Honourable Judge, respected Members of the Jury,
The person who created this abomination, this distorted instrument of worship, is still at large. The reputable organizations Heretics for the Stake and Hexenhammer have not succeeded to produce the cunning scoundrel to your fair trial yet. But time is running short for the heretic and I am here to cut it even shorter.
I am ready to give you a profile.
1. The document bears a signature and one only. Therefore, we will assume a single perpetrator.
2. For those who are not convinced that fowl play is involved, I pray their reason will see that one who does things backwards, thinks backwards and, alas, he is an evil doer of some kind.
3. He is a man, under the equal opportunities directive, since we executed already seven women for witchcraft in the past fortnight. Besides, as we know, their devilish tools are the cauldron, weeds and the black cat or other familiars, and they keep away from higher means of divination, such as books.
4. His knowledge of the most sacred images makes us believe that his countenance mingles in the crowd in churches and the drawings traced by his raven quill show access to the sacred books. He possibly studied Horariums, Mirrors of Human Salvation or Psalters, as they are popular books to be found not only in the hands of the most noble gentlemen and gentlewomen but in respectable gentry homes too. Is he one of them? Nay. His rough skills bear witness to his humble origin. Does he own the books? Very unlikely. Then, of course, your question is how, where, who made it possible for him to lay his hands on such books?
5. The first thought is that he could be a stray member of the clergy or a monk. We know that, sadly, our men of the cloth are not all Toma D’Aquino or William of Baskerville and seldom their knowledge equals their faith, but this humble product of a disturbed mind displays not only lack of respect for the dogma, but also revolting ignorance. Who would depict The Holy Trinity with only two Holy Sides as shown in exhibit A – page 95.
or, horror of horrors, deny us, his righteous peers, eternal life in Heaven (exhibit B – page 79) if his mind ever met the truth?
The evidence of his little understanding is so overwhelming that we have to say he is a lay man.
And maybe he is one of those wolves in sheep’s clothing, meek and pious, but preying on his simple-minded neighbors, deceiving them with false teachings such as “Christ is not God but the Son of God and our only Intercessor”, “Ye shall know Christ alone and the Father.” “We reject the intercession of any saints and even of His mother, as she was not holy and virgin”*, as the exhibits bear evidence to, because, remember, on the hour of the Final Judgment we, the true believers, rely on the intercession of the Holy Mother of God and John the Baptist, who wickedly were left out. Yet, he presents himself as a true Catholic. Best proof, look at the hand of the blessing Jesus.
6. Of course, you might ask how disturbed is his mind? Is he insane? Anyone who fiddles with the sacred name of God, with the story of our Savior, has to have a feeble mind. But is he functional? Probably yes, yet socially awkward. He lost his path in his unhealthy aspiration to apprehend the mystery of mysteries, the secret laws of Creation, seeking for the unfindable, reaching out for the untouchable. He is beyond reason and madness, he is an exalted mind. **
7. I would like now to present exhibit C
We can imagine this lost soul doing something he never did before: drawing. Struggling from one picture to the other he encounters the frightening image of the Beast. Unable to put his quill on the paper, he stares at the blank page, as a hand from behind comes to the rescue, not without a warning: “I help you only this time. You have to do it yourself”. This is why the Beast, the Hellmouth, is the only image with some artistic merit. And here comes our inference, the ugly truth: he has a master. Conspiracy, I tell you!
8. Then is his master responsible for the content of a book the, and this master of his gave him most likely paper, ink and quill and taught him his ways.
9. We make our churches and our books beautiful to glorify God. But our perpetrator is completely oblivious to such consideration. He made no effort to make his drawings pleasing for the eye, as he made no effort to honor what they stand for. He was not so casual about the script. This infernal gibber jabber, which has no rhyme or reason, still makes some reason to him, or else he wouldn’t have made corrections. And this again makes me say he copied, both the drawings and the script.
10. He might suffer from bouts of a crippling disease or is occasionally intoxicated. Malaria or arthritis or toxic fumes make his hand shaky and alters his writing from time to time but won’t deter him in his quest.
11. His effort to hide the message in such an extravagant manner could make you believe that he is a poor Christian in hiding. Too many of our own have to conceal their true faith from fear (or for lesser taxes), living under heathen oppression. But then, may I ask, why did he give away his Christianity, as mistaken as it is, in pictures of the Crucifixion of our Savior? He is not in hiding, but he is hiding something.
12. We can only wonder on that urge, so strong, so irresistible, that made him so eager to finish and prevented him from stopping, even when his quill needed badly sharpening, as so many pages testify.
13. Finally, and this will undoubtedly hasten his apprehension, Honourable Judge, Members of the Jury, his name is Johann. Or Ioan, Janos, Ian or Ivan. Or maybe Joseph, Julius or Isaac, as proven by our final exhibit:
* Depositions of 19th century Armenian Paulicians – from The Key of Truth, by Fred C. Conybeare, (pages xxiii to xxvi)
** I fiddled with the words of Madame de Stael from De L’Allemagne , page 558. The book was finished in 1810 and the page refers to theosophists, whom she defends. However, the last execution on the grounds of heresy took place in Spain in 1826. The last woman killed for being a witch was lynched in 1836, in Germany. As far as we know.