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April 7, 2020 74 mins
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Speaker 1 (00:01):
The Internet. Ship up. This is podcast Robert behind you
know Bastards and such. Hello. Everyone, This is Behind the
Bastards and I'm here to podcast on the Internet. That's
most of what I wanted to get across. Anything else, Sophie.
Uh no, okay, good Now today we're we're talking with

my friend Mr Miles Gray. Miles, how are you? How
are you doing in quarantine? Oh? My god, help me, Robert,
You're not You're not doing great. I'm I'm fine relatively speaking.
I'm I'm getting used to a new way of living,
to put it mildly, but you know, it's taking a lot.

I'm actually learning a lot about myself through this quarantine,
and I'm trying to use that part to be empowering
rather than fucking frightening. Well, we're all learning a lot
during this new period of quarantine, and some of the
people who are learning the most are America's religious leaders,
particularly the leaders of large churches that make their money
by having a lot of people uh cram in the

door every Sunday and and drop out donations. Um. Yeah.
And today, Miles, we're going to talk about how organized
religion historically response to plagues. Uh and that's gonna be
a fun topic for you to discuss. Are you a
big fan of plagues or organized religion? I'm plagues, not

as much, not as much as I used to be.
Not as much plagues around When that game Plague Inc.
Came out and I was just sucking laughing my ass off,
I'm like, here, come to London Olympics, get ready for
global spread um. Anyway, but organized religion. I went to
Lutheran school until eighth grade, and then I went to

Catholic High school, so I know a little bit of
out of all sides of the crucifix, of the crucifix? Interesting,
Oh right, because religion? Yeah that makes sense. Okay, well Miles,
let's let's let's let's let's let's shove our intellectual probost
guy into this subject and uh excrete saliva in order

to dissolve it so that we can suck it back
up and gain nourishment. Wow, who what flies? What insect
was a fad? Okay? Yeah, they like squirt goop out
and it dissolves stuff and then they suck it back up.
I'm pretty sure that's how flies work. Can you now?
This is the natural extension of knowing something like that is,
can you make a big barrel of whatever they spit

out and just kill somebody with that? Uh? Probably not.
I mean maybe if the flies are carrying a disease,
but they aren't always. You know, you have to think
you need a lot of flies. You need a lot
of flies now miles outside of your planes to murder
people with flies. Um, let's talk about let's get into
the subject. So on a video posted nearly February eighteen,

Texas evangelical preacher and member of Donald Trump's Faith Advisory Council,
Gloria Copeland said this to her parishioners in a Facebook
live video. And I wanna I wanna have you play
that and and play the start too, about a minute
in four seconds. Well, listen, partners, we don't have a
flu season. We've got a duck season, the dear season,

but we don't have a flu season. And don't receive
it when somebody threatens you with everybody's getting the flu,
we've already had our shot. He bore our sicknesses and
carried our diseason. That's what we send though, and by
his stripes we were healed. If you've already got the flu,
I'm gonna pray for you right now. Father, I pray

for every person that has symptoms of flu. I'm asking
your Lord, but your supernatural power to heal them now
from the top of their into the souls of their feet.
Flu I bind you off of the people. And Jesus,
Jesus himself gave us the flu shot. He redeemed us

from the curse of flu. And we receive it, and
we take it, and we are healed by his strips. Amen.
You know, the Bible says he himself bore our sicknesses
and carried our diseases, and by his strips were goodness. Yeah,
that's pretty great, isn't it. Who he Dude, her energy

is like someone at a bar who has been lying
about everything they've been telling you the whole time, but
it's ultimately trying to get free drinks. Like he's like, yeah,
you know, because basically, like the way I look at
it is everybody's blessing to how like it's just very fast,
very smooth. But she sounds fucked up though too, in
a weird way, like yeah, she does sound like she's

she's she's doing all of this to like get you
to give her a pack of cigarettes. Right, Yeah, you
know you want to, but you know, the people who
do that get a lot of free shots and a
lot of cigarettes. Uh. And she has made a lot
of money and is now advising President Donald Trump. Yeah,

it's it's pretty cool, Gloria. And that video went on
to note that um, uh, pete listeners should just keep saying,
I'll never have the flu. I'll never have the flu.
Inoculate yourself with the word of God. Flu I bind
you off of the people in the name of Jesus.
It's good stuff. Yeah. Again. That was February of two thousand,

eighteen miles and that year's flu season was, according to
the CDC, responsible for more hospitalizations than any previous season
in the CDC's records. Uh. And the fact that Copeland
had the ear of the President while she was advising
her more than a million listeners to not get flu shots,
um may have had an impact on why that season
was so bad, and may also have been a message

of things to come. As I write this in March,
we or well, actually yeah I wrote this in March.
It's now April. Um. But we're at a place where
the president very recently voiced his desire to reopen the
country well before medical officials advised him to do so
so that he could have it open in time for Easter.
It looks like we've moved past that particular bad idea. Um,

but my guy, it was like right on the fucking
edge there for a little while. I don't even Yeah,
I mean, I get it. That would have been great thematically,
it would have been awesome like that would it would
have been while everyone was dying around me. I would
have at least been able to like envision the scene

in the movie made seventy years later, where like they
film a bunch of tow like increasingly unsettling like music
builds as all these different congregants, you know, file in
and shake each other's hands, and yeah, you could, you could,
you could, you could make that that four minutes scene
is amazing, And then switched to the mass graves, you know,

I mean, it's would be a great meme though, where
Jesus Capitalist Christ uh you know, is being crucified by
COVID nineteen right now and then resurrected on Easter to
come back with massive sales with thirty percent off some
of your most favorite items. Yeah, yes, um, and you know,

speaking of capitalist Jesus Christ. Um. Uh yeah. So I
wound up like interested in all this, and I went
down this rabbit hole of like digging into the reactions
specifically Christian churches to horrible plagues all throughout history. Um.
And I as a little bit of a I don't know,

content warning here. Um, this whole episode is just because
I was drunk at on Google at midnight a couple
of days ago, and and now this exists. So you're
it's just gonna have to It's gonna happen to you now, Miles,
and there's no there's no escaping it. So we'll start
with the Black Plague because it killed about a third
of the world, and it's like, you know, kind of

the gold standard of plagues, you know, if we're comparing
plagues to like terrorist manifestos, it's like the plague equivalent
of the Uni Bomber's book. You know, It's like it's
like the top of the fucking pillar. You know. Is
this album? As in terms of albums, it depends on
your taste, But for you, what's you? I think? I

think The Who's Tommy is the greatest album of all times.
So I would say the Black Plague is the Tommy
of plagues. Wow, okay, I like that. M hm. I
learned about you right now, thank you. Yeah so. Uh.
Most of our media tends to focus on the damage
the plague did to medieval Europe, and it it fucked

medieval Europe, but pretty bad. But the plague actually started
off somewhere in the East, we don't really know where exactly,
and it was equally devastating in Asia in the Middle East.
And one of the first sources we have for the
Black Plague was Abu hafs Umar Ibben al Wardi uh In,
a Muslim scholar who himself died of the Black Plague
in thirteen nine, and he claimed its origin was somewhere

in China, which at that point was a much vaguer
term than it is today. Uh And he described that
in the Near East, it quotes sat like a king
on a throne and swayed with power, killing daily one
thousand or more and decimating the population, which is a
sentiment now that we're losing a thousand Americans a day
to this. That reminds me more and more of the
president of the country. Yeah. Yeah, hate, you hate when

history does that thing of like just showing back up,
like yeah, you thought I was done. So it's the
Black plague like rolled probably spread along the Silk Road,
you know, through travel and transit and the major arteries
of those two things at the time. Um and yeah,
by thirteen forty nine it is it hit Limburg, Germany,

where one chronicler wrote, there came a great death in
Germany that is called the first Great death, and they
died by the dozen. And when that began, on the
third day, they died in Limburg more people died, not
counting the children because we didn't really count the children
back in the day, Like why would we give a
shit about the kids? Like funk that noise? How do
you what the fun was going on back then when
they're doing body counts, like they're just kids die time,

Jeremy Iron, you know kids die for no reason. Yeah. Yeah,
Like there's kids are just dropping left and right back
in the day. So until somebody's like fifteen, they're not
even real. Um. So it's like a bunch of babies
die like who gives a ship expects are low? Yeah,
Once some like adults start dropping, then it's like okay,
now we're losing some. Right, those little those little screaming

short people are all quiet. But now there's not as
many people to go work the field. Something might be wrong. Yeah.
If you can't work, you don't count. Yeah. Yeah, that
was kind of the attitude. Now at this point in history,
if you were a Christian, you know, there was no
Protestant game in town, right, it was just like Orthodox
Christianity and Catholicism, Like that was kind of it for you. Um.

And since you know, Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism were like
the Christian religions in town, and the Church in Rome
was the wealthiest government in Europe and probably the most
powerful government in Europe. The Church was kind of on
deck to take action when this horrible plague starts killing everybody.
Like there's not really much in the way of organization
or unity pan you know European when the plague hits,

the church is the closest thing you have, you know,
it's your c d C at the time, and it
was not great at being the c d C boy
that is like oh science, yeah no, no, no, not
our strong suit. Um. Now to give that, I mean
to give them a little bit of credit. It wasn't
anyone strong suit at the time. Like, it's not like

the doctors had a great handle on germ theory in
the thirteen forties. Um, so no one really knew what
to do. Um So this will actually be the first
the only part in the story where like the Church
isn't taking any they're taking actions that are endangering and
killing huge numbers of people, but they don't mean to
be you know, um like they couldn't have really known

how this was all going to work out. It's not
really there's a lot like a puppy play with like
dynamite or something. You're like, oh, you don't want to
I I don't know, because like the Catholic Church is
a horrible had done a lot of horrible, horrible things
up to this point in history. It's more like it's

more like a serial killer accidentally backing over a puppy,
where like that doesn't really like if you're trying to
like list list that person's crimes, like, well, they didn't
mean to hit the puppy, but it's just a thing
that happened. Because they that happens to be a thing
that just happened. It's on their resumes towards the bottom.
Really yeah, it's like John Wayne Gacy accidentally runs over

a cat. That's the Catholic Church. And this specific instance,
like um, so, the Church's first reaction to the outbreakup
plague in Europe, authorized by the Pope, was to hold
mass processions through the great cities of Europew. Again, they
couldn't have known this was a bad idea, but this
was a terrible, terrible call um And it came out

of a longstanding tradition called Rogation Days, which were enormous
multi day processions held by the Church. To quote say,
God's desire for penitence. Uh yeah, so like God's piste
and you gotta march through. God's always angry at you,
and you gotta Like the ancient Catholic Church, if any
of you had parents who had anger management problems or

substance abuse issues, and like they come home like really
piste off, and it's like everybody's job has to be
to calm down, you know, mom or dad or whoever.
I'm guessing a lot of people listening have had that experience.
That's kind of the general attitude towards the Catholic Church
is like something bad is happening. We've got all like
fucking the church, like God is home and drunk and
we need to like hill him out. Yeah, that's very

much the attitude kind of everyone has towards God in Europe. Um.
And so they start these mass exhibitions of faith to
honor specific saints. Um. And it also kind of gives
you know, it kind of helps reinforce the power of
the church in Rome. Um. So Yeah, as one historian wrote,
it is little wonder than that one of the first

actions of the Church upon the arrival of the plague
was to call special civic masses and processions thought to
be useful in quelling the divine rage and sparking repentance
in the people. And in some cities these processions lasted
as long as three days, and we're attended by thousands
of people penitence. Went barefoot and wore sackcloth. They sprinkled
each other in ashes, wept, prayed, tore out their hair,

and waved candles as they stumbled through city streets. Um,
you may recognize this all is very bad social distancing.
This is not not recommend it. It just plague cella
in the streets. Yeah, Yeah, it's exactly. It's like all right,
let's let's let's fucking yeah, let's spring break everywhere. But

with hair tearing, hair tearing, and you know, like sure,
hair tearing though, isn't like a fun calm thing you
can say like hair tearing, like you have to really
envision what's happening there. People are probably screaming, crying, pie
just yeah, get get a hand on your hair right

now and just kind of feel how deep it's in there. Yeah,
imagine having a list of things where hair tearing is
probably towards like the top. And you started to buy
it like okay, ye screaming right, like sobbing right, like
crying great, uh like punching. Sure, you have to get
through a lot of ship before you're like yeah, hair tearing, yeah,

pull my own fucking hair out, put my hair out.
It is one of those things like um like tarring
and feathering where um, you know we kind of it
just kind of gets like, oh yeah, people used to
get tired and feathered. That's sure was a thing, but
it's like no, no, people were pouring boiling pitch on
each on other people and if it killed them. It's
not like in a fucking like Disney like channel show

where the kids do a gag where it's like feather. Um, yeah, yeah,
well it's not it's not really glue, you know, they're
only glue was like as hot as the coffee that
burned that woman so bad she needed to be hospitalized
because of McDonald's. Anyway, Um, this is yeah, let's roll along.
So yeah, obviously all these processions spread the bubonic plague

fucking everywhere, right, like, of course, Um, but you know
you can't really the Church didn't know what they were doing. Um.
And for a little bit of fairness, the best data
we have, which is also very imperfect, and none of it,
you know, is numerical data, But the best data we
have suggests that non Catholic parts of the world suffered
pretty similar death rates to the Catholic parts of the world.

So like, and probably because kind of everyone's reaction was
to do similar things when this starts to happen, like
it's just this unknown, horrible thing, you know. Um, And
if we're going to be really fair to the church,
we should also note that priests and nuns probably died
at a significantly higher rate than the rest of the
population because they spent a lot of time ministering to
the sick and dying. Um. In his book The Great Mortality,

John Kelly, the historian, not the not the trump guy
uh points out that forty two of all of the
clergy in Europe died during the plague. So half of
all the priests, half of all the nuns, half of
everyone who works in the church, which is again your
only international organization. Effectively in this period, half of them

are fucking gone. Um. And that's compared about of the
general populace. And this has a a permanent, long term
effect on on the church in Rome. And I'm gonna
quote from a rite up in medievalist dot net. Because
so many were ill and so few priests remained. As
the disease progressed, Clement the sixth, who was the pope
at the time, declared that the dying could make their
confession to anyone present, even to a woman, said an

English bishop, and that it would still lead to salvation.
This was a big deal for the church is previously
only clared you were permitted to perform last rites. As
Barbara Tuckman writes in A Distant Mirror, the climate is
fourteenth century climate. The sixth founded necessary to grant remission
of sin to all who died of the plague because
so many were unattended by priests. Uh, the priests were

doing what they could, but they were paying with their lives.
So this is one of those situations where like, the
Catholic Church isn't really to blame for what happens during
this period, but really fox them over and you can. Honestly,
a lot of historians look at this as like the
beginning of the end for church power and the way
that it had been just because like all of their
best priests, the most dedicated, the most connected to the
community all fucking die. Um, and the only priests left

are like the shittiest, the ones who believed the least,
the ones who are willing to like hide from the plague. Yeah. Um,
and that has a long term impact, so right yeah
yeah um. So regular people, because there's suddenly less priests,
less nuns, no one doing last, rites feel like the
church has abandoned them through the crisis, even though it

actually probably did more than almost anything to reduce the
spread of the disease. That now priests who had been
exposed to the plague weren't wandering around touching people anymore
or like you don't want to be Yeah. Um, but
people don't see it that way. They see it as
the church abandoning them, um and and so yeah, it's

pretty cool thing that happens in this period of time.
And it's hard to take any kind of lesson from
this because, like I'm going to say, it's bad that
the Catholic Church lost, but it's like messed up that
after all the genocide and torture. The thing that like
really starts to funk them over is too many compassionate
priests trying to minister to the sick. But also those
compassionate priests were the ones spreading the plague the most.

So it's like there's no lesson a lot of the
time in history, right, it just filtered out all the
fucking shitty guys. Yeah. Yeah, there's like the there's like
the bits of history like studying the rise of the
Nazis where it's like, oh, yeah, there's a lot of
really direct and critical lessons here, and then there's stuff
where it's like, funk, I don't even know what you're
supposed to learn from this, Yeah, because you're playing completely

in a different reality. Yeah, completely a different set of
not this is just some ship that happened wild yeah, yeah, yeah,
that happened. Yeah. And it's worth noting that religion itself
didn't decline during this period, just people who's faith in
the church. Um, the dead priests and the disease bearing
possessions of old were replaced by something that spread just

as much disease, but that wasn't directly connected to the
power of the Catholic Church and was in fact even weirder.
And we're gonna talk now about flagelence. Do you know
what flagelence are? Miles like when you self whip? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
that's that's the basic idea. I am very excited to
talk to you about whipping yourself, But you know what's

a lot like beating yourself bloody with an iron tipped whip.
No capitalism, Yeah that part. Here's some ads, okay, and
we're back, uh, And we're talking about flagelence. So flagelens

are our men who believed that they were ordained by
God to redeem society by recreating the suffering of Christ
on their own bodies. And because I don't know if
you've ever tried to crucify yourself, Miles. I can say
from experience it's not easy. Um, there's a lot of
there's a lot of like really unexpected challenges in the
self crucifixion process. Yeah. I mean I would only maybe

only metaphorically emotionally have I engaged in crucifixion. I mean
I do that all the time. Whenever someone gets angry
at me because I'm say, swinging a machette around and
it it wounds someone, I put my arms out on
my side in the manner of Christ to to to
portray the fact that I have become a christ figure
and I'm taking the sense of the world onto my

own body. Um. I find that works out really well
with people. They tend to they tend to respond to that. Yeah.
But Flagelens are doing this, uh in a in a
much more direct way. They're they're just beating the ship
out of themselves. Uh. And I'm going to quote from
what is I would say generally positive right up from
the Christian History Institute, because I find it interesting to

go to these groups sometimes to find their write ups somethings.
So here's how the Christian History Institute describes flagelence stripped
to the waists beating themselves with leather whips tipped with
iron spikes until the blood flowed. Groups of two hundred
to three hundred, and sometimes up to a thousand march
from city to city. They begged Christ and Mary for pity,
and townspeople sobbed and growned in sympathy. They performed three

times a day, twice publicly in the church square and
once in private. They were organized under a lay master
for usually thirty three and a half days to represent
Christ's years on earth. They pledge self support and obedience
to the master. They were not allowed to bathe, shave,
change clothes, sleep in beds, talk, or have intercourse with
women without the master's permission. So you see what we're

going through here is like we start with the Catholic
Church's response these processions, which are a horrible thing to do,
and then we move on to the flagelens, which are
like even we're getting even worse at social distancing now, um,
because it's just sort of like a like a kink show,
like a live kink show road to Yeah, it shows

and the public will do like sun of a basic
self whip being, they'll get off. And then where we
really get the money is the private shows we do
at night. Now, if you want to get in there,
we'll do some weird ship. The lay master will let
us fuck if we need to whatever, you know, so
check it out. It just sounded like a weird racket.
It's it's it's almost like it's an experiment to see

how you can spread the plague most efficiently. So now
you have people who don't bathe for weeks on end
and beat themselves bloody every day, wandering through town and
they're not just being watched by people. Um, sick children
are brought to them for healing. Uh. If those children
have the plague, obviously that spreads to the Flagelens. If
the Flagelens have the plague, it spreads to the sick

kids and their family. But also these people. As these
men are whipping themselves bloody, worshippers would dip their clothing
in the blood and then press it to and then
press it to their eyes. Disgusting. It's like it really
is like someone some scientists set out to be like

what's the how can I spread the most plague like?
And they nail it. They nail it like this is
solid work in terms of plague spreading. I'm very impressed.
Get the bloody whip, guys. Blood it's in your fucking
rub it in your eyes. You want to get it

right in that fucking eye, dude, Like that's the place
to do it. Who fucking told them like that? You need?
You had to go that far with it. Why couldn't
have just been like, oh, we're near them. Might have
to be like now I need the blood in my
fucking I You know, I think it's always I think
Miles that it's kind of like the yes and sort

of thing is applied to religion. You know. This is
just sort of you just do what feels good in
the moment, you know. Or it's like speaking tongues where
one person whatever and then other people go all the
way in there like you got watch but yeah, and
they fucking start vibing. Yeah, I get it. Performative. So

I guess that person just like, oh, you're just gonna
fucking sort of weep near them. I'm gonna put the
fucking blood in my eyes because that's down. And everyone's like,
now we're rubbing plague blood in our eyes. It's a
new hip thing. It spreads viral e you know. Although
the bubonic plague wasn't a virus. But you know what
I'm saying, you get the get the you get the

I don't think it was a virus. What's the bubonic
plague of virus? I always get this mixed up, the
whole virus versus bacteria. Bacteria, Yep, yep, that's what I thought. Okay, cool,
I remain a great expert. So the Flagelens are doing
a bad thing here in terms of this objectively spread

the plague to a shipload of people. But again, they're
not monsters, Like there's no one with like good advice
really being like this is a bad idea, and here's
the evidence as to why, Like I mean, you could.
I'm sure there were people who recognize it like this,
really see, it seems like we get a lot more
plague cases once the Flagelens came in. But like, we're
not doing so hot at science in this areas. You can't.

They're not trying to be irresponsible. It's a nonsense. Time
they thought God had just started murdering all of them,
and they reacted with panic, but also in a way
that like I think I can't call them monsters for
doing it. Um, Yeah, if we're looking for the greatest
evil committed by Christendom. In the play Gears, Um, it's
actually something that occurs kind of separate from the organized

chunks of the Catholic Church, or at least separate from
what the church wanted in that period. See folks suffering
through the worst of the plague. Gears noticed that Jewish
people did not seem to suffer as badly from the
creeping death. And there's a number of theories for this,
and it probably boils down to the fact that number one,
Jewish people bathed regularly in the Middle Ages, and Christians

really didn't, so they're kind of the only people. And yeah,
that's still like maybe like once a week or once
a month or something like. They're not bathing, but bathing,
and other people are just like, no, you just put
on new clothes over your flth and um. They also
washed the bodies of their dead before burial. And since
the plague is spread heavily by like, um fucking fleas

and stuff like, this helps, right, it reduces the They
don't get it as much as Christians. Um. And they
also aren't attending these giant marches through the city. They're
not hanging around near around near the flag a Lens.
They're doing their own thing in their own neighborhoods, while
Christians and Christian parts of town are rubbing the blood
of whip building transients into their eyes. So it's not

hard to see why Jewish people don't get it quite
as much, and still a lot of them die of
the plague. Don't get me wrong, but they people notice
that Jewish communities aren't being hit by this as hard
as the Christian ones. Um, And rather than kind of recognized, oh,
maybe we should start bathing and stop hanging out with
these whip people, UM, Christians started engaging in a series
of unspeakably violent pogroms. And in fact, some scholars will

call this the first Holocaust. UM, and we will we
will never even have a vague idea of the total
death toll. But the individual massacres we know about, we're horrific. UM.
In one Valence Tine's Day in Strasburg, Germany, two thousand
Jewish people were burnt to death. UM. Three thousand Jews
were massacred in a couple of days in the ghetto
of Mainz. Um. Jews were massacred in Spain and France

and the Balkans and and basically everywhere but chunks of
Poland because the king of Poland the time had a
Jewish mistress and so he was he was chill. Yeah,
he was like he's like, hold up, wait a minute,
this is great for me, So yeah, don't worry about it.

I'm also just kind of I'm still thinking about the
bathing part where the Christians culturally were so much dirtier,
and they're like, look at them, the old clean people
who don't get sick. They must be involved in some
kind of dark shit or whatever. And then the idea

of yet what I don't know, like the complexion of
a person who has not bathed in however long you
naturally interact with a bathing situation, what that's like If
it's like a scratcher that you'd get at a liquor store,
like you'd reveal a whole other thing on. Yeah, you get,
you get holier. You know, the longer you go without bathing,

the more God loves you. Oh damn it. God's God's
God's into some kinky ship miles. Um, really He's really
into you know that, Like, um, you know, you know,
God's favorite pornography is actually old episodes of Peanuts and
that character Pig. But now this has gone too far,

this is god further than it ought to. Oh hell yeah, yeah,
where you going with that, buddy? You want to you
want to finish that there is you know, I didn't
want to lead this into like child porn territory. So
let's go back to anti Semitism. Um. So uh now
and trying to like parce out the Catholic Church is

guilt in this. The Catholic Church is guilty of a ton, an,
absolute assload of anti Semitism over the centuries, and they
definitely seeded communities around Europe with a lot of this
and reinforced it in their Catholic churches with like stained
glass reliefs of Jewish people killing Christian children that are
around to this day. There were even more of them
back then. So there's absolutely a significant level of guilt

that goes into the Catholic Church in terms of inculcating
these enough of these beliefs in people that they were
there when the plague hit and that had an impact
on the massacre. But when it comes to what they
actually did during the plague when Jewish people started getting murdered.
They didn't they didn't encourage this sort of ship quite
the opposite. In fact, Pope Clement the sixth released two

papal bowls during the plague, one in eight, and papal
bowls were kind of like the presidential tweets of the day,
like this is Pope Clement like getting up and and
hopping on the twitter um. The first of his papal
bowls condemned people who attacked Jews for spreading the plague
uh and in specifically stated that Christians who did this
had been seduced by that liar the devil. And in

his second papal bowl, Pope Clement said, it cannot be
true that the Jews, by such a heinous crime, are
the cause or occasion of the plague, because through many
parts of the world, the same plague, by the hidden
judgment of God, has afflicted and afflicts the Jews themselves
in many other races who have never lived alongside them,
which is actually like a really reasonable, like scientifically backed
reason for for not doing this, Like he's actually very

he handles this as well as you can expect, I guess,
like that's like that's like that meme where it shows
like level of thinking where it's just fucking light bursting
out of your skull. We're like, hold on, let's look around.
Everybody's getting it. Everybody's getting it. That's not fair. Cities
without any Jewish people are getting to like you can't

you clearly this can't be their fault. Hey, I want Hey,
I want to blame him as much as you guys do.
Trust me, I do. I'm the pope. I want to
It would be great if we could love blaming people.
Huge about blame. I mean, I would love to escapegoat,
but I'm just this one's tough. This I will say,

it's interesting that the initial response of the Pope in
Um was arguably based in sounder science than the first
responses of the President of the United States to r
o Play Like clements reasoning is more solid than what
Trump was dropping. So there you go. You're getting own.

You're getting owned from centuries and so Clement the sixth
I would say, response to this about as well as
you could have possibly hoped. But also a lot of
people ignore him, millions of people. And there's also obviously
there's individual Catholic priest, individual churches who don't follow it. Like,
but people in general follow some people aren't on Twitter

as Yeah, tens of thousands of Jews die horribly during
the plague from violence, you know, kind of a minimum um.
And the explanation you'll hear most often for why these
people were killed is that ignorant Christians assumed that the
Jews were poisoning them all as part of some sort
of like white genocide scheme. Um. And yeah, this is
this is something the Church does deserve some credit for

because they spread the rumor that Rabbi sacrificed Christian children
for centuries. But um, the it's more complicated than that,
even though, because more recent research into the eradication of
Jewish communities in Europe during the plague suggests that what
happened actually has fairly little to do with the actual
damage done by the plague. In other words, the places

where Jewish people weren't killed weren't necessary the places that
suffered most from the plague. It wasn't Oh, a bunch
of us died from the plague, and now we're angry
and we need a scapegold to be violent towards. It's
actually not that's that doesn't seem to be what really happened,
and I'm gonna quote now from a paper put out
by the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.
At an aggregate level, we found that scapegoating led to

an increase in the baseline probability of a persecution. However,
at the city level, locations which experienced higher plague mortality
rates were less likely to engage in persecutions. Furthermore, persecutions
were more likely in cities with a history of anti
semitism consistent with scapegoating, and less likely in cities where
Jews played an important economic role. This jokes with long

standing findings in the field of genocide studies. Essential what
you're seeing is that like the towns that people hated
Jews the most before the plague took the opportunity to
murder a bunch of Jewish people, the towns that suffered
the worst from the plague, if they didn't have as
much of a history from anti Semitism, they didn't find
themselves driven to suddenly start killing Jewish people. Um. It
was folks who just kind of took the opportunity. Um.

And one of the things that seemed to be most
protective of Jewish people during this time was the cities
in which they were kind of most economically integrated. And this,
um this brings us to a real fucking bummer in
the field of genocide studies. Uh and it, I'm gonna mean,
it almost seems like a given, Like yeah, I want

to tell you, like the really the coolest thing, the
most fun thing about genocide studies, Like that's I don't
know if that's ever sentence someone's going to say, so
thank you though for preparing me. I consider this one
of the least fun things about genocide studies, even though
it's kind of explaining why genocides don't happen in some places.
Um quote. According to the scapegoating theory, members of a

majority experiencing negative shocks settle on a specific target to
blame for their problems. Another potential mechanism determining the likelihood
of persecution focuses on the extent of economic complementarities, so
the ability to which their economically intermingled between the majority
and the minority. This thesis argues that patterns of economic
complementarity and substitute ability determine the ability of two groups
to coexist when the economic activities of the two groups

complement each other, shocks may lead the majority to protect
the minority because of its economic value. So that's a
bummer that, like what protected communities from. I mean, there's
two ways to view it. Either the soulas is like
oh no, like purely, when people think that they have
financial benefits from not murdering each other, they don't murder

each other. That's the bummer where it's like, oh god,
our only solution is more capitalism. The other way to
look at is just that like, no, when when two
different groups, when a minority group becomes intermingled with a
majority and they all become economically tied, they get to
know each other, they shop at each other's stores, and
they don't and they're like, oh no, I know these people,

they're part of my community. I'm not going to murder them.
And I see that they have there's we have value
that we offer each other and at all, it's not
just like who the funk are these people? Yeah, so
you can you can interpret this and in an optimistic
view of human nature or a pessimistic view of human nature,
and it kind of feeds equally well into either. You know,
I wonder if it would be something like, well, you know,

once there's robots, Um, we're just going to be that's
I mean, that's my solution. Like, I don't know, that
seems like that motive seems a little bit far off.
You know, for years now, Miles, every time we've hung out,
I've said, if there weren't robots, I'd be murdering you. Um.
And I never really thought about why I was saying that,

but yeah, it was super funny. And then now that
you said this, I'm starting anyway. Yeah, we can explore
that later. Um. So yeah, it's cool stuff. Um. Anyway,
there's a lot of the Black plague is a bomber um.
And and we're going to move on from the Black plague. Uh,

and the question of whether or not genocide is inevitable
or if it's only avoidable with economic complimentarity or whatever.
We're gonna We're gonna move on from that complicated topic
of discussions to talk about something fun. The Spanish flew
epidemic of nineteen eighteen. Are you a big span flu fan?
Are you a sea Yeah? Oh my God of the

flues so much about this whole thing. I love it
so much. Um. Yeah, if I'm you know. No. The
only thing I know is that I think Babe Ruth
got it twice. That sounds about that sounds like Babe Ruth,
And a lot of people would say, you know, Babe Ruth,
it's the Babe Ruth of flues. I think more modernly

people would say it's the Lebron James of flues. But
it's really this is like you're sucking. I'm just saying,
if Lebron was a flu, he would kill five to
fifty million human beings, much like is though, just as
like a personal thing. I feel very proud of you
for knowing he don't bring him into this dunking. Well look,

I'm just trying to make this to the audience. Lebron James,
I mean, how far? And like the Lakers, the Spanish
flu carried out a series of dunks all around the world.
Um that killed tens of millions of people, just like
the Lakers. Oh my god, now this is do you

do You have you heard much about like how the
name Spanish flu came about Miles. Isn't it like his
xenophobic label? No? Um, well it became one. Actually, it's
very this is a tremendous irony. Um So the Spanish Flu,
we don't know where it came from. Some people say
somewhere in Asia, some people say somewhere in eastern Europe.
There's actually a really good chance it started in Kansas.

And if you like, some people tracing it back to
think that it actually did start in Kansas. Um. Yeah,
And if the Spanish Flu originated from Kansas, then it's
probably the second deadliest thing to come out of that state,
right next to Kirstie Alley. Um. Yeah, it's yeah. I
was just talking about Kirsty recently. Yeah, I fifty million

human beings. Um. So the Moniker, the Spanish Flu came out.
The Spanish Flu started to break out in nineteen eighteen.
And what was happening in nineteen eighteen, we have this
this whole World War One thing. You might have heard
of it, Um it was kind of World Wars before
World Wars were cool, you know, yeah, before they got gentrified. Um,
before like Disney took over. Um So, the Spanish flew

this influenza hits and it starts killing people on the
Western Front is where a lot of early cases were,
and it spread heavily, but it actually killed more people
than the whole war that, but it starts spreading widely
among soldiers. But like all of the Western powers, had
clamped down on freedom of the press during the war,
so you couldn't report in England, or in France or
in Germany. You couldn't write stories about this new flu
that was spreading. You'd get fucking you wind up in

a fucking prison cell. Whereas Spain is a neutral power
and their press is relatively free during this time. So
Spanish newspapers start reporting on the influenza first, and so
people blame start assuming that it started in Spain. And
there absolutely is racism and persecution as a result of this.
But just because Spain didn't clamp down on the press,
super fucked up. Holy sh it, look at you had

to fucking open your big fucking mouth, and ye shouldn't
have had just Spain. It's good that they did, but
it is just part of one of the lessons of
histories that you should never do good things because everything's bad. No,
that's not the lesson of history, but it can feel
that way sometimes. Uh, don't lose hope. Let's talk about

the Spanish flu pandemic. So the influenza did start in Spain,
but it did kill a funk pile of Spaniards, like
it killed so many Spanish people miles. Um. I would
compare it to like Christie Alley um in its ability
to murder people in Spain. How many piles to a
Christie Alley is seven or eight? Um so And in
nowhere in Spain did the Spanish flu kill more people

than the town of Zamora, or kill at least a
higher percentage of people than the town of Zamora. Now,
Zamora was renowned as being one of the most devout
parts of Spain, which was a very devout country at
this time, you know. Uh. And Zamora was very particularly
famous for its Holy Week processions, which are kind of like,
you know, sort of like what we saw with the
Black plague. You know, it's the it's this thing that

the Church has always done. They would have these processions
of barefoot, hooded peditents um, like marching through town and
everybody sort of show up to watch them and worship together. Um,
which is I'm sure a very satisfying thing to do
if you're a Catholic believer, but also is a super
good way to spread the plague. Um. So that's that's
a big part of the culture in Zamora. UM. Now. So,

in nineteen fourteen, Zamora had welcomed the arrival of a
new bishop named Antonio Alvario I Blanno at thirty eight
years old. The church newspaper El Cario had declared Bologno
an eloquent, youthful, fire brand of a leader. So he's
like this hot young priest who comes into town. He's
very popular, very charismatic. Uh and he's you know, four

years into the gig when the play hits um and
So the Bishop of Zamoura had been seen as something
of like a wounder kin within church circles prior to
this point, which is why he got that job so young.
He'd been one of the best students in his seminary,
and at age twenty three he'd become the chair of
metaphysics at the seminary in Guadalajara. UM. So he was
a very well respected guy within the church. Um and Yeah.

The book Pale writer by Laura Spinning notes of the
bishop quote. In his inaugural letter to his new diocese,
Alvario Ebilangno wrote that men should actively seek God in truth,
which were the same thing, and expressed his surprise that
science seemed to advance and step with it a termination
to turn away from God. The light of reason was weak,
and modern society's mistake contempt for God's law for progress.

He wrote of dark forces that wish to reject God
or even annihilate him, if that were possible. So we're
not set up with this guy being a great dude
to handle the first plague that hits in an era
where people actually know about science and how disease spreads
in a real concerted way. Yeah, because because what he
is like, Oh, don't come at me with science, bro,

I'm a fucking man of God. Science is atheism receipts
and I don't need those in front of my face
right now. Yeah. And this is like, you know, Spanish
blue hits were like right on the cusp of antibiotics.
You know, we haven't really locked that ship down, but
like we're starting to understand how all this ship works.
And so there are experts who have good advice in
the Spanish flu and um, yeah, he's not going to

be the kind of guy who listens to experts. So
when the when the influenza hit the country that would
become its namesake. It starts at first in the east.
By September it had traveled into the interior of Spain.
That fall was a particularly good time for it to
spread in Spain because September is a harvest month, and
it's also the month when many Spanish cities would host
bull fights, which again I would say, I love fighting

bulls um during this time of the year. If you're
like me, try to do it alone. Don't fight bulls
with hundreds of other people in the center of the town.
It's it's gonna spread, you know, COVID nineteen A, right,
how many bulls have you thought? I don't know. It's
kind of hard to remember with all the head injuries,
but you know, yeah, so said. Fall was also kind
of the time of the year in which the army

would send new recruits to Zamora to conduct artillery drills,
and this is probably how the disease first gets gets
to the town, because some of these recruits were sick
by the time they hit Zamora, and many soon followed.
And at first the city government attempted to quarantine six
soldiers in their barracks, but this did not work, probably
do partly to the fact that soldiers infected people before

anyone knew that they were sick, and partly due to
the fact that you just you can't try stop soldiers
from fucking, you know, especially Spanish soldiers. They're just gonna
sunk their way through that town and they're pictures. Yeah,
the Legion, the Spanish legion. Oh my boy. There's a
whole fun discussion about the fact that those guys were

like the main arm of Spain's fascist dictator and colonial anyway,
we don't need to get into that, but yes, but
those vs are so deep. You can be fucking and
Spanish troops especially be fucking and I think they be
fucking they be spreading the influenza when I think you
can assume assume. However, the hotter the soldier, the more

evil they are. Yeah, the more plague they're gonna spread,
which is why my presidential campaign will rest upon only
hiring ugly people to be in the army. Were fantastic. Yeah,
we're gonna lock this ship down, no no more. You're
gonna have to brand that differently, so it's not like, yeah,

well actually landed on it. This is our way of
dealing with it, is just branding their faces. You know,
as I'm a anybody ugly with it, this probably not
that you should it should be a different name. Like,
it's not for ugly. It's an army of the normal,

you know, not for the hot. So that way, you know,
people don't have to admit to themselves they might not
be as beautiful. We don't We don't want to do branding,
but we do want to plug these brands because you
know what time it is speaking of burning people's faces
permanently to make them less aesthetically pleasing and reduce the
spread of fascistic, militaristic dogma. You know what else will

brand your faces in order to stop the spread of
negative attitudes towards the sectioness of violence. These products a
great we're back. So, yeah, these troops come into town,

they they intermingle with the civilian population. Everybody in fucking
Zamora starts to get sick, right yeah, And enough people
are sick within a couple of weeks that it actually
gets in the way of the town's ability to take
in the harvest, which of course means people start to starve.
It's not a good situation. And the whole problem was
exacerbated by the fact that people did not have kind
of an ideal handle on virology. Um, the the experts did,

but normal people were still not all that far off
from kind of where normal people were, you know, during
the bubonic plague right there. There's doctors get this stuff,
but like your average Joe doesn't. And I'm gonna quote
from the book Pale Writer again. During the first wave
of the pandemic, the country's Inspector General of Health, Martin Salazar,
had lamented the inability of a bureaucratic and underfunded health

system to prevent the disease from spreading. Though provincial health
committees took their lead from his directorate, they had no
powers of enforcement, and they quickly came up against what
he described as the terrible pignorance of the populace, the
failure to grasp, for example, that an infected person on
the move would transmit the disease. Oh yeah, ignorance, pignorance. Yeah,
we've never seen anything like that happen again, because we've

obviously moved forward so much in the last century, and
we can just laugh at these simple Spaniards for failure
to understand virology and isolate themselves. Oh my god, we
know everything. Now look at us. We're not letting history
fucking repeat itself over and goddamn over miles. I've been
quarantined in a bunker since the start of March, but

I can guarantee that one thing that would never happen
in America in the midst of a plague is people
gathering in mass and clubs and beaches, um, while huge
chunks of the country locked themselves down. That wouldn't happen
because we're not We're smarter than people were in nineteen eight,
and we haven't been systematically dismantling our education system to

create people who might not really give a funk about
things like us. I don't even know what systematically dismantling means,
and I'm just gonna roll along to my story now
sounds like it now. The popular liberal solution uh to
sort of like within kind of the intelligencia, the kind
of like more secular sort of people in like the

cities in Spain. Their solution to the plague was what
they called a sanitary dictatorship, a strict program of quarantine
imposed from the top down to stop the spread of
the illness on all costs, and dutifully the newspapers of
Zamora try to explain the benefits of this system to
the people. But first they had to explain very basic
facts about contagion to their readers, including the fact that

the disease did not develop spontaneously as a result of
God being angry at you. Um, and a lot of
Again this is nineteen eighteen. A lot of local doctors
weren't helpful in spreading the real news. And I'm gonna
quote again from pale writer one Luis Cebara suggested the
imprint that is ease with the result of a build
up of impurities in the blood due to sexual incontinence,

a variation in the medieval idea that a moderate lechery
could trigger a humoral imbalance. So this guy is like, no,
it's people fucking too much. That's what makes you. You
fucked too much. God gets angry at you, and God's
anger goes into your blood, as we all know. And
so the more God anger that builds up, it just
starts boiling out of you in the plague. And that's
how it works. What they tell you, what they tell you,

what that it's not God that's angry at who told
you that because you're coming, scientist, because you're coming, and
you know what, I bet that person doesn't come or
has never comed. It's such a fucking week. I'm saying
it right now. Dr Louis E. Barra never came, not once. Yeah.
I like that. That's the first myth like they have
to take down as like a like a press or

like just like the experts. All right, I know this
flu is going around. It's really gnarly, and the question
on everyone's mind is is it God? That's super We're
angry at us and that's what's happening, and we've got
to say, no, that's not what it is. And it
just feels like a very heavy thing to have to
lay on to people. Yeah, God's not pissed at you,

but you're still dying, and here's what we have to do. Yeah.
I guess there's probably is an extent to which a
lot of people found it more comfortable to believe that
just God was God was you know, kind of drunken
angry again, as opposed to like, oh no, actually, this
is just a thing that we're going to be dealing
with probably forever. Where sometimes horrible viruses creep up somewhere
in the world and kill people all over the planet.

And this is this is just the way it is,
and there is no reason to it. Uh yeah. So
the good news is that the actual government of Zamora
listened to the experts, the experts who weren't idiots at least,
and announced a ban on large gatherings until further notice. Now,
we in the USA are well familiar with how our

own country people reacted when this started to happen um,
and the same things occurred in Zamora, only instead of
drunk college kids on spa break, the culprit was the
Bishop of Zamora. And I'm gonna quote again from the
book Pale Writer. On thirty September, Bishop Alvario Eblano defied
the health authorities by ordering a novena evening prayers on

nine consecutive days in honor of St. Roco, the patron
Saint of Plague and Pestilence, because the evil that had
befallen Zamoranos was due to our sins and ingratitude, for
which the avenging arm of eternal justice has been brought
down upon us. On the first day of the novenna,
in the presence of the mayor and other notables. He
dispensed holy communion to a large crowd at the Church
of St. Esteban. At another church, the congregation was asked

to adore relics of St. Rocco, which meant lining up
to kiss them. So plague breaks out. Let's get everyone
into a small room, have them all dipped their hands
into the same water him them all kissed the same thing,
Like everybody, take a sip out this cup to kiss
that thing. Is It is weird that like we got

over like all of our most of our prescriptions against
like X and intoxication, all the stuff that the Catholic
Church would have said people shouldn't be doing. But the
same basic bad idea is the same. Like this group
of people who thinks fucking is horrible, in this group
of people who are all there to funk, are all
still gathering in a small area and touching their mouths
to the same things. Fundamentally, the problem is the same. Yeah, right, exactly,

But you're just you're doing the worst version of it,
that's the least fun version of what ye doing. At
least some of these dead people had a good party.
I don't know if I want to say that, but
it does sound. Yeah, I don't know. There's again, there's
no lesson here other than it's always a bad idea
to shove your mouth on the same things other people

are in a cramped room in the middle of a plague. Yeah.
At the very least is what are the what are
the scientists saying? What are experts saying things? And stay inside? Yeah?
No really, na, Na, So I fucked that. I'm going
to suck a bunch of ship party with a bunch
of my friends. Yeah. Well, I think I told Robert this.
But the the kid that was like a TikToker that

was going around looking to its ended up in the
hospital with coronavirus. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, I'm not gonna I'm
not going to spare a whole lot of my sympathy
for that kid. Yeah yeah, keep moving, keep moving the
same day as that, let's all kiss the same thing party. Uh.
Sister Docitia Andreas of the Servants of Mary and Nun

died while treating influenza riddle soldiers of the barracks because
you know, she got sick from them. The bishop called
her a virtuous and exemplary nun who accepted her martyrdom
by flu with grace and a plum um. He praised
her for sleeping only four hours a day during this period,
which I'm sure helped her immune system out a whole bunch. Now,
the mother, Yeah, she was so dedicated to hanging out

with blague victims and then she died from it. It's
a bummer, um. The mother superior of this nun's convent
was so taken by the sacrifices Sister Andreas had made
that she urged all of the people of Or to
turn out in large numbers for her funeral. And the
bishop immediately hopped onto this, and he announced that all
attendees of this nun's funeral would be given sixty days indulgence,

which means like sixty days of get out of Hell
free cards. Basically like sixty days that you like you
don't gotta pay the church and like go to the
go to the fucking priest or whatever to like you know,
you don't have to like get your sins forgiven for
sixty days because you've been you've been to this. So
he promises everyone who shows up at this funeral, and again,

a crowded and disease riddled uh cathedral that they'll all
get out of hell free for two months. And while
the newspapers of Zamora or are all trying to warn
people to stay home, they're also required because they're backed
by the church, to print the notices of church events.
So they're simultaneously telling people to stay home and being
like huge plague party at the cathedral on this day,

get out of hell for two straight months, you know.
So a whole bunch of Zamaranio show up to this
this this funeral, and the bishop calls the funeral in
the face of a state ban on gatherings. Quote one
of the most significant victories Catholicism has obtained. Maybe as

a stretch, Um, yeah, yeah, well, I don't know. They've
They're pretty they've They've had a lot of victories. We
can argue they were victories that were won by doing
horrible things. But they didn't get all those billions of
dollars in art from losing mm hmm. So as October began,

journalists started to write about the weird fact that Zamarano
seemed to be dying in much much higher numbers than
the residents of other cities. They blamed the problem on
poor local hygiene, and later that month the sanitary dictatorship
they sought was finally put in place. People were fined
for throwing trash into the streets, Businesses were closed for
failing to pass inspection, citizens were ticketed for letting their
chickens roam free. But the Bishop of Zamora continued to

hold man and Zamoranos crowded into the church in greater
numbers than ever before. In fact, as the flu claimed
more and more of their lives, the bishop repeated the
prayer pro tempore pestilential over and over again, and this
prayer basically states the disease happens by the will of
God and only God's mercy can end it, and so
is huge peep numbers of the people who chanted this

prayer started to sicken and die. The priests starts circulating
a letter and which he claims that the continuing deaths
are proof that science can't cure the illness. So he's
telling people to do the opposite of what the science says,
telling them only God can pick who gets sick. A
bunch of these people ignore the advice of scientists and
get sick and die, and the bishop puts out a

letter being like, see, the scientists are fullest shit, he writes, quote,
observing in their troubles that there is no protection or
relief to be found on the earth. The people distance themselves,
disenchanted and turn their eyes towards Heaven. And of course, Heaven,
as represented by the bishop, is telling them all to
get into crowded uh spaces together and kiss the same thing. Yeah,

he's yeah, you see what happened to those fucking idiots.
That's right. Let's keep the party going, baby. Yeah. So
four days after sending out this letter, on October, the
bishop held a mass procession, bringing in worshippers from all
around the countryside and cramming the cathedral fuller of people
than it had been in years. Law enforcement attempted to
stop this, pointing out that it was a clear violation
of the ban on mass gatherings, and the bishop accused

them of unjustly interfering in church business. The mass went
on as scheduled, and in the days that followed, even
more people sickened. And I'm gonna quote again from pale writer.
As in other towns and villages, the decision was taken
to stop bringing the church bells and eulogy of the
dead in case the constant tolling frightened people. But in
other places funeral processions had also been banned, not in Zamora,

where mourners continued to pass through the narrow streets as
the din of the bells gave way to silence. Even
in normal times, coffins, white ones for children were a
luxury beyond the means of most. Now, Wood for coffins
was hard for anyone to come by, and the bloated,
blackened remains of the deceased were transported to their final
resting place, draped own in a shroud. In an echo
of the ritual burning of incense to purify the altar,
gunpowder was sprinkled in the streets and set a light,

and approaching funeral cortage could thus be perceived only dimly
through the choking black smoke, mixed at times with the
fog that rose from the Duero. In those cool autumn days,
the town must have looked as if it were on fire.
When historian noted, h, yeah, it would have looked like
the end of the fucking world, or like New York
Now maybe um so, just even like yeah. The inability

to like Bury, they're dead properly. Is just makes it
such a fucking stark picture. It's pretty cool that in
the space of a month our president has gone from
where we got fifteen cases and soon they'll be zero
to now the government is having to buy a hundred
thousand extra bodybags from Canada. Pretty cool evolution for all

this to take. Like, yeah, I mean I think like
maybe okay, I said a hundred thousand, maybe a little more. Uh,
And I don't know who I'm gonna blame, but I'm
just gonna completely play a casual. It's really yeah. From
it's fine too, we're out of corpse bags, okay. Yeah.
So the town of Zamora had one of the highest

death rates in Spain, losing more than ten percent of
its population in the month of October alone. Um so
that's a bad October. Um. Now, this was nearly three
times the overall death rate in Spain at the time.
The Catholic Church and Zamora, working with for the Bishop,
declared to this frightful toll to be God's vengeance. Quote,
the evil upon us might be a consequence of our

sins and lack of gratitude, and therefore the vengeance of
eternal justice felt upon us. When the plague finally left
Zamora much depleted, the bishop cheered that he and his
fellow faithful had saved the town by placating God's legitimate anger.
And the Bishop of Zamora probably counts as one of
the most deliberately and fatally irresponsible religious leaders of the
entire Spanish flu epidemic. And of course he suffered no

consequences as a result of this. Uh he did fine,
So that's good. Wow, that's a good all that ship
And then yeah, he did find it to the end
of the movie. He made it to the end of
the movie. And he was far from alone in In fact,
I found a Pathos article that included just a bunch
of digitized newspaper assets. Uh. And they kind of like

trace different American Christian leaders who were just as hell
bent upon leading their followers into disasters. This is not
just a Catholic thing. Uh. In Buffalo, New York quote,
while local churches remained and closed in accordance with the
mayor's proclamation, several congregations, however, have arranged to conduct outdoor
services tomorrow. The Courier listed several open air masses in St. Paul's.
The Episcopal Cathedral planned to worship in Shelton Square with

the assistance of its full choir. The service will largely
consist of the singing of patriotic hymns and General Pershing's
message to the Churches of America will be read on Sunday,
October thirteenth, nineteen eighteen. UH Dr W. S. Black, rector
of the Episcopal Church, wrote that he was angry to
walk through town and find the pool room in full
blast with an ample supply of patrons. So he goes

through and he sees that like pools and bars are still,
and so he was like, well, why should I keep
my fucking church closed if other businesses are opened? Uh
He states, I believe in obeying the law of constituted authorities,
but I'm under pledged to the boys over there that
customary times of service, certain prayers must be said. So
he reopens his church in the middle of the plague,
and people start attending church again. In Indianapolis, Indiana, Tin

Black Apostolic Christians were arrested for attempting to worship despite
the fact that the Board of Health had told them
not to quote from their local newspaper. When the seven
women and three men were taken to police headquarters, they
began talking in the unknown tongue, and it was some
time before the turnkey and matron were able to learn
their names. So this sort of stuff happens all over
the world as a result of the plague um and

science being what it was back then. It's impossible to
say kind of how many of the dead and the
Spanish flew epidemic could trace their illness from an infection
they got in a church service that occurred after like
things got closed down. We just weren't keeping good enough
track to do that. But thankfully, Miles, we have the
coronavirus pandemic of to give us kind of a fun
modern example for how virulent a single church service could be.

So that's that's gonna be fun. You would do that, Miles.
You wanna talk about that? Oh, you got the numbers,
sure deal, buddy. On February sixty South Korea had thirty
known cases of novel coronavirus. Almost all of the people
infected had caught it from family or friends. On February eight,
only thirty nine people had tested positive. One of them

was a sixty one year old woman known as Patient
thirty one. She came down ill and decided to go
attend her church anyway, and her church was the shin
Honi Church of Jesus in Daigu. Two days after this,
on February hundred and four, South Koreans had the coronavirus.
Fifteen of these confirmed cases were members of or were
directly connected to the shin Shony church in some way.

This woman attends the service while sick and knowing she's sick.
Two days later, there's fifteen cases connected to that church. Now,
by March twenty, a month or so later, South Korea
had more than nine thousand confirmed cases, and the shin
Shony Rich Cluster was responsible for five thousand and eighty
of them, making up more than half of the total

cases in South Korea. All because of a single worshiper
who had to get the Bible study when she was ill.
Oh yeah, so that's yeah, okay, yeah, it's it's cool,
and I don't know, it's it's the Yeah. The irony
of it all too is like, you know, people will

use religion as a thing that they're like in their mind,
they may think, I actually, if if I go to church,
I may feel better or something like that, but not
actually being totally aware or considerate or whatever the reason
is of like what the risk is to other people
and even yourself from just going out there. It's cruel, Yeah,

and it it has a lot to do with the
nature of the specific church, but also a lot of
churches do kind of the same things as church does,
So I'm gonna get into that in a second. I
do want to note right now, since we started by
talking about the Catholic Church, it took them too plagues,
but I think they kind of got it right this time. Right.
The Pope was pretty early on like we're fucking no,
no, no no, no, none of this ship like state of funk.

Hod this God understands like like we don't gotta be
all dipping the same Like no, um yeah, He's like,
because I got if we were, if we get rid
of all the good ones, now, I don't know what
the funk we're going to be left with. So the
Catholic Church at least broadly got there. So the third
plague is a charm, is what I'm saying. Mm hmm, yeah,

we really makes sense. Like American Christian churches only have
one other plague, Like the next plague that comes around,
we'll get it, right, I think, yeah, if we follow,
we'll see, We'll see. I'm really very excited for the
next plague, Miles, you know, I mean a lot. I
think that's really what we're gonna learn. He's like, all right,
fourth plagues the charm. I think I'm hoping third plague

is the charm. But we'll see, they'll keep you in
more plagues, so we'll you'll be like, oh, look, there's
the only thing to learn from this is third plagues
the charm. Yeah, that's what it takes, is three. So
I do want to talk about some peculiarities of the
Shinshone Church of Jesus that explained why five they got
five thousand people are more sick um. Yeah, so the

Washington Post notes, quote, Unlike other churches, Shinshony makes its
members sit on the floor tightly together during services and
neat military like ranks and file, says Lee hoo Yahn,
who left the church in two thousand and fifteen. We
were not supposed to have anything on our faces like
glasses or masks. We were traded to sing our hymns
loudly and of course, in Korea, as in a lot
of parts of Asia, wearing kind of face mask is

a lot more common. Um. You know, it's just like
a thing people did more often in regular daily life. Uh.
And the church had a specific prescription against that because
they wanted to bring people together, which also in a
time of illness, gets them sick together. Um. That doesn't
even make I mean, because in Asian culture, when you
wear it, you notes to be considerate of other people.

It's not because like I'm this because it's like wearing
a hood, but you're also Christianity in particular in a
lot of parts like in Korea, also, it has like
this kind of very powerfully um anti not I mean
anti authoritarian might be the wrong word, but like anti
um countercultural thing, right, because Christianity is not as common
in that part of the world. And I think this
it's from what I'm reading this, it seems like that's

a part of this is that they're they're like because
they're like, yeah, that's what they would do. Yeah, we're
trying to be connected and see each other's faces. Yeah,
and miss Lee this this former member UM, who was
interviewed by The Post, stated we were taught not to
be afraid of illness. We were taught not to care
about such worldly things like jobs, ambition, or passion. Everything
was focused on proselytizing, even when we were sick. So

if you're sick and you're proselytizing, obviously you're going to
spread it more. So that's and that's how a lot
that's why half of the cases in Korea, you know
a month later, are from this church clusters, because a
lot of these people are going up ministering to people
while they're contagious. Um. And yeah, it's it's it's bummer. Um. Now,

it's also not unique to South Korea. UM. I think
at this point we all remember that Louisiana pastor who
defied the governor's order to not hold gatherings larger than
fifty people and like repeatedly held gatherings, Pastor Tony spell Um.
And he actually made the same justification. One of those
guys from nineteen eighteen made uh. He stated, he told CNN,
if we close every door in the city, then I

will close my doors. But you can't say the retailers
are essential, but the church is not. That is a
persecution of the faith. Um. So that's a hundred two
years later you got the same basic line of reasoning.
Spell also believes that the pandemic is like politically motivated. Uh.
There's another evangelical pastor, Rodney Howard Brown of Florida's Tampa
Bay Church, who called people pansies for being scared of

the coronavirus. In yeah, he said his church would only
close its doors when the rapture is taking place. Um, yeah,
continuing to bust people in. I think this is the
guy who got arrested. Later, there's at least one church
you like, and it was like a kind of a
show arrest, like he got he was in an out
a little bit. I don't think it's gonna do anything
to him. Um. But the scariest thing to me. So

you can find many, many stories, And if I had
a little more time, I probably would have collected a
longer list of different shitty individual churches and the things
they've said. But we're all familiar with a lot of
religious leaders have said horrible, stupid things about it. You
can't get it if you pray or you know, my
church isn't gonna Jesus will protect you. All these things
that will lead people to take risks, or they'll just

be like, you know what, I'm gonna command God right
now to knock this off right now, Okay, but I
need about sixty tho more dollars to come in, and
then I'll fucking I'm gonna tell God. I'm telling you,
I'm gonna tell him. I'm gonna say, fucking hey, God,
quit it. You want that safe. This is all a problem, obviously,

Each of these churches, these pastors, these people are are
problems that we all have to deal with as we
confront this virus. But I don't think that's not what
scares me the most. Um. What scares me the most
is what I read in a March fifteenth Washington Post article.
Without guidance from the top, Americans have been left to
figure out their own coronavirus solutions. It includes interviews with
a number of pastors. I want to quote from that
now because I find this terrifying in a totally different way.

In Arkansas, the Reverend Josh King met with pastors of
five other churches on Thursday to decide whether or not
to continue holding service. The religious beliefs told them that
meeting in person to worship each Sunday remained an essential
part of their faith, and some of their members signed
on to Trump's claim that the media and the Democrats
were overblowing the danger posed by the virus. One pastor
said half of his church is ready to lick the
floor to prove there's no actual virus, said King and King,

I think it seems like at least he understands that
it's a serious threat and real, and he took some
actions like to try to to to reduce, you know,
the likelihood that dis congregation would get it. But he's
posted pointon like I don't know how to deal with this,
the fact that a huge and over my pastors, like yeah,
you're willing to like lick the fucking floor to prove
that there's no virus. That scares me more than even
the pastors pushing this stuff, Like how widespread this information

is and how centralized it is. You know, I don't
know if it's also like just feel like I can
grow out so hard that I won't get sick, Like, dude,
yeah you want to fucking see, Dude, how much I
believe bro, I'll lick this fucking floor. Dude, this coronavirus
shit so Miles, that's the episode that I've got for

you today. Oh boy, how are you feeling? Oh? I'm
just just glad that I was raised in the house
that respects science. Yeah. I was raised in a house
that I thought respected science, uh until recently, until recently.

But you know that's a lesson for another time. Yeah,
sorry to hear that. Um yep, so Miles, you want
to plug anything, Yeah, I want to plug Daily Zeitgeist
stand Fiance, which is that show I do with Sophia

Alexandra who you've had on numerous times. We get high
and watch Fiance. So if you want to escape and
watch trash TV with us and be faded, come through. Yes,
so do that. Um go, uh, find people who are
bleeding and touch their blood to your eyes. Oh no, no,

that's a bad thing. Sorry, I mixed up my my
post it notes here. I'm so sorry. Not that. Um,
stay in your houses and listen to podcasts exactly. Yeah.
Um like our podcast, this podcast, which you can find
wherever you found this episode of it. Just keep doing
what you're doing. It's perfect. Um. That's the episode. Bye,

bye bye.

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