The following is in response to a private email as to why I discounted the supposed tale of “Satan worshippers in the tunnels of Bethel”, as well as other hearsay accounts of Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) in the Watchtower organization… which is the same reason I don’t believe Pat Garza’s tale of Governing Body member Ted Jaracz being a child molester. Lack of evidence from an uncritical source.
The SRA craze is a documented phenomena that appears over and over in our culture.
Gossip and fearful reports by unreliable or uncorroborated witnesses lead to a condemnation of a church or institution as if they were co-conspirators. With all the REAL sexual abuse cases against the Watchtower Society recently (www.watchtowerdocuments.com), should we side with this report as well, in an effort to destroy the WT’s control over others?
Do we find evidence of Brooklyn leadership promoting Satanic rituals in secret?
Or have such reports been more of the nature of tabloid fodder, making small time criminals appear to be organizationally controlled?
Ritual Satanists, like any fringe group, exist in all strata of society. But if two or three Satanists work at the post office, and go in the bathroom with robes and slit a chicken’s throat on their lunch break, does that make the United States Post Office co-conspirators? Are we still not so far-removed from the Salem witch trials?
In Manhattan Beach in the 80s, when I was just out of Bethel, the scare was a daycare center that was being secretly controlled by a supposed Satanist, Raymond Buckey, and his mother, Virginia McMartin. They were said to have had the tunnels, the dolls, the images, and the big scary demon stuff. They threatened the kids with a horrible death if they said a word. Would you be a part of this, if you were afraid for your child? As a resident of Manhattan Beach, I believed it for a while! There were DOZENS of people who would bet their life savings on the truth of this matter, without having seen a shred of evidence themselves. Untold thousands more instantly believed the story, as it was published daily in newspapers all over the world.
What if your neighbor, a 30-something blond gorgeous mom with a talented pre-school child, came home HYSTERICAL that her son had been sodomized and subject to animal torture rituals in a tunnel beneath the daycare center? In Manhattan Beach, of all places! Surfers, groms and beach babes. The Perfect Storm story. The irony alone would spark hysteria; think The Dog Whisperer secretly raising pit bulls for street fighting. The town went ABSOLUTELY CRAZY for a couple of years. It was a goldmine for learning crowd persuasion techniques for me. Here is a clip from Manhattan Beach’s shameful story:
Several hundred children were then interviewed by the Children’s Institute International (CII), a Los Angeles abuse therapy clinic. The interviewing techniques used during investigations of the allegations were highly suggestive and invited children to pretend or speculate about supposed events. By spring of 1984, it was claimed that 360 children had been abused. Astrid Heppenstall Heger performed medical examinations and took photos of what she believed to be minute scarring which she stated was caused by anal penetration. Critics have alleged that the questioners asked the children leading questions, repetitively, which, it is said, always yields positive responses from young children, making it impossible to know what the child actually experienced. Others believe that the questioning itself may have led to false memory syndrome among the children who were questioned. Ultimately only 41 of the original 360 children testified during the grand jury and pre-trial hearings, and less than a dozen testified during the actual trial. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMartin_preschool_trial
I went through years of bad publicity over this, living in Manhattan Beach. No one knew where Manhattan Beach was, and now it was a place of disgusting, Satan-worshipping child molesters! This was the most expensive trial of its kind, ever. Almost as sensational as the O.J. Simpson trial. It all starts in L.A.
I told people I lived in El Porto instead.
Multiply this hysteria times 1000 all over the world daily. Remember the Proctor and Gamble case? Why did a jury award $19 million against AMWAY distributors for attempting to scare people away from P&G over the use of “satanic symbols”? This lie spread through the evangelical Christian churches like WILDFIRE and still persists decades later. No doubt many of you on this board still believe P&G has Satanic roots! This is the power of fear and “yellow journalism.” It is destructive. But it usually has a more sinister base; that of selling your own agenda. And people will side with those who think like they do, rather than strangers. That’s the neat trick.
A couple of years ago it was hyped that Brooklyn Bethel had a database of 23,000+ child molesters. This was a fabrication that as yet has no evidence. Why would I make a scene and challenge this issue, when it actually makes the Watchtower look better and ex-JWs to look bad? Because creating propaganda to sell your point is BAD BUSINESS. Be a reliable source of information.
Sure, Satanism exists. There are covens, and people sacrifice animals, and yes, even people. Back in the early 80s I corresponded with a former Satan worshipper who was targeted for his leaving and becoming a born-again Christian. This was a real murdering Satanic cult! He used to send me his notes and evidences, and NEWS ARTICLES relating to the group. Looked pretty convincing to me! I think I still have them somewhere. Then, the news was that he was killed.
I never heard any more on this guy, or the small cult he was in. Like a gang member who defects, his number was surely up. I was honestly afraid of possible retaliation, but nothing happened but a few strange phone calls, then silence.
I have read the Satanic Bible twice. I visited the late Anton LaVey’s house in San Francisco. His books are on my bookshelf now, alongside other “scary” books that have no real or imaginary power over me. Frankly, L. Ron Hubbard’s stuffis far more scary, check out Scientology! Read this.
As a Christian I knew such things had no power over me (1 Cor. 8:4-7), and felt free to examine all such things. As 1 Corinthians says, “not all have this freedom.” But now it was my job to do this. As a Jehovah’s Witness, I had thrown out all my “satanic” records, backwards masking stuff and the 7th Day Adventist books by Ellen G. White. I vowed that when I became a Christian I would not be so naïve. Fear is a sign that you really have no spiritual power; your faith is useless and your god is powerless. A Christian in ministry against the devil cannot be afraid of the devil, or he’s a fool.
I have read the Satanic spell books. I live in Los Angeles which has plenty of Satan worshippers. I used to ride motorcycles on their property, and go door-to-door in Topanga Canyon hawking Watchtower magazines to wealthy Satanists who had giant pentagrams in their driveway (remember, this was the early 70s). I have been to and participated in deliverances where “Satan” was cast out, by a number of Christian churches, including the then-popular Vineyard Christian Fellowship. I have been threatened and challenged by these so-called demons. But if I see something I think is really ritual Satanism doing obscene things, I’ll hire me a detective, because behind every successful “demon” is a crazed felon looking for an audience.
My roommate is a Public Defender (attorney) for felony cases in Los Angeles, and his family are all DEA agents. I am daily pressed into discussions about law and legal precedent. I have learned over the years to ALWAYS look to wisdom and legal precedents when you examine the “crime scene.” You will learn a lot more than from sensational hearsay from people who want an audience. I would also suggest learning a little “profiling” so that you know how to “pick out” those craving media attention from the more objective news reporters. Read crimescene profiling books; widen your horizons.
Remember Richard Ramirez, the “Night Stalker”? Los Angeles, baby! My landlady in Canoga Park in 1974 was a real Satan worshipper and killed her husband in the house we rented as pioneers! The police came and found the bullet in the fake wall she had created to mask the shot fired, and the carpet that his body was wrapped in was still in our garage. The landlady drove a 1959 pink Cadillac and wore Goth makeup. The stuff of legends!
When I first left the JWs, I was fascinated by The Satan Seller, a book by “former Satanist” Mike Warnke, that came out of the new evangelical movement of the 60s, a sort of Christian by-product of the hippie phenomena. If you wanted to make a name for yourself in the Christian Church, you needed (1) a charismatic salesman with a whopper of a story, and (2) an audience. Mike Warnke fooled millions of Christians eager for a new demon story, and MANY still believe the story is true to this day. Yet the evidence for fraud is overwhelmingly damning.
I knew the cult experts at Cornerstone magazine that exposed Warnke, namely Eric Pement and Jon Trott. They often shared their stories with me, and I attended many of the same “cult awareness” gatherings in the 80′s. They were very thorough on their investigations. The promise of a major lawsuit against Cornerstone kept them honest.
I used to study demonology, and have attended secular conferences on Satanism, Deception and Discernment. I have attended classes by Christian magician Danny Korem, as well as non-Christian magicians regarding their take on this phenomena, and have seen most of the movies out there on this subject as well as all the old horror movies. I am a fan of Ambrose Bierce and Edgar Allen Poe (not implying they are Satanists, of course, but the subject is similar). I also enjoy all books on cold reading. All of this stuff is very simple and primal; nothing that a gypsy or car salesman couldn’t figure out. I believe in using the principle of Occam’s Razor to clarify your mind and reject faulty arguments.
Satanists of the Richard Ramirez style are “wannabe” losers for the most part, with a few “sharp dogs” interspersed. They want you to believe they have power over you. Their power is that like voodoo. As with many coercive ploys, it is the power that YOU GIVE THEM that determines how successful they are. They have no real physical powers.
I used to walk from Bethel to Montague Street and uptown Brooklyn areas on weekends. I would often see the street hustlers with their card games, shell tricks, and other intriguing scams to fleece the public. They seemed magical, which was their draw.
Yet just like the coin toss at the carnival, I could be sure of three things: (1) it was rigged, and (2) it was entertaining. Yet, (3) some people will be fleeced of their money. “Satan” will fleece you, too.
 In 1991, Cornerstone magazine launched an investigation into Warnke’s life and testimony. The previous year, that magazine had debunked the story recounted in Satan’s Underground, by Lauren Stratford who claimed her deep involvement in Satanism led her to partake in a ritual in which her own child was sacrificed. After this exposé, which showed that Stratford’s alleged child never existed, Cornerstone journalists MikeHertenstein and Jon Trott investigated Warnke. They investigated Warnke’s life, from interviews with over 100 personal friends and acquaintances, to his ministry’s tax receipts. Their investigation turned up damaging evidence of fraud and deceit.
The investigation revealed pictures of Warnke taken during the precise time of his alleged status as a Satanist priest. Instead of an emaciated drug-addict sporting long fingernails and waist-length hair, the pictures showed Warnke to be a typical ‘square’ of the mid-1960s. The investigation refuted, for instance, Warnke’s claims that he and mass-murderer Charles Manson had attended a Satanic ritual — Manson was in federal prison at the time. It uncovered that before even joining the Navy, where Warnke claims to have converted, he had been involved with a college Christian ministry, Campus Crusade for Christ. The investigation also revealed the unflattering circumstances surrounding Warnke’s multiple marriages, affairs, and divorces. Most critically, however, the investigation showed how Warnke could not possibly have done the many things he claimed to have done throughout his nine-month tenure as a Satanist, much less become a drug-addicted dealer orbecome a Satanic high priest.