Throughout this eight-month journey into the world of the occult, only one shared conviction was found among law enforcers, researchers, therapists, prosecutors, and victims interviewed for this study: there are no simple questions, no simple answers, and no simple truths regarding occult crime.
Because this new "field" of occult crime has been pioneered by people with wide-ranging spiritual convictions, professional objectives, political agendas, and emotional commitments, it appears that everyone thinks they are right and that everyone else is wrong. The real problem is that everyone has a valid perspective; but the valid perspectives are all-too often based upon fears, emotion, spiritual beliefs and hearsay.
It has been upon this foundation of wide-ranging perspectives that a whole new breed of law enforcement "experts" have arisen. They appear in seminars and workshops across the nation, presenting "evidence" gained from their personal interpretation of occult crime , often without factual foundation, physical evidence, or explanations of other perspectives. But in truth, as one seminar presenter emphasized, "There are no experts. Much of what the so-called 'experts' tell you, they believe to be true. But the only true experts are the practitioners, those who practice from the inside!" (Paulhus seminar, August 16, 1989.)
If there are no experts, then to whom can law enforcers turn for informed knowledge about the occult? The results of this study indicate that law enforcers who are willing to learn accurate information about occult belief systems, eager to network with colleagues and other professionals in related professions, open to listening to opposing and controversial perspectives of other professionals, and committed to being objective fact finders, can and should rely upon themselves and their colleagues.
Many law enforcers believe the climate exists for creating a network of such enlightened officers and that the time is right for men and women from divergent spiritual, philosophical, political, social, and economic perspectives to exchange what they know and what they don't know about occult crime.
In other words, it is time for law enforcers to put aside personal convictions long enough to consider the convictions of other colleagues and try to reach some cooperative agreements about how to approach actual and alleged occult crime.
To that end, many officers have helped compile a "what is needed wish list" that would enable the law enforcement community to honestly, accurately, and constitutionally deal with occult crime. The following recommendations reflect the shared ideas of the many law enforcers, criminal justice professionals, and allied practitioners who worked with Dr.
Olson-Raymer to make this study possible. The "wish list" items have been prioritized to reflect an accurate representation of all responses.
1. Encourage the development of accurate, unbiased education and training specifically aimed at law enforcers. While the content of such education, qualifications of instructors, and the extent to which law enforcement resources should be committed to such education are all subject to debate, law enforcers universally agreed education was the first priority.
Among the most prevalent suggestions about the contents of any education effort were the following:
* a historical and contemporary discussion of occult belief systems;
* an examination of case studies in which the occult was allegedly involved or actually found to be linked to the commission of a crime;
* discussion of the distinctions between occult activity and occult crime;
* a definitional distinction between occult crime and ritualistic crime;
* profiles of occult crime perpetrators specifically addressing causal factors that may or may not be related to occult affiliations;
* an examination of the claims of occult crime victims with special emphasis on the issues surrounding alleged survivors of ritualistic abuse;
* a description of investigative tools and investigative techniques recommended for alleged occult crimes and specifically for alleged ritualistic abuse; and * suggested resources for further assistance.
The quality of such contents is directly tied to the qualifications of instructors. The majority of law enforcers insisted instruction must be given by unbiased sources who have no emotional or spiritual stake in the results and whose presentations reflect none of their personal religious beliefs. This included law enforcers, researchers or other so-called "experts" with clear and public ties to any social or religious organization; most officers felt that even when such instructors state their religious beliefs are not part of the educational presentation, such spiritual commitment cannot help but permeate and prejudice the training effort.
Two characteristics are particularly invaluable in instructors:
* a track record with other law enforcement agencies that proves the trainer encourages an open atmosphere where officers may voice opinions and freely challenge any statements or assertions of which they are uncertain; and
* actual experience conducting occult investigations and/or actual research on occult crime.