Italy’s Model Migrant Town Struggles to Survive

19 October 2018

FRANCE 24 (AFP) — The artisan shops in Riace’s historic centre are shuttered and its alleyways quiet as locals wait to see what will happen to Italy’s world-renowned model of migrant integration.

The mayor of the hilltop hamlet in Calabria was hounded out of town earlier this week for favouring illegal immigration, but Domenico Lucano has vowed to fight on to protect the way of life here.

He will have to do it from afar as he is banned from Riace, once a ghost town before Lucano, 60, opened the door to migrants and asylum-seekers.

“I’m not going to give up. Riace represents an idea which counters barbarism and we’ll go on even without state aid,” Lucano said in an interview with AFPTV.

Under the programme he started, Riace’s abandoned houses were restored, artisan shops were opened and the tourists flocked to see a place where around 400 of its 1,800 inhabitants are foreigners, from Africa to Pakistan and Syria.

But last week the Italian interior ministry ordered the programme shut down after an investigation, which was launched in 2016, uncovered alleged administrative wrongdoing.

A judicial inquiry has also raised suspicions of “marriages of convenience” for asylum purposes.

Lucano was placed briefly under house arrest, before a court allowed him out but banished him from Riace.

The state had already turned off the tap, withholding the 35 euros it pays migrant centres daily for each person, affecting roughly a third of the migrant population in Riace.

The bustling alleyways of the village which overlooks the Ionian Sea have gradually become quiet and empty. The shops in the so-called “global village” have shut one after another. […]

South African City Set to Seize Land in National ‘Test Case’

By Krista Mahr | 19 October 2018

AP — As South Africa’s passionate debate over land redistribution grows, one city outside Johannesburg is preparing what the mayor calls a “test case” for the nation — the seizure of hundreds of acres of land from private owners, without paying for it, to build low-cost housing.

Like other South African cities, Ekurhuleni faces a dire housing crunch, with some 600,000 of its nearly 4 million people living in “informal settlements” and a shortage of land to build homes.

Last month, Ekurhuleni’s city council voted in favor of forging ahead with “expropriation without compensation,” a legal tool that the ruling African National Congress says is necessary to correct the historic injustices of apartheid and distribute land more equitably. […]

Is It Dangerous To Be Left-Handed?

An article published in Reader’s Digest1 suggests you are at a greater risk for certain negative health and life outcomes if you are left-handed, including accidents, certain mental and physical problems and even early death.

While it’s obvious left-handers face challenges with respect to using everyday items like keyboards, notebooks, scissors and zippers, which are typically designed to favor right-handed users, does research support the notion left-handedness is actually dangerous to your health?

Factors That Influence Your Choice of Handedness

Handedness — your tendency to be more comfortable and skilled using one hand more than the other for tasks like dressing, throwing a ball or writing — is a complex matter. Although you may think it is determined solely by genetics, handedness is a complex trait influenced by multiple factors, such as chance, environment and genetics.

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH),2 the development of handedness begins before birth and is influenced by genes, as well as both your right-left asymmetry and the right and left hemispheres of your brain. They state:3

“It was initially thought a single gene controlled handedness. However, more recent studies suggest multiple genes, perhaps up to 40, contribute to this trait. Each of these genes likely has a weak effect by itself, but together they play a significant role in establishing hand preference.

Studies suggest at least some of these genes help determine the overall right-left asymmetry of the body starting in the earliest stages of development.”

Science Daily highlights asymmetry as an important feature of your brain, noting the left side usually controls speech and language, while the right side controls emotion. They assert, “In left-handers this pattern is often reversed.

There is also evidence that asymmetry of the brain was an important feature during human evolution; the brains of our closest relatives, the apes, are more symmetrical than those of humans — and apes do not show a strong handedness.”4 Authors of a 2013 study published in the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews comment similarly:5

“Handedness is the single most studied aspect of human brain asymmetries. For long it has been thought to be a monogenic trait that can produce an asymmetrical shift of cerebral mechanisms, thereby producing right-handedness. Nevertheless, a single gene explaining a sufficient amount of phenotypic variance has not been identified.

The results of several recent studies using advanced molecular genetic techniques suggest that a multifactorial model taking into account both multiple genetic and environmental factors, as well as their interactions, might be better suited to explain the complex processes underlying the ontogenesis of handedness.”

Additionally, your prenatal environment and cultural influences are thought to play a role in determining which hand will dominate. In terms of prevalence, the NIH asserts 85 to 90 percent of the population in Western countries are right-handed.6 About 10 percent are left-handed and the remainder thought to be ambidextrous (able to use both hands equally well).

According to Clare Porac, Professor Emerita of psychology at Penn State University, the lowest rates of left-handedness, 4 to 6 percent, are found in Africa, Asia and South America.7

Genes Associated With Handedness

To date, researchers have identified a few of the genes thought to influence handedness. Two notable genes associated with handedness are:

LRRTM1 (Leucine-rich repeat transmembrane neuronal 1) This gene has been associated with an increased likelihood of left- or mixed-handed people also having schizophrenia or another neurological disorder.8,9

Authors of a 2001 meta-analysis featured in the British Journal of Psychiatry — involving 19 studies on handedness, 10 dichotic listening studies and 39 studies investigating anatomical asymmetry in schizophrenia — stated:10

The prevalence of mixed- and left-handedness (‘nonright-handedness’) was significantly higher in patients with schizophrenia as compared to healthy controls, and also as compared to psychiatric controls. Strong evidence is provided for decreased cerebral lateralization in schizophrenia.

PCSK6 (proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 6) — This gene has been linked to an increased chance of left-handedness being noted in people with dyslexia. Researchers involved with a 2011 study presented in Human Molecular Genetics commented:11

“These results provide molecular evidence that cerebral asymmetry and dyslexia are linked. Furthermore, PCSK6 is a protease that cleaves the left–right axis determining protein NODAL.

Functional studies of PCSK6 promise insights into mechanisms underlying cerebral lateralization and dyslexia.”

Potential Health Risks Thought to More Often Affect Left-Handers

Although being left-handed is not an exclusive factor in any health risk, there are a number of situations that have been linked to left-handedness. Research suggests left-handed people are at increased risk for:

Accidents — A 1989 body of research published in the American Journal of Public Health12 focused on self-reported injuries and handedness in a group of nearly 1,900 Canadian college students.

Researchers found more left-handers (51 percent) reported having an injury requiring medical attention during the past two years than right-handers (36 percent). In addition, left-handed people were 85 percent more likely to be injured while driving a vehicle than right-handers.

Breast cancer — While your diet, lifestyle and any number of environmental factors can influence your chances of developing breast cancer, a 2007 body of research presented in the British Journal of Cancer asserts left-handers are at greater risk than right-handers of being diagnosed with breast cancer, particularly after menopause.13

Based on surveys completed by 1,786 Australian women who were part of a larger multidecade health study, the scientists said, “Left-handedness may be an indicator of intrauterine exposure to estrogens, which may increase the risk of breast cancer.

Left-handers had higher risk of breast cancer than right-handers and the effect was greater for postmenopausal breast cancer.”14

Earlier death — In a 1991 study featured in The New England Journal of Medicine,15 researchers analyzed death certificates and distributed questionnaires about handedness to the next of kin for 2,000 deceased individuals from two counties in southern California.

Based on 987 usable cases, they noted the mean age of death for right-handers was 75 years, as compared to just 66 years for left-handers. The study authors stated, “These results are consistent with predictions based on implied pathological factors and environmental interactions suggesting left-handers are at greater risk of death.”16

Psychotic disorders — As mentioned, being left-handed could put you at increased risk for a psychotic illness. A 2013 study17 from Yale University observed the handedness of 107 patients diagnosed with a mood or psychotic disorder at a public outpatient psychiatric clinic in a low-income urban area.

Whereas the prevalence of mood disorders was 11 percent (a figure consistent with rates in the general population), they discovered 40 percent of the schizophrenic patients reported writing with their left hands. 

Lead study author Dr. Jadon Webb, a psychiatrist at the Arapahoe Mental Health Center in Littleton, Colorado, and his team said, “Our results show a strikingly higher prevalence of left-handedness among patients presenting with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, compared with patients presenting with mood symptoms.”18

Other Ways Left-Handed People Differ From Those Who Are Right-Handed

Beyond the potential for increased risk of certain health-related outcomes, research suggests left-handed people are also prone to being affected differently than right-handers as it relates to alcohol, money and sleep, among other areas. Scientists suggest lefties:

Drink alcohol more often — Earlier studies suggesting left-handed people were more prone to alcoholism than their right-handed peers have not stood the test of time.

“There is no evidence that handedness predicts risky drinking,” study lead Kevin Denny, associate professor of economics at University College Dublin in Ireland, told the British Psychological Society.

“Hence, the results do not support the idea that excess drinking may be a consequence either of atypical lateralization of the brain or due to the social stresses that arise from left-handers being a minority group.”19

That said, research highlighted in the British Journal of Health Psychology20 in 2011 involving 27,428 adults age 50 and older from 12 European countries indicated left-handers do, on average, drink more often than right-handers.

Earn less money — A 2014 study, featured in the Journal of Economic Perspectives,21 suggests the salaries of left-handers were as much as 10 to 12 percent lower than their right-handed colleagues.

Study author and economist Joshua Goodman, Ph.D., associate professor of public policy at Harvard, noted the median income for left-handers in the U.S. was $1,300 a year less than the wages paid to right-handers.

Goodman stated: “A large fraction of this gap can be explained by observed differences in cognitive skills and emotional or behavioral problems. Lefties work in more manually intensive occupations than do righties, further suggesting their primary labor market disadvantage is cognitive rather than physical.”22

Experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — According to psychologists who showed volunteers an eight-minute clip from an intensely frightening movie, left-handed people were more likely than right-handers to exhibit fear.23

Their fear was notable in the sense they gave researchers more fragmented accounts of what they’d seen, an effect associated with PTSD.

Lead researcher Carolyn Choudhary, a lecturer in the psychology and sociology division at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland, presented the team’s findings at the British Psychology Society’s annual conference in 2011. She told The Telegraph:24

“The prevalence of [PTSD] is almost double in left-handers compared to right-handers. We used a portion of film from ‘Silence of the Lambs’ that we know elicits fear, so we could check the recalled account against the film.

People who were left-handed showed significantly more fragmentation in their memories and more repetition [than right-handers]. It appears these are tied to the way the brain makes memories during fearful experiences.”

Sleep restlessly — Based on research involving 100 patients affected by periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) — a repetitive cramping or jerking of your legs during sleep — the American College of Chest Physicians suggests left-handers are at greater risk than righties of developing the disorder.25

When the research was presented at their annual conference in 2011, the group noted 94 percent of left-handed patients had PLMD as compared to just 69 percent of right-handers — irrespective of variables such as age, race and sex.

Their findings indicate “left-handed people have significantly higher chances of having bilateral limb movements, indicating the potential for PLMD.”26

Struggle in school — A 2009 Australian study published in the journal Demography,27 drawing on data collected from parents and teachers regarding 4,942 children ages 4 and 5 years old, suggests left-handed children perform less well academically than their right-handed peers.

The researchers noted the perceived “cognitive disadvantage” facing left-handers was not a result of demographics, socioeconomic status or behavior. About the study, they commented:28

“A broad range of skills were assessed, including vocabulary, reading, writing, copying, social development and gross and fine motor skills. Left- and mixed-handed children performed worse than right-handed children on nearly all of these measures.

Conversely, two measures showed no effect of hand preference: the PPVT [Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test] and expressive language skills. Both measures reflect a child’s vocabulary and ability to express ideas and do not require a written response.

Thus, it would appear that, despite being disadvantaged in most areas of cognitive achievement, left- and mixed-handers have the same ability for verbal expression as right-handers.”

It’s Not All Bad Being Left-Handed

In the event you’ve found this article to be somewhat depressing when it comes to the realities faced by left-handers, below are a few positives associated with being in the minority when it comes to being a lefty. Lefties are said to:29

Be better at processing information at a fast rate — Research from Australia National University30 involving 100 people performing computer-based tasks showed left-handed people outperformed right-handers in processing large amounts of information at a fast rate.

Left-handers tend to use both sides of the brain more easily and therefore may perform better than right-handers at fast or complex tasks.

Engage in right-brain activities more readily — Research published in the Journal of Mental and Nervous Disease asserts musicians, painters and writers are significantly more likely to be left-handed.31

The study authors said, “Creative people have been found to … be more likely to report an excess of nonright-handedness compared with controls … more widespread left hand use [was] reported by artists involved in the creative activities traditionally associated with the right [brain] hemisphere.” 32 Two areas mentioned were music and painting.

More easily become ambidextrous — Given the reality most products and surroundings are geared to right-handed people, lefties are naturally challenged at a young age to use both hands, especially when it comes to putting on certain clothing with buttons and zippers, using notebooks, typing on keyboards and manipulating scissors.

Stand out in a crowd — Given the tendency for their left-handedness to be easily noticeable, especially when eating, lefties often stand out in social situations. Because it’s common to exchange a handshake upon meeting someone for the first time, left-handedness can become a conversation starter.

Some Famous Lefties

Before ending, I can’t leave without mentioning that history is full of famous lefties whose names you will recognize right away, including eight U.S. presidents and many entertainers and entrepreneurs. Just a few of those famous lefties on a long list compiled by Time magazine include Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Babe Ruth, Albert Einstein, Jimi Hendrix and Henry Ford.33

The Monsanto Papers

The Australian documentary, “The Monsanto Papers,” reveals the secret tactics used by global chemical giant Monsanto (now owned by Bayer AG1,2), to protect its bestselling herbicide, Roundup.

The film starts out with a quick history of Roundup and how its now-clearly absurd safety claims (such as “it’s biodegradable,” “safe enough to drink,” and “safer than table salt”) made it into the worlds’ most widely used weed killer, used by farmers and private gardeners alike. Indeed, it was at one time known as “the world’s most trusted herbicide,” but those days are now long gone.

Between 1974 — the year glyphosate entered the U.S. market — and 2014, glyphosate use increased more than 250fold in the U.S. Today, an estimated 300 million pounds are applied on U.S. farmland annually. Globally, nearly 5 billion pounds (over 2 billion kilograms) of glyphosate are applied to some 70 types of farm crops each year.3

Roundup Is Far From Harmless

Mounting evidence suggests Roundup is far from harmless, and evidence unearthed during legal discovery shows Monsanto has been well aware of its product’s toxic nature, and has been covering it up.

As previously discussed in many articles, glyphosate and glyphosate-based weed killer formulations such as Roundup have in recent years been linked to a wide variety of human health consequences, including:

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma4

Impairing your body’s ability to produce fully functioning proteins5

Inhibiting the shikimate pathway (found in gut bacteria)

Interfering with the function of cytochrome P450 enzymes, required for activation of vitamin D and the creation of nitric oxide

Chelating important minerals6

Disrupting sulfate synthesis and transport7

Interfering with the synthesis of aromatic amino acids and methionine, resulting in folate and neurotransmitter shortages8

Disrupting your microbiome by acting as an antibiotic9

Impairing methylation pathways10

Inhibiting pituitary release of thyroid stimulating hormone, which can lead to hypothyroidism11,12

Monsanto Papers Reveal Company’s Efforts to Squash Evidence of Carcinogenicity

August 10, 2018, a jury ruled in favor of plaintiff Dewayne Johnson13,14,15,16,17 in a truly historic case against Monsanto. Johnson — the first of 9,000 pending legal cases — claimed Monsanto’s Roundup caused his Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Forty-six-year-old Johnson sprayed about 150 gallons of Roundup 20 to 40 times per year while working as a groundskeeper for the Benicia school district in California, from 2012 through late 2015.18 His lawsuit, filed in 2016 after he became too ill to work, accused Monsanto of hiding the health hazards of Roundup.

According to the ruling, Monsanto “acted with malice or oppression” and was responsible for “negligent failure” by not warning consumers about the carcinogenicity of this pernicious weed killer. His court case, presided by Superior Court Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos, began June 18, 2018, and ended August 10 with a ruling in his favor.19

The jury ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to Johnson — an amount that effectively wipes out Monsanto’s reserve fund for environmental and litigation liability which, according to Bloomberg,20 totaled $277 million as of August 2018.

The evidence presented to the jury, including email correspondence and corporate documents, create a comprehensive narrative of corporate malfeasance and collusion with U.S. regulatory agencies, and it was this evidence that ultimately led to Johnson being awarded a quarter of a billion dollars in damages.

You can review many of these “Monsanto Papers” on the U.S. Right to Know website.21 To learn more you can also read “Spinning Science & Silencing Scientists: A Case Study in How the Chemical Industry Attempts to Influence Science,”22 a minority staff report dated February 2018, prepared for U.S. House members of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

In “The Monsanto Papers: Poisoning the Scientific Well,”23 a paper published in The International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine, June 2018, Leemon McHenry describes the importance of this cache of documents:

“The documents reveal Monsanto-sponsored ghostwriting of articles published in toxicology journals and the lay media, interference in the peer review process, behind-the-scenes influence on retraction and the creation of a so-called academic website as a front for the defense of Monsanto products …

The use of third-party academics in the corporate defense of glyphosate reveals that this practice extends beyond the corruption of medicine and persists in spite of efforts to enforce transparency in industry manipulation.”

What About the 800 Studies Showing Glyphosate Is Safe?

Following Johnson’s verdict, Monsanto vice president Scott Partridge released a statement saying “more than 800 scientific studies and reviews support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer.”

However, as noted by Brent Wisner, lead trial counsel for Johnson and thousands of other plaintiffs, those 800 studies did not address carcinogenicity at all.24 Rather, they were studies looking at safety issues such as whether the chemical causes eye irritation or skin rashes and other random effects.

Only 13 animal studies and half a dozen epidemiological studies have looked at the chemical’s carcinogenic potential, and the vast majority of those studies actually show a correlation between glyphosate — the active ingredient in Roundup — and cancer. They show it causes tumors in mice, and that it causes Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and genetic damage in humans.

It was evidence such as this that in 2015 led the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) — the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the “gold standard” in carcinogenicity research — to classify glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen.”25,26

In response, Monsanto launched an all-out attack on IARC and its researchers, and even lobbied to strip IARC of its U.S. funding. The American Chemistry Council, of which Monsanto is a member, also formed a front group called Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research,27 for the express purpose of discrediting the IARC and seeking to reform the IARC Monographs Program, which evaluates and determines the carcinogenicity of chemicals.28

Monsanto has also fought California’s Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment in court,29 trying to prevent the agency from adding glyphosate to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer.

Under California’s Proposition 65, all such chemicals must bear a warning label informing consumers of the potential risks. So far, the company’s attempts have all failed, and glyphosate-containing products will indeed be required to carry a cancer warning when sold in California.

Corrupted Science

The film also talks to Carey Gillam, a veteran investigative journalist and author of “Whitewash — The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science,” who has previously gone on record about how Monsanto tried to discredit her for writing critical pieces about the company and its toxic products.30

As noted by Gillam, scientific corruption is widespread, and few of those 800 studies that Monsanto clings to are in fact done by unbiased and independent researchers. Doubts about the science actually arose as early as the 1970s, when Monsanto hired a company called Industrial Biotech Laboratories to conduct some of the safety research required for approval in the U.S.

The lab got caught up in a fraud scandal as it was discovered the researchers had doctored much of the data. After an investigation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared the study results invalid. A study done in the mid-1980s subsequently led the EPA to classify glyphosate as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” but Monsanto refused to accept the findings.

After nearly a decade of strife, the EPA decided to go against the findings of its own toxicologists and declared glyphosate was not likely to be a human carcinogen. However, several EPA scientists refused to sign that final report. Kraven Laboratories, another lab hired by Monsanto to conduct its research, was also caught falsifying test results, not only for Roundup but also for other pesticides. Fifteen Kraven Lab employees were either fined or imprisoned as a result.

Monsanto has long argued it was a victim of fraud and had to spend large sums of money to redo the falsified studies. However, according to Gillam, it’s extremely difficult to ascertain which of those studies have in fact been redone, and which studies our regulatory agencies have relied on. The film also reviews how Monsanto pushed Roundup using false advertising that grossly overstated its safety.

Monsanto Never Did Necessary Cancer Testing

The Monsanto Papers reveal the company’s own employees were concerned about (and helped cover up) Roundup’s potential risks for decades. For example, in a 2003 email, Monsanto lead toxicologist Donna Farmer, Ph.D., writes, “You cannot say that Roundup is not a carcinogen … we have not done the necessary testing on the formulation to make that statement.”

In 2014, when Monsanto learned IARC was planning to investigate glyphosate’s carcinogenic potential, Farmer wrote, “… what we have long been concerned about has happened. Glyphosate is on for an IARC review…” Internal documents also reveal how Monsanto orchestrated the campaign to discredit IARC’s findings ahead of time.

As noted in the film, if Monsanto was so sure about the safety of its product, why would it preplan a campaign to discredit the IARC’s findings before the scientific review was even completed? In response, Partridge claims the company was simply preparing to educate the public about the truth, as it knew glyphosate “would be besmirched” by inaccurate conclusions.

IARC scientists disagree, saying they were merely following well-established toxicology procedures; they looked at the evidence, and came to a conclusion that fit the evidence at hand. One of the tactics used to counter IARC’s findings was to publish a ghostwritten review that supported glyphosate’s safety.

To this end, Monsanto convened a “panel of independent experts” and tasked them with reviewing the data and publishing an analysis of the evidence. However, email correspondence reveals William Heyden, safety lead for Monsanto, actively wrote and edited the review himself. All of this evidence was shown during Johnson’s jury trial, and these outright lies are ultimately what prompted the jury to award such extensive punitive damages.

How Monsanto Derailed EPA Action Following IARC’s Ruling

Part of Monsanto’s defense of glyphosate still hinges on the EPA’s ruling that the chemical is “not likely to be carcinogenic” to humans,31 but evidence reveals Monsanto had a strong hand in shaping the EPA’s views as well. Following strong criticism, the EPA convened a scientific advisory panel to reanalyze the scientific evidence and evaluate the strength of its decision that glyphosate is an unlikely carcinogen.

A four-day-long panel meeting was held in December, 2016, and right from the start, some of the experts expressed concerns about the quality of the EPA’s analysis.32 Some said the agency had violated its own guidelines by discounting data showing a positive association between glyphosate and cancer, while others questioned exclusion of data showing statistical significance.

Pointed questions were also raised about the chemical industry’s influence over regulators. As a general rule, peer-reviewed, published research, especially by independent scientists, tend to carry more merit than unpublished industry research.

But as discussed in the film, CropLife America, which represents Monsanto and other agribusinesses, demanded the EPA remove nationally recognized epidemiologist Peter Infante, Ph.D., from the scientific advisory panel, claiming he was incapable of impartiality because he would give more weight to independent research than industry studies.

The EPA complied, booting Infante off the panel. He still made an appearance at the meeting, though, and in his testimony, Infante urged the advisory panel not to ignore “impressive evidence” linking glyphosate to Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In the film, Infante says he agrees with the IARC review, which found evidence of carcinogenicity, but denies anti-industry bias.

How Monsanto Killed Safety Assessment by US Health Department

The film also discusses email correspondence showing an EPA official colluded with Monsanto to prevent the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), which is part of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, from conducting an investigation into glyphosate.

The EPA official in question was Jess Rowland, a key author of the EPA’s report that found glyphosate was unlikely to be carcinogenic to humans.33 At the time, Rowland was the associate director of the EPA’s Pesticide Health Effects Division.34 Email correspondence between EPA toxicologist Marion Copley and Rowland suggests Rowland may in fact have colluded with Monsanto to find glyphosate noncarcinogenic in the first place.35,36

In one email Copley cites evidence showing glyphosate is toxic to animals, adding “It is essentially certain that glyphosate causes cancer.” She directly accuses Rowland of playing “political conniving games with the science” to help Monsanto and other pesticide manufacturers. There’s also evidence showing Rowland warned Monsanto of the IARC’s determination months before it was made public,37 which gave the company time to plan its attack on the IARC.

As for the ATSDR investigation, Monsanto regulatory affairs manager Dan Jenkins recounts a conversation he’d had with Rowland in an email, in which Rowland said, “If I can kill this I should get a medal,”38,39 referring to the ATSDR investigation. Jenkins also wrote, “I doubt EPA and Jess can kill this, but it’s nice to know they’re going to actually make the effort.”

As it turns out, his pessimism was unwarranted. Another Monsanto memorandum notes the ATSDR “agreed, for now, to take direction from EPA,” showing Rowland did in fact succeed in his mission to thwart the ATSDR’s investigation of glyphosate.

By colluding with Monsanto to declare glyphosate safe and stopping toxicology evaluations by other federal offices, the EPA has used taxpayers’ money to hide the truth about a dangerous toxin and prevent consumers harmed by the chemical from being able to effectively prove their case in court. But despite such collusion, Johnson was able to make his case against Monsanto, and he’s not the only one. Another 9,000 plaintiffs are waiting for their day in court.

Monsanto’s Toxic Legacy Remains

While the Monsanto name has been retired, its toxic legacy will remain for decades to come. As noted by Johnson’s attorney, Wisner, nearly all chemicals produced over the past 100 years that have been shown to be extraordinarily toxic can be traced back to Monsanto, including DDT, PCBs, dioxins, Agent Orange and now glyphosate.

“Monsanto effectively made a business out of poisoning people, and getting away with it,” Wisner says.

“For the last 20 or 30 years, Monsanto has engaged in a systematic and deliberate campaign to attack any science that says their product is not safe, and to attack any scientist that has the courage to say something. They have a corporate culture that has zero interest in safety. It has only an interest in maintaining the ability of them to sell this product.”

Valerian Tea May Help You Relax and Sleep Better

If you’ve ever looked into natural ways to improve your sleep, you’ve probably noticed that one of the most common herbal remedies used for this purpose is valerian (Valeriana officinalis). In fact, it’s been prescribed for insomnia since the second century A.D., and its other therapeutic uses were even described by Hippocrates.1

One of the most popular ways to reap the potential health benefits of valerian is by brewing it into a cup of tea. Read on to learn more about the properties of this relaxing beverage and what you should keep in mind before including it in your diet plan.

What Is Valerian Tea?

Valerian tea is derived from the dried roots of the valerian plant.2 Also known as “nature’s valium,” valerian is a perennial herb that’s famous for its potent calming effect.3 It’s native to Europe and Asia, but is also cultivated in America and China, among other countries.4

Valerian grows up to 5 feet tall and has sweet-smelling flowers that are white, lavender or pink.5 Unlike its flowers, the roots of the valerian plant from which the tea is made have a distinctive earthy scent that many people find unpleasant.6 This odor is caused by its volatile oils and active compounds.7

Despite valerian root’s long history of use for medicinal applications, there is still no scientific agreement as to what specific compound is responsible for its sedative properties. Researchers suggest that its effects may be the result of the interaction between its chemical constituents.8

Health Benefits of Valerian Tea

The ability of valerian root tea to help promote sleep quality and quantity is perhaps its most valued health benefit. This herbal concoction is usually consumed by people with sleeping disorders such as insomnia, since its sedative effect makes it a great natural alternative to sleeping pills.9

According to studies, the valerenic acid from every sip of valerian tea may help increase your levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and inhibit its breakdown.10 GABA is an amino acid that plays a major role on the nerve impulses in your brain and nervous system.11 Low levels of it have been linked to anxiety and poor-quality sleep.12

Valerian tea may also help maintain high serotonin levels in your brain, which in turn helps improve your sleep by stabilizing your mood.13 Moreover, studies show that the extract of valerian root may help you fall asleep quicker and stay in deep sleep longer.14 In addition, a cup of valerian tea may provide the following benefits:

  • Helps ease anxiety and stress — When consumed in adequate amounts, valerian tea may help decrease your stress levels and anxiety with its anxiolytic property.15
  • Helps tone down hyperactivity — When combined with lemon balm, valerian extract may help reduce hyperactivity, as well as improve focus by up to 50 percent in children with very strong symptoms.16
  • Helps ease menstrual symptoms — A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine shows that valerian extract may help relieve menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and sleep disturbance.17

Valerian tea is also believed to be useful for helping relieve indigestion18 and boosting mental health.19 The famous herbalist Nicholas Culpeper also used valerian leaf tea for treating headaches.20

Valerian Tea Nutrition Facts

There isn’t a lot of information available regarding the nutritional value of valerian root tea. However, research shows that there are more than 150 chemical constituents present in valerian root, most of which are physiologically active.21

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology states that valerian contains 51.2 milligrams (mg) of total carotenoids and 44.87 mg of vitamin C.22 These compounds are just some of the beneficial attributes that you can receive when enjoying a cup of this herbal drink.

Valerian Tea Caffeine Content

Valerian tea contains zero caffeine,23 which makes it beneficial for promoting relaxation, relieving restlessness, and helping you sleep quicker and better.

How to Make a Cup of Freshly Brewed Valerian Root Tea

Valerian tea is very easy to prepare. Simply steep 1 teaspoon of valerian root in a cup of hot water. Let it steep for at least 10 minutes to make sure that its beneficial compounds are infused into the water.

If you find its flavor too bitter, you may opt to sweeten it with a bit of honey. Some people also prefer to mix valerian tea with other herbs, but you should avoid doing this if you’re not sure how a particular plant reacts with valerian root.24

How to Store Valerian Tea

As with other types of tea, valerian root tea also needs to be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight in order to preserve its freshness. It’s best to store it in an airtight glass container to keep out moisture and dirt. Keep in mind that tea absorbs odors easily, so be sure to store your valerian root tea away from foods that have a strong aroma.25

Take Note of These Valerian Root Tea Side Effects

Valerian tea is generally considered safe. However, it is possible to experience side effects when drinking this herbal tea, as it contains a number of powerful compounds. Some of the adverse effects associated with valerian tea include:26,27


Mental dullness



Stomach upset

Irregular heartbeat

It’s still unclear whether valerian tea is safe for pregnant and/or breastfeeding women. To guarantee you and your baby’s safety, it’s best to avoid drinking it altogether. You should also avoid valerian tea if you drink alcohol, or take sleeping aids or antidepressants.28,29

Other Natural Ways to Improve Your Sleep

Aside from drinking valerian tea, you can improve the quality of your sleep by making sure that you go to bed early and wake up at a specific time every day. Setting a consistent schedule helps regulate your circadian clock, allowing you to fall asleep easily at night.

You should also create a pre-bedtime routine to help your mind and body relax before going to sleep. Turning off your electricity and keeping the temperature cool inside your room during bedtime may help you sleep more comfortably. For more natural techniques to get a good night’s sleep, read my article “Want a Good Night’s Sleep? Then Never Do These Things Before Bed.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Valerian Tea

Q: Where can you buy valerian tea?

A: Valerian tea is available in groceries and online health food stores.

Q: How does valerian tea work?

A: Valerian tea’s mechanism of action potentially lies in the interaction of its multiple chemical constituents, which results in increased levels of GABA and serotonin. This promotes better sleep and a stable mood, making valerian tea useful for improving sleep quality, as well as alleviating anxiety, stress, hyperactivity and menstrual cramps.30

Q: Where does valerian tea come from?

A: Valerian tea is extracted from the brewed dried roots of the valerian herb.31

The Catholic Church and Pedophilia: Trafficking Children as Sex Slaves

In the years we have covered the topic of “medical kidnapping” and child abductions through child social services, we have exposed the corruption behind these “legal” kidnappings, and the reasons why they happen.

One of the reasons, tragically, that children are kidnapped and taken from their families is for child sex trafficking, which some have reported brings in more money than the illegal drugs and illegal gun trade, combined.

Sadly, religious institutions, many of which have their own child social services, can be among the worst offenders when it comes to trafficking and kidnapping children.

Read Entire Article »

A tropical plant native to Mexico shown to be effective at naturally killing bacteria

(Natural News) The jatropha (Jatropha curcas) is not limited to serving as a significant and sustainable source of biofuel. Moroccan researchers reported that the leaves of this perennial plant contain an essential oil that can kill microorganisms and scavenge free radicals. Native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America, the jatropha has spread across the world, having been transplanted…

“Satanic Cult Awareness” Training Guide

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 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

Date Name Description
February 2nd Candlemas 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.
March 21st Vernal Equinox
April 30th Beltane Also known as May eve. This is a major. Celtic festival marked by bonfires and fertility rites. In Christianity May 1st is Apostles Day.
June 22nd Summer Solstice Third highest satanic holiday.
July 31 to August 1st Lammas Feast of the Sun God. The beginning of autumn and the harvest season. The English festival of wheat harvest.
September 21st Autumnal Equinox Or Fall Day.
October 31st Halloween Or Samhain: First Highest Satanic holiday – Celebration of the beginning of the Celtic Year (Nov. 1st). In Catholicism, Nov. 1st is All Saints Day.
December 22nd 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.

Occult Calendar

(Dates based on 1988 calendar)

Date Celebration Type / Ceremony
Jan 1 New Years Day (Druid Feast)
Jan 7 St. Winebald Day Blood. Animal or Human Sacrifice (Dismemberment)
Jan 17 Satanic Revels Sexual Activity
Jan 20-27 Sacrifice Preparation Kidnapping, holding and ceremonial prep. of person for human sacrifice.
Jan 26 Grand Climax. Five weeks and one day after Winter Solar Solstice. Da Muer Ritual. Sacrifice Female/Child, Sex
Feb 1 Candleman’s Eve Welcoming Spring
Feb 2 Candlemans, Oimele, Lady Day, Imbok (SABBAT FESTIVAL) Welcoming Spring Marks the transformation of the Goddess from mother to young virgin. Mass initiations
Animal/human Sacrifice
Feb 2 Satanic Revels Sexual Activity
Feb 14 Shrovetide. Three days before Ash
Wednesday, Feb 17
March 1 St. Eichatadt Blood. Drinking of human blood for strength and homage to the demons
March 20 Spring (Vernal) Equinox (SABBAT FESTIVAL) Major Fertility SABBAT Feast Day. Sexual Orgies
Animal/Human Sacrifice
March 24 Feast of the Beast Bride of Satan in marriage ceremony. Sexual activities
March 31 Maunday Thursday,
Unholy Thursday
April 1 **Good Friday,
Day of Passion
Mocks death of Christ. Animal/Human
April 2 Easter Eve Day Blood. Human Sacrifice
April 3 **Easter Day, Unholy Sunday (Falls between March 22 – April 25). Followed by three days of fasting and chanting. Blood. Human Sacrifice
April 19-26 Sacrifice Prep. Kidnapping, holding and ceremonial prep. of person for human sacrifice
April 24 St. Mark’s Eve
April 25 Grand Climax. Five weeks and one day after Spring Equinox. Da Muer Ritual. Sexual Activity. Female Human Sacrifice. The sacrifice can be a child.
April 30 Walpurgisnacht, Roodmas Day, May Eve (SABBAT FESTIVAL) Welcoming Summer. One of the two most important SABBATS. Blood. Animal/Human Sacrifice
May 1 Beltane, Walpurgis Day, May Day Druid Fire Festival. Coven Initiation
May 12 **Ascension Day, Always the 40th day after Easter marking Ascension of Christ
May 13 Friday the 13th Blood/Sexual. Orgies & Animal Sacrifice
May 13 Samhain. Old celebration date until 8th century.
May 22 **Whitsun, Whitsunday Pentacost
June 2 **Corpus Christi Mocker of the feast of the body and blood of Christ
June 20 Summer Solar Solstice (SABBAT FESTIVAL) First day of summer (sun farthest from equator). Feast day. Orgies. Animal/Human Sacrifice
June 23 Midsummer’s Eve, St. John’s (the Baptist) Eve. Invokes the sun at the height of its strenght. Fire
July 1 Demon Revels Blood/Sexual association with demons. Sexual Activity
July 10 Unholy Day of the Paladium. Reading of old Satanism ritual books.
July 20-27 Sacrifice prep Blood. Kidnapping, holding and ceremonial preparation of person for human sacrifice
July 25 St. James’ Day Blood
July 26 Grand Climax. Five weeks and one day after solstice. Sexual Activity. Female Human sacrifice, it can be a child.
July 31 August Eve
August 1 Lammas Day, Lugnasadh (SABBATH FESTIVAL) Heralding Harvest Blood. Animal/Human Sacrifice
August 3 Satanic Revels
Sexual Ritual
Sexual Activity
August 24 St. Bartholomew’s Day Fire. Ceremonial animal sacrifice
Sept 7 Marriage to the Beast Sexual Satan Sexual/Blood. Sacrifice
Sept 20 Midnight Host Blood. Dismember & hand removed for Hands of Glory. Flesh eating usually occurs.
Sept 22 Autumn Equinox
Sun crosses equator and days and nights are equal length. First day of fall. Feast Day.
Blood and orgies. Animal/human sacrifice
Oct 22-29 Sacrifice prep. Kidnapping/Holding. Ceremonial prep. of person for human sacrifice
Oct 28 Grand Climax. Five weeks and one day after Autumn Equinox. Sexual Activity. Female human sacrifice, it can be a child.
Oct 30 Satanist High Unholy Day, Related to Halloween Blood. Human Sacrifice
Oct 31 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)
Nov 1 All Saints Day Celtic-Druid Fire Festival
Nov 1-2 Day of the Dead Celtic-Druid Holiday
Nov 4 Satanic Revels Sexual
Dec 21 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
Dec 22 Feast Day Orgies
Dec 24 Yuletide
Dec 24 Demon Revels. Da Muer Ritual. High Grand Climax. Blood. M/F Sacrifice
Dec 25 **Yuletide, Christmas
Celebrates the rebirth of the sun as a young babe to the great Goddess.
Dec 29 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 Ritual

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

Occult Symbols


"Satanic Cult Awareness" Training Guide

Witches’ Alphabet

"Satanic Cult Awareness" Training Guide

Runic Alphabet

"Satanic Cult Awareness" Training Guide

The full document is available at the NCJRS website.