Friday, July 10, 2009

Neo-pentecostal exorcism of "homosexual demons"

What does the Devil mean to those Christians who most fervently believe in the Devil? An interesting example can be found in the news story Apparent Gay Exorcism in Conn. Church Causes Outrage by Andrew Ramos, WPIX, via the Los Angeles Times, June 24, 2009. Some excerpts:

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WPIX) -- A video which shows an exorcism of a teen to drive out apparent "homosexual demons" has sparked outrage among several gay rights activists.

The video, which was posted on YouTube, features church elders from the Manifested Glory Ministries Church in Bridgeport performing the exorcism on the boy who is said to be 16-years-old.


Although the exorcism appears to be the first one of its kind captured on video, advocacy groups for gay youths say the practice happens all the time.

"I think it's horrifying," Robin McHaelen, executive director of True Colors, told the Associated Press, referring to the video posted by Manifested Glory's now-defunct YouTube page. "What saddens me is the people that are doing this think they are doing something in the kid's best interests, when in fact they're murdering his spirit."

Complete story here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ygraine Gidney-Mitchell on news stories about "Satanism" and crime

Ygraine Gidney-Mitchell is a longtime member of the Church of Satan and very attached to the view that the CoS represents the one and only "genuine Satanism." Obviously, I do not agree with her on that point.

But she has written an otherwise very interesting article, Orlando criminal is not a Satanist. Less 80's, more justice, please, in which she makes some excellent points in response to the mass media's tendency to cast aspersions on Satanism whenever some criminal happens to have some "items ... associated with Satanism and witchcraft."

Friday, July 3, 2009

More "Satanism" scare news from elsewhere

"Satanism" scares are far from confined to Africa, alas:

  • Hungarians fast and pray to ward off Marilyn Manson, Reuters, Thu Jul 2, 2009. About "some Catholic churchgoers in Hungary, who have posted placards in and around the churches of Sopron, a town near the Austrian border in western Hungary, which is hosting a four-day music festival that lists Manson as one of the main acts."

  • What the devil's going on? Headless stag sparks rumours of satanic mischief afoot, Daily Mail, 17th June 2009. The fears are not based on any evidence other than the cops' inability to think of any other motive for the killing. This news story claims, near the end: "Deer skins and heads are believed to be used in satanic rituals in a tradition that harks back to pre-Christian pagan Britain." Where on Earth did that factoid come from??? See also Satanists deny beheading deer near Northwich by y Andrew McCreaddie, Northwich Guardian, Thursday 25th June 2009. The latter article quotes only some members of the (LaVeyan) Church of Satan. We theistic Satanists need to start speaking up for ourselves too.

  • Rome church stops holy water over satanic rite fears, CathNews, June 16, 2009. "The Santa Maria Stella Maris church at Fiumicino, near Rome, has stopped offering holy water to worshippers because the parish priest fears it is being stolen for satanic rituals." At the end of the story is a link to the source, on a website called ADNKronos: Italy: Rome church links thefts to 'satanic rites'

  • Religious Symbol Intolerance by Fern Joan Marder, Newark Interfaith Spirituality Examinar. About and its list of symbols that it claims are occult-based. The Radio Liberty page begins by saying, "Occult symbols are fast replacing Christian symbols in our culture. Therefore, we encourage you to use this list to warn others, especially Christian children who intentionally wear and display them because they are popular." The site is also full of grand conspiracy claims and even endorses a variant of ye olde anti-Jewish blood libel, with an apparently-approving link to a video titled "Zionist Jews Sacrifice Babies for Satan - Oprah Winfrey." Fortunately, stuff like this is far from mainstream here in the U.S.A. at the present time. But it is indeed growing within various fringe subcultures.

On the other hand, I also came across a very interesting recent blog post about the "Satanic Ritual Abuse" scare. I've discussed it on my Wordpress blog, in the post San Fernando Curt on the SRA scare.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

More Satanic panic stories from Africa has a story, Zambia: Katete Pupils Expulsions Queried, Times of Zambia, 24 June 2009, about an official reaction to a school expelling students for practicing "Satanism":

EASTERN Province education officer, Pilila Jere has demanded a full report from Katete Girls Boarding High School management on the expulsion of five pupils accused of practicing satanism.

Ms Jere said in an interview in Chipata yesterday that she was shocked to learn that the pupils had been sent away from the school without proper investigations and formal communication with her office.

Ms Jere said one of the parents whose child was sent away from the institution which is run by the Reformed Church in Zambia (RCZ) complained to her about the school management's decision.

"It is saddening and shocking that pupils were sent away from the school on suspicion of practicing Satanism. Such allegations require exhaustive investigation," she said.

Meanwhile, on a South African news site called IOL, there's a story about two accused murderers whose defense is apparently "some Satanists made us do it": Money, sex blamed for Lotter claim by Tania Broughton, June 22 2009.

And, according to a South African news site called The Citizen, the SA Police Service has a "Satanism unit" and purported "Satanism experts": "JOHANNESBURG - Satanism expert Dr Kobus Jonker, former head of the SA Police Service’s satanism unit, is to evaluate convicted schoolboy murderer MornĂ© Harmse to assist the South Gauteng High Court in deciding whether the boy was out of touch with reality because of 'influences from the dark side' when he fatally wounded a fellow pupil with a samurai sword," according to the news story Satanism expert to quiz killer, 6/16/2009. I have to wonder if these "Satanism experts" are anything like the fundamentalist Christian "Satanism experts" who stoked the Satanic panic of the 1980's and early 1990's here in the U.S.A.

P.S.: Just now, after posting the above, I came across another story from today: Zambia: We Killed 300 People, Ex-Satanist Teens Testify, Times of Zambia, 2 July 2009. This story is about two teenagers being sued for slander by Kamba Ward PF councillor Oscar Himanga, whom they claim initiated them into Satanism eight years ago. Supposedly, at Himanga's instigation, they then killed hundreds of people by magical means. The boys made some pretty darned fanciful claims, such as, "The boy testified that the next day, Mr Himanga took him and his friend to an old warehouse in Kawama where they found white men who were half humans and half snakes" and "He said after they were initiated, he had powers to turn into a dog and two people had seen him do that."