November 15th, 2017

Reflections: on witch trials

I was a strange child. When I was about ten or eleven years old I got hold of a book catalog for some mail-order house, right before Christmas. I’d never seen one before (this was way way before the internet existed, of course) and it seemed like a dream come true. I could ask people to give me books! Books that sounded interesting to me—not just books someone thought might be interesting to me, or books I was required to read for school (which up till that time had been uniformly and profoundly uninteresting to me).

One of the books I chose was this one:

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is an early study of crowd psychology by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, first published in 1841. The book chronicles its subjects in three parts: “National Delusions”, “Peculiar Follies”, and “Philosophical Delusions”.

I can’t say I understood every word, or close to it. But I still got the gist of it. Witch trials were touched on, and it seemed ghastly to me that such a thing had happened in so many places. A bit later I read more about our local witch trials in the Salem area—which happened as the movement in Europe was dying down. The colonies are often a bit behind the times.

We weren’t yet the USA back then. Massachusetts was a British colony, and the safeguards we have built into our judicial system to protect the innocent weren’t in operation. Reading about the Salem trials unnerved me and helped to engender a lifelong desire to resist the temptation to jump on a condemning bandwagon. Even then I had a skepticism about charges, and the knowledge that false charges (whether through outright lying or self-delusion) were not the least bit impossible and could be contagious.

Not for nothing is a prohibition against bearing false witness one of the Ten Commandments.

As I’ve gotten older, nothing has changed those feelings. If anything, they’ve only gotten stronger with incident after incident. False accusations are repulsive to me (and a constant possibility), and the willingness of so many people to jump on the bandwagon of belief without significant proof has horrified me. Whether it be accusations against bereaved parents such as the Ramseys, or the 9/11 Truthers who think Bush did it, or really any accusations at all not backed up by solid evidence, my default position is skepticism.

I believe I am quite consistent in this, particularly with political figures (for example, unlike many on the right, I’m not a believer in the “Bill Clinton is a rapist” story). And Roy Moore (despite my not being a fan of is) is no exception to the rule. I want to see authentication of his signature in that yearbook (although even if it’s authentic, it doesn’t mean the accuser’s story about what happened later is true). I want to hear when the yearbook came out, and if it really was the prior June I want to hear a plausible explanation of why the accuser had it with her that day in December. I want to hear from others who worked at that restaurant about what they remember. I also want to know the details of the questioning of some of the other accusers by the WaPo—how was the first contact with the paper made? Were their stories fully-fleshed out at the time? Was each person ignorant of the stories of the others, or were they told what others had said? And much more in that vein.

That’s the way I’m constructed, I guess. That’s my natural tendency. Sometimes, if I’m entertaining the thought that there might be past lives, I think maybe I was falsely accused in my last life. I’ve also been falsely accused in this life (of quite minor things, fortunately), but those accusations came after this aspect of my personality was set, not before.

I doubt we’ll ever learn whether Moore is actually guilty or not, because if he’s forced out of the running or if he’s defeated in the election we’ll probably never hear another thing from or about his accusers. That’s the way it often is. But his ultimate guilt or innocence is not the basis on which I resist judging him now as guilty or innocent. I’m not an Alabama voter and I don’t have to make a decision about voting for him. At this point I merely point out the lack of evidence against him, as well as its timing and antiquity, and the fact that any statements such as “women always tell the truth” or “women always lie” are absurd.

Speaking of evidence—in the Salem trials, something called “spectral evidence” was initially allowed:

Much, but not all, of the evidence used against the accused, was spectral evidence, or the testimony of the afflicted who claimed to see the apparition or the shape of the person who was allegedly afflicting them. The theological dispute that ensued about the use of this evidence was based on whether a person had to give permission to the Devil for his/her shape to be used to afflict. Opponents claimed that the Devil was able to use anyone’s shape to afflict people, but the Court contended that the Devil could not use a person’s shape without that person’s permission; therefore, when the afflicted claimed to see the apparition of a specific person, that was accepted as evidence that the accused had been complicit with the Devil…

Increase Mather and other ministers sent a letter to the Court, “The Return of Several Ministers Consulted”, urging the magistrates not to convict on spectral evidence alone. (The court later ruled that spectral evidence was inadmissible, which caused a dramatic reduction in the rate of convictions and may have hastened the end of the trials.)

Twenty people were executed (and five others died in prison) on spectral evidence and other “evidence” just as bizarre and unacceptable to us today. Later, they were exonerated:

In the decades following the trials, survivors and family members (and their supporters) sought to establish the innocence of the individuals who were convicted and to gain compensation. In the following centuries, the descendants of those unjustly accused and condemned have sought to honor their memories. Events in Salem and Danvers in 1992 were used to commemorate the trials. In November 2001, years after the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the trials, the Massachusetts legislature passed an act exonerating all who had been convicted and naming each of the innocent.

Actually, expressions of regret for the trials and the campaign to rehabilitate the reputations of the executed and accused began quite early:

John Hale, a minister in Beverly who was present at many of the proceedings, had completed his book, A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft in 1697…Expressing regret over the actions taken, Hale admitted, “Such was the darkness of that day, the tortures and lamentations of the afflicted, and the power of former presidents, that we walked in the clouds, and could not see our way.”…

Various petitions were filed between 1700 and 1703 with the Massachusetts government, demanding that the convictions be formally reversed…

Repentance was evident within the Salem Village church. Rev. Joseph Green and the members of the church voted on February 14, 1703, after nearly two months of consideration, to reverse the excommunication of Martha Corey. On August 25, 1706, when Ann Putnam Jr., one of the most active accusers, joined the Salem Village church, she publicly asked forgiveness. She claimed that she had not acted out of malice, but had been deluded by Satan into denouncing innocent people, mentioning Rebecca Nurse, in particular, and was accepted for full membership.

On October 17, 1711, the General Court passed a bill reversing the judgment against the twenty-two people listed in the 1709 petition (there were seven additional people who had been convicted but had not signed the petition, but there was no reversal of attainder for them). Two months later, on December 17, 1711, Governor Joseph Dudley authorized monetary compensation to the twenty-two people in the 1709 petition. The amount of £578 12s was authorized to be divided among the survivors and relatives of those accused, and most of the accounts were settled within a year…

However, nothing can change what happened to the actual people who were accused, tortured, and executed on the basis of what was either hysteria or illness, coupled with a legal system that did not protect the rights of the defendants.

29 Responses to “Reflections: on witch trials”

  1. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “unlike many on the right, I’m not a believer in the “Bill Clinton is a rapist” story).”

    It’s true that we can’t know for certain what happened with Juanita Broaddrick. What leads me to accept that Bill Clinton almost certainly did rape Broaddrick is her description of how he quelled her struggling; she claims that he grabbed her lower lip between his teeth and bit down just enough to frighten her without breaking the skin. Only a rapist who dismisses the humanity of his victim would know how effective that would be.

    That in turn leads me to accept that her fears and exhaustion led her to briefly deny that he’d raped her. Unless she’s a psychotic sociopath able to act that convincingly… I find her behavior in the past year or two to be consistent with someone who never fully got over that dehumanizing experience.

  2. AesopFan Says:

    An excellent post, and the Salem trials should always be the first thing we think of when another witch hunt is mobilized.

    McCarthy used to be my second example, but there is now quite a bit of evidence that he was correct on most of his major points, if lamentably overzealous and underhanded in pursuing them.

    I can think of a lot of miscarriages of justice through the failure to correctly evaluate evidence (if it was attempted at all), but are there any other cases that reached the same degree of notoriety?

    Leo Frank’s post-trial lynching was notorious in its day (1913), but probably is known only to a few people now. This is a good treatment of the story aimed at YA readers, which might help to inoculate some of them.

  3. neo-neocon Says:

    Geoffrey Britain:

    Your remarks on Broaddrick are the sort of thing I’m talking about—you are confusing veracity with having a good story.

    A fiction writer can write a great story, very believable. That doesn’t mean it’s true. In fact, it has little to do with whether it’s true. I could make up a very believable story about how you raped someone but that wouldn’t make it true.

    In addition, there’s a lot of other testimony from other people about Bill Clinton’s usual sexual m.o.. We actually have more info about his sexual patterns than we do about most people, celebrities or politicians or obscure people. Broaddrick’s story does not fit the pattern Bill had established. Plus, she told two completely different stories under oath, and in one of them she said it never happened. She definitely perjured herself when she was telling one of those stories.

    To the Salem audience, the girls’ stories were very believable, as well.

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    Geoffrey Britain:

    And about her later behavior—you really don’t seem to know too much about how people can delude themselves (or be unstable in various ways) without being psychotic sociopaths.

    Believe me, it’s not only possible, it’s quite common.

  5. AesopFan Says:

    The CBS story you linked contains some inconsistencies IMO, although I don’t know that they rise to the level of discrediting the accuser’s entire story.

    (1) odd behavior of the girl herself
    “I did nothing to encourage this behavior,” said Nelson, adding “I did not respond to any of Mr. Moore’s flirtatious behavior.”

    She said that at the time of the encounters she had a boyfriend and was “not interested in having a dating or sexual relationship with a man twice my age.”

    Nelson went on, describing another incident in which Moore signed a school yearbook of hers when she was 16.

    “He wrote in my yearbook as follows: ‘To a sweeter more beautiful girl, I could not say Merry Christmas, Christmas, 1977, Love, Roy Moore, Old Hickory House. Roy Moore, DA.'””

    Problem: if she did nothing to encourage him, and wasn’t interested in him, why did she ask him to sign the yearbook — or, if he asked her (and why would he?), why did she let him do it? And as I said on another thread, why keep this autograph without defacing it or writing some damaging epithet about the assault?
    (I think I would have at least added “sanctimonious SOB” in my yearbook, and probably something stronger.)

    (2) timing of the accusation
    “Nelson, according to a statement by Allred, was 15 and 16 years old at the time of the encounters with Moore.

    Allred said that Nelson kept her secret for more than 40 years out of fear of Moore and the power he had.

    Problem: Although Moore had some power (as a prosecutor, not DA) at the time and for about 4 years, he lost that power decisively, and then was gone from the area for a year sometime between 1984 and 1985.

    (Wiki) “Moore quit his prosecuting position to run as a Democrat for the county’s circuit-court judge seat in 1982. The election was bitter, with Moore alleging that cases were being delayed in exchange for payoffs. The allegations were never substantiated, and Moore overwhelmingly lost the Democratic runoff primary to fellow attorney Donald Stewart, … A second bar complaint against Moore followed, which was dismissed as unfounded. Moore left Gadsden shortly thereafter to live for a year in Australia.
    Moore returned to Gadsden again in 1985.
    He ran in 1986 for Etowah County’s district attorney position against fellow Democrat Jimmy Hedgspeth.He lost that election as well, and Moore returned to private practice in the city. In 1985, he married ..”

    SO Depending on what grade she was in in 1977-78, four more years of power would extend past graduation (did she go away anywhere to college or work?), so I can see not lodging a complaint at that time. However, after 1982, Moore was somewhat on-the-outs, and the power-brokers might have welcomed a reason to push him out even further. Wouldn’t one of those people who “knew” about his dating habits looked around for something they could hang him on then?
    She might have done something the year he was gone, but maybe just thought “good riddance”, or didn’t know.

    (3) climate of belief
    “According to Allred’s statement, Moore had allegedly told the accuser that “no one would believe her.””

    Problem: in 1977-1978, she most likely would not have been believed; we were pre-Bill-Clinton in those days, and much has changed in how we treat a rape accusation (going too far the other direction, so it seems).
    But other people did suspect he was hitting on HS girls; would she have ever thought one of them might believe her? And the episode at the mall (has it been verified?) looks like a prime time to find someone who would believe her story. (Again, if he had never approached her again, she might have just not wanted to open herself up to challenges at her age; I can accept that, but did she tell someone else then? It’s alleged she did tell some people but I don’t remember the timing.)

    (Wiki) “A former colleague who worked with Moore at the Etowah County District Attorney’s office from 1982 to 1985 stated, “It was common knowledge that Roy dated high school girls, everyone we knew thought it was weird […] We wondered why someone his age would hang out at high school football games and the mall”.On November 13, local former police officers and mall employees reported that Roy Moore had been banned from a mall in the early 1980s for attempting to pick up teenage girls.”

    Caveat: this is also a late statement, long after the time alleged, in a political fight where Moore is now playing for the other team. How much credence can we give an anonymous charge such as this?”

  6. Alex Says:

    McCarthy used to be my second example, but there is now quite a bit of evidence that he was correct on most of his major points

    Ugh. I don’t know how you can say that McCarthy was correct when one of his major points was that homosexuals were fundamentally untrustworthy and could not be allowed to work for the Federal government. The “Lavender Scare” that he began went on for literally decades (long after McCarthy himself was embarrassed off the public stage) and resulted in thousands of people being fired and having their personal lives exposed to the public in the process, not for being political subversives, but just for being gay.

  7. AesopFan Says:

    Back here I raised the similarities of Moore’s case and other political attacks,
    AesopFan Says:
    November 15th, 2017 at 11:11 am..
    This current iteration of Ordeal by Pundit is not unlike the Bush National Guard Memo case and the Swift Boat case: both dealt with political malfeasance and were internet and media duels of evidence and interpretation that eventually reached a bipolar consensus: Dems “lost” electorally, but have never accepted the “verdicts”, while the Right “won” and has.
    * * *
    Addressing the “due process inversion” (guilty until proven innocent) and “sentence first, verdict after” aspects, I wonder if we have not jettisoned trial by jury so much as we have extended it.
    With so many high-profile cases playing out over the media and internet, we have access to many things not available in a formal trial:
    (1) lots and lots of experts on lots and lots of things (National Guard memo) willing to debate each other and “prove” their contentions to the satisfaction of the “jury” – the entire public, not just 12 jurors.
    (2) anything and everything is out there; nothing relevant can be withheld on judge’s orders, and instructions to “disregard the witnesses statements” are unavailing (if any jurors ever did follow that instruction…).
    (3) witnesses are not limited to those called by either defense or prosecution (Swiftboat veterans), and can be antithetical to both, although I can’t think of a case off-hand.
    (4) the verdict (in a bench trial) and sentence are not at the whim of a single judge who has a personal ideology or political ax to grind; perhaps the prejudices of the entire public cancel out.

    I may think of some more later.
    We do have an advantage (??) over the Salem trials in that the examination is not limited in scope or location.

  8. TommyJay Says:

    Here is the thing that made the veracity of Broaddrick’s story seem true to me, and forgive my poor memory. There was an investigative reporter woman from ABC, or possibly NBC who dug deeper than any of the others at that time (that I’m aware of).

    Each of the stories, Clinton’s and Broaddrick’s had roughly a dozen or slightly more factual details, separate from what did or did not happen in that room on that day. The reporter did her best to verify those details. She was able determine the veracity of about half of those details in each story.

    All of Broaddrick’s details were correct. Most or all of Clinton’s details were found to be incorrect. This proves nothing about the alleged rape. But it certainly increases the probability that Clinton was spinning a yarn, and banking on a complicit or compliant press.

  9. AesopFan Says:

    Alex Says:
    November 15th, 2017 at 4:23 pm
    * * *

    I’m thinking only of the Communist infiltration of government and society. In fact, I was not even aware that homosexuality was at issue in his hearings; it did not form a part of the “cautionary tales” I was raised on.

    There seems to have been more than one witch-hunt going on; were there more than two?

    I am not totally ignorant, however, of the climate of the era, having some time past read “Coming Out Under Fire” about homosexuals serving in the military.
    It is plainly an advocacy treatise, but is also very educational and, I think, illuminating.

  10. neo-neocon Says:


    When people think of Joe McCarthy today and his major points, they do not think of homosexuals, they think of Communists. The campaign against homosexuals is far less well-known.

    By the way, one of the big reasons for that campaign was the idea that homosexuals were more likely to be compromised because they were subject to blackmail about their sexual habits. Back then, when homosexuality was considered a huge stigma, this was actually true, at least in theory. I have no idea whether it was actually studied and verified as a true phenomenon.

  11. neo-neocon Says:


    If I were going to make up a story about someone raping me, I’d be darn sure that the other details of my story were true, to increase my credibility.

    Clinton wouldn’t have reason to remember the details of the day, if he didn’t do it. Are you aware that Broaddrick’s allegations came twenty years after the supposed fact?:

    Juanita Broaddrick (born c. 1943) is an American former nursing home administrator. She alleged in 1999 that United States President Bill Clinton raped her in April 1978 when she was 35 years old and he was Arkansas Attorney General.

    In addition:

    In a sworn statement in 1997 with the placeholder name “Jane Doe #5,” Broaddrick filed an affidavit with Paula Jones’ lawyers stating there were unfounded rumors and stories circulating “that Mr. Clinton had made unwelcome sexual advances toward me in the late seventies… These allegations are untrue”.

    Nevertheless, speculation that Broaddrick had more to say on the matter persisted. Finally, in an interview with Dateline NBC that aired on February 24, 1999, Broaddrick told her story in public in full for the first time, this time stating that she had indeed been raped by Clinton.

    I wrote this comment in 2014, and I see no reason whatsoever to change my mind.

  12. Alex Says:

    For McCarthy, the anti-communist and anti-gay crusades were very much entangled, if not the exact same crusade. He famously said at one press conference, “If you want to be against McCarthy, boys, you’ve got to be either a Communist or a c***sucker.” During the period under President Truman during McCarthy’s original set of hearings, close to 500 State Department employees were purged because of allegations of homosexuality.

    Later, President Eisenhower’s Executive Order 10450, which formally charged the FBI with the task of rooting out disloyal Communist sympathizers in the government was the same EO that established “sexual perversion” as a disqualification for any government job, whether full-time or contractor. And as I said, this EO stayed in effect for decades, so the total number of gay people purged from the civil service ended up being far larger than the number of Communists who were purged, making the anti-gay stuff the largest effect of McCarthyism.

    There was a documentary called “The Lavender Scare” released a few years ago. You can see the trailer here:

  13. TommyJay Says:

    It would be extremely difficult for the average person to ascertain correct facts from twenty years ago, unless those facts were burned into your memory because that was the day you were raped.

    I think it is (was?) true that roughly half of rapes go unreported when they happen, and yes I was aware of the 20 year gap.

    It’s completely true that Clinton might not have any good recollection of that day. So don’t fabricate details you don’t remember!

    Ah, the affidavits! The Democrat party’s silver bullet. Has anyone ever served time for filing a false one?

    I don’t really care, because “what difference at this point does it make?” I just found this allegation to be moderately believable when all of the facts are considered.

    Back the primary point, the “delusions and madness of crowds.” While the witch trials are one of the biggest stories in that group, there are some other really interesting and quite different ones too. Perhaps they were in the book.

    The two that come to mind are the Tulip Bulb Mania, and Lysenkoism. The latter is a not so spontaneous example because it relied greatly on an Orwellian/authoritarian coercion to get the snowball rolling.

    A modern example might be the Bernie Madoff swindle, if you’re willing to call the moderately large number of investors a crowd. It was quite innovative in that it had a strong element of entry into an exclusive and elite club with some assuming that a certain country club membership would help them get in. And, instead of promising fabulous returns, the promise was one of good but reliable returns.

  14. steve walsh Says:

    I’ve been thinking of many of these events a lot lately too; the Salem (Village) Witch Trials, the Communist scare, and the Fells Acre Daycare trial and conviction.

    What I see happening is that people use these accusations to advance a political agenda. No one seems to want to punish Moore for his supposed harassing behavior, they simply want to use the accusations to defeat his candidacy for the Senate. Thus we are admonished to always believe the woman because a woman would never lie about such things.

    McConnell may not be piling on so as to hurt Moore’s chances of winning election, he may simply be trying to protect himself from charges of defending an accused serial harasser of women. I don’t believe that is the case but it is certainly plausible.

    Some (alleged) crimes are just too useful in defeating our political opponents for there to be adherence to the notion of innocent until proven guilty.

  15. parker Says:

    Way back when, homosexuals had to stay in the closet, especially those in certain professions, and most definitely positions involving national security. Why? Because they were targets for blackmail and possibly security risks. Not a fan of McCarthy’s tactics but I understand his motivations

    The blossoming of sexual assualt allegations is a double edged blaade. We have prominent women on the left scolding us about any doubts of any accusations of sexual assault or harassment. Except of course if it evovles Slick Willy, Biden, etc.

    But now, as Hollywood is outed as the sexual assault capitol and it starts to spread to DC, many are beginning how to seal tight the lid of Pandora’s box. I will have a third glass of wine tonight and enjoy the show.

  16. The Other Chuck Says:

    The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 may be the most famous, but there were others before them. The first witch hanged was Alse (Alice) Young in Windsor, Connecticut in 1647. Matthew Grant, “The Recorder” kept a diary of early sermons and hangings. Five others were put to death that year.

    In the notes compiled for publication of the diary, there are references to some of the early church sermons that may partly explain the source of the hysteria: “vissiable rebelles against Christ are satans subiects,” and “if a man parseueres in opposing the trueth it argues he is under the power of corruption,” and “of examnation and triall that we may heare discovver whether a hart standes to the trueth and carries to the trueth,” and “for the wrath of God is revlled from heaven against all ungodlynesse and unrighteousnesse.

    It seems the men of cloth were concerned with “visible rebels who are Satan’s subject,” having them “examined at trial,” so that they may face “the wrath of God.” The Salem witch hunts didn’t occur in a vacuum. In 1746 the Reverends Thomas Hooker and John Warham foreshadowed Cotton Mather by 45 years.

    The next wave of witch hangings was in Hartford in 1662. There were 7 trials and 4 hangings.

  17. parker Says:

    Superstition is what motivates mobs. Humans are prone to identify with a tribe. I am the same, I immediately distrust anyone who believes I should be disarmed, but I don’t want to burn them at the stake.

  18. The Other Chuck Says:

    Correction: 1646 not 1746

  19. Matthew Says:

    Speaking of Witch Hunts I was just listening to a podcast about the English Witch Hunts

  20. Retail Lawyer Says:

    I read Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds as an adult, mostly for the economic stories. (Highly recommend) But the Salem witchcraft stories were studied in elementary school, and they really stuck with me. I realized, in real time, they were happening again with the satanic children abuse trials, some of which were mentioned by Parker, above. I just could not believe this was happening in my country!. These trials were how Janet Reno came to national attention. That was why she was Bill Clinton’s 3rd choice for Attorney General. I recall Hillary recommended her after his first two picks, while of the correct gender, had problems with nanny taxes, as I recall. Reno was a spinster, so no nanny, no problems. And she loved children. Enough to build special safe space interrogation rooms where the children could be asked the same questions over and over until they got the answer correct.
    Just another reason to thank God every day that Hillary is not POTUS.

  21. Molly Brown Says:

    Amanda Knox.

  22. neo-neocon Says:

    Retail Lawyer:

    That was the early days of investigations of allegations of mass child abuse (with or without elements of satanic abuse). It was really the stone ages. There were different models of how to interview children. Therapists—traditional child therapists—were working not from a forensic model but from a therapeutic model in which the idea was to get the child to talk about things that had been repressed or suppressed. Therapists were used to doing things like leading the witness (except they didn’t conceptualize the child as a witness, because they weren’t working from a legal framework) that were a no-no in forensic interviewing. Police were traditionally more antagonistic and challenging. A lot of the early troubles (and Reno was around for this) were in trying to figure out a way to combine those two models in a way that didn’t traumatize children, at the same time it encouraged them to not just tell their “story,” but to tell the truth. Some of the children were as young as two and three.

    It really was a mess. The learning curve was very very steep, and it took a while to come up with the proper protocols for the interrogations. There were many miscarriages of justice and wrongful imprisonments, and the children were not served in a lot of the cases, too.

  23. AesopFan Says:

    Molly Brown Says:
    November 15th, 2017 at 9:45 pm
    Amanda Knox.
    * *
    Just read the Wikipedia entry. I remembered the case, but not all the details. Words are not adequate to the degree of incompetence and malevolence exhibited by the Italian prosecutors.

  24. n.n Says:

    Witch hunts have been recharacterized under liberal oversight. Today, they are looking for Islamophobes, homophobes, racists, sexists, anti-immigrants, etc. And witch hunts occur in trials by press in a court of public opinion, where there is a presumption of guilt until you resign.

    Then there is the Twilight Fringe faith of the Pro-Choice Church led by female chauvinists, where a human life is presumed a clump of cells until deemed viable.

    There has been much progress since the limited days of yesteryear, where conflation of logical domains was present, and today it is fully integrated in “secular” societies.

  25. Ymar Sakar Says:

    McCarthy used to be my second example, but there is now quite a bit of evidence that he was correct on most of his major points, if lamentably overzealous and underhanded in pursuing them.

    McCarthy was a Senator. How was he responsible for the unAmerican witch trials of the House?

    Something Leftist propaganda didn’t inform you yet Aesop?

    It’s pretty easy to fall for the Left’s rewriting of human history, even for the ones who think themselves capable or highly educated.

    There’s propaganda for stupid people and propaganda for smart people. There’s a way to brainwash average humans, and a way to mind control smarter humans. Do you think yourself smarter than a god?

    Without getting into why or whether gods supernaturally exist or not, people should have a natural reaction to that question. It gives them a context of where they stand.

    The “Lavender Scare” that he began went on for literally decades (long after McCarthy himself was embarrassed off the public stage) and resulted in thousands of people being fired and having their personal lives exposed to the public in the process, not for being political subversives, but just for being gay.

    The Lavender Mafia still exists in the Vatican and its attached arms. That’s why the Roman Catholics had the child abuse problem to begin with.

    This all goes back to School of Darkness, and I and Art have linked here before. A book written by Bella Dodd, where she testified in front of several individuals that the Marxists had infiltrated hundreds of Leftist agents into the Vatican’s seminary program. The one that produces priests, thus later bishops and archbishops who ended up protecting homosexual child hunters.

    The Russians also had agents that would lure Americans into gay sex, video tape it, and use it as blackmail. McCarthy’s worries about gays being moles, leaks, security risks, and traitors are logical. Sub cultures are always like that, they are not easy to infiltrate but they are easy to blackmail because they aren’t the mainstream. So they won’t go to the mainstream if you attack them.

    The women abused by Leftists didn’t go to you boys or your state or your USA “exceptional system”. The reason is. You’re not on their side, so why should they. They were part of the “Leftist cause”. If the Left doesn’t want them to report sex abuse… they won’t do it, especially as they won’t be believed.

    Any more than people believed Mccarthy’s security concerns about Marxist agents and gays. We now know them as the Gaystapo, but that unit has always been active in the US for quite some decades now, either with the First Wave of Marxists after 1930s or the second wave after 1960s.

    The US government purged the gays and thus avoided the Vatican problem. The USA did not purge the Marxists and now you are where you are. Pretty simple.

  26. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The most famous witch trial to me is not Salem but the Vatican and Inquisition trial of Jean De Arc, transliterated into English as Joan of Arc.

    There were two trials, and the first one has the transcript preserved. Sorta like Socrates’ trial when the Athenian assembly sentenced him to death by poison. It helps clarify exactly what is wrong with humans and humanity, and how to manipulate humans into doing things they think are right… but are not.

    I listed a summary of her achievements and the plot here.

  27. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Clinton has the same problem as a few serial killers. Meaning, the guy is a void and that’s mostly because of a survival dissociation reflex that kicks in from dealing with his alcoholic father and family situation.

    What this means is that the elohim and lesser spirits are able to influence or directly control people whose minds are not strongly connected to their heart or their bodies. This can be the result of sociopathy, childhood trauma, or just a simple choice in a ritual.

    Human analysis would tend to create a normal curve of behaviors for William Clinton. But there will always be “inconsistent” behaviors, when they are taken over by what serial killers often refer to as “powerful urges, instincts, or voices”. Because modern human society doesn’t have the vocabulary or the methods to calculate for spiritual influence of mortals, it’s not a topic they have any expertise in analyzing, even though they discount what they have not investigated.

    There is a strict hierarchy amongst demons, spirits, and elohim (gods). The powerful swallow up and oppress the weaklings. It’s like an urban jungle hierarchy.

    The weak spirits can barely move things like a poltergeist. The strongest spirits can appear as angels/humans of light, equivalent to shapeshifters of legend.

    The biggest mistake the Protestants, although Vatican’s biggest mistake was something much earlier having to do with Apostolic authority and Constantine’s successors making Christianity into a State Religion, was this: The Protestants build much of their lore upon the King James bible, and the KJB is based mostly off the Masoretic. Since the Septuagint was fragmented, the translators (they and the King were not prophets nor sent by the heavens to do anything) decided what is correct or incorrect.

    They got it wrong.

    Read Deuteronomy 32 and check the reference for why “Sons of Israel” is now translated as “Sons of God”. Sons of God refers to angels and gods. Jesus=Son of God. There’s a plural form. Sons of the Most High. Sons of the gods.

    This is why demons knew that Jesus was a Son of God and why Yeshua kept them quiet. There were other “Sons of God” watching: they are known as the Watchers, they who do not sleep and who watch over humanity.

    Paul refers to them as princes of darkness, thrones, and principalities, and powers.

    The Protestants adopted monotheism because they believed the Early Christians were monotheistic. The term was a latter addition, by about 2-3 centuries after the crucifixion of the human known as The Christ.

    All the other gods referred to in the Bible, existed. That is why there is a commandment about not worshiping other gods AND also a commandment about idols. They were not the same thing. Logically, why would anyone write down a law that says “do not worship things that don’t exist”. That would be rather broad, unenforceable, and also unjust. Is the Holy One of Israel unjust? We run into problems like that, with monotheism.

    The Protestants, by preventing themselves from looking at the Divine Counsel as gods, looking only at the “Trinity” as gods (although the Holy Ghost isn’t a god because it has no body…) creates a problem. Everything else of the spiritual world are either “dead spirits” or “demons”. That makes it very hard for believers to understand the spiritual unseen realm and the divine hierarchy as it actually stands.

    They don’t have the tools. They lack elementary education enough to do arithmetic and algebra, that’s the modern metaphor and situation believers face.

    Demons are small fry. They don’t have a body and their shapeshifting powers are quite low if not non existent. They can only possess or influence human voids like serial killers.

  28. Richard Saunders Says:

    In all the movies and TV shows I saw about either McCarthy or the HCUA, there was never a mention of anti-gay witch hunts. Up until the time I was in the Army (1970-1972) and long after, homosexuality was a security risk, because homosexuality was considered sinful, shameful, and its practitioners were easy prey for blackmailers.

  29. neo-neocon Says:

    Ymarsakar and Richard Saunders:

    This has devolved from a discussion of history into personal insults, as far as I can tell. Or at least, it threatens to do so. I’m asking everyone to cease and desist from the personal stuff. I’ve long had a policy against discussions that end up with a lot of personal back-and-forth of that type. I don’t mind a little, but if it goes on too long I ask that people stop it. Thanks.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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