Is Adam Lanza’s reported devil worship a missing link that could help explain what motivated the Sandy Hook gunman to carry out the school house massacre?

Was Lanza part of a larger Satanic or ritualistic subculture locally or online in which he could have revealed his plans or could have even received support in preparing for the killings?

Although largely underreported, Satanic subculture and so-called devil worship has been a factor in numerous other mass killings, including the recent Batman shooting massacre.

Trevor L. Todd, a former classmate of Lanza’s, told media that Lanza worshiped the devil and had an Internet page dedicated to Satan.

Lanza’s worshiping page had the word “Devil” written in red, Gothic-style letters against a black background, stated Todd, the London Daily Mail reported.

Batman, Columbine and the devil

While Lanza’s reported devil worship was mentioned in several news media items, it is apparently not being considered as a possible motive in the national debate currently centered around the role of guns, drugs, violent video games and mental illness in the shooting spree.

The theme of so-called devil worship and Satanic-style “Goth” subculture has cropped up in numerous other mass shootings, although in some cases the phenomenon may have been underreported or entirely unreported.

One such case is the July 20 mass shooting at a Batman movie in Aurora, Colo.

While reports do not link the shooter, James Eagan Holmes, to either devil worship or the Goth community, an overlooked factor is the Satanic themes related to the “Joker” character after which Holmes modeled himself.

Holmes, a 24-year old former Ph.D. candidate in neuroscience, had dyed his hair red like the Joker had and told police officers that he was “the Joker,” the villain in numerous Batman movies.

It was reported that Holmes was a big fan of Batman movies and that his apartment was decorated with Batman paraphernalia.

In various Batman movies, including the recent Dark Knight series, the Joker’s calling card, handed out by the character in multiple scenes in the different movies, is a picture of the devil.

In the 1989 Batman film, the Joker character, played by Jack Nicholson, is first recognized by Batman as the perpetrator of his parents’ murder after the Joker asks Batman, “Do you ever dance with the devil in the pale moon light?” Batman has a flashback to when his mother and father were murdered by a man who asks the same question.

In the immediate aftermath of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre there were widespread reports killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were involved in Goth subculture.

The two had initially been reported to also be members of “The Trenchcoat Mafia,” an informal club within Columbine High School, but later reports emerged that such characterizations were considered incorrect.

Manson family murder

Perhaps the most infamous shooting spree related to Satanic symbolism is one of the killings carried out by the Manson family.

Charles Manson was found guilty of conspiracy to commit the murders of Sharon Tate and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca carried out by members of his group at his instruction.

Tate, married to film director Roman Polanski, was eight-and-a-half months pregnant when she was murdered in ritualistic style in her home by Manson’s followers in 1969.

The word “pig” – written in Tate’s blood – was reportedly splashed on her front door.

According to reports, Tate was originally selected to play the main character in her husband’s “Rosemary’s Baby,” a film about a pregnant woman who fears that her husband may have made a pact with neighbors to use her child as a human sacrifice in their occult rituals. Actress Mia Farrow ultimately got the role, while Tate did make a brief appearance in the film.

There have been a slew of other murders in the U.S. reportedly tied to devil worship.

There is the case of the 1980s serial killer Ricardo “Richard” Ramirez, who was dubbed the “Night Stalker” by the news media. Many of his victims were killed in ritualistic style and had various Satanic markings carved into their bodies.

In one case, in which Ramirez attempted a rape, he used lipstick to draw pentagrams on the victim’s thigh and on the wall in her bedroom.

In another case, Ramirez shot California man Bill Carns in the head and raped his fiancée, Inez Erickson, who later said he demanded she swear her love for Satan.

Also there is Sean Richard Sellers, one of 22 killers to be executed for a crime committed while under the age of 18 since the death penalty was reinstated. His case drew worldwide attention due to his age and his claim that “demonic possession” made him innocent of his crimes.

Sellers had said he was a practicing Satanist. Court documents show he claimed to have read “The Satanic Bible” by Anton LaVey “hundreds of times” during the years he committed his crimes.

In a so-called confession letter written from prison, Sellers relates: “I got very involved in Satanism. I truly thought it was an honest way to live and the rituals of it would enable me to control my life.”

There was also a small town murder in the Midwest carried out by Jim Hardy, the president of his high school student council, who bludgeoned to death Steven Newberry as part of what Hardy and three other teens claimed was a Satanic ritual.

The teens explained how they formed a Satanic cult and would engage in devil worshipping ceremonies, making up their own rituals taken in part from horror movies and heavy metal music.

The Church of Satan

There are various sects of Satanic culture and devil worship worldwide.

The main established organization promoting the practice in the U.S. is the Church of Satan, which uses LaVey’s “The Satanic Bible” as its guiding book.

The church has five degrees that members can achieve after being inducted through private ceremonies.

The church has a ruling body consisting of the High Priest, the High Priestess and the Council of Nine.

Church of Satan members have over the years made numerous media appearances to refute notions that their doctrine encourages or participates in violence.

The church espouses nine statements of beliefs:

  1. Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence.
  2. Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipe dreams.
  3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit.
  4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates.
  5. Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek.
  6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires.
  7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development”, has become the most vicious animal of all.
  8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification.
  9. Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He has kept it in business all these years.

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