Back in November I wrote a post about the remaining “occult crime experts” that still travel the country informing local law enforcement, parents, and community leaders about the “evil” that lurks within their neighborhoods. That particular post singled out retired police officer (and occult “expert”) Don Rimer. Rimer was singled out in the past by Kerr Cuhulain (himself a former police officer) as someone with a decidedly mixed track record of being fair and accurate.
“I believe that Rimer is sincere … I think that he is making some effort to properly define Wicca to selected audiences. I think that he is doing this because he knows that people like me are watching and he is concerned about liability. I don’t believe for a minute that he knows the difference between Neo-Pagan religions and Satanism. Rimer has said that he is willing to listen and learn and I will endeavor to educate him.”
After my post Rimer appeared to defend his reputation in the comments section.
“I teach parents the warning signs. If that is fear, yes I teach fear … I teach law enforcement about the rituals. If that is fear, yes I teach fear … I will continue to teach, consult, and investigate Ritual Crime as long as those crimes are committed. I provide that service to local, state, and federal agencies across the United States and Canada.”
Since then he has popped up now and then to take issue with how I report on a story.
“You have written about me before, accusing me of hating Wiccans. Wrong, wrong, wrong.”
Well here we go again. WAVY in Virginia reports on the “vampires” in our midst, and guess who pops up as an “expert” in all things evil and vampiric? You guessed it!
“With the advent of Twilight and TrueBlood, we’re seeing people, not just children, not just teenagers, but people are starting to take on that kind of a lifestyle,” says [Don] Rimer. “Very reminiscent of what people did when Ann Rice wrote Interview with a Vampire . Now people are playing games. New games are coming out. There’s new merchandising that is associated with this and as long as they play their games and conduct their behavior lawfully, no one has a problem with that, but we’re having crimes associated with it.”
The text really doesn’t do justice to the sensationalistic television segment, complete with strange camera angles, spooky lighting, fog, and sound effects. Rimer goes on to depict a couple high-profile crimes as connected to the vampire craze, and inserts only the barest whisp of a disclaimer regarding the millions of people who enjoy vampire-themed media or participate in the vampire subculture/lifestyle and don’t commit horrendous crimes.
“Like in any society, we have good and evil. There are people involved in that that have no intention of committing crimes and then those who do.”
After that CYA (cover your assets) moment, he quickly veers back into how dangerous the vampire life is.
“There are people in that culture (who) believe they have the right to take human blood by whatever means necessary. Then others are just playing a game. It’s just a game. It’s a movie, it’s a book and we just want to look that way. We’re just going to go to a club, but there’s all kinds and children getting involved in that don’t know the difference.”
Oh, and like all occult “experts”, Rimer gives the vague checklist of “warning signs”. Wearing black, writing backwards, strange new friends, “dark” make-up, and the number “7″ (which he claims is the vampiric number). The kind of list that gives parents the excuse they need to ship their children off to boarding schools, and not face that the problem could be with them, not their kids. I’m not saying that the occasional occultist loon-bat doesn’t occasionally pop a gasket and do something horrible, but these “trends” of occultic crimes are all correlation without causation (and very often have very mundane motivations behind them). In fact, many “occult” crimes could have just as easily been “crazy Christian” crimes if the troubled souls in question had picked up a Bible instead of “Twilight”. Yet you don’t see retired police officers traveling the country informing people of the hazardous effects of improper Bible-reading, giving lists of Christian “warning signs” (prays a lot, starts quoting the Bible randomly, sees demons), and intoning darkly about the dangers of unsupervised Bible study.
By linking troubled teens and isolated crimes with any vague occult angle they cand find, ritual crime experts create a comforting fantasy world of a pervasive directed evil that can be fought. It is a narrative that says “if only we can prevent our children from reading/watching media concerning vampires/werewolves/the occult then we will be safe”. But like all fantasies it isn’t true. Horrible things still happen. They happen even when you remove all troubling literature and occult-laced media from the public eye. It is a fact that the remaining “ritual crime experts” fear to engage with, because they’d be out of a job if all of this was believed to be truly random and had more to do with isolated cases of mental illness than with what movies these people watch. No doubt Don Rimer will be along in the comments shortly to tell me how wrong I am…