The latest incarnation of the vampire — in the conspiracy theories of David Icke — reveals the critical, revolutionary heart of the vampire legend. Discourse on the vampire appears above all to provide a structure of dissent, a metaphorical means of representing and soliciting critiques of the social order.
Science, Medicine and Witchcraft Historiography
In attempting to understand the origin of the witch trials and the emergence of a demonological tradition in early modern Europe, writers on witchcraft have consistently sought to ascribe a role for science and medicine in that process.
Ernst Haeckel “Monism” and the Unity of Culture
Few people were better known in the nineteenth-century than the German zoologist and Darwinist, Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (1834-1919), yet nowadays he is known to many simply as the man who coined the phrase “ontogeny recapitulates phylogey” — the Biogenetic Law. There is much more to Ernst Haeckel than this.
Frederik Ruysch and the Anatomical Art of Dead and Dying
When visiting Frederik Ruysch in Amsterdam in 1697, Tsar Peter the Great kissed one of the specimens from his anatomical museum, and afterwards bought the entire collection. Three hundred years later, the Dutch crown prince, Willem-Alexander, when visiting St Petersburg, was withheld from seeing Frederik Ruysch’s work. Diplomats had decided the prince had to be spared the sight of the “macabre, deformed foetuses” that Frederik Ruysch had preserved.
Devil Worship in France and the First Witnesses of Lucifer
That the witnesses of Lucifer are in all cases attached to the Latin Church, whether as priests or laymen, is no matter for astonishment when it is once realised that outside this Church there is no hostility to Masonry. For example, John Robison’s ‘Proofs of a Conspiracy’ is almost the only work possessing, deservedly or not, any aspect of importance, which has ever been penned by a Protestant or independent writer in direct hostility to the Fraternity. Moreover, Catholic hostility varies in a vanishing direction with distance from the ecclesiastical centre. Thus, in England, it exists chiefly in a latent condition, finding little or no expression unless pressure is exercised from the centre, while in America the enforced promulgation of the Humanum Genus encyclical has been one of the serious blunders of the present pontificate as regards that country. The bibliography of Catholic Anti-Masonic literature is now, however, very large, nor is it confined to one land, or to a special epoch; it has an antiquity of nearly 150 years, and represents most of the European continent. That of France, which is nearest to our own doors, is naturally most familiar to us; it is also one of the most productive, and may be assumed to represent the whole. We are concerned with it in this place only during the period which is subsequent to the alleged foundation of the New and Reformed Palladium. During this period it falls obviously into two groups, that which preceded any knowledge of the institution in question and that which is posterior to the first promulgation of such knowledge. In the first, we find mainly the old accusations which have long ceased to exert any conspicuous influence, namely, Atheism, Materialism, and revolutionary plotting. Without disappearing entirely, these have been largely replaced in the second group by charges of magic and diabolism, concerning which the denunciations have been loud and fierce. One supplementary impeachment may be said in a certain sense to connect both, because it is common to both; it is that of unbridled licence fostered by the asserted existence of adoptive lodges. We shall find during the first period that Masonry was freely described as a diabolical and Satanic institution, and it is necessary to insist on this point because it is liable to confuse the issues. Before the year 1891, the diabolism identified with Masonry was almost exclusively intellectual. That is to say, its alleged atheism, from the standpoint of the Catholic Church, was a diabolical opinion in matters of religion; its alleged materialism was a diabolical philosophy in matters of science; its alleged revolutionary plottings, being especially directed against the Catholic Church, constituted diabolical politics. Such descriptions will seem arbitrary enough to most persons who do not look forth upon the world from the windows of the Vatican, but they are undeniably consistent at Rome.
United on a Possible Revival of Witchcraft Secret Societies
To the superficial glance, it might seem that he who would urge a revival of witchcraft is confronted by a task more Herculean than that of making dry bones live — in that the bones he seeks to revivify have never existed. The educated class — which, be it remembered, includes those who have studied in the elementary schools of whatever nation — is united in declaring that such a person as a witch never did, never could, and never will exist. It is true that there are still those — a waning band — who, preserving implicit faith in the literal exactitude of revealed religion, maintain that witchcraft — along with Gardens of Eden, giants, and Jewish leaders capable of influencing the movements of sun and moon — flourished under the Old Dispensation, even though it has become incredible under the New. Yet, speaking generally, the witch is as extinct in civilised men’s minds as is the dodo; so that they who accept as gospel the vaticinations of racecourse tipsters or swallow patent medicines with implicit faith, yet moralise upon the illimitability of human superstition when they read that witch-doctors still command a following in West Africa, or that Sicilian peasants are not yet tired of opening their purses to sham sorcerers.
The Secret Doctrine: The Theogony of the Creative Gods
Exact science — could the latter soar so high, while tracing the operations of nature to their ultimate and original sources — would call this idea the hierarchy of Forces. The original, transcendental and philosophical conception was one. But as systems began to reflect with every age more and more the idiosyncrasies of nations; and as the latter, after separating, settled into distinct groups, each evolving along its own national or tribal groove, the main idea gradually became veiled with the overgrowth of human fancy.