|A R C H
I V E
Main Page - Return to previous page
> Archives >
The Pulling Report
Title: The Pulling Report
Source: Michael Stackpole, 1990
NOTICE: The following material is copyrighted as indicated in the body of text. It has been posted to this web page for archival purposes, and in doing so, no claim of authorship is expressed or implied, nor is a profit being made from the use of the material.
The Pulling ReportCompiled by and © 1990 Michael A. Stackpole
Patricia Pulling is a woman known for having mounted a brave campaign against the diabolical forces that have been unleashed in America today. A licensed private Investigator, she is the founder of Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons and the author of The Devil’s Web. She has been hired as an expert in gaming for murder trials in Missouri, Oklahoma and North Carolina. She has appeared on 60 Minutes, Geraldo and on numerous radio programs, like the nationally syndicated “Jim Bohannon Show.”
Her courage in the face of the Satanic conspiracy is nothing short of amazing. The dogged tirelessness that allows her to go on lecture tours, write books and edit newsletters is incredible. Her willingness to help the police investigate cult crimes and her uncompromising drive to publicize the dangers of Satanism are unquestionably seen as noble and civic minded.
Within the community of “Cult Crime” investigators, she has become a figure of mythic proportion.
Unfortunately for Mrs. Pulling – as with most myths – the kernel of truth around which the legend has been built is no where near as attractive as the myth. As will be shown in this report, which cuts through the blue smoke and mirrors surrounding her crusade, Mrs. Pulling is hardly the appropriate person to be given responsibility in crime investigations. In her pursuit of a grand Satanic conspiracy – the same one she ultimately holds responsible for the suicide death of her son – she has engaged in unethical and illegal practices. Her methods and tactics, at their very best, taint any evidence she might offer and, at their worst, construct a monster where none exists.
This report, while hardly exhaustive, provides a catalog of things Mrs. Pulling has done to produce evidence of everything from murderous toys to a worldwide Satanic conspiracy that contains in it one out of every twelve citizens of Richmond, Virginia. The majority of this information deals with her early assault on the games upon which she blames her son’s death. The rest of it has been developed through study of her occult investigations and the other individuals with whom she works and associates in the anti-Satanism movement.
Mrs. Pulling’s career as an occult investigator began with the unfortunate death of her son, Irving Lee “Bink” Pulling. On 9 June 1982, Bink shot himself in the chest with a handgun, “hours after a D&D® curse was placed on him during a game conducted at his local high school.” Though Bink’s obituary makes no mention of how he died, and his death did not make the local Richmond papers, within a year Mrs. Pulling had filed a lawsuit against Robert A. Bracey, III, the principal of the high school her son attended and where he played Dungeons & Dragons®.
The lawsuit, which was thrown out of court on 26 October 1983, was the first public instance of Mrs. Pulling engaging in an investigation concerning a “cult crime.” (It is curious that this landmark in her career is not mentioned in her book, The Devil’s Web.) At this time she formed Bothered About Dungeons & Dragons (BADD) and became involved in the murder trial of Darren Lee Molitor in 1984. The Molitor case was her first trial and the first instance in which she was brought in as an “expert” in D&D.
On a radio broadcast over KFYI in Phoenix in the fall of 1987, Pat Pulling was billed as “a private investigator for the past six years.” Robert D. Hicks, a law enforcement analyst for the State of Virginia said in a letter, “Pulling is a licensed private investigator, a certification she earned on October 6, 1987.” He went on to note:
Her career, if it was six years old in 1987, would have predated her son’s 9 June 82 suicide by at least six months. Regardless, she became a PI in October of 1987. To allow herself to be represented as having been such before that time grants her “facts” an inappropriate legitimacy.
Pulling, in her role
as a cult crime
investigator, has prepared more than one document that deals with
painting a profile of a child in jeopardy of cult involvement because
of gaming and other factors. She uses the following profile to pinpoint
kids who are headed for an involvement with Satanism and she also
allows it to classify youngsters who are potentially suicidal. Quoting
from one of her BADD documents – one meant solely for distribution to
police organizations – the profile goes as follows:
This profile, which is distributed by BADD to police departments for their use in interrogating suspects in crimes clearly has some flaws. Even a casual glance at the first three sections will show that virtually any child from the ages of 11-17 is a potential candidate for seduction into Satanism. Furthermore, this seduction will take place at times when a parent is least likely to be present. In short, if you have a reasonably intelligent child from a good background and he is out of your sight, he is open to recruitment by Satanists. This is patent nonsense and no where does Pulling offer evidence to indicate occult recruitment of any sort is a common occurrence.
Obviously, in Mrs. Pulling’s view, no child is safe at any time. Once this profile has been used to help parents and others identify potential problem children, Pat reveals the prosecutorial mentality BADD encourages in investigators.
When grouped together like this, these three points sum up Mrs. Pulling’s approach toward “objective” investigating. While Pat encourages and open mind and objectivity in points 2 and 3, she provides a caution in point 5. In essence, she says, if they do not tell you what you want to hear, they are lying because Satanists will lie to protect their friends. The mixed message here helps cloud what is already a very confused issue within law enforcement.
More importantly, this
advice automatically puts
the suspect and the police into an adversarial relationship – even if
the suspect is fully willing to cooperate. When used in conjunction
with the questionnaire provided by Pulling, the problem is intensified.
Because Pulling’s questionnaire provides questions and sample answers –
most of which are wrong or inapplicable – she had created a situation
where a suspect telling the truth must be
seen to be lying to the police.
In the questionnaire titled Interviewing Fantasy Role Playing Gamers, which is included in the Interviewing Techniques publication, Pulling advises:
What does Mrs. Pulling mean when she says, “a significant amount of youngsters are having difficulty with separating fantasy from reality?” Role playing games have been around since 1975 and Mrs. Pulling herself concedes there are 4,000,000 players of D&D in the United States alone. How many children constitutes a “significant amount?” Without clarification or evidence, that is a meaningless comment useful only for its inflammatory content.
Just below that we have a warning to the cops that a player may not be able to distinguish between fantasy and reality. She notes that game players “react in real life situations in the same fashion that they would react in a gaming situation.” In a game, problems are solved by rolling dice and consulting a chart to see what the result are. Have police reported kids dealing with muggings by asking the attackers to hold off while they roll dice? Have teachers reported difficult test questions being puzzled out by kids rolling dice and consulting some chart? What exactly do these game reactions to real life situations consist of, and where is the evidence that they exist?
To expand on or explain away the lack of evidence supporting her claim, Mrs. Pulling suggests that any behavior change is so subtle the person might not notice it. If truly that subtle, is it significant? Does it have any meaning? And does the term “subtle” adequately describe an inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality? Could rolling dice in the face of stress be considered subtle?
The questions from the
questionnaire listed below
are frightening because of their incomplete nature, their quest for
insignificant information and their general imbecility. Recall that
Pulling has told the investigators that the suspect will lie to protect
his friends. She has also said they may not be able to tell fantasy
from reality. Bearing those things in mind, as well as endeavoring to
be open minded, the investigator is given the following list of
questions with hints for answers. Italics are the author’s comments on
the questions for perspective.
As can easily be seen from the material above, not only are the questions useless, but Pulling’s explanations for possible answers are nearly incoherent. Very obviously Pulling’s questions are designed to determine if the suspect can distinguish between fantasy and reality. Plainly, Pat’s confusion of one with the other gives birth to a whole host of problems. A normally well adjusted youth who enjoys games, by virtue of answering those questions in an open and truthful manner, could be painted as a staunch Satanist doing his best to hide his coven!
Worse yet, Mrs. Pulling is distributing this questionnaire to police officers who attend Cult Crime seminars. Clearly the determination of a suspect’s sanity, as pertains to his ability to sort out reality and fantasy, is a judgement best made by someone with psychological training, not someone who has spent a weekend listening to Mrs. Pulling. To believe that the questionnaire could help in determining the depth and breadth of a satanic conspiracy is folly because, through its misinformation, the document creates that conspiracy just by its use.
Mrs. Pulling adds another set of questions to the thirteen she asked the police to use above. The first is : “Has he read the Necronomicon or is he familiar with it?” In her explanation of this general section she notes, “This will help determine if the individual has a working knowledge of the occult, and if his gaming abilities lean more to the dark side which could give cause or reason for bizarre behavior.”
The phrase, “if his gaming abilities lean more to the dark side,” requires close examination. The very phrase and its wording suggests that games somehow are possessed of power that can be used for good or evil. This is nonsense – games are not batteries filled with good energy or evil energy. If games were anything more than a form of entertainment, everyone who ever won a game of Monopoly would magically become a Donald Trump and good Risk players would have taken over the world.
In that dire question, Mrs. Pulling mentions the Necronomicon. By context alone it would have to be assumed that the Necronomicon is an occult tome the rough equal of the Satanic Bible. In fact, the Necronomicon predates the Satanic Bible and has a rather well known history.
The Necronomicon is a joke. It was created as a volume of “forbidden knowledge” by Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Lovecraft wrote back during the pulp era and created the Elder Gods, the best known of which is Cthulhu (Kaa-thu-lu or Kaa-tu-lu). The Necronomicon was supposedly written by the mad Arab, Abdul Alhazred. Penned in blood on parchment made of human flesh, it contained a history of the Elder Gods and spoke of their nature and the things they had done. To read it was to go insane.
Lovecraft shared his “Cthulhu Mythos” with the other writers of the day, opening it up to public domain. Cthulhu, the other gods and the Necronomicon began to show up in stories in the horror genre from a whole host of writers – professional and amateur alike. Phantom copies of this book would mysteriously appear listed in library databases, though it always seemed to be checked out to a Mr. A. Alhazred.
In short, the Necronomicon became an inside joke shared by fantasy and horror fans. For the first half century of its life it did not see print because no text of it existed. It was a fantasy and probably would have remained so if several different people had not decided a fast buck could be made actually bringing out this forbidden tome.
In the late seventies the first of at least five different versions of the book appeared on the market. Most are gibberish and at least one version repeats its Romanized Arabic text every ten pages (the author having assumed that no one would ever try to wade through more than ten pages of the nonsense). Another book appeared with a black leather binding and gold stamped cover. It retailed for $50 in 1978 and now goes for well over $100.
Though now extant, The Necronomicon has the same veracity as Gulliver’s Travels or Dante’s Inferno. Citing it as an occult book would be akin to citing Rona Jaffe’s novel “Mazes and Monsters” as an investigative book. (The fact that NCTV’s Dr. Thomas Radecki did just that in one of his press releases does not make the novel a factual book.) A moment’s research into the Necronomicon would have revealed its less than blue-ribbon pedigree, but Mrs. Pulling has not apparently put that much study into this tome.
As the head of Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons, Mrs. Pulling has exercised an interesting editorial approach in producing documents. Most of her material is cut and pasted from newspaper articles. While this would seem a simple and economic way to circulate information her members pass on to her, what Mrs. Pulling does with the data is, in fact, unethical and illegal.
Pulling’s Techniques includes a newspaper article, complete with pictures, originally printed in the Daily News-Sun of Sun City, AZ. The story details the apparent suicide of Sean Hughes in Springerville, Arizona on 19 April 1988. The piece, written by Doug Dollemore, is a balanced story that gets facts and opinions from family, friends and law enforcement officials. Pulling reprints it as a centerpiece of the Techniques, and the story ends with Springerville Police Chief Darrel Jenkins saying, “If Sean hadn’t been involved in role-playing games, he may have thought long and hard before he pulled that trigger.”
Because the story was published in a community close to Phoenix, the author called Doug Dollemore and agreed to meet with him. When the author showed him Pulling’s edition of his story, he glanced at it, then stopped when he got to the last page. He told the author that the original last page of the story had run in one long column, and the last page, to be reproduced by Pulling on an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper, had been snipped into five parts so it could all fit. In doing the cutting, the pieces had been rearranged to provide the sheriff’s quote last.
As can be seen above, that quote is a nasty indictment of gaming. Doug’s original version of the story ended with Sean’s mother saying, “If there’s a trial I want to be there. I want some answers.” This was an ending more in keeping with the whole non-judgmental tone of the piece. Doug also noted that the News-Sun had not been contacted for nor given consent for the piece to be reprinted with Pat’s material.
Pat Pulling, in her Primer, reprinted the article from the Washington Post about her son’s death. The story ran a full 20 column inches, but Mrs. Pulling only runs the first 14 inches of the story. The article notes:
In the section of the article Pulling did not print the following appeared:
Editing newspaper accounts to alter their content is, by no means legitimate and, in the case of copyrighted material, is actually illegal. The aforementioned two instances are examples of direct editing. More generally Mrs. Pulling continues to report cases as being game related, even after follow-up articles or letters by parents disavow any connection between a crime or suicide and a game. In even the most cursory hunt for details concerning cases she cites, an abundance of contradictory evidence is relatively easy to find.
Such a case is the death of her own son. The two pictures she gives of her son’s death vary more sharply than the cut and uncut versions of the Washington Post article suggest. On Geraldo, Mrs. Pulling said of her son’s death:
This above account is substantially the same as the one offered in The Devil’s Web. In the book, however, Mrs. Pulling notes her son used her gun to kill himself. Of her feelings at that point, she says:
Her obvious shock, as
presented above, is at odds
with a comment made by her attorney, Peter W. D. Wright, during the
attempt to sue the principal of the high school Bink attended:
...I don’t believe that the Court can go forward today and rule on a Plea of Sovereign Immunity until such time as we have had an opportunity to put before the Court evidence of insurance coverage, evidence as to what role Dr. Bracey played in this game being played in the school, and what acts did he not do perhaps that should have been done to prevent the game being played because of the knowledge that they have had of this youngster undergoing severe emotional distress prior to his actually taking his life.
The apparent confusion over what Mrs. Pulling did or did not know about her son’s emotional state gets stranger. Though she continues to present herself as taken completely by surprise at her son’s death in BADD publications, in The Devil’s Web and on national television programs, Mrs. Pulling herself offers a different picture to law enforcement officials. During a seminar given at the North Colorado/South Wyoming Detective Association 9-12 Sept 86 (and as reported in a seminar “synopsis” by Larry Jones, the editor of File 18) she said her son had been displaying “lycanthropic” tendencies like running around the backyard barking. Furthermore, according to Jones’ transcription:
Certainly the picture of a young man so tormented is not a pretty sight, nor is it a situation to be taken lightly. Still, is Pat Pulling’s obvious deception concerning her son’s death to be taken as a responsible action? In her statements meant for civilian consumption she acts as if her son’s death caught her utterly unawares – as if she had no clues about his troubles. Yet in court she tries to sue a principal for having ignored signs of emotional problems that were present in her son. These very signs she herself describes in hideous detail to law enforcement professionals – a full two years before appearing on Geraldo and three years before writing her book.
This creates a contradiction which leaves us two possible roles for Mrs. Pulling, neither of which is very attractive. If what she told Geraldo is taken at face value, we have a woman who was truly taken unawares by her son’s emotional problems and death. That route, however, also gives us a woman who sued the principal of the school for having missed signs of disturbance in her son that she herself missed. On the other hand we have a woman who saw the signs of her son’s emotional disturbance, yet was unable to do anything about it. If this is the truth, then Pat Pulling has been lying in BADD publications and in her media appearances.
That the loss of her son was a tragedy, preventable or otherwise, is not a point of debate. Being truthful and honest about his death is. Her willingness to portray two different stories concerning his suicide – including the reprinting of edited news accounts of same – indicates a lack of perspective concerning the incident. This tunnel vision bleeds over into BADD, as if only through the destruction of games and now Satanism, she can somehow make sense of her son’s final act.
This contradiction surrounding Bink’s death is not the only evidence of her lack of perspective. In the back of her book, she lists resources for interested and troubled individuals. Starting on page 198, these resources include her own BADD organization and continue including explanations of who and what a few of the organizations listed actually are. One resource that comes without an explanation is “Radical Teens for Christ”.
Radical Teens for Christ is the “ministry” of Sean R. Sellers and the address is that at which he receives his mail on death row in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary at McAlester. Sean is a convicted triple murderer who murdered a convenience store clerk and, six months later, shot his parents to death while they slept. After his conviction, Sean became “born again” and is quite anxious to help other troubled children. His good intentions aside, it seems incredible that Mrs. Pulling would list a diagnosed sociopath as a “resource” without even a single line of explanation in her book.
Mark Twain attributes the above to Benjamin Disraeli, but neither man probably could have dreamed of the odd statistical “evidence” Pat Pulling is capable of pulling out to prove the existence of a Satanic conspiracy.
In January of 1988 Pat Pulling stated, in a Style Weekly article, she “conservatively estimates that about 8 percent of the Richmond [VA]-area population is involved with Satanic worship at some level.” A Richmond News Leader article notes this would be roughly 56,000 people, “more than the number of United Methodists in the Richmond area and nearly the entire population of Hanover County.”
In an interview for that story Mrs. Pulled redefined “Satanic worship” as “occult” and said it included “dabbling in witchcraft and such New Age activities as channeling.” She went on to say that she had gotten the 8% figure by “estimating 4 percent of the area’s teenagers, and 4 percent of the adults, were involved. She added the figures.”
The reporter informed her that mathematically that amounted to 4% of the total population, but she said it didn’t matter because 8 percent – roughly one out of every dozen citizens – was probably “conservative” anyway. She went on to add that some of the bodies from unexplained homicides across the country actually may be Satanic sacrifice victims. “They certainly have found a number of unsolved murders with no motive, haven’t they?”
An earlier Richmond Times-Dispatch article noted, “Authorities have estimated that more than 30,000 people nationwide – including doctors, lawyers and other professionals – practice... alternative religion [like Satanism and other cults].” In that same article, one that predates both the 8 percent solution and its defense, Pulling is quoted as saying, “To me, this is just like any other fanatic type of group. They’re not large in numbers, but they create a lot of problems.”
Barely seven months earlier another Richmond Times-Dispatch article about Pulling estimated the number of Satanists at “300,000 nationally.” It was noted they come from “as many as four generations of Satanists and from feeding stream of teenagers recruited with promise of easy drugs and sex and the ultimate in revolt against parental control. ‘We’ve found that the people in Satanism can be found on all levels of society,’ says Pat Pulling...’Across the country, doctors, lawyers, clergymen, even police are involved in this.’” In this particular story she also makes her famous 8 percent remark, but it goes unquestioned and uncorrected.
Mrs. Pulling gives us a number of conflicting images in these stories. First we have 300,000 Satanists involved in all levels of society, including the police, lawyers and even members of the clergy. Seven months pass and they’ve been reduced to a tenth of their former number, but they still comprise 8% of the Richmond area population. At this point Mrs. Pulling calls them “not large in number.” Later yet she defends her error in estimating 56,000 people of Richmond as being Satanists by noting her estimate was “conservative.”
The important thing to note here is that Pulling’s statistics and comments tend to vary wildly. If there was a distinct threat, one that could be dealt with in a clear manner, the statistics would support her theories. The fluctuation in her numbers, and the way the level of the Satanic threat seems to vary from interview to interview suggests either an impotent conspiracy that is collapsing, or a phantom conspiracy that could never supply reliable statistics because it doesn’t exist.
One other thing must be examined concerning the conspiracy theory Mrs. Pulling flogs. She notes that the police have plenty of murders nationwide with no motive and suggests that many of them could be victims of Satanic crime. In doing this she is applying negative evidence to show that a vast conspiracy exists and murders people.
This, obviously, is a fallacious argument. That same negative evidence can used to “prove” that molemen from beneath the surface of the earth have perpetrated these murders. The fact that the molemen have left no evidence behind proves how good they are at remaining hidden. That no sewer or road building projects have ever cut across their tunnels proves that politicians and engineers and other professionals are in league with the molemen. Just as obviously, anyone who denies the molemen exist is either in league with them, or is a fool who cannot see the end coming.
No one would deny that Richard Ramierez, the Nightstalker, went on a murder spree in Los Angeles. Similarly no one would deny that Ramierez claimed he was sacrificing people to Satan. No one would deny that graffiti with pentagrams shows up on walls and bridges all over the United States. Sean Sellers clearly claims his murders were performed in the name of Satan. However, the isolated acts of individuals, deranged or being rebelliously committing acts of vandalism, does not an invisible conspiracy make.
Once that line is crossed, once an individual starts linking up disparate actions and events into a conspiratorial web, any subsequent action can be made to fit in the web with incredible ease. Individuals who believe that that a cartel of International Bankers are working to form a One World Government can take something as wonderful as the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and turn it into a sinister portent of things to come. There is no end to it, just like there is no logic to it, or evidence to support it.
In her “The Who What When Where and How of Teen Satanism” she appends to the HOW section this curious note: “TWO BASIC PRINCIPLES APPY HERE ‘Law of Attraction’ and the ‘Law of Invitation.’” These are not laws in any judicial sense, they are “Laws of Magick” and they govern the supernatural in the same way that the Laws of Thermodynamics govern our physical reality. There is no doubt about it, Patricia Pulling fervently believes that devils and demons not only exist, but they can be summoned and used to cause physical effects in our world.
This belief system could easily be dismissed as a harmless idiosyncrasy, but it is not. Law does not recognize the existence of magick because there is no evidence to prove magick exists or is a mechanism for accomplishing anything in the world. If the law were to recognize magick as a force in our world, everyone who ever threw a dart into a picture of Quadafi could be indicted for attempted murder – and if magic were a force in the real world, the man would have expired long ago from multiple-magical dart wounds.
Certainly, a majority of citizens in the United States believe in Heaven and Hell, in God and angels and the devil, but individuals ascribing to a magical world view carry things much further than that. In the last century, to remove things from a Christian Fundamentalist setting for a moment, American Indians fervently believed that when they performed a Ghost Dance the gods would come and help sweep the white man from the face of the continent. In China, during the Boxer Rebellion, certain Chinese believe that a specific set of exercises would make them immune to Western bullets.
In neither of those cases, though the practitioners held their world view to be the complete and utter truth, did magic accomplish its ends. The Indians still ended up in reservations. The Boxers died when shot. Tossing a dart into a Quadafi picture has not killed him, nor did burning Reagan in effigy in Tripoli kill the former President.
Quite plainly, mixing the supernatural with law enforcement should be avoided at all costs. It is vital to be wary of a magical world view, especially as it applies to criminal investigations. The reason for this caution is simple: when one starts looking for magick and symbolism, one sees it everywhere. The recent continuing furor over the Proctor and Gamble corporate logo is a perfect example hysteria that can result from a magical world view racing out of control here.
Below, in the section concerning Mrs. Pulling’s alleged expertise in role playing games, she objects because a role playing game, Tunnels and Trolls, requires the use of three six-sided dice in character generation, creating the possibility of the pattern 6, 6, 6. This is the famed “Number of the Beast” from Revelations, but in the game, triple sixes are treated as an 18 and is considered a great score. In other words, to the gamers, the pattern is not 6, 6, 6, but is 18 and is treated with no greater significance than that.
Symbolic manipulation can get nasty, however. The number 18 is obviously composed of 6+6+6. For this reason 18 can be seen as “shorthand” for “the number of the Beast.” In a similar vein, the number 29 can be seen as a pair of nines or two nines, which added together produces 18, which is, after all, 6,6,6. And so it goes.
To be sure this is convoluted logic at its worst, but convoluted and tortured logic is all we have to work with in this case. This is the same sort of logic that sees skateboarding equipment with the word “Natas” on it and determines that word is really “Satan” spelled backward. While that is true, Natas (the male form of Natasha) happens to be the equipment designer’s first name. (It is a common enough name in Eastern Europe, which is where the designer’s family came from.)
It is that same sort of logic that could make all sorts of sinister things out of the fact that Pat Pulling’s questionnaire has 13 questions. Thirteen is the number of people who appear in a coven, therefore it is an evil number. While it is probably just coincidence that Pulling’s questionnaire had 13 questions, the fact that one question was repeated twice might seem rather suspicious...
And so it goes.
One of the most dangerous aspects of a magical world view is that it repopulates our world with demons that can force us to do things we do not want to do. As a result, adults no longer have to accept responsibility for themselves or their unruly children. Whereas the line, “The devil made me do it,” brought laughs twenty years ago, now it is seen as a defense for murder, an excuse for suicide and a shelter from blame for a host of other crimes.
Worst of all, this magical world view brings with it a fanatical self-righteousness that slops over into accusations of diabolical duplicity when it is questioned. Doubting the existence of Satanism and a conspiracy is not just doubting the evidence for the same. It is not just doubting the word of a witness concerning sacrifices of which one can find no trace. Within the magical world view, the mere act of doubting becomes an act of treason against God. To question the existence of a worldwide Satanic conspiracy means the skeptic is either a high ranking member of that conspiracy out to spread disinformation, or a poor, pitiful, ignorant dupe of that conspiracy.
A magical world view enables a person to see relationships between things that do not exist. It invests power in things that cannot be controlled and, therefore, responsibility for actions does not have to be accepted. It creates around a believer a smug cocoon that insulates him from any fragment of reality that might disturb him. Finally, it puts everyone who dares challenge their beliefs in the camp of the Enemy in some cosmic struggle between good and evil.
In reality, a person questioning the existence of the Satanic conspiracy is merely pointing out that the emperor is wearing no clothes. In that case, one can understand why the emperor’s tailors get upset and suggest the person doing the pointing is a tool of the devil. Then the question comes down to one of whether the crowd will believe the evidence they have before them, or if they will buy into the tailors’ fantasies.
In her book The Devil’s Web she says she has given testimony in a number of trials and cites three as standing out in her mind. “My role was that of jury education, explaining to the jury members the game of ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ and how it is played.” That she could be hired to give testimony in a court of law as an expert on games is quite chilling. The only solace to be found in this is that, at least in the three cases she cites, her client was convicted and sentenced to death or life without parole.
Mrs. Pulling says in her book, “A number of other fantasy role-playing games exist, and most are imitations of ‘Dungeons & Dragons.’ Some of the most popular ones are ‘Tunnels & Trolls’, ‘The Arduin Grimoire’, ‘Runequest’, ‘Empire of the Petal Throne’, ‘Nuclear Escalation’, ‘Traveller’, ‘Boot Hill’, ‘Demons’, ‘The Court of Ardor’, ‘Melee & Wizard’, Metamorphosis Alpha’, and ‘Gamma World’.”
Of the thirteen games on the Pulling list, we have:
out of print
Mrs. Pulling’s expertise with games apparently ends with 1983 because all of the products she lists in her 1989 book were printed before then, and none that have hit the market since are covered or even mentioned with the exception explained below.
Mrs. Pulling continues her listing of games in Web by noting, “In England, a fantasy role-playing game is being played by mail. A news article headline reads, ‘Kids sent murder in the mail.’ ...The game is called ‘It’s A Crime,’ and details have been mailed to homes all over England.”
What Mrs. Pulling – the game “expert” – fails to understand, is that “It’s A Crime” is a game that was created and is still being run here in the United States. It has been available since 1985 and is produced by Adventures By Mail – a company in New York. The game deals with building up a criminal cartel, which is not a subject that is particularly attractive, but “It’s a Crime” has enjoyed a modest following since its inception.
She continues on, calling “Further into Fantasy” a “popular fantasy-by-mail game in England.” She links it to the case of Michael Ryan, a young man who went on a shooting spree in England. What she does not know is that the game was very small, had no more than two dozen players and was being run by two Swedes in Scotland. The game collapsed after the Michael Ryan incident and the Swedes fled the country. No charges of any sort have been brought against them and no one – except game “expert” Pat Pulling – has suggested Ryan’s involvement in the game had anything to do with his madness.
Pat says she spent “several hours a day every day for a month” learning how to play the game Dungeons & Dragons®. Her grasp of RPGs is weak, however, and can be pointed up through things she has written. Or, in the case of the How the Game Is Played section of The Devil’s Web, things she has rewritten.
The quotes below come
from two sources: Pat’s book The Devil’s Web
and the slightly infamous (within gaming circles) Darren Molitor
Darren’s letter was published in BADD material and even ended up, in
electronic form, distributed over computer bulletin board systems by a
group calling themselves “Computers for Christ.” The excerpts are
provided below for contrast. You will see that the pieces from The
closely resemble their source material. They were not adjusted in any
way that would indicate an understanding of games on the part of Pat
Pulling or her co-writer Kathy Cawthon.
The first block of text from Darren is an accurate, if confused, explanation of how a character is created for D&D®, though the description would apply to many role playing games in general. Mrs. Pulling’s version of the text is nothing more than a condensation of the Molitor text. Not only it it utterly devoid of editorial comments and elaborations, but it retains the rambling, stream-of-consciousness organization of the original.
In a recent letter I asked Darren Molitor if he knew his essay about gaming was still being circulated. He replied, “It is hard to believe that my ‘letter’ is still being distributed through the country.”
He goes on to note:
Pat Pulling is unaware of Darren’s change of heart about the game and the harm it can do, or so it seems. In the Devil’s Web she asserts, “Darren works hard today, writing from his prison cell to warn others about the dangers of fantasy role playing games.” This when Darren, still in that cell, was surprised to know his letter was still being distributed.
While it is indeed possible to lavish an incredible amount of time in building up a world for gaming, the situation is not as clear cut as Pulling’s second text excerpt would like to make it. The total number of hours spent probably dwarfs the numbers given above, but it is time spent both gaming and in one or two hour bites here and there. The first adventure a player creates might take 10 or 12 hours to get perfect, but very few folks have the gumption to make their game a full time job. As the learning curve progresses, design time becomes shorter and some individuals, the author included, run games totally off the cuff – with no preparation time at all.
Yes, games can be time consuming, but what relaxing hobby is immune from that criticism?
It would be fallacious to suggest the only way a doctor could cure a disease is to have survived a bout with the disease himself. On the other hand, an expert in gaming would be expected to have an understanding of a game, and few are the people who can fully comprehend all the nuances and features of a game without playing it. Pat herself confirms her experience is limited, “Admittedly, I did play the game for only a short time.”
Just reading the rules of chess and learning how to move the pieces does not impart the understanding of the game that playing it several times does. Certainly a month spent playing chess would not be enough to make one an “expert” at it, much less an “expert” in all chess-like games. How then can Mrs. Pulling claim to be an expert in games after so little experience with and understanding of games?
With Mrs. Pulling’s fear and loathing of RPGs, her reluctance to play and fully comprehend the games is understandable. Why, however, has this fear prevented her from keeping abreast of the games that are currently being manufactures and sold in the US and around the world? Why has she been prevented from doing market research? Why does she cite, in a recent book, games that are no longer available? Why isn’t she up to date with the trends in gaming, which now include a multi-media approach that produces novels and computer versions of games right along with the paper and pencil originals? Why has she never mentioned the DragonLance series of novels? Based on a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, they went on to become best selling books ranked on the New York Times Bestseller List, but Mrs. Pulling remains blissfully ignorant of their existence.
It is clear that Mrs. Pulling is not an expert in games. She takes as gospel the word of a confused youth who was convicted of murder and gives it her imprimatur. Moreover she casts him in the role of a diligent foe of games, clearly at odds with his own feelings on the matter. As Darren notes, “I must be honest in that I have 3 AD&D books here [in prison] (lost my dice) because I can’t part with them.”
Her status as a game “expert” might seem to have little to do with her standing as an expert in cult crimes. Even ignoring the fact that her son’s gaming related death got her started in her career, her course of action concerning games provides a scary look into her tactics and methods. The techniques she uses to condemn games hardly inspire confidence in her ability to pursue occult crime investigations with an open mind.
Above she has been shown to manufacture evidence by editing newspaper accounts. She has reprinted material without having any understanding of its content. She has created documents that, if used as she intends them, generate incompetent or misleading intelligence reports for law enforcement. She claims expertise where she has none, then makes no attempt to stay current with a field in which she claims that expertise. Her “investigations” consist of little more than reprinting newspaper articles or having chats with confused and scared young men in prison for serious crimes. She also attaches cosmic significance to trivial or incorrect information, then extrapolates from it. When caught in an error, she rationalizes it by saying she’s being “conservative.”
Patricia Pulling’s book is a monument to illogical thinking and innuendo. It is not sourced, though a bibliography is provided. Countless cases are reported with vague detail and pseudonyms so that no verification is possible for the “facts” they present. Most of the material printed is loosely rewritten from a host of BADD documents, or involves reprints of newspaper clippings. If not for its value in presenting ample evidence of Pat Pulling’s incompetence, the book would less than worthless.
Right from the start Pat Pulling shows the reader the sort of logical deductive ability that helped convince the State of Virginia to license her as a private investigator:
The logic of refusing to call a stranger to teach you a game versus seeking a stranger out for a face to face meeting escapes the author. Strangers are strangers, and in meeting one to investigate a strange game or strange anything else, being safely at the other end of a phone is preferable to a face to face meet.
Time and again Mrs. Pulling cites as gospel allegation by sources that are dubious at best. In The Devil’s Web we get to see a picture of Pat Pulling shaking hands with Henry Lee Lucas, a serial murderer who has claimed, at various times, to have murdered upward of 360 people. Mrs. Pulling notes:
The faulty reasoning here takes two directions. First Mrs. Pulling clearly believes, given her statement, that books or participation in cult activity are the only ways to learn of it. Clearly watching any of a number of B-movies that featured Satanic rituals in them could have provided Lucas with more than enough source material for his tales of ritual murder.
Second, and of more importance, Henry Lee Lucas has repudiated the vast majority of his confessions. He has pointed out, again and again, that police brought him to murder sites and prompted his recollections of particular murders. With this coaching, akin to that of children in the McMartin case, of course he was able to supply details known only to the killer. In addition to that, the vast majority of articles concerning Lucas and his case do not mention the Hand of Death Cult.
Mrs. Pulling’s infatuation with unreliable evidence does not end with Lucas.
The obvious problem with this little piece is that the report, and all the parts of it printed on pages 57-63 are utterly and completely without facts that can be verified. In book printed in 1984, Mute Evidence, authors Daniel Kagan and Ian Summers lay to rest any sinister causes of cattle mutilations. In an exhaustive work – which deals primarily with UFO-sourced mutilations, but does touch on cult allegations – the authors show that cattle mutilations are nothing more sinister than natural scavengers chewing up animals that have been dead for days out on the range before discovery.
This layering of urban myth (cattle mutilations) upon urban myth (Satanic conspiracy) to create “proof” of a sinister reality is a fascinating technique that expands the target market for the Satanist Crusade. Anyone who ever heard of cattle mutilations and was intrigued by them now has a new explanation in the form of Satanic Cults. Instead of flying saucers plucking cattle from range land and mutilating them without a trace, now cultists do this by means of helicopters or cherry-pickers. Whereas any number of sensible folks derided the UFO explanation for cattle mutilations, now that cattle are centerpieces in the war between God and Satan, their dead bodies become proof of the insidiousness of the Satanic plot.
It is curious, then,
that Satanists would not
dispose of the cattle corpses as well as they do those of their
unreported human victims. If the Satanist Cabal is really that
cautious, are they mocking people with these cattle killings?
Pat Pulling’s odyssey through the wasteland of cult crimes has gathered to her a truly interesting band of characters. Descriptions of several of the more prominent ones have been included below because Pat relies heavily upon them and information they provide her to bolster her convictions concerning occult crime.
Cassandra “Sam” Hoyer
Cassandra “Sam” Hoyer is a woman who claims that she was raised in New England to become a High Priestess for a Satanic Cult. Both she and Pulling appeared on the same KFYI radio show in Phoenix on Satanism during the fall of 1987.
In a news magazine article Sam says she was given over to the cult at the age of 3 by her mother. She was “born physically perfect and so was found acceptable to Satan. Her twin sister was born with a deformed foot. The sister was ritually murdered, she says.” On KFYI Sam elaborated, saying she was trained until the age of 17 to be the High Priestess. At that time she was sent out into the world even though she had witnessed multiple murders. She confessed to having consumed some of her sister’s body at the time of her murder.
In a Richmond News Leader story she said she was, at the age of 9, “ritually burned and I was one who didn’t [die]. By the grace of God I didn’t burn, which means I was chosen to be Satan’s high priestess at the age of 42.”. [Note: God makes Satan’s draft picks for him!] She also said she was tortured and abused for 16 years, then hypnotized into forgetting everything later. “When I turned 39 they would attempt to tap back into my consciousness.”
In another article Sam’s psychotherapist said she suffered from multiple personality disorder. The article goes on to relate that Ms. Hoyer began to realize she was a Satanic cult victim while undergoing psychotherapy in recent years.
In the KFYI radio program callers were allowed to as questions of the guests. The most telling question for Hoyer came when a male caller asked, “Do Satanists believe in an afterlife?” Sam answered, “Oh, no, I don’t think so.” This from a woman who was being trained to be a High Priestess?
It doesn’t take someone in the College of Cardinals, or a seminary graduate to answer that question from the Catholic point of view. How is it, then, that a woman being trained to hold sacrifices couldn’t answer that question? Even Bob Larson, noted radio preacher, said Satanists spend eternity with Satan, so at least one cult “expert” believes Satanists believe in an afterlife. In a situation where a guessed answer had a 50% chance of being right, Ms. Hoyer balked.
And why, if Cassandra Hoyer is so terrified of Satanists finding her, is she willing to go public with her story, letting people know she lives and has lived in Richmond for the past nine years? If these Satanists are so good at making all their other victims disappear, why has Hoyer survived? Could not a conspiracy of doctors and lawyers and cops and clergymen cover up her death or make it seem like an accident?
By her own analyst’s admission, Hoyer is a very sick woman. To be exploiting her illness is not a good thing.
Darren Lee Molitor
Darren Lee Molitor murdered Mary Towey by wrapping a bandage around her throat tightly enough to kill her in a “Friday the 13th joke.” Mrs. Pulling notes that Darren’s case was the first court case in which she became involved. “My involvement began with a phone call from Darren’s Attorney, Lee Patton of St. Louis, Missouri.” She goes on to note, “My role was that of jury education, explaining to the jury members the game of ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ and how it is played.” She give the impression that after “several frustrating days as the prosecution continued to object to any testimony related to ‘Dungeons & Dragons,’” she was allowed to speak before the jury. “On several occasions, the jury was removed from the courtroom.... Finally, I was allowed to testify with my statements strictly confined to an overview of D&D.”
Darren Molitor remembers the situation described a bit differently than Mrs. Pulling reports it.
As noted above, Darren is not, as Mrs. Pulling said in her book, “[working] hard today, writing from his prison cell to warn others about the dangers of fantasy role-playing games.” In fact, according to Darren, the distribution of his “letter” concerning D&D was out of his hands. “Pat Pulling did all of the work in distribution. As far as that goes; how many, when , where, etc., I have no idea.”
Sean is a disturbed young man who murdered his parents while they slept. Six months previously he and a friend slew a convenience-store clerk. Sean claimed not to have remembered killing his parents until after his conviction. At that time Sean underwent a conversion to Christianity and confessed his sins to a number of different people. His and their explanation for his murders is that his body was taken over by the demon “Ezurate” during the murder of his parents. “Sean Sellers says that’s exactly what happened to him.”
Since that time Sean has appeared on Geraldo Rivera’s show, including the special on Satanism, and has done a number of radio appearances with Bob Larson – including a Cult Crime Seminar Larson held in November of 1989. In late 1989 the author entered into a correspondence with Sean and has also spoken with him on the phone.
Of Sean, Pat Pulling writes, “Sean had become involved with D&D when he was around 13-years-old and, while he had used some of the typical game characters, he stated that he preferred the Egyptian Gods. This interest had created a desire in Sean to dig deeper into a variety of occult topics.” Mrs. Pulling goes on to give the impression that Sean’s involvement with D&D® led directly to his involvement with Satanism and the subsequent murders for which he was charged and convicted.
This view of Sean is contradicted by Sean himself.
While Sean does feel a Satanic menace does exist in America, he does not stand four-square behind Pat Pulling. “Patricia has an aptitude for going beyond moderation...” Of those who would seek to make him an example of what happens to game players, as Mrs. Pulling has repeatedly done, Sean writes, “...using my past as a common example of the effects of the game is either irrational or fanatical.”
Dr. Thomas Radecki
Dr. Radecki is the founder of the National Coalition of Television Violence (NCTV). He has been a prime ally for Pat Pulling since her early war on games. On one of the NCTV’s press releases concerning “game related deaths” Pat Pulling is listed as a person to contact. Radecki describes himself as “A board-certified psychiatrist with a busy private practice and... a research director [with] the NCTV."
In a Comics Journal interview, Radecki was asked if the NCTV had any ideological bias. He replied:
Despite that denial, a look at NCTV material gives a different view. In one issue of the NCTV newsletter Dr. Radecki himself authored an article entitled, “Christ, Forgiveness, Pardon, and Trust” in which he proceeds to explain, with copious Biblical citations, the true meaning of Christ’s teachings on the subject of forgiveness. On the Bob Larson Radio Show, as a spokesman for NCTV, Radecki repeatedly criticized Saturday morning cartoon violence as being contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ, once again using numerous Biblical quotes to back himself up.
The difficulty posed by a Fundamentalist Christian bias is two-fold. First, as a tenet of faith, a Fundamentalist accepts the existence of the devil and his ability to exercise power in the real world. This means he is predisposed to seeing Satanism and declaring it evil. From there it is a simple step to link anything he perceives as evil backward with Satanism.
This link forms a very strong bond that precludes value neutral examination of a subject because, in the war between God and Satan, neutrality cannot exist. Either you are with God, or you are of the Devil. This is the magical world view again with its full Christian trappings. Putting a Fundamentalist in charge of an investigation of Satanism would be as foolish as having an all New York Umpire crew for a Mets-Dodgers World Series.
The religious bias of the NCTV is less of a problem than their research methods. Their study of best selling books from 1905-1988, was undertaken “to determine whether there has been an increase in violent themes in bestseller books during the 20th century.” One would assume, given the scope of the study, reviewers would be asked to read all of the books on the list and to rate the books for acts of violence, both pro- and anti-social. This, however, was not how the study was done.
Dr. Radecki explains:
While sympathetic to Dr. Radecki’s plight, the author cannot help but wonder if Dr. Radecki has never heard of borrowing a book from a library. If the library does not have the book, obtaining it through Inter-Library Loan is a very common and simple practice. As well, with research projects of merit, grants are often available, and a grant could easily have provided the money necessary to get a copies of the books unavailable from the library or through ILL.
Having gone through the list Dr. Radecki supplies with the study, the author of this report has determined there are, in fact, only 725 books on the list because some books appear on the list in two or more years. In fact, one book, The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas, made the list four times (#7 in 1942, #1 in 1943, #2 in 1945 and # 1 in 1953 again). Despite this remarkable track record, this book was not read for the study.
If the books were not going to be read, how was their violence rating obtained? The study itself outlines the methodology used:
Instead of reading the books themselves, given 3 people and 3 years in which to read 725 books (1.5 books per week for the course of the study), book reviews were used to determine the violence ratings for the bestsellers from 1905-1984. It would be assumed that the correct books would be dealt with, but the description of The Yearling suggests that errors did creep in. The book, which is about a boy and a deer, is described as “[Jody] and his horse run free, which upsets his parents, and as the horse grows larger and stronger, they force Jody to give up his yearling.”
Moreover, a second phase of the study was conducted with even less stringent controls:
It does not take a rocket scientist to remember that judging a book by its cover is a dangerous thing. Moreover, as a published novelist who knows many other published novelists, the author of this report can state, categorically, that covers and cover blurbs often bear no connection to the work inside. More often than not, back cover copy is written by a marketing individual who has not even read the book! The idea that a paragraph on the back of a book or the eye-catching excerpt printed on the inside front page could sum up a novel of over 100,000 words is absurd and insulting.
This survey technique, not surprisingly, reported the following results: “An incredible 79% of all paperback books featured violent themes.” Also not much of a surprise, 100% of Spy/Intrigue and Crime/Detective books were considered violent, while Sword & Sorcery, Horror and Science Fiction weighed in with violence percentages of 98, 96 and 81 respectively. Aside from an unexplained “Other” category, the least violent books appear to be Modern Romances in which only 33% were considered violent.
The definition of violent, according to the NCTV is, “Any book whose plot involves physical violence in a significant or crucial manner. Actual or attempted homicides or rapes are to be few in number. Also, any book in which the hero (or anti-hero) wins by using violence in a significant or crucial manner....Romantic books that teach the rape myth belong in this category.”
For perspective, Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy was rated XUnfit. That classification is defined as “extreme and sadistic violence with graphic and gruesome characteristics. Intensely callous and degrading sexual material, especially when associated with violence tends to fall in this category as well.” The Hunt for the Red October earned the same rating.
Clearly the methodology of the study is flawed. Judging a book on the basis of a review is nonsensical because one cannot begin to control for all the different biases of reviewer, any interpersonal animosity between reviewer and author, or simply a review that was edited down for space as the magazine went to press. More importantly, there is no way to determine if the reviewer actually even read the book, or if the review was written on the basis of promotional material sent out by the publisher. The only way to determine the content of a book is to read it and, if the book is one of a set, to read all of them.
It is with this perspective, then, that we can take a brief look at the problems with the list of “cases” concerning games and their diabolical content that both Dr. Radecki and Mrs. Pulling tout so heavily. Perhaps the author’s favorite of the Pulling cases is the very first one that appears on the NCTV list: “Name withheld, details confidential at request of family, age 14, 1979, suicide.” This sort of reporting with vague details is characteristic of 5 other cases on the list of 37 NCTV first presented.
In yet other case listings, the fact that a person was reported to have played D&D, as seen above in the Sean Hughes case, is enough to make his death related to the game, even though the case has not be solved or closed by the police. If there is any way for BADD and NCTV to link anything to D&D, the link is forced and the chain of manufactured evidence grows longer.
One of the “non-fatal” cases listed points this out in exquisite detail:
Not only is it absurd to suggest that the above crime took place because of D&D, but it is ridiculous to even imply that it would not have taken place were D&D not around. In her book, Pat Pulling quotes Dr. Arnold Goldstein, Ph.D, director of the Center for Research on Aggression at the University of Syracuse, as saying, “We psychologists use role-playing in therapy... to bring about good effects.” Simon’s seduction of the girl was abuse of trust between patient and therapist and had nothing to do with a game.
In 1985, the BADD/NCTV list contained 37 dead individuals and 5 “non-fatal” cases of D&D violence. They note “...there are 8 more deaths (6 suicides and 2 murders) in which the information is confidential. Pat Pulling & Tom Radecki are investigating an additional 7 murders that have been recently reported to us in 3 separate cases. Deaths are being reported at the rate of about 5 per month.” [Emphasis added.] In a January 1987 release, however, the list has only grown by two murders and the above rate projection has been amended to read, “Deaths are being reported at the rate of three to four per month.”
In that two years a couple of changes were made to the list. NCTV deleted one case (1985, #16, an anonymous suicide). They updated one case (adding the name Mike Cote to 1985, #37/1987, #36). They added two cases with a total of 3 victims (Patrick Beach and Cayce Moore). They also add the Roland Cartier case to this list, but have it under its own section: “Reported D&D related deaths with less information available.”
Despite the shuffling, the fact is that 120 new cases did not materialize between 1985 and 1987. Likewise, 108 new cases did not arise between 1987 and 1990, despite NCTV’s dire predictions. In fact, the only new cases to come to light are those of Sean Sellers, Jeffrey Meyers, Cliff Meling and Daniel Kasten. Adding the 8 deaths between those four cases to the 39 NCTV has already still puts us rather shy Pat Pulling’s reported 125 cases.
As an aside, the 1985 release is the one in which Dr. Radecki quotes from “the investigative book, ‘Mazes and Monsters’ by Rona Jaffe.” Jaffe’s book is a novel, set at an imaginary college in an imaginary town in Pennsylvania. The fact that it is fiction does not stop Radecki from quoting a letter written to the school’s newspaper about the dangers of D&D as if it were a testimonial. For one who spends a great deal of time trying to determine if kids know the difference between fantasy and reality, Dr. Radecki, like Mrs. Pulling, seems to have developed his own problem in that area.
Dr. Radecki, while pursuing the admirable goal of eliminating violence from society, has engaged in “research” that has been less than scientific in its methodology. His conclusions, therefore, are suspect. Likewise is his continued willingness to publicize data that can only contribute to hysteria.
Larry Jones and File 18
As scary as it seems for Pat Pulling to be retained as a “jury trainer” and expert witness in capital cases, yet more terrifying is her alliance with Larry Jones. Jones serves with the Boise, Idaho police department and is the head of the Cult Crime Impact Network, Inc. He is the publisher of File 18, a newsletter that he claims reaches between 1,500 and 2,500 law enforcement individuals. File 18 reports on occult crimes from all over the country, but appears to use as its sources newspaper clippings sent by readers and other interested parties.
A few excerpts from File 18 are in order to reflect BADD’s ties with it, and the general slant of its editorial bias. While each issue bears the following, or some variation of the following disclaimer, the newsletter carries no copyright. Disclaimer: “CONFIDENTIAL: RESTRICTED ACCESS INFORMATION FOR OFFICIAL LAW ENFORCEMENT USE ONLY.” The April 1989 issue expands this to read: “CONFIDENTIAL: RESTRICTED ACCESS INFORMATION. NOT FOR RELEASE TO PUBLIC, MEDIA, OR UNAUTHORIZED PERSONS OR GROUPS. INFORMATION IN THIS PUBLICATION IS INTENDED TO PRIMARILY AID LAW ENFORCEMENT, AND LEGITIMATE COMMUNITY PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE COMBATTING CULT-MOTIVATION CRIMES AND ASSISTING SURVIVORS.
The December 1988 issue notes the link with BADD.
The February 1989 issue provides an interesting look into the thought processes of individuals charged with seeking evidence in criminal cases:
In that same issue the following appears:
Jones, at a symposium sponsored by Bob Larson, defined Satanism as “people worshipping a deity other than the God of the Bible.” He went on to note that, “you cannot be a dedicated Satanist without violating the law of the land.” Therefore, anyone who is not a Christian or a Jew is, de facto, both a Satanist and a criminal. And, given his statement above, the only cure for the Satanist menace is a national revival. This is a dangerous view for a law enforcement officer to hold as it presumes guilt in absence of any proof of a crime.
Lastly, the two following quotes come from the April 1989 issue of File 18:
A bit later in that same issue we get:
This File 18 material needs discussion to cover only a couple of points. The general tone of paranoia is disturbing within a document being published by and for police officials and other interested professionals. The idea that the solution to satanic crimes is a personal encounter with Jesus Christ went out with witch trials and has no place in U. S. law enforcement.
Most of what appears in File 18 “is quoted from books and articles available on the newsstands... Most so-called ‘police only’ materials we now use have been developed by civilians!” If this is true, why does Jones publish it and thereby provide it with a veneer of legitimacy that it does not deserve? Newspaper accounts stress the unusual and always seek to have a unique angle, but that angle often fades to insignificance as a case is studied. Why then is so much emphasis placed on newsstand accounts of the crimes?
Larry Jones appears continually vexed with the lack of solid and credible evidence concerning Satanic crimes. The most recent issue of File 18 in the author possession contains news clips from sources as diverse as Farm Times of Idaho (concerning cattle mutilations) to personal correspondence from a psychotherapist who was less than pleased when the Washington State Senate only wanted to devote 10 minutes of the Law and Justice Committee’s time to listening to his talk about ritual crime. Very interesting by it’s inclusion is a review of the book When The World Will Be As One by Tal Brooke. This book purports to tell of the past events and future plans of a “One World Government” conspiracy. It was written by an individual who, after a conversion to Christianity, was “qualified to write such a book due to his former involvement in the New Age movement, [and] experience in the occult... which enhances his ability to express the philosophies behind-the-scenes of the ‘Global Age.’” File 18 makes the Brooke book available through it to interested folks.
The File 18 “vertical conspiracy” theory falls quickly when Occam’s Razor is applied to it with even the barest of pressure. What need is there of an invisible cabal when Dan Rather or Geraldo Rivera inform everyone of any bizarre occurrence from coast to coast – making copycat antics not only easy, but a surefire way of getting publicity? Why does anyone need cultists propagating their rituals in secret when anyone can pick up a hundred different horror novels that describe things in spine-chilling detail?
Despite the total lack of evidence concerning a Satanic conspiracy – and ignorant of the tactics Mrs. Pulling has employed in her crusade – Larry Jones continues to cling to a belief in an evil cabal out to destroy America. In a most stunning perversion of logic, Jones asks:
Each of the things Jones points out as tactics of an alcoholic to avoid realizing he has a problem is a tactic Mrs. Pulling and other Satan-hunters have employed. They fight so hard to point out that the ghosts and goblins that they see are real, they lose touch with the real world. Gathered together they reinforce their skewed impressions of reality, and defend each other against rational attempts to show them the errors of their ways.
Patricia Pulling, like any responsible adult, is concerned for the welfare and well-being of children in our society. A personal tragedy in her life galvanized her and started her off on a crusade to save children from the horror she saw as having taken her son. Her motivation, both at the beginning and now, is something we can only guess at, but clearly she believes she is fighting a war against diabolical forces poised to consume young Americans.
Just as clearly, somewhere in her career as an investigator, she lost her perspective. She has, willfully or negligently, manufactured reports concerning suicides and murders related to games and Satanism. She has promoted individuals who are, at the very least, in need of serious psychiatric help to deal with their emotional and psychological problems. She has repeatedly represented herself as an “expert witness” concerning games of which she knows little or nothing. She has perpetrated a deception concerning the circumstances surrounding the senseless death of her son.
Without a doubt, Mrs. Pulling started searching for a way to prevent other children from following in her son’s footsteps. Her efforts on behalf of his memory were obviously well intentioned, but as the anti-game hysteria bled over into a war against Satan, the ends began to justify the means. What became important was to sound a clarion-call concerning the dangers of Satanism, and any method that worked to get that message out was perfectly acceptable.
Pat Pulling and her allies regularly conduct “cult crime seminars” at locations across the country. They are offered for police and teachers at between $100 and $300 a head, not including lodging, transportation or meals. These seminars go beyond “the blind leading the blind” because the anti-Satanists profit greatly from giving the seminars. Moreover, taxpayers shell out for these dubious educational experiences, then have the disinformation and misinformation used against them when earnest cops try to utilize what they have learned and accepted in good faith.
As was shown above, these are the seminars in which Pat Pulling distributes a questionnaire that, if used in accordance with the instructions, will prove virtually anyone to be a Satanist. These are seminars in which mentally disturbed individuals like Cassandra Hoyer or Lauren Stratford/Laurel Wilson tell tales of the horrors “cult survivors” endure. These are the seminars at which “occult symbol” hand-outs are distributed, including things like “the Star of David” and at which any non-Christian religion is branded “Satanism.”
Clearly Pat Pulling is a “cult crime expert” only in her own eyes and those of her cronies, allies and disciples. Barry Goldwater once said, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.” The extremism connected with the battle against the Satanic Conspiracy is defending no liberty. Fanaticism such as that which perpetuates of a hysterical fantasy is nothing short of pure evil. The only greater evil is to do nothing to share the truth with those who might be mislead by Mrs. Pulling.
The author would like to thank the following people for their assistance in preparing this report: Loren K. Wiseman, Greg Stafford, Shawn Carlson, Robert D. Hicks, David Alexander, Jim Lippard, Sean Sellers, Darren Molitor and Liz Danforth.
Sean Sellers produced the following letter and sent it to the author of this report. Sean gave permission for reprinting the letter with the proviso that it appear complete when it is published.
The author of this report, Michael A. Stackpole, is a science fiction novelist, game designer and computer game designer. In 1979 he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the University of Vermont. Upon graduation he began a career as a game designer with Flying Buffalo, Inc. of Scottsdale, Arizona. In 1983 and 1984 projects to which he contributed won the H. G. Wells Award for Best Adventure of the Year. In 1988 Wasteland, a computer game he designed, was chosen as Best Adventure Game of the year by Computer Gaming World, and in 1989 Neuromancer, another game he worked on, won the same award. Also in 1988 another computer game, Bards Tale III, was selected Best Computer Game by the Strategist Club.
His interest in the controversy surrounding games began in 1979 when James Dallas Egbert’s disappearance from the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing catapulted D&D and role playing games to national attention. As an investigation of that case showed the game had nothing to do with Egbert’s disappearance. It also pointed out that reality and the public perception of what went on did not match. Since that time, in conjunction with others in the game industry, he has worked at researching cases and setting the record straight. As was bound to happen, his course cut across that of Patricia Pulling and BADD, and the information he has gathered in his research is presented in the above report. As her area of “expertise” moved into Satanism, his researches followed.Since 1987, he has been a member of the Phoenix Skeptics and has headed that group since 1988 as its executive director. His biography was selected for inclusion in Who’s Who In The West 1990 edition.
Michael A. Stackpole
and Media Presentations
1 - NCTV
press release 17 January 1985 (return)
|Main Page - Return to previous page|