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Reclaiming Slender Man

Slender

I love spooky stories. I love creepypasta. I love eerie tales told in the dark, and grainy videos posted to YouTube in the wee hours.

I love the Slender Man mythos. I love the stories and the games and the videos, even the cheesy ones. This is collaborative genre storytelling at its finest – organic and DIY. Slender Man is not completely controlled by a single entity (though the original creator and an undisclosed third party do hold copyrights), not slaved to some silly movie franchise that exists mostly for product placement and merchandising rights. In a way, Slender Man belongs to all of us. We are his Creators.

And I’ll be damned if two little sociopaths are going to ruin it for everybody.

On the morning of May 31, a cyclist biking along a dead-end dirt road near Rivera Drive in the town of Waukesha, Wisconsin, came upon a 12-year-old girl lying on the grass, suffering multiple stab wounds. She was alert, but had difficulty breathing. She could not summon help herself because she didn’t have a phone. The man called 911, triggering a county-wide search for two other 12-year-old girls named by the stabbing victim as her attackers. They were “friends” who had lured her out to a wooded area for a game of hide and seek after a slumber party the previous night, then stabbed her in the chest, arms and legs 19 times as she lay facedown on the ground. Thankfully, none of her injuries were life-threatening and she was able to crawl to the abandoned road.

Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, two baby-faced girls with owlish eyeglasses, were apprehended at a furniture store near  I-94 later in the day. Geyser had the knife used in the attack in her backpack when she was arrested. Both girls readily confessed to police. It was clear from the beginning that Geyser was the leader of the duo and the brains behind the attack.

This is a familiar pattern. A strong, disturbed character attaches him/herself to a weaker (also disturbed) young person, develops a powerful bond with that person, then persuades him/her to commit motiveless crimes as a team: Parker and Hulme, Mary Bell and Norma X, Robert Thompson and James Venables, Harris and Klebold. Adult cases include Leopold and Leob, the Papin sisters (the inspiration for Genet’s play The Maids), and Carol Stevens and Rose Turford. In the latter case, a potent folie à deux may have been at work, with Mrs. Turford believing that her friend was being abused and controlled by a shadowy cabal of wealthy, perverted men.

These crimes were disturbing enough to send people into moral panic, and scapegoating became a coping mechanism for parents, educators, and social critics. Nietzsche was blamed for the crimes of Leopold and Leob. In the Thompson/Venables case, detectives were so desperate to find some motive for the brutal murder of 3-year-old James Bulger that they combed through a list of 200 videos the Venables family had rented in search of one that might have inspired the crime. They found some similarities between the crime and a single scene in Child’s Play 3, but couldn’t prove that Venables had ever seen it. The same panicky hunt for motive occurred after Columbine, with parents blaming everything from prescription meds to Wolfenstein 3D.
In the end, after years of Nietzsche-shaming and game-blaming, we still don’t have a cut-and-dried motive for any of these crimes.

But that won’t stop us from trying. Within one day of the Wisconsin attack, news outlets around the world were calling it the Slender Man Stabbing. Stories like “Who Is Slender Man?”, “Could a fictional Internet character drive kids to kill?”, and “Fantasy ‘Slender Man’ Meme Inspires Horrific Wisconsin Stabbing” appeared alongside alarmist columns about What Your Child Is Doing on the Internet. Parenting blogs posted lists of warning signs that Your Child Might Not Be Able to Distinguish Fiction from Reality. Even a Creepypasta Wiki admin seemed to accept that Some Kids Don’t Know What’s Real and What’s Make-believe.

You see, Geyser and Weier both told police that they tried to kill their friend as some kind of sacrifice to Slender Man. Weier said that Geyser told her they needed to slaughter their friend to become “proxies” of Slender Man. She said they both hoped to be allowed entrance into his mansion, hidden somewhere within northern Wisconsin’s Nicolet National Forest. They planned to kill their buddy, then walk to the mansion (a mere 400 miles away from Waukesha). They had become so immersed in the Slenderverse that Geyser believed she was in telepathic communication with SM.

I call bullshit on all of this.

I don’t know their motive(s). You don’t know their motive(s). Hell, maybe they don’t know their motive(s). But I’ll tell you this: There is no way that two American 12-year-olds raised in suburban Wisconsin believe Slender Man is real. They were deeply into the mythos, obviously, and may even have play-acted or “performed” it to some extent, but they did not believe it was real in the same way that dentists, squirrels, and hipsters are real. They had other, unknown, reasons for slashing their poor friend. We may never know what those reasons were.

So why would they say it? Well, they’re smart enough to know that feigning insanity is something criminals often do to gain leniency, but not smart enough to know about the M’Naghten rule and the futility of insanity defenses and the horrors of indefinite detention in locked-down mental health facilities. They probably worked out their “defense strategy” a day or two ahead of time, in half-assed 12-year-old fashion.

The media was delighted to go along with this, because “Slender Man Stabbing” sounds heaps sexier than “Mildly Deranged Tweens Cut Their Friend”. Let’s face it: Without the creepy meme angle, this story would have stayed in Wisconsin. The motiveless 2012 murder of 16-year-old Skylar Neese by two of her best friends didn’t receive half this much attention, even though that case led to the correction of serious flaws in the Amber Alert system.

The defense lawyers love it, because having a client who believes Internet Horror Stories Are Real is significantly better than having a client who Stabs Her Friends for No Effing Reason. Not that this will have any real benefits. Ask John Wayne Gacy’s lawyer.

The only people who have ever entertained the notion that Slender Man is an Actual Guy are Coast to Coast AM listeners, the same people who report sightings of Black-Eyed Kids, Shadow People, and Holes to Hell. I have always been a bit concerned that fear of the BEKs could lead to violence against an innocent child, but that hasn’t happened to date. Most C2C fans are harmlessly eccentric.

You find me one – one – 12-year-old suburban American child of average intelligence and normal mental capacity who believes that Slenderman is a Real Thing, and I will remove this post and issue a retraction. In the meantime, I will view the Slender Man mythos in the same way I always have, and enjoy it every bit as much as I always did. Richard Leob didn’t ruin Nietzsche. Dylan Harris didn’t ruin SSRIs. Anne Perry didn’t ruin walks in the park. I will not allow Geyser and Weier to ruin some imaginative, spooky fun.

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“Satanic” Pedophile Theory of Aaron Swartz’s Suicide

“Was Aaron Swartz Killed By an MIT Satanic Child Porn Ring?”

I found this strange article, originally posted at Rense.com, via David Icke’s website. It was written by Yoichi Shimatsu, a conspiranoid “journalist” specializing in child prostitution and pornography. I have no idea who this guy is, but he provides some telling background information:

From 2003-2009, Shimatsu was involved with an all-male team of volunteer anti-pedophilia activists that traveled to Cambodia to investigate some rumours, including allegations that former Newsweek Tokyo bureau chief Bernard Krisher had snapped photos of naked babies and put them on display at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Hong Kong. Shimatsu claims the Correspondents Club was a “den of pedophiles connected with the Jimmy Savile case”, and that the former British Governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patton [sic], is “suspected as a high-level protector of the satanic BBC rapist [Savile] and his old-boy circle”. Lord Patten, it should be noted, publicly condemned the late Savile and encouraged the posthumous investigations into his alleged child molestation.

Shimatsu contends that hacktivist Aaron Swartz was also investigating the “vile pedophile elite”, using the JSTOR issue as a “cover for his covert investigation into MIT wrongdoing”, which was somehow linked to crimes against children perpetrated by what Shimatsu terms the “military-corporate-pharmaco-porno” complex. Swartz was far too bright and ambitious to be wasting his time swiping inexpensive documents from JSTOR, Shimatsu argues, so it’s almost certain that he was actually planning to expose MIT professors who have been supplying child pornography to an elite clientele that includes State Department and military officials, intelligence agencies, major corporations, and even people in the White House. He provides absolutely zero evidence to support any of this.
Shimatsu appears to base just about all of his “MIT pedophile” theory on Nicholas Negroponte, the professor who founded the MIT Media Lab. Shimatsu’s “team” in Cambodia had zeroed in on an orphanage supported by Krisher that had a satellite-link tower, which was supposedly being used to “uplink child-porn videos and connect American pedophiles to their little sweethearts”.
Unnamed teachers at the orphanage allegedly told Shimatsu the satellite communication system was installed and maintained by Negroponte. One teacher told him, “Nick was a frequent visitor and one of the orphanage sponsors who arranged the weekend pajama parties in the city whenever foreign VIPs arrived”. Shimatsu concluded that Negroponte used Phnom Penh as a base from which to send encrypted child pornography back to secret databases at MIT.
The One Child One Laptop program [sic] initiated by Negroponte is a transparent ploy for pedophiles to have 24/7 access to their child victims, he asserts.
As one can always expect from Rense.com, he also goes out of his way to inform us that Negroponte and his brother are Zionists with “family origins in the Jewish community of Greece”.

So what the flipping hell does any of this have to do with Aaron Swartz? Well, based on the surveillance footage used to indict Swartz, Shimatsu has reached some conclusions about what the brilliant young hacker was really doing at MIT. Here’s his “evidence”:

  • The length of time it took Swarz’s laptop to download the material indicates it was “high-quality video” rather than just documents.
  • The server he targeted could not be hacked; it could only be accessed via a dedicated line, indicating the server had strong encryption designed to protect illegal content. [I am assured by people far more technically gifted than myself that nearly any server can be hacked if it’s connected to the Internet, and that this surely would not have presented a challenge to Swartz.]
  • MIT didn’t own the JSTOR material, yet filed theft charges against Swartz. The actual proprietor, ITHAKA, was not the chief plaintiff in the case.
  • Swartz was reportedly dissatisfied with his job working for Reddit/Wired. In Shimatsu’s view, this was probably because Reddit had “gained profitable notoriety for its sub-edit groups that promoted discussion and images on underage sex, snuff porn, violent rape of adolescent girls, incest and abusive language.” Reddit’s worst offender was “Violentacrez“, who turned out to be Michael Brutsch, a former soldier with a wife and kids.

Shimatsu then provides additional “evidence” of child pornography at MIT by detailing the backgrounds of a handful of Media Lab employees. Joi Ito is singled out because he once owned a nightclub and was Timothy’s Leary’s godson. Stewart Brand is suspect because he endorses science and technology. Frank Moss once worked in Israel. Worst of all, the Media Lab is involved with military-related projects. “MIT Media Lab is yet another spin-off from the all-powerful MK-ULTRA and DARPA. No wonder it’s been producing child porn and involved in overseas pedophilia.”

And now Shimatsu’s anti-Semitic “anti-Zionist” side comes out swinging, as he bemoans the “assault on Aaron Swartz” as one more example of a “crusading American Jewish individual being persecuted, punished and likely executed by their Zionist ‘brethren'”, his death a “microcosm of the sort of brutal mafia enforcement within the Jewish ‘community’, which unfortunately has gone nearly unreported in the Zionist-controlled media.”

So that’s pretty much it. That’s Shimatsu’s evidence that Aaron Swartz was hot on the trail of MIT pedophiles.
His “evidence” that Swartz was murdered amounts to the fact that Swartz had a small waist, meaning his belt wouldn’t be long enough to hang himself.
As for the “Satanic pedophiles”: the article includes just one use use of the word “satanic”, and there is no further explanation of how Satanism is connected to any of the alleged criminal activity Shimatsu describes. It’s a fat, juicy red herring to fill out the story’s headline, which might just as well read “Why Yoichi Shimatsu Doesn’t Like MIT or Zionists”.

Updates on Old Stories

  • When Lawrence Harris Jr. of Sioux City, Iowa, murdered his two stepdaughters on January 4, 2008, the media pounced on reports that Harris had dabbled in both Wicca and Satanism. He had allegedly muttered something about a “spell gone bad” after police found the bodies of Kendra Suing, 10, and Alysha Suing, 8, in their home. Media reports and blog posts mentioned spells, LaVey’s Satanic Bible, and witchcraft at great length…but stayed away from the more pertinent issues of family violence and mental illness.
    Later, Harris claimed he had been attempting to cast the spell on his stepson Triton, who wasn’t home at the time. Just how this led to the strangulation and stabbing of two little girls has never been adequately explained. In fact, this case remains about as clear as cola. Harris pled not guilty by reason of insanity, but was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Significantly, Harris’ religious interests were never brought up by the prosecution. Rather than focusing on Harris’ alleged Satanism, prosecutors argued (successfully, it would seem) that Harris killed Alysha and Kendra because he suspected his wife was having an affair, then faked insanity. If this is indeed the case, then witchcraft and Satanism are even mooter points than they were in the first place. Naturally, that doesn’t stop Fox News: “Iowa Man Convicted of Killing Two Stepdaughters During Satanic Ritual“.
  • The prosecutor in the 2009 abduction/torture case of Joy Johnson and Joseph Craig took a completely different tack, declaring even before the start of trial that the defendants’ alleged confinement and abuse of another couple was directly related to Satanism. This came across as a transparent ploy to make the couple appear as deviant as possible (as if that was necessary). The bottom line is that Craig entered an Alford plea and Johnson pleaded guilty to committing crimes, not of practicing magick. The media’s insistence on highlighting their political and religious affiliations, rather than the nature of their alleged criminal activity, was the real scandal in this case. I don’t care if Johnson and Craig were Democrats, libertarians, or Communists. I don’t care if they worshiped Satan, Christ, or pumpkins. Creeps are creeps, and crime is crime.
  • A staple of Western conspiranoia culture is that affluent, well-connected Satanists are operating massive child-trafficking rings throughout the world for the purposes of ritual abuse, ritual sacrifice, and child prostitution (see the “Franklin cover-up” hoax for one of many examples). But as I pointed out in this 2010 post about a group of Baptist missionaries, global child trafficking is not confined to any particular religion or tax bracket.
    Whatever happened to those orphan-hustling Baptists in Haiti? Incredibly, nine of the ten people arrested were released without charge, leaving just one woman to face trial in Haiti for human trafficking. Laura Silsby was convicted, but went free after sentencing because her six-month prison sentence had “already been served”. You read that correctly. Abducting Haitian children gets you less prison time than stealing a car.
    Wow. So where are the outraged conspiracy theorists, writing books and making documentaries about the Baptist conspiracy to steal and sell kids? Don’t any of them find it interesting that 33 Haitian children were taken…the very number sacred to Scottish Rite Freemasons?
  • When I last checked in on him, in 2007, “occult expert” Jerry Johnston was in some hot water, facing allegations of financial mismanagement and other shady dealings at his Kansas megachurch.
    Here’s what happened. In February 2011, First Family Church went into receivership, owing $14.4 in loans. At that time, First Family had an annual payroll of $915,000, with over $600,000 of that going to members of Jerry Johnston’s family. On September 11, 2011, First Family Church closed it doors.
  • For a time, the Hosanna Church case in Ponchatoula, Louisiana appeared to be the world’s first authentic incident of Satanic ritual abuse. Pastor Louis Lamonica Jr. had confessed to molesting children in a ritualistic manner, and his clannish little following certainly fit the profile of a dangerous Satanic cult.
    The problem was, the Hosanna church cultists weren’t Satanists. They were Christians. And when the case finally went to trial in 2008, two of the three children supposedly abused by cult members retracted their accusations on the witness stand. The two boys first gave retractions back in 2005, but prosecutors proceeded with the case anyway.
    Far from worshiping Satan, church members attempted to expel demons from their bodies by purging and confessed their every sin to the charismatic assistant pastor, Lois Mowbray.
    Again, where are the conspiracy theorists? They were all over this case when it was about Satanism, but they seem to have faded into the woodwork now that it’s all about deviant Christianity.

A Very Weak Attempt to Link Sandy Hook to Satanism

As discussed in my last post, many conspiracy theorists are trying to link the Aurora and Newtown massacres to Satanism. The video below is one of the silliest examples of this effort. It attempts to connect the dots among a perfume commercial starring Lady Gaga (a favourite target of Vigilant Citizen, and others who search for Illuminati/occult symbolism in movies, music videos, and TV commercials), the latest Batman movie, Aurora, and Newtown.
The major flaw with this approach is that any number of interpretations can be made of Lady Gaga’s videos. They are artistic, dark, and more than a little twisted. Beneath the video, I’ve added my own interpretations of some of the imagery in the perfume commercial to show you just how easy it is to bring your own experiences and perceptions to the table.

The “Matrix-style surgical probe”: This is actually just a light mounted on a flexible, snake-like tube. It does not enter the statue.
The black bodysuit:
I doubt this is a nod to Catwoman. Gaga likes bodysuits, as evidenced by the white Where the Wild Things Are-inspired latex bodysuit she wore at the beginning of the “Bad Romance” video.
The “trooper hat”: An old-fashioned ladies’ picture hat, updated

The mirror: Clearly a reference to Cocteau’s Orphée, in which Orpheus is transported to the underworld by stepping into a mirror with a liquid surface. We know that Gaga admires French culture; she speaks French at the beginning of the video for “Papparazzi”. We know she likes classic film, because she references Hitchcock four times in a single verse of “Bad Romance”. And I’m not the only one who sees a correspondence between Cocteau and Gaga – check out this fan video of her song “Bad Romance”, set to scenes from Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast. We are not dealing with Satanism here. The black mirror is a straight-up homage to French arthouse cinema.
[I wrote the passage above before re-watching the mirror scene in Orphée. When I reviewed it, I realized Gaga was definitely, absolutely, beyond any question in the world, re-enacting it. Watch it yourself, and note how Orpheus and Gaga extend their arms and place their hands in the same position as they cautiously approach the mirror. Note, also, that Gaga hesitates before the black mirror, while Orpheus allows himself to be coaxed into his mirror by an underworld minion. Give her credit for that, at least!
Fun fact: While Gaga’s mirror is CGI, Cocteau filmed someone submerging their gloved hands into a pool of mercury to create the shimmery ripple effect.]
“Portrait: Death of Children (ovum and sperm)”: I don’t see ovum or sperm in this image, so abortion doesn’t come to mind at all. The gold jewelry Gaga wears reminds me of slime mold.
“Look how they prequel shooting children!”: But there are no children in this scene. There is a CGI rendering of a metallic Gaga aiming a gun at a flesh-and-blood Gaga. I don’t think the metallic Gaga represents a child.
The backmasking of Lt. Paul Vance: I closed my eyes for this portion of the video, and typed my own interpretation of the backwards words. Someone says, “Let us now…worst-dressed. Now. Worst.” Then Vance says, “Excellent. Herb get it done initiate get some I said go. Said the wood A sauce throat dead Sarah the one with oss nitiate.get some mean you left paw. Nnnnasty deep blue knew it he blew it no [or know] me luck. Still when this window go in and out ffth with a maze Gazoo [or kazoo] with your breath. With your breath a syndrome go pull out the waw never been there rash knees bucksters soreth give [gibberish that sounds like “Mickulick”]. Judith or a nay she not pay up.
So from this we can determine that Paul Vance is owed money by a woman named Judith, has an accomplice named Herb, and may or may not like The Flintstones.

As for production designer Nathan Crowley being related to the infamous occultist, Aleister Crowley was, as Nathan told the Art Newspaper in 2008, his grandfather’s cousin, but Nathan was “never allowed to even mention his name because we were a very Quaker family.”

Weak attempts to link the Connecticut shootings to Devil worship

Tabloids, Christian websites, and YouTube auteurs are attempting to link Newtown, Connecticut, killer Adam Lanza to Satanism – on the softest evidence you can possibly imagine.

A Daily Mail article quotes Trevor L. Todd, a “former classmate” of Lanza, as saying that Adam once had a “Satan worshiping” web page with a banner that featured the word Devil in a red, “Gothic-style” font. This vaguely-remembered website supposedly created by a middle school student is the only evidence presented to suggest that Lanza was a Satanist. To date, the web page’s existence hasn’t even been confirmed.
The article goes on to claim that FBI investigators “strongly believe he made use of devil-worshiping and suicide sites and boasted of his murder plans on message forums”. No source is given for this information.

World Net Daily doesn’t have any more solid information than the Daily Mail, but the writer of this article attempts to give the story some teeth by throwing in references to other murders committed by “Satanists”. Aaron Klein even speculates about a possible Satanic conspiracy:
“Was Lanza part of a larger Satanic or ritualistic subculture locally or online in which he could have revealed his plans or could have even received support in preparing for the killings?”
Then he takes other media outlets to task for failing to report on the Satanic angle of the Aurora, Colorado shootings. “Although largely underreported, Satanic subculture and so-called devil worship has been a factor in numerous other mass killings, including the recent Batman shooting massacre.”
At this point, Klein is forced to  concede that James Holmes wasn’t actually a Satanist; he just liked the Joker as played by Heath Ledger a lot, and the Joker had Satanic attributes. You know, like every supervillain in every comic book ever.
Klein goes on to educate WND readers about other infamous “Satanic” murders, starting with the Manson Family killings:
“According to reports, Tate was originally selected to play the main character in her husband’s Rosemary’s Baby, a film about a pregnant woman who fears that her husband may have made a pact with neighbors to use her child as a human sacrifice in their occult rituals. Actress Mia Farrow ultimately got the role, while Tate did make a brief appearance in the film.”
This is wrong on just about every level. Sharon Tate was never considered for the role of Rosemary in her husband’s film. The film itself has absolutely nothing to do with the murders; the Tate/Polanski residence was targeted by Manson and his followers because Polanski and Tate were subletting the house from music producer Terry Melcher, a man Manson deeply resented for failing to turn him into a recording superstar.
Richard Ramirez is the next “Satanic” killer on the list, and he’s the only one who really qualifies for inclusion. Ramirez did identify himself as a Satanist.
But Sean Sellers, the teenager who converted to Christianity in jail after murdering his parents? He may have promoted himself as a “reformed Satanist” who killed only because he was under the Devil’s influence, but an examination of his criminal appeals tells a different story. Sellers was so desperate to escape the death penalty for crimes he admittedly committed that he pled diminished capacity due to demonic possession, and later claimed to have Multiple Personality Disorder. Sellers was a shrewdly manipulative man who knew exactly what he was doing at all times.

The last case Klein cites is the murder of Steven Newberry by a trio of teens, led by a charismatic thug named Jim Hardy. The killers practiced some rudimentary form of “Satanism” that mostly revolved around torturing and killing cats. The murder of their “friend” Newberry was a thrill killing that would have been committed with or without their childish attempts at devil worship.
Klein’s efforts to lay the blame for Adam Lanza’s crimes on Satanism are baseless. To call Lanza’s evil deeds “Satanic” because he allegedly expressed interest in the Devil in his teens is just as absurd as labeling a murder “Christian” because the killer was once an altar boy.

Some Christians don’t want to stop at blaming Satanism for the massacre, though. They also want to blame the victims’ parents and even God himself, arguing that mass murder of 6-year-olds is God’s just punishment for “kicking God out of schools”. In the video below, Christian rapper Tireo tells us that God granted Satan permission to “demonize” Adam Lanza so that he would murder children, but the media won’t disclose this because Adam was white. Also, the victims were handpicked (by God?) because their parents “had sin in their lives.”

Blaming Satan

Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, has stated that Satan was behind last week’s murders in Newtown, Connecticut.

Tragic events like the mass murder of schoolchildren certainly have an evil aura, and it isn’t out of line to label the killer’s actions as evil, in my opinion.
But to attribute the killer’s actions directly to Satan, as Wildmon has done, is problematic. First of all, it’s entirely possible that Adam Lanza had an emotional or mental disorder that interfered with his ability to feel empathy for others, manage his emotions, or control his impulses. The notion that mental illness is caused by demonic infestation or Satanic influence, promoted by Alex Jones and others, is positively Medieval and has no place in an informed, educated society like our own. It will not benefit the mentally ill, their caregivers, mental health professionals, or family members to fob the blame off on the Devil. If Lanza was not mentally ill, then he was fully responsible for his crimes, and no one else (including Satan) deserves even a shred of the blame for what he chose to do.

In the News

People often ask me, “But haven’t you ever come across a real case of ritual abuse?”. The answer is yes, I have. And I can tell you this: Almost without exception, that ritual abuse has involved small Christian cults, rather than international Satanic ones. For example, the Hosanna Church cult in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, was originally branded a Satanic cult that ritually abused children, but victims who testified at the trial of pastor Louis Lamonica Jr. mentioned only ritual abuse committed in a Christian context.
Now we have even graver allegations being made against a young Bible study leader in Kansas City, Missouri. Micah Moore, 22, has been charged with the murder of nurse Bethany Deaton, 27, and claims that he was persuaded to kill her by Bethany’s own husband, Tyler Deaton. Tyler is an “ex-gay” who has headed a small, tight-knit Christian group for the past several years. Some members are so devoted to Tyler that they followed him from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, to his current home in Kansas City. Tyler and Bethany had been married for just three months when she died. Bethany’s death on October 30 initially appeared to be a suicide (her body was found in a van parked near Longview Lake, a plastic bag over her head). No one suspected otherwise until Moore turned himself in earlier this month. He told police that Tyler has been engaging in “spiritual sex” with several of the young men who share his house, and that he routinely drugged Bethany so that his followers could rape her. Moore even claimed to possess video footage of these sexual assaults. Fearful that Bethany would tell her therapist about what was going on, Tyler approached Micah with the idea of murdering her and disguising her death as a suicide.
At this early stage, it’s possible that Moore’s story will turn out to be false. Maybe he killed his leader’s wife on his own and pinned the blame on Tyler. However, at least three of the Deatons’ four roommates have confirmed that Tyler was having sex with them and that he termed these relations “spiritual”. The fourth roommate feels he was being groomed to become one of Tyler’s sexual partners.
In Texas, Tyler felt that the official student clubs at Southwestern University weren’t hardcore enough for him, so he formed his own independent group. Members would spend hours of every day in the campus chapel, praying and singing under Tyler’s direction. They also engaged in “holy laughter”, and attempted faith healing of severely disabled people on at least two occasions. Tyler preached to his group about the evils of homosexuality, claiming he “overcame” his own gay orientation through the power of Christ. By the end of the 2008-2009 school year, Southwestern administrators were so troubled by the group’s activities that they denied Deaton further use of the chapel. That’s when Tyler, Bethany, and several young men decided to relocate to a more sympathetic school, the International House of Prayer University in Kansas City. In Missouri, Bethany and Tyler attended Forerunner Christian Fellowship Church. They married in August of this year.
If the allegations made by Micah Moore are true, then a murderous Christian sex cult has been active on the campus of a Christian university for the past three years, engaging in ritualistic sex and rape under the direction of a charismatic but deranged leader. Will we call this group’s practices “Christian ritual abuse”? Or will we continue to insist that abusive sexual practices are the exclusive domain of Satanists, when all evidence indicates that Satanic crime is, in fact, far less common than Christian crime? When you think about it, this makes sense. There are far fewer Satanists in America than Christians, so the rate of crimes committed by Christians should be much higher than the rate of crimes committed by Satanists. This includes sexual abuse and murder.Another Forerunner was in the news this week, when 19-year-old Two and a Half Men star Angus T. Jones declared in a video produced by The Forerunner Chronicles that he feels terrible about being on a show that is “filth” and might even be contributing to Satan’s plan to subvert humanity. He urged Americans to avoid television altogether, in fact. He has since qualified his remarks, stating that he has a lot of respect for everyone who works on the show; he considers them members of his family. He has not attempted to explain how a program produced by such good people can be a tool of the Devil.
The man who appears beside Jones in the video is Christopher “Forerunner” Hudson, a YouTuber who believes that Jay-Z is a Satan-worshiping Freemason. Hudson also buys into and promotes a broad range of conspiracy nonsense: The death of Osama bin Laden was faked, Michael Jackson’s death was engineered to distract the world from the Pope’s plea for a New World Order, etc.

Charisma magazine is the most popular Christian magazine in the world. Despite its conservative slant, the articles featured in it are usually timely and concisely written, with little of the bombast you’ll see on TV programs like The 700 Club or Jack Van Impe Presents. What, then, shall we make of a recent article titled “Can You Be Raped by the Devil?“, which claims that the Medieval notion of succubi and incubi invading our bedrooms at night is valid, and that the content of our dreams can be influenced by these demons? The article, which relies heavily on the anecdotal accounts of one former stripper, even suggests that sexual orientation can be altered by sexual demons. Does ancient superstition such as this really belong in the world’s foremost Christian publication, read by millions? What is this teaching the younger readers of the magazine – that every wet dream they experience in adolescence is actually a visitation from a demon bent on making them gay?