CREDENTIALS AND QUALIFICATIONS
HIS DEGREE AND TITLE OF DOCTOR
Dr. Dale Griffis does not have a recognized or accredited
degree. He received his degree from a diploma mill called Columbia Pacific
University, run by a Dr. Les Carr, whose property was briefly home to an illegal
"north campus" of San Rafael-based Columbia Pacific University correspondence
school. He says he visited the "campus" three or four times.
The state attorney general's office compelled Columbia
Pacific to close down, pay civil penalties, and refund tuition fees. Carr was named in the
suit as owner, dean of faculty, and the institution's chairman of the board.
Carr co-founded Columbia Pacific in 1978 to offer
"non-residential" degree programs up to the Ph.D. level.
Deputy Attorney General Asher Rubin blasted the school in
his complaint, calling it "a diploma mill which had been preying on California
consumers for too many years." The suit also calls Columbia Pacific a "phony
operation" offering "totally worthless [degrees]...to enrich its unprincipled
In addition to his role at Columbia Pacific, Carr was a permanent part-time psychologist
for San Quentin correctional facility.
In 1994 the county discovered eight permit-less dormitories on Carr's property at 148
Wilson Hill Rd. He was cited for multiple zoning, safety, and health violations.
Dale Griffis, a Columbia Pacific graduate, and an Ohio
policeman-turned-consultant on cult and occult issues, had his education ridiculed during
a 1994 high-profile Arkansas murder trial.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that Griffis provided prosecutors with such expert
testimony as "occultists typically wear black clothes, black hair and fingernails,
earrings, and tattoos." Hmmmmmm.
Defense attorneys "scoffed at" Griffis' expertise and his degree, for which he
traveled to San Rafael "four or five times." He was permitted to testify as to
motive, but not facts of the case.
The following article appeared in The Globe and Mail,
MORE CRIME LINKED TO CULTS, US EXPERTS TELLS
"More and more violent crime, especially killings of children, is being linked to
satanic cults in the United States, a retired police captain and an expert on the subject
said yesterday. Dale Griffis, who worked as a captain with the Tiffin, Ohio, Police
department and is now consulted by police forces across the United States about such
cults, was speaking at a meeting on satanic cults as part of cult Awareness Week organized
by the Jewish Students Union of the University of Toronto. He said many of his
friends among Ontario police officers are increasingly concerned about cults and crime.
The Satan-worshipping Process Church is known to have a cell in Ontario, he said,
"More and more, (police) officers are finding satanic symbols left at the scene of
crimes," Mr. Griffis, who has a PhD in psychology, told his audience of 50, mostly
students. He said statistics are hard to come by because the subject is still being
researched by the Federal Burueau of Investigation's behavioral science experts.
However, he said, the following is known: A study of 200 serial murders since 1960
shows that in 50 of them, there was some involvement of cults or religious belief;
In three Ohio counties about 500 cultist have been identified; About 70 per cent of those
who join white witchcraft groups are women.
[So far, according to the FBI and the Association of Cymry Wiccae, he is wrong on all the
above statistics he said "were hard to come by". We have contacted PCCO of
Ohio, one of the largest Pagan groups in Ohio who says there is actually pretty close to
2,000 Witches and Pagans in Ohio. There are probably 7 or 8,000 members of various
Christian Cults in Ohio.]
QUALIFICATIONS AS AN OCCULT EXPERT (Following information
was excerpted from the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance web site)
Mr. Griffis is not qualified to be an Occult expert.
Being an Occult Expert is an unusual specialty for an expert, because most serious
investigators believe that a "occult killing" has never occurred in the United
States in the past twenty years. 1,2 There have been some murders by psychopathic serial
murderers who claimed to be Satanists, but police investigations have shown that they were
simply using Satanism as a cover and as a justification for their acts.
The text of the Arkansas Supreme Court decision in the Echols-Baldwin case contains a
brief description of Dr. Griffis' testimony. 3 We believe it to be based on fantasy from a
number of sources:
1. beliefs from the 16th century about imaginary Satanic worshipers that were used
to justify the Witch burnings
2. actual practices of Wiccans and other Neopagans who Dr. Griffis associates with
child sacrifices (Wicca is a gentle, Neopagan religion, similar to Native American
3. practices of what conservative Christians often call "the occult" in
which many benign occultic practices like tarot card reading, astrology, tea-cup reading,
membership in the Masonic Order etc. are linked to child abuse.
His "expert" testimony was in fact a jumble of fantasy, hoaxes, and religious
intolerance. It must have adversely affected the jury by filling their minds with
The supreme court text reads as follows, with our comments interspersed:
"Dr. Dale Griffis, an expert in occult killings, testified in the State's
case-in-chief that the killings had the "trappings of occultism."
Occultism is very simply a collection of activities whose only point of similarity is that
knowledge about them is not known to the public but is only released to persons in
training. Other that this one common factor, they have very little (if anything) in
common. The occult includes:
some religions: Satanism, Wicca and Spiritualism
many spiritual organizations (e.g. Masonic Order, Order of the Eastern Star)
By linking all of these unrelated activities together
under the umbrella term "occult", Dr Griffis' testimony would have reinforced
the conservative Christian jurors' prejudices and directed them against the accused.
"He testified that the date of the killings, near a pagan holiday, was
significant, as well as the fact that there was a full moon."
Here, he attempts to link Paganism with occultic crimes. This is simply a display of
religious hatred and misinformation. Many Neo-pagans celebrate a "Sabbat" on May
1 which was 4 days before the murder. But the religious celebration is performed at the
beginning of May, not 4 days later. There was a full moon on the
evening of May 5. However, Satanists do not hold rituals at the time of full or new moons.
If the murders were intentionally committed on the day of a full moon, a likely
explanation would be that the murderer(s) were adopting local superstitions and attempting
to divert suspicion to Satanists.
"He stated that young children are often sought for sacrifice because "the
younger, the more innocent, the better the life force."
He is referring to ancient Christian propaganda about child sacrifice, dating back to the
Witch burning times. Children sometimes die during Christian exorcisms. But these are
accidental killings. We have been unable to find evidence that any children have been
intentionally ritually murdered in the United States in this century by followers of any
"He testified that there were three victims, and the number three had
significance in occultism.
We believe that the number 3 has no particular significance among Satanists. Wiccans
sometimes refer to the three aspects of their Goddess, but the number 4 is much more
important to them. 3 has much greater significance in Christianity, where it is the number
associated with the Trinity. It appears in over 400 locations in the Bible. Again, he is
grouping a large number of unrelated activities under the term "occult" and
implying that occultists sacrifice children. There were probably three victims because the
murderer(s) had access to three boys at the time. If two boys passed by, there probably
would have been two victims.
"Also, the victims were all eight years old, and eight is a witches'
There is no evidence that the age of the victims was known to the murderer(s). The only
groups in North America which regularly calls themselves "Witches" are Wiccans
and other Neopagans. Here, he is attempting to reinforce prejudice of the jury against the
defendants by consolidating their fears of Witches, gathered from
child nursery rhymes, horror movies, comic books etc and linking them to Satanism and the
Occult. There are indeed 8 seasonal days of celebration in the Wiccan yearly calendar. But
8 is in no way a magical number for Wiccans. It could be used to point at a Christian
killer; the number 8 appears more than 100 times in the Bible.
"He testified that sacrifices are often done near water for a baptism-type rite
or just to wash the blood away."
No occultic activity baptizes people. Baptism is largely a Christian ritual. Here, Dr
Griffis is reaching back centuries to an era when Witches and Satan worshipers were
believed to have rituals which parodied Christian rites. There is no evidence to support
"The fact that the victims were tied ankle to wrist was significant because this
was done to display the genitalia, and the removal of Byers's testicles was significant
because testicles are removed for the semen.
He seems to believe that a males testicles are filled with semen, and can be
"milked" through castration. This is not true. In fact, semen is composed
primarily of "the mixed product of various glands (prostate and bulbourethral) plus
the spermatozoa." 4 It collects in special sacs near the prostate gland. Also, males
produce sperm until puberty, and the victims were years away from that. There was no semen
or sperm to collect from the testicles.
"He stated that the absence of blood at the scene could be significant because
cult members store blood for future services in which they would drink the blood or bathe
These beliefs are also derived from 16th century superstition. Blood-drinking was commonly
attributed to Satan worshipers; it is mentioned even today in Christian anti-Satanic
literature. More likely, there was no blood at the murder scene because it was washed away
by the creek. If there was blood at the scene, Dr. Griffis would probably have concluded
that the presence of blood was significant.
"He testified that the "overkill" or multiple cuts could reflect occult
If the murderer(s) were really intent on collecting their victim's blood, they would
hardly stab them in multiple locations. "Overkill" might well be an indicator of
a crazed, psychotic killer or killers.
Dr. Griffis testified that there was significance in injuries to the left side of the
victims as distinguished from the right side: People who practice occultism will use the
midline theory, drawing straight down through the body. The right side is related to those
things synonymous with Christianity while the left side is that of the practitioners of
the satanic occult.
Here, he is describing modern day Satanists as performing rituals which are
anti-Christian. This is another belief derived from the 16th century, and is without
foundation. Satanists do not parody Christianity. They simply ridicule it, along with
other religions. He is also presenting the incorrect belief that all occultic practices
are alike and that all are criminally involved.
"He testified that the clear place on the bank could be consistent with a
If there were evil Satanists who conducted sacrificial rituals, one would more likely
expect evidence of ritual tools having been present: an altar, candles, a circle on the
ground, candle wax, footprints, etc. None was found.
"In sum, Dr. Griffis testified there was significant evidence of satanic ritual
In fact, every instance of sex murder and mutilation that we are aware of was perpetrated
by psychopathic sexual sadists. Many investigators have concluded that the only ritual
killings performed in connection with a religious rituals are done inadvertently during
We suspect that the three boys were murdered by one or more profoundly disturbed sexual
predators, and not by adult religious Satanists or teen-age dabblers in Satanism. With the
help of Dr Griffis' "expert" testimony, the jury probably concluded that
Satanists were responsible for the murders. Since the state said that Echols had a
copy of "The Satanic Bible," one would expect the jury to find Echols and
1.An on-line copy of the FBI report on the (non)existence of evil Satanic cults by Ken
Lanning, titled "Investigator's Guide to Allegations of 'Ritual' Child Abuse" is
2.G.S. Goodman et al "Characteristics & Sources
of Allegations of Ritual Child Abuse", Clearing House on Child Abuse & Neglect
Information, Suite 350, 3998 Fair Ridge Dr, Fairfax VA, 22033. [Free summary available by
calling (703) 385-7565]
3.The text of the decision of the Supreme Court of
Arkansas of 1996-DEC-23 can be read at:
4.Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, F.A. Davism,
Philadelphia PA, (1977), P. S-30