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
· 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
The rituals said during these black masses usually contained these
"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
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