130805NCJAAug. 5, 2013

The little-publicized North Carolina Justice Academy describes itself as “one of six divisions of the N.C. Department of Justice under the administration of Attorney General Roy Cooper… charged with improving the professionalism and effectiveness of criminal justice personnel throughout the state, through training and support.”

Among the academy’s services: an audiovisual library (downloadable here) designed “to provide criminal justice personnel in North Carolina with training and public information materials (including) over 2,573 videotapes, CDs and DVD programs….”

And quite a varied collection it is, ranging from the practical (“Body Searches: Clothed and Unclothed,” “Dusting for Latents”) to the uplifting (“Climb the Ladder of Success and Take your Family with You!”) to the wholly unexpected (Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First?”).

What caught my attention, however, were such titles and descriptions as these:

  • Devil Worship: The Rise of Satanism” (1989) Former satanists, practicing witches, and law enforcement experts explain the vastness and diversity of the movement. Parents are given clues to determine if their children are involved.
  • Treatment of the Ritually Abused Child” (1992) Sophisticated mind control techniques employed by cult members leave their young victims fearful, confused, and deeply traumatized. The special treatment needs of these children are examined in detail through both session segments and on-camera discussions with the therapists.
  • Satanic Cults and Ritual Crime” (1990) Reveals the symbols used by members of the occult world,  highlights criminal activities associated with ritual practices and ceremonies and gives important dates when these crimes are most likely to occur during the year.

Is it possible these documentaries informed the beliefs of the Little Rascals prosecutors? Could Assistant Attorney General Bill Hart have checked them out and hosted a ritual-abuse film festival for Nancy Lamb and H.P. Williams? Sounds crazy, sure – but not a bit crazier than the claims ginned up by the therapists and prosecutors.

Footnote: I had hoped to borrow these films myself – I was especially eager to watch those “on-camera discussions with the therapists” – but a library technician at the Justice Academy told me she was “only allowed to send materials to folks in law enforcement.”