SAPRA versus SAPS Orcs
A supposed member of the South African Police Service (SAPS) involved with Occult Related Crimes and their investigation came amidst the Pagan community in 2013 like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. SAPRA had already sent objections to the SAPS about the apparent revival of an Occult Related Crimes unit as revealed in a leaked memo from 2012. These objections by SAPRA have never received any kind of response from the SAPS. The only response made by the SAPS came through media statements where they kept repeating the same PR spin about “not discriminating against religious beliefs but investigating crimes”. Apparently “occult” and “satanic” crimes were suddenly a big issue –mainly actually due to false labeling of crimes as a result of shoddy education and the shoddy nature of sources used by the SAPS when it comes to the occult. To date, SAPRA’s valid objections still have not been addressed.
Among the objections was the nature of the material and training used by the SAPS to deal with “Occult Related Crime”. Kobus Jonker admitted in a Rapport article (2012) that he was indeed involved with some of their training. It is also very revealing that Servamus magazine, catering to law enforcement members, still sells the “Special Edition, Drugs and Occult Related Crime”. So it seems that SAPRA was correct and the current occult unit is still drawing on the same biased, Christian, anti-occult material which they drew on previously – containing outdated information from the 1980’s Satanic Panic. The false information usually includes some version of the fraudulent “satanic calendar”, mixing Pagan holy days with other completely invented ones. Among the false information is also a confounding mixture of Satanic, Occult and Pagan symbols and the terms Witches and Witchcraft are thrown around freely.
Attie Lamprecht of the ORC unit called “Witchcraft” and “White Magic” a “gateway to Satanism”. Kobus Jonker called Witchcraft, Wicca and Paganism “the devil’s white lie”. It should be clear that the former and current occult unit (still born-again Christians as well) are strongly opposed to anything to do with the occult due to their own religious beliefs. The Bible expressly forbids certain forms of magical and divinatory practices after all.
When an alleged member of the SAPS ORC’s came to the Pagan community it seemed that things were about to improve – finally, some interfaith dialogue. However, this individual kept saying that he could not speak on behalf of the ORC unit and he could not address SAPRA’s concerns. The situation soon reached a stalemate. He kept repeating the usual spin of “investigating crimes and not the beliefs” and yet he could not answer questions about how the material and information they draw from is in itself biased and harmful due to the information being wrong and also inherently discriminatory – look at the works of Jonker and the Servamus Special Edition. A further example of the nature of the material the SAPS draws upon could be seen on their Occult Related Crimes webpage, this page was removed in 2006 and suddenly resurfaced again in 2013, it was removed again that same year, perhaps due to the criticism seen on social media. The material included gems like “child has interest in computer”, “child play loves fantasy games”, “child uses satanic alphabet” (what the hell ever that may mean, many Occultists of various traditions draw on various forms of “magical alphabets”), “Child reads Occult books” etc. The list to indicate Satanic or Cult involvement also includes signs and “symptoms” that could apply to nearly any teenager. The material is clearly flawed and gives a lot of leeway in what police could label as “Satanism” or “Occult”.
This ORC individual soon seemed more interested in sharing his own religious ideas than actually addressing the concerns that SAPRA raised. Interfaith dialogue is a good thing and it is a good thing that this individual wanted to make friends with individual Pagans. However, this individual was not willing to discuss the actual issues; his continuous response was the usual “brush off” and disclaimer. Where it gets scary is that while this individual is ready to befriend Pagans, he still revealed quite clearly that he is a fervent believer in the “Christian Satanism Myth”. He also participated in the SAFM interview with Adele Neveling and later expressed his support of Adele. Like Adele he also stated incorrectly that “Satanism is the worship of Satan”. He expressed his support for Adele’s story and other survivor stories, stating “There must be blood and sacrifices”. He clearly drew on Jonker’s material when he spoke about the Order of the Ram as “hereditary Satanism”. This individual also supports Ado Krige, another South African “Satanic Survivor”, who made all sorts of wild claims on the Redi Thlabi show on Talk Radio 702 (6th June 2013). Krige made the statement that all Satanists use drugs, as if this is a fact beyond any doubt. He was apparently a Satanist since 1968, even before LaVey published his Satanic Bible in 1969. The Satanic Bible and the Church of Satan actually laid the foundation for what can be considered most of modern Satanism. Krige apparently even made a pact with the devil and we are to assume that this character exists in a literal sense.
The ORC individual and the director of SAPRA soon had a bit of a feud going due to the delays and lack of actual answers from the SAPS’s side. This individual apparently kept a grudge from his side and kept emerging with his usual disclaimers while never even once answering the actual objections raised about the unit and from where it draws its information. When confronted with the actual objections, this individual then tended to plug his ears (or cover his eyes) and stopped responding to the comments on threads he started. He would then go and vent on his own private Facebook profile. The individual from the ORC Unit also took on the accusatory tone that any criticism against the unit was due to critics “having something to hide” or perhaps the critics wanted to “prevent the fighting of crime”. These obfuscations diverted attention away from the actual issues under discussion.
In the 1991 Lanning Report of the FBI special agent Kenneth Lanning warned against law enforcement seeing what they want to see in crimes. He also warned against officers believing they are engaged in a religious war between “good” and “evil” and that they have to root out the devil – still this individual from the Orc’s could not answer these or other objections concerning the existence of a Spiritual Warfare policing unit. He could apparently not see why we can have a problem with the existence of their unit and how they operate and how the very inherent nature of how they function is the problem. They have too much leeway and too poor an education on contemporary religion and yet they are ready to see in crimes what they want to see, usually when they can label it “occult” or “satanic”. This individual even called himself an “occult expert” while he is in fact simply a Christian minister.
I also sent this individual the STAT document which further very clearly illustrates our concerns about an “occult unit” and why by its very nature and existence it is discriminatory. This person never responded that he even bothered to read it or pass it on to superiors. So yet again he repeats the disclaimer that “we persecute crimes and not the religion” and yet he supports Adele Neveling and accepts that Satanism must be linked to crimes? Lamprecht, the unit’s head, also made the statement that “Satanism is a belief system that leads to crime”. Sounds like preconceptions and bias to me.
While this person befriends Pagans he is not willing to compromise or re-asses his own position. Apparently, the best Pagans, Satanists, Occultists or Witches can hope for is to please explain themselves to the ORC’s . Yet, the Orcs do not have to compromise anything from their side – they get to keep their fraudulent and harmful material and they can continue their religious crusade without criticism. Apparently by befriending a few Pagans they can shift the attention away from the real problem – a constructed Satanism Myth – which actually confuses Paganism/Occultism/Witchcraft as part of it anyway. All of the Occult is the work of demons anyway and the only solution is a “Relationship with Jesus Christ” as Jonker explicitly stated on numerous occasions.
Unfortunately, it would seem that most Pagans only care about saving their own asses and they will gladly let the ORC’s continue their religious crusade after they have grovelled and justified their own existence and have made it clear that we are not “those evil Satanists”. Yet, the fact remains that we do not need to compromise or negotiate for our right to exist. Our Constitution ensures us of our religious freedom. However, a policing unit with an essentially religious agenda goes against the constitution. No wonder the SAPS have been acting so erratic (websites emerging and disappearing and keeping silent when faced with objections); clearly they have something to hide.
To illustrate the problem further, our worst fears are actually confirmed when a Witch is actually approached by the police for conducting a Mabon ceremony on her own private property. Apparently a neighbour called them to report that “witchcraft was taking place in a neighbour’s yard”. A few days later, the police arrived at the house of the accused witch (who happened to be an actual Witch) and while this alone is already shocking in and of itself, they even questioned the lady on whether “any animals were harmed during the practice of witchcraft”. Naturally, the individual was quite angry at the insinuation and the lack of actual knowledge with regards to actual Witchcraft. Attempts at finding answers from relevant authorities have gone unanswered to date.
So apparently Witchcraft is enough of a concern for the police to intervene even if no actual crime was reported. Due to the efforts of a biased media and our own home-bred “cult-cops” we have seen the notion of “harmful religious practices” instilled in South African society. Note that the “Harmful Religions” are always minority belief systems and never one of the big monotheistic faiths. The religious crusade against the occult bears its fruits and if we continue sleeping it won’t be long before all members of minority belief systems are feared and hated outcasts – ostracized and mistrusted individuals who engage in aberrant behaviour. The Occult Unit (or whatever it is called now) must go! No compromise.