Articles on this page:
A Definition of Ritual Abuse ----- Dissociative Identity Disorder Fact Sheet ----- A Death Child Reaches For Life ----- The Act of Investigating ----- Trauma Doesn't Tickle ----- Debunking Debunkers ----- Occult Practices in The Christian Church ----- The Ruler's Sword ----- Why Do You Think It Strange That?
Here is one definition of ritual abuse:
So, what is Ritual abuse? It involves the use of rituals to physically, sexually or psychologically abuse children, adolescents and adults. The physical abuse is severe, sometimes including torture and killing. The sexual abuse is usually painful, sadistic and humiliating, intended as a means of gaining dominance over the victim. The psychological abuse is devastating and involves the use of ritual indoctrination, which can include mind control techniques, mind altering drugs, and ritual/intimidation which conveys to the victim a profound terror of the cult members and of the evil spirits they believe cult members command. Because of the extreme nature of the abuse, it seems hard to understand that human beings can do this to other human beings, especially children.
A major effort is made within the cult, usually at a very early age, to program the initiate. This can be lethal programming (such as suicide, assassination), self-injury (cutting, burning, traffic accidents, jumps, falls), cult-control (reporting, access, return, seduction, etc.), therapy interference (scrambling, flooding, erasure, fixed verbal response, nightmare, isolation, etc.) and psychoneurological (numb, seizure, vision, hearing, sleep, etc.).
Dissociative Identity Disorder Fact Sheet
Formerly called Multiple Personality Disorder
Given a diagnostic category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1980.
Characterized by the existence of two or more distinct personality states that have the capacity to take control of the body and the inability to recall personal information too great to be explained by ordinary forgetfulness. The condition cannot be due to the effect of substances or a medical condition.
There may be accompanying symptoms such as depression, anxiety, obsessive/compulsive behavior, eating disorders, substance abuse, etc.
Arises from continued and repeated sexual and/or physical abuse beginning in early childhood.
DID is a defensive mechanism that protects the child from the physical and emotional pain associated with abuse by separating a part of the child’s mind or consciousness to deal with the trauma of the abuse. Over time and repeated abuse, these separate parts establish identities of their own.
People with DID have been shown to be highly susceptible to dissociation (an alteration in consciousness wherein the individual and some aspect of his or her self or environment become disconnected or disengaged from one another), of above average intelligence, and highly creative. DID is generally diagnosed in adulthood, triggered by some factor that compels or allows the alters to emerge.
Systems of alter personalities differ from individual to individual, but there are generally host personalities who appear most often, opposite gender personalities, self-helper personalities, persecutory personalities who may harm themselves or others, and child personalities.
Switching is the process of shifting from one alter to another.
Co-consciousness refers to the level of shared awareness of existence and behavior between the host personality and the alters. Levels of co-consciousness vary from person to person from total lack of knowledge of others in the system to complete co-consciousness where every alter knows to some degree what each alter and the host personality are doing or thinking.
The object of therapy is to stabilize the person, lessen the degree of dissociation, increase cooperation and co-consciousness within the system, and often ultimately merge the alters into one personality, a process called integration.
Although no controlled study has been conducted in the United States, an estimate of the prevalence of DID in the U.S. population is from 1 in 500 to 1 in 5,000, or between 250,000 and 2,500,000 people.
Four times as many women are diagnosed as men.
The average person diagnosed with DID spends 7 years in the mental health system before being properly diagnosed, due to misdiagnosis and lack of training on the part of therapists to spot the disorder.
Two non-profit groups based in the United States that disseminate information on The Dissociative Disorders are:
A Death Child Reaches For Life
A Brief Personal History
I was around eight years old when I said to my uncle, "If I knew for sure that I would go to heaven I would kill myself today." The local theater had a balcony and as a teenager, every time I sat there I thought of throwing myself to the floor below. In my early twenties I had a bad LSD trip. I saw my heart explode and myself lying on the bed, dead. Shortly after this I got drunk and attempted suicide. Later when my sister ran away from home I made another attempt.
I came close to dying, and this scared me into stopping drugs, and alcohol. I did not succeed at the latter until I received Jesus Christ as my Savior. He did what I could not do. He changed my life. "the old things had passed away... new things had come."1 I sold my home, quit my job, and entered the ministry. But the past cannot pass unless we face it and deal with it. Every year, between October and February, I grew increasingly depressed. My wife wondered why I hated birthday parties. I could not handle conflict and as my responsibilities increased, conflict increased. I asked my superiors for help, but no one, including myself, recognized the depth or source of my problem. Then, one February, the depression did not lift. For the first time in nearly two decades I again thought of suicide and began to make plans. My belief in Jesus Christ stopped me, but I stopped living and stayed in bed crying. God loved me. My wife loved me. My boys loved me. People I ministered to loved me. My superiors loved me. I knew they loved me. But I could not receive their love. Why?
I hid in my room like a tired little fox feeling the hot breath of the savage hounds. I froze like a frightened rabbit locked in the hunters sites. I could not kill myself but I would not live. My wife and counselor arranged for me to admit myself to a psychiatric hospital for clergy. The first six weeks the staff treated me for depression related to clergy burnout. Then the unexpected happened. A memory of childhood sexual abuse surfaced; followed by a memory of ritual abuse; followed by a flood of memories. I still could not face the memories, but I could no longer flee them.
One memory explained why an eight year old boy talked of suicide. My suicide attempt in the Air Force was labeled a situational reaction to family problems. My middle-age depression was labeled clergy burnout. But why does a child think of committing suicide? Before I started school I was given to an "Old Hag" (a Celtic symbol of death), who placed me in a well (a Celtic symbol of burial). This symbolic death was followed by ritual violence that night, and on many other nights. Death laid claim to my life almost before I could walk.
I knew nothing of the conflict that was beginning to rage over the reality of ritual abuse and the validity of recovered memories, but the memories caused an internal conflict. Yes, the memories explained some past puzzles, but the memories themselves were puzzling. They were too horrible to be true, and they certainly did not agree with my idealized family portrait. So I phoned my siblings. A brother, who was active in the occult before his conversion, said he had large blocks in his memory. A sister, who had been in counseling nine years for MPD, told of abuse similar to mine. A sister, who ran away at age fifteen and called herself a white witch, told of incest. My siblings confirmed my memories, but my family still told me I was crazy and it was all in my head. So I researched genealogy, psychology, sociology, and ritual crime. The recovered memories agreed more with what I learned than the idealized memories I carried for forty years. Sometimes I wanted to deny the memories, but I could not, and I cannot!
I would like to tell you that I have fully recovered since recovering the memories, but I have not. The sense of isolation that accompanies depression has increased. The relationship with my family of origin, even those who share similar memories, is severed. The church tells me that I need to forgive; and that the truth sets you free; meaning that the source of my continued depression is my failure to forgive and willingness to believe a lie. The criminal justice system places the burden of investigation and prosecution upon me even though ritual crime is a form of organized crime. The social service system is overburdened, undisciplined, and handcuffed by a commitment to non-involvement and fear of lawsuits. The bottom line is that people like me, stand alone, unwanted, and unwelcome. Social systems that do not help want us to just go away. We stand as a reminder of their failure. We stand as a reminder that difficult action is called for. We stand as a reminder that our society is sick and will die unless there is change. We stand as a reminder that their own good life is threatened. Ritual abuse is a bigger problem than my problem! Ritual abuse is a bigger problem than my families problem! Ritual abuse is bigger than the church; bigger than the criminal justice system; and bigger than the social service system! Ritual abuse is a problem that threatens the very fabric of our society; the very life of our nation!
Today I continue to recover, but I am only one small part of a big, complex world. The articles in this website are written to promote healing for our whole society.
1II Corinthians 5:17 NASB
The Act of Investigating
It Is Time For A Real Investigation
Funk and Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary defines "investigate" as "The act of investigating." I don't find that at all helpful in understanding the meaning of "investigate," but I do find it helpful in understanding where we are in the ritual abuse and recovered memories debate.
One side is calling for an investigation of the perpetrators and detractors. The other side is calling for an investigation of the survivors and supporters. It is plain to see that neither side wants an investigation. What they want is the "act of investigating." I admit that I am using "act" in a different sense than Mr. Funk and Mr. Wagnall, but it seems that both sides want to "feign" an investigation because both sides already have their minds made up.
I admit that my mind is made up. I experienced ritual abuse and recovered memories of that abuse. But society needs a real investigation not a pretend investigation. Most survivors, like myself, do not trust their memories until they conduct their own investigation. If honest souls could see and hear what we have seen and heard, they would know that ritual abuse does occur; and people do "forget" and then recover memories. But people have not seen and heard what we have seen and heard. So we need an investigation; not a pretend investigation; a real investigation. We need an investigation into the truth or falsehood of the alleged crimes.
Some detractors are calling for an investigation of those making the allegations and of their supporters. They assume or pretend that ritual abuse does not exist and recovered memories are false. Some theoretically admit that ritual abuse may occur, and that it may be possible to recover memories, however they have never seen such a case. What they want is an investigation of those who are making false allegations. They want an investigation that will expose the accusers and their supporters as frauds or fools.
Some supporters are calling for an investigation of the perpetrators. They assert that children never lie about abuse and adults have nothing to gain by doing so. But people can and do lie about anything. Yes, evil men who abuse, torture, and murder must be punished, but it is also evil to accuse someone of such a crime and imprison or execute them if they are not guilty. God's Word says, "If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime, the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the Lord before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you."1 The victims desire for justice is righteous, but the courts, answering to God, must determine who is the victim.
We must have an official investigation; an official examination or study; by the appropriate government agencies. The survivors and their supporters do not have the authority, resources, or objectivity to investigate. The detractors do not have the authority or objectivity to investigate. The government has the authority, responsibility, and urgent need to investigate. Detractors are debunking every case of ritual crime that occurs, and social services, law enforcement, and our courts either don't know how to deal with what is happening or are afraid to. The detractors say, "Yes, there are some kids playing around; and there are some psychopaths using the occult to fulfill their deviant desires; but there is no organized ritual abuse and we must be careful that fundamentalist don't use the government to persecute other religions." So ritual aspects of crime are unreported by police and social workers, or unprosecuted by prosecutors. Who will believe that such atrocities are perpetrated? Who will believe that seemingly upstanding citizens are guilty of such debauchery and cruelty? Well, how will anyone know what to believe if such crimes are swept under the rug? Investigate them and prove them false, or investigate and prove them real! But don't pretend that they don't exist. If they are real they will not go away. Crime left unpunished will flourish faster than weeds in an untended garden, and if we don't weed the garden the weeds take over!
Ritual crime is by nature occult crime. The word occult means hidden, secret, or concealed. Ritual crime often invokes hidden spiritual powers, and even if you do not believe such powers are real, no one can deny that spiritual beliefs can elicit a deeper fear and loyalty than brute force and money. It took nearly half a century before our country admitted that there was organized crime and enacted special powers to deal with it. Ritual crime has all the aspects of organized crime with the added dynamic of spiritual manipulation and bondage. If we are to have a real investigation, not a pretend investigation, the nature of ritual crime must be recognized and the government must be willing, answerable to God, to use its' power to diligently investigate and purge evil from our land.
The government has the power, and has historically used its power, to intervene when religion is used to harm people. Many fear that the price of using this power is too high. A dishonest bureaucrat may use this power to persecute honest religion. Well, what will be the cost to society if we do not pay the price? What happens when there is no justice in the land? What happens when criminals go unpunished? There is a purpose behind the seemingly random torture and murder? Anarchy! And what is the result of anarchy? The strong survive, and guess who is preparing to be the strong? Guess what is the highest value of occult religions? The character and nature of our country, people, and life is threatened by ignoring the existence of ritual crime.
"But you are assuming that ritual crime exists," you say. Yes, I know ritual crime exists. But if ritual crime does not exist; if there is widespread hysteria; if our nation is experiencing a modern day witch hunt; then this too threatens to destroy the trust and freedom necessary for our nation to flourish. If families are being torn apart and the integrity of our courts, churches, and society is called into question; then this too undermines the very nature and character of our laws and people. The country needs a real investigation. People, time, and money must be allocated by the appropriate government agencies to conduct official examinations or studies as to the reality of ritual abuse, and the validity of recovered memories. The country cannot allow the detractors and supporters to continually make disparate claims; claims that are tearing our judicial system and social service system apart and destroying lives in the process. The country needs to know. We need a real investigation; not a pretend investigation; a real investigation which will uncover the truth and lead to appropriate action.
1Deuteronomy 19:16-19 NIV
Trauma Doesn't Tickle
Don't Be Oblivious to The Obvious
The high school English teacher talked about "Walter Mitty". She imposed herself on my day dreaming long enough to make me feel uncomfortable... somehow Walter reminded me of me. Thirty six years later as the therapist guided me in bioenergetic work I began to cry, shake, and scream. My body and legs trembled spasmodically. I did not know why this happened but I felt intense shame and fear. Following this session, before sleep, or after waking, the image of a large hand appeared in my mind, and my head involuntarily jerked as if slapped. Then I remembered being slapped, sodomized, and thrown to the floor. A flood of memories followed in the ensuing weeks.
I wanted to deny the recovered memories but they agreed more with the facts than my continuous memories. I wanted to believe the memories but they were too terrible to believe. What I learned about trauma helped me make sense of the memories, and explained those parts of the memory which troubled me. For example how could I forget so much that was so bad? Day dreaming is a mild form of dissociation used by everyone, but dissociation is also a form of flight when there is no place else to run. Forgetting life events which we cannot handle is a type of dissociation sometimes used by those who face overwhelming trauma, including the trauma of child abuse.
My memories returned as flashbacks where I relived the abuse. Once I saw myself being held in a circle by hooded men, and given to an, "old hag" (death). I also saw myself running away in the woods. I knew this was impossible and as I described this to the therapist she heard the distress in my voice. She said, "You left your body to escape the abuse." Depersonalization is a common experience of trauma victims, but my logical and analytical mind did not want to accept that I "left my body" to escape what I could not physically escape. But then I recalled a high school wrestling match that was part of my continuous memory. My opponent was muscular, like my abuser. I froze and he spun me around, threw me down, and took control on top of me. I then saw myself looking down on him on top of me. Troubling? Yes! Unexplainable? Yes, but this was my experience. My necessary response to the trauma of ritual abuse had became an unhealthy response to other life events.
I was diagnosed with clinical depression in my forties. I was a pastor but I had difficulty handling conflict, and as my responsibility increased, conflict increased, and I froze. A woman had been assaulted in the basement of one church several years before I arrived. Whenever I went into the basement the hairs on my neck stood up, my heart pounded, and my body shook. Every October through February I grew increasingly depressed even when circumstances were good. My wife could not understand why I did not like birthday parties. All of this was a response to triggers that reminded me of the trauma. A response to anniversaries and events that reminded me of the abuse. A response which I was unaware of, but which interfered with my productivity, happiness, and ability to relate to people.
When I recovered memories of ritual abuse it troubled me that I remembered few words. My memories were almost entirely visual and sensory. But I learned that this was a normal response to trauma, especially to trauma in early childhood. It also troubled me that I could not place the memories in the context of what happened before and after the abuse. But I learned that this too was a normal response to trauma.
My recurrent childhood dreams became understandable as I understood trauma. The dream where I scream to wake myself up, and wake up screaming. The dream where someone is chasing me, and I run but do not move. The dream where my good cat is replaced by an evil cat. Dreams that troubled me throughout my childhood and young adult years, but dreams which make sense in the context of trauma.
Understanding that my experience was a natural response to trauma has helped me make sense of what did not make sense. It has helped me to accept myself. I understand that some of my learned behavior may be an indelible part of my personality and biology; but understanding has also given me hope that I can change --- learned behavior can be unlearned. What I have learned about trauma helps me accept that feelings of fear and shame may be all that remains of some memories, and that some of my memories may be distorted. But it also helps me to trust my memory as a whole and gives me courage to face the memories --- to face what I could not face as a child --- to face what I fled most of my adult life. I face my worst fears and deepest shame. I will reclaim the self, the freedom, the life, which my abusers stole and almost murdered.
Research into trauma is so extensive and diverse that there is a body of knowledge about trauma which is beyond doubt. It trouble me that society as a whole is not acting on this knowledge. It troubles me that the obvious about trauma most be pointed out. Trauma does not tickle.
Severe and chronic trauma affects anyone's entire life. Children have less resources to deal with trauma than adults and are most severely affected. Dissociation is a common, and sometimes the only defense against severe and chronic trauma. Yet our courts --- our churches --- our doctors --- our society as a whole does not act on what common sense tells us and research confirms --- so trauma victims experience the fresh trauma of being disbelieved, despised, condemned, and ignored. This at times has plunged me deeper into isolation and depression. Thank God for researchers like Doctor Judith Herman and Doctor Lenore Terr who write about trauma so that the public can understand. Thank God for organizations like CIVITAS and the Sidron foundation that are working to apply what is known about trauma throughout society. Thank God for therapists who risk being sued and defamed to help trauma victims face what they cannot face alone. Thank God that one day it will be unnecessary to state the obvious.
The Value of Truth
We live in an age of spinmeisters, one liners, and media blitzes. We may not know our own family members let alone our neighbors, and members of our local community. We cannot keep up with the advances in our own professions, let alone keep abreast of critical issues in our society as a whole. We rely largely upon the media to tell us what the critical issues are, and while it might be interesting to commission a pole on how people trust the media, the question would then arise on rather or not we can trust the pole?
How can anyone make an intelligent decision about the conflicting charges and counter charges that are being made in the recovered memory and ritual abuse debates? The truth is most people do not make an intelligent decision. People decide what they believe based on personal philosophy, bias, or self-interest. There are many who want to make an informed decision --- who want to know the truth --- but who are confused by the disparate claims and contradictory "facts" being presented by the different sides in the debate.
I, like many on both sides of these issues, have strong convictions about the truth, but there is a need for civility and respect in the debate. Yes, there are some who appear to be deliberately deceptive in their claims, but there are honest, caring people on both sides of the issue. Some of these honest people are seriously wrong, but an assumption of dishonesty accompanied with inflammatory rhetoric entrenches people in their positions and does nothing to resolve the issues. How can we move beyond this?
The truth is there for those who have the time, patience, and persistence to read the vast literature that is written on recovered memories and ritual abuse. But that is part of the problem. As critical as these issues are there are many other difficult issues people face, and who has time to read all that is written? This is exasperated when the issues require expertise in psychology, abuse, trauma, memory, law enforcement, etc. It is hard to understand why the authorities in these different disciplines cannot give clear statements to help us know the truth, but lacking this we must discern the truth ourselves.
I know that people recover memories and I know that people ritually abuse the innocent and the weak. But I also know that people lie, and people can be deluded or deceived. I have taken part briefly in therapy groups where participants seemed to be developing their stories from one another, and I have quit such groups because I did not want my own memories corrupted. But these groups have been the exception, and were never led by professionals. Even if you know someone who claims to have recovered memories or to have been ritually abused, it can be difficult if not impossible to know if the claims are true.
I realize I can do little to help you determine to your own satisfaction where you stand on the reliability of recovered memories, and the existence of ritual abuse. But what I can do is tell you how I came to resolve these issues to my own satisfaction. Even though people who have recovered memories are often portrayed as gullible, hysterical, easily influenced and deluded, most, like myself, had to confirm the reliability of their memories and reality of their abuse before they accepted the memories or spoke of the horrors they experienced.
What follows is the journey which convinced me that the debunkers of ritual abuse and recovered memories are wrong. So, I guess it is fair to say this is how to my own satisfaction I debunked the debunkers.
DEBUNKERS SAY THAT RECOVERED MEMORIES OF RITUAL ABUSE ARE IMPLANTED BY THERAPISTS OR GROUP THERAPY SESSIONS.
An Air Force Doctor diagnosed two suicide attempts in my young adult years as depression resulting from a family crisis. He advised me to keep myself busy, and this worked for twenty years although I still experienced seasonal depression. One January the depression did not lift and a psychologist diagnosed me with severe clinical depression due to clergy burnout. The hard work that helped in my youth was now labeled the culprit in my illness. Depression was the only constant in my life, and one year after this diagnosis I admitted myself to a psychiatric hospital for clergy.
Therapy did not begin until I completed a battery of psychological tests and interviews with the admitting nurse, program director, clinical director, psychiatrist, counselor, social worker, medical doctor, spiritual director, recreational therapist, art therapist, and nutritionist. This team discussed the results of my tests and interviews and devised a treatment plan which they presented to me. The concise report was that I was to work on depression brought on by clergy burnout and unresolved childhood issues.
Many of the patients who participated in the various groups were abuse survivors or abusers, but none spoke of anything remotely resembling ritual abuse. My primary therapist once stated that my profile suggested that there was a violent incident in my youth. This gentle probing was like a medical doctor pushing on the body and asking if there is pain. A doctor accused of causing pain because he probes is wronged greatly, and robbed of a diagnostic tool necessary to help the patient heal. This is also true for counselors.
I made little progress for four or five weeks, and then one day as the therapist prayed with me I began to cry and shake uncontrollably. The next week, before I went to sleep and when I first woke up, I kept seeing a hand in my mind and feeling a slap on my face. The next session with the therapist I remembered being beat up and sodomized. This memory initially brought a great sense of relief as it was like a great load had been lifted, but in the week that followed, before I went to sleep and when I first woke up I kept seeing four people in my mind. I told the therapist about this in our next session, and when I tried to concentrate on something else the people kept coming to mind. Then I remembered being forced to stab a man in the throat; being placed on a large stone where his blood was poured over me; and being raped by a woman. The spiritual director was with us in this session and afterwards he said to me, "The therapist did not lead you in anyway." I did not understand then why he told me that although I do understand now.
My therapist had never counseled anyone who was ritually abused, and my memories surprised her as well as me. The purpose of this session was to help me deal with the first memory, and find some degree of closure so that I could return home. The memories of ritual abuse were not looked for, let alone implanted. They surfaced because I was working on getting well, and the truth needed to be faced if I was to heal.
DEBUNKERS PORTRAY THOSE WHO RECOVER MEMORIES AS HYSTERICS WHO WILL BELIEVE WHATEVER THEY ARE TOLD, OR AS SHIRKERS SEEKING A REASON TO EXCUSE THEIR IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR.
The release that I felt when I remembered being sodomized left when the memories of ritual abuse surfaced. The nature of the memories and their disagreement with the idealized memories of my childhood caused me great distress. I could not believe they were true. So, I first called and then wrote some of the abusers; others whom I remembered being abused; and people who knew me as a child.
One of the victims reported abuse that can be described as ritual abuse; two reported forced sex with other children; and three reported large blocks in their memory. One was in counseling for Multiple Personality Disorder which has a high correlation with satanic ritual abuse; another had studied from the satanic bible, and as a child was visited by "little balls of light" he called little friends; and another had practiced "white witchcraft." Two told me the abusers would tell me it was all in my head, and that is what happened. One of the abusers lied about inconsequential facts which I remembered and later confirmed. Facts like the length of their hair; the car that I rode in; and the house we lived in when I was sodomized (a relative later sent me a picture which confirmed my memories). Another relative who vehemently denied that anyone ever abused me told me in passing that an Uncle lived with me when I was between the ages of three and twelve and he was nine and nineteen. I have one memory of this Uncle being in my house, and one, maybe two memories of dad talking about this uncle when he was a young man. I talked to different Salvation Army Officers (pastors) who knew me as a child, and while none confirmed the abuse, some confirmed that one of the abusers was violent, and some knew of occult activity associated with the other victims. My recovered memories proved to be more accurate then the idealized memories that I carried for most of my adult life.
DEBUNKERS SAY THAT RECOVERED MEMORIES OF RITUAL ABUSE ARE THE RESULT OF MASS HYSTERIA FUELED BY POPULAR BOOKS, FUNDAMENTALISTS, FEMINISTS, AND IRRESPONSIBLE COUNSELORS.
As a pastor I read numerous books on cults and the occult, and I had some personal experience in dealing with such groups. But I never read or encountered anything similar to what I remembered in the hospital. Shortly before I returned home, and after I recovered nearly all the memories I now have of ritual abuse, my therapist gave me what the debunkers call the infamous "Michelle Remembers." This book helped because it showed that others had experiences similar to mine. There were differences. I remember no supernatural activity. However the gross physical, sexual, and ceremonial abuse that Michelle remembered was similar to my own. I felt anxious because unlike Michelle I remembered very few words, but I did not invent conversations to relieve my anxiety. Later when I read "Trauma & Recovery" by Judith Herman I learned that victims of severe trauma often have no auditory memories, but revert to the instinct senses such as sight.
I did read Mike Warnke's "Satan Seller" years before entering the hospital, but the grossest ritual I remember him describing was the cutting off and eating of fingers, and rumors of human sacrifice. I was stationed in Tiffin, Ohio when Police Captain Dale Griffis told the community about the large number of animal sacrifices occurring in the area. My memories go way beyond what either Warnke or Griffis reported. Medical doctors know that hyperchondriacs develop symptoms of diseases they hear about, but this does not mean that everyone who reports symptoms of a condition is a hypochondriac. Diagnosis needs to be made on the facts and the DSMV-IV gives a list of symptoms by which a person can be diagnosed as dissociative, or as suffering from PTSD. It is a gross injustice to dismiss all recovered memories of ritual abuse because some are influenced by what they read.
When I returned home from the hospital I wrote a number of Christian organizations to ask for help. This was before I read anything written by a debunker and is one reason I have doubted the honesty of many debunkers. Contrary to fueling mass hysteria these groups were very cautious in their response. Those I wrote included Focus on The Family, The Seven Hundred Club, The Crystal Cathedral, and Billy Graham. They responded with compassion, but without exception they were cautious in their acceptance of recovered memories of ritual crime. None offered concrete help, although some gave me literature on satanism, freedom in Christ, and prayer.
The debunkers speak as if anyone who believes in a literal satan is not a valid witness because they see satan everywhere when he is nowhere. And while it may be true that those who believe in a literal satan may see him where he is not, it is also true that those who do not believe in the existence of satan may fail to see him where he is. Someone's assertion that there is satanic crime cannot be credited or discredited because they do or do not believe in satan. The only question is are the assertions true.
None of my counselors assumed that my memories were true. They all examined me, weighed my words for consistency in fact and emotion, and determined if my response was consistent with my diagnosis. None told me what happened to me, or that what I reported was true. They did give me support and treated my memories as true in the end. They did not suggest or implant memories, and they did not believe me just because I said it was so. Those who accuse them otherwise do them a gross injustice and hinder their ability to promote recovery and healing.
The fact that feminists and Christians agree on this issue, when they disagree diametrically on so many issues, should be an indication that the reports of ritual abuse are true. How debunkers can twist this to build a case for mass hysteria is an example of double speak. The truth is Christians, Feminists, and Counselors who agree on this issue do so because they help people on a grass roots level and they are reporting what they see!
DEBUNKERS ACCUSE SOCIAL WORKERS AND "OCCULT COPS" OF FUELING MASS HYSTERIA BY SHARING INFORMATION WITH ONE ANOTHER
This activity portrayed so sinistry by debunkers is called "networking." Networking is taught in schools of social work. No social worker or law enforcement officer can do their job without networking. Medical doctors can spot and head off epidemics by networking. Networking is essential to identify trends and resources, and to develop an appropriate response for community and human needs. Debunkers make it sound like anytime information is shared in a conference, training manual, etc., that it reveals some irresponsible sinister plot, but professionals are simply doing what their profession requires --- their job!
DEBUNKER'S CALL REPORTS OF SATANIC RITUAL ABUSE AN URBAN LEGEND
Jeffrey Victor in his book, "Satanic Panic" spends a good deal of time dealing with reports of satanic activity in Jamestown New York. He discredits Christians who he says spread rumors that 1989 was a coming out year for occult groups. On May 1, 1989 my wife and I were Salvation Army Officers in Danbury Connecticut. The Army traditionally has an evening Sunday worship service but I stayed home that night because I had a migraine headache. Looking back at my wife's and my journals it was not unusual for me to be sick when pagan or satanic festivals are commonly observed. That night my wife called me and said there appeared to be a coven holding a ceremony in the house across the street from the Corps (church), and the participants were parking in our parking lot. I came to the Corps and asked the people to move their cars. A woman attending our service (lets call her Jane) talked to a woman attending their ceremony (lets call her Doe.) Jane asked Doe what they were doing, and Doe replied, that they were an ancient religion that had been in hiding for years, but now they were coming out in the open again. This in light of all the attention Victor gives this "coming out rumor" is interesting because it was an occultist, not a Christian, who made the claim.
Sophistry is used by debunkers to assert that no case of ritual abuse has ever been proven or successfully prosecuted. They say on one hand that ritual abuse cannot be defined and therefore cannot be treated as a separate crime by law enforcement, but on the other hand they say such crime does not occur because police are not reporting it. They say on one hand that such crime does not occur but on the other hand they say people who commit the crimes are sociopaths, lunatics or kids going through a phase of adolescent rebellion. Therapists who treat patient reports of recovered memories and ritual abuse as true are compared to therapists who do past life regressions, and treat reports of Alien abductions as true. However, labeled or unlabeled, defined or not defined, crimes violent and sexual are being committed during rituals by groups throughout our nation, and some of them have been successfully prosecuted. Comparing ritual crime to past life regressions and alien abductions is a devious tactic, intended to discredit something incredible but true by associating it with something without any merit or basis in fact.
DEBUNKERS SAY THAT THERE IS NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE FOR THE EXISTENCE OF ORGANIZED RITUAL ABUSE
There are specific cases throughout the country that disprove this despite the efforts of debunkers to disprove them. But there is a failure by law enforcement and the courts to look for the evidence that is needed. I believe that anyone who heard what I have heard since recovering the memories would believe that the memories are real, and that ritual abuse occurred. You may say that is the problem, we have not heard what you heard. But that is not the problem. The problem is that organized crime takes concerted efforts on the part of law enforcement to secure evidence and prosecutions. No such effort is being made, so no one really knows if there is evidence or not.
If prosecutors look for patterns and circumstantial evidence to determine if a crime is committed, then in my case and others there is certainly enough of that to call for investigation by proper authorities. There is a history of intergenerational occult practices in my family. Dad once told me that my great grandfather was involved in the occult, and I have a newspaper article from his hometown that tells of a bus load of people from that community traveling to hear a Celtic Druid priest who lectured in a neighboring town. My grandfather, of Scot-Irish descent, died the year before that occurred but it shows that there was such activity in the area, and this is significant because the symbolism that occurred in the early rituals I was abused in was clearly Celtic. I was once given to an "Old Hag" a symbol of death, and lowered in a well, a symbol of burial. I remember being lifted up to the moon in another ceremony, and a goats head on a staff being waved over me in another. The cannibalism that sometimes occurred in the ceremonies is seen as the receiving of the dead persons life force. My mothers name, "Dorthy" means witch in Celtic symbolism and one of mom's sisters called herself a witch. Two of my siblings and I were born on Celtic festival days; three of my siblings were born within two days of a celtic festival; and one was born within four days of a Celtic festival. This exceeds all statistical probability, and while it is not as dramatic, this is also true for my aunts and uncles.
There is a history of mental illness in my family which is another indicator that abuse may have occurred. Debunkers take this indicator and discredit the testimony of those who say they were ritually abused. But those who work with trauma victims have learned that PTSD, and mental disorders are a normal human response to severe and chronic trauma such as child abuse. Mental illness is an indicator of abuse, not proof of abuse, but when there are many indicators there is enough circumstantial evidence to at least initiate a serious investigation by proper authorities.
Debunkers who make exceptions the rule; who use sophistry to obscure reality; and who quote out of context are devious and deceptive. If their argument is strong why must they resort to such tactics? The only conclusion is that they are dishonest and have hidden agendas which they will advance by any means. People who do this should not be allowed to keep professional credentials and influence public policy, but truth seems to have little sway in modern society, and the press sometimes holds these scoundrels as their darlings. The truth is out there for those who will look. If you value truth, what you find is certain to debunk the debunkers to the satisfaction of your own mind.
Occult Practices in The Christian Church
Collaboration With The Enemy
Occult: Not revealed: Secret. Not easily apprehended or understood: Abstruse. Not able to be seen or detected: Concealed. Not manifest or detectable by clinical methods alone. Matters regarded as involving the action or influence of supernatural agencies or some secret knowledge of them.1
We should be alarmed by the rise of the occult in America. I have experienced what the occult does in secret, and I don't want my children to live in a land where such blasphemy, violence and debauchery is practiced without constraint. Why are so many seeking spirituality in the occult? The problem is not with the head of the church, our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the source of all life and and Jesus is the supreme spiritual power:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:15-20
The problem is not with Jesus. The problem is that church members, lay leaders, and pastors are engaging in occult practices. Jesus loves the church. Jesus gave His life for the church. But the church has exchanged the practices of God for occult practices, and has become powerless. The Christian church must purge itself of all occult practices; only then will the church have the spiritual and moral authority to address the lies, lusts, and violence of the occult.
The big problem is not infiltration of the church by occultists, but the collaboration of church members with the enemy. The big problem is not the desecration of Christian chapels and altars by occult rituals, but the desecration of God's name and character by unholy Christians. The big problem is occult practices that are clothed as Christian practices. Practices like:
Organizational, Group, and Individual Secrecy We have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. I Corinthians 4:1-2
What would the apostle Paul say about church leaders who make decisions in secret; who hide the true reasons for those decisions; and who devise strategies on how to conceal the truth from the congregation? Yes, there is a place for discretion and a time for graciousness, but there is never a time or place for deception, distortion, and abstruse communication.
What would the apostle Paul say about church groups who see themselves as the "spiritual ones" or "the righteous ones" or the "defenders of the truth" and devise secret agendas which they seek to carry out by slander, flattery, and political maneuvering? If they are so spiritual, righteous, and truthful why don't they follow Paul's example; set forth the truth plainly; and appeal to man's conscience?
What would the apostle Paul say about church members who profess to live one kind of life and live another; or who have one standard for themselves and another standard for other people. Jesus condemned such duplicity as hypocrisy, and warned his followers to beware of its corrupting influence? Shameful ways which must be kept secret destroy spiritual power and life!
Secrecy is occultic in nature, and contrary to the nature of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Samuel Logan Brengle said:
There was nothing dark and hidden about Jesus. He was and is the Light of the world, and He welcomed the light. He entered into no secret cabals and councils. He belonged to no clique or party faction. I really do not believe He would have joined a secret society, for two reasons. First, because if there was anything wrong and dark about it His pure spirit, His guileless soul would have revolted and denounced and withdrawn from it, and second, because if there was anything good in it, His generous spirit, His loving soul, overflowing with pity and goodwill, would never have been content till the whole world knew about it and had the privilege of sharing in its benefits. A good thing that He could not offer to share with all men would have ceased to be a good thing to Jesus.2 (Page 169) People who speak in secret what they are afraid to speak openly, wrong their own souls, weaken their own character, and corrupt themselves, while those who listen are filled with suspicions and dislikes, destroying the beautiful spirit of brotherly love, which is open faced, frank and generous and saving in its power. It quenches the spirit of prayer, and faith in God and man languishes and possibly dies; for faith can live and flourish only in an atmosphere of frankness, of kindness and good will.2 (Page 170,171)
Deceitful Membership Recruitment "I have spoken openly to the world," Jesus replied..., "I said nothing in secret." John 18:20,21 "Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:27
Jesus did not preach one message to attract followers, and a different message in member meetings! Christians who preach love, joy, peace, hope, and life to entice people to join their church; and who preach a harsh message of rigid standards and condemnation after people are "under their control" are not following Jesus. Cults often kill people with kindness before they kill their souls. Jim Jones helped people before he harmed them. Charles Mansion gave people his attention before they lost their identity in his. The occult presents itself as something beautiful and hides its ugliness. The devil presents himself as an angel of light before he plunges people into eternal darkness. But followers of Jesus speak openly about the grace of God, and the cost of discipleship; followers of Jesus speak the same message in private that they speak in public.
Salvation is the free gift of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Lordship of Jesus Christ calls us to a standard of life that is worthy of our Lord. God's grace must be preached and lived from the beginning to the end of the Christian life, and churches must make clear the cost of discipleship and the standards church members are expected to keep. I know of churches where the pastor has enrolled new couples as members; performed their marriage ceremony; recruited them to leadership in the church; and then when they sought the official position for their work informed them they did not meet the standards because they had previously been divorced. This is occult like in nature and is unlike our Lord Jesus Christ.
Secret Knowledge Is For The Privileged Few Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children." Matthew 11:25 He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Luke 4:18 I say to the rest of you... who... have not learned Satan's so called deep secrets... hold on to what you have until I come. Revelation 2:24,25
A Master of a Masonic lodge once told me that the masons were wiser than Christians because they did not let just anybody in. They only accepted the best. Well, Jesus Himself told us that God does not reveal His truth to those who are wise in their own eyes. Jesus, set the example by preaching good news to the outcasts and unwanted of society. The Christian church is not for the best of men, it is for the worst of men. The Christian church is not for the powerful and arrogant, it is for the weak and humble. The Christian church is not for the privileged few who seek man's favor, it is for all who seek God's favor.
Jesus spoke to people in the language of their day, with illustrations from their daily life. He did not speak in spiritual cliches that revealed His spiritual superiority, but hid God's truth from their understanding. He did not speak in ancient languages which shrouded His message in other world mystery, making it incomprehensible and irrelevant to those He spoke to. The deep things of God are the simple truths which are infinite in their meaning. Christians are always growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ but there are not different levels of Christianity for the initiate and the enlightened.
The Master of the Masonic lodge was a professing Christian, and life long leader in his church. Yet he once told me that men had powers of the mind they had not yet explored. Powers like the ability to kill a man with only a thought. He also told me that Christians did not have to pray in the name of Jesus. The church he belonged to did not teach this. Where did this teaching come from? Christians need to avoid so called deep teachings which are of Satan, and hold on to the truth they already have.
Prayer Becomes A Form For Spiritual Power When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men... But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father... When you pray do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Matthew 6:5-8 Brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is His body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:19-24
Christian prayer is conversation with God the Father, based on a relationship to God the Son, and initiated by God the Holy Spirit who lives within us. Prayer that does not come from this relationship is nothing more than superstition.
Prayer is mere babbling or meaningless repetition when certain words, phrases, and forms are repeated over and over. This is no different than magical incantations which are recited over and over to produce a certain effect. Maybe they will work and maybe they won't. Maybe the spirits will answer and maybe they won't. How different this is than a conversation with God where we are assured that He always keeps His promises; He always loves us; and He always acts for the highest good of everyone!
Prayer is mere magical formulas when we search for exactly the right words to say in exactly the right way. If we say them right our prayers work and if we say them wrong they don't. How different this is than taking our needs to our heavenly Father with the confidence that He will provide according to His eternal love, wisdom, and riches.
Prayer is mere power rituals when we expect God to do something because we speak it into being, or because we want something and use God's name to get what we want. Maybe we can manipulate and overpower the spirits and maybe we can't. How different this is than spending time with God; discovering His will; and believing that we can do what He says because He does what He says!
Prayer is merely the effort of our own mind and body if we think that there is anything we can do that will make God hear us. No amount of imagination, visualization, or self-flagellation can change things or move God to act on our behalf. God does not answer our prayers because of what we do. He answers our prayers because of what Jesus has done. God does not answer long prayers, lovely prayers, or lots of prayers. God answers the prayer of faith that springs from a heart full of love.
Prayer is occultic when only the privileged and powerful few can approach God and receive answers. True prayer is a wonderful privilege and powerful experience that belongs to all God children. True prayer brings us into the presence of our Holy, Omnipotent, Father God without fear, and with confidence that He hears our prayers; and if He hears our prayers we have all good things for which we ask.
Worship Becomes A Form For Spiritual Manipulation
A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. John 4:23 Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom: listen to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah! The multitudes of your sacrifices--- what are they to me?... When you come to appear before me who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, sabbaths and convocations--- I cannot bear your evil assemblies. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them... Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:10-18
I grew up and ministered in a denomination that has few rituals, and does not celebrate the sacraments of baptism and communion. When I have attended liturgical churches I have often been spiritually uplifted by the powerful imagery and worship in the rituals. However, all I said about prayer applies to worship too. All that I add here is the warning that even if we worship in His house in the way He instructs us, if we do not love God and our neighbor then our worship means nothing to God --- and in fact it is a burden to Him.
God told the Israelites exactly where to worship, when to worship, and how to worship. God gives no such explicit instructions to the Christian church because in Jesus we see all that the rituals symbolised; in Jesus we possess all that the rituals represented. We live in the time when the true worshipers of God worship Him in spirit and truth. When we fight over the correct form of worship, and insist that something be done exactly as it has always been done, or exactly the way that we want it done, then we are no different than occultists who try to gain personal power by manipulating the spiritual world by material actions.
God's Word Is Used Deceptively
They have done outrageous things in Israel; they have committed adultery with their neighbors wives and in my name have spoken lies, which I did not tell them to do." Jeremiah 29:23 Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise me, 'The Lord says;: You will have peace.' And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, 'No harm will come to you. But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear His word? Who has listened and heard His word?... I did not send these prophets yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied... I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. Yes, declares the Lord, "I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, 'The Lord declares. Jeremiah 23:16-22, 31 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Deuteronomy 18: 22
We have all heard of cults who prophesied that the Lord would return on a certain date, and the Lord did not return. The cult leaders make no confession of sin, and either make a new prophesy or change the meaning of the old prophecy and people keep on following. How does this happen when God's Word clearly says He did not send a prophet whose prophesy does not come true? Why should this surprise us? What should surprise us is that this happens in Christian circles. A Christian radio speaker and author recently did the same thing. How often does it happen that a Christian prophet pronounces that someone will be healed and they are not, or that something will happen and it does not! How often have you heard someone say "God told me" or "We Know It Is God's Will," or "Thank you Lord that you have done what we asked," but time proves that God did not tell them, they did not know, and God didn't do it. They do not confess their sin or change their ways, yet the church still treats them as spiritual men or prophets. Why should we expect cults to adhere to God's standards when the Christian church does not adhere to those standards?
Cultists, occultists, and even the devil use God's word to give authority to their own word. They interpret God's word by their own dreams, visions, or visits from angels, and eventually supplant God's word with their own word. A Christian is someone who goes to God's Word and subordinates His own thoughts and will to that word. Cultists, occultists, and the devil use God's word to prove why they are right. A Christian is someone who searches God's Word for what is right and confesses their sin and error when they are wrong. When is the last time you met a Christian?
Seeks Supernatural Power Other Than Jesus
Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, the God of your fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus... By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through Him that has given this complete healing to Him, as you can all see.
Acts 3:12-16 Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!
Galatians 1:9 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.
Acts 4:12 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. I Corinthians 2: 1-5
Jesus is the supreme spiritual power but He is not the only spiritual power. When God is not present people seek to fill the spiritual void with other spiritual powers. King Saul sought council from a medium after God took away His Holy Spirit. The world is filled with self proclaimed prophets and religious leaders who are all too willing to fill the spiritual void left by God's absence. They preach themselves and not Jesus, or they preach a different Jesus who is really not Jesus. If Christian churches were bringing God's Word in the demonstration of the Spirits power, there would be no occult explosion in America. But even Christian churches supplant Jesus as the center of their message and focus on pastors, leaders, issues, causes, pet doctrine, and theological convolutions. Even Christian churches are saying little about the person and work of Jesus Christ, and when their members confront the occult they see little different than what they already know. The occult may actually have more power, not because Jesus is weak, but because the church has left its source of spiritual power, and the occultist is devoted to his subordinate, but real, seductive, and destructive power.
Some may take strong exception in characterizing practices in the Christian church as occult practices. But God's Word warns us that false prophets will come into the church as wolves in sheep clothing. Even true prophets can become messengers of occult powers. When the apostle Peter tried to divert Jesus from the cross Jesus replied, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." Matthew 16:23 Yes, we should be alarmed by the rise of the occult in America! The government needs to take action when laws are broken. Christian apologists need to confront the seductive heresies propagated by occultists. But most of all the Christian church needs to purge itself of occult practices, and that means your church. Maybe your church is head and shoulders above other churches, but do you measure up to Jesus? Has anyone in America seen a spiritually healthy, God glorifying, Christ centered, Holy Spirit powered church?
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author & perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, & sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
Do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules. "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!:? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. Colossians 2:16-23
1Webster's new Collegiate Dictionary, Copyright 1973 by G & C Merriam Company 2Ancient Prophets by Samuel Logan Brengle (Holiness Preacher in the Beginnings of The Salvation Army), 1978 Edition, The Salvation Army Supplies and Purchasing Department, Atlanta Georgia
The Ruler's Sword
Ordained by God and Accountable to God
God has given the governing authorities of this world a sword to administer justice. The ruler's sword is power ordained by God to protect the weak, and punish those who do wrong. This authority deserves our respect and obedience, but what do we do if the governing powers do not use the sword to administer justice? What do we do if the governing powers use the sword to oppress the weak?
God has established all authority and if we defy authority we may find ourselves defying God! However, if we break God's law to keep man's law we will find ourselves defying God who is the supreme authority! King David found himself in this most difficult position, and while he fled from King Saul's unjust wrath he refused to lift the sword against God's established King. The apostle's found themselves in this most difficult position, and while they spoke to the Sanhedrin respectfully they disobeyed that authority and spoke God's truth. Jesus, who as God possessed all God's authority; as man humbled Himself before Pilot and submitted to an unjust sentence that led to His torture and death. Pilate said to Jesus, "'Do you refuse to speak to me?...Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?' Jesus answered, 'You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.'"1
Anyone who defies God ordained authority must be very sure they are obeying God, and anyone who is obedient to God will defy rebel authority with great reluctance, great respect, and great restraint. The German scientists and soldiers who participated in the holocaust were not excused from their crimes because they were obedient to their governing authority. Blind obedience can be a gross and wicked evil. The Christians who defied German authority and helped Jews escape were true to a higher authority. Disobedience can be a loving act of righteousness. The civil rights activist in the sixties sometimes went to jail for defying authority, but histories verdict is that they were obedient to God's law. This was evident in their attitudes and actions as they pursued this higher law. America was born in defiance to unjust authority, and the underground railroad served as the conscience of our nation when we were not true to our birthright.
We are seeing grave injustice committed against the children of our once great nation. The true patriots may be those mothers who go to jail, or who become fugitives to save their children from abusive fathers. The true patriots may be those who demonstrate outside of abortion clinics, and go to jail for exercising their right of free speech. The true patriots may be those pastors and psychologists who are held professionally, financially, and criminally liable for helping those who have been victims of ritual crimes. But if true patriots are driven underground or thrown in jail by the governing authority then that authority is in danger of being removed by God.
When the rulers sword is not used to administer justice the people of the land develop a fundamental disrespect for authority. The lessons of the French revolution and the Mexican revolutions teach us the dangers to a nation that loses respect for authority. History also teaches us that disrespect for man's authority goes hand in hand with disrespect for God's authority, and if America does not take action to administer justice for all, then American will lose God's protection and favor. What then will remain of America? Will it be George Orwell's vision of a cold, cruel, controlling autocratic society? Or will it be the vision of the apocalyptic movies of anarchy and devastation?
When the people of a land develop a fundamental disrespect for authority it does no good for the nation to pass more laws. We have laws against pornography but they are not enforced! We have laws to protect battered women but they are not enforced! We have laws to protect children from child abuse but they are not enforced! We have laws to protect victims of ritual crime but they are not enforced! What good are laws if neither the people or the rulers of the land respect the law? Genealogy research led me to skim through newspapers from the nineteenth century, and as I looked for information on my long lost relatives I came across articles on horrible acts of child abuse and neglect. There were no laws specifically to protect children, but justice was swift to the perpetrators, and children were given the same rights of law as all human beings. We have more laws in our land then our fathers had and we have more lawlessness!
The law once recognized the right of husbands, fathers, and brothers to avenge a raped woman, and if the government forbids individuals that right then the government must bear the sword on behalf of the injured. I knew a usually gentle man who took his sons and a shotgun after a man who abused and stalked his daughter. I do not advocate this behavior but when the government does not fulfill its responsibility before God, then there will be those who ignore the government. What good does it do to have laws if they are not enforced? What harm does it do to the respect for all authority when laws are not enforced? If this disrespect becomes pervasive throughout a culture than the culture will fall. God establishes nations, and God will remove nations that do not use the sword to administer justice.
The early Christians understood clearly that they were citizens of God's Kingdom, subject to God's law. Some in their immaturity understood this to mean that they did not have to obey the cruel, tyrannical, blasphemous government of Rome. The apostle Paul wrote to remind them that part of being a good citizen of God's Kingdom is to be a good citizen of our nation. A good citizen will obey the laws of the land, and will respectfully, reluctantly, and with restraint disobey all laws that disobey God's law. This is true for all people who love their country. So let the people of our land hear, and let the government of our land hear: Rulers do not bear the sword for nothing.
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and He will commend you. For He is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.2
1John 19:10,11 2Romans 13:1-5
Why Do You Think It Strange That:
People Have Body Memories
Have you ever hit your thumb with a hammer? Has the memory of that ever caused you to clench your fist? Have you ever been made sick by eating food, and years later felt physically sick when you saw or remembered that food? Have you ever felt your stomach tighten up like a ball of knots when conflict was imminent? Have you ever felt your face muscles tighten and eyes squint when someone made you mad?
Emotions Are Evident In The Body
Has the hair on the back of your neck ever stood up when you were afraid? Has your face ever blushed when you were ashamed? Have you ever felt sick to your stomach when you received bad news?
The Anniversary of Big Events Triggers Emotions
Have you ever felt grief when you remembered the death of a loved one, or glad when you remembered your wedding day? Have you known people who experience grief every year during their birthday, wedding anniversary, or death day of a spouse?
Objects Related To Big Events Trigger Emotions
Have you ever saw an old car like the first one you drove, and smiled when you remembered your first date in that car with your wife to be? Have you ever looked at your child's baby slipper and remembered the doctor, the room, the nurse, the pain, and the joy of her birth? Have you ever disliked someone on first sight because they remind you of someone else? Have you ever known anyone who removed from sight all pictures of a dead loved one?
Emotional Catharsis Helps People Heal
Have you ever felt a great load lifted from your shoulders when you confessed a sin, or talked to a loved one about something that had upset you, and then slept like a baby for the first time in years? Have you noticed that those who weep and grieve at the death of a loved one, are often better able to carry on with life than those who hold back their tears? Have you ever felt your face muscles tighten when someone made you angry, and felt them release after you settled your disagreement?
People Deny The Reality of Horrible Events
The German people and Allied Powers denied that the concentration camps existed, and if the eyewitness accounts of the survivors were not confirmed by their liberators, and pictures, then people still might not believe it happened, and indeed some still deny that men perpetrated or can perpetrate such atrocities. The Bible clearly speaks of those who sacrificed their children to false gods, but some Bible scholars deny that literal human sacrifice occurred. Historians document the evidence of human sacrifice in culture after culture and yet some still deny that any culture practiced human sacrifice. Have you heard people on the news say of a serial killer or child molester, "They have always been a good neighbor and I don't believe they could do such a thing?" Have you heard a victim of robbery, assault, or rape say, "I never thought something like this could happen in my neighborhood?"
Humans Desecrate, Torture, & Eat Other Humans
Any child welfare agency can provide you pictures of children who have been defecated on, starved, mutilated, imprisoned, isolated, etc.. Publications are written on how to build sound proof rooms, obtain tools for, and go about such crimes. Cannibalism is documented in entire cultures, deviants in our culture, and even in civilized cultures by civilized people in extreme situations.
Criminals Deny Their Crimes
Organized crime was a serious problem for over a half century before the RICCO law was enacted to give law enforcement the power to obtain hard evidence and fight such crimes, because there were, and there are those who deny that such crime exists. Have you heard a rapist say "I just gave her what she wanted," or a pedophile say "I was just expressing my love for the child?" This denial has been institutionalized by "professionals" and "civil liberties groups" defending the rights of pornographers, pedophiles, etc., to commit their crimes. Our courts go so far in protecting the rights of criminals that the whole truth is kept from the jury, and if a possible alternative explanation can be put forward, that is sufficient for reasonable doubt. But every person who walks on the face of this earth knows that people who do wrong, deny that they have done wrong!
People Deny or "Forget" or Repress Painful Memories
Have you heard of someone in a car accident, who can remember nothing about the accident? Have you known anyone who insists that a deceased spouse is alive? Have you ever reminisced with a friend about a beautiful or miserable day only to have them tell you they don't remember it?
People Remember What Was "Forgotten" For Years Have you ever remembered something you had not thought of for years, and which seemed new in its clarity or meaning? Have you ever willed yourself not to dwell on something, and then been forced to face it by current events? Have you ever said you didn't remember something and then someone "turned on the light" or "rung your bell" or refreshed your memory by reminding you of associated events?
Painful Memories Can Intrude on Our Daily Life
Have you ever been enjoying a party, or picnic --- completely caught up in the pleasure of the moment, and something happened to remind you of a problem at home or work, and your entire mood changed? Have you ever seen anyone who was engaged in conversation, work, or play who suddenly runs out of the room crying because they are reminded of a tragic event? Has the memory of a horror movie ever flashed across your mind or caused you to shudder years after you saw the movie?
That Memory Can Be Accurate but Wrong In Some Details
Have you ever remembered that you had a meeting with someone, but remembered the wrong date or place of the meeting? You and your wife may both agree that you had a wedding on a certain date in a certain place, but disagree about exactly what happened on that day. Law enforcement understands that eye witnesses to a crime will disagree about details but be consistent in the whole.
That People Commit Crimes In The Name of Religion
Read Foxes Book of Martyrs and you will see that the worst crimes of humanity against humanity have sometimes occurred in the name of Christianity, in violation of everything that Christ taught. Read a good history of the world, and you will see that there have been religions which committed cruel and violent crimes as part of their belief and practice. Go to the local bookstore or read your newspaper and see that there are religious groups advocating such practices today. Crimes are committed in the name of religion even when restrained by the teachings of that religion. Crimes are advocated openly by religious groups despite the restraint of civil law? Evidence that such crimes are actually committed sometimes surfaces as in New Matamoras Mexico.
Victims of Abuse Describe Supernatural Events
The age of science has not discredited belief in the supernatural. Science cannot prove or disprove what it cannot observe in a controlled setting. Professionals and people of position, including scientists believe in the supernatural. Anyone who believes in God, and the Revelation of the Bible believes there is a spiritual world of angels and demons which interacts with the world we see. Having said this, science does document, and experience confirms, that people who are extremely ill, or in traumatic situations can misperceive events, and even hallucinate.
Some Abuse Victims Seek To Profit From Their Stories
Victims of circumstances, nature, or man often sell their stories for profit. Victims often suffer financial hardship from their suffering and are not immoral for seeking to correct this wrong. A few may lie or exaggerate but that does not discredit all or even most who sell their stories. Judges, Attorney's, Expert Witnesses, Police Officers, and Reporters all profit because of crimes, and while some are corrupt or dishonest most are not, and they have a right to make a living for the service they provide.
Why Then Do You Think It Strange That People Who Have Experienced Extreme Trauma, & Especially Extreme Trauma in Childhood, Should Have Similar But More Extreme Reactions
Common sense tells us that people who have experienced unusually traumatic events, will experience unusually strong reactions. The scientific research that confirms this is so extensive that if science cannot assert this as fact, then science can assert nothing as fact! Our own experience, and mankind's experience teaches us that unspeakable acts of evil are perpetrated by man upon man, and that it is mans nature to deny or avoid the existence of such evil. The experience of trauma victims is common to all mankind in substance, and is uncommon only in degree, and that degree is directly in proportion to the severity and duration of the trauma.
Why then have the courts, and professionals, discredited, or even ridiculed, trauma victims who experience body memories, flashbacks, anniversary reactions, trigger reactions , emotional catharsis, memory disorders, religious abuse, and human frailty. Why are normal human experiences portrayed as something sinister, sick, or unusual because they are different in degree from the average human experience? Why is the general public so quick to reject experiences, common to their own experience, just because they are more extreme than their own. Common sense and science tells us we should expect this to be true, and in fact it is more reasonable to question the reality of extreme trauma when there are not extreme reactions. Why then do people think it strange....
(If you know other examples of common experiences which abuse survivors experience in extreme ways, or if you can say it better than I have, then write me and I will include it on this page.)