Reply to venusinpieces

September 20, 2010

On my Theistic Satanism blog, venusinpieces posted a comment below my post Christine O’Donnell’s alleged “little midnight picnic on a satanic altar”, asking me to look at her allegations of what she calls “satanic ritual abuse” while at the same time saying that “the label of satanic ritual abuse somewhat of a misnomer, because the majority of these organizations tend towards a more syncretic religious style.” She also says, “I am actually quite inspired by many cultures that could be classified as satanic.”

She then pointed me to a link to a post on her own blog, Elite Human Trafficking: updated. The post contains a mix of personal experience, stories she has heard from acquaintances, and stuff she has read, mostly from “conspiracy theory” sources.

Since I don’t know her personally, I have no way of knowing whether her alleged personal experiences are true. For now, I will assume for the sake of argument that they are all true. Even so, they do not prove the existence of the distinct alleged phenomenon known as “Satanic ritual abuse.”

There do exist some organized criminal gangs that function as religious cults. One of the biggest and best-organized religious gang/cults, La Familia Michoacana, does its thing in the name of evangelical Christianity. A smaller religious gang/cult that existed back in the 1980’s, headed by Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo, practiced ritual murder in the form of human sacrifice. So, gang/cults that practice human sacrifice as a religious ritual do exist, though known instances are rare.

However, the term “Satanic ritual abuse” typically refers to something much more specific than just a criminal religious gang/cult with violent religious practices. In the 1980’s, it was typically alleged that SRA was practiced by generations-old, centuries-old, or even millenia-old family cults that had somehow managed to keep their existence secret for lo those many generations, despite regular human sacrifices every year. SRA allegations came from two main sources: (1) people with “recovered memories,” often though not always arising from the use of hypnosis, and (2) children who had been interviewed by therapists asking lots and lots of leading questions.

Back in the 1980’s, a widespread psychotherapy fad held that all sorts of common emotional problems, including even just overeating, were most likely caused by repressed memories of child sexual abuse. It was alleged that recovering those horrific memories was essential to healing. So, lots of people aimed to “recover” their memories via hypnosis and other questionable techniques. Most of these “recovered memories” involved just garden variety child molestation, but a large minority were much more horrific. Such “recovered memories” are notoriously unreliable.

SRA claims soon merged with the “conspiracy theory” subculture. It was then claimed that the SRA cults were, in one way or another, intertwined with CIA mind-control projects whose purpose was to “program” Manchurian candidate-style assassins. These claims, too, were based largely on “recovered memories.” Hence I’m not inclined to give them much credence.

Project MK-ULTRA did indeed exist and did indeed involve various abuses, including experiments conducted without the subjects’ consent.

But this doesn’t mean that all allegations about MK-ULTRA — or about any alleged subsequent “mind control” projects — are necessarily true. In particular, I find it very hard to believe that the CIA could recruit a large number of middle-class and upper-class parents to torture and “program” their own children. I also think it highly unlikely that the CIA would “program” children at day care centers like the McMartin Preschool. I would have less trouble believing that some horrible mind-control experiments might have been conducted on the prisoners at Guantanamo, or on groups of homeless people or illegal immigrants.

Venusinpieces also talks about “human trafficking” gangs involved in prostitution. She correctly notes that this issue has been used as a political football by ideologues of various stripes. Most likely, such gangs do indeed exist. Unfortunately, this issue has been exaggerated and sensationalized by anti-porn/anti-prostitution activists, including not only some religious right wingers but also some feminists. Alas, such activists are like the boy who cried wolf. When too many people make exaggerated claims about a given problem, it tends to discredit even valid allegations about real instances of the same problem. The solution, however, is not to endorse the specific allegations of the people who are crying wolf.

In any case, the existence of “human trafficking” gangs certainly does not prove the existence of long-lived SRA family cults.

Given today’s growing disparities in wealth, another criminal phenomenon that probably DOES exist — and will probably become ever more prevalent if the Tea Party gets its way — is extremely wealthy child molesters, serial killers, etc. wtih the wherewithal to bribe top officials of large police departments and thereby avoid getting caught. Venusinpieces shares some personal experiences that suggest the existence of such criminals.

However, I would NOT expect such elite creeps to be organized into large groups that include lots and lots of public figures all engaged, together, in child sexual abuse and human sacrifice rituals, over a period of many decades.

I’m extremely skeptical of the “human sacrifice” claims that have been made about large elite clubs like the Bohemian Grove. Burning an effigy does not imply actual ritual murder, any more than the Christian ritual of Holy Communion implies actual, physical cannibalism. Most likely, the “Cremation of Care” ceremony is intended simply as a dramatic reminder of the Bohemian Grove’s rule against discussing business at their annual retreat.

Also, I’m extremely skeptical of any and all SRA allegations involving Michael Aquino, who was initially accused as part of a classic 1980’s child care center witch hunt.

Venusinpieces cites some very disreputable writers, including Maury Terry. I recall reading part of Maury Terry’s book a long time ago. In one chapter, he claimed that most serial killings occurred on or near a “Satanic holiday” and then gave a long list of alleged “Satanic holidays,” such that almost every date on the calendar was on or near a “Satanic holiday.” I stopped reading at that point.

In short, Venusinpieces appears to be conflating a variety of criminal phenomena, some of which are known to exist or are at least likely to exist, and others of which are highly unlikely or at least very questionable.

I would recommend that Venusinpieces study the writings of the better debunkers, if she has not done so already, and I would urge her to take a less credulous attitude toward the “conspiracy theory” media. I wouldn’t dismiss all “conspiracy theory” claims out of hand, but, at the very least, they should be examined from both sides before accepting or endorsing them.

For some good general debunking of various “conspiracy theory” claims, see the blogs Swallowing the Camel and Leaving Alex Jonestown. Regarding the “Satanic Ritual Abuse” scare in particular, see my page on “Satanism” scares and their debunking and my collection of links about the SRA scare. Regarding claims about “the Illuminati,” see my page of Resources for debunking grand conspiracy ideology.

19 Responses to “Reply to venusinpieces”

  1. Sierra Peterson Says:

    In addition to my previous comment, I would also like to include a link to a recent news article reporting that the Pentagon has declined to investigate hundreds of their own employees, many of whom have top secret clearance, that were alleged to have viewed child porn on Pentagon computers. What is not being reported here is what happens to these children, a great number of who are assuredly being used for CIA projects that likely will not be in the news anytime soon.
    With all due respect, I have to say that academic research will only reveal the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the truth of trauma based brainwashing programs and their relationship to religious ritual abuse.

    • Diane Vera Says:

      What do you consider to be your best evidence that the CIA is involved in trauma-based mind control projects involving child porn?

      Also, I’ve looked at some other posts on your blog. If I understand correctly, it appears that you consider yourself to have recovered memories of being subjected to mind control. If that’s correct, you feel okay about discussing it here, I would be interested to hear how you recovered those memories and what led you to do so.

  2. Sierra Peterson Says:

    The first comment I left here didn’t go through so I will try again. I do appreciate you giving me the benefit of the doubt as that is more open minded than many who have read my story. But I think that there is a tendency to stereotype conspiracy researchers as fundamentalist lunatics because of the unfortunate bigotry of right wing elements, a pattern you may be familiar with due to similar stereotypes of occultists. I will check out the links you provided but have to admit I am skeptical because of how many of the most publicized accounts of false memories are derived from the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, an organization that a wealth of information has demonstrated is funded by the CIA.
    Regarding discussion of the “Satanic” New World Order, I see two very different deities at work here. Liberation theologists conceive of Satan as typified by state terrorism and religious institutions. The counterculture, on the other hand, envisions Satan as a deity who represents orgiastic celebration and rebellion against tyranny. The latter version of Satan would also govern the territory of the revolutionary, ironically including the conspiracy theorist as well as more conventional modes of resistance such as anti-globalization activism.
    As for the former colonel Michael Aquino, his involvement in coercive military brainwashing operations would place him in the former category, in my opinion.
    Aquino’s participation in these programs is something he is quite open about so there is much more info out there than the link I provided.

  3. Sierra Peterson Says:

    My own belief in trauma based mind control is derived from a combination of personal experience, online research and the first hand accounts of countless friends and acquaintances. What happened to me was luckily not so extreme as what gets characterized as satanic ritual abuse. Basically the situation is that the military/intelligence community has a decades long project in tracking people with inherited paranormal abilities. Since my Dad was in the Navy, and I am naturally somewhat psychic, I was subjected to psychotronic thought insemination as well as brainwave entrainment at a base I later discovered was involved in MK ultra experimentation. I haven’t recovered memories of ritual abuse although some of my friends have and I should mention that they are not fundamentalists and were not working with mental health professionals when this happened. I don’t have a problem discussing it although it would take forever to explain because the subject is complex and also quite unbelievable for those who aren’t open to psychic phenomena. I should also mention, in case it seems like I’m bragging, that my abilities are fairly minor in comparison with many in these programs. Here is one to check out if you are interested.

  4. Sierra Peterson Says:

    I will also mention that there was a single occasion in which I experienced what happens when the subconscious “edits” unpleasant memories. It was when I was in Tucson drinking in the park with some belligerent gutter punks and this black guy walked by us and they asked him for a cigarette. He said he didn’t have one and they started calling him a nigger and pulled out a knife. This was way back in 99 or maybe 2000. All this time all I’ve been remembering is the part where they stabbed him and his head exploded like a tomato. I was there with Julie and we ran to the phone to call 911, hoping we could save him. I remembered talking to the cops but nothing after that. And then a few years later I ran into one of these kids after he got out of prison. The other one was still locked up. He was upset for how we snitched on him and I remember saying you shouldn’t have killed that guy. And he said I didn’t. So then I started to question it. Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about and he really didn’t murder that guy in the park.
    It’s possible. That was what I was thinking up until Julie called me up just this spring wanting to talk about the murder. I said did he really murder that guy? Are you sure?
    And she said of course he did. You don’t remember? She described how we watched him get zipped up in a body bag and then I remembered it clearly. That was what had happened but sometimes it’s easier just not to remember things.

  5. Sierra Peterson Says:

    Additionally, I would like to respond to your statement that the inhumane conditions faced by women who have endured human trafficking are mere exaggerations of anti-prostitution activists. I know for a fact this is not true because I’ve personally known a large number of people who have been on the absolute lowest rungs of the sex industry hierarchy and what they’ve told me about their life and working conditions is invariably pretty bad. For example, a friend of mine recently told me about getting picked up by the Asian Mob, who raped her at gunpoint and then threw her out of the car naked in the middle of nowhere. She had no reason to exaggerate and unfortunately stories like this are routine.

    I believe that prostitution should be decriminalized so that women like her are able to go to the police and human traffickers can be prosecuted under fair labor laws. Minimizing the reality of these situations helps no one. Part of the reason I wrote my story in the first place was because of a growing disgust with San Francisco sex positive culture which seeks to characterize all sexual experience as necessarily liberatory while sweeping under the rug the experiences of already marginalized people. Why does sex have to be exclusively positive or negative? One can support decriminalization without resorting to a sugar coated perception of events that obscures the experiences of people who are genuinely in need of help.

  6. Diane Vera Says:

    I didn’t state that “the inhumane conditions faced by women who have endured human trafficking are mere exaggerations of anti-prostitution activists.” I don’t deny that horrible things have been done to people “on the absolute lowest rungs of the sex industry hierarchy.”

    What I object to is the tendency of anti-prostitution feminists to claim that ALL prostitution is involuntary, a result of coercion or at the very least economic desperation, and is not a profession that anyone would actually choose. (MOST women probably would not choose it, even under the best working conditions, but not everyone is emotionally wired the same.) I agree with you that decriminalization would probably improve working conditions a lot. The anti-prostitution feminists I am speaking of usually DON’T want to decriminalize prostitution, except perhaps to advocate that the ones who should be punished are the bosses and clients, and not the sex workers themselves. True decriminalization would mean decriminalizing it for bosses and clients as well as for sex workers.

    I agree with you that “One can support decriminalization without resorting to a sugar coated perception of events that obscures the experiences of people who are genuinely in need of help.”

    Another thing I object to, of course, is the tendency to endorse claims that are based on nothing more than “recovered memories.” I also object to blanket claims such as “children don’t lie.” And I’m leery of claims that sound too much like the standard alleged SRA scenario, or which allege vast conspiracies.

    Regarding your experience with the “editing” of unpleasant memories: It is one thing to “edit” a memory, but quite another to forget that a traumatic event even happened at all. A victim might go temporarily into psychological denial, but that’s not the same thing as full-fledged forgetting.

    You wrote: “Since my Dad was in the Navy, and I am naturally somewhat psychic, I was subjected to psychotronic thought insemination as well as brainwave entrainment at a base I later discovered was involved in MK ultra experimentation.” Is this something you always remembered, or is this something you totally forgot but then recovered your memories of? If the latter, how and under what circumstances were your memories recovered?

    I’m aware that not all “SRA survivors” are fundamentalists. Back in the late 1970’s and 1980’s, the idea of “recovered memories” was faddish pretty much everywhere.

    And, no, I don’t think all “conspiracy researchers” are “fundamentalist fanatics.” A few years ago, for a period of about six months or so, I myself was almost convinced of 9/11 “inside job” claims. But I continued dig into the evidence presented by both proponents and debunkers, and I eventually concluded that NONE of the alleged “inside job” evidence was sound. (There clearly WERE coverups, and I would still support a new investigation. But we don’t know WHAT was covered up, and there are any number of other, more likely possibilities besides a full-fledged “inside job” or even LIHOP, though I don’t completely rule these out as possibilities.) Anyhow, during the time I was almost convinced of 9/11 “inside job” claims, I also spent some time getting to know people in the “9/11 Truth” movement. So I know that “conspiracy researchers” vary quite a bit in their political and religious views. Still, I’m not favorably impressed by the reasoning abilities of most of them.

    As for the Alex Constantine links: The first one, “Ritual Abuse, CIA Mind Control & the False Memory Hoax” makes lots and lots of claims, without providing sources. The lack of citations makes this page pretty much useless as a source of information.

    He made one statement that I know is false: He claimed that the False Memory Syndrome Foundation “is dedicated to denying the existence of cult mind control and child abuse.” No. What the FMSF opposes is, much more specifically, the idea that “recovered memories” are reliable and that the total repression of traumatic memories is commonplace. The FMSF does not deny the existence of child abuse, nor does it categorically deny the existence of “cult mind control” (other than the specific scenarios for which there is no evidence other than “recovered memories”). Have you ever looked at the FMSF website yourself?

    As for Constantine’s article on Michael Aquino:

    This page does have footnotes, but lacks footnotes for some key allgations including the following:

    Aquino left the Presidio in the summer of 1986. He was assigned to Washington, D.C., then St. Louis. But he was, according to Army investigators, “back in the Presidio in San Francisco during that summer.” Aquino’s alibi is a cracked goose egg.

    On other matters, the question of whether the Temple of Set’s religion is a form of “Satanism” is an issue that Setians themselves have debated for decades. (This I know from my participation in various Satanist online forums over the years.) Perhaps Setianism is best described as “post-Satanism,” meaning that it originated as a form of Satanism, but has gradually grown away from that label because (1) Set is a mythological figure is very different from Satan, and (2) Michael Aquino and other leading ToS members got tired of the endless flame wars in the online Satanist scene of the early-to-mid-1990’s.

    Regarding Lilion Rosoff: Googling, I found this page containg a reply by Michael Aquinot to various accusations against him:

    Over the years I’ve interacted (mostly online and occasionally in person) with quite a few people who either left or were expelled from the Temple of Set. Based on what I observed, it seems highly unlikely to me that Michael Aquino would harass someone in an attempt to get someon to REMAIN A MEMBER of the Temple of Set. On the contrary, it has been my impression that the Temple of Set has been, if anything, overly quick to expel members.

    Anyhow, you introduced Constantine’s page about Aquino by saying, “his involvement in coercive military brainwashing operations” and saying “Aquino’s participation in these programs is something he is quite open about.” But the page you pointed me to does not contain any evidence or even any specific allegations to that effect.

    The page quotes Dale Seago talking about Aquino’s participation in pyschological warfare. But pyschological warfare is not the same thing as “coercive brainwashing.” Dale Seago is said to have described some examples of psychological warfare involving “tactical psyops, including the use of Hueys outfitted with ultra-high-decibel banks of loudspeakers” and the broadcast of “one blood-curdling tape exploiting Vietnamese-Buddhist burial customs.” These are examples of pyschological warfare (the manipulation of large groups of people, via propaganda and/or special effects, to gain a military advantage), NOT the same thing as “Coercive brainwashing” (something which, by definition, can only be done on people who are being held captive). Where has Aquino admitted to being involved in “coercive brainwashing”?

    Be that as it may, I never joined the Temple of Set myself. I’ve always been turned off by it for my own reasons, which I might go into in a later post or comment.

    I’ve read some other web pages by John Constantine in the past, and was not favorably impressed. He is not someone I am at all inclined to trust.

    Some notes on posting comments here:

    1) Any post that contains more than one link is automatically held for moderation and will not be visible immediately, except to you and me.

    2) Please do NOT post online videos here. I cannot watch them at the present time, for technical and logistical reasons I prefer not to go into.

  7. Sierra Peterson Says:

    Here is another link which cites newspaper articles and academic papers that confirm the participation of Jolly West, False Memory Syndrome Foundation board member, in CIA funded MK ultra experiments. That was the first name I pulled off of Constantine’s list and it only took about ten minutes of searching before I pulled up a credible source.
    The thing about conspiracy theories is that they are often written by people who don’t have the privilege of a graduate degree or foundation grants, unlike the counter arguments of establishment sources. This means that a lot of times it is necessary to do some extra legwork. Sometimes this results in the discovery that the researcher is full of it, but many times the extra effort is well rewarded. I have also found that it’s important to put aside enormous differences in ethics, religion, culture and just about everything else between myself and the researcher in order to get to the truth of the matter. But again this is useful because it has expanded my own perception of the world way past the confines of the political spectrum, the science vs spirit debate and numerous other false dichotomies. Anyways I will respond to the rest of your comment later.

  8. Sierra Peterson Says:

    As for Michael Aquino, have you read his paper, From Psyop to Mindwar: The Psychology of Victory?

    Click to access MindWar.pdf

    It outlines how electromagnetic mind control is designed to destroy the mind and personalities of both enemies and neutral targets by mimicking psychic phenomena.
    Aquino used EMF technologies on impoverished Vietnamese and they have since been covertly employed on US civilians, despite claims to the contrary. A cursory search for “EMF harassment” will turn up dozens of sites written by targets. Stopcovertwar is a great site that links to many others.

  9. Mr. Knowcebo Says:

    I want to make a comment about Christine O’Donnell’s claim that she dated a satanist and dabbled in witchcraft. I think her comments have to be viewed within the context of the culture of Evangelicalism. Testifying that one was demon-possessed and/or involved in Satanism is a very common trope for Evangelicals. I attended Lou Engle’s gathering in Sacramento recently. One of the speakers testified that she had been a lesbian, a gang member and a follower of Satan. I think these claims about Satanism are probably exaggerations, if not pure inventions. It’s a way to raise the stakes in their redemption stories.

  10. Sierra Peterson Says:

    Many survivors of ritual abuse are drawn to
    Christianity because they see a way to cleanse themselves of the trauma they have experienced. For some, this proves to be a genuinely redemptive experience that provides
    a depth of spiritual recovery that empirically-based psychotherapy is unable to provide. Other descend into dogmatism and condemnation of other faiths besides their own. To the commenter above, I would encourage you to look deeply into the claims of religious ritual abuse survivors who have no bones to pick with polytheism before casting judgement on people’s histories. Here is one very disturbing story about ritualized child abuse in a Catholic convent.
    People who doubt these stories usually claim to be skeptics, but skepticism is based on examining a subject in depth while exercising the full range of critical faculties, not just dismissing the whole scenario because of personal bias.

  11. Sierra Peterson Says:

    I did clearly remember being subjected to EMF harassment as a child but never knew exactly what it was that occurred until learning about mind control programs as an adult. What Aquino describes in the Mind War paper is exactly what was done to me. The US military has tested prototypes for subiliminal “self destruct” programs on civilian populations and you won’t be reading about it either in the newspaper or any other academically credible source, at least not in a way that recognizes the alarming prevalence of the project. Here is the link to the covert war site mentioned above. There are simply far too many stories of the reality of trauma-based psyops for it not to be true. Yes, there will always be people, including children, who make things up to get attention. But the level of organization that went into this site is beyond the capacity of a small group of compulsive liars.
    Electromagnetic brainwashing is directly related to ritual abuse because both practices form the foundation of the Monarch Project, the CIA program to fracture the mind and induce a premature kundalini awakening through physical, sexual and psychological abuse.

    It’s unfortunate that the overwhelming majority of ritual abuse victims are directed to fundamentalist xtians when seeking help, because many of them have paranormal abilities that the Church does not want to acknowledge. These people could benefit from being counseled by ethical occult practitioners who can explain that the paranormal is not necessarily “evil”, in order to alleviate the guilt that they are nearly always left with after their ordeal. Psychic phenomena are a very normal part of existence and the scientific community’s cover up of this subject, including the cover up of intergenerational ritual abuse, can only be seen as an extension of the inquisatorial suppression of mystical, earth-based traditions.

  12. Sierra Peterson Says:

    Here is another reason I believe the claims of ritual abuse survivors. When I was in junior high, a group of my friends had a sleepover where we all took turns levitating each other. For some reason I didn’t think too much about the significance of that until I was much older. It wasn’t that I didn’t remember as much as that I didn’t think about it and the event didn’t seem to be particularly important. I will be honest. I am a fairly egotistical person, especially then, and so for me to have not bragged about this to anyone who would listen is uncharacteristic. My suspicion is that, when we experience situations of altered consciousness, it involves hidden aspects of the mind that are normally not present in everday reality.
    My subjective understanding of the event may also be tied up with the fact that paranormal phenomena occur in a place that is slightly out of phase with the 3D world,
    leading to a smokescreen of sorts where the recollection is obscured beneath a veil of “ordinariness”.
    The farther away we get from this world, the more likely the tendency to dissociate. But because this level of dissocation is a slightly uncommon experience, and its presence has been suppressed by the scientific as well as religious establishment, it falls outside of the realm of understanding for many people, even including, at times, those it happened to!

  13. Glosnost Says:

    ‘Anton Long’ is attacking disabled women. Is this good if you are a Satanist, or is it the act of a despicable little coward?
    Answer from Satanists please.     (See the ‘Anton Long, Sinister or Sad?’ page.

  14. Glosnost Says:

    How do genuine Satanists feel about fakes? I haven’t seen any real condemnation of the activities of David Myatt, yet he seems to have a high public profile. Is this how you want Satanism to be represented?

    Myatt has been exposed as a fake but Satanists are not commenting. David Myatt has no support and creates fake internet sock puppets to 
write his (auto) ‘biography’.

See how the ‘Julie Wright’ lie was exposed in the ‘develope’ typo 
section of:

A very sad old man with nothing to show for a wasted life.?

  15. Glosnost Says:

    A recent attempt to cover up Myatt’s activities as a police informer, by spamming with gay porn on an internet forum:

    or here:

  16. Glegno Says:     (See the ‘Anton Long, Sinister or Sad?’ page.

  17. Flegs Says:

    Is Diane Vera moderating this page? Why is the truth about Myatt always censored?

  18. Diane Vera Says:

    To Flegs/Glegno/Glosnost: Sorry about the delay in approving your comments. I didn’t mean to “censor” you, I’ve just been very busy with other things today.

    I would be interested to see more information about David Myatt and his alleged connection to the ONA. But please refer me to sources more reputable than Indymedia, “Above Top Secret,” or other “conspiracy theory” sources, none of which I am inclined to trust at all.

    Also, please don’t post a comment that consists of nothing but a link. Always include some text to introduced the link and say what it’s about. Comments containing nothing but links will be rejected.

    To Sierra Peterson/venusinpieces: Sorry about the delay in replying to your comments. I’ve been very busy with other things these past several days. I do plan to reply to you eventually. I have not forgotten about you. I’ll probably blog on some other topics first, though.

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