Christina Engela – also known as Chrissy, ‘T’ or Tina, and by several other names in various communities and subcultures, both online and offline, has always been something of a lurker in the grand scheme of things.

Christina Engela 2 sml

Christina Engela is a South African writer of poetry, science fiction, fantasy and horror.

Family:

Christina Engela’s parents Yvonne and Theo Engela were both talented writers in their own right.

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Theo Engela and Yvonne Loraine Van Der Westhuizen were married in 1955.

Her uncle Thomas Engela was headmaster of Paarl Boy’s High in the Western Cape, a prestigious high school. Another uncle, ‘G.P.’ Engela, was a respected officer in the Rhodesian Army, and their mother was a well-known and respected school teacher. Her grandfather was a veteran of WW1 and an accountant. Christina is related to famed broadcaster and composer Dawid Engela and also to singer Werner Nel.

A Brief Biography:

Christina Engela was born on February 01, 1973, in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, to Theo Engela (1930 – 1985) and Yvonne Lorraine van der Westhuizen (1934 – 2013).

Christina's family lived at no 1 Clevedon Court, Clevedon Road at the time of her birth.
Christina’s family lived at no 1 Clevedon Court, Clevedon Road, on the edge of a cliff above the Albany Road fire station, at the time of her birth. This view (circa 2015) from across the Albany Road valley, Richmond Hill. Their apartment is bottom right in this image, showing FLTR the kitchen and bathroom windows.

Both her parents were originally Afrikaans-speakers who had adopted English as their primary language, and were talented bilingual writers in their own right. Christina’s mother wrote poetry in English, and her father wrote poetry, three novels, and 30 short stories which were dramatized for local radio station “Springbok Radio” between 1960 and 1975. Theo was also a musical composer, and played the piano. He died in 1985. Christina’s mother Yvonne, died in 2013.

1973

Christina almost died as an infant a few days old, when a clot of congealed milk she ingested from a nursing bottle blocked her airway. By the time her airway had been cleared by a desperate new mother, she had already turned blue and had been presumed dead! Being hyper-sensitive to certain types of medication also resulted in several near-tragedies for the Engela’s. In 1976, a careless pediatrician who casually dismissed Mrs. Engela’s warnings that her child was allergic to Vallergan, a popular anesthetic at the time, prescribed Vallergan Forte syrup for Christina immediately before a tonsillectomy! Fortunately, Christina accidentally bumped the spoon as the substance was being administered, spilling most of the fluid! Christina barely survived what should’ve been a routine operation, as the medical staff struggled for an hour to revive her.

Her parents divorced in 1977, when she was five years old, and she lived with her mother.

1979 - First day of school

Christina Engela started school at Greenwood Primary School in Park Drive, Port Elizabeth (1979-81). She struggled immensely with the stress of adapting to the school routine, and as her parents had heeded the ‘advice’ of her uncle Thomas Engela who was a teacher at Grey High School, and later the Headmaster of Paarl Boy’s High, she had been prevented from learning to read or write by her parents until she started primary school in January 1979. Thus, she arrived at school, unable to read or write – and was expected to compete with children who had already learned to read and write at home and in what was then called ‘pre-primary’ school.

Christina did not enjoy rigid routines and timetables! She had a tendency to get distracted  disappear from class while going to the loo, or between classes, ending up playing with the younger kids in the pre-primary class. Her teachers would find her there playing ‘house’ with the girls. It was perhaps around that time that Christina became aware that she was not like other children. At that young age, she became keenly aware that ‘boys’ who ‘acted like’ girls were not looked upon favorably by anyone – school, Sunday school, some of her classmates – or her parents. She kept her feelings to herself, for practical reasons.

She quickly caught up to her classmates, but then became frustrated and bored, and she was then put on a dose of that extremely harmful and toxic ‘medication’ called Ritalin, which essentially caused her to sleep through the first six months of school! Additionally, Christina was found to have astigmatism in the right eye, which was suspected to be the cause of her poor concentration in class, especially in math. She was given glasses in the second school year, which she hardly wore.

She encountered difficulty with math at the start of Standard 1, Christina was sent to the local University of Port Elizabeth (UPE) to undergo EEG testing, which found that although she was in all respects healthy, and had a very high intellectual capacity, there appeared to be an anomaly in her brain structure and function which they could not identify at that time.

Accepting the recommendation of the professor in charge of that particular unit at UPE, Christina’s parents sent her to Cape Receife School, which was a specialist school that provided a dedicated and caring environment for children with above-average IQ, but with special needs, based in Summerstrand, in Port Elizabeth.

Christina left her friends at her old school behind, and finished Standard 1 at Cape Receife. She stayed at that school to the end of Standard 3, when it was finally decided that she was ready to return to her previous school. In 1984, she returned to Greenwood for Standards 4 and 5 – but the road became rocky again. Although Christina succeeded academically, she encountered prejudice and bullying from at least one teacher and several of her former friends, who viewed her as being ‘inferior’ and ‘mentally retarded’ solely based on the fact that she had attended Cape Receife School. Nevertheless, Christina finished Standard 5 at the end of 1985, and at 12 years of age, looked forward to starting high school.

Christina had always enjoyed sci-fi stories. She watched TV shows like Star Trek, Buck Rogers and Battlestar Galactica with great interest and read related sci-fi comics and books. At that time, she was more interested in history and especially ancient history of Rome and Greece. Her first attempt at writing a novel dates from 1985, entitled “The Roman Eagle in Gaul”.

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When all but two of her classmates went to Victoria Park High at the start of 1986, Christina opted to attend Pearson High School instead. One reason for this was that her mother and two uncles had attended that school, and she wanted to follow in their footsteps. A second reason for this choice was that math was mandatory right through to matric at Victoria Park High, while not at Pearson. Also, Christina felt she needed a clean break from her past.

Although Christina struggled with algebra and more advanced high school mathematics, she still managed to pass math as a subject up until the end of Standard 7 (Grade 9), when the school allowed students to drop math in favor of other subjects. This also unfortunately limited her in terms of future career choices. She was fascinated by so many different fields, and found it difficult to choose.

In her time at Pearson, she made a new circle of friends, and grew as a  person. But all was not sunshine and happiness, as she was quite feminine in behavior and appearance. She got bullied – sometimes quite viciously – by kids who assumed she was gay. In Standard 8 (Grade 10) Christina took it upon herself to toughen herself up physically. She copied male classmates walks and mannerisms and integrated these into her own. The bullying soon stopped. But she wasn’t happy. Inside she became even more miserable and isolated.

Her writing skill became more prominent during that time, and her English and Afrikaans teachers began to remark at her talent. In Standard 9 (Grade 11) Christina wrote several compositions in English and Afrikaans, and poetry, which appeared in the school year book.

Matric - 1991By the time she entered Matric or Standard 10 (Grade 12), Christina had already begun working on Galaxii, the story that would eventually spawn the Galaxii Series – and in turn, the Quantum Series and Panic! Horror In Space.

By the close of 1991, Christina faced an uncertain future. South Africa had entered a depressing period filled with unrest and drama. Conscription into the military was compulsory for males after leaving high school – even for those only assigned male!

Christina obviously did not want to go to the army, but did so in order to relieve the financial burden her upkeep placed on her mother, who was a single parent and breadwinner of the household. Her mother also hoped somewhat optimistically, that the army would ‘make a man’ out of Christina. Employment opportunities were scarce in general at the time due to economic sanctions against South Africa, and especially for white people – and white school-leavers soon after that. The army would at least provide a modest income, and save her mother on daily expenses.

199211 - CopyChristina ultimately spent 17 years in the army (1992-2009) as a soldier in uniform. She made the best of her first year in the army, completing two military courses – including an NCO’s course for promotion to Lance Corporal (PFC). After completing her one year national service – with the rank of Lance Corporal (PFC) no less, she re-enlisted for a short term contract of another two years. Meanwhile, her friends from high school were shifting from one temporary job to another after completing their compulsory national service – while she enjoyed a stable income and job security, if not occasional job satisfaction.

In 1994 she passed another course and was promoted to Corporal. In the political upheaval of the mid-1990’s, she was assigned to the ‘National Peace Keeping Force’ – a special ad-hoc peace-keeping body established to maintain order during the upcoming national elections – the very first truly broad-based democratic elections in South Africa. However, on the very eve of Christina’s departure to report to the NPKF, the group experienced catastrophe and disaster. Members of the NKPF had been drawn from various (opposing) military forces, there was open enmity, a combination of trained and completely untrained personnel expected to work together – perhaps predictably, the whole mess fell apart before it could even launch properly!

During the violent and unpredictable period before the grand elections, Christina participated in night patrols in lightly-armored anti-riot vehicles. These patros were regarded as risky because police and military vehicles were being fired upon.

In 1998 Christina completed the first of two promotional courses required for her next promotion, but was never promoted to Sergeant – because before the second course, she was seriously injured in a car accident. It took two years for her to fully recover from her injuries before she was physically fit enough to attend the course, but by 1999 she had already made up her mind to undergo transition.

In her time in the army, Christina was a clerk, a convoy commander, she worked in logistics, stores, the signal corps, management, training, IT, multimedia, photography, call desk, customer care and numerous other environments, including multimedia specialist, graphic and web design.

Christina lived a closeted life until 1999, when she came out to family members as transgender. Christina began her transition in 1999 and started living as female full-time in 2000. She remained in military service during her transition, at the rank of Corporal, although the very last time she ever wore a uniform was in early 2000. Christina endured bullying, intimidation, dirty tricks and smear campaigns, and prejudice at the hands of some colleagues, most of whom had no idea what transgender even meant! Several friendships also ended during this time.

By 2003 however, things began to change – in more ways than one. People began to see Christina beyond what she seemed to represent at face value. They began to see her strengths,  and her uses, and what she could contribute! It also helped that they began to perceive her as the woman she was always meant to be!

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What made Christina stick it out so long? Simple – she needed the job. And her skills at the time – be they IT or media related – were highly valued by her supervisors, to the extent that on more than one occasion she managed projects and had higher-ranking colleagues under her supervision.

In 2003 Christina completed the first electronic draft of ‘Blachart‘ in Word, after copy-typing and editing the original handwritten draft simultaneously!

It was in 2005 that electronic self-publishing became available on the internet, and Christina – wearied by her attempts to find a ‘traditional publisher’ for her works – first registered with Lulu.com. Within the first year, she completed and uploaded the first editions of ‘Blachart‘, ‘Demonspawn‘, ‘Black Sunrise‘, ‘The Time Saving Agency‘ and ‘Dead Man’s Hammer‘. ‘The Time Saving Agency” quickly overtook the others as her most popular title at the time.

In January 2006, after three surgeries and years of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) – at long last, Christina got promoted to Female! She continued to work in the IT environment and in media and instruction.

In 2009, Christina finally took a civilian job, teaching basic IT to adults who had never seen a computer before. Skills she taught included basic PC and software orientation (this is the mouse, click-click – and this is where to put the memory stick) – and of course, Where To Hide The Bodies 101, and Stress Management.

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Human Rights Activism:

Being a transgender person who lived closeted for most of her early years, her eventual coming out in 1999 exposed her – somewhat inevitably – to people’s ignorance, prejudice and often – outright hate. This thrust her into the front line as far as the fight for LGBT rights was concerned – and, being an Aquarian by nature, she found keeping quiet in the face of injustice not just hard, but impossible, she began first by educating those around her.

When the internet became more user-friendly, accessible and socially prevalent in the form of Facebook in 2008, Christina became embroiled in online activism, leading to her involvement in the Jon Qwelane issue in June of that year. The hateful columnist with high political connections in South Africa published a scandalous article equating marriage equality with bestiality and pedophilia and encouraged the removal of LGBT equality from SA’s Constitution. This controversy escalated to the point where, as one of the founding members of the SA Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (SA GLAAD), she pushed the SA Human Rights Commission to lay charges against Qwelane in the Equality Court. Despite eventually overcoming numerous obstacles rolled in their path by Qwelane’s government connections, the SAHRC was rewarded with a conviction in absentia in the Equality Court in 2012 – only to have the conviction overturned by Qwelane’s lawyers. The case remains unresolved, with justice denied in this case.

sa-glaad
The logo for SA GLAAD, designed by Christina herself in 2009.

Through SA GLAAD Christina assisted other groups in getting off the ground, including a PFLAG group in Port Elizabeth, and the Progressive Interfaith Coalition of South Africa (PICSA), which was intended to monitor and address the government’s apparent link-up with Jacob Zuma and Rhema’s ‘God-Squad’.

Christina started her activism blog “Sour Grapes: The Fruit of Ignorance” in early 2009, which sent lengthy human rights articles to a mailing list on a daily basis. During 2008 or 2009, Christina also coined the term “the Pink Community” in order to better represent the then confusing growth of “LGBTI” to “LGBTI2NBABC_XYZ”.

By February 2009, she became a member of the Eastern Cape Gay & Lesbian Association (ECGLA), quickly moving up the hierarchy, becoming its Vice President by June, and its President by October of the same year! This meant that from 2009, Christina Engela headed two South African LGBT civil rights groups concurrently until she stepped down from ECGLA (then as Director) in September 2011, after bringing the first ever successful LGBT pride event to her city.

ecgla

Through ECGLA, Christina supervised the building of relations between the pink community and bodies such as the Red Cross, Lifeline PE, the NMB Municipality, NMM University, the Democratic Alliance, OUT LGBT, HIVOS, St Johns Methodist Church, and was also responsible for the hosting of the first ever annual pride in Port Elizabeth in 2011. ECGLA also negotiated training courses for LGBT counselors for use by both Lifeline and ECGLA.

Christina campaigned consistently throughout her activism career against discrimination by the SA National Blood Service against gay male donors. This discrimination ended finally in 2014 – very quiety and without much fuss at all, essentially validating all the points (1,2,3,4,5,6,7) she had raised during her vocal opposition. No public mention was ever made of her advocacy during the preceding years.

Although Christina no longer considers herself an activist writer in terms of human rights advocacy alone, for a long time – between 2008 and 2013 – she devoted ALL her writing resources to writing lengthy, emotive LGBT and religious freedom-related human rights articles. Christina wrote over 500 articles on her blog “Sour Grapes: the Fruit of Ignorance” which traversed the globe, and had been re-posted, shared and referenced by various international activist groups.

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February 22, 2009: Christina Engela at the Book Lounge, Cape Town, speaking at Cape Town Pride about writing LGBT characters into her novels and short stories.

In 2009 Christina released two lengthy books – ‘UnChristian Action’ and ‘Bricks & Mortar: Talking Back to the Bigots’ – over 500 pages each on the subject of LGBT rights and freedoms in South Africa, drawing on her experiences as a human rights activist. She also compiled a list of useful articles, information and links which come in handy whenever an activist engages with someone who is assuming the role of an ‘expert’ when trying to batter down the human rights or equality of a persecuted minority. This later became a booklet which she made available for free: “The Pink Community: The Facts“.

In the run-up to the 2009 general elections in SA, Christina Engela publicly exposed two South African religious right-wing Christian parties (the Christian Democratic Alliance (CDA) and African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) for the hatefulness expressed by their general membership as well as several elected party representatives towards non-Christians as well as specifically LGBT people.

‘Bricks & Mortar: Talking Back to the Bigots’ was a collection of transcripts of public debates held on their Facebook groups on these topics, which she published as a warning to South African voters to understand the need for voters to become more aware and discerning about their parties of choice, and what their policies were. The transcripts in .doc format were distributed to news media, churches and other social organizations, and the consequences were devastating to the small parties involved. Hundreds of suddenly very vocal and outraged Christian moderates descended upon these bigoted pseudo-political parties Facebook groups to add their views.

To this day, as a direct result of her actions, these parties still operate closed Facebook groups, requiring members to provide their ID numbers and proof of party membership to join! More satisfying though to Christina, was their loss of half their constituents in that election – a setback from which they still haven’t recovered – and which Christina then expressed was a result of their own festering hatred for an oppressed and persecuted people.

Although Christina has never received any payment nor much thanks for her activism, and her contribution was entirely voluntary, some within the South African LGBT activist clique during 2008-10 claimed she was a ‘shameless self-promoter’ who was ‘out to fleece the community’ – all while she was encouraging people to stand up and think for themselves and to fight for their equal rights – and doing so entirely at her own cost without receiving payment for it! The fact that her accusers and critics were part of formal, long-established LGBT non-profit organizations and drawing fat salaries from foreign donations and sponsorships – while being shown up for doing basically nothing for the LGBT community post-2005, might have something to do with that.

Some prominent LGBT community leaders in South Africa, including Zachie Achmat, a very prominent HIV activist, also once during a public confrontation on Facebook, called her a fascist, a racist and a xenophobe in a very nasty tirade – based solely on the grounds that, as an LGBT activist, she dared to criticize the ANC-led government for failing HIV positive people and LGBT rights at the time that then president Mbeki was supporting the notion that the cure for HIV/AIDS was beetroot and the African potato, while hundreds if not thousands of South Africans were dying from a lack of proper medical treatment! Others again, typically Christo-nazi’s and dominionists, referred to her as a LIBERAL (horror of horrors) – and directed words like ‘christophobe’ and ‘militant homosexualist’ against her as if they were solid objects, while indulging in attacks on her character and employing incorrect pronouns as if mere words from strangers could hurt her.

20100510 NMMU Presentation (1)
Christina presenting to nursing students at NMMU, 2010.

Describing herself as ‘really not much of a public speaker’, Christina nevertheless delivered multiple informative presentations on the topic of transgender and sexuality on invitation at NMM University between 2009 and 2014 to nursing psychology students and also on one occasion, to university staff (pictured below).

20130226 Presentation NMMU Nursing Dept (3)
Christina presenting to NMMU lecturing staff, 2013.

She was also invited to address a public gathering as a guest speaker on transgender issues at a Heritage Day event at the NMMU in 2010, and again in 2014 for NMMU Pride.

In 2012, Christina Engela participated (on invitation) as a representative of the LGBT community at a meeting of the steering committee for the NMB World Aids Day event in 2012.

Christina is still remembered by some in Port Elizabeth for taking on the nefarious “Dr.” Bruce Woolard – a homophobic science-denying windbag ‘pastor’ of a local charismatic hate-church, in a series of public letters (1,2,3) in the Herald.

st-marks-18-aug-2013
The intentionally provocative sign used by St Mark’s Congregational church to perpetuate slander and homophobic propaganda against LGBT people in Port Elizabeth, 2013.

In 2013, following a sermon by Woolard and a staged and prejudiced one-sided “debate” at St. Marks Congregational Church, Christina and Woolard exchanged fire in several open letters to the press. Woolard had made some extraordinary and slanderous claims about LGBT people, based on denial and misrepresentation of science as well as on pseudo-scientific ‘research’ by discredited former researcher Paul Cameron. Mr. Woolard’s sermon was extremely one sided, and although the event was billed as ‘a debate’, no debate was allowed at the event. Although subsequently challenged on numerous occasion to a public debate on camera on the topic of homosexuality arranged by renowned local atheist, tour guide, magical performer and showman Mark Rose-Christie, Christina Engela and a number of interested activists – Mr. Woolard only made excuses and never actually showed up.

In 2014, together with renowned American human rights advocate and CEO of the African Human Rights Commission, Melanie Nathan, Christina Engela organized and also participated in a public debate on the religious persecution of LGBT people in African countries, particularly in Uganda, but also focusing on current events in South Africa. Together with other speakers – including journalists in subsequent articles about the event – the ruling party received a scathing reprimand for ignoring human rights abuses while providing support to governments which indulge in those abuses.

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Representatives of the Eloquor Society (NMMU LGBT group), Melanie Nathan (center) and Christina Engela (right).

Christina is presently the sole representative for SA GLAAD and from 2016-2018 was a board member of a Port Elizabeth-based LGBT support and advocacy education group, “Out!Ology!“.

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A Brief Political Career:

In 2008, Christina Engela was one of several LGBT activists invited to attend the first national conference of the then newly founded Congress of the People (COPE) party – which, in the face of apparent ANC apathy, was extremely vocal in its support of LGBT rights and equality. Although Christina did not join COPE at that time, she certainly lent the party her support, and was one of several activists who presented input in the formulation of the party’s initial policies and wording of their stance on LGBT rights and equality, with particular emphasis on mention of the transgender component. Unfortunately, it appears that while COPE’s top structure understood and appreciated the concept and plight of those in South Africa experiencing persecution based on their sexual orientation, they clearly did not understand what gender identity meant – and no mention of gender identity was made in the final draft.

Shortly after that, in 2009, Christina was instrumental in exposing COPE’s first presidential candidate – a clergyman, Mvume Dandala, as a homophobe who had been a co-leader of a Christianist group which had declared war on gay people and marriage equality in 2005. Dandala had also been a Methodist bishop stationed in Kampala (Uganda) during a period in which Christian rhetoric had been employed in the incitement to violence and genocide against Uganda’s LGBT population – and that there was no evidence to suggest that he had ever spoken out against this rising tide of homophobic Christian hate. How would such a prejudiced man be a suitable candidate for a party that had just declared itself to be an ally to oppressed LGBT people? Her point was taken up by other LGBT activists, and under pressure, COPE withdrew Dandala’s nomination, substituting party leader  Mosiuoa Lekota as candidate for the upcoming elections.

Not long afterward, COPE suffered a series of psy-ops attacks by the ANC, and gradually waned over the next decade to where it slipped from the 3rd to 4th largest party in South Africa.

Meanwhile, between 2009 and 2010 Christina joined the Democratic Alliance (DA), and served as Secretary for three local councils and committees at once (!) and was the Chairperson for Ward 5 under Councilor Jeremy Davis between 2009 and 2010. In 2010 she represented her Ward at the DA’s National Congress in Graaff Reinet, meeting both Helen Zille and her deputy Athol Trollip. The picture below, taken by Athol Trollip, the DA Mayor of the Port Elizabeth Metro (2016 – 2018) shows Christina posing with Helen Zille, who was then leader of the DA.

Copy of Helen Zille & Chrissy
Christina Engela, as Ward Chair for Ward 5 at the Democratic Alliance national congress in Graaff Reinet, 2010, where she posed for a quick pic with the then leader of the DA, Helen Zille.

Christina also twice acted as a Party Agent at voting venues during municipal elections. Despite having been groomed over several years to take over as councilor for Ward 5 (Central, Richmond Hill & Mount Croix), she was not selected by her party as a candidate Ward Councilor during the 2010 municipal elections for her city, presumably because of her non-conformity, honesty and principles. After that, considering the duplicitous nature of politics and politicians, she bowed out, ending her brief foray into politics – fortunately without getting any dirt under her fingernails.

Since that time, Christina Engela has been consulted by the DA with regard to the interests of LGBT voters in South Africa, although Christina subsequently admonished the party to show more of an interest in acknowledging the issues faced by religious minority groups in the country, which she felt were being almost completely ignored. The DA has yet to do so.

The party also consistently ignored requests from the SA Pagan Rights Alliance (SAPRA), a group to which Christina was affiliated and a member of the Executive Committee (2012 – 2018) to engage on these matters, or to address the issue of witch-hunts in South Africa’s locations and rural areas, where people are murdered and made homeless annually as a result of religious persecution.

Since 2015, she has become increasingly critical of the DA’s failings, particularly in terms of hypocrisy where it fails its self-proclaimed ethos of impartiality, since the party appears increasingly to be infiltrated and even fronted by Christian dominionists (it is currently led by a former pastor at a homophobic Johannesburg charismatic church) and also increasingly racist, since it voiced support for racist employment reservation policies (BEE) which contradicted its earlier “Open Opportunity Society” policy – although it has since early 2018 recanted this position.

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Religious Freedom Activism:

Further afield, Christina is also an activist for religious freedom, and was a member of the Executive Committee of the South African Pagan Rights Alliance (SAPRA) from 2012 to 2018. She is a strong defender of freedom of religion, separation of religion and state interests, and also the right to freedom from religion.

She has repeatedly said that she finds the level of hatred directed by the mainstream religious infrastructure (despite South Africa being a Constitutionally secular state) against non-Christian beliefs, religions, identities and spirituality, to be an affront to decency and human rights, and simply appalling.

A former ‘born-again’ Christian herself, Christina turned away from Christianity as a belief system in 2009 and considers herself to be an agnostic atheist, although she identifies strongly with Pagan spirituality and refers to herself ‘a practicing Witch’. She joined a Wiccan coven briefly in 2010 and 2011, and then moved on to another eclectic Pagan coven in 2013. She has since become a solitary practitioner, but casually attends Pagan events and celebrations – and had been credited with organizing the 2012 Pagan Freedom Day celebration for Port Elizabeth. In 2016 she was awarded the “Ribbon on the Witches Bouquet” by the South African Pagan Council for her activism.

Privately, she indulges in research into alternative religions, lifestyles and subcultures, and as Chief Researcher for the Alternative Religions Forum (ARF) she rubbed elbows with Christians, Jews, Muslims, Freemasons, Satanists, Luciferians, Pagans, Witches, Vamp(y)ires, Goths and Emos – and other people marginalized and persecuted in South Africa’s recent love affair with dominionism and Satanic Panic Hysteria.

arf

In 2013, Christina co-ordinated the Alternative  Religions Forum ‘Alternate Religions and Subcultures Demystification Project’, which entailed researching and compiling an academic document intended to dissect Satanic Panic Hysteria from the viewpoint of Pagans, Satanists and the Vampyre subculture. The resulting academic work, “Satanism: The Acid Test” – which was over 400 pages long in its first incarnation – was sent to numerous organizations in occult communities around the world, as well as several notable formal Academics and human rights organizations.

The “STAT Document” as it was called, received high praise and endorsement from such notable bodies in their fields as the Church of Satan, Ordo Luciferi, The South African Vampyre Alliance, The Atlanta Vampire Alliance, The Manchester Vampire Guild,  The Canadian Collaborative Vampire & Otherkin Alliance, The South African Gothic Society, and Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance (Religious Tolerance.org) [Ontario, Canada] – and also from academics such as Dr. D.J. Williams, MSW, PhD an Assistant Professor of Social Work, Sociology & Criminal Justice at Idaho State University, and John W. Morehead, MA in Intercultural Studies from Salt Lake Theological Seminary, Director of the Evangelical Chapter of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy and Director of the Western Institute for Intercultural Studies.

In May 2013, on behalf of the SA Pagan Council and the SA Pagan Rights Alliance, Christina delivered a presentation using a slide show based on the “STAT document” and presented a copy of the “STAT document” to a government-appointed committee investigating alleged ‘Satanist activity in schools’ in 2013.

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This document was also sent to media organizations around the world, and also specifically to every known and contactable media organization in South Africa. The manner in which alleged ‘occult-related crimes’ were reported on in South African media abruptly changed virtually overnight to become more rational, objective and less hysterical – although a few biased media entities still persist in furthering false stereotypes, they are an extreme minority. Although religious extremists have made efforts to win back the minds of the media with their propaganda, in general however, the effect of this document can be clearly measured by the drastic decrease in hysterical SRA media articles.

SRA con artists and ‘spiritual warfare activists’ continue to appear on local religious radio shows, particularly on Afrikaans radio and TV programs, to promote propaganda intended to fool the public into believing in non-existent ‘satanic conspiracies’ – which are needed to reinforce the idea that a special fanatical Christians-only police unit (ORC) is necessary to fight perceived ‘occult-related crimes’ and to win souls for Jesus at cost to the taxpayer. In 2013, Christina took on Adele Neveling – one such mythical legend-tripping alleged ‘ex-satanist’ – who had built a reputation with the media (through the ORC) as an ‘expert witness’ and ‘survivor of satanism’, to demonstrate her astonishing lack of knowledge of ANY actual Satanist religion.

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CHRISTINA WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! A few nice words go a long way! Please leave your REVIEWS on Academia.eduAmazon, AnobiiApple iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Bol, Book Depository, Dilmot eBookMall, FictionDB, Fnac, Foyles, Goodreads!Indigo, Kobo , Lulu, Lybrary, Nook, Smashwords, Takealot, 24 Symbols – or wherever you see Christina’s books – or just send her an email via the Contact form!