Jabberwock says that he still has his:
ususal Qui Bono query as usual, how come?
When in doubt back self interest. Zeitun has plenty of it.Zeitun and Collective Delusion
"Many factors contribute to the formation and spread of collective delusions and hysterical illness: the mass media; rumors; extraordinary anxiety or excitement; cultural beliefs and stereotypes; the social and political context; and reinforcing actions by authorities such as politicians, or institutions of social control such as the police or military. Episodes are also distinguishable by the redefinition of mundane objects, events, and circumstances and reflect a rapidly spreading folk belief which contributes to an emerging definition of the situation."
Bartholomew R E and Goode E. “Mass Delusions and Hysterias”. Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 24, Number 3, May/June 2000.http://www.skeptically.org/skepticism/id11.htmlThe social and political context
Guenena and Wassef write: “Following Egypt’s defeat in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, disillusionment with the performance of Nasser’s regime set in. A wave of religiosity swept through Egypt, encompassing both Muslims and Christians. Claims that the Virgin Mary had appeared above the Cathedral of Zeitoun came alongside a widespread feeling that the defeat was the result of having abandoned faith in favor of human-made ideas and belief systems.”
Guenena N and Wassef N. “Unfulfilled Promises: Women’s Rights”. p7.http://www.popcouncil.org/pdfs/unfulfilled_promises.pdf
Professor of Anthropology at the American University in Cairo Cynthia Nelson visited the church at Zeitun on several occasions from April 15, 1968, to June 1, 1968. Despite the accounts of ongoing visitations by the apparition, Nelson documented seeing nothing other than a few "intermittent flashes of light"
Interestingly she records (p6) that at a question-and-answer period following a news conference: “Bishop Samuel expressed his hope that the apparition would be a good omen and that Almighty God would realize victory for the Arabs against the Israelis, who have occupied the holy places in the Holy City of Jerusalem, considered the most sacred city by the Copts and, after Mecca and Medina, by the Muslims as well”
As things continued to develop there were rumours that the apparition had been seen at St. Michael’s Church in Shubra. In the rush to get there 15 people were crushed to death.
Some blessed Miracle that, don’t you think?
As a result, Zeitun was cordoned off and an entrance fee put in place (ranging up to $2.43). The proceeds were shared equally between the church and the state. Before long the Ministry of Tourism was promoting the whole thing around the world. There's your Cui Bono Jabber.
Curiously, the Patriarchate of the Coptic Church issued a statement warning people “not to believe any rumors until the Patriarchate officially authenticates what people are saying” and “until it has been proved by decisive and unequivocal evidence.”
While Bartholomew and Goode conclude: ”It appears that the Marian observers were predisposed by religious background and social expectation to interpreting the light displays as related to the Virgin Mary.”
And that the apparitions “were a prominent case of mass delusion”,
Nelson was desirous of a somewhat more sociological analysis:“To understand how Egyptians cope with the universal task of creating order out of chaos, an order that endows their existence with meaning in terms of ends divine and human, we must now turn to the subjective interpretations given to the apparition phenomena by Egyptians themselves. From an analysis of these interpretations, what can we learn about the manner in which Egyptians perceive and construct their social worlds? What can we learn about the broader dynamics of Egyptian society, the competing worldvicws of religion and science, the images of classes, of man and woman, of sacred and secular power?”
She then goes on to deliver such an analysis.http://worldview.cceia.org/archive/worl ... 9_a003.pdf
Collective delusion or something else?
Regards to all