OFFICE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE PLANNING
VOL. 1, NO. 6
A Law Enforcement Primer
This HTML report is available for PKZip download.
This is the electronic version of the precedent-setting report concerning "occult crime" in the United States of America. At the time of its commission, several American communities had been plagued with "mass hysteria" among small groups of people (almost exclusively Fundamentalist Christians) who believed that Satanists and other "occultists" were among them, kidnapping children, burning and looting businesses, and terrorizing their victims in secret midnight "Satanic" rituals. Many of these communities were ravaged with hatred and fear; many innocent people were sent to prison with little or no valid evidence against them other than the words of little children who claimed to be victims, and yet were later found to be lying or confused (deliberately or not) by their "therapists."
During this "Modern Salem Witch Trial" period, law enforcement was caught in the middle: confused, fearful, ignorant citizens demanded that law enforcement "Do something!" about the murder and mayhem they believed was occurring secretly around them; law enforcement was rendered powerless to investigate (let alone "stop") the alleged crimes, as there was no evidence such crimes were occurring (let alone by Satanists or other "Occultists"). This made the bewildered citizens more fearful, distrustful, angry, and frustrated. Many proponents of the belief that mass murder was being committed by "Occultists" even went so far as to insist that law enforcement officers were not just protecting the perpetrators, but were actively engaging in the mass murder themselves. It did not ease these citizens' fear that the majority of experts in the field who denounced and debunked the belief in wide-spread "Occult Crime" were themselves law enforcement officers--- thus fueling the belief in the "conspiracy" and "cover-up."
One year during this "Satanic Panic" period, the October issue of PETA's (People for the Ethical Treatment of [non-human] Animals") newsletter arrived on my desk. Within this newsletter I read the "fact" that black cats are very often subjected to "crucifixion" by Satanists on or near Halloween / Samhain, and that the newsletter's editor suggested that owners of black cats keep them inside the house at night. Intrigued, I wrote a letter to the editor stating I had looked for evidence of such claims and had failed to find any, and then I ask what her evidence for her claim was. She sent back to me a postcard that said "People tell me so," and then demanded to know why I was defending the perpetrators. In the minds of the True Believers, anyone who asked for evidence was considered a hostile opponent at best, or an active and aggressive perpetrator at worse. Such was the mindset law enforcement had to deal with: they, too, were driven to frustration.
No one knows how much time, money, and law enforcement effort was expended pursuing imaginary criminals committing imaginary "occult crime." Just one trial spawned by the "occult crime" mass hysteria, the "McMartin Preschool Trial," was at the time estimated to have cost over three million dollars (US$3,000,000), a record which stood until the Orenthal Simpson double homicide trial. It seems likely to me that at a conservative estimate the USA spent some US$50,000,000 in "training" officers about "occult crime," sending officers to lectures and seminars about "occult crime," perusing phantom "occult criminals," and prosecuting innocent victims of the hysteria. One may wish to read the book "In Pursuit of Satan: The Police and the Occult," ISBN: 0-87975-604-7 by Robert D. Hicks, for more information.
For this electronic version of the Report, I have included a table showing religious affiliations for adult Americans for the year 1990, which was the year this Report was published. (Also included in that table is data on religious affiliation for USA adults for year 2001.) This page also shows a table for the religious affiliations of USA prison inmates for the year 1997.
Please also note that while there are many people who promote and defend the "Satanic Panic" hysteria, there are also many "experts" who choose to ignore and/or defend the ACTUAL and well-evidenced crimes and human rights abuses of churches and pseudo-churches. See my page Apologists for destructive / criminal religious and pseudo-religious organizations for a brief list. These "experts" are to be considered highly unreliable: law enforcement officers will wish to avoid these "experts," and seek those who are better qualified. See for example Tokyo cult finds an unlikely supporter.
--- David Rice, author of the HTML / Internet version
Notes about this electronic version:
0) An Internet search showed no copies of this report existing, though there are several dozen web pages out there that mention the report. Oddly enough, most of those references are the result of the "Satanism FAQ" being copied on dozens of web sites across the Internet.
1) The original (paper) version of this report had two columns per page, with side-bar boxes on several pages. While this format could have been duplicated for this, the electronic version, I decided to reproduce the report in a more readable format. Where the paper version had a side-bar box on one column, the electronic version has that side-box in a box at the bottom of the web page; where a side-box in the paper version took up the whole page, the web page version also is rendered in a box. This means that one may read from one page to the next and momentarily "skip" a side-bar, and then go back to read the side-bar and thus not break up one's train of thought. Side-bars generally provide additional facts and information concerning the issue(s) discussed in the main text.
2) Another decision I made was to render each page of the original report into a web page, rather than put the text of several printed pages onto one web page. At the bottom of each page of the actual report, one will see three images: the image on the left is a hyper-link to the previous page; the middle image is a hyper-link to this "home" page; the imagine on the right is a hyper-link to the next page in the report. Thus one may walk easily through each page of the report one at a time, and easily go back and read a side-bar box if one has previously skipped it.
3) The report runs about 45,000 words. Several hundred of those words were in italics in the printed version. My Optical Character Reader software did not render these words in italics in the electronic, scanned-in version. This is an over-sight that I plan on corrected now and then, as I find the time to do so.
Introduction to this WWW version by Fredric Rice, Chairman of The Skeptic Tank. [One page, three links]
Preface to the original publication. [One page]
Introduction to the original publication. [Four pages]
Chapter One. Defining Occult Activity: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Dimensions. [Twenty pages]
Chapter Two. Defining Occult Crime: The Perpetrators, Their Actions, and The Victims. [Eighteen pages]
Chapter Three. Investigating Occult Crime: The Law Enforcement Perspective. [Fourteen pages]
Conclusion. [Four pages]
Bibliography. [Five pages]
After-word by the editor of this WWW version, David Rice. [One page, two links]
Introduction to this WWW version