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Church fights are more than just money down the drain.
Here's the article creating all the commotion.

The First Narcissist Pastor in America?

I recently read Stacy Schiff's excellent history titled, The Witches: Salem, 1692 (New York: Little Brown, 2015). In it she describes Puritan Pastor Samuel Parris in detail, and in particular his demands on his parishioners for money, firewood, to have a field cleared and fences repaired, and so on. His rigid personality and belief in his moral superiority to all around him and his disdain at the primitive conditions (and people) of Salem were so so obvious that his parishioners refused to collect his salary. To disagree with him was to make a lifelong enemy who never forgot and never forgave. His was the punishing God of the Old Testament and he saw himself as anointed by God to cleanse the area of all evil.


Parris was the same at home: rigid, demanding, judging, and punishing. It was after preaching several sermons on the presence of the devil in Salem that his own daughters became the first to act traumatized by witchcraft, and to identify several upright - and not so upright - village women as the witches, along with a few men.

The hysteria caught on, and other girls began to act as if possessed, leading to more accusations against more women. Parris himself was active in the trials that followed, testifying as an expert on the powers of witchcraft and the reality of the accused as demon possessed and in actual pacts with the devil.

As the hysteria grew, Parris stayed at its center, obviously relishing and thriving on the power he had, all the while complaining about how poorly he was treated and paid by his parishioners.

The result is that several women and even children as young as five were imprisoned in irons, where some died, and nineteen people were executed, mostly by hanging. One man - their former pastor - was crushed to death.

Once the hysteria died out, Parris was seen as the instigator, left Salem, and eventually disappeared into obscurity.

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