Chapter 16: God: The Greatest Fiction
Women, in the whole history of mankind, have never revolted. In fact, it is only man who has revolted - many times. The woman has never revolted. But the first woman is in revolt, and the Devil finds it easier to convince the woman, which is not right, absolutely not right, because all the religions of the world are supported by the woman, not by the man. She is the backbone of all the religions of the world. If she has supported anybody, it is the priest, not the Devil; it is God, not the Devil. Man has a very superficial support for the religions - very meaningless. He has no deep, intrinsic connections with religion. But the woman, around the world, in all the religions, has been the basic support; otherwise all these religions would have disappeared.
So there are only two possibilities: either these religions are proposals from the Devil, which seems to be a natural conclusion of this story - that these religions are nothing but strategies of the Devil, and he is still doing the old trick of manipulating the woman, and through the woman manipulating the man. Or the whole story is just to condemn the woman. Those who have invented it have invented it to condemn the woman: that she is dangerous, that she can have a rapport with the Devil very easily - man has to be aware of it.
In the Middle Ages the popes and Christianity have done such an incredible job, unbelievable. They forced thousands of women to confess that they were witches. The word witch is not a bad word, it has no ugly connotations with it. But Christians of the Middle Ages made it an ugly word. Witch simply means a wise woman - it no longer means that. They corrupted the word, they managed to make the word mean what they wanted: a witch is one who is in a sexual relationship with the Devil.
Not only were ordinary women forced to confess and then burned alive; once a woman accepted that she was a witch and had had a sexual relationship with the Devil, then certainly she could not be allowed to remain alive even for a single moment. She was bringing the Devil into human blood, she would pollute the whole of humanity: she had to be burned alive. And it was not only ordinary women - even nuns, mother superiors, they managed, and forced them to confess.
Anybody could raise the suspicion, just that was enough. Anybody, any man, could raise the suspicion to the pope, to the bishop, to the high priest, that this woman, this nun, seems to be a witch. That was enough for the investigation to begin. And there was a special court arranged by the pope, the Inquisition, with a big office and hundreds of people working for him in this great investigation so that the Devil could be destroyed from every place, wherever he had sown his seed. And nuns were more articulate in their confessions, naturally, because they knew what confession was, they knew what the Devil was, they knew what kind of sexual relationship could happen with the Devil. They knew all these things.