"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Did Laestadius rob graves?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Did Laestadius rob graves?

Bosse Johanssen, author
A friend in Norway sends this link about a new book casting light on Laestadius the scientist, who allegedly robbed graves of his fellow Saami for French scientists. My friend tells me this is "old news" but has been suppressed for so long out of respect for those who revere him. What do you think? Does it change your opinion of Laestadius to know he defiled graves in the name of research?


  1. My opinion of him wasn't too high to begin with, after reading stuff like this from his twisted mind:

    We know that not one woman will become fruitful without a seed. So also God’s congregation, which in the Scriptures is compared to the bride of the Saviour, cannot become fruitful without seed. The bride of the Saviour becomes fruitful when she lies near the Holy Spirit or in the Saviour’s lap; He then pours the incorruptible seed into the heart of the bride. And if that person, into whose heart this incorruptible seed is poured, is a pure virgin, she would immediately become fruitful. But there is no other pure virgin than the virgin Mary. All others are the devil’s whores and some have committed adultery with so many, that they have become unfruitful. . . . Are you, devil’s whore, worthy to bear the crown of glory? . . . When you have no longer been acceptable to the devil for a whore, the Saviour took the devil’s whore for His bride. The devil’s angels spit upon her and said, “Is that the kind the bride of the Son of God is, who now shamelessly barks at honorable people?” One naked, scabby, and old whore, full of smelly wounds from which the pus of deviltry runs, is no longer acceptable to the devil for a whore, what then for a bride for the Saviour. [Third Sunday after Easter, 1850]

    More gems like this are quoted in Section 4.1.2 of my book.

  2. There is no change in my opinion of Laestadius. I still think he was a great man given the context of the time and place he lived and worked in. Few people in America know that 'grave robbing' was the only way of obtaining cadavers back then including here in the good old USA. At the time bodies were considered consecrated beings who were meant to be buried-not examined-by most Christian churches. Dissecting bodies was actually illegal-yet there were those in science who were desparately trying to understand the workings of the body & how lives might be saved through scientific medicine versus the prevailing quackery, shamanism and folk medicine of that time period. If Laestadius was involved with grave robbery I am sure it was because it was the 'lay of the land' so to speak, at that time period amongst scientific types who wanted to understand the human body's function and diseases. Given that Laestadius was a scientist.......As far as his manner of speaking; he was speaking to a coarse and ungoldly group of people filled with superstition, plagued with sinful lives who probably had few of the refinery that we have. He spoke in a colorful way to get through to the people's thick skulls and guess what?-it worked! Modern day medicine would never have progressed back in the 1800's except for those 'grave robber' scientists. It is easy to sit back and judge them now along with many, many other practices back then but we were not living at that time period. Old AP

  3. Laestadius was a botanist, not a biologist, and I don't think that, in the mid-1850's, French botanists were digging up their grandmamans and grandpapas to measure their skulls. Many countries had laws against graverobbing. His capitulation to the French must have been difficult, given that his doctoral thesis (Crapula Mundi) proclaims that a "Sami is superior to a settler" and he spends a lot of time in his Postillas attacking the "dead faith" of the non-Sami. I suspect Laestadius was in dire straits, knowing the graves were sacred and the bones could be used to justify racism, but beholden to the French for his own research and livelihood. It would be interesting to study the timelines and see if he abandoned science for the priesthood after this experience.

    Is it possible that Laestadius' self-loathing is projected in his sermons?

    As we know now, 19th century racial science gave rise to eugenics, the forcible "Norwegianisation" of the Sami, and later to the Holocaust.

    As we all see history through the lens of our beliefs, Christians may feel Laestadius "saved" the Sami from their ungodliness, especially alcoholism. That doesn't negate the fact that his actions helped to subjugate them further by attributing their low status to original sin, thus blaming the victim. As proposed on this website: this belief in man’s inherent sinfulness no doubt helped to contribute to the “feelings of inferiority deeply ingrained in most Sámi as a painful complex of shame [and] self-contempt,” as well as leading them to further reject what they considered their sinful past. It also had the unintended effect of increasing their own acceptance of second-class citizen status by ensuring them that this was God’s will and their reward would come in the afterlife.

    It would take more than a century for the Sami to organize as a political force.

  4. Seattlehorn said, "It would take more than a century for the Sami to organize as a political force." It seems like it took Native Americans, blacks and Asians about a century after the Civil War to organize as a real political force also. If the Scandinavian countries were like America then the mainstream majority there found it useful to keep the minority groups ignorant and divided. In America we deliberately fed the Indians liquor to keep them soused. We seem to have done much of the same overseas. 'Freedom, democracy and progress' can be used to cover a lot of evil: as late as the mid 1970's our decade long war effort in Vietnam cost a total of 1 million Vietnamese lives on both sides in what was essentially a continuation of the earlier failed French colonial war. I have read how hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have died as a result of our military action there. I wonder if the same type of mindset was used to justify the oppression of the Sami's? Old AP