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Article ID: 4808
Age Group: Adult
Posted: November 25th. 2002
by Kerr Cuhulain
The next chapter in Painted Black is "The Strange World of Michael Aquino." As the title suggests it is a lengthy discussion about the founder of the Temple of Set, Michael Aquino. Raschke plays up Aquino's specialty within the army, psychological warfare, insinuating that such techniques are used by the Temple of Set to indoctrinate people. Raschke states that Aquino "reportedly runs a computer bulletin board, called Weirdnet, for subscribing satanists. Weirdnet is not in any way sponsored by the army."(48) In fact, Weirdnet isn't sponsored by Aquino either: It is the creation of Brad Hicks, a Pagan who has no connections to the Temple of Set or any other Satanic group.
Raschke again brings up the Presidio day care case, admitting that the charges were eventually dropped but agreeing with some of the "Parents of the children that were allegedly abused [who] said it was because of strong pressure from the army on the federal investigators and the San Francisco police."(49) Raschke only makes brief mention of the fact that a civilian day care worker at the Presidio, Gary Hambright, a Southern Baptist minister, was indicted on twelve counts of "sodomy, oral copulation, and lewd conduct"(50) in the Presidio case. Hambright later died of AIDS.
Raschke devotes one brief paragraph to the Egyptian myth of Set, Osiris and Isis, going only as far as the part where Set hacked Osiris to pieces. Raschke doesn't tell us that Osiris was later resurrected in a similar manner to Christ. Raschke states: "It is not just Methodists from Moline, Illinois, who have called Satan the 'father of lies'. Jesus said that Satan was a 'liar and a murderer' from the beginning. A lot of Egyptians felt the same way about Satan, or Set. So did the Persians and the Muslims."(51) Set represented the aridity and sterility of the desert, which is why Set is cast in this ancient Egyptian myth as the destroyer of Osiris, who represents the renewal of life. Satan and Set are not the same deity.
Part three of Painted Black is "Mise En Scene" and begins with the chapter "Heavy Metal Music and the New Theatre of Cruelty." This is standard fundamentalist Christian stuff, discussed elsewhere in this series in greater detail, about how listening to rock music supposedly turns you in to an "occultist" and ultimately a "Satanist." Raschke again turns to selected newspaper articles for his proof, giving ten excerpts as examples, none of which contain any convincing evidence.
In "Heavy Metal Music and the New Theatre of Cruelty," Raschke once again demonstrates his poor research, repeating in another excerpt a tired old myth about the word "ZOSO," stating that "ZOSO [is] the three-headed guard dog at the gates of Hell."(52)
"ZOSO" has been popping up in various manuals on "occult related crime" for years. It is usually defined in these manuals as: "ZOSO: The three headed dog that guards the gates of Hell." Note one of these manuals, many of which were written by law enforcement officers, lists the source of this information.
Medieval magicians believed that each spirit had a seal or sigil which identified it or which was related to it. This was probably because it was customary for people to use seals of distinctive designs to seal letters as a form of signature in those days. The argument seems to have been that if people had them, spirits must have them too. "Zoso" is a sigil which is related to the planet Saturn. In modern times you will find it on the album covers and record labels of the British rock group "Led Zepplin." A good example, can be found on the dust cover of the album "Led Zepplin IV."
Jimmy Page was the lead guitarist of Led Zepplin. Page is a serious student of occult subjects and bought Aleister Crowley's old house in London, which he turned into a metaphysical book store. Page chose this sigil because Saturn is related to the metal lead, relating in turn to the name of this group. He chose several other symbols for the Led Zepplin IV album, an example being the inside cover, which is a reproduction of "The Hermit" card of the Major Arcana of a Tarot deck. "Zoso" later became the name of the Led Zepplin Fan Club, based in San Francisco.
Of course, the three headed dog in ancient Greek mythology that guarded Hades was Cerberus, not Zoso. Cerberus also appears in Dante's Inferno as the guardian of the third of the first seven circles of Hell. Dante incorporated several attributes of Hades into his description of Hell, though even a cursory study of Greek mythology will show that Hades is not equivalent to the Christian Hell. Dante's book may have been the inspiration for naming Cerberus the guardian of Hell, but I have never been able to figure out whose idea it was to connect the sigil "Zoso" with Cerberus. I speculate that some promoter of the "listening to rock music causes Satanism" theory saw this symbol on the Led Zepplin albums and let their imagination run wild. Raschke obviously believes it.
In Painted Black Raschke complains that "All the good causes these days have evaporated- the environment, AIDS, the homeless- except for evil."(53) First of all there are lots of people involved in these causes these days. Secondly this has nothing to do with rock music. Raschke continues:
- "The inflammatory message of heavy metal music is, as might not be surprising, 'religious'- in the sense that it proclaims a higher power overseeing the universe. The power, however, is not God or even fate. It is violence- often the most irrational and uncontrollable violence engineered by the archfiend himself, whom unsophisticated minds have a hard time identifying as 'psychodrama' or 'symbol'."(54)
- "The chief objective of the satanist message in reforming the thought of today's young people is not just to encourage rebellion against parents or to implant in them coy doubts about traditional morality, as rock used to do. The aim is to ingrain in the kids the 'deeper' message that parents are the quintessence of apocalyptic evil."(55)
- "Heavy metal influences social behaviour because it is a 'religion'... In an age when traditional religion can barely, if at all, inculcate values and identity, heavy metal spans the breach. Religion is typically about a sense of reverence for supernatural power. Hence the controlling symbol of that power would be Satan, at least as far as Western civilization is concerned."(56)
It seems that the person who is having trouble identifying psychodrama or symbolism here is Raschke. Raschke is calling rock music a religion, which is rather difficult to justify. Heavy Metal bands aren't part of an organized effort to reform the thoughts of today's youth, they are entrepreneurs using the Satanic trappings (created by the Church) as part of a slick marketing scheme to interest rebellious youth in buying their otherwise unsophisticated music.
The next chapter in Painted Black is "Fantasy Role-Playing Games and the Devil's Bargain." This is an argument of the sort used by self appointed expert Pat Pulling (one of Raschke's resources), stating that fantasy role playing games are indoctrination tools which teach basic Witchcraft and Satanism to unsuspecting juveniles. Raschke states his feelings plainly: "D & D is really an elementary-level home study kit for 'black magic'."(57) From this Raschke he arrives at the general conclusion that "Not all that curiously, fantasy role playing of this sort is what satanism and the occult have always been about."(58) Once again the proof offered by Raschke is selected newspaper articles. One of the key articles is about Pulling's son Bink, who committed suicide, a case which I have discuss in greater detail in an earlier article in this series. You'll recall that Pulling claims that her son was "secretly embroiled"(59) in the game Dungeons and Dragons and that she had no warning, claiming that he "had the profile of a completely 'normal' teenager."(60) This is in direct contradiction to the known facts in this case, Bink having a documented history of emotional disorders that went untreated long before his suicide.
Another article included by Rashcke cites the case of a school board member in Sacramento, California, George Marsh. Marsh tried to have the game Dungeons and Dragons banned from schools by his school board. Raschke states: "George Marsh noted that the Supreme Court bars religious activity from public facilities, and D & D is 'religious'. His reasoning: the game promotes the teaching of witchcraft, a recognized religion in America!"(61) Anyone comparing Wiccan literature with the game manuals for Dungeons and Dragons will easily see that what is described in the Dungeons and Dragons manuals does not resemble Wicca at all. Obviously neither Marsh nor Raschke understand what Wicca is.
In "Fantasy Role-Playing Games and the Devil's Bargain," Raschke claims that "It is only Christian morality that insists magic is unsavoury and that women should be honoured."(62) I imagine that many feminists will be surprised to hear Raschke making this claim about fundamentalist Christianity. The majority of fundamentalist literature on Women's rights advances the belief that a woman should be obedient to their husbands and should stay at home and have babies.
The next chapter in Painted Black is "Where are the Children?" Here Raschke returns to the McMartin Day Care case. Raschke plays down the influence of "experts" and organizations involved in this case, such as Children's Institute International. Raschke also attempts to discredit evidence that the allegations of child abuse originated with alcoholic parent Judy Johnson, trying to paint a rosy picture of her as a upstanding "Lutheran pastor's daughter."(63) Shrugging off evidence to suggest that Johnson was emotionally disturbed, Raschke tries to convince us that Johnson became irrational after the trial began, rather than before. Despite the fact that Johnson died of "fatty metamorphosis of the liver, a physical complication of alcoholism"(64), a fact that Raschke admits, he tries to convince us that it was not until the McMartin case was well under way that "Judy was noticed to be doing something that she had not been known for- nipping at the bottle."(65) Rashcke then expects us to believe that because her alcoholic problem was only noticed then it must have just started, despite the fact that the advanced deterioration of her liver indicated a long term problem. Raschke concludes that the fact that Johnson died of alcoholism related complications incredible since "she had not been hitting the bottle long enough to suffer the kind of fatality from which she supposedly succumbed."(66) Raschke suggests it is significant that Johnson died just before she testified, hinting at foul play. Raschke presents no evidence to substantiate his opinions. It sounds to me like denial.
Raschke also mentions the case of the day care in Florida run by convicted child molester and murderer Frank Fuster. He insinuates that Fuster is a Satanist but at one point admits that Frank was Cuban and had been brought up in a Santeria household. The verdict in the Fuster case has since been overturned. Another case that Raschke brings up is that of the day care run by Hazel Riggs in Akron, Colorado, whose sons did eventually admit to abusing children. Again, there is nothing Satanic about this case and Raschke even admits this. Rashcke appears to use the Riggs case as an example of how people associated to Christian therapist (and self appointed occult expert) Jim McCarthy unsuccessfully tried to turn this case into a "witch hunt." Raschke appears to be trying to convince us that he would not do such a thing himself, even though the McMartin case is as good an example of this as you are likely to find. If this is Raschke's intention, he fails when he makes the following statement later in this chapter:
"Those who denounce witch-hunts are by and large insinuating that the whole notion of witches is a fabrication. The use of the term witch-hunt is, of course, ironic, since there are thousands of outspoken and self-proclaimed witches in America today."(67)
Of course, as is obvious from the way Raschke uses the terms Witchcraft and Satanism interchangeably, he is suggesting that there are thousands of Satanists out there. Raschke concludes with the usual appeal to "believe the children," regardless of a lack of evidence to substantiate the claims.
Part four of Painted Black is "Apocalypse Now." The first chapter in this part is "The Metaphysics of Violence," in which Rashcke attempts to convince us that all white supremacists, skinheads, and Nazis are interrelated, share occult ideology and are Satanic. Raschke spends a great deal of time ranting about "lycanthropists" (in other words, werewolves) in this chapter. Again Raschke uses selected newspaper articles to attempt to make his case. For example, Raschke tries to convince us that the Aryan Brotherhood had close ties to Charles Manson, and states that "The Aryan Brotherhood set the trend out of which emerged popular adolescent satanism."(68) The truth is that the Aryan Brotherhood is a white supremacist brotherhood of ex cons that originated in the US prison system as an anti-Black movement, as their name suggests. They are certainly a source of much racial hatred, but the truth is that their proven ties are not to Manson, but to Reverend Richard Butler's Aryan Nations/Church of Jesus Christ Christian. Raschke obviously hasn't done his homework.
The last chapter of Painted Black is "Twilight of the Idols," in which Raschke tries to sum up his arguments, making the following statement:
"The persistent notion among America's educated elite that satanism is not something substantive or significant, that it is essentially a bugbear of religious rubes, dies hard. Strangely, the lack of such a prejudice can be found in an unusual triad of the most incongruous of mentalities- Christian evangelicals, secular cops, and religious satanists. It was the cops who first confronted the siege. It was the evangelicals who whispered, 'I told you so.' It was the religious satanists who first denied that what was happening... In all three instances we have a readiness to acknowledge what postwar American society with its mellow-yellow utopianism of the spirit, with its yearning for God's Kingdom without suffering or grace, has gazed at and blinked. That is, of course, the 'fallen' character of human beings."(69)
Raschke is wrong. It was mainly a handful of evangelical Christian cops who first claimed to be "confronting a siege." "Secular cops" have by in large not bought into the myths of a Satanic conspiracy, since they insist on proof that is not forthcoming.
In this same chapter Raschke discusses Trevor Ravenscroft's theory that "Hitler may have been initiated during his youth into a form of black Tantrism, or sexual magic."(70) Raschke admits that Ravenscroft is considered "slightly suspect among academic experts."(71) This is an understatement. Ravenscroft's book, The Spear of Destiny, is historically flawed and at least partially based on information gained through clairvoyance. Here is another example of Raschke chosing to believe a fraudulent or questionable source simply because it supports his views.
In this last chapter Raschke criticizes his detractors one last time, specifically ridiculing David Bromley (a sociologist at Virginia Commonwealth University), James Richardson, Reverend Gordon Melton (director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion), Shawn Carlson and Gerald LaRue (professors who are authors of a book debunking Satanic myths), and, once again, Ken Lanning of the FBI. Once more Raschke turns to the newspaper articles in an attempt to prove his case. Ironically, Raschke's concluding example is as bogus as the one we saw in the Preface at the beginning of Painted Black:
"ITEM: In September 1989, in Portland, Maine, a deaf teenage girl walked into a school to seek help. She had apparently been kidnapped several years earlier and moved around the United States, 'possibly by satanists,' FBI Agent Paul Cavanagh informed the press. 'From some of the drawings she was able to provide, it is believed that some of the people she was with since her abduction may have been tied to the occult,' the FBI agent said. Cavanagh also said that psychologists and child-care specialists had gathered sufficient information 'to believe she was abducted from California' in 1986, according to national wire service news accounts. The girl's story was later discounted."(72)
Raschke doesn't give the girls name, but I recognized the case as that of Margaret Louise Herget. The facts in this case are as follows: On Sep 18, 1989, a 27 year old hearing impaired woman from Sandy, Oregon, Margaret Louise Herget, walked into the William B. Jack Elementary School in Portland, Maine. Herget masqueraded as a deaf teenager named "Toby Cole" and, using sign language, indicated that she had been abducted. Judi Fox, a teacher's aide at the school who speaks some sign language, took "Toby" to the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf in nearby Falmouth, where "Toby" was questioned by the authorities.
Over the next few weeks, "Toby told FBI agent Paul Cavanaugh through sign language and drawings that:
- She had been kidnapped from California by Satanists about three years ago, and moved several times, once into Canada.
- That Toby Cole was the name given to her by her abductors and that she did not recall her real name.
- That she was 15 years old and may have been born December 25, 1974.
"Toby Cole" was assessed by "experts" over the next two weeks while she was kept in a foster home under the care of the Maine Department of Human Services. The authorities believed that Herget had been abused. FBI Agent Cavanaugh made the following statement to the Wheeling, West Virginia, News Register: "From some of the drawings she was able to provide, it is believed that some of the people she was with since her abduction may have been tied to the occult" and that he did not think "she had been emotionally able to undergo physical tests that would determine whether she had been sexually abused."(73)
The only problem was that the authorities in California couldn't find a missing person/abduction case to account for "Toby Cole."
Finally, late in March 1989, Falmouth Lt. Michael Bouchard discovered who "Toby" really was.
Margaret Herget has used a half dozen other aliases at other times. She had moved to Metrairie, Louisiana, in August 1989 from Oregon. She was last seen there three days before she showed up in Portland, Maine.
Once again the authorities are taken on a wild goose chase by a mentally unstable person with tales of being a survivor of Satanic abuse.
In other words, Herget's claims were not simply "discounted," as Raschke avows, they were conclusively proven to be false. Herget was not deaf, she lied about her name and her story was totally fictitious.
Raschke's book attempts to use eloquence to make up for the gaping holes in his argument. He doesn't succeed. At one point in Painted Black he states: "Will is really a verb, not a noun."(74) The Oxford English Dictionary disagrees. Raschke's attempts at eloquence don't cover up his ignorance of this subject either. Shawn Carlson, PhD, a real expert on Satanism in America, reports:
"During an interview on KGO Radio in San Francisco, he even mispronounced the name of the most infamous figure in twentieth century occultism-- Aleister Crowley-- and then dismissed a caller's correction, saying, 'you must be a follower of [Crowley] if you know how to pronounce his name.'"(75)
Shawn Carlson, has this to say about Raschke's Painted Black:
"Despite Raschke's position as a professor of religious studies at the University of Denver, the text is bursting with sloppy research and fuzzy thinking. Howling errors and half truths leap off every page. Raschke messes up even the simplest facts."(76)
Raschke repeatedly accuses those who disagree with his arguments of using the tactics which he himself obviously resorts to. Raschke's primary source material seems to be selected newspaper articles. While more articulate than the average author on this subject, the fact is that Raschke is simply presenting to us the same bogus arguments and trying to substantiate them by selectively presenting facts. If this book proves anything it is that in order to "prove" the Satanic conspiracy myth one must resort to such tactics, because there is no truth to it.
| ABOUT... |
Location: Surrey, British Columbia
Bio: Kerr Cuhulain the author of this article, is known to the mundane world as Detective Constable Charles Ennis. Ennis, a former child abuse investigator, is the author of several articles on child abuse investigation that appeared in Law & Order Magazine. Better known to the Pagan community by his Wiccan name, Kerr Cuhulain, Ennis was the first Wiccan police officer to go public about his beliefs 28 years ago. Kerr is now the Preceptor General of Officers of Avalon. Kerr went on to write four books: The Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca (Horned Owl Publishing), Wiccan Warrior and Full Contact Magick: A Book of Shadows for the Wiccan Warrior. (Llewellyn Publications), as well as a book based on this series: Witch Hunts: Out of the Broom Closet (Spiral Publishing).
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