Zachary King remembers the day well. It was in 1982. He was young, rebellious and dabbling in the occult.
But on that day, he would make the transition from novice to the deeper things of Satan.
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"I had just turned 14, and they told me there was going to be a sex party in someone's house and all the males in the coven were going to sleep with this woman," recalls King, now 47 and a pro-life activist living in Florida.
"And the purpose of the party was to get her pregnant, and then nine months later we were going to be doing an abortion," he said.
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The word "abortion" was something he'd only heard once before. It was used by his mother in a whispered tone.
"I went home and looked it up in the dictionary, and that didn't really explain it. So I went to the library, and I found whole books which had so much information I couldn't grasp it all. So I went back to my coven and asked an older guy, 'What is an abortion?'"
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"He said 'we say a spell and there is a baby in its mother's womb and we kill it.'"
He remembers asking a very direct question.
"Is that legal?"
"And he said, 'As long as it's inside the woman, it's legal.'"
And with that short conversation, the teen was on his way to a dark existence as an occult leader.
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He would later become a high wizard, he said, overseeing more than 140 "ritual abortions."
"Knowing a spell could kill someone inside a woman, and that's legal, and five minutes later it's illegal, I said, 'This is awesome. I can do this all day long.' You step through this door and you can kill, and you step through this other door and you go to prison. That in itself should tell you how satanic it is," King told WND. "The coven leader called it a baby, not a lump of cells, and he said, 'You kill it.' They didn't call it a lump of cells."
He said he performed many of the sacrificial abortion rituals at the clinics of "a large abortion provider," but he would not identify the provider for fear of lawsuits.
"As a high wizard, your job was to get your hands bloody while saying a spell, regardless of whether that's the baby's blood or the mother's blood," he said. "My left hand guided the way, and the right hand had a scalpel. The woman never winced or anything. Both hands were bloody. I participated in 141 abortions. I doubt my actions actually killed any children, but I was still there."
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King said he was hired to be there, casting his spells, by the abortionists.
"You have to be part of the procedure," he said. "They have hired you to perform a satanic spell and, in order for that to happen, your hands have to get bloody."
'The women knew why I was there'
He said he would show up and change into his wizard's robe to perform the incantations. King explained that he wore the same type of wizard's garb seen in a music video by female rocker Pink for her song, "Just Like a Pill." The video shows a wizard, dressed in black, his face painted pale and wearing a black top hat, reciting a spell behind the singer, as the scene then flips to simulated group sex.
He said the women whose abortions he attended would get pregnant with the intent of killing their unborn baby as a sacrifice to Satan.
"So the women knew why I was there," King said. "They know there's a satanic ritual going on.
"In 1987 (at the age of 19), I became a high wizard, and I did my last abortion in 1997," he said. "From the time I was 14 to age 19, I did probably five of them."
Alveda King, a pro-life activist with Priests for Life and the niece of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said she believes King's story, because she's heard others like it over the years. But she has no idea how prevalent such practices may be.
"Yes. Actually, I've been aware for many years," she said. "I've heard testimonies of post-abortive parents, especially women. There was a witch in the hospital when my sixth baby was born."
Zachary King, author of a forthcoming book titled "Abortion is a Satanic Sacrifice" in an interview with the Lepanto Institute, gave the reason for the rituals.
"In satanism, killing something or the death of something is the most effective way of getting your spell accomplished," he said. "As far as trying to get Satan's approval, to give you something that you want, killing something is the best way to go. Killing something is the ultimate offering to Satan, and if you can kill an unborn, that is his ultimate goal."
The mixing of sex and occultist religious rituals was propagated in the early 20th century by Aleister Crowley, the famous English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet and painter, Zachary King said.
He said he left the coven but continued to practice magic until he became a Christian and converted to Catholicism in 2008.
Not the first to describe satanic rituals
King is not the first person to testify that the abortion industry is steeped in the occult.
In December 2010, Life Site News, a pro-life website, published a profile of Abigail Seidman, who from the age of 10 was working in an abortion clinic managed by her mother, a nurse.
Seidman told Life Site her mother’s descent into the abortion culture was not motivated by the usual talking points – to save women from dangerous back-alley abortions, or to "help" women in difficult situations, or even for the money. It was a religion – literally.
Seidman described the abortion clinic where her mother worked as "pervaded with occult imagery and practices." The employees considered abortion "a form of sacrifice," and would perform the procedure as a sort of ritual. They worshiped pagan deities embodying death, she told Life Site News.
Seidman and her unborn baby fell victim to this mentality, through an abortion that her mother encouraged when she was a teenager, despite Seidman's resistance.
Exposing the darkest corners of the abortion industry is not the type of thing many people like to talk about, or even think about, and it sounds so sensational that many will deny there is a connection between the black arts and the abortion business. Yet Seidman told the website she believes it's critical that pro-lifers acknowledge the occultist influence – and recognize it as the key to pulling the abortion industry "up by the roots."
"The occult believers are the 'core' of the pro-abortion movement, just as the born-again Christians are the 'core' of the pro-life movement," she told Life Site News. "I see no harm in striking at its heart, and informing 'pro-choice' people (particularly the well-meaning but misguided Christians) of who and what they are truly associating themselves with."
Shades of Austin, Texas
Many pro-life activists recall the video in 2013 from the state House in Austin, Texas, when pro-lifers were surrounded by a group of pro-abortion activists who could be heard on the video chanting, "Hail Satan, Hail Satan," in monotone voices.
And as recently as Friday, the Satanic Temple in Detroit turned out to counter-protest a pro-life rally in front of Planned Parenthood clinics in Detroit and Ferndale, Michigan. They performed a ritual "waterboarding" by pouring gallons of milk over the heads of two women, saying this simulated the drowning of women in breast milk by stripping them of their reproductive rights.
The protest was meant to counter a pro-life rally, one of more than 300 around the country Saturday calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood in the wake of undercover videos showing executives talking about the sale of baby body parts.
Watch the Satanic counter protest in Detroit Saturday near Planned Parenthood clinic:
Mark Crutcher, founder of Life Dynamics, a pro-life advocacy group based in Denton, Texas, said he has been aware "since day one" that there is a darker spiritual side to the abortion industry that goes unseen.
"Yes for years. We've interviewed a few people here. It was about 1992 or 93, and we had a girl who came from Missouri and she claimed to be involved in the same sort of thing (that King talks about)," he said. "Women getting pregnant with the intent to kill their babies and women being told they could make themselves holy by offering up their baby as a sacrifice.
"She described situations where they would extract babies and do spells and satanic rituals."
The woman told Crutcher that one of the things they tell women in the counseling sessions is, "You make your baby holy like Jesus, because he shed his blood for you to make your life better, and your baby can shed his blood for you, too.
"It was really screwed up stuff," he said.
Another widespread idea among pagan feminists is that abortion is a "sacrament," Zachary King said.
"When you take that and combine it with some women they call breeders, where all they do is have baby after baby after baby so they can abort them, and sometimes it's done in private homes and sometimes in private clinics," he said. "Usually it's legal, wherever they do it. They usually have a team of attorneys who can say, 'You can do this,' or, 'You can't do that.'"
'Rumors' hard to prove
Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy adviser to Operation Rescue, said she's heard the rumors for years about ritualistic abortions being conducted at clinics, but she hasn't been able to find confirmation.
"I have heard rumors, nothing I could ever verify. For instance, at a large abortion clinic in San Diego, that particular clinic was also a meeting place for other types of organizations. The communists and the wiccans would meet there. We heard rumors that there were rituals there and in a park across from it, but we could never verify that," she told WND. "We could verify the meetings, so we figured if they are allowing the wiccans to have meetings in their place, it might not be so much of a stretch that they would have rituals."
The one common denominator that links most of the operatives in the abortion industry is a hatred of Christianity, Sullenger said.
"A lot of these places are just money-making businesses and that's all they care about. But we have seen a lot of attacks on pro-lifers not just because they're pro-life but because they're Christians," she said. "There is one clinic (in Illinois) where they would mock Jesus, mock the Christians and mock their faith, and it's not something that's so unusual. We saw the same type of thing in Reno, Nevada."
Sullenger said many of the volunteer escorts at abortion clinics hold pagan and neo-pagan beliefs.
"I've met a lot of women who volunteer as clinic escorts who are pagans. They'll take the pro-life literature and tear it up as they walk the woman into the clinic," she said.
Satanists file suit to block Missouri abortion law
The state of Missouri recently passed an "informed consent" law requiring a 72-hour waiting period before a woman could get an abortion. The New York-based Satanic Temple filed a federal lawsuit in July against the state, claiming that such a law violates their "free exercise" of their religion, Satanism.
The pregnant woman the satanists are using to bring their lawsuit went to the St. Louis Planned Parenthood clinic and submitted a letter stating that her religious beliefs in satanism require no informed consent and no waiting period before abortion, Life Site News reported.
She demanded, on religious grounds, "to have an abortion today – now – and without further review of the [informed consent] booklet." Her letter explained her belief that "both as a religious and a scientific matter ... an abortion will not terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being."
Satanic Temple founder Doug Mesner, who goes by the satanist name "Lucien Greaves," released a statement, announcing the lawsuit against Gov. Jay Nixon and Attorney General Chris Koster, claiming, "The Informed Consent materials explicitly communicate items of religious opinion that directly contradict the deeply-held beliefs of women within The Satanic Temple."
The satanists argue that Missouri's law violates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. "The question of when life begins is absolutely a religious opinion, and the state has no business proselytizing religious beliefs," the sect claims.
"You see and hear that theme kind of woven throughout," Sullenger said. "So it's very much a spiritual battle, but we're acutely aware of that. I remember in the old rescue days, the sit-in days where we would get arrested sitting in front of abortion clinics. We would sit and sing hymns, and it would just drive people crazy, and we could see the battle between good and evil, light and dark, just playing out right there in the streets."
In his book, "Lime 5: Exploited by the Abortion Industry," Crutcher included a chapter called "Vacant Souls."
"It's about the people who work in abortion clinics. We do a lot of undercover stuff, so we do have a lot of contact with these people, and I can tell you a lot of them are screwed up," he said.
"Were they normal and then got involved in the abortion industry and got screwed up, or were they already demented souls and that's why they ended up in the abortion industry? I don't know," he continued. "But this idea that you're going to create a sacrament of abortion is pretty crazy, and you're going to make your baby holy by making him like Jesus, you're pretty screwed up."
'The Sacrament of Abortion'
Crutcher cited a 1992 book by Ginette Paris, a member of the pagan religion who was very upfront about the abortion procedure. The book's title said it all: "The Sacrament of Abortion."
The author claims that abortion is a sacred act, a sacrifice to Artemis, known to the Romans as Diana. This is the same Artemis whose enthusiastic supporters the Apostle Paul encountered in Acts 19:34.
"Artemis is both a protector of wild animals and a hunter who kills them with deadly aim. How can these contradictory roles be found in the same female deity?" writes Father Frank Pavone, founding director of Priests for Life, in a 2012 article. "The view proposed in this book is that a mother properly cares for life only if she possesses full power over life and death. Death is sometimes preferable. The one who can provide death, in order that one may escape an unfriendly life, is really loving the one who is being killed.
"Abortion, then, is seen as 'an expression of maternal responsibility and not a failure of maternal love' (p.8). 'Artemis stands for the refusal to give life if the gift is not pure and untainted. ... As Artemis might kill a wounded animal rather than allow it to limp along miserably, so a mother wishes to spare the child a painful destiny' (p. 55)."
Crutcher said he wanted to help the young woman from Missouri who came to his office after one of his staff members encouraged her to make the drive.
"We were going to try to help her. This girl was so screwed up. She'd had eight or nine abortions and had gotten pregnant on purpose so she could have abortions," he said.
The girl said the Missouri coven was 100 percent female, but the women were overseen by a male high priest.
"She became holy by being impregnated by this guy, and then having an abortion where he's basically killing his own child," Crutcher explained.
The woman confided that the coven would also kidnap women who were pregnant.
"We were going to help her, but after she left our office we could never get a hold of her again," he said. "But over the years, we've had a lot of these kind of stories."
Crutcher said the overwhelming motivation for people who are pro-life is a belief that God is the author of all life and unborn babies are living human beings.
"And if you believe that, then the one who is against that is on the other side," he said. "Ephesians tells us we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness. I've seen some of the most bizarre things happen. We know we've all been under attack, and you can sense it. You can tell when something is going on. It will go away after a while and it will come back, but you can sense it.
"You can't work in this every day like we do and not see this. And not see there is a spiritual component."
So stories like that of Abigail Seidman and Zachary King don't sound so unbelievable after a while.
"It would be easy to dismiss it as maybe she has some mental issues. But we've seen it time and time again, and seen there are things that are not of a worldly nature," Crutcher said. "Just like this guy, Zach King, it would be very easy to blow him off as some sort of a nut case."
Satanists no longer 'hiding'
Zachary King said satanism, in the same way abortion and homosexual rights activists have mainstreamed their ideas, is unveiling its true agenda in increments.
"It's becoming more popular, because, remember, Satan has removed himself from the picture in many respects, trying to prove he doesn't exist," he said. "So many people think of Satan as this character the church invented to keep people in line, and then you look at everything else that's ramped up.
"I'm old enough to know that the American Psychological Association said for years homosexuality was a mental disorder. Then they said it's OK to think those thoughts, but you can't act on them. Then it was OK for you to act on them in your own bedroom. Then they got to the point where they were having public kiss-ins, and that all moved us toward where we are now with the Supreme Court ruling it's not only not a psychological issue but it's no different than heterosexual sex and, therefore, legal to marry."
It's the same with abortion and satanism, King said.
"At Yale last year, we had an attempted black mass. Then in Oklahoma we had an actual black mass.
"Now they're talking about establishing actual satanic churches out in the open.
"Everything satanic is coming out in the open, they're not denying it anymore. They're not hiding it in the basement and out in the woods anymore," King said. "It's just out in the open like everything else."
Crutcher said it's important for Christians to remember that "greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world."
"When you look at the devastation that has been racked on the people inside the abortion industry, you look in their eyes and there's nothing there," he said. "They can sit there and just kind of laugh about seeing these babies plop out of these women and land on the floor."
He recently interviewed three abortion clinic employees in Houston who did just that – laughed.
"It is weird to sit across from these people and see just how vacant their souls are," Crutcher said.
"But as despicable as I find these people who work in these clinics, I have to step back and see that I feel sorry for them, because these people live in hell right here on earth," he said. "They see things you and I cannot imagine, and as despicable as I find them, in one sense you feel sorry for them."
But it's impossible to over-estimate how much someone will endure for their religion.
The fact that some defend abortion as a sacred act should alert us to the depth of the spiritual warfare that is going on, says Father Pavone of Priests for Life.
"Abortion has never been merely or even primarily a political issue. It is a false religion," he writes. "When pro-life Christians, for example, pray in front of an abortion mill, it is not simply a matter of pro-life people opposing false medicine. It is the true Church in conflict with a false Church. One former clinic security guard, after being converted, admitted why he was angry at pro-life sidewalk counselors: 'You were coming to protest in front of our church. That clinic was where we conducted our worship.'"