Found in the archives of the U.S. Department of Justice, this 1988 document lays out the rituals, mind control methods and the symbolism of satanic groups in the United States.
The Satanic Cult Awareness guide was together by a team researchers and law enforcement officials around 1988. The data in this document was compiled to help investigators better understand crimes motivated by cults and Satanic rituals. At that time, several high profile cases involving Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) made the news and triggered a phenomenon that media now calls “Moral Panic” or “Satanic Panic”. The full document was archived by the National Criminal Justice Reference Service.
This article extracts some of the document’s most relevant information.
This training manual is the result of compiling information from several years of occult investigations including volumes of written documentations from several investigators across the nation.
We take this opportunity to express our gratitude, and give recognition to the following persons and organizations for the information and documentation they provided.
Dale Griffis, Ph.D. – Tiffin, Ohio P. D.
Detective Sandi Gallant Daly – San Francisco P. D.
Lt. Larry Hones – Boise, Idaho P. D.
Sgt. J. Hill – San Diego P. D.
Kurt Jackson – Beaumont, California P. D.
Gary Bradford and Jim Craig – U.S. Defense Investigative Service
This information may serve as a resource file for any Law Enforcement department, investigating such crimes suspected of having cult/satanic influence. In many instances, “strange” and “unusual” symbols are left at the crime scene, or transmitted through various writings which the investigator does not know or understand, and so often these symbols are disregarded, and or discounted as non-essential and immaterial to the case at hand. These cult symbols, runes, and hieroglyphics will assist the serious investigator to gain ability and to correctly understand and recognize this new and serious crime explosion.
Types of Abuse and Torture
Confinement/isolation in small places, often with sensory deprivation: Blackhole/pit, cage, coffin or grave. Often the container is filled with bone or a body (animal or human), snakes, spiders, etc. Children are told that worms will eat their brains out. Often they are left for days in absolute filth. This abuse is involved in significant rituals or may be utilized as punishment. Being reborn into Satanism (hauled out of live burial) through symbolic death is a standard ritual for children.
Sexual torture: Is continuous and almost always with multiple perpetrators (both male and female); as well as trained animals. Infants and toddlers are physically prepared for later sexual abuse with objects forced into every body opening. The role of the mother figure is crucial in this early sexual abuse preparation. Sexual rituals are common and generally involve the letting of blood (girls are cut vaginally, boys cut on the penis). Sexual orgies among cult members always involve the balance of pleasure with pain to serve Satan. Girls are impregnated as early as possible, and are taught that unanesthetized abortions are an honor.
Physical deprivation: Chronic disruption of sleep, starvation, excessive exposure to heat or cold. This breaks down resistance and increases susceptibility to brainwashing.
Forced participation in abuse/murder: For children this may be real (adult hand guides child’s hand to stab baby) or staged (the victim was already dead, or child’s participation was suggested under hypnosis). Child is then labeled a murderer, unlovable, a criminal who will be locked up by the police, crazy and awaiting psychiatric lock up. Ultimately, many of the children will be programmed to murder for the cult on cue. They are taught by “trainers” how to kill, collect blood and skin victims. Even high level “trainers” still go through continuous torture in order to stay vicious.
Psychiatric abuse: Children are often routinely taken to an actual psychotherapist (cult member) or a person posing as one. Routine “psychotherapeutic behaviors” are associated with pain and fear, thus effectively sabotaging legitimate therapy for the survivor in the future. Some survivors also report being locked up and restrained in psychiatric hospitals or undergoing ECT as children.
Varied emotional abuse: Targeted at destroying child’s self-esteem and self confidence. Standard caring societal messages (I love you, you’re special) are linked with torture and abandonment. A child is ordered to complete a paradoxical or impossible task, then is tortured for not following orders or is blamed for the torture or murder of another child. Children are told they are worthless, dirty, stupid, ugly, evil and are lucky the cult will keep them.
Religious/spiritual abuse: Often in real or staged Christian churches, always targeted against any future acceptance of Christianity (even though many cult families masquerade as active Christians), always emphasizing control of child by Satan and his demons. Children are raped with symbolic Christian objects and are told that Jesus approved and believes they are bad. Rituals involving the insertion of eyeballs into the vagina or rectum symbolize that demons are inside the child always watching. Children are “placed under numerous curses” during rituals. Especially important to uncover is the “curse of silence” (if they tell of the cult, they and the non-cult listener will die). Although special children are taught they can develop great powers by serving satan, fear of the diety’s rage seems to predominate the belief system. Most of the cult abuse is intertwined with religious dogma. Male and female children and adults are “married to Satan” (who is considered bisexual) at various ages.
General physical torture: Mutilation/marking the body for satan, drawing blood, banging by arms or feet, tubal insertion in body opening to allow for fluids to be introduced. Electric shock to spine/knees, dragging with rope or leash around neck, generally being treated like an animal, immersion in feces/blood buckets/urine, pulling/drilling teeth, being burned (trial by fire), blood transfusions and skin grafts from sacrificial victims.
Drug abuse: Begins in infancy, is routinely a part of general brainwashing and rituals. Drugs are very sophisticated and often administered by medical professionals (IV, IM, gas masks, orally). Most survivors report that drugs are administered through cranial burr holes as well. The effects of drug are complex, such as resulting in paralysis from the neck down, and are very carefully induced. Some ritual torture need not be fully experienced by the child, and simply serves symbolic or spiritual purposes. The cult also uses sodium amytal to gain information.
Brainwashing: Often in conjunction with drugs, is sophisticated hypnosis which involves the associative pairing of induced pain/terror + the cult message + the trigger cue(s). Trigger cues are planted in the subconscious and are too numerous to list. They are later utilized by the cult to control the survivor without his or her conscious awareness (visual symbols on greeting cards, flower colors and arrangements, common hand gestures, verbal phrases, body postures, facial movements). Brainwashing is an integral part of ritual abuse and cult indoctrination, and also serves to create amnesia for cult information such as names, places, etc., thus protecting cult secrecy. Hypnotic introduction of visual images during abuse can hamper later therapeutic efforts to uncover accurate memories.
Near death experiences: Particularly common via suffocation torture, near drownings (head is held under water). These are utilized for punishment, to promote “out of body experiences”, and are a common part of certain rituals. Victims may be resuscitated with oxygen.
Forced eating of flesh, excrement, and other fetid material: This is routine and is generally force-fed or given to child as a trick, concealed as something else after the child has been starved for days. “Ritual meals” of blood, flesh, semen, urine, etc., are consumed by all cult members during sacrifices to Satan. (These are commonly accompanied by nausea and vomiting). It is quite common for survivors to be very suspicious of food in general and to avoid many food types due to color or texture. Some survivors seem anorexic and others compulsively eat to combat “taste memories”.
Staged birthing of “bad babies”: Dead snakes, rats, objects are seemingly pulled from between the legs of small girls who are told they are giving birth to bad, rotten things. This serves to practice birthing and also is more “evidence” of how bad they are inside and need to be purified (by more abuse).
Teaching cognitive contusion: Opposites are constantly reconciled in cult behavior and training (be obedient/rebel, sex without pain is not pleasure, love and hate are the same, black is white, ugly is pretty, left is right). Children learn that none of society’s concepts are stable and often represent their opposite. The child must split inside to function within this cult confusion vs. the non-cult world. cult families frequently evidence different rules at home vs. at cult gatherings.
Sabbat and Festivals Dates in Witchcraft & Satanism
Pagans, witches and satanists share eight common sabbats during the year . Each one holds special significance to them. In addition, satanists hold member’s birth date in reverence. On these dates there should be a significant amount of activity amongst traditional worshippers.
In the Celtic (Druid) belief, night proceeds the day, therefore, festivals are held on the eve of the event.
The Celtic year began with winter and was broken down into halves. The winter half runs from November thru January and February thru April. The summer half runs from May thru July and August thru October. Both Equinoxes and Solstices are also celebrated.
Pagans hold fertility rites on Holy Days to promote fertility both in the home and agriculturally.
The Eight Sabbats
||In Catholicism this is the festival of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In other Christian religions it is the celebration of the presentation of Jesus in the Temple.
||Also known as May eve. This is a major. Celtic festival marked by bonfires and fertility rites. In Christianity May 1st is Apostles Day.
||Third highest satanic holiday.
|July 31 to August 1st
||Feast of the Sun God. The beginning of autumn and the harvest season. The English festival of wheat harvest.
||Or Fall Day.
||Or Samhain: First Highest Satanic holiday – Celebration of the beginning of the Celtic Year (Nov. 1st). In Catholicism, Nov. 1st is All Saints Day.
||Yule or Winter Solstice
||Fourth Highest satanic Holiday.
NOTE: According to the Satanic Bible a coven members birthday should be treated as a holiday also. These dates may change according to the lunar cycle.
(Dates based on 1988 calendar)
||Type / Ceremony
||New Years Day (Druid Feast)
||St. Winebald Day
||Blood. Animal or Human Sacrifice (Dismemberment)
||Kidnapping, holding and ceremonial prep. of person for human sacrifice.
||Grand Climax. Five weeks and one day after Winter Solar Solstice.
||Da Muer Ritual. Sacrifice Female/Child, Sex
||Candlemans, Oimele, Lady Day, Imbok (SABBAT FESTIVAL) Welcoming Spring
||Marks the transformation of the Goddess from mother to young virgin. Mass initiations
||Shrovetide. Three days before Ash
Wednesday, Feb 17
||Blood. Drinking of human blood for strength and homage to the demons
||Spring (Vernal) Equinox (SABBAT FESTIVAL) Major Fertility SABBAT
||Feast Day. Sexual Orgies
||Feast of the Beast
||Bride of Satan in marriage ceremony. Sexual activities
Day of Passion
|Mocks death of Christ. Animal/Human
||Easter Eve Day
||Blood. Human Sacrifice
||**Easter Day, Unholy Sunday (Falls between March 22 – April 25). Followed by three days of fasting and chanting.
||Blood. Human Sacrifice
||Kidnapping, holding and ceremonial prep. of person for human sacrifice
||St. Mark’s Eve
||Grand Climax. Five weeks and one day after Spring Equinox. Da Muer Ritual.
||Sexual Activity. Female Human Sacrifice. The sacrifice can be a child.
||Walpurgisnacht, Roodmas Day, May Eve (SABBAT FESTIVAL) Welcoming Summer. One of the two most important SABBATS.
||Blood. Animal/Human Sacrifice
||Beltane, Walpurgis Day, May Day
||Druid Fire Festival. Coven Initiation
||**Ascension Day, Always the 40th day after Easter marking Ascension of Christ
||Friday the 13th
||Blood/Sexual. Orgies & Animal Sacrifice
||Samhain. Old celebration date until 8th century.
||**Whitsun, Whitsunday Pentacost
||Mocker of the feast of the body and blood of Christ
||Summer Solar Solstice (SABBAT FESTIVAL) First day of summer (sun farthest from equator). Feast day.
||Orgies. Animal/Human Sacrifice
||Midsummer’s Eve, St. John’s (the Baptist) Eve. Invokes the sun at the height of its strenght.
||Blood/Sexual association with demons. Sexual Activity
||Unholy Day of the Paladium. Reading of old Satanism ritual books.
||Blood. Kidnapping, holding and ceremonial preparation of person for human sacrifice
||St. James’ Day
||Grand Climax. Five weeks and one day after solstice.
||Sexual Activity. Female Human sacrifice, it can be a child.
||Lammas Day, Lugnasadh (SABBATH FESTIVAL)
||Heralding Harvest Blood. Animal/Human Sacrifice
||St. Bartholomew’s Day
||Fire. Ceremonial animal sacrifice
||Marriage to the Beast Sexual Satan
||Blood. Dismember & hand removed for Hands of Glory. Flesh eating usually occurs.
Sun crosses equator and days and nights are equal length. First day of fall. Feast Day.
|Blood and orgies. Animal/human sacrifice
||Kidnapping/Holding. Ceremonial prep. of person for human sacrifice
||Grand Climax. Five weeks and one day after Autumn Equinox.
||Sexual Activity. Female human sacrifice, it can be a child.
||Satanist High Unholy Day, Related to Halloween
||Blood. Human Sacrifice
||All Hallow’s Eve. Samhain (Halloween) (SABBATH FESTIVAL). Announcing onset of two most important SABBATS. Attempts are made to break the bonds holding closed doors to the Underworld.
||Blood/Sexual association with demons. Animal/Human sacrifices (M or F)
||All Saints Day
||Celtic-Druid Fire Festival
||Day of the Dead
||Winter Solar Solstice (SABBAT FESTIVAL)
Shortest day of the year (sun farthest from equator). First day of winter. Witches’ year begins.
|Blood/Sexual. Animal/Human Sacrifice
||Demon Revels. Da Muer Ritual. High Grand Climax.
||Blood. M/F Sacrifice
Celebrates the rebirth of the sun as a young babe to the great Goddess.
||St. Thomas’ Day
||Fire. Ritual of Choice
**Celebration held on Christian holiday would be done to mock the Christian holiday.
Masses and Rituals
Masses are services held at different times during the week, month or year. Rituals are conducted at most of these masses and are used as a tool to bring about a change in the state of consciousness among the participants. Drugs, colors, music, chants, words and meditative practices are used to enhance or mesmerize the participants.
Types of Masses
Initiation: Where new members are accepted into the group. They will usually participate in the service acting as an acolyte. Once initiation is complete the neophyte is sworn to secrecy regarding all activities of the group.
Gnostic: A worship service sometimes open to outsiders who show a desire to join the group. Evil spirits are called upon and a desire of the group is expressed in hopes of it becoming a realization.
Mass of Angels: On the eve of the Mass a black rooster is killed and the heart, eyes and tongue are cut out. This mass is practiced to give the priest protection from demonic powers becoming too unruly.
Mass For the Dead: Used to call on God to free the celebrant from the fear of Hell and to make the demons obey. A lamb will be sacrificed, his throat cut and heart, eyes and tongue removed and ground into powder and then buried with the lamb.
Black Mass: The most bizarre of all rituals done only for evil purposes. Magicians can use powers, forces, spirits and demons. Evil medicine can be herbs or parts of animals or human beings. A mockery of the Catholic Mass is held. Blasphemy of the name of God and the trampling on or urination upon Christian artifacts is part of the service.
The steps taken before and during a ritual are described below. Keep in mind that each group may do things differently so this is merely an example of how one group conducts itself.
1. Preparation of the ritual area
2. Dress in garb and jewelry (if clothing is to be worn)
3. Ring bell to begin ritual
4. Light flame on the altar
5. Hold invocation
6. Celebrant drinks from chalice
7. Conjuring of demons begins
8. Execute desire
9. Extinguish flame
10. Ring bell to end ritual. utter closing, “So it is done.”
In most cases, rituals will be conducted within the circle to protect the celebrants from unruly demons. There are groups, however, who believe this to be unnecessary, feeling that they alone are in control of what happens during the rituals.
Investigative Suggestions For Law Enforcement
1. Terrorist cults and cults which specialize in hate generally use many different names and have various front organizations. Develop as much information as you can, i.e. identity of leaders, their beliefs, recruitment techniques, etc. before taking any action. Many of these groups have automatic weapons stockpiled–know what to
2. Some cults are using quasi-legitimate businesses as fronts for narcotics traffic. Determine whether such fronts are registered as a business or as a charity to solicit funds. Check local and federal courts for prior civil lawsuits and complaints … also, the Better Business Bureau, State Attorney General’s Office, etc.
3. Many non-traditional satanic cults are using drugs, child abuse, human sacrifice and forms of mind control to keep their members from defecting. Many of their criminal acts center around the personality of the coven leader. Determine what form of his/her teachings the group is following. Study their symbols, dates activities are performed, instruments used in the ceremonies, etc. Note the holidays honored by the cult; particularly–birthdates of leaders, the solstices of June 22nd, December 22nd, April 30, etc. In missing children cases, determine whether dates of disappearance occur on or near these holidays. Ensure your inquiries are kept confidential as any public awareness will drive the cult into even greater secrecy.
4. Note that many traditional “white” witchcraft and satanic cults are legitimate, sometimes even helpful, to police in occult criminal investigations. Many are eager to give information on those cults engaged in criminal activity because they are giving them a “bad name”. Be able to differentiate between such groups in your area.
5. Since the Mariel Boatlifts of 1980, many voodoo cults are now operating in this country. Understand the various signs and symbols connected with these groups; particularly–drawings of fowl, dolls, saints, painted rocks, coins, etc. Some of these groups are involved in narcotics, murder, extortion, and occasional human sacrifice.
6. One indication of satanic cult activity is the appearance of mutilated animals, i.e. dogs, cats, cattle, etc. Have qualified medical examiners examine the cadavers for missing blood, sex or other organs, and possible blanched skin on the back from electric shock. In some cases the epiglottis on these animals will be frozen open just prior to death. Check with local humane societies on complaints against individuals torturing animals.
7. Crime scene searches of suspected occult crimes should be as detailed and thorough as possible. Photographs of the scene should be taken with the magnetic positions of the compass noted as satanic cults believe the “evil one” comes from the North and will lay small branches or sticks pointing south.
8. To understand the amount of occult activity in your area, check with local libraries and bookstores which cater to the occult. Research occult symbols in graffiti and tattoos on suspects.
9. Investigators should take a county map and overlay a drawing of an inverted star on the map. Information and past experience has shown this is used as an occult center of activity in the area. A good place to start looking.
Colors Significant to Satanism/Witchcraft
Black: Darkness, night, sorrow, evil, devil
Blue: Vigilance, tears, water, sadness
Green: Vegetation, nature, soothing, restful
Red: Blood, physical life, energy
White: Cleanliness, purity, innocence
Yellow: Perfection, wealth, glory, power
The full document is available at the NCJRS website.