Modern European Witchcraft – not pleasant

Witchcraft, and accusations of witchcraft, with all its horrific tortures and murders, is coming back to Europe after centuries of quiet. The media find it difficult to deal with the issue systemically, and only go case by case, because of the racism aspects that get brought out when you acknowledge that all the problems stem from non-European immigrants, especially Africans.

Magical thinking - witchcraft, exorcisms, etc - lead to torture and murder

March 5th, 2012: a Congolese couple (Eric Bikubi and Magalie Bamu) are given life sentences in London.

Background: in December 2010, five children come from Paris to visit their older sister, aged 29, and her boyfriend, 28. The man, backed by the woman, accuses three of the kids of using witchcraft and of coming to kill them. Two girls are let go after admitting to witchcraft, but their 15-year-old brother is severely tortured for several days, and finally killed on December 25th.

Not just tortured and killed: the irony is that having accused the boy of witchcraft, the couple use witchcraft exorcisms and all kinds of other magical thinking to justify their attacking him “with knives, sticks, metal bars, ceramic floor tiles, bottles and a hammer and chisel by Bikubi and Bamu who also used a pair of pliers to twist his ear. He drowned after he was placed in a bath for ritual cleansing.” (Per the BBC report.)

Eradicating such “magical thinking” in adults might have saved the boy’s life. Perhaps the man would not have behaved in that way.

Or perhaps the man is genuinely insane, and he would have tried to behave in this way even if he had not been brought up to believe in witchcraft and to think in those terms when solving problems. But if his girlfriend didn’t think in witchcraft terms either, she might have worked to prevent to insane attacks, might have listened to the pleas of her sisters.

But in any case, there needs to be an organized effort to educate the most primitive immigrants out of their preliterate thinking. And to punish them in such a way as to deter other from such crimes. And if that means targeting a racial or national minority as the best means of achieving such education, so be it.

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4 comments on “Modern European Witchcraft – not pleasant

  1. Bob F. says:

    Sadly our Television and Movies make fantasy stories about the supernatural, and the “believers” of the supernatural can’t separate that from reality, so “Ghost hunters” is thought real, Ghosts and Witches exist in their warped universe

  2. I have no difficulty with little children’s magical thinking – it seems a genetically programmed tool for analyzing and figuring things out. But somewhere Grade 4 or 5 they need to be educated out of thinking it is physical reality, as opposed to being a fun image, or a resonant archetype.

  3. Martin B. says:

    “But in any case, there needs to be an organized effort to educate the most primitive immigrants out of their preliterate thinking.”

    I’m afraid it wouldn’t be that easy. Belief in witchcraft is common in sub-Sahara Africa among all parts of the population, from the uneducated to the very educated. It has nothing to do with primitivity. For most Africans it’s just a plain matter of fact that witchcraft is everywhere. They simply view Westerners as being too dumb to grasp the obvious. That’s the main reason why the subject is usually not brought up in cross culture encounters. From the African viewpoint, Westerners simply don’t get it, and apparently are too narrow-minded to get educated about the blindingly obvious facts of life.

  4. Interesting analysis here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wildhunt/2012/04/two-kinds-of-witchcraft-resisting-cynicism-false-dilemmas-and-moral-panics.html

    The view here is that the culprits are mostly the Pentecostal Christian churches, conflating Biblical condemnation of witches with traditional African practices, and causing panics, witch hunts, and the scapegoating of marginalized individuals.

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