Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bad Magick Update

Just when I thought that the strange case of Joseph Craig and Joy Johnson, charged with sexual assault in connection with an alleged "Satanic cult" in North Carolina had slipped away into the shadows never to be heard from again, I came across an update on the case. I pointed out in a previous article that as far as I can tell, neither Craig nor Johnson were affiliated with any genuine Satanic group or magical order, and I wondered if the court had just decided to quietly drop the case after the cult allegations failed to hold up to even cursory scrutiny.

It seems that Craig did claim to study magick, though his involvement in this situation suggests he was a really, really bad magician. Not bad as in tough, bad as in ignorant and probably incompetent. I'll say it again - reading a few books won't teach you magick, no matter how interested you happen to be in the subject. And in my experience, nothing like these allegations would ever arise in the life of a serious and competent magical practitioner.

According to the article much of the "cult" hysteria seems to have been dropped from the case, which is a good thing because frankly the earlier allegations along those lines were completely unbelievable. More to the point, it doesn't make any difference to the court whether or not you're performing some kind of ritual when you rape someone. If you don't have consent, it's rape and you're guilty. End of story. The case now seems to hinge on this question of consent, which is exactly where the focus of the trial should be.

As I suspected, this appears to be a BDSM situation that got out of hand, and Craig and Johnson's guilt will be determined based on whether or not they transgressed the agreed-upon boundaries of the scenes in which they participated. I'll continue to follow the case and keep you posted.

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