Throughout history followers of God have always been accused of horrible atrocities; rumors spread by those who half-understood and fully hated the Christians and the Israelites before them. This is a normal mechanism for people to whip up a frenzy in a mob against a group that judges them and considers themselves to have access to the only true God – in the process denying Molech or Jupiter or the Trinity.
For example, “the accusation that Jews worshiped the ass was for four centuries persistently made by certain Greek and Latin writers.” (Jewish Encylopedia, “Ass-worship”), including Mnaseas of Patras who claimed that “the Jews worshiped the head of a golden ass”, Damocritus takes it further and asserts that “the Jews reverenced the head of a golden ass, to which every seven years they sacrificed a foreigner, whom they seized for that purpose, and cut his flesh into small pieces.”
Several other ancient writers such as Plutarch, Julius Florus, Suidas, and Diodorus all added to or referenced this legend, which lasted at least 400 years. The common belief was that there was a head or statue of a golden donkey in the holy of holies that the Jews secretly reverenced, and occasionally sacrificed a few humans to appease.
Later after the church had become Christian and largely moved away from the middle-east towards Europe, the Romans were suspicious of the judgmental cult and spread all sorts of rumors about what Christians “really believed”. Rumors of child sacrifice, incest and cannibalism were popular ones.
This of course was after Nero blamed them for burning Rome, an act which he did himself and merely used them as they were already hated and hence made easy targets for the blame. All of this is just to show that the false church or the heathens around them have always made up stories about the true followers and church of God. Specifically stories about eating children, sacrificing strangers, and worshiping strange animals. And now a bit of history:
We’ve all heard of Transylvania. It’s where Dracula was from, and is famous as the abode of all sorts of werewolves and vultures. Not everyone knows it is a real place on the map, located in modern-day Romania. And very few realize it was a home of many sabbath-keepers in the 16th-18th centuries…
Also called Wallachia after its people, in 1568 Transylvania formally adopted the first legal guarantee of religious freedom in Europe, granting freedom to Lutherans, Calvinists, Catholics and Unitarians. The Unitarians denied the trinity and infant baptism and had a few other doctrines correct as well, and in 1579 the church split into two parts; those who kept Sunday and those who kept the Sabbath.
About ten years later from among them arose a leader named Andreas Eossi, who after intense study proved, adopted and taught most of the true doctrines; we know for a fact that he kept the holy days, passover, the commandments, unclean meats, knew of the millennium and resurrections, and so on; all the things that identify the true Church.
This church was quite popular, being listed by contemporaries as the second or third of the four main religions, and called simply “Sabbatarians”. As is usually the story, initially there was zeal and no persecution; then as apostasy set in, persecution came in waves, alternating with greater periods of apostasy. This can be compared to the first chapter or two of the book of Judges, for instance.
By 1600 Sabbatarian lands could be confiscated, by 1618 their books were being burned, and by the middle of the century they were being compelled to go to church on Sunday and hide their Sabbath services in cellars for fear of persecution. They were hated and the government did all it could to exterminate them, granted not with the zeal Rome would have used, but nonetheless it did try.
Yet despite this, Transylvania couldn’t completely eradicate them. In fact, they persist up until even today, albeit in a very Judaized, corrupted state bearing little resemblance to their original beliefs. Incidentally, the above facts are largely based on “Sabbatarians in Transylvania” by Richard Nickels.
But now let’s look at a different set of facts and compare them to what we’ve seen here. Werewolves and Vampires were arguably the most famous monsters of Europe, feared long before Bram Stoker and other writers popularized them. And as they are very closely related in popular culture, so also in history… “the vampire was also linked to the werewolf in East European countries, particularly Bulgaria, Serbia and Slovakia. In Serbia, the werewolf and vampire are known collectively as one creature” (Wikipedia, “Werewolf”).
“Later in the 17th and 18th century, the trials in Hungary not only were conducted against witches, but against werewolves too, and many records exist creating connections between both kinds. Also the vampires and werewolves are closely related in Hungary, being both feared in the antiquity.” (Ibid.)
The legends for these creatures can all be traced to the 16th-18th century folktales of Eastern Europe, particularly Romania and Hungary. While the legends themselves go back much deeper to Greek legends, Indian myths, and Babylonia tales, the modern resurgence of the idea can all be traced to the Transylvania area.
In the beginning of the “age of enlightenment” trials for suspected Werewolves, Vampires, and witches were a regular event, particularly in Eastern Europe – usually targeted against whomever their neighbors or their government didn’t like, which is how such things have always been done.
But I mention this because of the causes and cures associated with Werewolf-ism and Vampirism. Of course since these came from folk tales told around campfires to frighten children, there are lots of embellishments – but also enough common threads to give us a few basic facts at the root of these myths.
“In Russian folklore, vampires were said to have once been witches or people who had rebelled against the [Orthodox] Church while they were alive.” (Wikipedia, Vampires)
“In the Greek Church it is often believed to be the result of excommunication, and this is indeed an accepted and definite doctrine of the Orthodox Church” (The Vampire, His Kith And Kin by Montague Summers).
The curse of lycanthropy [werewolfism] was also considered by some scholars as being a divine punishment. Werewolf literature shows many examples of God or saints allegedly cursing those who invoked their wrath with werewolfism. Those who were excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church were also said to become werewolves. (Wikipedia, Werewolf)
So here we see that, whether they started the myth or not, the Orthodox/Catholic churches used them to scare the population away from what they considered heresy – and that their god (the false god) had cursed these “werewolves” who were not of the “true flock”, having been “excommunicated” for heresy.
“Conversion to [Catholic] Christianity is also a common method of removing werewolfism in the medieval period. A devotion to St. Hubert has also been cited as both cure for and protection from lycanthropes.” (Ibid.)
So that tells us that the Catholics used that story for their enemies in general; but it doesn’t tell us, specifically, who those enemies were or what they were like. We’ve all heard that vampires don’t have a reflection or cast a shadow. Ever think about why?
“Although not traditionally regarded as an apotropaic [home remedy], mirrors have been used to ward off vampires when placed facing outwards on a door (in some cultures, vampires do not have a reflection and sometimes do not cast a shadow, perhaps as a manifestation of the vampire’s lack of a soul). (Lewis Spence, An Encyclopaedia of Occultism)
Vampires don’t have a soul! Why? Because they were excommunicated by the Catholic church and cursed by the Catholic god! But can we tie vampire myths directly to the true Church of God, and not just to anyone who disagrees with the Catholic Church?
“In folklore, Saturday was the preferred day to hunt vampires, because on that day they were restricted to their coffins.”(Wikipedia, Vampires)
“Yet he [the vampire] may not, so they hold in Epirus, in Crete, and among the Wallachians, leave his tomb on a Saturday … Saturday is the day of the week on which the exorcism ought by right to take place, because the spirit [of the vampire] THEN RESTS IN HIS TOMB” (The Vampire, His Kith And Kin by Montague Summers).
Notice it! On Saturdays, the vampires were restricted to their coffin! Why? The legend of the vampire is that the undead vampire has no rest, except that on ONE day of the week, he rests. And note that this belief was specifically held among the WALLACHIANS – Transylvanians!
“The whole of Saturday is allotted to him for repose… Saturday, that being the only day of the week on which a vrykolakas [vampire] rests in his grave and cannot walk abroad” (Ibid.).
The legends repeatedly state that this heretic, enemy of the Catholic and Orthodox church has no soul and MUST rest on Saturday! Who could that be, but the true church of God, resting according to the command of God on the seventh day and denying everything tainted by the doctrines of the Catholic Church!
And what better weapon for a false church to use than to equate the true church of God, already persecuted, with the terrifying vampires! Simply by spreading the legend that Vampires don’t work on Saturday either – just like the hated true Christians!
And how do you defeat a vampire?
A. Convert him to Catholicism
B. Burn him alive (universally agreed to be the surest cure of vampirism)
C. Make the sign of the cross over your heart
Vampires “feared” holy water, signs of the cross, monasteries, cathedrals, and most especially the crucifix; all things “feared” (or rather, detested) by any true Christian. And so if you can’t convert the vampire and can’t kill him, all you can do is protect yourself by making the sign of the cross over your heart – signifying that you don’t want his spirit influencing YOUR heart in any way – you know, the spirit that writes His laws on your heart.
That spirit is chased away by the sign of Tammuz, the cross, which shows that you are a servant of the false Jesus and hence someone who doesn’t want the spirit of God.
Count Dracula himself is based on Vlad Dracula (also known as Vlad the Impaler), a king of Transylvania in the last half of the 15th century. In the west, he is a horrible monster, who did all sorts of horrible tortures. In Romania, he is considered a hero. Why the difference?
One of his enemies, Matthias Corvinus of Hungary had received money from most Catholic states in Europe to fight the Ottomans; he had used the money for his own purposes and then blamed Vlad for it. So Corvinus published a pamphlet and spread it all over the west via Germany, caricaturing and greatly exaggerating Vlad’s cruelty.
“By making Vlad a scapegoat, Corvinus could justify his reasons for not taking part in the war against the Ottomans. He arrested Vlad and used a forged letter in which Vlad announced his loyalty to Mehmed II, AS WELL AS HORROR STORIES ABOUT VLAD, to justify his actions to the Pope. In 1462 and 1463, the court in Buda fostered negative stories of Vlad in central and Eastern Europe, and capitalized on the horrors attributed to him.” (Wikipedia, Vlad the Impaler)
Even in his own lifetime, Vlad was vilified and horrible, untrue horror stories ascribed to him! Primarily because of the Catholic powers even though he was nominally Catholic himself. As it happens, Vlad was brutal and did resort to torture, but not to the extent that is commonly believed. And when not in battle, these methods were used to enforce some pretty rational laws.
“The atrocities committed by Vlad in the German stories include [a list of atrocities] … All of these punishments mainly came from things people did that displeased Vlad the most; stealing, lying, and adulterous relations. … This was a way that Vlad kept his people in order and taught them that stealing would not be tolerated in his lands. No exceptions were made: he punished anyone who broke his laws, whether men or women, no matter the age, religion or social class.” (Ibid.)
Note that his detractors hated most his strict impartial enforcement of commandments seven, eight and nine. Yes, he is hated by western Europe – mostly because of the propaganda of Corvinus …
“Romanian folklore and literature, on the other hand, paints Vlad Tepes [Vlad the Impaler] as a hero. His reputation in his native country as a man who stood up to both foreign and domestic enemies gives him the virtual opposite symbolism of Stoker’s vampire. In Romania he is considered one of the greatest leaders in the country’s history, … All accounts of his life describe him as ruthless, but only the ones originating from his Saxon detractors paint him as sadistic or insane.” (Ibid.)
Vlad the Impaler was probably an overly brutal enforcer of what he understood as justice, but he nonetheless did quite an impressive job of creating a stable environment in Romania for an early Protestant church; Transylvania was one of the first states in Europe to adopt protestantism and the first to guarantee them religious liberty, even though it was relatively brief and partial.
Vlad hated the breaking of commandments 7-9 and for his legislation on the subject was hated throughout Europe, even when his own people, those who would have suffered most, remember him as a great hero. Now he survives as count Dracula, a soulless undead ghost who romances women to drink from their veins. And while he no doubt was not converted, nonetheless he was a better man than the majority of Popes.
Throughout history the enemies of God, failing to find fault with his followers, have had to make up rumors or slander about them; Christians stealing babies, Jews worshiping donkeys, or Transylvanian Sabbath-keepers roaming the misty nights sucking blood from the devoted Catholic who hadn’t put enough in the offering-plate that week.
The vampire legend can be traced back in virtually unchanged form through virtually every culture, all the way back through Assyria to Babylon, where I would speculate that Nimrod and Semiramis first spread the rumor that Shem’s followers were vampires, wanting to take the good people of Babel off, not to recolonize the world, but to eat them alive.
It’s quite likely that Nimrod also spread stories of heretical man-beasts who denied the only true religion of the sun and that when the sun disappeared at night they turned into wolf-men, vicious beasts who would steal the babies and souls of the simple villagers unless he, Nimrod, the great hunter, protected them.
The point of this is, if there is something the world fears or hates, be careful what you say about it – it might well be your brother in Christ… or at least a legend that someone started because of some heretic like you somewhere.