Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Trickster-Mary-Devil in the Mysterious Valley?

Much has been written about the image of the Blessed Virgin disguised as something else: a terrestrial fairy, elemental, or ET, something from another dimension and so on. Some sort of entity that comes from a paranormal source, putting on a display for humans. Much debate about this idea, from outright rejection by religious literalists as well as UFO researchers, to a more integrated perspective, along the lines of Vallee, Swan, Keel, etc.

While "the Lady" is often reported as not saying she's the Mother of God, the assumption that she is is made by the religious ones she appears to. Her messages and actions are benign; although, some fundamentalists insist there is nothing good about BVM visitations; that it's the devil behind the sightings. Especially in the case of the Medjugore appearances; many Catholics and other religious writers hold that apparition up as a solid farce. No holy mother, but the devil for sure. Former Vatican exorcist Bishop Andrea Gemma calls the Medjugore apparitions "work of the devil . . . diabolical deceit" and attacks the decades long appearances at Medjugorje for being vulgar:
"In Medjugorje everything happens in function of money: Pilgrimages, lodging houses, sale of trinkets. . This whole sham is the work of the Devil. It is a scandal."

The following is from the Angelus site, from Medjugorje Exposed:
Today, we waited for the Virgin at Marija's; with me were Marija, Ivanka, and Jakov. We began praying at 6:20 p.m. The Virgin appeared right away. We asked her about the Franciscan Friars and sisters of our parish...We asked her about the man who saw Jesus in the street as he was driving people in his car. He met a man covered in blood—this man was Jesus—he gave him a blood-stained handkerchief telling him to throw it in the river. Going on his way, he met a lady—it was the Blessed Virgin Mary; she asked the driver for the bloodstained handkerchief. The man offered her a handkerchief belonging to him, but the Virgin asked for the bloodstained one: 'If he had not given it to me it would have been the last judgment for all!' The Virgin said this was true.) (from Vicka's diary dated September 4, 1981)

The Trickster does seem to be strong in the Medjugore sightings in a crazy, conflicting, and bizarre yet very Fortean way.

We're used to urgings to pray, become more virtuous, build places of healing, hope and sacred gathering, magical displays like rosaries turning to gold or silver, the scent of roses and cinnamon, swirling, dancing suns and brilliant light beams at play during BVM visits. Nothing devilish about that. The above example of Medjurgore gives us a different picture, one that is sinister.

Chris O'Brien, UFO and high strangeness researcher and chronicler of the highly anomalous events going on in the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado, mentions a strange tale of a BVM sighting in the mid 1800s in his book Secrets of the Mysterious Valley. The area was, and still is, a true paranormal hot spot; UFOs, cattle mutilations and other UADS (unexplained animal deaths), Bigfoot sightings (!), and much, much more. Stories about high strangeness events go back hundreds of years in that area.

What O'Brien mentions is in the context of a serial murdering gang. Besides the Fortean, paranormal, UFO weirdness in the area, there has always been severe tension -- and often still is, according to O'Brien -- between whites and Mexicans and people with Mexican-American heritage, (as well as between land barons, etc.) In the mid 1800s, Felipe Nerio Espinoza, no doubt fueled by the tragic murders of his family by whites during the war, set out to murder as many whites as he could, and managed to kill many people, cutting out their hearts, before being caught and killed himself.

A priest related that Felipe told him of a vision he had:
The Virgin Mary had come to him and commanded him to kill one hundred Americans for each of his (six) slain relatives. He wishe dto kneel at the altar and make a vow to do so . . .(p305 Secrets of the Mysterious Valley)

The priest said that he explained to Felipe that the Virgin would never say anything like that to anyone, and that "it was the devil, tricking him" (p305)

This "vision" could be considered the psychotic thoughts of a brutal killer; but is it possible other, unseen forces, had something to do with his actions? As O'Brien continues, that area of Colorado has a history of "Old Scratch" (the Devil) sightings and lore. O'Brien says that this entity appears even today, often appearing at "dances and/or social events." (p 311) O'Brien has never found an actual witness, but has interviewed plenty who insist that they "knew someone who was there" (p 311)

O'Brien wonders if there's a connection between Felipe's vision and the devil legends:
"It's difficult not to come to the conclusion that Felipes' "vision" was something akin to demonic in nature. What well-meaning benign spirit like our Blessed Virgin Mary would demand such retribution? (p 311)

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