Elyse Marie Pahler knew her killers from the school bus. Elyse, Jacob Delashmutt and Joseph Fiorella attended Arroyo Grande High School in San Luis Obispo, 195 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Roger Casey attended a nearby school. On July 22, 1995 the three boys took Elyse to a hidden location about a quarter-mile from her home, fed her drugs, raped her, tied a belt around her neck “to make it easier to stab her”, and offered her up as the “ultimate sin against God”. The three stabbed the girl to death at at an alleged “Satanic altar”. The boys “selected and stalked” Elyse believing that a virgin sacrifice would earn them a “ticket to Hell”.
In spite of mankind’s advances in the arts and sciences, there remains a number of people who have not been able to — or refuse to — shake-off the practices of pagan rituals, some of which date back thousands of years. Included within the broad spectrum of paganism are so-called Satanic cults which are suspect in a number of bizarre crimes throughout the United States. Some experts believe the Pahler murder proves their allegations that Satanic and ritualistic crimes are a very real problem in US society, with an intergenerational network of Satan-worshiping cults with members crisscrossing our nation.
The world of the Satanic cultist is filled with ritualistic violence, perverse sexual activity and abuse, Heavy Metal music, Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying and the use of illegal drugs such as marijuana, amphetamines (crank, speed, meth, crystal), psylocybin (an hallucinogenic drug similar to LSD), heroin and other others. This is a world which, even in the beginning of the 21st Century, continues to attract a large number of young people who follow the precepts of Anton LaVey’s Satanic Bible, a volume that has millions of copies in print today.
Two landmark volumes The Satan Seller (1973) and Michelle Remembers (1980) illustrate the machinations of this hidden threat. Undercover Satanists within our communities who are highly organized, not only committing murder during vile rituals but abducting children for future purpose. Those kidnapped are subjected to horrifying ritual torture and abuse with the end goal being that of brainwashing and a Satanic Manchurian Candidate ready to perform their unholy duty at the appointed time.
These practitioners may become extremely cruel and vicious, temporarily losing control. Their behavior mirrors the emotionally-charged, mindless behavior exhibited by angry mobs and rioters, with little or no thought to the consequences of their acts. When substance abuse is added to the mix of these improvised rituals — accentuated by loud, pulsating music coupled with the euphoric excitement of primal lust — these frenzied pseudo-Satanists may indulge in behavior closely resembling the activities of a Jeffrey Dahmer or a Richard Ramirez (California’s Hillside Strangler), two frightening serial-killers who openly displayed an unhealthy obsession with the occult. In several cases where the practitioners completely lost control, hapless victims fell prey to their bloodthirsty rituals and would suffer the pain of a helpless sacrificial lamb.
Reports from police departments across the country reveal that the Satanic cults may begin their worship service with the understanding that an animal or even a human being will be killed and used as a sacrifice to whomever these cult members worship. Murder is rare, but it is a possibility, especially when drugs such as crack, PCP and LSD are part of these dramatic events that are created by leaders and worshipers alike. Crack and the other substances are known to make some users extremely violent, fearless and/or dangerously paranoid and psychotic.
Rituals may include:
- Victim is placed in a coffin or make-shift coffin.
- Paraphernalia and symbols such are pentagrams, 666 symbols, inverted crosses, etc.
- Heavy feeding of drugs, especially hallucinogens.
- Kidnapping victims.
- Sexual abuse aimed at confusing a recruit and destroying his/her moral foundation.
- Incestuous sex acts (family is involved in the cult).
- Animal or human sacrifice.
- Cremation (destruction of victim along with evidence).
A dramatic and arguably frightening part of Satanic religious practices is the so-called Black Mass. It is a rite dating back to the 14th Century Europe and a large part of the Satanic revival of 19th Century France. The ceremony, as practiced by self-styled, makeshift Satanic groups — as opposed to, say, the Temple of Set, a legitimate religious organization — is derived from the Roman Catholic or Episcopal mass with Satan the object of worship and praise. There are reports that in some cult-masses, the altar is the nude body of a young woman and the gold chalice may contain a bizarre and nauseating mixture of blood, urine and turnips. There are groups who add an hallucinogenic drug such as psilocybin or methamphetamines.
During the Black Mass, animal sacrifices are commonplace and sexual experimentation follows large doses of illegal drugs. Experts claim that infanticide through sacrifice is not unknown during these events. Children are conceived and raised for the sole purpose of ritual murder during this monstrous ceremony. Birth records for children born to the cults do not exist since they are delivered by midwives from within.
How many satanic practitioners are there in the US?
“The adherents of this violent [quasi-]religion number over 300,000, ” claims Lieutenant Larry Jones of the Boise, ID Police Department.
“The kids become involved in sacrificial rituals, violent song lyrics, Satanic symbolism, suicide notes or recordings, all enhanced with illegal, mind-altering drugs, which play a major role [in the drama of a Black Mass]. And the added secrecy of the cult members makes estimating their numbers impossible.” says Detective Jerry Simandl, a veteran of the Chicago Police Department and assigned to the Gang Crime Task Force.
Who is drawn to this religion? Who gets involved in demonic activity? Well, a profile was developed by Pat Pulling, the leading expert in this area of psychology. The profile is similar in structure to those developed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Behavioral Science.
- Adolescents from white, middle-class and upper-middle class homes.
- Above average intelligence but easily bored with schoolwork.
- Over- or under-achievers.
- Creative and curious.
- Some have a history of family abuse or sexual abuse.
- Rebellious teens or those with low self-esteem seeking power over others.
How do young people become involved?
- Through so-called Black-Metal music, the most successful being Venom and Ozzy Osbourne
- Fantasy role-playing in games such as Dungeons & Dragons. A surprisingly large number of homicides and suicides have been linked to D & D such as the Joseph Vite case in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the Juan Kimbrough case in Oakland, California. Both were murdered as part of a game of D& D.
- An unhealthy obsession with movies, books and videos about Satanism and the Black Arts (witchcraft).
- Involvement with Satanists at a rock concert or party (college campuses are ripe for recruiters). The promise of sex and drugs is an attractive incentive.
- Involvement with classmates heavily into occult, Satanism or serious fantasy role-playing.
Investigation and prosecution are very difficult since Satanic crimes are cloaked in secrecy. In fact what we know is often testimonial years after the fact, repressed memories brought from adults who suffered the horrors of Satanic Ritual Abuse as children.
What we do know is that the Satanic threat is active…and it is real.
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