books 1980)
NOTICE: "Santeria, witchcraft, voodoo, and most religious cults are not satanism." This article is not for the timid (due to explicit descriptions of certain crimes). Written by Kenneth Lanning, a high ranking FBI official, it investigates allegations linking criminal activity with the occult, and brings sanity to the subject. Although it is targeted at law enforcement people, it does contain much material of interest to others. Reprinted with permission by 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, Kenneth Lanning and this notice must be preserved on all copies. United Wiccan Church P. O. Box 16025 North Hollywood California, 91615-6025, U.S.A., NA. (818) 899-3687 (3/12/2400 Baud 8N1) FIDO 1:102/922 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * SATANIC, OCCULT, RITUALISTIC CRIME: A LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSPECTIVE NOTE: This article was completed after the killings in Matamoros, Mexico, became known in April, 1989. There is nothing known to the author about this case which changes the opinions and recommendations set forth in this article. By: Kenneth V. Lanning Supervisory Special Agent Behavorial Science Instruction and Research Unit FBI Academy Quantico, Virginia 22135 June 1989 Introduction The belief that there is a connection between satanism and crime is certainly not new. In fact, one of the oldest theories of crime causation is demonology. Heightened concern about satanic or occult activity has appeared periodically throughout history. Concern in the late 1970s focused primarily on "unexplained" deaths and mutilations of animals, and in recent years has focused on child sexual abuse and the human sacrifice of missing children. In 1999 it will probably focus on the impending "end of the world." Today, satanism and a wide variety of other terms are used interchangeably in reference to certain crimes. This discussion will analyze the nature of "satanic, occult, ritualistic" crime and focus on appropriate LAW ENFORCEMENT responses to it. Recently a flood of law enforcement seminars and conferences have dealt with the occult. These training conferences have various titles, such as "Occult in Crime," "Satanic Cults," "Ritualistic Crime Seminar," "Satanic Influences in Homicide," "Occult Crimes, Satanism and Teen Suicide," and "Ritualistic Abuse of Children." The typical conference runs from one to three days and often includes many of the same presenters and instructors. A wide variety of topics are usually discussed during this training either as individual presentations by different instructors or grouped together by one or more instructors. Typical topics covered include the following: 1. Historical overview of satanism, witchcraft, and paganism from ancient to modern times. 2. Nature and influence of fantasy role-playing games, such as Dungeons and Dragons. 3. Lyrics, symbolism, and influence of rock and roll, Heavy Metal, and Black Metal music. 4. Teenage "stoner" gangs, their symbols, and their vandalism. 5. Teenage suicide by adolescents dabbling in the occult. 6. Crimes commmitted by self-styled satanic practitioners to include grave and church desecrations and robberies, animal mutilations, and even murders. 7. Ritualistic abuse of children as part of bizarre ceremonies and human sacrifices. 8. Organized, Traditional, or Multigenerational satanic groups involved in organized conspiracies, such as taking over day care centers, infiltrating police departments, and trafficking in human sacrifice victims. 9. The "Big Conspiracy" theory, which implies that satanists are responsible for such things as Adolph Hitler, World War II, abortion, pornography, Watergate, Irangate, and inflitration of the Department of Justice, the Pentagon and the White House. During the conference, these nine areas are linked together through the liberal use of the word "satanism" and some common symbolism (pentagrams, 666, demons, etc.). The implication often is that all are part of one continuum of behavior, one big problem or some common conspiracy. The information presented is a mixture of fact, theory, opinion, fantasy, and paranoia, and because some of it can be proven or corroborated (desecration of cemeteries, vandalism, etc.), the implication is that it is all true and documented. The distinctions between the different areas are blurred even if occasionally a presenter tries to make them. This is complicated by the fact that almost any discussion of satanism and witchcraft plugs into the religious belief systems of those in the audience. Faith, not logic and reason, controls the religious beliefs of most people. As a result, some normally skeptical law enforcement officers accept the information disseminated at these confereences without critically evaluating it or questioning the sources. Little said at such conferences will change the religious beliefs of the attendees. Such conferences illustrate the ambiquity and wide variety of terms involved in this issue. Deffinitions The words satanic, occult, and ritualistic are often used interchangeably. It is difficult to precisely define Satanism (with a capital S), and no attempt will be made to do so here. However, it is important to realize how the word satanism (with a small s) is used by many poeple. Simply put, for some poeple, satanism is any religious belief system other than their own. The Ayatolla Khomeini referred to the United States as the "Great Satan." In the British Parliament, a Protestant leader called the Pope the anti-Christ. In a book titled 'Prepare For War', the author, Rebecca Brown, M.D., has a chapter entitled "Is Roman Catholicism Witchcraft?" Dr. Brown also lists among the "doorways" to satanic power and/or demon infestation the following: fortune tellers, horroscopes, fraternity oaths, vegetarianism, yoga, self-hypnosis, relaxation tapes, acupuncture, biofeedback, fantasy role-playing games, adultery, homosexuality, pornography, judo, karate, and rock music. Dr. Brown states that the rock music "was a carefully masterminded plan by none other than Satan himself." The ideas expressed in this book may seem extreme and even humorous. This book, however, has been listed as serious recommended reading in law enforcement training material on this topic. In books, lectures, handout material, and conversations, the author has heard all of the following referred to as satanism: Church of Satan Stoner Gangs New Age Ordo Templi Orientis Heavy Metal Music Astrology Temple of Set Rock Music Channeling Demonology KKK Trancendental Meditation Witchcraft Nazis Holistic Medicine Paganism Scientology Buddhism Santeria Unification Chruch Hinduism Voodoo The Way Mormonism Rosicrucians Hare Krishna Islam Freemasonry Rajneesh Orthodox Church Knights Templar Religious Cults Roman Catholicism At law enforcement training conferences, witchcraft, santeria, and paganism are frequently referred to as forms of satanism. It may be a matter of definition, but these three things are *not* forms of traditional Satanism. The worship of lunar goddesses and nature and the practice of fertility rituals is not satanism. Santeria is a combination of 17th century Roman Catholicism and African paganism. The occult simply refers to the action or influence of supernatural powers or some secret knowledge of them, and it is not the same as Satanism nor is it necessarily evil. Many individuals define satanism from a totally Christian perspective, using this word to describe the power of evil in the world. With this definition, any crimes, especially those which are particularly bizarre, repulsive, or cruel, can be viewed as satanic in nature. Yet, it is just as difficult to precisely define satanism as it is to precisely define Christianity or any complex spiritual belief system. What is Ritualistic Crime? The biggest confusion, however, is over the word ritualistic. During law enforcement training conferences on this topic, ritualistic almost always comes to mean satanic or at least spiritual. Ritual can refer to a prescribed religious ceremony, but in its broader meaning refers to any customarily repeated act or series of acts. The need to repeat these acts can be cultural, sexual, or psychological as well as spiritual. Cultural rituals could include such things as what a family eats on Thanksgiving Day or when and how presents are opened at Christmas. The initiation ceremonies of fraternities, sororities, gangs, and other social clubs are other examples of cultural rituals. Since 1972, the author has lectured about sexual ritualism, which is nothing more than repeatedly engaging in an act or series of acts in a certain manner because of *sexual* need. In order to become aroused and/or gratified, a person must engage in the act in a certain way. This sexual ritualism can include such things as the physical characteristics, age, or gender of the victim, the sequence of acts, the bringing or taking of specific objects, and the use of certain words or phrases. This is more than the concept of M.O. (Method of Operation) known to most police officiers. M.O. is something done by an offender because of a need. Deviant acts, such as urinating on, defecating on, or even eviscerating a victim, are far more likely to be the result of sexual ritualism than religious or "satanic" ritualism. From a criminal investigative perspective, two other forms of ritualism must be recognized. The Diagnostic and Staistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III-R) defines Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as "repetitive, purposeful, and intentional behaviors that are performed in response to an obsession, or according to certain rules or in a stereotyped fashion." Such compulsive behavior frequently involves rituals. Although such behavior usually involves noncriminal activity such as excessive hand washing or checking that doors are locked, in some cases this compulsive ritualism can be part of criminal activity. Ritual can also stem from psychotic hallucinations and delusions. A crime can be committed in a precise manner because a voice told the offender to do it that way or because a divine mission required it. To make this more confusing, cultural, religious, sexual, and psychological ritualism can overlap. Some psychotic people engage in excessive religiosity and hear the voice of God or Satan telling them to do things of a religious nature. Psychopatic offenders who feel little, if any, guilt over their crimes may need little justification for their antisocial behavior. As human beings, however, they may have fears, concerns and anxiety over getting away with their criminal acts. It is difficult to pray to God for success in doing things that are against His Commandments. A negative spiritual belief system may fulfill their human need for assistance from and belief in a greater power. Compulsive ritualism (e.g. excessive cleanlinesss or fear of disease) can be introduced into sexual behavior. Even many "normal" people have a need for order and predictability and therefore may engage in family or work rituals. Under stress or in times of change, this need for order and ritual may increase. Ritualistic crime may fulfill the cultural, spiritual, sexual and psychological needs of an offender. The ritual behavior may also fulfill basic criminal needs to manipulate victims, get rid of rivals, send a message to enemies, and intimidate co- conspirators. The important point for the criminal investigator is to realize that most criminal ritualistic behavior is not motivated simply by satanic or religious ceremonies. At some conferences, presenters have attempted to make a big issue of distinguishing between "ritual," "ritualized," and "ritualistic" abuse of children. These subtle distinctions, however, seem to be of no significant value to the criminal investigator. What is Ritualistic Abuse of Children? It is not an easy question to answer. Most people today use the term to refer to abuse of children that is part of some evil spiritual belief system, which almost by definition must be satanic. Dr. Lawrence Pazder, author of 'Michelle Remembers', defines ritualized abuse of children as "repeated physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual assaults combined with a systematic use of symbols and secret ceremonies designed to turn a child against itself, family, society, and God." He also states that "the sexual assault has ritualistic meaning and is not for sexual gratification." This definition may have value for academics, sociologists, and therapists, but it creates potential problems for law enforcement. Certain acts engaged in with children (kissing, touching, appearing naked, etc.) may be criminal if performed for sexual gratification. If the ritualistic acts were in fact performed for spiritual indoctrination, potential prosecution can be jeopardized. The mutilation of a baby's genitals for sadistic sexual pleasure is a crime. The circumcision of a baby's genitals for religious reasons is most likely NOT a crime. The intent of the acts is important for criminal prosecution. The author has been unable to precisely define ritualistic abuse and prefers not to use the term. It is confusing, misleading, and counterproductive. Certain observations, however, are important for investigative understanding. Not all spiritually motivated ritualistic activity is satanic. Santeria, witchcraft, voodoo, and most religious cults are not satanism. In fact, most spiritually or religiously-based abuse of children has nothing to do with satanism. Most child abuse that could be termed ritualistic by various deffinitions is probably physical and psychological rather than sexual in nature. Not all such ritualistic activity with a child is a crime. Almost all parents with religious beliefs indoctrinate their children into that belief system. Is circumcision for religious reasons child abuse? Does having a child kneel on a hard floor reciting the rosary constitute child abuse? Does having a child chant a satanic prayer or attend a black mass constitute child abuse? Does a religious belief in corporal punishment constitute child abuse? Does group care of children in a commune or cult constitute child abuse? Does the fact that any acts in question were performed with parental permission affect the nature of the crime? Many ritualistic acts, whether satanic or not, are simply not crimes. When a victim describes and investigation corroborates what sounds like ritualistic activity, several possibilities must be considered. The ritualistic activity may be part of the excessive religiosity of a mentally ill, psychotic offender. It may be a misunderstood part of sexual ritualism. The ritualistic activity may be incidental to any real abuse. The offender may be involved in ritualistic activity with a child and also may be abusing a child, but one may have little or nothing to do with the other. The offender may be deliberately engaging in ritualistic activity with a child as part of child abuse. The motivation, however, may be not to indoctrinate the child into a belief system, but to lower the inhibitions of, to control and manipulate, and/or to confuse the child. In all the turmoil over this issue, it would be a very effective strategy for any child molester to deliberately introduce ritualistic elements into his crime to confuse the child and therefore the criminal justice system. The ritualistic activity and the child abuse may be integral parts of some spiritual belief system. In that case, the greatest risk is to the children of the practitioners. But this is true of all cults, not just satanic cults. A high potential of abuse exists for any children raised in a group isolated from the mainstream of society, especially if the group has a charismatic leader whose orders are unquestioned and blindly obeyed by the members. Sex, money, and power are most often the main motivations of the leaders of such cults. What Makes a Crime Satanic, Occult, or Ritualistic? Some would answer that it is the spiritual beliefs of, or the membership in, a cult or "church" by the perpetrator. If that is the criteria, why not label the crimes committed by Protestants, Catholics, and Jews in the same way? Are the atrocities of Jim Jones, in Guyana, Christian crimes? Some would answer that it is the presence of certain symbols in the possession or home of the perpetrator. What does it mean then to find a crucifix, Bible, rosary, etc., in the home or possession of a bank robber, embezzler, child molester, or murderer? If different criminals possess the same symbols, are they necessarily part of one big conspiracy? Others would answer that it is the presence of certain symbols such as pentagrams, inverted crosses, and 666 at the crime scene. What does it mean then to find a cross spray painted on a wall or carved into the body of a victim? What does it mean for a perpetrator to leave a Bible tied to his murder victim? What about the possibility that an offender deliberately left such symbols to make it look like a "satanic" crime? Some would argue that it is the bizarrenenss or cruelness of the crime: body mutilation, amputation, drinking of blood, eating of flesh, use of urine or feces. Does this mean that all individuals involved in lust murder, sadism, angthropophagy, urophilia, and coprophilia are satanists or occult practitioners? What does this say about the bizarre crimes of psychotic killers such as Ed Gein or Richard Trenton Case, both of whom mutilated their victims as part of their psychotic delusions? A few might even answer that it is the fact that the crime was committed on a date with satanic or occult significance (Halloween, May Eve, etc.) or the fact that the perpetrator claims that Satan told him to commit the crime. What does this mean for crimes committed on Thanksgiving or Christmas? What does this say about crimes committed by perpetrators who claim that God or Jesus told them to do it? One note of interest is the fact that in handout and reference material collected by the author, the number of dates with satanic or occult significance ranges from 8 to 110. This is compounded by the fact that it is sometiems stated that satanists can celebrate these holidays on several days on either side of the official date or that the birthday of a practitioner can be a holiday. The exact names and exact dates of the holidays and the meaning of symbols listed may also vary depending on who prepared the material. The handout material is often distributed without indentifying the author or documenting the original source of the information. It is then frequently photocopied by attendees and passed on to other police officers with no one really knowing who says it is valid or from where it came. Most, however, would probably answer that what makes a crime satanic, occult, or ritualistic is the motivation for the crime. It is a crime that is spiritually motivated by a religious belief system. How then do we lable the following true crimes? a. Parents defy a court order and send their children to an unlicensed Christian school. b. Parents refuse to send their children to any school because they are waiting for the second coming of Christ. c. Parents beat their child to death because he or she won't follow their Christian beliefs. d. Parents volate child labor laws because they believe the Bible requires such work. e. Individuals bomb an abortion clinic or kidnap the doctor because their religious belief system says abortion is murder. f. A child molester reads the Bible to his victims in order to justify his sex acts with them. g. Parents refuse life-saving medical treatment for a child because of their religious beliefs. h. Parents starve and beat their child to death because their minister said the child was possessed by demonic spirits. Some people would argue that the Christians who committed the above crimes misunderstood and distorted their religion while satanists who commit crimes are following theirs. But who decides who is misinterpreting a religious belief system? The individuals who committed the above-described crimes believed that they were following their religion as they understood it. Religion was and is used to justify such things as the Crusades, the Inquisition, Apartheid, segregation, violence in Northern Ireland, India, and Lebanon. Who decides exactly what "satanists" believe? In this country, we can't agree on what Christians believe. At many law enforcement conferences 'The Satanic Bible' is used for this, and it is often contrasted or compared with the Christian Bible. 'The Satanic Bible' is, in essence, a 150-page paperback book written by one man in 1969. To compare it to a book written by over 30 authors over a period of thousands of years is ridiculous, even ignoring the possibility of Divine revelation in the Christian Bible. What satanists believe certainly isn't limited to other peoples' interpretation of a few books. More importantly, it is subject to some degree of interpretation by individual believers just as Christianity is. The fact is that far more crime and child abuse has been committed in the name of God, Jesus, and Mohammed than has ever been committed in the name of Satan. Most people don't like that statement, but few can argue with it. Although defining a crime as satanic, occult, or ritualistic would probably involve a combination of the criteria set forth above, the author has been unable to clearly define such a crime. Each potential definition presents a different set of problems when measured against an objective, rational, and constitutional perspective. Each offender in a group may have a different motivation for the crime. 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. The Law Enforcement Perspective The perspective with which one looks at satanic, occult, or ritualistic crime is extremely important. Sociologists, therapists, religious leaders, parents, and just plain citizens each have their own valid concerns and views about this issue. This discussion, however, will deal ONLY with the law enforcement perspective. The law enforcement perspective must focus on crime and clearly recognize that just because an activity is "satanic" does not necessarily mean it is a crime or that it is not a legitimate religious practice protected by the First Amendment. Within the personal religious belief system of a law enforcement officer, Christianity may be good and satanism evil. Under the Constitution, however, both are neutral. This is an important, but difficult, concept for many law enforcement officers to accept. They are paid to uphold the Constitution and enforce the penal code, not the Ten Commandments. The apparent increasing numbers of teenagers and some adults dabbling in satanism and the occult may be cause for concern for parents, school officials, and society. What, however, law enforcement can or should do about it is another matter. Police interference with free exercise of constitutional rights potentially creates major problems and conflicts. What is the justification for law enforcement officers giving presentations on satanism and the occult to citizen groups, PTA's or school assemblies? Is it public relations, a safety program, crime prevention? If it is crime prevention, how much crime can be linked to satanic or occult activity? The author is not suggesting that such presentations should never be done but only that law enforcement agencies should carefully consider the legal implications and the justification. Is the fact that satanism or the occult is or can be a negative influence on some people enough justification for such law enforcement intervention? When you combine an emotional issue such as the sexual abuse of children with an even more emotional issue such as people's religious beliefs, it is difficult to maintain objectivity and remember the law enforcement perspective. Some police officers may even feel that all crime is caused by evil, all evil is caused by Satan, and therefore, all crime is satanic crime. This may be a valid religious perspective, but it is of no value in the investigation of crime. Many of the police officers who lecture on satanic or occult crime do not even investigate such cases. Their presentations are more a reflection of their personal religious beliefs than documented investigative information. In the United States, they are entitled to this personal perspective, but introducing themselves as police officers and then speaking as religious advocates causes confusion. As difficult as it might be, police officers must separate the religious and law enforcement perspectives when they are lecturing or investigating in their official capacities as law enforcement officers. Many law enforcement officers begin their presentations by stating that they are not addressing or judging anyone's religious beliefs, and then proceed to do exactly that. Some police officers have resigned rather than curtail or limit their involvement in this issue as ordered by their departments. Maybe such officers deserve credit for recognizing that they could no longer keep the perspectives separate. Law enforcement officers who believe that the investigation of satanic/occult crime puts them in conflict with supernatural forces of evil should probably not be assigned to these cases. If, however, such officers must be or are assigned, they will need the power of their own spiritual belief system in order to deal with the superstition and religious implications of these cases. The religious beliefs of officers should provide spiritual strength and support for them, but not affect the objectivity and professionalism of the investigation. The law enforcement perspective requires avoiding the paranoia that has crept into this issue and into some of the law enforcement training conferences. Paranoia is characterized by the gradual development of an intricate, complex, and elaborate system of thinking based on and often proceeding logically from misinterpretation of an actual event. It typically involves hypervigilance over the perceived threat, the belief that danger is around every corner, and the willingness to take up the challenge and do something about it. Another very important aspect of this paranoia is the belief that those who do not recognize the threat are evil and corrupt. In this extreme view, you are either with them or against them. You are either part of the solution or part of the problem. Concern over satanic crime and ritualistic abuse of children is a very polarizing issue. After one presentation on this topic, a student wrote in a critique that the author was obviously an "agnostic cultist." The term "clean" is sometimes used to refer to law enforcement officers who have not been infiltrated by the satanists. Does the fact that some police officers or military personnel practice satanism or paganism mean that law enforcement and the military have been infiltrated? The word "infiltrated" is only used when talking about an unpopular spiritual belief system. Protestants, Catholics, and Jews don't "infiltrate" the police and military. Overzealousness and exaggeration motivated by the religious fervor of those involved in law enforcement training is more acceptable than that motivated by ego and profit. Some people are deliberately distorting and hyping this issue for personal notoriety and profit. Satanic and occult crime has become a growth industry. Speaking fees, books, video and audio tapes, prevention material, television and radio appearances all bring ego and financial rewards. Law enforcement officers must be objective fact finders. It is not their job to *believe* the children. It is their job to *listen* to the children. THe law enforcement perspective can't ignore the lack of physical evidence (no bodies or even hairs, fibers, or fluids left by violent murders); the difficulty in successfully committing a large-scale conspiracy crime (the more people involved in any crime conspiracy, the harder it is to get away with it); and human nature (intragroup conflicts resulting in individual self-serving disclosures are bound to occur in any group involved in organized kidnapping, baby breeding and human sacrfice). When and if members of a destructive cult commit murders, they are bound to make mistakes, leave evidence, and eventually make admissions in order to brag about their crimes or to reduce their legal liability. Bizarre crime and evil can occur without organized satanic activity. The law enforcement perspective requires that we distinguish between what we know and what we're not sure of. The facts are: a. Some individuals believe in and are involved in satanism and the occult. b. Some of these individuals commit crime. c. Some groups of individuals share this belief and involvement in satanism and the occult. d. Some of these groups commit crime together. The unanswered questions are: a. What is the connection between the belief system and the crimes committed? b. Is there some organized conspiracy of satanic and occult believers responsible for inter-related serious crime (e.g., molestation, murder)? After all the hype and hysteria is put aside, the realization sets in that most satanic/occult activity involves the commission of NO crimes, and that which does, usually involves the commission of relatively minor crimes such as trespassing, vandalism, cruelty to animals, or petty thievery. The law enforcement problems most often linked to satanic or occult activity are: 1. Vandalism 2. Desecration of churches and cemeteries 3. Thefts from churches and cemeteries 4. Teenage gangs 5. Animal mutilations 6. Teenage suicide 7. Child abuse 8. Kidnapping 9. Murder and human sacrifice Valid evidence shows some "connection" between satanism and the occult and the first six problems set forth above. The "connection" to the last three problems is far more uncertain. Even in those areas where there seems to be a "connection," the nature of the connection needs to be explored. The author's experience indicates that involvement in satanism and the occult is a justification for crime, not a motivation for crime. A teenager's excessive involvement in satanism and the occult is usually a symptom of a problem and not the cause of a problem. Blaming satanism for a teenager's vandalism, theft, suicide, or even act of murder is oversimplifying a complex problem. The law enforcement investigator must objectively evaluate the legal significance of any criminal's spiritual belief system. In most cases, including those involving satanists, it will have little or no legal significance. If a crime is committed as part of a spiritual belief system, it should make no difference which belief system it is. The crime is the same whether a child is abused or murdered as part of a Christian, Hare Krishna, Moslem, or any other belief system. We generally don't label crimes with the name of the perpetrator's religion. Why then are the crimes of child molesters, rapists, sadists, and murderers who happen to be involved in satanism and the occult labeled as satanic or occult crimes? If criminals use a spiritual belief system to rationalize and justify or to facilitate and enhance their criminal activity, should the focus of law enforcement be on the belief system or on the criminal activity? Several documented murders have been committed by individuals involved in one way or another in satanism or in the occult. In some of these murders, the perpetrator has even introduced elements of the occult (e.g., satanic symbols at crime scene). Does that automatically make these satanic murders? It is the author's opinion that the answer is no. Ritualistic murders committed by serial killers or sexual sadists are not necessarily satanic or occult murders. Ritualistic murders committed by psychotic killers who hear the voice of satan are no more satanic murders than murders committed by psychotic killers who hear the voice of Jesus are Christian murders. Rather, a satanic murder can be defined as one committed by two or more individuals who rationally plan the crime and whose PRIMARY motivation is to fulfill a prescribed satanic ritual calling for the murder. By this definition, the author has been unable to identify even one documented satanic murder in the United States. Although such murders may have and can occur, they appear to be few in number. In addition, the commission of such killings would probably be the beginning of the end for such a group. It is highly unlikely that they could continue to kill several people, every year, year after year, and not be discovered. A brief typology of satanic and occult practitioners is helpful in evaluating criminal actvity. The following typology is adapted from the investigative experience of Officer Sandi Gallant of the San Francisco Police Department, who began to study the criminal aspects of occult activity long before it became popular. No typology is perfect, but the author uses this typology because it is simple and offers investigative insights. The typology divides satanic practitioners into three categories. Practitioners in any of these three categories can participate in satanic/occult activity alone or in groups. 1. Youth Subculture -- Most teenagers invovled in fantasy role-playing games, heavy metal music, or satanism and the occult are going through a stage of adolescent development and commit no significant crimes. The teenagers who have more serious problems are usually those from dysfunctional families or those who have poor communication within their families. These troubled teenagers turn to satanism and the occult to overcome a sense of alienation, to obtain power and/or to justify their antisocial behavior. For these teenagers, it is the symbolism, not the spirituality, that is important. It is either the psychopathic or the oddball, loner teenager who is the most likely to get into serious trouble. Extreme involvement in the occult is a symptom of a problem, not the cause. This is not to say, however, that satanism and the occult isn't a strong negative catalyst for a troubled teenager. Probably the worst thing, however, that society could do about this problem is to hysterically warn teenagers to avoid this "mysterious, powerful and dangerous" thing called satanism. This approach will drive many teenagers right to it. Some rebellious teenagers will do whatever will most shock and outrage society in order to flaunt their rejection of society. 2. Dabblers (Self-styled) - For these practitioners, there is little or no spiritual motivation. They mix satanism, witchcraft and paganism. Symbols mean whatever they want them to mean. Molesters, rapists, drug dealers and murders may dabble in the occult and may commit their crimes in a ceremonial or ritualistic way. This category has the potential to be the most dangerous, and most of the "satanic" killers fall into this category. Again, this extreme involvmement in satanism and the occult is a symptom of a problem and a rationalization and justification of antisocial behavior. Satanic/occult practices (as well as those of other spiritual belief systems) can be used as a mechanism to facilitate criminal objectives. 3. Traditional (Orthodox, Multigenerational) - These are the true believers. They are usually very careful of outsiders. Because of constitutional issues, such groups are difficult for law enforcement to penetrate. Although there is much we don't know about these groups, as of now there is little or no hard evidence that they are involved in serious, organized criminal activity. In addition, instead of being self-perpetuating master crime conspirators, true believers probably have a similar problem with their teenagers rebelling against their belief system. Many police officers ask what to look for during the search of the scene of suspected satanic activity. The answer is simple: look for evidence of a crime. A pentagram is no more criminally significant than a crucifix unless it corroborates a crime or a criminal conspiracy. If a victim's description of the location or the instruments of the crime includes a pentagram, then the pentagram would be evidence. But the same would be true if the description included a crucifix. In spite of what is sometimes said or suggested at law enforcement training conferences, police have no authoritiy to seize any satanic or occult paraphernailia they might see during a search. A legally valid reason must exist for doing so. It is not the job of law enforcement to prevent satanists from engaging in noncriminal beliefs or rituals. Conclusions There must be a middle ground in this issue. Concern about satanic or occult activity should not be a big joke limited to religious fanatics. On the other hand, law enforcement is not now locked in a life-and-death struggle against the supernatural forces of ancient evil. Law enforcement officers need to know something about satanism and the occult in order to properly evaluate their possible connections to the motivations for criminal activity. They must know when and how beliefs, symbols, and paraphernalia can be used to corroborate criminal activity. From a community relations perspective, they must also learn to respect spiritual beliefs that may be different or unpopular but that are not illegal. The focus must be on the objective investigation of violations of criminal statutes. Until hard evidence is obtained and corroborated, the American people should not be frightened into believing that babies are being bred and eaten, that 50,000 missing children are being murdered in human sacrifices, or that satanists are taking over America's day care centers. No one can prove with absolute certainty that such activity has NOT occurred. The burden of proof, however, as it would be in a criminal prosecution, is on those who claim that it has occurred. As law enforcement agencies evaluate and decide what they can or should do about satanic and occult activity in their communities, they might want to also consider how to deal with the hype and hysteria of the "anti- satanists." The overreaction to the problem can clearly be worse than the problem. In general, the law enforcement perspective can best be maintained by investigators repeatedly asking themselves what they would do if the acts in question were part of Protestant, Catholic or Jewish activity. If a law enforcement agency wants to evaluate the group spiritual framework within which a crime is committed, it is more appropriate, accurate, and objective to refer to such crimes as cult crimes rather than as satanic, occult, or ritualistic crimes. The "Sects, Cults and Deviant Movements" seminar put on by The Institute of Police Technology and Management at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida, is a good example of this more objective, broad-based approach. Satanic cults have no more law enforcement significance than many other potentially destructive cults that exist in this country. --------------------------------------------------------- WHY I DON'T BELIEVE THE "SURVIVORS" OF OCCULT GROUPS by Rowan Moonstone Recently, several people have taken Pagans to task for naysaying the Christian sources dealing with former practitioners of various occult disciplines. I have researched this area thoroughly for the past five years. I've bought or read all the Christian books on the subject that I can get my hands on. I have over 1,000 clippings in the files dealing with this subject, I've got over 100 audio tapes and 20 videotapes on this subject, and I've got reams of Christian literature, and police training material to draw from. In addition to this, I grew up as a Southern Baptist and was a Sunday School teacher at the age of 16. I know whereof I speak when it comes to Christian sources. I've also been a Witch for nigh on to 8 years now, and have networked with other Pagans all across the country, attended festivals in various states, and subscribed to many Pagan publications both in this country and abroad. I've read many many books on modern and ancient Pagan religions, and can furnish a complete bibliography for anyone that's interested. After a concentrated search through this material, I must conclude that most of the allegations of the "survivors" are fabricated and insupportable. In the rest of this report, I will give documented reasons why I believe this to be true. 6-17-82 -Province Victoria Bulletin - "A misunderstanding appeared to be the root of a satanic scare in Victoria this weekend, police sources said Wednesday. Police, hospitals and human resources ministry workers had gone on the alert following a report that a satanic group was planning Tuesday to sacrifice a human baby. The report came through the child abuse prevention HELP line in Vancouver. Victoria police said they had traced the source of the report to a church group in Vancouver. The group apparently had heard rumors of a rise in satanic activities in Victoria and had prayed that no atrocities would occur. Somehow someone interpreted that to mean that a sacrifice was actually planned, police said. That was the report that got to the HELP line. However, Tuesday passed peacefully with no evidence of any satanic activity. " 5-4-86 - New York Times-" Derry Knight told an astonishing story about his membership in a secret Satanic cult called the Sons of Lucifer and his heroic efforts to take over the leadership of the cult to free himself and 2,000 members from the coils of the devil. As he told it, it was an incrediblely dangerous mortal struggle he was waging against the most evil forces in the universe, personified by some prominent politicians, including Viscount Whitelaw, the deputy Prime Minister, who were, he said, the secret masters of Britain's Satanic orders ... In little more than a year, before Mr. Knight's activities aroused the suspicions of Bishop Eric Kemp of Chichester, who called in the police fraud squad, the support group contributed at least $313,000 to the anti-Satanism struggle. A jury that convicted Mr. Knight April 25 of 19 counts of fraud heard that much of the money raised by Mr. Baker had been spent by his supposedly struggling friend on call girls, fast cars, and a life of dissipation." January 1988 New York Folklore "Satanism, Where are the folklorists? by Phillips Stevens, Jr. p 12 ( Mr. Stevens is referring to a murder of a 13- year =old girl in this incident) "While preparing me for the taping of some commentary to be aired locally following the National Geraldo Rivera TV special on Satanic cults on October 25, 1988, an investigative reporter for a Buffalo TV station was discussing That incident [the murder]. There were 13 people at that party, he said, the murdered girl being the 13th. Since the murder, six of the party goers had committed suicide.....I noted that it was strange that six suicides with such a factor in common had not been reported in the news; how did he know the details? The mother of the most recent suicide had told him. ...I advised him to wait and check out the facts before airing this story; he called me a few days later saying no, the other suicides could not be confirmed." 1-19-89 Joplin Missouri Globe News (front page) - "Jasper County Sheriff Bill Pierce said he had no figures available on how much time and money that department has spent investigating claims. He cited a November case as an example of the fruitless searches that have been undertaken because of claims eventually fount to be false. ...a Blytheville, Ark. woman told authorities there she had watched satanic cultists cut the stomach of an infant, pour gasoline on the baby, and set it on fire....After agreeing to take a polygraph examination, the woman admitted the story was false. She told deputies she made the false accusations to get attention." 3=6=89 - Houston Chronicle - "A Houston -area woman who claims to be a former satanic priestess and has told audiences she witnessed the ritualistic murder of an 8-year-old Tomball girl has left law enforcement officers frustrated in their attempts to investigate her allegations. 'We have no homicide to link it to. Why she would make those claims and then be hesitant to talk with authorities is reason to question her motives,' Harris County Assistant D.A. Casey O'Brien said" (Undated. From sometime this past summer) Austin American Statesman -"A 21- year-old Dallas woman who claimed to have kidnapped and subjected to Satanic propaganda is being sought by Austin police who accuse her of making the story up to hide the birth of a child." 7-27-89 - Shelton-Mason (Wa) County Journal - " Pierce County Deputy Ed Troyer said he and other law -enforcement officers know the informant who was supposed to have given former FBI agent Ted Gunderson information about victims of Satanic cults buried in Mason County ... about 90 percent of what the individual has told law-enforcement officers during the past 15 years has been untrue." Add to these accounts the following facts: 1. Many "former occultists" such as Jerry Reider and "Doc" Marquis have appeared in seminars and on national television and claimed to have been members of cults which practiced human sacrifice. These people claim that they were actively a part of human sacrifice. Human sacrifice is murder....there is NO statute of limitations on murder. These folks have confessed to murder. Why are they still on the streets? Surely they know who was in the group with them. Surely they know where the bodies are buried!!! Let's see some proof and get the murderers off the street!!! 2. The "Survivors and the Breeders" NEVER give names, dates, towns, or anything else that could be used to track down the "evil doers". 3. When police have tried to track down bodies that children in daycare cases have alleged to have seen buried, their efforts have come up negative. Some of the sites have obviously not been disturbed in YEARS!!! 4. Careful veterinary examination of animal carcasses believed to have been mutilated have proven the "mutilation" to be the work of predators. 5. "Occult crime" is a MULTI THOUSAND dollar a year business. I can document this if you like from the prices of videos, books, newsletters, seminars, etc, but I think you get the idea. So, there you have it, NO bodies, NO proof, and NO conspiracy. In this country, one is innocent UNTIL PROVEN guilty. The burden of proof is on the accuser. I'm still waiting. If anyone wants to see the entire articles that these quotes were taken from, send a SASSASE with 3 stamps to P. O. Box 1842, Colorado Springs, Co 80901.