left biblioblography: Allegories Gone Wild -Till Death Do Us Part...And Beyond...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Allegories Gone Wild -Till Death Do Us Part...And Beyond...


Cross posted at God is for Suckers!

More proof that superstition (especially that of the alleged 'afterlife') is hazardous to life and limb.

From the Scotsman:

'Ghost bride' returns to haunt Chinese trio

CHINESE police have arrested three men for killing two young women and selling their corpses as "ghost brides" for dead, single men.

The women were victims of a belief dating back to before the Han dynasty in the highlands of western China that young men and women who die unmarried should go to their graves accompanied by a recently deceased partner to be their spouse in the afterlife.

Yang Donghai, 35, a peasant of Shaanxi province, confessed to killing a woman bought from a poor family for 12,000 yuan (£785) last year, China's Legal Daily reported yesterday. Yang said he was "tricked" into buying the girl, who was mentally handicapped and unable to care for herself.

Realising she was not marriage material for himself, Yang hatched a plan to recover his losses with Liu Shengha, who reportedly told Yang: "Who wants a living person? A dead woman's body still gets a great price in Shanxi."

The two men went to Shanxi to find a buyer, making contact with Li Longsheng, an undertaker whom police said was known for buying and selling dead women for "ghost weddings". Yang and Liu poisoned and then strangled the girl, selling her to Li for 16,000 yuan.

Emboldened by their success, Yang and two accomplices lured a prostitute to an abandoned courtyard where they strangled her and sold her to Li for 8,000 yuan. "I did it for the money; it was a quick buck," Yang said, according to the paper. "I planned to do a few more."

Zhang Zhangyan, the Yan Chuan county police officer, said: "It's a good thing we broke this case when we did, otherwise who knows how many women would have been murdered? These guys found a get-rich-quick scheme."

People on mainland China and Taiwan, and Chinese people throughout Asia, still carry out "ghost marriages".

According to superstition, the unmarried dead will often haunt the living in dreams and can ruin the prosperity of future generations unless their ghosts are wed.

When the Communist Party took control of mainland China in 1949, it sought to eliminate "feudal customs" such as foot-binding and arranged marriages that relegated women.

However, despite decades of rapid political and economic change, many old superstitions persist. And in China - where no method for getting rich is beyond the pale, from the organ trade to mass production of fake medicines - cases such as these may not be rare.

Police in Yanan, the poor and dusty corner of Shaanxi where Chairman Mao Zedong nurtured his Communist revolution, believe there may be many more ghost brides acquired by murder.

Tai Jianlin, the journalist who interviewed Yang, believes this case reveals a dangerous gap between the rich and modernising cities and the poor and often backward countryside.

This is just so incredibly wrong on so many levels, it boggles the mind. For one, it relegates women to property, whether alive or dead. For another, superstition enables the greedy to prey upon the ignorant. For yet another, it allows greed to overcome anything resembling a modicum of decency.

The Asia Times reports, from the same story:

An investigation by Southern Weekly uncovered similar cases of women murdered to be sold as brides in marriages in the afterlife in the provinces of Shanxi and neighboring Shaanxi.

Some have speculated that the murders have been prompted by the mounting death toll in China's mining industry, which has pushed up demand for ghost wives for casualties. In many of the interior provinces where coal is produced in small and unsafe mines, deadly accidents have been happening weekly. China's official tally of coal miners' deaths for 2006 stood at 4,746, or an average of 13 each day.

With so many male miners dying prematurely, there is a booming market for ghost wives, one middleman told Xinjingbao. "If the groom has died in a coal-mine accident, my commission for finding a bride is higher," the man, identified as Wang Zengxi, told the paper.

Coupled with the madness of killing girl children, China will soon be a sausage fest, and the population will drop rapidly.

I call this spiritual necrophilia, which, in truth, extends to the morbid fascinations that enable folks to not only have physical relations with the deceased, but allow them to baptise the dead, mutilate the dead, and yes, even murder innocent bystanders in the name of death.

Each time I read some grotesque new spin on an old scam, the words of Dorothy Parker spring to mind: "What fresh hell is this?"

('Hell', by the way, is another word I refuse to surrender to the theist.)

The sooner we are free of this madness, the better off all of humanity will be.

Because life is too short, and there is no hereafter. Best then, not to run smiling into the arms of mortality.

This is the Apostate, signing off.

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Aaron Kinney said...

Hey KA!

The blog thingy is fixed, thanks :)

Krystalline Apostate said...

Hey, de nada, mi amigo.

Stardust said...

Like I said at GIFS...talk about dead-end marriages! (drum roll)