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   by The Notorious Doctor Zoom Zoom

MARTELLO, LEO LOUIS (1931-2000) 

    A prominent figure of the early Wiccan movement of the 1970's. Martello operated a mail-order school of witchcraft where he promoted his own invention of an Italian version of Wicca, inspired by Leland's spurious Aradia: Gospel of The Witches. Martello was the author of several books, including Witchcraft: The Old religion, How To Prevent Psychic Blackmail, Weird Ways of Witchcraft, It's Written In The Cards, and Black Magic, Satanism & Voodoo, among others.

    Martello claimed to have a PhD in “folklore” which he didn’t really have. He also claimed he came from a long line of Italian Wiccans, but in reality he didn’t. Back in the 1970's, all Wiccans were claiming Wicca was ancient, prior to the exposes written by Adian Kelly and Professor Hutton, which revealed the not-so-ancient origins of “The Craft”. 

    Martello despised the Frosts, and called their brand of Wicca “perverted”. He was also involved in the so-called “witch wars” of 1970's New York, in which rival Wiccans resulted to fist fights and the occasional gun shot from a speeding car to settle differences, oddly enough, instead of just using all those “Magick” powers they supposedly have. Well the “wars” were more like gang fights which New York has plenty of, but live to Wiccans to exaggerate everything. 

    Prior to Wicca’s invention by Gerald Gardner, Martello had been a hypnotist and a graphologist (someone who tells fortunes through hand writing). From the sounds of things, he no doubt had an interest in the occult long before Wicca went mainstream. He claimed some mysterious cousins from Italy had been watching him for a while and then initiated him into the Italian version of Wicca, although said cousins have never been named or proven to have initiated him (or proven to have actually existed!).

    A truly bizarre claim made by Martello (in addition to claiming to be a witch) concerns a story from the August 1940 issue of National Geographic about Maltese school children and their teachers who went missing during a field trip to the underground Pagan temples, mazes and catacombs of Hal Salfini, Malta in 1935. There's only one line mentioned about the schoolchildren and teachers who went missing. 

    However, Martello spins one line from an article into a claim about a super duper secret race of witches (whom he equates with Pagans) that live underground in the maze, and it's complete with booby traps and trap doors and stuff so no one cam find it. He claimed they have a complete functioning society run by women down there where the Pagan/witches have their own underground homes, and Pagan temples (and by now probably even a Starbucks I'm guessing).     

    He doesn't go into how these people have thrived for thousands of years like a bunch of gophers and how they're able to get air, and light fires without the need for ventilation, exist without need for sunlight to raise crops and livestock,and to keep from getting rickets and going blind and such, but anyone who's seen C.H.U.D. or Superman vs. The Mole Men knows this sort of thing happens all the time. 

In his book Witchcraft: The Old Religion, concerning the ill fated field trip of 1935, Martello says, 

"The teachers and children who were lost insured the propagation of their race-new blood mingling with old-providing a stronger stock for their Maltese underground matriarchy.

    So there you go. Unlike evil Christians that Martello hates so much, these benevolent underground Pagan/witch C.H.U.D. gopher people merely kidnap women and children and force them into marriage and to convert to Paganism and stuff. Hmmm... that's not such a nice thing, come to think of it! Well, more than likely, Martello was taking a few cues from Bulwer-Lytton's ficticious underground dwelling "Vrill" people, and Madam Blavatsky's ascended masters, as many occultists do. 

    Even though he called himself a “Witch” he didn’t have magic powers, and he died from an undisclosed illness, which many believe to have been AIDS. In 2000.

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