The Prodigal Witch IX: Lauren Stratford

space "Lauren Stratford" on Geraldo's 1988 TV special Devil Worship: Exposing Satan's Underground The late '80s were the golden age of Satanic panic, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that the woman known as Lauren Stratford launched that panic to a whole new level. How Lauren's Story Emerged The key part of... Continue Reading →

The Prodigal Witch: A Thumbnail Sketch of Johanna Michaelsen

space Before we get into the story of Lauren Stratford, let's take a quick look at another woman who had a powerful influence on the Satanic panic of the '70s, '80s, and '90s. Without Johanna Michaelsen, Stratford and other "former Satanists" might not have achieved superstardom within the Christian community. As a former New Age... Continue Reading →

The Prodigal Witch VIII: "Elaine" Part II

space Dr. Brown's Story Rebecca Brown's story, as told in Closet Witches and in her books, is every bit as weird as Elaine's. It includes religious persecution, demonic possession on an epidemic scale, and sinister medical conspiracies. Bailey was born in Indiana in 1948. Though her parents were Christians, she came to believe that their... Continue Reading →

The Prodigal Witch VIII: "Elaine"

space The two-for-one account of Dr. Rebecca Brown and "Elaine" plays out like every B movie you've ever seen. Satanic nurses out for blood...a marriage to the Devil...snoozy Midwestern towns run by witches...a hospital showdown between the forces of light and darkness... The "Elaine" hoax was wholly facilitated by our old friend Jack Chick, the... Continue Reading →

The Prodigal Witch Part VII: Bill Schnoebelen

space 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... Continue Reading →

The Prodigal Witch: John Todd Addendum

A Christian lady wrote to me after the post about the late John Todd went up, pointing me to an Answers.com page that states Raymond Buckland held a doctorate in anthropology (from King's College, Cambridge), negating my statement that Buckland was not an anthropologist. "You will be held accountable for not writting what you know... Continue Reading →

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

The late Irene Park is unique among the Christian converts in this series because she claimed to have been a witch for four decades, over twice as long as Doreen Irvine, before becoming a Christian minister. Her story is nearly identical to Irvine's in most key aspects, but it is far more bizarre and disturbing.... Continue Reading →

The Prodigal Witch Part IV: Other "Former Satanists" of the ’70s

Hershel Smith Hershel Smith emerged in Southern California during the early '70s, just like Mike Warnke and John Todd. His Christian testimony was different from theirs. He wasn't lured into Satanist at college like Warnke, and he wasn't born into it like Todd. Rather, he was a Christian who became a Satanist as a child.... Continue Reading →

The Prodigal Witch Part III: John Todd (Part II)

space John Todd as a character in the Jack Chick comic Spellbound? continued from Part I The Big Time In August 1973, Todd married Sharon Garver. He was preaching and performing faith healings on the road, having been fired from the Christian coffeehouse for allegedly hitting on teenage girls. This was the year that Todd... Continue Reading →

The Prodigal Witch Part III: John Todd

Part I The only positive thing I can say about the late John Todd is that he makes everyone else in this series look pretty good by comparison. At the height of his fame as a "former witch" he was also a sexual predator, a military imposter, and a practicing witch who used several aliases.... Continue Reading →

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