Saturday, September 22, 2012

Interview With The Vampire Journalist

Concerning the article in today's Weekend Post, one which I was interviewed for on Thursday regarding the new SAPS anti-alternative religion unit, euphemistically called the "Occult Related Crime Unit". 

This unit, which is really just a bunch of Christian missionaries gifted with a 5 day course on "the occult" to make them "experts" in the field (of harassing innocent citizens for their beliefs) and wearing badges. 

The whole thing just reeked of Christianist propaganda, being an example of completely skewed and biased reporting. I felt I had to respond to the "journalist" who interviewed me for it.

Dear John,

I must say I'm very disappointed in your article "Police 'Vampire' Unit Returns". If I'd known it was going to turn out this way I would never have given that interview.

Out of the five minutes we spoke and all the things I said, you condensed it all down to one short sentence in the entire article, which made it look like I am ashamed to be a Pagan and a witch - and worse, that I have a reason to be ashamed! 

Instead or being objective, you went the sensationalist route, focused on the negatives and gave the floor to a bunch of biased and bigoted pastors who gave vent to their prejudices, grossly exaggerated - and whom obviously have a vested interest in supporting a blatantly unconstitutional initiative such as this unit - the oppression of other religions in favor of the promotion of their own (and presumably yours as well). So much for objective journalism and professional reporting.

Worst of all, you dressed it up as if it is a good thing, and that it will somehow make SA a safer place for all the "good folks" (who are of course, Christians). You made it look like everyone who isn't a Christian and happens to be a witch or Pagan somehow deserves to be in the spotlight of this new unit, simply by way of what they happen to believe in - which in my book, demonstrates exactly why Pagans, witches (and it also seems, vampires) should be concerned about the very real and threatening religious fundamentalist "christianISM" which is creeping into our government.

Lastly, as a minor detail, you even spelled my last name wrong. It's not Engler - it's Engela.

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  1. Found your blog through Michelle Belanger. I was wondering, does there seem to be any sort of racial divide as far as who these missionaries are targeting for the 'occult crimes'? Are they going after mostly 'tribal belief systems' or are they flinging their net to include white South African Pagans as well? (Not that one is any more acceptable than the other, just trying to get a sense of their head-space.)

    1. Miaren, it seems to me that there is no distinction in the minds of the so-called "occult experts" between tribal belief systems, Western alternative religions such as Paganism and Theistic Satanism, and the brutal crimes (muti killings, murders and animal cruelty)which they incorrectly call "Satanism". Yes, the net is indeed being cast wide to include both under the same label. Indeed, judging by the bulk of the articles seen thus far, the press appears to be simply toe-ing the line by fuelling this misconception and stoking the fire of "Satanic Panic".

    2. Thanks for the response. I kind of suspected that was the case, even though most of the news articles I've seen about 'witchcraft' in that part of the world either fall under the 'brutal crimes' category or tribal beliefs. (What can I say, I don't exactly trust the news these days.)

  2. What a shame to have the media, and the police begin to do nothing but rehash extremist religious propaganda, especially in a country where hundreds of people a year are beaten, and killed for being falsely accused of Witchcraft, due to the same religious extremists. Religious persecution, and religious warfare, are a dangerous things to turn loose in any country, but especially in a country that still suffers from superstitious fears of some of its less educated people. Ministers who encourage this are acting in a truly criminal manner.

    1. Christopher, I fully agree with you. One of the main problems here is that there is no existing hate crimes law in South Africa, so crimes committed on the basis of gender/sexuality/race/religion/etc are not distinguished or tracked by means of statistics. Without a hate crimes law, nobody can legally claim that such a crime is a problem in South Africa, and without official statistics it is difficult to provide justification to institute such a law, or to argue that their is a problem involving hate crime, or discrimination. This is willfull obstruction of justice on the part of the authorities and amounts to sabotage of human rights ethics. Another major problem is how far Christian fundamentalism has permeated government on all levels, with many officials being heavily involved in evangelism, being either ordained ministers or lay preachers on the side - and bringing this unconstitutional bias into the work place - and into government. Their colleagues turn a blind eye to discrimination that takes place, and the whole thing just snowballs all the way down the food chain.