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Torture in the Name of Maori Mysticism Excusable?

SOLO-NZ Op-Ed: Torture in the Name of Maori Mysticism is Excusable?

Scott Wilson
August 14, 2009

Picture this.

A gang of your relatives believe in "goblins, ghosts and demons". They believe you contain a "demon". No doubt the more you resist, the more they are convinced you have one.

They imprison you in a flat against your will. Assault and restrain you. Engage in the systematic water torture of you, to try to "exorcise" the "demon". It is forced down your throat and nose repeatedly while you remain inprisoned by this gang.

In other words, Guantanamo Bay treated Islamist terrorist suspects better. Waterboarding is childs' play in comparison.

Ultimately your tired body, fed up with resisting, has its lungs fill with enough water that you drown. Remember drowning? That's when you can't breathe, because every time you do, you go into an enormous cough reflex and eventually pass out in desperation, all the while this gang force feeds you water.

What do these loving relatives do? They don't phone for an ambulance, don't try to resuscitate you. You see they probably don't believe in modern medicine. They grab your 14yo cousin and start the same process on her.

What are the reasonable conclusions?

1. They are sadistic murderers, out to dispose of you, but not very efficiently (unlikely in this case)
2. They are clinically insane. Seriously mentally ill and dangerous.
3. They are stupid and mindless. Not quite insane, but very very stupid and incapable of empathy when they convinced a person is a "demon".

Note the difference between 2 and 3 is a matter of degree and legal definition.

So what should a judge do with them?

According to the NZ Herald, High Court Justice Simon France says "community based sentences". Stuff reports that this includes this horrible penalty "Under the community detention order Rawiri and Wright will be curfewed to their homes between the hours of 9pm and 6am daily for six months." How rough is that? They will have to - watch TV and sleep then!!

Yes, it is the dark ages. So all you need to do to get rid of someone you know who you don't like is to claim you're exorcising a demon, demonstrate it as a truly held belief, and go for it. "Look for the "Makutu" mitigation of sentence to pop up in child-bashing cases from now on" and don't expect the Greens, who care so much about child abuse, to express interest in this. These people will walk free and be able to practice their mindless violent techniques again.

Yes they didn't intend to kill her, or harm her. However, how many other crimes can be justified by that? Can a child rapist claim "I wanted her to enjoy it, I wanted it to be positive for her, I didn't intend to hurt her"? No.

However, presumably because it is Maori religious mumbo-jumbo it is ok. I suspect had a Catholic priest engaged in such techniques for an exorcism and the result was death, that he wouldn't be getting a community based sentence.

So in New Zealand, torturing and accidentally killing someone isn't a reason to imprison, as long as you do it under the aegis of Maori supernatural beliefs. This wont, of course, be an issue for most New Zealanders - but woe betide the children or young adults of families full of these sorts of cretins. If auntie or uncle or mum and dad talk about worrying about demons in the family, get far away, there is precious little deterrent to them torturing you to get it out.

To his credit, Labour MP Trevor Mallard has condemned the sentence on, of all places, the NZ Labour Party blog. Wait for him to hung, drawn and quartered by the simpering apologists for this vile act of torture - many of the same who will happily imprison parents who administer a smack.

That, is the state of justice, when Maori mysticism can mitigate the sentence - because you believed you were doing good and you genuinely didn't want to cause harm?

So based on this:
- Would an Islamic imam who genitally mutilated a young girl get a community sentence because he and the parents believed it was good for her?
- Would a child rapist who wanted her to enjoy it get a community sentence because he believed it was good for her?

Scott Wilson

SOLO (sense of Life Objectivists: SOLOPassion.com


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