May 15

I told the...

Cocaine Cartel's Occult Adviser

OK I love this story. A Nigerian tribal chief living in Louisiana offers his "ju-ju" to a Gulf cocaine cartel in exchange for millions of dollars.

I am not sure exactly what Mr. Omigie practices, but given the descriptions it sounds a great deal like Vodun. Which would also be geographically appropriate for his home town of Ebelle, Nigeria and Louisiana. Vodun focuses on the veneration of spirits for intercession in healing, blessing, and protection. It became mixed in many practices with Catholicism due to the similarity between veneration of the saints and some of its practices. Without giving the treatise on the different types of Vodun traditions, suffice it to say it is the origin of what is often misrepresented in popular culture as "voo-doo." Thus the defenses reasonable objection that Mr. Omigie has be categorized as a "witch doctor" - a racially and culturally fraught term.

To me one of the interesting aspects of this case is not that drug traffickers were consulting a magic practitioner and paying great sums of money for his help; rather it is who they were consulting. The normal source for such protection and guidance comes from followers of Santa Muerte, a female personification of death that takes elements of Mesoamerican reverence for death and blends it with Catholic trappings.

[Let me interject here that I in no way am criticizing Catholicism, nor even those who follow Vodun or Santa Muerta, their connection to the drug trade is simply cultural. Just like all the moonshine runners in Bibb County Alabama were Baptists and Methodists.]

As the article mentions, some drug traffickers have gone further, blending elements to create their own cults - including human sacrifice. In light of that Mr. Omigie's actions seem relatively harmless, although likely it is not his religious practices that interest authorities so much as his financial ties.

Oh, if it were not for a little thing like ethics I too could be an occult consultant for some fabulously rich people.

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