Tools of Bondage
Since the unholy contact of the continent of Africa with Europeans and Arabs occurred over five hundred years ago, the people of Africa have been in bondage. It is true the bondage of slavery was physical and visible but the psychological bondage that is much more stronger and deadlier is invisible to the larger population. It is therefore very easy for African apologists to discountenance the impact of the psychological bondage as untrue since it is not a physically provable phenomenon. The greatest weapon of bondage or of freedom, interestingly, is our beliefs or philosophies. A philosophy robed in lies and fears is a potent tool for holding a people in perpetual bondage. On the reverse, a philosophy couched in truth and love has the tendency to promote freedom that can help a people to attain their true potentials in life as designed by nature. However, it is very sad that the African religious fundamentalists, even the supposedly educated among them, are yet to see religion as a kind of philosophy, albeit a dangerous type.
Religion is a dangerous philosophy because unlike true philosophy it forbids dialogue and reflection. It is averse to any form of alternate hypothetical propositions on truth. It has the habit of claiming exclusive right to a final and absolute truth. Whereas philosophy thrives best under a climate of freedom of expression that accords due respect to alternative thesis on any version of discovered or revealed truth, religion, on the other hand, only encourages a dogmatic and a robotic followership of the tradition of belief as laid down by its founding fathers. This rigid faith in tradition inadvertently breeds fanaticism that thrives on narrow-mindedness in respect of all issues that pertain to the meaning of life. As it were, religion has succeeded in drawing a tight blanket on the senses of followers and has forestalled the reception of other forbidden versions of truth.
As mentioned earlier, every writer has a grand motive for setting himself on the arduous task of writing. The motive could be one or a combination of any of the following: money, patriotism, honour, prestige, power, love, hate, vanity, etc. The love for a people of common heritage could inspire a writer to write beautiful prose, poem, eulogy and hymn to unite them around a common cause in the progress of the society. Similarly, the awareness of the role of peace and harmony as a social capital can inspire a political analyst to devote his life to the search for the elixir theory of political ideas and practices of organisation and institutions that will enhance the administration of a geographical space.
For the politically conscious and power grabbers, religion is the first among equals of political tools that have been identified as capable of establishing a perfect control over a society that would raise little or no resistance from the people under governance. For religion has the unique advantage of establishing a rigid regime of fear of the gods, of formalising a catalogue of taboos and superstitions, and of institutionalising social processes for spiritual and physical reward and punishment. Religion is the most powerful of all acknowledged political tools because the institution of priesthood that accompanies it ensures that every vision and policy directive is spiced up as a divine revelation from heaven. Woe betides any member of the conclave who questions the priest on the truth or otherwise of the blatantly obvious self-serving revelations. In-the-Name-of-God or thus-says-the-Lord has the power to silence all common sense dissenters.
As a part of the instrument of political governance and psychological dominance of a people or peoples, the two common foreign religions in Africa have some valuable concepts that the practitioners have since assimilated as absolute truth. The concepts of ‘holy book’, ‘holy land’, ‘chosen people’ and ‘original sin’ are powerful tools of bondage to which every African religious practitioner has willingly submitted. The psychology of religion dictates that as a political tool, its creators must ensure that the belief systems and its theology are not built on knowledge of provable phenomena.
Religion flourishes better when the historical accounts of its beginning are dressed in beautifully constructed but non-provable legends. The procedure of accepting anybody into the cult of any belief is the willingness of the novice to accept unconditionally the key concepts of the faith even before he/she has time to understand what they mean. Also, seriously recommended and demanded, is total obedience and absolute loyalty both to the members of the priesthood and to the key concepts of faith. When a convert expresses doubt on the truth or otherwise of the concepts he/she is gently counselled to exercise more faith in the promises outlined in those holy books. If the convert’s doubt persisted he/she may face open excommunication or covert isolation from the group of faithful.
To accept unconditionally the concepts and precepts that accompany holy book, holy land, and chosen people automatically put a burden of an unalloyed reverence for the people so chosen, for the book they wrote and for the land where they live. Karen Armstrong argues in A History of God, that “The myth of a Chosen People and a divine election has often inspired a narrow, tribal theology from the time of the Deuteronomist right up to the Jewish, Christian and Muslim fundamentalism that is unhappily rife in our own day” . The chosen people would logically become the epitome of holiness and purity. They automatically become physically untouchable for fear of reprisal from the jealous god.
If a religious practitioner of any of the two foreign religions in Africa is well groomed on these concepts he/she eventually accepts in a psychological sense, a subservient role to the chosen people in the worship of the gods and accepts a second or third best position of rewards from the gods. He naturally aspires to visit the holy land because that is the only place to meet god so that some of the holiness of the land can rub on him/her. The believers place the chosen people who made the first contact with the gods on a pedestal above human level and accordingly unreserved respects are accorded them at all times. The books that emanated from the chosen people can never be challenged as anything else but holy. Woe betides anyone on planet earth who raises doubt on the authenticity of the claims of these books as true and unadulterated words of God.
It will be difficult for those who have no knowledge about how the mind of mankind works to understand the psychological impact these concepts would have on the total worldview of practitioners who subscribe to either Islam or Christianity. To underpin this assertion, let social researchers who have the means carry out an opinion survey among Africans on the unending Middle East crisis to evaluate their knowledge of the crisis and to identify who is right or wrong among the combating parties.
Without any doubt, the findings would show a partisan appraisal that would be based solely on religious affiliation. The Christians will readily take the side of the Jews because they see Israel as the land of the chosen people as decreed by Yahweh while Muslims will not flinch for a second as they would give their support to the Palestinians solely because they are Muslim brethren. For each of the two groups, the historical and contemporary pros and cons of the issues at stake shall be of no serious consequence in their judgement of the case.
This is a dangerous stuff, when ‘educated’ people refuse to use their intelligence as soon as an issue has a religious undertone. This is an example of the depth of intellectual decadence which these concepts can take a practitioner. It was John Stuart Mill who said, ‘He who lets the world, or his own portion of it choose his plan of life for him, has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of imitation’ . Africans, from the north to the south and from the east to the west, have indeed allowed the religious world to choose their plan of life for them. Under this unwholesome bizarre atmosphere, can Africans at this moment in history deny that their status is in any way better than that of the apes?
The concept of holy land inadvertently makes every other land on earth unholy. Similarly, the concept of a chosen people makes every one else non-chosen and therefore must be filthy, dirty and sinful. In order to partake of the gains of the holy land, a non-chosen believer who is coming through the back door will endeavour under difficult circumstances and sacrifice to put together all his/her life’s saving and may go begging if necessary, to visit the land where God resides permanently. These believers in so doing will deny their country of the much-needed foreign currencies for essential economic services. The people of the holy land without any sweat at all reap a yearly bounty from the visitors who seek holiness by visitation to holy places.
The psychological damage of accepting one’s place of birth and one’s country as an unholy place and oneself as filth is too gruesome to be contemplated. The degrading impact that the ensuing inferiority complex placed on practitioners cannot be measured. Its evidence can be glimpsed when practitioners pay visit to the embassy of the custodians of holy lands for travel permits. These practitioners start their crawling from the gate of the embassy as a sign of reverence. More grotesque obeisance continues from the airport on landing at the holy land and throughout the period of the visit. How can any African who went through this form of spiritual torture walk tall and straight thereafter as a person created in the image of God. The result of the serious psychological game is visible today in Africa where every African sees, feels and thinks himself/herself inferior to the custodian of the faith, to the missionary of the faith, and to the local and foreign curators of the faith.
This is cruel and it is nothing but a spiritual bondage. In order to resuscitate Africa from its beggarly prostrate dying position, puts a burden on all those who have seen the light of truth to expose the damaging impacts of these tools of bondage. The onus is on every African to wake up from his/her degrading slumber and claim his/her freedom from the cruel and wicked slave masters. It is our conviction that knowing the truth of why we are the way we are will surely set us on the road to freedom. The truth this writer is writing about is like a piercing arrow that on contact with your soul cannot help but to awaken it from its age-long slumber. It is our belief that the power of the universe is focusing all its attention on Africa as a new age on planet earth begins. The Creator of Heaven and Earth is aware of the nature of suffering Africa and its people have gone through in the hands of the rest of the world. It is therefore in line with one of the principal attributes of The Creator, as The Lord of Justice, to challenge and correct all the evils of the past.
This writer has no iota of doubt in his mind that all the dead souls of Africa who felt comfortable with the foreign gods will find it extremely difficult to understand the content of this discourse. The self-appointed fundamentalists of both left and right who have sucked and fed on the ignorance of the people for so long should not be expected to keep quiet. However, they need to be told that they have become vampires that gladly suck on the blood of their brothers and sisters in the name of peace, salvation and the day of judgement. It is now obvious that their zeal and passion for things of heaven are mere ruses to flourish on things of earth. Their mega-million assets curried from the wretched of the earth have shown them up for what they are – lecherous bloodsuckers.
It is because these groups of religious fundamentalists lacked the spirit of love and truth that is why they could look the poor people in the eyes as these bloodsuckers point them in the direction of heaven for solace while feeding on their wretchedness and ignorance. These bloodsuckers make promises of crowns in heaven to the poor when they have built for themselves thrones and crowns of gold on earth. These bloodsuckers continue to frighten the ignorant with the day of judgement in heaven when their lifestyles show that they don’t believe there is anything beyond this earth. These bloodsuckers ceaselessly call on the poor in spirit to trust in God when they, the experts on godly matters, have since stopped believing in God. Sorry mate, you are nothing but a pervert who have succeeded in perverting the truth revealed by those of the past. Your ways are not in anyway different from those called the Hypocrites in one of your holy books.
Mr and Mrs Born-Again Christian and Mallam, Alhaji and Alhaja the Ulema, please look around you and answer these questions, Is Africa not a religious continent? Are the people of Africa not obedient enough to your spiritual prescriptions? What else do you want the Africans to do, short of laying down their lives? By your false teachings you have succeeded in breaking up their spirit. The godly dignity bestowed on all humankind has been cruelly taken away from them. Africans have become so frightened, due to your psychological war on them, that it has become so easy for every charlatan from every part of the world to take them on a merry-go-round that leads to nowhere.
Thanks to you, His/Her Holiness Spiritual Leader, your race has since become a favourable theme for hilarious one-liner jokes among the rest of world. Your people have been called many derogatory names in the past; Africa is now referred to as The Dying Continent. We can hear you again bringing out your list of prescriptions as you mount your pulpits and minarets calling for: More Prayer! More Prayer! More Prayer! Sacrifice! Sacrifice! Sacrifice! Fasting! Fasting! Fasting! And Bigger Offering! Bigger Offering! Bigger Offering! And so the people are getting thinner but you, the spiritual leaders are sprouting robust cheekbones and rich glowing luxuriant skins.
Please, Dear Africans, whether you are in the Diaspora or on the continent, open your eyes to see the consequence of the sin of ignorance (this is the true original sin) on your lives. Open your minds to comprehend the result of what fear and gullibility have done to you. Come! Let us put to shame the enemies within and without our shores. Let us call off their bluffs. Let the power of knowledge wake you up to the true reality. The only natural power you have that can frighten off the enemy is the one found in the light of knowledge.
Knowledge is the only spiritual weapon that has the power to challenge the evil slave masters of all colours. It is only knowledge that can set you free since it is capable of offering you a free gift of supernatural courage that will enable you to challenge every evil around your vicinity. It is the contention of this writer that the salvation of Africa can never be found in religion, at least not the kinds of perversions that are being peddled around the continent. The design of these kinds of religion is made to enslave, to pauperise, to dehumanise, to belittle and to impoverish. The result of their five hundred years reign in Africa is obvious to all who are fair-minded. Africa is a shame to the Creator of Heaven and Earth.
The creator of Heaven and Earth and all the hosts of heaven cannot believe that Africa, the cradle of our world, can be reduced to this base indecent level. Africans can no longer recollect the history of the great feats that took place on their continent in the realm of knowledge development and human civilisation. The darkness in the continent has become total. Africans have become like those whose brains and minds were sucked out leaving nothing behind but shells. Africans are now leaving a zombie-like existence allowing themselves to be pushed hither and thither by the army of puppeteers in spiritual, economic and political camps.