This jerky video footage uploaded by a Kenyan reporter shows a group of 30 or so people milling around a bonfire in a ditch by a road. Amid the flaming bushes there are four women and a man, all in their 80's. Accused of abducting a child to use for witchcraft, they are being publicly burned to death.

Some of the bodies are trying to get out of the flames, but there are men kicking them back in. One man uses a heavy stick to batter a charred-but-still-alive woman who rolled out of fire. He then hauls her agonized body back into the pyre.

There's a squatting figure, slowly rocking back and forth as the flames lick his face. You can hear the muffled crying of people being roasted alive as the baying crowd of men and women yell and holler. This goes on for almost 2 minutes.

This video is the scariest evidence of man's inhumanity to man ever caught on camera. Sure, worse atrocities have been filmed before. But the immediacy of this cruelty - being so close to real evil - will haunt me forever. Some people say that you are somehow complicit in watching the video and you'll go to hell for looking at it. Isn't it worse to close your eyes to it and pretend that this shit doesn't happen? 

Witch-burning is not uncommon in Kenya and black magic murders are reported all over Africa, all too regularly. There are self-styled voodoo priests who go around slaying children they believe are possessed by the devil, as shown in this documentary about one such Bishop who killed 100 children in Nigeria. Then there was that recent spade of murders in Tanzania involving albinos, where dozens of torsos were found dismembered after witch doctors claimed that albino skin, hair and bones can produce potions that make people rich.

It's hard to believe that in 2009 superstition and religion is still brainwashing people into committing barbarous acts.


L.A.Nights said...

nazism wasn't a religion and it was the worst death machine. Although here, is it religion or superstition? Nobody will get me into a cult, or a massacre or anything, but I believe there are some cool forces out there. I JUST WANT TO BELIEVE

rosie said...

invariably, these "witches" are just women who are just ( to coin another medieval phrase) spinsters, treated with suspicion, fear and hatred because they're not attached to a family.

sadder still, this actually isn't the most fucked up thing happening today on the most fucked up continent on earth

L.A.Nights said...

it's the saddest thing.

Anonymous said...

That was really depressing. But I couldn't help wonder why they didn't up and run. Where was there instinctual 'fight or flight' mechanism?


Joseph said...

this will haunt my dreams.

"sadder still, this actually isn't the most fucked up thing happening today on the most fucked up continent on earth" that is very true.

i think of all the things this video can teach us, the most important is to be grateful for the government infrastructure in place that would prevent 'this' from ever conceivably happening in our respective countries on a scale approaching the shown in this video.

i would rather live in a nanny state than a state, who's prescence is barely felt.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely horrible. Despicable. These poor, elderly men and women have no way of escaping these savages. I just don't understand how people can be so utterly cruel.