Showing posts with label Witchcraft Trials. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Witchcraft Trials. Show all posts

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Wondering if it came from God, or Satan?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 29, 2023

If you have #PTSD or PTSI or PTS, whatever acronym you're comfortable with, you may have heard someone you know tell you that God only gives us what we can handle. If you have, for right now, go back to a time when people not only heard stupid things people said to explain suffering and terrible things happening, and then accused people of witchcraft.
While we do not know what all the people of Salem (or around the world) thought about the events behind the trials, we know what people say today. Most of it is based on their individual beliefs. These are not the ones they express openly but their private beliefs.

Human nature would have them looking at those suffering at the hands of the accused witches and wondering if they could be the next. Others would be looking at the accused witches and wonder if some vindictive person would point their finger at them or not. The 20 people put to death may have thought their execution put an end to their suffering but those languishing in jail would have wondered if there was any hope left for them before it was their turn to have a rope put around their neck, or being crushed to death. Some did not survive to see the day of their trial and died in jail. Some were tortured to the point where they would have confessed to being Satan himself if it would stop the torture. Not a far stretch to see how they could have wondered where God was and why He allowed it to happen to innocent people.

They were religious people, attending church and hearing the pastors preach their sermons.

One such pastor was John Hale that would later come to his senses, but it took his wife being accused before it happened.
Reverend Hale testified in 1692 about his parishioner Sarah Bishop, who lived with her husband Edward on the border of Beverly and Salem Village. Hale had interceded in a disagreement between Sarah and her neighbor, Christian Trask a few years before. Trask, a mentally ill woman, complained about the noise and activities in the Bishops’ unlicensed tavern, which apparently went long into the night. Hale tried to keep the peace between the two. A few years later, Trask was found dead, her throat cut, small scissors lying nearby. Was this suicide or murder? Hale observed the body and felt some kind of witchcraft was afoot. Nevertheless, Sarah Bishop was not accused of witchcraft at this time, although both she and her husband were accused of witchcraft on April 21, 1692. (In a transcription, Hale referred to Sarah as “Goody Bishop, wife of Edward Bishop” which led to many years of confusion. There was another Goody Bishop, married to another Edward Bishop living in Salem Town – and that was Bridget, first to be executed for witchcraft in 1692. The descriptions of the two women became combined in the history books until the error was discovered in recent years.)
In November of 1692, very late in the hysteria, Wenham’s Mary Herrick spoke to Wenham Reverend Joseph Gerrish and Reverend Hale, accusing Hale’s wife Sarah of spectral torment. Although Sarah Hale was never officially accused of witchcraft, historians believe this event certainly helped to change Reverend Hale’s support of the trials. (Salem Witch Museum)

And yet another pastor was not only accused of witchcraft but almost ten years after he left Salem, he was brought back from Maine and hung.

In July of 1692, Reverend Hale spoke to confessed witch Ann Foster in Salem jail, where she told him about a witches’ picnic and about her fear of Reverend George Burroughs and Martha Carrier, the king and queen of hell, whose specters had threatened to kill her. (Salem Witch Museum)

There was an apology from those leaders after the trials ended. They called it a Day of Atonement

Five years after the Salem witchcraft trials, the Massachusetts legislature passed a resolution that a day of general fasting be held on January 15, 1697. The resolution was adopted so God's people could offer up prayers for God to help them in their errors and keep them from repeating such sins which could only bring God's judgment on the land.
That means first they blamed Satan for the suffering. Then they blamed God for judging them and making them suffer for what they did. So which was it?

Was it all sent by Satan or God? That is a question human nature always asks after surviving something horrible. As someone being misled or the family of the accused, or the survivors, everyone searches for a reason as to why it happened. We are no different from them. When we survive we search for some sort of reason for it happening. Did evil target us? Did God allow it to happen? Did He save us? Or worse, was it God targeting us as judgment?

The answer we receive from most religious leaders is pure speculation. All too often they jump to a conclusion that makes sense to them. Sadly, all too often, they say something like, "God only gives us what we can handle," because they don't have a clue as to why it happened.

If you don't believe in God and assume there are good, as well as bad people in the world, you can tell people that you don't wonder why it happened and everyone will accept that as an answer. If you are in a position of being a religious leader, then saying you simply don't know, won't ease their minds.

The truth is, while everything happens for a reason, it is no cosmic power behind it. It is what people decided to do for whatever they believe. If it was a natural disaster, it happened because you lived where you ended up living and nothing more. If it was something someone did to you, then it was what they decided to do. Remember that each of us is capable of doing good things for someone, or doing terrible things to someone. Those causing your trauma decided to do it to you and most of the time, while you became their target, most of the time, it had nothing do to with you. It wasn't personal. You were just there and if you weren't, then it would have been someone else. 

That's how I had to see what happened to me far too many times. Even when my 1st husband tried to kill me and then stalked me for almost two years, I knew it didn't matter how good I was to him. I ended up understanding that it would have happened to anyone he had a relationship with because he had no clue what love was. Eventually, it allowed me to be able to love someone else afterward and we've been together for over 40 years.

I came to an understanding that God didn't do it to me but helped me heal. He did what He could because He did not mess with my free will or anyone else's. The same way it was during the witch trials. People had the free will to stand up and fight for the truth or stand silently allowing it to happen while the people doing the evil acts against innocent people blamed God. Since they heard about God's judgment and wrath from the pulpit, it would have been easy for them to accept. It allowed them to swallow any decency left within them while greeting the people responsible instead of wishing they were the ones on trial for what they did in the name of God.

The lesson did not come from sitting on a bench in a building called Holy. It didn't come from a person standing in front of everyone representing God. It came from my spirit reaching out to God and He being the one I trust, turn to, and seek guidance from wherever I was. After all that is how we should pray. "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” Don't let anyone tell you that being a "religious person" is the only way to be right with God when scripture proves them wrong. 

Yet all too often, religious people disregard spiritual people seeking a personal connection with God. If the people of Salem didn't worship God and follow the rules of the church, they became a target. All the requirements Jesus spoke about were forgotten because they were willing to lie, mistreat the poor, and stand in judgment of others with nothing more than the lies from the lips of the accusers.

Good people eventually did stop the trials but had to live with the guilt they allowed it to go on as long as they did. Their victims turned into survivors. We can only guess what they did for the rest of their lives.

If you want to heal, stop listening to what other people say. Stop allowing them to stand in judgment over something they do not understand. Reach out to God for help to heal and watch for people able to help you do it. Most of them were helped by someone else. Then you can turn around and help someone in return for their kindness to you.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Connecticut formally pardons men and women charged with witchcraft

Centuries after they were convicted, Connecticut formally pardons men and women charged with witchcraft

By Zoe Sottile
May 29, 2023

Hundreds of years after a group of men and women were tried and convicted of witchcraft, Connecticut lawmakers have formally exonerated them for their “crimes.”

SALEM, MA - SEPTEMBER 26: Visitors walk through the Salem Witch Memorial in Salem, MA on Sep. 26, 2019. The legacy of the Salem witch trials is complicated. During October, tourists flock to the North Shore city from around the world to celebrate the contemporary idea of witchcraft tied to Halloween. Others like author, historian, and Salem State University interim dean and professor Emerson Tad Baker, focus on the rush to judgment and the innocent lives and families that were destroyed by the 1692 trials.
(Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) read more here
The last Salem witch has been exonerated, thanks to an eighth-grade teacher and her students The Senate approved the resolution Thursday, according to a news release from Sen. Saud Anwar, who introduced the bill. The resolution passed with a 33-1-2 vote, the release said.

Anwar’s office said, “the resolution seeks to bring relief to the descendants of those who were maligned and acknowledge that they were treated wrongly.”

“We cannot go back in time and prevent the banishment, tarnishing or execution of the innocent women and men who were accused of witchcraft, but we can acknowledge the wronghoods they faced and the pain they felt, pain still recognized by their survivors today,” said Anwar. “Today, the Senate took an important step to own our state’s history and provide relief to the memories of the deceased and their descendants who still struggle with their ancestors’ wrongful treatment.”

The text of the resolution stipulates “the General Assembly recognizes that residents of colonial Connecticut were falsely accused of practicing witchcraft in the seventeenth century and that such persons were tried, convicted and sometimes sentenced to death for such offense, and declares that, although these accusations, prosecutions, trials and executions cannot be undone or changed, no disgrace or cause for distress should attach to the heirs of those persons.
Charles Button, a professor of geography at Central Connecticut State University, also testified for the resolution.

He said “this resolution would bring peace and closure” to his own family, which includes both perpetrators and victims of the witch panic.
read more of this here
Alice Young, 1647 Windsor Hanged 

Mary Johnson 1648 Wethersfield Pressured into a confession and probably executed 

John and Joan Carrington 1651 Wethersfield Guilty, executed 

Goodwife Bassett 1651 Fairfield Convicted and hung 

Goodwife Knapp 1653 Fairfield Convicted and hung 

Lydia Gilbert 1654 Windsor Probably executed 

Rebecca Greensmith 1662 Hartford Hanged 

Nathanial Greensmith 1662 Hartford Hanged 

Mary Sanford 1662 Hartford Probably hanged 

Mary Barnes 1662-3 Farmington Hanged

When you think about all the lives of the people being accused, it is easy to understand how the families of those who were executed would never be the same. It is also easy to understand how those who survived the imprisonment and torture would be tormented by all they were subjected to. What is not so easy to understand is, how others were caused to fear they would have been the next one unless you have faced the same events at the time.

Whenever you are trying to understand what they went through, consider how many times in your own life you have been falsely accused of something because someone else did not like you, or worse, hated you for no other reason than they targeted you.

That was what happened during the witch trials across the world when some hid behind their religious beliefs to inflict what they claimed as the punishment of the damned. Leaders used their power to cause the people to live in fear while committing no crimes. If they did not obey and follow in joining in supporting punishment, they knew they could be the next one it happened to.

Think about the courage it took for the brave to step up and speak out against this ruthless abuse of power.  Often I wonder where the courageous people are today.  The 1st Amendment was written to assure this never happened again. It established that all people would be free to believe and worship as they saw fit. To ban laws from being written under the guise of someone's religious beliefs because everyone was and is supposed to have the exact same freedom. 

We keep hearing what some politicians claim is their belief when defending why they do what they do, yet they were not elected to rule over others but to serve others. So why is it that we allow them to get away with it?

We allow them to right rules over what a minority of the people push for in order to control the lives of others no matter what they choose for themselves. It is almost as if they use the word "Christian" and all other Christians assume they are acting as a "true" believer. 

Banning books, judging what others do, banning their freedom, forcing school prayer, and making all children follow along with what is being said, at the same time these same people do absolutely nothing to protect the lives of those same children in school from being slaughtered before the end of the day school bell rings.

Until the brave stand up for what is right for everyone, no matter if you agree with it or not, protecting your own rights. Either we have equal rights or no one does. Isn't it time we ensure those elected do what is best for the whole country and strive to help you live your life under better circumstances? What gave them the right to subvert what the Founding Fathers established? We did with our silence and voted for those who inspire hatred and our worst emotions are given permission to inflict harm.

Take a stand for your own rights by making sure all others have the same freedom you want for yourself. If not, then, what happened will surely happen again.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Don't repeat the "court of oyer and terminer"

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 27, 2023

My head exploded when I saw images of a rally for Trump with signs behind him in red with the words "Witch Hunt." The Witchcraft Trials were the foundation for the laws this nation has had since we became free of such nonsense committed by people claiming religious superiority whilst lying and making false accusations. 

No one is above the law and the law requires evidence. Evidence is gathered and consideration is given to the evidence, not the power or the position of those who are being investigated. With enough evidence given, the person is charged proportionately and appropriately to charges the investigation discovers were committed. Evidence is presented to a jury by the defense as well as the prosecution. Witnesses are called, and questioned by both sides and a jury decides guilt or innocence.

The witch hunts were about accusing people with no evidence, thereby ending their freedom and life as they knew it. If the accused confessed, they spared their lives but were held in jail. They confessed to end the tortures they had to endure simply because they crossed the wrong person. If they would not confess, they were executed. 

THE DEADLY RULES OF MASSACHUSETTS’ COURT OF OYER AND TERMINER "to hear and to determine" New England Historical Society
One of Stoughton’s earliest, and most significant, decisions was to allow the admission of ‘spectral’ evidence (i.e. acts carried out by demons that only an accuser can see). With spectral evidence allowed, Stoughton’s court set about trying and executing witches with astonishing speed.

Stoughton also implemented another rule that moved things along, one that encouraged (or tortured) the accused into confessing that they practiced witchcraft. The court spared those who confessed. Those who would not confess risked death at trial.

And finally, Stoughton sent the jury back to reconsider even when it found an accused witch innocent. The jury, for example, exonerated Rebecca Nourse, Stoughton sent the jurymen back to reconsider, they convicted Nourse and she died on the gallows.

Within two weeks of the court’s establishment, it killed the first alleged witch. Stoughton’s efficiency dovetailed perfectly with the religious leaders’ fervent belief that the devil was attacking the colony. These forces combined to create a powerful killing machine, executing 20 people in just four months with more than 100 prisoners still to try.
End to the Slaughter
The slaughter might have continued had Governor Phips not returned to his senses and put a stop to the lunacy. The bloodshed had finally grown too much for the ministers of the day. They conceded that perhaps innocents were being killed.

The ministers urged Phips to act as the allegations continued to fly, including charges against Phips’ own wife.

In September 1692, Phips ended the court of oyer and terminer, stopping the trials and eventually freeing all the prisoners.

In the aftermath, Phips, as did many of those involved, apologized for his actions. Stoughton, however, never publicly admitted any wrongdoing. A life-long political operator, he continued accumulating wealth and political power until his death in 1701. He willed his estate to Harvard College.

The judges ended up being condemned throughout history however, as we know now, they were not held accountable for all the harm they did. As with the life of Stoughton, he never apologized but was rewarded with power and wealth. He even had a town named after him!

One must wonder how he was so richly rewarded for all the evil acts he committed against innocent people while claiming religious superiority. Since it is Satan himself who is the father of lies, the evidence points to him rewarding Stoughton and not God. If he ever claimed to be blessed or rewarded by god, one should wonder which God he was referring to. Was it in fact God, the same God "who loved the world so much He gave His only begotten Son" or the one so jealous of the Father-God he led a rebellion in Heaven against God?

While it seems all so acceptable for people to use what happened in Salem for their own gains, wealth, power, fame, and attention, the truth is, still the truth. 

Kathie Costos author of Ministers Of The Mystery Series. What happened in Salem is one of the reasons why it was written.


Saturday, March 18, 2023

The Scribe Of Salem 5-star review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

Go here for The Scribe Of Salem
The Scribe of Salem by Kathie Costos is book one in the Ministers of the Mystery supernatural series. Chris considered himself an expert on the Witchcraft Trials in Salem, but something is about to prove his knowledge wrong. As a newspaper reporter, Chris has traveled the world and seen his fair share of horror, but nothing could compare to what happened next. On a visit to the Bishop Hotel Bar, Salem, a series of events changes everything he thought he knew and turns his life upside down. Chris has been offered a chance to get his life back on track, and he only has to do one thing - meet a Master Minister. When Chris begins to get his life back, he should be happy, right? But he isn’t; he’s terrified. Change has never done him any good before, so why should it make a difference now? God can’t save him – can he?

The Scribe of Salem by Kathie Costos is a great start to a new series. It’s an intriguing story, blending fantasy and supernatural horror as it delves deep into the Salem Witch Trials. Plenty of novels are based on the Witch Trials, but none are quite like this. It goes into great, descriptive detail about the horrors faced in those times and touches on other themes, such as domestic violence and PTSD. It’s also about having faith, not just in God, but in yourself and the power of friendship. It is a story of horror but also a story of pain, compassion, and healing, a gripping tale that will draw you into its tight clutches. It’s clear that Kathie Costos has done her research, and her characters are realistic people, easy to identify with, and infinitely likable. This wonderful story would make a great movie, and I highly recommend this author. I am looking forward to reading book two.

It is wonderful when an author receives such glowing reviews. What is even more thrilling is when I hear what readers of Wounded Times think. If you read it, please leave a comment here or review where you received your copy from. It will help other readers know it this work will be something they may want to read too!

You can read more reviews here 

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Congress needs to stop appeasing and start atonement

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 16, 2023

It started as a spiritual battle to give hope of healing to a man so he could pass it on to the world. That was what The Scribe Of Salem was all about. Each one of the people had their own struggles until someone came into their lives to help them heal spiritually. Each of them had given up on the hope they would find the answers in a church. The truth is, far too many churches in this country are far from what Christ preached. We may dismiss all this by saying "to each their own" referring to choices, but that created our blindness to what is going on in this country.
13th Minister Of Salem

By the 3rd book, 13th Minister Of Salem, they realize the battle is far from over. Too many have used faith as a political weapon to destroy those with different beliefs. None of this is new. It happened throughout history all over the world. It happened in this country when people hid behind the church to seek retribution and retaliate against anyone they hated. The Salem Witchcraft Trials were not because the leaders actually believed the accused were witches and wizards. They only used what they caused the people to believe was true. They made use of what was done in Scotland, England, and other countries, paying people to hunt down the accused, and torture them into confessions that were only said to end the torture while knowing it would also result in their deaths.

The Salem Witch Trials were a continuation of the abuse of faith. Men and women did horrible things to innocent people and blamed God for all the terrible things they did.

"As years passed, apologies were offered, and restitution was made to some of victims and their families. In 1697, the Massachusetts General Court ordered a day of fasting and prayer in atonement for errors made by the colony, including the witchcraft trials. On this day one judge, Samuel Sewall, and 12 jurors, came forward to apologize for their roles in the Salem witch trials. The other magistrates never admitted there had been a miscarriage of justice, going to their graves believing they did what was best for the colony." (Salem Witch Museum)
The question is, did they apologize because they saw themselves for what they became, or did they do it because they carried so much guilt that every calamity became viewed as God's judgment against them?
On the morning of December 25—no holiday for the Puritans—Sewall buried his little daughter Sarah. That afternoon he sat in the family tomb and contemplated the coffins of his mother, father, cousin, and six dead children. In these gloomy surroundings he must have meditated on the Bible verses his son had read the previous day, especially Matthew 12:7 (“And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless”), which “did awfully bring to mind the Salem Tragedie.” Over the next three weeks Sewall prayed fervently for help, and by the time of the appointed fast day, he knew what he had to do. (American Heritage)

Let the words "and  if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would have not condemned the gutless." (Matthew 12:7)

By most accounts, the trials played a major role in the 1st Amendment.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"
We are all supposed to have our rights protected equally, no matter what faith we choose as well as the freedom to not participate in any form of religious affiliation. Some want to blame others for trying to take away their rights simply because they do not agree with them, while no one is trying to stop them from believing what they choose. The truth is, those screaming the loudest about are the ones trying to empower their faith to rule over everyone else. Not much different than what happened during the witch trials. Is it?

This is why no member of Congress, no court, and no law enforcement agency should assume the power to prevent citizens from making their own choices. There are plenty of choices for all of us. There are many different faiths, and even within Christianity for us to decide for ourselves. I choose the spiritual path and practice it daily and devotedly. I judge no one for what they believe because I can only judge what they do.

To me, it is less reprehensible for someone to be selfish, evil, power-hungry, and lie about it than it is for someone to claim to be a follower of Jesus while condemning others and spewing contempt for the Son of God they claim to follow and all He taught.

When we allow politicians to make laws because of what they claim they believe, we are no longer free to make our own choices. When we allow our rights to be eroded one by one, we are no longer the country we were meant to be.

The freedom to choose for ourselves what is right for our own families is being taken away from us. It is no longer our decision to raise our children with love and acceptance of their uniqueness. It is no longer acceptable for us, or anyone else, to value the souls of others above the bodies those souls live in. When I hear someone claim to be "pro-life" referring to the unborn, yet they support everything else that destroys the living, they become liars, proving they are pro-birth. Many different faiths in this country believe it is the living, those born with the soul from God within them, that should matter more. 

They condemn people for being "woke" when in fact they want to simply rectify the harm done to others because of the color of their skin. They condemn those who were born into a biological body that does not reflect who they are inside that body. It no longer matters to the "judges" if they are good, loving people treating others with respect and kindness, when they can turn around seeking the power to control them out of hatred.

Politicians use faith like a weapon and then when they cannot find support for their deeds among voters, they seek to remove the ability to vote against them.

Maybe it is time for Congress to have "a day of fasting and prayer in atonement for errors," made by Congress and all leaders in every state who have forgotten they are supposed to be representing all their citizens and not just the ones they seek to appease by abusing the power they were given. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Did you ever wonder why God allowed it to happen?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 3, 2023

Whatever caused you to have #PTSD, you probably needed to find an explanation as to why it happened to you.

There was real evil in Salem in 1692. It did not live in the accused but in the accusers. They broke most of the 10 Commandments. They murdered innocent people, put another God ahead of God, blamed God by Name for what they were doing, stole, lied, and used the power of faith to corrupt others into the service of the father of lies. They turned against the faith they claimed to have and turned to the lust for power over others. The survivors were left to wonder why it happened to them after they were falsely accused, tortured, and faced death. Then, after they were released to live among their accusers, imagine how they felt. The more I know about PTSD, the more I don't have to imagine what that is like. How many times did it happen to you when you were falsely accused by people you knew because they didn't know any better? If you take nothing else away from this post, imagine how the people at the time had no other explanation for any of it, yet we do. We know that as survivors, there is a reason for the cause of our suffering, just as much as there is a reason for our healing!
It did not just happen in Salem.

Beyond Salem: 6 Lesser-Known Witch Trials
Lancaster Castle, where all but two accused witches were put on trials. (Credit: Dave Moorhouse/Getty Images)
Pendle: England, 1612–1634
"Required to report anyone who refused to attend the English Church or take communion, the local Justice of the Peace, Roger Nowell, was also tasked with investigating claims of witchcraft." 
People all over the world suffered because of wars, illnesses, famine, and things they could not explain. They had to find someone to blame. Some said God let it all happen. Others said the devil did. They pointed their fingers at others. 200,000 dead. They died because people lied about them and called them witches. They died because some of them were poor. They died because some of them were rich. They died because some of them did the right thing and tried to stand up for them against the false accusations, and ended up being accused too. They died because of greed, power, and hatred. They died in the name of their religion.

Did you ever wonder why God allowed it to happen? He couldn't have been pleased to see His name used to cause all that happened. While we know eventually all the trials ended, we question why they were allowed to happen at all.

Whatever caused you to have #PTSD, you probably needed to find an explanation as to why it happened to you. No matter what it was, it caused you harm and made you fear for your life. When it was over, and your life was no longer the same as it was, either you were grateful you survived, or you took the event itself as a judgment from God.

I know because I did the same thing. I think it can be worse for those who do believe in God than for those who do not. After all, if you believe in God then you know nothing is impossible for Him. So why didn't He prevent it if He didn't cause it?

That is why I wrote the Ministers Of The Mystery Series.

In The Scribe Of Salem, Chris was born and raised in Salem. He always saw the love that conquered the evil done there because people did the right thing even though they had seen others pay the price for defending the innocent people accused and tortured as witches when they too became the accused.

In chapter 2, David was trying to get Chris to seek the help of the woman that healed him five years before. Chris survived all the times he went to Afghanistan and Iraq to report on the wars. He survived a bomb blast that left him covered with scars on the right side of his body. He survived his ex-wife trying to kill him. The night before this conversation, Chris also survived the threat he was to himself as he held a gun to his own head.
“What did all that do to you?”

“You know, with the wars I covered and getting blown up didn’t do as much damage to me as she did. I had nightmares and flashbacks, mood swings off the charts and so filled with anger, I had to go to the gym just to beat up a bag.”

“How did you manage to get the divorce if she didn’t want it to end?”

“I told her I kept the knife with her fingerprints and my blood on it and I’d turn her in for attempted murder if she didn’t agree to it. Then the day of the divorce, she told me I’d never be done with her and I’d always be looking over my shoulder. The thing is, she was right. I left her in LA and came back here, and was still looking over my shoulder, having a panic attack whenever I saw a red Mustang.”

“How long did that last?”

“Strange thing is, until last night when I found out she died. It was the first good night of sleep I’d had. On the way here, there was a red Mustang on the road and it didn’t bother me at all, other than the fact I was shocked I didn’t care.”

“I think you may want to take a trip to Gabriel and see if you can talk to Mandy.”

“No, I’m not a veteran.”

“She helps anyone God sends her. Trauma doesn’t just hit veterans.”

“I don’t have any extra money and besides, I wouldn’t know how to find her.”

“If you’re supposed to find her, trust that and you will.”

Chris shook his head. “You have no idea how strange that sounds to me right now. Up until you guys walked into the bar at 7:00, I would have told you what I thought about God,” he looked down, “that He’s a vindictive son of a bitch playing around with people’s lives and making us suffer for fun. Now I don’t know what to think.”

“You suffered for seven years, so ya, I get how you would feel that way. I did too for a while. The thing is, the explosion happened at 7:00 too, so maybe this time, He’s moving things around so you open your eyes to how wrong you were. Come on Bill is still waiting for us.”

It took his friends and strangers coming into his life to open his eyes so he would see that God did not do anything to him, but tried to prevent it from happening. When He couldn't, He saved Chris.

Chris thought it would have been easier to have not loved God in the first place, so it would have made it easier to walk away from Him. He had to be able to see what God did to try to prevent what happened to him. The same thing He does for all of us, but because we all have the free will to do as we are asked, or guided to do, we are free to dismiss it. Chris dismissed it and then blamed God for letting it all happen to him.

On a personal happier note, I finished therapy today and so glad I did it when I needed it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Witch of York or ministering spirit?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 26, 2022

Doing research for the 4th book in the Ministers Of The Mystery series, I began to wonder why it is so hard for some people to understand that the witchcraft trials all around the world had more to do with hatred and lying about others than it had anything to do with what some consider to be real witches. After all, if they really had the powers they were accused of having, they would have seen it coming and escaped before anyone came looking for them.

Maybe God gave them the gifts they used? Considering while some passages are condemning "witches" other passages have no problem with them. It all comes down to what they used their gifts for. Some were using them for evil, hateful reasons. Others used them to help other people. God must have given them their gifts but they decided of their own free will to turn against the purposes the gifts were intended for.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about what some call a Christian Witch and what a ministering spirit is. Is the word "witch" just a label some people use to cover anyone with supernatural abilities because it makes sense to them? Or, is it more a matter of blending different beliefs together?

Some Christians slam others saying they are both Christians and witches. They say that there are biblical passages saying witchcraft is a sin, yet other scriptures point to those with supernatural abilities as being treasured.

Prophecy is a gift--
"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1:21You can find more on Christianity Today.

Why would anyone think that God stopped doing that? Why would anyone think that God stopped using people to deliver miracles? Why would anyone think He stopped putting gifts of the spirit into our souls?

Mother Shipton Witch of York 1488 – 1561
"In reference to her existence, in 1537 Yorkshire, while Catholic people were rebelling against the dissolution of Catholic monasteries, Henry VIII wrote a letter to the Duke of Norfolk where he refers to a "witch of York". It is believed that this letter is the earliest reference to the real Mother Shipton who would have been prophesying about Henry VIII at this time. In 1666 Samuel Pepys recorded in his diaries that, whilst surveying the damage to London caused by the 1666 Great Fire in the company of the Royal family, he heard them discuss Mother Shipton's prophecy of the event."
Yet in Britain, this was also happening,
Witches in Britain
"Witchcraft was not made a capital offence in Britain until 1563 although it was deemed heresy and was denounced as such by Pope Innocent VIII in 1484. From 1484 until around 1750 some 200,000 witches were tortured, burnt, or hanged in Western Europe.

Most supposed witches were usually old women, and invariably poor. Any who were unfortunate enough to be ‘crone-like’, snaggle-toothed, sunken cheeked and having a hairy lip were assumed to possess the ‘Evil Eye’! If they also had a cat this was taken a proof, as witches always had a ‘familiar’, the cat being the most common."
How many times has someone shown up when you needed them, and then vanished? If you survived most of the causes of #PTSD, that stranger was a Godsend. They come when you least expect to need them. Sometimes they make the difference between you dying or surviving.

I know I keep the memory of the people that came to help me during most of the things I survived and those that helped me heal afterward. I didn't know a thing about any of them other than they put me and what I needed ahead of themselves, even if it was just for a few minutes.

I didn't know how they voted, or if they were Christian or witch, and I didn't care.  They were doing something good to help a stranger.

A lot of the accused innocents were also helping other people. Many of them used folk remedies, handed down from generation to generation. They brewed potions to cure. People wanted what they did for them in their time of need, but soon they turned against them because they were told the accused were evil, even though they were doing good things.

In the end, we should judge others not by what is said about them but by what they do with the gifts they have. If they do "good" then I consider them ministering spirits and the world is a better place because they are in it.

The Scribe Of Salem has managed to be added to Harvard books. Shocker!

Monday, December 12, 2022

PTSD in Salem "It’s hard to make that diagnosis 300 years in the past."

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 12, 2022

If you listen to people talking about PTSD, you'll often hear the word "demon" used. It is almost as if the person has been invaded by something evil and what is good within them is battling it on a daily basis.
an evil spirit or devil, especially one thought to possess a person or act as a tormentor in hell.
a cruel, evil, or destructive person or thing.
reckless mischief; devilry.
a forceful, fierce, or skillful performer of a specified activity. (Oxford)
Since trauma has existed since the beginning of time, while the term PTSD is relatively new, what survivors dealt with afterward, is far from new. Considering what the people survived in the time of witchcraft trials, here, as well as in other parts of the world, it is easier to understand how they would not be able to grasp psychological reasoning, and jumped straight into possession and Satan,
A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience (Pivotal Moments in American History)
Historians have speculated on a web of possible causes for the witchcraft that stated in Salem and spread across the region-religious crisis, ergot poisoning, an encephalitis outbreak, frontier war hysteria--but most agree that there was no single factor. Rather, as Emerson Baker illustrates in this seminal new work, Salem was "a perfect storm": a unique convergence of conditions and events that produced something extraordinary throughout New England in 1692 and the following years, and which has haunted us ever since.


The theory that may explain what was tormenting the afflicted in Salem’s witch trials
Baker says it’s possible that a few of the accusers were purposefully faking their symptoms. However, he says that his ultimate conclusion after years of studying the events is that they were actually suffering from psychological ailments.

Foremost among them is something called mass conversion disorder, a psychogenic disorder that — ironically — made a suspected return to the Salem area more than 300 years later.

“People are in such mental anguish, for a variety of reasons, that literally their minds convert their anxieties to physical symptoms,” Baker told

“They’re not faking it,” he said. “They don’t know what’s going on. If it happens to people, they’re terrified that it’s even happening.”

From there, the “step from affliction to accusation was a short one,” Baker writes in his book about the trials, A Storm of Witchcraft. While societal scapegoats have evolved over time, he writes that “in 1692 the omnipresent threat was witchcraft.” And those identified in Salem were either marginalized members of the community or enemies of the powerful families leading the witch hunt.

Baker acknowledged that the conversion disorder — a term introduced by Sigmund Freud and otherwise known as mass hysteria — is “still kind of a controversial diagnosis today.”

“It’s hard to make that diagnosis 300 years in the past without the person right in front of you,” he said, adding that it’s possible that a combination of psychological elements played into the girls’ odd behavior.

When you think about what life was like back then, it is easy to think that the Puritans would have little knowledge of what trauma did to them, or what they were doing to others.

PTSD in the Massachusetts Bay Colony
Historic Ipswich
by Gordon Harris
From the founding of the colony, the Puritans were highly selective of who they allowed to live with them. In the first year of its settlement, the Freemen of the Ipswich established “for our own peace and comfort” the exclusive right to determine the privileges of citizenship in the new community, and gave formal notice that “no stranger coming among us” could have place or standing without their permission. Beginning in 1656, laws forbade any captain to land Quakers, and any individual of that sect was to be severely whipped on his or her entrance, and none were allowed to speak with them. Newcomers who were unable to support themselves and their families were “warned out.”
Think about what the survivors were dealing with.
In Salem Village in February 1692, two prepubescent girls Betty Parris (age nine) and her cousin Abigail Williams (age 11) began to have fits, complained of being pricked with pins and accused their neighbors of witchcraft. Some of the afflicted girls had been traumatized after losing one or both parents in King William’s War. The afflicted girls routinely described the Devil as a “dark man.”George Burroughs, the unpopular predecessor to Rev. Parris in Salem Village, had come from Maine, and returned there when the parish refused to pay him. Only five weeks before the accusations began, Indians had burned York Maine, 80 miles north of Salem, killing 48 people and taking 73 captives. When one of the accused confessed that the Devil had tempted her in Maine, Reverend Burroughs was arrested, charged with witchcraft and encouraging the Indians, and was hanged on Gallows Hill.
Think about what Reverend Burroughs went through. The arrest warrant was issued ten years after he left Salem Village and was in Maine. He lost everything, including his first wife, whom he couldn't afford to bury and had to borrow money. The villagers refused to pay his salary and he had to leave for the sake of his family. The hatred from the people of Salem Village was so powerful, they were out to get him no matter how long it took to do it.
The Witchcraft Trial of Reverend George Burroughs
History of Massachusetts
Burroughs encountered the same problems as his predecessor as well as hostility from Bayley’s friends and supporters, according to the book Salem Witchcraft by Charles W. Upham:
“Immediately upon calling to the village to reside, he encountered the hostility of those persons who, as the special friends of Mr. Bayley, allowed their prejudices to be concentrated upon his innocent successor. The unhappy animosities arising from this source entirely demoralized the Society, and, besides making it otherwise very uncomfortable to a minister, led to a neglect and derangement of all financial affairs. In September, 1681, Mr. Burrough’s wife died, and he had to run in debt for her funeral expenses. Rates were not collected, and his salary was in arrears.”

By now I hope you see that PTSD is not new. People accused others because they did not know what was causing everything they were dealing with.  Over the years, I've learned that those who claim PTSD is not real, have never survived something, or are under some delusion that they may also have it. I remember one veteran many years ago, attacking me for posting on PTSD and claiming that it was not real. It took him a while before I received an email apologizing and he admitted he had it but fought for years to bury what it was doing to him, instead of trying to recover and heal.

We cannot do anything to educate those who do not want to learn. We cannot do anything more than learn what we can so we can be happier in our own lives and then reach out to others fighting their own demons.

We live in a time when we know there are psychological as well as spiritual aspects to what makes us, us. No human is designed to endure trauma over and over again without paying some kind of price. We also know that the price does not have to take over our lives. It does not have to destroy us after we survived what caused it. We are survivors! Say that to yourself over and over again until you finally realize that and then, be empowered to heal so you can rejoice as one. 

Kathie Costos author of Ministers Of The Mystery Series.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Which Witchcraft Is Acceptable?

Why Do Witches Ride Brooms? The History Behind the Legend

From pagan fertility rituals to hallucinogenic herbs, the story of witches and brooms is a wild ride.
OCT 29, 2021
By the time of Edelin’s “confession,” the idea of witches riding around on broomsticks was already well established. The earliest known image of witches on brooms dates to 1451, when two illustrations appeared in the French poet Martin Le Franc’s manuscript Le Champion des Dames (The Defender of Ladies). In the two drawings, one woman soars through the air on a broom; the other flies aboard a plain white stick. Both wear head scarves that identify them as Waldensians, members of a Christian sect founded in the 12th century who were branded as heretics by the Catholic Church, partly because they allowed women to become priests.
One notion put to rest about witches. Now, if we could only put to rest the one about no one can be "Christian" and "witch" at the same time. To me, it is easy to figure out since all the passages about "bad" witches in the Bible are about those that use their gifts to harm, are not using their gifts from God but serving Satan instead. Those who use their gifts to heal or help, use their spiritual gifts from God to serve God.

Let's take a look at some thoughts that happened in Salem when other Christians got it wrong.

History of the Salem Witch Trials
Rebecca Beatrice Brooks
August 18, 2011
As the years went by, the colonists felt ashamed and remorseful for what had happened during the Salem Witch Trials. Since the witch trials ended, the colony also began to suffer many misfortunes such as droughts, crop failures, smallpox outbreaks and Native-American attacks and many began to wonder if God was punishing them for their mistake. On December 17, 1697, Governor Stoughton issued a proclamation in hopes of making amends with God. The proclamation suggested that there should be:
“observed a Day of Prayer with Fasting throughout the Province…So that all God’s people may put away that which hath stirred God’s Holy jealousy against his land; that he would…help us wherein we have done amiss to do so no more; and especially that whatever mistakes on either hand have fallen into…referring to the late tragedy, raised among us by Satan and his instruments, through the awful judgement of God, he would humble us therefore and pardon all the errors and people that desire to love his name…”
The day of prayer and fasting was held on January 15, 1698, and was known as the Day of Official Humiliation.
In the same article, one of the accusers offered her apology.

In 1706, afflicted girl Ann Putnam, Jr., also issued a public apology for her role in the Salem Witch Trials, particularly in the case against her neighbor Rebecca Nurse. Her apology states:
“I desire to be humbled before God for that sad and humbling providence that befell my father’s family in the year about ’92; that I, then being in my childhood, should, by such a providence of God, be made an instrument for the accusing of several persons of a grievous crime, whereby their lives were taken away from them, whom now I have just grounds and good reason to believe they were innocent persons; and that it was a great delusion of Satan that deceived me in that sad time, whereby I justly fear I have been instrumental, with others, though ignorantly and unwittingly, to bring upon myself and this land the guilt of innocent blood; though what was said or done by me against any person I can truly and uprightly say, before God and man, I did it not out of any anger, malice, or ill-will to any person, for I had no such thing against one of them; but what I did was ignorantly, being deluded by Satan. And particularly, as I was a chief instrument of accusing of Goodwife Nurse and her two sisters, I desire to lie in the dust, and to be humbled for it, in that I was a cause, with others, of so sad a calamity to them and their families; for which cause I desire to lie in the dust, and earnestly beg forgiveness of God, and from all those unto whom I have given just cause of sorrow and offence, whose relations were taken away or accused.”
While 1698 was a day they publicly admitted shame, it took over 300 years to clear the name of the last accused witch.

Last Conviction in Salem Witch Trials Is Cleared 329 Years Later
New York Times
Vimal Patel
July 31, 2022

Elizabeth Johnson Jr. is — officially — not a witch.

Until last week, the Andover, Mass., woman, who confessed to practicing witchcraft during the Salem witch trials, was the only remaining person convicted during the trials whose name had not been cleared. 
Though she was sentenced to death in 1693, after she and more than 20 members of her extended family faced similar allegations, she was granted a reprieve and avoided the death sentence.

The exoneration came on Thursday, 329 years after her conviction, tucked inside a $53 billion state budget signed by Gov. Charlie Baker. It was the product of a three-year lobbying effort by a civics teacher and her eighth-grade class, along with a state senator who helped champion the cause.
And yet, here are some examples of what was done that were considered witchcraft but acceptable. Witching Sticks, also known as Dowsing Rods, and Divining Rods were acceptable for thousands of years. Some said the word divine was given to them because the power to find what was being looked for was found by the divine intervention of God.

Which witchcraft is acceptable? Of all the places I thought I'd find something, the FBI was not one of them.

Law Enforcement Bulletin FBI January 11, 2022
Forensic Spotlight
Dowsing for Human Remains — Considerations for Investigators
Unproven Method

Dowsing, also called “divining” or “witching,” refers to the practice of observing a pointer — often a forked stick, rods, bent wires, or a pendulum — move in response to some type of influence or transmitter. Some consider it a reliable method for locating underground items of interest, including water, oil, and ore. There are even those who believe that dowsing can help locate buried remains (sometimes called “grave witching”).

On the other hand, there are those claiming it is the work of Satan. This is from GotQuestions What does the Bible say about dowsing?
There are only two spiritual forces at work in our world: God and Satan. They are both real, both spirit, and both powerful. But they are not equals. Satan is merely a created being, a fallen angel whom God allows to rule this world within the boundaries God has established (2 Corinthians 4:4; Luke 10:18). Any supernatural power that does not originate with God is evil. There are no neutral spirits, friendly guides, or positive energies. There is no “power of the universe” behind supernatural occurrences. We are either experiencing the mighty power of God or dabbling in Satan’s playground.

2 Corinthians 4:4 reads "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God," but they use it in this case? Huh? Luke 10:18 was just as confusing. "He replied, 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.'"

How do they explain the miracles that were happening with the gifts of the spirit?

Luke 10:17 "The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Because Jesus sent them to heal the sick and cast out demons with their spiritual gifts.

Guess they skipped over 1 Corinthians 12:7.
The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. 8 To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. 9 To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. 10 To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. 11 All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides.

If you're confused about which witchcraft is acceptable, I hope by now you see that if it is to do bad things, the gift itself came from God, but they chose to use it to serve Satan. If it is to help, heal, and deliver the miracles God is trying to deliver, then they are using their gift from God for God.

I am not a witch, nor do I pray to anything or anyone other than God and Jesus. When I light a candle, it is simply to light a room during a power failure or to add some fresh scent to a room. I don't use Tarot cards but I have prayer cards. I am a firm believer that while some people believe women do not belong preaching the word of God, the Bible clearly states women were among those Jesus sent to heal others and also among the 120 that chose Matthias as the replacement for Judas. (One of my best friends is a female pastor.) Above all, I believe that God sent us all here with gifts within us to do good in this world, but some, choose to do harm instead.

About Kathie Costos Author of Minister Of The Mystery Series

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Witchcraft trials, Charles Dickens and PTSD?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 6, 2022

What do the Salem Witchcraft Trials have to do with PTSD? Oddly enough, a lot! When you consider the people at the time who thought they were fighting against evil, they must have also thought the people doing the accusing were on the side of what was good. They had no clue that those making the false accusations had other motives for doing so. Call me Polly Anna but, I have to believe there were good people who got caught up in the conspiracy must have been sick to their stomachs they believed the lies, and innocent people died.

Consider how long it took them to come to their senses and then try to give some justice to those they attacked.

This is when Wilmont Redd was hung,
On Thursday, September 22, 1692, Wilmot Redd was brought to the execution site at Proctor’s Ledge in Salem, along with Mary Easty, Martha Corey, Ann Pudeator, Margaret Scott, Alice Parker, Mary Parker, and Samuel Wardwell.
And this is when people tried to clear her name along with others.
In September of 1710, a committee was sent to Salem to look into how to make restitution to the victims of the trials after a number of the surviving accused had filed petitions with the court asking that their names be cleared. For reasons unknown, none of Wilmot Redd’s relatives filed a petition with the committee.
And this is when it finally happened.
On October 31, 2001, the Massachusetts legislature amended the 1957 bill and officially exonerated five victims not named in either the 1711 bill or in the 1957 bill: Wilmot Redd, Bridget Bishop, Alice Parker, Susannah Martin, and Margaret Scott.

On the 300th anniversary of the Salem Witch Trials in 1992, the Salem Witch Trials Memorial was built in Salem, Mass and a marker was established for Wilmot Redd.

In 1998, the town of Marblehead placed a cenotaph for Wilmot Redd next to her husband’s grave at Old Burial Hill.

After the site of the Salem Witch Trials, executions was discovered in 2016, the Proctor’s Ledge Memorial was built there the following year and a marker was established for Wilmot Redd.

People with PTSD were falsely accused too when no one knew what it was.

It is thought that many of the accusers during the witchcraft trials suffered from PTSD after they survived attacks from Native Americans.

Then, by the Civil War, the lingering ailments were finally seriously researched. This is from the National Center For PTSD.
Early Attempts at a Medical Diagnosis Accounts of psychological symptoms following military trauma date back to ancient times. The American Civil War (1861-1865) and the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) mark the start of formal medical attempts to address the problems of military Veterans exposed to combat. European descriptions of the psychological impact of railroad accidents also added to early understanding of trauma-related conditions.

Nostalgia, Soldier's Heart, and Railway Spine

Prior to U.S. military efforts, Austrian physician Josef Leopold (1761) wrote about "nostalgia" among soldiers. Among those who were exposed to military trauma, some reported missing home, feeling sad, sleep problems, and anxiety. This description of PTSD-like symptoms was a model of psychological injury that existed into the Civil War.

A second model of this condition suggested a physical injury as the cause of symptoms. "Soldier's heart" or "irritable heart" was marked by a rapid pulse, anxiety, and trouble breathing. U.S. doctor Jacob Mendez Da Costa studied Civil War soldiers with these "cardiac" symptoms and described it as overstimulation of the heart's nervous system, or "Da Costa's Syndrome." Soldiers were often returned to battle after receiving drugs to control symptoms.
And this, they also knew about non-veterans.
The thought that physical injury led to PTSD-like symptoms was supported by European reports of "railway spine." As rail travel became more common, so did railway accidents. Injured passengers who died had autopsies that suggested injury to the central nervous system. Of note, Charles Dickens was involved in a rail accident in 1865 and wrote about symptoms of sleeplessness and anxiety as a result of the trauma.

You can read more about Charles Dickens here. When you think about everything Dickens wrote, it isn't hard to see some of yourself in the characters created by parts of his own inner struggles. Now, imagine being around him and what he must have been acting like. It would have been very easy to make assumptions about him because no one had a clue back then.

Now, we know better, or, at least, are supposed to know better. The fact the general public has no clue what it is like is not so much a reflection of ambivalence, but more, due to the fact reporters won't look beyond what they see at the moment they see it. Events centered around veterans with PTSD bombard them and they go to cover those events. They remain blind to the fact most of the people involved in the events they cover otherwise, do not always "move on" from the story they focus on just long enough to write the article.

I asked a few reporters over the years why they don't cover what happens to the rest of us and they said no one is interested in it. Feeble excuse but it is what it is. It makes me think back to the witchcraft trials and how good people didn't give up on getting some sort of justice. We shouldn't either.

For us, be aware that while you know what PTSD is, too many do not. Try to open their eyes so they see what struggles they have are not new. After researching this article, I'm going to watch A Christmas Carol in a totally different way, because I never made that connection before.

This is the version I like best.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Hadley's Half-Hanged Mary

The Witch of Hadley: Mary Webster, the Weird, and the Wired
The Massachusetts Review
Anna Smith
October 15, 2019
Mary Webster’s troubles started not long after what non-native historians typically refer to as Metacom’s (or King Philip’s) War—America’s most devastating civil war if judged in terms of deaths per capita. This conflict included an attack on Hadley in 1675, and it seems likely that the witchcraft scares were at least in part related to fears stemming from these conflicts. You don’t have to be a trauma expert to imagine that settlers in Massachusetts, just a decade later, might have still been a bit unhinged.


It is in Hutchinson’s history, written some years after the actual events, that we first hear of the hanging of Mary Webster. He writes that a group of “brisk lads” went to her house, hanged her till she was near death (did they believe she was dead?), then cut her down, rolled her into a snow bank, and left her there.

But Hutchinson ends on a cheerful note, “It happened that she survived and the melancholy man died.”

Apparently, she lived another eleven years and became known as “Half-Hanged Mary.” In 1985, Margaret Atwood dedicated her novel The Handmaid’s Tale to Mary Webster, her ancestor, and ten years later, wrote a poem to “Half-Hanged Mary.” The resurgent popularity of Atwood’s novel and its Hulu series, as well as the anticipation around the release of the novel’s sequel, tell us that this noxious strain in our collective consciousness is still in need of healing. We’re a long way from understanding everything about misogyny, groupthink, and terror.

If people already think you’re a witch, it’s hard to imagine what surviving a hanging would do for your reputation. I like to envision that first encounter with her neighbors. And yet, Judd tells us she “died in peace.”


You can watch her story here 


Monday, November 21, 2022

Twisted history lesson of Salem Witchcraft Trials and PTSD

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 21, 2022

If you have PTSD, then you know what it's like to have something terrible happen. If you're like me, you also know what it's like to wonder where God was when it did. I mean, it's really easy to wonder what He was doing when something horrible happened to you. It's not easy getting an answer from Him.

This series is a twisted history lesson since history is often twisted between what is perceived as "known" with the simple fact that what we think we know, is not all that is known by others.

I went beyond wondering why it happened, and full swing into wondering why the hell did I survive it? We all do that but not all of us end up like the people in the new series I wrote called The Ministers Of The Mystery.

Don't look for the book yet on Amazon. I'm not releasing it until the end of November, (hopefully, if I have the other two ready)

If you read the Lost Son series, I apologize. Instead of writing them the way I intended, I tried to conform to what other people thought. Big mistake. In a way, I'm really glad only a few people read them. These books are different because I went beyond what we perceive as all there is to know and fill in what could have happened.

Start with the Salem Witchcraft Trials. When I read about a minister being hung as a witch, a child went up my spine. Maybe I knew that when I was young and grew up near Salem, going there often, along with loving New England history. If I knew it back then, I forgot all of it.

His name was George Burroughs.
Burroughs graduated from Harvard University in 1670 and, in 1673, married his first wife Hannah Fisher.

In 1674, Burroughs moved to Falmouth, Maine where he served as the pastor at the Falmouth Congregational Church. He continued to serve as the pastor until the town was attacked and destroyed during a Wabanaki raid on August 11, 1676.

A lot has been said about what was behind the accusations against the townspeople of Salem. One of the factors behind it was that the accusers were suffering from PTSD tied to the attack Burroughs and others survived. This link goes to one of those claims along with a history lesson. I'm pointing that out because while Burroughs survived, he did not arrive in Salem Village until 1680 and served as their minister. He was only there for two years before he left after the villagers decided to not pay him.

Long story short, but even after he left, resentment held tempers strong and in 1692, they ordered his arrest to stand trial as an accused witch. What is even more telling about their determination to put an end to his life was the fact they had to go all the way up to Wells Maine to get him. Guess it didn't matter to them that he had been gone for ten years.

The more I researched what happened to him, the more questions popped into my mind. I started with the fact that this guy survived a lot of things, including losing three wives, on top of the slaughter of the people in Falmouth. Then, still holding onto his faith, he was sent to Salem as a spiritual leader trying to bring peace to people who seemed to enjoy fighting with one another. That was an easy assumption to make considering what they did to Burroughs was only part of it. They accused 200 others of witchcraft, hung 19, and crushed one to death. They got away with it simply by saying "they believed" something and never had to prove a single word of it.

August 19- George Jacobs, Martha Carrier, George Burroughs, John Proctor, and John Willard are hanged. Although George Burroughs recites the Lord’s Prayer perfectly on the gallows (task witches were allegedly unable to complete without error), Cotton Mather insisted that “…the Devil has often been transformed into an Angel of Light.”
October 29- With public opinion turning against the trials, Governor Phips dissolves the Court of Oyer and Terminer
October 3- Boston minister Increase Mather, the father of Cotton Mather, addresses a meeting of ministers in Cambridge to warn against reliance on spectral evidence. Mather writes, “It were better that ten suspected witches should escape than one innocent person should be condemned…”

It all got me thinking about what if God called him to become a minister, saved him in Falmouth, and brought him to Salem Village to prevent the witchcraft trials? What if the people with power, position, means, and ability to help him in 1680 did it instead of turning against him?

That all fit with the story of Chris Papadopoulos in Salem on September 13th, 2019. He was a reporter covering the War On Terror. There was a bomb blast that he survived but ended up suffering for it. His body was scared and he had to have help to recover, but his wife regretted he came back home. She hated him. He survived her trying to kill him. He survived 7 years of agony and decided to end it all his way because he lost all hope. The thing is, God had other ideas. 

Now, no matter what God wanted him to do with his life, he wouldn't have been able to do a damn thing if the people sent to help him refused to do it. The long list of characters in these books includes Master Ministers of the Mystery with the ability to use their gifts far above what is "normal" and were, at one time, called witches. Everyone sent to help Chris was ready, willing, and able. The only thing they had to do was convince Chris to do it!

The other thing they have in common is, they all have PTSD! No one understands what you're going through better than someone else struggling to make sense of it too, no matter what it is. While we know we're all different, those of our kind, are the only ones that know what it is like to live with the heartache of unanswerable questions, or what it is like to rejoice when we discover a fuller life than we thought we could have.

I found comfort over the last 40 years, by reading about others like me and being inspired by them. Whatever we know today, was written by authors and reporters. Chris was a reporter, turned author, created as a scribe to translate the messages from God to help heal the world.

This series is a twisted history lesson since history is often twisted between what is perceived as "known" with the simple fact that what we think we know, is not all that is known by others. It is the same when we live with the reality of surviving the cause of PTSD. What we know is not what the general public knows. To them, PTSD only hits veterans, because that is all the reporters focus on. They ignore the rest of us. What chance do we have to open our eyes if no one is talking about us?

It was so bad for me, that after 40 years of helping people heal PTSD, I had no clue I had it. I never read anything about someone like me. Getting help for myself was impossible because I couldn't explain it enough that anyone would understand. I finally found a therapist that did get what I was saying.

She's helping me heal after losing one of my best friends and it was a grief I couldn't just get over. He died at the beginning of the year. I was writing these books, feeling more connected to the dark parts of the story than I did to the hopeful parts. After a while, she got me to see that I did need to connect to the darkness so that I'd feel the hopeful parts more. She was right!

If people see our pain, and struggles and understand how much power they have to help us, this world will become a better place for all of us!

Series Description:
Whenever something terrible happens, we all wonder why God let it happen. Have you ever wondered why God allowed the Salem Witchcraft trials? What if someone had been sent to prevent them from happening? What if the one sent, didn't get the help he was supposed to have waiting for him?

It was a time when people claimed to be Christians but proved they did not follow the values faithfully. They made false accusations against over 200 people and rejoiced when 20 were put to death because Puritans decided to hate them. It wasn't a new phenomenon. The Puritans may have given up the persecution of so-called witches but their use of the power of lies was a lesson far too many learned. The people with gifts beyond nature were forced into hiding knowing a time would come when they too would be vindicated.

In modern-day Salem, The Master Ministers were preparing for when the most powerful one of all would take his place as the 13th Minister. All they had to do was convince Chris to do it.

The Scribe of Salem is book one. The Visionary of Salem is book two. 13th Minister of Salem is book three.

Coming next week!

Friday, November 4, 2022

Would you vote to convict accused witches without evidence today?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 4, 2022

I am an Independent voter, just like the majority of people in this country, and have witnessed too much to remain silent. To me, being silent is the same thing as those who chose to remain silent while people were accused of witchcraft in Salem. Now I'm wondering if some of the people in this country would vote to convict people accused of witchcraft without evidence today.

"Over the course of the following decade, the residents of Salem had come to the realization that the witch trials had been a mistake and that innocent people may have been executed.
Although they still believed in witches and believed witches may have invaded Salem, they had doubts that so many people could have been guilty of the crime."
Rebecca Beatrice Brooks, The Witchcraft Trial of Reverend George Burroughs

If you read the account of the trial of Burroughs, what you see, over and over again, is "I believed" when witnesses gave their testimony. What someone believes is not always what can be proven. Once someone was accused of witchcraft, the only way to prove their innocence was if their execution was successful or not. The theory was that real witches would survive, and then they would be killed.

22-year-old Elizabeth Johnson was not executed after being charged with witchcraft. She was the last to be vindicated this year, 329 years later because she did not have children and no one was fighting to prove her innocence and clear her name.
"We will never be able to change what happened to victims like Elizabeth but at the very least can set the record straight," DiZoglio said. NPR After 329 years, a woman accused of being a witch in Salem has been exonerated
These trials and wild accusations resulted in the Bill Of Rights the rest of us live with,
More than 300 years later, the Salem witch trials testify to the way fear can ruin lives of innocent people and the importance of due process in protecting individuals against false accusations. Some of those who insisted in 1787 that a Bill of Rights was necessary for the ratification of the Constitution undoubtedly knew about the treatment of the “Salem witches” and how they had been deprived of the rights to which they should have been entitled under English common law. With the Bill of Rights in place, interpretations of the First Amendment consistently ruled that slander and defamation were not protected by the Constitution. Salem Witch Trials By Elizabeth R. Purdy

Right now we see people running for office claiming the 2020 election was "stolen" because it is what they say they believe. They have no evidence such a thing happened. Courts presented claims, but courts demand evidence of a crime being committed, and what someone says they believe, is not enough to file charges against anyone. No one can prove what they say they believe actually happened.

Yet these same people are running for office. Many of them are already saying if they lose, then the election was stolen from them. It hasn't even happened yet, but, that doesn't matter to them at all. What does that say about other members of their own party that may be on the same ballot and actually win their votes?

Supporters of former President Trump say they "believe" the election was stolen, but no evidence was ever given. People in Salem said they "believed" the accused were guilty, but again, no evidence was provided. No one can "prove" what someone says they believe is true or not and that is why evidence is required. It is ironic that he is claiming that all the court cases against him are a "witch hunt" and nothing more, but the courts required evidence to move forward and allow charges to be filed against him.

If they claim a crime was committed but don't have proof, do you really want to put them in charge of the laws for all of us? We may be accustomed to political commercials lying to us. (I usually yell liar at the TV) We may be accustomed to politicians lying to us. What none of us should ever be accustomed to is when they say what they "believe" to win their primary and then deny they said it when they want the votes from the rest of us. It's all on video! That's proof of what they said and proof of what they lie about now.

Don Bolduc is like the accusers. CNN has the video up on this.
“Guess what? We have furries and fuzzies in classrooms,” Bolduc told the crowd. “They lick themselves, they’re cats. When they don’t like something, they hiss – people walk down the hallway and jump out,” he said, as a hissing sound could be heard.

Bolduc claimed the 2022 election was stolen until he won the GOP primary.
Don Bolduc, the Republican Senate nominee in New Hampshire, changed his position as he faces a tough fall race, saying the 2020 presidential election “was not stolen.”

People like him were responsible for thousands of people attacking the Capitol, demanding the hanging of Vice President Pence and Speaker Of The House Nancy Pelosi, because they "believed" the election was stolen. False claims caused the deaths of innocent people in Salem. False claims now, because of people like Bolduc, can cause the death of our country by eliminating the only voice we have, OUR ABILITY TO VOTE FOR WHAT AND WHO AND WHAT WE BELIEVE IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR!