- 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.
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?
Satanic ritual abuse and “Nephilim hybrids” in Oklahoma
On the August 16th-17th broadcast of Coast to Coast AM, guest L.A. Marzulli was nattering on about endtime prophecy, natural disasters, and a Great Deception involving aliens or the Illuminati or something. I wasn’t really listening. Then he said this: According to two researchers who contacted him recently, at least two American women claiming to be victims of Satanic ritual abuse (SRA) have reported that the Satanists took them to Mount Hermon to be impregnated by fallen angels, which Marzulli referred to as the Nephilim of Genesis 6:4 (I’m not even sure if the Nephilim are supposed to be the same “sons of God” that mated with human women, or giants unrelated to the angels, or the offspring of angels and women, but that’s a different post). The researchers who alerted Marzulli to this story had no vested interest in the matter, he insisted.
Marzulli then hinted that the hybrid offspring of these women have some connection to the alien breeding program, and that the Nephilim are keeping them at an offworld location.
“Will they bring them back at some point?” host George Noory asked.
“Yes, they will,” Marzulli replied without hesitation.
So I Googled “Nephilim ritual abuse” and found a recent online radio interview with Pastor Doug Riggs, described as a friend of L.A. Marzulli. The subject was “Nephilim Mothers”.
The name Doug Riggs was very familiar to me, but I couldn’t recall precisely why. I rifled through some notes. Sure enough, I had jotted down a bit of info on the guy. A month or two ago I had stumbled upon a documentary from 1994, In Satan’s Name, which originally aired on HBO. Riggs and his Morningstar Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, were featured in the film’s most memorable and disturbing segment.
In 1994, no fewer than 14 members of Morningstar Church believed they had been brought up in Satanism, were horrifically abused as children, and had Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). All of this was based on repressed memories they recovered while in “counseling” with Pastor Riggs, during sessions lasting up to 19 hours in length. Please keep in mind that we’re not talking about Okie bumpkins, here. These were reasonably intelligent, middle-class people who seriously should have known better.
To be fair, Morningstar didn’t look like a cult. Riggs was a poised, handsome man with graying hair and a mellow voice. He spoke knowledgeably about psychology. It’s no wonder that parishioners turned to him for pastoral counseling unrelated to Satanism or abuse (marital trouble, eating disorders, etc.).
From 1985 on, these counselees began recovering memories of horrific, lifelong ritual abuse at the hands of Satanists. Namely their own parents. And after 1991, when Riggs learned about MPD (now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder), they began to discover they had hundreds, even thousands, of separate personalities because of the Satanic ritual abuse. Riggs told them that every single one of their alters could be possessed by demons.
Counseling was conducted in a large room with a mattress on the floor, so counselees could go through abreactions without hurting themselves. Riggs would lay on top of the person when abreactions became intense, while helpers held the person’s arms and legs. In this way, counseling and deliverance from demonic possession were merged into a single process. In one filmed session with a 30ish man, Riggs ordered a demon out of his body (“Explode the seals!”) while the man writhed and convulsed on the mattress, growling obscenities.
Ultimately, Riggs concluded that all these people had been victimized by the same Satanic cult, led by a man named Joe (father of one of the parishioners, Pam), and that God had brought the victims together at Morningstar to be healed. Joe supposedly conducted powerful rituals for high government officials (including leaders of the Soviet Union), the Vatican, even heads of state. The narrator of In Satan’s Name explains that in reality, Joe was a Nebraska salesman who had never left his home state. He died during filming.
Needless to say, the allegations tore apart families. A graceful, soft-spoken couple in their 60s, Jim and Fran Field, mourned the loss of their daughter Cynthia to what they considered a destructive, all-consuming cult.
This was as far as In Satan’s Name took the story, but I soon learned that the situation at Morningstar was even stranger.
A testimony written in 1999 by 49-year-old Morningstar member Kim Campbell starts out as boilerplate SRA stuff. Campbell explains that Satanism, “as old as mankind itself”, is a blend of Sumero–Akkadian/Babylonian mystery religions, Kabbala, and Paganism. “The culture is unbelievably and ingeniously evil; virutally everything about the culture is humanly damaging.” Kim was subjected not only to “every abuse, trauma, and demonization imaginable within satanism”, but to “medically-based mind control programming” at U.S. government facilities, clinics, and the Tavistock Institute (a favourite bugaboo in the world of conspiracy theory). Half of his waking preschool life was spent “being indoctrinated and incested“. This realization came to him after 18 months of therapy with Pastor Riggs.
It isn’t until page 7 of the testimony that shit gets seriously weird. Kim drops this bombshell: His real father was Edouard Philippe de Rothschild, and Kim was the “bastard son…of occult incest”, indicating his mom Lula (who died in 1977) had some relation to the Rothschilds. Kim spent much of his childhood and adolescence on his dad’s French estate, and was brought up in homosexual incest. He thought it was normal, even admirable.
Edouard despised God and loved humanity with equal passion. “Such was the true generational core of my ancestral iniquity and, being a Rothschild descendant, it was maximally demonized.” As all Satanists do, Edouard introduced his son to Christianity, “with none other than Herr Josef Mengele himself coaching him over his shoulder.” Kim was being groomed to infiltrate the Protestant church. As Riggs declared, the members of Morningstar Church “had come together to live in such a way as to hasten the Lord’s coming for His Bride, but we also had been constituted in the occult to frustrate the will of God for the Church and bring the antichrist instead.”
Wow. Just wow. Somehow, Doug Riggs convinced most of his 30-40 parishioners that they were multiple personalities programmed in Zedekiah’s cave by the great families of Europe (plus Nazi doctors) to infiltrate the Christian Church and pave the way for the Antichrist, who will be a member of the Hapsburg family associated with the name “Alexander”.
Instead, they found a saviour. Un–fracking-believable, no?
Let’s go back to L.A. Marzulli for a moment. He also mentioned that Dr. Mengele was one of the originators of mind control. This is a very popular notion in conspiracy circles, but it makes little sense. Mengele was a geneticist, not a psychiatrist, and there’s no evidence that he took even the slightest interest in psychology.
Marzulli also made reference to the work of I.E.D. Thomas, a Welsh minister who believes that UFOs and alien abductions are demonic manifestations, another guise of the Nephilim.
Back to Riggs and the Morningstar Satanists. Last April, Riggs and his wife were guests on The Byte Show, accompanied by about half a dozen of Riggs’ SRA victims, to discuss the infiltration of Nephilim hybrids into society.
Riggs began the show with a reading of Matthew 24:37, in which it is stated that the coming of the Son of Man (Christ) will be just like the days of Noah. And what happened in the days of Noah? Nephilim mated with the daughters of Man. That’s exactly what Riggs contends is happening now. Fallen angels – the “B’nai Elohim” – are interbreeding with human women, by force. He cited the work of I.E.D. Thomas. Hmm. Call me an asshole, but I’m starting to wonder if Marzulli’s “two researchers” actually exist. Isn’t it more likely that he got his eschatological Illuminati-Satanic-Nephilim info from his buddy Doug?
Two women gave their stories of being “Nephilim mothers”.
Sally, a surprisingly chirpy woman, says that after joining Riggs’ church, she began to journal and pray, and memories started surfacing. She shared her journal with the pastor, but after a time she felt God compelling her to share things directly, even her most frightening memory (the President wearing a gorilla costume). Through prayer and God’s guidance, she learned to trust her emerging memories. She learned that she came from a royal bloodline, stamped with a certain iniquity and allied with Nazi doctors. Many years ago she revealed to Riggs that she had once given birth to a Nephilim child. She had been groomed literally from the womb to bond with the principality (spirit) that sired this child.
Riggs sat on the Nephilim hybrid revelation until this year. Now he’s an expert on the subject. Riggs explains that Nephilim conception occurs at age 13, through an arcane genetic-engineering process (angels can’t reproduce). Gestation is 4 months. Once the Nephilim hybrid sons have matured, their mothers are encouraged to become their lovers, carrying on the tradition of “incesting“.
The second woman, Juliana, learned just this year that her recovered memories of giving birth to human sons were actually screen memories of bearing Nephilim sons. Like all the other Morningstar members, she was born to a European “royal family”, then placed with relatives in the U.S. She was “incested” by the couple she called her mom and dad. She trusts her recovered memories because of their emotional intensity, a very poor indicator of whether a memory is true or false.
For the rest of the program, Riggs made a strenuous effort to show that the SRA victims’ memories didn’t come from him. Hilariously, though, he got them to explain how he doesn’t tell them what to say by telling them what to say.
There is, of course, ample reason to suspect that the Satanic Illuminati stories did come from Riggs. First of all, there’s that peculiar use of “incest” as a verb. While this may be common usage in the survivor community, I have come across it only a handful of times – and every single instance involved Riggs or one of his church members. Secondly, recovered memories of SRA have turned out time and time again to be unreliable (see the Ingram case for a particularly chilling example). Thirdly, some of the key details are whack. There was no Edouard Philippe de Rothschild, and if there had been he would have been Jewish. How, I wonder, would a Jewish Frenchman and a Catholic Nazi groom a child to infiltrate American Protestant churches? If the Satanic New World Order plot is closely linked with Hitler’s plan to create Aryan supermen, as Riggs contends, why would a former Nazi help a Jewish man raise his illegitimate children? And Satanism notwithstanding, why would a Nazi and a Jew be hanging out together in the first place?
Then there’s the fact that this has all happened before.
In the early ’90s, right around the time Riggs was learning about MPD/DID, psychiatrist Bennett Braun opened a DID treatment unit at Chicago’s Rush Presbyterian Hospital. Within a year, he and his colleagues had most of the patients convinced they were lifelong victims of Satanic cults, that their alter personalities still practiced Satanism, that they had ritually sacrificed and/or eaten other people, and that because of their Satanic affiliations they posed a mortal danger to their families, themselves, and other patients. Braun even told them that flowers sent to their rooms were coded mind-control messages from Satanists, with certain colours representing threats and commands.
As former patients like Pat Burgus and Mary Shanley later revealed (see the Frontline documentary The Search for Satan), the people in Braun’s DID unit were so heavily medicated that stories of cannibalism and Satanic incest began to make sense to them. They have since renounced all their “recovered memories”, and some filed lawsuits against Braun and the other doctors involved in their treatment.
What happened at Rush Presbyterian isn’t much different from the spectacular displays of female hysteria that gripped Paris’s Salpetriere Hospital in the late 19th century. Under the influence of Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot, numerous women underwent bizarre convulsions and contortions not unlike the symptoms of “demonic possession”. When Charcot died in 1893, the symptoms abated, leading some of his colleagues to suspect that the hysteria had been iatrogenic in nature. Medical historian Edward Shorter supports this conclusion in his book A History of Psychiatry (1997, John Wiley & Sons).
Though Dissociative Identity Disorder is classified as a dissociative disorder in the DSM-IV, Multiple Personality Disorder was considered a form of hysteria. Specifically, it was Grande Hysterie – the very same condition suffered by Charcot’s patients.
It’s tremendously disturbing to me that Riggs has been carrying on this “counseling” for over 30 years without interruption, and that he is bringing a new generation of “victims” into his circle (his youngest, a Canadian named Sarah, is just 21 years old).
There’s troubling evidence that the Nephilim hybrid/recovered memory nonsense has taken hold in at least one congregation in Australia. Riggs is also closely associated with Russ Dizdar, a pastor we’ll examine in the next post.
Also, Riggs’ belief system is rooted in a school of thought that sees all mental illness as demonic in nature, and/or indicative of repressed memories. He insists that before they enter into counseling with him, his parishioners read the work of Neil T. Anderson, a minister who preaches that 80% of Christians are “demonized” to some extent and that most (if not all) mental illness is a symptom of demonization. He offers “clinical deliverance” (exorcism) as treatment.
An Update on the Ponchatoula, Lousiana Satanic Ritual Abuse Case
Two young men expected to testify in the upcoming trial of Trey Bernard in Ponchatoula have recanted. 17 and 21 years old, they now say they were not ritually abused by members of Ponchatoula’s Hosanna Church as children.
A 7-year-old girl allegedly abused by the Hosanna “cult” has not recanted, but isn’t expected to testify.
The Ponchatoula Case
A tiny church in small-town Louisiana will be the focus of a criminal trial; the pastor confessed to ritual/sexual abuse of children.
In May 2005, a former pastor named Louis Lamonica, Jr., walked into a police station in Livingston, Louisiana, and admitted that he and several other members of his church congregation had sexually abused children (and a dog) in the years 1999-2003 (when Hosanna Church of Ponchatoula shut its doors). He admitted to molesting two boys from the age of 4 until they were 12 or 13. Amazingly, Lamonica was stunned when Livingston police arrested him – he thought he was reporting crimes, not confessing to them! At any rate, it was hardly news to the police. They had first heard of the abuse a week earlier, from an Ohio woman named Nicole Bernard. Bernard told police she had fled Louisiana to protect her two children from pedophiles in Lamonica’s congregation.
Within a couple of weeks, 9 former members of Hosanna Church had been arrested and charged with aggravated rape of children under 13. Among the accused were a Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s deputy, Lamonica’s 45-year-old wife Robbin, the church pianist, Nicole Bernard, and Bernard’s ex-husband. This is when things started to get really weird. Several of the accused and some of the witnesses stated that Hosanna Church had been a cover for a Satanic sect that conducted ceremonies involving pentagrams, animal sacrifice, and black robes. Lamonica himself said that he had ritually sacrificed cats and poured the blood over children forced to take part in the ceremonies.
Hosanna Church was started by Louis Lamonica Sr., and during his lifetime was a vibrant body of at least 100 members. When Jr. took over the reigns in 1993, membership plummeted until barely a dozen congregants remained. Lamonica was, by all accounts, a strange and difficult man, a demanding and over-controlling pastor. No one suspected that he was a child molestor and a Satanist, however. Somehow, in a quiet town of 5000 that is known for its Strawberry Festival (and its plethora of churches), this behaviour didn’t catch anyone’s attention.
I have to wonder: Did the accused fabricate stories of devil-worship to justify their sexual abuse of children and animals? Is it all a “Satan made me do it” smokescreen? It seems entirely possible, however, that Lamonica turned to occultism after Christianity didn’t work out for him, and secretly gathered a handful of followers who were attracted to children and/or Satanism. The unsolicited confessions of Nicole Bernard and Louis Lamonica lead me to believe that this could be one of the few authentic instances of ritual abuse in the U.S.
8 adults are currently awaiting trial on charges of aggravated rape of children (all 4 men are accused of abusing 3 children, two boys and a girl); a 54-year-old woman has been charged with failing to report the abuse. The prosecutor has made it clear that allegations of Satanic worship will not be included in the trial.
May 19/05 90 WAFB Baton Rouge (CBS affiliate) news report by Matt Clough
Mormon Ritual Abuse?
Famed Latter Day Saint apologist Hugh Nibley has been accused of ritualized molestation by his grown daughter, a columnist for O magazine.
In 2005, 42-year-old motivational speaker and author Martha Beck released her memoir of breaking away from the Mormon (LDS) Church, entitled Leaving the Saints. Mrs. Beck was one of 8 living children born to the influential Mormon apologist Hugh Nibley, a prolific scholar and foremost Mormon apologist. In her book, Beck claims her father sexually molested her between the ages of 5 and 9, and did so in a ritualistic manner (whilst chanting ancient Egyptian phrases and Bible passages). Mrs. Beck began to “recover” the memories of incest as an adult, though she says she has traumatic memories she never suppressed, as well.
There is a small amount of physical evidence in this case, but it doesn’t point directly to Mr. Nibley molesting his daughter. We may never know what really happened. It is significant, however, that Mrs. Beck’s 7 siblings have refuted her allegations (see hughnibleydefense.com). Is the family in denial about possible abuse, especially now that Mr. Nibley is no longer alive to defend himself? Is Mrs. Beck mistaken about the events of her childhood? If abuse did occur, was it occultic/ritualistic in character? Time may tell.
Mrs. Beck is a successful author and life coach who has a regular column in O magazine. She deals with sensitive issues that most mainstream columnists sidestep: Loneliness, loss of faith, toxic relationships, etc. Oprah has called her one of the most intelligent women she has ever met.