A surviving remnant of the bad-ol’ “Satanic Panic” days are the “occult crime experts” who travel the country speaking in various small towns to law enforcement groups, school boards, and various churches. Spreading misinformation, sowing unwarranted fear of teen subcultures, and presenting isolated “ritual” crimes as part of a larger evil occult underground. A paper in Danville, Illinois gives unquestioning press-release coverage of just such an “expert”.
“Teenagers who like techno-rock music may sometimes be confused with teens fully into the “goth” look and music, Don Rimer pointed out to a group of 90 people who attended his “Ritual Crime & the Occult” seminar Wednesday in Danville … Rimer, an internationally recognized authority on the expanding youth sub-culture that embraces the occult, is a retired Virginia Beach police officer who now consults with agencies faced with bizarre ritual crimes. He also speaks to schools, churches, civic groups and professional organizations around the country, pointing out dangers teenagers face when they begin to dabble in the occult. Rimer told the group there are many signs teens display that can warn parents their child is feeling disassociated from his or her peers and ripe for recruitment by an array of predators who call themselves vampires, Satanists or any number of other occult followers.”
Gods forbid your child slides down the slippery slope from “techno-rock” (a term I have never heard a young person use) into “goth”! He or she would be a sitting duck for occult vampire Satanic predators! Rimer claims that kids who aren’t involved in “sports teams, church groups and other organizations” are especially endangered (I’m truly surprised the vampires didn’t get me). As for Rimer, it just so happens that he has had an initially good, but increasingly chilly and hostile relationship with modern Pagans. Kerr Cuhulain, a former police officer, who has spent a lot of time highlighting these “experts”, spoke with several Pagans unhappy with Rimer’s presentations.
“I have heard him speak and he does not, repeat does not like Wiccans. He thinks everything that is not Christian is Satanic and he does not like being corrected. I’ve tried to correct him in several talks that he had given locally and he does not appreciate being corrected, because he finds Satanism in everything that he does, including pentacles. He thinks pentacles are the work of Satan, and if you wear one, you are a Satanist. He is considered an ‘expert’ around here on occultism and the powers that be around here like calling him in to identify items found at crime scenes or in teen’s bedrooms as Satanic. He is almost becoming a one trick pony in that he finds what he seeks.”
The problem with these “experts” is that their misinformation can help create the very chaos they claim to want to prevent. A parent who once tolerated their son or daughter’s exploration of non-Christian faiths could quickly turn hostile once they are convinced that such activities are part of some sort of occult criminal conspiracy (not to mention the danger of local out Pagans being branded as “predators”). When joined with school officials and local law enforcement who believe the same thing, you soon have a self-fulfilling prophecy of alienation and suicidal thoughts. Rimer, in his obsession with all things “Satanic”, carries an infectious plague of intolerance and fear wherever he goes.