Tag Archives: Catholic church

Miracle in Missouri

Mysterious priests, guardian angels, and…aliens?

1950s VINTAGE POSTCARD Angel with Children On Bike and Dog

Check out the update at the end of this post.

No one wants to debunk an inspiring, heartwarming, faith-affirming “angel” story. But somebody has to be the grownup around here.

Last Sunday morning, there was a serious two-car crash on Highway 19 near Center, Missouri. Aaron Smith, 26, struck Katie Lentz, a 19-year-old on her way to church, head-on. Lentz was pinned against the steering wheel of her totaled car with a broken femur and other injuries, unable to move. After nearly an hour of unsuccessful rescue efforts, Lentz asked the rescue crew to pray with her. They obliged.
That’s when the mystery priest materialized. “He came up and approached the patient, and offered a prayer,” New London Fire Chief Raymond Reed told KHQA-TV. “It was a Catholic priest who had anointing oil with him. A sense of calmness came over her, and it did us as well.” The priest prayed that the tools being used on the car would work so that Lentz could be removed.
Moments later, the  Hannibal Fire Department arrived.
After the jaws of life were used and Lentz was extracted, people began to wonder if the priest was an angel. He came out of nowhere, vanished without a trace, and doesn’t seem to be attached to any of the area’s Catholic churches. He also doesn’t appear in any photos taken at the scene. The story has appeared in USA Today, the New York Daily News, and the Washington Times, and is now blowing up the Internet, with many people feeling that the mystery priest was either a kindly good Samaritan who is too humble to make himself known, or an honest-to-goodness angel whose prayer facilitated a miraculous rescue.


“They were Asian. I think they were speaking…Asian.”

It’s a beautiful story, but on closer inspection it’s just plain weird. For one thing, an officer who was at the scene claims he had a little chit-chat with the priest.
“My first thought was that it would possibly send the wrong message to Katie that maybe we had called a priest and thought she wasn’t going to make it. So I went back and talked to the priest and told him we were worried she would think we’d given up hope. He said, ‘I just want to anoint her,’ and so we just let him come up to the scene,” Ralls County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Adair told WTKR-TV.

Secondly, the priest’s prayer didn’t even work. He prayed that the inefficient cutting tools the rescue workers were using would suddenly start working properly. They didn’t. Lentz was rescued because the fire department – which was already en route when the praying began – reached the scene with the right tools for the job. This would have happened with or without prayer.

Thirdly, and most significantly, we have some extremely conflicting descriptions of what the mystery priest looked like. A composite sketch shows a balding man in his ’40s, with a narrow nose. Another witness saw a priest who looked like Walter Matthau.
Adair insists the man he saw is “not even remotely close” to the composite sketch. Adair thinks he was 60 to 65, about 5’6″, with an olive complexion and a “very strong” accent.
No one has said the priest was elderly, yet commentators have speculated that the spirit of the controversial saint Padre Pio, who was 81 when he died in 1968, might have visited the scene of the crash in spirit.

This is not the first time “angels” have looked different to every witness. In the Cokeville Elementary hostage crisis of 1986, several children reported seeing angels in the classroom where a deranged gunman and his wife were holding authorities at bay with explosives while making outrageous demands. Several of the children claimed to have seen a “beautiful lady” who herded them toward the windows. Sisters Rachel and Katie Walker saw beings that glowed like light bulbs hovering above the heads of the other hostages. Nathan Hartley said the angel looked like his great grandmother.
The thing is, if you’re going to believe in angels just because a group of schoolchildren saw them, then you’d better start believing in aliens, too. In 1994, 60 students at the Ariel School in Ruwa, Zimbabwe claimed to have seen an alien emerge from a landed craft in the schoolyard. Unlike the Cokeville children, these kids gave consistent physical descriptions of a bald little man with huge black eyes (with the exception of one little girl who saw long, lustrous hair on the creature).
What? You still don’t believe in aliens? Then why don’t you go back to wanking to Cosmos, you black-hearted materialist bastard?

Ariel School Sketches

Pictures drawn by the Ariel School children

Yes, I’m being silly, but there’s a point here: You are not obligated to believe in angels (or aliens) on the say-so of traumatized people who may be suffering crisis hallucinations, or misinterpreting the actions of a kindly stranger, or even just flat-out lying.
There are those who would argue that God’s messengers appear to each of us differently, coming to us in the form that is most familiar and comforting to us. In that case, I fully expect my guardian angel to be a taco that poops ice cream.

the-ice-cream-crapping-taco

My hero.

UPDATE: The mystery priest has been identified. He is a local priest, Father Patrick Dowling. He has gray hair, resembles the composite sketch far more than Walter Matthau, and was en route to Mass when he stopped at the crash site. Now can we stop this angel/ghost business?

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Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: The Top 10 Conspiracy Theories About Popes and/or the Vatican

popemark

The retirement of Benedict XVI has unleashed a shit-tonne of conspiracy theories. In a March 1 interview with Howard Stern, Alex Jones declared Benedict stepped down because of “transvestite orgies”. Others insist pedophilia must be involved, though there is scant evidence to support that. There’s also talk of a secret dossier about clerical misdeeds, last year’s “Vatileaks” scandal, and Vatican money laundering. What the conspiranoids aren’t talking about is Benedict’s advanced age, or the fact that he attempted to retire three times before being elected pope.

Conspiracy theories about the pope and the Vatican are so easy to believe, in large part, because the Vatican of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has been visited by more than its share of conspiracies, cover-ups, and scandals:

  • The very establishment of Vatican City as an independent state may have been based on a forgery, the Donation of Constantine.
  • During WWII, several high-ranking Nazis were able to flee Europe with Vatican passports, thanks to a sympathetic bishop.
  • In the early ’70s, a minor investigation by the New York City district attorney’s racketeering squad led to the discovery that organized crime figures had trafficked millions in dollars worth of stolen and forged stocks all over the world…and roughly $1 billion of those bogus stocks resided in Vatican Bank vaults (see Richard Hammer’s The Vatican Connection).
  • A decade later, powerful Vatican officials were found to be part of a vast banking scheme that involved fictitious financial institutions, controlled from behind the scenes by the sinister Licio Gelli and members of his faux Masonic lodge, Propaganda Due (P2).
  • Recently, it has come to light that the cover-up of child molestation within the Catholic Church went all the way up to the Vatican.
  • Then there is the abduction of 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi from the Vatican in 1983, which was badly mishandled by Vatican authorities, likely leading to the girl’s murder.
  • Then we have the tragic worldwide legacy of residential/industrial schools, magdalenes, and Catholic-run orphanages. From 1950 until the early ’70s, Irish nuns sold infants on a first-come, first-served basis (see Mike Milotte’s Banished Babies: The Secret History of Ireland’s Baby Export Business).

Add to this a couple of Dan Brown novels, anti-Catholic frauds like the Taxil hoax and The Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk, and a parade of memorable Catholic villains in film and literature, and it’s no wonder so many non-Catholics are willing to believe the worst.

Leaving aside the more outré conspiracy theories, like Leo Zagami‘s Illuminati/Satanism nonsense about the Jesuits and the Pope being able to summon demons (aliens) from other dimensions and Ed Chiarini’s belief that Benedict is actually Robert Blake, here are the Top 10 Conspiracy Theories About the Pope and/or the Vatican:

10. There was a female pope. The fable that one pope was actually a woman in disguise first surfaced in a thirteenth-century chronicle written by the Dominican historian Jean Mailly. Mailly recorded that in 1099, a pope went into labour whilst mounting “his” horse, and was subsequently dragged and stoned to death by the outraged citizens of Rome. Accounts written later in the same century can’t agree on a date for “Pope Joan‘s” or “Pope Joanna’s” rule, and today most historians realize that the recorded popes were the only popes. There simply isn’t a mysterious two-year gap in which Joan/Joanna could have served.
The legend of a lady pope spawned another legend that still persists, though: That each new pope must submit to a gender test in which an examiner feels his privates to ensure he has well-formed testicles. This test even appears in the very first episode of The Borgias, when Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI (Jeremy Irons) resignedly sits on a toilet-like chair so a papal lackey can thrust a hand beneath his gown and declare “Habet duos testiculos et bene pendentes (he has two well-hung testicles)!”. However, there is no evidence that gender exams have ever been conducted on popes.
9. The Soviet Union and/or the CIA was behind the attempted assassination of John Paul II in 1981. Even though would-be assassin Ali Agca was Turkish, Soviet involvement was something John Paul himself reportedly suspected at one time, as Russia was certainly not pleased with his support of the Solidarity labour movement in Poland. The problem with this theory is that not even the so-called “Bulgarian connection” initially described by Agca has been confirmed, much less a KGB plot.
8. The Third Secret of Fatima was suppressed for years, and/or the publicly revealed Third Secret was fabricated because the real Secret is too explosive. The three child seers of Fatima were entrusted with three secrets by the Virgin Mary, but it was not until WWII erupted that the only surviving seer, Lucia Santos, revealed the contents of the first two secrets and wrote down the third. Pope Pius XII expressed no interest in the Third Secret until 1957, and even then merely squirreled it away in a safe without reading it. It wasn’t until 1980 that John Paul II told a small audience in Germany that the Third Secret involved an epic disaster that would kill millions – possibly a nuclear holocaust. Yet he waited a full 20 years to have the Third Secret published, after revealing it had foretold his own attempted assassination.
Some Catholics still weren’t satisfied. They decried the published Third Secret as a fake, insisting the real secret was too politically sensitive and/or damaging to the Church to be revealed. Others pointed out that Lucia wanted the secret to be published before 1960, meaning the Church had suppressed it for over 40 years.
7. The “black pope” of the Jesuit order is the true ruler of the Vatican and/or the world. Jesuits have long been the favourite target of anti-Catholic crusaders, and conspiracy theories about their shady doings abound. In some conspiranoid circles, it is believed the general of the Jesuit order is secretly revered as the “black pope”, and that it is he – rather than the dude in the hat – who controls the Vatican. Here is just one of many recent examples of this theory.
6. The Knights of Malta, headquartered in the Vatican, control the world, and Opus Dei is a cult-like organization that is trying to extend its tentacles into every major government on the planet. Robert Anton Wilson was perhaps the foremost modern proponent of the idea that the Knights of Malta exert a massively disproportionate influence on world events, and were behind everything from Nazi infiltration of the CIA to the Vatican bank scandals of the ’70s and ’80s (see his article in a 1989 issue of Spin, for example). David Icke has speculated that Benedict was “fired” by the Knights of Malta. Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, with its Opus Dei villains and ancient conspiracies, gave expression to concerns about the cult-like devotion and prominence of Opus Dei members.
It’s true that Opus Dei and the KoM contain many powerful, highly-placed members, but Catholic “secret societies” don’t seem to be any more dangerous than other fraternal organizations.
5. Pope Pius XII was complicit in the Holocaust. Catholic writer John Cornwell has even gone so far as to dub him “Hitler’s Pope” in his 1999 book of the same name. However, many commentators have discredited Cornwell’s claims, pointing out that Pius XII spoke out against the persecution of German Jews and was not sympathetic to the Nazi cause. Even Cornwell has conceded that Pius’s “scope of action” was very limited in regard to Hitler.
4. “The EU is a means of undoing the Reformation and extending Vatican sovereignty over Britain”. So reads the title of an opinion piece by Adrian Hilton published in the 30 August 2003 issue of The Spectator. Hilton (along with a few like-minded critics of the European Union) contends that the establishment of the EU fell perfectly in line with the Church’s aim for a one-world religion, or at least a pan-European one. But Catholic hegemony has not materialized in Europe over the past decade, and is incredibly unlikely to do so in the foreseeable future.
3. Islam was invented by the Catholic Church as a means of controlling Middle Eastern peoples. This bit of WTFery comes from Alberto Rivera via Christian pamphleteer Jack Chick, the same guy who brought us John Todd and Edna “I Married Satan” Moses.
Rivera was a Spanish Christian who in the ’70s began claiming that, during his time as a Jesuit priest, he learned from his superiors that Muhammad had been conned by priests and nuns into believing he was the prophet of a new religion. Their aim was to destroy the Jews and non-Catholic Christians of the world, paving the way for Catholicism as the one-world religion (see Chick’s comic-book tract The Prophet).
He also alleged the Church faked the Fatima apparitions, created Nazism, and killed JFK (among other things).
When Rivera realized the Church was also behind Freemasonry, he left the priesthood and denounced Catholicism. As payback, the Jesuits abducted and tortured him.
Chick was so taken with Rivera’s tale of Catholic treachery that he turned it into a fawning biography and several comic-book tracts. Other, more diligent, Christians subsequently discovered that Rivera had never even been a priest.
2. John Paul I was murdered. In his 1984 book In God’s Name, David Yallop contends that the “smiling pope”, who died just 33 days after taking office, was killed, probably because he was planning to dismiss and/or excommunicate high-ranking officials who were also Freemasons, investigate the massively corrupt Vatican Bank, replace Chicago cardinal John Cody, and permit Catholic women to use artificial birth control.
The Vatican tried to counter Yallop’s claims by commissioning Catholic author John Cornwell to write his own book on John Paul I’s death. Cornwell disappointed them by publishing A Thief in the Night, which argues that although John Paul may have died from a pulmonary embolism, people close to John Paul I tampered with his body after discovering it.
1. The pope is not the pope. The pope is a powerful guy, so it shouldn’t be any surprise that there are dozens of pretenders to the hat, known as “antipopes” or “conclavists”. These faux popes often lead small, cultish sects. The French-Canadian Apostles of Infinite Love were led by two popes, one of whom was under investigation for an array of alleged extortion and sex-abuse offenses for 34 years. The Palmarian Church in Spain has had three popes since 1978, and also declared its own saints and martyrs (including, inexplicably, Pope Paul VI). Until their last pope died in 2011, he had some competition from another Spaniard named Joaquín Llorens, who made himself Pope Alexander IX in 2005. There’s even a pope in Kansas – David Bawden. Bawden claims there hasn’t been a legitimate Roman pope since Pius XII, and in 1990 (at the relatively tender age of 30) was “elected” pope by a conclave of laypeople that included himself and his parents, Kennett and Tickie Bawden (owners of a thrift store called The Question Mark). Bawden calls himself Pope Michael I. His Apostolic Palace is a rundown farmhouse he shares with his mom.
The creepiest of these pretenders is the Australian cult leader William Kamm, a thrice-convicted sex offender who says he is Benedict’s rightful successor. He also seems to think John Paul II will be bodily resurrected at some point.

Thanks to Schwarherz for venturing into the wacky world of antipopes.

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Filed under Conspiracy Theories, Controversies, Cults, Politics, Religion, Scams, Secret Societies, Wednesday Weirdness Roundup

Origins

Bet you’re all excited to hear more about chemtrails, aren’t you? Yeah, me neither.

Swallowing The Camel

The Origins of Halloween

There we are, that’s better. My name is Schwarherz, and I run the Heathen Ramblings blog. SME and Hans are taking a little break for their sanity, so they asked me to come talk to you about Halloween. It would seem that some “former Satanists” and “former Pagans” who “found Jesus” (he was behind the couch the whole time! Who would’a thunk it?) have said some…interesting things to say about the origin of this particular holiday.

Satan

This guy had nothing to do with it.

That’s right, if your preconception of the origin of Halloween involves “Satan” or “The Devil” you can throw it out the window right now. If you don’t think you can do that, then I won’t be able to teach you anything and you might as well stop reading now. I’ll wait for those of you who are closed-minded to leave.

They gone? Good.

Now, Halloween is special (and, in this case, by special I mean not special at all) among religious holidays in that it has multiple origins. First I’ll discuss the one that many people are apparently unaware of: Samhain (don’t try to pronounce it, you’ll only embarrass yourself).

Celtic Knot

Samhain is a Gaelic/Celtic festival that marks the beginning of winter, and thus the end of the harvest season. As such, it is also a Day of the Dead. Traditionally it is held at the halfway point between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice. This can be…tricky to calculate from year to year, so in more modern times it is simply rounded to October 31 or November 1. In many traditions, including Wiccan and Celtic traditions, it is believed that the veil between our world and the “otherworld” is thinned on this day. This allows spirits of the deceased, among other entities, to cross over and interact with our world. One of the more common traditions in the Pagan community is to set an extra place at the table on Samhain for the spirits of the dearly departed to attend and spend time with their loved ones once more. In ancient times all kinds of sacrifices were made. However, as Samhain is at its core a harvest festival, humans were rarely sacrificed. Most sacrifices were, in fact, livestock and other items that were truly “harvested.” Living sacrifices have fallen out of favor with the modern Pagan community as the times have changed. Today any sacrifices made tend to be things like bread crumbs and grape juice/wine and, of course, human sacrifices are completely forbidden. Quite the contrast to the tales of “door-to-door sacrifice collectors” and the like, is it not? Other practices included carving of harvested materials into faces to ward off evil spirits, bonfires, and general revelry.

Cross

The other origin of Halloween lies within Christianity itself. All Hallows Eve is the first day of the Hallowmas, a holiday commemorating all of those who have been beatified. It starts on October 31 and finishes on November 1 with All Saints Day. November 2 is All Souls Day, and commemorates the souls of those who have yet to be purified and reach Heaven. Personally, I was raised Lutheran and converted to Paganism when I was 13, so I admittedly don’t know much about Hallowmas. I’m also not going to trust Wikipedia 100% on something like this. If you’d like more information on it I would suggest a trip to your local library or bookstore (just…stay away from the conspiracy junk, ok?).

Glen Beck "Arguing With Idiots" book cover

Avoid things like this

As for the other rumors that have been spread around by these phonies, it almost makes me feel dirty just responding to them, but here goes.

Druids burned candles made of human fat: Unfortunately, due to the persecution of Pagans in the last several hundred years we may never know the truth of this. However, as the Samhain sacrifices were done via fire this seems unlikely in the extreme. Also, because human sacrifice does not occur in modern-day Paganism, any rumor of this occurring in the modern era has to be ruled as completely false or done by those only claiming to be pagan.

Sacrifice of Virgins and Door-To-Door Sacrifice Collectors: To my knowledge, no deity demands a virgin sacrifice. Also, as stated previously, sacrifices of humans was rare in the Druidic community. Usually those sacrificed would be a criminal of some sort. Think of it as an ancient form of the death penalty, as it were. Occasionally there would be willing sacrifices, but those were volunteers, not “door-to-door” by any means. Door-to-door sacrifice collectors just would NOT have happened. Population growth was too important to the ancients.

Coexist

All-in-all, you have to realize, what these “former pagans” and “former satanists” want is attention. Maybe they truthfully grew up in an abusive or neglected home. Perhaps they grew up showered in attention and then emerged into the real world; upon which they discovered that not everyone was willing to give them their undivided attention. Or maybe, just maybe, they truthfully believe that paganism and Satanism are the same thing, and that both deal with the Christian devil (neither do) and, since they couldn’t find anyone who had converted, they invented one. Themselves. Whatever their backgrounds or motives, their intentions are the same. Attention. Whether for themselves or for their churches. They become the grown-up (or in some cases elderly) versions of the little kid that everyone wants to backhand in the grocery store because their parent won’t discipline them. The difference here is that YOU can discipline them. How? Call them out on their lies (they will get very angry and accuse you of being “them” but ignore it), politely tell them to “keep their opinion to themselves” or, best yet, completely ignore them. Let them disappear into obscurity.

The truth always wins out in the end.

semperveritas

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Filed under Conspiracy Theories, Cults, Hoaxes, Politics, Religion, Satanic Panic, Secret Societies, The Prodigal Witch

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup

Fake nuns with fake Anthrax, real vampires, UN conspiranoia, hateful lies about hate speech, and Bigfoot’s disgusting ancestry

  • After years of top-secret lab work, Dr. Melba Ketchum has announced the results of her DNA analysis of alleged Bigfoot hair and tissue samples (including, perhaps, the “Bigfoot steak” that was central to the Sierra Kills hoax). The upshot: Bigfoot isn’t an ape or a human. It’s descended from an unknown primate and a human female, who mated about 15,000 years ago. Ew. Ketchum is calling for Bigfoot to be afforded full Constitutional rights, as an aboriginal. Best title about this, to date: “Boffin claims Bigfoot DNA reveals BESTIAL BONKING“. Not even avid Sasqwatchers are wholefootedly accepting Ketchum’s results, though; Bigfoot Lunch Club, for instance, shares a few of the same reasonable doubts expressed by the Houston Chronicle‘s “SciGuy”, Eric Berger (and the rest of the scientific community).
  • In the Serbian village of Zarozje, a different inhuman beast is supposed to be amuck. The mayor and the village council have warned locals that Zarozje’s legendary vampire, Sava Savanovic, might be pissed off and looking for blood now that the abandoned mill where he has dwelt for years untold has finally collapsed. In all apparent seriousness, officials have advised villagers to stock up on garlic and religious paraphernalia to keep Savanovic at bay. But given the vampire’s tourist appeal, garlic might not be the only thing that smells in Zarozje…
  • “Big Brother is watching, and he really is gay.” That’s the title of a chapter in Dr. Michael Brown’s book A Queer Thing Happened to America. In a recent webcast of an interview with Brown, Rick Joyner of MorningStar Ministries claimed that at a Christian conference he attended in Switzerland last summer, Swiss attendees refused to use the words “wife” or “husband” to describe their spouses. Instead, they used the word “partner”.  Asked why, a Swiss man supposedly informed Joyner that gender-specific titles for your significant other are classified as hate speech in Switzerland; you can actually go to jail for saying you have a wife or a husband. I’m calling BS on this one. Such radical restrictions on free speech would raise an international outcry, and there simply isn’t one. Either Joyner was misinformed, or he’s lying. His claims are remarkably similar to hate crime urban legends and misinformation that have been circulating in the Christian community for years: Hate crime legislation will prevent pastors from preaching against homosexuality, gays are trying to ban straight marriage, legislation could forbid homeschooling parents from sharing their opinions on gay marriage with their kids, etc.
    When it comes to human rights, gays are not at the top of the list, as a particularly nasty bit of proposed legislation in Uganda shows.
  • The last time I wrote about fake nuns, there was a serial killer/cult leader involved. This time, a fake nun in England simply sent some white powder to politicians and aristocrats because she was annoyed by their worship of Satan. Over the summer and autumn, 71-year-old “Sister” Ruth Augustus mailed envelopes stuffed with some harmless substance to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Baroness Scotland, Baroness Kennedy, and MP Edward Leigh.  On the envelopes Augustus had written “devil worshipping”, “freemason”, “sex with 30 plus women”, “stop this evil devil worshipping”, and “stop these evil devil-worshipping freemasons.” The one addressed to Baroness Scotland also bore a swastika.  Augustus refers to herself as a disabled Catholic nun who works for a children’s charity, but she does not actually belong to any Catholic order, and does not seem to be employed by any charity organization.  For sending “noxious substances” through the mail, she has been ordered to undergo mental health treatment and serve a two-year community order.
  •  Also this autumn, the entire town of Gypsum, Colorado, rallied behind a 9-year-old cancer patient named Alex Jordan, a boy no one in the community had ever met. According to a Jordan family friend, Alex’s parents relocated to Gypsum earlier this year so the boy could spend his final days in the mountains. He was dying of leukemia, after defeating it two years earlier. From his hospital bed, Alex enthusiastically followed the local high school football team, the Eagle Valley Devils, over the Internet. As soon as they learned about their number one fan, team members signed a football for Alex, began displaying the letter A on their helmets, and even wrote his name on the fence that surrounds their field. Soon, hundreds of other locals joined a Facebook page in support of Alex. When they learned at the end of October that Alex had died, Gypsum residents mourned the brave little boy who had become the Devils’ unofficial mascot. But, as in the cases of Kaycee Nicole Swenson, Jonathan Jay White, and Anthony Godby Johnson, a few people wondered why no one had actually seen this kid or his parents. The only individual with a known connection to the Jordan family was that mysterious family friend who had first mentioned him to local reporters and football parents, 22-year-old Briana Augustenborg. As it turned out, Augustenborg had created “Alex” out of thin air, for reasons that are not entirely clear (she didn’t attempt to raise any money, and didn’t accept any gifts or donations). Alex Jordan now joins a long list of cancer-related hoaxes that preyed upon the tenderhearted.
  • Meanwhile, UN conspiracy theories are in full bloom – and they’re actually getting a bit of mainstream attention. A small but vocal coalition of U.S. senators led by Rick Santorum is opposing ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, arguing that it will impinge upon parental rights, if not actually make every disabled child a ward of the New World Order global superstate (a view shared by the Home School Legal Defense Association and other homeschooling advocates). Other Republicans have succumbed to Agenda 21 paranoia, believing the UN and Obama are conspiring to forcibly relocate rural dwellers, and/or control their minds.

I would love to combine all these stories into a TV series about a gay, undead Bigfoot. He must defeat a bogus nun who pretends to have cancer and sends hate mail to the UN.

 

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Filed under Bigfoot, Conspiracy Theories, Education, Hoaxes, Mind Control, Misinformation, Paranoia, Politics, Religion, Satanic Panic

The Prodigal Witch Part XVIII: Today’s Former Satanists

The tradition continues….

Jeff Harshbarger

Jeff Harshbarger is a South Carolina minister who claims he was a teenage victim of Satanic deception and demonic possession. In 2005 he published an autobiography about his years as a Satanist, From Darkness to Light: How to Rescue Someone You Love From the Occult.
His Refuge Ministries educates others about Wicca, Satanism and the occult, with the goal of persuading them to abandon those practices in favour of Christ. His new book featuring the testimonies of other “exes”, Dancing with the Devil, is due to come out next year.
Refuge is a member of the Evangelical Ministries to New Religions, and has some connections to Reachout Trust U.K., the organization that promoted the false Satanism stories of Audrey Harper and Derry Mainwaring Knight and drummed up Satanic panic throughout the UK in the late ’80s (Reachout member Doug Harris was one of Harshbarger’s teachers at Bible college).

Jeff Harshbarger with wife Liz

On The 700 Club, Harshbarger explained that an evil presence was first drawn to him when he was a child, after he and his brother played with a Ouija board their parents had given to them. Experimenting with the board on his own, he felt increasingly closer to this presence. This harks back not only to The Exorcist, but to the dire warnings about Dungeons & Dragons and Ouija boards issued by John Todd, Doreen Irvine, and other “former Satanists” of the ’70s and ’80s. After all those lizardpeople from Mars and Illuminati blood rituals, I have to admit it’s kinda refreshing to return to that quainter time when Satan used mass-produced boardgames to capture kids’ souls.

If you screw around with this particular board, you’ll end up possessed and depressed.

As Jeff entered his teens, the evil presence gave him psychic powers and the ability to travel outside his body.
In a promotional video for Refuge Ministries (below), Harshbarger gives only the vaguest details about how he actually became a Satanist. In 1978, when Jeff was 17, “another guy” (elsewhere described as an 18-year-old assistant manager at the store where Jeff worked part-time) invited Jeff to his apartment and told him all about the wonders of Devil worship. Awed by this charismatic older teen, Jeff was eager to sign on. The two boys prayed to Satan for Jeff to be possessed by demons, and voila! Insta-possession! The demons gave him a rush of power, but over time they sapped his strength and betrayed him. He could hear them speaking to him and through him, and over time he was able to see them, too.

At college, Jeff and the Other Guy formed a teen coven, recruiting half a dozen boys to take part in “elaborate rituals” with them. All of these kids subsequently became possessed by demons. Pangs of conscious and a growing conviction that Satanism was wrong almost led Jeff to commit suicide in 1981. When he actually attempted to shoot himself, however, he couldn’t pull the trigger. His attempt to hang himself also failed (on his website, he mentions that he offered himself up to his fellow Satanists as a human sacrifice, an offer they evidently refused). Instead, God spoke to him audibly. Jeff fell to his knees and accepted Christ. He had been a Satanist for just four years.
It was surprisingly easy for him to get rid of the demons. “Black witch” Doreen Irvine had to undergo seven months of grueling exorcism, but all Harshbarger had to do was go to a church and ask a member to pray over him. As soon as the woman commanded the demons to leave, they did. Poof! Insta-exorcism!

Harshbarger gives a typically flat, stereotypical portrayal of how Satanists think and behave. They all want power more than anything. They don’t care about anyone but themselves. What he doesn’t seem to realize is that this describes a good percentage of teenagers who don’t worship the Devil.
He was, admittedly, a self-styled Satanist. He and his mentor didn’t belong to any organized group, assembled their rituals in willy-nilly fashion, and took part in juvenile stunts like Bible desecration (though Irvine, Mike Warnke and others insisted – falsely – that this is something practiced by authentic Satanists).

The Refuge Ministries promo page for Dancing with the Devil actually contains a blurb from “former Satanist” David Berkowitz. Son of Sam has long insisted that his crimes were committed at the behest of a violent Satanic cult, and he now claims to be a Christian (though his correspondence with another serial killer would indicate this, too, is a ruse designed to attract attention and sympathy). Sadly, many gullible folks have bought into this.

Harshbarger takes a Bible-based approach to the occult, and doesn’t seem to employ any of the fire-&-brimestone hyperbole or absurdly tall tales we’ve seen from Bill Schnoebelen and Mike Warnke. Nor does he have a criminal record or a history of deception, like John Todd and Derry Mainwaring Knight. He doesn’t claim to have been the leader of thousands of devil worshipers, or part of a worldwide Illuminati conspiracy, or a third-generation warlock. In fact, he comes across as a pretty low-key guy who probably did dabble in some form of Satanism in his younger days. But his story matches nearly every point of the familiar outline laid down by the original, bogus ex-Satanist testimonies (Doreen Irvine, Mike Warnke).

- A deprived childhood (his father was a violent alcoholic, his parents divorced)
– An absence of time markers (in Harshbarger’s case, there are virtually no details at all. We know only that he practiced Satanism from 1978 to 1981)
– Lack of detail about the beliefs of Satanists (Harshbarger mentions only a craving for power and wealth), but extraneous detail about the practices of Satanists (invoking demons, communicating with spirits).
– Helplessness. Rather than being led into Satanic evil through his/her bad choices, the protagonist is usually a naive and vulnerable innocent victimized, lured, or coerced into sin by more worldly people.
– Supernatural abilities and events (Harshbarger communicated with demons via Ouija board, manifested ESP, astrally projected, and was later possessed by demons)
– A remarkable conversion experience (after God intervened in his suicide attempt, he embraced Christ and demons were expelled from his body with minimal effort)
– Complete redemption and forgiveness through Christ
– Expert advice on the occult. After sharing his/her testimony, the ex-witch or former Satanist gives us pointers on how to avoid occultism, prevent children from becoming involved in it, and/or how to expunge it from our communities. There are typically warnings about Ouija boards, Halloween, and occult literature.  Harshbarger dumps Eastern religion and New Age beliefs into the same pot as Satanism.

Perhaps the number one reason why Harshbarger’s story isn’t believable is that it exists in at least two different versions. On The 700 Club and in the promotional video below, he describes his initiation into Satanism as a demonic possession. But in a written version of his testimony available online, he claims he started out with LaVeyan Satanism – which has nothing to do with literal demons, nor even a literal Satan – then worked his way up to demonology. So which is it?


Refuge Ministries promotional video

Betty Brennan

Betty Brennan is a Brooklyn-born New Yorker who claims she was a Devil worshiper for most of her adult life. She is the only practicing Catholic in this series. That’s quite ironic, given that many of the other “former Satanists” included Catholics in their lists of Satanic baddies. Bill Schnoebelen stated that all Satanic high priests are required to become Catholic priests.  Leo Zagami declared that each and every Catholic works as a spy for the Vatican, which is at the head of the Satanic Illuminati.

Brennan’s message is so meticulously tailored to suit fellow Catholics that I doubt it would be of much interest to the evangelical Christians that ordinarily flock to these conversion stories. She has even told her audiences that Satanists are anti-Catholic (she herself was a “real persecutor of the Church”), and are imbued with Satanic powers that allow them to pick out consecrated communion wafers from unconsecrated ones.
Chosen faith aside, Brennan’s tale fits perfectly into the the ex-Satanist testimony template. Let’s take a look:

- A Dickensian childhood. Betty’s father died when she was a child. Unable to cope with her grief and raise a family at the same time, her mother shipped Betty and her brother to overseas Catholic boarding schools, where they lived isolated and unhappy lives.
An early introduction to Jesus that would pave the way for salvation later in life. Betty’s mother was a devout Catholic, and raised her children to follow in her footsteps. They went to church, received religious instruction, and attended only Catholic schools.
An absence of time markers. In her speeches, Betty always mentions how long she has been out of Satanism. But she provides no other dates at all. We don’t even know when she was born.

After graduating from boarding school, Betty returned to the States and married. One of her children was born with a terminal brain disease that resulted in a slow, agonizing death just two years later. Her daughter’s death devastated Betty and caused her to become furious with God.
Betty was a professional cellist. Shortly after her daughter died, she joined an orchestra that contained four or five Satanic priests. One of them, an older psychologist, befriended her. They had long, heartfelt chats over coffee, and she became emotionally dependent on the man.
One night, Betty insisted on accompanying her friend to a “party” held in an old barn. Reluctantly, he took her along with him, but asked her to remain outside. It didn’t take her long to figure out that a Satanic ceremony was being conducted. Instead of running away, she felt compelled to join her friend’s coven. In this respect, her story diverges from the standard testimony, in which a dewy innocent is lured into a cult.

Betty didn’t tell anyone she was a Satanist. She continued to pretend she was a Catholic. We have seen this subterfuge again and again in this series, yet in the world of real Satanism, adherents are proud of who they are and feel no need to hide their lifestyle. They certainly don’t feel obligated to pay lip service to another religion.

Betty is careful to note that although she was deeply immersed in the “upper echelons” of Satanism, she stopped short of human sacrifice, implying that others did engage in it. One wonders if she has reported this to the proper authorities – no one else in this series every bothered to do so. Just like Brennan, they shielded alleged homicidal Satanists by refusing to divulge their names. Betty does not even give the name of the form of Satanism she supposedly practiced.

- Lack of detail about the beliefs of Satanists (scripture, philosophy, etc.), but extraneous detail about the practices of Satanists (sacrifice, crime, etc.) This is particularly true in Brennan’s case. She conflates witchcraft with Satanism, and portrays the two belief systems as little more than magic shows for narcissistic, wayward people
Supernatural events and paranormal abilities are common. As mentioned above, the Satanists Betty knew could tell if a host was consecrated or not just by looking at it (sensing the presence of Christ’s flesh, I guess). Betty developed telekinetic powers and ESP. Later, she experienced spontaneous levitation, like Edna Moses supposedly did.
A remarkable conversion experience. Betty was working as a substitute teacher, carpooling with a colleague who happened to be Catholic. When this woman’s car broke down, she asked Betty to drive her to a healing Mass. Betty accompanied her into the church with the sole intent of interrupting the Mass by supernatural means. First she caused the lights to go out, but the priest produced candles. All her other tricks were foiled, as well. Eventually, the priest recognized that something was not quite right about Betty, and  gently confronted her. With very little coaxing, she confessed her Satanism.

Betty returned to Catholicism for real, but her deliverance from evil was a protracted affair. At each Mass she attended, she would invariably awe the other congregants by levitating.
Complete redemption and forgiveness through Christ
Expert advice on the occult. Betty has been very active in warning other Catholics about the dangers of anything non-Catholic, and urging them to gird themselves against occult influence with their faith. One of her talks is titled “The Family Under Attack: The Sacraments as Our Defense“.

Sources:

1. Undated, abridged speech by Betty Brennan @ Gloria.TV (this is from a Lighthouse Catholic Media CD titled “Former Satanist Becomes Catholic“)

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Filed under Cults, Religion, Satanic Panic, The Prodigal Witch

The Prodigal Witch Part XVII: More Illuminati Defectors

So far in this series, we have seen two people who claimed they were born into the Illuminati (John Todd, Doc Marquis), two women who claimed they were enslaved by the Illuminati (Cisco Wheeler, Arizona Wilder), one guy who says he joined the Illuminati of his own free will (BIll Schnoebelen), and another guy who hints he had some dealings with the Illuminati (Mike Warnke). Their accounts differed, dramatically so in some cases, but they all agreed on one thing: The Illuminati is pure evil, and all its members worship Satan or Lucifer. These next two Illuminati defectors have used that same basic script, adding a few of their own twists.

Leo Zagami in 2008, being interviewed by Kerry Cassidy



Leo Zagami 

 
Leo Zagami is the first European in this series, the youngest person in this series, the first one to claim he has returned to the Illuminati to help reform it, and the first to establish his own religion. He surfaced online in 2006, on a now-defunct site called Illuminati Confessions, and quickly gained a small but devoted following in the conspiracy community. No one had stepped forward to take the place of Arizona Wilder after she went quiet in 2003, so Zagami was offering up the first brand-new revelations from an Illuminati insider in three years. By this time, Todd was confined to a psychiatric ward, Schnoebelen had moved on to talking about his vampirism, and the other defectors had been out of the Illuminati for at least a decade. 
 
I have to admit, I don’t have much love for this guy. He’s certainly not as despicable as convicted rapist John Todd, but he definitely lacks the hucksterish charm of Warnke and Schnoebelen.  I found much of what he had to say to be bigoted, hateful nonsense. This guy doesn’t like Jews, Catholics (though he used to be one), Muslims (though he used to be one), or occultists (though he supposedly used to be one). He basically says the Third Reich was a Jewish creation, set up for the sole purpose of establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine. He says all Catholics are spies for the Vatican. He says Islam  is a Jesuit-created deception. He tells us the Vatican is riddled with high-level Muslim moles and Satanists.  (1)
Everything he has to say could have been gleaned from conspiracy paperbacks and a few websites; he has no startling revelations to offer, though he acts as if he’s dropping pearls of rare wisdom. Talking about demons, he tells us, “If you knew the reality what these entities were, you would not even touch them, you would just drove the other way.” (That’s another problem: His English is so dodgy that listening to his interviews or reading his website is an agonizing ordeal.)  (1)
Personal feelings aside, though, Zagami’s information simply doesn’t stand up to any amount of scrutiny. 
 
Leo’s Story
 
Unlike Marquis and Todd, Zagami wasn’t exactly born into the Illuminati. He claims, however, that some of his relatives were high-ranking members. This, combined with his aristocratic background, opened doors for him when he was in his early twenties. That’s when a family friend introduced him to Freemasonry, one of the most powerful branches of the Illuminati.
 
Zagami was born in Rome in 1970. His father, Elio Zagami, comes from an aristocratic Sicilian background (he is the son of the late Sicilian senator Leopoldo Zagami and the Marquisa di Gregorio). His mother, Jessica Lyon Young, is descended from European aristocracy. His maternal grandmother, the late bohemian novelist Anne Cumming (Felicity Mason), was a prominent member of the Illuminati. His maternal grandfather, writer Henry Lyon Young, was a first cousin of the Queen Mother.  (2)
“That means I’m technically a Sicilian Don and a Prince of the Sacred Roman Empire and a person protected by their own Vatican secret constitutions, so they can’t touch me,” Zagami once boasted to conspiranoid radio host Greg Szymanski. 
Zagami was raised as a Catholic, but introduced to the occult at an early age. His grandmother Mason gave him a copy of Aleister Crowley’s Book of Thoth when he was just 11 years old, and he often dipped into his father’s magical library.  (1)
In 1993, 23-year-old Leo was initiated into an irregular Masonic lodge. Between that initiation and his departure from the Illuminati in 2006, he was connected to a bewildering array of Masonic lodges (all irregular, with one exception), as well as the Ordo Templi Orientis, a few fraternal organizations, and some secret societies. Ultimately he became a member of something he calls the Committee of Monte Carlo, a Freemasonic lodge that serves not only as a hub for arms-dealing (Leo’s primary source of income at that time), but as a meeting place for “senior Masons” of various nationalities and traditions. It is also, of course, a front for the Illuminati. 
Zagami tells us that this Monte Carlo lodge was an offshoot of Propaganda Due, or P2, the infamous Italian lodge, and that he was groomed to take over the reigns of power from P2’s enigmatic “Puppet Master”, Licio Gelli. Thanks to his aristocratic background, he moved rapidly through the Freemasonic ranks to join the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree (a degree conferred only by the Scottish Rite Freemasons)
 
I have long been fascinated by Propaganda Due and the banking-related scandals that erupted around it in the ’80s. It’s a staggeringly complex web of fraud, murder, and blackmail that I can’t even begin to cover here, and much of what occurred remains a mystery. 
So you would expect this Zagami guy to offer up a lot of juicy, inside information about Gelli, P2’s inner workings, and the banking scandals, right? 
Then you’ll be disappointed. Wikipedia has more to say about Gelli than Leo Zagami does, and his brief recap of the scandals is P2 101. Seriously, you’ll learn more from listening to 5 minutes of Robert Anton Wilson than you will from listening to 5 hours of Zagami – and unfortunately, I did listen to 5 hours of Zagami. 
 
P2 effectively ceased to exist after its membership was exposed in 1981, and that occurred when Leo Zagami was about 11 years old. Are you telling me that one of the most powerful secret cabals in Italy was grooming a grade-school student to take over for the Puppet Master? Besides, Gelli already had a second-in-command, his business partner Umberto Ortoloni. 
 
Zagami’s mentor and “boss” within the Illuminati was the head of the Monte Carlo lodge. I thought Gelli was the head of this lodge? Well, never mind. That’s not the last contradiction you’ll see in this story. 
Leo made his money by dealing in weapons. He also worked as a club DJ and music producer, attracting fans all over the world. Somehow, he was also linked to NATO’s Operation Gladio. He went by several aliases. (2)
 
Zagami’s Illuminati isn’t headed by the Rothschilds, as most of the other Illuminati defectors in this series have stated, nor by Arizona Wilder’s horny French noble “Pindar”. And the Illuminati isn’t headquartered in California like John Todd, Mike Warnke, or Wilder would have you believe. No, this Illuminati is centred in Jerusalem and Rome. Zionists and the Vatican are at the top of the power pyramid. Jesuits (or as Zagami calls them, “Jesooites”), in particular, are very powerful within the Illuminati. The pope takes all his orders from the Jesuit General (in 2006, when Zagami first appeared on the conspiracy scene, this was Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach, the “Vatican’s top Satanist”).  (3)
This Illuminati strongly resembles the one described by Bill Schnoebelen, a surreal mishmash of occultism and ritual magick, Catholicism, Freemasonry, and New Age beliefs. The Ordo Templi Orientis is part of the Illuminati, as are Opus Dei and the Rotary clubs. Zagami even claims there’s a real Priory of Sion, though it’s not the same one Dan Brown used in The Da Vinci Code.  (4)
Aleister Crowley’s 1904 revelations are extremely important to them. The closest thing the Illuminati has to scripture is Crowley’s Book of the Law, though the Bible and the Q’ran also play significant roles (as we have seen throughout this series, no one can seem to agree on the central texts used by the world’s Satanic elite). 
Zagami says the primary goal of the Illuminati is to usher in the endtimes and the earthly kingdom of God. But its members are also Satanists who outwardly adhere to the three main religions. So I guess that makes them….Christians pretending to be Satanists pretending to be Christians, Muslims, and Jews? And if that’s not complicated enough, we have Muslim cardinals pretending to be Catholic (yet Zagami points out that Islam forbids the practice of magic, and the Vatican is steeped in occult practices – how does that work?).
For centuries, the Jesuits and the Pope have been practicing magicians who know how to summon demons from other dimensions. Today, these demons masquerade as aliens. The elite want you to believe that UFOs and ETs are unknown phenomena, because they can’t admit they’re conjuring demons with the use of black magic rituals. (1)
Sometimes, demons manifest as Reptilians
 
Like Arizona Wilder, Zagami identifies the late pseudohistorian Zecharia Sitchin as a source of disinformation. His 2007 book The End of Days was written by order of the Vatican to distract people from the real aliens and the real endtimes preparations. 
The late Monsignor Caraddo Balducci, one of the few high-ranking Catholic clerics to express interest in UFOs, was really an Illuminati demonologist. When he declared that ETs are not demonic, he was lying. 
The Jesuits, too, are masters of disinformation. They invented Planet X and Nibiru, and they are behind much of the ersatz spirituality of the New Age movement. Meanwhile, they were eager to establish an observatory on Mount Graham despite Native American opposition because they know that demons dwell on top of that mountain, and they like to keep an eye on the sky for astrological purposes. You see, the Vatican’s demon-invoking rituals have to be conducted at precise times in order to be effective. 
Never mind that the Mount Graham Observatory is an international establishment, actually consisting of several different observatories maintained by different nations. The site was selected for its elevation and the low level of light pollution in the vicinity, as most observatory sites are. 
Zagami insists the Jesooites churn out disinfo to mask the reality of our situation: We are in the midst of a continuous war waged between good and evil, angels and demons. Um. Isn’t that precisely what the Catholic Church teaches? 
 
Muslims, too, know how to summon djinn and use them for their own purposes. Zagami tells a rambling story about one of his ex-wife’s relatives, an “uncle or granddad” who had a farm. Using secret codes from the Q’ran, this farmer was able to summon demons to do all his farm work for him. (1)
 
Zagami’s Illuminati differs from Bill Schnoebelen’s in many key aspects. Leo apparently didn’t have to have sex with a fallen angel or converse with the dead as part of his initiation process, and he wasn’t required to become a Catholic priest. He didn’t have to convince seven people to sell their souls. These are all steps that Schnoebelen identifies as essential for all high-ranking Illuminati members. After a certain stage of illumination is reached, the initiate has to decide between lycanthropy and vampirism. Zagami has nothing to say about vampires and werewolves at all, so I guess he skipped that step. 
This Illuminati also differs from John Todd’s version. Zagami has worked as a club DJ, yet he doesn’t have anything to say about the demonic evils of music, while Todd told churchgoers that each and every musical artist signed to a major label must sell his/her soul to the Devil, and described how Satanic rituals were used to implant demons into every master recording. Also, Todd stated that very few Illuminati members are Jewish, while Zagami says the entire organization is controlled by Jews and Catholics. Todd said the central scripture of Satanism is the fictitious Necronomicon; Zagami says it’s Crowley’s Book of the Law
 
Zagami doesn’t drop as many names as Arizona Wilder once did, but he’s not as close-mouthed as Doc Marquis. He identifies key members of the Ordo Templi Orientis as CIA-controlled Illuminists. In addition to the Jesuit General Kolvenbach, he names the late Alberto Moscato as a high-ranking member and 33rd degree Mason, in charge of all the O.T.O’s Satanic activities in Italy. The now-defunct political party Alleanza Nazionale was flush with Illuminati members. Giorgio Balestrieri, head of the Rotary Club in New York, was one of Zagami’s superiors. Zagami claims Balestrieri is a weapons dealer and a P2 member. (1)  Olympic athlete Jean-Pierre Giudicelli is a P2 member. Massimo Introvigne is a Satanist, and was present for a Black Mass held in the Vatican in 2000. (3) These are just of the names – some obscure, some well-known – that Zagami sprinkles into his interviews. 
 
A dramatic conversion…sort of
 
Zagami began to have differences of opinion with Opus Dei and the American faction of the Illuminati in 2003.  He knew that some of the demons being invoked by himself and his cohorts posed a threat to the rest of mankind, and wanted to put a stop to the rituals associated with them. The CIA-controlled American arm of the Illuminati would not be swayed. This was the beginning of his disenchantment with the occult practices of the Illuminati. 
According to Zagami, rifts and battles are common among the various Illuminati factions. For example, Opus Dei and the Jesuits are at odds, each struggling for control. He was aligned with the Opus Dei faction, which doesn’t practice black magic as enthusiastically as the Jesuit faction.
Zagami tried to distance himself from the Illuminati at this time, but was unable to extricate himself from it entirely. Instead, he fomented a small revolution within the ranks of the European Illuminati. (1)
 
In 2004, Zagami secretly established his own religion, Matrixism. Go ahead and guess what it’s based on. 
Given the heavy gnostic Christian overtones in that film, you’d think gnostic Christianity would be the natural choice for Zagami. But no. He’d rather make up a religion based on a freaking movie. I’m not really sure what this religion is all about, and frankly I don’t care. For all I know, you take some drugs, sit in a chair, and pretend to do Kung Fu. If you’re interested, its tenets are laid out on Zagami’s website
 
A year later,  Zagami married a Sufi and converted to Islam. He wished to “infiltrate the bloodline of Prophet Mohammed”, whatever the hell that means. (2)
But he was still a…what, exactly? A Catholic Satanist Matrixist? 
 
In June 2006, Zagami discovered that former Italian president Francesco Cossiga had ordered Giorgio Balestrieri to have him killed if he didn’t follow a specific set of orders. (2)
The previous month, his wife had a dream about Balestrieri working for the Antichrist. 
In July 2006, Zagami visited London and observed first-hand the Illuminati preparations for the staged attacks of 7/7. Being a loyal Illuminati member at that time, he didn’t alert anyone to what was happening.
On the day the attacks actually occurred, Zagami’s son (his second child) was born. These events led him to the realization that the Illuminati isn’t working for the betterment of mankind, and he finally decided to break away. He emerged as a “whistleblower” later that year. His former cohorts were displeased, of course, and for his own safety Zagami relocated to Norway with his family. This contradicts his boast about being untouchable because he was “protected by their own Vatican secret constitutions”.
His first English-language interview was given to Greg Syzmanski in October, 2006. 
His popularity was limited mostly to rabid anti-Zionists like Szymanski, Jeff Rense and Henry Makow (whom I’ve mentioned before on this blog), hateful bigots like “Unhived Mind” (a conspiracy blog that refers to Mitt Romney as “Fagmaster”), and ultra-credulous conspiranoids like the Project Camelot duo. 
Zagami’s new mission was to expose and interfere with the Illuminati to the greatest extent possible. He claims that his first counter-Illuminati actions led to his arrest and torture in Italy. 
 
In February of 2008, Zagami was interviewed in his Oslo home by Kerry Cassidy of Project Camelot. I’ve written about this wacky duo several times (here,for instance). Once, they declared that information from their sources indicated Earth would run out of oxygen in about three months (that was three years ago). 
Nothing in the Zagami interview inspires me to change my mind about their work. At one point, Cassidy interrupts Zagami’s rambling discourse about demonic aliens to ask, “Now you haven’t sold your soul, is that correct?”. 
Zagami displays to the camera a folder bulging with “official documentation” that can validate his various claims, but we don’t actually get to examine its contents. 
 
Zagami and his wife separated in the same month this interview was conducted, and Leo promptly ditched Islam. He now denounces it as a Jesooite-created sham. This is a theory heavily promoted by Jack Chick, a key figure in the Rebecca Brown hoax and the John Todd hoax.
On his website, Zagami writes that he is also “affiliated with people connected with the gnostic congregation in Oslo (Ecclesia Gnostica Norvegia)”. 
 
He was forced out of Norway in early 2008.
 
Now here’s where it gets confusing. In May 2008, after his separation from his wife and his departure from Islam, Zagami decided to rejoin the Illuminati – as a good guy this time. Now he “personally controls major parts of the Illuminati”, a faction he calls the Illuminati Resistance. It is supported, he claims, by a chivalric order known as the Knights Templar of the Apocalypse, with members recruited from the military, law enforcement, the FBI, and the CIA.  Zagami’s Resistance also has its own paramilitary security corporation, Green Lyons Security Team, consisting of “approximately 12,000 troops”. (2)  He’s starting to sound a lot like Benjamin Fulford. In fact, Fulford has played along with Zagami’s Illuminati stories, even though Freemasons are the good guys in his version of the Illuminati. Both men are enthusiastically supported by the batshit-crazy Henry Makow. 
Reminds me of the time bogus Holocaust survivors Lauren Stratford and Binjamin Wilkomirski met up and “recognized” one another. 
 
In 2009, with an Italian girlfriend, Zagami returned to Italy. Then the girlfriend ended  up betraying him in some crazy conspiracy, and in March 2009 he was confined to a mental asylum on the Isola Tiberina.
 
He remains a faithful Matrixist. In fact, he is now Neo Leo Lyon Zagami, the Prophet of Matrixism. He claims to have 16,000 followers. I’m not sure if 12,000 of them are also his employees or not. 
 
This year, Zagami published the first volume of a projected three-volume memoir (in Italian). 
 
In the four years since his re-entry into the Illuminati, Zagami has fallen out of favor with many of his fans in the conspiracy community. Greg Szymanski, who believes “the Illuminati is the Vatican and the Vatican is the Illuminati”, denounced Zagami as a Luciferian Jesuit propagandist after an eccentric anti-Jesuit crusader named Slats Grobnik told him that Zagami can’t possibly be a 33rd Degree Mason unless he possesses a copy of a “secret” book given only to high-level Masons, Albert Pike’s Moral and Dogma. Never mind that you can buy it on Amazon
Szymanski and Zagami seem to have buried the hatchet, however. 
Disenchanted Zagami fans and critics have embraced some interesting theories about who he really is. One fellow thinks he’s a Reptilian, and another seems to believe he’s actually Aussie comedian Steve Hughes. 
 
Back in 2007, Zagami warned that the Illuminati planned to “Nazify” the entire Western world by this year, persecuting all religious believers. Guess they’re a tad behind schedule.
 
More Deep Thoughts and astounding insights from Leo Zagami:
  • “Magic is the calculation of the arts, with peculiar calculations around the symbols, to evoke certain entities and have from them, if you want, certain gratifications.” (2008 Project Camelot interview)
  • “The president die, the president of the U.S., or no? Yes, he dies. One day, he will die. He can’t be mortal, okay? So he has to meet death. Well, for him to meet death without the approval of the pope, is to be basically scrubbed off the map. Because they themselves are relying on those blessings and that network to bring their power to their successors, to the people after them, and to the people after and after.” (Project Camelot interview)
  • “I also  know for a fact the Satanist and Nazi, [Pope] Benedict, has a 24-year-old gay lover and that Satanic worshipping does go on at the Vatican. Most recently, in May of 2000, a Black Mass was celebrated with Satanist Aleister Crowley’s follower William Breeze present, as as Satanists Alberto Moscato and Massimo Introvigne, who are intermediaries for the Jesuits.” (2006 Greg Szymanski article)
  • “The P2 and the Jesuits keep their privileges alive in Monte Carlo because they blackmail even the gay Prince Alberto II of Monte Carlo who had been doing orgies with two black gay men and one black woman at the same time not knowing there was a P2 Brother with a camera living next door. The woman actually had a son from the Prince because of one of these encounters, as some of you in the gossip field might remember.” (Szymanski article) Even if this was 100% true, would any of it really matter? Who cares what kind of orgies the dude has? 
  • “Wahabi or wahibi as you call them were created by the Zionists and their English friends who think they are the lost tribe of Israel as the same happened with Arafat and the so-called Muslim Brotherhood created by English intelligence.” (Syzmanski article) If you don’t know how to spell nor correctly pronounce “Wahhabi”, it’s safe to say you don’t know much about Wahhabism
  • “The reality of humanity’s existence now has changed for ever. Mr. Zagami’s arrival in Chicago on April 20 2008 a date chosen for its symbolic connotations, marks a watershed in the thus far unorganized grassroots resistance against the New World Order.” (Zagami’s website)
Why we probably shouldn’t take Zagami’s story at face value
  • He hasn’t provided much in the way of documentation, and what he does present is just silly. Take, for example, the ridiculous Masonic ID badge that he flaunts as proof of his Masonic affiliation.
  • We know very little of his background. Which schools did he attend? Does he have siblings, and are they supposedly part of the Illuminati, too? 
  • To be unkind for a moment, his physical appearance and demeanor are not those of someone from a privileged, aristocratic background. His English is poor, and his writing skills are minimal. He rarely waits for anyone to finish a sentence before continuing his circuitous, disjointed ramblings. Cosmetic dentistry has clearly never been a part of his life.
  • We don’t have a shred of evidence for the existence of his 12,000-strong paramilitary force. Not one photo. Not a single video. Nothing.
  • We have absolutely no evidence that he was involved in arms trafficking. His only known source of income was his work as a club DJ. 
  • His grasp of occult history is rather shallow. He can rattle off the names of famous magicians like Cagliostro and Crowley, but he doesn’t have much to say about them. Some things are just wrong. For instance, he states that L. Ron Hubbard joined the “Parsons lodge” (the O.T.O.’s Agape Lodge in Pasadena) after he established Scientology. In reality, Hubbard was briefly involved with Jack Parsons four years before Dianetics was introduced. You’d think an O.T.O. initiate would know this. He identifies the head of the American O.T.O. in 2001 as Lon Milo DuQuette. Since 1996, this position (national Grand Master General) has been held by Frater Sabazius X°. DuQuette is the Deputy Grand Master. 
  • Most of his “inside information” about the Illuminati is stuff that can be found in conspiracy literature. The rest is either unverifiable or nonsensical, like the Satanists posing as Muslims posing as Catholics. If the Illuminati really existed and really operated in this fashion, it would be a hot mess unworthy of our attention. 
He has had 6 years to provide solid proof of his involvement in high-level Freemasonry and arms trafficking, 4 years to provide solid proof that he is in command of a huge paramilitary force, and a whole lifetime to provide solid proof of his august lineage. He has not done so. 
 
If Zagami wasn’t a big-time weapons dealer and Illuminati kingpin, then what was he? 
Well, first of all, he wasn’t a real Freemason for very long. The website Masonic Info has examined some of his claims, and they have a page dedicated to calling bullshit on them. His Committee of Monte Carlo doesn’t seem to exist, P2 ceased to be an accepted lodge when he was still in kindergarten, and vanished completely when he was 11 years old. Zagami briefly belonged to only one regular lodge, Kirby Lodge 2818, and was ejected from it. This means that Zagami does not legitimately hold the title of 33rd Degree Mason. 
From this history, it’s clear that Zagami attempted to become a legit Mason, failed, then joined as many irregular lodges and traditions as he could. If he was an “untouchable” bloodline Illuminati member, groomed to take Licio Gelli’s position, why did he get kicked out of the only regular lodge to which he ever belonged? Shouldn’t his lodge brothers have quailed before his tremendous power? 
 
Furthermore, according to comments on a conspiracy forum, Zagami was ejected from the O.T.O. and the Order of Memphis and Misraim, as well. Nicholaj Frisvold has expressed regret for initiating Zagami into the Franco-Haitian order, and the Norwegian O.T.O. also gave him the boot. 
Again, if the O.T.O. is a branch of the Illuminati, and Leo Zagami is a powerful figure within the Illuminati, just how did he get kicked out of organizations that his people supposedly control? 
 
Zagami’s story is convincing to some people precisely because it is vague and full of unverifiable information. His supporters will say that Masonic lodges can exist in secret for decades (even though Gelli’s P2 was exposed after just 5 years), that some Catholic clerics might very well be Satanists posing as Muslims, that Islam was invented by Jesuits as a means of controlling the Middle East, etc. 
But isn’t it also possible that an imaginative young DJ with the gift of gab used his interest in the occult and conspiracy theories to craft a personal history that would appeal to the more credulous members of the conspiracy community? 
 
 
 
“Svali”
 
 
I’m not going to spend much time on the Illuminati defector known as Svali, because a “whistleblower” who won’t even use his/her name is about as useful and reliable as a mousetrap made entirely out of cheese. 
 
“Svali” in 2003
 
 
Svali emerged in 2000, posting articles about Satanic ritual abuse and her own escape from a Luciferian cult on a blog called Svali Speaks (many of these articles have been reposted by others since that time). 
Svali, then living in Texas, claimed she was raised by wealthy parents who belonged to an abusive Luciferian cult linked to the Illuminati. Born in Germany, she moved with her family to the U.S. in her early years. They settled in the San Diego area, where the cult has a large following.
She was subjected to extensive mind control programming and ritual abuse from a very young age. At 12, she was taken to a series of catacombs beneath the Vatican, filled with mummies. In one room was a large, golden pentagram, where she and two other children were to be officially inducted into the cult. An altar-like table of dark stone was set up in the center of the room. A small boy, 3 or 4 years old, was lying motionlessly on the table (appearing drugged or unconscious). The boy was ritually sacrificed in a ceremony that involved Latin incantations. Terrified, Svali and the other two children didn’t intervene. After the completion of the ritual, Svali was ordered to swear her allegience to the New World Order. She was warned that she, too, would be sacrificed if she ever violated her oath. (The Illuminati was evidently bluffing, because Svali survived an appearance on national television, radio interviews, and numerous blog posts that exposed the Illuminati’s hideous deeds.)
By the age of 22, she was the cult’s youngest “leadership council” member in San Diego. She was trained to program the children of other cult members, and acted as a “head trainer” until her escape in 1996. This involved indoctrination, martial arts, and firearms training as well as mind control programming. Hypnosis and sedation were often used prior to programming, to render the children more calm and suggestible. Electric shock was used to discourage certain behaviours. 
Svali was instructed to give false information to the kids, and gradually realized that she must have been deceived as a child, too. 
In the ’80s, Svali was forced to marry another cult victim. They had two children together. Svali’s husband became a Naval officer. By day, Svali taught at a Christian school and raised her children in an outwardly normal manner. They even attended Christian schools (affiliated with the Illuminati). By night, she and her husband – like all Illuminati members – were programmed to attend secret meetings. Each attendee would drive to an Illuminati meeting place, change out of their street clothes, and don a military-style uniform. Training sessions would then be held in the middle of the night, in well-guarded locations. 
In 1996, when she was in her late thirties. Svali fled to another state, breaking away from the cult. She was separated from her husband at the time, and the children were with their grandparents. Mr. Svali subsequently filed for divorce, but then changed his mind and joined his wife in exile. Though they weren’t menaced by vengeful cultists in the same manner that John Todd and Edna Moses claimed to have been, she was nervous enough to refrain from using her real name. Like Arizona wilder, she worked as a nurse.
Svali converted to Christianity, like most of the former Satanists and witches in this series. (5)
 
Svali’s Illuminati is centred in Europe and headed by twelve cardinal-like “fathers”. Each Illuminati centre is known as a “house”. The power structure she outlined bears no resemblance to any of the other hierarchies described in this series, and the terminology is unique. Children are raised to enter one of twelve disciplines dominated by the Illuminati. They can’t become, say, disc jockeys. 
Svali told Henry Makow that although there are Jewish people in the Illuminati, bigotry prevents them from rising to high-level positions unless they renounce their faith. In fact, there is a strong Aryan, “Fourth Reich” element in the Illuminati.
The goal of this Illuminati is simply to control the world by the year 2050. Svali doesn’t mention the endtimes. (5)
 
Svali appeared on a November 3, 2003 installment of the TechTV program Conspiracies, “Satanic Panic”. Her story was embraced and promoted by many of the same people who fell for Zagami’s tales: Greg Szymanski, Henry Makow, Project Camelot. None of these people pointed to the obvious inconsistencies between Svali’s Illuminati and Zagami’s Illuminati. 
She gave one interview to Szymanski’s Investigative Journal radio show on January 17, 2006. This was her last known radio interview. 
At some point, a woman known only as Maria stepped forward to claim she was part of the same Illuminati Luciferian cult as Svali. According to Szymanski, Maria died mysteriously in St. Peter’s Square. As Maria never revealed her true identity, there’s no way to confirm this.
In 2006, Svali dropped out of communication, leading her supporters to worry she had disappeared. Project Camelot reported in 2009 that she was still alive and well, but after that she fell off the radar again. Her current status and whereabouts are unknown. 
 
Sources
 
2. Zagami’s official website, leozagami.com (audio NSFW)
3. More High Level Illuminati Inside Info From Monte Carlo P2 Masonic Lodge Defector” by Greg Szymanski @ Arctic Beacon.com. November 7, 2006.  
4. Greg Szymanski interview of Leo Zagami on The Investigative Journal radio show. March 31, 2012. (YouTube)
5. Greg Szymanski interview of Svali on The Investigative Journal radio show. January 17, 2006. (Project Camelot) 

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Filed under Conspiracy Theories, Cults, Mind Control, Religion, Satanic Panic, Secret Societies, The Prodigal Witch, UFOs

The Prodigal Witch VIII: "Elaine"

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The two-for-one account of Dr. Rebecca Brown and “Elaine” plays out like every B movie you’ve ever seen. Satanic nurses out for blood…a marriage to the Devil…snoozy Midwestern towns run by witches…a hospital showdown between the forces of light and darkness…

The “Elaine” hoax was wholly facilitated by our old friend Jack Chick, the same guy who incorporated John Todd‘s nonsense into comic books about a vast conspiracy of murderous Satanic witches, and continues to spread Bill Schnoebelen’s warnings about the occult dangers of Dungeons & Dragons. In fact, I have yet to find a Chick source who wasn’t a hoaxer or crank. It’s like the man is allergic to accurate information.

So it isn’t hard to believe that in the mid-’80s, when two women approached Chick with a mind-boggling story of Satanic conspiracy and evil, he bought it wholesale.
The two women identified themselves as Elaine, the former high priestess of a Satanic cult based in Indiana, and Dr. Rebecca Brown, a GP who ran a small practice in the same state. Both women were in their late thirties.
Dr. Brown had been taking care of Elaine, emotionally and physically, since her escape from the cult. She was Elaine’s housemate, physician, protector, and spiritual mentor. Elaine suffered leukemia at this time, and was often confined to bed. They evidently felt it was essential to share Elaine’s story with the world before her time ran out, and Jack Chick was just the man to help them do it.

Elaine’s Story

Even by ex-witch standards, Elaine’s story was incredibly bizarre. It involved a literal marriage to Satan, summer camps where children were forcibly initiated into Satanic witchcraft, and nearly every form of diabolical misdeed imaginable. She was even schooled in the art of bomb-making by her Satanic superiors.

On examination, however, her testimony appears to be culled from all of the other stories we’ve seen so far in this series. The werewolves and the marriage to Satan come from Bill Schnoebelen. The witch camps are quite similar to the witch schools described by John Todd, and the notion that all rock musicians must sign themselves over to Satan comes straight from him. Elaine’s crowning as a witch queen perfectly mirrors Doreen Irvine‘s account. And according to Elaine, she belonged to The Brotherhood, the same cult Mike Warnke supposedly joined in the ’60s. She also claims The Brotherhood is described in Hal Lindsey’s 1972 book Satan Is Alive And Well On Planet Earth. These are telling statements, because Hal Lindsey was of the belief that Warnke knew nothing about the real Satanic/Illuminati network, and Satan Is Alive and Well… described general trends in various forms of occultism, rather than a single cult.

Chick sold his audio interviews with Elaine and Brown as two cassette tapes, Closet Witches 1 and Closet Witches 2.

Typically, Elaine’s account contains virtually no time markers or specific names (not even her own), so verifying any of the events she describes would be a tough task. What we do know is that Elaine was born around 1947 to the Knost family of New Castle, Indiana. She spent most of her life in that area. (2)
Elaine said she was unwittingly bonded to Satan by her own mother when she was a small child, who offered up a tiny amount of Elaine’s blood in exchange for surgery to correct her cleft palate. A nurse told Mrs. Knost the blood would be used for experimental purposes, but it was actually used in a Satanic ceremony in which Elaine’s soul was “sold” to Satan without her knowledge. As we’ll see, this was just one part of a vast conspiracy involving Indiana hospitals.

Elaine did not have the same sort of dismal, abusive childhood described by most of the other ex-witches in this series; her life was normal and relatively carefree until her teen years. Sometime in the early or mid ’60s, she made the fateful decision to visit a “witch camp” with her friend Sandy. Though Elaine didn’t name this place, her description of it as a community of fortunetellers and psychics indicates it was probably Camp Chesterfield, Indiana. It was here, Elaine alleged, that she was initiated into the Satanic witch cult known as The Brotherhood (once again, a “former Satanist” fails to distinguish between Satanism and witchcraft). She refused to join at first, so the palm readers locked her in a closet and brainwashed her with an audio loop that told her Jesus was dead and Satan was king. (2)

Like Warnke, Doreen Irvine, and Bill Schnoebelen, Elaine signed herself over to Satan in blood without being fully aware of what she was getting herself into. This is quite different from real covens, in which initiates are required to have at least some rudimentary knowledge of the tradition to which they are pledging themselves.

Elaine got with the program right away, though. She devoted herself to occult study and rose quickly through the ranks of The Brotherhood (not as rapidly as Mike Warnke, of course; he became a high priest in about six months). She became a high priestess and was assigned a powerful demon guide called Man-Chan. She was appointed to the International Council of Witches. (2)
At some unspecified time, she took part in a national witchcraft competition and beat out all her opponents to become the cult’s “top witch”. This part of her testimony is nearly identical to Doreen Irvine’s story of winning a magical contest and being made “queen of the black witches of Europe” for one year.
In Irvine’s account, she was given a crown of “pure gold” and ensconced on a throne, with the other witches prostrated before her.
In Elaine’s account, a crown of gold was placed on her head and the other cult members “bowed down and gave homage” to her. (2)
The Brotherhood was like Irvine’s UK cult in that it focused primarily on subverting Christianity. Elaine and cohorts infiltrated Bible-believing churches and worked to undermine the faith of members. She and Brown described to Jack Chick how the first church Elaine attended after becoming a Christian was infiltrated and systematically destroyed by a high priest masquerading as a born-again believer. He lured the church’s members to weekly Bible studies with appeals to patriotism and godliness, then gradually undermined their religious faith until they were spiritually bankrupt. (3)

Even the brutal human sacrifices performed on each “Black Sabbath” centred around mockery of Christianity, taking the form of bloody crucifixions. Keep in mind that Mike Warnke witnessed no such rites as a high priest of The Brotherhood. (1)
In no other ways does Elaine’s alleged cult resemble Irvine’s. While Irvine remained in a life of heroin addiction and poverty, selling her body on the streets of London, Elaine was given royal treatment not unlike that supposedly experienced by Mike Warnke when he was a high priest of the Brotherhood in California. It’s interesting that the two never met, if they both held high positions in the same nation-wide cult and traveled widely to network with other members. They were even the same age (both graduated high school in 1965). Clearly, the left hand had no idea what the left hand was doing.

Elaine did have one thing in common with Irvine, though: Awesome superhero powers. Thanks to the protection of a demon horde, she could levitate, stop bullets in midair, turn animals into other animals, and astrally project herself anywhere in the world. She could beat up high school bullies nearly three times her size. She could even injure and kill people while out of her body, though she apparently attempted astral murder on only one occasion. She and the other out-of-body witches were prevented from harming their intended victim by a perimeter guard of angels.

Who had the witches been intending to kill? Jack Chick, of course. Satan viewed his comic books and mass-produced tracts as serious threats to his empire.
So, yeah. Um, the Devil apparently reads Christian comic books. (3)

Warnke was booted from The Brotherhood for being a paranoid speed freak in ’66, while Elaine’s Satanic star continued to rise. She was such a special specimen that her higher-ups (the Illuminati?) selected her for the ultimate honor: Getting hitched to Satan.

According to Elaine, there are five to ten Regional Brides of Satan within the U.S. at any given time. It’s a very great honor for a high priestess.
We don’t know when this marriage occurred. As researchers would later learn, Elaine was married to a human in 1966, when she was 19 years old, and divorced him the following year. The marriage to Satan presumably occurred after this. (1)

The Devil manifested as a normal-looking dude for the wedding, and rented a Presbyterian church in which to hold the ceremony. If this makes any sense, let me know.
For irony’s sake, apparently, the groom wore a white tux and Elaine wore a white dress.

After the honeymoon, Elaine’s status in the league of Satan naturally rose. She became her husband’s official delegate to the Vatican (where she met personally with the Pope), oversaw international arms deals, traveled to the Far and Near East, and met with associates in Mecca and Israel. This indicates that the Brotherhood was organized on an international level, at the very highest levels of government, which is somewhat at odds with Warnke’s description of a nationally-organized cult controlled mostly by witches.
Elaine also met with many rock musicians to oversee the signing of their pacts with Satan, just as John Todd described. (2)
Weirdly, though, Elaine didn’t mention the Illuminati, which Warnke identified as the power behind The Brotherhood.

Elaine’s dramatic conversion story, like her dramatic Satanic initiation story, is nearly identical to Doreen Irvine’s. She entered a Christian church in order to infiltrate it, but the spiritual power of the congregation was so strong that Elaine’s demons tried to get her out the door as quickly as possible. They were too late. Elaine had already read a Chick tract (The Contract!), and now fully understood that her pact with Satan was null and void. She was saved. (3)

Elaine’s relationship with Satan was more or less over by 1980. He was so furious over her betrayal that he cursed her with a serious illness. She was admitted to Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie and made the acquaintance of Dr. Rebecca Brown, a GP who was busily combating the powers of darkness in and around Muncie.

Brown immediately sensed that Elaine was surrounded by a demonic presence, and demanded to know if she had been involved in witchcraft.
Eventually, after Dr. Brown had earned her trust, Elaine told her all about her cult experiences and expressed a desire to break away from the Satanists. She said her (human) husband, also a member of the cult, had recently abandoned her and their mentally disabled daughter, Claudia. This was not true; she had divorced in 1967.

While she was in hospital, the Satanists tried to kill Elaine by slipping Pavulon into her IV. Fortunately, God informed Brown of this plot. She and a doctor were able to save Elaine just in time.
Brown discovered “firebombs” resembling dynamite inside her stereo, her car, and even her phone. Elaine showed her how to dismantle them. God also warned Brown that her food and coffee were being poisoned by other hospital staffers, and on some occasions miraculously removed the poison. A nurse later confessed she was in on the poisoning plot, and expressed amazement that Brown had survived after eating a poisoned lunch. (4)

After Elaine’s release, she and Brown both received a letter from the cult, indicating that their every move was being observed. If they didn’t cease their anti-cult activities, the writers warned, they would be ritually sacrificed at an Eastertime Black Mass. Neither woman reported her threatening letter to the police, because they knew the chief of police (along with the mayor of Muncie and other public officials) worshiped Satan.

Dr. Brown was a Christian, so she prayed for guidance on how to deal with Elaine’s situation. God immediately told her to take Elaine and 12-year-old Claudia into her home, warning her that Elaine would kill herself rather than surrender to the cult. Though Elaine had embraced Christianity, her faith was still too fragile to give her the strength she needed to stand up against a powerful coalition of Satanists who wouldn’t tolerate defectors. As we’ve seen, John Todd and Mike Warnke both had to dodge a few bullets after betraying the Satanists, while Irvine and other ex-witches faced no repercussions at all. These “well-organized” Satanists are anything but consistent.

Brown then became a one-woman conversion machine, operating a sort of underground railroad for former Satanists. She claimed to have saved about 1000 witches from murderous covens in the first half of the ’80s. Her greatest success story, however, remained Elaine and Claudia.
They persisted in their mission even though the Brotherhood tried everything in its power to frighten the two women into silence, including breaking into Brown’s home and slaughtering all their pets.
They bravely revealed that Catholics and Freemasons are devil-worshipers, that Dungeons & Dragons is Satan’s favourite game, and that Eastern religious practices like yoga are of the Devil. Never mind that every other ex-Satanist in this series said the exact same things around the exact same time.
Elaine may have been unique in her relationship to Satan, but everything else she said was boilerplate anti-occult stuff. Chick had already churned out a multitude of tracts and comic books dealing with these subjects. Still, he was so awed by Brown and Elaine’s story that his Chick Publications printed two books by Brown, He Came to Set the Captives Free (1986) and Prepare for War (1987). The first book detailed Elaine’s years as a Satanic witch and her rebirth in Christ, while the second served as a manual on how to combat the Satanic menace with spiritual warfare. He Came to Set the Captives Free contains some truly bizarre scenes, like Brown’s encounter with a talking werewolf. Prepare for War is full of weird anecdotes about all the ways people can become afflicted by demons, as well as the reasons why Catholicism is actually a form of witchcraft.
Brown’s later books deal extensively with purging or blessing demonically-infested “unclean objects” (geisha paintings, role-playing games, tattoos, museum exhibits, certain hairdos, secondhand items, the citizenship papers of ancestors, rosaries, etc.). This preoccupation with transmitted evil is sometimes referred to as “curse theology”. It offers a profoundly paranoid and negative view of the world, in which most cultural and religious artifacts that aren’t Christian are vessels of the demonic.

Chick also incorporated Elaine’s information into several of his comic book tracts: The Poor Little Witch, Why No Revival?, Satan’s Master.
In Poor Little Witch (1987), an outcast named Mandy is lured into witchcraft by one of her schoolteachers. She learns to cast spells by the power of “Bruth”, and witnesses the ritual murder of a baby “especially conceived” for sacrifice. She is told the chief of police is a Satanist. Meanwhile, the local church the schoolteacher attends turns out to be a Satanic coven in disguise. Its members are able to manipulate and exploit their new pastor, Reverend Smiley, because he isn’t a fundamentalist. Mandy runs to this church for help, but of course Smiley is in the pocket of the witch-cult and turns her away. So she seeks help from a former witch, Mrs. Grayson (who somewhat resembles Rebecca Brown). Grayson attends a real church, of the Bible-based storefront variety. Its members are able to save Mandy’s soul in just three panels.
Why No Revival? (1986) contains this note: “Most churches have been successfully infiltrated by witches.” This reflects claims made by both Elaine and Bill Schnoebelen.

In 1987, Brown and Elaine appeared on one of Geraldo Rivera’s shows about Satanism. Perhaps significantly, they were not included in his ’89 special Devil Worship: Exposing Satan’s Underground. By that time, the most popular ex-Satanist testimony was that of “Lauren Stratford”. She’ll be the subject of the next post in this series.

Brown’s books appealed strongly to daytime TV viewers and Chick’s target audience (naive, slightly paranoid Christians of the fundamentalist strain). Outside those circles, however, they raised deep skepticism in readers.

Part II: Dr. Brown’s Story and the Exposure of “Elaine” and Brown

Sources:

1. “Drugs, Demons, and Delusions: The ‘Amazing’ Saga of Dr. Rebecca Brown” by by G. Richard Fisher, Paul R. Blizard and M. Kurt Goedelman. Originally published in The Quarterly Journal of Personal Freedom Outreach. Vol. 9, No. 4, October-December 1989. (reposted @ Cult Help and Information)
2. He Came to Set the Captives Free by Rebecca Brown, M.D. (Chick Publications. Chino, Calif., 1986)
3. Closet Witches summary @ Monsterwax.com (reposted @ James Japan’s homepage). Retrieved June 25/11.
4. Prepare for Warby Rebecca Brown, M.D. (Chick Publications, Chino, Calif., 1987)

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Filed under Bizarre, Cults, Hoaxes, Mind Control, Religion, Satanic Panic, The Prodigal Witch

The Prodigal Witch Part VII: Bill Schnoebelen

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So far, most of the ex-witches and former Satanists in this series have either faded into obscurity or died. This is not the case with Bill Schnoebelen. He was one of the very first “Ex-Men” to dominate the Christian conspiracy lecture circuit, beginning in 1984, and he is still with us. He might be with us for a long time to come, too, because he has an uncanny knack for tapping into the conspiranoid zeitgeist, claiming to possess inside info on every new menace that looms up to imperil Western civilization (I call this Forest Gump Syndrome).

Schnoebelen claims to have been, at various times between 1968 and the present:

  • a Wiccan
  • a “high Druidic” priest
  • an Ordo Templi Orientis initiate (2nd degree)
  • a channeler
  • a Satanist
  • a member of the Illuminati
  • a Mormon
  • a Catholic priest
  • a 90th Degree Freemason
  • a 9th Degree Rosicrucian
  • a Knight Templar
  • a Gnostic bishop
  • a spiritualist priest
  • a vampire
  • a naturopathic physician
  • a member of Elizabeth Clare Prophet’s Church Universal and Triumphant
  • a fundamentalist Christian/ordained minister

Nowadays, he’s also a self-declared expert on natural healing and the “medical conspiracy”. I’m guessing he’s one of those people who takes forever deciding in a restaurant.

He worshipped everything but this.

There is evidence that Bill Schnoebelen actually did do many of the things he talks about. But like John Todd, he smeared Mormons, Freemasons, and many other groups as closet Satanists, and made some claims that are profoundly absurd.

The Road to Everything

Schnoebelen was born into a devoutly Roman Catholic family in 1949, the only child of a tire shop co-owner and a housewife. He was raised in Jessup, Iowa. (3)
Bill says he was a faithful Catholic throughout his young adulthood, and even aspired to the priesthood, but was always prone to the dark and mysterious forces of the world. Trick-or-treating at the age of 8 or 9, he saw leathery, bat-like creatures filling the night sky. At 12, near his family’s lake cottage in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, he saw a gigantic black figure rise up from the horizon to “bestride the heavens”. It walked over him and vanished beyond a hillock. He believes this was a Wendigo. He also had more typical childhood fascinations like UFOs and haunted houses, but someday he would consider these further manifestations of evil in his life. (2)

After high school, Bill still intended to become a priest. First, though, he enrolled at a small Catholic school called Loras College, in Dubuque, Iowa. It was here, in that crazy year of 1968, that a few New Agey professors and the counter-fundamentalist influence of Vatican II persuaded Bill that man can become Christ. Christ, his liberal teachers taught him, was basically a magician or ascended master who had studied the occult. So, Bill began studying the occult to become more Christ-like. This was his first step into a revolving door of religious traditions that would keep him walking in circles for over 15 years. (1)

Step 1: Witch

After some occult study, Bill decided to become a witch. He wrote to Alex Sanders, the self-proclaimed “King of the Witches”, who referred him to a Massachusetts-based coven. Bill ultimately reached the third degree of Alexandrian Wicca. Note, please, that his initiation didn’t involve roosters or blood like the bizarre rites supposedly experienced by Doreen Irvine and Mike Warnke. Note also that Schnoebolen has not mentioned any Satanic scripture, like most of the “former witches” we’ve seen so far.

Bill graduated from Loras College in May 1971 with a major in music and a minor in education. (He claims he received his Masters in Theological Studies degree from the St. Francis School of Pastoral Ministry in 1980 and his Master of Arts degree in counseling from Liberty University in 1990.)
He says he took a leave of absence of absence from seminary in the early ’70s. He taught music at a Catholic school for a couple of years, and met his future wife while volunteering as a counselor at a drug rehab clinic. Sharon Mullen, apparently one of the clinic’s patients, was a married mother of two. Like Bill, she was deeply into witchcraft and the occult. Around 1973 she left her husband and kids to be with him. (3)
That summer, the couple traveled to Hattieville, Arkansas, to study under the “Grand Master Druid of all North America”. Bill doesn’t name this fellow, but he was Barney “Eli” Taylor. (3) Taylor ran something called the Mental Science Institute and taught herbal magic in the druidic witchcraft tradition. He made Sharon and Bill a high priestess and high priest, which basically means he issued them a certificate similar to the ones dispensed to John Todd and Tom Sanguinet by Gavin Frost in the ’70s. It is incredibly unlikely that Bill and Sharon “learned all the mysteries of hermeticism and metal magic and natural medicine and more” in three months, as he claims. (1) Occult study is not a cram course.
They also saw hovering UFOs every single night, as they studied under the stars. Schnoebelen later contradicted this claim by saying he has seen UFOs about three times in his life. (2)

Bill and Sharon returned to the Midwest to “spread the gospel of witchcraft” (something witches generally don’t do). They had a handfasting ceremony in Zion, Illinois, supposedly attended by 200 witches. (1)
They settled in Milwaukee to teach witchcraft and establish covens. Bill claims they drew in hundreds of eager followers, but one of those followers, Frater Barrabbas Tiresius, begs to differ. He claims the Schnoebelens founded just two covens in Milwaukee, containing 30-40 members. By this time, Bill had legally changed his named to Christopher Pendragon Syn, and Sharon called herself Alexandra. They both appeared to possess a great deal of occult knowledge, and at first the covens operated smoothly. According to Frater Barrabbas, things turned sour when Bill and Sharon formed complex romantic entanglements with their followers and began playing them against each other. He attributes the mental collapse of one of Bill’s lovers to these cruel mind games. (3)

Step 2: Warlock, Mason, and Illuminati Member

As a result of his occult studies, Bill was a spiritualist priest and a trance channeler. He often consulted numerous spirit guides, the highest of which Frater Barabbas identifies as Ambrosius and Parlemanon. (3) Bill read Anton LeVey’s Satanic Bible at the suggestion of one of these spirit guides, and promptly joined the Church of Satan. He reached the second degree, “Warlock”, before realizing that LeVey’s brand of Satanism was harmless “kid stuff”. He aspired to what he calls “hardcore Satanism”, and to enter that realm he had to become a Freemason. (1) (The supposed connection between Satanism and Freemasonry was also trumpeted by John Todd in the mid-’80s.)
Frater Barrabbas says it was his father who sponsored Bill into Freemasonry. After Bill reached the third degree, his interest waned and he stopped participating on a regular basis.

Bill then branched out into esoteric Freemasonry. He claims he reached the thirty-second degree of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, as well, and in his lectures displayed the certificate issued to him. He says he also became a Rosicrucian (9th Degree) and a Knight Templar. (1)
Schnoebelen offers up a wealth of misinformation about Freemasonry and the Knights Templar. For instance, in his Prophecy Club lecture (c. 1996), he declared that Freemasonry is “basically Babylonian witchcraft” and is anti-Christian. He said Jacques de Molay was a pedophile (de Molay confessed under torture to homosexual acts; it’s not known if he was really gay or not, much less a pedophile). He also talked about Jesuit mind control, claiming that Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises are “profoundly occult” in nature, and formed the basis of Illuminati mind control techniques. This is absurd. Loyola recommended meditation and daily prayer to achieve deeper devotion to God and indifference to the material world. If that’s occultism, then virtually all priestly and monastic disciplines are occult.

Here’s where Bill’s story goes seriously off the rails. So far, none of his claims are particularly outlandish. But after he had covered “all the branches of Masonry there are to do”, he signed his soul over to Satan in a Black Book (in blood, of course). The contract entitled him to seven years of anything he wanted, at the end of which he would be killed and taken to Hell. This wasn’t such a bad thing, he explains, because hardcore Satanists view Hell as a sort of eternal party. (1)
This nonsense comes straight out of medieval folklore and has no basis in actuality, of course. You cannot sign a pact with Satan any more than you can sign a pact with God, or an angel, or the evil monkey who lives in your closet. Ask yourself, why did Schnoebolen admittedly work at a series of menial jobs throughout these years, if Satan had granted him anything he desired?

The silliness hits a new high with Bill’s claim that he was recruited into the Illuminati when fellow Freemasons noticed he had an occult background. This is contradicted by Frater Barrabbas, who says the Masons were unaware of Bill’s occult interests. (3)
Bill implies that his entry into the Illuminati wasn’t assured, that he slipped in via some arcane loophole. Spirit guides provided him with the appropriate “secret passwords”.
He describes three steps that each Illuminati Mason must go through, in addition to learning the arts of tantric sex and opening the third eye with hallucinogens. The first step is illumination. Bill described this as being “deluged in the blinding white light of Lucifer. It felt like my brain was being parboiled in pure light.” Step two is communion with the dead, something he had already mastered as a trance medium. Bill claims he had long chats with Jesus, Buddha, Zoraster, Hitler, Aleister Crowley, and others.
Step three is sex with a fallen angel, an “appalling and bizarre” process. Bill was formally married to his angel, a ceremony we’ll see again in the case of Dr. Rebecca Brown and the “former Satanist” known as Elaine. Apparently this is not considered bigamy, as Bill was already married to Sharon when he became an Illuminati member.
To accept this nonsense, one must accept that Richard Nixon and other high-level politicians did these things, too, because Bill informs us that many of the world’s elite were fellow Illuminists.

Step 3: Priest

Wait, it gets stupider. To “level up” to the hardcore Satanic high priesthood, Bill had to recruit seven people to sell their souls, and become a Catholic priest. He says medieval literature supports his contention that all Satanic high priests are also Catholic priests. (1) However, it isn’t required that you become an orthodox Catholic priest; it’s good enough just to be “ordained”, as both Schnoebolen and Mike Warnke were, as a “bishop” of the Old Catholic Church. This wasn’t difficult. Bill found a “bishop” who was willing to ordain him in exchange for being made a witch priest. Frater Barrabbas identifies this man as Edward M. Stehlik. (3)

Bill then became involved with the Patriarch of the Gnostic Catholic Church in Chicago, and was also made a bishop in that church. Oddly, he refers to this church as the Order of Memphis and Mizraim. They are not the same thing. The Gnostic Catholic Church is a branch of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), and is not officially affiliated with esoteric Freemasonry.

At any rate, Bill claims to have reached the ninetieth of ninety-seven degrees in the Order of Memphis and Mizraim (never mind that it only has ninety degrees). He was also initiated into the OTO at some point. Now the story reaches its zenith of ridiculousness.

Step 4: Vampire

His mastery of Freemasonry in all its forms allowed Bill to “cross the abyss”, an occult term referring to a state of enlightenment. Under the system of hardcore Satanism he had chosen, he now had to decide between two paths: Lycanthropy or vampirism. He selected vampirism, because the werewolves he knew had undergone some unpleasant experiences.

As it turned out, vampirism wasn’t so jolly, either. In the church of a Chicago vampire cult, Bill was made to drink the blood of what he believes to be a fallen angel, and underwent a physical transformation: His blood type changed, he could consume only blood and Catholic hosts, his skin blistered in the sun, and he couldn’t be near garlic. He carefully notes that he could not turn into a bat. Whew. For a minute there, I thought his imagination was getting the better of him. I mean, fallen angels and garlic are one thing, but bats? Let’s not be silly.

A small harem of witches provided Bill with blood, but as time went on he required more and more of it. As a Milkwaukee Sentinal deliveryman, he would see a hooker and “it would be all that I could do not to leap on that woman and rip her throat out and just drink every drop of blood out of her body.” Only his love for his wife prevented him from doing it. (1)

This is quite easily one of the most bizarre and least plausible claims ever made by an ex-witch in North America. It is also profoundly disturbing. I think it goes without saying that Bill Schnoebolen was not physically transformed into a vampire, so why on earth would he tell us about his homicidal fantasies? “Former Satanists” like to exaggerate their evil nature to make their Christian conversion stories as dramatic as possible (Mike Warnke essentially admitted as such on The Jim Bakker Show), but wanting to rip out the throats of prostitutes is beyond the pale. Even inventing such fantasies is indicative of mental imbalance, in my opinion.

Schnoebelen also claims to have been a cocaine addict during this period, though he was a peer counselor for addicts before and after his years as a Satanist. How and when he kicked the habit is unknown.

Step 5: Christian

As we have seen, all the testimonies of former witches and ex-Satanists feature dramatic conversion stories. This is the ultimate purpose of the testimonies; to show that anyone, even the most debauched devil-worshiper, can be saved by Christ.

There are problems with Schnoebelen’s conversion story. He claims that in 1984, one of his “tithe checks” to the Church of Satan bounced and was returned to him with a note scrawled on it by a Christian bank teller: “I’ll be praying for you in the name of Jesus.”

This makes no sense in the context of his hardcore Satanism/Illuminati stories. Bill clearly stated that the Church of Satan was “entry level” Satanism, and that he had surpassed it by becoming a real, hardcore Satanist. So why was he still a member of the CoS nearly a decade later? To make a bad analogy, that would be like paying your Brownie dues long after you’ve become a Girl Scout.

The prayers of the unknown Christian bank teller triggered a chain of events that ultimately led to Bill’s salvation. First, he lost all his magical and vampiric powers. This was a major setback, as he was “probably one of the most powerful warlocks on the west coast of Lake Michigan.” This was when he decided he needed to become a Mormon. (1)

Yeah, you read that correctly. He had to become a Mormon. This is because the LDS church was founded “by witches, for witches”, as a sort of deep cover. Schnoebelen later wrote a book about it: Mormonism’s Temple of Doom. (1)
There is a minute grain of truth in this assertion. Certain practices of Joseph Smith, including the use of scrying stones, are indicative of folk magic. But to call Smith a full-fledged witch would be absurd in the extreme; he was a Christian, not an adherent of any earth religion or occult belief system. The modern-day beliefs and practices of Mormons in no way resemble witchcraft.
The allegation that Mormons secretly practice witchcraft or worship Satan is not unique to Schnoebolen’s testimony, unfortunately. For instance, prominent conspiracy theorist A. True Ott, a former member of the LDS Church, claims that Mormons ritually sacrifice humans in their Salt Lake City temple. It is a smear intended to utterly discredit Mormonism, a sect that has been despised and feared by mainstream Protestants since its inception.

Schnoebelen also claims he belonged to Elizabeth Clare Prophet’s Church Universal and Triumphant (CUT), a cult-like New Age sect. CUT is currently based in Montana, but in the ’70s it operated out of California. So it’s not impossible Schnoebelen had some dealings with Prophet’s followers. (2)

Like all the other people in this series, Bill portrays witchcraft and Satanism (falsely) as the exact same thing. He also claims that one of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church, Elder James E. Faust, personally told him that Lucifer is the god of Mormonism.

In a Prophecy Club lecture given around 1996, Schnoeblen openly encouraged Christians to fear, reject, and disdain Mormons and Freemasons. At the same time, he displayed a disdain for homosexuals, and a total lack of knowledge about the nature of sexual orientation. “If you’ve got one Mason in your congregation…you’re gonna end up with a kind of bad apple spoiling the whole barrel routine…You never have one of these dudes in a church, ’cause they start recruiting. Masons are like homosexuals, they can’t reproduce themselves naturally – yeah, amen! – they can only recruit.” (1)

Though Mormonism was just another one of Bill’s spiritual dead ends, it led him to true salvation by spurring him to read the Bible for the very first time (rather strange for a former seminarian!). He realized that St. Paul could never have been a Mormon – he doesn’t explain why he reached this conclusion – and finally gave his life to Christ on June 22, 1984. (1)

As a Christian, Bill penned many books and tracts about the alleged evils of witchcraft, the occult, UFOs, Satanism, Mormonism, and Dungeons & Dragons. He claimed the creators of D&D consulted his Satanic coven in the late ’70s because they wanted to make their game “authentic” (Dungeons and Dragons was created in the early ’70s, and it’s about as authentically Satanic as Taco Bell food is authentically Tex-Mex). His article “Straight Talk on Dungeons and Dragons” is still available on Jack Chick’s website, along with the nonsense of John Todd. Chick is a strong supporter of Schnoebelen, and offers his book Lucifer Dethroned for sale.
Though he knows perfectly well that witches are not Satanists and Mormons are not witches, Schnoebelen continues to spread this misinformation via lectures, DVDs, and his With One Accord ministry.

In 2006, Stephanie Relfe’s 9-hour interview of Schnoebelen was packaged as a DVD documentary, Interview with an Ex-Vampire. I’ve mentioned Mrs. Relfe on this blog before; she and her husband, Michael, used kinesiology to unlock Michael’s buried memories of being a U.S. government slave on Mars. Both Relfes, back on Earth, experienced extensive contact with aliens (Michael was also repeatedly abducted by military personnel). Their first child was teleported out of Stephanie’s womb by Reptilians.

The Relfes saw Schnoebelen on TV in 1998 and were “greatly impressed” by his knowledge of Freemasonry and other “secret societies”. They believed he was doing more than anyone on earth to expose the evil machinations of these organizations, so they subscribed to his ministry newsletter. In 2003, when Schnoebelen revealed that his wife was seriously ill, the Relfes recommended kinesiology. Bill and Sharon traveled to Florida to meet with Stephanie that April. In the course of the kinesiology work, Schnoebelen casually mentioned that he had once been a vampire, something he had kept to himself until the publication of Lucifer Dethroned in 1993. Stephanie was intrigued. She promptly recorded a four-hour interview with Bill. In 2005 she recorded a second interview, and combined the two to create Interview with an Ex-Vampire. The film had a slick-looking booth at Cannes in 2006. It received good reviews from Sherry Shriner, WingTV, Rumor Mill News, and several other conspiracy-themed websites.

In Interview with an Ex-Vampire, it’s obvious that Mrs. Relfe accepts Schnoebelen’s stories at face value, even the most absurd and fantastical ones. She listens patiently as Bill describes how a fellow Satanist summoned a mighty demon in his garage. Bill was a scribe at this ceremony, so he witnessed everything. The man successfully summoned a slithery, tentacled monster that filled the room, but made the mistake of stepping outside his magic circle to answer the phone. As it turned out, the ringing was a demonic illusion and the man was whisked away to another dimension by the demon. Because the story wouldn’t be believed, Bill said, he and the man’s wife never bothered to alert the authorities to his disappearance. He doesn’t provide names, a date, or a location.

Step 6: Naturopathic physician

“Naturopathy” is an extremely loose term that encompasses a broad range of alternative medicine, holistic health practices, and quackery. There are a few institutions that offer real degrees in naturopathy, but as Schnoebelen has not revealed where or when he received his, we have no idea if it’s valid or not.
As the alternative health biz is hot these days, Schnoebelen gave another Prophecy Club lecture on the “medical conspiracy”, explaining how the evil pharmaceutical companies are suppressing miraculous natural cures and whatnot. (4)

In the ’90s, Schnoebelen said he was working as a counselor specializing in addictions treatment. This is a bit alarming, as he doesn’t have any formal education or training in this field. Even more alarming is the fact that he believes there are about two million victims of Satanic ritual abuse (SRA) in the U.S., and treats some of those victims. In the ’80s and ’90s, even many fully-qualified professionals who treated SRA patients used highly questionable methods of treatment such as recovered memory therapy. I don’t even want to imagine the psychological damage an amateur therapist like Schnoebelen could do. But then, I don’t have to imagine it.
Schnoebelen says Dissociative Identity Disorder is caused by “scientifically inserted demons”. This medieval notion – that mental illness can be attributed to demonic possession – has no place in modern therapy. Even if deliverance has some limited efficacy in alleviating a patient’s symptoms, it doesn’t address the underlying cause(s) of the condition.
Schnoebelen is also of the misguided opinion that once a person becomes a Christian, he/she is fully healed of all psychological trauma resulting from childhood abuse and has no further need of therapy. Therefore, his goal as a counselor is probably just to convince emotionally vulnerable people that they must accept Christ as their personal saviour. Using “therapy” as a cover for proselytization is unethical in the extreme.

Schnoebelen’s take on history is equally mangled. He believes Josef Mengele was brought to the U.S. under Project Paperclip (he wasn’t; he fled to South America with a Vatican-issued passport). He says Mengele had experimented with mind control and cloning in Germany (he had nothing to do with either).
He says we’ve been successfully cloning animals since the 1940s. Dolly the sheep was just a cover.
As evidence that a UFO crashed near Roswell, New Mexico, in the year of Aleister Crowley’s death, Schnoebelen produced an artist’s rendering of a “long-range photo” showing two military policemen walking a tiny alien on a leash. Since the object that crashed in the desert was not extraterrestrial, this drawing-of-an-alleged-photo is obviously a crude hoax. No sane, rational person would accept it as evidence of anything.
Schnoebelen also gives credence to Eisenhower’s supposed meeting with aliens, Betty Hill’s “map” of Zeta Reticuli, and Reptilian sightings in malls beneath Salt Lake City. He speculates that aliens are really fallen angels, paving the way for the Antichrist. He wonders if SRA victims and alien abductees have implants that are really “tiny remote-controlled neutron bombs”. (1)

His Biblical exegesis isn’t much better. Schnoebelen believes that in I Corinthians 11:2-16, Paul seems to be warning women to be under the headship of men so they won’t be screwed by fallen angels. He suspects Adam and Eve may not have had blood until they ate the forbidden fruit, and that fallen angels must drink human blood to become sexually functional. (1)

When it comes to witchcraft, however, Schnoebelen shows himself more knowledgeable than his peers. He acknowledges that witches are just ordinary people, capable of love. He admits that Wicca is probably not ancient; Gerald Gardner’s New Forest coven was, in all likelihood, fictional. He knows that the Druids had no written language, and that our knowledge of their practices and beliefs is limited. This is quite a contrast to John Todd, Irene Park, and Tom Sanguinet, who attributed all sorts of evil deeds to the Druids. (2)

Some (Very Obvious) Problems with Schnoebolen’s Testimony

Why was he studying for a Masters degree in theology at a pastoral school and practicing Satanism at the same time, four years before he was saved?

Mormons are not witches. Mormons do not worship Lucifer. Witches do not worship Lucifer. If Mormons are secretly worshiping the Devil, why would Elder Faust confide this to two relatively new converts?

Freemasons are not Satanists, and Satanic high priests are not required to become Freemasons. Though rumours and hoaxes have attributed all manner of evil doings to Freemasonry, it is generally a benign fraternal organization.

Satanists are not required to become Catholic priests. Catholics are not permitted to be Freemasons. It is far more likely that Schnoebelen, like Mike Warnke, was drawn to the Old Catholic Church for reasons of his own, such as receiving the grand title of “bishop” without having to earn it.

Schnoebelen likened the Illuminati to Communist cells, compartmentalized in such a way that each member knows only one or two others. How, then, can the members engage in tantric sex with each other? How do they oversee and instruct one another? Who performed the ceremony in which he married his fallen angel? How can you even be sure the Illuminati truly exists, if you only know two of its supposed members?

Schnoebelen identifies Aleister Crowley as the key figure in his occult life, but gets many of the details about Crowley’s life and work seriously wrong. He claims Crowley was “probably the most highly honored Mason in the world”. In the recent Crowley autobiography Perdurabo, however, author Richard Kaczynski states that Crowley was not recognized as a Mason at all. Nor was Crowley a raper of children who “boasted of slaughtering 150 boys in a single year.” Crowley did write of child sacrifice in his book Magick in Theory and Practice, but made it clear that not everything in the book should be taken literally. There is no evidence that he ever physically harmed a child. On the contrary, most children enjoyed his company.
Schnoebelen also blames Crowley for Hitler, the Tunguska explosion, and “Transyuggothian magick“. Like John Todd, he suggests that H.P. Lovecraft had access to secret knowledge about demonic/alien entities. He says the Simon Necronomicon contains about half of the “real” Necronomicon, which is utter b.s. He points out that in both “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” and “The Dunwich Horror”, human women breed with nonhuman creatures. “I believe these stories are absolutely true…” (1)

Schnoebelen claims the Royal Secret of Scottish Rite Freemasonry is the sodomy of young boys, which occultists believe allows them to access a realm of “trans-Plutonian space” and gives them an illusion of immortality. He says even “good” Masons can be drawn into pedophilia and homosexuality. (1)
Again, he’s betraying a total ignorance of sexual orientation and attributing atrocious crimes to an organization that is, for the most part, benevolent. Predatory pedophiles are not over-represented in Freemasonry, and no occult tradition requires one to rape children.

Schnoebelen makes similar allegations against Michael Aquino, founder of the Temple of Set. He says Aquino was charged of child abuse three times, but the charges didn’t stick “probably because of government involvement.” (1)
First off, it was the government (the military) who investigated Aquino in the first place. Secondly, he was never charged with any crime. The investigations dead-ended, not because of government intervention but because the allegations were made by hysterical parents who feared that Colonel Aquino, an out-of-the-closet Satanist, was the child-raping, virgin-slaying devil of modern legend. It is very interesting that Aquino was never accused of a single crime until he outed himself as a Satanist.

In addition to his ridiculous stories about Catholic mind control and the Illuminati, Schnoebelen pulled out some of the same discredited conspiracy myths used by John Todd, such as the factoid that Freemason Albert Pike was a Satanist (a feature of the Taxil hoax). Also in common with Todd, he criticized Star Wars, soap operas, and romance novels. He told his Prophecy Club audience that because the U.S. government treats its citizens like “idiot children”, they turn to drugs and booze and fantasy (Star Trek, Star Wars, soaps, etc.). “As a result of this, most people end up on the dole, or in mental hospitals.” (1)
Excuse me? Most Americans are welfare recipients, and Star Trek is responsible for this? Since when?

If Schnoebelen legally wed a fallen angel, then I suggest he produce a marriage or divorce certificate to verify his story. Or at least pull out some wedding photos.

The stupidest and least tenable of all his claims, of course, is the assertion that he was a “real” vampire. Though Bill would have us believe that lycanthropy and vampirism are real supernatural phenomena with physiological manifestations, there is zero evidence to support that. No one needs to subsist on human blood. Blood type cannot change under any circumstances. If you are born AB positive, you will die AB positive. Faux vampirism and delusional lycanthropy certainly exist, but real vampires and werewolves do not. Duh.

Sources:

1. Schnoebelen’s Prophecy Club talk “Exposing the Illuminati from Within” (c. 1996)
2. “Interview with an Ex-Vampire” (Schnoebelen’s 2006 interview with Stephanie Relfe)
3. Frater Barrabbas Tiresius’ 4-part blog series on Schnoebelen @ Talking About Ritual Magick
4. Schnoebelen’s Prophecy Club talk “The Medical Conspiracy” (date unknown)

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Filed under Conspiracy Theories, Cults, Religion, Satanic Panic, Secret Societies, The Prodigal Witch

The Prodigal Witch Part III: John Todd (Part II)

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John Todd as a character in the Jack Chick comic Spellbound?

continued from Part I

The Big Time

In August 1973, Todd married Sharon Garver. He was preaching and performing faith healings on the road, having been fired from the Christian coffeehouse for allegedly hitting on teenage girls.
This was the year that Todd first snagged the attention of Christians outside Arizona by giving his dramatic testimony on a Christian TV program. He announced he had been the “personal warlock” of the Kennedy clan, that JFK had faked his death, and that he had just returned from visiting JFK on his yacht. He revealed that many fundamentalist churches had been infiltrated by Satanists. For instance, Jerry Falwell had been “bought” with a check for $50 million. He described watching George McGovern stab a young girl to death in a Satanic ritual sacrifice. He claimed his wife had been seduced into witchcraft as a teen, and he rescued her.

Pastor Doug Clark heard Todd’s story and invited him to appear on his Amazing Prophecies TV show. Todd became an overnight sensation among charismatics in southern California. He and Sharon promptly vacated Arizona for Santa Ana, Doug Clark’s headquarters. They hosted weekly Bible studies in their home, and Todd appeared at several of Clark’s Amazing Prophecy rallies.
Clark and leaders at Melodyland Christian Center soon heard reports that Todd was hitting on teenage girls who attended these Bible study sessions. Todd angrily denied the allegations, and thereafter named Melodyland as part of the Illuminati conspiracy.
Clark decided John Todd wasn’t such a credit to his ministry, after all, and denounced him on his TV show.

His ties to Doug Clark severed, Todd moved to his wife’s hometown of San Antonio and promptly impregnated her teen sister. In ’74, the couple split. Todd north went to Dayton, Ohio, and found a third wife, Sheila Spoonmore. He decided to become a witch for real – whether he had ever been one before is debatable – and with his wife opened an occult bookstore called The Witches Caldron [sic]. The couple gave courses on witchcraft. Once again, there were complaints from teen girls.

Todd Meets the Crusaders

Todd’s drivel intrigued Jack Chick, the guy who produces all those wacky rectangular pamphlets you see in Christians’ bathrooms. Chick immediately realized that Todd would make a nice shiny new cog for his misinformation machine, and enlisted him to provide “inside information” for several anti-occult tracts.
Todd collaborated with Chick at the very same time that he was running an occult bookstore and persuading teen “witches” to disrobe for “ceremonies”.

The first Chick booklet based on Todd’s information was The Broken Cross (1974). Todd is described in the intro as an “ex-grand Druid priest”.

In the comic, a 14-year-old hippie girl leaves home to escape her Christian parents. Hitchhiking, she is picked up by a young couple in a van. She rejoices in her newfound freedom, not realizing that two Satanists are hiding in the back of the van, ready to drug her unconscious. She is taken to a Satanic ceremony and ritually sacrificed on an altar. We’re told that such murders occur eight times per year in every Satanic coven.
Chick’s equivalent of comic book superheroes, The Crusaders, show up to investigate. They uncover the cult, which turns out to include nearly every prominent citizen of the town, even the local pastor and an elderly librarian. The Satanists practice cannibalism, kill dogs, and spy on non-Satanists. One of their symbols is the peace symbol – a broken, upside-down cross.
Chick states that Wicca, a form of devil worship involving child sacrifice, began during the Roman Empire. Wicca was later absorbed by the Illuminati, also known as Moriah. This organization bankrolled the production of Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar to undermine Christ.

A witch named Jody cheerfully informs the Crusaders that Lucifer is the power behind both white and black witchcraft. “Satan is one neat dude…I really crave the power!” The Crusaders easily convert Jody, and she is abducted by the Satanists for betraying them. Jim saves her seconds before she is sacrificed. Confronted by a Christian, the Satanists begin vomiting uncontrollably.
Like all the Crusader comics, The Broken Cross is an insane mishmash of cut-and-paste moralizing, scripture, and occult misinfo. It also borders on the homoerotic; Jim and Tim are exceptionally buff and like to take off their shirts for no apparent reason. Methinks the man doth protest too much.

The Broken Cross was followed by Spellbound?, a screed against rock music. According to Todd and Chick, all rock has “ancient Druid origins”.
In this comic, Jim the Crusader’s VW is nearly forced off the road by a rock musician named Bobby Dallas. Dallas is injured in the resultant crash, and Jim saves his life. Grateful, Dallas later invites Jim to a party full of his creepy friends. We’re told that the ankh necklace worn by one partier is a symbol of Satan worship, signifying that the wearer has lost his virginity and participates in orgies (a note at the bottom of the page adds that it won’t be necessary to burn the book, as witches only use 3-D charms for casting spells).
A member of the cult from The Broken Cross sees Jim trying to convert Dallas. The cult immediately murders Dallas to prevent him from “blowing their cover”.
John Todd himself makes an appearance, meeting with Jim and Tim to educate them about the occult. They’re told his family practiced Druidism for seven centuries.
Todd explains that Druids sacrificed men to their god Kernos with “elfin fire”, accompanied by the music of flutes, tambourines, and drums made of human skin. Each Halloween, they would go door to door demanding a human sacrifice (usually a young woman). If the sacrifice pleased them, they left a jack-o’-lantern lit by a candle made with human fat to protect the house’s residents from demons. Such ritual murders still take place in the U.S. every Halloween, Todd tells us. And the hypnotic beat of Druid drummers is the same beat used in rock music. The melodies are lifted from “Druid manuscripts”. For instance, the Beatles used this Pagan rhythm to draw America’s youth into Eastern religions, opening the “flood gates to witchcraft.”

All of this is pure bunk. There was no “Kernos” in Druidism. Trick-or-treating did not originate with the Druids. Druids didn’t have any written literature, so rock music can’t be based on ancient Druid manuscripts. They did not make their drums with human flesh. The magical “elfin fire” is make-believe. Eastern religions and Paganism are very different things.
If Todd’s teachings about the Druid origin of rock were actually correct, then Celtic music would be more of a threat to society than rock and roll!

Todd then delivers a talk to a church congregation, telling them he once had 65,000 witches under his command. Their goal was to “destroy Bible believing churches and make witchcraft our nation’s religion.” He warns that Christians cannot wield the full power of Christ if they possess tarot cards, regular playing cards, Dungeons and Dragons, “occult” jewelry, country music, romance novels, or rock music. Such things must be burned. He also warns against Freemasonry, saying no Christian has a right to belong to a secretive organization (this is bizarre, as Christianity itself has been an underground movement in various times and places). Not only is Masonry a part of the Illuminati, but Albert Pike (“the pope of Freemasonry”) admitted that Lucifer was his god. This, of course, is part of the ludicrous Taxil hoax that attempted to smear Masons in the late 19th century.
As a producer with Z Productions, Todd learned that all rock songs contain coded incantations. There follows a graphic representation of how demons are summoned into every master recording.
Todd also declares, “Every Bible believing pastor is on a death list by Satan’s crowd!”
A deacon’s daughter named Penny, hearing Todd, decides to join in the record burning ceremony he has planned for the church. The local media, under the direction of a Satanist named Isaac (presumably Todd’s nemesis, Isaac Bonewits, who we’ll see in the next section), portrays the bonfire as KKK-like activity.
Unbeknownst to Todd, the Satanists are following him, planning to assassinate him at the first opportunity. They shoot at him as he drives away from the church, but God presses Jim and Tim to follow him and capture the two Satanists. Then a cop – clearly in league with the Satanists – lets them go.

The Broken Cross and Spellbound? portray all Satanists, witches, and Pagans as murderous thugs who must be opposed by Christians. Chick also implied that most policemen, some media outlets, and many church leaders are part of the Satanic plot to destroy Christianity.

Chick continued to believe and defend Todd long after more reasonable Christians had washed their hands of him. He was later bamboozled by another “former Illuminati member” and “ex-witch”, Bill Schnoebelen, and by the Satanic ritual abuse allegations of a woman calling herself Rebecca Brown. We’ll see both of them later in this series.

First Arrest

In ’76, a 16-year-old girl told Dayton police what was going on in Todd’s little coven. She said Todd forced her to have oral sex during a nude initiation rite.
Todd asked for help from Gavin Frost, head of the National Church and School of Wicca, and prominent Druid Isaac Bonewits. He said he was being unjustly persecuted by Ohio authorities because he was a witch. After investigating, Frost and Bonewits concluded otherwise; they concurred with the cops that Todd was probably using his “church” as a cover for sexual misconduct.
He ultimately pled guilty to contributing to the unruliness of a minor and served two months of a six-month sentence in county jail before Chick and a lawyer secured an early medical release for him (he was having seizures). He received five years’ probation, which he immediately violated by returning to Arizona. The Pentacostal preacher Ken Long once again found a job for him, working as a cook.
Todd admitted to practicing witchcraft in Ohio, but was able to turn it to his advantage by declaring he and his wife had backslid and were now returning to the body of Christ. Satan had lost his minion again. Soon, Todd was back to preaching.

Don’t Think, Just Panic

Todd hit his peak of popularity in the late ’70s. By 1978 he and Sheila had three children.
They lived in Canoga Park, California and attended an independent Baptist church.
In January 1978 Tom Berry, pastor of the Bible Baptist Church in Elkton, Maryland, arranged for Todd to go on a speaking tour. His tales astonished and unnerved Eastern churchgoers. Tape cassettes of his talk were passed around in evangelical circles, and he even managed to snag mainstream media attention. Donations poured in for a rehab centre for ex-witches that he others planned to establish. Sound familiar? Warnke spoke of opening one just like it, but never got around to doing it. Neither did Todd, though in one talk (available as Tape 5B on this page) he declared that the centre was opening the following day. “The doors aren’t even open yet and it’s already filled,” he said. He estimated they would need to construct a second building within six months. “In fact the second-most powerful witch that has ever been saved was just saved last April … Her testimony is almost similar to almost everything I’ve given today.”
Todd did not name this second-greatest witch. We’re to assume he was the most powerful witch ever saved, I suppose.
This rehab facility, if it ever existed, didn’t seem to have a name, either.

Todd’s audiences were quite large. One appearance in Indiana drew 1000 listeners. This is troubling, because during this series of talks, Todd talked a lot about the endtimes and the need for Christians to create armed compounds that could withstand onslaughts from Communists, the military, and other enemies of the faith. He said the U.S. government would soon be compiling lists of church members so that Christians could be rounded up and executed when the shit came down. There would also be a government-instigated “Helter Skelter” of riots and violence. The Illuminati takeover of the U.S. would begin in just one year, so time was of the essence.
He warned Christians not to trust prominent Christians. Melodyland, the PTL, Jerry Falwell, The Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship. They were all part of the Satanic conspiracy.
These revelations were received with a mixture of horror and gratitude. There’s no indication that any of the Eastern churches actually took his advice and established fortresses, though.

One has to wonder if Todd harbored dreams of starting his own cult. He had some of the vital ingredients: Plans for an armed compound, a desire to isolate people from their trusted leaders, a knack for scaring the hell out of believers, and a seemingly unslakable lust for pubescent girls.

Back in California in April ’78, it all hit the fan. Todd’s pastor, Roland Rasmussen, learned from a church member that Todd had been teaching witchcraft in Ohio as recently as ’76. Todd was booted from the church.
But Tom Berry and numerous other Eastern pastors still supported him. He began a second speaking tour that summer.
This time, the reaction was not as positive. Clifford Wicks, pastor of Grace Brethren Church in Somerset, Pennsylvania, canceled Todd’s four-speech engagement after three speeches because he was disturbed by his parishioners’ response to the message. Several of them told Wicks they planned to murder their own children rather than see them taken prisoner by the Illuminati.

Not surprisingly, a few fringe religious groups were receptive to Todd’s teachings.
The Family (formerly known as the Children of God), an international church headed by David “Moses” Berg, degenerated into organized sexual abuse of children in the ’70s after Berg convinced some followers it was natural and healthy for kids to have sexual relations with their parents and caregivers. Years later his own son, Ricky Rodriguez (known as “Davidito“), would kill one of the nannies who molested him as a child.
Berg found Todd’s diatribes fascinating, and The Family International published a transcript of one of his lectures, “The Illuminati and Witchcraft”, for distribution to Family members.

Another group that appreciated Todd was a violent white supremacist organization called The Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord (CSA). They also published “The Illuminati and Witchcraft”.
The CSA ran a compound in Missouri that was the very model of what Todd had been advocating. It boasted an armed perimeter, a training area for urban warfare drills, and an array of automatic weaponry (much of it stolen). In 1985, the group’s founder and several of its leaders were convicted of illegal firearm possession.
The group kept a list of possible targets for assassination, including elected officials. One member was executed for killing a State Trooper and a pawn shop owner.

Underground

In January 1979, Todd announced he was through with preaching. His message just wasn’t sinking in with American Christians, he said, and it was time for him to retreat to an undisclosed location where the Satanists couldn’t find him.
This move was probably calculated to avoid the kerfuffle that would have erupted around him when his predicted Illuminati takeover didn’t actually happen.
From their new home in Montana, the Todds cranked out alarmist newsletters about the endtimes preparations Christians must make; buy gold, stockpile food and ammo, go into hiding. Todd now claimed he was collecting donations for an armed survivalist compound. He said he would accept guns, cattle, dehydrated food, and anything else people could spare. This compound, just like the witch rehab centre, never materialized.
The couple subsequently lived in Seattle.

In early ’79, a few Christian publications, including Christianity Today, printed damning stories about Todd.
Ironically, the single critical book published about Todd, The Todd Phenomenon (1979) by Darryl E. Hicks and David A. Lewis, contained an intro by Mike Warnke (pot, meet kettle…).
These exposés demolished whatever vestige of credibility Todd still had among mainstream Christians, and he never again made a decent living from preaching. His following dwindled to small groups Christian Patriots, survivalists, and Millenarianists.

But he certainly didn’t stop banging the anti-occult drum. In 1980, he authored a comic book titled The Illuminati and Witchcraft. Jacob Sailor, the artist, also illustrated some of the Mo Letters for The Children of God.

The Road to Ruby Ridge

Todd’s next known location was Cedar Falls, Iowa. In 1983 he was invited to speak at a Holiday Inn there by a young couple who regularly listened to his audiotapes.
Since marrying in 1974, Randy and Vicki Weaver had become increasingly religious. By 1983 they were approaching religious mania. Both believed the world would end soon. First there would be a period of violent persecution, initiated by a Satanic government coalition of Jews and non-Christians. Sometimes they referred to the enemy as ZOG (Zionist Occupation Government).
Todd’s background may have impressed Randy Weaver; he, too, had been a Greet Beret.
The Weavers used cash only, because Todd said credit cards carried the Mark of the Beast. They stopped watching TV because Todd said all evangelists other than himself couldn’t be trusted. They believed the government wanted to round up and exterminate Christians because that’s what Todd said (strangely, though, Vicki remained a fan of Ayn Rand)
Vicki also received instructions from God while soaking in the tub every night, and she and Randy both had “visions” of a hilltop fortress.

As recounted in Jess Walter’s 1996 about the Weavers, Every Knee Shall Bow, neighbors were unsettled, but probably not surprised, to see John Todd pacing the living room of the Weavers’ comfortable ranch-style house in Cedar Falls, ranting about government conspiracies whilst gripping a handgun.

Not long after this, in the summer of ’84, the Weavers sold their home and headed west with a cache of supplies, firearms, and ammo. They didn’t have a destination in mind. God would lead them wherever they needed to be to wait out the Tribulation.

On September 6, they found a thickly wooded plot of land atop Ruby Ridge in the panhandle of northern Idaho.

Second Arrest

Sometime in the mid-’80s, Todd moved to Columbia, South Carolina. He worked construction, did carpentry, and taught karate to youngsters.

In May 1987, Todd was charged with raping a grad student at the University of South Carolina. I will not give the woman’s name here, to protect her privacy.
Later, molestation charges related to two of his karate students were added. He served the next 16 years of his life in prison.
In an audio recording made in 1991, Todd explained how he was framed by Strom Thurmond, who wanted to get his hands on his address books and his Christian material. Specifically, Thurmond and cohorts wanted to find the locations of safe houses used by a Christian underground that hid Christians accused of abusing their children. Also, Thurmond was furious that Todd had outed him as a Mason.
He hints that he was lured to South Carolina by Christians just so he could be framed. His lawyers were in on the plot, so Todd urged listeners to donate money to his defence fund.
After his conviction, an FBI agent and the head of Reagan’s Secret Service bodyguards visited him in prison and pressured him to give up the names of Christians in hiding (in exchange for what, I wonder? He had already been sentenced, so there wasn’t much the feds could offer him). Todd refused.

Todd warns all Christians that they, too, can be framed for crimes they didn’t commit. After all, They own the media and law enforcement. What’s more, U.S. concentration camps are standing at the ready to hold huge numbers of Christians.
Remember, this recording was made in ’91. In the 20 years since then, do you know a single Christian who has been interned in a U.S. concentration camp?

Now Todd says he was part of the CIA’s Pheonix Program during Vietnam, and his military records were sealed for that reason. As we saw in Part I, these records were freely available, and they clearly show that Todd did not serve in Vietnam.

Fritz Springmeier and the 13 Bloodlines

Christian preacher and Illuminati “expert” Fritz Springmeier, who was released from prison just last month (he served 7 years of a 9-year sentence for armed bank robbery), is Todd’s #2 fan (Jack Chick being #1). In his book Bloodlines of the Illuminati, he identified the Collins clan as one of the “13 bloodlines of the Illuminati” and included a jailhouse letter written by Todd.


The Collins family history, as chronicled by Springmeier, is replete with Satanic atrocities. The Collinses possess more occult power than any other Illuminati’s family, including the Rothschilds and Rockefellers. Springmeier cites the testimony of an unnamed ex-Illuminati member (like Todd, a Christian convert) who claimed a Collins woman was the “Grande Mother” of the Illuminati’s Grand Council of 13 back in the ’50s. This council possessed invaluable arcane knowledge, like the location of the Ark of the Covenant, and practiced a bizarre form of ritual sacrifice in which a child was killed for each new Illuminati initiate.
As these meetings supposedly occurred twice a year, with up to seven initiates per meeting, it’s remarkable that no one noticed the rashes of missing children.

Ironically, the details of this unsourced tale directly contradict John Todd’s testimony. For instance, this person stated that the Antichrist had not yet been born in 1955, while Todd said Jimmy Carter was the Antichrist. He also tells us the Todd family split off from the Collins clan before the Civil War, while Todd himself claimed he was born as Lance Collins.
Springmeier names one of the Grande Mother’s sons as Tom Collins, who later converted to Christianity and went on speaking tours to educate coreligionists about the Illuminati. He was shot to death in a grocery store parking lot as a warning to other whistleblowers. Once again, we must ask why the Illuminati was unable to assassinate John Todd, if another defector from the very same family was so easily eliminated.
I can find no trace of this Tom, but the Wikipedia entry for Tom Collins the drink is quite interesting. In 1874, “Tom Collins” was a running gag among pranksters. They convinced people that a mysterious man named Tom Collins was badmouthing them, and reported sightings of the gossipy stranger to credulous newspaper reporters.
At any rate, we have no reason to believe that Tom Collins and John were from the same family. Springmeier’s M.O. is to tick off lists of prominent people with the same last name, without bothering to ascertain if they are actually related to one another. Then he links them to the Illuminati by the most tenuous connections. For example, reporter Robert Collins is implicated simply because the Illuminati “control the press”. Springmeier provides no evidence that the Illuminati does, in fact, control the press. Likewise, he ties serial killer Ted Bundy to the Bundy/McBundy families, and tells us his sadistic sociopathic condition is quite typical of Illuminati members, even though Bundy’s name came from a working class stepfather.

Most bizarrely, Springmeier states that the Salem witch trials were “instigated by the Collins family to destroy Christians”. His evidence? Some Collinses became Putnams during the Civil War era. Somehow, this means that the Putnams of Massachusetts (central to the Salem witch hunt) were already related to the Collins clan nearly two centuries earlier. Huh?

Like Jack Chick and John Todd, Springmeier classed essentially all occultists and Freemasons as profoundly secretive, extremely dangerous people. They all worship the Devil, they all abduct and ritually sacrifice children, and they all commit every manner of crime against decent, God-fearing Americans such as Todd (the rapist) and Springmeier (the bank robber).

In an early edition of his book, Springmeier stated that Todd was released from prison in 1994. An Illuminati-owned helicopter picked him up at the prison, and he was never seen again – presumably murdered by Them. Springmeier later removed this erroneous information, but continued to assert that Todd was framed.
The belief that Todd was framed on the rape charges persists today among his fans. “James in Japan”, who maintains an extensive website about Todd and other Christian conspiranoids, actually believes that Todd was murdered by the Illuminati and replaced by a prisoner who looked and behaved just like him.

Release and Death

Todd was actually released from prison in 2004. He was then committed to the Behavioral Disorder Unit run by the South Carolina Department of Mental Health.
Under the name “Kris Kollyns”, he filed a lawsuit against numerous employees of this department, alleging he was being held in violation of his Constitutional rights. Before the lawsuit was resolved, he died in the BDU on November 10, 2007.
Sadly, his messed-up legacy of pathological falsehood lives on in audio recordings, Chick pamphlets, and the minds of many Christian conspiracy theorists.

As we’ll see later in this series, his claim of being born into a family of powerful devil worshipers would have a profound influence on other “former witches”.

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The Prodigal Witch Part III: John Todd

Part I

The only positive thing I can say about the late John Todd is that he makes everyone else in this series look pretty good by comparison. At the height of his fame as a “former witch” he was also a sexual predator, a military imposter, and a practicing witch who used several aliases.

John Todd emerged on the Christian scene around 1968, at least four years before Mike Warnke (according to the Cornerstone article on Warnke, he accused Warnke of stealing some of his Illuminati material), but never gained the level of mainstream popularity that Warnke did. His tales of Satanic intrigue were just too dark and outlandish for the average Christian. Frankly, you would have to be either blissfully innocent or profoundly stupid to buy any of Todd’s b.s.
He was ultimately relegated to the far-right fringe, preaching to militia members and Christian Patriots about the endtimes and the need to establish armed strongholds. One of his last known locations before his arrest was Iowa, where he attached himself to a paranoid young couple named Randy and Vicki Weaver. He convinced the Weavers they needed to get away from populated areas and prepare for the end of the world. We all know how that turned out.

Even though his anti-occult invective wasn’t as appealing as Warnke’s, Todd still has his fans. Old audio recordings of his diatribes have popped up on YouTube, where he is vaunted as an Illuminati insider, framed by The Powers That Be. Henry Makow still promotes his story.

Who is John Todd?

No one really knows. His background is so occluded that even the year of his birth is in doubt. Possibly he was born in Ohio around 1950. He was taken into foster care as a youth. He suffered epileptic seizures throughout his life.
He was fairly good-looking and extremely tall (about 6’4″).
Given his peculiar fascination with daytime television and gay porn movies, I strongly suspect he was a failed actor.

Todd first surfaced on the fundamentalist Christian scene in Arizona in 1968, performing as a Pentacostal preacher. He was about 19 or 20 years old, married to a slightly older woman named Linda. Earlier that year he had been arrested in Columbus, Ohio for malicious destruction of property.
He told Pastor James Outlaw of the Jesus Name Church that he had recently been saved at a Pentacostal church service after practicing witchcraft in the Navy, and wanted to be re-baptized as a Jesus Only believer.
He then vanished for several years, resurfacing in 1973 as a born again warlock. He again said he had been saved at a Pentacostal church service, and identified himself as an independent Baptist, but preached mostly to charismatics. He was now married to a woman named Sharon Garver.
He went on the fundamentalist lecture circuit in Cali, educating churchgoers about the international Satanic conspiracy. His talks were a blend of pop conspiranoia, anti-occult fearmongering, and tell-all braggadocio.

Todd said his real name was Lance Collins, and he had been born into a powerful family of devil-worshiping witches with ties to the Illuminati. The Illuminati is the life’s blood of conspiracy culture today, but until the publication of Gary Allen’s None Dare Call It Conspiracy in 1972, it was largely forgotten. Allen and Todd helped nudge it back into prominence within conservative circles. It is extremely likely that Todd’s interest in the Illuminati was sparked by Allen’s book; we know that he was at least aware of it, because during one of his talks a woman in the audience mentioned it and he recited the title along with her.

The Collinses were direct descendants of Scottish Druids who posed as Puritans and imported witchcraft to America before helping to establish the Illuminati.
Todd’s mother was so ashamed of her witchy behaviour that she ended up in a mental hospital, hooked on barbituates. His foster mother, on the other hand, was the high priestess of all the witches in California, and his sister was made the high priestess of Ohio at the tender age of 13.
Todd was perhaps the first “former Satanist” to come from a Satanic family, but within a few years this would be the norm.
The hereditary Satanism he described bears little resemblance to Doreen Irvine’s “black witchcraft”, and no resemblance whatsoever to Mike Warnke’s “third level” Satanism. Presumably, as an Illuminati member, Todd was privy to knowledge that Warnke never imagined.

He was reared on a diet of “occult” teachings: ufology, spells, Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis.
Witch parents aren’t allowed to love or discipline their children; kids belong to the cult. At age 13 or 14, boys are sent to witch schools called Outer Courts to be trained as Satanic priests. Todd was initiated into the priesthood at 14. His sister became such a powerful high priestess that she could summon demons in the form of UFOs.
At age 18, while serving as a Green Beret, Todd became the high priest of his coven.

The Illuminati Todd describes is a configuration of pure evil represented (in part) by Freemasons, Mormons, international finance, Communists, and – paradoxically – the John Birch Society. He explained that very few Jews belong to the Illuminati, but the Rothschilds are at the top of the pyramid, totally controlling the illustrious Council of 13. All Illuminati members, whatever their supposed religious affiliation, are actually devil worshipers.
He claimed to know a great deal about the inner workings of Freemasonry, yet always called it “Masonary”. He also called the Trilateral Commission “the Trilateral Council”, and the Council on Foreign Relations “the Council of Foreign Affairs”.
Clearly, he was somewhat familiar with John Birch literature. But he never explained why the John Birch Society, as part of the Illuminati conspiracy, would expose all these real Illuminati fronts.

Let’s move on to the Satanism. Todd was, of course, a high-ranking Satanist within the Illuminati. He belonged to a Grand Druid Council headed by Raymond Buckland, the man hand-picked by Philippe Rothschild to head the Illuminati and a professor of anthropology at Columbia. Buckland revealed to Todd many things known only to high-level witches; lower-level witches were hand-fed disinformation and nonsense. He also received some witchcraft training from Ruth Carter Stapleton, sister of future president Jimmy Carter.
Buckland, as you may know, was indeed a very prominent witch. But he never taught at Columbia, and wasn’t an anthropologist. He was a flight attendant for British Airways. (For more information on Buckland, see my post “John Todd Addendum“.)

According to Todd, Satanists don’t congregate. This is quite a contrast to Doreen Irvine’s gatherings, which attracted up to 1000 black witches, and to Mike Warnke’s San Bernadino-area coven of 1500.
In Todd’s form of witchcraft, Satanists dealt directly with their high priests. They didn’t even know the other members of their covens.

The central scripture of Satanism is the Necronomicon, but copies are rare. The only copies known to Todd were kept in St. Petersburg, Glasgow, and the British Library.
In case you’re keeping track, that makes three different sacred texts in just three different “ex Satanist” accounts: The Book of Satan (Doreen Irvine), The Great Mother (Mike Warnke), and a book that doesn’t freaking exist (Todd). But hey, at least we’ve heard of the Necronomicon. Those other two books don’t seem to exist even in the realm of fiction.
All three cults were supposedly organized on a national level, and two encompassed the whole planet. So why aren’t all these Satanists using the same books?
And just for the record, Lovecraft stories never named St. Petersburg or Glasgow as locations of the Necronomicon. There were copies at the British Museum, Harvard, the Biblioteque Nationale, the University of Buenos Aires, and Miskatonic University.
Todd also referred to the book several times as the “Necromonicon“, just as he called Masonry “Masonary”.
Sheesh, he couldn’t even get his bullshit right.

Apocalypse Not

In ’69, Todd enlisted in the military. Illuminati witches are exempt from military service, but he wanted to set up some covens in other countries and this was a convenient cover. He served in Vietnam as a Green Beret before being transferred to Germany. One night, in Stuttgart, he got crazy drunk and high and (for reasons known only to him) engaged in a firefight with one of his former commanding officers. The man was killed. From military confinement, Todd phoned his foster mother in L.A. and asked her to cast a spell on the members of the jury at his imminent court martial, to make them believe he was innocent. (It would have been simpler to cast a spell on the commanding officer in charge of the court martial, but what do I know? I’m not a Satanic Illuminati witch.)
Instead, someone pulled major strings for Todd. A Senator, a Congressman, and two generals personally escorted him out of his cell. He received an honorable discharge, no questions asked. The Army even destroyed all Todd’s military records to help preserve the secrecy of the Illuminati.
In reality, Todd’s papers were not destroyed. And they tell a slightly different story: He served as a clerk in the Army from February 1969 to July 1970 without ever setting foot in Vietnam. He was stationed in Germany for less than a month and was discharged under a Section 8. You know, that thing Klinger was always trying to get by running around in drag? I wonder just how unstable a person would have to be to get a Section 8 during ‘Nam. I’m guessing “Charlie Sheen”.
Anyway, Todd had been making death threats and false suicide reports. A psychiatric evaluation conducted in ’69 found he suffered emotional instability, pseudologica phantastica, and possibly brain damage as well. He was also treated for a drug overdose at an Army facility in Maryland in 1969.

Devil Rock

Like evangelist/exorcist Bob Larson, Todd claimed to be a music industry insider. After ‘Nam, he was a manager at Zodiac Productions (variously described as “the largest music conglomerate in the world” and “the largest booking agency”), so he knew that every rock musician in America had to become a witch before he could get a recording contract, and that every master recording was taken to a Satanic temple to be possessed by a demon. Each major record label had its own temple.
In one of his anti-rock lectures, he recounts a conversation he had with David Crosby after his conversion:

Todd: “Do they still bring the master [recording] to the Temple…and conjure demons into the master? Is the purpose of rock music still to use witchcraft, cast spells…?”
Crosby: “Of course. You know that, Lance.”

The only moderately successful Zodiac Productions operating in the U.S. during the early ’70s was a film company that produced one film (a ’74 gay porno called The Portrait of Dorian Gay – NSFW) and several episodes of the ’60s variety show The Hollywood Palace. It did not have a music division.
To explain why no one recognized this mammoth media conglom, Todd said Zodiac was forced to change its name because of the negative publicity he brought to it. He did not divulge the new name.

World Domination and Stuff

In ’72, the Grand Druid Council received a diplomatic pouch from headquarters in London, containing an eight-year plan for world domination (culminating in December 1980). It involved economic breakdown, a military strike force comprised partly of prisoners, the execution of millions, and a Third World War that would spare only Jerusalem.
Around the same time, a letter from Satanic HQ announced the discovery of a man believed to be Lucifer’s son. He would serve as a false messiah to lead the masses astray. Todd later identified this Antichrist as fellow Baptist Jimmy Carter.

It was shortly after this that Todd was supposedly saved at a Pentacostal church service. Sometimes he placed this event in California, sometimes it occurred in Texas.

After his conversion and defection in ’73, the Satanists made many attempts on Todd’s life. This campaign of terror echoes the assassination attempts described by Mike Warnke and his first wife, and was equally unsuccessful. How is that these international Satanists can pull off world wars, but they can’t bump off two regular dudes?
Todd wouldn’t have been hard to find. He was working at a Pheonix, Arizona coffeehouse run by Pentecostal Ken Long, a local leader of the Jesus movement.

Todd’s extant lectures overflow with such stupefyingly retarded bullshit. Just a few examples:

  • Ayn Rand fans are Communists. Atlas Shrugged was commissioned by Philippe Rothschild (Rand’s lover) as a blueprint for the destruction of the U.S. and the Communist/Illuminati takeover of the world. Rand inserted racy passages in the book to keep Christians away from it. Todd doesn’t explain why Rothschild didn’t just write it himself. (One wonders, too, why the Satanists concocted an eight-year plan in the ’70s if Rand had already produced a step-by-step instruction manual for global domination back in ’57. I guess the Illuminati doesn’t mind busywork. Also, Rand’s hinky sex life has been exhaustively documented – I mean, seriously, TMI – and it didn’t involve any Rothschilds.)
  • JFK faked his death. Wait, no he didn’t. As “personal warlock” to the Kennedys, Todd met with JFK many times in the early ’70s. He never went into detail about this. In later talks, he said JFK was assassinated in 1963 because he was born again in Tampa, Florida.
  • Epilepsy is a medical condition, but the seizures are caused by demonic possession and/or medication. Todd actually instructed his epileptic listeners not to take their medication.
  • The supernatural soap opera Dark Shadows was based on the history of the Collins family. Todd was asked to bring a family diary to Hollywood, all expenses paid, one summer. He spent several months as a consultant to the writers while the series was being developed. I’ve never seen Dark Shadows, but my mother tells me most of the main characters were vampires and werewolves rather than witches, and there wasn’t any explicit occult content other than maybe a few black candles. Episode synopses at Wikipedia indicate the plot elements were culled from classic Gothic lit and popular novels.
  • Most of the cast of the Star Wars movies were gay men who had slept with the producers, culled from The Young and the Restless. The Y&R cast contained so many witches that Todd referred to it as an “occult soap opera”. But none of the primary Star Wars actors were ever in it. Mark Hamill was on General Hospital. Harrison Ford was never on a soap at all. Nor was Alec Guinness. James Earl Jones was on The Guiding Light and As the World Turns. Billy Dee Williams was on The Guiding Light; even though he still does a lot of soap work, he has never been on Y&R (interestingly, though, Ford and Williams appeared in some of the same films and TV shows: The Conversation, The F.B.I., and The Mod Squad). All of these men had considerable acting ability and would certainly not have to sleep with any producers to get work. Aside from Guinness, who was reportedly bi, not one of them appears to be gay. Maybe the Modal Nodes were gay warlocks?
  • Actress Cindy Williams (Laverne and Shirley) and her boyfriend started a witch cult. I suspect Todd singled out Williams because she and Penny Marshall co-wrote a screenplay about the Salem witch trials, Paper Hands. She was also in The Conversation, the tale of a man who lets paranoia and his imagination get the better of him. Hmm.
  • Most Israeli license plates contain the number 666. Todd was taking a big risk with this one. Any listener who had traveled to Israel would know he was full of it.
  • All of the people executed during the Salem witch trials were born again Christians rather than Puritans, and this is why the Collins family and other secret witches had them killed.
  • The Illuminati gave him $8 million to start the Christian record label Marantha Records, to corrupt Christian youth via Satanic rock music. Marantha would later produce such hardcore Satanic albums as Psalty’s Funtastic Praise Party.
  • The Dunwich Horror, starring Sandra Dee, was the most accurate representation of witchcraft on film. LOL. I’ve seen this movie, and about the only thing it accurately represents is Grade B cheese.

Part II

Move over, Burzum…

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Filed under Conspiracy Theories, Cults, Religion, Satanic Panic, Secret Societies, The Prodigal Witch