On June 3, 1969 the NBC-TV program FIRST TUESDAY devoted its first segment to "Witches And Warlocks" Cameras probed the "kids current interest in occultism. What's behind it? One opinion: established religion is letting them down." Psychiatrist Dr. Renatus Hartogs said: 'The occult holds promise that no one else in our society can give. It helps the young person in his hopelessness." Further on in the program Dr. Hartogs commented: "Black magic enables the young person to indulge in some form of aggression. It has a beneficial effect since it releases his pent-up hostilities and he can go on to maturity."
At the Western Maryland College the cameras focused on a male medium whose spirit guide or control was called Dr. Peebles. He gave messages to the various students who had parents or relatives in spirit. One male student commentated later: "It is religiously based. Natural. A fact that life goes on one after the other."
Anthropologist Dr. Michael Kenny said: "Witchcraft opens up a sense of power denied to the students by the establishment." A male student witch at the Langley High School was shown explaining the meaning of magic talismans commenting "Devil worship is a perversion of the Christian Mass." He demonstrated a Conjurer's Circle and the method used to summon various demons in the Satanism and Witchcraft course taught at the school.
One female student demonstrated a written hex she put on the person who shot at her cats, setting the paper and its HEX-agrams on fire. She reported that the shooting at the cats stopped. At a supernatural slumber party in Virginia a young witch-medium asked those participating to state and concentrate on the candle flame in an attempt to summon the Spirit of Madame Curie. She went into a trance possession, cried, screamed, spoke in various tones of voice. At Virginia's James Madison High School a young student-witch gave a demonstration of witchcraft using a frozen frog. She also showed how to stick three rose thorns in a mole's heart, wrapping it in cloth, to be worn as a protection against harm and evil.
The June 1, 1969 issue of the Sunday New York Times Magazine featured "There's A New-Time Religion On Campus" by Andrew M.Greeley, a Catholic priest who is the program director at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, where he also lectures on sociology. Accompanying the article was a large photograph of members of WITCH (Women's International Terrorists Corps from Hell) in full witch-paint and brooms demonstrating in New York's East Village. This is the same group, in conjunction with the SDS (Students For A Democratic Society) who put a curse on the University of Chicago's Sociology Department yelling: "Fie on thee, Morris Janowitz! A hex on thy strategy!"
The article delves into the serio-comic aspects of modern young witchcraft, that it is a form of guerrilla theatre, a continuance of the neolithic religion that worshipped the earth goddess before Christianity. It mentions the underground California Druids. The author points out that the I Ching, tarot cards, astrology, Meher Baba, Zen Buddhism, auras, psychism, parapsychology, psychokinesis, are all part of this new resurgence in the "neo-sacred" culminating in witchcraft and magic. He pointed out that those involved had some of the highest scholastic marks and were intellectual aristocrats. He quoted Prof. Huston Smith of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on this.
Writer-priest Greeley mentions a Catholic University that discovered it had a coven of male witches (warlocks) on its campus. Among other observations: Girls in Catholic colleges who make decisions based on the I Ching; the Six-Day School in Sonoma, Calif, comprised mostly of Berkeley drop-outs who study mysticism, diet-pacificism and witchcraft; the White Brotherhood, a revival of the medieval Catharist sect, spreading across the campuses and its messengers identical to those of the 13th century ... wandering minstrels, poets, street theatre actors etc; the indebtedness to the Hippie Movement for this neo-sacredness which is a combination of pure seeking and the put-on; the strong influence of Teilard de Chardin's book The Phenomenon of Man.
Greeley quotes social theorist Max Weber who wrote at the beginning of the century: "In the field of its highest development, in the United States, the pursuit of wealth, stripped of its religious and ethical meaning, tends to become associated with purely mundane passions which often actually give it the character of sport. No one knows who will live in this cage in the future, or whether at the end of this tremendous development entirely new prophets will arise, or there will be a great rebirth of old ideas and ideals, or, if neither, mechanized petrification, embellished with a sort of convulsive self-importance, for of the last stage of this cultural development, it might well be truly said: "Specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart; this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of civilization never before achieved."
Newspapers, magazines, syndicates and wire services have featured all kinds of articles about witchcraft and witches the past few years. Many publications have used feature-length, photo-illustrated articles. The March 21 1969 issue of Time Magazine had a front-cover story on "Astrology and the New Cult of The Occult."
The inside story covered six full pages, including a full astrological chart with predictions on "President Nixon's Horoscope." Witchcraft was also mentioned with a picture of a young male witch with long blond hair, in a white robe, holding up and gazing at a candle with other female disciples doing the same. He goes under the name of Antaras Auriel (real name Dennis Boiling) and he teaches a how-to course on witchcraft at the Heliotrope Free University in San Francisco, in the Filmore district, a hippie haven.
Was this article helpful?