Thu | Oct 21, 2021

The obeah hysteria

Published:Thursday | June 20, 2019 | 12:18 AM


I suspect that the current obeah hysteria is being generated more from its entertainment capacity than because any legal changes will affect the price of cheese. Except, of course, where a legalisation of the craft would result in the plummeting prices of services rendered as more spiritistic practitioners creep out of the woodwork to create competition. Supply and demand seem to function equally in any sphere of activity. Magician or no magician, people’s businesses will be impacted by the proliferation of competitors that the legalising would create.

dishonest business

Would legalising obeah address the question of dishonest business dealings between practitioners and their clients? How, for example, would a judge adjudicate on a dispute in a field of business that is so nebulous and mysterious? Where payment for service is solely decided by the needs of the obeah man or woman, be it a white fowl or a ‘couple grand’, and the fear of being tricked is an insurance for full payment, who else will decide the value of the service, except the magic man?

People will not stop paying ‘to tie down dem boyfriend’ or to find out who paid and cause him fi lef har. They will not stop paying to determine who gi dem uncle big foot or why dem whole life so salt, obeah being legal or not.

So, it seems like flying the reigns on this profession may be nothing more than shuffling the cards around while, interestingly, it would have the approval of the law. An almost-humorous thing to consider is when any legal ramifications that would apply to an art so mystifying and paranormal, would essentially put the law in equal mysticism.

Homer Sylvester