Griffis, Dale 1936-
GRIFFIS, Dale 1936-
PERSONAL: Born 1936.
ADDRESSES: Agent—New Horizon Press, P.O. Box 669, Far Hills, NJ 07931.
CAREER: Police officer (retired). Worked as a private investigator, occult investigator, and consultant for ritual abuse and violent trauma cases.
(With Cheryl Hersha, Lynn Hersha, and Ted Schwartz) Secret Weapons: Two Sisters' Terrifying True Story of Sex, Spies, and Sabotage, New Horizon Press (Far Hills, NJ), 2001.
SIDELIGHTS: Dale Griffis is a former police officer and self-styled specialist in the occult who has made a second career of consulting to police departments on occult and cult activities. Griffis, who received a Ph.D. from a "diploma mill" that was later forced to close down by the California state attorney general's office, is not without his detractors. After gaining notoriety as a "ritual abuse expert" in the West Memphis, Arkansas, trial of Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin, Griffis was contacted by sisters Lynn and Cheryl Hersha with their incredible story.
According to the Hershas, they were abducted and brainwashed to be unknowing operatives of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Despite the oddness of the tale, Griffis decided, after spending a good deal of time listening to them, that their claims contained enough overlapping data and information to be worth investigating. He teamed up with prolific author Ted Schwartz for a book based on the Hersha sisters' story. They began by studying declassified CIA files and interviewing military personnel in an effort to substantiate the Hershas' memories. The final result was Secret Weapons: Two Sisters' Terrifying True Story of Sex, Spies, and Sabotage, which Cheryl and Lynn Hersha helped to write.
Before the age of seven, the sisters allege, they were inducted into a covert, government-authorized mind-control program designed to spawn spies and assassins. During weekends and summers they were subjected to traumatizing experiments. In Secret Weapons, Cheryl tells of her days as a caged "lab rat," released to navigate electrified mazes. The sisters became "psychological captives," programmed to respond to code words. Following practice in weaponry, martial arts and flight training they were purportedly given altered identities. At age fifteen Lynn "was made part of a unit that experienced murder," assuming the identity of team leader "Lieutenant Rick Shaw." As the seductive "Samantha Gooding," Cheryl would paralyze her victims, who were often foreign diplomats. Later she became chopper pilot "Sergeant Thomas O'Neil."
A reviewer for Publishers Weekly wrote of Secret Weapons, "Credibility collapses, as improbabilities are piled on inconsistencies, and the truth is buried beneath simplistic, pulp-adventure prose. In closing, the authors claim 'Their story is true,' following with an admission that they found no government documents about the program or the sisters."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Publishers Weekly, February 26, 2001, review of SecretWeapons: Two Sisters' Terrifying True Story of Sex, Spies, and Sabotage, p. 77.
Conspiracy Planet,http://www.conspiracyplanet.com/ (March 26, 2002), Uri Dowbenko, review of Secret Weapons: Two Sisters' Terrifying True Story of Sex, Spies, and Sabotage.
Crime Library.com,http://www.crimelibrary.com/ (March 26, 2002), article on Dale Griffis.
Hidden Mystery Books,http://www.hiddenmysteries.com/ (March 26, 2002), review of Secret Weapons.
New Horizon Press Web site,http://www.newhorizonpressbooks.com/ (March 26, 2002), review of Secret Weapons.*