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#59402 - 09/23/11 11:37 AM Writer Fired After Satanism Row
Alex Crowley Offline
member


Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Johannesburg, South Africa
I found this article online and thought it might be of interest to some people here. I remember this caused a huge uproar in South Africa and a lot of text messages started flying around asking for the boycott of the newspaper.

Unfortunately, that's Christian paranoia for ya.

 Originally Posted By: Writer fired after Satanism row
Johannesburg - Afrikaans
newspaper Rapport has scrapped writer Deon Maas's column after his piece on Satanism prejudiced the paper's commercial interests, its editor said on Thursday.

Following the appearance of the opinion piece on November 4, readers started an SMS campaign calling for a boycott of sales on Sunday, said Tim du Plessis in a statement.

"The campaign then targeted Rapport's distributors and agents. It prejudiced Rapport's commercial interests."

Scores of the newspaper's regular readers reacted and the newspaper took their points of view into account.

"Rapport is committed to media freedom, the free expression of opinions and robust debate. The orchestrated boycott campaign however altered the nature of the question from one of freedom of expression to one of commercial interests," said Du Plessis.

In his article Maas wrote that Satanism was "just a different philosophy".

"Satan does not necessarily represent evil, it is just a different philosophy. You still pray, but only to another god.

"If Muslims think they are having a hard time, they should look at Satanism. They really have a bad deal."

He said the Constitution gave people the freedom to practice the religion of their choice.

Du Plessis said the newspaper would explain its action in more detail on Sunday.


Source: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Writer-fired-after-Satanism-row-20071115

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#59415 - 09/23/11 07:17 PM Re: Writer Fired After Satanism Row [Re: Alex Crowley]
Rein Offline
stranger


Registered: 09/17/11
Posts: 23
Loc: Richmond, VA
I can see the point that writers like this try to make. To bring what they have found to the public light, to spread the truth that they have found for themselves. This is a news writer’s job, unfortunately, when it comes to being a Satanist, it can become more of a negative than a positive if not properly thought through.

Any country can have freedom of religion if it is sought by the public strongly enough. Though with that comes the possibility of a majority view. Depending on where you are in the world some religions will be the prominent belief through the country, regardless of if they have the freedom of religion or not.

Being aware of this fact is crucial for people who write for the public, know that the majority will either be for you or against you depending on your presentation to them. In this case, the majority of the country was more than likely against what the writer had published. While we can blame the mass reaction and the personal views of his employer easily, let’s look into it a bit deeper.

What really happened? A writer wrote a story on Satanism in a place that he “should” know what the majority of his audience believed. Your position is to write for that audience, because of that, you have to take the reaction of your writings into account as well. In this case the writer wrote something that he should know the majority would not accept or be against to the full extent it could, hence the text message boycott attempt. If you are going to do something that you know could be have negative reactions, be prepared that both the public and your employers can find you a liability. A news paper or any magazine is only as good as it’s following of subscribers. If your employers believe that it will give their publication bad press and a bad image, you will be cut.

If he did research LaVey Satanism, which it doesn’t sound like he did from the excerpts, he should have also found the line “Responsibility to the Responsible”. Anyone can blame religious paranoia for their misfortune, but in the end, it was this writers fault for being let go. He was responsible for his own words and views that he wrote in the article, and should take the responsibility that he may get fired for causing a bad image in the publication. While he may not have meant to offend, he should have at least guessed that his area’s religious majority would react in some negative manner.

Freedom of speech and religion is great, but the majority view will always come into play at some point. Be aware of it and be prepared to accept the result of your actions.
_________________________
"Responsibility to the responsible"

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#59429 - 09/24/11 03:10 AM Re: Writer Fired After Satanism Row [Re: Rein]
Alex Crowley Offline
member


Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Johannesburg, South Africa
I've talked to the author very briefly once or twice and found him to be a really interesting person. I'd say he's fairly respected as a writer and once the whole post-article hysteria died down it didn't do any lasting damage to his career.

He's known for being thought provoking (and maybe the only reason he wrote about Satanism in the first place was just to stir up a media frenzy). The whole thing went away and eventually people forgot about it and started obsessing about something else. A few years after that another campaign was going around to boycott the cinemas showing His Dark Materials because someone concluded it's Satanic.

It's strange how often freedom of religion seems to apply only to Christianity (or at least whatever it is the majority believe at the time).

Mention "Satanism" here and the first picture people get involves people in black robes slaughtering cats around Halloween or those Satanists who are out to get their children. Wiccans have it hard enough around Christians here, nevermind those who are openly Satanic. Arguably this can be blamed on Christian misinformation and the fact that people never quite got over the Satanic Panic and still think a kid who killed someone and happened to have a Ouija board represents Satanism as a whole. Up until a few years ago the police still had a division for occult crimes and regularly consulted "occult expert" Dr. Kobus Jonker (an almost fanatical Christian).

I've mentioned this in another thread, but the most open I am about Satanism is the fact that my website links back to The 600 Club and the FSC through banners in the sidebar. I think most people who regularly visit it probably got the hint already. Besides that I've mentioned it publicly a few times and most people responded positively to it. I've even had a few discussions with Christian ministers who wanted to know more about LaVey or who wanted to know what I thought of it. Surprisingly nobody has tried to convert me so far.

Maybe it's just the fact that I have a lot of open-minded friends who might not always agree with me but are willing to listen.

I've considered writing about Satanism myself, mainly to get people's thoughts and to finally get rid of the bullshit people are constantly fed about Satanism. I have to wonder, will I be writing for the majority or will I be writing for those who actually know what Satanism is beyond what they've read in the Bible? The people who are going to be deeply shocked and offended and throw Bibles the moment I mention Satanism are probably the people I wouldn't associate with in the first place - they barely understand the articles I've written on other subjects and I don't expect them to understand the rest.

Or maybe I'll just need another pseudonym. ;\)

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#59532 - 09/27/11 12:29 AM Re: Writer Fired After Satanism Row [Re: Alex Crowley]
The Zebu Offline
senior member


Registered: 08/08/08
Posts: 1640
Loc: Orlando, FL
 Quote:
Up until a few years ago the police still had a division for occult crimes and regularly consulted "occult expert" Dr. Kobus Jonker (an almost fanatical Christian).


This is rather common in the US. Narrow-minded Christians parade around calling themselves "occult experts", and blame everything on Satanism and Afro-Hispanic religions. Without fail, they are completely ignorant about occultism and minority traditions, and usually get all of their information from outdated sources dating back to the Satanic-Panic era.

Cheap newspaper writers make the situation worse, since more press is given to stories that "might" have an "occult connection", even if said connection is flimsy or nonexistent.
_________________________
«Recibe, ¡oh Lucifer! la sangre de esta víctima que sacrifico en tu honor.»

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#59539 - 09/27/11 02:47 AM Re: Writer Fired After Satanism Row [Re: The Zebu]
Alex Crowley Offline
member


Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Johannesburg, South Africa
 Originally Posted By: The Zebu
This is rather common in the US. Narrow-minded Christians parade around calling themselves "occult experts", and blame everything on Satanism and Afro-Hispanic religions. Without fail, they are completely ignorant about occultism and minority traditions, and usually get all of their information from outdated sources dating back to the Satanic-Panic era.

A while back there was still a minister who performed exorcisms and went to people's houses to remove anything that might draw evil spirits (incense, wind chimes, heavy metal music, all the evils of the world ;\) ). After the church threw him out he just started his own with a loyal following of sheep. I talked to him once and asked him why Jesus and Lucifer are referred to by the same names (among other things). To put it mildly, he was clueless about his own religion, let alone others.

What bothers me most isn't the fact that there are people crazy enough to claim they're "occult experts" based on knowing nothing, it's the fact that the police actually took these people seriously. I figure if you really want to know something about an occult crime, find people who studied the occult and can look at something outside of a paranoid Christian view.

 Originally Posted By: The Zebu
Cheap newspaper writers make the situation worse, since more press is given to stories that "might" have an "occult connection", even if said connection is flimsy or nonexistent.

Exactly. Whenever they find something "occult" near a murder scene immediately it becomes an occult crime to the media. Ouija boards, black candles, even heavy metal posters somehow count. People seem to love this kind of thing and in the end some disturbed kid represents Satanism as a whole to the public.

Also, why aren't there ever "Christian murders"?

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#59542 - 09/27/11 09:47 AM Re: Writer Fired After Satanism Row [Re: Alex Crowley]
Rein Offline
stranger


Registered: 09/17/11
Posts: 23
Loc: Richmond, VA
 Originally Posted By: Alex Crowley
Exactly. Whenever they find something "occult" near a murder scene immediately it becomes an occult crime to the media. Ouija boards, black candles, even heavy metal posters somehow count. People seem to love this kind of thing and in the end some disturbed kid represents Satanism as a whole to the public.

Also, why aren't there ever "Christian murders"?


It is very easy for those in christian and more right hand paths to blame something they do not fully understand and do not like. A murder that takes place, where the situation surrounding it is not fully clear, it can put both the public and the investigators mind at ease if they were to find something from the occult to blame the whole thing on. Most already believe that occult activities and objects can cause negative action and are evil. How do you get the general public to feel more at ease about convicting someone? Give them something that proves to their mind that the person is "evil" and stir their fears. Conversely, to help polarize the jury or public feelings towards two parties it is easiest to use the largest general definitions of good and evil present in the populous. In most cases this will be the "good" Christian party, and the "evil" occult or Satanic party.

There have been many Christian based groups in history that were murderers and have done much more harm than a lot of the supposed occult terrorists out there. One of the most notable examples is the KKK, though there were other just as extreme groups. The "Army of God" is a good example of such, attacking doctors and abortion clinics to oppose abortion.

One particular one that sticks in my mind is the "Concerned Christians" group that was sent away from Israel for planning to attack the holy sites in Jerusalem.
_________________________
"Responsibility to the responsible"

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