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Welcome to the Alternative Religions Forum

April 17, 2013

“United In Our Diversity In The Pursuit Of Our Common Interests”

This is the information site for the Alternative Religions Forum, a joint working group of regional South African representatives for religions (such as Paganism and Satanism) and subcultures perceived to be religious in nature (such as the Vampyre and Otherkin Communities) to engage with each other on issues that affect our mutual well-being and civil rights in South Africa.

THE AIM OF THIS PROJECT IS NOT TO DEFEND OR PROMOTE SATANISM AS A RELIGION, BUT TO CLARIFY MISUNDERSTANDINGS AROUND SATANISM WHICH LEAD TO THE SPREADING OF FALSE INFORMATION AS PROPAGANDA USED TO PERSECUTE SATANISTS AND PARTICIPANTS IN OTHER RELIGIONS AND ALTERNATIVE SUB-CULTURES, AND TO EXPOSE THOSE WORKING TO PERSECUTE THESE IN THE PURSUIT OF FAME AND FINANCIAL GAIN OR THE ATTAINMENT OF PERSONAL GOALS IN LINE WITH THEIR OWN PREJUDICE.

Our group is concerned about:

Numerous and seemingly increasing violations of the South African Constitution and recognized human rights which guarantee all citizens the right to freedom of religion, freedom of association, and freedom of expression in areas such as –

  • Press and media journalism.
  • Discrimination against members of alternative or minority religious or subculture groups being seen as acceptable or even justifiable.
  • The use of lies & propaganda by religious majority groups to incite hate and justify the incitement to hate of religious and subculture minority groups.
  • The alarming increase in prevalence of support for SRA disinformation in the State machinery itself – up to and including the SA Police (SAPS), and:
    • The creation of a special police task force aimed at focusing exclusively on minority religious and subculture groups while consisting entirely of extremist members of a religious majority group who are inherently hostile to these.
    • Circumvention of the constitution and legal system to facilitate such discrimination by “turning a blind eye” to violations of the Constitution, and to ignore, dismiss or rubbish valid and justified complaints of discrimination and violation of people’s rights and dignity.
    • The complicity of representatives and/or whole departments of the State by colluding with organized mainstream religious bodies which are hostile to religious freedom and cultural diversity and which may have influence in government, to act against the interests of religious and subculture groups.
  • The continued and seemingly deliberate campaign of misinformation about minority religions and alternate lifestyles or subcultures out of the viewpoint of a mainstream religion’s influence, despite mountains of proof to the contrary and the broad lack of public knowledge.
  • A glaringly evident lack of understanding of occult religions and alternative subcultures, the difference between Satanism and other religions, and Satanism and the mythical invented sort of “Satanism” created by SRA itself, which allows SRA misinformation to thrive and continue to be supported and propagated.

The aim of this site is to provide educational and informational material which will debunk, expose and disarm Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) claims, and to make it a freely available resource to the entire world.

What does “United in our diversity in the pursuit of our common interests” mean?

It means that the representatives of the groups or religions involved in this Project work together on this Project without merging or seeking to merge, associate or conflate their religions or subcultural identities, for the purpose of pursuing the common interests of this Project – namely:

  • Promulgation of factual information about what each group REALLY is about from an INTERNAL point of view.
  • Education of outsiders (from their point of view) about their religion or subcultural group.
  • The protection and advocacy of constitutional laws and the Bill of Rights which promote freedom of religion, expression and association which are essential in a democracy and which are vital for diversity, universal freedom and equality to be achieved and to persist.

What this means is, that the representatives of groups involved in this Project do not share the same religious or spiritual or philosophical doctrines, dogmas, views, traditions, lifestyles, identities, cultures or practices – but that they agree on the necessity of protecting that which is essential to each of us – the protection of laws which promote – not guarantee – all of us the right to exist and to practice and live out our identities, religious or otherwise, in South Africa.

What Was The Alternative Religions Forum?

The ARF was a South African activist initiative established in 2012 when several human rights advocate groups perceived an alarming amount of misinformation and hysteria in news and media coverage of numerous criminal acts at the time, which were seemingly arbitrarily being linked to “the occult”, “satanism” and “paganism” – and these efforts which were typically led, incited, influenced, agitated and incited by activist elements hailing from within a third party religion.

The resulting animosity towards non-Christian religions, and towards adherents and practitioners of occult, LHP, Paganism, and even African Traditional Beliefs had ominous implications for ordinary law-abiding citizens of South Africa, who began to perceive a need to live in the shadows, in fear of their Christian neighbors, employers and colleagues. As if that were not bad enough, the SA Police Service suddenly and secretively resurrected their disbanded “Occult Related Crimes Unit” which operated on the biased and prejudiced foundation of Christian “spiritual warfare/deliverance ministry” propaganda, and whose leaders were religious bigots and zealots who waged personal vendettas against perceived signs of occult activity anywhere they could.

The ARF was a joint initiative created by various representative bodies within the South African occult community in 2012, with the goal of attracting participation and support of the larger community to address biased and inaccurate media reporting, and in particular propaganda from the SAPS “Occult Related Crimes Unit” which amounted to nothing more than fantasies and outright lies amounting to hate speech.

The ARF compiled the “STAT Document”, which was not only presented to a Government commission on religious freedom in 2013 by the Chief Researcher and compiler of the document (Christina Engela), but was also disseminated worldwide and received peer-reviews from academics as well as assent and praise from numerous occult-focused organizations and practitioners worldwide.

Who Made Up The ARF?

The ARF was a joint initiative created by the SA Pagan Rights Alliance (SAPRA) and the South African Vampyre Alliance (SAVA) in 2012, but aside from several key players from both organizations, a host of independent contributors and participants took part behind the scenes during the active lifetime of the project (2012-2014).

The following were names that featured in the running of the ARF and in the culmination of the STAT Document, (in alphabetical order):

  • Bronwyn Katzke [material contributor: Paganism, also Pagan activist]
  • Ceytin De Beeste [consultant: Satanism]
  • Christina Engela [chief researcher, compiler, website admin]
  • Damon Leff [material contributor: Paganism, also Director of the SA Pagan Rights Alliance (SAPRA)]
  • Francisco Fumarola [material contributor: Paganism]
  • Kay Valkir Noctem [consultant: Vampyre subculture]
  • Logan Young [consultant: Satanism]
  • Morgausse Fonteleve [consultant: Paganism, also CEO SA Pagan Rights Alliance (SAPRA)]
  • Octarine Valur [material contributor: Vampyre subculture, also Regent of the SA Vampyre Alliance (SAVA)]
  • Psion Valur De Nocte [consultant: Vampyre subculture]

What Happened To The ARF?

By 2014, it had become obvious that the ARF’s task had been accomplished – the STAT Document had been sent to a multitude of press and media entities worldwide, and in South Africa a definite and almost immediate change for the better had been apparent in the manner and objectivity in which various crimes claimed to have been “occult related” were covered.

The ARF’s efforts had therefore had a lasting and permanent effect on the portrayal of “occult crimes” in the mainstream media.

The ARF in effect disbanded by late 2014, while its parent organizations continued their own work in their respective communities.

The ARF’s website remains in place as a home to the “STAT Document” to provide background to its origins. Occasional articles are posted on the site if there is enough merit to the situation. The website is maintained and updated by Christina Engela.

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