Thank you to those who posted to me and told me how to join witchhunt. Many requested that I introduce myself and explain what my experience with SRA has been. Briefly, here it is:
My background includes: reserve police officer and detective on three different municipal police departments, currently a reserve in Marine Corps counterintelligence, AA in Police Sci, BA Psyche, MA in family therapy, PhD to go. I earn a living as a forensic analyst. I was lead author on "First Glimpse" in the current "Issues in Child Abuse Accusations."
In 1989 I read Mike Warnke's book Satan Seller. The tales of satanic rituals, of death and deviance were riveting. As a reserve police officer I had seen the dark side of humanity-- murder, rape, child molestation, and other grisly crimes, but nothing like Warnke described. I quickly read every book on satanism that I could find, some 25 of them. I attended seminars on satanism. I met "survivors" of "satanic ritual abuse". Their stories of torture and abuse were compelling.
I was bothered. Why hadn't anyone succeeded in getting a videotape or photos of generational satanic groups in action? The few photos I had seen were of poor quality. Were they of wacko's like Jeffrey Daumer or John Wayne Gacy, or were they of real Satanists? I decided to find out.
I aligned myself with DIOS, a non-profit organization in San Diego, California. DIOS investigates the occult. At the time that I became involved there were about 15 volunteer investigators. Within six months I had become the head of investigations. I created a sophisticated computer database for tracking leads. I set up surveillance and investigation details. I oversaw the collection of hundreds of names, addresses, photos, and other details.
It was not hard to find Self-styled Satanists. I met dozens of them. None of them had parents who were Satanists, and many of them were from Christian homes. Several confided that they weren't really Satanists at all, it was just something they did to make their parents angry. It wasn't hard to find religious satanists either.
I spent quite a bit of time investigating "Anthony LeVay", a man who tours the southwest lecturing in churches, and billing himself as the son of Anton LeVay, author of The Satanic Bible, and founder of the Church of Satan in San Francisco. After one year of investigating Anthony, including correspondence with Anton LeVay, I determined Anthony's real identity. His real name is Anthony Jai Littlewolf. His father's name is Lee Wiley, a man who died in Watsonville, California in the 1970's. I challenged Anthony to undergo a medical exam at my expense, to confirm or disconfirm the injuries which he claims Anton LeVay inflicted upon him as a child. He declined.
By 1991 I had interviewed hundreds of people on the telephone, and followed up with dozens of field investigations. When I would ask "victims" for physical evidence to back up their stories, when I would ask them to take me to the places where satanists were meeting, I was rebuffed. Asking a survivor for details is equated with disbelieving their story. I would ask pastors and other "experts" on SRA to show me the source material upon which their stories about SRA were based. None ever did so, though several chastised me for my lack of faith.
I would ask survivors to show me their scars. I would ask to see their childhood diaries. I would ask to see photos. I would ask for names, addresses, and phone numbers of current Satanists I could surveil. I would ask to be taken to places where rituals occurred. Almost always there was an excuse. "I can't remember" or "they blocked my memory" or "they broke in and took my diary last night", etc. Giving excuses became a repetitive pattern. I began to notice other trends as well. Nearly all of the "survivors" that I interviewed fell into a predictable pattern:
1. Their abuse had not always been remembered; rather, their "memories" had been "recovered".I next turned to the research literature, in order to attempt to make sense out what I was finding. I photocopied, read and computerized over 350 research articles, as well as dozens of books. Things started coming together. Many of the answers that I was looking for to explain the phenomenon of satanic ritual abuse stories were found as I began to search scientific journals, and read about pseudomemory.
2. Usually the "recovered memories" were associated with psychotherapy and hypnosis. Many of the "victims" were former or current psychiatric patients with in-patient hospital experience. Many had severe psychological and emotional problems. I noticed a virtual absence of educated, open-minded, emotionally healthy people.
3. Among "survivors" there was an complete absence of former cultists who had been adult perpetrators of satanic rituals and crimes; in other words: Where are adults who have exited the cults, and who aren't victims of cult torture, but are the former-tormentors of children, and the performers of these hideous satanic rituals?
4. Uniformly the families and childhood friends of "survivors" I investigated denied the content of the survivor's visualizations.
5. Many of the parents and family members of "victims" were committed Christians.
6. Many of the "survivors" described therapy with pastors or Christian psychotherapists.
7. For the most part this seems to be a phenomenon occurring within the Christian church.
During my investigation of SRA I was in contact with a number of people who were also investigating SRA, both law enforcement personnel, and investigative journalists. We exchanged articles and books, as well as leads and investigation findings. We talked about what we were finding, and more importantly, what we weren't finding (any evidence of secret and conspiratorial, generational satanism).
I met some "retractors", people who have rejected their visualizations of abuse as false memories. Most reported the use of hypnosis, prayer, or group pressure in developing their "memories" of abuse. As I interviewed these people, I began to understand that patients and parishioners could be hypnotized or regressed, or they could be placed in a suggestible state through a prayer and deliverance ministry, and that they could produce visualizations of torture and abuse in incredible detail, as was expected of them.
By January of 1993 I had reversed myself. After hundreds of interviews, thousands of miles, and dozens of stakeouts I no longer could accept the stories of satanic ritual abuse, absent compelling evidence. I have yet to see any such evidence. No substantial or compelling evidence for the existence of generational satanism has ever been produced. As Ken Lanning, of the FBI forensic unit in Quantico has stated, law enforcement has investigated generational satanism, and found zero evidence to back up the stories of those who are in visualization intervention. It is now the responsibility, and the obligation for therapists and pastors who do these things, who elicit these visions of abuse and satanism, to prove that the stories their patients and parishioners are telling are valid and true.
I'm not sure how long postings on witchhunt are supposed to be, as I am new to it. I am interested in corresponding with other SRA investigators. I'm well into writing a book on the topic of FMS in the Christian church, and I welcome suggestions or anecdotes.