Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Speaking of Overcriminalization | Main | Parliament security bans free speech »

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Get her! She's not a witch!

Government can be insane sometimes and the law is no exception. In today's Globe & Mail there is a story of a woman being arrested for pretending to be a witch. She is accused of having defrauded a lawyer out of a thousand dollars by claiming to be possessed by the ghost of the lawyer's dead sister.

She is clearly guilty of fraud. She said that she was something that she wasn't and was given money based on those false pretenses. So I don't understand why the police thought that she should be charged with this peculiar and little used law against pretending to have supernatural powers.

I once went to a lecture where the professor claimed that the civil court would be better at dealing with matters of justice than the criminal court. He pointed out that O.J. Simpson was not found guilty in a criminal court but was brought to some justice in a civil court. He also commented that codifying laws make for oddities and anachronism that brings about weirdness in the justice system. He said that we would be better off by returning to the pre-19th century legal system of common law tradition.

Maybe he was right.

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on December 10, 2009 | Permalink


Was the prof David Friedman? Here's a vid of his presentation "Should we abolish the criminal law?" and he starts with the example of OJ Simpson:


Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2009-12-10 9:11:31 AM

It wasn't actually. I'm racking my brain for the name but I can't remember.

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-12-10 9:18:45 AM

Only in Toronto do they still have witchhunts and slave patrols. What's next, the "resettlement" of undesirables? Your hero Ernst Zundel would like that.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-12-10 9:21:04 AM

Were you not paying attention. There is no witch hunt. There is a not a witch hunt.

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-12-10 9:23:20 AM

You say she claimed to be something she was not and was given money based on this pretence. Goodness does not the same apply to our politicians and political parties?

Posted by: Alain | 2009-12-10 10:08:14 AM


Do you mean to say that our politicians are stealing from us? Heaven forbid ...

Posted by: Charles | 2009-12-10 10:50:11 AM

How does she differ from Al Gore, Suzuki or any other mystic? She is only guilty of finding a willing buyer for a service that may not be grounded in objective reality. The fees charged are simply a form of taxation on stupidity. Caveat Emptor.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2009-12-10 1:06:02 PM

"It's a fair cop," said the witch.

Posted by: Keyser Söze | 2009-12-10 1:50:19 PM

"She is clearly guilty of fraud"

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on December 10, 2009 | Permalink

Why is she guilty of fraud, what did she do which is fraudulent?
In the year 2009 is it possible for someone to not to know better? How can fraud exist when common knowledge is what it is regarding witches and the fact they do not exist other than in the imagination?
Is she not "Bozo" by another name?
Is her business something other than entertainment?
Is her stereotype not part imported european "gypsy" racism that has ingrained itself in our christian culture over decades of indoctrination?
Do people not pay for bad information all the time?
Are people charged for fraud when a stock tip pays nothing, or when a consultant predicts something that does not come to fruition?
If a geologist is wrong in a prediction are they charged by the state for fraud?
Is it an issue here of the lawyer's mental compentency?
If the lawyer is menatally competent, how did the woman defraud someone capable of knowing how to take care of him or her self?
Does not a church collection plate amount to the same thing as what she was arrested for?( in for a penny, in for a pound)
Is she an interloper who threatens a weak and questionable christian belief pyramid, and subsequently the christian based legal system that was created around these warped and re-interpreted beliefs?
Is it fair to have adjudicators, and prosecutors that beleive in god, when we live in such a diverse country, where secularism is critical to fair stewarship?

Churches, religion, goverment, and many types business's speculate and do what amounts to the same thing this woman was penalized for.

How is she guilty of fraud, if others are not? Think about it.

Posted by: Socrat | 2009-12-10 4:34:16 PM

A lawyer eh ??. Proof positive that a good education has no bearing on intelligence.

Posted by: peterj | 2009-12-10 11:15:29 PM

Whoever paid her should be charged with excessive stupidity and have their bank cards taken away.

Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2009-12-11 12:20:29 AM

And who the hell is Ernst Zundel? Never mind, I'll google him.

Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2009-12-11 12:22:29 AM

Socrat, the problem with your examples is that they don't fit the case. The geologist makes a prediction to the best of their ability. They don't lie about what they think will happen. The same is true for the stock broker. Actually I believe that if the stock broker perposely gives you bad advice it is a crime. The difference here is mens rea (intent to committ a crime).

Was this guy an idiot? Of course he was. But he could also have been grieving over the death of his sister. This woman took advantage of that grief in a truly disgusting manner. Besides I'm not sure if he was any dumber than someone who gives their bank information because they think their rich uncle from Dubai has left them money.

I was wondering who Ernst Zundel was as well. But I didn't want to encourage him.

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-12-11 2:52:17 AM


You are correct. A stock broker who knowingly gives bad advice is committing a crime.

Posted by: Charles | 2009-12-11 6:49:58 AM

They all fit Hugh, quit being an obtuse idiot, for the sake of defendfing your crappy piece.
Hugh, you are not very bright at all, your depth barely breaks through the surface, and your analogy takes into account nothing I presented, as sound arguments for a thinking and impartial adjudicator. You could never defend yourself in a court of law, because you are a "the law is the law" type, so objectivity escapes you.
You SCAPEGOATED this woman because you are unable to wrap your brain around the bigger picture regarding the actions of both idiots involved.
It is no wonder this country is in such a mess, people like you Hugh are destroying what it took thinking people to create. Scapegoaters are cowards who will never look at the real cause of a problem, and you Hugh I bet never take the blame for being wrong about anything, you know everytyhing, when actually you know ....

Hugh you mentioned a professor in you inane piece.
I am guessing any professor that delved into your writing would find your perspective sadly lacking.
A professor would be dissapointed at your choice to be a surface thinking misinformation conduit, posing as a writer.

The lawyer was not taken advantage of because in the year 2009 witches only exist in the imagination, until you realize this, and purposely stop ignoring it, you deserve to be duped as well.
You believe what you want, but it must be tough to be everyones fool, an never an oracle about anything substantial.

Fallacy arguments are not welcome in a court of law. Hugh your position is pure fallacy, spewed from a fallicious mind.
Fallacies presented by Hugh:
1 biased sample 2 begging the question 3 circumstantial ad hominem 4 appeal to consequences of belief 5 false dilemma 6 confusing cause and effect 7 appeal to tradition 8
guilt by association and on and on. Hugh does no even realize what a danger he is to what is suppose to be an open society.

Posted by: Socratic | 2009-12-11 7:56:16 AM

Well from what I read about Zundel, he got hosed. So what if he doesn't think the Holocaust occurred.
Do you really know if it happened as Jewish people claim. Where you there? I don't know, and really, I don't care. Millions die in every war. Wheres the outcry for all the Cambodians, Africans, Native Americans, ect, that have been massacred over time. I can't believe Zeb gives a rats ass. You a Jew Zeb? From what I read, Zundel had his rights stomped all over and was jailed for political correctness. Anyway, off topic, but thanks for pointing me to yet another example of Government Gone Wild.

Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2009-12-11 5:54:06 PM

Zundel was a scumbag, and had his right to free speech squashed by statist miscreants and do-gooders.

...anyway, back on topic: i wonder if she floats?

Posted by: shel | 2009-12-11 10:09:05 PM

Well if she does float then obviously she is a witch and she should get off the charges.

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-12-12 4:57:24 AM

here's hopin' she floats. (heh)

Posted by: shel | 2009-12-12 2:01:36 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.