In the following months as Victor progressed deeper into satanism, his interest in pornography took a back seat. Learning the powers of Satan became his new "profession," as he called it. Each time I was taken to his home, Victor told me a new story about what he had seen in a ritual. At first the rituals seemed fairly innocent, and I wasn't too frightened. There was fire changing colors and ghostly apparitions coming out of the smoke. Bodies were levitated. Objects were moved by the power of the mind. Once he even described how the powers of Satan (which he always insisted were good powers) had healed a woman who was dying. The high priest had used magic to make the cancerous tumor come out of her body. "She coughed it up," said Victor. "I saw it with my own eyes!" Initially I thought that all my fears might have been for nothing. But gradually the stories became more sordid. When he told me about a ritual in which a young pregnant woman had sold herself to Satan, I knew there was nothing "good" about satanism. "If only you'd been there, Lauren," he said with great animation. His wild excitement in simply recalling what he saw made him act as if he were high on drugs. "The woman was so brave. She just held her arm out and let the high priest cut her wrist. She let the blood drain into a chalice, and then do you know what she did? She sold her soul to Satan. She used her own blood to sign her name on the pact! You had to be there. You just can't get the same feeling by my telling you about it. You have to be there to see it and feel it for yourself! "
Victor's words were spilling at high speed. When he stopped long enough to grab a breath, I blurted, "Stop it! I don't want to hear anymore about it. Please, don't tell me any more." "Oh, but you've got to listen, Lauren, because I'm going to do the same thing, and you're going to be with me." I felt as if I would choke on his words. Before I had time to even begin to deal with his declaration, he raced on. "This is going to blow you away, woman. Listen to this! The high priest prayed this really weird prayer. He asked the demons to come forth. I couldn't see them, but I guess they did because he started to talk to them. He asked them to give this woman's baby a name because Satan was going to be its father." Victor paced the floor as he spoke, walking faster and faster. The way his eyes darted around the room, it was as though he could see the ritual taking place right in front of him. Then suddenly he stopped dead in his tracks and lowered his voice, as though he didn't want anyone else to hear him. "Lauren, when the high priest asked the demons what the baby was to be named, I heard the most eerie-sounding voices I've ever heard. I thought, 'Someday I'm going to have the power to make demons talk to me.' Then the high priest spoke a name to the woman, but I couldn't understand what it was."
He started pacing again as he said, "Do you know what the woman did next? She sold her baby's soul to Satan too, by signing its name beneath hers on the pact. Doesn't that just blow you away —selling your soul to Satan? Do you know how much power I could have if I did that!" With that exclamation he raised his clenched fists into the air as though he were celebrating a great victory. I knew then that there was no turning back for Victor. He was headed straight into the hands of Satan, and he intended to take me along with him. This would be different from the studio and the house of torture. Here the rules weren't clearly defined. I didn't know what to expect. High Priest of Satan Victor was faithful to his promise that I would go with him to a satanic ritual. What I didn't expect was that it would be in his own house. "Guess what?" he said one evening with a wicked smile. "I am now a high priest. A high priest of Satan!" He motioned for me to follow him and we descended through a cellar-type door in his floor to the basement. I had not even been aware that there was a basement; a rug had covered the entrance. The basement was cold, damp, and dark, with a musty smell. A heavy, eerie feeling pervaded the atmosphere and seemed to settle on me as I entered, making it hard to breathe. "You can feel him!" declared Victor in a hushed voice. "That's Satan!" Satan may appear as an angel of light at times, but in Victor's basement there was only darkness. The walls were draped in black fabric, and the only light was from candles and the glow of a black kettle on the floor. I stared at a large slab of smooth rock that was partially covered with a purple-colored velvet material. "That's the altar," Victor explained. Then he pointed to a silver bowl. "That's the chalice that we drink from—our communion cup." Then he pointed to a cross. "It's placed upside down to mock the crucifixion of Jesus Christ."
A glance around the room revealed other objects. There was a goat's head positioned at the front of the altar. I saw an upside- down star within a circle drawn on top of the altar. And to the side was the black kettle. "That's the cauldron," Victor whispered. "Demons are summoned from the fires of hell that are burning in I shuddered, for its glow seemed like a silent omen, it." foreshadowing the very activities of hell. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I saw the glint of the blade of a very large sword that was lying on the end of the altar. A terrifying thought—what do they do with the sword?—raced through my mind. I quickly shifted my eyes, afraid that Victor would notice and explain what it was for. Right now I didn't want to know. In fact, I didn't think I ever wanted to know. As I tried to calm my racing heart, a door suddenly opened on the opposite side of the basement, and black-robed men, humming in unison, slowly moved in single file to the altar. Victor tugged at my arm, but I didn't budge. I wasn't about to go anywhere, unless it back up stairs.
The humming stopped abruptly and was replaced by chanting, "All hail to the father, Satan. All hail to the father, Satan. All hail .. " While the chanting proceeded, one of the men who was cloaked in a black cape over his robe walked over to the sword and picked it up. "He's a high priest like I am," Victor whispered. As the high priest pointed the sword to the north, south, east, and west, I shuddered as I began to wonder why Victor had brought me down here to witness a ritual. My wondering soon became terror. Spirits were conjured up to curse certain people whom the members wanted harmed. Other spirits were called on to give the coven members more power. Several of the members allowed their wrists to be cut, and the blood was drained into the silver bowl. Then they urinated into it. Finally, wine was mixed in and they each drank from the bowl. Now these robed men began to get unruly. Gone was the initial sense of hushed decorum. I wasn't sure if they were drunk or high on drugs, or if they actually were receiving some kind of supernatural power from the demon spirits they had summoned.
They began to indulge in what looked to me like a sexual orgy. I was surprised to see two or three women. I wasn't sure whether they were coven members, or if they had been brought in just for the orgy. Whatever the case, I had seen enough, but as I turned to try and go back up the stairs, I felt Victor's grip tighten around my arm. "You can't leave!" he hissed. "I'm giving you to Satan tonight." With every ounce of my energy I jerked to try and get free of his grip. But Victor was too strong. He pulled me up to the altar, and two coven members lifted me onto the slab of stone. My clothes were removed and I was positioned and held down so that my private parts were on top of the circle and upside down star. I screamed and begged the men to let me go. But the more I screamed, the more excited they seemed. "Louder. Louder. Satan is pleased," they chanted.
Then the abuse began. One after another, members of the coven brutally abused me sexually on the altar. After each one was through, he drank from the bowl of blood, urine, and wine and announced, "Satan is pleased." With each vulgar act, my will to resist lessened. I felt myself weakening physically, as though I would pass out. As each man climbed on me, I felt as if Satan himself were assaulting me.
Finally, after the last man had taken his turn, the high priest picked up the bowl, took a drink from it, then flung the remainder of it over my body. With that he threw his head back and laughingly mocked, "Satan has had you!" The entire coven picked up the chant. "Satan has had you. Satan has had you. Satan has had you." My spirit was crushed. I was too weak to move, too bruised and ashamed. Finally I was lifted off the altar and returned to the arms of Victor. As he carried me up the stairs, he proudly declared, "Now we both belong to Satan." But that was not true. Silently my heart spoke for me: "I will never belong to Satan. Never!"
Those who put on the black robes, who stood in a circle, who lit candles and uttered unending chants until they saw the very face of Satan—they were not surprised at the fiendishly diabolical acts that were sure to follow. For it was those very acts that would please their father, Satan, and bring more power to them. These participants were not players in a game. They were not there to have fun. One does not play with Satan. Neither does one have fun with Satan. One follows Satan. One serves Satan. In obedience to him, one does Satan's bidding. The evil practices of the satanic rituals I was forced to attend and participate in were not performed in symbolism. They were actually carried out. Those who practiced them were serious about their deeds of evil. Their allegiance to Satan was absolute. They were there to follow Satan explicitly, uncompromisingly, without question, even when he demanded sacrifices of parts of their own bodies. They willingly allowed the tip of a finger down to the first knuckle to be cut off as a sacrificial offering. There was great motivation to do this, for these members believed that through this show of loyalty they would please Satan and experience more power, fulfillment, satisfaction, and success in their own lives. Evil begets evil. Perversion begets perversion. Acts of sadism, sexual abuse, torture, mutilation, and evils that go far beyond that generate a craving for participation in deeper and deeper evils. Satan does not take pleasure in good. The name of his game is evil, and as the members of many of the more self-styled satanic covens find out, one must always top last week's acts of evil. To gain more power and continue to please their hellish father, one must eventually go beyond even what the human mind can conceive. Only the Father of Evil could conceive such diabolical acts of perversion and wickedness, and only the Father of Evil could seduce a human being to carry out such acts. I heard demonic spirits order deeds of such a heinous nature that even the bravest would cringe. Usually I heard only the voices, but on a few occasions I saw the demons materialize. Sometimes they took on the most hideous and grotesque forms imaginable. Usually, however, they appeared as ghostly apparitions with a vaporlike quality that I couldn't quite decipher. At one ritual, several demonic spirits appeared as hairy little creatures with sharp, pointed teeth and eyes that I felt were looking straight through me. Another time an evil spirit appeared as a slinky, slimy creature that looked like it was about to wrap itself around me and cling to me. Regardless of whether they chose to materialize or not, when the demons spoke, Satan worshipers listened and obeyed. I heard demons order curses of the vilest nature—cancerous growths, even acts of suicide—put on unsuspecting victims. They ordered acts of sexual perversion that went far beyond the descriptions of lewd, perverse, and vile. They ordered the literal sacrifice of animals and even humans—both willing and unwilling victims. You may wonder how any human being could actually carry out the orders of such evils and feel that he has done what is right and good. I wrestled with that question myself, for I did feel that some of the members sincerely believed that what they were doing was right. One day, years later, while reading my Bible at home, I found a verse that answered that question for me. Speaking of Satan, John 8:44b says that "there is no truth in him . . . he is a liar and the father of lies" (NIV). From what I had seen and learned about satanism, that verse was true. I began to realize that Satan has never told the truth, but is such a master of deception that the coven members who opened their hearts and minds to Satan's schemes were blinded to the truth. Good became evil and evil became good. Once they gave themselves over to that false truth, all barriers to evil were destroyed. The door to the most diabolical evil was opened wide.