October 24, 2014

The Mormons Say Their Gay Outreach is a tremendous success


                                                                                 

(From the Salt Lake Tribune)

The recent outreach effort to Mormon gays and lesbians in one Seattle LDS congregation was a "tremendous success," with attendance swelling to three times the usual number, according to participants.
The overwhelming turnout for the Oct. 19 meeting at the Washington Park LDS Ward was the result of a widely distributed letter from that congregation’s bishopric, inviting less-active members to come to the special service.
"There is a large community of members, gay and straight, who have yet to meet each other," the letter read in part. "Please come join us. Your faith and your fellows need your strength, your testimony and your unique perspective on our gospel. You will be valued and welcomed as a part of our ward family.”
Molly Bennion, who is the women’s Relief Society president in the Washington Park Ward and spoke at the gathering, noted that many people stayed after the service for a "linger longer" — a kind of greet-and-eat event — and some asked if they could attend that Mormon ward instead of their own.
"I heard nothing negative from the regularly attending members," Bennion wrote in an email. "Most seemed genuinely delighted and proud to be in our ward."
Aaron Brown, who serves on the LDS stake (regional) high council in the area and was instrumental in organizing the meeting, deemed it "simply stellar. A home run from start to finish, featuring talks by [Bennion], the bishop and a lesbian member of the stake."
All three sermons were "superb," Brown wrote in an email, but the latter member’s talk "was truly the highlight."
The lesbian member spoke "so plainly, so matter-of-factly, and so movingly about her identity as a gay Mormon," said Brown, who oversees LDS public affairs in north Seattle. "It was probably one of the most spiritual meetings I’ve ever attended, and I know many, many other attendees felt similarly."
At the end of the service, one of the co-directors of Seattle’s Mormon public affairs, along with a former LDS stake president, conversed at length with an older, African-American gay couple, one of whom said he was a lineal descendant of Green Flake, one of the first black men to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The gay man said he hadn’t been in a Mormon meetinghouse for 46 years, Brown reported, but was intrigued by the invitation.
Members told Brown they recognized how "groundbreaking" the meeting was, he said in the email, and "were so grateful to have been there to witness it."
Peggy Fletcher Stack

“When a Man Loves Another Man” by Michael Bolton




ET's Rocsi Diaz was behind the scenes on Walden and Alan's big day to witness all of the smiles, tears, and wedding day surprises.

The stars of Two and a Half Men are going to say, "I do" before their official adieu from the series. To each other.
The long-running CBS comedy is poised to debut their 12th and final season Thursday, Oct. 30, with a walk down the aisle when its two heterosexual leads Walden (Ashton Kutcher) and Alan (Jon Cryer) get married. That's right — we said it: married.
ET's Rocsi Diaz was behind the scenes on Walden and Alan's big day to witness all of the smiles, tears, and wedding day surprises. We even tested the co-stars' knowledge with our version of The Newlywed Game and dug deep into the ET vault to shock Cryer with a Pretty in Pinkflashback — his very first interview with Entertainment Tonight!










View gallery
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Diaz talked to the grooms about taking their relationship to the next level. "We've had a wedding almost every season, yet I've managed to remain single," Cryer remarked with a smile. "This might be the one that sticks."
So why is Two and a Half Men opting to kick off the season with these sudden, platonic nuptials? “Walden is going to have a major health scare and it is going to give him a bit of an existential crisis,” CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler told reporters this summer at the Television Critics Association. press tour.
"He wants to find a way to add more meaning to his life, so he decides he wants to adopt a child., Tassler continued. "And in doing so, he starts the process and he realizes that it’s very difficult to adopt a child as a single, straight man… So once and for all, he decides, ‘I’m going to propose to Alan. We’re going to get married and adopt a child as a gay couple.'"
  Although reporters immediately asked about potential negative backlash from the LGBT community, Tassler defended Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre's creative vision for the final season. "I think it’s a very positive statement,” she countered. “[Walden believes he is] going to adopt a child as a gay couple, and the reality is he can do that. In a universe where at one point you couldn’t do that, and now you can, I think that’s a much more positive statement that he’s making."
GLAAD credited the show with having good storylines about gay issues in the past. But President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis also commented, “We hope the show will acknowledge not only the progress made in acceptance of gay and lesbian couples, but also the fact that — in many areas of the country — same-sex couples are often under greater scrutiny or still barred from adoption options that straight couples have." In the premiere, legendary singer Michael Bolton serenades Walden and Alan with a slightly tweaked version of the smash song, "When a Man Loves a Woman." Not to be outdone, we at ET also brought a special gift to the stars' faux wedding.
Back In 1985 ET was on the set of John Hughes' cult classic Pretty in Pink, talking to a babyfaced Cryer about his now infamous role as Ducky Dale. At first glance, the Two and a Half Menactors immediately burst into laughter — and Kutcher noticed something very interesting about his co-star's young self. "You have the same comedic timing!" Kutched exclaimed.
"I do!" Cryer said with a laugh, "With the wierdness and stammers it was all there." And for all you meta-lovers out there, Cryer will also be dressing up as Ducky in Two and a Half Men's premiere in celebration of Halloween.

ETonline
By Leanne Aguilera
Two and a Half Men's 12th and final season premieres Thursday, Oct. 30, at 9 p.m

Shonda Rhimes “If You Don’t Like gay love scenes, DON’T watch them!”


                                                                           

Shonda Rhimes has a message for those complaining about gay scenes in her television series'. According to Rhimes, those opposed to gay scenes or even gay characters in "How To Get Away With Murder" and "Scandal" can simply just not watch. The Huffington Post reported on Tuesday about a Twitter exchange betweenShonda Rhimes and a fan where she shuts down the critique of Rhimes going "too far" with love scenes involving gay characters. 
It all started when a fan tweeted to Shonda Rhimes and said, "@shondarhimes the gay scenes in scandal and how to get away with murder are too much. There is no point and they add nothing to the plot." Rhimes minced no words when responding to the Twitter cricic. Shonda responded three times with her own opinion. She said:
@Dabdelhakiem There are no GAY scenes. There are scenes with people in them.
@Dabdelhakiem If you are suddenly discovering that Shondaland shows have scenes involving people who are gay, you are LATE TO THE PARTY.
@Dabdelhakiem If u use the phrase "gay scenes", u are not only LATE to the party but also NOT INVITED to the party. Bye Felicia. #oneLOVE
Writer/producer Shonda Rhimes attends Women In Film 2014 Crystal + Lucy Awards presented by MaxMara, BMW, Perrier-Jouet and South Coast Plaza held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on June 11, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Even after the exchange with one Twitter follower ended, Shonda Rhimes continued to shut down critics with a rant about equality. She said, "I love all you Tweeples. Even the ones who still need to grow. And remember that at some point, someone discriminated against you too." Then one last tweet to shut it all down. Before shutting the whole thing down, Rhimes said, "I don't know why this kind of hate is out there. Ugh. #onelove. At least in Shondaland. Have a great rest of your weekend!" 
Shonda Rhimes has been very vocal about her support of the LGBT community. She even received a Golden Gate award from GLAAD in 2012 for her commitment to supporting the gay community and for always supporting gay characters on her shows. 
So there you have it. For those who don't want to see gay love scenes or gay characters on TV, pass on television shows by Shonda Rhimes. For those who support the LGBT community and want to make sure that television shows continue breaking boundaries and spreading equality, tune in to shows created by Shonda Rhimes.
For those who do regularly watch Shonda Rhimes' television shows like "How To Get Away With Murder," "Scandal" or "Grey's Anatomy," how do you feel about gay love scenes within the shows? Do you think Shonda Rhimes was right to shut down the critics or are audiences still not ready for same sex love scenes in prime time television?

Kyrgyzstan passes anti gay law US Condemns Action



                                                                                

With a controversy over proposed gay rights legislation in Kyrgyzstan, the struggle between the United States and Russia for influence in Central Asia– traditionally seen as a conflict over pipelines and military bases – is taking on aspects of a culture war.
Earlier this month, Kyrgyzstan’s parliament passed a law outlawing the promotion of “a positive attitude toward non-traditional sexual relations.” The U.S. embassy in Bishkek issued a statement condemning the legislation, saying that it “fundamentally threatens human rights, Kyrgyzstan’s democratic gains and constitutional guarantees…. No one should be silenced or imprisoned because of who they are or whom they love.” The parliament’s press service shot back, saying that the U.S. was interfering in Kyrgyzstan’s internal affairs and added that while developing the legislation, lawmakers had studied similar laws in several other countries – including eight American states.
The Russian involvement in the legislation is less direct but many observers detect the hand of the Kremlin, which also last year passed a law banning “gay propaganda.” Masha Gessen, writing in the New York Times, noted that Kyrgyzstan is also now considering a law restricting NGOs that receive money from abroad, which also is similar to a law Russia has passed. “In Russia the bills were passed separately, but their packaging in Kyrgyzstan is a perfect reflection of the xenophobic world view Russia has adopted and is now imposing on its allies,” Gessen wrote. The “promotion of Russian-style legislation and ideology” is a “stealthy expansionist project,” she added.
This is not the first time that the gay rights debate in Kyrgyzstan has taken on a U.S.-vs.-Russia cast. When Human Rights Watch issued a report in January criticizing the abuse of gay men at the hands of police in Kyrgyzstan, anti-gay nationalists chose the U.S. embassy in Bishkek as the place to hold a protest. The author of the report said the backlash was “due to discussions in Russian media about LGBT issues.”
In recent years, Russia has increasingly used its conservative ideology as part of its foreign policy toolkit, though it frames that conservatism as a defense against efforts by the U.S. and Europe to impose foreign values on the rest of the world. “We do not claim to be any sort of superpower with a claim to global or regional hegemony; we do not encroach on anyone’s interests, impose our patronage onto anyone, or try to teach others how to live their lives,” Putin said in a speech last year. “But we will strive to be leaders, defending international law, striving for respect and national sovereignty and peoples’ independence and identity.”
While Moscow rarely explicitly identifies gay rights as the target of this conservative push, its media is less circumspect and frequently equates Western values with homosexuality. The U.S., meanwhile, has increasingly made gay rights part of its diplomacy; former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has bragged about getting into shouting matches with Russian officials over gay rights.
The gay rights debate in Kyrgyzstan is taking place while relations with Russia grow stronger and those with the U.S. weaken. Last year the Kyrgyzstan government refused to renew the agreement allowing for the presence of a U.S. air base in the country, which had operated since 2001 as a rear base for operations in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, it has allowed Russia to expand its air base in the country, and is moving toward joining the Russia-led Customs Union.
By Joshua Kucera (his posting has been edited)
pic:Wikipedia

Dementia in Us and Novelists



Pile of open books
Thinkstock  
Memory has been a subject of such classics as The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird, but the hot literary theme this year is the loss of memory.
 
It turns up in a variety of ways:
  • It's a plot point in the ghost story, A Sudden Light.
  • In the epic family saga, We Are Not Ourselves, it's an event that comes to define all of the characters.
  • Still Alice shows readers what to expect if they get the diagnosis.
  • Elizabeth is Missing, a first-person narrative by a woman with dementia, offers a new twist on the literary device of the unreliable narrator.
 
 
 
A thriller with an agenda, Emma Healey's Elizabeth is Missing is the most entertaining of these four books, summarized below.
 
Why Dementia Is A Common Theme
 
Nina Silverberg, assistant director of the Alzheimer's Disease Centers Program at the National Institute on Aging, says dementia is more prominent in literature because it's more prominent in life. "Alzheimer's is becoming a more common theme because it simply affects more people and more family members, and that includes novelists,” Silverberg says.
 
( 
In fact, it includes at least three of the four above-mentioned novelists. The father of the author of We Are Not Ourselves, Matthew Thomas, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, as was the father character in his book. The grandmothers of Healey and Lisa Genova, who wrote Still Alice, suffered from cognitive disorders.
 
"My grandmother gave me the trigger for the book when she was in the car with me and my dad one day and she said, 'My friend is missing.' I thought that was interesting and scary," says Healey.
 
"We knew this friend wasn't missing but I thought, 'What if she really had been? What if this were something my grandmother couldn't retain, so she kept forgetting it over and over?' At the time, her dementia was in quite early stages, but I kept thinking about the idea for the next year, as her dementia got much worse," she adds.
 
A Twist on the Unreliable Narrator
 
Healey’s story has been a hit in her native England and in the U.S. The book provides a unique window into dementia because it takes place entirely in Maud's (the grandmother character) head.
 
 
Much like The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time, whose narrator had a form of Asperger syndrome, Elizabeth is Missing centers on a mystery that might be easily solved by some people but that comes to obsess the narrator, who cannot grasp all of the facts in front of her.
 
Unlike, say, Lolita, where the unreliable narrator is someone we cannot trust, the narrators in Elizabeth and Curious Case are unreliable because they cannot trust their own brains.
 
"It's a horrible thing to say, but dementia is a great gift to a novelist," says Healey. "There's a kind of de-familiarization that it causes, so you are able to write about ordinary things from a totally new perspective. I was dying to find a way to explain things, to figure out what was going on in my grandmother's head, and I thought fiction might be a way in."
 
Where Truth Meets Fiction
 
In many ways, the novels depict reality, with details that ring true.
 
For instance, in We Are Not Ourselves and Still Alice (the movie version of the latter comes out in December, with Julianne Moore in the title role), the characters with Alzheimer's are 50-ish professors, highly-functioning individuals who delay treatment during crucial years because they are so good at hiding and compensating for their symptoms.
 
"Different people are more resilient, especially people with higher levels of education, so it's realistic that some people are able to hide it better," says Silverberg. "It's also the case that some people are unaware of a decline, because we used to think that people who got older slowly lose their memories. They think that's normal and, even if they do suspect it's Alzheimer's, they frequently deny it, whether to themselves or others."
 
 
 
Other details that pop up across the four novels — the strain on loved ones, worry over passing on genes related to Alzheimer's, the frustration of writing Post-It note reminders to oneself, only to forget what the notes refer to — also sound familiar to Silverberg.
 
Although she likes to keep abreast of what pop culture is saying about Alzheimer's, Silverberg has not read any of these four books because she's not looking for sadness in her recreational reading. But based on what she has heard, she believes the books can offer hope by documenting how far we've come in understanding and treating cognitive disorders.
 
"Sometimes, physicians haven't wanted to give a diagnosis because there's nothing that can magically cure it, but this is the message we want to get out: We do understand certain behaviors and there are lots of thing to do if people at least understand what's going on," says Silverberg.
 
"I hope (these books) will help raise awareness and especially encourage people to participate in research so we can find a way to gain a better understanding of the disease."
 
Summaries of 4 Dementia-Themed Novels
 

Elizabeth is Missing
, by Emma Healey — Strong-willed Maud searches for her best friend, whom she believes may have been the victim of foul play, while she, her family and her caregivers cope with her worsening symptoms of dementia.











Still Alice, by Lisa Genova — Over the course of about a year, the novel charts the course of a Harvard professor's memory loss. With its information on genetic markers, support groups and early testing, it’s almost like an instruction manual in the guise of a novel.












A Sudden Light, by Garth Stein — A man and his teenage son return to the crumbling mansion where the father grew up. They grapple with the family patriarch's Alzheimer's and the ghosts that haunt the place.












We Are Not Ourselves, by Matthew Thomas — Simultaneously mammoth and intimate, Thomas' saga charts the fortunes of Ed and Eileen Leary (and their son, Connell) over a span of five decades. It’s a tough read, but the best-written of the four.











Chris Hewitt is a movie and theater critic who has written for MSNBC.com, Today.com and The History Channel magazine and whose reviews have run in newspapers across the country.

October 23, 2014

Sweden Continues Intense Search for Russian Sub-Force will be Used



                                                                            


Story and pics by
       BBC

Sweden could use force in its search for a suspected foreign submarine, a senior Swedish naval officer has told the BBC.
Real Admiral Anders Grenstad said if a submarine were discovered, weapons could be used to make it surface.
But the military operation is focused on gathering intelligence, he added.
Russia has denied suggestions that one of its submarines got into trouble near Stockholm last week after distress signals were reportedly intercepted.
There have been several reported sightings of a mysterious vessel off the Swedish coast, prompting the search operation.
Rear Admiral Grenstad, who is deputy chief of joint operations in the search, said he had "no clue" which country owned it.
"Everybody is speculating - that's what you get when you're hunting submarines," he added.
Amateur photo made available on October 19, 2014 by the Swedish Defence Ministry shows an object (top C) in the sea near StockholmThe Swedish military released an image taken by a passerby showing an object in the sea near Stockholm
MapThe search focuses on Ingaro Bay - about 30,000 islands make up the Stockholm archipelago
Local media said Sweden had intercepted a distress signal in Russian.
Russia also has several submarines based in Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave bordered by Poland and Lithuania and facing out to Sweden, as well as a much bigger force near Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula.
'Something is in our waters'
Rear Admiral Grenstad said the Swedes were trying to establish that the mystery vessel was indeed a submarine.
"We hate the fact that we have something in our waters - or we believe something is in our waters," he said.
A Swedish minesweeper and guard boat searching for the mystery vesselThe Swedish navy has been searching for the mystery vessel since last week
An assault vehicle lands an search team on an island in Stockholm's archipelagoThe mobilisation is Sweden's biggest since the Cold War
The Rear Admiral went on to say: "If we find the submarine with our own sensors the captain of the ship has the possibility to use weapons to get it to stop whatever it is doing." 
He appealed to the public to help in identifying the vessel by keeping camera or phones handy if they were in the islands near Stockholm.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has announced his government will increase spending on defence in its budget on Thursday.
Two Swedish fast-attack vessels in the Stockholm archipelagoThe Swedish military said force could be used to raise the suspected submarine to the surface
Sweden's search, now in its sixth day, has been focusing on Ingaro Bay off Stockholm.
Ships equipped to find submarines are among the vessels taking part in the operation.
Soviet submarine sightings during the Cold War caused security alerts in Sweden in the 1980s.
Russia's military intervention in Ukraine this year has fuelled suspicion about its intentions towards other neighbouring states, notably in the Baltic.

Mex Mayor and Wife Masterminds behind 43 students disappearances


                                                                       
                                                                        

 A Mexican mayor and his wife were "probable masterminds" behind the disappearance of 43 student teachers last month in the restive southwest, the country's attorney general said on Wednesday.
The students went missing on Sept. 26 from Iguala in the southwestern state of Guerrero, after they clashed with police. The incident sent shockwaves across Mexico and undermined President Enrique Pena Nieto's claims that Mexico is getting safer under his watch. 
So far, federal authorities have arrested 52 people in connection with the incident, including dozens of police who have links to a gang called Guerreros Unidos, or "United Warriors." The gang's leader, Sidronio Casarrubias, was caught last week.
Thousands marched in Iguala on Wednesday to protest the disappearance of the teachers in training. After the march, masked men set fire to the municipal offices with Molotov cocktails and smashed the windows. 
In Mexico City, Attorney General Jesus Murillo said Casarrubias had told prosecutors that Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda, had ordered two local police forces to stop the students from disrupting a political event that day. 
"We have issued warrants for the arrest of Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca, his wife Mrs Pineda Villa and police chief Felipe Flores Velazquez, as probable masterminds of the events that occurred in Iguala on Sept. 26," Murillo said at a press conference. 
During the September incident, police shot and killed one student and detained the others before turning them over to Guerreros Unidos gang members, Murillo added. He said the gang then mistook the students for members of rival criminal group "Los Rojos," or "The Reds."
He also said that according to Casarrubias' information, Pineda, who the government says comes from a family of high-ranking drug traffickers, was Guerreros Unidos' top boss within the Iguala government.
Authorities continue to investigate nine mass graves in the area where they have already found 30 bodies. Initial examinations showed none of the bodies belonged to the students. 
The case has overshadowed Pena Nieto's bid to restore order in Mexico and shift the focus away from endemic gang violence and onto economic growth in Latin America's No. 2 economy. Drug violence exploded during the rule of his predecessor, Felipe Calderon, and has claimed about 100,000 lives since 2007.
Security forces killed 19 suspected criminals in the state of Tamaulipas on Tuesday alone, the state government said on Wednesday.
GABRIEL STARGARDTER
(Reuters) 
(Writing by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Gabriel Stargardter and Simon Gardner and David Gregorio)

Wednesday Night, Another Man Jumps White House Fence




The U.S. Secret Service is facing yet another probe from investigators: This time, on a claim that agents were called to help settle a local dispute with an agency employee's neighbor in rural Maryland instead of patrolling the Capitol. (Oct. 22) AP
For the second time in a month, a man has jumped the White House fence, but this time the intruder was immediately subdued Wednesday evening -- by Secret Service dogs.
K-9 units took the man down on the North Lawn, an Al Jazeera America cameraman reported. Video showed the suspect kicking and punching the dogs, and then being surrounded immediately by officers.
The White House was immediately put on lockdown.
It's the 7th time this year that someone has scaled the wrought-iron fence.
On Sept. 19, Omar Gonzalez, a 42-year-old Army vet who is unemployed and homeless, bolted across the lawn and into the White House before before being apprehended. He had g a 3½-inch folding, serrated knife in his pants and more than 800 rounds of ammunition, two hatchets and a machete in his car.
The unprecedented security breach led to congressional hearings and the resignation of Julia Pierson as Secret Service director.

A PR Fed Judge Not aware that the High Court said Gay bans ‘Demeans and Violates'




I am going to try to make this posting very short and extra clear in regards to a Puerto Rican District Court judge who goes by the name of Perez-Gimenez who ruled pro a gay marriage ban in Puerto Rico. I posted yesterday in: adamfoxie.blogspot.com/2014/10/federal-judge-in-puerto-rico-rules.html 
the story as it came out.

Let me make it clear that this ruling will be laugh off at the high court. This judge is using on old case in which the Supreme Court had already ruled that such cases are overruled by new law. The latest new opinion from the court says in a not too little case called Windsor in which the Supreme Court ruled that a federal gay marriage ban “degrade[s]” and “demean[s]” gay couples and “violates basic due process and equal protection principles.”
Pérez-Giménez seems to be forgetting a new ruling and going by something as old as he is. Can you imagine a District Court judge not knowing the new law but going by old law. I am shock he did not based his opinion on Leviticus! By the way if you are wondering who appointed this Wisenhamer it was President Carter. Don’t be too harsh on President Carter he probably thought Gimenez was a Democrat. You see in Puerto Rico you have three main parties and theories of government: Democrat(want the Island to remain a commonwealth). The Democrats there are backed by Democrats on the mainland. They have the Republicans ( they want statehood) they have the same ideas as the GOP here. The third party is the Independents which want the Island to be like a Democratic Cuba. 
 The problem is that these parties have nick names based on logos they picked like Centrists, liberals, etc. On Carter’s time the Republicans had a logo of a coconut palm tree so they called them selves “ La Palma.” It sounds a little dumb but it is possible the President thought this La Palma judge was a democrat, so he made him a supreme Court judge (district court). 
Hey this is my own conclusion but since the whole events surrounding the hearings on this case to then come up with a stupid opinion opens the doors to any other stupid opinion as to what went wrong with this judge. You are welcome to give yours.
I hope he likes his office because that is the only office he will see for the rest of his life. 
 Adam Gonzalez


                                                                        

Dress up as a Witch in one of these 7 Countries and watch how they set you on fire!



                                                                        

You know how the long-ago witch hunts were stupid and hateful? What a relief those days are over.
Except they’re not. In many countries, people are still killed on suspicion of witchcraft. United Nations experts cautioned in 2009 that murders of women and children accused of sorcery were on the rise. Following are just a few of many examples from around the world.
                                                                                  


1. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia’s religious police department has an official Anti-Witchcraft Unit that it dispatches to catch sorcerers and break their spells. In 2007, the Saudis executed an accused sorcerer. A woman awaiting the death penalty for alleged witchcraft died in prison.
Like the New England witch hunters of yore, those in Saudi Arabia use magic as a convenient excuse to silence inconvenient people. Accusations of sorcery have been leveled against foreign women working as domestics for Saudi families who charge their employers with sexual assault, according to Saudi Arabia expert Christoph Wilcke.
2. Tanzania
This east African country killed approximately 600 elderly women on charges of witchcraft just two years ago. The Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life found a strong and pervasive belief in magic among Tanzanians. It sometimes leads to reverence rather than murder. One woman who claims to be a witch charges between $20 and $120 for services including medical cures and exorcisms — in a country where the average income is under two dollars a day.
3. Gambia
Gambia’s dictator Yahya Jammeh rounds up, tortures and kills his citizens under the pretext of hunting for witches. Amnesty International estimates that at least six people died after Jammeh’s minions forced them to drink a mixture of unknown substances. Dozens more hallucinated and suffered severe and lingering pain. Those who survived suffered shame from the accusation in a country where people believe in and condemn witches.
4. Nepal
Last year a mob burned an accused witch alive after a shaman said she killed a boy. Their faith in the shaman suggests that Nepalis believe that sorcery can be used for good, but the punishment for black magic is death. This year another mob beat a 45-year-old woman to death based on accusations that she cast a spell on a neighbor’s daughter. The Nepali government is not on board with killing witches: police arrested three women suspected of participating in the murder. In the past it sentenced men to 20 years in prison for killing a woman suspected of practicing black magic.
5. India
Last June, a primarily female crowd killed two women believed to have murdered several children through witchcraft. As in Nepal, police arrested people suspected of participating in the mob. Some Indian states have adopted laws banning violence against people suspected of witchcraft.
6. Papua New Guinea
A crowd tortured and murdered a young mother accused of killing a boy through sorcery. They burned her alive before a large audience, some of whom broke off to chase police away before they could intervene. The prime minister lamented that violence against women is increasing because of the popular “belief that sorcery kills,” despite a law that specifically prohibits burning suspected witches.
7. Uganda
After burning a man’s house down and driving him from his village, locals tied him up and beheaded him for alleged witchcraft. While Ugandans kill some suspected witches, they pay others to help them with things like ensuring job security.
This is a small sampling of countries where natives believe in witchcraft and kill people for it. While the governments of some nations, including Saudi Arabia and Gambia, embrace this belief and use it to their own ends, others are working to end it. Either way, accusations of black magic empower people to eliminate individuals they dislike and to terrify others into conformity.
It all makes Halloween witch costumes a little less funny.

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