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17 Nov 2004

One Man's Meat - Another Man's Poison.
Dear CyberShrink,
I am deeply disturbed and completely bewildered, with reference to the latest “muty murder”, as to how anyone could possibly believe that a concoction comprising of a murdered baby’s genitalia could ensure the mother’s boyfriend recruitment in some or other form of employment.
Would this be as a result of psychotic behaviour, brainwashing, traditional stupidity, lack of education or just plain primitive savagery? Any ideas as to how we could eradicate the barbaric practices in the future?
I apologise for the grossness of the topic.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Yes, the topic is indeed gross. Even though there may be cultural aspects to such pracice, I suspect that the behaviour of such butchers is as unrelated to the proper function of properly trained and functional traditional healers as to any other sort of healers === Harold is right about their value within the broader healthcare system, and the extent to which they are not involved in such barbaric practices. But I think Harold over-reacted in seeing racist overtones in anyone being revulsed by such disgusting acts. They are rooted in superstitious beliefs not arising from logic or common sense, and I suspect they could well be as rooted in greed and an abusing of traditional beliefs for personal profit, as anything else.
Not that long ago, a century or two, very white people in America and Europe persecuted and burned or drowned "witches", so no culture has room to feel too superior about such things. But maybe it's a real duty within every culture, to evolve, and to firmly reject old practices which no longer are acceptable in terms of the larger ideals and principles the culture at large have evolved to accepting. Muti murders, like witch burnings, need to be condemned by all sections of the culture in whose name they are done, and every means available used to stamp them out. Successful cultures do not assume that our fortfathers, several centuries ago, knew everything necessary, and that no aspect of ancient customs ever need revision or even abolition.
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