The genocide humanity won’t admit
Since the 14th century Witches have been stereotyped as potentially dangerous individuals. Centuries of hysterical wishful thinking has produced a history of unproven allegations, all of which depict Witches and Witchcraft as evil in potentia. These negative stereotypes have been repeated in virtually every culture and on every continent. They find fertile contemporary ground amongst religious leaders, politicians and intellectuals where hearsay, myth and urban legend combine to serve as so-called evidence of the dangers of Witchcraft and of a belief in Witchcraft.
Amongst a plethora of concocted fantasies stand these choice beliefs, beliefs that continue to feed witch-hunts in South Africa and elsewhere.
1. We are said to be possesses of supernatural evil powers.
2. These powers are said to enable us to fly without the aid of an airplane, change our physical shape to assume that of an animal, appear in two or more places at the same time, act on the world around us whilst our physical bodies sleep, and become invisible in order to sow disease, death and destruction on the world and people around us.
3. These abilities are said to be derived from the devil, whom we allegedly serve, whether we know it or not, and irrespective of whether we personally believe this to be the truth.
4. That we are wholly responsible for unexplained misfortune of every inexplicable nature, capable of destroying men, fields and even governments with malevolent curses.
5. That we are required to sacrifice babies and eat our own children in return for these supernatural powers.
6. That we are essentially and often unconsciously, immoral, deliberately devious, and dangerous individuals.
7. That murdering a Witch is a good act because it saves the community from further misfortune caused by Witchcraft.
None of these stereotypes are true! They are not based on any empirical evidence and cannot be proven to be true. Every one is a lie!
The vast majority of South Africans, irrespective of race, continue to believe these historically crafted deceits because believing works to their advantage. It’s always handy to have a scapegoat for the unforeseen vicissitudes of life, especially when the scapegoat does not challenge the fabricated assumptions made against it through illogical accusations. They’re counting on maintaining your complicit silence. Accusations of Witchcraft benefit church leaders all too eager to forge new converts to their brand. Fear makes people believe anything and do anything. Witch-hunts continue to plague 21st century South Africa because our own government would prefer to deny that there is any real problem.
We are told to respect traditional African belief systems which continue to depict Witchcraft as a force for evil. We are told to respect the right of Christians to continue to quote the Biblical clarion call to murder suspected Witches. We are told that caucasian Witches seeking to reclaim their right to dignity and religious equality in Africa are not “real” Witches; the sheer weight of historical opinion apparently proves that we are not what we say we are. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children have been falsely accused of being Witches over several generations throughout the known world, yet I have never seen any government anywhere refer to witch-hunting as a genocide; one of the most enduring genocides ever perpetrated by the human species against its own kind. The multitudinous voices of the victims of this genocide remain silent.
Witches dare not remain silent any longer! If we choose to ignore the ongoing slaughter of innocents in our own country, if we choose not to oppose the witch-hunters, if we choose not to challenge the beliefs that motivate these witch-hunts, our individual and collective silence will effectively condemn our children and their offspring to future persecution. Your future security and safety depends on what you do today.
Take a stand against witch-hunts and help us call for an end to this genocide. Challenge the South African government to speak out against witch-hunts.
This article was first published on 19 October 2010