Friday, October 07, 2005

Don't throw lemons around in India...

HYDERABAD, India (AP) - Indian police arrested 67 women on Wednesday after a mob killed a barber suspected of practising black magic, an official said. Dozens more women were being sought by authorities.

The arrests came after the mob of about 150 women from the south Indian village of Muddireddypalli attacked the shop of a barber named Parvathalu on Tuesday, beating him and locking him inside before setting the building on fire, said C. Satyanarayana, a district official.

The villagers suspected he was practising black magic and held him responsible for the large number of deaths in the village in the past year, he said.

The attack was prompted by the death of another woman earlier this week, the official said.

The barber was suspected of sorcery because "he was seen throwing lemons here and there," Satyanarayana said.

He gave no details, but many villagers in this part of India believe lemons are used in black magic.

There is a modern myth that witch hunts presumed to take place in the Dark Ages represent why Christianity is wrong, superstitious or part of the Dark Ages. It is a myth because historical facts demonstrate that witch hunts decreased under the influence of Christianity, even under the deformed Christianity of the Inquisition. So as the Inquisition took control, the amount of witch hunting decreased. The modern mind has been so shaped by propaganda with respect to the Dark Ages and then the great Enlightenment that simple historical facts go against its grain.

At any rate, the story above is the same old story about women getting hysterical and hysteria becoming the motivation for superstition. Mentioning a gendered pattern with respect to feminine hysteria goes against some current emotional conditioning and propaganda but the simple fact is, sometimes women get hysterical and men either stand by or join in. The evil that women tend to is different from the evil that men tend to.

Some history:
If the witches are the tragic heroines of the story of witch-hunting, the villain of the piece is the church, often appearing in the guise of the Inquisition. We are told that throughout Europe priests and Puritans alike sought out women to torture and execute. “The church of Rome. . . strained every nerve to stimulate the persecutions,” and “the zeal of the ecclesiastics was unflagging. In fact, recent research has shown that far from “stimulating the persecutions,” the church, whether Catholic or Protestant, often had a moderating effect. If we recall the social context of prosecutions, this becomes less surprising than it appears at first sight.

Witches did not usually face the bizarre accusations beloved of the orthodox story. Rather than congress with demons, naked dancing or broomstick flying, the charges were more likely to concern ordinary village life: the failure of crops, missing clothes and commonplace jealousies. As a result, most prosecutions were lay, not religious, initiated not by “ecclesiastics” concerned with esoteric issues of theology but by women worried about their families.

The Roman Catholic Church and the Inquisition.

Carl Sagan’s picture of the Inquisition going from village to village in its hunt for elderly women has become less popular among scholars as the role of native villagers and lay authorities has been uncovered....

(Six Modern Myths About
Christianity & Western Civilization
By Philip J. Sampson :138)

If you ever converse with a Wiccan they may mention the Burning Times. That is a postmodernist myth overlayed on the various modernist myths written by progressives like Sagan. Ironically, it would seem that if anything causes people to get burned to death it is the superstition and hysterical babeling that comes about when Wisdom is changed to Wicca. Yet most Wiccans seem to believe a story about the past extrapolated in limitless ways from sensationalistic and exceptional cases in history that are treated as some sort of historical norm. (Although apparently some reject the myths.)

Anyway, don't go throwing lemons around in India...

(Related posts: Witch Hunt)

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