After the leaked memo from the SAPS concerning the establishment of a new occult related crimes division, South African Pagans have been expressing their concerns. Yet, I have found that these concerns were for the most part brushed aside in the media and by comments from the SAPS. It would even seem that people generally feel as if the SAPS know what they are doing and in the end that they have everyone’s best interest at heart. “They are going after criminals and crimes committed. The memo clearly states that they will not persecute religious groups.” This is a common statement to brush aside our concerns and even imply that we are somehow being crazy or exaggerating the whole thing. The memo has a lot of cringe-worthy, shocking and outright ridiculous statements conveniently overlooked because apparently the SAPS seems to have grown up quite a bit since the days of Kobus Jonker and the former Occult Related Crimes division or people think that we are “more enlightened” today and such a unit poses no threat.
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“On my desk sits a most chilling tome. An anthology of misinformation; filled with confusing images, twisted words and blatant lies. Servamus’ Drugs and Occult-Related Crime: The Facts, The Answers is the Malleus Maleficarum of our generation. This propaganda publication has been, and still is, used as a witches’ hammer against constitutionally protected minority religions. And with the resurrection of SAPS’ Occult-Related Crime Unit in 2012, Pagans, Witches, Occultists, Satanists and Vampyres are facing a possible new wave of propaganda and persecution at the hands of the next-generation of witch-hunters; each trained under the old master of SA’s own ‘satanic panic’- Kobus Jonker.”
BY BRON KATZKE
Let me start by clearly expressing my general views on Norse cosmology. I am neither Asatru, nor Rokkatru. I’m not even Vanatru, quite simply I am Heathen. I believe that all gods of the three races are just that, gods. And I am a mortal. A creation of my gods, and it is not for me to judge them. The more I have studied and immersed myself in this religion the more I’ve felt that to pick an chose which gods were “worthy” of my worship and respect and which were found lacking is rather arrogant. Now, that doesn’t mean I like all of the gods my religion has to offer, and it most certainly doesn’t mean that all of the gods have my best interests at heart. But whether or not I love a god, it is my responsibility to respect and learn from them. And regardless of how…
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Religion is a tricky subject no matter how you try to tackle it. As I have previously mentioned, our country’s constitution protects each and every citizen’s right to freedom of religion and opinion. However there is a fine line between expressing your beliefs and encroaching on the beliefs of others; which is something you do with reckless abandon. Specifically I refer to an interview you gave for an article titled Occult and Satanic practices ‘on the increase’ (looklocal.co.za, Benoni News, 30July 2012). If you continue to peddle your lies, then you will continue to indirectly harm an entire community of people. How would you feel if there was a Pagan organization that actively and publicly sought to spread lies about Christianity? You would be hurt, outraged even- so stop doing it to us.
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