Black Destroyer, or the Greased Pig of Cunning Evasion

Black Destroyer formulas are designed to help people clear serious messes out of their lives, protect their homes, and stop curses, evil, and resentment dead in their tracks.

At least that’s basically what the Anna Riva brand bottle said when I bought one 20+ years ago. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that Alleged Powerful BLACK DESTROYER FOR RITUALS was basically a 4 oz bottle of perfumed mineral oil dyed black. (An oddly sweet perfume, too, given what the formula is supposed to be for.) It was as botanically powerful as a crumpled Pepsi can.

Well, I wanted it to exist, and near as I could tell, it didn’t, not in any big stores anyway, so I borrowed the name and made up my own formula for it (in 2002, according to this note in my formulary notebook from then).

I also made mine in a mineral oil base so that anybody accustomed to using the Anna Riva brand would be on familiar territory. And you can still use it by diluting it into mineral oil and sprinkling it wherever anybody has laid crossing marks or powders or anything else for you. It’s said to neutralize that type of work and to keep evil out of your home.

This is a perfect job for black snakeroot, which I use as the basis for my version. It’s said to be effective protection against snakes, literally and figuratively, so any venomous creatures hiding in the grass waiting to bite you, be they human or otherwise.

Then I figured if I’m already traipsing around the backyard carrying a big old bucket of Black Destroyer diluted into mineral oil, it was already personal, so I might as well send that crap back where it came from. I mean, back in the day, it was pretty much a given that if you went to a worker to have some kind of trick taken off, that worker was gonna return that stuff to the sender as part and parcel of the work. I’m not one to buck tradition!

So I added some blackberry leaves, and not just any blackberry leaves – blackberry leaves that grew in the oldest corner of the cemetery down the street from where we used to live and where my daughter and I spent at least one Sunday afternoon every month for about seven years. We were *really* good friends with some of those folks buried there. (I still have dried blackberry leaves and vines from those same graves, so even to this day, every new mother bottle of Black Destroyer contains them.)

I rounded it out with a few other related ingredients and then had cause to test it out a few times because life in Atlanta was never boring. Fortunately, I’m at least competent with protection and reversing work. šŸ˜‰ I was delighted. It was a romp. Worked great.

As far as I know, it wasn’t available online as an actual condition oil with actual botanicals/minerals/curios in it prior to that. I had to make it ’cause I couldn’t find it. Did the world really need another condition oil for this? Wouldn’t an existing one have done?

Well, sure, probably so. But the label had been so appealing to me and I was so disappointed when I got it home that I just really wanted this one to exist. Plus, Anna Riva probably got all her stuff from *somewhere,* however watered down or bastardized it ultimately ended up. I like to think that this formula  did have botanicals in it, or at least minerals or something like turpentine, before Anna Riva and Indio got ahold of it. I like to think there was a Black Destroyer once and now it had at least an echo of a new lease on life. (Somebody out there might know if it really did, but that somebody still isn’t me. If you do know, please drop me a line, though, so I can learn too!)

A few years later, an infamous plagiarist of other workers’ writing ripped off my description, in some spots word for word, and started selling this, though Lord only knows what she put in hers. From there it kind of took on a life of its own, as these things are wont to do, and now you can find it all over the place, but from textual analysis and timelines, I suspect most of the listings offering it as an actual condition oil with botanicals in it derive from my or Infamous Plagiarist’s item descriptions. If they mention “messes,” “dead in their tracks,” and a candle spell done with a saucer, you can count on it – I didn’t invent Black Destroyer oil. I just made up my own shit related to it. But that candle spell was mine.

Silly plagiarists.

In any case, this formula is made according to traditional hoodoo correspondences. You can sprinkle it on tricks laid by enemies to kill the trick, and it’s used for jinx-breaking and to protect you and your home from envy, resentment, and negative intentions aimed your way.

If Fiery Wall of Protection is the better-known and slightly spicy go-to formula, the Flaming Shield of the Angels that keeps your enemy at a safe distance from you, then Black Destroyer is the lesser known and slightly pungent Greased Pig of Cunning Evasion that makes your enemy trip in a puddle and splash pig crap into his own face. I credit the blackberry leaves and a couple of mischievous graveyard friends for a lot of that  šŸ™‚

Comes in a half ounce bottle. Will not smell like perfume or Bath and Body Works.

You can see some comments and usage suggestions from 2009Ā archived in the Big Lucky Hoodoo blog.

Available at Seraphin Station.

Intellectual Property, Accidental Plagiarism, and How to Avoid Common Pitfalls

I’m not trying to get into a bunch of crap publicly – I have my hands full right now with basically three full-time jobs, so I’m not naming names in this post. [1] But I feel like as a writer, editor, writing tutor/coach, former English teacher, and erstwhile journalist, I should maybe do this PSA for bloggers and denizens of social media who mean well but just don’t actually understand what plagiarism and intellectual property theft are, and so they are not aware of when they are guilty of it.

Now not all copyright infringement is plagiarism and vice versa, and I can’t possibly cover all of this in a few minutes. I also have no idea if anybody even cares lol, but from 10+ years of teaching writing to college students and over two decades tutoring and editing, I have a fairly good idea what the major misconceptions tend to be. And I see the results of these misconceptions every day online, from a huge variety of site contributors, business owners, and bloggers who are breaking the law and don’t even know it.

Plagiarism is bad manners and bad juju.


Here’s the thing — most student writers who got in trouble for plagiarism when I was teaching were doing it accidentally. They did not intend to commit fraud by passing off someone else’s ideas and words as their own. They just didn’t understand what did and didn’t count as plagiarism and what was required for proper, responsible citation.

Is a fledgling blogger with a small audience going to end up in court for not putting quotation marks around two sentences in their blog post? Not usually, no. But anybody blogging or doing research to write product descriptions or whatever has just positioned themselves as a professional. If you’re writing online, you just signed up to be subject to the rules. Ignorance of the law is no excuse and it will not protect you from takedown notices, demonetization, lawsuits, and/or the contempt of readers and other creators in your online communities.

Similarly, site owners who copy/paste huge chunks of text from another site and think it’s ok because they put the site’s URL at the bottom of the page are usually not trying to violate copyrights or steal intellectual property. Nevertheless, even accidental plagiarism can be considered fraud in academic contexts. And it can ruin your writing career and reputation in non-academic contexts, even if you never get sued. It can destroy your brand or channel fast if your platform removes your content or demonetizes yo, or Google decides they’ll never serve your ads again.

Here’s the simple definition of copyright infringement quoted from the
FAQ-Definitions” section of the U.S. Copyright Office’s website:

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