The SAVA today made a statement in reaction to the Sowetan article published on Saturday October 4, “Satanists call for rights – Groups want to work in schools” in which the newspaper claimed “Sowetan understands that the groups who go by the names of Pagans and Vampires also approached the previous MEC for education Barbara Creecy with the same request”.
“At no time did the SA Vampyre Alliance (SAVA) contact the MEC for Eduction, Barbara Creecy, or the Sowetan with the intent of “working in schools”.
Vampyrism is not a religion, and as included in the working document (titled “the STAT Document“, which addresses Paganism and Satanism, discusses the topic of Satanic Panic Hysteria – and describes the Vampi(y)re Subculture very clearly as NOT being a religion) was submitted to the government commission investigating “satanism in schools” by representatives of the Alternative Religions Forum (ARF) in May 2013.
The same academic 468 page document which was compiled in a unique co-operative effort by participants of all three groups, was also forwarded to most media houses and newspapers in South Africa as well as to the SA Police Service and made publicly available on the ARF website as a download.
Absolutely no advocacy was made – either in this document, or in a separate submission, for the inclusion of Satanist or Pagan religion in South African schools, or of the Vampyre subculture – and neither did any dialogue of any kind take place between the ARF or the SAVA. The document and the activism of the ARF are geared towards awareness, fairness and tolerance of diversity.
This article by Sowetan is inaccurate and sensationalist. It represents yet another a low-point in South African journalism, by dabbling in conjecture and sensation-seeking behavior designed to inspire a negative public reaction towards a reasonable expectation for freedom of religion – and freedom FROM religion, in public schools.”