“Cult Activity” in New Jersey?

There seems a strange proclivity
To speak of strange activity
And treat with exclusivity
The notion of a cult

We think our own humanity
Immune from such insanity
And, reasoning through vanity,
Arrive at this result

A distant possibility
With broad acceptability
Which shows the true utility
Of naming these accused

When faced with such atrocity
With evidence in paucity
Extreme religiosity
Gets others’ cults abused.

The remains of a woman who died at age 98 have been stolen from the mausoleum in Pleasantville, NJ where they had lain for 16 years. Depending on which source you read, either police or relatives or unnamed sources suspect the involvement of a cult.

I lived in Jersey for a bit; not long, but long enough to have heard rumors of “satanic cults” that kidnapped and sacrificed local children. As is typical with urban legends, the story was always a few degrees of separation away from the storyteller; his cousin’s friend’s brother, or her mom’s friend’s cousin, or whatever.

My first thought was “what’s the evidence behind their accusation?” So far, I haven’t seen any. But accusing a cult has a long tradition, makes headlines, serves to paint mainstream churches as good guys and cults as baddies while affirming the worldview of good and evil, and did I mention makes headlines?

Here is an interesting view of the “it’s those damned cults” accusation. It’s a bit dated, but it does not appear that much has changed. You’ll note the inclusion of something strange, though… evidence. And a simple and straightforward conclusion:

In short, law enforcers must remove the “cult” from cult crime and do their jobs accordingly. Thank you.


  1. says

    Okay, Occam’s Razor time. What scenario is more likely?
    A) A satanic cult robbing a graveyard in order to use the body in some bizarre arcane ritual, possibly involving a blood sacrifice.
    B) A small group of people, mostly likely young and drunk/stoned, thought stealing a body would be fun.

    If A makes more sense than B, you need a refresher in reality.

  2. Randomfactor says

    It just occurred to me: nearly every cult I’ve heard of in the US is an offshoot of the Christian religion*, down to the Branch Davidians and the People’s Temple. (Even the Heaven’s Gate folks had their roots in Christianity.) I think I see the problem…

    (One of the great bloodbaths in China, too, was caused a Christian-offshoot-cult. If only their god would stop changing his mind about revelation…)

    *Excepting of course Scientology, which is deeply rooted in the Sacred Buck. And TM, which I suspect has similar origins.

  3. F says

    Maybe you just happened to live in Jersey during one of the entirely manufactured moral panics centered around “cults”? (Like when cults were kidnapping our children from daycare. Or not, as the case is. Hell, there wasn’t even that much kidnapping, let alone cult involvement.) In fact, the dated reference material is almost certainly from one of these phases our society goes through. (Because blaming something stupid like rock ‘n roll for strange or horrible occurrences continues to become less believable. Dungeons and Dragons still flies as a reason occasionally, but this is so close to a cult in the minds of believers that it is a distinction with little difference.)

    Love the verse. Awesome.

  4. Gregory in Seattle says

    @Randomfactor #2 – And do not forget that Satanism is a faith practice that could not exist without a Christian world-view. So ultimately, all the alleged and completely unsubstantiated “Satanic cults” are also Christian in origin.

  5. Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant) says

    As soon as I encountered the word “proclivity”, I knew we were in for a good one.

  6. dean says

    I read a story about this in which a local officer made a comment that the only “cults” he’d encountered used animal bones from the woods or chicken bones left over from lunch. He thought this was done by drunken losers.

    On a side note, a mausoleum in a city near where I grew up was an occasional night trip for dating couples in high school, since (I assume) changes in temp and humidity at night in the fall caused “eerie” sounds, which cascaded into long, tight embraces with dates. However, we – err, the high schoolers – never took the time to remove anything (from the vaults).

  7. carpenterman says

    What kind of damn idiot would join a satanic cult in New Jersey? Even if the devil was real, he wouldn’t have the balls to show up here.

  8. qwerty says

    I seem to recall a 48 hours or NBC presentation on some innocent young men who were accused of satanic rituals in a murder in Arkansas. Then, after languishing for years in prison, someone examined the paucity of evidence and they were finally released.

    Yes, satanic cults or cults are an excuse to lock up someone who has a tatoo or a bad haircut.

  9. Uncle Glenny says

    What kind of damn idiot would join a satanic cult in New Jersey? Even if the devil was real, he wouldn’t have the balls to show up here.

    Well, the Jersey Devil did have his territory there.

  10. Uncle Glenny says

    They should get Sheriff Joe’s team to inspect the death certificate. It may have been forged.

  11. Enidi says

    It was vast in Vineland N.J. back in the early 70’S. It seemed to be corrupted and police investigated for years. This included a Satan cult killing when I attended high school and friends of mine who were tortured by cults. A complete mess that was never cleaned up. Very sad.

  12. Enidi says

    If you were abused by a cult………would you actually report the cult to the police, when knowing the risk of surviving on the outside? By the time a journalist gets a hold of the story it’s all twisted and not believable in any sense of the word.

  13. Enidi says

    Some skeptics disbelieve totally that there are in fact people dressed in black hooded cloaks worshipping Satan in the woods. Yet they would believe the fringe facts decided upon by Police and journalist when a story on a cult killing is printed. Don’t believe everything you read. Stories are changed and they are toyed with. Cult killings are real. S.R.A. is real…but this small minded society we live in thinks that any S.R.A. victim is simply a whistle blower or a delusional person….and not a real victim that has been sexually abused by a cult. When the Jews were set free from Concentration camps…if you notice on film…they look quite delusional. Any victim of cult abuse will in fact appear a bit delusional. It doesn’t mean that they are not telling the absolute truth. I was abused by a cult in the 60’s. Of course you will tell me that I am a liar too. And all because of the publications industry having a field day with this subject matter, that makes all S.R.A. victims liars right? Just brilliant! If you believe everything within a news report and if you completely doubt that S.R.A. victims exist, then your position is moronic.

  14. Enidi says

    Another bit of information for you to consider. Do not believe everything printed about S.R.A. People who specialize in de-programming S.R.A. victims profess to have knowledge on the subject , expressing facts that they often claim will never be altered. For example: The majority of S.R.A. victims are young children. This is often stated because it has been an existing pattern for decades, however there are in fact S.R.A. victims age 13 and up. They do not experience the same magnitude of triggers that a child does…but they DO experience triggers and they DO take on a different personality as a form of self preservation/survival to function in the community. If older, and tortured/taunted by a cult, you still take on that role but it’s more of a mild case of S.R.A. that includes nightmares and mild triggers and in some cases when their personality changes..they may retreat to their room and possibly not come out until the following day. Not every S.R.A. case involves a child to be the victim. This can happen to teenagers between ages 13 and 15 as well. It will affect them as they progress into an adult. Another example of a typical pattern that most people believe regarding ALL S.R.A. victim cases…..It comes from the child’s family. Wrong again and not in all cases. Maybe in the majority of cases? Several S.R.A. victims were tortured/abused by a cult that certainly was not their family. Don’t allow the patterns to confuse you for they are not always exacting or scientifically proven. Satan cult killings that are attempted to be solved by detectives prove to be an “on going” investigation that can sometimes last up to two years and still not enough proof to convict the sect. Instead it gets thrown out of court and the end result is a news report revolving around a bunch of morons that took drugs , listened to Heavy Metal music, and wanted to be cool. The sect is real and not a made up fairy tale. When a cult or sect murders someone through a ritual killing the entire point and the entire pattern of murder is based on the intense concept of not leaving marks. That is why the evidence a detective traces is sometimes part of a plan to fool everyone. That is precisely what a cult is out to do…fool people…by playing a diversion of taking attention away from what they do. This is what most people don’t seem to understand. It is not a street murder or a serial killer’s dream. It’s based on pre-planned secrecy and not stupidity.

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