atmosphere where hysteria and rumors cannot flourish in the face of an occult incident or crime. While most law enforcers felt they should not be involved directly in such a public relations/educational effort, they were eager to learn from and utilize the services of people with experience in occult activities. An additional step would involve assigning a departmental liaison to work with the media during occult and occult-related incidents. If law enforcement communicates with the media through pre-established channels, the media can help educate the public rather than spread misinformation and rumors.
7. Stop debating the actual extent of occult crime and begin dealing with the perceptual problem. Most law enforcers were tired of the controversy surrounding the extent of occult crime. Many admitted that by defining occult crime as crimes distinctly motivated by a spiritual belief system, then an insignificant number of actual occult crimes have been documented by the criminal justice system. Clearly, the number of crimes committed is not as important as the fact that a substantial number of citizens, law enforcers, and therapists perceive occult crime is a problem. Such perceptions, then , make occult crime a problem for the law enforcement community. Thus, departments must proactively educate their own personnel and the public about legal and alleged illegal occult activities.
8. Create multi-disciplinary boards to deal with occult crime victims. Some law enforcers felt they should be involved in the creation, implementation and activities of a multidisciplinary board comprised of mental health practitioners, family members, occult experts and law enforcers who would consider every reported case of occult crime in which a victim was involved - especially ritualistic crime. Many felt such boards would be particularly effective if members created an individualized treatment plan for each case and then monitored the course of such treatment.
This law enforcement "wish list" is neither a large nor impossible agenda. In short, first and foremost, law enforcers want to be the recipients of objective information about the occult presented by objective and experienced instructors. Second, they want occult-related investigations to be conducted by objective law enforcers who base their actions upon firm educational knowledge and sound intelligence about occult groups and activities within their jurisdictions. Third, they want to help create and be involved in several types of communication forums that emphasize cooperative involvement in understanding and responding to the occult. Fourth, they want to stop dwelling on the controversy surrounding the extent of occult crime and deal with the problems presented by law enforcement and community perceptions of occult activity and occult crime.
And the debate continues...
Much of the information for this study has been provided by occult cops, those law enforcers who have been involved in occult crime investigations. Many of their specific recommendations have been included herein: clues to look for during a crime scene investigation; what to look for in a search warrant; what rituals and symbols might indicate occult involvement in criminal activity; what the law enforcement community needs to combat occult crime.
It should be noted, however, that a growing number of law enforcers feel investigators should not be trained to look for specific occult-related clues; to seize occult paraphernalia without legal evidence of criminal association; or train law enforcers to be mini-occult experts; and that law enforcement agencies should not devote scarce law enforcement resources to a perceived rather than actual crime problem.
In the words of two leading proponents of these viewpoints:
Kenneth Lanning, Supervisory Special Agent for the FBI, states that he has been asked by many police officers "what they should look for during the search at the scene of suspected satanic activity. The answer is simple: look for evidence of a crime. A pentagram is no more criminally significant than a crucifix unless it corroborates a crime or a criminal conspiracy. If a victim's description of the location where a crime occurred or description of the instruments of the crime includes a pentagram, then the pentagram would be evidence. But the same would be true if the description included a crucifix. In spite of what is sometimes said or suggested at law enforcement training conferences; police have no authority to seize any satanic or occult paraphernalia they might see during a search. There must be a legally valid reason for doing so. It is not the job of law enforcement to prevent Satanists from engaging in non-criminal beliefs or rituals. There must be a middle ground in this issue...Law enforcers need to know something about Satanism and the occult in order to properly evaluate their possible connections to and motivations for criminal activity. The focus, however, must be on the objective investigation of violations of criminal statutes." (Lanning, 1989:27.)
Robert Hicks, a former police officer and currently a Criminal Justice Analyst with Virginia's Department of Criminal Justice Services, has recently written, "Officers can and should stick to the Constitutional basics: they investigate irregular behavior based on a well-founded and legally defined reasonable suspicion; they arrest based on probable cause. No one expects police to ignore pentagrams drawn in blood at a homicide scene: complete documentation of crime scenes has always been the rule. But we have no justification for carrying on unwarranted explorations of the beliefs of the unpopular few, or from waving books at seminars and pronouncing them dangerous... In short, law enforcers must remove the 'cult' from cult crime and do their job accordingly." (Hicks, 1989: 29-30.)