NOTE: The following article appeared in _The National Sheriff_ magazine's
February-March 1987 issue.  It is reproduced here without permission for
informational and fair-use purposes only.

                                S A T A N I S M
                              THE LAW ENFORCEMENT

                                Robert J. Barry

Satanism is on the rise in America.  Hardly a day passes without reports of
violent acts conducted by Satanists.  Across the country law enforcement
organizations are receiving reports of homicide, mayhem, assault, suicide,
child abuse and animal mutilations that are linked with the satanic occult.
Investigators may find it difficult to believe the strange and bizarre tales
of criminal acts being committed by persons wearing priestly robes and adorned
with symbols of the devil.
   Law enforcement authorities have the responsibility to meet the challenge
of the Satanist with education, knowledge, understanding, cooperation and
appropriate resources at all governmental levels.
   Only through knowledge and understanding of the organization, beliefs,
rituals and practices of various occult groups, will investigators be able to
successfully prosecute persons engaged in Satanistic Criminal behavior.
Appropriate communication regarding satanistic activities must be shared
between law enforcement agencies throughout the country.  There must be a
renewed awareness of satanic overtones in certain crimes.

The Beliefs of Satanism

Satanism, also referred to as black magic, has existed since the dawn of
Christianity.  According to the Bible, God is the father of all, including
both Christ and Lucifer (the Devil).  There was conflict in heaven between the
forces of Christ and Lucifer, and the Lucifer forces lost and were "cast out
into the earth" (Revelations 12:7-9 (2)).
   Thus, people have long realized the struggle between the righteousness of
God and the forces of evil in the devil.  This same struggle is recognized by
the Satanist, who is committed with religious fervor to winning that battle.
   The Satanist believes Lucifer rules the earth, and when the end of the
world comes, the forces of Lucifer will overpower the forces of God and Christ
and rule in heaven.  Therefore, the Satanist pledges allegiance to the devil,
not only for his assistance in this world, but in the world to come.
   During the 1900s, the leading advocate of Satanism was Aleister Crowley.
Crowley, born in 1875 in England, was raised a Christian and graduated from
Cambridge University.[1]  Eventually, he became obsessed with ancient occult
beliefs.  His writings in this area have probably popularized Satanism and
devil worship more than any other source.[2]
   In 1898, Crowley joined an occult organization called "The Order of the
Golden Dawn" and quickly rose to a position of authority within that group.
He later entered the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), a satanic ritual group
founded by Earl Keller in 1900.  Crowley organized a chapter of the OTO in Los
Angeles, California, in approximately 1905.[3]
   Crowley published his _Book of Law_ in 1904, in which "do what thou wilt
shall be the whole of the law was advocated."  It was from this philosophy
that Crowley developed his ritual black magic which advocated violation of
every moral code known to civilized men.  In a later book, _Magic(k) in Theory
and Practice_, he wrote, "for nearly all purposes human sacrifice is best, and
a male child of perfect innocence and high intelligence is the most
satisfactory and suitable victim."[4]
   Crowley called himself "the beast" and "the wickedest man in the world."
In 1909, his book, _The Equinox_, became the bible for the OTO.
   In his later years, Crowley spent some time in an insane asylum and was
reportedly a heroin addict.  He died in a cheap rooming house in Hastings,
England in 1947.  While Crowley is gone, his philosophies and literature live
   Authorities believe Anton La Vey, also known as the "Black Pope," is
probably the best known modern proponent of Satanism.  Born in 1930, he ran
off to join a carnival as a magician's assistant after dropping out of high
school.  He was a con artist and used his theatrical showmanship to found The
Church of Satan in April 1966 in San Francisco, California.  The Church of
Satan was the first legally recognized, tax-exempt, church of its kind.
   In 1969, La Vey published _The Satanic Bible_, which outsells the _Bible_
in many bookstores.[5]  In his book, La Vey wrote, "We hold Satan as a
symbolic, personal savior, who takes care of mundane, fleshy, carnal things.
Satanism encourages any form of sexual expression you may desire, so long as
it hurts no one else."[6]  La Vey later states, "Satanism does not advocate
rape, child molesting (and) sexual defilement of animals..."[7]
   It seems contradictory for a group to encourage all forms of sexual
expression, and at the same time place parameters on that activity.  It is
difficult to encourage indulgence and vengeance and not to expect debauchery,
mayhem, and other criminal acts.
   On human sacrifice, La Vey said that, in general, a Satanist should not
sacrifice a human being unless, "it were to serve a two-fold purpose; that
being to release the magician's wrath in the throwing of a curse, and more
important, to dispose of a totally obnoxious and deserving individual."[8]
   The philosophy of La Vey was much like that of Crowley: "A person lives
only for today and should indulge in all life's good feelings ... Satanism
condones any type of sexual activity which properly satisfies your individual
desires, be it heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual."[9]
   La Vey's satanic church is now relatively inactive, due to dissatisfaction
with his leadership.  However, his followers have organized a number of
splinter groups.  The Church of the Satanic Brotherhood was founded in March
1973 and the Temple of Set in 1975.  The latter organization has a national
following of several hundred persons.  The membership seems obsessed with the
military and the Nazi movement in particular.
   Numerous smaller splinter groups have also developed; however, they seem
to lack the sophistication and leadership of the larger, more formal
organizations.  Although these splinter groups +-----------------------------+
may follow the basic satanist teachings and    |  Satanic Cults Organized    |
practices, they tend to interpret some of      |  in the United States[10]   |
these to meet their individual needs.  These   |                             |
small groups are the ones that come to the     | Church of All Worlds        |
attention of law enforcement, since it is      | Temple of Truth             |
within their memberships that the mentally     | Shrine of Sothis            |
ill, criminal psychopathic personality is      | Nemeton                     |
found.                                         | Order of Thelema            |
   Most black magic occult groups have certain | Process Church of the Final |
practices and rituals that are common to all.  | Order of the Circle         |
They are usually organized into "covens,"      | The Chingons                |
consisting of 9 or 13 members.  Authorities    | The Four P Movement         |
have estimated there were approximately 10,000 | Brotherhood of the Ram      |
covens in the country in 1946, 48,000 by 1976, | Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO)  |
and 135,000 by 1985.[12]                       | The Satan Senate            |
|                  The Criminal Psychopath or Sociopath[11]                  |
|                                                                            |
| CHARACTERISTICS                     BEHAVIOR                               |
| Inability to experience guilt or    Experiences no guilt or remorse for    |
| remorse.                            violent criminal acts, although he or  |
|                                     she can express sorrow and other       |
|                                     emotions.                              |
|                                                                            |
| Inability to form lasting           Treats persons as if they are          |
| relationships.                      inanimate objects.                     |
|                                                                            |
|                                                                            |
| Tendency to seek high levels of     Behaves bizarrely and grotesquely as   |
| thrills and excitement.             a rule, rather than an exception.      |
|                                                                            |
| Impulsiveness.                      Childlike--cannot defer immediate      |
|                                     pleasures for long range goals--lives  |
|                                     for the present.                       |
|                                                                            |
| Lack of conscience.                 Fails to develop a conscience due to   |
|                                     lack of appropriate role models.       |
|                                                                            |
| Aggressive and dangerous            Reacts to frustration with violent     |
| behavior.                           fury.                                  |
|                                                                            |
| Superficial charm and intelligence. Plays role of a "confidence man."      |
|                                                                            |
| Unreliability and irresponsibility. Has short periods of responsibility    |
|                                     coupled with irresponsibility.         |
|                                                                            |
| Pathological lying.                 Plays many roles--doctor, lawyer,      |
|                                     soldier, Satan--according to his       |
|                                     whims and often confuses these         |
|                                     roles.                                 |
|                                                                            |
| Anti-social behavior.               Impulsively commits violent acts "just |
|                                     for the hell of it."                   |
|                                                                            |
| Egocentricity.                      Behaves parasitically because of an    |
|                                     insatiable need to be believed, served |
|                                     and supported.                         |
|                                                                            |
| Lack of values.                     Fails to develop contemporary          |
|                                     societal value system.                 |
|                                                                            |
| Brutuality toward dumb animals.     Tortures and kills animals.            |
|                                                                            |
| Lack of insight.                    Has little appreciation of his impact  |
|                                     on others.                             |
|                                                                            |
| Casual and excessive sexual         Has a casual attitude toward sex and   |
| behavior.                           sexual contacts.  Some sex acts may    |
|                                     be outlandish and bizarre.             |
|                                                                            |
| A need to fail.                     Has no life plan, except perhaps the   |
|                                     need to make a failure of himself, a   |
|                                     born loser.                            |
   A new coven member must make a strong lifetime commitment to the group,
which includes a strict vow of secrecy, not unlike the La Cosa Nostra (LCN).
Members are not allowed to disassociate themselves from the group after having
been exposed to their various criminal activities.  A member breaking the code
of secrecy places his life and the lives of his family in serious jeopardy.
   The reasons for joining the coven are as varied as the characteristics of
the members themselves.  The members come from all walks of life, all ethnic
groups, and all social and economic levels.  Some join for reasons of personal
gratification from the sadistic, anti-social or sexual behavior; while others
may possibly find the religious aspect meets their needs.
   All members pay strict obedience to the high priest, or priestess, who has
complete control over all members.  The group leader uses fear, paranoia,
intimidation, socialization, depersonalization, drugs, alcohol and a rewards
system to maintain control over members of the coven.  Child members are
secretive about their involvement due to the vow of secrecy, fear and the
threat of retaliation against themselves or their families.  Coven members try
to remain anonymous and unknown to law enforcement organizations.  They
believe their evil criminal acts will not be rewarded by Satan if they are
identified and prosecuted by authorities.
   Coven rituals are usually individualistic in nature, but certain symbols
and instruments are very basic.  During a ritual, a pentagram (a five-pointed
star enclosed within a circle), usually nine feet in diameter, is drawn on the
ground or floor.  The relative position of star points and the altar
determines the type of ritual or magic performed.
   Devices used during a ritual usually include red or black robes, hoods or
masks, hats or helmets, music or chanting, black or white candles and holders,
a dagger or double edged short-sword, chalices, a cauldron for fire, an altar
for the high priest and various trappings bearing satanistic symbols.
   Several occultist rituals call for animal or human sacrifice.  Satanists
believe that a quantity of stored energy is released to those nearby when a
warm-blooded animal or human is killed.  These sacrifices will usually be
performed inside the sign of a pentagram, or triangle, which has been drawn on
the floor or ground.  This drawing forms a "cone of power" which focuses
escaping energy on participants.  Many rituals have violent sexual overtones.
Many violent criminal acts came to the attention of investigators as a result
of these satanic coven rituals.[13]

The Heavy Metal Music

   One major       +---------------------------------------------------------+
contemporary       |                     SIGNS OF SATAN                      |
movement           |                                                         |
exploiting         | AC/DC        ANTI-CHRIST                                |
Satanism is the    |              DEVIL CHILD          {A}  PENTAGRAM        |
music industry and |                                        WHITE MAGIC      |
its punk rock and  | ZOSO         THREE-HEADED DOG                           |
"heavy metal"      |              GUARDS GATE TO HELL                        |
productions.  The  |                                                         |
messages carried   | S            SATAN STONER              PENTAGRAM        |
in this type of    |                                   {B}  UPSIDE DOWN STAR |
music include self | MARKOS       ABRACADABRA               SIGN OF OCCULT   |
mutilation;        |      '                                                  |
assault; mayhem;   | FFF          ANTI-CHRIST                                |
suicide; drugs;    |                                                         |
murder; sex; anti- | 666          ANTI-CHRIST                                |
establishment and  |                                   {C}  HEXAGRAM CIRCLE  |
anti-social        | 6 6          ANTI-CHRIST                                |
rebellion against  |  6                                                      |
society, parents,  |                                        INFINITY         |
education, law and | NATAS        SATAN REVERSED       {D}  CONTAINMENT      |
order.  The music  |                                        CONTROL OF EVIL  |
attempts to        | 6,9,13,XIII  OCCULT NUMBERS            POWER            |
promote the ideals |                                                         |
of absolute        |    u         HORNS AND TAIL                             |
freedom,           |    C         ADDED TO ANY LETTER                        |
irresponsibility   |   -'                              {E}  ANK              |
and violence.      |        ___   LIGHTNING BOLT                             |
   In heavy metal, |    ___\      HEAVEN TO HELL                             |
these ideals also  | ___\         STRENGTH                                   |
encompass the use  |                                                         |
of satanic         |       __                                                |
symbols.  Some     |   |__|__     SWASTIKA                                   |
heavy metal record |    __|  |                         {F}  LUCIFER MORNING  |
album covers are   |                                        STAR             |
decorated with     | ____|____    ANTI-CHRIST                                |
satanic violent    |             CROSS OF CONFUSION                         |
themes.[14]        |                                                         |
   Some people     | [Transcriber's note: Illustrations in the right-hand    |
believe this music | column couldn't be copied in ASCII or anything like it. |
is only a fad.     | A = star in circle, one point up; B = star in circle,   |
That may be true   | two points up; C = six-pointed star (star of David) in  |
for some, but for  | circle; D =  circle within a circle; E = ankh, circle on|
others it may lead | top of cross (badly drawn); F = star and crescent moon.]|
to a way of life   +---------------------------------------------------------+
that drastically changes their basic ethics and value systems.
   Some groups have organized to fight this heavy metal rock use of violence,
sex, drugs, and Satanism for its major theme.  One group proposes a warning
label on records to inform consumers of their lyrical content.  There is also
a movement to have lyrics printed on the covers of albums.  These proposals
have met with strong opposition from music industry and civil libertarians
concerned with censorship, the stifling of creative art and freedom of speech.


   Law enforcement managers realize this renewed interest in Satanism and the
occult is a serious national problem.  Authorities must meet the challenge by
assuring these crimes are detected, reported and prosecuted for what they are:
satanic related.
   This challenge is best addressed by a multi-faceted approach:
   * An increased awareness of the satanic trend by all law enforcement
   * Maintenance of special records on satanic type crimes.
   * Dissemination of information to appropriate organizations.
   * Cooperative intelligence gathering apparatus.
   * County or state task forces to coordinate investigation of satanic
     related crimes.
   * State and federal computer utilization for satanic related crimes.
   * Standardized report forms for Satanic related crimes.
   * The development of reliable sources of information and possible
   * Allocation of adequate departmental resources.
   * Generalized training at recruit and in-service levels.
   * Indepth training for specialized investigators.
   * Involvement of both community and private sector resources in combating
     this threat to the basic American value system.
   This response should lead to successful prosecution of persons performing
satanic cult criminal acts and have important deterrent effects on persons
engaged in other satanic activities.  In addition, this effort should add to
the strong existing paranoia of detection and prosecution among most satanic
cult members.
   The challenge of Satanism will be met by progressive and innovative law
enforcement administrators.  Through education, training, planning and mutual
cooperation, this threat to our society will be contained.


   [1] William J. Petersen, _Those Curious New Cults in the 1980's_, Keats,
New Canaan, Conn. 1982, p. 87.
   [2] Daniel Logan, _America Bewitched_, Morrow, New York, 1973, pp. 13-14.
   [3] Ibid, pp. 64-65.
   [4] Aleister Crowley, _Magic(k) in Theory and Practice_, Castle, New York,
date unknown, pp. 95-96.
   [5] Petersen, p. 89.
   [6] Ibid, pp. 89-90.
   [7] Anton Szandor La Vey, _The Satanic Bible_, Avon, New York, 1969, pp.
   [8] Ibid, pp. 88-89.
   [9] Ibid, Introduction.
   [10] Ronald Noblet, Gang Consultant, Lecture at Center for the
Administration of Justice, University of Southern California, February 21,
   [11] John Stratton, Director Psychological Services, Los Angeles County
Sheriff's Department, Interview on February 10, 1986.
   [12] Darlyne Pettinicchio, Gang Consultant, Lecture at Center for the
Administration of Justice, University of Southern California, January 23,
   [13] Noblet.
   [14] Bob Barker, "Satanism Overtones and Other Slayings," _Los Angeles
Times_, September 2, 1985.