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Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Crazy Anabaptist Sect of the Week
The Batenburgers were the succesors to the Melchiorites who took over M√ľnster from 1532 to 1535.

They believed that all who did not join with them had to be killed. But there was a catch. If you joined the sect after 1535 you could only be a servant to the Anabaptist elite in the afterlife. Sort of a trumped up late fee.

While waiting for Christ's second coming they plundered churches, massacred cows and had lots of wives to pass the time. If that wasn't enough, membership was secret and so Batenburgers passed themselves off as law-abiding Lutherans and Catholics as necessary. Initiation was painful and supposed to inoculate you against torture.

If you've ever heard that the phrase "Anabaptist" was the 16th century buzzword equivalant of "communist" or "terrorist" these folks take credit for it. It also helps explain what Menno Simons was reacting against.

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