Witching with a cause: The hexing of Brett Kavanaugh and the controversy it stirred

Yep, you read the title right. People in Brooklyn, New York, got  together to perform a hexing ritual on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh (as well as President Donald Trump) on Saturday, Oct. 20. This led to an exorcist performing his own rituals to protect Kavanaugh.

No, you’re not dreaming. And the story gets even more interesting.

Catland Books, one of New York’s most famous occult shops and also the home of the hexes against Trump, was the home of the ceremony that lasted for three hours. More than 10,000 people marked that they would attend the event on their Facebook page, inspiring Catland to host another hex later this November.

It’s backroom was filled with chairs all centered around an altar featuring penis-shaped candles with nails stabbed through them. Dolls imitating Kavanaugh and Trump also adorned the altar.

 

PHOTO: Lelanie Foster/ Broadly

 

The women leading the event knew that the Kavanaugh hearings were triggering for sexual assault survivors around the nation. Kavanaugh was accused of sexually assault Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in high school. The trials stirred debates surrounding sexual assault throughout the country. Despite the controversy, Kavanaugh was appointed to the United States Supreme Court on Saturday, Oct. 6. (West Virginia’s Joe Manchin was the Democrat that swayed the vote).

They knew sexual assault survivors needed a healthy outlet to release their rage following the trials and his appointment.

“People have to have an outlet to do something,” said Dakota Bracciale, one of Catland’s owners to Broadly. “Because here’s the reality—statistically speaking, if you are a survivor of sexual violence, there is such an immense likelihood that in a situation like this, that rage is going to come out. It doesn’t matter whether or not you want to acknowledge it–it’s going to come out. It’s going to come out in a constructive way, or a destructive way.

Self-harm is typically a sign that someone has undergone serious trauma. Many people who harm themselves use it as a pain release and to regain control. Many sexual assault victims self-harm for the same reasons.

“This justice system has it out for (and is punitive toward) people who have the nerve to come forward [with stories of sexual abuse], Bracciale tells Broadly. “We have got to have an outlet for this because we don’t have any form of justice available. There has to at least be some sort of support.”

While this is probably drawing on your American Horror Story Coven fantasies, many Americans were not thrilled about the ceremony. Protesting could be heard outside the hexing event and Catland’s owners received many death threats. Our very own witch trials have begun (again).

Protestors barring Bibles and prayers raised their voices against the hexing; singing hymns and shouting prayers. Those inside Catland called the police to file a noise complaint, however when the police came, not much was done to silence the protestors.

 

PHOTO: Lelanie Foster/ Broadly

 

Despite, the hexing began. The short ceremony included the reciting of Psalm 109 King James Version, “an interesting juxtaposition to the impassioned shouts from protestors on the street,” according to the Independent. A hands-on moment followed where the witches could write the names of those they wanted hexed.

Father Gary Thomas, a San Jose exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose, held a mass protecting Brett Kavanaugh from the hexing ritual, claiming that organizers and attendees are apart of a “cult” that must be stopped.

“This is a conjuring of evil—not about free speech, he told the National Catholic Register. “Conjuring up personified evil does not fall under free speech. Satanic cults often commit crimes; they murder and sexually abuse everyone in their cult.”

However, Bracciale uses backlash from the Church as a motivator.

“[The hex strikes fear into the heart of Christian fundamentalists,” Bracciale said. “That’s one of the reasons that we do it. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.”

 

PHOTO: Lelanie Foster/ Broadly

 

The next Kavanaugh hexing took place last Saturday, Nov. 3 at Catland. Half of the event’s proceeds will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. The remaining earning will be used to renovate Catland in order to insulate and weatherproof the venue for winter.

“It is war—and we’re not the ones who declared it,” Bracciale said.