Welcome back to our examination of “The Satan Hunter” a 1988 book by “Occult Expert” Tom Wedge. If you missed our last article, we talked about how Tom Wedge was here. This book was trying to sell the idea that Satanic cults were running rampant in America and were trying to influence and/or murder your children. It came out at the tail end of the so-called “Satanic Panic” of the time. Our Man Wedge bellied up to the gravy train to cash in on the hysteria.
The first chapter of his book focuses on the case of three time killer Sean Sellers. Sellers, in my opinion was Wedge’s golden ticket to a “legitimacy” that he craved.
Who is Sean Sellers?
In 1986 Sean Sellers murdered Robert Bower — a convenience store clerk — as well as his mother and step-father, Vonda and Lee Bellofatto. During his trial Sellers claimed that, as a Satanist, he was possessed by demons that made him commit murder. To the surprise of nobody the “devil made me do it” defense didn’t work and he was sentenced to death. He was 16 years old, making him the youngest person to receive the death sentence in the state of Oklahoma. While in prison, Sellers suddenly “saw the light” and converted to Christianity. Naturally, ever religious huckster and charlatan saw a quick buck to be made in young Sellers, while all the attention stroked the little fuckers need for attention. Enter Tom Wedge, who slid into Sellers life long enough to write his book and use this idiot in a Prince Valiant haircut as the poster child for the Satanic panic.
Tom Wedge spends 19 pages of his book talking about Sean Sellers and uses Sellers as a template for his entire argument. Tom starts the chapter off by briefly explaining Sean’s crimes, then fixates on how handsome he thinks Sean is, before going into the details of their interview together in 1986.
The young man’s involvement with the occult and supernatural began when he was in the third grade.
“It kept going from there,” he told me calmly as we sat together in the spartan, barren interview room.” - Satan Hunter, page 12
It’s right here that we land on Sean Seller’s first lie. This is the 2nd page of chapter 1 ladies and gentlemen. On the (now defunct) website www.seansellers.com, Sellers had his “friends” publish a written “apology” to his victims. The site went dark in the early 2000s (more on that later) but thankfully, this testament to Seller’s lies and hypocrisy survive thanks to the Wayback Machine at Archive.org.
In this “apology”, Sean talks about himself a lot — like a lot — like more than you should if you’re writing an apology. Anyway, in it he states that he didn't get into thr occult until he was 15.
Still, even then, how does someone — in the 3rd grade — start developing an interest in the occult? He lived with his grandparents at this time.
The fact that Wedge accepts this at face value — and believes it — is ludicrous. Within a single page we get a clear example that Wedge wasn’t looking for the facts, just confirmation bias to sell this awful book.
The book goes on…
“As I got older, I became heavily involved in Dungeons and Dragons.” D&D is a complicated game which conservatives and fundamentalist Christians accuse of being laced with heavy doses of Satanism. The game, its opponents claim, causes players to lose contact with reality as they become entranced with its machinations, twist and turns. - Satan Hunter, page 12-13
There is an entire chapter in this book about the “dangers” of Dungeons and Dragons, so I’ll get into how stupid this idea is later. However, Sellers’ statements that D&D made him a Satanist becomes ridiculous if you don’t take it at face value, as Wedgie did here.
In 1990, Michael Stackpole did a comprehensive study of the claims that Dungeons and Dragons was dangerous to influential minds. One of the people he interviewed was Sean Sellers, who said this:
… While it is true that D&D contributed to my interest and knowledge of occultism I must be fair and explain to what extent D&D contributed.
When I was playing D&D I was not a Satanist, and in fact would have probably punched any Satanist I met right in the mouth. I was interested in witchcraft and Zen however. In doing some research at the library for a D&D adventure I was leading I happened upon other books that led to my study of occultism.
After I became a Satanist I used D&D manuals for their magical symbols and character references for my initial studies. I also used my experience as a Dungeonmaster to introduce people to Satanic behavior concepts and recruit them into the occult.
…in the spirit of honesty I must concede that D&D contributed to my involvement in Satanism like an interest in electronics can contributed to building a bomb…
…using my past as a common example of the effects of the game is either irrational or fanatical."
- Sean Sellers, 1990
Wedge goes on to say that after Sellers arrest police searched his apartment and that they found three books: The Satanic Bible, The Satanic Rituals, (both by Anton LeVay) and the Necronomicon. Wedge claims that these books taught Sellers how to summon demons and commit murder.
Which is quite a claim to make because, had you ever read any of these texts, or — more importantly — investigating the origins of these books, you’d realize that this is a whole lot of bunk.
The Satanic Bible/Satanic Rituals
I can relate to Sean Sellers in that, when I was a teenager, I too bought a copy of the Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey. I wasn’t looking for witchcraft, I was looking for inspiration for writing a horror story. Let me tell you, if you’re going to read this looking for either, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.
Look, you can read it here, but allow me to give you the Coles Notes version: Nowhere in the book does LeVay advocate murder, or sacrificing people. In fact, it doesn’t advocate harming anyone unless they deserve it. Even then, it doesn’t advocate killing a living being.
In the back of the book there is a section on spells. Go ahead and try and read what you need to conduct any of these spells. There are specific clothing, tools, spells with incantations in the Enochian language. For those who are unaware, it was a language made up by occultists in the 15th Century. It’s about as menacing as learning how to speak Klingon today.
It is also incredibly complicated to the point that it is easy to “screw it up” so the spells don’t work.
Then there’s the Satanic Rituals, which are group rituals written by LeVay. All of them are infinitely more complicated than the ones in the Satanic Bible. Reading the introduction, LeVay points out that these are merely psychodramas and some of them are, I shit you not, partially inspired by fictional works. There is an entire ceremony celebrating the work of H.P. Lovecraft for crying out loud. LeVay makes it pretty clear that a lot of these ceremonies are tongue-in-cheek and not to be taken literally. Again, none of these ceremonies involve murder or sacrificing animals.
Although Wedge doesn’t specify, he’s probably talking about what is commonly known as the Simon Necronomicon. It alleges that it is an English translation of the ancient and nefarious grimoire of the same name. The Simon Necronomicon was first published in 1977.
This book is largely believed to be a hoax, because the artist who drew all the symbols in the book said it totally is. The Necronomicon itself, is a work of fiction straight out of the works of H.P. Lovecraft. However, someone published this book and thus idiots like Wedge think its real. You can read it here.
This was another one I picked up in high school. Again, the spells are so ridiculously complicated and specific that it is nearly impossible to do them flawlessly. Moreover, look at some of these incantations…
Can you pronounce any of those words? I know I can’t.
So let’s back up here for a second. We’re supposed to expect a 16 year old kid was able to pull these spells off flawlessly and in a way that worked? More importantly, we’re assuming he did all these spells and incantations — in his bedroom — without his family noticing, or telling him to knock it off with the insents and gong rining?
Then there’s the fact that he used a gun to fucking shoot people and said it was part of a ceremony/sacrifice to Satan. Clearly Sellers did not have the patience to ring some bells and jerk off into some rose petals in order to wish ill upon his enemies. The reason is simple, it’s because magic spells don’t actually work. It’s nonsense. The fact that this didn’t dawn upon Wedge, who was in his late 40s when he wrote this book, is yet another reason why he was unqualified to opine on the subject.
Wedge also takes time to focus on the discovery that Sellers also had a series of books on martial arts including those of the “Ninja variation of the creed”.
This is the first time we see Wedge colluding Satanism with something from a completely different culture.
But still, we’re talking about a 16-year-old kid. How are you taking his books on martial arts seriously? Particularly an interest in ninjas?
The thing about Tom Wedge’s interactions with Sean Sellers is that instead of letting the kid talk — like a real police investigator — Wedge already has pre-conceptions on Satanism and feeds Sean ideas. Sellers, a pathological liar and manipulator, just rolled with it. (We’ll get into the psychology of Sean Sellers in a minute.)
For example, Wedge has this unshakable belief that Satanic rituals involve sacrificing animals even though all the books he cites don’t mention anything like that. As such, when he asks Sean about if he ever used animals in his rituals. Sean denied this, saying he used his own blood because…
“No. I love animals!” - Sean Sellers, The Satan Hunter, page 13.
Wedge was undeterred…
“But in being a Satanist,” I argued, “blood sacrifices are required.” - Tom Wedge, THe Satan Hunter, page 13.
This is a clear example of Tom imposing an idea and Sean, who is desperately trying to deflect responsibility rolls with what wedge is saying.
Sean goes on to say that instead of sacrificing animals, he used his own blood which he extracted with a hypodermic needle.
That sounds like a really specific thing to do and could have easily been investigated. Yet there is no mention of Sellers having possession of hypodermic needles, or having the obvious needle marks that are caused from drawing blood.
But like I said, Sean is just rolling with it and it tells when he goes into later explanations as to how he conducted the ceremony…
Read Instructions carefully
Sean Sellers explains that he started his own coven called “The Eliminator”. Incorrect syntax aside, the fact that he gave his “coven” (translation: Sean and his two friends) such a dumb ass name gives you an idea of what we're working with here.
Anyway, about the night he killed his parents. In the book, Sellers says he was summoning a demon for "power" and in order to protect himself he drew a pentagram on his chest in his own blood, but later, for no apparent reason, wiped it off and thus was possessed.
So let's back up again: based on the books he had, I can say that at no point do any of then instruct you to draw a pentagram in blood to protect yourself. Oh, there are protection spells here and there but none involve pentagrams made of blood. Usually a circle drawn on the ground is sufficient.
Anyway, the point is, Wedge was looking for a blood ritual. Sean gave him one, plus -- knowing that Wedge has at least a passing (all be it jaundiced) understanding -- was like "oh yeah, I also wiped off that super important protection symbol and that's why this happened." Because Sean was at least smart enough to know that, at the very least, Tom Wedge was cowed enough to believe what was being told at face value.