Pricer's Crusade |
Author: Kerr Cuhulain
Posted: June 21st. 2004
Times Viewed: 14,596
Many of you readers will recall an incident which occurred in Lancaster, California, in 2002 involving Bill Pricer. On 16 March, 2002, there was a Spring Equinox gathering outside of the Witches Grove book store. This Eostre ritual was interrupted by the arrival of several men who walked around the Wiccan circle loudly reciting Biblical verses while Christian rock music blared from one of their trucks. The mother of one 14 year old reports that one of these Christian protestors leaned up against her son and told him his mother was leading him to the devil.
Two of the persons participating in this disturbance were Billy Pricer, a former high school trustee and founder of a youth counselling center called U-CAN (United Community Action Center) and his son-in-law John Canavello. Pricer and Canavello are volunteer chaplains for the local Sheriff's Department. It was Canavello's vehicle that the blaring music was originating from. One of the Wiccans, Thomas Breul, approached Canavello's vehicle and told them that if they didn't turn down the music, they'd call the police. Breul reports that Pricer then flashed his Sheriff's Department name tag. Police were called but didn't show up to investigate this disturbance for 4 1/2 hours.
100 people crowded into an Antelope Valley Human Relations Task Force meeting 17 April 2002 to discuss this matter. The mayor, civil rights representatives from the US Attorney's Office and local pastors attended. It was decided that there were no violations of the law in this protest. Sheriff's Department Captain Tom Pigott informed those attending that his department's delayed response was due to a heavy call load and to the dispatcher misunderstanding the nature of the incident, not because two people connected to his department were there. Records show that it was a busy night as Pigott reports.
It must be noted that some of the pastors and clergy at the meeting supported store owner Cyndia Riker and the Wiccans attending. Not all present were so supportive. Henry Hearns, Lancaster vice-mayor and a Southern Baptist pastor, spoke to the press in glowing terms about Pricer: "He's a wonderful guy. If he says something, I believe it." After the meeting Pricer told reporter Charles F. Bostwick "We were not there to hurt people." He stated that he'd observed the entire event from his vehicle. "We were only there to observe", Pricer claimed, "We came to exercise our First Ammendment rights to peacefully pray. There was a lot of misinformation on their side. I won't get into that." I'd like to keep this last comment by Pricer as well as the remark by Hearns in mind throughout this article, because I'm about to show you how Pricer himself has been disseminating misinformation.
All this doesn't seem to have affected Pricer all that much. Pricer and U-CAN is now listed on the Los Angeles County Probation Department's web site under "Program 8: Gang Intervention" so clearly he is still involved in the criminal justice system in California.
On June 15 one of the members of that Antelope Valley Human Relations Task Force wrote to me to tell me about a presentation by Billy Pricer of U-CAN to my attention. The presentation in question took place at the Headstart Office, 975 East Ave P-8 in Palmdale on Monday, June 14, 2004, between 8 – 10 AM. This person forwarded her notes and copies of the documents that Pricer handed out at this presentation to me. Pricer was introduced by Lee Butterfield and introduced himself as a psychologist. Much of the content of Pricer's presentation concerned how he claimed to be involved in rescuing victims of Satanism. He claimed that he had done this 25 times. It appeared to be calculated to create the impression that there was an epidemic of Satanism somehow linked to gang violence. As a former Gang Crime Unit officer I certainly don't take issue with the prevalence of gang violence today, but there is little evidence to suggest that this can be linked to Satanic Cults.
Pricer went on to make the following statements:
- Pricer stated that "We can all get carried away, there are some witches who would not harm a fly, and others who perform blood sacrifice." This is a lame attempt to divert criticism. There is absolutely no excuse in this day and age for someone to make assertions of this sort. Volumes of accurate information are readily available on Wiccan and Neo-Pagan religious practices. No one within the Wiccan faith "performs blood sacrifice".
- Pricer displayed Scott Cunningham's book Magical Herbs and Raymond Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft and commented on the "perversion" in these books. The person who sent me the notes called him on this, correctly pointing out that neither book contained perversion of any sort and nothing referring to "blood sacrifice". Pricer backed down. Both of these books have been in print for years. If Pricer has actually read them, then his comment above is doubly inexcusable.
- Pricer remarked that "occult dabblers tend to do drugs and it leads to more sinister things" and that "Drugs are always involved with the occult gangs: They get children as young as 12 years old to start carrying". No one in my organization, Officers of Avalon, and few in my Wiccan community "do drugs", none of them sell drugs and none of us involve ourselves in "sinister things". I've yet to encounter an "occult gang" and none of my colleagues ever has either.
- Pricer claimed that "kids who get involved in the occult are in danger". Kids who get involved in Wicca are perfectly safe: There is plenty of accurate information out there on what we do and how safe it is.
- Pricer made the comment that the reason that teenaged girls want to get involved in the occult is "Power: Mis-directed power." My Wiccan faith is certainly about empowerment. It encourages people to take responsibility for their actions and be all that they can be. I fail to see how this can be misinterpreted as "mis-directed" activity.
- At one point Pricer stated that he had "seen supernatural things that are frightening". One wonders if Pricer is experiencing hallucinations?
- Pricer made the claim that "40,000 to 60,000 ritual slayings occurred every year".
Pricer did not identify his source, but I've heard this claim many times in the past. I recognize the source and people who have been following this Witch Hunts series ought to as well: Michael Warnke's book Schemes of Satan. I wrote about Warnke in an earlier article in the Witch Hunts series. In Schemes of Satan, Warnke cites an estimate made by Dr Al Carlisle of the Utah State Prison system that 40,000 to 60,000 Satanic ritual murders occur in the US every year. What Warnke doesn't tell you is that Carlisle arrived at these figures by estimating the number of Satanists in the US and multiplying this by the estimated number of times that these Satanists would commit human sacrifices during the calendar year. Carlisle hasn't ever said that he has any proof that this is happening, nor has he make any attempt to study further to see if the homicide statistics supported his estimates. They do not. At the time that Carlisle fabricated these estimates, the FBI reported that roughly 20,000 homicides occurred in the US each year. Carlisle expects us to believe that over twice as many Satanic sacrifices, for the most part unreported, are actually occurring. If this is so then the law enforcement agencies in the US must be incredibly inept. If we assume that the number of people sacrificed is 50,000 people a year, then this number is just slightly less than the total number of Americans killed in Vietnam during the entire Vietnam war. Nearly everyone in the United States over the age of fifty knows somebody who died in the Vietnam war, or at least someone who knew someone who died. But it is virtually impossible to find anyone whose relative or friend was ritually sacrificed by Satanists.
- Pricer claimed that 2 million children went missing every year. This seemed to infer that there is a connection between them going missing and ritual sacrifice.
I recognize the source of this misinformation too, and readers of this series will likely recognize it too: It is John Frattarola's America's Best Kept Secret. Pricer handed out a "Satanic Ritual Calendar" from America's Best Kept Secret at this presentation (more on this below). Frattarola's 16 page America's Best Kept Secret is a classic example of hate literature, and is filled with inaccurate information. Frattarola's report commences with the statement: "In every state in the nation there are reports and investigations of Satanic crimes. Two million children a year are reported missing, many of them too young to be runaways. Five-thousand unidentifiable bodies of children are found each year in the US. Hundreds of teenagers are committing suicide, or attempting it, after attending heavy metal concerts or listening to heavy metal music. Thousands of children from neighborhoods, preschools and day-care centers around the country are telling strikingly consistent and similar stories of human and animal sacrifices in connection with strange devil rituals".
Frattarola's source for the first statistic of 2 million missing children is The Devil Worshippers, an ABC Television 20/20 program which aired May 16, 1985. This 20/20 program was produced by fundamentalist Christian journalist Ken Wooden. The claim of 2 million children being kidnapped and murdered was repeated on the Christian 700 Club TV program by Mike Warnke. It is similar to a claim by the Schiller Institute, founded by Lyndon LaRouche, a right-wing Christian activist, that "1,800,000 children have already disappeared [having been murdered by devil worshippers] in the US alone". If two million children are being sacrificed to the Devil every year, and the children are being abducted from the parents, then 54% of the 3.71 million children born every year in the United States must be sacrificed to the devil. Obviously this isn't happening.
If the sacrificial events listed in Frattarola's calendar are correct, then each Devil-worshipping group requires between four and eight human sacrifices every year. Let's do some simple math here, Captain: If this is true and if two million children are being sacrificed to the Devil every year, there must be between 250,000 and 500,000 Devil-worshipping groups practicing in the US today. If we assume that there are an average of 13 members to each of these groups, then there are between 5 and 6.5 million practicing Devil worshippers in the US alone. This would mean that there are almost as many Devil Worshippers as there are Jews in the United States. This is absurd.
As I mentioned above, at his presentation Pricer handed out a "Satanic Ritual Calendar". He did not identify the source of his information, but I was sent a copy of his handouts by one of the Wiccans who attended his presentation and identified it easily. It is a photocopy of the "Satanic Ritual Calendar" found on page 7 of Frattarola's America's Best Kept Secret.
Frattarola's "Satanic Ritual Calendar" claims that Satanic groups perform between 4 and 8 human sacrifices ("blood" or "Da Muer" rituals) per year. It also claims that every year these groups must engage in 10 sexual orgies with males and females between the ages of 1 and 25 as well as with animals. Let's look at the other inaccurate details in Frattarola's calendar in detail:
NOTE: January 7 is Sekhmet, the ancient Egyptian New Year's Day. It is not a Satanic holiday. Frattarola attempts to bring in a connection to Walpurgis here. Winebald was the brother of Saint Walburga, also known as Walpurgis. See the entry for February 25, below.
- "DATE: Jan. 7, CELEBRATION: St. Winebald Day, TYPE: Blood, USAGE: Animal or Human Sacrifice, AGE: 15-33".
NOTE: January 17 was sacred to Felicitas, a minor Roman Goddess of good fortune. It is not a Satanic holiday.
- "DATE: Jan. 17, CELEBRATION: Satanic Revels, TYPE: Sexual, USAGE: Oral, Anal, Vaginal, AGE: 7-17 (female)".
- In America's Best Kept Secret, Frattarola defines February 2 as "CELERATION: Satanic Revels, TYPE: Sexual, USAGE: Oral, Anal, Vaginal, AGE: 7-17 (female)". Many so-called "occult experts" get this wrong. In Balsiger's 1988 Witchcraft/Satanism Ritual Calendar one finds February 1 defined as "Candlemas Eve. Welcoming spring." Do you suppose that Satanists as described by Balsiger and his ilk would do a ritual to welcome spring? If this seems out of place to you, you are right. This date isn't a Satanic festival, though many others besides Balsiger have been in the habit of listing it as one. In Detective Rimer's "Symptoms Characterizing Occult Ritual Abuse", February 2nd is described as "CANDLEMAS A Sabbot [sic] and Festival."
NOTE: "Februum," from which we derive the word for February, is a Latin word meaning "purification" and "atonement", thus this month is considered a month of cleansing. Juno Februa was the Roman Goddess who presided over this month.
Wiccans call February 2 Imbolc, which means "in the belly." It is also known as Imbolg, Uimelc, Oimelc, Feile Bhride, Brigid, Brigantia or Candlemas. This is a Greater Sabbat on the Wiccan calendar. It was named by some "Oimelc" ("Sheep's Milk") as it marked the beginning of the lambing season for the Celts.
Imbolc is a celebration of the first signs of returning life in Spring. It was celebrated by the Celts as being sacred to Brigid, a Goddess whose threefold aspect rules smith craft, poetry, inspiration, and healing. Hence one of the other names for this day is "Feile Bhride", meaning "Brigid's Feast."
The Christian Church in Britain incorporated this festival into its calendar as early as the fifth century as Candlemas, a Feast of Lights, the candles in the church being blessed and carried around in procession. The Puritans of the 17th century tried to obliterate the custom, but they did not entirely succeed. Candlemas is still publicly celebrated in Scandinavian countries as a festival of lights. Many will recognize this date as being the current "Groundhog Day". This dates back to the original festival when people sought out signs of the approaching Spring. Candlemas is also a Grand festival in Brujeria, sacred to Candelaria.
In short, this is not a Satanic festival date.
NOTE: Walpurgis Night is the subject of another myth that keeps showing up in the literature of Satanic Conspiracy myth supporters. Walpurgis is named for Saint Walburga, also known as Walpurgis, Vaubourg, or Gauburge, who lived between 710 and 779 CE. She was an abbess and missionary born in Wessex, England, who died in Heidenheim, Alemannia. She and her brothers Willibald of Eichstatt and Winebald of Heidenheim played an important part in Saint Boniface's ordination of the Frankish church.
- "DATE: Feb. 25, CELEBRATION: St. Walpurgis Day, TYPE: Blood, USAGE: Communion of blood and dismemberment, AGE: Animal".
Walburga was a Benedictine nun in a monastery in Wimborne, Dorsetshire, when her brother Winebald brought her to his kingdom to rule the nuns at the monastery in Heidenheim. When she died her body was originally buried in Heidenheim, but was later moved to the Church of the Holy Cross at Eichstatt, arriving there on April 30, a day now known as Walpurgis. Her festival is actually the anniversary of her death, February 25.
Myths later developed claiming that witches rendezvous in the Harz Mountains nearby on this date. Part of the reason for this is that after her death Walburga's story took on some of the characteristics of her namesake, a pre-Christian fertility Goddess named Waldborg. For example, the rock on which Saint Walburga's bones rest is said to secrete a mysterious fluid, reportedly having miraculous healing powers.
Because the Wiccan festival of Beltaine traditionally occurs on April 30, some people today use the term Walpurgis to describe it. The followers of many northern European Neo-Pagan religions have also borrowed the name Walpurgis to describe their festivities on April 30. The association of witches with Walpurgis eventually led to the belief by Satanic Conspiracy myth supporters that Walpurgis was a Satanic holiday. For example, Anton LaVey names Walpurgis as one of the Satanic festivals in his Satanic Bible.
NOTE: "St. Eichatadt" in this entry is probably a reference to Saint Walburga's other brother, Willibald, who was from the town of Eichstatt. March 1 was the date of the Roman women's festival, the Matronalia, sacred to the Goddess Juno. This is also the day of Saint David in Wales. It is not a Satanic holiday.
- "DATE: Mar. 1, CELEBRATION: St. Eichatadt, TYPE: Blood, USAGE: Drinking of human blood for strength and homage to the demons, AGE: Any age (male or female)".
- In America's Best Kept Secret, Frattarola describes March 20th as "CELEBRATION: Feast Day (Spring Equinox), TYPE: Orgies, USAGE: Oral, Anal, Vaginal, AGE: Any age (male or female, human or animal)". He is one of a host of so called experts who gets this wrong. In Schemes of Satan, Warnke lists the Vernal Equinox (March 21-22), as a Druid celebration. In "Symptoms Characterizing Occult Ritual Abuse" Detective Don Rimer describes "March 21" as "SPRING EQUINNOX [sic] A Sabbot [sic] and Festival." Tom Sanguinet claims that at "Easter, [witches] still greatly honor (the Middle Eastern pagan Goddess) Astarte with her silly little eggs." Joseph "Doc" Marquis mixes his mythologies when he claims that "Easter... is in fact the celebration of the return of Semiramis into her reincarnated form of the spring goddess"
NOTE: As Frattarola points out, this is the Spring or Vernal Equinox, but none of the rest of his definition matches reality. Wiccans call this equinox Eostre, Ostara or Alban Eiler. It is a Lesser Sabbat on the Wiccan calendar. In Old High German its name was "Ostarun", becoming "Ostern" in Modern German. In Bede's Ecclesiastical History it was spelled "Eastre", as it was in Old English before 899. By 1103 it had become "Estran". In Middle English (before 1387) it was spelled "Ester" or "Esterne".
Eostre marks the beginning of Spring. It is a celebration of the return of life to the Earth after the long winter. It's name derives from the Anglo-Saxon Goddess Eostre (or Ostara), who was believed to fly over the Earth, leaving the eggs (beginnings) of new life. It was not derived, as Sanguinet claims, from the Middle Eastern Goddess Astarte. Eostre's totem animal was the rabbit. Both of these symbols have been incorporated into the modern Christian celebration of Easter. This date is also sacred to the Norse Goddess Iduna. As you will see in chapter 6, Semiramis is not associated to Eostre at all.
It is from this festival and the name of this Germanic Goddess that the Christian festival of Easter was derived. The system for fixing the date of the Christian festival of Easter is still based on the date of March 21, being the first Sunday after the first full moon that occurs on or after March 21.
NOTE: This is an attempt on the part of Frattarola to associate the Pagan celebration of Beltaine to Satanic ritual activities. One of the reasons that Frattarola probably has created a week long Satanic festival around this date is that April 30 is also Walpurgisnacht.
- "DATE: Apr. 21-26, CELEBRATION: Preparation for the sacrifice. DATE: Apr. 26-May 1, CELEBRATION: Grand Climax, TYPE: Da Muer, USAGE: Corpus De Baahl, AGE: 1-25 (female)".
There is that term "Da Muer" again. "Corpus De Baahl" is a Latin phrase meaning "body of Baahl". This is probably a reference to the mythical entity Baal that you frequently encounter in literature by people like this. It is probably meant as a corruption of "Corpus Christi" ("body of Christ").
Beltaine, also known as Beltane, Galan Mai, Cetshamhain, Rudemas or May Eve, is a Greater Sabbat of the Wiccan calendar, celebrated April 30. Beltaine (literally "fires of Bel") was the beginning of the summer season for the Celtic peoples, named for the solar deity known in various parts of the Celtic world as Beli, Bile, Belenos, Bel and Belenus. It is known in Wales as Galan Mai. In more recent times the Christian Church incorporated this into their calendar as the feast of St John the Baptist. Another Christian name for Beltaine is Roodmas, Rudemas or Rood Day, which has been moved to May 3. Rudemas is a Grand Festival of Brujeria, also known as the Vigil and Feast of San Jose el Obrero.
Beltaine is the one of the great Celtic fire festivals, the other being Samhain. It is a Wiccan festival, not a Satanic one.
- In America's Best Kept Secret, Frattarola describes June 21st as "CELEBRATION: Feast Day (Summer Solstice), TYPE: Orgies, USAGE: Oral, Anal, Vaginal, AGE: Any age (male or female, human or animal". Other so called "occult experts" have also got this wrong: In Schemes of Satan, Warnke lists St John's Eve (June 21-22) as a Druid celebration. Lou Sloat's Texas Ritualistic Crime Information Network Occult Crime Manual includes St. John's Eve in its list of "occult terms". In Balsiger's Satanic calendar he describes June 20th as "Summer Solstice...June 23- Midsummer's Eve, St John's (the Baptist) Eve. Invokes the sun at the height of its strength." Balsiger doesn't seem to understand that the "summer solstice" and "midsummer" are the same thing. In Detective Rimer's "Symptoms Characterizing Occult Ritual Abuse", June 22nd is described as " SUMMER SOLSTICE Orgies."
NOTE: This is indeed the Summer Solstice, but none of the rest of the activities described by this calendar will be familiar to Pagans. Pagan Litha celebrations do not require orgies or bestiality. It isn't a Satanic festival.
Wiccans call the Solstice Litha or Alban Heruin. This is a "Lesser Sabbat" in the Wiccan calendar. It was originally a Saxon celebration incorporated into the Wiccan calendar as a celebration of the first fruits of the season. In some traditions, this day is celebrated as the Sacred Marriage of the Goddess and God. In others it is celebrated as the victory of the Lord of the waning year over the Lord of the Waxing year, to mark the point from which the days will shorten.
NOTE: I have been unable to find any religious group, including the Druids, who celebrate anything on July 1. July 1 is Canada Day. I hope that Frattarola is not suggesting that Canadians are Satanic? It is possible that this is meant to be a reference to July 3, which is the date of the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. This is known as Loki's Brand in Norse traditions and marks the beginning of the "dog days" of summer, the hottest time of the year. Many Satanists do celebrate July 3.
- "DATE: July 1, CELEBRATION: Demon Revels, TYPE: Blood, USAGE: Druids sexual association with demons, AGE: Any age (female)".
NOTE: August 3 is a day which no religious group seems to claim as a festival, including Pagans and Satanists. I wonder if what Frattarola is trying to refer to here is August 11, the date that the star Sirius sets? This may be celebrated by Satanists (see entry for July 1, above).
- "DATE: Aug. 3, CELEBRATION: Satanic Revels, TYPE: Sexual, USAGE: Oral, Anal, Vaginal, AGE: 7-17 (female)".
á "DATE: Sept. 7, CELEBRATION: Marriage to the Beast Satan, TYPE: Sexual, USAGE: Sacrifice, Dismemberment, AGE: Infant to 21 (female)".
NOTE: September 7 is a day which no religious group seems to claim for a festival, including Pagans and Satanists.
These are clearly references to the Autumnal Equinox. Wiccans call this day Mabon, after the Celtic deity Mabon, son of Modron ("mother"), who is mentioned in the story of Culhwch and Olwen. His name translates simply as "son". It is also known as Alban Elved. Mabon is a "Lesser Sabbat" which is the third and last harvest festival of the Wiccan calendar. It is a time of thanksgiving for the bounty of the earth which will sustain the people through the Winter. Neither Mabon nor any other Neo-Pagan festival on this date involve any sort of blood ritual. Warnke need to check his Christian calendars: Michaelmas is a festival on September 29th held in the British Isles to honor the archangel Michael.
- "DATE: Sept. 20, CELEBRATION: Midnight Host, TYPE: Blood, USAGE: Dismemberment (hands planted), AGE: Infant to 21 (female)".
- "DATE: Sept. 22, CELEBRATION: Feast Day (Fall Equinox), TYPE: Orgies, USAGE: Oral, Anal, Vaginal, AGE: Any age (male or female, human or animal)". Other "occult experts" also have published errors concerning this date: In Balsiger's "Satanic" calendar September 20th is defined as: "Midnight Host. Blood ritual." In Schemes of Satan, Balsiger's associate Warnke lists "Michaelmas (September 21-22)" as a "Druid celebration". In Detective Rimer's "Symptoms Characterizing Occult Ritual Abuse", September 21st is described as "FALL EQUINOX Orgies. [sic]"
- In America's Best Kept Secret, Frattarola claims that Halloween is a four day celebration: "DATE: Oct. 29- Nov. 1, CELEBRATION: All Hallow Eve (Halloween), TYPE: Blood, Sexual, USAGE: Sexual climax association with the demons, AGE: Any age (male or female)".
(Continued... Click HERE for part II)
Article ID: 8514
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,969
Times Read: 14,596
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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