Very superstitious, writings on the wall,
Very superstitious, ladders bout to fall,
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin glass
Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past.
When you believe in things that you dont understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition aint the way
Superstition - Stevie Wonder
Just the other day Kami was blogging about superstitions and then yesterday I saw the article at the bottom of this blog in the Barbados Nation online and felt the need to share it. I would just post the link but the Nation webpage takes way too long to load even with highspeed.
Some folks really take this superstition thing serious. Me? Well my mother always tell me that them people dat "believe" (short for believe in the supernatural, obeah and spirits and such) really need to seek Christ. I've heard of folks back in the day going to the obeah man who told them to go to the four crossroads and sprinkle duppy dust at midnight or go and take a bush bath or walk backwards into the sea reciting some strange secret incantation but I didn't realize that these practices still occurred. My thoughts are although there is a lot of unexplained stuff out there I cant get with these superstitions. In fact to me the role of Obeah Man seems like one of the sweetest cons perpetrated on people in these days and times. Easy money for a fellow that can make someone believe that they are haunted or possessed or someone has put a spell on them. I was thinking that if things don't pan out in my chosen field as a fallback plan I should open me own obeah man business. Mek people walk into Lake Ontario backwards or put lil set a fireplace ashes in a ziplock an sell it as duppy dust but no I cant be so bad....yet
Anyway this story is an extreme example of when people "believe" too much. Pretty sad story in a way actually.
Link to Nation Story here or just read below.
Sex Ritual To Cast Out Demons - Tuesday 11, January-2005
by Roy R. Morris
Theres an old saying: Dont judge a man til youve walked a mile in his shoes. Keep this in mind as you read this article.
Early last week I received a call from a woman who asked me to help her with a problem. I have to admit that while speaking to her I kept asking myself how silly can a person get?
But as I replayed the conversation in my mind over the week, it occurred to me that my judgment was particularly harsh. When I did a full interview, my disposition changed dramatically.
Andrea is 27 years old, but her level of reasoning suggests she is much younger. Her mother died when she was a baby. She attended secondary school until she was just 13 years old. She has not been to school anywhere since then. At the age of 14 she was raped.
The information in the preceding paragraph is purely for the purpose of setting the tone for her actual complaint.
In Bajan parlance, this simple girl believes. She believes that a woman who wanted a relationship with a previous boyfriend put a curse on her. She said she suffered intense bleeding during every episode of sexual intercourse after being threatened by the woman and attributes it to obeah. According to her, no doctor has been able to explain the bleeding.
But that was just the start. Andrea said she was constantly fighting at night with little men who had sex with her, tried to choke her, whose faces showed up in picture frames, in mirrors, even on the corn flakes box. She said she could not enter her home at Black Rock without seeing the face of a woman in the ceiling.
She complained of clothing turning up other than where she had put it, food disappearing from the fridge and table, people knocking at the door but seeing no one when she looked out.
The young woman said she went to church after church but found no relief. I guess I was not strong enough, she rationalized.
That was when, she said, a girlfriend of her brother drew her attention to an ad in The Nation, with someone identifying himself as a high priest offering assistance with situations such as hers. For $1 000 he offered to cast out her evil spirits and cleanse the house.
Andrea said she begged and borrowed to come up with the money, after the high priest shuffled some cards at her introductory visit to his home near the Ministry of Public Works, invited her to pull three and they all pointed to her imminent death.
The problem was that none of the cures worked. He then determined that the demons had inherited her jewelry and they too had to be brought to him for cleansing. As time passed and neither relief nor her jewelry returned, Andrea said, she was told the four rings, three bracelets, two chains , earrings and anklet were so deeply possessed they had to be buried to get rid of the spirits.
Still she believed in the man.
With nothing changing, he apparently determined it was time for the heavy stuff. According to her, she was told a ritual would have to be performed on her body and it would involve intercourse. For the first time, she said, she questioned his course of action, and was told she should not see it as sex, but the casting out of demons.
At the end of the ceremony which also included her performing oral sex on him, she said, she was told there were a total of seven demons, and that session had successfully removed one. She had to come back for six more sessions. She went back to have two more demons cast out, then came to her senses.
Since then, she said, her attempts to retrieve her jewelry and money have been met with threats of both physical and spiritual harm enough to keep her quiet.
I spoke with Andreas brother, who confirmed he knew of her dealings with the so-called high priest, but only at the end. I also spoke with her grandmother, a devout Christian, who told of bringing the Scriptures to her to help her fight the evil she was facing.
They both described Andrea as a very simple person who had been taken advantage of. Neither have known her to be involved in the taking of illegal drugs.
Is it possible that an adult who consented to sex, and who willingly gave money to another adult to provide a service, can now reasonably cry foul?
I raised the matter with Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin and respected criminal lawyer, Ralph Thorne, both of whom strongly believe that if the facts are as she outlined then she was raped.
According to Dottin, rape can be by physical force or false pretense, adding that based on past court ruling, a person can vitiate consent by fraud, and that is what appears to have occurred in this case. Under the Theft Act, he added, he believed the man could also be prosecuted for fraud in relation to the jewelry and money he took.
Thorne said: I am in absolutely no doubt that if things occurred the way she said then it was a case of rape. As you said a defense lawyer would argue consent, but I believe such a case can be successfully prosecuted.
The commissioners advice was for her to go to the nearest police station and make a complaint.
This matter still presented one serious dilemma for me how do I make contact with the high priest to get his side of the story,when I am satisfied that to do so would almost inevitably lead to him using fear to stop her from making a statement to police as had occurred in the last.
Right or wrong, I considered the matter and decided that the greater good would come from offering her the protection of the time to make the complaint.
I will end with the words of Commissioner Dottin: What this points to is an apparently increasing tendency by too many in our society to prey on the weak and simple among us.
Need I say more?