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January 26, 1969 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-01-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

she ai 410 gan u
Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Publications

Witch's brew: Eye of newt, ear of bat...

420 l aynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Doily exp ress the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



__ i


PROF. MARCELLO Truzzi comes on like the tweed-
dressed academician of a 1950 British horror movie.
He walks in during the third scene and assures every-
one that witchcraft can be explained by purely natural
-not supernatural-reasons. Witchcraft is just psychol-
ogical reaction, not magic.
"That's right," agrees Truzzi, a lecturer in the
sociology department. "Withcraft and hexing can be
explained as perfectly naturalistic phenomena."
Anyone who is hexed-"the hexee"-may have psy-
chosomatic reactions to the hex. "In any society people
believe in the occult enough to worry about being hex-
ed," adds Truzzi. The fear of being hexed, especially
if you believe that fear to be irrational, can drive you
into a state of thanatomania where you will waste away
regardless of proper medical care.
Truzzi can cite several recorded cases of people at-
tended by doctors who have died-for no apparent
reason except that they were convinced they'd been
THOSE WHO believe in the occult are somewhat
better off. If they get hexed it is a relatively simple
matter to go to the local practitioner and have the hex
When a whole community believes in the power of a
hex, they often prepare for the death and burial of
the hexee. Community spirit like this gives the hexee
no alternative but to die.
One of the reasons for modern witchcraft is the
complexity of science. The world of science has grown
more mysterious to many people than the boiling cauld-
rons of witchcraft.
Science is also responsible in another way. Despite
its progress science often does not have answers or solu-
tions to many questions. Witchcraft becomes a shortcut
for science.
But fear remains the most important catalyst. The
old and the sick especially turn to magic.

but Truzzi "does not doubt that students hex other stu-
dents here."
There are three large modern cults. The Murrayites,
based in England, believe in the "old religion," a pre-
Christian fertility rite.
The Murrayites are "white witches" who appeal most-
ly to the middle class. Their tenets are reincarnation,
nudism and the use of some drugs.
The heretical Satanists fit the classic definition of
witches as evil people who have made a pact with the
devil. Living in highly secretive societies, the heretics
were the basis for the Castevets in "Rosemary's Baby."
THE OTHER cult is the First Church of Satan in San
Francisco. Truzzi is an 'honorary member of the cult
and a friend of the high priest of the church.
Although these Satanists pay homage to Satan as
ruler of the universe, they do not often use witchcraft
for evil. Occasionally some indulge in mass hexings. One
claims to have caused the death of Jayne Mansfield's
manager through a hex. Both Miss Mansfield, who was
a member of the cult, and her manager died in an auto
The Satanists believe that Christianity has wrongly
suppressed the pleasures of the flesh. Truzzi is especially
interested in the Satanists because many of the 450
members are well-educated, including doctors, lawyers
and college students.
Elitists, perverts and others who seek power are among
those who join the Satanists, according to Truzzi. But
many others also need the belief system of Satanism.
Truzzi is trying to find out why.
He's also investigating the claim of witches that their
hexes will work whether or not the hexee knows he has
been hexed. Truzzi is skeptical because' he knows of no
natural psychosomatic explanation for this claim.
But despite his predelictions for psychological and
sociological reasons behind witchcraft, Truzzi so far has
escaped the fate of the professor in the horror movie
who gets zapped in the end by a well-pinned voodoo doll.



-Daily-Chris Steele
TRUZZI, however, is not as concerned with the super-
stitions of the illiterate as with those of the college-
educated. He points to a tremendous revival of witchcraft
among the educated.
Rising sales of Tarot (fortune telling) cards, Ouija
boards and popular witchcraft books are one sign. And
interest among college students including a recent black
mass at the University of Chicago and the growth of
Satanic clubs among California schools is another in-
There is no evidence of witchcraft at the University

Laments of a broken house dweller

Conscience be damned


LIVE in a two-story house on Geddes
built sometime early this century. I've al-
ways felt that old houses have a certain
character and charm.
So it was with a sense of anticipation that
I joined the ranks of the hardy group of
Ann Arbor house dwellers. Like others in this
adventurous fraternal order, I moved into
my house feeling that the extra privacy and
space were worth a little inconvenience.
I said a little inconvenience. I didn't ex-
pect to move into a sub-standard dwelling
that would be allowed to remain in a state
of utter disrepair.
But this is exactly what happened. Leaky
roof, no screens, unsanitary kitchen and
bathroom---you name it and it probably
needed to be fixed.
My espirit de corps turned to disgust when
I learned that Campus Management was com-
pletely indifferent to my living conditions.
THE RENTAL agent had cordially assured
me last spring that the building's obvious
structural deficiencies would be repaired by
the time we moved in.'
I was foolish enough to believe this non-
Coma August, the cordial rental agent was
gone, but the deficiencies of the house re-
Still retaining my faith in the American

Way and the trustworthiness of pleasant
manners, I conscientiously filled out a form
provided by the landlord to notify him of any
needed repairs. The form assured me all ne-
cessary details would be promptly attended
Two weeks later I called the rental agency
to complain.
"Yes, sir, we'll send someone over soon,"
the sweet voice said.
."How soon?" I asked. "The flies are getting
pretty thick in the house with no screens."
"Soon, we're really busy this time of year.
Try to be patient.'
Another two weeks and several phone calls
later, the flies were still buzzing. Patience was
definitely the wrong approach.
MY ROOMMATES and I turned hope-
fully to the University's mediation service.
I had been told repeatedly by the rental
agent that the lease's mediation clause was
my big protection.
The secretary at the, mediation service
said the Mr. Lighthammer ("agent for the
lessor") whom she apparently knew well-
was a fair and honest man, shrewd in legal
matters, a man unlikely to be outmaneuver-
ed by students. She suggested we continue
our efforts through the good offices of the
mediation service and hope for the best.
It was finally clear that we should do some-
thing that the landlord would understand-
withhold rent.

We then called a city building inspector.
Much to our delight, he not only found all
the code violations we suspected, but he also
found that the house's foundation which
he had condemned five months earlier - was
still not up to the specifications of the code.
Almost miraculously a repairman showed
up one morning shortly after the unpaid rent
was due.
THE REPAIRS were designed to patch over
the violations with the least expenditure pos-
sible. The results showed up soon enough.
The linoleum in the bathroom is already
cracked and has peeled off in some places.
And last week, the roof sprang a leak in pre-
cisely the "repaired" spot.
Since the repairs, maintenance has been
quicker but no less superficial. Our electric
problem - a periodic failing of power in half
the house, including the kitchen - has been
dealt with by merely replacing fuses. Other
repairs are still undone.
For these excellent services, we pay $350
per month plus utilities. In winter the total
bill comes to over $400.
Yesterday, the landlord's secretary called
to inform me the house was being put on
the open market since we hadn't signed a
lease for next fall - eight months in advance.
Any takers?

I NOTICED that a copy of Saturday's
Times lay beneath a stack of recently
purchased textbooks. Avoiding the icy stare
of the titltes, I removed the copy of the
Times from its place.
How is it that the relationship between
consciousness and consscience deteriorates
into open warfare on five hours of sleep?
What did the Times have to offer any-
Richard Nixon would put the country to
sleep. Not meditation, nor soul-searching-
for the events of the last few years had
proved the nation had no soul, only bleed-
ing-hearts who listened to their own
IMPULSIVELY, I threw such nonsense
aside and returned to the glare of the "El
Espanol" text. All that would be necessary,
to win this confrontation, my conscience
said, would be to open one of the texts and
spend the remainder of the afternoon dili-
gently memorizing Spanish idioms and ir-
regular verbs. Ah, but - my consciousness
replied, the memory does not operate well
on five hours of sleep. There is no assign-
ment due Monday, why play the masochist?
All that is required in order to graduate is
to pass Spanish, not to master it.
Conscience, however, was not about to

allow such heresy to go unchallenged. A
commitment had been made, she cried, to
finish off the language requirement. Only
one more task to be performed, one more
casket to bury. After all, she continued,
thin commitment must be honored, if all
others are to be preserved.
CONSCIOUSNESS was not for a moment
going tostake seriously this string of pro-
fundities. Sneering, he took his portable
Johnson in hand, and read aloud: "Don't
you people know that there'sa war on, and
I'm the only President you've got?" A
buzzer sounded. The game was over. Con-
sciousness again was awarded the prize.
Instinct, with a devious grin on his lips,
congratulated the victor.
A larger question soon became apparent.
If you are not going to memorize the
idiomatic and verbal aspects of Espanol,
what are you going to do?
I glanced again at the desk, as if by
chance some opportunity would present
itself. The Spanish texts, pride intact, re-
turned my stare with an aura of indif-
ference. Let your world crumble about you,
they chanted. Spend another year waiting
for the language requirement to be re-
moved. Replace your fatigue witl boredom.
Something will have to be done to end
these ever-present debates. The only way
to finish off guilt is to seek innocence.



THE NOW embroiled play Dionysus in 69 is
a rather free adaptation of Euripides' z
The Bacchae. Since the original play deals"
with the efforts of Pentheus, King of Thebes,
to censor Dionysus and his rites, reprinting
selections from the original play may help
clarify the current controversy.


"I happened to be away, out of the city

but reports reached me of some strange mischief here,
stories of our women leaving home to frisk
in mock ecstacies among the thickets on the mountain,
dancing in honor of the latest divinity,
a certain Dionysus, whoever he may be!
In their midst stand bowls brimming with wine.
And then, one by one, the women wander off
to hidden nooks where they serve the lusts of men,
Priestesses of Bacchus they claim they are,
but it's really Aphrodite they adore,
I have captured some of them; my jailers
have locked them away in the safety of our prison.




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