In 1895 a young women in Ireland by the name of Bridget Cleary was murdered by her husband, family and neighbors because she was thought to be a changeling. She had fallen ill and her husband and family were desperate to find a cure for the young women. As a course of action that was taken at that time in Ireland they sort the advice of a “fairy doctor.” The fairy doctor convinced the family that Bridget had been abducted by the fairies and was replaced with a sickly changeling. The doctor devised several ordeals designed to make the changeling come forth, confess and return the real Bridget Cleary. The actions were so severe that Bridget died. Her husband believed it was the fairy he killed and went to the fairy fort and waited for his real wife to return on a white horse. Needless to say his wife never returned and the crime of her murder was soon found out and her husband was charged with murder.
What is the moral of the story – you may say to yourself that the family was obviously poor ignorant souls. Ignorant souls or not the family was desperate for an answer and solution to the ills of Bridget and as the saying goes, “desperate people do desperate things.” Let’s site a few more examples:
In the early 20th Century the Czarina of Russia Alexandria was desperate with having a young hemophilic son. He had been near death several times and prayed for answers, she believed her pray was answered by a charismatic by the name of Rasputin a self proclaimed holy man that indulged in liquor and sexual excursions. But his ability to check the bleeding in the young prince gave him such a profound power over the Czarina and in turn her husband that it affected the decision making of the Russian Empire. When the Royal Family was murdered by the Bolshevik’s in 1917 each of the children was wearing a picture of Rasputin on their body.
In the early 1930’s a man by the name of Hitler became known as the savior of the German people. The country had fallen into a severe economic crisis with the loss of World War I. The Treaty of Versailles left the German people poor and humiliated, ripe in desperation for a hero. “I love this man, he is greater than Jesus Christ,” were the words Goering used to describe Hitler. Hitler grew in such power that he held Germany and eventually Europe as well as parts of Africa and Russia captive. He convinced a country that all Jews needed to be exterminated and methodically lead 6 million of them to slaughter.
Were all these people ignorant? Far from it – but most of them were desperate – in one degree or another.
It is difficult to keep a grip on our sense of individuality and ethics in situations we have no control over, but this is when we need them most. We need to be grounded in who we are, in what we believe as truth and ethics. This is when we need our individuality and courage to listen and follow our own heart.
There is no savior, no guru that walks this earth that has the total answer for you in time of desperation. It is up to each of us to find that source within our own soul and with our God.