Exposing the Lies – Inside Servamus’ ‘Drugs & Occult-Related Crime’ Part 3.
In each edition of the Exposing the lies series an article from Servamus’ Drugs and Occult-Related Crime: The Facts, The Answers will be dissected and shown for the religious propaganda that it is. This edition we look at an article that claims to show the ways in which Satanism and ‘the occult’ are supposedly trying to recruit children.
Who is Recruiting your Child?
If you went according to the imagery just beneath the title, the answer as to who is recruiting your child would have to be, ‘clowns’. Aside from the nonsensical claims featured in Servamus’ Who is Recruiting your Child? the article also boasts numerous images from Marilyn Manson to alleged ‘Satanic poetry’ to the cover of the book, Witches: An Encyclopedia of Paganism and Magic (Kyle Cathie Limited, 1996).
The article opens with the claim that there was a 100-300% increase in ‘occult-related crime’ between 1997 and 1998. These crimes are listed as: “murder, malicious damage to property, desecration of graves, missing persons and bomb threats”. This is a claim that is highly suspicious as none of these crimes form constituted requirements of any form of occult practices, so how can they be ‘occult crimes’? If anything, it is more likely that standard crimes were misinterpreted by Occult-Related Crime Unit members to falsely boost their statistics.
This claim is expanded on by stating that, according to FH Havinga, “80% of occult-related crimes are not reported”. Once again, as has already been evidenced in FH Havinga’s beliefs and ‘work’, he is a believer in Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA). A cornerstone of SRA myths is that Satanism and the ever elusive ‘the occult’ are based on criminal acts, acts which supposedly number in the thousands each year. However this is nothing more than myth and not based in the realm of fact.
This claim leads into the belief that, “many law enforcement personnel are ignorant about Satanism and do not recognize important evidence”. What this shows is that, a) this article, like the rest featured in the magazine, ignores the fact that even Satanists are afforded religious rights under the South African Constitution, and b) the false claim that crime is an essential cornerstone of Satanic religious beliefs and practices.
The true motives behind Servamus’ series of articles centering on Satanism and Occult practices is evidenced in the following statement: “What makes it even more complicated is that not all Satanist activities necessarily constitute crime.”
This quote acknowledges that Satanism is not about crime and because of that, it is harder for individuals such as FH Havinga and the then Occult-Related Crime Unit to investigate and persecute Satanists. The true nature of South Africa’s period of Satanic Panic is evidenced in this single sentence: that regardless of an individual’s constitutionally protected beliefs, believers in SRA and members of the ORCU saw it as their Christian duty to convert such individuals to Christianity, more often than not abusing their position in the SAPS to do so.
Who is Recruiting your Child? then moves on to assume that the ‘modern generation’ is especially susceptible to alleged Satanic influence. The main reason for this supposed susceptibility is blamed on the internet which apparently brings, “pornography, online sex chats, children pornography, bestiality, blatant Satanism etc” directly into the home. This in turn results in children not being able to cope with such situations and as such, children turn to Satanism to find “acceptance, guidance and love”. These ideas are based on nothing but Christian fears regarding the internet that existed at the writing of this article (1997/8). There is no credible evidence to support the belief that negative experiences of the internet and media, such as described in the article, are to blame for Christian children exploring other spiritualities.
The article then moves on to the claim that Satan has a specific strategy in place for South Africa’s youth:
“Satan uses the power of suggestion, deception, curiosity and covenants/pacts. An ex-Satanist mentioned that for a covenant with Satan to be legal, it does not matter whether you are drugged or underage. Satan attacks in three areas: gratification of the flesh (eg drugs, sex) of the ego (eg status, wealth) and of power (eg white and black magic).”
This alleged ‘strategy’ is totally false and based solely on Christian fears and not on any actual Satanic religious practices. It should also be noted that, considering that Pagan beliefs are termed as ‘white magic’ by FH Havinga (an information source for this article), it stands that the author of this article is pushing the false belief that Paganism is ‘of the devil’.
Next on the agenda is the topic of recruitment and the article claims that it “is a process in which many instruments and methods are used”. It is further claimed that a Satanist apparently has all the time in the world to dedicate to luring a Christian child into the world of Satanism: “It could take weeks, months or even years. Satanists infiltrate every level of society.”
The truth is that practicing Satanists can indeed be found at “every level of society” just as Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Pagans and individuals of various other faiths can. Furthermore, Satanism does not proselytize as Christianity does, so despite what this article claims, a practicing Satanist will never recruit anyone into their beliefs, whether child or adult.
Who is Recruiting your Child? then goes on to make the statement that “informal training [in Satanism] is provided by occult literature that is readily available.” There are two problems with this statement. The first is that, once again, we live in a democratic country and every citizen is guaranteed religious freedom; so whether someone chooses to study occult literature is their personal choice, and one they’re entitled to. The second point is that ‘the occult’ is not solely Satanism and it covers a very broad range of beliefs, practices and philosophies which are not sinister or damaging in the manner in which this article (and Servamus’ entire community edition) implies.
The article then bounces to the classic SRA standby- music. It is an exceptionally popular myth within SRA beliefs that Satanists listen to heavy metal exclusively and that the genre is performed by Satanists and has the ability to influence one to experiment with Satanism. And that is just it with this theory, it is a myth based on fear and has zero evidence to support the wild claims.
Using a quote by Vladimir Lenin, “One quick way to destroy a society is through its music,” the article only displays the link between Apartheid Communism fears and its post-Apartheid replacement, Satanism. The only source for this quote is the 1974 book, The Marxist Minstrels by David A. Noebel (American Christian College Press), where it was used in support of Noebel’s theory that rock music carried Communist intentions.
The supposed connection between Satanism and certain genres of music is further reinforced with the belief that Satan, in His role of the fallen angel, is associated with music; therefore according to SRA believers (such as the writer of the article and its sources) it seems only ‘logical’ that Satan would use music to attempt to reach children. And the reason why heavy metal and similar genres are ‘Satanic’ is that, according to the article, “heavy metal music promotes violence, suicide and the occult”. This is yet another claim that is false and cannot be supported by any evidence; and once more ‘the occult’ is wrongfully painted as being sinister.
The music angle is further pushed with a doctored quote from AC/DC guitarist Angus Young which directly reads: “Someone else is steering me, I become possessed when I am on stage- Angus Young (AC/DC, Hit Parader, 1995)”. The correct, original quote is from July 1985 and reads:
“…it’s like I’m on automatic pilot. By the time we’re halfway through the first number someone else is steering me. I’m just along for the ride. I become possessed when I get on stage.”
This inaccurate quote is then followed with: “The covers and names of the lyrics most of the time indicate the content of the group’s message.” Contrary to popular SRA beliefs, the vast majority of musicians do not actively set out to portray a specific message as a unified group- it is generally held that song writing is the result of a creative process and not specific calculations to lure children into Satanism.
Who is Recruiting your Child? then moves on to describe how Satanists supposedly ‘recruit’ children. In the article it is claimed that, “talent scouts of a Satanic coven target a person’s natural abilities or weaknesses,” and that, “the coven curses that person with rebellion, lust etc.”
It should be stated that practicing LaVeyan Satanists are organized into grottos, pylons and temples- Pagan groups in Wiccan and Witchcraft traditions are organized into covens. This only goes to show the SRA myths at play that knowingly, and wrongfully, interchange Paganism with Satanism. Additionally, as already stated, Satanists do not recruit anyone into their beliefs as their path does not proselytize, and on that point alone the angle of this article is but a lie.
Furthermore the idea that Satanists supposedly cursing individuals are to blame for human behavior such as “rebellion, [or] lust” is based solely within the ideals of Christianity. It is the exact same principle of refusing to accept responsibility; instead using the excuse of, ‘the devil made me do it’ to justify feelings of guilt surrounding natural human behavior. It is also yet another common myth within the greater SRA myth.
The alleged recruitment process is further described: “Then s/he is invited to a party where there are free drugs and alcohol and trance music. Most of the time the drugs are camouflaged, heroin in the candles or drugs in the drinks or in the ice.”
Again, this is nothing more than Christian fears of the modern world where drugs are a danger, and at the writing of this article, trance music was incredibly popular. Instead of accepting that popular culture is fluid and changes, some Christian factions choose to hold to the popular culture of previous generations and out of fear, blame modern popular culture on the Satan of Christianity.
“Attractive witches (male or female) seduce boys and girls. These sexual orgies are often recorded on video and sold as pornography on the black market or used to blackmail recruits. Sexual abuse and sexual activity make up an important part of Satanic worship in order to facilitate demonic possession.”
Popular within the myths of SRA is the idea that Satanic worship consists of drug-fuelled orgies and sexual abuse. This is based on Christian misconceptions regarding ‘sex magic’ as sex boarders on taboo within Christian beliefs. Within Satanism, LeVayan Satanism specifically, sex is sometimes performed by two consenting adults in ritual to magically bring about a specific outcome. There are no orgies and absolutely no sexual abuse as the latter would go against LeVayan Satanic ethics. Therefore the idea that sex is used as a recruitment tool by Satanists is false.
Who is Recruiting your Child? goes on to claim that there are numerous “Satanic clubs” in South Africa that host theme parties to lure children into Satanism. Once at the party the supposed chosen children are exclusively invited to a “room on the roof in the cellar with trance music”. What allegedly follows is termed, “a dance with the devil”, which then subsequently escalates to human sacrifice.
This claim is based on fear of dance clubs that occasionally host themed parties or evenings, and it is injected with SRA staples such as human sacrifice and imaginary Satanic rituals. There is no truth in this claim.
What follows in the article is a common claim that the New Age movement is essentially Satanic.
“Many of the concepts that the New Age movements promote, are also promoted in Satanism. Examples are: mind control techniques, spiritual guides and chanting for spiritual power.”
The truth is that mind control is not found in Satanic religious practices or New Age practices and beliefs. The inaccurate inclusion of it is possibly because mind control techniques are employed by dangerous cults, and due to the limited understanding on the differences between dangerous religious cults and Satanism and the New Age movement by SRA believers, the link is falsely made between the three with the result being the above statement.
Additionally, the belief in and contact with spirit guides is now commonplace in the New Age movement- it is no more ‘dangerous’ than the Christian belief in guardian angels. Chanting is commonly employed in Satanic ritual practices and sometimes in New Age meditation techniques where it serves to raise personal power in magical workings in the former, and aid concentration in the latter; again, it is not something dark and sinister as the article implies.
The previous claim is then followed by a quote from Bob Larson’s New Book of Cults (Tyndale, 1989):
“…this is really a very old examination of occultism’s principles and practices. They are only examples of pagan spiritism…”
Bob Larson is an American radio and television evangelist who has authored numerous books that are all in fervent support of SRA myths. The alluding to “pagan spiritism” only shows not only Larson’s false grip on the subject, but that of the author of the article too.
The Servamus article then flows into the statement that fashion plays an important role in a teenager’s life and that peer pressure is the reason why children belong to groups. It is then stated that, “they [children, teenagers] buy the Satanic rings, bracelets or necklaces and give the demons a legal doorway.”
Again, this is more SRA and fringe fundamentalist Christian fodder. Within the realms of these two beliefs it is held that, as gold is a ‘Christian metal’ silver is therefore an unholy metal, and as such, wearing silver or unchristian jewellery can open one up to demonic possession. This is based on superstition alone and has no factual basis whatsoever.
The blame is then passed on to computer games which the article claims provide a doorway into the occult. According to the article, computer games “teach players sorcery, voodoo, magic, witchcraft and spiritual warring skills” and that some games “include information on techniques of meditation, astral travelling, spells, demonic incantations and the calling of spirit guides”. Just as with the majority of the statements made in Who is Recruiting your Child? this statement is based on the Christian fear of what falls outside of their narrow worldview.
While some game developers may loosely base such game elements on actual occult practices, what is eventually conveyed in the game is far removed from actual occult practices, and as such, a very poor source of information or introduction to ‘the occult’. What the author and other supporters of this false claim forget is that computer and console games are just like the SRA myths- works of fiction and nothing more.
This statement is then followed with the idea that playing computer games promotes “a lust for bloodletting, murder and suicide” and that these games also lead the player to progressively be controlled by “spiritual forces”. The article even goes so far to claim that players can be involved in “spiritual battles” when resting or sleeping. These ideas are then extended to “literature, videos and movies [that] expose people to demonic possession.”Again, this is more fiction and SRA myth based on a lack of knowledge and understanding, and a fear of computer games.
Who is Recruiting your Child? then ends with the following statement:
“Don’t make the mistake of minimizing Satan’s power or denying the reality of his kingdom of evil. Ex-Satanists say that the only way out is through Jesus Christ. Satan, with his whole kingdom, has already been defeated by Jesus Christ when He was crucified. Whosoever believes in Jesus can partake in his victory over Satan.”
And, as with the other articles in Servamus’ ‘Special Community Edition’, it ends with the ‘big sell’- there is a spiritual war and only Jesus Christ can save you. A rather confusing statement as the above claims that Jesus has already “defeated” Satan, so one is left wondering why the need for the feverish beliefs in a “spiritual war” that has already been won?
However, what is most shocking is not just the level of propaganda in the article, but that this was written for members of the South African Police Service as an educational piece. Even more shocking is that fifteen years after it was originally penned, it is still being promoted to the same audience and for the same purposes.
Who is Recruiting your Child? is an insult to the religious rights of every South African with what amounts to religious libel. It only serves to perpetuate false SRA myths regarding minority religions all in an evangelical bid to win souls in the Christian ‘spiritual war’ between good and (mislabeled) evil.