This was the most horrendous book I have ever read. I have read many, many true crime books, but this book bothered me more than any book I have ever read. I was appalled by what people in a Satanic cult do, especially to children. When I wasn't reading the book I was thankful for normalcy and goodness, and almost didn't want to read anymore of such dark, evil things.
From inside the front cover: "Satan's High Priest reads like horror fiction. Its horrific insights and twisted characters make us want to believe that the events it chronicles never happened - but they did." - Larry Kahaner, author of Cults That Kill
from the back cover:
In a small southern town, a prominent businessman led a shocking double life as the black robed leader of a satanic cult. Now, his twisted legacy of terror is explised in this chilling true account.
Joseph Warrens connection to satanism egan in a nightmarish childhood. In the years before WWII, his father was a charismatic shop owner who led a coven of Satan worshippers in secret backroom meetings. There Joey was subjected to rites of alcohol, drugs, sexual orgies and humiliating physical torture- an unbearable regimen, calculated to bind him to the cult for life. After years of ritualistic abuse, Joseph usurped the role of his father to claim the cult's most powerful postiton as the sadistic ruler of all who followed in his relentless service of evil, to inflict the horrors upon a new generation...
The phenomenon of satanic ritual is an unfortunate truth that is so widespread, yet so beyond what most of us are willing to consider as possible, that our minds shut down at the mere idea of it. Yet it is something that we must be open to understanding and comprehending. Thousands of children go missing every year. These practices often involve the torture and sacrifice of children and occur in hundreds of towns across the U.S. and elsewhere.
This is a well-written book that attempts to understand the psychology of a small-town satanic cult leader via his day-to-day thoughts and actions, across the decades of his reign. The reader is drawn into the unfortunate routine of this man, and his obligation to provide regular gruesome and perversely stimulating spectacle for his cult members, who themselves routinely offer their own children for sacrificial torture and murder; children who have been cultivated into a dissociative mental state through years of studied mental, physical, and sexual torture techniques since infancy.
His position as leader of these horrific cult activities is portrayed as a simple matter of course, predicated on his own victimization as a child, and his legacy as son of the previous leader of the cult. Hidden by the sheer mundaneness of his outer life and personality, such an apparently 'normal,' even bland, middle-America outer representation of himself and his family is one reason this type of phenomena is so hidden from our awareness.