Witch-Doctor for Hire: Have Spells, Will Travel

Can you believe this headline? “African Muti murders–Hospitals sell body parts and murderers harvest organs from live victims for witch doctors in black magic spells” ( http://altereddimensions.net/2013/african-muti-medicine-murders-hospitals-sell-body-parts-murderers-harvest-organs-from-live-victims-witch-doctors-black-magic-spells ).

Right now you’re probably thinking, “He’s got it mixed up with Planned Parenthood.” Really–witch doctors, black magic? Is this a joke? Has someone been reading too many Tarzan books?

No joke–it’s real. Link to the article above, and scroll down. You will find ads from South African newspapers advertising the services of various witch doctors. I mean, these guys have phone numbers and fax machines and email addresses, witchcraft with all the state-of-the-art trappings.

I stumbled over this phenomenon when my wife read a detective novel, Deadly Harvest by Michael Stanley. The author’s name is a pseudonym for co-authors Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip, both of them born and bred in South Africa. Let’s see what they have to say in the Authors’ Note.

“Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, witch doctors hold influential positions in society. Most people believe in them and their powers to some extent. Even Western-trained scientists may carry a residue of belief…

“[T]here are a few witch doctors, regarded as very powerful, who use human body parts in their muti [magic]. They often choose a victim for a specific reason. If a male client wants to be virile, a witch doctor may kill a young boy and make muti from his sex organs to improve sexual energy… Even more horrific is that the power of the muti is thought to be enhanced if the body parts are removed while the victim is alive.”

Of course, like Geraldo Rivera says, that’s how we make progress in medical science.

Hey, all you multiculturalists out there! Is this the kind of thing you want to import into our “pluralistic” society, in which every notion, every custom,  every cultural practice, is equally valid and praiseworthy?

Muti murders happen. They happen because people believe in magic and want it to be used on their behalf. These murders are very hard to solve because there’s usually no connection between the killer and his victim, which makes it hard to pin down a motive.

Africa is full of people who believe in this stuff–people who are every bit as superstitious, as credulous, as any public school- and college-educated voter in America.

7 comments on “Witch-Doctor for Hire: Have Spells, Will Travel

    1. Whaddaya mean? Look at all the new customers the witch doctors can contact, thanks to modern technology. Little true progress indeed! Just try getting a witch doctor if you lived in Minnesota in 1959…

    2. Actually, I did live in Minnesota in 1959. Saw lots of docs, but no witch docs. These days, it’s hard to know which docs are witch docs. 🙂

  1. One reason I’m reluctant to sign anything giving my organs away at my passing is that very thing. I’ve heard the horror stories about keeping a person alive artificially just so they can harvest the living organs from living persons. The fear used to be the opposite – they’d let you die just to get your organs. Either way, it seems like a lose/lose situation for the donor.

    How about this instead 🙂


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