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Article ID: 4817
Age Group: Adult
Posted: December 16th. 2002
Police Who Believe 
by Kerr Cuhulain
Hill's manual next has a section: "The Who, What, When, Where and How of Teen Satanism." This includes the usual Fundamentalist list of "causes" of Satanism, including: Heavy Metal Music, Dungeons and Dragons and other Fantasy Role Playing Games, Obsession with movies with occult themes, "Collecting and reading/researching occult books," or being born into a Satanic family.
Hill then includes a 15 point list of "what to look for at crime scenes". It includes such ambiguous "clues" as:
- The discovery of candles or candle drippings.
- Unusual drawings, symbols on wall/floors (pentagram, etc).
- Non discernable alphabets.
- Use of animal parts (feathers, hair, bones) to form signs and symbols on the ground.
- Altars containing artifacts (candles, chalice, knife, etc).
- Bowls of coloured salt or powder.
- Robes, especially black, white or scarlet.
- Rooms draped in black or red.
- Books on Satanism, magic ritual, etc.
While many of these items may indeed be an indication of Satanic rituals, Hill makes no effort to point out that these "clues" could just as easily be indicative of the rituals of other harmless religions. In fact, many of these items can be found in a Christian church.
Hill also includes a typical list of symbols which he calls "Signs of Satan!" This is a short list of basic symbols with the usual Satanic interpretations attached to them, not explaining the alternative non-Satanic meanings of the symbols. This is followed by a list of magical alphabets, including Theban. Finally Hill reproduces David Balsiger's "Witchcraft/Satanism Ritual Calendar," which we debunked in an earlier article in this series.
Not all of the misinformation being circulated originates with individuals. Some law enforcement agencies have gotten into the act as well. One of the law enforcement manuals on "occult crime" that I possess is the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Missing Persons Bulletin: "Satanism: The Law Enforcement Response."(1) The author of this BCI Bulletin is not listed and is at present unknown to me. This 11 page BCI bulletin is full of inaccuracies. It starts by stating:
"Satanism is on the rise in America. Hardly a day passes without reports of violent acts conducted by satanists. Across the country law enforcement organizations are receiving reports of homicide, mayhem, assault, suicide, child abuse and animal mutilations that are linked with the satanic occult. Investigators may find it difficult to believe the strange and bizarre tales of criminal acts being committed by persons wearing priestly robes and adorned with symbols of the devil."(2)
Note that it says "reports" here, not confirmed cases. As I have previously stated, the fact that there are numerous reports is an indication of the widespread nature of the myths concerning Satanism and Satanic Ritual Abuse, not necessarily a true indication of the extent of a real problem. Also note that they set the tone by their comment that "investigators may find it difficult to believe." Thus it seems that what they are actually saying here is: "All I've got is uncorroborated reports of Satanism, so you must believe them, no matter how bizarre they seem."
The author of the BCI bulletin next identifies his religious agenda by stating:
"...According to the Bible, God is the Father of all, including both Christ and Lucifer (the Devil). There was conflict in heaven between the forces of Christ and Lucifer, and the Lucifer forces lost and were 'cast out into the earth' (Revelations 12:7-9 (2)).
"Thus, people have long realized the struggle between the righteousness of God and the forces of evil in the devil. This same struggle is recognized by the Satanist, who is committed with religious fervour to winning that battle.
"The Satanist believes Lucifer rules the earth, and when the end of the world comes, the forces of Lucifer will overpower the forces of God and Christ and rule in Heaven. Therefore, the Satanist pledges allegiance to the Devil, not only for his assistance in this world, but in the world to come."(3)
In other words Satanism and "the occult" are being defined and described from a Biblical standpoint in this manual. People in general are assumed by the author of the BCI bulletin to recognize a "struggle between the righteousness of God and the forces of evil in the devil." Obviously there are many within the general public and the average police department who would not necessarily endorse this belief. This indicates a very noticeable Christian bias.
The BCI bulletin next states that "During the early 1900's"(4) Aleister Crowley was "the leading advocate of Satanism."(5) A few sentences later they describe the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) as a "Satanic ritual group."(6) Obviously the BCI bulletin is simply repeating the nonsense about Crowley and the O.T.O. that we have already seen elsewhere in this series.
The BCI bulletin next makes an omission which we have already seen made by others supporting S.R.A. myths, stating: "CROWLEY published his Book of Law in 1904, in which 'Do what thou wilt, shall be the whole law', was advocated."(7) Once again the very next line in Crowley's book (to which, incidentally, he gave a Latin name, Liber Legis) is omitted: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Love is the Law. Love under will." Obviously the inclusion of the whole phrase completely changes the context and thus the message conveyed: A message that is contrary to that which this manual is trying to put across.
Further on the BCI bulletin states: "CROWLEY called himself 'The Beast' and 'The Wickedest Man In The World'. In 1909, his book, The Equinox, became the Bible for the O.T.O."(8) In fact, it was Crowley's mother (a Plymouth Brethren) that called Crowley this when he was a child. To spite her, he took these titles and used them publicly in his later years. BCI's comment about The Equinox here suggests to me that in fact they have never seen it, since it isn't a book, its a ten volume encyclopaedia of magick that was written by Aleister Crowley between 1909 and 1914.
The BCI bulletin then gives a fairly accurate description of Anton LaVey and his Church of Satan. However, they eventually return to Crowley, stating: "The philosophy of LAVEY was much like that of CROWLEY: 'A person lives only for today and should indulge in all life's good feelings... Satanism condones any type of sexual activity..."(9) While such a statement is fairly representative of the sort of things LaVey espoused, it is not at all an accurate representation of the beliefs of Crowley. Crowley's system was based on the search for one's own personal guardian angel, a pursuit not recognized at all by the Church of Satan.
The BCI bulletin next states that "Most Black Magic occult groups have certain practices and rituals that are common to all. They are usually organized into 'covens', consisting of 9-13 members. Estimates have indicated that there were approximately 10,000 covens in the country in 1946, 48,000 in 1976, and 135,000 in 1985."(10) It claims that there were 135,000 "black magic covens" in the US in 1985. The authors of the BCI bulletin do not cite their source for these figures, nor do they explain how they arrived at these figures. If correct, these figures would mean that there were as many as 1,755,000 Satanists in the US in 1985. Of course the word "coven" is used here as if it was strictly a Satanic term, which it is not. The BCI bulletin is not only citing statistics that have no basis in reality (there were only approximately 5000 practising Satanists worldwide in 1988, according to Arthur Lyons(11)), but it is clearly implying that those involved in the occult are all involved in "Black Magic" or Satanism.
The BCI bulletin next goes on to describe what they believe Satanic cults to be engaging in. Their description of Satanic activities is the sort we have already seen in similar manuals, so it isn't worth repeating here. At one point the BCI bulletin states: "During a ritual a pentagram ( a five pointed star enclosed within a circle), usually nine feet in diameter, is drawn on the ground or floor. The relative position of star points to the altar determines the type of ritual or magic performed."(12)
I have extensively studied the western traditions of Occidental Ceremonial Magic and Satanism and I am unaware of any ritual in which "The relative position of star points to the altar determines the type of ritual or magic performed." What BCI appears to be referring to is the Satanic practice of aligning one of the points of the pentagram in the circle to South, making it an inverted pentagram if North is taken to be the uppermost part of the circle. Curiously, the authors of the BCI bulletin appear to be either unaware of this or at least unable to articulate this.
The BCI bulletin next states that "Several occultist rituals call for animal or human sacrifice."(13) This statement seems to suggest that this is a common practice within what is commonly classified as "the occult." It is not.
The BCI bulletin next briefly discusses the use of Satanic motifs by some Heavy Metal musical groups. The BCI bulletin stops short of saying that such music causes youth to turn to Satanism, which is a very common approach in manuals of this sort.
The BCI bulletin next lists conclusions, stating that "Law enforcement managers realize this renewed interest in Satanism and the occult is a serious national problem."(14) Typically, no specific "law enforcement managers" are named. In fact most law enforcement managers, realizing that there is no evidence to support the allegations of a national Satanic conspiracy, have turned away from this issue. After listing a number of recommendations for law enforcement, the BCI bulletin states: "...this effort should add to the strong existing paranoia of detection and prosecution present among most satanic cult members."(15) An interesting choice of words, given that the paranoia being displayed here is by the authors of this BCI bulletin.
The next page is entitled "Further Historical Notes" and is shot through with historical inaccuracies. For example, The BCI bulletin describes the Cathars as practising "the Black Mass" and other vile acts, clearly suggesting that they were a Satanic cult. We encountered this urban legend earlier in this series, and I pointed out that the Cathari were a splinter Christian sect, not Satanic at all. The rest of this one page "historical note" is as ill researched as this part is.
The Pennsylvania BCI bulletin next includes the calendar of supposed Satanic ritual dates found in the Special Edition of Passport Magazine: "America's Best Kept Secret", which I discussed earlier, and found to be wanting.You may recall that some of the dates on the calendar were Christian festivals, others were older Pagan festival dates still observed in modern religions like Wicca and some were products of someone's fertile imagination.
In common with most manuals of this sort, the last page of the BCI bulletin is a list of symbols entitled "Signs of Satan". It is woefully inadequate, including the same flawed definitions of such things as "Zoso". Here are a couple of typical definitions from this manual:
- The BCI bulletin lists the numbers "6, 9, 13, XIII" as "occult numbers".
NOTE: This is absurd. Occult traditions such as the Qabala and Numerology consider all numbers to have spiritual and magical significance, not just these ones. The Bible lists the number six at least 65 times, the number nine at least nine times and the number thirteen five times. Does this make the Bible and occult document?
- The BCI bulletin next defines the lightning bolt as being symbolic of "heaven to hell strength".(16)
NOTE: What is this supposed to mean? That heaven and hell are somehow connected? Usually the symbol used in similar lists of "satanic symbols" to represent the lightning bolt is the Germanic "S" rune. This rune actually was a symbol of the Sun's energy, not lightning.
- The BCI bulletin lists the Swastika as a "Sign of Satan", with no definition or explanation whatsoever.
NOTE: In fact, Swastika is a name derived from a Sanskrit root meaning "so be it". It has been a common religious symbol since at least 10,000 BCE. It has appeared in religious art in India, Japan, Greece, Rome, Asia Minor, China, Persia, Libya, Scandinavia, Iceland, and the British Isles. The Greeks called the swastika the Gammadion, since it appeared to be composed of four Greek gammas, and considered it to be a sacred symbol. It also appears in Native American art. It is ordinarily drawn with arms pointing clockwise and was regarded as a solar symbol. Drawn with counter-clockwise arms (a sauvastika) it represented the moon or the feminine. Variations in medieval art include the croix gamme, fulfot, gamma cross, croix cramponee and the Germanic Hakenkreuz. Hitler adopted it as part of the symbolism of the Nazi party on the assumption that the Hakenkreuz was an "Aryan" symbol, probably influenced by the eight armed swastika that had long been the symbol of the ancient Inquisitional society, the Vehmgericht. In fact it was not a purely Aryan symbol at all, as the widespread use of the swastika around the world clearly demonstrates. The Nazi's use of this symbol has lead most modern people in Western society to associate it with evil, but this was not its original connotation at all.
- The BCI bulletin lists the word "Markos" with the cryptic one word definition "Abracadabra." In the over three decades that I have been studying occult symbolism I have never encountered the term "Markos." "Abracadabra" is probably the most well known magical name, originally written as a triangular talisman (see below). It was in use as far back as the reign of the emperor Severus, in the Carmen de Morbis et Remediis of Q. Serenus Samonicus. Some hold that it is a variant of the magical name Abraxas (Abraxas is a Greek word whose letters, expressed as numerals, express the number 365, the number of days in the year). Others hold that it is derived from the Scottish Gaelic terms "abra" ("God") and "cad" ("holy") It appeared as a name of the Judeo Christian God used in a consecration of the ritual sword in the grimoire called the Grimorium Verum. It is a name used in the consecration of the ritual sword in the Greater Key of Solomon. It is described by Eliphas Levi as name which is the basis of a "magic triangle of pagan theosophists" which supposedly represented the sum of all magic in the world in his Transcendental Magic. It is a name word reported to be used in healing in Barrett's The Magus. The BCI bulletin says none of this, probably because they don't know.
- "FFF" is listed in this bulletin as the "Mark of the Beast (Rev.13:16-18)."(17)
NOTE: Revelations 13 certainly gives the number 666 as the number of the Beast ("Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."(18)). Yet the Bible it makes no mention of the letter F in this passage. In fact, "FFF" is an abbreviated version of "FFFF", an ancient Saxon blessing meaning "Flags, Flax, Fodder and Frigg". It is a blessing upon the house (flag stones of the hearth), possessions (flax representing clothing), food (fodder) from the Goddess Frigg or Freya. The short stands for Flags, Flax and Fodder. Popular literature about Satanism has interpreted this shortened version as being synonymous with the number 666 (F being the sixth letter of the alphabet). The very next line in the BCI list defines "666" as the "anti-christ." This interpretation does not necessarily follow from what Revelations says, as Revelations calls this number the "number of man".
As you can see, this manual is poorly researched and contains few facts of any use to the legitimate investigator. If this is the sort of information used by Pennsylvania police in their investigation of reports of ritual abuse, then it strongly suggests that they have been exposed to the literature and training supplied by other disseminators of myths about Satanic Ritual Abuse, although this is impossible to confirm as the author lists no bibliography and cites no sources in this bulletin. It further suggests that the Pennsylvania Bureau of Criminal Investigation's author did not examine these resource materials critically.
| 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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