Victimless Crime File: Man Caught Eating Baby Alive in Sorcery Initiation

Outside of America the terms sorcery and witchcraft often mean something much different than it does in the New Age shops of a big city. For most Americans nowadays the term Witchcraft relates to Wicca, while some people with more knowledge may understand that Wiccans are a separate group from Witches, though both are basically benign. The first self-described Witches in America was the ironically titled Women in the Wilderness cult formed by one Johannes Kelpus (1673-1708). Religious scholar Catherine Albanese writes in the textbook America: Religions and Religion that the colonial era group practiced a religion that was a blend of Pagan, Christians and Jewish elements with an emphasis on learning to control nature through magical practices. They were part of a larger tradition of folk healers and “cunning folk” who plied their trade among early colonists even as fear of the more familiar Witch was at its peak.

From that point on America has had an “occult underground” that consisted largely of practitioners of natural magic like the Pow Wow of the Pennsylvania Dutch or Hoodoo which is a racially inclusive off-shoot of early Black American folk magic. These traditions are hardly worrisome to the community and in many cases part of the very social fabric. However, outside of the American experience there exists types of Witchcraft that are more like the medieval Christian view of Witches. Human sacrifices are common in many parts of the world, from Uganda where Christian attacks on homosexuality have overshadowed the alarming spike in confirmed human sacrifice to our own southern border where the cult of Saint Death offers their newly born goddess the blood of innocents.

Which leads us to this story that was sent to me by a friend:

PORT MORESBY – Residents of a Papua New Guinea mining town say they found a man with a history of drug abuse allegedly eating his screaming, newborn son during a sorcery initiation ceremony.

Police said locals on the outskirts of the town of Tabubil, in Western Province, woke on Thursday to the screams of the baby.

Beset with the grisly sight of the father allegedly eating his child, an angry mob chased him to the police station where he was detained after a short struggle.

Police said the discovery was too late to save the baby, who died of his injuries.

Tabubil police commander Demas Tapea said officers had detained a man and his wife to assist them with their inquiries.

“It is a very disturbing incident,” Sergeant Tapea said.

“The community is upset, angry but there is also a lot of fear and anxiety because there is a belief in sorcery or witchcraft.”

Sgt Tapea said the main suspect was known to police.

Locals are saying the man was carrying out a sorcery ritual, or initiation, to become part of some sort of special society,” he said.

The suspect has a long history of drug abuse and we are not surprised something like this has happened.

“A few years ago, he went crazy in what we believe was due to the effects of drugs,” he said.

In 2009, it was estimated at least 50 people were killed that year in sorcery-related murders in sudden or unexplained deaths in isolated communities.

This story is instructive for several reasons but primarily as an example of who gets recruited into the more sinister cults, and how drugs are often used to anesthetize neophytes to the enormity of their activities. Investigators will find, again and again, that cults that kill tend to recruit people who are already drug users (and often troubled) because both the drug use and the culture that surrounds it alters the thinking process of the individual, making them more accepting of views that don’t conform to society. After recruitment you’ll find that dangerous groups will encourage recreational drug use partly to numb the person to the criminality involved and partly to foster dependence on the group which will often take control of the economic life of the neophyte.

Prohibition here is irrelevant to the point. Alcohol could be used as well. It is simply an unpleasant fact of life for both the occult movement and the drug culture that such groups exist, and often straddle the line between both. Do not be fooled into thinking that this sort of thing doesn’t happen here. America has more than it’s share of drug fueled killer cults, the most famous being the Manson Family, and I would put forward that most recruit drug users simply because users are more likely to accept the strange and immoral views of the cult.


3 Responses to “Victimless Crime File: Man Caught Eating Baby Alive in Sorcery Initiation”

  1. DodiaFae on February 16th, 2011 2:14 pm

    Not sure you saw this link (I found it when searching for updates on this story for the piece I did on BB).

    Acting Western provincial police commander Peter Philip confirmed the horrific act. He said the man entered his home at Wanbin settlement at around 10pm and started an argument with his wife who was nursing the baby.
    Chief Insp Philip said after strangling the wife, he grabbed the child and started bitting its head, neck and breast.
    “The child was crying in severe pain. The wife alerted neighbours who attempted unsuccessfully to take the baby from him because he was allegedly possessed by evil forces. He’d displayed unusual strength,” Chief Insp Philip said.
    He was finally overpowered by task force police who led him to the police station. He said the man allegedly told magistrate Patrick Monouluk: “I won’t give you the baby because God tells me to eat the baby. It’s a threat to me,” when he asked for the baby to be handed over to him.

    It seems that this was more a case of him being off his rocker on PCP or something (much like the Angelo Mendoza, the guy you blogged about who ate his 4 year old son’s eyes) walking in on his wife, who was trying to care for this child (though I’m not sure how she was able to be nursing this baby when she’s not the bio-mom… article doesn’t elaborate), getting jealous (as drug-addicted man-children will), trying unsuccessfully to strangle his wife, then murdering the baby.

    I think that the villagers’ superstitious beliefs were the only thing that brought anything “occult” into this situation, and reporters grabbed that and ran with it (sells more papers, right?) It just doesn’t seem planned. I could be wrong.

    I just can’t imagine the fear and agony that poor baby was put through… every time I read anything about this incident, I get nauseous.

  2. Rob Taylor on February 16th, 2011 2:32 pm

    Didn’t they detain two others though?

  3. DodiaFae on February 17th, 2011 7:18 pm

    It doesn’t specify what the reason for detaining them was… it could be that they were the first on the scene, or the neighbors that the wife went to for help, and they were brought in for questioning as witnesses. I haven’t found anything saying they were arrested. Then again, they’re horrible for releasing any information at all in PNG.

    OTOH, if they were with the psycho, it could be that they’re his drug buddies. I’m told that lots of addicts prefer to share their misery, so they find “friends” that are all too happy to get together with them on a regular basis to get wasted.

    Then again, you could be right.

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