The Pulling Report
Compiled 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 Devils 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 sons 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. Pullings 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.1 Though Binks 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®.2
The lawsuit, which was thrown out of court on 26 October 19833, 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 Devils 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 trial4 and the first instance in which she was brought in as an expert in D&D.
Cult Crime Investigator
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:
You might be interested to know, however, the certification process. Anyone with any educational background can obtain a license. One must, though, do two things. First, one must either attend a 42-hour or a 48-hour course, which can be conducted virtually anywhere. The course includes such topics as rules of evidence, civil and criminal procedure, collecting and reporting information, interviewing techniques, and investigative techniques. The difference between the two courses six hours involves firearms instruction. Obviously, in six hours one cannot learn much about firearms beyond a simple orientation. Anyway, Pulling appears certified in the armed variety. The second prerequisite to obtaining a license is to pass a background investigation consisting of a fingerprint-based criminal records check through the state and FBI files. If one passes the background check, and if one passes a one-hour exam at the end of the private investigator training, one pays for a license.5
Her career, if it was six years old in 1987, would have predated her sons 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.
Profile and Questionnaire
Pat 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:6
THE WHO WHAT WHEN WHERE AND HOW OF TEEN SATANISM
1. Adolescents from all walks of life.
2. Many from middle to upper middle class families
Over or Under Achievers
Some are Rebellious
Some have low self esteem and are loners
Some children have been abused (physically or sexually)
WHEN does this occur?
It appears the ages most vulnerable are 11-17
1. Public places such as rock concerts, game clubs in communities or at school.
2. Private parties at a friends home.
1. Through Black Heavy Metal Music
2. Through fantasy role playing games like Dungeons & Dragons (R)
3. Obsession with movies, videos, which have occult themes
4. Collecting and reading/researching occult books
5. Involvement with Satanic Cults, [sic] through recruitment
6. Some are born into families who pratice [sic] satanic cult rituals
TWO BASIC PRINCIPLES APPLY HERE Law of Attraction and the Law of Invitation
WHAT can be expected?
1. Obsession with occult entertainment
2. Minor to major behavior disorders
3. Committing crimes and status offenses such as:
A. Running away
B. Graverobbing (such as bones)
C. Breaking and entering to steal religious artifacts or sometimes stealing small items to prove loyalty to the group
D. Defacing public or private property using Satanic Graffetti [sic] or related Graffetti [sic]
E. Threatening to kill (self or others, self mutilation is very common)
F. Aggression directed towards family, teachers and authority figures
G. Contempt for organized religion
H. Supremist attitudes
I. Kidnapping or assistance in kidnapping
K. Suicide pacts among members of the group
WHAT can we do?
1. Document all information relating to occult involvement (even if it does not appear relevant at the time)
2. Keep an open mind
3. Stay objective
4. Never assume that an individual is acting along [sic] until all other information surrounding the case and individual has been fully investigated.
5. If individual is involved in satanic activity, he/she will deny a great deal to protect other members of the group as well as the satanic philosophy.[sic]
6. Have a team approach, work with a therapist, a clergymen and other helping professionals.
7. Educate the community so that potential tragedies might be avoided.
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. Pullings 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.
WHAT can we do?
2. Keep an open mind
3. Stay objective
5. If individual is involved in satanic activity, he/she will deny a great deal to protect other members of the group as well as the satanic philosophy.[sic]7
When grouped together like this, these three points sum up Mrs. Pullings 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 Pullings 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:
It is very important to understand that not all players of fantasy role playing games over identify with the game and or their player/characters. However, it appears that a significant amount of youngsters are having difficulty with separating fantasy from reality. Or in other instances, their role playing has modified their behavior to the extent that they react in real life situations in the same fashion that they would react in a gaming situation. This is not always obvious or apparent to the suspect. The personality change is so subtle that in some cases the role player is unaware of any behavior or personality changes.8
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?
This is why it is important for the investigator to not only be familiar with the game but to be able to ask questions which are relevant to the suspects gaming background.9
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 authors comments on the questions for perspective.
1. Since it is necessary to have a Dungeon Master or game master/leader and two or more player characters, it is important to ask the suspect, who is the Dungeon Master. [sic] (At this point you may get double talk about several people being the Dungeon Master or the suspect may say no one in particular. [sic] This is not typically standard. Generally there is one person who assumes the continuous lead of Dungeon Master.)
Actually, sharing the Gamemaster duties in a group is quite common. For example, one gaming group in Phoenix had a half-dozen Gamemasters working within the same world-setting in a superhero game. Switching off Gamemastering duties, especially between game systems, is very common and gives everyone a chance to experience both sides of the game. This tendency to share Gamemastering duties is by no means just a recent development, but it has become far more prevalent as games matured in the latter half of the 1980s.
2. What is the character of your suspect in the game?
They will be as follows: Thief, Magic User, Fighter, Cleric. In the aforementioned character classes they may be sub-classes that the individual will refer to such as Thief-Assassin, etc.
These are most often known as character classes in gaming. They were very common in early RPGs, but often went by other names, like Rogue, Wizard, Shaman, etc. Since 1983 or so, virtually no game has come out with character classes because they are restrictive to play. It would be very easy for a player to deny having a Thief or Magic User or Fighter or Cleric without lying about it in any way.
3. Also, ask the individual if he ran multiple characters such as a Fighter/Magic-user.
The same comment as above applies denying knowledge of how to answer this question would not be uncommon among gamers, nor would it be an attempt to hide cult involvement.
4. Each character will have certain abilities or attributes such as Strength, Wisdom, Intelligence, Charisma, Constitution and Dexterity.
These abilities are obtained by rolling 3 6-sided dice. Therefore, the ability score of each category will range from 3 to 18. You should find out what the [attributes are for their current game characters].
Two problems here. Many games have attributes with different names, like Agility, Speed, Comeliness, Presence, Essence and Body. Some game groups, as they find it necessary, make up their own attributes and add them to their games. Any list given to a police officer in the course of an investigation would likely include attributes not listed above.
Furthermore only in D&D are scores restricted to 3-18. In Tunnels & Trolls, for example, scores have no upper limit. In Traveller they went from 1 to F and in ShadowRun they go from 1-7. In a game the author finished designing in July 1989, (the Renegade Legion Role Playing Game, slated for summer 1990 release from FASA Corp.) attributes run from 2-20 initially and are determined by point allocation or the roll of 2 ten sided dice.
As above, perfectly correct and truthful answers to these questions can be given that do not coincide with Pullings suggested answers without cult involvement.
5. How long has the individual been playing this role playing game?
There is no clue given on a proper answer and the relevance of this question is doubtful. With over 300 role playing games in existence, and players constantly shifting from one to another as they get bored or the Gamemastering duties shift, length of time involved with one game is irrelevant. A long-time player could have been playing a particular game for only the month since it appeared on the market, for example.
Another important point is that the popularity of certain games has shifted. Fantasy is no longer as popular as it once was and Science Fiction games have really picked up in numbers of players. Many of the SF games feature no magic and no religion, hence clearly lack the diabolical lures Mrs. Pulling and others find in Dungeons & Dragons.
6. How long has he/she been playing the particular character that he is currently playing?
Again, no clue as to a right answer is provided. While it is true that players will become attached to characters, that attachment is no more sinister than a golfers attachment to his set of clubs. And, as with a golfer and a broken club, a dead character is exchanged for another character.
7. What is his level of his character/characters? Be specific.
No clue for an answer here, but Mrs. Pulling must see this as an important question because it appears again as question 12. There she explains that level reflects how much power a character has. This is only true in games where they have levels. Like character classes, levels have become somewhat passť in more recent games.
Curiously, the power level concept of gaming runs counter to the role playing aspects that Mrs. Pulling sees as dangerous in games. In a gaming group where role-playing predominates, power level and combat are downplayed because that interferes with the role playing. (Imagine an improvisational play in which the cast has to spend two minutes out of every five rolling dice. It would be decidedly boring, as it is in gaming. Role-playing versus roll-playing has long been a dichotomy in gaming and the two do not mix well together.)
8. What is his/her alignment?
The following are a list of categories for alignment: Chaotic Evil, Chaotic Good, Chaotic Neutral, Lawful Evil, Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral, Neutral Evil, Neutral Good and Neutral.
...Observations indicate that in the past a significant number of adolescents will [sic] choose an evil alignment. The reasons that young players give for choosing an evil alignment is they feel that there are less restrictions on the player/characters therefore, they can do more, get by with more and stay alive longer in the game.
In reality, most players do whatever they have to do and dont worry about alignment. Alignments are generally viewed with distaste among players and are not featured in many games outside the D&D family. (The author once postulated an alignment system for a game that consisted of one axis running from Naughty to Nice and the other from Sloppy to Neat, but it never caught on.) Alignments are basically silly and impede play, so are most often ignored.
[Pulling continues in this section by noting There was a young boy who was fourteen years old in Orlando, Florida who stated that he has a Thief with a Lawful Good Alignment. In reality thieves are not thought of in society as Good, therefore the confusion over proper attitudes about more qualities become confused. Right and Wrong are situational. The author would like to point out that Robin Hood or the patriots who held the Boston Tea Party could have been tagged with the label of Good Thieves. ]
9. Has the individual has [sic] any curses placed on his/her character? If yes, what kind and get him to discuss the procedure, type of curse.
Mrs. Pullings concern over curses stems from her belief that having a curse placed on his character is what drove her son to kill himself. That belief is pure nonsense and is based, as will be shown, in a willful ignorance of the circumstances surrounding Bink Pullings suicide. To suggest that an event in a game could cause an otherwise normal child to kill himself means that one would have to accept the idea that a player who goes bankrupt in Monopoly could be driven to kill himself because of it. Because Monopoly is an old standard, no one would ever believe that sort of allegation, but because role-playing games are so new and poorly understood, that sort of illogical charge goes unquestioned.
10. What was the individuals character name/names?
Mrs. Pulling places a great deal of weight on the name of characters, especially if they can be found in occult works, such as the dreaded Necronomicon! She also notes Darren Molitor used the names Demun and Sammy Sager for his characters. After he confessed to the FBI, he signed his confession in those names as well as his own.
The choice of a name for a character, at the very worst, is a form of wish fulfillment. It is directly analogous to a person making a selection of a costume for a masquerade party. Choosing to go as Zorro, for example, is not because the person in the costume sees himself as Zorro, but because its fun, for a short time, to adopt that role.
More commonly the choice of a name for a character is the result of a joke in the gaming group or a matter of pure expediency. In a fantasy game the author once named a character Waring-blenderbecause he was in the kitchen when filling out the character sheet. The similarity between Darren Molitors Sammy Sager and the popular musician Sammy Hagar suggests a similar origin there. Another player of the authors acquaintance, because his friends claim he always plays himself, no matter what game is going on, names many of his characters with some variation of his own name.
The significance of a characters name, as can be seen from the examples, is highly subjective and can easily vary from character to character depending upon the game and the circumstances under which the character was named. To attempt to generalize about the import of character names is as foolish as attempting to generalize about the nature of the names of cats and dogs.
11. What was his/her racial class in the game?
This only becomes important with the fact that many youngsters will try try to get over on you when you ask what is their character and they will tell you that they are an elf. An elf in the game is a racial class, not a character class, therefore most people feel that elves are innocuous, innocent creature and pass over any involvement with negative thoughts. The Racial classes are as follows: Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Half-Elven, Halfling (Hobbit), Half-Orc and Human.
In other games there are other racial/alien types. The advantage of playing a different race comes in added strength for Dwarves, or night vision for Elves, etc. People play other races to escape, which is what relaxation and hobbies are all about. The choice of racial type has little significance in the gaming world, but Mrs. Pulling clearly sees it in another way. Because Elves and Dwarves and Hobbits and the rest are not mentioned in the Bible, they must be creations of the devil. As such, playing a non-human character carries with it all sorts of evil baggage.
12. What is his/her level in the game?
See question seven.
13. What god or gods did the individual serve in the game?10
Because most games do not deal with religion, the answer to this question could be Huh? very easily once again without an intention to deceive on the suspects part.
Moreover, there is an equating here with game actions and real actions. To suggest that worshiping an imaginary god in a game is the same as worshiping that god in real life is to suggest that any actor whos donned a Nazi uniform and saluted a portrait of Hitler is a Nazi. Because the Bible forbids having false gods before God, even offering a sacrifice in a game to a god the Gamemaster has made up becomes an act of idolatry, and idolatry is of the devil. Therefore, clearly, a game in which this happens is Satanic and is quite capable of luring a child to the devil.
This sort of crippled logic can be used to show almost anything is Satanic.
As can easily be seen from the material above, not only are the questions useless, but Pullings explanations for possible answers are nearly incoherent. Very obviously Pullings questions are designed to determine if the suspect can distinguish between fantasy and reality. Plainly, Pats 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 suspects 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.11
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 era12 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 Gullivers Travels or Dantes Inferno. Citing it as an occult book would be akin to citing Rona Jaffes novel Mazes and Monsters as an investigative book. (The fact that NCTVs Dr. Thomas Radecki did just that in one of his press releases does not make the novel a factual book.) A moments 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.
Editor and Director of BADD
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.
Pullings Techniques includes a newspaper article, complete with pictures, originally printed in the Daily News-Sun of Sun City, AZ13. 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 hadnt been involved in role-playing games, he may have thought long and hard before he pulled that trigger.14
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 Pullings 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 sheriffs quote last.
As can be seen above, that quote is a nasty indictment of gaming. Dougs original version of the story ended with Seans mother saying, If theres a trial I want to be there. I want some answers.15 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 Pats material.
Pat Pulling, in her Primer, reprinted the article from the Washington Post about her sons death. The story ran a full 20 column inches16, but Mrs. Pulling only runs the first 14 inches of the story. The article notes:
[Bink Pulling] had trouble fitting in and became dejected when he was unable to find a campaign manager when he ran for school office. Shortly before his death, he wrote Life is a Joke on the blackboard in one of his classes, one classmate said.
In the section of the article Pulling did not print the following appeared:
He had a lot of problems anyway that werent associated with the game, said Victoria Rockecharlie, another classmate of Pullings in the Talented and Gifted program.
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 sons death vary more sharply than the cut and uncut versions of the Washington Post article suggest. On Geraldo, Mrs. Pulling said of her sons death:
We did not understand [his death]. And we found of course the police found a lot of the writings and letters. And the first thing they asked us that night, before they removed his body was they took my husband and I aside and they said, Mrs. Pulling, are you a devil worshiper? And I said, No. I said, You can look through my house. I dont you know, we were Jewish. And I said, We dont have anything like that in my house. And they took my husband aside. They obviously thought it was coming from the family.17
This above account is substantially the same as the one offered in The Devils Web. In the book, however, Mrs. Pulling notes her son used her gun to kill himself. Of her feelings at that point, she says:
I did not feel the shame as I have heard that so many families do when there has been a suicide, but I did feel extreme pain and, to some degree, anger. Yes, anger. Anger that I had not known what was going on in my sons mind, anger and guilt that I must have lacked something that would have allowed me to know that I had a child in trouble. I did not feel that Lee [her husband] and I were to blame in any way for what had happened, but I wondered why we hadnt seen that something was very wrong. What could have caused our son to become so disturbed, and how did it happen so subtly? Had I not been paying attention?18
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 dont 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.19
The apparent confusion over what Mrs. Pulling did or did not know about her sons emotional state gets stranger. Though she continues to present herself as taken completely by surprise at her sons death in BADD publications, in The Devils 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.20 Furthermore, according to Jones transcription:
[Bink Pulling] growled, screamed, walked on all fours, and clawed the ground. Nineteen rabbits raised by the Pullings were found torn to pieces in the last three weeks of his life, although stray dogs were never seen. A cat was found disemboweled with a knife. The internal torment which lead to his death was plain, yet he had been a normally-well-adjusted, gifted young man only a few months before.21
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 Pullings obvious deception concerning her sons death to be taken as a responsible action? In her statements meant for civilian consumption she acts as if her sons 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 sons 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 sons 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 sons final act.
This contradiction surrounding Binks 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.22
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.
Lies, damn lies and statistics
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.23
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 areas teenagers, and 4 percent of the adults, were involved. She added the figures.24
The reporter informed her that mathematically that amounted to 4% of the total population, but she said it didnt 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, havent they?25
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].26 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. Theyre not large in numbers, but they create a lot of problems.27
Barely seven months earlier another Richmond Times-Dispatch article about Pulling estimated the number of Satanists at 300,000 nationally.28 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. Weve 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 theyve 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 Pullings 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 doesnt 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.
Magical World View
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 everyw
Below, in the section concerning Mrs. Pullings 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, 6.29 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 designers first name. (It is a common enough name in Eastern Europe, which is where the designers family came from.)
It is that same sort of logic that could make all sorts of sinister things out of the fact that Pat Pullings 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 Pullings 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 emperors 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 Devils 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.30 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.31
Tunnels & Trolls is still in print and has even been computerized. Versions of this game have been translated into French, German, Italian and Japanese. T&T does include magic, but has no religious system included or implied in the game. The game has been available since 1975, has had five editions, but has seen its sales dwindle since 1985. Its chief claim to fame was in its line of solo adventures to be played by single players. (Through the solo line the author became involved in T&T and has designed six solo adventures for that system.) Her main objection to T&T is that In this game you obtain your character by rolling 3 six-sided dice (6,6,6)...32
The Arduin Grimoire is a set of unsanctioned D&D supplements written by Dave Hargraves. Hargraves company went under in the mid-1980s, but a publisher in Texas kept his work in print and brought out new books as he wrote them. Hargraves died in 1988 and recently a company in San Francisco has considered bringing his books back into print. Arduins highest point of distribution came in the early 80s, but because of the violence depicted in the game, most shops dont stock it and wont sell it. At best 30,000 copies of the books were probably produced and the author knows of no translations.
Runequest is one of the most popular RPGs and was the first to break away from using levels to gauge character development. It has been translated into several languages, but annual sales have slipped since 1986 when the Avalon Hill Game Company took over publication from the Chaosium. Runequest likewise suffers, in Pullings opinion, from the use of 3 six-sided dice for rolling characters (6,6,6).33
Empire of the Petal Throne was originally published by TSR. It went out of print in the early 80s, then reappeared from Gamescience in 1983. The game is virtually unknown in 1990 and difficult to find in gaming stores.
Nuclear Escalation is not a role-playing game at all. The author knows this because he helped develop this sequel to the Nuclear War card game. It is another card game. Pulling put it on the list in Primer on the basis of ad copy in an unspecified magazine. The text she has excerpted includes the phrase Nuclear Escalation card game in it.34 (Having written the ad originally, the author made sure the game was clearly seen as a card game.)
Traveller is a science fiction role-playing game published by Game Designers Workshop. The game has been changed and is now published under the title Megatraveller, with Traveller 2300 AD being another title in that line. This game has neither magic nor religion, though the occasional psionic ability (ESP, Telepathy, etc.) could be taken by some as demonic. It is a very popular game.
Boot Hill was a wild west game published by TSR. It has been out of print since the mid 1980s.35
Demons was a small board game from SPI, Inc. It appeared in 1980/81 and has been out of print since 1982. SPI was later absorbed by TSR and the game has not been reissued.
The Court of Ardor is not a role playing game, but an adventure for the Middle Earth Role Playing Game (a game based on the world of J. R. R. Tolkiens Lord of The Rings). (It cannot be used except in conjunction with the MERP rules or with another RPG after extensive revision.) Iron Crown Enterprises first published it in 1983 and it was the toughest/highest level adventure produced for that game system. It has been out of print for the last couple of years and there are no immediate plans to reprint it.
Melee & Wizard is actually two games: Melee and Wizard. Melee was a man to man combat game and Wizard was a magic duel game. The two could be combined for larger battles. Designed by Steve Jackson, they were published by Metagaming. They have been out of print since Metagamings collapse in 1983.
Metamorphosis Alpha and Gamma World were both TSR products released in the late 70s and early 80s. MA is out of print, though Gamma World had a revised edition in 1986. Gamma World has been revived as Gammarauders, but the two games have little more than concept in common.
Of the thirteen games on the Pulling list, we have:
5 out of print
5 in serious decline
2 that are not role playing games at all
1 is still popular, but goes under a different name
One for thirteen as a score for a self-acknowledged game expert is rather low.
Mrs. Pullings 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 Its A Crime, and details have been mailed to homes all over England.36
What Mrs. Pulling the game expert fails to understand, is that Its 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 Its 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 Ryans involvement in the game had anything to do with his madness.
Has Pat Pulling Ever Played a Role-Playing Game?
Pat says she spent several hours a day every day for a month37 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 Devils Web, things she has rewritten.
The quotes below come from two sources: Pats book The Devils Web and the slightly infamous (within gaming circles) Darren Molitor Letter. Darrens 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 Devils Web 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 Devils Web:
The game itself is set in the middle ages. Each player is solely responsible for the actions of his character, and all players are under the direction of the Dungeon Master. Play begins with the six rolls of dice by each participant who then uses the six numbers he has rolled to organized the traits of his character (based upon strength, intelligence, wisdom, constitution, dexterity and charisma). If he wishes, he may roll again to determine the physical size of his character after which he assigns his persona a race (such as elf, dwarf, etc.), a class (occupation) and an alignment (attitude or outlook).38
The Darren Molitor Letter:
The game is called Dungeons & Dragons and it is a fantasy role-playing game. As you can probably assume from the title it is set in the medieval era of our time or history. Because it is a game of fantasy anything is possible and being a role-playing game means you act as a character of that time as if you were on stage. But there is no physical action on the players part. Everything is played or imagined in the mind. And you, as the player, are the sole person responsible for the action of your character or characters. You control him totally. His/her actions, words feelings, thought. Everything about this character you control.
To obtain a character,[sic] a player must first roll three six-sided dice. Add up the numbers rolled and write it down. A player does this six times and then he must organize the numbers he has rolled to the six characteristics of his character. The six characteristics are strength, intelligence, wisdom, constitution, dexterity and charisma. These characteristics are the heart of your character. After which the player may roll to obtain the height and weight or he/she may choose it. The player assigns a race to the character, a class, which is his/her occupation and the alignment. An alignment is the characters attitude or outlook on life.39
The Devils Web:
[The Dungeon Masters] major responsibility is to create an adventure or dungeon for the characters. Books are available with prepared dungeons, but most DMs prefer to create the dungeons themselves. He must invent the scenery that the characters may encounter in the course of the adventure, the climate, the smells, the monsters and the treasure. This process can take from 36 to 48 hours of work. One woman has left her career to be a full-time DM; she is supported entirely by her D&D players.40
The Darren Molitor Letter:
The DM has a lot of responsibility, as you can imagine. For example, the DM must create an adventure or dungeon. There are many books called modules with dungeons already prepared, but for the most part the DM creates them himself/herself. He/she must create the scenery (indoor, outdoor, underground, the various and numerable characters a player may encounter, the temperature, the smell, the monsters and the treasure. [sic] It is a very long and tedious process and the average dungeon takes anywhere from 36-48 hours of work. There is one case of the game being followed, that the DM, a lady, has quit her job and does nothing except create and prepare a dungeon for her players. She has created an entire country. The players of the group support her living necessities. They pay for her home, her groceries, her bills, etc.41
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. Pullings 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.42
He goes on to note:
At the time of the writing I was under a lot of tension and completely in confusion because I was still awaiting my trial. I say this because I may have gone a little overboard.
...Though I no longer feel the game is dangerous for everyone as it was for me I do feel it can be harmful if circumstances occur.43
Pat Pulling is unaware of Darrens change of heart about the game and the harm it can do, or so it seems. In the Devils Web she asserts, Darren works hard today, writing from his prison cell to warn others about the dangers of fantasy role playing games.44 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 Pullings 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.45
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. Pullings 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 isnt 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 cant part with them.46
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 sons 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 shes being conservative.
The Devils Web
Patricia Pullings 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 Pullings 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:
I asked [a store clerk] where I could find a [gamemaster to teach her D&D], and she showed me a bulletin board filled with personal ads posted by people who wanted to act as Dungeon Masters and others who wanted to join gaming groups.
It all sounded pretty complicated to me and, as an adult, I had better sense than to call up someone I didnt know and ask him to get together with me to play a game I didnt know anything about. Instead, I went to a local college and hung around until I spotted some young men carrying Dungeons and Dragons books under their arms.47
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 Devils 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:
I was amazed at the accuracy with which Henry Lee Lucas (who is almost illiterate and who has little more than a fifth-grade education) related his alleged involvement with [the Hand of Death] cult. He described rituals and methodology that only could be known by someone who has participated in cult activities.48
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. Pullings infatuation with unreliable evidence does not end with Lucas.
The question concerning organized satanic networks comes up at seminars and conferences where I speak. to date, there may not be sufficient information or evidence gathered to say without a doubt that such networks exist. However, there is quite a bit of information that the non-criminal occultist do network with one another through newsletters and computer bulletin board systems. If these hard-line occultists are actively networking, it would be quite naive of us to assume that the destructive criminal cults do not do the same.
Another example of possible networking unfolded several years ago. I received a document in a plain brown envelope that I have not shared with anyone prior to the writing of this book. The lengthy report was on official government investigative report forms; it is frightening in the information it contains.
That report, dated and signed on April 10, 1975, is summarized here... [and concerns cattle mutilation]
The investigator had determined that a certain pattern existed in the cattle mutilation cases (which numbers over a hundred in an eight-state area). In most of these cases, the animal had been found int he middle of an open field. Body parts (which included eyes, ears, lips, tongue, teats and sex organs) had been removed surgically. In many of the cases, the animals had been drained of all blood; in several of the cases, veterinarians had been unable to determine the cause of death. In nearly every case, no tracks were visible on the ground near the animals bodies, and no blood spills or stains were found.49
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?
Exploits and Allies
Pat Pullings 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.50 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 sisters 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 didnt [die]. By the grace of God I didnt burn, which means I was chosen to be Satans high priestess at the age of 42..51 [Note: God makes Satans 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.52
In another article Sams psychotherapist said she suffered from multiple personality disorder53. 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 dont think so. This from a woman who was being trained to be a High Priestess?
It doesnt 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 couldnt 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.54 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 analysts 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 Darrens case was the first court case in which she became involved. My involvement began with a phone call from Darrens Attorney, Lee Patton of St. Louis, Missouri.55 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.56 She give the impression that after several frustrating days as the prosecution continued to object to any testimony related to Dungeons & Dragons,57 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.58
Darren Molitor remembers the situation described a bit differently than Mrs. Pulling reports it.
Ms. Pulling contacted either my parents or my lawyer after her husband saw a St. Louis newspaper with my case in it. She and Dr. Radecki did testify at my trial, but is was off the record. In other words it went into the transcript but the jurors were not allowed to hear it because it was ruled irrelevant.59
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.60 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.61
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 thats exactly what happened to him.62
Since that time Sean has appeared on Geraldo Riveras 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.63 Mrs. Pulling goes on to give the impression that Seans 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.
When I was playing D&D I was not a satanist, and in fact would probably have punched any Satanist I met right in the mouth. I was interested in witchcraft and Zen however. In doing some research at the library for a D&D adventure I was leading I happened upon the other books that led to my study of occultism.
...to be fair to TSR [the manufacturer of D&D] and in the spirit of honesty I must concede that D&D contributed to my involvement in Satanism like an interest in electronics can contribute to building a bomb. Like the decision to build a bomb, I had already made decisions of a destructive nature before I incorporated D&D materials into my coven projects, and it was Satanism not D&D that had a decisive role in my crimes.64
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...65 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.66
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 NCTVs press releases concerning game related deaths Pat Pulling is listed as a person to contact.67 Radecki describes himself as A board-certified psychiatrist with a busy private practice and... a research director [with] the NCTV.68
In a Comics Journal interview, Radecki was asked if the NCTV had any ideological bias. He replied:
I hope not. I imagine that you know, were only human. But I hope not. ...I dont know where the ideological bias would be. Im not aware of one.69
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 Trust70 in which he proceeds to explain, with copious Biblical citations, the true meaning of Christs 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.71
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.72 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:
NCTV invested hundreds of hours of work in the bestseller study so as to be as objective and fair as possible. The total cost of the study with all its aspects is close to $8,000 and took over three years for its initial beginning with many reworkings. [The study has one primary researcher and two other major contributors.] NCTV considered reading the entirety of the 800 books involved in the bestseller study, but found that some of the books would have been difficult to obtain and the cost of the study would have tripled, beyond the financial abilities of NCTV to undertake.73
While sympathetic to Dr. Radeckis 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:
Book reviews were used for the study from the Book Review Digest, published annually by R. R. Bowker: New York....While some of the book reviewers may not have been as sensitive to violence as they should have been, a sampling of books actually read by NCTV and their reviews found that ratings from the book reviews agreed or were close to agreeing the vast majority of the time.
...We have found that sometimes book reviewers are not sensitive to violence, themselves being sensitized. NCTV has documented this in the case of Time Magazine74 reviewers. The pattern is very similar to that of film reviewers. Some are sensitive while others positively enjoy and mistakenly promote the sadistic and sick.75
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.76
Moreover, a second phase of the study was conducted with even less stringent controls:
The second part of the study reviewed book covers of popular paperback books randomly selected from the shelves of Waldenbooks and B. Dalton Books in Champaign, Illinois. The various categories of popular books were compared and the brief sketches on the book cover were presumed to be related to the contents of the books.77
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.78 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.79
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.80 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 authors 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.81 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:
A 15-year old girl was reportedly raped in Angleton, Texas by Armando Simon, 33, a prison psychologist counseling inmates for sexual crimes. According to court testimony, the girl was enticed into sex through an extended D&D game in which she was given the role of someone who would lose her powers after doing something wrong. Simon played a character constantly interested in women and his wife would often play a lesbian. The wife encouraged the sex by showing the girl photos of Simon naked with other women. She told the girl, He always wanted a virgin as a gift. The psychologist and the girl first had sex after returning from a D&D convention in Houston (Houston Chronicle, 8 May 85)82
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.83 Simons 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 NCTVs 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 Pullings reported 125 cases.84
As an aside, the 1985 release is the one in which Dr. Radecki quotes from the investigative book, Mazes and Monsters by Rona Jaffe.85 Jaffes 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 schools 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 BADDs 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.
XI. WHO HAS YOUR ADDRESS?
Over the past six months or so, a number of non-authorized publications and letters have been mailed to persons on the FILE 18 NEWSLETTER. With the exception of two mailings from B. A. D. D., Inc. about their upcoming seminars, the C. C. I. N. Board did not give prior authorization to use the mailing list. We have verifiable information that some law enforcement officers on the FILE 18 list are also members of occult groups. These people have apparently take the mailing list and copies of FILE 18 and passed them on to persons whose goals are to influence the readers sentiments against the mission of C. C. I. N.86
The February 1989 issue provides an interesting look into the thought processes of individuals charged with seeking evidence in criminal cases:
All across the United States, men sit in prisons and on death rows convicted of satanic sacrifice killings. Others have been imprisoned for gruesome abuse and victimization of infants, children, and adults. Adult survivors tell strikingly similar accounts of bondage, fear, mind control, and rituals accomplished for years under the noses (or with the complicity) of so-called normal society and its officials.
Those who deny, explain away, or cover-up the obvious undeniably growing mountain of evidence, often demand statistical evidence or positive linkages between operational suspect groups. At best, this demand for positive proof of a horizontal conspiracy is naive. At its worst, it is a red herring designed to misdirect the attention of the growing number of professionals who are convinced that we must effectively pursue and confront what could be the crime of the 90s.
Consider the possibility that the reason supposedly unrelated groups in different localities over various time periods are acting-out in a similar manner, is that consistent directives are recieved [sic] independently from higher levels of authority. Instead of being directly linked to each other, these groups may be linked vertically to a common source of direction and control. This vertical conspiracy model is consistent with the authoritarian (pyramid-type) structure seen in many cult and occult groups. Those who accept this theory as a reasonable possibility need to re-think the meaning, scope, and effects of the term conspiracy!
A growing body of evidence, intelligence information, survivor statements, and court convictions exert increasing pressure upon us to reach the verdict that hertofore [sic] unrelated problems, are being orchestrated from a central source. Lets wake up and see the reality of what weve ineffectually fought for so long. Only by chopping at the tap root of the crime tree instead of just raking the leaves can we hope to stem or turn the tide.87
In that same issue the following appears:
The solution [to Satanism]: The Editorial Staff concurs that the only true and lasting solution to devil worship or satanic involvement is a personal encounter with true Christianity and with the central figure of that faith, Jesus Christ. Only through this light can the deep and dangerous tentacles of satanic or occult enslavement be exposed and removed from a persons life.88
Jones, at a symposium sponsored by Bob Larson, defined Satanism as people worshipping a deity other than the God of the Bible.89 He went on to note that, you cannot be a dedicated Satanist without violating the law of the land.90 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:
We believe that certain groups and interests either finally became aware of C. C. I. N.s existence or decided we werent going to go away. They devised active campaigns of infiltration and counter-information intended to intimidate, nullify, and/or eliminate the work we started, the work we encourage among the many legitimate professionals in police departments, schools, treatment facilities, churches, and special interest groups across this nation. Wedges of distrust have been driven between credible resource groups and authorities. Today, the forces of opposition are hammering out volumes of information designed to confuse, mislead, and dilute the truth. Tactics including: character assassination, rumor, innuendo, ridicule, and threats of civil litigation are designed to halt the vital exposure of formerly secret practices, associations, and criminal methodologies.91
A bit later in that same issue we get:
VIII. Acquino, Again:
In March, 1988... on The Oprah Winfrey Show, [Temple of Set founder Michael Acquino] said that if satanists were really committing crimes the police would know about them and investigate, putting the satanists under arrest.
In the File 18 Newsletter, Vol. III... we asked for confirmation that the United States Military had reopened an investigation on Lt. Co. Acquino. Confirmation came from no less than an article published in the San Jose Mercury News, December 23, 1988. Linda Godlston, Staff Writer, reported: Six months after the U. S. Attorneys Office closed the Presidio child sex abuse case, the Army has launched a new investigation of one of the original suspects in the matter a high ranking officer who founded a satanic church, according to those close to the probe.
We certainly afford Mr. Acquino the benefit of the legal presumption of his innocence, but...92
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!93 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 1894 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 Committees time to listening to his talk about ritual crime. Very interesting by its 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.95 File 18 makes the Brooke book available through it to interested folks.
The File 18 vertical conspiracy theory falls quickly when Occams 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:
Does denial [of alcoholism] alter truth? No.
Things are as they are regardless of the drinkers willingness to admit the truth to himself or others. In fact, to avoid confronting his reality he will conceive rationalizations, repeat empty explanations, divert attention to non-issues, surround himself with like-minded drinkers, and fabricate falsehoods. All the while, the destruction wrought by his compulsion continues to take its toll. It saps his vitality, destroys his creativity, drains his resources, steals his energy, diverts his potential and lures him to his own death amidst the false security of his muddled mind.96
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 sons 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 Wilson97 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.
With the controversy over role playing games so prevalent today many well meaning people have sought to use my past as a reference for rebuking role playing. While it is true that D&D contributed to my interest and knowledge of occultism I must be fair and explain to what extent D&D contributed.
When I was playing D&D I was not a Satanist, and in fact would have probably punched any Satanist I met right in the mouth. I was interested in witchcraft and Zen however. In doing some research at the library for a D&D adventure I was leading I happened upon other books that led to my study of occultism.
After I became a Satanist I used D&D manuals for their magical symbols and character references for my initial studies. I also used my experience as a Dungeonmaster to introduce people to Satanic behavior concepts and recruit them into the occult.
I do have objections to some of the material TSR releases for their role playing games. I think their excessive use of paganism and occultism is unnecessary and can lead to idealistic problems among some players; however, to be fair to TSR and in the spirit of honesty I must concede that D&D contributed to my involvement in Satanism like an interest in electronics can contributed to building a bomb. Like the decision to build a bomb, I had already made decisions of a destructive nature before I incorporated D&D material into my coven projects, and it was Satanism not D&D that had a decisive role in my crimes.
Personally, for reasons I publish myself, I dont think kids need to be playing D&D, but using my past as a common example of the effects of the game is either irrational or fanatical.
February 5th 1990
Sean R. Sellers
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 Egberts 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 Egberts 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.
Whos Who In The West 1990 edition.
Michael A. Stackpole
Phoenix, AZ 85082-2792
(602) 231-8624/(602) 392-0328 Fax
Cornerstone, Vol. 18 Issue 90, Jan. 1990, Satans Sideshow by Gretchen & Bob Passantino and Jon Trott
Daily News-Sun of Sun City, AZ Tuesday, 7 June 1988 Death of a Kid by Doug Dollemore
File 18, Vol. III, No. 88-4, Cult Crime Impact Network, Inc., Larry Jones, editor
File 18, Vol. IV, No. 89-1, Cult Crime Impact Network, Inc., Larry Jones, editor
File 18, Vol. IV, No. 89-2, Cult Crime Impact Network, Inc., Larry Jones, editor
File 18, Vol. IV, No. 89-6, Cult Crime Impact Network, Inc., Larry Jones, editor
File 18, Vol. V, No. 90-1, Cult Crime Impact Network, Inc., Larry Jones, editor
INSIGHT, 11 January 88, Battling Satanism a Haunting Task by Derk Kinnane Roelofsma
National Coalition on Television Violence, press release 17 January 1985
NCTV News, Vol. 6, Jan-Feb 1985
NCTV press release, June 1985, as reprinted in BADDs Law Enforcement Primer.
NCTV Bestseller Study 1905-1988
Richmond News Leader, 21 September 1988
Richmond News Leader, 7 April 89, Local Believers short on Evidence by Rex Springston
Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5 March 88, Satanic Cults said to entice teens with sex, drugs by Ed Briggs
Richmond Times-Dispatch, 23 September 88
The Comics Journal, No. 133, December 1989, Thomas Radecki Interview by Gary Groth & Robert Boyd & Greg Baisden
Washington Post, 13 August 1983, Game Cited in Youths Suicide by Michael Isikoff
Transcripts and Media Presentations
Transcript of Case No. L-128-83 Virginia Circuit Court of the County of Hanover, the Honorable Richard H. C. Taylor, Judge.
Geraldo, 6 October 1988, Transcript #276 Teenage Satanism
The Emergence of Ritualistic Crime in Todays Society Transcribed Notes from Speakers at the Seminar Hosted by the No. Colo.-So. Wyo Detectives Association 9-12 September 86 Ft. Collins, Colo. Compiled and Published by Larry M. Jones Cult Crime Impact Network 222 N. Latah St., Boise. Idaho 83706
Bob Larson Radio Show, 29 March 1990
Bob Larson Radio Show, 3 April 1990
Bob Larson Satanism Symposium 4 November 1989, notes by Vicki Copeland of Cult Watch Response.
Books and Publications
Pulling, Patricia, with Kathy Cawthon, 1989, The Devils Web, Huntington House, Inc. Lafayette, LA
, 1988, Interviewing Techniques for Adolescents, BADD, Inc., Richmond, VA
, 1986, A Law Enforcement Primer on Fantasy Role Playing Games, BADD, Inc., Richmond, VA
Molitor, Darren Lee, 1985, The Darren Molitor Letter, BADD, Inc., Richmond, VA
Wedge, Thomas W. with Robert L. Powers, 1988, The Satan Hunter, Daring Books, Canton, Ohio
Hicks, Robert D., 28 November 1988
Sellers, Sean R., 5 February 1990
, 27 December 1989
Molitor, Darren Lee, 14 March 1990
, 10 April 1990
1 NCTV press release 17 January 1985
2 Washington Post, 13 August 1983
3 Transcript of Case No. L-128-83 Virginia Circuit Court of the County of Hanover, the Honorable Richard H. C. Taylor, Judge.
4 The Devils Web, p. 90
5 Personal correspondence with the author, 28 November 1988
6 Interviewing Techniques for Adolescents (BADD, Inc., Sept 1988), pp. 13-14
7 Interviewing Techniques for Adolescents (BADD, Inc., Sept 1988), p. 14
8 Ibid., p. 3
9 Ibid., p. 3
10 Ibid, pp. 3-6
11 Ibid, pp. 6-7
12 The pulp era was roughly 1920 to 1950 and is named after the pulp-paper magazines common in those days. After the war and paper rationing severely damaged the pulp trade, the advent of paperback books in the 1950s finished it off. The Shadow Magazine and Weird Tales are two well known examples of pulp magazines. Lovecraft was a frequent contributor to the latter magazine.
13 Daily News-Sun of Sun City, AZ Tuesday, 7 June 1988
16 Washington Post, 13 Aug 1983
17 Geraldo, 6 October 1988, Transcript #276, pp. 9-10
18 The Devils Web, p. 7-8.
19 Transcript of Case No. L-128-83 Virginia Circuit Court of the County of Hanover, the Honorable Richard H. C. Taylor, Judge, pp. 13-14.
20 THE EMERGENCE OF RITUALISTIC CRIME IN TODAYS SOCIETY
Transcribed Notes from Speakers at the Seminar Hosted by the No. Colo.-So. Wyo Detectives Association 9-12 September 86 Ft. Collins, Colo. Compiled and Published by Larry M. Jones Cult Crime Impact Network 222 N. Latah St., Boise. Idaho 83706
22 The Devils Web, p. 199
23 Richmond News Leader, 7 April 89
26 Richmond Times-Dispatch, 23 September 88
28 Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5 March 88
29 A Law Enforcement Primer on Fantasy Role Playing Games, p. 10
30 The Devils Web, p. 91
31 The Devils Web, p. 97, see also A Law Enforcement Primer on Fantasy Role Playing Games, pp. 10-11
32 Primer, p. 10
33 Primer, p. 10
34 Primer, p. 11
35 TSR, Inc. regularly returns out of print games to print to retain the trademark on the names. Boot Hill is rumored to be scheduled for a 1990 rerelease just to maintain the title trademark. This, presumably, was the reason Gamma World was rereleased in 1986. It would not be inconceivable to see a reissue of Metamorphosis Alpha as well, but it is not expected.
36 The Devils Web, p. 97
37 The Devils Web, p. 9
38 The Devils Web, p. 79
39 The Darren Molitor Letter
40 The Devils Web, p. 79
41 The Darren Molitor Letter.
42 Personal correspondence with the author, 14 March 1990
44 The Devils Web, p. 88
45 The Devils Web, p. 11
46 Personal correspondence with the author, 14 March 1990
47 The Devils Web, p. 9
48 Ibid., p. 54
49 The Devils Web, p. 57
50 INSIGHT, 11 January 88, p. 48
51 Richmond News Leader, 21 September 1988
53 Richmond News Leader, 7 April 1989
54 Bob Larson Radio Show, 3 April 1990
55 The Devils Web, p. 90
56 Ibid., p. 91
57 Ibid., p. 91
58 Ibid., p. 91
59 Personal correspondence with the author, 10 April 1990
60 The Devils Web, p. 88
61 Personal correspondence with the author, 10 April 1990
62 The Satan Hunter, p. 11.
63 The Devils Web, p. 92
64 Personal correspondence with the author, 5 February 1990
65 Personal correspondence with the author, 27 December 1989
66 Personal correspondence with the author, 5 February 1990
67 NCTV press release, 17 January 1985
68 The Comics Journal, No. 133, December 1989, p. 66
69 Ibid., p. 74
70 NCTV News, Vol. 6, Jan-Feb 1985
71 Bob Larson Radio Show, 29 March 1990
72 NCTV Bestseller Study 1905-1988
73 Ibid., p. 1
74 The caution about Time Magazine reviews is curious because, two paragraphs above where it appears, the report notes, The book reviews themselves come primarily from Time and Newsweek, the New York Times...
75 Ibid., p. 1
76 Ibid., p. 11
77 Ibid., p. 1
78 Ibid., p. 25
79 Ibid., p. 25
80 Ibid., p. 26
81 NCTV press release, 17 Jan 1985, p. 5
82 NCTV press release, June 1985, as reprinted in BADDs Law Enforcement Primer.
83 The Devils Web, p. 82
84 Ibid., p. 85
85 NCTV press release, 17 January, 1985, p. 8
86 File 18, Vol. III, No. 88-4, p. 12
87 File 18, Vol. IV, No. 89-1, p. 1
88 Ibid., p. 3
89 Bob Larson Satanism Symposium 4 November 1989. Approximately 500 people attended, paying $100 each for the one day program.
91 File 18, Vol. IV, No. 89-2, p. 1
92 Ibid., p. 5
93 Ibid., p. 2
94 File 18, Vol. V, No. 90-1
95 Ibid., p. 5
96 File 18, Vol. IV, No. 89-6, p. 1
97 Stratford/Wilson was the author of a survivor memoir titled Satans Underground. The publisher, Harvest House, withdrew it from publication after Cornerstone, a Christian magazine, published an article (Satans Sideshow by Gretchen & Bob Passantino and Jon Trott, Vol. 18 Issue 90, Jan. 1990) that exposed her book as a fraud.
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