Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Canada's Last Witchcraft Case Dropped

Here's some good news from Canada. The ridiculous "pretending to practice witchcraft" law is finally dead, as the last case brought under the archaic law has been dropped. Timmins psychic Tiffany Butch was charged in December, just before the law expired. Last week the charges were withdrawn, ending the era of Canadian witchcraft prosecutions.

Butch was charged on Dec. 11, 2018 by the Timmins Police Service with pretending to practice witchcraft – fortune telling contrary to section 365(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada. Two days later that section of the Criminal Code was formally repealed.

Speaking on the Crown’s decision to withdraw the charge, Sabourin said, “I don’t believe they felt it was in the public’s interest, particularly in view of the fact the first charge was a Practising Witchcraft charge which days afterwards was removed from the books because it was seen as so archaic and not applicable to our Canadian laws.
“The Crown supplanted that with a (charge of) fraud under ($5,000), and from my perspective, there certainly wasn’t evidence to support that.”

Butch said it’s an old trick amongst competing psychics to send a friend or family member for a reading and then have them go to the police alleging fraud in hopes that it will discredit the competitor and hurt their business. Butch admitted, after the charges were laid, “I was in a daze because I didn’t understand what was going on because none of my customers were bothering me, or threatening me or was trying to report me or even asking me for refunds.

“I think the Crown attorney finally realized, and possibly the judge realized, that this is two psychics at war, which is an old witch’s tale in a small town. This happens when you have two psychics in a small town.”

So the accuser is going to be charged with making a false police report, right? I actually have no idea how they do things in Canada, but it seems to me that would be the sort of thing that would keep "psychic wars" from happening again.

At any rate, as I've mentioned previously I don't have a problem with legal charges for psychics who run scams that defraud their clients. But those cases should be handled under fraud statutes, as it is now being done under current law. Under the old law, apparently, all they had to do was prove someone was working as a psychic or fortune-teller to get a conviction, and that's what made the law so dumb. Fraud is fraud, whether anything psychic or magical is involved, and you should have to prove it using evidence of the crime rather than being able to go after someone based on their spiritual beliefs.

I'm glad that Canada finally came to its senses with regard to the witchcraft law. Its repeal was long overdue.

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