Bougainville is becoming a poor copy of PNG
Did Whitlam say this? And were you there?

Our insane & violent love affair with sorcery

Why should an elected member of the government accuse someone of sorcery? Why should a pastor or padre come home after church and blame someone of sorcery?


PANGUNA – First I’ve got some people to thank for their effort against this insane Melanesian belief in sorcery and sorcerers that is now blighting Bougainville as well as mainland Papua New Guinea.

I’ll particularly mention Anton Lutz, Gary Bustin, the Tribal Foundation and the PNG Post-Courier newspaper.

This may be a strange way to start an article but things are getting bad in Bougainville when the people who falsely incriminate fellow community members can be found in the Autonomous Bougainville Government, the churches, the business community as well as at the grassroots.

When grassroots people accuse each other of sorcery, we kind of understand from a distance.

These folk are not well schooled and can be easily led astray.

But what are we to think when they are educated people elected to government to protect the community, when they are church leaders and when they are clever entrepreneurs?

What are we to think when these people practice sorcery violence on other innocent people?

There is no sense that this is anything other than insanity.

Why should an elected member of the ABG accuse someone of sorcery?

Why should a pastor or padre come home after church and blame someone of sorcery?

Why should a businessman with all the money to look after his and others’ health accuse someone of sorcery?

Surely these are the people, the groups, who should be the ones leading the grassroots to the light of understanding and knowledge and wisdom.

There was a useful article in the Post-Courier of 29 June that stated how this rot develops.

And it highlighted what the Tribal Foundation is doing to end these lies.

Governments should support these efforts so people can be truly free in this so called Christian and democratic country.

So how does this rot develop?

Firstly, something bad happens. Then people hear and believe a sorcery story. Then they find and blame innocent targets - always defenceless persons.

Furthermore, from observations we can make in Bougainville, it is the ‘discontent with what we have’ that turns us mad when we have problems with people around us or have simply developed a dislike for someone.

Thus, when the going is tough for us, we blame another for practicing sorcery against us.

This is how the dissatisfaction develops…:

Firstly, when we need something, we hold a rosary and pray for that need.

When there is no result, we go to the Bible texts and stick them all over the walls of our dwelling.

When we are still haunted by dissatisfaction, we go to the pastor or priest to pray for us or give us communion.

But, when still no fulfilment comes, we take a ride with a glasman or glasmeri.

The glasman and glasmeri carefully select who is to be blamed so repercussions cannot land on themselves and then we go uprooting innocent people and destroying their lives.

Innocent people suffer while the glasman and glasmeri enjoy their revenue, for in Bougainville they are paid good money for consultations.

There are some high practitioners of the art in Central Bougainville who charge K1,000 per visit.

Bougainville and Papua New Guinea need to do away with this nonsense.


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Lindsay F Bond

Expanding horizons for folk, in imagining, in prospect, in opportunity, leading to welcomed comprehension. No short distance, but comprising each step by trudge, by skip, by leap.

A report here is a 'blast from the past':

In 1979, the then Prince and now King spent two nights camping and the other nights in a homestead, Mr Price said.

"One of the things he was really keen about was just spending time sleeping on the lawn, would you believe, and just looking at the millions of stars he said, 'I'd never seen before,'" Mr Price said.

Steve Day

Always remember that when the motivation behind religion is usually a want, then not getting what you pray for will lead to malcontent.

It is not a big step from Western religious fervour to sorcery.

How you get rid of it? Prosperity? Education? I have watched it for 45 years and I do not know the answer.

But I do agree that it appears to be on the rise. Perhaps caused by the realisation that only some are getting rich.

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