The Prodigal Witch Part VII: Bill Schnoebelen


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

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

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

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

He worshipped everything but this.

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

The Road to Everything

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

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

Step 1: Witch

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

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

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

Step 2: Warlock, Mason, and Illuminati Member

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

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

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

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

Step 3: Priest

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

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

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

Step 4: Vampire

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

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

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

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

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

Step 5: Christian

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 6: Naturopathic physician

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

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

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

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

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

Some (Very Obvious) Problems with Schnoebolen’s Testimony

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The Prodigal Witch: Intro

Since the 1960s, the fundamentalist Christian community has been moved and inspired by the testimonies of “Satanists”, “witches”, and “Illuminati members” who ditched their evil ways to become born again. But are the stories told by these reformed devil-worshipers actually true?

In this series we’ll look at some of the most famous former witches:

Doreen Irvine, the original Witch That Switched (mentioned in my last post); she was a streetwalker and Queen of All Black Witches in Europe before being saved

Mike Warnke, a Christian comic and minister whose tales of Satanic debauchery turned out to be a little light on facts and a bit heavy on the utter b.s.

John Todd. Illuminati witch. Born again preacher. Total sociopath. After spewing more WTFery than a Charlie Sheen soundboard, he helped persuade the Weaver family to go to Ruby Ridge.

Bill Schnoebelen. Claims to have been a Mormon, a priest, a witch, a Satanist, a Freemason, and an actual vampire. Busy guy.

Irene Park, “The Witch that Switched”. An imaginary friend led her to become the most evil woman in the world (or at least Florida). But don’t worry – she ended up being a minister.

The late “Lauren Stratford”. In the ’80s she was the poster girl for recovered Satanists, and her memoir was a major factor in that decade’s anti-occult hysteria. Then she changed her mind and became a Holocaust survivor instead.

“Arizona Wilder”, a mind-controlled Illuminati high priestess who presided over the gory sacrificial rites of Reptilian Satanists from another dimension

And a few others.

Fake Teens Part VII: The Messiah

Before moving on to 2011, I have one last fake teen tale for you. I’ve saved the most unsettling one for last, probably because I don’t even like thinking about it. Please proceed with caution.

Place: Kurim, Czech Republic
Time: May 10, 2007

In some ways, Moravia is the perfect setting for a tale of Gothic horror. The ancient cities of the South Moravian Region are still dominated by the dark architecture of the fourteenth through seventeenth centuries. In Brno, not far from Kurim, the Gothic Revival spires of the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul pierce the sky like black daggers, and icons representing the legendary beast that once terrorized the city loom everywhere.

But the South Moravian Region is also modern and ambitious, with glassy business districts and stunning functionalist architecture like Brno’s Exhibition Centre. City-dwellers are predominantly middle-class, and the crime rates are respectably low. All in all, today’s Moravia is not a place you would expect to find the macabre.

In a quiet, middle-class neighborhood in Kurim, a man installed a CCTV baby monitor to keep an eye on his sleeping newborn son. These devices sometimes snag signals from other monitors nearby, but the new father was certainly not prepared for what he saw. Instead of his child’s crib, another image appeared on the screen: A small boy, perhaps 7 or 8 years old, huddled on a cement floor in a confined space. He was nude, dirty, and bound.

Police conducted a door-to-door search to find this little boy. Most neighborhood residents were cooperative, even helpful. Then officers reached a cheerful yellow house with a red roof, occupied by two attractive sisters. Klara Mauerova, a 31-year-old blonde somewhat resembling Renee Zellweger, was a single mother of three children. Her dark-haired sister, 33-year-old Katerina Mauerova, lived with her.

The Mauerova sisters allowed police, led by officer Miroslav Gregor, to search their home, but vehemently balked at opening a locked closet door. The investigators summoned firemen to bust the lock. In a cramped space, they found the boy: Klara’s younger son, 8-year-old Ondrej. Trapped in the windowless space in his own excrement and vomit, the boy was suffering dehydration.

Needless to say, Klara was arrested and all three of her children were immediately taken into custody.
was two years older than Ondrej. The boys told police and social workers that their mother and their Aunt Katerina had been abusing them since the previous July. Abuse isn’t really the right word, though. Jakob and Ondrej had been tortured. Klara and Katerina sexually abused them, beat them with belts, confined them in dog cages, burned them with cigarettes, chained them to furniture, dunked their heads underwater until they thought they would drown, and locked them in closets without food or clothing. The boys had also been forced to cut themselves with knives, and Ondrej’s skin had been sliced off in strips. The adults then consumed his raw flesh.
The two boys insisted they had deserved to be punished for bad behaviour, and anxiously protected their abusers. As it turned out, their mother and aunt had not been the only adults involved.
The only child in the household who escaped this malevolence was 13-year-old Anicka, or Anna, a tiny, shy girl who seemed very young for her age. Her owl-eyed face was dominated by enormous granny glasses, and she clutched a teddy bear as officers questioned her. In the only known photo of the entire family, taken on a canoe trip, Anna looks down at her feet instead of at the camera while a smiling Klara hugs her tightly. She seemed so socially inept that Officer Gregor referred to her in his report as a “wild girl”.
But it turned out that Anicka wasn’t Klara’s natural child. The young mother explained that Anicka had been abandoned on her late grandmother’s doorstep by drug addicts as an infant. After her grandmother’s death, Klara raised the child her as her own. She had legally adopted the girl just two months earlier.
The three Mauerova children were placed in a children’s home.

Disturbingly, Katerina Mauerova was employed by a youth centre called Paprsek. And Klara has a university degree in pedagogy.

The abuse seemed incomprehensible – the Mauerovas had no known history of violence or child abuse – but investigators soon discovered what they believed to be the explanation for it: Katerina belonged to an offshoot of a little-known religious organization known as the Grail Movement.
On May 19, the Czech newspaper Mlada Fronta DNES siezed on this connection, sparking lurid media stories about the “Grail Movement cult” and its child-abusing, flesh-eating members.
But Grail Movement members do not eat human flesh, nor do they typically turn their homes into torture chambers. The cult Katerina joined was, at most, a mutant offspring of the Grail Movement. In 2009, the Grail Movement Foundation in the Czech Republic successfully sued Mlada Fronta DNES for libel, forcing the paper to print a retraction.

The case became more troubling and sinister when little Anicka went missing from the Klokanek children’s home. During her short time in care, she had lost a lot of weight and appeared to be more confused and troubled than her little brothers. She told a doctor who examined her that she was actually a boy, which was clearly not the case in any physical sense. She was already developing breasts.

The police were beginning to learn that despite the adoption proceedings, Klara hadn’t really treated the girl like one of her own children. Anicka had never attended school like the boys and had no medical records, which indicated she had lived in seclusion for much – if not all – of her young life. Klara claimed Anicka suffered a “social disorder” that made traditional schooling impossible, but given Klara’s track record… well, she wasn’t the most reliable mother in the Czech Republic, was she?
Police couldn’t locate Anicka’s biological parents, nor were they able to find any documents to confirm her identity. Her father, Viktor Skala, had appeared in court to relinquish his rights to the girl back in March, but there was no proof that he was Anicka’s real father.
Stranger still, neighbors of Klara’s late grandmother couldn’t recall ever seeing a young child around her house.

Klara Mauerova, 2008

A nationwide search for the girl commenced immediately. It seemed almost certain that Klara, and/or one of her cohorts, had abducted Anicka when she was younger. And that someone had abducted her from the children’s home to prevent her from disclosing more of the family’s secrets.
In late May, letters from Anicka were received by President Václav Klaus, a state official, and a national newspaper. The girl begged for clemency for her adoptive mother.

Norway, Winter 2007

Adam Fahrner, the 13-year-old son of Czech theater manager Martin Fahrner, was placed in an emergency youth shelter in Oslo. His teachers and psychologists believed his family, recently emigrated from the Czech Republic, had been abusing him in odd and sadistic ways. He talked of being beaten, burned with cigarettes, and sold into child prostitution by his own father from a young age.
Since his enrollment in the autumn, it had been obvious to staff at the Marienlyst school in Oslo that Adam was troubled in some way. Though his work was decent, he seemed skittish and uneasy all the time. He didn’t socialize much, and flat-out refused to take part in any sports activities.

In mid-December, Adam disappeared from the youth home in Oslo.
Missing child posters went up all over Norway. The boy usually had a shaved head and wore a black watchcap, but if he had run away and didn’t want to be found, he could change his appearance easily.
Fortunately, he didn’t. Adam was spotted in the northern city of Tromsoe, by someone who had glimpsed him on a missing child poster.
He had appeared in Tromsoe immediately after his disappearance, in the company of an adult friend named Michal Riha, and was placed in a youth home there.
Adam was returned to Oslo, where the police somehow learned that the real Adam Fahrner was still in the Czech Republic. This Adam was a 33-year-old woman named Barbora Skrlova, wanted in Kurim for abusing two little boys named Jakub and Ondrej Mauerova.

You see, Barbora Skrlova was also “Anicka“. To my knowledge, she is the only teen imposter to successfully pass as a girl and a boy.

As I mentioned earlier, the Mauerova sisters hadn’t been Ondrej and Jakub’s only abusers. Their other tormentors included their “adopted sister” Barbora Skrlova, Barbora’s 25-year-old brother Jan Skrla, 28-year-old Hana Basova , and 25-year-old Jan Turek. All worked at the Brno youth centre Paprsek with Katerina, and all were reportedly connected to a Grail Movement offshoot led by Barbora’s 75-year-old father, Josef Skrla. The old man had apparently crafted a hiking club into his personal religious group. Because his club was known as “The Ants“, some reports refer to the cult members by the same name.
In 2005, the Mauerova sisters took Barbora into their home. That’s when Barbora began instructing Klara on how to break the will of her sons. She enlisted other members of the cult to assist in this effort, and beginning in July 2006 the group operated its own torture chamber in the little yellow house in Kurim. Barbora and Klara supposedly took orders to “train” the Mauerova children from a mysterious doctor who sent detailed instructions via text messages. We do not know if such a person exists.

What we do know for certain is that there were many “Ants” involved in the Mauerova case. In addition to the elderly Josef Skrla (who has not been charged with any crime in relation to the case), they are: Viktor Skala, a Czech actor who posed as “Anicka’s” father in court during the adoption proceedings; Martin Fahrner and his wife; and Michal Riha, the man who brought “Adam” to Tromsoe.

Martin Farhner and his wife were such loyal members of the group that they agreed to let Barbora impersonate their 13-year-old son, using the boy’s passport to smuggle her into Denmark and then Norway. She was already a fugitive by that time, because in late May one of Katerina’s friends had revealed that little “Anicka” was really a grown woman. Just why cult members helped her pass herself off as a teenager is still unclear. There have been suggestions that Skrla and/or some of his Ants were attempting to present Barbora as a child messiah like Krishnamurti or Sai Baba, to draw more followers. Barbora herself has said she created the Anicka persona as a way to cope with reality, a familiar refrain in the world of fake teens.

Josef Skrla remains a murky but persistent presence in the case. According to one report in the South African Independent, he has gone missing. Though the media and a few anonymous sources have painted him as the unseen puppetmaster of the whole affair, no one actually knows if Skrla himself had any involvement in his children’s bizarre activities in Kurim – or if he even knew about them. It’s possible that Barbora and/or her brother Jan crafted their own little cult in Kurim.

Barbora was returned to the Czech Republic to face fraud charges. On the plane, she clasped a teddy bear and other toys.
To this day, not much is known of this strange little woman. She reportedly studied music at Brno’s Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts, and wanted to be a composer. For a time she shared an apartment with Katerina (she may also have worked with her), and feigned being a cancer patient. She had Katerina tell classmates that she had died of leukemia, then resurfaced (with the help of Katerina and others) as a Norwegian orphan named Anna Jervinen. “Anna” first began visiting Klara’s house in 2005, in the company of Katerina. Klara told the Czech magazine Tyden that Anna had some of the characteristics of a feral child at that time; she still drank from baby bottles, and played with baby rattles, though she could converse in three languages (Norwegian, Czech, and English).

Klara claims she was duped into believing Anicka was an abused orphan from Norway, then manipulated into torturing her sons by Anicka, her sister, and that elusive doctor. (She gave investigators the name of a man from Azerbaijan. Neither Czech police nor Interpol could find a person by that name. This brings to mind “Avery” in the Rose Turford/Joyce Stevens case.)
It’s entirely possible that Klara was duped to some extent. Police determined that those text messages originated not from Azerbaijan, but from her sister’s cell phone.
The only problem with Klara’s version of the story is that when “Anicka” was scheduled to appear in court during the adoption proceedings in 2007, the daughter of another cult member (perhaps Viktor Skala) was brought in to play the part.

Barbora Skrlova pled innocence, as well. She said the Mauerova sisters and Hana Basova tortured her just as they did Ondrej and Jakub, and were plotting to sell her and the boys into child sex slavery. They drugged her, beat her, and sexually assaulted her with sharp objects (the latter allegation is particularly unlikely; a physical exam showed Skrlova to be a virgin).
Oddly, she is indignant that Ondrej exaggerated the extent of his abuse. (He actually downplayed it dramatically at first, shielding Barbora and the others.)
What Barbora hasn’t fully explained is just how she came to be adopted, at the age of 33, by a former roommate’s sister. She told the Czech newspaper Lidove Noviny she befriended Ondrej and Jakub Mauer at a scout camp. She already knew their aunt Katerina, she said, because they had worked together at a children’s home in Brno.

Some of the faces of Barbora Skrlova

On June 16, 2008, the trial of the six defendants opened at the City Court in Brno. Some of the testimony only deepened the mysteries of the case. For instance, Mauerova family friend Jirí Hlavácek described how, in the autumn of 2005, Klara asked him to pick up Anna at a remote location. Katerina gave Klara directions over the phone as Hlavácek drove. When they arrived at their destination, a wooded area, they discovered Anna with a bag over her head and her wrists bound.
Klara urged Hlavácek not to call the police, saying this would only put the girl in more danger.

Klara, sobbing continuously throughout the proceedings, admitted to the court that she had willfully tortured her own children. But she had been brainwashed by a 13-year-old girl, her sister, and her own cell phone. Not the strongest defense the judges had ever heard, I’m sure.

Katerina’s testimony didn’t clear the waters, either. Looking frazzled and gaunt, she stated simply, “Whatever my sister Klara said yesterday is a lie.” It was Barbora and Klara, she declared, who got out of control.

Jan Turek would admit only to loaning Klara the two dog cages in which her sons were often confined during their year of torture. He didn’t participate in the abuse himself, he insisted, and wasn’t even aware that the cages were being used for such a purpose.

Hana Basova, the most elusive figure in the case next to Josef Skrla, declined to appear in court at all. She denied any wrongdoing.

With the potent evidence of abuse and the weird, contradictory accounts of the defendants, it’s not shocking that all six were found guilty.
Klara was convicted of repeated abuse with severe cruelty, grievous bodily harm and depriving the boys of their freedom, and was sentenced to nine years in prison.
Katerina received a ten-year sentence for repeated abuse with severe cruelty, grievous bodily harm, depriving the boys of their freedom and giving false testimony.
Barbora was acquitted of fraud charges in relation to her escapades in Norway, but convicted of repeated abuse with severe cruelty. She was sentenced to five years in prison, as was Jan Turek.
Hana Basova and Barbora’s brother Jan received seven years.

Jan Skrla, Barbora’s brother, 2008

Like everyone else, I can only look at the Kurim case and say “WTF?“. But I’m going to venture now into Maybe territory, and propose a possible scenario that could have led Klara (inarguably the most contrite of the abusers) to do the things she did.

In 2005, Klara is presented by her sister with a vulnerable young girl, molested and abused in a Norwegian orphanage to such a degree that she still has some of the traits of an infant. On the other hand, her linguistic abilities show her to be a blazingly intelligent child.
Perhaps she has an air of serenity and innocence about her – a touch of the holy. Katerina and Katerina’s friends are protective of this child, treating her almost like a little idol.

Though they encourage Klara to adopt Anicka into her little family, they begin to disparage her parenting skills. Look how well-behaved Anicka is despite all she has suffered, they point out. And yet your boys are always rough-housing and back-talking and behaving like ruffians.
Being a single parent with insecurities, Klara takes this chiding to heart. She feels she must whip her boys into shape. She devises new, harsher punishments for them, and allows Anicka and her sister to do the same. She accepts the advice of Anicka’s doctor, who obviously cares a great deal for the girl. How many physicians will text-message their patients’ guardian to offer guidance?
This guidance is laden with an aura of the spiritual, even the mystical. Klara senses great holiness in these people surrounding her. They seem to have elevated themselves above the demands of the flesh; they are selfless and serene.
To purify the boys, Klara is told, they must be brought to a state of contrition and submission so that new values can be taught. They must be made to overcome the weaknesses of their flesh so the spirit can be strong.
The Doctor suggests a new regiment of punishment, far harsher than anything Anna and Klara have done. If the boys bicker, talk disrespectfully, or show ingratitude, they will be: Locked in dog cages, deprived of meals, slapped with belts, etc.

Klara, fearing deeply for her boys’ spirits, is grateful for the help. She begins doling out the punishments, and the other adults are kind enough to assist her at every opportunity. With a whole community teaching them, they tell Klara, the boys will know they are loved and cherished even as they suffer. They will come to realize that everyone has made sacrifices for them, and will accept that they must make sacrficies of their own. The ultimate sacrifice, of course, is their own flesh.

When it’s time for Anicka to appear in court to be adopted by Klara, her crippling social phobia incapacitates her. Katerina persuades Klara that it would be best to let another little girl, a friend’s daughter, “stand in” for Anicka so that she doesn’t have to go through the ordeal of appearing before a judge.

By the time Klara realizes that Anicka is older than she is, and that her sister’s friends are lunatics, she’s standing trial for some of the most atrocious child abuse ever seen in the Czech Republic.

This scenario, of course, doesn’t justify a thing. In my opinion, Klara Mauerova and her cohorts got off lightly and should not be permitted within spitting distance of children for the remainder of their messed-up lives.

Fake Teens IV: Serial Teen Treva Throneberry

The next two fake teens in this series were “serial teens”, people who posed as teenagers over and over again in multiple locations for reasons that are barely comprehensible.

Treva vs. Brianna

In the spring of 1997, a teenager turned up at Glad Tidings Church in Vancouver, Washington. She was a tall, solidly built girl with brown hair plaited into old-fashioned braids. She said her name was Brianna Stewart, she was 16 years old, and she was homeless. She had been on her own for two or three years, hitchhiking from state to state in search of her biological father. All she knew was that he lived somewhere in the Northwest.
Her mother had been murdered when she was just a small girl, Brianna said (later, she told a boyfriend her stepfather was the killer). This left her in the care of her tyrannical, sadistic stepfather, a Navajo Indian who tortured her, molested her, anf forced her to appear in child porn he produced. Thanks to his close ties with local police, he was beyond the law. That’s why Brianna ran away from Alabama.
This story moved the heart of a church secretary, Debbie Fisher. She and her husband, Randy, immediately offered Brianna a place in their home. That autumn, Brianna enrolled as a sophomore at Evergreen High School, where she gained sympathy and respect as a former street kid with a dark, violent past. Aside from the unusual braids and her habit of wearing bib overalls, Brianna seemed like a wholly normal teen. She was a bit klutzy and awkward. Her grades weren’t remarkable. She joined the school tennis team, hung out at the mall, and won a walk-on part in the Evergreen production of Man of la Mancha. She loved Romeo + Juliet and moony poetry. Soon she had an adoring boyfriend, 15-year-old football player and aspiring actor Ken Dunn. He accompanied Brianna to Glad Tidings with her foster family every Sunday morning, drove her wherever she wanted to go in his ’78 El Camino, and listened for hours to stories of her troubled life. He described their love as “the perfect teenage romance.” For Christmas, he gave her a silver ring engraved with “I love thee”.

Brianna and Ken at an Evergreen school dance

The stories Brianna told the Fishers were astonishing to a straight-laced, Christian couple. Her stepfather was the high priest of a Satanic cult outside Mobile, and before she broke away from him he had been training Brianna to become the high priestess. He impregnated her when she was barely a teen, and she miscarried after he shoved her down a flight of stairs.
Somewhere in the Midwest, she had volunteered to work on a senator‘s re-election campaign. That man also got her pregnant.
Brianna told Ken that some of her stepfather’s cronies knew her whereabouts and were following her, which terrified him.
She also told stories of her stepfather running guns from the Ivory Coast and trafficking in drugs. She talked of an albino grandfather from Romania. She said she had found a man named Michael Stewart living in Aloha, Washington, and contacted him in the hope he was her real dad. He wasn’t, and he turned out to be almost as deranged as her stepdad. He kept Brianna prisoner in his home for two months, drugging her with crack.
Her greatest desire, Brianna told everyone, was to finally have a normal life.

Brianna was too afraid of her stepfather to report his crimes, but she would see justice served for one horrific event in her life. Shortly before she found Glad Tidings, Brianna had reported being raped by a middle-aged security guard named Charles Blankenship.
In March of 1998, Blankenship would be convicted and sentenced to a year for statutory rape.

Brianna’s normal new life in Washington was nearly perfect until the middle of her junior year. That’s when the first suspicion about her age was voiced, by a dentist who found it odd that Brianna’s wisdom teeth were already gone. Ken and the Fishers confronted her, and she responded with such angry indignation that they left the subject alone.
She became accusatory toward the people around her, showing a strong paranoid streak; friends were spreading rumours behind her back, teachers weren’t giving her the grades she deserved, Ken thought he was too good for her after snagging the lead in Fiddler on the Roof. All of her relationships eroded. She argued viciously with the Fishers over chores. They asked her to leave their home in May 1998. She was placed in foster care. Again, a dental exam led to questions about her true age, and social worker Jan Shaffer confronted her. Brianna responded with the same fiery indignation, firing off a letter to the state Department of Social and Health Services. She wrote, “I feel that remaining in foster care is not safe for my physical, mental and emotional well-being. I feel that I have been abused by the very system that I asked for help.”

In the autumn of ’98, Brianna was taken in by another local family, David and Theresa Gambetta. Five months later, her paranoid streak re-emerged with a vengeance. She accused David of placing mini-cameras in the lightbulbs to spy on her. Gambetta was cleared of any wrongdoing, and Brianna was homeless once again.

In May, Portland, Washington police officer Richard Braskette and his wife Virginia took Brianna into their home. Just like the Fishers and the Gambettas, they were moved by her helplessness and felt they could give the girl some of the stability she needed to succeed in life. After all, she wasn’t your average street kid. Throughout all the turmoil of her junior and senior years, Brianna had tenaciously held on to her dreams. She wanted to become an attorney and a children’s rights advocate, so she would have to earn her way through college. That meant finding some way to acquire a Social Security Number, without a birth certificate or any other form of government ID. She wrote letters to reporters, victims’ rights advocates, even the governor and Montel in search of assistance. Because Brianna didn’t know her place of birth, no one could help. She said the FBI had tried and failed to find any proof of her identity (which turned out to be false). Finally, she sued the state’s Bureau of Vital Statistics, demanding they issue her a birth certificate.

In late 1999, still desperately seeking proof of her identity, Brianna traveled to a town she suspected could be her birthplace: Daphne, Alabama. Friends donated money for the trip. She said that her memories prior to age 4 were extremely hazy, and she wasn’t entirely sure Brianna was her true name. Some therapists suspected she was suffering some form of traumatic amnesia. Brianna herself suspected she may have been abducted by the people she knew as her parents.
A local police officer toured Daphne with Brianna, helping her search for places she might remember. A few spots looked familiar to her, but no relatives or documents surfaced. The trip was a bust.
Brianna also traveled to Montana to investigate the possibility she was a girl who had gone missing in 1983.
Throughout this trying time, Brianna received strong moral support from her school counselor, members of her church, and Evan Burton, an advocate at a Portland drop-in center called Greenhouse.

In June 2000, Brianna joyfully graduated from Evergreen High with the rest of her class. She began scouting prospective colleges, though her identity issue was far from resolved.
For help with that, she turned to the law. A Vancouver lawyer petitioned the government on her behalf, while Portland attorney Mark McDougal apparently worked on her case pro bono, perhaps happy to do a favour for a plucky, hard-luck kid.

Excellent news came from the Vancouver attorney: A deputy state attorney general said the state wouldn’t oppose Brianna’s petition for a birth certificate, if she appeared at a court hearing scheduled for March 2001. The end of her long, hard-fought battle was in sight.
Then the other lawyer, McDougal, made a simple request that should have been made much earlier in the game; he asked that Brianna be fingerprinted so he could submit her prints to the FBI.

The results of that one simple request brought Brianna Stewart’s tireless campaign to a halt…almost. Her fingerprints matched those of Stephanie Danielle Lewis, a woman arrested in Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1996.
And “Stephanie Lewis” was really Treva Joyce Throneberry, a 31-year-old Texas native.

Brianna insisted the FBI had made a mistake. Frustrated and angry, she went to Greenhouse and told Evan Burton the whole story.
Burton had stood by this girl during her struggle to make a normal life for herself, but now the vague doubts at the back of his mind burst to the fore. Something was very wrong with this picture. Brianna did look much older than 18. And if she was in her 30s, as the FBI claimed, that meant Charles Blankenship had been convicted of statutory rape for having sex with a full-grown woman.
Burton called the police.

Detective Scott Smith, the same officer who arrested Charles Blankship two years earlier, was assigned to the Brianna Stewart case. Piece by piece, he put together the story of a fragmented life that began in Electra, Texas and traced a jagged trail through numerous states before landing in Vancouver, Washington. Nothing about this life was simple.

Unlike Brianna Stewart, Treva Throneberry was not from Alabama. She had siblings. She knew her natural father.
Treva was born to Carl and Patsy Throneberry in 1969, the youngest of five kids (one son, four daughters). They were raised in Electra, Texas, where Carl made a modest living as an oilfield truck driver.
As a teen, Treva played on the high school tennis team and waitressed part-time at the Whistle Stop drive-in. She was quiet, sweet, good-natured. She was also unusually devout, reading from her Bible at every opportunity and attending services at a Pentacostal church that her parents considered cult-like.
She occasionally exhibited signs of paranoia or a deceptive nature even then. Her niece recalled Treva waking her in the middle of the night with a strange story about a gun-toting intruder lurking in the house, which wasn’t true at all.
In December of 1985, 16-year-old Treva walked into the Electra police station and reported that Carl had raped her at gunpoint. This was the first of many rape allegations she would make.
Treva’s sisters and niece say they, and Treva, were sexually abused for years by their late uncle, but insist Carl Throneberry would never have done such a thing. Carl and Patsy believed the “cult” had somehow manipulated the girl into accusing her father.
The three older girls married as teens, putting themselves beyond their uncle’s reach.

Treva was placed in the foster home of Witchita Falls schoolteacher Sharon Gentry. She appeared deeply disturbed, knocking her head against walls in her sleep and speaking frequently of suicide. She also told bizarre tales of being abducted by a Satanic cult, lashed to a stake, and forced to witness the ritual sacrifice of cats and dogs. She would later tell similar stories to her sister, Kim, but replaced the animals with human babies.
Treva was soon committed to Witchita Falls State Hospital. She never received a definite diagnosis. After six months of treatment, she was placed in the Lena Pope Home for Girls in Fort Worth, and enrolled as a senior at Arlington Heights High. She graduated in June ’87.
The charges against Carl Throneberry were ultimately dropped for lack of evidence.
Treva briefly visited her sisters the year after her graduation. They wouldn’t see her face again for 13 years, when it appeared on TV and in newspapers.

During that time, Treva wandered from state to state, depending on the charity of strangers for shelter and food. Only two things remained constant in her life: She never used the same name twice, and she was always a runaway teenager. The details of her sad, disturbing stories varied, but there was always hideous family violence and rape involved. Sometimes there were cults that butchered children and animals. Detective Smith charted her peregrinations as thoroughly as he could, but there would always be gaps in the record of Treva’s odd existence.

– 1992: 19-year-old “Keili Smitt” lived with a family she met at a church in Corvallis, Oregon. She told police she was on the run from her father, who had caught up to her once and raped her in his car. Keili left town before the man was located.
– 1993: A teen girl surfaced in Portland, Washington and reported that her father, a local police officer, had raped her. She vanished before the investigation was complete.
– 1994: “Cara Leanne Davis” arrived in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, after fleeing her father’s violent Satanic cult.
– 1995: 16-year-old “Kara Williams” told social workers and police in Plano, Texas about her life in a Satanic cult. She had been forced to pray to Satan every night, and was told she would someday drown in a lake of fire. Most of her childhood friends had been ritually sacrificed. Her father, a Colleyville police officer, had gotten away with murdering her mother. “There was nothing in her behavior or presentation to suggest that she was knowingly misrepresenting the facts,” a psychologist observed.
Kara was placed in several foster homes and youth shelters while social workers scoured the area for her monstrous father. She attended three different high schools. In an effort to help her settle down to something resembling normalcy, her caseworker bought a new tennis racket for her.
In September, a youth home staff member grew suspicious of Kara and uncovered the fact that she was 26-year-old Treva Throneberry. Despite her tearful protests that she was not Treva, a court discharged her from government care.
– 1996: 16-year-old “Emily Kharra Williams” told police in Asheville, North Carolina, she was running from a Satanic cult in Texas.
Later that year, 16-year-old “Stephanie Lewis” told an assistant district attorney in Altoona, Pennsylvania that she was on the run from an abusive Satanic cult to which her father belonged. She was lodged in a local youth home, where a caseworker discovered papers linking her to people in Texas and to her true identity. Charged with giving false information, Treva spent nine days in jail.

Back in Texas, a weird rumour surfaced that Treva had been killed in the Branch Davidian conflagration. Sharon Gentry sent her dental records to Waco to ascertain if Treva was among the dead.

On March 22, 2001, just days before the court hearing that would help make Brianna Stewart a legal adult, Treva Throneberry was arrested at the Portland YMCA and charged with theft and perjury. She had defrauded the foster care system, the courts, and Evergreen High for nearly four years.
Her former classmates, teachers, and caregivers were stunned. She had seemed so average: average grades, average tennis skills, average tastes. Ken Dunn, then employed at Disney World, was boggled to realize that his Sadie Hawkins date had been pushing 30. He had begun to doubt Brianna’s incredible stories when she accused David Gambetta of spying on her with cameras, and he had gently questioned her about her age after that first suspicion was aired by Brianna’s dentist, but he had no idea she wasn’t a teenager.
Charles Blankenship was probably relieved. The “minor” he had confessed to having sex with had really been 28, and his conviction was erased.

Once again, Treva vehemently insisted she was not Treva Throneberry. She rejected every piece of evidence. She insisted on a DNA test to prove she wasn’t the child of Carl and Patsy Throneberry, which of course showed an extremely high likelihood (99.93%) that she was. Even this result she denied. She refused a plea deal that would have given her a short sentence (2 years) in exchange for a confession. Nor would she allow her court-appointed attorneys to argue that she was delusional; she fired them rather than use such a defense.

At her November trial, Clark County senior deputy prosecutor Michael Kinnie argued that Treva was far from delusional. She was a skilled, cunning conwoman.
Kenneth Muscatel, the psychologist hired by the court to examine Treva, concluded she was disturbed yet competent to stand trial.
Treva’s mission in life remained the same: To prove she was Brianna Stewart, 19. In her Clark County jailhouse cell, she hit the law books hard.

“Brianna” often showed up for court with her hair in two braids. She represented herself to the best of her ability.

Sharon Gentry traveled from Texas to testify for the prosecution. She presented photos of a younger Treva and herself on vacation, and Treva examined them before calmly declaring it wasn’t her. She then asked her former foster mother what Treva was like. Gentry’s heart turned over as she described a polite, hard-working, “wonderful” young woman. It seems Treva couldn’t resist the opportunity to learn what others thought of her.
“Was Treva smart?” she asked.
Gentry replied that Treva studied hard and received good grades.
Other witnesses testified to Brianna’s eagerness to establish her identify so she could get an education and become financially independent, but no one testified that she was who she said she was. No one, except perhaps Treva herself, believed that.

Treva was convicted, and judge Robert Harris regretfully sentenced her to three years. He would prefer to send her to a state hospital for treatment, he explained, but the Washington prison system was already overtaxed with mentally ill prisoners.

Treva’s family had more or less given up on her. They found their own ways to comfort themselves after her story hit the media. Patsy firmly believed that Treva had attended her grandmother’s funeral in 1998, disguised as an old woman. Carl claimed that Treva had phoned him a few times over the years, pretending to be someone else, just to touch base with him.

Upon her release from prison in 2003, Treva remained in Washington as Brianna Stewart and continued her fight to be recognized as the girl she had created. She appeared on ABC’s Primetime program, sans braids, to explain that the DNA tests had been flawed.

“Brianna” has not spoken publicly since then, but online comments such as one by “concerned friend” argue that the court covered up evidence of Brianna’s identity. It is entirely possible that “Brianna Stewart” herself wrote them.

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup

  • After my first encounter with “Satanic Nephilim hybrids“, I didn’t think I’d be running into any more fusions of alien abduction lore and Satanic ritual abuse (SRA) narratives. So far as I know, alien abductees rarely recover memories of human abuse under hypnosis (David Icke’s Reptilian/Illuminati survivors would be an exception), and ritual abuse advocates generally don’t stray too far into the paranormal (Michelle Pazder’s Marian visitation would be a notable exception). It’s just not a likely combination, though both phenomena probably involve false memories and/or fantasy-proneness to some extent. So I was hugely disappointed to learn that on the most recent edition of his online radio show, Dreamland, famous alien abductee Whitley Strieber featured a woman named Christine Day who claims not only that she’s in communication with Pleiadians, but that her parents “gave her to a Satanic cult when she was a child.” Day’s contact story is remarkably similar to hundreds of others. She was taken aboard a huge UFO near Mount Shasta (a sacred energy site to New Agers) and felt an overwhelming sense of peace among the Pleiadian aliens. Their vibration filled her with a powerful energy that forced her to undergo a spiritual/psychological transformation. Two months later, Jesus appeared to her and declared, “The Pleiadians are part of the Oneness, and we are part of the Oneness. We are all part of the God-self.” Day claims these memories are consciously recalled. The SRA memories, on the other hand, remained repressed until Day was a grandmother; she accidentally slammed her fingers in her garage door, and spontaneously recalled Satanists breaking her fingers when she was a child. After four years of intense treatment with a therapist who “specializes in this sort of work”, she recalled a life full of Satanic atrocities. (And that’s not all. Sai Baba appeared in Day’s bedroom one night to urge her to go to India.) In a July 9, 1993 interview on Larry King Live, Whitley Strieber said he was working on a novel about ritual abuse, but told guest host Frank Sesno, “Something is happening, people are getting beat up, but it is a psychological thing, basically. I don’t think it’s real.” Now, granted, the Dreamland interview with Christine Day was conducted by guest host Marla Frees. Perhaps Strieber didn’t want to touch the subject himself. Nonetheless, it’s still discouraging to see unverifiable contactee messages being merged with verifiably false SRA information, which can’t possibly do any real favours for either alien abductees or SRA survivors.
  • This is just sad: While searching for the legendary ghost train of Iredell County in Statesville, North Carolina, 29-year-old concierge Christopher Kaiser was struck by an actual train. About a dozen amateur ghost-hunters were on the elevated train trestle called Bostian Bridge in the predawn hours of August 27th, waiting for the phantom #9 out of Salisbury to make an appearance on the 119th anniversary of its crash. That’s when a three-car Norfolk Southern train somehow took them by surprise. Mr. Kaiser reportedly saved his girlfriend’s life by pushing her off the tracks into the ravine 30-40 feet below, just before he was struck head-on. Something tells me that next August 27th, people are going to gather on the trestle to look for the ghost of the guy who saved his girlfriend from an oncoming train. Sigh. Sadder still: This is not the first preventable death to occur on an amateur ghost-hunting trip. Last September, 29-year-old Leah Kubik fell to her death from the roof of the “haunted” Connaught medical research building on the University of Toronto campus after she and a date snuck into the building in search of ghosts. In 2006, 17-year-old Rachel Barezinsky was shot to death by the owner of a “haunted house” in Worthington, Ohio. Allen Davis says he didn’t know that the people who continually lurked on his property were searching for witches and ghosts; he just assumed they were up to no good and loaded his rifle.
  • The blog Three Dead Words, maintained by a Saskatchewan veterinarian who evidently believes her province is crawling with Satanists, is trying to put a Satanic spin on the crimes of Stuart Northcott. He’s the serial killer depicted in The Changeling (you can read my post on him here).

Wednesday Weirdness: Satanic Nephilim Hybrids


In lieu of a weirdness roundup, I’m gonna give you one big ol‘ chunk of weirdness that warped my mind this week. What do you get when you combine Biblical prophecy, Illuminati conspiracy theories, aliens, pop psychology, and teen vampire novels? A serious freaking mess.

On the Monday-Tuesday broadcast of Coast to Coast AM, guest L.A. Marzulli nattered on about endtime prophecy, natural disasters, and a Great Deception involving aliens or the Illuminati or something. I wasn’t really listening. Then he said this: According to two researchers who contacted him recently, at least two American women claiming to be victims of Satanic ritual abuse (SRA) have reported that the Satanists took them to Mount Hermon to be impregnated by fallen angels, which Marzulli referred to as the Nephilim of Genesis 6:4 (I’m not even sure if the Nephilim are supposed to be the same “sons of God” that mated with human women, or giants unrelated to the angels, or the offspring of angels and women, but that’s a different post). The researchers who alerted Marzulli to this story had no vested interest in the matter, he insisted.
Marzulli then hinted that the hybrid offspring of these women have some connection to the alien breeding program, and that the Nephilim are keeping them at an offworld location.
“Will they bring them back at some point?” host George Noory asked.
“Yes, they will,” Marzulli replied without hesitation.

So I Googled “Nephilim ritual abuse” and found a recent online radio interview with Pastor Doug Riggs, described as a friend of L.A. Marzulli. The subject was “Nephilim Mothers”.
The name Doug Riggs was very familiar to me, but I couldn’t recall precisely why. I rifled through some notes. Sure enough, I had jotted down a bit of info on the guy. A month or two ago I had stumbled upon a documentary from 1994, In Satan’s Name, which originally aired on HBO. Riggs and his Morningstar Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, were featured in the film’s most memorable and disturbing segment.

In 1994, no fewer than 14 members of Morningstar Church believed they had been brought up in Satanism, were horrifically abused as children, and had Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). All of this was based on repressed memories they recovered while in “counseling” with Pastor Riggs, during sessions lasting up to 19 hours in length. Please keep in mind that we’re not talking about Okie bumpkins, here. These were reasonably intelligent, middle-class people who seriously should have known better.
To be fair, Morningstar didn’t look like a cult. Riggs was a poised, handsome man with graying hair and a mellow voice. He spoke knowledgeably about psychology. It’s no wonder that parishioners turned to him for pastoral counseling unrelated to Satanism or abuse (marital trouble, eating disorders, etc.).
From 1985 on, these counselees began recovering memories of horrific, lifelong ritual abuse at the hands of Satanists. Namely their own parents. And after 1991, when Riggs learned about MPD (now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder), they began to discover they had hundreds, even thousands, of separate personalities because of the Satanic ritual abuse. Riggs told them that every single one of their alters could be possessed by demons.
Counseling was conducted in a large room with a mattress on the floor, so counselees could go through abreactions without hurting themselves. Riggs would lay on top of the person when abreactions became intense, while helpers held the person’s arms and legs. In this way, counseling and deliverance from demonic possession were merged into a single process. In one filmed session with a 30ish man, Riggs ordered a demon out of his body (“Explode the seals!”) while the man writhed and convulsed on the mattress, growling obscenities.
Ultimately, Riggs concluded that all these people had been victimized by the same Satanic cult, led by a man named Joe (father of one of the parishioners, Pam), and that God had brought the victims together at Morningstar to be healed. Joe supposedly conducted powerful rituals for high government officials (including leaders of the Soviet Union), the Vatican, even heads of state. The narrator of In Satan’s Name explains that in reality, Joe was a Nebraska salesman who had never left his home state. He died during filming.
Needless to say, the allegations tore apart families. A graceful, soft-spoken couple in their 60s, Jim and Fran Field, mourned the loss of their daughter Cynthia to what they considered a destructive, all-consuming cult.

This was as far as In Satan’s Name took the story, but I soon learned that the situation at Morningstar was even stranger.
A testimony written in 1999 by 49-year-old Morningstar member Kim Campbell starts out as boilerplate SRA stuff. Campbell explains that Satanism, “as old as mankind itself”, is a blend of SumeroAkkadian/Babylonian mystery religions, Kabbala, and Paganism. “The culture is unbelievably and ingeniously evil; virutally everything about the culture is humanly damaging.” Kim was subjected not only to “every abuse, trauma, and demonization imaginable within satanism”, but to “medically-based mind control programming” at U.S. government facilities, clinics, and the Tavistock Institute (a favourite bugaboo in the world of conspiracy theory). Half of his waking preschool life was spent “being indoctrinated and incested“. This realization came to him after 18 months of therapy with Pastor Riggs.
It isn’t until page 7 of the testimony that shit gets seriously weird. Kim drops this bombshell: His real father was Edouard Philippe de Rothschild, and Kim was the “bastard son…of occult incest”, indicating his mom Lula (who died in 1977) had some relation to the Rothschilds. Kim spent much of his childhood and adolescence on his dad’s French estate, and was brought up in homosexual incest. He thought it was normal, even admirable.
Edouard despised God and loved humanity with equal passion. “Such was the true generational core of my ancestral iniquity and, being a Rothschild descendant, it was maximally demonized.” As all Satanists do, Edouard introduced his son to Christianity, “with none other than Herr Josef Mengele himself coaching him over his shoulder.” Kim was being groomed to infiltrate the Protestant church. As Riggs declared, the members of Morningstar Church “had come together to live in such a way as to hasten the Lord’s coming for His Bride, but we also had been constituted in the occult to frustrate the will of God for the Church and bring the antichrist instead.”

Wow. Just wow. Somehow, Doug Riggs convinced most of his 30-40 parishioners that they were multiple personalities trained by the great families of Europe and Nazi doctors to infiltrate the Christian Church and pave the way for the Antichrist, who would be a member of the Hapsburg family. Instead, they found a saviour. Unfracking-believable, no?

Let’s go back to L.A. Marzulli for a moment. He also mentioned that Dr. Mengele was one of the originators of mind control. This is a very popular notion in conspiracy circles, but it makes little sense. Mengele was a geneticist, not a psychiatrist, and there’s no evidence that he took even the slightest interest in psychology.
Marzulli also made reference to the work of I.E.D. Thomas, a Welsh minister who believes that UFOs and alien abductions are demonic manifestations, another guise of the Nephilim.

Back to Riggs and the Morningstar Satanists. Last April, Riggs and his wife were guests on The Byte Show, accompanied by about half a dozen of Riggs’ SRA victims, to discuss the infiltration of Nephilim hybrids into society.
Riggs began the show with a reading of Matthew 24:37, in which it is stated that the coming of the Son of Man (Christ) will be just like the days of Noah. And what happened in the days of Noah? Nephilim mated with the daughters of Man. That’s exactly what Riggs contends is happening now. Fallen angels – the “B’nai Elohim” – are interbreeding with human women, by force. He cited the work of I.E.D. Thomas. Hmm. Call me an asshole, but I’m starting to wonder if Marzulli’s “two researchers” actually exist. Isn’t it more likely that he got his eschatological Illuminati-Satanic-Nephilim info from his buddy Doug?

Two women gave their stories of being “Nephilim mothers”.
Sally, a surprisingly chirpy woman, says that after joining Riggs’ church, she began to journal and pray, and memories started surfacing. She shared her journal with the pastor, but after a time she felt God compelling her to share things directly, even her most frightening memory (the President wearing a gorilla costume). Through prayer and God’s guidance, she learned to trust her emerging memories. She learned that she came from a royal bloodline, stamped with a certain iniquity and allied with Nazi doctors. Many years ago she revealed to Riggs that she had once given birth to a Nephilim child. She had been groomed literally from the womb to bond with the principality (spirit) that sired this child.

Riggs sat on the Nephilim hybrid revelation until this year. Now he’s an expert on the subject. Riggs explains that Nephilim conception occurs at age 13, through an arcane genetic-engineering process (angels can’t reproduce). Gestation is 4 months. Once the Nephilim hybrid sons have matured, their mothers are encouraged to become their lovers, carrying on the tradition of “incesting“.

The second woman, Juliana, learned just this year that her recovered memories of giving birth to human sons were actually screen memories of bearing Nephilim sons. Like all the other Morningstar members, she was born to a European “royal family”, then placed with relatives in the U.S. She was “incested” by the couple she called her mom and dad. She trusts her recovered memories because of their emotional intensity, a very poor indicator of whether a memory is true or false.

For the rest of the program, Riggs made a strenuous effort to show that the SRA victims’ memories didn’t come from him. Hilariously, though, he got them to explain how he doesn’t tell them what to say by telling them what to say.
There is, of course, ample reason to suspect that the Satanic Illuminati stories did come from Riggs. First of all, there’s that peculiar use of “incest” as a verb. While this may be common usage in the survivor community, I have come across it only a handful of times – and every single instance involved Riggs or one of his church members. Secondly, recovered memories of SRA have turned out time and time again to be unreliable (see the Ingram case for a particularly chilling example). Thirdly, some of the key details are whack. There was no Edouard Philippe de Rothschild, and if there had been he would have been Jewish. How, I wonder, would a Jewish Frenchman and a Catholic Nazi groom a child to infiltrate American Protestant churches? If the Satanic New World Order plot is closely linked with Hitler’s plan to create Aryan supermen, as Riggs contends, why would a former Nazi help a Jewish man raise his illegitimate children? And Satanism notwithstanding, why would a Nazi and a Jew be hanging out together in the first place?

Then there’s the fact that this has all happened before.
In the early ’90s, right around the time Riggs was learning about MPD/DID, psychiatrist Bennett Braun opened a DID treatment unit at Chicago’s Rush Presbyterian Hospital. Within a year, he and his colleagues had most of the patients convinced they were lifelong victims of Satanic cults, that their alter personalities still practiced Satanism, that they had ritually sacrificed and/or eaten other people, and that because of their Satanic affiliations they posed a mortal danger to their families, themselves, and other patients. Braun even told them that flowers sent to their rooms were coded mind-control messages from Satanists, with certain colours representing threats and commands.
As former patients like Pat Burgus and Mary Shanley later revealed (see the Frontline documentary The Search for Satan), the people in Braun’s DID unit were so heavily medicated that stories of cannibalism and Satanic incest began to make sense to them. They have since renounced all their “recovered memories”, and some filed lawsuits against Braun and the other doctors involved in their treatment.
What happened at Rush Presbyterian isn’t much different from the spectacular displays of female hysteria that gripped Paris’s Salpetriere Hospital in the late 19th century. Under the influence of Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot, numerous women underwent bizarre convulsions and contortions not unlike the symptoms of “demonic possession”. When Charcot died in 1893, the symptoms abated, leading some of his colleagues to suspect that the hysteria had been iatrogenic in nature. Medical historian Edward Shorter supports this conclusion in his book A History of Psychiatry (1997, John Wiley & Sons).
Though Dissociative Identity Disorder is classified as a dissociative disorder in the DSM-IV, Multiple Personality Disorder was considered a form of hysteria. Specifically, it was Grande Hysterie – the very same condition suffered by Charcot’s patients.

Now for the crazy part…

The day after I listened to L.A. Marzulli and Doug Riggs, I opened book four of Kristin and P.C. Cast’s popular House of Night series, which is about a vampire high school. The Casts (mother and daughter) have combined elements of Wicca and Native American spirituality to create a unique, goddess-centred mythos. This particular book, Untamed, came out in 2008.
Halfway through the book, a demonic figure from ancient Cherokee prophecy is mentioned. This fictional character is a beautiful fallen angel, complete with black wings, who habitually captures and rapes human women. He is specifically referred to as one of the Nephilim. His hybrid offspring are the hideous Raven Mockers of (actual) myth. According to the prophecy, he will rise again to dominate the earth – and only a handful of teenage vampires-in-training can stop him.
Where does all this take place? In the Casts’ hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Two Cases of Satanic Ritual Abuse, 20 Years Later

How have claims of Satanic ritual abuse held up over the past two decades? Generally, not well. There have been retractions, apologies, and debunkings in many of the high-profile cases of the ’80s and ’90s. And I think we can learn a lot from how the accusations were handled then, compared with how they look now.

Vicki Polin

Let’s start with the case of Vicki Polin. In 1989, 29-year-old Vicki and her therapist appeared on Oprah to discuss the horrific abuse Vicki allegedly suffered at the hands of a “Satanic cult” to which her Jewish parents belonged. An excerpt from this broadcast is one of the first things you’ll find if you search for “ritual abuse” on YouTube or Google Video; anti-Semites love it.

Vicki (using the name “Rachel”) said she witnessed human sacrifices, suffered sexual abuse, and developed Multiple Personality Disorder because her family’s sect had involved her in their time-honoured rituals from a young age. Outwardly, the family was Jewish, upstanding, and traditional. Her mother even served on a human rights commission in their Illinois town. But some of the women in the family were “breeders” who offered their babies as human sacrifices (Vicki explained that they were overweight enough to conceal secret pregnancies). She was forced to murder an infant herself. According to Vicki, her mother’s family had practiced Satanism as far back as the seventeenth century. Periods of normality would be brutally interrupted by nights of depravity; “what was bad, was good”. This dual existence traumatized Vicki further, making it easier for her family to create MPD in her.

Vicki seemed strangely relaxed as she described these things. She laughed easily when Oprah cracked jokes to lighten the mood. She had remarkably little insight into why her family chose to practice violent Satanism alongside Judaism. “Power” was her only answer.
Vicki “recovered” her memories of these events as an adult.

At the time Vicki appeared on Oprah, FBI agent Kenneth Lanning’s investigation into Satanic ritual abuse was still three years in the future. Satan’s Underground author “Lauren Stratford” had not yet been exposed as a hoaxer (in fact, her story was also featured on the show). Stories of covert Satanism were still uncommon enough to be startling and confounding to TV audiences. Just what is going on here? they wondered. Are Satanists really abducting children, killing babies, and ritually sacrificing people in large numbers?

As time went on and compelling evidence failed to surface, the subject died a natural death in the mainstream media. Only a handful of SRA victims and their advocates carried the torch into the 21st century. Most accounts of ritual abuse and human sacrifice debunked themselves by being packed with implausible, utterly unbelievable details.

In the ’80s, however, watchers of Oprah and Geraldo weren’t exposed to full accounts of SRA. They heard only capsule accounts, squeezed in between commercials. What would they have thought if the stories were told in all their bizarre detail, I wonder?

I had assumed Vicki Polin melted back into obscurity like the other SRA victims of the ’80s, but I recently learned that she’s still actively sharing her story. Henry Makow posted a profile of her at his site which reveals details not seen in the Oprah clip…

  • Vicki’s family belonged to the Illuminati, which evolved from the heretical Frankist Movement of the 18th century (not the 17th).
  • Many rabbis brought Satanism to the U.S. from Europe.
  • Vicki’s rabbi was a Satanist, and some of her abuse occurred in the synagogue. She was sexually abused on top of Torah scrolls laid on the floor.

If these things had been included in the ’89 Oprah broadcast, would people (other than anti-Zionist conspiracy theorists like Makow) still have bought into Vicki’s story? I like to think the answer is no. And Vicki evidently feels the same way, because a presentation she gave in 2008 covers the sexual and emotional abuse she suffered, without mentioning Satanism at all. While her Awareness Center, Inc., website contains some information on ritual abuse and the Frankist movement, Satanism is not directly mentioned there either.

Susan Polk

Today Susan Polk is known as the woman who brutally murdered her 70-year-old husband, California therapist Frank “Felix” Polk, in the midst of a contentious divorce in 2002, leaving his body for their 15-year-old son to discover.

But in 1987, Susan and Felix were just starting out. They had married five years earlier, shortly after Susan discontinued therapy with Felix, whom she had been seeing since she was a troubled 15-year-old. They had three sons, the oldest being 4-year-old Adam. After the birth of the youngest boy in January, Adam began spending three days a week in a babysitting service run by a respectable, middle-class woman in her fifties. The daycare didn’t have any kids in it aside from Adam and the woman’s own child.

One morning, Adam told Susan he didn’t want to go to daycare. She automatically asked if someone had touched him, and he said, “Yeah, that’s it.” Years later, at his mother’s murder trial, Adam would testify that he didn’t even know what his mom meant by “touched.” He just didn’t feel like going to daycare that day.

In therapy, Adam supposedly gave vivid, detailed descriptions of atrocities he had suffered and witnessed, and was diagnosed as having MPD. He said that each day, after being dropped off at daycare, he was driven to a local warehouse in a schoolbus. Other kids were picked up along the way, some of them possibly developmentally disabled. The warehouse was equipped with professional filming equipment, a stage, and seats for a large audience. Numerous adults dressed in red robes and triangular masks raped, tortured, and even murdered children onstage. Adam was sometimes dressed as a girl. There were arcane rituals and grotesque feasts of urine, vomit, feces, blood, and human flesh. Once, a baby was placed in a bag and hammered to death.

A police investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by the daycare provider. Felix Polk was outraged by this, so he became a vocal defender of the notion that Satanic cults were victimizing children. He and one of his female patients (also an SRA victim) spoke about ritual abuse at the 4th annual conference of the Consortium of Child Abuse Counsels, held in Berkeley. At other events, Felix actually took Adam onstage with him. Some of his colleagues, not to mention his own daughter, criticized him for exploiting his son, saying he was using the ritual abuse allegations to promote his private practice or to fulfill his need for a cause. Felix strenuously, indignantly denied this.

Nonetheless, Adam and Susan Polk later said the abuse never happened. The only violence Adam witnessed as a child were the vicious fights between his parents. Like so many other kids in the ’80s, he was coaxed into believing he suffered ritual abuse by an overzealous therapist and his concerned parents. Felix’s reasons for believing his son was brutalized by Satanists will probably never be known, but the bizarre and disturbing allegations made by the Polks were not unique where Susan Polk is concerned.

In 1997, while on vacation at Disneyland, Susan spontaneously “recovered” memories of her father raping her, and of her parents murdering a policeman and burying his body beneath their house. There is no evidence that either event occurred.

During her murder trial, Susan declared she had psychic abilities and that Felix routinely drugged and hypnotized her in order to obtain accurate forecasts of world events. In this way, he found out about 9/11 in advance and warned Israel’s Mossad about it. You see, Susan insisted her husband was a Mossad agent even though he had no known connections to the intelligence agency, never worked in a government capacity, and had never even been to Israel. She also accused him of bribing a judge to send one of their sons to a juvenile detention facility.

While on trial, she baselessly accused the family who had generously taken in her youngest son of trying to steal her dead husband’s estate. She accused a deputy of breaking her arm with a blackjack, even though her arm was not broken. Worst of all, she insisted that a former patient of Felix had organized her neighbors to frame her for her husband’s murder. Two years later, she stopped denying that she had murdered Felix Polk.

Adam warned his mother’s lawyer, Daniel Horowitz, that his mother gained control over situations by “contriving fantasies”. Horowitz learned this firsthand a short time later, when Susan accused him of murdering his own wife (a neighbor boy was convicted of this crime).

We don’t have to rely on Susan Polk’s fantasies and delusions to debunk the claim that Adam was ritually abused, however. She did that herself, in court. While representing herself and questioning Adam on the witness stand, she acknowledged that the allegations were completely untrue, and tried to persuade her son to tell the court that Felix had fabricated them. He refused. Both of his parents had supported the allegations, he said.

After reading a transcript of Felix Polk’s SRA presentation, I have no doubt that he seemed sincere, reasonable, and believable to everyone who heard him speak. Who wouldn’t believe a father who tells you he feels crushing guilt for failing to protect his son from predatory, vicious pedophiles and killers? It was a horrifying story that probably seemed a little too weird not to be true.

With the benefit of hindsight, however, we can see with crystal clarity that the story came largely from the imaginations of two deeply troubled, volatile people – at least one of whom had a habit of spinning dark, outlandish tales of conspiracy and intrigue.

If the seemingly credible SRA stories of Vicki Polin, “Lauren Stratford”, and the Polks were fabrications, what does that say about the stories being told today of murderous Satanic cults and ritual child abuse?

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup

  • “Right to the moon! Seriously!” On a recent Coast to Coast AM with George Noory, a guest brought up a truly weird story: Jackie Gleason was friends with Nixon, and Nixon took him to a U.S. military base (Homestead AFB in Florida) to view the body of an ET. The story was told by Gleason’s second wife, Beverly, and can be found at many UFO sites. Whether the story came from Gleason himself or not, he did have a great interest in UFOs and the paranormal, appearing frequently on Long John Nebel’s radio show (the “grandfather” of Coast to Coast AM).
  • Captain Eric May, 9/11 Truther/”Holocaust heretic”, is crying wolf yet again. False-flag nuke attacks, martial law, Zionism, FEMA camps, yadda yadda yadda.
  • I thought that ritual abuse conferences went out of fashion with acid-washed jeans, but apparently not.
  • Orac at Respectful Insolence has a very interesting post on Jenny McCarthy in her pre-antivaccination days. Back then, she believed autistic son Evan was a “Crystal Child”, a notch above Indigo. These kids can do wondrous things that will change the whole world, like talk to trees and see fairies.

More Weird/Stupid Conspiracy Theories: Chancellor Merkel is Hitler’s Daughter, and Dannielynn is Rosemary’s Baby

There’s a rumour snaking through Europe and the Net that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the biological daughter of Adolf Hitler. This shouldn’t even be considered a possibility, as Merkel was born 9 years after the Fuhrer’s death, but the explanation is that the horrifically sadistic Auschwitz doctor Carl Clauberg was able to freeze some of Hitler’s sperm and inseminate Eva Braun’s younger sister, Gretl, with it years later.

If you’re not into global politics, you might remember Ms. Merkel from that incident in which President Bush rubbed her the wrong way, literally, at the 2006 G8 summit.

Eva and Gretl Braun (I can’t tell the difference, but this site assures us Gretl is on the left)

According to the rumours, Clauberg was “the father of artificial insemination”, but his Auschwitz experiments were actually aimed at forced sterilization of women. He only dabbled in insemination techniques. Robert Jay Lifton, in his 1986 book The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide , noted “Clauberg is reported to have told prisoners he planned artificial-insemination experiments, and there is one report of his admitting to two assistants that he had future plans for experiments in both natural and artificial insemination.” (272) There are no reports that Clauberg actually achieved any success with insemination; he is by no means the father of the procedure, which is derived from much older methods of animal husbandry.

Gretl Braun did have a daughter, Eva Barbara Fegelein, named after her Aunt Eva, but she was born on May 5, 1945, and committed suicide in 1975 – during the same period Merkel was studying physics at the University of Leipzig.

Clearly, the rumour is aimed at defaming a controversial and maligned public figure: G8 member, first female chancellor of German, proponent of EU expansion. She’s ideal fodder for anti-Illuminati conspiracy theories.

Predictably, this rumour has been incorporated into a baroque conspiracy theory about celebrities, Illuminati breeding experiments, and mind control. “Freeman”, producer/host of the anti-occult/conspiranoid Austin cable access TV show The Freeman Perspective, recently expounded on his theory during another Austin anti-occult/conspiratorial cable access show, Esoteric Science Roundtable (what is it with Austin?!):

Zsa Zsa Gabor’s eccentric husband, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, really is the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter Dannielynn, as he insisted (DNA testing revealed Larry Birkhead to be the father, but never mind that; facts must never get in the way of a good conspiracy theory). Von Anhalt, like Merkel, was the result of Nazi experiments in breeding perfect Aryan specimens who could take over the world (clearly unsuccessful). Anna Nicole was a mind-controlled slave programmed through Satanic ritual abuse to have multiple personalities (he points to the infamous Mushroom Clown video as evidence that she had a little-girl alter personality). Lawyer/partner Howard Stern was her mind control handler. And Dannielynn is a Moonchild.



Prince Frederic von Anholt, born Hans Robert Lichtenberg around 1945 and “adopted” by Princess Marie Auguste of Anhalt in 1980. He was allegedly stripped and robbed by three women in California last year.

The Moonchild was a concept introduced in Aleister Crowley’s Book of the Law. It was described as something like an AntiChrist and/or an incarnate god, a child “resembling man, and possessing those qualities of man which distinguish him from beasts, namely intellect and power of speech, but neither begotten in the manner of human generation, nor inhabited by a human soul.” Rather than being conceived and born, the Moonchild would apparently be summoned through magick ritual.

In 1946, California rocket scientist/occultist Jack Parsons attempted to summon a Moonchild into the womb of his girlfriend with a complex set of rituals he called The Babalon Working. His assistant in this endeavor – I’m not kidding – was L. Ron Hubbard. The intended vessel/mother of the Moonchild, Marjorie Cameron, never manifested any signs of pregnancy, but to the end of her life she believed that she was the incarnation of Thelema’s Mother of Abominations, the Scarlet Woman of The Book of the Law. Parsons explained the lack of tangible results by saying the “birth” of the Moonchild was a purely metaphysical event, taking place on the ethereal plane. After Parsons’ untimely death, Marjorie Cameron performed a ritual to conceive a posthumous child with him a la Osiris and Isis, whom she christened Wormwood. This “child”, too, existed on the ethereal plane.

Freeman’s theory is, essentially, that genetically engineered Nazi Satanists are trying to take over the world by impregnating their mind-controlled robotic priestesses with AntiChrist Moonchildren.

Crowley’s Book of the Law described the Moonchild as “mightier than all the kings of the earth”.

Time will tell…