A thread on “WITCH HUNTING”
“Witch-hunt” means an investigation that is usually conducted with much publicity, supposedly to uncover subversive activity, disloyalty. with purpose of intimidating opponents
[New Dictionary of the American Language]
“Witch” word probably first used is in Hebrew Bible in 28th Chapter of the first book of Samuel (written~931BC-721BC).
It mentions Saul consulted “the Witch of Endor” to summon ‘prophet’ in order to receive advice against the Philistines in battle
In Antiquity, Witch craft execution was first noted in Athens before 338AD for alledged casting incantations(series of words)
Next earliest reference to “Witch” can be found as belief by St. Boniface (680-755AD) followed by condemnation from Pope Nicholas I (died 867) and Gregory VII(died 1085). Apparently this EVIL existed since 700 AD.
src: The Literature of Witchcraft
The charges of Sorcery usually employed to checked learned man going to far Physician Arnold (1240-1312) & Peter of Abano (1250-1320). It was tool to check politically dangerous people. Churches assisted civil power to crusade against ‘Witch’
src:The Literature of Witchcraft
In 1374, Pope Gregory XI declared that all magic was done with the aid of demons and thus was open to prosecution for heresy.
Enough fuel generated in last 700 years, ‘Witch Hunting’ became more prevalent in Europe and America during 1450-1750 AD.
In 1484, ‘Pope Innocent VIII’ (head of the Catholic Church) issued the ‘papal bull’ known as Summis desiderantes on 5/12/1484), authorizing “correcting, imprisoning, punishing and chastising” of devil-worshippers
In 1487, German Inquisitors Heinrich Kramer & Jakob Sprenger published a handbook of trial Malleus maleficarum(The Hammer of Witches) after obtaining ratification from Pope (7/n)
The book was highest seller in Europe.
Witch hunting was so rampant in Germany and Europe that estimated 40,000-100,000 executions happened during 1450-1750 (~85% woman).
They were executed mostly by burning, beheading, after torture in dungeon condition.
[source:Witchcraze: Anne],[ http://Britannica.com ]
Cases, O/S EU
England: 100s of women were wrongly accused and punished. owing to 3rd nipple, an unusual scar etc.
Confessions were often made under torture, and suspects were tied up and thrown into a river or pond. Floating was proof of guilt.
America: Alse Young was first executed under charge of Witchcrafting in colonial America’s in 1647.
By 1662, a total of 11 people, 9 women and 2 men, were executed. The men were the husbands of the convicted women.
Switzerland : Between 1423 and 1666, the small town of Sursee in central Switzerland hosted 59 witchcraft trials. Most defendants were found guilty, beheaded or burnt at the stake.
This Evil and gruesome practice has been largely banned around the world.
People need to be educated and counseled if it still exists anywhere in the world.