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Crazy Leaders Or Charismatic ?

 His Excellence Is Just Another Who Mastered The Art Of Manipulation

Jamaicans have become shocked at what took place at this so-called Pathways the International Kingdom Restoration Ministries church in Montego Bay. This type of organization with its charismatic leader is not new to Jamaica. 

Jamaicans have got caught up with obeah men, science men, charismatic church leaders, charismatic political leaders, and also gang leaders.  You might have heard the story of Bedward from August Town, the revivalist leader. I understand that he had a vast following. The story is that he had planned to take off like a bird one day to heaven. I understand that state officials locked him away in the Bellevue hospital because he was declared to be insane. Some persons have said that Bedward was not mad, it is because the state feared the power and attention that he was getting why he was locked up. (This is a story passed down and is not necessarily an accurate story.)
Some persons can manipulate others. Our society is fast becoming dysfunctional and it seems that many of our people are easily manipulated by these manipulative leaders. 


Politicians Have Been Masters Also

Turn your minds back to the 1980s. Many will not want to admit it, but our political leaders have manipulated the minds of our people to the extent that some of us hated our mothers and fathers, our brothers and sisters and we turned against one another in such a vicious way never before seen in this country. Many sang we will follow wi leaders until we die. Some vowed to die for their leader and they did. In 1980 approximately 800 persons died due to political violence.

The Gang Leader Have Been Masters Too

You will recall when Zeeks a convicted criminal was detained and this resulted in Kingston the capital being locked down for a day. The police had to hand over power to Zeek and Zeeks became almost the Commissioner of Police. Zeeks was given a bull horn to address the crowd and the crown heeded his command to clear the streets.  Tivoli area leader Dudus was referred to by many as if he was a God. Women took to the streets in Tivoli to defend their one and only Dudus during that period before his deportation to the USA. I see these personalities as cult leaders. People literally ate everything out of their hands like any animal.

Some Business  Leaders, Teachers And Others Behave Like Cultists

Some business organizations are operated like cults. While these leaders might not fit the traditional description of a cult leader, they do exhibit certain similar behavior – do as I say or leave and you must subscribe to my philosophy or leave immediately.

At one high school in Kingston some years ago, a male teacher had the boys all over him. He was certainly a very charismatic person and he, like Kevin Smith, made sure that he was seen with well-known personalities. I remember that he was to get married and one of the young boys who was closely attached to him became depressed and the youngster cried like a baby. The wedding never came off.

The challenge is that it is very difficult to have the police deal with these cults because no one is willing to come forward and report anything. I tried my best to stop that teacher from working with young people but with his influence and contacts, he was able to get a job at another school. I must point out that it is my understanding that he was removed from the teaching staff of the school that he was at when I met him. Can you imagine, he had these young boys in his flat as if they were his roommates!


Families Too

The way some families operate, I would classify them as cults. I have been told of how some Jamaicans have dictated how their family members think, eat and which religion they believe in. I have seen the results of such off-springs who are sometimes bitter against their past and they have great difficulties socializing with others.

The Churches

Many of these cult leaders start out as believable religious leaders and then after a while, it seems as if the demon starts to take the better of them. I am aware of a deceased church leader who treated the church as an extension of his bedroom. There was no proof of what he was doing but the whole district was talking about his activities. He adopted a few young girls and they lived with him. He was divorced and he just liked to keep little girls around him. He had a helper who had a child I was told and the helper went away to the United Kingdom. The story is that she left her son with him and that son grew up to have an uncanny look of the Minister. There were many other stories about him. He eventually married one of his adopted daughters.

Dealing With These Cults Or Manipulative Leaders

The best way to deal with this challenge is to include matters in school life that will make young people aware of these cults. Our education system is all about preparing persons to get a job and little is taught to young people to prepare them for the real and dangerous world.

While I grew up in rural Jamaica, stories that I was told by older people, prepared me for these cultists. I was told some terrible stories about black-heart man, tek way man, and obeah man. At high school during my Religious Education classes, we had discussions about groups such as hippies, religion, and matters about just growing up.

Having Laws To regulate churches and other organizations I don’t believe will solve the problem. We need to have our sociologists, our psychiatrists, and our psychologists, and others looking at this phenomenon and see what we need to do for society so that cultists will not find fertile grounds.

Let’s Hear From The Sociologist, The Psychiatrists And The Historians

The idea of a cult and the dangers of a cult is not something to be discussed only by politicians. We need to hear from our sociologists and our psychiatrists for example. What is happening to our country? Is it becoming a fertile breeding ground for more cults? Is this thing a phenomenon that the police can deal with or do we need more social workers on the ground? Do we have enough social workers? These are some things that we have to think about. Not just make this thing a nine-day wonder.

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