Whitley Strieber on The Finders

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Re: wash post

Postby professorpan » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:08 pm

Copyright 1987 The Washington Post <br>The Washington Post<br>February 10, 1987, Tuesday, Final Edition<br>SECTION: METRO; PAGE D1<br><br>LENGTH: 784 words<br><br>HEADLINE: D.C. Police: Finders Odd, Not Criminal;<br>FBI, Virginia and Florida Expand Probes<br><br>BYLINE: Victoria Churchville, Marc Fisher, Washington Post Staff Writer<br><br>BODY:<br>A District police investigation begun in December into allegations of child abuse and satanic rituals involving the Finders, a group linked to six ragtag children found last week in Florida, has produced evidence that the practices of the group were odd but not criminal, D.C. Police Chief Maurice T. Turner Jr. said yesterday.<br><br>"The life style of the so-called Finders organization may differ from the societal norm, but so far the Metropolitan Police Department has not uncovered any evidence of criminal wrongdoing by members of the group," Turner said at a news conference. He added, however, that documents and records seized last week are still being reviewed.<br><br>But even as police in the District softened their statements about the Finders group, the FBI and police in Virginia and Florida widened their investigation into the activities of the Washington-based commune of 20 to 40 adults and seven children. <br><br>Two of the six children, whom police said they found dirty and hungry in a Tallahassee park with two well-dressed men, showed indications of possible sexual abuse, according to an affidavit filed in Madison County, Va., where the group has two farms.<br><br>The men, Douglas E. Ammerman, 27, and James Michael Holwell, 23, who gave police the name Michael Houlihan, were arrested and charged with six counts each of child abuse. Florida authorities said yesterday that the two men, who are in jail in lieu of $ 100,000 cash bond, have refused to talk with police.<br><br>Meanwhile, FBI agents in Washington yesterday interviewed Kristin Knauth, a woman associated with the group. She is said to be the mother of Benjamin Franklin Knauth, 4, one of the children found in Florida. Kristin Knauth could not be reached for comment yesterday.<br><br>Chief Turner said the D.C. investigation began in mid-December after an unnamed informant alleged that children were being physically and sexually abused at the group's house and that the group engaged in satanic activities.<br><br>He said those allegations have not been substantiated by police surveillance or by review of materials seized at the group's properties last week, nor has examination of those materials substantiated allegations of child pornography. No children have been at the Finders' residence since the investigation began, Turner said. He said that as yet police "have not assured" themselves that children in the group have not been abused.<br><br>In an interview, Robert Gardner Terrell, a key member of the group, said that the children have been traveling in Virginia, Kentucky and Florida since before Christmas with men in the group while their mothers were in San Francisco on "an earning and learning adventure." He said a seventh child, an infant, has been in Boulder, Colo.<br><br>"We've received hundreds and hundreds of calls about the children," Tallahassee police spokesman Scott Hunt said yesterday. "They're doing fine now. They're well fed and they're clothed and they're in shelter."<br><br>Virginia state police said yesterday that they found goat skins and a goat's head in their search of the Finders' rural lands over the weekend. Spokesman Charles Vaughan said police also found computer equipment and documents, but he did not comment on the significance of the material.<br><br>In an affidavit supporting the search, Virginia authorities included photographs showing three white-robed Finders men and several children dismembering two goats. The photographs were in a scrapbook titled "The Execution of Henrietta and Igor." In one picture, a crying child looked at a decapitated goat. Another photo was captioned, "Ben finds Henrietta's Womb." Three pictures showed children playing with goat fetuses.<br><br>Carl Shapley, a Washington educator who said he worked closely with Finders leader Marion Pettie during the past year, said the group's ceremonies involved the slaughter of goats, but he warned against associating such activities with satanism or pagan rites.<br><br>"They believe in games and this was just good fun, a very Alice-in-Wonderland kind of fun, dressing up in white robes or whatever," he said.<br><br>Even as Shapley and others rose to defend the Finders, calling them an odd but entirely benign group of intellectual explorers and social adventurers, former members of the group came forward to relate tales of being harassed by the Finders.<br><br>A lawyer in Culpeper, Va., said the Finders sent him profane letters and slashed his car's tires when he represented a former member in a divorce case three years ago. John Davies, the lawyer, said the harassment stopped only after he obtained a court order prohibiting members of the group from contacting him.<br><br>Staff writers John F. Harris and John Mintz contributed to this report. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: wash post

Postby professorpan » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:10 pm

Copyright 1987 The Washington Post <br>The Washington Post<br>February 8, 1987, Sunday, Final Edition<br>SECTION: FIRST SECTION; PAGE A1<br><br>LENGTH: 1958 words<br><br>HEADLINE: Cult Member Defends 2 Men in Child Abuse Case<br><br>BYLINE: Victoria Churchville, Martin Weil, Washington Post Staff Writers<br><br>BODY:<br>A man identifying himself as a member of the group that includes the two men arrested in Florida last week on child abuse charges came forward last night to identify the children with whom the men were found and to defend the men against the charges.<br><br>In a printed statement and a telephone interview, Robert Gardner Terrell, 50, who said he owned the Washington house said to be a base for the Finders, the group to which the two belong, gave detailed explanations for the group's practices and activities, which have been characterized as unusual or bizarre.<br><br>Asserting that the six children found in Tallahassee with the men had been formally placed in the care of at least one of the men by the children's mothers, he denied that the children had been abused or neglected. Tallahassee police said six disheveled and hungry children were found in a downtown park with the men.<br><br>Affidavits filed in U.S. District Court here in support of search warrants executed last week at a Northwest duplex and a Northeast warehouse owned by Terrell described "satanism" and "rituals" associated with the "cult." <br><br>"We are all in a state right now where we are afraid. We've been made almost dysfunctional by the reports," Terrell said in a lengthy telephone interview last night. He said he released the statement to police and news organizations "to establish some kind of credibility that we are rational people, not devil worshipers or child molesters."<br><br>"Certainly anything we've done is based on the desire for the children to have the richest life they could have," Terrell continued. "Children always come first in our organization."<br><br>Terrell's statement was delivered last night to The Washington Post only hours after police seized materials at five rural Virginia locations as part of an expanding investigation touched off by the arrests of the two men in Tallahassee on Wednesday.<br><br>In addition, authorities were searching throughout the Southeast yesterday for a van believed to be carrying associates of the two men. Law enforcement officials were also sifting through mountains of materials previously seized in raids on Washington locations linked to the group.<br><br>In his typed statement, Terrell, a private accountant and former employe of the Internal Revenue Service, said two men and six children from the group left Washington early last month for Berea, Ky., where they were to work on a retirement community. After finding that the site was not ready for groundbreaking, the men took the children on a vacation and camping trip to Florida with the children's mothers' approval, he said.<br><br>Other men went to Florida to help care for the children, and three had left for the day to look for accommodations when two of the men were arrested, the statement said.<br><br>"I consider that the authorities have mistakenly incarcerated these men and children," Terrell said in the statement, which he said he circulated last night "in the hope that it will clear up some misunderstanding . . . . "<br><br>Of the six children taken into custody by authorities Wednesday, when the investigation began, one showed signs of sexual abuse, Tallahassee police said, but none provided a full account of what was believed to be their journey from Washington to Florida.<br><br>In response to the suggestion of sexual abuse, the man who identified himself as Terrell said last night that it might have occurred after the children were taken from those assigned to care for them. It "might have happened after she was out of our control," he said. He said the children were healthy and well nourished.<br><br>Police said they received several calls from grandparents and other relatives claiming some of the children. One Washington area man told the FBI he was on his way to Tallahassee to claim his grandson. But police said they will not release any of the children without a court order.<br><br>The discovery of the children and the arrest of the two men led D.C. authorities to search a Northeast Washington warehouse and a Glover Park apartment building where several Finders members lived. D.C. police yesterday sifted through extensive computer records and color slides and photographic contact sheets removed by authorities.<br><br>U.S. Customs agents who saw some of the photos Friday said they appeared to involve sexual activities between adults and children, according to Customs spokesman David Hoover. "We're not saying that it's pornography, but it has all the earmarks," Hoover said.<br><br>However, D.C. police sources characterized the pictures as "ritualistic" and not pornographic. One police source said that the photos were "no more pornographic than what you find in the average home." They said the pictures of naked children were innocent, but there were some showing children in "ritualistic" ceremonies including the bloodletting of animals.<br><br>In the telephone interview late last night, Terrell described the so-called bloodletting as the slaughter of two goats kept on a farm in Virginia "for the kids to play with." At the end of the summer, he said, group members decided it would be more humane to slaughter and eat the animals rather than to let them starve in their pen.<br><br>He said the slaughter was intended as an educational experience. "I don't see why it's so bizarre," he added, "but it's been seized on by the authorities."<br><br>Based on interviews and on items seized in the raids, law enforcement sources said that the group does not appear to be engaged in the child pornography industry or in kidnaping and said they do not fully understand the group.<br><br>"These people are not into hurting the children physically," said one law enforcement source. "They're into molding them mentally."<br><br>Among the items seized in the Friday raids were computerized messages concerning what the group called the proper "programming" of the children, and how they are "demagnetized," the law enforcement source said.<br><br>Other items seized included financial records indicating that the group has substantial assets, including bank accounts, the source said.<br><br>Other seized documents include files showing the organization has researched numerous industries, such as the fast food industry, and papers suggesting that the group operates a wide network of corporations, the source said.<br><br>Other files seized showed that some members of the group have worked in low-level jobs in the federal and District governments, the source said.<br><br>In Etlan, Va., about 100 miles southwest of Washington, state police said they found "several items of evidentiary nature" after yesterday's 2:30 a.m. search of properties reportedly owned by Marion Pettie, leader of the Finders.<br><br>Virginia and Madison County authorities would not describe what they found at two farms, one near Etlan and the other a few miles away in a hamlet called Nethers. A house and at least three cabins on the land were unoccupied, and police said much of the property appeared not to have been inhabited for some time.<br><br>The door of one cabin was open yesterday, revealing large amounts of food, clothing, sleeping bags, books and pamphlets from groups such as the World Future Society. A plastic bag containing hundreds of neckties and several pairs of panty hose were on the floor, along with boxes of diapers.<br><br>In the woods outside the cabin, badly weathered tents and sleeping bags were scattered on the ground next to a swing set made of rope and milk cases. Neighbors in the remote farming community have said they routinely saw as many as several dozen people, including large groups of children, riding to the farms and hiking and camping in the nude during the summer. Some neighbors spoke highly of Pettie, saying he traveled often and was often helpful to local residents.<br><br>Meanwhile, the FBI and Tallahassee police continued yesterday to seek leads on a white van that witnesses said was with the blue van that police seized Wednesday. Police said the two vans may have been in radio contact. Witnesses told police that the white van was occupied by two well-dressed men and two children. It has not been seen since.<br><br>Law enforcement agencies throughout the Southeast United States were asked yesterday to look for the white van, and Tallahassee police said they were examining leads reported by Miami and Gainesville, Fla., police.<br><br>Miami police searching computer intelligence files reported two vehicles, a white 1985 Dodge with Virginia tags and a white 1982 Dodge van with Virginia tags. Gainesville police reported a sighting two days ago of an older model -- late '60s or '70s -- green Chevy Suburban or Chevy International van occupied by several well dressed men and several children. Hunt would not comment further on the sightings.<br><br>Hunt said police do not know when the two men and six children in the blue van left the Washington area or how long they had been on the road. One of the youngsters told police that the children last saw their parents in Washington around Christmas and that while traveling they had been camping out in tents at campgrounds. Police said they found no bedding or camping equipment in the van. The van was heavy with the smell of unwashed clothes and rotting fruit and vegetables, police said.<br><br>The two men arrested Wednesday, identified as Douglas Ammerman, 27, and James Michael Holwell or Michael Houlihan, 23, have been charged with aggravated child abuse and resisting arrest without violence, both misdemeanors in Florida. They were each being held in lieu of $ 100,000 bond.<br><br>Houlihan is the father of one of the children and stepfather of another, according to police and former members of the Finders. Houlihan told police late Friday that he wanted to talk to a detective, but when police sent an investigator, Houlihan had changed his mind, police said. Police said that this could be another of the games that the Finders are said to play.<br><br>Authorities said they have not interviewed the children since they were found Wednesday. Lt. Michael Langston said last night that social workers are awaiting the arrival of counselors from the FBI. No timetable has been set for the interview, which will be videotaped.<br><br>Meanwhile, District police theorize that members of the commune were tipped off to the impending raid on their Washington bases when Tallahassee police called the W Street house sometime Wednesday, seeking information about the children. "That alerted them to what was going on," a District police source said. "That's why we didn't find anything anywhere."<br><br>Former members of the group said the Finders routinely practiced leaving their house on short notice.<br><br>In his printed statement, Terrell said that Ammerman was one of the two men who originally left Washington with the six children. He listed in the statement names for all six children, and identified their mothers. At least five of the women have been identified by other sources as members of the Finders.<br><br>Terrell said that Ammerman and another man took the children to Florida and that afterward, Michael Holwell, also known as Michael Houlihan, and four other men, including Terrell himself, went to Florida to care for the children.<br><br>Terrell said that he and another man left Florida after being satisfied that the children were well cared for.<br><br>He said the children's mothers are in San Francisco, "working in business offices" to earn money to help pay for the Kentucky project.<br><br>Identifying himself as the owner of both the Glover Park apartment building and the Northeast Washington warehouse used by the Finders, Terrell said he could not return home because he feared that based on news reports "the police would arrest me."<br><br>Staff writers John Ward Anderson, Ed Bruske, Marc Fisher, John F. Harris, John Mintz and Linda Wheeler contributed to this report.<br><br>GRAPHIC: MAP, POLICE SEIZED ITEMS YESTERDAY FROM THIS RURAL HOUSE ON RTE. 646 NEAR ETLAN, VA.; (DAVID ZUCKERMAN FOR TWP); PHOTO, A HOUSE WHERE MARION PETTIE IS SAID TO HAVE SOMETIMES STAYED IN NETHERS, VA.DUDLEY M. BROOKS; PHOTO, (DUDLEY M. BROOKS)<br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: wash post

Postby professorpan » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:14 pm

Copyright 1987 The Washington Post <br>The Washington Post<br>February 8, 1987, Sunday, Final Edition<br>SECTION: FIRST SECTION; PAGE A1<br><br>LENGTH: 1208 words<br><br>HEADLINE: Ex-Finders Tell of Games, Complex Beliefs;<br>Group Tried to Raise Children to Be Independent, Tough<br><br>BYLINE: John Mintz, Marc Fisher, Washington Post Staff Writers<br><br>BODY:<br>Former followers of Marion Pettie say they called him "The Student," "The Stroller," "The Game Caller" or "The Pathfinder" and believed that when Pettie lectured them at their Glover Park house about "the New Age way of living" and Eastern mysticism, he could peer into their souls almost as if he had X-ray vision.<br><br>The group believed that women, never men, should initiate sexual relationships, because Pettie told them so, and that children should be raised like Indians on the Plains, strong and tough.<br><br>Interviews with former members and associates of the Washington-based group of 40 or so followers, known as the Finders, describe an organization completely dominated by the 66-year-old Pettie and driven by a complex belief system confounding to outsiders.<br><br>Now it is the police who are perplexed as they sift through mounds of documents and computer tapes seized in raids on the group's headquarters in the District and Virginia in the past three days. Authorities in Florida say they soon will seek to interview six young children who were found dirty and hungry by Tallahassee police Thursday in the company of two men identified by police as members of the Finders. <br><br>The commune evolved with the human potential movement of the 1970s, with a heavy emphasis on shedding inhibitions and delusions, said former associates, most of whom did not want to be identified out of embarrassment for having been in the group, or out of fear of current associates.<br><br>"It was a 24-hour, 365-day-a-year training group for games," said a man who said he has known group members for 15 years. "It was like people who go to an institute for a weekend, but this was for a year or a lifetime . . . . And the games were always changing."<br><br>Former members of the Finders said that the six children found in Tallahassee are sons and daughters of group members, the result of a deliberate binge of child-bearing among group women in the past few years, after about 10 years of freewheeling relationships in which they deliberately avoided having children, former associates said.<br><br>A number of the older members of the Finders, people in their forties or fifties, had careers or families before but left them behind to take part in the group. Looking back, most of them regarded their old lives as uninteresting and their children and former spouses as too conventional, according to former group associates and relatives of current members.<br><br>Pettie and his followers agreed about 1980 that they should start a new generation of children and raise them in an experimental way, the sources said. The biological parents would not raise them; the group would.<br><br>But in reality the children were largely ignored by the members, with responsibility for their care considered drudgery, former members said.<br><br>"It was an undesirable job in the group," said a person who quit several years ago. "They were trying to keep the kids out of their hair . . . . The theory was the children should have a lot of abundance . . . . But they were terrible at putting it into practice."<br><br>In a telephone interview last night, a man who identified himself as Robert Gardner Terrell, 50, the owner of two Washington buildings used by the Finders, said the group included 20 adults and six children, and tried to provide children with "the richest life they could have.<br><br>"Children always come first in our organization," he said.<br><br>"We're trying to create a model that could be followed by other persons who want to raise free children . . . . "<br><br>The commune children were so dirty and full of sores on their bodies that they were not allowed to play with other children on the playground at Stoddert School near the W Street residence, former associates said. Group members had taken the children there to encourage them to play with nongroup youngsters, but the two groups did not mix because the Finders' children could hardly communicate with the others, one ex-associate said.<br><br>All the commune's former participants who were interviewed agreed that they knew nothing about child abuse in the organization, though members may sometimes have ignored the children or even mistreated them.<br><br>Most knowledgeable sources said they knew nothing about the kind of satanism in the group referred to in a D.C. police detective's affidavit in support of a search warrant. But one former associate said he believes that members have dabbled in satanic-type or pagan rituals only in the past few months, as the group's latest "game."<br><br>"Games" played a central role inside the Finders, and it was often difficult to know when the members were playing out some fantasy and when they were not, ex-associates said. The Finders' tendency to abandon jobs and homes at a moment's notice could complicate law enforcement efforts to find the group's members, who were gone from their Washington bases when police arrived Thursday, sources said.<br><br>Sometimes they approached businesses -- from a major Washington law firm to a leftist think tank -- and offered their expertise in computer programming and other services, sources said. Other times the group went through the motions of setting up a business, sometimes printing up phony business cards. Some members used up to 20 aliases, ex-associates said.<br><br>Terrell called Finders' leader Marion Pettie "my entertainer. He provides me with a model of somebody who is never satisfied with the status quo and he inspires me upward and he keeps me laughing as I go."<br><br>Pettie, an Air Force master sergeant who retired in 1956 and bought extensive woodland property in rural Madison County, Va., started the Finders in the late 1960s as a communal experiment characteristic of the period. He sought intelligent, well-educated people who could discuss the latest thought in philosophy, psychology and human development.<br><br>The Finders eschewed counterculture music and drugs, former associates said. While they maintained an open-door policy at their Washington house and Virginia farms, many of the drifters and hippies who came for free food quickly left because of the emphasis on serious conversation and work.<br><br>"It used to be an organization of dropout professionals who didn't know what to do with their lives," said one former associate. "But it took a bad turn."<br><br>In the early 1980s, Pettie's close friend and second-in-command, known by the group as Barbara Sylvester, who was in her forties, died at the Finders' W Street house after she did not receive medical help for appendicitis.<br><br>The death apparently placed Pettie into a gloomy mood and led to a shift in the group's tone. The Finders became increasingly secretive, hostile and arrogant toward nonmembers, former associates said. Members engaged in long self-criticism sessions, exposing painful emotional inadequacies to the group. Members stopped seeing relatives and friends who were not in the group; former associates found themselves shunned or treated brusquely.<br><br>It was amid this blend of surliness and somber planning for the future that the community began to raise its new generation, children who were shared by numerous parents yet nurtured by no one in particular, ex-associates said.<br><br>Staff writers Victoria Churchville and Linda Wheeler contributed to this report.<br><br>GRAPHIC: PHOTO, THIS MADISON COUNTY HOUSE WAS SEARCHED BY VIRGINIA POLICE IN THEIR INVESTIGATION OF CULT GROUP KNOWN AS THE FINDERS.DUDLEY M. BROOKS <p></p><i></i>
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Re: wash post

Postby professorpan » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:16 pm

Copyright 1987 The Washington Post <br>The Washington Post<br>February 7, 1987, Saturday, Final Edition<br>SECTION: FIRST SECTION; PAGE A1<br><br>LENGTH: 1221 words<br><br>HEADLINE: Finders Group Has Its Roots In Popular '60s Hippie Refuge<br><br>BYLINE: Marc Fisher, John Mintz, Washington Post Staff Writers<br><br>BODY:<br>The Finders -- about 40 people who lived in a Glover Park house, a Northeast Washington warehouse and a farm in rural Virginia -- are what remains of a popular 1960s hippie refuge that evolved into a society dedicated to communalism and to studying the future, according to court documents, experts on cults and law enforcement officials.<br><br>A fragmentary sketch of the Finders emerged yesterday as investigators, cult experts, neighbors and social workers scrambled to figure out whether children of group members were mistreated and who the Finders are.<br><br>Wherever outsiders had contact with the Finders, they considered the group odd. There was talk of houses segregated by sex, children separated from their parents, vans that came and went, and a mysterious guru who called himself the Stroller and fancied himself a seer and a political powerhouse.<br><br>Before yesterday, police had had little contact with the group. One complaint five years ago prompted an investigation that found no evidence of criminal activity, a District police source said. And in December, District police found an ornate tombstone and round stones gathered near a circle about 70 yards behind the Glover Park house. Such designs are often used in satanic rituals, experts said. But a former resident of the W Street commune said the stones were laid in 1972 as part of a large garden. <br><br>Neighbors have complained only rarely and then simply about the noise. And some people who visited or stayed at the commune said they met intelligent, interesting people who showed no signs of odd behavior or mistreatment of children.<br><br>As long ago as 1968, hippies and peace activists in Washington often visited Pettie Farm, a 90-acre property in Madison County, Va., near Shenandoah National Park. Four people who visited The Farm, as it was known, between 1968 and 1973 said yesterday it was a place where anyone could get an organic meal without charge, without questions. They recalled a leader in his forties, a charismatic and wealthy man named Marion Pettie.<br><br>About five years ago, neighbors of The Farm said, the hippie followers of Pettie were replaced by men in business suits and women in professional clothes.<br><br>Pettie and his followers also had a house at 3920 W St. NW in Glover Park, where members of the group lived until recent weeks, neighbors said. The house consists of two attached red brick buildings, each with four apartments.<br><br>There, female members of the Finders lived with children in apartments with no locks on the doors. The group occasionally distributed fliers offering shared rooms for as little as $ 5 a night, according to John Mathews, who stayed with his wife at the commune for about 10 days last year while looking for an apartment.<br><br>"I noticed the children often went without clothes in the summer," said Gerald Salzman, a neighbor. "I thought it was cute and natural." Still, Salzman said he once called police to tell them about a child who was screaming for more than an hour.<br><br>Another neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said she once asked the mother of a 6- or 7-year-old child who lived in the Finders house why the girl didn't go to school. "She said that [the child] was taught at home," the neighbor said.<br><br>George Pettie, son of Marion Pettie, said that the group is like an extended family largely made up of people who have dropped out of professional careers and are under his father's sway.<br><br>"The binder is they have a father now, and they get to play fun games," said George Pettie, who owns a Northern Virginia home inspection business and said he hasn't talked to his father in two years. "They're the kids, and they're obedient. They like to do what the father says to do."<br><br>George Pettie said that he doesn't know of any group members practicing satanism or abusing children. But he said the lives of the children are unpleasant because group members rear them collectively. Frequently, Marion Pettie, now 66, would assign a follower to a "game" or "adventure" overseas or in another city, and the group member would not see his children for months.<br><br>George Pettie said the group engaged in "constant baby sitting . . . . I wouldn't want to be a child there, without a reliable day-in-day-out parent figure." He said of the children found in the van in Florida, "I bet you a buck, you'll find their biological mothers live at W Street, and if they're not there now, they're off on some adventure."<br><br>Marion Pettie continually sent his followers on what he called "adventures" to teach them about themselves, his son said. If someone had some character weakness, the leader would send him or her away to, say, Hawaii to work, then return to describe his lesson to other members.<br><br>The members support themselves in temporary office jobs in Washington, George Pettie said.<br><br>He described his father as charismatic and perceptive, having "a keen sense of what people need that they don't even know themselves."<br><br>Marion Pettie retired from the Air Force in 1956 as a master sergeant, and has done little formal work since then, his son said. In the 1960s, he was a "student of the world" who would spend the whole day in the library near the family farm, said his son. Then around 1971 he gathered his followers in the W Street house.<br><br>"That was the beginning of a new life for him," George Pettie said. "They found in their communal life style a more adventurous life."<br><br>Marion Pettie has long had a consuming interest in the future, and futurism is a major component of the group's philosophy, according to cult experts. Originally he based his teachings on Carlos Castaneda's popular 1960s chronicles of mystic self-exploration, a precursor of the New Age movement of the 1970s.<br><br>Edwin Morse, a Wisconsin psychologist who works with cult members, said he has tracked the Finders for five years, interviewing several members. He said the members are well-educated, secretive people who have "no clear parental kind of responsibility as we know it," instead sharing responsibility for the children. He said most of the children who lived with the group were born to members.<br><br>In the summer, neighbors saw as many as a dozen children at the Madison County farm. "There was always hollering and screaming going on," said Wilma Richards. "They were always hollering about Momma and Daddy. One time I heard one say 'I want milk.' Another person said, 'Shut up, you ain't gonna get it.' "<br><br>Another neighbor of the farm said he spoke to an 11-year-old boy who said the children didn't go to school because no adults told them to.<br><br>"They always talked '60s jargon, 'Do your own thing' stuff," the man said. He said members of the Finders appeared to hold jobs in computer businesses.<br><br>The group split its membership by sex some time ago, leaving the women to live in the Glover Park house while the men moved into the warehouse at 1307 Fourth St. NE, McArthur said.<br><br>Cult experts said that in the past few years they have seen increased interest among such groups in satanism and witchcraft. The circle of stones District police reported finding behind the Glover Park house in December is typical of witchcraft ceremonies, said Richard Stephens, a sociology professor at George Washington University. Staff writers John Ward Anderson, Linda Wheeler and John F. Harris contributed to this report.<br><br>GRAPHIC: PHOTO, MICHAEL HOULIHAN; PHOTO, DOUGLAS E. AMMERMAN <p></p><i></i>
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Re: wash post

Postby professorpan » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:18 pm

Copyright 1987 The Washington Post <br>The Washington Post<br>February 7, 1987, Saturday, Final Edition<br>SECTION: FIRST SECTION; PAGE A1<br><br>LENGTH: 1313 words<br><br>HEADLINE: Officials Describe 'Cult Rituals' in Child Abuse Case;<br>Photos of Youngsters Seized At D.C. Warehouse, Probers Say<br><br>BYLINE: Saundra Saperstein, Victoria Churchville, Washington Post Staff Writers<br><br>BODY:<br>Authorities investigating the alleged abuse of six children found with two men in a Tallahassee, Fla., park discovered materials yesterday in the Washington area that they say points to a 1960s-style commune called the Finders, described in a court document as a "cult" that allegedly conducted "brainwashing" and used children "in rituals."<br><br>D.C. police, who searched a Northeast Washington warehouse linked to the group, removed large plastic bags filled with color slides, photographs and photographic contact sheets. Some photos visible through a bag carried from the warehouse at 1307 Fourth St. NE were wallet-sized pictures of children, similar to school photos, and some were of naked children.<br><br>D.C. police sources said some of the items seized yesterday showed pictures of children engaged in what appeared to be "cult rituals." Officials of the U.S. Customs Service, called in to aid in the investigation, said that the material seized yesterday includes photos showing children involved in bloodletting ceremonies of animals and one photograph of a child in chains. Customs officials said they were looking into whether a child pornography operation was being conducted. <br><br>According to court documents, computers and software were seized from the warehouse, from a Glover Park apartment building and from a van that was recovered in Tallahassee along with the children.<br><br>Yesterday's disclosures about the mysterious group grew out of an investigation that was set in motion Wednesday by an anonymous call to Tallahassee police about two "well-dressed men" who were "supervising" six disheveled children in a neighborhood park. The men were arrested and charged with child abuse, according to Tallahassee police.<br><br>Their links to the D.C. area have led authorities into a far-reaching investigation that includes the Finders -- a group of about 40 people that court documents allege is led by a man named Marion Pettie -- and their various homes, including the duplex apartment building in Glover Park, the Northeast Washington warehouse and a 90-acre farm in rural Madison County, Va.<br><br>Tallahassee police, who arrested and charged men identified as Douglas E. Ammerman and Michael Houlihan with child abuse, contacted D.C. police Thursday in an attempt to establish the identities of the children. They learned that D.C. police had heard of the Finders group, according to Tallahassee police spokesman Scott Hunt.<br><br>No other member of the group had been located last night, police sources said.<br><br>According to U.S. District Court records in Washington, a confidential police source had previously told authorities that the Finders were "a cult" that conducted "brainwashing" techniques at the warehouse and the Glover Park duplex at 3918-20 W St. NW. This source told of being recruited by the Finders with promises of "financial reward and sexual gratification" and of being invited by one member to "explore" satanism with them, according to the documents.<br><br>According to the affidavit, the source told authorities that children were used in "rituals" by the members, and though the source had never witnessed abuse of the children, the source said the children's grandparents feared for their safety.<br><br>On Dec. 15, a D.C. police detective observed a clearing in the rear of the 3900 block of W Street NW where "several round stones had been gathered" near a circle, as well as evidence that people had gathered there, according to the document, which stated that "this practice is sometimes used in satanic rituals." Armed with that information and the report from Tallahassee police of the allegedly abused children, D.C. police sought search warrants for the Glover Park residence and the warehouse.<br><br>Meanwhile, authorities in Florida attempted to learn more about the six small children -- described by a police spokesman as "hungry and . . . pretty pathetic" -- who had set the investigation in motion.<br><br>The children, identified in a court document only by the first names of Honeybee, John, Franklin, BeeBee, Max and Mary, were described as "dirty, unkempt, hungry, disturbed and agitated." They had been living in the rear of the van for some time, the document said.<br><br>Yesterday, police spokesman Hunt said one of the children, a 6-year-old girl, "showed signs of sexual abuse," but that an examination by a local doctor showed none of the children as being ill.<br><br>Five of the children were uncommunicative, according to police, and none seemed to recognize objects such as typewriters and staplers.<br><br>However, the oldest was able to give investigators some information. She said that the two men "were their teachers," according to Hunt. She was not sure where they had been recently or where they were going. But until recently, they had been living in the District in "a house with other children and adults." They lived mainly on a diet of raw fruit and vegetables, she said.<br><br>The girl told the police that while they were in the District, the children received instruction from "a man they called a Game Caller or a Game Leader," according to Hunt.<br><br>According to the D.C. court document, a Tallahassee police investigator identified this man as Marion Pettie, who the confidential police source "also identified as the Stroller, leader of this 'cult.' "<br><br>The children have been placed in emergency shelters in Tallahassee, according to Merrill Moody of the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. He said officials were trying to identify them.<br><br>Neighbors of the W Street house last night identified the photographs of two of the children as residents of the house.<br><br>Before their arrests in the park, Ammerman and Houlihan had told police that they were teachers from Washington "transporting these children to Mexico and a school for brilliant children," according to Hunt. When police asked the men where the children's mothers were, "they said they were being weaned from their mothers."<br><br>Yesterday, U.S. Attorney Joseph E. diGenova said that authorities were investigating "the crime of kidnaping" but that the investigation "is not limited to that as the evidence evolves."<br><br>George Wisnowsky, spokesman for the FBI in Jacksonville, said the FBI was "checking the transportation of children across state lines for immoral purposes or kidnaping."<br><br>Authorities in Florida, who searched the van, found 20 floppy computer discs and a device Hunt said could be used to hook into a computer in another location by telephone. He said D.C. police have obtained evidence that a computer linked to the group received a call from Tallahassee late this week.<br><br>Meanwhile, authorities in Washington were busy searching the warehouse and the Glover Park residence, side-by-side brick apartment buildings that, according to neighbors, stood out in the neighborhood because of a hot tub and satellite dish on the roof. Only women and children lived there, though men visited regularly, according to neighbors.<br><br>One woman from the neighborhood said the children from the house were "easy to spot because they were so dirty," adding that adults with them "seemed not to care." She said the group from the house reminded her of "leftover hippies."<br><br>But another neighbor, college professor John Matthews, who said he had lived at 3918 W St. for a short time while looking for an apartment, said the residents were "a close-knit group" of feminists who liked to help people and were not a cult. "The neighborhood talks about them because of their life style," Matthews said.<br><br>The Fourth Street warehouse, which authorities said also was used as a residence, had windows that were boarded shut. One wall was covered with a huge map of the world, lit by floodlights. Upstairs, mattresses were flung on the floors of various rooms.<br><br>Staff writers Joseph E. Bouchard, Ed Bruske, Mary Thornton, John Harris and Linda Wheeler contributed to this report.<br><br>GRAPHIC: PHOTO, SIX CHILDREN FOUND IN TALLAHASSEE, FLA., WITH TWO MEN CHARGED WITH CHILD ABUSE ARE IDENTIFIED IN COURT PAPERS ONLY BY FIRST NAMED. THEY ARE, TOP ROW FROM LEFT, JOHN, FRANKLIN AND BEEBEE; LOWER ROW FROM LEFT, MARY, MAX AND HONEYBEE.UPI; PHOTO, WAREHOUSE AT 1307 FOURTH ST. NE, WHICH IS LINKED TO THE FINDERS GROUP, WAS THE SUBJECT OF A SEARCH WARRANT YESTERDAY.JAMES A PARCELL; PHOTO, DETECTIVE JIM BRADLEY LOADS TWO BAGS OF EVIDENCE TAKEN FROM NE WAREHOUSE. (JAMES A. PARCELL)<br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: wash post

Postby professorpan » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:28 pm

Copyright 1987 The Washington Post <br>The Washington Post<br>March 4, 1987, Wednesday, Final Edition<br>SECTION: METRO; PAGE C3<br><br>LENGTH: 229 words<br><br>HEADLINE: Finders to Sell D.C. Property, Move to Florida, Leader Says<br><br>BODY:<br>A member of the Finders has announced that the communal group is selling its Washington properties, which include two apartment buildings and a warehouse, and moving to Tallahassee, Fla., where authorities are holding two men linked to the organization.<br><br>The men were arrested Feb. 4 and charged with child abuse after they were found in a Florida park with six children, whom Tallahassee police described as dirty, hungry and insect-bitten. <br><br>Douglas E. Ammerman, 27, and James Michael Holwell, 23, remain in a Tallahassee jail in lieu of $ 10,000 bond each. A judge had reduced the bond on the misdemeanor charges from $ 100,000 for Ammerman and from $ 101,000 for Holwell.<br><br>One of the children remains in full custody of the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. A judge ordered the agency to share custody of the five other children with four members of the group who say they are the children's mothers.<br><br>"We look for signs and symbols, and Florida's sending us signs that they want us here," R. Gardner Terrell, a member of the Finders group, said in a telephone interview from Tallahassee. "They're already keeping some of us, so we decided to all come."<br><br>Terrell said the group elected him leader after Marion Pettie, a former Air Force master sergeant who formed the group in the late 1960s, resigned as the group's leader last month. <p></p><i></i>
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NYT

Postby professorpan » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:29 pm

Copyright 1987 The New York Times Company <br>The New York Times<br>February 10, 1987, Tuesday, Late City Final Edition<br>SECTION: Section A; Page 21, Column 1; National Desk<br><br>LENGTH: 843 words<br><br>HEADLINE: POLICE SAY UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN IN FLORIDA ARE NOT VICTIMS OF CULT<br><br>BYLINE: By PHILIP SHENON, Special to the New York Times<br><br>DATELINE: WASHINGTON, Feb. 9<br><br>BODY:<br>Local police officials announced here today that six children found last week in Florida had apparently not been kidnapped and that there was no evidence to show that the secretive group that has been raising them is a cult involved in child abuse.<br><br>The statement from the Metropolitan Police Department conflicted with accounts from the police in Tallahassee, Fla., where the children were found, unwashed and hungry, last week. Officials there said this morning that at least two of the children had signs of sexual abuse.<br><br>But late today, the Police Chief in Washington, Maurice T. Turner Jr., said at a news conference that there was no evidence of criminal activity by the communal group known as The Finders. However, he said the investigation would continue. <br> <br>Two Men Were Arrested<br><br>Chief Turner's announcement was another confusing twist in the investigation that began last Wednesday when the children and two men were found in a Tallahassee park. According to the Tallahassee police, the children could not identify themselves and said the two men were teachers. The men were arrested and charged with child abuse.<br><br>Law-enforcement officials suggested that Chief Turner was attempting to end recent speculation that the group was involved in satanic rituals at a Washington home.<br><br>After the children were found last week, the police searched the home and a warehouse in the northwest section of Washington, and seized photographs and documents that one source in Florida originally said were ''consistent with a satanic cult.''<br> <br>Statements by Finders Spokesman<br><br>The Washington police said that the children, two girls and four boys who ranged in age from 2 to 7 years, were apparently the offspring of members of the Finders, which the police said was a secretive group in which the sexes are separated and children are raised communally. Acknowledging that the group's practices were unusual, the officials said it had not engaged in criminal practices.<br><br>Robert Gardner Terrell, a spokesman for the Finders, said his group had cooperated with the police and that the mothers of the children had spoken with the authorities, according to an Associated Press report.<br><br>Mr. Terrell, who appeared at a news conference wearing a mask bearing President Reagan's image, said the organization's first priority was getting the children back.<br><br>''We've been in constant contact with the authorities,'' he said. ''It hasn't been on the basis of interrogation. It's been in terms of cooperation. Sooner or later we knew people in Tallahassee would recognize their mistake.''<br> <br>Photographs of Goats<br><br>Officials confirmed that photographs found in buildings used by the Finders showed children watching goats being slaughtered. But they indicated that the activity was not illegal, nor did it suggest pornography.<br><br>''There was apparently the killing of goats and some type of blood,'' Chief Turner said, adding that it appeared the children did not participate in the killing. Other police officials suggested that the goats were actually butchered for meat, not for some sort of satanic animal sacrifice.<br><br>''A photograph can paint 1,001 pictures,'' Chief Turner said.<br><br>''The life style of the so-called Finders organization may differ from the societal norm,'' he added, ''but so far, the Metropolitan Police Department has not uncovered any evidence of criminal wrongdoing by members of the group.<br><br>''At this point the Metropolitan Police Department has not found any materials among the seized documents or records that would initially corroborate allegations made by an informant that the organization is a cult and that its activities involve satanic rituals.<br> <br>Documents Being Reviewed<br><br>''However, we are still involved in an extensive and detailed review process of the documents and records seized,'' he added.<br><br>Asked if the group was dangerous, Chief Turner replied: ''I don't really believe so. If they are a danger, from what I an see, they would be a danger to themselves.''<br><br>Chief Turner said he had no evidence that any of the children had been molested and referred questions about physical abuse to the Florida officials.<br><br>Officials say the Finders apparently is a remnant of a 1960's counterculture movement created by Marion Pettie, a charismatic leader who urged his followers to study a doctrine that stressed self-exploration and futurism.<br> <br>Children Allowed to Travel<br><br>''Apparently it's an organization that started in the late 60's,'' Chief Turner said. ''If you went back to that point in time there were a lot of communes and a lot of hippies, and I think it was a way of life for them. From that way of life it has escalated to what we have today as the Finders.''<br><br>Members of the group, the police said, apparently permitted their children to travel to Florida for a time while they remained behind to work.<br><br>The two men arrested in the case were identified as Douglas Ammerman, 27 years old, and James M. Holwell 23. They were charged with aggravated child neglect, a misdemeanor, and held on $100,000 bond. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Whitley Strieber on The Finders

Postby chiggerbit » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:34 pm

Sorry for re-gurgitating professor's first article, but these are some of the things that jumped out at me:<br><br><br><br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em><br>six children, two adult men<br><br>with a mattress situated to the rear of the van<br><br>the overall appearance of the van gave the impression that all eight persons were living in it.<br><br>most of the children were not wearing underwear<br><br>The children were observed to be poorly dressed, bruised, dirty, and behaving like wild animals in a public park in Tallahassee...<br><br>stated the two adults were well dressed white males.<br><br><br>The information was specific in describing 'blood rituals' and sexual orgies involving children<!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>, and an as yet unsolved murder in which the Finders may be involved</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>children were unaware of the function and purpose of telephones, televisions and toilets, and that the children had stated they were not allowed to live indoors and were only given food as a reward...<br><br>The instructions included the impregnation of female members of the community known as the Finders, purchasing children, trading, and kidnapping. <br><br>Other documents identified interests in high-tech transfers to the United Kingdom, numerous properties under the control of the Finders, <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>a keen interest in terrorism, explosives</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->, and the evasion of law enforcement.<br><br>Also found in the 'computer room' was a detailed summary of the events surrounding the arrest and taking into custody of the two adults and six children in Tallahassee the previous night.<br><br>"There was one file entitled 'Pentagon Break-In,<br><br>The State Department in turn, advised the MPD that all travel and use of the passports by the holders of the passports was within the law and no action would be taken. This included travel to <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Moscow, North Korea, and North Vietnam</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>from the late 1950s to mid 1970s</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->.</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=chiggerbit@rigorousintuition>chiggerbit</A> at: 10/6/06 1:45 pm<br></i>
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St. Petersburg Times (FL)

Postby professorpan » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:37 pm

Times Publishing Company <br>St. Petersburg Times (Florida)<br> View Related Topics <br>February 15, 1987, Sunday, City Edition<br>SECTION: METRO AND STATE; Pg. 1B<br><br>LENGTH: 2593 words<br><br>HEADLINE: Finding the Finders // Tangled trail leads to mystery group<br><br>BYLINE: LARRY KING<br><br>BODY:<br> On the southwest summit of a Tallahassee park sits a small playground with a slide, a merry-go-round and six painted-pony swings.<br> <br> It was there, 11 days ago, that six ragamuffin tykes romped around Myers Park on a late, cloudy Wednesday afternoon. Watching them were two neatly dressed, mustachioed men who leaned against a blue Dodge Sportsman van that stank of rotting produce.<br> <br> Acting on an anonymous tip, police arrived, charged the men with child abuse and placed the children in foster care. Soon officials were talking of a devil-worshiping cult, of bloodletting rituals and child trafficking.<br> <br> That began the abidingly weird case of six small children and the inscrutable community from which they came - a secretive, Washington-based group known as the Finders.<br> <br> Who the children are, how they got to the park, and under what circumstances - none of the answers has been confirmed. Each seems tied to the practices of the Finders, a communal group led by an elusive former Air Force sergeant named Marion Pettie.<br> <br> The group has been called eccentric, playful, brainwashing, loving, destructive, even satanic - a label that police now admit was wrong.<br> <br>The only consensus is that the Finders - a group devoted to odd game-playing and permissive, communal child-rearing - are very unorthodox.<br> <br> Even critics admit that the Finders' philosophy is not illegal. But they say the group practices mind control and unhealthy lifestyles that can harm adults and children.<br> <br> "It is not illegal what they are doing," says Father Mike Rokos, an executive board member of the national Cult Awareness Network. "But that doesn't necessarily mean it's right."<br> <br> "Granted, we have an alternative lifestyle," says a Finders member who claims to be the mother of one of the children in Tallahassee. "We're different from Mr. and Mrs. America next door."<br> <br>The children <br> <br> From the playground, the children went to the Tallahassee police station. The boys said their names were Max and Ben and John Paul and Bee Bee. The girls went by Mary and Honeybee.<br> <br> "They were hungry. It was cold outside, and they'd been sleeping outside. They were tired," says police spokesman Scott Hunt. "We feel that we've got a pretty good (abuse) case to go on."<br> <br> According to police reports, the children, ages 2 to 7, said they hadn't eaten since morning. They were dirty and bitten by insects. Most wore no underwear. "The older children stated that they had to do good things to be rewarded with food, and they were given oranges, bananas, carrots and raw potatoes to eat," officer Tony Mashburn wrote.<br> <br> According to one court document, the children said Finders leader Pettie "tells everyone what to do; he is in charge. We kids slept outside and the mommies slept inside. The moms dress up and go out and do money jobs. Mr. Pettie weans the kids from their moms."<br> <br> An expert on child abuse hired by the state of Florida, Dr. Nauman Greenberg of Chicago, said Tuesday that the children were withdrawn, isolated, depressed, "clinging" and immature.<br> <br> All the children ate a lot, Greenberg said, and one even hoarded food. "One said, 'I like it here because I don't have to go outside."' The children remain in state-run shelters, their identities still not officially confirmed. Five women claiming to be the mothers of the children arrived in Tallahassee on Friday and hired a lawyer to help them regain custody from the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. Custody hearings are expected next month.<br> <br> The men charged with abusing the children have been tentatively identified as Douglas Ammerman, 27, and Michael Holwell, 28, also known as Michael Houlihan. Both men are from Washington, and both are thought to be Finders members.<br> <br> They remain in jail on misdemeanor charges, saddled with $ 100,000 bail that their court-appointed attorney calls "outrageous." They have pleaded not guilty and are scheduled for trial in late March.<br> <br> In the days after the arrests, police raided Finders-owned properties in Washington and rural Virginia. They seized computer equipment, documents, photographs, telephone numbers and, among other things, two goat skins and a goat head.<br> <br> But if they have any clear grasp of the Finders and their beliefs, officials aren't saying so.<br> <br> "So far it's very strange," says Leon County Assistant State Attorney C.L. Fordham, who is prosecuting the case. "There are more unknowns and questions in this case than in any other I've seen."<br> <br>'Weird press' <br>Could we but in another's ear <br>Our windy salutations hear, <br>'Twould make us meek.<br>Be quick then, as our Lord requests.<br>Be truthful, full of wit and zest.<br>We bid thee, speak.<br> <br> So went the message on the Finders' Washington telephone answering machine last week. A message at another number was sung in four-part harmony.<br> <br> Other glimpses of the Finders last week were equally strange. A member addressed a press conference while turned away from the cameras, wearing a Ronald Reagan mask on the back of his head. At a Finders warehouse, a shredded white flag flew overhead, symbolizing surrender.<br> <br>On the door of their Georgetown duplex, members pasted newspaper clippings that portrayed them as satanists.<br> <br> "There is a lot of practical joking, a kind of poking fun at the majority, if you will," says Carl Shapley, a Maryland educator who says he used to visit the Finders about once a month. "These are generous, wonderful people who are very benevolent. They've gotten such weird press, it needs to be turned around as to who they really are."<br> <br> It started Feb. 6, when Tallahassee police spokesman Hunt called the group "some type of satanic cult." He said adults were permitted to join the group if "they give up the rights to their children."<br> <br> Meanwhile, police in rural Virginia dug up part of a Finders' farm after getting a tip that bodies were buried there. They found nothing.<br> <br> By Monday police were backing off, saying they found no evidence that the Finders, as a group, practiced anything criminal.<br> <br> Hunt said his satanic description came from police in Washington, D.C., and Virginia who had obtained search warrants to seize Finders' property.<br> <br> One search warrant affidavit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, told of a clearing in the woods behind the Finders' duplex in Washington: "Several round stones had been gathered near the circle," it said, and "this practice is sometimes used in satanic rituals." The site turned out to be well beyond Finders' property.<br> <br> Another affidavit, filed in Madison County, Va., contained 11 photographs of a goat-butchering session. They were taken from a Finders photo album entitled, "The Execution of Henrietta and Igor."<br> <br> Many photos contained captions, such as, "The goats are tied. Max wields a knife," "Stan pronounces death sentence," "Ben eats chicken before the kill," "Max moves in," and "Dead Igor." Early news reports described these as part of a cultlike bloodletting ceremony.<br> <br> The photos depict three men in white smocks butchering two goats - Henrietta and Igor - on the Finders' farm in rural Virginia. Small children are watching. The sequence culminates with the children opening Henrietta's uterus and playing with a goat fetus.<br> <br> "Baby goats " the caption says.<br> <br>The Finders <br> <br> Normally a secretive group, the Finders and their acquaintances seemed compelled to explain the group last week.<br> <br> Pettie, 66, founded the organization in the late '60s or early '70s, they said, basically as a commune for educated professionals seeking self-improvement. They share finances, living quarters and child-rearing duties.<br> <br> The group has about 40 adults and seven children, members say. Some of them spend summers on farmland in southwestern Virginia, winters in warm areas such as Florida. The rest of the year they live in Washington.<br> <br> The goat-butchering took place in Virginia as the group prepared to move south, explains longtime Finders member Diane Sherwood.<br> <br> "None of us had ever slaughtered an animal before in our lives, we're all urban, yuppie types," Sherwood says. "We wanted the children to be in a warm place for the winter, so preparatory to the trip we slaughtered the goats. Does this sound like child abuse to you?"<br> <br> Finders members include former editors, lawyers, accountants and professors, says Ann Reiss, a Reston, Va., housewife who says she has known Finders members for several years.<br> <br> "They don't want permanent jobs," Reiss says. "They're into flexibility to the max."<br> <br> Children are reared in an unstructured, sometimes experimental way, Reiss says. Sometimes children are separated from the adults to see how they'll interact. If children don't want to wear clothes, they don't.<br> <br> "Some adult is always with them," Sherwood says. "What we try to do is respond to the kids, respond to their questions, respond to their needs, rather than to impose a structure."<br> <br> Members have meetings led by an appointed "Game Caller," where they decide what to do for the coming day or week. Sometimes it amounts to just that - a game.<br> <br> "For instance, sometimes they may say, 'The children are in charge today,"' Carl Shapley says. "And the adults get down and crawl around on their hands and knees and do what the children say."<br> <br> Most of the time, Shapley says, Marion Pettie acts as Game Caller.<br> <br>He has not been available for comment since the arrests.<br> <br> "He is one of the eccentrics of our time, a totally benevolent and benign man," Shapley says. "He's like a character out of Alice in Wonderland. I think he can be the Mad Hatter sometimes, and I think he can be the Rabbit sometimes, and sometimes the Red Queen. He has kind of a twinkle in his eye all the time."<br> <br>The trek to Florida <br> <br> Sometimes the Game Caller sends the Finders on what they call "adventures." Members, on the spur of the moment, will travel and take temporary jobs to earn money for the commune.<br> <br> "One of the things they do is emergency services, typing and mailing and so forth," says Reiss, whose husband runs a computer consulting business. "One time we needed some office work done. So they came marching in, single file and singing, 30 or 40 of them."<br> <br> Occasionally, adventures involve long-distance travel.<br> <br> Finders say the children's trek to Florida began in January. From Washington, they say, two members took the children to Berea, Ky., to inspect a fledgling commune that interested them.<br> <br> "We were kind of surprised when they showed up here before daybreak," says the Rev. Jim Wycker, a retired minister planning the commune known as New Hope. "They said they'd drove all night."<br> <br> Wycker recalls that the children were well-behaved. "There was no fussin' and squallin' and yappin' and hittin' and kickin', none of it."<br> <br> Finders say the men had permission from the children's mothers to take them camping in warm climates. Heading to Florida was not unusual, since members of the group spent part of the 1986 winter in a Tampa neighborhood.<br> <br> "I basically consider that everybody here is helping me to parent my child," said a Finders mother who refused to give her name. "To me, having my son sent off on a trip with those men was just like sending him off with his favorite uncles."<br> <br> Diane Sherwood says she was on a "working adventure" in San Francisco with the children's mothers when they heard of the arrests.<br> <br> "We were frightened. We didn't know what to do. We found out on a Friday, we had a meeting on Saturday, we flew back on Sunday... By this time (Tallahassee police) had 300 people calling and saying they were the parents."<br> <br> Sherwood said members will try to reclaim their children.<br> <br> "It's something very difficult to explain to a judge in North Florida that the children are coming home to a perfectly proper home," she said. "We're talking about something very subjective, and the burden of proof is on us."<br> <br>'Finders aren't harmless' <br> <br> Courtney Knauth, a Washington bank employee, doesn't think the Finders are all fun and games.<br> <br> She says her granddaughter is one of the children in state custody.<br> <br>And she says she has lost her daughter Kristin, the child's mother, to the Finders.<br> <br> "Kristin is not only bright, but she is a very good artist. She is very good at music, and she writes like an angel," Knauth says of her daughter. "I guess my daughter was just a little depressed and was trying to figure out what she wanted to do in life."<br> <br> Kristin was 21, and had just dropped out of college when she joined the Finders, Knauth says. "Nobody knew then that it was a cult. She said, 'Mom, I'm moving out. And I'll miss you.' " Gradually, Knauth says, Kristin stopped visiting or telephoning.<br> <br>After three years with the Finders, Kristin cut off all communication.<br> <br>Mother and daughter haven't spoken for two years.<br> <br> Toward the end of their contact, Kristin was always accompanied by another Finders member who took notes of their conversations, Knauth says. They explained that they discussed their conversations with the group.<br> <br> "If you want me to say that she had a vague, vacant, Zombie-like look in her eyes, I can't say that," Knauth says. "In some ways she was like herself, in some ways not. She seemed unable to synthesize new information."<br> <br> Knauth says she visited the Finders' Washington duplex last week.<br> <br>She was told that she might not hear from Kristin for 20 years.<br> <br> "I don't think they abuse their kids, and I don't think they worship the devil," Knauth says of the group. "But the Finders aren't harmless, and we who have been in contact with them know that...<br> <br> "I don't think the bottom line of the Finders, whatever it is, is love."<br> <br><br> <br>- Staff writer Lucy Morgan contributed to this report, in which material from AP was used.<br> <br> <br><br>GRAPHIC: BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO, (6); BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO, Larry King, (2); BLACK AND WHITE MAP, Anne Hand; Mary; Max; Ben; Honey Bee; Bee Bee; John Paul; The door of the Finders' duplex in Washington, D.C. is covered with recent newspaper clippings; The Finders' house in Madison, Va. was a focus of last week's investigations; Map of east coast from Virginia to Florida showing 5 Finder related locations<br><br>LOAD-DATE: November 18, 1992 <p></p><i></i>
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Re: NYT

Postby chiggerbit » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:43 pm

This from professor's second article:<br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>two girls</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> and four boys who ranged in age from 2 to 7 years,<br><br> Officials there said this morning that at least <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>two of the children</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> had signs of sexual abuse.</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=chiggerbit@rigorousintuition>chiggerbit</A> at: 10/6/06 2:26 pm<br></i>
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St. Petersburg Times (FL)

Postby professorpan » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:53 pm

Times Publishing Company <br>St. Petersburg Times (Florida)<br> View Related Topics <br>February 10, 1987, Tuesday, City Edition<br>SECTION: METRO AND STATE; Pg. 1B<br><br>LENGTH: 975 words<br><br>HEADLINE: Finders group led a private life in Tampa<br><br>BYLINE: JEFFREY GOOD; KIMBERLY D. KLEMAN<br><br>DATELINE: TAMPA<br><br>BODY:<br> TAMPA - They lived behind a red door in a Hyde Park house with its bathroom painted black. The adults wore outdated clothing, the children sometimes none at all.<br> <br> They were certainly odd.<br> <br> But neighbors of a communal group that lived for several months in Tampa last year said they were nothing worse than that.<br> <br> "They were good neighbors," said Bill Grable, who lives across from the group's former residence on Newport Avenue S. "They weren't child abusers."<br> <br> The FBI in Tampa said Monday that it is helping investigate the Finders, a communal group linked to six ragged and insect-bitten children found in Tallahassee late Wednesday. Tampa officials told the FBI that commune members may have lived in Tampa about a year ago. A Finders spokesman confirmed that Monday night. Robert Gardner Terrell told the St. Petersburg Times that two women members of the group and their preschool children lived in Tampa last winter.<br> <br> But Terrell denied charges that members of the group abused children, sexually or otherwise.<br> <br> "We don't know anything they're talking about," he said in a telephone interview from the group's headquarters in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, authorities on Monday tempered reports that the Finders are a satanic cult. Police in Washington D.C., where the Finders are based, said an investigation begun last year failed to prove allegations of child abuse and devil worship.<br> <br> However, the FBI and police officials are widening their investigation into the group. District of Columbia Police Chief Maurice T. Turner said police "have not assured" themselves that children in the group have not been abused.<br> <br> Two investigators from Turner's department were in Tallahassee Monday in search of further clues to life inside the wandering commune.<br> <br>They plan to interview some of the children found there, boys and girls who range in age from 2 to 7.<br> <br> The two men who had custody of the children when they were discovered last Wednesday were arrested on child- abuse charges. The children remained Monday in temporary shelters in Tallahassee, pending positive identification of them and their parents.<br> <br> "They're doing fine," Tallahassee police spokesman Scott Hunt said of the children. "They've been fed well; they've been clothed well and they're eating and sleeping."<br> <br> Jake Raybuck said an unusual group of tenants moved into the $ 800-a-month house owned by his wife at 604 Newport Ave. S in Tampa in late 1985.<br> <br> "They were ... some kind of cult," he said. "They paid cash on time, every time, except the last time when they stuck us with a rubber check."<br> <br> In the mornings, neighbors would see about a half-dozen small children emerge from the house in second-hand clothes. Women in long skirts would load them into a van. Meanwhile, men with handlebar mustaches would get into another van and drive off.<br> <br> The women and children went to a nearby playground, next to the Kate Jackson Center at 821 S Rome Ave. The children lay on blankets and played in a corner of grass near the parking lot. But something wasn't right with the tots, a city official said.<br> <br> "They looked perhaps sadder than kids you would normally find at a playground," said Angelo Spoto, district supervisor of for the Tampa Recreation Department which runs the facility.<br> <br> The youngsters looked hungry. They wore ragged clothing. Their adult caretakers refused to involve them in activities with other children at the city recreation center.<br> <br> City officials asked the State Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (HRS) to investigate for neglect. Shortly after that, the group stopped coming to the park.<br> <br> An HRS official refused to say what, if any, action the agency took in the case. State law prohibits releasing such information, said Margaret Fender, who oversees child abuse and neglect investigations in Hillsborough County.<br> <br> A member of the private Cult Awareness Network near Washington said the Finders are a secretive group that seduces its adult members and abuses their children.<br> <br> "The abuse is very real, both psychological as well as physical," said Rev. Michael Rokos. Rokos said he is active in counseling relatives of cult members including one of the girls found in Tallahassee.<br> <br> After pictures of the children were published, some Tampa residents identified them as the ones who lived for about four months on Newport Ave S. The group was a little strange, they said, but not sinister.<br> <br> Scott Clendening lives in a small apartment in the house where the group lived. Before the group left around the end of February last year, only a wall separated him from their curious lifestyle.<br> <br> "They used to let their children run buck naked in the backyard," he said. However, "You didn't hear any cries or signs of abuse."<br> <br> Neighbor Bill Grable said group members told him they came to establish a local chapter of a religion called Taoism, then returned to Washington for a lack of support. He said the children seemed healthy and polite. He had kind words for their adult caretakers.<br> <br> "They were responsible to their children. They mowed the lawn," he said. "They were just survivors from the '60s."<br> <br> <br><br>GRAPHIC: BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO, Mike Pease; Kate Jackson Center playground in Tampa<br><br>LOAD-DATE: November 18, 1992<br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: NYT

Postby chiggerbit » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:58 pm

<!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>"I basically consider that everybody here is helping me to parent my child," said a Finders mother who refused to give her name. "To me, having my son sent off on a trip with those men was just like sending him off with his favorite uncles."</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--><br><br>Yeah, like Uncle Chester the Molester? <p></p><i></i>
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Namebase article -- CIA "owns" Finders

Postby professorpan » Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:05 pm

<!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.namebase.org/news05.html">www.namebase.org/news05.html</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--> (scroll down)<br><br>Sidebar from NameBase NewsLine, No. 5, April-June 1994:<br><br>Marion Pettie and his Washington DC "Finders": Kooks or Spooks?<br><br>by Daniel Brandt<br><br>In August 1984, two twenty-something young men wearing ties knocked on my door and gave their names: Steve Usdin and Jeff Ubois. A tiny newsletter had mentioned the database I was developing, and they were interested. They began pumping me on my activities and associates, and took notes. Their questions reflected a familiarity with obscure leftist personalities and publications that is found only among seasoned activists, and even more curiously, they expressed no politics of their own. Usdin and Ubois had to be "sent men."<br><br>But they wanted to be helpful. My own attempts to interest progressives in my project had been met with quizzical looks, because at the time most leftists were still using typewriters. These two fellows at least knew all about microcomputing. So I rewarded them with the first edition of what today is called NameBase. At the same time I mentioned that I needed the IBM BASIC compiler to get the program transferred from CP/M, and a few weeks later they came by with just what I needed, complete with a photocopied manual in a binder. I probably should have asked them for new computers and an office.<br><br>They said their group went by the name of "Information Bank," and they wanted to approach certain organizations in the Washington DC area and volunteer their technical skills. The following June I visited their warehouse headquarters and met Randolph A. Winn and Robert M. Meyer. I asked questions about who or what was behind it all, but their answers were evasive. From their perspective, I was a potential recruit.<br><br>In July 1985 I got a call from Kris Jacobs, a DC activist who did research on the right-wing. She said that Ubois was caught looking in her office files, and when she confronted him, he claimed to be from the National Journalism Center. Since NJC is a right-wing group that was then doing research on the left, his answer didn't pacify her. Ubois had been dropping my name to talk his way into certain places, so Ms. Jacobs wasn't happy with my excuses either. I alerted two other organizations who were getting assistance from the Information Bank. The next time Ubois came over in early 1986, I casually brought up the name "National Journalism Center" in a different context, and asked him if he had ever heard of it. "Nope." That's when I opened my own file on the Information Bank.<br><br>Louis Wolf helped me check crisscross directories and we visited the recorder of deeds. Several group names were listed under each address, and the two properties we knew about were both in the name of Robert G. Terrell, Jr. While returning from the recorder of deeds office, cross my heart, we spotted Usdin walking with an older man. He didn't see us so we followed them on foot for about two miles like Keystone Kops (they kept stopping at store windows), but eventually lost them. Sometime later Ubois dropped in on Wolf (they never call ahead) and whipped out a business card that read "Hong Kong Business Today." He wanted to know how to get a visa for Vietnam. It was clear by then that most group members were world-class travelers, which included travel to numerous Eastern Bloc countries. It was all a game to them. This was a small group -- perhaps 40 adults -- but they had no visible income to support their far-flung activities.<br><br>In February 1987, two young men from the group were arrested in Tallahassee, Florida because the van they were driving contained six children with dirty faces. The term "child abuse" was trumpeted in all of the media, all over the country, for several days. Customs, the FBI, and DC police raided three group properties and made off with their files and computers. The group (it was a "cult" to the media) was called the "Finders" (years earlier they had been known as the "Seekers"), and it was run by Marion David Pettie, then 67 years old. At least now I knew who the older man was and I had another name for the group. No charges were filed and the children were soon returned to their mothers in the group. After realizing that they had been feeding on a nonstory, the media suddenly dropped everything with no apologies. I called the Washington Post city desk at the height of the hysteria and explained that there was another angle, but when their reporter called back he was only being polite.<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Three years later I obtained a three-page nongovernment memo of undetermined origin that summarizes Pettie's intelligence links. Most of it seems to check out. According to this memo, Pettie began his career with assorted OSS contacts, served as a chauffeur to General Ira Eaker, became a protege of Charles Marsh (an intimate of FDR and LBJ who ran his own private intelligence network), and was trained in counterintelligence in Baltimore and Frankfurt, Germany. His wife worked for the CIA, and Pettie himself was run by Col. Leonard N. Weigner (whose September 1990 Washington Post obituary confirms that his career was spent in air force intelligence and the CIA). Pettie's case officer was Major George Varga, who relayed Weigner's instructions until Varga died in the 1970s. The memo says that on Weigner's advice Pettie resigned from the military and surrounded himself with "kooks" so that he could infiltrate the "beat," human potential, and now the New Age movements.<br></strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br>Okay, so file this memo under "P" for "Paranoia." Except that in December 1993, first the Washington Times (which was picked up by AP), and then U.S. News and World Report, both carried essentially the same story. It seems that the Finders investigation was stopped cold shortly after it started in 1987, and now the Justice Department has formed a task force to figure out what's going on. Why was it stopped? This is from an internal "Memo to File" written by a Customs agent who participated in the raids, dated 13 April 1987:<br><br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>CIA made one contact and admitted to owning the Finders organization ...but that it had "gone bad." ... [I was advised] the investigation into the activity of the Finders had become a CIA internal matter. The MPD [DC police] report has been classified Secret and was not available for review. I was advised that the FBI had withdrawn from the investigation several weeks prior and that the FBI Foreign Counterintelligence Division had directed MPD not to advise the FBI Washington Field Office of anything that had transpired. No further information will be available. No further action will be taken.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: NYT

Postby chiggerbit » Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:17 pm

I'll try to keep these somewhatin order. This is one of those sites about aliens, the occult, etc. for what it's worth. Much the same info that professor has been posting.<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://beyond-the-illusion.com/files/Big-Brother/find0.txt">beyond-the-illusion.com/f.../find0.txt</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://beyond-the-illusion.com/files/Big-Brother/find1.txt">beyond-the-illusion.com/f.../find1.txt</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://beyond-the-illusion.com/files/Big-Brother/find2.txt">beyond-the-illusion.com/f.../find2.txt</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://beyond-the-illusion.com/files/Big-Brother/find3.txt">beyond-the-illusion.com/f.../find3.txt</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://beyond-the-illusion.com/files/Big-Brother/finders.txt">beyond-the-illusion.com/f...inders.txt</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: NYT

Postby postrchild » Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:22 pm

can I just say I am tired of reading the same story over and over, just presented with different MINOR details. THis is just a regurgitation party... <p></p><i></i>
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