Rosemary’s Baby: A Warning to the Curious

eye-of-the-devil_1966

Unexpectedly, I came across a reference to NBC re-making Rosemary’s Baby into a four-hour mini-series; press reports suggest that shooting has already begun this month. With this news, a fear began to grip as my thoughts returned to the original.

Strange tales grow up around movies. Like many before and since, Rosemary’s Baby has had its fair share. There is one, however, regarding that 1968 movie that to this day, continues to disquiet, revealing as it does a tale seemingly darker than that which transpired upon the screen.

Sharon Tate was one of the “faces” of the 1960s—like Christie and Bardot; she too had “the look.” Her star has somewhat faded now, but she was fast becoming an intrinsic part of that decade. Born into a middle class Catholic family in California, she was to hear Hollywood’s siren call—from then her path was set. At precisely the same time as another was making his way there with a similar goal, albeit from a very different place.  A Polish Jew named Roman Polanski had forged, with one film, a reputation as a director of promise in his native land. Now, with an eye to the international stage, he was coming to London, just as Tate was arriving in England to film her first major role: playing the part of a witch in the Eye of the Devil (1966). Decisively, their paths were to cross.

Eye of the DevilPolanski’s London based film, Repulsion (1965), marked out the young Pole still further. It starred another 60s icon, Catherine Deneuve (similar in looks to Tate) who played an isolated young woman going slowly mad in a South Kensington apartment, before a frenzied killing with an axe. At the time, it was to be as disturbing a piece of cinema as it was to prove successful with critics and audiences alike.  Cinema was throwing off moral constraints at the perceived dawning of a new age, and films such as Polanski’s, with recurring themes of murder, madness, and the supernatural were to be in the vanguard of this emerging order.

Thereafter, a very 1960s affair ensued between the now lovers, Tate and Polanski—she wanting marriage and children, while he wanting his “freedom” and her. The Spirit of the Age dictated that she acquiesce, which she duly did. International celebrity for both followed, becoming one of Cinema’s “Golden Couples” in the process. Inevitably after the success of his European films, Polanski was beckoned to America with a view to making his first U.S. film: Rosemary’s Baby—based upon the 1967 best-selling novel by Ira Levin. Unsurprisingly, Tate was his first choice to play the lead—a plan, later, aborted. Nevertheless, the stage was inexorably being set.

Still to this day, Rosemary’s Baby (1968) is a chilling movie. The plot is of an actor who sacrifices his wife’s fecundity to evil so that his career subsequently flourishes; and flourish it does. I remember the first time I saw it on television, one Halloween in the late 1970s. Even then, I realized that this was a strangely different sort of “horror” film to any I had thus far experienced, and a long way from the studios of Universal and Hammer. Here was something distinct, and with a peculiar feel that disturbed. Barely a teenager, I wasn’t sure why. Over thirty years later, I watched the movie again—it disturbed me even more than it had that first time, only now I began to understand.

For a start, until the late 1960s, there had never been a Hollywood film where evil triumphed so blatantly; and what evil, nothing less than the birth of the Anti-Christ.  There are, of course, many other, more subtle (and all the more disquieting for that) hints of evil suffused throughout—for example, the real 1966 Time Magazine cover asking: “Is God Dead?” And the use of actual footage of Pope Paul VI’s visit to New York City in 1965, with its accompanying mocking by the now Satanist husband to his still nominally Catholic wife, Rosemary. Other, more lurid, attacks on the Church are present. Be in no doubt, a palpable darkness pervades this movie from the start.

And then, there is Rosemary: an innocent cut adrift, the slowly crumbling, unknowing mother-to-be—brilliantly played by Mia Farrow—isolated, spiritually as well as physically, increasingly alarmed at the realization that she can trust no-one. As the net continues to tighten, we watch with equal unease, knowing her predicament is far worse than she could ever have imagined. In this horror movie, like none before, there is to be no escape for Rosemary. For this is a truly nightmarish plot from start to dire finish, ending as it does with that final scene’s infernal adoration ringing out: “Hail Satan!”

Rosemary's BabyA frequent visitor to the set of Rosemary’s Baby, Tate was the subject of a series of photographs taken at the time by Esquire. In retrospect, these images appear as eerie as the movie itself. Moreover, a peculiar conversation took place shortly after the movie’s completion, when she startled a friend by saying: “The Devil is beautiful. Most people think he’s ugly, but he’s not.” Curious words indeed, and spoken by one blinded by the entity of which she spoke—the Father of Lies—whose “beauty” was but a mask beyond which lay only Death.

Rosemary’s Baby burst onto cinema screens during the summer of 1968, only a handful of weeks before Humane Vitae also arrived, if to less thunderous applause. One taught the truths of human life and love, the other was but a nefarious parody; one caught the Zeitgeist and was lauded, the other pilloried. Nevertheless, both were prophetic, and in their very different ways marked the beginning of a battle for more than just the soul of Hollywood.

Needless to say, the film was released to great critical and commercial success. At the New York premiere one woman did cry: “Blasphemy!”—she was mocked. The Catholic League of Decency, by then on its last legs, tried to protest but was immediately dismissed—the tide had turned.

Meanwhile, Polanski’s career “took off.” The future must indeed have looked golden; and yet, while the director and his now wife were making their new home in the hills over Hollywood, every move was being scrutinized. Unfortunately for them, the eyes so doing were those of a madman, by the name of Charles Manson. Manson, a self-styled “guru,” and his followers—”The Family”—were deranged, but, more worryingly still, they lusted after blood.

And so it was, on August 9, 1969, just as the clocks struck midnight, wishing “to do the work of the Devil”—as was their later boast—”The Family” in a packed automobile made for the Santa Monica Mountains: having already decided who was to be their next victim.

With Polanski absent, this murderous cabal smashed their way into the young couple’s home. It was there that the “blood sacrifice” was to be offered—two in fact, for Tate was heavily pregnant. That night, like the fictional mother at the close of Rosemary’s Baby, Sharon Tate was also robbed of what lay in her womb, as well as of life itself; and, as was the case with Rosemary, by chanting men and women who claimed to worship the Evil One—only this was no fiction, but, instead, all too real.

It is an old and wise maxim not to dabble in “things” of the Occult. One foolishly forgotten in these days when such powers are naively played with, looked upon as nothing but “harmless fun,” and therefore invoked unwittingly.

Still, even for non-believers, it would seem at least prudent to leave such things well alone. On that dreadful night, Sharon Tate may well have thought so. In those last minutes of life, we can only surmise what thoughts flooded her mind. Possibly they turned to her husband’s first American film?

Later, at the trial of her murderers, it was revealed that her last cry was but one word: “Mother.” A call for help, perhaps a reference to that earlier film, or, was it a prayer? It is hoped before the final blow fell, with assailants impervious to her cries for mercy, that Sharon Marie Tate gasped at least one plea for Divine Mercy. For, foolishly, she too had joined, however tangentially, with those assembled Satanists in welcoming their “Lord” into this realm in that final scene of Rosemary’s Baby, and was now hearing the diabolic echo of that earlier cry of “Hail…”—only this time it was sealing not the fate of Rosemary’s baby, but that of her own.

For here, truly revealed at last, was the Father of Lies, a murderer from the beginning.

Editor’s note: The MGM studio caption for the above scene from “Eye of the Devil” (1966) reads: “Devil worshiper Sharon Tate offers a white dove, killed in flight by an archer’s arrow, as sacrifice to the demands of the unholy “13″ tribunal.”

K. V. Turley

By

K. V. Turley is a London based freelance writer and filmmaker with a degree in theology from the Maryvale Institute.

  • Daisy

    I think thus must be one of the meanest, smuggest thing I’ve. Ever read on crisis. How about a prayer for Sharon and her son instead?

    • Don

      Perhaps I’ve missed Mr. Turley’s point Daisy . . . but I think that is essentially what he is doing. That, and giving us all a caution . . .

    • Vinnie

      “The Devil is beautiful. Most people think he’s ugly, but he’s not.” I believe his point is that, the Devil is real! People forget that.

      • smokes

        We’re late in the 4th quarter and the Devil’s ahead, putting his second team in for clean-up duty. It was never even close.

        • Maria

          But we know the final score. Christ triumphs. The devil and his lot go down to abysmal defeat…

          • smokes

            “Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.” (Burke)

            Right now, good men are an endangered species, right up there with the Broom’s pygmy possum, asleep on their Barcalounger.

            • Maria

              Good men? Addressed as ” good teacher”, Christ reminded the young man that only God is good. The rest of us are broken, but with eyes on Christ. Our hope is in Christ and what the Holy Spirit does with us remains to be seen. Even if the number is diminished, the result will be God’s Holy Will. The Resurrection has already occurred! Good news!!! In other words, be of good cheer. Pray, fast, hold on to the foot of the Cross and spread the word. These are nightmares, God is the eternal reality.

              • smokes

                So, your advice is whistling past the graveyard? i’m leaning more towards, “Onward Christian Soldiers”:

                Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war

                With the cross of Jesus going on before

                Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane

                But the cross of Jesus constant will remain

          • Adam__Baum

            Knowing the destination doesn’t mean one doesnt remain vigilant on the journey.

            • Maria

              I didn’t suggest closing your eyes. Keep imitating Christ. That is sure to lead to a hard place, always better there at Christ’s side with Dismas than skidding endlessly into the abyss. Just don’t spread gloom. It dampens the spirit.

              • Adam__Baum

                There’s a difference between due caution and gloom.

    • Richard_L_Kent

      Precisely. Christ would have nothing to do with it.

    • Guest

      Huh?

  • GB

    Great piece. You write well. Thank you.

    • Percy Gryce

      Yes, very well done.

  • jpct50

    This also sheds some light on Mia Farrow and all the sad details of her life as well.

    • smokes

      Yeah, Satchell became Ronan, son of either Woody or Frank, and Protector of his Mother, while her adopted daughter ran off with her boyfriend. If it was a movie, reviewers would say “too far fetched”, even for Tinseltown. No wonder actors had to leave town before sunset before Western Civilization died.

  • smokes

    While I’m antagonistic to Mr. Polanski’s subsequent pedophilia, Sharon Tate was simply at the wrong address at the wrong time. Manson had been befriended by Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys and then Terry Melcher, Doris Day’s son. Manson had known Melcher at the Cielo Way home where he and Candice Bergen lived. Melcher-Bergen moved out and the Polanski’s moved into Cielo Way. Then Manson came a’knockin’. The only blame here belongs to the Manson fiends. Sharon Tate was just another innocent victim of crime in America.

    • Vinnie

      I’ll take your word for it, but, what instigates/motivates the crime?

      • smokes

        “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?”

    • NYCFiredog

      There’s no such thing as a coincidence. She opened herself to the Spirit of Evil, and the Spirit of Evil guided her there for all we know. The Devil loves an ironic joke.

  • poetcomic1

    Sheds light on a number of topics. A very lurid and tawdry light of little worth.

    • Sam Scot

      “A very lurid and tawdry light of little worth.”
      . . . Other than the fact that he totally gets the culture of the time, which I lived through, and draws the correct conclusion. I saw that movie when it came out. People then were so doe-eyed naive and self-absorbed, they were “exploring” evil as if there were an exit ramp. This was after the Pill and before Roe.
      I don’t find that he trivializes anything or anyone here. The piece is brilliant.

      • Objectivetruth

        Exorcists say stay away from Ouija boards, seances, anything that is not Christocentric because it could be an opening for the demonic. Satan “prowls like a lion, looking to devour men’s souls.” You want to call up spirits be careful, they’ll come and not necessarily be the ones you want. I believe the author is saying when you play with demonic fire ( and dabble in things demonic), you could get burned. Participating in a demonic movie such as Rosemary’s Baby might have pulled Tate from the presence of Christ, giving the evil one an opening.

      • NYCFiredog

        I’m with YOU on this, Sam. I echo what you said. We had no idea that the Gates of Hell were opened up into the world back in 66.

  • Richard_L_Kent

    As a faithful and traditional Catholic…. I’d like to say….

    What hateful nonsense.

    “On that dreadful night, Sharon Tate may well have thought so. In those last minutes of life, we can only surmise what thoughts flooded her mind. Possibly they turned to her husband’s first American film?”

    We know exactly what was on her mind. Her practically last words were: “PLEASE DON’T HURT MY BABY.”

    This article drips with sanctimony and self-righteousness. Kindly don’t. Just, don’t. ‘K?

    • Adam__Baum

      We must have read different articles.

    • NYCFiredog

      It was not just about the film, the article. It was about the author’s first impression as a teen and seeing it as an adult. I echo his feelings of dread and his look past into the openings of Evil, more blatantly pouring into our minds via Hollywood.

      And worse, these people represented in the film are numerous. The warning may come across to YOU as “sanctimonious”, but that is YOUR opinion. I saw it as heavy with dread to the evil that is around us in this age, while so many are blind to it.

      • Richard_L_Kent

        What came across was his ghoulish speculation as to the final thoughts of a pregnant woman as she was being stabbed to death and using those speculative thoughts as a club against a film maker. And kindly don’t lecture me about dread and evil; I’ve seen my share, thank you.

        • NYCFiredog

          “Kindly don’t lecture me about dread and evil; I’ve seen my share, thank you.”

          I wasn’t lecturing YOU. I’ve seen my share and was with a woman for two years who was born into a high level, multi generational Satanist family just like the ones depicted. But many have NOT seen it, and have no idea that it is there or even exists. I read the same piece you did by the author and did not feel lectured. The warning was for all. It’s not all about you, pal.

          And I wondered what her last thoughts were as well, and have the same hopes that she was calling on God and the Mother of us all. You have a problem with that?………..too bad. Look in the mirror the next time you lecture someone else about “lecturing”.

          • poetcomic1

            I was born into a high level, multi-generational Jewish family and all the boys married Catholic girls! Bwa-ha-ha!

            • NYCFiredog

              THAT’S FUNNY! So does that make your nieces schikshas? I used to go out with a lot of Jewish girls back in the day. Are there any Jewish families that are NOT multigenerational? LOL.

            • Adam__Baum

              Just about everybody that has criticized this article has done so with subjective aesthetic arguments “ghoulish”, “hateful”, “meanest”. “smuggest” “lurid”. “tawdry”.

              These sound like emotional reactions. A couple of those words could have been yanked from any other contemporary grievance groups disassembling society. It should give the authors pause to wonder about the whether their discontent is intellectual or visceral.

            • Adam__Baum

              Just about everybody that has criticized this article has done so with subjective aesthetic arguments “ghoulish”, “hateful”, “meanest”. “smuggest” “lurid”. “tawdry”.

              These sound like emotional reactions. A couple of those words could have been yanked from any other contemporary grievance groups disassembling society. It should give the authors pause to wonder about the whether their discontent is intellectual or visceral.

          • Philip Sieve

            Many youth, especially displaced ones, have gotten into the occult, unfortunately. Then, there’s the less overt exercises of homosexual sex, pornography, abortions and obscene acts. Their aborted parts sold for research and who knows what else–all by people who don’t think much of it. I ask if there might be an unintentional Satanic priesthood of the faithful? Are we opening doors it would take witches and worlocks more time to open. The same goes for heavy metal performances, dischordant frequencies, backmasking and the hypersexualized pop music since the ’60s.

            • NYCFiredog

              Philip. Many are unwittingly abetting evil. When you say “Displaced”, do you mean odd, or outsider types? When my son was in High School, I had a hunch that there was under the radar evil. I went inside and saw on the wall, Dungeons and Dragons Club. I knew there was a lot of blatant occult spells and intro to the demonic world. Well, this club was led by two teachers. I knew the Principal as he was one of my teachers. He was shocked when I described what it was. I got a book that evening on the hidden occult to lure the youth, written by a Private Investigator from D.C. who’s son committed suicide through his involvement which started in D & D. I called her and said I knew it might sound strange, but I had a feeling that these teachers were underground recruiting through this club. She said “I can tell you for a fact that they are.” “I get these calls everyday from across the country, and I can tell you that they are English Teachers.” I was really surprised at the speed and accuracy of the guess. She said, “They’re always English teachers since they can assign them writing assignments and reading assignments that can flesh out any likely types that will be a natural attraction.

              • Philip Sieve

                Wow! Anyway, maybe I was using the wrong word, but I was thinking of half-way house and other kids interned away from parents (whether for their good or because of their disturbing behavior) for whatever reason. Maybe it’s not widespread, but they are going to be angry, confused and /or wanting a sense of power–sometimes over others. Am I off? You guys seem to have encountered occult-based activity.

        • dbwheeler

          …speaking of sanctimonious!! (eyes roll, lips curl)

        • Percy Gryce

          “(Oh, and so did Polanski.)”

          Polanski the child-rapist and scofflaw obviously embraced it.

          • Richard_L_Kent

            I see the adultress has a lump on her head. Didn’t you hear what the Master said on the subject?

            • Percy Gryce

              Yes, I have heard it: “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.”

              • Richard_L_Kent

                He didn’t instruct you to throw the first stone. Or are you the Blessed Virgin?

                • Percy Gryce

                  Now you’re defending Polanski’s child rape? Wow, you need a better hobby.

                  No need for anyone to cast stones. He admitted the crime. He simply refused to do the time.

                  • Richard_L_Kent

                    I don’t lie about what other people have said, Mr. Gryce. Why do you?

                    Point a finger in accusation, three more point at yourself.

                    • Percy Gryce

                      A question is not a lie. But now you’ve accused me of lying. Sounds like you’ve ignored the words of Our Divine Lord and cast the first stone yourself. For shame.

    • Dawn Eden

      Source? The only place online or in Google Books where I could find Sharon Tate saying “please don’t hurt my baby” was a work of “fan fiction.”

      • poetcomic1

        Susan Atkins gave a complete confession “. “She kept begging and pleading and begging and pleading and I got sick of listening to it, so I stabbed her.” She also mentioned the repeated begging for the life of her unborn child, it is actually in trial testimony.

    • Billiamo

      Thank you, Richard. There is no evidence whatever that Sharon Tate dabbled in Satanism; the quote from this essay (“The Devil is beautiful . . .”) is an attribution from an unstable former boyfriend. Sharon was a kindhearted woman and that rarest of creatures — a Hollywood celebrity about whom people only had good things to say. I pray that she and her baby boy, Paul Richard Polanski, are in heaven.

      • Guest 3

        Who said she did dabble? I don’t think the devil cares too much how you ‘skip’ into his lair. Connecting the dots, I would say she and her unborn baby were an unholy sacrifice. Unless you repent, receive the forgiveness of sins so wonderfully offered by the holy sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, you’re fair game. Not lecturing, btw — more like standing up for the truth and proclaiming (we are told to do this in the scriptures.)

        • Philip Sieve

          Just being such a big part of such films, without the intention of instructing people not to mess with Satan or without being the hero who stops the Satanists, made her a target of Satan’s unfortunate attention.

        • Philip Sieve

          Also, Gnostics believe Lucifer was beautiful and ok and was just misunderstood by mean, ol’ God, as they would think if Him, and sent him to Hell. I’m sure high-ranking Masons and those of similar secret societies feel that way, too.

  • Paul Sho

    Her final words were “Mother”. Could she have been calling on Mother Mary? How I wish; how I pray.
    Holy Mary,
    Mother of God,
    pray for us sinners now,
    and at the hour of our death.

  • hombre111

    Very interesting and thought provoking. Thanks. When I was serving as a priest in South America, I met a priest named Buenaventura Kloppenberg, a Dominican from Brazil, who was the continental expert on black magic. He subscribed to a Jungian view of the conscious/subconscious, and warned that there was a permeable barrier between the two. If a person refused to guard that entryway, it opened the door to the Evil One and the havoc he could create. He used Rosemary’s Baby as an example, and said that people who watched the film were being reckless.

    • Philip Sieve

      Jung was into the occult. You could either say he would know what he’s talking about or that he was being lied to by demons.

      • hombre111

        Don’t know what you are talking about.

        • Philip Sieve

          I could care less.

          • Philip Sieve

            If you want to comment smugly, we can do that, too.

            • hombre111

              I did not intend to give you a snotty reply, but I was on my way out the door for a two week trip to the mountains, and in a hurry. Sorry. I shouild have said the following: “Jung was into the occult” needs some explanation. What do you mean? Did he worship demons? Do seances to get into contact with the dead? and etc.. I am actually only interested in his research into the subconscious, his theory of archetypes, and his development of what turned into the Myers/Briggs personality test. I do not see any connection between these things and any practice of the occult.

  • Coffie

    Excellent, insightful essay …. there most certainly is a frightening connection between what we see “through a glass darkly” here and now, and that which is not of this world, but in the spiritual realm; only perceived by those “who have eyes to see and ears to hear…”

    The devil is real, a pernicious stalker of souls, who will stop at nothing to win over and devour a weakly formed soul. Whenever we ( most especially believers) dapple in “the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life”, or the illicit trappings of the occult, we open dangerous portals for Evil’s infiltration. Sharon Tate is victim of more than a murderous madman, but rather her tragic demise is also a reflection of the end game of Satan’s quest for destruction of those who stray too far from GOD’s protection and truth.

    Whether confronting the intoxicating lure of Polanski ( or Weinstein) films, or the multitude of soul killing offerings so readily available in today’s hedonistic societies, we must be aware of the spiritual forces at work in all things, people, places, artistic renderings. The words “Holy Mary, MOTHER of GOD, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death” come to mind.

  • ron

    Mr. Turley Sharon Tates last words of “mother” probably referred to her own “mother” just like a solder dying in battle would call out “mother”. You sound overly self-righteous!

    • mally el

      Overly self-righteous? The writer was merely hoping.
      Mother probably, as you said referred to her mother. Probably not!

      • Howard

        Um, is anyone hesitating even slightly over the credibility of the testimony from the Manson “family”? Does Crazy + Evil = Believable?

        • Smith

          It is impossible to know for certain unless you can read their minds

          • Howard

            Some liars believe their own lies. I’m not sure why; apparently they forget why they said something in the first place, even if that was mere seconds ago. Since the Manson “family” was a violent cult dedicated to (literally!) sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, I would not necessarily believe even something I could read directly from their minds.

            • Smith

              Well, that would make their actions all the more puzzling. It is difficult to imagine what drove them to commit such hideous acts; it’s almost as if they were possessed.

              • Howard

                I think there’s plenty of evidence that they committed the murders, but I’m not sure that they tell the whole truth about exactly what went on during them.

                Apparently, though, there really was a kind of brutal, twisted logic behind them. Manson wanted to provoke a race war, so he wanted especially grizzly murders pinned on the Black Panthers. This seems much more likely to have been a deliberate act of evil, rather than an act under possession, though it’s not easy to be sure. To say that they were possessed is to say that (to the extent they may not have been responsible for BECOMING possessed) they had no moral responsibility for the murders, because the Devil QUITE LITERALLY made them do it.

                • Smith

                  Yes, I suppose they could claim moral inculpability if that were the case. But in most cases, it takes two hands to clap, so while it may not be prosecutable in court, they would have been guilty of opening themselves up to possession in the first place.
                  Supposing that they were in full control of their actions, which is more likely of the two, then it is indeed quite disturbing that they could go through the acts. I hope they are human enough to at least feel guilty and remorseful for their actions.

                  • Howard

                    According to Fr. Amorth, possession does not have to be voluntary. Frankly, it is much worse in every way if they were willingly cooperating with evil, which I assume to be the case. As for what is “prosecutable in court”, I doubt the State of California would think much of a plea of “not guilty by reason of demonic possession”.

                    • Smith

                      Well, I suppose they could plead being of unsound mind.

                • Ted

                  Again, trying to figure out the reasons why people who have given themselves over to evil and the occult is dangerous in and of itself. Howard we need instead to be people of prayer who pray & sacrifice for them and beg God for his Mercy and for the Graces for repentance. Howard ask for the gift from our Lord Jesus Christ to become an apostle of prayer and do what Jesus wants you to do and say. God bless you!

            • Ted

              You are simply taking the opposite side of the conversation for argument sake. I don’t see clearly how God is directing you? So, the question is who is directing you? Who are you listening to? What is your purpose for your misguided comments? Howard repent and go to confession while there is still time…

        • Te

          You are under the influence of a spirit but I it is clear it is not a spirit attached to the one true God Jesus Christ. Repent and go to confession while there is still time

  • ron

    The article gives insights as to why the mid 60′s was the beginning of the decline of the family.

    • flourgiggy

      And the end of my movie-going.

      • Howard

        No “deviled eggs”, either, I guess.

        • Ted

          You are ignorant

          • Howard

            Yes. And I am mortal, and not omnipresent, and there was a time when I was not. I am also a sinner. All these things are true of me and of you and of everyone who has written on this page.

            You, however, have the distinction of having no point.

  • Howard

    There were some present at that very time who told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” — Luke 13:1-5

    The author of this piece seems to be utterly unfamiliar with the above passage, as well as the whole book of Job. Many of the comments below show similar ignorance. You can make no human connection between any sin of Sharon Tate and her murder, but like Job’s friends and the Apostles asking about the man born blind, you are SURE you know what the connection must be.

    • Richard_L_Kent

      Thank you, Howard.

    • leowong

      “No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” So sin without repentance could result in destruction. Sounds like a warning to “some present.”

      • HowardRichards

        It was precisely a warning, but not the warning they wanted to hear. What they wanted to hear was, “See, the tower fell on them because they had gone so far as to worship Beelzebub. If *you* do the same thing, expect something like this to happen to you, but if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’re A-OK.”

        We know all humans die because (except for Jesus and Mary) we are all sinners (even John the Baptist and unborn children had/have original sin), so there is a general connection. We can also draw a more direct connection using human wisdom in *some* cases — such as suicide and drug overdoses. But if a college student subscribes Penthouse for one year, then 5 years later is killed in a car crash on his way to the factory where he works, it’s a stretch to attribute his early death to the sin of viewing pornography. Short of the gift of prophecy (which almost certainly should not be shared through a blog!), there is simply NO WAY of knowing whether a particular sin hastened his death, let alone which one. The same applies to Sharon Tate.

        Don’t make the mistake of praying, “God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, Satanists, or even as Sharon Tate.”

        • leowong

          Or even as K. V. Turley.

          • Howard

            You can call me on it if a group of drug-fueled cultists murder K. V. Turley, after which I write something online or in print claiming that there was a cause-and-effect relationship between his presumption in the Sharon Tate case and his gruesome murder. Until that happens, the analogy you are attempting to draw fails.

            • leowong

              So you do thank God that you are not as K. V. Turley?

              • Howard

                No. I do not know K.V. Turley, and he is probably a better man than I am. He is, however, very wrong in what he suggests.

                • leowong

                  Neither do I know him, but with his interest in Satan, I suppose he has read Job, and with his degree in theology I suppose he has also read Luke 13:1-5, 18:11, and 18:13. God have mercy on us sinners and deliver us from the Evil One.

                  • Howard

                    The problem is that you had to read “about the author” to reach that conclusion. It does not jump out of what he has written.

                    • leowong

                      What jumped out to me was the author’s warning not to have dealings with the Devil. The thought didn’t occur to me that the author was ignorant of the Book of Job or the Gospels.

                    • Howard

                      Of course “don’t seek out the Devil” is good advice. So is, “Don’t look at Penthouse.” But if I were to say, “Don’t look at Penthouse, because you might die in a fiery wreck, like this (fictional) college student,” it would actually undermine my position, because it would give the impression that (a) I know more about the cause-and-effect relation than I do and/or (b) whenever something bad happens, it can readily be attributed to an identifiable sin in the past of the person suffering. (And most readers would know that my reasoning was crap. The flawed support given to my exhortation would make them feel much more comfortable in tuning out everything I said.)

                      I’m sorry, but this is NOT a minor technicality. It’s not like confusing King Hezekiah with King Josiah. Yes, it is a major theme of one whole book of the Bible (Job), that suffering and success in this life do not closely reflect whether one is good or bad, or whether or not one is in a state of grace, but this theme is also shot through the whole Bible. It starts with Abel, who is murdered by his brother without apparently having experimented with Satanism, and it goes all the way through to the Antichrist, who enjoys nothing but success until the last moment. In the meantime we have countless martyrs, in both the Old and New Testaments and even to today and beyond, who are brutally murdered by cultists not because they have toyed with Satan, but because they have toiled for Christ. We have the rich man dying in comfort, only to lift up his eyes in torment, whereas Lazarus dies in misery, only to find himself in the bosom of Abraham. God makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. St. Paul says, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”

                      JUST WHERE IN ANY OF THIS IS A SUGGESTION THAT WE MERE HUMANS CAN SEE MYSTICAL CONNECTIONS BETWEEN ONE PERSON’S SUFFERING AND AN APPARENTLY UNRELATED SIN? The answer is … NOWHERE. This is one of the main reasons we are not to judge. We do not know all the facts; we cannot judge the weights of sins correctly; and we do not know the connections. To pretend that we do is understandable from a pagan, but no Catholic has any excuse for making that mistake.

                      It’s all the more a problem when the sin being discussed is some lurid aberration to which we feel absolutely no attraction. So to use another example, it’s easy to talk about the sinfulness of homosexual activity; that *is* sinful, so I’d have the facts on my side, but even better, it’s not a temptation for me, so I can paint it as one of the darkest of sins. As for my own more commonplace sins — well, no one’s perfect, right? Yet for someone who has received as many graces as I have to sin as often as I do is both frightening and disgusting, and these sins almost certainly offend God more than those of a gay activist who is not a Christian and had no decent upbringing.

                    • leowong

                      Thank you, Howard.

          • Howard

            Also, please understand that the “you” in my original response was plural, referring to the authors of many of the comments. Yes, I call out K.V. Turley for what he said, but worse was written in response to his suggestions.

  • Sensible

    I think it is interesting to make note of the fact that John Lennon of the Beatles not only lived in the apartment building where Rosemary’s baby was filmed, but in the actual apartment where the satanic rituals were performed & filmed. It has been said of John Lennon that he made a pact with the devil & sold his soul in exchange for riches & fame.
    The devil agreed & granted his wish for 20 years after which he had to give up his soul. As we all know, the Beatles received instant stardom & success beyond their imagination. Twenty years later, he was gunned down in front of the apt building where he lived.

  • Pingback: Playing with fire might just get you burned: Sharon Tate as a case study in the dangers of the occult | For Christ and the Church

  • Dhnt

    Weird “A warning to the curious” think that was meant for me!I had just this morning added to my shopping cart on Amazon “The Devil in Connecticut” based on a true story.I came across it while looking at a film (and book by Ralph Sarchie) coming out soon “Beware the Night” then I had this article in my inbox email!I think I’ll go empty my shopping cart!

  • meme

    why blasfemy at the movie? but yeah that was a satanic film, the director, Roman then raped a young girl ang his wife was murdered by a crazy cult of drug people, Sharon used to be a fellow of a satanic church but she left that so as the legend says the leader of the satanic cult who like the Sharon, cursed her and that´s one of the reason of her terrible death. It seems that guy loved the blondie stars buy they didn´t love him too much, when they could leave him they did it and then they died. For example Sharon, Marylin,Jayne m. The legens says he cursed those women. But they were women without catholic spiritually. They never said and Ave Maria, most of them lived into paganism, so i don´t believe in wicthcraf but we must be protected by spiritual arms.

  • uncle max

    There remains the adage that the smartest thing the devil ever did was to convince (some) people that he doesn’t exist.

    Ain’t so, folks – he is real.

    • smokes

      We know what party he’s registered in, too.

      A hint: If you’re Pro-Life, you have to move out of New York State.

      • uncle max

        Recommended Reading – ‘Confronting the Language Empowering the Culture of Death’

  • Irma

    What a disturbing film plot

  • Ted

    I have read many of the comments and I am really disappointed with my Christian bretheren! The devil must be having a horse laugh over all the unkind words and general lack of charity in response after response. Let’s apologize to each other seeking forgiveness and make a commitment here and now to pray for all of those people involved in satanic worship. Let us pray to the Mother of God Mary or Mother as well for her protection and guidance in the evil age. Yours in JMJ,
    Ted

  • Doran

    Provocative piece, but what does it have to do with the “occult’?

  • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.anziulewicz PolishBear

    It’s true, “Rosemary’s Baby” is a brilliantly-constructed film that holds up even today. And it helped usher in a whole slew of movies having to do with the Devil, demonic possession, and all other sorts of Satanic mumbo-jumbo: “The Exorcist,” “The Sentinel,” “The Omen,” “The Devil’s Rain,” etc. Even today there’s an occasional resurgence of interest in such films; note “Devil’s Due” (which has been getting wretched reviews) not to mention all the evangelical “End Times” films like “Left Behind” and “The Omega Code.”

    I was a teen when I went with friends to see “The Omen” at the local movie theater. Of course we were young and impressionable, and immediately I started looking up information about all the weird things referred to in the film: The number 666, ancient Etruscan burial grounds, yadda yadda yadda. Today I look back at those days with a mixture of amusement and shame.

    WHY? Because I’ve learned to live in the real world. There is no such thing as prophecy (except for the self-fulfilling kind), no “End Times,” no Antichrist. What people used to attribute to demonic possession we now know to be various kinds of mental illness. I know people love to gravitate toward the so-called “supernatural,” as if we could just pull away the curtain to review a Universe filled with angels and demons and gods and prophecies. But you know what? The reason the real world is more interesting is because it’s the only thing we have.

  • Andrew Mark McAlpin

    Excellent article! More from Turley! Very insightful and thought provoking.

  • daisy

    Ira Levin, who wrote Rosemary’s Baby lived happily ever after and died at age 78. Ruth Gordon, who played the head witch lived to be 88. Maurice Evans, died at 87 and is better known as Sammantha’s dad on the TV show, Bewitched. Mia Farrow seems to be insane but was so long before the movie. Roman Polanski was warped probably from birth and has been using both WWII and the murder of his wife as an excuse for his behavior. What happened to Sharon Tate was the fault of Charles Manson.

  • markkrite

    Food for thought, indeed. I’ve been haunted by the movie, less so the book from which it came, since I first saw it in the summer of 1968. The film itself, in most aspects, must be termed as brilliant by Polanski, but who, for me, is personally repellant. And was there a deeper agenda at work in this movie, possibly a type of YEARNING for such a horrifiic event as the birth of antiChrist to occur? Maybe. And whose yearning might it have possibly been? Hard to say. There are many possible suspects. I won’t even attempt to name them. But among the occult crowd, obviously the satanists too, such an event is deeply desired. It’s all very mysterious. But then so is lucifer. He’s the arch-rebel so admired by the lunatic anarchist-leftist groupies, of which Polanski was a member, maybe still is. One needs to read the long treatise by Pope Paul VI contained in the 2nd volume from Fr. Gabriel Amorth, Chief Exorcist of Rome, in his account of the devil and exorcism, and his role in all of it, published around the year 2000. It’s fascinating reading, incredibly insightful, as only a serious topic can be as delineated by a saintly Pope, thought to be made a saint of the Catholic Church sometime after the canonizations of JP II and Good Pope John the 23rd.in April of this year. Kudos to the author of this piece.

  • Unholy

    Anton LaVey (the author of The Satanic Bible and founder of The Church of Satan) also played The Devil in the movie.All Hail!

  • CadaveraVeroInnumero

    Maybe I will post something tomorrow. I spent the last three years, almost daily, with a confirmed Satanist whose devotion to Anton LaVey was utter. I saw . . . I know . . .

  • JP

    Aside from the creepiness of the book/movie, has anyone ever pointed out that neither demons nor angels can have sex with humans? They are pure spirit. Yes, demons can oppress and possess a person; but there is no such thing as an incubus – at least not in Christian belief.

    I know that some religious sects believe that the OT accounts of Giants in the Earth refer to demons; but, this is pure speculation.

    • Guest 3

      Not so, JP. Read Genesis 6:4. You’re speculating that angels can’t have sex with humans, so it’s fair that others can speculate that they can. Christian belief is not monolithic.

  • Lygeia

    We need to be careful what we pay attention to and what we do. This is all sadly remniscent of the phrase, “Life imitates art.”

  • jkantor267

    I’ve seen a lot of things on the internet – but you guys are completely insane.

  • shinz

    Terrible. Her husband made such a terrible movie. Based on a twisted interpretation of of the end time events of things in the bible. It’s so easy to get confused. People take such movies to heart. We have to watch such movie production, so people don’t get so confused.

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