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Ritualistic Abuse: Fruit of Neo-Paganism and Target of Christian Reconstruction

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Editor's note: Chalcedon has agreed to publish this article anonymously because of the nature of it. The writers did not want their ministry in this area to be known because of safety reasons.

The manifestation of Neo-Paganism (e.g., nature worship, self-worship, Satan worship) in many world cultures today has brought with it the ghastly phenomenon of ritualistic abuse. Ritualistic abuse, a term almost unheard of in some ministerial circles, is the lawless mistreatment of persons against their will during or as a result of pagan religious rites or exercises. Ritualistic abuse occurs in either cultic or occultic (secret worship) ceremonies. God declares ritualistic abuse to be sin and reveals in Deuteronomy 18:10: "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire [ritualistic abuse], or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer.…" Furthermore, in Scripture, the Lord identifies the ritualistic abuse perpetrated by Mannasseh, King of Judah, who "did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel." The passage continues, "For he rebuilt the high places…raised up altars for Baal…worshipped the host of heaven…made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums…" (2 Kings 21:1-6). This scriptural account not only reveals that ritualistic sacrifice occurred, but also that its gruesome prevalence is correlated with various idolatries and witchcrafts. Today, adult and child human sacrifice, ritualistic abuse, torture, and rape occur in America just as it did during the days of the Canaanites, all correlated with satanic worship and the occult, invisible in their underworld incidence in this culture and worldwide. The Christian church must become more aware of the reality of ritualistic abuse. Furthermore, all of the church must, with godly wisdom and sacrificial love, work together to reform this cultural subversion by the standard of God's law.

Although not a new phenomenon under the sun, ritualistic abuse is a fruit of man's depravity. It is no secret that Satanic worship and occult activity, which are driven by depraved lusts for power, control, pleasure, and wealth, are worldwide, systematic problems. Case studies and ritualistic abuse victim reports, for instance, reveal that ritualistic abuse is fueled by and does fuel the child and adult pornography industry. Rushdoony warned us over twenty-five years ago that the "porn" was getting "pornier" (see The Politics of Pornography, 1974). The extreme and aberrant porn, which mixes fornication/homosexuality with pedophilia, bodily waste, cannibalism, bestiality, torture, and sadism/masochism (auto-erotic asphyxiation is now so common that it is mentioned in life insurance suicide clauses and has national support groups), murder, necrophilia, and occult worship settings and ambiances, is not only available on over three million Internet web sites to viewers of any age but also arrives, unsolicited, in snail-mailboxes. And this pornography, but a "click" away, is so demanded on the Internet that it literally drives innovations in Internet technology. In addition to the Internet, prime-time television plots and pop music, both being media geared to our culture's youth, are laden with these aberrant sexual themes coupled with the occult. We need to ask ourselves where all those thousands of precious, photographed children come from, or to whom they belong, or what their tortured days must be like. It is no coincidence that VH1 glorifies the "Porn to Rock" movement and that those rockers/pornographers are occult worshippers or spiritists. We must consider the activities and the worship that today's unparented children who are discipled by these media demagogues will be engaged in ten and fifteen years from now. These data reveal that a visibly strong relationship exists between ritualistic abuse and the porn industry, as well as with illegal drugs and weapons commerce, sexual slavery rings and prostitution, and, resultantly, organized crime.

Civil authorities, including victim/witness advocates, along with church and organizational ministries to the ritualistically abused, have noted that attempts to publicly expose occult activity and to prosecute occult crime have been fraught with the obstacles of resistance and disbelief on the parts of both civil authorities and the church. Although anti-occult activists, often Christians, have for the past twenty-five years educated pastors, psychotherapists, criminal justice workers, and hospital personnel about occult activities, and although allegations of occult activity often become public knowledge via various news media, the fact is that our culture resists believing in the legitimacy and pervasiveness of occult ritualistic abuse. "Decent," "civil," and "scholarly" Americans identify allegations of occult worship and crime to be "conspiratorial," "absurd," and "sensationalized fables" at best. Pastors and psychotherapists, hearing the accounts of adult victims in their counseling sessions, are often advised by colleagues that their clients/parishioners are simply unstable, hallucinating, lying, neurotics or psychotics to be ignored, psychotropically drugged, or "committed." The Internet, contrary to materials on Satanism and ritualistic practice published nearly six years ago, has interestingly swelled the past few years with an onslaught of information denying the existence of ritualistic abuse, accusing any who believe such accounts to be gullible fools and mocking the testimonies and character of victims and their families who have come forward attempting to find help. Lawyers seeking community respect flee from a topic so horrifying and base. In addition, the legal and political climate is such that child victims' testimonies, often the only available evidence of the occurrence of occult crime, are not considered to be reliable testimonies, as children find it extremely difficult to interpret and to account verbally for those atrocities that have been perpetrated against them. (The use of hypnotic and street drugs on both child and adult victims of ritual abuse makes accurate testimonies even more difficult to obtain). Thus, even attorneys who believe child (or adult) victims and their families often find it difficult to prosecute such cases. Documented cases exist wherein police officers who inspect the crime scenes laden with occult paraphernalia, but who can confiscate no tangible evidence of crime admissible in courts of law, are frequently gag-ordered by superiors under threats of their job security or are disheartened by continual investigative dead-ends. (Admissible evidence like corpses, dismembered body parts, or animal remains, have often been incinerated or cannibalized; blood, filled with evidence for pathologists, has often been carefully caught, drunk, or preserved; and tire tracks, footprints, litter, and scent-trails, have been stealthily and expertly covered). Nonetheless, the church can be assured of the existence of this macabre underworld of ritualistic abuse and murder because the Scriptures verify its existence since nearly the beginning of history and attest to us that "…nothing is new under the sun…" (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10), and the church has ample testimonies of child and adult victims/survivors among her members.

Numerous adults in this generation have come forth, often in church and professional counseling situations, and have borne witness of their past involvement in satanic ritual rings. Some report growing up in compounds where they and their siblings and friends were reared by wicked parents or unrelated adults. Some were kidnapped from their true homes, placed in the cults, and have never found their true families or identities. Others were born of "breeders" (those occult members who bear children for ritualistic ceremony) as supply for future sacrifices or worshippers. Adult victims report the sacrificial murder of their peers as children, as well as the murders/sacrifices of their own offspring conceived in ritual or casual molestations when they were of childbearing ages. Some adult victims grew up in seemingly "normal" families but were being secretly used for occult purposes by relatives or caretakers who were supposedly "babysitting" them. Terrified as children with threats of the murders and tortures of their friends, families, and pets should they dare to tell anyone, they remained silent for years, suffering alone in lives wrought with sin and despair. Some adult survivors report growing up in prominent lawyers', doctors', or clergymen's families, with parents who seemed unsuspectingly godly by day (working in successful careers, volunteering for various community services, and attending church services on weekends), but who secretly worshipped the prince of darkness by night.

Many of these survivors of ritualistic abuse have, to God's great glory and to the dismay of occult rulers, been regenerated by His Spirit. They have renounced Satan worship, publicly confessing Christ, and God has made for them a way of escape. Frightened, damaged, and dysfunctional (e.g., victims often have a history of divorces, in-patient hospitalizations, drug addiction), many of these refugees have tried to report their stories to federal and local authorities, risking not being believed because of the incredulity of their accounts coupled with minimal evidence. They also risked their own prosecutions were they to have been believed. Civil authorities and occult experts have reported that occult members avenged these testimonies by threatening survivors with the murders, rapes, and/or disappearances of their families and friends, and those threats were frequently accomplished. Some victims, to their surprise, were turned in to their abusers by corrupt civil authorities themselves. Many victims and their families currently continue to be stalked and harassed, and many still go into hiding during various holidays of the satanic calendar, fearing for their safety.

Feeling they had little support or validation, these survivors have loosely organized themselves into their own underground ministries whose purposes are to aid victims of ritualistic abuse and their families. They evangelize those still involved in the occult who may be receptive to the gospel and hoping to escape, and they serve victims already confessing Christ, helping them to recover, to rebuild their lives, and to join sympathetic churches. These ministries also provide seminars (sometimes publicly and sometimes, depending on the nature of the information offered, secretly only to confessing Christians) to Christian therapists, pastors, medical personnel, educators, and criminal justice workers, teaching them about the issues surrounding this population of survivors (e.g., the personal safety of not only the victims and of their families but also of those intervening; various healing models, which can be very useful to those intervening; symptoms that could signal ritualistic abuse as a possible etiology for pathological behaviors; churches available which have supportive pastors and parishioners; and education on the complex control/dependency/manipulation dynamics of sexual abuse and cult psychology). Some of these leaders have become amazing activists, lobbying legislators to change laws for prosecutors and for witnesses, and who form task forces for educating local government workers and communities. Some restored victims become faithful ministers of the gospel to their own population, knowing that the presence of some survivors in some church situations in some cities would put congregations (especially the covenant children) in danger. Many survivors who do make it into the visible church retain aliases or entrust themselves and their histories only to one trustworthy pastor/elder.

The question at this point may seem to be, "In what corrective and/or reconstructive activities can the church engage?" Those who serve in and study the area of the ritualistic abused believe that a slow and steady reform from the grassroots up over several generations is required for reconstruction of this realm. First, churches and individual Christians should fast and pray for God's forgiveness for permitting (and even participating in) such wickedness (especially pornography) and then ask God for the means by His Spirit for reform. Elders must pursue excellence in their abilities to counsel victims using the Word of God and must disciple victims according to the wisdom that comes from hearts inclined toward obedience to God's law. Their goal in this arena must be to make disciples of Christ. Elders must be men who truly meet all the criteria for elders, particularly that of having their own houses in good order. If they are deficient as household rulers, especially, they will not be equipped to rule over the powerful dynamics that accompany ministry to the ritualistically abused. Moreover, they will fall into the trap of recapitulating the spiritual and mental conflicts from which the weak victims are suffering, thereby accidentally substituting one form of abuse (the victim's satanic ritualistic abuse) for another (ecclesiastical tyranny over the victim and other counselors involved in order to maintain church order under trying circumstances, showing forth thorough insensitivity to the grave circumstances of ritualistic abuse). Cowards and tyrants are not fit for the task of reforming the damage done by ritualistic abuse and should not attempt to do so lest they be consumed and cause their congregations to be also. With brutal honesty, elders should assess their constraints and skills bases, as well as those of their churches, and, if deficient, should refer victims elsewhere for help. These little ones of Christ, who have been made to stumble by the "deep things of Satan," deserve superior shepherding and long-term commitments from their elders. In addition, elders serving in this capacity must share the ministry load openly with one another because these victims are a high-maintenance discipleship population. Extremely damaged, they often require massive time resources from others for one to two years. In addition, if churches have success with these sheep, other victims tend to stream in seeking help.

Elders should study and learn the warning signs of abuse in their own churches and in their families and neighborhoods and should equip their sheep to do likewise. This may require some catholicity on their parts so that they can draw on the existing knowledge available from those who already do this type of ministerial work. These others can be found by consulting Christian and non-Christian therapists, adult victim support groups, priests, and child sexual abuse centers. It should be noted that those already working in this field are extremely suspect of inquiries into their ministries, as they are committed to protecting the anonymity of both their ministries and those in their care. (They are continually searched out and monitored by occult members).

These corrective and wise strategies used for healing victims must be coupled with preventative discipleship strategies designed to ward off occult activity as well as its associated abuse in a culture in the first place. The church of Jesus Christ must continue to proclaim boldly the gospel of Christ's kingdom and His powerful redemption that prevails against and snatches victims from the gates of Hades. Elders must train the families under their care to rear a godly seed to assume their rightful places in the church and in the criminal justice and political systems, who are equipped to change laws, to punish the wicked, and to provide Christian succor. Elders need to train more elders, and families need to train sons to grow up to rule righteously in both their churches and their families. In addition to these strategies used by God to regenerate the lost and temper the acts of the wicked, the church should take to heart the words of members of a local Victim/Witness Team (i.e., an arm of the criminal justice system, which supports victims of crimes and their families as they progress through the criminal justice system) who have stated in response to the question, "What would stop this type of victimization for good?" They responded, "…a starting over, with each child in each family being parented, loved, nurtured…that would stop, within twenty years, every abuse cycle known." Christian parents who faithfully train their children in godliness must let their good works shine before non-Christian parents. If non-Christian parents see godly parenting examples who affirm their children in their God-glorifying worth as ones created in the image of God, then perhaps they will, too, embrace kindness and mercy toward their offspring. This trickle down effect could result in their children turning from temptations to seek out the occult for personal validation in the first place. In addition, non-Christian parents may, by God's grace, copy the examples of covenant families, whose parents nurture, guard, and protect their children, and may also nurture their own young, protecting them from vulnerability to the wicked.