Summer/Autumn 1987

These are a pair of television interviews (promoting the novel Cat Magic) which may have created an impression that Whitley Strieber was some kind of “witch”. As part of his research for the novel Cat Magic (written in 1983 but published in 1986), he visited with some Wiccans, who are sometimes referred to as “witches” despite the obvious expectation that term creates. A second source for this rumour was from an interview in the book Faces of Fear, in which Mr. Strieber relates “I have been a witch” without providing the Cat Magic context. The complete line in fact reads “I have been a witch. I have experimented with worshipping the earth as a goddess/mother,” and comes as part of a two paragraph description of his personal beliefs, which range from elements of Zen to the Episcopalian religion. Strieber was raised Roman Catholic. If one believes that Wiccans are the same as Satanists (a belief Wiccans would dispute), one must remember that Mr. Strieber makes it clear that he was not presented with any evidence of that, and given his experience with an actual Wiccan community, he does not believe it to be true. If he must be despised for having an opinion, so be it, but recognize that he was only honestly stating what his experience led him to believe.


~Note: The guest "Joseph Marquis" appears to have been using a pseudonym derived from the name of a 19th century occultist (?), Marquis Joseph Alexandre Saint Yves d'Alveydre (1842-1910).

~Note: The guest Bob Larson later wrote a book entitled UFOs and the Alien Agenda (1997) which includes a missive about his experience on the OPRAH show, including his memories of their off-air banter. He does not mention the Marquis guest, but describes his interactions with Cabot and Strieber during the commercial breaks as nearly coming to blows. Adding to his colorful recollections is this statement, which Larson offers as an explanation for why Strieber did not like him: “I believe the beings who abducted [Whitley Strieber] were the demons he suggested they might be, and their hatred of God influenced his conduct on the OPRAH show.”

Air Date: June 24, 1987
Laurie Cabot, official witch of Salem
Dora Ruffner, white witch
Joseph Marquis, claims to be former satanic priest and murderer
Whitley Strieber, author
Bob Larson, Christian minister

OPRAH WINFREY: Toil and trouble. That's what's been bubbling across this country ever since the new movie The Witches of Eastwick started production last year. Witches throughout America are outraged by the film's portrayal of them. Let's take a look at one of the scenes from Witches of Eastwick that has caused such controversy. And here it is now.
[clip from "The Witches of Eastwick"]
WINFREY: Well, my first guest led a protest picketing the state film bureau, saying that the film's portrayal of witches was unfair. She says that witchcraft and satanism are two different belief systems and that witches have never believed in or worshipped Satan. She also says that Christians created all of those monstrous stories about bad witches. Meet the official witch of Salem, Massachusetts, Laurie Cabot. My next guest calls herself a white witch and specializes in shamanic healing, working with people to help them get in touch with their natural forces. She says that witchcraft is a true religion of true magic. Dora Ruffner is her name. And my next guest says that after spending I g years as a high satanic priest, he knows that witchcraft is evil. lie claims that the only way to escape once you've joined is to either be killed or saved by Jesus Christ. Meet Joseph Marquis. Welcome them all to the show. Glad to have you.
Now, many people have seen The Witches of Eastwick and view it as just a light-hearted, funny, amusing, entertaining [movie], Jack Nicholson is wonderful, and say that they don't come away feeling that witches are bad.
LAURIE CABOT, official witch of Salem: Well, that's sort of like saying, okay, we're going to do a racial picture, but it's not going to be racist. We're going to do a picture, and this young boy is going to have only- this black boy is only going to have a little piece of watermelon in his mouth and he's only going to shuffle a little bit in the show, and he's really- he really is friends with the guy in the big house, it's okay. It's not okay because we don't do evil with our psychic abilities, and that's what it's portraying. And our psychic abilities are part of our way of life - it's part of our religion, our art, our science.
WINFREY: You see it as being a negative portrayal in the same way that black people being portrayed as shuffling along, eating watermelon and fried chicken, is bad, and Indians in all the westerns are the bad guys - in that way?
Ms. CABOT: Absolutely. There was a movie that just came out for children called My Little Pony, and in it there were three bad witches, not three bad Buddhists and not three bad Baptists, you know. There were three bad witches, and they were cackling and green. You know, we're always green with a wart on our nose. Snaggly teeth, you know. And yes, oh yeah, I wear black. Black to us is a tool. So do priests, nuns, rabbis wear black. The High Dalai Lama wears black in one of his highest rituals. We've done this, and this is one of the recorded things about witchcraft from the Celtic tribes, is that we wear long black robes. And I chose to do that because it's a statement, it's a political statement, and that's why I do it all the time.
WINFREY: Well, if The Witches of Eastwick is a poor portrayal, I would think that The Wizard of Oz is an incredibly bad portrayal for witches.
Ms. CABOT: Right, well, the good witch was in pink, though. She wasn't in black, of course, so that makes it okay. And the whole issue is that the word "witch" comes from the word "megus," -
Ms. CABOT: -"magi" and "magi." [?] "Magisus" [?] still means "witch" in Greece today, and it means "wise people." And the word came from the word "wise." "Wit," "whit" and "witch." And by the time it got to witch, in the middle ages, is- during the reformation and the forming of Christianity, who- Christianity-we're not anti-Christian, by the way. Satanic people are anti-Christian because Christianity has a Satan in their deity structure, people who went against Christians. We're pre-Christian. We've been here since the beginning of time. We come out of the Celtic tribes. We've never changed our ways. We brought with us the sense of healing, the sense of using our psychic abilities. We wear black because it's a tool - it's like wearing a rainbow, it draws in light, so it helps us to be more balanced and psychic. We use our tools, we emulate our gods and goddesses by dressing and wearing makeup, and that's our emulation.
WINFREY: Would you agree, though, Dora, that just as there are good Baptists and had Baptists and good Catholics and good Buddhists and bad ones, that there are good witches and bad witches who perhaps do practice evil?
DORA RUFFNER, white witch: I think that there are people who try to practice evil of all persuasions.
Ms. RUFFNER: I don't know if the problem is that they're actually practicing evil or that they separate their own badness. I think everybody has within themselves dark and light.
WINFREY: I think that too.
Ms. RUFFNER: And if they think that they're practicing evil, what they're actually doing is they're separating their shadow from themselves and projecting that onto something else.
WINFREY: I know that. In metaphysical terms that's exactly what they're doing, but it comes out in the exteriorization, and the manifestation is that it's evil. Regardless of whether it's separation of light and dark, the conscious mind from the subconscious mind, it still looks like, feels like, is tangibly evil.
Ms. RUFFNER: Tastes like, yes. And you will have even people who say that they're practicing good- in fact, sometimes the people who say they're doing the most good are projecting the most evil, because in order to feel that they're good they have to see the evil outside themselves.
WINFREY: On the other hand you've been a high priest.
JOSEPH MARQUIS, former satanic priest: For 18 years, OPRAH. I first started when I was at the age of five. I first- somebody had sent a demon to me. Now, I'm talking about a literal figurative entity, something that you can actually reach out to. Eventually as the years passed on-
WINFREY: Somebody sent the demon to you?
Mr. MARQUIS: Right. I'm positive I know who it was.
WINFREY: Okay. Why? As a five-year-old they sent the demon to you?
Mr. MARQUIS: Well, as a matter of fact there are witch queens right now over entire states who are only 13 years old. Their word is law. Going back to what you were saying about The Wizard of Oz, The Wizard of Oz was one of the first movies ever where we saw a portrayal of a good witch. I mean, now that philosophy is changing. Before, we used to think of witchcraft from the scriptural point of view as being evil. Now suddenly there's a shift.
WINFREY: What is the shift?
Mr. MARQUIS: That there is now a good side.
WINFREY: To the witches.
Mr. MARQUIS: To witchcraft.
WINFREY: Were you a witch?
Mr. MARQUIS: Yes, I was. I was a practicing one for 18 years.
WINFREY: You were a practicing witch, and that's what you called yourself.
Mr. MARQUIS: Right. As a matter of fact, the first thing I started off as was with what's known as the earth mother religion. You believe in the plurality of gods and goddesses. Eventually-
WINFREY: Which is what Laurie has been telling us.
Mr. MARQUIS: Basically. Eventually as I got to the higher levels, your philosophy is changed. You are now told what's really going on. Now, a lot of witches today, independent witches, people who are doing it by themselves and those who haven't really reached the higher levels yet, honestly believe that there's just, you know, this earth mother religion. After you get to the higher levels, you're actually told what God you're worshipping. We call him Satan, okay, but they call him Lucifer. This group I'm talking about is known as the illuminati. They are the most powerful, subversive group that's ever existed in all of man's history.
WINFREY: And where are they existing, here?
Mr. MARQUIS: Yes. As a matter of fact, they've already infiltrated our government. On the back of the one dollar bill you will find three hexagrams and a pentacle. The hexagram with that symbol and the circle around it, a witch can summon up a demon. Demons you order about, you know, to cause things to happen. It's not something psychic or we have, you know, this innate power within us. It's the ordering about of demons.
WINFREY: So other people can order demons to you, to whomever.
Mr. MARQUIS: If you know how to do it.
WINFREY: If you know how. You say that's true or not true, Laurie?
Ms. CABOT: It's not true.
WINFREY: We'll be right back.
[commercial break]
WINFREY: My next guest started out to write a horror novel about witchcraft, but says that after researching witches he discovered only goodness and beauty. lie says that witches he met doing research for this book Cat Magic were no more evil than Christians or the practitioners of any other perfectly legitimate religion. Although he is not a witch himself he has participated in many Wiccan rituals. Please meet Whitley Strieber. And my next guest is the host of a daily national Christian radio show who says that witchcraft is not the harmless nature religion that the media would have us believe, but it is based upon beliefs that are dangerous to society. Meet Bob Larson and welcome them both to the show.
So Whitley, you started out to write a book on witchcraft.
WHITLEY STRIEBER, author: Yeah, a horror novel.
Mr. STRIEBER: Expecting that it would be about evil satanic witches, the kind that she was describing just a moment ago with the green and the fangs and everything. And I started my research by looking for some witches, and I found some. I went out to Long Island and I found this terrible ritual going on. They killed a little goat and it was horrible. I left the place in disgust. I followed it up, and a week later discovered that these people had performed a false ceremony for me, that they weren't even witches, that they had to do with a very fanatical religion of another type, a Christian little church out there, and that there was something false about what had been done. And I kept doing research. I finally found a witch named Margo Adler, who's a very famous witch, and she showed me around to a lot of other witches. And what I discovered was simply this: you take all of the nonsense and the lies and the superstition and the fear, mainly the fear that is in our hearts, away, and what you have is just another human religion. That's all. And so it turned out also to be a religion with really neat traditions, and it made a wonderful book. I had more fun writing Cat Magic than I ever have had writing one of my books.
WINFREY: So it's just another religion, he says, Bob.
BOB LARSON Christian minister: Everybody's left out the divine perspective. God's had something to say about this for thousands of years, and when the theocratic sidle of Israel was established and the people of God came into the promised land, the Lord set down some priorities on how they were to conduct their affairs and their forms of worship. He mandated capital punishment against witches, not because lie's some harsh, vengeful God but because he knew the ultimate destination of those who followed the ways of Satan was hell, and God wanted to keep people out of hell. The real issue is the ultimate intent of what witchcraft means from Satan's standpoint. There's a very real devil, there are very real demons, as this man pointed out a moment ago-
Mr. STRIEBER: Oh, there aren't.
Mr. LARSON: And this is not some very harmless, benign belief system. The Bible tells us plainly in Second Corinthians 11 Satan is transformed into an angel-
Mr. STRIEBER: You have-
Mr. LARSON: This gentleman is trying to interrupt me over here. I tried to-[crosstalk]
WINFREY: One at a time. Let him finish.
Mr. LARSON: I tried to meet this young lady before the show, and this man was so obnoxious before the show, he jumped in and wouldn't even let me meet this young lady. I didn't even know who she was. I don't know what the problem is.
Mr. STRIEBER: Oh, nonsense.
Mr. LARSON: This man is hardly an objective spokesperson on behalf of witchcraft. Read the front page of his book. It's an apologetic for witchcraft. What we're dealing with here is an ideology rooted in the heart of Satan that wants people to end up in hell, but on the surface wants it to be philanthropically viewed. I want to know where her hospitals are; I want to know where her homes - for the shelters, where her food lines are; I want to know if there's anything she's ever done to benefit humanity on a, constructive, institutional level.
Mr. STRIEBER: She hasn't got any money. You've got it all. And she deserves some.
Mr. LARSON: Who says I've got the money? You look at my bank account?
Mr. STRIEBER: Not you, but the religion you represent
Mr. LARSON: You walk around this city and you see how many hospitals there are in this city established by Christians.
Ms. CABOT: I don't stand on street corners and collect money because we don't recruit-
Mr. LARSON: How many witchcraft hospitals are there?
Mr. STRIEBER: They don't have any money.
Ms. CABOT: I don't recruit- [crosstalk]
WINFREY: We're going to have to talk one at a time here.
Mr. STRIEBER: Because it's so small, and it's small and it's innocent and it's vulnerable.
Mr. LARSON: She claims it's the first religion. She's had a thousand years to get her act together.
Mr. STRIEBER: It does not need to be hated anymore; the hate should end.
Mr. LARSON: Christianity has been around 2,000 years.
Ms. CABOT: Christianity burned, hanged and tortured nine million people during the reformation. [crosstalk]
Mr. LARSON: The institution of Christianity did not-
WINFREY: One at a time.
Mr. STRIEBER: Thank you, OPRAH. I'm really not that obnoxious; I'll be nice.
WINFREY: Laurie?
Ms. CABOT: Yes. I said that Christianity, when it came into existence- we've been in existence a long, long time. We do not have devils, demons, and we don't have a Satan in our deity structure. We do not believe in one; we still don't. We don't do anything harmful. I'm a recognized reverend by the United States government. I belong to the National Association of Pantheists, and our ways are known by everyone. There is nothing harmful in any-
Mr. LARSON: You're not responding to the issue. Where are your hospitals? Where are
your homeless-[crosstalk]
WINFREY: Who's to say she has to have hospitals, though?
Ms. CABOT: I don't have-
WINFREY: Who's to say she has to have hospitals? [crosstalk] Let me just say this. Please let me speak. There are other religions in this society - this is a society in America that allows freedom of the practice of religion - and there are religions, other religions other than the practicing of witchcraft, that don't have hospitals, they don't have homes for the aged, they don't have organizations structured so as to promote the welfare of other people in society, okay. Please let me finish. And so are you saying that because she doesn't do that, that's not a legitimate religion?
Mr. LARSON: I'm saying Jesus Christ made it very plain that spirituality, true spirituality and true relationship with God, is proven by the fruit that it produces in terms of helping humanity. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves.
WINFREY: But can you not help humanity in other ways? Can you not help humanity in ways that don't necessarily mean you form a hospital or home for the aged? Can't you help humanity by loving your fellow man and being kind to your neighbor and treating people-
Mr. LARSON: Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law and harm none is a self aggrandizing, selfish philosophy of witchcraft that is a far cry from turning the other cheek, going the second mile and loving your neighbor as yourself, and the contrast between witchcraft and Christianity is very vivid. Why apologize for them? Why not ask them for the proof of the fruit of what they've done to better humanity?
WINFREY: Okay, we will get the answer to that question when we come back. Back in a moment.
[commercial break]
WINFREY: Laurie or Dora, do you care to answer Bob's question?
Ms. RUFFNER: Well, I had a question, which is that in helping humanity, many people- if it goes by you that if you're not helping humanity in the way that you say- it appears to be that you're helping humanity, that you are bad, is it helping- if you are destroying the thing which sustains humanity, which is the earth, the planet, our environment, which is something that people in the cause of goodness and trying to help themselves and other people have separated themselves, which is why people are, I think, turning towards earth-centered religions. If you are not also helping in that sense, then are you also evil?
Mr. LARSON: The Bible addresses that issue in Romans Chapter 1. It says you can either worship the creation or the creator, and witchcraft is the worship of that which God made. Christianity and the Jewish faith teaches that there is a transcendent God above and beyond and apart from creation. We're not worried about a bunch of earth or a grove of trees. What Christianity is concerned about-
Ms. RUFFNER: Now, wait a minute. How do you know that a grove of trees-
Mr. LARSON: -is the ultimate God.
Ms. RUFFNER: How do you not know that a grove of trees doesn't contain within it a piece of the ultimate God?
Mr. LARSON: Because God says so. God is God. God made the tree, and the one who made the tree is greater than the tree.
Ms. RUFFNER: He made it and then He left?
WINFREY: Okay. Laurie?
Ms. CABOT: That's the difference in our belief. We believe that God exists in all things, in rocks and stones and trees and within each one of us, and that we are totally responsible for every thought and every action that you have. A thought is a form of action. You know, thoughts are forms of action.
Mr. LARSON: Then who are you accountable to? The Bible teaches when we die-
Ms. CABOT: God.
Mr. LARSON: -we account to God. You can't account to a stone.
Ms. CABOT: Goddess. We have a god and a goddess, by the way.
Mr. LARSON: You're going to account to this chair?
Ms. CABOT: We're leaving out the goddess.
Mr. STRIEBER: I learned so much about real reverence from these people, from the witches, more than I ever learned before. Although I come from a very loving Catholic home, I never knew what reverence for our earth could be until I came into the presence of witches who loved it with their blood. I never knew-
WINFREY: What do you mean with their blood?
Mr. STRIEBER: I mean so deeply, so deeply. No
WINFREY: I don't think that's such a good example you're using.
Mr. STRIEBER: I think it is. I disagree with you, OPRAH, I think it is a good example. Because what I was trying to say is that they love it more deeply than I imagined it could be loved.
WINFREY: Caller, you say what? Hello.
1st CALLER: Hello. I'd like to say, how can you say that this is love and how can you say you came from a Catholic or Christian home? My husband joined one of these groups four years ago. My life turned into hell, literally. Because there is no goodness; this is evil. My husband took off, he left behind three kids, a job, a home and a lot of other real good things going on in his life to be a part of this.
WINFREY: To be a part of what? See, you have to tell us what "this" is.
1st CALLER: A witchcraft cult.
WINFREY: Witchcraft.
1st CALLER: Living in some witch occult group up in a northern suburb.
WINFREY: Of Chicago?
1st CALLER: Yeah.
Ms. CABOT: Why would he have to leave his family to do that? We have children and families. We're human beings. I have two daughters.
1st CALLER: I have no doubts that you have children. They attempted to kidnap my kids.
Ms. CABOT: We are airline stewardesses, we are lawyers, we work, we are part of the community.
Mr. LARSON: She brings up a very good point.
1st CALLER: I have no doubt that you're in every comer of society. These people attempted to kidnap my children. They caused us physical harm. They caused us emotional harm. What they have done is destroyed basically what God put together, a family.
Mr. STRIEBER: Well, that's very sad-
WINFREY: Caller, could you not accept this premise, just a possibility, just that there are people who have wars and kill each other in the name of Jesus Christ, that there are also people who practice witchcraft and do all kinds of horrible, inhumane things to other people?
1st CALLER: Well, I know they do this. I don't have to live with it or accept it. Four years ago, for instance, my husband had a party at the house. We weren't invited to it; he said it was a bachelor party. We came home to find several people still at our house just kind of sitting- they had killed three of our cats at one of these parties.
Mr. STRIEBER: A witch would never kill a cat.
Mr. LARSON: That is not true. They do it all the time.
Mr. STRIEBER: No, they don't.
Mr. LARSON: You can't get off the hook that easy.
WINFREY: Please speak just- [crosstalk]
Mr. MARQUIS: OPRAH, there are eight ceremonies on a witch's calendar. There are certain Sabbaths that must be done every single year.
Ms. CABOT: That's not true.
Mr. MARQUIS: As a matter of fact-
WINFREY: Let him speak. Thank you.
Mr. MARQUIS: Four of them are definite human sacrifice ones. The victims are easily picked up. They are wandering teenagers looking for a good time, runaways, skid row bums, paper boys, paper girls. You can go out to the street the day before or the day during, pick up that child, drug him, or whoever you want to, get him ready for the ceremony, and at that time they will slice the person's throat open, pick up the blood in a chalice, because they believe that the power in the blood will add to them.
WINFREY: How do you know this?
Mr. MARQUIS: I wasn't the only one who practiced this.
WINFREY: So have you practiced in going out and picking up people off the street and slicing their throats?
Mr. MARQUIS: Yes, they were the easiest ways to-
Ms. CABOT: And why aren't you in jail?
WINFREY: Wait a minute. I want him to say-
Ms. CABOT: Why didn't they kill him, and why aren't you in jail?
WINFREY: Please let him speak.
Mr. MARQUIS: Sharon Tate-La Bianca's murder, okay, was a witch's hitting. Sharon Tate wanted out, but the thing is, the Illuminati-
WINFREY: What do you mean she wanted out? She was a witch?
Mr. MARQUIS: Yes, she was tired of it. She wanted to get out, but the thing was-
WINFREY: Sharon Tate was a witch, okay. You base those allegations on what?
Mr. MARQUIS: On when I was in, myself. I'm not the only one who knows this information. Anybody who was in witchcraft during that time can tell you the same thing.
WINFREY: That Sharon Tate was a practicing witch?
Mr. MARQUIS: Yes. As a matter of fact, the Illuminati-
WINFREY: I have no information to refute it so I'm only going on what you're saying.
Mr. MARQUIS: The Illuminati sent Charles Manson in to kill her. If you remember, she was killed, one leg was strung up from the rafter, her hands behind her, her throat sliced open. There is a tarot, 78 cards in a tarot deck. You look at the 12th major arcane one, it looks like the hangman. That's exactly how Sharon Tate-La Bianca was left. Charles Manson did not go into prison; he volunteered to go in.
WINFREY: So you're saying that Charles Manson came from this group, the Illuminati.
Mr. MARQUIS: He's one of the most powerful wizards alive today.
WINFREY: And that it was a part of this whole witch plan.
WINFREY: And are you also saying that as a practicing high priest and a former witch, that you participated in human sacrifices?
Mr. MARQUIS: As a matter of fact, my group, we did.
WINFREY: You did.
WINFREY: You have actually stood there, sat there, and watched somebody's throat slashed?
Mr. MARQUIS: It would be either kids, grown-ups, animals. And the thing is, we didn't body bag these people afterwards. We'd just take them, throw them in the woods, the side of the road on a highway. Somebody's going to find them.
WINFREY: We will be right back.
[commercial break]
WINFREY: You can't argue if he says he was a high priest and that's what he saw and that's what they did, fine. But I think what we need to establish here, what you're saying is that there is a difference between satanism and witchcraft.
Mr. STRIEBER: A great difference. But there's also a lot more. That made me so sad to hear that. First of all, for him and the suffering that must be in this poor man.
Mr. MARQUIS: I'm not suffering. I'm feeling great.
Mr. STRIEBER: If he has indeed participated in the killing of another human being, he's suffering from the rest of his life, in all seriousness.
Mr. MARQUIS: You know, as a matter of fact, when I became a born-again
WINFREY: Now you have to let him finish. Thank you.
Mr. STRIEBER: Now, he wrote this little document that your office has that I was given parts of to read.
WINFREY: I, Witch.
Mr. STRIEBER: Yeah. He says there are three million witches. I just want to - of his ilk in New England. He says they participate in human sacrifice. Now, here is the truth. There are 14.6 million people in New England, 5.9 million of them are Catholics, 1.6 million of them are Protestants, according to the United States Census 1980. Now, there can't be twice as many witches as Protestants in New England. Come on.
WINFREY: But if you are a witch - let me just ask you this here, Whitley - if you are a witch, is it something, particularly after hearing him speak, is it something you want to come out and tell people that you are? So if you are a practicing witch, would you even admit it? So who knows who the witches are?
Mr. STRIEBER: The courage that it takes to get up here for a witch is great, yes. But-
they're doing something good, they're doing something wonderful.
Mr. LARSON: It's called publicity, not courage.
Mr. MARQUIS: Human sacrifice is anything but wonderful.
Mr. STRIEBER: Well, then why are you here?
Mr. LARSON: I'm here because I was invited to be here. I don't need the publicity. I've got my own talk show every day. She needs it and that's why she's here.
WINFREY: Are you here because of publicity, Laurie?
Ms. CABOT: Absolutely not. If I never have another TV show, another interview on a newspaper, I'm still going to look the same, I'm still going to put the eye makeup on, I'm still going to be a witch, I'm still going to practice meditation and healing and balance. I'm going to do my magic because it's our way of life. And the one thing that other religions are afraid of us and have demeaned us for is because we do our own magic. We are attributed with our own miracles. As well as our god and goddess doing miracles, creating the universe and the earth and the earth mother and the sun, and those kinds of terms that we use for the energy of the god and goddess, we also are a part of the god and goddess. And we are attributed to do our own magic, to heal our-selves, to keep our families healed, to keep food on the table, a roof over your head and be protected, and to keep the animals growing and the earth growing and the plants. That's part of our ways. Those are our ways of life.
WINFREY: May I ask you this? If you really don't want this negative attention, although I know you have the right to dress and look and be whatever you want to be, why the dark makeup and the black garb?
Ms. CABOT: Because this is traditional. Black robes are our tradition, like Catholics, the priests and nuns and rabbis wear black. The High Dalai Lama wears black. It's our tradition, so it's our right. I made a dedication as a political statement to dress in our traditional clothing for the rest of my life, because we can't do it. Because she could be a witch, she could be a witch, he could be a witch, and no one would know it because we're not green and ugly, wearing long, black robes. And I wanted to stand out and say, "Wait a minute. I'm not a harmful person. I have children. I'm a healer. I love this earth. I love this universe. I am a part of the god and goddess, and I want to show you that I'm a human being and I do not do evil. We do not do evil." And we
WINFREY: Would you-
Ms. CABOT: Let me tell you why we went silent. We had nine million people burned, hanged and tortured under the wrong definition of witch. That means every family had someone tortured and hanged and burned. It was a terrible time-
Mr. LARSON: That's a myth and- [crosstalk]
Ms. CABOT: It's true. And we went silent.
Mr. LARSON: There's no documentation of that.
Ms. CABOT: We swore to secrecy and we went underground. It was the wrong thing to do, because it left a gray area where you people could say anything at all about us.
WINFREY: You're saying the Salem witch trials is not documented?
Mr. LARSON: Of course they took place. But those inflated statistics have been battered around for years, and she's giving this pretty little sermon.
Ms. CABOT: What, 19 people in Salem?
Mr. LARSON: The ultimate issue is what happens when you die. The Bible addresses the issue as heaven or hell; she's going to address it as coming back as whatever in terms of reincarnation.
Ms. CABOT: I didn't say that.
Mr. LARSON: I want to know what she does-
Ms. CABOT: I believe reincarnation-
Mr. LARSON: If we're going to talk about religion, I want to know what the sexual ethic is, I want to know how they deal with the problem of suffering, how they deal with the nature of eternity, not all this warm, fuzzy gobbledygook. What is your sexual ethic?
Ms. CABOT: What is my sexual ethic?
Mr. STRIEBER: What is your sexual ethic? You tell us first.
Mr. LARSON: Read the Ten Commandments. You're a Catholic. You know what they are.
Mr. STRIEBER: You tell us your sexual ethic.
Mr. LARSON: I can tell you. Look in the Bible and you'll find out my sexual ethic.
Ms. CABOT: Excuse me, can I say one of the Ten Commandments? [crosstalk]
WINFREY: You can say it when we come back, after this. We will be back.
[commercial break]
WINFREY: Laurie? Yes.
Ms. CABOT: Yes. I just wanted to repeat one of the Ten Commandments that I think he just broke: thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Mr. LARSON: How did I break that?
Ms. CABOT: Because you're saying things against me that are not true. You're making up stories about things that I believe.
Mr. LARSON: I was talking generically in broad categorizations regarding witchcraft.
Ms. CABOT: No, we're not. I'm trying to be very specific.
Mr. LARSON: Well, be specific.
Ms. CABOT: I am.
Mr. LARSON: What do you do with the nature of suffering? What do you do with the nature of eternity? You have a religion; tell us about eternity. What happens when you die?
Ms. CABOT: Well, that's your belief. How do you know-
Mr. LARSON: I'm asking yours.
Ms. CABOT: I believe that we go on forever? I mean, you're assuming an awful lot.
Mr. LARSON: Reincarnation is a standard tenet of witchcraft
Ms. CABOT: Why are you assuming that you know what I believe?
WINFREY: What did you say about reincarnation?
Mr. LARSON: Reincarnation is a standard tenet of witchcraft
Mr. STRIEBER: Standard tenet of-
WINFREY: There are a lot of people who believe in reincarnation, however, that are not witches. And I would like to ask you, does she not have the right to practice whatever religion she chooses to practice?
Mr. LARSON: Absolutely. Perfectly.
WINFREY: What is it that you have against her religion? L£t me ask you, is it because it's not Christian, because she doesn't believe what you believe, that it's wrong?
Mr. LARSON: It's because there is an eternity, there is a heaven, there is a hell.
WINFREY: That's what you believe, though.
Mr. LARSON: That's what God says. We're either going to believe what God-
WINFREY: That's what the God you serve says.
Mr. LARSON: That's what the Bible says, and that's what the God of the Scriptures says, and one either does objectively accept-
WINFREY: Okay, so what about. the Hindus and the Buddhists and the Moslems, are they all wrong?
Mr. LARSON: God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten son
WINFREY: Answer the question.
Mr. LARSON: Jesus Christ-
WINFREY: Answer the question. [crosstalk]
Mr. STRIEBER: He won't answer it directly.
Mr. LARSON: I'm answering the question. [crosstalk]
Ms. CABOT: Christianity is a minority religion.
Mr. LARSON: If you believe in Jesus Christ, you are saved.
WINFREY: But let me ask you this. Does that mean if you don't believe in Jesus Christ, if you are Jewish and you don't believe in Jesus Christ, or if you are of other religions and you don't believe in Jesus Christ, are they as wrong as the people who practice witchcraft?
Mr. LARSON: The Bible posits where to go in the world and preach the gospel to every creature, and that every individual is judged according to their conscience and the like knowledge of God they have according to the revelation of God as they have sought God beholding His wonder in the creation. [crosstalk]
WINFREY: But that's your interpretation of the Bible. That's your-
Mr. LARSON: That is historic Christianity.
Mr. STRIEBER: Christianity is getting a bad rap up here, and I want to defend it, because I am a Catholic, and I apologize for him.
Mr. LARSON: You apologize for witches and you're going to defend Christianity?
Mr. STRIEBER: Christianity is about love, gentleness, openness, acceptance. We all know that this is true, this is the truth in our hearts. It is not about this rejecting, being close-minded, being afraid. They're afraid. He's afraid.
Mr. LARSON: Afraid of what? What's he afraid of?
Mr.STRIEBER: He's- believe me, these people
WINFREY: Joseph, yes? Because you now are a born-again Christian.
Mr. MARQUIS: Christian, right. I was raised a Catholic.
Mr. STRIEBER: A Catholic, a witch, he's everything.
MARQUIS: See, it was a great- I'll answer that. You see, back then I was just as afraid as any other witch of being caught. What I did, I taught Sunday school as a Catholic.
Mr. STRIEBER: Look, I think-
WINFREY: Please let him finish. I want to hear what he has to say.
Mr. MARQUIS: If anybody tried to pin anything on me, I could just go to the priest. They would say, "Wait a second, this guy is a long, faithful Catholic." [crosstalk]
Mr. STRIEBER: But he's saying he taught Sunday school as a Catholic, and we don't have Sunday schools. We don't have- now, wait a minute. There's some flim-flam going on here, OPRAH.
WINFREY: Where did you teach Sunday school?
Mr. MARQUIS: It was called St. Mary's. It's in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
Mr. STRIEBER: St. Mary's, which one? Which one?
Mr. MARQUIS: In Lawrence, Mass., there's only one.
Mr. LARSON: Don't get so uptight.
WINFREY: I want to know. So you say you taught Sunday school. [crosstalk] Please let's talk one at a time. You taught Sunday school as a way of disguising your...
Mr. MARQUIS: Right. I was as afraid as most other witches then of being caught. There was a lot of turmoil going on. Now, I don't care if you call it white, gray, luciferianism, satanism, the earth mother religion, you have to consider where is the source. The source is all in the one saint, and it doesn't come from God. There is one other thing, though.
WINFREY: Where does it come from, you claim?
Mr. MARQUIS: It comes from Satan.
Ms. CABOT: That's their belief system. They have a Satan. I don't even have a Satan.
Mr. MARQUIS: That is a fact.
WINFREY: Can you accept the fact that perhaps maybe there are people who practice it, but maybe she's absolutely telling us the truth?
Mr. MARQUIS: Oh, as a matter of fact-
WINFREY: That she's a good witch.
Mr. MARQUIS: -according to her knowledge, she is. I believe every single word this lady over here is saying. Because the thing is, I was fed that same line when I first began.
Ms. CABOT: By whom?
WINFREY: So at what time is she going to be fed a different line? Does she have to go higher up in the hierarchy of witchdom and then discover-
Mr. MARQUIS: Well, she is an established witch of Salem, okay. She's going to be there forevermore, probably. Unless you get into some of the real big organizations, like the Illuminati, okay, in the Illuminati, once you get past the third level they will tell you what's really going on.
WINFREY: You say there is no Illuminati?
Ms. CABOT: Give me an address.
Mr. STRIEBER: What is it? It doesn't exist.
Ms. CABOT: Give me a phone number and an address. I'll call them. I'd like to know who these people are.
WINFREY: We'll be right back. [Commercial break]
WINFREY: I think what's confusing to those of us in the audience here is that neither
side refuses to accept the fact that each side exists. You did, however, say that you believe that she is right-or that she at least believes what she says is true. You say that the illuminati, this cult of witches, doesn't exist. What if-
Mr. STRIEBER: I think there's flim-flam going on down at the end or the stage. I've got to be just very plain-spoken about it.
WINFREY: In what way?
Mr. LARSON: [unintelligible] please.
Mr. STRIEBER: Past you. No, you're for real, sadly enough.
WINFREY: In what way do you consider-
Mr. STRIEBER: Well, I've got to- he says in his book there are three million witches in New England. He says they're practicing human sacrifice. I had my researchers yesterday call 10 police departments in New England. No one had heard anything about any human sacrifices taking place in their towns in the past five years. And it cannot be kept secret.
WINFREY: Let me ask you this. What about all the children's- we did a show, one of the most poignant shows that I recall, with a 10-year old boy, 10-year-old boy who had been brought into a cult. Whether they called themselves witches, whether they called themselves satanists, this child had been brought into a cult, witnessed human sacrifices and said what they do, just as Joseph has said to us today, they throw the bodies away or they burn the bodies. And there are missing children, missing people all over this country. Just because, Whitley, nobody has found the bodies and nobody called in to a newspaper and said human sacrifices are going on, doesn't mean that it does not exist.
Mr. STRIEBER: You're right, OPRAH. There may be something terrible happening in this United States. That's very true.
WINFREY: And I think it's unfortunate that we close our eyes to the fact that some-thing terrible is happening in these United States. It doesn't mean that they are doing it, but for you to say it doesn't exist says to me that you're closing your eyes.
Mr. STRIEBER: No, it's not true.
Ms. CABOT: It exists, but I think you're aggrandizing it. I don't think there's millions of people out there doing that. I think there's people who are skulking under rocks somewhere doing that kind of stuff. It's illegal and it's nasty. It's totally against our way of life. It terrifies me.
WINFREY: Okay, I accept that.
Ms. RUFFNER: What I hear is that everybody, everyone, is giving away their power to discriminate in the present moment what is good for them, what is their truth. I mean, if you are in a group and you cannot tell that that group has about it the kind of people and energy that would include human sacrifice, then you're sadly not in touch with something. And if it matters to you whether they say they're a witch or a Catholic or a Buddhist or anything, if you have to look at that before you can look at a person and say, "I see you, and I see who you are," then-
Mr. MARQUIS: No, you see a lot of us - excuse me - a lot of us were too afraid to
get out. You see, most people who belong to the illuminati, you get out within 24 hours, you have nothing less than a $10,000 bounty put on your head.
WINFREY: Who's going to pay it?
Mr. MARQUIS: They don't care how it's collected.
WINFREY: Who's going to pay the bounty?
Mr. MARQUIS: As a matter of fact, the Illuminati has their own hitmen.
Ms. CABOT: Who is he talking about?
Mr. STRIEBER: I don't know what he's talking about. He's crazy.
Mr. MARQUIS: Oh, they do. As a matter of fact, Dr. Adam Wieshopf [?] in 1776 established this order. As a matter of fact, it was supposed to be a new world order, as he called it, getting the brightest, the best of intelligent people to guide and to control the earth.
WINFREY: So what's going to happen to you for speaking out against the Illuminati?
Mr. MARQUIS: I've already had six attempts on my life. They have failed so far.
Ms. CABOT: They're very bad at their magic.
Mr. MARQUIS: I know people- [crosstalk]
Mr. STRIEBER: They're [unintelligible] but they missed him.
WINFREY: We'll be back. [commercial break]
WINFREY: So what you're trying to tell us is that there are people who practice evil
under the guise of being witches.
Mr. STRIEBER: They call themselves witches in order- and it does two things. It gives witches a bad rap, and it creates a completely false impression about what real witches do. Witches want to save their word. They want their word to belong to them, and I don't blame them. They have a right to hear words.
Mr. LARSON: Do they do hexes and spells?
Mr. STRIEBER: You answer that question.
Ms. CABOT: No. Hexes and spells- the word "spell" does not equate with evil.
Mr. LARSON: You've never done a hex or a spell?
Ms. CABOT: Not a hex.
Mr. LARSON: Have you put a spell on somebody?
Ms. CABOT: Yes. Spells are prayers. They are projections.
Mr. LARSON: No, have you ever put a spell on- [crosstalk]
Mr. STRIEBER: You are twisting her words.
Ms. CABOT: You want to ask me? You're twisting my words.
Mr. LARSON: I'm asking, have you put a spell on somebody?
Ms. CABOT: Yes.
Mr. LARSON: And what did you do to him?
Ms. CABOT: I healed them.
Mr. LARSON: Only healed them?
Ms. CABOT: That's right.
Mr. LARSON: Never done evil?
Ms. CABOT: No, I don't do evil.
Mr. LARSON: Good, glad to hear that. Wonderful.
Ms. CABOT: You should be glad, because if I was a black witch you'd probably be in trouble right now. [laughter]
Mr. LARSON: No, no, Jesus Christ in me and the power of the Holy Spirit is greater than anything that's in you.
Mr. STRIEBER: OPRAH, you think you can grab the show back from us?
WINFREY: I don't know why I even came here today. Yes?
Mr. MARQUIS: OPRAH, there was a book that was published by Dr. Raymond Buckland. It's called Practical Candleburning. It will show you how, as a witch, you can use ceremonies with candles to cast spells. Now, that will be on the left hand side of what-ever page you re looking at. Now, if you look on the right hand side of the page, you'll see how they're going to tell you, you can use the Holy Scriptures to cast spells.
Mr. STRIEBER: Now, wait a minute. Let's ask, who exactly wrote this book?
Mr. MARQUIS: As a matter of fact, how does that equate with what God is telling us with witchcraft? God said that thou shall not suffer a witch to live. That was back then. Nowadays-
Ms. CABOT: No, it didn't say that. I know what the original scripture said.
Mr. MARQUIS: As a matter of fact, the punishment back then was stoning by death.
Mr. LARSON: You're going to tell us what the Bible says? [crosstalk] What does it say?
Ms. CABOT: King James, "thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live" in Greek.
Mr. LARSON: And what does it say in Revelations Number One about- [crosstalk]
WINFREY: One at a time.
Ms. CABOT: -and added the word "witch" so that he could hang and burn and torch them. You can make any use of a word-
Mr. MARQUIS: She knows a different Greek than- [crosstalk]
WINFREY: One at a time. Yes?
Mr. MARQUIS: She said it was from the Greek. The scripture quotation I just said comes from the Hebrew. It's not Greek. As a matter of fact-[crosstalk]
Ms. RUFFNER: Oh, here you go. How many people here speak Hebrew? How many people-
Mr. MARQUIS: As a matter of fact, you will find it-
WINFREY: One at a time. I'm going to commercial. Forget it. [Commercial break]
WINFREY: Bob, your position is what? We should fear them, we should-
Mr. LARSON: Absolutely. I have absolutely no fear of this person, any hexes or spells or anything.
Ms. CABOT: Good, because I don't do them.
Mr. LARSON: I think that we should understand witchcraft is based upon the false worship of a fallen angel who was defeated by Jesus Christ at the cross, and witchcraft has absolutely no power to the child of God who has been born again. The name of Jesus Christ is the power over witchcraft, and if anybody's afraid about any witch anywhere, all they've got to do is get on their knees and ask God for help and strength to overcome that power. Greater is Christ in me than anything she has in her, around her or-
WINFREY: And you agree? You're in agreement.
Mr. MARQUIS: Yes, as a matter of fact, a very good friend of mine, Gilbert Gomez, he's going to be working with me and my pastor. We're going to be trying to form some type of outreach for these people who sincerely want out. As a matter of fact, I couldn't agree with this man more because he just stated exactly what the Holy Scriptures just said. Witchcraft is a threat.
WINFREY: Okay. You say, however?
Ms. CABOT: I say that we are loving people, we are not a threat. We don't believe in Satan, we don't have their devils. And we don't do things that way. If people would like to understand us more, we've been in the dark so long, we're trying to help explain what we are and we're trying to be open about it. I have a newsletter called The Witch's Companion. If people want to write in for it, they can do that, and then maybe they can begin to understand. We're not trying to recruit anybody either.
WINFREY: Okay. Thank you all. It's been interesting.

Excerpt from Geraldo Rivera's talk show program of October 27, 1988:

GERALDO: Now Whitley, you're not a witch-
STRIEBER: No, I'm not. I was doing research for my book, Cat Magic, when I discovered that the craft, wicca, was not evil and satanic at all like I had assumed it was before. In fact, what it was was a very beautiful earth-oriented religion, an ancient nature religion, like native American religion...It is another beautiful religion. And it is a terribly important one right now because of it's emphasis on the planet and on the needs of the planet. Our earth is in deep trouble and a religion like this can really help us today. ...I would like to say something right now. And that is I am a Christian too, a Catholic, and all I have to say is this: When one starts to think in onesself that the other man's religion is evil, you have to look in your own heart, because that's where something is really wrong.~