Trust wacky old Pat Robertson to put a devastating natural disaster into his, um, unique perspective.
Via Media Matters, here’s the transcript of Robertson’s remarks.
And, you know, Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, “We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.” True story. And so, the devil said, “OK, it’s a deal.”
And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other. Desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle. On the one side is Haiti; on the other side is the Dominican Republic. Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, et cetera. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to God. And out of this tragedy, I’m optimistic something good may come. But right now, we’re helping the suffering people, and the suffering is unimaginable.
Robertson’s “true story” struck me as just more of his typically insane nonsense, similar to when he concurred with Jerry Falwell’s suggestion that the ACLU, abortionists, feminists, gays, and the People For the American Way (amongst other heathens “mocking God”) were partially to blame for the attacks of 9/11.
It turns out however that this tale of a pact with the Devil has been around for quite a long time and enjoys some legitimate currency in certain Christian circles. In 2004, following the ousting of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Tom Barrett, a minister and publisher of Conservative Truth wrote a lengthy article on the subject in the wingnut American Daily called “Government Of The Devil, By The Devil, And For The Devil.”
It is a matter of well-documented historical fact that the nation of Haiti was dedicated to Satan 200 years ago. On August 14, 1791, a group of houngans (voodoo priests), led by a former slave houngan named Boukman, made a pact with the Devil at a place called Bois-Caiman. All present vowed to exterminate all of the white Frenchmen on the island. They sacrificed a black pig in a voodoo ritual at which hundreds of slaves drank the pig’s blood. In this ritual, Boukman asked Satan for his help in liberating Haiti from the French. In exchange, the voodoo priests offered to give the country to Satan for 200 years and swore to serve him. On January 1, 1804, the nation of Haiti was born and thus began a new demonic tyranny.
At the time of the pact Haiti was France’s richest colony, and was known as the “Pearl of the Antilles” for its singular beauty. But it soon became one of the world’s poorest and most benighted nations. Scoffers may say that there is no connection between the fact that Haiti was the richest nation in the hemisphere, and then became the poorest after selling its national soul to Satan. But the scoffers can’t come up with a better explanation.
Hardly the case for anyone remotely familiar with the island’s history, not to mention its hazardous environmental and geophysical situation, but never mind all that bothersome factual stuff. After a rambling diatribe against voodoo, Aristide, and his “liberal” supporters in America, Barrett picks up the thread of the story citing Haitian bishop Joel Jeune who explains in detail how Satan was eventually expelled from Haiti.
On 14 August 1997, God’s people in Haiti experienced a historic victory over Satan, a milestone in winning our country back for God. The reason lies in history. The slaves brought here from Africa have suffered incredibly for many years. On 14 August 1791, a slave leader by the name of Boukman called a secret meeting in a wood called Bois-Caiman near Cap Haitien, which was attended by a large number of slaves. They celebrated a satanic ceremony, sacrificing a pig and drinking its blood, swore to serve the Devil and dedicated Haiti to him. For 206 years, Bois-Caiman was a very holy place, a high place which could only be entered by witch doctors during Voodoo ceremonies. For 206 years, they have been meeting there every August 14 to sacrifice to Satan.
A number of Christian leaders, including Paul and Gerald Clerie of Vision: Haiti and Christian leaders among the large numbers of Haitians in the USA, Canada, France and other countries, called Christians to unite on 14 August 1997 to pray and fast that Haiti would return to God. In Haiti’s towns, villages and mountains, Christians came together to fast and pray, held victory marches in the streets and a large event in the capital from 6am to 10pm during the holy invasion.
Our church members started their march in front of the President’s palace and marched for 6 hours to the place where the satanic ceremony took place 206 years ago. We had informed the government and media of our intentions weeks before the event, and were told that the witch doctors would be there, as they were every year. When we arrived, they had hidden themselves, unable to directly confront the Christians. It was a significant spiritual battle to reach the tree under which the pig was sacrificed in the original ceremony. We formed a Jericho march, circling the magic tree seven times. On the seventh time around, God gave many people a vision of the Devil fleeing from the area. The Christians were overjoyed. We cancelled the satanic contract and broke the curse, before celebrating communion and dedicating the area as a place of prayer. We also declared 14 August to be a national prayer day, on which people should pray that Haiti will return to God.
On the same day, several witch doctors were saved during the events in the capital. Three days after our holy invasion, the witch doctors returned to Bois-Caiman to bring their sacrifices and call on the spirits. After days of effort, nothing happened, because we had commanded the spirits never to return and dedicated the area to Christ.
The witch doctors complained to the government and media. At first, the government also protested, speaking in a press release of ‘terrible damage to a Voodoo holy place in which no Christian had set foot for 206 years.’ By the grace of God, the government relented and respected our legal right as Haitians to gather at any place on Haiti, including Bois-Caiman, where they now allow all Christian groups to meet. The place is now very popular, and local Christians gather there daily for prayer and fasting. All Haitians now know that the country no longer has a pact with the Devil; the contract has been cancelled, the curse broken.
So there… even if one actually subscribes to the “Devil Pact” legend, as Robertson appears to, the unholy contract was voided some years ago by Christian do-gooders.