Judy Byington’s Embarrassment

We’ve written before about Judy Byington, author of the laughable Twenty-Two Faces: Inside the Extraordinary Life of Jenny Hill and Her Twenty-Two Multiple Personalities, which manages to squeeze levitation, divine intervention, ESP, demonic possession, and more, into an ostensibly “non-fiction” book.

Contrary to Byington’s claim to have worked with the Utah Attorney General’s Office as a “consultant on satanic crime” since 2006 (her book was published in 2012) the AGO offered an unequivocal denial of such a relationship to all who inquired about it.

That was the end of that. Until now.

In response to a public records request with the Utah AGO for emails relating to Judy Byington’s claim to have been a consultant, we received 17 pages of emails, available here. They include an email from Ms. Byington herself, attempting to defend her unfounded claim.

On October 28, 2012, Orphia Nay emailed the AGO, asking simply “Is it true that Judy Byington has been a consultant on ‘satanic crime’ for your office since 2006?” She followed this with a link to the book’s website, where the claims are repeated.

Assistant Attorney General Craig Barlow was forwarded this message by Leslie Mascaro, another staffer in the AGO’s office. He swiftly debunks Byington’s claim, and more, in a reply to Mascaro:

“The website says “these shocking disclosures” [of ritual sexual abuse] were “verified” by the Governor’s Task Force on Ritual Abuse.” In fact, the Task Force never “verified” a singe case of satanic or ritual abuse. King was hired, but never worked for the Department of Homeland Security and there was no nation wide training about ritual abuse ‘across the nation.’

“The site also says Byington has acted as a consultant on satanic crime for the Utah AG’s Office since 2006. The Utah AG has not had any consultants on satanic crime since 2006 or any time, and certainly has not used Byington in any capacity including as a consultant ever.”

p. 4

Mascaro then replied to Nay’s email with a shortened version of the above:

“I had one of our attorney’s [sic]give you the answer below.

“The site says Byington has acted as a consultant on satanic crime for the Utah AG’s Office since 2006. The Utah AG has not had any consultants on satanic crime since 2006 or any time, and certainly has not used Byington in any capacity including as a consultant, ever.”

p. 5

Nay soon after followed up, informing them that their Byington-related headaches may not be over:

“Your office might be interested to know that as well as that statement on Ms Byington’s website, she appears to be planning to publish a book about her ‘work with the Utah AG Office and satanic crime’.

p. 5

Attached to this email was a screenshot of a comment Byington left on the Amazon page for her book, in which she proclaimed that her relationship with the Utah AGO will be revealed in her next book, entitled “Saints, Sinners & Satan.” That was nearly eight years ago, and no such book has turned up.

Another email about Byington rolled in to the AGO about a week later, this one from Dee Thorell, whose signature indicates she was at the time an Investigator with the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. In the email she explains her handling of cases involving another character from Utah that we’ve met — Barbara Snow — and the potential connection to Byington:

p. 6

In late November 2012, Nay followed up to the AGO with additional information regarding Byington’s claims:

Dear Leslie

Judy Byington is now saying:

“Another lie repeated over and over is that I have not been a consultant to the Utah AG office. If one is so concerned about that they will have to wait and read my next book, “Saints, Sinners and Satan.” It goes into specific detail and includes copy of a 1994 support letter about that relationshp [sic] written by Utah Lieutenant Attorney General Reed Richards. He penned the letter after my 4 hour consult with him on 8 satanic covens the Utah AG office are following. I continue those consults with them today.”

[link to Amazon comment removed as it appears to have been deleted.]

Could you clarify this discrepancy between her story and Craig’s reply to me?

p. 8

This email was again forwarded to Barlow, the Assistant Attorney General, and his reply (to Mascaro) is redacted in its entirety:

p. 8

However, it appears that Barlow replied directly to Nay with a forceful denial that Byington had any relationship with the AGO whatsoever:

p. 17

“If Byington had any relationship with our office, I would be the contact person and I would know of her involvement. I know with complete confidence that she does not have a relationship with out office either formally or informally,” Barlow wrote.

But the emails still didn’t stop. One came just hours later, on November 30th. This time, it was from Byington herself. The entire email is as follows:

p. 9-12

Of course, the quotes purportedly from the Utah AGO that Byington is complaining about are entirely accurate, as these documents reveal (and which few other than Byington herself doubted). It appears that the AGO did not reply to Byington — or at least, did not do so via email.

Then, in mid-December, someone by the name of “J. Black” emailed the AGO, asking about additional comments Byington was making on the Amazon page for her book.

p. 13-14

It appears this email did not receive a response.

But an email sent in January 2013 from Barlow to two other staffers in the AGO leaves us with some mystery.

p. 16

“[Barlow] is an unlicensed therapist who specializes in satanic and secret religious/sexual cults,” wrote Barlow. Apparently, the investigator Byington claimed to be working with for the previous six years had been retired for three. “[Haussler] never brought his meetings with Byington/Weindorf to my attention and the meetings would not have generated any follow up in any event.”

It is unclear why these meetings would not have generated any follow up, other than the very plausible explanation that Byington’s paranoid ramblings were so obviously false as to be a clear waste of time. The redactions that follow, however, leave us curious.

In any case, one must wonder what this saga meant for Byington’s career. No such follow-up book ever materialized, she was found to be practicing without a license, and traces of this embarrassing episode can be found across the internet. One thing Byington did manage to prove, however, is that the conspiracy therapist — even an unlicensed one — can be persuasive enough to catch the attention of law enforcement. We should be relieved that they stopped listening to her.

Should you find yourself feeling bad for Byington, you might be cured by learning she’s a staunch proponent of the Qanon conspiracy theory. The more time she spends on 8chan, the less she can spend trying to convince attorneys general to open an investigation into non-existent Satanic “covens.”