Oh, that Black Magic…

Bahrain Urged to Crack Down on Black Magic

By Benjamin Radford, LiveScience Bad Science Columnist   |
Bad-science
a sorcerer's table

   Modern witches are often adherents of Wicca, which was recognized by a 1986 Court of Appeals as a legitimate religion. Though Wiccans believe in magic, the form of witchcraft they practice has little or nothing to do with Satan. Credit: Irina Mosina | Shutterstock

An official in Bahrain has demanded that his government take steps to warn its citizens about the dangers of witchcraft and crack down on its practice.

Bahrain is hardly alone in its embrace of, or perhaps belief in, witches and black magic, as places such as Saudi Arabia, Africa and Papua New Guinea have long tossed accusations of dark arts’ practices at purported sorcerers. In fact, a Gallup poll in 2010 found that half of respondents in sub-Saharan Africa said they personally believe in witchcraft. That number varied across Africa, ranging from 15 percent in Uganda to 95 percent in Ivory Coast. Such beliefs in witchcraft have led to horrific murders and mutilations, as well as dangerous medical practices (as carried out by so-called witch doctors).

The newest claim came from parliament member Mohammed Buqais, who blasted his government for its failure to raise awareness about the threat of black magic to Bahraini citizens, and especially its children. “I studied in school for 12 years and worked as a teacher for 15 years, but never came across any subject that addresses sorcery or witchcraft,” said Buqais, as quoted by The Gulf Daily News. “This means the government is failing to raise awareness.” [What’s Witchcraft? 6 Misconceptions About Wiccans]

As an example of the power of sorcery, he related a story of a wife who consulted a witch doctor for help in making her husband obedient. The sorcerer gave her a magic ritual to follow — one that included contaminating his meals with her blood. The result, Buqais claimed, was that the man became paralyzed and has remained so since 2006. Despite a presumable lack of verified medical documentation proving that magic did, indeed, cause the man’s paralysis, the parliament member asserted that “families have been broken apart” because of such practices.

Buqais requested that law-enforcement authorities crack down on practitioners of black magic. In response, a justice minister suggested that even though Bahraini police do arrest and prosecute accused witches, the country’s religious leaders should make more of an effort to denounce sorcery.

The practice of witchcraft became a criminal offense in Bahrain in 2010, with those convicted facing fines, imprisonment or both. Though witchcraft arrests and trials are rare in Bahrain itself, they are more common in Saudi Arabia, its large and influential neighbor located just off the small island nation’s shores. Last year, a Saudi Arabian man was beheaded for practicing sorcery; he was allegedly found with an occult apparatus, including “books and talismans from which he learned to harm God’s worshipers,” according to a statement released by the Saudi Interior Ministry.

A year before, in December 2011, an accused witch was beheaded after being convicted of practicing “witchcraft and sorcery,” according to the Saudi Interior Ministry. Across the Persian Gulf in Iran, associates of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were accused in 2011 of being sorcerers and even summoning genies by influential clerics in that country.

Many Muslims — like many fundamentalist Christians — consider fortune-telling and witchcraft occult practices and therefore evil. Making a psychic prediction or using magic (or even claiming to do so) is seen as invoking occult and diabolical forces.

These accusations may seem to some like antiquated superstitions, but belief in black magic and witchcraft is widespread in many parts of the world. Accusations of witchcraft are not unheard of, and — just as happened in the Salem Witch Trials in the 1600s — are often used as a pretext for personal and political attacks.

Benjamin Radford, M. Ed., is deputy editor of “Skeptical Inquirer” science magazine and author of six books, including “The Martians Have Landed! A History of Media Panics and Hoaxes.” His website is www.BenjaminRadford.com.

– See more at: http://www.livescience.com/41938-black-magic-crackdown-bahrain.html#sthash.5XvAzPpL.dpuf

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15 thoughts on “Oh, that Black Magic…

  1. He told me to. Really he did. Just because he was high, on tons of pain killers, and it was like 5:00 a.m. this morning is no excuse for his memory loss.

  2. Well, I just have to comment. Orgasm! WTF! TMI!!!
    I seriously believe there is so much right here on this green/blue and sometimes brown, planet, I ain’t got time to be worrin’ ’bout some aliens (unless the be the ugly ones from Alien) or life on other planets. In fact, and this is my own simple opinion, I often think the only reason we are searching (and spending a ton of friggin’ money on this) for life on other planets, is so we can conquer them, and take their planet. Make sense? I bet that is the first thing the U.S. leaders would think of, and who, I ask WHO, is paying the most in the damn Space Programs? Yea, ya’ with me now?
    I give credence (and would love to see Creed, or just be with Scott Stapp (see Pinterest page ‘My Menions’ for explanation or just keep up with my damn blog!)) to ghosts, shadow people, all kinds of stuff on earth long before I am worrying about aliens. Well, that one Shaun showed me of it crawling down the damn building kind’a scared me some. Yeah, if you don’t know what I am referring to, I can forward the info to you. You need to keep up here, and quit with the sappy poetry. Not really, ya’ know I’z only funnin’ wit’ cha’ right?
    There is a hell of a lot I don’t know about Asian religions and spirituality, and frankly, I think they could teach us all a few (hundred million) things, if we would only listen. There is a reason they stayed away from the Europeans, They Was Too Damn Dense! Their roots go way deep, into the earth and all living things working as one. Sort of like the Wood Wide Web thingy I posted the other day. Keep up…..
    Ok, I posted the black magic one to Shaun’s FB, don’t want to get things like that on mine, too many Christians who might get offended and mum.

    Oh, totally off subject, I told mum that over x-mas my sisters domestic violence ass was going to ask her domestic violence ass to marry him. Nobody wanted to tell me I was right, nooooo, but I found out today, by eavesdropping of course (I was feeding the crew, honest) that he did. Haven’t said anything to mum yet, she will defend my sister’s domestic violence ass. I have no clue what she will tell him, or if she has told him an answer already, didn’t listen that far (see, I told you it was totally by accident. A real eavesdrop would have listened to find out the answer. ;p ). The thing is, since she isn’t raising my nephew anymore (which she did a shitty job of, I might add), I don’t really care much. She knows what she is getting into, way more than mum or me.
    So, there, I told you I was psycik, pysik, physic, oh hell, you get me. I am tired.

    Peace & Love

  3. Oh, missus, you end me!
    I just love your mind! There’s a whole convoluted thing going on there that I sooooo get.
    I don’t know jack shit about the ins and outs of it all. More bits and pieces of the magic of life and how I perceive it. What I do ‘know’ is that we know nothing. Not a tiny bit of what passes for spirituality. When I am moved in spirit I still know it is a fraction of what is the ultimate. Like an orgasm that could last longer than the norm. Wtf! Get out of my head whoever you are!
    Seriously, Rene, the world and all the spiritual matter that encompasses what we perceive reality and spirituality to be is like a dot on some landscape we hope to follow one day.
    In the meantime I’m flying by the seat of my pants with a spirituality inculcated in my faith that doesn’t exclude others but encompasses a vast array of awareness.
    You, my lovely friend, are an example of god on earth revealed in wonder. I am astounded at your essence. And long may it continue.
    Ain’t the world a glorious place to belong? I think . 🙂 x

  4. We never left it, it just got changed to look all nice at the party. I have studied history quite thoroughly, especially in the area of justice and crimes, and we never really changed. Instead of the rack, we use, well in America we just say they had a gun and were crazy or they are a ‘suspected’ terrorist, that usually does the trick. Then the whole damn nation hates them before they even go to court. They often make the cover of Time though. Other countries have their methods. Yeah we don’t throw people to the tigers to be eaten, but we throw nonviolent criminals in prison with extremely violent, and often disturbed, criminals. Same thing, or maybe ours is actually worse. Many times in history you will see where a social system will make the petty criminals work, often like friggin’ slaves, but they are out, alive. We take them all, throw them all together, and hope they actually use the Darwinian method and the strongest survive. One isn’t any better than the other.
    We still go with the premise that a woman should be a virgin to be married (the whole white dress and veil symbolism), as did many cultures prior to us. We still hold that for the most part, being gay is bad. Still held right here in ye old America (Utah). The poor and orphaned will always be to blame for anything that goes wrong in a community, or social system. Look at Brittan right now: they are trying, or some of the leaders, are attempting to blame all the woes of their social system on the minorities and immigrants. What about what went into their pockets? Hmmm. It is all around us. We just have to be watchful and try to see what is real, and not just made to be pretty at the party.
    Peace & Love

  5. Well, missy, “I’m gonna’ put a spell on you…” No, seriously, I am with ya’ 100%. I have dabbled in Wicca, in fact my black cat’s name is Wicca. Coincidence? I think not.
    What I get here are people who simply don’t understand, and others who are willing to use any means to control or put fears into others (the black witches and the leaders). I love when people say that now we have medicine and we have doctors *all said while pushing out my chest, lowering my chin, and using a deep voice*. In the old days, when Wicca was used for healing, the cure would not always work. Sometimes the person was not totally honest with their symptoms, sometimes they didn’t take it right, and sometimes they just didn’t believe in it and persisted in the symptoms. Sound familiar? Yeah, like modern 21st century peoples. They could help with a periodic hangover, but you get them every damn Friday, well, you are on your own. The midwife or healer could help you with one or two unwanted pregnancies, but now you want to have children just like that? There is a price for all things, including what we do to the body.
    I have really read much, and even did quite a thesis on Wicca, so I feel some what of a para-authority on the subject. For 100 of years there were barbers, which cut your hair, but guess what, yeah, they also handled the leeches and bled you. Where did that come from? What were they thinking? ‘Oh, I might as well get bled while I am sitting there getting my hair cut.’ And, may I add, the barber had a friggin’ straight razor at your throat. I am thinking this was so not a good combination if your barber didn’t like you dating his daughter. Just sayin.
    Anyway, yes, for all things there is a direct, not round about, direct opposite. Black Magic (Majic, Majik) is practiced all over America (just look at the White House 😉 ). In Louisiana we have a more colorful name for it, and if you said Voodoo, you is WRONG!!!! Jerry, help the lady out! It is Hoodoo. But we have it in various other forms all over this great God Fearin’ Nation. Yeah, we do Bubba.
    Damn, I am just too silly tonight. Wiz and I just got done watching a Thai movie, which he said was Korean (don’t worry, Jerry helped him out as well). I knew it was Thai, well, because I looked at the lettering in the beginning and I just knew it was some form of Thai. I was so damn right. It was good, but Wiz can’t keep up with anything that isn’t French, so he dozed off. It was kinda’ British too, they kept saying “God save the Queen” and I don’t think they were talking about the band or some really nice looking guy.
    We can go on email if you want to know more about my research on this whole magic thingy. Be happy to oblige. I actually heard about them killing the woman and was appalled. Didn’t know about the man. One thing in their favor: head cutting off is way faster than burning at the stake or drowning. That one is a killer. They would tie a ‘witch’ up, say she was a witch (officially and legally accuse her, and no, she didn’t get to question her accusers), then they would put her in a friggin’ cold water way, and if she floated, she was a witch, hence she would burn! If she drown, well, then, she wasn’t a witch and it was all good. Drinks on me after this hard day in court! Either way, the chick lost. Where was the reasoning in that one? Had to have been a guy thing.
    I am here, M-Sun, 12/12, rain/shine (‘cept we never gets no rain here, what up wit’ dat’?).

    Peace & Love (and Spells, and Herbs, and Magic)

  6. I have huge issues with the practice of black magic. And do believe that it exists. Of course it exists. ‘For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’. The power of good exists as does the power that seeks to subvert good.
    I do though have other issues with anyone claiming that alternative form of worship and spiritual awareness are inherently ‘bad’.
    My understanding of Wicca is that there are those who embrace the wonders of Nature in its many multi-faceted forms. And see the majesty of a godhead through representation of this in Nature.
    Scientists are still uncovering or rediscovering arts known from before; that within the herbs and healing fields, all we need to cure many of our ailments already exist in forms that some inherently understand in nature. How many of our medicines are synthetic forms of what already occurs in nature? People were burned as witches whose only crime was an adherence to the natural order and understanding of what it offered.
    The whole ‘bubble, bubble, toil and trouble’ idea I believe was born from spey wives mixing and boiling herbs to cure ailments that plants had the capacity of doing.
    Now, not everyone who practises is an expert or ever has been. But neither does that mean that there does not exist within our world those who understand the elements of nature in its purest form and seek to help others through their understanding.

    Reading the article leaves me thinking that, of course, I don’t want voodoo dolls and needles piercing people to inflict injury or harm. But what’s the problem with those who understand the elements using them to succour the world?
    There is more between the stars and us that we do not understand. Absolutely, black magic exists as evil does. Absolutely, god reveals to many people in many different ways the path to find him. And he reveals to some alternative paths. Is that bad thinking like that? I don’t see it. But that’s just me, maybe.

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