The Holiness Snake Handlers are a sect who reside predominantly in the deep South, their belief is that The King James Bible is the true word of God and that Jesus is God, growing up in a heavily dominated Church of England area beliefs such as theirs differ from the ones conveyed to me throughout my own childhood, although what I read next seemed rather obscure in its entirety. Their belief is that they must handle snakes and drink strychnine a poisonous substance in order to release The Holy Ghost. There have been few fatalities within this though theirs is a religious practice which is dangerous nonetheless. Analysts have said that that snake bites are high within their community though they feel this is right and a kind of rite of passage so when bitten their bodies are able to narrowly escape death due to their strong belief, you must also bear in mind that they do not believe in receiving medical attention once these injuries are received.
The site itself was very emphatic towards the religion and its beliefs, obviously it wasn’t able to find time to outline the fact that joining their sect could end in a fatality, and they preferred to convey to the world that they are in no way associated with Hinduism or interestingly the stricter Snake Handling groups which exist elsewhere. The first statements they make in the introductory page other than the latter is that they respect the fact that others who worship God are welcome to do so in their own way the deeper you get into reading this introduction they seem to condemn certain sects by name and pastor which I found rather ignorant as this completely alleviates any mediated attempt to classify themselves as an un-confrontational group.
There was little else to look at within the site as they wished to access my private information by making me a member in order for me to access their photos and videos that would help me to learn more about the group. Though their rights page seemed to be rather extreme they exclaimed that for not allowing the ban on snake handling to be lifted America could in fact be compared to communist China all written in capitals then going on to say how only a police state would jeopardise a belief system such as theirs. Personally I feel each to their own and after watching the documentary which they featured in in last week’s seminar they seemed one of the happiest groups I have seen on the whole. Though I am not a fan of their commercial extremity the groups people do not feel the need to portray their happiness to the masses as they are content with what they have, they say religion and its sense of community is where people should seek solace, the snake handlers seem to have achieved this.