2014: The Year in Psychic Fail

mzarathustra1It’s that time of year again: Time to review some of the psychic predictions made for last year.
Sylvia Browne is out of the picture now, but as Illuminutti has pointed out, she made one last set of predictions that turned out to be very wrong. How did the upstart psychics fare?

Nikki, “Psychic to the Stars”

I covered Nikki’s predictions two years ago (and I’m still waiting for Stallone to nab that Tony nomination). It seems her style has really evolved since then. Her predictions have become more specific and less cataclysmic in nature, making them more believable than “the map of the world will change” or “Earth will fall off its axis a little more”. However, she still has that peculiar habit of combining world-shattering events like food riots and massive earthquakes with events so mundane that you wonder why the spirit world would even bother to communicate them (the death of a royal horse, marriage for Oprah).

Nikki claims that a ton of her 2014 predictions came true, including health problems for Cher and Avril Lavigne, a “space tragedy”, and the deaths of four celebrities. This year, she has unpacked a whopping 290 predictions for the new year, not including a list of dozens of public figures who may die and/or have health issues. That’s a good strategy. If you throw enough shit at the wall, something has to stick, right?

Let’s take a closer look at Nikki’s listed predictions for 2014. Out of 45 celebrity predictions, three were accurate (“Mathew McConaughey nominated for an Oscar”, “12 Years a Slave winning numerous awards”, and Rob Ford’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel). Four, if you’re very generous and include “Cher has to watch her health”. Cher is 68 years old. Everyone in their late 60s has to watch their health.
Most of the predictions on Nikki’s list were absurdly vague (“Danger around Justin Beiber”), and several were ludicrously safe bets (“A country music legend will pass”). Of the seven relationship breakups she predicted, not one actually happened. She predicted a “slight accident” for Tom Cruise and cautioned Johnny Depp to be careful around motorcycles, but said nothing about Bono’s bike mishap. Not even the predictions that seemed highly likely (“Miley Cyrus full body cast”) came to pass.

Nikki’s success rate for world events is even more dismal. The Egyptian pyramids were not sucked into a giant sinkhole, a gorilla did not devour its trainer, and the Empire State Building was not attacked by terrorists. The Coliseum Colosseum did not partially collapse, civil war did not break out in the U.S., and Mt. St. Helen’s Helens did not erupt. Her obsession with bird attacks didn’t pan out, either.

Birdemic_13

Maybe next year.

I predict that in 2015, Nikki will finally hire an editor.

T.B. Joshua

This year’s Top Fail award goes to T.B. Joshua, one of Nigeria’s most successful televangelists. His megachurch, The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN), broadcasts his sermons to millions on its own channel, Emmanuel TV.
Joshua’s predictions merit special attention, because he presents them as information imparted to him directly from God – old school prophecy in action. Let’s examine just one of the many prophecies Joshua unveiled in 2014.

On March 8, a video made up of clips from Joshua’s July 28, 2013 sermon was posted to Emmanuel TV’s YouTube channel. During that sermon, Joshua asked his audience to pray for an Asian country to help avert an airplane crash that could happen there. He indicated the plane would have some kind of problem that could be detected while it was still on the ground. “I see a balloon,” he said.
If the plane crashed, almost 200 passengers would die.
Joshua explained that God had revealed the name of the Asian country to him, but he wouldn’t reveal it for fear of disrupting air travel to and from that nation.
The video then segues into clips of news stories about Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, the plane that had just vanished.

The March 8th video is impressive, I have to admit. Here’s a guy in Africa, predicting a major Asian air disaster more than six months before a Malaysian airplane goes missing in one of the weirdest unsolved incidents of modern aviation history. Sure, Joshua was a little skimpy on the details, but that’s a remarkably on-target prediction, right?

Maybe not so much. Another video, showing an unedited version of the same July 2013 sermon, tells a rather different story. In this clip. we hear Joshua clearly say that the plane will crash just metres from its takeoff point…a key detail that somehow didn’t make it into his official video.

God revealed the crash to Joshua, yet Joshua has (obviously) played no part in locating the plane. A full day after searchers started looking for it in the Indian Ocean, he suddenly suggested that very area as the site of the crash, and revealed for the first time that some sort of confrontation or hijacking involving “strange people” was the root cause of the tragedy. He confidentally asserted that wreckage would be found in the ocean within a week.

what

WHAT ABOUT THE BALLOON, THO?

Okay, so one of T.B. Joshua’s prophecies was a bit wonky. Let’s all give him the benefit of the doubt, and see how he did with other 2014 prophecies over at the blog T.B. Joshua Watch.

Terry and Linda Jamison, the world’s “most documented” psychics

The California-based Jamison twins revealed dozens of 2014-2015 predictions during an online radio broadcast (Beyond the Gate) aired on January 6, 2014. They called 2014 The Year of the Truth Revealed – lots of uncloseted skeletons and exposed corruption. They also explained that Light Beings are helping us form crystalline bodies, increasing our “manifestation potential”. So, uh, enjoy that.
They also accused Lady Gaga of stealing their costume designs from the ’80s and ’90s.

They offered some helpful career tips (computer skillz) and a few investment tips (oil, gas, biotech, and wellness).

On their website, they have a page devoted to predictions made on this show that came to pass in the latter half of 2014. However, after listening to the broadcast on YouTube, I have a hard time matching their predictions to any of the events listed on this page. They did make a few successful predictions on the show –  that Republicans would win the Senate, for instance – but I didn’t hear them talking about the specific events on the list. They just matched real-world events to the vague statements they made. For instance, their airy prediction about “breakthroughs in prostrate cancer” is matched to a vitamin D study, even though they didn’t give any such details on-air. This is classic retrofitting in action.

Bizarrely, though, they can’t even get their retrofitting quite right. They write that Nicole Kidman’s father died in the Philippines amidst rumours of pedophilia and participation in a “child murder ring”. In reality, Antony Kidman died in Singapore. He was not under investigation for anything at the time of his death, because the International Common Law Court of Justice mentioned in blog posts about him is not an actual legal entity. It is a loose collaboration of individuals with no background in justice or law enforcement, acting under “common law” principles in the same manner as Sovereign Citizens or Freemen-on-the-Land. The allegations of Satanic ritual abuse and sacrifice that have been brought to light by the “Court” are extremely dodgy. I don’t say that lightly. The man who started the Court and popularized the Ninth Circle Satanic pedophile/murder ring meme and is now the primary investigator of its supposed crimes is a personal friend; for years, I supported his work with the survivors of Canada’s residential school system. In recent years, however, he has shown signs of mental strain and gullibility, traveling the globe to collect evidence that he believes implicates the pope, the English royals, and influential politicians in everything from mass child abduction to cannibalism. The International Common Law Court of Justice he established has presented no concrete evidence to support any of these accusations. The sole source of information about the Ninth Circle consists of testimony from various alleged victims of the cult, and they haven’t presented any evidence, either. As the stories spread via videos and blog posts, more and more people embrace them uncritically without asking for one iota of proof, just as the Jamison sisters have done. It is a disappointing and alarming trend.

Other “predictions” were flat-out wrong. “Homeopathy will be helpful” in the treatment of depression? Sorry, ladies: Sugar and salt and water won’t cure anything.

homeopathy one weird trick

Sidney Friedman

U.S. mentalist Friedman’s predictions are, by far, the most entertaining of 2014.

  • “Garlic is in the news.”
  • “Chivalry returns.”
  • “A shock wave, perhaps literally or perhaps figuratively, is felt in Russia.”
  • “Remarkably, for the first time, a poll finally finds one person who actually approves of Congress.”
ouija-lunch-box

I predict bologna sandwiches today.

LaMont Hamilton

Not one of pyschic LaMont Hamilton’s predictions for 2014 came to fruition, largely because they’re silly. He predicted scientists would find that diseases can be spread by our thoughts, that a mirror universe would be discovered, and that a former U.S. President or First Lady would die. He accurately predicted the Bitcoin crash, but attributed it to a faulty algorithm rather than plain old human greed. He also predicted that “nano-chemicals” would produce cars that don’t need to be washed as often as regular cars. His less-silly predictions crashed and burned, too:

  • An electrical fire at the NSA’s new Utah data center will be linked to sabotage. Nope.
  • The Nobel Prize in Chemistry will go to Alivisatos, Seeman, and Mirkin for their work on DNA nanotechnology.
    Nope. It went to these fellows for their work on super-resolved fluorescence microscopy.
  • At least 2-3 Congresspeople will resign their offices before the Fall elections.
    “At least” is a clever little qualifier that can save almost any dumb prediction from certain death. Clearly, though, Mr. Hamilton doesn’t pay much attention to how many resignations we see in an average Congress. The numbers are always higher than this.
  • The original 1969 USA moon landing site will be reported as damaged or vandalized by another country that lands on the moon.
    Nope. And c’mon, this is just goofy. No one was even planning a moon landing for last year.

Better luck next year, ladies and gentlemen.

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Slow News Week

As the U.S. seethes with racial tension, protestors swarm the streets of Hong Kong, and missiles gut Syria, a few intrepid journos have somehow managed to ferret out the real stories…

  • Say, does anyone remember the absurdly disappointing mystery of those invisible flying creatures known as “rods“? No? Well, let Oklahoma City’s News 9 take you back to ’97 with their hard-hitting report on bad photography.
rods

Fascinating.

Fry Screaming

IKR?

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Bring Out Your Dead

A parade of sad, silly people who thought they could resurrect the dead (and/or themselves)

frankenstein

Returning from the dead is a big thing right now. ABC is airing Resurrection, a series about Missourians spontaneously coming back to life (total ripoff of similar to the excellent French miniseries  Les Revenants). A film adaptation of the bestselling book Heaven is for Real, featuring the near-death experience of a 3-year-old child,  hit theatres on Easter weekend. Filmmaker  Johnny Clark recently released a documentary titled Deadraiser, which chronicles the efforts of people who believe they are capable (with God’s assistance) of bringing the dead back to life. Even as I write this, followers of Hindu guru Ashutosh Maharaj are embroiled in a legal battle with Maharaj’s family members. Maharaj died of a suspected heart attack in late January of this year, and a man claiming to be his son wishes to cremate his remains. But he can’t, because Mararaj’s followers insist he isn’t dead. They say he is actually in a state of deep meditation that has lowered his heart rate to an undetectable level, and have stashed him in a freezer at the ashram in the belief that he will come back to life any minute now. As daffy as that concept sounds, there are a surprising number of folks – past and present – who honestly thought they could trump mortality either through faith or by sheer force of will.

Margaretta Peter, the girl who crucified herself

Margaretta Peter, born into a large Swiss farming family in the late eighteenth century, was a preaching prodigy. In 1800, when Margaretta was just six years old, she enthralled relatives and other residents of a tiny hamlet near Schaffhausen (either Wildisbuch or Wildispuch) with her impromptu sermons, seeming to have a better grasp of the Bible than any minister five times her age.
This was a marvelous quality in a preschooler, but over the years, Margaret began to exert a spiritual dominance over her family that made her pastor uneasy. He noted that when Margaretta was still a teenager, her widowed father and older sisters would obey her every command as though it was the will of God.

Margaretta’s commitment to her faith deepened even more at the age of 20, when she fell in with a group of Pietists and went through a year of self-chastisement for her sins. At the end of that year, she announced she was ready to become a preacher and prophetess. She returned to her home village in the spring of 1817, and quickly established a small following that included her father, sisters, and an epileptic servant named Margaret Jäggli. Jäggli thought her seizures were caused by demons, and hoped that Margaretta could heal her.

In the spring of 1823, Margaretta began talking about the Devil, warning her followers that he was close at hand. Jäggli’s seizures increased and worsened, probably due to stress. This further reinforced the group’s notion that Satan was moving in on them. In March, Margaretta summoned her followers to her father’s house and descended into an ecstatic state, experiencing visions of Satan’s hordes overtaking the planet. She, alone, stood in their way. For days, she uttered prophecies to her breathless disciples. She declared that Napoleon’s son would reveal himself as the anti-Christ, and this cued her older sister Elizabeth and Jäggli to mimic spirit possession by Napoleon and the Duke of Reichstadt; they marched around the room like military men until Margaretta banished the spirits.

The next day, the prophetess led ten of her followers into a small attic bedroom and exhorted them to gird themselves with both prayer and any weaponry they could find, for the final battle between Christ and Satan was imminent. The group included her elderly father, two of her sisters, and a married tailor who may have been Margaretta’s lover. They obeyed Margaretta’s instructions to board up the farmhouse and arm themselves with axes, hammers, clubs – anything they could find. Napoleon’s troops were coming, she said, and the invisible minions of Satan had already besieged the house. Her followers took up their weapons and swung wildly at the air inside the attic room, trying to kill discarnate entities that only Margaretta could see. This madness went on for about three hours, drawing curious neighbours to the yard.

When the attic room was destroyed, the melee moved to a downstairs parlour. There, Margaretta began pummeling Elizabeth with her fists at Elizabeth’s urging. Somehow, the crazed group imagined that inflicting pain on each other would help repel the demonic invaders – much like the French convulsionnaires who tortured one another in the most sadistic ways imaginable in the St. Medard churchyard during the previous century.
They continued punching themselves and each other in a night-long frenzy. The ruckus finally attracted police, who found Margaretta’s followers piled in a heap on the sitting room floor while she beat them senseless. The group was ordered to disband, and local authorities issued an order that both Margaretta and Elizabeth were to be sent to an asylum.

fight club

The disciples paid no attention to these orders. Just one day after their punching fest, a dozen people gathered around Margaretta in the little attic bedroom, prepared to carry out any instructions she issued. The prophetess announced that more blood had to be shed, and proceeded to strike her brother, Caspar, repeatedly with an iron wedge. While she bludgeoned her brother, her followers resumed beating themselves and each other.

Next, Margaretta announced that the ghost of her mother was commanding her to sacrifice herself. Elizabeth immediately offered to take her sister’s place, and Margaretta obliged by striking her with the same iron wedge she had used on Caspar (who was alive, but unconscious). The others followed suit, striking the prone woman with any tools they could find. Elizabeth was soon dead. Only one person, a young woman named Ursula, protested. Margaretta assured her that Elizabeth would be raised from the dead in three days’ time.

Then Margaretta ordered her disciples to crucify her. Reluctantly, they gathered the materials for a wooden cross and assembled it in the attic room. Her sister Susanna provided the nails. Again, Ursula protested and was told that both Margaretta and Elizabeth would rise from the dead in three days.

Margaretta’s followers nailed her hands, elbows, breasts, and feet to the cross. They later told the authorities that Margaretta remained fully conscious throughout this ordeal, coaxing them on. When she was secured to the cross, she demanded to be stabbed through the heart. Ursula attempted this, but was unsuccessful. Another woman and a young man took up a hammer and a crowbar and smashed Margaretta’s head until she fell silent.

Margaretta’s lover, the tailor Jacob Morf, was not present during the murders. He had remained at home with his wife after the beating frenzy. When he returned to the Peters farmhouse and saw the corpses of his beloved prophetess and her sister laid out in a bloodstained room, he was horrified. He reported the murders to a pastor. Meanwhile, the others sat vigil in anticipation of the resurrection. The Peters sisters died on a Saturday, so it was expected they would rise again on Monday. On Sunday night, Ursula removed the nails from Margaretta’s body so that she would not be fastened to a cross when she came back to life. Throughout the night, the group remained with the bodies and prayed.

The sisters remained dead, of course. Their father now had little choice but to report their deaths. In December 1823, eleven of Margaretta’s disciples went on trial for murder in Zürich. All were convicted, and received prison sentences ranging from 6 months to 16 years. None expressed remorse for their actions. On the contrary, they insisted that the murders had been the will of God.

The Peters affair reportedly inspired Hanns Ewers’ 1910 novel The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Source: Historic Oddities and Strange Events by Sabine Baring-Gould

Charles Freeman and the Pocasset Horror

In 1879, Charles and Harriet Freeman were good, upstanding citizens in the Cape Cod Peninsula village of Pocasset. Charles, in particular, was something of a role model in the Seventh Day Adventist church the Freemans attended. But in the spring of that year, Freeman underwent a severe religious mania. He announced to his wife that God wanted him to sacrifice a member of their family – and it couldn’t be Freeman himself. The sacrifice would have to be one of their two daughters, 6-year-old Bessie or 4-year-old Edith. On the night of April 20, in spite of Harriet’s tearful entreaties, Charles crept into the room his girls shared. He woke Bessie, ordering her out of the room. Then he stabbed sleeping Edith to death. He stayed with her corpse throughout the night.

The following day, Freeman sent word  to neighbours and fellow Adventists that he would be announcing a “great revelation” at his home. When about 25 people had gathered, Freeman launched into an hour-long sermon on Christ’s imminent return. Then he led everyone into his daughters’ room and showed them Edith’s bloodied, lifeless body. God had demanded a great sacrifice, he explained, but would offer a great miracle in return: Edith would rise from the dead in three days’ time.

Incredibly, the group seemed to accept this. They returned to their daily chores and told no one what they had seen. Word did spread, though. On April 22, both Freemans were arrested on suspicion of murder. Even in jail, Freeman continued to insist that his daughter would be resurrected.
The charges against Harriet were dropped. Freeman ended up in the State Lunatic Asylum at Danvers. It wasn’t until 1883 that he began to realize he had been insane at the time of his crime. In December 1883 he was found not guilty by reason of insanity. He was released from the asylum four years later. The details of his life after the asylum are unknown.

pocasset

Source: Psycho USA by Harold Schecter

Cyrus Teed, prophet of the Hollow Earth (Koresh #1)

Earth1

Cyrus Teed was a New York “eclectic physician” who monkeyed around with alchemy in his spare time. In 1869, at the age of 30, he claimed to have transformed lead into gold in his lab.  That very night, a hermaphroditic deity revealed him/herself to Teed and imparted all the secrets of the universe, the most startling one being that the surface of Earth is actually located on the inside of something like a hollow egg, with the “sky” being the empty space in the middle of the “egg”.  Teed subsequently adopted the name Koresh and introduced a new scientific religion called Koreshanity.
In the 1870s, Koresh founded the Koreshan Unity, a New York commune centred around his teachings. The commune relocated to the small Florida town of Estero in 1894. Estero became less like a commune and more like a community, with its own printing press, a general store, and a power plant. Though there were some clashes with locals, including a pistol-whipping of Koresh himself in 1906, the Koreshians thrived until 1908. That’s when Teed/Koresh died.

Teed had predicted that he and his flock would be resurrected and taken up to Heaven after they died, so his followers expectantly waited beside his body for two days. The corpse had to be confiscated by order of the county health officer after it began to putrefy.

Source: Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science by Martin Gardner

Branch Davidians: George Roden and Vernon Howell (Koresh #2)

In 1987, Lois Roden, the leader of the Branch Davidians at Mt. Carmel, died. This left her son George in charge of the compound, which was virtually empty after a rival prophet by the name of Vernon Howell declared himself the true leader of the flock.
George Roden soon realized that he was the incarnation of God, and God certainly holds rank against a mere prophet like Howell. It was time to establish his supremacy before the endtimes began. A brute show of strength wouldn’t do, God/George decided; a resurrection contest would be make much more sense. He went to the Mt. Carmel cemetery, exhumed the body of Anna Hughes (a sect member who had been dead for twenty years), and practiced a few resurrection techniques on the corpse.
Howell wisely refused to accept the resurrection challenge. Instead, he reported Roden’s corpse abuse to the Waco police. They told him they wouldn’t press charges without evidence that a body had been exhumed, so Howell and a few of his followers donned gamo gear and crept onto the compound grounds. In the ensuing gun battle, God lost. The eight intruders were acquitted of attempted murder, and Howell quickly laid claim to the compound…which wouldn’t see another gun battle for five whole years.
God/George was never charged with abuse of a corpse, as he insisted he had simply been moving the cemetery to a new location very slowly.

After the deadly conflagration at Mt. Carmel in 1993, the faithful expected all those who had died to be resurrected. They are still waiting. “We, as survivors of 1993, are looking for David and all those that died either in the shootout or in the fire. We believe that God will resurrect this special group,” survivor Clive Doyle recently told NPR.

Source: The Ashes of Waco: An Investigation by Dick Reavis

The Deadraisers of Bethel Church and Beyond

Tyler and Christine Johnson, a young couple living in Wyoming, are the ultimate pro-lifers. Tyler heads the Dead Raising Team, a volunteer group that “is available to come to your city to train you to raise the dead.” Tyler has also published a handy book, How to Raise the Dead. According to the DRT website, the Johnsons “hope to see a DRT started in every city in the world, so that nobody could die without being prayed back to life.” The Deadraisers can even cure leprosy, apparently. That’s neat.
Tyler Johnson was once a student at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, which is an actual thing. This Hogwarts for Grownups is an outgrowth of the Bethel Church, a megachurch in Redding, California. Bethel’s pastor, Bill Johnson (no relation to Tyler), has supposedly seen countless “miracles” at his church in recent years. First, feathers drifted down from the ceilings. Parishioners attributed this to birds nesting in the rafters, until feathers began to appear in Johnson’s presence in other public places. Johnson decided they were actually “angel feathers” (ornithologist David H. Ellis declared them to be ordinary bird feathers). Bethel members also say that “gold dust”, diamonds and pieces of jewelry have spontaneously appeared during church services. One video purportedly shows a “glory cloud” of gold dust manifesting in the sanctuary.

duck

Actual angel.

Johnson claims his flock can heal the most serious ailments. In the church’s healing rooms, members blow a ram’s horn (shofar) to summon the Holy Spirit, then pray for it to heal conditions ranging from arthritis to deafness. In 2010, Johnson told  reporter Amanda Winters, “We just had another brain tumor case of cancer healed. We have a lot of that kind of stuff happen. It’s verified by doctors, they do the tests and the cancer’s gone. We have a lot of that sort of thing – miracles.”
To date, no medical professionals have come forward to confirm that anyone has been healed of anything at Bethel.

Bill Johnson was one of the ministers who “commissioned” Todd Bentley as an evangelist in June 2008, after other Charismatic leaders expressed concerns about Bentley’s methods and claims (more on that below).

Tyler Johnson isn’t the only Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry grad who thinks he might be able to raise the dead. In October 2008, Jason Carlsen tumbled over the edge of a 200-foot cliff in Redding while drinking with two BSSM students. Instead of calling 911, Sarah Koivumaki and Zachary Gudelunas attempted to reach Carlsen (who is now a paraplegic) and pray him back to life, believing he was dead. Unable to get anywhere near their comatose friend, these two compassionate souls proceeded to bicker over whether they should summon help or not. It took them about six hours to decide they were not in a Roadrunner cartoon.

Todd Bentley, Bully for the Lord

Nearly four years ago,  Pastor Stephen Strader of Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida launched an old-school  revival that was supposed to last for five days. The star attraction of what later became known as the Florida Healing Outpouring was a hip, tattooed preacher in his twenties, Todd Bentley of Fresh Fire Ministries.

Bentley, who was not an ordained minister, rapidly made a name for himself by turning the Lakeland Revival into a spectacle-laden stage show, full of faith healings and mind-boggling miracles. Every night, up to 10,000 Evangelicals, Pentecostals and Charismatics flooded the Ignited auditorium to witness Bentley’s gifts of the spirit in action. The five-day revival evolved into a six-month gig for him.

WARNING: May not be funny for all viewers.

The media became interested in Bentley after stories about his bizarre healing techniques surfaced. Bentley often “healed” the elderly by kicking, punching, headbutting, or kneeing them onstage. A Charismatic named Sheldon informed me that God commanded Bentley to smack people around just to test his faith. He believes God prevented actual physical contact from happening, but the numerous YouTube videos of Bentley using his “knee of God” indicate otherwise.
Then things got weird. By the revival’s end, Bentley was declaring that at least 31 people may have been raised from the dead. If you’re keeping count, that’s 30 more than Jesus raised, unless you count Jesus himself.

Some of the resurrected people included an infant that had been dead for 27 hours, another infant that was fished out of a pond, a schoolteacher who died of a massive heart attack, and a man who came back to life at a funeral home during his own wake.  Bentley excitedly announced these resurrections during the revival, but could not provide any details…because he didn’t have them. These were secondhand, unverified reports filtered to him via word of mouth and email. As it turned out, the schoolteacher story was a deliberate email hoax perpetrated by a British Christian who wanted to test Bentley’s honesty.
A Nightline report concluded that none of the Lakeland “miracles” could be verified. When he appeared on Geraldo Rivera’s Fox show, Bentley could not produce any evidence that anyone had been healed or resurrected as a result of the revival.

Bentley turned out to have a colourful history. His past exploits included sexually assaulting a 7-year-old boy when he was in his teens. In this regard, he was quite similar to one of his brothers in Christ, the incarcerated preacher Tony Alamo. Alamo, a businessman turned messiah figure, used his position as an evangelist to “marry” girls as young as 8. He became a preacher upon the death of his first wife, Susan, in 1982. He got off to a shaky start by proclaiming that Susan would be resurrected. Thirteen years later, her lifeless body was still enshrined in his ministry compound, and Susan’s daughter had to sue Alamo to get it back for proper burial.

Other Back From the Dead Cases

  • Two days ago, numerous media outlets reported that a 2- or 3-year-old girl named Sydney came back to life at her own funeral in the Philippines.
    Sadly, the reports were wrong. The child’s grandmother had scooped Sydney out of her coffin and carried her out of the church in the mistaken belief that had she had moved her head. Doctors declared her dead a short time later, and a second funeral has been arranged.
  • A popular video about a newborn coming back to life in his mother’s arms is actually 5 years old. In 2010, twins Jamie and Emily Ogg were born prematurely in an Australian hospital. Jamie did not survive long after birth, and mother Katie Ogg was reluctant to part with him. For two hours, she and her husband held and caressed Jamie’s lifeless body…and were stunned when he began to move and breathe.
    This really did happen. Jamie Ogg is now as healthy as his sister.
  • Cardiologist Dr. Chauncey Crandall claims that only his prayers revived clinically dead patient Jeff Markin in 2006. He gives no credit to the medical procedures that were applied to Mr. Markin. Crandall is one of the stars of Deadraiser.

Miracle in Missouri

Mysterious priests, guardian angels, and…aliens?

1950s VINTAGE POSTCARD Angel with Children On Bike and Dog

Check out the update at the end of this post.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Ariel School Sketches

Pictures drawn by the Ariel School children

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

the-ice-cream-crapping-taco

My hero.

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

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Satan, Satan Everywhere

Think Satanic panic disappeared along with Geraldo and acid-washed jeans? Well, not quite. Welcome to the world of Jordanian Satanists conducting ceremonies in college bathrooms, panty-stealing gremlins, demonic mermaids – and the deeply misguided authorities who persecute them. 

Satan Is Real

 

  • We’ll get to Satan, but first: Yet another alien body has surfaced, this time in China. In what appears to be the Eastern version of the Dr. Reed Microwave Burrito Alien hoax, a man identified only as Li claims he witnessed a UFO crash near his home on the Yellow River in Binzhou, Shangdong province, on a night in March. The next day, checking his electric rabbit traps, he found the remains of a lightly fried entity roughly four feet tall, with pebbly white skin, a bulbous head, and what appears to be female genitalia. Li took the alien lady home and stowed her in his freezer, where local police officers made a landmark scientific discovery: Somewhere in the cosmos, there exists an alien race made entirely out of rubber.
  • Since 2011, four women have filed lawsuits against Mark Schwartz, founder of the Castlewood Treatment Center for eating disorders in Ballwood, Missouri. The former patients allege that in the course of treatment Schwartz and his partner, Lori Galperin, persuaded them to “recover” (false) memories of Satanic ritual abuse, cannibalism, and even murder. Schwartz has stepped down as the director of Castlewood.
    This is practically an instant replay of a case that erupted over 15 years ago in Chicago. In the mid-’90s, Dr. Bennett Braun was sued by several former patients after he and members of his staff at the Dissociative Disorders Unit of Rush Presbyterian Hospital convinced the women they were recovering repressed memories of belonging to abusive, powerful Satanic cults. Though Braun and his colleagues were trained and licensed medical professionals, their methods weren’t much better than those of the bizarre faux-psychotherapy cult of Okie pastor Doug Riggs, and the outcomes were identical: Dozens of people came to believe their loved ones were actually demented Devil worshipers who had enslaved them through a combination of ritualistic abuse and sophisticated mind control programming.
    I’ll be posting about the Schwartz and Braun cases at Speak of the Devil in the near future, because there’s far too much weirdness there for a mere roundup.
  • Also in the ritual abuse category, a Dutch woman named Toos Nijenhuis has declared that child sacrifices are taking place in Holland. She recently told a group of independent researchers that a sinister international cabal, which includes such prominent members as Prince Bernhard of Holland and British royals, has been ritualistically abusing and experimenting upon children for some arcane purpose. Nijenhuis led the researchers to a rural forest near Zwolle where she claims ritual child sacrifices have been committed as recently as November of 2010. Her claims are virtually identical to those made by some of the former witches and Satanists I wrote about in the Prodigal Witch series, particularly Arizona Wilder (who has retracted her claims about a clan of Satanic lizard-people ruling the planet) and alleged Illuminati slave Cisco Wheeler. The Canadian-based citizens’ group called the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS) and allied organizations plan to investigate Ms. Nijenhuis’ allegations and possibly issue  “court summonses” to the royals and high-level clerics she has named.
  • In Etwatwa, South Africa, a 14-year-old boy stands accused of murdering four members of his family with an ax. Police have reportedly called in an occult expert to determine if the boy was connected to Satanism or Satanists, but no link has been discovered so far. That hasn’t stopped neighbours and South Africans in general from declaring the murders a Satanic ritual sacrifice, as shown in the video report below and in this tabloid article, which cites a detailed confession allegedly given by the boy. The boy’s family, on the other hand, seems to think drugs were involved.
  • Many reports out of Africa draw parallels between the Etwatwa ax murders and the “Satanic” stabbing murder of schoolgirl Keamogetswe Sefularo in March, which brought up memories of the “Satanic burning” of teenager Kirsty Theologo two years ago. Two 18-year-old boys were convicted of Kirsty’s murder last March, sentenced to 17 years each.
  • Also in Africa, a 2-year-old Northern Cape girl drowned in late May after she was allegedly pushed into a dam by a female 12-year-old cousin who reportedly had a history of doing the same thing to other young children. Family members promptly blamed Satanism, telling the press the girl was possessed and “doing the Devil’s work”. Before they start shopping for an exorcist, they should perhaps ptry adopting some appropriate water safety and child supervision practices.
  • Parts of Zimbabwe have been aflame with Satanic panic in the past year. In Bulawayo’s suburban Cowdray Park last October, a teen girl confessed to participating in 16 murders committed by a neighbourhood cult of Satanists, causing deep rifts and panic in the community. Around the same time, at least three schools in the country were closed after students were stricken with bizarre symptoms they attributed to Satanic spells. Then there are the evil mermaids. Last March, Zimbabwe Water Resources Minister Sam Sipepa Nkomo told a senate oversight committee that mermaids had been terrifying workers at reservoirs in Mutare, Gokwe, and Manicaland, causing them to flee their work and refuse to return. Many Zimbabweans consider mermaids to be demonic creatures, and a man named Justice Manyonga even claims to have been held captive by them for two years. To remedy the mermaid infestation, Nkomo summoned traditional chiefs to perform exorcisms at the Gokwe and Mutare dams.
    In Gokwe, Underpants Gnomes made an appearance around the same time. A 62-year-old man declared that a rash of missing ladies’ undergarments in his neighbourhood was caused by a panty-stealing goblin he had somehow acquired years earlier. Incredibly, this is not the most bizarre goblin story to come out of Zimbabwe in the past year. In January of this year, an explosion in Chitungwiza, Zumbabwe, killed 5 people in a single house. The home was owned by a traditional healer, and he claimed the explosion occurred because he was attempting to behead a goblin on behalf of a client. Just like the owner of the Underpants Gnome, this guy says he bought a goblin to help bring himself good luck and prosperity, but it ended up being a major PITA. So if you buy a goblin through Kijiji or Craigslist, make sure you get a warranty on that sucker.
  • In March, five students at Al al-Bayt university in Mafraq, Jordan, were accused of burning pages from the Koran as part of a supposed Devil-worship ritual conducted in a campus bathroom. They were promptly arrested for desecrating the Koran, but no charges were filed against them, prompting Human Rights Watch to call for their release. This resulted in immediate charges against  the students. They were tried before a military tribunal in May and acquitted of all charges, but the incident caused tremendous strife and distress throughout Jordan, with extremists demanding the students be lynched and others bewailing the lack of freedom of religious expression in a country that has been presented to the world as relatively open and progressive.

merman

The Prodigal Witch Part XVIII: Today’s Former Satanists

The tradition continues….

Jeff Harshbarger

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

Jeff Harshbarger with wife Liz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Refuge Ministries promotional video

Betty Brennan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources:

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

The Prodigal Witch Part XVII: More Illuminati Defectors

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

Leo Zagami in 2008, being interviewed by Kerry Cassidy

Leo Zagami

Leo Zagami is the first European in this series, the youngest person in this series, the first one to claim he has returned to the Illuminati to help reform it, and the first to establish his own religion. He surfaced online in 2006, on a now-defunct site called Illuminati Confessions, and quickly gained a small but devoted following in the conspiracy community. No one had stepped forward to take the place of Arizona Wilder after she went quiet in 2003, so Zagami was offering up the first brand-new revelations from an Illuminati insider in three years. By this time, Todd was confined to a psychiatric ward, Schnoebelen had moved on to talking about his vampirism, and the other defectors had been out of the Illuminati for at least a decade.

I have to admit, I don’t have much love for this guy. He’s certainly not as despicable as convicted rapist John Todd, but he definitely lacks the hucksterish charm of Warnke and Schnoebelen.  I found much of what he had to say to be bigoted, hateful nonsense. This guy doesn’t like Jews, Catholics (though he used to be one), Muslims (though he used to be one), or occultists (though he supposedly used to be one). He basically says the Third Reich was a Jewish creation, set up for the sole purpose of establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine. He says all Catholics are spies for the Vatican. He says Islam is a Jesuit-created deception. He tells us the Vatican is riddled with high-level Muslim moles and Satanists.  (1)

Everything he has to say could have been gleaned from conspiracy paperbacks and a few websites; he has no startling revelations to offer, though he acts as if he’s dropping pearls of rare wisdom. Talking about demons, he tells us, “If you knew the reality what these entities were, you would not even touch them, you would just drove the other way.” (That’s another problem: His English is so dodgy that listening to his interviews or reading his website is an agonizing ordeal.) (1)

Personal feelings aside, though, Zagami’s information simply doesn’t stand up to any amount of scrutiny.

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

The Prodigal Witch Part XVI: Illuminati Slaves (Part I)

The next two former Satanists both claim they were born into the Illuminati and forced, via sophisticated mind control, to take part in Illuminati rituals and government misdeeds. Like Lauren Stratford, both women claim they were victims of Dr. Josef Mengele.
Their stories differ markedly from most of the others in this series, as they consist largely of memories “recovered” in the course of psychotherapy. Also, one of the women had extensive involvement with transdimensional reptoids disguised as humans, or something along those lines.

Illuminati Slaves Part I: Cisco Wheeler

The story of Cisco Wheeler is unique not only because of her long-term collaboration with lay minister-cum-bank-robber Fritz Springmeier, but because she and Fritz have given the world step-by-step instructions on how to create virtual zombies with “trauma-based mind control”.

Cisco Wheeler is one of several women (and a few men, like Jay Parker) who claim they were subjected to stupefyingly complex mind control programming by agents of the U.S. government as part of an MK-ULTRA sub-program they call the Monarch Project. Generally, these people have no conscious recall of their involvement with the project, and must “recover” their “repressed” memories with the aid of hypnosis, journaling, and/or deprogramming.
Monarch Project women are a whole other post. For now, I’ll just say that one of the most disconcerting things about the Monarch women is that, almost without exception, they have male “handlers” who have allegedly deprogrammed them. These men accompany them on speaking tours, co-author their books, sit beside them during interviews, and in some cases even marry them.

Fritz Springmeier served this role for Cisco Wheeler. Springmeier is a Christian conspiranoid, recently released from prison after serving time for bombing a porno shop and robbing a bank (you can learn a bit more about him on a Leaving Alex Jonestown post). You may remember him from the post on John Todd (he vociferously defended Todd long after Todd had been discredited, and used a lot of Todd’s make-believe family history in his book The Top 13 Illuminati Bloodlines).
At the time Cisco met him in the early ’90s, Springmeier was a married father running some sort of ministry out of his house.
Building on earlier Monarch Project accounts and Christian Patriot conspiracy tales, Springmeier and Wheeler crafted an Illuminati mythos that has had a tremendous influence on the fringier conspiracy theorists. You can’t get very far into the conspiranoia labyrinth without running into their massive self-published tome, The Illuminati Formula Used to Create an Undetectable Total Mind Controlled Slave, first issued in 1996.

Cisco’s Story

You’d think The Illuminati Formula, being heavily based on Cisco Wheeler’s “memories”, would be chock-full of information about her. It isn’t. In fact, so little is known of Wheeler’s background that we don’t even known what her real name is (it’s variously given as Linda Johnson or Linda Anderson, though she maintains her maiden name is Wheeler). She was born in the late 1940s, possibly in the Western U.S. Other than that, the woman is a cipher. She rarely gives interviews, and the only available photo of her is a blurry snapshot perhaps taken at a speaking engagement.

Cisco Wheeler, I guess. Could also be Mickey Roarke.


Her supposed background

Cisco claims her father’s uncle was “General Earl Grant Wheeler… a direct descendant of Ulysses Grant… [and] head of the American military in the Vietnam War.” (1) There are some problems with this:

  • General Earle Gilmore Wheeler (d. 1975) was not related to Ulysses S Grant.
  • So far as I can determine, he did not have any siblings.
Cisco’s paternal ancestors were Illuminati members, and Cisco’s birth was planned according to Illuminati “rules”. Her father married her mother solely because she was a virtuous Christian woman, and part of the Illuminati’s New World Order scheme at that time (the late ’40s) was to infiltrate and undermine Christian churches (something also described by John Todd, the first supposed Illuminati member to go public). To this end, Mr. Wheeler became an ordained Pentacostal minister. But that was not his only source of income. In the ’60s, he and his uncle (General Wheeler) smuggled drugs out of Vietnam in the bodies of dead U.S. soldiers.

It has long been rumoured that heroin smugglers used soldiers’ corpses or coffins to hide their shipments during ‘Nam, and infamous New York-based dealer Frank Lucas even bragged about leading this so-called “Cadaver Connection”. However, there’s no evidence that anyone ever actually used the technique. A key member of Lucas’s ring, Leslie “Ike” Atkinson, told journalist Ron Chepesiuk the entire notion was a hoax. (2)

Protip: Sometimes, heroin traffickers lie.

The Illuminati according to Herr Springmeier
Springmeier identifies the Illuminati as a Luciferian organization, also known as Moriah or simply the Circle, headed by a Grande Druid Council. In 1996, when The Illuminati Formula first appeared, the Circle supposedly contained millions of members worldwide. Membership is usually conferred by birth, but recruitment takes place on a limited scale. Rigorous obedience to some sort of code of conduct is required of each and every member, and some degree of mind control is de rigeur. Those who do not submit are dispatched in “ritual gladiator type duels”. Escape is next to impossible. “Unless God intervenes, people who are born into the Illuminati don’t escape it while alive.” (3)
Like all Illuminati members, Cisco’s father worshiped Satan and took part in many arcane rituals, including human sacrifice. Cisco was forced to participate in this lifestyle against her will, much as Lauren Stratford claimed to have been. She was trained up to be a Mother of Darkness, or high priestess, within the Illuminati. Just like John Todd, Edna Moses, and Bill Schnoebelen, Cisco ties homicidal Satanism firmly to Catholics (particularly Jesuits), Freemasons, and Wiccans. She claims her father was a 33rd degree Freemason.
The oldest child in her family, she was selected for trauma-based mind control programming before she was even born. In fact, she says she was first traumatized while in utero. The purpose of the abuse was to traumatize Cisco so severely she would dissociate and develop Multiple Personality Disorder/Dissociative Identity Disorder. This “trauma-based mind control”, according to the Monarch Project survivors, is a combination of every kind of mind control technique known to man. Through the skillful use of torture, hypnosis, drugs, and conditioning, Illuminati programmers create DID in children, then program each alternate personality (“alter”) to perform a specific function. For instance, one alter might be a sex slave and another an assassin. Each one would be programmed to emerge at a spoken command, carry out whatever actions a controller wished him/her to do, then disappear with another spoken command. The core personality (Cisco) and the other alters would experience a fugue state and remain completely unaware that anything unusual had occurred. Springmeier tells us the techniques were honed by the Nazis and their collaborators; prior to WWII, the Illuminati used more “primitive” methods of mind control. We are to believe that the programmers’ methods were already so sophisticated by the late 1940s that they could ensure no “leakage” or co-consciousness would occur among the alters.
Cisco’s programming took place in hospitals and military installations throughout California and Oregon, including China Lake Naval Base. She was also taken to Scotty’s Castle in Arizona. Her primary programmers were her own father, who went by the codename “Dr. Black”, and a mysterious German known as “Dr. Green”. Cisco eventually realized that Dr. Green was Josef Mengele. She believes Mengele was active in every state of the union, plus Canada, and sometimes went by names other than Green (“Fairchild” was another alias). Bizarrely, he continued to wear his German uniform well into the ’50s, while working at American military installations and hospitals.
According to Springmeier, Mengele had achieved the rank of Grand Master in the Illuminati, and would go on to achieve the even higher rank of Ipsissimus. (“Ipsissimus” was reportedly the title of a grade within the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, though that continues to be disputed, and was later adopted by Aleister Crowley for his own magickal system. It is not a term found beyond this extremely small group of occult practitioners.) As Grand Master, Springmeier explains, Mengele was skilled in Kabbalistic magic, abortions, torture, and programming children. We know Mengele was capable of torture, and he could certainly manage an abortion (he performed many back-alley procedures as a fugitive), but I find it extraordinarily unlikely that a Nazi would study Kabbala. We’ll get into his alleged specialties later.
Training
In a radio interview, Cisco vividly described being kept in a cage somewhere in the desert, surrounded by other kids as young as four in their own cages. The children were deprived of food and water for hours at a time. Then Mengele would show up with a fistful of daisies and distribute them to the children one at a time, saying “I love you,” or “I love you not.” Whenever he said, “I love you not”, that child was summarily executed just to frighten the others. Each time this happened, Cisco would be filled with gratitude for being spared, and would express love and appreciation for Mengele – classic trauma bonding. Cisco later learned she had nothing to fear at those times, though; the children who died were “expendables”, while she was an Illuminati spawn, too precious to be killed. (1)
Cisco was trained as a sex slave from earliest girlhood. One of her first abusers was President Eisenhower. It is this inclusion of well-known personalities that sets Monarch Project accounts apart from the Illuminati stories of the ’70s and ’80s (see John Todd, Doc Marquis). Todd mentioned that David Crosby and other musicians of his acquaintance made pacts with Satan, but until the Monarch women came along, celebrities and heads of state were not usually implicated as child-molesting Satanists. Now, everyone from Kris Kristofferson to JFK has been named as part of the Illuminati mind control/Satanic ritual abuse conspiracy matrix.

Cisco says she was trained to be a programmer herself, and admits she (unwittingly) programmed other Illuminati children. Surely she would know their identities, but so far as we know she has not reported their abuse to the proper authorities.
In the previously mentioned radio interview, Cisco said she was shown records indicating that about 2 million children were programmed in the late ’60s. This contradicts The Illuminati Formula, in which she and Springmeier state that the Illuminati rarely keep written records of anything.

“Recovery”

Cisco didn’t realize there was anything peculiar going on in her life until she was 40 years old. After her father died, suicidal impulses led her alters to seek therapy, and she gradually realized she had Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Then she began to “remember” the horrific abuse she suffered as a child. She somehow met up with three other women who had also been programmed by Mengele and/or her father, and they assisted one another in the healing process. In the radio interview, Cisco mentions Springmeier only as her co-author, but we know that he was her primary “deprogammer“. It seems his second marriage ended, in part, because he spent long periods of time at Cisco’s home, ostensibly to protect her from Illuminati bad guys. This is indicated in a letter Gail Springmeier wrote to preacher Texe Marrs in the mid-’90s, reproduced in an essay on Springmeier by minister John S. Torrell.
Cisco became, and remains, a devout Christian. She speaks about her Illuminati years and the New World Order from a purely religious standpoint, tying into a larger picture of an endtimes battle between the forces of good and the forces of… yeah, you know the drill. Fiery apocalypse, unbelievers cast to the pits of Hell, yadda yadda yadda. She spends a tremendous amount of time telling us why So-and-So is an evil tool of the Masonic New World Order. She’s firmly convinced, for example, that televangelist Benny Hinn will help usher in a one-world government headquartered in Israel. For more of that, you can listen to an interview Ms. Wheeler gave to Greg Syzmanski, or read her latest book, Behold a White Horse (Xulon Press, 2009). Have fun.
Like John Todd and Bill Schnoebelen, Cisco was not able to escape her controllers without a fight. Illuminati intimidation continued long after she broke her programming. She told interviewer Wayne Morris, “We are continually harassed by external threats. We get a lot of phone calls, we get bullets in our windows, we get run off the road, we get letters, we get people that  walk up to us in the grocery store and they threaten us.” (1)  Again, one has to wonder how the Illuminati can operate in near-total secrecy across the whole of the planet, yet can’t manage to eliminate an unarmed individual when she shows up at scheduled, publicized events. And Cisco would surely be a prime target, since Illuminati Formula is basically an instruction manual on how to turn people into biological robots. It contains detailed descriptions of Illuminati torture methods and the various levels of programming, which no other Monarch Project survivor has revealed.
“Implanted” DID
At least one other former Satanist in this series, Lauren Stratford, claimed to have Dissociative Identity Disorder as a result of Satanic ritual abuse. But the notion that Satanists were deliberately creating DID in children didn’t fully develop until the ’90s.
DID is a disorder closely linked to conversion disorders (symptomatic of what used to be called hysteria). It can be iatrogenic in nature, but it probably cannot be created in just anyone. The idea that it could be “implanted” in normal children seems to have originated around 1991, when California pyschotherapists Pamela Reagor and Steven Ray claimed to have discovered solid evidence that some DID patients displayed signs of “sophisticated external implantation, by someone other than the subject…” (4) They referred to this as “structured Multiple Personality Disorder”, to distinguish it from the naturally occurring “reactive MPD”. Reagor and Ray published their preliminary findings in just one journal, an obscure and long-defunct newsletter for trauma victims called Beyond Survival (6th issue, 1991). Their work was curtailed due to Ray’s AIDS-related illness(es).
Ray and Reagor’s work came to my attention through Craig Lockwood’s 1993 book Other Altars (Lockwood, in describing their findings, fails to mention that he was editor of Beyond Survival, as stated in a 1989 Los Angeles Times article). Within two years of Ray and Reagor’s theory being mentioned in Lockwood’s book, the first Monarch Project survivor came forward. Cathy O’Brien asserted that in the ’50s her father and uncle, members of the clergy, several Nashville entertainers, and an array of famous politicians used trauma-based mind control methods to turn her into a sex slave and drug courier.
Ray and Reagor’s notion of complex mind control programming rapidly made its way into the cult survivor community, made up of people who “recovered” memories of Satanic ritual abuse (SRA) in therapy. In 1992, addictions counselor Daniel Ryder related information from Colorado therapist Holly Hector: “Survivor reports indicate victims are often programmed to come back later in life to the original cult, or to get involved with another.” (5)
The notion of implanted DID developed concurrently with the idea that Satanists and other “ritual abusers” could program children to do just about anything: obey the cult without question, keep secrets, assassinate enemies, self-harm, even commit suicide. In the September/October 1991 issue of The California Therapist, an article on this alleged phenomenon by therapists David W. Neswald, Catherine Gould, and Vicki Graham-Costain asserted that programmers could manipulate alters to such a degree that they could even command a person with DID to switch alters three or four times in the course of uttering a single sentence. Such programming had been observed in many Satanic ritual abuse patients, they stated.
Inheriting Illuminati Skills
Springmeier, in The Illuminati Formula, contends that the ability to dissociate is hereditary. Illuminati families cultivated it through the study of Eastern religious disciplines that involve “miraculous” feats (Yoga, Tantra, etc.), then passed those skills on genetically. By the time a child is roughly a year and a half old, the Illuminati can tell if the “dissociation gene” is present, and the kids who have it are selected for “trauma-based mind control” programming. This idea, silly as it is, was already deeply entrenched in the SRA survivor community:
“Within the context of most transgenerational cult beliefs, blood lineage is extremely important. Because cult members believe that, as power is acquired through practicing the rituals, the most effective way to pass it on is literally through the family blood. Again, satanists believe power is stored in the blood.”- Daniel Ryder, Breaking the Circle of Ritual Abuse (1992)
The reasoning here is that if you take a fakir’s kid at birth and put him in a Western environment where there are no beds made out of nails for him to sleep on, he’ll still naturally possess the ability to sleep on a bed of nails, because the ability to dissociate is hereditary. This is bullshit, of course. Lamarckian nonsense aside, there is no evidence of a hereditary factor in dissociative disorders like DID. And Eastern “magic” is usually attained by clever tricks, learned consciously or unconsciously through training. Nearly anyone can learn to firewalk or sleep on nails. Dissociation has nothing to do with it.

Well into the ’60s, a handful of researchers remained highly hopeful that there was some genetic or cellular component to memory. James V. McConnell, a biologist later targeted by the Unabomber, conducted well-publicized experiments involving flatworms in an attempt to learn if memory could be chemically “stored” by RNA, research that Dr. Ewen Cameron of MK-ULTRA infamy found intriguing. Just like Cameron’s “psychic driving”, the RNA memory hypothesis went exactly nowhere. The possibility remains that RNA plays a role in memory storage and retrieval, but the idea that you can pass on your learned skills to your children genetically is null and void.

The Monarch Project

There is no concrete evidence that the Monarch Project ever existed. In fact, CIA researcher H.P. Albarelli, Jr., spent nearly two decades investigating the Agency’s secret mind control programs, and found no indication of Monarch or any comparable program. He did, however, find the man who first wrote about the project, and this man allegedly admitted to Albarelli that Monarch was something he invented (this could possibly be Mark Philips, the deprogrammer/husband of the very first Monarch Project survivor to come forward, Cathy O’Brien). Albarelli’s comment explaining this has been removed from the truthout.org article on which it appeared, but many bloggers reproduced it at the time (see, for instance, DFQ2’s post on the subject).

Mengele in America

The Mengele-as-programmer thing makes very little sense. For one thing, Mengele was a geneticist. He had no known interest in psychology. He did not perform psychological experiments while at Auschwitz; he was far too busy with his crude, sadistic, quasi-medical experiments.
Incidentally, Springmeier’s assertion that Mengele had a sadistic mother isn’t accurate. Walburga Mengele was known to be extremely strict with her children, but it has never been alleged that she was in any way abusive, much less a sadist.
For another thing, Mengele was not one of the scientists brought to the U.S. during Project Paperclip. It should be quite obvious why he wasn’t selected, too: His “medical research” yielded absolutely no useful results. The Allied nations wanted German scientists who could give them a competitive edge in the military-industrial sphere, not just lunatics with scalpels.
After the war, Mengele was left to fend for himself, more or less. He fled to South America on a and ended his days as a farm labourer in Brazil.

He was first mentioned in the context of mind control during the Presidential Commission on Radiation hearings in 1995, when a woman named Chris Denicola Ebner testified that Mengele (“Dr. Greene”) and her father, Richard Ebner, subjected her to mind control between 1966 and 1976, inducing DID and training at least one of her alters to be an assassin. She “recovered” her memories of these events in the early ’90s, with the aid of therapist Valerie Wolf.
Chris’s programming took place in Kansas and Arizona. She described Mengele/Greene keeping her in a cage in his office for a four-year period. Interestingly, she also mentioned China Lake Naval Base.
The notion that mind control researchers were among the Paperclip scientists seems to have originated in a lecture given by D. Corydon Hammond at the Fourth Annual Eastern Regional Conference on Abuse and Multiple Personality on June 25, 1992. The title of Dr. Hammond’s presentation was “Hypnosis in MPD: Ritual Abuse,” but it’s commonly known as the “Greenbaum Speech”, and has been widely reproduced. In it, Hammond declared that up to two-thirds of DID patients with a history of intergenerational ritual abuse may have been subjected to the kind of mind control programming discussed in this post, perpetrated by Nazi Paperclip scientists who worshiped Satan. He said numerous DID patients had recovered memories of a German scientist who went by the name of Greenbaum or some variation (Green, Greene, etc.)
Since this Green/Greene/Greenbaum person was never actually identified by Hammond, mind control victims were left to fill in the blank. Many of them chose Mengele as their abuser, even though Hammond described Greenbaum as having a Hasidic Jewish background (Mengele was Catholic).

It’s quite interesting that Lauren Stratford, after jumping from Satanic ritual abuse to Nazi concentration camp abuse, also chose Mengele as her fictional abuser. His notoriety as a sadistic killer of young children strongly attracts people who believe (usually based on recovered memories) that they were sadistically abused as children by authoritarian, amoral types. It seems they empathize so strongly with Mengele’s real victims that they decide, consciously or unconsciously, to become one of them. Another example: Some of the parishioners of Doug Riggs’s Morningstar Church in Oklahoma, in the course of pastoral counseling, recovered memories of being raised by powerful Illuminati families in Europe. One of these parishioners, Kim Campbell, came to believe he was an illegitimate child of one Edouard Philippe de Rothschild (there is no such person), and that he was subjected not only to incest and Satanic ritual abuse but to “medically-based mind control programming” at U.S. government facilities, clinics, and the UK’s Tavistock Institute.
Edouard, like all good Satanic Illuminati parents, trained his son to pose as a Christian and infiltrate Protestant churches. Herr Mengele oversaw Kim’s training. Just why a Jewish Frenchman and a Catholic Nazi would get together and groom a child to infiltrate American Protestant churches has not been adequately explained, but Pastor Riggs remains firmly convinced that he has uncovered the most sinister plot in the history of humankind.

But why?

Asked why the Illuminati use mind control on their children, Cisco gave a bewildering answer to Wayne Morris:

The sole purpose – at the deepest layer of the system – lies mothers. They are the foundation. You have three mothers who are on a pedestal – their sole purpose is to rule and reign with the antichrist as his queen when he takes his throne. As god has a bride, so lucifer has a bride, and that bride is the mothers of darkness. That is the bottom line.” (1)

Three mothers of darkness forming the foundation of an ungodly empire? That sounds strangely familiar

Why We Probably Should Not Take Wheeler’s Story at Face Value
1. No documentary evidence. Few sources are provided for the information in The Illuminati Formula. Springmeier and Wheeler don’t even use their real names. We don’t know anything about Wheeler’s background aside from what she tells us, so you have to take her word. Springmeier’s Illuminati research consists of hearsay and supposition, as a perusal of his book The 13 Bloodlines of the Illuminati will show you (the latest edition is currently being hawked heavily by Alex Jones). The Monarch Project material is backed up only by the stories of other Monarch survivors, who offer up the same amount of verifiable evidence as Cisco. In other words, none at all.
2. Internal contradictions. Springmeier informs us that the CIA was started by the Illuminati. If this is so, and the Illuminati possessed the incredible mind-control knowledge Cisco and Springmeier describe as early as the late 1940s, then there would have been absolutely no reason for the CIA to fund and conduct its clumsy, largely unproductive MK-ULTRA experiments in the ’50s and ’60s. Why horse around with psychic driving and LSD when you already have the means of perfect behaviour control at your disposal?
3. Historical contradictions. General Earle Wheeler apparently did not have a nephew, so it would have been quite difficult for him to have a great-niece (Cisco) by that nephew. Joseph Mengele did not live in the U.S. He resided and died in South America.
4. Contradictions by other Illuminati escapees. The other Illuminati members in this series (John Todd, Doc Marquis, Bill Schnoebelen) said nothing about mind control programming of children, or presidential sex slaves. All that stuff emerged later, with the stories of Cathy O’Brien, Brice Taylor, and the other Monarch Project women.
The Illuminati described by Cisco is much different from the one described by Todd, Marquis, et. al. For instance, she claims its members worship Satan, while Marquis insisted they worship Lucifer and disdain Satan.
5. Springmeier’s involvement. When it comes to convicted bank robbers who hang with white supremacists, reliability is always an issue. In The Illuminati Formula, Springmeier gives the impression that he is barely more than an amanuensis for Illuminati survivors, but the possibility exists that this self-appointed minister latched on to an attractive, emotionally vulnerable woman and used her as supporting evidence for his theories about who runs the world and how they do it. Springmeier’s self-published works contain more bullshit than Pamplona in July. Just one example: In The Illuminati Formula, he states that Illuminati member Sharon Tate was killed for betraying Moriah, and that her killers signified this by leaving her in the same position as the hangman in the Tarot deck. Well, not quite. Tate was not actually hanging at all when she was found dead in her home; she was sprawled on the floor. A noose had been looped around her neck, and the rope thrown over a ceiling beam to hoist her up slightly before she was stabbed. Note that the Tarot hangman is always depicted as hanging by one ankle. Tate and her friends were terrorized and slaughtered by demented hippies, not the Illuminati.
6. A typical ex-Satanist narrative. Cisco’s story fits the pattern set by “black witch” Doreen Irvine back in the ’70s. An innocent is lured (or, in Cisco’s case, born) into the occult, escapes after a miraculous religious conversion, and goes on to educate others about the threats posed to all mankind by the occult underworld. The only thing missing is supernatural events or paranormal abilities, which proliferate in most of the stories we’ve seen so far. In the Monarch Project stories, the supernatural has been replaced with technology so advanced that it has the appearance of being paranormal in nature.
Sources:

1. Undated transcript of interview with Cisco Wheeler by Wayne Morris of CKLN 88.1 FM (Toronto)
2. Sergeant Smack: The Legendary Lives and Times of Ike Atkinson, Kingpin, and His Band of Brothers by Ron Chepesiuk. For the short version of how the Cadaver Connection didn’t exist, see Chepesiuk’s article “One Journalist’s Experience With the Media Elite: Gangsters, Cadavers and Misinformation” @ globalpolitician.com
3. The Illuminati Formula Used to Create an Undetectable Total Mind Controlled Slave by Fritz Springmeier and Cisco Wheeler (1996)
4. Other Altars: Roots and Realities of Cultic and Satanic Ritual Abuse and Multiple Personality Disorder by Craig Lockwood (Compcare Publications, 1993)
5. Breaking the Circle of Ritual Abuse: Recognizing and Recovering from the Hidden Trauma by Daniel Ryder (Compcare Publications, 1992)

The Prodigal Witch Part XV: Stephen Dollins

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Stephen Dollins left Satanism for Christ in 1978, becoming a preacher and a crusader against the occult, but it wasn’t until the late ’90s that he gained prominence as a powerful enemy of Harry Potter and the Tooth Fairy.

The following comes from a talk Dollins gave to The Prophecy Club in 1998 or ’99. I must say, his killer mullet-and-tie combo makes him one of the most striking PC speakers in recent memory.

Dollins was born in the late ’50s to a policeman and a nurse, who for some reason put him up for adoption in his infancy. He was adopted by a Christian couple in Oklahoma. His adoptive father was a professor of psychiatry and head of education at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. This would probably be the late Dr. Joe Dollins.
Dollins believes there may been generational witchcraft in his family (he doesn’t specify which one, the biological or adoptive) because as a child he could “make bad things happen to other kids”, Carrie-style. As we have seen with many of the witches and occultists in this series (for instance, Johanna Michaelsen), some fundamentalist Christians believe that any form of occult practice can imbue a person with supernatural powers of a demonic nature, and that these powers can be passed on to descendants like a curse.

Dollins’s troubles with the Devil began in 1969, with an innocent high school assignment on comparative religion. He decided to write his paper on the inefficacy of witchcraft. This led him to a young hippie couple, Kenny and Christie, who not only introduced him to a wide range of illicit substances, but gave him his entré into Satanism. They said a group of their friends would tell him all about the powers of witchcraft if he attended one of their meetings, which were of course top-secret and invitation-only. “When they call, be ready to go,” the hippies warned.
One month later, a coven priestess called Alexandria phoned Stephen just before midnight. He found some pretext to slip out of his house, and was conveyed to a private home in another neighbourhood (this was presumably in or near Alva, Oklahoma, where the university is located). The house had been converted into a ritual space. Nude women were singing around a circle-in-a-pentagram on the floor. The air was already charged with spirits by the time Stephen arrived, so he was instructed to sit in the centre of the circle for his own protection.
The witches obligingly answered all of his questions about hexes, spells, and charms. If they were weirded out by some strange kid doing his homework assignment during one of their rituals, no one said so. In fact, they took a liking to him because of his “inborn powers”, and invited him to another meeting.

This second meeting was held in a ritzier neighbourhood, in a house decorated with an inverted cross and paintings of Hell. Dollins was surprised to find that one of his old biology teachers was the high priest. He was even more surprised to learn that the Satanic witches wanted to recruit him. “We’ve been watching you very carefully,” the biology teacher told him. They tried to entice him into joining their grotto, offering up buffets of coke, mescaline, heroin, and women on demand. But their talk of human sacrifice ultimately scared Stephen away.

In September 1970, Dr. Joe Dollins died. Stephen says he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike.
This tragedy drove Stephen straight into the arms of Satan. He wanted nothing to do with a God that would allow his father to die such a cruel, untimely death. He renounced Christianity and filled out an application to join the Church of Satan, formed just three years earlier in California.

He somehow ended up in Clarksville, Texas (the one the Monkees didn’t sing about). He established himself as a high priest in the Church of Satan there, summoning demons to do awful things to people who annoyed him.
He once tried to hex an elderly Christian women by summoning Astaroth. The demon appeared to him in the form of his worst childhood fear: The Wolfman peeking out of an orange cloud. And it was not happy. “Don’t you ever send me after a Christian again!”, Astaroth-Wolfman bellowed.

This sort of incident is repeated again and again by former witches; their demonic powers prove worthless against Christians, before whom even the most powerful minions of hell quiver. You can send demons against anyone, even heads of state, but woe betide you if you send a demon to a pepperpot with a Bible.
These incidents also indicate that demons are not unionized and have to make their own labour complaints.

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Dollins seems a bit confused about which Satanic organization he joined. At first he calls it the Church of Satan, but later in his talk he identifies it as the Brotherhood, the same nationwide cult to which Mike Warnke supposedly belonged in the mid-’60s. The “denomination” he describes is certainly not the Church of Satan. He mentions that his former co-religionists believe Satan will triumph at Armageddon, and Church of Satan members believe in neither Armageddon nor a literal Satan.

Dollins doesn’t give the size of his Satanic network (perhaps he learned a lesson from the Warnke affair), but he does hint at a massive Satanic conspiracy of the sort John Todd described. He claims the police and sheriff’s departments of a certain town in Texas were in the pockets of local Satanists, and tells us that one Brotherhood member of his acquaintance took part in animal sacrifice and child abduction (he doesn’t tell us if he reported this guy to the proper authorities or not, but given later events and Mike Warnke’s example, we can safely assume he did not).

In Topeka, Kansas, Stephen wed his high priestess. This is where the powers of Hell abandoned him (apparently, even Satan doesn’t like Kansas). He ended up broke and suicidally depressed. Then he remembered reading Mike Warnke’s memoir, The Satan Seller. The book had been given to him by the same Brotherhood member who sacrificed animals, after he was saved by a Christian ministry called Crisis Answers.
Thanks to Warnke’s book and his child-kidnapping buddy, Dollins realized he could leave the Brotherhood.
Remember, this talk was given in the late ’90s, six or seven years after Warnke’s lies were exposed by Cornerstone magazine. Tying his story to Warnke’s was a serious tactical mistake on Dollins’s part. More than anything else, this indicates that his story is 100% fictional. Sure, maybe he met some hippies in Oklahoma who smoked hash and dabbled in witchcraft, but he didn’t become a high priest of the Brotherhood. There is no Brotherhood. It was Warnke’s invention.

Anyway, Dollins phoned up his animal-sacrificing friend and learned, to his amazement, that a group of Christians had been praying for his salvation for the past seven years. The friend arranged for him to meet with two pastors who love-bombed the hell out of him, literally. He was saved on Groundhog Day, 1978.
This part of the story jives perfectly with the other remarkable conversions we’ve seen in this series. No former witch or reformed Satanist is content to say, “I worshiped the Devil for x number of years, then I got bored with it and became a Christian.”

Though Mike Warnke faced the threat of assassination after leaving the Brotherhood, Dollins mentions no retaliatory measures. That’s to his credit. In the stories of John Todd, Doc Marquis, “Elaine” (Edna Moses), and Warnke, it’s very hard to believe that an enormous cult with the powers of Hell at its beck and call can’t manage to bump off a few unarmed guys who regularly appear in public without so much as a single bodyguard. It makes for some compelling Christian testimony, but in the realism department it gets a big, fat zero.

Dollins has dedicated his Christian life to warning against the hazards of the occult. Now you would think by “occult”, I mean summoning Wolfman demons and putting curses on old women and whatnot, right? Well, Dollins doesn’t get quite that far. Just like the anti-occult crusaders and former witches of the ’70s and ’80s, he decided that the best way to keep kids out of Satanism is to make sure they aren’t exposed to any occult influences at a tender age. Don’t let your kids read the Harry Potter books. Don’t hang dreamcatchers over babies’ cribs; Native spirituality is not Christian, therefore it is demon-inspired. Don’t tell your child about the Tooth Fairy.

Wait, what? The Tooth Fairy?

Yes, the Tooth Fairy. Dollins asks his audience, in all seriousness, “How many know fairies are demons?”, then tells us, “When you talk to your child about the Tooth Fairy, you’re actually telling them about a demon.” *

I thought we were giving kids a convenient explanation for why we take their teeth and replace them with small amounts of money.

Dollins also warns against Pokemon (because it encourages children to become “masters”, seems to involve cute little demons with occult powers, and may cause seizures), Sarah Coventry jewelry (“occult” designs), and role-playing games. “The more you get into the fantasy world, the more it seems real, and all of a sudden now you don’t know what’s real and what’s not,” he says without the faintest trace of irony.

Dollins actually wrote an entire book about the dangers of Harry Potter, Under the Spell of Harry Potter (Global Distributing Services, 2002). It’s not the only one, of course, but it does seem to contain the least amount of integrity. In the intro, Dollins quotes two young Harry Potter fans as “anonymous sources”, implying that these were children he personally interviewed. In reality, the quotes came directly from two San Francisco Chronicle articles, as pointed out by the pro-Potter website Dollins Debunked.

To sum it all up, there isn’t much to say about Mr. Dollins. He wasn’t even creative enough to come up with his own Satanic cult mythos; he just recycled discredited stuff from the ’70s, threw in some weirdness about demonic fairies, and jumped on the anti-Harry Potter bandwagon with numerous other fundamentalists. He followed a script, laid down by Doreen Irvine in the early ’70s, that is now extremely familiar:

– A Dickensian childhood full of abuse, exploitation, and deprivation (Dollins skipped this step, as his adoptive parents were perfectly nice Christians).
– An early introduction to Jesus that would pave the way for salvation later in life
– An absence of time markers (the only two dates Dollins provides are the year of his introduction to devil worship and the date of his conversion to Christianity)
– Lack of detail about the beliefs of Satanists (scripture, philosophy, etc.), but extraneous detail about the practices of Satanists (sacrifice, crime, etc.). Dollins mentions absolutely no scripture at all, not even the fictional tome called The Great Mother that Warnke’s Brotherhood used.
– Helplessness. Rather than being led into Satanic evil through his/her bad choices, the protagonist is usually a naive and vulnerable innocent victimized, lured, or coerced into sin by more worldly people. Once ensnared, escape is impossible. Teenage Dollins was heavily dosed with drugs before being enticed into Satanism. He was just a nice, normal kid trying to finish a school assignment.
– Supernatural events and paranormal abilities are common. Demons and angels materialize, Satanists use death curses against their enemies, and sometimes Satan himself makes an appearance. Dollins caught the attention of Satanists because he possessed inherited supernatural powers, and later trained himself to physically summon demons.
– A remarkable conversion experience
– Complete redemption and forgiveness through Christ
– Expert advice on the occult. After sharing his/her testimony, the ex-witch or former Satanist gives us pointers on how to avoid occultism, prevent children from becoming involved in it, and/or how to expunge it from our communities. There are typically warnings about Ouija boards, Halloween, and occult literature. Or in Dollins’s case, fictional boy wizards and the freaking Tooth Fairy.


*
Please note that Dollins did not mention telling your kids about Tom Noonan. So feel free to do that.