By Clyde Lewis

When the world's religions focus mainly on sin and invoke the name of Satan more times than Christ the times will shift and the attentions will focus on primitive religions that are less controlling. Ritual and spiritual awakening where both good and evil are equally respected will begin to emerge. While many Christians abhor Witchcraft and Voodoo, it may be wise to pay attention to its origins and learn from ancient practices that aren't tainted by political and material interests.

I have made many statements in my career that have landed me in hot water. Lately I have been more brazen about the control mechanisms in this country and many people call me aside and ask if I am being serious when I begin to lash out at the mainstream system.

I basically say that the religio-political system that the majority of people are following is failing us. We have followed like sheep and we have acted without questioning the motives of those who attempt to manipulate us.

We are always hearing of Superpowers and how they have the control over struggling nations and more and more we are hearing of another Superpower and that is Christianity. Mixed with government and its ability to fortify the war machine we are seeing a new attitude where we not only praise the lord but we praise the ammunition.

We have all seen throughout history the betrayal of religion and religious leaders as they "sell their souls" to the devil.

Major religions have been able to somehow avoid being investigated for their evils against humanity. They have had the privilege of pointing their fingers at other religious practices and have made them out to be evil perversions of spirituality in the world.

Christian religions have somehow avoided losing their flocks even in the most scandalous of accusations. There has been the anti Semitic rumors about Pope Pius XI during World War II. There have also been scandalous accusations and proof of priests and their perverted sexual activities with young boys. There are also accusations that the mainstream charismatic churches are in cahoots with secular religious groups such as Sun Myung Moon who claims that Christ failed in his mission and that HE is the new messiah. There was at one time that horrible thought that the Moonies were a dangerous cult. Now they provide money to charismatic churches such as the one headed by internationally known Christian militant Jerry Falwell.

Falwell the Christian clown who somehow continues to endear himself to the gullible admits that he accepted 2 and a half million dollars from Moon in 1994 to keep his Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia from going bust. Now it gets deeper with this money being funneled through a shall we say "friendship coalition." The 'Women's Federation for World Peace' allegedly funneled the money from Moon to Falwell.

There seems to be this underlying fear that well known Christian organizations are getting ready to be a unified front to do battle against the evil doers. This sends out the paranoid vibe that a one world religion is in the making and that strength in numbers is what is needed to fight against the "infidel religions," the pagans, and the ancient practitioners.

Billy Graham himself urged his flock to follow the senior Bush's New World Order. This may be the first step to what has been predicted to be the great apostasy. That is if you believe that these religions are valid. The more I see the acts and practices of these well known Christian groups I have to stop and think that perhaps all of them were somehow perverted and that the true religion that heals, and enlightens has been sacrificed for the lure of money and power.

Hollywood has done its best to make evangelical leaders and Christians out to be money hungry opportunists much to the dismay of most Christian leaders.

However one needs to look at a statement made by Falwell when he accepted Moon's money. John W. Kennedy wrote an article in 1998 for Christianity today about the gift of love given by Moon to Falwell and it's ramifications. When confronted Falwell stated:

"If the American Atheists Society or Saddam Hussein himself ever sent an unrestricted gift to any of my ministries be assured I will operate on Billy Sunday's philosophy: The Devil's had it long enough, and quickly cash the check."

While this country is being told that we must fight the zealous religious Muslims because they hold the world in a grip of terror we must stop and look at the powerful religious right and their quotes of neo-fascism.

This quote from Pat Robertson -

"If Christian people work together, they can succeed during this decade in winning back control of the institutions that have been taken from them over the past 70 years. Expect confrontations that will be not only unpleasant but at times physically bloody.... This decade will not be for the faint of heart, but the resolute. Institutions will be plunged into wrenching change. We will be living through one of the most tumultuous periods of human history. When it is over, I am convinced God's people will emerge victorious."

Has the religious war been declared? If so, who is the enemy?

Pat Robertson makes it clear. His positions on other religions are scary:

"If anybody understood what Hindus really believe, there would be no doubt that they have no business administering government policies in a country that favors freedom and equality.... Can you imagine having the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as defense minister, or Mahatma Gandhi as minister of health, education, and welfare? The Hindu and Buddhist idea of karma and the Muslim idea of kismet, or fate condemn the poor and the disabled to their suffering.... It's the will of Allah. These beliefs are nothing but abject fatalism, and they would devastate the social gains this nation has made if they were ever put into practice."

"You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist. I can love the people who hold false opinions but I don't have to be nice to them."

"A cult is any group that has a form of godliness, but does not recognize Jesus Christ as the unique Son of God.... One test of a cult is that it often does not strictly teach that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God who Himself is God manifested in the flesh.... Christian-oriented cults include the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), the Worldwide Church of God, Christian Science, Unity, Unitarianism, The Way International, Rosicrucian Society of America, Bahai, Hare Krishna, Scientology, the Unification Church, and the Jehovah's Witnesses."

"To see Americans become followers of Islam is nothing short of insanity.... The Islamic people, the Arabs, were the ones who captured Africans, put them in slavery, and sent them to America as slaves. Why would the people in America want to embrace the religion of slavers."

Bingo! And it doesn't stop there. He also has declared war on Homosexuals, witches and practitioners of voodoo.

"Many of those people involved with Adolph Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals -- the two things seem to go together."

Beware if you believe in UFO's Robertson also has a bone to pick with you:

"There are angels and there are fallen angels. There is no question about it. Can a demon appear as a slanty-eyed, funny-looking creature? Of course he can, or it can. Of course they can deceive people. And if they can lead somebody away from the true God, or away from Jesus Christ, anyway it happens, it doesn't matter, you will lose your salvation. It doesn't matter how they get you. The question is, did they get you, and under what guise? This is man in rebellion against God, who refuses to take God's Law. And God says, "My covenant says you won't do this. And if I find anybody in Israel," -- which is his pure nation -- "If I find anybody in Israel that's doing this sort of thing, then I want you to take him out and dispose of him."

Of course Homosexuals were murdered along with the Jews in World War II. Robertson also believes that Halloween is an evil Holiday and should be shut down. He believes that it is a Pagan Holiday and is set aside for the celebration of Satan and ancient practices of Voodoo.

"I think we ought to close Halloween down. Do you want your children to dress up as witches? The Druids used to dress up like this when they were doing human sacrifice... Your children are acting out Satanic rituals and participating in it, and don't even realize it."

I could write an entire book about these crazed quotes but I particularly took offense to the berating remarks levies to other religions and the snide comments that have been made about witches and voodoo chiefs.

The reason why is because these religious practices existed long before the religious right was even created. The Phillistines used sympathetic magic and so did the children of Israel in the Old Testament. It is also the unpopular view that Moses was also into "the practice." Something that he was taught by the Egyptian Magicians. Something he used to unleash the plagues and turn his staff into a serpent.

There is also that passage in Numbers where fiery serpents attacked the Israelites. Moses raised the Serpent so that the Children of Israel would look upon it and "the power" attributed to God saved the Israelites from death if the creatures bit them.

"And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.-Numbers 21:6-9

To me that scripture has pagan overtones and even though Christians will say that it is a representation of Christ, the question still puzzles me why is Christ represented as a brass serpent? Isn't that the highest form of idolatry? The Serpent has always figured heavily in ancient religions. Even the arcane practice of Voodoo.

The serpent figures heavily in the Voodoo faith. The word Voodoo has been translated as "the snake under whose auspices gather all that share the faith."

Were the ancient Egyptians practicing a form of Voodoo magic and did Moses train under them when he was in the house of Pharaoh?

Have you ever wondered why Moses didn't impress the Egyptians? Ever wonder why they knew nothing about his God or what he was talking about?

Because the Egyptians worshiped thousands of Gods.

Moses declared to Pharaoh that his God said that he should let his people go. When Pharaoh said no, Moses threw his staff down and it turned into a snake.

Pharaoh's magicians could do the same thing.

Does this mean that man has the power to manipulate his surroundings? Is magic more than an illusion? Are there shamanistic practices that can manipulate the reality around you?

Moses then used ten plagues to change Pharaohs mind.

Christians and Jews call them natural miracles. However to the non-Christian or to the gentile Moses looks like the ultimate magician.

Think about it! Fiery hail, blood, lice, frogs and darkness so dense that no one can see or move; things that happened to Egyptians not happening to Jews. All supernatural and magical stuff.

Interestingly enough, many West Africans who had an extensive knowledge of pre-Christian texts did not look at Moses as a christianized prophet. He was known as the "the great conjurer," in which he was revered and celebrated for centuries as the "bringer of the law."

He was directly associated with the symbol of the rainbow, and the serpent deity in the voodoo religion. The Works of Zorah Neale Hurston demonstrate that there were many of African descent that saw Moses as a practitioner of the syncretic religion or Voodoo.

Now to the uneducated it would be blasphemy to say this because Hollywood has equally demonized the practice of witchcraft and Voodoo. How many times has Voodoo has been depicted as an evil religion?

Drumbeats are heard and fires are built. Sweaty and sexy dancers writhe with snakes as the fires rage on an island. Then a dark figure emerges. It is a witchdoctor. He lets out a maniacal laugh as he jabs pins into a wax figure. Suddenly the scene is cut to man a man writhing in pain; screaming as an unknown power consumes him well of course I am here to tell you that while there is an evil side to Voodoo, the religion itself is harmless. I have also paid close attention to the similarities between voodoo and the ancient rituals that were performed by the inhabitants that lived in Old testament times. This includes the mentioning of many Gods, magical conjuring, animal sacrifice, and feasts of thanksgiving.

Voodoo is still the official religion in West Africa. It is still practiced in West African kingdom of Dahomey, which included the modern states of Benin, Togo and Ghana. Vodou is a name in the traditional 'Yoruba' language and means 'spirit or god'. Like Christianity, Vodou is a religion of many traditions. Each tradition follows a spiritual path that is different in some ways and worships a slightly different pantheon of spirits, called 'Loa'. The word 'Loa' means 'mystery' in the Yoruba language and is indicative of the secretive nature of Vodou.

Vodou teaches that there is a supreme god, Olorun, who is remote; unknowable and unreachable. Olorun allowed a lesser god, Obatala, to create the universe and all things. Due to issues arising, Obatala has been temporarily banished from Olorun.

There are hundreds of lesser spirits and these are the real forces with whom the followers of Vodou have to deal. For example, there is Dambala-wedo the snake spirit or the serpent. This image of course is prominent in all ancient writings and religions. The serpent of course deals in wisdom and of course the snake played a major role in the story of Moses and his dealings with Pharaoh and the children of Israel.

There is also Shango, the storm spirit. In the Old Testament Jehovah was known as the God of the winds or storms. Vodoun also teaches that various deceased leaders are now powerful spirits to be appealed to and appeased. Much like the worship of saints in Catholicism Followers of Vodoun believe that each person has two spirits, the big and the little. The latter, the 'ti bon ange' leaves the body during unconsciousness or when the person is possessed by a spirit during a voodoo ritual. There is always a "concern" that the spirit can be enslaved, damaged or captured by evil sorcery while it is free of the body. Much like the idea of possession by Satan in Christian faiths.

Voodooists unique belief in zombies is the natural extension of this concept of the duality of the soul and the idea of soul possession. Rituals are held to contact spirits in order to gain their favor by offering sacrifices and gifts; to obtain their help to prosper the family and improve health, for example,. Rituals celebrate happy events, attempt to turn a run of bad luck, celebrate feast days associated with certain Loa/spirits, and are held at the major events of life, such as marriage, birth and death. These of course are similar to the sacraments in Christianity where baptisms, communion, and marriages are sacred ordinances and are usually followed up with feasts and festivals in celebration of the events.

As You can see the so-called evil in the world is not from witchcraft or Voodoo. The Evil is ignorance, and the purveyors of ignorance are the evil doers in the world.

In the future we will see the constant belittling of people who hold beliefs that appear to be different than our own. However as you can see there are connections that are uncannily similar in all beliefs.

During this time of Easter and the thoughts of the re birth. Let us keep in mind that the pagans have given the symbols of the egg and the rabbit to us. That the time of spring is a time of rebirth, and the Christ's message that we can live again and live forever in peace. Peace for all people and peace for all beliefs, and renewal for all those who have experienced loss. There is nothing evil in finding an agreement of beliefs amongst those who have differing viewpoints.

This is the true meaning of finding Ground Zero.

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