The Devil in Haiti

There’s a great deal of ridicule being aimed at Pat Robertson for describing the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti as God’s retribution on the country for a deal with the Devil supposedly made by the leaders of the 1791 slave revolt in which they threw off French control. And Robertson is a foaming loon, to be sure…but when I dug for the source of the legend I found a curiously plausible account:

It is a matter of well-documented historical fact that the nation of Haiti was dedicated to Satan 200 years ago. On August 14, 1791, a group of houngans (voodoo priests), led by a former slave houngan named Boukman, made a pact with the Devil at a place called Bois-Caiman. All present vowed to exterminate all of the white Frenchmen on the island. They sacrificed a black pig in a voodoo ritual at which hundreds of slaves drank the pig’s blood. In this ritual, Boukman asked Satan for his help in liberating Haiti from the French. In exchange, the voodoo priests offered to give the country to Satan for 200 years and swore to serve him. On January 1, 1804, the nation of Haiti was born and thus began a new demonic tyranny.

The reason I describe this as plausible is that if you were to delete “Satan” and replace it with a name of any of the darker Voudun gods, it would be well within their tradition to do something like this. The question that sprang to my mind when I read this was, who were they actually invoking?

The Wikipedia article on Haitian Voudo has this to say:

The most historically important Vodou ceremony in Haitian history was the Bwa Kayiman or Bois Caïman ceremony of August 1791 that began the Haitian Revolution, in which the spirit Ezili Dantor possessed a priestess and received a black pig as an offering, and all those present pledged themselves to the fight for freedom. This ceremony ultimately resulted in the liberation of the Haitian people from French colonial rule in 1804, and the establishment of the first black people’s republic in the history of the world and the second independent nation in the Americas.

Just as the first account was clearly written by a Christian projecting his pantheon on Voudun, this one smells of apologism by a modern Voudun practitioner trying to sound unthreatening and New-Agey. For starters, “kill all the white Frenchmen” sounds like a more plausible objective for a bunch of illiterate, pissed-off black slaves to have chosen than the more abstract “fight for freedom”, especially in view of the fact that actually did massacre the white population pretty comprehensively (not that I’m objecting; under the circumstances, doing so was arguably justice). And it has its own corresponding implausibility about the focus of the ritual built in.

It is relevant here that I am a third-degree Wiccan, which means that I’m pretty experienced at designing rituals that invoke god-forms for specified purposes. Part of the art is choosing a god-form with attributes appropriate to the purpose of the rite. And I have to say that Ezilie Dantor is just not a very plausible choice here — not for a ritual intended to consecrate the participants to acts of bloody revolutionary mayhem.

It’s true that she’s “petwo”, one of the “hard” gods associated with aggression and violence, but she’s mainly associated with motherhood and fertility. But if I had been the houngan in charge, I’d have chosen either Baron Samedi (more or less the god of death) or Ogun (god of war, politics, fire, and smithing). And I won’t believe (well, not without evidence anyway) that the houngans were less capable ritual artists than I am.

Ogun would probably have been a better functional choice, but the theory that they invoked Baron Samedi gets a little support from the fact that Christian accounts finger Satan. The Baron is not actually very much like Satan, but he’s the closest you get in the Voudun gods and I could easily see someone with the impoverished theological categories of a Christian making that error of identification.

Now I’m writing in real time…googling for “Bois Cayman ceremony” reveals mainly disputes over whether it actually took place at all, and the information that the government of Haiti staged a 200th-anniversary re-enactment in which Ezilie Dantor was (re-)invoked. But no, I think I still don’t believe she was the original focus.

Aha! The Wikipedia article on Ogoun says: “It is Ogun who is said to have planted the idea, led and given power to the slaves for the Haitian Revolution of 1804.” That is rather more plausible.

To sum up, I strongly suspect that what actually happened was: a mass invocation of Ogun, Christian idiots hearing secondhand accounts mistaking it for Satanism, and the Haitians themselves later reinventing the story around Ezilie — possibly under the influence of the French and American “Lady Liberty”.

184 thoughts on “The Devil in Haiti

  1. Seriously? A Wiccan? I thought you had more sense than that.

    ESR says: Perhaps your prejudices need re-examining, then.

  2. Interesting to see you writing about theology again. It makes for an interesting social experiment, considering your own views will come as a surprise for many of the newer readers. Therefore even as your post was interesting, I expect real fun to be at the comments :)

    Generally, matters of religion seem to be subject to a lot of rewriting of history, both intentional and accidental. Whitewashing is part of it, but there’s also mixing of traditions and interpretation through scholars’ own worldviews. Former is very visible in for example finnish folk paganism, which under swedish rule borrowed heavily from christianity, though much of the religion survive as traditions even in current dominantly christian culture, so it kind of worked both ways. Suomi (Finland) is also a good example of the latter, as the scholars that wrote the surviving accounts of the old religions (there were more or less two of them, samí people had their own) were all christians.

  3. “Seriously? A Wiccan? I thought you had more sense than that.

    ESR says: Perhaps your prejudices need re-examining, then”

    I dont. Im curious too. Why is a man who proclaims himself a semi-genius on his website, a man who thinks the christian faith is retarded…why does that man proclaim himself a wiccan?

    Really, what do you “believe” Can you cast a spell? Do you pour salt on the ground and pray to a figure with horns?I dont know how much of that is a joke, or not-my last sentence-

    My idea. Hes like most of the other wiccans I know. He dosent actually believe any of it, because its insane. Its just social fun. But if not…I truly am curious? Just what makes neopaganism the most correct religious tradition?

  4. > Really, what do you “believe” Can you cast a spell?

    As subject matter at hand is so nicely obvious, I just have to…

    Imagine two groups of several hundred slaves. Angry, but very well indoctrinated to obey.

    One group just gets together and decides that hey, we’ll just do a revolution!

    Other group slaughters a pig, drinks it’s blood and vows their lives to god of war, for battle to kill all the white frenchmen.

    Now, do you think there’s a difference in chance of success between those groups?

    What do you believe? ;)

  5. the voodoo priests offered to give the country to Satan for 200 years … On January 1, 1804, the nation of Haiti was born and thus began a new demonic tyranny.

    … which expired six years ago. Or am I missing something?

    the government of Haiti staged a 200th-anniversary re-enactment in which Ezilie Dantor was (re-)invoked.

    Oops

  6. Even if you take the Wikipedia account at face value, how does anyone know that the spirit who possessed that priestess was Ezilie Dantor? It’s not like you can ask the spirit to show you some ID.

  7. Full disclosure: I am not Wiccan, nor do I consider myself anything of an expert on the subject. I just have relative who is Wiccan and have skimmed a few texts when visiting.

    “You don’t cast a spell to change the world, you cast a spell to change yourself.” That, or a line very like it, is one from a Wiccan book I’ve skimmed. What it looks like to me is just a sort of auto-suggestion with a decidedly non-clinical wrapper. This isn’t all that different from at least part of Christian principle: “God helps those who helps themselves.” Deities don’t do anything, you do. It just helps many to believe that you have some help on your side when trying to do something big.

  8. >Now, do you think there’s a difference in chance of success between those groups?

    If you think there isn’t, then why do football teams have cheerleaders?

    >What do you believe? ;)

    I believe the human mind is a very powerful instrument.

    >… which expired six years ago. Or am I missing something?

    The 200-year anniversary was of 1791, the year the Bois Cayman ritual took place.

    >how does anyone know that the spirit who possessed that priestess was Ezilie Dantor?

    If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…

  9. >What it looks like to me is just a sort of auto-suggestion with a decidedly non-clinical wrapper

    Well spotted. Ritual is programming for the unconscious mind done in the symbolic language of the unconscious mind.

  10. >> What do you believe? ;)

    > I believe the human mind is a very powerful instrument.

    Question was actually meant for chris, whom I quoted and it’s purpose was to show the obviousness of that particular “spell” working.

    As disclosure of personal position seems somewhat relevant at this point to clarify things, I’m a materialistic pantheist and current secretary of the Finnish Pagan Network.

  11. “Seriously? A Wiccan? I thought you had more sense than that.”

    Makes perfect sense to me.

    Wicca is the open source religion.

  12. As a former 2nd-degree Gardnerian, now Christian (not Robertsonian), I have to ask some of these commenters: why are you insulting this man’s religion? How can that possibly lead him to your POV (be it Christian, atheist or whatever)? And did your mothers bring you up to diss a man in his own house?

    I’ve never been attracted to Afro-diasporic religions, so my knowledge is not that deep, but my understanding was that you take whoever shows up, rather than invoking a specific godform (more a Wiccan notion, I think). So, even though Ezilie Dantor is not a good fit, it’s within the realm of possibility that when “it was time”, Ezilie was who showed up. In that case, one might ask what elements of Haitian society and history since that time were formed by the Ezilian element in the revolution’s beginning.

    As for Robberson’s remark, he should know that all the Earth is Satan’s occupied territory (at the least, the governments belong to him…when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness with the kingdoms of the earth, Jesus didn’t laugh and say, “You dolt, you don’t own that, my dad and I do”). As such, “stuff happens”, anywhere, anytime. Robertson’s oriental despot, who creates misery to provoke compliance to his will, is not a god any honorable and free man would worship. (Fortunately, “Mr. Tetragrammaton” is not like that.) The remark wasn’t ridiculous; it was blasphemous.

  13. I don’t know much about who the supporters of Robertson are, but it’s rather amazing to me that there are more than a dozen of them at this point. He’s put out this sort of lunacy enough times already. Then again I just probably don’t have the background to understand where these people are coming from. I suppose if you’ve had a ‘Jesus Camp’ upbringing…

  14. Okay, interesting folklore. But even if I did believe in all that mystical bullshit, it wouldn’t make Pat Robertson any less of an asshole.

  15. >but my understanding was that you take whoever shows up, rather than invoking a specific godform

    Sort of. In Voudoun and related religious, such as Santeria and the Candomble/Umbanda group, possession during a rite is supposed to be spontaneous at the will of the god, rather than specifically invoked. But there are at least two ways a specific god may be selected for:

    (1) Use his or her attributes in the ritual furniture…for example, drape a tailcoat and a top hat over a chair to invite Baron Samedi.

    (2) Choose participants who have a history of being possessed by the god you want.

    The effect is not that different from Wiccan ritual. I know this from in experience, having once been in circle with a Santeria adept. Her behavior was intelligible to us, and vice-versa.

    >So, even though Ezilie Dantor is not a good fit, it’s within the realm of possibility that when “it was time”, Ezilie was who showed up.

    True. But I don’t think even Christians are blinkered enough to turn a fertility goddess into “Satan” — the secondhand accounts would probably have spoken of a “spirit” or something instead. Actually, given who Ezilie is often syncretized with, if she had shown up it would have been fairly accurate to describe what happened as a visitation of Mary.

  16. Oddly enough you mention this at the time I was reading up on Native American sweat-lodge practices (the reason why has to do with a real demon if ever one existed: James Arthur Ray, and his pastiche of said practices that led to unnecessary death and suffering a few months back) which appear, from the outside, to fulfill a similar role: to get members of the tribe keyed up on a subconscious level to perform great feats.

    As for Robertson, even though people who speak like he does are very dangerous I have trouble deciding if he’s sincere or an elaborate troll.

  17. > As a former 2nd-degree Gardnerian, now Christian (not Robertsonian), I have to ask some of these commenters: why are you insulting this man’s religion?

    I agree with the rest of your point, but this is an odd way to set it up. The Bible frequently insults the followers of other religions.

    I direct you to Corinthians 10:20, where Paul says:
    >No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.
    >You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.

    Or to Peter 4:3, where he says
    >For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.

    Your religion insults his religion in its primary text. Don’t get too high and mighty about religious tolerance. As far as I can see, only atheism, agnosticism and polytheistic religions can be truly tolerant of other people’s religious views.

  18. I should probably say ‘pantheistic’ rather than ‘polytheistic’, actually.

  19. >I should probably say ‘pantheistic’ rather than ‘polytheistic’, actually.

    Polytheistic religious are, as a rule, quite tolerant. There have been sporadic exceptions, but they’re pretty much all typifiied by the Roman cult of Sol Invictus, which was a proxy for worship of the state or the Emperor.

  20. >Your religion insults his religion in its primary text.

    It’s true. Strict Christianity, like strict Islam, is murderously intolerant. Only the decadent Christians make tolerable neighbors.

  21. > …Christian idiots hearing secondhand accounts mistaking it for Satanism…

    What you describe and what I’ve found on Wikipedia still sounds a lot like what the Bible defines as Satanism. It’s a pretty harsh view, but Christianity defines whatever spirits not subject to the Christian God as subject to Satan.

    > It’s true. Strict Christianity, like strict Islam, is murderously intolerant. Only the decadent Christians make tolerable neighbors.

    Not really. Christians have murdered and been intolerant. And the Bible says some pretty strong stuff condemning pagans. But it also states pretty clearly that justice will be carried out by God. Romans 12 advocates a more or less a model tolerant Christian lifestyle; what is laid out in that chapter is how the Strict Christian should behave.

    It’s getting pretty hard to find Strict Christians.

  22. your knowledge of spiritual matters is extremely ignorant! there is a war going on, between God and satan. we humans are involved in this war – we are either on Gods’ side or satans’ – there is no neutrality. the Bible, which you quote, says that when offerings are made to idols, they are actually made to demons. and your comment that Christianity is “murderously intolerant” is an out and out lie – our God says to love our enemies and pray for them – Islam says to kill your enemies – quite a difference

  23. David – recovering from what? not Christianity, I trust – his essay is absolute junk! talk about a deluded fool! in the spititual war in which we are involved, he belongs to satans’ side. he does not speak truth – he speaks nonsense and foolishness – he misunderstands Christianity and promotes his ignorance as fact – make an appointment with a good Bible believing, Bible teaching pastor and talk to him. get the truth about Christianity before leaving it.

  24. Personally, I find the Erzulie Dantor version quite plausible. Godforms are not static. It could be something like Hathor->Sekhmet transformation from the Egyptian mythology. If I were a houngan I woudn’t trust such an event to the male Deity.

    And as I wrote this, I suddenly saw remembered this picture by Nicholas Roerich.

    +1 for Erzulie Dantor

  25. > It’s getting pretty hard to find Strict Christians.

    This may explain Robertson’s behavior. He’s signaling that he is such, in the hopes that others who feel that way, and who have searched in vain for someone like-minded to support, will be enticed to send him some money. There’s no accounting for taste.

    When we decry intolerance by pointing out that a particular sect is not Satanism, we should probably add, “not that there’s anything wrong with that!”

  26. True. But I don’t think even Christians are blinkered enough to turn a fertility goddess into “Satan” — the secondhand accounts would probably have spoken of a “spirit” or something instead. Actually, given who Ezilie is often syncretized with, if she had shown up it would have been fairly accurate to describe what happened as a visitation of Mary.

    Christian syncretism and pagan syncretism have different ends and methodologies. If the fertility goddess were not venerated in a Mary-like way, then she is considered not Mary but a familiar spirit or demon.

  27. True. But I don’t think even Christians are blinkered enough to turn a fertility goddess into “Satan” — the secondhand accounts would probably have spoken of a “spirit” or something instead. Actually, given who Ezilie is often syncretized with, if she had shown up it would have been fairly accurate to describe what happened as a visitation of Mary.

    Christian syncretism and pagan syncretism have different ends and methodologies. If the fertility goddess were not venerated in a Mary-like way, then she is considered not Mary but a familiar spirit or demon.

    In fact, regardless of the manner in which she was venerated, this would have been reported as Satan by a Christian, since all such invocations are believed to be reigned over by either him or on of his arch-demons.

  28. Actually Erzulie Dantor is quite plausible as a patroness of a rebellion. To call her a fertility goddess is wrong on both counts, lwas are not gods and her main realm is not fertility. Battered wifes and raped women go to her for help and revenge; I don’t think you’d go to her if you want a child. She’s the patroness of the single mothers, a child of the street, fiercely protective of those who are loyal to her. She seems a rather natural choice as a patroness for a slave revolt.

  29. Fine example of Poe’s law we have here. Jim certainly has the verbal style down pat.

  30. Yeah, but even if they did have such a ceremony to invoke whatever (and some of the Gods Voudun emerged from are dark indeed), does anyone think this had anything more than a marginal effect on what happened?

    I think Pat Robertson likes to make crackpot statements so then he can claim he’s persecuted by the inevitable attacks, and thus raise more money.

  31. Religion has no basis in objective reality, and nobody is going to believe that ritual is a kind of ‘mind programming’ until there are rigorous studies to back it up. Smells like homeopathy.

  32. Jeffrey Quick Says:

    > As a former 2nd-degree Gardnerian, now Christian (not Robertsonian), I have to

    I would like to hear more. What flavor of Christian are you, and how did arrive there? If email is more appropriate, contact info is at the link.

  33. What is a Gardnerian?

    ESR says: Major flavor of Wiccan. Google Gerald Gardner. I am technically a Gardnerian myself, having received my third degree through that line, but I’ve never used specifically Gardnerian ritual or sources much so don’t usually describe myself that way.

  34. Wiccan? What a disappointment and almost impossible to understand. So correct in other matters but so utterly lost in spiritual ones.

  35. Now we’re hearing concerns about how the delay of aid/supplies may spark violence.

    I have the same feeling watching the blacks of Haiti as I did watching the blacks of New Orleans.

  36. Dan – Would that by any chance be the feeling that now is an especially good time to express your racism in writing? Because somehow I’m not harboring much hope that it’s the feeling that our civilization could really stand not to fuck this one up.

  37. >Dan – Would that by any chance be the feeling that now is an especially good time to express your racism in writing?

    I think, if I understand how Dan’s mind works, he has noticed something important. Haitian blacks aren’t just materially poor, they’re culturally impoverished as well. The same is true of underclass blacks in New Orleans and everywhere else, although thankfully not to the extreme degree we see in Haiti. These cultures have thin, fragile trust networks; they don’t cope resiliently with disruptive shocks and they’re prone to breakdowns in civil order when those happen.

    And it’s not racist to notice that this is important. If a bunch of white people had the same sort of cultural software running in their heads, the same distribution of intelligence, and the same average wealth level, I don’t think either Dan or I doubts they’d cope just as poorly.

    If it makes you feel any better, you can blame the dysfunctionality of these cultures on evil white oppressors. It’s even possible that’s true, but whether it is or not has no bearing on the present reality we have to cope with when a flood devastates New Orleans or an earthquake flattens Port-au-Prince.

  38. >And it’s not racist to notice that this is important. If a bunch of white people had the same sort of cultural software running in their heads, the same distribution of intelligence, and the same average wealth level, I don’t think either Dan or I doubts they’d cope just as poorly.

    Not quite as poorly, but look at how Russia has coped the last couple of decades.

  39. Brennan, I posted my comment in all sincerity, yet knowing that somebody would not be able to resist the siren call of the the race card. Thanks for not disappointing me – tiresome and feeble, yet oddly reassuring.

    ESR – Of course, you are absolutely correct in your understanding Thank you :)

  40. It is relevant here that I am a third-degree Wiccan, which means that I’m pretty experienced at designing rituals that invoke god-forms for specified purposes. Part of the art is choosing a god-form with attributes appropriate to the purpose of the rite. And I have to say that Ezilie Dantor is just not a very plausible choice here — not for a ritual intended to consecrate the participants to acts of bloody revolutionary mayhem.

    I don’t know about that. Mambo Ezili Danto is by far one of the most popular Vodoun goddesses. She’s said to be a protector of her children and will defend them until the very end. I understand you attended a circle with a Santerian adept, but understand that there are huge differences between Santeria and Vodoun. I’m with Ivan, here. +1 for Ezili.

    As for Christians being blinkered enough to turn Ezili Danto into Satan, remember that they were blinkered enough to turn Pan, Cernunnos, etc. into Satan, what makes you think they would stop there?

  41. BTW– I agree that Ogoun may have been a good choice — he’s a traditional warrior god along the lines of Ares and Hephaestus, but I wouldn’t rule out Ezili Danto on that information alone.

  42. Tony Johnson Says:
    >Religion has no basis in objective reality, and nobody is going to believe that ritual is a kind of ‘mind >programming’ until there are rigorous studies to back it up.

    Tony, clearly there are several people who do believe it, posting here! So, if you are an empiricist, you would have to reject your own comment! I’m afraid that you, have a religion commonly called “scientism”! It isn’t empirical science but rather an authoritarian belief system.

  43. I’m not religious at all, I don’t believe in any form of mystical mumbo-jumbo….but I do believe in the power of prayer and of ‘ritual magic’ in the sense that I think ESR means it.

    There are many clever ways you can fuck with the mind.

  44. @Tony Johnson:

    Religion has no basis in objective reality, and nobody is going to believe that ritual is a kind of ‘mind programming’ until there are rigorous studies to back it up.

    Actually, there are various studies to back that up, such as this one found in a Washington Post article. These studies are always controversial, of course, but there does seem to be at least some correlation.

    Christian prayer, Buddhist prayer, Pagan prayer, Wiccan ritual, Vodoun ritual, Santerian ritual, whatever. They’re all the same thing, really.

  45. The voudou account of the pact, while less demeaning than a “devil’s pact”, is still wrong. Most of Haiti’s early leaders were Catholics, and Boukman was actually delivering a prayer where he invoked the “God of Heaven”.

    You are aware that Haitian Vodou is a blending of West African Vodun and Roman Catholicism (hence my tendancy to spell it as ‘Vodoun’) , right?

  46. >Tony, clearly there are several people who do believe it, posting here! So, if you are an empiricist, you would have to reject your own comment! I’m afraid that you, have a religion commonly called “scientism”! It isn’t empirical science but rather an authoritarian belief system.

    Scientism’s axioms actually lead to useful results, unlike religion which cannot produce repeatable results ever.

    >Actually, there are various studies to back that up, such as this one found in a Washington Post article. These studies are always controversial, of course, but there does seem to be at least some correlation.

    The placebo effect is not ‘programming’. Programming is repeatable.

  47. @Tony

    > The placebo effect is not ‘programming’. Programming is repeatable.

    As your brought it up, placebo effect is actually very repeatable. That’s why controlling for it is one of the very basic tests for any medicine. It’s definition is pretty much the healing effect of believing to be healed by something.

    As placebo effect is so well understood and it’s triggering conditions apply equally well to about any kind of healing magic, I’d say that scientific mind should demand evidence for _difference_ in effectiveness between any kind of healing magic and a placebo medicine for the same condition. In absence of such evidence, it should be assumed that healing magic is equal in effectiveness to a placebo medicine, if person being healed has equal belief in the method used.

    The nice thing of course is that you don’t lose the benefit by understanding this :)

  48. I pray for repeated toddler footstampings from Tony.

    Seems very repeatable.

    :P

  49. @Tony Johnson:

    Yes, the placebo effect is programming. A person at the receiving end of the placebo effect is, by definition healed. It doesn’t matter whether or not the placebo itself did the healing. From the patient’s point of view, there is no practical difference between believing the placebo worked and the placebo actually working. The placebo effect is, as Valtteri mentioned, very repeatable and that is exactly why every scientific test for the effectiveness of a medicine must control for it.

  50. >Scientism’s axioms actually lead to useful results, unlike religion which cannot produce repeatable results ever.

    Tony is an annoying troll, but he’s also right about this. He’s correct almost by definition: if religion is about observable phenomena that are causally connected to “nature”, then we can and should apply the methods of science to it and insist on predictions as a confirmation of truth claims. If religion is not about observables (which is the “separate magisteria” position so beloved of cowards on both sides of the science vs. religion divide) then religion is meaningless!

    I don’t think what I do is meaningless. But then, I don’t think it’s actually religion in the sense Tony understands, either; it’s a safe bet that he’s stuck firmly inside Judeo-Christian epistemic categories that don’t apply. Me, I’m firmly on the science side of the divide, along with the Buddhists.

  51. That account of the Bois-Caiman ritual sounds much like that in Metraux’ Voodoo in Haiti, so it’s at least not something Wikipedia got all mangled-up.

    And from a Christian perspective (especially one of the 18th century Catholic heirarchy, observing it), that would be literal devil worship, even if it’s not Satanism in the sense of deliberately worshipping a deity you yourself identify as The Devil.

    I reckon, for a monotheist, every “god” that isn’t explicable as (an aspect of) the one god must therefore be a pretender – and thus might as well be a devil. Thus Pan as Satan; after all, those Bacchantes weren’t doing the Lord’s work, were they?

    (As ESR points out, Voodoo practitioners distinguish the “good” Rada from the “bad” Petro, if not quite in those terms, then something roughly comparable – but to a Christian observer, that distinction looks a lot like delusional rationalization of devil-worship. “Good” devils, “bad” devils – still devils.)

    (And as Morgan says responding to Aziz [hi, Aziz!], while Voodoo practitioners often – probably usually – identify themselves as Catholic, the Church has tried its best at various times to get the point across that you don’t really get to be a proper Catholic while revering west African tribal gods. Protestant converts naturally completely reject Voodoo; Metraux states, believably, that people “in trouble with the loa” convert to Protestantism to get them, so to speak, off their backs.

    That Boukman invoked “the God of Heaven” does not suggest it was not a Voodoo ritual or that it was essentially Catholic in nature.)

  52. > I don’t think what I do is meaningless.

    Without meaning to cause any offence, I’m genuinely interested whether this statement means you believe that Wiccan ritual (or “spells”, if that would be more correct) cause observable and repeatable changes that go beyond the mental state of the immediate participants?

  53. >observable and repeatable changes that go beyond the mental state of the immediate participants?

    Well, sure. You’ve never seen anyone, say, heal a sprained ankle by putting hands on it? Not only have I seen this done, I’ve done it myself. It’s a relatively simple hack, even Christian fundamentalists can do it! They call it “faith healing”, but no faith is actually involved — not as far as I can tell, anyway.

    And no, I don’t understand how it works, and no it’s not perfectly repeatable. I know what to do to get the effect fairly reliably, though. And I could probably teach you to do it.

    Now, you’re probably wondering why I put myself on the side of science when I admit the hack isn’t perfectly repeatable. I do so because I neither have nor want any belief that it’s “supernatural”, and that though I might invoke a god when I do it I know perfectly well that the purpose and effect of the invocation is purely psychological.

    Whatever the mechanism is, it’s something that happens in the observable universe and is something about which I’m sure we can have scientific knowledge once we figure out what the right experimental protocols are. In the mean time, I do things because they work.

  54. > Well, sure. You’ve never seen anyone, say, heal a sprained ankle by putting hands on it?

    As a matter of fact, no I haven’t. Does it involve physical manipulation? (You call it a “hack”, implying some change in state beyond the application of mental effort).

  55. I don’t think what I do is meaningless. But then, I don’t think it’s actually religion in the sense Tony understands, either; it’s a safe bet that he’s stuck firmly inside Judeo-Christian epistemic categories that don’t apply. Me, I’m firmly on the science side of the divide, along with the Buddhists.

    I see what you’re saying and I agree with you, but whether or not Tony is actually correct depends largely on how you define “religion.” That can get into a very detailed, complex discussion that has been the source of much confusion and flamewars elsewhere on Net. ;)

  56. @Sigivald:

    And as Morgan says responding to Aziz [hi, Aziz!], while Voodoo practitioners often – probably usually – identify themselves as Catholic, the Church has tried its best at various times to get the point across that you don’t really get to be a proper Catholic while revering west African tribal gods.

    When the Catholic Church starts actively seeking out and excommunicating Vodou practitioners, then, and only then, can they properly say that Vodou practitioners aren’t Catholic. Those who understand the practices of the Roman Catholic Church will actually be unsurprised when I say that they don’t do this.

    @Tony Johnson
    As a matter of fact, no I haven’t. Does it involve physical manipulation? (You call it a “hack”, implying some change in state beyond the application of mental effort).

    No, not usually. How it’s generally done depends on whose doing it and what style they’re using. Usually hands are placed slightly above, but not touching, the injured placed, but other practitioners may actually touch the injured area very lightly.

    Words can be said or not. Christians will pray for the injury to be healed; neopagans will invoke some god/dess associated with healing: Hermes or Aesclipius perhaps, maybe Eochaid, Dagda, Sirona or the hearth aspect of Brighid, for a Celtic practitioner. Some fundamentalist Christians may “speak in tongues”.

    ESR says: Morgan’s description covers my experience well.

  57. Since we’re on the topic of the occult, I’ll explain how astrology works as well.

    You can read this article as basic background: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14200

    Since genuine astrology is a reasonably high IQ pursuit, the average person can only muster the brain power to learn “signs”, which is actually the Sun sign. But since this is one datum out of a complex pattern, pop astrology is easily (and rightfully, on the basis of that limited evidence) dismissed by many.

    Well, their prejudices need reexamining as well.

    The arrangement of stellar bodies and points in the natal chart (drawn according to time and place of birth), e.g. is a symbolic representation of the person’s personality structure. All the delusions, obsessions, conflicts, projection mechanisms, and other personality aspects can be gleaned here.

    As the article says, the universe is a big ole fractal pattern.

    As that article says, “If there is a pattern in the sky, it encodes the secrets of the universe.”

    ;-)

  58. > Well, sure. You’ve never seen anyone, say, heal a sprained ankle by putting hands on it? Not only have I seen this done, I’ve done it myself.

    I’m reluctant to accept this, but observing that abused people often exhibit psychosomatic illnesses like IBS and fibromyalgia tilts me towards believing you.

    Um… I seem to be caught in your spam queue…

  59. And no, I don’t understand how it works, and no it’s not perfectly repeatable. I know what to do to get the effect fairly reliably, though. And I could probably teach you to do it.

    You’re engaging in this stuff at a level I can understand, yet I have a mind that is immune to it.

    Intellectually I can appreciate the value of your stance, yet personally I am incapable of participation.

    I feel sad about this. A good quote comes from the movie “Angels & Demons”, where Tom Hanks says “faith is a gift I have yet to receive”. I feel that way sometimes.

    I envy you your experiences of a world that is still a mystery to me.

  60. About the closest I’ve come to understanding ‘magic’ was at a LARP pre-battle moot, where we consumed mead and moshed to “blood for the blood god” before battle.

    That was some awesome fucked-up animal crazy shit.

    We won.

  61. @Dan

    > I have a mind that is immune to it.

    I had, too. It’s fairly easy to fix, once you really wish to.

    > I feel sad about this.

    Which means you can probably fix it without too much effort. Give it some serious thought and time, while forgetting that your mind is immune to all this. Because you’re lucky enough to be wrong.

  62. >Since we’re on the topic of the occult, I’ll explain how astrology works as well.

    I don’t buy the basic premise that planetary configurations have that sort of influence on people. That I’d need to see validated with large-scale statistical studies.

  63. >I feel sad about this. A good quote comes from the movie “Angels & Demons”, where Tom Hanks says “faith is a gift I have yet to receive”. I feel that way sometimes.

    Entertainingly, I think ‘faith’ is a bitter poison and want no part of it. But I can do this stuff anyway. Faith is not required, just openness to experience.

  64. >As your brought it up, placebo effect is actually very repeatable

    Wrong. A placebo is, by its nature not repeatable, because it relies on the ignorance of the person on the receiving end. Furthermore the placebo effect is known to only work in self-reporting studies, making the effect purely an artifact of perception. You are not going to improve your cancer with positive thinking, but you might feel better.

    >I do things because they work.

    Nope. You cannot know this unless you have followed the scientific method to determine that they do work. You are squarely in the same category as people who believe in astrology and homeopathy on this.

  65. Why Ezili Dantor in stead of Ogoun?
    You might as well ask why the Greek Athenians choose Athena as their War Goddess instead of Ares, the Greek God of War.

    Ezili Dantor, also known as Ezili Danto and Erzulie Dantor, is the Petro Iwa of motherhood. Ezili Dantor can be an aggressive spirit. She is a tough lady. She is a sturdy, dark-skined country woman, independent and strong. Ezili Dantor is represented by the Catholic image of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa.

    >>True. But I don’t think even Christians are blinkered enough to turn a fertility goddess into “Satan” — the secondhand accounts would probably have spoken of a “spirit” or something instead. Actually, given who Ezilie is often syncretized with, if she had shown up it would have been fairly accurate to describe what happened as a visitation of Mary.<<

    Yes, some Christians, including many of Robertson's ilk, focus on Jesus. They do not recognize visitations of Blessed Virgin Mary as divine apparitions.

    But aside from that, Ezili Dantor is frequently honored on August 15, the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin. A favorite food for feasts honoring Ezili Dantor is fried pork.

    Ezili Dantor is associated with the "Haitian black pig" or "Creole pig," which is this lwa's favorite animal sacrifice. This pig was a breed of native black swine, "cochon planche."

    And Pat Robertson IS an arsehole for blaming victims of an earthquake for seismic activity

  66. > No, not usually. How it’s generally done depends on whose doing it and what style they’re using. Usually hands are placed slightly above, but not touching, the injured placed, but other practitioners may actually touch the injured area very lightly.
    >
    > Words can be said or not. Christians will pray for the injury to be healed; neopagans will invoke some god/dess associated with healing: Hermes or Aesclipius perhaps, maybe Eochaid, Dagda, Sirona or the hearth aspect of Brighid, for a Celtic practitioner. Some fundamentalist Christians may “speak in tongues”.
    >
    >ESR says: Morgan’s description covers my experience well.

    (Morgan, I think you were directing this at me, rather than Tony)

    I have to say I agree with Tony on this. Where are the published studies investigating the reporting of this technique?

    I am willing to accept that people who visit faith healers “feel better” after the experience … But without evidence (beyond anecdote) of physical improvement this is no different to homeopathy.

  67. Sorry – “investigating the reporting of” should be “investigating or reporting on”.

  68. >But without evidence (beyond anecdote) of physical improvement this is no different to homeopathy.

    All I have is anecdotes, sorry. I’d like to have science, but until I do I’ll settle for curing my little nephew’s vicious sinus headache, or watching a woman with an ankle so sprained that she had improvised a crutch just to be able to hobble do the rise up and walk thing — without it — after I made the swelling and the pain go away. I’ve never heard of homeopathy being that useful.

    And here’s a question for those of you who want scientific studies. I approve of your skepticism more than I would of credulity, truly I do — but do you think I should stop using something that I can see working just because I can’t explain it yet?

    And how do you think your attitude might change, if at all, if I taught you how to do it?

  69. I think you should carry on doing your magic, esr, as it is clearly a good thing regardless of the lack of scientific study. Do no harm to others, bring a little extra happiness into their lives – who can argue with that?

    I only see one hazard with what you do (and this is purely for your conscience to judge) – what if your magic causes someone to believe they’re better and thenfail to seek medical attention. That lady may have thrown away her crutch, but was there damage in her ankle that continued to grind away, causing more problems down the road.

    Think of the case recently where a mother and her son both wanted to use faith healing to cure the son’s cancer. I believe a court intervened and maybe the mother relented….I forget the details….but the point here is that there may well be similar hazards for you to face.

  70. > And how do you think your attitude might change, if at all, if I taught you how to do it?

    So teach us how to do it.

  71. ESR, have you read Wade’s “The Faith Instinct”?

    For the benefit of the comments readers that haven’t read it, the chief thesis of this book is that the suite of behaviors to which we attach the label “religious” is an adaption. Those groups that had a higher mix of these behaviors out-reproduced those that didn’t.

    In one particular, those groups with a stronger religion (i.e. one that was a stronger motivator) fared better in warfare. So the voodoo ritual probably was a key to the success of the Haitian revolution, without the need for any supernatural explanation.

    ESR says: Well, sure. Haven’t I already made clear that I don’t think “supernatural explanation” is *ever*required?

  72. >So teach us how to do it.

    Happily, but the teaching routine I have in mind needs to be done face to face. It is mostly demonstration rather than explanation.

  73. >I only see one hazard with what you do (and this is purely for your conscience to judge) – what if your magic causes someone to believe they’re better and thenfail to seek medical attention. That lady may have thrown away her crutch, but was there damage in her ankle that continued to grind away, causing more problems down the road.

    I’m aware of the problem. I only got to monitor her for about 48 hours after, but there was no sign of anything like that. In general, I think I know the limitations of the technique. I wouldn’t try treating a serious systemic injury with it.

  74. “I don’t buy the basic premise that planetary configurations have that sort of influence on people. That I’d need to see validated with large-scale statistical studies.”

    That’s not exactly the premise.

    The premise is that the universe is a fractal pattern (or at least that’s my explanation). People are part of the universe and hence part of that pattern.

    In other words there is no physical influence — the pull from Mars e.g. doesn’t make you more aggressive, or from Venus more winsome. (Some astrologers believe this – they are wrong.)

    It’s just how things are arranged — self-similarity is a quality you observe when looking at people and planets.

    Again, that’s just my theory from 11 years of looking at natal charts. It works from experience.

  75. My dad walked around for some time on a broken ankle — no crutches, braces, or anything.

    If Eric’s trick works then it’s probably a trick of the patient’s mind — another manifestation of the placebo effect that enables them to endure use of the injured limb. It would be interesting to subject it to scientific study; it need not even be reliably repeatable, just show a statistically significantly better chance of reducing pain, promoting faster recovery, etc. than placebo treatment. Experience doesn’t make the nut here; I’ve known people who make strong claims of curing cancer with reiki based on experience. Experience also leads Jenny McCarthy in her quixotic quest to “cure” her son’s autism. The human psyche is too prone to things like confirmation bias and selection bias for personal experience (a.k.a. anecdotal evidence) to be meaningful on its own.

    I know some people in the alt-med community and when they start going on about it my response is always the same: put up or shut up. Either demonstrate that the treatments you propose cause healing under controlled conditions or GTFO. Everything you have to say to the contrary — that we are all morphogenetic energy fields which reductionist science can’t comprehend, that Big Pharma funds all medical research and thus all medical research is to be considered suspect, etc. doesn’t make the nut. Evidence does.

  76. >The premise is that the universe is a fractal pattern (or at least that’s my explanation). People are part of the universe and hence part of that pattern.

    You’re weasel-wording. Either peoples’ personalities have a significant causal connections with planetary configurations or they don’t. Mouthing words about “fractal patterns” doesn’t explain anything and doesn’t predict anything; it’s just a superficially scientific-sounding noise. I think your theory is bunk.

    But I concede that it’s quite possible your technique may work anyway. A human mind will take just about any excuse to project patterns of its own making onto random data, and sometimes those patterns contain information that’s present in the mind but not accessible in its normal mode of waking consciousnessness. I think this is how sortilege divination methods like Tarot work, and I suspect it’s what you’re doing.

    Beware of pseudo-explanations; they’re far more damaging than ignorance. I work hard at avoiding them.

  77. Since genuine astrology is a reasonably high IQ pursuit, the average person can only muster the brain power to learn “signs”, which is actually the Sun sign. But since this is one datum out of a complex pattern, pop astrology is easily (and rightfully, on the basis of that limited evidence) dismissed by many.

    Bah. It’s not that hard, at least not for me. There is some nice cross-platform open source (Artistic License) software for doing charts called Maitreya, which runs on Windows and Linux and other Unixes. Then all you have to do is interpret the charts! :-P

  78. >I know some people in the alt-med community and when they start going on about it my response is always the same: put up or shut up. Either demonstrate that the treatments you propose cause healing under controlled conditions or GTFO. Everything you have to say to the contrary — that we are all morphogenetic energy fields which reductionist science can’t comprehend, that Big Pharma funds all medical research and thus all medical research is to be considered suspect, etc. doesn’t make the nut. Evidence does.

    Will it surprise anyone, at this point, when I say I completely agree with this? I don’t run around claiming to be able to cure all ills or muttering paranoia about Big Pharma, and any time a scientist wants to experiment in controlled conditions with what I do I will quite cheerfully cooperate.

  79. >If Eric’s trick works then it’s probably a trick of the patient’s mind — another manifestation of the placebo effect that enables them to endure use of the injured limb.

    I hear this a lot. But the word “placebo” is just as empty a non-explanation as “fractal pattern”. Both are noise, dismissals, evasions, ways to make people believe they have some sort of explanation so they’ll stop thinking.

    The interesting question, in cases like this where I can actually watch the sprain swelling reduce and the subject flex a joint that wouldn’t move five minutes earlier, is what’s the mechanism? You say “trick of the patient’s mind”, but until you know how “the patient’s mind” made the swelling go down the word “placebo” is just a noise with no predictive value; it tells you nothing about how or when the effect will replicate or what the exogenous controlling variables are.

    At least I know that I don’t know how the healing effect works: by saying “placebo” you have wrapped yourself in pseudo-knowledge that is far more limiting than my honest ignorance.

  80. I have to say I agree with Tony on this. Where are the published studies investigating the reporting of this technique?

    Some of the studies that have looked at prayer have included “laying of hands” techniques (“faith healing”), but you’re right in that there’s no positive studies (at least that I’m aware of) looking specifically at faith healing or even related techniques such as reiki. The main problem with doing scientific studies is that controlling for placebo is virtually impossible, likely because these techniques are, in fact, just another placebo.

    Here’s a few facts to consider though:

    1) Neither medicine nor any medical practice actually heals anything. The human body, as with virtually all complex lifeforms on this planet, actually heals itself. Medical science just helps things along.

    2) The vast majority of non-vaccine, non-psychiatric medicines don’t actually do anything but suppress symptoms. Supression of symptoms, however, does tend to affect mental state. OTOH, so can faith healing, reiki, etc.

    3) There’s plenty of scientific evidence that suggests that mental state plays an important part in the healing process. Patients with better mental states tend to heal faster and better than patiennts with poor mental states. So anything that can improve mental state has an indirect effect on the healing process.

    While we’re on the topic of alternative healing methods, too many “scientism” folks are too quick to rule out herbalism as well. There is scientific evidence that various herbs do actually work, and some of them work as well as their drug counterparts. For example, one of the main chemical constituents of willow bark is salicylic acid. You’ve probably used salicylic acid many times in your life to cure a headache — most people call it “aspirin”.

    Peppermint oil encased in gelatin capsules (perhaps with a filler) or eating peppermint leaves can relieve abdominal pain. (Altoids also work as they have a very high concentration of peppermint oil.) In fact, there was study in Italy (I think) about 2-3 years ago that showed that some ~75% of patients given peppermint oil capsules had a reduction in the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, which, ISTR, compared very well against placebo. Interestingly enough, virtually every over the counter remedy for temporary relief of abdominal discomfort (Pepto, Rolaids, TUMS, milk of magnesia, etc.) contains some peppermint oil, though most list it as an “inactive” ingredient.

  81. ESR>where I can actually watch the swelling reduce and the subject flex a joint that wouldn’t move five minutes earlier, is what’s the mechanism?

    The guy who taught me hypnosis told me he’d used it to stop a lady’s arterial bleeding in a car crash. (Arteries have muscle walls, unlike veins. Not subject to conscious control, but sometimes to hypnosis)..

    You (work magic) on a swollen ankle and the artereies contract, Fluid available decreases. Swelling goes down.

    Good: an adrenaline overreaction that made sense before we evolved thumbs is now under control, and a sensible fellow puts his ankle in a brace that allows his tendon to heal as he goes cautiously about his business.

    Bad: A cocky moron thinks WOO CURED BY MAGIC and does more stuff even a healthy ankle coudn’t handle..

    The guy who taught me hypnosis said he made a point of not giving his name when EMTs arrived. Just told them where to put on bandages, brought her back up, saw them slap white stuff on new red stuff and hightailed it before you could say ‘lawyer’..

    I would love to see what you can put online about your technique. ‘Dancing with the Gods’ is one of the best essays I’ve ever read.

  82. The interesting question, in cases like this where I can actually watch the sprain swelling reduce and the subject flex a joint that wouldn’t move five minutes earlier, is what’s the mechanism? You say “trick of the patient’s mind”, but until you know how “the patient’s mind” made the swelling go down the word “placebo” is just a noise with no predictive value; it tells you nothing about how or when the effect will replicate or what the exogenous controlling variables are.

    Again, I agree with you, but I tend to use the word ‘placebo’ as a way of explaining that the “cure” is psychological in nature. I agree that it has something to do with the mind — what, exactly, we don’t know. There’s a lot about the mind that is an absolute mystery to science. We do know for a fact that the mind plays a role in healing, but we don’t know exactly how it works or what all of the mechanisms are. My inkling is that quantum effects are somehow involved, but that’s pure speculation on my part.

  83. But we do have some knowledge of how the placebo effect works: in times of severe stress the body goes into fight or flight mode, devoting less material and energetic resources to self-repair. By tricking the mind into believing the imminent injury or illness is no longer a concern, you enable the body to devote more resources to self-repair thus speeding up healing that would have taken place anyway.

    The major ethical issue with actually using the placebo effect in a clinical setting is that you must necessarily trick the patient in order for it to work. This is why it is accounted and controlled for in clinical studies but not put to practical use in the treatment of actual ailments (except for perhaps hypochondria).

  84. I would love to see what you can put online about your technique. ‘Dancing with the Gods’ is one of the best essays I’ve ever read.

    Ditto, but if you want to read about the techniques used by ESR (and myself as well), the information is easy to find. Any metaphysical bookshop will have a dozen or more titles on the subject. I teach classes on Wicca in my specific tradition (Georgian Wicca) that include these and other magickal techniques, and there are thousands of people like me. One of the best online resources is Witchvox, a site run by a neopagan couple out of Clearwater, FL, along with Isaac Bonewits’ site at neopagan.net.

  85. >Any metaphysical bookshop will have a dozen or more titles on the subject.

    Oh, Ghoddess. Yes, that’s true – but an expected 11.5 of them will be stuffed with fuzzy-minded crap.

    Bonewits’s site is a better bet. I know him slightly. He can think.

  86. So if your technique works, why hasn’t biofeedback passed the empirical test? If we really did have psychological control over seemingly autonomic responses, biofeedback would probably work even better than magic[k].

  87. I can’t find the citation but I remember reading a study that concluded biofeedback was only useful for urinary incontinence.

  88. Oh, Ghoddess. Yes, that’s true – but an expected 11.5 of them will be stuffed with fuzzy-minded crap.

    This puts me in mind of my theory about How Hippies Ruin Everything For the Rest of Us.

    In brief, whenever you get a technique like energy healing that is off the beaten track, the first people to embrace it are inevitably the most credulous about life in general (read gullible), and usually believe all kinds of insane things; worse, they have trouble distinguishing the good and the bad in what they gush about to others. Most of these are hippies, or functionally indistinguishable from them.

    “Reasonable” people looking on see that the technique in question is mostly practiced by kooks, and naturally assume that the technique itself is kooky. Thus, those non-kooks who also practice the technique are stigmatized.

    When talking about my Tai Chi practice, I usually have to say “Not to get all New Agey on you…” multiple times to avoid getting glassy stares.

  89. Tony Johnson: Scientism is the faith that science already understands everything. There are two kinds of faith: faith in things which cannot be proven, and faith in things which have been disproven. Your faith lies in the latter. Many times science has reversed itself. Margarine good for your heart, oops, it’s bad for your heart. Eric’s faith is in a procedure which is not fully understood. Sometimes it works, and sometimes doing the exact same thing (or so we think) it doesn’t work. That said, it sometimes works and it’s relatively harmless. A substitute for medical attention? No, but it can be a precursor given that it calms a patient and reduces white coat anxiety.

  90. >I’ll settle for curing my little nephew’s vicious sinus headache

    You can keep repeating that you were the causative agent here, but without science to back it up it is no better than astrology.

    >Sometimes it works, and sometimes doing the exact same thing (or so we think) it doesn’t work.

    No, we do not know that it ever works; where has that been established? Please go read a high-school level science textbook before stepping into the discussion. Next you’ll be lecturing me on economics.

  91. Oh, Ghoddess. Yes, that’s true – but an expected 11.5 of them will be stuffed with fuzzy-minded crap.

    I see we haven’t been to the same metaphysical bookshops.

    By metaphysical bookshop, I don’t mean the same places that sell 90% of Llewellyn’s catalog The vast majority of Llewellyn’s tripe should be avoided. I’m talking about some of the more intellectual stuff, along with the classics from the Farrar’s, Crowley, etc.

  92. >Sometimes it works, and sometimes doing the exact same thing (or so we think) it doesn’t work.

    No, we do not know that it ever works; where has that been established? Please go read a high-school level science textbook before stepping into the discussion. Next you’ll be lecturing me on economics.

    Look, if, for example, ESR performs faith healing on his nephew’s twisted ankle, and directly observes the swelling go down, we know that something happened to improve the ankle. We can’t entirely rule out that perhaps the ankle would have done that on it’s own without ESR’s help, but we do know that 1) what he did do caused no harm to the ankle, and 2) what he did do probably helped the nephew’s state of mind, at the very least. So long as other common sense “best practices” are followed — ESR’s nephew takes it easy, elevates the ankle, and keeps pressure off of it for a little while, we know that the ankle will most likely heal. In the worst case, if it doesn’t, I don’t think ESR is going to advise the child or child’s mother to not seek medical attention if needed.

    Again, I’ll reiterate that the difference between believing something works and it actually working is practically nothing.

  93. @Ben:
    I don’t see the Corinthians passage as being insulting; it’s a statement of cosmology and the necessity, in a religion defined as monotheistic, to avoid other gods. As for Peter, well, sorry, but “debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry” is a fairly accurate factual description of a significant portion of the neo-pagan community, esp. its self-initiatory branch, and the only way that it’s insulting is in Peter’s attitude that these are bad things. If you don’t think they’re bad, it’s not insulting. And if you do think they’re bad, why do them? I was never much for drugs, but I put in my time in debachery, lust, orgies and idolatry of the female form, and didn’t think it was a bad thing at all.

    As for the supposed tolerance of Wiccans, I’ve noticed that it extends to every religion but Christianity. One might claim that’s “tit for tat”, but witches don’t generally have boo to say about Islam, and the Koranic mandate to kill pagans is a lot clearer than the supposed OT mandate to kill them. All through my Wiccan days, I wondered why people had such a hardon about what to me was just another map of the hidden reality. It really seemed pathological to me.

    @esr:
    “But I don’t think even Christians are blinkered enough to turn a fertility goddess into “Satan””
    Standard belief is that any non-Christian deity is a mask for Satan. But I think it’s insulting to another belief system to equate their deities to a very different deity that is not part of their system. It’s like saying “Jesus is just another sacrificed corn god”: it kind of misses the point.

  94. I don’t see the Corinthians passage as being insulting; it’s a statement of cosmology and the necessity, in a religion defined as monotheistic, to avoid other gods.

    Standard belief is that any non-Christian deity is a mask for Satan. But I think it’s insulting to another belief system to equate their deities to a very different deity that is not part of their system. It’s like saying “Jesus is just another sacrificed corn god”: it kind of misses the point

    But do you not see how your two statements to Ben and to ESR are contradictory? Corinthians 10:20 does exactly what you are denouncing. This is what I see as a fundamental problem with Paulline Chrisitianity: for Christianity to be right, all other religions must be wrong and denounced. Few other religions on the planet make this claim; Buddhists, for example, do not see the world as a right/wrong dichotomy.

  95. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune published this letter from Satan to Robertson (written by Lily Coyle):

    Dear Pat Robertson,

    I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I’m all over that action.

    But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. I may be evil incarnate, but I’m no welcher. The way you put it, making a deal with me leaves folks desperate and impoverished.

    Sure, in the afterlife, but when I strike bargains with people, they first get something here on earth — glamour, beauty, talent, wealth, fame, glory, a golden fiddle. Those Haitians have nothing, and I mean nothing. And that was before the earthquake. Haven’t you seen “Crossroads”? Or “Damn Yankees”?

    If I had a thing going with Haiti, there’d be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox — that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. Nothing against it — I’m just saying: Not how I roll.

    You’re doing great work, Pat, and I don’t want to clip your wings — just, come on, you’re making me look bad. And not the good kind of bad. Keep blaming God. That’s working. But leave me out of it, please. Or we may need to renegotiate your own contract.

    Best, Satan

  96. >Scientism is the faith that science already understands everything.

    Bullshit. Scientism is the belief that the methods of science are the best, or more extremely, the only, way to knowledge.

  97. >directly observes the swelling go down, we know that something happened to improve the ankle

    We do not know that there is any connection between Eric’s actions and the reduction of swelling, nor is there any objective measurement here that verifies that any reduction even occurred. Laughable that people on this blog are the harshest critics of various branches of science, when they themselves are knee-deep in superstition and shoddy thinking.

    >Again, I’ll reiterate that the difference between believing something works and it actually working is practically nothing.

    Heroin was marketed as a cure-all for years until people realised it was actually killing them.

  98. Bullshit. Scientism is the belief that the methods of science are the best, or more extremely, the only, way to knowledge.

    There, FTFY.

  99. >we do not know there is any connection between Eric’s actions and the reduction of swelling

    Wiki arteries. Arteries have much more smooth muscle than veins.

    Sometimes bleeding is cut off by reflex, sometimes a hypnotist (or?) Eric can tweak it. Sometimes striped muscles flex to throw a baseball or say something smart, Sometimes you drop the ball.

    Isaac Bonewits, author of ‘Real Magic’, has cancer, could use help. Neopagan.net.

  100. We do not know that there is any connection between Eric’s actions and the reduction of swelling, nor is there any objective measurement here that verifies that any reduction even occurred. Laughable that people on this blog are the harshest critics of various branches of science, when they themselves are knee-deep in superstition and shoddy thinking.

    I never said that there was or was not. Laughable that you’re making being a harsh critic of people on this board when you clearly have a reading comprehension problem.

  101. Chris said:

    >>Really, what do you “believe” Can you cast a spell? Do you pour salt on the ground and pray to a figure with horns?I dont know how much of that is a joke, or not-my last sentence-

    >>My idea. Hes like most of the other wiccans I know. He dosent actually believe any of it, because its insane. Its just social fun. But if not…I truly am curious? Just what makes neopaganism the most correct religious tradition?<<

    If you are genuinely curious, Chris, I invite you to read my *"The Goddess Aradia" Cleansing Negative Influences*
    http://www.jesterbear.com/Aradia/Influences.html

  102. >I never said that there was or was not. Laughable that you’re making being a harsh critic of people on this board when you clearly have a reading comprehension problem.

    When you display such a paucity of understanding of basic reasoning, it is difficult to tell what the dickens you are blathering about.

  103. Jeff Read, Limbaugh’s foot is exactly where he wanted it, a long way from his mouth. He said exactly what he wanted to say, and phrased in exactly the manner that would most make his lefty enemies’ heads explode. And, as usual in such cases, what he said was incontrovertible, so that the enemies he goaded into attacking him ended up with egg on their faces. He said Obama is playing politics; Obama always plays politics. He said money given to the government will be wasted, and we’ve already thrown more than enough down that hole. And he said if you want to actually help the victims, give directly to one of the private organisations that are down there helping.

  104. Returning to the orginal discussion–

    I enjoy compairing variants of legends. I began searching for sources about what Roberson refered to as a “true story,” when I first heard his statements.

    My very quick search on January 14-15, 2010 located much of the information about “the pact” on Christian web sites. I didn’t actually stumble across your source “Government Of The Devil, By The Devil, And For The Devil”
    http://www.americandaily.com/article/95

    I found out this story has often been promoted by fundamentalist Christian missionaries. I also found out the nation of Haiti occupies only the western third of the island island of Hispaniola. The Dominican Republic occupies the other two-thirds of the island.

    Before I found ESR’s article, I began trying to assemble the stuff I found about it into a complete narative. Below is the result.

    The Christian version of this legend has a # in front of each paragraph to clarify that I am retelling a story from a particular point of view.

    #Supposidly, the slaves of Haiti made a 200-year pact with the devil in order to gain their independence. On August 14, 1791, a voodoo doctor, Dutty Boukman, gathered together slaves to perform a Satanic black magic voodoo ritual in the woods at Bois Caiman, not too far from Cap-Haitien. Boukman lived in the mountains of La Selle, and le Cibao and knew how to read and write. The slaves vowed to kill all the white French on the island. In this ritual, Boukman asked Satan for aid in liberating Haiti from the colonialists. The slaves sacrificed a domestic pig, drank the animal’s still-warm blood, and swore to serve the devil for about 200 years–or so. This agreement with Satan is the “Boukman Contract.”

    #Their revolution for freedom was fought for 13 years until at last they declared the new nation as Haiti on January 1, 1804. Indeed, Haiti was declared the first independent black republic. As a result of the Satanic alliance, the Christian God has placed a curse on the island. It’s never known peace since then, with one dictatorship succeeding another, including Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who supplied USA President Clinton with a sorcerer.

    #Haiti had flourished under Christian French rule and became invaluable as a resource for cocoa, cotton, sugar cane and coffee. By 1780, Haiti was one of the wealthiest regions in the world. Now, Haiti is in desperate poverty.

    #An iron statue of a black pig was erected in Port-au-Prince to commemorate the “Boukman Contract” with the devil.

    #At least one variant of the Christian version of the legend stated the devil’s rulership of Haiti ended in 2004–which was 200 years after independence was declared in 1804. Robertson does not mention this part of the legend. Perhaps Robertson didn’t know it, or he decided that even though the devil’s rulership had ended, the Haitians were still under the curse of God because the LORD was still mad at them. (You know, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;” Exodus 20:5 KJV) Or perhaps he believed the contract had indeed been renewed. (Hard to be certain.)

    #Robertson, in his variant of the legend, said, “That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle, on the one side is Haiti, on the other side is the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island.”

    Many historians agree that voodoo, or more properly the religion of “Voudun” or “Vodou,” played a unifying role in the revolution of Haiti. However, Voudun is not Satanism, and therefore it does not involve Satanic “packs” or “contracts” with the Christian “devil.”

    No amount of what Robertson “believes” or projects from the Christian pantheon changes the fact that Voudun is not Satanism. For example, I could believe Robertson is actually an ugly woman cross-dressing as a man in order to be a minister in a sect of Christianity, that belief wouldn’t make it true.

    One of the “proofs” of the Christian version of the legend is the statue relating to the Satanic pact involving a sacrifice of a domestic black pig. As is often the case with uban legends, this iron statue doesn’t exist.

    Apparently, Robertson also believes that the Dominican Republic, a nation that occupies two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, has never been affected by any of the problems that historically effected Haiti.

    Wikipedia stated, “After three centuries of Spanish rule, with French and Haitian interludes, the country [Dominican Republic] became independent in 1821 but was quickly taken over by Haiti. It regained independence in 1844, but mostly suffered political turmoil and tyranny, and as well a brief return to Spanish rule, over the next 72 years. United States occupation 1916–24 and a subsequent, calm six-year period under Horacio Vásquez Lajara were followed by the military dictatorship of Rafae Leonidas Trujillo Molina to 1961. The last civil war, in 1965, was ended by U.S intervention, and was followed by the authoritarian rule of Joaquin Balaguer, 1966–1978. Since 1978, the Dominican Republic has moved toward representative democracy, and has been led by Leonel Fernández most of the period since 1996.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominican_Republic accessed 1/15/10.

    Robertson is correct that the Dominican Republic has tourist resorts. The nations’s year-round golf courses are among the top attractions making this country the Caribbean’s largest tourist destination.

    However as Wikipedia stated:

    “Nevertheless, unemployment, government corruption, and inconsistent electric service remain major Dominican problems. According to the CIA Factbook ‘The country suffers from marked income inequality’ and has a Gini coefficient for income distribution of 49.9

    “International migration greatly affects the country, as it receives and sends large flows of migrants. Haitian immigration and the integration of Dominicans of Haitian descent are major issues; the total population of Haitian origin is estimated to be 800,000. A large Dominican diaspora exists, most of it in the United States, where it comprises 1.3 million.They aid national development as they send billions of dollars to their families, accounting for one-tenth of the Dominican GDP.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominican_Republic accessed 1/15/10.

    The Dominican Republic was not unaffected by AIDS/HIV. The United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS estimates that 66,000 Dominicans are HIV-positive. The adult prevalence of HIV in the Dominican Republic is 1.1 percent. The Dominican Republic was also affected by the Swine River Virus which had spread in the 1970′s from Europe to the Dominican Republic and then into Haiti via the Artibonite River which straddles the two countries. (In the early 1980′s the native Creole pig was eradicated by humans due to fears of an epidemic.)

    Haiti’s struggle with poverty, overpopulation, AIDS/HIV, swin flu, and other diseases, etc. prior to the earthquake can be clearly comprehended from a purely historical perspective.

    I also decided to look for information on the Voudun version of this legend.

    The Vodou version of this legend has a * in from of each paragraph to clarify that I am retelling a story from a particular point of view.

    *According to Voudun legend, Bois Caiman (French), Bwa Kayiman (Haitian Creole) [Alligator Woods (English)] was the site of a historic nighttime meeting in August 1791. It is this meeting which led to a successful slave revolt, that ended colonialism, and eventually created the Western Hemisphere’s first independent black Republic after many years of fighting and hardship.

    *During the meeting, there was a traditional Voudun ritual led by Houngan Boukman Dutty. Supposedly his name, Boukman, meant “Book-man,” because he could read and write. Mambo Marinette sacrificed a domestic Haitian black pig.

    *Ezili Dantor, the Petro Iwa of motherhood, is associated with the “Haitian black pig” or “Creole pig,” which is this lwa’s favorite animal sacrifice.

    *This pig was a breed of native black swine, “cochon planche.” Creole pigs were well adapted to the rugged terrain and sparse vegetation of Haiti. [This hardy breed could eat almost anything, consuming of weeds, human food trash, etc. It did not sunburn like the modern lightskinned European/American breeds of pigs do.]

    *The lwa Ezili Dantor is viewed as having an important spirtual role in the history of Haiti. The powerful spirit of Ezili Dantor posessed Mambo Marinette during the ritual Bois Caiman in August 1791. She is also known as Ezili Danto, and Erzulie Dantor. Ezili Dantor, the Petro Iwa of motherhood, is therefore the mother of the Haitian republic. She is frequently honored on August 15, the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin, but has other feast days as well. Ezili Dantor’s special days are Tuesday and Saturday. A favorite food for feasts honoring Ezili Dantor is fried pork.

    *The lwa Ezili Dantor is most commonly represented by the image of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa. According to Wikipedia, the revolutionaries of Haiti probably adopted this representation for Ezili Dantor after they came into contact with copies of the Polish icon of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa.
    It is assumed that some Polish soldiers, who joined forces with the indigenous army during Haiti’s Revolutionary War, must have brought the image of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa with them. Doubtless, the dark skinned Haitians identified with the dark skinned Black Madonna, and likewise identified the protective spirit of Ezili Dantor with her.

    ESR wrote:
    >>It is relevant here that I am a third-degree Wiccan, which means that I’m pretty experienced at designing rituals that invoke god-forms for specified purposes. Part of the art is choosing a god-form with attributes appropriate to the purpose of the rite. And I have to say that Ezilie Dantor is just not a very plausible choice here — not for a ritual intended to consecrate the participants to acts of bloody revolutionary mayhem.

    >>It’s true that she’s “petwo”, one of the “hard” gods associated with aggression and violence, but she’s mainly associated with motherhood and fertility. But if I had been the houngan in charge, I’d have chosen either Baron Samedi (more or less the god of death) or Ogun (god of war, politics, fire, and smithing). And I won’t believe (well, not without evidence anyway) that the houngans were less capable ritual artists than I am.

    >>Ogun would probably have been a better functional choice, but the theory that they invoked Baron Samedi gets a little support from the fact that Christian accounts finger Satan. The Baron is not actually very much like Satan, but he’s the closest you get in the Voudun gods and I could easily see someone with the impoverished theological categories of a Christian making that error of identification.<<

    ESR suggested either Ogun or Baron Samedi as lwa. Someone elsewhere suggested Papa Legba, the Guardian of the Crossroads, the Trickstor, who is invoked to bring luck, begin new things, etc.

    I still think Ezili Dantor could well have been the lwa invoked in the August 1791 meeting. Mostly due to the date and the details which both the Voudun and Christian versions of the legend agree upon. (I also think it fits with some things in French history.)

    Prior to 1791, there had been some uprisings on the island. The slaves had sometimes escaped to the mountains to hide, etc. etc. (Back in France, revolution had also been brewing for a while. )

    Apparently, the Haitian rebels had learned of the French Revolution in France from the few ex-slaves that were taught to read by their owners.

    It was in June 1791 that Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were prevented from fleeing France.

    It was on August 14, 1791 that the great slave rebellion began. In two months, the rebel slaves killed and 2,000 whites and destroyed their mansions on French plantations on Saint-Domingue (aka Haiti).

    Ezili Dantor is frequently honored on August 15, which is the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin who assend to heaven.

    A black pig is sacrificed. Ezili Dantor, the angry Petro Iwa of motherhood, is associated with the "Haitian black pig" or "Creole pig."

    From what I've read, Ogun is associated with red roosters, dogs, crocodiles, snails, black mambas. Baron Samedi is associated with black roosters. (However one of his numerous other incarnations Baron Kriminel is associated with black pigs, but he's also a cannibal.) Papa Legba is associated with the rats or mice.

    Though Baron Kriminel is associated with black pigs, he is very civilized about justice. He slowly eats someone with with a fork and spoon, no knife–like one of civilized colonial French masters.

    Ezili Dantor still sounds plausible to me. It began practically on Ezili Dantor's sacred day with a sacrifice of her sacred animal.

    Ezili Dantor is angry. She has drawn the knife from her heart and will use it as necessary. She is also viewed as a very protective mother. Though she has several children, she is not precisely a fertile Goddess of abundance. She is often said to be the mother of Haiti.

    Boukman could read and write. Some accounts state he had recently escaped from a ship. Had he heard of allegorical personifications of "Liberté" and or "Marianne"? In France, Liberté, is often conflated with the personification of the "Triumph of the Republic," Marianne. The female figure of Marianne wearing a Liberty Capwas earlier used on iconography. Marianne's icongraphy was adopted from the Roman Libertas wearing a Liberty Cap as well as with overtones of the Greek Athena.

    Perhaps Boukman wanted an angry War Goddess who would protect her children? Perhaps that's why a Mambo conducted the sacrifice?

    Incidentially the Voudun version of the legend, as it is often recounted, does not mention a pact with the Christian devil, nor a Satanic “Boukman Contract” lasting 200 years. There is no iron statue of a black domestic Creole pig in Port-au-Prince, honoring Boukman or the Bois-Caïman ritual.

    There was a report of a statue of a razorback boar, "cochon marron," located in Port-au-Prince, "across from the old Legislative palace." However, this statue was not an ordinary Creole pig. Apparently, this boar statue disappeared during the fall of Baby Doc Duvalier.

    Christian version of the legend links

    John Mark Ministries
    *Haiti: Boukman, Aristide, Voodoo and the Church.*
    http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/11197.htm
    In April 2003, President Aristide made voodoo an official religion in Haiti.Christian Aid's 'Mission Insider' reported on August 14, 2003, "While some witch doctors want to renew the 200-year commitment to Voodoo, Christians are spear-heading a year-long prayer movement to 'take Haiti back from Satan', according to the HAVIDEC website.

    *Haiti: Victim of Clinton's Old Black Magic,* FrontPageMagazine. com,
    February 20, 2004
    http://www.papillonsartpalace.com/haaiti.htm
    Bill Clinton beat President George Bush in 1992 because then-exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide supplied a"houngan" or sorcerer. "Christians in Haiti held their breath on New Year’s Day 2004. That day marked the end of Boukman’s 200-year “Deal with the Devil,” the day his Voodoo gods were said to have kept their end of his Free-us-from- the-French bargain and started the 200-year clock running."
    Haiti http://www.papillonsartpalace.com/haiti.htm
    (These political pages on the site are either an elaborate tongue in cheek joke or the creator is dead serious http://www.papillonsartpalace.com/race.htm
    PAPILLON'S ART PALACE http://www.papillonsartpalace.com/ is the site of an artist. BOB SCHATAN, RN, Papillon's "Husband Bob" seems to be the one with the political views http://www.papillonsartpalace.com/warning.htm)

    *God, Satan, and the Birth of Haiti*
    http://www.blackandchristian.com/articles/academy/gelin-10-05.shtml
    2005 article debunking the legend "Although Haiti’s free fall can easily be understood from a strictly historical perspective, religious arguments have been used by many to follow and explain the demise of this tiny nation," wrote Dr. Jean R. Gelin. Gelin is a licensed minister of the Church of God and holds a Ph.D. in plant sciences and works as a scientist in agricultural research. He serves as an assistant pastor for a young Haitian-American church in the United States.

    *Where is the Iron Pig Statue?*
    http://annpale.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=5289
    a general forum discussion site

    Voudun version of the legend

    *Three Haitian Protestant Pastors Arrested for Violating Court Order Against Disruptions at Bois Caiman.*
    http://www.rootswithoutend.org/racine125/bwa0806.html
    The VODOU Page. http://www.rootswithoutend.org/racine125/index.html

    http://www.ezilikonnen.com/the_lwa/ezili-danto.html
    Scroll down to "Danto in History" "Mambo Ezili Danto is known to have played a huge role in the history of Haiti, mother of the country."

    *Ezili Danto: Single Mother with a Knife*
    http://www.widdershins.org/vol9iss5/06.htm

    Black Creole Pig links

    *The Tale of the Creole Pig*
    http://www.justmeans.com/-Tale-of-Creole-Pig/6530.html

    *Saving Haiti's bacon: Ten years ago Haitian peasants had to look on in horror as the black pigs central to their economy and culture were slaughtered . . . *
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg13918824.700-saving-haitis-bacon-ten-years-ago-haitian-peasants-had-to-look-on-in-horror-as-the-black-pigs-central-to-their-economy-and-culture-were-slaughtered—.html

    *Kiskeya Aqua Ferme-Bringing the Creole pig back (or its sister)*
    http://www.haitixchange.com/index.php/forums/viewthread/1149/

    A historical links I just found
    *THE BOIS CAIMAN CEREMONY: FACT OR MYTH*
    http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/history/revolution/caiman.htm
    there were actually two separate slave gatherings in August 1791. The first on Sunday, Aug. 14, 179. the second was about a week later. Toussaint actually lead the indiginous army.

    *Timeline of Events*
    http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/polcrt/PolesinHaiti.html
    "August 1791…Toussaint L' Ouverture leads a black army against the French. Many plantations and towns are destroyed."

  105. >Heroin was marketed as a cure-all for years until people realised it was actually killing them.

    This is not true. It was marketed as an analgesic and cough suppressant, two things it actually does pretty well.

    Heroin was removed from the market and widely banned not because it killed its users but because it was belatedly found to be highly addictive. This would have been discovered sooner, except that the original test group were all scientists associated with Bayer’s long-term research projects and (it is now thought) were highly psychologically resistant to becoming addicted to anything. Reports of addictive responses only followed release into the general population.

    But, in fact, heroin is less addictive than nicotine and far less toxic than alcohol. Death risks associated with it are largely a result of its illegality, leading to heroin cut with toxic material, sharing of dirty needles, etc.

  106. Which is more disturbing that Pat Robertson may be a racist or that he cannot add 1804 +100 years and determine that it adds up to 2004?

    But to get serious for a moment..

    The nation state of Haiti has failed.. no amount of money will correct that..the Haiti people need to form anew government that they want and is fee form corruption. The strongest ally towards this goal is the countries around them including ours..

  107. Full disclosure – my religious beliefs lie somewhere between Deism (as believed by Jefferson, Franklin, et al), and Buddhism. I go (with my wife and daughters) to a local Episcopal church, which is sufficiently rational, tolerant, open minded, and still traditional (in the right ways – family, community, etc) for my tastes.

    But I thought I’d post these lyrics from a Slayer song (written by guitarist Kerry King, an atheist):

    Oppression is the holy law
    In God I distrust
    In time His monuments will fall
    Like ashes to dust
    Is war and greed the masters plan?
    The bible’s where it all began
    Its propaganda sells despair
    And spreads the virus everywhere

    Religion is hate
    Religion is fear
    Religion is war
    Religion is rape
    Religion’s obscure
    Religion’s a whore

    The pestilence is Jesus Christ
    There never was a sacrifice
    No man upon the crucifix
    Beware the cult of purity
    Infectious imbecility
    I’ve made my choice. Six six six

    [Lead - Hanneman]

    Corruption breeds the pedohile
    Don’t pray for the priest
    Confession finds the lonely child
    God preys on the weak
    You think your soul can still be saved
    I think you’re fucking miles away
    Scream out loud here’s where you begin
    Forgive me father for I have sinned

    Religion is hate
    Religion is fear
    Religion is war
    Religion is rape
    Religion’s obscure
    Religion’s a whore

    The target’s Fucking Jesus Christ
    I would’ve lead the sacrifice
    And nailed him to the crucifix
    Beware the cult of purity
    Infectious imbecility
    I’ve made my choice. Six six six

    Jesus is pain
    Jesus is gore
    Jesus is the blood
    That’s spilled in war
    He’s everything
    He’s all things dead
    He’s pulling on the trigger
    Pointed at your head

    Through fear you’re sold into the fraud
    Revelation revolution
    I see through your Christ Illusion

    [Lead - King]

    The war on terror just drags along
    My war with God is growing strong
    His propaganda sells despair
    And spreads the violence everywhere

    Religion is hate
    Religion is fear
    Religion is war
    Religion is rape
    Religion’s obscure
    Religion’s a whore

    There is no fuckin’ Jesus Christ
    There never was a sacrifice
    No man upon the crucifix
    Beware the cult of purity
    Infectious inbecility
    I’ve made my choice. Six six six

    [Lead - Hanneman]

    Of note, the line “I’ve made my choice. Six six six” was originally going to be “I’ve made my choice. Atheist!”, but Kerry King thought “Six six six sounded more cool in a Metal song”.

    Personally, I’m not an atheist, and, again, I go to church. By a really appreciate people like Slayer calling out all the BS that too often goes with religion, and shocks people in the process, and causes people to think.

  108. Which is more disturbing that Pat Robertson may be a racist or that he cannot add 1804 +100 years and determine that it adds up to 2004?

    All I can say is that both of you seem to using “fuzzy math”. :-P

  109. Of note, the line “I’ve made my choice. Six six six” was originally going to be “I’ve made my choice. Atheist!”, but Kerry King thought “Six six six sounded more cool in a Metal song”.

    “All of the good bands are affiliated with Satan.” –Bart Simpson

    “Of COURSE!” –M. Bison

  110. From the AD article: “Voodoo is a practice based on a mixture of African spiritism and witchcraft. Depending on the source of one’s research, between 75 and 90 percent of Haitians practice voodoo. This seems to fly in the face of the fact that the country is predominantly Catholic. But, like their African ancestors, voodoo practitioners have no problem embracing multiple religions. In fact, most who practice voodoo believe they must be Catholic first.”

    Actually, this only scratches the surface of a trait that is inherent in any Catholic diaspora. As an imperial Christian religion, it was by its very nature something which was grafted onto local customs, symbols and belief systems, rather than replacing them outright. The Catholic Mass itself contains all manner of magic tricks and elements lifted wholesale from pagan rituals. Transubstantiation, anyone?

    I mean, how do people think “Christmas Trees” came about? Or even more importantly, what do copulating springtime bunnies and eggs have to do with the resurrection of the Christ? Fertility, rebirth, renewal, that’s what. The Catholic veneration of Mary is a collaboration between Semitic Christianity and European pagan idioms. Santeria is no different.

  111. Have you every heard, read of a “Devilsh” device called HAARP?
    http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/

    This electromagnetic ELF beam can be aim (in 2 different modes) to almost any location within the earths magnetic field to cause earthquakes. Or beamed up into the sky to disrupt the ionosphere.. which can cause massive ‘local’ weather failures.

    Too me – the haiti disaster – it looks like it was perfectly planned (by UN?) Tesla technology anno 2010
    - Look how FAST and MASSIVE the aid is flying into Haiti!!
    - Compare that to the “first made made Tsunami in the South Pacific” a couple of years ago

    Have you noticed that Haiti is getting more of its “natural share” of disasters?
    - 3 Major hurricanes went over it last year(2009)
    - 1 Big earthquake (and an aftershock)

    My educated guess is that – soon in the near future – more very poor countries will; be “erased from the face of the earth” by this weapon and it devastating effect on weather and man-made earthquakes..

    For your own research, take a look at these videos:
    Haarp general video:
    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnRPZOUVhJ4

    China earthquake was man-made
    2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecLwVgvvTvU

    Haarp operational
    3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnRPZOUVhJ4

    I hope the criminal who caused this disaster will soon be brought to justice (of their is still any left

  112. Seagull said:
    > This electromagnetic ELF beam can be aim (in 2 different modes) to almost any location within the earths magnetic field to cause earthquakes. Or beamed up into the sky to disrupt the ionosphere.. which can cause massive ‘local’ weather failures.

    A weather machine! Those dastardly imperialists!! Someone get Gore on the phone. Perhaps he can seize the device and use it to repair the Arctic sea ice situation…. we only have 5-7 years left before she blows.

    > I hope the criminal who caused this disaster will soon be brought to justice (of their is still any left

    Top suspects as of now: Lex Luthor, Professor Moriarty, The Joker and Darth Vader.

  113. Top suspects as of now: Lex Luthor, Professor Moriarty, The Joker and Darth Vader.

    You forgot the nebulous ‘military-industrial complex,’ which often gets blamed in these ludicrous kinds of conspiracy theories.

    I love how often these fail to pass the ‘thought for more than 5 seconds’ test. HAARP is nothing more than a high-powered radio transmitter. If you could cause 6.1 magnitude earthquakes with a radio transmitter at will, radio transmitters would be illegal.

  114. > You forgot the nebulous ‘military-industrial complex,’ which often gets blamed in these ludicrous kinds of conspiracy theories.

    Well, to be fair, I also forgot Wile E. Coyote. Anyway, I think Vader is sufficiently ‘military-industrial complex’ for our purposes.

    > I love how often these fail to pass the ‘thought for more than 5 seconds’ test.

    And I love how he began his thesis with “My educated guess is…” That howler had me cackling all morning, as I sat inside my secret N.W.O. headquarters at the center of the Moon!

  115. @Morgan:
    If you (want to) digg deeper into the very realworld technology of this HAARP device, you will notice that is it real Nicolia Tesla technology at work here. The Russian have these devices too. They are being used as a part of the USAF2025 program in which they what own the weather as force multiplier. You can read all about it online! at :

    1. Air Force 2025 Homepage
    http://csat.au.af.mil/2025/index.htm

    2. Chapter 15 – Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025
    http://csat.au.af.mil/2025/volume3/vol3ch15.pdf

    3. About Haarp installations
    http://www.superforce.com/haarp/
    http://www.fas.org/irp/program/collect/haarp.htm

    4. Haarp antenna locations around the world: (their are more of them)
    http://www.cyberspaceorbit.com/phikent/haarp/WEATHER.html

    5. Tom Bearden Weather (and scalar weather warfare) website
    http://www.cheniere.org/books/ferdelance/index.html

    @jrok:
    Simple watch the regulair censored news channels from inside your secret nwo hQ and remember this posting ;-) Only time will tell..

  116. > Simple watch the regulair censored news channels from inside your secret nwo hQ and remember this posting ;-) Only time will tell..

    I know, I know. I’m living in the darn Matrix. I was gonna take the red pill, but I was afraid it was an Advil and I’m allergic to ibuprofen.

    On that note, I do wonder what the world must be like for folks like Seagull who are completely divorced from consensus reality, but have ever increasing access to threads of information, disinformation and conspiratorial memes. Is their world of weather machines and reptiloids a terrifying one, or is it oddly comforting?

    Lately, I’ve been leaning towards the latter. A Weather Machine narrative seems to be a striking example of conspiracy as a coping mechanism. What is more frightening? The sudden, largely unpredictable shifting of tectonic plates shattering your city like a glass bowl? Or a mortal enemy manning the controls like some Wellsian monster? The human enemy (no matter how outlandish and imaginary) could one day potentially be confronted and defeated, whereas the cold and mindless hand of Nature is a threat of such magnitude that, for all our advancement, we are still largely helpless as a species to defend ourselves against her.

    It’s not just Floods and Earthquakes either, I suspect that at the center of most conspiracy theories, you’ll eventually find some force of nature that is so threatening the certain will build increasingly bizarre coping mechanisms to deal with it (especially for the uneducated and the faithless).

    For example: How much of the more insane “N.W.O.” brand conspiracy theory out there is generated by the fear and deep misunderstanding of the Emergence principal acting on a increasingly global scale and frequency? Further torturing matters, these theories themselves aren’t at all immune to Emergence.

  117. “I do wonder what the world must be like for folks like Seagull who are completely divorced from consensus reality,”
    - When you are able to see over the veils that have been poured down over mankind, to keep them dumb and enslaved by the Big WallStreet and Central Bankings System bankers (read this background mis-information source :-)
    http://www.analysis-news.com/allfolder/Archives-Goldsmiths.htm

    and are able to connect the dots between the different “separated areas” – it does not look nice at all. This view makes you almost want to land at the beach and forget all about the matrix around you, and pretend that nothing is happening, and keep walking between the same flock of humans that live and inhabit this planet. Unfortunately you can not change the Seagull’s true nature. It still remains a beautiful bird which can Walk on the beach, Float on the water and Fly in the air, accompanied by the freedom of choice, limited by only gravity and death.

    - What you call “consensus reality” i call a horizon-to-horizon view, without any veils prohibiting me to see to bigger picture, from a different flightlevel than most persons on the surface of this beautiful planet.

    “What is more frightening?”
    A group of elite-humans, reptoids with the (secret) knowledge and access to technology that is able to MANIPULATE the hands of mother Nature for pure profit and destruction of this planet or at least wipe out much of its population.

    And i agree with you.. The forces of Nature can never be tamed by mankind, but they can be “gently manipulated” by devices like Haarp.

    Just found this message
    http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread536429/pg1

    Co-incedences in (your consensus) reality (too) are stacking up against a natural case of the earthquake. Looking back in recent history… where have i found this pattern before?
    Aha 7-7-7 London Bombings (a spontanious natural event??) where there was also a “preplanned anti terrorism excercise” at exact the same locations where the bombs went off…

  118. >A Weather Machine narrative seems to be a striking example of conspiracy as a coping mechanism. What is more frightening? The sudden, largely unpredictable shifting of tectonic plates shattering your city like a glass bowl? Or a mortal enemy manning the controls like some Wellsian monster? The human enemy (no matter how outlandish and imaginary) could one day potentially be confronted and defeated, whereas the cold and mindless hand of Nature is a threat of such magnitude that, for all our advancement, we are still largely helpless as a species to defend ourselves against her.<

    Quite so. It's why the Christian version of the legend with the “Boukman Contract.” is circulated by missionaries to try to get Haitians to drop Vodou.
    The message is: *The only reason that you are having this series of problems is that you aren't Christian enough. Your forefathers who founded Haiti screwed you because they made a pact with Satan. All you have to do is turn aside from Satan (and his mask of voodoo) and bad ththings won't happen to you anymore once you are on a good Christian path. All you need to do is stamp out the practices of these devil worshiping voodooists.*

    The human enemy of evil blood-drinking, gyrating, spirit-worshiping, Satanistic voodooist can be could one day potentially be confronted and defeated. All that is needed is for everyone to join in Christ. It is significant that in the accounts of the Christian version of the legend I found two separate incidences in which Christians had cancelled the contract and sent Satan packing.

    One was in the 1998 article "Haiti – God's country after a 'holy invasion'" http://www.jesus.org.uk/dawn/1998/dawn9802.html which was related to a bunch of Christains praying at Bois-Caiman in 1997. "All Haitians now know that the country no longer has a pact with the devil; the contract has been cancelled, the curse broken. Churches who initially opposed us out of fear of persecution, have now joined us. Visitors to Haiti sense a fresh atmosphere in the country. God will completely change our country spiritually, economically and socially. We are already calling it 'Haiti G.C., Haiti, God's Country.'"

    Another account said that Christians had stated a year long prayer movement in 2003 to make certain that the contract was not renewed in 2004–and that they also succeded.

    Yes, *Pray long and hard enough and Satan and those human minions will be defeated.* as opposed to implacable Nature, who bring hurricans. earthquakes, epidemicsand so forth. As jrok neatly described it–"the cold and mindless hand of Nature is a threat of such magnitude that, for all our advancement, we are still largely helpless as a species to defend ourselves against her."

  119. > The Russian have these devices too

    Wile E. Coyote is not Russian ;)

    Forgive us Voudoun Gods, this blog’s the funniest thing on the net )

  120. > Wile E. Coyote is not Russian ;)

    If Mr. Coyote is behind this Weather Machine business, I fear even my impregnable Moon Base may not stop him. For instance, the old tactic of luring him off a cliff and handing him an anvil is doomed to fail up here.

  121. Haiti’s “curse” had a whole lot more to do with the Rothschilds putting the newly liberated colony on the “no loan” list due to it being to dangerous for white bankers to operate in after the slaughter of the French colonists.

    Also, Americans have the Haitians to thank for the good deal we got on the Louisiana Purchase. Napoleon saw that, after losing 40k troops to the former slave Maroons of haiti, he had little chance of holding on to the Louisiana drainage from the well ofganized Americans, so he told his broker to Sell!!!!

  122. I’ve found more information. Supposidly, Boukman apparently invoked the “Good God.”

    Traditionally known as the “Boukman prayer,” this Kreyòl invocation was supposidly used by Boukman:

    “Bon Dje ki fè la tè. Ki fè soley ki klere nou enro. Bon Dje ki soulve lanmè. Ki fè gronde loray. Bon Dje nou ki gen zorey pou tande. Ou ki kache nan niaj. Kap gade nou kote ou ye la. Ou we tout sa blan fè nou sibi. Dje blan yo mande krim. Bon Dje ki nan nou an vle byen fè. Bon Dje nou an ki si bon, ki si jis, li ordone vanjans. Se li kap kondui branou pou nou ranpote la viktwa. Se li kap ba nou asistans. Nou tout fet pou nou jete potre dje Blan yo ki swaf dlo lan zye. Koute vwa la Libète kap chante lan kè nou. ”
    http://thelouvertureproject.org/index.php?title=Boukman

    “Bon Dje” means the “Good God.” Likely, “Bon Dje” would be “Bondye” (from the French “Bon Dieu.”) In Vodou, “Bondye” is the High God, over all the other lwa. (Bondye is said to be like the Dahomey “Mawu-Lisa.”)

    “Libète” means “Liberty.”

    Here is a translation of the prayer into contemporary English:

    “Bon Dje [Good God] who created the earth, who created the sun that gives us light. Bon Dje [Good God] who holds up the ocean, who makes the thunder roar. Bon Dje [Good God] who has ears to hear. You who are hidden in the clouds, who watch us from where you are. You see all that the white has made us suffer. The white man’s god asks him to commit crimes. Bon Dje [Good God] within us wants to do good. Bon Dje [Good God], who is so good, so just, He orders us to avenge our wrongs. It’s He who will direct our arms and bring us the victory. It’s He who will assist us. We all should throw away the image of the white man’s god who is so pitiless. Listen to the voice of Libète [Liberty] that speaks in all our hearts.”

    All that being said, we don’t know if the “Boukman prayer” is what Boukman said at Bois Caïman in August 1791.

    Apparently, the “Boukman prayer,” wasn’t the only invocation. A mambo called a lwa and ther was a sacrifice of a black domestic Creole pig. This offering was presided over by a mambo, either Cécile Fatiman (Kreyòl: Sesil Fatima) or Mambo Marinette and was given to Ezili Dantor.

  123. ESR:

    I am a Vodouisant (Haitian Vodou practitioner) and can tell you that your sources of information for this entry are not that great. For example, Ezili Dantor is not a Goddess. (there is only one God in Vodou) she’s a Lwa. She’s also not associated with fertility.

    Haitian Vodou is an oral tradition, therefore, what has been written about it is very superficial when considering the breadth and depth of the subject, and very little of what has been written can be found online.

    About the only place online where you will find a significant amount of accurate information about Haitian Vodou (which is the religion you are referring to) in English is http://www.ezilikonnen.com

    Disclaimer: I developed the site

  124. M. Woodling said:
    > The human enemy of evil blood-drinking, gyrating, spirit-worshiping, Satanistic voodooist can be could one day potentially be confronted and defeated. All that is needed is for everyone to join in Christ.

    Yes, and certainly there is religious dimension to the notion of seeking comfort in “human” enemies (whether flesh and blood or anthropomorphic deities). But I think that the patterns of scapegoating and rituals you see in religious exercise are expressions of the same impulse that drives the moon-unit logic of the conspiracy crowd. In a way, the Weather Machine is a sort of modern religion without an eschatology or ritual set. Believers select from a shared set of powerful symbols and bogeys (everything from black helicopters to Lizard men) and use it as a framework to properly explain every external event. The corresponding internal events, I suspect, are ignored or isolated in the same reactive portion of the mind that sees the Christ’s face on a slice of bread, or forms and breaks contracts with demons.

    But, again, I think the fundamental difference with the Weather Machine is that Seagull has no eschatology for his Weather Machine. He has a powerful symbol (“H.A.A.R.P”, which would be a pretty great name for a science fiction device with a similar doomsday app!), but his framework is bereft of the sort of powerful allies, dominant narrative and overriding goals that a fully religious expression. In this world, the believer worships by transmitting components of his creation myth, but otherwise has no gospel or stated goal. Viral infection is the means and the end. The only Ragnarok is a world in which a perception that allows for space lizards who poison our water and control the weather no longer sounds insane.

  125. “but his framework is bereft of the sort of powerful allies, dominant narrative and overriding goals that *comprise* a fully religious expression.”

  126. Maurice Roman said:

    >I am a Vodouisant (Haitian Vodou practitioner) and can tell you that your sources of information for this entry are not that great. For example, Ezili Dantor is not a Goddess. (there is only one God in Vodou) she’s a Lwa. She’s also not associated with fertility.About the only place online where you will find a significant amount of accurate information about Haitian Vodou (which is the religion you are referring to) in English is http://www.ezilikonnen.com <

    I named his website in one of my earlier posts as a source.
    Mambo Ezili Danto (aka Erzulie Dantor)
    http://www.ezilikonnen.com/the_lwa/ezili-danto.html
    Scroll down to "Danto in History" "Mambo Ezili Danto is known to have played a huge role in the history of Haiti, mother of the country."

    However I've also read some off line sources that concur.

  127. M.Woodling:

    I named his website in one of my earlier posts as a source.
    Mambo Ezili Danto (aka Erzulie Dantor)
    http://www.ezilikonnen.com/the_lwa/ezili-danto.html
    Scroll down to “Danto in History” “Mambo Ezili Danto is known to have played a huge role in the history of Haiti, mother of the country.”
    However I’ve also read some off line sources that concur.

    I think you became confused and thought I was replying to your post. I wasn’t. I was replying to ESR’s post, which is why I wrote “ESR” at the beginning of it. The points I raised concerned Dantor being a Lwa not a Goddess, and not being associated with fertility.
    I did not touch upon the point of whether or not she played a role in the Bwa Kaiman ceremony – it appears as though you thought I did.
    Also, as I mentioned in the post, I developed ezilikonnen.com, so, yes, I know where the section about her role in history is located within her page on the site . . . I built that page myself.

    MR

  128. @Seagull
    Yes, I can. If you want to know about this device read this:
    http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.flb.ru%2Finfoprint%2F34858.html&sl=ru&tl=en

    From the article:

    “Ion generator really works, – said the head of the active effects Roshydromet Valery Stasenko. But its impact on the atmosphere is extremely low. Ionization of air, without a doubt, is happening, but only locally, in the immediate vicinity of the apparatus. On the global management of cyclones, no speech can not be. Power generator is too weak. Effect of ionization on the atmospheric processes have not yet been studied in order to use these designs seriously, in the national economy. For more or less discernible effect of the work of these devices require huge facilities that are comparable to НААRР. However, in this case the question arises about the harm that such devices cause humans and the environment. ”

  129. @Ivan: Thanks!
    Do you have more of this russian weather manipulation stuff for me to investigate? I am (currently) only familiar with “western, us based” technology, but a i already know that russian scientists are using (Nicolai) Tesla Technology longer and on a much wider scale then their us collegues.

  130. Maurice Roman:

    No, my post was simply supposed to agree and commen on yours and my post was directed to the list. I appearently was tired when I posted and left out a paragraphwhich said something like:

    *Others sources including Alfred Metraux, state Vodou or Vodoun has one High God, over all the other lwa, known as “Bondye.” Ezili Dantor (aka Ezili Danto, Erzulie Dantor) is a lwa. Though she has several children, she is not really called on for fertility. This angry, aggressive, Petro lwa of motherhood will defend her children. Ezili Dantor is associated with the “Haitian black pig” or “Creole pig” which was sacrificed at Bois-Caiman (Bwa Kaiman). A favorite food for feasts honoring Ezili Dantor is fried or roast pork,”griot,” a spicy Haitian dish made with pork cubes.*

    My post makes alittle more sence with this pargraph.

  131. @jrok

    But, again, I think the fundamental difference with the Weather Machine is that Seagull has no eschatology for his Weather Machine.

    Look deeper. Myths about Nikola Tesla are not that different from the stories about Jesus Christ and Aradia.

    @Seagull
    There are indeed more information in Russian about myths surrounding Nikola Tesla, even Russian Wikipedia has a “Myths and Legends” section. Start there.

    From the Russian Wikipedia article (Google translated, slightly edited):

    Halo surrounding the identity and the opening of Tesla, with the spread of all sorts of allegations, bearing, as a rule, half-mythical character. These statements are not verifiable due to lack of documents that did not, however, to ascribe Tesla directly or indirectly related to the many riddles of the XX century. But even now [27], some people write on forums that they are in contact with Tesla, resulting in their arguments communicate with him through his super-powers, and making new sketches received from Tesla, by communicating with them.

  132. Ivan said:
    > Look deeper. Myths about Nikola Tesla are not that different from the stories about Jesus Christ and Aradia.

    I understand where you are coming from, and am familiar with Tesla’s place in the mythology (on a funny side note, I remember the part of a superhuman Tesla being played by David Bowie in a recent movie, which I thought was a smirkingly brilliant casting choice!) And I’m not saying the Weather Machiners necessarily have to have “sacred texts” or similiar cultural artifacts to be religious, either. They have Gods and Monsters that conform to the usual suspects. The traditional role of the Creator God is fulfilled by benevolent spacemen who planted our genes here long ago. And the bad guys (as usual) is some variant form of reptile.

    Frankly, I think sky masters and dragons appear as symbolic shorthand for pretty basicevolutionary reasons. Particularly so with “dragons” (a part played by “reptoids” in Seagulls religion), which is a pretty clear hearkening back to our early days as small mammals hunted by dinosaurs. I’m not big on Evolutionary Physchology, but that ancestral fear of the reptile doubtlessly followed us into the Pleistocene, where it was gradually codified. The Genesis serpent, the Dragon of revelations, the Beowulf killer, St. Georges adversary, the all-knowing Chinese emperor-gods, etc.

    From what I can see, the differences tend to be how we deal with our dragons, not whether we are scared of them. The West has mainly outlined a strategy of opposing them, even if it means death. Other cultures appear to have discovered other ways to deal with the dragon. The chinese worshipped it, and certain pagan cults seem to have attempted diplomacy. But how does the Weather Machiner deal with his dragons? What’s the strategy? There doesn’t appear to be one, which is why I think it doesn’t fully qualify as a religious expression. It feels more like a mythos… they are relaying symbols without a cohesive framework for using them.

  133. So, it takes “god” 200 years to punish a nation?

    Takes his sweet time, doesn’t he?

  134. Beccs asked rhetorically:

    “So, it takes ‘god’ 200 years to punish a nation?”

    Well, no, not actually. The LORD has been punishing them all along. Due to o the Satanic “Boukman contract,” the Christian God has placed a curse on the island. It’s never known peace since then, with one evil dictatorship succeeding another–including Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who supplied USA President Clinton with a voodoo sorcerer. A Haitian pastor is supposed to have said a few years ago, “Haiti is so poor, not because we have no resources, but because we are under the curse of God.”

    The funny thing is I found two separate accounts about Christians trimphantly crowing that they had finally broken the curse and kicked Satan out of Haiti. One was in an 1998 article; another article was in 2004.

    The problem is Robertson uses any terrible tragedy as an example of the Christian God’s wrath against anyone who is *just not Christian enough.*

    He stated Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment in response to America’s abortion policy, explaining, “But have we found we are unable somehow to defend ourselves against some of the attacks that are coming against us, either by terrorists or now by natural disaster? Could they be connected in some way?”

    The USA is *just not Christian enough.* His own demonination is Southern Baptist with a strong flavoring of charismatic Christian theology. It’s hard to be Christian enough for Roberson. He doesn’t like Catholics, and he has also claimed that some Protestant denominations harbor the spirit of the Anichrist.

    Many folks in Haiti rightfully feel that Robertson insulted them by stating that the founding of their country was due to a pact with the devil.

    He has also denounced Hinduism as “demonic.” http://www.sullivan-county.com/news/pat_quotes/hindus.htm

  135. Well, no, not actually. The LORD has been punishing them all along. Due to o the Satanic “Boukman contract,” the Christian God has placed a curse on the island. It’s never known peace since then, with one evil dictatorship succeeding another–including Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who supplied USA President Clinton with a voodoo sorcerer.

    My goodness, there you go again spouting off about topics you know absolutely nothing about . . .

  136. Well, no, not actually. The LORD has been punishing them all along. Due to o the Satanic “Boukman contract,” the Christian God has placed a curse on the island. It’s never known peace since then, with one evil dictatorship succeeding another–including Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who supplied USA President Clinton with a voodoo sorcerer.

    My goodness, there you go again spouting off about topics you know absolutely nothing about . . .

  137. the Christian God has placed a curse on the island.

    Funny, the Dominican Republic ***WHICH IS ON THE SAME ISLAND*** does not have the problems Haiti has.

    Did you miss your meds?

  138. Maurice Roman:
    I thought it was rather obvious I was being sarcastic while paraphrasing the Christian version of events at Bois Caiman when I answered Beccs rhetorical question which also seemed sarcastic:

    “The LORD has been punishing them [the Haitians] all along. Due to the Satanic ‘Boukman contract,’ the Christian God has placed a curse on the island. It’s never known peace since then, with one evil dictatorship succeeding another–including Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who supplied USA President Clinton with a voodoo sorcerer.”

    Please see my longish post here on January 18th, 2010 at 2:38 am for clairification.

  139. Maurice Roman asked Myth Woodling:
    “Did you miss your meds?”

    Actually, You might ask if Robertson (and others who continally report the Christian version of Bois Caimanas historical fact) need meds? But that would be sarcastic.

    In some varients of the Christian version of the legend, the whole darn island of Hispaniola–not just Haiti–has been cursed. You have to understand that the Christian version is spread like an urban legend among Christian missionaries.

    See Haiti Made a Pact with the Devil-Disputed!
    http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/r/pat-robertson-haiti.htm

    There is more than one varient of the Christian version of the legend.

    As for the Dominican Republic, I hardly claim knowledge on the subject. In Wikipedia, however, I read among other things that “…unemployment, government corruption, and inconsistent electric service remain major Dominican problems.” Please see my longish post here on January 18th, 2010 at 2:38 am for clairification.

    Although Pat Robertson was corect that the Dominican Republic have nice resorts.

    I wasn’t aware of any passage in the bible in which God blessed Noah and his sons with resorts or the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than the beginning for Job had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, and year around golf courses!
    (I’m being sarcastic.)

  140. I thought it was rather obvious I was being sarcastic while paraphrasing the Christian version of events at Bois Caiman when I answered Beccs rhetorical question which also seemed sarcastic

    The problem I have with you going on and on about this is that you know nothing about the subject, except for snippets you find on the web (even ezilikonnen only addresses the most fundamental facts) or – woo hoo! – some book you found on amazon, and you keep going on and on about it as if you knew what the f*** you are talking about, when I can see that you don’t. One thing is to comment on a post by ESR (which was not a bad attempt within the context of his blog, as he was not trying to portray himself as an authority on the subject, he just conducted a thought exercise, yet lacked proper sources for it, which is understandable considering the scarcity of accurate information both in print and online) and one thing is to keep going on and on in an attempt to give others the impression that you know the first thing about the Vodou Religion (or Haitian history, for that matter) which – get it through your head – you

    D-O N-O-T

    As for the Dominican Republic, I hardly claim knowledge on the subject. In Wikipedia, however, I read among other things that “…unemployment, government corruption, and inconsistent electric service remain major Dominican problems.”

    There you go again, and quoting WIKIPEDIA of all things this time, have you any idea how ridiculous that is? Also, did you READ what I wrote? I wrote “the problems Haiti has” not that the DR was a perfect country . . . what you quoted (from Wikipedia of all things) sounds like most countries on the American continent, including the US.

  141. You seem to be misunderstanding me or I seem to be misunderstanding you.

    So, OK, I’ll ask:

    1. What exactly are the problems Haiti has?

    2. Are these problems–in the scope of your knowledge–a sign of the Christian God’s displeasure with Haiti?

    3. Are these problems–in the scope of your knowledge–a sign of a pact with Satan, the Christian devil, a powerful, supernatural entity that is the personification of evil and the Adversary of God the Father and all humans?

    4. Is the religion of Vodou as practiced in Haiti–according to your knowledge–a form of Satanism or is it a separate religion?

    5.Is the religion of Vodou as practiced in Haiti–according to your knowledge–a religious path that works with or venerates the spirits known as lwa which are not demonic?

    6. Do you think that Pat Robertson percieves spirit veneration or “spirit-work” (whether Haitian Vodou, Dominican Vodou, Santaria, New Age Angel veneration) as acceptable forms of religion?

    Just so there’s no question. The recent Haitian earthquake was caused by the sudden and violent shifting of the tectonic plates. It is my personal belief that the shifting of the plates is not due the wrath of a God, nor due to any “pact to the devil.” Neither do I assume any of Haiti’s other problems are due the wrath of a God, nor due to any “pact to the devil.”

  142. You seem to think I think myself an expert on Vodou. I never claimed I was. In fact I keep giving sources because I do not have forst hand knowlege. I have never lived in Haiti. I have never lived in New Orleans. I have neve been trained i any form ogf Vodou

    It also occurs to me you may be puzzeled about why I keep refering to the “Christian version of the legend” and the “Vodou version of the legend.”

    It’s because I’ve been looking up information on and compairing differnt versions of the same story.

    Are you familar with the concept in folklore of a “contemporary legend,” also called an “urban legend,” “urban myth,” or “urban tale?”

    A “contemporary legend,” is a narative often spread by orally among a certain group. Sometimes the legends have been repeated in newsstories. In fact folklorists often track the persistence of a legend by finding referecence to it in written sources. In recent years, the narativities have been distributed via the world wide web e-mail.

    Incidentially just because because narrative fits the classification of “contemporary legend,” doesn’t automatically mean that the narrative is completely false. Sometimes, the entire tale has been correctly repeated. Frequently, there is some detail(s) in the legend that might be repeated incorrectly or exaggerated.

    In the USA people commonly say “You know, George Washington had false teeth made of wood.” George Washington did have false teeth but they weren’t carved of wood. Washingon’s false teeth were made of ivory and real teeth.

    I have studied contemporary legends for many years.

    Here’s a better example of a contemporary legend somethimes called “The Chubby Bunny Death.”

    There is a story of a child choking to death by playing the “Chubby Bunny” marshmallow game. Some varients of the legend, several marshmallows “emulsified” in the kids’s mouth, he couldn’t breath and died. In some versions, parents are warned not to let their children eat marshmallows. This varient of the legend explains that marshmallows are a “choking hazard” because the marshmallows can turn into a sugary glue inside a kid’s mouth–like those rice krispy rice treats people make.
    http://www.snopes.com/horrors/parental/chubbybunny.asp

    I originally heard another varient of the story. A girl and her friends were playing “Chubby Bunny” after school. In “Chubby Bunny,” people stuff as many marshmallows in their mouth as possible and try to say “Chubby Bunny.” The person with the most marshmallows in their mouth wins. She choaked on all the marshmallows and died, because the teacher wasn’t there.

    In fact, marshmallows are choking hazards, but NOT because several marshmallows can become “emulsified” in a human mouth forming a super sugar glue in a human mouth. Marshmallows are choking hazards for the same reason jellybeans, gumdrops, hard candy, nuts, whole grapes, and some other foods are. These items are the right size or shape to get lodged in a windpipe. Young children often don’t chew their food well and are often viewed as being especially at risk.

    Sadly, there is a version of this story which is absolutely true. A 12 year old girl on August 4, 1999, choked to death on a marshmallow. Catherine “Casey” Fish, was playing a game called “Chubby Bunny” at a school-sponsored function at the Hoffman Elementary School, Glenview, Illinois. One of the marshmallows lodged in her throat during the game, which was not being supervised by a teacher. When Casey was choaking, other students called the teacher back into the room, but he was too late to save the girl.

  143. Well, he deletes your posts from his blog just for kicks
    His bedroom window
    It is made out of bricks
    The National Guard stands around his door
    Ah, I ain’t gonna talk on Eric’s blog no more.

  144. @Seagull:

    If you (want to) digg deeper into the very realworld technology of this HAARP device, you will notice that is it real Nicolia Tesla technology at work here. The Russian have these devices too. They are being used as a part of the USAF2025 program in which they what own the weather as force multiplier. You can read all about it online! at :

    Don’t know why I didn’t see this before. Maybe it was so ludicrous I thought it was spam. :)

    Do you have some sort of reading deficiency? Did you read the AF2025 report? All of it? I skimmed it, but got the general gist. Yes, they’re talking about using ionospheric mirrors and such for modification of the ionosphere. But not for weather control but for causing radio interference that affects “their” side but doesn’t affect “our” side. Read my lips: you cannot cause earthquakes with nothing but a radio transmitter. You cannot cause storms, floods, tornados or hurricanes with nothing but a radio transmitter, either.

    And some of the weather techniques the USAF does discuss in the document have been in use for a century or more; others have been known about for at least decades. Cloud seeding, carbon dust, etc. Fairly mundane, well-understood stuff. Nothing new here, no magic.

  145. You seem to be misunderstanding me or I seem to be misunderstanding you.

    So, OK, I’ll ask:

    1. What exactly are the problems Haiti has?

    2. Are these problems–in the scope of your knowledge–a sign of the Christian God’s displeasure with Haiti?

    3. Are these problems–in the scope of your knowledge–a sign of a pact with Satan, the Christian devil, a powerful, supernatural entity that is the personification of evil and the Adversary of God the Father and all humans?

    4. Is the religion of Vodou as practiced in Haiti–according to your knowledge–a form of Satanism or is it a separate religion?

    5.Is the religion of Vodou as practiced in Haiti–according to your knowledge–a religious path that works with or venerates the spirits known as lwa which are not demonic?

    6. Do you think that Pat Robertson percieves spirit veneration or “spirit-work” (whether Haitian Vodou, Dominican Vodou, Santaria, New Age Angel veneration) as acceptable forms of religion?

    I am not here to answer your questions, and even if I were, your questions are jampacked with 100% incorrect assumptions.

    You are wasting my time, going on about a topic you know nothing about, and I repeat, the way you blithely blather on about it is quite offensive to me.

  146. Well, since Maurice Roman is unwilling to discuss, inform, or enlighten, I think I will cheerfully blather on. Please remember I am not a pratictioner of Vodou and cannot from personal experience address details involving Vodou worship but am simply relying upon published information.

    1. What exactly are the problems Haiti has?

    Aside from the earthquake, Haiti does have its share of problems.
    Poverty–80% of the population lives in poverty.
    Sanitation–Population Using Adequate Sanitation in 1999, only 28%.
    Large population–Population in mid-2007 was 9,000,000.
    Deforestation–Hillsides are stripped bare of 98% of their forest cover, which contributes to flooding during heavy rains and hurricanes. Deforestation has contributed to the degradation of agricultural land.
    Hurricanes–As Haiti is in the hurricane belt, hurricanes frequently sweep the nation.
    Ecomonic problems–There is rampant inflation, widespread unemployment and underemployment. Two-thirds of all Haitians depend on agriculture. Most Haitians own and farm tiny plots of land, consisting mainly of small-scale subsistence farming, which includes rice, sugarcane, sorghum, yams, corn, cassava, and plantains. The large population density has increased rural poverty and is also a factor in the country’s extensive deforestation, which has contributed to the degradation of agricultural land.
    Disease–Just to name some: typhoid, malaria, AIDS/HIV. ASF (African swine fever) led to the human eradication of the Creole pig.
    Other stuff–I also have heard things on the news like “severe trade deficit,” “lack of investment,” etc.
    I’m sure this summary is entirely too brief.
    Here are some interesting articles and where I got the population stats:
    Population Reference Bureau

    Haiti

    Building Haiti’s Economy, One Mango at a Time
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/opinion/29collier.html
    Haiti: The Price of Sugar

    2. Are any of these problems a sign of the Christian God’s displeasure with Haiti?

    The recent Haitian earthquake was caused by the sudden and violent shifting of the tectonic plates. It is my personal belief that the shifting of the plates is not due the wrath of the Christian God.
    Likewise, hurricanes are formed when heat is released as moist air rises, during evaporation. Hurricanes are tropical cyclones that typically occur in the warm waters of the Atlantic and Pacific. Hurricanes are characterized by powerful winds, torrential rain, formation of high waves. It is my personal belief that hurricanes are a creation of conplex weather conditions which are not due the wrath of the Christian God.
    The ecomonic problems, poverty, large population, deforestation, sanitation, disease, etc suffered by Haiti over the years can be tracked through history to a varity of sources. However, it is my personal belief that these situations are not due to the wrath of the Christian God.
    However, some Christians sadly seem to feel otherwise. Certainly not all Christians do. For example, Dr. Jean R. Gelin, a Christian minster, argues against this particular notion in two separate articles “God, Satan, and the Birth of Haiti” 10/05 and “La malédiction divine sur Haïti” 10/6/04 [The divine curse on Haiti]. In “La malédiction divine sur Haïti” he writes “En guise d’illustration, je reprends ici les mots d’un pasteur Haïtien bien connu : Nous pensons qu’Haïti est pauvre, non parce qu’il n’y a pas de ressources dans le pays, mais parce que nous sommes sous la malédiction de Dieu.” The French translates as “As an illustration, I repeat here the words of a Haitian pastor well known: We believe that Haiti is poor, not because there are no resources in the country, but because we are under the curse of God.”
    God, Satan, and the Birth of Haiti

    La malédiction divine sur Haïti

    3. Are these problems a sign of a pact with Satan, the Christian devil, a powerful, supernatural entity that is the personification of evil and the Adversary of God the Father and all humans?
    For my reasons stated under answer 2, I do not believe that ecomonic problems, poverty, large population, deforestation, sanitation, disease, hurricanes, or earthquakes are due to Satan, aka the Christian devil–who is a figure of Christian theology which is the personification of evil and the Adversary of God the Father. (Actually, Satan is not part of my belief system.)
    Aside from what I believe, some other people, like Dawn Anderson
    and Rev. Doug Anderson, Pat Robertson, Bob Schatan, do believe that Satan is the cause.

    “Haiti is the only country in the entire world that has dedicated its government to Satan. Demonic spirits have been consulted for political decisions, and have shaped the country’s history.” Thus speaks Reverend Doug Anderson, who grew up in Haiti with missionary parents, and served there along with his wife Dawn as a missionary until 1990.

    “In Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince today you can see an iron pig statue. It commemorates the ritual of the African religion Americans today call Voodoo conducted by Boukman on August 14, 1791.

    “A pig on that day was ritually killed. The escaped slaves joined in drinking its still-warm blood as part of a pact. Boukman led his followers in vowing that they and their children would serve the pagan gods of the island, including the devil, for exactly 200 years in exchange for freedom from the French.”

    “They [the people of Haiti] were under the heel of the French. Napoleon the Third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you get us free from the prince.’ True story. And so the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal.’ They kicked the French out, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free.

    “But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other, desperately poor. ” Pat Robertson, 1/13/10, 700 Club, CBN.

    4. Is the religion of Vodou, as practiced in Haiti, a form of Satanism or is it a separate religion?
    Numerous sociologists, anthropologists, folklorists, scholars in comparative religion, etc state Vodou is NOT a form of Satanism. Vodou, as practiced in Haiti, is usually defined as a New World syncretic religion which involves an amalgamation of several African traditions and iconic imagry of the Catholic church. That fits with more credible sources I’ve read over the years (including Alfred Metraux’s book which I purchased from Grandma’s Candle Shop in Baltimore MD in the early 1990′s.)
    Personally, I agree with the sociologists, anthropologists, folklorists, scholars in comparative religion, etc, rather than Dawn Anderson, Doug Anderson, Pat Roberson, Bob Schatan, or Joel Jeune.
    Several folks in this string of comments, including Tobias Torrente, Morgan Greywolf, & Sigivald, have discussed ESR’s blog post and largely agreed that on August 14, 1791, there was a religious Vodou ceremony at Bois Caiman which was organized by a former slave houngan named Boukman and that this ritual was not Satanic. I tend to agree with them, too.
    5. Is the religion of Vodou as practiced in Haiti a religious path that works with or venerates the spirits known as lwa which are not demonic?
    “A lwa is, at its most basic definition, a spiritual entity.”

    Disclosure: My knowledge of Vodou practice is entirely from books, articles (in printed periodicals and on-line), and from casual conversations with one friend who is a practioner. The lwa are spirits. There are numerous lwa. Some have been living people. Many seem to have always been spirits. My friend occasionally refered to her path with the lwa as “work” but more frequently as “service.”
    The lwa are NOT “demonic” and the religion of Vodou is NOT “Satanism.”
    Of course that is not what Ivory Hopkins of Pilgrim Ministry of Deliverance believes. On Hopkin’s website, he provides “Prayers Against Voodoo and Other Forms of Witchcraft.”
    My limited erudition leads me to believe that Ivory Hopkins and other proponants of Deliverence Ministeries are wrong.
    6. Do you think that Pat Robertson perceives spirit veneration or “spirit-work” (whether Haitian Vodou, Dominican Vodou, Santeria, New Age Angel veneration) as acceptable forms of religion?
    In November 2006, a 700 club viewer wrote in to ask Pat Robertson a question: “Why evangelical Christians tell non-Christians that Jesus (God) is the only way to Heaven? Those who are Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, etc. already know and have a relationship with God. Why is this? It seems disrespectful.”

    PAT ROBERTSON: “No. They don’t have a relationship. There is the God of the Bible, who is Jehovah. When you see L-O-R-D in caps, that is the name. It’s not Allah, it’s not Brahma, it’s not Shiva, it’s not Vishnu, it’s not Buddha. It is Jehovah God. They don’t have a relationship with him. He is the God of all Gods. These others are mostly demonic powers. Sure they’re demons. There are many demons in the world.”
    Since Robertson called Buddha demonic, I really don’t think Robertson is going to accept any of the the religions of Haitian Vodou, Dominican Vodou, or Santeria–nor do I think he would find the rather New Age Angel veneration an acceptable spiritual path. (Pat Robertson is a Southern Baptist.)
    While I do not have first hand knowledge of the practice of Vodou I do have Baptist relatives, Methodist relatives, and liberal Episcopalian relatives, and my mother was a “Catholic drop-out.”
    I am fairly familar with differnt forms of Protestant theology. Sometimes I satire this theology or speak sarcastically about it, but will avoid doing so in the next paragraphs in order to present it correctly.
    Episcopals revere saints as being Godly men and women. The saints are good role models. I believe they include all the Christian saints up to the time of the Reformation. However, Episcopals do not pray to the saints for intercession with God.
    Methodists also recognize “saints” as Godly men and women. The United Methodist Church believes in the doctrine of the Communion of the Saints. Indeed, anyone who accepts Christ Jesus as their “Lord and Savior” is–according to the Methodists–a saint. A lot of Methodists are very laid back. The UMC informally recognizes that certain saints–and, particularly, those mentioned in the Bible–are properly referenced as “Saints”–for example, St. Mark, St. Matthew, St. Luke, and St. John. While some Methodists might pray to Chritian saints, the practice is not commonly found within the UMC. I got the general impression that paritioners looked askance at such activity.
    The Baptists believe in one God, who reveals Himself as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The only way to get into heaven is salvation through Jesus Christ, who is the “Truth, the Way, and the Light” and thus the only way people gain entrance into heaven; everybody else goes to hell. Southern Baptists are Evangelical, meaning they adhere to the belief that humanity is fallen, but the Good News is Jesus died for humanity. Thus Evangelism and missions to save and convert people to the worship of Jesus Christ is of primary importance to Baptists. After all, people who fail to recognize God as the one and only divinity are sentenced to eternity in hell. Each Baptist church is autonomous, with no bishop or hierarchical body. Hence, there is some minor variation in doctrines. Though Baptists have the doctrine of the “perseverance of the saints” that doctrine simply means, “Once saved, always saved.” Baptists don’t generally recognize any saints other that those named in the bible, but they will NOT pray to them for intercession with God. In fact, my Baptist sister-in-law once explained to me that all Catholics were going to hell because they prayed to saints and not to Jesus. When I responded that Catholics did pray to Jesus and also said the Lord’s prayer a lot, she looked puzzled, and finally answered, “That’s not enough.”
    Many Baptists do not recognize visitations of Blessed Virgin Mary as divine apparitions–as Catholics would–but rather view these visions as possible demonic manifestations.
    I have tried to accurately describe doctrines of three different protestant sects toward saints, due to the fact that Vodou lwa are often identified with Catholic saints. I think it should be pretty obvious that Southern Baptists do not approve of veneration of the saints as practiced by the Catholic Church. Likewise, Methodists and liberal Episcopalians do not condemn the practice, but do not embrace it.
    Since many Christians do not approve of venderation of the saints, people should not be surprised that many will not have a high regard for any sort of veneration or service to spirits as is done in Vodou. Though it was never my intention to offend any practitioner of Vodou, I don’t see why it is offensive if I quote someone else’s disapproval–especially in a sarcastic or satyrical manner.

  147. Ivan stated on January 27, 2010,
    “Myths about Nikola Tesla are not that different from the stories about Jesus Christ and Aradia.”

    Jesus is credited with rising from the dead and Aradia descended to and returned from the underworld. Elvis Presley simultanteously was credited as faking his death, haunting Graceland (and other locations), having risen from the dead, being kidnapped by aliens, and being the model for the face on Mars. (My Mother read those tabloids.)

    Does anyone claim Nikola Tesla came back from the dead?

    Are you alluduing to something like this article?
    http://io9.com/5127125/the-greatest-inventions-nikola-tesla-never-created

  148. Congratulations, you have just expressed some of the most ridiculous and ignorant conclusions and assumptions I have ever seen online.

    Go ahead, keep making an ass out of yourself.

    Anyone that knows anything of substance on the topic can obviously see what I am referring to.

    And nice try, attempting to elicit information that you have no other way to obtain by baiting those who do . . . you failed.

  149. ESR: You quoted Wikipedia article on Ogun in your intitial blog entry: “It is Ogun who is said to have planted the idea, led and given power to the slaves for the Haitian Revolution of 1804.”

    After some more looking around, I did find references to a tradition that the Petro lwa of war, Ogun Feraille, also possed a woman. In some some sources, Ogun Feraille is mentioned along with Ezili Dantor. In other souces, only Ogun Feraille, also known as Ogoun Feraille or Ogoun Fer, is mentioned.

    Actually, as Vodou ceremonies seem to usually involve more than one lwa manifesting in worshiper(s), a tradtion of more than one isn’t surprising. Although Vodou tradtion states the two lwa don’t always get along, Ogun Feraille is one of Ezili Dantor’s lovers.

    The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803
    http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/history/revolution/revolution1.htm

    Music & Dance of Brazil & the Caribbean
    http://academic.evergreen.edu/M/mabusj/tesc/CMDs00/sondemiroir.html

    Judika Illes,The Encyclopedia of Spirits, 2009, pp. 398, 783.

  150. Although Vodou tradtion states the two lwa don’t always get along, Ogun Feraille is one of Ezili Dantor’s lovers.

    Ah! That makes sense. So that’s why sources might vary — it could have easily been that both were invoked. Thanks for the links. Lots of good stuff there. Once again esr proves to be right; hopefully it won’t go to his head. :)

  151. >Once again esr proves to be right; hopefully it won’t go to his head. :)

    It wasn’t a difficult call, Morgan. As you probably understand better than any of my other regulars, there’s an interior logic of ritual — the ends imply the means. The logic crosses cultural boundaries because it’s an expression of invariants in our evolved neuropsychological architecture; thus, a Wiccan like me can reason retrodictively about Voudun ritual, and a sufficiently bright Voudun houngan could do the reverse. Poor monotheists, they miss out on so much! :-)

  152. morgan greywolf wrote: “Ah! That makes sense. So that’s why sources might vary — it could have easily been that both were invoked. Thanks for the links.”

    There seem to be several diffent aspects of Ogun. Ogun Feraille apparently was the aspect associated with the Bois Caiman meeting. Ogun Balendjo in the Dominican Republic is a physian who heals with iron, heated water, etc.

    According to Judika Illes, “Ezili Danto is horo as the spirit who initiated the Haitian Revolution. … . Her lover and partner was Ogoun. When the revolution ended, he cut out her tongue so she couldn’t reveal secrets.” This explaiation is the reason given for the acrimony between the two lwa.

    (I’m glad you, Morgan, appreciate the links.)

    ESR wrote: “Poor monotheists, they miss out on so much! :-)”

    True, the assumption by the Christian Prodestant missionaries to Haiti would have been that Satan must have been summoned in opposition to the Christian God, because the whole ceremoney was non-Christian.

    A modern liberal-minded monotheist might approach this question this way: “Well Satan wasn’t part of this religion of the African Diaspora, therefore the revolutionaries wouldn’t have called on Satan. Since there was religious ceremony, what was that spirtual enitity which they did call instead of Satan?” However the liberal-minded monotheist might assume that there would be only one spirit would have been invoked and then mislabled as Satan.

    I have to admit I thought it odd that I’d stumbled across no other references to any other specific lwa associated with Bois Caiman outside of ESR’s Wikipedia reference. Of course, as I’m not really an expert on Haitian Vodou ceremonies, I assumed that there might be the reason why the ritual was conducted as it was that was not obvious to me.

  153. >WHO SAYS WE DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT, PAT ROBERTSON?

    Very scholarly. But why no mention of the tradition that Ogun was invoked?

  154. No, Ogun Feraille, is in there.

    “The lwa Ezili Dantor is viewed as having an important spiritual role in the history of Haiti. The powerful spirit of Ezili Dantor possessed Mambo Marinette during the ritual at Bois Caiman in August 1791. She is also known as Ezili Danto, and Erzulie Dantor. One of Ezili Dantor’s lovers is Ogun Feraille, the warrior lwa. Also known as Ogoun Feraille, Ogou Feraille, or Ogoun Fer, this lwa was invoked with Ezili Dantor at the meeting at Bois Caiman. Ezili Dantor, the Petro lwa of motherhood…”

    Yes, I have him as “One of Ezili Dantor’s lovers…” which may seem to demphasize him, but I haven’t found a whole lot to refernces connecting Ogun Feraille with Bois Caiman. Later in the revolution Ogun Feraille is supposed to ride someone in a fight when he rip up the captured French flag removing the white. He used the rest as colors for the Haitian flag.

    One source stated Ogun Feraille rode “Mambo Marinette” another stated he poessessed a “woman.” Either is possible because a worshipper can be possessed in succession by different lwas. However several diiferent worshipers might be ridden by differnt lwas.

  155. M. Woodling

    There seem to be several diffent aspects of Ogun. Ogun Feraille apparently was the aspect associated with the Bois Caiman meeting. Ogun Balendjo in the Dominican Republic is a physian who heals with iron, heated water, etc.

    That has to be the most ignorant and brainless statement about Vodou I have read in a long time.

    You don’t have even the most basic info, that much is obvious. It’s pathetic. You are making a complete imbecile out of yourself, and can’t even see it.

  156. Poking around wiki, I found the comparison of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa and Erzuli. Polish culture ignored by Ango-Americans, like Wyoming?

    I’m not Polish. But people ask that a lot.

  157. I found something more about the Polish soldiers from
    http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/polcrt/PolesinHaiti.html

    The Tragedy of the Lost Polish Brigades (1802-2002)
    http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/polcrt/PolesinHaitiA.html

    Poles in Haiti
    http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/polcrt/PolesinHaitiO.html

    POLES IN HAITI AND HAITIAN REVOLUTION
    http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/misctopic/ethnic/poles.htm

    Not surprisingly, some of the Poles stayed in Haiti after the Haitian Revolution. They intermarried with the locals. The Poles may have established themselves at a settlement in Casales because of its cooler climate. They built a stone church in Casales. They probably practiced Catholicism in the early days. and remoteness. A copy of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa was among their church relics.

  158. “Even though the Poles who were abandoned in Haiti were Catholic, some later became practioners of Voodoo. One man named Amon Ferdon was a voodoo piest and he claims to be a descendant of the Polish soldiers.” http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/polcrt/PolesinHaitiO.html

    “One resident of Casales, Amon Fremon, was taken back to Poland by Jerzy Detopski. Amon was a Voodoo priest. … It seems that Amon headed Voodoo ceremonies all over Poland, in their forests, to put the “gris gris” on the U.S.S.R., at Detopski’s request. Amon spoke Creole, not Polish, but he did pick up a bit of the language on his total immersion there. Amon’s oral history was that his own Polish soldier came to Haiti with Napoleon’s army and were allowed to stay because of Dessalines and Touissant.” http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/polcrt/PolesinHaitiA.html

  159. Dr Ackermann sent me the following, I thought I would share it with the readers of ESR’s blog
    >>Here is a Haitian description of the Bois Caiman ceremony.
    >>Source: Journal-Post

    >>Boukman’s Ceremony
    >>H. Pauléus Sannon, Histoire de Toussant L’Ouverture, 1920, vol. 1, p. 89 (Impr. A.A. Héraux, Port-au-Prince)
    >>Mixing fact and legend, Haitian historian Pauleus Sannon wrote the following account of the Bois Caiman ceremony where Boukman Dutty, a Vodoo priest, made the sacred pact of the general slave revolt. The ceremony remains a seminal event in the minds of many Haitians. This version is the one taught to most Haitian schoolchildren.

    >>“He exercised over all the slaves who came near him in inexplicable influence. In order to wash away all hesitation and to secure absolute devotion he brought together on the night of 14 August 1791 a great number of slaves in a glade in Bois Caiman near Morne-Rouge. They were all assembled when a storm broke. Jagged lightning in blinding flashes illuminated a sky of low and sombre clouds. In seconds a torrential rain floods the soil while under repeated assaults by a furious wind the forest trees twist and weep and their largest branches, violently ripped off, fall noisly away. In the centre of this impressive setting those present, transfixed, gripped by an inspired dread see an old dark woman arise. Her body quivers in lengthy spasms; she sings, pirouettes and brandishes a larges cutlass overhead. An even greater immobility, the shallow scarcely audible breathing, the burning eyes fixed on the black woman soon indicate that the spectators are spellbound.

    >>Then a black pig is brought forward, its squalls lost in the raging of the storm. With a swift stroke, the inspired priestess plunges he cutlass into the animal’s throats…The hot, spurting blood is caught and passed among the slaves; they all sip of it, all swearing to carry out Boukman’s orders. The old woman of the strange eyes and shaggy hair invokes the gods of the ancestors while chanting mysterious words in African dialect.

    >>Suddenly Boukman stands up and in an inspired voice kris out, “God who made the sun that shines on us from above, who makes the sea to rage and the thunder roll, this same great God from his hiding place on a cloud, hear me, all of you, is looking down upon us. He sees what the whites are doing. The God of the whites asks for crime; our desires only blessings. But this God who is good directs you to vengeance! He will direct our arms, he will help us. Cast aside the image of the God of the whites who thirsts for our tears and pay heed to the voice of liberty speaking in our hearts…”

    >>A French version may be found in the book of the Haitian historian, Jean Fouchard (Les marrons de la liberté, Henri Deschamps, Port-au-Prince, 1988, p. 412).

  160. Here is a link to the article: “Voodoo practitioners attacked at ceremony for Haiti earthquake victims.” It discussed a recent attack on Vodou practitioners in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, February 23, 2010, interupting a ceremony meant to honor victims of the recent earthquake.

    Voodoo practitioners attacked at ceremony for Haiti earthquake victims

    http://www.nola.com/religion/index.ssf/2010/02/voodooists_attacked_at_ceremony_for_haiti_earthquake_victims.html

    The article quotes Pastor Amedia of the Miami-based Touch Heaven Ministries:
    >>”There’s absolutely a heightened spiritual conflict between Christianity and Voodoo since the quake,” said Pastor Frank Amedia of the Miami-based Touch Heaven Ministries who has been distributing food in Haiti and proselytizing.

    >>”We would give food to the needy in the short term, but if they refused to give up Voodoo, I’m not sure we would continue to support them in the long term because we wouldn’t want to perpetuate that practice. We equate it with witchcraft, which is contrary to the Gospel.”<<

    Tensions are already high in Haiti with all the supply shortages. Religious leaders, such as Amedia and Robertson, can use their words to sprinkle alcohol on the dry kindling of this situation or sprinkle gentle cooling waters.

    I suspected that Pat Robertson's statements might acerbate the conflict between Christianity and Vodou, which is why I wrote my article comparaing and contrasting the Christian version(s) of the legend and the Vodou version(s) of the legend. I hoped to expose the negative subtexts in the Christian version of the legend by clear analysis. I hoped I might convince some from retelling the Christian version, which is full of numerious falsehoods–notably the iron pig statue.

    Some people may believe that if folks just ignore the negative statements, silence will make all the negativity just go away. I've rarely found that to be the case.

  161. I suspected that Pat Robertson’s statements might acerbate the conflict between Christianity and Vodou, which is why I wrote my article comparaing and contrasting the Christian version(s) of the legend and the Vodou version(s) of the legend.

    Right! Because us Vodouisants of the world surely can’t handle it on our own, with our own methods, thus we need YOU (not even a Vodouisant) of all people to copy and paste web material and web links into a mishmash of drooling ignorant nonsense, all to save us from the militant “Christians”! What a genius! Who woulda thunk it! Thank you for preventing a worldwide religious war between us Vodouisants and the militant “Christians”! You saved the day!

    Literally: ROFLMAO!

  162. Maurice, I would welcome to read anything informative you have on the topic. As of yet you have not managed to provide to me one piece of correct information–I mean correct by your standards–on this blog.

    Be that as it may, you may want to check out the following blog the I think the author is being sarcastic, but you may want to write to her blog and inform her statements are sources are inaccuate.

    Pat Robertson: Haiti Earthquake due to 1791 “Pact with Devil”
    Written by Jenny Donati
    http://www.palibandaily.com/2010/01/13/pat-robertson-haiti-earthquake-due-to-1791-pact-with-devil/

  163. YAWN

    You seem rather obsessed by the story.

    If you are THAT interested, pack plenty of cash in small denomination bills, fly to Haiti, hire a translator/driver and a couple of armed guards, and get to work on researching the story. I mean it.

    Sitting in front of your (probably) windows box and copying and pasting links and text when dealing with a very ancient and secretive oral tradition about which very little has been written when taking into account the breadth and depth of the subject, for which there is even less ACCURATE information online, and with most of THAT not even in English to boot, is both useless to the world and nauseating to this Vodouisant.

    Vodou demands action. It demands a lot of: Work. Effort. Dedication. Discipline. Study. Research. I know people who possess enough accurate and systematized knowledge on the subject to rival that of any Harvard/Yale/MIT PhD in his or her respective field – and you would not believe what some people can DO. Or what God, Gineh, and the Lwa can do for a person. Do you want information about Vodou? There are two ways to obtain it: paying someone for it, or working for it. Working for it does not mean Googling and asking people online – that approach works for many other subjects, but not this one. Working for it could mean learning enough to be able to communicate directly with the Spirits that CAN tell you the story down to the smallest detail (oh, that would only take a couple of years at least) as they were there. Or traveling to Haiti. Just don’t expect to be handed information about the Tradition simply because you are curious and feel it ought to be given to you for free, and please do not try to bait people into giving it to you.

    If you valued it, you would pay for it or work for it.

  164. it was ogun the one invoked. he’s the god of war,however there may have been other deities involved.but the account it’s true.however there was no agreement to turn over the country in return.this is false. after they won, they were so grateful to the gods they invoked, that they vowed to serve them forever.so voodoo became the official religion of haiti.but it wasn’t voodoo that empoverished this small country.it was the superpowers that closed all ties with haiti leaving it to fend for it self, with very little resources and corrupt leaders the nation became the poorest in the western hemisphere.so voodoo has nothing to do with it.

  165. “One year ago this month, the world turned upside down for Haiti. An estimated 300,000 people died and 1.5 million became homeless after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the island nation.” EdwidgeDanticat, “Turning the Page on Disaster,” Good Housekeeping, January 2011.

    After visting with the surviors of the 2010 earthquake. Haitian-American writer EdwidgeDanticat wrote an article which appeared in the January issue of Good Housekeeping. At the end of the article, Libby Golden provides contact information for three organizations:

    Li, Li, Li! Reading Out Loud to Haiti’s Displaced Children http://www.lililiread.org/

    Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) http://www.oursoil.org/

    Haiti Outreach H.O.P.E. for Haiti
    http://www.hopehaiti.org/

  166. Ezili Dantor being a fertility mother god, imbues the creative act, the birth of a nation if you will, into the ritual credited with birthing the Haitian Revolution. The blood of a sacrificial offering, as in any religion symbolizes a cleansing medium, just as the blood of menstruation cleanses the female reproductive organs of the old seed bed material. The old seed bed material in his case was the old regime, the Haitian soil and the national spirit. The spirit was invoked as a creative force, through the blood of sacrifice. The level of suffering and/or sexual arousal in the sacrificial subject, determines the level of brain altering bio-chemical trans-dimensional spiritual force which exotic naturally occurring mind altering substances seem to drive the changeable directionality of the event horizon. The brain itself, especially altered, acts as a kind or “reality” lens, bending the event horizon ahead of the present “reality”, and guiding that which currently “is” into what “will be” like the Silver Surfer’s ice board, generated by the Surfer in the present, ahead of himself at the same time, thereby determining his vector in direction of travel. Sacrificial blood and the burnt offering as used by the Hebrews, still used today by the Samaritan sect in the Holy Land and by followers of Moloch/Molech/Baal, in the form of infanticide as offerings by those in Canaan, even by King Solomon’s mistress, and later in Carthage where they migrated. They were thought to have employed infanticide in times of dire famine, war, or other calamity, but may have simply done so according to some predetermined religious calendar. The wealthy were not exempt from it. The children were offered to be burned alive within the arms of the idol, along with grain, perhaps wine, and other various goods,some of which likely to be consumed by the priests. Whatever screams of pain may have come from the burning children and animals, still alive, must have made for a convincing appeal to whatever entity or entities, benevolent or malevolent, for intervention. Witnesses, especially parents must have had reactions of their own pain, further influencing the event horizon, as manipulated on their behalf by intercession of these gods demons, or entities. First born children in the ancient world were very precious. Solomon famously recommended the bisection of one infant to settle maternal rights of two female claimants. The infant’s biological mother regarded the life of her child very highly. If she were a follower of Molech, the possibility for sacrifice of her first born child at some later time, would become impossible. Every story must be examined within the confines of it’s historic time and place. Blood. Adrenochrome. The Occult and religion figure into regime change like fingers into a glove. Just take a look at all the racist occult groups like the Thule and the Vril societies, which were involved in the birth of the Nazi Party. Look at Freemasonry’s Grand Orient Lodge of Paris in the revolution, look at Christianity in the fall of Rome, being transplanted from the occupied Middle East by secret Christian soldiers of the empire, Jewish merchants,and Armenians to Byzantium. Explore the world with two hands, a flashlight, a magnifying lens, a mirror, and a friend o help you find it. Perhaps Papa Legba produced the seed from which Ezili Dantor conceived and birthed the Haitian Revolution.

  167. Now where did you get your information from that stated that Haiti sold there souls to the Christian Devil?
    When the revolt started in 1791, Haitian’s slaves denounce the “white god” that the french imposed on them; which cause the persecutions of so many African Slaves at French hands. So where did you get your information from??!! Do you have proof of such an event? Do you have documentation on the selling of souls by the people of haiti?

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