“Satanism” is a media creation
“Satanism” as a media creation: why the Department of Education’s “anti-harmful” strategy is unfounded.
Prepared on behalf of the South African Pagan Rights Alliance
By Francisco Fumarola and Bronwyn Katzke
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Recent supposed cases of “satanic” crime are actually a remnant from the days of the Satanic Panic, which has left its mark on society and popular imagination. The Satanic Panic of the 80’s and 90’s led to the creation of what can be referred to as the “Christian myth of Satanism” as opposed to real Satanism as a religion and philosophy. The criminals who participate in supposed “satanic” crimes are actually the adherents of a warped and twisted view of “satanism”, instilled into society through Christian leaders, so called “cult-cops” (like the former and current Occult Related Crime/Harmful Religions Unit within SAPS) and misinformation spread in schools about Satanism and the Occult by the above mentioned groups, who base their information on Christian prejudice and bias against minority religions.
The Satanic Panic can also be called a moral panic; as such a panic reflects the fears of a society dealing with change or transition. A moral panic happens when a society feels threatened in some manner; members of the society may feel that their traditional values come under attack as they have to face change. Under such circumstances a society may look towards something to blame for their discomfort or misfortune. The society which feels under threat may create an enemy and they will use this enemy to rally their community to a common cause. In the case of a largely Christian society the devil has always been a useful tool with which to keep the flocks in tow. The devil is a tool used to control through fear and the threat of the devil and his minions has always worked to get straying members of the society back to church and back to conformity. “Satanic Panic” and the Satanism myth are an invention and tool of Evangelical Christianity.
The Gauteng Department of Education, along with the rest of South Africa, has been duped by religious propaganda against the Occult and against minority belief systems. Enforcing and supporting such religious propaganda, a product of Evangelical Christianity, is in violation of Religious Equality and the constitutional rights of adherents of minority belief systems. Unfortunately, religious discrimination against minorities has always been in schools. In my own high school the “points based” punishment system listed “Satanism” and “Occult involvement” as the worst possible offences, right along with drug abuse and bringing weapons to school – causes for instant and severe disciplinary action, including expulsion. Of course the Satanism and Occultism listed as “offences” were based on warped Christian views on such subjects. If the Education Departments around South Africa, actually want to do something about these issues, they need to fight superstition – not encourage it and feed into it by having “religious leaders” pray for or exorcise suspected “Satanists”. Drive the fear-mongering pastors and the “cult cops” from schools and the hysteria and legend tripping will also die down, unfortunately the harm to the current generation has already been done.
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