Kingston, JAMAICA – For the religiously inclined, there’s a text of Scripture found in Matthew 7:15, which states, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”
This text of Scripture seems very apt as news of a human sacrifice made headlines in the Caribbean Island of Jamaica recently.
This development also brings back memories of an American Pastor or cult leader named Jim Jones and the murder and mayhem that he led his followers, into, in 1978 in Guyana.
According to subsequent online articles, including Jones’s last speech which was titled, “The Jonestown Massacre,” Jones and his inner circle were responsible for the deaths of 918 cult members, including 304 children.
Jones and his henchmen, began, that November 18th morning in 1978, by executing United States Congressman Leo Ryan and four others, while they were attempting to board a small plane on an airstrip not far from Jones’s Peoples Temple in the hinterland in Guyana. Congressman Ryan had visited the Temple to investigate reports of abuse committed against members of Jones’s flock.
Fearing that his misdeeds would be exposed and facing the possibility of extradition and jail in the United States, Jones ordered his henchmen to execute Ryan and four Temple members who wanted to leave with him. He then coerced his members to drink a punch laced with cyanide. Jones was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head.
This tragic event saw the largest number of Americans being killed at one time prior to 9/11. While the majority of those who died, were African Americans, who had followed Jones from San Francisco to establish his Peoples Temple in Guyana, this day will be forever seen as a day of infamy in the history of the Caribbean.
Now, almost 43 years later, the Caribbean, again thrust into the spotlight, with another church or cult incident on the Island of Jamaica. While there are only 3 known deaths thus far,(one man was shot by the police) while two others were sacrificed in some bizarre ritual called the cleansing.
It is mind-boggling that in this age of information that people could still fall prey to persons masquerading as servants of God. It is also credited to the members of the Jamaican Constabulary Force that mayhem, similar to what occurred in Jonestown, did not take place in Jamaica.
According to reports emanating from Jamaica, on Monday, October 18th, police raided the compound of a small religious organization after receiving reports that a congregant was injured at a church known as Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Church.
Reports indicated that when the police arrived, they were greeted with gunfire from within the building. The police responded, with gunfire of their own, resulting in the death of a cult member. Police later stated that they were fearful of some ritualized killing taking place on the compound, hence the reason for their swift and forceful action.
One member related how she almost became a victim of human sacrifice. She was told to come prepared to be cleansed in preparation for boarding some ark at 9:30 am on Monday. She was ordered to dress in white in preparation for the cleansing.
What she witnessed is mind-boggling. She described those who were worthy were being separated from the others who needed cleansing. She witnessed one of the Pastor’s lieutenants allegedly slit the throat of a woman in front of her. On seeing this allegedly dastardly act, panic stepped in as members attempted to flee the building.
Instead of being armed with a Bible, the Pastor was armed with a gun and allegedly shot at those who attempted to leave. Other cult members attempted to prevent others from leaving by forming human barricades at the exit.
She described how the Pastor allegedly pulled out the tubes from a man who had just left the hospital causing blood to splatter on the ground. Fearing for her life, the woman stated that she believed she would have been next and as a consequence of this fear, she allegedly urinated on herself. The woman further described that in the commotion that ensued, she was able to bolt from the building and jump over the wall into an adjoining yard.
There she begged for a phone call, (the Pastor had told everyone to leave their cell phones at home) and was able to reach her mother.
According to the woman, she could hardly believe how close she came to dying and leaving her daughter behind Pastor, Dr. Kevin O. It is believed that the self-proclaimed , used his skills as a trained Psychologist to brainwash his members.
According to the relatives of one of the victims, Taneka Gardener, she attempted to remove her son and mother as beneficiaries on her life insurance and make the Pastor, the sole beneficiary, such was the spell that he exerted over his congregants.
As the police continue their investigation into this gruesome matter, more details are expected to emerge as they come to hand. A wolf in sheep’s clothing is perhaps the only term that can be used to describe this not-so-goodly cleric.