Disguised as the Devil- New Book Links Witch Accusations with Lyme Disease
Brooklyn, NY, May 27, 2008 --(PR.com)-- Was the Devil?s Mark that was found in the past on the skin of accused witches really the Bull?s Eye Rash found on modern Lyme disease victims? This question intrigued M. M. Drymon, a historian who lives in Maine. While most historians have focused their interests on the Salem Witch hunt as a religious and social event, Drymon looks for the first time at the landscape and environment where people from the past were living, and interacting with, on a daily basis. Focusing on settlement in 17th century Massachusetts and based on the actual words and descriptions of the people who were there, a virtual walk through this past reveals a world that is at once both familiar and unlike any that we know today.
The forests are filled with the squealing pigs and a 1621 cross-country trek becomes a bizarre experience along unbeaten paths rimmed by six-foot tall weedy overgrowth that is punctuated only by abandoned huts that are sometimes still occupied by the bleached bones of not long dead Native Americans. People are found participating in cultural practices that have been almost forgotten. Deer are described as being ?abound,? and it is difficult to see how there could not be members of the Ixodes tick species lurking within this setting. Women sweep through this world in their long skirts and accidentally participate in a tick acquisition technique now called flag collecting. People find pins stuck into their skin. Both accused witches and their supposed victims develop red marks on their bodies and some suffer from neurological symptoms. A prolonged drought afflicts war torn Massachusetts throughout the 1680?s. Moreover, the Devil himself may be lurking nearby, just around any corner. Did the afflicted children of Salem suffer from Lyme disease in1692? Drymon hoped to find answers in the written records of the past. By looking back to Europe, for example, a statistical association was found between the intensity of witch-hunts and the level of infection with the Lyme disease bacteria in modern Ixodes ticks. There were also parallels between the perceptions of patients who exhibit chronic symptoms and the way that some of the physicians who try to help them are treated- some have them been subjected to a modern version of a witch-hunt. Drawing upon the latest in scientific and historical research, Disguised as the Devil: How Lyme Disease Created Witches and Changed History (Wythe Avenue Press, $24.95) will become essential reading for those who are interested in the history of Lyme disease and those who study the etiology of the witch. It tells a compelling tale about the timeless importance of the interactions between humanity and the ?invisible world? of bacteria.
Author: M. M. Drymon
Titile: Disguised as the Devil: How Lyme Disease Created witches and Changed History
Publisher: Wythe Avenue Press
Anticipated Publication Date:
July 15, 2008
ISBN 978-0-6152-0061-3 LC 2008926184
Includes illustrations, bibliographical references and index
See: www.wythepress.com or e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org