Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Dear Ones,

History reveals the dark as well as the light side of human behavior.


copyright©Helene Smith 2012

archaic child-killing altars
 and blood stained battlefields

"Children of the world are the most precious gifts"–Mother Teresa of Macedonia

                   Abraham in BCE–before the common era of biblical times–threw down his knife poised to stab his little boy Isaac for a burnt offering to appease early mythological gods brought on by fear and superstition, the first form of man's religion.  His evolving conscience told him to stop–what he believed was a divine voice in an ancient story.  The world had become mesmerized by atrocious, vicious words that man spits out with little thought of the diabolical shock in sacrificing the most treasured gifts– human life–what makes our world go around.  It is beyond comprehension to fully envision the impact of such historical slaughter–youth killing loaded with shock of the macabre. 
                  The following true story of man–short for human–is fictionalized since no one living ever witnessed the horrific violence of our primitive ancestors.  We only can see the impact of our present society's terrorism.  The account you are about to read is taken from ancient prehistoric graphics etched in stone and later-day ancient archives mirroring barbaric violence done to children the world over. 
                  Since there is no scarcity of kids on the third planet from the sun, it is sad to realize youths today have also become expendable to man as war fodder, as well as burnt offerings to the gods.  At least that is what some modern-day born-again leaders ruthlessly say, blaming a deity, "God told me to go war!"–with untold thousands of youths sacrificed as the committers, out of harm's way, getting away with murder.
                  Now open your eyes to a wild, horrific scene as the heavens depart in an uproar of loud rumbles resembling the beat of drums and the clanging of brass cymbals during the worst possible electrical storm you can imagine.  Below the turmoil a ghastly drama of Earth is going on.  Frightened primitive men sit within a huge rock shelter stage deciding what must be done to appease their imagined deities.  Surely the mortals had done something wrong that angered at least one of their gods.
                  This small family community was governed by long-haired whiskered men who were domineering over their fur-covered women we would call "wives–especially scared out of their wits–not by the storm but by the men that ruled over them.                    Coming into focus now the group of men are huddled together at the entrance of the cave.  They are tending a roaring fire surrounded by primeval virgin oak trees overlooking an ancient sea. 
                  Before the storm rolled in with loud claps of thunder, a full moon shone on a sandy beach below the cliff.  Two night owls sitting on a tree branch are oblivious to the scene they are about to witness within a shadowy cavern lit by streaks of lightning and the glow of the fire–in reality a bone fire, remnants of Homo Sapiens's carnivorous meals–what would later be called a bonfire from bones of burned people during the religious Inquisition that worked in cahoots with the Roman Government and later the Spanish government that tortured man–stretched to death on crudely-made machines or burned alive on wooden stakes. 
                  Meanwhile early cave men worked diligently around the blazing fire. They also could not foresee the world of early crosses, row upon row, on soldiers' graves, no matter what their religion happened to be, and whether or not the deceived were atheists or agnostics.  In their world  superstitious faith ruled their minds and was passed down to their children. Proselytizing wars and their blood sacrifice are the bane of the world.
                    Nevertheless, the aborigines had built an altar from green tree branches covered with a piece of leather from a she-wolf who was the first to live in the cavern with her cubs and mate.  Several of these early dwellers had placed a ring of abalone and other large shells around the circle of hide, now flaming hot. 
                  Within the deep recesses of the rock shelter a group of little children are playing. The raging storm is out of earshot and didn't concern them. They are racing around the inner catacombs with utmost glee–as one by one, each from total exhaustion­­–drops  down to a bed of animal furs to sleep for the night, with imagined dreams of angels all about them.
                  Between the men and children is a group of stalwart women, some with babes in arms.  A young mother-to-be in extreme pain is giving birth as a mid-wife helps her through excruciating labor.  Now a robust male infant is seen emerging from his mother's warm womb.  The aide slaps the babe to make him breathe, cleanses him and wraps him in soft swaddling kid leather.  His mother weakly reaches out for her son.
                  Suddenly, before she has a chance to cradle him in her loving arms, the women all brace themselves as the largest man of the clan enters the birthing alcove and looks down at the woman he knew the most, in a biblical sense. His eyes reflect awe and compassion for his loved one lying on a soft bed at his feet.  As he gazes into her exhausted eyes, now filled with fear and tears, he kneels down and kisses her lips and those of his son.
                  But at the same time he needs to get a grip on his mixed emotions.  He perceives a poignant brotherhood pledge to his male cult, while at the same time realizing that all men start out as females with teats, as women can then be equipped to use them to nourish their infants.  The man's flashback soon dissipates as he steels himself for action.  He reminds himself of his grisly mission to make the tormenting storm go away. 
                  He is mortified by reality, for he must  now take his own new-born son instead of a child from the flock among sleeping children­–male rule, not by any god, and certainly no goddess,  but by men themselves.  This ghoulish sacrifice involves the clan's youngest born, with women silenced from speaking out.  Now the female throng begins to gather around the new mother with anxiety, anticipating what they knew would happen, with some already experiencing the unbearable trauma.
                  Immediately confronted by the women, the man's former feelings change to anger, with his face and neck turning red with emotion.  Physically he strikes out against resistance with great force to do what he believes he's compelled to do–with machismo peer pressure stoking his action.  He forces the women away and grabs the infant from reluctant hands of his mother.                    Now her family members in unison raise their voices in howling rebellious dissent and grief echoing throughout the cavern.  But the voice of his mother excels all the others. The entire force of women murmur helplessly in tones of sorrow and compassion.
                  The father quickly makes his exit and returns to his cohorts with the whimpering bundle that was now vociferously protesting denial to suckle his mother's milk.  But the man could not tolerate the shrieks.  In lack of control he shook his son so vigorously the infant almost succumbed from the violence in his newly formed brain.
                  Back at the gruesome ritual circle the shadows of his male comrades, ignorant of nature's wisdom, looked more like grotesque monsters of sorcery and man-made magic than men.  After handling the squirming, crying babe to the leader of the clan–who in later centuries would be called a priest–the father of the newborn hesitates before giving up his son.  He finally takes the empty fur blanket and moves back into the darkness of the sacrificial den where he weeps in seclusion, unnoticed by his fellow men.
                  As the fire begins to die down to flickering flames and hot, sparkles of ashes, the priest coils the infant's umbilical cord in a circle on top of his little abdomen. He then slices off a tiny piece of his flesh from his foreskin and offers it up to his male god over everything­­–including man's reasoning power, with maddening superstition overwhelmingly taking over his own brain.
                   The priest quickly drinks a potion to numb his senses as he lays the small body of flesh, quivering fresh from his mother's womb, onto the hot leather altar surrounded by shells to collect the victim's blood.  In later years baby animals were substituted for these dreadful religious acts dredged up from ancient cults. Newborn goats were often offered up as burnt offerings, as the name kid–for child–became associated with these murderous scapegoat acts.
                  The predominantly base voices of all the men now rose up in a loud chant to block out the screams of the babe twisting in pain. The primitive  priest with eyes flaming from drinking the bitter brew to give him false courage, suddenly picks up a hand knife made from carved flint and quickly stifles the child's disturbing cries, all performed by men for a man-made god of their choice.                    After he stabs the helpless victim who had experienced Earth only for a few moments of time, the infant screams out his last breath.  The leader then pierces  the babe's chest and pulls out the little bleeding heart.  He holds it up to mortal god of thunder and lightening, before eating it.  Ancient deities are mortal, since as one dies off another one crops up with history repeating itself over and over again.
                   Coincidently, at the  same time a final streak of lighting strikes some unseen ironwood tree in the woodlands. Violent storm clouds roll away with the thunder now muffled in the distance.  The men crouch down with their eyes cast on the ground as if in prayer revealing a horrible ritual to make their god or gods happy.  The ruthless ceremony was successful in their mindset. 
                  Little did they observe that even if they had done nothing at all, the raging storm would have ceased on its own. They were convinced their human sacrifice was a rite that became a wrong from man's dark past. 
                  Fire was part of their religion–eternal blazing hell, a device also used to threaten children if they misbehaved, with no child made better as a result.  Later-day warriors also consumed the hearts of their slain enemies for added false courage and strength from their opposition.
                   The men now gather around the altar. The aborigines smelled the burned oak and savored the aroma of human flesh, as their leader collected the shells filled with hot blood and drank of it before passing it out to their accomplices. The priest then divided the roasted infant and also shared its portions–all part of a savage, cannibalistic ritual.                                   
                  The storm clouds have completely abated. Outside the moon-lit cavern the cry of the great horned owls are stifled through leaves into a soft hooting, the sound of mourning.  But now they have moved close to one another, their feathers intertwined. 
                  They are horrified and in shock, freaked out as they clutch the tree branch.  Their large wise-looking eyes wide open in horror focus on the men below, the scene of the crime.  The pair were used to caring for their own little ones in a nest after their double "births."–the first when the mother lays her eggs followed by warming and hatching–as the chicks open their shells with their beaks for the second birth.  Although severe storms concern them as they watch over and protect their young, they were never disturbed by supernatural unknowns or were driven to kill their protegy­­–the wonder of life so precious. They live in nature and respect it, not burdened by human fears reflected in rival religion and politics.
                  From man's beginning another gory sacrifice is carried out on urban war zones where children play and are killed.  Burnt offering also pertains to youths sacrificed on these battlefields in the name of "God our Father and Country."   Yet no intelligent, loving patriarch could ever be happy over his creations killing one another in hot blood.  No aggression or ingrained religious blood rite–neither  human nor animal–ever helped any war-torn, occupied country whose inhabitants grieve and suffer from scorch and burn mindsets.
                   A Hebrew commandment states, "Thou shalt not kill."  Children in a Judeo-Christian milieu are taught this wisdom–the same value system taught to secular children–the latter that does not subscribe to dogma.  Yet kids from time memorial are the brunt of brutal killing and rape, also prevalent in male wars.

"To reach peace in the world we shall have to begin with children."–Mohandas Mahatma Gandhi"

"War loves to seek its victims in the young."–Herodotus, ancient father of Greek history