Non-Criminal and Criminal Vampirism by Sherrie D. Larch

Writer’s note: This was a term paper I did in a criminal justice class. I picked this subject because subcultures have always interested me and this was no different. Though, I will not be giving up being human the vampire life is not for me but I do love the Gothic fashions.

Introduction

Mythologies, legends, narratives, and factual accounts of vampirism and the consumption of human and animal blood have been around for thousands of years. Those with diseases, conditions and disorders that had vampire like side effects and those with different lifestyles have all helped to keep the vampire legend alive. The thought of blood drinking and its symbolism has both fascinated and repulsed humankind throughout antiquity. Certain religious and cultural systems have created secular and spiritual laws that have declared it legally wrong and morally reprehensible; these cultures have classified blood drinking as a depravity and a sin towards humanity. In other religious and cultural systems the consumption of animal blood is a societally recognized and excepted tradition that symbolizes strength, existence, and a source of nutrition. In some indigenous traditions human blood consumption is perceived as appropriate in both sacrifice and ceremony.

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The vampire’s narrative continues through literature and Hollywood’s movies and television shows. Sometimes the vampire is the malevolent blood sucking monster and sometimes they are the benevolent mysterious hero that liberates the innocent from danger. Today, vampire subcultures can be found in every country and in almost every major city around the world. Most of the individuals that participate in blood drinking and or are active in the subcultural of vampirism are harmless, only feeding off willing participants or pretending too. But there are those that suffer from mental illnesses or other behavioral disorders that become the stereotypical malevolent vampire, stalking their prey because of bloodlust and the need to kill. So what are the differences between non-criminal vampirism and criminal vampirism? And which has humanity throughout time focused more on, the malevolent vampire or benevolent vampire?

Vampirism and Blood Drinking: Legend, Folklore, Myth

Legends of vampirism and blood consumption can be found in practically every civilization on earth, past and present. Melton (1999) explains: “Belief in vampire-like creatures probably goes back in human experience long before written record. Both a respectful fear of the dead and a belief in the magical qualities of blood may be found in cultures around the world” (Forward ix.) Overtime the legendary vampire myth changed from blood drinking gods, goddesses, demons, and revenge seeking spirits to the walking undead that were cursed for eternity. The legend and folklore of the vampire both symbolize trepidation and fascination with a creature that is both mysterious and terrifying. The mortal human being, that is just flesh and bone, transformed into a soulless monster through the brutality of exsanguination. The monstrosity that is produced slumbers in its own grave awaiting the time to prey on its innocent neighbors. Or a supernatural creature that has circumvented the authority of death itself, arising again, becoming an immortal. Both these variations of the vampire mythology caption the believer’s imagination and morbid curiosities.

Those that believed in vampires were terrified of their physical and paranormal powers. Tales of vampires utilizing supernatural physical strength, telepathic manipulation, extrasensory intuition, and animalistic hunting skills to deceive and apprehend their victims can be found throughout legend, folklore, and myths. Vampires were also thought to have the ability to shape-shift and turn into wolves and bats to pursue their victims. In some myths the vampire could astral project and materialize into an individual’s home through the walls like smoke; in this scenario there was nowhere to hide. The legend of the vampire was also fascinating because they were mysterious beings that were immortal with the ability to turn others into immortals if they chose too. A vampire was a symbol of surviving what humanity has always feared and seen as an unanswerable mystery, death and the afterlife that may or may exist.

In these legends, folklore, and myths victims had a few weapons they could employ to either weaken or annihilate the vampire. In some tales the vampire could only proceed into an individual’s residency if they were invited inside. In some myths wolfsbane, garlic, and religious symbols, including the crucifix and holy water, would repel and weaken a vampire so the victim could make their escape. Fire, sometimes sunlight, decapitation, cutting out the heart, or a stake through the heart would kill a vampire. Steiger (2010) states: “If a village was under attack by a creature of the undead that was driven to leave his or her grave by a craving for human blood, the village priest and a few stalwart men would dig through the rot of the grave, drive a wooden stake through the predator’s heart, and decapitate the vampire” (Pg. 173.) It was the responsibility of the religious leader and the men of a village to keep the women, children, and elderly from both the spiritual damnation and the physical harm that the mythical vampire represented. The appearance of a corpse’s natural decaying processes and the graves of deceased villagers, being mysteriously opened and some of their bodies disappearing because of grave robbers, wild animals, and premature burials (which were quite common before modern medicine), could all symbolize a vampire afoot. These strange events that could not be explained could all send a peaceful but superstitious village into a vampire hunting frenzy. These hunts could endanger any one that was perceived to be a vampire in the country side.

Vampirism and Blood Drinking: Religious and Cultural Views

Ramsland (1998) states: “People have always had an attraction for blood. The blood is the life, and for some it has a magical, spiritual element. In some cultures, warriors used to drink the blood of their enemies to gain their vitality” (Pg. 219.) The symbolism of vampirism and blood consumption can be found in the religious systems of the ancient cultures of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and India. Egyptians worshiped the blood drinking goddess Sekhmet. Steiger (2010) states: “The great Hindu goddess Kali is herself a vampire, and it is said that her image manifests over battlefields, her long tongue lapping up the blood of the fallen” (Pg. 6.) Vampires in Mesopotamia were identified as the Ekimmu and were believed to be individuals that had not been buried appropriately or had perished with unfinished responsibilities in the physical world. Numerous religions and cultures, both ancient and contemporary, have either adjudicated the consumption of human or animal blood as a sin and a depravity or an important component of their spiritual and tribal ceremonies and traditions. Judaism recognizes both the sacredness and unsanitariness of blood. Ancient Jews believed that an individual’s soul energy flowed in their bloodstream. Consumption of animal or human blood was considered a sin and not Kosher. Livestock was to be slaughtered so there was the maximum quantity of blood flow out of the body and then the carcass was hung up to bleed for a period of time. Christianity symbolizes the consumption of Christ’s blood and flesh during communion. But the ingestion of actual animal blood is considered unacceptable and human blood consumption is deemed a sin. Historically, Christianity has categorized vampirism in with witchcraft, demon worship, and cannibalism. Certain cannibal tribes, past and present, around the world participate in drinking the blood of their victims for different ceremonial and religious purposes. There are other indigenous people that use animal blood for religious, ceremonial, and dietary practices. On the continent of Africa the Maasai tribe of Kenya drinks cow’s blood for various reasons. The Maasai Association states: “Traditionally, the Maasai rely on meat, milk and blood from cattle for protein and caloric needs. People drink blood on special occasions. It is given to a circumcised person (o/esipolioi), a woman who has given birth (entomononi) and the sick (oltamueyiai). Also, on a regular basis drunk elders, ilamerak, use the blood to alleviate intoxication and hangovers.” In the past the Plains Indians of North America would use every part or the buffalo, including drinking its blood for nutrients and hydration.

Vampirism: Physical and Mental Illnesses

Historically, a corpse that appeared bloated and dark purple was seen as a potential vampire. A living vampire was described as appearing anemic and incredibly undernourished, which described countless individuals suffering from illnesses, diseases, and dietary problems including iron deficiency and other vitamin deficiencies. These conditions were fairly common throughout Europe and the rest of the world because of food shortages, poverty, and various viruses and bacterial outbreaks throughout history. Viral and bacterial outbreaks would cause mass hysteria and those that had superstitious beliefs would try to explain why people were sick or dying. Those that had rabies or another disease that could not be explained were sometimes listed as a victim of a vampire or vampirism. The side effects and behaviors of certain physical conditions and mental illnesses have been historically accredited to the legend of the vampire. This included sun sensitivity caused by an allergy to sunlight or illnesses like Porphyria, which is also called “The Vampire Disease”. Dr. Peter W. Kujtan explains porphyria: “There exists a fairly rare group of genetic disorders that have unfairly branded many sufferers with the term “vampire”. These poor souls are extremely sensitive to sunlight that can easily result in burns and abrasions, and so they prefer darkness. They suffer from acute attacks of abdominal pains, vomiting and loose stools. Their urine may have a purplish-red color leading some to wrongly believe that it results from drinking blood. Those afflicted may have increased hair growth, and with repeated damage, their skin tightens and shrinks. When this occurs around the mouth, the canine teeth appear to be more prominent, and suggestive of fangs. At other times, it causes depression and affects the brain to produce peculiar behavior. It is probably no surprise that garlic makes all the symptoms worse.” People with other conditions that appeared to be vampire-like or seemed to have the same sensitivities of a vampire were also looked at with superstition. Albinism a genetic condition that effects the body’s pigmentation, giving the sufferer extremely pale skin, light blonde or white hair, and pale blue or red eyes. And the condition Hemeralopia (daylight blinds), which is caused by various reasons including a genetic disorder of the eye, a side effect of an illness or side effect of a deficiency of vitamin A. Both of these physical conditions could be mistaken for vampirism. Those that suffered with mental illnesses that made them believe they were a vampire or needed blood for nourishment and energy, including what is called Rienfeld’s syndrome today. Were both a danger to themselves and others and kept the legend of the vampire alive. The sufferers of these disorder and conditions were at times ostracized or worse throughout human history. They were seen as being cursed and a spiritual and physical danger to others. People on the fringes of society like prostitutes, adulators, and homosexuals were all deemed part of the vampire legend.

The Vampire in Literature and Hollywood

In literature, historical and contemporary, vampires are depicted both as being the monster and the lover, being romanticized and demonized. Melton (1998) states:“Count Dracula is unquestionably the most influential vampire of the twentieth century, perhaps of all-time. His debut came as the title character in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel…There had been a variety of vampires prior to Dracula…but none caught the public imagination like the infamous Count from Transylvania did”(Pg. 1.) Vampires have been authored as frightening beast of prey, sleeping by day in their coffin and hunting innocent victims by night. In Stephen King’s book Salem’s Lot, the malevolent vampire is visualized as a miscreation that originated from the shadowy side of both the physical world and the afterlife to hypnotize or physically force others into death or the miserable life of vampirism. Vampires have also been depicted in literature as sensuous, romantic, and even heroic beings that come to save their victims from harm or the darkness of death to cross them over to everlasting life and sometimes even immortal love. The benevolent vampire is fashioned as being extremely handsome or beautiful and instead of forcing or hypnotizing a victim, they use charm to seduce the willing individual. Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula is a combination of both the benevolent and malevolent vampire, having both a charm and a darker side that follows an evil nature. Melton (1998) states: “He effectively combined the elements of power, sexuality, and sensuality that lifted the vampire head and shoulders above other literary monsters and helped to make vampires the rich subject of modern horror fantasy that they are today” (Pg. 1.) Anne Rice’s vampire Lestat is both charming and dangerous, following in the tradition of Dracula.

Today, Hollywood movie and television producers keep the fictional benevolent and malevolent vampire alive on the screen. Vampires are featured in horror, science fiction, and fantasy films and television shows, having a large fan base. Television shows including Angel and Moonlight have the main characters as reluctant vampires that hate being vampires, saving innocence people from the bad guys or other vampires and monsters. Movies portray the vampire as good trying to live with humanity or evil wanting to feed and kill humanity. Sony Pictures’ movie 30 Days of Night (2007) defines what the true malevolent vampire is “In a small Alaskan town, thirty days of night is natural phenomena. Very few outsiders visit, until a band of bloodthirsty, deathly pale vampires mark their arrival by savagely attacking sled dogs. But soon they find there are much more satisfying thirst-quenchers about: human beings.” The question here is which factual vampire do modern society and the criminal justice system interpret as the real vampire? The legendary malevolent vampire that kills for nourishment and pleasure or the benevolent vampire that is reluctant to kill. In the real world there is both criminal and non-criminal vampirism; that either follows a lifestyle of fantasy and role-play or a behavior that endangers both the sufferer and the victim.

Non-criminal and Non-violent Vampirism and Vampyrism

Throughout history there have been individuals that pursued a lifestyle of vampirism, both desiring and consuming blood for various reasons including sexual desire. Some contemporary vampires do consume blood, which can be either animal or human. And there are also individuals that have a blood fetish and drink blood but do not call themselves vampires. There are those in the vampire and blood fetish communities that suffer from a paraphilia called a partialism. Hickey (2006) states: “A partialism is an arousal or attraction to a body part or product from the body” (Pg. 83.) This type of consensual sexual vampire and those individuals that identify themselves as blood fetishists concentrate on blood sexually; its texture, taste, smell, and color. The sexual partialism towards blood may have come from a childhood experience or an adult interaction that has somehow connected blood psychological to arousal and the act of sex. The blood fetishist may not be able to come to an orgasm without the presents and/or the consumption of blood. There are also consensual vampires that do not have a partialism towards blood but do participate in blood drinking for sexual enjoyment occasionally. These vampires do not depend on blood as their only sexual outlet and most do not connect it psychological only to sex, drinking blood for other reasons including ceremony or special occasion. Most that participate in this sexual behavior are not suffering from a mental illness and they are not dangerous.

In the vampire community a donor and vampire follow strict and specific rules that protect and benefit both. Belanger (2007) explains: “Feeding should occur between consenting adults. Allow donors to make an informed decision before they give of themselves to you. Do not take rapaciously from others, but seek to have an exchange that is pleasant and beneficial for all. Respect the life that you feed upon and do not abuse those who provide for you” (Pg. 138.) Though, modern vampires do buy animal blood from slaughterhouses and butchers shops, most consensual vampires look for consenting human donor partners that are willing to allow them to drink their blood. The donor may be paid for this service or may donate their blood to the vampire partner. The health and safety of the donor and vampire is important in both the hygienic process of the blood transaction and the health and safety of those participating. A vampire and a donor must find a mentally and physically healthy partner without blood diseases including hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. Most do some kind of health screening system to connect with a healthy vampire or donor. Georges (2009) states: “A vampire would be smart to ask for a blood and lab workup for poisons, viruses, and other pollutants in the blood. We know just how much HIV from blood can kill which makes this even more important to the vampire. Then there is the questionnaire about diet, drinking habits, drug use and history. A diet high in fat can add lipid pollutants to the blood. Alcohol is also a pollutant that lowers the quality of the blood energy by adding high amounts of triglcerides. Drug use can really lower the quality of blood, whether it be from illegal drugs or prescription drug use. These substances can stay in the blood for some time and pass with the blood.”

Today, there are those that participate in the contemporary vampire subculture. Contemporary vampirism, also identified as vampyrism, is a subculture that expresses a world that is more fantasy than reality. The majority of the vampyre community does not suffer from a partialism to blood or any mental illnesses. Some in the vampyre community drink small amounts of blood but most in this subculture participate in role-playing. Living and dressing like the legendary vampire to enjoying the fantasy of this gothic lifestyle, without actually participating in blood consumption. This allows them to participate in the lifestyle without crossing any moral lines or risking their health. Hickey (2006) states: “In this alternative lifestyle, vampirism is seen as a way to express oneself sexually. Actual blood ingestion in this group is not common, and many people who participate in the vampire culture do not drink blood, many even find the notion unappealing, if not altogether unsafe” (Pg. 112.) Those that role-play as vampires do not need blood for sexual interaction; they just express their sexuality through costume, makeup, customized fang implants, and a dark Gothic atmosphere. There are individuals that do not participate in this subculture fully but still live a lifestyle as a solitary vampyre, rarely interacting with other vampyres outside their small group. Many of the heroic vampires in contemporary literature, movies, and television shows have influenced the vampyre subculture, making the vampire a romantic character to illustrate through an alternative lifestyle of fantasy and play.

Criminal and Clinical Vampirism and Blood Drinking

Throughout history there have been individuals that participated in violent behavior involving the consumption and/or interaction with blood. The individuals that committed these acts became obsessed with blood because of mental illnesses or personality disorders. In the sixteenth century Countess Elizabeth Bathory of Hungary, was both a necrophilist and a sadist, she was also known for her obsession for blood. Copper (1993) states: “The Countess, who was born in 1560, was brought to trial in 1611 after authorities had raided her castle during an orgy. Girls were found tortured, and chained in dungeons and apparently used as living cows, being “milked” of their blood as needed. The Countess’s blood-lust was said to have been aroused when she scratched her maid with a comb in a fit of temper and found blood on her hands. She had the impression it did her skin good and actually bathed in it” (Pg. 151.) The Countess believed that bathing in blood could stop her aging process and there were rumors that she may have even consumed the blood of her victims, though there is no tangible proof of this charge. The Countess was responsible for the torture and deaths of hundreds of young woman and girls.

The partialism towards human and animal blood can become an obsession that is far from a simple physical or sexual fetish for individuals that suffer from different behavioral disorders. Individuals that suffer from a violent sexual or personality disorder may be driven by their need for blood when committing a violent criminal activity. Those suffering from childhood and adult paraphilia involving the sexualization of blood and its consumption and those suffering from mental illnesses including schizophrenia may develop clinical vampirism, also called Renfield’s syndrome. Schizophrenia is a mental illness that causes visual and auditory hallucinations and delusional thought processes. Individuals that suffer from schizophrenia can develop vampiric behavioral symptoms; the individual may drink their own blood or the blood of others. Richard Trenton Chase, a paranoid schizophrenic nicknamed the “Vampire of Sacramento”, believed that consuming the blood of humans and animals would keep him alive. He gradually became controlled by his paranoid delusions. Bovsun (2010) states: “Everybody was after him – Nazis, the FBI, space aliens – and their weapon was an innocent-looking item in his bathroom: the soap dish. It was there that those who wanted to do him in had hidden a secret poison that was slowly turning his blood to powder. Chase knew only fresh blood could save him and he didn’t care where it came from or how he got it.” An individual suffering from a mental illness or behavioral disorder may have hallucinations, delusional thoughts, a sexual compulsion for blood, and other deviant behaviors. These conditions over time creates a belief that blood is needed to survive or exist. The individual may become obsessed with the consumption of blood and the mythologies of the magical qualities of blood. The individual may believe that it will keep them youthful or even give them immortality. Other Individuals may belief that blood consumption gives them energy and nourishment and without it, they would die. These vampiric dilutions and thought processes can create an alternative reality, where the sufferer truly believes they are a vampire. This is what is called clinical vampirism.

Clinical vampirism is also known as Renfield’s syndrome, named after a lunatic asylum patient in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Those that have the condition believe they need to drink blood to stay alive and some truly believe they are a vampire. Renfield’s syndrome develops over time, usually in four stages. Hickey (2006) states: “The stages in this syndrome include the following. A pivotal event leads to some form of blood drinking for the first time (usually in childhood), and the experience of bleeding or tasting blood is found exciting…Then, auto-vampiric activities occur {drinking one’s own blood}…Zoophagous activity comes next (the drinking of the blood of animal)…Finally true vampirism results as sufferers begin to procure and ingest the blood of humans…”(Pg. 115.) The consumption of human blood may come from donors like in consensual vampirism, but unlike consensual vampirism, the individual suffering from Renfield’s syndrome truly believes that they are like the legendary vampire. Their delusions and hallucinations make them believe that without proper feeding they will grow weaker and could possibly die. An individual may feel that animal blood is not enough, if the sufferer cannot find a willing human participate to feed from, an unwilling victim may be needed. This is when non-criminal vampirism turns into criminal vampirism.

The clinical vampire may have sadistic and ritualistic fantasies that drive them to horrific acts. In 1996 sixteen year old Roderick Ferrell killed the parents of Heather Wendorf, a member of his “Vampire Clan” and his second girlfriend in the vampire cult. He brutally beat Richard and Naoma Ruth Wendorf, bludgeoning them to death with a crowbar. Before the murders, Ferrell’s clan of vampires had been ostracized from the local vampire subculture and had been involved in sadistic and ritualistic torture and mutilation of dogs at a shelter and ritually killing two puppies. Ferrell believed that he was a vampire that had lived for centuries. Jones (1999) states: “Roderick said he had been asleep for five centuries, that he had been tired of the great adventure called life, but, cursed with immortality, he had grown restless” (Pg. 13.) Ferrell believed that blood consumption and killing, increased his dominance over others telepathically. He also wanted to open the “Gates of Hell” which require even more victims and blood. Individuals like Roderick Ferrell that suffer from clinical vampirism gradually become so delusional that they suffer from not just a partialsm for blood but go into a full bloodlust. The act of consuming blood is not enough to satisfy the need for blood and killing is the only way to stop this craving.

The paraphilia of vampirism alone is not considered a dangerous behavior and psychological or psychiatric treatment is only proscribed for those that feel they need help. Renfield’s syndrome is very different from basic vampirism and is so complex in most patients it may be hard to treat or even find the root cause or causes. O’Neal (2009) states: “Clinical vampirism groups some of the most shocking pathological behaviors observed. It is one of the few pathological manifestations that blends myth and reality in dramatic fashion and contains many possible elements including schizophrenia, psychopathic and perverse features.” An individual that suffers from clinical vampirism may be treated for the underlying mental illness or violent personality or sexual disorder, including any other paraphilia that have violent overtones. The treatment of these disorders may include psychological therapy, psychopharmacological treatment, hospitalization, and if the behavior becomes violent towards others prison.

Conclusion

Throughout legend and myth the vampire has been portrayed as demons, spirits, gods and goddesses, and the undead. The act of blood drinking has been seen as repulsive or a magical exchange of immortally. Blood drinking in some subcultures have been considered a tribal or spiritual tradition. Those with illnesses, diseases, physical disorders, and psychological conditions have been ostracized or worse because they had qualities that the legendary vampire was thought to have. The buried dead could not even escape the paranoia that vampirism could inspire. Today, modern novelists and screenwriters keep the vampire legend alive, creating new forms of both the malevolent and benevolent vampire. The modern vampyre subculture captures the vampire legend and makes it their own. Vampirism and blood drinking also has a darker violent history of those that believed they had to have blood to stay young or live forever. Some did not see themselves as a vampire; others believed that they were a true vampire. Individuals that followed a vampiric lifestyle sometimes chose to injure, mutilate, torture, and even murder their victims in sadistic and ritualistic fantasies. Today the malevolent and benevolent vampire can be found in the real world and the world of legend and fiction.

References:

Belanger, M (2007). Vampires in Their Own Words: An Anthology of Vampire Voices. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Worldwide.

Bovsun, M (2010). Just crazy for blood: Richard Trenton Chase, a.k.a. the Vampire of Sacramento. Retrieved at: http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-01- 03/news/17944752_1_blood-fbi-space-aliens

Copper, B (1993). The Vampire: In Legend and Fact. New York, NY: Carol Publishing Group Citadel Press.

Georges, D (2009). Sanguine Vampirism and It’s Problems. Vampire Church. Retrieved at: http://www.vampire-church.com/cms/articles/37-prana-blood-vampirism/96-sanguine-vampirism-and-its-problems

Hickey, E. W. (2006). Sex crimes and paraphilia. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Jones, A (1999). The Embrace: A True Vampire Story. New York, NY: Pocket Books: A Division of Simon & Schuster Inc.

Kujtan, P (2005). Porphyria: The Vampire Disease. Retrieved at: http://www.bydewey.com/drkporphyria.html

The Maasai Association. THE MAASAI PEOPLE. Retrieved at: http://www.maasaiassociation.org/maasai.html

Melton, J.G (1998).The Vampire Gallery: A Who’s Who of the Undead. Farmington, MI: Visible Ink Press.

Melton, J.G (1999). The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead. Canton, MI: Visible Ink Press.

O’Neal, B.J. (2009). Human Living Vampires – What Investigators Need to Know. Retrieved at: http://thevampireproject.blogspot.com/2009/01/human-living-vampires-what.html

Ramsland, K (1998). Piercing the Darkness: Undercover with Vampires in America Today. New York, NY: Harper Paperbacks: A Division of HarperCollins Publishers.

Sony Pictures (2007), Synopsis of the Movie 30 Days of Night. Retrieved at: http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/30daysofnight/

Steiger, B (2010). Real Vampires, Night Stalker, and Creatures from the Darkside. Canton, MI: Visible Ink Press

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The Myth of Race: Religion, Science, and Racial Separatists by Sherrie D. Larch

A person’s perceived racial identity can be a blessing or a curse. In the United States race has always been an important subject, which has carried with it oppression and segregation. This history began with the encampment and genocide of the Native Americans by the European explorers, the enslavement of Africans in the New World, the recent history of the strong segregation of the Jim Crow laws in Southern states, and the long and hard fight for racial integration. Racial hatred still thrives today in the United States and throughout the world, sometimes in the light, and sometimes in the shadows. Separatist groups, using both faulty science and twisted religion, try to separate the human race into sections and define each race into superior and inferior species. But what really is race?

Racism

The origin of the human race has always been a fascination for both science and religion. Charles Darwin in 1859 was one of the first scientists to come up with a theory based in science, which explained the human race’s existence called evolution. Darwin’s theory of evolution supported the fact that the human race was one species. However, this also allowed for other scientists to come up with theories of unequal evolutional processes, and the theory of “survival of the fittest”, where human groups are in competition for resources. This view also allowed for racism in a different way, viewing darker skinned ethnic groups as less evolved than lighter skinned ethnic groups. Science today bases its theories on bones, genetic findings, and artifacts from the distant past, to support the theory of evolution and the development and movement of the human race. “The earliest hominids evolved from apes about 5 million years ago, but modern humans (Homo sapiens) didn’t emerge until 150,000 – 200,000 years ago in eastern Africa, where we spent most of our evolution together as a species” (“Go Deeper: Human Diversity”) http://www.pbs.org/race/000_About/002_04-godeeper.htm. Most of today’s scientists do not view people through any mythical racial scenario; they categorize human beings by geographic and cultural differences.

The various world religions have many kinds of stories to explain the human race’s beginnings, and why we are here on planet earth, weaving beautiful and sometimes horrific tales of creation. In the Hebrew Bible’s Genesis, the human race began with Adam, a being sculpted by God from the earth. This story of the human race’s creation is recognized by three major religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Many Native American creation stories also have the human race created from the earth, being of one race. In the Hopi tribe’s first story of creation they include a being called Spider Woman, who gives life to the human race after creating everything else on earth. In this story the human race slowly separates, going to different parts of the world causing conflicts within the human family, and forgetting the Creator. Finally they are destroyed and recreated, and we may be being recreated right now. In most of these creation stories, the message is the same; we are one species and to go against your fellow human being, is to sin against a Creator.

White separatists in the United States and throughout the world have a different viewpoint on the origins and the definition of what race is. They have used science and religion for hundreds of years to categorize humans into races and even different species, for their theories and beliefs. Using scientific research of the past and their own pseudo anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, linguists, and bio-scientists to come up with an alternate theory for the human race, where each race developed independently and in different parts of the world. Religion has also played a part in separating the human specie, using stories of creation to support their viewpoint. The Christian Identity movement (which started in England), and other separatists Christian sects throughout history have used religion to support their theories of racial divide. They have used both the story of Christian creationism and the mythical “Tower of Babble”, which they believe is God separating the races once again. Followers of this form of Christianity believe that the separation of the races started even before the Garden of Eden itself, using creationism instead of evolution, to support their theology of racial separation and racial purity. Non-whites are viewed as soulless beast, which must be controlled or exterminated for their own good and to protect against racial or species mixing. Jews are viewed as the children of the devil, which the serpent represents, and a danger to the white race and Christianity itself. Any interracial breeding, which they believe was the real meaning of the “original sin”, is considered an abomination to God and the Christian faith, weakening the white race’s genetic and spiritual heritage. The white race is supposed to be protected at all times from the other races. The mythical white womanhood is to be protected, because women are the doors to the white race’s future generations and they have inherited Eve’s weakness for interbreeding with the other species. A white woman’s primary job is to ensure that the white race continues by picking a husband, who is racially pure, and having children and educating them about the importance of the white race and its purity.

White Christian separatists in the United States believe that at some time there will be what they call a race war, where the white race will have to battle against all the other races on earth, and that they will have to forcefully take the United States back from non-whites. Some of these groups believe this is already beginning with what they call the “culture war”. The movement teaches its followers not to trust the United Nations or the United States’ government, which they believe are backed by a Jewish agenda to destroy the white race and to take away its God given rights and country. Equal rights laws and affirmative action protections are viewed with mistrust, because separatists believe these laws are made to take away the mythical white man’s power. They also view hate crime laws as a push towards this perceived race war, where they are prosecuted for doing their Creator’s work.

The theory that the human animal is separated into different races is a very young one. Even slavery predates the belief in different races, and was the product of conquest and power, not physical differences between people. “Ancient societies, like the Greeks, did not divide people according to physical distinctions, but according to religion, status, class, even language. The English language didn’t even have the word “race” until it turns up in a 1508 poem by William Dunbar referring to a line of kings” (“Go Deeper: What is Race”) http://www.pbs.org/race/000_About/002_01_a-godeeper.htm. Science today shows us that we are one species, not different sub-species. The human race has traveled and adapted to many different environments, which have changed our body size, type, and appearance. We have also seen recessive genes add to the different types of appearances that one may encounter in the human race, examples include blues eyes and red hair. Ancestry controls what your appearance and genetic makeup will be, not race. “Skin color really is only skin deep. Most traits are inherited independently from one another. The genes influencing skin color have nothing to do with the genes influencing hair form, eye color, blood type, musical talent, athletic ability or forms of intelligence. Knowing someone’s skin color doesn’t necessarily tell you anything else about him or her” (“Go Deeper: What is Race“)http://www.pbs.org/race/000_About/002_01_a-godeeper.htm. The side effects of defining the human race into races has been disastrous, causing untold harm and death, allowing for brutal slavery, segregation, and numerous genocides in the past several hundred years. In the United States racial segregationists have committed numerous terrorist attacks on African-Americans, Jews, and other ethnic groups, burning and bombing churches, synagogues, and businesses. They have murdered their fellow human beings, without legal ramifications, using constitutional protections to back their agenda and actions. Today, these white separatist individuals and groups pose a danger not just to the individual, who is the perceived other, but also to the security of the countries they inhabit.

Separating people into races and even species is scientifically and spiritually wrong. The theory that the human animal is separated into different races is a very young one, and hopefully it can be reversed, with cultural and diversity education. We call ourselves evolved and have the brain power for many great things, yet we look toward our own species with hate, seeing simple differences as an excuse to do inhuman and un-Godly crimes against each other. So are we really as evolved as we profess to be? This question may never be answered, if we do not want to even admit there is a problem.

Pyramids Of Other Worlds Blue Moons AP2 SDL Triptych
Pyramids Of Other Worlds Blue Moons AP2 SDL Triptych by AtlantisSeekerArt
See other Pyramids of giza egypt Triptychs at zazzle

Indigenous Judaism, Pauline Christianity and Feminism by Sherrie D. Larch

Writers Note: This was a college paper I had to do comparing two different ideologies.

Eve 1

Who should control a woman’s body, mind and soul? Is Eve equal to Adam? Throughout history women have been treated like second class citizens; property of men. They have been blamed for being evil seductresses and sorceresses; leading the male sex to ruin, through black magic and feminine wilds. They have been called too intelligent, as well as, too ignorant, and too strong, as well as, too weak; to have basic human rights for themselves. They have been misunderstood, hated, abused, killed and in many ways totally ignored, but still blamed for all the world‘s ills; controlled in one way or the other, body, mind and soul; for thousands of years. These questions have especially been asked since the beginning of the three main Abrahamic religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam which are for the most part patriarchal in nature. The Apostle Paul‘s form of Christianity, also called Pauline Christianity reinforced a patriarchal ideology.

In Pauline Christianity women are viewed as just a part of a man’s body, not owning her own; just a simple rib. This belief comes down from the teachings of the Apostle Paul and misinterpretation, through language translation and biases, and by Church leaders’ interpretations of the creation story of Adam and Eve in Genesis. In the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) Genesis 2:21 and 2:22 states: “So Hashem God cast a deep sleep upon the man and he slept; and He took one of his sides and He filled in flesh in its place. Then Hashem God fashioned the side that He had taken from the man into a women, and He brought her to the man”. In the true translation from Hebrew to English, half of the being Adam is taken to make the being Eve; not just a single rib. This means in the unchanged indigenous Jewish religion, if interpreted correctly in Hebrew not Greek, man and woman are two equal halves of what was once a hermaphroditic being, a being that was both masculine and feminine in body. The equality of the sexes in the original writings of Judaism is also supported by Genesis 1:27, which states: “So God created Man in his image, in the image of God. He created him; male and female He created them”. On a spiritual level God is seen as both masculine and feminine, viewing both sexes as equal and important to the spiritual and physical worlds.

Both Protestant and Catholic forms of Pauline Christianity have long banned the equal rights of women throughout history, using false interpretations of Jewish biblical text and gender biased in the Christian bible, to support their rules and laws. Pope Gregory I (540-604) stated: “Woman is slow in understanding and her unstable and naïve mind renders her by way of natural weakness to the necessity of a strong hand in her husband. Her “use” is twofold; [carnal] sex and motherhood.”Church leaders barred women from equal access to education, jobs, medical treatment, owning property and many other basic rights. Her mind, body and soul belonged to her male relatives or her husband. A woman’s husband could beat her into submission under Christian law, because she was considered just a child mentally, and the daughter of Eve, the deceiver; spiritually. Rabbi Gershon Winkler writes: “Ruling class European men looked at and treated their women basically as they did their African slaves…” A woman was not seen as a complete human being without a husband, she was incomplete. John Wesley (1703-1791) wrote: “Wife: Be content to be insignificant. What loss would it be to God or man had you never been born.” Jewish leaders on the other hand viewed the role of women as being important in Jewish society. Hugh Fogelman states: “Judaism recognizes that women are endowed with a greater degree of “binah“(intuition, understanding, intelligence) than men.” The woman was not just a vessel for future generations, but an important factor in her community, in both physical and spiritual matters. Jewish women were not only wives and mothers, but they also were community leaders and businesswomen. Fogelman writes: “For example, Jewish women had the right to buy, sell, and own property, and make their own contracts.” Women were also viewed as equal to their husbands. Fogelman writes: “Jewish women are held in high esteem in marriage.” A wife must be taken care of and loved with respect by her husband, and any type of martial abuse, physical or mental, is breaking Jewish law (including rape). A woman is viewed as a complete human being, not just a child, not just a mere rib. Fogelman states: “In Torah/Judaism, woman is the completion of man, but, woman needs no completion herself. That is why a woman says the blessing, each morning, “Blessed are You, Hashem, King of the universe, Who has made me according to His will.” Man needs woman for completion, man needs circumcision for elevation, but woman needs nothing except what is within her, which was granted her by God.”

A woman’s choices throughout history were very limited, wife and mother. Motherhood came with many dangers, without proper care many had reproductive health problems that shorten their lives or they died young in childbirth, from multiple pregnancies without limit; most without proper care for both the mother and baby. Birth control and pain control during labor was against Christian doctrine, because of the Christian belief of “original sin“, where the pains and suffering of birth is God’s curse on the female gender. Martin Luther (1483-1546) the German leader of the Protestant Reformation said: “If they {women} become tired or even die, that does not matter. Let them die in childbirth, that’s why they are there.” In the Jewish faith there is no concept of “original sin“, men and women are all born inherently good; clean slates at birth. In pregnancy the mother’s life comes first, The Babylonian Talmud Yevamot 69b states that: “the embryo is considered to be mere water until the fortieth day. Afterwards, it is considered subhuman until it is born.” Abortion was never taken lightly in Judaism, because of the potential for life, but when it came to the physical and mental well-being of the mother it was permitted; because a fetus does not receive full personhood until half way out of the birth canal, when it takes its first breath of life on its own. Pain relief in childbirth was also allowed, to ease the mother through nature’s pain, which was not considered some curse from God; children were considered a blessing not a curse. Many Christian women during this time used Jewish doctors and midwives, for reproductive health care. This could be dangerous to the Christian woman, who was breaking Christian laws on procreation, and the Jew, who was viewed as a child of Satan; both were seen as breaking Christian laws and crossing ethnic boundaries.

A woman’s soul was also always being questioned, some church leaders even questioned if she even had a true soul. Some spoke of the female being somewhere between an animal and her male counterpart. Some even spoke of the female sex as filth. Tertullian (160-220) an early Christian philosopher stated: “Woman is a temple built over a sewer, the gateway to the devil. Woman, you are the devil’s doorway. You led astray one whom the devil would not dare attack directly. It was your fault that the Son of God had to die; you should always go in mourning and rags.” Church leaders believed that women were weaker both spiritually and sexually than men, believing that the female gender was more prone to the evil side of spirituality, and that women were naturally sexually attracted to the devil; which controlled them to the point of demonic possession. In the past a women who believed in gender equality was often silenced by fire for being a witch. It was believed that a woman must be listening to the devil, to think of herself as equal to a man. Clement of Alexandria (150-215) stated: “Every woman should be filled with shame by the thought that she is a woman.” Any religion that celebrated womanhood, the feminine side of God or viewed women equal to men; were considered blasphemy against Christianity. This included Judaism, some forms of Christianity, and folk beliefs that focused on the Divine Feminine. Rabbi Winkler writes; “For example, Jews had to tone down the roles of their women in religious life and function to avoid suspicions of witchcraft, a suspicion held of all women — their religious affiliation notwithstanding — who exhibited independence, learning, and mystical prowess”. A woman was always under suspicion of devil worship by Christian authorities, just because she had the misfortune of being born a female.

Today, women are gaining equal rights throughout the world, especially European countries and here in United States, because of women suffrage and modern feminism. Women are beginning to be released from the role that Simone De Beauvoir called: “the Eternal Feminine”, the saintly mother or the perverse man-hating sorceress. Education is open to women in every discipline, they have choices in careers, even those once offered only to men; as well as marriage and motherhood or both. Women have the right in most of the developed world to birth control, and safe medical help throughout pregnancy, and controlling their own bodies and fates but the world could still do better for poor women and women living still in oppressive regions. Women can go into political and leadership roles, and make a difference in the world around them. Today many, Christian denominations like, Methodist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian and others, view a woman as equal to a man, having female ministers, teachers, and religious leaders. Renewal, Reconstructionist, Reform, Conservative, Humanistic, Kabbalah (mystical Judaism), some Orthodox, and various other forms of Judaism; also view women as equal to men. Women are becoming Rabbis, teachers, and religious leaders in most of Judaism’s denominations, except for Orthodox. The Jewish people are slowly regaining the Divine Feminine, which was once lost. Pagan religions, which celebrate both the God and Goddess, are making a comeback throughout the world. Women as well as men do not have to fear being put to death in a large part of the world, because of believing in equality of the sexes.

But there are still many parts of the world that women are still living under violent patriarchal religious rules. There are those in the Europe and the Untied States whose views mirror the darker side of Christianity‘s past, viewing the female gender as the weak, sinful, and the dark other, to the male sex. That must be controlled and put down to a different level of existence. Many Conservative Christians today who follow Pauline Christianity view feminism as a demonic philosophy, which is anti-Christian; going against ancient biblical sex roles of being wife, mother, helpmate and caretaker. The female sex is valued for the womb inside her, and the future generations that will come from it. They believe that the female is just the weaker piece of the male sex, without a say in anything that might affect her, physically, mentally, and spiritually, believing that only her male counterpart should make the decisions that affect her body, mind and soul. Women are not to hold leadership roles, or careers that place them over men. To step out of this role a woman is considered evil, separating her from the path to the heavens. Feminism is viewed as dangerous to the biblical order of things because it stands for women’s right and for women to control their own lives and bodies Pat Robertson stated: “The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” Robertson’s viewpoint is a mirror image of Christian leaders throughout history, on the dangers of equality of the sexes, and the evil female. Feminism is also viewed as cheapening the roles of wife and motherhood. Austin Cline writes: “Many people in modern America complain that motherhood and raising children have been devalued by the feminist movement and the efforts to get women into the workplace. These same people, however, are the religious conservatives who have throughout America’s history been responsible for the actual devaluing of women’s contributions to society. Motherhood and raising children haven’t been devalued because of feminism and women working in the corporate world; instead, they have been devalued precisely because they are seen as “women’s work” and unsuitable for men.”

Egyptian Event Center (6 Images) ©Sherrie D. Larch

The Egyptian Event Center Landmark was located in Klamath Falls, Oregon in Klamath County (Southern Oregon). I personally love all things ancient Egyptian (which inspires a lot of my artwork) even when it’s found in Klamath Falls, Oregon and not Egypt. Sadly, the building was recently torn down.

Egyptian Event Center 1 By Sherrie D. Larch//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Egyptian Event Center 2 By Sherrie D. Larch//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Egyptian Event Center 3 By Sherrie D. Larch//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Egyptian Event Center 4 By Sherrie D. Larch//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Egyptian Event Center 5 By Sherrie D. Larch//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Egyptian Event Center 6 By Sherrie D. Larch//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js