INSIGHTS & SPOTLIGHTS
By David Bresnahan
© 1999 WorldNetDaily.com
It's not often that you meet a former high priest of the Church of Wicca. In fact, Ted Rabouin, 66, claims he's the only "former" one there is.
No other witch of such high rank has ever left the practice of witchcraft as Rabouin has done.
Rabouin says that witches are evil, they worship Satan, and they commit many despicable crimes all over the world. Young teens and others searching for an answer to life's many questions are enticed to participate in witchcraft. Rabouin warns that the danger is not apparent because witches by their very nature are deceptive and intent on making evil look good.
"They are either deceiving others, or they are deceived themselves," Rabouin said of those who profess that witchcraft is only the passive worship of nature. "It's Satan, even if they don't know it themselves. It's Satan," he insisted.
Rabouin left the practice of witchcraft in 1980 when he had an experience he will never forget. The Westborough Fire Department responded to a fire at Rabouin's home, a fire he says was started by Satan.
"The thick door burst right off the hinges and ignited. He, or it, was just a black shape. There were burn foot marks on the floor," described Rabouin in a phone interview. Until that night he thought his 25 years of witchcraft amounted to nothing more than fun and games.
After years of spells, incantations, coven meetings, and assorted satanic related activity Rabouin discovered something he didn't expect.
"Satan is real, David. It's all very real," he insisted.
It was no longer just a con game. It was not just a slick way to get people to hand over a lot of money in a short time. Rabouin learned it was all real, and it scared him to death.
He had two homes, legally paid no taxes, and the homes were filled with a vast collection of valuable antiques. Rabouin was a national celebrity and loved every minute of it.
The cost to leave was high. Rabouin went from making very large sums of money to pushing a broom as a custodian. He still lives in his little "witches cottage" in a wooded area of Westborough, Mass. It's a small New England town where Rabouin is still known as the "Witch of Westborough."
When I was a kid growing up in Westborough, many more years ago than I like to admit, my friends and I used to hold our breath as we rode our bikes past the witch's house to our favorite fishing spot. We were genuinely scared to death.
My friends grew older and braver. As teens they would visit the witch on a Saturday night. He entertained the local kids with seances, tarot card readings, and stories.
"I never did anything really bad, but I could have gotten them to do anything I wanted," said Rabouin.
During his height of popularity, Rabouin was a popular speaker throughout the area. Many groups sold tickets for events that featured a presentation by Rabouin.
I remember two such events. Both were organized to raise funds. The first one for the Congregational Church youth group and the other for the Police Association. I was astonished that so many people were so enthralled by this man.
He was often promoted as a "white witch," which was just part of his con act. I'll never forget when tickets were sold by the youth of the Congregational Church to hear Rabouin speak. It was a sold-out crowd.
Rabouin entered the church and pointed to the cross above the altar shouting, "Take it down. Take it down." The newspaper carried a picture the next day of the minister and some youth on a ladder doing just that.
"The show must go on," he said of the event. "Can you believe it? They were there from the Sunday paper, and I insisted that they take my picture at the pulpit, and they did it. They took down that giant cross and they let me speak from the pulpit."
He told his made-up history, bragged of his power, and told of the many spells he performed. It was his way of entertaining the crowd, as well as advertising his services.
Rabouin even operated a shop in town called Witch Way, and he had his home incorporated as a church. He was legally recognized as a member of the clergy, complete with tax benefits.
"They say there's two things in life you can count on -- death and taxes. Not with me. I didn't pay taxes," said Rabouin.
He appeared on all the radio and television talk shows of the time, including the Merv Griffin Show, Johnny Carson, and all the rest -- which only served to give him greater credibility. It was playing right into his hand. Rabouin was becoming highly sought after by very powerful politicians, public officials, and business leaders who wanted to be in his coven meetings.
"They all wanted me. They gave me anything I wanted. In six months I went from nothing to having two houses and everything in the world I wanted," said Rabouin.
It was all a con. He was a complete fake. He claimed to be a seventh son of a seventh son, descended from a long line of witches from Europe. The only problem was that his spells worked. He really seemed to have a power he couldn't explain.
"The incredible thing was, I was so good at it. If I said something would happen to you on January 5th, it would happen. That's why Satan was using me. He knew I had a gift," said Rabouin.
He warns that the public image of witches has been carefully shaped over the years to remove concern from the public. The young and the curious participants don't often become exposed to the true nature of witchcraft unless they remain involved for many years.
"They're just dime store witches," says Rabouin of those who profess to use witchcraft. "They're deceived by Satan. They don't know," he said.
He warns parents to not be deceived by the nice sounding information being promoted about Wicca and witchcraft. Rabouin says it's not what it seems, and anyone attracted to it should turn and run the other direction.
Rabouin spent many years conducting highly sought-after coven meetings for the wealthy, the powerful among elected leaders, public officials, business people, and even the clergy. He said he would never expose them, and that is why he has been able to leave his past without fear of reprisal.
"There are more people in witchcraft than you can imagine," he said. "They' re everywhere, and it's growing at a rapid pace."
I never went with my friends to go see the "Witch of Westborough." It wasn't until I was a young reporter and learned that Rabouin had turned in his broom that I found the courage to pay him a visit. For many years he was a regular guest on my radio talk show during the Halloween season.
Now that his message is different I don't mind helping him spread it.