This post is meant to show the common thread that exists world over between different instances of destruction of bearers of natural traditions. The present is connected with the past and with what is happening in India currently. The christian movement in the last 1600 years of its existence has struck a death-blow to indigenous knowledge and holders of that knowledge. In some cases this death-blow has been direct and in some others the traditions (as in India) are being suffocated. While this has happened the world over, I have picked instances from Latin America, Africa, Europe and now India.
Murdered Shamans (Present Day)
Had this been a case of 14 missionaries killed in Iraq the news would have been all over will wailing and crying about fundamentalist Islamists. The world media in these cases has connived to keep this kind of news under wraps to further the colonial agenda of the christian groups.
Roger Rumrrill, an expert on Peruvian Amazon cultures and a government adviser, said some of the victims’ bodies were thrown into rivers, to be devoured by piranhas and other fish. He alleged that the mayor, who is an evangelical Christian, ordered the killings on hearing that the shamans planned to form an association. He said the mayor’s brother was known in the area as a matabrujos or witch killer.
“For Protestant sects, the shamans are possessed by the devil; a totally sectarian, primitive and racist concept,” he said.
This news is tragic for those who understand the wealth of knowledge and traditions housed with these shamans. South America has been ravaged by the church for the last 400-500 years. Medicine men and traditional people and their religions were a target. The loss of 14 shamans is a multi-generational loss. For westerners the loss is that of medicinal knowledge (theirs is a materialistic thinking process where something can be used to prolong their lives) but for indigenous traditions this is an irrevocable loss of access to alternative experiences which can help humanity access the spirit or truth.
Another case where indigenous traditions are being hounded is all over Africa but specifically in Nigeria where Christian fundamentalists are on a warpath. There have been several instances of medicine men and women being killed. I am not able to locate the articles presently (very strange) but will input them as soon as I locate them.
Witch Burnings (Europe, 1400-1750)
This website provides a timeline of how the church went after enemies and threats who were viewed as witches.
Another website which talks about how both the catholic and protestant churches used witchcraft as an excuse to denigrate and terrorise women and those that they viewed as threats.
Very similar to the targeting of medicine people in modern times -:
Old, wise healing women were particular targets for witch-hunters. “At this day,” wrote Reginald Scot in 1584, “it is indifferent to say in the English tongue, ‘she is a witch’ or ‘she is a wise woman.'” Common people of pre-reformational Europe relied upon wise women and men for the treatment of illness rather than upon churchmen, monks or physicians. Robert Burton wrote in 1621:
Sorcerers are too common; cunning men, wizards and white witches, as they call them, in every village, which, if they be sought unto, will help almost all infirmities of body and mind.
By combining their knowledge of medicinal herbs with an entreaty for divine assistance, these healers provided both more affordable and most often more effective medicine than was available elsewhere. Churchmen of the Reformation objected to the magical nature of this sort of healing, to the preference people had for it over the healing that the Church or Church-licensed physicians offered, and to the power that it gave women.
Until the terror of the witch hunts, most people did not understand why successful healers should be considered evil. “Men rather uphold them,” wrote John Stearne, “and say why should any man be questioned for doing good.” As a Bridgettine monk of the early sixteenth century recounted of “the simple people”, “I have heard them say full often myself … ‘Sir, we mean well and do believe well and we think it a good and charitable deed to heal a sick person or a sick beast.'” And in 1555 Joan Tyrry asserted that “her doings in healing of man and beast, by the power of God taught to her by the … fairies, be both godly and good…”
Indian Traditions (Present Day)
Indian traditional systems are facing a massive assault through the minions of church i.e., pretend rationalists, Dravidian parties, bollywood, media and political system. Infact the illegal head honcho of the congress party is a greedy heathen hating individual who is out on a heathen witch-hunt to both get brownie points to heaven and get the monies promised. There are several crypto christians embedded across the system including so-called atheistic groups such as the communists (in fact in many areas across the country the Maoists and missionaries are working hand in hand).
A website that encapsulates the scale of assault – http://www.christianaggression.org
Assault on Indic gurus. Some examples -:
Swami Lakshmanananda – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swami_Lakshmanananda
Satya Sai Baba
Deliberate theft and absorption of Indian traditions -:
Bharat Natyam – http://www.haindavakeralam.com/HKPage.aspx?PageID=14893&SKIN=C
Coercieve conversions, threats and murders -:
In his testimony, Nayak said that the conflict at Dangs was rooted in the work of Christian missionaries. In the preceding three years, Nayak stated, there had been at least fifteen instances in which Christian converts, “under the influence of their preachers,” desecrated idols of the Hindu saint Hanuman, who has been venerated as an incarnation of the Hindu god Siva, a servant of Vishnu, by the Dangs tribals for generations. In one incident, he said, the converts urinated on a statue of Hanuman; in another they “crushed Hanuman’s idol to pieces and threw it away in the river.” In addition to the desecration, Nayak testified, converts had raised the ire of their Hindu neighbors by repeatedly, publicly denouncing Hindu saints as shaitans, or “Satans.” This was done, again “under the influence of their preachers.” The native clergy, it seems, were themselves ex-Hindus…
The government in India’s north-eastern state of Tripura says it has evidence that the state’s Baptist Church is involved in backing separatist rebels. Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said state police had uncovered details of the alleged link after questioning a church leader. Mr Sarkar said that allegations about the close links between the state’s Baptist Church and the rebel National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) have long been made by political parties and police. Now for the first time, he said, hard evidence supporting the allegations had been found.
Hindus have been, and continue to be killed by Christian fundamentalists in droves, in what is clearly a church backed enterprise. The Hindu casualties in a single attack by the NLFT outnumber the Christians killed in religious violence for an entire decade in the whole of India.
Large-scale conversions triggered a systematic ethnic cleansing campaign sponsored by the Church which led to migration of Reangs and Brus from Mizoram to Tripura and Assam, who have since been languishing in different make-shift camps and demanding safe return and rehabilitation to their ancestral homeland.
Replacement of key political/ democratic positions with rabid fundamentalists -:
The selection of people of a particular religious orientation in key positions across India is not through a democratic process. Most readers are aware of how people like Naveen Chawla – clearly corrupt, greedy and crypto have been put in position of chair of election commission to oversee rigged elections. Readers are also aware of how unqualified people occupy positions of power due to religious orientation. As a recent example a catholic Nabam Tuki has been sworn in as CM of Arunachal Pradesh. Now Arunachal Pradesh has a far from majority catholic or christian population. Infact the indigenous people of the state are facing an onslaught from the missionaries.
The Buddhist community of the region has expressed deep concern over the rising incidents of harassment and persecution of Buddhist tribals by militants and security forces alike in the remote locations of Arunachal Pradesh. The twin militant outfits, NSCN(IM) and NSCN(K) have demanded annexation of land from the Buddhist and other indigenous faith followers of Rima Putak, Thikhak Putak, Motongsa and Longchong villages in Tirap – Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh and issued a decree for their conversion to Christianity. The militant outfits have left the villagers with two options – embrace Christianity or face capital punishment. With death staring at their face, most of the adult members have fled the villages to escape torture from both sides, resulting in disruption of agricultural activities.
Denigration through media & films -:
I see an increasing number of bollywood films with hindu characters getting married in churches and wearing a white wedding dress. Additionally the christian padre is always shown as a kindly soul while the hindu priest is evil and conniving or simply foolish. I don’t need to give any examples here as the reader will recognize this pervasive occurrence.
The indigenous traditions of the world which in essence give man access to her/his godhood have been under assault for the last 1600 years. The indic traditions are the last remaining front and every attempt is being made to break them. The churches view India as a challenge and spend an inordinate amount of resources devising strategies to destroy the traditions.
The churches are not about Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is just a figure-head to allow groups of people to control the masses and take away their choices from them. It is time we stopped viewing these as benign institutions.
Indic traditions should unite with whatever remains of indigenous traditions across the world to save mankind from devolution and control.