Woman Sues over False Memories of Satanism

Made to believe “satanic ritual abuse…widespread in society”

The Canadian Courthouse News Service reports:

VANCOUVER, B.C. – A woman who sought Christian marriage counseling from Elijah House has sued the society, claiming its conspiratorial theories caused her to lose custody of her seven children and fall into depression. Donna Marie Krahn claims the society taught her that “repression of memories, dissociative identity disorder and satanic ritual abuse are widespread in society.” She says the defendants encouraged her to develop false memories that she was physically, sexually and satanically abused by her husband, his family, her family, and others. She claims defendants induced her and her children to believe that “satanic cults and witchcraft had penetrated all levels of society,” that she had “500 alternate personalities,” and that “demons posed a present danger” to her and her children. The judge in divorce court found “the children are extremely well cared for physically and, but for the exposure to Elijah House philosophy, would be well cared for mentally as well.” Elijah House states on its Web site that its mission is to “share the love of Jesus to restore broken relationships and bring healing to hurt and wounded hearts.”

Here are the defendants: Brian and Della Headley – Elijah “counselors” in Mission, B.C.; Elijah House Canada Society; Elijah House Inc.; and Stephen E. Oglevie, a “consultant” of Burley, Idaho. Krahn is represented by Steven Mansfield in Vancouver Supreme Court.

The Canadian Province (subscription only) adds that Elijah House was founded in Idaho in 1974 by John and Paula Sandford, and that its current executive director is Gene Niederkleine. The Canadian branch is no longer active, although Brian Headley and Della now act as the pastoral staff for the Listening Prayer Community. Krahn herself is from Abbotsfield, and the legal details of her 2001 custody battle can be seen here. The judge in that case found that

Mrs. Krahn put every conceivable roadblock she could muster into the litigation. She lied in affidavits, lied to her counsel and lied at every occasion when she was asked to explain her failure to provide counseling records regarding two of the children. Notwithstanding court orders, she was determined to thwart any meaningful investigation of her role in the bizarre “counseling” supplied by Stephen Ogelvie, Mr. and Mrs. Headley, and Elijah House.

…It was only when pressed by her counsel that she finally admitted, during the course of her testimony in this trial, that she had destroyed these records. She blamed the complicity of the Headleys but I make no conclusions in that regard. I am advised that Mr. Krahn has an unresolved action against the Headleys that might determine that issue. The Headleys testified under subpoena at this trial but were not represented by counsel.

A court judgement from a few months prior, however, was more forthright in its assessment of the Headleys:

I found their credibility lacking and I also concluded that they conspired with Mrs. Krahn in the destruction of court ordered records.

The later judgement includes the detail that

Two expert witnesses provided extensive written reports that appeared quite complete, but Mrs. Krahn insisted they be called for the purpose of cross-examination. Neither Dr. Elizabeth Loftus nor Dr. Roy O’Shaughnessy resiled in any way from their reports under cross-examination. I found their reports to be most helpful to my conclusions respecting custody and while it was interesting to hear them respond viva voce, it was entirely unnecessary. Dr. Loftus was obliged to journey from New York, for the sole purpose of testifying at the trial in Chilliwack.

Extracts from Dr O’Shaughnessy’s report can be found in the earlier judgement. Loftus, of course, is internationally-known for her work on false memory syndrome.

Oglevie, meanwhile, was profiled in the Los Angeles Times Magazine back in 1992 in a piece entitled “Idaho Gothic”. Luckily, the article has found its way online

…Stephen Oglevie is an affable 41-year-old with a spreading waistline, a wife, two children and a basement full of articles, books and tapes about satanism…Oglevie thought he was finally settling in a clean town when he moved to Rupert in 1986. Cleaner, certainly, than places he’d been before It was in the state of Washington, in 1977, that he’d first brushed up against what he understood to be satanic ritualism. A 19-year-old woman arrived one day at the Church of the Nazarene in Wenatchee. I’m married to a warlock, she said. I’ve been up to the altar. I’ve suffered physical and sexual abuse. I can’t get away.

The lady’s eyes appeared demonic and possessed, and she sometimes spoke in a deep man’s voice, but what most unsettled Oglevie were the precise details in her stories about prostitution. Earning $4,000 a night at $10 per man why, that was 400 men. Oglevie laughs nervously as he recollects. “I had a great trouble dealing with that,” he says. “She liked to be graphic about her drugs and promiscuity. . . . I was kind of glad when that segment of my life was over.”

Oglevie’s move to Idaho came because “the Lord wanted me here,” a wish revealed by means of a job offer to replace a departing pastor. “I thought this was a clean place, if any place was,” he says. “I thought I was getting away from all that junk. I really thought that chapter of my life was over with.”

Oglevie maintains that he held to this belief even after he attended a five-day seminar in Boise offered by the Cult Crime Impact Network, a privately funded clearinghouse on satanic crimes. He took copious notes at the 1988 seminar, and upon his return to Rupert began sharing his insights with others, but still, “I was not convinced it was happening here. Because this region is so religious.”

Larry Jones’ “Cult Crime Impact Network” has been examined here. The grim discovery of a dismembered baby by a trapper near the town (a mainly Mormon area) was quickly seized on as evidence for Satanism. CESNUR has the background:

In early November 1989 in Minidoka County, Idaho, the dismembered and burned remains of a 4-to-8-weeks-old female Hispanic infant were discovered in a garbage dump. Forensic experts ascertained that “Baby X” — whose identity was never discovered — had been disembowelled and mutilated before she was burned. Rumors of a Satanic sacrifice started almost immediately. In March 1990 a 10-year old boy, “Timothy”…entered therapy for disturbing dreams of sexual abuse and torture…”Timothy” told therapists and later police detectives that his experiences had taken place in Rupert, a Southern Idaho town close to where Baby X’s remains had been found. Shortly thereafter, “Timothy” claimed that during a Satanic ritual he had witnessed the sacrifice of an infant who may well have been “Baby X”. “Timothy’s” recollections were later published in the South Idaho Press and included a graphic description of a Satanic ritual…”Timothy’s” family — described by authorities as “severely dysfunctional” — was associated for a short period of time with Jehovah’s Witnesses and “Timothy” was reportedly impressed by Witnesses’ literature graphically depicting the Devil and witchcraft.

…On November 8, 1991, with national TV networks in attendance, 300 to 500 persons attended a candlelight vigil for victims of Satanic ritual abuse, including Baby X, in Rupert. Apparently, “several busloads” of “survivors” and advocates from Salt Lake City came to Rupert for the vigil.

…The prevailing theory was that poor Baby X died of pneumonia and her illegal alien parents try to dispose of the body through amateur cremation, with animal predators later attacking the infant’s remains. The Attorney General’s report also noted that no member of “Timothy”‘s family was in the Rupert area “anywhere near the time of the infant’s death and disposal”.

…An interesting part of the Baby X case is the candlelight vigil held on November 8, 1991 in Rupert. This episode proved that a network of moral crusaders promoting the Satanism scare existed in Mormon Country, and that “survivors” from Salt Lake had already formed a small lobby trying to persuade the public that their stories and those of the children like “Timothy” were basically the same, equally deserving public belief.

Some information about Oglevie’s teaching is provided by this website:

Stephen Oglevie, a retired law enforcement chaplain has gathered extensive knowledge in the removal of mind control programming through his 15-year journey and in-depth work with over 350 mind control victims. In Mind Control; An Introduction, he lists the following indicators that may aid in the recognition and proper assessment of an adult client who may harbor mind control programming…

The “indicators” include the following:

Client constantly wears black, red, orange or purple clothing.

Client assigns numbers to names, dates, months, and years that are between 1 and 9. Client reports number series run through their minds repeatedly that seemly have no correlation to anything in their lives.

…Client is fascinated with the German Third Reich, the swastika symbol, and concentration camps, or conversely is very fearful of these things. The combinations of red and black clothing may also serve as indicators.

…Client repeatedly makes the following statements during the therapy sessions or by the telephone following a therapy session: “It’s all just a bad dream.” “I made it all up.” “I’m lying to you.” “I must be crazy.” “I’m a bad girl / boy to be telling you this.” “I must be a very bad girl/boy to be here.” “I deserve to be punished.” “I am really in trouble now.” These are typical programmed denial/punishment phrases.

Alas, Oglevie neglected to include “I’m going to sue you” to the list of “denial/punishment phrases”. Of course, this interest in “mind control” is very ironic given the legal action he is now facing. Oglevie also runs seminars on the subject, as advertised here; the site belongs to Dr Ellen Lacter, a psychotherapist who teaches at the University of California and who considers Oglevie to be her “mentor”.

(Hat tip: Cult News Network)

UPDATE: A commentator at Talk to Action has found more background on Elijah House and Listening Prayer, and their links to “Theophostic Prayer”.

Name variation: Steve Oglevie

4 Responses

  1. […] another commentator there has more background to Elijah House, the organisation that featured in yesterday’s […]

  2. […] I noted in 2006, Lacter is a particular fan of Steve Oglevie, who was one of those responsible for causing a […]

  3. I saw Brian at Elijah House for prayer counselling years ago. He’s a nice man but completely incompetent.

    I went in there with some attention deficit problems which he misdiagnosed as “disassociation” — like a mild version of multiple personality disorder! Then he asked me to identify all of my “child parts”, so being a creative person I must have come up with about 20 different sides to my personality (ie. shy side, rebel side, etc.). From that, he suggested that I keep a diary with a section for each part, which is how they *used to* treat multiple personality disorder in the past, and that to sort out all this mess would take 6-12 months. I bolted after the first week and demanded my money back.

    It’s as if he took a workshop on multiple personality disorder and then overapplied it. As they say, if your only tool is a hammer, you’ll see the world as a nail. This kind of “workshop-itis” is apparently not uncommon among people who counsel but aren’t professionally trained.

    I loudly complained and did get my money back without any hassles. But you think they would have learned after my experience. I guess not, and surprise, surprise, they ended up getting sued.

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