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By The Notorious Doctor Zoom Zoom

The Case of Madame LaViosin
    The manicheans were a sect of Gnostics (heretical christians that originated 400 years after Christ) that believed in God and The Devil having equal power. The Manicheans Gnostics originated in Persia, which explains why the Theology resembles Zoroastrianism. Gnostics often inverted the symbols and Theology of Christians. God became the bad guy, Lucifer became the good guy, in other words. Tales of Masses being said backwards and homage being paid to Lucifer could be accounts of Gnostic sects.

   When one examines the "Chamber Ardente Affair", one wonders if the atrocities of heretic Roman Catholic Priests slashing newborn babies over altars of naked girls were inspired from the wild stories of witch's Sabats from centuries past, or if indeed there was not some truth to all those wild stories after all. France's (and perhaps Europe's) most famous witch trial started out as an investigation of widespread poisonings happening to the nobility of France. Presided over by a "star chamber" set up by King Louis the XIV, the trial lasted from January, 1679 to July 1682. And you thought the O.J. Simpson trial took forever!

    This trial is considered even by skeptics to be the Witch trial with the most factual evidence of witchcraft (again, non-Wiccan). Unlike the wild fantasies and history revisions of Wiccans, this trial has eyewitnesses and documented facts. Rather than wild stories of witches flying on broomsticks, there was testimony to abortions and murders with poisons. To save the names of French nobility Louis XIV ordered the trial transcripts and police records to be burned. But someone apparently made sure the copies the police had escaped destruction, and we know the details of these events because of this. Otherwise this incident would be yet another Neopagan example of Wiccans killed by Christians in the "Burning Times"!

The investigations began when two priests at Notre Dame de Paris reported to the police that during confession several people ( who went unnamed) had confessed to trying to kill their spouses by poison, or actually in succeeding. The Paris Police Commissioner, Reynie, discovered an international poison ring headed by several noblemen, a lawyer and a banker. It distributed poison all over France and had ties that stretched from France, Italy, Portugal and to England

   The leader of this ring was an aristocrat and corrupt Roman Catholic priest named Francois Galaup de Chaseuil who kept a mistress in his cell while a Carmelite prior. When the police discovered a large supply of poison on his property, he fainted. But despite this big break, the Paris police were slow to gain leads in the case. The suspects were questioned for over a year with no real success, other than one suspect named Vanens. Vanens information led the police to small time poison dealers, abortionists, fortunetellers and prostitutes. The big break came in the case when a certain fortuneteller named Marie Bosse, took great leave of her senses and let slip out what she did for a living:"What a lovely occupation is mine! What classy clients! Nothing lower than duchesses, marquises, princes, and lords! Three more poisonings and I retire, my fortune made!"

   The Paris Police sent an woman undercover agent posing as a someone wanting kill her husband. She was able to buy a bottle of poison from Bosse. Based on this evidence, the police raided the residence and found a large stash of poisons. Bosse, her daughter, her two sons, and another fortune teller were all questioned by questioned by Commissioner Reynie on January 4, 1679. Paris police realized immediately something was really strange about these folks, because they all slept in the same bed (of course, nowadays such folks would get their own reality TV show). To put an end to these poisoning, the police obtained the names of customers.

      The pattern of these poisonings seemed almost always identical. In almost every case, a noble woman got a new boyfriend, and wished to eliminate her husband. First the wife would soak the husbands shirt in poison, causing him to break out, resembling syphilis. The wife would then bring salves to rub on the inflamation, which in reality was more poison that would bring about death in a few months. But many times the husband would figure out something wasn't quite right and flee to a monastery.

   With this evidence, King Louis XIV ordered a special investigation. The whole thing sounds like something out of a Vincent Price movie....and yes, it even had a hunchback! The special "commision de arsenal" permitted no appeal and met in secret It was known as "la Chamber Ardente" because it met in a room draped in black and lit by candles. The police recieved more information that led to the arrest of fortuneteller and abortionist named Catherine DeShayes-Montvoisin known as La Voisin. She denied she was a poisoner at first, insisting she was a fortuneteller who told fortunes by fire (chiromancy) and reaing peoples faces (physiognomy). She instead tried to pin all the blame on her pal La Bosse.

   It is true some of the witnesses were tortured, but the evidence the police discovered proved the confessions to be true. Along with a poison manufacturing business, LaViosin also ran an "abortion clinic" of sorts, where women could get rid of their unwanted babies. The fetuses from these abortions were used in "Black Masses" presided over by perverted heretic priests. Sometimes even live babies were used as sacrifices in these rituals, having their tiny throats slit. Some of the highlights of the rituals involved are:

A certain Father Gerard said a Black Mass in which he had sex with the girl who served as the altar

Fathers Davot and Mariette said Black Masses over the naked girls as well

Abbe Mariette had sacrifiecd white pidgeons and made wax figures for use in spells. The priests would baptize these figures with the attention of causing death.

Another fortuneteller named La Filatre confessed to renouncing the sacrements and sacrificing a child to the Devil in the middle of a circle of Black Candles. At one black mass she even sacrificed her own new born baby, and the priest said a mass over the placenta.

A priest named Davot said a black mass intended to be a love spell while he kissed the altar/naked girl's privates.

A Madame de Lusignan and her priest did abominations with an Easter candle while naked in the woods of Fontainbleau.

A Priest named Tournet said three "love spell" black masses while having sex with the naked girl serving as the altar before the group.

A 66 year old hunchback (I told you it had a hunchback!) Abbe Guibourg said black masses using human placenta over naked women. During the black mass when the host was elevated he would mention conjurations to find hidden treasure or for sexual attraction--the two classic reasons people got involved in the occult then (and still do centuries later)!

The rituals said during these black masses usually contained these words:

"Astaroth and Asmodeus, princes of fellowship, I invoke you to accept the oblation of this child for that which I ask on behalf of [name of person spell was being done for]: that the King and the Dauphin will continue their friendship toward her, that she will be honored by the princes and princesses of the royal family, that the King will deny nothing she asks of him for her relations or her household"

    LaViosin's daughter described the black masses to the police. They involved a woman stretched out on a mattress, with her head hanging off supported by a pillow on a chair turned upside-down. A napkin with a cross covered her breasts and the chalice was placed on her belly. Their accomplice Lesage (an escaped convict) added that she held to black candles in her hands throughout the service. Father Guiborg described another mass at which he said he murdered a child, and Laviosin's daughter confirmed it happened. The people involved in these crimes were executed by the French civil authorities.

   So, we can see from this trial that the sorcery, or witchcraft, practiced by this group was not Wicca, not Pagan at all, but Satanism. It was black magic, not nature worship. There were no healing rituals, instead there were spells to control people. When these spells failed (as most do) poison was used. These people did the things witches are classically thought to have done. They killed babies, they had orgies, and they made poisons. There was no Book of Shadows found. Never. There was no goddesses or horned gods mentioned. As I have already mentioned, the bizarre stories of witch's Sabbat may have had there origin the Gnostics. Witchcraft authority Rossel H. Robbins also seems to think Gnosticism may have played a part in the Chamber Ardente Affair:

"It was much easier to accept the continuing heresy of Manicheism...if God could not help, perhaps the Devil could. In this dualism, blasphemous rites mingle with orthodoxy." (Ibid, Pg 83)

   Manicheism was a Gnostic sect. Many Gnostic sects reversed the roles of Biblical figures...even to the point of making God evil and the devil a good guy.  The witches in ancient Europe were Devil worshipers, not Pagans. As we can see from this account, the roots of European Satanism (and therefore ancient witchcraft) seem to actually lie more in Gnosticism than Paganism. After this incident new laws were passed in France against fortune telling, that declared witchcraft a superstition, and made poisons a controlled substance. Obviously, these things were NOT done as part of the persecution of some kind of underground Pagan religion! Period! They were done to prevent murders.


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