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Is this cannibal week and no one told me?

It’s getting a little weird…now people are sending me more cannibal stories, like this one.

Papua New Guinea police have arrested members of an alleged cannibal cult accused of killing at least seven people, eating their brains raw and making soup from their penises, a report said Friday.

Part of the strange twist here, besides the Penis Soup, is that they’re killing sorcerors. Not for sorcery per se, but because their prices for casting curses on people are too high. So it’s kind of like the New Guinea version of the Occupy Movement, only with less chanting and more enchanted machetes.

Comments

  1. says

    I’m struggling to make some sort of joke about the Vatican selling indulgences and considering a price reduction, but I got nothing.

  2. Moggie says

    Hopefully they used only one penis per pot. You know what they say: too many cocks spoil the broth.

  3. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    mmmmmmmmmmmm penis soup

    Hopefully they used only one penis per pot. You know what they say: too many cocks spoil the broth.

    I hope you spiked your mic and walked off stage after that one.

  4. zb24601 says

    Don’t they know the law of supply and demand. If they kill the sorcerors, their services will be in shorter supply, and the price of spells will go up, not down. This sounds like a good business opportunity for someone (like Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club or Costco) to start selling spells in bulk at a discount.

  5. robro says

    And the main cause of the people’s frustration: the sorcerers were “demanding sex as payment.” Perhaps they’ve been reading about those Western sorcerers known as Catholic priests.

  6. bigzebra says

    Yes this is cannibal week. We didn’t tell you…we figured you were too busy to participate.

  7. Moggie says

    Rev:

    I hope you spiked your mic and walked off stage after that one.

    I’m here all week. Try the soup.

  8. RFW says

    Your remark about the Occupy movement may be more prescient than you realize. The 0.01% don’t know their history well enough to realize that when disparities of wealth become too great, there will be blood shed when a revolution of the Bolshevik type engulfs them.

    Of course, such revolutions rapidly give birth to their own disparities of wealth, cue the nomenklatura of the USSR.

  9. jacobfromlost says

    From what I have read, virtually the entire country of Papua New Guinea believes in sourcery (file this under “what harm could it do to believe X”?).

    But I still don’t quite get the logic in how eating the sourcerers makes their evil magic disappear. Must be one of those religious things I just don’t get. (I thought eating someone was supposed to give you their “power”? Who would fight evil powers by eating the evil ones and taking their evil power? Note: the “evil ones” in this case are just random people they decide are evil, then proceed to eat. Or at least the cases from a few weeks back in Papua New Guinea were just random people. Maybe this is a new case. Or cases. Discussing multiple cases of cannibalism as a cultural/religious phenomenon in the 21st century is just…weird. But there it is. Faith-based cannibalism.)

  10. says

    You must have missed the memo, PZ. For Cannibal Week, I’m reading Charles Stross’s Rule 34. One small incident in the life of Detective Inspector Elizabeth Kavanaugh is cited (a mere sidenote, not a plot point):

    The Morningside Cannibals: a circle of polite middle-class people who dined out on each other, with the aid of a medical tissue incubator tank. Figuring out what on earth to charge them with—cannibalism not being illegal in Scotland—was the least of your worries when the blogs moved in.

  11. davidct says

    I suppose that if you are dealing with sorcerers, it takes a few brains to make a decent meal.

  12. oolon says

    The story sounds like bollocks to me, at least in part, I read the last real cannibal attack in Papua was a priest and his missionaries in the 70′s some time. They apparently tried to convert the cannibals who took none too well to Christianity :-)

    The reports have one police statement that cannibalism is thought to have occurred due to some ‘forensic evidence’. Then there are lots of lurid quotes from random people about cutting out hearts and eating them raw… Probably while chanting Kalimar!

  13. didgen says

    I’m trying to come up with a witty way to say that penis is not the meatiest part to put in the soup. Stating that there’s not much eating on a penis would instantly by refuted by my significant other. With an instant offer to show me.

  14. John D says

    Would it be ethical to let them know about homeopaths and how they overcharge for water?

  15. pinkey says

    A few relevant bible quotes for Cannibalism Week (as found from a quick search). Though admittedly it sounds more like talking trash than actual commands (at least most of the time.)

    Deuteronomy 28:53-57
    Because of the suffering that your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you. Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children, and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of all your cities. The most gentle and sensitive woman among you – so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of her foot – will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For she intends to eat them secretly during the siege and in the distress that your enemy will inflict on you in your cities.

    Lev 26:29
    You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters.

    Jeremiah 19: 9
    I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh during the stress of the siege imposed on them by the enemies who seek their lives.

    Lamentation 4:10
    With their own hands compassionate women
    have cooked their own children,
    who became their food
    when my people were destroyed.

    Ezekiel 5:8-12
    Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself am against you, Jerusalem, and I will inflict punishment on you in the sight of the nations. Because of all your detestable idols, I will do to you what I have never done before and will never do again. Therefore in your midst fathers will eat their children, and children will eat their fathers. I will inflict punishment on you and will scatter all your survivors to the winds. 11Therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your vile images and detestable practices, I myself will withdraw my favor; I will not look on you with pity or spare you. 12A third of your people will die of the plague or perish by famine inside you; a third will fall by the sword outside your walls; and a third I will scatter to the winds and pursue with drawn sword.

    2 Kings 6:26-29
    As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, “Help me, my lord the king!”

    The king replied, “If the Lord does not help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?” Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?”

    She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’ So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.”

  16. xxxxxx says

    But I still don’t quite get the logic in how eating the sourcerers makes their evil magic disappear. Must be one of those religious things I just don’t get. (I thought eating someone was supposed to give you their “power”? Who would fight evil powers by eating the evil ones and taking their evil power?

    Many of the indigenous PNG people (prior to the 19th c. xian missionary invasion) did eat the brains and male genitals of their enemies, but it was more about acquiring their knowledge &/or physical strength/energy (which they believed to be contained in brains and penises). Thus, the idea of evil/good transfer wasn’t part of this particular ritual (i.e. knowledge/strength are just tools, with “good” or “evil” dependent upon the user of these tools. Goodness/Evilness, thus, is not transferred).

    Not mentioned in the article is that many of these ancient cultural groups also associated the education and physical growth of their own young boys with the consumption of semen (ala blowjob) of village elders. Male homosexual relationships of this nature in fact were the cultural norm. Sex between men and women was primarily for procreation only with men and women spending the majority of the year living entirely in separate gender groups (heterosexual sex during the nine month yam growing season, for example, was entirely forbidden). I wonder if these cult groups were so obsessed with reviving the old ways that they could be also accused of pederasty as well?

    //Pedantic Factoids

  17. joed says

    I think it was traditional burial ceremony in New Guinea to eat the brain of the deceased. Meningitis and other problems like this was often a problem.
    But the eating of brain was a common practice.
    I am just not sure where and what diseases developed in the eaters.

  18. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Skepitc Dude @2:
    You totally win The Magic Machete Award for the day!

    ****

    jacobfromlost:

    From what I have read, virtually the entire country of Papua New Guinea believes in sourcery (file this under “what harm could it do to believe X”?).

    I fart rainbows (I got *this* useful ability instead of a toaster oven when I came out of the closet).
    I’m never going to Papua New Guinea.
    Don’t want my penis in soup.

  19. pipenta says

    Penis* in soup? That is grotesque!

    Everyone knows It’s supposed to be served as sushi.

    *Urechis unicinctus!

  20. billhaines says

    I can’t believe no one’s made the obvious comment yet… This gives new meaning to the term “eat the rich”…

  21. Sili says

    Apparently it’s Paedophile Week as well. Not that I’d ever heard of Michael Lombardo before.

  22. says

    I was under the impression that this happens every so often there. having relatives from the area can restrict your ability to donate blood for a lifetime because of neurological diseases passed via eating brains and heredity (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease ), and there isn’t a practical way to test people for the potential to pass it on.

  23. sc_2b3037ea6128c1f63eff160fce030e47 says

    When I lived over there (mid-late 70′s), there was a joke about cannibals:
    Person 1 “Are there still cannibals in PNG?”
    Person 2 “No. The authorities killed and ate the last ones years ago.”

  24. desertfroglet says

    Skeptifem #31

    I hadn’t heard* about a restriction on people from the New Guinea donating blood for that reason. In Australia, the only group prohibited from donating blood on that basis are those who have been to the UK when vCJD was a major problem.

    …the Blood Service has implemented policies to reduce the risk of vCJD transmission through blood transfusion in Australia. Currently we exclude people from donating who:

    Have resided in the UK between 1 January 1980 and 31 December 1996 for a total (cumulative) time of 6 months or more,

    or

    Have received blood transfusions in the UK since 1 January 1980.

    _____

    * Which doesn’t mean much, I acknowledge.

  25. peterkomarek says

    There actually is a PNG version of the Occupy movement. It’s basically local constitutional protests using the “Occupy” banner as a sort of zeitgeisty thing, but it’s still dealing with actual problems.

    http://namorong.blogspot.com/2012/04/new-york-occupywallstreet-salutes.html

    This is a link to a repost of an OWS blog, but the site it’s hosted on is the blog of a Papuan rabble-rouser and activist, who also happens to not really like religion. If you want to learn about a place basically no American knows anything about, that blog is pretty good. Who knew Papua New Guinea had a blogosphere?

  26. lsamaknight says

    I donate blood in Australia on a regular basis and when filling out the questionnaire there is occasionally a question added on a separate sheet asking if I have been to PNG within a certain time frame.

    However it is also frequently accompanied by a question asking if I’ve been to Far North Queensland in roughly the same time period so I’ve always assumed that it was due to outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases like Ross River or Yellow Fevers. I have never answered yes to either question so I don’t know if it disqualifies you permanently, temporarily or just gets your blood tagged for extra screening.

  27. RFW says

    @ #20 xxxxxx says:

    many of these ancient cultural groups also associated the education and physical growth of their own young boys with the consumption of semen (ala blowjob) of village elders.

    Benedict Allen in his “Into the Crocodile Nest” (1987) recounts his participation in manhood initiation rites on the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea. He makes passing mention of the initiates submitting sexually to the elders who ran the initiation rites, but gives no details. (One can’t tell if this was oral (swallowing wisdom and fortitude) or anal (absorbing same via the rectum).)

    Whatever, it’s clear that the association of semen with wisdom and strength was alive and well as recently as 25 years ago.

  28. procyon says

    From the article:

    There is a widespread belief in sorcery in the impoverished Pacific nation where many people do not accept natural causes as an explanation for misfortune, illness, accidents or death.

    Sounds familiar

  29. Charlie Foxtrot says

    There is a widespread belief in sorcery in the impoverished Pacific nation where many people do not accept natural causes as an explanation for misfortune, illness, accidents or death.

    I’ve read that California is having budget problems, but ‘impoverished’ seems overly harsh.
    Wait, what?

  30. ericpaulsen says

    What kind of backward, mouth breathing, superstitious, knuckle walking morons kills ‘sorcerers’ and makes their penises into soup? Everybody knows a sorcerers penis is a stewing penis!

  31. John Scanlon FCD says

    RFW, I met Benedict Allen in the early 90s and went to a talk he gave in Oxford (the ‘crocodile’ scars don’t come up so well on a pasty white guy, but he got’em), and he didn’t go into details.

    (I later heard stories of this practice from Tim Flannery as well. Apparently there are villages where the magical semen is only applied externally, which the orthodox internalists find to be barbaric and perverted.)

    That day in Oxford I thoughtlessly succumbed to roast beef and Yorkshire pud in a uni refectory, and haven’t given blood in Australia since. I might be allowed to, but couldn’t feel good about it.