Saturday, September 6, 2014
Christian concentration camps and a reviled retreat...
On July first of this year, while conversing with a co-worker of mine, I was introduced to the idea of spending some time at a 'spiritual retreat' while speaking about how I'd acquired some vacation time on my job.
When I told my co-worker that I wasn't religious, but a practitioner of the Black Spiritual Sciences, this person stated how there would be several persons there representing the practices of Yoruba, The Orishas and even a Voudun/Voodoo Babaalau; which is basically a leader of ceremonies in the Black Spiritual Sciences, something like what a priest is to christianity. So I told this person I'd think about it after they gave me a brochure about the 'retreat'.
As I read the brochure, the first thing I noticed was how this retreat would take place in the Virgin Islands; and I have family there, so that was a plus. But even before this fact, I saw the retreat facility was more of an island resort than something resembling a monastery. This was another selling point. The brochure also detailed how all faiths would be represented, up to and including the Black Spiritual Sciences. But there was one caveat. The brochure said in order to keep the ambiance of the retreat more spiritually-minded, they wanted participants to check in their cell phones, laptops and other electronic devices, so there'd be less diversions in our quests for a more intimate spiritual experience.
Just then I said no; flat out. I was hell-bent (no pun intended) on always having my laptop with me. I hate to admit this, but my computer has almost become like an appendage...I'm completely tethered to it. But recently, I'd been wrestling with the issue of my possibly being too obsessive with my laptop and this Blog; 'cause one thing I know for sure is too much of anything is not good for you. And I did want to know more about the Black Spiritual Sciences, being that I've only an intermediate knowledge of them. I'd done some book reading and video watching on the topic, but I'd never been in a consistently immersive fellowship experience with other like-minded people who practiced these sciences.
I spoke to the co-worker who originally gave me the brochure and told them about my issues with a possible obsession with my computer and Blog. They told me this would be the perfect venue to confront it in; they also assured me about how strict the retreat facility's administrators are about giving out a central emergency number that I could give to loved ones in case they needed to contact me quickly. Since we wouldn't have our cell phones, this person understood my concerns should I need to contact my family for any reason. They also said they'd witnessed instances were people had emergency calls in the past and the resort manager themselves would personally relay the caller's message to them.
It seemed all my issues with the 'retreat' had been resolved and since it would last two weeks and I had a month of vacation time due me, I agreed to go.
The flight over to the Virgin Islands was pretty uneventful and pleasant, and after we touched down safely in the V.I.(Virgin Islands), we were chauffeured to the resort. After we got to the gates of the compound, they swung open and revealed a complex replete with tennis and racket ball courts, a small golf course, a full gym, and with V.I.'s vistas as a backdrop, this place looked like what you'd see on a commercial promoting some tropical getaway. I nodded my head in approval and checked into my room.
Opening the door to my suite soothed my soul even more. The tan colored carpet seemed to be double cushioned, so every step felt like I was being buoyed on a bed of pillows; the room also had a set of well cushioned, buttery golden sofas and a nearly wall-sized flat screen TV. When I looked into the bedroom, the king size bed glowed beneath rays of sunlight coming through beige curtains that swayed in a breeze coming off the ocean; and my glances at the room's brochure said the bed's comforter and sheets were made of silk and Egyptian cotton. I strode into the bathroom to find a walk-in shower replete with several spray jets, a jacuzzi and a full vanity.
After I got some cloths out onto my bed I went into the living room and pulled back the curtains of the main windows. What stared back at me were powdery golden sands rubbed up against aqua blue translucent waters, palm trees, tanning enthusiasts slathering assorted lotions on themselves, bobbing mini yachts and jet skiers having their way with the deeper waters. It was one of those moments where you just had to be happy with life.
Moments later, the door bell rang. I wondered who it could be before a female voice called out she was one of the hotel's administrators. I peered through the door's peep hole and swung it open. I wasn't expecting a woman this attractive to be one of the resort's administrators. She was a sista I'd get to know as Kathy. And Kathy had the high grade melanated, deep chocolate, luminous skin I love on a woman. She also had almond shaped eyes, a gorgeous body, the perfect height and weight I like, and I don't know what fragrance she wore, but it seemed to be some floral mix of lilac and lavender; whatever it was, it worked.
She offered me a brochure about the spiritual seminars that would take place and which areas of the resort they'd be in. She also told me she was there to collect my laptop and cell phone. Then it made sense, they send a physically beguiling woman to disarm the patrons of their most valued possessions. She assured me they'd be placed in safe storage and told me later there would be a showing of the vault where these items would be placed for all guests. I told her I definitely would attend and in a split second I nearly forgot this was a spiritual retreat, 'cause I straight up wanted to ask this woman out. That was until I saw a glistening rock on her left-handed wedding band finger. I handed over my phone and laptop, we exchanged good evenings and she made her exit. I went to the living room, turned on the TV and wondered what lucky man had her for a wife.
Now, the brochure said one wake up call would be provided for the 9 A.M. seminars, the first of these would be at 8 A.M. I'm used to early morning wake ups, so this wasn't a problem; that was until I got my first wake up call for this seminar at 6 A.M. I told the person calling how it was inappropriate and downright rude to call me that early, it's not like I don't know how to use an alarm clock. She apologized and hung up. The next wake up call came at 7 A.M. After I asked who it was, I asked to speak with the manager. The manager gave me some silly story about how these calls were mandatory and detailed in their brochure; to which I reminded him how the brochure said one call would be made. Then I told him this was harassment and I didn't want anymore wake up calls. They stopped.
Now, being that I was tired from an interrupted night of sleep, I was not in the best spirits for the morning seminar. Again, there were three to choose from, and that morning I chose the Yoruba mysticism lecture. The auditoriums resembled any generic hotel meeting room; several austere and angular metal framed chairs, one long mahogany desk, one podium, one mic and a refreshment table off to the side replete with a 'continental' breakfast; all carbs, muffins, toast, tea and coffee. Fortunately, I had a breakfast ordered up to my room, 'cause I woke up in a quasi-bitter mood from all those wake up calls.
Much to my suprise, the Yoruba seminar started out well. The forty-something Black gentlemen presiding over the ceremony started out with a libation pouring to the ancestors which set the spiritual tone of the room correctly; there were some inbreds scattered about the room, but otherwise, I didn't have much to complain about. After that, the emcee told about the origins of Yoruba beginning in southwest Nigeria and adjacent parts of Benin and Togo; and he explained how the deity Olodumare was its divine creator of all existence, these facts I knew, but it was nice to hear them in that setting. After several minutes the speaker said how analogous these concepts were to christianity and kept his diatribe on those points. I got so pissed, I walked out. Not only was I suffering from a lack of r.e.m. sleep, but I thought I'd just got 'bait and switched' where the promise of a talk on the Black Spiritual Sciences were concerned.
Minutes later, Kathy showed up in the corridor beside my room's door. She sauntered over to me and asked, "What's the matter, didn't you enjoy the Yoruba seminar?" That's when I knew I was being watched. I asked Kathy,"How'd you know I just came out of the Yoruba seminar?" She said, as one of the facility's administrator's it was her job to see I was having a good time. The look up in her eyes told me this was a come on. This weirded me out, considering she was married; or was at least wearing a wedding ring. I told her I should have a better experience at the next one. I talked mid-stride while I headed for my door. Listen, I'm as lustful as the next guy, but one thing I won't do is take part in dismantling a marriage; especially where our people are concerned. Now, I don't know if Kathy's married to a Black man or not, quite frankly, I think she's probably married to some inbred who thinks it's cool to have an 'open' marriage; but again, on the off chance she's with a brotha, I'm not gonna' be the one to do something to harm that. If you've read my Blog for any amount of time, you'll see I don't get down like that. So after I got into my room, I locked the door and sank into the sofa; and I dearly missed and needed to be on my laptop. Then I remembered it was in the resort's vault. I then thought, maybe it was good I didn't have my computer as a crutch to fall back on. I started thinking about Ben and Jerry's ice cream and Kathy's come on. I decided to indulge in some New York Super Fudge Chunk before tuning into something salacious on Netflix.
The next day I got another 6 A.M. wake up call for the 9 A.M. seminar; then I got another at 7 A.M. After speaking to the desk clerk, I once again spoke to a supervisor and told them, if this continued I'd ask for my money back and leave the resort. After this they stopped completely.
I arrived at the morning's seminar entitled 'Reflections and revelations on the science of Voodoo'. I thought, alright, here we go, this is gonna' be powerfully dope. I think I was the first person in the auditorium, but after a few moments other people began to trickle in. Oddly enough, a white woman sat right next to me. Inwardly, I rolled my eyes. It seems I'm a magnet for the kind of white women I call 'triple O's'; they're either overweight, oversexed, old or all three. This one seemed to subscribe to the first two 'O's', but looked to be in her mid-thirties. I sensed her eyes on me, but I wasn't about to return her stare or even say hello. You see, these women think the easiest man they can get is a Black one, so they feel all they have to do is establish some sort of close proximity to us and we're suppose to melt or something.
One thing I have to say about this is, I shamefully admit, I get a perverse thrill from making a white woman seem unwanted by me. What I encounter on damn near a daily basis, is a white woman who walks towards me with her head down 'cause she doesn't want me thinking she's attracted to me. But what I always do is go out of my way to keep my eyes looking forward. 'Cause nine times out of ten, just as this white woman is about to pass me, she'll look at me; then when she sees I'm not looking at her, she'll don this perplexed look on her face, like, why aren't you looking at me? I am a white woman after all.
I SO GET OFF ON THIS!!
Again, I do shamefully admit, I love making white women feel less attractive; or I at least like letting them know, I think their pale skin is repulsive; I love to non-verbally tell them, keep walking you thin lipped, flat-assed, stringy haired degenerate. But that's just me.
Back to the seminar...A dark-skinned brotha in a dashiki came to the podium and I was like, alright bruh, come wit' it!
He also started out pouring libations, and went through a litany of outstanding ancestors; we paid homage to Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Patrice Lumumba, Amazon Queen Califia (This is the Black woman who California is named after), Harriet Tubman, Nobel Drew Ali, Tupac Shakur, Steven Biko, Kwame Nkruma, Dr. Huey P. Newton, Elijah Muhammad, etc.
The brotha then went on to say the word Voudun or Voodoo actually means 'spirit' or 'deity' in the Fon language of the ancient African kingdom of Dahomey, which is now Benin. Minutes after, he spoke on how a Voodoo ceremony preceded the Haitian revolution and gave our people the spiritual and physical might to overthrow Napoleon's occupying forces, even though we were out-manned and out-gunned; and how to this day, this revolution is credited with being the only successful slave revolt in world history. Then I experienced a bout of deja vu as this guy started talking about how this religion parallels christianity, and he started expounding on this point.
That's when I knew this was a set up. What this resort was doing was converting, or at least trying to convert, every person who believed in something other than white supremacist christianity into adopting their religion.
Once again, I got up and left the auditorium. I swung open the door to my room and went for the pint-sized remainder of my Ben and Jerry's ice cream, when I got a phone call.
And lo and behold, it was Kathy. She asked me to meet her in her office. I agreed 'cause I wanted to curse her out behind having me at the resort under false pretenses. As I left my room and traveled towards the elevator, my co-worker who got me to come to the retreat popped up. The first thing this person said was, "I'm sorry you're not liking the seminars." Right then I knew this person and Kathy were working together. Mind you, this was a person I'd worked with for the better part of a decade; we'd been to each others homes, met members of each others families and I genuinely considered this person a friend. Well, that was over. I abruptly told them I had an emergency call and brushed by them.
When I got to Kathy's office, before I could get a word in, she started asking me if I'd ever considered joining the priesthood; then she started in on how lucrative a career it could be, unbeknownst to the public. When I told her I had absolutely no interest in this, she told me I fit the profile of someone who'd do well in the priesthood. I knew this meant my co-worker had offered me up as some sort of prospect for a priestly 'training camp', and that's what this experience was and would be. I immediately went to Kathy's supervisor and asked for my money back.
After the resort's executive administrators obliged, I called a cab and got promptly off the complex and into a regular hotel. I enjoyed the remainder of my stay in the V.I. at a similar resort, minus the force fed overtones of white supremacist christianity and I got to see my family there as well.
Needless to say, I stopped talking to this co-worker completely. And to this day, this person is perplexed as to why I'm mad.
You see, the christian priesthood is in such dire financial straits, that they've been forced to employ these kind of recruitment techniques. Because their priests have been exposed for the pedophiles and generally mentally unstable posers they really are; so no one in their right minds, or at least no young person in their right minds, wants to be associated with them anymore.
And thinking back on it, I remembered telling my co-worker how I was fond of darker skinned women, that's probably why Kathy was recruited to 'attend' to me; and when that didn't work, they probably sicced one of their resident white women on me, this was the overweight and oversexed woman who sat next to me during the Voodoo seminar. And if you're thinking, yo MontUHURU, you're just trippin', I'd say I wouldn't put this past them if they were that hard up for Black men to go into the priesthood.
Think about it, why wouldn't they want more Black men in the priesthood, firstly, it would add some cool points to the papacy; if for no other reason that we wouldn't hold stuffy and technical prayer services, we'd make our message relevant and practical for people. And, if for no other reason, the mainstream public knows that the overwhelming majority of Black men don't practice pedophilia. They also know, we're less likely to be homosexuals, 'cause our melanated minds won't allow us to indulge in these deviant sex acts so easily. So, it would be a win-win for white supremacists and their main religion.
Only problem is, I'm not selling out to white supremacy; that's not me. They're gonna' have to look elsewhere for a token.
And in the immortal words of Sam Jackson in the movie 'Do the right thing', "That's the triple truth, Ruth."