Sunday, August 26, 2012

Magic never fails. Even when it does..

Magic seems to be a pretty powerful force, provided you never actually test it.  I recently posted about the striking miners of the Marikana mine who believed that the magic of a medicine man would protect them from being harmed by guns.  This belief made them fearless, up to the tragic point they decided to test the magical protection by attacking the police.  As inevitably happens when someone tests magic, the magic failed and 34 people died.

So with the magical protection failing so spectacularly you would probably think that this medicine man was in a lot of trouble for the failure of his spells.  That would seem like the logical conclusion, but only if you have no prior experience with magical thinking. 

Magic never fails, even when it fails completely.  If your magic doesn't work, blame it on a bunny:

"Mineworkers at Lonmin's Marikana mine believe the killing of a rabbit was the reason the shooting happened, according to a report on Saturday.

The surviving mineworkers claimed that the medicine man who was alleged to have told them his muti would make them invincible had warned them not to kill the rabbit, the Saturday Star reported.

"The traditional healer warned all of us several times on the day not to kill the rabbit but some among us decided to chase it around the hill and killed it," mineworker Khabo Khabo told the newspaper.

"I still honestly believe that if it wasn't for the healer far more lives would have been lost on the day. If we had let the rabbit free all of the dead would still be alive," Khabo said.

A worker at the memorial service, held at the mine earlier this week, agreed.

Last Thursday, a total of 34 people were killed in a shooting near the mine when police tried to disperse striking miners. More than 70 people were injured.

The medicine man had reportedly promised the workers that police guns would malfunction when they faced them if they followed his instructions and took his muti.

Police video footage taken from a helicopter before the shooting showed the medicine man performing rituals as workers stripped naked before him in long queues.    "

This happens every damn time.

A deranged cult leader proclaims a date for the Rapture/Armageddon, the date passes completely uneventfully aaaand nothing happens to the deranged cult leader.  His followers swallow whatever lame excuse he comes up with, keep on supporting him and waits with mouths agape, ready to swallow the next doomsday prediction.

A charismatic faith healer/prosperity gospel preacher promises supernatural health and wealth and sick people stay sick (or get better because they went to a doctor PRAISE THE LORD!) and the only person who gets rich is the guy sending around the collection plate.  Does anyone call bullshit?  Never!  They accept his explanations that they just didn't have enough faith/didn't tithe enough/had unconfessed sin in their hearts and humbly try to believe harder and plonk down more cash in the collection plate.

So why expect anything different when the magical protection against bullets completely failed to do anything against bullets?  Of course they will put the blame on themselves (and the rabbit) because the magic man is NEVER to blame!

It's the perfect con.  You can make up anything you want, provided you do it convincingly enough, and people will damn near worship you.  You never have to worry about failure either, if your bullshit gets exposed bullshit your followers will just blame themselves.  Provided you can think up some kind of excuse!  Don't worry, it doesn't have to be a good excuse, it can be as dumb as the crap you're peddling!

I think I was wrong, magic is a powerful force regardless of whether you test it or not.  You can test a magical claim a hundred times and watch it fail a hundred times and those who buy into it will never accept that it's false.  Magic can't make you bulletproof but magical thinking has perfected the art of invulnerability!

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