by Ben Klassen [from A Revolution of Values Through Religion, 1991]
There were several impelling reasons why the Anglo- Saxon immigrants left the Old World for the New, but by and large the New England colonies were founded by people who wanted to escape the tyranny of religious persecution in Europe and breathe the fresh air of freedom in the New World. They were willing to risk the hazards of a makeshift Atlantic crossing, the hardships of taming an uncharted wilderness, and the constant danger of hostile Indian attacks. All these sacrifices they were willing to make in order to escape the grim religious bounding, burning at the stake, torture by thumbscrew and rack that had become the order of the day by the Christian churches, both Catholic and Protestant, in Europe.
Whereas the Protestant revolt against the Catholic hierarchy was ostensibly launched to break the ironclad dictatorship of the Roman church, Europe soon found that the “reformers” were as tyrannical as were the tyrants from whom they were breaking away. Inherent in the Christian teaching is a hatred and an intolerance against anyone or any group that does not believe the spooks in the sky swindle in exactly the same terms as they do. This malevolent prejudice and intolerance was not left behind, but was transported across the Atlantic to the New World when the “Pilgrims” arrived at Plymouth Rock and founded the Massachusetts Colony.
Before we go into the Salem, Mass., witchcraft trials. It is incumbent to give a brief background about the Christian belief in witchcraft. There is a short verse in the bible that says “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” (Exodus 22:18).
The tortures, the murders, the agony and the suffering this one goddamned sentence has caused to humanity is beyond belief. In the two years between 1645 and 1647 at least 200 innocent women were hanged or burned as witches in England alone. In Scotland the number of victims ran to more than 3,400 between 1580 and 1680. On the continent things were even worse. George L. Kittredge of Harvard in his “Witchcraft in Old and New England” quotes Mannhardt to the effect that “the victims from the Fourteenth to the Seventeenth Century (ran) to millions, and half a million is a conservative estimate.” The Bishop of Bamberg brought about the death of 600 “wizards” from 1622 to 1633, and the Bishop of Wurzburg caused the execution of 900.
The mania about hanging or burning women designated as witches more or less came to an end in Europe by 1680. However, it soon took a new lease on life in the New World, and soon reached heights of maniacal frenzy exceeding anything in the Old World.
The first settlement of the Massachusetts colony was made by the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock in 1620. It was soon followed by the Puritans arriving at Salem in 1628 under John Endicott, and then at Boston under John Winthrop in 1630. Most of these groups were English religious dissenters fleeing religious persecutions and seeking religious freedom. We will soon see how they used and abused that very “freedom” once they themselves were in charge of their religion.
Prior to 1692 there had been at least twenty trials for witchcraft in New England. Many were convicted and probably six were hanged. However, this was only a prelude to what happened next in Salem, a town of 1,700 souls, a few miles north of Boston.
In this small town, witchcraft trials were held in the Court of Oyer and Terminer between May 27, 1692, and September 24 of the same year. In this four month period more than 200 were arrested, twenty people were put to death and about 100 remained in Jail when the court adjourned, never to sit again. Eight of those in prison were waiting execution. The last and crowning act of the court, says a contemporary Mr. Gemmill, “was the hanging of seven old women and one man on September 22. These were all hauled in a single cart to the place of execution. Apparently the only reason why not more were hung on that day was because the cart was full.”
After all these excesses of unbridled murder and mayhem, the townspeople finally began to come to their senses, and enough was enough, they thought as they looked at the cartloads of people going to the scaffold. Governor Phipps’ wife, before long, was accused, and Mrs. Hall, the wife of a minister, was charged as being a witch. In May, 1693 Governor Phipps issued a pardon to all in Jail, and eighteen years later. In October of 1711, the General Court of Massachusetts appropriated funds to be paid to the heirs of those who had been executed as witches. Meanwhile and afterwards, the heirs of the convicted destroyed whatever records of the trials (a shamed-faced theocracy abetting) that they could get their hands on, so that the whole ghastly story will probably never be known.
Let us now look at some of the villains in this gory and grisly episode. One conclusion that emerges is that the majority. If not all, persecutors were fanatic holler-than- thou members of the theocracy of this newly-founded Puritan colony.
The Rev. Nicholas Noyes testified in the trials, always against the accused. When Bridget Bishop, one of the victims, was about to hang, he refused a request to pray for her soul. Instead added to her torture by yelling “Witch! Witch!” The Revs. Deodat Lawson and John Hale were little better, the latter also testifying against Bridget Bishop. The Rev. Joseph Green wrote a doctored “confession” of Ann Putnam. The latter was an epileptic illiterate and only twelve years old, but her confession as invented by Green had marvelous flights of fancy. (Once accused, victims were usually brutally tortured for days until they came up with a desired “confession”.)
Probably the most blatant culprit in this whole gruesome and insane mess was a man by the name of Cotton Mather. He was a man of intellect whose name has gone down in history and is notorious in infamy to this day. He was the son of the then president of Harvard, he was a preacher of great eloquence, reputed to be the master of ten languages and one of the leading intellects of the Massachusetts Colony. It is to the shame of Christianity that this Jewish mind-scrambler is capable of perverting and debasing even the strongest of intellects.
Cotton Mather believed in devils, and complied a huge tome about them entitled “The Wonders of the Invisible World”. He also wrote “A Discourse on Witchcraft”. All his life he saw visions. His word on any public matter had the same effect as law. He could have prevented these savage butcheries at any time, but he did not. Instead, he stood by silently and examined with great seriousness all “witches” brought to his attention, as material for his witchcraft studies. Years later, some of the higher officials that had participated in this gruesome barbarity publicly prayed for forgiveness for their involvement. But Cotton Mather never recanted.
Such are the consequences of this one goddamn line in the Jewish Christian bible – Suffer not witches to live – the total effect of which is to drive people to brutal acts of murderous insanity. Was this insane phenomena Just something that surfaced only in the Dark Ages of Christianity, or is this insanity still with us in the latter part of the Twentieth Century? Sad to say, these kinds of aberrations of the mind are still very much current today among the fanatics of the Christian cults. When we started building our Church edifice in the peaceful valley we had selected for our World Center, rumors soon started flying among the native people here in Macon County, North Carolina. The stories spread like wildfire that we were devil worshippers, that we practiced bloody animalistic rites (whatever that is) and witchcraft and wizardry also, for good measure. Our contractor and his crew (who were not among those demented) were threatened with gunfire if they proceeded with construction of the building. One wild woman churchgoer told our contractor while at church that if he went to the doorstep of our cabin, he would find the bloody head of a calf deposited on our front porch. The contractor, much alarmed, actually drove down to our domicile, and, of course, no bloody head of a calf.
Wild, real wild.
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The only conclusion we can draw from all this is that Christianity is an extremely malevolent, destructive force. There is an old saying which goes back to the Ancient Roman times that I believe describes precisely the essence of Christianity. It says in effect that those whom the gods would destroy they first drive insane. Christianity does just that. It is, in fact, a form of mass insanity, and has been extremely destructive to its prime target, the White Race, in driving it to self-destruction. We have already recapitulated the thousands upon thousands of women who were hanged or burnt at the stake by this mass insanity about witchcraft. But Christian insanity and self- destruction does not end there. By no means. When we add to this horrendous outrage the millions that were killed and tortured because of accused heresy; the millions that were murdered and tormented by the inquisition; the millions that were killed and the vast areas of the countryside that were devastated by religious wars such as the Thirty Year War and hundreds of others, we cannot escape the conclusion that Christianity does indeed drive people to insanity and self-destructs those who are gullible and foolish enough to embrace this sinister Jewish mind-scrambler.
The only way we can purge this tenacious cancer from the minds of our people is to drive it from the scene by a more dynamic, more compelling, sane and constructive religion. That is exactly what Creativity is designed to accomplish. Let us therefore unite under the banner of Creativity, spread our White Man’s religion throughout the world and drive the Jewish scourge from off the face of this Planet Earth.