Ms Herold's little handbook strives to alert police officers to the menace of the occult, though as it largely consists of statements of the obvious, it suggests that the guardians of the law must be even more stupid than is popularly thought.
For example, we learn that the signs of involvement in occult practices include:
a systematic use of symbols
obsession with fantasy role-playing, heavy black-metal rock groups and bizarre imagery
alleged or actual [my emphasis] psychic abilities
alleged communications with the dead
Who'd have guessed?
An unwary detective without this book to hand might fail to see the significance of further evidence of the presence of occultism:
afflicted effigies like voodoo dolls stuck with pins or otherwise mutilated
skulls with or without candles
rooms converted into dungeons or torture chambers
But beware, these vile necromancers can look just like anyone else, so the wise cop will learn the subtle signs of their maleficence:
tattoos - sexually perverse scenes, symbols [?], elaborate imagery [???], dripping blood
The bulk of the book is taken up by what Ms Herold calls "the ABC's [sic] of occultic language" - reproductions of symbols that she says are used to "conjure spirits, cast spells, and aid meditation". As well as the expected pentacles goat's head, ankh and so on, she includes in her catalogue such innocuous items as an equilateral triangle ("pyramid", she says) and a simple circle. Be careful how how you decorate your child's nursery, lest you unleash dark forces.
More treats are to be found in Herold's occult glossary , in which we learn for example that the Necronomicon is a "potent" and "highly dangerous" book. but she reaches a mighty height with her conclusion, which I quote in full:
As law enforcement officers and agents, you frequently face danger from all kinds of people—drug addicts, pushers, prostitutes, pimps, the emotionally unstable, the mentally deranged—in short, the killers, rapists, and abusers of our society. Now, it is time for you to add occultists, witches, and satanists to your list of armed and dangerous characters.
For example, you might encounter a coven that is protected by an armed sentinel. (Those members with psychic abilities are preferred they can "see" you coming and "know" your intentions.) These devoted guardians will not hesitate to attack an invader, be he an innocent trespasser, adventurous curiosity-seeker, or a peace officer.
Here are some more points to remember:
- If a suicidal practitioner thinks you are a threat to his desire to die and reincarnate or resurrect, for example, he/she might very well kill or hurt you in his defense.
- Covens (and individual, solitary practitioners) are equipped with knives as ritual and ceremonial tools. Therefore, consider each qroup or individual as armed and potentially dangerous.
- You might encounter an occultist who seems to possess "superhuman" strength. Be on guard.
- Drug induced occultism, witchcraft, and satanism pose a double threat: the unpredictable effects of the drugs mixed with the deviations of the practices.
In conclusion, it is my hope that the information contained in this guide will prevent not only personal harm to you, but also will serve to preserve and protect the general public. If just one, innocent child is saved from being used as a human sacrifice—if just one, careless adult is spared the agony of physical and psychological destruction—if just one police officer or law enforcement agent returns to his or her family following a confrontation that otherwise would have resulted in injury or death—then my purpose will have been accomplished.
The fact that the news is rarely troubled by stories of ill-prepared police officers being attacked by superhuman suicidal psychics suggests that Herold's words have done their job. Hooray!