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Question
Posted by: Spooky | 2004/11/17

One Man's Meat - Another Man's Poison.

Dear CyberShrink,
I am deeply disturbed and completely bewildered, with reference to the latest “muty murder”, as to how anyone could possibly believe that a concoction comprising of a murdered baby’s genitalia could ensure the mother’s boyfriend recruitment in some or other form of employment.
Would this be as a result of psychotic behaviour, brainwashing, traditional stupidity, lack of education or just plain primitive savagery? Any ideas as to how we could eradicate the barbaric practices in the future?
I apologise for the grossness of the topic.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Yes, the topic is indeed gross. Even though there may be cultural aspects to such pracice, I suspect that the behaviour of such butchers is as unrelated to the proper function of properly trained and functional traditional healers as to any other sort of healers === Harold is right about their value within the broader healthcare system, and the extent to which they are not involved in such barbaric practices. But I think Harold over-reacted in seeing racist overtones in anyone being revulsed by such disgusting acts. They are rooted in superstitious beliefs not arising from logic or common sense, and I suspect they could well be as rooted in greed and an abusing of traditional beliefs for personal profit, as anything else.
Not that long ago, a century or two, very white people in America and Europe persecuted and burned or drowned "witches", so no culture has room to feel too superior about such things. But maybe it's a real duty within every culture, to evolve, and to firmly reject old practices which no longer are acceptable in terms of the larger ideals and principles the culture at large have evolved to accepting. Muti murders, like witch burnings, need to be condemned by all sections of the culture in whose name they are done, and every means available used to stamp them out. Successful cultures do not assume that our fortfathers, several centuries ago, knew everything necessary, and that no aspect of ancient customs ever need revision or even abolition.

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: lulu | 2004/11/18

Nothing in her post made me think that she's racist.

She was on about the brutal murder of a baby for idiotic beliefs. If you feel offended because it was done under the "traditional medicine" banner, you should really be looking at the person that used the knife, I think.

Should this complicated practice not be controlled in a way so as to prevent the killing of infants and children for bodyparts for truly IDIOTIC reasons?

Reply to lulu
Posted by: Paul | 2004/11/18

Harold, you have a most impressive vocabulary and seem to be able to carry accross your ideas very well. That said, and Im sorry to say, that thinking if you drink a concoction like that you'd get a job is nothing more than gross stupidity and ignorance.

Reply to Paul
Posted by: Harold | 2004/11/18

I think you need to apologise for more than 'the grossness of the topic". But first, let me be absolutely clear: I do not, under any circumstances, support, condone or understand in any way, shape or form the ugliness of such a barbaric act. That said, It always amazes me how people, in attempting to seek the high moral ground, make sweeping statements about things they know little or nothing about.

Traditional medicince, practised correctly, is a very complicated business and remains an integral part of very many South African's lives. The cultural backgrounds of the indigenous peoples of our land are wonderful tapestries that are rich in history. To make a statement "..traditional stupidity, lack of education or just plain primitive savagery.." binds a senseless act to an established and beneficial history and reduces respected culture to brutality.

For context: its like saying that the bombs planted by the AWB and Boeremag, in the name of cultural freedom, exemplify the whole of the afrikander folk - an obvious travesty.

Think before you speak and think again before you write: your post reeks of sensationalising a brutal murder under the pretext of disdain and is tainted with racism....

Reply to Harold

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