Pentecostal Preachers Killing HIV Patients


A new study shows that Pentecostal preachers in the UK, especially ones that have congregations made up predominately of those of African descent, are destroying the health and lives of those who are HIV-positive by telling them to stop taking their meds and rely on God to heal them instead.

Faith leaders in the UK are telling vulnerable people to stop taking life-saving drugs and their HIV can be cured through prayer in many African community groups, a new study has warned.

In seven different groups, members said they were pressured into stopping taking antiretroviral medication, according to the African Health Policy network.

Most respondents to the AHPN survey said they were “aware of more than one case of faith healing claims and pressure to stop taking medication. One member was aware of five cases.”

And most said they believed the pastors, the majority Evangelical or Pentecostal Christians, when they said they could cure them…

Last year, BBC London identified three people with HIV who died after they stopped taking antiretroviral drugs on the advice of their Evangelical Christian pastors.

One of the churches allegedly involved in the practice was the Synagogue Church Of All Nations, which has a UK base in Southwark, south London.

The BBC reported that the SCOAN website showed videos of people who say they have been cured of diseases.

Videos have been posted on the site of people in Nigeria who say they have been cured of HIV/AIDS.

The church is led by Pastor T B Joshua, Nigeria’s third richest clergyman.

Pentecostal preachers are also the primary force behind witch hunts in Africa.

Comments

  1. lofgren says

    Remember, God answers all prayers for healing. It’s just that sometimes the answer is, “No, die painfully instead.”

  2. erichoug says

    Dude, seriously, what the FUCK is wrong with Africa? I mean seriously, you have dictators, war famine pestilence and then just the wacky shit like killing little kids because you think they are a witch or murdering people who are albino. I mean, Seriously, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH AFRICA.

    Oh, and if ever there was an advertisement for the end result of religious fanaticism, just go look at Africa and you have all the proof you need that Theocracy doesn’t work.

  3. says

    …destroying the health and lives of those who are HIV-positive by telling them to stop taking their meds and rely on God to heal them instead.

    Are they only saying this sort of shit to HIV patients? Or to everyone who takes any kind of medication?

  4. dogmeat says

    Erichoug@2,

    Africa is largely the lasting impacts of colonialism. European powers cut up Africa, split up the various cultures, sent in missionaries who converted large swaths of the country to various denominations of Christianity, built infrastructure that generally doesn’t work for an independent country (mostly extractive), and then ditched after WWII. They’re stuck with high poverty, few support mechanisms, arbitrary borders and groupings, hostile sub-groups, both cultural and religious, and little by way of value or resources to utilize in order to create a stable government. Add to that the impact of the Cold War, western and eastern bloc agents toppling regimes they didn’t like, etc., and you have the recipe for truly miserable, desperate lives. Add in a little religious idiocy and you have the current state of affairs in much of Africa.

  5. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @erichoug

    Faith leaders in the UK

    Dude, seriously, what the F is wrong with white people?

  6. Roger says

    Well, let’s figure out why the preachers would do this:

    1. They must be gay, otherwise they wouldn’t have AIDS. Since God hates gays and wants them put to death, this is one way to accomplish that.

    2. Those meds aren’t cheap, so that’s less money they have to spend on the church. Stop taking the meds, start giving to the church, especially since the preacher “cured” them.

    Heinous rat bastards, the lot of them. Anyone wanna bet that if one of these vile preachers got AIDS himself he’d be all over those meds?

  7. americanproject says

    “Dude, seriously, what the FUCK is wrong with Africa?”

    One of the major reasons Africa is the way it is, is centuries of European colonization and exploitation by the West. Europeans brought, and Americans continue to bring, extreme forms of christianity to the continent in order to spread hate and bolster western power. They worked to keep tribes fighting among themselves because it was convenient while imperialists sacked the continent. What we see in Africa today is the long-range result of this. There are other factors of course, but if Africa had never been touched by the three major religions and looted by foreign traders and bankers over centuries, it might well have become something much better than what is visible today.

  8. raven says

    Faith healing kills. Old post from FTB EB:

    Register-Guard:

    The children are a blended family, created when (two people) married after both were widowed.

    Her first husband, died of sepsis in 2007 after sustaining and failing to seek medical treatment for a leg injury, a Lane County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant said deleted for space.

    A state child welfare worker revealed Monday that a spouse from a prior marriage (died at 31), …
    “she was preceded in death by daughters Elizabeth and Emma …”

    The death toll from faith healing can be quite high.

    I’ve found two families that have lost two kids each unnecessarily.

    This family from above has lost 5 people, two adults, three children. I’ve redacted the names because they’ve already been through a lot, having recently been convicted of manslaughter.

    Their church, General Assembly and church of the first born is very secretive but seems to be a Mormon splinter group.

  9. raven says

    I used to have to occasionally deal with HIV denialists.

    Not any more.

    The ones who were HIV+ are all dead. Of AIDS.

    Here in the USA, that particular delusion is all but gone. The HAART drugs have gotten so good that HIV+’s can live for many decades and have a lifespan that approaches the average. There is really no point in denying reality and dying when you can take the drugs and go live your life.

    Those people in the UK should look up a few things in Google. It’s better than dying unnecessarily.

    And as usual. Hitchens Rule: Religion poisons everything.

  10. raven says

    I don’t see why everyone is focusing on the fact that many of the toxic xian cults in the UK are African in origin.

    The USA has a lot of small, secretive faith healing sects as well. And most of them are white.

    The number of children killed in the USA in their gruesome human child sacrifice ritual known as faith healing is not well known, but estimates are around 100 a year.

    It’s not unusual for families to lose two or more people to faith healing.

  11. uzza says

    There’s a place like that up the street from me. They openly advertise that their prayers (or whatever) will cure X, Y and Z. It’s mysterious that they are not prosecuted / sued for practicing medicine without a license.

  12. exdrone says

    Given that it’s the UK, I suspect you could write the same story by surveying homeopath patient cases.

  13. says

    @Roger #6 – “1. They must be gay, otherwise they wouldn’t have AIDS.”

    Which is a fallacy any reasonably educated (yeah, yeah) African should know is wrong. HIV is overwhelmingly a heterosexual disease: at the end of 2011 (the latest for which year-end statistics are available), there were 34 million people living with HIV disease; 10% were children under the age of 15, and more than half of the adults were women. Since 2006, HIV/AIDS has been the leading cause of death among all women globally in their reproductive years.

    But thanks to people like Scott Lively, desperate people in countries where 20% or more of the population are HIV+ have swallowed the hatred and simplistic lie that, if they were to completely eliminate all gay people, the disease will miraculously vanish.

  14. says

    Blaming “centuries of European colonization and exploitation” for the present-day actions of religious con-artists is pretty fucking stupid, and only serves to distract attention from who is really to blame here: the present-day con-artists. They’re taking advantage of the vulnaribility of a certain group of people, and it really doesn’t fucking matter what caused that vulnerability in the first place. (And besides, Westerners aren’t the only people causing problems in Africa. Muslim thugs like Boko Haram and al Qaeda are a much more recent and immediate cause of suffering than the British Empire.)

    Let’s quit with the reflexive “European colonialism” talking-points, shall we? They’re really not helping.

  15. says

    And besides, the con-artists themselves are accusing their critics of “colonialism,” because we’re imposing foreign ideas (like equal rights, accountability, secular government, and not persecuting gays, “witches” and other nonconformists) on the poor Africans who are only trying to live by their simple indigenous values. Which makes our prattling about “colonialism” doubly meaningless and unhelpful.

  16. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @raven

    I don’t see why everyone is focusing on the fact that many of the toxic xian cults in the UK are African in origin.

    The USA has a lot of small, secretive faith healing sects as well. And most of them are white.

    They aren’t of African origin.

    Pentacostalism is a US/UK product, based on happenings in, and interactions of religious communities between, the US and the UK in the 19th century and very early 20th.

    They aren’t of African origin.

    Christianity isn’t of African origin. Pentacostalism isn’t of African origin. The churches themselves are located in the UK. The congregations are UK congregations.

    They aren’t of African origin.

  17. lofgren says

    Dude, seriously, what the F is wrong with white people?

    I get what you are trying to say, Crip Dyke, but if you read past the first few words of the article you would see:

    in many African community groups

    Dogmeat’s response is more useful. Africans have been taught through centuries of abuse by outsiders that any kind of stable, civil government is unreliable because if it doesn’t collapse under the weight of its own corruption then foreign governments will simply topple it for their own profit. As insane as it sounds, retrograde superstition works more reliably for them than enlightenment values.

    Blaming “centuries of European colonization and exploitation” for the present-day actions of religious con-artists is pretty fucking stupid, and only serves to distract attention from who is really to blame here: the present-day con-artists.

    It’s absolutely correct that modern-day con artists are the specific perpetrators in this case, but there is a reason that Africans are specifically susceptible to this style of manipulation, and a major part of that is the legacy of colonialism.

    we’re imposing foreign ideas (like equal rights, accountability, secular government, and not persecuting gays, “witches” and other nonconformists)

    Africans have very good reason to be suspicious of these values. Outsiders have been exporting them to Africa for several hundred years, except that they’ve always turned out to be code words for imperialism and conquest. Of course WE think we’re different than the last wave of outsiders promising enlightenment, but you can’t blame the natives for doubting us at this point.

    Westerners aren’t the only people causing problems in Africa. Muslim thugs like Boko Haram and al Qaeda are a much more recent and immediate cause of suffering than the British Empire.

    The Middle East were active and fervent participants in the colonization of Africa. Confederate apologists love to point out that Muslims started the slave trade, and it’s actually true. (It doesn’t actually absolve US southerners of all blame the way that the apologists think it does, but it is true.) Africans were kidnapped and enslaved by Middle Easterners starting earlier and continuing after those practices ceased in the West, and Arab pirates loved to carve out sections of the continent in order to declare themselves kings all throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. So while it’s true that Westerners aren’t the only people causing problems in Africa, Muslim thugs are not new. And although you imply it, it’s not like Westerners stopped screwing around with Africa when the British Empire collapsed. It continues to this day. Al Qaeda and de Beers are equally immediate causes of suffering, even if al Qaeda is a younger organization.

    The USA has a lot of small, secretive faith healing sects as well. And most of them are white.

    Two responses.

    First, Africans’ susceptibility to these types of cons has nothing to do with their skin color. There is nothing genetic about Africans that makes them more likely to be superstitious. Some parasitologists have hypothesized that the dangerous lack of safe drinking water means that Africans suffer from logic- and learning-impairing brain parasites to a far greater frequency than other continents, and there is some research that indicates this is a possibility, but it’s far from proven and has nothing to do with skin color.

    Second, it’s worth remembering that Africa is a huge place with a population every bit as diverse as the US. There are definitely people in the US who would burn children as witches if they could get away with it. Sometimes they even still do it. We in the international community only hear about the most shocking and egregious demonstrations of African superstition. There are many places in Africa where the local government is strong enough that a mob of villagers burning a child alive would result in swift justice, just like it does here. Africa is a continent, not a country.

  18. says

    … there is a reason that Africans are specifically susceptible to this style of manipulation…

    Bullshit. There’s nothing at all unique about Africans’ susceptibility to such con-games — they happen all over the world, all the time. The only thing unique about Africa right now is the horrific political instability we’ve been seeing since the end of the colonial era there — and that’s not just the result of colonialism, it’s also the result of post-colonial national policies. Tracing EVERYTHING that’s currently wrong with Africa back to “colonialism” — including the misdeeds of the rulers who replaced the colonial regimes — is ridiculously simplistic, and contributes little or nothing to actual solutions. Take these Christian con-artists, for example: how does blaming “colonialism” help anyone to solve that particular problem in the near future? Do we really need to talk about past history to know who is right or wrong here? What do these history lectures do, other than distract from the original topic?

  19. says

    Africans have been taught through centuries of abuse by outsiders that any kind of stable, civil government is unreliable because if it doesn’t collapse under the weight of its own corruption then foreign governments will simply topple it for their own profit. As insane as it sounds, retrograde superstition works more reliably for them than enlightenment values.

    An absolutely ridiculous set of insulting generalizations, especially coming from someone who then says “Africa is a huge place with a population every bit as diverse as the US.”

  20. says

    Africans have very good reason to be suspicious of these values…

    In case you haven’t noticed, the “foreign ideas” I mentioned in general are not just being rejected in Africa — they’re under attack all over the world, including the countries of their origin (see Ed’s posts on Russia’s anti-gay laws). And the reason for this is not at all specific to African history — it’s authoritarians of all sorts trying to discredit those Enlightenment values that get in the way of their unchecked power. Again, blaming “colonialism” for this is nothing but a stupid-assed distraction.

  21. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @lofgren

    I get what you are trying to say, but the article, however it might have brought up people of African descent – quite some number even born on the continent – is about:

    1: Congregations in the UK that live in UK homes, consume UK media, shop at UK stores, are largely of UK citizenship, and socialize in the UK with other UK citizens and residents
    2: Meeting in a church in the UK
    3: Practicing a religion co-founded in the UK and the States to specifically reflect the spiritual philosophies and priorities of UK/USA practitioners
    4: Following a dangerous set of practices dictated by that indigenous-to-the-UK religion
    5: That was created as a renewal of a 1500 years extinct Euro-goyim eschatalogical Judaism, which itself was non-African
    6: That was brought to African and African-immigrant communities by white UK residents because the white UK residents wanted those communities to emulate white UK residents
    7: who then – both as white UK communities and as communities of African descent within the UK – actually emulate the practices of their white UK spiritual forebears from the late 1800s and early 1900s
    8: while having a higher than demographic-background number of persons of African descent involved in such congregations/communities.

    erichoug reads about this success of white UK theological renewal in persuading people – some of them not even white! – to engage in actions destructive to themselves or others, and what he has to say is, What is wrong with Africa?

    Look, seriously, there’s lots of things wrong in Africa and among African people.

    This is a white, European religion and culture in a white-dominated, non-African country having success in convincing adherents to do exactly what the white, non-African theologians said that they wanted to do from the beginning.

    erichoug’s statement was a bullshit, racist non-sequitur. While when discussing hacking kids hands off for refusing to scratch coltan ore out of the ground with bare hands, we can ask what is wrong with Africa.

    When discussing why pentacostals are acting like early Pentacostal theologians wanted them to act? We have to ask, What the F is wrong with the UK?

    My point was not you-stereotyped-Africans-I’m-gonna-stereotype-whites. My point was that the mention of something to do with Africa or people of African descent does not instantly change a problem of UK origin and culture to one that is attributable to Africa or Africans.

    Thus your notice that the article contains:

    in many African community groups

    shows that you did not, actually, understand what I was saying.

    Frankly, it does little more than validate erichoug by saying, sure, sure, sure, I get points 1 through 7, but the fact is that some of the people duped were from Africa or were descendents of people from Africa – we should totally just ignore where the problem comes from and focus on Africa. Because look, the word African appears in the story.

    It didn’t save erichoug’s rant from being a racist non-sequitur. It didn’t escape my attention. It doesn’t vitiate my point in any way.

    If you did actually understand points 1-7, I don’t know why you thought it would.

  22. erichoug says

    No, Seriously, What the fuck is wrong with Africa.

    I really don’t buy this “Oh it’s all the fault of colonialism.” Most African countries have had independence just as long as a lot of other countries, India, China, South and Central America. and you don’t see nearly the level of corruption, incompetence, ignorance and downright looniness in those countries that you do in Africa.

    Also how is taking the attitude of “Oh, the poor Africans they’re just victims of Colonialism and they don’t know any better” not both incredibly condescending as well as just a tad racist.

    I firmly believe that there is a lingering taint of racism that pervades nearly every dealing that the west has with Africa. but the same can, again, be said for every other country that suffered under colonialism.

    Seriously, NPR just ran a story a few weeks ago about parts of Sub Saharan Africa where they had to have a PSA to tell people that Albinos were actually human beings and that no you shouldn’t kill and eat them.

    Seriously, You can’t hang that shit on the Hapsburgs or the Hohenzollern.

    Besides which, the west has been pouring Billions of dollars in aid into Africa for a long as I can remember and the place is still a horrible shithole, How is THAT the fault of colonialism.

    And now the crazy shit brained lunacy inspired by Christian assholes is being exported right back to fuck up the few lucky bastards who managed to get out.

    So, again, WTF is wrong with Africa.

  23. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Yeah, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Bolivia, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, El Salvador –

    Jeez, nowhere in South Asia, China, or South or Central America do you find problems that would make one think that colonialism has lingering bad effects. Only in Africa!

    But seriously, erichoug,

    a) no one has said that it’s *all* the fault of colonialism
    and
    b) you’re still responding to a problem created by white people in a white-ruled country that is affecting white Europeans and Black immigrants to the UK – and you’re responding to that problem with a white religion created by white theologians in the UK as currently practiced by UK citizens of various races in the UK – by saying what the fuck is wrong with Africa.

    Tell me why **this article** deserves a WTF Africa? response.

    Because for people who actually have the facts in hand – and any ability to think critically and logically at all – it looks an awful lot like a WTF UK? response is called for.

    For those who think that WTF Africa is, in fact, the response appropriate to the problems created by a white religion in a white country, forcing the doctrines of white theologians on people of multiple races,

    the only appropriate response is

    WTF erichoug?

    None of your rant comes close to addressing the racism of bouncing from white-caused problems to WTF Africa.

  24. erichoug says

    “erichoug’s statement was a bullshit, racist non-sequitur. ”

    Really, so all the parties involved in this incident were not african? The victims as well as the priests?

    Also, Could you point to the part of my earlier post where I mentioned anything to do with Race?

    Also, is it not just a TINY bit patronizing for you to assume that the white European Christians from centuries ago had such a HUGE influence on the people of Africa rather than assuming that this is a home grown version of stupidity?

    Why not take a giant stride for equality and say: “Holy fuck those guys are lunatics.” Rather than:”Holy fuck those black guys are lunatics.” or “Holy Fuck those guys are Lunatics but it’s not their fault because their grandfathers suffered under colonial oppression.”

  25. erichoug says

    Crip/Dyke this problem is not created by the UK. The religion was introduced by Christian missionaries and Africa has become one of the strongholds of Christinaity in this planet. But, the same could be said for south America and the aren’t chopping up little kids because they think their Witches. The same could be said for Vietnam and they aren’t cutting off men’s penises to make virility drugs.

    You yourself even mention one that I forgot, the intentional mutilation of child workers. Not to mention the horrible shit that happens to the child soldiers.

    This is not a UK problem, it is a problem in the African community in the UK.

    My response is the result of every single story I have heard about Africa in the last few years.

  26. lofgren says

    There’s nothing at all unique about Africans’ susceptibility to such con-games — they happen all over the world, all the time.

    Of course there is nothing unique about it. I believe I said exactly that. But this kind of reactionary superstition is ascendant in parts of Africa in a way that it isn’t in most other parts of the world. Religious nuts are pretty bad in the US, but they are not remotely as bad as they are in Africa.

    that’s not just the result of colonialism, it’s also the result of post-colonial national policies

    Which have nothing to do with colonialism, right? And it’s worth mentioning that the “colonial era” in parts of Africa didn’t end until after World War II. It’s not something from the distant past for them.

    And either way, both dogmeat and I addressed the post colonial era in our posts, so your statement is at best redundant.

    how does blaming “colonialism” help anyone to solve that particular problem in the near future? Do we really need to talk about past history to know who is right or wrong here? What do these history lectures do, other than distract from the original topic?

    It’s usually useful to understand the source of a problem when devising a tactic to combat it, especially since we obviously want to avoid the problems that were the downfall of many, many other people who have already tried to address these problems and failed.

    But aside from that, knowing history is just kind of interesting and useful to some people. Some of us like to learn things even when they do not further our political goals. Especially since ranting about the problem in internet comments isn’t likely to help anybody solve this particular problem anyway. I was not aware that there was any chance we were going to resolve the issue of superstition in Africa in the comments of Ed’s blog. If you think you can do so, have at it. I will stand aside.

    An absolutely ridiculous set of insulting generalizations, especially coming from someone who then says “Africa is a huge place with a population every bit as diverse as the US.”

    It’s true that using the word “Africa” in my original post is too much of a generalization. I don’t have the time to go into excessive detail about individual countries and ethnic groups, and I was trying to address erichoug’s specific concern, which appears to be the ascendancy of superstition over enlightenment values in large parts of Africa. The parts where this is most concerning also tend to be the areas that have suffered the most instability, partly as a result of colonialism.

    In case you haven’t noticed, the “foreign ideas” I mentioned in general are not just being rejected in Africa — they’re under attack all over the world, including the countries of their origin (see Ed’s posts on Russia’s anti-gay laws).

    Of course I have noticed. In fact I will do you one better: they will always be under attack all over the world. There will never be a time when the fight for rationality and individual rights is simply over. There will always be assholes like Scott Lively and Raging Bee who advocate irrational policies that curtail individual rights and reject any need for actual evidence of those policies’ effectiveness or value, just because feeling righteous gives them a sweet rush of endorphins. But those attacks take different forms in different places, and those forms are the result of the that area’s specific history. It’s impossible to understand modern Africa without understanding the legacy of colonialism. A continent that has been occupied by outsiders funneling wealth away from its people and propping up dictators and warlords for their own purposes for hundreds of years doesn’t recover from the effects over night.

    This is a white, European religion and culture in a white-dominated, non-African country having success in convincing adherents to do exactly what the white, non-African theologians said that they wanted to do from the beginning.

    And there is a reason that those white, non-African theologians have targeted and had disproportionate success in African communities even in a white-dominated, non-African country. Ignoring this fact is sticking your head in the sand. It’s not some freaky coincidence that the communities most susceptible to this rhetoric are not representative of the cultural makeup of Britain as a whole. I guarantee you there are more African immigrants than, say, Portuguese immigrants to Britain who have been convinced to stop taking their HIV drugs.

    we should totally just ignore where the problem comes from and focus on Africa.

    I was not trying to say that we should ignore the source of the problem. My goal was to lay it squarely at the feet of white, non-African theologians conmen, who have been plying their trade in Africa for centuries and are currently enjoying an explosion of success on that continent and amongst its emigrants. If you took my comment that way, then I’m sorry. Perhaps I could have been more clear. I was only trying to be helpful by answering a question that was asked.

  27. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @erichoug

    This is not a UK problem, it is a problem in the African community in the UK.

    And thus it is completely inappropriate to stereotype/draw general conclusions about the UK for people following the cultural values and superstitions born in the UK to ethnic English, Welsh & Scots whites.

    What’s super-duper appropriate in the case of this totally non-generalizable problem is to stereotype/draw general conclusions about Africa.

    Because, reasons.

  28. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @erichoug

    I’m going to deal with a couple of points here that I wanted separate from my post in 27. Because the point is and has always been not that it is stupid or inappropriate to ask what is going wrong in Africa, but that it is bullshit -and racist- when behavior that white people originate and practice and promote, undertaken by both whites and Blacks in the UK, is seen as a reason to go off on Africa without even mentioning or considering the fact that the problem both originally started AND is currently occurring in white dominated UK at the teaching of white people leading the Pentacostal movement. The story is specific that the problem is not limited to the African community, but over and over you attempt to pretend that it is limited to the African community. This is a white cultural practice and accompanying, justifying superstition causing this problem. But your response – and your **ONLY** response, was WTF Africa.

    That is a racist refusal to look at the obviously related white problems coupled with a racist insistence on focussing on Black/African problems. It is the basic problem of looking away that I address in #5, #16, & #21, #23, & #27. It really shouldn’t take that many posts, but apparently it does because you still don’t understand that the central criticism is that you haven’t raised a single reason why **this post** deserves a WTF Africa.

    But now I’ve beaten that to death, and yet I still find I have to address specific things – misinformation or delusions or whatever – that may actually explain *why* you respond with WTF Africa to the problems of a white-originated, white-led religion, with white-prescribed rules against medical care, practiced in a white-dominated and white-ruled country by people of multiple ethnicities.

    The religion was introduced by Christian missionaries and Africa has become one of the strongholds of Christinaity in this planet. But, the same could be said for south America and the aren’t chopping up little kids because they think their Witches. The same could be said for Vietnam and they aren’t cutting off men’s penises to make virility drugs.

    First, wtF makes you think that they aren’t chopping up little kids in South America because of accusations of witchcraft? They certainly are. It is distressingly, depressingly common to see the killing of gender variant kids because gender variance is a sign of a pact with Satan and therefore witchcraft – which the European-imposed local religion of Christianity says is a capital crime.

    In Africa, accused witches are killed because a cow gets sick. In South America, accused witches get killed because a gender rule gets broken. Culturally exactly how things happen is different, but your assertion is a flat out falsehood. And a breaking of gender rules isn’t the only thing that will get you killed by superstitious Christian South Americans worried about the power of Satan. It’s just one of the better reported.

    Second: They aren’t cutting off men’s genitals to make virility drugs in Vietnam? Okay, maybe. I don’t personally know of any cases in Vietnam where such has happened, though I don’t know of any cases in Africa either, so I suppose I’ll have to take your word for it that virility-drug related human-penis-violence exists in Africa and nowhere else. Provisionally. I’m open to evidence otherwise.

    But lets make no bones about it: China and SE Asia – including Vietnam – are where it’s at for killing things to make virility drugs. Tigers, rhinos, certain monkeys, and more have all been slaughtered in such numbers as to render many local populations extinct. While sometimes prevention of attacks on humans or crops has been given as a reason for the campaigns of death, the industrial scale killing has been primarily motivated by “traditional medicine”. According to Wikipedia (source document not entirely obvious)

    In Vietnam, almost three-quarters of the tigers killed provide stock for Chinese pharmacies.

    I fail to see how the fact that some obsessive African penis superstition small enough to escape my notice is evidence of a unique problem with Africa when an obsessive Asian penis superstition is large enough to account for 3/4 of the slaughter of an emotionally, culturally, scientifically, and ecologically valuable species of animal – just in the country you happened to randomly hold up as NOT affected by horrid penis-related superstition.

    Sure the penis-superstition to which you have attested is human specific (if I read your comment correctly) in the part eaten, but they both are about eating penises to gain sex-power.

    Is there some country where 3/4 of the murder of human males is to gain body parts for consumption as medicines, the most important and profitable of which is the penis?

    I’m waiting.

    You see, if you make your claim specific enough, you can claim that a problem is unique to Africa – or wherever. Based on your testimony, eating human penis for the sake of virility is done only in Africa. Okay. But eating penis for the sake of virility isn’t.

    Polluting the Niger delta is done only in Africa – and if I researched the specific chemical cocktail involved, that would probably be unique as well, allowing me to reference spilling that cocktail as “unique to Africa” in a way that superficially appears neutral. But the horrific pollution of the Ob river just on the Asia side of the Europe/Asia divide is completely unique to Russia – and the specific cocktail of pollutants would be, too.

    I have never contended that Africa doesn’t have many problems.

    I have contended that it is racist to use a white-created problem in the white-dominated UK that disproportionately affects Black immigrants to the UK as evidence that it’s Africa that is fucked up.

    Then when you are battling back from that non-sequitur you use two specific pieces of evidence to portray Africa as messed up beyond other regions.

    1. A falsehood
    2. A superstition that is unique only in a trivial sense – unless you really believe that there is something magic about human penis that makes it worse for someone to consume human penis in a failed quest for virility than it is to consume tiger penis or monkey penis in a false quest for virility.

    I will, finally, point out that neither of these could even remotely be considered evidence that pentecostal rejection of scientific medicine is a problem of African origin.

    So here we are. Do you still believe that pentecostalism is symptom of a uniquely African propensity (for whatever, perhaps you would say misery)?

    If not, then we are in agreement.

    If yes, why the F haven’t you show any evidence of this? Shouldn’t I be able to benefit from your unique insight into the history and spread of pentecostal beliefs about scientific medicine? Why should the light of your knowledge be kept from us on this thread?

    Let’s hear it.

  29. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @lofgren, who said:

    I was not trying to say that we should ignore the source of the problem. My goal was to lay it squarely at the feet of white, non-African theologians conmen, who have been plying their trade in Africa for centuries and are currently enjoying an explosion of success on that continent and amongst its emigrants. If you took my comment that way, then I’m sorry. Perhaps I could have been more clear. I was only trying to be helpful by answering a question that was asked.

    We are in agreement except to the extent that your statement implied that I hadn’t noticed that the culturally African communities were disproportionately represented in pentecostalism and among the victims and/or that this disproportionate representation in any way justifies erichoug’s WTF Africa comment.

    If you did not intend this implication, then we are in full agreement.

    There are a lot of things that justify WTF Africa. The existence and/or practices of pentecostalism aren’t among them. The article itself provides no particular evidence for understanding the problem as uniquely African. Therefore erichoug’s statement was a non-sequitur, and his WTF Africa response unjustified – in this particular case, by this particular article.

  30. says

    It’s usually useful to understand the source of a problem when devising a tactic to combat it…

    Not in this case — “colonialism” is not the source of either African superstition or present-day white Christian charlatanism.

    But aside from that, knowing history is just kind of interesting and useful to some people.

    Yeah, you just want to change the subject to talk about something that’s more “interesting” to you than the original topic.

    It’s not “interesting” to me because I’ve heard it before — it’s the kind of generic recitation some people tend to rattle off to pretend they have something to contribute, without actually addressing the issue that was originally being discussed.

    And it’s not really all that “useful” either — notice how it’s taken us AWAY from the original subject of a present-day injustice?

    And in all honesty, it’s also just a little bit racist. Not the “hard” racism of hate and malice, but more the “softer” racism of dull laziness and unseriousness toward problems in a far-away region.

    I was not aware that there was any chance we were going to resolve the issue of superstition in Africa in the comments of Ed’s blog.

    The blog post serves to draw at least a little more public attention to a grotesque and harmful scam, and that, in itself, is part of a solution. Why are you trying to draw attention away from the scam? And if you think this blog thread is useless, then why are you in it at all?

  31. says

    In answer to erichoug’s question “WTF is wrong with Africa?” the best quick-and-dirty blog-comment answer I can offer is: BAD LUCK. Sometimes a particular country or region — otherwise a civilized place capable of dealing with its problems responsibly — just gets hit with a lot of coincident circumstances, both homegrown and imported, that come together and interact and reinforce each other to form a perfect shitstorm of too many problems and too few available remedies. Something like that happened in Germany in the 1930s, and they ended up with Hitler. Large chunks of the Muslim world are getting it, and it’s creating a political culture of irresponsibility and undisciplined violence. The USA is getting it too, though we still have time to get ourselves out of it if we dare. And then there’s Afghanistan. African people aren’t unusually bad or helpless, they’re just having a very unlucky few decades.

  32. Pierce R. Butler says

    … Pastor T B Joshua, Nigeria’s third richest clergyman.

    Can we haz a listing of US clergy ranked by wealth? Please please please?

  33. Paul Mathew says

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  34. says

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  35. Michael Heath says

    Lara Lolla,

    Citation requested empirically and independently validating your claims. Currently you come across as someone that’s delusional regarding the actual facts.

    Also, I recommend the use of periods to create sentences.

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