witOne such bit of history which is not discussed much was of the killing of witches in Europe and North America. This act was very common only a couple of centuries ago. In a way this persecution was like how we have today with our concept on Terrorists. It was an act of fear, so to speak, except most witches if the were witches in the first place, were not causing harm onto others, only the fear that they would..
(Image Above Depicting the – Persecution of witches. Estimates of the number of people executed for witchcraft related crimes in the witchhunt days vary between about 40,000 and 100,000. The number of witch trials in Europe that are known to have ended in executions is around 12,000, but could be higher…)
The common misconception of witchery was that if you discussed anything radical or did anything beyond the normal you could be considered a witch.. It was scary times for those wanting to speak out back then and so democracy was conflicted. A perfect example was with the theory the earth was round, people were even accused of that being witchery.. Unfortunately for most accused witchery was far from the truth.. Most were Innocent of witchery, most were just practicing early medicine or science..
So who is to blame here for these accusations / witch killings..? Unfortunately again as I have mentioned here on my blog many times, it was religion again. This one being the catholic church.. They were afraid of losing power with there own religion if radical thoughts were put forward or what they considered occult acts. Basically any spiritual acts out side the church were considered the occult.
These occult like acts as the Church saw it included some of the following — the beginning of medicine, theories of creation, belief outside the church, theories of science, mathematics and lastly anything that conflicted the church and laws of those times.
Common Persecution Methods Included –
1. Put the accused witch in a deep river and if they could swim and survive they are a witch. If they are innocent, they would drown. An unfortunate test this one..
2. Push the accused witch off a cliff and if they fly they are a witch if they do not, oh damn we got it wrong.. I have never heard of anyone surviving this one.
3. Burn alive and if they survive they were a witch..
Basically most of the tests were ridiculous and involved situations where the accused witch would die either way.
Interesting Fact – Most accused witches were women because back then many people believed a women having power or influence in any way beyond the church was considered witchery.. It also was a way of controlling women from having equal rights as men by encouraging them to not think freely..
This is not to say there were not witches (occultists) back in that day (real witches back then would of been hidden from society just as they are now), I am referring to that in history most were falsely accused.