In research on the topic of witchcraft of the early modern era, little attention in given to those deemed witches. Feminist versions of the witch trials hold that the accused were often mid-wives and healers of peasant society who were burned for “no good reason” or because of poorly explained “hysteria.” Others claim it was indiscriminate prosecution of pagans.
The gimmick being employed up to the present day (including Pedogate) involves acting incredulous and slinging neuro-lingustic programming terms like “moral panic” or “ignorant haters” at those who question accepted narratives. In fact, the entire Wikipedia page on Satanism is filed with whitewashed, moral-panic accusations, canards and doth-protest-too-loudly ad hominems against those exposing the iterations of the concept of Satanism, admitted witchcraft or other forms of skulduggery.
Generally, this is a pervert justice warrior (PJW), very low-value narrative that dismisses attempts to reveal and counter Satanism, or just flat out evil as discrimination, hatred and prejudice. It is astonishing how frequently this scam is incorporated any time the awakened are asked to deny their lying eyes about the slime creatures crawling under the rocks.
Burning was also used as a form of eugenics to eliminate the criminally mentally ill, as well as ultra-rebellionists, vagrants and indigents. Those with a “malignant spirit” (demons) were targeted, and this included those with schizophrenia, disassociative identity disorder, hysteria and epilepsy. And it included nasty, mean, mentally unbalanced people. Not all accused witches were women. In Russia, the large majority of the condemned were male.