I don’t know whether you saw the story which appeared at the end of December about the Welsh vicar who claims that witchcraft, of the medieval malignant type, is thriving in his parish? It’s just been drawn to my attention by a young journalist, Rhian Waller, who asked me for my reaction to it.
The Rev Felix Aubel, a church minister in Carmarthenshire, has a new book out, in which he describes himself as ‘a rebel’. In response to the census report in which 83 people in Wales stated their religion as ‘witch’ (according to the Daily Telegraph – it may have been Wiccan), the Rev Aubel announced that ‘this is no joke’ and that he has personal experience of malevolent witchcraft in his parish. Specifically, he referred to the ‘evil eye’. His evidence is more than shaky. He refers to a ‘childless spinster’ (very suspicious these unmarried women!) casting the evil eye over a new mum and her child. Mum and baby later suffered from some form of breathlessness ‘for no apparent medical reason’.
He says: “The spinster even visited the mother and child in hospital while I was speaking to them. It became obvious to me that the spinster was praising the baby to its mother in a very false and patronising way. This is one of the most noticeable characteristics of the utilisation of the ‘evil eye’.”
“Realising this,” continues this literally unbelievable man, “I asked the spinster to say “God bless you” to the baby, having just said what a beautiful child the mother had. After that the spinster immediately walked away without uttering another word.”
All the proof you want then of an actual witch able to cast actual harmful spells.
Aubel also tells a story that in 1994 an Anglican church minister had to ‘raise a curse’ placed on a church member by a witch who had utilised the old pins-in-a-doll routine.
So in both cases he is stating without equivocation that one person is able to supernaturally bring ill effects on to another. It seems hard to credit from a minister in the 21st century – although it does become easier to credit when one recalls that he has a book to plug.
This sort of ill-informed superstitious scaremongering is the thin edge of the wedge that leads to tragedies like the ‘Satanic Abuse’ travesties that caused so much harm to innocent families and a great deal of shame to social services departments and a national children’s charity.
I am reminded of the words of a magistrate, presiding at the trial of a number of people elsewhere in South Wales who had violently abused a 90-year-old woman because they thought she might have been a witch. Sentencing her attackers, the magistrate said ‘he regretted that there was anyone in the kingdom who should have been so deplorably ignorant as to have fallen into such an error [of believing in witchcraft]’. He said this in 1827. Now, 186 years later, we have a supposedly Christian minister encouraging just such an error.
You can read the full story at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9772379/Witchcraft-thriving-in-the-Welsh-countryside.html