Witchcraft Quotes

 Often I have thought that the only reason we are all not wizards is due to the fact we have not all been tortured. 
Author: Friedrich Spee
Nationality: German
b. 25 February 1591  - d. 07 August 1635
  
 Cautio Criminalis contains 52 questions which Spee attempts to answer. Amongst his more notable conclusions are: 17. That alleged witches should be allowed a lawyer and a legal defense: the enormity of the crime making this right even more important than normal. 20. That there is real danger innocents will confess under torture simply to stop the pain. 25. That condemning alleged witches for not confessing under torture is absurd. Spee opposed the notion that such silence was itself evidence of sorcery, as this made everyone guilty. 27. That torture does not produce truth, since those who wish to stop their own suffering can stop it with either the truth or with lies. 44. That denunciations of accomplices by tortured "witches" were of little value: either the tortured person was innocent, in which case she had no accomplices, or she was really in league with the Devil, in which case her denunciations cannot be trusted either.  
Author: Friedrich Spee
Nationality: German
b. 25 February 1591  - d. 07 August 1635
  
 Many people who incite the Inquisition so vehemently against sorcerers in their towns and villages are not at all aware and do not notice or foresee that once they have begun to clamor for torture, every person tortured must denounce several more. The trials will continue, so eventually the denunciations will inevitably reach them and their families, since, as I warned above, no end will be found until everyone has been burned. 
Author: Friedrich Spee
Nationality: German
b. 25 February 1591  - d. 07 August 1635
  
 Witchcraft is now on the agenda of the United Nations. The UN itself - as a secular organization on the church/state split of the United States Constitution -cannot get involved in the official propagation of witchcraft or any other sort of religion. But witches who are persecuted for their religious belief may become "refugees" and so very much a matter for the UN. Like all other humans, they have basic human rights. 
Author: Dr. Keith Suter
Nationality: Australian   
 The current media interest - September/ October 2009 - comes from discussions at the UN refugee relief agency - UN High Commission for Refugees - on the need to stop the murder and repression of innocent people, mainly women and children, accused of being "witches". The spread of anti-witch violence was particularly notable in Africa and India. 
Author: Dr. Keith Suter
Nationality: Australian   
 Part of the motivation for the anti witch violence is the declining economy of some countries and the desire to find scapegoats to "blame" for the increasing poverty and economic problems. "Witches" also get blamed for a person's ill-health. 
Author: Dr. Keith Suter
Nationality: Australian   
 Meanwhile some Christian preachers in Africa claim to be able to identify witches and they can - for a fee - cleanse these people of their wickedness. Identifying such "witches" has become a profitable sideline. The UN High Commission has said that there no reliable statistics on the numbers of victims each year. 
Author: Dr. Keith Suter
Nationality: Australian   
 Ironically, "witches" elsewhere in Africa are also implicated in the deaths of other people. Albinos lack melanin pigment in their skin, eyes and hair. This makes them very white - even in Africa. This lack of melanin endangers their lives because melanin protects people from the sun's ultraviolet rays. 
Author: Dr. Keith Suter
Nationality: Australian   
 They are also in danger because people like to kill them for their body parts. Some Africans believe that albinos have magical powers that bring fortune and good health. It is not unknown for dead albinos to be dug up at night and parts removed from their bodies to be used in magic potions. Parents sometimes kill albino babies at birth to save them from all the problems the child could experience later on in life. 
Author: Dr. Keith Suter
Nationality: Australian   
 In December 2008 the UN High Commission for Refugees and UNICEF the UN's Children's Fund both called for more to be done to stop the killing of albinos. 
Author: Dr. Keith Suter
Nationality: Australian   
 We should not assume that witchcraft is simply a matter for developing countries. The most well known case of "witchcraft" in recent decades took place in the United Kingdom - and it is still the subject of debate. Even wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill expressed an opinion on the matter. 
Author: Dr. Keith Suter
Nationality: Australian   
 In May 1941 - a particularly bad time for the UK in World War II - a woman at a sťance held by spiritualist materialization medium Helen Duncan was told that her husband had been killed in action on HMS Barham. An enquiry was made to the Admiralty on whether this was true. Yes the ship had gone down. But it was a state secret and so no one outside official circles knew it. 
Author: Dr. Keith Suter
Nationality: Australian   
 The Police were then alerted to the apparent special powers of Helen Duncan, a housewife and mother of six living in near poverty in Portsmouth (a very important naval town). The Allied invasion of Europe was approaching and the Government feared that this unusual woman could somehow learn about the plans and give the game away. She was hardly likely to be disloyal - her father and two sons were in the British defence forces. 
Author: Dr. Keith Suter
Nationality: Australian   
 The problem for the Government was to find a legal way of isolating her. She was first charged with vagrancy (easily done given her limited resources) and put in prison. But imprisonment could only last for four days (vagrancy was not a major crime). She had to be put away for a much longer period - if not permanently. The problem for the Government was to find a legal way of isolating her. She was first charged with vagrancy (easily done given her limited resources) and put in prison. But imprisonment could only last for four days (vagrancy was not a major crime). She had to be put away for a much longer period - if not permanently. The English Witchcraft Act of 1735 was thought to be the ideal law. Britain never burned its witches at the stake - like the Europeans - they were hung. This 1735 legislation could certainly keep her quiet! The trial was held in public and caused a sensation. She was found guilty and put in prison for nine months. 
Author: Dr. Keith Suter
Nationality: Australian   
 Prime Minister Winston Churchill was outraged but could not do anything about the conviction. When he returned as peacetime prime minister in 1951, one of his first acts was the abolition of the 1735 legislation. But he could not arrange a pardon for Mrs Duncan. After her release from prison she went back to living an obscure life and she died in 1956 (still being watched by the police) 
Author: Dr. Keith Suter
Nationality: Australian   
 There is a continuing campaign for her posthumous pardon. The British Government recently apologized for the British role in slavery 300 years ago - but it continues to refuse to apologize for the treatment of Mrs Duncan. 
Author: Dr. Keith Suter
Nationality: Australian   




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