RELIGIOUS SNAIL DRINKING ????
Oloye Ifatokun Awolola has been initiated into IFA in the motherland and practices under one of the most acknowledged Babalawos that pertains to the oldest and most renown IFA lineages ” The Agboola Family ” His temple has brought to our community important representatives of the Yoruba religion, and all of them have shared information, delivered workshops, led initiations, consecrated religious icons, etc., enriching the knowledge, the blessings, and the growth of our religious community. Ifatokun Awolola received a chieftancy title, and that is the reason why we should address him as Oloye (chief), and has also been initiated as Oluwo in the Ogboni society. All of this in the motherland of this religion by prestigious members of their respective religious societies. Oloye Ifatokun Awolola has always been a person of good character, friendly, and positively disposed to his followers, clients, friends, and religious brothers and sisters.
With that said it is hard to understand why other might have hate towards him and all who practice in his Inle, but the issue is much bigger than one man. It is a worldly issue towards all those who practice traditional IFA teachings. There currently is a despicable campaign led by questionable leaders of the Santeria community who are pursuing as their ultimate goal to stop the spreading of the Traditional IFA Religion in the U.S.A. These detractors of their own religion act this way because they are afraid of continue losing clients and adepts who are, in a daily basis, discovering the truth and the roots of the religion that they have been practicing for so many years. Once that followers of IFA and Santeria religion in the diaspora get in contact with the true traditional IFA religion, immediately realize that they have been handling a near to 70% authentically inherited knowledge from their religion forefathers, and a close to 30% wrong information due to either ignorance, distortions, Comissions, egoism, misunderstandings, bad intentions, religious mix, inventions, personal ambition, personal experiences, etc. Most of the true religious people that make this discovery immediately take provisions to change for the better worship, practice, protocol, and way of living that the traditional IFA offers to its followers. They actually want to continue practicing in the same way that their ancestral predecessors did in the motherland of the Yoruba religion, Africa.
The detractors of the traditional IFA, which generally are in a leading position in the Santeria and Diasporal IFA religion, prefer to try to stop the truth from coming into their communities than actually admit their mistakes and change whatever they have done wrong until now for the traditional, true, and most of the times, much simpler way of doing things. They are cowards that just use their influence and contacts in the media to try to damage the reputation, the honor, and the image of the leaders of the traditional IFA worldwide and most specifically in the U.S.A., which is the country where these detractors live from their religion as a business. In this particular case, they are taking advantage of the fact that Oloye Ifatokun Awolola was using certain snails in religious rituals to try to destroy him, his temple, and his family.These evil people full of jealousy, envy, power ambition, and evil machinations, have received the biggest amount of money in their lives, as dirty money. They have done this by consulting, doing all kinds of ceremonies, initiating, and advising delinquents, drug dealers, and criminals, and many times supporting their illegal activities, Other times by forcing their clients to be initiated or receive certain religious icons, or undergo certain ceremonies when those were not the advises of IFA. In other occasions they have used the innocence, the credulity, and the ignorance of their clients to convert them into victims of their abuses, which include: rubbery, swindle,and even sexual abuse, As IFA states: “When the truth arrives, the lies bow their heads”.
The Yoruba religion uses snails in different ways: to offer them to the Orisas, to cook them and eat them after an offering, to appease certain religious entities, for head rogations, to drink the dribble of the snail, for preparation of medicine, for preparation of very powerful religious powders, for preparation of consecrating baths for religious icons and religious initiations, for preparation of medicinal and religious soaps, creams, etc. This should not surprise anyone. In three of the best gastronomies of the world, the Chinese, the French, and the Italian, snails are cooked and eaten as a delicacy. We can eat these delicious plates in hundreds of restaurants in our nation. In almost any pharmacy or natural food store in the U.S.A. we can buy commercial cosmetic and medicinal products using the dribble of the snails to heal from skin problems like scars, spots, rosaceas, psoriasis, etc. In the Yoruba land, the snail that has been traditionally used for religious, medicinal, and gastronomic purposes is the Giant African Snail that the media claims that Oloye Ifatokun Awolola was in possession of at his house.
The media states that those snails are poisonous and that the problem started with the complains of clients or followers of Oloye Ifatokun Awolola who claim that they got sick after ingesting the dribble of the snails which is not true. It is very curious that none of those complainers state that there initiation was in March of 2009 when those ceremonies happen. There is a very tricky game being played by a person who 1 year later claims to get sick. If this was true the priests like Oloye Ifatokun and all the other religious people who worked with him in those ceremonies are supposed to be very sick since they have tasted this fluid many times more than those clients/followers. If those snails would be poisonous, all Yoruba practitioners in Africa, which are more than 30 million would be dead, because they taste the fluid of those snails since their third day of age when they go under the Esentaye ceremony. If you go to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website and you make a search for the word snail, you will find out that all the snails involved as vectors of any disease are aquatic, and the type of disease transmitted is a parasite. Fishes that live in the same aquatic environment of those snails can be a vector of the parasite. So we should also call those fishes as poisonous. There is no record of those snails as transmitters of meningitis, which is the disease that an initiate of Oloye Ifatokun Awolola verbally claims to the media (yet was never hospitalized) that she contracted when she entered in contact with the fluid of the African snail. Pork meat carries a parasite, and cooking the meat is what avoids us from contracting the disease caused by that parasite. We do not call the pork meat poisonous, and we continue selling it, even as non cooked fermented meat like pepperoni, salami, sopressata, serrano ham, prosciutto, etc. There is no guarantee that the chicken that you will eat today will not have Salmonella (a disease-causing bacteria) in it, and only good cooking reduces the chances of getting Salmonellosis. Do you call chicken a poisonous meal?
It impresses us how the media would interview sales people in a botanica stores and voodoo practitioners instead of religious leaders and practitioners of traditional IFA . It is depressing to see ignorants being interviewed to say atrocities that will be used to support the accusations against a serious priest trying to do his best according to his tradition, lineage, and religious beliefs.
We are sure that if Oloye Ifatokun Awolola would be initiated in the diaspora, or would have “religious businesses” of any kind with any of the diasporal leaders, or would be a powerful politician, millionaire, or gangster, or he would not represent any challenge to the diasporal practitioners, he would not be at this moment the objective of discredit from these detractors of IFA. Instead, he would probably be invited to all their parties and celebrations.
Today we simply ask of all of our brothers and sisters to unite and use the modern day tools of Blogs , websites , and forums to re post and open conversation’s about the media backlash towards our religion.We must respectfully with facts defend our rights and religion.
May Olodumare, Orí, Orúnmila, and all the Irunmoles/Orisas protect Oloye Ifatokun Awolola and the rest of the people in his family and Temple under these circumstances. We pray that the outcome of this situation will lead to the expansion of the minds of the people living in this great nation and yield the appropriate changes of the U.S. laws to ensure that there are no impediments for the practice of the Yoruba religion of IFA and the worshiping of the Irunmole/Orisas in America.
Thank you all for your time ,
Ile Ogunda Bede
Ile Idi Otito L’agba Morenike Olomowewe
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