Besides covering the general history of witch hysteria it also talked about the recovered memory movement. This movement occurred during the later half of the 20th century, during which psychologists and doctors administered hallucination inducing drugs as well as hypnosis and other forms of treatments to help people recall past memories; particularly those about sexual abuse. A study from 1995 mentions that since 1988 over one million people had recovered memories of sexual abuse. Now where have we heard about something like this before? Yes, false memory recall. A doctor makes a patient recall false memories under the influence of something whether it be drugs or just hypnosis, and the patient is actually making up a story that will become reality to them. This was of course terrible because people were being charged with crimes that they didn't commit. One woman was charged with over 3,200 acts of sexual abuse. Shermer draws similarities to the victims of these false claims from the accusations of witch craft in medieval times. The victims were poor men and women who could not afford a proper legal counsel. This I think was definitely my favorite part of the book just because it tied so many pieces together for me so fast, and was about something that I was already interested in.
Part three of the book was about evolution and Creationism, a debate that can get pretty entertaining, especially when you watch Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate the topic. I highly encourage you to watch it the link is below! But anyway Shermer gives great background on Creationism as well as a whole section about confronting Creationists in which he gives 25 Creationist arguments and 25 Evolutionist answers. I personally am a fan of the "Science only deals with the here and now and thus cannot answer historical questions about the creation of the universe and the origins of life and human species," argument. Finally part four covers what I cannot believe is a debated topic, the Holocaust. It was not long ago that I found out that there are people who believe that the Holocaust didn't really happen and it still strikes me that people can deny the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Now I grew up on Discovery Channel, Animal Planet National Geographic and well a lot of cartoons but that's beside the point. My views have been shaped by science and history since I was little. I consider myself very lucky and very thankful that my parents allowed me to develop my own views. But at the same time I do not know if I will ever be able to wrap my head around the way some radical people think because of the way I formed my own beliefs. This does not mean that I will never try to understand, I most certainly will, but I will also continue to be fascinated by the things other people are able to come up with.
And this is an interesting article I found about modern day witches.
This article about a person becoming a modern witch also provides good incite.