Have you seen the article about the SAPS new “occult crimes” unit? This is important for us, because it is a matter that affects not just the rights of several minority groups to exercise their Constitutional rights to freedom of religious beliefs, conscience and association – but also turns the right to hold to non-Christian beliefs – or beliefs which are deemed “occult” by some frighteningly ignorant “experts” being employed by the SAPS as advisers, into a risk of persecution by the authorities.
The leaked SA Police Service memo referred to in the press release by SAPRA indicates that the SAPS is currently organizing special units to focus on so-called “occult-related crimes”.
Of note is the detail that this is a newsworthy matter which as yet has remained totally ignored by the mainstream media in this country. Not only was this news made public by the SA Pagan Rights Alliance (SAPRA) earlier last week, but a detailed press release was sent to all mainstream news agencies by the SAPRA. Despite this, not one single mention of this matter has yet been made other than by the SAPRA, SA Vampyre News, and independent bloggers.
Of course, the Press don’t want to publicize this story, because they are “family-friendly” businesses – and who wants to hear nonsense about Pagans, Witches, Satanists and Vampyres not being the stereotypes they have spent years propagating and perpetuating?
This is a serious and threatening move which will not only change the way crimes are viewed or handled by the police, but which will also turn broad classes of people into automatic suspects based simply on their beliefs, religious affiliations and practices, and which will undoubtedly alter the present supposed neutral bias in the way crimes are investigated – into a paranormal, witch and vampyre hunt. This will also automatically elevate one religion – Christianity – above other religions in this country, and into the position of judge and jury – and also that of religious enforcer.
Any of the provable crimes these units are supposed to focus on are already covered by other general laws and general police responsibility – why form special units to deal with something in so biased a manner as to classify specific and diverse religious minorities as immediately suspect or threatening by default?
As dictated by our courtry’s Constitution, the government is supposed to maintain an independent and secular stance as part of its ethics and operation. This is entirely in contradiction to this point. The way things are unfolding, a small group of religious zealots are setting the scene for what will, beyond any doubt, result in a literal witch-hunt of non-Christian religions and spiritual paths, as well as cause a resurgence in the lunatic “Satanic Panic” of the 80’s, in which anyone identifying with alternate culture, wearing ‘too much’ black, listening to a specific kind of music or skipping Sunday school will be accused of being a “Satanist” and a “danger to society”.
When the government entertains fools errands such as this new police unit, which is simply re-trying an exercise which was closed down twelve years ago on account of its un- Constitutionality, it is an ominous sign for the future of freedom of expression and religion in this country. But then, this is the same government which has been working to destroy freedom of the Press and independence of the judiciary – and to rip out bits and pieces of the Constitution which do not suit it.
The facts show that it is the proponents of one religion who are opposed to the freedoms of other religions to exist and to exercise their faiths publicly, who are behind this conspiratorial move. The liturgy to which they cling is that “only belief in Jesus Christ will bring them salvation” – indicating their biased religious slant and their bigotry towards other faiths – the adherents of which do not recognize the need for the Christian’s so-called “salvation”.
The public needs to ask themselves WHY is something which is so discriminatory and so blatantly UNCONSTITUTIONAL being allowed?
When referring to “vampirism”, it seems the proponents of this brilliant initiative will not differentiate between those who kidnap, torture or drink the blood of animals or children or the removal of body parts “for religious purposes” – and those who consume small amounts of blood or prana from willing and consenting donors without doing harm!
Clearly, the concept of vampyrism is being inappropriately linked directly to religious elements as well, even though Vampyres occur freely despite any religious affiliation. Yes, there are nuts out there who consume blood for their own religious reasons, without experiencing the actual NEED for it, but they are not Vampyres, nor vampyric – and the two should NOT be confused with each other.
This misconception on the part of these so-called “occult experts” is nothing short of being a consequence of brute assumption and poor homework. Being vampyric is, as any Vampyre can tell you, an inborn trait. We don’t wake up one morning to decide we feel thirsty and need a little blood, or that some prana will just hit the spot. We run in family lines, we awaken, and are not “turned” or “made”. We treat our donors with respect and concern and admiration as friends and valuable allies. We have guidelines, ethics and values which see to this.
One can be an atheist and still be vampyric. This means that Vampyres occur in every different religion – and as such, being a Vampyre is not a religion in itself, but part of our identity as individual persons.
This development holds dangerous repercussions for all Vampyres in SA. It affects US as well as the entire population of SA who are part of non-Christian paths – and even those of us who are. That’s right, there are Christian Vampyres also – why? Because being a Vampyre is not a religion or a “lifestyle” – but being a Christian is.
Such things put pressure on those who identify as Witches or as Pagans to keep their beliefs secret, and even as Vampyres (be it sanguine or psychic) to keep an even lower profile, to be wary of even engaging the police when they are the victims of crimes – for fear that they will be victimized in turn by those who are
supposed to be protecting them.
It will turn a whole sector of the population into suspects, invoking prejudice on religious grounds without them even having done anything, simply because of not being Christian. It is the embodiment of notions like the assumption that atheists (who do not believe in any deity) are somehow “Satanists”. It is religionist arrogance and ignorance at its supreme – and everyone knows what they say about assumption being the mother of all fuck-ups?
How do you prove “putting a curse on someone”? How do you arrest a ghost or a poltergeist? How do you prove “being raped by a tokoloshe” in court? How would you prove that someone has been the victim of a psychic Vampyre attack? Seriously? What have these people been smoking? What kind of idiot in administration would even take something like this seriously? Other than, say, a religious zealot acting as a proponent for his own religion?
Sure, witches are scary people – ugly old women covered in warts, who live alone and herd cats, fly on broomsticks, dance naked every full moon to worship Satan and put curses on people for bad luck – this is the stereotype which has seen countless thousands of innocents murdered and displaced in our country – and which is being perpetuated by this travesty of injustice, and which will see an increase in more human tragedy in a country in which conscience is supposedly a freedom, where crimes should be proven in a court of law – not religion, and where accusations are not proof.
Like other citizens in South Africa, I know there is a crime problem – a rampant crime problem. With all the corrupt officials in government and the public service, and the religious zealotry creeping into government, I didn’t think the SAPS had the resources to waste on having cops play Van Helsing or Buffy – running off to chase phantoms when they should be arresting thieves and killers, like actual policemen.