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Episode 3 – Hail Santeria

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In 2019, dead chickens, goats’ heads and coconuts were left near railroad tracks in Atlanta. In 2021, headless goats were found floating down the Chattahoochee River. A few weeks later a man was found with up to two dozen animals in his apartment, slaughtered and used in rituals. In all three cases the incidents were thought to be connected to the Afro-Caribbean religion Santeria, which is based on Yoruba beliefs and traditions with a mixture of Roman Catholic components. As a syncretic religion it grew out of the slave trade in Cuba in similar manner to Voodoo. Yoruba tradition also brings us the divinatory and religious practice of Ifa, the foundational spiritual practice of a social justice group through their profane Edenic and spiritual rituals, like praying to the Iyami Aje. When 15 decapitated and gutted animals were found in Texas on Railroad Drive, and when a man was found to have killed an animal as part of a ritual sacrifice in Alabam, the media called it ‘satanic ritual’ and linked it to white supremacy. From Santeria to Voodoo there is a strong connection to the slave trade. It is thus even odder that whereas Christianity has been linked to white supremacy, now even satanism shares that link with a close association with anarchism and atheism. It’s as if western religious and spiritual practices are being replaced with, in this case, African traditions in their satanic version, exploited and degraded for the same diabolic purposes as those of satanists.

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