The Horror of The Last Man To Be Executed For Blasphemy in Britain

The Case of Thomas Aikenhead a youth hanged in Scotland in 1695, at the instigation of the clergy, for the imaginary crime of blasphemy, is one of the most deplorable acts of church malevolence.

On 8 January 1697, Thomas Aikenhead a young medical student, was hanged for blasphemy in Edinburgh. He was the last person to be executed for blasphemy in the UK.

It may be unthinkable to you now that a citizen of the United Kingdom could be murdered by the State simply because they chose not to believe in the Christian God and you may try to dodge the issue with the old justification that people in the past were savages so I want to remind you that at the time evil churchmen condemned Thomas Aiken to death the Bank of England and the Royal Greenwich Observatory had just been started and many free-thinkers campaigned to stop his persecution. I would additionally remind you that the blasphemy laws are still in place.

Aikenhead was educated at the University of Edinburgh which contained a fine selection of renaissance books by questioning authors which the church hated (such as Spinoza, Hobbes, etc) thus by giving him a rounded education and alternatives to Christian Thought without teaching him of the pernicious hold that the church has over the Establishment, Edinburgh University encouraged Aikenhead and signed his death warrant.

It was of course, like all witch-hunts, a theological stitch-up where a fellow student, an ardent Christian and anti-atheist called Mungo Craig (a pestilence ever be upon his name) became Thomas Aikenhead's self-appointed accuser.

Craig responded to the free-thinkers by printing a religious tract entitled 'A Satire against Atheistical-Deism' attacking the caucus of free-thinkers at Edinburgh university and in particular Aikenhead about whom he attributed a host of impious allegations in an over-larded attack.

The wicked Craig was yet another self-styled do-gooder who, like all who came before and after, create more evil than ever they cure, but in the hotbed of religious foment which was the Restoration Aikenhead was imprisoned by a special act of privy council for the Crime of Blasphemy. The 1661 Act prescribed death for anyone who

'railed upon or cursed or denied god and obstinately continued therein'.

Even though Aikenhead retracted his previous statements of disbelief his case had by now become a cause celebre for the Church and a jury found him guilty.

Aikenhead petitioned for clemency because the law allowed this on a first offence. Like Pontious Pilate, the government washed their hands of the decision and said they would not grant a reprieve unless the church interceded.

The malevolent clergymen who then ran the church of Scotland replied by urging 'vigorous execution' so that Aikenhead's death would act to suppress any other 'impious and profane' free-thinkers in the universities who might actually spot the corruption and hypocrisy of the Establishment and dare to work towards a purely materialistic view of the world.

So Aikenhead's promising life was snuffed out on the Gallows as a sacrifice to the power of the Christian Church because he had dared to actually hold and speak of alternative beliefs and religious perspectives.

Aikenhead would have become a martyr to the Humanist movement if it were not for the fact that in the end the powers ranged against him were simply too awesome to resist and his mind capitulated to the world-view of those who persecuted him. He transferred the blame for his unnecessary execution to Mungo Craig, instead of the bastions of the religious Establishment who were really responsible for it.

Craig was the 'smoking gun', the trouble-maker who, like all vandals, create hysteria and misuse it; but the people who 'pulled the trigger' were the evil clergymen who abdicated their human responsibility and wasted Aikenhead's life to censor and suppress alternative beliefs.



19 Year Old Decapitated For Blasphemy

And if you think that the Aikenhead case was an isolated occurrence you would be wrong. The last execution for Blasphemy in France was as late as 1765 when a 19 year old youth named Chevalier de la Bare was decapitated and then his body burned at Abbeville for 'disfiguring a Crucifix' on a bridge in that town.

In the lead up to the French Revolution the Catholic church in France conducted many excesses which were a main cause of the rebellion which followed, but this case was made famous by Voltaire who wrote that as 'the Chevalier' mounted the scaffold, flanked by Five Parisian executioners, he uttered these words: ' I did not believe they could have taken the life of a young man for so small a matter.' And just to make it absolutely clear, the chevalier was beheaded by axe (the guillotine was first used in 1792).


The Hall of Shame is the place where you nominate intoleratti, bigots, media puppets, sectarian bullies, politicians on the make, Xist expedientaries and other people who have failed to give alternative beliefs a fair deal. Tell us the where and the when and the why. Send your nominations in less than 50 words to Tony Rhodes at:

The Xists' control of society is dependent upon the short attention-span of the populace whose memory is cultivated to last no more than seven days. The Hall of Shame provides valuable perspective to freethinkers who look beyond.

. Diane Core of Childwatch

For telling the media the absurd misdirection that 4,000 children a year were sacrificed by satanists in the U.K. and for acting as a paid 'expert' to the Cook Report on Satanic Abuse. For using the sensationalism of the media to promote the Satan Scare. For going to America as guest of a satellite organisation linked to the infamous politico Lyndon La Rouche and publicly challenging the head of a satanic group there to a head-to-head on nationwide TV; for claiming to have a dossier on Occultism which proved her allegations but not producing it when demanded; for making the most outrageous criminal allegations in articles and TV programmes without one jot of proof.

Geoffrey Dickens, deceased, lay-preacher and MP for Saddleworth

For campaigning to make it illegal for Pagan Parents to teach their religion to their sons and daughters. For announcing to the media that babies had been 'sacrificed to the Devil' when they had not; for misusing parliamentary priviledge to slander and victimise innocent people; for not being honest and open about his Christian evangelical links; for lying about convictions which had not occurred on national TV; for consciously heading up a modern-day witchunt the likes of which had not been seen for four hundred years.

'We must outlaw witchcraft in this country. No child is safe..we have to go in with hobnail boots.. I want all cults of this nature outlawed. I want them closed down and made totally illegal...

Dickens on record 24 April 1988 - just weeks before the Satan Scare began to roll. .

Kevin Logan, CofE Vicar

For working to suppress New Age and Pagan beliefs. For using the justification of research for his book to infiltrate the occult subculture gaining our trust and then misrepresenting our beliefs in an anti-occult pot-boiler; for being a key member of Reachout; for pandering to the media; for attending satan seminars; for appearing 'exorcising' children on the Cook Report; For vandalising and taking away an Open on Sunday sign at a local supermarket as part of his fundamentalist campaign against sunday trading. For appearing in dozens of articles supporting the idea that there was proof that satanic ritual abuse existed when that proof was inconclusive; for misrepresenting an interview with Chris Bray, for misrepresenting Chris Bray's products and business in such a way that Chris was forced to complain officially to the Archbishop of Canterbury about victimisation. Before he became a Vicar Kevin Logan used to be a journalist.

Maureen Davies & The Reachout Trust

For presenting herself to the police and the social services as an expert on satanic ritual abuse even though she was in reality a dental nurse who had never personally dealt with any cases involving children and had spent years prior to the scare working as a Christian missionary and agitator, provoking and challenging any New Age activity or meeting in her locality, handing out religious tracts and working directly to ban the occult. For not making clear enough that the Reachout Trust, of which she was a director, had nothing to do with child-care but was a wholly Christian evangelical charity which has as its aims the pursuance of the Christian religion as laid down by holy writ. For being a key contributor of the Cook Report team and for handling their help-lines after the program. For attending and lecturing at most of the Satan Seminars; for importing and distributing American fundamentalist nonsense; for purveying sectarian disinformation, misrepresentation, inaccurate and insulting statements about Witchcraft and Paganism and for refusing to lecture at one seminar when she detected that SAFF members were in the audience. For publicly admitting on radio whilst working with the Cook Report that she wanted to close occult shops down; for writing a glowing book review in a Christian Magazine of Andrew Boyd's book on Satanic Abuse and for allowing a Christian fundamentalist group to recycle her lecture notes on Satanic Abuse as proof of the existence of Satanic Ritual Abuse in the U.K..

Audrey Harper, Christian missionary agitator and Key member of Reachout

For appearing in articles and on television as a Satanic Abuse victim when the claims had been investigated years earlier by the Surrey police and found no case to answer. For not making it clear that she was a member of a fundamentalist group and had spent years travelling around the country as a guest speaker lecturing and missionising people to Christianity long before the Satan Scare became news. For appearing in a U.S.A. fundamentalist video about Satanism and giving the impression that satanic ritual abuse was proven in the U.K. For appearing in the Cook Report as a victim but not as a fundamentalist activist and Reachout director; for writing her autobiography, published by a Christian imprint and with a foreward by Geoffrey Dickens stating untruthfully that cases of satanic abuse had been successfuly prosecuted, and appealing to Christian readers to ' fight spiritual fire with fire'

Cover of From Witchcraft To Christ

Doreen Irvine and her book From Witchcraft To Christ.

For Starting the whole damned thing off with her 1973 pot-boiler From Witchcraft To Christ. which heavily influenced all subsequent Victim Imposters and Satan hunters. This supposed story of Christian Redemption from Witchcraft was written by self-confessed ex-prostitute and heroin addict Doreen who in her former life as an exotic dancer had billed herself at strip-clubs as 'Daring Diana'. She says she was imprisoned in Holloway circa 1954 for drug offences when she was aged 21 but the police didn't seem too interested in the clearly criminal Satanic activities she claimed she was involved in later

The statements made in From Witchcraft to Christ were highly sensational for the time and were generally disbelieved by all opinion makers save for other Christian fundamentalists for whom the book was obviously penned. Which is why it's evil seed lay fallow for a decade until it bloomed upon the importation of the Satanic Ritual Child Abuse Myth in the 1980s. From Witchcraft to Christ continued to indoctrinate extremist Christians during this time as it was sold in most Christian bookshops and by mail. Doreen Irvine promoted it further in a travelling crusade shows to already sold audiences on the church lecture circuit both here and abroad.

During the early 1990s she got caught up in the SRAM and appeared alongside Maureen Davies and Audrey Harper in Jeremiah Film's rabid video Devil Worshp, The Rise of Satanism which sold in the thousands carrying the message that Satanic Ritual Child Abuse was endemic when as we now all know, it didn't even exist.

In March 1991 at the age of 57 Doreen Irvine 'retired' from active duty as a missionary and celebrated by donating over 57,000.00 GBP (a not inconsiderable sum in those days) from the proceeds of sales of her book, to a Christian Charity in Bristol and went to live in Liverpool.

Read the Full Review of From Witchcraft to Christ here.

The Cook Report Team, Tabloid TV programme

For sensationalising and trivialising the issue; for twisting the truth and presenting a scare as though fact to the British public, for ignoring and censoring alternative facts in order to run with the ball; for paying to import satanists into the U.K. when they couldn't find any targets here; for smearing an innocent man; for allowing sectarian troublemakers to control and direct the scope of their program; for cooperating with one satanic group with an axe to grind, for engineering a doorstepping situation instead of taking up Mr Bray's offer of a private interview; and a couple of million more things which won't fit into 50 words.

The N.S.P.C.C.

For pursuing the scare of satanic ritual abuse in conjunction with the Cook Report even though the S.A.F.F. provided them with facts to prove the scare highly suspicious. For deflecting SAFF input and assistance. For sending us legal threats to take us to court if we told the truth of how they had rejected the trust we placed in them and jumped on the satanic ritual abuse scare bandwagon, subsequently using the scare for fund-raising. For saying that they never used the term Satanic Abuse when prominent staff did. For refusing to include Christian Priestly Abuse in their pamphlet of risks to children even when presented with evidence of its extent.

The National Childrens' Home

For placing large advertisements in the national press requesting money to deal with cases of Satanic Abuse when they didn't have any and for not making clear that they are an exclusively Christian charity which positively excludes any job applicant who is not a Christian believer.

The editor of Social Work Today (now defunct journal of the Britsh Association of Social Workers)

For repetitively giving mammoth amounts of space for speculative and inciting articles by the coterie of satan hunters in social work, without balance or objective corroboration of their claims. For not responding to SAFF claims of unfairness; for misrepresenting the true beliefs of paganism; for presenting SAFF claims of unfairness to his readers as threats; for dismissing SAFF input, rejecting SAFF papers and dossiers and generally conveying the idea to rank-fand-file social workers that the Satan Scare was an epidemic of child abuse when it was not.

BASW: The British Association of Social Workers

For working to promote the idea of Satanic Ritual Abuse amongst the rank-and-file of social work in inverse ratio to the effort used to repulse and reject SAFF evidence which showed otherwise. For publicly excusing themselves after being caught accepting and using fundamentalist propaganda by telling the press that this was a new area and they were on a steep learning curve therefore had to accept input from all contributors, whilst they were actively refusing input from the SAFF! For using a most deceitful and dishonourable ruse to avoid accepting a genuine SAFF application for affiliate membership of BASW which had been seconded and presented by other BASW members. For refusing to enter into correspondence over the issue. For refusing to even speak to us over the telephone.

Andrew Boyd

Boyd is a fundamentalist Christian agitator who has played a key part in promoting the existence of the Satanic Ritual Abuse Myth for sectarian purposes. He is well known to the SAFF. He has a background of intense christian sectarian activity including publishing religious tracts and organising their distribution amongst the public. He was the producer and presenter of a documentary now known amongst satan-hunter watchers as the Bogus Devil Video Programme.

Boyd claimed to present a film showing actual satanic ritual abuse in a Channel 4 Dispatches programme The claims of the video's existence had believers in the myth rushing into print with 'told-you-so' articles and demands that the government act against Satanic Abuse - however they fell strangely silent when it was found that the 'satanic' video turned out to be a piece of performance art ! More Information here on some of Andrew's mates

Dr Jacobus Jonker ( Kobus Jonker )

This ex South African 'Cult Cop' and Christian fanatic has spent years trying to pass himself off as an 'expert' in SRA and cult crime after his abortive police department specialising in it was disbanded by the South African police force. Kobus Jonker (AKA Dr. Jacobus Jonker) has been called upon to give 'expert' evidence in many cases including the latest terrible Harmse Slipknot case where a twisted young man (Harmse) invaded a school and killed one child and seriously wounded two others with a samurai sword. Jonker's pronouncements are usually indicative of a complete lack of understanding of his claimed subject. For instance, in the Harmes case he told the jury that:

Jonker said whilst Harmse's room at home had satanistic paraphernalia like an ouija board, some objects with a pentagon and an image of a demon painted on a bedside stool, these were also interspersed with things a full satanist would not use. For example, he burnt candles, some of which were pink or white, and had normal coloured bedspreads and curtains whereas a satanist would only use red and black.

Can you guess how many people in the U.K. once owned a Ouija Board, chose red for their curtains or used red or black candles at dinner parties? The man is a fool and so are those who listen to him.

What Jonker rarely tells the jury is that he is a self-styled fanatical Christian missionary whose main purpose is to further the work of Jesus against anything Jonker considers remotely satanic - in particular Heavy Metal Music and New Age interests. His involvement in the Thames Torso case has still to be lived down. See: ttorso2.htm


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