Rod Serling told the press in 1972, "I'm not an aficionado or experienced in this field (supernatural), but I love it as a story frame. It permits me, as a writer, to let my imagination run amuck. A writer is almost omniscient anyway. He plays God. Writing in this area gives him the added impetus of not being controlled by gravity, inertia or death." 

In 1973, 'The Exorcist' surpassed the 1972 movie 'The Godfather' at the box office, earning $193 million in ticket sales compared to $134 million for the movie about the Mafia. In April 1970, the paperback version of 'The Godfather' was published. By June 1970, some 4.5 million copies were sold. Mario Puzo described turning his best-selling book into a movie script, "I'm a fast writer, and I expected the job to take 4 weeks. Now I've been working for 2½ months (as at June 1970) and I'm just finishing the first draft. I sold (to Paramount) an option for $12,000 on the basis of the first 100 pages. 

"Sure, I could have made lots more if I had waited, but I have no regrets. It took guts to lay out that kind of money on 100 pages. And at that time $12,000 seemed like a million to me. It was Paramount's idea for me to write the script. At first I didn't think much of the idea, because I had had it with the material. But then I thought it would be a challenge – something new to learn. I didn't realize how different it would be. I thought it would be simply a matter of cutting, but I find I have to add scenes as well. All my life I've been paying 6 to 5 to the loan sharks. It’s great at last to be able to take off for Puerto Rico or Florida, just because I feel like going." 

William Friedkin's 'The Exorcist', about a girl being possessed and required rites to be performed by 2 priests, was "riding the crest of the current (in 1974) occult wave in the United States." Louise Sweeney of 'Gannett News Service' reported, "Those who take the pulse of the public are mystified and in some cases deeply concerned over occultism's effect on U.S. society. Right now (back in 1974) it's a society apparently mesmerized by what Newsweek calls in a cover story 'the exorcism frenzy.'" 

Louise explained exorcism, possession, demonology, Satanism "are part of the 'occult' which derives from the Latin root 'occultus' (covered up) and means that which is 'deliberately hidden', 'not revealed to others', 'secret'. It includes all the current, popular forms of the phenomenon: witchcraft, fortune telling, ESP, astrology, horoscopes, the tarot, the Chinese I Ching, alchemy, voodoo, spiritualism, black and white magic, palmistry, graphology, etc. All these forms of the occult have one thing in common: a belief in hidden or mysterious power, a worship of the uncertain, rather than a revealed, omnipotent God." 

Anthropologist Margaret Mead told 'The Christian Science Monitor', "When there is a degree of breakdown in established institutions, there is a proliferation of superstition, and outbreak of astrology, soothsaying, divination, all sorts of things. It happened in the Middle Ages and at the end of Rome. Whenever there is the end of an epoch, there is a proliferation of this sort of thing. The desperate commercialization, the sense of immediacy created by the media make it appear to be more than it is. No, I don’t think it (interest in the occult) will have any lasting effect on our society, particularly. It's just a fad." Rabbi Ronald A. Sobel added, "It’s a throwback, a regression to ideas that are more primitive." 

The interest with the occult at the time represented "a desperate, misguided groping in a time of pervasive uncertainty." Psychotherapist Dr Rollo May made the observation, "We've been drunk, intoxicated with our own form of optimism, believing we'll always be rich, with a superfluity of gadgets and dependence on them. It's been a real drunkenness, an escape from reality by means of external things. When this is suddenly decapitated, there is anxiety. The lapse into the occult is a way of managing anxiety. 

"When there is a period of great anxiety and despair, about which people can't do anything, there is increased concern with the occult. It's acknowledged that demonology, Satanism, and so forth are the result of a deteriorating age. It is exactly because we have prided ourselves so much on science and rationality. It is a reaction against a science and objectivity that many people feel just didn't work. Our present (in 1974) problems are the result of the fact that the period begun with the Renaissance is disintegrating – the values, mores, beliefs are all disintegrating." Dr May maintained there was hope for a future new society "if people can weather this great turbulence we've been in since the end of World War I and come out of it with a more realistic sense, a constructive view of life." 

Bishop Paul Moore Jr claimed, "The total faith in science and technology as being the final answer to truth and human problems obviously has been badly shattered since World War II, and in the last few years (since 1970) in the U.S. particularly. The energy crisis, inflation, unnecessary wars have built up so that most persons question science as the final answer. Whenever people are going through a time of great insecurity in economic and political life as they are now (in 1974), an interpersonal relationships as they are now, and in violent cultural change, they do tend to reach out into the non-rational levels of reality more than in quieter, calmer times." 

Harvard professor of social psychology Thomas Pettigrew made the point, "There was an occult interest in the 1930s, it appears most often when people lack meanings, when the old reliable standards have crumbled." Back in 1983, Dr Billy Graham argued, "Ultimately all occult practices have their origin in Satan rather than God. They are a false substitute for the worship and service of God, and as such they are wrong. That is one reason why the Bible constantly tells us we should avoid any type of occult practices. 

"This could include . . . any type of fortune telling, sorcery, charms, spiritism, or any other occult practice or belief. These were all common in the ancient world, but God's people were commanded not to have anything to do with them. 'Let no one be found among you . . . who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead” (Deuteronomy 18:10-11). When those who were involved in occult practices in Ephesus turned to Christ, they immediately burned their occult books (see Acts 19:19)."

Convinced there was "a deep spiritual hunger on the part of many people," Dr Billy Graham stressed to "find the true meaning of life . . . You will find it only in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who loves you and wants to come into your life. Don't get fascinated by practices which will not lead you to God. Instead, you can know God personally by giving your life to Jesus Christ. You can invite him into your heart by a simple prayer of faith." 

In 1978, Lynda Carter of 'Wonder Woman' told 'Illustre', "I consulted some seers; I knew the people who only trusted the predictions of the seers to decide the orientation that they had to give to their life and I wanted to imitate them in the goal to help me to surmount my fears. Today (in 1978), I can tell you that the occult sciences can present big dangers. The people who are implied in the occult sciences tempt to make you believe that everything that they tell you is true and one ends up depending completely on their opinion. 

"In my opinion, it is even more destructive than the drug. Before I believed in the psychic phenomena and all sorts of things of this kind, but it never procured me a real happiness. Of course, it was exciting because different from everything that I had lived before and because it was mysterious, but it never procured me a happiness, a satisfaction or even of intense joy. I tried to acquire a certain stability and I never found it in this kind of discipline. 

"In fact, it is the Christian faith that finally opened me the eyes. It is while sheltering me in this religion that was the one of my childhood that I could finally find the stability which I had need so much." Lynda also told 'Midnight Globe' in 1979, "Going back about 2 years (in 1977), it seemed like I should have been on top of the world. I had a hit series with 'Wonder Woman,' I had no financial worries and I had a husband who loved me very much. I had everything I thought I wanted, but I wasn't at peace with myself. I was looking for something to bring me that peacefulness. 

"I got into metaphysics, into reincarnation. I briefly flirted with all kinds of things I thought would be helpful. But some of the people I was around then wanted to channel my abilities in the wrong direction. I went to fortune tellers. And I knew people who planned their lives around what their fortune teller or ouija boards told them. But I can tell you — the occult is dangerous. It breaks up marriages, ruins careers, does terrible things to people's lives. The people involved in it make you believe what they are telling you is right and true. They make you dependent. And just when you are becoming the most vulnerable, they hurt you. That was my experience and it was damaging. But it is too unpleasant to talk about the specifics."

Lynda believed, "Finding the Lord has totally changed my life, and totally for the good. He has given me consistency, which is most important because I am somewhat unpredictable. I don't consider myself a religious person in the traditional sense, but I am very involved in religion in a personal way." 

Allen Spraggett was studying voodoo and in 1977 met Vincent Price in Haiti. Vincent told Alan of the uncanny experiences in his life, "I was flying into New York's LaGuardia Airport some years ago. It was fogbound – I think it's eternally fogbound – and the plane was circling. Suddenly, as I looked out the window I saw clearly in the clouds the words, 'Tyrone Power is dead'. I was taken aback. I knew Tyrone Power, we'd made movies together, but he wasn't a close friend of mine. When we landed I picked up a newspaper and there on the front page was the story of how Tyrone Power had died suddenly, in his early 50s, while making a movie in Spain."

Richard Davies was awarded his Bachelor of Arts degree in religion in 1970 and his Master of Arts degree in religion in 1975. In 1976, the religion department at Temple University in Philadelphia Pennsylvania approved the syllabus Richard and William Goldstein proposed to teach. The 4 credit full semester undergraduate elective course included student's projects and attending lectures with topics included Gnostics, Alchemy, Kabbalah, Rosicrucians, Buddhism, Jung, Spiritualistic philosophy, Druidism, Wicca and further reading on ancient occult and alchemical texts translated from German, Coptic, Hebrew, Latin and Greek.

Richard recounted, "When we first got the idea for the course, we weren't sure how it would be received. Although we personally felt it met a definite need, we realized the subject matter might be considered too controversial and the course proposal vetoed. At the basis of all occult teaching is the assumption that there is another reality, separate and distinct from the reality we know in everyday life. The seeker is trying to make contact with that separate reality. There is a reason to believe that many have been successful, but each seeker must find his own way."

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