In In Pursuit of Satan: The Police and the Occult, Robert Hicks describes how news reporters get their misinformation about so-called occult crimes from police. Police, in turn, learn what they know from seminars – and the information disseminated at those seminars comes from conservative Christian sources.
“Cult officers employ fundamentalist rhetoric, distribute literature that emanates from fundamentalist authorities, and sometimes offer bibliographies giving many fundamentalist publications,” Hicks writes. “Further, cult cops sometimes team up with clergy to give Satanism seminars.”
At the same time, police are discouraged from studying primary sources on the occult, according to Kail. “One law enforcement guide warns: ‘Intense study of resource books and materials by occult sources is hazardous. Preferred is studying overviews and synopses by credible authors who have studied the occult traditions. The unknown realm of the occult beckons with many lures. Study and/or experimentation are to be avoided. There are safer ways to test for poisonous chemicals than by tasting them.’”