Thursday, July 3, 2014

Servamus Sides With SAPS "Experts" In The Face Of The Obvious

Servamus Magazine catering to law enforcement in South Africa has again advertised their "special community edition Drugs and Occult Related Crime". It again contains the entirely fraudulent "satanic calendar" and Dracula Sherbet and Heavy Metal is listed as being "Satanic". Seriously, if police officers are still learning this outdated bogus rubbish, the public needs to be concerned.

The SAPS's magazine "Servamus" has for years been the platform for disseminating hysterical Christian fundamentalist propaganda and misinformation about occult belief systems, used to paint a false picture of people identifying with occult beliefs and practices, as well as to slander those beliefs. This it has done with apparent impunity, despite efforts by outraged citizens and CBO's to address these activities by means of official channels. The Press Ombudsman for example in 2012 refused to engage with the Pagan community forthwith, committing at the very least an unconstitutional act (if not an outright criminal act) by bombastically shutting down communications with a whole community of people on the topic of violations of their human rights according to the law of the land.

Thus, without legal recourse to address the concerns of a religious group, whose dignity and safety are being undermined and in fact assaulted head-on in print and news media, it appears that some editors think they have license to persecute these communities with impunity.

The excerpt below is an overview of the magazine and the controversies surrounding it, mentioning Bronwyn Katzke's fine article which details the discrepancies in the Servamus publication, and we believe an indication that the editor of Servamus will not respond to our complaints. She has basically brushed aside the research Bronwyn published in her "Exposing the lies series" as "non-expert" in contrast to Jonker as "expert", as well as the research document submitted by the ARF and SAPRA.

"CONTROVERSY

Servamus has not faced any lawsuits that have reached court, but several of the magazine's articles have attracted significant attention. Servamus' articles entitled "Microdotting as a crime deterrent", "Alcohol: A legal drug contributing to illegal actions", and "Road Safety: a Decade of Action" were requested by the South African Insurance Crime Bureau for reprint in their newsletter, and TinRage productions requested Servamus' information on illegal organ trafficking for use in a television documentary [3]. Furthermore, the magazine's series on "Search and Seizure, Arrest and Detection" (2010/2011) was used in the SAPS' strategic management documentation [3]. According toServamus' editor, Annalise Kempen, discussions in the magazine's legal column have been used in courts of law by investigating officers as part of their evidence, but this cannot be verified.

More controversially, Servamus' "Drugs and Occult-related Crime" issue was met with some negative attention from bloggers ("as can be expected from such topics", said the editor). Bronwyn Katzke wrote an extensive response to this issue on her blog Beneath the Baobab (http://www.penton.co.za/?p=2596) , claiming that Servamus' article was misinformed according to Christian fundamentalist bias [5]. The magazine's editor maintains that the information was obtained from experts in accordance with the SAPS."

Well, naturally no lawsuits have reached court - since the Press Ombudsman has completely abandoned his Constitutional mandate to serve the public trust, while the beleaguered SA Human Rights Commission appears unable to find its way out of a perfect-storm of inaction resulting from its bureaucratic inability to understand why Pagans, Satanists and other Occultists are upset about being misrepresented by people posing as "experts" on their religions and/or belief systems without having ANY actual qualifications to do so.It seems perfectly rational and understandable to Ms Kempen therefore, that some policemen who have no (zero, zilch, nada) experience or vocational training in actual occult beliefs, and who are actually nothing more than a state-sponsored Christian fundamentalist "deliverance ministry" with uniforms, guns and handcuffs, are "experts" in occult religions - simply because they - and the SAPS - say they are.

It follows then that Bronwyn Katzke (and other Pagans and Occultists) therefore, according to the logic of Ms Kempen, simply do not know what they talking about - and that whenever they protest the inane ramblings some conservative Christian pastors in SAPS uniforms who paint Paganism or Satanism as "belief systems which lead to crime" and wouldn't know Lammas from Samhain (or a pentacle from a pentagram), then the views of the actual occultists themselves are to be sidelined in favor of the SAPS's occult experts.

Why exactly do these individuals believe that Kobus Jonker or whoever else contributed to the 'special edition' are "experts" as opposed to the opinions of practicing Occultists and students of the Occult? Why is it that their word is acceptable when it comes to slandering a religion which is supposed to have legal equality and protections equal to those of other faiths in South Africa - rights which perpetually are violated by a STATE ORGAN in defiance of the South African Constitution and Bill of Rights? Why is it that a "Christian believer" opposed to or in competition with Occult belief systems is considered as a credible or reliable commentator on other religions (of which they have no practical experience or knowledge) as opposed to those actually within the religion or practicing the religion?

Much of the information fed to police by attention seeking "born-again" or "former Satanists, high priests etc" is completely contradictory to real established Occult or even Satanic belief systems - and is based utterly and completely upon a foundation of ignorance and legend-tripping. As detailed in Ms Katzke's articles as well as in the ARF's STAT document (which was also sent to SERVMUS), Jonker obtained his information from fraudulent "occult survivors" or else he constructed "satanism" to match with what he wanted to find, while the real "satanic crimes" were isolated incidents by small groups or individuals - as opposed to wild conspiracy theories.

All this is clear - or would be if they had actually bothered to read it. But then, people don't like to see the truth of things - if the truth conflicts with a lie they are comfortable with.

The situation is reasonably simple to sum up:

People who have belonged to or practised a religion for many years are being told that they don't know the first thing about their own religion and its beliefs and practices - and that a bunch of fervent believers of another religion posing as "experts" in a religion they despise/fear/oppose and who peddle slander and misinformation about it, are more credible than them.

Non Sequitur. This does not follow.

P.S.

Note the casual dismissal of the work by serious and dedicated activists as "negative attention from bloggers". Perhaps if the SAPS would actually fulfil its mandate to engage with activists and representatives of sectors of the public it doesn't seem to like very much - as it is OBLIGED TO by the Constitution, this would not be the case. "Blogger" vs activist - there is a difference.

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