Stephen Dollins left Satanism for Christ in 1978, becoming a preacher and a crusader against the occult, but it wasn’t until the late ’90s that he gained prominence as a powerful enemy of Harry Potter and the Tooth Fairy.
The following comes from a talk Dollins gave to The Prophecy Club in 1998 or ’99. I must say, his killer mullet-and-tie combo makes him one of the most striking PC speakers in recent memory.
Dollins was born in the late ’50s to a policeman and a nurse, who for some reason put him up for adoption in his infancy. He was adopted by a Christian couple in Oklahoma. His father was a professor of psychiatry and head of education at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. This would probably be the late Dr. Joe Dollins.
Dollins believes there may been generational witchcraft in his family – he doesn’t specify which one, the biological or adoptive – because as a child he could “make bad things happen to other kids”, Carrie-style. As we have seen with many of the witches and occultists in this series (for instance, Johanna Michaelsen), some fundamentalist Christians believe that any form of occult practice can imbue a person with supernatural powers of a demonic nature, and that these powers can be passed on to descendants like a curse.
Dollins’s troubles with the Devil began in 1969, with an innocent high school assignment on comparative religion. He decided to write his paper on the inefficacy of witchcraft. This led him to a young hippie couple, Kenny and Christie, who not only introduced him to a wide range of illicit substances, but gave him his entrée into Satanism. They said a group of their friends would tell him all about the powers of witchcraft if he attended one of their meetings, which were of course top-secret and invitation-only. “When they call, be ready to go,” the hippies warned.
One month later, a coven priestess called Alexandria phoned Stephen just before midnight. He found some pretext to slip out of his house, and was conveyed to a private home in another neighbourhood (this was presumably in or near Alva, Oklahoma, where the university is located). The house had been converted into a ritual space. Nude women were singing around a circle-in-a-pentagram on the floor. The air was already charged with spirits by the time Stephen arrived, so he was instructed to sit in the centre of the circle for his own protection.
The witches obligingly answered all of his questions about hexes, spells, and charms. If they were weirded out by some strange kid doing his homework assignment during one of their rituals, no one said so. In fact, they took a liking to him because of his “inborn powers”, and invited him to another meeting.
This second meeting was held in a ritzier neighbourhood, in a house decorated with an inverted cross and paintings of hell. Dollins was surprised to find that one of his old biology teachers was the high priest. He was even more surprised to learn that the Satanic witches wanted to recruit him. “We’ve been watching you very carefully,” the biology teacher told him. They tried to entice him into joining their grotto, offering up buffets of coke, mescaline, heroin, and women on demand. But their talk of human sacrifice ultimately scared Stephen away.
In September 1970, Dr. Joe Dollins died. Stephen says he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike.
This tragedy drove Stephen straight into the arms of Satan. He wanted nothing to do with a God that would allow his father to die such a cruel, untimely death. He renounced Christianity and filled out an application to join the Church of Satan, formed just three years earlier in California.
He somehow ended up in Clarksville, Texas (the one the Monkees didn’t sing about). He established himself as a high priest in the Church of Satan there, summoning demons to do awful things to people who annoyed him.
He once tried to hex an elderly Christian women by summoning Astaroth. The demon appeared to him in the form of his worst childhood fear: The Wolfman peeking out of an orange cloud. And it was not happy. “Don’t you ever send me after a Christian again!”, Astaroth-Wolfman bellowed.
Dollins seems a bit confused about which Satanic organization he joined. At first he calls it the Church of Satan, but later in his talk he identifies it as the Brotherhood, the same nationwide cult to which Mike Warnke supposedly belonged in the mid-’60s. The “denomination” he describes is certainly not the Church of Satan. He mentions that his former co-religionists believe Satan will triumph at Armageddon, and Church of Satan members believe in neither Armageddon nor a literal Satan.
Dollins doesn’t give the size of his Satanic network (perhaps he learned a lesson from the Warnke affair), but he does hint at a massive Satanic conspiracy of the sort John Todd described. He claims the police and sheriff’s departments of a certain town in Texas were in the pockets of local Satanists, and tells us that one Brotherhood member of his acquaintance took part in animal sacrifice and child abduction (he doesn’t tell us if he reported this guy to the proper authorities or not, but given later events and Mike Warnke’s example, we can safely assume he did not).
In Topeka, Kansas, Stephen wed his high priestess. This is where the powers of Hell abandoned him (apparently, even Satan doesn’t like Kansas). He ended up broke and suicidally depressed. Then he remembered reading Mike Warnke’s memoir, The Satan Seller. The book had been given to him by the same Brotherhood member who sacrificed animals, after he was saved by a Christian ministry called Crisis Answers.
Thanks to Warnke’s book and his child-kidnapping buddy, Dollins realized he could leave the Brotherhood.
Remember, this talk was given in the late ’90s, six or seven years after Warnke’s lies were exposed by Cornerstone magazine. Tying his story to Warnke’s was a serious tactical mistake on Dollins’s part. More than anything else, this indicates that his story is 100% fictional. Sure, maybe he met some hippies in Oklahoma who smoked hash and dabbled in witchcraft, but he didn’t become a high priest of the Brotherhood. There is no Brotherhood. It was Warnke’s invention.
Anyway, Dollins phoned up his animal-sacrificing friend and learned, to his amazement, that a group of Christians had been praying for his salvation for the past seven years. The friend arranged for him to meet with two pastors who love-bombed the hell out of him, literally. He was saved on Groundhog Day, 1978.
This part of the story jives perfectly with the other remarkable conversions we’ve seen in this series. No former witch or reformed Satanist is content to say, “I worshiped the Devil for x number of years, then I got bored with it and became a Christian.”
Though Mike Warnke faced the threat of assassination after leaving the Brotherhood, Dollins mentions no retaliatory measures. That’s to his credit. In the stories of John Todd, Doc Marquis, “Elaine” (Edna Moses), and Warnke, it’s very hard to believe that an enormous cult with the powers of Hell at its beck and call can’t manage to bump off a few unarmed guys who regularly appear in public without so much as a single bodyguard. It makes for some compelling Christian testimony, but in the realism department it gets a big, fat zero.
Dollins has dedicated his Christian life to warning against the hazards of the occult. Now you would think by “occult”, I mean summoning Wolfman demons and putting curses on old women and whatnot, right? Well, Dollins doesn’t get quite that far. Just like the anti-occult crusaders and former witches of the ’70s and ’80s, he decided that the best way to keep kids out of Satanism is to make sure they aren’t exposed to any occult influences at a tender age. Don’t let your kids read the Harry Potter books. Don’t hang dreamcatchers over babies’ cribs; Native spirituality is not Christian, therefore it is demon-inspired. Don’t tell your child about the Tooth Fairy.
Wait, what? The Tooth Fairy?
Yes, the Tooth Fairy. Dollins asks his audience, in all seriousness, “How many know fairies are demons?”, then tells us, “When you talk to your child about the Tooth Fairy, you’re actually telling them about a demon.” *
I thought we were giving kids a convenient explanation for why we take their teeth and replace them with small amounts of money.
Dollins also warns against Pokemon (because it encourages children to become “masters”, seems to involve cute little demons with occult powers, and may cause seizures), Sarah Coventry jewelry (“occult” designs), and role-playing games. “The more you get into the fantasy world, the more it seems real, and all of a sudden now you don’t know what’s real and what’s not,” he says without the faintest trace of irony.
Dollins actually wrote an entire book about the dangers of Harry Potter, Under the Spell of Harry Potter (Global Distributing Services, 2002). It’s not the only one, of course, but it does seem to contain the least amount of integrity. In the intro, Dollins quotes two young Harry Potter fans as “anonymous sources”, implying that these were children he personally interviewed. In reality, the quotes came directly from two San Francisco Chronicle articles, as pointed out by the pro-Potter website Dollins Debunked.
To sum it all up, there isn’t much to say about Mr. Dollins. He wasn’t even creative enough to come up with his own Satanic cult mythos; he just recycled discredited stuff from the ’70s, threw in some weirdness about demonic fairies, and jumped on the anti-Harry Potter bandwagon with numerous other fundamentalists. He followed a script, laid down by Doreen Irvine in the early ’70s, that is now extremely familiar:
– A Dickensian childhood full of abuse, exploitation, and deprivation (Dollins skipped this step, as his adoptive parents were perfectly nice Christians).
– An early introduction to Jesus that would pave the way for salvation later in life
– An absence of time markers (the only two dates Dollins provides are the year of his introduction to devil worship and the date of his conversion to Christianity)
– Lack of detail about the beliefs of Satanists (scripture, philosophy, etc.), but extraneous detail about the practices of Satanists (sacrifice, crime, etc.). Dollins mentions absolutely no scripture at all, not even the fictional tome called The Great Mother that Warnke’s Brotherhood used.
– Helplessness. Rather than being led into Satanic evil through his/her bad choices, the protagonist is usually a naive and vulnerable innocent victimized, lured, or coerced into sin by more worldly people. Once ensnared, escape is impossible. Teenage Dollins was heavily dosed with drugs before being enticed into Satanism. He was just a nice, normal kid trying to finish a school assignment.
– Supernatural events and paranormal abilities are common. Demons and angels materialize, Satanists use death curses against their enemies, and sometimes Satan himself makes an appearance. Dollins caught the attention of Satanists because he possessed inherited supernatural powers, and later trained himself to physically summon demons.
– A remarkable conversion experience
– Complete redemption and forgiveness through Christ
– Expert advice on the occult. After sharing his/her testimony, the ex-witch or former Satanist gives us pointers on how to avoid occultism, prevent children from becoming involved in it, and/or how to expunge it from our communities. There are typically warnings about Ouija boards, Halloween, and occult literature. Or in Dollins’s case, fictional boy wizards and the freaking Tooth Fairy.
* Please note that Dollins did not mention telling your kids about Tom Noonan. So feel free to do that.