Geraldo, May 15th [1990 E.V.], his "focus" being Exorcism and Deliverance, Geraldo Rivera had his usual collection of sideshow freaks as guests. A young boy called "Peter" was used and was said to have been "delivered" from the "Devil", his mother claiming that the father was to blame for the demonic possesion. Yes. She also claimed that the father is a member of a satanic cult. I don't suppose there is a custody battle going on? It was painfully obvious that the boy is being used and that his mother and others are doing their damnest to convince him that he had indeed been demonically possessed - and Rivera, by using him to promote his own fanatic obsessions and boost ratings for his program, is in no way helping the child. Quite the opposite!
The program, Rivera trying to slide unnoticed right back into his satanism fanaticism and extremely unamerican attack upon the esoteric community in general, condemning all of us as satanists despite the fact that Satan is part of his belief system and not ours in Thelema, Wicca, et al, was typically absurd and slanderous. I had at first thought that there was only one rational man there, Bryce Bond, labelled by the program as a "Psychic Investigator", who was characteristically given very little chance to speak, but after reading the small article about him in the April issue of Omni magazine, mentioned on Geraldo, I saw no point in rushing off a letter to Mr. Bond to ask his opinion of the program. The article began with Mr. Bond saying that he originally thought the occult and talk of UFOs was all junk ... until 1972 E.V. when he says, according to the article, "I had an onboard UFO encounter." Okay. Cheque please!
Ed and Lorraine Warren, "Demonologists", were also guests - two incredible clowns capitalizing upon all of this satanic and demonic nonsense that is ill-befitting us as we approach the 21st century - as was Lui and Dale Passetto, who spoke of their possessed house - the details of their story sounding suuspiciously like the events depicted in the movie The Amityville Horror.
The reason I even bring this subject up, making this already long Encyclical Letter longer still (and more expensive to publish!), is that while Doreen Valiente may think otherwise at this point [reference made to a review of one of her books in this same EL; see Reviews], I have a great love for the Craft of the Wise, Wicca, the Old Religion, Witchcraft - a religion based upon the ideals that all life is sacred, that all that is is a manifestation of "God", whom Witches worship in two forms, female and male, and in which there is not now nor has there ever been a belief in devils or The Devil, which is the perverse scapegoat of the often irresponsible Judeo-Christian religions alone.
One of Geraldo Rivera's guests was a woman named (or calling herself) Janelle Wade - from or living in Indiana - who claimed that
"I had, ah, gotten myself into a situation with a man, and, ah, he'd left me, and I wanted him back, and I got my hands on a small book that said, you know, try white witchcraft, get what you want, cast a spell, and it took me into five, almost six years of being a blood covenant witch, and I had opened myself up, so to speak, to demonic powers."
Rivera had already introduced her by saying that
"Janelle's involvement with witchcraft caused her possession until a special deliverance freed her from her demons."
"I was involved in, ah, making dolls, and casting spells ... and potions, and candles, and prayers, and chanting, and, ah, levitation, ouji boards - I mean I was just a normal witch (short laugh) doing those witchy things."
She went on to say
"I had a high priest and a warlock teach me a lot of things like mind control ... demons talked to me ... When if you do believe in the Devil, the Devil, okay, the evil, God's good and he's bad, when he came to planet earth, when he fell out of heaven, we all agree he was in heaven, right? At one time he was an angel in heaven. When he fell, he took a third of heaven with him according to the Bible, and they fell to planet earth, not hell, not anywhere else, and I believe that on planet earth right now there's a society of the supernatural realm right here on planet earth, and I was dabbling ("devilling"?) into that and I was also talking to them and they were doing my bidding, and they would come and talk to me, and, ah, I would tell them what to do, and in the process I believe they entered my body because I allowed them to."
Rev. Estel Eckart, via telephone, who had "Performed [the] Deliverance on Janelle Wade", said that at first "She didn't feel like she had anything to - that she need at first". His grammar, not mine. And while others claimed to see spirits go out of her while he was not in the room he said "All I seen when I looked at her was that there was through her eyes I could tell there was difference and it wasn't Janelle." Answering an audience member Janelle replied
"Okay, how it manifested itself in my life is I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat, I was, ah, I had nervous breakdowns, I had many many mega problems, I - I was seeing things, talking to things that weren't there, people were finding me in terrible state, trying to commit suicide."
Rivera asked her if she thought she had the power to harm others and Janelle replied "I did hurt someone. I would hurt people when I was a witch. ... I caused someone to have a wreck..." When an audience member asked what had gotten her into witchcraft, Janelle replied
"Desperation as a child - I'd been sexually abused all my life - physically abused. I'd had every abuse perpetrated on me in the name of religion - [hastily adding] not Christianity, but religion - and I felt that I deserved to get something I wanted, so I wanted control in my life, and, ah, the Devil gave me control, I got what I wanted - you know."
However, while Rivera was buying it all, had bought it all, those several audience members who spoke up were not buying it, much to their credit. One lady commented that "People have nervous breakdowns and have bad things, and don't sleep, and don't eat. I don't think that, um, constitutes devil possession." Another audience member said
"As far as Janelle's concerned, people do have breakdowns. She's using this as an excuse. It possessed her. It controlled her. She's not taking responsibility for her actions or her life."
After an early commercial break, Geraldo Rivera returned saying
"We're speaking with Janelle, a woman who claims that she was actually possessed by the Devil as a result of her own dabbling in witchcraft, in evil."
Geraldo Rivera equated the life-affirming religion of Witchcraft, Wicca, which has no devils or Devil in its belief system, with EVIL. Looks like a job for the Witches' Anti-Defamation League to me!
I will say straight out, Janelle Wade, if indeed that is her real name (remember Lauren Stratford, really Laurel Willson?) is a bloody liar. She was never a Witch. She was never involved in Witchcraft. Perhaps she is so mentally unbalanced that she believes she was. Perhaps she is so weak that the Rev. Eckart and/or his assistants convinced her that her mental and emotional problems were the result of demonic possession caused by Witchcraft. But she was certainly not a Witch and she speaks more like a fundamentalist pseudo-christian than anything else.
1.) Reading a book and doing what it says does not make one a Witch, and if she read the silly book I think she read, it is as far removed from genuine Witchcraft as one can get.
2.) I began my studies in the esoteric over two decades ago by way of the Craft and I have no idea as to what the bloody hell a "blood covenant witch" is. That is pure nonsense out of the fevered mind of a fanatic pseudo-christian.
3.) The "witchy things" she did do not necessarily have anything to do with Witchcraft and she mentioned nothing about the worship of the Goddess and God which is more essential to the Craft than magic/k or anything else.
4.) Everything she said that she experienced while "possessed" is symptomatic of mental illness and there is a very strong possibility that she has in no way been truly cured by her so-called deliverance.
5.) She says that we must all agree that the Devil fell out of heaven, et al, her presumption indicating that she is in fact and always has been a fanatic fundamentalist pseudo-christian because a very large proportion of humankind does not believe in "the Devil", recognizing the story of the fall from grace as a myth. Witches certainly do not believe in the Judeo-Christian Devil, or the Christian heaven or hell, and if she was a Witch - a true Witch - neither would she believe in these things, especially in a literal sense - as fundamentalists believe.
6.) And again we have talk of a conspiracy of evil - fundamentalists scare tactics and/or paranoia.
7.) She claimed to have hurt people, by casting spells presumably, but in point of fact a true Witch, a genuine member of the Old Religion, believes that whatever you do returns threefold. Therefore, if one were to harm another, one would inevitably be harmed thrice as much in return, and that belief has certainly kept a lot of Witches in line!
As you can imagine, I can easily tear Rivera's entire program apart - and I will probably do that in articles for other publications - but here I only want to make two points:
ONE. Geraldo Rivera, through Janelle Wade, is attacking a religion - a life-affirming, God-focussed, religion that does not believe in devils and which has a very large following which is growing all the time. If he had some solid and believable evidence against the Craft, real documentation, proof, that it was a dangerous form of devil worship or otherwise dangerous to the public, then he should go ahead with his story. He had none of this. He had an obviously mentally ill woman suffering from delusions or simply lying outright and, characteristic of the sham journalist and charlatan investigative reporter that he has proven to be, Geraldo Rivera went right ahead and slandered a religion and thus all members of that religion. No doubt an investigation of Ms. Wade will prove her to be just as ill and untruthful as "Lauren Stratford" - and I encourage such investigations, especially by those living in Indiana in this case.
TWO. Thelemites like myself, true Wiccans or Witches, many of whom have families of their own, and all true students of the esoteric, have an extremely powerful love and reverence of all life and see all that is as being alive in one way or another. We are most especially and passionately opposed to such things as child abuse, and the use of the young boy called Peter on Geraldo is most certainly "child abuse". Whether his father is a satanist who abused him or not (and most times this proves to be purely fictitious or the satanism is merely dramatic dressing added to common abuse by the other party) is a moot point here. The point is that certainly his mother, whether she realizes it or not, the Rev. Campbell who supposedly "delivered" the boy, as well as Rivera and NBC, abused this boy - used him very unfairly, to his detriment, which will be proven out more so later in life than now - and all for the sake of fanaticism, ratings and the almighty dollar. What price do we put upon a young boy's life? And what of all of the others who will be abused by disgruntled and unbalanced parents, exorcists, religious fanatics, deprogrammers, television programs and networks as a result?
Bryce Bond made a good if not entirely accurate final statement. He said
"... I believe that today cultism and the satanic worship is basically a new religion that people want to start because the old religions are not working."
More accurately, the Judeo-Christian religions in particular have proven to be false, as practiced today - and remember that Christianity is only about 2,000 years old, which makes it a relatively "new" religion, not an "old" one - and people are becoming fed up with all of the dogma introduced after the time of Jesus, submerging his teachings under rules and regulations which were, in truth, primarily invented to control the general populace. Slowly, very, very slowly, people are waking up. They are realizing that they have been led about like sheep - does not Christianity call its followers a "flock", giving the image of Jesus the title of "good shepherd"? They are realizing that they have been and are expected to remain slaves to dogma - ideas that are way out of step with the times, restricting to the intellectual and emotional evolution of the species - and they are fed up with being controlled by others, controlled by inane ideas about what is right and wrong that go way beyond such concepts as "Thou shalt not kill" and even invade the bedroom to declare what is and is not right between two consenting adults in love and wishing to express that love and give one another pleasure. Many people are waking up. They want to stand on their own two feet. They want to be the masters of their own lives - to control their own lives and no longer be controlled by others, to their detriment, for the sake of others.
The enlightened person is he or she who comes out of the darkness of ignorance, wakes up to the realities of life, casts off barbaric superstitions, and lives by reason, logic, and common sense, exercising compassion and tolerance, especially when confronted by those who are still lost in ignorance and all of the "evils" that it breeds. However, an enlightened person also realizes that the survival of the race depends upon its continued evolution, and that depends upon the words and actions of the enlightened who should lovingly lead others into the Light of Wisdom and battle the forces of ignorance to protect the innocent and those who may yet achieve enlightenment. You begin by constantly seeking to improve yourself, of course, to achieve your own full potential and be the best person you can be, partly as an example to others, but you must continue this Great Work by taking action, making your voice heard, taking a stand against the forces of ignorance and beating it back, beating it down, banishing them with the Sword of Reason.
If you do not add your voice to the collective call of "Enough! No more abuse! No more lies! No more!" we may be plunged into another Dark Age instead of emerging into a new age of wisdom, peace and tolerance. Will you be silent? What then of your future and the future of your children, our children - the world?
When will you say "Stop!" Now ... or after the momentum has gotten so powerful that it cannot be stopped? It is your choice.
Transcripts of Geraldo Rivera's show can be obtained [or could be obtained at the time of original publication] by sending $3 to
N.Y., N.Y. 10007
and please remember to include your own name and address and the title of the particular program, in this case, "Exorcism and Deliverance". Don't give them too much money. Obtain a transcript and share it with every interested party you can. You may also call  227-READ for a Geraldo transcript. Furthermore:
Investigative News Group
311 W. 43rd. Street
New York, N.Y. 10036
and Brandon Tartikoff [deceased after the time of original publication]
NBC - Entertainment President
3000 W. Alemeda
Burbank, CA 91523
SPEAK NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE.
Remember them from recent past issues of TNN and ELs? They are beginning to feel the sting of their own "like negative karma, man". Jim Jones (probably not related to the late "Rev." Jim Jones!) of the Fort Worth Star Telegram, reported that one Lynda Beams, a "Homemaker", started a campaign to get Rivera off of KDFW, Channel 4, and Rivera's talk show was indeed pulled. Ms. Beams was not, of course, the only person to complain about Geraldo. The ratings have also been dropping and the research director for KDFW said "local sponsors had put 'Geraldo' on a so-called black list."
The point is, this just represents one television station in one city, and it is not uncommon. The message seems to be, more and more, "We don't want 'a kinder, gentler Geraldo'. We are tired of him. Tired of his obsession with sacrificial murder, bringing his fascination for the gruesome into our homes, and even more so, we are just bored silly. And we can't believe him any more. We simply want Rivera off the air."
As for Yager, programs like Unsolved Mysteries and Inside Report have reported that this lady, who sees the Devil everywhere and perverts possible and probable cases of child molestation with lurid fantasies of satanic ritual abuse, convincing children to tell these stories on the threat of returning them to the molesting parent, undermining legitimate cases of child molestation, is now being taken to court by parents for her mistreatment of their children as well as for slander. Inside Report began by asking "Is the defiant leader of the underground railroad a heroine or a criminal?" and points out that "Some accuse Faye of being the abuser and pressuring kids into saying what she wants to hear." One man pointed out on the program that "she has gone beyond the actual protection to the point of coercing the children into saying things that aren't completely true."
A married couple, Laura and Alan (sp?), spoke of Faye in relation to their daughter, Kaylee (sp?), who had been kidnapped by grandparents Paul and Iren Lopez, guests on an installment of Geraldo - Rivera thus harbouring federal fugitives - and laura said
"There was never anything during the court trial, during the custody battle, that had anything to do with satanic ritualism. There's no reason for the child to even know that anything like that exists."
And Alan, the stepfather, added
"The custody battle first, then the sexual allegations, and then before you know it, when they get a hold of Faye Yager and their organization, the devil comes out of it."
An investigation, by the way, conducted by the trained professionas with Human Resources in Florida, procliamed the charges of child molestation "unfounded".
Perhaps we should look a little closer at Yager, a 41 year old woman from West Virginia, let's say overly zealous in her Christian beliefs, who felt helpless when her own daughter, Michelle, was (allegedly) assaulted by her father, Yager's first husband. And so, perhaps, Yager's fanaticism and paranoia began here.
This is a piece of trash, er, I mean, a book published by Harvest House, by Ms. Johanna Michaelson. Ms. Michaelson, a fairly attractive woman (Ah, what a waste of physical beauty.), was a frequent guest on the talk show circuits during the height of the satanic hysteria, often promoting her book. This fanatic pseudo-christian propagandist, on page 332 of her book, compares the Law of Thelema, after calling Crowley "that most infamous of black magicians", to statements made by Anton LaVey, head of the Church of Satan, inferring that "Do what thou wilt" means "do as you please", when, in fact, Crowley himself, in more than once place, explained that this is not so. See earlier in this EL [elsewhere on this site].
One wonders about such people as Ms. Michaelson. Does she know the truth and is she purposely lying "to serve God and Christ"? Or is she so stupid, so ignorant, perhaps so intellectually impaired by a belief system that rots the intellect, that she cannot see the facts, the truth, even if it were as a bush burning right before her pretty but faith-blinded eyes?
This is a British-American video, about an hour long, that is being aired by various Christian television stations. It is the typical fanatic, irrational, extremist, hysteria promoting lunacy we have heard over and over again, full of lurid, grisly stories and photographs which slanders the Craft (Witchcraft) by calling it satanism. In it a few references to Aleister Crowley, who was neither a Witch nor a satanist, are made. For instance, he is called a "bisexual, heroin addict and demonologist who was violently opposed to Christianity." Bisexuality, of course, whether it truly applies to Crowley or not, is considered "evil", a "sin", and the rest is the same old same old. Oh, Crowley did violently oppose modern organized Christianity, but that is not to say that he was completely opposed to the Nazarene or his teachings. Apparently he sometimes speaks of the historical man, sometimes of the various caricatures created by "believers" that perverts the truth, and sometimes, in Crowley's writings, he seems to be uncertain just how much truth there is even to the historical Jesus, wondering if, perhaps, there might not be more than a little hodgepodge myth to it. Be that as it may, I think Jesus himself would be "violently opposed to Christianity" if he returned and saw for himself the absurdities of the papacy in Rome, televangelism, et al!
Referring to Magick in Theory and Practice, this "documentary" says that "he details the proper procedure for performing a child sacrifice." My comments regarding Ms. Michaelson above apply here. It is the same old lie told again and again, and anyone who sits down and reads even that single page in the book has to know that the charge is indeed a lie. Chapter 12 does indeed have the following statement:
"A male child of perfect innocence and high intelligence* is the most satisfactory and suitable victim."
However, there is an obvious footnote directly below this which states, with a little tongue in cheek, that the reference is not to murder, but to an act of "sexual magick", semen, not blood, flowing, and further, to quote the footnote:
"It is the sacrifice of oneself spiritually. And the intelligence and innocence of that male child are the perfect understanding of the Magician, his one aim, without lust of result. And male he must be, because what he sacrifices is not the material blood, but his creative power."
Since this appears in every edition of the book I can only conclude that the so-called "Christians" who use the words in the text to slander Crowley are either complete and utter morons, or extremely unchristlike liars, sinning to serve Christ!
And again the Law of Thelema is misinterpreted, either ignorantly or deliberately, when it is said that
"The main theme of devil worshipping follows along the teachings of Aleister Crowley, which is 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law'. Break all that down all that means is to do whatever you want to do."
And this, of course, is utterly false. For instance, one of the places in which Crowley explains that this is not so is Liber II: The Message of the Master Therion, which explains a few statements and then goes on to explain that
"From these considerations it should be clear that 'Do what thou wilt' does not mean 'Do what you like.' It is the apotheosis of Freedom; but it is also the strictest possible bond."
"Do what thou wilt - then do nothing else. Let nothing deflect thee from that austere and holy task. Liberty is absolute to do thy will; but seek to do any other thing whatever, and instantly obstacles must arise. Every act that is not in definite course of that one orbit is erratic, an hindrance. Will must not be two, but one."
The Thelemic True Will that A.C. refers to is not the same thing as the petty will or desires of the ego, and very often these are diametrically opposed to one another.
The "documentary" goes on to call Crowley a "satanist", which is completely untrue since he thought the very subject not worthy of discussion, the concept of Satan being absurd and repulsive, but we can accept it when it is said that A.C. indirectly influenced many leading rock groups. Some of those groups Crowley might think amusing if he were alive today; some a complete waste. Crowley can no more be blamed for the actions of those who would misinterpret his words than the Bible can be blamed for those who have murdered others because the Bible says things like "an eye for an eye".
Yet, despite and perhaps because of all of the irrational, inaccurate pseudo-christian propaganda and hysteria, more intelligent people, looking for the truth, are coming forth to set the record straight. Take for instance the article, "Satanic Panic" by Laurence Gonzales in the September 1990 E.V. issue of Penthouse magazine. (I would have preferred it had appeared in Playboy, by the way, but it could have appeared in the least credible and tasteless Hustler!) The article, well worth reading, points out that
"Most people who report satanic-ritual abuse are women and the majority are from strict Christian backgrounds"
and it mentions the Harvest House book by Lauren Stratford, Satan's Underground, which proved to be the ravings of an unbalanced woman, having no basis whatsoever in fact. It also points out that
"It is crucial to remember that the people reporting satanic-cult murders are mentally ill. It is doubly significant, then, to know that most of them only produce such memories while hypnotized - either by themselves or by the therapist",
going on to mention the unreliability of hypnotism.
"Childhood trauma, in other words," Mr. Gonzales writes, "is a growth business, and satanic-cult stories represent the most dramatic (and marketable) form of childhood trauma to date. It is easy to understand how a psychotherapist, all alone out there in the world, listening all day long to the mundane problems of his middle-class clients, might jump at the chance to slay a really big dragon: Satan."
"It would not take much for a well-meaning therapist to decide to 'help' his patient a little in remembering and then get caught up in the thrall of his paranoid belief system."
The article says that "For many years, the F.B.I. has been studying ritual criminal behavior" and it quotes Special Agent Kenneth Lanning, "who has a master's degree in behavioral science" and whose qualifications are impressive:
"I can't find one documented case [of satanic-cult victimization], and I've been looking for seven years or more. I personally have investigated some 300 cases - and there is not a shred of evidence. There are no bodies and there is not one conviction",
and Mr. Gonzales also goes on to say, that there has been no evidence of a crime, and quoting Lanning again, "When there's that much blood, there has to be some residue."
A speaker at a conference stated that according to the F.B.I. two million children are missing each year and Mr. Gonzales tells us that Lanning says "It's wrong" and Mr. Gonzales states that
"As for missing children appearing in snuff films, no law-enforcement agency, including the F.B.I., has evidence of it."
While he does not deny the fact that there are people committing "strange crimes", Mr. Gonzales states "there is absolutely no evidence of any widespread, organized satanic movement."
The article amusingly mentions a photograph shown at the conference held in the Hyatt Regency Hotel - you have seen it in Maury Terry's book and elsewhere - and says
"There was, as far as I could tell, only one corpse in the United States that could be traced to satanic-cult activity, and it was the result of an isolated incident that could not be connected in any way with an organized group."
Special Agent Lanning, who said "I started out believing this stuff", is also quoted in the article as saying that
"Ritualistic murders committed by psychotic killers who hear the voice of Satan are no more satanic murders than murders committed by psychotic killers who hear the voice of Jesus are Christian murders."
"The fact is that more crime and child abuse has been committed by zealots in the name of God, Jesus, and Muhammed than has ever been committed in the name of Satan."
Again, the article is well worth reading and for those of you who simply would not read such "men's magazines" as Penthouse, filled with all of those "nasty" photographs of beautiful "skyclad" women - ahum! - I suggest you borrow a copy from one of your less pristine friends.
Perhaps you may wish to borrow a copy of Penthouse from your local Catholic priest ...
The talk shows and print media are all abuzz. A large number of priests are ignoring their vow of celibacy, along with men higher up in the church hierarchy, having romantic and sexual affairs with women, sometimes nuns, in some cases secretly marrying and carrying on a dual life. Some of these priests ignoring their vow of celibacy are gay and having secret affairs with other men. Some are molesting children, both female and male. While the church has been trying to keep such things quiet, spending millions of dollars to pay off parents and others. And what I find difficult to believe is that this is a big shocking surprise to most people. I have not only met a number of women who have told me of how a Catholic priest either tried or succeeded in seducing them, some of whom carried on relationships with the priests, but it is all rather inevitable when a man or woman is expected to ignore a basic human appetite, the sexual appetite, which is often connected to one's spritual or mystical desires, and the normal, human expression of love for a man or a woman one is not related to.
It has proven to be a crisis in Christianity and there is no hope that the current pope will ever allow the vow of celibacy to be optional for the priesthood rather than mandatory. And it is all rooted in the absurd, irrational idea that there is a genuine difference between the material and the spiritual, and that somehow the material, the flesh that God is credited with creating, is "evil".
Except for those individuals who became priests or nuns either to be in a position to seduce others of the same sex or molest children, my sympathies are entirely with the priests and nuns sincerely desiring to serve God. The Roman Catholic Pope and hierarchy cannot seem to dig themselves out of the Dark Ages, and their unrealistic slave-master mentality is proving to be the greatest factor in the destruction of Christianity. Satanism and the "occult" in general are accused of trying to undermine and destroy Christianity, and such an accusation is absurd when you consider the fact that Christianity is quite successfully destroying itself from within by forbidding birth control in a crowded world, abortion under any circumstances, also alienating women by forbidding them to enter the priesthood, demanding celibacy, trying to subdue Nature, and thus only succeeding in perverting natural appetites, promoting hypocrisy, et al. No one has to destroy Christianity for it is destroying itself. And the rest of us get to sit back and say "I told you so", and not aways with as much pleasure as the Christian may think.
By the way, one of the reasons given for the vow of celibacy is that Jesus was a celibate, but the Bible itself proves he was a married man with at least two children, which in both cases opens a whole 'nuther can of worms. As a rabbi, as he was frequently called, he had to have been married, probably to Mary of Bethany or even the "sinner" Mary Magdalene, who may have actually been the same woman. When things were getting hot in "the Holy Land", Jesus most probably turned himself in, more or less, to "cut a deal" to save his son, the Jewish freedom fighter, Jesus Barabbas - Barabbas probably being a corruption of Bar-rabbi or "son of the rabbi". And of course there was Elymas in the Acts of the Apostles who was also called Bar-Jesus, "son of Jesus". (Interesting, don't you think, how The New Testament is translated into English, leaving that one word in Hebrew, bar, untranslated - that word meaning "son of".) Jesus, the first Christian, one might say, married, had children, and still found it possible to pursue his mystical and religious ambitions, therefore there is no reason why Christian priests (and priestesses!) and nuns cannot do the same.
The above was written approximately twelve years ago and only now is the Roman Catholic Church admitting to this problem, forced by the media and an angry congregation. So much about child abuse committed by the clergy coming out, cover ups with little regard for the children going as far as the Vatican itself, the Vatican's spin doctors have been hard at work. Priests are being reassigned to positions that deny them access to children, promises are being made that cases of child abuse will be reported and so forth, but it is all rather vague and unsatisfying. Even worse, Holy Mother Rome is still subject to the scapegoat mentality that is possibly the "root of all evil" in Christianity as a whole, and a great deal of the blame is being put on gay men who enter the priesthood. It may be true that some gay men who enter the priestood do so to be in the company of other men, that some may even become priests with sexual intentions, but I doubt if this is any more so than it is for straight men who prefer the company of "their own kind", those confused about or angry with women, mysogynists, or possibly men who prefer women and have realized that the clerical collar has a strong appeal to and power over some women. I have little doubt that the majority of men, gay and straight, who enter the Catholic priesthood do so with the serious intention of remaining true to the mandatory vow of chastity and serving God as they understand it. However, even these men must be "tempted", but not by "The Devil". Just as the human body has an appetite for food which must be satisfied, so too does the human body possess an appetite for sexual gratification. Even more so than this sexual appetite, the human psyche craves intimacy and instinctively knows that there can be no greater intimacy than that which is experienced by lovers. Christianity, more particularly the Roman Catholic Church, even now in the 21st Century, tries to deny the biological imperative of the sexual appetite, and it cannot seem to grasp the importance of the psychological need for intimacy.
It has been about twelve years since the original publication of the above commentary on child abuse committed by the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church, the most infamous, self-righteous and violent persecutor of "cults", "alternative religions", and "alternative lifestyles", and yet it seems to be pretty much business as usual. The media goes with the story for a while, the Vatican spin doctors go to work, initiating this and that public display, promises are made, but nothing is really being done and the real source of the problem is ignored by the papacy. It must be realized by Christians worldwide that there are some serious problems with the Christian religion as a whole and Roman Catholicism in specific, that these problems are not being seriously addressed, will never be seriously addressed by the clergy, and that perhaps, just perhaps, organized Christianity as represented by any of the existing sects is not what Jesus the Nazarene had in mind when he walked this planet and gave forth his teachings.
A friend has been, of late, introducing me to a publication called the Skeptical Inquirer, and in Volume 14 (Spring 1990 E.V.) Part 1 of an article entitled "Police Pursuit of Satanic Crime" I found interesting, although not surprising. The author, Robert D. Hicks, stated that
"In my role as a law-enforcement specialist with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, I have a professional interest in what has become a trendy topic on the police seminar circuit: cult crime. At first alarmed by what I learned at the seminars, I became progressively more skeptical, then even more alarmed by the cult experts' anti-intellectual and anti-rationalist stance. The law-enforcement model of cult crime appeared shoddy, ill-considered, and rife with errors of logic (faulty causal relationships, false analogies, lack of documentation, unsupported generalizations) and ignorance of an anthropological, psychological, and historical context."
"The information law-enforcers use to document cult activities derives largely from newspaper articles. Reporters often cater to the lurid and the macabre, frequently implying cause-effect relationships or hinting at dark deeds."
Furthermore, Mr. Hicks stated:
"Fundamentalist Christianity drives the occult-crime model. Cult-crime officers invariably communicate fundamentalist Christian concepts at seminars. They employ fundamentalist rhetoric, distribute literature that enamates from fundamentalist authorities and sometimes offer bibliographies giving many fundamentalist publications, and they sometimes team up with clergy to give seminars on satanism. The most notable circular among cult-crime investigators, File 18 Newsletter, follows a Christian world-view in which police officers who claim to separate their religious views from their professional duties nevertheless maintain that salvation through Jesus Christ is the only sure antidote to satanic involvement, whether criminal or noncriminal, and point out that no police officer can honorably and properly do his or her duty without reference to Christian standards."
Mr. Hicks points out that
"Law enforcers who meld cult-crime theories with their professional world-views have transformed their legal duties into a moral confrontation between good and evil",
then goes on to point out some of the irrationality of Boise, Idaho police officer Larry Jones, who edits File 18.
The article is well worth reading, especially by those who have been taken in by the fundamentalist propaganda and media sensationalism that condemns thousands of decent, law-abiding, God-loving individuals and families in the occult community for the largely imaginary actions of the small minority of satanists, most of whom, while hardly likeable and somewhat philosophically and intellectually damaging to the rest of the community of those interested in the esoteric, are otherwise, physically, harmless and pathetic.
Less of an "investigative journalist" and more of a carnival huckster (in this sense having much in common with satanist Anton LaVey), Rivera recently scheduled one of his programs to deal with the subject of infertility. Capitlizing on his own difficulty of producing a child with his wife of three years, C.C. Dyer (or is he capitalizing on her problem?) he proves he will do anything for ratings. The subject is a serious one for many people, and I am in no way implying that there is something comical about it or a serious, honest, open look at the problem, but coming from Rivera there is probably less sincerity involved in it and more concern for boosting ratings.
Likewise, Rivera had those bad and nasty Nazi white supremists on his program again. You will remember that the last time a brawl broke out in the studio during which, on air, a chair was thrown - and it was not a personal attack, as Rivera would like us to believe - Rivera just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and his nose was broken. That incident turned out to be one of the most advertised and highly rated installments of Geraldo, so naturally, using this new installment as an excuse, Rivera ran the clip of that brawl - in a sense, willing to break his nose again and again if it will boost his ratings. By the way, it is interesting to note that the brawl was not initiated by the thoroughly disgusting white supremist punks, but instead by Rivera cronie Roy Innis who got out of his seat and into one young fellow's face. When the fellow stood up to him, literally, his arms at his sides, Innis literally put his hands around the young man's throat and started to throttle him on the air, and while I am certainly no fan of those who nurture and spread any kind of bigotry and prejudice, I would have to say that if someone tried to choke me I too would have to fight back. If a lawsuit had not been filed against Innis and Rivera's program, a lawsuit should have been filed.
Rivera also did a show on subliminal messages, including those supposedly hidden in heavy metal music. It was a typical installment of Geraldo, complete with the usual collection of sideshow geeks pretending to be "experts", twisting the most common things out of shape to invent evidence to "prove" their point. And Rivera was particularly upset because members of the group Judas Priest had, allegedly, promised to be on the program and at the last minute cancelled. Rivera, being a typical spoiled little brat when not getting his way, resorted to name-calling, more than once calling the heavy metal musicians "heavy metal chickens". However, since even Rivera had to admit on that program that the group had been found innocent of the charges of having caused or even inspired the suicides of two obviously disturbed youths, it seems more likely that Judas Priest simply chose to take the high road (a way never tread by Geraldo Rivera, and so unfamiliar to him) and not participate in Rivera's sideshow entertainment. After all, it was proven in a court of law that they were not guilty of any wrong doing. Literally: case closed.
As Newaeon readers know, I am certainly not a fan of heavy metal music. I find it offensive to my senses, for the most part - which is probably, in part, the point. However, I cannot help but to applaud Judas Priest's decision not to be on Geraldo as these musicians thus showed more good taste than is exercised by Geraldo Rivera.
One small item here before I go on: by likening Rivera's talk show to a carnival sideshow I am sorry if I have offended carnival employees. That was not my intention. The carnival sideshow is honest in that it does not pretend to be anything other than what it is - a display of "geeks" and "freaks" to amaze and amuse. And that is what makes the genuine carnival sideshow better entertainment than Geraldo, which, more often than not, is also a display of "geeks" and "freaks", charlatanism exercised with great showmanship, but lacking the honesty of a carnival sideshow by pretending to be a serious investigation, reporting and discussion of facts, misleading the viewing audience, spreading fear, hatred, hysteria and prejudice, all for the sake of the almighty ratings points, all for notoriety and the most powerful "god" of our current society: Money.
And what brought all of this up? Rivera did another show on, supposedly, the dangers of "satanism". Entitled "Protecting America's Children", something most of the people in the occult community as well as the Judeo-Christian community are interested in, the program masqueraded itself as an anti-porn discussion, but it was obviously just a means for fanatic Geraldo Rivera to sneak in some of his satanophobic nonsense.
During the program Rivera said that he did not want to get too much into satanism, and I suspect it was not that he did not want to get into it, for obviously he is on some kind of a crusade to slander and destroy everyone he, ignorantly and prejudicially, considers a satanist. He went on to say that he has not seen the bodies of sacrificial victims and that he has not himself seen pornographic "snuff" films involving children, but, according to him, there is certainly enough "anecdotal" information to "prove" it all exists. The only thing that this proves is that he is not a genuine investigative reporter. Geraldo Rivera is nothing but an irrational, illogical hatemonger, and he has a symbiotic relationship with various hatemonger groups masquerading as religious and secular victims' assistance organizations.
And again, simply obsessed with satanophobia, Rivera aired another installment of his pompous personality polluted pontifical program dealing with the imaginary nationwide problem of satanism, entitled, "Committing Ferocious Crimes in the Name of the Devil". It was the same old Rivera nonsense toned down. Many of his pervious guests having been proven lying charlatans, evidence failing to support the wild claims made upon his previous program installments while instead revealing Rivera's sham "journalism", he must be a bit more careful. Still, his fanaticism and ego lead him about by the nose. He cannot help himself. He is addicted to his radical and irrational beliefs. And while there is a certain danger in satanism, primarily a philosophical and intellectual danger, there is a greater danger in the words and actions of fanatic pseudo-christian individuals and organizations as well as the misuse of the media by individuals like Rivera to promote hysteria and those hypocritical individuals and groups who employ hysteria to achieve their petty, counter-evolutionary objectives.
Primarily the program dealt with the Matamoros incident, as if this were proof of a nationwide network of satanists active in the United States. Never mind that it took place in Mexico and that the Matamoros "cult" was made up of a handful of perverse drug dealers who were not practicing satanism. It was an isolated incident. And yes, from time to time there are similar isolated incidents, just as there are isolated incidents of fanatic pseudo-christian, Mormon and other groups, perverting the original teachings, committing crimes and so forth. But just as, for example, a perverse group pretending to be true Christians, committing crimes, does not prove a nationwide conspiracy, nor does it condemn every living person who is trying, as best as he and she can, to be a good Christian, those who study the various esoteric philosophies and adhere to the many mystery and Pagan religions or otherwise belong to "occult" fraternities, cannot be condemned by the perverse practices of handfuls of people here and there who twist those things others hold sacred and use them to excuse their antisocial behaviour. There cannot be a set of standards to judge one group by and a separate set of standards to judge others by. That is simply unfair and unjust. Honesty and objectivity must be exercised in judgment, and if one cannot first honestly and objectively judge oneself and one's motives, then one will not be able to judge accurately and fairly others.
There is a good bit that could be commented upon, but we must move on. Take out the trash and then forget it. There are, however, two interesting things worth noting - one of which leads into something else. One thing worthy of notice is a woman calling herself Cynthia Angell - I say that she calls herself that because we have learned over the years that we cannot be sure of the identities of anyone who appears on Geraldo, especially when the show supposedly deals with satanism. (Hmm. Speaking of identities, do you think it possible that Rivera might be the reincarnation of fanatic witchfinder general Matthew Hopkins, or perhaps Cotton Mathers?) Anyway, according to Ms. Angell, she was kidnapped by satanists, whom the police still have not been able to identify and capture. In a circuitous way, Ms. Angell implied that satanist Michael Aquino might have had something to do with it. I certainly am not going to defend Aquino, but let me just say: I seriously doubt it.
According to Ms. Angell, she was snatched, shown photographs of skinned bodies and recordings of crying children were played for her. It is also worth noting that, allegedly, she was forced to take a drug at gunpoint, so if this is true, at least, everything else becomes highly questionable, for whatever it may be worth even if true.
Supposedly this was a warning. The alleged satanists told her that all of the allegations made against satanists were true and if she continued her investigations in a child custody case she had been involved in she would regret it. Probably the most irrational thing about this story is that, if true, and if satanists were actually involved, it would have been far wiser to sit back, smile, clean things up and let the investigation proceed only to "prove" that there is nothing to the allegations made - after all, according to Rivera and his stable of so-called "experts", the satanists are supposed to be virtual magicians when it comes to covering their tracks! If indeed Ms. Angell were kidnapped, as she claims, which is highly doubtful, it is more likely than not that she may have been duped and used by fanatic pseudo-christians, posing as satanists, to add a little more fuel to the fires of hysteria. And there may be an even more prosaic answer, but there is nothing sensible about the story as she tells it. Perhaps, for instance, the kidnapping did indeed take place and the satanic nonsense concocted by one of the parties involved in the custody battle just so the story would come out in court and hopefully discredit Ms. Angell as similar inane satanic allegations have, in the past, ruined some perfectly good cases of child molestation, allowing the common but dispicable molester to go free.
The other thing worth mentioning (and "worth" is a relative concept, keep in mind) is the involvement of Carl Raschke, author of Painted Black.
Raschke had testified in the Pete Roland case, and he said that Roland "was a young man who had, ah, a very poor upbringing, had a very tragic life, but what he did wouldn't have happened if he hadn't had this satanic belief system". Question: Does Raschke have some special psychic power that enables him to see possible futures if past and present circumstances were different? How else can he know with such certainty that Roland would not have committed his crime but for the introduciton of the "satanic belief system"? The fact that he had had a "very poor upbringing" and "a very tragic life" was probably quite enough to program Roland for his antisocial behaviour as well as his interest in anything that may be perverse and twisted. Here, as usual, "satanism" appears to be a symptom of dis-ease, and not a cause for murder. The fact that Raschke, who boasts a Ph.D., cannot see this, or chooses not to see it, seems to indicate that either he is a very stupid man, despite his Ph.D., or that he is an unscrupulous man more inclined to go with sensationalistic nonsense than the hard facts because the former will give him the opportunity to promote his ego and acquire cash.
Raschke says, to sum up here, that
"Satanism is a word that describes a whole spectrum of different violent forms of magic involving blood and blood sacrifice and doing evil for evil's sake."
And here you can see where Raschke is going, for despite this loose definition, he still considers many belief systems, if you will, that do not involve blood, blood sacrifices and the doing of "evil for evil's sake", satanic. And even by his definition, many things can be condemned as "satanic" although Satan may not be involved in any sense whatsoever. With his definition, native Afro-American religions such as Voodoo, or Haitian Voodoo, or Santeria, etc., may be called "satanic" because of the generally very humane sacrificial use of some animals, doing "evil", in the fanatic pseudo-christian's eyes because they are simply not "Christians" and so therefore their can be no other conclusion to make than that they are devil worshipping "satanists"!
That phrase, "doing evil for evil's sake", is, by the way, interesting. It seems to be used most by those who twist and pervert the facts, the truth of a matter, to make others appear to be "evil" while doing their best to make themselves appear to be the sole custodians of truth and the supreme judges of what is "good" and holy. Apparently, while "doing evil for evil's sake" is a "sin", doing "evil" - lying, slandering innocent people, perverting the facts of a case, et al - so long as it is in an effort to do "God's work", is "good"! Of course, relatively speaking, "good" and "evil" are, as are all concepts, relative to one's point of view. However, the ends do not always justify the means. It may be true that satanists believe that "good" is "evil" and "evil" is "good", but the convoluted and irrational "reasoning" of bible-thumping pseudo-christians and their devoted secular cohorts and their sensationalist parasites seems just as dangerous, if not more dangerous in the long run, programming the next generation either not to think and rely upon others to do the thinking for them, or to think only in the most superficial, irrational and prejudicial manner.