Other "Former Satanists" of the ’80s


The two men described below didn’t have the same impact as Lauren Stratford or Audrey Harper, but they contributed to the anti-occult hysteria of the late ’80s in their own corner of the world, Texas.

Ken McBride

Ken McBride’s only notable appearance on the anti-occult scene was his central role in an obscure straight-to-video documentary produced in 1989, Dave Roever Presents: Exposing the Satanic Web.
Roever is a Texas preacher, so the video focuses heavily on alleged Satanic crime in Texas, while trying to convince us that Satanism is a nation-wide scourge. McBride estimates there are 40,000 Satanists in the Dallas-Fort Worth area alone, not including witches and pagans. By 1990 census numbers, that would be over 1% of the population.

McBride, and everyone else in the video, believes that the recruitment of young people into violent forms of Satanic worship is taking place everywhere. No teenager is safe. Not even toddlers are safe; several times, children’s crayon drawings of “ritual abuse” are flashed on the screen while McBride or someone else relates anecdotes about Satanic crime.

McBride was supposedly in a Satanic cult from the late ’60s until the mid ’70s, for about seven years (between the ages of 21 and 28). He says he left Satanism fourteen years earlier (around 1975). He doesn’t give us any specifics about this cult. He just says their rituals would terrify outsiders, because no Hollywood film has accurately portrayed the full horror of Satanism (which must have been news to “former Illuminati witch” John Todd, who said The Dunwich Horror was an accurate portrayal of Satanic witchcraft).
Ken and his fellow Satanists had powers that would make Captain America look like a 3-year-old with a water pistol. They could spontaneously start fires and kill people by uttering a single word.
He doesn’t explicitly say this was witchcraft, but he does claim that just prior to a filming, a Wiccan told him he was afraid to leave the Craft because he feared the awesome power of the Satanists, implying that Wiccans and McBride’s Firestarters are one and the same (which is news to me, because the Wiccans of my acquaintance have to use matches and lighters). Or perhaps he’s implying that Satanists sit at the top of a religious pyramid, dominating earth religions that haven’t mastered the art of magical murder. Whichever scenario he’s laying out, it’s bullshit. No Wiccan is afraid to leave Wicca because a Satanist might retaliate against him, because the two belief systems are not interlinked.

He tells us that politicians, police officers, lawyers and Christian ministers secretly practice Satanism. The police cult members cover up occult crimes.
All Satanists use drugs. McBride says he can barely recall his seven years of hideous devil worship, because he was drunk and/or stoned on Percodan and Valium most of the time.
And then he blurts out something truly chilling: “You’re no longer dealing with human beings as you and I know them.”

McBride informs us Satanic crimes are occurring all the time, and are bound to increase (“Matamoros was just the beginning,” he says ominously). Unfortunately, those silly police detectives with their stoopit “forensic evidence” just don’t know how to spot an occult crime when it’s right under their faces. He gives the example of a murder victim who had “ZEN” written on her chest. “ZEN”, he says, is a bastardization of the name of the powerful demon Zaden. The police would know that if they weren’t so ignorant, if they would just put aside their little “crime scene analysis” for a damn minute and listen to people like Ken, who know what’s really going on in the world. Today, we hear the same complaint from “occult crime experts” like Dawn Perlmutter.

The thing is, there is no demon called Zaden. Zaden was a deity of ancient Georgia, one of those abandoned religious figures that could have appeared on Mencken’s list of forgotten gods. True, one culture’s gods often become another’s demons, but it’s quite a stretch to assume that when a twentieth-century murderer writes “zen”, he’s harkening back to an Iron Age fertility god. He could just be referring to, I dunno, maybe zen? (Incidentally, I can’t find any trace of an unsolved murder matching this description.)

So, to recap: Satanists are violent, drug-abusing, intimidating, immoral, corrupt, devious people who are barely even people. They can’t be trusted at all. Unless, of course, they claim to be born again in Christ. Then you must heed every word they say, even if they admit their memory has been grievously impaired by heavy drug and alcohol abuse, or you’ll be sorry. Your children will be sacrificing babies before you know it. All it takes is one heavy metal album, one Dungeons & Dragons session, one peace sign T-shirt…

Thankfully, McBride melted back into obscurity before Oprah or Geraldo caught wind of him.

Jerry Reider

Jerry Reider became known through an anti-occult organization called Exodus (not to be confused with the “ex-gay” ministry), which was founded in 1985 by San Antonio mother Yvonne Peterson. The group specialized in educating parents about the hazards of the occult, keeping teens away from Satanism and all its tentacles, and what Peterson referred to as “de-indoctrination” of Satanists. Exodus claimed that up to 60,000 Americans were being sacrificed to Satan every year, and presented testimony from several anonymous ritual abuse survivors who said they witnessed such sacrifices. Not one prosecution resulted from these anecdotal accounts.
Peterson makes a brief appearance in the video mentioned above, Dave Roever Presents: Exposing Satan’s Web.

Jerry Reider performed the same function for Exodus that “former black witches” Doreen Irvine and Audrey Harper did for the UK organization Reachout Trust later in the ’80s; he was the in-house reformed Satanist. As a two-for-one bonus, he was also a reformed heavy-metal musician who could warn kids away from Satanic rock.

Reider’s story is fairly simple: Sometimes in the ’70s, he got into Satanism via heavy metal. Then he married the high priestess of a Texas cult, who ritually sacrificed their infant daughter. And she got away with it, because Reider apparently never bothered to report this supposed crime.
Their cult (which Reider didn’t name) lured teens into their clutches with – what else? – sex and rock music.

Not only did Reider have difficulty remembering his time as a Satanist (thanks to drug use), he couldn’t even seem to remember his present. He claimed to be an ordained minister, but couldn’t recall his denomination or who had ordained him.

9 thoughts on “Other "Former Satanists" of the ’80s

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  1. Thank you for providing these accounts for us. I remember the whole "satanic scare." I must admit that at first I actually suspected that something really strange was going on below the surface. Really strange stuff does happen. The Manson Family murders, then the Jonestown atrocity less than ten years later. It had my imagination going — all those dark cavernous tunnels below every city where the Satan worshipers perform rituals and even — human sacrifices. I thought the authorities would shut them all down at some point. Then when the explanation as to why the police and the FBI are not doing anything about it — because they are all in on it. And so are the doctors, morticians, those in all levels of government. At that point I had been around and I knew a lot of people but I had never met anyone who I suspected of being a satan worshiper or a victim of SRA. They made it sound as if the entire world's population were either victims of the Satanic cults of in on the conspiracy. That was when I knew that it had to be a bunch of hooey. If you look at my Youtube channel (Godlesspanther) I made several videos on the satanism scare of the 80s-90s.

  2. I've seen your vids! They're great. I was a little too young to grasp what was going on with Satanic hysteria in the '80s (fortunately I didn't watch much daytime TV), but I definitely experienced some effects of it. My grandmother would see a Stephen King novel and freak out about "that occult stuff", or a friend would be forbidden to watch He-Man because Skeletor was Satanic, etc. I've always been concerned with child abuse issues, so when I was older I began looking into McMartin and the other daycare panics. In hindsight, it should have been a huge tipoff to everyone that a large percentage of the accused were women. There simply aren't that many female pedophiles. But at the time it was all happening, the details were so bizarre and so overwhelming that I can't blame anyone for buying into it at first. Particularly young social workers and psychologists who had been carefully trained to provide unconditional positive regard. However, I think the panic became a very lucrative industry for certain people. All we can do now is look back and learn from it all. It's important to document that process, because centuries from now, people will want to know what the hell we were thinking.

  3. Well I guess we should be grateful for each and every one of these nuts that didn't hit the big time, things could have been a lot worse!I have nothing but bad memories and resentment for the Satanic Panic years in the 80's. Here in South Africa, concerned parents managed to pull Thundercats from TV halfway through season 1 because of all the "occult content". Not sure I've ever forgiven them for that!Funny thing is, as an adult I rewatched it and yes, it actually did have a lot of occult themes but I would never have noticed that as a child! Funny thing, I know lots of people who watched Thundercats as a kid, not one of them is now or ever was in the occult. Perhaps the "occult influence" of cartoons isn't as potent as parents are led to believe, imagine that…

  4. Thanks for all these fascinating articles and the great research you've done. I was growing up in the San Antonio area in the 80's, so I remember Yvonne Peterson and her organization.It received quite a bit of attention, and I do recall how very earnest they were in their beliefs that the area was crawling with Satanic cults. Interestingly, while I knew many people who were into heavy metal music and even enjoyed the sinister "satanic" imagery, I never met one practising Satanist the in the 20 years I lived in the area. Indeed, the city is very Roman Catholic. I don't recall Jerry Reider though. Most of the news stories concerning this organization focused on police work, so it's possible that such stories were avoided in case it would have made their claims less believable. I do vividly recall there were often warnings sent to hospitals that some cult was going to sweep through and try to steal babies, and security would be beefed up during the full moon and whatnot. Never heard of any cult actually attempting such a thing there, though.

  5. @ Eugene, that's hilarious, banning Thundercats. I have a Snarf doll sitting on a shelf for good luck (long story), so I guess I'm an occultist. I'm surprised the anti-occult crusaders never went after my favourite childhood show, Fraggle Rock. It was chock-full of pagan-y stuff; the Fraggles even held a moon ceremony once a year. I guess not too many evangelical Christians had HBO.@ Victoria – Wowza. Sounds like the panic hit Texas much harder than I imagined! I tend to judge the level of hysteria by how many daycare ritual abuse cases were prosecuted (there was just one major case in Texas, I think), but I know that's misleading. Florida was hit hard by ritual abuse/Satanism hysteria, too, with just one daycare case.

  6. Have you checked out the new Thundercats series? At first I was like "Nooooo! You bastards! You changed everything! How dare you mess with my childhood?!" but then after a while I really had to admit that this version works a whole lot better.

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