Another Cult member afraid of Michael Aquino

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Posted by Raven on February 24, 1999 at 18:13:05:

Copyright 1994 The Chronicle Publishing Co.
The San Francisco Chronicle



LENGTH: 442 words

HEADLINE: Restraining Order Against Cult Founder Granted

BYLINE: John Woolfolk, Chronicle Correspondent

A San Bruno woman and longtime member of San Francisco's notorious
Temple of Set satanic church has obtained a temporary court order against
founder Michael Aquino, who she says has been harassing her since she
left the cult in April.

Lillian Rosoff, a member of the temple for 18 years, said in court papers
filed June 17 in San Mateo County Superior Court that Aquino has made
repeated early morning phone calls to her demanding that she return to
the cult.

According to a court affidavit, Aquino banged on the door of Rosoff's
home at 3 a.m. June 3 and demanded that she let him in. When she did not
respond after 10 minutes, he said he ''was tired of playing games'' with
her and that she ''better watch out for his next move,'' the affidavit said.

''I have an intense fear of the defendant and, due to past experiences,
do not know how far the defendant will go to ensure that I return to
the cult,'' Rosoff said in the affidavit.

Judge Rosemary Pfeiffer granted Rosoff a temporary restraining order
June 17 and set a July 18 hearing to determine whether the order should be
made permanent.

According to Rosoff's affidavit, Aquino lives at the temple's
2430 Leavenworth Street headquarters in the Russian Hill neighborhood.
Aquino was unavailable by telephone for comment. A recorded message that
answers the temple's telephone says: ''We neither advocate nor practice
evil, degenerate or destructive behavior.''

The Temple of Set, founded by Aquino in 1975, is an offshoot of the
Church of Satan founded in 1966 by self-described sorcerer Anton LaVey.
Aquino was a close follower of LaVey before he left his flock.

The temple's answering message says it is the only international Satanic
religious institution fully recognized by the U.S. government. The temple
claims no association with the Satan of Judeo-Christian scriptures, which
it describes as a ''propaganda caricature of the ancient Egyptian god Set.''

Instead, the temple advocates the ''responsible, ethical and effective
application'' of the ''black magical arts and secret sciences''
of various religious cultures.

Aquino and his temple came under scrutiny in the mid-1980s during the
police investigation of widespread child molestation at a Presidio child
day care center. Aquino, a reserve lieutenant colonel in the Army who
served with distinction in Vietnam, was under investigation in the case.

Police searched the temple, but Aquino, who said he was a full- time
student at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., at the
time of the molestations, was never charged in connection with the case.