In Durham, N.C., a leader in the local Democrat Party and her husband are facing multiple charges in what WTVD ABC 11 News called "a satanic ritual that got out of hand." Charges in the case include kidnapping, rape, sexual assault, and assault with a deadly weapon.
Now this is Durham, remember, where approximately one out of every 98 rape cases becomes news and several of those have turned out to be hoaxes. In other words, don't let the suspects be nifonged. Let the criminal justice system work as it should, without pot-banging activists demanding the accused's immediate neutering, Duke professors denouncing America (more), Nancy Grace getting her dander up (more), and all that rot.
That having been said, the report prompts the question of when, exactly, a satanic ritual gets out of hand. Most would probably say something along the lines of "When you called it 'satanic,' see, that's when." But for those who agreed to such a ritual, where would they draw the line?
A look at the allegations is in order at this point. The initial report on WTVD was that "Joy Johnson watched as her husband, Joseph Craig, beat and raped a female victim then kidnapped and beat another male victim with a wooden cane and a cable cord." Craig, 25, has been charged with second-degree rape, second-degree forcible sexual offense, three counts of second-degree kidnapping and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. His wife, Johnson, 30, faces charges of aiding and abetting. The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that arrest warrants "accuse Johnson of 'instigating and encouraging' her husband as he handcuffed a man and forced him 'into a dog cage, leaving him there for hours, terrorizing him.'"
According to reports, Craig is a dispatcher for a waste disposal service. Johnson was a third vice chairwoman of the Durham County Democratic Party and vice chairwoman of the Young Democrats (she has since resigned).
The first vice chairwoman (when does naming vice chairwomen get out of hand?), Diana Palmer, was later charged with one count of accessory after the fact. Her lawyer asserts that his client had no association with a satanic cult nor had any knowledge of a crime being committed. And this is still Durham.
Palmer is a business partner with Johnson and Craig in a venture called "Indigo Dawn," which was "founded to raise the vibration of energy on Earth" (don't tell Al Gore) and which styles itself "your resource for spiritual growth." (Technically, satanism is "spiritual.") Products and service include "astral projection oil," "dream pillows," "Chakra/aura cleansing" (and who doesn't hate those stubborn Chakra/aura stains?), "Rune-casting," "past-life regression" (which presumably involves imagining oneself as the infant Napoleon), "Shamanic healing," and private lessons in "Establishing a coven" (which, for the record, are not called "Easy-Make Covens").
There doesn't seem to be anything about handcuffs, dog cages, rape, sexual assault, beatings with coaxial cable, etc., but maybe those are covered in private lessons under the umbrella "Others made by request for your specific needs." Or, this being Durham, maybe those were all made up.
The "Who We Are" section of their web site is instructive. There Craig is known as "Rev. Joseph Craig," who claims that he has lived on this earth before and is a "devout student of magick and self-discovery" and perhaps alternative spelling. His biography also includes the plea "Do not judge this young man by his age, for his soul goes far beyond this," whatever that means.
Johnson's biography tells the origin of the business' name: "The Indigo Dawn started as a vision during a meditation where she was clearly shown the enlightenment glyph and given the name Indigo Dawn." Only time will tell whether she should have been clearly shown the Don't Egg On a Satanic Rapist glyph, assuming there is such a thing. It also tells of her reviving and presiding over the N.C. Association of Teen Democrats, serving as vice president of Young Democrats in Durham County, presiding over the United Nations Association of Wake County, and serving on the Human Relations Commission of Durham, N.C.
She also "traveled to Iraq with the Christian Peacemaker Team." One can only imagine how that came about. Did Johnson promote herself as "spiritual" to insinuate herself among the "Christian Peacemakers" or was the group that desperate? If the latter, what if the head of the CPT joked, "Hey, we'll take pretty much anyone. Just so long as you don't take part in any, I don't know, satanic rape rituals or something, ha ha ha!"
Those musings aside, it's still not clear exactly when a satanic ritual gets out of hand. There are the alleged kidnapping, handcuffing in a dog cage, beatings, terrorizing, sexual assault, and rape. Where, oh where, would a spiritual Democrat human-rights activist for peace say that the line was crossed?