Yahoo Plus and the Curse of Mammon

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Aside from paedophilia, another news trend that frequently makes the headlines in our country is the gale of Internet fraud (popularly known as “Yahoo Yahoo”) which has morphed into a raging tide of occult crimes – ranging from items of used clothing being stolen and re-sold for fetish purposes to grisly ritual murders.

These are indeed dangerous times when many people’s regard for human lives (even for family members, friends and lovers) has been completely eroded by an inordinate love for mad money.

I am aware of some African folks who sit in their Ivory Towers and dismiss such reports as urban legends. I am really not interested in convincing them to accept the reality of the supernatural anyway.

A study of ancient and modern occult-related crimes and rituals shows that virtually every culture appeases spirits in one form or the other for power and material wealth. Though their requirements and mode of operation differ.

The Nigerian lingo for Internet fraud mixed with occult ritual practices is “Yahoo plus”. The terms and conditions underlying such occult transactions boil down to offering human and animal parts to demon spirits in exchange for material prosperity.

Some weeks ago, an Internet fraudster cum ritualist in Ghana, with the aid of graphic pictures, revealed the torment he has been enduring ever since he dabbled in his Faustian trade.

“The spiritualist also asked me to buy a pot, egg, bag and padlock and he will put the money in the pot for me and that the money will be okay for me to use after some few months,” he said.

“Since the day I brought the pot home, I do not feel free. I am being haunted and I can’t sleep till the next morning. It is always like I am being haunted by human beings, lions and fire. They appear physically and I don’t know what to do,” he lamented.

In another sad case in Ughelli, Delta State, a “Yahoo guy” in his 20s became insane and eventually killed himself few weeks after throwing a lavish birthday party at a popular hotel in the town – spending thousands of naira on drinks for guests who attended the party.

A source revealed that, “All attempts to restrain him were fruitless as he charged at anyone that tried to restrain him [and] continued using the broken bottle on himself until he slumped and died,” a resident of the community stated.

“He ran away from the church his mother took him to the community town hall and started stabbing himself. The more sympathizers tried to stop him from continuously stabbing himself, the more he did so,” he added.

“In the last three years,” wrote Nosa Akenzua in Orient Daily News, “desperation and inordinate quest for quick money among the youths of Asaba and some top businessmen from all over the country has engendered horrendous sorrow, and even tragedy. This arises from their involvement in high-power ritual practices as the gateway to stupendous wealth.”

Many of the people in the aforementioned article throng the shrines of various pagan deities, particularly that of Onishe (Alanwanyi Asaba), a mother goddess whose shrine is situated along the banks of River Niger and is often depicted having gargantuan breasts, (said to symbolize fertility and abundance).

Every culture has a deity that is often tasked with bestowing wealth or fortune in exchange for all manner of votive offerings e.g. Yemoja, Ikenga, Lakshmi, Plutus, Ops, Fortuna, Gad, Jeng gu etc.

An ancient demonic strongman that is sought in Satanism and Witchcraft for wealth and is regarded as the treasurer of hell is Zeus, who is also called “Mammon”.

According to former satanists, his base is in the marine kingdom, and his visual representation is of a male figure having golden body parts.

The strongman of mammon makes humans bow to money in the place of God. It leads their hearts away from God, sears their conscience to do anything to have wealth and ultimately leads them to destruction.

In African demonism, ritual culprits
also make use of women’s underwear or menstrual pads as Voodoo links wherein their victims’ womb and/or its products are offered to demons in exchange for wealth. In some cases, they utilise semen.

In a video recently posted online, a prostitute (“slay queen”) was caught swooping some semen into a putatively fetish material after having sex with her supposed customer in an hotel.

She was beaten, and according to the people speaking in the background of the video, was eventually handed over to the police.

In another video, a young man who self-identifies as a retired “Yahoo guy” admits that there are various forms of money-making rituals. One involves bathing in the public.

Another rite involves wiping of a lady’s vagina with a magickally “charged” material after sexual intercourse and there is also one in which the candidate must have sex with a girl after bathing with a local ritual soap.

Once he ejaculates into her, the lady won’t get pregnant again and if she does, she will miscarry. “That one too is very potent and many slay queens have been used for this but they don’t know yet!” he added.

“When I was active, the one I know that is 100 per cent [efficacious] is the one that you tie the person’s picture with thread and bury it beside the grave of a person whose gender is same as the person you want to hit … After the person sends you money, you must buy [a] ram and wear one tira [talisman] round its neck. The ram will die overnight.”

Satan and his demons always require human or animal sacrifices literally or symbolically for every covenant. There is no free gift in magick; it’s always by pact. It’s like the trade of Esau – giving you a plate of pottage but removing your entire birthright.

Evil spirits seduce people with promises of great wealth but what they offer is a counterfeit, diabolic wealth that ruins the lives of its recipients.

In the light of this desperation, we need to turn our attention to God’s Word:

1. It is only God who gives true material possession and will add other blessings that can’t be purchased with money to it.

“The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it” (Prov. 10:22 NLT).

But Satan is the chief distributor of the wealth of sorrow; wealth of torment; wealth of destruction – evil wealth that will ultimately lead one to Hell a place of everlasting sorrow.

True prosperity lies with God. And you can’t receive it unless you are in His kingdom and have His righteousness. Any wealth that is not received in God’s kingdom and by the righteousness of Jesus Christ is a wealth of sorrow.

2. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17).

Satan has no good gift to offer anybody; he hates humanity! He is a master deceiver who disguises his packages to lure in the foolhardy. He offers desperate souls fresh apples but he won’t show them the deadly worms and maggots within it. He offers people sweet wine but doesn’t tell them it’s laced with Cyanide.

Why do you think many who obtain riches from the kingdom of darkness suffer endlessly from serious afflictions, untimely deaths, accidents, barrenness, prolonged ailments and destructive habits that eventually wear them out and render their wealth absolutely meaningless?

Why do you think their successive generation usually suffer from chains of poverty, inexplicable failures and mental illnesses? I will tell you why, because they received a Greek gift – one seeming benefit plus hundred troubles. That’s why many fetish priests themselves steer clear of such rituals. They know better.

3. There is much dignity in decent labour. “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man” (Prov. 6:10-11).

It’s unfortunate that our value system has so much plunged that there’s a huge disconnect between the dignity of hard work, ethics and integrity and what the society has redefined as success.

As a result, many youths have cultivated magical ideas about money. They don’t desire to work for N1000 but wish to live the life of N500,000. They want to live large and cut corners to achieve it.

With the way wealth is being flaunted by Nigerian celebrities, politicians and even some “prosperity preachers,” it is not far fetched why Ponzi schemes, money-making rituals and Internet scams have continued to attract many youths. These desperadoes want to climb their trees from its leaves and circumvent reality. That’s an exercise in self-delusion!

4. We need to extricate ourselves from this nutured mentality that we can make humongous sums of money irrespective of the political and economic realities of our country.

Nigeria is currently passing through a phase of economic downturn and we need to get our acts together and fashion realistic and productive means of survival, rather than taking the devious route of making pacts with vicious spirits.

Many who resort to Internet scams and money making rituals have little or no labour skills to make it through life. Tragically, the noble culture of apprenticeship that builds a society has been virtually replaced by a culture of greed, narcissism, vanity ‘Logo Benz’ appropriating lifestyle.

Avarice is a form of idolatry. It is one of the shackles of Mammon that drags humanity away from the will and purposes of God.

5. “The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble” (Prov. 28:20).

If you have a “I-must-be-rich-at-all-cost” mindset, rest assured you will fall into many evil snares. We need to cultivate a balanced attitude towards opulence.

Those wealthy figures we admire in our TVs and magazines also had their small beginnings. They laboured from obscurity into limelight; they lived in self-denial, discipline and endured years of set back and disappointments before becoming a household name – that is, for those of them who toured a noble path.

Start with something small and watch it grow. Anybody that is too big for something small is too small for something big.

Let’s deal with this culture of greed and idolatry that is bringing the curse of Mammon on our nation and sending many people to a Christless grave after a lifetime of horrendous crimes.

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Building Bridges of Reason

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Sometimes when I encounter Christians who are quick to cut off contacts or dissolve their friendships with other Christians on the basis of differences in non-essential doctrinal positions, I’m reminded of a historical event: how the Chinese empire, great as it was, isolated itself from the rest of the world for centuries.

Due to a fire incident which ravaged the palace of their emperor in the Forbidden City in the 15th century, the Chinese who viewed the throne as divine, interpreted this as an omen from heaven that they were no longer to send expeditions out into the world.

They also had another Emperor, Hongxi, who was opposed to foreign alliances. Due to this and some other factors, China was sequestered from the civilization of the Renaissance period to the19th century industrial revolution. By the time they began to build meaningful cultural bridges with other nations, they realized they had been left behind for long.

Me thinks arrogance played a big part, and it may have had something to do – physically or symbolically  -with the Great Wall of China.

The Great Wall, which stretches over 13,000 miles, was built to keep out the barbarians from other regions (the Huns) who frequently invaded and plundered China. But as Wikipedia notes, “the Great Wall have included border controls, allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along the Silk Road …the control of immigration and emigration.”

During the Ming Dynasty when foreign expeditions were banned, the Great Wall became well fortified. It kept them “safe” but it soon became an object of arrogance and social obstacle. They began to see their fiefdom as the “Celestial city” and outsiders as inferior creatures.

The physical walls kept out strangers, but another kind of wall was elected in the minds of the people: “If they didn’t look like us, talk like us or belong to our class, then we don’t want to see them!”

I believe the same thing can happen to Christians. We can also wall ourselves in so much that we exclude others because they are not in our class; they don’t look like us and do not agree with us on every stance. This is a defeatist mentality and it’s a mark of mind control.

In the book of Judges, we read about a certain nation like this.

Then they took what Micah had made, and his priest, and went on to Laish, against a people at peace and secure. They attacked them with the sword and burned down their city. 28 There was no one to rescue them because they lived a long way from Sidon and had no relationship with anyone else. The city was in a valley near Beth Rehob. The Danites rebuilt the city and settled there.” (Judges 18:27-28)

Why was this otherwise peaceful and secure city so easily conquered? That’s right, because they were all by themselves. They had no relationship with others. It was a “close circuit” city. But its isolation couldn’t save it in the face of battle.

In my study of cults, I have found out that this “lone wolf” tactic works well on recruits. It’s not easy to brainwash a person who has not been socially isolated and has access to contrary information to compare.

But when a person gets to the point where all those around him or her and his authority figures repeat the same errors from the same dubious source, his tunnel vision will be well configured.

Christians who shut other believers out because of differences in minor issues such as church administration, music, ordination of women, bible translations, Christmas/Easter celebration, tithing etc. need to guard against mind control. It’s a tool of the devil to isolate you, deceive you and leave you without help in the time of your need.

Nobody knows it all. There will be moments in our lives when we will need people to help us and they won’t be folks who believe exactly what we believe. It haa happened to me.

As long as we are still here on this earth, we cannot agree with one another on every issue. And when it comes to disputable matters not easily settled in Scripture, Christians should learn to respect other Christians’ differences in viewpoints.