Now, here's a story that intrigues and appalls me, in equal measure. What does a witch do? I mean, one has these preachers denouncing people as witches... how do they (the preachers), know that they are witches? How would anyone know that they were a witch?
Rogue preachers use 'witch' scares to abuse children
OK, so these guys are seemingly making shit up, in order to get sex and serve whatever other impulses that they might have, but presumably the belief that witches exist is founded on something? I'll tell you a story. I was walking with my daughter, not far from where I used to live, in Romford. A couple of kids were playing outside their gate, and my daughter stopped to join in. I forget what it was that they were talking about, maybe something to do with spiders, but I said something completely off-the-cuff that I don't even remember precisely, whereupon the kids' mother, who had just walked outside to see what they were up to, clasped her hands to her head and ran back inside, shrieking to her husband something along the lines of "he's doing it, as well".
Now, this woman was not a first generation black woman, just arrived from some West African country, where juju is the mainstay of people's belief system. She was white, and British. Something I said triggered her. Something her kids talk about triggers her. I wonder if the possibility ever occurred to her that I just stumbled on her trigger, rather than reading her mind or otherwise coming by information that she'd rather keep secret. Do people believe that children are witches because they say whatever comes into their heads, and occasionally trigger stuff that people would rather forget? Do people have fear triggered, and become angry at their children, because they can? Do they punish their children for inadvertently stumbling across their triggers? Do they censor and silence their children, without ever explaining why?
Anyway, that's enough speculation. There are no witches, but there are a lot of very frightened people. How did that happen? And why isn't there an equivalent number of brave people?