Martin Henry | Crime and demonic forces
Aye, aye, Colonel! You are a brave man. Prepare to take tactical evasive action from hostile fire coming in from a coalition of opposing forces. And prepare to return fire with all the weapons at your disposal. For we contend not only with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers, and against the rulers of the darkness of our times, and against spiritual hosts of wickedness in high places.
Colonel Daniel Pryce, the military commander of JDF West, has boldly declared that demonic forces are behind the St James crimes.
He could have gone national. And he would have been in the company of at least three ministers of national security. Peter Phillips had famously remarked that the horrendous and horrible crime situation on his watch was as if an evil spirit had been let loose over the land. He now heads one of the political parties that has formed the government of the State. And Peter Bunting, previously, and Robert Montague, now in the office, have both called for divine intervention in the fight against the monster of crime.
Colonel Pryce told a prayer meeting in Montego Bay, "This war is not physical, and therefore, it takes a spiritual response to this."
Colonel Pryce was delivering the keynote address to a prayer breakfast hosted by the Supernatural Encounter Jamaica (SEJ) Group, in association with the St James Ministers' Fraternal in Montego Bay on Monday.
Obviously not ashamed of the gospel of Christ to which he had committed, the colonel announced that he was giving the address both as a soldier and as a Christian. "Me inna my uniform, the police inna their uniform, can't take on the spiritual warfare," he declared. And the authorities are not equipped to deal with it, he said. Nor are the churches, I might add.
In the second half of his address about the evidence of demonic practices, he declared that among the 23 active St James gangs, there was wide involvement with entities such as the Illuminati and Baphomet.
Evidence of gang involvement with occult practices keeps turning up but may be seriously under-reported in a media shying away from such things. The deadly triple helix of crime, drugs, and the occult is stronger and can explain more than we are generally prepared to acknowledge.
Early last year, The Gleaner carried a story - 'Voodoo shrine uncovered in lotto scam operation'. The man arrested admitted that he was a spiritual worker, and his reason for having the information in his possession was that he was doing his job.
The infamous Duppy Flim was allegedly steeped in demonic practices while on the run for seven years before his guard wore out and the police cut him down.
But the clearest, strongest evidence of the engagement of dark forces with crime in Jamaica is the extent and nature of vicious crimes engulfing the land. To the extent that there are antagonistic forces at play in the world, one should expect demonic attacks upon a covenant nation, with crime being a prime manifestation.
Then, the nation has opened the doors to demonic invasion through cultural practices and through the evils of political practice that have not only been corrupt at fundamental levels, but have historically formed alliances with criminality.
We have opened the door to demonic invasion though injustice and bloodguiltiness in failing to find and punish the shedders of blood and the perpetrators of other heinous crimes. At least 56,000 persons have been murdered in Jamaica since Independence, with few killers being brought to justice, and little effort invested in doing so by the covenant State.
We stand in rampant, wanton breach of covenant. What do we expect? For we have sown the wind and are reaping the whirlwind.
But in the call to fasting and prayer that Colonel Pryce supported at the Montego Bay prayer breakfast, the churches may not have it right. "Once you cross the starting line, there is no turning back," the JDF chief of intelligence and operations told the gathering. "So, guess what now? We are in the preparatory phase. This is why the fasting is important. It is the preparatory phase before you launch into battle. What I gave you was the intelligence report, so you now have the knowledge as to what you are dealing with," he advised.
For one thing, the churches must put their houses in order in obeying the expressed will of God. The effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous avails much.
For another thing, it is the agents of the State - and the Church is not an agent of the State - who must lead repentance and the moral revolution that the Rev Astor Carlyle called for at the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Kingston in January. At that prayer shop with no fasting, the honourable prime minister read from the book of Jonah. It was the king of Nineveh himself who led the repentance of the city in sackcloth and ashes with fasting.
In my commentary on the prayer breakfast, 'Moral leadership for the moral revolution' (January 28), I offered a four-step process that would drive a serious moral revolution:
1) The revolution would begin with the frank and painful acknowledgement among leaders that "we have sinned". Beyond technical faults and failures, governance has been riddled with moral faults and failures.
2) Then, the leaders must each order their public lives and leadership responsibilities by these clear moral principles as a personal commitment.
3) We all know that corporate leadership sets the tone and provides the reference point against which followers measure their own actions. The moral revolution absolutely requires, after the praying for divine intervention, that corporate leadership sets the example and demands compliance to the supporting principles down the line.
4) Finally, these leaders must make laws, draft policies, and develop programmes that pass the test of moral legitimacy.
Over in St James, Mayor Homer Davis also spoke at the solemn assembly. The mayor has a critical moral role to play in the contending with the demonic forces let loose upon his parish and its capital. So do the other councillors. And so do the five members of parliament - Edmund Bartlett, Horace Chang, Heroy Clarke, Marlene Malahoo-Forte, and Derrick Kellie - and the caretakers in the constituencies.
The state of emergency in St James that Colonel Pryce is supervising for the army has to come to an end. The strong presence of the security forces in the zone of special operations in Mount Salem, Montego Bay, must, at some stage, be reduced. We have seen the pattern time and again before. Crime will resurge unless the dark forces that control hearts and minds can be contained.