Spiritual Counterfeits |
Author: Kerr Cuhulain
Posted: September 23rd. 2002
Times Viewed: 10,517
On Roper's web site one finds a "Definitions" page which includes the following:
"The word "occult" means hidden, concealment or the unknown. The esoteric philosophy behind the occult often employs a subtle but dangerous spiritual element that is called upon through ritualistic means. Altered states of consciousness can be used as a mind tool to tap into this deceptive spiritual power that resides within the normally invisible and intangible demonic sphere of reality. Fears, magickal seduction, drug temptations, psychological problems, predatory or belief crimes and demon possession can be the end results. Examples of occultism are magick, paganism, witchcraft and satanism."(13)
Roper is correct in stating that the word occult means "hidden," but the rest of this definition is flawed. Note how he uses the words "dangerous," "deceptive," and "demonic" to describe anything occult. Note also how Satanism, Paganism and Witchcraft are all lumped together.
"Paganism from a contemporary perspective is an alternative occult-based religion which incorporates many diverse spiritual elements in nature. Some of those elements are animism, cultural mythologies, divination, eclecticism, herbalism, magick, monism, mysticism, nature spirits & related spiritualities, pantheism, polytheism, reincarnation, ritualism, sacred environmentalism, sacred sex and sorcery. The individual pagan may choose some or all of these within their belief system. These elements have a spiritual interconnectedness. The divine is believed to be dispersed throughout nature. Altered states of consciousness are often sought in order to enhance, to empower and communicate with a normally invisible and esoteric dimension of reality. This spirit dimension is subtle, dangerous and demonic."(14)
"Paganism" is a class of religions, not a religion in and of itself. Other than this Roper's definition is fair in many ways until we get to his final sentence. There are those words "dangerous" and "demonic" again.
"Magick... Magick (non prestidigitation) is an occult art and pseudo science designed to manipulate one's environment, to communicate with and the control of nonphysical forces or supernatural powers through one's will in order to reach a desired effect which is Scripturally proscribed in a normal society. The desired inward and or outward magickal workings are usually reached by means of spells, a ritualistic invocation or evocation through the summoning of a distinct personal spiritual power via altered states of consciousness. These powers are called spirit forces, spirit beings, familiar spirits, spirit guides, spirit helpers, deceiving spirits, guardian spirits and demons. These spirit beings are independent from human imagination and mind potential. Concentration and will power are essential elements used by the occult magician to reach his / her goal. Physical and psychological problems can be the end results. Magick is an essential ritual tool used in Ancestor worship, Animism, Neo-Paganism, Paganism, Palo Mayombe, Santeria, Satanism, Shamanism, Sorcery, Voodoo and Witchcraft (Wicca)."(15)
Note how Roper believes that magick is "Scripturally proscribed in a normal society." For "normal society" read "Roper's conception of a Christian society." The type of magick being described here is Occidental Ceremonial Magick, which is not the form of magick practiced by many Wiccan and Pagan groups. Here again is Roper's obsession with the idea that Wiccans have familiar spirits. Here again is that common fundamentalist Christian idea that Paganism causes mental illness.
I won't bore you with Roper's lengthy, rambling definition of Satanism (it is pretty standard fundamentalist fare) but I will show you the final paragraph, as it underscores some of the recurring themes in Roper's writing:
"Satanism is a pursuit of carnal desires. It represents indulgence, selfishness, vengeance and a reversal of moral standards. It is a pride filled darkling religion of the flesh. The Satanist's response is a reaction against the normal values in society and in particular against Judeo-Christian principles. Satanism is a religion of the Fallen One where the pitch-fork god and his legions will be called to stand before the Almighty God on the final Judgment Day. The calling card for eternal torment will be pitched to Satan and his followers forever."(16)
Finally we come to Roper's definition of Witchcraft:
"Witchcraft is the occult art of attempting to willfully shape one's environment through the mediumistic summoning of forbidden supernatural power that in theory are sometimes called Jungian archetypes or the Life Force. These supernatural powers are the dynamic power behind white to black magick. The powers behind Witchcraft or Wicca is not an extension of psychic potential but is a subtle manipulated personal power that resides within the normally intangible and invisible demonic sphere of reality. This power is tapped into through certain ritualistic magick techniques."(17)
So Roper clearly believes that Wiccans are tapping into demonic sources of power. The definition continues by describing some of the actual practices of Wicca, and even contradicts his lumping together of Wicca and Satanism in earlier definitions in his list: "Contemporary Witchcraft is not Satanism but another spiritual facet of Neo-Paganism."(18) Roper lists a few more actual characteristics of Wiccan spirituality before returning to his earlier innuendoes about drug use and sexual mores:
"Mind altering herbs (stimulants-depressants-narcotics-hallucinogenics) are sometimes used to create altered states of consciousness. Herbs can be used medicinally or for magickal manipulations. Dream states and trance techniques are also used for divinatory and intuitive communications with "spirit beings". Healing and soft porn (aka: sky cladding) are used as seductive devices to draw in new devotees to secure entrenchment. Homosexuality and lesbianism are often accepted as normal forms of individualistic morality which raise the risk of sexually transmitted diseases among the coven. Satan is considered to be a Christian invention. Truth is only relative. Moral absolutes are frequently dismissed as old-fashioned."(19)
Roper expands upon this theme in the "Explanatory Notes" which follow:
"Sacred sex: Morality is individualistic and sex outside of a true marriage is often permissible. This belief system can be cross referenced with historical temple prostitution and ritual sex magick. This opens up Pandora's box for a serious increase of sexually transmitted diseases because of higher promiscuity."(20)
Now that we have a general idea where Roper is coming from, let's take a closer look at the specific "Occult Related Investigative Training Tools" that Roper offers to law enforcement agencies. Many of these "training tools" are slide presentations created by Roper, who is a professional photographer. Another of Roper's "training tools" was "An Open Letter to the Witchcraft and Magical Community." Reading it, one gets the impression that it was written by Tom Sanguinet, a "warlock" that I discussed in an earlier article in this series (I will come back to this "Open Letter" later). Roper has admitted to me that he was the author (more on this later). Roper has also authored a manual, Analyzing Occult Activity Supplement, which is a resource list of books, experts, etc, that Roper considers authoritative on "occult and Satanic subjects." This incorporates all of the CARIS "resources" that I listed earlier.
Roper's slide and video "Occult Related Investigative Training Tools" include:
- OCCULT INVESTIGATION SLIDE TRAINING SERIES: This is a set of 50 color slides that comes with a 25-page slide script. Roper charges $99.95 for these slides.
- THE PAGANIZATION OF AMERICA: This is an hour long video by Jack Roper depicting his collection of occult paraphernalia that he has collected. On his web site Roper includes the following endorsement of this video by Riley Taylor, a Sheriff Major with the Fulton County Sheriff's Department in Atlanta: "According to the FBI, the 1990's will be the decade of occult crime. We are seeing this to be true throughout the nation. As a law enforcement training instructor, I have found Jack Roper's materials to be one of my best investigative research visual aids. As an occult crime instructor, I could not function without them. The Paganization of America video will afford its viewers full benefits of Jack's investigative talents and achievements."(21) The video sells for $24.95.
- SIGNS PRIMER: OCCULT SEMIOLOGY: Semiology is the science of signs and symbols. This series of 60 slides and accompanying script depicts what Roper believes to be "common occultic signs." These include the pentagram, "satanic salute," 666, moon phases, upside down cross, the Baphomet as well as a slide photo of the satanic altar used in the Calibre Press video Surviving Edged Weapons. It was Roper that created the altar for this movie. Roper quotes the July 1999 issue of Police Magazine in his ad: "Symbology can be of great importance when investigating a suspected Satanic or occult crime."(22) This slide set costs $129.95.
- SYMBOLISM PRIMER: OCCULT ALPHABETS - CIPHERS - CODES - RUNES: Another slide set with script. The 55 slides illustrate "50 different sets of occult alphabets and related communicative writings that can be used for magickal intent."(23) Alphabets illustrated include Enochian, Theban, Alchemical script, Egyptian hieroglyphics, Scandinavian runes, Templar script, Celestial scripts, "Golden Dawn," and Malachim. Roper claims that this is "an invaluable tool for cracking occult communications, and is intended primarily for professionals and the law enforcement community"(24) in his ad. Roper states that this slide series was used "as an investigative resource in the book Street Signs, by Police Chief Mark Dunston." This slide set costs $119.95.
- PAGANISM - WITCHCRAFT - SATANISM - THE SUBCULTURE PRIMER: A set of 50 slides depicting "occult comic books, a World War II era Ouija board, a fairy bed, a Death Row case related to the Occult, subculture magazines, Voodoo paraphernalia, a monster doll (part of fantasy role-playing), Book of Shadows, S&M items, Jones Bones, historical data on human sacrifice in Paganism, prominent witchcraft and black magick quotes, ritual knifes, skull chalices, etc." Just the sort of thing a person like Roper needs to scare the public and create hysterical rumors about Wicca and Paganism.
Roper's Witchcraft, Magick and Satanism slide script is representative of his "occult training tools." In this series of 50 slides Roper lumps these three categories together. Examples:
- Roper has a slide depicting a person performing a "ceremonial witchcraft ritual dance"(25) from Sri Lanka. In the script Roper refers to this person as a "warlock."
NOTE: Warlock isn't a Sri Lankan term and it isn't a term used by Wiccans to describe themselves either.
- Roper shows a picture of "Panpipes Supernatural Market" in Hollywood. This leads him into a discussion of Pan, whom he calls "popular in witchcraft and Satanism".(26)
NOTE: Here is that obsession with Pan again. This gives the impression that Panpipes is a Satanic store, which it is not.
- Roper depicts a three legged cauldron and quotes Man, Myth and Magic, Vol 3: "We know from classical writings that the early Celts sacrificed human beings by drowning them in cauldrons or vats." Roper then adds his own comment: "In the past human victims have been slaughtered and the cauldron used as a reservoir for the victim's blood".(27)
NOTE: This is an assumption that was made based on a scene depicted on the side of the Gundestrup Cauldron, found in the Raevemose peat bog in Jutland. This cauldron dates from the 3rd or 4th century BCE. One of its interior surfaces depicts a large figure holding another smaller one over a vat or cauldron. Some have taken this to represent a sacrifice, where the larger figure is drowning the smaller one. However, while no such sacrifices are described in Celtic mythology, one very common story in Celtic mythology involves the cauldron as a magical implement of rebirth and regeneration. Several Celtic legends involve magic cauldrons that are used to bring dead warriors back to life. Since this same scene in the Gundestrup cauldron is surrounded by soldiers, on foot and on horseback, it is very likely to be an artistic rendition of just such a legend.
- Slide #25 in Roper's series depicts a "public witchcraft baby baptism which is called a 'seigning'."(28) Slide #26 shows the High Priestess of the Coven of Pandora, Lady Athena, presiding over this seigning. It even gives her real name: Lois Umerska. The next slide is of Richard Ramirez, otherwise known as the "Night Stalker." This is followed by slides of drawings by mentally disturbed teenagers. Slide #30 depicts dragons in a dungeon and Roper's script states: "Witchcraft, Satanism, Voodoo and Ceremonial magick are not restricted to dark castles any more as these ritual sites reveal."(29)
NOTE: The inference Roper creates here is that this baby is being baptized into a Satanic cult, which is nonsense.
This slide series promotes the ubiquitous fundamentalist argument that Heavy Metal rock causes Satanism. It depicts several occult book stores/supply shops and suggests that because you can buy books by Aleister Crowley there that these stores are therefore Satanic. The series is an "introduction" to Roper's philosophies and really wouldn't give an investigator many specifics that would prove useful.
Jack Roper appeared at a Satanism Symposium sponsored by evangelist Bob Larson on November 4, 1989. The editor of the Cultwatch Response newsletter, Vicki Copeland, attended this seminar. Roper immediately recognized her name on her name tag when they met during the first break. He told her that he knew her and Copeland said that she knew all about him too. He was a bit surprised but recovered quickly and traded business cards with her.
Copeland reports that at this seminar Roper claimed to be working with the DEA in Miami (Roper tells me that this is not true: Roper states that when he was in Miami he met with a Special Agent with the DEA at this agent's request(30)). Roper claimed that there was a large connection between drug runners, Voodoo and Witchcraft. The information that Roper presented on Afro-Caribbean religions was fairly accurate according to Copeland. This is not surprising, since he had apparently been working with Rafael Martinez and Charles Wetli of the Dade County Medical Examiner's office and they are recognized experts in matters concerning Afro-Caribbean religions.
Most of Roper's presentation consisted of slides and clips from videos on rock music and children's cartoons and horror films. Roper dwelt extensively on the various alphabets used by supposedly destructive cults, totally ignoring the fact that most don't use them. Some of the unusual alphabets he showed even included shorthand and braille, which certainly aren't Satanic. Roper also indicated that children from ritualistic child abuse cases are now using sign language. Roper may have got this idea from the therapists who put their patients in trance states and then have them use simple finger signals to communicate. We saw an example of this in the book Michelle Remembers.
One of the drawings that Roper exhibited was one that he claimed was done by a fourth grade child, depicting a demonic looking character. In fact it was a professionally drawn page out of a coloring book published by Troubador Press of San Francisco.
Roper showed the audience a film clip from an episode of "Friday the 13th, the T.V. Show" to illustrate how kids come by some of their ideas. This probably reveals more than he suspects, since it is popular videos and the media that really do provide much of the background those dabbling in Satanism use, not to mention people like Roper.
Roper also showed slides from a Fantasy Role Playing Convention which had such things as horror masks and pewter figurines for sale. Roper implied that such conventions were a good source of supply for Satanic Cults. Here is that idea that Fantasy Role Playing Games are a recruiting ploy for Satanists again.
In his presentation Roper said that Aleister Crowley's books were filled with desecration of the Christian religion. Roper then related how he had allegedly received a letter from an O.T.O. leader in Berkeley who was unhappy with many of the things that Roper was stating to the public. Roper reported that this leader had written to him that, "Satan is an angel in good standing."(31) Copeland reports that Roper then alleged that the O.T.O. publishes a newsletter called "The Cloven Hoof". In fact, "The Cloven Hoof" is a newsletter published by LaVey's Church of Satan, not the O.T.O.
NOTE: Roper has since written to me indicating that he knows that the Cloven Hoof is a newsletter of the Church of Satan and that the O.T.O. newsletter is the Magical Link.(32)
At the conference Roper next showed a film clip of what he purported was a report on a ritual child abuse cult. In fact, this was an early Florida news report on the Finders. Later news stories reported that the Finders were not in any way Satanic, and the children who were removed from custody were returned to the care of their mothers. Roper didn't mention this.
The next film clip that Roper showed the audience was from the film "Ghoulies." Roper used it in an attempt to illustrate human sacrifice. He then claimed that animal mutilations and thrill killings are evidence of widespread cult activity. I wonder why it is that Roper is using fictional Hollywood horror movies to try to prove to us that sacrifices are commonplace? If they are as commonplace as Roper claims, why can't he produce film footage documenting actual ones? The answer is because there aren't any.
In this presentation Roper stated that ritual child abuse includes isolation, sexual abuse, death threats, brainwashing, blackmail and desecration. He recommended the video "America's Best Kept Secret," a video version of the Passport Magazine Special Edition by the same title (which I will discuss in detail in a later article in this series), as a valuable teaching tool.
The next piece of "evidence" advanced by Roper was an audio tape of a dramatic reading done by Vincent Price. The piece concerned an ancient formula for summoning the Devil, and Price did an admirable job with it. Copeland recalls Roper claiming that this proves that Price is a Satanist and a Demonologist. Here again, Roper is using Hollywood theatrics to provide the illusion of evidence, because he hasn't much real evidence to produce.
NOTE: Roper has since informed me that he did not call Price a Satanist, he only called him a demonologist. As proof Roper noted that Vincent Price narrated a record album produced by Capitol Records (date unknown): The Secrets of Witchcraft and Magic Revealed by Vincent Price, Distinguished Actor and Demonologist.(33)
The last section of Roper's presentation consisted of clips from various rock songs and videos, mostly garnered for shock value.
At the end of Roper's presentation there was a question period during which he responded to the following questions:
Bob Larson: "Are adults reaching out to kids?"
Roper: "Yes. The kids are being desensitized by heavy metal music and horror films."
Unknown officer from Aimes, Iowa, P.D.: "Whenever we present a program to a high school or church, we find that the programs just incite curiosity and get more kids involved than were involved previously. Bookstores indicate that sales of the Satanic Bible increase after one of the presentations."
Roper: "Be sensitive to the kids and understand their subculture. Many of the kids today are turned away by the churches."
Larry Jones, who was also speaking at the seminar, interjected at this point to say that there has to be a balance between information and inciting curiosity. The information should come from the parents. They are the ones we should be educating. "The family is being destroyed. Educate the parents."
Larson also interjected to say that you have to take into account motive, environment, and structure. Larson stated that he believed that our culture is pervaded with the occult and too many people are "poo-pooing the problem, sensationalising it and inciting curiosity." The question and answer session then continued:
Rev. Rich Faste, Flint, Michigan: "Have you had a problem with researching the occult? Is there a danger? What is the difference between high level and low level Satanists?"
Roper: "That depends on the maturity level of the person."
Bob Larson: "What are the terms for the different levels of Satanists in the hierarchy?"
Roper: "Experimental- dabbler, Self-styled- i.e., Richard Ramirez, The Night Stalker, Traditional- ie, LaVey and Aquino, Generational- organized and networking family groups." Roper then recommended Pat Pulling's booklet Ritual Crimes in America. Roper then cited a Wiccaning (baby dedication) held in Wisconsin as an example of organized Satanic family activity (this is the incident illustrated in his slide series that I mentioned above).
Angela Murphy, Teen Challenge, Omaha, Nebraska: This woman claimed that she had interviewed 2 children from a Satanic family, and the kids said that they had to murder a human being before they reached the age of two years. Murphy claimed that they had been given dolls to practice on and that they were trained with guns and knives. Murphy claimed that these children had been removed from the home by the authorities. How a two year old was supposed to kill a grown adult was left to our imagination.
Roper commented on the need to be watchful for what he called "victim impersonators" who had no evidence, relatives who didn't know what was going on, and time gaps in their stories. An interesting comment given the support that he has given to Tom Sanguinet.
Norman, San Diego, California: Norman related a story of a couple of run-ins with supposed Satanists, including one young skateboarder who had responded to Norman's shouts to get out of the street by bashing him in the nose and saying "I live for Satan" before skating off down the street.
Roper stated that you must evaluate the history and background of these kids. Most are rebelling against their families, and love is a critical ingredient in dealing with them. It seems that Roper was now trying to tell us that skateboarders are Satanic. "In dealing with Witches and Satanists," Roper stated "You must use logical, loving arguments."
Unknown, Los Angeles, California: "What about backward masking?"
Roper: "Back masking is very controversial." Roper recommended a video called "Satanism, Witchcraft, the Occult, What Every Teen Must Know" by Awakening Productions of Denver.
During the lunch break, Copeland and her companions introduced themselves to Bob Larson. He insisted that they move from their places in the rear of the room to the front row, probably so he could keep a better eye on them. Larson seated them right next to Jack Roper and Larry Jones. Roper was comfortable with this arrangement, but Jones was so obviously uncomfortable that about a half hour into the afternoon discussion with the teen panel of "Satanists," he got up and stood in the back of the room, leaning against the wall.
Roper wrote to me in September 2002 complaining that my articles on Witchvox gave people the impression that he endorsed the work of Michael Warnke. "I do not endorse him," Roper wrote, "Over the many years I have been aware of him, I was cautious about his claims... As for the author of the Satan Seller, I talked with Dave Balsiger about this. Dave is still a friend. Warnke is not and never was one."(34) I wrote back and questioned Roper about this and one other issue:
"You say that you don't endorse Warnke now. Are you telling me that you never did? I get the impression that the only reason that you aren't now is because his story about being a Satanist proved to be fraudulent. I didn't get the impression that you were cautious about him before he was unmasked. I can believe that you may have been taken in by him at one time (a lot of people were). Is this the case with you? You say that you are still friends with Dave Balsiger. Balsiger was Warnke's co-author. Are you saying that you still support one of the two people that perpetrated that "Satan Seller" fraud?
While we are on the subject of frauds, you used to distribute Tom Sanguinet's "Open Letter" to the Wiccan community. Sanguinet is another well documented fraud. Do you still support Sanguinet?"(35)
You will recall that I told you earlier that Roper distributed copies of his "Open Letter," attributed to Sanguinet. Roper wrote back with a cautious answer fishing for information:
"I read Warnke's book. I did not know him or Balsiger. I met Balsiger later. Over the years I picked up on Warnke. Warnke wanted to hire a friend of mine and my friend did not feel comfortable with Warnke. Since then I avoided Warnke as a credible resourse [emphasis in original]. As for Balsiger now, Dave knows my position on his book but I have not severed my friendship with him. He has other skills besides the Warnke ordeal. Balsiger is not into occult research as he was before. I approach Dave as a Christian and still a friend. We have a common denominator- it is called Heaven. You have your Summerland with your friends- Do you severe (sic) your friendship with them because of inconsistencies in their life?...
...What info do you have on Sanguinet? I have not talked to Tom since he divorced his wife- many years ago. The response from the massive mailing caused a cauldron stir among the many witches across the country. Letters calling Jesus a half breed, etc."(36)
Note how Roper doesn't say that he avoids Warnke. Roper says that he avoids Warnke as a "credible resource." Balsiger's and Warnke's fabrications are explained away as "inconsistencies." They were enormous "inconsistencies." Note also how Roper does not answer my question about Sanguinet. He simply tells me about the uproar that his distribution of the "Open Letter" created. He is right about the uproar. Small wonder considering the outrageous things Sanguinet was saying. I kept asking about this until Roper finally replied, "I wrote the Open Letter. [Sanguinet] had nothing to do with it... As for Sanguient supporting him I need to see your expose with footnotes please and then check out my sources [sic]. I want to see your evidence. I need more than what the Pagan community says. [emphasis in original]. "(37)
[continued... Click HERE for page 3]
Article ID: 4713
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 4,972
Times Read: 10,517
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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