"Witch"

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Concept.png "Witch" 
(Enemy image)Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
An enemy image used in the Middle Ages that was acted as a cover for expropriation of property, a forerunner of the modern day "terrorist"

"Witches" were the subject intense persecution in medieval Europe. Mostly but not exclusively female, they were believed to be a supernatural and malign influence on society. Complex systems of beliefs about witchcraft were developed, with emphasises on the need for authorities to defend people against ("She is in league with the devil, bring the bishop here to exercise the sprit from her... " etc.)

Social control

This proved an effective means of social control and was used to enforce existing hierarchies of religion, social class and especially gender.[1]

Modern parallels

"Islamophobia" and the "war on terror" is seen by some as a parallel to the witch-hunts of medieval Europe.[1] It was termed a "Crimen Exceptum", i.e. "an exceptional crime which required the use of torture to extract a confession".[2]

80s "satanic panic"

The day-care child abuse cases that came to public attention in the 1980s, most notably the McMartin Preschool case, have been termed "witch hunts" by the commercially-controlled media and others, since in their view nothing bad happened and people got jailed based on unsubstantiated accusations. Ross E. Cheit of Brown University with his book: The Witch-Hunt Narrative, has demonstrated that in almost all cases he could review serious abuse did take place and mostly ineptitude of police, interrogators and judiciary, at the time confronted with a phenomena that was new and unknown, led to the acquittals.[3][4] Child abuse apologists, like Ralph Underwager and organisations like the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, played their part in helping perpetrators to get free. He spent nearly 15 years on research, poring over old trial transcripts and interview tapes.[5]


 

An example

Page nameDescription
McCarthyism


References