The Prodigal Witch

Tales from born again devil worshipers, Illuminati agents, and witches

Intro

Part I: Doreen Irvine, the original “Witch Who Switched”
This unassuming English lady was a demon-possessed streetwalker and Queen of All Black Witches in Europe before being saved. Her testimony provided a template for many other accounts of Satanic evildoing.

Part II: Mike Warnke
The enlightening saga of a Christian comedian and minister whose tales of Satanic debauchery were exposed as fabrications – by fellow Christians
Mike Warnke Part I: Mike Warnke’s Story
Mike Warnke Part II: The Real Story

Part III: John Todd
In the ’70s and ’80s, this convicted rapist and “former Illuminati member” reeled out conspiracy yarns that are still being shared and believed today.
John Todd Part I
John Todd Part II
John Todd Addendum: Was Raymond Buckland an archaeology professor?

Part IV: Other “Former Witches” of the ’70s (Hershel Smith and David Hanson)

Part V: Irene Park, another “Witch Who Switched”
A demonic imaginary friend led Ms. Park to become the Wickedest Woman in America (or at least Florida).

Part VI: Tom Sanguinet
A former Wiccan, Sanguinet crafted bogus tales in an effort to discredit other Wiccans.

Part VII: Bill Schnoebelen
Is he a bonafide blood-swilling vampire, a Wiccan, a Satanist, an Illuminati member, or a Catholic priest? Trick question: He’s all of them, and more!

Part VIII: “Elaine” and Dr. Rebecca Brown
Two women weave a tale of a hospital overrun with demons, dark conspiracies by witches, and marriage to the Devil.
“Elaine” and Dr. Rebecca Brown Part I
“Elaine” and Dr. Rebecca Brown Part II

A Thumbnail Sketch of Johanna Michaelsen
The midwife of many ex-Satanist testimonies

Part IX: Lauren Stratford
The woman known as Lauren Stratford transformed herself from a Satanic cult slave into a Holocaust survivor, but neither version of her life story adds up.
Lauren Stratford Part I
Lauren Stratford Part II
Lauren Stratford Part III

Part X: Derry Mainwaring Knight
A Satanic scamster targeted the wealthy and devout members of an English church.

Part XI: Audrey Harper
Ritual abuse enters the ex-Satanist narrative with Audrey Harper’s account of predatory Devil-worshipers and rooster infant sacrifice

Other “Former Satanists” of the ’80s (Ken McBride and Jerry Reider)

Part XII: Doc Marquis
Another Illuminati insider warns us about the Satanic menaces of bobbing for apples and holiday decorations. Oh, and human sacrifice.

Part XIII: Eric Pryor
Hey look, Draco Malfoy had an older brother! And he couldn’t decide if he wanted to be a Satanist, a born again Christian, a born again Satanist, or an avant-garde artiste.

Part XIV: Linda Blood
This is what happens when a Satanist won’t return an obsessed woman’s phone calls.

Part XV: Stephen Dollins
This dude can summon murderous demons in his garage, but what really worries him is the hellish influence of Harry Potter and…uh….the Tooth Fairy?

Part XVI: Illuminati Slaves
Mind control meets Satanic ritual abuse. Watch out for the lizards.
 I. Cisco Wheeler
 II. Arizona Wilder

Part XVII: More Illuminati Defectors (Leo Zagami and “Svali”)

Part XVIII: Today’s Former Satanists (Jeff Harshbarger and Betty Brennan)
If you thought ex-Satanist testimony was a relic of the ’80s, you were wrong.

The Origins of Halloween: Guest post by Schwarherz of the Heathen Ramblings blog
Schwarherz gives his perspective on what Halloween really means to today’s Pagan community, and how some of its traditions came to be.

Coming Soon (after Following the Chemtrails):  

More “former Satanists” and “former Illuminati members”
Former Satanists and Reformed Witches in Africa
Satanic Calendars

The Prodigal Witch XII: Doc Marquis

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Doc Marquis lecturing for The Prophecy Club, c. 1997

In the mid ’80s, an Illuminati defector and former devil worshiper known as Joseph “Doc” Marquis slipped into the niche vacated by John Todd, who was serving time for a rape conviction. Marquis started out as a virtual John Todd clone, but proved to be far more resilient than his predecessor. For the past two decades, Marquis has deftly surfed the waves of Christian conspiracy culture.

An unassuming, clean-cut guy with a slight speech impediment, Marquis speaks calmly and softly, eschewing the brimstone theatrics and stand-up schtick that many ex-Satanists use to spice up their acts.
But his claims are transparently absurd, tailored for the same crowd that insists John Todd was framed by Illuminati overlords. In fact, Marquis was a supporter of Todd’s work and discredited himself early on by parroting Todd’s nonsense. Then he made things even worse for himself by declaring that Mike Warnke, Rebecca Brown, Elaine Moses and Lauren Stratford had been Illuminati members, too. As we have seen, all these people crafted alternate histories for themselves in the ’70s and ’80s. (1)

There’s some question as to whether Marquis can really call himself a former Satanist, since he has stated the Illuminati believes in Lucifer, not Satan, and holds Satanists in disdain (if this makes any sense, let me know). His real cachet is as a former Illuminati member. (2)

Marquis’s first notable appearance was on the June 24, 1987 broadcast of Oprah. Though he began speaking publicly about his past sometime in the early ’80s, this was his first major gig. The show dealt with Wicca, and Marquis (as a “former Illuminati member”) was a naysayer, brought on to warn of the hazards of witchcraft alongside evangelist/exorcist Bob Larson. For the record, Oprah was open to everything Marquis had to say and at times chided other guests for questioning his more absurd statements about human sacrifice. After describing a previous guest who supposedly suffered Satanic ritual abuse, she said, “Just because… nobody found the bodies and nobody called in to a newspaper and said human sacrifices are going on, doesn’t mean that it does not exist.” (2)

If she had known more about his background, she might not have been so open. Prior to Oprah, Marquis was a supporter of The Family International and gave lectures at the church’s Friendswood Home in Houston. (3)
The Family was once known as The Children of God, and under the leadership of the crazed pedophile David “Moses” Berg, its members were urged to become prostitutes and molest children. As an adult, Berg’s son Ricky was still so severely traumatized by his molestation that he murdered one of the women who abused him, then killed himself.
The Family has tried very hard to shake its horrific past and move on, but COG’s international legacy of child abuse and cult manipulation won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

It was probably the Oprah appearance that gave Marquis just enough temporary street cred to be invited on Geraldo Rivera’s May 1989 show about the Matamoros killings, as a “former Satanic high priest”. Though the Matamoros drug murders involved a cultish cartel that practiced a bizarre form of ritual sacrifice (mostly on enemies, but sometimes on random strangers), they had nothing to do with Satanism and even less to do with the Illuminati. Marquis also boasts of appearing or acting as a consultant for Unsolved Mysteries, Hard Copy, and Talk of the Town, but I can’t confirm any of that. (1)

Around 1997 Marquis gave two epic lectures to the Prophecy Club, the same fundamentalist/conspiracy outfit that hosted Satanic Illuminati vampire Bill Schnoebelen.
He was introduced as a seventh-generation (reformed) witch raised in an Illuminati family. In one talk, titled “America’s Occult Holidays”, Marquis wasn’t content to slam Halloween. He also tried to convince his Christian audience to stop celebrating Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day in traditional ways, because it’s all Pagan-Satanic worship. (4)

These days, Marquis lingers on the conspiranoid fringe where he belongs. His videos and books are available online, and he was a presenter at this year’s Conspiracy Con, but I doubt there will be any more mainstream TV appearances.

John Todd Redux

Marquis claims he was a member of the U.S. branch of the Illuminati from a young age, but he can’t seem to decide what that age was. On Oprah, he said he was 5 years old when someone sent a demon to control him. (2)  In his Prophecy Club talks a decade later, he was 3 years old when it all began. (4)  At any rate, his tender age handily absolves him of all personal responsibility for the atrocities he attributes to the group, placing him in the same redeemed-victim category as John Todd (who was an Illuminati member from birth).
The Illuminati Marquis describes is identical in most respects to John Todd’s, being comprised of powerful “witches” who worship Satan, practice human sacrifice, and control basically everything. The Rothschild family is at the head of the Illuminati, just as John Todd said. In fact, It was Mayer Rothschild who gave the Illuminati its seed money, back in 1776. He formed a governing “apostleship” made up of twelve financiers.
It is incredibly unlikely that Rothschild had anything to do with the founding of Adam Weishaupt’s Bavarian Illuminati in 1776. At that time he was a coin dealer living in the Jewish ghetto of Frankfurt, prominent in his field but virtually unknown outside of it. He would not enter the banking world in a big way until nearly a decade later. The Bavarian Illuminati was comprised mainly of academics – and in keeping with the spirit of the order and the prejudices of the times, there was not a single banker or Jew among its ranks.

Born in 1956, Joseph was apparently not raised by his birth parents. It was a “foster aunt” who dedicated him to the Illuminati when he was just 3 or 5 years old. Presumably, it was she who sent a demon to him. His parents were kept out of the loop, and raised Joseph as a devout Catholic in Massachusetts. On Oprah, he said he even taught Sunday School, which (as fellow guest Whitley Strieber pointed out) would be odd – Catholic churches don’t usually have Sunday school.

Marquis explained that his training began with earth religion (witchcraft). “Eventually, as I got to the higher levels, your philosophy is changed. You are now told what’s really going on.” (2)
He must have moved up to the higher levels of witchcraft very quickly, because in later accounts he says he was just 10 years old when he began attending an occult training academy known as the Outer Court, just like John Todd. There he learned the rudiments of human sacrifice, alchemy, and other dark arts.
Like everyone else in this series, Marquis views any form of occultism as devotion to Lucifer. Earth religion and Satanism and the Illuminati are all jumbled together into one huge, amorphous lump of evil. He claims that all Wiccans of “higher levels” knowingly worship the Devil, and you can’t be in the Illuminati without pledging allegiance to Lucifer.

Artist’s rendition of Doc Marquis’s school
At 13 he was made a high priest of a Satanic Illuminati witch coven, just like John Todd. His initiation ceremony required him to slice his arm with an athame and sign The Book of the Dead in his own blood. This is what UK “black witches” Doreen Irvine and Audrey Harper supposedly had to do in the ’60s, too, but they merely signed parchment. As we have seen, none of these worldwide Satanic cults use the same rituals, scriptures, or initiation rites. They can control the entire pop music industry, ritually slaughter hundreds of thousands of people every year without leaving a speck of evidence, and manipulate the whole geopolitical scene – but they just can’t agree on a standard mode of worship. As Marquis and Irvine describe their cults, they operated like a Catholic church on Opposite Day: If a priest wears white, we’ll wear black; if Catholics drink wine and pretend it’s blood, we’ll drink blood and pretend it’s wine, etc. As you probably know, real Satanism is not merely an inversion of Christianity.

Marquis stated that Illuminists and all witches, in addition to worshiping Lucifer, pay homage to the Assyrian goddess Semiramis and the “god” Nimrod. I’m sure real witches would heartily disagree, but that doesn’t stop David Icke and other professional conspiranoids from saying it continuously. Icke even insists the Statue of Liberty is an Illuminist representation of Semiramis (see page 8 of his Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster).
Nimrod is not exactly a god. He’s an unruly descendant of Biblical patriarchs (Abraham, Noah) who supposedly reigned over various Mesopotamian cities. He may have been revered as a king of sorts, but the evidence for a cult of Nimrod is thin. It is mostly conspiracists like Alexander Hislop and Icke who conflate Nimrod with other deities and insist he was a consort of Semiramis, something mentioned only briefly by Josephus. This strain of thought seems to have begun with Hislop’s 1853 tract The Two Babylons, or the Papal Worship Proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife.
So this leaves only two possibilities: Either Marquis is lying about the Illuminati worshiping Nimrod and Semiramis, or the truth was found out by a cranky anti-Catholic dude who never left his native Scotland.
At any rate, Marquis doesn’t go into much detail about Semiramis and Nimrod worship, which is quite typical of ex-Satanists and former Illuminati members.

At age 17, Marquis surpassed even Todd by becoming a “Master Witch” (a title Todd never mentioned). He ultimately attained the rank of Third Degree Master Witch, whatever that means. His superiors put him in charge of all the witches in three communities: Methuen and Lawrence in Massachusetts and Salem in New Hampshire.
After his formal witchcraft training was over he was ordered by his Illuminati superiors to join the Army as a medic, earning the nickname “Doc.” This is a bit odd; Todd claimed Illuminati witches are exempt from military service. Marquis says he was part of the Illuminati plan to infiltrate every military base on the planet and recruit military brass (in the ’80s, Christian conspiranoids were irate about Satanists being in the armed forces, with full Constitutional protection for their religious practices).

Marquis couldn’t be bothered to come up with his own cast list for his Illuminati drama, so he just used Todd’s: Prominent Wiccans Gavin and Yvonne Frost, Laurie Cabot and Raymond Buckland, plus Jimmy Carter’s sister Ruth Carter Stapleton. Todd mistakenly claimed that Buckland had been an anthropology professor at Columbia, but Marquis moved him over to Harvard.
Later on, he added Sharon Tate, Charles Manson, and alien abductee Whitley Strieber to the Illuminati ranks. The Tate murders occurred, he said, because Sharon Tate expressed her intent to defect from the Illuminati. This is probably derived from a claim made by Wiccan Alex Sanders that he initiated Tate in the ’60s, which has never been proven and was most likely (IMO) a publicity gimmick.
Strieber earned Marquis’s wrath by disputing his weird misinformation on Oprah (Strieber, though best-known as an alien abductee, appeared on the show only to discuss his novel Catmagic, which borrowed some ideas from Wicca).

One key difference between Todd’s stories and Marquis’s is that the latter’s Illuminati Satanists congregate on a regular basis (Todd said they don’t meet up at all, ever). According to Marquis, the Illuminati branches, and all the groups they control, perform human ritual sacrifices eight times per year. Marquis witnessed at least 100 human sacrifices during his time in the Illuminati. He talked about this on Oprah, explaining that the bodies of victims were left on roadsides or in wooded areas so that they would appear to be ordinary homicide victims. (2)

But the primary activity of the Illuminati is, of course, establishing a New World Order. In a hilarious illustration, Marquis identifies the elements of this hideous master plan to enslave mankind. They include Dungeons & Dragons, rock music, and “Sabbaths” (I think he means sabbats). All of the other ex-witches in this series warned about the evils of D&D, and Bill Schnoebelen even declared the game contained “real” spells that he gave to Gary Gygax in the late ’70s (after the game was already created), but I believe Doc Marquis is the only former Satanist to actually elevate D&D to a central plank in the NWO agenda.

New Word Order enforcer Elfwood Dragonflail with his weapon of choice.


Conversion and Anti-occult Crusade

Like Mike Warnke, Marquis credits Christians in the military with saving his soul. After three years in the service, he realized his way of life was spiritually bankrupt, walked into a church, and was saved on April 15, 1970. So the Illuminati issued a half-million dollar contract on his life. Marquis claims that there have been eight attempts on his life. Never mind that he was making public appearances throughout the ’80s and early ’90s. The Illuminati can control the world, but it can’t figure out how to assassinate one unarmed dude at a podium. I guess this means the Nation of Islam is better-organized than the Illuminati, which also failed to kill John Todd (who died of natural causes in a mental institution) and Mike Warnke (who’s still alive).  (4)

To fight the creeping menace of occultism, Marquis established the now-defunct National Occult Liberation Outreach Center and later an anti-occult ministry called Christians Exposing the Occult (also defunct). Since the early ’90s he has published numerous books and tracts, notably several volumes of the “American Focus on Satanic Crime” series, written with Alan H. Peterson. He now heads Creation Message Ministries with Cory Black, gives interviews to internet radio shows (mainly conspiracy-themed ones), and appears at conspiracy conventions such as Conspiracy Con and Future Congress.

Just a few of the ridiculous statements made by Marquis:
– In 1990, there were up to 3 million witches in New England. (1)
– Freemasons are an integral part of the Illuminati, just as John Todd said, and are working to install a Masonic Antichrist.
Kabbala is a “very Satanic counterfeit to the Torah and other Old Testament books of the Bible.”
– Every “occult” organization, from Theosophy to Wicca, takes its orders from the Illuminati. And every single one must commit ritual human sacrifices eight times per year (on Oprah, he said only four of eight). The number of victims would be staggering. Marquis claims law enforcement and judicial authorities allied with the Illuminati help cover up these crimes – but if his numbers are accurate, there simply wouldn’t be enough authorities to cover up so many murders. (4)
– Certain “Witch queens” as young as 13 are so powerful they are given control of entire states. An identical claim was made by John Todd, who said his sister was in charge of the state of Ohio at age 13. (1)
– They use astrology to figure out when Easter is going to be every year. (4)
– Satanists are active in the “white slavery” and drug trades. As with all his other claims, Marquis offers no examples and no evidence. (1)
Aleister Crowley was a Freemason, more evidence that Masonry and Satanist are intertwined. Bill Schnoebelen said this in a Prophecy Club lecture, too. It’s not strictly true. Crowley was into esoteric Freemasonry and claimed many degrees, but is not considered a bonafide Mason. (4)
– On Halloween, Druids painted pentagrams-within-circles in human blood on the doors of people who refused to offer up human sacrifices. The victims were herded to Stonehenge and ordered to stick their heads into a cauldron of boiling water. Only those who dared to do it were spared sacrifice, but of course they were left horribly burned. This is the tradition of bobbing for apples began. I would love to see his sources for this, because the first known mention of apple-bobbing dates to the eighteenth century. There is no indication that Druids did any such thing.  (4)
– The First Amendment is too lenient; neo-Pagan groups should not have tax-exempt status, and their members should not have the same Constitutional protection as Christians. (4)

You’ll burn your face off, kid.

Like most former Satanists, Marquis spent a great deal of time attempting to explain the occult symbolism of such things as the 1992 Olympic cauldron (it was red because Rothschild means “red shield”), Christmas wreaths (Pagan-Satanic vaginas), and the dollar bill (hexagrams and pentacles).

Quit staring at it, you perv.

To give Marquis a small amount of credit, he didn’t try to convince anyone that Lovecraft’s Necronomicon is the central scripture of Satanism, or that soap operas are full of devil-worshiping gay men, as John Todd did.

Marquis also offered his services as an “occult crime expert” to law enforcement agencies, training officers how to investigate occult-related crimes or acting as a consultant. I don’t know if any agencies hired him, but Marquis did obtain a letter of recommendation from Chief Norman Connors of the Allenstown, Pennsylvania police. Apparently at Marquis’s request, Connors conducted an “extensive background” check on Marquis and found no evidence of illegal activity. This may have been good for his career as an occult crime consultant, but it certainly doesn’t say much for his reputation as a badass Illuminati Satanist that police couldn’t find a speck of criminal conduct in his background. (1)

Marquis drew in a few supporters, such as the late Ted Gunderson, Karen Kintella, (director of a Houston-based ritual abuse group called Valuable Information For Cult Traumatized Individuals And MPD Survivors, or VICTIMS), The Family International, Ken Adachi, and Pam Schuffert.

In 1999, Marquis published his autobiography, Memoirs of a Former Illuminati Witch (American Focus Publishing).
He had learned a valuable lesson from the ex-Satanists who preceded him. He knew their testimonies were discredited largely because they could not (or would not) provide any verifiable information. He neatly skirted this problem by admitting, straight up, that he had absolutely no intention of giving us any evidence to support his stories. His memoir would be Christian testimony, and nothing else. Essentially, he said, “I’m not going to back up anything I have to say. Deal with it.” He even admitted he was protecting the guilty, in order to prevent a Christian witch hunt. It seems his readiness to name names earlier in his career as an ex-witch hadn’t paid off; it’s much safer to offer up stories that are 100% free of falsifiable details. This will immediately get rid of any pesky nonbelievers who insist on stupid things like “facts” and “evidence”, and ensure that the people who continue to support you will be the most gullible, malleable followers available.

Marquis still talks a lot about occult symbols hidden in plain sight, the Illuminati’s New World Order plans, and Jesus. But his newest thing is predictions, or prophecies, involving conspiracies. He has ramped up the fear factor considerably. He says American concentration camps are being prepared for U.S. Christians, and claims to have been given a tour of one “death camp” in the Mojave desert. “As a former high level Illuminati planner for the New World Order, I was brought to the site of the future FEMA death camp in the Mojave. I knew exactly what it would be used for: the termination of Christian resisters of our ‘PLAN’ to seize this nation under martial law for our New World Order. My reaction when I stood within it’s deadly confines when a Satanist? Sheer joy! I rejoiced over the thought of Christians being terminated in this place.” That’s interesting. FEMA didn’t become active until after April 4, 1979 – about ten days before Doc left the Illuminati.
In May, on Stanley Monteith‘s radio show, he predicted that Obama may be assassinated by a Jewish person in 2012, and this would trigger an Islamic jihad against Israel because Obama is a closet Muslim. Boom, WWIII.

On August 20th, Marquis was a guest on Daniel Ott’s online radio show The Edge. A bio posted on the show’s website states Marquis trains mental health workers, FBI agents, and state and local police in recognizing and dealing with Satanic ritual abuse, Dissociative Identity Disorder and “programming/brainwashing” (he has no formal training in psychology). I can find no evidence that Marquis has given presentations to law enforcement or mental health professionals.

Marquis gave two presentations at this year’s Future Congress in July, and both consisted of very tired material. One was about the occult symbolism hidden in the D.C. street plan, U.S. dollar bills, and the Great Seal of the United States. Yawn. In the other presentation, he examined the illustrations used in the Illuminati card game to “prove how they planned Y2K, 9/11, the British Petroleum oil spill of 2010, the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster of 2011, and other significant events years in advance”.

I’m not even going to waste time explaining why Marquis’s stories probably aren’t true. Everything he says is recycled conspiranoid drivel. If he wants the world to take him seriously as a Luciferian Illuminati witch, he can start by coming up with one infinitesimal speck of fresh information.

Sources:

1. Article on Joseph “Doc” Marquis by Kerr Cuhulain @ Witchvox
2. Unofficial transcript of Oprah June 24, 1987 broadcast
3. Xfamily.org entry for John Todd (Xfamily.org is run by former members of the Children of God/The Family International)
4.“America’s Occult Holidays” Prophecy Club presentation by Doc Marquis (c. 1997)

The Prodigal Witch Part VI: Tom Sanguinet

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In the ’80s, a thirtysomething Texan named Tom Sanguinet made an extremely minor niche for himself as a former Wiccan high priest who converted to Christianity. His Witness for Christ Center Outreach was devoted to smearing and misrepresenting Wicca and Wiccans and educating Christians about the “evil” pagan origins of Halloween and Easter celebrations.

Sanguinet was a Wiccan from 1977 to 1982. He was not, as others describe him, a high priest; there’s no indication he even belonged to a coven at any time. He took a correspondence course from Gavin Frost’s Church and School of Wicca, which granted him a church charter just like the one issued to John Todd in the mid-’70s (you’ll recall that Todd identified Frost as a key player in the Satanic conspiracy, most likely because Frost wisely refused to defend him against charges of exploiting young girls in his “coven”). He apparently had no coven members aside from his girlfriend, Karen Milner
At this time, Sanguinet was penniless. He and Karen, along with Karen’s young daughter, moved to New Bern, South Carolina to be close to Frost. Frost employed him as a welder in his shipyard and helped him get into government-subsidized housing.

In September ’81, Karen left Wicca and New Bern, possibly because (as Frost claims) Sanguinet was abusive toward her child.

Early in ’82, Sanguinet abruptly quit his job at Frost’s boatyard, announcing that he was now a born again Christian who intended to destroy the Church of Wicca. In an August 30th letter to Frost, he wrote, “The whore goddess you serve is a false god and abhorrent to the Lord”, and accused Frost of “spiritually murdering” his own wife and child by not being a Christian. (1)

Sanguinet departed New Bern soon afterward, leaving several outstanding debts. He also sold a truck he had borrowed from someone in Texas. Theft charges were filed against him.

Just how and where Sanguinet was converted to Christianity is unclear.
As a Christian, he wildly reinvented his past. Now, rather than being a drifter who turned to Frost for spiritual guidance, he was a colleague and business partner of Frost who had been schooled in Wicca by his mother. Of his time in New Bern, he told Keith Morse of the Personal Freedom Outreach Newsletter in 1983, “I had a business worth $42 million, I had a house, I had property, I had automobiles, I had an entourage.” He gave up all these things after being saved, walking away with $5 in his pocket. (2)

Sanguinet established the Witness for Christ Center Outreach and devoted the next several years to disparaging Wicca and preaching against the evils of Halloween, using misinformation culled from various anti-occult sources. He even took aim at Easter, alleging that Christians unwittingly “still greatly honor Astarte with her silly little eggs.”
Easter eggs have no direct link to Astarte, nor any other Pagan deity. The tradition of painting eggs in the springtime seems to have originated among the ancient Zoroastrians, and the practice was later adopted by Christians.

Sanguinet offered up yet another version of the Druidic orgins of Halloween, but it’s so similar to John Todd’s version that I believe Todd’s drivel was a direct influence on Sanguinet:
“Samhain is the time that the Druids (pagans who lived in Northern France) used to demand their yearly sacrifice from the countryside… The Druids would go to a castle or a house and would demand a female for sacrifice and upon receiving their demand, would leave a jack-o’lantern there as a sign of good luck for the year… The price of refusing to give in to the Druid’s demands was high. They would leave a hexagram on the door and usually someone would die. It was either give up a common female or lose your firstborn son… The tradition is carried on in present Halloween practices.” (1)
The female sacrifices and Jack-o’-lantern nonsense come from Todd, but Sanguinet added new factoids about where Druids lived and what they did on Halloween. In other words, nothing in his history lesson is factually correct. He taught that Samhain was traditionally held on the night of the full moon closest to November 1, which is untrue. Samhain always was, and is, on October 31. Druids did not use the hexagram, nor any other written symbol. Pumpkins played no part in their religious rites.
For an entirely different perspective on the origins of Halloween, check out this guest post by schwarherz of the Heathen Ramblings blog, which explains what Halloween really means to today’s Pagan community and how some of its traditions came to be.

Sanguinet also tried to attribute corporate misdeeds to Wicca. “[Wicca] really appeals to big-business men because they can go on slaughtering their opponents and feel like they are helping them to progress. Whereas, as a Christian, you can’t go out and just stomp all over your competitor and have your business be blessed. I can’t.”
Pure nonsense. Wicca is not particularly popular among middle-class businesspeople, and does not in any way promote predatory or unethical business practices. In fact, the Wiccan rede would strongly discourage corrupt business practices. (1)

Sanguinet was just one small voice in the anti-Pagan/anti-occult movement of the ’80s, and has long since crawled back into the woodwork, but his misinformation continues to be spread. See, for instance, this page at The End Times Observer or this post at a blog called Shattered Paradigm.

Wherever you are, Mr. Sanguinet, I tell you this: The Easter Bunny hates liars. No chocolate eggs for you.


Sources:

1. Witchvox article on “warlocks” (ex-Wiccans) by Kerr Cuhulain
2. Personal Freedom Outreach Newsletter. Vol 3, No 4, Oct-Dec 1983, pg 4 (this can be read at Aggressive Christianity)

The Prodigal Witch Part V: Irene Park, Another Witch Who Switched


The late Irene Park is unique among the Christian converts in this series because she claimed to have been a witch for four decades, over twice as long as Doreen Irvine, before becoming a Christian minister. Her story is nearly identical to Irvine’s in most key aspects, but it is far more bizarre and disturbing. You see, when Irene was a child of 3 she had an imaginary playmate. At least, she thought she did. This playmate was actually very real, and he was a demon.
He led her into Satanism, sexual abuse, “perversion” (lesbianism), and heroin addiction.
She became the “High Wicked Witch of Florida”. She offered blood sacrifices to the Devil. She smuggled and sold drugs.
Then she was saved, and branded herself “the most evil woman in the world” and “the witch that switched”.

Follow the Evil Brick Road

Born in 1924 to an itinerant laborer and his wife, Irene had a hard life. At the age of 3 she witnessed police officers beating her father. Filled with rage, she sat beneath a tree to brood. That’s when a strange man approached her and introduced himself as her new imaginary friend, Red Horse. He promptly took her to a nearby house to take part in her first Satanic orgy.

Red Horse sounds like a flesh-and-blood sexual predator, but Irene insisted she was the only person who could see him. Not even the other orgy participants were aware of his existence. They simply accepted a toddler wandering into their sex parties on a regular basis, because that (according to “former Satanists”) is the kind of thing that Satanists do.

The story Irene later gave to her stepson, Jeff Park, was a bit different. As he told Spy magazine in 1989, her demonic friend was named Indian Joe and she met him at the age of 5. By accepting his friendship, Jeff said, his stepmother unwittingly made a pact with the Devil. Let’s just ignore the racist overtones, here, because frankly there’s little to be gained from overanalyzing something so profoundly weird.


When she was a bit older, a witch in Lake Wales, Florida, began giving Irene witchcraft lessons in a local cemetery (Satanists and witches love to hang out in cemeteries). This unnamed teacher rubbed foul unguents on the girl’s body, chanted incantations, mixed up magical potions, and summoned demons. Little Irene was determined to learn as much black magic as she could, so she could get even with the cops who beat her daddy. As she tells it, her magical revenge campaign was mostly successful; several of the cops, and even members of their families, died terrible deaths. She even boasted to Spy magazineafter becoming a Christian – that the law couldn’t pin these deaths on her. You would think that if a faithful Christian felt responsible for several deaths, she would turn herself in to police, or at least express some serious remorse.

At 14 Irene ran away from home. This echoes the story of Doreen Irvine, who ran away at 13.
Irene ended up in Tampa and fell in with a band of gypsies who taught her “mind control using a crystal ball”, whatever the hell that means. Crystal balls are using for scrying, not for gaining psychic influence over others.
Just like Irvine, Irene Park turned to prostitution and heroin abuse. She also became a thief, smuggler, and drug dealer. She joined a witch coven. Like Doreen Irvine’s cult of “black witches”, these people focused more energy on defiling and mocking Christianity than on their own beliefs and rituals, which is unusual in the extreme. This would be like a Catholic spending 99% of his time bitching about witches and only 1% of his time going to Mass and confession. It just doesn’t compute
Irene told pastor John Osteen that when she was practicing witchcraft she would take blood from a sacrificed chicken, use a syringe to empty the contents of a gel capsule, then fill the capsule with blood. On Sundays, she would go to a Catholic church in Key West and stand up during the service, squeezing the capsule in her hand until it burst. Believing she was a stigmatic, some of the Catholics would “bow and worship her”.

As an adult, Irene divorced three times. She apparently didn’t have any children of her own, but she claims she carried on the tradition of inducting children into the occult by adopting an Indian orphan named Richard in 1956 and training him to practice “voodoo” and witchcraft. A few years later she adopted a little girl she called Hope.

Despite her alleged devotion to occult perversion, Park realized at some level that Red Horse’s Satanic brand of pedophilia wasn’t so great, and tried to keep Hope out of his clutches. Sadly, she didn’t succeed. She later learned that Red Horse had “seduced” Hope when she was very young.

That protective, motherly impulse didn’t last long. In 1960, Park purchased a Tampa bar and forced 2-year-old Hope to become a “go-go dancer”. Apparently, no one intervened or alerted the authorities. Irene herself never reported her daughter’s molestation. Maybe even she realized that telling police your daughter has been molested by your imaginary friend will win you a ticket to the state mental hospital.

I think it’s safe to assume that Red Horse or Indian Joe was a figment of Irene Park’s very active imagination, or perhaps the product of a troubled mind. But was Park really a witch?
I doubt it. Park betrays her ignorance of the occult again and again. She conflates witchcraft with Satanism, and Satanism with “voodoo”. Park’s teachings on Halloween are eerily similar to the nonsense spewed by John Todd, with a few weird variations: Each October 31, Irish Druids went door to door wearing grotesque masks, collecting offerings for Satan (rather than sacrificial victims, as Todd said). They carried pointed walking sticks known as “leprechaun staffs” or “fairies’ wands”, which brings to mind the “elfin fire” mentioned by Todd. If an offering was not to their liking, the Druids would castrate the man of the house with a walking stick. The history of Halloween as told by “former Satanists” is mostly fantasy (for a more accurate view of how Halloween began and what it means to Pagans today, check out this guest post by Schwarherz of the Heathen Ramblings blog).
At some point, Irene was christened the “High Wicked Witch” of Florida, a nonsensical title that doesn’t exist in any of the pagan, Wiccan, or Satanic traditions of the 20th century. If Park belonged to any coven, it was a small and highly idiosyncratic one that has left no mark on history.

From Wicked Witch to Reverend

Just like Doreen Irvine, Irene suffered severe, unspecified maladies that brought her to the brink of death, supposedly caused by her heavy drug use, drinking, and sexual promiscuity. Around 1970, she was admitted to Tampa General as a “vegetable”, and doctors informed her she would certainly be dead soon.
Irene checked herself out of the hospital and went home to die. But she didn’t die. Two Christian women who were looking after her obeyed God’s injunction to pray over her and fast for 40 days.( It is extremely dangerous – even idiotic – to fast for this length of time. I don’t care who tells you to do it: DON’T.)
Fortunately, the women – if they existed – didn’t die. And Park was spontaneously filled with the love and healing power of Jesus. The Wicked Witch of Florida became a born again Christian.

Her fourth and final marriage to a man she called “Pappa” (Jim Park) lasted until his death in 1986.
Though never ordained as a minister, Irene established herself as a preacher in the Tampa area and founded Christ’s Deliverance Ministries, Inc. She called herself a reverend.
CDM sold small pamphlets on the dangers and evils of the occult, Halloween, fantasy role-playing games, etc.

In 1980 Park published her memoir, The Witch That Switched. It is still available from Christ Deliverance Ministries, an online ministry started by Herb Pohlmeyer to spread Park’s work. His unintentionally hilarious website contains a bio of Park with this description of her legacy: “Irene knew that the enemy of our faith will use any means possible to deceive those that are enticed to learn about any mystical powers, through board games, roll playing, or witchcraft.

Roll-playing: It’s just wrong

Irene sometimes preached at the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, headed by the late John Osteen (father of Lakewood’s current pastor, Joel Osteen). This was a coveted venue for any preacher, and she was not above playing dirty to knock out the competition. When Kenneth Copeland introduced a stigmatic named Lucy Rael to Lakewood, she became a wildly popular attraction at the church. Park immediately denounced her as a fraud, telling Osteen how she used to fake stigmata herself.
Osteen brushed her aside, so Irene rented a conference room near his church and invited his parishioners to attend a sermon about Lucy Rael’s fakery.

Now don’t get me wrong; Lucy Rael was probably a fraud. She manifested “holy feathers” and diamonds, and performed other common magic tricks that have been used by fraudulent mediums and gurus the world over for generations. But Park was clearly acting out of jealousy. Here we have a fake Satanic witch trying to ruin the reputation of a (possibly) fake stigmatic. Just like Mike Warnke speaking out against John Todd before he himself was exposed as a liar.

Park wasn’t above spreading rumours and falsehoods that served her purpose, as well. She actively propagated the legend that Sybil Leek, the world’s best-known witch (and somewhat of a fraud in her own right) had been converted to Christianity on her deathbed. There is no evidence that such a thing occurred.

Later in life, Park branched into conspiracy theories. For instance, she speculated that Pat Robertson’s ’88 presidential campaign was thwarted by a black magician in the George H.W. Bush camp.

Park died in 2007. The fate of her two adopted children, Richard and Hope, is unknown. There is, of course, a strong possibility that they were as phantasmal as Red Horse/Indian Joe.

Irene’s Legacy

Irene Park’s books and pamphlets are still widely disseminated among certain Christians, and her misinformation about the origins of Halloween is frequently cited by anti-Halloween preachers like Pastor David L. Brown.
Her testimony added more “evidence” to the growing fundamentalist belief that all forms of occultism lead to depravity, criminal behaviour, drug addiction, and even child molestation. The latter issue would soon become very prominent in the stories told by “former Satanists” and their alleged victims.

The same year The Witch That Switched was published, an imaginary friend made an appearance in the first account of Satanic ritual abuse, Michelle Remembers. Michelle Smith, in the course of therapy with the late Dr. Lawrence Pazder, vividly “recalled” Satanists murdering and dismembering her imaginary playmate. Despite this and other implausibilities in the book, Michelle Remembers was embraced by many as an accurate account of modern Satanism. Irene Park’s story helped pave the way for it.

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”.

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…