Skip to comments.Mitchell played role of Satan, former co-worker testifies
Posted on 11/16/2010 12:42:49 PM PST by T Minus Four
Home SALT LAKE CITY A former co-worker testified Tuesday that Brian David Mitchell could convincingly play the role of Satan.
Doug Larsen said he worked with the man accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart in the late 1980s at O.C. Tanner and got to know him well because of their many common interests, particularly religion.
He referred in his testimony Tuesday to the story of the creation that is depicted in temple ceremonies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and said Mitchell once worked as an actor playing the role of Satan. Larsen said fellow temple workers told Mitchell, "You're one of the best we've ever had, but can you tone it down a little bit?"
Larsen added, "I think he (Mitchell) was amused by their concern. He could play a good Devil maybe more convincing than they wanted."
Larsen was one of the first witnesses to testify for the defense. The prosecution rested its case Tuesday morning. The morning session, however, was marked with more legal maneuvering.
The defense called for a mistrial first thing Tuesday because of content that was shown to jurors on Monday. Defense attorney Robert Steele noted that during the two-hour videotaped interview between Mitchell and detectives that was shown to jurors, the officers questioned Mitchell about allegations of previous sex abuse incidents involving his children.
Attorneys had agreed before the trial began that previous incidents of sex abuse would not be raised.
Steele acknowledged that he stipulated to the video being shown in court, but apparently didn't realize that the questions of the sex abuse was part of the video.
U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball denied the motion for a mistrial, and the trial continued.
Larsen also testified that he and Mitchell were close, partly because they both had great admiration for the then-president of the LDS Church, Ezra Taft Benson.
"We both considered him to be a very powerful prophet, among the great prophets of the LDS Church," Larsen testified.
Larsen said the two were like brothers at work. He said at one point, Mitchell told him he'd had a revelation that he should leave O.C. Tanner for a different job because of what he felt were bad influences there. He said Mitchell didn't like pop music that was being played at work and would often take out a hymn book at his work station and sing hymns to himself.
After Mitchell left O.C. Tanner, Larsen said he saw him again on three occasions. One day, Mitchell went to his house, talked to him about a spiritual and healing method called lymphology and tried to get him to donate money to it. Larsen refused.
He said he later heard rumors that Mitchell had grown a beard and was wearing robes on the street.
"I became very concerned," he said.
Larsen then spotted Mitchell panhandling and realized the rumors were true. Mitchell, however, wouldn't talk to him and only spoke in vague Biblical terms. Larsen said he could tell that Mitchell knew who he was, but wouldn't acknowledge him.
Karl West, whose father C. Samuel West taught lymphology for 31 years before he died in 2004, testified that Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee lived with his parents on and off between 1999 and 2001 and again in 2004. He said his father would often talk with Mitchell about religious beliefs.
"He (Mitchell) felt he had some kind of divine mission," West said, adding that Mitchell's "religious beliefs were consistent" over the years, "though his appearance changed dramatically."
Elizabeth Smart testified earlier in the trial that Mitchell told her the Wests believed it was important to provide food and shelter to those who were homeless and Mitchell and Barzee took advantage of that belief. West said the relationship between Mitchell and his parents ended in a "tornado," with the final straw occurring when Mitchell was apparently burning something in the basement of the West home.
FBI Special Agent George Dougherty, who interviewed Mitchell shortly after his arrest in 2003, was cross-examined before the defense began calling witnesses.
Defense attorneys wanted to know, based on his interviews with Mitchell, whether Mitchell believed he had a special purpose because he was called of God or whether he believed he was a martyr.
Dougherty said that during his conversations with Mitchell, the word "martyr" never came up.
"We all have our own beliefs and we follow those beliefs to the best of our ability," the agent said. "I believe in God and I believe everybody has a purpose."
But Dougherty said he believes Mitchell "used that to his advantage. His beliefs were in a different way."
When asked how he believed Mitchell ranked among all of the defendants he's questioned over the years, Dougherty said Mitchell gave complete, thorough and well-thought out answers.
"By far, the top of the list," he said of Mitchell. After the prosecution rested, the defense called for a bench conference with the judge. The attorneys gathered around the judge for about 10 minutes. Papers were passed among them, but there was no mention of what was discussed to the jury or courtroom observers.
As he has during every day of the trial, Mitchell was ordered to leave the courtroom when he began singing hymns. Tuesday, however, he was singing Christmas hymns, including "Silent Night," "Joy to the World," "O Come All Ye Faithful" and others. Mitchell is able to monitor the trial proceedings from a nearby annex.
The defense is expected to call psychiatrists and psychologists to testify to the insanity defense. When the prosecution gets their chance for rebuttal once the defense rests, they could call their own expert witnesses to testify.
Tuesday is day 10 of the trial of the former street preacher who after his arrest insisted that law enforcers called him Immanuel David Isaiah.
Smart finished her testimony last week but was back in the courtroom Monday watching the proceedings with her parents from the gallery.
One person not in the courtroom at the end of the day was Rebecca Woodridge, one of Mitchell's stepdaughters from a previous marriage. Woodridge was subpoenaed by the prosecution Monday and subsequently asked to leave the courtroom by attorneys in the afternoon while others were on the witness stand. Woodridge had attended most of the trial up to that point.
IMO...Smart was lucky to survive.
She’s an amazing young woman, very courageous, and I admire her greatly.
I would like to drop this vermin from two stories into razor wire, rusted of course, 5 rolls deep and 5 rolls wide.
I’d let him stew for 3 days and drizzle lemon juice on his soon to be corpse.
on the 4th day I would light up the razor wire by hooking it to the 3rd rail and baking off what was left of his heinous azz.
But that’s just me. Sometimes I just feel strongly about things.
Oh! And his little cohorts too. Though I would make their suffering last longer, just cuz they’s stoopid.
The guy turned into a real nut.
Glad she seems to be turning out ok after such a nightmare.
....without getting pregnant(?)
the story of the creation that is depicted in temple ceremonies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and said Mitchell once worked as an actor playing the role of Satan. Larsen said fellow temple workers told Mitchell, “You’re one of the best we’ve ever had, but can you tone it down a little bit?”
Ah could we know a bit more of what this portrayal of Satan was about ???
What did Mitchell do or say as Satan ???
How did Satan figure into the creation story ???
Eve: What was that?
Satan: Psst; over HERE.
Eve: What? Who said that?
Satan: Me; the Serpent - if you wish. Or Dad to liars.
Eve: What’s a ‘lie’?
Satan: What I’m about to say...
...and the rest is history.
You remember, Satan convinced Eve that she and Adam could be come like God.
Oh, the enormous irony!
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