Love Thy Neighbour: October 2002 Archives

October 29, 2002

Fundies discover RPG published many years ago

In the month following that terrifying Hallowe'en night of the year two thousand and one, William Schnoebelen was seen continually carrying piles of books to his library from those hellish stores in the darker parts of town. He had a furtive, haunted look which disturbed his mentor, Jack Chick, but he allowed him to carry on his research into the evils of a strange type of recreation known as 'fantasy role-playing games'. Overcoming the dread induced by the musty smell of the ancient tomes, he explored their contents until he made a terrifying and blasphemous discovery:

For example, there is now a whole line of materials based on the hellish H.P. Lovecraft Cthulhu mythos, a form of magic that we practiced in the darkest days of our satanic career - a system of magic prominently featured in THE SATANIC RITUALS by Anton LaVey! Contrary to the ramblings of D&D defenders like Michael Stackpole, the Necronomicon and the Cthulhu mythos are quite real.

Schnoebelen and Chick were mute and baffled. They had met the unknown and found they lacked the emotions to respond to it as they ought. They vowed to burn the books or destroy them in acid, but before they could carry out their plan, they saw something sqamous and rugose rise from the fish tank...

October 28, 2002

So who started it?

It seems that all the lurid tales of witchcraft and dark pagan deeds with respect to the attacks on horses did not come from the National Equine Welfare Council. A local Pagan has been speaking with a representative of the group and reported this to several Pagan mailing lists:

She at no time mentioned the word Pagan - this news item has come about as the result of an internal email asking members to report anything unusual to do with attacks on horse following a spate of attacks in the Notts area. Someone (not sure who) suggested that the attacks coincided with the Pagan Calendar. All she was trying to do was build a profile of when, where and what.... The mention of the word Pagan seems to have originated in Scotland by some person who did not realise that a whole community of people use the title to describe themselves. The lady concerned has since apologised.

It seems that the woman from the National Equine Welfare Council has been on the receiving end of abuse:

One last thing please please do not call the lady with abusive calls. She has already rec'd a couple from people claiming to be Pagan and having a go at defaming them - She never mentioned the word herself and has nothing against Pagans.. or at least she not at the moment but anymore calls may make her change her mind. She has been briefed a little about modern Pagan beliefs and practices and wants to work together to both put an end to media hysteria directed at Pagans and to see if we (as Pagans) can help out with info on the more unusual aspects of these attacks.

So, it looks like the press are responsible for letting their imaginations run away with them. (thanks, Karin)

Mistaken identity

Turkish police had to take an Austrian tourist into protective custody after local residents attacked him because they thought he was a Satanist. The man was visiting his Turkish father. Fashion victim tourist stoned by worried locals - Ananova, October 28th 2002.

Insert obligatory 'stupid Americans' comment here

An American couple reported finding the site of a 'Pagan ritual', complete with bloody clothing and a human brain, to local police in Leytonstone, North London. When the police investigated, they found a superb specimen of a beefsteak fungus.

Trisha Moxey, Epping Forest information services manager, said: We were somewhat non-plussed that someone could be confused about something that was obviously a fungus. We sent a forest keeper there and he realised what it was straight away. This is the first time anything like this has ever happened. The beef-steak fungus can look quite repulsive but looks more like a liver than a brain. We were surprised that the fungus turned out to be just a common beef-steak and not one of the more exotic species.

Fungal bungle - This is Local London, October 24th 2002. (Thanks, Scott)

October 25, 2002

Hoary old chestnut

An animal welfare organisation is perpetuating an old urban legend in Danville, Virginia, claiming that cats, especially black ones, are in danger of being sacrificed to Satan on Hallowe'en.

Paulette Dean, Danville Humane Society - This is a very dangerous time for pets. We encourage people to keep animals closely supervised, and especially keep your black cats inside. We already are receiving reports about black cats disappearing.

The Urban Legends Reference Page Cat o'Nine Tales observes:

Although no law enforcement agency or animal protection group we contacted could provide statistics about Halloween-related animal killings or abuse, the consensus is that although incidents of animal abuse may rise slightly around Halloween, it's a year-around problem, and it has far more to do with poorly-behaved kids than with organized "satanic cults"

And:

The problem is magnified at Halloween time, when any unusual or unexplained animal death is automatically attributed to Halloween-related satanic activity

But, on the same page, a representative of the Arizona Humane Society damns with faint praise when she explains why it isn't Wiccans doing it: Wiccans are actually an anti-cruelty (to animals) group who hold animals in a higher regard than they do humans. Animals At Risk On HalloweenWSET TV, October 25th 2002.

Confirming our prejudices about racists

A group of Australian MENSA candidates have vandalised a Buddhist temple in retaliation for the Bali bombing. Bali avengers target wrong temple in Australia - Reuters, (MSNBC, so the design is pessimised), October 22nd 2002.

October 24, 2002

Harrowing witch hunt article

Witch-hunting is a problem in many parts of the world, including India. Horror of ignorance by Madhya Pradesh, published in The Week (India's No.1 weekly news magazine) tells the human story:

Roomaliben is alive, but only just. The 71-year-old can barely speak or walk after suffering an attack so horrific, it hardly bears imagining. The defenceless old woman was beaten with spades, tortured and humiliated before being paraded around her village. Her assailants were her neighbours-people she had known, and trusted, her whole life. The reason? They thought she was a witch.

The accusations came after the death and cremation of a local boy, Dilip:

As Jogdabhai, Dilip's father, gazed into the funeral pyre he noticed that a small piece of flesh remained unburnt. It was all the evidence he needed to suspect that something sinister had happened to his son. Jogdabhai consulted the tribal witch-doctor (bhuva), who confirmed his belief: Dilip had died as the result of a witch's sorcery. What's more, he was told, Dilip's heart had been replaced by that of a chicken and the fragment of unburnt flesh was chicken flesh.

Very little is being done to combat the superstition and, in the long term, education is seen as the only solution.

TV 'experts' fraudulent and other surprises

The South African Broadcasting Corporation has been accused of wreaking havoc on the public by those who want to regulate the service. One of the examples given was of a witchcraft expert who turned out to be a mental patient. Separate law for SABC? - News24, October 23rd 2002.

Forget Ghostbusters

Are you ever ill? Are you ever unhappy? It must be demons! According to demonbuster.com, virtually everything is posessed by demons including candles, paisley (the fabric, not the place) and all dolls and stuffed toys.

We recommend destroying or burning all dolls. This includes stuffed animals. Boys don't call their little toys "dolls", but they fall into the same category. Many "toys" on the market today are demonic in nature, and some even look evil. As a Christian parent, you need to raise your children more in tune with God instead of the influences of the devil.

Other evangelists are also suspected of demon posession. Benny Hinn utters curses against those who oppose him and lies when he says Christians are safe from demons, and Prattle favourite Rebecca Brown is definitely still a witch and her relationship with 'Elaine' is, well, nudge nudge, wink wink.

I long ago worked out that every single MIDI file used as background music on the web was annoying in the extreme and set QuickTime to never play them. This dramatically improved my browsing experience but prevents me from getting rid of demons:

If you can hear the "Oh the Blood of Jesus" midi file, and it gets under your skin, don't turn your speakers off. The demons absolutely hate this song or any song that mentions the Blood of Jesus. The more this bothers you, the more demon infested you are. You actually could get some DELIVERANCE by having this tune play in the background, and some demons may actually leave your home or apartment too. Tape the song and play it in your home over and over.

Alas, the audio file is the one thing not available in the downloadable archive of the entire site.

October 22, 2002

Phelps gloats over teenager's murder

United States: The loving and sensitive Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket the funeral of a transgenedered teenager murdered in an apparent hate crime, and he has been told that he is not welcome. The local community has rallied round the family of Eddie 'Gwen' Araujo, who accepted their child's orientation, and donations have ensured that the 17 year old will get a good send-off. He will be buried in make-up and a dress. Al Moore, a pastor at the church Araujo attended, reminded mourners at a candlelit vigil of how easy it is to be intolerant:

Tonight love is keeping us from seeing our differences, but when we leave here, the sad reality is that we are going to do it again.

The Anti-Defamation League, which usually fights anti-semitism, has also condemned the murder and the actions of Fred Phelps, and urged everyone to stand together against hate-mongers. Three men have been arrested in connection with the murder and police are seeking a fourth. ADL Condemns Killing of Newark TeenagerADL press release, 21st October 2002.

Raindrops keep falling on my head

Dublin was wet - wet enough to make the news in Ireland - and also in the throes of a referendum on the Nice Treaty. The city was full of posters urging the electorate to vote one way or the other, but none were as entertaining as the A4 mono ones flyposted to lampposts which indicated that a "Yes" vote would lead to 666 being barcoded upon the citizens of Ireland.

Alas, I didn't think to get a photograph of this particular poster, which will no doubt act as further evidence for the otherwise anonymous mseely@wt.net who felt the urge to use the feedback form to send a blank message with the subject: Pagan Prattle, you are a liar. Be silent. As the only recent article which doesn't come from a named (and linked) news source is the one detailing my holiday plans, I must assume that they think I'm lying about the trip.

October 18, 2002

More South African 'witch' murders

More than 500 witchcraft-related cases have been reported to police in the Umtata region of South Africa in the last 12 months. Most of the cases were attempted murder and criminal defamation, but there are about 50 or 60 murders of people accused of witchcraft each year. Authorities plan an awareness campaign. Elderly women targeted in witchcraft killings - The Dispatch, October 18th 2002.

Treating superstition as mental illness

A Zambian man has had his death sentence for murder commuted to twenty years in prison with hard labour after judges agreed that his belief in witchcraft was an extenuating circumstance. William Chisha murdered Abel Chikoma in 1999 but the report gives no details as how witchcraft belief was involved. Belief in Witchcraft Rescues Prisoner From Death Sentence - The Post (via allAfrica.com), October 16th 2002.

October 15, 2002

African 'witch' murders

Four members of one South African family have been shot and hacked to death, and police think it was because they had been accused of witchcraft.

Mbhekeni Ngwenya, 63, Deliwe Ngwenya, 53, Thembani Ngwenya, 22, and Mxolisa Ngwenya, 14, were shot and hacked to death on Saturday, but the police were only informed on Sunday.

The massacre is believed to be a revenge attack linked to witchcraft. Naidoo said members of the Ngwenya family had been accused of witchcraft and it was possible that it was the motive for the attack.

Family of four shot, hacked to deathIOL, October 14th 2002.

A recent World Health Organization report on violence noted that accusations of witchcraft often lead to violent death in some places.

In sub-Saharan Africa, accusations of the practice of witchcraft have driven many older women from their homes and their communities to live in poverty in urban areas. In the United Republic of Tanzania, an estimated 500 older women accused of witchcraft are murdered every year.

World Report on Violence and Health, p127. World Health Organization, October 2002. (the site is slow, but it gets there eventually!)

October 12, 2002

Racist fuckwits

Swastikas and other Nazi symbols have been scrawled on the walls of Bucharest's Jewish Theatre in Romania. Culture minister Razvan Theodorescu described the vandalism as a moral crime not just for the Jewish community, but for all the Romanian people. Vandals deface walls of Jewish Theater in Bucharest with Nazi graffiti - Jerusalem Post, October 12th 2002.

Meanwhile, prosecutors in Oregon say that one of the six men arrested on terrorism charges last week planned to attack synagogues, though not in a suicide attack because he wanted to be around to see the damage. Prosecutors say member of alleged Oregon terror cell considered attacking US synagogues - Jerusalem Post, October 12th 2002.

October 11, 2002

Jesus is dead, resurrection not expected

A murderer who told police he was Jesus Christ and had just killed the devil has died of heart failure in prison. Lee Adams was convicted of killing his nine month old son with a Swiss Army knife in August 1993.

Adams interrupted his first court appearance before now-retired Circuit Judge James Wimbiscus to tell the judge that he (Adams) could attain different states of consciousness, from human to divine, and said he could be addressed as a human or as Jesus Christ.

The court was told that Adams thought his wife was a witch who had infected the boy with evil. Spring Valley child killer serving life term dies in prison - Journal Star, October 10th 2002.

Thorough cleansing

The leader of a fringe Buddhist group in Cambodia has been freed after prosecutors found no law under which he could be prosecuted. He was detained after two nuns and a monk killed themselves by sitting in bathtubs of petrol and setting them alight as a way of getting into heaven. Although Dem Mam was accused of encouraging the ritual suicides, the nuns and monks were acting of their own free will. He himself told police he hadn't committed suicide himself as he was already holy enough. Bathtub Suicide Cult Chief Released - Reuters, October 10th 2002.

October 9, 2002

Religions get on like a house on fire

A Bangladeshi Muslim has been arrested on charges of arson after a Hindu temple in Kishoreganj was set ablaze and a leaflet was left behind calling for an end to idol worship and for a mosque to be built to replace the temple. There have been three separate attacks on Hindu temples in Bangladesh in the run up to Durga Puja - a major religious festival. In the other two attacks, statues of deities were destroyed. Temple torched, idols destroyed in Bangladesh - The Times of India, October 8th 2002.

Prejudicing the jury 101

Lawyers in a murder trial are using the accused's interest in the occult and role-playing games to either prejudice the jury or get her off on the grounds of insanity - it's hard to tell which. 20 year old Clara Schwartz is accused of killing her father to get a large inheritance. Other testimony indicates that she thought her father was trying to kill her and that he was able to operate through third parties in strange ways. But the possibility that she suffers from old fashioned paranoia is hardly mentioned in the coverage.

Schwartz was reportedly was angry at her father and feared he was trying to poison her. The anger led her to escape in a world of fantasy role playing in which she created a game called "The Underworld" and played a dungeonmaster called the "Lord of Chaos," who plotted to kill her father whom she called "Old Guy," her friends testified.

Another of the accused is said to believe he keeps pet dragons. Testimony Highlights Role Witchcraft, Occult In Murder - Leeburg Today, October 8th 2002.

Someone doesn't understand Tarot

Eight people have been shot in six days, seven of them fatally, in the area around Washington DC. They have all been killed with a single shot, from a considerable distance. Now someone has left a tarot 'Death' card near the scene of one of the murders with the words Dear Policeman: I am God written on it. It seems likely to be a sick prank, but CNN are in a tizz as their reporter's entire knowledge of tarot interpretation comes from James Bond. Tarot card near scene: 'I am God' - CNN, October 9th 2002.

October 3, 2002

Is there such a thing as good fantasy?

ChildCare Action Project has a competitor in the business of reviewing films on the basis of their effect on our morals and eternal souls. Ted Baehr is chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission and high heidyin of movieguide.org. I was planning to see Spirited Away, but Baehr rates it as "Abhorrent":

In a proper fantasy, the heroine might encounter messengers or representatives, allegorical or otherwise, from God or Jesus Christ, or even God Himself and/or one or more members of the Holy Trinity. The heroine certainly should not learn things from encountering pagan, animistic spirits, unless she's there to completely defeat them and/or worship or honor the One True God of the Bible. This is the difference between good fantasy and bad fantasy.

CAP hasn't got round to reviewing it yet, but on the basis of this review, I'll be going to see it the day it opens here! (via Ansible)

Not the New Age Goddess

Four members of the same family have committed suicide so that they could see the goddess Kali and acheive mukti (total liberation).

Police said Manikandan had been telling his relatives and neighbours that he and his family members would attain 'mukti' and Goddess Kali would save them. But he was apparently not taken seriously.
Manikandan, his brother-in-law Ilangovan, his brother Kalaiarasan and Manikandan's wife Deepa consumed the poison-laced kesari (a sweetmeat) after offering it to the goddess. Their bodies have been sent for post mortem.

The incident took place in Maduri, India, very close to the village where children are briefly buried alive as part of a religious festival. They took their lives for Kali's grace - The Times of India, October 2nd 2002.

Witch-hunting in India

Low levels of education and poor medical facilities have been singled out as leading to a belief in witchcraft in parts of Assam, India, where many innocent people have been victims of witch-hunts. Now, Assam police have launched a project to help counter those beliefs.

(DIG (CID), Kula Saikia) said that the 'Project Prahari' of the Assam Police, which aims to eradicate social maladies through community policing and community development, was first launched in a remote village Thaikarguri in Kokrajhar district, where five innocent persons were brutally murdered by villagers. He said that five persons -- four males and one female -- were killed by the villagers on May 25, 2000 as they were accused of practising witchcraft. The incident occurred after the deaths of several children due to various diseases. The villagers held a puja in the village where a lady from Kokrajhar, who performed the ceremony, identified the 'witches' and they were brutally murdered by the villagers. Eleven persons were arrested in connection with the brutal killing. When police first went to the village to launch 'Project Prahari', the villagers strongly justified the killing. But we found out that lack of health care facilities is the root cause of the superstition, and immediately, we organised health camps apart from regular health check-up. The people were also given health education and gradually the people admitted their mistake, Saikia added.

'Project Prahari' aims to end witch hunt - The Assam Tribune, October 3rd 2002.

This is not 17th century Massachussets

A specialist police unit in South Africa is investigating claims made by a young woman that a "chief witch" instructed her to kill her mother and disrupt her uncle's wedding. 20-year old 'Tshidiso' says she has been posessed by demons for the last eight years and has implicated several family members. The claims are surprisingly similar to 'confessions' made during the classic European witch hunts:

In a recent interview with Vaal Weekly at her home 'Tshidiso,' who is currently in Grade 8, named the chief witch who had taught them how to 'turn themselves into birds that could fly during the night.'
Before leaving the house at night to perform our routine duties for Manku (not her real name), I could feel my belly button (mokhubo) contracting. Then I knew my team mates were waiting outside for me.
Suprisingly, 'Tshidiso' said she managed to slip underneath a closed door or through a small window to meet her mates; she did this in the form of a demonic spirit.
Outside, they were transformed into birds, she said. They used sign language to communicate. Given the time she spent as a creature of the night, 'Tshidiso' is apparently the vehicle most frequently used by the alleged demons.
Asked how they identified one another, she said it was by the smell. Our smell is much different from that of ordinary people. During the day, we called one another 'Dombolo' or 'Mfo' and during the night 'Abasindiswa,' she explained.

She explained that their main task was to kill people the chief witch hated because of jealousy. Occult Unit investigates lethal hexing - Vaal Weekly, October 3rd 2002.

Feminist accepts patriarchal body image for women

A "women's rights officer" at a New Zealand university has declared that the large belly of pregnancy is punishment for sex and it's presence endorses the view of women as sexual objects. Jasmine Aletia wrote an article for a student magazine at Victoria University in which she claimed The protruding flesh (is) punishment for her contribution to the sex act, just as is the abortionist's knife. She did not indicate the punishment meted out to lesbian women who enjoy sex. Pregnant tummies 'punishment for sex' - The Dominion Post, October 3rd 2002.

October 2, 2002

Site du jour

Public Action, Inc. are a bunch of self-proclaimed revisionists who would like to warn us about a Lubevitcher plan to install a worldwide Jewish theocracy and abolish Christmas. You can also learn all about how David Irving is really a Zionist agent.

October 1, 2002

Rah, rah, Rasputin!

A Russian priest has claimed that Satanism is on the rise and he blames western influences, especially rock music.

Rock music, which is very popular in Russia now, also originates from the West. From time to time, rock bands get together for a grand show under such slogans as No Drugs, Rock Against Drugs, and the like. However, Father Anatoly believes that this is open propaganda for drugs: As a doctor, and as a priest, I am certain that rock music is a straight road to drug addiction. Those people who organize those shows do not actually realize that. Probably, they don't realize this on purpose.

Satanism on the move in Russia - Pravda, September 30th 2002.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Love Thy Neighbour category from October 2002.

Love Thy Neighbour: September 2002 is the previous archive.

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