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Evidence Cited as Hard Proof of the Existence of Satanic Cults

By Dawn Huxley
Posted on: 4/18/2002

Dawn goes over some of the "best" evidence supporting the idea that Satanic cults exist throughout the United States, and finds it lacking.


Maybe this essay is slightly outdated, but I still think it is necessary.

I think we have all heard the stories about Satanic cults operating across this nation — indeed, across the globe. In this era where such claims are greeted with skepticism, if not down-right unbelief, a minority of believers still persist in their claims of widespread, Satan-worshiping cults that practice human sacrifice and subject children to the most depraved acts in ritualistic ceremonies.

What follows is what some believers uphold as “hard” proof of these cults’ existence.

The Matamoros Murders

In April of 1989, following the disappearance of college student Mark Kilroy during his Spring Break in Mexico, thirteen mutilated bodies, including Kilroy’s, were discovered at a ranch near Matamoros, Mexico. Also found at the grisly scene were “so-called cauldrons’ [later dubbed ngangas]… supposedly filled with offal mixed with human remains.” [1] In seminars devoted to the topic of evil cults, cult cops sometimes cite these bizarre, horrific murders as proof of the existence of Satanic cults that kill in fantastic, human-sacrifice rituals. However, even this occurrence, under close scrutiny, does not hold up to the cult cops’ claims.

Almost from the get-go, the Texas newspapers dubbed the killings as satanically motivated. (For instance, the lead story in the Bryan/College Station Eagle on April 12 trumpeted the headline “UT student’s body found in grave: Satanic sacrifice by drug smugglers suspected in dozen deaths.” [2]) The gang, led by Adolpho Constanzo, were characterized as “satanic drug smugglers” who had “sacrificed” several people [3] in order to gain protection from Satan. Though there was evidence of torture to the victims, false claims of cannibalism abounded as the story quickly spread, despite evidence to the contrary.

Indeed, the gang was involved with drug-smuggling, but Satanism was not involved as the wild rumors claimed, including those from Texas law-enforcement. What did become known was that Constanzo terrified his enemies and manipulated his followers by practicing his own blend of Afro-Caribbean ritual practices, including santeria and palo mayombe, neither of which condone human sacrifice. Later it was admitted by one of the arrestees of the drug gang that Constanzo was greatly influenced by, and forced his drug gang to watch, the American film The Believers, apparently an influential source of his religious ritual ideas. [4] Basically, this was a case of a drug gang lead by a sadistic, possibly psychotic, man with unusual religious ideas derived from various sources to his own end. He actually came to believe that by abducting a white American and killing him for ritual purposes would protect his drug trade. But, devil-worshiping or Satanism were never involved. For this reason, cult cops and supporters of the satanic conspiracy should not use this example as evidence for their conspiracy theories.

The Toledo Dig

A young girl vanished in Ohio in 1982, and local rumors persisted that she had been abducted by a Satanic cult. This eventually led to the infamous “Toledo Dig” on June 21-22, 1985. A local sheriff, operating under a “tip” from an informant, ordered the excavation of a garbage heap which supposedly had been the dumping grounds for Satanists trying to dispose of bodies from as far back as 1969. [5]

The scene was set. Over one hundred reporters, some with television crews, and 50 cops from various states were in attendance to witness the unearthing of the (first) proof of the actual handiwork of Satanists. Unfortunately, the dig was a failure, and everyone went home.

Well, almost everyone.

Super-Cult-Cop Dale Griffis claimed to have found “occult relics” authenticating the site as a frequent Satanist hang-out. These findings included a “headless doll, two old curved knives, and some torn children’s clothes.” [6] Dr. George Greaves writes
…on the day before the summer solstice… [during the dig] items found were animal bones, a headless doll with nails driven through its feet, a pile of sixty male children’s left shoes, and a nine-foot cross with ligatures attached. In a house adjoining the property were found drawings of a goat’s head, pentagrams, and an anatomy dissection book. [7]
Whereas Greaves finds these items “quite remarkable,” I do not. Knowing that the land was a dump site, I suspect one could find quite a lot of things. (Finding animal bones means nothing — one should expect to find animal bones in wooded areas, especially isolated trash heaps.) I can only hope that anatomy books, including ones on dissection, aren’t too sinister since I still have many from college. Regardless, it must be noted that there was a shack adjacent to the property, “once inhabited by a homeless, psychiatric patient, who would try to scare away curious teenagers with a variety of hocus-pocus’ items.” [8]

The homeless man had at one time raised hogs, which could also account for numerous animal bones. When one of the hogs would die he would bleach out the skull and set it on a stake beside the road. He would also take road-killed dogs and hang them alongside the house. As an additional touch, he would post the property with “Keep Out” signs decorated with skulls and backward writing. When [teens] ignored these warnings, he would wait until cars were parked, then put on a large Santa Claus beard painted black and pop out of the woods. Other times, he might wave a small “voodoo bag” or homemade cross in his hand and threaten intruders with a curse. [9]

As for the “cultic” items of interest, not everyone present on the scene agreed on the meaning of the items. The “nine foot cross with ligatures attached” looked to one reporter like “half of a clothes line post.” [10] The “headless doll with nails through its feet” resembled, to a different reporter, as just a doll that had been stapled to a base and become entwined in yarn with other trash. [11]

Lastly, skeptics should take note that the sheriff’s “informant” was a local Baptist minister who owned the site. [12] As for the missing young girl whose disappearance led to the Toledo Dig; she was later found by the F.B.I. in 1988 living with her non-satanist grandfather who had abducted her in the first place. [13]

Unfortunately for all, the “Toledo Dig,” despite its lack of evidence supporting Satanic cults, has found its place in legend, and it is still cited as evidence supporting the existence of demonic cults.

The McMartin Tunnels

Yes, I unfortunately refer to this costly, infamous day-care case where, though the defendants were acquitted, its mention manages to shove its way into any discussion about Satanism and Satanic cults. [14] Here I only want to discuss the rather recent rumor that tunnels were actually found after the excavation of the site during the McMartin trial.

During the first dig in 1985, nothing was found except that “parents [of McMartin children] were implanting bogus evidence.” [14] But in 1990, the site was once again excavated, but this time around, the parents hired a well-known cult cop. Afterwards, the dig team published their findings in the Journal of Psychohistory claiming to have finally found the mysterious tunnels under the school. Nevertheless, they have refused to disclose the archeological report on the dig, which includes a section by a geologist questioning their claims. [16] Believers in Satanic Ritual Abuse (or “Sadistic Abuse”) have merely regurgitated these assertions of found tunnels in their recovery literature. [17]

Interestingly, the believers in these tunnels have not made mention of the fact that parents had access to and participated in the dig in 1990, despite the find that parents had been caught planting bogus evidence during the first 1985 dig. Nor has anyone made mention of the fact that, since the tunnels were supposed to be obvious and easily accessible from inside the school building, it took five years and two digs to find anything at all, if there was, indeed, anything to be found.

As Nathan and Snedeker succinctly put it in their 1995 book Satan’s Silence:
…the McMartin tunnels entered the intransigent lore of ritual-abuse conspiracy theory. That theory is now disseminated at crackpot therapy conferences and in publications put out by everyone from mental health professionals to ultra-right wingers. Further, it can be found on computer bulletin boards devoted to Kennedy assassination obsessions; UFOlogy; and claims that the FBI is covering up a nationwide child-kidnaping and murder ring in which the White House is implicated; or that the CIA is coercing middle-class children into sex-abuse and Manchurian Candidate brainwashing schemes, employing trained dolphins as rapists under the direction of a shadowy Hasidic physician named Greenbaum. [18,19]
The Country Walk Day-Care Case

Of all the “hard proof” citations of Satanic Ritual Abuse, the Country Walk case in Dade County, Forida, seems to be the best one in backing up the claims of grotesque ritual-abuse in day-care. [20] Francisco Fuster and his immigrant, teenage wife Ileana were accused of the same types of crimes as other defendants in similar cases like McMartin. [21] However, unlike those cases, the Country Walk case differed in two significant ways: it had seemingly indisputable medical evidence of sexual abuse and a confession.

The Fusters were arrested and accused in 1984 of the routine charges — sexually molesting children, videotaping them in sexual acts with adults, participation in bizarre rituals with masks, killing of animals, drinking of blood, coprophilia, etc. Here, I will only focus on the medical evidence first and then on Ileana’s confession.

The problem began when a three-year-old boy, enrolled in the Fusters’ home baby-sitting service, said to his mother during a bath, “Kiss my body. Ileana kisses all the babies’ bodies.” [22] Unfortunately, this was just another example of cross-cultural differences, and Ileana did admit to kissing babies’ bodies.

She [Ileana] was from rural Honduras, a Latino culture where it is common for women to touch and kiss the genitals of their young children until they are about three or four years old. Such behavior is not considered sexual, but transported to the Miami suburbs, it was subject to gross misinterpretation. [23]

This incident led to the interviewing of all the children attending (and who had attended) the Fusters’ home day-care. As usual, by using leading questions and pressure on the young children [24], the case exploded into one not only about child sexual abuse, but ritual-abuse as well. During the medical examination of the children for signs of sexual abuse nothing turned up in any of them except for one — Francisco Fuster’s son. He tested positive for gonorrhea. (This positive result was partially responsible for Fuster’s later conviction.) The boy denied being abused to the state-appointed therapists, which only made them grill him further until he admitted to being abused. [25]

Three years later, however, after the throat culture had been thrown away, the Center for Disease Control claimed that the test used to detect such bacteria (as gonorrhea) was unreliable. “What had happened was that the test used on these children [and on Fuster’s son] could not distinguish bacteria that cause gonorrhea from other harmless ones that normally live in children’s throats.” [26] Once removed from the questioning room, Fuster’s son reversed himself and insists to this day that his father never abused him or any other children in his presence. [27]

Ileana, seventeen years old at her arrest, was held, sometimes nude [28], in solitary confinement in a barren cell lit twenty-four hours a day for almost a year. Nonetheless, she was steadfast in her and her husband’s innocence. Under pressure to “confess” from her own lawyer, she was put through hypnosis to “uncover” the memories of the abuse she supposedly underwent by her husband and the abuse to the children. She says of these sessions:
[The two psychologists] explained to me that I was having problems and that they were there to help me… They diagnosed that I was having a blackout of events… they came almost everyday. And then I started seeing them at nights… I kept saying I was innocent but nobody would listen to me. And they said that I was suffering from a blackout and that those things had happened because the kids said it and the kids don’t lie… And you know, before I know it, I was having nightmares… And they said that was a way of my system remembering what had actually happened. And then you know, I argue that a little bit, but I got to a point that I was believing that probably those things happened and I just didn’t remember because they were so shocking. [29]
During this period, Ileana became extremely distrustful of her own lawyer. Shirley Blando, the chaplain in the women’s jail, said, “[Ileana] was afraid of her lawyer… She would say, ‘They want me to say something that is not true.’” [30] However, Ileana soon buckled under pressure and began to say that Frank had abused her. According to defense investigator Stephen Dinerstein, Ileana was transformed from a young lady at the time of her arrest looking “well-nourished [with] stylishly groomed, long, shiny hair and clear skin” to someone “suffering from massive weight loss, her hair was matted, her body smelled, [with] sores and infections on her skin” during the confinement. [31] Years later in an affidavit, Dinerstein wrote:
Over the period of incarceration [Ileana had] changed from a 17-year old somewhat quiet small little scared girl to a constantly crying shaking tormented person who understands little if anything about the whole process and is now being threatened and promised and is totally now in a state of confusion to the point of not having the slightest idea as to month and date. [32]
During this time Ileana’s mother came to see her, but Ileana did not even recognize her. [33]

When Ileana did plead guilty in court to several counts of sexual abuse, she said this to the Judge:
I would like you to know that I am pleading guilty not because I feel guilty, but because I think — I think it’s the best interest… for my own interest and for the children and for the court and all the people that are working on the case. But I am not pleading guilty because I feel guilty… I am innocent of all those charges. I wouldn’t have done anything to harm any children. I have never done anything in my life… I am innocent. I am just doing it — I am pleading guilty to get all of this over… For my own good. [34]
Ileana was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in a juvenile prison and then deported to Honduras. In 1994, when Francisco Fuster was trying to get a new trial, his lawyer flew to Honduras to get a deposition from Ileana. Ileana retracted her previous confession in a sixty-one page document. Later she claimed to she was “frightened of repercussions and retracted her retraction.”



It’s been a long time since I revisited this essay (as of 09/30/2000). I have “slacked off” on it, but what I wrote still stands. And, I do intend to return to this topic every now and again, so this isn’t the end of my “essay.”



Notes

1.) Hicks, p. 72
2.) Green in Richardson, Best and Bromley, pp. 243-244
3.) Hicks p. 73
4.) Ibid p. 76
5.) Cleavland Plain Dealer, June 21, 22
6.) Victor, p. 20
7.) Greaves in Sakheim and Devine, p.67
8.) Victor, p. 333
9.) Ellis in Richardson et al. pp. 290-291
10.) Ibid p.290
11.) Ibid.
12.) Victor, p. 333
13.) Ibid. p. 129
14.) More later on this page about McMartin
15.) Nathan and Snedeker, p. 242
16.) Ibid.
17.) Bass and Davis, p.320 (3rd Edition)
18.) Nathan and Snedeker, p. 243
19.) More to be on this page about the “Dr. Greenbaum/Dr. Green Satanist conspiracy”
20.) More to be on this page about ritual-abuse in day-care
21.) At the time of this writing, Francisco Fuster is still in prison over the Country Walk case.
22.) Quoted in Natan and Snedeker, p. 109
23.) Ibid, p. 110
24.) More to be on this page about leading questions and young children
25.) Nathan and Snedeker, pp. 194-195
26.) Ibid.
27.) Ibid.
28.) Pendergrast, p. 372
29.) Quoted in Pendergrast, pp. 372-373
30.) Quoted in Nathan and Snedeker, pp. 172-173
31.) Ibid. pp. 172-173
32.) Quoted in Nathan and Snedeker, p. 173
33.) Ibid.
34.) Quoted in Nathan and Snedeker, p. 173




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