A prominent pastor claims that 'Obeah cults' are playing a major part in St. James bloodshed. Jamaica police say that they are aware of it.

Major demonic forces are at play in the deadly lottery scamming scheme that has resulted in continued bloodshed in the western end of Jamaica, according to a prominent local pastor.

On Wednesday – April 27, Bishop Dr Joseph Ade Gold, founder of the Chambers of God International, told the media reporters that he believes that the are at war with a “financial cult”.

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“Obeah’s involvement is very small. They give them guard rings or something to put in their pockets for protection; but it is much greater than that. In terms of trying to criminalise them, the police know that they cannot touch them,” Ade Gold stated.

“The covenant they have entered into is a blood covenant… they are dangerous, let me put it that way, very dangerous and they are trained not to have mercy. What I gather from them is that it is more of a financial cult where they have to enter the covenant, which is a very serious covenant, because if they try to come out they are dead. They will kill them.” he added.

Ade Gold’s statement came on the day when Senior Superintendent of Police in charge of St James Steve McGregor suggested that individuals involved in lottery scamming, which has wreaked havoc in western parishes and has claimed the lives of hundreds, were being instructed by obeah men to sacrifice a loved one for success in the illicit scheme.

Bishop Dr Joseph Ade Gold revealed to media reporters that he has met with two individuals desperately seeking to leave this “cult”.

The men, upon entering the cult, have had to agree to a number of things, including risking the lives of loved ones, according to the pastor.

“They have agreed to some extent in terms of what they can do and what they cannot do. The agreement is: They are not supposed to reveal the secrets of the group; when they get money, it’s not just their money because they have to share it; and their family members are exposed in case something happens. For example, if someone disobeys they’re not just going to look for that man or that woman, they have given their family members for whatsoever it is,” he explained.

As a result of this, several families have had to flee the country’s borders to escape the wrath of cult members when their family member has breached the agreement, Ade Gold explain.

The pastor also reveal that this cult consists of powerful people, including politicians and prominent business people “deeply” rooted in the scheme.

“We’re not talking about mediocre people; they are persons who we think have integrity. They are highly placed up there but they are deeply, deeply involved and I’m telling you it’s serious and our police need to know that this is more serious than we think” the pastor warned.

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In the meantime, Corporal Kevin Watson, spokesperson for the Major Organised and Anti-Corruption Agency West, said the police are aware that a cult exists.

“I cannot speak to the exact nature of how the cult works and I can’t speak to the activities of the cult but we know that it does exist. …Ninety to 95 per cent of all operations that we carry out on these persons who are involved we find items which we identify to be related to some kind of cult or witchcraft,” he said.

Watson noted the majority of the scammers are often found to be in possession of items they received from visiting the “obeah man or the mother woman”.

“I remember an operation we carried out where we actually caught somebody in the act of performing some kind of ritual. He had some names written on a piece of paper and seemingly they were the names of his victims — the persons he was trying to solicit money from. And he had the names written on a parchment paper dipped in some special oil and he had some candles lit and he was doing something there. And on this piece of paper he had something like ‘please let Michael Brown send me the US$3,500 today,’” he told media reporters.

Watson, however, shared that he does not believe these activities are of any value, but that it makes his job “riskier”.

“I don’t believe in those things; I don’t believe that they work. There are some persons who perform rituals for law enforcement not to find them and some of these same persons we would still find them,” he insisted.

Obeah is a term used in the West Indies to refer to folk magic, sorcery, and religious practices developed among West African slaves, specifically of Igbo origin, according to Wikipedia.

It is similar to other Afro-American religions including Palo, Vodou, Santería, and Hoodoo.

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