Thursday, September 30, 2004
Ashcroft & Hopkins: Witch-Finder Generals
What does John Ashcroft have in common with Matthew Hopkins, the original Witch-finder General? The similarities are actually quite spooky. Here is a list which includes some quotes from this bio of
: Witch Finder General Hopkins
- Ashcroft: Attorney General
: Enabled by the Witchcraft Acts of 1563 and 1604 Hopkins
- Ashcroft: Enabled by the Patriot Acts of 2001 and 2003
was the son of a Puritan minister Hopkins
- Ashcroft is the son of an Pentecostal minister
was “an orthodox Puritan of narrowest views” Hopkins
- Ashcroft is an an orthodox Puritan of narrowest views
was trained as a lawyer Hopkins
- Ashcroft was trained as a lawyer
persecuted women Hopkins
- Ashcroft persecutes women
: Suspicious of cats Hopkins
- Ashcroft: Suspicious of cats
exploited the prevailing atmosphere of uncertainty, religiosity and anxiety caused by the civil war to justify his behaviour Hopkins
- Ashcroft exploits the prevailing atmosphere of uncertainty, religiosity and anxiety caused by 9/11 and the
war to justify his behaviour Iraq encouraged people to fear their neighbours Hopkins
- Ashcroft encourages people to fear their neighbours
encouraged people to inform on their neighbour Hopkins
- Ashcroft encourages people to inform on their neighbour
arrested and detained people accused of being witches on tenuous evidence Hopkins
- Ashcroft arrests and detains people accused of being terrorists on tenuous evidence.
used torture as an interrogation tool Hopkins
- Ashcroft uses torture as an interrogation tool
: “As a lawyer he was adept at using his evil ingenuity to disguise his use of torture as ‘interrogation’, and therefore stayed within the confines of the law.” Hopkins
- Ashcroft: As a lawyer he is adept at using his evil ingenuity to disguise his use of torture as ‘interrogation’, and therefore stay within the confines of the law.
- Hopkins: “he would have his victims thrown into a isolated prison cell, stripped naked, beaten, starved and kept from sleep, while using the pain and humiliation psychologically against them… the victim was made to sit cross-legged on a table or stool, then bound in the posture with cords and left alone for up to 24 hours or until such time as the cramps and pain set in.”
- Ashcroft: he has his victims thrown into a isolated prison cell, stripped naked, beaten, starved and kept from sleep, while using the pain and humiliation psychologically against them…the victim is made to sit cross-legged on a table or stool, then bound in the posture with cords and left alone for up to 24 hours or until such time as the cramps and pain set in.
boasted that he possessed a “Devil’s List”, containing a coded list of all the witches in Hopkins . England
- Ashcroft helped institute the Total Information Awareness project
“created something like a reign of terror at the time, (which) has caused his name to stink in the nostrils of all decent persons ever since”. Hopkins
- Ashcroft: Well, yes.
History Heads gives a brief history of
The East Anglian witch hunt
In the spring of 1645, during the agony and anxiety of the English Civil Wars, fears about the malevolence of witches boiled over in
That the East Anglian trials happened at all was due mostly to the self-appointed minor gentlemen Matthew Hopkins and John Stearne, who travelled around the eastern counties, exploiting pre-existing tensions and suspicions among villagers by initiating interrogations and setting the wheels of justice in motion.
After 1660, with the fall of the English republic, witch-beliefs and village conflicts continued to find expression through the Witchcraft Act, although 'religious enthusiasm' was scorned as politically dangerous. Impassioned theocracy continued to thrive in
Many of the men and women who began new lives in America hailed from Essex and Suffolk where the English witch hunt was most intense in the 1640s – indeed, Salem was situated in a region christened 'Essex County' by its settlers. There were other geographical echoes, principally in the town of
Transatlantic connections can be traced even more precisely.