“A striking example of how Christianity destroys a proud culture, by introducing “doubt”. The Christian body is imperfect, we are “sinners”. These beautiful people learn for the first time, that their behavior is a “sin”. A bigger psychological disastrous impact is the fictitious idea of the Christian afterlife, their current world is a place of sin, they are sinners, the “real life” will start in the afterlife. Makes me think what proud people we could be, if we could remove the Christian doctrine of imperfectness of the body.” ₁
Disclaimer: This was written for the purpose of discussion my own thoughts and conclusions. It is in no way an offense to anyone who may read it. In fact, I Thank you for reading this.
There have been so many questions in my mind over the years particularly as it relates to Spirituality and Religion. Before I go on, I have to admit that I too believed that “my religion” was the best religion. This belief started to wane gradually as I traveled through many religions, and in fact believed the propaganda. The propaganda was so intense that it made me feel even less righteous if I didn’t “spread the word.”
My journey started with Catholicism, then on to Protestantism, Islam, Buddhism culminating in African Centered Spirituality. There was a common theme that flowed through them all, politics, economics and oppression. Arriving at African Centered Spirituality, I looked back in wonderment how they could possibly embrace Christianity as brought to them by outsiders from the West. After contemplation, observation, conversation and some serious study on my part, I think I have come to understand why African People, from the blackest to the lightest would embrace, preach and even die for Christianity. They literally abandon their original African Gods for the Image of the European as God. It is a bit mind boggling and what I want to do with this piece is explain from my perspective the reason why it happens and with such a fervor and fierceness sometimes to the amazement of the very people who brought it to them.
African people are deeply religious or shall I say spiritual. So no outsider could bring to the African anything as it pertains to being deeply connected to the Divine Source, they perceived in their minds, through the ages as the most powerful being that governs the whole world, in fact, it governs the whole Universe. No one could pull from their hearts, minds and bodies what was not already deeply rooted in the psyche of the African. So what did the missionaries have that the Africans thought they did not?? This is partially what I wish to discuss here with a few additional points of reference for this topic.
Author’s Note: I am focusing on Africans and descendant Africans because I am most familiar with these people and how they process their reality. This article is not meant to offend but to just bring some clarity to the question, how can Africans become Christians (of the Western persuasion that is.)
When you couple Religion with Politics it almost seems likes an oxymoron. But from the beginnings, religion has always been political. Ancient human history shows us that the original rulers were people who were designated as Highly Spiritual first. It was believed that a highly spiritual person was closest to God and thus would be the most fitted to rule righteously and justly.
But as time wore on things became more and more corrupted. People began to fight amongst themselves as to who should really be in power. Scandals would be exposed and the person in power at that time would be ostracized or castigated in some way, bringing shame upon he/she and their entire family. There was an unspoken law that says, “No Chief or Queen mother should break the laws of the Village.” They are held in high esteem thus the tradition of carrying them on a litter above the heads of everyone else. Ancient Africans strongly believed that their leaders were able to speak directly to God and in some instance, were perceived as Gods themselves. ₂
So, as with any political system of rulers and ruled, there were rivalries and outright wars over who would prevail in the position of honor such as the “Godhead” of a nation, particularly when the one in power was perceived as inept, corrupt or morally lacking. The usurpation of one “Godhead” Chief or King for another regulated in such a way that it would not be arbitrary. Systems were set up to determine the right rules of engagement when selecting the next Leader. Politically, this bares a strong resemblance to the mentality of most of the worlds institutionalized political leaders. In traditional African society however, rather than it being put to a vote, it would be suggested by the counsel of elders, who for the most part, were deemed the law givers who maintain the order of society and settled disputes. Again, this is reminiscent of what happens in other societies around the world to this day. They may not be considered the counsel of elders but they are considered judges and magistrates, lawmakers and local politicians and law enforcement. It seems that somewhere along the way, the human being was taught that he needed to be regulated by an external entity because he could not regulate himself. Could it be that the very fact of being born an infant that has to be taught has something with this being a common feature across cultures?
NPCA Board Member Installed as a Chief
Thus, the African was not given anything they did not already have. The structure, order and operation of the Western system was strikingly different but the fundamentals were comparable, and comparable enough for the African mind to find it to be something that he could apply to his life or even discard his present experience and completely immerse himself in the “foreign” political structure. ₃, ₄
The exchange is made, from the local authorities to the Invader’s authority figure who was then given all the rights and privileges of the original authority figures in their culture. Hence the dismantling of “Leaders” who looked like they did to leaders who bared no resemblance.
Let me speak briefly about the African mindset as it relates to Albinos, or albinism. While Africans are certainly aware of the various complexions they can produce from their loins, a completely pale, colorless offspring was cause for some to consult the elders and medicine men, as they felt they were cursed! Imagine the frightfulness they must have felt when these pale men came upon African shores. Imagine the gamut of emotions from those who feared them and those who loved them. Imagine the confusion. And then imagine what happened in their minds when they were told that these people were gods, leaders and bearers of good tidings.₅
Albinism is a rare, non-contagious, genetically inherited condition occurring in both genders regardless of ethnicity, in all countries of the world. BOTH the father and mother must carry the gene for it to be passed on even if they do not have albinism themselves.
As historians have shown, African people were quite industrious before the advent of Western man. They had an economy that supported the land and the society. They were builders, artisans, farmers, teachers, homemakers, iron workers, textile engineers and gold and ebony harvesters and craftsmen. The adorned themselves with their products as well as paid homage to the gods, elders, chiefs, priests/medicine men and village leaders. It was not uncommon to know who these individuals were just by looking at their housing, clothing, property, wives, children and livestock. Most of these items were given in support of their leadership and often to free them from toiling the land so they could spend most of their time taking care of their communities.
The African mindset of seeing their leaders as closer to the gods than themselves was enough motivation for them to honor them and in many cases gain favor from them, by giving them material things and physical service. Of course, human nature being what it is, in some cases, the hearts and minds of the populace were exploited by unscrupulous leaders. This could be seen in the extremes of the haves and the have-nots who just to gain favor would “sacrifice” their worldly possessions to gain favor from the gods. The exploitation of people of this mindset was easy in some instances and in others, caused the breakdown of the cohesion of the community as it became known that they were not being favored by the Gods and that they in fact, were being taken advantage of. ₆
Therefore, even in this instance, the advent of Western Style Christianity brought nothing to the African that he/she did not already have except in one sense. That is, he/she no longer had to pay a host of gods to gain favor, he/she only had to accept “Jesus” as their personal savior and that would seal the deal. No more running from one person to another seeking recourse for troubles, giving offerings and making sacrifices to the multitude of “gods” they initially served. They exchanged the many “gods” for one. However, the concept of tithing did not cease, and thus they were encouraged to build the church and volunteer at the church, and farm the land the church owned and do whatever other services the church required for the Glory of the Lord.
Here is where the exploitation became maximized as can be seen around the world, not just in Africa. Huge buildings are erected to hold the masses. These buildings become assembly rooms for the multitude to bring their money and wealth to a central location where they would be divided among the Church Officials, the newly acclaimed High Priests of the Western Christian Order. But the question remains, how do we keep them from running back to their old spiritual and political leaders? This leads us to our next topic.
African people have a strong sense of family and an even stronger sense of shame and fear of what is commonly called “bad medicine or witchcraft. Most people who encounter Africans do not understand this very deep cultural aspect of the African mindset. Family means so much to them, that they are filled with dread when they are not able to uphold their family obligations. If these people are convinced that their family obligations are no longer to their physical family but to the members of the Church than they can rest at ease that they are fulfilling their duties in the eyes of the new “one God” who will bless them enormously if they forsaken their families for the Church as Christ had to do in order to gain the Kingdom of Heaven. They may have to be away from them for long periods of time in order to serve the Lord in his Holy place. Mind you, before this, there were shrines, temples and holy places peppered throughout the African community. This was not a new concept. The strangeness was demonstrated when they had to forsake their families, or leave them behind, in the bush as they did the “Devil’s” work with the primitive bushmen.
Let me move to the concept of shame and how that played a significant part in persuading the African that he would be sullied indeterminately or maybe forever in the eyes of this new “God”. Shame to the African can lead them to suicide, that is how deep and soulstirring the very thought of it is. Shame place upon any man/woman/child in the village could lead to banishment, lack of support, no family connections or marriages, etc. A shamed individual would find it hard to live peacefully in his community because he has become a subject of social opprobrium and as a result he would rather travel some great distance where he would not feel the brunt of this shame. Shame can be placed upon an African due to any inordinate behavior that does not adhere to the laws of the community.
He/she may be able to make sacrifice for retribution, but it will still carry for some time that this person did something to bring shame upon himself and HIS/HER WHOLE FAMILY. Of course this strictness would lead these human beings to the point of secrecy, particularly in the case of the unwed mother, the thief, murderer or insane person. They become practically marked for life. Imagine the relief they felt when told that “Jesus” died for your sins and though you are a sinner to begin with, you can be saved by the “blood” of Christ and all would be cleared and you would be welcomed into the Church family, no questions asked. The African full of shame would be more than willing to glorify in the name of the Lord, profess his sins and come to be saved by the power of the Holy Spirit, which he knows about spirits anyway.. So why not have one that can do all that? That is the message I was told when I ask a Liberian friend of mine, why did he become a Christian. His response was, “Jesus is the final sacrifice. There is no more need to shed the blood of an animal when Jesus has shed his blood to save us all.”
I had an Eureka moment in that instance, as by this time, I was deeply involved in just that aspect of African Spiritual tradition of making sacrifices to the “gods.”
How does violence/intimidation and abuse play into this scenario? The added measure is that of the Devil and evil. Now the African is being taught that the Devil is real and that he is evil and that anyone who worships the Devil will die and go to hell for eternity. That’s intimidation. If you shirk Jesus than you must be of the Devil as you cannot serve two masters. If your family shirks Jesus then they too are of the Devil and must be punished.
Initially, this concept makes the African quite uncomfortable and uneasy, and so she/he becomes comfortable with just saving their own souls, but sermon after sermon they are told how important it is to save their families and friends, etc., that they become so guilty and shame-filled that they are not doing their Christian duty of bringing more people into the fold. Eventually, they become strong enough and armed enough through this propaganda that they are willing to approach their families and friends and here is where the violence and abuse comes into the picture.
Now the African is armed with the knowledge that he is better than his family and friends because he has been saved, therefore, if they do not abide by his command to join the Church he has the right to smite them. In essence he is not seeing himself as smiting them, he is smiting the Devil within them.
Africans are susceptible to this type of mentality as they believe in spirits, negative, that would do harm to them or their family and loved ones. These spirits, often displayed by so-called witch doctors, medicine men or priests; were considered evil or bad medicine, but the idea of the arch deceiver being a Devil was a new concept. But again, it was workable because it could align itself with the belief they already had.
Through the teachings of Christianity, which seldom was complete except in part for those who entered the pastoral college, seminary or the like, the masses are given allegory, proverbs, myth and smatterings of historical leanings. This too is in alignment with the African mindset in that many traditions where handed down generation to generation. You did not question the origins or ethicacy of these teachings, you accepted them as “Gospel.” How easy then, the transplanting of this style of teaching into a mind of a people who were not encouraged to question what they were being taught by the Elders. To question the Elders was consider blasphemy and very disrespectful. Therefore, the African Christian would be hard pressed to know that much of the Bible is made up from various tales, legends and myths from ancient cultures and in some instances from their very own culture. How easy is it for them to find relationship and reference to what they had been taught over the ages, presenting itself through the teachings of the Bible and Christianity.
While this commentary does not specifically identify the militaristic aspect of conversion, I would like to stress that I am well aware of the Blood, Guns and Steel that was also brought to the continent. The continent was heavily divided upon the arrival of the Western European version of Christianity. This division made the African even more vulnerable to the manipulation of this New Religion. It also provide plenty of free labor and various other support to maintain the existence of these Missionaries and their Churches.₇, ₈
Woman Beaten to death accused of being a witch
The Mind Control/Hypnotic Trance
I believe that the most powerful tool for conversion of the African is mind control. This comes through a series of Gospel passages repeated over and over again. Songs and dances and musical instruments are all used to illicit the overall submission of the congregation.
Initially, this may start off rather small, and then grow to a huge congregation with a very large church. Because Africans have been using song, dance and words spoken repetitively in rituals to honor the gods, here again we have a very neat alignment with the African mind when it comes to spirituality. This mind control is very exquisite in its ability to untrain and retrain the African into believing that Jesus Christ is there for them and that they no longer need their “Old Primitive Gods” anymore. In fact, they don’t even need to venerate the Ancestors! This cuts to the core value of the African mind that the Ancestors are guardians and sit close to God in the Spirit realm. They can be called upon to assist in their affairs. Their names are remembered and offerings are given to them to encourage them to help the community. To tell an African that his Ancestors can no longer hear them because when they die, they are dead and there is no more need to communicate with the dead until you die and meet them in heaven. So to be told to pray “for” them as you do not need them “to” pray for you, must cause cognitive dissonance in each one who hears this.
I always say that Jesus is the baddest Ancestor around considering the fact that he died and that was 2000+ years ago according to the story, but he is being venerated as if he is alive today. To the contrary, anyone else who dies can not be heard, cannot help you and if you do hear from them, you can be sure they are demonic spirits and “not” the voice of your Ancestors. So, quite capably, they toss the traditional acknowledgement of the Ancestors, the lineage of the African and give him another Ancestor, a European looking God. Again, since he is definitely an Ancestor, the African can accept him as he once accepted his own ancestors. In fact, due to the fact that the New Eurocentric Ancestor came down and shed his blood to save them, it tugs even more so at the African conscience. How many of their Ancestors have done such a feat? There are probably stories of such things happening but due to the indoctrination by the new God, that was all of the Devil, for only Jesus Christ was appointed as the Son of God to come and save the masses from original sin and utter death and damnation.
While in school, I asked my teacher, “What happened to Jesus when he ascended? Where did he go? Did he disappear into the sky, high above the mountains where no one could see him? Or did he keep going further out into space? As the story goes, he returned flesh and blood, showing everyone that he was not a “Ghost” so if he did go somewhere, where was that?” I never got an answer and I went to Catholic school and nobody studies the bible stories like they did when I was in Catholic school. But I digress.
The European brand of Christianity in my estimation is just another form of what Africans had known for thousands if not millions of years. This is specifically true with regards to the Catholic missionaries who not only brought them a Single God made of three parts; a Holy Spirit and a plethora of saints who took on many of the attributes of their former Gods but, the rituals that included burnt offerings and blood sacrifice and various types of “vestments.” In essence, the African could relate and from what I have read, felt that Christianity was so comparable it was welcomed with open arms. However, there was just one thing they did not realize. Traditional religion and Christianity could not co-exist. They also did not realize that the Christian missionaries had no intention of allowing them to keep their traditions while attending their schools or be a part of their congregations. In fact, the Christian missionaries insisted that the traditional practices were immodest(nudity), barbaric (blood sacrifice of animals) and immoral (shameful) and actually caused the disdain of this New God and should be abolished at all costs. This propaganda went into a feverish pitch during the sermons, particularly by those who wanted to be close to this New God and therefore, holier and better than the others. Unfortunately, even this was in alignment with African Spirituality. It had been and still is believed that those who serve the Gods are closer to the Gods than those who do not. Those who serve the Gods are revered as keepers of the culture, the staff, the umbrella, the shrine, the temple, the grove and even the Gods. They are sanctified and much more able to communicate directly to the Divine than the uninitiated.
The Churches became the new coven, the new shrine house, the new temple and the keepers of these edifices became the new gods to the Africans. They simply traded in their old pair of shoes for a new one. But they are still dealing in shoes. ₉
Today, in modern Africa, the radical and fast spreading Pentecostal Christianity is leading a spiritual crusade against the old gods of West Africa. The Pentecostal pastors are taking up the millennia-old battle with heathendom, trying once and for all to break the ancient alliance between the Ghanaians and their ancestral spirits. In the process, the women of Ghana are given a radically different role in the moralist worldview of modern Pentecostalism.
With intensely raw and naturally dramatic footage, Ghana Possessed gives us a rare and penetrating insight into a contemporary living religion where gods and spirits enter directly into people’s lives.
Let me refer here to an article by Mansa Musa, called, “Moving From the Plantation tothe Chur-chation” reading this article put so many things into perspective as to how the African can be hoodwinked into believing that Christianity is a better brand than their “old time religion.”
Another good read, particularly for those who are deeply rooted in either, is “War In Heaven” by Kyle Griffith. In his book he speaks about religious mind control and how it permeates “all” mass gatherings. It is basically the major component of crowd control, creating a mania that is contagious for most all of the participants. This is done through repetition and highly energetic displays of emotion. See chapter 12: Excerpt:
“Religious Mind Control Q. Exactly how does religious mind control work? A. It involves what modern psychologists call “operant conditioning”: altering behavior and mental programming by positive and negative reinforcement on the physical and sensory level. The Theocrats strengthen this conditioning on the physical level by transmitting ideas and emotions directly into people’s subconscious minds by telepathy. Religious mind-control techniques are easier to understand if you realize that the Theocrats use people’s own psychic powers to control other members of the congregation.”
Unfortunately, down through the ages, Africans have been controlled by their own version of spirituality. A version that encourages the person to seek outside of themselves redemption from their various life challenges and problems. They ARE NOT taught that the answer lies within and that they need only go there to find what they are looking for. In some instances, they actually voluntarily give up control over their lives to an outside source, giving it power over their lives, and allowing it to be the answer for whatever situation they come upon. Thus we see the pantheon of gods and deities that are supplicated in a variety of ways through rituals and trance to accomplish this. The predominance of this type of mind control is mostly seen in the so-called more evolved societies where much of the Spiritual traditions have been institutionalized. The representation of these institutions being shrine houses, temples or sacred places.
As far as the spiritual African traditions would tell you, this was a workable solution to the healing and maintenance of a sane and compliant society. People are taught the rules, protocols and rituals that they must follow in order to reach a certain level of spirituality, to ward off evil spirits, to gain happiness, riches, strong families and children. The African in good faith would make these supplications and if they fell short of the desired goal it was deemed a trick by some nefarious unseen spirit and therefore, more work had to be done to get rid of it. The African was blamed for entertaining this nefarious unseen spirit and given admonishment and more rituals.
Another aspect of this mind control was the insistence that sex was sinful and that anyone who participated in it was unholy unless they were married. In fact, those who took the vow of chastity and abandoned sex altogether were considered even more holy than others. This too was in alignment with many of the traditional African spirituality practices in that abstinence for periods of time were encouraged for the initiated. In the eyes of the African, the nuns, priests, pastors, etc., were initiates, therefore it was their duty to abide by the various protocols set up.
Ironically, today, you will find more “Spiritism Churches” or “Pentecostal Churches” being attended by most Africans who become Christians. Why? Because it is most in alignment with their traditional beliefs to begin with. In these churches people speak in tongues, do the laying on of hands and get caught up in the Holy Spirit. Demons are cast out, a joyful noise is made with songs, drumming, instrumentation and even dancing. There is something about this combination that is an elixir for the African Spirit. Spirit for the Spirits, they say, as they pour libations with some form of liquor of fermented liquid. Ultimately, the religious trance that permeates traditional African Spirituality can be clearly seen in any church where Africans gather to worship the Lord and receive the Holy Spirit. No matter how much the pastor, evangelist or minister may defy the existence of these Ancestral spirits and the Gods who nurture them, they tend to appear on every occasion where all of the above components are present.
The African is truly a spiritual as well as religious being, therefore it is of no importance who is lying on the cross or hanging on the wall in their homes and Churches. It is what he represents and since they are keen in the knowledge that it is not the thing (rock, groves, stone, water, air, fire) but the power behind it, then, naturally if that power is emanating from a being that is European, well so be it.
I once entered my God-sister’s shrine room and noticed several carved dolls that were white. They did not necessarily have African features yet they were dressed as representations of some of the “higher ancestors.” I found this curious so I asked, “Auntie, why are those dolls white?” Her response was that they were not painted yet.
Here I will conclude on one more aspect of this dynamic; the whitening of the skin during rituals. In some instances it is done with powder in other instances it is done with clay. This change of the person’s persona by whitening can be seen all over Africa during their sacred rituals. Not all participants or priests are whitened but many are and here is where I began to understand even more why a white god is in alignment with African core beliefs on spirituality. There is a difference however minimal, but the idea that whitening of the skin makes you more spiritually in tuned than not, is a curious endeavor for the African. Now we see this not only in traditional rituals but in every day life, the whitening or lightening of the African’s skin tone. Along with the straightening of the hair and abandonment of traditional garments. When looked at with a global lens it makes perfectly good sense that Africans would become Christians. They are hardwired to become Christians.
The Invisible Band Behind the Curtain
Here I wish to give an explanation from my point of view of what is happening for the African and how the Invisible Band Behind the Curtain is actually the orchestrator and manipulator of all of this. Somewhere in the African Historical record this propensity toward religious adoration was fine tuned and orchestrated. But by whom?
We hear this question quite often. Who built the pyramids and why are there these structures around the world, some older than even those at Giza. What happened on Planet Earth to make it the stomping ground for giant megalithic structures going back thousands upon thousands of years?
It is my opinion, that even these structures are a form of mind control. With that being the case, it makes sense that they would be all over the planet to control the masses. When looking at a designer garment or pair of shoes we can tell which designer did them as they contain a certain style. If you attempt to attribute it to another designer, the one who is aware of this will quickly correct you. Obviously, in my estimation at least, there had to be one designer or the other designers were trained by the elder designer. Thus structures around the world “resemble” one another while not exactly alike, they bare the same constitution. Is it possible that a group of people traveled the entire planet, took their slaves with them, hired new slaves when they got there and set out to build these megalith at these strategic places on the planet, heralding the equinoxes, the solstices, the planetary bodies, etc., etc., etc.?
Even if we speculate that the planet was one land mass, again, imagine the logistics of hauling folks and 2-3 ton rocks around the entire planet on “horseback”? “Oxen”? Archaeologists insist that these structures took hundreds of years to build with very primitive tools, yet these structures are all over the Planet and many of them are comparable in age. Does that not speak of some type of intelligence that was guiding the construction of these buildings? Who is the Invisible Band Behind the Curtain?
And while they were constructing these edifices, they were also constructing religious rituals and protocols and dignitaries to maintain them. “Who Is the Invisible Band Behind the Curtain?”
Many of these “different” cultures share a common thread, that is, offerings to the “Gods” in various forms particularly blood offerings. Why? Was there a genetic manipulation going on? Did the Invisible Band Behind the Curtain need blood, and if so, why? And to this day, they are still receiving blood offerings in the bush and in the Church. There has to be something said about this as it relates to the human psyche and its fascination with blood offerings and offerings of energy to some outside force for that matter.
In Ancient times, the people saw their leaders as Gods or descendants of Gods. This holds true for all of humanity. While there may not be a perfusion of blood being offered, the energy that the blood represents, the life force that flows on and in the blood is still being offered up to our Leaders, Politicians, Presidents, and Superstars. Why is that such a common thread in all of humanity on this Planet? And how did that come about?
Who is the “Invisible Band Behind the Curtain”?
I strongly encourage anyone who got this far in reading this to read “Alien Interview” edited by Lawrence Spencer and “War In Heaven” by Kyle Griffith PDF format (starting with chapter 10). These two books may bring to light and some answers to this very interesting Phenomenon.
Disclaimer: This was written for the purpose of discussion my own thoughts and conclusions. It is in no way an offense to anyone who may read it. In fact, I Thank you for reading this.