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Sun Jul 8, 2012, 11:27 AM

Cotton Mather ~ Spectral Evidence



Spectral evidence is a form of evidence based upon dreams and visions. It was admitted in court during the Salem witch trials by the appointed chief justice, William Stoughton. The booklet A Tryal of Witches taken from a contemporary report of the proceedings of the Bury St. Edmunds witch trial of 1662 became a model for, and was referenced in the Trials when the magistrates were looking for proof that such evidence could be used in a court of law.


Spectral evidence was testimony that the accused witch's spirit (i.e. spectre) appeared to the witness in a dream or vision (for example, a black cat or wolf). The dream or vision was admitted as evidence. Thus, witnesses (who were often the accusers) would testify that "Goody Proctor bit, pinched, and almost choked me," and it would be taken as evidence that the accused were responsible for the biting, pinching and choking even though they were elsewhere at the time.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectral_evidence

Martha Carrier

Calling her a "rampant hag" and the "Queen of Hell," the Reverend Cotton Mather harbored no doubts that Martha Carrier deserved to be executed as a witch during the Salem outbreak on August 19, 1692. The Salem documents themselves, however, reveal that her crime was not witchcraft but an independence of mind and an unsubmissive character. A daughter of one of the founding families of Andover, Martha married a young Welsh servant, Thomas Carrier, in 1674, by whom she had four children. The Salem accusation against Martha came only two years after the selectmen of Andover blamed a smallpox epidemic on her witchcraft. Although historians have blamed her accusation on causes ranging from a conspiracy against Andover's proprietary families to reaction against threats to patriarchal inheritance, her contentious spirit and the earlier charge of witchcraft seem the most plausible explanation.


Carrier's reputation as a witch found new expression two years later when the outbreak in Salem began. As the testimony of the circle of accusing girls reflected, the Salem community was well aware of Andover's gossip. Susan Sheldon, Mary Walcot, Elizabeth Hubbard and Ann Putnam screamed before the court that they could see the 13 ghosts of Andover. Other neighbors accused her of maleficium, testifying that after harsh words from her, evil things like sick or dead animals or strange illnesses befell them. During her courtroom examination, however, Carrier stood her ground and boldly asserted that those who accused her lied. Asked if she could then look upon the girls, seemingly possessed, without their writhing in pain, she said she would not, for "they will dissemble if I look upon them." Later, she admonished the magistrates, saying "it is a shamefull thing that you should mind these folks that are out of their wits."


http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/saxon-salem/servlet/SaxonServlet?source=salem/texts/bios.xml&style=salem/xsl/dynaxml.xsl&chunk.id=b4&clear-stylesheet-cache=yes

I find the group think in all of this, so interesting, and others turning on friends and family to save themselves from the real evil.

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 11:40 AM

1. Unfortunately, this phrase:

"the group think in all of this, so interesting, and others turning on friends and family to save themselves" is still very much true overall.

And while women may not "burn as witches" we still suffer the stigma of being women who will not bow down. (Funny, though, how some of - you know - those posts about our little group - refers to us as a "coven".

People fear what they don't know. People fear what they can't comprehend. People fear those who are not like themselves. People hate those who have courage they don't posses.

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Response to mzteris (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 11:46 AM

2. But it was girls who accused her...

so obviously it has nothing to do with her being an independent, unsubmissive woman.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 12:03 PM

3. It was they, the accusers who were the independent, unsubmissive woman!

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Response to mzteris (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 10:53 AM

9. and people protect what has been established and what is comfortable at all costs

even resorting to this behavior and projecting it on the small group that speaks out.

it is not always about fear.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #9)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 10:38 PM

13. I still see that as fear.

Afraid of change. Afraid of rocking the bot. Challenging the status quo. Defying authority figures... I think there is some degree of jealousy wrapped up in there somewhere, too. Ashamed to some degree that they can't be the one to stand up, speak out, question, be themselves rather than who they're told to be.

Fear that omg IF this person is right, then everything I believe in, the person I think I am, is all false.

While im not talking just relgion, i want to make this point (since we're taking Puritans) Religion in the modern world is a paternalistic authoritarian society. Women submit and obey.

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Response to mzteris (Reply #13)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 10:40 PM

14. sigh...

you are right. in everything you say. thank you for saying that the way you did. i know this is true.

thanks.

very good.

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 12:09 PM

4. Proud member of the "bitches from hell," right here.

i can think of worse groups to be a member of than our little "coven"

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 12:10 PM

5. It often feels like...

lather, rinse, repeat.

Some never learn from the past, they just keep repeating it. Group think can be a very harmful thing.

People will most often go along, to get along and belong to the group. Truth and consequences be damned!

It reminds me of the childhood game of telephone.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #5)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 12:14 PM

6. "People will most often go along, to get along and belong to the group."

and thus the swarm is born, and grows.

followers, who want to be the cool kids. or at least not make themselves a target of the swarm.

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Response to Scout (Reply #6)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 12:50 PM

7. I can't say I really blame those who stay silent.......

going against group think makes you a target also.

Edit to add:
If you look at the number of people who have registered at DU, "More than 150,000 user registrations and 50,000,000 posts since 2001" It seems to support the idea that many choose to stay silent. Can't say I blame them either. Head in sand is better than sticking neck out.

I think it's that way in many group think instances. Self preservation and all.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #7)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 10:57 AM

12. i dont either. and it is not even as much self perservation

it is a sense that one cannot win. i get it.

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Response to Scout (Reply #6)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 10:56 AM

11. followers, who want to be the cool kids.

this is so true. people that are not a part, totally clueless. i see this over and over. they do not even know what they are arguing, but they are there, another body holding a torch.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #5)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 10:55 AM

10. People will most often go along, to get along and belong to the group.

damn, i have never been that. i do not know how to be that. but, sure would be a hell of a lot easier.

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 10:52 AM

8. I find the group think in all of this, so interesting,

yes.

it is telling and says a hell of a lot. this is not a quiet phenomena. it is well known. we see it today. and until people stand up to it, we will continue to see.

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