Tag Archives | Cannibalism

Creepy Medical Cannibalism In Europe’s Past

Res Obscura on a part of medical history which is not secret, yet never discussed, most likely because it is so gruesome:

What did the jars [in seventeenth and eighteenth century pharmacies] actually contain? Things found in herb teas sold today, like chamomile, fennel, licorice, and cardamom — alongside some utterly bizarre ones, like powdered crab’s eyes, Egyptian mummies, and human skull, or “cranium humanum.” I was struck by the degree to which they take for granted the consumption of human bodies as medicinal drugs.

Substances like human fat or powdered mummy were once so common that hundreds or perhaps even thousands of antique ceramic jars purpose-built to contain them still exist in antique shops, museums and private collections. This is no secret, but it remains more or less the domain of specialists in early modern history.

It was a relatively common sight in early modern France and Germany to witness relatives of sick people collecting blood from recently executed criminals to use in medical preparations:

For those who preferred their blood cooked, a 1679 recipe from a Franciscan apothecary describes how to make it into marmalade…[T]hese medicines may have been incidentally helpful—even though they worked by magical thinking, one more clumsy search for answers to the question of how to treat ailments at a time when even the circulation of blood was not yet understood.

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Rumors Abound of Cannibalism in Indian Plantation Uprising

Picture: JoyDeep (CC)

There’s a history of powerful people using accusations of cannibalism to vilify their enemies. This may or may not be one of those instances:

RawStory:

Police in northeast India say they believe workers on a tea plantation who bludgeoned their boss and his wife to death last month also ate parts of their bodies.

A crowd of 1000 workers at the privately-owned M.K.B. Tea Estate in the state of Assam surrounded the plantation owner’s bungalow last week. A mob then set it on fire in violence blamed on festering labour unrest in the region.

“Our investigations say that at least five plantation workers ate the flesh of the tea planter and his wife after they were brutally killed,” Numol Mahatao, deputy police chief of Tinsukia district, told journalists.

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Democratic Republic of Congo – Cannibalism in the Modern Age?

I’m incredibly skeptical of this story simply because of a Universiy teacher of mine who furiously claimed to us that cannibalism was a racist myth invented by evil British Imperialists. He was, I think, inspired by the book “The Man-Eating Myth: Anthropology and Anthropophagy” by William Arens. However, a quick glance at the cannibalism wikipedia page suggests the debate may have moved on since the late 90’s and I assume it will be attened to further in the comments section of this piece.

In short it appears that France 24 are reporting an act of cannibalism as a weird form of vigilante behaviour amid what sounds like continuing mob rule and civil war in the region:

Recent fighting between government forces and rebel groups has dramatically destabilised the Democratic Republic of Congo. During the night between December 2 and 3, a barbaric scene unfolded in the capital Goma, in North Kivu province.

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Veteran NY Cop Arrested by Feds Planned to Abduct and Cook Women

Picture from Facebook account

You have the right to be tasty.

Via The New York Daily News:

A Harlem cop plotted to kidnap, torture, cook and eat dozens of women — even going so far as to discuss the best way to slow-cook a grown human in a series of disturbing on-line chats, the FBI charged Thursday.

The feds busted alleged cannibal cop Gilberto Valle, 28, after intercepting multiple internet discussions in which the 26th Precinct cop offered gory details about a nightmarish plan straight out of a horror flick.

“I was thinking of tying her body on to some kind of apparatus, cook her over a low heat, keep her alive as long as possible,” Valle wrote during one particularly harrowing chat.

The FBI and the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau quietly arrested Valle Wednesday at his apartment on Yellowstone Blvd. in Forest Hills, Queens, and he was to be arraigned in Manhattan federal court Thursday.

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All You Ever Wanted to Know About Cannibalism

Picture: Cannibalism during Russian Famine of 1921 (PD)

Our friends at Mental Floss offer a fairly comprehensive overview of cannibalism. Here’s an excerpt:

Exocannibalism is the consumption of the flesh of a person outside of one’s own social group, often as a way to intimidate an individual or group, steal another’s life force, or express domination of an enemy in warfare. Certain tribes in the Fiji islands maintained ritualized acts of cannibalistic “battle rage,” where captured enemy warriors were publicly tortured, killed, and consumed.

The accusation of exocannibalism may be even more damaging to enemies than eating them. When Christopher Columbus encountered the Carib Indians, he described them as “sub-human eaters of men,” labeling them inferior to Europeans and not much better than animals. They were seen as a dangerous “other,” and the murder of their people and theft of their land was easily justifiable because of that. The slur of cannibalism goes both ways, however.

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Criminal Charges For Tokyo Artist Who Cooked And Served His Own Genitals

Is Mao Sugiyama a man ahead of his time? His mind-bending artistic/culinary/surgical endeavor, intended to raise awareness of asexuality, seems to have been done in an entirely ethical manner, but he now faces persecution from authorities. Japan Daily Press reports:

It’s been three and a half months now since 23 year old Mao Sugiyama cooked and served his own genitals to diners in Tokyo, but the “chef” is finally facing criminal charges. Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department has said that Sugiyama and three others who organized the event are looking at allegations of indecent exposure.

After undergoing voluntary surgery in order to fulfill his desire of becoming asexual, the young illustrator then offered to cook and serve his severed organs to five of the high-paying bidders. Sugiyama cook[ed] his penis, scrotum, and testicles to five diners for roughly $250 each.

Sugiyama…says that it was part of an effort to raise awareness about asexual people and others of sexual minorities.

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Mixed Martial Arts, Magic Mushrooms and Monotheism Don’t Mix?

Aztec ritual

Via The Huffington Post:

A California mixed-martial artist has pleaded guilty to ripping out his friend’s heart and  tongue while the two were on hallucinogenic drugs:

 When police arrived that day at a home at the mouth of the Klamath River, they found Wyatt naked and covered in blood. He told the officers, “I killed him,” and said he had cut out Powell’s heart and tongue, according to court documents.

The officers found Powell’s body on the couch of the Requa home. His chest was cut open, and his heart, tongue and the skin of his face were gone, court records said. His heart was found charred in a wood-burning stove.

It gets worse, if you can believe it:
An autopsy determined the organs had been removed while Powell was still alive, the documents said.

Read more at  The Huffington Post.

 

 

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Papua New Guinea Authorities Arrest 29 Members Of Murderous, Brain-Eating Cannibal Cult

Similar to the Mafia, except that the sorcery-dabbling cannibal cult conducts extortion by threatening to eat your brain and steal your soul rather than threatening to break your legs. Via the Huffington Post:

Authorities have arrested 29 people accused of being part of a cannibal cult in Papua New Guinea’s jungle interior and charged them with the murders of seven suspected witch doctors, police said Friday. Madang Police Commander Anthony Wagambie confirmed… that the cult members ate their victims’ brains raw and made soup from their penises.

“They don’t think they’ve done anything wrong; they admit what they’ve done openly,” Wagambie told The Associated Press by telephone.

He said the killers believed that their victims practiced “sanguma,” or sorcery, and that they had been extorting money as well as demanding sex from poor villagers for their supernatural services. By eating witch doctors’ organs, the cult members believed they would attain supernatural powers and literally become bullet-proof.

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Would You Eat Another Person?

Photo: WNYC (CC)

Forget about the “yes if I was starving to death after a plane crash” answer. How about if it was part of a Brooklyn food festival? If you’re Anthony Bourdain, “Yes, yes, I fucking would.” (Apparently he’d like to deep fry Dick Cheney’s head, fuck him up the ass and then cook him. Each to his own, I guess.) Dana Goodyear reports on modern cannibalism for The New Yorker:

Probably the most scandalous assertion of Upton Sinclair’s fictional exposé of Packingtown was that the careless, virtually unregulated, factory-style processing of meat that was the norm at the turn of the century was making unwitting cannibals of the American public. Men working in the steam rooms, he wrote, would fall into open vats in the floor

“and when they were fished out, there was never enough of them left to be worth exhibiting—sometimes they would be overlooked for days, till all but the bones of them had gone out to the world as Durham’s Pure Leaf Lard!”

Cannibalism—whether unintentional, deliberate (as with the Donner Party, the Uruguayan rugby team, and scores of sailors in extremis) or plain murderous (the recent incident in Florida)—represents the most troubling extreme of our omnivorous condition.

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Sweden’s Most Notorious Cannibal To Marry Vampire Murderess

vampireThe world’s most evil matrimony? MSNBC writes:

Two infamous Swedish murderers, the “Skara Cannibal” and the “Vampire Woman,” hope to get married, according to Expressen, a Swedish newspaper. The couple met at their high-security psychiatric ward in eastern Sweden, the paper said, and flirted over Internet chat rooms.

Isakin Jonsson, known as the ”Skara Cannibal,” was convicted in March 2011 of killing of his girlfriend, Helle Christensen, a mother of five, Expressen said. After stabbing her to death and cutting off body parts, he ate some of them.

Gustafsson was convicted in 2010 of the stabbing death of a father of four in Stockholm, the paper said. She wrote chilling lyrics on her blog about killing people and posted pictures of herself dressed as a vampire with bloody lips.

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