By Van Smith
Published in City Paper, Aug. 8, 2012
Meeting “Dr. Daniel Rumanos” face-to-face can be somewhat of a letdown. He is, after all, someone who once claimed to cast Satanist spells so that 12-year-old girls would have sex with him and who, when setting up a meeting with a reporter, says, “I will be the one who resembles Rasputin.”
While Rumanos’ appearance may call to mind Grigori “Mad Monk” Rasputin, the oversized, hard-to-kill Russian Orthodox mystic who finally gave up the ghost in 1916, it’s due only to Rumanos’ wispy, graying beard and black clothes. As for the pedophilia claim, which he made on a Christian radio show in the mid-1990s, it was only “performance art,” Rumanos explains. Turns out, Rumanos isn’t really a Satanist but simply a gentle, thoughtful, open-minded deist.
Rumanos, who says he grew up in Baltimore’s Greektown neighborhood, hands over a business card for his “occult investigations” practice, which lists “demonology, exorcism, psychic research, UFOs, ghosts and hauntings, [and] spellcasting” as his areas of expertise. His chosen meet-up spot, the Pura Vida Organic Coffeehouse at Levering Hall on the campus of Johns Hopkins University, plays to his tendency to suggest he’s connected to the storied and reputable research university.
His Facebook profile, which lists more than 900 friends, gives his TinyURL as “JHUParanormal” and claims he’s studied there. In fact, he explains, he hasn’t. “I happen to live in the neighborhood, so I’ve kind of used it as a home base for a couple of years.”