– They make it up.
It is so dishonest, it is so fake.
And, you know, I have come up with some pretty good names for people.
而且 你们知道的 我想给我的人民留下好的名声
I think one of the best names is,
you know, I’ve really started this whole fake news thing.
Try turning back the clock by 500 years.
Fake news is nothing new.
The Reformation began with Martin Luther
criticizing the Roman Catholic Church
for selling indulgences
so that people’s souls would spend less time in purgatory.
Yet Luther wrote in his Commentary on Galatians,
“When I was a child, there were many witches
“and they bewitched both cattle and men,
Later, Luther also wrote, “For where God builds a church,
“there the devil would also build a chapel.”
Such falsehoods can have fatal consequences
once they go viral via social networks.
Promoted by the printed word,
witch-hunting spread virally through Europe during the Counter-Reformation,
as competing Catholics and Protestants
sought to attract new followers
by demonstrating their prowess at exposing witches.
In England, the witch craze reached its horrifying climax between 1645 and 1647,
here, in the Puritan heartland of Cambridgeshire.
Matthew Hopkins, known as the Witchfinder General,
claimed the lives of 200 men and women here.
Clearly, Hopkins believed in his God-given mission.
But he was also on a bonus plan.
The more witches he found, the more he’d be paid.
He even wrote a book about it, a sort of beginner’s guide,
which included a number of surefire ways of identifying witches,
like spotting a devil’s mark,
a mole or birthmark.
In 1647, Hopkins plied his trade
on a gruesome journey from Cambridge to Ely.
He picked off witches along the way.
In May, Hopkins reached the small village of Stretham.
Here, Margaret Moore was arrested
after three farmers blamed her for misfortunes they’d suffered.
She confessed to being a witch, quite probably after being tortured.
Accused of having surrendered her soul to the devil,
she was tried and convicted.
Margaret Moore was hanged here on the green in front of Ely Cathedral.
With books like Hopkins’s spreading stories of witchcraft,
over the course of a century-and-a-half,
some 40,000 people, mostly women,
were put to death on bogus charges.
– They make it up.