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Perhaps we need to talk a little spiritual warfare here.

From time to time, that always seem wise -- and now with Haiti again in the news, more so.

Two points.

The first:

Evil comes through family lines or a person or a home (especially a place of sin) like a funnel. We can envision it as a pipe or conduit, sort of like the passage they see in near-death experiences, but coming from beneath instead of heading upward.

It is like the top of a tornado.

Evil pours out of that conduit when we open the hatch, and that can occur through participation in occultism, sexual immorality, materialism, and other transgressions. It also can be unleashed if we have pride, anger, jealousy, greed, or are negative.

And when it is unleashed, it allows for a torrent.

When there is evil around a person, or a place, a simple emotion can trigger the flow of grit from the netherworld. This is why evil assaults will wax and wane around certain folks.

If the conduit is already there -- perhaps due to a past family circumstance, personal sin, or generational spirits -- it is unleashed until we close it with prayer, love, and humility. Otherwise, it will cause a series of unfortunate events. Bad "luck." Injury. The innocent and arrogant alike can be hurt.

The second point is (as mentioned): Haiti.

The media has stirred or tried to stir an intense brouhaha over the statement by evangelist Pat Robertson that the earthquake in Haiti is tied to a "pact with the devil" made by Haitian ancestors -- slaves -- who sought freedom from France. The recent natural disaster is due to that curse, he feels (or felt).

Whether or not Reverend Robertson used prudent language, and whether or not one can authoritatively attach any single alleged evil deed to any particular disaster, here are the reported facts:

On August 14, 1791, a slave leader named Boukman called a meeting in a forested area called Bois-Caiman near Cap Haitien, where many slaves congregated.

On that date, those who attended sacrificed a pig and drank the blood (or at least many of them did) and then dedicated Haiti to the devil. The ceremony was conducted by voodoo priests or "houngans," whose rituals were passed down from African voodoo.

At the time, Haiti was a prosperous place -- France's richest colony.

It went downhill afterward.

Soon, it would be one of the world's poorest nations.

Was there a link? Hard to say. One could argue that those who took over from the French simply lacked diligence. At any rate: for the next two hundred and six years, only voodooists went to that revered spot in the forest -- until, in 1997, a group of Christians "exorcised" it.

"Our church members started their march in front of the President's palace and marched for six hours to the place where the satanic ceremony took place 206 years ago," said one Christian leader. "We had informed the government and media of our intentions weeks before the event, and were told that the witch doctors would be there, as they were every year. When we arrived, they had hidden themselves, unable to directly confront the Christians. It was a significant spiritual battle to reach the tree under which the pig was sacrificed in the original ceremony. We formed a Jericho march, circling the magic tree seven times. On the seventh time around, God gave many people a vision of the Devil fleeing from the area. The Christians were overjoyed. We cancelled the satanic contract and broke the curse."

Or did they?

You discern. What we know is that occultism continued elsewhere on that island.

On April 8, 2003, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide -- a former Salesian priest (and formally defrocked) -- approved voodoo as an official religion in the country, such that now Haitians can be married in voodoo ceremonies. While former Secretary of State called Aristide "psychotic," others saw him as a channel of pure evil. Voodoo priests reportedly sacrifice a human child in celebration.

"My biggest problem," noted another minister, Tom Barrett, who provides much of this information, "is the fact that, not only did he make voodoo an official religion, he used every device available to him to promote it. On the day that his government officially recognized voodoo, he paid all the radio stations to play nothing but voodoo music all day long. He flew in four hundred voodoo priests from West Africa, the birthplace of the evil religion, to promote it."

Aristide, who was politically supported by President Clinton and Jesse Jackson, eventually lost power (he was deposed on September 29, 1991, feast of St. Michael). And there was that exorcism. But voodoo still remained. It is the identifying characteristic of this country -- if a country it still is.

"Haiti is the only country in the entire world that has dedicated its government to Satan," said a minister named Doug Anderson, who grew up in Haiti with missionary parents. "Demonic spirits have been consulted for political decisions, and have shaped the country's history."

"Voodoo is a practice based on a mixture of African spiritism and witchcraft," adds Reverend Barrett. "Depending on the source of one's research, between 75 and 90 percent of Haitians practice voodoo. This seems to fly in the face of the fact that the country is predominantly Catholic. But, like their African ancestors, voodoo practitioners have no problem embracing multiple religions. In fact, most who practice voodoo believe they must be Catholic first. Until recently, voodoo was practiced in secret. Practitioners would go to the Catholic Church on Sunday, and attend voodoo ceremonies deep in the woods at other times."

It is another "fact" for us to weigh.

As we ourselves reported years ago: a priest named Father John Hampsch points out that "the age-old practice of voodoo has left that nation impoverished (and, we might add, prone to disasters)."

Quakes happen. Things happen. It rains on the good and evil alike. We have long donated to Haiti's poor. But as we warned five years ago,  "look at the trials of Cuba and voodoo-laden Haiti. In the Caymans, Hurricane Ivan caused postponement of a major fashion show, while the most damage, a true catastrophe, occurred in Haiti -- home to many good poor people (who suffered as victim souls) but also the place, the incredible place, where voodoo -- where demon worship -- is the official religion."

Yesterday, a tremor rumbled under the Cayman islands.

There was another aftershock in Haiti.

We recall the quake when Jesus broke the evil curse as He died on the Cross.

It is no time to cast stones. But those who say that one shouldn't mention evil do no service to Haiti or themselves. It is the truth that sets us free, not pushing dirt under the rug. And while you can decide for yourself on Haiti, let us remark that we all need to clear darkness from our families and our homes and our lives -- from our own countries -- or darkness in one form or another will funnel and rattle us all.

[resources: Prayer of the Warrior and Spiritual Warfare Prayers]

[see also: Catholic relief services for Haiti, Haiti makes voodoo official, Is the devil really involved?, and Does God really hate Haiti?]

[Michael Brown retreat, Mass,  San Antonio: signs of the times, January 30 and Michael Brown retreat, San Francisco: future events, afterlife: February 27]


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