Myth Makers |
Author: Kerr Cuhulain
Posted: October 14th. 2002
Times Viewed: 11,447
Now lets look at another of the organizations disseminating myths concerning Satanic Ritual Abuse, the National Information Network (NIN), based in St Charles, Missouri. NIN was founded by Shane E. Westhoelter. A NIN information pamphlet lists Westhoelter's credentials as follows:
"Shane has done extensive research in the areas of rock music, the occult, and related topics. In order to educate the public of such influences, he has done seminars for law enforcement, state institutions, hospitals, schools, religious and non-religious organizations. Shane was invited to be a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss Satanism and the occult. He actively works with teenagers and is an occult consultant for law enforcement and counselling centers."(1)
This information pamphlet lists no other credentials, nor does it actually state that Westhoelter appeared on Winfrey's show. Westhoelter has appeared on the Halloween 1989 airing of CBN's "700 Club." He is also the author of a tape entitled "The Origins of Halloween."
The co-founder and vice-president of NIN is Peter A Michas. Michas, according to the NIN information pamphlet, has "an archaeology history major and an art major."(2) Yet the pamphlet does not say that Michas has attained a degree in either discipline. Coming from a Greek family, Michas speaks Greek fluently. The NIN information pamphlet also says that Michas is "a Hebrew scholar...[and] As an occult expert, Peter has worked extensively with law enforcement nationwide, counselled with Satanist priests, and appeared on Trinity Broadcast Network to expose rock music and the occult."(3) How speaking Hebrew and Greek and majoring in archaeology and art makes you an expert on the occult and rock music is not explained.
I own a seminar videotape by NIN featuring Michas and Detective Dan Clark. Clark was a member of the California (MO) Police Department, Crimes Against Children Division and has been a contributor to many of NIN's newsletters. This lengthy lecture is a fundamentalist Christian diatribe about rock music causing drug addiction, violence and interest in the occult. Michas and Clark divide religions into Christianity, Satanism, and "Luciferianism" which they define as everything other than the first two. Detective Clark specifically condemns Buddhism, for example, as a false religion which is "Luciferian," by which he means worshipping Lucifer before the fall.
The assumption that Luciferians were Satanic is a common misconception that appears in literature about Satanism. It seems to be based on the assumption that since Lucifer is used as another name for Satan, then the Luciferians must have been Satanists.
Actually the Luciferians were named for their founder, Lucifer Calaritanus (died circa 370 CE), the bishop of Cagliari, Sardinia. Lucifer was once a common name. Given what the name Lucifer means ("bearer of light"), it is probably an appropriate name for a bishop. Lucifer Calaritanus ardently opposed Arianism, a Christian doctrine started early in the 4th century CE by the Alexandrian presbyter Arius. Arianism held that Christ was not divine, since God is self existent, immutable and unique. Lucifer Calaritanus was opposed by the Roman Emperor Constantius II, himself an Arian.
As a result of two councils, one in Arelate, Gaul (now Arles, France) in 353 and the Council of Milan in 355, the Luciferian's chief bishop, Saint Anthasius the Great, was condemned and Lucifer Calaritanus exiled to the east, where he continued to write tracts opposing the emperor. When Constantius II died in 361 Lucifer Calaritanus returned, allowed back by an edict of Constantius' successor, Julian the Apostate. Lucifer Calaritanus went to Antioch, where two factions were struggling over who would be the rightful bishop. Lucifer Calaritanus consecrated one of the candidates, Paulinus, as bishop. His rival, Meletius, opposed Lucifer's actions until his death in 381.
Meanwhile Anasthasius had held a council in 362 pardoning former Arians who renounced their views. Lucifer Calaritanus then founded the Luciferians, who promulgated his opinion that all former Arians should be deposed and any bishop accepting them should be excommunicated.
The Luciferians were never a large group and died out by the 5th century CE. Saint Jerome criticized them in his Altercatio Luciferiani et Orthodoxi ("The Dispute of the Luciferian and the Orthodox").
So despite the fact that some modern texts on "Satanism" list Luciferians as an international Satanic cult, the Luciferians were actually just the opposite. This inaccuracy and the manner in which it is delivered in this NIN video, coming from a police officer, is quite disturbing because it demonstrates a less than objective approach to law enforcement. This was representative of the rest of what was said by Michas and Clark in the video, ranging from glaring falsehoods to scrambled facts.
I own a copy of NIN's 167 page General Information Manual With Respect to Satanism and the Occult, which NIN released in 1989. In the introduction Westhoelter states:
"...Until recently, those involved in satanism and witchcraft hid behind a cloak of secrecy. Today occultism has become widespread and acceptable among many adolescents as well as some adults... I have personally met and counselled several believing and practising satanists and witches. Whether we want to accept it or not, the fact remains that it is real and many teenagers are becoming victims of its trap each day".(4) Typically, Westhoelter doesn't identify any of the persons that he has counselled, so I am unable to verify his claims.
Next is an article from the November/December 1987 issue of "The Battle Cry," a newsletter published by Chick Publications: "Modern Wicca: Whitewashed Wickedness Coming Out of the 'Broom Closet'." I discussed the antics of Jack Chick and Chick Publications earlier in this series. "Modern Wicca" features a picture of Laurie Cabot, founder of the Witches League for Public Awareness, a Wiccan anti defamation organization based in Salem, Massachusetts. In this photograph Cabot is holding aloft a ceremonial sword. The following excerpt from this article is typical of Chick's hate literature:
"An old wickedness, masquerading as an innocent 1980's style religion, is cropping up on many police reports and in propaganda-like newspaper articles. Wicca, a form of whitewashed Satanism, is drawing thousands into what appears at first to be a harmless 'back to nature' religion.
"This introductory course to Satan worship is touted by the 'experts' as 'a religion of art and poetry...
"Laurie Cabot, a witch and a leading promoter of Wicca, makes this bizarre statement, 'Most people think that witches do evil, such as causing death, worshipping the devil... Nothing could be farther from the truth.'
"Despite these claims, however, the Wiccan 'Bible', called the Book of Shadows, was written by Aleister Crowley, a notorious satanist who hated evangelical Christianity and claimed to be the Great Beast 666.
"Wicca, like all forms of Satanism, recruits followers through deception. By the time they find out the truth, they are usually deeply hooked in the occult.
"William Schnoebelen, author of Wicca: Satan's Little White Lie, spent sixteen years in Wicca. He learned after he had been in it five years that much of the original teachings were fake and that the true power behind Wicca was Lucifer. By then, it didn't matter.
"Webster's dictionary states that our English word 'wickedness' comes from the Anglo-Saxon word wicca, meaning witch. Today, this 'wickedness' deceiving many with its whitewash of an ancient evil.
"Many in the lower ranks of Wicca honestly believe they are involved in merely a 'nature' religion. So winners, we must alert them to the hidden danger".(7)
It is interesting to see Chick here accusing others of deception, since he is supporting Bill Schnoebelen, a person that I debunked earlier in this series.
Chick is correct about Webster's dictionary claiming that the word "wickedness" derives from the word "wicca, meaning witch." However, the word "wicca" originally meant "sorceror" and it was the Church's erroneous interpretation of this old English word that caused it to fall into disrepute in their eyes.
Crowley, a prolific author who was never a Wiccan, never wrote a book called The Book of Shadows. This particular rumour apparently started as a result of a visit by the actual author of the original Wiccan Book of Shadows, Gerald Gardner, to Crowley in his final years. Apparently as a young man Crowley was very briefly associated with the New Forest Coven from which Gardner got his early instruction and many of his ideas. Once Gardner had written his book of Shadows and revised it several times he visited Crowley, apparently to see if Crowley could supply any additional information about the New Forest Coven. The third degree Gardnerian great rite ritual, the ritual of the pentagram, and the details of the use of the ritual scourge, athame and chain that Gardner incorporated into his Book of Shadows are obviously derived from Crowley's works. Chick's comments give the impression that the Book of Shadows is the name of a published work. In fact it is traditionally a hand written journal, copied from one generation to the next. It is commonly adapted by the person who owns it, becoming a personal working journal which is different for each person, like a diary.
Next the NIN manual has an article by Thomas D. Elias of the Scripps Howard News Service, whose articles have been quoted in many Christian newsletters. Elias quotes two "experts" in his article: Karen Hoyt, executive director of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project (SCP) whom I discussed in an earlier article in this series), and Roger Burt, director of the Christian Counselling Association, Inc., and author of the tape "Youth, Power and the Lure of Evil" (sold by the SCP). Burt is quoted in this article as saying that he "believes the current spate of Satanism is part of a long war between the forces of good and evil... This is not just a fad... It is actual spiritual warfare. Spiritual possession has great power in attracting young people."(8) This demonstrates a recurring theme in literature of this sort: spiritual warfare. Christian authors supporting the Satanic conspiracy often refer to their struggle in terms of war, and by doing so justify taking whatever steps are necessary, ethical or otherwise to win it.
"Covens centered around drugs, homosexuality, sexual fetishes, child molesting and other illicit activities are known to use rituals from the Satanic Bible and a later companion volume. So do groups using Druidism, Celtic witchcraft and Egyptian mythology. Even 'children's covens' are known to use such rituals."(9)
The companion volume that Elias refers to here is Anton LaVey's Satanic Rituals. Both the Satanic Bible and the Satanic Rituals were authored by LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan in San Francisco. LaVey doesn't practice Egyptian rituals, Druidism or Celtic Witchcraft. Needless to say, the rituals of Celtic Witchcraft, Druidism and Egyptian religion do not involve the "illicit activities" Elias alleges here, nor do these groups recognize LaVey's Satanic Bible or Satanic Rituals. Here we see again the tendency to lump anything non-Christian together under the heading: "Satanism."
A few pages later we are given "A Therapist's Report" which begins: "The following report is from a therapist who examined an occult victim. The victim was the daughter of a high priest. It has been retyped for the purpose of this manuel (sic), however, none of the wording has been changed".(10) In typical fashion neither the therapist who supposedly authored this "report" nor the patient are identified. The patient appears to be a female adult, as the therapist reports that she is speaking with the "voice of a small girl". The story of patient is suspiciously similar to the accounts found in Pazder's book Michelle Remembers that I debunked earlier in this series. The "patient" also states that she "was living in Victoria at the time" so I strongly suspect that the "patient" referred to here is in fact Michelle Pazder and her husband Lawrence Pazder is the "therapist".
Next is a one page section: "The Facts." I presume that Westhoelter is the author since no author is specified in the text. In it he lists assorted meaningless statistics like the number of occult book clubs, the number of Americans estimated to have bought occult paraphernalia and the yearly sales of the AMORC (Ancient and Mystical Order of Rosae Crucis, ie. the Rosicrucians) mail order house. Westhoelter states:
"Occult members try to dismiss many of their actions by using the First Amendment. The First Amendment does give us the right to practice religion, however, it does not dismiss us from criminal activity. Criminal activity is not a religion."(11)
Westhoelter is correct about the First Amendment granting religious freedom, but it's not clear how he comes to the conclusion that "occultists" are involved in criminal activities based on their book sales.
Next is a lengthy chapter, presumably authored by Westhoelter, who names two police officers as sources of information for it. The first is Sergeant Richard Valdemar, a member of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, who appears in the film "Satanism Unmasked" which was produced by the fundamentalist Christian organization "Fire By Night Videos." The other is Officer Dan Clark, who I mentioned earlier in this article.
This chapter, "Types of Organizations," starts with "Shepherding Cults." This is odd, since most of these "shepherding cults" are Christian extremist sects and not Satanic at all. The NIN manual lists the following as examples of "Shepherding Cults": The Stonegate Sect, Children of God, House of Juda, River of Life Tabernacle, The Rainbow Tribe, Virginia Cult and The Unification Church (Moonies).
The next category in this chapter is "Religious/Political Cults" which the NIN manual states are "hard to define from traditional Christianity because they like to misquote the Christian Bible and take it to extremes for their own advantages, basically to justify their acts".(12) In other words, more Christian sects, not Satanists. From the rest of their description it appears that they are referring to "Identity Churches" here. Identity Churches are groups identifying themselves with the lost tribes of Israel and are often connected to white supremacist organizations, claiming that the lost tribe in question is white. However, the NIN manual does not list any of the groups in this category.
Next the NIN manual lists the "Luciferians," another Christian sect whom we discussed earlier. Clark and Valdemar call them "the most powerful and influential groups worldwide"(13) whose objective is "...one world government... one world economic system, through a cashless society... [and] one world religion with a one world leader".(14) Their description of this group sounds suspiciously like a description of the "People's Temple" founded by Jim Jones (which is given as an example at the end of this section of their chapter). Jones' group, another extremist Christian sect, is now defunct and has been ever since the mass suicide in Jonestown, Guiana.
Clark and Valdemar allege that the "Luciferians" will have a "Day of Declaration"(15) when they begin their world takeover. They further allege that:
"The 'Day of Declaration' has become a major concern, especially amongst law enforcement. This will be a day these members will declare world control and everyone must submit or die. To accomplish this task it has been reported that they are stockpiling arms, kidnapping, brainwashing, and networking with other large established gangs and organizations of the like. In 1982 alone, they spent 6 million dollars on advertisements."(16)
It appears to me that Clark and Valdemar may be confusing the People's Temple and the mythical "Luciferians" with Elizabeth Claire Prophet's "Church Universal and Triumphant" here. No names are given, so we can only speculate. The Church Universal and Triumphant, another Christian offshoot, was stockpiling arms in a similar fashion to what is being described here at the time that they wrote this. Again, no groups are listed in this category.
[continued... Click HERE for page 2]
Article ID: 4743
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 4,703
Times Read: 11,447
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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