Fri 9 Jan, 2009 08:02 am
Are still going on today.
Sometimes it really blows my mind that people honestly believe that witch hunts only resulted in a few 'hundred' deaths.
Lets talk more along the lines of millions over hundreds of years.
Its still happening today -
I doubt a claim that millions were killed in witch hunts, but certainly there were tens of thousands killed after the Protestant Reformation. Witch hunts were the dirty little secret of the Protestants, who succeeded in their publicity campaign to blacken the reputation of Catholics by exaggerated tales of the cruelty and murders of the Inquisition, while tens of thousands of people (mostly women, and most elderly) were slaughtered based on superstition.
It does not at all surprise me, unfortunately, to think that it still goes on.
It's still also happens in some African countries. It's really just a front for someone's jealously, greed, self-righteousness or hurt. I agree with Setanta that it was probably not millions, even with the executions taking place over a few centuries. There is solid evidence for about 40,000 deaths (trail or village records) and probably an additional few thousand that were more like lynchings. I'm not that familiar with the Reformation to give numbers, but I accept what Setanta states. I can almost understand it happening 300 + years ago, but the fact that it's still going on in the 21st century is shocking. Of course, just recently a 14 year old girl was accused of adultery (she was raped) and stoned to death. Humans are pathetic.
Superstition can be deadly!
That is one of the reasons I often argue against religion in these forums.
Look, it's simple. If she drowns, she was clean; and if she floats, we burn her at the stake.
What's the big deal?
Exactly! That always amused me.
I agree, Frank, but when there is no superstition involved we just use different names like Commie, traitor or terrorist. Stalin, Hitler, McCarthy, etc. didn't need religion to do their dirty work- they just plugged into people's greed and fears.
Basis for the current problem in rural Papua New Guinea (from the CNN link):
In recent years, as AIDS has taken a toll in the nation of 6.7 million people, villagers have blamed suspected witches -- and not the virus -- for the deaths.
I doubt a claim that millions were killed in witch hunts, but certainly there were tens of thousands killed after the Protestant Reformation.
Are you limiting statistics to Western cultures, Setanta? There are many other world cultures with traditions of killing suspected witches.
Yeh, like the Irish for instance.
Im not saying that the initial "big witch hunt" ( for lack of better words) killed millions.
Im talking about millions of people over time.
Hundreds of thousands in a hundred years can equal a million. easily.
Especially since most of those killed for being a witch were not required to be proven.. just some back woods country city killing to kill.
Yes. I think millions is a correct answer.... just not a million at once..
I am limiting statistics to the statistics we have. If, for example, someone in Papua-New Guinea has a set of historical records to which to refer, it might be reasonable to add those numbers to the ones we have for Europe and North America. It would be well to recall, however, when estimating the prevalence of such witch frenzies in Papua New Guinea that until very recently in the history of that island, there were few stress factors, because there were no cities, and the culture was tribal, and the tribes were largely isolated geographically, one from the other--and this is still true. Within the last 20 years, Australian researchers in the field encountered a tribe which has never been known to be in contact with any other humans outside their valley--and their "legends" seem to suggest that they have been "alone" for as far back as their cultural memory stretches.
If for no other reason, witch hunt frenzies are likely to have been limited in history by the sparse population density which obtained until quite recently in human history.
Well, you don't convince me, Wolf Woman. The tens of thousands who were known or who are suspected to have been killed in Europe and North America, for example, represent to the total over a period of several hundred years. I know of no one who reasonably claims that hundreds of thousands have died in any one year, or any one decade, or that as many as a hundred thousand died from witch hunts in Europe and North America in all of their history.
If you want to speculate about pre-history, then that is just what you will be doing, speculating, and speculating freely, with absolutely no plausible basis for your estimation.
Oh no.. Im not trying to convince anyone, or argue stats.
I see the statistics and news coverage in front of me.
I just dont agree with it and I dont believe we know all we can about this . I truly think that this is a much deeper rooted problem then most believe and sadly it has the 'witch hunt' title slapped on to it.
When i think about the situation, and people dying for their religion or abilities ( witch doctors, herbalists etc) I think in more of a broad spectrum.
I think of the term witch hunt to mean any human killed for their belief no matter what it is . Granted.. I lean more to and do more research in the name of women being killed for being witches... but I really do include many more under that umbrella.
hard to 'splain whats in my head..
As far as non-western cultures are concerned, anthropologists gather statistics from oral family histories. Shewolf's CNN link gives an example of this:
Emory University anthropology professor Bruce Knauft, who lived in a village in the western province of Papua New Guinea in the early 1980s, traced family histories for 42 years and found that one in three adult deaths were homicides -- "the bulk of these being collective killings of suspected sorcerers," he wrote in his book, "From Primitive to Postcolonial in Melanesia and Anthropology."
I am aware of that, Wandel, and i did read the linked article. I will point out once again the the situation of social pressures was not the same in Papua New Guinea even fifty years ago as it is today, never mind what it was hundreds of years ago. In the 16th, 17th and early 18th centuries when witch hunts were going on in Europe and North America, i rather doubt that there was very much of this going on on the island of New Guinea, simply because of lack of any meaningful population density.
I wonder whether these people are killed because they are thought to be witches
or because they are thought to be witches who have used supernatural powers
for evil. In other words, maybe just being thought a witch would not necessarily
get you killed.
In witch hunts such as that in Salem, witchcraft itself was the crime. Could it be
that in some societies witchcraft is only evil if used in an evil way.
Just thinking out loud.
from the mail online
Palin under fire over African pastor friend who waged witch-hunt against woman he believed caused car crashes
By PAUL THOMPSON
Last updated at 10:40 AM on 18th September 2008
Vice presidential pick Sarah Palin is known for her strident views on religion and the power of prayer.
But her credibility is once again being questioned after an African pastor she credits with helping her political career was revealed to have waged a witch-hunt against a woman who was said to cause car crashes with her "demonic spells."
In June, Palin told how a visiting pastor from Kenya had foretold she was destined for greater things.
She told other members of the Assembly of God church in her home town of Wasilla, Alaska, that Thomas Muthee had laid his hands on her head and prayed over her when they met in 2005.
After what the 44-year-old described as his "awesome" prayer she went on to become Alaska's first governor.
Recalling the event, Palin said “As I was mayor and Pastor Muthee was here and he was praying over me, and you know how he speaks and he’s so bold.
"And he was praying “Lord make a way, Lord make a way.
“And I’m thinking, this guy’s really bold, he doesn’t even know what I’m going to do, he doesn’t know what my plans are.
"And he’s praying not “oh Lord if it be your will may she become governor,” no, he just prayed for it.
"He said “Lord make a way and let her do this next step. And that’s exactly what happened.”
Muthee had visited her church in Alaska in his role as the founder of the Word of Faith Church, also known as the Prayer Cave.
But it has now emerged that he was once involved in driving out a woman from her home who local villagers believed was a witch.
The pastor speaks of his offensive against a demonic presence in the town of Kiambu in a trailer for a evangelical video “Transformations”, made by a Christian research and information agency.
The full Transformations video featuring Muthee’s story was on YouTube but has now been removed.
Details of what happened were reported at the time in the Christian Science Monitor, as well as on numerous evangelical websites.
According to the Monitor, six months of prayer and research identified the source of the witchcraft as a local woman called Mama Jane.
Her alleged involvement in fortune-telling and the fact that she lived near the site of a number of fatal car accidents led Pastor Muthee to publicly brand her a witch.
He ordered her to offer her up her soul for salvation or leave Kiambu.
“Muthee held a crusade that 'brought about 200 people to Christ'”, the Monitor said.
They set up round-the-clock prayer intercession and eventually, says the pastor “the demonic influence was broken”, and Mama Jane fled the town.
According to accounts of the witch-hunt circulated on evangelical websites, after Mutheee spoke out against Mama Jane many villagers demanded she be stoned.
Police raided her home and shot a pet python which was believed to be a demon.
Muthee,who said he became a pastor after "God spoke" to him in 1989, has frequently referred to this witch-hunt in his sermons as an example of the power of “spiritual warfare”.
always remember, some nuts wanted this woman to be a heart beat, or lack of one, from being president
I can not believe people buy into that crap.
Well.. I CAN actually.. I shouldnt say that.
Maybe I should try out this witch craft stuff if it will give me the power to start a car accident. Sheesh.
Better yet - you could become Governor of Alaska!