It’s the day of the devil some say, it’s “666,” June 6th of 2006 and some Dutch churches have decided to have a “prayer marathon” fearing that this combination of numbers will somehow enable the “powers of evil” reports Associated Press.

Bryan Moore, 'Church of Satan'Meanwhile the so-called “Church of Satan,” the former “cash cow” of its founder Anton LaVey is throwing a “Satanic Party of the Century” reports Los Angeles Alternative.

The root of this entire hubbub is about Beelzebub and the New Testament’s book of Revelation, which identifies 666 as the “number of the beast,” which is supposed to usher in the anti-Christ and beginning of Armageddon.

However, it seems that this June 6th is being worked not by any “dark force,” but rather by Christians, Satanists, Hollywood and almost anyone else interested in publicity.

“I don’t think the devil has much more to do today than on any other day of the year,” a Dutch prayer leader admitted.

Bryan Moore, a priest for the Church of Satan, ended up serving coffee and donuts.

“What is more than just a number, though, is the fact that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Church’s founding” the Satanist said.

So ”666″ was after all just a hook for him too.

'666' kid in 'The Omen'Hollywood loves hooks for publicity ploys, so 20th Century Fox decided to release its remake of “The Omen” today reports BBC News.

The music world likewise is apparently trying to cash in on these numbers like it’s some lucky lotto pick.

Finnish metal band Lordi, known for its horror costumes and ghoulish make-up, Swedish death metal group Allegiance and punk band AFI (A Fire Inside) have all made today their target date to launch new material and albums.

Rock veterans Slayer planned to launch their “Unholy Alliance” tour today, but postponed it because their bass player had unexpected gall-bladder surgery.

Did the devil have something to do with that?

Hard right writer Ann Coulter also launched her book today “Godless: The Church of Liberalism.”

Amen. 

And for those that want to cocoon by the tube tonight television will be running some demonic favorites such as Sci-fi Channel featuring the 1997 film “The Devil’s Advocate” starring Al Pacino in the role of His Demonic Majesty.

So there may be nothing supernatural or cultish happening on this date, but it seems almost anyone and everyone is using “666″ to plug or promote something.

“Oh Satan!”

Alleged murderer Scot Peterson sits in jail while his lawyers appear to be feverishly playing the role of media spin-doctors specializing in Satanism.

Once again the never-ending Peterson spin machine churned out yet another “satanic cult” theory, which they hope will focus attention away from their client.

Up until now Peterson’s lawyers have not pointed out a plausible “satanic cult” specifically by name as the possible murderers responsible for the brutal slaying of Laci Peterson and her unborn son Conner.

But now it seems they have found one to tag in their latest theory, which may hang literally by a thread.

The Peterson’s defense team has found an overcoat they claim may belong to a cult member that supposedly bragged about killing Laci Peterson reports the Modesto Bee.

They are still woefully short on specifics, such as who is the bragging cultist in the overcoat, but they have come up with another prop for their production.

Last time it was gruesome graffiti near the bay, which somehow linked the murder to a cult of “satanic” artists.

That theory flopped when the artists came forward and said they were more of a club and certainly not “Satanists.”

And before this tale there were scary stories from a self-proclaimed “cult survivor.”

Now it’s an overcoat with an Oakland Raiders patch. Maybe the Raiders are somehow suspect?

Peterson’s attorneys did come up with a possible group to cast suspicion upon this time. A violent cult whose leaders are in prison, which has been defunct for more than a decade.

The Peterson defense team wants the press, public and potential jury pool to believe that somehow there is a malevolent remnant still roving the streets of Modesto.

Uh huh.

A former Modesto police officer familiar with the cult named wasn’t buying it. “One minute it’s white supremacy, one minute it’s God, one minute it’s witchcraft and the next it’s Satan,” he pointed out.

What’s next for Scott Peterson’s lawyers after this story sputters and then fails?

Stay tuned as the busy defense team churns out one conspiracy theory after another.

The problem with their latest showing, is even though they managed to come up with another prop, shouldn’t they at least provide one actor?

If Peterson’s attorneys are so intent on staging a satanic show at court time, they will need more than props to convince a jury. And something more than imprisoned cultists to hang their coat on.

Stories about vast unknown conspiracies that involve CIA operatives and criminal underground societies, seem more like tired themes for formula films, rather than a subject for serious discussion.

However, as summer ended in New England such subjects became the focus of a conference staged by “abuse survivors” at a hotel in Hartford, Connecticut.

Narratives about secretive Satanists were everywhere at the gathering sponsored by S.M.A.R.T. (Stop Mind-Control and Ritual Torture).

Maybe Scott Peterson’s lawyers should have attended to take notes, which might help fuel their speculation concerning the alleged “cult” they say may have taken the life of Laci Peterson and her unborn child.

Anecdotal stories abounded everywhere at the conference with various villains. Besides the usual Satanic suspects there were accusations against Freemasons, secret CIA programs and the so-called “Illuminati.”

This event was reported with a dose of much needed skepticism by the Hartford Advocate.

“I was going to be part of their satanic world-domination plan,” said one self-proclaimed “survivor.”

“My father handed me over to the cult; I was like his gift,” explained an attendee.

“We were brainwashed by the cult and made to kill firstborn children,” claimed another.

Why were all these victims together in Hartford rather than within a witness protection program?

“Sharing like this is the best way to rid ourselves of…toxic memories,” stated the conference organizer. And of course there are always conference fees, not to mention books and tapes for sale at such events.

Being a “survivor” can become a kind of cottage industry for some.

And for those that think this is funny and comparable to a group of UFO believers waiting for their next “abduction,” think again.

People have suffered, but not from supposed “satanic ritual abuse.” Some stories told by “survivors” have led to false charges and criminal prosecutions that destroyed lives.

This includes witch-hunts like the McMartin pre-school case in California. Taxpayers spent $15 million dollars to find out there was no Satanic abuse at the school, but it ruined the McMartin family.

And there was an alleged “sex ring” in Wenatchee, Washington that was ultimately proven to be bogus after multiple arrests of innocent residents.

Even a police officer was falsely accused in Canada. He was eventually cleared and paid a large settlement for his suffering.

These are the real survivors, falsely accused and damaged by spurious charges and prosecutions.

The FBI once investigated claims of human sacrifice and a network of criminal Satanists. But a report concluded there was no objective physical evidence to substantiate anything.

So why do people want to believe such nonsense and play the role of “survivors”?

According to respected researcher Elizabeth Loftus it’s an “explanation for everything wrong in their lives.”

The noted psychologist sees conferences like the one SMART recently convened as an opportunity to “get together…reinforce each other…give each other a sense of importance.”

And the stories of “survivors” appear to confirm this.

Often their tales put them at the center of some vast and evil conspiracy; its central character, hero or heroine, somehow essential to the plot.

But in the end even those that spin such stories fail to see their own authentic suffering and real situation.

Obviously they are in need of ethical and constructive counseling from objective mental health professionals. But many instead rely upon “repressed” or “recovered” memory therapy and are often estranged from their families.

They “stay unwell and never get help” lamented Loftus.

While Scott Peterson sits in jail charged with murder, his defense team keeps busy spinning one tired “cult” theory after another.

In the midst of what looks like a “Satanic panic” the alleged murderer’s lawyers are still churning out one cult claim after another in an apparent attempt to shift attention away from their client.

Despite a court gag order the defense team keeps leaking.

The latest leak is that paintings by an obscure San Francisco Bay area art club somehow represent evidence of a “Satanic cult” connected to the murder.

One of the artists scoffed at the idea. “That’s utterly ridiculous. That’s reaching for straws,” reported the Oakland Tribune.

The art club called “The Bulb” has no connection to Satanism and represents little more than a hobby for a few Bay area residents.

But because the artists painted violent scenes that included a devil figure and a baby near where Laci Peterson’s body was found, it is somehow proof of a malevolent cult murder.

Peterson’s lawyers appear willing to grab at anything and then force a parallel upon it to posit a new theory as a defense for their client.

However, as usual, the defense team offers no meaningful details outside of wild speculation.

What is the name of this alleged “satanic cult” that murdered Laci Peterson?

Who is its leader?

What documented history exists within public records or police files about a violent San Francisco cult that supposedly murders pregnant women for ritual sacrifice?

The Peterson defense team appears mute on these points and unable to provide any meaningful facts.

Like alleged “satanic cult victims” at the height of what was once called the “Satanic Panic” during the late 1980s and early 1990s, Peterson’s lawyers spin tall tales without substance.

Investigations by law enforcement, experts and officials have proven repeatedly that such fantastic claims regarding Satanism were false more than a decade ago.

The Peterson defense increasingly sounds like the plot for some horror movie.

But unlike film producers hoping for good reviews and box office, criminal defense lawyers should draw upon more than urban myths, superstition and fear to free a client.

After all, Peterson’s audience will be a jury and his lawyer’s ultimate critic the judge.

The prosecution must meet its own burden of proof in the Peterson case, but the defense will probably need more than groundless theories without substance to win an acquittal.

The Harry Potter phenomenon continues at a breathless pace. The most recent addition to the series is now officially the fastest-selling book in history. More than three million copies were sold within the first 48 hours.

The preceding four installments of the Potter books written by J. K. Rowling have sold 192 million copies, 80 million in the US alone.

But the modest author whose estimated net worth is more than $400 million, can count some very nasty critics along with her fans reports Siffy News.

Accusations abound amongst fanatical religious types that Rowling’s books “promote witchcraft, occultism and Satanism.”

Some have even gone so far as to stage what they call “holy bonfires,” burning the alleged demonic tomes.

“God says in ‘Deuteronomy’ that witchcraft is an abomination. Whatever God hates, I hate,” advised one hellfire preacher.

However, other Christian clergy seem to see things quite differently according to a report aired on WHSV-TV3 of Virginia.

One clergyman claimed that the Potter books actually “possess…some good Judeo-Christian values like cooperation, like friendship, and honesty.”

“When you can get a kid, especially a teenager, an eighth grader…to sit down and read a book that’s 300-400, even 700 pages long, I say go for it,” added a schoolteacher.

It seems more like sour grapes rather than Satan is at the bottom of some the criticism directed against the Rowling books. The author has stated publicly that she doesn’t even believe in magic.

What’s next banning or burning the Wizard of Oz?

Perhaps her religious critics just don’t appreciate children’s fascination with something they don’t control. Or is it just their obsession with some bogeyman they hope to pose as protection from?

A low budget independent film is attempting to cash in on the sensational real-life story of a “vampire cult,” reports the Orlando Sentinel.

The story sounds like Goths gone wrong.

However, the so-called “Goth” movement is essentially benign and composed of somewhat odd and often anti-mainstream young people that like to dress in black, avoid the sunshine and live within their own rather dark subculture.

But one Goth group in Florida came under the spell of a psychopath.

This self-styled “vampire clan” was dominated by a leader called “The Maker,” who took his followers on a journey from a quirky group to a destructive cult.

This type of idiosyncratic cult was reminiscent of the Manson Family. That is, a group playing out the deluded fantasies of a deranged leader.

Rather than an indictment of the Goth movement, the film “Vampire Clan” serves, as a reminder of how personality-driven groups dominated by disturbed leaders can easily become destructive.

“The Maker” was sentencedd to death in the electric chair for murder, which was later reduced to life in prison.

CBS News Affiliate Channel 2 in Chicago did an excellent two-part story last month about the power of hypnosis and controversial therapies.

Within this compelling piece reported by Pam Zekman viewers actually can observe hypnotherapy sessions and see how suggestible people are, while in a hypnotic trance.

Under the influence of a self-proclaimed “psychologist” participants recall “past lives.”

It is easy to see through this televised two-part series how some bizarre claims of “ritual abuse” and/or “alien UFO abductions” can be created through implanted or false memories.

A virtual subculture exists in America today composed of “satanic ritual abuse” and “alien abduction” “survivors,” many basing their claims upon “recovered” memories brought forth through such controversial modes of therapy.

Richard Ofshe social psychologist and professor at the University of California at Berkeley commented about the latest sensational claims made by Scott Peterson’s defense team.

Ofshe won a Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for his work exposing a drug rehab turned cult called Synanon.

But the noted scholar pronounced the theory that Laci Peterson was slain by a satanic cult, dead on arrival.

He said, “I think you’d be better off suggesting Saddam Hussein really did it,” reports ABC News.

This does seem like a more plausible theory.

Ofshe, author of Making Monsters: False Memories, Psychotherapy, and Sexual Hysteria, stated that the idea of “organized satanic cults are a complete myth.”

The most readily recognized expression of Satanism within the United States was the Church of Satan, founded by Anton LeVey.

LeVey was a provocateur and religious entrepreneur who seemed to thrive on controversy, but his church was essentially benign.

The Church of Satan had no history of murder and human sacrifice. Instead, it was for many of its adherents often a means of expressing disdain for the established norms of organized religion in America.

Stories about roving Satanists searching for blood to be spilled on their altars are now relegated to the category of urban myth.

Law enforcement authorities in California apparently know this. And they are dragging the bay rather than seriously searching for fictional cult assassins.

A preposterous claim by an unknown woman now purports that a “Satanic cult” or “crazies” killed Laci Peterson and her unborn child, reports KITV 4.

However, the “crazy” is probably the source for this story.

The Satanism scare of the late 80s and early 90s produced nothing but fantastic tales without any physical evidence.

Talk shows featured women that said they were “survivors” of supposed “ritual abuse” and /or their babies were “sacrificed.” Some said they were “breeders” designated for this purpose.

No evidence has ever proved a single one of these anecdotal stories and law enforcement ultimately dismissed them as myths.

The idea that a “cult” or “crazies” murdered Laci Peterson and her child appears ridiculous.

It is likely that when this source is pressed for proof there will be none.

However, no doubt that Scott Peterson’s defense team is happy to hear of any speculation that might potentially divert attention away from their client.

In what may be perhaps the most ridiculous defense scheme ever concocted in a murder case, Scott Peterson’s lawyers are now suggesting that his wife Laci may have been slain by Satanists, reports WISTV News.

For Football fans this appears to be the equivalent of what is called the “Hail Mary pass,” which is a wild play based upon desperation.

Maybe this ploy by the Peterson defense team should be named the “Hail Satan pass”?

Myths about “Satanism,” “Satanic cults” and alleged rituals including “human sacrifice” were disproved and dismissed long ago.

Perhaps Peterson’s lawyers should have done more research before offering up this theory.

The FBI has studied such claims and issued a definitive report discounting these tales.

Other reports done in Great Britain and the United States have also dismissed fantastic claims about satanic cult activity.

The possibility that any cult was involved in the brutal murder of Laci Peterson is so remote, that only the most dedicated and predisposed conspiracy theorist would even begin to buy into such a story.

It’s hard to imagine what profile for jury selection the defense might contemplate to put this one over.

What’s next?

Laci Peterson was the victim of a UFO abduction/experiment?

Or was she somehow killed as part of a covert CIA operation gone wrong with a subsequent government cover-up?

It seems demeaning to the young woman’s memory and an insult to her grieving family to float such theories.

Scott Peterson’s lawyers must be running on empty if they have scraped the barrel for this one.

Reportedly the defense claims they have a “credible suspect” supposedly involved in “one of the known Modesto cults.”

This sounds more like a witch-hunt than a “credible” investigation.

If this is all the defense has in its arsenal, it is probably time to sit down with the prosecution and talk about a plea bargain, in an attempt to keep their client off death row.

Though maybe any hope that the prosecution will cut a deal with Scott Peterson, is as remote as a spaceship coming to spring him from jail.