Posts Tagged ‘disturbing’

I’ve Just Met a Girl Named Mariaaaaa…

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

…and BOY, is she an awful liar!

Okay, I am basically going to repeat the sentiments everyone else’s posts have already expressed:

  1. Sex sells. Whether it be rape (*cringing, can’t believe I wrote that*), incest, or any other negative/questionable sexual content, it grabs the reader’s attention.
  2. Babies. Gotta have infant death if it’s a worthwhile story. (For the record, I HATE “dead baby” jokes. Can’t stand them.)
  3. Priests make good scapegoats. They’re the guys people love to hate. Who would come to the door of a convent, make hissing noises, and expect to be let in around midnight for some wayward sexual pleasure? A priest, of course!

But seriously. I know that in 19th-century America– and indeed, since then– there has been a strong anti-Catholic rhetoric going around. Sometimes, the faith itself was used as a basis of racial oppression, as well. Indeed, two of the most discriminated-against European immigrant groups– the Irish and the Italians– were primarily Catholic, and in the early 1900s, they were “hated on” quite a bit for this reason.

HOWEVER, I would like to believe that if I were alive when the Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk came out that I would have been at least a little bit skeptical. No matter how terrible you may think a particular religious sect is, would you really ascribe to them infanticide, rape, murder, and whatever else, all in the name of God? This seems to be a stretch, even for your average illiterate American Protestant who “didn’t know any better.”

Therefore, I must say that Maria (a.k.a., the shady Protestant males with a knack for tall tales…hey, that rhymed) may have put forth an interesting horror story through this volume, but no wonder it was disproved within months of its publication. It was simply “too bad to be true,” and the writing style itself left a lot to be desired– I think I yawned twice for each page.

The Awful Delusions of Maria Monk, Is More Like It

Monday, January 28th, 2013

She looks angry, must have found out Maria Monk’s stories were a lie!

 

So, in reading this delightful piece aloud to my children at bedtime. *laugh* Just kidding, I did not read this to the kids at bedtime.

But, I was struck by how disturbing this piece was.  The vivid accounts of rape, murder and sexual abuse presented by Maria Monk was enough to make the reader eerie of Priests, Nuns, convents and the like.

However, one universal truth about this piece that I kept referring back to is the fact that Maria Monk was eventually discredited for her account.  So I again, ask myself: Where in the world did this woman get these accounts from? The two most disturbing stories were:

  1. The births of babies in the covenant, who were eventually baptized but then drowned under the assumption that they would somehow be granted immediate entry into heaven.
  2. The execution of a nun at the hands of her fellow sisters via strangling by what seemed to be a leather belt strap?

I mean what kind of woman sits back and think of these tall, gruesome tales.  I wonder if Maria Monk was ahead of her time.  I mean something written like this in the 21st century would be considered a cake walk considering what is published now and is presented to viewers on television.  It was interesting to hear her intricate tales of how there were secret trap doors which the superiors used to navigate through the rooms of the nuns, stating that “they were often in our beds before we were.”  (Chapter XII)

So it got me thinking, where did this woman get her ideas if her story was not true? Rumor has it that Maria Monk is said to be a former prostitute.  One interesting fact is that after she was discredited it was rumored that  “she was later arrested for picking the pocket of a man who had paid her for sex, and she died in prison on Welfare Island, New York City, in 1849.”  (“Maria Monk”)

Maria Monk’s alleged demise got me thinking even further.  Was it because of the current societies disposition to sex and sexuality that this washed up prostitute had to disguise her lifestyle as some tall tale in order to get attention?  It’s not like Maria could come out express herself as a prostitute, or was she just so me batty lady filled with delusions?

Also, I had to ask myself, how did the public soak up this story?  I did some research via the internet and I found that her story was believable because there was a lot of anti-Catholic rhetoric being circulated.  Those who hated the Catholics around this time specifically, were the English colonists or the Puritans.  My research also further pointed me to the rise in anti Catholic sentiments as linked to the rise of Catholic immigrants i.e. from Ireland who were entering the United States through such ports as New York. (“Catholic Culture”).

So I have to wonder if maybe this woman was not crazy, that she knew that the public would soak it up and that she would someone receive a big pay day because of her story.

Work Cited

“Library : Maria Monk – Catholic Culture.” Library : Maria Monk – Catholic Culture. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2013. <http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=154>

“Maria Monk.” Maria Monk. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2013. <http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/mariamonk.html>.