The Konformist

July 2001

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Aquino Speaks:

The Presidio Sex Scandal


Robalini's Note: US Army Lt. Colonel Michael Aquino is a notorious figure within the conspiracy subculture. Founder of the Temple of Set (after leaving the Church of Satan), Aquino is perhaps best known in con circles for his involvement in a sex abuse scandal at the Presidio. He is also the winner of the Beast of the Month for July 1997.

In 1999, I put up a collection of files involving Michael Aquino and Satanic ritual abuse (SRA) on this site at the request of Curio Jones. At the time, thanks to the threat of lawsuits and legal harrassments (not only of her, but of her Internet providers), her collection of articles appeared threatened to be taken off the Internet. (Ironically, it was soon taken down from the site at the request of Curio, who was getting heat from abuse victims who disapproved of The Konformist site's content.) At the time, I emailed Dr. Aquino of my actions, and offered to put up any response he had.

Here is the first detailed written response to the allegations that he has okayed for my release. Feel free to check out the Website Disinformation ( for a profile of him, so you can get a fuller picture of who he is. For the record, Dr. Aquino has always behaved in the finest matter in all correspondence with me, a fact which is made more impressive due to the charges that I and others were levelling at him. (He is also, incidentally, the first and only Konformist Beast of the Month who has chosen to respond to anything written about him or her.)

If anyone chooses to dispute his version, I encourage you to email me an opposing view, just as I offered him. In any case, the following article is being presented to give all readers more information, so they can have a better ability to grasp the truth behind one of the more controversial chapters of 20th century conspiracy history.


Thank you,

Robert Sterling

Editor, The Konformist


The 1986-7 Presidio "Satanic Ritual Abuse" Events

By Michael A. Aquino, Ph.D.


Following the publication of the "recovered memories of Satanic ritual abuse" book Michelle Remembers in 1980, the United States and other Anglo-American countries went through a decade of "SRA" scares and witch-hunts. After the 1984 McMartin Preschool became internationally publicized in one such scare, day-care facilities generally became targets of "SRA" witchhunt instigators.

The epidemic extended to U.S. military services as well, including 15 U.S. Army day-care centers and elementary schools by 1987. In late 1986 it was the turn of the Presidio of San Francisco.

On 9/28/86 the San Francisco Examiner began a series of 8 front-page stories sensationalizing the witch-hunts. Approximately a month later one set of Presidio parents claimed that their son might have been anally raped by one of the day-care teachers, Gary Hambright, and the scare was off and running, with scores of children being "abuse-diagnosed" by a "play-therapist" despite not a single published confirmation of actual physical harm to any child. Hambright denied any "abusing" whatever, and all of the other teachers and staff supported him.

As in other witch-hunts it made no difference: Over the next year Hambright was suspended, indicted, charges dropped, reindicted, charges redropped amidst a massive media frenzy. Parents rushed to file over $84 million in claims, as was also routine in such witch-hunts. [The previous year a similar, highly-publicized witch-hunt at West Point had resulted in $110 million claims.]

Left out of the Presidio claims bonanza were Christian chaplain Larry Adams-Thompson and his wife Michele, who had never reported their daughter Kinsey Almond for any physical or psychological symptoms during the entire time she had been under Hambright's supervision at the day-care center (9/1-10/31/86). In their original 1/87 FBI interviews both A-Ts were specific about that date-window, because Almond turned 3 on 9/1/86 and, as confirmed by the Presidio Director of Personnel & Community Affairs, Hambright supervised only children age 3 and older.

Despite Almond's untouched state [on 3/12/87 Presidio doctors examined her and pronounced her a virgin free from any physical signs of abuse], the A-Ts placed her in an intensive 8-month program of "play-therapy". The same "therapist" who pronounced the scores of other children "abused" soon pronounced Almond "abused" as well.

The A-Ts, however, were not content with just accusing Hambright. In 6/87 Michele introduced "SRA" themes and insinuations about me - who had been a topic of curiosity and gossip as a famous Satanist officer throughout my 1981-86 assignment to the Presidio Headquarters - to the "therapist". Then on 8/13/87 the A-Ts saw my wife Lilith and myself at the Presidio post exchange and went running to the witch-hunt investigators alleging that Almond had accused us of kidnapping and raping her while she was under Hambright's supervision. [They then climbed on board the financial bandwagon with a $3 million claim of their own based on their faked story.] This quickly resulted in an even more sensationalistic international media storm.

The San Francisco Police investigated, verified that Lilith and I had been 3,000 miles away in Washington, D.C. - where I was on duty every single day Almond was at the daycare center 9/1-10/31/86 - and closed the case with no charges accordingly.

In October 1988, however, I appeared as a panelist on a Geraldo Rivera Halloween special. Rivera was trying to aggravate and escalate the "SRA" witchhunt mania, and I was speaking out against it. The broadcast came to the attention of Senator Jesse Helms, who became enraged that a Lt.Colonel in the Army should dare to hold a "Satanic" religion. As Freedom of Information Act filings later revealed, Helms then secretly contacted his close personal friend, Secretary of the Army John Marsh, and insisted that Marsh devise some way to destroy my career.

As my 20-year military record was without blemish [In 1987 I was the sole USAR officer in the nation selected to attend the prestigious National Defense University/ICAF], the only way to act on Helms' demand was to try to revive the chaplain's scheme to threaten Lilith and myself, apparently expecting that with sufficient intimidation by the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) I would resign and "disappear". [It didn't work.]

The CID first (Jan 89) illegally forced a fulltime active duty board to deny me a new fulltime contract on expiration of my current one in 9/90. Six months later, after a sham "reinvestigation", it issued a report "titling" Lilith and myself for the chaplain's allegations. ["Titling" is a statement by the CID that it thinks a crime occurred.] Nevertheless the report itself contained not a single item of "evidence" other than the A-Ts' allegations that any crime whatever had occurred - and either suppressed or ignored abundant evidence of our innocence and the A-Ts' violations.

[For example, the CID tried to get around our 3,000-miles-away proof of innocence by finding out when we *had* previously been in San Francisco - several months before the 9-10/86 "window" - and then (in 1989) simply revising the allegation to *that* date! When the CID then learned that that this manufactured redate made the A-Ts' alleged location physically impossible, it then (in 1991) proceeded to invent a *new* location, once again on no grounds except its 1991 predicament. Both the manufactured "redating" and "relocating" necessarily made numerous additional elements of the chaplain's original fabrication impossible as well - inconvenient complications that the CID addressed by simply ignoring them.]

What this bizarre exercise in "manufactured evidence" *did* demonstrate was the strength of the political agenda predetermining the CID's "reinvestigation" from the outset. [For instance, the CID's illegal fixing of the fulltime-duty board took place at the *beginning* of its "reinvestigation" - half a year before it was supposedly able to perform the evaluation of that investigation.] Clearly an expose' that we had in fact been the innocent victims of a cold-blooded, calculated scheme to defraud the government - by a *Christian chaplain* - was politically out of the question from the beginning.

My repeated demands that those responsible for the CID action, as well as the chaplain, be court-martialed for false official statements, manufacture of evidence, obstruction of justice, misprision of serious offense, attempted $3 million defrauding of the government, and several other UCMJ and federal law violations, were similarly - and equally illegally - suppressed. The CID's response was to say that I was "swearing falsely" to these facts. Nevertheless it could not - and did not - produce even a single example of *any* such "factual falsehood" in the documents I filed and swore to under penalty of perjury. [Nor, of course, was I ever charged with making even a single "false statement".]

By administrative complaint process in 1990 we were able to have the "SRA titling" of Lilith removed. The CID refused to remove mine - although the A-Ts had always alleged we "did the SRA together" - because to do so would have exploded the entire CID operation and opened a trail of serious law violations leading to Helms and Secretary of the Army Marsh.

I next filed suit in federal court in 1990 to have the rest of the CID report exposed and retracted. The U.S. Privacy Act would have forced a comparison of every CID statement in the report with the actual facts (a de novo judicial review). For this reason the CID argued intensely that its reports should be immune from de novo review.

The case was filed as a Motion for Summary Judgment. There was no jury or in-court testimony. We assumed that the CID's legal violations were so flagrant, obvious, and numerous that a simple ruling by the judge would suffice.

To our surprise the judge ruled that all CID reports were indeed exempt from de novo judicial review, and that the CID could conclude whatever it wished from its report *as written*.

We appealed, and the appeals court upheld the district judge's decision to exempt CID reports from the Privacy Act. Again in its decision, the appeals court recited as "facts" excerpts from the very CID document whose falsehoods were the *issue* of the entire lawsuit.

Following the lawsuit I detailed and documented the CID lawyer's extensive lies in briefs & oral argument to the Army Inspector General, Judge Advocate General, and finally the Army Chief of Staff.

None of my facts or documents was disputed or refuted, but neither was any action taken to courtmartial those responsible. This effectively exhausted my options.

The bottom line was that on one hand the politically-driven "black bag job" to intimidate me out of the Army had failed, and indeed could not withstand many other decent and honorable offices and officials in the same Army who, as they learned about the scheme, refused to aid, abet, or tolerate it. [This included every single superior officer in my own chain of command throughout all the years of the initial attack against us and the subsequent investigations.]

On the other hand we came to realize that it was politically out of the question that a Christian chaplain be courtmartialed for crimes committed against a "Satanist" and his wife, or that trails of illegal actions leading to powerful national political figures would be followed. And we also learned that the courts were also not about to force exposure such a widespread and potentially politically-explosive cover-up as this one.

On the expiration of my fulltime active duty contract in 1990, I continued as a parttime active USAR officer for the next four years, assigned to Headquarters US Space Command with an above-Top Secret clearance. I decided to retire in 1994, and at that time received the Meritorious Service Medal from the [new] Secretary of the Army, covering 1984-1994. I remain today in the Army as a Lt.Colonel, USAR-Retired.

Most people will find it sufficient, I think, that Lilith and I were never charged with anything after two long investigations (SFPD/FBI, CID), that I retained my TS+ clearance, and that I retired honorably in 1994. My Officer Efficiency Reports from the time of the attack on us to my 1994 retirement also continued to give me the highest possible evaluations in all categories.

My military service and present Army-Retired status are public record and can be independently verified by anyone wishing to take the trouble.

Nor is the 1990 lawsuit in any sense a "skeleton in my closet". A review of my attorney's district & appeals briefs & orals will glaringly expose what was actually taking place: a court coverup of blatant Senatorial/SecArmy/CID misconduct - and simultaneous brushing-aside of numerous illegal actions against an Army officer and his wife of a "politically incorrect" religion.


Michael A. Aquino, Ph.D.

Lt.Colonel, USAR-Ret.


Disinformation Dossier: Temple of Set

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