I don’t think (although I don’t know, either) that there was any paedo agenda at Marvel in the 1960s whatsoever. I have never seen any of the signs of it in their writing or art.
However, on reviewing the extant information on The Finders, a CIA and Process Church spawned paedophilia “school” and rape / snuff film production operation spanning decades, there are some similarities to the “special school”, “danger room” (traumatic ‘training’), the recruiting of special children, and so on.
John Keel was where I first encountered the special school for the gifted, and then I stumbled on to the episode of the original Outer Limits called ‘The Special One’. Only later did I then encounter The Finders and their story.
Set out below is part of The Finders story as originally presented:
On February 7th of 1987, the Washington Post ran an interesting story that did not at first seem to have any particularly national significance. The article concerned a case of possible kidnapping and child abuse, and material discovered in the Washington area that they say points to a 1960s style commune called the Finders, described in a court document as a “cult” that conducted “brainwashing” and used children “in rituals.” DC police who searched the Northeast Washington warehouse linked to the group removed large plastic bags filled with color slides, photographs and photographic contact sheets. Some showed naked children involved in what appeared to be “cult rituals,” bloodletting ceremonies of animals and one photograph of a child in chains.
Customs officials said their links to the DC area led authorities into a far-reaching investigation that includes The Finders — a group of about 40 people that court documents allege is led by a man named Marion Pettie — and their various homes, including the duplex apartment in Glover Park, the Northeast Washington warehouse and a 90 acre farm in rural Madison County, VA.
It was the US News and World Report that would ultimately provide the follow-up to the Finders story, noting that there is a certain Customs Service memorandum that was written at the time of the original investigation, written by Ramon J. Martinez, Special Agent, United States Customs Service, describing two adult white males and six minor children ages 7 years to 2 years. The adult males were Michael Houlihan and Douglas Ammerman, both of Washington, DC who had been arrested the previous day on charges of child abuse.The children were covered with insect bites, were very dirty, most of the children were not wearing underpants and all of the children had not been bathed in many days. The men were somewhat evasive under questioning and stated only that they were the children’s teachers and were en route to Mexico to establish a school for brilliant children. The children were unaware of the functions of telephones, television and toilets, and stated that they were not allowed to live indoors and were only given food as a reward.
A Detective Bradley had initiated an investigation on the two addresses provided by the Tallahassee Police Department during December of 1986. An informant had given him information regarding the cult, known as the “Finders,” operating various businesses out of a warehouse located at 1307 4th Street, N.E., and were supposed to be housing children at 3918/3920 W St., N.W.
The information was specific in describing “blood rituals” and sexual orgies involving children, and an as yet unsolved murder in which the Finders might be involved.
Cursory examination of documents revealed detailed instructions for optaining children for unspecified purposes. The instructions included the impregnation of female members of the community, purchasing children, trading and kidnapping. There were telex messages using MCI account numbers between a computer terminal believed to be in the same room, and others located across the country and in foreign locations.
There were pictures of nude children and adult Finders, as well as evidence of high-tech money transfers. There was a file called “Pentagon Break-in,” and references to activities in Moscow, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, North Vietnam, North Korea, Africa, London, Germany, “Europe” and the Bahamas.
There was also a file labeled “Palestinian.”
One such telex specifically ordered the purchase of two children in Hong Kong to be arranged through a contact in the Chinese Embassy there. Other documents identified interests in high-tech transfers to the United Kingdom, numerous properties under the control of the Finders, a keen interest in terrorism, explosives, and the evasion of law enforcement.
There was also a set of instructions that appeared to broadcast via computer an advisory to the participants to keep the children moving through different jurisdictions and instructions on how to avoid police detection.
A photo album contained a series of photos of adults and children dressed in white sheets participating in a blood ritual. The ritual centered around the execution of at least two goats. The photos portrayed the execution, disembowelment, skinning and dismemberment of the goats at the hands of the children. This included the removal of the testes of a male goat, the discovery of a female goat’s “womb” and the “baby goats” inside the womb, and the presentation of the goat’s head to one of the children.
There was also a large amount of data collected on various child care organizations.
The warehouse contained a large library, two kitchens, a sauna, hot tub and a ‘video room.’ The video room seemed to be set up as an indoctrination center. The organization had the ability to produce its own videos. There appeared to be training areas for the children and what appeared to be an altar set up in a residential area of the warehouse. Many jars of urine and feces were located in this area.
Group leader Marion Pettie spoke in an interview in Steamshovel Press in 1998, noting that in World War II he kept house maintly to intelligence people in Washington and OSS people passing through.
Official US Customs investigation reports which have been completely authenticated by the investigating officers who wrote them and by a well respected investigator who personally knows these Customs officials are irrefutable evidence that:
1. A case of obvious child neglect/abuse involving child pedophile sexual abuse/child pornography/Satanic cult ritualistic abuse wherein the perpetrators were caught directly in the act by law enforcement, arrested on the basis of irrefutable evidence at the scene, and faced serious charges which typically bring sentences of decades in prison.
2. Search warrants were obtained for the “Finders” cult office in Washington, DC and a complete search was enacted by law enforcement which provided irrefutable pictures, movies and documents of such abuse/neglect evidence and access to the confidential arrest reports on the “Finders” cult from the arrests in Tallahassee which occurred only a day earlier (suggesting very high level connections to US intelligence in and of itself.)
3. All investigation of the “Finders” cult by the FBI, US Customs and local law enforcement was ordered stopped by the US Justice Department on the grounds of “national security” and the matter of the “Finders” cult was turned over to the Central Intelligence Agency as an “internal security matter,” since the “Finders” is and has been a domestic and international covert operation of the Central Intelligence Agency.
4. Any and all investigation of the “Finders” was immediately stopped, all evidence was supressed and denied, and the abused children were released back to the adult perpetrators who had been arrested “in the act” and the CIA resumed its ongoing covert operation of the “Finders” cult which is used to procure and produce. The story of the Finders cult is the story of the development of child/assets to be used to entrap politicians, diplomats; corporate and law enforcement officials; to sell child/victims to wealthy perverts to raise money for covert operations, to train some of the child/victims to be professional operatives and assassins of a totally cold, multiple personality, mind control nature.
To date only one media outlet has dared publish anything about this (US News).
In the last few years there have been more “smoking guns” proving that US intelligence agencies traffic in children, sell them and abuse them. Some of these covert operations have been tied to long term and massive importation, and distribution of narcotics into the US by the same iintelligence agencies.
BELOW IS AN ARCHIVE OF EXISTING RECORDS INVOLVING THIS CHILLING STORY OF CIA INVOLVEMENT IN CHILD RITUAL SEXUAL ABUSE.
I am presenting this U.S. Custom Service Document (1) and news article (2) for the purpose of discussion of Satanic ritualistic abuse of children;that an organized, computer-literate, terrorist group, “The Finders”, was found in participation of the Satanic ritualistic abuse of children (1) and that, with the coming of Millennium Prophecy, more groups may form with Satanism used for the empowerment of their agenda; that “The Finders”, were found to be group involved in “competitor intelligence for a variety of mostly foreign clients” (2) and were headquartered in Washington DC close to governmental facilities raising the legitimate question of connections between Satanic ritualistic abuse of children and government agencies; that evidence was found for international connections in “London, Germany, the Bahamas, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Africa, Costa Rica, and “Europe.” There was also a file identified as “Palestinian.” (1) This Customs report raises the legitimate question of international connections for Satanic ritualistic abuse of children.
In a recent letter to Congresswoman Tauscher I wrote: ‘In the latter regard, I think the populations at risk of targetting by Satanic Cults may be younger teens and preteens who are Internet proficient. In an article on Internet pedophiles: “pedophiles are using digital cameras to televise live, interactive molestations in cyberspace” (“Cops Go Undercover Online to Nab Internet Pedophiles”, SF Chronicle, December 7, 1998; pg A21). It was of further curiosity to me that the Internet child molestations cases in the later article did not mention a possible link to Satanic Cults opening up the question of whether or not Satanic Cults ‘recruit’ children off the Internet for Satanic Rituals.
I would say that, on the behalf of the children and adults who have been subjected to Satanic ritualistic abuse that these acts are not be tolerated; that parents need to feel that their children are safe from this threat; and that any hint of it should be rapidly and throughly investigated as hate crimes in thought and deed.
(1) http://members.tripod.com/~Curio_5_/findcst.htm [link no longer accessible on the Internet]
United States Customs Service Documents
Department of the Treasury United States Customs Service
Report of Investigation
To: Resident Agent in Charge Date: 021287 Subject: Finders
This office was contacted by the Tallahassee Police Department on February 5, 1987, who requested assistance in attempting to identify two adult males and six minor children, all taken into custody the previous day. The men, arrested and charged with multiple counts of child abuse, were being very evasive with police in the questions being asked of them pursuant the children and their condition.
This agent contacted SS/A, Bob Harrold, RAC/Reston, Virginia, and requested telephone numbers and names of police persons in area police departments in an attempt to follow-up on two leads which were a Virginia license number and that the children had commented about living in a Washington, D.C., commune.
Subsequently, this office received a telephone call from the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department inquiring about the men and children. This office put the MPD and the TPD in contact with each other.
Walter F. Kreitlow II Special Agent
Fredric D. Maiduk Resident Agent in Charge
Office of Enforcement 227 N. Bronough St. Rm 6045 Tallahassee, FL 32301
DETAILS OF INVESTIGATION:
On Thursday, February 5, 1987, this office was contacted via telephone by Sergeant JoAnn VanMETER of the Tallahassee Police Department, Juvenile Division. Sgt. VanMETER requested assistance in identifying two adult males and six minor children ages 7 years to 2 years.
The adult males were tentatively identified by TPD as Michael HOULIHAN and Douglas AMMERMAN, both of Washington, D.C. who were arrested the previous day on charges of child abuse.
The police had received an anonymous telephone call relative two well-dressed white men wearing suits and ties in Myers Park, (Tallahassee), apparently watching six dirty and unkempt children in the playground area. HOULIHAN and AMMERMAN were near a 1980 Blue Dodge van bearing Virginia license number XHW-557, the inside of which was later described as foul-smelling filled with maps, books, letters, with a mattress situated to the rear of the van which appeared as if it were used as a bed, and the overall appearance of the van gave the impression that all eight persons were living in it.
The children were covered with insect bites, were very dirty, most of the children were not wearing underwear and all of the children had not been bathed in many days.
The men were arrested and charged with multiple counts of child abuse and lodged in the Leon County Jail. Once in custody the men were somewhat evasive in their answers to the police regarding the children and stated only that they both were the children’s teachers and that all were enroute to Mexico to establish a school for brilliant children.
The children tentatively were identified as Mary (deleted), white female, age 7; (deleted) LIVINGSTON, white male, age 6; (deleted) FRANKLIN, white male, age 4; (deleted) EVANS, white female, age 3; B.B., white male, age 2; and that they lived in tents in a commune in the Washington, D.C., area and were going to Mexico to go to a school for smart kids.
This office contacted the Office of the RAC/DC and spoke with SS/A Bob Harrold. This agent requested telephone numbers and names of police persons in area departments that might be aware of said activities described by the children and to follow-up on leads which were the Virginia license number and a check on the men’s names with local law enforcement.
A short time later this office was contacted by Detective, Jim Bradley of the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department. Bradley indicated that the case here in Tallahassee appeared to be strongly related to a case he was currently working in the Washington, D.C. area.
He stated that the actions of the two men in custody in Tallahassee relative the children just might give his case enough probable cause for search warrants to search premises occupied by a cult group called Finders.
This agent directed Bradley to telephone TPD and discuss with police directly any activities forthcoming relative the instant case. At this time it was determined that there was no Customs violations found to exist and therefore, this case is being closed pending receipt of additional information.
ACTION TO BE TAKEN BY LESD/TECS: Create a permanent DRR/TECS record.
IDENTIFYING DATA/TECS-FIN QUERIES: ______________
To: Resident Agent in Charge Date: 02/07/87 From: Special Agent
Subject: Customs cooperation/interest in Tallahassee/Washington MPD child abuse investigation.
On Thursday, 2/5/87, the duty agent, SS/A Bob Harrold, received a call from SS/A Walter Krietlow, USCS, Tallahassee, Florida. SS/A Kreitlow was seeking assistance in contacting an appropriate local police agency to coordinate a child abuse investigation in with the Tallahassee Police Department. SS/A Krietlow further requested assistance in checking some names, addresses and a vehicle through the Customs Child Pornography Unit data base, and stated there was some suspicion of the subjects being involved in supplying children for the production of child pornography. Further, he was informed by the Tallahassee Police Department that the children may have been enroute to Mexico from the Washington, D.C. area. The possibility of Customs interest in the investigation due to possible violations of the Child Protection Act of 1984, and the alleged nexus with the U.S./Mexican Border were discussed and agreed upon. SS/A Krietlow related the following background information. SS/A Krietlow was contacted by the Tallahassee Police Department for assistance in identifying six children and two adults taken into custody in the Tallahassee area. U.S. Customs was contacted because the police officers involved suspected the adults of being involved in child pornography and knew the Customs Service to have a network of child pornography investigators, and of the existence of the Child Pornography and Protection Unit. SS/A Krietlow stated the two adults were well dressed white males. They had custody of six white children (boys and girls), ages three to six years. The children were observed to be poorly dressed, bruised, dirty, and behaving like wild animals in a public park in Tallahassee. The police were notified by a concerned citizen and all eight persons were taken into custody. The subjects were living out of a white 1979 Dodge van, Virginia license no. XHW 557. Upon being taken into custody, the adult white males refused to cooperate, one of whom produced a “business” card with a name on one side and a statement on the other. The statement indicated that the bearer knew his constitutional rights to remain silent and that he intended to do so. Upon interviewing the children, the police officers found that they could not adequately identify themselves or their custodians. Further, they stated that they were enroute to Mexico to attend a school for “smart kids.” SS/A Kreitlow was further advised the children were unaware of the function and purpose of telephones, televisions and toilets, and that the children had stated they were not allowed to live indoors and were only given food as a reward.
After receiving the request from Tallahassee, SS/A Harrold contacted me while I was on official business at Customs Headquarters. He requested that I conduct computer checks on the Customs Child Pornography Unit data base. The checks were to be conducted on the names, addresses, and a vehicle provided by SS/A Krietlow. After conducting the computer checks, I made direct contact with SS/A Krietlow to inform him that all the checks were negative. At that time I was informed by SS/A Krietlow that the Tallahassee police had discovered large quantities of records, to include computer discs and a U.S. passport in the van. From some of these records the police had obtained tentative identification of the two adults, and partial identification of the children. Furthermore, the two Washington, D.C. addresses had been discovered through these documents, one of which was verified through the vehicle registration. I advised SS/A Krietlow I was leaving Headquarters and he would be receiving a response to the remainder of his request from SS/A Harrold. I then left as stated and proceeded to conduct other business in the District.
A short time later, at approximately 11:30 a.m., SS/A Harrold contacted me by radio, and advised me that a Detective Jim Bradley of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) was interested in the information provided by SS/A Krietlow, was in contact with Tallahassee, and would very probably be conducting search warrants in the area later in the day. He also informed me that U.S. Customs was invited to participate due to the continuing possibility of violations of law enforced by the Customs Service. As I was already in Washington, I terminated my other business and proceeded to make contact with Detective Bradley, Intelligence Division, MPD.
Upon contacting Detective Bradley, I learned that he had initiated an investigation on the two addresses provided by the Tallahassee Police Dept. during December of 1986. An informant had given him information regarding a cult, known as the “Finders” operating various businesses out of a warehouse located at 1307 4th St., N.E., and were supposed to be housing children at 3918/3920 W St., N.W. The information was specific in describing “blood rituals” and sexual orgies involving children, and an as yet unsolved murder in which the Finders may be involved. With the information provided by the informant, Detective Bradley was able to match some of the children in Tallahassee with names of children known alleged to be in the custody of the Finders. Furthermore, Bradley was able to match the tentative ID of the adults with known members of the Finders. I stood by while Bradley consulted with AUSA Harry Benner and obtained search warrants for the two premises. I advised acting RAC SS/A Tim Halloran of my intention to accompany MPD on the execution of the warrants, received his permission, and was joined by SS/A Harrold. SS/A Harrold accompanied the team which went to 1307 4th St, and I went to 3918/20 W St.
During the execution of the warrant at 3918/20 W St., I was able to observe and access the entire building. I saw large quantities of children’s clothing and toys. The clothing consisting of diapers and clothes in the toddler to pre-school range. No children were found on the premises. There were several subjects on the premises. Only one was deemed to be connected with the Finders. The rest were renting living space from this individual. He was identified as Stuart Miles SILVERSTONE, DOB/061941, U.S. Passport No. (deleted). SILVERSTONE was located in a room equipped with several computers, printers, and numerous documents. Cursory examination of the documents revealed detailed instructions for obtaining children for unspecified purposes. The instructions included the impregnation of female members of the community known as the Finders, purchasing children, trading, and kidnapping. There were telex messages using MCI account numbers between a computer terminal believed to be located in the same room, and others located across the country and in foreign locations. One such telex specifically ordered the purchase of two children in Hong Kong to be be arranged through a contact in the Chinese Embassy there. Another telex expressed interest in “bank secrecy” situations. Other documents identified interests in high-tech transfers to the United Kingdom, numerous properties under the control of the Finders, a keen interest in terrorism, explosives, and the evasion of law enforcement. Also found in the “computer room” was a detailed summary of the events surrounding the arrest and taking into custody of the two adults and six children in Tallahassee the previous night. There were also a set of instructions which appeared to be broadcast via a computer network which advised the participants to move “the children” and keep them moving through different jurisdictions, and instructions on how to avoid police attention.
One of the residents was identified as a Chinese National. Due to the telex discovered referencing the Chinese Embassy in Hong Kong, he was fully identified for future reference: WANG/Gengxin, DOB/092747, POB/Tianjin, People’s Republic of China Passport No. (deleted), entered the U.S. on January 22, 1987, admitted until December 31, 1987. He is in the U.S. as a graduate student in the Anatomy Department of Georgetown University. His Visa was issued on November 10, 1986, in London, England, number 00143.
During the course of the evening, I contacted Sector 4 to initiate a TECS check on SILVERSTONE, and initiate an archives check on him for the last four years. I also contacted SS/A Halloran to keep him advised of the proceedings and asked for and received permission to contact SS/A John Sullivan of the CPPU to query some names through the CPPU data base. SS/A Halloran told me he would call Southeast Region Headquarters to keep them posted on the proceedings as well. I later contacted SS/A Sullivan for the stated purpose, and in the discussion that followed I gave him some background on the purpose of the request. I advised him that the information was not for dissemination at Headquarters, that Region was being notified, and that Region would probably contact Headquarters later if deemed necessary. SS/A Sullivan assured me that the information would go no further until official notification was made by Region. No positive matches were obtained from the CPPU data base. I was later joined at the W Street address by SS/A Harrold. SS/A Harrold advised me that there were extremely large quantities of documents and computer equipment at the warehouse, and that MPD was posting officers inside the building there and sealing the building until morning, in which a second warrant for that premises would be obtained and executed. SS/A Harrold also advised me that the news media had been notified and had been waiting for the execution of the warrant at the 4th Street address. Detective Bradley later stated that the MPD Public Information Officer had been contacted by a Tallahassee reporter. When it became apparent that the PIO had no information on the search warrants, the reporter contacted local media representatives and a check of public records containing the affidavits for the search warrants disclosed the locations and purpose of the warrants. Detective Bradley surmised that someone on the Tallahassee Police Department was the original source of the information for the press. I advised SS/A Halloran of the involvement of the press, and he stated that he would, in turn, relay the information to Region. SS/A Harrold and I assisted in the transport of the evidence seized pursuant to the warrant and cleared MPD after the press left the area.
On Friday, 2/6/87, I met Detective Bradley at the warehouse on 4th Street, N.E. I duly advised my acting group supervisor, SS/A Don Bludworth. I was again granted unlimited access to the premises. I was able to observe numerous documents which described explicit sexual conduct between the members of the community known as Finders. I also saw a large collection of photographs of unidentified persons. Some of the photographs were nudes, believed to be of members of the Finders. There were numerous photos of children, some nude, at least one of which was a photo of a child “on display” and appearing to accent the child’s genitals. I was only able to examine a very small amount of the photos at this time. However, one of the officers presented me with a photo album for my review. The album contained a series of photos of adults and children dressed in white sheets participating in a “blood ritual.” The ritual centered around the execution of at least two goats. The photos portrayed the execution, disembowelment, skinning and dismemberment of the goats at the hands of the children. This included the removal of the testes of a male goat, the discovery of a female goat’s “womb” and the “baby goats” inside the womb, and the presentation of a goat’s head to one of the children.
Further inspection of the premises disclosed numerous files relating to activities of the organization in different parts of the world. Locations I observed are as follows: London, Germany, the Bahamas, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Africa, Costa Rica, and “Europe.” There was also a file identified as “Palestinian.” Other files were identified by member name or “project” name. The projects appearing to be operated for commercial purposes under front names for the Finders. There was one file entitled “Pentagon Break-In,” and others referring to members operating in foreign countries. Not observed by me but related by an MPD officer were intelligence files on private families not related to the Finders. The process undertaken appears to be have been a systematic response to local newspaper advertisements for babysitters, tutors, etc. A member of the Finders would respond and gather as much information as possible about the habits, identity, occupation, etc., of the family. The use to which this information was to be put is still unknown. There was also a large amount of data collected on various child care organizations.
The warehouse contained a large library, two kitchens, a sauna, hot-tub, and a “video room.” The video room seemed to be set up as an indoctrination center. It also appeared that that the organization had the capability to produce its own videos. There were what appeared to be training areas for children and what appeared to be an altar set up in a residential area of the warehouse. Many jars of urine and feces were located in this area.
I should also mention that both premises were equipped with satellite dish antennas.
I discussed the course of action to be taken by MPD with Detective Bradley. He stated that he was only interested in making the child abuse case(s). I was assured that all of the evidence would be available to U.S. Customs in furtherance of any investigative/criminal action pursued. MPD personnel were to begin around the clock review and sorting of the evidence until completed. Customs will have access after this is accomplished. This will include several U.S. Passports discovered during the search.
Upon leaving the 4th Street premises, I encountered a news media representative and was asked the reason behind U.S. Customs involvement in the investigation. I advised the reporter that I could not discuss anything and I referred her to the PAO/DC. I left immediately thereafter.
There is no further information available at this time. It will take three to five days for all the information to be sorted, reviewed and logged by the MPD. I will maintain contact with Detective Bradley until the evidence is again accessible.
Ramon J. Martinez Special Agent, USCS
To: Resident Agent in Charge Date: 04/13/87
On Thursday, February 5, 1987, Senior Special Agent Harrold and I assisted the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) with two search warrants involving the possible sexual exploitation of children. During the course of the search warrants, numerous documents were discovered which appeared to be concerned with international trafficking in children, high tech transfer to the United Kingdom, and international transfer of currency.
DETAILS OF INVESTIGATION:
On March 31, 1987, I contacted Detective Jim Bradley of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). I was to meet with Detective Bradley to review the documents seized pursuant to two search warrants executed in January, 1987. The meeting was to take place on April 2 or 3, 1987.
On April 2, 1987, I arrived at MPD at approximately 9:00 a.m. Detective Bradley was not available. I spoke to a third party who was willing to discuss the case with me on a strictly “off the record” basis.
I was advised that all the passport data had been turned over to the State Department for their investigation. The State Department in turn, advised the MPD that all travel and use of the passports by the holders of the passports was within the law and no action would be taken. This included travel to Moscow, North Korea, and North Vietnam from the late 1950s to mid 1970s.
The individual further advised me of circumstances which indicated that the investigation into the activity of the Finders had become a CIA internal matter. The MPD report has been classified SECRET and was not available for review. I was advised that the FBI had withdrawn from the investigation several weeks prior and that the FBI Foreign Counter Intelligence Division had directed MPD not to advise the FBI Washington Field Office of anything that had transpired.
No further information will be available. No further action will be taken.
ACTION TO BE TAKEN BY LESD/TECS:
No action to be taken on the basis of this report.
***(2) *U.S. News & World Report*, Dec. 27, 1993/Jan 3. 1994
Through a glass, very darkly Cops, spies and a very odd investigation
The case is almost seven years old now, but matters surrounding a mysterious group known as the Finders keep growing curiouser and curiouser.
In early February 1987, an anonymous tipster in Tallahasse, Fla, made a phone call to police. Two “well dressed men” seemed to be “supervising” six dishevelled and hungry children in a local park, the caller said. The cops went after the case like bloodhounds, at least at first. The two men were identified as members of the Finders. They were charged with child abuse in Florida. In Washington, D.C. police and U.S. Customs Service agents raided a duplex apartment building and a warehouse connected to the group.
Among the evidence seized – detailed instructions on obtaining children for unknown purposes and several photographs of nude children.
According to a Customs Service memorandum obtained by U.S. News, one photo appeared “to accent the child’s genitals”. The more the police learned about the Finders, the more bizarre they seemed: There were suggestions of child abuse, Satanism, dealing in pornography and ritualistic animal slaughter.
None of the allegations was ever proved, however. The child abuse charges against the two men in Tallahassee were dropped; all six of the children were eventually returned to their mothers, though in the case of two, conditions were attached by a court. In Washington, D.C. police began backing away from the Finders investigation. The groups practices, the police said, were eccentric – not illegal.
QUESTIONS. Today, things appear to have changed yet again. The Justice Department has begun a new investigation into the Finders and into the group’s activities. It is also reviewing the 1987 investigation into the group to determine whether that probe was closed improperly. Justice officials will not elaborate, except to say the investigation is “ongoing” and that it involves “unresolved matters” in relation to the Finders.
One of the unresolved questions involves allegations that the Finders are somehow linked to the Central Intelligence Agency. Custom Service documents reveal that in 1987, when Customs agents sought to examine the evidence gathered by Washington, D.C. police, they were told that the Finders investigation “had become an internal matter.”
The police report on the case had been classified secret. Even now, Tallahassee police complain about the handling of the Finders investigation by D.C. police. “They dropped this case, one Tallahasse investigator says, “like a hot rock.” D.C. police will not comment on the matter. As for the CIA, ranking officials describe allegation about links between the intelligence agency and the Finders as “hogwash” perhaps the result of a simple mix up with D.C. police. The only connection, according to the CIA: A firm that provided computer training to CIA officers also employed several members of the Finders.
The many unanswered questions about the Finders case now have Democratic Rep. Charlie Rose of North Carolina, chairman of the House Administration Committee, and Florida’s Rep. Tom Lewis, a Republican, more than a little exercised. “Could our own government have something to do with this Finders organization and turned their backs on these children? That’s what all the evidence points to,” says Lewis. “And there is a lot of evidence. I can tell you this: We’ve got a lot of people scrambling, and that wouldn’t be happening if there was nothing here.”
Perhaps. But the Finders say there is nothing there – at least nothing illegal. The Finders have never been involved in child abuse, pornography, Satanism, animal slaughter or anything of the kind, says the group’s leader, Marion David Pettie. Pettie, too, says the group has never been connected to the CIA. In an interview with U.S. News, Pettie described the Finders as a communal, holistic-living and learning arrangement. The group numbers some 20 members, Pettie says; they do freelance journalism, research and “competitor intelligence” for a variety of mostly foreign clients. The Finders work for no foreign governments, Pettie says. Their duplex, in a residential Northwest Washington neighborhood, is decorated with global maps and bulletin boards. Residents in Culpepper, Va., 90 minutes from Washington, say the Finders operated an office there, too, from time to time. That office contained computer terminals and clocks reflecting different time zones from around the world.
CIA officials say they referred all matters concerning the Finders and the police investigation to the FBI’s Foreign Counterintelligence Division. FBI officials will not comment. Law enforcement sources say some of the Finders are listed in the FBI’s classified counterintelligence files.
None of this fazes Pettie. He says the CIA’s interest in the Finders may stem from the fact that his late wife once worked for the agency and that his son worked for a CIA proprietary firm, Air America. Overall, says Pettie, “we’re a zero security threat. When you don’t do much of anything, and you don’t explain, people start rumors about you.” To judge from the latest case, some of the rumors can last an awfully long time.
By Gordon Witkin and Peter Cary with Ancel Martinez