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Here We Go Again: True Detective Blames it on the Voodoo

Newsflash: Every horrible, evil thing that happens in Louisiana is NOT attributed to Voudou. When are the writers and producers of these shows - American Horror Story Coven, and now True Detective - going to stop disparaging a religion in the name of entertainment?

Devil traps are fetishes created to trap evil and negativity and can be found in Louisiana folk magic traditions.

Surely, the plot for True Detective could have stood alone without the final comment explaining the activities of the series' serial killer Errol Childress as a result of "Voodoo rituals."

But, let me back up a minute and focus on the positive. True Detective had much more focus and substance to it than American Horror Story Coven. Rust Cohle, played by Matthew McConaughey, and Marty Hart, played by Woody Harrelson, are two detectives obsessed with identifying the cult of freaks who tortured and did who knows what else to a little girl seen on a VHS tape (remember those?). Every time someone views that tape, they end up screaming in horror. We the viewers, (thankfully) never see what the characters in the show see, leaving it up to our imaginations to explain the reaction of those who recoil in terror upon witnessing acts that are so inconceivable they are both unspeakable and unshowable.

That approach worked well; we are spared the "in your face" horrors of sadistic pedophilia.

The perpetrator is Errol William Childress, son of Billy Lee Childress. He is positively identified by the scars on his face that garner him the nickname "Spaghetti Monster." He is shown casing children in a schoolyard, talking to a dead man tied up spread eagle in the smaller house behind the main home, and "making flowers" with a woman later revealed as his half-sister.

Rust and Marty eventually discover enough clues to lead them deep into bayou country straight to the serial killer's home - which looks like a scene right out of Hoarders - and the dark fortress of murder and ultra weirdness. The cult headed up by Childress is never identified or named specifically. All we see or know about it is that they are sadistic pedophiles who dress up in weird garb wearing masks and antlers and lead children to (and here is where we fill in the blanks psychologically whether we want to or not).

Throughout the season, there are Devil Traps, referred to as Devil Nets, that appear here and there right up to the very end. Devil Nets are fetish looking structures made from sticks tied together with strips of scrap fabric and Spanish Moss in lattice formation and are found in fields, hanging from the ceiling or on front porches. In folk magic, they function to trap evil and negative energies and entities. In the old fortress where Childress and his cult apparently hold their so-called "Voodoo rituals," there are large, elaborate and extensive structures resembling Devil Nets holding human remains, bones, skulls, spirit bundles, antlers and even children's toys hung like lucky charms. It's dark, dank and creepy as hell, yes; but, it is not Voudou.

All in all the show was fantastic with stellar performances given by Harrelson and McConaughey. And though the inference to Voudou as having some sort of connection to the murders was made on occasion, it was completely unnecessary. The reference to Voudou is a sensational, unoriginal and stereotypical ploy that every other Tom, Dick and Harry in television stoops to. If New Orleans is now the hot place to shoot movies and television series, why not show a little respect for our ancestors upon whose backs this country was built? Voudou the religion - not tourist voodoo - is founded on healing and balance. It has ancestor reverence at its core, and one Creator God called Bon Dieu (Good God). It is not a demonic, evil tradition that propels people into violence, sadism, pedophilia or any other criminal behavior. Sometimes people are just evil and do evil things. Let's leave Voudou out of it for a change.

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