Archive for the 'crime' Category

Don’t cry wolf about “pedophilia”

June 29, 2012

Are all men “pedophiles”?

I dare you. Show me even one heterosexual man who has NOT felt sexually attracted to at least a few teenage girls who happened to be under the age of 16, or under whatever the age of consent happens to be in the particular state where he lives.

But do all men act on such attractions? Read the rest of this entry »

More about Cimminnee Holt and the definition of “Satanism”

June 11, 2011

Earlier today, on another blog of mine, I posted Cimminnee Holt and the definition of “Satanism”. Cimminnee Holt, a grad student at Concordia University in Montreal, has written a paper titled Death and Dying in the Satanic Worldview, recently published in the Journal of Religion and Culture, “a peer-reviewed journal published by the graduate students of the Department of Religion at Concordia University.”

She uses the word “Satanism” in the Church of Satan’s sectarian sense, to refer specifically to the Church of Satan’s ideology, rather than as a general term encompassing many other Satanism as well. Why?

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The Satanic Kindred Organization’s “History of Satanism” page, recently echoed by “God Discussion”

June 9, 2011

On a website called God Discussion, with the ability to send its blog posts to Google News, there’s a post titled “Theistic Satanism Booming on the Internet, says Catholic Conference: But Why Would anyone want to Worship the Devil?” by johnthomas didymus, June 7, 2011.

First, thanks to the author for linking to a page on my Theistic Satanism website. Alas he also linked to, as an alleged authoritative source, a page about “The History of Satanism” on the website of the Satanic Kindred Organization. That page contains some serious errors which are echoed in the God Discussion post.

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The Catholic exorcism trend and Italy’s Satanic panic

February 9, 2011

The recent movie The Rite is loosely based on a (supposedly) nonfiction book that was published two years ago, The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio. The book is about an American priest who spent his sabbatical year in Italy training to be an exorcist.

As Laura Miller explains in “Eat your saints, purge your demons,” Salon, March 27, 2009:

Father Gary Thomas, Baglio’s trainee exorcist, half fell into the job; he volunteered when, in 2004, the Vatican asked every Catholic bishop to appoint an official exorcist to his diocese. This startling development can be explained by the fact that for the past decade Italy has been gripped by an intermittent satanic ritual abuse panic similar to the hysteria that swept through the U.S. in the 1980s.

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The JBFCS Cult Clinic and Satanism: A response to Arnold Markowitz, LCSW

January 27, 2011

(revised February 10, 2011)

Here in New York City, there is a Cult Hotline and Clinic run by the JBFCS (the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services). They provide various helpful services to ex-members of “cults” and to estranged families and friends of “cult” members. They are, as far as I can tell, the only place in New York City that offers such services.

Truly harmful religious groups certainly do exist, and it’s good that there are at least a few places, like the JBFCS Cult Clinic, where people who have been hurt by such groups can get help. But the website of the JBFCS Cult Clinic associates Satanism in general with “cults,” even though the vast majority of Satanist groups (or, at least, most of the ones I’ve run into) do not fit the JBFCS Cult Clinic’s definition of a “cult.”

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Reply to venusinpieces

September 20, 2010

On my Theistic Satanism blog, venusinpieces posted a comment below my post Christine O’Donnell’s alleged “little midnight picnic on a satanic altar”, asking me to look at her allegations of what she calls “satanic ritual abuse” while at the same time saying that “the label of satanic ritual abuse somewhat of a misnomer, because the majority of these organizations tend towards a more syncretic religious style.” She also says, “I am actually quite inspired by many cultures that could be classified as satanic.”

Read the rest of this entry »

The alleged “Satan-loving arsonist,” again, in the case of Glory of Christ Church in the Bronx

July 12, 2010

A church in the Bronx that had been burned down by arsonists last year, Glory of Christ Church, has been rebuilt and held its first worship services in the new building yesterday, according to several news stories yesterday and today.

In news stories back in December about the arson itself, there was quite a bit of unfounded hullabaloo about the arsonist being a “Satanist.” In today’s news stories — or at least the online versions — the word “Satanist” does not appear, but one story does describe the culprit as “a Satan-loving arsonist.” Even “Satan-loving” is unfounded.

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More about the case of Anthony Anderson

May 22, 2010

[Sigh!] I just now unapproved yet another comment, from Axis Sallyboy X. that was in gratuitous violation of WordPress’s terms of service, and of my own desire to keep this blog G-rated, for the sake of search engine rankings and such. I’ll now paraphrase and respond to the substantive parts of the comment.

In response to my request for more info on how (according to an earlier comment by Sallyboy) Anthony Anderson was brutalized by the police, Sallyboy wrote that, before the vandalism/graffiti incident, Anthony Anderson had been doing office work at the 105th police precinct (92-08 222nd Street, Queens Village, NYC), first as a volunteer, then as an employee. Once he became a “Super Duper Special Trustee,” according to Sallyboy, Anderson was used as a sex slave by the entire staff at the precinct.

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Reply to “Axis Sallyboy X”

May 18, 2010

On another blog of mine, someone identified as “Axis Sallyboy X” posted a fervent comment on my post announcing the Church of Azazel’s statement against violent crime and vandalism. Unfortunately, the comment was full of expletives plus some implied threats, which are not in my interests to allow, as they are likely a terms-of-service violation.

So I’ve deleted the comment. Below is an edited version of the comment, followed by my reply:

Read the rest of this entry »

More about the Kimberly Simon murder case, featured on “America’s Most Wanted” tomorrow

March 12, 2010

Below is a copy (minus contact info) of a press release I sent out today regarding a murder case that will be featured on “America’s Most Wanted” tomorrow, for which the currently-suspected perpetrators are a small group of “Satan worshipers.”

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America’s Most Wanted: The “Satan worshipers” who allegedly killed Kimberly Simon

March 10, 2010

I’ve been working on a Statement against violent crime and vandalism for the Church of Azazel. We absolutely need to finish writing this statement now, because, on Saturday, March 13, America’s Most Wanted will air a show about an old cold case of a murder committed back in 1985, for which the currently suspected perpetrators are a local group of “Satan worshipers.”

Previously another person, Steven Barnes, had been convicted of murdering Kimberly Simon, a 16-year-old who had been attending Whitesboro High School in Oneida County, New York, back in 1985. Last year, Steven Barnes was exonerated after having spent more than twenty years in prison. So the investigation has been reopened.

Suspicion now falls on a group of “Satan worshipers” who had been interviewed by the original investigators and who were not charged with the crime back then.

Read the rest of this entry »

On violent crime and vandalism involving “language or symbols related to Satanism”

February 24, 2010

Yesterday I finally got around to writing a draft of the Church of Azazel’s statement against violent crime and vandalism in the name of Satan or Satanism.

I would urge all law-abiding Satanist groups to make a similar statement, condemning violent crime and vandalism on whatever grounds are appropriate to the group’s own particular paradigm.

Alas, it appears that vandalism involving “Satanic symbols” is a rising trend these days. So, we do need to distance ourselves from it.

Read the rest of this entry »

San Fernando Curt on the SRA scare

July 3, 2009

I recently came across a very interesting blog post about the “Satanic Ritual Abuse” scare of the 1980’s and early 1990’s: Inconvenient untruth, San Fernando Curt’s Blog, Talking Points Memo (TPM), June 22, 2009.

San Fernando Curt observes that the Satanic Ritual Abuse scare isn’t talked about very much anymore. He quotes and links to a Summer 2001 Women’s Quarterly article, Sex, Lies, and Audiotapes – hysteria over rape and sexual child abuse by Rael Jean Isaac, who points to the role of feminists in launching the panic. Curt claims that the reason why the SRA scare isn’t talked about very much anymore is because the feminist movement is, allegedly, a sacred cow whose mistakes no one dares discuss.

I disagree.

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To atheists: A secularist alliance is needed

May 4, 2008

These days, too many public atheists come across as even more hostile toward liberals and religious moderates than toward fundamentalists. This is unfortunate, because, in my opinion, atheists and religious liberals and moderates need to stand together against the worldwide trend toward theocracy.

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Witchhunts and (real) ritual murder, in Africa and India – roundup of recent news

April 26, 2008

Some interesting speculation: Does Climate Change Mean More Witch Hunts? by Freakonomics, New York Times Blogs, NY, 4/25/2008:
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The lack of historical knowledge about the ancient Celts

June 8, 2007

I came across an interesting post here on WordPress about Halloween, with a lot of annoted info about the ancient Celts, the Druids, Samhain, and the evolution of Halloween festivities. Written from a Christian anti-occultist “ex-witch” perspective, but much more scholarly than most. Among other things, this article points out how little is known, historically, about the religion and customs of the ancient Celts. For example, there’s not enough evidence to know for sure whether the ancient Celts practiced human sacrifice, and it’s not even known for sure whether they had a feast day called Samhain.

However, like a lot of other relatively well-informed writings, this article seems to assume that all Satanists are LaVeyans.

Witchhunt in India

May 5, 2007

Horrible witchhunt story: Couple burned alive for “black magic”, Reuters, Hyderabad, India, Thu May 3, 2007. Another copy of this story, with a few more details, can be found on the website of Reuters India (Andhra Pradesh couple burnt alive for “black magic”).

More detailed versions of this story can be found on India eNews.com (Couple burnt to death for practicing black magic), on RxPG (Couple burnt to death for practicing black magic), and on the Independent Online site in South Africa (Couple burned alive for ‘witchcraft’).

Even the short version says: “Belief in black magic is common in some parts of rural India, despite the country’s robust economic growth and cutting-edge high-technology industries. Dozens of women are murdered each year after being accused of witchcraft.”

Some of the longer versions add, “In the last decade, about 300 people were killed in the region on the suspicion they were practising black magic. The practice is prevalent in Medak, Nalgonda, Ranga Reddy, Warangal, Karimnagar, Nizamabad and Adilabad districts. The actual number of deaths could be higher as many of the ‘bhanamati’ deaths are treated as deaths caused by illness.”

The short version ends with the following, on the separate issue of human sacrifice: “Last year, a barber in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh killed his four-year-old son by slitting his throat with a razor after the man started seeing visions of the Hindu goddess Kali demanding a sacrifice.”

More about school shootings and stereotypes

April 19, 2007

Well, I guess it was only a matter of time before someone would start talking about “Satanism” in connection with school shootings, in the wake of the Virginia Tech murders — even though the killer at VT, Cho Seung-Hui, had no connection with any kind of Satanism, as far as I can tell.
Read the rest of this entry »

Satanic panic in Russia?

April 17, 2007

A Russian Orthodox public movement called the “People’s Council” has made some ill-informed, panic-stricken claims about Satanism:

  • “People’s Council urges authorities to equate Satanists to terrorists,” Interfax-Religion, Russia – Apr 2, 2007

It released a statement claiming that “ritual murders” and various other nasty activities are all “characteristic of Satanic organizations.”

The statement is said to mention several ritual murders including the allegedly notorious “murder of three Optino monks killed by a Satanist on Orthodox Easter.” (I found no further information about this crime via Google.)

The statement also says, “There is an enormous number of Satanic organizations and groups acting in Russia today. Many of them are united in a single branchy network.”

Yeah, right.

The statement then goes on the mention the “Church of the Satan” [sic], failing to note that the Church of Satan has been an above-ground organization for over 40 years and does NOT endorse any kind of criminal activity.

I found the following blog entry:

  • “‘Satanists as dangerous as terrorists! World at risk from Satan cults’ claim Russian Orthodox,” Signs of Witness

It closes with the comment, “It could be that Religious Right Hysteria is the real ‘danger to Society…'”

Virginia Tech shootings — possible scapegoating?

April 17, 2007

When I first heard about the Virginia Tech shootings yesterday, one of my first thoughts was to wonder what minority groups or nonmainstream subcultures the shooter might have belonged to, if any. If he was anything other than a religiously and culturally mainstream heterosexual white male, would this lead to any scapegoating of whatever groups he did belong to, the way the Columbine killings led to scapegoating of the Goth scene and anyone wearing a trenchcoat?

Among other things, I worried about the possibility that the Virginia Tech shooter might have been gay. Virginia seems to be one of the most homophobic states in the country, with one of the most stringent prohibitions on anything resembling same-sex marriage. Might life in Virginia be bad enough to drive at least one gay man crazy enough to go on a shooting spree? And, if so, might that lead to an even worse situation for gays?

Most of all, I worried about the possibility that the killer might have had an interest in Satanism. Might he even have been a member of one of my own Theistic Satanism forums? I sure hoped not. Yikes!

Some early newsreports mentioned that he “wore black.” Might this result in heightened prejudice against kids who wear black? I’ve heard that, in some parts of the South, any kid who wears black is assumed to be a Satanist, and Satanists are assumed to kill cats and eat babies.

So far, I’ve seen no evidence that the Virginia Tech killer was either gay or interested in Satanism. Today we found out that he was from South Korea. Understandably, Koreans are worried, according to various articles I’ve seen today including the following:
Read the rest of this entry »