THE Insider is in receipt of a rather strange missive with a disconcerting preamble: "This is a story you will want to research and report on before international attention is brought to bear..." It continues, "The South African Police Service may now be targeting Wiccans, Pagans, Healers, Occultists, Satanists, and Vampires as part of a secret new initiative (lumping them all together as … ‘Satanic’ or ‘Occult’ crimes). The sweeping generalisations, oblique, and intentionally vague references outlined in this document may potentially be used to violate the rights and religious protections of law-abiding South Africans by purposefully inciting a ‘Satanic Panic’ — much like the one that swept the US in the 1980s and was later proven unfounded by the FBI ...
"There are dangerous individuals out there who should be brought to justice but law-abiding practitioners of alternative religions and consensual ritual beliefs and practices that don’t result in the loss of life … shouldn’t be the focus of clandestine SAPS investigations. Especially when the underlying aim is to further the private agendas of elected officials and mainstream religious groups. This is very embarrassing for a country that is supposedly striving to be more progressive towards embracing 21st century human rights ideals."
The Insider has no quibble with any of this and, indeed, many of his friends and their friends are pagans. The letter was "signed off", however, by various groups, most of which the Insider had no idea existed, to wit the South African Pagan Rights Alliance, the South African Vampire Community and the South African Vampire Alliance. Let’s hope you’re not reading this at twilight....
Old habits die hard
ACCORDING to Yahoo-hosted site RealBuzz, there are five everyday habits that can ruin a relationship.
• Habit 1: Letting yourself go.
• Habit 2: Being overly lovey-dovey.
• Habit 3: Forgetting your friends.
• Habit 4: Overspending.
• Habit 5: Bad-mouthing partners.
So there you have it. If you are avoiding the gym but still into public displays of affection while ignoring your friends, maxing out the credit card and telling anyone who’ll listen that "all men are pigs" or "all women are useless at maths", expect to be single soon.
Tending to tendencies
THE Insider was intrigued to read a comment by South African Communist Party secretary-general Blade Nzimande, at the Congress of South African Trade Unions’ national congress, speaking of liberals "attacking" the tripartite alliance which went, "Here we see a very clear convergence between the liberal ideological offensive and what we have characterised as the new tendency" to which The Insider can only respond with: what?
"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help."
Ronald Reagan, former US president and actor (1911-2004)
• E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org