Nature: Consumption of the dead or portions of their bodies as a means of acquiring possession of their souls or other qualities. This is associated with a belief in sympathetic magic whereby the whole is contained in the part so that consumption of part of the body confers on the practitioner some powers of the dead person.
Incidence: Although much more common in tribal societies in the past, instances continue to be reported in connection with some forms of satanic rites and voodoo practices, both in developing and industrialized countries. Instances have also been reported in relation to initiations into secret societies where one object is to bond members together through a common experience which they cannot share with outsiders.
Problem Type: F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update 01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET