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Related: torture - witchcraft - heresy

Vincent Price is the Witchfinder General


The Inquisition was a permanent institution in the Catholic Church charged with the eradication of heresies. Unlike many other religions (e.g., Buddhism, Judaism), the Catholic Church has a hierarchical structure with a central bureaucracy. After Constantine ended the persecution of the church, the local administrative structures of the Empire (the western church) were pulled together into one hierarchy centered in Rome. Those whose beliefs or practices deviated sufficiently from the orthodoxy of the councils now became the objects of efforts to bring them into the fold. Resistance often led to persecution.

Heresies (from Greek haeresis, sect, school of belief) were a problem for the Church from the beginning. Acts 15 recounts the convening of a council in Jerusalem to deal with the heresy of the Judaizers, who had been a particular problem in Asia and especially Galatia. In the subsequent centuries there were the Arians and Manicheans; in the Middle Ages there were the Cathari and Waldenses; and in the Renaissance there were the Hussites, Lutherans, Calvinists, and Rosicrucians. Efforts to suppress heresies were initially ad hoc. But in the Middle Ages a permanent structure came into being to deal with the problem. Beginning in the 12th century, Church Councils required secular rulers to prosecute heretics. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inquisition#History [Sept 2004]

1184: The Medieval Inquisition

The Medieval Inquisition started around 1184. It was in response to large popular heretical movements throughout Europe, in particular Catharism and Waldensians in southern France and northern Italy. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inquisition#History [Sept 2004]


The Inquisition in Toulouse forbids Bible reading by all laymen --CCTL

About 1260
In Orleans, France, law code punishes men and women who commit same-sex acts with removal of testicles or clitoris for the first offense, removal of penis or breasts for the second offense, and burning at the stake for the third offense. --source and author unkown, found in the queer timeline

Conqueror Worm/The Witchfinder General (1968) - Michael Reeves

    Conqueror Worm/The Witchfinder General (1968) - Michael Reeves [Amazon.com]

    Witchfinder General is a 1968 horror film by Tigon British Film Productions and American International Pictures. It was directed by Michael Reeves and stars Vincent Price and Ian Ogilvy. The film was retitled The Conqueror Worm in the United States to link it with the series of Edgar Allen Poe films starring Vincent Price — although this movie has little to do with the Poe story and only alludes to the poem.

    Production began on 18 September 1967 with a budget of £82,000 (£50,000 from Tigon British, and £32,000 from American International Pictures). Interiors were filmed in two specially converted aircraft hangers near Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk, and the exterior shots ranged from Brandeston and Lavenham to the Dunwich Coast. The climax of the film was shot at Orford Castle

    The year is 1645 — the middle of the English Civil War. Matthew Hopkins, an opportunist and witchhunter, takes advantage of the breakdown in social order to impose a reign of terror on East Anglia. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witchfinder_General_(film) [Jan 2006]

    Matthew Hopkins's witch hunts were loosely adapted into a horror film starring Vincent Price as Hopkins, under the title Witchfinder General (retitled The Conqueror Worm in the United States). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Hopkins [Jan 2006]

    See also: 1600s - inquistion - British cinema - actor - 1968

    A bewigged Vincent Price goes full-on evil in The Conqueror Worm, based on the life of England's self-proclaimed "Witchfinder General" Matthew Hopkins. Hopkins and his assistant, John Stern, ride through spectacular location shots around England, looking for disciples of the devil to torture and burn. (Indeed, the devil must be at work, for the skies are bright blue even though people keep saying it's nighttime.) Nevertheless, Hopkins and Stern seem to have a knack for picking on the innocent, notably the fiancée of young soldier Richard Marshall. Price turns in another top performance, delicately mixing false piety and sadism with a dash of lecherousness. Can Hopkins be stopped? Will Marshall risk desertion to save his love? Why are those women just sitting around the inn topless? The answers to these questions and more await you in The Conqueror Worm. --Ali Davis for Amazon.com

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