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Article ID: 6359
Age Group: Adult
Posted: June 16th. 2003
Reactions (to the The Witch Hunts series)
by Kerr Cuhulain
The Witch Hunts series was launched on July 1 2002. As we are coming up on the anniversary of this event I thought that it might be interesting to take a moment to examine some of the reactions to it.
I didn't expect the numerous e-mails from supporters and well wishers. That certainly has helped motivate me to continue. I did expect those who I write about to respond, as well as some of their supporters. For example I mentioned earlier in this series that I was contacted by Jack Roper and Greg Reid. Roper wanted me to print some minor clarifications (which I did) and admitted to being the publisher of Sanguinet's Open Letter to the Witchcraft Community. Reid gave me some minor information concerning Lauren Stratford and made it quite clear that despite the concerns expressed by people such as myself he still believes her story.
I didn't expect that one of the evangelicals would borrow my name to create an e-address for an anti-Pagan web site called the Encyclopedia of Satanic Wicca. I'm guessing that he was trying to divert some of the people seeking my Witch Hunts series to view his own propaganda. He also may have been trying to manufacture the impression that I was really a cult leader with a hidden agenda. The avalanche of complaints to Tripod/Lycos motivated them to pull the Encyclopedia of Satanic Wicca off the net.
I certainly got the attention of some fundamentalist Christians out there that really want to believe that this Satanic conspiracy stuff is true. Most of the e-mails from this crowd are unsigned and very short. Some of the e-mails that I receive from this crowd are simply statements that they will pray for me. Some send me lengthy letters urging me to accept Jesus into my life.
Many are much more nasty. Some are short missives such as the one that I received from Kathy W that states: "You are a psychopath!" A good example of a more involved hate letter is an e-mail which I received from David E. Cash of Alpha Communications, Inc., who took issue with my Witch Hunts article about Michael Warnke. You may well ask, "Who would believe or trust Warnke once all these facts have been presented"? Cash's e-mail makes this clear:
"I just read an article that you wrote regarding Mike Warnke.
"Who the ___ do you think that you are? maybe someone needs to take a deep look into YOUR life and refute everything that YOU say. I bet if even I looked deep enough with 1/2 an effort, I could make you look like a liar and destroy your reputation and life.
"You are not 'the voice' on ANYONE'S life and need to stop portraying yourself as the all knowing judge. You know NOTHING!!!! I know Mike personally and have for years, and half of the stuff you wrote in the article, I can disprove through experience, and personal contacts. So... you REALLY need to SHUT UP!!!
"You and your type make me sick. You slanderous, unethical wanna-be. get your facts straight, and the... KEEP THEM TO YOURSELF unless specifically asked to deliver your opinion on a particular subject. You should be in jail for the crap you say in that article.
"I sincerely hope that someone takes a few seconds out of their lives and publicly berates you the way that you have done to Mike Warnke. maybe I will work on that...
"You are an idiot and do not deserve the time that I have s pent writing this letter. Maybe the Satanists that you so obviously do not believe exist should pay you a visit."
This is a good example of the angry "Oh yeah! Well you're stupid!" genre of letters that I've come to expect over the years. Clearly Michael Warnke hasn't recanted and equally clearly he still has supporters. One Wiccan wrote to me and shared the following story:
"Mike Warnke was (and may still be) very good friends with my former in-laws in central Kentucky. Of course we were encouraged to read The Satan Seller and accept it as total truth. I remember meeting him in their home and in our church. He scared me at first, but not nearly as much as the threat of him would later.
"When I 'came out' as a Pagan in 1985, their son, my former husband, threatened to turn me over to Warnke for deprogramming kidnapping if I didn't behave during a Christmas visit. I cannot even begin to describe the terror of a relatively novice Pagan hundreds of miles away from her only Pagan friends having to 'behave' in such a hostile environment. I remember giving my friends at home in Baltimore the phone numbers for sheriff's departments in central Kentucky in case they didn't hear form me after a set time."
Another example was scans of two letters that were forwarded to me from Witchvox. They were both authored by Clifford Alford. In one letter he refers to me by my mundane name. You'll recall that I told you that I wrote to Alford's web site months ago but never got a response. Instead of writing to me personally, Alford sent the following to Witchvox. Clifford's letter commences:
"Poor Mr. (uneducated) Ennis also can't keep his facts straight about Wiccans and Pagans. Personally, Mr. Ennis, I have as much of an aversion to being called a Witch (a name christians put upon us) as I do to being called a "warlock" (a betrayer of the Coven or Craft)... Let's clear up two more points (make it three more)." Alford then lists the following:
"1. Cretins like Ennis do not have the right to determine whether The Church and School of Wicca, or any other organization, has the right to issue degrees."
NOTE: I do not claim this right nor have I ever stated that The Church and School of Wicca does not have the right to issue degrees. Alford needs to go back and reread my articles. I have simply pointed out that several of the people that I have written about (Schnoebelen, Todd, Sanguinet and Pryor) had been trained by this school. I'm not suggesting that the Frost's school made these people what they are now. I've pointed out how these people have used their knowledge of Church and School of Wicca practices to augment their fantastic tales. Alford sent in a photocopy of his Church of Wicca ID and of a certificate showing that he got A in this school's "Essential Wicca" course, A+ in "Advanced Witchcraft", Pass (no letter grade given) in "Doctorate of Celtic Witchcraft" and A in a "Mentoring Class".
"2. My family is comprised of traditional Native Americans, Wiccans, Jews, Pagans, Christians and Atheists of which I am the only nonfundamentalist who believes that all of us should do whatever is best for us as individuals, and we all love each other dearly and would never do anything so stupid as to kill each other over a difference of opinion."
"3. Just a few years ago, a Cherokee baptist minister in the thoroughly christianized Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma-- which truely does NOT like us traditional nonchristian Texas Cherokees-- preached that the 'Anti Christ' was alive and well and living in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and spoke my name as the villain in question. Personally, I would have been proud to wear that title, but to be either 'the Anti Christ' or a satanist (a member of the christian counter culture) would require believing the christian myth... ."
NOTE: This is, of course, the same person who lists all of those degrees from Christian seminaries in his resume and wrote that letter to Children of the Earth Mother in 1988 saying that he was working for Vine Life Ministries. It is hard to believe that he could have amassed all of these Christian credentials and not have believed in the "Christian myth" at some point. I've discovered some Cherokees who share my concerns about Alford: Go-hi-yu-hi ("respect") is a Cherokee web site with a frauds section that you may view at the following link: http://users.pandora.be/gohiyuhi/frauds/frd0046.htm Alford is listed as a fraud here. This is what they have to say about Alford:
"Wow! For a Cherokee Medicine Man, Clifford sure does have a lot of 'degrees' from Christian Colleges, and even Wicca. ROFLMAO. Please, people, think! Do you really believe that our traditional people run around collecting Christian degrees and participating in Wicca? If you honestly believe that, then by all means, go look at some other web page because you're beyond help. Now after all that rubbish with the Christian degrees (most of which, I have no doubt, are from schools offering correspondence courses or not very selective in their student body) he puts this down: "Naturopathic & Shamanic Services, Inc. and The Institute of Shamanic Studies is a non-profit corporation whose goal is to preserve and revive indigenous Cherokee Shamanism, and the Cherokee Medicine Way, as an ongoing lifestyle and religious practice." For someone trying to 'preserve and revive' tradition he sure is going out of his way to mix it every other damn thing on the planet. Also I should point out that we don't need any help from anyone in preserving tradition in Cherokee communities, we're doing just fine on our own. But then, since 'Dr' Alford had probably never set foot in any Cherokee community, I'm not surprised that he is unaware of that. Listed Because: He's yet another 'Cherokee' who for some strange reason, teaches Plains Indians beliefs."
In his letter to me Alford then shares an old fable with us about an old man and a donkey and then goes on to say:
"It's a sad day to have read an article about myself from such a one as Mr. Ennis when, if you care to read his article again, it would seem that we are really on the same side. However, there are some obvious differences that would not be there between us if he had ever actually had the courage, not to mention the courtesy, to write to me like he claimed to have done. Also I checked with Bronwyn Frost at the Church and School of Wicca who told me that she had taken his call. As it was obvious to her that he was just a trouble hunter, she refused to answer questions. If you have the kinds of problems that we have had with christians and travellers then you can appreciate this policy."
Yes, by all means go back and read my article and look at the misinformation in Alford's Occult Crimes Investigations manual. I wonder how Alford can claim that we are on the same side after having written that garbage? I did write to your e-mail address, Clifford. You never wrote back. When you finally did (in a letter, not an e-mail), you didn't send it to me. You wrote to Witchvox. I didn't phone The Church and School of Wicca, I sent Gavin an e-mail asking if he could confirm that you were a member of his organization. I did this because in the past The Church and School of Wicca had confirmed their previous involvement with several other people that I have written about in this series. I got a polite reply from Bronwen informing me that it was no longer the school's policy to confirm membership. She did not give any more reason than that to me. You've now saved me the trouble by forwarding photocopies of your certificates from that school.
Alford concludes his letter by suggesting that I "grow up a bit" and complaining that his "greatest concern is to see such slanderous filth on a website that encourages let live. Instead, witchvox has allowed this major bit of bad karma from Ennis... which is divisive and damaging to the occult community. Both Witchvox and Ennis should be ashamed of themselves. Awaninsgi (Tsalagi: 'I have spoken')."
The interesting thing is that on the same day that I received this I also received an unsolicited e-mail from a woman in New Mexico which reads:
"I live in New Mexico, where Clifford is now 'teaching' Cherokee religion. He now claims to have been raised by a Cherokee Grandmother and has a small group of followers. His Organization functions very similar to a cult. He mixes Neo-Pagan ideas with true Native American practices. I find it odd that someone who seamed such an extremist for one side is now running his very own cult. He practices Hebraism and claims to be a Cherokee Shaman, one problem the Cherokee didn't have shamans. He has been reported as a fraud and I am working with the FBI here in New Mexico to put him in his rightful place. He has threatened to kill me in the spirit realm if I don't back off. He has expressed extremist views and has openly talked about his anti government views. Being a Veteran myself, I find it odd that someone who so proudly served years ago is so anti government now. Most of the members in his cult are women. To the best of my knowledge all members are recovering addicts of one thing or another, or have dependency issues, one of whom is my mother. It appears after reading your article that Clifford is batting for both sides. He seams to be a very confused angry little boy searching for someone to control, mostly women. He claims to surround himself with powerful women, and claims to come from a matriarch background. Except the women he surrounds himself with are confused co-dependent women who want a man to tell them what to do. I think Clifford would be scared shitless if he was face to face with a real empowered woman. Now that I am done ranting on the character of Clifford I just want you to know that others see him for what he is and are actively pursuing his removal from free society."
I wrote to this woman, Jamie Wallace, to ask her why Alford would have threatened her in such a manner. Jamie replied:
"Because he took my 50 year old mother who has high blood pressure and seizures on a vision quest, and I told him that if she died I would sue him, and if he bothered to show his face afterwards that I would skin him slowly. He told my mother that if I didn't back off that he would go into the spirit realm and kill me. But he is an evolved spirit, a shaman even. But I'm not worried he couldn't find the spirit realm if there were directions and he had a road map."
I have to share Jamie's concern. If Alford was as "evolved" as he claims to be why is Alford making threats like this?
Alford's second letter was also forwarded to me from Witchvox. Wren Walker at Witchvox told me that they were not inclined to give Alford a forum, by publishing it, but I'd like to show you how this man thinks. Alford's second letter commences:
"I received a copy of your website from friends of mine today. I was not amused. The question I have for you is, 'Do you print rebuttals, or do you stand beside the liar that you have allowed to slander me over your website?'... As an ordained minister of the Church of Wicca I take great exception to the lies and half truths presented about me by the cretin who refers to himself as 'Kerr Cuhulain'... To begin with, I would rather be dead than to be a christian, and I'd rather see Detective Constable Charles Ennis be dead than to let him get away with calling me a warlock. To that end, I will,... address a few of his glaring bits of idiocy."
Here again we see death threats, this time directed at me. Interesting that a person who holds so many degrees and certificates from Christian institutions should say that he'd rather be dead than be a Christian. It gets even more interesting when he continues (and I swear this is exactly what he wrote):
"It is a fact that I have a far better christian eduation than most christian ministers. When I was in the U.S. Army I was taught 'The Art of War' by Sun Tzu. One of his primary tenets was that you have to know your enemy at least as well as you know yourself to hope to achieve victory. I did my best to learn about my enemy, and their nailed god by attending their cemetaries (Oops, I meant 'seminaries'), and have used the information gained to great effect against them."
If Alford knew me as well as he thinks he would realize that Christians are not my enemies. I take issue with what some people claiming to be "Christians" do to their fellow man, but these people are a vocal minority and do not represent the greater community. Interesting how he not only slips up and inserts "cemetaries" for "seminaries". Even more interesting that he leaves the error in rather than create a clean final copy.
At this point Alford lists some of his credentials and speaks about his ordination in the Church and School of Wicca. He keeps coming back to this as if this was the real issue. Alford states that "Wiccan beliefs are almost identical to our traditional Tsalagi (Cherokee) beliefs", Alford concludes, "... It has been of great value to me as we have endeavored to recover some of the occult skills lost to us due to the spiritual genocide of the WHITE (like Mr. Ennis) christian government here in the United States. For that we are truly greatful [sic] to the Wiccans."
Alford then attempts to explain why he appears "white" by informing us that "Scottish, Irish and Welsh political dissidents of the 1700s and 1800s were dumped on our shores by the yonegs (Tsalagi for 'white niggers or Englishmen'). As they were not criminals we adopted them into our tribe. All tribes did this. If not then we would have become both inbred and stupid like Mr. Ennis who, no doubt, helps to enforce yoneg laws against the First Americans of Canada."
Of course this interesting historical anecdote doesn't give us a direct answer to the question. I doubt that the First Nations people of the North American continent would have become "inbred" if the Europeans hadn't showed up. Interesting that Alford should be accusing me of slander and then claim that I am both inbred and anti-First Nations. My First Nations colleagues at work and within the Pagan community would be surprised to hear this claim.
"It is a shame that Ennis can't get his facts straight," Alford continues, "During the three years that I assisted the police in learning the difference between satanist ritualistic crimes and other members of the occult community who were harmless and law abiding it would do well to note that I was the only non-christian doing so."
This statement is as outrageous as it is inaccurate. Hundreds of dedicated "non-Christians" like myself have been involved in trying to educate the public and law enforcement for decades. Organizations include the WLPA, WARD, WADL, CultWatch Response and Lady Liberty League. I've been doing this for 15 years, a period which spans the three that Alford says that he devoted to his. It was during this period that Alford wrote, published and distributed his Occult Crimes Investigations Manual that I told you about in an earlier article. It was a member of one of the aforementioned organizations that first brought Alford's manual to my attention.
In reference to these (unnamed) "police" that Alford trained, he states:
"Did they think that I was a christian? Sure, I had just gotten out of prison for a 'crime' I would gladly commit again if the same circumstances existed, and reality dictated that you played the game to get both parole and then off parole. And no, Mr. Ennis, I still don't trust cops." In other words he fed the authorities whatever was expedient to get the parole that he wanted. One wonders why he still distrusts cops?
Alford goes on to claim that "While on parole I almost singlehandedly destroyed the largest baptist church in town by teaching both it's ministers and thier [sic] congregation to think for themselves and I'm not ashamed of that either." Yet Alford doesn't name this congregation. If you aren't ashamed of it and want to prove your point why aren't you giving us the details, Clifford? If you are such an evolved individual, why are you once again speaking about destroying things?
"A characteristic of all destructive mindcontrol [sic] cults is that they operate by instilling guilt and fear", Alford announces, "As this seems to be a tactic of Ennis's I wonder if he isn't really an undercover christian who hasn't come out of the closet yet?" Interesting that Alford should have sent this letter with this statement after an unnamed person launched the aforementioned Encyclopedia of Satanic Wicca using my name as an e-address a few weeks ago. No one who tells the truth and works for the good of the community has anything to fear from me. It is you that is trying to instill fear with your death threats, slanders and rhetoric, Clifford.
My e-mail address is on the Witch Hunts page of the Witchvox site and that is how a lot of other Christians and concerned persons have got a hold of me. You could as easily have done this, Alford, so I'm wondering why you didn't. You've got your wish now: Your letters are now on Witchvox. If you'd like to go back and re-read my article and give me some specific answers to the questions that I raised then we can talk. If you are trying to say that you've recanted or that you've changed your mind about your previous beliefs, fine. Give me the facts and I'll set the record straight. Your two letters do neither.
An example of some of the more civilized exchanges that I've had with Christians who write in is an e-mail that I received on 1 April 2003 from Jim Perry, an unpaid volunteer from Reachout Trust. He thanked me for my "very balanced articles" on the Witchvox web site. In reference to my "Witch Queens" article, Perry went on to say:
"I have asked Doug Harris, the leader of Reachout Trust, to remove Niki's testimony on more than one occasion and he is now going to do this. I am not the only member of Reachout to inform him that it is a load of tripe! Last year I gave a talk to Reachout Trust members in Hampshire (Southern England) and started by saying that Witchcraft is not the enemy of the church. You can probably imagine how that went down!"
Jim went on to request information on Wiccan practices, saying that he wanted to "explain to Christians that Wiccans do not hate the church, worship the devil, desecrate churches, fly on broomsticks, etc., nor are they possessed by myriad demons. And more to the point- most of them don't want to change to Christianity!" Jim went on to say that he felt that he "should apologize for the Christian Church for the way it has attacked Wicca over the years."
I sent Jim the information that he requested. I told him that I didn't expect him to apologize for the acts of a vocal minority within the Christian church. I outlined my concerns about some of the things that Reachout Trust had done and asked him why he was volunteering for them. Jim wrote back a few days later to tell me that his job at Reachout was to "talk to people who have, for various reasons, come out of all manner of occultic practices". Jim said that he had "got mixed up with Rosicruscians, Crowlian black magick and finally Satanism- I was never a witch". Apparently he met a Christian lady who converted him and married him. Jim went on to say that "On coming into Christianity, I was dumbfounded by the narrow minded response of so many 'loving' Christians! I made the mistake in a few churches of letting them know what I had been involved in and was shown the door... Reachout Trust is very inward looking and narrow, but I believe that with one or two good and trustworthy friends, it will become more open."
I hope so too. This illustrates something that I have observed many times in my encounters with groups of Christians opposed to Pagans over the years: While the leaders of the group may be hard line, many of the followers do not necessarily share their views and in many cases are quite reasonable. Hopefully Jim takes a similar approach towards the groups that he experimented with and abandoned, such as the Rosicrucians.
My anti defamation work has always been an interesting learning experience for me and this series has been no exception. Numerous people have written in to contribute ideas and share information with me. All of this information will be going into the book version of this series that I am preparing for the publisher. I've contacted all of the people that have written in letting them know that I will be acknowledging their contributions at the beginning of the book. Information that I received was on a wide variety of topics, including: Phil Phillips, Hal Lindsey, John Darby, Egyptian mythology, Saturday morning cartoons, Calvary Chapel), evilexposed.com, John Todd), Trinity College, shaman's use of drugs, stoners, warlocks, Executive Order 11490, Jerry Johnston, Cornish/Latin translations, saints, German Paganism, Teutonic mythology, Michael Warnke, Bob Larson, Bill Schnoebelen, Northern English customs, Satanism and the Church of Satan, Lithuanian and other Baltic mythologies, toads, lycanthropists, hex signs, Eric Pryor, Don Rimer, Clifford Alford, Clan of Tubal Cain/1734 Tradition, Berit Kjos, David Brown, Jack Roper, David Benoit, Demonbusters site, Barabbas, the Cherokee nation, Universal Detective Academy, Irene Addington Park, Maureen Davies, Mormon practices, Peter Jones, Caryl Matrisciana, Tim LaHaye, botany, Dale Griffis, Jimmy Baker's PTL, Vonita Henegan (information on oneworldorder.org , South African Muti, Tokoloshes, Texe Marrs, the Blue Light Project, characters in Terry Brooks' Shannara series, CARIS, Eltzen, the expression "Command to Look", Ninjutsu, the history of musical notation, the origin of the expression "Hechtight" witches, Jack Chick, Barbara Brown, Lauren Stratford, the Minoan Brotherhood, Ralph Sarchie, Lisa Collier, Ted Rabouin, BADD and role playing games, and the St. Jerome edition of the Bible.
Some of the biggest errors that I made were in my Demonbusters article. I had obtained much of my information about Vodou from books on the subject which turned out to be much less accurate than I had hoped. Unfortunately most of these books appear to have been written by outside observers with little real experience of Vodou practices. With the generous help of Hounsi Mike Rock and Mambo Joie Balindjo of the Flower of Abomey Society of Haitian Vodou in New Orleans and of Mambo Connie "MoonMoma" Bernard, I got this all straightened out. I've submitted a new version of the Demonbusters article for Witchvox to post which clears up these errors.
I'm indebted to Wren Walker and Fritz Jung of The Witches Voice web site for believing in the Witch Hunts series and allowing me to get this information out to the public.
| 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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