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Title: Teenagers Seeking the Occult Find Death Instead

Source: www.the700club.org, 11/8/96, and broadcast on The 700 Club's television show on the same date.

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Teenagers Seeking the Occult Find Death Instead

November 8, 1996

Are schoolchildren being drawn into satanism by experimenting with the occult? It appears that's exactly what's going on in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. The apparent double suicide of two 16-year-old boys has sent shock waves throughout that community. CBN News reporter Kim Ferrall brings us the story.

Mr. ANTHONY GOREY (Officer, Plymouth Township Police): You see these two dark spots here? By--one by this tree over here and there's one by this side of the tree over here, tiny little streaks where the kids were sitting. They were facing each other. The individual over here was closer to me. The individual against this tree was farther over. You can see where they actually slumped over after inflicting the gun wound.

KIM FERRALL reporting: The two dark spots and yellow crime scene tape are all that's left now, grim reminders of an apparent double suicide recently involving two 16-year-old boys in Plymouth, Pennsylvania.

By all accounts, the high school juniors were good kids from good families.  The bodies of Stanley Szcupski and Shaun Zarcufsky were discovered in the woods near this landfill. Scattered about the bodies were more than 130 items, including drug and occult paraphernalia.

Mr. BOB LEHMAN (Chief, Plymouth Township Police): There was what appeared to be an unknown type smaller statue with a missing head, some drug paraphernalia, such as smoking instruments you would use to smoke marijuana, and bottles of White-Out...

FERRALL: That they would use as inhalants?

Mr. LEHMAN: Right. Youngsters use it today as inhalants. Over there with the paraphernalia we found a Bible opened to the chapter of Revelations.

FERRALL: Other items recovered here included books on black magic and letters mentioning the occult. Police also found so-called death metal tapes, like "Origin of the Feces" with lyrics glorifying suicide and self-mutilation. Evidence pointed to heroin use, which authorities say goes hand-in-hand with occult activity.

Mr. LEHMAN: We are just slowly learning more and more about the occult and satanism.

FERRALL: How extensive do you think this is among the--among the youth here in this community?

Mr. LEHMAN: A lot of police officers and investigators are investigating this. And from what we have so far, it's been growing.

Mr. GOREY: It's bad enough you come up and you see a scene like this. But then with the items that were here, it's kind of eerie. And it kind of makes you wonder, you know, what's going through kids' heads today?

FERRALL: Whatever it is, this is not just an isolated case. In Ohio last month, an 18-year-old received two life sentences for the satanic ritual murder of his parents.   Five teens were also arrested in North Carolina recently for the savage knife attack on an elderly couple and their paralyzed son. Police say they confessed involvement with satanism.

And in Virginia Beach, Virginia, earlier this year, a 27-year-old man who believes he's a vampire was arrested for sexually assaulting teen-age girls. Detective Don Rimer is an occult expert who worked the Virginia Beach case.

Mr. DON RIMER (Detective, Virginia Beach Police): There are dozens of incidents, documented police investigations--more than a dozen, hundreds of cases, where children have participated in fantasy role-playing games, have either participated, have been the victims of those games and have died.

FERRALL: This is game night at the Wizard Site, a comic book store in West Nanticoke, Pennsylvania. It's one of the places kids playing mystical games, like Magic, The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons.  According to police, Zarcufsky and Szcupski had become fascinated with these games.  Authorities suspect more kids here are dabbling in the occult.

Mr. JOSEPH SKIPISKI (General Manager, Wizard Site): Getting involved in the occult is cause for concern. Playing Dungeons & Dragons is a game. And that's what
everybody has to emphasize. It's a game, just like Monopoly is, just like the X-Men. It's a game, just like bridge.

FERRALL: And what do you think it's doing to their minds?

Mr. SKIPISKI: Challenging them. Challenging them to think, to solve problems.

FERRALL: But Rimer disagrees, warning it goes way beyond just solving problems.

Mr. RIMER: Many of these kids do not understand the difference between fantasy and reality.  And they go out and get involved in the drugs. They get involved in these games. They get involved in following some of the practices in these occult books.   They listen to the lyrics in some of the songs, which encourage this behavior.   They take all of these elements together and create their own lifestyle and make up their own rules, and they're dying because of it.

FERRALL: Kim Ferrall, CBN News.

WEBB: Detective Rimer says it's important to note that the problem with these fantasy role-playing games is not so much with the gaming rooms themselves, it's what happens when the game is over. Many kids apparently have trouble telling where the game ends and reality begins.

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