Jump to content

Salem Witch Trials


Dark Phoenix

Recommended Posts

Greetings all,

 

I was just wondering what were your thoughts on the Salem Witch Trials? Were the accounts and accusations correct to assume the women accused and executed were in fact Witches? Or were the Puritans too fanatical and paranoid that they made up the false accusations?

 

Thanks

Joe :cool:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest PathWalker

Well historically based... there was no way they really could know if they were executing an innocent or a Witch due to the tortures... if they were killed, they were killed, there was no way to live. Once you were accused, it was a death sentence...

 

I honestly believe there were some Witches but more innocents than anything... Yes, I do believe the Puritans were freaking Holy-Rolling, Bible-Thumping, Idiotic Fanatics who had their heads up their preachers' arses... Sorry about being crude on that one...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest PathWalker

Well I'm an ex-Pentecostal... So I know how fun it is to bash X-tians... but I usually try to maintain the peace... when they don't bash me! Which isn't very often... LOL!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's very little evidence that any of the people executed at Salem (or any of the lucky ones that were accused and set free) were actually witches.

 

If anyone was, Tituba might have been -- but then again, she probably wouldn't have identified herself as one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Greetings all,

 

I was just wondering what were your thoughts on the Salem Witch Trials? Were the accounts and accusations correct to assume the women accused and executed were in fact Witches? Or were the Puritans too fanatical and paranoid that they made up the false accusations?

 

Thanks

Joe :cool:

 

some of them were just healers and such...many were just poor folk...much of the drama surrounidng that era is based on over bearing men who liked the sound of their voice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tituba was probably the only one who would have remotely qualified and only then because she had her native customs; which would have been perceived as witchcraft.

There is strong evidence that ergot was also a factor in the fervor aside from already being a fundie freak (bad combination there). Ergot has also been attributed to much of the fervor in Europe but that was only *one* factor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LOL! DOnt be sorry, I enjoy bashing Puritans lol.

Me too! lol

 

Well I'm an ex-Pentecostal... So I know how fun it is to bash X-tians... but I usually try to maintain the peace... when they don't bash me! Which isn't very often... LOL!

My soon-to be- ex-sister in law (thank goodness!!!) is Pentecostal, or her family is, rather.:eek: You oughta see the way her dad oggles my parent's big-screen tv. Freaks him out every time!:rolleyes:

 

I know how ya feel..Im an ex-Catholic :eek:

Ditto. My husband still is.:eek:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest 53rdspirit

Hello Dark Phoenix.

 

Christianity corrupts the mind (there should be such a bumper sticker, heh?).

 

Not to sound like I'm spitting nails as I speak, but I think that the witchmongers were just a lot of sexually frustrated sadistic religious fanatics perverting the faith, acting out sexual depravity and getting away with maim and murder in the name of their God. I think that most of the victims of the witch craze were Christian and merely beggars, old and solitary, or our version of modern-day street people with perhaps a few real "witches" sprinkled in. What horrors and indignations they had to endure. It saddens, sickens and angers me.

 

Christians ARE paranoid --their religion is based on fear.

 

Regards,

53

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A combination of events culminated in this tragic event.

- The Puritans rigid code of beliefs, which would allow no flexibility when confronted with evidence. In addition the fear of the Devil and his active attempts to thwart their creation of a Christian society. They were deeply afraid that the Devil roamed the woods and land around. (Interesting to remember that Salem was short for Jerusalem.) So the siege mentality was inherrent in the community to begin with.

- "Factions among Salem Village families and rivalry with nearby Salem Town combined with a recent small pox epidemic and the threat of attack by warring tribes created a fertile ground for fear and suspicion."

- The presence of Tituba, who was from an Arawak village in South America. Her practices were seen by the girls as forbidden and therefore all the more fascinating. In addition she baked a Witchcake in an attempt to cure Betty Parris of her afflictions.

- "There was a political division between the first Minister appointed to Salem Village in 1679, James Bayley and Samuel Parris, elected as minister in 1689. When the first accusations of witchcraft were voiced by the adolescent girls and throughout the entire event, the ministers exploited the bizarre behavior of the girls to bolster their waning leadership."

 

Arabi has rightly highlighted the recent research that points to ergot as a factor in witchcraft trials. Ergot is a fungus, which grows on wheat. It causes hallucinations and convulsions, symptoms which prompted people to assume spirit possession had taken place. Of course with modern pesticides this does not happen any more. Ergot poisoning may have caused the 'possession' of Betty Parris which began the hysteria of witchcraft, continuing with the antics of bored, frustrated teenage girls. Their very public fits, hysteria and afflictions served to absolve them of any culpability.

 

When the twenty-four deaths had rocked the conscience of this community, doubts began to settle in.

"Reverend John Hale said, 'It cannot be imagined that in a place of so much knowledge, so many in so small compass of land should abominably leap into the Devil's lap at once.'"

 

Check out this site:

http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/SALEM.HTM

The above points in quote marks were cut in from here. In particular the article, 'An account of events in Salem' by Douglas Linder is a very interesting read.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An interesting thing to keep in mind is that though the people who instigated the trials and who oversaw them were Christian, the majority of trials took place where the Church didn't have a lot of presence or power. Often, when the Church was more powerful in the area, individuals were set free and escaped a death sentence (particularly in the earlier years, when the official opinion of the Church was that to believe in witchcraft's existence was heresy).

 

A sad part about alot of the persecutions that took place is that it was the neighbors and locals that were doing them without a lot of oversight or say-so from any formal religious body.

 

This, however, changed later on after the publishing of the Malus Maleficarum -- the Church did get involved and did actively participate, but it was due to a sea change in the religious philosophy of Catholic and some Protestant churches.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes exactly....also this happened a very long time ago...education was for the most part very basic and these were all simple people, as they were in most parts of the world at that time.

 

They didn't know better...their world was very small, miniscule compared to practically anyone, anywhere nowadays. It was also very easy for people to be exploited by the so called town elders of the time.

 

Any thing happening outside the norm had to be the work of the devil, they didn't have any other explanation and it was a convenient one!

 

Just to add something....I am not a christian, nor have I ever been but my grandparents and theirs before them all were. Both my grandmothers used herbs and old remedies for healing....they were country folk with a small farm, and this was commonplace. They were also devout christians and really you would never hear rhem say a bad word about anyone.

 

Organised religion does have a lot to answer for...the great majority of the worlds wars has had something to do with religion...but there are many many good people out there, who are christian or whatever.

 

This has gone off topic but then so many threads do

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you read about the witch trials of salem, you will see that people were killed out of jealousy and greed for the most part. Only one woman , I believe, ever confessed to being a witch. In my opinion those who conducted the tests and investigations were nothing more than impotent little men that had nothing else to do with their sorry ass lives and persecute women. Those assholes wouldn't know a real witch if they fell over one in broad daylight. These morons were about as educated as a flea. Personally, I would curse the entire lines of the families for putting innocent people to death and believing the bullshit antics of two little girls. That is christianity for you--Puritan assholes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking of heresy, the church screwed up the meaning of that word. The word comes from the greek, meaning, school of thought. So people were killed for having a different school of thought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking of heresy, the church screwed up the meaning of that word. The word comes from the greek, meaning, school of thought. So people were killed for having a different school of thought.

 

Actually, they used the word correctly. Hertics were individuals that were members of the Church, but who held a different set of beleifs than the main stream Church. They were persecuted by the Church, because they represented a "threat from within." If someone was claiming to be a member, yet spouted unorthodox doctrine, they could lead others astray.

 

Here's what the Online Etymology Dicationary says about it:

heresy dictionary.gif "an opinion of private men different from that of the catholick and orthodox church" [Johnson], c.1225, from O.Fr. heresie, from L. h?resis, "school of thought, philosophical sect," used by Christian writers for "unorthodox sect or doctrine," from Gk. hairesis "a taking or choosing," from haireisthai "take, seize," middle voice of hairein "to choose," of unknown origin. The Gk. word was used in N.T. in ref. to the Sadducees, Pharisees, and even the Christians, as sects of Judaism, but in Eng. bibles it is usually translated sect. Meaning "religious belief opposed to the orthodox doctrines of the Church" evolved in L.L. in the Dark Ages. Heretic (c.1330) is ult. from Gk. hairetikos "able to choose," the verbal adj. of hairein

(I'm a sucker for word origins!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...