Archive for October, 2009

Sell the Vatican and feed the world

Gleefully waiting for the backlash on this, Sarah Silverman’s latest inspired idea:

Cambridge churchmen in fear of King of All Witches

Church leaders in Cambridge have reacted amusingly to the news that a self-styled “King of All Witches” plans to open an Occult Centre in the town.

<b>Shadee character</b>: The King of All Witches welcomes your donations

Shadee character: The King of All Witches welcomes your donations

Lynius Shadee, who claims he can bring back the dead (“I can prove it and any sceptic is more than welcome to join me”), says his shop will offer exorcisms, psychic research, communication with ghosts, and witchcraft.

Father David Paul of St Laurence’s Roman Catholic Church is sceptical of the claims, but still worried:

It will be a shockingly bad thing for Cambridge. Whilst it is obviously a load of nonsense it will appeal to people who are in distress or are vulnerable. It really is manipulation of people’s fears and a complete fraud. People who go to these things often end up with mental problems.

Another churchman is less concerned about the direct competition the woo-shop would present to his business than he is about the reality of the woo it peddles. The Rev Ian Church has visited Shadee’s Occult Centre in Normandy (its website contains a Donations Page with a useful direct-debit form and last-will-and-testament templates to facilitate bequests to fund the “groundbreaking work” Shadee carries out). And the Rev was obviously impressed:

It was quite an experience. There were several ritual and séance rooms and what really struck us was the intense and extreme cold in the rooms.

Mr Shadee is most certainly an occultist in the truest form and I am of no doubt of the powers he can summon, within the paranormal. My concerns are that if he is allowed to open an occult centre there would be an epidemic of anti-faiths.

Oh my god. It would be like Ghostbusters – but in real life!

Shadee’s claim to be the King of All Witches could also spark some controversy. The rather large Kevin Carlyon already has a claim on witchy leadership in the UK, and might object to this upstart from Normandy coming over here and trying to take over.

Witch fight!

UPDATE: (11:45) Cambridge News has more on this Shadee character. According to that jaw-droppingly credulous report, he used an invocation to call up a demon to prey on worshippers at the Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs. He said,

It’s an element, a hunter that will attach itself to an individual, then try to take the person, either send them insane and make them depressed, and the worst is to cause them to take their physical life.

All good publicity for his new shop, no doubt.

(Thanks to Mark in the comments)

Self-censorship in Dusseldorf

A German crime novel has been withdrawn from publication at the last minute because of fears that it will spark a violent reaction from Muslims.

To Whom Honour is Due, by Gabrliel Brinkmann (writing under the pseudonym WW Domsky) concerns an honour killing. For some reason, the publisher Droste Verlag, thought it had better send the manuscript off to an “expert on Islamic society” for their opinion.

It is reported that one particular phrase troubled the expert, who suggested that the author change it. The phrase occurs in a dialogue, and is somewhat implausibly translated as

‘You can shove your Koran up …’

It is not known whether the newspaper is shy of publishing the quote in full – “You can shove your Koran up your arse” seems more plausible and likely to cause some offence – or the quote really is that innocuous. EDITED to add: it could be “You can shove your Koran up yours…”

Gabriel Brinkmann refused to change it to “You can shove your honour up…”. Indeed, she is commendably indignant about the affair:

It’s a scandal for a publisher to tuck its tail between its legs.

But Felix Droste is unrepentant:

One knows after the latest Mohammed cartoons that one can’t publish sentences or drawings that defame Islam without assuming a security risk.

Internalised censorship strikes again.