The contents of the articles in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editorial staff of CultWatch Response, nor does their inclusion herein constitute any official endorsement by CultWatch Response, Inc.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PRIESTESS
by Vicki Copeland
"High Priestess Seldom Leaves Mythic Domain", "Occult Took Me To Brink of Death, Priest Tells" As Halloween nears, headlines will blare accusations, the press will sensationalize, and misquote, and the public will believe what it wishes to hear.
Let me share with you what it means to be a Priestess. It means throwing a party when two coveners call and say "The fertility spell worked - we're pregnant!" And it means getting out of a warm bed at 4 am seven months later when a panicked husband calls with news that his wife has gone into premature labor and the doctors can guarantee neither her life or that of the child. It means going to the hospital, walking the floor, and praying to the Gods for the lives of the family and then joyfully presiding at a ceremony of thanks for the healing of mother and son.
Being a Priestess is being aware that some of your coveners are AA and using apple juice in the chalice so that their sobriety isn't endangered. And when you receive a call from one of the AA folks who has broken sobriety, it is going to their home, holding their hand, and reassuring them that they are still loved and still a worthwhile person.
The job involves getting home from work after a long day and answering the phone to find the Christian wife of one of your students. She and her husband have had a domestic dispute and she's afraid for the marriage. She called you because you are her spouse's clergy. So you go to their home and counsel them. When you leave you have spent seven long hours and it's 1 a.m. on a work night, but they are talking TO each other instead of screaming AT each other.
(Continued Next Page...)
IN THIS ISSUE:
Ritualistic Crime in CA
Buddhist Temple Murders in AZ
Origins of Halloween
A DAY IN THE LIFE (Cont'd)
It is getting a call from a local hospital with the news of an AIDS patient near death who is Wiccan and can you please do something? And it's counseling with that patient and seeing him walk out of the hospital a few weeks later.
Sometimes being a Priestess means holding a covener while they sob out stories of child abuse and incest and then being held in turn by them as you realize they are telling YOUR life story too.
It's also sharing the good times such as childbirth, handfasting, and the daily joys and wonders of life.
And it's also attending church with Christian relatives out of respect for their feelings and beliefs and having to listen to a minister say Witches conduct orgies and eat babies. This has happened to me, and when it did, I couldn't help but remember that LONG night I stood beside a new father in a hospital nursery, watching his premature son fight for life, and I remembered the joy and pride on his face as he and his wife brought their son home.
I hear sermons about orgies and sexual perversion and I think of the people I've counseled that were so sexually dysfunctional that the mere thought of orgies was impossible for them; people whose lives were so scarred with abuse and incest that what most consider a normal healthy sex life is for them a dream.
So, law enforcement officers, next time you see a bunch of folks dancing in the park, don't assume that the orgy is going to happen after you leave. And clinicians, if a patient tells you they are Wiccan, don't assume they are sacrificing the neighbor's cats and babies. And Mr. Christian Clergyman, stop and think before you preach the sermon that says that Witches have drunken orgies, eat children, and are out to destroy your congregation. That unknown visitor in the audience just MIGHT be a Wiccan attending church with her Christian family out of love and respect for others.
MASS MURDER Wat Promkunaram Buddhist temple of Arizona Maryland Ave. and Cotton Ln. West of Phoenix, Arizona Occurred sometime between 10 PM August 9, 1991 and 8 AM, August 10, 1991 The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is investigating the brutal execution-style murder of nine members of a Buddhist temple, including six priests. Victims were shot in the head with an unknown caliber weapon and a shotgun. It is not clear if robbery was the motive, but the altar portions of the temple were not disturbed. A vehicle described as a late model Ford Bronco II, very clean, with a red over white or white over red paint scheme was seen leaving the area at about 7 AM August 10, just before the bodies were discovered. Anyone with any possible information, no matter how insignificant, is urged to contact the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office 24 hour hot-line at 602-256-1010. UPDATE
Well, there seems to have been a break in the case! Due to an anonymous tip, MCSO has several people from Tucson, AZ in custody.
It seems to have been a simple robbery, with the robbers getting upset because there was no temple treasure...and thus killing the folks there. There is possible involvement with the Crips gang, though this has not been proven. The evening paper also says (from another anonymous informant) that MCSO has confessions to the crime.
FOUR CHARGED IN TEMPLE SLAYING
The September 19, 1991, Denver Post reported in an AP article that Maricopa County authorities have arrested four suspects in the Wak Promkunaram Temple slayings. In a statement to police, one suspect stated that he "started shooting his rifle" when he was distubred in a burglary at the temple. Physical evidence for prosecution is lacking and the ballistics tests on bullets taken from firearms seized in searches of the suspects' homes do not match those from the murder weapon. CWR will continue monitoring this case for further developments.
In a continuing effort to keep our readers informed on the various alternative belief systems, from their own mouths, we again bring you a Satanist's definition of just what it is that they believe....
WHAT DOES A SATANIST BELIEVE?
Reprinted by permission from Dark Lily #13
Satanists believe in the laws of nature. Our religion is founded upon the fact that our animal nature is the highest law. As animals act in a natural way to their environment, so must we - as the laws of OUR nature dictate. Note that this philosophy is recognised on an INDIVIDUAL basis, i.e., one man's nature may not be another's, but in the end we all must answer to the fact that man is a beast of prey and must act accordingly. When one acts against one's nature, the only result is counter-productivity.
Satanists believe in living their lives for enjoyment. We try to have as full a life as possible by acting in accordance with our individual natures. Satanists believe in the individuals' right to find their own definitions of "pleasure" that suit them best. We believe that the "moral standards" that have prevailed for so long are primarily threatening our very existence on this planet by forcing man to go against his nature. These "standards" or "values" of the right-hand-path threaten to cut the human race off from its only means of survival. MIGHT IS RIGHT!!
MICHIGAN STATE POLICE OCCULT SURVEY
Reviewed by John Kuma
Recently, a copy of a June 1990 survey generated by the Michigan State Police on occult crime in their state came into my hands. As it turned out, the results of this survey supported what the Wiccan anti defamation movement has been telling law enforcement for years.
The MSP sent a survey to 1000 local, state, and federal agencies; every agency that had law enforcement duties in the state. There were only 467 responses, and it is impossible to determine if the non-responding agencies had no occult crime to report or simply failed to respond.
For purposes of the study, the MSP defined the occult as " Including neo-paganism, satanism, witchcraft, voodooism, santeria, or other "black arts" practices. (All spelling as in the survey.)
Questions were fill-in-the-blank, asking the respondant to check any answers that applied to the question. An example was " Check any crime(s) investigated by your department which you believe were motivated by occult practices." Answers included vandalism, black market baby selling, etc. The survey also asked the agency to identify local groups which had expressed concern about occult related incidents.
The results are, by their own admission, not as complete as they had hoped and the MSP acknowledges the flaws in the survey, but I think that does not taint the overall findings.
One of the most important findings was that "in most if not all instances where a death was reported by respondents to have had occult overtones, no definite causal link could be established between occult practices and the death." This included a survey of both homicides and suicide.
Who commits occult related crime? This question was overwhelming answered in that white males under the age 19 are the primary practitioners of criminal acts with occult overtones. "Where do the practitioners of occult related crime get their training?" was another survey question. The number one answer was "Heavy Metal Music", followed closely by being self taught and occult related books.
The bottom line for Michigan, and I suggest the vast majority of the country as well, is that Legitimate practitioners of Wicca and other pagan paths are like most other people; law abiding citizens practicing their faith, a constitutionally protected right. We pose no criminal threat and our rituals are benign. All we ask is to be accepted as what we represent ourselves to be, worshipers of a peaceful nonviolent religion.
(Ed. Note: It is to be hoped that more states will commission such studies as the Michigan study. CWR heartily supports the efforts of the law enforcement agencies in Michigan to shed light on a somewhat muddied subject. CWR unfortunately has no address from which our readers can obtain this survey, but it is published by the Michigan State Police, Investigative Service Bureau, INvestigative Resources Unit.)
THE ORIGINS OF HALLOWEEN
By Rowan Moonstone
In recent years, there have been a number of pamphlets and books put out be various Christian organizations dealing with the origins of modernday Halloween customs.
As a Witch and a student of the ancient Celts from whom we get this holiday, I have found these pamphlets woefully inaccurate and poorly researched. A typical example of this information is contained in the following quote from the pamphlet entitled "What's Wrong with Halloween?" by Russell K. Tardo. "The Druids believed that on October 31st, the last day of the year by the ancient Celtic calendar, the lord of death gathered together the souls of the dead who had been made to enter bodies of animals, and decided what forms they should take the following year. Cats were held sacred because it was believed that they were once human beings ... We see that this holiday has its origin, basis and root in the occultic Druid celebration of the dead. Only they called it 'Samhain', who was the lord of the dead (a big demon)".1 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 make no mention of cats, but do, indeed list Samhain as the Lord of Death, contrary to Celtic scholars, and list no references. The World Book mentions the cats, and calls Samhain the Lord of Death, and lists as its sources several children's books (hardly what one could consider scholarly texts, and, of course, themselves citing no references).
My personal researches indicate that this assumption came from the writings of Gen. Charles Vallancey in his Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis. I have been unable to find a date on this work, but other writings of Gen. Vallancey are dated in the 1770's, so it is safe to assume that this theory comes from the same time period. This period is well before any of the authoritative archaeological findings, as well as any reliable translations of the Celtic mythological documents. In 1911, Dr. J. A. MacCulloch, Honorable Canon of Cumbrae Cathedral, wrote, "The scientific study of ancient Celtic religion is a thing of recent growth. As a result of the paucity of materials for such a study, earlier writers indulged in the wildest speculative flights and connected the religion with the distant East, or saw in it the remains of a monotheistic faith or a series of esoteric doctrines veiled under polytheistic cults. With the works of MM. Gaidoz, Bertrand, and D'Arbois de Jubainville in France, as well as by the publication of Irish texts by such scholars as Drs. Windisch and Stokes, a new era may be said to have dawned, and a flood of light was poured upon the scanty remains of Celtic religion."2
In an effort to correct some of this erroneous information, I have researched the religious life of the ancient Celtic peoples and the survivals of that religious life in modern times. Listed below are some of the most commonly asked questions concerning the origins and customs of Halloween. Following the questions is a lengthy bibliography where the curious reader can go to learn more about this holiday than space in this small pamphlet permits.
1. Where does Halloween come from?
Our modern celebration of Halloween is a descendent of the ancient Celtic festival called "Samhain". The word is pronounced "sow-in", with "sow" rhyming with "cow".
2. What does "Samhain" mean?
The Irish-English Dictionary published by the Irish Texts Society defines the word as follows: "Samhain, All Hallow-tide, the feast of the dead in Pagan and Christian times, signaling the close of harvest and the initiation of the winter season, lasting till May, during which troops were quartered. Fairies were imagined as particularly active at this season. From it, the half-year is reckoned. Also called Feile Moingfinne (Snow Goddess).3 The Scottish Gaelic Dictionary defines it as "Hallowtide. The Feast of All Souls. Sam + Fuin = end of summer."4 Contrary to the information published by many organizations, there is no archaeological or literary evidence to indicate that Samhain was a deity. Eliade's Encyclopedia of Religion states as follows: "The Eve and day of Samhain were characterized as a time when the barriers between the human and supernatural worlds were broken... Not a festival honoring any particular Celtic deity, Samhain acknowledged the entire spectrum of nonhuman forces that roamed the earth during that period."5 The Celtic Gods of the dead were Gwynn ap Nudd for the British and Arawn for the Welsh. The Irish did not have a "lord of death" as such.
3. Why was the end of summer of significance to the Celts?
The Celts were a pastoral people as opposed to an agricultural people. The end of summer was significant to them because it meant the time of year when the structure of their lives changed radically. The cattle were brought down from the summer pastures in the hills and the people were gathered into the houses for the long winter nights of storytelling and handicrafts .
4. What does it have to do with a festival of the dead?
The Celts believed that when people died, they went to a land of eternal youth and happiness called Tir nan Og. They did not have the concept of heaven and hell that the Christian church later brought into the land. The dead were sometimes believed to be dwelling with the Fairy Folk, who lived in the numerous mounds, or sidhe, (pronounced "shee") that dotted the Irish and Scottish countryside. Samhain was the new year to the Celts. In the Celtic belief system, turning points, such as the time between one day and the next, the meeting of sea and shore, or the turning of one year into the next were seen as magickal times. The turning of the year was the most potent of these times. This was the time when the "veil between the worlds" was at its thinnest, and the living could communicate with their beloved dead in Tir nan Og.
5. What about the aspects of "evil' that we associate with the night today?
The Celts did not have demons and devils in their belief system. The fairies, however, were often considered hostile and dangerous to humans because they were seen as being resentful of man taking over their land. On this night, they would sometimes trick humans into becoming lost in the fairy mounds, where they would be trapped forever. After the coming of the Christians to the Celtic lands, certain of the folk saw the fairies as those angels who had sided neither with God or with Lucifer in their dispute, and thus were condemned to walk the earth until judgment day.6
In addition to the fairies, many humans were abroad on this night, causing mischief. Since this night belonged neither to one year or the other, Celtic folk believed that chaos reigned, and the people would engage in "horseplay and practical jokes".7 This also served as a final outlet for high spirits before the gloom of winter set in.
6. What about "trick or treat"?
During the course of these hijinks, many of the people would imitate the fairies and go from house to house begging for treats. Failure to supply the treats would usually result in practical jokes being visited on the owner of the house. Since the fairies were abroad on this night, an offering of food or milk was frequently left for them on the steps of the house, so the homeowner could gain the blessing of the "good folk" for the coming year. Many of the households would also leave out a "dumb supper" for the spirits of the departed.8 The folks who were abroad in the night imitating the fairies would sometimes carry turnips carved to represent faces. This is the origin of our modern Jack-o-lantern.
7. Was there any special significance of cats to the Celts?
According to Katherine Briggs in Nine Lives: Cats in Folklore, the Celts associated cats with the Cailleach Bheur, or Blue Hag of Winter. "She was a nature goddess, who herded the deer as her cattle. The touch of her staff drove the leaves off the trees and brought snow and harsh weather."9
Dr. Anne Ross addresses the use of divine animals in her book Pagan Celtic Britain and has this to day about cats. "Cats do not play a large role in Celtic mythology ... the evidence for the cat as an important cult animal in Celtic mythology is slight".10 She cites as supporting evidence, the lack of archaeological artifacts and literary references in surviving works of mythology.
8. Was this also a religious festival?
Yes. Celtic religion was very closely tied to the Earth. Their great legends are concerned with momentous happenings which took place around the time of Samhain. Many of the great battles and legends of kings and heroes center on this night. Many of the legends concern the promotion of fertility of the earth and the insurance of the continuance of the lives of the people through the dark winter season.
9. How was the religious festival observed?
Unfortunately, we know very little about that. W.G. Wood-Martin, in his book, Traces of the Elder Faiths of Ireland, states, "There is comparatively little trace of the religion of the Druids now discoverable, save in the folklore of the peasantry, and the references relative to it that occur in ancient and authentic Irish manuscripts are, as far as present appearances go, meager and insufficient to support anything like a sound theory for full development of the ancient religion."11
The Druids were the priests of the Celtic peoples. They passed on their teachings by oral tradition instead of committing them to writing, so when they perished, most of their religious teachings were lost. We do know that this festival was characterized as one of the four great "Fire Festivals" of the Celts. Legends tell us that on this night, all the hearth fires in Ireland were extinguished, and then relit from the central fire of the Druids at Tlachtga, 12 miles from the royal hill of Tara. This fire was kindled from "need fire" which had been generated by the friction of rubbing two sticks together, as opposed to more conventional methods (such as the flint-and-steel method) common in those days.12 The extinguishing of the fires symbolized the "dark half" of the year, and the rekindling from the Druidic fires was symbolic of the returning life hoped for, and brought about through the ministrations of the priesthood.
10. What about sacrifices?
Animals were certainly killed at this time of year. This was the time to "cull" from the herds those animals which were not desired for breeding purposes for the next year. Most certainly, some of these would have been done in a ritual manner for the use of the priesthood.
11. Were humans sacrificed?
Scholars are sharply divided on this account, with about half believing that it took place and half doubting its veracity. Caesar and Tacitus certainly tell tales of the human sacrifices of the Celts, but Nora Chadwick points out in her book The Celts that "it is not without interest that the Romans themselves had abolished human sacrifice not long before Caesar's time, and references to the practice among various barbarian peoples have certain overtones of self-righteousness. There is little direct archaeological evidence relevant to Celtic sacrifice."13 Indeed, there is little reference to this practice in Celtic literature. The only surviving story echoes the tale of the Minotaur in Greek legend: the Fomorians, a race of evil giants said to inhabit portions of Ireland before the coming of the Tuatha de Danaan (or "people of the Goddess Danu"), demanded the sacrifice of 2/3 of the corn, milk, and first born children of the Fir Bolg, or human inhabitants of Ireland. The de Danaan ended this practice in the second battle of Moy Tura, which incidentally, took place on Samhain. It should be noted, however, that this story appears in only one (relatively modern) manuscript from Irish literature, and that manuscript, the "Dinnsenchus", is known to be a collection of fables.
According to P.W. Joyce in Vol. 2 of his Social History of Ancient Ireland, "Scattered everywhere through our ancient literature, both secular and ecclesiastical, we find abundant descriptions and details of the rites and superstitions of the pagan Irish; and in no place - with this single exception - do we find a word or hint pointing to human sacrifice to pagan gods or idols."14
12. What other practices were associated with this season?
Folk tradition tells us of many divination practices associated with Samhain. Among the most common were divinations dealing with marriage, weather, and the coming fortunes for the year. These were performed via such methods as ducking for apples and apple peeling. Ducking for apples was a marriage divination. The first person to bite an apple would be the first to marry in the coming year. Apple peeling was a divination to see how long your life would be. The longer the unbroken apple peel, the longer your life was destined to be.15 In Scotland, people would place stones in the ashes of the hearth before retiring for the night. Anyone whose stone had been disturbed during the night was said to be destined to die during the coming year.
13. How did these ancient Celtic practices come to America?
When the potato crop in Ireland failed, many of the Irish people, modern descendants of the Celts, immigrated to America, bringing with them their folk practices, which were remnants of the Celtic festival observances.
14. We in America view this as a harvest festival. Did the Celts also view it as such?
Yes. The Celts had 3 harvests. Aug 1, or Lammas, was the first harvest, when the first fruits were offered to the Gods in thanks. The Fall equinox was the true harvest. This was when the bulk of the crops would be brought in. Samhain was the final harvest of the year. Anything left on the vines or in the fields after this date was considered blasted by the fairies ("pu'ka") and unfit for human consumption.
15. Does anyone today celebrate Samhain as a religious observance?
Yes. Many followers of various pagan religions, such as Druidism and Wicca, observe this day as a religious festival. They view it as a memorial day for their dead friends and family, much as the world does the national Memorial Day holiday in May. It is still a night to practice various forms of divination concerning future events. It is also considered a time to wrap up old projects, take stock of one's life, and initiate new projects for the coming year. As the winter season is approaching, it is a good time to do studying on research projects, and also a good time to begin hand work such as sewing, leather working, woodworking, etc., for Yule gifts later in the year.
16. Does this involve human or animal sacrifice?
Absolutely NOT! Hollywood to the contrary, blood sacrifice is not practiced by modern followers of Wicca or Druidism. There may be some people who THINK they are practicing Wicca by performing blood sacrificing, but this is NOT condoned by reputable practitioners of today's neo-Pagan religions.
1. Tardo, Russell K., What's Wrong with Halloween?, Faithful Word Publishers, (Arabi, LA, undated), p. 2
2. Hon. J. A. MacCulloch (D.D. (St. Andrews), Hon. Canon of Cumbrae Cathedral), The Religion of the Ancient Celts, Folcroft Library Editions (1977), originally published by Morris & Gibb Limited (London, 1911), p. vii
3. Rev. Patrick Dinneen, An Irish English Dictionary, (Dublin, 1927), p. 937 4. Malcolm MacLennan, A Pronouncing and Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language, (Aberdeen, 1979), p. 279
5. The Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. Mircea Eliade, "Halloween" by Primiano, (New York, 1987) pp. 176- 177
6. Katherine Briggs, Nine Lives: Cats in Folklore, (London,1980), p.5
7. Dr. Anne Ross, Pagan Celtic Britain, (London,1967), p. 301-302
8. W. G. Wood-Martin, Traces of the Elder Faiths of Ireland, Vol.II, (Port Washington, NY, 1902), p. 5
9. Kevin Danaher, The Year in Ireland, (Cork, 1972), p. 214
10. Alwyn & Brinley Rees, Celtic Heritage, (New York, 1961), p. 90
11. Wood-Martin, op. cit., p. 249
12. Rees & Rees, op. cit., p. 90
13. Nora Chadwick, The Celts, (Harmondsworth, 1982), p. 151
14. P.W. Joyce, A Social History of Ancient Ireland, Vol. 2, (New York, 1968), pp. 282-283
15. Madeleine Pelner Cosman, Medieval Holidays and Festivals, (New York, 1981), p. 81
Bord, Janet & Colin, The Secret Country, (London: Paladin Books, 1978)
Briggs, Katherine, Nine Lives, Cats in Folklore, (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980)
Chadwick, Nora, The Celts, (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1982)
Coglan, Ronan, A Dictionary of Irish Myth and Legend, (Dublin: 1979)
Cosman, Madeleine Pelner, Medieval Holidays and Festivals, (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1981)
Danaher, Kevin, The Year in Ireland, (Cork, Ireland: The Mercier Press, 1972)
Dinneen, Rev. Patrick S., M.A., An Irish-English Dictionary, (Dublin:The Irish Texts Society, 1927)
Joyce, P.W., A Social History of Ancient Ireland, (New York: Benjamin Blom, 1968)
MacCana, Proinsias, Celtic Mythology, (London: The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, 1970)
MacCulloch, Hon. J. A.(D.D. (St. Andrews), Hon. Canon of Cumbrae Cathedral), The Religion of the Ancient Celts, Folcroft Library Editions (1977), originally published by Morris & Gibb Limited (London, 1911), p. vii
MacLennan, Malcolm, A pronouncing and Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language, (Aberdeen: Acair and Aberdeen University Press, 1979)
MacNeill, Maire', The Festival of Lughnasa, (Dublin: Comhairle Bhealoideas Eireann, 1982)
Powell, T.G.E., The Celts, (New York: Thames & Hudson, 1980)
Primiano, Leonard Norman, "Halloween" from The Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. Mircea Eliade, (New York, McMillan Publiching Co., 1987)
Rees, Alwyn and Brinley, Celtic Heritage, Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales, (New York: Thames & Hudson, 1961)
Ross, Dr. Anne, Pagan Celtic Britain, (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1967) Sharkey, John, Celtic Mysteries, (New York: Thames & Hudson, 1975)
Spence, Lewis, British Fairy Origins, (Wellingborough: Aquarian Press, 1946)
Squire, Charles, Celtic Myth & Legend, Poetry & Romance, (New York: Newcastle Publishing Co., Inc., 1975)
Toulson, Shirley, The Winter Solstice, (London: Jill Norman & Hobhouse, Ltd., 1981)
Wood-Martin, W.G., Traces of the Elder Faiths of Ireland, Vols. I & II, (Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1902)
ANCIENT RITES PRACTICED AT STONEHENGE AGAIN
From "The Hub" Pagan newsletter from Australia
Five British practitioners of Earth Magic were allowed sole access to the Centre Circle of Stonehenge on July 22nd by the Elglish Heritage in order to take photographs of a ritual in progress as background for a forthcoming book. Kevin and Ingrid Carlyon, John Ruse, "Ros", and "Lee" of the Covenant of Earth Magic performed two rituals within the Centre Circle of the neolithic stone circle two hours before the gates were opened to the public. English Heritage, who usually are quite inflexible against any "occult" groups using the circle, not only allowed the Covenant private use on the morning of the 22nd, but also told them they had been booked in for the whole week and had access to the Centre Circle at any time during that week, an offer they could not take up because of prior commitments.
According to Professor Gerald S. Hawkins, Professor of Astronomy at Boston University and Research Associate at Harvard University, Stonehenge is a sophistocated astronomical observatory, used by three distinct groups of peple over a four hundred year period beginning around 1900 BCE. It was considered ancient and holy even in the time of Britain's most ancient chroniclers, and it's origins have never been finally accredited to any particular religious group.
WICCAN SHOP ATTACKED
From Circle Network News
The Dragon's Lair is a Wiccan-Pagan store in Florisa. It is owned by Ygraine and staffed by members of her group, the Coven of the Blue Candle. It carries Pagan books, jewelry, herbs, Tarot cards, and other items. The store is open round the clock Mondays through Saturdays. It is closed Sundays.
In the early morning, Tuesday, May 21, vandals drove a truck through the storefront destroying it completely and doing some damage to merchandise. Police investigation has not yet led to the apprehension of those responsible.
EMERGENCE OF RITUALISTIC CRIMES: STATE OF CALIFORNIA
By Sandi Gallant
In 1978 the world's attention was drawn to San Francisco, Redwood Valley, and a far away and little known place called Guyana, in the aftermath of the tragedy of the Peoples Temple.
In the coming years, law enforcement's attention has been drawn into an area of criminality that is currently being referred to as "Ritualistic Crimes" - crimes that encompass a system of rites, a ceremonial action, or customarily repeated acts involving bizarre behavior patterns.
Many of these cases involve individuals who have studied texts from various spiritual belief systems and given these texts their own interpretations in such a manner as to justify criminal behavior.
In other instances, individuals, such as the people of Jonestown, have been motivated into criminal acts, through a group's interpretation of who they are in relationship to a spiritual master, and who they are in relationship to the rest of the world. It is on this basis that ritualistic crimes are committed.
In CA, as well as other parts of the country, we have seen specific trends emerge since the late 1970's. The Adolescent Supernatural Subculture, Satanism, Ritual Abuse, Adult Supernatural Subculture, and Santeria will be addressed in this report.
It is important to keep in mind that no statistical data is currently available on ritualistic crimes at a local, state, or national level. This is due to the fact that no clearing house or data base has been established within law enforcement to track this category of criminal activity. It must also be kept in mind that issues dealt with in this report are from a perspective of a local agency's contacts with various police agencies, therapists, psychologists, sociologists, and concerned citizens from throughout the United States. In no way is it to be considered an overall picture of the issues.
1. YOUTH SUPERNATURAL SUBCULTURE
Adolescent interest in supernatural subcultures has been on a steady upswing with involvement going from a vague, curious interest, to intense involvement including criminal behaviors such as church desecration, vandalism, assault, cemetery desecration, animal mutilation, suicide, and homicide
Although much attention is given to the influence of the subculture through heavy metal music and fantasy role playing games, it is clear in almost every case that has surfaced that adolescents and young adults who become intensely involved have specific characteristics in common with each other:
A. Predominantly males exhibiting various behavior problems that have gone unnoticed or undiagnosed.
B. Intelligent individuals, but underachievers.
C. Creative with high curiosity levels.
D. Low self esteem including feelings of ineligiblilty (may repress traumas they have suffered including abuse, from detached or dysfunctional homes, parents who set no limits or force conformity.)
E. Middle to upper middle class families.
F. Caucasian and some Latinos.
G. Difficulty relating to peers.
H. Power seeking individuals.
I. Attention grabbers.
The largest amount of activity in the supernatural subculture is in Southern CA with some involvement of youth gangs in the LA area. Other areas of attention are the suburbs of cities such as the Bay area, or more isolated parts of the state, such as Grass Valley and Shasta County. Calls received by the SFPD over the past two years verify this.
Much of the adolescent interest in supernatural subcultures involves Satanism. The main draws are power, control, and a sense of identity and recognition.
Satanism, from the perspective of the follower, is described as a belief system in which you devote yourself to dominance, cruelty, lust and greed. Power comes from within the self and loyalty is to the self. Satanists are not concerned with others' moral judgments or the natural order of things within a society.
While the 1970s were filled with popular religions and cultic movements in which one turned control of their life to another, the 1980's have shown increased interest in supernatural belief systems, such as Satanism, because it allows you to maintain control over your own life. Studies of increased interest in Satanism have shown that followers fall into three basic categories, with some variation in each, as this is a religion based on individual interpretation.
Usually part of an organized and structured group who practice Satanic worship as a faith. Many do not believe in the Christian concept of an entity called Satan, however, they do identify with the symbolic vision of the devil. Most organized groups refer to their deity in other terms. The faith may be passed down generationally within a family. Few groups are above ground and identified.
2. DABBLERS OR SELF-STYLED BELIEVERS
Usually individuals or loosely organized groups who have incorporated Satanic rituals into bizarre and sometimes criminal behavior patterns. Dabblers commonly study a variety of occult teachings and combine systems of belief to fit their needs. They enjoy the attention it brings and often leave indicators of involvement at crime scenes. The mixture of occult symbolism is a clue to identifying a dabbler.
3. YOUTH SUBCULTURE
Normally comprised of adolescents and young adults seeking power. Symbolism is flaunted and graffiti and ritual indicators are usually left at crime scenes. Shock value intensifies their rebellious attitudes towards traditionally accepted belief systems.
Some skinheads have attached to the symbolism however, the extent of their knowledge or interest seems to be rather simplistic. It is also in strong opposition to the spiritual beliefs of white supremacist movements that the skinheads have aligned with . It is for this reason that I believe their interest in occult symbolism is mainly for shock value rather than intense spiritual interest.
3. RITUALIZED SEXUAL ABUSE
Ritual abuse is best described as a series of repeated physical, emotional, and/or sexual assaults combined with a systematic use of symbols, ceremonies, and/or machinations. The actions appear designed and premeditated with the intention of instilling fear in the victim. It may involve sadistic psychological manipulation used to induce the victims' involvement and as a controlling tool to force conformity to the desires of the perpetrator(s) or groups, if such is the case.
Cases of reported "ritualized sexual abuse" began to surface in the late 1970s with little attention being given by law enforcement. This was due to skepticism on the part of the investigator and an unbelievability in the information being reported. From 1983-1985 numerous cases surfaced around the state including Manhattan Beach, Pico Rivera, Sacramento, Concord, REdwood City, Atherton, and Bakersfield. At the same time, cases were being reported in other states in which victims reported incident indicators that closely matched reports in the above cases.
These indicators alleged:
Drinking of human and animal blood
Ceremonies involving usage of robes, candles, and symbols
Drugging of victim
Sexual activity with adults, children, animals
Usage of cemeteries, mortuaries
Photographing of sexual events
Calling upon negative spiritual powers
Another significant factor was that law enforcement officers handling these "new breed" of cases were not conferring with each other so there was no crosscontamination taking place in the interviewing and investigating process.
This has changed, however, over the past three years, as media attention has been given to this area. Parents of victims began to form support groups. Child interviews extended from investigator/ therapist to parent/ therapist/child protective service worker/investigator/ parent to parent, etc.
This has provided an unfortunate avenue for confusion and cross-contamination through misinterpretation of what is being said and that interpretation being passed on to investigators by other interested parties, rather than the victim.
Much of this has led to further complicating an already complicated case, unsuccessful prosecutions, and a hysterical response to the entire issue.
While only a limited number of cases involving true ritual aspects have emerged, misunderstanding and misinterpretation of case indicators combined with cross-contamination and a hysterical response have allowed the issue to appear much more widespread than it is. This has occurred throughout the nation. A recent news article emerging from Great Britain has shown a similar problem occurring in that country.
To further confuse the issue, numerous adults are now coming forward to therapists alleging to be "survivors of ritualized abuse" they suffered as children. Adult survivors' stories are told in scattered detail with little, if any, validation and few are willing to name times, places, and names of individuals they are alleging were involved in horrific events. Included in reported events are human sacrifices involving adults and infants.
Similar reports have surfaced in cases involving young child victims. The fact remains that no bodies have been found to verify any of these allegations. While law enforcement has been unable to prove the allegations that such acts have taken place, we have also been unable to disprove it.
What has become abundantly clear is that traditional investigative responses have not provided clear cut answers in these cases. This, combined with a lengthy judicial process, has allowed only seven cases to be successfully prosecuted in court. None were in the State of California.
In 1986, the SFPD developed a means to categorize ritual abuse cases and procedural guidelines to assist in their investigation. The following section covers those items.
CATEGORIES OF RITUAL ABUSE
1. Spiritual Connotation: some form of spiritual activity is included in abuse. Perpetrators are manipulators who get power from controlling others. They may not be true believers and only use the religion to justify their behavior. It is imperative to determine the leader, if it is a group, and if their motivation and justification are the same or separate. May include:
In the stages of early recognition (1983-1985) it was assumed that the majority of the cases arose out of Satanism. As we have studied further and become more aware of the extent of the problem, it has been clarified that many cases emerged from other forms of spirituality that had been twisted to fit the perpetrators' needs. In other words, true human evil was the issue rather than theologically described evil.
2. Perverse Connotation: May appear to have spiritual overtones, as some ritualized behavior will appear. Closer review will show this not to be the case. These individuals are predators who receive power through both financial and/or sexual gratification. May include:
Misinterpretation of symbolism
Misinterpretation of disclosures
Adult/child sex rings
Thrill sex cases
Smokescreen cases deliberately attempting to discredit victims
3. Psychopathological ritualism
Activities are primarily the expression of an individual's obsessional or delusional system. May have no spiritual overtones, however, usage of feces, urine, or blood may be a part of the ritual (fetish).
PROCEDURAL GUIDELINES, RITUALIZED ABUSE
Upon receipt of complaint:
1. Document all information as it is received. Be detailed in your accounting of what is reported.
2. Evaluate and prioritize information and leads.
3. Recognize that logical/ rational thinking in the investigative process does not always apply. This is your state of mind, not the perpetrators'. Many are irrational. Think as they would think. Trying to investigate in the usual way locks us into traditional responses.
5. Work as a team with investigators, clinicians, and child protective service. 6. Clearly define the role or each team member.
7. Review the case every 30 days.
8. Don't eliminate factors unless they are conclusive.
9. Audiotape all interviews to maintain clarity as to who originated the material.
10. Approach District Attorney in early phases to ascertain best approach for a successful prosecution.
11. Keep investigative material as confidential as possible by all interested parties for as long as possible.
12. Day care center investigations should be approached cautiously.
Check for prior licensing in/out of state.
Premise location calls
13. One investigator (not team member) should act as liaison with parents and parental support groups, media, hot line for tips, etc.
14. Caution parents, custodians, and other interested parties regarding their not questioning the victims. They may document any unsolicited revelations, however, you need to validate information before it becomes part of the case.
15. Avoid contamination.
16. During search warrants, have crime lab obtain latents. Children touch everything. Look for false I.D.'s, birth/ death certificates, items associated with category 1.
17. Build case of information which can be substantiated. Consider separate investigation for accusations for which no evidence is currently available.
18. Investigative teams must have knowledge of ritualized/ serial abuse.
19. Interview process: Do not ask leading or suggestive questions. Use victims' terminology and do not interpret what they are saying. (document verbatim). Assess the victims' verbalization skills. Let the child speak in narrative form. This allows for continuity during the interviewing process and prevents tainting the outcome of the interview. Keep questions openended. Avoid yes/no responses.
20. Be willing to open up to new theories from team members. Don't get locked into one road with no alternate route.
21. Don't draw conclusions nor document them in report. These are complex cases and lengthy investigations.
22. Avoid narcissistic denial and narcissistic approach - "This case will make my career."
23. VICTIM SAFETY FIRST!
ADULT SUPERNATURAL SUBCULTURE
In California, there are numerous organized groups involved in the supernatural subculture, however, no evidence has ever been brought forward to prove that any organized group is involved in a conspiracy to commit ritualistic crimes. Of greater concern to law enforcement are adults who "dabble" in this subculture.
Individuals such as Charles Manson, Richard Ramirez, Clifford St. Joseph, and, possibly, Leonard Lake, have studied supernatural spiritualism merely to justify horrendous criminal acts that they already had the desire to commit. Adolescents, usually suffer from deeprooted psychological problems that are then manifested through the belief system. In other words, they have found a way to commit the crime without having to accept any internal responsibility or guilt.
Numerous individuals throughout history have committed bizarre crimes in the name of God. These are usually isolated cases and no connection has been shown between the perpetrators and organized movements, however, many of these individuals have made attempts to communicate with or join groups, with little or no success.
Santeria is an Afro-Cuban religion that is rooted in the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria. As immigrants have come to the United States from Cuba, they have brought this religion with them. It combines voodoo with catholicism which has been perverted to suit the Santeros' needs.
A large number of animal mutilations within the State of CA have been directly attributed to Santeros.
Many practice their religion on an individual basis and do not become involved in organized groups, however, a concerted effort is taking place in Southern CA amongst Santeros to be allowed to conduct animal sacrifices within their church.
This state currently recognizes animal sacrifice as a religious rite. Many individuals who are concerned with this issue are speaking out against animal sacrifice for spiritual purposes.
A few homicides, including two in San Francisco, since 1981, were conducted by practitioners of Santeria.
RITUAL INDICATORS AND CRIME SCENE CLUES
The following indicators may be used to assist investigators in determining if a crime is ritual based. The presence of these indicators in and of themselves does not define this modus operandi for a crime and should only be used as an investigative aid:
1. Animal and fowl mutilations including the removal of specific organs: (head, heart, tongue, eyes, digits)
2. Homicides involving decapitation/mutilation, removal of specific organs, branding of specific symbolism
3. Cannibalism or absence of blood in victim or at scene.
4. Removal of hair.
5. Wax, powders, oils, on or around body or crime scene area. (Used as controlling substances during rituals).
6. Altars, candles, or chalices. Biblical passages, occult writings, writings in non-discernable alphabet, graffiti).
7. Symbols: inverted crosses, pentagrams, inverted pentagrams, etc.
8. Goat's head.
CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATION TO INVESTIGATE RITUAL ABUSE
The most recent issue of "Cornerstone" magazine, published by Jesus People USA carried the following notice:
"... This year - 1991 - marks the beginning of a new endeavor for 'Cornerstone'. We covet yourprayers as we establish the Cornerstone Apologetice Research TEam (CART). This associated ministry will carry on and expand our magazine's efforts in investigating and informing in order to equip the Body of Christ.
"CART wishes to ask for our readers' help in continuing to investigate 'satanic ritual abuse.' We at present are unable to point to any credible survivor stories. (emphasis, CWR) We've heard a lot of stories of 'breeders' and underground cults, but none that presented verifiable evidence. The key word here is 'verifiable,' of capable of confirmation. If you know of someone who would be willing to cooperate in telling us their story, please ask them to contact us. We'll want things like names, places, dates, personal history, and a willingness to cooperate with law enforcement (if necessary).
(Ed Note: CWR applauds the effort of Cornerstone and Jesus People USA to get to the facts in a difficult and controversial area. We wish them well in their endeavors and will follow the progress of CART with interest. If verifiable evidence IS found, we will be among the first to demand prosecution of the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law!)
Firstly, we wish to apoligize for the long delay between issue 3-4 and this combined issue. Issue 3-5 was to have come out in August, but seemed to be one of those "doomed projects". After numerous mixups with computers, printers, and publishers, we decided to opt for the combined issue and maintain the high standard of quality we have come to expect from CWR and that you have a right to demand. The publication of this doublesized issue returns us to our regular publishing schedule. Your next issue, 4-1 will be published in December of 1991. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused our readers and promise to TRY to see that it doesn't happen again. Sometimes I wonder if someone didn't change my name to Murphy when I wasn't looking!!
As of this printing date, Vicki has been invited to do a Christian radio talk show on a Detroit station. Schedules are a bit complicated due to a new job, but we are working with the talk show host in an effort to match her schedule to his.
Yet another country has been heard from. CWR recently received an information request from Denmark. We are also currently networking with a newsletter from Australia as well as maintaining our contacts in Canada, the United Kingdom, and France. Inquiries to date have also been received from New Zeland, Czechoslovakia, and Malaysia.
CWR VOLUME 3 INDEX (1990-1991)
Volume 3, No. 1
Five Specialized Aspects that are Troubling to Parents, Part 1, Hal Mansfield
Letter to the Editor, Sandi Gallant
Cases of Ritualistic Child Abuse - the Law Enforcement Response, Sandi Gallant
Seminar - Identification and Investigation of Ritualistic Criminal Activity by Det. Robert "Jerry" Simandl, Youth Officer, Chicago PD, Report By Kerr Cuhulain
Book Review: Devil Child by Vickie L. Dawkins and Nina Downey Higgins, Kerr Cuhulain
Proctor & Gambel Rumors Traced
Index of Articles for CultWatch Response Newsletter, Vols. 1 & 2
Volume 3, No. 2
A Matter of Faith, Vicki Copeland
A Bit of Humor Lightens the Day
Five Specialized Aspects that are Troubling to Parents, Pt. 2, Hal Mansfield
Ritualistic, Cult and Occult Crime By Kerr Cuhulain
Signs and Symbols of the Craft, 666 & FFF
The ZOSO Myth, Kerr Cuhulain
How to Investigate Destructive Cults and Underground Groups: An Investigators Manual by Larry Zilliox, Jr and Larry Kahaner, reviewed by John Kuma
Painted Black, by Carl Raschke, reviewed by Sean M. R. McCullough
Occult Crimes Investigations, by Dr. Clifford Alford, reviewed by Vicki Copeland
Satanism and Psychotherapy: A Rumor in Search of an Inquisition by Sherill Mulhern, reviewed by Vicki Copeland Volume 3, No. 3
Courtesy and Professional Ethics, Vicki Copeland
Cult Danger Evaluation Frame, P.E.I. Bonewits
Letters to the Editor, Dan Holdgriewe and Hal Mansfield
12 People Nailed to Crosses in Ceremonies in Phillipines (AP)
Exorcism Proves Fatal (UPI)
Signs and Symbols of the Craft, the upright and inverted pentagrams
Women Take Mother to Trial, Alleging Ritual and Sexual Abuse, Donna Wares
Recommended Reading List
Volume 3, No. 4
Roe Case Delved Into Ritual Abuse, Repressed Memories And Disorders
Procter & Gambel Wins Satanism Rumors Case
Illinois Passes New Laws
Satanism - Fact and Fiction, reprinted from "Dark Lily"
The W.I.C.C.A. Letters Myth, Kerr Cuhulain
Case Study, United Wiccan Church
"Witchcraft, Satanism, and Occult Crime: Who's Who and What's What" Third Edition, Jan. 1991 - By Otter Zell, reviewed by John Kuma
Volume 3, No. 5 & 6
A Day in the Life of a Priestess, Vicki Copeland
Crime Bulletin: Arizona Buddhist Temple Murders
What Does a Satanist Believe? reprinted from Dark Lily
Michigan State Police Occult Survey, reviewed by John Kuma
Origins of Halloween, Rowan Moonstone
Ancient Rites Practiced at Stonehenge, reprinted from "The Hub"
Wiccan Shop Attacked
Emergence of Ritualistic Crimes: State of California, Sandi Gallant
Christian Organization to Investigate Ritual Abuse
CWR is published by CultWatch Response, Inc., a Colorado non-profit Corporation. We publish original works and articles from other sources in the interest of supplying law enforcement, clinicians, and clergy with information on the Craft and "occult related crime".
We welcome articles, reviews, etc., but ask that contributors not promote any race, cultural group, sex, magickal group or tradition above another. We emphasize careful research and/or well-thought-out opinions, and will not consider articles suggesting harm. We will NOT consider articles based on rumor, conjecture, urban legend, or comparative theological debate.
CultWatch Response, Inc., is supported by subscription revenues and sales of our publications, and is not affiliated with any religious, political, or business group.
Please enter my subscription to CultWatch Response. I have enclosed $12 (U.S. Funds -- Canadian subscribers please send $12.30 U.S.). Back issues are available for $2.00 each.
___Please send a sample copy of CWR to the address below. I have enclosed $2.00 to cover costs.
___Please send ____ copies of Kerr Cuhulain's "A Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca". I have enclosed $10.00 ppd.
___Please send ____ copies of Rowan Moonstone's "Origins of Halloween" pamphlet. I have enclosed $1.00 for each copy ordered.
___Please send ____ copies of Clipping List to the address below. I have enclosed $5.00 to cover costs.
ZIP: (Or City, Province, Postal Code)
Mail this coupon or facsimile to: CultWatch Response, Inc. - P.O. Box 1842 - Colorado Springs, CO 80901-1842