Paranormal and occult beliefs and practices are increasingly prominent in the media in Romania and are even playing a role in politics, writes Doru Pop in the online Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies (Summer).
There has been a long history of mystical and occult influences in politics in Romania—from the fascist Legion of the Archangel Michael in the early 20th century to the paranormal practices and beliefs of the Ceausescus before their downfall. Pop writes that occult influences in Romanian society and politics have only grown with the expansion of the media.
The author notes that surveys show a high rate of conventional religiosity in the form of Orthodox Christian affiliation and belief, as well as a steady undercurrent of occult and paranormal interest. A recent survey found that a “vast majority” of Romanians would rather use the services of witches and “bioenergetics” specialists than those of professional psychologists.
Pop writes that the Romanian news media and its trend of “infotainment” have further popularized the role of witches and paranormal specialists, such as clairvoyants and astrologers. Often these occult practitioners are featured on popular television shows and asked to make predictions about political events and officials. The article concludes with a case study of the 2009 presidential campaign where it was widely reported that the debates between the candidates were influenced by psychics and other spiritual groups.
The occult symbol of the “violet flame” was prominent in the campaign of Basescu, who was seen wearing violet neckties and sweaters, with many of his staff wearing the same colors. A year later a group of white witches met outside the Congress of the Social Democrat Party to cast spells and exhort the violet flame out of the party. In 2012, there were reports that Basescu was “attacked” by spells of black magic and that he was only protected through the intervention of “white witches.”
(Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, http://jsri.ro/ojs/index.php/jsri/index.)