The signs of our time are both sexual and supernatural. Men heart-sick for genuine love flaunt the symbol where they lack the reality, in hopes that vicarious excitement in rock, flick, and pulp will dispel the inner ache. Witness the great high priest of hedonism himself, Hugh Hefner: “You know … in the next ten years I would rather meet a girl and fall in love and have her fall in love with me than make another hundred million dollars” (Time, Feb. 14, 1969, p. 70). At the same time those for whom Christ came to give abundant life reach out for some kind of transcendent vitality to halt the pangs of spiritual starvation—from the delightful TV comedy “Bewitched,” through dubious horoscopes and tarot cards, to the darkness of the Ouija board, seances, and Satanism.

What greater efficiency could there be for modern men than to satisfy both sexual and spiritual needs at once? Several practitioners of the media and of the occult have been quick to try; the film Rosemary’s Baby depicts twentieth-century witchcraft invoking the unnamed forces of Satan to impregnate a young woman; Ritual of Evil, a made-for-TV movie, shows a young witch casting spells and inducing astral-projection to satisfy her erotic drives; Anton LeVay, in his California-based Church of Satan, indulges in the ancient sexual rites connected with the Black Mass.

All such efforts are not orgiastic fun and spiritual games, however. Two years ago, in a situation that would make the ministrants of Rosemary’s Baby blush, seventeen-year-old Bernadette Hasles was beaten to death in an attempt to drive the devil out of her. Her murderers, the members of a fanatical European cult, had accused her of having sexual relations with the devil, and had required as penance that ...

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