"The Rack" "Skull Crusher" "Iron Maiden" "Chair of Nails"
Most Christians are not well acquainted with the "Catholic Inquisition". Though we realize that it is not "politically correct" — we offer the following instructive excerpt by Richard Bennett, a former Roman Catholic Dominican Priest:
The torture chambers of the Inquisition lasted 605 years and were found throughout the nations controlled by Papal Rome. They had their beginning under Pope Innocent III in 1203 until the Inquisition's final dissolution in Spain and Portugal in 1808.
The Instruments of Torture
"The Rack" is one of the best known forms of medieval torture. This mechanism operated by having the victim lie on a horizontal rack with his hands and ankles tied to rollers on opposite ends.
The Inquisitors would perform the interrogation while turning the rollers, stretching the body of the suspect and causing colossal pain. They would stretch the body out until the joints were actually yanked from their sockets. The ultimate intent was that of killing the victim either through shock or injuries. If the believer were still alive, yet refused to submit, he or she was sent to be burned at the stake.
The Inquisitors also used "Skull Crusher." They ordered the believer's chin to be placed on a lower bar and a screw then forced an iron cap down on his or her head. Their teeth could be crushed. Their eyes could be squeezed from their sockets.
It was hoped that the believer was so overcome by the extreme pain of having his head crushed, would confess his alleged errors and believe in the Holy Mother Church.
The Inquisitors also used the "Iron Maiden." It was a tomb-sized container with folding doors. The spiked studded arms wrapped around the victim in such a way so as to puncture parts of the entire body, including the ears and eyes.
The purpose of the use of Iron Maiden was to inflict pain by means of vicious spikes and a slow death. The prickles inside were designed so that the trapped believer was left to slowly die in the utmost pain.
A prisoner would be bidden to stand right in front of the "Iron Maiden" prior to torture. The spring would be touched by the executioner and the Iron Maiden would fling open her arms, and the wretched victim would straightway be forced within them. Another spring was then touched and the Iron Maiden closed upon her victim. Then spiky arms of the Iron Maiden slowly but irresistibly closed upon the man, cruelly goring him.
The talons of the Iron Maiden, sometimes called the "Iron Virgin," were not designed to kill outright. They trapped the prisoner who was left to slowly perish in the utmost pain.
Beside these instruments of torture there were others for the tearing and ripping of one's flesh. The Catholic Church learned a human being could live until the skin was peeled down to the waist. Often the torturers heated these instruments and then used them on women's breasts and the genital organs of both sexes.
There were also instruments for compressing the fingers until the bones would be squeezed into splinters.
There were instruments for tearing out the tongue, for scooping out the eyes, and for rooting out the ears.
There was a bunch of iron cords with a spiked circle at the end of every whip for tearing the flesh from the back until bone and sinew were laid bare.
There were also iron cases for the legs, which were tightened upon the limb placed in them by means of a screw, till flesh and bone were reduced to a pulp.
The thumbscrews were also applied to crush prisoners' toes, while larger, heavier devices based on the same design principle were applied to destroy knees and elbows.
The "chair of nails," used by Inquisitors, was studded with spikes. The victim was strapped naked in the chair and a fire was lit beneath it. Heavy objects were placed upon the victim to increase the pain of the spikes. Blows with mallets were also used to inflict more pain.
There were also devices to slowly and painfully remove the intestines and other organs from the body while keeping the person alive and conscious of the pain.
Any one of those horrors could be inflicted on anybody, i.e., man, woman, or child over the age of 12 that did not agree with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The Inquisition was carried out in France, Holland, Germany, Spain, and Italy.
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"These all died in faith without having received the promises, they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth!" Hebrews 11:13
If you want to know more about the "Catholic Inquisition", or desire to see pictures of the actual "instruments of torture," you might want to read this whole informative article, "The Systematic Murder of Believers!"
You can also watch a most interesting 58 minute video on the Catholic Inquisition.