11.03.2005

Menstrual Magic, Spirit Airplanes, USA Worship, Prophetic Femurs & Leviticus: Say Hello to Cargo Cultism



320 People Arrested for Sorcery

from Reuters

PORT MORESBY - Police in Papua New Guinea have arrested 320 people for practicing sorcery and religious cults, the National newspaper reported Thursday.

Belief in sorcery is widespread in this jungle-clad, mountainous South Pacific island nation where some villages only encountered Western civilization in the 1930s.

Police raided three villages Monday near the city of Lae on the north coast and arrested leaders of a "cargo cult" and their followers, the newspaper said. Cargo cults believe that Western goods or cargo are created by ancestral spirits. They have been known to build airstrips in the jungles in the belief that planes would land with cargo.

One group led by two women used menstrual blood as "sacred water" to enable them to see "invisible things," said the newspaper in the capital, Port Moresby.

One of the female cult leaders, Malamba Kifea, said the sorcery improved the livelihood of the people in Kasin village, a remote settlement some eight hours walk from the main highway.

"We read the Bible and in the book of Leviticus, we found strange teachings about women and their monthly period," Kifea told The National. "We were not sure and did not consult our pastor but kept the secret to ourselves after having revelations and seeing cargo and money being given to us."

Another group in Sadau village used skeletons from ancestors to summon "supernatural powers" to predict the future and bring prosperity.

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