Personally, I was really hoping that this was a guide to "Satanic Cults" in the same sense that a guide to guns, cars, or computers would be "how to use them as an effective tool as you fight crime." It'd be like how cops often use informants or moles in gangs to get information to prevent major crimes, or how so many TV shows these days include someone who is clearly not a cop consulting on cop cases with their unique brand of intelligence.
After all, if a successful show can be drawn from a pair of fake psychics, multiple crime writers, convicted con men, slobbering dogs, and children, why not a Satanic cult using their knowledge and skills to help fight occult crimes?
Call me, Hollywood, this pitch just gets better.
But in the meantime, here's my look at the actual training video for cops teaching them how to recognize and handle Satanic cults in America.
Needless to say, this was recorded back in those dark, Satanic times of 1994.
|Yes, all the music is on a synthesizer, why do you ask?|
First let's meet our host, Cordon L. Coulter. He's a cop, a pastor, an avid sweater wearer, and if you put a beret on him, he'd come across as the less cool double of Jamie Hyneman.
He's also the writer, producer, and star of this film, if that gives you any indications about how big a budget this production had.
He makes sure to express early on that "in Satanic occultism, that which is good is bad, and that which is bad is good." Since this came out in 1994, I can't help but wonder if Gordon there was just horribly confused by the rise of the hip-hop scene in America.
Apparently finding the ritualistic nature of some crimes can be extremely hard to do, which is why this guide exists in the first place.
Of course, first we have to figure out just what kind of Satanist we're dealing with. First, are your dabblers, people who "use it for fun and games, may be involved in some video games, that kind of level. Possibly a little graffiti." The second level is spiritual involvement, trying to find out the answers to mysteries by exploring Satanism. Then you have the criminal involvement, people who actually commit crimes in the name of whatever demon they're worshipping (yeah, I know, it's supposed to always be Satan, but some of the Satanic artwork they show is clearly not of just Satan).
After that, we need to know how to recognize locations where Satanic activity might happen, and for that, we need an expert.
I don't even know where to start with that hair.
Now, what's interesting is that Eric Pryor leads us into a park where he says he and his followers used to regularly do Satanic rituals on their holidays (ones involving the moon, I guess. Does the moon have a lot of symbolism with Satan?). Were the general public made aware of these rituals at any point? Were the police ever advised to hang out in this particular park once Eric renounced his priesthood? "Hey, yeah, we used to do some sketchy stuff there...you might want to hang out in the park next, say, Tuesday. Between 2 and 3 in the morning. No reason. Watch for spray paint."
Eric also makes sure to point out that there are two communities that use the park: the pagan/occult community and the homosexual community. "They frequently go hand in hand."
But before we can really get into what he means by there being a park with, if we're going by 90's stereotypes, the "best dressed occultists ever," we immediately find a sign of Satanism within seconds of entering the park!
Between the pentacle (which he is quick to point out is -not- Satanic because it's facing the wrong way, which must mean it's a homosexual graffiti tag) and an upside down cross on a nearby tree (which apparently is Satanic and no longer represents the crucifixion of St. Peter). Apparently he's also a nature expert, able to rub the extremely similar spray paint on the tree and determine it's "still fresh" without looking at his hand to see if any came off.
There's also signs on the ground indicating the path people would take to get to the "party" as it were, and while the "666" might scream "Satan," the weird writing of "Set" reminds me more of that time people thought they saw the word "sex" in The Lion King.
There's other symbolism on a nearby building, and Joe Dirt here is more than happy to connect the "666" and the "eye" to Satanism.
|But not the Buddhist swastika, clearly that's a peaceful gang who uses similar spray paint patterns.|
I do find it hilarious that they point out where the ceremony (whatever it was) took place has a "N" on the ground for north and an "S" for south, but they aren't pointed in the right directions. "Someone had a bad sense of direction." This is all part of a lesson on how to investigate scenes, the first part of which is "look at the ground for clues."
He demonstrates this by picking up a rope from the ground, explaining how it's a noose, and then showing off the fact that there's blood on it, meaning a non-cop just interfered with what could easily be an active crime scene. Other clues are conveniently lying all over the place.
I think the lesson to take from here is "never go into this park."
The video then goes into an explanation of the Nine Satanic Statements (for those undercover cultists, I guess?) and... y'know, I can't help but wonder at some of these.
"Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires."
Is- is this a thing? Are there psychic vampires fighting Satanists?
Okay, look, Hollywood, I didn't think it was possible, but my TV series pitch just got a thousand percent better.
We get to learn the steps to be initiated into the Satanic Church, and then we get into a scene that surprises me. Gordon takes a moment to explain that "all Satanic people do not commit crimes." However, he says that some people do things that might lead to crimes that look "innocent" at first glance, like vandalism, trespassing, rape, child sexual abuse, arson, corpse theft, or cemetery vandalism among so many other things.
Needless to say, Gordon encourages everybody watching the video to have their investigators look deeper to see if a crime has any occult connections should anything from vandalism to murder show up in their report.
Back to Eric, he takes the time to make sure we understand voodoo, witchcraft, and Satanism are different things. We're guided through the tools used and the ritual set-ups for each one. It's surprisingly a lot more boring than you'd expect, except that Eric goes through the motions of actually lighting candles and pouring oils. He doesn't sacrifice a cat, but you'd think there'd be a problem with this.
I do need to make a correction, though. In a list of common Satanist symbols, we get the classics like the 666, the upside down pentacle, and the upside down cross, but they also include the swastika (which was apparently only ever used by warlocks) and the anarchy symbol (you know, that A in a circle that your rebellious "stick it to the man" cousin used to wear on a sweatshirt in the late 90s).
A simple glossary of terms follows, and I'm a bit surprised that the video explains that the "hand of glory" (a picked left hand removed from a dead person) is used to ward off "evil spirits." They're Satanists, aren't "evil spirits" what they're all about? I mean, unless this is those psychic vampires again that they mentioned earlier.
We then get into child abuse and ritualistic child abuse, and...well, I don't really find much funny here, except that for some reason the diagrams of everything that was done to the woman they have recounting her story is all drawn as if it was a child given a piece of paper and crayons. I realize these might be drawn by the victim, but they kind of take away from the impact of the message.
Okay, we're going to skip past all the sexual abuse of children, and jump ahead to another amazing sweater.
You know what's even better than his sweater? This guy's jacket.
I'm pretty sure I saw someone wear that exact same jacket collar in an episode of Saved By The Bell.
This guy probably means well, but between his appearance and the way he describes how young people get involved with Satanic behavior sounds more like they're trying to join the Foot Clan.
Gordon is clearly not a professional actor, by the way, since during a close up shot we see him regularly looking off camera to read from his cue cards.
We go through the Satanic calendar, and then, I'll admit, the next part is also rather fascinating in a completely non-sarcastic way, because it gives us examples of actual crimes and criminals who were involved in "Satanic" behavior. If the video ended here, it might actually redeem itself, because while it might not be completely accurate as to the history or actual symbolism used in some things, criminals such as Adolfo Constanzo, Clem Grogan (who had a connection to the Manson family), and Ricky Kasso were individuals that had instances of occultism in their behavior that were key parts of the investigation.
Now, the fact that the video gives the signs but acknowledges that things need to be investigated before you just assume "Satan" is rather key here, since many things originally believed to be connected to Satanism (video games, role-playing games, rock and roll music, heavy metal music) were blamed for the crimes committed by individuals unfairly. Being able to recognize what is and isn't actually "Satanic" might help build connections to behavior and help build links to solve crimes. But it needs to be handled delicately, like you would any other type of religion out there. Being religious, even in a cult, doesn't automatically make you a criminal.
But, no. The movie doesn't end there. First, Gordon shows back up in a shirt that, quite honestly, I wish I owned.
Gordon is here to demonstrate Satanic markings that can sometimes be found on people, using a real life woman in a bikini to demonstrate instead of, say, a mannequin.
|Set dressings provided by: your local high school and Manos: The Hands of Fate.|
We end with Gordon warning us that Satanic crime is so prevalent that it could happen anywhere at any time. Now, to be fair, since this video was made, I can't say I've seen that many occult crimes happen around the neighborhoods I've lived in or visited. I don't often see Satanic symbols crudely spray painted all over parks.
Then again, I don't go into parks any more. Those places are just CRAWLING with Satanists and homosexuals, often hand in hand. Satansexuals. Gaytanists. Homosatanists.
But hey, at least now I know how to accurately draw the symbols I'll need for my cops and Satanists fighting psychic vampires TV series, "The Devil You Know."
Hollywood, call me, I'll write a dozen scripts for free.