Note: rough earlier versions of this post briefly appeared for some reason. I take full responsibility for that which I did not cause and cannot control.
Karl Payne is a certified demonologist, whatever that means. We can safely assume it means he deeply believes, or claims to deeply believe, in super-natural critters the rest of us can’t see or hear and science has never been able to detect. Apparently Halloween is a busy night for demonologists, kinda like New Year’s Eve in an ER. Karl Payne is deeply concerned that this Halloween will intentionally or unintentionally open the door for demons to swarm through from the pit of hell or nearest parallel dimension.
But you probably won’t be surprised to learn that back when Karl was trick or treating, it was all innocent fun and games, a harmless quest for candy undertaken by wholesome kids facilitated by red-blooded American neighbors. It’s only lately, when Karl is older and no longer participates, that Halloween has taken such a dark turn. Beyond that it just gets hilarious:
RW Watch — Why am I concerned about the way Halloween, the media and our current culture encourage the celebration and trivialization of spiritism, occultism, Satanism, hedonism, witches, zombies and walking on the dark side with demons? Because the supernatural world is real, and no one is immune to it regardless of their education or worldview. God is real. Angels are real. Satan is real. Demons are real. Real gladiators and real Christians died in the Colosseum and circus even though many Roman leaders and citizens just considered their destruction an evening of entertainment.… I have witnessed the reality of demonic bondage hundreds and hundreds of times. I have also witnessed individuals being set free through deliverance from demonic bondage hundreds and hundreds of times. Christian missionaries who live in the midst of this reality have thanked me many times for writing this book. Religious academics as well as atheistic secularists are more inclined to ridicule or ignore the subject.
As a semi-professional atheist materialist secularist satirist smartass … I don’t think I can ridicule Karl much more than he’s already done.
But on a serious note, we ignore con artists like Payne at our peril. I always thought the reason fundies loved the idea of Satanic churches so much that they begin fabricating more and more extravagant stories about them, is because a Satanic church, or a coven of people who think they are witches, or people who worship demons, etc., these are all things that have really existed. Since Payne and his fellow conmen haven’t been able to produce a single real demon or demonstrate one instance of successful witchcraft, and since it’s a lot easier to scare people into buying snake oil when you can brandish a real item for all to see and touch and fear, the handful of poorly attended Satanic churches run by aging antisocial weirdos that have existed in recent times suddenly explodes into a vast underground network. With evil tentacles into every profession, political office, and school in the world. All obsessed with breeding children to serve as live sacrifices, porn actors, and child brides for Lucifer. At least according to Christian grifters.
But for whatever reason, maybe it was watching movies like the The Omen and The Exorcist at an impressionable age while growing up around fundamentalist influences, that idea of wide-spread ritual Satanic abuse got loose in mental health and law enforcement communities across the nation. I witnessed this first-hand in two completely different contexts. In the mid to late 80s I was a substitute math and science teacher while in college at a treatment facility for adolescents. As teaching gigs go this was premo: it paid well for a college job, and if a kid acted up real bad I could call big burly men to come put them in a strait jacket and lock them in a padded room for the rest of the class. How would you like that option these days teach?
At first I didn’t understand what the hell some of the kids were telling me, when they said the reason they were messed up was because they were raised in a Satanic cult to be exploited and horribly abused. It alarmed me enough that I finally mentioned it to one of the therapists during a break in a staff meeting, “did you know some of these patients honestly think they were raised in a Satanic cult?” to which she replied “Of course, and most of them were.” Her self-confident answer chilled me to the bone, but not in the way grifters like our demonologist friend above believe. It scared me because I instinctively knew, even at age 22 without the benefit of a single class in psychology, that that sounded like complete and total bullshit.
On a side note, the kids in that center had long since figured out this Satanic deal scared a lot of adults, so they used it all the time to try and manipulate staff. When one kid tried that on me I got to laugh at him and challenge him to bring down a demon on me in front of the entire class or admit he was lying his ass off. No demon appeared. Not one kid ever tried that ruse on me again, either. Atheist 1; Fakers 0.
At the same time, a family member was being treated for clinical depression and briefly flirted with the idea. Fortunately, the therapist in that case waved away that crazy diagnosis and got to the real heart of the problem. It could have easily gone the other way, and it did for thousands of patients in the late 80s. Some of whom now permanently suffer false memory syndrome of horrible events as if they really happened to this day, others certianly didn’t receive any help with their condition if their therapist was chasing demon cults. So yeah, we don’t ignore you Karl.
As a reader blow notes, check out the McMartin preschool hysteria, which destroyed the lives of innocent kids and teachers alike. Indeed, Karl, we are worried your particular brand of snake-oil can poison the minds of people far removed from the usual victims you prey on. With tragic consequences in some cases.