Friday, 21 April 2017

How to Start a Cult

The Jonestown ‘massacre’ occurred in 1978. On November 18, 1978, a total of 919 people were killed from cyanide poisoning, in what they termed, "revolutionary suicide" by a man called James Warren ‘Jim’ Jones. Jim Jones was reported to have said, "Die with a degree of dignity. Lay down your life with dignity; don't lay down with tears and agony. I tell you, I don't care how many screams you hear, I don't care how many anguished cries...death is a million times preferable to 10 more days of this life. If you knew what was ahead of you – if you knew what was ahead of you, you'd be glad to be stepping over tonight."
The Heaven’s Gate ‘massacre’ occurred in 1997. On March 26, 1997, American police discovered the bodies of 39 members of a Christian group who had participated in a mass suicide in order to reach what they believed was an extra-terrestrial spacecraft. They were led to their deaths by Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles after they had been convinced that there was a space ship hidden behind a comet that was then flying past the Earth - and that this space ship was there to pick up true believers and ferry them off to a better place.
Yesterday, the 20th of April, South African police arrested South African based Nigerian pastor, Tim Omotoso. He is alleged to have raped 30 girl members of his church. He was charged with human trafficking. He was said to be arrested almost as soon as his plane arrived at the Port Elizabeth Airport, they found him hiding in a female toilet.
We have the incorrect definitions of cults in our heads, especially in the third world. My opinion is that this is because here we are unhappy with accepting the fact that cults are mostly religious groups. Almost every definition of a cult richly contains religious groups and organisations; therefore we prefer to see cults as a small group of misguided juveniles. Those are mostly delinquents; call them terrorists even, whatever helps you sleep better. However, a cult is unthinking devotion to an individual; a situation in which people admire and care about something or someone too much.
We tend to no longer serve God as much as we serve His purveyors, and I say purveyors knowing that not all who preach do it as a business venture. But you find that those who make business ventures out of God are the ones with the most ‘customers’ – people  who are usually willing to go blind for them, call white black for them, call lies truths for them.
A disgusting video I saw on Twitter this week inspired this post. A woman, in her 40s – not much to look at, was threatening the life of Stephanie Otobo, the estranged Stephanie Otobo, who Nigerians, especially customers of purveyors’, detest extremely, mostly because of her allegations of sexual misconduct against Apostle Johnson Suleiman, a popular Nigerian pastor. The video was disgusting to me because she was telling us of her murderous tendencies; how she would pour acid on someone if she sees them. How do you brighten a spot by shading all over it? I have nothing against the apostle, whether he slept with her or not is not my immediate concern. My problem is with the woman in the video.  She became the devil, not Stephanie Otobo, who she was trying to pass across as the devil.
One of the most baffling things about faith being able to move mountains is this question: in whom must we have faith before our mountains are moved?
It is a baffling question because I have mountains myself and I have asked myself this a thousand times. These lines blur. 
From the first few paragraphs, you may see that one only needs few things to start a cult, it is a sort of starter-pack:
1. A sort of authority
2. Oration
3. A group of people who have misplaced their faiths and are willing to go the distance for and with you, their daddy, instead of for and with their God.
The purveyors of God know of this starter-pack and they know how blurry the lines get. They seem to be in the process of creating small cults among us; in the future, their small cults will grow appendages. That time, it won’t just be hate speeches and criminal tendencies, like wanting to pour acid on people, but actions as well. I pray we do not all misplace our faiths. I pray some of us are left who actually believe in God and not his men, regardless of how blurry they make the line seem.
Thank you for reading. See you next time.

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