By Nellie de jongh for 'Freemovement', Monday 17th May 2010
Religion is big business a multi-billion dollar industry!
I am not referring to every single church organisation no doubt there are those who fight for human rights and can not all be painted with the same brush. However, let us also be honest about those who are exploiting us because we are ripe for the picking, the many bogus churches run by fellow migrants who are building their own little empires within an empire. They learnt from some of the missionaries the tricks of the trade, but have modernized the church as a money machine, they are not accountable to anyone, the church is run like a family business, in exchange for divine intervention as migrants we are the alternate sacrifice, the sheep to the slaughter that goes quietly. I have always resented being referred to as a sheep, its not the cleverest of animals when one crosses the road they all do.
Of cause nothing, has really changed since the Trans Atlantic Slave trade, Colonization and current day exploitation of migrant workers? Whether refugee or migrant we are still regarded as lesser beings, commodities that can be bought/sold/exploited by the highest bidder. We are a multi-billion dollar industry and everyone is falling over themselves trying to secure a contract, from the Immigration Removal/Reception centres, NASS Accommodation providers, security companies, Transport, Airlines, and others that I have not mentioned. In one-way or another, they are riding on our backs and laughing all the way to the bank. Its' nothing new it was the same during slavery and Colonization, contracts were being dished out left right and centre, this system has been in place a long, long time.
In my part of the world Africa religion is big business a multi-billion dollar industry and you know what with us gullible, naïve displaced peoples came those unscrupulous individuals who want to make money at any cost. We seem to think that they are here to offer us divine intervention and solve our problems when all else has failed. Some even claim to be able to resolve our immigration problems simply by praying, but what they really want is to relieve us of our hard earned money. To them we are just ripe for the picking falling into the palm of their hands and yes, they are taking a ride on our weary broken backs and laughing all the way to the bank like the rest. They even have their own television channels. Some are abducting babies, trafficking children from Kenya, and calling them miracle babies. These so called prophets of god expect us to pay 10% of our wages to their private little empires they call churches with them as lifetime leaders.
You know what these individuals in the UK say, God told them that they are today's missionaries bringing the word of god back to Britain, are they having a laugh at our expense or what? How many British people do we see in these churches, they are too smart to be robbed by such armatures it's only us the marginalised peoples from third world countries who fall for these money making scams and there are thousands of them, the pyramid schemes and many others targeting new migrants.
The most painful of these evil acts in the name of god the father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, is the killing of children in Nigeria accused by these bogus church leaders of being witches. Children must be loved protected not abused and killed. However, the bottom line is money, anything and I mean anything can be done in the name of god and they will quote from the Bible to endorse any and all heinous acts.
When all has failed and we go to the church seeking divine intervention, we are simply falling into the palms of the criminal pastors. Some have their own private planes; jets, helicopters, television stations and they are making mega money. Like my own experience, I will be relating below, abusers are very subtle and they all have the patience of saints. They start by embracing us bathing our wounds, giving us a sense of belonging. Lets face it we are creatures of habit we move in packs and need a leader. When our own who are supposed to be looking out for us are treating us like cash machines who needs an enemy, the enemy is always within our own camp, no need to look too far at times.
The hungry insatiable clergy like scavengers are always circling around us, their strong jaws tearing our limbs apart, sharp claws digging in and holding on for dear life. Picking at our bones for every scrap or morsel, the stench of death will not deter them, picking until there is nothing but a skeleton left and then they move on to the next tasty new comer who has lost their way in this dark dangerous wildness. Where the enemy comes in all shapes and sizes, one way or other one of them if not all are going to get you.
I had been exploited since childhood and into adulthood. I feel that it was because of my vulnerable position in society as an internally displaced and unaccompanied minor fleeing the war. I was exposed to all manor of abuse, including child labour. Just as I was approaching adulthood, I wanted to get out of the children's home as quickly as I could. I started going to a church nearby as that was about the only outing that was permitted. And in the beginning it was all really good I had a sense of belonging something I had not felt since fleeing my village at the age of ten at this time I was about seventeen or a couple of months short of eighteen. I loved this sense of belonging; it was like at last I can feel human again. The pastor and his wife the congregation were everything I had been denied since leaving my village. They seemed different to my foster parents who had an obsession about keeping the Ten Commandments and we were not permitted to do anything on the Sabbath. (A lot of ungodly stuff went on during the week and on the Sabbath everyone was on their best behaviour they discarded everyday cloaks in favour of holier then thou one).
However, it was not long before I was expected to go door to door to try and convert people. It was a seven days church, whilst the preacher man preached love to the congregation he was very cruel and abusive to his wife, whilst he ate steaks the rest of the congregation went hungry. They was expected to give the little they had to the church, because they were told if they did not pay money to the church they were going straight to hell.
The reason I had to go into the children's home was because my foster father thought that at age 13-14 I was ripe for the picking. Sexual abuse of children within the home and any such setting does not just suddenly happen the unsuspecting child/victim is groomed over a period. When a child is starved of affection its easy to misinterpret abuse for affection. It all starts of as a nice compliment only for your ears, a pat on the shoulder, a cuddle and being paid special attention, being made to feel like you are the most important person in the world. Suddenly this sort of attention changes and starts to feel uncomfortable. Foster father accidentally bushing against you in tight spaces, making you feel he accidently brushed his hand against your budding breast. Suddenly you start to feel frightened to be alone with them but you can't tell anyone and they don't have to tell you that you just know something is not right but not mature enough to know, you know you can't tell anyone because no one will believe you. I am talking about one of the of the wealthiest most prominent business man of his time, upstanding leader in the church who was almost the single donor of the church, when he tells members of his congregation, workers and his peers to jump they automatically asked how high.
I can honestly say I was one of the lucky ones who this upstanding citizen did not rape. The crunch came when he wrote me note asking me to share his bed with him when his wife was away. I managed to tell one of the house cleaners, who said this, was his normal behaviour with children and female workers and told me to keep my head down and say nothing. Because if I did I would get kicked out with nowhere to go.
I just knew I could not do as she said someone had to stand up to him I was willing to take my chances I wanted it to stop. I was just a naïve young girl who believed she could take on the might of a famous businessman, upstanding pillar of the community, church leader and show people his evil side. Telling his wife brought me far more trouble than I bargained for, it was hell. He managed to convince her that I was a liar and that it was me that came onto him, how evil and ungodly I was and he threatened to beat me up. It was decided that I could no longer live with them and I got kicked out. Given a one way ticket on one of their buses, they owned a transport company, gold mines, farms every business venture you can think of he was jack of trades in that respect, they had a bus depot in every town throughout Zimbabwe.
So for a scrap of a girl to believe she could take on this giant, must have been quite comical for him and his family who all pretended all was well in their camp. I ended up hitch hiking to the next town and taking myself to a children's home because I knew the other children who came to my foster parents farm for school holidays and of course I had to go through social services to be placed in a children's home. They wanted to know why I left foster care and when I related my story, my foster parents were called they made up a lot of stories to discredit me. He was also known for paying for people's silence and back then we had what was called a reformatory which in UK terms will be a young offenders institute/home come prison. When the social worker told the matron about placing me in the Reformatory because I was a problem child, (the matron knew of these abuses by my foster father from the other kids). She asked if she could monitor me for a short period and if I turned out to be what they said I was, then she would turn me over for the placement in the Reformatory, she knew that when a child was placed in that setting there was little or no hope for them.
Sharing my personal experiences is no easy task it has taken me well into my forties to do so. In our culture, there is the shame and blame for the victim and wholesale cover up for the perpetrators who 99% of the time go unpunished. My foster father is dead now and I never got my day in court, but if I can make a difference and raise awareness so that others do not have to suffer in silence, that's the least I can do.
What I learnt from my many experiences through what I call the university of life is that people in positions of power know how to pick their victims. Just look at the crisis the Catholic Church is in today concerning paedophile priests here in the west. I say that is just but the tip of the iceberg, we have not even touched third world countries such as South America, Africa, Asia and many more, because I can remember when there were rumours about children being abused there was a deafening silence, the paedophile priest was simply moved to the next parish to continue his crimes against children.
Most of us have fled Africa and our home countries because of oppressive regimes and in most cases straight into the hands of these False Prophets who we turn to after everyone else has had a go at exploiting us. There is no such a thing as a free ride you pay in one way or another, from the frying pan into the fire. These criminal pastors/prophets are only accountable to themselves and they expect to keep their posts as lifetime leaders. We should not be unwilling to call these self-appointed pastors/prophets men/women of the cloth, for what they are, hyenas/vultures competing for every penny we have. For speaking simple truth calling, a spade a spade, no god is going to strike Nellie de jongh dead, if he did he would be an unjust god, just as bad as those preaching hell fire and damnation to frighten people so that they can enslave us in his name.
Nellie de jongh,