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The Innocent and the Damned

Subject: The Innocent and the Damned
by Gary Cartwright, Texas Monthly, 
 April 1994; pp. 100-5, 145-156.
The tales of satanic ritual abuse usually started with touching or
fondling, then progressed to oral, genital, and anal penetrations;
forced injections of mind-altering drugs; monsters or witches
enacting bizarre rituals that included defecating and urinating
on their victim's heads and forcing them to eat feces and drink
blood and urine; and finally torture, mutilation, and murder. The
rituals were almost always filmed. The vicims were forced to
participate in the murders and often made to eat the flesh and
drink the blood of those who had been sacrificed. These were not
merely the sadistic acts of pedophiles, but the sophisticated
techniques by which devil-wroshiping perpetrators programmed
and controlled victims, ultimately turning them *Manchurian
Candidate*-style robots. The perpetrators were often the parents
and grandparents of the victims. The cults went back many
generations and were as powerful as they were secretive,
including among their ranks doctors, lawyers, the clergy, police
officers, and prominent business and political leaders.


In *Michelle Remembers*, the 1980 book that introduced satanic
ritual abuse, a photograph of an asymmetrical rash on Michelle's
neck was labeled a body memory of the "devil's tail." The book
was written by a former Catholic priest who is now a
psychiatrist and his wife and former patient, Michelle. Under
hypnosis, Michelle recovered bits and piece of memories in
which the former priest discerned satanic motifs. Though there
was no evidence that anything Michelle remembered was true,
the book became a nonfiction best-seller. Within a few years,
the FBI was getting reports from women all over the country
who claimed that they had escaped from devil-worshiping cults.


On January 28, 1992, [the son of Sean and Sandra Nash] watched
television footage of the fugitives Dan and Fran Keller [whom
he had accused of molesting him] being returned to Austin in
handcuffs and chains, and afterward he began to talk about Satan.
He told his parents that Dan and Fran were on Satan's team, and
hat Dan read out of Satan's bible and put spells on people. He
told Dan shot people, pushed their bodies into holes, then waved
his staff in the air and called to Satan. A short time later, Carol
Staelin reported that her son was also talking about Satan's
bible. The Nash boy said that he couldn't see the cover of the bible
because it was always concealed behind a magazine. But Carol
Staelin's son described it as a large blue book, about the size
of a telephone directory, with illustrations of clothed adults 
abusing naked children. In his scenario, Fran would ask Dan,
"What do I do to {the Staelin boy} next?" and Dan would look it
up in the book and read her the instructions.


Exploring the woods behind the day care center, [Sean] Nash
discovered what he considered evidence of satanic activity --
fire circles, a doll with the arms and legs ripped off, and
some bones of small animals, which he had analyzed at the
Balcones Research Center.  Carol Staelin suspected that
district attorney Ronnie Earle was involved in satanism....
On her way to Check out Earle's home, she passed a large goat
farm -- "Goats are used in satanic ceremonial rituals," she
observed -- then came to the walled compound of county
buildings that included a sheriff substation and the Precinct
road maintenance headquarters, places where her son said the
kids had been taken. "Imagine my shock when I saw that cozy
little arrangement," she told me later. "But that was nothing
compared to what happened next. I backed out of the driveway
and continued down the road, and to my shock, the first
driveway I came to was his -- Mr. District Attorney himself.
I literally started shaking all over."


After undergoing several hours of intense interrogation by
Texas Rangers, [Doug] Perry implicated not only Dan and
Fran Keller, Janise White, and Raul Quintero in the sexual
abuse of children but also himself. This was the final brick
that the prosecution needed to build its case -- an adult

The following day, after obtaining a lawyer, Perry retracted
his statement. But the damage was done: He later pleaded
guilty and was sentenced to ten years probation. Perry
claimed that the Rangers had intimidated and pressured him,
insisting that they could prove that he was part of the
conspiracy and warning him what happened to child
molesters in prison. "I was scared," he said. "I didn't
know what I was doing." A polygraph expert testified that
Perry was lying when he said he didn't know what went on
at Fran's Day Care. In fact, Perry was lying, about that at
least. While he was still married to "the bad sheriff,"
Janise White, he had read a copy of the offense report
against the Kellers.

Perry's statement described in graphic detail a textbook
example of pedophilia: how he and hte Kellers and Raul
Quintero did terrible things to a boy and a girl (later
identified as the Nash boy and the Chaviers girl), when
Janise White took pictures. There was nothing
ritualistic or ceremonial in his description, no robes or
candles or satanic bible: It read like a page out of *The
Story of O*. But the statement was made-to-order for
the case the prosecution was planning.


The defense, not the prosecution, introduced satanism
into the trail. The court had appointed two attorneys
to defend the Kellers -- Dain Whitworth for Dan Keller,
Lewis Jones for Fran Keller -- but had given them
little money to hire investigators or bring in expert
witnesses. Whitworth and Jones didn't know about the
satanic allegations until after the trial started. They
found them almost by accident when the judge allowed
them to subpeona Donna David's worksheets. They took
a calculated risk that the jury would find the satanic
allegations so incredible that it would doubt the
validity of the simpler sexual abuse charges. The
gamble didn't work.


The fear of cults is part of a recurring pattern in our
society, surfacing time and again during periods of
widespread social upheaval. Satanic ritual abuse is
to the 1990's what McCarthyism was to the 1950's
and what the Salem witch trials were to the 1690's
-- a mythic expression of deep-seated anxiety over
complex changes in family and values....


Accounts of satanic ritual abuse have ... appeared in
countless articles, books, and made-for-television
movies such= as *Do You Know the Muffin Man?*
Though the *Muffin Man* was total fiction, its ending
was straight out of the true believer's handbook:
Parents discover day care teachers worshiping the devil
amid piles of kiddie porn....



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