On ‘Occult Survivors’
I don’t believe or trust the following kind of ex’s, ex-Witches, Satanists, Pagans, Occultists, High Priests, Freemasons, High Ranking Illuminati and Witch-Queens become born-again Christians. Why don’t I believe them?
I am not a psychologist and all of this is speculation on my part. I believe I have come across studies regarding the phenomenon of Christian testimonials, but I am mostly basing my assumptions on personal experience with evangelical Christianity and the Charismatic movement. Hopefully, I can infer a bit about human nature to be able draw these conclusions.
When dealing with Satanic Panic hysteria and you counter the hysteria by pointing out the mythic nature of the Christian legend of Satanism, apologists are always quick to point to the accounts of so-called “Occult Survivors”. These survivors are always fellow Christians and they have always had a conversion experience at some point.
Firstly, I don’t believe them because of the very nature of Christian testimonials. Think of an infomercial advertising a diet formula or exercise pill – you have “before” and “after” pictures. “Before” shows how bad the situation was and the “After” shows the miraculous improvement. Christian testimonials are just like this infomercial, it is a form of advertisement for what they feel is a good product. In both infomercials and Christianity, the descriptions of benefits are frequently overblown and exaggerated. In both, testimonials can be “paid for” and rehearsed or scripted and even faked. A testimonial is not a good or reliable kind of evidence because it is so subjective. It is simply an anecdote, a story someone tells. Christians will tend to rely on the good nature of other Christians to tell the truth and yet, when it comes to ex-occultist’s testimonies especially there are always discrepancies.
Why would these “ex-occultists” be lying? Well, I believe that in charismatic/evangelical churches especially, there is a kind of pressure for evangelism. So there is a kind of pressure to have testimonials and stories to share of how great the “saving power of Christ” truly is. The more powerful the story, the greater the effect. The worse the “before”, the greater the impact of the image presented as “after”, and the better the product advertised appears. That evangelicals need to go to such lengths also suggests something about their inherent insecurity.
How do I know ex-occultists blow up their accounts? Take our own South African “survivor” appearing in lots of media interviews, Adele Neveling – she shows a remarkable lack of knowledge about real Satanism and Witchcraft despite being a Satanist for “eighteen years”. She states Satanists gather in covens, which she pronounces “cove-ins”, while Satanists tended to have a grotto system – apparently defunk. Adele mentions the Church of Satan by name and links them to South Africa – while no such connection exists according to CoS’s own sources. She also links the CoS to South African crimes and happenings and makes it sound as if she was part of CoS as “Satanic Churches in South Africa”.
A fatal mistake Adele makes is interjecting to what “Eric” said in the interview on SAFM that “Satanism is still the worship of Satan”, this is completely false because most Satanists tend to be some derivative of LaVeyan Satanists and LaVeyans are atheists who reject theistic concepts of Satan and God. How could she get such a very basic and important fact wrong? Furthermore, that Satanism is primarily against “Jesus Christ” is not completely true- well even among Pagans there may be animosity towards their Christian past but really even the Theistic Satanists I have encountered – and have studied their writings – are not really actively bothered with Christians and Jesus Christ – dislike there may be, but they tend to focus on their own beliefs and their own paths of self-development and empowerment. Jesus and Christians really aren’t very central at all, and I also find most Theists have a non-Biblical, beyond-Biblical view of Satan, even bordering on “Pagan”. Satan may share a name and some characteristics of the character from Biblical myth, but I have found that Theistic Satanists tend to develop their own perspectives, myths and lore of Satan.
Adele Neveling is just another “survivor” in a long list of “survivors” who don’t have actual knowledge of Occult belief systems – this is the same story repeating again and again with all of them. Some claim Witches and Satanists are the same thing. Some claim Samhain is a “god of the dead” in Celtic lore. Some claim we in South-Africa celebrate Halloween on the 31st of October with human sacrifices all around – none of these “facts” are true and none of these are mistakes someone with actual knowledge of Paganism, Occultism or Satanism would make. “Former Satanic High Priest”, Dave Griesel (called as such by Kobus Jonker), says that British witch Sybil Leek was a South-African Satanist and “Top-Witch”. Griesel claims Satanists use a “Book of Shadows” – a Wiccan and Witchcraft term, again not a mistake an actual Satanist or Pagan would make, even if they did convert to another faith.
I believe survivors blow up their accounts because they are frequently of a higher rank than the other bottom feeders and they were so deep in the counsel of the Evil One that they had special knowledge and powers. That is another problem with the stories, the plenty of accounts of the supernatural. Rebecca Brown has real werewolves and Vampires running alongside her car, a marriage between Elaine Moses and Satan in a Church – a usual snappy dresser he wears a white tuxedo, sips champagne and whisks Elaine away in his private jet and Brown and Elaine also witnesses physical manifestations of angels and demons.
Former South African “High Priest” Phil Botha, has zombies born from Satanic sex rituals with bat wings and tails, these vestigial limbs are removed by dipping them in vats of acid. These zombies serve the evil cult as enforcers and live in safe-houses on the outskirts of major South African cities. Remember how the poor zombies were displaced due to urban sprawl and expansion and they had to find new homes? Botha was telling his accounts in the 70’s btw. No? Well neither do I. Botha claimed the ability to teleport around the world – at least Elaine Moses had to fly in a plane to meet with world leaders, Freemasons and Catholic Priests/Popes – all implicated in a conspiracy.
Adele has milder accounts but claims visions of angels and demons and an experience on the “Satanic Altar”. As she was about to “plunge the dagger into her victims heart” she was stopped by some force – sound like narrative and story telling? Adele makes the claim that she drank cat’s blood because of the supernatural nature of what she was involved with and even states that some skeptics have pointed out that it would be impossible and poisonous to drink such blood – but she could do it anyway because it was “supernatural”.
Interestingly, while many Pagans, Occultists and some Satanists may believe in and practice magic/k, seldom is magic considered as supernatural or something that contravenes known physical laws. The real powers of Occultists are not as spectacular as the Hollywood version or the version of the powers Satanists have in Christian myth. WItches in Baxter’s “divine revelation of heaven and hell” can really shape shift physically for instance – most magic practitioners today will usually settle for something like “astrally”.
Now, I do like believing in the miraculous and that weird things can happen at times because I find the belief enjoyable but real “supernatural experiences” really aren’t as commonplace among real Occultists as they are among Evangelical Christians for example.
Most would settle for something like a subtle “mind over matter” effect, influencing events and probability.
Supernatural accounts make the accounts of “survivors” less plausible and these accounts can only be accepted within Christianity. I see no reason to believe a story someone tells me without evidence to back it up. That “occult-survivors” blow up their testimonials and reveal discrepencies between their accounts and real practices covered my second and third points. Survivors also frequently make claims of crimes and of witnessing crimes and yet the supposedly thousands of dead sacrificed bodies are never uncovered and co-conspirators never arrested. Adele claims all her cases are “cold-cases”. I wonder if these opened cases even exists and even if they do is there any wonder these are cold-cases? No bodies, no evidence – no crime, except in someone’s head, a frequent occurrence with survivors.
Finally, again coming to pressure within Evangelical/Charismatic Churches is the idea that these folks may be lying because they have something to gain in return. They usually receive admiration for their great glorification of the “saving power of Christ”. They are invited to seminars to recount their stories. They become teachers and mentors to other Christians. They get to lecture “important people” on the “dangers of Satanism and the Occult”. Frequently, there is money to be made, books to sell, talks to attend and video’s to produce. There is a certain status these individuals attain in these Churches and a certain respect afforded to them. Why not maintain a lie if it benefits you so much? These “survivors” may have real troubled backgrounds and with their stories they attain the acceptance of a community, love and admiration. Great tales of supernatural feats and being “chosen by God” frequently make up for a drab and uninteresting life. A tale of supernatural horror adds some colour to a drab real world existence.
Christians lie because of a cognitive dissonance – Fact and reality does not correspond to myth so they have to make it fit and this is perhaps the greatest reason of the compulsions to lie and twist truth. It makes Christianity seem more real and more valid, while reality does not necessarily agree. The Bible has amazing and miraculous feats and demons driven out at every turn. “0ccult survivors” make up for such discrepancies with their tales. The power of Satan is suddenly something real and tangible and a real threat, while in reality, all we truly see is the evil of our fellow man. They make up for the discrepancies of Christianity because the real Satanists really aren’t evil at all and they are supposed to be – oops. We HAVE to be living in the “End Times”, so Satanism MUST be running wild. The devil is supposed to be the liar, the murderer and the deceiver, if you are a Satanist you MUST be EVIL – again oops. Evangelical Christians project their shadow onto others while they themselves resemble their own devil most of all.
“Survivors” may tell their tales loudly and often enough that they themselves believe them. In a few cases drugs were involved (Rebecca Brown and Elaine Moses and “Demerol sets the Captives Free”), other cases had “false/implanted memory” as a possibility (Michelle Smith), real psychological issues may play a role (Lauren Stratford and pathological lying and attention/sympathy seeking).