I love watching Indiana Jones casually brush
the cobwebs off beliefs of mystical powers.
It seems odd looking back to 17th century England,
when belief in mystical powers was standard medicine.
Doctors prescribed powdered
Egyptian embalmed mummies
to treat dozens of aliments.
The famous barber surgeon Ambrose Paré
spoke strongly against claims of efficacy
as did other luminaries of the time.
Some religious groups
argued that such consumption was cannibalism
no better than the savages in the Americas.
These same groups vilified Catholics
for performing transubstantiation,
thereby dinking the actual blood
and eating the flesh of Jesus Crist.
Against the Holy Roman Catholic Church,
opposition to this practice was futile.
Use of powdered mummy crawled to an end,
abandoned in the early 1800’s.
Other myths embraced by that era have been drubbed out.
Drinking the blood of a fresh dead, disease free,
young man, killed by accident or execution,
was thought to give strength to the aging.
Many hangmen became wealthy.
Formulas for the harvesting the flesh
of the recently hung
were included in standard medical texts.
So, can we look on these times
with bemused intellectual superiority?
Are we safe in the knowledge that this barbarism
does not occur in the civilized world?
As you read this it is very likely that somewhere
in the world, a kidney, or liver, or heart, or all organs
are being harvested without the donor’s permission.
Sold on the black market and transplanted, most likely,
into someone wealthy, possibly old, and maybe too sick
to get on the list. Someone, most likely,
subjected to the worst medical care money can buy.
Someone who will, most likely,
be dead in a month or two,
still harboring the violently consumed organ.