A Campus Organization or a Dangerous Cult?

A campus group or something darker?


During my second year of college, I met a young lady named Cassie who asked me to join a club that convened on-campus. Their activities were not sanctioned by the University, but they managed to reserve a small room in the Student Union to conduct their meetings. The group professed to study paranormal activities and other events that could not be explained. Cassie bumped into me several times on campus and, apparently realizing I was a sucker for a pretty face, she eventually coerced me into attending a gathering she described as a “fun group of cool people investigating weird phenomena.”

At this meeting I counted more than a dozen teenagers and two slightly older men in their early twenties. Some sat around small tables together and sipped from paper cups while others gathered in the center of the room and mingled. I wondered if the older men were chaperones, but Cassie told me they were the groups’ facilitators. She dragged me to the center of the room and introduced me to “club leaders” Carl Thompson and Jim Bradley. As Cassie told them my name, Thompson enthusiastically shook my hand and said he heard I was coming. I just decided to attend two minutes earlier, and he couldn’t possibly have known I would be there. Cassie quickly interjected that she told him she hoped I would come, but I wondered if my presence was far more calculated than I guessed. There was no time to reflect on my misgivings, however, as I was led about the room to meet everyone. Thompson and Bradley worked at making me feel at ease, and I noted the effortlessness with which they made everyone feel included. Their meeting seemed like a party, and everyone involved appeared well-adjusted and friendly.

There was no schedule or agenda for this club—everyone contributed what they wished. Some members read books, some recorded their dreams in journals, and others wrote to research facilities for information on psychic abilities. Thompson addressed the group, and I listened with fascination as he talked about the luck he had with a test he took that week. A natural herb and a few simple meditations helped him relax and focus, and he earned top grade in his class on his test. He labeled his achievement an opportunity for everyone, and speculated how successful we could be in life if we were able to simultaneously relax and heighten our focus. He suggested there were no limits to what could be accomplished if we mastered this simple tool for focusing our awareness. Someone requested he bring notes on what he did to the next meeting, and he cheerfully agreed to document his processes for everyone.

A few other members made comments about their week, but Carl Thompson was the ringleader and set the tone for everyone else. I liked him but he was always performing, and I didn’t trust him. The hour passed quickly and I felt more connected than I had in a long while, but I soon I learned that this “fun group” served a darker purpose.


Trappings of evil

I felt trapped in a dangerous situation
I felt trapped in a dangerous situation
This group's leader claimed amazing abilities
This group's leader claimed amazing abilities
He believed we each had incredible powers waiting to be unleashed
He believed we each had incredible powers waiting to be unleashed
Their actions revealed a darker intent
Their actions revealed a darker intent
He saw a special destiny awaiting me if I embraced his beliefs
He saw a special destiny awaiting me if I embraced his beliefs
As a demonstration, I was told I would dream of floating on air
As a demonstration, I was told I would dream of floating on air
That night I dreamed I was flying
That night I dreamed I was flying
I awoke almost exactly when I was told I would
I awoke almost exactly when I was told I would
My faith and beliefs withstood this test
My faith and beliefs withstood this test

A secret order


On Monday November 14th, 1977 I accepted an invitation to visit Carl Thompson and Jim Bradley at their apartment. I arrived at their place on Mississippi Street just as they returned from buying groceries, and I followed them up a creaking stairway. At the top of the stairs was the door to their apartment, protected by three padlocks. One by one the padlocks opened, and the door was swung wide.

It looked much like any other college student’s apartment, sparsely furnished with a second hand sofa, chair and coffee table. A bookshelf contained many of the same books I owned, including paperback editions of Carlos Castaneda’s works. I sank into a chair with broken springs and relaxed. Carl Thompson made small talk about campus activism while Jim Bradley brought me a few potato chips and a glass of Coca-Cola. Bradley seemed slightly uneasy, but Thompson was his typically gregarious self. Eventually he confessed they asked me to their apartment for a specific reason. His solemn tone briefly made me wonder if they intended to rob or molest me, but I resisted the urge to bolt for the door. They wanted to talk more about their club. He admitted they studied more than just paranormal activities—they dabbled in the occult, voodoo and satanic rituals. Thompson referred to their group for the first time as an order and said it was similar to many groups across the United States. He estimated that two percent of all high school and college students actively studied the occult, and many practiced witchcraft throughout the course of their daily lives. He hoped I would join them because the order needed the safety of a large group to protect them from outside influences. No matter how he tried to convince me his beliefs were positive, I knew I could never join his group. He suggested practicing the occult arts was not a contradiction to my own Christian beliefs, but rather a means to augment my faith. The use of these powers or gifts we had been given strengthened our link to God. I could never accept the syncretistic belief that the occult could make me a better Christian, but refrained from arguing—Thompson was a skilled speaker and I didn’t wish to debate him.

Carl Thompson wanted to show me something in strict confidence and led me to a closet in a corner of the room. He opened the door to shelves filled with robes, daggers, charms, amulets, rings, and other “occult” artifacts. I recognized the Ouija board, Tarot cards, the I Ching and what was likely a crystal ball, but the rest of his satanic inventory was new to me. I didn’t know the value of this stuff but it looked expensive—it wasn’t just for show. The back of the closet housed an array of potions and herbs. I forced a chuckle and asked if they ran a drug store. Jim Bradley smiled and asserted those weren’t drugs but natural aids to focus their mental powers. He wondered if I wanted a demonstration and I instinctively recoiled. He reassured me what he intended to do was harmless, but if I were afraid he could give me a glimpse of their abilities without the use of potions or herbs. I cautioned him that I would participate in nothing that caused me to forfeit control of my actions. Bradley patted me on the back as if I were a naïve child and nodded. He told me that night I would dream I was a bubble floating on air. He said I would awaken from the dream at 2:30 AM. I would also awaken from sleep the next night at 2:30 AM.

That night I dreamed I was flying, a recurring dream I had periodically over the years. I was floating gently above the rooftops at a low altitude. I struggled to fly higher, where I instinctively knew navigation would be easier. I floated toward the street and, while looking back toward my house, I gently collided with a tree. I awoke with a start and looked at the clock. It was 2:28 AM. I sat up in bed and nervously sought an explanation. I dreamed I was flying. I didn’t remember feeling like a bubble, but I floated on air. Awakening when Bradley said I would was frightening, but I rationalized both the dream and the time I awoke might simply have been the power of suggestion and wasn’t necessarily anything more significant. I believed our mind had an internal clock that knew the time whether we were awake or asleep. This was nothing more than my subconscious believing I needed to get up at 2:30 AM. But what if it was more than a coincidence? The next day I wrote my friend Brad a long letter describing my experiences and wished he were in town to offer his support. Together we could get to the truth.

I awoke at 2:30 AM the next night also, and Jim Bradley’s prediction was essentially correct. Again I catalogued the occurrence as an example of the power of suggestion. These were two con artists, and I told myself that if I awoke at a normal time, Bradley would’ve blamed me for resisting him through indecisiveness. He was covered either way. In the back of my mind, however, I continued to wonder if there was something to their claims.


I did not falter


In the months that followed I continued to be coerced into interactions with them. They persisted in behaving in a manner suggesting a mastery of paranormal abilities, and spoke of a great destiny that awaited me if I embraced their practices without question. At times their activities were hard to explain away, and I was forced to consider the notion that they actually possessed some type of power. Their influence in my life grew in unhealthy ways until they finally went too far and alienated everyone in their group. Afterwards they vanished from campus, never to be seen in Lawrence again. I never learned for certain what happened, although months later I spoke with another guest at one of their meetings. He told me he heard rumors about Thompson from another skeptic in their order. One story involved Thompson attacking someone because he snapped and believed he was a vampire. A second tale suggested the entire group moved to a remote area to await the coming of alien travelers. No one heard anything concrete, and frankly no one cared enough to investigate.

I don’t know if Carl Thompson and Jim Bradley truly believed in their idealistic portrayal of occult practices, or if they were simply predators who found a way to con young people into believing in them. No matter where the truth rested, this was not a “fun group of cool people” studying paranormal activity; it was a cult. These two charismatic college students hoped to use the “order” to further whatever ambitions they had, although it was never clear what their goals were. Despite an impressive array of tricks I never believed they possessed powers, but I understood that perhaps they believed it. Their disappearance made it all irrelevant, however, and one of the strangest chapters in my life concluded without fanfare. The passage of time provided no further clues regarding their whereabouts. In the end I was comforted in the knowledge that my faith and beliefs were tested and I did not falter. Some psychological scars resulted, but I remained true to myself and God.




2012 Update: Another Look Back

I outlined the mildest of this group's activities in my article. There were several other encounters I deemed too distasteful to describe in detail. The members of this group have been gone and largely forgotten for decades, but the message of warning contained in this article remains.

There are still many groups in the United States preying on young people. They may be acting under the guise of religious groups, social clubs or any number of seemingly safe and normal activities. They seek out the young, the naive, the lonely, the disconnected and anyone else who struggles to fit in. They offer excitement, acceptance and even love in exchange for blind obedience. Their actions can be recognized through the rigid and patterned behavior typically found in cults. They are dangerous.

If you are a young man or woman reading these words, my advice is to be cautious and aware. It may seem like a dream come true to discover a group of people readily accepting you into their ranks, but the reality may be far more dangerous. There are many reputable organizations in every high school and on every college campus. Do not connect with groups that shroud themselves in mystery, no matter what their appeal.

If you are a parent, maintain open lines of communication with your children and know who they are associating with. College students might be in a hurry to find acceptance or enter into the world of adults, and act without consulting you. Try to know who their friends are. It could save their very lives.


To anyone who reads these words: I got lucky. Will you?


Information about cults from Amazon.com

More by this Author


Comments 58 comments

Megavitamin profile image

Megavitamin 6 years ago

Innnnnnteresting! I had a friend in college who almost got sucked into a cult that disguised itself as a non-denominational church. Luckily, she cut off contact before it went too far. I think these people prey on young college students because they're impressionable and have wide-open minds.

Glad you escaped :0)


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Megavitamin, thanks for reading. College campuses seem to be a breeding ground for this type of activity. I had an employee when I worked on-campus who was targeted by a "religious" group. They forced her to resign when I wouldn't allow them to check on her every day. It was a sad circumstance, and I wonder where the young lady is now.

I did escape, and I considered myself extremely lucky because I was in a bad place at the time, and I could very easily have been drawn into their group. Like other cults, it was extremely supportive in its own way. Fortunately, this group was meant for self-destruction and soon they were gone from my life forever.

Thanks again for reading, I appreciate it a great deal.

Mike


ralwus 6 years ago

Scary stuff Mike. Glad you didn't fall prey to them. Very interesting read.


msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

At least the cult you described was easy to "see". There are those that are out in the open and once you are in, it is not very easy to get out.

Thank you for the hub. Fascinating that you remembered all of this ..so long ago, Mike!


poetvix profile image

poetvix 6 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

Wow. This makes me glad I went to college when I was older for as a teen I would have easily fallen for something like this.

Thanks for the write. I hope it helps some younger people to realize how everyone that appears to glitter is not always golden.


tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 6 years ago from home

MIKE,

WHAT EVER HAPPENWD TO THE GIRL? Did you stay in "contact with her?"

Oh by the way tomorrow and Sunday you will wake up at 735 am them decide to go back to sleep but you will not sleep-you will dream of eating pizza- bad pizza mmmuuuhhhuuuuaahhhhhaahhh I will be the man at the next table with a shaved heafd stop by and I will talk about the Rain in Spain mmmmuuuuuhhhhuuhhhaaahhhaaa then I will ask if you wish to play Parchessi....

See you then

mmmuuuuhhhhaaahhhhaaahhhaaa

*cough * * Cough* ahem need some water see you later... TH


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

I dunno, Mike, although you write that you didn't succumb to whatever these fellows were pitching, how do we know there isn't a hidden message in this hub, and . . .

no, no, I won't give you the number of my checking account . . . no, no, I'm resisting . . . it's 276........

Interesting read and remarkable that you remembered so much of this long-ago episode.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

Interesting read! I believe in the power of the mind and I know the powerful influence of suggestions and faith in mystery. But while studying the paranormal (in order to write a novel) I needed special permission to loan books about the various subjects at libraries. Eventually I realized there is nothing worthwhile to know about the paranormal ‘dimension’ of life. It is dark, all about death instead of life; it is negative, destructive, have nothing to do with love. It is a dAnGeRoUs zone, ideal for those who want to destroy themselves and others. The novel (for teenagers) was accepted for publication, but there was some rewriting to do. I was done with the topic, had no desire whatsoever to spend another day on it. So there I chose peace of mind above fame, with now regrets.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Ralwus, thanks for stopping by. It was a frightening time, and I only wrote about a portion of it here. If they hadn't disappeared, it's hard to say how things might have ended up.

Thanks again. Hope you're doing well these days.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Msorensson, thanks for reading. They were easy to spot, but they were also quite persuasive, which made them formidable. It seemed they had an answer for every question, a explanation for every concern. And, of course, the group as a whole was quite loving and accepting, which of course is also typical of cult activity.

It is easy to remember these events. I have a good memory for my personal history, and I also kept journals that I referred to frequently to write this. I can still remember it like it was yesterday, however.

Thanks again for reading.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Poetvix, thanks for your comments. You are absolutely correct, teens and young adults are their targets--just independent enough to be roped in without too many questions asked, but not experienced enough to be ready for them. It is a shame that so many people will fall prey to smooth talkers like these guys were. They were good at what they did, but they were also pretty far out there, evinced by the stories behind the group's disappearance.

Thanks again for stopping by, I greatly appreciate your comments. Take care.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Tom, thanks for stopping by. Nope, I never saw the girl again after their group disappeared. It was a pretty strange scene.

All I can say is I BETTER NOT WAKE UP AT 7:35 THIS SUNDAY!!!! Just in case it works again, couldn't you have said 9:35??? Dreaming about bad pizza??? Am I gonna have to deal with dream-induced heartburn on top of everything else???? If I see a guy with a shaved head, I'm gonna do everything I can to play out the dream. I will expect parcheesi and the Rain in Spain.

What happens the next night???

Mike

Oh, and thanks for stopping by.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Drbj, you figured it out. I've been a member of the group all along, and I've been in hiding now for 30 years. I've used HubPages to amass a following, and I'm now ready to unveil my grand scheme...... starting with, as you guess, the checking account numbers.

I remember the details vividly in part because I kept a journal in those days. I also remember just because the occasion was so strange.

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Martie, thanks for reading. You are absolutely correct, studying the occult is a dark and joyless path. I am convinced that there are abilities we don't understand, whether it is the power of the mind, faith, or by actually invoking magic through the use of rituals, herbs or the power of suggestion. I am equally convinced that any "power" or ability we can tap into is accessible through positive means--we don't have to rely on the occult, or voodoo, or witchcraft, or satanic rituals or whatever else we wish to call it. If the powers are there to be used, they can be used through the use of love and light and life.

Thanks so much for your comments, I appreciate them a great deal.

Mike


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

It not only sounds like a cult, it really was a coven. Something good people want to stay away from. The risk isn't to your life--tis to your soul, something even more precious.

I'm glad you did find the strength to resist the dark side. Sincerely glad.

love, from Paradise.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines

Perhaps the writings of Castaneda you found in their apartment was the basis for their fascination with the occult. And they (the facilitators) were the first victims to fall to the mythical lure of the Yaqui shaman ?


John B Badd profile image

John B Badd 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Mike this is a very interesting hub. I do believe in paranormal powers but I also believe there are a lot of charismatic conmen out there. The power of suggestion is also a very strong tool.

I myself dabbled in the hidden mysteries when I was younger, but never in a group or under any guidance, I got it all from books. I experienced things that made me think it was real and too powerful to be toyed with or taken lightly, so I put these practices away where they were safe and no one could get hurt.

The things I experienced were not only subjective. I told it to rain in front of friends on a dry night, just showing off, and it stormed. This could have been a coincidence, we know how often the weather men are right, but it convinced me not to toy with powers I did not understand.


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

I began college during those years as well, Mike, and it was such a strange, strange time. I also came in contact with odd ones, the Dianetics crowd, and others, but never came this close to the 'real thing.' I did lose some friends to cults, though, and one woman I know today is recovering from her childhood in a cult.

I'm so glad your instinct and faith kept you safe.


equealla profile image

equealla 6 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

I am sure glad I had none such experiences. I am even more thankful, my kids had been spared such an encounter.

In life I have seen and worked with people whom have crossed the line. It is not worth it. There are too much in a normal life to risk, than to throw it away like this.

Thank goodness you had the strength to resist.


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

I think things like this are so very dangerous, look at Jim Jones and mothers and fathers getting into cults allowing their own children to be sexually abused, or disowning them if they don't kneel to this false profit. There will be much more, probably already is many places. For some reason I think country people are more apt to see these things for what they are. I don't know why. (My Daphne interpretation) Glad you kept your soul.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Paradise, thanks for reading. You're right, this group essentially was a coven. I am unsure how much the members of the group were aware of what the leaders were doing, but I would suspect they were all completely aware. After all, if Thompson and Bradley revealed their secrets to me, why wouldn't they reveal them to everyone involved? They were very much a group to stay away from, and luckily they self-destructed. Thanks again for reading, I appreciate it.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

SilentReed, thanks for stopping by. It's hard to say how much they were influenced by Castaneda, but I think they had all the books Carlos Castaneda had written to that point (four or five, I believe). The teachings of Don Juan certainly could have been the basis for a fanatical group, that is for certain.

Thanks for your comments.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

John, thanks for stopping by. Your story is intriguing and it would be fascinating to hear more. I agree completely--there is much power out there to be wielded, either for good or bad. The evidence of this is certainly there to be seen.

Given that, there are also a great number of con men, as you have also pointed out. Folks with a gimmick and an angle, willing to prey on young and innocent folks like the college students I encountered, all those years ago. Perhaps they had powers--as with so many of the incidents in my life, I always looked first for the "normal," "mundane" explanations before embracing anything more fantastic. They certainly claimed abilities, but were always pretty coy and low-key about demonstrating them. I would be, also--but it was an odd way to convince someone of your gifts.

My comments to yours have lost their focus, but in summation I agree with your points--there are powers to be utilized out there AND con men hoping to convince us of their knowledge and wisdom. Both can be quite dangerous.

Well, thanks for stopping by, and it would be interesting to hear more about your own story, if you ever have a mind to tell it. Take care.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Lorlie, thanks for reading. You are correct, those were strange times and lots of unusual things happened back then. I knew some folks who took some of the Hubbard material and twisted it into something similar. I also knew a fellow or two taken in by so-called church groups. No matter what their hook had on it, it wasn't a good idea to take their bait. I was lucky to escape unscathed, but I was also the perfect target at the time--alone, depressed, alienated and feeling unloved. I could easily have embraced this group completely if circumstances were a little different. I'm glad it never came to that.

Thanks so much for stopping by--I appreciate your comments a great deal. Take care.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Equealla, thanks for reading. It is indeed fortunate that neither you or your children ever had to face anything like this group. In the end it became clear that, despite the caring they exhibited, they were not good people. Life has sufficient mystery and majesty to occupy us--we don't need to look into the darkness for more. As you point out--the risks are just not worth it.

Thanks again for reading.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Polly, thanks for reading. You might be correct, country folks might be less apt to fall for the words of a slick-talking con man. They are everywhere and will always be hiding amongst us, waiting for the opportunity to whisper exactly what we want to hear into our ear. Jim Jones was the ultimate example--he gathered enough of a following to establish a considerable community. When the game ended for him, he was still persuasive enough to get nearly everyone to drink the poisoned Kool-Aid--very scary stuff. We can only hope the day will come when we don't have to worry about people like this any longer, although I'm not holding my breath while waiting. Thanks again for stopping by, take care.

Mike


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Hi MIke, I am glad to be back and reading your hubs, Nice one, when I was in college also, there was a group called Paranormal Society at the University where I was studying and I was scared actually to even pass their place (every student org. then was given some space like a table and chairs in the designated buildings. A friend invited me to join but I declined as I was a little bit scared already because when I was at the elementary my mother always tell me never to 'curse" or anything as when i say something it will happen she said, she just feel that I have those capabilities, so I was scared to join in some sort of the way.

Still, I am glad your belief about God was strong enough,

College was fun and thanks for the share Mike, Take care, Maita


Allan Douglas profile image

Allan Douglas 6 years ago from Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Many years ago I dated a witch. I didn't know she was a witch when I met her and the discovery process (an out of body experience) scared me so much that I bolted. I'm glad I did.

Years later a Coven contacted my furniture company about building some custom display cases for them. I excused myself as politely as I could (wanted no voodoo curses). I wanted NOTHING to do with them.

I'm glad your faith was well rooted enough to keep you from being sucked in.


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago

I certainly wouldn't define this as a campus organization............ and I am certainly glad they didn't getcha! Kaie


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

Hey Mike I see I'm not alone in the meeting up up occult organizations at high schools and colleges in America. I to had a similar experience back in High School. Although my HS was completed in the evenings due to my being expelled in day HS. I was determined to complete it so I enrolled in night school and I was only 16 at the time.

There were people in my classes much older coming back to complete their HSchool. I guess other outside groups thought this was a good place to offer various classes. I came across this course called Learn All About The Paranormal. It grabbed my attention and I enrolled as an aside course from High School.

This course took me down roads that certainly had me captivated and I witnessed some pretty bizarre mind altering cases. I to was into astral traveling and the ouija board thing and reading about paranormal activities. I was stunned by many of the things they said and tried to offer up to me.

Fortunately for me I had a strong mentor outside of high school and he found out about these classes I was involved in and he dragged me out of their clutches and thank goodness for me he did. Although I am still a student of the paranormal and strongly believe in an after life and reincarnation and have seen a spirit.

I wrote about in one of my hubs on my travels through Kentucky. I avoid the dark side and satanic worship. I have no desire to be involved in the occult.

There definitely is a dark side and groups like the one you discussed in this hub are certainly out there recruiting members and converting them to their beliefs and black magic. Thanks for the warning Mike.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

Very happy to hear that you escaped their clutches Mike. Some friends of my parents had an only son who was lured into a cult. It was so very sad! My mother was visiting one time when he came home smelling bad with dirty dingy hair and bedraggled clothes. Got him cleaned up...but he went back and at a very early age...ended up dead. They never found out what really happened in the case of his death.

Normally he was not even allowed to see his parents or they him and all the money he earned working in a music store went back into the cult coffers. Essentially he had nothing of his own.

Just one case of many I am sure...but so heartbreaking.


tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 6 years ago from home

Mike- just checking in what did you dream about- when did you wake up????

TH

*hehe*


Teddletonmr profile image

Teddletonmr 6 years ago from Midwest USA

Mike, thanks for shareing your experiance with the trappings of a cult while attending college.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Maita, thanks for reading. The story about your Mom was interesting. She didn't want you to curse because what you said might happen? That is an amazing story, and it would be quite frightening. This group was not sanctioned by the University, but they somehow talked the Student Union into letting them use a meeting room (or else they just decided to use it without asking--I'm not really sure). All over the US (and perhaps all over the world) there are groups of people convening to study the occult and witchcraft, and I suspect the number of people who do this is greater than we might expect. I also believe you did the right thing in staying away from them. While there might be some who are genuinely studying the paranormal, I am afraid that far too many are gathering for a darker purpose. It is good that you didn't join.

Thanks for reading, and welcome back. I missed your comments while you were away. Take care.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Allan, thanks for reading. I understand your concerns. Years ago I rented a house from a witch, and it was an extremely bizarre period in my life--a life filled with weird moments. You did the right thing by staying away from the Coven. I am curious about the custom cabinets they wanted built.... did they want hidden shelving to house their occult tools without anyone knowing about them? That was what the guys I met had in place for their things (although it was clumsily done), which is why it is interesting that you mentioned that.

It sounds as if we were both perhaps lucky to have escaped...

Thanks for reading and commenting, I appreciate it tremendously. Take care.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Kaie, thanks for reading. I don't believe they were a campus organization, but I think they tried as hard as they could to appear to be one. I am sure there are other campuses dealing with the same issues, both then and now. And, I'm glad they didn't get me, also!!! Thanks again for reading.

Mike


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Mike, that must have been so frightening for you! I'm glad the dark side didn't get you. Stuff like that is nothing to play with! Awesome story!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Saddlerider, thanks for reading. Your comments emphasize an interesting fact, that cults, covens, paranormal groups or whatever they might be called look for any avenue they can find to spread their influence. High schools, colleges, universities, you name it and they will try to be there. These guys told me 2% of high school and college students studied magic and the occult. The number is likely far higher than that. What I described here was only some of the things that took place in the few months I knew these folks, and I agree--the occult is nothing to mess around with.

Thanks as always for stopping by, your comments are always welcomed.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Peggy, thanks for reading. I knew a couple folks who were essentially swallowed up by cults--one was a religious group. They held Bible readings and seemed quite loving and virtuous, and when they had the trust and acceptance of this young woman, they tightened their hold. She quit her job the day after I told the "friends" from her religious group that they could not visit her at work any more. It was a sad story. The son of a friend of mine escaped from a similar group, and he is still dealing with the effects of their control.

These groups are so very dangerous. The group I dealt with became extreme and had to leave or hide. Others aren't so lucky.

Thanks again for your comments, they are appreciated.

Mike


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Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Tom, believe it or not I did wake up close to 7:30 this morning--I will assume to some degree that was sunshine pouring in my window, but hey--7:30 is 7:30, right? Unfortunately, there were no men with shaved heads, bad pizza or parcheesi to be found. But what about tonight, you say????

Indeed............

Thanks for coming back.

Mike


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Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Teddletonmr, thanks for reading. I appreciate your stopping by and commenting. Hope you had a good weekend.

Mike


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Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Habee, thanks for stopping by. It was a frightening experience, and I was naive enough for a time to believe I could handle it in a detached manner. That was ultimately not possible, and I was lucky that things turned out as they did. And now I am far wiser...

Thanks again for reading.

Mike


schoolgirlforreal profile image

schoolgirlforreal 6 years ago from USA

Hi Mike,

I've neglected prayer and church lately...

But reading your story, I think I should mention a friend of mine who remembers being abused sexually at age 4-9 at the hands of satanic worshippers..one of whom she remembers to be a priest. She has spoken of some terrible things which I believe her because she remembers in detail and she is honest and wouldn't make it up. she has a fear of the devil. I have helped her and always enjoy speaking of God to her. She is finally wearing a medal I gave her. poor thing.

Yes, your description sounds like it's not fun and it's a cult. Thanks for your testimony, glad you made it thru well. SG


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Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

SG, thanks for reading. The story of your friend is tragic and terrible, and no one should have to endure what she went through. It is great that you were able to talk with her and help her. These groups are insidious and frankly quite dangerous. I was lucky that the group I was introduced to literally vanished. Who knows what might have happened otherwise?

Thanks for stopping by and offering your story, it is greatly appreciated. Take care.

Mike


kingkhan78 profile image

kingkhan78 6 years ago

A Campus Organization or a Dangerous Cult Great article about college life so keep it


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Kingkhan, thanks for eading. I am glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoyed my article. Come back anytime!

Mike


pmccray profile image

pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

I too dabbled with the oocult before finding comfort in my Christian belief system. It was good that you used your mother wit and were watchful of these persons and not seduced by their lies.

It is sad that they're too blind to see that prayer will give you the same result all you need is faith in the Lord.

Excellent interesting hub as usual Mike.


Miss Bobo profile image

Miss Bobo 6 years ago

I think it is rather interesting. And the guy might be right into saying that on many campuses college students tend to partake into those type of things. It is usually because many students are coming to the idea that they are alone and away from their parents so in sense the freedom gives the suggestion that they can partake into all sorts of things. That is why students should be given advice before entering college. You never know.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

pmccray, thanks for stopping by. Although I had informally studied the occult and magic when I was younger, I was actually sucked into this group by a beautiful girl and talk of studying paranormal activities. It was only later when the truth that this group dabbled in the occult came out, and I was ready to run almost immediately. Their actions were indeed quite sad, and they flamed out quicker than expected--their leaders seemingly weren't up to the task and snapped. I am also comfortable with Christian beliefs and they are more than enough to sustain me.

Life certainly is mundane compared to my younger years, but I am okay with that. Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate your insights. Take care.

Mike


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Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Miss Bobo, thanks for reading. I think you're right--campuses are particularly appealing locations for groups like these to take seed because students are at a vulnerable age--they are old enough to search for their independence and an identity as individuals, but young enough to be tricked and manipulated. It is a sad story when kids get roped into groups like this and can't get back out, and I am convinced this sort of thing happens far more often than we know. The more we can warn children to be on guard, the better off we will all be.

Thanks again for reading. Take care.

Mike


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 6 years ago from Florida

Mike, this is a very well written, very scary hub. I am glad you escaped, and I am quite curious about what happened to the two leaders. The closest I ever came to dabbling into the occult was by reading. At one point in my life, I was fascinated by books such as "The Satanist" by Dennis Wheatley, I believe.


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Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Mysterylady, thanks for reading. This was a very frightening time in my life. I was curious in an odd way, but terrified as well. It felt similar to how someone hiding from the law must feel--you wake up every day and wonder what's going to happen to you, and what you can do to help yourself. That was he way it felt for me.

I never found out what happened to the two leaders beyond the wild rumor I heard shortly after they left. The frightening thing is that they might still be doing this somewhere--still finding young people to confuse and deceive. I hope that is not the case, but it would not surprise me if that isn't what is happening.

Well, thanks again for reading, I appreciate it. Take care.

Mike


isyan profile image

isyan 6 years ago

interesting to read mike.. i thought this was just another fictional story.. but then after reading your comment above i belived it was true after all.. :)


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Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Isyan, thank for stopping by. It is all completely true, and I didn't even tell the entire story. Those were strange and frightening days. Thanks again.

Mike


Just A Voice 6 years ago

While I never had anyone try to get me to join a cult outright, there are still many similiarities to how people in the Christian community operate and should also be vetted carefully before being committed to.

I once attended a Bible study put on by people who were a part of our chuch. However, it quickly became apparent that they were using the time to degrade the leadership in our church and start their own thing. They would use flattery as an influence. Telling you how great your ability was and how wasted it was being used in the current situation.

It was not a comfortable situation and after a few meetings, I stopped going and soon thereafter these people left our church.

There is usually some sense of unease when it comes to this kind of thing. If you aren't comfortable or in harmony with what is going on around you, that is usually a good indication that something is not right, no matter how good or interesting it might sound.

I'm glad you had that sense...some people just seem to follow blindly and then find themselves in horrible situations.


artfux profile image

artfux 6 years ago from Novato, CA

This was interesting hub, and I think you discovered early on the power of suggestion... These groups and people do not have power over you unless you believe they do.. I do think they are not good sincere people, my view a bit evil, and maybe yes con-artist like you mention.. Thank you for sharing your discovery, and path to the occult, it was interesting.


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Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Voice, thanks for reading. This group hit me on all levels--my fascination with the paranormal, my weakness for a pretty girl, and my craving for affection. It was all there, packaged so neatly. The group imploded, however, and it saved me the trouble of getting out.

I have found several church groups over the years who acted the way you describe in your comments. One group was led by a man who decades later was found guilty of murdering his wife. Another group sucked in one of my student workers, and she quit her job when I wouldn't let them visit her at work any more. These folks are everywhere and they are scary!

I will usually follow blindly and then realize what I'm into. I don't see it ahead of time quite as well, however. I did get out of this okay, and that was very fortunate.

Thanks again for reading. Hope your weekend was a good one.

Mike


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Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Artfux, thanks for reading. These folks used the power of suggestion very well to make themselves appear to have abilities or insights others don't have. They suggested that following them would open doors for the rest of us. I agree, they were not good people, and they are to be avoided at all costs.

Thanks again for stopping by. Take care.

Mike

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