Benin : Benin's Voodoo Children

Astrologer4U

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Thank you Sister!:couple:

I don't think the children are in danger either. But i do think a parent has a right to decide what direction they want their children to go. I also agree with everything else you've shared with me...with the exception of dismissing it until i'm 100% sure it's not true.


In response to the bolded part, I agree with that part but most African people don't worry about their children being looked out after by other Africans, unless they have been influenced by Europeans. We saw no proof, nor heard any proof that the parents had no say so in the decision making of what was taking place with their children.

I have to go back and see what video that was but in one of those videos, the white guy gave a strong impression that one of those women could not see her child anymore but then the woman points out to him which child was hers during a visit with the child where the child came to see her. It was the part where three girls came in hunched over and they left in the same way. The part where the white guy said the girl had no name. He wasn't being honest, he was giving us his own impression of things which was obvious.
 

PurpleMoons

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In response to the bolded part, I agree with that part but most African people don't worry about their children being looked out after by other Africans, unless they have been influenced by Europeans. We saw no proof, nor heard any proof that the parents had no say so in the decision making of what was taking place with their children.

I don't mind my child being looked after by others i trust either. But that doesn't mean i'm good with someone taking my child and saying i have no choice in the matter. In Ancient African cultures, perhaps some felt they didn't have a choice whether they agreed with it or not. It’s a new day and more options are available for common folks. This is not to say all options are good, but I’m not going to complain about having the right to decide for myself.


I have to go back and see what video that was but in one of those videos, the white guy gave a strong impression that one of those women could not see her child anymore but then the woman points out to him which child was hers during a visit with the child where the child came to see her. It was the part where three girls came in hunched over and they left in the same way. The part where the white guy said the girl had no name. He wasn't being honest, he was giving us his own impression of things which was obvious.

I went back and looked again also. I see where I misunderstood something also. The children in the video that was “said” to be taken out of their homes, all had parents who at some point needed the assistance of the Priest/Priestess. They all knew what was at stake for relying on such. So you are right again Sister. The parents who children were scheduled for initiation did in fact know the price before hand. I stand corrected about children being randomly taken from their homes.

As for the woman who went to see her child, she said she wasn’t allowed to talk with her, not see her. The reporter did say she didn’t have a name, but that’s only because she’s in transition. She is to be initiated and reborn in a new spirit and name. It still doesn’t take away from the probability that many of these parents may be selling their children to pay for initiations.

I know we have a mess of ills to deal with here in the americas, but these are our people also. Should we dismiss their hardships because a white mans agenda is to destroy their traditional practices of Voudun; Or force them to lower the fees for initiation? Someone once said to me “every brown person is not my Brother or Sister.” Does not this also ring true for African belief systems? Is every African initiated system just and correct?

In this particular instance, for me, it’s not even about the practice. It’s about raising the money to be apart of the practice. Forget the reporter perspective for a minute. If you aren’t financially stable, would you be willing to sell a few of your children to pay for initiations fee’s? That is, if its even true it’s the reason some parents are selling them in the first place.

If I were a Voudun Priestess, struggling to keep my Ancient Tradition alive, I may consider adjusting the fees to preserve my people first. Fore without the people, the tradition will die any ways.

:heart:
 

Astrologer4U

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I went back and looked again also. I see where I misunderstood something also. The children in the video that was “said” to be taken out of their homes, all had parents who at some point needed the assistance of the Priest/Priestess.

Voodoo for Benin people is a spiritual education, it is the only common education outside of western education in that area. In Benin, you either go to voodoo school, or get western education. The Africans who want to preserve their culture choose the voodoo school, they are not forced to choose it and that is the lie that is being portrayed in the videos that we saw. The little girl who was special needs, you know she was going to have a lot of problems in that western school because of the kinds of facilty's and what looked to be low staffing that they had, the voodoo school was the only choice and from the looks of it, the little girl was being treated like Queen, regardless to her obvious challenged issues :)

:fyi: And we don't know what that was in the glass that they was giving that girl, nor do we know why they was giving it to her.

As for the woman who went to see her child, she said she wasn’t allowed to talk with her, not see her.

Oh okay well that sheds some light on a lot then. If I am not mistaken, not speaking to family or friends is a part of the initiation process. However, the white man was not going to look for a legitimate reason behind why the child could not speak to her mother because he don't want legitimate reasoning, he wants to make things look bad. Did you see how he looked at the camera and said "she just said that she can't talk to her child but she pointed to which child is hers there she is" he was doing that all conspicuously as to convey something negative. If the mother was not able to speak to the child because she was being punished for not being able to pay the voodoo school, don't you think the voodoo school would just go on ahead and punish the mother by not letting her see the child as well? We can see that the girls came in how they did all hunched over and things because that is a part of the initiation process. The girls heads were down so that they could not look at their family because the eyes speak. Being able to go days without talking shows a great deal of discipline and I am sure discipline is the purpose as it is in most African cultures.

The reporter did say she didn't have a name, but that’s only because she’s in transition. She is to be initiated and reborn in a new spirit and name. It still doesn't take away from the probability that many of these parents may be selling their children to pay for initiations.

If the whole thing is that the voodoo school is being greedy by robbing the Benin people, as the reporter try's to make things seem, why would the voodoo school take the children away from their parents because the parents can not pay for the schooling? I don't want no kids in my daycare that parents ain't paying me for cause I sure as heck, can't take care of them, feed them and clothe them on my salary. My salary depends on the parents paying me, you get what I am saying? I don't need extra mouths to feed if I ain't getting paid for those mouths.

I know we have a mess of ills to deal with here in the americas, but these are our people also. Should we dismiss their hardships because a white mans agenda is to destroy their traditional practices of Voudun; Or force them to lower the fees for initiation? Someone once said to me “every brown person is not my Brother or Sister.” Does not this also ring true for African belief systems? Is every African initiated system just and correct?



Every African initiation maybe or may not be just and correct, either way, it is not for the white man to decide or plant seeds into other peoples heads to decide. It is not really for us to decide either. Those people are just as human as we are, they can do things for themselves if they see fit. If they could use some assistance from us, there would be nothing wrong in us helping them, but we can do that without making these people look like they can't help themselves. White people tend to treat non white people as though they should be looked down upon and felt sorry for, that's not how to help people.

There are plenty of social ills taking place in Europe that this man could be reporting but he is not. If your backyard ain't clean, why would you be trying to clean someone else's backyard out? There is nothing wrong with helping people to clean their backyards out, but if your backyard is still dirty, that would be rather hypocritical I think. If you are going to be pointing fingers at someone else, be sure that there are no fingers pointing back at you.

When I say you, I am not talking about you Purple, I am talking about people who do the kinds of things the reporter in the videos is doing.


Astrologer4U
 

Blackbird

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You know in this Vodou stuff I had no choice in the matter either. My life was a living hell, something a few people call the crisis of initation. I was being called by the Vodu or the Lwa, whichever you prefer. My ancestors, through their connections in Africa, were Vodou practitioners and because their blood flowed through my veins, the Vodou recognized me and called me out. Did I come to Vodou, initally, as a willing participant? Hell no. I wanted no parts in such a belief. Can I say that my quality of life has improved since I came to Vodou? Yes sir and ma'am. Most people in Vodou resisted. There is a phrase that says "You don't choose Vodou; Vodou chooses you."

We don't know what the circumstances are or were for these children to go to the "convents"? There could have been some family obligations to attend to? The kids themselves could have suffered from some "incurable" illness and as such needed to be devoted to the Vodu? Or the children had been separated out as devotees via divination, possession or dreams?

The fees - ah yes, the fees are expensive and at times, when you have greedy individuals downright oppressive, but the fees for entry are a part of the experience. The fees cover anything from materials, room and boarding, food, labor and travel expenses. The charging of fees are, albeit monetary, a symbolic way of expressing sacrifice for a "grander" (whatever that may be in th eyes, hearts and minds of the initiate) life in Vodou.

I've known Americans who went over to initiate being confined to convents and such to emerge as "powerful" priests and priestesses. Each one states its part of the process and what they have gained in knowledge justifies their ordeals. I can't say although I have went through my trials as a Vodouisant.

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Blackbird

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I propose we, those of us financially able to, go on a fact finding trip to Benin so we can get the official word of the street. Why? Because the crux of this discussion lies in one thing we haven't addressed because of fear and that is the possible moral inferiority or backwardness of African people. Why?

This particular story is about the Vodun convents in Benin and Togo, but there are other reports throughout Africa of the same types of behavior and they are only just within "traditional African beliefs".

The Murides of Senegal and some of the other Islamic tariqas are reported to persuade parents to send their children through religious authority and extortion to abusive Koranic schools. Sometimes the malam will kidnap or buy the children.

Certain Christian groups in Africa are alleged to participate in the same thing. So here we are - poised to asked the question are African people less compassionate, children-centric or tolerant than Europeans? Do we have less of a moral constitution than other people's that we are willing to abuse or scar children in public because of greed and maliceness parading as religious piety and devotion?

So let's cut to the chase and ask the real question behind this thread - Are African people geneticaly, morally and cognitively inferior to whites?

Blackbird
 

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