By Pierre V.L. Dupuch
May 3, 2012
Papa’s Cult – A Short Story About Dictators, Obeah and the Gatekeeper!
Cults come in many forms. There is the infamous Charles Manson who thought he was savior of the world. There was David Koresh, the charismatic leader of the Branch Davidians in Texas, whose followers would do anything he said. There was Jim Jones, leader of the Peoples Temple, who killed himself and his followers in Guyana.
They were looked on as “nuts” and treated as such.
Germans are considered some of the smartest people in the world. But they let Adolf Hitler turn a political party into a Cult, which he controlled, and smart people became so blind as to let him kill six-million Jews.
Everyone said it could not happen on our side of the world.
But, in Argentina, Juan Peron took over a prosperous country, and virtually destroyed it with his totalitarian rule. After the War, Argentina was one of the world’s greatest industrial powers. It was rich, successful, powerful, a country which had to be reckoned with on the world’s economic stage.
But the people allowed Juan Peron to turn a political party into a cult, a one-man show. He was the boss, the leader, and he had no respect for the people or the country. What he said was final.
It has been written that as long as you can find a leader that has no conscience or scruples, one who will promise the people that he’ll take from Peter to pay Paul, there will be a lot of Pauls around.
And so it was in Argentina, and Juan Peron was such a leader. He promised the people everything. He and his wife, Eva, were photographed literally throwing money out of the windows of the palace.
Under Peron, Argentina’s debt grew, more money was printed and handfuls of money were thrown out to the people. Peron took from Peter to give to Paul. Some people loved him, and those that didn’t were persecuted or killed if they disagreed with him.
But soon there were no more Peters to take from, but there was an increasing number of Pauls looking for a hand out.
Today, Argentina is poor, the people are begging on the streets. Overnight, it became a third world country.
But many people thought this could never happen in The Bahamas.
Unfortunately, it’s happening right before our eyes, as the people and the press appear to condone the increasingly bizarre and irresponsible behavior of Hubert Ingraham, who has gone on a spending spree that has saddled Bahamians with unprecedented levels of debt. Every time he speaks, he’s promising one-million dollars here, ten-million dollars there, a hundred-million dollars over there, and the beat goes on.
When I was Minister of Aviation, the budget Hubert Ingraham presented had allocated only nine-hundred thousand dollars for a new airport in Abaco. Now that he needs the votes, he’s just completed a twenty-three million dollar airport in Abaco right before an election! I am happy for the people there. But nine-hundred thousand dollars becomes twenty-three million dollars overnight? Wow!
Yes, continue this and we run out of Peters and the Pauls will increase, and we’ll go broke, and our children and grandchildren will become beggars. Is that what we want?
Our Constitution lays out clearly what system is to be used in our governance. It dictates that we use the Westminster System where the Prime Minister is first among equals. In other words, he is not to be a one man show. He should not create a Cult.
But are we, the Bahamians who are entitled to benefit from this country, allowing one man, Hubert Ingraham, to turn the Westminster system into a Cult? Is this what we want? Did we not complain when the PLP was heading that way?
Obeah is a Cult where the Gatekeeper, the person who decides life or death, is called Papa. Do you remember Papa Doc, the man who turned Haiti into a land of crime, murder, poverty and paupers?
Hubert Ingraham himself from a public platform said: “I am the Gatekeeper … ”
And it is said that the black hat he often wears is an Obeah hat.
Hubert Ingraham, I understand, has said: My name is “Hubert Papa Ingraham.”
Tee shirts have been printed that say, “It’s Papa or nuttin.”
Ads run in the local press say, “He’s my Papa, he’ll take care of me.”
His supposed “equals,” elected Members of Parliament who are supposed to run the country, stand on public platforms and grovel over “My Papa.”
Grown, well-to-do men and women who complain about the poor state of the economy, unprecedented crime and murders and skyrocketing National Debt say, “He’s my Papa … whatever he says is ok.”
Have we gone nuts?
Do we really know what we’re doing and saying?
Are we going to allow this to happen?
Are we going to let this Cult of Ingraham’s continue to destroy our Bahamas?
May 7th will decide that.
May God, not Obeah, bless you and guide your decisions.