Joseph the spiritual healer
Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer
LIKE HIS biblical namesake who was blessed with incredible powers of divination, Joseph admits to being a very special individual, but he was very specific about one thing at the start of his interview with Rural Xpress.
"I'm Joseph the spiritual healer. Me not nuh obeah man," he firmly insisted, explaining that in an earlier interview, he had been described as an obeah man. While the story had helped to spread word of his skills, but it also besmirched his character.
"Everybody start look pon me and call me obeah man and me nuh like it," he said as our news team chatted in the comfort of his small office adorned with tools of the trade of white magic in Walderston, Manchester, in which Joseph proudly declares he is an expert.
"I help people by healing them by just touching them and chanting two words of the Psalms, and so. If they are sick, I can give them medicine because I am also a herbal bush doctor. I do the art of the Kabballa. That is what I study - the ancient knowledge that Moses, Joshua, Herod and those men used to do," he explained.
"I study the art of white magic. I don't do black magic because it's a black art. I study white magic, which is doing good things towards helping people, and black magic is when you are tricking people."
He was ordained from birth, so to speak, according to the man who has developed a reputation for helping, healing, and exorcism for almost four decades - 38 years to be exact. Born to a father who was also well versed in the mystical arts and a mother he claims is descended from the Hebrew line, Joseph has built on this innate wellspring of extraordinary powers, primarily through extensive reading.
"I don't see anything that I cannot do. I can do anything that I want to do so long as I put my mind and my capacity, my knowledge, towards it. That's why I study and read a lot because many people don't know that reading is very important in this country now. You have to read and learn and gather all those knowledge to inherit all of those things. Reading is very important," Joseph disclosed.
CHOSEN TO STUDY
Studying, though, is not enough if one is not chosen for this line of work, and Joseph had an epiphany at the age of 12 while in the company of his younger brothers Peter and Patrick, who are twins.
"I was going to school and saw an angel in the clouds and was showing my two brothers, but they didn't see him. He had on a long, white gown and his hair was tall, and he was looking down on me just like I am looking at you and me say, 'Peter and Patrick, look up there'... . Dem would look till God come, dem nuh see him. I have this number in my hand: 4-7-11. I born with it in my hand, and when I saw the angel, I was looking in my hand and wondering if him give me any mark and a dat deh time I realised that the number was in my hand."
Puzzled then by the inability of his siblings to see what was for him a very clear picture, Joseph now has an appreciation of why things unfolded as they did, citing Psalm 115 verses five and six of the King James Bible:
"They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:
"They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:"
Slowly, the youngster began to realise somehow, he was different from others.
"I start to tell people things, including my parents, like who was going to come to the house, and they didn't believe me until the people come. It's like the spirit was leading me."
Today, he is much wiser and stronger, but like some of the people he now helps, Joseph suffered a major setback at age 15. A victim of black magic, he claims two women put a powdery substance in his hymnal at church. For the next six months, he existed in a state of insanity until an angel anointed him with oil, in the process restoring his sanity. Since then, Joseph has helped thousands of men, women, and children from all walks of life here in Jamaica and across the globe.
See Part II next week Saturday.