Abomination: The Ancient Gods of Tears

Most experience evil, but few experience evil in its most absolute and terrible of forms. In recent times, evil manifested in Nazi Germany. But despite the unfathomable evil of these people, it is not unprecedented. There have been many evil societies in history, some devoted to Gods or more appropriately demons of terror and tears.

That the demons of the Bible actually existed will be a surprise to non-scholars but incarnated in a bronze flesh they both existed and brought immeasurable agony with them. The first of the abominations is Moloch, worshiped by the people of Canaan. An anthropomorphic god built of Bronze, the people of Canaan would sacrifice children to the enormous jackal like idol. A blazing fire would heat the demon to such a temperature that the placing of the child into the hands of Moloch would burn the child alive. Unfortunately numerous Archeological digs, and the thousands of children’s bones found at the Temple of Amman have proven that the practice of child sacrifice to Moloch was not a cult activity but a practice of the state religion in which all of society would participate.[1] The Israelites, neighbors of Canaan were so horrified by this that sacrificing to Moloch is mentioned as a sin in the Book of Leviticus a multitude of times “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech.”[2] The Jews were so affronted by the insidious practice of child sacrifice that Moloch was and is to this day considered an arch demon by both Jews and Christians. A belief that is difficult to refute. It is not surprising therefore that the Israelites went to war with Canaan, believing them to be a people of such unquestionable evil, that the God of Abraham smote the Canaanites for their evil deeds and the sacrificing of children to Moloch. Despite the divine justice, Moloch was most unfortunately resurrected by Carthage and the Phoenicians. There he would take on the name Ba’al. A name which is also attributed to an arch demon for this very reason.

Ba’al was also an enormous bronze idol, but this time of a humanoid bull, the Carthaginians would sacrifice children to Ba’al by placing the child within a tomb in the monsters belly, where it would be set a flame.[3] Phoenician colonies in Europe such as Malta, Sicily and Sardinia were also forced to sacrifice their infants to Ba’al. The Greek Diodorus Siculus described the ritual “There was in their city a bronze image of Cronus extending its hands, palms up and sloping toward the ground, so that each of the children when placed thereon rolled down and fell into a sort of gaping pit filled with fire.” Drums and flutes drowned out the screams of the infant as it burned alive. Plutarch, a Roman Historian was one of many others to write on the Carthaginian practice. “With full knowledge and understanding they themselves offered up their own children, and those who had no children would buy little ones from poor people and cut their throats as if they were so many lambs or young birds.”[4] As technology became more sophisticated so to did the idol of Baal. The demon’s outstretched hands acted as a pedestal, once the child was placed into the hands of Baal the weight would activate gears that would send the outstretched hands towards the mouth of Baal, throwing the child’s down its mouth and into the fire that had been lit in its belly. The Roman republic was horrified by the practice of child sacrifice and the Carthaginian worship of this demonic figure and their detestment of this practice was a major reason for the ensuing war between the two nations. With Rome at their doorstep the Carthagians sacrificed four hundred children in hopes that Baal would thwart the Roman advance. The Romans however were inspired to end both Ba’al and the Carthaginians, and whether by divine justice or Roman blade, Carthage was indeed destroyed and the worship of the demon Ba’al was ended. Thanks to the Israelites and Romans the practice of child sacrifice to these abominations was ended. The demon Moloch ranks as one of the most horrific evils in human history. To this day the memory of these primordial horrors remains, and Moloch, Ba’al, and Amman are rightfully remembered as demons and the enemies of good. The demons beezlebub, and Belial are amalgamations of Ba’al. In the Hebrew book “War of the Sons of Light against the Suns of Darkness” found amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls the devil is referred to as Belial, meaning in at least in this text that Ba’al and Moloch were considered to literally be the devil. Whether or not Moloch is in fact Satan in the Hebrew religion, Moloch likely heavily heavily influenced the development of Satan’s attributes. The devil had long been associated with the serpent and did not gain his prototypical horns and hooves until after the ascension of the horned demon Baal. Ultimately a great primordial battle of good and evil was fought in the holy land that would decide the future of mankind. We are incredibly fortunate that Yahweh triumphed over the demons and that child sacrifice is extinct in the western world.

The ceasing of worship of demonic entities in the near east however did not end them worldwide. In fact, the most abominable of all these horrors was occurring in Central America. The Mayans, and Incas both heavily practiced human sacrifice, believing babies and children to be the greatest of potential offerings to the Gods.[5] There is however not enough archaeological evidence to indicate how prevalent the practice was. The Aztecs however much is known about. They are considered by many to be the most evil civilization in human history, and rightfully so. The Aztecs believed that their god would die without a fresh supply of human blood, and so human sacrifices were made in abundance. The Aztecs were driven by conquest, not for land or resources but for sacrificial victims.[6] The people of Central America were enslaved by the Aztecs and fed to their god Quetzalcoatl. It is estimated that as high as 250,000 people a year were sacrificed to this god, and that 1 out of every 5 children would be sacrificed each year, having their still beating heart ripped from their chest cavity in front of thousands of people.[7] The other horrific method of sacrifice was to have the helpless victim skinned alive. Whatever the method, the unsacrificed portions of the victim were typically cooked and eaten.[8] It is believed that 84,000 people were sacrificed in a period of 4 days to celebrate the completed construction of the pyramid at Tenochtitlan.[9]

The Gods or more accurately demons or the Aztecs required nightmarish sacrifices. To Tezcatlipoca ‘He Whose Slaves We Are’ victims were sacrificed through ritual gladiator battles. To the god of the Sun victims would have their hearts removed and then tossed down the pyramid steps in a blood orgy that included the eating of the victims flesh. The God of Fire was appeased by the throwing of helpless victims into a fire, while before they died it was required that the victims heart was removed. The God of Tears, required just that and so his victims were children. The children and babies would be tortured and beaten to produce tears for the demon before they were killed and eaten in a ceremonial feast. The last abomination ‘Our Lord the Flayed One’ was offered victims in a similarly atrocious manner. The hearts of the victims were removed, followed by the removal and eating of the limbs. The highlight of the celebration however was the wearing of the skin of the victims and parading about the town dressed in the skin of the people they had just eaten. Minor gods were sacrificed to as well, which involved ritual drownings, starvation, being thrown from cliffs as well as decapitated. Sadly the Aztec calendar demanded human sacrifices to these gods on an almost daily basis. Only five days of the year are given as a rest to the sacrifices.

Hernán Cortés and his conquistadors were shocked and horrified by the Aztec spectacles of public sacrifice. The knights were subjected to witness victim’s hearts being ripped from their chest their still living bodies being plunged into the depths of the great pyramid. The impression this left on these medieval Catholic knights was enormous. They believed the Aztecs to be a civilization devoted to the devil, and considered them demonic.[1] Despite being so few in number the conquistadors, after witnessing such evil were fueled with rage and were intent on destroying the Aztecs. With such tremendous horrors being inflicted upon the people of Central America it is not a surprise that the Spanish conquistadors were welcomed as heroes and saviors by the Mexican tribes. All of Central America would rise up in revolt against the Aztecs, 300,000 tribesman joining the 300 Spanish Knights to destroy the Aztec Empire.[2] The Spanish would also go on to destroy the Mayans, and the Portuguese the Incas. It is unfortunate that time would prove the Spanish and Portuguese to not be heroes and liberators, but also masters. Ones that would also enslave the populace, but at least with the ending of these civilizations, and the replacement of the gods of tears with Christianity the people of Central America would no longer have to fear being eaten or sacrificed.

Our final abomination is listed last because her reign of terror on this world was much more recent. Kali, the Hindu Goddess of Death and Destruction has been the longest reigning of these deities. Cults have risen around the goddess since at least 600 A.D. The most murderous and prolific of these cults were the Thuggee, which the word we know as ‘thugs’ comes from. They were a large group of murderers and robbers that devoted their ‘kills’ to Kali. In their 450 year existence they are estimated by the Guinness Book of World Records to have killed 2 million people.[9] The Thuggee were so populace that they existed as a class of people, the art of killing for Kali being considered a profession. The Thuggee would target unsuspecting travelers, befriend them and then strangle them to death in their sleep.[10] They were so prevalent in Indian society, that upon the conquest of India by the British Empire, the British government immediately took upon itself the task of eliminating the Thuggee cult. Thuggee agents were located within every aspect of Indian society, and it would take the British over 60 years to eradicate the murderous cult, which was finally achieved in 1870. The Thuggee believed that it was required of them to murder in order to sate the voracious appetite of Kali, for if they did not Kali would reap her destruction upon the entire world. Thug Behram known as the King of the Thugs and one of the worst serial killers in history, possibly having killed thousands of people. The British government however was only able to prove him guilty of strangling 931 people to death, and he was promptly hanged at the age of 75.[11] Thug Behram, is evidence of how deeply rooted human sacrifice to Kali was in Indian society, and although the British Empire ended the Thuggee cult, and their propensity for murder of the innocent, the belief in India in human sacrifice still perseveres to this day and people are still occasionally sacrificed each year in rural villages around India.

In conclusion it is interesting that each of these genocidal cults and civilizations were destroyed. It is as if their evil had surpassed some unknown threshold that warranted divine wrath. For all of the great atrocity committing civilizations and tribes throughout history were subjected to destruction, as if the heavens themselves could no longer tolerate such rapacious evil. It is encouraging therefore that great evil in the past has always been met and dispersed by good. Whether it be divine punishment, karmic justice or happenstance, good in the end seems to always triumph over evil. We are fortunate that the power of these primordial abominations has faded, and that humanity now chooses to place it’s faith in Gods of love and mercy rather than these Gods of tears.

Note

This was easily the most emotionally straining research I have ever done. My bias is apparent and unapologetic, it is difficult to fathom how people could be capable of such horrific acts. The project made me appreciate Christianity and many other religions of love and that we are truly blessed that they are the religions that dominated and shaped our world rather than these ancient horrors.

Footnotes

[1] J.B Hennessey, Palestine Exploration Quarterly. 1966.

[2] Unkown Author, The Book of Leviticus. 18:21.

[3] Dioedorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica. 20.14.

[4] Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, De Superstitione. 171.

[5] Adrew K. Scherer. Mortury Landscapes of the Classic Maya: Rituals of Body and Soul. 257.

[6] Ross Hassig. ‘El Sacrificio y las Guerras Floridas.’ Arqueologia Mexicana. 47.

[7] The Anonymous Conqueror. Narrative of Some Things of New Spain and of the Great City of Temestitan. 73.

[8] Juan Diaz. Itinerario de Grijalva. 52. (1520 A.D.)

[9] Fernando de Alva Cortes Ixtlilxochitl. The Codex Ixtlilxochitl. 243.

[10] Marvin Harris. Cannibals and Kings: The Origins of Cultures. 81.

[11] R.B.H Lai. The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India. 232.

[12] Mike Dash. Thug: The True Story of India’s Murderous Cult. 56.

[13] William D. Rubinstein. Genocide: A History. 334.

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Tristan Erwin

Tristan Erwin

History student at UNG Military College. Specialist in European history and Mythology. Footnotes and Bibliography always provided. Only scholarly sources used.