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.