Satanists did not kill pony or turn woman into lesbian

Here are two stories. Or, actually, here are two versions of the same story.

The first variation on this theme comes from Dartmoor, England, where earlier this summer there was a mini moral panic when citizens were warned that “witches or devil worshippers” were killing ponies and mutilating the corpses in some unspeakably evil ritual. Because you know how those witches and devil worshippers are.

The pony, of course, was just two months old. Because what could be more sweet and innocent than a pony? A baby pony.

But it turns out, unsurprisingly, that Dartmoor’s fears of Satanic pony-killers were unfounded. “Real Cause of ‘Satanic Sacrifice’ Pony Found,” writes Benjamin Radford for LiveScience:

Devon and Cornwall police concluded earlier this week that the pony had died of natural causes. The much-discussed “mutilation” was not, in fact, mutilation at all, but instead the normal result of wild animals eating the pony’s organs and scattering its entrails.

“Initial media reports linked the death of the pony to satanic cults and ritualistic killing,” the police said in a statement. “The police have sought the advice of experts and have come to the view that the death of this pony was through natural causes. All the injuries can be attributed to those caused by other wild animals. This incident received significant media reporting, some of which was clearly sensationalist.”

This conclusion is not surprising to anyone who regularly follows stories about supposed “satanic cults and ritualistic killing.” The initial headlines tend to present natural causes in lurid, “sensationalist” ways that create and nurture fear of some diabolical, clandestine threat to the safety of our children, our families, our homes and our precious, precious baby ponies. And then, weeks later, the follow-up story featuring the actual facts of the matter gets buried deep in the paper, if it ever appears at all.

Lots of people see the first round of stories, absorbing the claim that a shadowy conspiracy of “devil worshippers” exists because this is something that everybody just sort of knows to be true. Far fewer people see the later round of stories explaining that whatever just happened was not the work of said conspiracy. Yet even among those who do see the later stories, they tend to be reported in a way that suggests only that this particular incident was not the work of the conspiracy of Satanic baby-killers, rather than in a way that points out that no evidence has ever been found that such Satanic baby-killers exist at all.

This is a single story but it’s part of a long, long pattern of such stories, all of which end the same way. Yet each story is treated in a way that ignores the clear implications of the pattern. The assumption that a dark cabal of Satanic pony-killers is out there, somewhere, ever-threatening to strike, is never challenged. The fact that this particular pony was not their victim won’t be allowed the challenge the fantastical claim that they exist. And it won’t prevent people from making “witches and devil worshippers” the prime suspects in the next iteration of this story, and the next, and the next.

This again relates to the “test” C.S. Lewis’ describes in Mere Christianity. The pony died of natural causes, the police confirmed, not due to “to satanic cults and ritualistic killing.” In learning this, Lewis says we should ask ourselves: “Is one’s first feeling, ‘Thank God,’ … or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible?”

Some people in Dartmoor will pass this test. They will hear the latest news from the police and be relieved to know that Satanists are not lurking about their community killing baby ponies. That is, after all, good news.

But others will be unable to hear it as good news because they do not want to hear good news. They want to hear bad news. They want to believe that the world is full of monsters. They will reject this announcement from police, determined “to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure” of imagining themselves as the righteous heroes in a world beset by conspiracies of Satanic pony-killers.

The morbid fantasy isn’t true. But for those who want it to be true, or need it to be true, those initial “sensationalist” reports of a ritually mutilated baby pony will be treasured, intact and unchallenged — treated as “evidence” that the world is the way they wish the world to be, a world filled with monstrous evil Others who can serve as all-purpose scapegoats and as a foil against which they can imagine themselves uniquely righteous and blessed.

(And for some that “disappointment” Lewis describes is more tangible and financial. The news that no conspiracy of Satanic pony-killers is cruelly slaughtering baby ponies will likely hurt sales of those adorable “tiny hoof” earrings.)

So here’s the second story, which comes from Pat Robertson’s “Christian” Broadcasting Network. CBN specializes in featuring that first round of story — the sensationalist variety with the lurid claims in which the worst-imaginable evil is always the prime suspect. Thus the recent 700 Club segment on “ex-gay” author Debra Gauthier:

Gauthier claims that while living “the homosexual lifestyle” she made a “covenant with Satan” during a same-sex wedding ceremony and also dated a “practicing witch,” until she “saw the demon in her” during an intimate moment:

Our ceremony was led by a gay male priest and a women priestess. We lit candles and performed cultic rituals, and I sensed the darkness around us. I had no idea that I had just entered into covenant with Satan and opened my life up to the demonic realm. …

For the 700 Club and CBN’s target audience, being a lesbian is just as wicked and awful as the death of a poor baby pony. So the blame must be attributed to the same cause: “witches and devil worshippers.”

Everybody knows they’re out there. And it would be so disappointing if that weren’t true.

 

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  • connorboone

    And I was married by a gay man to my straight-plus wife in a stealth pagan ceremony… and I’m an atheist.

    Satan has yet to deliver my pony, and I’m terribly upset.

  • kookbreak
  • Cathy W

    Go back to bed, Dennis, before your probation officer notices…

  • Daniel

    One of the signs of a Satanic marriage being consummated is the lady in question delivering a pony. In the maternity ward. I’ve read stories…

  • connorboone

    I have a daughter that digs ponies, but no ponies for daughters.

  • Kenneth Raymond

    So that explains my newborn niece…

    (I’m kidding. She’s cute. But she does have elf ears. So maybe the fair folk were involved instead and she’s a changeling. I keep telling my brother to touch an iron horseshoe to her foot and find out…)

  • Daniel
  • Kenneth Raymond

    Ah, yes, I read about that for a class. It was pretty horrible, and the whole thing does make me appreciate the changed circumstances of the world – and my world in particular – that I can get away with joking about changelings without accidentally inciting someone’s murder. I’m thankful that kind of superstition doesn’t have traction in my family.

  • Daniel

    Well, my sister’s definitely a changeling. Although when she was younger she was a bit gelfling-y.

  • ReverendRef

    My daughter lacks upper cartilage in her ears. She’s grown up enough now that it isn’t noticeable, but when she was an infant/toddler, she bore a strange resemblance to Yoda.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    I seem to recall something like that happening at the beginning of Beastmaster.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I think I see the problem. You’re supposed to ask Santa for a pony when you sell your soul to the rosy-cheeked jelly-bellied man-goat.

  • Carstonio

    That wasn’t Satan’s fault. There came a killing frost, and the pony busted down its stall and was lost in a blizzard near Yellow Mountain.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    “She ran calling ‘WIIIIILD FIIIIIRE’…”

  • Michael Pullmann

    Of course, those of us who follow Louis C.K. know that ponies are anything but innocent.

  • kookbreak
  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    2,740 results on Google. You’re becoming quite a spambot, Dennis Markuze.

  • Daniel

    “You’re becoming quite a spambot, Dennis Markuze.”
    Delivered whilst stroking a Persian cat and sitting in a large swivel chair in a hollowed out volcano?
    “You’re becoming quite a thorn in Disqus’ collective side, Mr. Markuze.”

  • VMink

    Disqus is a thorn in Disqus’ collective side.

  • Wednesday

    It says something when a well-known troll starts failing the Turing Test.

  • Mark Z.

    Can we forward this to his parole officer?

  • Guest

    Don’t you ever get bored? Maybe you should take a walk outside, smell the flowers, feed the ducks? This isn’t helping anyone, least of all you.

  • Alix

    Nah, the ducks are all waiting for their million-dollar breadcrumbs, and so they’ll mob him the minute he steps outside.

  • Daniel

    Satanic ducks.

  • Alix

    Swashbuckling satanic ducks. Who kill with sheep.

  • Daniel

    Satanic duckeneers setting sail for adventure! It’ll all go well until there’s a muttony.
    These puns are of a low standard. Needless to say I feel a little sheepish.

  • Alix

    Don’t worry. The only thing that matters, in the end, is whether or not these demon ducks outfox Markuze up there before he pulls the wool over our eyes.

  • Daniel

    Someone call Emilio Estevez!

  • Kenneth Raymond

    Hell, someone call Disney and pitch a late Age of Discovery or early Age of Sail version of DuckTales. Gentleman pirate Captain McDuck and his Number One Shilling…

    ETA: Better, his Number One Real, captured from a Spanish treasure ship. Raiding the Spanish treasure fleet is practically mandatory for a pirate story in the proper time period.

  • Daniel

    Sadly something similar has already been done. My Righteous Indignation has suffered a hit.

  • Kenneth Raymond

    …what the devil is that?

  • Daniel

    That is Deadeye Duck, technically a space pirate. He’s a rambunctious fellow and an essential part of the crew on Captain Bucky O’Hare’s ship… I’ll let the song explain:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6Mh7hhaqhk

  • Abel Undercity
  • Daniel

    What is your point?

  • AnonCollie

    Hmm? Were you saying something?
    I was distracted by the Pink Horse. She’s much more fun than spambots.

    (Even if the Orange one is my favorite)

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    I’m equally split between the gentle yellow Pegasus, the classy white unicorn, and the nerdy purple unicorn.
    P.S. Pinkie Pie is the reason they invented horse tranqulizers.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Gauthier claims that while living “the homosexual lifestyle” she made a
    “covenant with Satan” during a same-sex wedding ceremony and also dated a
    “practicing witch,” until she “saw the demon in her” during an intimate
    moment

    Oh, come *on*. How can she look herself in the mirror every morning when she’s peddling that load of crap by day?

  • Kenneth Raymond

    One has to have a soul to cast a reflection.

  • Daniel

    Shit. That’s why I can never get my hair right.

  • Hth

    I hope there wasn’t a real ex-girlfriend-practicing-witch in her life. I’d feel terrible for her. Breakup drama sucks — breakup drama between women always seems to suck extra dreadfully — and knowing that your ex went full-gonzo…whatever this is after it ended would be extra special traumatic.

  • Persia

    I’m sure there was a real ex-girlfriend who at least wore crystal necklaces. She’s better off without this woman in her life, though.

  • Alix

    Having known a fair few people who believe this kind of shit, I’m not actually sure she thinks she’s lying.

    Which is terrifying.

  • Daniel

    As someone who has mentioned demonology before I wondered who your favorite demon is? I think I have one:

    the grand master of orgies for demons, he takes the form of a three horned goat with a human face. He uses one of his horns to mark his initiates into the ranks of the damned, and through him they gain the power of flight and the ability to change into monstrous creatures. He can take the form of a handsome soldier in order to seduce women, and he is connected with werewolves. The name of this terrifying beast from beyond, this master of evil and servant of Satan?

    Leonard.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_%28demon%29

  • Alix

    Oh my god, that’s hilarious. (And now, for some reason, makes me want to write really surreal old-Trek fanfic.)

    Given that I got into researching demonology by looking into examples of syncretism in Jewish folklore, I gotta go with Asmodeus. What can I say, I like the classics. XD

  • Daniel

    Try Caim too- quite a dapper so-and-so:

  • Alix

    …he reminds me of nothing so much as an avian Reepicheep. >.>

  • The_L1985

    So I’m not the only one?

  • Kenneth Raymond

    Oh dear heavens only now do I realize that the makers of Drakengard named their horrible, horrible protagonist after a demon of the Lesser Key, and it makes a kind of delightful, awful sense. Cavia!

  • Jeff Weskamp

    Reminds of Drinky Crow, from Tony Millionaire’s “Maakies” comic strip!

  • Jeff Weskamp

    My favorite demon? There are several that I think are interesting….

    First, Surgat, the demon that opens all locks. Harlan Ellison featured him in his story “Grail.”

    Mersilde, who can instantly transport someone anywhere that they wish to go.

    Hiepacth, who can instantly teleport anyone to your location.

    Gamigin, who can produce the spirits of the dead for you to interrogate, and can temporarily bring the dead back to life (some sources say he can bring them back permanently if you offer him two lives as payment).

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    How can she look herself in the mirror every morning when she’s peddling that load of crap by day?

    All I can think of is this.

    “How you do sleep at night?”
    “On top of a pile of money, with many beautiful ladies.”

  • The_L1985

    My favorite part was a “women priestess.” Because there are just so many cismale priestesses out there, dontcha know.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Let’s see…
    Homosexual Lifestyle(TM), check.
    Covenant with Satan(TM), check.
    Same-sex wedding(TM), check.
    Practicing Witch(TM), check.
    Just add breeding babies for Satanic Sacrifice and all the witch-demon sexual kink from the Malleus Malefecarium and you have all the hot buttons right there. Satanic Panic Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory, here we come.

  • Hth

    The pony, however, was in fact a lesbian.

  • Daniel

    Sensible hooves- dead giveaway.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    The pony, however, was in fact a lesbian.
    You’re reading too many clopfics over at FiMFiction.

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    Hello Fred,

    I certainly agree with you that the large majority of Satanists are peaceful and that the Religious Right sucks in every respect with its need of conjuring up villains worthy of hatred.

    That said, I’m extremely interested in what is (wrongly) called the UFO phenomenon and have come to the conclusion that a SMALL minority of cases are indeed unexplained and clearly seem to involve an intelligence and not natural causes.

    I’m puzzled about that and envisage psychological warfare experiments carried out by governmental agencies as an explanation tough I doubt it suffices.

    Lovely greetings from continental Europe.

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son

    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com

  • connorboone

    Who’s Frank?

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    Oops, I meant Fred, I was simultaneously commenting on the blog of Frank Schaeffer and have kind of confounded :-(

    Lovely greetings from continental Europe.

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son

    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com

  • Baby_Raptor

    Blog spamming for hits? That’s low. Can’t you find something better to do?

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    I’m not giving you blog hits, you trolling sack of garbage.

    You believe that there are ‘unexplained cases’ of ‘an intelligence and not natural causes’. I’m willing to bet that these are actually easily explained cases, and that they might involve pareidolia, false-positives, and confirmation bias. There could be an “intelligence” at work, but it’s yours, seeking out patterns where there are none and rejecting evidence because it doesn’t support your preconceived notions.

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    Hello Chris, you’re a rationalist, so

    1) where is the concrete evidence I’m a troll, that is to say, I am invading a post I’m not genuinely interested in?

    2) that I’m searching blog hits rather than genuine dialogues and debates? Would I earn money with blog hits? Am I narcissistic?

    3) I’ve certainly considered all your explanations but found them wanting for SOME cases

    4) I don’t know what the explanation might be, I’m just puzzled but it might very well turn out to be something natural or should I say completely man-made.

    And if I just wanted blog hits, I would have just written something like

    “Fred you’re wonderful, thanks for having shown us once more the craziness of Religious Fundamentalists”.

    Whilst I wholeheartedly agree with that sentence, I wanted to raise a more interesting and controversial question.

    Generally, I blog because I do want my ideas to be challenged and corrected…albeit not necessarily in an aggressive and bullying way…

    And if you want to further speculate about my motives, feel free to do so but provide please some concrete scientific data to base your judgements on.

    And explain your terms.

    Greetings from continental Europe

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son

    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    where is the concrete evidence I’m a troll, that is to say, I am invading a post I’m not genuinely interested in?

    I wanted to raise a more interesting and controversial question.

    Asked and answered, all on your own!

  • Maniraptor

    The half-hearted reference to the actual topic followed by an extensive diversion onto your own interests was a bit of a giveaway.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    This is not an advertising space. Shoo.

  • AnonaMiss

    This reminds me of that asshole you sometimes link to who wanted to reclaim the language of spiritual warfare – you know, the White Rose guy. I didn’t think of this point at the time – because this is a sort of meta-objection, and the specifics of what he was saying were bad enough – but there was something repulsively eager in his desire to attribute, or at least frame his language like he was attributing, the evil deeds of human beings to Cosmic Forces of Evil. And, thereby, to consider him the spiritual ally of the White Rose, and adopt their mantle and some of their mystique.

    The real world is no place to hold your roleplay. People can get hurt.

  • Daniel

    Can you please explain further? I’ve not heard of this guy, and the only White Rose movement I know of is the anti-Nazi resistance group. I’m confused.

  • AnonaMiss

    That’s the one.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/06/27/7-things-at-11-oclock-5/#comment-944263124

    The conversation branches two directions – one thread on his blog, and one thread on Slacktivist. The thread on his blog is the more interesting one, the link is included in that post.

    tl;dr guy posts text from a White Rose pamphlet saying Hitler is an agent of Satan and says ‘see this is powerful stuff this is why I want to use the language of spiritual warfare.’ I get annoyed because there are some pretty cool Satanists, and Abrahamic demons were usually based on the religions of competing cultures, so I say I don’t think it’s cool to use other people’s religious figures as scapegoats for unrelated evils. He ultimately pulls a reverse Godwin and says effectively that if the White Rose said it it must be right.

  • Alix

    Oh, God, I remember that. >.<

    The fact that literally demonizing your opponents means you never have to actually understand what makes them "evil" and effectively takes all the breaks off your own side never seemed to quite sink in.

  • Daniel

    The irony that “demonizing” is precisely what genocidal regimes do to their enemies to justify said genocide is also pretty glaring.

  • LL

    I saw a dead puppy just laying in the road (a busy three-lane road that thousands of people drive on every day) on the way to work today. Clearly the work of Satanists. They would surely have disemboweled it, but were interrupted by a semi passing by, or something. They’re everywhere, it seems.

  • gUest

    Well, I’m pretty relieved. There was a full moon that night and I went out to look at it. It was awful to think that someone might have been bathed in that same beautiful light while they were torturing an animal. Mind you, I’m a bit surprised that the police and park officials can’t recognize the work of scavenging animals.

    The official church of Satan doesn’t actually conduct animal sacrifice anyway, and I thought it was a bit odd, since they don’t have a branch in Devon as far as I’m aware.
    What a relief.

  • MacKrimin

    >Mind you, I’m a bit surprised that the police and park officials can’t recognize the work of scavenging animals.

    They can probably recognize it just fine, but they’re not in a position to take changes. Satanic baby-killers might not exist, but crazy people do, so it’s better for everyone if the police use experts when there’s any suspicion whatsoever of foul play. It not only catches the occasional lunatic before he can do more damage, but also clears suspicions when they turn out to be unfounded, as seems to be the case here. Better safe than sorry.

    Alas, poor Pinkie Pie. It seems she can never escape the stigma of being associated with murderous lunatics.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    One word: CUPCAKES.
    “And nopony can ever see the pink party pony again without wondering how many bodies she has cut up in her basement!”
    — Pinkie Pie, at the end of the fanfic “Friendship is Crapsack”

  • MacKrimin

    The scary thing about Cupcakes is not the fic itself, but how popular it has become, and especially the _reason_ behind it and other fics like it: an insane serial killer is actually seen as more realistic than a happy, well-adjusted person.

    Most bad fan fiction seems to follow the same basic pattern: turn an okay character(s) into a dangerously unstable neurotic and/or psychopathic mess and they’re suddenly more “mature”, even if they end up acting completely irrationally. I wonder if this also explains a lot of the bad theology out there: it’s just God getting the Cupcakes treatment.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    The scary thing about Cupcakes is not the fic itself, but how popular it
    has become, and especially the _reason_ behind it and other fics like
    it: an insane serial killer is actually seen as more realistic than a
    happy, well-adjusted person.

    Sounds like a variant on “DARK & EDGY”. In the words of Pinkamina Diane Pie from “Fanfic is Crapsack”:

    “But these greaseballs… if it’s innocent, they put filth in it. If it’s happy, they make it grim and gritty and morbid and suicidal. If it’s harmless, they add blood and gore and puke

    “And if anyone else complains about it, they think that proves how hip and trendy and superior they are for being so avant garde.

    “They’re self-loathing little GITS! Who find a world like Equestria! And they don’t STOP! Until everything is as VILE! and HATEFUL! and LOATHSOME! As THEY are! on the IN! SIDE! THEMSELVES!”

    And Cupcakes isn’t the only one. There’s another writer who’s done (1) Rarity as serial killer; (2) Rarity’s little sister Sweetie Belle as serial killer; (3) Sweetie Belle’s bastard daughter as serial killer; (4) Twilight Sparkle as serial killer; and is working on (5) Fluttershy as serial killer. Anyone see a pattern developing?

  • Nicolae Carpathia

    One of the saddest fics I ever read was just about Pinkie Pie’s horrified reaction to waking up from a dream in which “Cupcakes” took place.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    One of the saddest fics I ever read was just about Pinkie Pie’s horrified reaction to waking up from a dream in which “Cupcakes” took place.

    That has to be “Light in the Darkness”, the baseline anti-cupcakes:

    http://www.fimfiction.net/story/16531/the-light-in-the-darkness

    And, O Romanian Robert Redford with the un-Romanian name — the first pony fan novel to see hardcopy print (subscription-only small press) is shipping to subscribers next month — “Past Sins”, a “Reluctant Antichrist” novel. I’ve talked to the author at several Brony-meets, and find it a real kicker that while LH&J et al are all too eager to have TurboJesus cast everyone He can into Eternal Hell, a 22-year-old lapsed Lutheran grad student penned 200,000 words to literally bring Redemption for a Pony Antichrist figure. Redemtion for the Ponies’ Antichrist. (By having her “born again” in a different way than usual.)

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    And as long as I’m on a roll, remember this “Ponies Are SAY-TANN-IC” bit referenced some ways below?
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120110084140AAeduNI

    Well, a little over a year ago I assisted on a My Little Pony fanfic (a Human-in-Equestria crossover with two of Manly Wade Wellman’s dark fantasy series), one of whose themes is to put the lie to the above by showing innocent Pony magic side-by-side with diabolist black magick:
    http://www.fimfiction.net/story/27032/my-little-balladeer

    “Arrgh, that’s not how magic works! A spellbook is just, just a book! Okay, it has magical knowledge in it, and some private or classified ones have protective geases on them so ponies who weren’t given permission can’t read it, but the book itself is just wood and fabric and paper!” She lowered her head and shook it, and she looked and sounded tired when she looked back at me. “It just, magic’s not supposed to work this way!”

    “Your magic right here,” I reminded her. “Where I come from, it’s all rightly different. Let me guess, magic’s a natural thing in your world, isn’t it? Something like fire or water or air, a part of the world?” She looked kindly confused, but she nodded at me. I looked around at her friends and I saw wondering looks on their faces too. “But where I come from, there’s no natural magic, or next to none. You’ve got to ask other things for it, angels or devils or spirits, and if they want to help you, or you pay them off enough to make them want to, you can do it.”

  • nemryn

    It’s not the first, I’ve got a copy of “Flight of the Alicorn”.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    I didn’t know “Flight of the Alicorn” made it to hardcopy.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    And in the world of fanfic, earlier this year I assisted on another pony fanfic novel, this one a character comedy with some serious undertones:

    http://www.fimfiction.net/story/116203/wolf-in-ponys-clothing

    The serious undertone that drives some of the comedic situations is bad/sensational media information in the form of stories within the story. The gimmick is all these stories-within-the-story spreading mis- and dis-information are based on other actual fanfics.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Stop bringing Satan into this! I don’t want him to take any of the credit I’m owed! D:<

  • Carstonio

    In other news, Satan issued a statement condemning straight-to-gay conversion therapy and disavowed any such therapy done in his name. He said, “Trying to force someone to deny a major part of who they are – that’s too evil even for me.”

  • Halcyon

    I find even the premise the story assumes confusing, though. Why would Satanists even *want* to kill Pinkie Pie? I just assumed that’s where she gets her reality-warping powers from.

    …I might have skimmed the post, admittedly.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Pinkie Pie is the Opener of the Ways, the Gate through which the Spheres Meet.

  • Nicolae Carpathia

    She only gets half her powers from me. The other half come from her Draconequus ancestors.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Welcome to the Herd, Nicky.

    We all knew you were an End Time Prophecy fanboy (why else would you move your capital to Babylon in Iraq and bulldoze seven hills into the Mesopotamian floodplain), but we didn’t know you were a Brony. Have you notified LH&J of this development?

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    Belief in a world beset by black magic is a great boon to both conscious frauds and to those who hold the abiding social hierarchy as the only alternative to hellish chaos. Unfortunately there are still occasions when the incentive to maintain belief in such things isn’t the least bit funny at all. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/20/anti-superstition-narendra-dabholkar-shot-dead

  • Matticus

    A story about a baby pony and you didn’t use these two? Fred, I am disappoint.

  • Matticus

    I also would have accepted Baby Applejack.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlbeQxBBrJE

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    My friend’s reaction upon seeing that episode: “Mr. Cake changes diapers with his mouth. Mr. Cake is a goddamn hero.

  • Matticus

    A stallion’s gotta do what a stallion’s gotta do.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg3u6hj47c0

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    Not that there’s anything wrong with funny mind. Here’s the first thing google brings up for “satanic lesbian horse”
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120110084140AAeduNI

  • Carstonio

    The only way horses can be satanic is if people sell their souls to pick the winners at Churchill Downs.

  • Daniel

    What about Red Rum? I think The Shining taught us all we needed to know about satanic horses. We just didn’t listen.

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    I had the sense that horses were actually associated with Satan nearly as much as say goats or cats. I once met a self-styled “white witch” who claimed he could tell if the freshly dead were hellbound by the sound of running hooves coming for them. Interesting guy.

  • Alix

    Horses show up in a lot of folklore as manifestations of wild power and even primal fury or bloodthirstiness. (The mares of Diomedes are a perfect example of this.) Add in things like the concept of the Wild Hunt and, well. It’s not a far step from that to being associated with the Devil.

    FWIW, black dogs are also strongly associated with Satan in a lot of folklore. Same with roosters. I’m actually trying to think up animals that are never associated with him somewhere, and rather failing. I’m sure there are some, though.

  • AnonaMiss

    Pretty sure sheep aren’t associated with Satan.

  • Alix

    I think you might be right.

    …though demonic sheep would be kind of funny.

  • Jamoche
  • Daniel

    Baphomet? I know he’s technically goaty, but you know…
    Have koalas ever been daemonic? Or has there ever been a daemonic duck?

  • Alix

    …I vaguely recall a demonic duck from some obscure bit of folklore, but I’ll be damned if I can remember it.

    Also, on the sheep thing, rams are sometimes considered demonic.

  • Daniel

    The Duck of Taunton springs to mind…

  • phantomreader42
  • themunck

    Damn you for beating me to it.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat
  • Carstonio

    Ducks can be such such out-of-control creatures that if one were possessed, how could you tell?

  • Daniel

    numbers on their scalp.

  • ohiolibrarian

    If you have ever been chased by a goose, or better yet, a swan … Devils, I tell ya!

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Move over, Disco Duck —
    It’s DEMON DUCK!

  • themunck

    [Deleted due to phantomreader42 being 5 hours quicker than me]

  • Daniel
  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam
  • Guest

    Black sheep?

  • Daniel

    If any of these are satanic there’s no hope for mankind:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_slender_loris

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_slender_loris

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Javan_slow_loris

    What I’m trying to say is lorises of all kinds are just adorable.

  • MarkTemporis

    Black dogs were associated with the devil as recently as the Omen trilogy; Damien’s mother was apparently a dog (somehow, never explained), and in Final Conflict he has an enemy torn apart by his hunting dogs.

  • Alix

    Black dogs are still associated with the devil in some of the regional folklore I hear ’round my area. Same with “black panthers” and roosters. And, occasionally, rabbits.

    Although I will say most regional folklore figures the black cats as ghost-things. Not unlike the ghost kangaroos people keep claiming to see on the interstate, but without the comic absurdity of kangaroo sightings in D.C.

  • P J Evans

    Animal shelters and rescue groups say that black animals are the most like to be abused or abandoned.

  • Alix

    :(

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    Years ago, I read a book of superstitions which said that although it’s bad luck for a black cat to cross your path, if you take a black cat into your home and treat it well, it will bring you good luck.

    I think the latter part of that superstition needs to be spread around more.

  • Daniel

    Well if you’re in Britain it’s the first part that’s wrong- here a black cat crossing your path is good luck without you having to take it home. The only one I ever had in my home stole a pizza from me and took apparent pleasure in sticking its claws in me at any opportunity.

  • phantomreader42

    I recently read a book called Blitzcat, about a black cat traveling through WWII Britain like a feline Forrest Gump in search of her person (who was a pilot and thus kept getting dragged off on planes), and I was surprised at how the only superstition related to black cats in general was that they were GOOD luck (there were some superstitions that arose in regard to her specifically, but that’s a different issue). Apparently this is a British thing, I’ve only heard the bit about crossing your path being bad luck.
    Someday I would like to adopt a black cat and name it “Lucky”. :)

  • Daniel

    I know of one that needs a home.
    It likes pizza.

  • AnonaMiss

    I saw a rescue-an-adopted-kitty display in a pet store once and noted to my sadness that the black one was marked down to a $50 fee, unlike the $100 fee for all the others. So, anecdotally supported.

    My rental at the time wasn’t pet friendly or I would have taken him home. He was so playful.

  • Diona the Lurker

    Ghost kangaroos!?! says the puzzled Australian…

  • Alix

    One of my hobbies is collecting tales of Weird Things Seen on Highways in my local area. Some are real. (Like the beer. Or the chickens…) Others? Not so much.

    One thing that’s been reported at least a dozen separate times are kangaroos, hopping down the side of the road or staring at traffic. Every single time that I have recorded, people have diligently reported these sightings, and the police and animal control have diligently combed the area, called all the zoos and circuses, checked for anyone at all who could possibly have brought a kangaroo into the area … and come up with nothing. All kangaroos accounted for. Nothing missing. No one moving a kangaroo through the region. No one with a weird exotic pet (and I’m pretty damn sure they’re illegal in the area, anyway).

    So we all call them the Ghost Kangaroos. People see them, people swear they’re real, and evidently think they’re real enough to call animal control. I have no clue what they’re seeing.

    And of course, it’s not like kangaroos are native to the area, by any stretch of the imagination. Someone reporting a giant cat? Could be a mountain lion – the occasional one does actually end up this far south, even if it’s vanishingly rare. Report of a wolf? Coyotes have spread to the area, though they’re rare enough still that we locals haven’t adjusted our mental maps yet. Saw a bear? Get the eff inside, man, they absolutely come ’round here!

    But the kangaroos are inexplicable.

    Similarly, there’s one account of an elephant on I-95 that seems to also be a “ghost” animal; reported, but no one seemed to be missing one. On the other hand, there have been enough real elephant escapes in the area that it’s likely that it imprinted on local imagination.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Reminds me of rattlesnakes in Michigan. Growing up, there were two groups of people — those who insisted they’d seen rattlesnakes and those who insisted the idea was pure fantasy. Even some animal control officers said they didn’t come that far north.

    For the record, I have the tail of a rattlesnake caught in my Michigan backyard. I know what I believe. :p

  • Alix

    The cougar sighting was one I actually remember. Supposedly, their range no longer extends anywhere near my state. But there were an awful lot of mountain lion sightings people were reporting, and after a while, the local news on the radio reported that a cougar had been spotted and to stay indoors.

    People were still insisting it was just a precaution until it was reported, with photos of the captured cat, in the local newspaper. I still have that edition packed up somewhere.

  • Alix

    Come to think of it, I was in middle school when this happened, and it’s probably what started my interest in collecting local lore. Because everyone insists these cats aren’t present – until one was.

    Now, at least, Fish and Wildlife admits that it is possible for a cougar to be spotted in the state, though it is incredibly unlikely to happen.

  • Persia

    And of course you never know when some nutty animal collector’s hidden ‘pet’ busts loose.

  • Alix

    I will say, though, that while that may account for the cougar (I honestly don’t know), I would be really surprised if it accounted for every single kangaroo sighting. XD

  • Persia

    That’s generally been my guess with the cougars, but I got nothing on the kangaroos. :D

  • Persia

    There’s a northern rattlesnake, we have it in Vermont. Very rare. It might be more likely that a northern snake went west than a southern one came north?

  • Cathy W

    The massassauga rattlesnake is native to the lower peninsula. I don’t know exactly where you’re talking about – but when my former girl scout troop was doing “camping prep” they at least got mentioned as a possible (if unlikely) hazard.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Sunday, my wife and I both independently and without collaboration identified a shape in the road as a large dead bird, probably a Turkey Vulture. Then as I made the turn, the wind changed directions causing it to flop over and reveal itself to be a trash bag.

  • Alix

    I was absolutely convinced, the other day, that I saw a crow dragging around a dead rabbit. Then it dropped it and the wind caught it, and I realized it was an oddly-bunched strip of packaging from some convenience-store lunch thing.

    It’s interesting how our perception plays tricks on us.

  • arghous

    Another example, the horse in Metzengerstein.

    Satanic justice, anyone?

  • ohiolibrarian

    Has anyone mentioned Pookas yet?

  • Unicorns are great

    Ironically the unicorn was used as a symbol for Jesus Christ in the middle ages, since it was believed that only a virgin could tame it’s wild nature, in the same way Virgin Mary held the infant Jesus, with all his power, peacefully in her arms.

  • fraser

    And then God the Huntsman kills it, at least in the allegories I’ve read.

  • Carstonio

    I would be curious to know how much of that involved former pagans switching the allegiance of symbols on their own, and how much was the work of medieval missionaries deliberately appropriating or shaming symbols.

  • Alix

    It’s impossible to tell, because both happened. Plus, there’s the fact that just because the missionaries tell a group of pagans their symbol really stands for [x], the pagans still have to switch their reading of the symbol on their own.

    You see both things happening with Christian saints, actually; some are pretty clearly top-down appropriations that got accepted and so hung on, while others are pretty clearly home-grown. You can usually tell the latter because they’re either unofficial or someone, somewhere, railed against their intrusion into the pantheon.

  • Carstonio

    That makes sense. Whatever the role the of missionaries, there’s no point in wishing that they had left well enough alone. The real concern is when some Christians insist that the symbols have always been associated with their religion.

  • Alix

    I generally find that the easiest way to get an indication as to how much the populace really wanted to become Christian is to look at where the fighting was. Some places converted with no serious friction. Others? There were crusades called in Europe just to stomp Christianity into the people.

    I tend to find that a lot of the appropriation/retranslation of older symbols happens in the more smoothly-transitioned areas, while in a lot of the “stomp them out” areas, pagan symbols were eradicated along with the beliefs. It’s one reason we can’t really reconstruct Baltic or Slavic paganism, for example, beyond some of the most basic sketches.

  • Carstonio

    Some of the latter happened in recent history. In the US, settlers deliberately used devil-type names for sites that were sacred to Native Americans, to label the tribes’ religions as evil.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Obviously this was long before unicorns started farting rainbows for the Shirley MacLaine set.
    “When to be called ‘virgin’ is an insult, to whom can a unicorn appear?”

  • Daniel

    “When to be called ‘virgin’ is an insult, to whom can a unicorn appear?”

    Anyone on First Transpenine or Arriva.

  • MarkTemporis

    “Lesbian pony sex” FTW!
    I do think these conservative religious attacks on pop culture might have a bit of a point to it in that fandoms do appear to fill the same spot in people’s lives that religion has customarily filled. What they couch as moral objections are simply a struggle to remain relevant.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Why do I see Rainbow Dash curled up on her cloud-bed whimpering “I’m straight… I’m straight… I’m straight…”?

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Not that there’s anything wrong with funny mind. Here’s the first thing google brings up for “satanic lesbian horse”

    1) Not Nightmare Moon? (Though she’s lez only in some fanfics…)
    2) You think “satanic lesbian horse” is a weird search phrase, see what hits you get on “big tit dinosaur bondage dykes” sometime…
    3) Ever heard of “Praise Ponies”? Literally “Just like My Little Pony, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!” G1 knockoffs with Bible-verse zip codes for cutie marks.
    4) They say dying horses make this terrifying scream. I do not want to hear that scream from Rarity and/or Fluttershy’s throats as these Spiritual Warfare types burn them for Witchcraft. (Assuming they get past Twi, Dash, AJ, both Princesses, and a couple thousand Bronies.)

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    P.S. I am not making up “Praise Ponies”. Google the phrase sometime.

    http://www.familytg.com/Praise-Ponies_p_4155.html

    http://www.deepershopping.com/item/kerusso/praise-pony-hope/31449.html

    Rule 34 says “If it exists, someone has done porn with it.”

    We need a Rule Number for “If it exists, someone’s done a cheezy Christianese knockoff of it.”

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    It’s true. There is such a thing as Christian professional wrestling.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Whose BIG selling points are “no cursing and no scantily-clad women.”

    Tip: When you can describe something as “Just like fill-in-the-blank, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”, that’s NOT a good sign.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    It was apparently recreating Biblical stories, but with professional wrestlers as the characters. I recall reading about a wrestler I had known who played Goliath in a David vs Goliath match (which of course he lost).

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    It was apparently recreating Biblical stories, but with professional wrestlers as the characters.
    Cue “BOING! COOCOO!” loop from Rocky & Bullwinkle sound effects…

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    P.S. THIS IS WRESTLECRAP!

  • Carstonio

    I’ve never liked pro wrestling because of the pandering to bigotry and machismo and anti-intellectualism, like Limbaugh or his comic predecessor the Greaseman. The raw material for an RTC variant is already there – they would just have the Iron Sheik talk like Bin Laden. And perhaps create a new villain who’s a gay atheist.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Actually, they’ve been a lot better than that in the last year. Wrestlemania 29 had a match between a “true patriot” chest-thumping Southerner spouting freedom slogans and decrying immigration, going against a Mexican immigrant who has been a heel for most of his run. The immigrant was the face in the match — and won to much applause. Here’s the promo. The patriot group has also purposefully stepped out of character, breaking the fourth wall to directly respond to Glenn Beck…

    As for the gay atheist, one of their wrestlers recently came out — and the WWE publicly supported him.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    They still have a ways to go to top The Gobbledy Gooker and/or the Necrophilia Angle.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    No question of that, but at least they seem to be realizing that fact. Of course, a lot of fans liked seeing their more offensive material (open up any youtube video you wish and there’s going to be someone complaining about the PG-13 era) and they’re never going to want to completely alienate that base, so I expect it’ll be a slow transition.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    That said, WWE does have a history of riding the exploitation bus in really despicable ways, but I feel like they’ve been trying to get better about this during their shift to PG-13.

  • Mark Z.

    Strangely, the one thing that doesn’t seem to exist is cheezy Christianese knockoff porn.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I can’t think of movie spoof Christian porn, but Christian porn definitely exists.

  • Armando Ortega Cisneros

    “I had no idea that I had just entered into covenant with Satan and opened my life up to the demonic realm.”

    Seriously?

    “Honey, please put on your black robes. And can you be so kind as to lit the black candles on the altar? Oh, and by the way, I hope you do remember that scary dark ritual we have been practicing. We´ll need it tonight”.

    I know it is a blatant stupid lie, but BOY the gaps in her story are so glaring it only adds to Fred Clark´s point.

  • Alix

    The scary thing about this stuff – as illustrated via things like the Satanic Panic – is that it’s actually really easy to get sucked into believing this stuff, and really really hard to break out of conspiranoia. I remember a lot of the SP stuff being debunked as so thoroughly, obviously ridiculous there was no way anyone could possibly have actually believed in this massive Satanic conspiracy … but people did.

    And as others have mentioned elsewhere, conspiranoia is self-reinforcing. And it sucks you in.

    That’s what terrifies me more than anything: perfectly rational people can have that reason reshaped and eroded to the point where these nutty conspiracies make perfect sense to them.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Because Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory is a completely airtight system. Any evidence against the conspiracy theory PROVES The Conspiracy (who planted the evidence). And lack of evidence for the conspiracy theory PROVES The Conspiracy (so vast They can silence anyone). Any who doubt the conspiracy theory have PROVEN themselves part of The Conspiracy.
    The Dwarfs are for The Dwarfs, and Won’t Be Taken In.

  • Alix

    True, but that’s not even all of it. Just studying this stuff can start to suck you in, as you start to understand the mindset more. I don’t remember if it was on this post or one of the earlier ones this week, but I mentioned a book called The Trickster and the Paranormal by George Hansen – it has a really rather terrifying section detailing case studies where exactly this has happened: outsiders to the theory, rational people trying to study it, end up getting sucked into conspiranoiac fantasies of their own. (Said it before and I’ll say it again: the book is worth it for that section alone, even if you think the rest of his stuff is ridiculous.)

    It’s a contagious way of thinking, which is what’s scary. It plays off our need for meaning and our ability to make patterns perfectly.

  • Daniel

    There may be no satanic pony slaughterers on Dartmoor, but I’ve heard tell of a bloody big dog knocking about out there…

  • Carstonio

    And I’ve heard rumors of secret military research into hallucinatory chemicals there…

  • Daniel

    No shit?

  • everstar

    To me it looks like he’s got his arms flung in the air because he’s trying to regain his balance, being so top-heavy.

  • Alix

    …In all honesty, it looks like me when I’m trying to dance.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    In grade school, we used to call that pose “Mad Genie Waving at the Stars”.

  • J_Enigma32

    I don’t see what the problem is. Horseman looks like he just wants a hug.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    All he needs is a “Free Hugs” sign.

  • Daniel

    “seriously guys, this big”.

  • J_Enigma32

    This is just too relevant. This is a bit from the second Blue Pimpernel, a conversation between Aya and Cyan regarding a two-pronged clandestine operation where Cyan distracted the Pastor in question by positing as a person interested in the church while Aya breaks into his office and steals a bunch of information from him regarding the plot. Since the book is still in the late drafts, early editing, it may or may not stick around for the final copy, but this has been a consistent feature of the book since early 2010. Cyan starts it out:

    ——————–

    “No! I mean, I’m not hurt, but… I did something stupid.”

    “That’d make two of us,” Aya said, worry clenching her. “So what happened?”

    “Well, everything seemed to go well at first, and then the pastor took me into the auditorium of the church, where we got talking about our histories. He asked about my husband’s history – I made something up – and then he asked about mine. I remembered… I remembered you said that they liked stories. So I made one up. My parents were pagan witches, black mass, group orgies, abortion, child sacrifice, homosexuality, growing up and running my own corporation and then sacrificing it all because the Bible said so… I managed to cram as much in there as I could.”

    “Sounds to me like you hit everything. There’s no way he would’ve called you on it.”

    “That’s not the problem,” Cyan said. “Aya, I wasn’t thinking. I asked him about his history.”

    At first, it confused Aya. Then she remembered their love for stories.

    “Oh,” Aya said. “Oh, you poor girl.”

    “Aya, I may never have healthy perception of sex again.”

    Aya curiously arched her eyebrow. “That bad?”

    “It was a horse. A. Horse.”

    Aya burst out laughing.

    “You laugh, but you didn’t get the graphic description of anal homosexual horse fucking!”

    It made Aya laugh harder. She braced herself against her car, taking in a deep breath. From here, she couldn’t see the line of common decency.

    “Wow,” she said, changing the subject and drying her eyes. “Did you just say ‘fuck’?”

    Cyan leaned away, looking confused. “I… I did. Do you see what it did to me?! It was anatomical. Like he wrote an anatomy textbook.”

    “An anatomy textbook on bestiality.”

    “Gay bestiality, but he didn’t feel the need to distinguish.”

    It made Aya snicker again. “I haven’t laughed like that in years.”

    “I’m glad it brought light and joy into your life, because there’s not enough bleach in the world to get those stains out.”

    “If it helps, I really do feel sorry for you,” Aya said. “It’s just so incredibly silly and absurd.”

    “And it was for some kind of black magic Satanic ceremony. Because they sacrificed a baby after that. Aborted it, he said.”

    Aya sighed, taking in a deep breath. “Well, that was … a thing.”

    “It was. A bad thing.”

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    After having perused the whole of “WTF Textbooks” and their archives of Bob Hope University textbooks, I no longer feel you are a prophet of the dismal future. If anything, you’re extremely optimistic. Those books are scary. I cannot imagine how a child could go through preschool to college learning from those and not wind up with severely distorted perception, sociopathy, xenophobia, a lack of any agency whatsoever and a compulsive need to mention Jesus regardless of context.

  • Alix

    ‘S rather the point of those textbooks, no?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Once you strip away the gargantuan amounts of spin, probably yes.

  • J_Enigma32

    Probably that and to maintain tribal boundaries, since there’s a lot of dog-whistle phrases that would be lost on outsiders of the tribe. Especially those raised in heavy multicultural areas.

  • J_Enigma32

    Oh, it’s simple. Renee didn’t even attend her classes half the time. She didn’t care to learn, and she wasn’t about to, because it just didn’t interest her the way they were teaching it. Some of it stuck, and as a result, you get Renee believing strange things about the age of the Earth and whatnot, but everything else? Nah, she either tried to sleep through it, ignored it, skipped class or promptly forgot it after they moved on – just like the majority of students do.

    And Ofelia, born and raised Jewish and really doesn’t like what they’re doing to her religious texts. She’s very vocal about it, coming from a family that straddles the line between Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism.

    And Cyan, who really only wants to get through school. She doesn’t care what she has to do to get there, just so long as she gets through it and moves on.

    Just because they institute that curriculum doesn’t mean kids are going to learn it, or have any more desire to learn it, than they do our curriculum today. As long as the teaching methods are bland (and they were) and authoritarian, teacher-centered (which they were, and would be), there’d be no learning except for a handful of students. There’s be learning through osmosis, sure, but only a handful of students would probably end up truly warped. There are a lot of other factors that play into it, too (for instance, the fact that the country demographics have severely changed)

    Also note that Renee remembered better times when she was more interested in school – the whole privatization kick is really only a few years old by the time of the novel; Renee and her friends are old enough to remember when it was different.

    It’s the generations who *aren’t* that are going to have a problem.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Those A Beka book snippets I saw made me (O_O) IRL.

    They present such a distorted, whitewashed (in both senses) version of history and economics I can’t see how a person educated with those books could possibly function in today’s society.

  • Alix

    They’re not meant to. Not really. It’s the whole “set apart from the world” thing playing out in sad reality.

  • GuestPoster

    But wasn’t there that one time, in that place, with those people? You know…. THOSE people. The satanic ritualistic baby molesters and pony smugglers and whatever else. You know.

    Oh wait, you DON’T know? You must be one of them! After all, otherwise you’d agree with me, wouldn’t you? You wouldn’t? That’s what THEY would say!

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Grand Unified Satanic Panic Conspiracy Theory.
    The Dwarfs are for The Dwarfs, and Won’t Be Taken In.

  • MaryKaye

    On top of everything else, while I’m pretty open-minded about these things, the combination of a gay male priest and a female priestess doesn’t strike me as an optimal recipe for raising magical energy. I mean, we’ve probably done ritual with that combination of celebrants, but it sure wasn’t for sex-magic purposes. If you just need someone to be Earth and someone to be Sky it’s okay.

    Sounds more like a listing of the people the storyteller finds icky, actually, with no consideration of plausibility.

  • Tapetum

    I’ve participated in a cultic ritual involving a gay priest, and woman priestess, and a bunch of candles and chanting. AKA a high Episcopal mass. I am somewhat suspicious that our lady of the 700 club would consider it Satanic simply by virtue of the participants, despite the perfectly normal mainstream Christianity of the whole thing.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    The phrasing sticks out as really weird to me. “A gay male priest”… I would have said “gay priest”, but I guess she wanted to make sure people understood she wasn’t using “priest” in a gender-neutral way, the way it’s become common to use “actor” for both actors and actresses.

    What really sticks out, though, is the “a woman priestess”. Like she didn’t trust her audience to figure out that “priestess” indicates a woman? And it’s interesting that unlike the “gay male priest”, she doesn’t feel the need to add any other descriptors here — not “a lesbian priestess” or “a transgendered priestess” or anything. The fact that one of the religious officiants is female is, apparently, enough to scandalize her audience.

  • Mark Z.

    Our ceremony was led by a gay male priest and a women priestess. We lit candles and performed cultic rituals, and I sensed the darkness around us.

    Oh my God, I was AT that ritual! It was the Good Friday service at my church last year.

  • Mary

    AND the Republican party just gave Pat Robertson a lifetime achievement award..Which is proof that the Republican party is insane..

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Speaking of, I have heard that Pat Robertson has finally 100% embraced absurdity and ridiculousness.

    Gay People Deliberately Spread HIV/AIDS, he claims.

    Another report of same on RAW story.

    *shakes head in disbelief*

  • Mary

    Sick, sick, sick. Lying for Jesus once again. WWJ do? Kick Pat Robertson’s ASS.

  • TomSatsuma

    One thing I would say is that here in the UK the desire to believe that kind of satanist guff is more to do with the excitement of living in a world where stuff happens like it does in the movies, rather than in a ‘Christians vs Satan’ context. We have less of that kind of thing over here (not saying it doesn’t exist) than in the States. For example having someone appear on TV/Radio in the UK and talk about Satan as a real thing/threat doesn’t really happen – to such an extent that I can only really imagine it in an American accent.

  • Maniraptor

    Yeah, I was quite surprised to see that the story was from the UK. I didn’t hear a thing about it when it happened, although I’m at the other end of the island I suppose.

    I suspect you’re right and it’s more the same kind of thing that keeps leading people to mistake Maine Coons for escaped lions.

  • Mrs Grimble

    It’s the latest in a long line of horse mutilation stories that, in the UK at least, go way back to the 1970s, fuelled by a play called Equus (later turned into a film); it’s about a teenage boy who develops and sexual and religious fascination with horses, eventually blinding some.
    Naturally, no positive link with Satanism and witchcraft has ever proved. In fact, only a small number of mutilations have been identified as being made by humans; many could plausibly have been accidental injuries made by running into barbed wire or being kicked by other horses. There’s also a sub-strain of “mutilations” that involve horses having their manes and/or tails chopped off, with no other injuries. It can’t be entirely coincidence that this mostly seems to happen to show horses, but the papers can always find some ‘occult expert’ to tell them that witches use horsehair in their rituals. (These experts never explain why witches have no other way of getting hold of horsehair except by creeping around fields at night and cutting it off strange horses.)

  • Alix

    Horse mutilations or sacrifices in folklore go back a hell of a lot longer. In a lot of cases, there were legitimate archaic pagan horse sacrifices that, as they fell out of style, moved into the realm of legend and eventually got demonized.

    Also, a lot of the time witches or other magically-powerful, wild women were associated with horses.

    …And I can’t help but be reminded that the “cattle mutilation” subset of UFO stories got its start with a story of a (supposedly inexplicable) horse mutilation.

  • Daniel

    I’d recommend Shamanism: archaic techniques of ecstasy by Mircea Eliade for a study of the world wide occurance of horses and horse sacrifice in religious contexts. As well as being really interesting otherwise too.
    I can’t find a link anywhere…

  • Alix

    It’s a damn good book.

  • Shaenon K. Garrity

    And there was a major stage revival of Equus a few years ago, which is probably what inspired this new wave of horse-mutilation stories. It’s kind of embarrassing how many panics of this kind can be traced directly to TV or movies or other pop culture.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    One thing I would say is that here in the UK the desire to believe that kind of satanist guff is more to do with the excitement of living in a world where stuff happens like it does in the movies, rather than in a ‘Christians vs Satan’ context.

    Makes you wish someone had turned these guys on to D&D instead.
    (Or even Warhammer 40K.)
    That way they could role-play without dragging the rest of us in as Orcs and Red Shirts in their RL LARPs.

  • Zed

    What does it mean if my first feeling while reading the police report was “Well duh” ?

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

    Not just “out” there; “in here,” is the really poisonous part. Does your child read the wrong books, dress the wrong way, kiss the wrong people? Satanism! This cow thing could be worse; it could be another West Memphis Three. Mostly I just feel sad for the kids of the people who “believe”– the wrong word for purposeful self-delusion, I know– these lies.

  • Vermic

    Remember the good old days before the Satanic Panic, when mutilated animals were believed to be the work of plain, ordinary space aliens? Life was a lot simpler then.

  • VMink

    “Cattle mutilations are up.”
    “Don’t.”

  • Nicolae Carpathia

    My first name sounds sort of like “Nicaragua,” where the earthquake happened. Coincidence?

  • Abby Normal

    Back in the early 90’s, when I was a high school freshman, I had to write a research paper on a current events topic and I did mine on Satanism. I wrote it from the angle that it was a very real thing that teenagers could be swept up in. I kept the paper because I got an A. In retrospect, it’s almost embarrassing to read the thing again–my sources were crappy and I hadn’t even tried to investigate further to see if it was all actually a hoax.

    I know standards were pretty low because it was a freshman paper and I think the goal was mostly for me to learn how to properly use citations. I just wish somebody had told me that “first person accounts” from Woman’s Day and Redbook aren’t actually reliable sources

  • stardreamer42

    Wait, what? Can someone explain the “adorable ‘tiny hoof’ earrings” reference? There was nothing about that in the linked article, and Google produces mostly websites for breeders and/or rescue groups, plus a couple of people on Etsy selling horse-hoof jewelry that doesn’t appear to be related to this at all. I’m confused.

  • http://hummingwolf.livejournal.com/ Hummingwolf

    I’m guessing it’s an allusion to “pro-life” “Precious Feet” earrings that are supposed to be the exact same size and shape as human feet at 10 weeks after conception. People wear these. It’s a thing.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Equestrian version of “Precious Feet” earrings and pins?

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    But others will be unable to hear it as good news because they do not want to hear good news. They want to hear bad news. They want to believe that the world is full of monsters. They will reject this announcement from police, determined “to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure” of imagining themselves as the righteous heroes in a world beset by conspiracies of Satanic pony-killers.
    Because “this announcement from police” is what THEY Want Us to Think.
    The Dwarfs are for The Dwarfs, and Won’t Be Taken In.

  • AnonaMiss

    I don’t remember if it was you who brought this up on the recent thread, but I find it… odd that “the Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs” keeps being brought up wrt conspiracy theorists, given that Lewis was using the dwarfs in The Last Battle there as a metaphor for atheists/religious skeptics: reasonably good people who refused to see the miraculous for fear of being taken in.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Well, I imagine that a lot of those people fall into the “Lewis was an asshole who just uncritically asserted the rightness of his positions by fiat, and in a sane and just world, the Dwarves *woulda* been right” camp

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Also captures the attitude of Conspiracy Theory fanboys.

  • AnonaMiss

    No, it’s the direct opposite of Conspiracy Theory fanboys. The dwarves are skeptics; the CTfs are anti-skeptics. The dwarves prioritize reason over their own perceptions; the CTfs refuse to apply reason or perception to what they believe.

    I am strongly with the dwarves – I am an atheist despite having apparently-supernatural religious experiences in my youth, because I am willing to be skeptical of my own perceptions – and I resent being grouped with the apotheosis of antiskepticism just because C.S. Lewis wanted to take a cheap shot at skeptics in a world he rigged against them.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism Adam Lee

    Mildly off-topic: Was the article quoted in this post written by this Benjamin Radford? I suspect it was…


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