Beyism: An Old Religion in a New Age

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The first time I learnt of the Atlanta-based National Church of Bey (or “Beyism”); I figured it was more than just a celebrity obsession gone awry. Some have dismissed the group as a joke, but if history is a reliable witness, new religions founded by self-styled gurus whom many thought were comical farce have gained much influence and spread across nations.

While Beyism was greeted with widespread criticism and public outcry in 2014 for mimicking some elements of Christianity, one of its members Taniya Hattersfield, committed suicide beside an altar erected to Beyoncé in her basement. In her suicide note, she offered herself to Beyoncé whom she addressed as her “lord and savior”.

Cults usually revolve around a false deity, false scripture and a worship structure that diverges from the general, orthodox expression, and Beyism meets up with this criteria. Ergo, it’s more than a satirical fringe group.

Cults and new religions don’t just spring up from the blues; they are built on the foundation of pre-existing ones.

For instance, the origins of Freemasonry, Wicca, Eckankar, Grail Message and New Age spirituality demonstrate that they have their roots in ancient Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Indian, Celtic, and Native American religions.

Similarly, Beyism has its spiritual dynamics. The founder of the group, “Diva” Pauline John Andrews said:

Deity’s [sic] often walk the Earth in their flesh form. Beyoncé will transcend back to the spirit once her work here on Mother Earth has been completed. As our congregation continues to swell, we ask that you consider what is more real; an invisible spirit on high, or a walking, talking breathing Goddess who shows you her true form daily? Beyoncé spirit is entrancing. We know that she was sent to this place to spread love, peace, and joy. While we do not believe Beyoncé to be the Creator, we recognize that she still sits among the throne of Gods.

Four years after this statement was made, a church in San Francisco, Grace Cathedral held a mass to honour Beyoncé on April 25, 2018.

The service featured “hymns” of Beyoncé music, Bible readings, prayer and communion. Rev. Yolanda Norton, a black feminist theologian, says that the service “uses Beyoncé music as a tool to engender positive, empowering conversations about black women.”

These folks are simply repeating old concepts with new words. The worship of “the divine feminine” is not novel; it’s a concept crystallized into various cultures for centuries.

Bey devotees may couch their version with modern feminist clichés but the weight of cultural signification attached to feminity underlies it:

(1) Pagan cultures viewed women as a metaphor for life and were believed to uphold social balances with physical activities. They are considered to have an intuitive knowledge of how physical and metaphysical energy can be manipulated to change things in the world [1].

Thus, supernatural connotations were attached to women’s bodies. Their womb was believed to symbolize creation of life and the breasts, motherhood.

Artemis of Ephesus is pictured having many breasts symbolizing the regenerative power of nature. Asherah, often depicted nude, was said to nourish kings “from her breasts as they had been by the goddess in Sumeria and Egypt.” [2]

Most images of African goddesses like Oshun, Idemili, Onishe etc. are also shown with accentuated breasts. In some traditional occult mysteries, like the Ogboni society, members ritually suck the breasts of the brass images (edan) of their mother goddess to receive “blessings.”

(2) Women’s bodies were deemed symbolic of the cosmos hence women’s fertility was also linked to fruitfulness of the land. Ritual sex with women was presumed to stimulate the gods to favour the people with fertility.

From this delusion emerged fertility cults with ritual prostitution and wild orgies which made ancient and modern goddess worship appeal to many.

According to a reference work, “By joining in the activities of the cultic sexuality, common people could participate in ‘stockpiling’ fertility energy, which ensured the continuing stability of agricultural as well as human and animal productivity. Archaeological excavations in Canaanite locations have uncovered temples with chambers where sexual activity took place.” [3]

It must be noted however, that Beyoncé stage persona has already presented the triple forms of the great goddess to her audience: as maiden, mother and crone. That isn’t a coincidence.

Her sensual lyrics, erotic dances and flagrant display of her voluptuous (“bootylicious”) body convey the image of a wanton, seductive maiden.  Her identification as the “queen bee” which feeds and rules over all bees in the hive gives off a motherhood mien. Her introduction of “Sasha fierce” – her alter ego – to the public reveals the dark form of the goddess.

Carl G. Jung, an occult psychologist postulated that there are archetypal images or formularies which existed deep in the subterranean unconsciousness of people – “the Collective Unconscious” – from which humans derive their images of deities. Thus, the Goddess archetype can emerge in any form in the minds of the devotees if it exists in humanity’s consciousness. [4]

He also believed that myths have a life of their own and that even if they weren’t literally true, if enough people believed in them, they were invested with a formidable, archetypal power of their own.

Carl Jung is regarded as a “patron” scholar of Neo-Pagan/New Age movements, because his writings provided much of the philosophical underpinning for modern occultism.

So, it’s common to find initiates of goddess religions claiming to have initially encountered an archetype of the goddess in someone they knew at some point in their lives: a mother, teacher, mentor or a celebrity they loved.

That’s why persons can evolve from their devotion to the Roman Catholic “Virgin Mary” to that of the Yoruba Yemoja or Voodoo Erzulie or vice versa – and in some cases, combine them in syncretic adoration. One archetype makes way for the other.

Thus, it can be deduced that Bey’s devotees worship an archetype of the old pagan goddess.

Beyoncé herself has poetically talked of crowning three goddess forms: Yemoja, Oshun and Nefertiti. In other words, she offers them her devotion, dedication and loyalty.

In some pagan systems, “Few goddesses and gods were confined to a single mode of manifestation, since they were immanent [present and involved in all of nature] divinities and could appear in any context that called them forth.” [5]

Since these deities are believed to symbolize universal principles, processes or life forces, ten different god or goddess forms can emerge from a single one.

This is why no limit can be set to the forms of expression the occult takes. It is like “the adulterous woman” in the book of Proverbs, “her ways her unstable, that you cannot know them” (Prov. 5:5).

As you are pinning it down at one point, it morphs into another one. In a bid to trap more souls, Satan keeps creating newer versions of false worship suited for each generation. Talk about old religions for the new age!

They have been here and they will emerge again in another form. The names their objects of worship will take is immaterial, the real deal, as Pauline Andrews puts it, is that “invisible spirit on high” that “walking, talking and breathing” demon goddess that turns many souls away from the Living God and drags them into eternal perdition.

Notes

[1] Abimbola Adelakun, The Ghost of Performance Past:  Theatre, Gender and Cultural Memory, Religion and Gender Vol. 7, no. 2, (2017), p. 13.

[2] Anne Baring and Jules Cashford, The Myth of the Goddess, Penguin Books, 1991, 454.

[3] International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, Vol. 4, p. 100.

[4] Janet and Stewart Farrar, The Witches’ Goddess, Phoenix Publishing, 1987, 57.

[5] The Myth of the Goddess, 254.

Destructive Pacts and their Outworking

As God was sending His people into the lands of the Canaanites steeped in pagan worship, He warned them:

“Do not make a covenant with them or their gods” (Ex. 23:32). He was warning them against entering into covenants with evil spirits.

Some of these Israelites eventually “joined” themselves with pagan gods such as Baal (Num. 25:3, Ps. 106:28; Hos. 4:17).

This “joining” implies a covenant. A covenant is a binding agreement between two or more people or parties to get things done with penalty by contact or sacrifice. It’s also called a contract or pact.

Those in the occult commonly make pacts with elemental spirits. These are evil spirits associated with the four elements – air, water, earth and fire.

Each class of spirits has identifiable rituals, symbols and operations. These “fantastic four” are also deployed in cinematic characters and story lines.

In the Moana movie for example, the 4 elements – including the fifth (spirit force) – all worked together. The green “heart of goddess Te Fiti” is actually a Bezoar stone (or Mustika pearl) used by real life witches and New Agers to communicate with elemental spirits.

Similarly, Enya’s songs – obviously tailored for New Age listeners – make references to these elemental forces. Part of the lyrics of O Miraculum says in English:

To set sail, a wonderful thing
Wayfarers see the sky, the oceans and the earth
The sea, the sea under the evening star

Again, in her Latin song, Tempus Vernum, she sang:

Behold, the north, the south
Behold, the west and the east
Behold, the ocean, the sea …
Behold the earth, the star, the winter and the summer…
Behold the ray of the sun and the shadow, the fire, the water, the sky, the moon, the earth, the star

In the occult, these 4 elemental spirits are linked to the four cardinal points: water (West), fire (East), air (North) and earth (South).

In many Wiccan traditions, the four seasons of the Western hemisphere and four other sun-oriented dates are called “sabbaths.” During these 8 sabbaths, their Horned god is ritually invoked into a male witch. [1]

In La Sonadora, Enya’s lyrics, translated into English read:

I; the autumn
I; the evening star
I have been an echo
I shall be a wave
I shall be the moon
I have been everything
I am myself.

The two elements mentioned here are air (echo) and water (wave). The “evening star” is a title of the pagan great Goddess Ishtar, Astarte or Venus.

These goddess forms are associated with the moon and are often invoked by witches on nights of the full moon (esbats) through a Wiccan ritual called “Drawing down the moon.” [2]

Fittingly, the CD of this music album, The Memory of Trees, has the picture of a full moon surmounted over Enya. In Orinoco Flow, she invokes the elements, this time focusing on the water element:

Let me sail, let me sail, let me crash upon your shore.
Let me reach, let me beach far beyond the Yellow Sea …
Sailway, …
From Bissau
[west] to Palau [east] in the shade of Avalon.
From Fiji
[south] to Tiree [north] and the isles of Ebony.

From Peru [west] to Cebu [east] hear the power of Babylon

From Bali [east] to Cali [west] far beneath the coral sea…
From the deep sea of clouds
To the island of the moon
Carry me on the waves
To the lands I’ve never been

This is a poetic invocation of water spirits (among others) to transport the listeners to their realm. The water kingdom is a spiritual kingdom of a hierarchy of demons. One of their key rulers is called “Queen of the coast” (or Queen of the river).

She and the many demons under her command wield control over many nations, families and individuals through fashion, music, aesthetics, inventions, finance, religions, sexual immorality and entertainment.

There is hardly a culture that does not acknowledge the existence of spiritual entities within water bodies, although many in ignorance and delusion worship them.

In the Bible, apostate Jews worshipped a goddess named Asherah. The Bible mentions her images (1 Kg. 15:13), her prophets (1 Kg. 18:19) and the vessels used in her service (2 Kg. 23:4).

“In the Ras Shamrah texts, Asherah is the consort of El, the supreme god. She is mentioned as ‘creatress of the gods’ and ‘Lady Asherah of the sea,’ titles that are given to the most important goddess of the pantheon.” [3]

The name of this demonic queen varies from place to place. She is called Yemaya, Yemoja, La Siren, Mammy water; some even call her “Our Lady of Regla.” Latino music star, Celia Cruz, dedicated an entire track to her in Spanish:

Virgin of Rule, today is your day
Mother of water, my goddess Yemaya
You are the Queen
These songs that we give you o mother
Yemaya my mother, my mother
Ohhoho live Yemaya! [4]

Also, in the first scene of Beyoncé’s Drunk in Love video, there was an eerie music with a focus on the image of a queen on a trophy borne by Beyoncé. Here, she’s on a beach and wears a pendant of an inverted triangle/pyramid – a symbol of the water element.

In February 2017, Beyonce released a poem for her twins, part of which says:

Mother has one foot in this world
One foot in the next
Mother black Venus in the dream
I am crowning Osun, Nefertiti and Yemoja
Pray around my bed
I can smell jasmine
I wake up as someone places a wreath upon my head

Osun and Yemoja are Yoruba names for the demonic Queen of the river – believed to be “patron” of sexual lust, childbirth and divination.

In witchcraft, Jasmine incense is used for rites involving lust, protection, and money. Nefertiti was an Egyptian consort of Pharaoh Akhenaten who extensively worshipped the solar disk. It’s not a coincidence that this poem was released on February 2, Yemoja’s feast day.

A Nigerian music star, Victor Uwaifo, also spoke about his encounter with this demon:

“That particular day, I stayed really late till everybody had gone. Not long after, I observed that each time the waves advances towards me, I would move back, but the farther I moved the closer it came. Suddenly, I observed a figure coming towards me. I wanted to move away. I screamed … She said “If you see mammy water, never you run away.” I just thought the mermaid loved the music, otherwise it would have harmed me.”

He composed a song based on her words and it became an instant hit.

When the interviewer asked if there’s a link between this encounter and his subsequent success, he answered, “I call it esoteric, a privileged knowledge not for everybody. From that time till today, I have been very privileged. I am a spiritual person, I have a chapel in my house.” [5]

Demons don’t just physically appear to people. Some evil covenants must have been in place. Many people consciously enter into these pacts for fame, wealth, success and supernatural abilities e.g water witching, breathing under water, healing etc.

Others unconsciously enter into them by offering sacrifices at streams/rivers or lakes, ritual baths, consulting water priests/priestesses, sexual contacts with agents, use of paraphernalia and items dedicated to water spirits and participating in their festivals.

The annual Osun festival held in Osogbo, Osun State, is an instantiation of demon worship under the toga of “African tradition.”

Every year, many religious tourists and devotees from within and outside the country troop to the Osun grove (which by the way, is registered with UNESCO) to make and renew their covenants with the Queen of the river.

One of these pilgrims said:
“I was married for over 10 years without the fruit of the womb and the pressure was becoming unbearable from my in-laws … I came to this river in tears and barely one year later, I was all smiles. The river goddess heard my cries and gave me a bouncing baby boy … I go to church but I remain grateful for what the river goddess has done for me.” [6]

Sadly, there are many “Christians” like this woman who “worshiped the LORD, but … also served their own gods” (2 Kgs. 17:33). They profess to follow the Lamb, but swear allegiance to the dragon.

Of course, these water entities are monstrous beings that seduce and devour their preys like their master Satan (Is. 27:1). The devil and his imps do offer people beggarly fame, comfort and power for pacts, but they will all end here on earth.

In contrast, God enters into a covenant with as many accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour and offers them spiritual blessings in heavenly places and all that pertains to life and godliness by His divine power (Eph. 2:1; 2 Pet. 2:3)

Notes

1. William Schnoebelen, Wicca: Satan’s Little White Lie, Chick Pub., 1990, 223

2. Margot Adler, Drawing Down the Moon, Penguin Books, 1986, 20.

3. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. Geoffrey Bromiley, 1979, Vol. 1 p. 317.

4. Slightly re-arranged and translated using Google Translate.

5. Nigerian Entertainment Today, July 11, 2014.

6. Osun Osogbo: A Communion of Spirits, Mortals https://emekaumejei.wordpress.com/2009/09/19/osun-osogbo-communion-of-spirits-mortals/

Illuminati Conspiracy or Mass Hysteria?

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The Illuminati hysteria that came with the Angels and Demons novel and movie was not new neither was its conspiracy theme.

For decades, people have fingered the Vatican, Satanists, Wiccans, New Agers/World Order, Freemasons, CIA and Zionists in an alleged global take over.

Even Microsoft and the World Wide Web were linked with the church of Satan – until Christians began to use the Internet to spread the gospel.

Man’s nature conditions him to blame something else for his problems. It’s as old as Eden. When Adam sinned, he blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent, but the serpent had no one to blame.

With each conspiracy theme comes a set of “experts” who are always in the know of their secrets. But when the hype dies down, they collapse into themselves like a neutron star.

I was once caught up in the Illuminati hype too. In 2011, I stumbled on a “vigilant citizen” website owned by an “expert” at detecting Illuminati hoof prints behind music videos, movies and world events and I became totally hooked!

After a year of being on a roller coaster of conspiracies, I began to discover that the whole Illuminati-spotting business was based on subjective whims, abstractions, self-appointed authorities and tragi-comic episodes (like folks telling me how evil Beyonce was and happily downloading her music in the next breath).

Now, don’t get me wrong, conspiracies are real. The Bible contains several examples of them. e.g the enemies of Amaziah conspiring against him (2 Chr. 25:27), Sanballat, Tobiah and the Ashdodites against Israel (Neh. 4:8), the enemies of Jesus conspiring against Him (Mt. 12:14) and the enemies of apostle Paul (Acts 23:12) etc.

But just as Jesus and the apostles were not obsessed with those gathering against them, Christians are not to over-emphasize conspiracies or resort to speculation and hearsay in place of facts.

We need to ask: where do Illuminati experts get their piece of information from? Are their sources factual and reliable? If so, why are there conflicting information about the real identity of Illuminati, what their goals are, their history and those allegedly involved?

Granted, the Illuminati (meaning the enlightened ones) is a name used to describe various groups since the mid 1700s.

Today, it’s generally agreed that the Illuminati consists of secret, underground cult linked with the Knight Templar and Gnostic groups aiming to take over the world using celebrities, politicians and the media.

Some have traced it to the Bavarian Illuminati founded by Adam Weishaupt, a former Jesuit on May 1, 1776 within the Masonic Lodges of Germany. But historians agree that by 1785, the Bavarian Illuminati was broken and suppressed by the government for plotting against the kings of Europe.

Another version says the Illuminati came from “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion”, a mythological piece written by Hermann Goedsch in Europe in the 1800s. The work claims that 12 elders of Zion meet with Satan at a graveyard on how to take over the world.

This work, which was later called “The Rabbi’s Speech,” became the main anti-Semitic tool used by politicians in Europe to persecute the Jews.

Some have linked the Illuminati to Aliens and Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs). Some self-appointed “whistle blowers” have stated in several YouTube videos that the Illuminati came from UFOs and the aliens who drive them.

French Kabalist, Eliphes Levi in his work, History of Magic, says the Illuminati was founded by Zoroaster in Persia and introduced into Europe by the Knights Templar in the 12th century.

But in 1962, the John Birch Society said the Illuminati consists of world bankers, communists, Council of Foreign Relations and the Jewish Rothschild.

Most of the legends and speculations weaved around the Rothschild family are without historical documentation.

Much of the “historical” data linking the Illuminati with the Rothschilds came from the works of Nester Webster, a British anti-semitic mystic who believed in mysticism and reincarnation. Her theories have been disproved by scholars, yet some Christian authors continue to cite her as a reliable source.

Some Illuminati “experts” curiously picked up pieces from different sources and embellished them to generate a hype.

For example, John Collins Todd who claimed to be an ex-Druidic priest and former Illuminati in a 1978 (?) tape said:

“In the Illuminati, the Rothschild are not humans …they are gods in human bodies … They are the sons and daughters of Lucifer in human bodies and his wife … The council that I was on was the private priesthood of these gods…

In the tape, he predicted that at “the end of 1980,” the Illuminati would take over the U.S. and the whole world, so Christians were to stockpile food, fuel and weapons and hide in the hills. Quite hysterical. But John Todd’s claims were later proven to be false on several levels.

There are also some Christians who believe the Illuminati came from the Jesuit Order. In the Crusader comic series, The Force, published by Chick Publications, Alberto Rivera said:

“[Ignatius de] Loyola created the Illuminati (Alumbrados), a satanic organization to control the minds of European leaders through hypnosis, witchcraft and mind control … Once Ignatius de Loyola came to power in the Vatican, he placed his occult organization, ‘The Illuminati’, under the umbrella of the Roman Catholic institution. The Illuminati secretly became the most important branch of the Jesuit order” (The Force, by Jack T. Chick, 1983 pp. 23, 25).

No source, reference or documentation was provided to support these fantastic claims. The reader is simply expected to just lap it up.

Today, there are a number of Christian websites, blogs and tabloids still churning out versions of these theories to brainwash their readers. But why would a Christian relish tabloid sensationalism generated by fear merchants? And why would a true believer spread speculations and guesswork instead of facts?

Nowhere does the Bible direct Christians to spend the whole of their time spreading conspiracies. Instead, we are to spread the Gospel. There is a point where a line is crossed between apologetics and a morbid obsession with cults.

When you reach a point where your daily thoughts are overwhelmingly centered around a cult, and you tend to “see” it behind every shadow, cabinet and event, then you have crossed that line.

Most Illuminati-hunting materials seldom present the Gospel to the unsaved. What they largely cater to are suspicion, hysteria and an unhealthy obsession with the occult. These things appeal to paranoid, fanatical and unbalanced minds mostly on the fringes of Christianity.

The Illuminati hype may seem attractive because it gives its experts a heady feeling of knowing what the “controlled masses” are oblivious of, but it can also be spiritually distracting and even perilous, if care is not taken.

While it’s vital to have a good grasp of cults like Wicca, Masonry and New Age etc., the data of information about the Illuminati is too abstract and shrouded in legends for a reliable or objective study.

As Christians, we have a God to serve, a Bible to study, a church to fellowship with, sinners to preach to and a spiritual life to live. Most importantly, we shouldn’t “have anything to do with godless myths that old women love to tell” (1 Tim. 4:7) let alone disseminate them.