I inadvertently outted myself as an Ásatrúar to a co-worker yesterday. When he realized I wasn’t Christian he asked me point blank what I am. I have a rule, I will evade the topic if I can but if you ask me directly then I will give you an honest answer. Now, he’s a polite and decent young man of a quiet, non-preachy (at work) Christian persuasion. However, the world he lives in is pretty small and is only aware of “big name” non-Abrahamic religious beliefs like Buddhism. The idea that “pagans” of any kind are still around was mind-blowing to him.
What struck me as interesting was that he skipped right over “Do you believe in God?” and went right to “Do you believe in Heaven or Hell?” as his first question. This lead into a bit of a discussion about beliefs regarding the after-life but he seemed to…
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October 2, 2012 | FRANCISCO FUMAROLA.
How do we even begin to debunk the years of accumulated nonsense and propaganda against Satanism, Occultism and Witchcraft in South Africa? The fact remains, all the information is already out there and available to anyone with a desire to seek it out and determine the truth for themselves. The phenomenon of Satanic Panic has been thoroughly examined and largely debunked in diverse academic fields including Anthropology, History, Sociology and Folklore. The FBI investigated claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse and the conclusion was made that the evidence was lacking. There was no evidence found of wide-spread satanic conspiracy or vast organized satanic cults perpetuating crimes or ritual abuse.
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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…
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