May 11, 2021

The black market of spirituality

The black market of spirituality

hands holding the sun at dawn

hands holding the sun at dawn

Yetunde Arabi

The fact that spirituality cannot be deciphered by sight or more appropriately, the ordinary eyes, but by faith and nurtured by hope, many middle men (self or man appointed) do resort to trickery in their determination to convince their believers/followers of their great spiritual powers.

Contending with their spirituality also in the human nature, which except by grace and strict discipline will always rear its head. After all, I want to be like Jesus, is not the same as I am Jesus. Daily, a flip through the Newspapers and other media will attest to the many nefarious activities of so called men of god. Many of the stories will leave your jaws hanging.

From inability to manage personal and family matters to adultery, divorce, covetousness, aiding and abetting of crimes, armed robbery, kidnap, rape and even murder, our men of god have a finger in the pie. Yet these are not enough to deter patronage. The saying that you must buy lies in order to buy truth rules here.

Ironically, women, especially married women, form a very large number of patrons of god’s middlemen. For their delicate necks and beautiful heads bear most of humanity’s burdens, nay, their family problems. Almost everything that brings a woman joy, may also constitute a problem to her. Her husband, children, (if she has or not) marriage, business, job, in-laws, parents, siblings, friends and associates may become problems at some point in her life.

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Thus, her great need to be deep in spirituality also often makes her a target and prey in the hands of unscrupulous religious middle men. Many women have been conned into parting with huge sums of money, gold and precious ornaments, property, their total life’s savings and pension.

In some cases, their bodies have been used to settle payments for spiritual transactions or used as guinea pigs to test spiritual potency and efficacy. Some have had to compromise and sacrifice their loved ones,( same they wanted to save), and even paid ultimately with their lives.

Sometime in the late 80’s, a certain middle-aged female lecturer in one of the Southwest universities sent tongues wagging furiously when she suddenly packed out of her matrimonial home to move in with a man of god. She left behind, though rented, the luxury of a lovely posh duplex, four children, and a co-lecturer husband to shack up in the harem of an illiterate cleric. It was obvious for all to see that something bizarre had taken place and her friends and family would not stand for it.

They got the police to harass the two love birds, sent emissaries to madam to come to her senses, and to Alfa to let go of his clutches on their sister and friend, but all to no avail.

The university community was shocked beyond words that a brilliant, educated and sophisticated woman of her ilk could fall prey to such a silly game of spiritual hypnotism, but the pertinent question on the lips of many and indeed her highly embarrassed husband was, “what did she go to do at his den?” Thus, the marriage she was probably trying to save came to an abrupt tragic end as her husband sought divorce immediately and forbade her access to the children. Not as if she could have cared a hoot at that period anyways.

But those who cared watched in deep pain and agony as a once pretty woman began a steady deterioration into a dirty old hag, labouring and tending to her man’s every need. It was obvious that she had surrendered her being and possessions to him as she began going out without her car while the new oga would be seen almost every day, cruising town in her car.

Needless to say that madam was eventually debriefed, drained of all her juicy goodness, and kicked out when there was nothing more to be gained as she’d also lost her job. We were young, but it’s a story I will never forget and one of which helped formed my mindset about certain things in life. If you look for the extraordinary, you will see the extraordinary. What you see is what you get.

Bisi, a friend once told me about how she almost fell victim to a prophet she’d been introduced to for prayers. Her problem at the time was the inability to find a suitor at 35 years. She said she abandoned the scheduled three days bath the prophet recommended when she caught him peeping at her in the makeshift bathroom of the church on the first day. She got married a year after.

However, Beatrice, a friend’s sister was not so lucky as she ended up being the third wife of a prophet she was taken to for prayers by her mother. The sad part was that the poor lady was summoned to Nigeria from the UK for spiritual cleansing when she could not get married as quickly enough as her parents desired. The family still blames themselves for the unfortunate incident to date.

It is clear to me that spiritual journeys are not for the lily-livered. If you must dine with the devil, you must possess a very long spoon. No matter the religion you profess, you must know whom you serve and how to serve him. You must know your destination, have a road map on how to navigate the terrains, and the appropriate help to seek, should you encounter difficulties along the way.

One cannot claim knowledge of anything if one is not familiar with it. You cannot become a professional if you do not study to become one. The holy books are there to give direction and if we sincerely follow them, it will be difficult to derail at all, and definitely not to the point of self-destruction.

No religion approves of evil, and everyone has been given the spirit to identify right from wrong. If humanity desists from evil in any form, the world would be a better place for us all and no one would be forced to run from pillar to post, seeking help where there is none.

May we never be faced with a situation beyond our comprehension or endurance.  And should it happen, may the creator grant us the grace to identify where our help is.

Do have a wonderful weekend!!

Vanguard News Nigeria