Villagers Burn Another Woman As a Witch

180px-lassa_witch_doctorsAround the world, there seems to be an increase in witch burnings, or at least the reporting of such crimes. Recently. a stampede was caused in the Congo due to a rumor of witchcraft in the area. The latest incident occurred in Papua New Guinea where villagers bound, gagged, and then tied a woman to a log — and then burned her alive.

The country is reportedly experiencing a rash of such burnings of both men and women accused of sorcery. Any unexplained death is treated as a likely case of sorcery.

Last year alone, 50 people were killed in this fashion. Last year, a bizarre case drew international attention. A woman gave birth to a baby while she swas being hung from a tree. Villagers suspected the woman and her husband of witchcraft and accused them of causing the death of a neighbor recently. They were pulled from their house and hanged from the tree. By some miracle, they were able to loosen the ropes so that they feet touched the ground. In the process, she gave birth to a baby girl and all three survived.

Recently, the prevalence of witch hunting was highlighted when a minister in the church Gov. Sarah Palin (who she had praised) termed out to be a witch hunter from Africa.

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6 thoughts on “Villagers Burn Another Woman As a Witch”

  1. Give a people a religion, and I’ll show you evil inhuman acts, in it’s name.

  2. Gyges,

    Pep rallies were one of my favorite parts of high school. They were great cover for ditching the building and going for a walk! All that rah, rah crap is a wonderful distraction. I think you make a good point. A Plaestinian said on the BBC today that people can choose peace in a heart beat and they can also choose war. Happy Birthday to you and your wife’s sweetie!!!

  3. Jill,

    I think history has shown that it’s easier to lead people against something than towards it. Look at how many of the “great leaders” of history were military. For that matter, go to a high school “pep rally,” and see how just what percentage is “go us” and what percentage is “our rival teams are bad.”

  4. This book is written by a person I would call a meglomaniac still it’s interesting. Here’s a quote from buyology: “The more unpredictable the world becomes, the more we grope for a sense of control over our lives. And the more anxiety and uncertainty we feel, the more we adopt superstitious behavior and rituals to help shepherd us through.” (pp 90-92)

    Then you have to look at each society’s and individual’s “boogieman”. Women as a group are the frequent “boogiemen” in many cultures. Witchcraft is an accepted reality in the cultures mentioned above. Evil Arab Terrorists (or EATs) are a widely accepted reality in the US now, hence recent airline behavior.

    I believe social leaders take advantage of chaos and how it effects people. This goes to people’s willingness to torture others in studies and in uncontrolled, real life situations. Unless people stand back and realize they are under stress and thus vunerable to irrational thinking and actions, we will all be more likely to do things we shouldn’t. The only answer to this is more knowledge, both of ourselves and scientific reality.

  5. I wonder what would happen if Ann Coulter’s publisher set up a book signing tour in Papua New Guinea.

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