Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Bad Devil Worshipper

And by bad, I don't mean evil. I mean inept. This article from the sensationalistic Daily Mail asks the question - is a Satanic cult on the loose in rural Hampshire? As evidence, they cite several sheep that were found dead with pentagrams and the number 666 spray-painted on them, and vandalism of a local church that consisted of spray-painted pentagrams, the number 666, and inverted crosses. But if they're talking about an organized cult, or even a real occultist, the answer is a flat-out no. I'll explain as I go through the article.

Rounding up the hefty sheep that graze half-wild on this unfenced expanse is no easy task, even for an experienced shepherd. But somehow they managed to capture one: a pretty black-faced ewe.

The ewe’s owners, Colin Barnes, 76, and his partner Heather Miles, 68 (so-called ‘commoners’ entitled to rear animals in the forest under an ancient law), called her ‘Fluffy’. She was kept for breeding and would have roamed contentedly for the rest of her days. Yet with one precise thrust of a long, very sharp knife, the couple’s sheep was callously dispatched.

As Fluffy bled slowly to death, the attacker used blue aerosol paint to defile her with satanic symbols. A pentagram (five-pointed star) was drawn on her thick fleece, and 666 — supposedly the Devil’s number — on her ear.

While this is clearly the work of a sicko going around looking for animals to kill, I'll point out the first clue that this is no real occultist. The spray paint was blue. It's no coincidence that pentagrams are normally drawn in red. Red = Geburah, strength or power, in the Qabalistic system used by magicians. Geburah is associated with the color red and the number five. The angel of Geburah is Samael or Zamael, often associated with Shaitan or Satan (which is a title meaning "accuser," not a proper name).

Blue, on the other hand, is Chesed, mercy, and is associated with the number four. Mercy is not very Satanic, all things considered, especially given that the sheep was killed. So no occultist would use blue spray paint by choice. If they thought it mattered, they would almost certainly go out and buy the right color. At the very least they could have used black, which is associated with Saturn and the angel of death.

Drawing on a small cigar, Mr Barnes interjects: ‘Whether it’s Devil-worship or some nutcase with a big knife, it’s bloody worrying because where will it stop? It could be a dog-walker or a cyclist next. And what might they do if someone catches them at it?’ His concern is understandable, for Fluffy’s slaughter on November 12 was only the first in a series of six ghoulish incidents in Bramshaw and its environs over a nine-day period that sent a frisson of fear through the village.

The next morning, one of the cows that graze the bracken-covered fields and copses, a 250lb heifer, returned from its nightly wanderings with a deep gash in its neck. Owner Kay Harrison believes it was wounded by the same attacker. That same day, eight miles away in Linwood, commoner Mark Deacon found two of his ‘stores’ — young male cattle — with deep wounds that a vet judged had probably been caused by a knife.

Here's how we know this is an individual and not an organized cult. Sheep are docile and a single person with a big knife could kill one fairly easily if they had some basic knowledge of anatomy. Cattle are much larger and more difficult to subdue. A group of people working together would probably be necessary to get the job done, and what we see is that the cattle were attacked but merely wounded. So the attackers failure means that they are likely just one person.

The most recent animal victim was discovered by a woman walking her dog at 7.30am on Tuesday, November 19. As she made her way up a lane she saw a dead sheep, lying strangely with its legs splayed, on a grass verge. Again, it had been fatally stabbed with one accurate thrust of a blade. Again, it had been daubed with a pentagram and other occult signs. And again it belonged to Colin Barnes and Heather Miles.

The previous Saturday, November 16, there had been another disquieting discovery. Making his way towards St Peter’s, the quaint medieval church on a promontory overlooking Bramshaw, verger John Nash saw to his disgust that nearby road signs and a noticeboard in the churchyard had been defaced with occult insignia, including the number 666. He cleaned the paint off, only to find, when he returned four days later, that the 13th-century church itself had been desecrated.

‘They had used a gold aerosol to spray upside-down crosses and phallic symbols on all four doors and a window,’ says Mr Nash, 70. ‘I used some white spirit and got it off but you can still see a mark in the oak of the main door. ‘Whether they are pranksters or Devil-worshippers, they should get a life. We are just going to carry on as normal. We’re not going to let anyone interfere with the life of the church.’

This is probably the work of the same person, and this individual is no prankster. The animal killings are a sign that a budding violent psychopath is on the loose, and they often graduate from killing animals to killing people, or at least trying to. This individual is almost certainly at least potentially dangerous. But they also aren't an occultist. The selection of spray paint is like what somebody might have laying around their garage, not colors specially selected for some ritual purpose.

Hampshire police are investigating whether there are links between the ‘unusual’ incidents and urge anyone with information to come forward. But why do many people in Bramshaw genuinely fear that a modern-day Satanist has descended on them?

For one thing, almost all the villagers are acquainted with one another and nobody knows of a local who might do this for twisted kicks. ‘It’s absolutely not local kids,’ says Mike Mills, who runs the only shop. ‘The only gangs we get here are Romanians who come and strip the forest of mushrooms to sell to high-end London restaurants.’

But Rev Bacon says, the New Forest has longstanding links with witchcraft and some experts even regard it as the birthplace of the pre-Christian Wicca religion.

And Wicca has nothing to do with any of this. Wiccans don't "worship the Devil" or sacrifice animals. And no tradition I know of sacrifices them like what is going on here. My advice to these villagers is to think carefully about their neighbors. Psychopaths are about one percent of the population and Brawshaw's population is a little under 700, which means that statistically there should be 6 or 7 in the area. Contrary to what police procedurals will tell you, most psychopaths are not violent and never kill anything. But in this case it does only take one.

The occult elements here are so haphazard that if this is somebody who fancies themselves an occultist, they must be really, really stupid. Reading one beginner book on magick will point out that nothing like what's going on here ever works. In fact, for animal sacrifice to do much, the animals generally have to be offered to a particular spirit who likes such things. And I will point out the complete absence of sigils or names aside from "666" and some pentagrams. That's not enough to accomplish anything from a magical perspective.

This is why more people should understand how the paranormal arts really work. The article includes comments by a couple of practitioners pointing out that no, this isn't the work of an occultist - just " A weirdo with ‘issues’, corrupted by some sensationalised occult book or horror film." I tend to concur, though I suspect popular culture is more at work here than any particular book or movie. In particular, the absence of even beginner-level occult knowledge doesn't really scream "reader" to me.

What I will say is that I hope this individual is caught and caught soon, before they can do any more damage to the local livestock. Then we'll see for ourselves what sort of person we are dealing with.

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1 comment:

Alex Scaraoschi said...

I hope you will be covering future events on this subject. I'm interested if and when the idiot(s) who did this will get caught. Thank you!