The Products of Abortion in Daily Life

Alerting the complacent, informing the concerned, arming the dedicated.

Source :https://www.hli.org/resources/products-that-use-aborted-fetuses/

Products That Use Aborted Fetuses

By Andrea Byrnes|April 23rd, 2019|Categories: Abortion|Tags: abortionbaby body partspopularstem cell research

Do some products contain fetal parts? The short gruesome answer: Yes.

Today’s consumer products are not the soap and lampshades of recycled Nazi concentration camp victims. The new utilitarian use of people is a sophisticated enterprise, not visible to the human eye.

Fetal Parts in Daily Life

Perhaps you are a diligent supporter and promoter of pro-life legislation, only vote for pro-life candidates, avoid entertainment from musicians and actors who openly support Planned Parenthood. Regardless, you may unwittingly be cooperating in aborted fetal cell research by purchasing products that use aborted fetuses, either in the product itself or in its development.

One might take Enbrel (Amgen) to relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis. Your husband was given Zoastavax (Merck), a Shingles vaccine, at his annual physical. Your mother with diabetes and renal failure is prescribed Arensep (Amgen). Your grandfather is given the blood product Repro (Eli Lilly) during an angioplasty. The local school district requires that your grandchildren receive the MMRII (the Merck Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine). Your daughter and son use coffee creamers and eat soup with artificial flavor enhancers (Senomyx/Firmenich) tested on artificial taste buds engineered from aborted fetal cells.

Because of the vagary of FDA labeling, unless you are proficient at reading patents and pharmaceutical inserts you wouldn’t know aborted fetal parts were there without someone to tell you.

there are some products that use aborted fetuses

Luckily, that someone is the watchdog group Children of God for Life (COG), a pro-life public citizen group which tracks the use of aborted fetal parts. Under the leadership of Executive Director Debi Vinnedge, COG publishes a downloadable list of products that use aborted fetuses currently available in the U.S.

Download the list here.

Products That Use Aborted Fetuses

Products related to fetal material can be broken down into roughly 3 categories: artificial flavors, cosmetics, and medicines/vaccines.

1. Food and Drink

To be clear, food and beverages do not contain any aborted fetal material; however, they may be tastier because of it. How is that?

The American biotech company Senomyx has developed chemical additives that can enhance flavor and smell. To do this, they had to produce an army of never-tiring taste testers–that is, flavor receptors engineered from human embryonic kidney cells (HEK 293, fetal cell line popular in pharmaceutical research).1 These artificial taste buds can tell product developers which products the public will crave. The goal is to do a taste bud “sleight of hand,” creating low-sugar and low-sodium products that taste sweet or salty while actually using less sugar or sodium in the product.

Does your Nestle Coffee-mate Pumpkin Spice refrigerated creamer taste more like autumn? Does your Maggi bouillon taste just like chicken? Thank Senomyx.

nestle coffee creamer

The laboratory-created artificial enhancers do not have to be tested at length by the FDA because the Senomyx chemical “flavor compounds are used in proportions less than one part per million” and can be classified as artificial flavors.2

In 2005, Senomyx had contracts to develop products for Kraft Foods, Nestle, Campbell Soup and Coca-Cola.2 However, when it was discovered in 2011 that PepsiCo was using Senomyx to develop a reduced sugar beverage, a boycott ensued that caused Kraft-Cadbury Adams LLC and Campbell Soup cancelled their contracts with Senomyx. In a 2012 letter to Children of God for Life, PepsiCo stated, “Senomyx does not use HEK cells or any other tissues or cell lines derived from human embryos or fetuses for research performed on behalf of PepsiCo.” To that effect, PepsiCo is working with Senomyx on two products developed with Sweetmyx 617, a new Senomyx sweet taste modifier.

In November 2018, the Swiss company Firmenich acquired Senomyx, Inc. Firmenich describes itself as “a global leader in taste innovation and expert in sweet, cooling and bitter solutions.”

2. Cosmetics

The fountain of youth…is babies.

Commercially, it’s known as Processed Skin Proteins (PSP), developed at the University of Lausanne to heal burns and wounds by regenerating traumatized skin. The fetal skin cell line was taken from an electively aborted baby whose body was donated to the University.

Neocutis, a San Francisco-based firm, uses PSP in some of their anti-aging skin products. Their website claims the trademarked PSP “harnesses the power of Human Growth Factors, Interleukins and other Cytokines, to help deliver state-of-the-art skin revitalization.”

3. Vaccines and Medicine

The Vaccine Card at the Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute (SCPI) website lists over 21 vaccines and medical products that contain aborted fetal cell lines. The Card is updated yearly, and also lists ethical vaccine alternatives when there are any. The morality of using these vaccines is a complicated issue; see this article for more detailed information.

SCPI is a biomedical research organization headed by Theresa Deisher, who has a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Physiology from Stanford and 23 patents in the field to her name.  Dr. Deisher, the first person to identify and patent stem cells from the adult heart, has an insiders understanding of genetic engineering having worked in the industry leaders such as Amgen, Genetech, and Repligen.3

Among other things SCPI “promotes awareness about the widespread use of fetal human material in drug discovery, development and commercialization.”

No vaccine product is completely pure: “You will find contaminating DNA and cellular debris from the production cell in your final product. When we switch from using animal cells to using human cells we now have human DNA in our vaccines and our drugs.”3

The problem is three-fold. Aborted fetal parts are used for experiments, aborted fetal cell lines are used, and fetal cellular DNA debris are in vaccines and medicines.

But it is not just human DNA that is left over, so are some of the chemical stabilizers that keep the product from degrading, as well as, stimulants to rev up the immune system.

Vaccines are a virus that have been put into a vial, in a liquid, which is the buffer, which we call excipients, and companies have put in stabilizers so that the virus won’t degrade and other things that kind of rev up your immune system so that they can use lower amounts of the virus and have a greater profit margin. And immune stimulants are things like aluminum and thimerosal, they are stabilizers but they rev up the immunes system, so all of these things are in the final product, including contaminates from the cell lines that are used to manufacture the vaccines.4

Why aren’t the contaminates removed? Because nobody wants a pediatric vaccine that costs a few thousand dollars.5

In finance, the yield is inversely related to the price. In chemistry, the yield is inversely related to purity. The price of inexpensive mass-produced vaccines is that the medical establishment accepts that the vaccines contain a high amount of fetal contaminates.

If they have purified out the containments from the cell lines, the yield would be so low that they wouldn’t make any money, or no one would pay a thousand dollars or ten thousand dollars for a vaccine. And so because of that case remnants from the cell lines, in that case, fetal cell lines are in the final product. And they are at actually very high levels. And in the chicken pox, the fetal DNA contaminates are present at twice the levels of the active ingredient which is Varicella DNA.4

The Fetal Tissue Marketplace

Much research is currently being done with fetal cells.

scientific instruments

We know this because, for one, there’s a market for fetal parts. In a series of undercover videos, David Daleiden of The Center for Medical Progress exposed Planned Parenthood abortion clinics selling fetal parts to investigators posing as and medical researchers. And for his efforts his office was raided in 2016 by then California Attorney General Kamala Harris, now a Senator.6 Daleiden is currently being pursued in court by current California Attorney General, and former Democrat California Congressman, Xavier Becerra.

We already knew this was happening from the testimony of scientists themselves. On January 11, 2018, professor emeritus Dr. Stanley Plotkin, the lead developer of the Rubella vaccine for the Wistar Institute (Philadelphia) in the 1960s, was deposed as an expert witness on Vaccinology in a Michigan child custody case. Dr. Plotkin was asked how many aborted fetuses he has used in his experiments:

QUESTION: So in your, in all of your work related to vaccines throughout your whole career, you’ve only ever worked with two fetuses?

PLOTKIN: In terms of making vaccines, yes.

But after being presented with Exhibit 41 (Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine), the two fetuses involved in his experiment grows exponentially to 76 aborted fetuses.

QUESTION: So this study involved 74 fetuses, correct?

PLOTKIN: Seventy-six.

QUESTION: And these fetuses were all three months or older when aborted, correct? PLOTKIN: Yes.

A true enough response. Fetal cells, for that matter all normal cells, have a finite capacity to replicate following the principle of cellular aging. The vaccine trail needed many cell lines in order to achieve its end.

An interesting aside: during questioning Dr. Plotkin answered affirmatively that some of his subjects for experimental vaccine trials had been children of “mothers in prison,” the mentally ill, and “individuals under colonial rule” [Belgian Congo].

Dr. Theresa Deisher first became aware of the introduction of fresh aborted fetal material in drug discovery in 1996. Fresh fetal parts are a time-saver compared to the days spent washing and prepping animal tissue, like monkey hearts, for laboratory experiments. While it is not legal to sell aborted fetal tissue, it is still available in catalogues and comes with high prices for shipping and handling.

A Better Option

According to Dr. David A. Prentice Vice, President of the Charlotte Lozier Institute and Adjunct Professor of Molecular Genetics at the John Paul II Institute, adult stem cells are the benchmark for research that has led to actual cures for patients: “The superiority of adult stem cells in the clinic and the mounting evidence supporting their effectiveness in regeneration and repair make adult stem cells the gold standard of stem cells for patients.”

Then why are we still using embryonic cell lines when adult stem cells have become the Gold Standard? There seems to be little excuse for products that use aborted fetuses.embryonic stem cells

embryonic stem cells

U.S. Policy on Products That Use Aborted Fetuses

On the 20th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade in 1993, President Clinton signed five abortion-related memorandums which included the reversal of the George H. W. Bush era moratorium on creating new fetal tissue for research, claiming at the time, “This moratorium has significantly hampered the development of possible treatments for individuals afflicted with serious diseases and disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and leukemia.”

While a bio-ethics debate transfixed the country in 2006 as to whether the United States would allow the use of new aborted fetal stem cells in research [see White House Fact Sheet on Stem Cell Research Policy], the medical research community had already decided that the future lay with human-animal hybrids and new aborted fetal cell lines. According to a statement submitted to the President’s Bioethics Council:

Aborted human DNA in our vaccines is not the end, it is only the beginning, as the creation of human-animal hybrids demonstrates. A new aborted fetal cell line has been developed, called PerC6, and licenses have been taken by over 50 partners, including the NIH and the Walter Reed Army Institute, to use this cell line for new vaccine and biologics production. The goal of the company that created the PerC6 is to become the production cell line for ALL vaccines, therapeutics antibodies, biologic drugs and gene therapy.3

And this has largely come to pass.

In 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services granted a second 90-day extension to a contract it has with the University of California at San Francisco that requires UCSF to make “humanized mice” for on-going AIDS research. The human fetal tissue comes from late-term abortions.

CNSNews reported that “according to an estimate it has published on its website, the National Institutes of Health (which is a division of HHS) will spend $95 million this fiscal year alone on research that–like UCSF’s “humanized mouse” contract–uses human fetal tissue.”

Read about how the Trump administration limited the sale of fetal parts.

Stop Ebola? Prevent Zika Virus? Cure AIDS? Look for more, not fewer, aborted fetal products in the future.

Notes:

[1] Melanie Warner, “Pepsi’s Bizarro World: Boycotted Over Embryonic Cells Linked to Lo-Cal Soda.” CBS News Moneywatch. June 3, 2011.

[2] Melanie Warner, “Food Companies Test Flavorings That Can Mimic Sugar, Salt or MSG.” New York Times. April 6, 2005.

[3] Theresa A. Deisher, PhD. “Testimony on Conscience Rights Related to Biologic Drug Disclosure and Alternative Drugs.” President’s Council on Bioethics Archive. Georgetown University. September 8, 2008.

[4] “Dr. Theresa Deisher Guelph, Ontario Canada June 23, 2018.” Vaccine Choice Canada published on YouTube. August 2, 2018.

[5] The National Vaccine Injury Act was signed in 1986 so that manufactures wouldn’t raise the price of vaccines due to injury lawsuits. Robert Pear, “Reagan Signs Bill on Drug Exports and Payment for Vaccine Injuries.” New York Times. November 15, 1986.

[6] Paige St. John. “Kamala Harris’ support for Planned Parenthood draws fire after raid on anti-abortion activist.” Los Angeles Times. April 7, 2016.

King of Vaccines Comes Clean!” The HighWire with Del Bigtree. Youtube. Published January 17, 2009.

What Is This Nation Becoming?:

Elizabeth Báthory

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The native form of this personal name is Ecsedi Báthory Erzsébet. This article uses Western name order when mentioning individuals.

Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed (HungarianBáthory Erzsébetpronounced [ˈbaːtori ˈɛrʒeːbɛt]SlovakAlžbeta Bátoriová ; 7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614)[1] was a Hungarian noblewoman from the noble family of Báthory, who owned land in the Kingdom of Hungary (now HungarySlovakia and Romania).

Báthory has been labeled by Guinness World Records as the most prolific female murderer,[2] though the precise number of her victims is debated. Báthory and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of young girls and women between 1590 and 1610.[3] The highest number of victims cited during Báthory’s trial was 650. However, this number comes from the claim by a servant girl named Susannah that Jakab Szilvássy, Báthory’s court official, had seen the figure in one of Báthory’s private books. The book was never revealed, and Szilvássy never mentioned it in his testimony.[4] Despite the evidence against Báthory, her family’s importance kept her from facing execution. She was imprisoned in December 1610 within Castle of Csejte, in Upper Hungary (now Slovakia).

The stories of Báthory’s sadistic serial murders are verified by the testimony of more than 300 witnesses and survivors as well as physical evidence and the presence of horribly mutilated dead, dying and imprisoned girls found at the time of her arrest.[5] Stories describing Báthory’s vampiric tendencies, such as the tale that she bathed in the blood of virgins to retain her youth, were generally recorded years after her death, and are considered unreliable. Her story quickly became part of national folklore, and her infamy persists to this day.[6] Some insist she inspired Bram Stoker‘s Dracula (1897),[7] though there is no evidence to support this hypothesis.[8] Nicknames and literary epithets attributed to her include The Blood Countess and Countess Dracula.

Early years

Artistic stylization of the coat of arms of Elizabeth BáthoryEcsed, the lake and the old castle

Elizabeth Báthory was born on a family estate in NyírbátorRoyal Hungary, in 1560 or 1561, and spent her childhood at Ecsed Castle. Her father was Baron George VI Báthory of the Ecsed branch of the family, brother of Andrew Bonaventura Báthory, who had been voivode of Transylvania, while her mother was Baroness Anna Báthory (1539–1570), daughter of Stephen Báthory of Somlyó, another voivode of Transylvania, who was of the Somlyó branch. Through her mother, Elizabeth was the niece of the Hungarian noble Stephen Báthory (1533–1586), the king of Poland and the grand duke of Lithuania of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the prince of Transylvania. Her older brother was Stephen Báthory (1555–1605), who became a judge royal of Hungary.

As a child, Báthory suffered multiple seizures that may have been caused by epilepsy, possibly stemming from the inbreeding of her parents.[9][10][11][12] At the time, symptoms relating to epilepsy were diagnosed as falling sickness and treatments included rubbing blood of a non-sufferer on the lips of an epileptic or giving the epileptic a mix of a non-sufferer’s blood and piece of skull as their episode ended.[13][12] This has led to speculation that Báthory’s killings during her later life were part of her efforts to cure the illness she had been suffering from since childhood; however, there is no hard evidence supporting the speculation.[12]

As another attempt to explain Báthory’s cruelty later in her life, many sources say that she was trained by her family to be cruel.[14][12][11] Stories include a young Báthory witnessing brutal punishments executed by her family’s officers, and being taught by family members involved with Satanism and witchcraft.[11][14] Again, there is no hard evidence for these claims.

Báthory was raised a Calvinist Protestant. As a young woman, she learned LatinGermanHungarian, and Greek.[3][15][9] Born into a privileged family of nobility, Báthory was endowed with wealth, education, and a stellar social position.

At the age of 13, before her first marriage, Báthory allegedly gave birth to a child.[16] The child, said to have been fathered by a peasant boy, was supposedly given away to a local woman that was trusted by the Báthory family.[16] The woman was paid for her actions, and the child was taken to Wallachia.[16] Evidence of this pregnancy came up long after Elizabeth’s death through rumors spread by peasants; therefore, the validity of the rumor is often disputed.[12]

Married life

Aerial view of Castle of CsejteMain tower at Čachtice Castle

Báthory was engaged at age 10 to Ferenc Nádasdy, the son of Baron Tamás Nádasdy de Nádasd et Fogarasföld and Orsolya Kanizsay[17] in what was probably a political arrangement within the circles of the aristocracy. As Elizabeth’s social standing was higher than that of her husband, she refused to change her last name, and instead, Nádasdy assumed the surname Báthory. The couple married when she was 15 (and he was aged 19) at the palace of Vranov nad Topľou (Varannó in Hungarian) on 8 May 1575. Approximately 4,500 guests were invited to the wedding.[18]

Nádasdy’s wedding gift to Báthory was his household, Castle of Csejte situated in the Little Carpathians near Nové Mesto nad Váhom and Trenčín (in present-day Slovakia).[19] The castle had been bought by his mother in 1569 and given to Nádasdy, who transferred it to Elizabeth during their nuptials,[17]:35 together with the Csejte country house and seventeen adjacent villages.[19]

In 1578, Nádasdy became the chief commander of Hungarian troops, leading them to war against the Ottomans.[20] With her husband away at war, Báthory managed business affairs and the estates. That role usually included responsibility for the Hungarian and Slovak people, even providing medical care.[21]

During the Long War (1593–1606), Báthory was charged with the defense of her husband’s estates, which lay on the route to Vienna.[15] The threat was significant, for the village of Csejte had previously been plundered by the Ottomans while Sárvár, located near the border that divided Royal Hungary and Ottoman-occupied Hungary, was in even greater danger. There were several instances where Báthory intervened on behalf of destitute women, including a woman whose husband was captured by the Ottomans and a woman whose daughter was raped and impregnated.[21]

Báthory’s daughter, Anna Nádasdy, was born in 1585 and was later to become the wife of Nikola VI Zrinski. Báthory’s other known children include Orsolya (Orsika) Nádasdy (1590 – unknown) who would later become the wife of István II Benyó; Katalin (Kata or Katherina) Nádasdy (1594 – unknown); András Nádasdy (1596–1603); and Pál (Paul) Nádasdy (1598–1650), father of Ferenc II Nádasdy.[citation needed] Some chronicles also indicate that the couple had another son, named Miklós Nádasdy, although this cannot be confirmed, and it could be that he was simply a cousin or died young, as he is not named in Báthory’s will from 1610. György Nádasdy is also supposedly the name of one of the deceased Nádasdy infants, but nothing on that can be confirmed. All of Elizabeth’s children were cared for by governesses, as Báthory had been.[22][23][24]

Ferenc Nádasdy died on 4 January 1604 at the age of 48. Although the exact nature of the illness which led to his death is unknown, it seems to have started in 1601, and initially caused debilitating pain in his legs. From that time, he never fully recovered, and in 1603 became permanently disabled.[25] He had been married to Báthory for 29 years. Before dying, Nádasdy entrusted his heirs and widow to György Thurzó, who would eventually lead the investigation into Báthory’s crimes.[17]

Accusation

Investigation

Between 1602 and 1604, after rumors of Báthory’s atrocities had spread through the kingdom, Lutheran minister István Magyari made complaints against her, both publicly and at the court in Vienna.[26] The Hungarian authorities took some time to respond to Magyari’s complaints. Finally, in 1610, King Matthias II assigned Thurzó, the Palatine of Hungary, to investigate. Thurzó ordered two notaries, András Keresztúry and Mózes Cziráky,[27] to collect evidence in March 1610.[28] By October 1610 they collected 52 witness statements.[27] By 1611, the notaries collected testimony from more than 300 witnesses.

According to the testimonies, Báthory’s initial victims were servant girls aged 10 to 14 years;[29] the daughters of local peasants, many of whom were lured to Csejte by offers of well-paid work as maids; and servants in the castle. Later, Báthory is said to have begun killing daughters of the lesser gentry, who were sent to her gynaeceum by their parents to learn courtly etiquette. Abductions were said to have occurred as well.[30] The atrocities described most consistently included severe beatings; burning or mutilation of hands; biting the flesh off the faces, arms and other body parts; freezing or starving to death.[30] The use of needles was also mentioned by the collaborators in court. There were many suspected forms of torture carried out by Báthory.[31] According to the Budapest City Archives, the girls were burned with hot tongs and then placed in freezing cold water.[31] They were also covered in honey and live ants.[31] Báthory was also suspected of cannibalism.[31]

Some witnesses named relatives who died while at the gynaeceum. Others reported having seen traces of torture on dead bodies, some of which were buried in graveyards, and others in unmarked locations. Two court officials (Benedek Deseő and Jakab Szilvássy) claimed to have personally witnessed the Countess torture and kill young servant girls.[17]:96–99 According to the testimony of the defendants, Báthory tortured and killed her victims not only at Csejte but also on her properties in Sárvár, NémetkeresztúrPozsony, Vienna, and elsewhere. Both Szilvásy’s and Deseő’s statements came half a year after her arrest and had mentioned by the servants during the torture, so it is possible that they were also afraid of torture if they didn’t give the desired answers.[32]

Arrest

On 12 December 1610, Nikola VI Zrinski confirmed the agreement with Thurzó about the imprisonment of Báthory and distribution of the estate.[27] On 30 December, Thurzó went to Csejte Castle and arrested Báthory along with four of her servants, who were accused of being her accomplices: Dorotya Semtész, Ilona Jó, Katarína Benická, and János Újváry (“Ibis” or Fickó). According to Thurzó’s letter to his wife, in his unannounced visit found one dead girl and another living “prey” girl in the castle,[27] but there is no evidence that they asked her what had happened to her. Although it is commonly believed that Báthory was caught in the act of torture, she was having dinner. Initially, Thurzó made the declaration to Báthory’s guests and villagers that he had caught her red-handed. However, she was arrested and detained prior to the discovery or presentation of the victims. It seems most likely that the claim of Thurzó’s discovering Báthory covered in blood has been the embellishment of fictionalized accounts.[33]

Thurzó debated further proceedings with Báthory’s son Paul and two of her sons-in-law, Nikola VI Zrinski and György Drugeth.[27] A trial and execution would have caused a public scandal, an influential family which ruled Transylvania would be disgraced, and Elizabeth’s considerable property would have been seized by the crown. Thurzó, along with Paul and her two sons-in-law, originally planned for Báthory to be spirited away to a nunnery, but as accounts of her murder of the daughters of lesser nobility spread, it was agreed that she would be kept under strict house arrest and that further punishment should be avoided.[34]

Most of the witnesses testified that they had heard the accusations from others, but didn’t see it themselves. The servants confessed under torture, which is not credible in contemporary proceedings. They were the king’s witnesses, but they were executed quickly. The accusations of murder were based on rumors. There is no document to prove that anyone in the area complained about the Countess. In this time period, if someone was harmed, or someone even stole a chicken, a letter of complaint was written. [35] [36] [37] Two trials were held in the wake of Báthory’s arrest: the first was held on 2 January 1611, and the second on 7 January 1611. [38]

Prison and death

On January 25, 1611, Thurzó wrote in a letter to Hungarian King Matthias regarding the capture of the accused Elizabeth Báthory and her confinement in the castle. The palatine also coordinated the steps of the investigation with the political struggle with the Prince of Transylvania. The widow was detained in the castle of Csejte for the rest of her life, where she died at the age of 54. As György Thurzó wrote, Elizabeth Báthory was locked in a bricked room, but according to other sources (written documents from the visit of priests, July 1614), she was able to move freely and unhindered in the castle, so today the bondage could be called house arrest.

She wrote a will in September 1610, in which left all current and future inheritance possession to her children.[27] In the last month of 1614, she signed her arrangement, in which she distributed the estates, lands, and possessions among her children.[39][40] On the evening of 20 August 1614, Báthory complained to her bodyguard that her hands were cold, whereupon he replied “It’s nothing, mistress. Just go lie down.” She went to sleep and was found dead the following morning.[41] She was buried in the church of Csejte on 25 November 1614,[41] but according to some sources due to the villagers’ uproar over having the Countess buried in their cemetery, her body was moved to her birth home at Ecsed, where it was interred at the Báthory family crypt.[42] The location of her body today is unknown. The Csejte church or the castle of Csejte do not bear any markings of her possible grave.[43]

Reputation

Several authors such as László Nagy and Dr. Irma Szádeczky-Kardoss have argued that Elizabeth Báthory was a victim of a conspiracy.[44][45] Nagy argued that the proceedings against Báthory were largely politically motivated, possibly due to her extensive wealth and ownership of large areas of land in Hungary, escalating after the death of her husband. The theory is consistent with Hungarian history at that time, which included religious and political conflicts, especially relating to the wars with the Ottoman Empire, the spread of Protestantism and the extension of Habsburg power over Hungary.[46]

There are counter-arguments made against this theory. The investigation into Báthory’s crimes was sparked by complaints from a Lutheran minister, István Magyari.[26] This does not contribute to the notion of a Catholic/Habsburg plot against the Protestant Báthory, although religious tension is still a possible source of conflict as Báthory was raised Calvinist, not Lutheran.[47] To support Báthory’s innocence, the testimony of around 300 witnesses [17]:96–99 and the physical evidence collected by the investigators have to be addressed or disputed. That evidence included numerous bodies and dead and dying girls found when the castle was entered by Thurzó.[5] Szádeczky-Kardoss argues the physical evidence was exaggerated and Thurzó misrepresented dead and wounded patients as victims of Báthory, as disgracing her would greatly benefit his political state ambitions.

What is this Country Coming To?: You Decide

Marina Abramović Breaks Her Silence on Being Labeled a Satanist

By Helen Holmes • 04/22/20 11:54am

The performance artist Marina Abramović comes to the premiere of her film Body of Truth. Ursula Düren/picture alliance via Getty Images

Besides earning her spot as one of the world’s most famous and talented performance artists, Marina Abramović has also inadvertently become one of the most divisive public figures currently working in the arts. In January, Christie’s announced an upcoming collaboration with Abramović and Microsoft that would involve Abramović ‘s work This Life being projected to audiences via “mixed reality” headsets. A Microsoft YouTube video promoting the project was subsequently down-voted en masse by detractors and conspiracy theorists, encouraged by Reddit threads and Infowars, who labeled Abramović “the queen of occult symbolism” and a “Spirit Cooking priestess.”

Such profoundly Salem-flavored denouncements of Abramović’s work have followed her throughout her career, but they evidently increased exponentially when the WikiLeaks dump of John Podesta’s emails unearthed brief correspondence with Abramović in which she talked about a “Spirit Cooking” dinner at her residence that he was invited to.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft’s ‘Mixed Reality’ Goggles Take Marina Abramović on a World Tour

Abramović has spoken extensively about the tensions involved with offering up her body and femininity to the public as part of her performance art. However, she’s rarely, if ever, addressed accusations from conspiracy theorists of her loyalty to occult practices, until now. “I need to open my heart,” Abramović told the New York Times in a new interview. “I really want to ask these people, ‘Can you stop with this? Can you stop harassing me? Can’t you see that this is just the art I’ve been doing for 50 years of my life?’”

Marina Abramović in 2000 with her work ‘Spirit Cooking.’ Wolfgang Weihs/picture alliance via Getty Images

Indeed, Abramović’s art has frequently involved blood, bodies, nudity, pain and tension, but that doesn’t maker a demonic worshipper of dark entities; it just makes her daring! “I am personally afraid that any kind of lunatic with a gun will come and shoot me, because they think I’m a Satanist,” Abramović continued in her Times interview.

And if Marina Abramović is scared of nutcase conspiracy theorists, she probably has a really good reason to be, because there’s not too much that can spook her: earlier this month, the performance artist told the Times that she hasn’t thought once about the possibility of contracting the coronavirus. Plus, it must be said that as far as conspiracy theories go, accusing famous artists of worshipping Satan is very tired and dated. You’d think they’d have come up with something else by now, but during a pandemic, new material must be pretty thin on the ground.Filed Under:ArtsVisual ArtPerformance ArtMarina AbramovicJohn PodestaMicrosoftChristie’sConspiracyWikiLeaks