How to Escape the Cult and Get True Freedom

24 07 2014

Hetep Family. Greetings.

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Funny thing. Some time ago, Martin Lawrence did an episode on his televsion show where he wanted to find himself before marrying the love of his life Gina, so he joined a cult.  His name was Brother Shaquille Sunflower and it was a very funny episode because Martin was basically taught to hate everything that he knew and only depend upon the cult and the cult leader, who later you find was a hypocrite herself. Anyway, I encourage you to watch it while it is syndication because it highlights how we were all enslaved to someone or something.

By now, most people have heard of the infamous Willie Lynch letter.  Although, it is not known if the letter or the author of it is fact or fiction, the process for making a slave essentially became the blueprint for enslaving all of humanity. And, since July 25 is the feast day of Saint James in Puerto Rico and Haiti, which forever changed the fate of humanity.  I felt it appropriate to title this post “How to Escape the Cult” because technically this is what we were all in. Let me explain.

Portuguese ship

Portuguese ship

Around 1419, Portuguese sailors began exploring how to navigate around the coast of Africa and in 1483.  Portuguese sailor Diogo Cão succeeded and managed to sail up the Congo River. As was the case in other areas where the Europeans first encountered an indigenous population, the people of the Kongo Kingdom initially avoided contact with the Portuguese sailors. Then most likely overwhelmed by the Portuguese technology contact had occurred, which eventually led to many in the Kongo Kingdom – particularly the Kongo nobles – to converting to Christianity around 1485.  When Cão returned back to Portugal, he left his men in the kingdom and took with him some Kongo nobles. Upon his return back around 1491, he brought with him Catholic priests, Portuguese soldiers and literate Kongo nobles.  It was at this time, the ruler of the Kongo Kingdom Nzinga a Nkuwu was baptized and in honor of the Portugual king changed his name to João I but is said to have later reverted back to his traditional beliefs.

santiago_apostol

St. James feast day is July 25.

João I ruled for a number years and died in 1506.  He was then succeeded by his son Mvemba a Nzinga also known as King Alphonso I.  According to Alphonso, he was challenged by his brother Mpanzu a Kitima but managed to defeat his brother through the help of Saint James and the Virgin Mary who appeared in the sky and frightened his adversaries. As a result, Alphonso I made Christianity the state religion. He then worked hard to establish a Catholic Church in the Kongo by creating a syncretic version of Christianity and sending his son Henrique who later became an ordained priest around 1518.

It is true that slavery was practiced throughout Africa and according to Alphonso’s records the slaves were prisoners of war most likely captives who opposed him and the kingdom’s expansion. These captives were sold to the Portuguese merchants but when Alphonso learned that many of the Portuguese were acquiring slaves illegally around 1526 he wrote the Portuguese king João II to put an end to the practice, but it continued.

slavedealer

When the first Africans were brought to the Americas, even though they were slaves initially they were treated as indentured servants whom the Portuguese sold to the Spanish. The status of these Africans and all other Africans changed when the enslaved indigenous Americans or Amerindians refused to work the mines and clear the land for their Portuguese and Spanish enslavers. As a result, the need for cheap yet strong workforce quickly became in demand, so the Portuguese and Spanish turned to the Africans for several reasons.  First, Old World diseases like smallpox and syphilis along with war inflicted upon the Amerindians, had just about decimated the indigenous population, but the Africans (who weren’t immune to these diseases) seemed to have a stronger resilience toward these illness.  Also, since the Africans weren’t indigenous to the land, it is also believed that they would not escape into the jungle as the Amerindians had done in the past.

The Atlantic African Slave Trade: Latin America--Cuba and Puerto Rico.  Courtesy of http://histclo.com/act/work/slave/ast/end/la/end-cpr.html

The Atlantic African Slave Trade: Latin America–Cuba and Puerto Rico.
Courtesy of http://histclo.com/act/work/slave/ast/end/la/end-cpr.html

Once the First Atlantic Slave Trade got along the way around the early 1500s, the Portuguese who kidnapped and enslaved the Africans, then traded them to the Spaniards, generated so much wealth in the process, that it attracted the Dutch, English and French to the trade.

Around the early 1600s, the English, Dutch, French and Portuguese initiated the Second Atlantic Slave Trade which kidnapped and traded slaves from the West of Africa, shipped them to the Caribbean and South America, and returned back to Europe with sugar, rum, hemp, tobacco, molasses and cotton. The first Africans to arrive at the English colony Jamestown, Virginia were from the Kongo – Angolan region around 1619, 41 years before slavery even began in North America in 1660.

Yanga

Once the other European powers got involved in the trade, the English totally dominated it and slavery became totally race based, as Africans throughout West Africa were kidnapped, enslaved and shipped to the Americas. In response, Africans who were kidnapped and living in the Caribbean and South America had already begun revolting against the cruelty of the chattel system. Many had already begun revolting and/or creating “Maroon” colonies throughout the Caribbean and South America, like the revolt of San Miguel de Gualdape in 1526, the revolt of Gaspar Yanga near Veracruz, Mexico in 1570, and Quilombo dos Palmares led by numerous leaders including Zumbi, which existed in Brazil from 1605 to 1694.  It should be noted that when slavery began in 1660 in North America, the first documented revolt occurred in Gloucester Country, Virginia in 1663. Then in 1712 there was the New York Slave Revolt.

ZumbiStat

Revolts continued to take place wherever there were slaves. Although most people have heard about the Nat Turner revolt, there were numerous revolts that occurred in the North America.  These people resisted in every way they could from burning and sabotaging crop production to spiritually resisting, which led the Africans and their descendants in Hispanola to win Haiti’s independence in 1804.

Touissant

It is not known if a clandestine group gathered together to conspire this act or not, but in response to the numerous revolts it would seem that around the start of the 18th century, King William III issued a charter to the Anglican Church establishing the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts or simply the SPG in 1701. The SPG was tasked with evangelizing to the slaves and Native Americans throughout the British colonies, but upon doing so they faced a dilemma. They noticed in North America, that the slave owners were staunchly against their slaves being Christianized because they didn’t want their captives confusing their freedom from sin to mean freedom from slavery. So, in a desperate attempt to placate the concerns of the slave owners and meet their religious charge, the missionaries from the SPG perverted the loving, peaceful, equal rights teachings of Jesus Christ to justify slavery, by introducing the Curse of Ham.  Thus, rationalizing that it was by divine decree that any person of dark skin was supposed to be a slave because they were children of Canaan and therefore wild, heathen, mindless beast and through slavery they could be civilized.

Again, it is not known if this was the original intention but the process totally dehumanize all people of color, especially those of African descent, so that they would continue to be slaves and not have to import slaves from Africa anymore. By teaching this perverted form of Christianity, the Anglican missionaries were in essence creating  docile, non-thinking human beings that would be forever dependent upon the dominating system. This new type of human being was different from all other human beings because all people naturally learn to love themselves by divine right. Anything that teaches otherwise is simply contrary to nature.

This new human being that slavery created believed that their origin is what the slave master, conquering culture or dominating system (religion, science, etc.) claims. Now, at this time it should be noted that every culture that has ever walked the earth, has had a theory on how they were created. And, I state again, they are all “theories,” but only one particular culture has come out and told others that their “theories” are incorrect, silly and wrong. In other words, only one culture has denied the rest of the world population that right to express their own beliefs and opinions.

Consequently, this new creature identifies first and foremost with the so-called children of Ham, the Canaanites (or any biblical reference) as a point of origin, because they have been convinced that their theories about life are incorrect. Therefore, they are coaxed to believe that everything the  Christian bible (or the Koran) states is historically accurate.  This coupled with the technology of the dominating group convinces people that ancestral and traditional way of life as compared to that of the Christian and Muslim, is not only inferior but silly, superstitious, backwards and uncivilized. This is why to this day, despite the fact that Africa is a continent and it has numerous countries with numerous major cities. People still to this day are under the impression that Africa is full of uncivilized, idol worshiping heathens dwelling in the jungle.

Maputo, Mozambique

Maputo, Mozambique

So anything associated with the old ways is seen by the new creature as being wild, uncivilized and therefore evil. For instance, the new creature sees the problems occurring in Haiti as being a punishment from God because of their involvement with Vodou, but fails to see or understand that it was Christianity and Western imperialism that forced the Haitians into slavery. The whole slavery system it was further contributed to their financial demise and like many of the countries in Africa, Haiti’s economy and government has suffered due to corruption and civil strife, encouraged and supported by the existing Western powers, and the only thing that helped them to survive was Vodou, which they used to win their independence.

Haitian Revolution

Haitian Revolution

Only keen individuals like the Kongo King João I are able to see that Christianity (and all of these dogmatic religions) are symbols of status quo that show social progress. In other words, if you want to be rich and on the winning team, you better belong to one of these major religions. If not, then you will be punished by their god’s wrath.

Kouzen Zaka

Kouzen Zaka the Minister of Agriculture

This is the reason Christianity is spreading throughout Latin America and Islam throughout Africa, again by force, because associated with their peace, love, god fearing, justice seeking and unity messages on one hand; is the hypocritical and brutal treatment of those who don’t believe as the masses do.  In other words, the brutal treatment of those who don’t want to be enslaved based upon their ethnicity, race, sex or creed and want to have the right to belief whatever they choose to believe.   This is why these people revolted against slavery, because they understood their God given right to exist and realized that no one can deny them of it.

The new creature has an extremely negative view about all people of color particularly people of African descent because it has been strongly impressed upon his and her psyche that the only God given rights they have are the one’s that are given to him or her by any of these major religions they belong to.Therefore, if you don’t belong to the same religious group, organization, political party, etc. then you are prime to be conquered.

As you can see, the process to create a slave, where one has no self-pride, no self-discipline and simply is docile, while waiting to be saved (physically, financially, emotionally, etc.) from a great savior in this life or the afterlife, and totally dependent upon his or her savior, was created during slavery, but this “cult show” was taken abroad to exploit all people.

Again, prior to this period you will find that people warred against each other but not based upon color, race, sex or creed. It was always over resources because another was infringing upon another’s God given rights.  The wars also didn’t last forever nor were the people trying to eradicate another off the face of the earth. This all changed due to slavery.

frederick

Now, the untold story is that the Africans and their descendants didn’t just lie down and accept their fate. Many of them like the Native Americans saw through the hypocrisy like Frederick Douglas who was quoted saying:

“I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels. Never was there a clearer case of “stealing the livery of the court of heaven to serve the devil in.” I am filled with unutterable loathing when I contemplate the religious pomp and show, together with the horrible inconsistencies, which everywhere surround me. We have men-stealers for ministers, women whippers for missionaries, and cradle-plunderers for church members. The man who wields the blood clotted cow skin during the week fills the pulpit on Sunday, and claims to be a minister of the meek and lowly Jesus. The man who robs me of my earnings at the end of each week meets me as a class-leader on Sunday morning, to show me the way of life, and the path of salvation. He who sells my sister, for purposes of prostitution, stands forth as the pious advocate of purity. He who proclaims it a religious duty to read the Bible denies me the right of learning to read the name of the God who made me. He who is the religious advocate of marriage robs whole millions of its sacred influence, and leaves them to the ravages of wholesale pollution. The warm defender of the sacredness of the family relation is the same that scatters whole families,–sundering husbands and wives, parents and children, sisters and brothers,–leaving the hut vacant, and the hearth desolate. We see the thief preaching against theft, and the adulterer against adultery. We have men sold to build churches, women sold to support the gospel, and babes sold to purchase Bibles for the POOR HEATHEN! ALL FOR THE GLORY OF GOD AND THE GOOD OF SOULS! The slave auctioneer’s bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master. Revivals of religion and revivals in the slave-trade go hand in hand together. The slave prison and the church stand near each other. The clanking of fetters and the rattling of chains in the prison, and the pious psalm and solemn prayer in the church, may be heard at the same time. The dealers in the bodies and souls of men erect their stand in the presence of the pulpit, and they mutually help each other. The dealer gives his blood-stained gold to support the pulpit, and the pulpit, in return, covers his infernal business with the garb of Christianity. Here we have religion and robbery the allies of each other -devils dressed in angels’ robes, and hell presenting the semblance of paradise.” 

– Frederick Douglass,Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Tubman

Part of the reason, many Africans and their descendants were able to see through the hypocrisy was because remember, the first Africans brought to the Americas – particularly North America – were from the Kongo – Angolan region.

Kongo_Cross

Kongo Cross

The Kongo-Angolan people you will recall were either Christian or already had a working knowledge of the Christian faith prior to the Gospel being perverted, because King Alphonso I created a practical syncretism between their traditional and the Christian beliefs. Part of the syncretic process consisted of merging the Kongo Cross with the Christian crucifix, which is why the Kongo Cross survived in America, along with other remnants of our Kongo ancestral past.

Kongo Cross used for Ventilation during Underground Railroad

Kongo Cross used for Ventilation during Underground Railroad

Although, everything is not known about the role the Kongo Cross played in the survival of our ancestors and their legacy, it is known that it was one of the key markers used in the Underground Railroad in Savannah, Georgia.

First African Baptist Sanctuary stain glass windows

First African Baptist Sanctuary stain glass windows

In fact, the church is full of Kongo motifs, which have been found throughout the southern United States.   This means that the way to reverse the cult making process is to invest in the traditional ways of their ancestors. This is the only way to overcome the self-hatred, self-loathing, self-destructive and idle behavior that forces us to become slaves to any system except the spirit of the Divine dwelling within us.

cult2

It all boils down to the fact that no religion can promise you what is already yours, which is freedom – a God given right. This is what Martin had to learn in the episode and what we all need to realize.  As Children of the Divine, we were all born free and there is no man made rhetoric that is needed to explain who, what and how it happened. This I believe is what Alphonso I realized, which is why he created a syncretic or Africanized Christianity prior to the Second Atlantic Slave Trade.

 baphomet devil

Now, so that we don’t get distracted, diverted and make something the scapegoat, we have to understand that the true enemy is not a particular group of people, congregation, affiliation, etc. It is not even the original teachers of these religions or the religions themselves, because most of the original concepts are all universal truths.  The problem as I showed earlier, was that our ancestors – the Africans and the Native Americans – fell for this trick bag in the first place is because they failed to see their own self-worth. As a result, it became easy for the Europeans and their descendants to enslave nations of people based upon the color of one’s skin and creed. The reason they failed to see their own self – worth is because they were influenced by the devil, who is the only one that convinces people to hate themselves and idolize another.

Now, when I say the devil, I am not talking about the  pointed ear, red horned, goat head man running around with a pitchfork described as being the epitome of evil and the one who fights against his own Creator. No. The devil is described as being a low, beast like, half human creature because he is our Ego and every culture has a similar description of evil as being egocentric energy that seduces us based upon passions. This is why if you read the history of all of dogmatic religions you will find that they enslaved and forced people to convert to their religious beliefs.

Hru and Set - Fighting the Devil Within

Hru and Set – Fighting the Devil Within

You will find it always had to do with sex, money and power, which is the reason the Kamitic people called this egocentric energy – Set who later became Satan.  It is our own lower self that we have to fight.  This is why if you look at the corruption occurring in the major religions, organizations and government you will find it is the same vices, sex, money and power, which are all Ego driven. This means that essentially regardless of the name, there is only one religion and it is really the Cult of the Ego.

This is why our liberation from these Egocentric Cults is to  adopt a nondogmatic traditional belief like the Maa Aankh, which will reteach us about our divinity, self-worth and self – discipline. The reason is because if not we will continue to active members in the Cults of the Ego.

cult3

That’s right we are all members belonging to the Cults of the Ego. Want proof? Well, only our Ego is the only force that will tell us that we are not worthy, ugly and inhuman.  It is the only force that will encourage us to alter our appearance (usually chemically) and to give up that which has helped us to survive this far, for something that is greener on the other side of the fence.  It is the only power that will convince us that in order to receive approval we need to conquer others through either sex, money and/or power.  Most of the higher officials know that it is all a ploy, which is why they are not that devout and usually many of them get caught in some sex scandal, money scheme, etc. This is why in the Martin episode, the cult leader after seeing she had Martin under her thumb and totally depended upon her financially, emotionally and spiritually tried to seduce him.

If you still don’t believe that you are an active member of this cult. The ultimate test is this, if you can’t observe a people practicing a traditional or pagan religion, objectively without criticizing and accusing them of being idol worshipers, heathens, etc. and seeing the beauty of their tradition. Then the devil has you in his trick bag, because you are only a few steps away of condemning and persecuting others for not believing what you believe.

In order to escape the Cult of the Ego and see your true enemy, you need to ask yourself two question:

1. Who has the most to gain from your involvement in this Cult? Or, what happens if you leave the Cult?

2. Is it really improving your life?

Again, it is important that you understand this for several reasons.  The first is so that you don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater and have an enmity against everything and everyone associated with the cult, because you will do yourself a disservice if you do this. Not to mention that at this point in the game, every friend is not an ally and every enemy is not a foe. The second reason, is so that you leave one Cult of the Ego and join another Cult of the Ego, which usually occurs with people leaving one religion and joining another, or one movement and joining another, or looking for a particular savior or leader.  Remember, the Cult of the Ego teaches that one is not worthy, one is ugly, one cannot prosper unless they receive approval from others, etc. It suffocates your divinity.

When you truly understand that your true enemy is your Ego, then you will see that anything and everyone that your Ego endorses is against your divine nature, and it will show through their actions and words. Once you see the devil for what he is – your lower self – and understand how your Ego tricks you into staying in the Cult of Ego.

Then you can break free of him, because you will see that the only power the devil has over you, is the power you give him.

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Honoring the Spirit of Resistance!

19 11 2012

Hetepu (Peace) Family

The 20th of November marks the official death of Zumbi dos Palmares (1655-1695), the ex-slave and last leader of the Quilombo dos Palmares, who fought the Portuguese on behalf of the Maroon society in Brazil. Many people I have talked to about Zumbi asked “Why should we celebrate this event? It happened in Brazil.”

Well, I use to think the same way. I changed my thinking because the 20th of November is celebrated in Brazil as Black Awareness Day and is used as a time to reflect upon the contributions made by people of African descent, as well as erase the vicious stereotypes that have been created about blacks.  In the beginning, I found this to be a little odd because throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, there are a lot of stereotypical images that are held dear to people of African descent like the Mammy figure. I remember, the first time I met Mammy it was at my padrino’s (my spiritual godfather’s) house. She stood next to his Ellegua and he told me that she was his Ellegua’s wife according to his spiritual practice. Being an African American I was a little offended by the image until I began to really learn the cultural connection.

Mammy also called La Madama in Cuba

You see, when the Africans were brought to the Americas. Many of them finding themselves in a foreign land, living as prisoners under the yoke of a racist slave owner, tried to recreate the life they knew in their homeland.  But they were unable to do so because the same social system did not exist. So, the Africans had to create a new cultural model in order to survive slavery, racial discrimination and most importantly resist the propaganda directed at them that they were inferior to whites.  So, having no kings and queens to turn to, the Africans turned to the wisest amongst them, which was their elders.

Preto Velhos of Brazil

Contrary to popular belief, the elders in the slave community were the most beloved because they were not seen as a physical threat to the slave owners.  As a result, the slave owners were more inclined to trust them versus younger slaves. But, the elders were also the most knowledgeable about the old ways of Africa. As a result, the spirit of resistance (from my research) in the slave community began with the brave men and women that worked in the slave owner’s home. Afterwards, these same men and women would return to their community and teach what they had learned to help their people. The elders of slave community basically played a dual role and they taught everyone they knew how to do the same thing until conditions were more favorable for them to institute the desired change.  It was from the elders religious syncretism was born, along with the whole idea of masking ones true intentions.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Now, when some whites got wind of how the slaves were living.  They tried to sympathize with their plight as Harriet Beecher Stowe had done in her antislavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. What Stowe was trying to show in her book was how contradictory it was for them as Christians to enslave other Christians based upon the color of their skin.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin was made into a play, which was performed all over the country and even the world.

What ended up happening was that millions of her books were sold and a number of Uncle Tom’s Cabin plays were performed around the United States and the world. It was from this book that a lot of whites got the idea that slavery was not the Christian thing to do.  But, the book also laid the stereotypical foundation of what the African way of life was all about. This gave rise to numerous stereotypical images and icons, that blacks were either pleased being meek, happy-go-lucky, submissive, singing servants or were brute, unruly, sex-craved animals.  This stereotypical imagery of people of African descent dominated the Western world. Although, many of these images that were embraced by people who never even read Stowe’s book or saw the cinematic viewing of the story, simply perpetuated the racist belief that blacks were inferior and meant to live in servitude.

Mexican black cartoon character known as Memin Pinguin

Todays although many of these stereotypical images have been removed from the public’s eye. They continue to rear their ugly heads in the entertainment industry and other areas because of people refusing to embrace their ancestral heritage.

A Big Italian Newspaper Published A Shockingly Racist Cartoon Of Soccer Star Mario Balotelli As A Monkey

African Americans were the most damaged culturally by these stereotypical images I learned because we were outnumbered by the whites in the United States, but in places like Cuba and Brazil. Where the African descendants managed to preserve the truth about who these individuals were prior to the creation of this stereotypical attack. The images did not do much to destroy their cultural psyche because they knew that this was just a war on their cultural way of life. A war that they were determined to fight to win.

El Negro Jose

This is why an analysis of all of these ancestral archetypes will reveal the same thing, which is that these individuals were very knowledgeable slaves with high virtues and integrity. Many of which became or were the leaders of the slave community.  The darkness of their skin, as was in Kamit, symbolized that they were the original Africans of one’s lineage.  They all had white hair, indicating that they were wise.

Francisco, Francisca and La Madama on a Espirista shrine.

In Brazil the so-called Uncle Tom and Mammy figures of the United States were commemorated, honored and respectfully known as the Pretos Velhos (the old black slaves’).  In Cuba, they are sometimes known as Francisco and Francisca, or Jose Negro and La Madama.  In Puerto Rico they are known as El Congo (the Congo) and La Negra (the Black Lady). Their respectful names in Southern African American culture are Uncle Joe or Ole’ Black Joe and Auntie or Big Mamma.

A Black reader reading tea leaves for a young white patron, painted by American Artist Harry Roseland.

By the way, the real Big Mamma was usually a cook or house servant, but she was known throughout the slave community as a midwife, herbalist and a fortune teller, that was sometimes called a Black reader or Black Gypsy. Notice the similarity with the reader below.

Card reader reading cards for a client in Cuba

 As you can see, the stereotypical images was a ruse by the oppressors to ridicule our cultural way of life. In these contemporary times it is not the oppressor that ridicules our culture, but our own out of disgrace, ignorance and shame of who and where we come from. 

The new image of Big Momma

e now, but our selves out of disgrace and ignorance of our own culture.

The new image of Uncle Joe

So you see, this is why Zumbi should be important to people throughout the Americas (and others like him such as Gaspar Yanga), because he is the epitome of what our ancestors did in order for us to live today.

Zumbi dos Palmares the celebrated hero of Capoeira

By celebrating the life of Zumbi and others that resisted in their own way. We not only honor them but erase negative imagery created to ridicule our cultural way of life and show the true power of why our culture is so beautiful.

La Madama in all her beauty

Celebrate the Day of Resistance by watching the movie Quilombo and Sankofa.

Hope that helps,

Hetep

Derric “Rau Khu” Moore

 

* P.S. Please note that I am not against Martin Lawrence, Tyler Perry or any entertainer that makes films. It is just important for people to realize the impact that negative images such as these has upon the rest of the people in the diaspora.