Saturday, August 16, 2008

It Matters Because...again

Read this:

Satanism linked to suicides of two girls

MESSAGE: The note left by Ntombikayise Tshabalala.

Grieving mother

Parents of two schoolgirls who committed suicide in Soweto are worried after one of them left a note indicating she was involved with a satanic cult.

“I am tired of this satanism. I can’t leave them, so I am hanging myself,” the note left by Ntombikayise Tshabalala read.

The 17-year-old girl killed herself on Tuesday afternoon.

Yesterday her young neighbour Delisile Mbhadane, 12, also hanged herself.

She had asked her mother whether she had heard of Ntombikayise killing herself and about her note.

Her mother, Busisiwe Mbhadane, told Sowetan that her daughter asked her: “Mother, what would you do if I hanged myself?”

Mbhadane answered that she would give her a hiding.

The girls lived 20metres apart in Zola 2, Soweto.

Tshabalala was a Grade 10 pupil at Lavela Secondary School while Mbhadane was in Grade 5 at Zola Higher Primary School.

Nomakhosi Tshabalala, Ntombikayise’s mother, said: “I cannot explain what I am feeling. I am trying to be strong for my other two kids.

Ntombikayise has mentioned this satanism church before. We never took her seriously.

“She came home from school as usual on Tuesday and I sent her to the shops.

“When she came back she went straight to her room.”

Tshabalala said 20 minutes later when they checked she was hanging by her shoelaces from an electrical bar on the wall.

Mbhadane’s daughter was found hanging by a tie in a friend’s shack a few streets away from home.

“It baffles me. Delisile was a happy child. She loved playing and dancing,” she said.

The deaths of the two girls have caused a stir in the community and speculation is rife that a ring recruiting the youth to the cult is operating in the area.

Community members and Tshabalala said they know of people in this ring.

Police inspector Kay Makhubela said: “This is a serious concern to us.

“We don’t know why two youngsters would kill themselves within such a short space of time .

“We are investigating and an inquest docket has been opened,” Makhubela said.

Article Tools

Another reason I am so against using the word "Satanism" to describe anything other than the codified religion founded by Anton LaVey is because it gives credence to the above.

If these teens had actually been exposed to The Satanic Bible or they would be aware that suicide is NOT Satanic, at all. "Life is the great indulgence, death is the great abstinence," is Satanic dogma. We have no patience for those who have allowed their lives to become so boring/damaged/mundane that they kill themselves.

Granted, these two were very young and, frankly, live in a place that is so backwards that my first thought upon reading this was "ah, well, two less savages in the world!"* Africa is so rife with superstitions and literal belief structures that from a religious standpoint they barely have philosophical running water.

Yet the suicides of these two girls will do nothing more than continue that savage tradition. The people there will continue to believe "Satanism" = "devil worship," and is dangerous. The tragedy is that these are the very people genuine Satanism would be helpful to. By accepting personal responsibility, getting off their knees, and striving for their personal best without expecting gods or devils to intercede, they could lift themselves out of the dark ages and feel the pride and power that comes with knowing they did it all themselves!

If there is one issue above all else that Satanists should work for--other than their own personal best interests, of course, it is NEVER letting devil worship/heresy/traditional or theistic "Satanism" be said/written/reported about without clarifying that it is not Satanism, at all. We must continually protect out good name so that we stop being the ultimate scapegoat for the weak!

*Please don't deluge me with accusations of racism. People who do this kind of stupid shit are savages, regardless of race.


Jeremy said...

Oh come on Ygraine! How can you bring up TS as the cause for two weakwilled, albeit young, idiots bailing out on life. The article mentions a 'satanism church' and us theistic satanists aren't as organized as you moderns with your fancy CoS!

Granted, I think it is bullshit that satanism is blamed for this. I'd bet dollars to donuts that this story wouldn't have been very widely spread if they had killed themselves in the name of some godling.

You've mentioned yourself that the CoS doesn't own the word 'satanist' and I know you feel like they should, but while they don't all of us satanist need to work towards keeping the bullshit bad raps out of the press. That I completely agree with you, I've even blogged about it last week -

Magistra_Y said...

I understand your point, Jeremy. BUT, here is mine:

1. If the word SATANISM meant only one thing--and obviously you know the one thing I am pulling for---then this wouldn't even be a blip on the radar, because all would know that Satanism isn't about THIS. People have a blanket concept of what "Christian" means, and most people, when they see Christian atrocities say "well, they weren't REAL Christians," and the religion of Christianity suffers not at all, because of the conventional understanding of the word. My contention is that "Satanism," if we limit it's use to the codified religion of Satanism in The Satanic Bible, could eventually be granted the same grace: An automatic understanding that certain acts are not Satanic!

2. As long as any religion accepts a "higher," supernatural, power, the weak will be/can be manipulated to perform any act for or against said higher power. Only an atheistic religion can credibly assert that no prayer, spell, wish , and most importantly, sacrifice, of self or others, will ever be necessary or approved of.

Jeremy said...

Ok, I understand what you are saying but I think you are being a little limited in your view.

1. Christianity does mean many things to many people and so different sects can be seen different theologically from each other while still remaining under the umbrella of 'Christianity'. This is possible because of it does have core beliefs that does define it as a whole. No one church 'owns' these core beliefs and they are widespread enough that society as a whole can identify what is christian and what is not christian.

Satanism can be like this, but our core beliefs just haven't been codified like other religions. I know you are thinking - that we can if all satanists either conform to the CoS or stop calling ourselves satanists. I don't think that is ever going to happen, so we might all have to get together are maybe work all this out. That might not happen either! Maybe we could just educate the stupid...

I know I'm being crazily hopeful, but what do you suggest?

2. The weak will always be manipulated, belief in a higher power or not. If it is not 'in the name of' some godthing then it will be for some other reason.

Malign Presence said...

I have to agree with Jeremy here. Given that the term 'satanism' does predate the Church of Satan, and it's partially by the fact that the term had a broad (and salacious) meaning that LaVey was successful in spreading his message as far as he did. [1] It would be *impossible* now to convert the use of that word to a restricted context, harder even than getting cheese manufacturers to stop using the word "Cheddar" for a type of sharp, firm, dark cheese, solely because it wasn't made in England. (Mind you, I know that similar cases have been before the WTO, but they have had limited success in implementation.)

On a tangent: does the Church use stories like this as an opportunity to issue press releases? If so, does the press ever take note of them?

[1] That obviously isn't the only reason; there was surely a lot of hard work involved in many ways, and by many people, but the broad power of the word "satanic" surely didn't hurt when trying to draw the type of attention LaVey was seeking.

Magistra_Y said...

A religion is an organization of people who have accepted a distinct dogma, a position on deity, they possibility of an afterlife, and some form, or lack thereof of retribution or karma.

Never in history has any group done the above and called themselves Satanists prior to LaVey.

See my recent blog for my position.

Malign Presence said...

I understand, and agree, and perhaps I wasn't clear. I didn't intend to debate whether the Church should be allowed to claim ownership the term "Satanism" (a question of intellectual property on which I may have an opinion, but did not intend to debate with my post.)

The more interesting point is one of practicality; that is to say, even if you did have exclusive domain over the term, how could you possibly enforce it? Even if you had a machine that could spit out cease-and-desist letters at an an alarming pace, the simple "fair use" problems, the litigation costs, the stream of unpublished or low-volume communication that continued propagate the offensive meaning, would exhaust all resources without resolve.

My question, then, is that even if you could fight such a battle, would it be worth it? Perhaps there may be another strategy that achieves the desired result at a lesser cost?

Magistra_Y said...

"The more interesting point is one of practicality; that is to say, even if you did have exclusive domain over the term, how could you possibly enforce it? "

LaVey noted that the first hundred years of a new religion are the hardest.

To answer your question--we can't. We can only chip away at the offenses bit by bit.

At some point, no doubt long after I am dead, only the truly ignorant will think of Satanism as anything other than what it truly is.

We're actually seeing this with Wiccan witchcraft, btw. Almost 30 years ago when I started out, NO ONE outside of the neo-Pagan movement thought witchcraft was anything BUT malevolent. Now it is one of the fastest growing religions in the country and most educated people know what it is.

One thing is certain--because the CoS does not recruit, does not believe in literal protesting. etc...our only avenue to get the message across is to deal on a defensive level--to correct mistakes after they happen.


Ayur Freelance said...

Great blog I enjoyed reading it

Featured Post

 7th Annual Wicked Witch of the Year Lizzie Hendrix