Witches have better things to do, Mr Nalliah…

PAN Media Release

Bizarre accusations of animal sacrifice by a coven of witches are baseless, according to the Pagan Awareness Network.

The accusations, aired on the website of controversial Pastor Danny Nalliah, centre on Mt Ainsley in Canberra. Mr Nalliah alleges that fresh blood has been found there, the result of sacrifices by a local ‘witches coven’. He has called on Christians to engage in what he terms ‘spiritual warfare’, and claims that witches ‘are cursing the Federal Parliament’.

Pastor Danny Nalliah has a history of vilifying other faith communities. His last brush with notoriety saw him claim that the Black Saturday fires which devastated parts of Victoria this year were God’s judgement for Victoria’s abortion laws.

“It’s attention-seeking,” Pagan Awareness Network media officer Gavin Andrew said today. “Like many evangelical Christians, Mr Nalliah has a vested interest in creating moral panics concerning witchcraft and the occult. His beliefs and behaviour are straight out of the Dark Ages. Modern witchcraft is a nature-based religion, and the idea that witches condone or practice cruelty to animals is highly offensive.”

Pastor Nalliah has called for Christians from around Australia to gather at Mt Ainsley on October 17th, 2009 for a ‘special afternoon of United Spiritual Warfare Prayer, Repentance, and Prophetic Worship.’

“Many Pagans are wondering if this gathering will feature pitchforks and flaming torches,” Mr Andrew said. “There is a concern that in encouraging ‘spiritual warfare’, Mr Nalliah may incite people towards vandalism and physical violence against Pagans and witches (and innocent bystanders) alike. The Pagan community by and large is keen to foster positive relationships with other faith communities in Australia. We have better things to do with our time than see who can pray in the most hysterical fashion.”

And the ‘blood’ found at Mt Ainsley?
Local residents, posting on RiotACT, an independent media forum, have suggested a different explanation. One writes: “I actually saw that very place at Mt Ainslie a while ago now. I walk up there every day and recall this day well. Some lady beetles where hanging around the stains, which you describe as blood. A friend and I were photographing the beetles. There were thousands of them! We walked up to the platform to see what was making the stains run down the side of the poles etc. We discovered some broken bottles of various sweetly flavoured drinks. Given the diet of the beetles, the location of the stains, the bottles present, I would suggest that it is not actually blood. Rather, it is most likely stains from soft drink which has not been washed away yet.”

Gavin Andrew
Media Officer, Pagan Awareness Network Inc.

The Pagan Awareness Network Incorporated Australia (PAN Inc) is a not-for-profit educational association with members Australia-wide. It has no formal ties with any religious body, but works in a proactive fashion, both within the Pagan community and as a point of contact for the public, including government and media organisations.