Stalin and Hitler were possessed by the devil. So says Pope Benedict XVI’s so-called “caster out of demons” and founder of the International Association of Exorcists, Father Gabriele Amorth. In an interview with Vatican Radio, Amorth said,
“Of course the Devil exists and he can not only possess a single person but also groups and entire populations.
“I am convinced that the Nazis were all possessed. All you have to do is think about what Hitler – and Stalin did. Almost certainly they were possessed by the Devil.
“You can tell by their behavior and their actions, from the horrors they committed and the atrocities that were committed on their orders. That’s why we need to defend society from demons.”
Who would have guessed? But Amorth would know. He has conducted over 30,000 exorcisms. And in an interview in 2001, he revealed that he talks to the Satan everyday, “I speak with the Devil every day. I talk to him in Latin. He answers in Italian. I have been wrestling with him, day in day out, for 14 years.” So there you have it.
More fascinating is the fact that according to Vatican archival documents, wartime pontiff Pius XII attempted a “long distance” exorcism of Hitler. Sadly, it seems to have failed.
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By Sean — 11 years ago
OpenDemocracy.net has its “Bad Democracy of the Year Award” available on its site for readers to weight in on who is the biggest abuser of democracy. See Tom Burgis’ introduction on the purpose of the award. The candidates include:
George W Bush
Lee Hsien Loong
The Israeli Defence Forces
The results so far, put the United States’ George W. Bush at the lead with 32%, followed by his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin with 19%.
Go to the site and cast your vote!Post Views: 157
By Sean — 11 years ago
Here is a sad statistic. As reported in Kommersant,
According to INSI [International News Safety Institute] ,
Iraqleads with 138 murders and unexplained deaths of reporters occurred from 1996 to 2006, 88 reporters perished in Russiaand 72 in over the period. The global news media toll exceeded 1,000. Columbia
The alarming trend is the rising number of news media deaths. The death toll was 103 in 2001, but it widened to 117 in 2004 and to 167 in 2006.
, the problem of reporters’ safety is really grave, said INSI Director Rodney Pinder. Another incident of this kind happened in Russia one of these days, Pinder said, reminding about the unexplained death of Kommersant journalist Ivan Safronov. The INSI director also mentioned the recent murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Moscow
is not the only country that has a deplorable record when it comes to journalists. The survey, “Killing the Messenger,” demonstrates the global disregard for journalists. Some of its overall finding are Russia
- One thousand news media personnel have died trying to cover the news around the world in the past 10 years*.
- Only one in four died in war and other armed conflicts.
- The great majority died in peacetime, covering the news in their own countries.
- Most of those killed were murdered because of their jobs; eliminated by hostile authorities or criminals.
- Nine out of 10 murderers in the past decade have never been prosecuted.
- The news media death toll has increased steadily since 2000. The last full year covered by the report, 2005, was a record with 147 dead. It has since emerged that 2006 was even worse, with 167 fatalities, according to INSI’s annual tally.
- The Top 21 bloodiest countries over the past 10 years have been Iraq (138), Russia (88), Colombia (72), Philippines (55), Iran ** (54), India (45), Algeria (32), the former republic of Yugoslavia (32), Mexico (31), Pakistan (29), Brazil (27), USA (21), Bangladesh (19), Ukraine (17), Nigeria, Peru, Sierra Leone & Sri Lanka (16), Afghanistan, Indonesia & Thailand (13)
- Shooting was by far the greatest cause of death, accounting for almost half the total. Bombing, stabbing, beating, torture, strangulation and decapitation were also used to silence reporting. Some men and women disappeared, their fate unknown.
- In war, it was much safer to be embedded with an army than not – independent news reporters, so-called unilaterals, accounted for 92 per cent of the dead.
- Overall, armed forces – regular or irregular – police and officials accounted for 22 per cent of killings.
- The death toll was evenly split between press and broadcast. But news agencies, which are fewer in number, were relatively badly hit with six per cent of the total.
- Most of those who died were on staff — 91 per cent against 9 per cent freelance — and one-third fell near their home, office or hotel.
*INSI’s researchers counted all news media personnel — journalists as well as support workers such as drivers, translators and office personnel, whether staff or freelance — provided they died because of their work gathering or distributing the news. All causes of death were included, from murder through accidents to health-related.
‘s figures were swollen by one air accident in December, 2005. A military aircraft carrying news teams to cover exercises in the Gulf crashed in Iran , killing 48 journalists and media technicians aboard. TehranPost Views: 118
By Sean — 12 years ago
Today’s NY Times once again raises the question of what to do with V. I. Lenin, whose body remains mummified in his mausoleum on Red Square. The debate reared its head after a senior Putin aid, Georgii Poltavchenko remarked, “Our contry has been shaken by strife, but only a few people were held accountable for that in out lifetime. I do not think it is fair that those who initiated the strife remain in the center of out state near the Kremlin.”
This question seems to come up every so often. Yelstin wanted to bury him in the 1990s as a way to symbolize the transition from the old regime to the new one. The effort failed. It was seen as too soon. Too many people attached their lives and their national pride to Lenin. Putin has refused to move forward on burying him, rightly observing, “Many people in this country associate their lives with the name of Lenin. To take Lenin out and bury him would say to them that they have worshiped false values, that their lives were lived in vain.” Given the pageantry and recreation the Putin Administration put on for the 60th Anniversary of the Great Patriotic War (WWII for Russians for all those who don’t know), complete with banners of Lenin, Stalin and other Soviet imagery, Lenin as a symbol still has a place in post-Soviet Russia.
The truth of Putin’s remarks and the complexity in how Russians construct a historical memory of the Soviet period is what makes me frustrated with articles such as this in the NY Times. There is a tendency in the Western media to place the meaning of a figure like in Lenin in a binary of Communists vs. “Reformers”. One need only look at who is quoted in this story: Gennady Ziuganov, the head of the Communist Party, and prominent film director, Nikita Mikhalkov (Burnt by the Sun, ?????????? ???????, and the Barber of Siberia, ????????? ?????????, among others). Both give a new name to rhetorical hyperbole. Ziuganov: “Raising this issue smells of provocation and illiteracy,” adding that the people who call for Lenin’s removal as those “who do not know the country’s history and stretch out their dirty hands and muddy ideas to the national necropolis.” Mikhalkov: “Vast funds are being squandered on a pagan show. If we advocate Christian ideals, we must fulfill the will of the deceased.”
I’m afraid, the issue is much more complicated than that. We would know this if more Russians were asked what they think of not only Lenin but the fact that his statue continues to be prominently displayed all over Moscow. The biggest towers across the street from metro Oktiabrskaia. The Soviet Union and its legacy remains a contentious issue for some. But for many it is viewed with an understandable ambivalence. It simultaneously figures as the best of times and the worst of times. There is nostalgia for many aspects the Soviet times, especially (and rather ironically because it is frequently associated with stagnation) for the Brezhnev period. I think what Lenin stands for is changing in Russia. For better or for worse, he is becoming more like Peter the Great: a firm and decisive, but necessary ruler who thrust Russia into modernity. But that is historical memory for you. A new historical narrative emerges at the moment of forgetting. Even the Lenins of the world can find their place in the genealogy of the present.
(photo: Associated Press)Post Views: 103