There is apparently no place for pagan traditions in the 20th century, but this is far from being true. The examples are just near - there was a voodoo doll made after the prototype of the French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The French toy-maker organized the production of such exclusive souvenirs with the face of the French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Twenty thousand cardboard dolls with the face of the head of state came into the market with the pin set and the instruction for applying the voodoo magic. Nicolas Sarkozy began a legal action against the company, but all was in vain: the court of Paris considered the voodoo dolls to be “the manifestation of word and the French sense of humour” and did not honour the claim of the head of state.
An American firm that put on sale the ceramic figurines resembling Bernard Madoff, the former director of the stock exchange NASDAQ, joined the creative trend. Madoff is accused of building one of the biggest financial pyramids ever, which caused large–scale losses for world’s biggest banks. As an attachment to this doll, there is a small hammer, with which you can break it any time you like. The devils in bright red costumes with tridents in their hands and faces of the great financial trickster were sold out instantly too. The doll was called “Smash Me Bernie”, which can be interpreted as “Bernie that can be shattered” or “Bernie that can make you bankrupt”.
Meanwhile, a scandal has flared up in Gambia because of the revealed information about the witch-hunt that has been allegedly led in this country since January of this year. News reports said that the decease of the aunt of the President of State became the ground for capturing the inhabitants of villages and settlements. He suspected that witches had interfered into the lives of his relatives and finally caused the death of his beloved auntie.
The mass capture of witch-resembling individuals began by order from the head of Gambia. More than a thousand men were arrested on charges of witchcraft and transported to secret prisons where they were given a hallucinogenic potion to drink, which made many of them suffer from renal insufficiency. Two of the detainees died.
“The militarized police armored with submachine guns and spades surrounded our village and said that all residents who tried to flee would be dug into a grave,” the BBC referring to the human rights organization Amnesty International quotes the words of an eyewitness of the raid to the village of Sintet.
As is mentioned, members of power ministries selected about 300 men and women from the inhabitants, forced them into the buses and took them to Kanilai, the home town of the President.
“The abducted were stripped and compelled to drink dirty water with admixture of some decoctions and take herbal baths. The potion made many suffer from diarrhea and vomiting,” an eyewitness said.
Other detainees said that they had been imprisoned for up to five days. They confirmed that the potion caused hallucinations and made them lose control over themselves.
“Afterwards, they began to demand that we should confess to committing acts of witchcraft. Some were severely beaten, almost to death,” eyewitnesses said.
The witch-hunters were chiefly from Guinea , Amnesty International said. Besides, the eyewitnesses say that policemen, military men, intelligence officers and personal guards of the country’s president Yahya Jammeh took part in the raid.
“There are mainly old men among the captured,” experts of the organization pointed out.
At the same time, they mention that Yahya Jammeh himself stated many times that he had supernatural abilities. Last year he tried to cure his fellow citizens of AIDS and asthma with herbs, which was antiscientific and therefore hurt the rights of the patients, the human rights advocates said.
“Many people fearing the raid fled to Senegal . The government of Gambia must put an end to this campaign and immediately investigate all the assaults and call the guilty to account,” Director of the British division of Amnesty International Keith Allen claimed.
In an exclusive interview with Aif.Ru, a well-known political scientist Sergey Mikheyev expressed his opinion about the fact that the pagan traditions were still strong in the modern world.
“The general revival of occultism is obvious. It is connected in the first place with the crisis of the traditional religions in the West. Having pronounced itself the source of world power and the leader of the whole planet, the West suffers from the inner value crisis caused by its separation from Christianity. It is no surprise that the Americans and Europeans, who broke away from Christianity, absorb any traditions from other cultures extremely rapidly, regardless of what nature – positive or negative – those traditions are.
“Afterwards, the new trend of occultism spreads all over the world and becomes an element of global mass culture. I do not believe that it enjoys systematical application in Europe or America, but in Africa pagan atavisms may be quite strong. For instance, we can recollect the Emperor of the Central African Republic Jean-Bédel Bokassa (the military ruler of the Central African Republic from 1 January 1966 and the Emperor of the Central African Empire from December 4, 1976 until he was overthrown on 20 September 1979), who literally ate all his opponents and everyone he liked,” the scientist said.