By David Futrelle
The neo-Nazi internet tabloid The Daily Stormer is now declaring war on witches, and wants to bring back “the burning times.”
In a recent post on the site, contributor “Roy Batty” — presumably not the actual replicant from Blade Runner — reports the alarming (to him) news that the “Number of Witches [is] Drastically on the Rise.” As evidence for this claim, he cites a recent piece from a sometimes-fact-challenged far-right site called CNSNews.com asserting that
the number of witches (and Wiccans) has dramatically increased since the 1990s, to the degree that there may be at least 1.5 million witches in the United States, which is higher than the 1.4 million mainline Presbyterians.
As it turns out, this is an exaggerated misrepresentation of a questionable calculation based on a mistaken reading of a survey from Pew Research. CNSNews.com got the 1.5 million figure from The Christian Post, which got it from an article on Quartz, which claimed
the Pew Research Center … found [in a 2014 survey] that 0.4% of Americans, or around 1 to 1.5 million people, identify as Wicca or Pagan.
So basically a source claiming at most 1.5 million Wiccans and Pagans got turned into a claim that there are at least 1.5 million.
On top of that, Quartz got it wrong: the actual Pew study claims only 0.3% of Americans identify as Wiccan or Pagan. (The 0.4% is for all New Age believers.) If you do the math using the current US population figures you get a little less than a million following some form of Wicca or Paganism, fewer still if you only include adults. (Also, according to that same survey, there are roughly 4.5 million Americans who identify themselves as mainline Presbyterians; 1.4 million is the number the Presbyterian Church (USA) says are “active members.”)
But, whatever, there are a lot of witches out there, the number is apparently growing, and the Daily Stormer’s Roy Batty is feeling scared.
“I never really believed in all this bullshit,” he writes.
But recently… idk.
It’s hard to look at all this shit that’s happening in the world and explain it through economics. It’s hard to explain it even through the political lens.
He then tells a rather hard-to-believe story he claims to have heard from an unnamed “girl” who used to spend her summers in a tiny, rustic village, complete with a strange old woman who lived in an old house on the outskirts of town — and who once, the girl insisted, brought down a lightning bolt from the sky after scratching some weird symbols in the dirt outside the girl’s home while “muttering dark-sounding things” under her breath.
Now Batty isn’t quite convinced that witchcraft is real. But he doesn’t like the idea of strange women going around scaring people by scratching occult symbols in the dirt and muttering and whatnot.
All I know is that I don’t want to have to deal with that kind of shit in my life. And because my ancestors did such a good job dealing with it back then I never even thought about it as a real possibility.
But it is.
Think about it, you might end up with a freak as a neighbor in your little condo who likes to leave dark-looking squiggles on your door or dead reptiles under your welcome mat or something.
I guarantee you that it will freak you and the neighbors out because it is so antisocial and because it is just weird in a way that we’re not used to.
But alas, Batty continues, you can’t just punch the witches until they stop.
Witching is passive-aggressive. You can’t beat her up, otherwise you go to jail. You can’t admit to anyone that she’s spooking you and your kids out because the fedoras will mob you and chew you out.
Batty proposes a rather old-school “solution” to this old-school problem: bring back the so-called burning times.
He praises his Western European ancestors for doing
a very good job ridding Europe of its witches. People don’t realize how lucky they are to live in a witch-free society. Seriously. It’s like sanitation and roads and all the other things we take for granted in White civilization.
Now that witches are growing in number again, he suggests, what we in the west really need is “for an Inquisition to come back and purge the witches from our lands.”
In other words, literal witch trials — and the genocide of a religious minority.
Now, it might be tempting to see Batty’s post as little more than typical Daily Stormer trolling — especially given his casual, often flippant tone and his utter lack of interest in doing any actual research on the subject beyond quoting an incorrect number from a questionable site and relating a bullshit story he says he once heard.
But if you look at the comments under Batty’s post you won’t find a lot of jokes there. Yes, you’ll see a comment from someone called Willy declaring that “witches are insane cat ladies from hell who will steal you rhubarb plants.”
But most of the commenters seem to take this all very seriously — and to support Batty’s murderous “solution.”
One commenter declares:
The Book of Exodus states, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” This one line from the Bible is proof enough for me to believe that witches exist and should not be suffered to live.
k*kes are promoting witchcraft and other forms of Satanism/demon worship on normie television for kids/teenagers.
There is a supernatural world out there. Demons are real, if you doubt this, be happy you have never seen or experienced ‘meeting’ one. If you do encounter any demons, call out to Jesus Christ for assistance. Verbally. He will help you.
Listen to Gregorian chants if you’re being accompanied or stalked.
And look, I know this sounds crazy if you aren’t used to this supernatural mumbo jumbo, I get that. Trust me though. I wouldn’t say this kind of shit for no reason.
Still another says that while he thinks witches today are just “larping … they should still be killed.”
It would be easy to dismiss this comment itself as a sort of internet LARPing, were it not for the fact that Nazis in the US have already started killing people.
We live in fucked-up times.
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