illustration of three men burning a witch at the stake.

The Burning Lies: Witches, Radical Feminists, and Nazis

by R.J. Gillis Author

History has sadly not been very kind to women, especially those who were accused of witchcraft (or who were actually witches). In recent times, advocates and feminists have come to their defense, hoping to rectify the most egregious wrongs. Unfortunately, sometimes the facts get lost in the effort. In a 1984 essay—published in Trouble & Strife, a radical feminist magazine—titled “Enemies of God or Victims of Patriarchy?,” Lynette Mitchell writes: “I have read the most fantastically inflated statistics of witch-hunt victims in all sorts of feminist journals, magazines and books. I once made the mistake myself of referring to ‘hundreds of thousands’ of women in an article about witchcraft. I now realise such figures are quite misleading. Even worse is the attribution of nine million victims which is flung about in feminist discussions of witchcraft with wild abandon, although where it comes from, nobody knows.”

This zine attempts to answer Mitchell’s implied question: How did we end up thinking that nine million women were executed as witches?

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