The tactics seem to have involved:
- Tapping into pre-existing beliefs in the local population. Without this vulnerability to exploit, the attempt would have come across as merely comical.
- Planting false evidence of witchcraft or satanist events and rituals. In itself, this is little better than schoolkid pranking, but they were able to back it with authority (see below).
- Leaking false stories of black magic or satanic rituals or beliefs to the press. I suppose they were able to get away with this because the press treated them as a trustworthy source, and the public were willing to trust the press!
There's a moral here: certainly, these are slanderous, exploitative means and I doubt they justify the end, but until such time as they can be curtailed, skepticism seems like the only defense.
PS: It's sad that having had its five minutes of fame, Black Magic and Bogeymen has quite a few accessibility faults: it's expensive, there are no previews and no electronic versions. I think I'd rather enjoy reading it if some of that could be fixed.
Other stories about malicious fabrication of supernatural incidents:
In which Pastor Ezeugwu uses an angel to promote witchcraft belief in Nigeria.