The Trial That Gave Vodou A Bad Name

Mike Dash on the “affaire de Bizoton”:

What all this means, I think, is that vodou became a fault line running through the very heart of Haitian society after 1804. For most citizens, and especially for the rural blacks who had borne the brunt both of slavery and the struggle for independence, it became a potent symbol of old dignities and new freedoms: a religion that, as Dubois notes, helped “carve out a place where the enslaved could temporarily escape the order that saw them only as chattel property” during colonial times, and went on to “create communities of trust that stretched between the different plantations and into the towns.” For the local elite, who tended to be of mixed race and were often French-educated, though, vodou was holding Haiti back. It was alien and frightening to those who did not understand it; it was associated with slave rebellion; and (after Soulouque’s rise), it was also the faith of the most brutal and backward of the country’s rulers.

These considerations combined to help make Haiti a pariah state throughout the 19th century. Dessalines and his successor, Henry Christophe—who had every reason to fear that the United States, France, Britain and Spain would overthrow their revolution and re-enslave the population, given the chance—tried to isolate the country, but even after economic necessity forced them to reopen the trade in sugar and coffee, the self-governing black republic of Haiti remained a dangerous abomination in the eyes of every white state involved in the slave trade. Like Soviet Russia in the 1920s, it was feared to be almost literally “infectious”: liable to inflame other blacks with the desire for liberty. Geffrard was not the only Haitian leader to look for ways to prove that his was a nation much like the great powers—Christian, and governed by the rule of law.

Full Story: The Trial That Gave Vodou A Bad Name

Alejandro Jodorowsky interview – best I’ve read yet


This is an interview by Arthur Magazine editor Jay Babcock from Mean Magazine in 1999.


The Techno-Priest I write about the whole new industry of the CD-ROM, the new games in the world. The world is going to be dominated by the games, now. Video games. But more advanced than video games. They are audiogram games, no? The games directs the galaxies, and the ruler of the galaxy are the businessman, who is the Techno Priest. Business became religion.


Yeah, you have that and you don’t realize. [laughs] In America the god is the dollar, no? That is God. At one time the dollar will be sacred. And the industry will be the Church. That I am doing. Then the Techno Priest is the history of the high priest of that church, that industrial church. You need to learn to know how to make games, how to use the humanity, how to conduct the humanity to make the games, and to buy the games, etc. It is very interesting.


Yes. Last year I did in L.A. They’re doing that now. I went there and proposed, I say, Listen, I want to make this type of story, are you interested? They said, Yes, sure. I made two games of, and I am making a game of the Meta-Baron, then they are doing. I think, “There is a new artform.” Very interesting.


Yes. It is normal. Why is important? Because in the future world, the humanity will work less and less. And will have more and more time for them, the games. And then we will get bored. See my meaning? We are animals, we are bored. And then the games will be the most important thing. You know now, the world, no? All the world we have are games. We see the world through television, like games. You are in America, you know that. You have the live television—when a person is killing somebody, you see that on the television, you can follow that. Life is becoming a show, a game, no? More and more.


Yes I think it is important. An artist needs to go there.

Arthur: “In the center of the horror, of the civilization, there is the happiness to be alive.” —Jodorowsky (1999)

Haiti’s deals with devils

haiti church

Above: Haiti before the quake.

By now we’ve all heard about Pat Robertson’s implicitly racist and explicitly stupid remarks about Haiti’s deal with the devil. Here’s a piece on the history of Haiti from last May, which should give readers a better idea of who the real devils are in this story.

After a dramatic slave uprising that shook the western world, and 12 years of war, Haiti finally defeated Napoleon’s forces in 1804 and declared independence. But France demanded reparations: 150m francs, in gold.

For Haiti, this debt did not signify the beginning of freedom, but the end of hope. Even after it was reduced to 60m francs in the 1830s, it was still far more than the war-ravaged country could afford. Haiti was the only country in which the ex-slaves themselves were expected to pay a foreign government for their liberty. By 1900, it was spending 80% of its national budget on repayments. In order to manage the original reparations, further loans were taken out — mostly from the United States, Germany and France. Instead of developing its potential, this deformed state produced a parade of nefarious leaders, most of whom gave up the insurmountable task of trying to fix the country and looted it instead. In 1947, Haiti finally paid off the original reparations, plus interest. Doing so left it destitute, corrupt, disastrously lacking in investment and politically volatile. Haiti was trapped in a downward spiral, from which it is still impossible to escape. It remains hopelessly in debt to this day.

That’s right. The former slave owners demanded reparations.

What is to be done?

“There is only one solution to Haiti’s problems, and that’s mass emigration,” one senior American foreign-policy expert told me. “But nobody wants to talk about it.” So Haiti remains in debt, relieved for now, but not for ever. And the question of France repaying some or all of the compensation it extracted for Haitian independence is not even on the agenda.

Photo and quotes from Haiti: the land where children eat mud

See also: The Haiti Disaster and Superstition:

None of this explains why there was an earthquake in Haiti, which is a question for geologists, not political economists. But it does explain why a massive earthquake hits Haiti harder than it does most of the rest of the world. And it goes a long way toward explaining the rest of the more quotidien problems that effect Haiti.

Day of the Dead in London

day of the dead london

Tickets available at Dreamflesh

(via Arthur)

Technoccult TV: Cult of Zir interview

Nolon Ashley, aka Cult of Zir, talks about his music, Portland, the OTO, and the Voudon Gnostic Workbook.

Joseph the obeah man

I asked Joseph about the services he performs for his clients.

“You name it man. Anything you want done for you I will do it. If you want a visa I have something for that. If you woman leave you I can get her back for you. If you have a court case I will deal with that too,” Joseph pounded his fist into his palm as he spoke and his eyes widened with excitement. He explained that $14,000 will get you a visa to any place in the world you’d like to visit and if the love of your life was silly enough to think she could leave you and go cavorting around town with another, he would get her back for you for a measly $7,000.

I asked Joseph how he got into the white magic business in the first place.

“Well, when I was 15 somebody try work science on me. Dem put a powder in my hymn book at church and it make my head feel like it was going to tear off! I was sick bad. I decide that I wouldn’t want anybody to have that power over me again so I start to read all kind ofbooks. My father was a great science man himself as well so I learn from him and carry on the tradition. I was the only one of his children who carry on the teaching and the work for him,” Joseph said.

Full Story: Jamaica Gleaner.

(via Padre Engo)

A U.S.-Trained Entrepreneur Becomes Voodoo?s Pope

“The goat tethered to a tree outside Max Beauvoir’s home is doomed. Mr. Beauvoir, tall and majestic with closely cropped white hair, is a voodoo priest who was just named the religion’s supreme master, a newly created position that is aimed at reviving voodoo.

His grand residence on the outskirts of the Haitian capital serves as a temple for voodoo practitioners and a late-night hangout for those paying customers eager to take in an exotic evening of spiritual awakening. The temple, the P?ristyle de Mariani, is where Mr. Beauvoir and his followers dance around a giant totem to the beat of drums. It is where they light bonfires to summon the spirits. And it is where they drain the blood of animals like that scrawny white goat to, among other things, heal the sick.

On a recent night, Haiti’s voodooists convened for a special ceremony. With music blaring and devotees dancing with all their might, two children threw white rose petals on a red carpet. Then along came Mr. Beauvoir.”

(via The New York Times)

How does Lost relate to Paul Laffoley, the Invisibles, and the Voudon Gnostic Workbook?

paul laffoley time machine

Full Story: Hatch 23.

Key 23 relaunches as Key 64

Key64. Vol2 #1



EXPANDED Living the Myth by James Curcio!

Nick Pell on light, life, love and liberty!

The Return of the Enigmatic Padre Engo!

Introduction to Zoetics!

PostModern Gnosis!


Klint Finley on the not-so-secret history of Key23!

Datamancer interviewed!

Donald Tyson reviewed!

Christopher Penczak personally insulted!

ONLY in the new Key64!

The Voudon Gnostic Workbook new edition available for pre-order from… WalMart

My brain hurts. Bad.

(it’s also available for pre-order from Amazon).

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