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Post Info TOPIC: Unexplained Mysteries of Voodoo's power

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Unexplained Mysteries of Voodoo's power

In the tiny West African country of Benin, voodoo has been practised for 10,000 years, but efforts to preserve its ancient oral traditions are exacting a harsh toll on its faithful, splitting families and pushing people deeper into poverty.

Benin is unique in recognising voodoo as an official religion, followed by two-thirds of its 7.6 million people. It involves a pantheon of gods and
spirits whose intercession is sought through animal blood sacrifice. But to survive, voodoo needs a new generation to pass on sacred mysteries, so thousands of children are initiated by its priests every year. But the price of the ceremonies can be unbearable and some parents are selling their children to repay voodoo debts.

In the village of Djejbe, a nine-year-old girl shuffles, head down, issuing guttural chants. Stripped to the waist she stares at the earth scoured by her naked feet as she emerges into the courtyard of the 'voodoo convent' of Do Pa Tohizanli, one of many institutions for initiating children into the voodoo mysteries.

Thomas Azanaai, author of a report into the convent system, estimates that there are thousands of such convents. While at Do Pa Tohizanli this girl is 'dead' and has no name. Once initiated, she will be reborn and renamed once. Her mother, Adonosi Kpamegan, watches nervously. She cannot approach her daughter, who ends her song and prostrates herself before the high priest. It is forbidden for parents to have any communication with their children while they undergo initiation, a process, the priest says, that could take three months, but often lasts more than three years.

After five miscarriages, Kpamegan went to her priest 12 years ago to seek help having a child. He performed a fertility ritual for free, the Faustian bargain being that if she had a child she would bring it to the convent. But when her daughter was born, Kpamegan had no money to pay for an initiation so, she claims, they took the baby by force, only giving her back after she agreed to save the money and surrender her child later. Nine years on, she still had not saved enough. 'Then, voodoo took my daughter,' she says. 'She was possessed and ran screaming out of my house to the convent.'

The ceremonies will cost around 200, a fortune in a country where over half the population live on less than 1 a day. Kpamegan earns 12p a day as a firewood collector; her husband is unemployed.

The high priest denies enriching himself at the expense of the poor. 'The money does not come to me,' he insists. All the money, he claims, is used to buy goats and chickens and other ceremonial ingredients. The concept of reducing the cost of the sacrifices is laughable. 'When voodoo demands something of you, you cannot deny it.' Gap-toothed and elderly, he is unable to see a way forward, or even that there might be a problem.

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Well Voodoo has been in existence since the mankind.. I really dont know how it would feel to control a person sitting remotely .. Interesting though

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