Monday, June 14, 2010

"Occult Materials" Forbidden in Electronic Payment Terms of Service

Esoterica Occult Goods, 541 Rue Dumaine, New Orleans.
Image by Infrogmation at wikicommons

Warren Ellis has discovered that in the terms of service for a new form of electronic payment mechanism, the sale or purchase of "occult materials" are forbidden.

Apparently this is not unusual. Payment services at Google and Amazon both forbid such items, though Amazon, in particular noting that such materials may not just be those outlawed by states or localities, but things that "would generally be offensive to others."

Perhaps these companies are just using a boilerplate form, and isn't aware of what they're doing re: freedom of religion. But as I discussed in "Fear of Occult Ritual Scenes, a Folk Forensic Archaeology," we sometimes forget how deep religious paranoia and fantastical fears go in our society.


Jack Hunter said...


I couldn't find any other means to contact you other than through leaving a message here. My name is Jack Hunter, I have a degree in archaeology and anthropology and am an MA student studying religious experience with the University of Lampeter. I have recently had a PhD research proposal in social anthropology accepted by the University of Bristol to study the role of anomalous experience in contemporary spiritualism (provided I can secure enough funding). I have just started work putting together a new newsletter called "Paranthropology: Journal of Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal". It will feature a range of short articles, news, reviews and so on from a variety of different writers. While the main emphasis of the journal is on anthropological approaches, it will also branch out into other disciplines - psychology, parapsychology, sociology, folklore, history - as a means to explore the way in which these theoretical methodologies interact and shed light on the paranormal.

The first issue is set to be released in July and its theme is "Methodologies and Approaches".

If you would like to receive this free newsletter click on the following link and fill in the form:

If you would be interested in contributing a short article (usually between 500-1000 words, although longer articles are possible) to a later edition please don't hesitate to get in touch via .

All the best.

Jack Hunter


ahtzib said...

Excellent stuff, thank you.