CultWatch Response Volume 2, Number 2 In this issue: Kerr Cuhulain continues his serie
CultWatch Response Volume 2, Number 2
In this issue:
Kerr Cuhulain continues his series "The Plight of the Pagan
Hal Mansfield reports on a Pagan festival;
CWR attends a "Satanism Symposium;
BLASPHEMY by Vicki Copeland
The recent horrifying events in Matamoros, Mexico left all of
us, Pagan and non-Pagan alike, shocked and sickened. Drug dealers
responsible for the deaths of Mark Kilroy and others - some
reportedly in rituals -claimed to have been inspired by a
Hollywood film, "The Believers", which they watched repeatedly.
When this film first appeared, it was denounced by
practitioners of the Santeria faith as being a gross distortion of
their religious practices. In recent months, other religious
communities of the world have protested depictions of their rites,
beliefs, histories and rituals with varying degrees of success.
In California, thousands of Christians marched in protest of "The
Last Temptation of Christ". Theatres around the country refused
to book the film, and those that did were picketed. The Moslem
world reacted to Salman Rushdi's book The Satanic Verses by
putting a price on the author's head! The Christians and Moslems
were either applauded or denounced, depending on the religious
views of the observer. The Santerians were ignored or laughed at.
Recent years have likewise seen a whole spate of films which
take parts of Wiccan religion and turn them into something NEVER
intended. To the uninformed, these are taken as accurate
portrayals. Three examples come to mind readily. The first is
the film "Ghoulies". In this movie, a teenager finds an old book
of rituals and tries to "work" them with his friends. He begins
with "casting the circle" from the Gardnerian tradition. When
fireworks and Industrial Light and Magick shows don't happen, he
throws the book down and stomps off. Later on, little creatures
show up and start hunting down the kids. This is NOT what Wiccan
Circle casting is intended to do, but the viewers don't know that.
The "Witches Rune", a chant found in many Wiccan traditions for
raising energy, is employed in "The Howling II". In the film this
chant turns a woman into a werewolf!
Aside from the fact that werewolves are mythological creatures,
the use of something from OUR liturgy to do such a thing is
abhorrent to us.
Finally, the worst example occurred in a BBC production called
the "K-9 Special", a spin-off of the popular British "Dr. Who"
series. In this show, an evil coven of "black witches" is
practicing human sacrifice. (How many times have we heard THAT
one???) As a springboard for this, the producers chose to use one
of the most sacred and beautiful rituals in Wicca. In the
"Drawing Down the Moon" ceremony, the Priestess becomes the
Goddess incarnate within the Circle of Perfect Love and Perfect
Trust, so that the coveners may communicate with her. This
ceremony has NOTHING to do with sacrifices of any kind, and using
it for such a purpose is, in the eyes of Witches, nothing short of
the most vile blasphemy. This is akin to the outrage felt by
Christians and Moslems concerning "The Last Temptation" and The
"It's ONLY a movie. Everybody knows it's not real." But
everyone DOESN't know it's not real. Disturbed persons don't make
this realization. Instead, some utilize the incidents within the
movie, book, TV show, etc. to commit acts reprehensible to
society. Some DO find inspiration for ritualistic activities in
the films of Hollywood. But this cannot be blamed on Witches any
more than all Christians can be blamed for the crimes of the
Inquisition, or all Moslems for the rampages of the Ayatollah
Khomeini. Blame instead Hollywood and the quest for the Eternal
Dollar. We would MUCH rather keep our rituals pure. Wicca, like
Christianity and numerous other religions is a mystical religion,
and not easily understood by un-initiated.
SPECIAL REPORT ON WICCA (WITCHCRAFT) AND PAGANISM by Hal
(Editor's Note: This article is adapted, with permission, from
a paper circulated with the monthly newsletter of the Religious
Movement Resource Center in Fort Collins, Colorado.)
During the summer, I was invited to and attended a Pagan
festival (Dragonfest) located in the Colorado Rockies. The
festival included people from all over the United States, with
approximately 250 in attendance. I have also talked with numerous
other Wiccans and Pagans and done extensive research into Wicca
The following conclusions will, no doubt, be controversial.
Keep in mind that the Religious Movement Resource Center does not
evaluate belief systems; that task is left to individuals and
their own faith communities. We only look at the operational
mechanics of an organization or group.
With that in mind, I found that, applying our definition of
destructive cults, Wiccan and the Pagan communities do not fall
under the definition. This definition can be stated as follows:
An organization which inhibits individual freedom of thought
through the use of violence, deception, and mind control. The
Wiccan communities also do not fall under Dr. Lifton's model of
eight points of mind control either; for more detailed explanation
of these points, we would suggest reading Dr. Lifton's book,
"Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalitarianism."
During the four days I was at the festival, I was made welcome
and allowed to attend (or not, as I saw fit) anything I wanted to.
There was no pressure, guilt, or mass recruitment, and no one was
constantly accompanying me unless I asked them to. There were no
evidences of autocratic leadership, no mass orgies, no long
processions of hooded, black-robed people practicing black arts
ceremonies into all hours of the night. Instead, there were
workshops, a lot of music, people enjoying the great outdoors, and
the rituals were relatively short, brightly colored, and contained
no Devil worship (as Satan is not included in their belief
A large percentage of the workshops dealt with social issues
such as the environment, politics, ethics, and feminism. During
these workshops, opposing points of view constantly came up on the
issues at hand. Although debate was often heated, no one was put
down for expressing themselves or bringing contrasting opinions
into the discussions.
Cult-related crime does occur, but we need to be careful not to
jump to conclusions and lay blame on groups because of their
alternative beliefs. I feel this has happened to a large extent,
directed towards Wiccans and Pagans. There are extreme
differences between an "alternative religion" and a "destructive
cult", and I have found little or no evidence to link Wiccans to
occult crime or cult cases we have researched or investigated.
The few links are in the adolescent "Do-it-yourself" covens, in
which kids beg, borrow, and steal from all sorts of belief
systems, books, movies, etc. For more information on this topic,
please refer to my discussion paper, "Pseudo- Satanism in School
Systems Today" [reprinted in Vol. I, Issue 2 of CWR]. The other
area is involving an individual's own pathological behavior;
almost all these people call themselves "Satanists". Satanism,
whether it's a system made up by individuals, an organized group,
or a destructive Satanic cult, is not Wicca or Paganism! There is
little similarity between them.
Some skeptics might say that the Pagan/Wiccan community put on
a show for me; I would reply that it is highly doubtful that 250
people would come from all over the country, just to put on a show
for me! I have interviewed countless numbers of Wiccans and
Pagans, and have come to the same conclusions as above throughout
the years. This is not intended to be a comprehensive report on
Paganism. Wicca and Paganism are too complex to outline in this
The final thought is that, when cult crime does occur, rumor
and wild speculation are poor substitutes for good research and
solid investigation techniques. Each case needs to be handled as
unique, not lumped together into one big pot.
As always, when we publish a report of this nature, I invite
comments, evidence, and suggestions in support of or in contrast
to our findings. Feel free to share this report.
[Editor's Note: You may contact the author by writing to Hal
Mansfield, Religious Movement Resource Center, United Campus
Ministry at Colorado State University, 629 S. Howes, Ft. Collins,
PLIGHT OF THE PAGAN POLICEMAN - PART VI by Kerr Cuhulain
A little while ago, a Fundamentalist Christian tour group from
a small town in Georgia checked into a hotel downtown (Vancouver,
B.C.). Their tour director registered himself under the name
"Roger Moore"; this wasn't his real name, and I don't precisely
know why he chose to use it, but you can draw your own conclusions
from what follows.
The director next retired to the lounge where he met up with
two women and got into some serious drinking. He offered the
bartender his credit card to pay for the drinks. This wasn't a
very bright move; you see, the bartender routinely checked credit
cards to see if they were lost or stolen by taking them up to the
front desk. In this process, the bartender discovered that the
name on the card was not the name registered to the room. The
card, of course, has the director's real name on it. The
bartender notified security.
A security person then approached the director and asked him to
explain the discrepancy. The director satisfied the security
person that the card was indeed his and that he and "Roger Moore"
were one in the same. In the process, however, the two women that
he had been trying to impress left him for greener pastures.
The director, now a trifle embarrassed, frustrated, and a
little drunk, moved over to the bar. He found himself sitting
next to three Englishmen who worked for a large engineering firm,
one of whom was physically disabled. The director attempted to
start a conversation going with them by telling some rather
tasteless jokes about disabled people; needless to say, the three
Englishmen were not impressed, the handicaped one least of all.
The disabled engineer was so upset, in fact, that he left the bar.
His friends made remarks to the director to the effect that they
were not impressed.
At this point, the director took stock of the situation. In
his opinion, these men had no sense of humour. They had English
accents and were not Fundamentalist Christians. The director
concluded that they must, therefore, be homosexuals. He then made
his conclusions known in a very loud voice. The engineers (who
were, in fact, heterosexual --not that it matters) took exception
to being called "fags" and shouted back at him.
At this point the bartender noticed the commotion, and
recognized the director from before. He summoned security again.
Security arrived and recognized the director also. The director
was asked to leave the bar. He did, but that was not the end of
One of the two remaining engineers got up a short while later
to go to the washroom. Outside of the washroom he found the
director, who was spoiling for a fight. The director, seeing that
this engineer was quite a bit bigger than him, slunk away. The
engineer was so agitated that he forgot to go to the washroom and
returned to the bar.
Ten minutes later, the other, smaller engineer went to the
washroom. He had been warned by his companion, but found no one
waiting outside. A few minutes later, he was washing his hands
when the director stepped up behind him and recommenced his verbal
This engineer did not want to listen to the director's ranting,
so he tried to push past. The director then struck him several
times with his fists, knocking him through the door into the
Three wedding guests were walking down this hallway minding
their own business. Suddenly, the engineer falls out of the
doorway in front of them, followed closely by the director. The
director grabbed the engineer's ears and kneed him in the head,
knocking him out cold. He then adopted a karate stance and
informed the stunned wedding guests that he was a "good old boy
from Georgia" and would take them all on. The guests fell back
and the director strutted to the front desk. There he asked the
desk clerk to call the police.
Moments later, my partner and I arrived. I found myself
talking to the director while my partner interviewed everyone else
involved. Meanwhile an ambulance crew was treating the
The director must have figured me to be another "good old boy".
He explained to me how he had been harassed by "faggots" and had
his female company chased off by inconsiderate hotel staff. The
director told me that he and his group were "God fearing" people
and deserved special treatment. He appealed to me as a "good
Christian officer" to arrest these "fags".
This was the director's second major mistake. I'm not a "good
Christian officer", I'm a "good Wiccan officer". And, being a
Witch, I performed a magickal act -- I made the director
disappear, into the back of a paddywagon. This "good old Pagan"
had the director charged with aggravated assault. Within half and
hour, he had appeared in front of an immigration duty officer,
still wearing a stunned expression on his face. The immigration
officer gave him a notice cordially inviting the director to leave
the country within 24 hours or else (to be turned in when crossing
the border as proof).
I've never been to Georgia. I can only hope that pompous asses
like this Christian tour director are a rarity down there. I
think that he must have come from the Church of
Do-As-I-Say-But-Not-As-I-Do. I hope that the police officers in
Georgia share my views with regards to this type of behavior;
hopefully, his Church shares them, too. We can be sure of one
thing, however: the director learned an old saying that I learned
in the Armed Forces -- "If you assume and I assume, it will make
an ASS out of U and ME". He learned it the hard way.
CWR SURPRISES SYMPOSIUM by Vicki Copeland
Participants in the recent Bob Larson Compassion Connection
Satanism Symposium got a bit more than they bargained for when CWR
attended. At $95 per head, no doubt they didn't expect any Pagans
to be able to afford the admission. Thanks to an anonymous donor,
CWR was able to participate.
The symposium was well attended with approximately 500 people
registered. According to Larson Ministries, approximately 1/3 of
those attending were police officers. Sponsors of the event
allowed one officer from each department to attend free of charge.
Speakers included Det. Lt. Larry Jones, Of "File 18" and Cult
Crime Impact Network, Jack Roper, an "occult crime investigator"
of Christian Apologetics Resource Information Services, Bob
Larson, host of "Talkback With Bob Larson" radio talk show and
author of Satanism, the Seduction of America's Youth, and a panel
of teens who are now, or had been in the past, involved with
Larson delivered the key-note address and was followed by Jones
and Roper. Detailed discussions of their presentations will be
given in future issues of CWR. During an excellent lunch, provided
with the registration fee, I had an opportunity to sit and talk
with several of the other attendees. They did not know who I was,
or that I represented CWR, and we had a most enjoyable lunch. I
found them to be very concerned with the problems faced by
juveniles in connection with drugs and subsequent involvement with
antisocial behavior labeled as "Satanism".
After lunch, I was introduced to Det. Jones, who remarked,
"Ah, the loyal opposition showed up." My reply was, "Of course.
You didn't think I'd let you come this close and not come to hear
what you had to say, did you?" He recalled the challenge that
"File 18" had issued to those of us who were upset with the
material printed in that publication. "File 18" advised those who
had differing viewpoints to publish their own newsletters. CWR
accepted that challenge. I also discussed the C.H.R.I.S.T.
letters with Det. Jones. He said that although CCIN and "File
18" had been blamed for them by various people, those
organizations do NOT advocate violence and had nothing whatsoever
to do with the aforementioned letters. I was very glad to hear
Det. Jones state his position on violence.
When I was introduced to Mr. Larson, he asked that I come up
front and sit with the speakers. He later introduced me to the
audience and allowed some conversation on CWR's position on occult
crime and Witchcraft. This generated many questions from
interested parties at breaktime.
"Do you do trance channeling?"
"No, Ma'am. I think it's a bunch of New Age hype."
"Do you do out-of-body travel?"
"Do you use numerology?"
"I've looked at it a bit, but I don't use it actively."
"Then what do you do that makes you a Witch?"
"I'm a priestess of the Goddess and that makes me a Witch."
This dear lady never did understand that being a Witch is
something you ARE, not something you DO.
Another lady asked me if I thought I was God. I replied that,
no, I was simply a human being trying to do my best.
Two young men from Oregon approached me and asked, " Now you
believe that what we believe is wrong, right?"
"Wrong. It's wrong FOR ME. It's right FOR YOU."
They seemed genuinely confused and were shocked when I wished
them a safe journey back to Oregon.
Many people came up to tell me they loved me and were surprised
when their declarations were met with a smile and a "thank you."
One minister said that he had read many pamphlets on the occult
from various Christian sources, and that every one of them said
something different. He had been so confused that he finally got
some of the Wicca books and read them. I applaud his insight.
When he bemoaned the lack of documentation, I handed him a copy of
the "Origins of Halloween". He seemed to be glad to have some
documented material for a change.
Throughout the rest of the day, I was approached by people who
wanted to save me, to thank me, or argue with me, and people who
just wanted to talk to a real live Witch. Many of them had never
had the opportunity to talk to someone of my faith before, and
lines of communication were opened.
Perhaps the most unusual question was put to me as I talked to
a group of women. One of them noticed the strand of moonstones I
was wearing and asked what they were.
"What do they do?"
"They're pretty rocks. I LIKE pretty rocks."
The lady was confused and I wondered if she expected me to
state that they had some mysterious properties, or that they
housed the spirit of my dead Grandmother.
Hopefully, I put some new ideas about Witches into many
people's heads. Most of those in attendance were trying to find
solutions to the problems they see facing their families and
communities. It isn't their fault if those that are presenting
themselves as "experts" don't give them accurate information. (In
future issues of CWR, we will examine the contents of the
individual workshops in detail.)
REVIEWS by Rowan Moonstone
SATANISM: THE SEDUCTION OF AMERICA'S YOUTH by Bob Larson Thomas
Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN 1989
This book, made up mainly of excerpts from the daily talk show,
"Talkback With Bob Larson", is a curious mixture of sensationalism
and compassion. It is obvious that Larson is concerned for the
hurting people who call his show and equally obvious that he is a
connsumate showman in the grand tradition of P. T. Barnum.
The first chapter deals with a European tour by the rock group
Slayer. Accompanying them, Larson found out that contrary to
their "Satanic" stage image, they were just a bunch of musicians,
who live on the road much as musicians have for years; wishing
they were home, and being tired of motel rooms and motor homes.
Further chapters deal with such infamous cases as Charles
Manson and the Night Stalker. The Matamoros murders and the Ricky
Kasso / James Troiano case are also mentioned. Larson buys into
the theory that all of these are "occult" crimes, despite the
evidences that they were "ordinary" crimes with "occult" trappings
added on for effect.
Continuing, he denounces television, movies, Dungeons and
Dragons, and other "occultic" influences on our society. He also
covers the holiday of Halloween and considers it damaging to the
youth of America.
Further in the book, readers will encounter instances in which
callers to "Talkback" speak of human sacrifices and ritualistic
child abuse. I can only wonder if these crimes are reported by
Larson and his staff to the law enforcement community.
Larson's section on Witchcraft begins with an account from
someone calling herself "Cracinda" who claims that her aim as a
Witch is to destroy Christians. This is followed by "Salina" who
had participated in human sacrifices.
What is particularly confusing to the reader is the description
of Wicca (which is reasonably accurate) that follows. It simply
does NOT correlate with the stories that these two young ladies
Larson presents nothing new in the line of books on Satanism.
He repeats the same old tired stories of human sacrifice and wild
orgies without giving a SHRED of proof that any such thing exists.
The standard party line of black metal music, Dungeons and Dragons
and horror films is trotted out and revamped with sensationalist
accounts from the callers to his show.
Larson DOES exhibit great sympathy for his callers and there
ARE a great many teens these days in need of compassion, healing
and a friend who will listen. It is a pity that Mr. Larson, who
so obviously cares, feels compelled to sensationalize the trauma
of those troubled teens.
NEWS FROM OKLAHOMA
A 1915 Oklahoma law threatens the spiritual and religious
freedom of psychics, spiritual healers, metaphysicians and others.
In response, persons in metaphysical communities across Oklahoma,
as well as other outraged individuals have banned together to form
the "Committee for Spiritual Freedom, Inc." which is concerned
with the possible abridgement of 1st Amendment Rights of "persons,
pretending or professing to tell fortunes by the use of any subtle
craft, means or device whatsoever" and may be directly or
indirectly charging or "receiving gifts, donations or subscription
by any means whatsoever for the same" causing them to be subject
to conviction of a criminal act in Oklahoma. Fines of between
$50-$500 could be levied, along with jail terms running between 30
days and six months.
The groups attorney, Cecil G. Drummond, from Tulsa, feels the
law could be construed to include prophecies made by ministers
using biblical texts relating to future events, meteorologists
foretelling future weather events, and others who predict future
occurrences on a variety of subjects. Drummond is filing a
petition to the Oklahoma Federal District Court requesting an
injunction against the enforcement of state law until it can be
determined as to whether or not it is constitutional.
ENGLISH SATANISTS DECRY ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES
In the current copy of Dark Lily (Issue #8), an English
newsletter published by and for Satanists (repeat, not Wiccans),
the editor writes that Dark Lily has "had to discontinue our
exchange advertising with [two other Satanist newsletters] in view
of their Editors' expressed support for the criminal activity
known as pedophilia. I am not attempting to place DL in the
uncomfortable position of arbiter of sexual mores, but such
activity is not only illegal, it has nothing whatsoever to do with
Occultism and could actually impede one's development, as has been
explained in DL and in lengthy correspondence with [the two
It appears that Wiccans are not the only "alternative religion"
that is against illegal activities.
CHANGES AT CWR
Due to the pressures of personnal life, Gerald Bliss has
resigned from the staff here at CWR. We would like to take this
space to thank him for the work he has done in the Lady and Lord's
names and wish him well in his new endeavours.
CultWatch Response is published by CultWatch Response, Inc., a
non-profit Corporation under the laws of the State of Colorado.
We publish many original works in the interest of supplying law
enforcement officials with information on the Craft in the United
States and Canada; we also republish (with permission) articles
from other sources.
Each issue is distributed to our mailing list, including
subscribers, contributors, and major law enforcement officers. We
encourage groups and individuals to republish each issue for the
purpose of distribution to police, media, and community
organizations in their area.
We welcome articles, reviews, etc. We do ask that our
contributors not UNFAIRLY promote any race, cultural group, either
sex, or any magickal group or tradition above another. We
emphasize careful research and/or well thought-out opinions, and
will not consider articles suggesting harm to anyone or anything.
CultWatch Response, Inc., is supported only by subscription
revenues and sales of our booklets and brochures; any shortfalls
are made up from the pockets of Board members. CWR is not
supported by any religious, political, or business group. We are
in the business of promoting understanding about and among the
Craft, making it safe for responsible people to practice their
If you are interested in helping CWR reach its goals, or simply
would like to read CWR as it is published, please fill out the
CLIPPING LIST AVAILABLE
CWR is now making available Rowan Moonstone's list of newspaper
and magazine clippings dealing with Witchcraft and "occult related
crimes". The listing runs 43 pages and covers over 1,000
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