Absinthe Murders

Prostitute of Babylon's Cup
Lanfray Murders Chart
Lanfray Murders Chart Planets


In 1905 a vineyard worker in the village of Commugny in Vaud, Switzerland murdered his family in a fit of drunken rage.  The gruesome murders riveted his community against Absinthe, a strong drink made with wormwood, and led to the prohibition of Absinthe in Switzerland and eventually to the prohibition of all forms of wines and alcoholic beverages in most of the rest of Europe and in the United States.

The man who committed the murders was Jean Lanfray, age 31.  He started every day with a drink of Absinthe and drank other wines and liquor during the day.  On August 28, 1905 he came home from a day of working in the vineyards half drunk and continued drinking at home with his father.  He had told his wife to wax his boots the night before.  When he returned home, his wife asked him to milk their 20 cows, but he told her that he had worked all day and she had to do it.  While his wife was doing the milking, he continued drinking with his father.  He customarily drank about six quarts of wine a day, several brandies, and one or two Absinthes.1

When his wife returned from milking the cows, Lanfray noticed his still unwaxed boots under the sink and got into an argument with her.  Then he told her to shut up, and she said, "I'd like to see you make me!"  At that point he proceeded to shut her up by retrieving his old bolt-action repeater rifle with 33 inch barrel.  His father pleaded with him to stop, but he raised the rifle and shot his wife in the head.  His father ran out.  As his wife lay dead, his four-year old daughter, Rose, came in and he shot her dead.  He then shot and killed his one and a half year old daughter.  He tried to shoot himself with the rifle, but the barrel was too long for him to reach the trigger.  So, he tied a string around the trigger and wrapped it around the trigger guard, but as he pulled the string, the shot missed his skull and lodged in his jaw.

Jean Lanfray lived to stand trial on February 23, 1906.  By then the autopsy had revealed that his wife was four-months pregnant, and the public outcry quickly escalated against him.  During the trial, expert witnesses argued that the two ounces of Absinthe that Lanfray had drunk early in the morning on the day of the murders was the culprit.  Dr. Albert Mahaim, a psychologist, testified that Lanfray suffered from "Absinthe madness."  Lanfray was found guilty of all three murders and sentenced to 30 years.  He hanged himself three days later.

The swift public reaction to the Lanfray murders led to a petition drive to ban the sale of Absinthe.  On May 15, 1906 the Legislature in the local canton of Vaud, Switzerland voted to ban the sale of Absinthe.  A Swiss constitutional amendment to ban Absinthe was proposed in 1908 and approved on October 7, 1910.  The Lanfray murders led to the ban of Absinthe in every European country, except the United Kingdom, Sweden and Spain, and to a ban in United States.


Absinthe, van GoghAbsinthe is a very strong alcoholic spirit, which is made with wormwood6, green anise, fennel, hyssop, and other herbs.  It is 55% to 72% alcohol (110 to 144 proof).  The high alcohol content is required to dissolve the tar of wormwood.  Wormwood contains thujone, which is a poison but does not pose a problem for the amount in Absinthe.  Wormwood contains several medicinal characteristics, such as a pain-killer, that add to the effects of the drink, but the major kick comes from the high alcohol content.  Many drinkers, like Ernest Hemingway, swear that it is an aphrodisiac.

Absinthe contains no sugar, and is therefore properly called a spirit and not a liqueur.  It is diluted with about three times as much water before drinking, which turns the liquid from light green or blue to opal.  Also, a sugar cube is usually dissolved in it in a ritual before drinking.8,9

Wormwood was leached in wine from ancient times for medicine and other uses.  It is recorded in the Bible and was used by the Egyptians in 1550 BC and by the ancient Greeks.  After distillation of alcohol was discovred, it was dissolved in alcohol with other herbs to make medicine.  The modern drink, Absinthe, came from a recipe discovered around 1792 in Couvet, Switzerland.  The first Absinthe distillery was opened in Couvet in 1797 by Marcellin Dubied and Henry-Louis Pernod.  They opened another distillery in France in 1805.

After Absinthe was used by French troops to prevent malaria, it became a very popular drink and was exported to other countries in Europe.  It also became popular in New Orleans where the Absinthe Room was opened in 1874 and frequented by many famous people, including Mark Twain, Franklin Roosevelt, and Frank Sinatra.  In the late 1800's, Absinthe was popular with artists, authors, and poets, including Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Edgar Allen Poe, Vincent van Gogh, Picasso, Oscar Wilde, Paul Verlaine, and Ernest Hemingway.

Prostitute of Babylon's Cup of Abominations

A glass of Absinthe symbolizes the cup of wine in the hand of the Prostitute of Babylon filled with abominations and impurities.  Absinthe ingredients of wormwood, hyssop, anise, and fennel mixed with alcohol symbolize abominations and impurities.
Rev 17:4
The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup filled with abominations and impurities of her prostitution.
Olivia, The Absinthe DrinkerThe wine was strong.  "Those who dwell on the Earth were made drunk by the wine of her prostitution" (Rev. 17:2b).  Absinthe is also a strong intoxicant.  In the drunken state a person is in the Cosmic System under the power of the demon of the Prostitute of Babylon.  Thus, strong alcoholic drinks like Absinthe are a way to the Prostitute of Babylon.  Two artists painted the demon of the Prostitute of Babylon attacking the Absinthe drinker.  Viktor Oliva painted the green demon in "The Absinthe Drinker," and Albert Maignan captured the image of the demon called "The Green Goddess" (La Muse Verte).

Absinthe, which is 72% alcohol (144 proof), is a strong intoxicant.  Even though it is mixed with water before drinking, it quickly intoxicates.  And being a favorite of artists and poets, its effects are well documented.  Van Gogh lost an ear after getting drunk on Absinthe.  Picasso conceived more deranged illustrations.    And murders and criminality attributed to Absinthe inspired the Prohibition movement in Europe and the United States in the early 1900's.  According to the Bible, drinking is not a sin, but drunkenness is (Eph 5:18).  Drunkenness is a type of Reversionism.

Lanfray Murders Chart

Lanfray Murders ChartThe Chart at the time of the Lanfray murders (approximately 6:30 PM) contained a Carafe and a Grand Cross.  A Carafe is a bottle for serving drinks, such as water, wine, or liquor.  And a Grand Cross is the most intense sign of suffering in a Chart.  The Grand Cross over the Carafe captured the essence of the Lanfray murders fueled by alcohol and the prohibition of Absinthe and other alcoholic beverages that were banned during Prohibition in Europe and the United States.

On the Ascendant was the God of the Covenants in Aquarius, which corresponds to the Prohibition laws, since Aquarius symbolizes liquids and the God of the Covenants symbolizes laws.  Lanfray's boots under the sink also correspond to Aquarius.  In opposition on the Descendant was the Sun in conjunction with the Savior Planet in Leo, for a Father and Son relationship.  This symbolizes the King of glory and the royal son, which corresponds to heads of state and legislators, who passed the laws of Prohibition.  The planets on the Descendant corresponded to the end of the era of Absinthe.  The laws that brought down the $100 million Absinthe industry were passed because the liquor distillers did not have a powerful lobby like the wine industry.  Leo corresponds to Washington, DC, where the United States was also quick to ban Absinthe in 1912.

The Moon was in Cancer, for security for a group.  The people demanded security from the users of Absinthe.  Also in Cancer was the Morning Star for a reaper or harvester, corresponding to Lanfray's occupation of working in the vineyards.

The Red Planet was near Midheaven in Scorpius, for a notorious murder.  And the Bottom of Heaven, IC, was in Taurus, corresponding to the death of something enjoyed by royalty, namely, Absinthe.  Also in Taurus were the Almighty God Planet, for Baal, and the Last Adam, for hidden power.  The hidden power of Baal is the power of the Prostitute of Babylon over the drunk (Rev 17:4) and over the $100 million liquor industry.

The Redeemer was in Gemini, for the husband as breadwinner.  Lanfray's role as husband breadwinner factored into the scenario of the murders.  Gemini corresponds to France and Israel.  Although the nation of Israel was not on the map in 1905, anti-Semitism was still a problem in Europe and the largest producers of Absinthe, Arthur and Edmond Vielle-Picard, were at least half-Jewish.  In France the press, led by the Parisian daily, Le Matin, strongly supported Prohibition.

The Mediator Planet in Sagittarius symbolized mediation to save people, corresponding to Prohibition legislation to ban Absinthe.


Jean Lanfray murdered his family in a drunken rage.  Although the murders were blamed on Absinthe, murder is the work of Satan, who was a murderer from the beginning (Jn 8:44).  Lanfray's drunken state that day was not due to Absinthe but from drinking wine and other alcoholic drinks.  Being drunk delivers a person into the Cosmic System and under the power of Satan, who incites the Evil King (including the murderer) and the Prostitute of Babylon.  A glass of Absinthe, made from wormwood, symbolizes the cup of the Prostitute of Babylon that is filled with abominations and impurities.  Drunkenness is the way to the demon of the Prostitute of Babylon.  The fight between Jean Lanfray and his wife was a confrontation between Satan as the Evil King (Lanfray) and the Prostitute of Babylon (Lanfray's wife).  Lanfray was 31, for an Evil King.

The Chart at the time of the Lanfray murders contained a Carafe and a Grand Cross.  The Carafe symbolized the bottles of wine and other alcoholic beverages that Lanfray drank, and the Grand Cross symbolized the intensive suffering of violent murder.  The Carafe and Grand Cross also symbolized the Prohibition Laws that would subsequently be enacted to ban Absinthe and other alcoholic beverages in Europe and the United States.  The Prohibition Laws, which were unethical, pitted the Evil King (government Prohibition) against the Prostitute of Babylon (illegal alcohol sellers).  What began as a fight between a husband and wife parlayed into gang warfare between governments and alcohol sellers.  And all this was foretold by a Grand Cross over a Carafe in a Star Chart for August 28, 1905.

Lanfray Murders Chart Planets

Sun Leo King of glory
Moon Cancer Security for a group
Savior Leo Royal son
Morning Star Cancer Reaper
Red Planet Scorpius Murder
Almighty God Taurus Baal
Ring Planet Aquarius Prohibition laws
Mediator Sagittarius Mediator to save people
Redeemer Gemini Husband breadwinner
Last Adam Taurus Hidden power



1.  Maurice Zolotow, "Absinthe," Playboy, June 1971.
2.  "What were the Lanfray murders?" Oxygénée's Absinthe History & FAQ VI.
3.  "Jean Lanfray,"  Wikipedia.
4.  "Absinthe," Wikipedia.
5.  Viktor Oliva, "The Absinthe Drinker," 1901.
6.  Larry Wood, "Wormwood and Gall," February 20, 2012.
7.  Vincent van Gogh, "Still Life with Absinthe," Paris, 1887.
8.  "Drinking Absinthe," National Geographic, Video.
9.  Heureverte, "Absinthe Ritual," Youtube, Video.

Released February 20, 2012 - Revised February 21, 2012

Author: Larry Wood
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