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(Mental Floss)   Hey ladies, ever wonder what your chances would have been like in Salem back in 1692 if you'd been accused of being a witch? Let's just put it this way...we hope you weigh more than a duck   (mentalfloss.com ) divider line 118
    More: Scary, Hey Ladies, female friends  
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11130 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Mar 2014 at 11:56 AM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-02 08:49:40 AM  
All women weight more than a duck, cursemitter.
 
2014-03-02 08:52:17 AM  

vudukungfu: All women weight more than a duck, cursemitter.


Well, then when they bind her and throw her in the mill pond she'll sink and drown.  At least her soul will be saved.
 
2014-03-02 09:03:00 AM  
It sounds to me like if you had anything anybody wanted, or were poor and dependent upon the community or believed in the wrong god then an organized group of holier than thou rich old white men would fark your shiat up by accusing you of 'congress with teh debbil'. After 300+ years we now call that group of old white men 'Congress'
 
2014-03-02 09:45:00 AM  
One of my college friends lives in Salem.

/she's a witch
//no kidding, she is actually a witch and is a tattoo artist (I guess the potion and spell business isn't what it used to be)
 
2014-03-02 09:47:50 AM  
Oh there still are witch hunts on, subby...

cdn.breitbart.com
 
2014-03-02 09:53:02 AM  
Some theories attribute the affliction to Toxoplasma gondii. See Occam.
 
2014-03-02 09:57:10 AM  
I'd accuse them. Thoroughly. Until they were thoroughly disappointed.

images.dvdsea.com
 
2014-03-02 10:00:48 AM  
1. Be a woman.

Aaaaaaand, we're done. Women are the Debbil and deserve anything that happens to them. That hasn't changed much in the US. You have no idea how refreshing it is to live in a place where that particular part of the "women are lesser" idea never took root.
 
2014-03-02 10:19:03 AM  
Knows something of witchcraft

a57.foxnews.com
 
2014-03-02 10:28:30 AM  
By "Mental Floss" they mean they intend to scrape every last functioning cell of brain matter from the inside of your skull before you get to the 4th item on their list, right?

I suppose I shouldn't complain, really. Could've been a slideshow.
 
2014-03-02 12:04:00 PM  

DrBenway: By "Mental Floss" they mean they intend to scrape every last functioning cell of brain matter from the inside of your skull before you get to the 4th item on their list, right?

I suppose I shouldn't complain, really. Could've been a slideshow.

Multiple pages like Cracked.

/FTFY
 
2014-03-02 12:05:31 PM  
That sounds like witch talk.
 
2014-03-02 12:06:22 PM  
About the same as my chances of getting stoned today in parts of the Middle East, which is why I don't go there.
 
2014-03-02 12:09:41 PM  

vudukungfu: All women weight more than a duck, cursemitter.


You sound like you don't know the earth is banana shaped.
 
2014-03-02 12:10:13 PM  
Well, it's 2014 and many people are convinced that I'm a witch. But they spell it differently.
 
2014-03-02 12:12:11 PM  

Nogale: Well, it's 2014 and many people are convinced that I'm a witch. But they spell it differently.


Which?
 
2014-03-02 12:12:29 PM  
Remember: The Puritans did not come to the New World for religious freedom. They came here because the rest of Europe had enough of their pious wankery.

/We should have let the natives wipe them out in the Pequot War.
 
2014-03-02 12:12:46 PM  
Better than an accused communist or molester, I'll wager
 
2014-03-02 12:13:14 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: 1. Be a woman.

Aaaaaaand, we're done. Women are the Debbil and deserve anything that happens to them. That hasn't changed much in the US. You have no idea how refreshing it is to live in a place where that particular part of the "women are lesser" idea never took root.


What place is that? I would like to go to there, please.
 
2014-03-02 12:14:03 PM  

vudukungfu: All women weight more than a duck, cursemitter.


ducks float
what also floats?
wood.
wood burns.
therefore if a person burns, they are a witch.
 
2014-03-02 12:14:45 PM  
I know obesity is a modern problem, but was it really this bad back then?
 
2014-03-02 12:16:41 PM  

Majick Thise: It sounds to me like if you had anything anybody wanted, or were poor and dependent upon the community or believed in the wrong god then an organized group of holier than thou rich old white men would fark your shiat up by accusing you of 'congress with teh debbil'. After 300+ years we now call that group of old white men 'Congress'


According to the article and the history books I've read, women were just as likely to be the accusers as men. And I highly doubt most of the male accusers were old.
 
2014-03-02 12:18:03 PM  
I like how they say the daughter "went prematurely insane."
 
2014-03-02 12:19:32 PM  

Needlessly Complicated: Benevolent Misanthrope: 1. Be a woman.

Aaaaaaand, we're done. Women are the Debbil and deserve anything that happens to them. That hasn't changed much in the US. You have no idea how refreshing it is to live in a place where that particular part of the "women are lesser" idea never took root.

What place is that? I would like to go to there, please.


Oh honey, I'd tell you but I know that women aren't good with directions.
 
2014-03-02 12:20:05 PM  
14. Butter or milk has spoiled in your fridge

Exactly how many fridges were around in 1692?

Demonstrative of exactly the kind of journalistic integrity and precision one expects from mentalfloss
 
2014-03-02 12:20:40 PM  
Of course, about one out of six of the accused (and of the executed) was male, and the whole thing was kicked off by a feud between women who were related to each other, but...
 
2014-03-02 12:22:54 PM  
National Geographic Channel recently had a program on this.  It seems to have largely been the work of one man, the preacher in Salem, who was not all that well liked.  He drummed up the bit about witches on the loose to increase his standing in the community.
 
2014-03-02 12:25:49 PM  

Majick Thise: It sounds to me like if you had anything anybody wanted, or were poor and dependent upon the community or believed in the wrong god then an organized group of holier than thou rich old white men would fark your shiat up by accusing you of 'congress with teh debbil'. After 300+ years we now call that group of old white men 'Congress'


Except that the worst offenders, even in old Salem, for getting women accused of witchcraft were often other women. A lot of what happened there was the end result of a bunch of kids playing what they thought was a really cool practical joke.
 
2014-03-02 12:28:28 PM  
Spend some time on Reddit, you can see how easily mob behavior develops.
 
F42
2014-03-02 12:29:29 PM  
About as much chance as someone today accused of terrorism.
 
2014-03-02 12:30:17 PM  

TheHighlandHowler: Some theories attribute the affliction to Toxoplasma gondii. See Occam.



I've heard theories that they were hallucinating because of ergot poisoning.

It wasn't just women who were killed, either. Don't forget about Giles Corey.
 
2014-03-02 12:31:33 PM  

Needlessly Complicated: Benevolent Misanthrope: 1. Be a woman.

Aaaaaaand, we're done. Women are the Debbil and deserve anything that happens to them. That hasn't changed much in the US. You have no idea how refreshing it is to live in a place where that particular part of the "women are lesser" idea never took root.

What place is that? I would like to go to there, please.


Canada.  Northern Alberta, specifically.  Sexism certainly exists - but it doesn't have that religio-moral component to it.  And if a woman can perform at the same level as a man, no one gives a crap that she's a woman.
 
2014-03-02 12:35:42 PM  
I suppose a Stevie Nicks' Fajita Roundup would have been impossible in Salem back then
 
2014-03-02 12:36:16 PM  
Witchfinder General. Best... Job... Ever.
 
2014-03-02 12:37:39 PM  

UNC_Samurai: Remember: The Puritans did not come to the New World for religious freedom. They came here because the rest of Europe had enough of their pious wankery.

/We should have let the natives wipe them out in the Pequot War.


Yep.
 
2014-03-02 12:37:59 PM  

megarian: I like how they say the daughter "went prematurely insane."


The article says she went "Permanently" insane.

Which, given the circumstances, I could understand.
 
2014-03-02 12:38:35 PM  
"Having taken the suspected Witch, shee is placed in the middle of a room upon a stool, or Table, crosse legg'd, or in some other uneasie posture, to which if she submits not, she is then bound with cords, there is she watcht & kept without meat or sleep for the space of 24 hours. For (they say) within that time they shall see her Impe come and suck; a little hole is likewise made in the door for the Impe to come in at: and lest it might come in some lesse discernible shape, they that watch are taught to be ever & anon sweeping the room, and if they see any spiders or flyes, to kill them. And if they cannot kill them, then they may be sure they are her Impes."

- John Gaule, describing a test used by Witchfinders, 1646
 
2014-03-02 12:41:09 PM  

cynicalbastard: Majick Thise: It sounds to me like if you had anything anybody wanted, or were poor and dependent upon the community or believed in the wrong god then an organized group of holier than thou rich old white men would fark your shiat up by accusing you of 'congress with teh debbil'. After 300+ years we now call that group of old white men 'Congress'

Except that the worst offenders, even in old Salem, for getting women accused of witchcraft were often other women. A lot of what happened there was the end result of a bunch of kids playing what they thought was a really cool practical joke.


Not just other women. Preteens. Kids. (Mind you, how twisted were those kids running around accusing people of being witches for kicks and giggles. All their lives they had been told what to do. And now they had the power to boss around adults. "Oh, it's my bed time, is it. Well, I do believe I saw you consorting with the devil, yesterday. WITCH!"

In the history of accusing people of witches, anyone could accuse of anyone AND anything of being witch. Cats were often accused of being witches right alongside their human counterparts.
 
2014-03-02 12:42:09 PM  

Oblio13: "Having taken the suspected Witch, shee is placed in the middle of a room upon a stool, or Table, crosse legg'd, or in some other uneasie posture, to which if she submits not, she is then bound with cords, there is she watcht & kept without meat or sleep for the space of 24 hours. For (they say) within that time they shall see her Impe come and suck; a little hole is likewise made in the door for the Impe to come in at: and lest it might come in some lesse discernible shape, they that watch are taught to be ever & anon sweeping the room, and if they see any spiders or flyes, to kill them. And if they cannot kill them, then they may be sure they are her Impes."

- John Gaule, describing a test used by Witchfinders, 1646


Stress positions, sleep deprivation, and constant watching and harassment? Sounds like the test we now use to see if a Brown person is a terrorist.
 
2014-03-02 12:42:41 PM  

mekki: Mind you, how twisted were those kids running around accusing people of being witches for kicks and giggles.


Kids will be kids.  It's the adults who are the twisted ones for actually believing them.
 
2014-03-02 12:43:41 PM  

hitlersbrain: Witchfinder General. Best... Job... Ever.


img.fark.net

Agrees.
 
2014-03-02 12:46:44 PM  

Nefarious: vudukungfu: All women weight more than a duck, cursemitter.

Well, then when they bind her and throw her in the mill pond she'll sink and drown.  At least her soul will be saved.


Redemption by death? Hey, it's not so crazy. It worked for Michael Jackson.

/ducks (not the equal witch-weight kind)
 
2014-03-02 12:47:28 PM  

Pincy: mekki: Mind you, how twisted were those kids running around accusing people of being witches for kicks and giggles.

Kids will be kids.  It's the adults who are the twisted ones for actually believing them.


Thing is how many did actually believe them and how many were, "My next door neighbor has a great piece of land that I want. How do I get rid of him so I can take it....Oh, Sally. Sally, didn't you see Mr. Goode consort with the devil yesterday. You did, didn't you. Say that you did. Good, now let's go and tell the Justice of the Peace."

Most of these accusations were really political plays. You can't out and out murder your neighbor. That's against the law and will leave you swinging from the nearest oak. But you can accuse him or her of being a witch and let the law get rid of them for you.
 
2014-03-02 12:48:21 PM  
I'm a goner...
 
2014-03-02 12:50:47 PM  

Tiiba: I know obesity is a modern problem, but was it really this bad back then?


In some communities it was, yes. These days being outed as a witch can cost you your job but that's about it. I keep the whole pagan thing on the minimum when I'm at work. Ill argue someone to death about politics and religion but not while I'm on the clock. I have far too much to do these days and not nearly enough time to get it done!
 
2014-03-02 12:52:57 PM  

hitlersbrain: Witchfinder General. Best... Job... Ever.


the actual title is Witchsmeller Pursuivant
 
2014-03-02 12:56:47 PM  

Mr. Right: 14. Butter or milk has spoiled in your fridge

Exactly how many fridges were around in 1692?

Demonstrative of exactly the kind of journalistic integrity and precision one expects from mentalfloss


Well, I guess they were comparing that spoiled milk/dairy products were the sign of a witch but I'd mark that as "if you don't like a biatch, she's eating crackers like she owns the place."
 
2014-03-02 12:58:13 PM  
Pretty much anybody who got accused was toast. I'm not familiar with any cases where the accused was found innocent. A few people never confessed their witchery; they just got tortured to death. One guy was even crushed in a questioning technique called "pressing". They put stones on your chest till you talked. If memory serves; the whole thing was set into motion by a group of young girls.
 
2014-03-02 12:59:13 PM  
The DSM is the new guidebook for witch hunts.
 
2014-03-02 01:00:54 PM  

cirby: Of course, about one out of six of the accused (and of the executed) was male, and the whole thing was kicked off by a feud between women who were related to each other, but...


..and ended when people of property and power were starting to get accused, and it was beyond all fun and games.

/and it was in modern-day Danvers, aka "Salem Village"
 
2014-03-02 01:02:43 PM  
I am descended from many of the "witches" accused at the Salem Witchcraft Trials, and also their stupid accusers. There are over 100 people connected with Salem Village in my family tree at the moment. Many of those have birth-death dates that stop at or run over 1692. My family was there in large numbers.

For starters, the great New England Divine, Cotton Mather is a cousin. I know Cotton, Increase, Richard and Thomas Mather (my ancestor). Mather was a well-educated Puritan who could be quite learned and wise and quite foolish and ignorant, often at the same time. My education was much like his--a university man from a background of simple-minded self-righteous or genuinely good Christians and hicks.

Attendance at a fundamentalist Sunday School and Church despite being a child-hood member of respectable liberal congregation formed my mind and my experiences in ways that are quite rare. I'm an insider-outsider socially and intellectually. I'm a liberal and a skeptic and an atheist with a lot of theological training. Verily, Christians are a scandal to the Heathen, and I am that Heathan. I know them inside-out and outside-in due to quirks in my history, family history and the world's history.

I am descended from some of the "witches" hanged; some accused who escaped hanging; and some relations who sued for damages and got them. I am descended from their accusers, family, friends, neighbours and clergy.

It suffices to look at the death date to know there are witches:

Mary Town Eastery, hanged 22 Sept 1692, Gallow's Hill;
Rebecca Towne Nurse, 19 July 1692
Rev. George Burroughs, hanged 19 August 1692 (yes, a clergyman! hanged as a witch), 1692

Others were accused but survived, some escaped, some were found not guilty, some were pardoned, some died in prison. I simply don't have time to identify every single person, so look on these names as a random list of high lights and low lights.

The hanged, those who died in prison:

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/asal_de.htm

A more general lsit:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_of_the_Salem_witch_trial s

I am also descended from the Lewises (Mercy Lewis was one of the girls "afflicted by witchcraft", the Kinneys, and other families who testified against the witches.

If you look at the list of evidences that show you might be a witch you may be struck by one thing: some or all of them might apply to anybody. For example, as Saint Paul put it "all have sinned". Every Christian has violated the rules of conduct of Christianity and the Bible. The most pious and righteous are sinners.

Also, they are a survey of the marginalized. Rich and poor, old and young, women, midwifes, people who dauble in fortune-telling, those without friends and family, those who are envied and those who are despised.

1692 was a very bad year. The weather was disastrous and crops failed. The Pilgrims were under considerable duress. What is worse a great natural disaster such as is often attributed to the wrath of God had struck down the town of Port Royal in Jamaica. The Salem Village people were deeply and personally connected to this southern port because of trade and family connections. They were very upset that God would do such a thing and needed explanations. Naturally they blamed the victims and anybody else they could find rather than blame themselves or God.

Note that all three of these factors are still alive and kicking today. The pious still blame the victims for natural disaster (see Pat Robertson for details of the Pact with the Devil signed by the Haitians decades ago--he seems to have watched a lot of racially charged 1920s and 1930s American zombie movies). The pious still interpret bad luck as God's wrath and good luck as God's blessing (as Job's Comforters do in the Book of Job).

Why am I a liberal? Because my ancestors were witches, heretics, Quakers and Roman Catholics. Because my ancestors were Puritans and xenophobic fundies. Because I have learned the same lessons that history teaches us about "conservatism" and "tradition" and "family values" and "religion" first hand as a child, youth and adult. Because I read a lot of both formal and informal documents ranging from scholarly works to comic strips.

I understand the way the human mind and human societies work well enough to be skeptical about piety and righteousness, patriotism and even sin.

God save us everyone, and if he is otherwise engaged, let's hope for reason and compassion to catch up with our folly and malice before we do too much damage.
 
2014-03-02 01:06:12 PM  
Twins of Evil is a good witch hunting movie to watch when you are bored.
 
2014-03-02 01:09:37 PM  

megarian: I like how they say the daughter "went prematurely insane."


That has a nice Lovecraftian ring to it, "prematurely insane". It suggests that insanity is inevitable but not limited to the middle-aged and elderly.

 ... and then there is his brother,  Absalom Judas Aldwife III, who went prematurely insane and thus can not be counted as a victim of the Eldritch Family Curse ... he was one of the lucky ones.
 
2014-03-02 01:10:24 PM  

iheartscotch: Pretty much anybody who got accused was toast. I'm not familiar with any cases where the accused was found innocent. A few people never confessed their witchery; they just got tortured to death. One guy was even crushed in a questioning technique called "pressing". They put stones on your chest till you talked. If memory serves; the whole thing was set into motion by a group of young girls.


Giles Corey, who pretty much showed he had stones bigger than anything they laid on him by saying, "more weight"
 
2014-03-02 01:14:01 PM  

OtherLittleGuy: cirby: Of course, about one out of six of the accused (and of the executed) was male, and the whole thing was kicked off by a feud between women who were related to each other, but...

..and ended when people of property and power were starting to get accused, and it was beyond all fun and games.

/and it was in modern-day Danvers, aka "Salem Village"


One of the precious bits of information I learned while doing my family tree was that the witch accusations in Boston, MA, ended when one very rich Bostonian was accused and he responded like a gentleman bourgeois by suing his accuser for libel asking 1000 Pounds in damages.

Reason prevails. Or at least the Lord God Mammon. He is, like Jehovah, a God of Gods.

I like to shout JEHOVAH! Just because I can!
 
2014-03-02 01:21:21 PM  

OtherLittleGuy: and ended when people of property and power were starting to get accused, and it was beyond all fun and games


Thin the final straw was when they accused the Governor's wife.
 
2014-03-02 01:24:42 PM  
ts1.mm.bing.net
 
2014-03-02 01:28:00 PM  
short of not executing people for these things, we really haven't progressed much since then.
 
2014-03-02 01:28:35 PM  

iheartscotch: Pretty much anybody who got accused was toast. I'm not familiar with any cases where the accused was found innocent. A few people never confessed their witchery; they just got tortured to death. One guy was even crushed in a questioning technique called "pressing". They put stones on your chest till you talked. If memory serves; the whole thing was set into motion by a group of young girls.


Remember this, folks, next time anyone tells you torture is a good way of getting information.  Ask them if they believe in witches...we got a LOT of "evidence" of witches using torture.
 
2014-03-02 01:30:03 PM  

brantgoose: OtherLittleGuy: cirby: Of course, about one out of six of the accused (and of the executed) was male, and the whole thing was kicked off by a feud between women who were related to each other, but...

..and ended when people of property and power were starting to get accused, and it was beyond all fun and games.

/and it was in modern-day Danvers, aka "Salem Village"

One of the precious bits of information I learned while doing my family tree was that the witch accusations in Boston, MA, ended when one very rich Bostonian was accused and he responded like a gentleman bourgeois by suing his accuser for libel asking 1000 Pounds in damages.

Reason prevails. Or at least the Lord God Mammon. He is, like Jehovah, a God of Gods.

I like to shout JEHOVAH! Just because I can!


BLASPHAMY! You're only making it worse for yourself!


/ no one is to stone anyone until I blow this whistle; even, and I want to make this absolutely clear, even if they do say Jehovah
 
2014-03-02 01:32:30 PM  
Does anyone have any evidence to suggest they weren't guilty of witchcraft?
 
2014-03-02 01:34:43 PM  
Slightly less trolly question - but weren't these trials and prosecutions far more common in the EU?  It seems like history remembers the Salem witch trials, but I thought they were commonplace for a few hundred years prior.
 
2014-03-02 01:35:51 PM  
I'm a direct descendant of a woman burned in the Salem Witch Trials, but I don't have any magic powers (unless being a really good slacker counts)
 
2014-03-02 01:38:52 PM  
STILL more rational and merciful than the average modern Teabaggers.
 
2014-03-02 01:40:36 PM  

Aulus: National Geographic Channel recently had a program on this.  It seems to have largely been the work of one man, the preacher in Salem, who was not all that well liked.  He drummed up the bit about witches on the loose to increase his standing in the community.


popreflection.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-03-02 01:41:14 PM  

Mega Steve: I'm a direct descendant of a woman burned in the Salem Witch Trials, but I don't have any magic powers (unless being a really good slacker counts)


No one was burned at Salem.
 
2014-03-02 01:44:42 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: Slightly less trolly question - but weren't these trials and prosecutions far more common in the EU?  It seems like history remembers the Salem witch trials, but I thought they were commonplace for a few hundred years prior.


The Burning Times
 
2014-03-02 01:45:32 PM  
brantgoose:

It suffices to look at the death date to know there are witches:

Mary Town Eastery, hanged 22 Sept 1692, Gallow's Hill;
Rebecca Towne Nurse, 19 July 1692
Rev. George Burroughs, hanged 19 August 1692 (yes, a clergyman! hanged as a witch), 1692


Hanging was actually the more merciful thing they did to those accused of witchcraft. One method of execution was "Pressing", where the victim was restrained to the ground and stone after stone was piled on top of them one at a time until they were eventually squished to death.

And sicko stuff like this is why we have laws against "cruel and unusual punishment" and a separation between church and state in our Bill of Rights. Next time you hear some crap-for-brains talking about weakening that separation between C&S, take into account that they want to bring back all these sadistic horrors as well, because JAY-ZUSS!
 
2014-03-02 01:46:20 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: Slightly less trolly question - but weren't these trials and prosecutions far more common in the EU?  It seems like history remembers the Salem witch trials, but I thought they were commonplace for a few hundred years prior.


Yes, Europe was much worse. There were various inquisitions and witch hunts. There was even a book for witch hunters, the Malleus Maleficarum, it takes second place to the bible as the most blood soaked book in history. There were, at least, 10's of thousands of accused witches burned, impaled, drowned, ect over the centuries. Most sources disagree about the actual number.

/ one of the most famous European "witch" to burn was Joan De Arc
 
2014-03-02 01:48:41 PM  
12 out of 16!


www.mahurangi.org.nz
 
2014-03-02 01:50:35 PM  
Speaking of Europe, my European History textbook from back in high school heavily implied that one of the supposed signs a woman was a witch was the ability to have multiple orgasms without a refractory period.
 
2014-03-02 01:51:11 PM  

PunGent: iheartscotch: Pretty much anybody who got accused was toast. I'm not familiar with any cases where the accused was found innocent. A few people never confessed their witchery; they just got tortured to death. One guy was even crushed in a questioning technique called "pressing". They put stones on your chest till you talked. If memory serves; the whole thing was set into motion by a group of young girls.

Remember this, folks, next time anyone tells you torture is a good way of getting information.  Ask them if they believe in witches...we got a LOT of "evidence" of witches using torture.


Indeed.

The implication of torture is MUCH more effective.

/ some sensory deprivation, a horror movie scream track and a good imagination are much more effective.
 
2014-03-02 01:52:09 PM  

iheartscotch: Fark_Guy_Rob: Slightly less trolly question - but weren't these trials and prosecutions far more common in the EU?  It seems like history remembers the Salem witch trials, but I thought they were commonplace for a few hundred years prior.

Yes, Europe was much worse. There were various inquisitions and witch hunts. There was even a book for witch hunters, the Malleus Maleficarum, it takes second place to the bible as the most blood soaked book in history. There were, at least, 10's of thousands of accused witches burned, impaled, drowned, ect over the centuries. Most sources disagree about the actual number.

/ one of the most famous European "witch" to burn was Joan De Arc


The thing is, look at the timeline. As Europe was starting to wake up and see what madness things like witch trials were and were starting to swindle down, witch trials on the US side were actually picking up.

Also if I'm not mistaken, one of the US's top universities was founded by a descendent of one of the most vicious witch hunters in the colonies, although that descendent was so ashamed at what his ancestor did that he changed his family name.
 
2014-03-02 01:53:54 PM  

Aulus: National Geographic Channel recently had a program on this.  It seems to have largely been the work of one man, the preacher in Salem, who was not all that well liked.  He drummed up the bit about witches on the loose to increase his standing in the community.


So a 17th century Fox News predecessor?
 
2014-03-02 02:06:03 PM  

Weatherkiss: 12 out of 16!


[www.mahurangi.org.nz image 500x372]


She has nice tatas!

We have a Witchduck Road and a Salem Road. No, they do not intersect - that would be too creepy
(especially if there was a lake there)

Just like there is a Popeye's chicken at the corner of Martin Luther King Blvd and Malcolm X Blvd in DC.

img.fark.net

You would think it would be more busy.  Surprised the Google Maps car was not jacked.
 
2014-03-02 02:09:15 PM  
Modern-day "witch hunts" aka moral panics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day-care_sex-abuse_hysteria

And

of course, good ol' tail-gunner Joe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_McCarthy

Human beings can be such bastards.
 
2014-03-02 02:11:59 PM  

TV's Vinnie: iheartscotch: Fark_Guy_Rob: Slightly less trolly question - but weren't these trials and prosecutions far more common in the EU?  It seems like history remembers the Salem witch trials, but I thought they were commonplace for a few hundred years prior.

Yes, Europe was much worse. There were various inquisitions and witch hunts. There was even a book for witch hunters, the Malleus Maleficarum, it takes second place to the bible as the most blood soaked book in history. There were, at least, 10's of thousands of accused witches burned, impaled, drowned, ect over the centuries. Most sources disagree about the actual number.

/ one of the most famous European "witch" to burn was Joan De Arc

The thing is, look at the timeline. As Europe was starting to wake up and see what madness things like witch trials were and were starting to swindle down, witch trials on the US side were actually picking up.

Also if I'm not mistaken, one of the US's top universities was founded by a descendent of one of the most vicious witch hunters in the colonies, although that descendent was so ashamed at what his ancestor did that he changed his family name.


I've been looking at it and there were witch trials and executions pre-Christianity. And there are still witch hunts; they're just called something else. Also, there is some conjecture about actual modern witch hunts, for actual witches, in sub-Saharan Africa.

/ also, the Inquisition is still around; now they investigate heresy and such

// I don't know about the college thing; but, it wouldn't surprise me
 
2014-03-02 02:14:31 PM  
K3rmy: We have a Witchduck Road and a Salem Road

You can keep that noise. I'm going over to Pleasure House.
 
2014-03-02 02:23:51 PM  
Satan sounds like a cool dude whereas Jesus is just a paranoid dickhole.
 
2014-03-02 02:26:30 PM  
static.fjcdn.com
 
2014-03-02 02:31:02 PM  

dopekitty74: I'm a goner...


You and me both sister.
 
2014-03-02 02:35:06 PM  
Jon Stewart had a guest on about a month ago who went through all the court records from all the witch trials and it turns out 98% of them were simply fined, with some being forced to move from the community. Sure, lots of people were accused, but there was never a "water test" or anything, and the only recorded execution was a hanging. They kept very detailed notes about the trials because it was a real court, it's just that the story of what happened to witches is a lot juicer than reality.
 
2014-03-02 02:38:59 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Needlessly Complicated: Benevolent Misanthrope: 1. Be a woman.

Aaaaaaand, we're done. Women are the Debbil and deserve anything that happens to them. That hasn't changed much in the US. You have no idea how refreshing it is to live in a place where that particular part of the "women are lesser" idea never took root.

What place is that? I would like to go to there, please.

Canada.  Northern Alberta, specifically.  Sexism certainly exists - but it doesn't have that religio-moral component to it.  And if a woman can perform at the same level as a man, no one gives a crap that she's a woman.


That is a little more prevalent in the states than you make it sound by saying "that hasn't changed much" from the times of the Salem witch burnings.  Just a tad disingenuous.
 
2014-03-02 02:43:29 PM  

omeganuepsilon: Benevolent Misanthrope: Needlessly Complicated: Benevolent Misanthrope: 1. Be a woman.

Aaaaaaand, we're done. Women are the Debbil and deserve anything that happens to them. That hasn't changed much in the US. You have no idea how refreshing it is to live in a place where that particular part of the "women are lesser" idea never took root.

What place is that? I would like to go to there, please.

Canada.  Northern Alberta, specifically.  Sexism certainly exists - but it doesn't have that religio-moral component to it.  And if a woman can perform at the same level as a man, no one gives a crap that she's a woman.

That is a little more prevalent in the states than you make it sound by saying "that hasn't changed much" from the times of the Salem witch burnings.  Just a tad disingenuous.


It's not nice to come into the middle of a conversation and pretend you know what's being discussed, based on the last few words.  Now, hush.  Grown-ups are talking.
 
2014-03-02 02:50:09 PM  
And for the last time NOBODY was burned in the Salem Witch Trials. Or executions. They were hanged with one exception who was pressed to death- burning may have been quicker. Unless your ancestor accidentally broke a lamp while trying to read out court records, if you say your ancestor was burned at the stake in Salem you're just another kook who thinks 10 million people were somehow killed in the European Witch Trials and 99.9 per cent of the records magically disappeared, and you believe talking to your pet cat, rat, or hamster makes you a psychic.
 
2014-03-02 02:54:24 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: Slightly less trolly question - but weren't these trials and prosecutions far more common in the EU?  It seems like history remembers the Salem witch trials, but I thought they were commonplace for a few hundred years prior.


Yes, Witch trials weren't even common in the Colonies, it was just this weird last gasp from like 100 years before. BTW protestant countries burned a lot more witches than the Inquisition.
 
2014-03-02 02:55:24 PM  

Day_Old_Dutchie: Modern-day "witch hunts" aka moral panics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day-care_sex-abuse_hysteria

And

of course, good ol' tail-gunner Joe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_McCarthy

Human beings can be such bastards.


Amazing how people don't change, just the labels that are attached.
 
2014-03-02 02:57:19 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: omeganuepsilon: Benevolent Misanthrope: Needlessly Complicated: Benevolent Misanthrope: 1. Be a woman.

Aaaaaaand, we're done. Women are the Debbil and deserve anything that happens to them. That hasn't changed much in the US. You have no idea how refreshing it is to live in a place where that particular part of the "women are lesser" idea never took root.

What place is that? I would like to go to there, please.

Canada.  Northern Alberta, specifically.  Sexism certainly exists - but it doesn't have that religio-moral component to it.  And if a woman can perform at the same level as a man, no one gives a crap that she's a woman.

That is a little more prevalent in the states than you make it sound by saying "that hasn't changed much" from the times of the Salem witch burnings.  Just a tad disingenuous.

It's not nice to come into the middle of a conversation and pretend you know what's being discussed, based on the last few words.  Now, hush.  Grown-ups are talking.


That's how pretty much all of the internet works.  Nobody has the time to read ALL of the comments and track all of the conversations and try to understand people's entire position.  They read a few comments, either near the top or near the bottom, see something they agree with/disagree with and hit reply.
 
2014-03-02 03:00:10 PM  

cynicalbastard: And for the last time NOBODY was burned in the Salem Witch Trials. Or executions. They were hanged with one exception who was pressed to death- burning may have been quicker. Unless your ancestor accidentally broke a lamp while trying to read out court records, if you say your ancestor was burned at the stake in Salem you're just another kook who thinks 10 million people were somehow killed in the European Witch Trials and 99.9 per cent of the records magically disappeared, and you believe talking to your pet cat, rat, or hamster makes you a psychic.


I agree with most of that; but, no one is really sure how many women got executed for witchcraft in Europe over the centuries. There are records of witch trials that predate Christianity. If the actual figure isn't in the millions of women; it's in the hundreds of thousands. Hell, the Spanish Inquisition got at least a hundred thousand by itself.
 
2014-03-02 03:02:04 PM  
www.rubberduckface.com
 
2014-03-02 03:05:10 PM  

Private_Citizen: Oblio13: "Having taken the suspected Witch, shee is placed in the middle of a room upon a stool, or Table, crosse legg'd, or in some other uneasie posture, to which if she submits not, she is then bound with cords, there is she watcht & kept without meat or sleep for the space of 24 hours. For (they say) within that time they shall see her Impe come and suck; a little hole is likewise made in the door for the Impe to come in at: and lest it might come in some lesse discernible shape, they that watch are taught to be ever & anon sweeping the room, and if they see any spiders or flyes, to kill them. And if they cannot kill them, then they may be sure they are her Impes."

- John Gaule, describing a test used by Witchfinders, 1646

Stress positions, sleep deprivation, and constant watching and harassment? Sounds like the test we now use to see if a Brown person is a terrorist.


Chill out, man
 
2014-03-02 03:08:10 PM  
FTA: 12. YOU HAVE EXHIBITED "STUBBORN," "STRANGE," OR "FORWARD BEHAVIOR"

Well, I'm boned.
 
2014-03-02 03:11:38 PM  
static4.wikia.nocookie.net

I declareth this log to be a witch! And if you disagree with me'eth, you're a witch! - eth
 
2014-03-02 03:30:27 PM  

Private_Citizen: Oblio13: "Having taken the suspected Witch, shee is placed in the middle of a room upon a stool, or Table, crosse legg'd, or in some other uneasie posture, to which if she submits not, she is then bound with cords, there is she watcht & kept without meat or sleep for the space of 24 hours. For (they say) within that time they shall see her Impe come and suck; a little hole is likewise made in the door for the Impe to come in at: and lest it might come in some lesse discernible shape, they that watch are taught to be ever & anon sweeping the room, and if they see any spiders or flyes, to kill them. And if they cannot kill them, then they may be sure they are her Impes."

- John Gaule, describing a test used by Witchfinders, 1646

Stress positions, sleep deprivation, and constant watching and harassment? Sounds like the test we now use to see if a Brown person is a terrorist.


upload.wikimedia.org

She's a witch! Burn her!
 
2014-03-02 03:31:34 PM  

iheartscotch: Pretty much anybody who got accused was toast. I'm not familiar with any cases where the accused was found innocent. A few people never confessed their witchery; they just got tortured to death. One guy was even crushed in a questioning technique called "pressing". They put stones on your chest till you talked. If memory serves; the whole thing was set into motion by a group of young girls.


Giles Corey (sp?) The last time they asked him to confess before he died from being crushed to death he replied MORE STONES.


Confessing would save you from being tortured to death but the church would collect your entire estate if you confessed and your entire family would be outcasts. So there was good reason not to confess.

Then just as now follow the money.
 
2014-03-02 03:38:13 PM  

iheartscotch: Fark_Guy_Rob: Slightly less trolly question - but weren't these trials and prosecutions far more common in the EU?  It seems like history remembers the Salem witch trials, but I thought they were commonplace for a few hundred years prior.

Yes, Europe was much worse. There were various inquisitions and witch hunts. There was even a book for witch hunters, the Malleus Maleficarum, it takes second place to the bible as the most blood soaked book in history. There were, at least, 10's of thousands of accused witches burned, impaled, drowned, ect over the centuries. Most sources disagree about the actual number.

/ one of the most famous European "witch" to burn was Joan De Arc


The Bible and the Malleus have NOTHING on the Communist Manifesto and Mao's little red book for being the bloodiest.
 
2014-03-02 04:13:59 PM  

Oldiron_79: iheartscotch: Fark_Guy_Rob: Slightly less trolly question - but weren't these trials and prosecutions far more common in the EU?  It seems like history remembers the Salem witch trials, but I thought they were commonplace for a few hundred years prior.

Yes, Europe was much worse. There were various inquisitions and witch hunts. There was even a book for witch hunters, the Malleus Maleficarum, it takes second place to the bible as the most blood soaked book in history. There were, at least, 10's of thousands of accused witches burned, impaled, drowned, ect over the centuries. Most sources disagree about the actual number.

/ one of the most famous European "witch" to burn was Joan De Arc

The Bible and the Malleus have NOTHING on the Communist Manifesto and Mao's little red book for being the bloodiest.


There is an argument to be made for the Communist Manifesto and Mao's Little Red Book.

But, the Bible and Malleus have been around a lot longer. How many people died in the various wars, inquisitions, crusades? How many nations did the Israelites fight in the bible? How many cannanites were put to the sword when the Israelites took the promised land? How many suicide bombers? How many terrorists? How many died in the 7 day war? How many in the Holocaust? A lot of misery and death has been caused, either directly or indirectly, by the words of Jesus, his apostles and the prophets.

/ I'd say that the Bible is number one on the blood soaked list; Malleus might be anywhere from two to five; I'd say that the Communist Manifesto is defiantly in the top 10, if not the top 5. And the same of Mao's Little Red Book
 
2014-03-02 04:22:08 PM  
mentalfloss.com

I don't want to alarm anyone but that girl in the middle is actually a witch. Look at her eyes!
 
2014-03-02 04:24:21 PM  
Be interesting to compare the rates of "accused witches in Colonial America not dying" versus "accused felons in 21st century America not doing jail time."

I'm willing to bet you had a better chance beating the witch rap than you do of beating the DA. Which considering the DA's evidence will be based on perjury and pseudoscience, is not that great.
 
2014-03-02 04:41:15 PM  

Slaxl: [mentalfloss.com image 620x424]

I don't want to alarm anyone but that girl in the middle is actually a witch. Look at her eyes!


That's not the word I'd use for it.
 
2014-03-02 04:41:34 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: omeganuepsilon: Benevolent Misanthrope: Needlessly Complicated: Benevolent Misanthrope: 1. Be a woman.

Aaaaaaand, we're done. Women are the Debbil and deserve anything that happens to them. That hasn't changed much in the US. You have no idea how refreshing it is to live in a place where that particular part of the "women are lesser" idea never took root.

What place is that? I would like to go to there, please.

Canada.  Northern Alberta, specifically.  Sexism certainly exists - but it doesn't have that religio-moral component to it.  And if a woman can perform at the same level as a man, no one gives a crap that she's a woman.

That is a little more prevalent in the states than you make it sound by saying "that hasn't changed much" from the times of the Salem witch burnings.  Just a tad disingenuous.

It's not nice to come into the middle of a conversation and pretend you know what's being discussed, based on the last few words.  Now, hush.  Grown-ups are talking.


1. The thread is here for all to see and to be read in sequence.
2.  The "conversation", as quoted, is in it's entirety.  It is neither long nor complicated.
3. Your initial post, about how not much has changed(the point of contention), was at the very beginning of the thread.

So you got called out as being a dick, and now you're being condescending about how I didn't get it?  My you're full of yourself.

Welcome to fark, I suppose.
 
2014-03-02 04:42:45 PM  
Looks like over the course of 1 summer, 25 people were executed or died in prison for witchcraft.  Your typical Chicago urban youth probably has worse odds of surviving a summer than your typical female in Salem in the 17th century.
 
2014-03-02 04:51:59 PM  

Mr. Right: 14. Butter or milk has spoiled in your fridge

Exactly how many fridges were around in 1692?

Demonstrative of exactly the kind of journalistic integrity and precision one expects from mentalfloss


First of all, if you'd bothered to pay attention in any sort of reading comprehension lessons, you would notice that they are relating the witchcraft standards of "evidence" of the past to people in the present. The very title of the article is "17 Signs That You'd Qualify As A Witch In 1692" Not "17 signs that qualified a person as a witch in 1692" Where else would a modern person such as You keep their dairy products?

Second, Mental Floss doesn't present itself as journalism or news. They are a personal interest magazine, not a news magazine.
 
2014-03-02 05:04:10 PM  

omeganuepsilon: Benevolent Misanthrope: omeganuepsilon: Benevolent Misanthrope: Needlessly Complicated: Benevolent Misanthrope: 1. Be a woman.

Aaaaaaand, we're done. Women are the Debbil and deserve anything that happens to them. That hasn't changed much in the US. You have no idea how refreshing it is to live in a place where that particular part of the "women are lesser" idea never took root.

What place is that? I would like to go to there, please.

Canada.  Northern Alberta, specifically.  Sexism certainly exists - but it doesn't have that religio-moral component to it.  And if a woman can perform at the same level as a man, no one gives a crap that she's a woman.

That is a little more prevalent in the states than you make it sound by saying "that hasn't changed much" from the times of the Salem witch burnings.  Just a tad disingenuous.

It's not nice to come into the middle of a conversation and pretend you know what's being discussed, based on the last few words.  Now, hush.  Grown-ups are talking.

1. The thread is here for all to see and to be read in sequence.
2.  The "conversation", as quoted, is in it's entirety.  It is neither long nor complicated.
3. Your initial post, about how not much has changed(the point of contention), was at the very beginning of the thread.

So you got called out as being a dick, and now you're being condescending about how I didn't get it?  My you're full of yourself.

Welcome to fark, I suppose.


That's your fault for caller out her exaggerations. Next up, accusations that you're doing that because of sexism. Obviously, we men are never argumentative to each other here.
 
2014-03-02 05:07:00 PM  
Oh, you poor, poor, oppressed men.  Maybe you should go find your strong women to protect you.
 
2014-03-02 05:10:37 PM  

F42: About as much chance as someone today accused of terrorism.


We're much more enlightened and civilized today. People have a right to legal counsel and a fair trial. It's not like people accused of terrorism can be tortured, held indefinitely without trial, or be executed via drone strike on nothing more than the word of the president. No, these days we rely on rational thought and the rule of law to govern our lives, rather than the irrational fear of the unknown.
 
2014-03-02 05:24:36 PM  

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: vudukungfu: All women weight more than a duck, cursemitter.

You sound like you don't know the earth is banana shaped.


So the very Earth itself is the atheist's worst nightmare?

MIND.... BLOWN.
 
2014-03-02 05:30:47 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Oh, you poor, poor, oppressed men.  Maybe you should go find your strong women to protect you.


Wow.

Tell us how you really feel. No need to be coy here.  Your irrational appeal to spite is just the ticket to give credit to whatever cause you're trying to champion here.

browntimmy: Obviously, we men are never argumentative to each other here.


On fark?  NEVAR!
 
2014-03-02 05:36:58 PM  

maniacalclown: Speaking of Europe, my European History textbook from back in high school heavily implied that one of the supposed signs a woman was a witch was the ability to have multiple orgasms without a refractory period.


Yeah, i'm definitely toast then...

/no biggie, i've lived a pretty fun and orgasm heavy life. Could die tomorrow and i'd be happy to go
 
2014-03-02 06:12:51 PM  
Miley Cyrus wouldn't last 10 seconds in 1692 with her twerking and whatnot.  They'd probably burn her twice just to make sure.

/that cretin is the debbil.  Beliebe it.
 
2014-03-02 06:45:32 PM  
CSS---

I descend  from a woman named Mary Barker who was accused of witchcraft during the 1692 hysteria. She was found not guilty. However her trial transcripts are quite fascinating:

                    http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/texts/tei/BoySal1R?div_id=n8

I've been in touch with some of my distant relatives and  I find it  amusing  that quite a few of us are either agnostic / atheist  or practice "Ye Olde Wayes"

/ CSS
                       The irony of Salem was that it was christians accusing other christians of witchcraft.
 
2014-03-02 09:31:40 PM  

Weaver95: Tiiba: I know obesity is a modern problem, but was it really this bad back then?

In some communities it was, yes. These days being outed as a witch can cost you your job but that's about it. I keep the whole pagan thing on the minimum when I'm at work. Ill argue someone to death about politics and religion but not while I'm on the clock. I have far too much to do these days and not nearly enough time to get it done!


No, that's not what I meant. I meant weighing less than a duck.
 
2014-03-02 10:43:35 PM  
The Salem witch trials ended up killing less than 20 people.

/pagan like typing detected
 
2014-03-02 11:30:14 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: Benevolent Misanthrope: omeganuepsilon: Benevolent Misanthrope: Needlessly Complicated: Benevolent Misanthrope: 1. Be a woman.

Aaaaaaand, we're done. Women are the Debbil and deserve anything that happens to them. That hasn't changed much in the US. You have no idea how refreshing it is to live in a place where that particular part of the "women are lesser" idea never took root.

What place is that? I would like to go to there, please.

Canada.  Northern Alberta, specifically.  Sexism certainly exists - but it doesn't have that religio-moral component to it.  And if a woman can perform at the same level as a man, no one gives a crap that she's a woman.

That is a little more prevalent in the states than you make it sound by saying "that hasn't changed much" from the times of the Salem witch burnings.  Just a tad disingenuous.

It's not nice to come into the middle of a conversation and pretend you know what's being discussed, based on the last few words.  Now, hush.  Grown-ups are talking.

That's how pretty much all of the internet works.  Nobody has the time to read ALL of the comments and track all of the conversations and try to understand people's entire position.  They read a few comments, either near the top or near the bottom, see something they agree with/disagree with and hit reply.



Eh.  When I participate in a thread, I usually end up reading the entire thread.  There are a few folks who I have farkied in red whose posts I may skim over or skip entirely if the thread is especially long, but generally speaking I read pretty much the whole thing.
 
2014-03-03 12:02:38 AM  

browntimmy: omeganuepsilon: Benevolent Misanthrope: omeganuepsilon: Benevolent Misanthrope: Needlessly Complicated: Benevolent Misanthrope: 1. Be a woman.

Aaaaaaand, we're done. Women are the Debbil and deserve anything that happens to them. That hasn't changed much in the US. You have no idea how refreshing it is to live in a place where that particular part of the "women are lesser" idea never took root.

What place is that? I would like to go to there, please.

Canada.  Northern Alberta, specifically.  Sexism certainly exists - but it doesn't have that religio-moral component to it.  And if a woman can perform at the same level as a man, no one gives a crap that she's a woman.

That is a little more prevalent in the states than you make it sound by saying "that hasn't changed much" from the times of the Salem witch burnings.  Just a tad disingenuous.

It's not nice to come into the middle of a conversation and pretend you know what's being discussed, based on the last few words.  Now, hush.  Grown-ups are talking.

1. The thread is here for all to see and to be read in sequence.
2.  The "conversation", as quoted, is in it's entirety.  It is neither long nor complicated.
3. Your initial post, about how not much has changed(the point of contention), was at the very beginning of the thread.

So you got called out as being a dick, and now you're being condescending about how I didn't get it?  My you're full of yourself.

Welcome to fark, I suppose.

That's your fault for caller out her exaggerations. Next up, accusations that you're doing that because of sexism. Obviously, we men are never argumentative to each other here.


Maybe not, but some of you sure are whiny crybabies.

"BOO-HOO-HOO!  A woman was mean to me on the Internet!"
 
2014-03-03 12:22:35 AM  

ciberido: browntimmy: omeganuepsilon: Benevolent Misanthrope: omeganuepsilon: Benevolent Misanthrope: Needlessly Complicated: Benevolent Misanthrope: 1. Be a woman.

Aaaaaaand, we're done. Women are the Debbil and deserve anything that happens to them. That hasn't changed much in the US. You have no idea how refreshing it is to live in a place where that particular part of the "women are lesser" idea never took root.

What place is that? I would like to go to there, please.

Canada.  Northern Alberta, specifically.  Sexism certainly exists - but it doesn't have that religio-moral component to it.  And if a woman can perform at the same level as a man, no one gives a crap that she's a woman.

That is a little more prevalent in the states than you make it sound by saying "that hasn't changed much" from the times of the Salem witch burnings.  Just a tad disingenuous.

It's not nice to come into the middle of a conversation and pretend you know what's being discussed, based on the last few words.  Now, hush.  Grown-ups are talking.

1. The thread is here for all to see and to be read in sequence.
2.  The "conversation", as quoted, is in it's entirety.  It is neither long nor complicated.
3. Your initial post, about how not much has changed(the point of contention), was at the very beginning of the thread.

So you got called out as being a dick, and now you're being condescending about how I didn't get it?  My you're full of yourself.

Welcome to fark, I suppose.

That's your fault for caller out her exaggerations. Next up, accusations that you're doing that because of sexism. Obviously, we men are never argumentative to each other here.

Maybe not, but some of you sure are whiny crybabies.

"BOO-HOO-HOO!  A woman was mean to me on the Internet!"


Who's whining? Young liberal women are fast becoming an even more annoying group than neo-cons.
 
2014-03-03 04:52:51 AM  

iheartscotch: cynicalbastard: And for the last time NOBODY was burned in the Salem Witch Trials. Or executions. They were hanged with one exception who was pressed to death- burning may have been quicker. Unless your ancestor accidentally broke a lamp while trying to read out court records, if you say your ancestor was burned at the stake in Salem you're just another kook who thinks 10 million people were somehow killed in the European Witch Trials and 99.9 per cent of the records magically disappeared, and you believe talking to your pet cat, rat, or hamster makes you a psychic.

I agree with most of that; but, no one is really sure how many women got executed for witchcraft in Europe over the centuries. There are records of witch trials that predate Christianity. If the actual figure isn't in the millions of women; it's in the hundreds of thousands. Hell, the Spanish Inquisition got at least a hundred thousand by itself.


For one thing, the Spanish inquisition was not directed against witchcraft- in fact, they hated the time required to investigate those. It took time out from their main focus which was directed against Jews and Moors. For another, the figure of 100,000 is only roughly accurate if you are speaking of total numbers of cases brought before the Inquisition. Actual executions were a minority, and a fairly small one at that- best estimates is about 5,000 total. Still nasty, but no Holocaust.
As for Witch trials, excellent research has been done. One good bit of research is Recent Developments in the Study of The Great European Witch Hunt, by Jenny Gibbons. As for pre-Christian Witch Trials, it would be pretty difficult to lay that burden on the evil monotheist/male establishment, as they were more of a "thing" in the hinterlands of Pagan Europe, mainly because pagan folks actually believed in that crap, and both men and women could be accused and killed usually without benefit of trial. In fact, the whole witchcraft hysteria thing seems to have been one of those things like Easter eggs and Christmas celebrations in winter that got passed on from the pagans to the Christian.
 
2014-03-03 08:35:14 AM  
Still waiting for Christians to apologize for this shiat.
 
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