LOS GATOS — Randy Emon had already fast-forwarded his copy of "Blood Sucking Freaks" to the good part.
The video flickered across the four color television monitors just as the film's bumbling investigator discovered a cage full of naked women being held captive by a demonic cult leader.
The sleuth opened the cell door, only to be devoured--literally--by the carnivorous females he had freed.
By the time the massacre was over, most of the 50 Bay Area police officers who had gathered in this San Jose suburb for Emon's all-day occult seminar were howling with laughter.
'What's Out There'
"The purpose of this is not to entertain you or gross you out," the Baldwin Park police sergeant cautioned. "It's to show you what's out there. These are the things that are influencing young people."
So went one of the certified Police Officers Standards and Training seminars that Emon conducts around the state every few weeks.
For $50 a head, officers were treated to a day of graphic film footage and color slides depicting a wide range of occult practices. There were taped testimonies from former satanists and convicted cult murderers about the rush of power the demonic realm once brought them.
There were charts and diagrams explaining the significance of satanic symbols and alphabets. There were psychological profiles--alienated, rebellious, underachieving--of the typical occultist. There were clues to weeding out the hard-core fanatics.
"These are just good investigating tools," said one of the participants, Detective Rick Rogers of the San Bruno Police Department. "It gives you somewhere to look and can help you narrow your search."
Through it all, Emon, dressed in a dapper gray pinstripe suit, led his audience down the fine line that separates freedom of religion from criminal rituals.
Possession of a human skull, for instance, is a felony, he said. But, no matter how distasteful, bathing oneself in the blood of a humanely slaughtered goat is perfectly legal.
Disposal of human remains outside of a cemetery is a crime. But dripping candle wax on animal bones while reciting the Lord's Prayer backwards is a right shared by all.
"Remember, we only investigate crimes," Emon told the group. "Drill that into your heads. Never forget the First Amendment. Otherwise, you might as well write your letter of resignation . . . because you're going to end up getting your pants sued off."