Welcome to a new episode of our series Shocking Events That Made History. Belief systems have been with us since the start of civilization—and for just as long religion has been a source of immeasurable joy and challenges. Corrupt leaders, blind persecution—the stories are as old as history and affect people around the world, from all walks of life. And yet through the cycles of fear, destruction, and imbalance, faith prevails in whatever form it takes. In today’s episode, we will focus on shocking events that have to do with religion.
belief systems have been with us since the start of civilization. And for just as long religion has been a source of immeasurable joy and challenges, corrupt leaders blind persecution, the stories are as old as history and affect people around the world from all walks of life. And yet, through the cycles of fear, destruction and imbalance, Faith prevails in whatever form it takes. You might be wondering what this episode is all about. It is another episode from our shocking events that made history and today we’re going to focus on shocking events in religion and social movement, and we will start with religion. This is your host Danny and this is another episode from shocking events that made history series.
Before we start, let me remind you that you can find the transcript of this episode on my website English plus podcast.com. The link is in the show notes. And while you’re on the website, take some time to explore the website and find the many learning and entertaining opportunities especially with my new video series, which will let you enjoy a great story and learn a lot of English and there are a lot of other things you can check out like the English plus bytes, the daily short reads the audio series and as I said, the video series, the books, the online courses and a lot more, just take some time and explore the site after you finish with a transcript of this episode. And while most of the content on the website is for free, some of the content is for patrons only. So if you want to unlock all the content on the website, become a patron on Patreon. In this way, you will be supporting me helping the show go on and at the same time you will have great benefits go check out the benefits you get when you become a patron on Patreon. The link is also in the show notes. And now without further ado, let’s start with our new episodes from shocking events that made history series don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back and first we’re going to talk about some warring Pope’s that’s coming next don’t go anywhere.
On November the 26th 1095 Bull Urban the Second issued his famous war cry, God Wills it, thus launching the first of seven major crusades and an endless series of historically bad days against Muslims in the Holy Land. Five and a half centuries later, the Vatican was still beating the war drum only this time Christians were being urged to kill Christians in the 30 Years War One of the most destructive conflicts in European history. Despite being in the midst of the Enlightenment, Pope Innocent the tense like his predecessor from the Dark Ages considered the war God’s work. He was thus displeased when the Treaty of Westphalia restored relative harmony to the devastated continent. Indeed, the Vicar of Christ was so unhappy with the Accord compromising his own interests that on November the 26th 1648, exactly 553 years after Urban the Second Skol to slaughter he issued a blistering condemnation of the treaty. It was He declared and I quote from his own words, no void, invalid, iniquitous unjust, damageable, reprobate, inane, empty of meaning and effect for all time out all these big words he used to condemn a peace treaty. Imagine. Now, of course, that was way back in the time, but that was shocking people. But mercifully, his tirade was ignored. Thankfully, it was ignored. Hope that was our first shocking event for today’s episode, but we have a lot of other shocking events. So don’t go anywhere. Next, we’re going to talk about another shocking event. That is an ancient ritual called Sati in India, and thankfully it stopped happening from the time of Gandhi but time of Gandhi that’s not a long time ago. Up till then it was happening. That’s what we’re going to talk about next. It’s definitely one of the most shocking events you will ever hear about. So don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.
Maharani Raj Rajesh worry, Debbie was one powerful woman serving not only as Nepal’s Queen Consort, but as reagent for her young son as well. But then her husband died 10 days later on May the fifth 1806. She joined him, though, not by choice. At a time when women around the world were egregiously undervalued widows in Nepal and India had it even worse. You
In an ancient ritual called Sati, a woman would be bound to her husband’s funeral pyre and put to rest with him. Over the centuries, hundreds of 1000s of women met their demise this way, some voluntarily with the meager compensation of being posthumously honored and declared Holy Martyrs. Finally, in 1931, Mahatma Gandhi spoke out after a Sati incident, remarking that perhaps husbands should prove their devotion to their wives in the same way, due to the lack of reciprocity, he went on to declare that Sati had its origin in superstitions, ignorance and blind egotism of man. And thankfully, this ancient tradition faded, and it is not being followed anymore. But it is another shocking event that made history and that has to do with religion. But here, I just want to tell you one thing, when I’m talking about religion, I’m not attacking any specific religion. I’m talking about those shocking things that technically all religions had. And while I might not have time to talk about all the outrageous things all religions did, and I will talk about some of them, please don’t take that as I’m like taking sides talking about this religion and not that religion. I just chose the shocking events randomly. So please don’t be offended. We’re just talking about things that I think we all agree were outrageous. And it doesn’t matter which religion did what we’re just talking about the outrageous things that were being done in the name of God, and in the name of religion, no matter what religion that may be, with all my respect to all religions. But these practices were outrageous, were shocking enough to save a spot in our series shocking events that made history and next we’re going to talk about the anti reformation atrocities that’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere, I’ll be right back.
King Francis, the first of France considered burning at the stake to light a punishment for some heretics. He was incensed when the band of protesters posted notices all over Paris smoking the doctrine that Christ is actually present in the Eucharist. Francis offered a large rewards for the perpetrators names, and several reputed heretics were rounded up in the affair of the blackout. On January the 21st 1535, the king and his caravan of high ranking ecclesiastics proceeded through Paris’s streets to the Cathedral of Notre Dom, carrying the Eucharist and other sacred relics. After an inspiratory mass. The king died while outside six of the accused were suspended over a roaring fire and dipped into the flames to prolong their suffering. There were so many subsequent burnings that even the anti reformation Pope Paul the third ordered France is the first to desist from such cruelty. It was hardly befitting a Christian king. And so it was another shocking event. In today’s episode and the next shocking event we’re going to talk about the Dreyfus Affair. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.
It was just one episode in the prolonged saga of miscarry justice and virulent anti semitism that was known as the Dreyfus Affair. Alfred Dreyfus, who was an artillery captain of Jewish descent attached to the French General Staff had already been secretly court martialed and convicted of treason based on manufactured evidence. Then on January the fifth 1895, he was marched into the center of the Ecole Militaire courtyard and humiliated before stands of distinguished guests. And here I quote his words, he said, soldiers, I am innocent, I swear that I am innocent. I remain worthy of serving in the army, Long live France. That’s what Dreyfus called his comrades. Ignoring his protests. The guards stripped Dreyfus, his uniform of its buttons, braids and epaulets then broke his saber. The ceremony ended with a parade of shame, in which Dreyfus was forced to walk before a howling crowd. After five years in prison on Devil’s Island and many more years struggling to rehabilitate his good name, Dreyfus was officially exonerated. The military that framed him, however, was never quite reconciled to its own dishonor. So that was another shocking event that happened in the name of religion or because of religion. And next we’re going to talk about a very special
cific version of the Bible that is called the Wicked Bible that’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.
Readers of a 1631 edition of the protest and King James Bible were shocked or maybe pleasantly surprised when they came across the seventh commandment in the book of Exodus that says, and here I say it exactly like it was written in that specific edition of the Bible. Of course, in the Bible, there’s no such thing. But in that edition, it said, Thou shalt commit adultery, but I was not everything. Then there was the apparent blasphemy found in Deuteronomy, chapter five, instead of the Lord has showed us his glory and His greatness. The last word was turned into great s. Sorry, that was what the Wicked Bible said. And of course, it was a typo. It was a misprint, but that had some great repercussions, which I will talk about right now. The 1631 version inscribed with these egregious errors became known as the Wicked Bible or the adulterous Bible. On May the eighth 16th 32 The printers were hauled before the fearsome star chamber for their mistakes with the additional charge of printing the Bible on bad paper. And here’s what the Archbishop of Canterbury said. He said, I knew the time when great care was had about printing, good composite errs and the best correctors were gotten. But now that paper is not the composer’s boys and the correctors unlearn it, and quote, the printers were heavily fined and banned from their profession. Meanwhile, history has no record of how many marital beds may have been violated with blessings from the Wicked Bible. And that was definitely very shocking. That was another shocking event in today’s episode, shocking events that made history but that’s not everything. Next, we’re going to talk about something that is really shocking, maybe one of the most shocking events in this series, we’re going to talk about the malleus Maleficarum or hammer of the witches. If you haven’t heard of it before, be prepared because this one is definitely one of the cruelest things that happened in history. That’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.
German churchmen Heinrich Kramer was having a devil of a time, Central Europe was teeming with witches who were wrecking havoc in a number of regions. Worse, local ecclesiastical authorities actively resisted his effort to confront such evil. So like the dutiful Inquisitor he was Kramer appealed to the Pope for help. On December the fifth 1480 For His Holiness innocent the eighth obliged his loyal witch hunter by issuing the papal bulls So Miss Bessie Durant is affecting us, later known as the witch bull. The Pope’s message acknowledge the existence of these malevolent creatures, who at the instigation of the enemy of mankind do not shrink from committing and perpetrating the foulest abominations and filthiest excesses. Now, of course, here I’m quoting what was written in the book, not my opinion or not what I think, of course, but that was not everything. The Pope even warned local bishops not to interfere with Kramer’s holy missions. Or if they do that, they would risk excommunication suspension, interdict, and steal other more terrible sentences, centers and penalties. That was all in the witch bull. Now the fanatical Inquisitor Kramer, whom historian Edward Peters described as a furious misogynist was thrilled with the Pope sanction and immediately set about compiling a handy guide to identifying, torturing and killing the mostly female servants of Satan, the practical Malleus Maleficarum, or hammer of the witches published in 1487. It was filled with such insightful declarations as all witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which is in women, insatiable. And here, of course, I’m just quoting what was written in the book. Unfortunately, these words were written somewhere in a book, and unfortunately, it was sanctioned by the pope back then. But anyway, this might be one of the worst books ever written. And here I’m not talking about the quality of writing, I’m talking about the content. The instructions for prosecuting a witch explain that women who did not cry during their trial should be assumed guilty. The advent of the printing press combined with religious turmoil made Malleus Maleficarum
A massive bestseller and the authoritative source upon which many a judge based his ruling in ensuing periods of hysteria faithfully reproduced in each copy of this Bledsoe book was Pope’s innocence which bull and its endorsement of our beloved son Kramer. Two centuries later, the Witch craze swept to America and reached a violent crescendo in 1692 20 people were sent to the gallows in Salem, Massachusetts, and at least 150 more settlers accused of practicing witchcraft were sent to prison. Young girls who exhibited such symptoms as screaming and physical contortions named the alleged witches as the cause of their pain, and a special court heard the cases. Within months the governor had disbanded the court and the Superior Court of Judicature that took its place rejected the invisible evidence on which the former trials were predicated sorcery spell was breaking in the New World, though it was far from the end of fanatical outbursts on any continent. Unfortunately, that book alone and Kramer himself were the cause of the vicious murder of 1000s of women, if not even million some even claimed that he killed millions of women. Now, to my knowledge, that was the worst misogynist ever, and I can’t even call him a man because that is not even the work of an animal. But anyway, let me not just get carried away with emotions, because that was definitely shocking. But that shocking event definitely made history. And the next event is also shocking. But this time, it’s not against women. It is against art. We’re going to talk about Italy’s Bonfire of the Vanities that’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.
On February the seventh 1497 All the fun to be had in Florence went up in flames in a spectacle known as The Bonfire of the Vanities. In an effort to get the city state of its sinful preoccupation with luxury beauty and entertainment. The fanatical Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola, who effectively ruled the Republic after the meta chi were temporarily driven out coerced Florentines to submit their most precious objects to a massive buyer erected at the Piazza della Signora heaped onto the structure were irreplaceable paintings, including works by body Celli, by some reports, books by Petrarch, Dante and Boccaccio, sumptuous clothing, tapestries, musical instruments and 1000s of other beloved material possessions. Everything burned as the monks followers celebrated the religious cleansing dancing around a massive fire. It was iconic then that a little over a year later, the pope condemned Savonarola as a heretic and consigned him to the flames at the same public square. Soon enough, the storied site would be under the watchful eye of Michelangelo’s very nude, or as the monk no doubt would have viewed it very lewd statue of David. That is another shocking event that made history in the name of religion. And next we’re going to talk about the Taliban’s Buddha butchers that’s coming next don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.
Maya temples bulldozed for road fill in Belize, ancient mummies violated by thieves in Egypt. The instances of cultural desecration in modern time seem to belie the very concept of civilization. Yet the violence shows no sign of abating. And especially ambitious assault ushered in the new millennium on March the second 2001 when the Taliban regime begin the project of leveling to ancient treasures, the Buddha’s of Bamian carved into the mountainside near a former Buddhist pilgrimage site. The statues nearly 175 and 125 feet high, respectively, had stood for at least 15 centuries, the Taliban destroyed or they called the gods of the infidels within weeks. The attack began with anti craft guns and artillery, but the Buddha’s wouldn’t budge. Taliban leaders publicly lamented the hard work of destruction. Finally, strategically placed explosive completed the ruin, leaving two tragic voids that you can see today, and you can lament the loss of two irreplaceable statues of Buddha. And with that, we come to the end of the first part of the episode where we focused on events or shocking events that are related to religion and next
We’re going to move on and talk about shocking events that are related to social movement. That’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere, I’ll be right back.
Even some of the most basic rights were hard won at some point like freedom of speech, woman suffrage, representative government and criminal justice. Change can take decades or even centuries as with racial equality, or it can happen in a flash like a presidential impeachment. The historic faux pas and fiascos are products of societies that are complicated, often contradictory, and yet magnificently intertwined. So ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to start talking about shocking events related to social movements, and our very first shocking event is the reason behind the reign of terror. Now, for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, of course, the reign of terror is related to the famous French Revolution. In the aftermath of the French Revolution, the new government launched a violent retribution known as the reign of terror against those it perceived as enemies 1000s were sent to the guillotine, including God, France’s New Deal deity was reason as revolutionary leaders was fo che decreed on October the 10th 1973. And the only acceptable worship would be that of universal morality. For che even order the Supreme Being out of graveyards with the Christian promise of resurrection replaced at their entrances with the atheistic message death is an eternal sleep then after desecrating the Cathedral of Notre DOM and transforming it, along with other former places of worship into a temple of reason for che headed to Lee Jung, the people of France’s second largest city had been slow to accept a new order of things and actually had the audacity to rebel for che was determined to guide them back to reason. He started by parading the local bishop on a donkey dressed in the clerics, vestments, and miter with a chalice around its neck and a missile tied to its tail. Then he got down to the real business of reprisals, a task he pursued with all the zeal of the truly enlightened, let us strike like lightning was a proclaimed and let the very ashes of our enemies disappear with the approach of freedom.
kind of controversial, you’re talking about the ashes of your enemy and freedom and stuff. So it’s your freedom, not theirs? Well, we still have that problem until this very day. I mean, when people start talking about freedom, well, they’re talking about their own freedom. They’re not talking about your freedom, you might be free to say that what they’re talking about is not freedom, but you can’t, because their freedom dictates that you accept what they think is free, as free. But let me not get too philosophical here. Let me continue what fu che did and it was really shocking. I mean, until this point, he had done a lot of shocking things, but what he did to Leon was even more shocking. Men and women of the rebellious southern capital were lined up by the hundreds and blasted with grapeshot, which was, as historian David Andrus wrote a grotesquely ineffective means of execution. The rebels fell but didn’t all die, resulting in heaps of mutilated screaming half dead victims who had to be finished off with sabers and musket fired by soldiers physically sickened by the task. The spilled blood and gore made a mess in the streets of Leon, a problem for che addressed reasonably by moving the mass murders outside the city. Despite these pesky inconveniences, the Butcher of Lyon, as pushy came to be called was delighted by the progress being made in the noble cause of liberty, equality, fraternity, and this is from what forshay wrote, terror salutary terror is here in truth, the order of the day, it represses all the efforts of the wicked, it divests crime of old covering and tensile we are causing much impure blood to flow, but it is our duty to do so. It is for humanity sake. Oh dear, again, for Humanity’s sake, for God’s sake, for some causes sake, we can kill. That was not exactly for Shay’s invention. I mean, that is humanity’s invention. But anyway, forshay sense of justice shifted with the political winds and when the regime took a more moderate stance on enforcement, he did too. He alternately colluded with and plotted against hope SPL and later Napoleon, but when he tried
to cozy up with Louie the 18th Pro royalists called his bluff, and he spent the rest of his life in self imposed exile. So that was the reason behind the reign of terror. That’s not everything. We’re going to talk next about President Adams against free speech that’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.
On July the 14th 1798, less than a decade after signing what became known as the Bill of Rights, President John Adams affirmed another document with quite the opposite effect of freedom. The Sedition Act, one of a series of highly restrictive laws passed that year purportedly as a wartime measure. Among its odious provisions described by Thomas Jefferson as being palpably in the teeth of the Constitution. The Act made it illegal to write, print, order, or publish or cause it to be done or assist in it any false, scandalous and malicious writing against the government of the United States or other house of Congress or the President with intent to defame or bring either into contempt or disrepute. And here, I’m quoting exactly what was in the Sedition Act. And that’s how a colorful Congressman Matthew Leon, a Vermont ended up in prison having boldly accused the Adams administration of ridiculous pomp, foolish adulation, and selfish avarice, partisan writer James calendar in a particularly variable and tracked the prospect before us called Adams, a repulsive parent and a gross hypocrite, a hideous hermaphrodite at Gold character which has neither the force of firmness of a man nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman, who, and here again, I’m continuing the same quote, in his private life is one of the most egregious fools upon the continent. And, quote, given that John Adams had signed the Sedition Act, it could be argued that James calendar was seeking to test the President’s resolve. He found himself convicted, fined and jailed. The Sedition Act even caught in its net Benjamin Franklin bash, who was Ben Franklin’s grandson, editor and publisher of the general advertiser targeted by Federalists he was arrested on June the 26th 1798 for labeling the president. All in all 14 journalists were tried some of whom were imprisoned under the act. The Sedition Act, as Adams biographer David McCullough noted, has been rightly judged by history as the most reprehensible of the administration’s actions. When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1800. The Sedition Act was allowed to expire and the First Amendment returned to the citizenry the right to partake in free, even unflattering speech. And next we’re going to talk about a shocking event against literature that’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere, I’ll be right back.
Some of literature’s greatest classics were once considered provocative or inflammatory, and were banned in American communities. These stoled master works included The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye and the Grapes of Wrath. The US Postmaster General Arthur E. Summerfield took it upon himself to ban another famous book DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover from the mail system. His indignant justification rendered on June the 11th 1959. And here I quote, the book is replete with descriptions in minut detail of sexual acts. These descriptions utilize filthy, offensive and degrading words and terms. Any literary merit the book may have is far outweighed by the pornographic and smutty passages and quote, a federal judge later overturned the decision and as a final sting added that the Postmaster General was unqualified to render such a judgment. So that was about stamping out a classic and next we’re going to talk about the Unabomber self destructs. That’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere, I’ll be right back.
Over the course of nearly two decades, a mysterious killer known as the Unabomber had wantonly murder three people and injured scores more with explosive he had planted or mailed in his quest to subvert modernism. The FBI had searched intensively, but it had yet to identify the terrorist when he contacted the New York Times and The Washington Post and declared that he would cease his bloody campaign if his 35,000 War
manifesto was published. After much debate, the post agreed to run the rambling tirade on September the 22nd 1995. One reader recognized the unique writing style as belonging to Theodore or Ted Kaczynski, a former mathematics professor who lived as a recluse in a remote cabin in Montana. That reader was the unit bombers brother, who stepped to the FBI finally resulted in Kaczynski arrest. And with this shocking event, we come to the end of today’s episode, and next time, we’re going to continue on talking about shocking events that have to do with social movements. So stay tuned for a new episode of shocking events that made history next week. But don’t forget, we have other series running alongside shocking events that made history, we have our great mystery series, we have our word power series, we have an Essential Guide to your body and brain series. And very soon or actually, not very soon. I’m going to tell you next week, actually, we’re going to have the Phoenix fiction series, I’m going to tell you any more about it. I’ll be talking more about it later on. It’s not a secret, but I’m still putting my final touches on it. So I want to tell you about the thing you’re going to actually hear next week. But anyway, that’ll be the end of today’s episode. Don’t forget that you can find the transcript of this episode on the website. The link is in the show notes. And while on the website, go ahead and explore the website you will find a lot of things and some of the things that are logged some of the valuable things actually you can unlock them by becoming a patron on Patreon. You can pledge any amount of money per month and there is no obligation you can cancel your pledge anytime you want. But when you become a patron, of course, you will be supporting me supporting me as a content creator supporting this podcast to continue and you will get a lot of exclusive content and benefits. So consider it. There’s also a link in the description that will take you to my Patreon page. So how about going there, check out the benefits you get and then you can decide whether you want to support this channel. So that’ll be all for today. This is your host Danny, thank you very much for listening to another episode from our series shocking events that made history and from our podcast English plus podcast. I will see you next time.