Isaiah Oke

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Template:Unreliable sources BLP sources Isaiah Oke (born 1940) was a Nigerian shaman and sorcerer who eventually rejected sorcery and became the subject of a 1989 autobiographical book titled Blood Secrets, as told to Joe Wright.[1][2]

Early life

Isaiah Oke was born in the village of Ils-Ilen, Nigeria into a family of well-known witchdoctors, or “shamans”, also known as West African Vodou or Yoruba religion. His grandfather was a high-ranking shaman, known as a “babalorisha”, and Isaiah was raised to take his place some day and preserve his legacy. In the book Blood Secrets, Oke details his ordeals as part of his training, beginning at age 10, in which he had to allow a (defanged) poisonous snake to crawl on him while nude, among other ordeals. His grandfather sent Oke to school to learn to read and write, in order that he might write down the rituals and spells of Ju Ju so that they wouldn’t be lost. Upon entering adulthood, Oke was initiated as a babalawo, and was required to wear a thong-like undergarment 24 hours a day without ever being allowed to take it off during his lifetime. Oke was very feared and revered among the people of his village. Oke claimed even his own father was afraid to look him directly in the eye, fearing his supposed magic powers.

The Yoruba religion

The Yoruba religion is the religion of the Yoruba-speaking people of Nigeria, and is the parent religion of Santeria, Palo, and Voodoo religion[3][4][5] found mostly in South American countries such as Brazil, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. The gods and goddesses worshipped in this religion are called “orishas”,[6][7] just as they are in Santeria and diverse daughter religions. Voodoo originated with the Dahomey speaking people of Africa, and has different but similar gods and goddesses from the Yoruba religion and has many similar practices and beliefs as well. A god both the Yoruba religion and Voodoo have in common is "Baba Legba" the gate keeper.[8] Oke trained under a man known as “Dr. Drago”. Drago was a financially successful shaman because he commercially produced and sold “magical” products, such as gambling soap, oils, powders, and the like. In America, similar items are sold through occult supply houses. One day during the training, Oke was horrified when he was made to participate in a human sacrifice with Dr. Drago, an African Army Colonel, and two soldiers present. The victim was an unidentified white man who spoke with a British accent. The ritual was known as “the 200 cuts”, and was usually performed on a goat. According to Oke, animal sacrifices are usually quick, to keep the animal from suffering unnecessarily, but the 200 cuts ritual is different: the animal is slowly skinned alive, with 200 strips of skin being pulled from its body. Drago performed the actual skinning, but the final cut that killed the victim - by slashing his throat - was performed by Oke, who thinks the victim was probably dead already. The sacrifice was performed at the behest of the Colonel, who hoped that the soul of the man would become his Iko Iso, or “spirit slave”.

Studying under Drago greatly enhanced Oke's reputation as a shaman, and he made a comfortable living.[9] Isaiah Oke was sent to a university in Lagos, Nigeria, to study accounting. Oke’s grandfather had chosen the career for him believing it was “how white people made their money”, as his grandfather put it. While at college, the students treated Oke with utmost respect, fearing his “Mystical abilities”. A black teenage American girl who is called simply “Janet” in the book "Blood Secrets" offended him on a certain day, and Isaiah Oke decided to hex her. The hex was supposed to give her stomach ailments, but failed to work. He then tried another hex, this time involving tying a monkey’s paw to the doorknob of her house. The next day, the girl angrily confronted Oke, and flung the severed paw at him. She dressed him down in front of several students and the Dean, which further caused him loss of face, as well as paying clients. Determined to hex her, he tried a 4-day ritual to summon the ultimate power, involving ; fasting, narcotic herbs, and staying all day nude inside a hollow tree, this process eventually was futile. Oke After this, became disillusioned with his current religion and threw away his work materials pertaining to the Yoruba religion.

Religion conversion

Now crestfallen, Isaiah Oke asked Janet what the secret of her power was, Janet responded by saying that she was a Christian. Isaiah Oke became curious about the religion, and began attending regular church services. This combined with his western college education lead him to realize that Janet was right and that Voodoo was a superstition, and that the spirits he and other Voodoo practitioners sometimes saw were the result of narcotic herbs and hysteria. When Isaiah Oke returned to his village, his grandfather was furious he had rejected the Voodoo religion for Christianity. He ordered him to be killed the next morning. Oke fled for his life and settled in a city miles away. A supposed spiritual problem battled him seriously during his stay at the city, this was said to be a result and consequence for abandoning his original religion.

Eventually his grandfather died from along with a cousin that wanted him dead.

Controversy

Isaiag Oke caused an uproar in his society when he postulated that most individuals with the AIDS virus contacted it due to supernatural forces or powers. Isaiah Oke claimed that the Yoruba religion at times involved the handling and ingesting of raw animal blood, and sometimes even human blood, and that transfusions and unsafe sex alone can’t explain the spread of AIDS in the Dark Continent. Oke personally knew of one village that had about 1000 people, but within 10 years the population was down to just 50 because of deaths from AIDS. While even non-Christian Yoruba people think people should be chaste until they are married, Voodoo rituals make it possible for people to have unprotected sex with multiple partners, claiming later that they were unable to control themselves because they were “possessed by a spirit”. Oke thinks the claims of possession are just excuses to have unprotected, premarital sex.

In the late 1980s Oke was asked to speak in America on several radio and television talk shows. An anthropologist once rebuked Oke during a radio interview, claiming that the Yoruba religion did not involve animal or human sacrifice. Oke explains the rituals that tourists and anthropologists pay to see aren’t the same ones they perform privately. Oke isn’t the first person to make such a claim about African religious rituals. Similar things have also been said by practitioners of American Voodoo about Voodoo rituals they perform for tourists. Western occultists dislike Oke because he abandoned the Voodoo religion for Christianity. In Blood Secrets, Oke equates the Voodoo religion with American Satanism, based on what he saw on the Geraldo TV special that aired in the 1980s, although the Geraldo special was greatly criticized because it accepted practically any outrageous claim and is credited with starting the “Satanic Panic” Critics say Oke is thus “demonizing” his former religion, literally. But one orisha called Esu, also spelled Exu, (pronounced er-SHOO) is identified with Satan by both followers of Ju Ju and Qumbanda.[10]

In 2001, the Yoruba religion which basically has exact elements of Voodoo religion and Santeria religion became the subject of public attention in the UK when the body of a decapitated child was found floating down the River Thames, horrifying onlookers. Forensics determined the child (named “Adam” by UK police, after Adam Walsh) was of Nigerian origin, and that the child had been killed as part of a ritual. In 2005 the investigation lead to the arrest of several Nigerian nationals and uncovered a child slavery ring based out of Benin. Police discovered some children were specially imported just to be human sacrifices, bearing out many things Oke had claimed two decades prior.[11]

References

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