A few years back I wrote a series of articles deconstructing the Geraldo Rivera special Exposing Satan’s Underground over at Trouble City. During these articles I briefly talked about a man by the name of Tom Wedge, a self-proclaimed occult expert who was trying to tackle the “problem” of Satanic Cults during the height of the Satanic Panic epidemic. You can read the whole epic ten part series here. During my look back I learned that Tom Wedge actually wrote a book in 1988 titled “The Satan Hunter”. To the surprise of nobody this book has not found its way into digital editions. I was curious to as to what Wedge had to say about the Satanic Panic of the time. I hunted down a copy online from an online book retailer that had a copy. I didn’t get into the book during the review but I promised I’d write about it soon. After writing a 10 part article on Satanism already, I was pretty tapped out. But I finally decided to sit down and read this damn book, and it’s batshit crazy. Like my Geraldo series I decided to pick apart this book and point out where it was wrong (which was frequently). It’s amazing what you can find over 30 years later with the magic of the internet. So let’s get into it!
Who the Fuck is Tom Wedge?
If you were to Google Tom Wedge’s name on the internet today, you’d get a lot of links relating to women’s footwear or golf clubs. I’m not kidding. To say his legacy didn’t stand the test of time is an understatement. Which is sad when you consider how much useless crap that is on the internet. Some deep searching yielded listings to buy his book from second hand book stores, but not much about the man himself.
To punctuate how little there is about Our Man Wedge out there, his book was published by Daring Books out of Canton, Ohio. Their most popular book was titled “Covered Bridges Today” by Brenda Krekeler.
Yes, that book is exactly what it sounds like. A book about covered bridges.
“Covered Bridges Today” only had a single printing and has its own Wikipedia page and is still referenced by other books about covered bridges!
Looking up Wedge on Wikipedia? Well…
If there was any better metaphor for what happened to all of the hucksters who tried to capitalize on the Satanic Panic of the 1980s this would be it.
However, fear not Internet, I have dredged up everything I could possibly find out about the slab of ham known as Tom Wedge.
According to his book, Wedge was the juvenile probation officer for the Logan County Common Pleas Court. The book then goes on to call himself the “leading experts on Satanism and the Occult in the U.S.” This contradicts a Washington Post article about Wedge, which states he was the former deputy sheriff of Logan County. Whatever the case may be, according to Wedge, he left his job after 14 years so he could travel the United States giving seminars about Satanism and the Occult to law enforcement.
According to a 1990 article in Spy magazine titled “Beat the Devil”, Wedge had been doing these seminars for $350 per person. From what I could garner from the article, Wedge spends a few hours trying to lump together Satanism with Wicca, Nazis, and sorts of other beliefs and groups that don’t match his Baptist belief system.
From all accounts, Wedge had a lot of trademark sayings like “it’s not what you or I believe, it’s what they believe that makes them dangerous!” and warning people not to grab “magic pouches” from around the neck of alleged Satanists because officers could “get hurt”. This also follows with quizzes about the color of candles and what they supposedly mean. What a wonderful use of police resources.
While he makes a distinction between “traditional Satanism” (meaning LeVayian Satanism, the actual religion) and “non-traditional Satanism” (meaning sick fucks who murder people) He still colludes the two together as though they are the same thing. How can an alleged expert contradict himself in such a fashion. Good question…
But surely, everyone who goes to these seminars are intelligent enough to scrutinize the information being relayed to them, right? Well…
Outside of this, he’s claimed to have appeared on a number of television shows. I’ve previously mentioned how Wedge inserted himself into the middle of Geraldo’s special on Satanism. But he also says he appeared on Oprah, Sally Jessy Raphael, and the 700th Club’s Straight Talk as well as consult with NBC’s Newsmagazine. Sadly, trying to find any record of those appearances, or any video of them cannot be found online at the time of this writing.
Also, the Washington Post article I referenced above also states that Wedge wrote a second book on Satanic cults, but I can’t find anything about it, not even the title.
The only other possible information I could find about the mysterious Satan Hunter is that, at least in 2003, Tom had a vanity license plate that read WEDGIE. So I guess he also enjoys unflattering nicknames?
One last thing about Wedgie, in my article about Geraldo, I had stated that Tom Wedge had passed away. I’m not sure where I came upon that information, I think I picked that up from a Russ Dizdar video on YouTube (more on that idiot later). However, doing additional research for this new series, I found evidence that Tom might still be alive. At the time of this writing I am still in the process of confirming this. Who knows, perhaps I can get the Wedge to speak again?
So who are the people who benefitted from Tom Wedge’s work on Satanic cults? There must be tons of super-cops out there that have tackled down massive Satanic cults based on the teachings of Tom Wedge, right? Well, at the risk of rendering further parts of this series irrelevant, the fast answer is a resounding no. In fact, the only person who still brags about attending one of Tom Wedge’s seminars is Russ Dizdar.
Who is Russ Dizdar? Dizdar is currently one of the big “celebrities” of the conspiracy theory circuit, appearing regularly as a guest on Coast to Coast AM and writing books about SPIRITUAL WARFARE that is going on ALL AROUND US, ALL THE TIME! LOOK OUT! When Dizdar isn’t writing books about angel warriors and secret Satanic cults, he’s giving lectures to sold out auditoriums. So, clearly I’m in the wrong line of work.
Anyway, let’s get back to “The Satan Hunter”, Wedge’s 1988 book where he imparts all his knowledge about Satanism and the Occult. Clocking in at over 200 pages it is chock full of confirmation bias, misinformation, outlandish claims, and navel gazing.
Instead of reading the damn thing I’m going to deliver to you, my valued readers the TL;DR version in 10 or so digestible chunks while simultaneously ripping apart every inaccuracy and falsehood. Sound like fun? Cool! I’m going to try and get a new chapter out every day or so.
So join us tomorrow-ish where we revisit the shocking case of Sean Sellers, Satan’s stooge and Tom Wedge’s golden ticket to credibility. Join us won’t you?