Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: The Bogus Christian Memoir Hall of Shame

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Literary fraud is an important topic at Swallowing the Camel. Whether it’s middle-aged women pretending to be teen boys afflicted with HIV/AIDS (here and here), or James Cameron’s BFF letting himself be snowjobbed by a lying WWII vet, or fake Holocaust memoirists, no one gets a free pass when it comes to literary misdeeds. So why should Christians be any different? This week’s Weirdness Roundup covers some of the most egregious frauds involving inspirational Christian nonfiction, starting with the most recent case:

  • A year after diligent readers expressed their concerns, UK Christian publishing house Authentic Media has withdrawn a popular preacher’s autobiography from the market. Tony Anthony’s Taming the Tiger (2004) told the awesome story of how Jesus transformed him from an angry young criminal to the person he is today (I’ll let you decide if that was an improvement or not).
    Taming the Tiger describes how 4-year-old Tony learned Kung Fu from his grandfather. As the book’s cover reminds us, he ultimately became a “3 times Kung Fu World Champion”. His professional debut was in 1984. The following year, he went to work as a bodyguard for international VIPs, including the Saudi ambassador to the UK, Italy, and Cyprus. In 1988 or ’89, his world fell apart when his girlfriend of three years, Aiya, was killed in a car accident. He turned his back on everything good in his life and become an enforcer for his boss, threatening and beating and even killing people who posed the slightest danger to the ambassador. He then became a burglar to raise money for an expensive medical procedure his father needed, and started getting into confrontations with police in Cyprus, where he was then living. He landed himself in jail in Christmas 1989, and it was there that an Irish missionary introduced him to Jesus Christ.
    Upon release in 1992, Anthony returned to the UK and settled down to have a family. He considered himself a good Christian, but after he was arrested for killing a woman in a hit and run (and lying to police about it) in 2001, he realized he still needed a lot of work. His second awakening as a Christian spurred him to write the memoir, which has sold more than a million copies in 25 languages. Its success gave him the opportunity to preach all over the world, and he established an Essex-based international evangelism organization called Avanti Ministries.
    The whole thing imploded when skeptical readers decided to look into Anthony’s actual background. One of the first things they discovered was that he was born in 1971…meaning he would have been just 13 years old when he became a Kung Fu grand master, and 14 when he was supposedly protecting an ambassador. He would still have been a teenager when he ended up in Nicosia prison. Also, the Saudi ambassador to the UK from 1980-1992, Nasser Almanqour, was never sent to Italy or Cyprus.
    It wasn’t just readers who were skeptical. One director of Avanti Ministries, Mike Hancock, resigned because Anthony seemed reluctant to verify the stories in his book. Hancock joined forces with another former Avanti director and a few concerned Christian ministers to investigate Anthony’s claims. Last year, they submitted a summary of their findings to the board of Avanti, the UK’s Evangelical Alliance, and Authentic Media, resulting in Authentic’s decision to pull the book.
    Tony Anthony has issued a statement saying he “wholeheartedly” defends everything he wrote in Taming the Tiger, with the exception of some details that he claims he wasn’t aware of at the time he wrote it. He admits that some names, places, etc., were altered to protect the privacy of certain people. He also claims he recently tried to publish an updated autobiography, but was blocked from doing so by unnamed persons “intent on discrediting” his ministry. Hilariously, he seems astonished that anyone would be interested in the historical veracity of his work (which is categorized as a nonfiction martial arts book in libraries and bookstores).
    Anthony’s statement includes the announcement that Avanti Ministries will no longer be in charge of its outreach programs.
  • The story of “Lauren Stratford” is by far the weirdest, most convoluted bogus Christian memoir tale of the past several decades. In 1988, her book Satan’s Underground was published by one of the top Christian publishers in America, Harvest House. In it, Stratford described a nightmarish existence as an abused child prostitute, handed over to child pornographers and pedophile rapists by her own mother (a schoolteacher). As a teen, she became a virtual sex slave to a Satan-worshiping porno kingpin known only as “Victor”. Victor’s cult engaged in everything from infanticide to cannibalism, and Lauren was forced to participate in their hellish rites. She was the first former Satanist to claim status as a “breeder”, a woman forced to bear children for ritual sacrifice, and I doubt it’s a coincidence that within months of the release of Satan’s Underground, breeders were popping out of the woodwork to appear on Geraldo and Sally Jesse Raphael. Stratford herself was invited to appear on Oprah and Geraldo as a victim of Satanic ritual abuse. Her book became very popular with recovered memory advocates and Christian therapists, and other ritual abuse survivors credited Stratford’s book with helping them retrieve their own “repressed memories”.
    Then, in 1991, the Christian magazine Cornerstone investigated Stratford’s background. The reporters couldn’t find a shred of evidence that Laurel Wilson had ever been abused by Satanists or anyone else, but they did uncover evidence indicating that Wilson/Stratford suffered a factitious disorder.
    Toward the end of her life, Stratford re-emerged as a Holocaust survivor named “Laura Grabowski”. She said she had been one of Josef Mengele’s victims, and even had a touching reunion with a fellow child survivor of Auschwitz, Binjamin Wilkomirski. The problem was, Wilkomirski had never been in Auschwitz, either.
    You can read more about the peculiar Wilson/Stratford/Grabowski saga in Part IX of my series The Prodigal Witch.
  • In 1986, Christian pamphleteer Jack Chick published a bizarre book titled He Came to Set the Captives Free, by one “Rebecca Brown, M.D.” It told the story of a crusading Christian doctor (Brown herself) who was engaged in a life-or-death struggle against evil forces in Indiana. Satanists were dogging her every step because she had rescued a young woman named Elaine from their clutches. Elaine had been brainwashed by the Satanists from childhood, and as an adult was forced to literally marry Satan in his human form.
    Having divorced Satan and her second husband too, Elaine helped Dr. Brown foil Satanic assassins and rescue other cult victims. The duo claimed to have saved about 1000 witches from dangerous covens in the first half of the ’80s alone. Brown published a second book about her battles with darkness, Prepare for War, in 1987. That same year, she and Elaine appeared on one of Geraldo Rivera’s shows about Satanism.
    In 1989, writers G. Richard Risher, Paul R. Blizard, and M. Kurt Goedelman delved into the backgrounds of Rebecca Brown and Elaine for the Personal Freedom Outreach Newsletter. What they found was deeply disturbing. Brown was really Ruth Bailey, and she had been stripped of her medical license five years earlier, after colleagues discovered she had been giving massive (potentially fatal) doses of prescription painkillers to one of her patients, Edna Moses. Edna Moses was “Elaine”. The two women had been living together in a filthy house for years, telling neighbours they were sisters. Bailey was known for her violent, unstable, paranoid behaviour. Edna/Elaine died in 2005.
    Bailey/Brown left Edna in 1989 to marry an ex-con who claimed he was tortured by Swiss rabbis as a boy, and the couple now runs a small ministry called Harvest Warriors.
    Though many Christians recognize Brown’s books for what they are (pure batshit insanity), they remain in print and continue to captivate the more gullible members of the Christian community.  In 2010, a sixth-grade science teacher in Brooklyn was mildly reprimanded for distributing and selling copies of They Came to Set the Captives Free to some of his students.
    The full story of Ruth Bailey and Edna Moses can be read in Part VIII of my Prodigal Witch series.
  • In the early ’70s, a roly-poly young Californian named Mike Warnke took the evangelical world by storm. He was loved for his Christian stand-up comedy (yes, that’s a thing, I guess), but it was his truly sinister background that drew the most attention to him. As he detailed in his 1973 memoir The Satan Seller, Warnke had dropped out of college to lead one branch of a nationwide Satanic cult that practiced blasphemous rites, lured teenagers into their ranks with the promise of sex and drugs, and occasionally raped and dismembered innocents in the name of the Devil. You know, typical frat stuff.
    Just like Tony Anthony, Warnke founded a successful ministry on the strength of his testimony. It wasn’t until 1992, nearly 20 years after The Satan Seller was printed, that a group of Christians published an exhaustive refutation of Warnke’s claims in a Cornerstone magazine article. As writers Jon Trott and Mike Hertenstein revealed, Warnke hadn’t been a Devil-worshiping drug addict in college; he had already become a Christian by that time, and spent most of his time doing ridiculously wholesome things that other square kids did in the late ’60s: Bowling, going out for ice cream, double-dating with his devoutly Catholic girlfriend, etc.
    Confronted with his make-believe past, Warnke weakly explained that his Satanic following may have been a bit smaller than he originally stated (around a dozen people, rather than 1500). He would not back down from anything else in his book. A few years ago, though, he admitted to Jim Bakker that he had felt compelled to present a dramatic conversion testimony to impress the evangelical community, and made a joke about “evangelasticity”.
    You can read more about Warnke in
    Part II of the Prodigal Witch series.
  • The same year The Satan Seller was published, Doreen Irvine’s autobiography From Witchcraft to Christ was released in the UK. A prim-looking older lady, Irvine claimed to have been a teen prostitute who was inducted into Satanism in London around 1950. Over the next 12 years, she developed the abilities to levitate several feet off the ground, read minds, render herself invisible, manifest apports, and kill birds in midflight just by looking at them. She was crowned Queen of the Black Witches of Europe. Then she walked into a church on a whim and was instantly converted to Christianity. After a grueling exorcism removed 47 demons from her body, she traveled to churches all over the world, sharing her story of redemption.
    No one has ever extensively refuted the claims in From Witchcraft to Christ, probably because they are too absurd to take seriously in the first place. But the book, and Doreen’s preaching, had a profound and lasting impact that has left at least one young woman dead. You can read more about her influence in Part I of The Prodigal Witch.

There are a number of other Christian memoirs that definitely set off my BS alarm, but the claims made in these books are so unverifiable that there is really no way to refute them. These include:

  • A Divine Revelation of Hell (1997) and A Divine Revelation of Heaven (1998) by Mary K. Baxter. Baxter, a Pentacostal preacher from Michigan, claims she was given walking tours of both Heaven and Hell by Jesus himself, so that she could bear witness to their physical reality. She says Hell is located near the planet’s core, is shaped like a human body, and contains many homosexuals. In Heaven, angels collect the tears of everyone on Earth and store them away in jars.
  • Blood Secrets by Isaiah Oke, as told to Joe Wright (1989). Oke is a Nigerian Christian who claims he was once a ju-ju shaman, and that he witnessed a brutal human sacrifice carried out by his mentor. The person who commissioned this sacrifice is described as a powerful colonel, and it’s quite obvious that Oke wants us to think he was Idi Amin.
    Oke became a Christian while studying accounting at college. As he and Wright tell it, a young American co-ed had annoyed him one day, but Oke was unable to “hex” her even after numerous attempts. Finally, he asked her why she was resistant to his magical powers, and she told him she was a Christian. He promptly converted, and continues to talk smack about Nigerian spirituality to the present day.
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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.

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The Prodigal Witch

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

Intro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coming Soon (after Following the Chemtrails):  

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

The Prodigal Witch 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 XIV: Linda Blood

Seriously, hell hath no fury…

Linda Blood is quite different from all the former Satanists we’ve seen so far. She actually was involved (very briefly) with an organized Satanic church, the Temple of Set (ToS), and after leaving it she did not become a born again Christian.
She frankly admits that her time as a Satanist revolved around her love affair (requited or unrequited, depending on who you ask) with Michael Aquino, founder of the Temple of Set and a favourite target of anti-occult conspiranoids.
In the ’80s she jumped into the Satanic panic fray, armed with what she believed was damning information about Satanism and occultism, and continued her campaign well into the ’90s with the publication of her influential (but misinformation-packed) book The New Satanists.

Aquino as he appeared on Geraldo’s Devil Worship: Exposing Satan’s Underground in 1989. “Former Satanist” Lauren Stratford also appeared on this program.


She Said

Blood’s romance with Aquino is not exactly chick flick material. By all accounts, it began with a copy of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine and a piece of Star Wars fanfiction.

According to Blood, in 1978 she was 34 years old and had just relocated from Greenwich Village to a New York suburb with her husband of 9 years. She had a successful career as a designer of something-or-other (the details are sketchy). In August of that year, she picked up the latest issue of Famous Monsters at her local grocery store and read one of Michael Aquino’s Star Wars stories. She was entranced by its “mysterious and romantic aura” (is it just me, or is that the nerdiest thing you’ve ever read?).
She began a correspondence with Aquino, and was surprised to learn he was a Satanist serving in the U.S. Army. She was a bit put off by what she calls his “authoritarian politics” and his love of German philosophers like Hegel, but she appreciated his imagination and intelligence. By his third letter, she was “halfway in love with him.”

Now let’s hold it right here. I don’t mean to insult afficionados of fanfiction (well, maybe I do), but who writes to a fanfiction author out of the blue and then becomes infatuated with that person after three letters? This indicates, at the very least, some emotional issues.
These issues become even more apparent when Blood describes the effect her correspondence with Aquino had on her life. She claims it led her into the “confused and agitated state common to those who become involved with cults.” How does writing letters to a Satanist equate to cult involvement? She hadn’t yet joined the Temple of Set, and to sever her ties to Aquino (who lived in Colorado at the time), all she had to do was avoid licking a stamp.
I suggest it was not “cult involvement”, but Blood’s own actions and conflicted emotions that were causing this turmoil to herself and those close to her. She admits her husband, family, and friends were “bewildered and alarmed” by her behaviour during this time.

Her decision to join the the Temple of Set was voluntary. Aquino had told her she would have to join to learn more about it, and she did. There was no pressure to join, no cultish recruitment tactics like love-bombing. In its 3 years of existence, the ToS had never been identified as a cult by ex-members or cult watchdog groups.
In fact, Blood offers no evidence that the ToS was a cult. She writes instead of the “clannish and condescending” attitude of some members, likening the temple to an exclusive club. This may be true, but exclusivity does not a cult make. In fact, in their early phases of development, cults will take just about anyone they can get so the leader(s) can establish a power base.
She makes much of the fact that Aquino was a psychological warfare specialist for the army, without documenting any crossover from his working life to his spiritual life (by all accounts, Aquino was professional enough to separate the two).

Blood, who claims she had no prior interest in the occult, immersed herself in the ToS. In June 1979 she attended one of its annual conclaves with about 30 other Setians, and met Aquino in person for the first time.

Blood’s marriage ended that year. She claims she and Aquino became lovers during a trip to Washington, and his refusal to leave his soon-to-be wife Lillith caused her great emotional distress.

Michael and Lillith Aquino

Since her love object kept his distance from her, Blood directed her frustration and anger at other Setians. In response, they “emotionally abused” her and ejected her from the ToS.
Her relationship with Aquino continued until early 1981. This was followed by four years of depression. She would phone Aquino and his wife and scream into their answering machine.
To indulge in a little armchair psychology for a moment, I believe what we see here is not a cult victim at all. This is an emotionally unstable woman struggling with unrequited love and rejection, bad choices, and a divorce. She projected her feelings onto Aquino and his group, branding it a cult. This excused all her own mistakes: She didn’t emotionally abandon her husband for a gloomy geek – she was lured into a cult by a psy warfare specialist!

In the mid-’80s, years after her ToS experience, Blood was still out for blood. She joined the American Family Foundation (now known as the International Cultic Studies Association)*, which worked closely with the Cult Awareness Network (before the Scientologists took it over), becoming assistant editor of the two organizations’ newsletters. Her contacts with other former Satanists, “ritual abuse” victims, and their support networks convinced her that certain forms of occultism pose “long-term dangers” to society. This view culminated in her 1994 book The New Satanists, which we’ll examine at the end of this post.

He Said

Aquino’s take on the matter is, quite frankly, more believable than Blood’s. He contends that Blood became infatuated with him after reading his fiction, initiated a correspondence with him, and proceeded to pursue him aggressively for the next ten years. When he made it clear that her affection for him was not mutual, she began to leave bizarre, obscene, and abusive messages on his answering machine. Not one of them is suitable for a PG-13 blog like this one, if Aquino’s transcriptions are accurate. She even heaped verbal abuse upon Aquino’s elderly mother, referring to her as a “Nazi bitch”.

Aquino points out that in letters Blood sent to him during her time with the Temple of Set (a few excerpts are here), she expressed delight with the ToS and wrote fondly of her fellow Setians.

At some point in the early ’90s, Blood finally stopped leaving nasty phone messages. Aquino assumed she had moved on, until he learned she was working with anti-cult organizations that promoted belief in Satanic crime and Satanic ritual abuse. Then, in 1994, a subsidiary of Warner Books published The New Satanists.

The New Satanists

There isn’t room here for a detailed analysis of Blood’s book. Let’s just say it is rather typical of earlier books on the same topic. Satanic ritual abuse is real, Satanists are dangerous criminals, yadda yadda yadda. The only thing missing is the Christian bias, though Blood’s moralizing does veer awfully close to piety at times. She even argues that “occult” crime must be placed into the wider context of warfare, genocide, and terrorism. “Perhaps then we will take effective steps to combat this ancient and persistent form of evil.” (34)

Unlike most authors in this genre, Blood is actually knowledgeable about various Satanic groups in Europe and the U.S., and she makes a few valid points about the creepy links between certain Satanists and neo-Nazi/white supremacist beliefs. However, she goes seriously awry when it comes to that “occult crime”. Among the absurdities she gives us:

  • “According to law enforcement officials, in addition to child and adult pornography and prostitution, they [Satanists] are involved in drug and arms trafficking and serious forms of while collar crime such as computer scams and insurance fraud.” No sources. No examples. People who self-identify as Christians have engaged in all these crimes, so should we also worry about a wave of “Christian crime”? (21)
  • Listing examples of weird S&M porn involving dead animals, gore, etc., she asks, “Where does porn end and satanic ritual begin?”. (21)
  • She attacks skepticism, essentially saying that because of it, guilty men like Robert Kelly and Paul Ingram are being considered falsely convicted. Sadly for her, these are textbook examples of false conviction.
  • “In the West Memphis case, the local Crittendon County authorities had been forewarned.” Librarians had reported books with sacrifice/cannibalism passages underlined, and there was suspicion of rituals and animal sacrifices in the area. I don’t understand how this in any way constitutes “forewarning” of a triple child murder. Does this woman honestly believe such a crime may have been averted by arresting kids who scribble in library books? Should the police have staked out wooded areas to prevent Satanists from legally gathering? The more you think about her statement, the more ridiculous it becomes. (Keep in mind that this book was written before the trials even commenced.)

Blood makes her distaste for Satanism clear, calling it one of many “philosophical hazardous waste dumps” and a “sophomoric junk-food substitute for serious intellectual challenge to dogmas”. After covering its history and its tenuous connection to crimes ranging from graffiti-spraying to cannibal holocausts, she zeroes in on Aquino. Specifically, the Presidio affair and its aftermath.

Hysteria, Hoax, or Cover-up?

In 1986, California parents were seriously concerned about their daycare centres. And you can’t really blame them. For the first time in the history of daycare, toddlers were complaining of bizarre forms of abuse involving costumes, movie cameras, the Devil, dungeons and secret tunnels, even murder. In Manhattan Beach, a grandmother and several members of her family stood trial for allegedly molesting and satanically abusing kids, using a secret tunnel beneath their daycare centre to access a specially-constructed ritual chamber. In Berkeley, a psychiatrist and his mentally ill wife were informing anyone who would listen that their son and countless other children had been raped and tortured by a large group of adults wearing robes and masks. It took the boy’s mother 20 years to admit the abuse never occurred.

And in San Francisco, a 3-year-old boy informed his mother that “Mr. Gary” had touched his penis and sodomized him with a pencil at the Childhood Development Center, an Army-run daycare located on the Presidio Army base. He was referring to Gary Hambright, a 34-year-old substitute teacher who worked at the centre. Hambright had been substitute teaching in Bay Area schools since the late ’70s, without any complaints lodged against him.

Joyce and Mike Tobin did not report the suspected abuse, but an army chaplain who heard the story from Mike relayed it to the base’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID). An investigation was immediately launched.
Using an “anal wink” test, now discredited as a tool for diagnosing sexual abuse, Dr. Kevin Coulter of the Child Adolescent Sexual Abuse Referral Center at San Francisco General Hospital determined the Tobin boy had been sodomized.
In early December, about two weeks after the CID investigation began, a strategy group was formed to address the possibility of multiple victims, though there had been no other complaints against Hambright. This may have been prudent, but the CID’s next move was not. Just as police did in the McMartin case, the Army mailed letters to every parent who had a child in Hambright’s care at the Childhood Development Center – 242 people. This letter may have sparked hysteria among parents, causing them to see warning signs that didn’t really exist. Presidio parents began to see nightmares, bedwetting, masturbation, and other normal childhood events as evidence of sexual abuse.

Five of the roughly 60 preschoolers who may have been molested tested positive for chlamydia at Letterman Army Medical Center. However, it later emerged that the wrong kind of culture was taken and the tests were invalid.
The stories told by the children included bizarre, “ritual” elements. One child alleged that Hambright dressed up as a “bad lobster”. Another claimed Hambright murdered and resurrected him. Others spoke of guns being fired, animals being slaughtered, and sex acts being filmed by Hambright and other adults at the CDC. Yet no physical evidence was uncovered during the course of four separate investigations (by the CID, San Francisco police, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s office in San Francisco).
Nonetheless, Gary Hambright was arrested in late ’86 and charged with abusing the Tobin child. The charges were dropped three months later, after Judge William Schwarzer refused to allow hearseay statements from parents to be used at trial. The U.S. Attorney’s office decided that without this inadmissable hearsay evidence, the case against Hambright was simply too weak to take to trial.

I’ll note here that Blood gets many basic facts of the case wrong. She tells us that Hambright was arrested and charged in January ’87, when this actually occurred in December ’86.

That should have ended the matter, but things were about to get far stranger at the Presidio. After Hambright’s arrest, Army chaplain Larry Adams-Thompson reported that his 3-year-old stepdaughter (real name Kinsey, here called “Lisa”) was wetting the bed and having nightmares. She had been under Hambright’s supervision four or five times in ’86.
Questioned by the FBI, Kinsey denied that anyone had touched her inappropriately. However, a therapist at Letterman Army Medical Center said she spoke of being abused by Hambright, a man named “Mikey”, and a woman named “Shamby”, on several occasions.

On August 12, 1987, 4-year-old Kinsey spotted Lt. Col. Michael Aquino at the Presidio Post Exchange and hid behind her stepfather. Larry and his wife, Michelle, asked her if she knew the man. “Yes, that’s Mikey,” she reportedly replied. In the parking lot, Larry Adams-Thompson saw Lillith Aquino, pointed her out to Kinsey, and asked if she recognized her. “Yes, that’s Shamby,” Kinsey allegedly told him.

Kinsey was re-interviewed by FBI Special Agent Clyde Foreman the following day. This time she described being abused by the three adults in “Mr. Gary’s house”, which had black walls and a “plastic lion’s foot tub”.  She was taken to the 2400 block of Leavenworth Street to see if she would recognize the Aquinos’ house, and she did indeed point out the residence, calling it “Mr. Gary’s house.”
When San Francisco police searched the Aquinos’ house, they found that the living room was painted black. Despite a yearlong investigation by the SFPD, however, no evidence of wrongdoing by either Aquino was found. The case was closed in April of ’88.

Michael Aquino was re-assigned to Missouri because of the adverse publicity the investigation attracted. In its November 16, 1987 issue, Newsweek ran a story on Aquino headlined “THE SECOND BEAST OF REVELATION”. For the first time, Aquino appeared on TV to discuss his religion, in an effort to allay fears that Satanists like to abuse, torture, abduct, and eat children. This is when several preschoolers supposedly recognized him and told their parents he was one of the adults who ritually abused them in various daycare centres throughout the U.S. (what Blood doesn’t mention is that no criminal charges were filed in these cases, due to lack of evidence. They include allegations against sisters Barbara and Sharon Orr at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.)

Hambright was rearrested and once again faced federal charges (because the alleged abuse occurred on a military base). This second set of charges was dropped six months later for lack of evidence. The federal investigation into the Presidio allegations was shut down in September of ’88. By that time, a group of Presidio parents led by Larry Adams-Thompson were loudly crying cover-up. In June, some of them filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army, seeking $55 million in damages. A settlement was reached, and the family of Kinsey Adams-Thompson received over $300,000.

It’s not unheard of for the military to hush up deviant behaviour on the part of officers. For instance, the prime suspect in the 1959 murder of Lynne Harper should have been Royal Canadian Air Force Sgt. Alexander Kalichuk, but civilian police were not informed of his arrest for attempting to entice preteen girls into his vehicle. The army kept a lid on that, allowing a 14-year-old boy to be falsely convicted and sentenced to death.
But was there a military cover-up in the case of the accusations against Aquino? Probably not. Here are a few factors militating in favour of Aquino’s innocence:

  • Aside from Kinsey Adams-Thompson, the kids identified him only after seeing him on TV. They did not give descriptions of him prior to that time – and let’s face it, anyone who sees this guy is going to remember him.
  • His alibi has never been challenged. He was all the way across the country when the abuse supposedly occurred. During the time that Kinsey Adams-Thompson was in daycare (September 1 – October 31, 1986) he was attending daily classes at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.
  • Is it likely that Aquino and his alleged cohorts could usher screaming, crying children in and out of Aquino’s house without being noticed? The Aquinos lived in a fairly quiet neighbourhood, and did not have children of their own.
  • Prior to the ’80s, no one complained of sexual misconduct on Aquino’s part. He had no known interest in children at all, much less sexual interest. This would be quite unusual for a pedophile.
  • There is absolutely no evidence that Aquino was acquainted with Gary Hambright, nor anyone else at the Child Development Center. One has to wonder how a civilian Baptist and an Army Satanist would even meet.
  • Because the alleged abuse occurred off-base, in the Aquinos’ home, it was a civilian matter. For a military cover-up to occur, the Army would have had to effectively interfere with the SFPD and the FBI. Not likely.
  • As the events below demonstrate, the Army itself was suspicious of Aquino and wanted to get rid of him.

The Aftermath

Again, this should have ended the matter. But the accusations of cover-up, together with public outrage over Aquino’s religious affiliation, left the Army feeling uneasy. In late 1988, CID investigators reviewed documents related to the Aquino investigation and picked out what they felt were the six strongest allegations against him. Investigators assembled “lineups” using Oprah footage and footage of Aquino lookalikes/soundalikes, and the children (number not given by Blood) unerringly picked out the real Aquino.
For this reason, the Army “titled” Aquino for indecent acts with a child, sodomy, conspiracy, kidnapping, indecent acts, and false swearing.

There are no easy answers in the Presidio case. Because most of the children were too young to remember their daycare experiences as adults, even they don’t know for certain if they were abused.
But I do have a theory about what may have happened here. I suspect that Hambright’s homosexual orientation terrified several parents at the Presidio. Giving in to fears that gay men who look after children could be pedophiles, some of these parents looked too hard for evidence of sexual molestation – and of course they found it. Everything from temper tantrums to bad dreams could be chalked up to abuse-related trauma. Once the CID investigation began, hysteria took over.

The allegations against Aquino may have been of a very different nature, though. Aquino maintained from the start that Larry Adams-Thompson fabricated Kinsey’s allegations, and the later behaviour of the Adams-Thompsons unfortunately points in that direction.
After receiving their $300,000 settlement from the government, they placed half the money in trust for Kinsey, stipulating that she would become a co-trustee when she turned 18.
Kinsey moved in with her biological father at the age of 13. When she turned 18, the lawyer retained by her mother and stepfather assured her she would be given a copy of the trust documents to review before she signed on as a co-trustee. She had one month to sign. If she did not sign in that time, the money would default to the Adams-Thompsons.
Larry Adams-Thompson promptly filed a lawsuit against his teenage stepdaughter in an attempt to delay the signing process and secure the trust fund for himself. Luckily for Kinsey, a probate court terminated the trust. She was given not only her share of the trust monies, but compensation for her legal expenses, as well. This is documented in an appeal stemming from the lawsuit Kinsey filed against her stepdad’s lawyer.
It is my opinion that any man who would attempt to screw his teen stepdaughter out of her trust fund is the same kind of man who would fabricate abuse allegations in order to sue the government.
Aquino was an easy target, because his Satanism was known beyond his inner circle of superiors and peers. Who would the authorities believe: An Army chaplain, or a devil worshiper?

After his Satanism became a subject of nationwide interest, more “ritual abuse victims” crawled out of the woodwork to accuse Aquino. In the early ’90s, a young male prostitute named Paul Bonacci even accused him of purchasing Johnny Gosch, a 12-year-old boy abducted in Iowa in 1982. That allegation was too groundless to warrant investigation, and Bonacci was never charged with his supposed role in the Gosch abduction. But the story continues to be propagated by numerous conspiracy researchers (and Johnny’s own mother) as part of the “Franklin cover-up”.

Linda Blood’s book, though now outdated and discredited, remains influential. It is often cited as a source in other anti-occult literature.

* Some of Blood’s work, such as this 1991 paper co-written with deprogrammer Kevin Garvey, is available on the ICSA website.

The Prodigal Witch XI: Audrey Harper

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When Satanic panic spread to the UK, Audrey Harper become England’s version of Lauren Stratford: A real, live “former Satanic witch” who could help the righteous root out other dangerous devil worshipers.

Insanity in the UK

In the ’80s and ’90s, a woman named Audrey Harper made many appearances on behalf of the Christian organization Reachout Trust, a major proponent of Satanic panic in the UK. She claimed that in the ’60s, she belonged to a murderous Satanic cult in London. Her story was similar in theme to Doreen Irvine’s 1973 book From Witchcraft to Christ, and that may not have been a coincidence; reportedly, Irvine and Harper were both converted to Christianity by the same evangelist, Eric Hutchings. (3)  And both women, as living examples of “what Satanists do”, were integral to the anti-occult crusade spearheaded by the late Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens, Diane Core of Childwatch, and Maureen Davies of Reachout Trust. (1)

Though it has the same basic structure and many common elements, Audrey Harper’s story was much darker than Doreen Irvine’s. While Irvine witnessed nothing more “deviant” than some bird murders and gay orgies in the early ’60s, Audrey was party to child sacrifice and other extreme forms of brutality during the same time. It’s odd that they didn’t cross paths until becoming Christians, as they may have belonged to the same international “black witch” cult.
Their backgrounds were even eerily similar. Though Audrey had a more privileged life than Doreen (she was adopted by a doctor and his wife), hers was a loveless childhood. She fell into drug addiction and prostitution at a young age, and things only went downhill from there. Her boyfriend died, she gave up their baby for adoption, became an alcoholic. Homeless, she fell in with a gang of hippies in Picadilly Circus and became a chronic pill-popper and pot-smoker. (2)

Then everything changed. In 1961 Audrey was invited to a glamorous Chelsea party, because homeless hookers who reek of weed and booze get invited to these things all the time.
After the party, the beautiful people inducted her into a coven that met monthly in the upscale village of Virginia Water (where, ironically, some Harry Potter scenes have been filmed). On Halloween night she signed a parchment pledging herself to Satan (just like Irvine), and drank the blood of a sacrificed rooster (just like Irvine). Then she was sexually initiated on the temple altar by the cult’s head “warlock” (the same term used by Irvine). This is the story she told to the London paper Sunday Sport in one of her first interviews (March 13, 1988). (4)

The “warlock” soon enlisted Audrey to recruit other vulnerable youths for the cult. The kids were gathered in a room scented by “heroin candles” and given hallucinogen-spiked drinks, which invariably led to orgies and the filming of porn. Ritual abuse and infant sacrifices were routine.
The cult also engaged in a range of petty crime, from church desecration to robbery.
Audrey remained with the cult for five years.
Like Irvine, Audrey never gave a name for her cult nor identified any of its members (at least, not publicly). She used the terms “witchcraft” and “Satanism” interchangeably, implying there is no distinction between earth religions and devil-worship. She was vague about her cult’s religious beliefs. She didn’t mention any scripture, like Irvin’s massive Book of Satan, nor any rituals that didn’t involve drugs, sex or murder. But she did describe the supernatural powers she developed, including the ability to levitate and the very handy skill of occult furniture arrangement: “I could bring down the powers of darkness to move furniture about”. (2)
Irvine had developed the same skills during her years as a “black witch”. Sadly, everyone forgot to take pictures.

Drug-addicted and mistreated by cult members, Audrey ended up in and out of mental hospitals, where she gave birth to her second child. She gave up this baby for adoption as well, fearing the head warlock would sacrifice it. (2)
Her addictions, combined with personal intervention by the Devil himself, served to keep Audrey tied to the cult. “Satan could direct me to the coven by remote control,” she later explained. “There was no resistance. I had to go.” Even after leaving the cult, she continued to believe that all her self-harming actions and poor choices had been the direct result of Satanic interference. Every time she injected an overdose of heroin, or walked to a cemetery where babies would be slain and women raped on altars, it was all the Devil’s idea. This near-total abdication of personal responsibility is so common to the testimonies of “former Satanists” that it begins to wear very thin after you’ve heard a few of them. It’s hard to believe that even the most hopelessly drug-addicted, beaten-down person would passively watch gruesome atrocities committed under her nose month after month, year after year, without making any effort to extricate herself from the situation. (2)

Of course, because this is first and foremost a Christian testimony, it was God and His people who provided Audrey with a way out of Satanic slavery; she finally resolved to leave the cult after a stint in a Christian rehab centre in 1966. Her escape was effected without any repercussions, just as Irvine’s departure from the black witches had been. Somehow, though she was not yet born again, her telepathic link with Satan was weakened.

Audrey married, had a third child, and attended church regularly. But she was consumed by guilt and rage until 1986, when she was exorcised by Roy Davies of Emmanuel Pentacostal Church in Stourpart. Freed from the demonic aftereffects of witchcraft, she was finally born again (Doreen Irvine, too, was exorcised after leaving her witch cult).
In 1988, Audrey decided to go public with her story.

How Audrey’s Story Was (Mis)Used

Geoffrey Dickens latched on to Audrey Harper immediately, supporting her and helping her spread the news that, to her knowledge, English Satanists were still sacrificing children. Dickens was one of two Tory MPs (the other being David Wilshire) engaged in anti-occult agitation during the late ’80s. Wilshire actually called for witchcraft laws to be re-instated, and Dickens campaigned for occult literature to be restricted or banned. Complaining that “perverted cults which worship the devil can freely publish guides on how to dabble in the occult,” he opined, “The Home Office must act.” (1) He worked closely with Childwatch, a Hull-based organization that used every opportunity to warn the public about Satanic ritual abuse in England. Its founder, Diane Core, declared that up to 4000 English children were being sacrificed by Satanists annually. She publicly aired bizarre stories from alleged SRA survivors, like the “breeder” who claimed her cult froze sacrificed babies so members could defrost and eat them later.
Wilshire declared in the House of Commons that Satanism is about the ritual mutilation and torture of people, particularly children. (1)

Audrey Harper fit right into this crusade. Along with SRA survivor Cassandra “Sam” Hoyer, she gave numerous interviews and became a darling of the tabloid media. Both women were aided and abetted by Dickens, Wilshire, Core, and Davies of Reachout Trust, all of whom politely ignored the glaring inconsistencies in Ms. Hoyer’s various accounts. (1)

Police looked into the possibility that Harper’s baby-killing cult was still active, but Audrey gave them so little to go on that the investigation was soon dropped. If her story had seemed credible to law enforcement, it’s quite possible that Audrey herself would have been charged in connection with infant murders. This aiding and abetting is a very peculiar feature of ex-Satanist testimony, and it’s one that gets overlooked by many Christians. Few people have pointed out that Mike Warnke (if his story had been true) should have been charged with abduction and rape, that Lauren Stratford could have been prosecuted for allowing her three children to be killed by her associates, or that Irene Park deserved jail time for sexually exploiting her children. It’s bizarre that the people who tried to flush out occult criminals embraced self-described occult criminals when they encountered them, instead of demanding they be prosecuted. These “whistleblowers” were simply re-classified as victims and enlisted in the fight. But being a whistleblower does not necessarily absolve you of participation in awful deeds.
Fortunately, not one of these “whistleblowers” was actually telling the truth.
In spite of a years-long crusade against Satanic crime, no evidence of the mass murder of children by Satanists ever surfaced. The entire campaign was based on anecdotes, recovered memories, and uncorroborated stories from “former Satanists” and “ritual abuse survivors”.

Harper did a significant amount of work for this campaign. Alongside Irvine, she joined the Investigation Committee of the Evangelical Alliance, dedicating to compiling evidence of ritual abuse and other occult-related crime. (3)  She appeared on the talk show After Dark in April ’88, to confront neo-Pagans about their evil ways. (6)  She met with a parent involved in the Nottingham case to discuss ritual abuse. She collected the testimony of other “survivors” of Satanism to share with her audiences, including stories from coven “breeders” (women forced to give birth to babies specifically for ritual sacrifice). No criminal charges resulted from the sharing of these stories, because Harper did not know (or did not reveal) the full names of the alleged victims.  (2)

The UK effort was closely aligned with the one going on in the U.S. For example, Harper, David Wilshire, Doreen Irvine, and Maureen Davies appeared in Caryl Matrisciana’s documentary Devil Worship: The Rise of Satanism. You may recall that Matrisciana was one of the people who encouraged “Lauren Stratford” to write her 1988 memoir of violent Satanism, Satan’s Underground.

Was any part of Audrey Harper’s Story True?

Aside from the magical furniture-arranging and whatnot, there’s nothing in Harper’s story that couldn’t have happened. It is, of course, entirely possible (but not likely) that a kooky band of “witches” and “warlocks” were conducting some weird ceremonies in Virginia Water during the very early ’60s and that Audrey participated in them. But her accounts of Satanic crime don’t stand up to the slightest scrutiny. For one thing, she couldn’t bring forth a single person to corroborate any part of her story. She claimed that her life as a Satanist was so secretive, no one outside the cult was even aware of her involvement.
For another thing, her story changed dramatically during the first two years of her public appearances. Undoubtedly, the changes stemmed from her involvement with a group of activists who were desperately trying to convince the world of the reality of Satanic ritual abuse. Audrey’s original stories, told to tabloid reporters, didn’t contain much of that. By late ’80s standards, her Irvine-inspired material was bland and unhelpful. If she wanted to retain the interest and support of her allies, she had to offer up some “evidence” that would aid their campaign. So that’s exactly what she did.
In 1990, Harper and reporter Harold Pugh published her story of redemption from Satanism, Dance with the Devil: A Young Woman’s Struggle to Escape the Coven’s Curse.Suddenly, the sacrificed rooster used in her initiation ceremony was a sacrificed infant. Geoffrey Dickens, who wrote a foreword for the book, must have noticed the discrepancy. Perhaps, as Reachout would later do, he convinced himself that Audrey had simply been misquoted in the tabloid press. Some inept yellow journalist must have scribbled “cockerel” in his notes when he meant to write “baby”. Happens all the time.

As recently as 2005, Reachout Trust republished Harper’s book and continued to defend its integrity. They claim that two members, Doug Harris and Mike Thomas, have investigated Audrey’s story and concluded she has been truthful. It’s possible that Harper believed her own stories, but it’s the truth, not “honesty”, that is at issue in Satanic horror stories like Audrey’s. A perfectly sincere person can declare that tens of thousands of people are being slaughtered by devil worshipers every year, without having a single fact to support that statement. Doreen Irvine, who comes across as earnest and sincere in her presentations, was diagnosed as having schizophrenia.
It is our responsibility to learn if such statements have any factual basis before even repeating them, much less demanding action from legislators, citizens, and clergy (as Reachout, Childwatch, et al, did in the ’80s and ’90s). Reachout now states it does “not support the myth of SRA [Satanic ritual abuse].” Evidently, its members learned some hard lessons after the hysteria Reachout helped create destroyed lives, careers, and families throughout the UK.
Nonetheless, the organization still offers Dance with the Devil for sale on its website, at a significantly reduced price, along with Jeff Harshbarger’s memoir of Satanism.

Harper herself has apparently moved on.

Notes:

1. For more information on the UK anti-occult crusade, see this timeline . The UK crusade has also been extensively documented by the Sub-Culture Alternatives Freedom Foundation (SAFF)
2. Dance with the Devil by Audrey Harper and Harold Pugh (Publications, 1990)
3.Satan in Suburbia” by Gareth J. Medway. Fortean
Times. Nov. 2001. ,
4. Lure of the Sinister:
The Unnatural History of Satanism (New York University Press, 2001)
5. “Christian Authors” (part 5) by Kerr Kuhulain. Witchvox.com. Retrieved July 29/11.
6. “The Devil Rides In: Charismatic Christians and the Depiction of a Satanic Menace in Contemporary Great Britain” by Philip Jenkins. Religiologiques. Spring 1995.

The Prodigal Witch X: Derry Mainwaring Knight

God’s 007

In the spring of 1983, an unassuming, middle-aged fellow by the lofty name of Derry Mainwaring Knight appeared in Newick, East Sussex, and began attending the local Anglican church, St. Mary’s. He became a regular at Bible studies and prayer meetings. He offered to hand out Christian tracts.
He told the late vicar, John Baker, that he had been born again in jail (he had just been released from Hull Prison after serving time for a rape conviction). His sincerity and eagerness to devote himself to his newfound faith must have touched Reverend Baker deeply, because he did everything in his power to help the ex-con. When Knight said he was homeless, Baker gave him a room in the rectory attic, rent-free. When Knight said he was desperately short of cash, Baker promptly raised over £6000 to put toward the newcomer’s debts.

St. Mary’s Church in Newick

That’s when Knight began to show symptoms of demonic possession, lapsing into strange trances and talking about the Devil.
During one such spell, he revealed to Baker that he was the grandson of a sorceress who groomed him from childhood to be a great Satanic leader. When he was just eight years old, Granny informed Derry he could enter into communion with the Devil himself if special platinum plates were surgically implanted in his skull. The plates were installed, and just as Granny promised, Derry was able to communicate directly with Satan. As an adult, he become a high-ranking member of a secretive but powerful cult.
When he came out of his altered state, Baker repeated all this to Knight and asked him if it was true. Yes, Knight admitted, it was. For years, he had been struggling to break free from a Satanic cabal that operated at the the highest levels of English society.

The son of a pastor, Knight had been raised in Germany. Lucifer manifested in his bedroom one night to claim him when he was nine, he told Baker.

Now, Derry claimed, he wanted to destroy his own devil-worshiping sect from within. He wanted to rid himself of demonic possession. He wanted to pay off his debts to cult members, so they could no longer hold sway over him. He wanted to bring other Satanists out of occult slavery. He wanted to destroy unholy Satanic regalia. To do all that, though, he would need funds. Major funds.
Over the next several months, members of St. Mary’s Church and other area residents donated a staggering sum (over £300,000) to Knight’s anti-Satanic crusade. The county high sheriff gave over £83,000 pounds. The wife of millionaire Tory MP Timothy Sainsbury ponied up nearly £120,000 pounds. Anthony David Brand, Lord Hampden contributed a Rolls-Royce with state-of-the-art communications equipment so that Knight could continue to pose as an affluent Satanist-about-town. The bishop of Lewes wrote a letter on Derry’s behalf, requesting donations for his “necessary work”. In November 1983, Reverend Baker secured a £25,000 loan from a Christian charity and handed it over to Knight.

Lady Susan Sainsbury, one of Knight’s prominent victims

Where did all this money go? Knight claimed to be buying up Satanic paraphernalia such as talismans and robes, expressly to destroy them in dramatic ceremonies. He explained that some of these items were being used to magically influence him, keeping him tied to Satan; the objects would send “signals” to the plates in his head. Oddly, no one suggested he simply get the plates removed.
On one memorable occasion, Knight flung a golden scepter into the Thames. Another time, he and the Reverend Baker carried a silver chalice into the church garden and crushed it.
At the time of his arrest in 1985, Baker was in the process of raising £20,000 so Knight could acquire a “Satanic throne” from a lavish temple in Pall Mall.
The members of St. Mary’s didn’t get to see a lot for their money, but they treasured the satisfaction of knowing they were literally buying a man’s way out hell. Like shareholders, they held regular meetings so they could be briefed on Knight’s progress.

No one in the Newick congregation was aware that Knight had just been sprung from prison after a rape conviction. Nor that he had prior convictions for fraud and robbery. Nor that he was an out-of-work housepainter in spite of his cult’s supposed affluence.
Clearly, he was still in Satan’s grip and needed all the help they could give him. Sometimes he would collapse to the ground in a deep trance, muttering Satanic incantations.

The first person to hear serious alarm bells in his head was the Bishop of Chichester, the late Eric Kemp. The septuagenarian bishop caught wind in the summer of 1985 that congregants in Newick were throwing fat sums of money at a Satanic double agent, and didn’t think it sounded quite right. The double-agent thing was sensible enough, he thought, but the donations seemed excessive.
The alarm bells turned to sirens when Derry himself told Kemp he had been initiated into Satanism by a defrocked Catholic cardinal. As Bishop Kemp knew, no English cardinals had been defrocked in the ’50s.
Kemp believed the Charismatic movement, which was popular among certain Anglicans at that time, rendered Christians vulnerable to this sort of deception. They focused on the ubiquity of evil until they convinced themselves that things like mind-control scepters and telepathic head-plates could really exist. They also convinced themselves that God was speaking directly to them, exhorting them to help scammers like Knight in His name.

A church investigation, conducted by a retired bishop, uncovered Knight’s police record, and Newick authorities were notified. Inspector Terrance Fallon concluded he was dealing with your typical con man – Derry was just luckier than the usual crook, having stumbled onto a community of kind-hearted and extraordinarily gullible people with scads of money. The donations had gone straight into Knight’s own pocketbook, usually manifesting as gifts for “lady friends”, high-end car rentals for himself, and posh parties. On one occasion, he chartered a champagne steamboat cruise along the Thames for one hundred guests. The Anglicans were not invited.

Knight, under Inspector Fallon’s questioning, played the innocent. Sure, he had asked the vicar for some cash to pay down a debt, and chatted with him about black magic and Satanism because Baker was “interested in that sort of thing”. But he never asked for another handout, he insisted. The Anglicans were so keen to squash Satanic evildoing in their area that they plied him with fistfuls of money every time he showed up for a prayer meeting, begging him to do something about the occult menace. (1)

As it turned out, Knight had a colourful history of scamming Christians out of their money. He had been dishonorably discharged from the Coldstream Guards for defrauding a fellow out of thousands of marks.

When the Anglicans of Newick learned about Knight’s real past, and his Larry Flynt present, most of them wisely faced the fact they had been scammed. Many of them testified against Derry at his 1986 trial. So did local jewelers who had been hired by Derry to craft peculiar-looking scepters and medallions out of gold and silver.
Church member Randle Mainwaring (no relation) testified that Knight once proposed sexually blackmailing a local bank manager to raise funds for his anti-Satanism campaign.

But others stubbornly maintained that Derry had been doing God’s work, and should never have been arrested. Michael Warren, who lost £36,000 pounds to this “work”, vociferously defended Derry from the witness stand and warned the court that Satanism was “very much a potent source of evil in this country”. (2)
Reverend Baker, too, remained certain that Knight’s life was imperiled by devil-worshipers. On the witness stand, he refused to name the items he and Derry had destroyed, for fear he and others would be “shot or disposed of in some way” by cult leaders for revealing details of their ritual implements. (2)

Though Knight admitted to Inspector Fallon that he wasn’t a Satanist, just the recipient of something like compulsive philanthropy, his trial defence strategy was to declare himself a member of a cult called “The Sons of Lucifer” and bring out shocking testimony that would blow the lid off Satanic doings at the highest levels of English society. He “outed” two Tory politicians (William Whitelaw, Enoch Powell) and one Labour MP (Leopold Abse) as cult members.
He declared he would have no need to bilk money out of churchgoers, because he was a successful pimp.
Derry Mainwaring Knight was convicted of nineteen counts of obtaining money by deception and sentenced to seven years in prison by Judge Neil Denison. He also received a £75,000 fine.
After his conviction, his own mother claimed he had conned her out of a large sum of cash.

Knight’s Legacy

Reachout Trust, a UK organization dedicated to fighting the occult, listed Derry Mainwaring Knight’s story as evidence that ritual abuse was really occurring in England in the ’80s, and with Reverend Kevin Logan produced a tape titled Set Free in Christ. In the video, a woman identified as Peggy Knight claimed she was Derry’s mother and a born again Christian. She said the cult Derry betrayed still posed a serious threat to the entire family.
Logan also included the Knight story in his 1988 book Paganism and the Occult, though he obscured the names and details. In this book, Logan stated that every city and major town in the UK contains a “small exclusive coven made up mostly of people in the professions.” (3)
Logan was heavily involved in UK Satanic panic; one of his most tragic Satanic ritual abuse misadventures is described in my post on Doreen Irvine. We’ll see Logan and Reachout Trust again in the next part of this series, dealing with “former Satanist” Audrey Harper.

Today, professional conspiranoid David Icke still considers Derry Mainwaring Knight a valuable Satanic whistleblower: “Willie Whitelaw, a chairman of the Conservative Part, was named as a leading Satanist by self-confessed Satanist, Derry Mainwaring Knight, at Maidstone Crown Court in 1986. As usual, nothing was done about it. Mainwaring-Knight lived near East Grinstead, one of the centres of Satanism in England.” (4)

Is it possible that Derry Mainwaring Knight really did practice Satanism with high-level politicians, when he wasn’t scamming churchgoers? No. The fact that he had to manufacture Satanic paraphernalia in order to destroy it indicates he didn’t have access to any real stuff. At one point he claimed to be a member of the Ordo Templi Orientis, an occult organization, but this wasn’t verified. That’s probably why he chose not to mention the OTO at his trial. There is no known Satanic group called Sons of Lucifer, and no grand Satanic temple exists in Pall Mall. “Nothing was done” about his courtroom accusations against Whitelaw simply because no one, barring a country vicar and a few Charismatic believers, found his tales remotely credible.

Due to the prominence of Knight’s victims and the sheer wackiness of his scam, the outcome of his trial was covered by all the major English daily newspapers. The affair should have staunched the spread of Satanic panic in the UK, but sadly it did not. Stories of former Satanists and ritual abuse survivors, which were every bit as spurious as Knight’s Sons of Lucifer nonsense, continued to flow through the media like a diseased river, polluting minds and sweeping innocent people into whirlpools of persecution.

Sources

1. The Lure of the Sinister: The Unnatural History of Satanism by Gareth J. Medway(New York University Press, 2001)
2.A British Con Man Says the Devil Made Him Do It” by Dianna Waggoner. People magazine. Vol. 25. No. 24 (July 16, 1986)
3. Paganism and the Occult by Kevin Logan (Kingsway Publications, 1988)
4. The Biggest Secret by David Icke  (2nd edition; David Icke Books, 1990)

The Prodigal Witch VIII: "Elaine" Part II

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Dr. Brown’s Story

Rebecca Brown’s story, as told in Closet Witches and in her books, is every bit as weird as Elaine‘s. It includes religious persecution, demonic possession on an epidemic scale, and sinister medical conspiracies.

Bailey was born in Indiana in 1948. Though her parents were Christians, she came to believe that their church was evil because “drunkenness and adultery were rampant”. As a result of attending this ungodly church, her parents became “evil and demonically controlled”. (1)

Brown claims the hospital in which she met Elaine (not named by her, but known to be Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana) was a hellhouse where the forces of darkness had been loosed, not alike Lars von Trier’s Kingdom. According to her, this is because most of the staff had turned away from Christ and were immersed in New Age/Satanic practices.
First of all, the hospital was plagued by mysterious deaths. When Brown expressed puzzlement and concern to her superiors, they warned her to keep quiet about it. So Brown did her own investigating, and discovered that a staggering 75% of the patients were suffering ICU psychosis, and all of these people were experiencing vivid hallucinations of demons. At least, most people would consider them hallucinations. Brown, as a fundamentalist Christian, decided the demons were real. (2)

This mass possession coincided with local religious persecution and Satanic activity, as well as New Age beliefs among hospital staff. A local pastor (unnamed) spent months in the hospital after he was kidnapped, beaten, partially skinned, and burned by vindictive Satanists who didn’t appreciate his prosetylization efforts.
To Brown’s dismay, nurses told an elderly patient she should let go of her will to live so she could be reincarnated. One laid hands upon the old woman and uttered strange incantations, trying to summon “higher powers” that could ease her transition into death. Instead, she summoned a terrifying demon.
At Bible study, Brown met a nurse named Lynn who confirmed that certain nurses were witches trained to encourage some patients to die. She also discovered that her town was located just 20 miles from the second-largest centre of Satanism in the US., next to L.A./San Francisco (possibly Chesterfield). “There was a whole town that was made up of Satanists and they had a Satanists’ church, but they also had a lot of denominational Christian Churches they attended to put on a good front.” Lynn revealed that many of the nurses and several of the doctors on staff at the hospital were Satanists.
The elderly woman was so frightened by demonic apparitions that Brown agreed to stay by her bedside through the night, and for the first time she experienced intense demonic oppression, feeling as though “something was literally trying to squash my body into the floor.” (2)

Brown took it upon herself to protect every patient in the hospital from demonic interference. To her mind, this was a spiritual battle: Jesus and Rebecca against nearly every doctor and nurse in the hospital. Every night, she walked through the wards quietly uttering prayers for protection. After she started doing this, the death rate in the ICU dropped by 50%. (2)

Though she didn’t know it at the time, Brown’s most powerful enemy was Elaine. As Satan’s wife, Elaine was in charge of the community’s Satanic underground, and her husband explicitly ordered her to kill the obnoxious doctor who was stymying all his efforts. It was Elaine who sent out the order for the pastor to be abducted and tortured, but two such incidents in a single year would have attracted too much attention. “So I organized a national effort between [sic] top witches nationwide to get rid of Rebecca.” The witches, knowing that Brown suffered a rare muscle disease, prayed for the disease to worsen. It did.
Brown’s minister friend, “Pastor Pat”, didn’t know about any of the goings-on at the hospital. Yet he realized that Brown was suffering demonic oppression, and could soon die. He had his 200 parishioners pray for her. Thanks to Pat’s efforts, Brown was freed from the influence of the witches and her disease was miraculously cured. (2)

The demons were so annoyed by this turn of events that they physically manifested and beat the tar out of Elaine. Satan was also highly displeased with her. He demanded to know why Brown wasn’t dead yet, and ordered his wife to hurry up. This is around the time she was saved. Even after turning to Christ, however, Elaine continued to cling to witchcraft. The result was that Man-Chan and “several hundred” other demons stuck around, making her life difficult. (2)

Brown claims she experienced severe personal losses as a result of her fight against the Satanists. But she’s cool with that, because God had warned her she would have to make sacrifices to do His work properly. On Closet Witches, she tells Jack Chick she resigned from her job to devote herself full-time to the battle against the Devil. As we’ll see, this is not what really happened.
Brown contends that most, if not all, Christian churches have been infiltrated by Satanists, meaning Satanists-cum-Christians like Elaine face opposition even from their new faith communities. This is an absurd statement made by many ex-witches/former Satanists, and I would like to see some hard evidence for it. The notion that a Satanist would spend hours of every week attending a Christian church, posing as a Christian, is every bit as ridiculous as the idea of a devoted Baptist joining his local Satanic church to spread the gospel. It just doesn’t happen.
At this point in Closet Witches, Chick complains that he and other Christians faced the same sort of persecution when God commanded him to launch a vicious, hoax-based attack against the Catholic church.
Then he makes a very strange confession. He admits that when he suspected a witch of sending curses against him, he prayed that God would return those curses tenfold. Wow, dude. If that’s not persecution by paranormal means, what the hell is? How can he bellyache about mean ol’ witches when he behaved worse than they (allegedly) did?
Though he expresses contrition for his behaviour, he also warns Christians not to return curses because it could kill them. Not because it’s unchristianly to curse people. Not because curses are nonsense. Because uttering a curse could kill them. Sheesh, it’s like time travel; I swear we stepped back into the Dark Ages for a second.

One story in Brown’s Prepare for War concerning this period defies explanation. In this account, an angel descended from Heaven to kill Elaine because God considered her a “nuisance”. Brown prostrated herself before this angel and begged to be killed in Elaine’s place. The angel settled for making Brown severely ill for a brief period.

Brown’s friends and former colleagues supposedly abandoned her when she left her job at the hospital, and family members even tried to commit her to a mental institution. People close to Brown, including her pastor, also disapproved of Elaine’s presence in her home, possibly because Elaine attacked her with a butcher knife one day. Brown sensed that this attempted murder was really the work of Man-Chan, so she continued to let Elaine live with her. Pastor Pat performed an exorcism on her, expelling hundreds of demons in the span of eight hours. Unfortunately, he didn’t get rid of all the demons. Within a week, Elaine was in the full grips of possession again. For two months poltergeist activity, psychic attacks, and other supernatural phenomena plagued Brown’s house. Both women were brutally beaten and abused by discarnate entities. Elaine repeatedly tried to strangle herself to death with a belt, which Brown viewed not as self-abuse but as more manifestations of the demonic. “I’m convinced that most suicides are actually not done by the person themselves, but by a demon within them controlling their body,” she told Chick. This echoes John Todd’s assertion that many medical conditions, including epileptic seizures, are caused by demons. Brown even contends that Satanic and “Voodoo” curses are highly effective, capable of blocking a person’s spiritual growth. (2)

It was only after Elaine renounced all her witchcraft powers and prayed for forgiveness that the nightmare abated somewhat. Another deliverance session with Pastor Pat expelled the last of the demons, including Man-Chan.

Brown warns that partaking in any “occult” activity (such as Satanism, Freemasonry, Catholicism, Dungeons & Dragons, or rock music) can open the door to demonic influence.

In Closet Witches, Brown and Chick lay a guilt rap on fellow Christians who don’t take ex-witches into their homes or at least counsel them. Chick gripes that a pastor at Melodyland (the California megachurch despised by John Todd and Mike Warnke) refused to believe that witches could be brought to Christ. As a result, 60 former witches gave up all hope and died of drug overdoses. It’s unclear how Chick acquired such information. Did he track down all of these ex-witches? Did he hear second-hand reports of their fate? As with the mission field fairytales of Kurt Koch, anecdotes take the place of hard information.

You have to wonder just how many witches and Satanists there are in the U.S., if each ex-witch has brought hundreds of other witches to Christ – as nearly all of them claim to have done. The numbers would be truly staggering. In reality, there are roughly 200,000 to 1.2 million neopagans, Satanists in the U.S. The number of Satanists is unknown, but would be extremely low relative to other minority religions. Needless to say, these numbers were considerably lower in the ’80s.

Chick expressed concern about the number of Freemasons and Catholics who have infiltrated Protestant churches, a concern shared by John Todd and Bill Schnoebelen. Elaine told him you can always spot a Mason by his flamboyance and arrogance. Chick trotted out his absurd claim that Masonry, at its highest levels, is controlled by Jesuits. That’s a neat trick, considering that Catholics are not permitted to become Freemasons. To prop up this incredibly weak conspiracy theory, Chick reads a letter from an anonymous former Mason and ex-Nazi who alleges that the Pope is the master of Freemasonry, just as “Dr.” Rivera says. How convincing.
But Elaine obligingly confirms Chick’s suspicion that “the Evil Trinity” (Catholics, Masons, and witches) works together to infiltrate and subvert Christian churches. That’s not surprising; the testimony in Closet Witches seems tailor-made to appeal to Chick’s own specific theories and prejudices. Elaine flatters him by saying it was one of his pamphlets that persuaded her of Christ’s power, and by identifying him as one of the targets of the Satanists’ wrath.

After resigning from Ball Memorial Hospital, Brown set up a private practice in another town (not named by her, but known to be Lapel, Indiana). Here the harassment escalated. Somehow, the Satanists played a role in the death of Brown’s mother, and possibly struck Elaine with leukemia. Elaine was confined to her bed for half a year, semi-comatose, as Brown worked desperately to save her life.
Their church and their families turned against them, refusing to help in any way. This is when the Satanists broke into Rebecca and Elaine’s home, murdered their pets, and trashed Rebecca’s office. Though Elaine was still severely ill, they had little choice but to flee Indiana.

The number of preposterous statements made by Brown and Elaine are too numerous to count. We’ve seen a lot already: Satan getting married in a Presbyterian church, the Pope ruling over a horde of “flamboyant” Freemasons, etc. Here are a few more, told by Brown on Closet Witches and in her books:

– A teenage girl found herself suicidally depressed and “bound” by demons because of “weekend experimentation with street drugs during a slumber party around age 13.” Come on. A kid’s spiritual life is destroyed because she used an illicit substance once in puberty? Are you freaking kidding me? Where is the evidence – Biblical or otherwise – that one-time drug use is sinful and injurious to one’s spiritual well-being? Even if that’s so, where do we draw the line, here? Would a single toke separate you from God? What if you don’t inhale? What if someone slips you a mickey – would the spiritual effect be the same, even though you don’t realize you’ve taken a street drug? You see how silly this line of reasoning can get. (1)
– Most herbalists and health food purveyors are witches or yogis who utter incantations over their merchandise. Consuming any of this stuff leaves one vulnerable to demonic attack. Unholy granola! Satan’s supplements! (1)
– It’s wrong to be a vegetarian. Vegetarians lack the physical strength required to fight demons, as they consume only “incomplete proteins”. Remember, this woman is a doctor. (1)
– “Be aware that many children’s toys are actually statues of demon gods.” (2)
– Because of African tribal warfare, today’s African-American communities have been cursed with violence. (3)
– “Every Rock music record and tape has a demon attached to it.” Again, this is straight from the mouth of John Todd, who claimed that record producers took master recordings into Satanic temples and literally inserted demons into them. She urges parents to destroy any rock albums or D&D merchandise owned by their children, citing Deuteronomy 7:25-26, in which God urges his followers to slaughter the Canaanites and destroy all their religious stuff. Because that would be a sane and humane thing to do. (1)
– If you don’t inform your Catholic friends that they are “witches” destined for Hell, then you are basically a witch yourself. Really? I wonder if Brown told her Catholic financial backers this, right before they handed her a substantial sum of cash to open up her private practice. (1)
– Brown herself suffered 13 years of demonic attack just for viewing the King Tut exhibit, because all Egyptian artifacts are cursed. (3)
– Sorority and fraternity members are particularly prone to demonic attack. When they pledge loyalty to a deceased founder, they are actually declaring their devotion to a demon. (1)
– A minister’s family experienced Amityville-style paranormal activity (blood oozing from walls, objects whizzing through the air of their own accord, etc.) because the minister’s 18-year-old stepdaughter had become demonically possessed after her natural father molested her. The belief that sexual abuse causes possession in victims, rather than perpetrators, is disturbingly common among Christians interested in demonology (notably Bob Larson and the late Dr. M. Scott Peck). On Brown’s advice, the minister ejected the young woman from his home and this ended the demonic phenomena. (1)
– Satanic ritual abuse is real, and its primary aim is to “place demons” into children. She offers some appalling advice to parents who discover their child has been abused: “The first decision is whether to notify the authorities. You must carefully seek the Lord’s wisdom on this issue. We are most certainly in the last days and our country is almost totally corrupt.” In other words, don’t even give the authorities the chance to do the right thing. Just let child molesters, rapists, and even murderers run amok in your community if God “tells” you to do so. What Brown is suggesting would actually place her readers on the other side of the law, as most states require you to report suspected child abuse. (1)
– Brown portrays Satanists as homicidal thugs. Without giving a single solid detail, she told Jack Chick that a Satanic coven slaughtered a fourth of its members for betrayal (briefly becoming Christians). In other words, Brown knows of 25 murders and she’s not naming names. This is quite typical of the former witches in this series. They claim to have witnessed human sacrifices, rapes, and a host of other atrocities – but they don’t report these alleged crimes, nor provide enough information for the alleged crimes to be exposed. That’s very odd behaviour for people who are “fighting Satanism” and “saving souls”. If they really want to protect the rest of us from baby-eating, virgin-slaughtering Satanists, they can start by learning to dial 9-1-1.

Unless, of course, they’re bluffing about all this carnage. And I think the evidence will show that Ruth Brown and “Elaine” were doing just that.

The Exposure of “Elaine” and Dr. Brown

Surprisingly, one of the Christian media outlets that called the Elaine story into question was the Personal Freedom Outreach Newsletter, which had promoted the anti-Wiccan agenda of Tom Sanguinet back in ’83. In 1989, writers G. Richard Risher, Paul R. Blizard, and M. Kurt Goedelman delved into the backgrounds of Ruth and Elaine. What they discovered flatly contradicted much Jack Chick’s material about the two women.

First of all, Rebecca Brown did not exactly resign freely from her job at Ball Memorial Hospital. She was asked to leave when her deliverance rituals and religious paranoia began to disturb patients and staff. She left Ball Memorial and set up a practice in the town of Lapel. She and Elaine set up housekeeping in the nearby town of Pendleton, telling locals they were sisters.
Interestingly, Brown’s funding came from a Catholic hospital. She certainly didn’t mention that to Jack Chick when they were discussing the Catholic-Masonic plot to destroy Bible-believing churches.
In 1984, under her original name, Ruth Bailey, she was stripped of her license to practice medicine in the state of Indiana. The events leading up to this are deeply unsettling. On October 17, 1983, Elaine was admitted to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianapolis after receiving a near-fatal overdose of painkillers, her body covered with bruises and lesions from multiple injections. Significantly, she was not suffering from leukemia or any other serious medical condition.
Officer Samuel E. Hanna of the Madison County Police found that Edna had been under the treatment of one Dr. Ruth Bailey. Subsequent investigation revealed that Bailey, in a six-month period, had written prescriptions for 330 vials of Demerol. She had regularly administered 600-900 cc of phenobarbitol to Edna, when 150-200 cc is typically a fatal dose.
The following May, when Bailey was summoned to appear at a hearing of the Indiana Medical Licensing Board, she was residing in Niles, Michigan. She was found guilty in absentia, and her medical license was revoked.
The witness testimony at this hearing was profoundly disturbing. Several people testified that Bailey brandished a handgun and threatened to shoot them because they were possessed by demons. Ruth’s former live-in housekeeper testified that Ruth and Edna were more than just friends and housemates; they shared the same bed. Far from living in the sanitary conditions a cancer patient would require, the two women lived in squalor. Their house was strewn with garbage, used syringes, food, animal feces, and overflowing ashtrays. Some of the witnesses had watched Ruth injecting not only Edna with morphine and Demerol, but also herself and teenage Claudia. Ruth explained to them that God had allowed her to “share” her patients’ illnesses, to ease their burden.
Worst of all, Bailey had misdiagnosed several patients (including Edna and Claudia) with serious ailments including leukemia, gallbladder disease, blood disorders, and brain tumours. She told the women that these conditions were caused by demons, and claimed that God had granted her the ability to diagnose diseases other physicians could not. She prescribed massive amounts of painkillers without adequate instruction, supervision, or record-keeping; some of her patients subsequently had to go through detox, and underwent withdrawal. She falsified patient information on charts and records to convince other doctors that her patients were severely ill. (4)

There are many unanswered questions about this incident. Who checked Edna into St. Vincent’s? Did Ruth flee to Michigan alone, or did Edna accompany her? Where was Claudia while her mother was in hospital? Why was Edna diagnosed with leukemia and given massive quantities of drugs? Was Bailey drugging her friend to keep her dependent, or had the two women fallen into a dangerous folie a deux involving delusions of terminal illness and Satanic persecution (not to mention drug addiction)?

These questions may never be answered, but we can address some of the other claims made by Ruth Bailey. For instance, did Satanists have any role in the death of Ruth’s mother, Lois Bailey? It’s unlikely. Mrs. Bailey was 75 years old when she succumbed to a heart attack on December 31, 1982. (4)

What about the mayor of Muncie and the chief of police being Satanists? Brown gives this as her sole reason for not turning to law enforcement when Satanists started harassing her.
Well, the late Robert Cunningham was the ougoing mayor (1980 was an election year). Brown may have considered him a badass, but his gravestone tells a slightly different story. I don’t think there’s a self-respecting Satanist on earth who would choose such a fuzzy-wuzzy epitaph. At any rate, even if Cunningham was the nicest Satanist in the world, he was replaced by Republican Alan K. Wilson, and Wilson was replaced in ’84 by the late “Big Jim” Carey. Were both of these men devil-worshipers, too? Watch the classic 1982 documentary The Campaign, part of the PBS series “Middletown”, and decide for yourself. It chronicles the 1980 mayoral race between Wilson and Carey.

In 1986, Ruth Bailey legally changed her name to Rebecca Brown. She continued to refer to herself as a doctor, though she never acquired a license to practice medicine outside Indiana.

Like the other people in this series, Bailey declined to give the names of witnesses who should have been able to corroborate parts of her story. For instance, the doctor at Ball Memorial who learned of the Pavulon in Elaine’s IV, or the nurse who confessed to helping poison her food. Neither she nor Elaine reported any of the attempted poisonings and bombings. She does not name any of the murderous doctors or nurses at Ball Memorial, which would be quite inconsiderate if her stories were true – shouldn’t the public be warned?

“Elaine” was Edna Elaine Moses (nee Knost). Her witchy background turned out to be solidly Christian, though I suppose she could argue this was actually evidence of her infiltration efforts. Her high school yearbook (1965) listed her as a member of the Bible Club, and she married in a Foursquare Gospel church. (4)

Throughout the late ’60s and the ’70s, Edna/Elaine lived with her mother and stepdad in her hometown of New Castle, Indiana, working at a series of low-paying jobs. She then became a Practical Nurse (LPN) and worked in nursing homes in and around New Castle. If she lived the jet-setting life of a Regional Bride of Satan, no one seems to have noticed.

Strangely, Edna used an array of aliases after meeting Ruth Bailey. She sometimes used the surnames Bailey or Brown, her maiden name, or various combinations of her given names. Though she could have argued this obfuscation was necessary to shield herself from the Satanists, Edna’s location was usually known.

After their adventures in the Midwest, Edna and Ruth packed their bags and headed to California, home of Chick Publications (and a large number of the other ex-witches in this series). Chick not only published their stories, but hired them to work for him. They also landed speaking engagements at several churches.

Edna eventually drifted away from Ruth, and passed away in 2005.

Ruth married the Daniel Michael Yoder (real name William Joseph Stewart) on December 10, 1989. (4)
Yoder/Stewart has a very mysterious background. He claims he was born into a very wealthy Jewish family of international bankers (hinting at the Rothschilds, which brings to mind the “Satanic Nephilim” nonsense of Doug Riggs) and schooled by Rabbinical and Cabbalistic scholars at an exclusive Swiss boarding school between the ages of 6 and 19. He was ritualistically tortured by the staff of this school. As soon as he arrived, the rabbis locked him in basement dungeons and dumped poisonous spiders on him. This is when Jesus appeared to Daniel and miraculously healed the spider bites. But he didn’t become a Christian until his 30s.
Upon completing grad studies in Switzerland, Yoder went to work in his grandfather’s business. He later inherited it, and started some businesses of his own as well. When he was 30, his parents forced him into a strategic marriage with a woman named Kai, also a victim of “Cabbalistic abuse”. She soon converted to Christianity, which so enraged their families that hitmen were hired to kill the young couple. They were captured on the run and shipped to Israel. Daniel was chained to a wall, forced to witness Kai being tortured to death for her refusal to renounce Christ. She was with child at this time, having miraculously conceived in spite of a non-medical hysterectomony performed upon her in childhood at the behest of the evil rabbis.
Yoder fled to a remote cabin in the United States, where Kai’s martyrdom and her copy of the Bible finally persuaded him to accept Jesus.
Like his second bride, Yoder offers no verifiable details of any of his stories. (3)

At the time of his marriage to Brown, Yoder was using another man’s social security number. The newlyweds relocated from Arizona to Lake Park, Iowa, where Yoder passed himself off as a retired neurosurgeon whose father had also been a doctor. He befriended Dickinson County Sheriff Greg Baloun, telling Baloun tall tales about his days as a surgeon. In one fairytale, he used a modified Chevy Cordoba with a 40-gallon gas tank to make emergency trips between California and Nevado, speeding along the highways at 200 miles an hour.
Within a six-month period, Yoder and Brown lived in three different communities in northeastern Iowa and set up a ministry called Wells of Living Grace. The authorities discovered that Yoder was using several aliases and forging documents to prop up his false identities. He had served time in Minnesota and Missouri for simiar offenses. Perhaps knowing the law was at their door, Yoder and Brown returned to Arizona.
In 1991, Yoder was arrested in Pheonix and extradited to Iowa to face charges of falsifying motor vehicle registrations, driver’s licenses, and social security records. He ultimately pled guilty in exhange for a modest fine, then resumed life in Arizona. Later the couple would relocate to Arkansas.
Together, Yoder and Brown established a ministry called Harvest Warriors. Their website describes Yoder as a “prophet, healer, and evangelist”, and claims that in 2002 he was presented with the National Republican Congressional Gold Metal for leadership, on the recommendation of Newt Gingrich. (5)

Yoder’s real background remains largely unknown.

In 1992, the Christian publisher Whitaker House reprinted the first two books by Rebecca Brown, and they have remained in print since that time.
The Reverend William W. Woods, pastor of Deer Valley Church of the Nazarene in Phoenix, the minister who married Yoder and Brown, wrote the foreword to their first book, Unbroken Curses (1996), and continues to support their work. (5)

Yoder and Brown continue to travel and preach, spreading curse theology and misinformation about neopaganism and the the “occult”. Last March, Yvonne Kruger of Prophetic End Time Ministry invited Brown to speak in South Africa.

Though Brown’s star has definitely fallen since the mid-’80s, she retains a small corps of fans who enthusiastically recommend her books. Last year, a sixth-grade science teacher in Brooklyn was mildly reprimanded for distributing and selling copies of They Came to Set the Captives Free to some of his students.

Sources:

1. Prepare for War by Rebecca Brown, M.D. (Chick Publications. Chino, Calif., 1987)
2. Closet Witches summary @ Monsterwax.com (reposted @ James Japan’s homepage). Retrieved June 26/11.
3. Unbroken Curses: Hidden Source of Trouble in the Christian’s Life by Rebecca Brown, M.D. and Daniel Yoder (Whitaker House, 1996)
4. “Drugs, Demons, and Delusions: The ‘Amazing’ Saga of Dr. Rebecca Brown” by
by G. Richard Fisher, Paul R. Blizard and M. Kurt Goedelman. Originally published in The Quarterly Journal of Personal Freedom Outreach. Vol. 9, No. 4, Octo
ber-December 1989. (reposted @ Cult Help and Information)
5.The Curse of Curse Theology”: The Return of Rebecca Brown, M.D.” by G. Richard Fisher and M. Kurt Goedelman @ Personal Freedom Outreach.org

The Prodigal Witch VIII: "Elaine"

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

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

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

Elaine’s Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources:

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