Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Is this really 2008?

Bizarre is all I can say . . . .

Sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises
KINSHASA (Reuters) - Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft. Reports of so-called penis snatching are not uncommon in West Africa, where belief in traditional religions and witchcraft remains widespread, and where ritual killings to obtain blood or body parts still occur.

Rumors of penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo's sprawling capital of some 8 million inhabitants. They quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings.

Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure.

"You just have to be accused of that, and people come after you. We've had a number of attempted lynchings. ... You see them covered in marks after being beaten," Kinshasa's police chief, Jean-Dieudonne Oleko, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Police arrested the accused sorcerers and their victims in an effort to avoid the sort of bloodshed seen in Ghana a decade ago, when 12 suspected penis snatchers were beaten to death by angry mobs. The 27 men have since been released.

"I'm tempted to say it's one huge joke," Oleko said.

"But when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it's become tiny or that they've become impotent. To that I tell them, 'How do you know if you haven't gone home and tried it'," he said.

Some Kinshasa residents accuse a separatist sect from nearby Bas-Congo province of being behind the witchcraft in revenge for a recent government crackdown on its members.

"It's real. Just yesterday here, there was a man who was a victim. We saw. What was left was tiny," said 29-year-old Alain Kalala, who sells phone credits near a Kinshasa police station.


Greg said...

I hope you don't mind that I say I had to re-assure myself .. ahem - nevermind! lol

OMG its frightening how backwards some countries still are. I was reading a National Geographic magazine (yes I'm a geek) and was shocked that there were "priests" praying last year in an attempt to appease their volcano gawds from destroying their city. Of course, it didn't work, and the city was destroyed.

Probably cause it was the volcano gawd's will? Or maybe the priest didn't pray hard enough? Or maybe some other priest was praying harder for the city to actually be destroyed? Alas, we will never know.


Stardust said...

Greg, I thought of you when I read this story.

I think they probably use this as a psychological tool since most men "worship" their penises (hubby included).

It's mind-boggling the mental fuck games human beings play with one another to gain power and control over each other. African religions are quite bizarre and cruel. Nightmarish even. Then Christian missionaries go there and really screw things up because these people incorporate Christianity in with their own religions and you end up with something like Voo Doo where the Catholic religion and African religions are combined. Creepy.

Spirula said...

You realize, of course, that by the time you get to the end of your post on this, the previous post is visible showing a caption reading "Click on image to enlarge". Sounds like you've got the voodoo to cure them.

"penis snatching"

Could not help but laugh because that is what a male-to-female sex change does (with the emphasis on a certain slang term for female genitalia).

Stardust said...

Spirula, no I hadn't noticed that! Too funny!

Tommy said...

This penis stealing thing seems to be common throughout Africa. A few years ago there was an outbreak of this panic in Sudan.