This series focuses on the region from where the roots of Western Judaic and Christian civilization of today are traced: the northeastern, eastern, and southeastern region surrounding the Mediterranean from Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, (western) Iran, and Egypt). A similar evolution and change happened in the (farther) East that became dominated by Islam and Hinduism. Punishing Eve traces those roots into medieval, and early modern Europe, to our Western culture of today.
To read the entire Punishing Eve series, as well as other Zeitgeist Change commentaries, and about novels (political thrillers) by Janet Wise, go to http://www.janetwise.net/...
Whether the belief that there are such beings as witches is so essential a part of the Catholic faith that obstinately to maintain the opposite opinion manifestly savors of heresy. And it is argued that a firm belief in witches is not a Catholic doctrine: see Chapter 26, question 5, of the work of Eiscopus. Whoever believes that any creature can be changed for the better or worse, or transformed into another kind of likeness, except by the Creator of all things, is worse than a pagan and heretic.
… To commence, the expressions of the Canon must be treated of in detail (although the sense of the Canon will be even more clearly elucidated in the following question). For the divine in many places commands that witches are not only to be avoided, but also they are to be put to death, and it would not impose the extreme penalty of this kind if witches did not really and truly make a compact with devils in order to bring about real and true hurts and harms.
… This is the opinion of St Thomas when he discusses whether it be evil to make use of the help of devils (ii. 7). For in the 18th chapter of Deuteronomy it is commanded that all wizards and charmers are to be destroyed. Also the 19th chapter of Leviticus says: The soul which goeth to wizards and soothsayers to commit fornication with them, I will set my face against that soul, and destroy it out of the midst of my people. And again, 20: A man, or woman, in whom there is a pythonical or divining spirit dying, let them die: they shall stone them. Those persons are said to be pythons in whom the devil works extraordinary things.
The Malleus Maleficarum: or Hammer of Witches, Part I, Question 1: Whether the Belief that there are such Beings as Witches is so Essential a Part of the Catholic Faith that Obstinacy to maintain the Opposite Opinion manifestly savours of Heresy, (1484), by Heinrich Godfrey Kramer and Jacob Sprenger, Catholic Dominican Inquisitors.
(The Malleus was written as a text for the witch inquisitions in response to Pope Innocent VIII’s papal bull to formalize a plan of action against the Catholic Church’s paranoia of a worldwide conspiracy of witches and Satan. It became the encyclopedia for inquisitors and courts throughout Europe to identify, accuse, torture convictions from, and execute women as witches over the next three centuries. It even, for a brief time, spread to the Calvinist American colonies. The Church was never censored nor condemned for this holocaust against women.)
PART XV: PUNISHING EVE—
Just as war is very profitable for U.S. weapons’ manufacturers, Department of Defense contractors, and many individuals within the elite segment of society who have vested interests in industries providing services and materials required to wage war in our modern-day society, by the seventeenth century in Europe witch-hunting had become an industry. It supported the courts – secular and religious – paying the salaries of the judges, court officials, torturers, physicians, clergymen, scribes, guards, and attendants. Every act of torture, every banquet which the judges held whenever a suspect appeared before them, the very food the prisoner was given had to be paid for. The workmen who erected the stakes and scaffolds, and the men who brought the wood and tar for the executions, profited by the death of each witch. Innkeepers profited by the crowds who came to watch the executions. The need to keep the organization functioning and thereby providing a livelihood for so many people was a major factor in the insistence that witches be tortured into confession and denunciation of accomplices, for a supply of potential victims was essential. “Wretched creatures are compelled by the severity of the torture to confess things they have never done,” said Father Cornelius Loos in 1592, “and so by cruel butchery innocent lives are taken; and by a new alchemy, gold and silver are coined from human blood.” This is an excellent, though alarming analogy to use in considering how many Americans feed from the trough of our never-ending war, and the overall cost to society, both domestically and globally, to maintain this atrocity.
The property of the condemned witches yielded extensive booty for whatever local authority had jurisdiction. After paying the expenses, the property of the witch was confiscated either by the autonomous town, the local nobleman, the king, the bishop, or the Inquisitors; sometimes several courts, secular and ecclesiastical, shared the loot. With such an easy source of funds, it is not strange that the leaders of Germany and France were for a long time content to let the witch persecutions continue.
The witch hunts of early modern Europe have sometimes been compared to Nazi genocide in the twentieth century. R. H. Robbins writes, “To a century which has seen the annihilation of some 15,000,000 human beings in five years by the Nazis, the cruelty and injustice of the witch judges may seem inconsequential. It took 200 years to burn at a conservative estimate, 200,000 witches. Obviously in comparison to Nazi genocide, witchcraft cannot be compared to fascism. But what makes the witch persecutions so repellent and morally lower than fascism, is that throughout civilized Europe, the clergy led the persecutions and condoned them in the name of Christianity, while the lawyers and judges and professors abetted them in the name of reason.”
 Rossell Hope Robbins, The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft & Demonology, (Crown Publishers, New York, NY, 1981 edition) p 16.
 Ibid, p 16
 Ibid., p 17