When authority figures, politicians, clergymen, evangelicals and the media either start or fuel rumors of threats presented or crimes being committed by a specific religious grouping, labeling them negatively while also imposing their own take on what any of these labels mean – regardless of the truth of their religious affiliations, and these are circulated and supported by the public to the extent that it sparks a hysteria – this is Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA), also known as “Satanic Panic”. SRA typically consists of misinformation campaigns directed against Satanists, Pagans, traditional African healers, and somewhat like the rest of Africa following a 1980’s trend, this is increasingly becoming a feature of the media landscape in South Africa as well. Continue reading
Tag Archives: SAPS
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. Continue reading
In a press release today, the South African Pagan Rights Alliance (SAPRA) addressed the formation of a new Occult Crime Unit to investigate crimes supposedly linked to supernatural events or committed out of a belief in the supernatural.
Of special significance to our community is the specific mention of vampirism as one focus area of this new unit, which comes across as eerily similar to its predecessor, which terrorized non-Christian religious and spiritual communities through the lens of ill-conceived “Satanic panic” doctrine during its 1991-2000 tenure, until it was disbanded after being found to be “out of touch” with the country’s new constitution. Our community – and indeed any community which may find itself in the cross-hairs of this unit, should be wondering what has changed, and why? Continue reading