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.
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/