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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Third arrest in "satanic cult" case

Reader Jeremy alerts us in the comments to the news in the N&O that Diana Palmer* first vice-chair of the Durham County Democratic Party was arrested and "charged with one count of accessory after the fact of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury."

He also states that he thinks it's "premature" to make comparisons between this case and the lacrosse case. I disagree, but i'm curious what y'all think. Here's another key sentence in the article to chew on:
The charges stem from accusations by a woman who listed the couple's home as her address.

The man who police say was caged also lived at the house.


I'm turning off comment moderation for the time being to make this an open thread. Hopefully, i can keep it off for a while.

And i guess i'm going to have to create a new category for this case. How about satanic rituals?

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* While i only knew Ms. Johnson and Mr. Craig by sight, i've worked on several occasions with Diana Palmer. This charge strikes me as completely ludicrous. I don't think i could describe how flabbergasted i would be if it sticks.

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10 Comments:

  • I wouldn't put anything past anybody involved in that horrid Durham Peoples' Alliance, but...in any case, especially a case with such bizarre accusations, they are so so so Innocent until proven guilty. The amusing thing will be observing how differently Durham reacts to the case when compared to the Duke lax case. I guarantee there won't be potbangers outside Joy Johnson's home nor any handing out of her family's names and hometowns to the New Black Panthers nor any other hate group.

    By Blogger Joey7777, at 3:50 AM  

  • P.S. : One disturbing aspect of this case is that it will solidify in some peoples' minds some sort of connection with satanism (or evil) and kinky sex. From the extreme kinksters I've known, both hetero and homo, they can be as traditionaly religious, "good" (or at least benign), as anybody else...and would certainly be appalled (or just amusedly in contempt) at any sort of satanic cult. (Yeah, we know that. But...for others who read this).

    By Blogger Joey7777, at 4:02 AM  

  • P.S. (my last one, I promise): The "cult", satanic or not, is really beside the point, legally. If this case goes to trial, I'm guessing (JUST guessing) it might be one of those cases where one side claims it was a consensual S&M scene and the other side claims it wasn't consensual, that it involved very real kidnapping and rape.

    By Blogger Joey7777, at 4:14 AM  

  • They'll get the same consideration in the press that the Duke lacrosse team got. But since they're some of your own, you'll defend them. Karma's a bitch isn't it?

    By Blogger Locomotive Breath, at 7:04 AM  

  • Why wouldn't Barry defend them? It's a serious question, LB -- as others have noted, this seems like it may have been a series of sex acts between consenting adults (insert usual disclaimer about the evidence yet to come to light, innocent until proven guilty, etc.).

    Rape is tough to prove, as we have seen before. Wonder who is handling the DNA evidence this time?

    By Blogger dcrollins, at 8:52 AM  

  • Gee, ah, some key differences between this case so far and The Lacrosse Mess. Shall I name a few?

    • The incident(s) here allegedly took place sometime over the past 6 months--not in one night. That's been a morning chin-scratcher, that's for sure.

    • No one arrested, or allegedly victimized, represents Duke University in a sports team. Seeing how these are some key local Democrats, this case may have more in common with "wide stance" Republicans caught in airport restrooms, or even -- get this -- suddenly repentant evangelical ministers caught with their pants down?

    • Here's my favorite: no one arrested, or allegedly victimized, lives in a house where wild parties annoyed the neighbors. This may change as we learn more about "new age therapy" techniques.

    • According to the charges, one victim was male, the other female. The accused are one male and as of recently, two females. Makes it kind of hard for knee-jerk anti-rape tactics like demonstrations and pot-banging to be employed. We really do need more information, don't we?

    • These individuals represent themselves more than the group(s) they belong to. It's easier for some folks to get worked up over Duke jocks vs. Durham ho's than Local Democrats With Weird Hobbies And Their Pals Who Suddenly Call The Cops When A Spell Goes Horribly, Horribly Wrong. (Okay, that last part is totally "what if").

    • If we did "learn" "anything" "from" "The Duke Lacrosse Mess" it's that it's probably a really, really good idea to stick to "innocent until proven guilty." And that's what I'm doin' this very moment.

    Sure is a weird case though, even by Durham standards. Sounds more like a Fayetteville story to me. Just sayin'.

    There is no karma involved for the general public or even casual reader. Bad things like this happen when the right set of circumstances present themselves. Until we hear in court the evidence and the rebuttals, we could just amuse ourselves like I just did with conjecture, guessing, gossip and the occasional joke. For all we know someone forgot what the "safe word" was and this whole thing is one big misunderstanding.

    So, do you think casting spells has something to do with that state-of-the-art traffic suppression system they have in their neighborhood? 8-)

    By Blogger Tony, at 12:25 PM  

  • Locomotive Breath has now used the word "karma." This is a term used by weird eastern cultish religions that practice Henduism, or something like that.

    Barry, I think that means you have satanists on your blog.

    By Blogger Michael Bacon, at 1:36 PM  

  • I don't know much about politics, but I do wonder what Durham's political reputation is in the minds of people outside North Carolina.

    I've spent lot of time in Providence, RI, and that place has/had what I perceived to be a national reputation for crime, cronyism, and corruption.

    But do people in Chicago, Providence, or Seattle know anything about Durham? It's plain that "Duke Lacrosse" put got Durham some national consciousness bandwidth for a while. If this "Satanism" case blows up, I imagine it might get some national traction, but who knows.

    Does the Durham Committee get any press outside of town or the Triangle?

    This is a long-winded way of wondering whether a politically-minded person in, say, Portland OR or Dallas will ever hear the word "Durham" and immediately think "oh man, isn't that the wild place with the rogue DA, the African-American cabal led by Lavonia something-or-another, and the lunatic Satanist Democrats?"

    Note of course that I don't use such labels, but I wonder if they're the kind that would travel and stick.

    By Blogger Marsosudiro, at 2:44 PM  

  • mmmm.

    What do people think of when they hear the word "Durham"?

    Interesting question.

    But I think I know what word comes to mind when I hear "John McCain"-- it has to do with something he called his wife. I believe there is an older post on here to that effect? mmmmmmm?

    By Blogger Tony, at 1:14 AM  

  • marsosudiro : That's always an interesting topic. I travel all over the country, and know how certain towns across the country become associated (cemented, really) with a single event in the minds of the general U.S. population: Salem, Mass/ Fall River, Mass/ Selma, Alabama/ Kitty Hawk/ the Columbine area of Colorado. Leavenworth, Kansas, makes people think of prisons. Durham already has the Nifong/lax rape hoax thing down, but I honestly can't see too much association with the "cult" thing (even if anything comes of those accusations, which it might not). There have been far more extreme examples of possible sex/cult/etc activity/accusations/truth/bullshit/whatever in other parts of the U.S. that didn't seem to become associated with the towns in which they took place.

    By Blogger Joey7777, at 3:01 AM  

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