Loving the Bomb
Friday Ephemera

An Unlikely Headline

An obliging reader has steered my attention to this item from Reuters, titled Lynchings in Congo as Penis Theft Panic Hits Capital.

Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men’s penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft. Reports of so-called penis snatching are not uncommon in West Africa, where belief in traditional religions and witchcraft remains widespread, and where ritual killings to obtain blood or body parts still occur. Rumours of penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo’s sprawling capital of some 8 million inhabitants. They quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings.

And,

Some Kinshasa residents accuse a separatist sect from nearby Bas-Congo province of being behind the witchcraft in revenge for a recent government crackdown on its members.

Comments

Amos

Sweet buggery in heaven.

Mighty Thor

Wha--?

"Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure. […] But when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it's become tiny or that they've become impotent."

Matt M

"Purported victims... claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear..."

We've all had nights like that.

Haven't we?

(Well, maybe not disappear... that's not actually happened, yet.)

On a slightly more serious note, I seem to remember there being a psychological disorder (found mainly in Asia, I think) where (male) sufferers became convinced that their genitalia were gradually retracting into their body. Maybe this is related?

Matt M

Heh.

Try googling: "Penis Panic".

It's a strange, strange world out there.

David

Ah, there we go. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penis_panic

My eyes have been opened.

RDub

I remember the panic a couple years ago that the vanishing penis trick was being done by way of shamanistic cell phones - text messages, etc.

Really shows you the wedge between the 21st century and the age of witches, and that it's still ongoing.

David

I’m reminded of an article from 1982 by Donald Black, called Pathological Laughter:

“Pathological laughter may be accompanied by true feelings of hilarity, if the reports of the patients are to be considered trustworthy. Like pestilence, this laughter may spread. In East Africa, hysterical laughter afflicted almost one thousand persons between 1962 and 1964, predominantly girls. Schools were closed, parents of the victims of the laughing epidemic suffered contagion, and the disease spread to neighbouring villages. Exhausted by laughter, some patients required hospitalisation.”

MObl

Ah yes, the deep mysteries of the dark continent....

I suppose those thieving Greeks must have skipped over the scrolls documenting penis theft in the library at Alexandria.

Steve in San Diego

"a recent government crackdown on its members."

Eh?

David

I hadn’t realised just how often this kind of thing happens.

http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Area=sd&ID=SP59303#_ednref1
http://www.emro.who.int/Publications/EMHJ/0503/21.htm

And I can scarcely believe I just said “this kind of thing” about… well, *this* kind of thing.

Candice

"What was left was tiny."

Seeing this on my own, I just *knew* David Thompson would notice.

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