History Main / WitchHunt

28th Apr '17 12:17:26 PM AnotherDuck
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* The Landlord Purges during the rise of Maoist China.

to:

* %%* The Landlord Purges during the rise of Maoist China.
28th Apr '17 8:46:37 AM Madrugada
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* In one part of Africa, even after a "witch" is "cured", they're sent to live off in another village forever, away from their friends and family. One woman who was sent away was [[{{Tearjerker}} permitted to bring only one of her three young children to the village]].
* In present-day UsefulNotes/SaudiArabia, the religious police investigate people for, among other things, practicing "witchcraft and sorcery". If found guilty, your punishment is death by beheading.
* Modern first-world example: the "Satanic Panic," which took place from the 1970's to the 1990's in the US and UK. Thanks to people like Mike Warnke publishing books like ''The Satan Seller'' (later discredited), people became convinced that massive numbers of Satanists were engaged in all sorts of nefarious activities, including but not limited to underground child pornography rings (using children left at daycare centers), sacrificing people, putting subliminal messages in everything to corrupt the youth, and trying to take over the world. People were convicted with the flimsiest of evidence, and many of them are still in prison today.

to:

* In one part of Africa, even after a "witch" is "cured", they're sent to live off in another village forever, away from their friends and family. One woman who was sent away was [[{{Tearjerker}} permitted to bring only one of her three young children to the village]].
* In present-day UsefulNotes/SaudiArabia, the religious police investigate people for, among other things, practicing "witchcraft and sorcery". If found guilty, your punishment is death by beheading.
* Modern first-world example: the
The "Satanic Panic," which took place from the 1970's to the 1990's in the US and UK. Thanks to people like Mike Warnke publishing books like ''The Satan Seller'' (later discredited), people became convinced that massive numbers of Satanists were engaged in all sorts of nefarious activities, including but not limited to underground child pornography rings (using children left at daycare centers), sacrificing people, putting subliminal messages in everything to corrupt the youth, and trying to take over the world. People were convicted with the flimsiest of evidence, and many of them are still in prison today.



* TheFifties-era RedScare, spearheaded by Senator UsefulNotes/JosephMcCarthy, ruined the lives of genuine political communists and the falsely-accused alike (overwhelmingly the latter). Today in America, "[=McCarthyism=]" is synonymous with political fear-mongering.
** Most of the "official" witch hunt (as opposed to the "unofficial" one conducted amongst the media, symbolized by the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_blacklist Hollywood Blacklist]]) was carried out by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), which was originally designed to root out Nazis, but switched tack after WWII to go after suspected Communists. Although its most infamous period was from 1947-1954, HUAC existed in some form for 37 years (1938-75). Incidentally, Joe [=McCarthy=] himself, being a Senator, was never a member of HUAC. Instead he was with the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, a similar body.
*** To this day, immigrants to the United States wishing to acquire citizenship must swear under oath that they are not and have never been a Communist (and yes, you ''will'' be deported if they find out you lied; this also applies to anyone who worked for the Nazis).
** Interestingly, this was such a Witch Hunt that the aforementioned play ''Theatre/TheCrucible'' was written in response to and as an allegory of [=McCarthyism=]. Arthur Miller himself would be thrown in prison for refusing to cooperate with HUAC.
* While Senator [=McCarthy=] is definitely a central figure in the Red Scare, he didn't ''start'' it. The Soviets were the ''allies'' of the US in WWII, but that doesn't mean they were ''friends''. In the early 1940s Robert Oppenheimer (inadvertently) started a witch hunt among the employees of the Manhattan Project by telling his higher-ups that a scientist on the project had been approached by a Soviet agent for information. [[spoiler: One had, sort of: Oppenheimer himself. Oppenheimer, who had technically been a "communist" in college, didn't want to jeopardize his position, and his fumbling attempts to cover up who exactly had been approached, and by whom, led investigators to conclude the problem was much more serious and pervasive than it actually was. In the end one of Oppenheimer's close friends lost his (non-Manhattan Project) job over it and found himself unemployable in the US for years, because he had happened to mention that an acquaintance had asked him to speak with Oppenheimer about an "informal" information transfer to the Soviets (this was immediately rebuffed, and no more was said about it, but Oppenheimer was eventually pressured into revealing the conversation).]]
* Similarly, in the First Red Scare of 1919-20, many anarchists and other radicals were deported from the US after a series of anarchist bombings against government officials. Even prior to this during World War Two activists and other people who opposed the war or the draft were thrown in prison on various charges that would never pass constitutional muster today.

to:

* TheFifties-era RedScare, spearheaded by Senator UsefulNotes/JosephMcCarthy, and the House Un-American Activities Committee ([=HUAC=]) ruined the lives of genuine political communists and the falsely-accused alike (overwhelmingly the latter). Today in America, "[=McCarthyism=]" is synonymous with political fear-mongering.
** Most of the "official" witch hunt (as opposed to the "unofficial" one conducted amongst the media, symbolized by the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_blacklist * The Hollywood Blacklist]]) was carried out by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), Blacklist which was originally designed to root grew out Nazis, but switched tack after WWII to go after suspected Communists. Although its most infamous period was from 1947-1954, HUAC existed in some form for 37 years (1938-75). Incidentally, Joe [=McCarthy=] himself, being a Senator, was never a member of HUAC. Instead he was with [=McCarthyism=] and destroyed the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, a similar body.
*** To this day, immigrants to
careers of numerous actors, writers, and other creators, not all of them in Hollywood, despite the United States wishing to acquire citizenship must swear under oath that they are not and have never been a Communist (and yes, you ''will'' be deported if they find out you lied; this also applies to anyone who worked for the Nazis).
** Interestingly, this was such a Witch Hunt that the aforementioned play ''Theatre/TheCrucible'' was written in response to and as an allegory of [=McCarthyism=]. Arthur Miller himself would be thrown in prison for refusing to cooperate with HUAC.
name.
* While Senator [=McCarthy=] is definitely a central figure in the Red Scare, he didn't ''start'' it. The Soviets were the ''allies'' of the US in WWII, but that doesn't mean they were ''friends''. In the early 1940s Robert Oppenheimer (inadvertently) started a witch hunt among the employees of the Manhattan Project by telling his higher-ups that a scientist on the project had been approached by a Soviet agent for information. [[spoiler: One had, sort of: Oppenheimer himself. Oppenheimer, who had technically been a "communist" in college, didn't want to jeopardize his position, and his fumbling attempts to cover up who exactly had been approached, and by whom, led investigators to conclude the problem was much more serious and pervasive than it actually was. In the end one of Oppenheimer's close friends lost his (non-Manhattan Project) job over it and found himself unemployable in the US for years, because he had happened to mention that an acquaintance had asked him to speak with Oppenheimer about an "informal" information transfer to the Soviets (this was immediately rebuffed, and no more was said about it, but Oppenheimer was eventually pressured into revealing the conversation).]]
* Similarly, in
the First Red Scare of 1919-20, many anarchists and other radicals were deported from the US after a series of anarchist bombings against government officials. Even prior to this during World War Two activists and other people who opposed the war or the draft were thrown in prison on various charges that would never pass constitutional muster today.officials.



* The fear that you could be reported-often falsely-for subversive behavior by ''anyone'', including your fellow workers, and sent off to a work camp or killed was one of the keys to Stalin's power in the Soviet Union.
** Even by ''your own children'' in some cases. Kids were encouraged by the Stalinist government to report subversive behavior within their own homes, adding another layer of fear. Several past totalitarian governments have used this.
%%*** Michelle Obama has also done something similar, telling kids to spy on their parents and grandparents to see if they were racist.%%
* The Fugitive Slave Act of [[UsefulNotes/AntebellumAmerica the pre-Civil War period]] had Southern slavers be able to come into the North and reclaim slaves that had fled there. However, since there were plenty of free black people and not very many people cared about blacks that much, the slavers could just point a finger at a free black that had lived in the north all his life and say "That's him." It's no wonder that many Northern states passed laws greatly restricting the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act whenever and wherever they could, with some juries openly refusing to find people guilty of violating it-something that pissed off Southerners to no end. Many Southern states cited the North's collective refusal to enforce the Act in [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar their declarations of secession]], something at least a little ironic considering the South's supposed dedication to States Rights.
* It used to be said that the Gestapo had a spy on every corner looking for anyone who might be a threat to the Reich. Actually, the civilians would use the Gestapo to settle old scores.
** This was seen during the occupation of Paris. French citizens used the Gestapo to eliminate rivals. Some people were released with a warning after interrogation, others were sent to prison camps. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Paris#Second_World_War See here.]]
* A modern one is the outgrowth of the PaedoHunt obsession, especially in the United States. Anyone even accused will be instantly convicted in public opinion and their life ruined forever, even if they are completely exonerated or never actually charged with anything. In many parts of America it's risky for a man to appear in public with his daughter, much less exchange words with a child not his own.
* The tabloid press in Britain are particularly bad at cooking up things like this (and by "bad", that's "very good at doing a bad thing"). The high profile given to the Amanda Knox case which turned it into a "media circus" and mostly defined the public's opinion by which side of the Atlantic they were on (and spawned numerous hate sites) is an example of this.

to:

* The fear that you could be reported-often falsely-for subversive behavior by ''anyone'', including your fellow workers, and sent off to a work camp or killed was one of the keys to Stalin's power in the Soviet Union.
** Even by ''your own children'' in some cases. Kids were encouraged by the Stalinist government to report subversive behavior within their own homes, adding another layer of fear. Several past totalitarian governments have used this.
%%*** Michelle Obama has also done something similar, telling kids to spy on their parents and grandparents to see if they were racist.%%
* The Fugitive Slave Act of [[UsefulNotes/AntebellumAmerica the pre-Civil War period]] had Southern slavers be able to come into the North and reclaim slaves that had fled there. However, since there were plenty of free black people and not very many people cared about blacks that much, the slavers could just point a finger at a free black that had lived in the north all his life and say "That's him." It's no wonder that many Northern states passed laws greatly restricting the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act whenever and wherever they could, with some juries openly refusing to find people guilty of violating it-something that pissed off Southerners to no end. Many Southern states cited the North's collective refusal to enforce the Act in [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar their declarations of secession]], something at least a little ironic considering the South's supposed dedication to States Rights.
* It used to be said that the Gestapo had a spy on every corner looking for anyone who might be a threat to the Reich. Actually, the civilians would use the Gestapo to settle old scores.
** This was seen during the occupation of Paris. French citizens used the Gestapo to eliminate rivals. Some people were released with a warning after interrogation, others were sent to prison camps. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Paris#Second_World_War See here.]]
* A modern one is the outgrowth of the PaedoHunt obsession, especially in the United States. Anyone even accused will be instantly convicted in public opinion and their life ruined forever, even if they are completely exonerated or never actually charged with anything. In many parts of America it's risky for a man to appear in public with his daughter, much less exchange words with a child not his own.\n* The tabloid press in Britain are particularly bad at cooking up things like this (and by "bad", that's "very good at doing a bad thing"). The high profile given to the Amanda Knox case which turned it into a "media circus" and mostly defined the public's opinion by which side of the Atlantic they were on (and spawned numerous hate sites) is an example of this.
28th Apr '17 8:25:30 AM AnotherDuck
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* There are a good number of examples of TruthInTelevision, and not just witches. It's worth noting that often the thing that turned an ordinary investigation into a full-fledged witch hunt was... politics!



* The Spanish Inquisition, which sought to root out heresy, witchcraft, and people falsely claiming to be Christian.
** Because the Spanish Inquisition had [[FairForItsDay insisted that ordinary standards of evidence applied in witchcraft cases]], they didn't have witch hunts like France or Germany did. The sole witch hunt was the Basque witch trials, which was more limited than most, with some judges expressing open skepticism of the charges. In the end, although some ''5,000'' were accused of witchcraft, only 15 were actually convicted and burned. The Spanish Inquisition therefore abandoned its prosecutions of witchcraft a century before Protestant governments.

to:

* The Spanish Inquisition, which sought to root out heresy, witchcraft, and people falsely claiming to be Christian.
**
Because the Spanish Inquisition had [[FairForItsDay insisted that ordinary standards of evidence applied in witchcraft cases]], they didn't have witch hunts like France or Germany did. The sole witch hunt was the Basque witch trials, which was more limited than most, with some judges expressing open skepticism of the charges. In the end, although some ''5,000'' were accused of witchcraft, only 15 were actually convicted and burned. The Spanish Inquisition therefore abandoned its prosecutions of witchcraft a century before Protestant governments.



* Even today, literal witch hunts still sometimes happen in the third world. In one part of Africa, even after a "witch" is "cured", they're sent to live off in another village forever, away from their friends and family. One woman who was sent away was [[{{Tearjerker}} permitted to bring only one of her three young children to the village]].
** In present-day UsefulNotes/SaudiArabia, the religious police investigate people for, among other things, practicing "witchcraft and sorcery". If found guilty, your punishment is death by beheading.

to:

* Even today, literal witch hunts still sometimes happen in the third world. In one part of Africa, even after a "witch" is "cured", they're sent to live off in another village forever, away from their friends and family. One woman who was sent away was [[{{Tearjerker}} permitted to bring only one of her three young children to the village]].
** * In present-day UsefulNotes/SaudiArabia, the religious police investigate people for, among other things, practicing "witchcraft and sorcery". If found guilty, your punishment is death by beheading.
25th Mar '17 7:39:18 AM erforce
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* ''Film/WitchfinderGeneral'', with VincentPrice as Matthew Hopkins, who abuses his position as the title character to force sexual favors from women, and get rid of anyone he doesn't like under the guise of hunting witches.

to:

* ''Film/WitchfinderGeneral'', with VincentPrice Creator/VincentPrice as Matthew Hopkins, who abuses his position as the title character to force sexual favors from women, and get rid of anyone he doesn't like under the guise of hunting witches.
24th Mar '17 5:51:53 PM Dravencour
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* ''Film/WitchfinderGeneral'', with VincentPrice as Matthew Hopkins, who abuses his position to force sexual favors from women, and get rid of anyone he doesn't like under the guise of hunting witches.

to:

* ''Film/WitchfinderGeneral'', with VincentPrice as Matthew Hopkins, who abuses his position as the title character to force sexual favors from women, and get rid of anyone he doesn't like under the guise of hunting witches.
14th Feb '17 7:29:03 PM Anddrix
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Added DiffLines:

* A literal one occurs in the ''Series/EmeraldCity'' episode [[Recap/EmeraldCityS1E7TheyCameFirst "They Came First"]], as the Wizard orders his Guard to round up every little girl in Emerald City in order to root out any witches among them.
10th Feb '17 9:12:40 PM Fireblood
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** Most of the "official" witch hunt (as opposed to the "unofficial" one conducted amongst the media, symbolized by the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_blacklist Hollywood Blacklist]]) was carried out by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), which was originally designed to root out Nazis, but switched tack after WWII to go after suspected Communists. Although its most infamous period was from 1947-1954, HUAC existed in some form for 37 years (1938-75). Incidentally, Joe [=McCarthy=] himself, being a Senator, was never a member of HUAC.
*** To this day, immigrants to the United States wishing to acquire citizenship must swear under oath that they are not and have never been a Communist. (and yes, you ''will'' be deported if they find out you lied; this also applies to anyone who worked for the Nazis)

to:

** Most of the "official" witch hunt (as opposed to the "unofficial" one conducted amongst the media, symbolized by the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_blacklist Hollywood Blacklist]]) was carried out by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), which was originally designed to root out Nazis, but switched tack after WWII to go after suspected Communists. Although its most infamous period was from 1947-1954, HUAC existed in some form for 37 years (1938-75). Incidentally, Joe [=McCarthy=] himself, being a Senator, was never a member of HUAC.
HUAC. Instead he was with the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, a similar body.
*** To this day, immigrants to the United States wishing to acquire citizenship must swear under oath that they are not and have never been a Communist. Communist (and yes, you ''will'' be deported if they find out you lied; this also applies to anyone who worked for the Nazis)Nazis).



* Similarly, in the First Red Scare of 1919-20, many anarchists and other radicals were deported from the US after a series of anarchist bombings against government officials. Even prior to this during World War Two activists and other people who opposed the war or the draft were thrown in prison on various charges that would never pass constitutional muster today.



* The fear that you could be reported-often falsely for subversive behavior by ''anyone'', including your fellow workers, and sent off to a work camp or killed was one of the keys to Stalin's power in the Soviet Union.
** Even by ''your own children'' in some cases. Kids were encouraged by the Stalinist government to report subversive behaviour within their own homes, adding another layer of fear. Several past totalitarian governments have used this.
%%*** Michelle Obama has also done something similar, telling kids to spy on their parents and grandparents to see it they were racist.%%
* The Fugitive Slave Act of [[UsefulNotes/AntebellumAmerica the pre-Civil War period]] had Southern slavers be able to come into the North and reclaim slaves that had fled there. However, since there were plenty of free black people and not very many people cared about blacks that much, the slavers could just point a finger at a free black that had lived in the north all his life and say "That's him." It's no wonder that many Northern states passed laws greatly restricting the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act whenever and wherever they could, with some juries openly refusing to find people guilty of violating it something that pissed off Southerners to no end. Many Southern states cited the North's collective refusal to enforce the Act in [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar their declarations of secession]], something at least a little ironic considering the South's supposed dedication to State's Rights.
** More specifically, the southern states were upset that the northern states had violated the Constitution (by refusing to enforce the slave-owning states' 'property rights' with regard to their slaves, the Federal government was effectively confiscating 'property' without due process). The end-result was that the southern states withdrew from the Union, called the Union out for refusing to obey its own laws, and formed its own 'Confederacy of States', triggering the Civil War when the exodus of states threatened the stability of the Union as a whole.

to:

* The fear that you could be reported-often falsely for falsely-for subversive behavior by ''anyone'', including your fellow workers, and sent off to a work camp or killed was one of the keys to Stalin's power in the Soviet Union.
** Even by ''your own children'' in some cases. Kids were encouraged by the Stalinist government to report subversive behaviour behavior within their own homes, adding another layer of fear. Several past totalitarian governments have used this.
%%*** Michelle Obama has also done something similar, telling kids to spy on their parents and grandparents to see it if they were racist.%%
* The Fugitive Slave Act of [[UsefulNotes/AntebellumAmerica the pre-Civil War period]] had Southern slavers be able to come into the North and reclaim slaves that had fled there. However, since there were plenty of free black people and not very many people cared about blacks that much, the slavers could just point a finger at a free black that had lived in the north all his life and say "That's him." It's no wonder that many Northern states passed laws greatly restricting the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act whenever and wherever they could, with some juries openly refusing to find people guilty of violating it something it-something that pissed off Southerners to no end. Many Southern states cited the North's collective refusal to enforce the Act in [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar their declarations of secession]], something at least a little ironic considering the South's supposed dedication to State's Rights.
** More specifically, the southern states were upset that the northern states had violated the Constitution (by refusing to enforce the slave-owning states' 'property rights' with regard to their slaves, the Federal government was effectively confiscating 'property' without due process). The end-result was that the southern states withdrew from the Union, called the Union out for refusing to obey its own laws, and formed its own 'Confederacy of States', triggering the Civil War when the exodus of states threatened the stability of the Union as a whole.
States Rights.



** This was seen during the occupation of Paris. French citizens used the Gestapo to eliminate rivals. Some people were released with a warning after interrogation, others were sent to prison camps. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Paris#Second_World_War See here.]] The same thing happened when the Reign of Terror occurred from 1793-4, with people turned in to the authorities by rivals.

to:

** This was seen during the occupation of Paris. French citizens used the Gestapo to eliminate rivals. Some people were released with a warning after interrogation, others were sent to prison camps. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Paris#Second_World_War See here.]] The same thing happened when the Reign of Terror occurred from 1793-4, with people turned in to the authorities by rivals.]]



* The tabloid press in Britain are particularly bad at cooking up things like this. (And by "bad", that's "very good at doing a bad thing"). The high profile given to the Amanda Knox case which turned it into a "media circus" and mostly defined the public's opinion by which side of the Atlantic they were on (and spawned numerous hate sites) is.

to:

* The tabloid press in Britain are particularly bad at cooking up things like this. (And this (and by "bad", that's "very good at doing a bad thing"). The high profile given to the Amanda Knox case which turned it into a "media circus" and mostly defined the public's opinion by which side of the Atlantic they were on (and spawned numerous hate sites) is.is an example of this.



* Many Western governments, politicians, and commentators criticize Russia's current plan of legislating bills which would criminalize the spread of "ideals and propaganda that encourages homosexuality" in the country as an excuse for the government to carry out massive witch hunts to root out the country's LGBT population.

to:

* Many Western governments, politicians, and commentators criticize Russia's current plan of legislating bills which would criminalize the spread of "ideals and propaganda that encourages homosexuality" in the country as an excuse for the government to carry out massive witch hunts to root out the country's LGBT population. In fact, the laws are written so broadly they can effectively be used against ''anyone'', making them a good tool for Putin's authoritarian regime generally.
6th Feb '17 10:45:28 AM Random888
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* Perhaps the most famous actual witch hunt in the Western Hemisphere was the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_witch_trials Salem Witch Trials,]] which took place in and around the town of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. Twenty people, mostly women, were executed on spurious evidence (another five died in prison); several dozen more were accused but exonerated or never brought to trial. The trial proceedings were criticized almost from the outset and were forcibly shut down in 1693. As mentioned above, ''Theatre/TheCrucible'' uses this as a backdrop to covertly criticize [=McCarthyism=].

to:

* Perhaps the most famous actual witch hunt in the Western Hemisphere was the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_witch_trials Salem Witch Trials,]] which took place in and around the town of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. Twenty people, mostly women, were executed on spurious evidence (another five died in prison); several dozen more were accused but exonerated or never brought to trial. The trial proceedings were criticized almost from the outset and were forcibly shut down in 1693. As mentioned above, below, ''Theatre/TheCrucible'' uses this as a backdrop to covertly criticize [=McCarthyism=].
6th Feb '17 10:44:14 AM Random888
Is there an issue? Send a Message


[[folder:Real Life]]

to:

[[folder:Real Life]]Life - Literal Witch Hunts]]



* TheFifties-era RedScare, spearheaded by Senator UsefulNotes/JosephMcCarthy, ruined the lives of genuine political communists and the falsely-accused alike (overwhelmingly the latter). Today in America, "[=McCarthyism=]" is synonymous with political fear-mongering.
** Most of the "official" witch hunt (as opposed to the "unofficial" one conducted amongst the media, symbolized by the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_blacklist Hollywood Blacklist]]) was carried out by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), which was originally designed to root out Nazis, but switched tack after WWII to go after suspected Communists. Although its most infamous period was from 1947-1954, HUAC existed in some form for 37 years (1938-75). Incidentally, Joe [=McCarthy=] himself, being a Senator, was never a member of HUAC.
*** To this day, immigrants to the United States wishing to acquire citizenship must swear under oath that they are not and have never been a Communist. (and yes, you ''will'' be deported if they find out you lied; this also applies to anyone who worked for the Nazis)
** Interestingly, this was such a Witch Hunt that the aforementioned play ''Theatre/TheCrucible'' was written in response to and as an allegory of [=McCarthyism=]. Arthur Miller himself would be thrown in prison for refusing to cooperate with HUAC.
* While Senator [=McCarthy=] is definitely a central figure in the Red Scare, he didn't ''start'' it. The Soviets were the ''allies'' of the US in WWII, but that doesn't mean they were ''friends''. In the early 1940s Robert Oppenheimer (inadvertently) started a witch hunt among the employees of the Manhattan Project by telling his higher-ups that a scientist on the project had been approached by a Soviet agent for information. [[spoiler: One had, sort of: Oppenheimer himself. Oppenheimer, who had technically been a "communist" in college, didn't want to jeopardize his position, and his fumbling attempts to cover up who exactly had been approached, and by whom, led investigators to conclude the problem was much more serious and pervasive than it actually was. In the end one of Oppenheimer's close friends lost his (non-Manhattan Project) job over it and found himself unemployable in the US for years, because he had happened to mention that an acquaintance had asked him to speak with Oppenheimer about an "informal" information transfer to the Soviets (this was immediately rebuffed, and no more was said about it, but Oppenheimer was eventually pressured into revealing the conversation).]]



* The Landlord Purges during the rise of Maoist China.
* The fear that you could be reported-often falsely for subversive behavior by ''anyone'', including your fellow workers, and sent off to a work camp or killed was one of the keys to Stalin's power in the Soviet Union.
** Even by ''your own children'' in some cases. Kids were encouraged by the Stalinist government to report subversive behaviour within their own homes, adding another layer of fear. Several past totalitarian governments have used this.
%%*** Michelle Obama has also done something similar, telling kids to spy on their parents and grandparents to see it they were racist.%%
* The Fugitive Slave Act of [[UsefulNotes/AntebellumAmerica the pre-Civil War period]] had Southern slavers be able to come into the North and reclaim slaves that had fled there. However, since there were plenty of free black people and not very many people cared about blacks that much, the slavers could just point a finger at a free black that had lived in the north all his life and say "That's him." It's no wonder that many Northern states passed laws greatly restricting the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act whenever and wherever they could, with some juries openly refusing to find people guilty of violating it something that pissed off Southerners to no end. Many Southern states cited the North's collective refusal to enforce the Act in [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar their declarations of secession]], something at least a little ironic considering the South's supposed dedication to State's Rights.
** More specifically, the southern states were upset that the northern states had violated the Constitution (by refusing to enforce the slave-owning states' 'property rights' with regard to their slaves, the Federal government was effectively confiscating 'property' without due process). The end-result was that the southern states withdrew from the Union, called the Union out for refusing to obey its own laws, and formed its own 'Confederacy of States', triggering the Civil War when the exodus of states threatened the stability of the Union as a whole.



* It used to be said that the Gestapo had a spy on every corner looking for anyone who might be a threat to the Reich. Actually, the civilians would use the Gestapo to settle old scores.
** This was seen during the occupation of Paris. French citizens used the Gestapo to eliminate rivals. Some people were released with a warning after interrogation, others were sent to prison camps. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Paris#Second_World_War See here.]] The same thing happened when the Reign of Terror occurred from 1793-4, with people turned in to the authorities by rivals.



* A modern one is the outgrowth of the PaedoHunt obsession, especially in the United States. Anyone even accused will be instantly convicted in public opinion and their life ruined forever, even if they are completely exonerated or never actually charged with anything. In many parts of America it's risky for a man to appear in public with his daughter, much less exchange words with a child not his own.
* The tabloid press in Britain are particularly bad at cooking up things like this. (And by "bad", that's "very good at doing a bad thing"). The high profile given to the Amanda Knox case which turned it into a "media circus" and mostly defined the public's opinion by which side of the Atlantic they were on (and spawned numerous hate sites) is.
* The Reign of Terror was this. Rabid French revolutionaries sought to weed out internal enemies and advance the revolution. Led by Maximillion Robespierre and George Danton, they executed real (and perceived) enemies of the revolution. Danton was accused of such crimes by Robespierre and beheaded. Eventually, Robespierre was killed by the guillotine for his crimes after ''he'' was accused of being an enemy to France.
* Many Western governments, politicians, and commentators criticize Russia's current plan of legislating bills which would criminalize the spread of "ideals and propaganda that encourages homosexuality" in the country as an excuse for the government to carry out massive witch hunts to root out the country's LGBT population.


Added DiffLines:


[[folder:Real Life - Figurative Witch Hunts]]
* TheFifties-era RedScare, spearheaded by Senator UsefulNotes/JosephMcCarthy, ruined the lives of genuine political communists and the falsely-accused alike (overwhelmingly the latter). Today in America, "[=McCarthyism=]" is synonymous with political fear-mongering.
** Most of the "official" witch hunt (as opposed to the "unofficial" one conducted amongst the media, symbolized by the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_blacklist Hollywood Blacklist]]) was carried out by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), which was originally designed to root out Nazis, but switched tack after WWII to go after suspected Communists. Although its most infamous period was from 1947-1954, HUAC existed in some form for 37 years (1938-75). Incidentally, Joe [=McCarthy=] himself, being a Senator, was never a member of HUAC.
*** To this day, immigrants to the United States wishing to acquire citizenship must swear under oath that they are not and have never been a Communist. (and yes, you ''will'' be deported if they find out you lied; this also applies to anyone who worked for the Nazis)
** Interestingly, this was such a Witch Hunt that the aforementioned play ''Theatre/TheCrucible'' was written in response to and as an allegory of [=McCarthyism=]. Arthur Miller himself would be thrown in prison for refusing to cooperate with HUAC.
* While Senator [=McCarthy=] is definitely a central figure in the Red Scare, he didn't ''start'' it. The Soviets were the ''allies'' of the US in WWII, but that doesn't mean they were ''friends''. In the early 1940s Robert Oppenheimer (inadvertently) started a witch hunt among the employees of the Manhattan Project by telling his higher-ups that a scientist on the project had been approached by a Soviet agent for information. [[spoiler: One had, sort of: Oppenheimer himself. Oppenheimer, who had technically been a "communist" in college, didn't want to jeopardize his position, and his fumbling attempts to cover up who exactly had been approached, and by whom, led investigators to conclude the problem was much more serious and pervasive than it actually was. In the end one of Oppenheimer's close friends lost his (non-Manhattan Project) job over it and found himself unemployable in the US for years, because he had happened to mention that an acquaintance had asked him to speak with Oppenheimer about an "informal" information transfer to the Soviets (this was immediately rebuffed, and no more was said about it, but Oppenheimer was eventually pressured into revealing the conversation).]]
* The Landlord Purges during the rise of Maoist China.
* The fear that you could be reported-often falsely for subversive behavior by ''anyone'', including your fellow workers, and sent off to a work camp or killed was one of the keys to Stalin's power in the Soviet Union.
** Even by ''your own children'' in some cases. Kids were encouraged by the Stalinist government to report subversive behaviour within their own homes, adding another layer of fear. Several past totalitarian governments have used this.
%%*** Michelle Obama has also done something similar, telling kids to spy on their parents and grandparents to see it they were racist.%%
* The Fugitive Slave Act of [[UsefulNotes/AntebellumAmerica the pre-Civil War period]] had Southern slavers be able to come into the North and reclaim slaves that had fled there. However, since there were plenty of free black people and not very many people cared about blacks that much, the slavers could just point a finger at a free black that had lived in the north all his life and say "That's him." It's no wonder that many Northern states passed laws greatly restricting the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act whenever and wherever they could, with some juries openly refusing to find people guilty of violating it something that pissed off Southerners to no end. Many Southern states cited the North's collective refusal to enforce the Act in [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar their declarations of secession]], something at least a little ironic considering the South's supposed dedication to State's Rights.
** More specifically, the southern states were upset that the northern states had violated the Constitution (by refusing to enforce the slave-owning states' 'property rights' with regard to their slaves, the Federal government was effectively confiscating 'property' without due process). The end-result was that the southern states withdrew from the Union, called the Union out for refusing to obey its own laws, and formed its own 'Confederacy of States', triggering the Civil War when the exodus of states threatened the stability of the Union as a whole.
* It used to be said that the Gestapo had a spy on every corner looking for anyone who might be a threat to the Reich. Actually, the civilians would use the Gestapo to settle old scores.
** This was seen during the occupation of Paris. French citizens used the Gestapo to eliminate rivals. Some people were released with a warning after interrogation, others were sent to prison camps. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Paris#Second_World_War See here.]] The same thing happened when the Reign of Terror occurred from 1793-4, with people turned in to the authorities by rivals.
* A modern one is the outgrowth of the PaedoHunt obsession, especially in the United States. Anyone even accused will be instantly convicted in public opinion and their life ruined forever, even if they are completely exonerated or never actually charged with anything. In many parts of America it's risky for a man to appear in public with his daughter, much less exchange words with a child not his own.
* The tabloid press in Britain are particularly bad at cooking up things like this. (And by "bad", that's "very good at doing a bad thing"). The high profile given to the Amanda Knox case which turned it into a "media circus" and mostly defined the public's opinion by which side of the Atlantic they were on (and spawned numerous hate sites) is.
* The Reign of Terror was this. Rabid French revolutionaries sought to weed out internal enemies and advance the revolution. Led by Maximillion Robespierre and George Danton, they executed real (and perceived) enemies of the revolution. Danton was accused of such crimes by Robespierre and beheaded. Eventually, Robespierre was killed by the guillotine for his crimes after ''he'' was accused of being an enemy to France.
* Many Western governments, politicians, and commentators criticize Russia's current plan of legislating bills which would criminalize the spread of "ideals and propaganda that encourages homosexuality" in the country as an excuse for the government to carry out massive witch hunts to root out the country's LGBT population.
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4th Feb '17 2:07:54 PM Random888
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** In UsefulNotes/SaudiArabia, the religious police investigate people for practicing "witchcraft and sorcery". If found guilty, your punishment is death by beheading.

to:

** In present-day UsefulNotes/SaudiArabia, the religious police investigate people for for, among other things, practicing "witchcraft and sorcery". If found guilty, your punishment is death by beheading.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.WitchHunt