Controversy surrounding the book Satan’s Underground, the testimony of Satanic worship and ritual abuse told by author Lauren Stratford, has caused Harvest House Publishers to “cease publication” of the book. Their action came approximately two months after an article in Cornerstone magazine alleged Stratford’s story was “fantasy.” A second Stratford book, I Know You’re Hurting, was also withdrawn.

In Satan’s Underground, which has sold more than 130,000 copies since its release in 1988, Stratford describes a life filled with sexual abuse, pornography, prostitution, and eventually Satanism. Among her most shocking revelations: Two children she bore were killed in “snuff” films, a third was sacrificed in her presence in a satanic ritual.

Stratford eventually became a Christian and met Johanna Michaelsen, who wrote about her own past involvement in the occult in The Beautiful Side of Evil, published by Harvest House.

Names, Dates, And Places

In the Cornerstone article, anticult researchers and apologists Bob and Gretchen Passantino, writing with Cornerstoneeditor Jon Trott, present evidence that contradicts the life story of Lauren Stratford, the pen name for Laurel Rose Wilson. The Passantinos, directors of the Costa Mesa, California-based ministry Answers in Action, said they became suspicious of Satan’s Underground after noting a lack of specific names, dates, and places in the story. In the fall of 1989, having heard concerns from other cult researchers about the veracity of the story, they decided to investigate further, with the help of Trott and others.

“Our intent was either to expose the rumors [that questioned Stratford’s story] as lies, or to confirm the documentable evidence she claimed to have to support her story,” ...

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