Apparently, Halloween not only brings out little ghosts and goblins, but also cooks and loons. The prime example of the evening – Frances & Friends.
Let me state first that it was strictly odd seeing Frances Swaggart dressed in all black. Over the course of more than two years watching this program, I do not think I have ever seen her don the black, even on Halloween. I’m not saying it wasn’t a nice change, but it did strike me as odd, since she and other members of the Swaggart team are so against Halloween.
Regardless, the program had a lot to do with their disagreement with the celebration of Halloween, as could be expected. In fact, the very first email read by Frances referenced a call from several days ago in which the caller, who stated that he was a Pagan and also worked in law enforcement, was very politely, and not very forcefully, calling the panel out on their insistence that witches sacrifice babies every Halloween and even have “breeders” who produce babies exactly for this purpose. The caller had stated, basically, that in all the years he has worked in law enforcement, he has encountered no evidence of this. Of course, their responses were based on what this or that person had told them, and they were able to cite no empirical evidence of such happenings. Nevertheless, they were entirely certain that these types of things happen.
In any case, the writer of this initial email stated that he/she felt that the law enforcement officer didn’t seem to understand that Pagan and Native American rituals utilized dancing and offerings to conjure up evil spirits for the purpose of blessing the land or for prosperity. “They welcome evil spirits”, the writer apparently stated. “There is always a price”, the writer apparently went on. Frances continued reading, “Getting deeper into witchcraft requires blood offerings”, and evil spirits become attached to the persons conjuring them up.
Well, I was certainly scared after hearing that – not! At best, the email, as read, was chaotic and rambling, seemingly written explicitly in order to scare the “less than intelligent”.
The panel babbled on about the evils of Halloween. Then Frances asked Muzzerall to explain what he offers children as an alternative on Halloween, which Muzzerall referred to as a “Halloween-free celebration”. I was at a loss as to exactly what they might be celebrating, frankly.
After that, Frances diverted into referring to, apparently, several emails she has recently received about the Salem Witch Trials, and the reading she has done about this subject in response (which, apparently, wasn’t much). So, Frances started in talking about how several girls had gotten together and started pointing to one woman after another, calling them witches, and the women wound up being hanged for being witches. Finally, when the girls pointed out the governor’s wife, he put a stop to it. And, at least she got that right.
But it was what Donnie said that really made me laugh. He said, “Your children can imagine a lot of things. And in their little minds, they think it’s real”. Not that he was wrong, because he wasn’t. But, he conveniently left out the fact that adults can imagine things, and believe them too. Donnie continued that adults should have stepped in and done something, like slowing things down so that people could think about what they were about to do, and should have put a stop to it. And those on the panel all agreed that the women had been innocent. Well, at least that was a relief. But, there was absolutely no acknowledgement about the religious nature of what had taken place and the fact that, if not for religious fanaticism and superstitious beliefs, none of that would have even happened.
Donnie then continued that children make unfounded allegations even today, citing the now famous McMartin case (although no one on the panel seemed able to come up with the name or any real specifics, other than basically what happened). He continued that eventually, after one of the girls confessed that it had all been made-up, those who had been sent to prison were found to be innocent. He insisted that the state had not properly investigated. Then Frances said the same thing happened in both instances. Donnie added, with reference to Salem, “It was a bad time in our history”.
By this time, I was wondering where they were trying to go with all of this. Were they going to try to use this as some sort of explanation for how allegations against Trump were a “witch hunt”? I mean, even though the basic subject was Halloween, it seemed as if they had gone a bit off-track, because none of this really had anything to do with Halloween.
Then Frances read another email from someone purporting to have known a former Satan worshipper, explaining how they view Halloween as their high holy day, and are glad that ordinary people celebrate it. Muzzerall added that it is not their highest holy day, but one of the highest, “one of their masses”.
The email continued, referring to a young lady that the writer had known, who, purportedly, had been part of a Satanic ritual in which the leader said that a baby of under one year was needed for a sacrifice, so the young lady had offered hers up. The baby, purportedly, was placed upon the altar and burned up.
Frances then exclaimed, “I can’t believe this is happening in America!” Nations then chimed in, “But it is. . . . It will happen tonight at midnight all across the country!”
Muzzerall then continued the theme, stating that “years ago”, someone had pulled him aside following a service, stating that he had been a part of a satanic witches coven and that he could verify that there are “breeders”, to have children for the purpose of such sacrifice.
At this point I was amazed that even they had not noticed their own contradictions as to how there could be “breeders” in covens across the country, yet one poor young lady wound up sacrificing her own baby, when she had obviously not been a “breeder”. And that, notwithstanding the fact that they “verified” absolutely nothing in anything they said with any concrete evidence, but simply accepted hearsay, sometimes from those who were likely mentally-ill, and others whom they didn’t even know, who might have been trying to pull some hoax on them.
But, an understanding of the human mind clearly shows that hearsay is the greatest tool of the fanatic. And they won’t let go of it no matter what anyone says to the contrary.
Regardless, this just started Nations up again, as he diverted things away from all of this just a bit to insist that the whole reason we celebrate Halloween is because the powers-that-be want everyone to forget the 95 Theses and the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation. The panel agreed with this, and moved on.
After all, the very next email writer emphatically stated that he/she could verify that there certainly are “breeders”, who are forced under captivity to produce one child per year for the purpose of human sacrifice on Halloween. Nations chimed in yet again, “But it don’t just happen on Halloween. Witches do it often. They’re…Satan…Satan (with Frances interrupting him). Frances continued reading, “I supervised a mental health unit and we had in for treatment one of these young ladies. She struggled to get well. But you know psychology (obviously referring to the Swaggart team’s insistence that psychology is of the devil), and I don’t know if she ever did get well….”
Then, Nations came out like a scalded badger, saying, “Satan demands bloodshed, to get his power to work through them, he demands bloodshed, and they love an all-boy baby. That’s their choice.”
Well, at least Nations was able to get that out of his system, finally. Frances and the panel went on to other things. To one email, Donnie responded, referring to “our Puritan forefathers”, and my thought was, “You mean, the ones who hung women because they were accused of being witches? He went on to insist that our forefathers created this nation on the basis of “In God We Trust” (never mind that this phrase wasn’t even a thought back then), and continued, insisting further that “the religion of environmentalism” is against God.
Donnie’s statements did seem to be a bit out of context to the theme of the program, especially as they went from one caller to another, one of whom was asking a question about the rapture (yawn), and another crazy Navaho woman ranting hysterically about how her life had been changed, with the panel just taking it all in.
Sometimes you really get the notion that they somehow know what people will be calling about, and I don’t mean because they are prophets or something. A lady called in from South Carolina, praising them for the service they had just had, and mentioning that, as she listened to Dr. Gray speak, it occurred to her that the Antichrist will use global warming to establish his one-world religion, because that will be the one way he can unite everyone under a new religion. She went on to talk about how China forces people to have abortions because of overpopulation – “That would be like a sacrifice to their god. . . . They talk about Mother Earth; we gotta protect Mother Earth. . . .” She continued by insisting that they are using abortion as a means to protect Mother Earth, and “no matter what religion you are, your god would be Mother Earth”.
Of course, Donnie, who has in the past railed against believing in Mother Earth, responded, “Well it is a religion. . . . It’s not science, it’s a religion. It’s the religion of the atheist. . . . they’re not just atheists, but they hate God and they hate people who love God”. This sad mockery of human intellect was followed by another loon caller, and the program ended.
Because of programs like this one, I am often made to think back to a time when I would also have accepted such hearsay and psychobabble without question, especially if some religious “authority” approved of it. So, in a way, I cannot really fault those uninformed, non-intellectual persons who either come up with this stuff, or accept it because they are told it is true.
That having been said, it seems clear to me that at least some of the callers and email writers do actually have malicious intent, knowing that what they are saying is either false or misleading. On the other hand, they also truly believe they are doing their “God” a service in so doing. The ends justify the means, after all. So, they will find any way to smear Paganism or witchcraft and, in today’s instance, even go so far as to claim that abortion equates to sacrificing babies to Mother Earth. And, in the end, that is clearly what this particular program was all about. Anyone who does good for the planet must be of the Antichrist and of Satan. After all, don’t they all agree with abortion? And, after all, isn’t it young people who are clamoring to save the planet? So, just as young people accused women of being witches, now they want to worship the earth.
It is a sad truth that these fanatical religious types always want to cherry-pick history for the points they like, while ignoring the rest. I heard one person say a while back that even historical facts aren’t true if they don’t line up with the Bible. Yes, there are really people out there with such extreme stupidity to allow them to say something as absurd as this!
No, these people would like for all of us to forget how religious fanaticism led to things like the Salem Witch Trials. And, not only this, but the Inquisition, the witch burnings that took place all over Europe during medieval times, and even the savage murder and burning of the female Egyptian philosopher, Hypatia. And that is just barely scratching the surface. But, they don’t want anyone to remember these events for what they were. They don’t want anyone to remember that it was Christian fanatics that caused every single incident of this nature, period. They have never really owned-up to any of this. I think it is about time they did.
Hekataios Pindaros Amerikos