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Posted on Tuesday, May 17 - 2005

" Police Officer Paul Long parked his car next to the old cemetery behind the Dutch Reformed Church in Belleville, took a look around and knew instinctively that a spell had been cast.Where one might see nothing but scattered litter on a city sidewalk, he saw the sacrificial remnants of a ..."

Voodoo Officer

Police Officer Paul Long parked his car next to the old cemetery behind the Dutch Reformed Church in Belleville, took a look around and knew instinctively that a spell had been cast.Where one might see nothing but scattered litter on a city sidewalk, he saw the sacrificial remnants of a pagan "ritual cleansing," carefully concealed in a ShopRite grocery bag. At the foot of the stone wall that surrounds the 1697 burial ground, Long cut open the bag to find a dead chicken and turtle.Heads chopped off. Polaroids, candles and a T-shirt were scattered nearby. All signs of a Santeria or Palo Mayumbe ritual. Whatever it was, Officer Voodoo was on thecase. Long is a 21-year Belleville police veteran who has cultivated a longtime interest in the occult into an expertise.

He is one of the foremost experts on the occult, and is often invited to conduct seminars at police academies around the state. He recently educated police officials at the Bergen County Police Academy about grave robbings, Santeria, Palo Mayumbe, black magic and white magic."The class gives everyone an understanding of these religions and takes the edge off the unknown," Long explains.Long says that people are often scared of pagan religions, which are not widely accepted in Judeo-Christian society and usually involve rituals and other untraditional forms of worship. "Anytime you see anything ritualistic, you think it's satanic," he says. "What I'm trying to do is open theirminds."And Long says that these mysterious religious rituals are on the rise. Bill Moheit, pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church, whose grounds are often littered with the sacrificed animals, is fed up. "It's sacrilegious," he says. "I don't like it. In a church like this, with its history and all. I believe in freedom of religion, but it denigrates my religion. There have been a few dozen [incidents]. Paul has explained to me about the chickens and why they have rituals. It's very complicated, but he's helped us recognize what it is."Long says the only thing illegal about the act is the dumping. "When people see that, they think it's evil. It's not evil, it's their religion, they need sacrifices to feed their Gods. It's an integral part. It's their belief."Long studied under high priests in Wicca, Santeria andPalo Mayumbe to learn......

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