Witches are people who don’t fit in our notion of society (or any group of people to which we belong). Witch-hunters are those who feel obligated to protect that society from these harmful individuals. So, at a given time, in a given society, you could be either a witch or a witch hunter.
There are a few basic steps all witch hunters must follow.
- Know that there are witches out there. And they must be stopped. Those witches may not even know how dangerous they are, which is why you are really just doing them a favor. Remember, the world is a black and white place with danger lurking at every corner.
- Find the witch. Once you know there ARE witches, it should be really easy to spot them. They are not like you. (It’s much harder to hunt someone you identify with because you might get to know them as a person and find you have much in common). Therefore, those who are not like you are probably evil and need to be corrected. It’s your responsibility to “help” them fit the mold, even if you have to kill them to do it. They will thank you for it. Also, they brought this on themselves. Tip: If you are having a hard time finding the witches, you need to go back to Step 1 and try again.
- “Out” the witch. People will thank you for exposing the hidden danger. You are really just performing a community service, after all.
- Bolster your authority. Some people just don’t have your powers of discernment, or might question your judgments when you are just performing a much needed service to others by exposing the danger. So, be sure to surround yourself with like-minded individuals. Be sure to emphasize your pedigree or credentials as a witch hunter, and make it clear that whoever is against you is really just allowing evil to flourish.
- Hunt for some more! Now that you have some success and a taste for blood, keep going! Remember, you are doing what’s right, and others are counting on you. You are making a difference, and the only cost is a few witches who brought this on themselves anyway.
- Humor the witch hunters. Some of the things they are saying are correct, even if some is misinformed. Find the mutual purpose between your view and theirs and encourage agreement where you can find it.
- Let go of being right. Just give it up. You can’t fight City Hall. Witch hunters invariably work at City Hall, BTW. The witch hunter’s primary need is to be right and sustain that black & white worldview. Don’t play that game. You can’t fight their “right” with your “right.” You’ll both end up wrong.
- Accomodate reasonable requests. Be as flexible as you can. Do anything you are asked that is not harmful to yourself or others. Obviously, if they ask you to tie yourself to a stake while they go get some wood, well, that’s just not reasonable.
- See the person behind the witch hunter. People create villains when they are frightened and feel powerless. Maybe they are scared of change. Maybe they are afraid of being irrelevant. Maybe they have spooked themselves with tales of the boogeyman lurking at every corner. Making themselves a mighty “hunter” helps them to feel like they have control. It’s sad really. Find a way to love that person, to “pray for those that persecute you.”
- Appeal to the citizenry. Before you get dunked in the lake, you probably have a chance to appeal to either a judge or the mob of fellow citizens. Remember the scene in Monty Python’s Holy Grail? Point out the absurdity (if there are absurdities) of the accusation. Point back to the reality and facts. Appeal to the witnesses. If you can kindly marginalize the witch hunter as a nut job, you may not be burned alive or drowned by well-meaning concerned citizens.
- Don’t accuse your accusor. They call it the high road because it’s not the same level as the low road. The high road is less muddy because it’s closer to the sun. It’s cleaner because so few people travel it. And bonus! There are no witch hunters on the high road.
- Don’t get offended or become bitter. The witch hunter is just one person, not everyone. Even the others who didn’t stop the witch-hunt were probably just trying to figure out what was really going on, just doing the best they could. Remember: “You’re smart enough, you’re good enough, and doggone it! People like you!”
So, for all you witches out there, good luck. And for all you hunters, be careful, because this is the witching season!