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Dr. Leo Igwe on the Deadly Witch-Hunts of the 21st Century

Dr. Leo Igwe on the Deadly Witch-Hunts of the 21st Century Thou Shalt Not Suffer: The Witch Trial Podcast

Dr. Leo Igwe, activist and Director of the Advocacy for Alleged Witches gives a gripping update about the witch hunt crisis in Nigeria and other African Nations. Leo teaches us the historical and societal patterns and parallels of witch hunts past with modern day witchcraft accusations. We discuss the urgency of immediate interventions and how the landmark witch trial exenteration legislation in Connecticut resonates to the rest of the world. This episode is a call for worldwide collective action against witch fear, a call to create safe communities for the vulnerable citizens in our world communities and a plea for you to spread the word with transformative conversations using your social reach.Support Us! Shop Our Book ShopAdvocacy for Alleged Witches, NigeriaStop Sorcery Violence in PNGBuy Witches and Witch-Hunts: A Global History, By Wolfgang BehringerWrite a Stratford, CT Town Council MemberResolution Concerning Certain Witchcraft Convictions in Colonial ConnecticutPurchase a Witch Trial White Rose Memorial ButtonSupport Us! Sign up as a Super Listener!End Witch Hunts Movement Thou Shalt Not Suffer Podcast Book StoreSupport Us! Buy Witch Trial Merch!Support Us! Buy Podcast Merch!Join us on Discord to share your ideas and feedback.Fact Sheet for Connecticut Witch Trial HistoryWebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagramPinterestLinkedInYouTubeTikTokDiscordBuzzsproutMailchimpDonateSupport the show

Show Notes

Dr. Leo Igwe, activist and Director of the Advocacy for Alleged Witches gives a gripping update about the witch hunt crisis in Nigeria and other African Nations. Leo teaches us the historical and societal patterns and parallels of witch hunts past with modern day witchcraft accusations. We discuss the urgency of immediate interventions and how the landmark witch trial exenteration legislation in Connecticut resonates to the rest of the world. This episode is a call for worldwide collective action against witch fear, a call to create safe communities for the vulnerable citizens in our world communities and a plea for you to spread the word with transformative conversations using your social reach.

Support Us! Shop Our Book Shop

Advocacy for Alleged Witches, Nigeria

Stop Sorcery Violence in PNG

Buy Witches and Witch-Hunts: A Global History, By Wolfgang Behringer

Write a Stratford, CT Town Council MemberResolution Concerning Certain Witchcraft Convictions in Colonial Connecticut

Purchase a Witch Trial White Rose Memorial Button

Support Us! Sign up as a Super Listener!

End Witch Hunts Movement 

Thou Shalt Not Suffer Podcast Book Store

Support Us! Buy Witch Trial Merch!

Support Us! Buy Podcast Merch!

Join us on Discord to share your ideas and feedback.

Fact Sheet for Connecticut Witch Trial History














[00:00:20] Josh Hutchinson: Welcome to Thou Shalt Not Suffer: The Witch Trial Podcast. I'm Josh Hutchinson.
[00:00:26] Sarah Jack: And I'm Sarah Jack.
[00:00:29] Josh Hutchinson: We recently got to spend a week with today's guest.
[00:00:33] Sarah Jack: We toured historic witch trial locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
[00:00:37] Josh Hutchinson: And he gave five talks in five days about modern witch hunts.
[00:00:43] Sarah Jack: We had a wonderful time together in person. Be sure to check our social media for pictures.
[00:00:48] Josh Hutchinson: And now Dr. Leo Igwe joins us from Morocco for an important episode about 21st century witch hunting.
[00:00:57] Sarah Jack: We learn more about the current situation.
[00:01:00] Josh Hutchinson: And how past and present witch hunts are connected.
[00:01:03] Sarah Jack: Listen to the questions he asks us, the questions he's asking you.
[00:01:08] Josh Hutchinson: Stay tuned to learn how you can help end the witch-hunt crisis.
[00:01:12] Sarah Jack: Dr. Leo Igwe is director of Advocacy for Alleged Witches. He works tirelessly to end witch-hunting in the modern world. His organization supports the victims and works with authorities to respond to attacks on people accused of witchcraft. Listen carefully to what he is telling us about the situation and how we can help end the crisis by taking action together. 
[00:01:32] Josh Hutchinson: Thank you so much for joining us today. We know you're super busy.
[00:01:37] Leo Igwe: And thank you for having me as usual. And this is a special edition, I'm sure, cause this is a first edition we're having since the resolution passed.
[00:01:45] Sarah Jack: So much has passed since we saw each other, since we talked, especially since the first time we recorded. This is exciting and special conversation.
[00:01:56] Leo Igwe: That was before of course I visited and I was able to, I went to the Salem Witch Museum and all the memorials there and all that. First of all, I want to say congratulations to you all for what you've done and the efforts you've made, and that nothing has connected, nothing has really resonated with what I've been doing here than what you just achieved in Connecticut and generally what you are trying to do in terms of remembering these people and honoring them as victims.
What applies at the moment is like people want to forget them. There's this kind of silence, there's this thing that, or some people use it for entertainment, or some people use it like the tourist thing. Okay. You take people around, showed people where people were murdered, people were hanged, tortured to death. And of course it's of tourist value. But these are human beings, for goodness sake. Yeah. Let's pause for a moment that these are human beings, and have we really paid the tribute we're supposed to pay? Yeah. Yes. What happened them is part of our history, no doubt about that. Fine. But have we really paid them the tribute, or we just talk about them like as in passing and use them to entertain people, use them to make money and that ends it and all that?
It was very inspiring coming around and getting to see all that's been going on in terms of honoring the memory of the victims in Connecticut. And like I said, it is part of the goal. What you're doing there, it underlies what I'm trying to do here. Yeah, when people are tortured to death, we shouldn't just push that aside, there's a need to understand what happened, need to make sure that justice is done, yes. So it is that sense of justice. It is that sense that people should focus on the miscarriage of justice that has taken place, instead of trying to talk about it as something that maybe should be used either for entertainment or lectures or to understand how primitive people were in the past. I think that's what resonated. 
And I'm looking forward to also see how we can continue to use this to educate people. Yeah. And like I said, I noted in my lecture, Americans should not think that witch-hunting is a thing of the past in America, because they tend to be speaking to a very tiny segment of America that belongs to the past, actually, not to the present. Because if we are to look at it today, it is important they translate the resolutions, the memorials into educational programs, enlightenment programs, with the message never again. Yeah. It belongs to our past, but we can have it today, because a lot of people are migrating from different cultures. 
The demographic tapestry of America is changing every day, and a lot of people are coming from Africa and Asia, and they become American citizens, and they hold these beliefs. So a lot of witchcraft accusations that are going on, but even though one cannot say the extent of the abuse, but it's important that we understand that these things are not much in the past and that honoring the memory of the victims could be a way America could tactfully and strategically position itself to make sure that the right message is sent to anybody who could indulge in such in the present and also in its future.
So that is on that side. Then on our side here is also, it resonates because for us, of course, I'm going to use it, or we are going to use it to also tell our lawmakers they need to do more. Yes, I was fascinated by the debate on the floor of the Parliament, State Assembly, as the case may be, how the parliamentarians were discussing and articulating this. For many parliamentarians in my own part of the world, they don't care. It, it sounds like something you are coming to disturb them. Yeah. So meanwhile, they should be abreast with this. So if it is something that is going to help us in my own part to begin to lobby the parliamentarians and say, "look at what is going on, look at how the lawmakers took a very great step to honor the memory of these people." But we're not actually talking about that yet. We're not there yet. We're even talking about taking steps to stop it, what is going on now? So that is why what has happened and what you are doing at your end of the world is very important today.
And again, I will not get tired of saying and repeating it. Whatever happens in America resonates a lot. Yes. And it is important that that leadership that has been missing, yes, because what has been missing, because it has been that silence. Oh, it belongs to the past, and you should be silent about it, even in the present. That shouldn't be the case. Yes. So it is also a message that people should have to break the silence when it comes to these victims and what they go through. And we should not hide it, because I was at the Salem Witch Museum and I saw all these monuments and moldings of people who were being hanged, and I was imagining the real thing. I wasn't even looking at that. I was imagining what happened in real life. And I was imagining myself being in that position. I was asking myself, "what is this?" Okay. And to say that a lot of people are going through such today, it means that we have not done enough, and there should be no sense of complacency anyway.
And that the memory, the tribute we are paying to the victims in the US, will not be complete until it includes and embraces the efforts to stop this, make sure that what these people suffered 300 years ago, over 300 years ago, thereabout, that people are not suffering this today, and that we should not end it there so that any area is going on, it should be something that we should include even in our lectures, in our education. And there's this idea that, yeah, while we remember those who were tortured, killed, murdered, executed 200 years ago, we should not forget those being tortured and executed today. 
 So doing, we bring this sense of globality. We bring a sense of universality. We bring a sense of connection. Because very often some people pride in saying, "oh yeah, it happens in my own part of the world." No, the world is more interconnected today than the way that the world was when this thing happened, so we cannot continue to use the idea of the world in the past to use it for today, and that we should begin to see this as, in quote, in this holistic form. So that, as we are going about remembering these people and honoring their memory and remember how they were tortured and what happened to them, we should also have somewhere remembering that in Malawi people are still being stoned to death and that elderly women are suffering the same thing, that in Nigeria, people are still tortured, set ablaze, suffering this, made to confess to crime they never committed, some will refuse till the time they get killed. And there are a lot of parallels, there's a lot of common pattern in terms of what people suffered so that this will help us send the message. And I think that this will be very valuable in our efforts to end witch persecution, let's say in Africa and in other places where these atrocities are still taking place.
[00:09:45] Josh Hutchinson: Thank you so much for that. You mentioned the visit to Salem, and you were able to visit the memorials in Salem and Danvers. What was your experience like there? What were you feeling? What were you thinking about?
[00:10:03] Leo Igwe: First of all, I was trying to imagine what happened 300 years ago. Yes. And because in the course of my scholarship trying to do the academic thing, the way they explain it is like, is a dead thing. For me, coming to this place is like reliving. It takes me back, and I was like imagining. I was like trying to imagine what transpired, trying to replay it in my mind based on the stories I've heard. Okay. So then I was like, another thing going on in my mind was like, still after 300 years, there are three descendants of these people feeling connected and feeling it as if this happened yesterday. Okay. It was inspiring to me, because I don't think that injustice has an expiration date. Because it happened 300 years ago. It's not, I can still relive it. 
When I went to the museum, I saw the stone being pressed. That I think is a moment like that of the stone being pressed. I wasn't looking at something that was really turning to me, or I was looking at something that was, I was chilled. There was this kind of, I was stiff with the kind of pain and anger and worry at the barbarity, so I tried to, I reconnected with people ordinarily. Or with something ordinarily, I was meant to think, oh, it happened. When you amidst a lot of Westerners, when they talk about this witch hunting, they make hand like this, as if it's like a fly, oh this thing happened 300 years ago. Okay. 
But they were human beings, flesh and blood, and they suffered it. And why it was very touching for me was that because I live in a world where people are going through the same thing. So it wasn't like old then, it was like I was seeing the man who was burned, I was seeing the woman who was set ablaze. I was seeing another woman who was being tortured to accept what she did not do. 
 They replayed the trial whereby somebody was acquitted. Then people would scream. Then the somebody was, the person, the same person was eventually convicted, and I recall in Malawi the judges will tell you that they don't want to acquit some people, because when they allow them to go home, they could be killed, so they sentence them to prison. That kind of thing. So all these things were going, emotions were all boiling in me, trying to, first of all, see how though it, how present something that people claim to be, something that happened in the past. That's one. 
Number two, I was also moved by the fact that the descendants of these people are still there. And I could still see the emotion, because as an academic person, they try to tell you to be detached from things like this. And I'm not studying sticks, I'm not even studying stones or rocks. I'm studying human beings being killed and tortured. I'm studying human beings traumatized and pained and murdered, set ablaze, stoned to death.
 It gave me an opportunity for the first time to really express myself. So, for instance, when we went to that memorial, I think that should be in Salem. Yeah. Where I paid tribute for the first time. I got there so close, and that's the closest I have been in my life. And that's the point I have really openly a little, I broke down, and tears came, because these tears have been there. I weep all the time they give me this news, but I've never had that space to really shed the tears. So it was like letting it out. 
At the point it came, I was not prepared, but it just came, so I could now connect with these people who ordinarily, like now many of them being stoned, like they send me pictures, a woman being dragged and being stoned, I feel like crying immediately. But sometime you don't cry, start calling the police officers. Start calling, "okay, what are you doing?" Those things. I'm just, I was just pretending. I feel like crying. That's the first thing I wanted to do. But I will not cry. I'll be calling police officers, disturbing them. "Could you get to the venue? Could you make arrest?" And all that. So somehow as I was going, I was not, I had this opportunity to really express, and all that, yes, knowing that this wasn't actually taking place, but bearing in mind that this actually took place. In other words, it's part of our history as human beings. So that was the emotions that was going on in my mind. 
And again, I was somehow was so happy that circumstances had made it possible for me to connect these histories. Which ordinarily, as an academic person, I should go back to any part in Africa or Nigeria or somewhere and be still be talking about the same people, sending researchers to go and be interviewing the same people, study how they are, how they're feeling, and coming back to classroom to earn money. Very important they are, but that's not my goal. This is a tragic situation. Yes. And it is a humanitarian crisis. I was happy to make these connections, and I'm hoping to use it in trying to help solve the problem, minimize the problem, reduce it, or if possible, bring it to an end.
[00:15:30] Sarah Jack: Do you wanna talk about the solving part or do you wanna talk more about your experience? Like with looking at the documents, do you want us to ask you a question about looking at the documents or Winthrop or anything?
[00:15:43] Leo Igwe: I think that one of the things also, I was happy with getting to understand the roles politicians played. That was another issue. Because there's always this idea, how did it end? And of course, they tell you this thing like, as if it's a little story, you know, a flip of paper, pen, they tell, oh, it ended. But this is a tragic situation. Stoning people, torturing them, pressing stone on them, a tragic situation that ended, so the role politicians played, and that's why I said I was very inspired when they told me about John Winthrop, Jr. And there's a need for us to challenge our politicians, yes. And I think, like I did when we made a presentation at the Capitol, I think that there's a need for us to tell the politicians that they're in positions to do better. They're in a position to take decisions that can benefit others, that can save lives. Yes. Let me just put it literally that way.
And that is why it is important. We will continue to celebrate the memory or the life or the interventions of John Winthrop, Jr. So that we also use that to inspire and get politicians that there's something they can actually do, because oftentimes they tend to be helpless or they think, oh yeah, it's the people. No, there's something they can actually do. So I was very inspired by that, and I may exploring ways of how I can use that story also to inspire politicians here and make them understand that we need more of John Winthrop, Jr. I told Senator Anwar and Representative Jane, I told them that you can be, and they have become that. They just stepped into the shoes. So I want to see how I can take that story beyond Connecticut to other places. And I tell politicians, you can also step into the shoes of Rep. Jane and Senator Anwar. Okay, so it is important. 
So there are so many aspects of what transpired within my visit. There's a takeaway, and I'm hoping that I'm going to use that. And it must not always be politicians, decision-makers, wherever they find themselves, judges, police officers, they can all step into the shoes, because I know very well that if they are ready to do their work, we can see these atrocities, they will end, or they will drastically reduce. It becomes something like when you do it, it's just like when you committed crime, the whole society goes as a, it's not like the whole society resigns to it or want to sweep that under the carpet. So I was inspired by the role the governor, John Winthrop, Jr., played in ending that, and I hope that I'm gonna use it also as an inspiration or a way to lobby politicians, decision-makers, chiefs, and people in authority that there's actually something they can do.
Let me tell you what I found inspiring was that somebody was accused, and I think she instructed a person who went down. Was hidden, the person has to hide or, I think either the person's supposed to be punished or something like that. But there was a kind of try to protect the person from either being harmed or being punished. So there was a kind of a story, I don't know the best, I don't know, maybe you can help me with the story again, but try to protect the person.
So it's not just all about the law and decision-making. You can actually take personal interests and tell the person, "come and hide. Come and hide in my house until the tension comes down." So there's a lot we can do. Yes. Because one of the things that led me to this work is that when you interview people, they try to say, "yeah, what do we, what can we do?"
The mob, who are the mob? They're human beings, so if people feel that there's little they can, there's a lot they can do. These people can run to your place. You can hide them for some time. I've hidden them. For some you not, you're start engaging the people, and from there you can now save a life. 
So what I'm trying to say is that going through this and understanding some of these dynamics as to what played out during that era and how it ended, was a great source of inspiration to me and how I hope I'll use that to see how I can rally a lot of people who ordinarily are resigning or who think they cannot do much to do this, to know that they can do something, and from that we could start hoping, seeing an end to this tragic situation.
[00:20:02] Josh Hutchinson: That was the story of Katherine Harrison from Connecticut. She was convicted of witchcraft. They overturned the conviction. She had to move to New York, and as soon as she got there, people tried to run her out of town. So a man took her in and housed her. And yeah. And you're saying that's symbolic of the type of action that people can take.
[00:20:30] Leo Igwe: But could take. Yes, could take.
[00:20:33] Josh Hutchinson: So what kind of action can listeners take if they're hearing this right now?
[00:20:39] Leo Igwe: Let me tell you the joy of today's world, cause we might all be thinking about all the dangers we face and all the risk we roll and all that. Let me tell the joy of today's world. You can do something from wherever you are. Yes. We are continent apart as we speak now, no, but we are putting together a program. People are going to listen without knowing that we are continents apart. We are hours and hours ahead or behind each other. Okay? So we have in our hands facilities like telephone or our phones and things like that. Now drawing attention, some relevant authorities, and they're there, there are a lot of, there are a lot of organizations, let's say, in different parts of the world that you can use to, "Hey, I don't like this. What is going on?"
Or provide platforms. Because one of the challenges actually we have, for instance, in my own part of the world is that a lot of people don't even want you to talk about it. A school owner told me, "Leo, come here and teach us critical thinking, but don't come here and tell us that witches don't exist," or something like that. Sometimes there's even this prohibition. They don't want you to talk about it. 
Okay, so first of all, you can help begin the conversation, yes, somewhere. Now there are a whole lot of Africa-related issues coming up. I know that whenever Africa comes up, there's always this stereotype about it, but we can open these spaces to looking at, okay, it happened there, it's happening here, making some comparison, and also looking at some of also universal trend, misogyny, patriarchy. This is an not peculiar traffic. These are things you find embedded in some of these issues. 
We can bring a perspective using witchcraft. Others can bring a perspective using some other thing happening. But it is patriarchy, it is misogyny that is being played out, miscarriage of justice, mob violence, these things can take dimensions. What I'm trying to say here is that if you really feel pained by what's going on, and if you really think that we need to end this, we also have to be very creative about what we do, yes, in terms of how we integrate it. Though there's a lot going on in the world today, you can really draw attention to it, so it has so many dimensions. It has a human rights dimension. It has a women rights dimension. It has a children's right dimension. It has a policing dimension. It has a security dimension. It has a rural development dimension, urban development dimensions. But the fact there is that, what I've noticed is that same idea that it doesn't matter, that idea of minimizing it, that idea of trying to wish it away. It has also been institutionalized so that people find it difficult to mainstream this.
Imagine the situation whereby we have conferences on development in Africa and we have a section and looking at the intersection between development and witch-hunting and witch persecution. But of course, you will still see the people in authority wish them away. Meanwhile, the person who is covering it or trying to brush that aside, people are being persecuted and killed in the person's villages back in Africa.
So that is the tragedy. The thing there is that we really need to wake up. We need to change our orientation. We really need to admit that this is part of our history and confront it. Because if we don't confront it, it will remain there. And because a lot of people, when I was traveling around and speaking, I keep hearing, "oh, I don't know that this thing is taking place." and, okay, if you don't know, what did you go to school to do? So if you don't dunno, what is your internet do? Because I want to tell you, put this online and put witch hunt in Malawi. You will see terrible pictures, and you know they will not give you the news. Internet will give you images. Okay? So how can you say you know a lot, you don't know that this happening? There's always a way I feel when people tell me, "ah, but I don't know about this." Like, where are you coming from? Where have you been living? Okay.
The fact is that many people don't know. Yeah, that's a fact. And I don't think that all these people I met in different parts of the US are lying. They're not. They were not lying. Ok. Many people don't know. So the first is that we have to know. What you can do is that, please, you need to know wherever you are. Please go online and try to see what is going on. And from there, begin to figure out what we can do and let that mainstream.
Like now, I went for a conference, African studies conference in Cologne. Yeah. Because of my travel arrangements, I couldn't submit any abstract on witchcraft persecution and things like that. There was no talk about it at all. Instead, they were talking about, some anthropological African sense of engineering, some very, queer, somewhat interesting kind of thing. All this idea of, oh, Africa has this little sense of engineering. They'll not be going into the villages and thinking about certain things. Nobody will even replicate anywhere. Okay. So you see a lot. Being people overlooking it, people pushing the matter aside, not even for grounding, not even bringing it. And because of that, a lot of people will finish going to the university. They say they don't know. 
So please what you can, the world needs to know, you can help us from wherever you are to inform the world. Because you know why? If people are informed, and I think they'll be in a better position to take action, so that one of the reasons why people are not taking appropriate action is that people are not informed or being informed. And again, don't wait to be informed. After listening to this, go online, and again, after getting informed, inform another person. From there, it start growing. And action can now come from different angles and different dimensions, because I want to tell you, I want to get partners. I want to get people who can help me. Like now they're burying people alive in Zambia. I cannot be in Zambia. They're burying people are alive in Nigeria. I cannot be in Zambia, I cannot be in Nigeria. They are burying people are alive in Côte d'Ivoire and some other places, they told me. I cannot be there. Burkina Faso. So the problem is huge. I need a lot of people to get involved, and people can really get involved when they get informed. So if what you can do is to help us inform the world, you are helping us a lot. If whatever you can do is to help us mainstream it in conferences and programs and discussions and workshops and all that, you are doing a lot, because I think that immediately we win the information war. In other words, get people more informed. I think that it will put us in a better position to address the problem. Cause I don't want to come back, let's say in the next visit America again. I'll be going around in the next two years and people, are still telling me, oh, "I dunno what is going on. I dunno what this is going on." Please, if you're listening to this program, please inform people it is there. So that what I want to be hearing is that, "what can we do? This is my suggestion. Can we get this done here? Can we issue press release? Can we send a letter to this president, this parliament? This is action oriented?" So for now, between now, the next time I'm visiting is information. We have to win the information war. We have to get people informed. Then after that, we now take the action phase. And hopefully that will help us see how we can begin to contain and end these horrific abuses.
[00:28:00] Sarah Jack: One of the things that it brings to mind is Americans tend to make light of when they figure something out. There's a meme or a joke that goes around that says, I was this many days old when I found out there were witch hunts or I was this many days old when I found out how to open this. It's like like a joke in a sense. And I hope that people start to understand that.
I don't think that right now Americans are surprised when they learn things about history that they didn't know you. You mentioned people are educated yet there's some significant holes in the education and then it's on the person to fill those holes. And I think we're in a phase as a culture, some of us are, where we're realizing, oh, we have these holes in our understanding to fill. This is something that is greatly impacted by that and other injustices and vulnerable people who suffered because of what was happening and then we don't know about it still. So this, what you're speaking to right here is extremely significant, obviously, to our modern victims, but to helping the citizens of the United States and of the world understand how critical it is that we do know, that we are getting to that next phase where we're taking action and asking which action shall we be taking? Not, oh wow, this is still so surprising. We have to get past the, this is surprising.
[00:29:41] Leo Igwe: Yeah. We need to, because, we have all the facilities not to. Not be, keep telling us This is surprising again. Yeah. Because it'll not be looked differently as if, okay, you it that this person really doesn't want to take the necessary steps. And that's why I said, there's a need for us to go through, past that phase and understand why we are still using that this is surprise, or this is not, I've not known this, I don't know this, I didn't get to know this. We need to find out a reason for that and address those reasons so that we can make progress, because we just need to make progress in this. 
And I want to tell you that when I announced this program in 2020, when I announced it, some of the journalists were like, they were thinking that, "oh yeah, this is like a pipedream." So there's this idea that yeah, this program, even if you engage in this, nothing is not going to come out. So it is not something that you should bother about. Yeah. Okay. So the silence has turned to inaction and despair and you other feelings that, so you don't, you, people just don't want to get into it, okay?
Now, I would like us to see what we can do to overcome that, because that's exactly the mentality. Where will you get the resources for this? Whom are you going to work with? Who will support you? There are so many questions that they ask that border on "why get into this? People have forgotten this, or people don't want to pay attention to this. Why not allow this to continue the way it is?" So we really need to send that message that it is no longer going to be business as usual. And that's exactly what you did in Connecticut. You, you said, the message said, "no, we're going to remember these people. Sorry. These people are this, these people are that." And like the little I know, if I'm wrong, you correct me. The attempt somebody made in the past some years ago did not succeed and these were not succeeded in such way as if they just kept the votes, maybe the successful votes in the past and now added a few more to it. And they now passed the resolution right away.
What am I trying to say? Let us start very small, because we have a problem. It is clear. We have a problem. Okay. And like I said, the woman murdered by witch hunters in Cross River in southern Nigeria, the daughter lives in the U.S. And from the immigration pattern, the daughter will end up being an American, if not she's American already. They're gonna have children. In other words, the grandchildren are Americans. Okay? This thing is not as distant. And the attitude of I don't know, or it's surprising is bordering on, we're being negligent. We're really failing to do or know or understand or address a problem we should be addressing. And like I said, we can start now, before it becomes something that will now involve human resources and the, and all kinds of issues and all that. It gets more complicated, so what I'm saying there is that it is important that we change our attitude towards this. Yes. 
And what has happened in Connecticut is that this can be done. All of a sudden people took it seriously, and it resonated with them and it passed. And that we can take that sense of optimism, that sense of the fact that we can really change the attitude, towards other sectors. So that, because you know what I was thinking when I was coming, when I was returning from the United States, I was like thinking the next 50 years, the next hundred years, people may not even remember the individual actors who contributed. People will not ask, oh, were there oppositions? Were there setbacks? Were there people who didn't want to vote? People will be with the questions that, okay, what did you do? You did, you helped something, you helped another memory of this. That's only thing they want. And that's it. So they won't bother. How long did you go, the letters you wrote? How many times? Sarah flew from Denver to Connecticut. Did you come by road to do for this hearing? What did they tell you at the hearing? Some of these tiny bits, which we feel through this, a bit frustrating or something, in the course of this. What happens that, oh, what did you do? You worked together and honored the memory of these people, period. So what I'm trying to say that a hundred years from now or something, people may not ask, "okay, Leo what you're doing? Did you get support from Sarah or Josh or End Witch Hunt organization?" The question is that this thing ended.
And maybe if properly documented, they will not be reading the tiny bits of how they came together. And so what I'm saying is that we're in the position to do this now. Let's not stop. Let us not allow anything to stop us from leaving a legacy that people will look back tomorrow and draw inspiration from. Yes. So let us not make excuses because the generations coming will blame us. Yeah. They may not blame us individually and all that, but they will look at it as just like we're looking at the people who were pressing stones on human beings who were, we're looking at them and said, ah, yeah, these people, they didn't do well, as they say in Nigeria. That's the way they say it in Nigeria, "these people didn't do well." Okay. You'll say that. Yeah. So we have opportunity to do better. We have opportunity to do some good, and the next generation will be happy. 
They won't ask, "how did you do it? Did you get the resources from outside or inside? From white or black or yellow or green or in between?" No. They just want to hear that this problem, you have, you did something and it ended it. So what am I trying to say? The world is changing and we have a problem, and we may not know the kind of world that will be coming of less in the next 20, 50 years. It might be world whereby if you said, "oh, because I'm in America, we didn't do this" to stop it in Malawi, they will not, I don't know. They will, should I say pass your memory or cause I know that they will not be happy with you. Okay. 
So it is important we understand this and look to the future and understand that if we're in a position to stop this, somewhere else, if we're in a position to use what we're doing in one part of the world to help end this in another part of the world, let's do it. You may never know, like I said it, nobody knew that I would ever get connected with what happen in Salem. Nobody. Yes, and this John Winthrop, Jr., I know in his widest imagination, he may not know that there's somebody like me, who looks like me, who might be talking about him today, and I want to let you know that the same thing applies to all of us listening to this. You may never know who might be there tomorrow thinking about this, honoring the efforts we are being made today. So let's make the efforts, if we can. Let's stop this, because we might actually be doing something that might resonate with us, whether we are in the U.S., whether in America or in Africa or in Europe.
[00:36:32] Josh Hutchinson: Is there more that politicians in the United States and internationally can be doing right now?
[00:36:40] Leo Igwe: Yes. I wish that they could do more. Yes, because I know that politicians getting them to do things is really hard. But of course, when, when they decide to do it, yes, it gets done at least a good one. As we saw in Connecticut.
I want them, if they can, to take this resolution a bit further. Yeah, take it beyond the states, because I want us to put this on record. Witch-hunting is not a thing of the past in the United States. Yes, any politician. Because the next thing you're going to hear in the next few years when maybe cases start coming up, "oh, I didn't know. We didn't know this was going on." I'm telling you now. Listen to this program and understand now that witch-hunting is taking place in the US as we speak. And that politicians, they have demanded to help in putting place mechanisms that can save lives, protect the people, and guarantee a better and safer living of people in the communities. And they can do well if they can take this up and use it to send a very clear message, like I said. Yeah, I know they have done it at the state level. If they can take it a bit further, it'll very appreciative, because it'll keep sending the same message which they have sent in Connecticut, which is, "America, this belongs to our past." Yes. And whatever migration ways we get, it belongs to our past. Okay. And that can be a measure that can save America maybe millions or billions of dollars.
Time to start investigating and start getting into a necessary debate that might border on racism, neocolonialism, and all that, because it might be affecting migrants. So let's have politicians who think ahead, that's a question. So politicians should not just only think back to understand what happened. They should also think ahead and put in place mechanisms that can also make sure that this doesn't repeat or if it is going on, it just fizzles, it just fits away. So they can do more. They can do more. And again, politicians are not operating in islands. 
I'm attending a conference organized by Interparliamentary Union, IPU. Okay, so parliamentarians are here. Yeah. But they're organizing something on interfaith dialogue, and they're inviting humanists for the first time. So I am still trying to understand what so I don't want to rock the boat on my first invitation. So I'm coming down just to understand the landscape, because I will really bring this issue, but I don't want to bring it and get disinvited, and I'm again representing the humanist association. So I'm trying to understand this. 
So parliamentarians work together. Politicians work together so they can use their network to also send a message to their colleagues and said, "what is going on? Do you need help? We can help you." So they can use their network to also address the problem. 
The thing that, like I said, is that there's always this feeling that there's nothing we can do about it. Or even if we do something, it will not be effective. And this has made us to live with a situation, with a problem that we can solve, and this will made us to be ignorant of something we should know about. So there's a need for us to change this attitude. Politicians have to change this attitude. And it is only by changing this attitude, it's only by understanding that today politics is not just local. Politics is also global. And there's a lot we can do by tapping into those global mechanisms and dynamics to address problems like this, which are problems that could, may end up affecting us sometime. Yes. 
Like I noted in one of my presentations, the migrant communities in the UK have recorded cases of witch-hunting, because many of them came with their churches, and these are witch-hunting churches, witch-exorcising churches. And from there, the whole thing started rolling in and of course the government went into it. They started an, in fact, they started a particular program, all sorts of things. Their metropolitan police, everybody got involved. Like I said, if they had acknowledged this and begin to address it, and all of that, I don't think it would've gotten to that. 
 Let's face the reality as it is, and I think that is how we can begin to address this problem in the 21st century manner. Yes. In a manner that suits this century with all the dynamics playing out today in the world.
[00:41:42] Sarah Jack: I was wondering what does memorialization for modern victims, what should that look like? What should that be doing?
[00:41:52] Leo Igwe: Is a question I've asked and of course I'm trying to get an answer first. Now, let me tell you the challenge we have. Like myself, I have not been able even to visit the sites of many of the modern victims, because it's always tense, because people might attack you, because they think you are behind the police officers, they're prosecution. Because when I'm moving police into those places, it becomes very tense. 
I've not been able actually to go to pay personal tribute to these people to see their gravesite. The closest I have gone is the one I did in the US. So just to let you know how what happened in the US you know how I got connected, because many of those places when they happen, I move in with, I bring in the police, and the place become tense, so we cannot actually go in. In fact, some places, police officers could not go in. It was as bad as that. Not to talk of the person who is responsible for bringing the police officers. So first of all is that we have to create an environment where we can actually memorialize these people. That is the first step.
Okay. Now doing that sends a message. Okay, because that's exactly one of the things I saw I'm going to be doing anywhere we are able to be sure it'll be safe or won't be able to do something there that when you finish it in the night, they will come and scatter it or destroy it and things like that. We will do it, because it sends a message, a very clear message, but sometimes there'll be resistance.
Cause a lot of people don't want that message that this person should be honored, that this person, is like when you do it, like in my organization, they say you're encouraging it. Yes, you are supporting it, or you are one of them. Yeah. So many misconceptions will be rolling, in which mind, if you don't manage them very well, it turn to, it'll turn to violence. Memorializing, honoring their memory is something very important because of the messages we send, but we are still yet to get a clear one, because like now most of them, either the cases are in court, people are running away. If you come around there, you're a stranger, people run away, or people might harm you, or waylay you on the roads, attack you or kill you or things like that. So it is always very dangerous. 
So it's something that we have to allow some time before we can begin that process. I'm also looking at something like having maybe a Memorial Day, something like that, whereby we could just meet in the city and invite family members. Okay. To come around and we talk about the people that passed away and what they're doing. So I'm thinking, like I said, it is still something I'm struggling to do. For now what is very likely is having something like a day or an event where we remember them. 
Last year, we tried doing something like that, but we didn't call it memorial. We call it honoring our heroes. A lot of people, whistleblowers, people who tell us, who draw our attention to that. So we gave them a kind of an award, just incentivize so that people, when these things are happening, they'll be able to either to inform us or tell us. So that's a bit of what we did. And some of the victims we brought them, too. Some of the survivors, they now told us what they went through, what they passed through. So that's what we, that was. 
We might bring in a layer of memorializing it, though just one day, whereby we might also get people from those families. The challenge we usually have is that people have so much trauma after this, because the direct descendant children are the people there, and sometimes they want to forget. They want to get over. They don't want to be recalling what their mother went through and all that. And I also don't want to be instrumental to getting them to relive what they feel they want to forget. So you can see the whole thing playing out now.
I want to get my society to move fast to where you are now, but you know, It's gonna, it's not gonna be very easy, and all that. Again, I also would of course not create a situation that will make people traumatizing them more and all that if they want to forget it. We also, we always allow the family members to decide what to do. Yeah. If they don't want to come, that's fine. If they want to come, we give them the space, incentivize, and make them feel very good.
So the memorial thing is something we will have to think of about carefully, but it'll help in sending a message, especially to the wider public, messages of deterrence, messages that, ah, don't do this thing. This is and all that. An indirect way of telling people, stop this. Yes. Without really going to there to tell them that. So it is something we have to think of carefully, think about carefully and plan in such a way that we can use it as a resource of education and a resource also of sending a message to the whole society. 
[00:47:01] Josh Hutchinson: I think the delicateness that you're talking about, you have to be so sensitive to all these issues itself helps to bring alive how real this problem is and how it's not just in the past, because this is a very fresh wound, and new wounds are being added daily, unfortunately. So I think for, as an American who has that, this was 300 years ago mentality, that's impactful to me to know just how fresh these wounds are, how the tears are not dry.
[00:47:50] Leo Igwe: Like I said, I'll think about it carefully and because many families of victims, they're always happy that people are honoring them or providing them the psychosocial support. They were, they're always very happy. But I'm trying to make sure we do it so we don't impose it on them. It's not like it's sound imposition, it is actually something that could help their healing. Yeah. So I'm always out of ideas when I meet them. Cause I don't know whether to cry. I don't know. I know what to, whenever I meet them, it is like, what do you want? I take them sometimes. So that, okay, you want me, I can put them out in a hotel for some days, just try to see how I can get them back to the normal all this day, because they're always very traumatized.
So what I'm trying to say is that, yeah it is something that I will have to think about creatively and see how we can do it as part of an effort to provide them support, not necessarily against their will, get them to be reliving their trauma. Okay. Uhhuh. Yes. So it is, like I said, it's something I have to think about and and also we have to also do it in such a way that of course it doesn't provoke the situation.
We move it away to a venue where we can bring them there, and we talk and we do our thing, and in fact, make sure it serves the goal. Which is to provide them some kind of closure, to provide them with some kind of support, and then send the message of deterrence to the wider community. I think for me, this is what I could see when it comes to this memorial thing, but we have to really plan it out very well to make sure that it achieves that goal.
[00:49:30] Sarah Jack: That's very good. There's some similar dimensions when you look at the exoneration effort in Connecticut or any of the ones that have occurred in the United States. Some descendants, it's so traumatic and raw for, they really can't get involved, but they want to see it happen. So like after HJ 34 passed, we heard from so many descendants who were just, they were healing, because they saw that their ancestor, their name was made right. But they needed to do it outside of the action. They personally couldn't do more, because of how they were coping with that history. There's just all those different layers for different people. It's not the same. But I understand, I've learned from hearing from people that the trials have really affected descendants in different ways. Of course, living family members in Nigeria who are literally having their life and family torn apart from it, that is real life happening right now. But I see that over the timeline, over the world, these have really caused deep wounds and everybody comes to face it in a different way and heal. 
[00:50:54] Leo Igwe: Everybody faces in a different way, and what we try to do is try to identify if anybody that is facing this in a way that connects with us at our campaign, and we try also to process it in a way that we don't hurt somebody else who is a process it differently. Yeah. So that is, is a delicate balancing we try to do, because sometimes even from the point of view, when it happens, immediately happens, let's say what I mean by when it happens is that, oh, somebody's killed. Sometimes some family members don't want, because whatever you're going to do will not bring the dead person to life, okay?
But of course we tell them sometimes you can get a person to send a message that was, that's invaluable. Okay. But some of them cannot connect with that. Yes. Yeah, some of them cannot connect with that. So sometimes we might get one person, there was a particular family is only one person, and the lady who connected what we're doing, and we were able to provide a lot of help.
So in fact this man was beaten, they wounded him, I think broke his arm or something, because of witch-hunting, and I wanted to capture his story. Okay. So he said he wasn't interested. He said he wasn't interested, that he has handed everything over to God, that God should be the one to pursue it. It pains me, but that's how he, that was how he wanted it. So that was how we stopped on that case.
Another man came all the way to our event and sat very early before we even arrived at the event and was there, recounted his own story of what happened? He of course, his own, he was, it was the son that wanted to attack him and beat him and all that. So he was able to resist the son, and there was this kind of fight and the villagers came. So the son went and smashed the windscreen, the car, tried to vandalize and all that. So he came and narrated it and we were able to support him and just use that to send a message like we're saying, but that's what we used that for. But sometimes some people can't connect with that.
And that's also is also hampering our ability sometimes to send a message to the wider public. Cause if we don't get these people to work with us, if we don't get these people to tell us the story, or even come out to tell the world their story. Because what happens there is that we hear the accusers. We hear them, the accusers. Very often we, we don't hear the accused. And even when you're hearing from the accuser, you will be hearing from a third party, "oh that woman said." Now the woman now be so traumatized to come out openly and tell the word, look at what happened. It takes a lot, sometimes even years before the person can be in the form to, even if, I mean you are calling the press, many of them get apprehensive. They think that you might be worsening their situation. So what I'm saying, I'm just confirming the fact that people relate with this differently, and we are also trying to navigate that. 
Bear in the mind that we want to help these people. We don't want to harm them for that. Yeah. So we don't want to go about it in a way that we get them to feel hurt, so all, so what, that's why we have, I said we have to be very creative about it. Those who are ready to connect with us, we take them, we use their memory, we try to see what we can do. We use their stories. We go to the media, hoping that the message will keep going out.
Then why we allow others to make sense of it, find closure in a way they want, so that we will not be like, maybe try end up maybe further traumatizing or interfering. Some of them feel that you are coming to interfere in what is actually their family thing, or they think that's something you want to make out of it. You want to use it for your own goal or I realize a particular thing. 
So all these are complications. But what happens is that at the end of the day, a lot of people are appreciative of our intervention. They want the support, but sometimes how they relate with how we do, how we take that further, is different. And we always allow them to determine when they want us to stop, we stop and all that. But when those who want to continue with us, we'll continue, because we need them to tell the story in a way that a lot of people will connect better than when we actually tell their story on their behalf.
[00:55:25] Josh Hutchinson: As we wrap up, is there anything in particular you wanted to be able to say today? Is there another message you have for our listeners?
[00:55:36] Leo Igwe: The, I understand that, I mean our listeners mainly in the US I guess anything online, anybody can listen to it. So let me not be an old school kind of thing and say, because this is a podcast in the US it's going to be American listeners only. But what I'm trying to say is that we need to sit up, we need to see what we can do to address this problem, and we need to change our attitude, and you can do something.
Just like we heard about the person who was accused or at a point acquitted and somebody had to take her in and protect her. Just hid her for some time or something like that. You can do something personal there that might change the trajectory when it comes to life, because witchcraft accusation is a life or death issue.
You can do something there. Yes. And like I said, it might be something you take for granted, but it makes a whole lot of difference. Yes. You can share even the link, this very link, you can put it somewhere, you can share it in your apartment, there might be a conference coming up. You just put it out there.
What am I saying? If you can help us send this message. I want people to now tell me, oh, I know that this is taking place. I want people to stop telling me I didn't know it's taking place. Now we have the internet. Now you can listen to this. So share the link.
Let people get to know that it's taking place. So let's cross that, that this aspect, let's get over it and begin to say, okay, now it's taking place. What do we do? So that is one thing, I want our listeners to, see how, what they can do when it comes to that. We need to win this information war, and we need awareness war. So let everybody know that this is taking place.
Now. But if you're also in the position of drawing attention of other departments, organizations, because a whole lot of organizations are doing all sorts of things in terms of development, in terms of human rights, in terms of education, in terms of women's rights and all that. Anything that has some, because witch hunt has so many connections, has connections with security, it has connections with law, it has connections with education. Cause when you look at it, when you go out and listen and watch this video, there must be an aspect of it that you feel connected. Do something about connection. Just do something, this is my message, is do something. Because you can do something, you can share this link, you can draw an attention of somebody, you can connect. 
Like when I went to the the Salem Witch Museum? They told me the story. They told the story and ended up with McCarthy, some American thing like that. I was like, oh, hi guys. I don't get this. You're American. You know witch McCarthy, some kind of witch hunting stuff. I'm talking about real real thing. They're talking about politics. You know the thing, the witch hunting story ended up with something like politics. No, I couldn't connect. Immediately, it stopped being what it is in my own world. I couldn't connect with that. So I'm not saying that they should not do it, but let them restrict that as an American one and let them bring in what is going on that place. Let them mention it. You may not have the details, but mention it, because that it was totally absent in the museum.
How do you expect people who get educated there to know that it's taking place today? So we still have work to do. So what I'm trying to draw attention is that there's a need for us to win this information war, this awareness war, this knowledge war, so that when we know this, we can now begin to look at tiny, little ways and actions we can take to begin to address it.
Because there is still this sense people get, no matter how they divided the world, maybe, no matter how people talk about racism and all that, there is still that sense of human connection. And there's this sense I see in the face of a lot of people whom I don't know,. Sometimes I send them money either for medical bills after they're persecuted or I send them money to their relocation. You, when you meet some of them, you still see that connection. And I want to let you know that there are a lot of people who will appreciate whatever you do to help them out of what is actually a life and death situation. And some of the things you could do are actually things you might even take for granted, but which will resonate invaluably, which will change somebody's life in a way you could not imagine.
So this is again, how the world as it is today puts us in a position to make a significant change in the life of somebody somewhere with something that my might appear so significant to us. This is our chance, this is our opportunity, and let's seize it. And just like the senators, the lawmakers in Connecticut, they seize this opportunity and passed the bill and passed the resolution and sent that clear message, overwhelmingly, when those campaigning were like a little worried that it may not happen. You can also create surprises in a way that will even maybe, I may not even, that will be beyond my expectation. By putting together efforts that can send a message that will resonate not only with victims, but also a lot of people who think that nothing can be done to significantly change what is going on in Africa and other parts of the world where witch-hunting is still an everyday reality.
[01:01:26] Sarah Jack: So important, leo, thank you so much. One of the early things that I learned from you, from reading about you before I met you and our first episode where we met you and interviewed you was one of the things that you have just said how you cannot tell the victim stories like they can. And I, so early realized we cannot, I cannot, the podcast cannot tell the story of what's happening in your country and other parts of the world like you can, and you have done that. And I hope that we can keep giving you that opportunity. I hope that this conversation does go on to that next phase of information, the action phase. It needs to. And I think about how, even a year ago, so much, so many people were very unaware that Connecticut had witch trials. 
And for the most part, now we aren't, we are not hearing as much, "they had witch trials?" Instead we're hearing, "oh, I want more information," "oh, my family lived in that town," "oh yes." We got over a hump. I know there are still people learning and figuring it out, but we definitely saw a transition in the education and I know that you are going to, that we are all going to see that with this global issue of the witch-hunt, too. I know we are.
[01:02:55] Leo Igwe: And again, like I said this podcast may also sound like maybe something like a platform you just do it and put it out there. Is also important you understand that it's providing also a mechanism, a facility, of information. A lot of people might get to know what they never knew or might get to hear about what they never heard, or may we get to understand the urgency of something they take very lightly, and all that through this. So it, this is also serving, a very important function. And of course I will, I'll thank you Sarah. I thank you Josh for coming together and putting this putting this podcast together and providing this platform and doing this connection. I've said many times, there's always this disconnect. It's like we're talking about different things. That's what they tell us in the academic thing. They think we're talking about different things, and my mind is telling me we're not talking about different things, but they will tell you, okay, we're talking about different things. Explain it differently so that you get scholarship, you get funding, you get this thing when you say it's the same thing and all that, oh, and all that.
So a lot of people keep struggling, misrepresenting situations and all that. From there, they make a profession out of misrepresenting the situation. Okay? We are talking about similar experiences. Yes, it may happen to people 300 years ago, but I'm not interested in those year argument. I'm interested that it happened and that people suffered this thing and are still suffering it today and that we should treat it with that same urgency, with that same pain and all that we relate to the one that happened there. 
So what am I trying to say is that your podcast has also helped in giving me that sense of connection. I never found it in the lecture room. I never found it doing my research and all that, because I'm told to see Africa as unique and explain it that way and see how things are functioning for them and all that. But I decided to rebel against that and do it my thing the way I understand, and luckily I have you people now who can see how things are really coming together, and it is like giving me some sense of fulfillment and some sense of hope that at least I'm on track or we are on track at least towards containing this problem and drawing from the world's resources, because I told people the resources are there. There's a way you present a situation, you deny yourself of available resources that would've been there. So I am happy that at least we can pull resources together. We not be addressing the same thing the same way, but we may be addressing the same thing differently. But what is important? What will they ask us a hundred years from now? We don't know how the world will be. Whether the whole world will just be on one phone. If you're on phone, bam, you can talk to anybody like the way you talk to any, you know, and all that. They would say, this thing ended, and let them hear that we did our best. We didn't misrepresent the situation and refuse to use the resources that we have available to address a problem. I know that people when they understand that we tried to present this problem the way it is and use whatever we could east, west, north, and south to address this, and all that. And that we did not celebrate the memory of some people in some part of the world different from others, and all that. Yes, it is a collective memorization and that's a project I think, and I hope that you're going to send the right message, and that is why, once again I'm grateful for you people, for what you're doing and for giving me this platform and also for being very supportive.
[01:06:22] Josh Hutchinson: Thank you so much for joining us.
[01:06:24] Sarah Jack: And now for a minute with Mary. 
[01:06:35] Mary Bingham: It was an amazing gift to spend an entire day with Dr. Leo Igwe last May. Listening to his stories regarding how he and his organization help people brutally targeted for unfounded accusations of witchcraft have made a life-giving impact for me. I consider Dr. Igwe's enthusiasm to end witch hunts very infectious. I have made it my mission to continue to follow his mission and spread information regarding ongoing, real witch hunts on all of my social media platforms, hopefully furthering this education on my own, as well as through the organization of which I am a part. That will help Dr. Igwe to save lives from the hands of those who maliciously track people down, beat and murder these innocent women, children, and men.
Another activist I hope to meet someday is Monica Paulus. Monica grew up no stranger to violence in Simbu province of New Guinea. After discovering she in fact had rights as a human being, Monica challenged herself by moving forth to eventually defend women and children who suffered abuse due to accusations of sorcery. Monica knew how to get involved to get things done. Her involvement with certain groups led to the government to allocate 3 million Papua New Guinea kinas to set up committees. That amount is equal to about 842,000 US dollars. These committees were to address sorcery-related violence. 
Monica's life has been threatened many times. Threats have even come from her own family members. She was told to move many times or else get killed. But Monica soldiered on to save others. In Monica's own words, she says, and I quote, "we really need each other at all levels. Human rights is everyone's business," end quote. On the ground, Monica has taken women and children accused of sorcery-related acts into her home for their safety, providing food, clothing, and shelter, even when she did not have much of those items to offer. Monica also helps to bring their accusers to justice in some cases. 
To learn more about this extraordinary woman, visit In addition, please visit to read more about Advocacy for Alleged Witches, the organization founded by Dr. Leo Igwe. Also I, along with Josh and Sarah, strongly encourage the listeners to visit, the organization of which we three are a part. Any donation or purchase you would make could help to save a life. Thank you.
[01:09:46] Sarah Jack: Thank you, Mary.
[01:09:48] Josh Hutchinson: Here's Sarah with End Witch Hunts News. 
[01:10:08] Sarah Jack: End Witch Hunts is a nonprofit 501(c)(3). Here's our weekly news update.
Here's a course that introduces the study of beliefs and practices past and present associated with magic, witchcraft, spirituality, magical realism, and religion. It's called Witches, Bruxas, and Black Magic. These topics are discussed and include ritual, symbolism, mythology, altered states of consciousness, and healing, as well as syncretism, change, and the social roles of these beliefs and practices. 
Stay tuned to where you can enroll for this online class.
On May 25th, 2023, the Connecticut General Assembly passed House Joint Resolution 34, Resolution Concerning Certain Witchcraft Convictions in Colonial Connecticut. This legislation cleared the names of the innocent accused witches of Connecticut Colony. This milestone resolution passed when the majority of the House, 80%, voted yes on May 10th to pass it to the Senate. Then on the 25th, the Connecticut Senate voted almost unanimously yes, only one senator voted no, completing the passage of HJ 34.
This resolution was successful due to years of collective attempts and efforts from many, many local politicians and residents, witch trial descendants, and advocates from across the United States and the globe. It took every layer of efforts to get this done. Many individuals started it, many carried it, and many finished it. 
So, since efforts for witch trial exoneration in Connecticut over the past decades were blocked at every turn, why did the renewed efforts in 2022 move so swiftly? Why did the witch trial victims officially receive state acknowledgement as innocent now within a year? How did this landmark legislation acknowledging innocence of Connecticut Colony's indicted and hanged accused witches gain wide legislative support?
Because a collective group of bipartisan legislators stood together against the witch-hunt mentality. The leaders of the state of Connecticut took a stand together for historic social justice. The mentality that targets vulnerable people, often women and children for the unprovable crime of causing harm and mischief through witchcraft . Not one case of such witchcraft accusation has ever been true, yet thousands and thousands have been punished and killed for it. Yes, annually thousands and thousands continue to be punished and killed for it in over 60 countries. 
You have been transformed by the teaching of witch trial history, and you realize now how witch hunts happen is not a mystery. Why vulnerable people are hunted is not confusing. You may have realized the cause of witch-hunt mentality through research, reading, listening to podcasts and hearing academic presentations. There are ample trusted records that teach us about the societal stresses that press a community and influence panic and uproar around devastations that turn into witch targeting.
Remember the university class I announced at the opening of the weekly news update, WGS 4301 Special Topics: Witches, Bruxas, and Black Magic? It's actually no longer available. Fearful alumni of Texas Tech University reacted with moral panic to the offering of this type of common academic sociology and history curriculum on witchcraft-related topics. This Texas Tech course was erased from the online catalog because of the uproar of alumni. To be clear, this class is not an initiation into witchcraft practices that are feared to cause harm and misfortune.
History is record and sociology is science. We need academics to include both so that we act with knowledge, not fear, around witch trial and witchcraft topics. The modern crisis of witch attacks can only be faced and solved when we understand our history and our societal beliefs collectively. Banning this class is a moral panic that perpetuates the fears that cause violence against alleged witches. 
Stand up for social science. Stand up for the vulnerable. Look into what you don't know and seek to understand from what we should know about history. 
Today you were reminded about the ongoing mob witch hunts that are killing and violently abusing extensive numbers of women, men, and children in dozens of countries now. There are more victims now than ever before in the history of humanity. You are aware of the urgency. You understand the pressing demand for immediate interventions. Respond to the call for worldwide collective action against which fear. State Representative Jane Garibay is quoted as rightly saying, quote, "people working together achieve great success." Join the ones who are working to create safety for the vulnerable citizens in our world communities. You raise awareness with transformative conversations through the power of your social reach. Engaging in, quote, "the study of beliefs and practices past and present" is history and sociology. It is academic.
Thou Shalt Not Suffer podcast supports the global efforts to end modern witch hunts. Get involved. Financially support our nonprofit initiatives to educate and intervene. Visit to make a tax-deductible contribution. You can also support us by purchasing books from our bookshop, merch from our Zazzle shop, or subscribing as a Thou Shalt Not Suffer podcast Super Listener for as little as $3 a month at 
[01:15:32] Josh Hutchinson: Thank you, Sarah.
[01:15:34] Sarah Jack: You're welcome.
[01:15:36] Josh Hutchinson: And thank you for listening to this important episode of Thou Shalt Not Suffer.
[01:15:41] Sarah Jack: Take action to end witch hunts.
[01:15:44] Josh Hutchinson: Start by telling your friends about what you heard today.
[01:15:48] Sarah Jack: And go back and listen to episode 16, Leo Igwe on Witch Hunts in Nigeria.
[01:15:54] Josh Hutchinson: Thank you for taking action this week.
[01:15:57] Sarah Jack: Support our efforts to End Witch Hunts. Visit to learn more.
[01:16:02] Josh Hutchinson: Have a productive today and an impactful tomorrow. 
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