Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Some Seriously Bad Magick

A North Carolina couple have been charged with kidnapping, rape and assault in connection with their involvement in a supposed Satanic cult. I'm flashing back on the late 1980's when "Satanic Ritual Abuse" first appeared. People initially took it seriously, but it later turned out that most of the allegations of abuse had been fabricated by therapists who used hypnosis to create false memories. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case here.

What does strike me as strange about the case is the "Satanic cult" angle. No "cult" organization is named by the investigators. Neither the husband nor the wife appear to have been members of the Church of Satan or Temple of Set, the only two organizations of any size that to my way of thinking could be considered "Satanic" in the usual vernacular. In fact, the only statement in the article related to Satanism is this:

Prosecutors said a man and a woman met [the husband] through a shared interest in Satan worship, but the pair never consented to physical abuse.

This sounds to me like the "cult" was essentially limited to the four people involved in the case, but of course it's more sensational from the point of view of the media to imply that some sort of larger group was involved. Since this is a statement from the prosecution, not the victims themselves, it's also hard to say whether "magical" and "Satanic" are being confused. This wouldn't be the first time law enforcement has done that.

According to the husband's web site he is "a devout student of magick." Well, if this is his idea of a magical ritual, he's not devout enough.

[the husband] shackled his victims to beds, kept them in dog cages and starved them inside his Albany Street home, prosecutors said. He was charged with beating the man with a cane and a cord and with raping the woman.

Where to begin... no statement of intent, no ritual forms, tools consisting of a cane and an electrical cord? I seriously want to know who this idiot studied with so I can avoid their other students. Or is he just a BDSM enthusiast who thinks talking about magick makes him "edgy?"

Because that's really what this case sounds like - a BDSM situation gone very, very bad. I have no problem with safe, sane, and consensual BDSM, but if the victims were pushed past agreed-upon boundaries the charges are more than justified. I just don't see where Satanism or magick figures into it, aside from helping the media sell more newspapers.

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