PRACTICING IFA AFA IN AMERICA

By I80355715_133875368068525_3556363359244779520_oyalemole Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi-Fabuluje

December 26th, 2019

US, Florida: In 2019, an 100th old age African in America woman said, “Living in America as the descent of slaves the rituals and rights of West Africa have not left my soul. Where do I belong? Where?” According to the 1860 United States Census, there were 3,953,761 African slaves that represented 12.6% of the total American population (Johnson, 2012). Some scholars suggested that the statue of Liberty and the Statue of Freedom were both created from an African slave woman model, which recognized the African presence in The United States of America.

Sambol-Tosco (n.d.) indicated that the “enslaved [African] men and women whom kept their rites, rituals, and cosmologies of Africa alive in America through stories, healing arts, song, and other forms of cultural expression, creating a spiritual space apart from the white European world.” Emerson Biakolo in the ‘Nigerian Guardian’ of 28th November 1992 asked: “Do men believe just because they want to or because the object of their faith is credible?” According to Edmund Burke (1790), “People will never look forward to posterity, who never looks backwards to their ancestors. The concept of diversity creates assimilation for American/Diaspora cultures and beliefs which brings a special type of unity, ideas for harmony, a unique mechanical design for spiritual growth and plasmatic substance for long life and the spread of Ifa. The American slaves where no different than the slaves in Cuba. They saw Christianity (church) a beacon of hope for freedom. The African slaves didn’t let go their religious orientation but combined with the church philosophy.

In 2008, Wilford reported that 300 pieces of metal, wood, and other items was found as archaeologists explored the old houses in Maryland of United States. The bundle was dated by the 17th century. This indicated that African Americans practice traditional African orisa-ifa-afa religions before the earliest phases of the 18th century. One of the anthropologist professors described the found bundle was West African artifacts (Wilford, 2008). In other words, the bundle was artifacts that pre-dated before Afro-Cuban lucumi/santeria spiritual practices in America. The Orisa and Ifa – Afa practice was here in America long before P. Neimark-Ifa Foundation of North America, Inc., Lucumi, Santeria, hoodoo, voodoo, Kwanzaa, or any other ideology of West African Yoruba spirituality and or Fon religious practices as claimed. National Historical Park Louisiana (2019) stated the end of 1700s the average African person in America were either free African or African slaved descents from various tribes. The African slaves brought their dance, music, stories and faith to a foreign land and after more than 400 years of struggle, they were finally recognized as AFRICANS IN AMERICA or as known African Americans. This recognition came with the rights and privileges afforded to ALL people of the land to be called Americans.

In 2010, a creed for a divorce was publicly post. Lukumi babas stated “…….devotees (lucumi vs traditional) are incompatible with each other (Lele, 2010).” The Lucumists draw the race card to explain the incompatibility. Nevertheless, “…. the worst part of it is that they spoke about false consciousness……[which] are all totally preconditioned (Odeyemi).” It like “two brothers become enemies” (odu Oyeku meji), one odu properly reminds humanity that two brothers (Lukumi and Traditionalist systems) who are born from the same womb (Yoruba), become enemies, due to envy, greed, ego, and political dogma. This has brought division and rapture among friends, families, and communities (Odu Otura meji). Today, the two brothers (lucumi vs traditionalist) still fight over childish principles, titles, women in ifa, watered-down rituals, fragmented and created ceremonies (Odu Ogunda fun). Lukumi says that they are a separate entity from their Mother (Yoruba West Africa) by their actions. Traditionalist say something very different in thought and actions. Many of the elderly lucumi priests agreed that many ceremonies and rituals are invented by Miguel Febles Pardon out of Cuba between 1919 – 1986. In 1920, he was consecrated as a priest of Ifa Babalawo by Eulogio Rodriguez, known as Tata Gaitán Many of the other oloshas in Lucumi followed. Despite the fact that the two to four subgroups of the Yoruba religion and culture disagree over who is right and who is wrong; they both share a deep concern over the spread of the Orisa and Ifa religious development in the world, as well as reserve their practices. Nevertheless, both have failed to bring a spiritual wholeness, ethnicity, evolution, and quantum leap for the growing pains of the culture and its practices among the African Americans in America. The Lucumi refuse to accept the brotherly love, evolution and ideology, while the Traditionalist perform racial cat calls with his new titles against various populations in the world who didn’t have the money for a weekend trip to Africa, just to suck the dribbling milk that still drips from the mother’s breast (Africa). The only thing that both systems can agree on is everyone is fraud if they personally didn’t initiate the person.

In Odu Ejiogbe says that the basis for understanding the beginning is knowing the end of all things towards the essence of life. It simply means that Lucumi and Traditionalist have either forgotten the laws of creation or they have never learned it (for say). “Although[t] the rituals and consecration practiced in Lucumi religion and in the so-called Traditional Yoruba religion share ethnic, cultural, and geographical origins, [our] practices differ considerably” (Lele, 2010). However, Lucumi states “Those priests ordained in the Lucumi Religion that for whatever reason wish or are desirous to be ordained by and/or convert to the practices of the Traditional Yoruba Religion will abandon and renounce any and all rights – hierarchical and practical – within the Lucumí Religious system” (Lele, 2010) has forced their now orphans to develop a new way of life – American Ifa (Movement of Odu). To illustrate, when a plant or animal is bred with a plant or animal from different stock, the process is known as hybridization. There are numerous reasons to create hybrids, including increasing genetic diversity and breeding for specific traits. It is frequently practiced in agriculture, to make stronger, healthier plants with desirable characteristics. Slaves and their combining culture and faith is hybrid to what is known today in America/diaspora. Sambol-Tosco (n.d.) stated that the African religions and practices to America were “numerous and varied.” The West African religion morals, values, and practices have reached a high level of challenges, especially for women. Many scholars who has written on the birth of lucumi, Santeria in America have a history of invention and misogynistic over tones. To illustrate, the traditional ifa stated in Odu Oyeku Pose ifa described only four priests is needed to initiate someone to ifa, while some Lucumi priest proclaimed its take 16 plus priests. But the ancestors were the major custom throughout the slavery displacement within the world.

Today, the most widely practiced of African faiths in the diaspora are Orisa, Ifa, vodou, obeah, and so on. The most prevalent one is IFA and is called by many other names, since IFA is the system that sets the guidelines for our way of life in so many ways. Ifa is the binary numerical system of odus (proverbs) of which determines our individual destinies. Ifa is the oracle of wisdom, knowledge and messages from Olodumare for an individual’s destiny in life which is governed by the Orisa Orunmila. Ifa have many names that have assimilated into many cultures as follows: “Ifá among the Edos of Nigeria, Fá among the Fon of Republic of Benin. Eva by Nupes, Ifa in Cuba, USA, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Surinarm and Haiti, Afá by the Ewe of Togo Ephod by Jews, Geomancy by Europeans and Malagasy as well as Ramal or Hati by Arabs. Ifá is widespread in Africa… it is practiced among the Igbos of Eastern Nigeria, the Kamuku and Gwari of Northern Nigeria, the Igbirra in South Central Nigeria, the Jukun of Eastern Nigeria, and all the tribes in the region around the Cross Rivers. Among the Siwah people in the Sahara, Ifá is known as “Derb el raml” or “Derb el fu” It is also widely practiced in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Sierra Leone as well as in Liberia” (Professor Idowu Odeyemi, 2007). In other words, Vince (2010) stated that the “United States is unique and NOT only is it a country, but it’s also an idea [where] people around the world don’t just dream of coming to America, they dream of becoming Americans.”

In 2015, Oluwo Fayemi Fatunde Fakayode wrote in the Facebook Ifa-Orisa-Egun Talk group that “many stories we hear today about most of our Orisa are mere fabrications. The fabrications started from non-practitioners. Most of them intentionally fabricated stories to gain popularity or to denigrate our faith, while some of them (especially the historians and anthropologists) gathered the fallacious stories from people who either were not conversant with our religion or who had aversion for this faith…It is high time we wiped out the fallacies that have overthrown the real history … Let us do away with stories that are not firmly rooted in Ifa, the scripture of our religion. Let us not depend on the history[ical]…of any Orisa which was/is written by christian fanatics or muslim jihadists who call themselves historians or anthropologists… What is sure is that the destiny of our religion is in our hands. It is high time we started rewriting the stories of our Orisa for the coming generation to have documents to lay hands on. Let us encourage ourselves to write books of our religions by ourselves. Let no muslim or Christian write the stories of our Orisa for us. Let those who have useful information about each Orisa document such information for the posterity.”

The question then became, how can we practice our African Roots in the places we live and still maintain the common tenants of our faith to the best of our ability? In essence, we recognized that we can be devoted to and practice our African roots in a foreign land just as our ancestors did which resulted in the survival of our African Faiths in a foreign land, the land in which we live, called America. In so doing, we found that we can express our commonality in the ways we express our spirituality in the places in which we live.

By watching the people of the diaspora over a period of countless years becoming closer to their spiritual roots in Africa through the yearning to connect with their ancestors. However, despite the yearning there was and is still a barrier. One barrier is distance. During the growth spurt of connecting to our African Roots, a large percentage of the growing numbers of IFA and Orisa devotees and practitioners were and still are financially unable to make the journey home to Africa. We then asked ourselves, “does that mean that we are not African or that we can’t devote ourselves to, or practice our African faiths? Even those numerous of people who were able to go back home, could not do so for an extended period of time, which is needed to become fully involved in Traditional African culture in the way it is done at home.

In 400 years, the Yoruba (African roots) spiritual ways of life have become a hybrid in America and the diaspora proper. America is the land of diversity that assimilates into one movement with individual arms. People of Color have looked to the Brazilians, Cubans, and the hill tops of the Caribbean for spiritual evolution and connection to their African roots. A good analogy of how this is being done can be taken from the example of what he Jewish did with their holy book, he TORAH. The Jews didn’t change the foundation of the Torah; they only adapted MODERN WAYS OF LIVING AND INCORPORATING THE STANDARDS OF THE TORAH (National Geographic, n.d). Even though there are your extremists in all forms, time does bring on a change that lessons the extremes but does not take away from the core essence of a thing. Another example is the Lucumi/Santeria religion is a hybrid which combined all the slave’s subgroups together along with Christianity.

It doesn’t take away the 400 years of struggles from the African Americans; it is incorporated, adopted and assimilated into the pores of the Americans and other peoples of the Diasporas who live according to Odu Ifa/Orisa and ancestral practices and rituals. The Odus are the roots and foundation of this way of life. In America, African Americans who embrace this form of living can move easily into spiritual elevation by adapting and incorporating the availability of what were presented within the 400 years on this side of the world. Basically, we need to look at the various ways which one Odus are being interpreted. Then, analyze how the concept of hybridization fit our modern environment and socialization to the world (National Historical, 2019).

Conclusively, THE SYSTEM is odu based, has becomes the people who in their expressions of life, live the embodiments of the Odus. Keeping in mind that all Orisas speaks through ODUS as well as to our diverse ancestors (not only of African origins but from other places in the world) as well as other entities. In the diaspora/America our passport says “American” and not African American, Cuban American, and White American, etc. It says “American” for ethnicity. Regardless, where you got initiated and you live and practice in the Americas/Diaspora you are practicing in America our West African roots. AMERICAN IFA-FA-AFA does not see to change or rewriting the context of the Odus of Ifa as some may imply but instead, we seek to celebrate the diversity of those Odus that are expressed by diverse groups people who live in various places around the world and collaboration between the various groups and individuals.

References

Johnson, S. A. (2012). African slave religions, 1400–1790. he Cambridge History of Religions in America Volume I: Pre-Columbian Times to 1790, 369-391. doi:10.1017/CHOL9780521871105.01.

National Historical (2019). Jazz origins in New Orleans’. Retrieved from https://www.nps,gov/

National Geographic (n.d.). 1917 original Dixieland jass band released the world first jazz record. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.org/

Wilford, J. N. (2008). Under Maryland street, ties to Africa past. The New York Times, Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/21/science/21arch.html

Sambol-Tosco, K. (n.d.). The slave experience: religion: Slavery and the making of America. Retrieved from https://www.thirteen.org/wnet/slavery/experience/religion/history.html

 

2020 America Ifa USA Annual Ifa Afa Reading

American Ifa Fa Afa (501c3) –

Annual Ifa in America/USA reading for 2020 was done on Saturday,

December 21st, 2019 @ 10 a.m. in the State of Florida at Ile Akoko Ata;

for the total USA states, regions, and territories.

 

INTRODUCTION:

In 2020, there will be chaos between the sexes, problems between race and political parties, small and huge wars across the world, tragedy, accidents, serious sicknesses, uncontrollable food poisoning, and a lot of governmental interference in our daily lives. Every year many of us wish for riches and good health. Never do we imagine the struggles and or the injustice that will counter our ideologies of a good economy and perfect healthcare. As the currents detract and expand in 2020, people have to prepare for a rough ride and rejoice when it is time to celebrate.

Dysfunctional environments are almost guaranteed in the workplace, at the doctor offices, in the schools, and in the home. Therefore, the best gifts for the New Year are the gifts of love and peace. The best gift is the gift of empathy. The best gift to society is the gift of consideration.

THE ODU FOR 2020 BY THE IKINS DE IFA

“There no peace for a liar”

“Heaven didn’t want to do ebo”

“Eguns of the Babalawo speaks”

OBI:

Esu Baralayiki – Alaafia (everything is in alignment)

Ancestors = Alaafia ire with personal spirits with ejife

ODU:

Odu Ogunda’Fun, Odu in Osogbo (Ibi) wars continuous

“Ogunda” is expanding and life giving or life taking; while “Ofun” is detracting and rebirthing

1st odu Odi (hole)

2nd odu Ejiogbe (respect)

PRAYER:  Oggunda fun wewe yeye, wewe, yeye oni rewo omo ozain kueleses kan kuelese meji obaye orunmila wewe yeni orunmila onibara niregun

Leading Orisha: Ogun

Accompanying Orisha: OrishaNla with Oshun

Supporting the Orisa(s): Iyamiis

Maferefun: Obatala, Ogun, Oshun, Iyamiis, Oya, Sango, Eguns,

Keywords: Ori, cursing, justice, gossiping, darkness, weapons, operation, dead, gambling, cheating, love and hate relationships

FLAG: The base is green with white and gold (yellow) borders 2020 flag

NOTE: ONLY use palm oil for the witches and give peanut oil for the orisha and ikins

Received: Olokun and Ori; need to be initiated to Congo religion

Closing Odu: Irosun Otura (Irosu’etura; Irosu’Ajala)

  • Receive Olokun
  • Clean house with waters of olokun water on New Year Eve
  • Take a bath with Olokun water on New Year eve
  • Go to the beach if you don’t have Olokun or a godparent with Olokun to bathe. Just don’t make your own.
  • Open your eyes and look at the hidden agenda.
  • Merge things in our lines to bring things together.
  • Lots of divorces, separation within family, children, partnerships, etc.
  • Look at one’s blood. Check for diseases.
  • Receive and get the right Olokun

 BORN:

  • Eugenics
  • Wars and civil wars
  • Weapons
  • Embarrassment
  • Entrapment
  • Betrayal
  • Blackmail
  • Changing heads
  • Cursing
  • Hypocrisy
  • Male against women
  • Third eye

EWE IN THIS SIGN: Prodigiosa, Tamanindo, Ewe Anton, Ewe Ikoko, Ewe Shewerekuakue

ESU BORN IN THIS SIGN: Esu Ashikuelu

Proverbs:

  • The general goes to war but the hunchback doesn’t lose sight of him
  • Pride and concede are the loss of the persons
  • Violence loses the person
  • The snake doesn’t measure it’s shadow like that the rainbow
  • What the earth is given, the earth returns
  • You have to know how to love and then hate
  • In the town was a king who was blind in one eye

 EBO:

  • 2 Guinea hens to Oshun
  • Ochinchin to Oshun and Ogun
  • 1 turtle, 2 rooster and 1 pigeon to Ogun
  • 8 Yami balls with efun (cascarilla) to Obatala (OrishaNla)
  • Give ten metal knives to Ogun.
  • Do the prayer of “Ogunda’fun” every day.

Money: Ebo to Ogun

 Health: Ebo to Ogun and Obatala

PROHIBITION:

  • No threesomes.
  • One mate, no cheating.
  • Don’t blow dust; be careful of people blow dust at you
  • Don’t hold or open other people’s mail.
  • Don’t abandon orisha (guardian angel)
  • Don’t curse others or using bad words
  • No pork or a lot of shellfish and bottom fish
  • No sleeping in the nude
  • Don’t disrespect your elders
  • Don’t be vain
  • Don’t tell little white lies
  • Don’t carry weapons
  • Don’t live in filth
  • Don’t wear dark color clothes
  • Don’t lift heavy things from the floor – back injury
  • Don’t speed or drive under the influent
  • Don’t disrespect women with violence
  • Don’t drink alcohol or illegal substance
  • No sleeping in the nude.
  • Be careful of gambling. No gambling.
  • No gossiping.
  • Be careful of being a workaholic.
  • Be able to separate night and day.
  • Don’t be vain. Stay away from excessive spending on things you don’t need.
  • If you don’t have Palo, you need to seek.
  • Don’t eat leftover food. You go to sleep, you wake up. Don’t eat it. It’s leftover.
  • Starting business – do ebo to Ogun.

Patakin:

Heaven and earth began to dispute on who had the absolute power on the world; upon hearing this Orunmila told them that both them have to make ebo in order for the power to be divided. Heaven did not hear the words of Orunmila and did not do ebo, as it was also to give nothing to the earth. And since then, every time there are clouds form over the earth, the rain falls on the earth which did ebbo. Where Orunmila replied, “Everything that the earth has to return.”

OVERVIEW IFA SAYS:

Ifa says:

  • In this odu, to make money you must do ebo to bring that money home
  • Be careful with the law
  • Be careful things which caused explosions
  • Take care of court cases, child support anything pending with the government
  • Person should not smoke illegally in the car, riding dirty etc. Law riding high in 2020.
  • Don’t get into arguments. Petty arguments. All money not good money. Butter knife going to a gun fight, the butter knife doesn’t win. Who did the ebo, who did not? We are on the losing end of the deal. So, don’t dig a hole for yourself.
  • Learn to save money. Don’t splurge. Don’t be in vain or conceded.
  • Lots of stomach viruses, salmonella, change how you eat. Parasites in the food. Intestinal, colon diseases, blindness.
  • Lots of Ori cleanings. Every month clean with white of the egg, cotton and coconut, or fruit. Special cleaning, head feedings w/fish or blood feeding with help of Awo.
  • No black, red or dark color clothes. Must wear white mostly all year around. If you are not initiated, you need to get initiated.
  • Glass half-filled not half empty.
  • 2020 civil wars. Men against women and women against men.
  • Take care of your health. This odu marks surgery.
  • Car accidents. Be careful. Look out for others.
  • Be careful w/ your eyes. Grease don’t pop in your eyes. Losing your vision. Protect your eyes.
  • People going to keep bringing you problems. Clean yourself constantly. People blowing dust on you. It is prohibited for you to blow dust.
  • Don’t brag about what you have.
  • If you do the ebos, prosperity, new associations, and new birth in things.
  • Lots of arguments. Don’t be ungrateful.
  • Men – Be careful of getting into a relationship w/ a young person. They must be mature.
  • Men and women love each other but also hate each other. Compromise is necessary.
  • Men will try to control women in the religion.
  • Be careful of exchanging heads. You can not initiate and put elekes on everybody. Switching heads between priest and godchild. Pork to be used for ebo.
  • Be careful of seafood.
  • Do a lot for you eguns, ancestors, and spiritual for guide.
  • Head cleaning with Awo to overcome various diagnoses.
  • Women can’t cut their hair this year.
  • Don’t eat coconut. Use it to clean and you can drink the water.
  • Don’t carry weapons. Same weapons can be used against you.
  • Take care of pregnant women. Stay close to Ifa so the woman does not lose the baby.
  • Do not quarrel with women. When men sleep, women do not. Man can lose his life.
  • Be careful with cysts and cancer.
  • Don’t wear clothes with rips and holes.
  • Guns, violence, and weapons.
  • Be careful how you hate. You may need that same person.
  • Misas need to be done.
  • Impotence as a result of abusing illegal substances. Can be laced with extra ingredients.
  • Wars and hypocrites that causes disturbances in the daily life
  • Women having problems with childbirth and menstrual periods
  • Be careful of doctors sterilizing young women-of-color (eugenics)
  • Nothing can take hold due to these wars.
  • Spiritual debt in Orun. Not doing what we need to do to appease our twin in heaven. Ebo to Egbe. Food given to them.
  • Men married to daughters of Oshun. Don’t argue or raise our hand to women period.
  • In the town of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

FROM TOGO, WEST AFRICA BY OBA AGBE KOUMAH
Ogundafunfunlolo (Ogunda Fulugbe Ma de ahun la deji)

– It says to feed Ogun and everything and negativity will go away.
– It says to remove blood from the mouth
– Is a very big and good sign

May Olodumare and our ancestors guide us towards happiness and internal peace to have both mentally and spiritually growth and stability in our daily lives.

PRESENT & WITNESSED:

  • Iyalemole Oloye IyaNifa Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi (Ayaba OchaBi Fabuluje-IkaMeji)
  • Afai (IyaNifa) Oloye Ayaba Melba Farrell, IkaFun of Ile Orun
  • Babaolorisha/Oriate Turbado EsuDina Faseye
  • Awotunde Ifaseye, Osa’Wori
  • Apetibi Olaifa Faseye
  • Apetibi EfunYale – Terri Bailey
  • Antwan Jefferson, Tata
  • Lamonteria Johnson
  • Kerkland Kerr, Jr.
  • Orunmila and Ela
  • Orisa Odu and IyaNla
  • Ogbogbo Ancestors
  • Ogbogbo Orisha
  • Iyamiis

Ase ire o

 

 

“West African Religious Practitioners & Devotees Being Inveigling On Social Media”

By Iyalemole Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi-Fabuluje

December 12th, 2019Inkedbabak-mehraban-012345_LI23 (5)8

American Ifa: US, Florida: Google’s dictionary states that inveigling is “to entice, lure, or snare by flattery or artful talk or inducements.” Inveiglement is also a form of entrapment, deception, lying, and or coercion by flattery. Billow (2013) stated that inveiglement is a snare set to trap someone by convincing them of something. Solicitation and flirtation online play a great role as well in inveiglement on social media. Famous John Ruskin says, “the essence of lying is in deception, not in words.” Ifa says in Ika’fun that people should not be deceptive. Yet, deception, lying, and inveigling has been going on for centuries. It has intensified and worsened over time due to globalization of technology and increased use of social media.

In 2019, many individuals, religious faiths, countries, and corporations agree that technology has both globally benefited and hurt in some ways a variety of areas. Technology has provided opportunities to buy and sell goods and services such as dating, modelling, divinations, advertisement, socialization, donating, publishing, and so on. With the birth of social media, an infinite amount of personal information including religious stories, history, events, pictures, birth or death announcements, products, and so-forth have been collected and shared online.

In 2018, American Ifa’s annual reading stated that people will try to portray Ifa as bad when individuals attempt to coerce others into traps and defame Orisa-Ifa practitioners. Billow (2013) agree with Ettinger and Jehiel (2009) that inveigling is an emotional game of rooster and chicken in which the participants are bargaining and soliciting only to end up into a trap (Ofun meji). Another instance, Ofun meji speaks about the pigeon who saw a party happening in town on social media. The pigeon was curious and went to look to see who was at the party. When the pigeon got there, he found it was a trap. The pigeon was the target. The pigeon was lured into a situation on social media where the pigeon lost his life. Inveigling can lead the target to be defamed as a fake or fraud (Walter, 2000). Social media has allowed the development of many negative inveigling groups. At the end of the day, a person’s reputation is tarnished. Ifa says that this type of behavior is condemned (Ogunda obara; Ika Ofun; Ogbe Iwori; Owonrin Irosu; Irete Irosun).

Walter (2000) described the individuals who have the tendency to engage in these entrapment behaviors as emotional, attention seekers and manipulators. The individuals will then see themselves as victims from their own vindictive victimization. Ifa recognizes this character in Odus ogbe’iwori, owonrin’irosun, irete’irosun, and irete’bara as self-deception. By practicing this behavior, they believe they gain power and control over the people who are the real victims. Many police stings utilize entrapment methods to bust online prostitution. More and more, several Traditional Yoruba babalawos have been the target of entrapment. The motivation is usually a person who wants to mislead for a mental award or to accomplish a hidden agenda.

The West African religious practitioners and devotees inveigling on social media have not been focused on preservation, but instead the destruction and dilution of spiritual stability in the diaspora. Odu Ogunda Bede, Odu Ogbe Ale, Odu Eji-Ogbe, and Odu Obara Meji warn people against lying, deception, stealing, entrapment, and other behaviors that will cause a breakdown of social equilibrium (Laleye, 2014). These people draw up an alternate version of reality that only they have witnessed to support their victimhood and gaslight the real victims who know the truth. It’s a form of lying intended to deliberately mislead people. Behind the computer screen an individual can be as handsome or as much the beauty queen as they want. As an example, a person who is out to entrap Babalawos might go to such lengths as to share nude pictures to entice them to their web.

In conclusion, social media has become the breeding ground for the diminishing credibility of Orisa and Ifa practices in the diaspora as well as West Africa. It is easy to inveigle and entrap people because they have desires, needs, and wants which the attention seekers manipulate to their advantage. Entrapment is like a cancer that spreads throughout the body when it is not detected early and the proper Ifa medicines are not administered. Technology will continue to grow to have a wide reach and social media administrators will also continue to like and encourage the dysfunction to draw reality tv show mental illness and madness. In ogbe’yeku, Ifa says there is a space where there is a moment of silence and stillness, where an Awo should seek balance and endurance. One needs to consult Ifa to protect against these individuals who enjoy bringing an ajogun to destroy the legacy of the ancestors (Oturupon’rete).

 

References

Billow, R. M. (2013). On inveiglement. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 274-300. doi:10.152/ijgp.2013.63.2.274

Carson, T. L. (2010). Lying and deception: Theory and practice. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc.

Ettinger, D. & Jehiel, P. (2009). A theory of deception. New York, NY.

Laleye, S. A. (2014). Punishment and forgiveness in the administration of justice in traditional African thought: The Yoruba example. International Journal of Philosophy and Theology, 2(4), 165-176. doi:10.15640/ijpt.v2n4a10

Mele, A. R. (2001). Self-deception unmasked. New York; Princeton University Press

Walters, S. B. (2000). The truth about lying, Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, Inc.

 

Extortion with Orisa and Ifa Priests in The Driver Seat

By Iyalemole Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi-Fabuluje

December 5th, 2019

extortion pixAmerican Ifa, US, Florida: Orisa/Ifa rituals, studies, sacrifices, divination, and icons will come with a cost in any country. Oyeku Meji states that a person who does not do sacrifice after the priest prescribes the necessary ebo is saying the Ifa priest is a liar, Esu is a thief, and they think that they will never see death. Ifa may say the individual needs to be initiated (Odu Irerte Eguntan) but with a cost for labor, animals, icons, clothes, food, and spiritual substances (normal expenses for the ceremonies). The charges for those sacrifices range from zero to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the market and the financial system of that country. Some people will claim that these costs are the acts of extortion. The Orisa/Ifa priests should not display any distrust when it comes to charging, character, and identity to the world (odu Ika Osa). At the end of the day, fifty percent of the 256 odus state there is a need to do sacrifice for protection from death, sickness, danger, etc., while the other percentage indicates the need to sacrifice to obtain good fortune regardless of whether it’s for wealth, long life, plenty of children, open doors, and so-on. On the flip side of the coin, many people who are not trying to be right in the eyes of Olodumare will look for priests that they can spiritually extort through their own lies, inappropriate behaviors and shortcomings (Odu Ogbe Ale).  Also, some Orisa/Ifa priests have not set themselves apart from most Christian institution’s mega churches in the diaspora and West Africa.

Extortion comes in many forms. Extortion has both negative and positive aspects; it depends on what end of the coin you are on. Under extortion there is coercion, pressure, lying, stealing, swindling, fearmongering, dishonesty, blackmail, etc. Google’s dictionary states that “extortion” means the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats; or necessity for protection by the payment of money (Odu Ofun Bara). Extortionate qualities are also found in self-dealing (Wrage, 2007). Extortion is an inappropriate act and prohibited for priests to do for their own greed and desires. In odu Ogbe Osa, Ifa says that if a Babalawo/Iyanifa or Orisa priest is in grave wants, let the [priest] not lie to display dishonesty. Ifa oracle explains that many priests are impersonating Orisa or Ifa and acting like mob bosses as they deceive the people by extorting large sums of money for protection. Many are outright stealing, lying, practicing defamatory activities, financial cheating, and blackmailing others who are honest (Odu Ogbe Idi -odi). The cost can range widely due to the wealth of the individual seeking protection which is something that is considered by the priests who inflate the prices through self-dealing. Briefly, self-dealing can be observed in the third party priests who put up defamatory remarks about credible priests on fraud pages to minimizes those priests. They do this to promote another priest who the third party is acting on behalf of because they hold membership cards to that priest’s organizations (Wrage, 2007). Some would call this behavior thuggish like extortion.

 

In 2016, Perlmutter stated that there might be some criminality associated with extortion and orisa and Ifa religious practices. Many people blame social media, advanced technology, and classic Hollywood and Nollywood Nigerian film industries. Orisa/Ifa and spiritual products have become a religious cybercrime on social media from both Nigeria and second diaspora communities (Cuban Babas and Oloshas) (Tade, 2013). There are more and more Latin Botanicas today on the internet especially social media and now Amazon. Social media is flooded by many West African religious cybercrimes from Nigeria by young people who claim they have high status with Orisa and Ifa communities (Tade, 2013), who are worse than title consumers. Many of these oppressors are imposter Orisa and Ifa priests who have victimized both weak and curious people with the projection of death. Lying does not prevent a person from becoming rich (Odu Obara meji). However, manipulation is dishonest and Ifa says that “no matter the condition in which the priests may find themselves, they should never lie to cheat and extort a client in exchange for protection. Because lying can injure other people” (Odu Aji Ogbe).  Unfortunately, technology has created a double-edged sword capable of destruction as well as constructive purposes.

 

In 1988, Mitchell wrote that Santeria/Lucumi, Nigeria, Haiti, Brazil and Diaspora practitioners have come into the business of being deity extorters and it continues to grow rapidly. Today, the business deals to obtain the protection of the Orisa/Ifa is handled like the mafia or like the large global fake healthcare insurance corporations. To illustrate, the extortion is the threat that the Orisa/Ifa will not protect the individual unless they make payments to the priests for sums of money that can add up anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 per ritual. In Tampa, Florida, there was a botanica charging $1500 for warriors, $500 for Esu alone, and lucky charms ranged from $300 to $500 each. On top of that, there is no training or education provided for the individuals on how to care for the warriors or Esu. Another example, a well-known Iyanifa stated on social media that she did an unauthorized divination and used fearmongering on two persons by telling them that they needed to pay her $200 each and a goat or they would die. Such actions are dishonest, extortion, fearmongering, and lies (odu ogbe osa). This negative behavior has caused distortion in the perceptions people have of the Orisa and Ifa practices. In reality, spiritual cybercrimes and the got to have money attitude are the real forces behind Orisa-Ifa priests’ extortion tactics. Unfortunately, it does no favors to our faith’s integrity and image. It develops individual spirituality displacement. It is sad to hear so many people report how they come to learn about their spirituality from priests in both major systems, only to have those priests take their money and give them in return only beads, icons, initiations, and fearmongering for more money. Many have defined these behaviors as extorting.

 

There are several organizations from both Santeria/Lucumi, Other diaspora traditions, and Nigerian Traditional Orisa/Ifa practices which state in their organizations’ (ex: ICIR, IWA, YCA of Cuba, ACYC, and CLBA, etc.) code of ethics that they will not extort money (Odu Ika Ofun). Today on social media and on instant messenger, an individual becomes prey for extortion due to the ideology of institutional collaboration from many of these organizations mentioned. However, membership cards don’t enforce and hold their members responsible for extortion. The organizations are a part of the problem because various members practice extortion against their clients under the guise of legitimacy. One traditional organization stated “extortion – a priest must not collect or extort money from [their] client(s) or any member of the public under false pretense.” “Liars knows the truth but tell untruth” Ifa says in Odu Ogunda Bede. Every priest who is helping, assisting, charging, and consulting people under their guidance to a better place in life needs to know the difference. Orisa and Ifa practices throughout the diaspora and as well as Traditional Yoruba practitioners are recognized as a blessing. Odu Ose Meji informed that priests that participate in stealing money, contraband, chantage, extortion, drug and sex trafficking, kidnapping, illegal gambling, fraud, prostitution, over pricing, forcing people to get initiated with the use of fear, and so-on will be exposed and handled by Ifa. This is a hot topic which will anger many people as well as confuse others.

In conclusion, this article was written only to discuss some aspects of few organizations and priests concerning basic pricing. It is important to understand that individual’s spirituality cannot be bought with icons, rituals, and initiation. It is earned through continuous studies, practice, education, prayers, self-awareness, pure heart, open-mindedness, balance, and respect for one’s self and others. Additionally, travelling from one diviner to next looking for discounts most likely increases one’s chance of being a victim of extortion because there are always frauds and cons artists available and lurking. Don’t be a consumer spiritual shopper. At the same time, do your research. The right priest just might not be giving discounts.

 

References

Mitchell, R. (1988). Power of the orisha: Santeria, an ancient religion from Nigeria, is making its presence felt in Los Angeles. Retrieved from www.latimes.com/archives/

Perlmutter, D. (2016). Ritualistic crime. In Payne-James, J. & Byard, R. W. (2016) Encyclopedia of forensic and legal medicine (2nd ed.)

Tade, O. (2013). A spiritual dimension to cycbercrime in Nigeria: The “Yahoo Plus” phenomenon. Human Affairs, 23(1), 689-705. doi:10.2478/s13374-013-0158-9

US Department of State (2000). Annual report international religious freedom 1999.

Wrage, A, A. (2007). Bribery undermining business, and governments, and security extortion: Westport, CT: Praeger Security International

 

Misogynistic Orisa and Ifa Babalawos

By Iyalemole Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi-Fabuluje

November 21st, 2019

American Ifa, U.S.Inkedmisogyny231_LI (2) Florida: In the holy odu Ofun Osa, Ifa says “If the world becomes rotten and destroyed it is because no one no longer knows how to behave with one another.” Misogyny is also considered to be sectarianism, superiority, chauvinist, racism, ethnocentrism, and discriminatory. Usually, the male misogynist dislikes or despises or are prejudiced against women in various positions. Misogyny can be attributed to both males and females. Misogyny has a variety of layers in a complex society. Brogaard (2019) asserts that misogynists are self-loathers. The female misogynists have no real powers. Their oppressors do and they assist the oppressors in the dehumanization of other women. Misogyny is present in the Orisa and Ifa practices throughout the diaspora and the Nigerian Yoruba Tradition. It is a huge problem.

The male manifestation of misogyny is more commonly found among Babalawos. The female expression shows itself when women attack other women and assist the Babalawos with inflicting pain on those women reflecting their own self-punishment and self-shaming (Brogaard, 2019). These women are immoral and empty (Odu Odi Ogunda). The odu Okanran Ose says “Ifa enjoins he/she should not keep malice.” Misogyny is totally taboo in the eyes of Ifa (Odi Meji). It creates chaos and madness in the practice of Orisa and Ifa (odu Otura Oyeku). Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche (2018) believes that “we all breathe misogyny.” Aron (2019) evaluated misogyny as societal inequity. Women who ask for equal rights or want men to be held accountable are often called male haters or Orisa and Ifa terrorists. As an example of this behavior, a poser Cuban-initiated Babalawo known as CSK stated in a 2015 article that two women of color were terrorists because they are against the misogyny and racism in Ifa. The women were terrorists because they refused to accept the abuse and sexism in the Orisa and Ifa practices within the diaspora. In 2015, the American Araba from Nigeria called the two American women of color dangerous based on many assumptions and following a misogynistic bashing of American Ifa Fa Afa ideology. The women persisted because the U.S. Department of State Office of International Religious Freedom states everyone has the right to think and move according to their religious beliefs. In addition, the women of color are both initiated to Orisa and Ifa and were following the recommendations of Ifa.

The year is 2019 and misogyny is alive and living well both economically and religiously. It is outrageous when women play misogyny cards for misogynistic Babalawos in both the Lucumi and Nigerian Traditional Yoruba practices. They attack and post defamatory statements against women in the Orisa and Ifa online communities who think differently than them. One article in the Guardian (2019) stated that West African Ifa oracle and Babalawos constantly speak on how important a woman is in the spiritual practices; yet, rape, abuse, discrimination, and the degradation of women is still strong and thriving in these patriarchal societies (Adebowale, 2019). This makes misogyny more in line with sexual discrimination. This especially shows when a male gets initiated to Ifa at a certain price and receives Ifa items including Orisa Odu. A woman will pay that same price and will not receive the same treatment as her male counterpart. She will get a small fraction of what she is due in comparison. Male domination and abuse established and developed these protocols during colonialism including the lies being told against women’s spirituality as well as her religious position. Many Babalawos like to throw out odu Ofun Meji at women when questioned. However, in the oldest books, Ofun Meji states that Orisa Odu said, “NO ONE else may see me…” No one means no one. No man. No woman.

Further examples include the Gelede masquerade where all men dress up like women. It would seem it is only men who can satisfy the Mothers. There is even talk about women not being able to make or wash Esu (Eleggua) or use a knife to do any sacrifice. This is strange when women use a knife every day to cook a meal… a thought outside the box. Men continuously want to rewrite the passages to claim the woman’s position as custodian of the home.

In 2012, the Santeria Church posted how the misconceptions about women in Santeria are due to patriarchal Cuban Babalawos and their misogynistic ideologies and approaches on different Orisa levels. Even so, some women are their own worse enemy. Their need to be wanted, loved, and admired by men who they assume to be powerful causes them to push misogyny on their own gender. Yet as Santeria theology shows, it was women who initially shaped and preserved the Orisa and Ifa practices and knowledge from Nigeria during slavery. Women played a very important role in the New World. Across the water, the West African Nigerian theology dealt with the integration of colonialism which puts women’s lives in incessant jeopardy (odu Ogbe Oyeku).

In 2019, Adebowale recorded Olufnmilayo Ransome Kuti and 10 thousand Egba women declare: “Alake for a long time you have used your penis as a mark of authority that you are our husband. Today, we shall reverse the order and use vagina to play the role of husband.” Beliso-De-Jesus (2015) wrote that the various Ifa Babalawos of the Cuban, Nigerian, and American styles perpetuate coercive control, female religious, economic, and spiritual abuse as well as their misogynistic ideas on what and where a woman’s place is in Ifa. All of which was modeled after the Christian dogma and doctrines of colonialism. Beliso-De-Jesus (2015) also stated that the African style initiation of women into Ifa goes “against Cuban Babalawos’ misogynistic behavior in neoliberal terms of religious freedom.”

There has been an intense argument publicly and online about women in Ifa and the limitations created by men and imposed upon them concerning positions and duties in orisa rituals and ceremonies. All in the name of profit and coercive gender control (Beliso-De-Jesus, 2015). Not only does misogyny create huge divides in the relationship between males and females among the various practices, but it creates conflict and discrepancies in the theology and ritual practice of Orisa and Ifa in all spiritual/religious systems.  At the end of the day, despite all the unfavorable sexism, misogyny, and narcissism within the Orisa and Ifa online communities, the Orisa and Ifa practice centers the Odu-womb-Mothers and is fundamentally a female-based practice. Unfortunately, at this time, it is practiced without actual physical respect and equality for women (odu Ose’Otura).

References

Adebowale, O. (2019). Women arise in the face of misogyny: A cultural perspective. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://guardian.ng/life/women-arise-in-the-face-of-misogyny-a-cultural-perspective/

Beliso-De-Jesus, A. M. (2015). Contentious diasporas: Gender, sexuality, and heteronationalisms in the Cuban Iyanifa debate. Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 40(4), 817-840. doi:10.1086/68037

Brogaard, B. (2015). 12 ways to spot a misogynist. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/

Brogaard, B. (2019). 12 ways to spot a female misogynist. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/

Santeria Church (2012). The importance of women in Santeria. Retrieved from www.santeriachurch.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orisha and Ifa Bankruptcy

By Iyalemole Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi-Fabuluje

November 28th, 2019

American Ifa, 6-25-underwater-art-02US, Florida: There are several types of bankruptcy: corporate bankruptcy, individual bankruptcy, spiritual bankruptcy, Orisha bankruptcy, and so-on. Several U.S. lawyers contributed a definition on Wikipedia stating that bankruptcy “is a process that people or others entitles who cannot repay debts to creditors (ex. Orishas/Ifa) may seek relief (ex. ebo/offerings) from some or all of their debts.” The Orisa and Ifa file bankruptcy against the people who disregard the rules, laws, values, morals, authentications, and spiritual practices. In the firstand second diasporas (American, Cuban and Caribbean) as well as in the Yoruba Traditional practices, the Orishas and Ifa will file bankruptcy because people are insufficient, fraudulent, irresponsible, inconsistent, negligent, lack morals and values, lack transparency, lack authentications, accept Ajoguns, and commit spiritual suicide. In 1999, Frisch stated that spiritual bankruptcy is a disease like self-sabotage (Odu Oyeku Meji). The bankruptcy effects an individual’s total being – mind, body, character, and spirit (Odu Oturupon Meji). In Odu Oturupon-Owonrin, Ifa said “the disease affects not only the mind, but half the body and the genital disease causes a person to be lazy.” There are so many lies written, developmental progressive cults, and male domination occults in today’s societies until it is becoming an overwhelming amount of spiritual disorders, impediments (Odu Irete Olota), and bad forces knocking at a person’s door (Odu Oturupon Oyeku).

It’s almost as if the Ajoguns are working overtime as debt collectors for the Orisa and Ifa. Ajoguns are negative spirits created by Olodumare. Ajoguns are malevolent forces, belligerent enemies, war mongers, and dark spirits such as Orisa Iku, Orisas of diseases, greed, hatreds, sickness, selfishness, loneliness, and so-on (LaGamma & Pemberton, 2000). These forces are usually in the business of spoiling sacrifices and have eternal differences with either the Orishas or Ifa (Odu Irete Meji and Ika Meji). There is an insensitive affiliation between the Ajoguna and Orishas/Ifa (Odu Ose Odi). Ajogun victims are the people who break the taboos of the Orishas and Ifa. They cause Orisa and Ifa to file spiritual bankruptcy. In 2011, Borghini stated online that “spiritual bankruptcy maybe a state of complete lack of some abstract property.” Good properties that please the Orisha and Ifa are replaced. The void instead is filled with self-absorption, oblivion, despair, depression, self-centeredness, morality deprivation, rejection of truth, chaos, financial inadequacy, lies, laziness, boredom, loss, abandonment, greed, death, and so-on (Odu Irete Meji, Ose Odi, and Ejiogbe). The person ends up in debt, owing the Orisa or Ifa or eguns. This causes the individual to become disconnected from the Orisa/Ifa. Not only that, but they now have a distorted viewpoint of the world (Frisch, 1999). They blame the Orisa and Ifa for their suffering instead of looking at their actions and at their disregard for the Orisa and Ifa’s teachings and advice.

Materialism causes spiritual bankruptcy. In Irete Meji, “They slapped him in the face, Imulegbe was another student of Orunmila, they tore his odun dress to shreds. Orunmila declared that he never knew that he had no honor in Ile-Ife anymore… Orunmila got angry and he left Ile-Ife together with his two students. They headed for Zelujuu-ko-seke-ko-sokun in the deep forest. The inhabitants of Ile-Ife began to live in misery and confusion. Penis became switch, female genital became leather, pregnant women were unable to deliver safely, barren women could not become pregnant, oba’s horses had no grass to eat, the rich became chronic debtors, the invalid could not regain their health, those who had hitherto been giving birth to bouncing babies began to deliver still-births, they were running from pillar to post, they went to all the awos… When Ajogun overwhelmed them completely, they were advised to offer ebo… They begged Orisa for a long time, Orunmila refused to accept their apology…” Orunmila says the Ifa did not lie nor did Orisha fail to accommodate when you did not get things you wished for in the time you desired it (Odu Ose’rete).

People get into Orishas and Ifa practices for all the wrong reasons. Some believe it is a get out of jail card or a get rich quick scheme. For others, it’s a way to do witchcraft or further their position on the authority list. Some people make-up astro-initiations and collect titles. Babalawos, oloshas, and Paleros provide faulty advice when they themselves are spiritually bankrupt. When Babalawos, olosha, and Paleros keep their bad habits after initiation, it shows they are disconnected still and have not reach the supreme blessedness.  Many people are not ready to take on the commitment to Orisha and Ifa. People want to continue living their old life while swinging Orisha and Ifa Gucci beads. People are then angry when their life is not flourishing as they believe it should. Better yet, they believe that the Orisha and Ifa have abandoned them. However, the far more plausible explanation is that the Orisha and Ifa have abandoned their bad habits and continuous disrespect towards Mother Earth and the forces of nature. Or even, that the debt the people owed the Orishas which they believed they paid when they did either ebo or addimus (offerings) or die (Odu Iwori Meji) was not in fact paid in full in the eyes of the Orisha and Ifa. It can simply be that they and their own spiritual twin in heaven are not in harmony or their own ori has taken them in the wrong directions.  It does matter when the Odu Ifa states that people owe a debt (Odu Okanran Meji). The Orisa and Ifa do not just up and abandon you for no reason. Today, many people are seeing the world in chaos and feeling the needs of food to feed a void where some people assumed the Orishas and Ifa had abandoned them (Odu Ogunda Okanran). People may approach Orisa differently due to their personalities. This I believe is causing one of the major reasons as to why each of the Orisa and Orunmila have abandoned the people or world. The bankruptcy is unavoidable because of people’s different definitions of Orisha, Ifa, and spiritual development (Kennedy, 2013). People can be their own worst enemy (Odu Okanran Meji). This has continued to develop a long-term spiritual bankruptcy. With the quality of being bankrupt or in debt with the Orisa and Ifa, the individual is in deep trouble. Return on Investment is best when everything is in alignment with truth, respect, and honor (Odu Ose’tura, Osa’tura, and Ejiogbe).

Therefore, know how, why and for what reasons you are investing in the orisha and or Ifa as well as your ancestors. The important thing is to know how much time you willing to invest in the orisha. It’s like that old cliché “give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man how to fish he will never be hungry…he will eat for a lifetime.” Know your teacher and be committed to studying every day. Live what you desire because you’ll get what you put in. Orisha live because you live! Happy Day of Giving Thanks!

 

References

Frisch, S. (1999). Spiritual bankruptcy: Part 1: Alive and Well News. Retrieved from www.aliveandwell news.com/

Kennedy, J. (2013). Pt 1: Spiritual views of life: Different forms of spirituality for different personalities. Retrieved from www.jeksite.org/

LaGamma, A. & Pemberton, J. (2000). Art and oracle: African art and rituals of divination. New York, NY: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Loue, S. (n.d.). Santeria. Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2

 

The Libel By The Real Fraud Called Apena Dafa

By Iyalemole Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi-Fabuluje

November 13th, 2019

American Ifa, US, Florida: According to the 28 U.S. code § 4101 (defamation, libel, slander), it is stated that libel is a form of slander and defamation. Slander, libel, defamation “or similar claim alleging that forms of speech are false cause damage to reputation and/or emotional distress, [it also] presents [a] person in a false light or results in criticism, dishonor, or condemnation of [the] person” (Chung, 2019). Bottom line, libel is slandering and lying to defame which is an act of conspiring against someone.

The great oracle (aka Ifa) says that people should be truthful, honest and the orisas will support them (Odu Ejiogbe). Odu Obara Meji states that lying doesn’t keep a person from being rich or becoming old, but upon their death it will bring retribution. Lying, defaming, or publishing libel about someone is an attempt to deceive the world or the community about that person (Adewale, 1994). In ancient times, African traditional priests would chant curses on liars and ask the divinities to condemn the liars … to not to deceive or betray in foreign land (Odu Ogunda Bede). However as people become more and more in need of recognition and greed, they slowly create falsehood in the traditional African religious spiritual practices of the diaspora (Adewale, 1994). The liars that slander (and produce libel) are the conspirators who go against everything that ifa stands for.

When conspiring against someone this way, Ifa says the guilty will be punished (Odu Ogbe Alara). People who make themselves orisa and ifa cops, judges, and justice against innocent people are committing wrongdoing by falsely accusing someone of fraud or crime. People who conspire against people are fraudulent and thieves. Their ego causes them to belittle, shame, and embarrass people to make themselves look big. Ifa tells of this through the story where people were envious of Orunmila’s annual reading at Olokun festival. The conspirators betrayed people for money. A long story short, Orunmila found the conspirators around Olokun telling lies about him and suggesting that Orumila be replaced. This has happened in this way of life. There are a few people who promote certain people as they make allegations of fraud against others who are accredited and innocent all for the sake of money. The orisa and Ifa traditional societies are becoming more and more criminal using the diaspora and its traditions not for spirituality but solely for money.

The Orisa and Ifa traditional system is a strong moral base of society (Adewale, 1994). Certain factions of the religion or spiritual society have poisoned and injected a disease of insincerity, corruption, fraud and felonies in the concept of Ifa. That should raise red flags for the people, not the few people who end up on these fake fraud platforms set up by the governing and dishonest Apena Dafa (Adewale, 1994).  Ifa says in Odu Obara Meji that Ifa condemns disrespect and arrogance (i.e., Ifa – “a child indulges in stubborn acts, if he sees an aged priest and slaps him; if he comes across an aged physician and beats him mercilessly; if he goes on and meets an aged priest and knocks him down, thus declares the oracle to the disobedient child…”). Therefore, the libel by the Apena Dafa on a variety of platforms is fraudulent and criminal in Orunmila’s eyes.

The self-deputized, fraudulent-acting Apena Dafas have acted in an unacceptable, criminal way in the diaspora. This dishonesty will cause the religion to shorten its life forces as well as produce more and more uncertainties and dysfunctional relationships between various orisa/ Ifa societies. These types of judgement cause an unstable individual to implement harmful acts towards innocent people who have credibility.  It almost guarantees the death of the tradition in the diaspora as well as Africa as people wish it to be. People who are seeking guidance and entrance to the orisa and or Ifa are confused and damning the tradition. This also feeds the preconceptions and notions that the practice is negative and evil. In addition, the rituals, spirituality, and materialization of the Ifa and orisas will slowly dissolve the practices in the foreign land and the diaspora as well.

On the other hand, the conspirator(s) in the diaspora can face either felony or misdemeanor charges and a possible fee if found guilty of deliberately accusing a person of crimes they did not commit and spreading rumors to tarnish a person’s reputation or defame them. Minc (2019) stated there have been several civil lawsuits to the U. S. Supreme court over slander or libel. It is a serious matter. At the end of the day, the criminals who commit a crime by falsely accusing innocent people will meet a serious and adequate punishment in the orisa and Ifa traditional system as well as in the courts (Adewale, 1994).  Recommendation is to get a lawyer, press charges and sue.

References

Adewale, S. A. (1994). Crime and African traditional religion: Orita XXVI/1-2 (1994), 54-66. Retrieved from http://www.africaspeaks.com

Chung (2019). Supreme Court of Georgia. Cottrell v. Smith et al. S16A0013 Decided: July 08, 2016. https://caselaw.findlaw.com

 

Legal Information Institute (2019). U.S. Code § 4101. Definitions: Defamation. Retrieved from www.law.cornell.edu/

 

Minc (2019). Defamation removal law. Retrieved from https://www.minclaw.com/us-defamation-laws/