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Innocent Satanists, Guilty "cultists" and Scott Peterson

by Jen Shroder
12/16/04 Permission granted to repost in advance

A popular Satanist website that boasts of over 13 million guests featured my previous column, "In Lone Defense of Scott Peterson" creating an avalanche of outraged emails from "high priestesses," witches and Satanists defending their name and challenging my views. Is there anyone ELSE that would like to take on millions of Satanists? If one post from me can create this much pressure, imagine what would happen in the mainstream.

My knowledge on this topic has been questioned, therefore, let me share my California history.

Before I committed my life to Christ, I worked at Renaissance Faires, I knew many witches and warlocks, read Tarot cards and studied the signs of the Zodiac. I never saw a satanic ritual but I knew which people to steer clear from. I heard stories from friends and police who also described chilling ritual findings at murder scenes. I later worked in a county position and was privy to suppressed police reports including the gruesome details of a ritual death, even in my little home town, details completely withheld from the media. (Yes, it does happen, and no, they won’t tell you).

I knew a famous (in her world) Wicca priestess who converted to Christianity, feared for her life after leaving her order and had gone underground. She planned to come with me to share the Gospel at the Renaissance Faire (later in my life), but she couldn’t, her voice was shaking when she told me she was worried she would be recognized.

I listened to an ex-Satanic priest give his testimony at his Christian baptism, broken and weeping because of the heinous acts he had done including blood sacrifices. He would not give any details. He said he was wearing a T-shirt that stated, "God is dead" and was shocked when he, (a large intimidating man) was approached by a scrawny Christian who said, "That’s right, Christ died for you-- and then rose again." That conversation turned his life around and his admonition to us was, never give up (sharing the Gospel).

I know more than the average citizen about the occult. I know enough to know that writing this column is dangerous, and I suspect that’s why few columnists will. I wonder why Geraldo Rivera broke so many stories about cult slayings and then did a complete turn around, apologized to Satanists and then led the witch hunt against Peterson. Did Geraldo completely make up all those cult stories and if so, why is he still a respected journalist? OR, was he effectively threatened by "cultists," which would explain his unbelievably vehement attacks on Peterson along with Rita Cosby, and his continued employment. How many times have we seen journalists resort to name-calling, hanging and convicting those on trial even before the trial began?

Along with outraged emails, I received mountains of "Finally! I thought the same thing" emails, and encouragement from authors and PhD’s who have researched cult rituals. Pamela Perskin*, Executive Director of the International Council on Cultism and Ritual Trauma wrote, "Among the variety of cults and rituals that we investigated, none would have "wasted" the bodies of their victims in the manner of the Peterson case. That is to say that the bodies and their blood would have played a significant role in any ritual. Had ritual crime been a factor, the bodies and blood more likely would have been burned or consumed although in some cases, the remains are ritually buried (i.e., the Kilroy case in Matamoros) or displayed (i.e., Arliss Perry at Stanford University). Ritual murders are either kept secret in which case the body and any evidence is meticulously destroyed, or they are flaunted as a demonstration of contempt for the authorities or a warning."

(There’s one explanation for a few of those missing bodies from 10,684 suspicious abductions in California just last year.)

Perskin makes a good point with claims the bodies would have been sacred and ingested, except for one thing---seven months prior to Laci’s disappearance, Evelyn Hernandez, (24) also vanished one week before she was to deliver her baby. Her body washed up in the San Francisco Bay just like Laci’s did. Her five year old son was with her when she disappeared and they have not found him.

Has anyone considered that just maybe, the victims were kept alive for a time while the disappearances were publicized and the bodies, like contraband, became "too hot to handle" and were dumped, strategically where someone else would be blamed? With some people pointing at ritual sacrifices, how eager would "cultists" be to go through with their ritual, especially when there are so many other potential victims to nab. 10,684 is a lot of missing persons. Better to just give up Laci and Evelyn.

Most of the angry email I am receiving are from Satanists who assure me they are peaceful. Some say Satan is only a metaphor, and that they are a gentle people who want only to be left alone. This puzzles me, why would the founder of this "peaceful philosophy" name themselves "Satanists," thus aligning themselves with all the ritual killings that take place in that name? After posing this question on their website, I was told to check out the history at the official "Church of Satan" website, so I did, only to find a stern looking man with horns, holding out his ring finger to me. I clicked on him and found the same man in front of a naked woman lying on an alter behind him. Oh yes, peaceful people, much like the Jihadists.

The First Church of Satan website speaks of love and gentleness, but again, why align your foundation with commonly recognized cult murderers and then expect to be embraced by society? One of these gentle priestesses reminded me of crimes committed by "Christians" and then wrote, "we shall rejoice when Scott Peterson is murdered in prison---as he should be."

Most concerning about these emails and comments on the Satanic board is the high level of intellect, leading one to wonder what kind of professions they are in. One of the Satanist commentators claimed a high level position, (ex-District Attorney’s office, something like that), but when I went back to get the exact information it was gone. Others asked for legal advice about suing me and it was quickly and knowledgeably answered among them. Most comments on the Satanist board were very articulate as were their emails, indicating a network of professionals, not a bunch of whacked out renegades.

In the middle of all the hoopla, citizens seem hyper-sensitive to the idea of being dubbed a Satanic town as evidenced by one woman who carried the sign, "Modestans are not Satanists" at the courthouse. So, my apologies to the millions of Satanists that are offended at being indicated in ritual cult activities. Geragos should have merely named "cultists," maybe then the police wouldn’t have been so nervous about following up on "cultist" leads.

I have no idea if Peterson is guilty or not, but I know two things, in a state with so many missing persons, the "cultist" theory should not have been mocked, and Rivera and Cosby should have kept their opinions to themselves rather than insist Peterson was guilty before he was tried.

Now I hope I live to see my next birthday. Again, this is my last post on the topic.

See Related Columns:
In Lone Defense of Scott Peterson

Research shows the satanist defense should not have been ignored 

Fox News confronts BlessedCause column listen to audio clip

Peterson conviction a travesty

NEW Justice4Scott.com website, for extensive details


Post Script: I did not originally lump Wiccans and Satanists together, in my first column I wrote about Satanists and the Wiccans got up in arms. I have always considered them separate and was surprised to find they did not.

*Pamela Perskin also co-authored "Cult and Ritual Abuse: Its History, Anthropology, and Recent Discovery in Contemporary America"

Also of special mention, Morning, Come Quickly by Wanda Karriker, Ph.D.; and last I looked, testimony IS evidence.

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