Love Thy Neighbour: October 2003 Archives

October 29, 2003

Unusual guy causes stushie.

The Commission for Racial Equality has called for the prosecution of those responsible for burning effegies of gypsies at a village bonfire party.

Patricia Knight, who was at the bonfire with her seven-year-old daughter, said: A caravan was wheeled down the street which portrayed women and children inside, with 'pikey' written on the back and the image of a scantily-clad woman standing in the door.
I could see other people looking shocked and I could hear shouts of 'racists' directed at the bonfire society and 'shame'.

The bonfire society insist they were misunderstood and were merely highlighting the plight of some travellers who had been evicted from a nearby site recently. Gypsy effigies burnt on bonfire - BBC News, 28th October 2003.

October 28, 2003

Choking on coffee moment.

I cannot find the words to describe this screenshot of an anti-abortion news site found via Pharyngula (who found it via Orcinus).

Sheep-shagger logic

When some thugs hack off the tails of your horses, who do you blame? Pagans of course. Let's ignore the inconvenient fact that nature-based spirituality tends to atttact tree-hugging vegan hippies in disproportionate numbers. After all, it is nearly Hallowe'en so that must be the reason! HORSE TAILS HACKED IN SUSPECTED CULT RITUAL - Aberdeen Evening Express, 28th October 2003.

Back to the sixties.

United States: A Muslim cleric who wears traditional clothing has started a lawsuit against Greyhound Lines after he was barred from boarding a bus.

Mohammad claims that he purchased a Greyhound ticket on December 13 that was to take him from the Nashville bus station to Jackson. When he attempted to board the bus, however, Mohammad says the driver reacted in a hostile manner and refused to let him board, despite the fact that the bus was only about half full at the time, and Mohammad had a legitimate ticket to board.
I don't want you on this bus, the lawsuit quotes the driver as saying.
...Mohammad also claims that a security guard employed by Greyhound, told him his ticket fare would not be refunded. Mohammad also claims that the security guard held his hand as though he were about to draw [his gun] on [Mohammad] during the conversation.

The bus company faces federal charges of discrimination, and is also accused of offences under the Tennessee Human Rights Act. Bus line sued for service refusal - Nashville City Paper, 27th October 2003.

A modest proposal

United States: A mother accused of murdering her children has given a second confession to police in which she says she did it because the family had finiancial problems. The initial statement was much more interesting.

In her first confession to police, [Angela] Camacho said that days before the murders, the children began acting strange and crying a lot.
We felt someone had put some type of spell on our children, she said.
Just as [the father, John Allen] Rubio told police in statements already entered in evidence, Camacho said the children were killed because they appeared to be possessed as the result of witchcraft.
She said the concerned parents rubbed an egg on Julissa and dropped it in a container of water to check for proof of a curse.
The way the egg floated told us something has happened to Julissa, she said.
The practice is common in faith healing when treating a person afflicted with mal ojo, or evil eye."

The defence lawyer noted that she had been a special education student at school. Mother bares other motive in kids' deaths -, 28th October 2003.

October 27, 2003

Brazilians spot a good excuse to party.

Brazil: Despite the early influence of Scottish and Irish immigrants (the name 'Brazil' comes from a Gaelic legend), Hallowe'en has never really been marked until recently. A rough translation of an article by Sérgio Augusto includes some information about the Brazilian Hallowe'en and where it comes from (complete with obligatory pseudoceltic nonsense):

Brazilians are natural partiers, but the catholic traditions always kept Brazilians from celebrating the arrival of November with the same happiness enjoyed in Carnival times. Mexican tradition allows for this type of carrying on, since they have made Dia de los Muertos (Finados) their most celebrated holiday. Watching them mix the macabre with a carnival feeling is awe-inspiring. Their Mayan and Aztec roots give way to an incredible comfort level with death, allowing them to enjoy eating foods in the shape of skulls. Every November 2nd, Mexicans creep tourists out by their displays of skeletons and death. In the interior of Mexico, there is still the belief that celebrating the dead will bring rain, better crops and increased fertility, and of course, good luck.
With such tradition, Mexicans should really downplay Halloween, since they also have pranks associated with their Day of the Dead festival, when young adults steal fruit, flowers and corn on the evening of November 1st, honoring all the saints. Witches on broomsticks don't mean anything in Mexico. They didn't mean anything here, either, except in Maranhão, where for some odd reason some celebrate Nossa Senhora da Vassoura, who wipes the bad away with a broom. Well, the rest of Brazil is accepting the traditions of All Hallow's Eve, on the night before November 1st, October 31st.

With extreme Protestant groups making headway among Brazil's poor, there is some opposition, of course. Augusto has a low opinion of them, and their propaganda (the example referred to is a Jack Chick comic).

One group of fascists who are against this party are called the Satanic Panic-ers, who distribute pamphlets and have a comic book called Spellbound. In it, Halloween is described as a satanic ritual where children eat poisonous candies and are kidnapped and sacrificed so that their fat can be used to make the candles that go in the jack-o'-lantern, and so on.
Not even the Celts had devils or deities connected to death in their beliefs. There is no proof that the Celts harmed or killed people other than those who committed crimes and sometimes prisoners of war. Sacrifices, inquisitions and pogroms were, as the Vatican itself shamefully admits, Christian inventions. Another fallacy: the Celts never saw a pumpkin, and they knew that human fat is not a good ingredient to make candles.

Halloween in Brazil -, 27th October 2003.

October 26, 2003

Hoary old chestnut campaigns for vote.

[A black cat today]United States: Dozens of black cats have been condemned to a miserable Hallowe'en thanks to gullible animal lovers who believe they might be sacrificed by Satanists. Rather than being allowed to join loving homes, the moggies will have to stay in their cages at animal shelters.

We are really cautious. This week and next, we will routinely not adopt them out, said Theresa Williams, director of St. Charles County Humane Services. The concern is that people who don't truly want to be pet owners will want a cat as a seasonal prop, or, as has happened in isolated incidents, get a black or white cat to use in ritual abuse.

Despite its definite tone, Williams admitted her statement had no basis in reality, and local animal protection officials said they had not received any complaints. Another 'expert', Nan Stuart, blamed 'dabblers' in Satanism and claimed:

She said, contrary to what some may think, white cats or white German Shepherds are probably most sought for ritual killings at Halloween. You probably won't hear about many of them, she said. I've investigated cases of it.

If she gave any examples of convictions, which would be in the public record, the newspaper chose not to mention them. Instead they observed, just like the Prattle last year (Hoary old chestnut - Prattle, 25th October 2002), the biggest problem is not witches, or even Satanists, but juvenile delinquents. The only remotely hallowe'en-connected cruelty cases have been teenagers torturing and killing animals in highly unritualistic ways.

When asked whether she feared for her life, Frigg (7), Prattle Alley's resident black cat (pictured above), presented her tummy to be tickled, complained about the diet food and asked to be kept indoors while the kids were messing with fireworks. Some shelters protect black cats at Halloween - St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 25th October 2003.

October 22, 2003

Nine days to go...

United States: ...and the loony fundies are complaining about Hallowe'en.

Halloween is a holiday with dark occultic origins, which many people do not realize. Some members in the church will go trick-or-treating, but Sheahan said he recommends those children wear positive-themed outfits, possibly going as Bible characters.
I would not want children dressing in costumes like witches, when witchcraft is actually practiced today right here in Marshfield, and it's a growing danger, Sheahan said. We need to be light in the darkness, not mimicking the darkness.

The Pagan Prattle recommends The Revelation of St. John as a useful source of costume inspiration... Alternatively, a cheap and easy option would be to go as Adam or Eve, prior to the fruit incident. Halloween traditions upset some churches - Marshfield News Herald, 22nd October 2003.

October 19, 2003

Highlighting Indian witch-hunting

A New Zealand woman and her husband are to make a film about witch-hunting in India. In an interview with the Sunday Star Times, Geethanjali Kurian talks about her own unusual background as the child of a Hindu/Catholic couple, and the incidents which inspired the film.

Each year, an estimated 200 women are killed as witches in rural India. They are hacked, hung or burned to death. Their families don't escape either; children's heads are smashed on rocks, husbands are beaten to death. Other women escape death, but have their breasts chopped off, are forced to eat human excrement, or are banished from their homes.
When Simon Kurian stumbled across evidence of such witch hunting 10 years ago, he couldn't have guessed that one day he'd end up making a feature film about the horror that punctuates daily life in tribal India. A documentary maker of 17 years, he was so appalled he decided to give up the objectivity of documentary; he enlisted his wife Geethanjali (Anji) to transform the experience into a film script that would go beyond the bald facts and create a human story.

She also discusses the politics behind the attacks:

Sometimes it is because property is passed on to a woman, and the only way for a male relative to get his hands on it is to get her out of the way. Sometimes it is because the woman has rejected a man's advances. Sometimes it is for political reasons. In recent years Indian and international bodies have tried to change the attitudes that allow this to continue, but ignorance, illiteracy and inflexible tradition have meant there has been little progress.

On the trail of the witch hunters - Sunday Star Times, 19th October 2003.

October 16, 2003

Beware the clean-cut young man in a suit.

A man accused of persistently harassing a vicar has told the court that he is a reincarnated vampire who drinks blood because I read in the Bible that blood is the life.

He told the court: I am not a Satanist. I identify myself with Jesus Christ because he was put on trial because he was different to anyone else.
I have been interested in blood drinking - I believe in psychic vampirism.

Self-styled vampire 'drank blood' - BBC News, 14th October 2003.

October 3, 2003

Burn, baby, burn.

United States: A woman described as a good Christian has been sentenced to five years and two months in prison for causing second degree burns to her daughter. Lasundra A. Harley placed the six-year-old's hand on a lit stove to demonstrate the fires of Hell. Defence lawyers tried to argue that Harley was an honourable and upstanding woman, but the Florida court heard she had a history of abusing her children.

According to Harley's arrest report, the child was scarred from previous beatings with a belt. During Harley's trial, Swett argued that the girl had burned herself accidentally, but the girl told jurors her mother put her hand on the stove.

Her three children are now in care. Woman gets five years for burning daughter - The News Press, 3rd October 2003 (via Gullibility isn't in the dictionary).

October 2, 2003

Bloody kids

Serbia: The desecration of a Catholic cemetary, which police initially blamed on a Satanic cult, has turned out to be the work of drunken teeneagers.

The two suspects, a boy and a girl from the local school, destroyed some 80 headstones in the cemetery while under the influence of a large quantity of alcohol, said Novi Sad police chief Bosko Arsenijevic. He ruled out any political or religious motives.

Youths confess to cemetery desecration - B92, 2nd October 2003.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Love Thy Neighbour category from October 2003.

Love Thy Neighbour: September 2003 is the previous archive.

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