Throughout much of the
1980s, Aquino was at the center of a controversy involving the
Pentagon's acquiescence to outright Satanic practices inside the
military services. Aquino was also a prime suspect in a series of
pedophile scandals involving the sexual abuse of hundreds of children,
including the children of military personnel serving at the Presidio
U.S. Army station in the San Francisco Bay Area. Furthermore, even as Aquino was being investigated by Army Criminal Investigation Division
officers for involvement in the pedophile cases, he was retaining
highest-level security clearances, and was involved in
work in military psychological operations ("psy-ops").
On August 14, 1987, San
Francisco police raided Aquino's Russian Hill home, which he shared with
his wife Lilith. The raid was in response to allegations that the house
had been the scene of a brutal rape of a four-year-old girl. The
principal suspect in the rape, a Baptist minister named Gary Hambright,
was indicted in September 1987 on charges that he committed "lewd and
lascivious acts" with six boys and four girls, ranging in age from three
to seven years, during September-October 1986. At the time of the
alleged sex crimes, Hambright was employed at a child care center on the
U.S. Army base at Presidio. At the time of Hambright's indictment, the
San Francisco police charged that he was involved in at least 58
separate incidents of child sexual abuse.
According to an article in the October 30, 1987 San Francisco Examiner,
one of the victims had identified Aquino and his wife as participants in
the child rape. According to the victim, the Aquinos had filmed scenes
of the child being fondled by Hambright in a bathtub. The child's
description of the house, which was also the headquarters of Aquino's
Satanic Temple of Set, was so detailed, that police were able to obtain
a search warrant. During the raid, they confiscated 38 videotapes, photo
negatives, and other evidence that the home had been the hub of a
pedophile ring, operating in and around U.S. military bases.
Aquino and his wife were
never indicted in the incident. Aquino claimed that he had been in
Washington at the time, enrolled in a year-long reserve officers course
at the National Defense University, although he did admit that he made
frequent visits back to the Bay Area and to his church/home. The public
flap over the Hambright indictment did prompt the U.S. Army to transfer Aquino from the Presidio, where he was the deputy director of reserve
training, to the U.S. Army Reserve Personnel Center in St. Louis.
On April 19, 1988, the ten-count indictment against Hambright was
dropped by U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello, on the grounds that, while
there was clear evidence of child abuse (six of the children contracted
the venereal disease, chlamydia), there was insufficient evidence to
link Hambright (or the Aquinos) to the crimes. Parents of several of the
victims charged that Russoniello's actions proved that "the Federal
system has broken down in not being able to protect the rights of
citizens age three to eight."
Russoniello would later be implicated in efforts to cover up the links
between the Nicaraguan Contras and South American cocaine-trafficking
organizations, raising deeper questions about whether the decision not
to prosecute Hambright and Aquino had "national security implications."
Indeed, on April 22, 1989, the U.S. Army sent letters to the parents of
at least 56 of the children believed to have been molested by Hambright,
urging them to have their children tested for the human immunodeficiency
virus (HIV), because Hambright, a former daycare center worker, was
reported to be a carrier.
On May 13, 1989, the San Jose Mercury reported that Aquino and his wife
had been recently questioned by Army investigators about charges of
child molestation by the couple in two northern California counties,
Sonoma and Mendocino. A 9-year-old girl in Santa Rosa, California, and
an 11-year-old boy in Fort Bragg, also in California, separately
identified Aquino as the rapist in a series of 1985 incidents, after
they had seen him on television.
Softies on Satan
When the San Francisco Chronicle contacted Army officials at the
Presidio to find out if Aquino's security clearances had been lifted as
the result of the pedophile investigations, the reporters were referred
to the Pentagon, where Army spokesman Maj. Greg Rixon told them,
"The question is whether
he is trustworthy or can do the job. There is nothing that would
indicate in this case that there is any problem we should be
Indeed, the Pentagon had
already given its de facto blessings to Aquino's long-standing public
association with the Church of Satan and his own successor "church," the
Temple of Set. This, despite the fact that Aquino's Satanic activities
involved overt support for neo-Nazi movements in the United States and
Europe. On October 10, 1983, while traveling in West Germany on
"official NATO business," Aquino had staged a Satanic "working" at the
Wewelsburg Castle in Bavaria. Aquino wrote a lengthy account of the
ritual, in which he invoked Nazi SS chief Heinrich Himmler:
"As the Wewelsburg was
conceived by Heinrich Himmler to be the 'Mittelpunkt der Welt'
('Middle of the World'), and as the focus of the Hall of the Dead
was to be the Gate of that Center, to summon the Powers of Darkness
at their most powerful locus."
early as April 1978, the U.S. Army had circulated A Handbook for
Chaplains "to facilitate the provision of religious activities." Both
the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set were listed among the "other"
religions to be tolerated inside the U.S. military. A section of the
handbook dealing with Satanism stated,
"Often confused with
witchcraft, Satanism is the worship of Satan (also known as Baphomet
or Lucifer). Classical Satanism, often involving 'black masses,'
human sacrifices, and other sacrilegious or illegal acts, is now
rare. Modern Satanism is based on both the knowledge of ritual
magick and the 'anti-establishment' mood of the 1960s. It is related
to classical Satanism more in image than substance, and generally
focuses on 'rational self-interest with ritualistic trappings.'
No so fast! In 1982, the Temple of Set fissured over the issue of
Aquino's emphasis on Nazism. One leader, Ronald K. Barrett, shortly
after his expulsion, wrote that Aquino had,
"taken the Temple of Set
in an explicitly Satanic direction, with strong overtones of German
National Socialist Nazi occultism ... One fatality has occurred
within the Temple membership during the period covered May 1982-July
The handbook quoted "Nine
Satanic Statements" from the Church of Satan, without comment.
"Statement Seven," as quoted in the handbook, read,
man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than
those that walk on all fours, who, because of his 'divine and
intellectual development' has become the most vicious animal of all."
From 'psy-ops' to 'mindwars'
Aquino's steady rise up the hierarchy of the Satanic world closely
paralleled his career advances inside the U.S. military. According to an
official biography circulated by the Temple of Set,
"Dr. Aquino is High
Priest and chief executive officer of the Temple of Set, the nation's
principal Satanic church, in which he holds the degree of Ipissimus VI.
He joined the original Church of Satan in 1969, becoming one of its
chief officials by 1975 when the Temple of Set was founded. In his
secular profession he is a Lieutenant Colonel, Military Intelligence,
U.S. Army, and is qualified as a Special-Forces officer, Civil Affairs
officer, and Defense Attaché. He is a graduate of the Command and
General Staff College, the National Defense University and the Defense
Intelligence College, and the State Departments' Foreign Service
Indeed, a more detailed curriculum vitae that Aquino provided to EIR,
dated March 1989, claimed that he had gotten his doctorate at the
University of California at Santa Barbara in 1980, with his dissertation
on "The Neutron Bomb." He listed 16 separate military schools that he
attended during 1968-87, including advanced courses in "Psychological
Operations" at the JFK Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, North
Carolina, and "Strategic Intelligence" at the Defense Intelligence
College, at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C.
Aquino was deeply involved in what has been called the "revolution in
military affairs" ("RMA"), the introduction of the most kooky "Third
Wave," "New Age" ideas into military long-range planning, which
introduced such notions as "information warfare" and "cyber-warfare"
into the Pentagon's lexicon.
In the early 1980s, at the same time that Heidi and Alvin Toffler were
spinning their Tavistock "Third Wave" utopian claptrap to some top Air
Force brass, Aquino and another U.S. Army colonel, Paul Vallely, were
co-authoring an article for Military Review. Although the article was
never published in the journal, the piece was widely circulated among
military planners, and was distributed by Aquino's Temple of Set. The
article, titled "From PSYOP to Mindwar: The Psychology of Victory,"
endorsed some of the ideas published in a 1980 Military Review article
by Lt. Col. John Alexander, an affiliate of the Stanford Research
Institute, a hotbed of Tavistock Institute and Frankfurt School "New
Age" social engineering.
Aquino and Vallely called for an explicitly Nietzschean form of warfare,
which they dubbed "mindwar."
"Like the sword Excalibur," they wrote, "we
have but to reach out and seize this tool; and it can transform the
world for us if we have but the courage and the integrity to guide
civilization with it. If we do not accept Excalibur, then we relinquish
our ability to inspire foreign cultures with our morality. If they then
devise moralities unsatisfactory to us, we have no choice but to fight
them on a more brutish level."
what is "mindwar?" "The term is harsh and fear-inspiring," Aquino wrote.
"And it should be: It is a term of attack and victory-not one of
rationalization and coaxing and conciliation. The enemy may be offended
by it; that is quite all right as long as he is defeated by it. A
definition is offered: Mindwar is the deliberate, aggressive convincing
of all participants in a war that we will win that war."
For Aquino, "mindwar" is a permanent state of strategic psychological
warfare against the populations of friend and foe nations alike.
"In its strategic
context, mindwar must reach out to friends, enemies and neutrals
alike across the globe ... through the media possessed by the United
States which have the capabilities to reach virtually all people on
the face of the Earth. These media are, of course, the electronic
media-television and radio. State of the art developments in
satellite communication, video recording techniques, and laser and
optical transmission of broadcasts make possible a penetration of
the minds of the world such as would have been inconceivable just a
few years ago."
Above all else, Aquino
argues, mindwar must target the population of the United States,
"by denying enemy
propaganda access to our people, and by explaining and emphasizing
to our people the rationale for our national interest. ... Rather it
states a whole truth that, if it does not now exist, will be forced
into existence by the will of the United States."