Liberian Con Man: Cure Ebola With Prayer, Soda

With the nation of Liberia trying to get their Ebola epidemic under control, a Christian con man — sorry, “bishop” — named Edward Adjei says he can fix it by conducting an exorcism on the presidential palace and anointing the whole thing in a British soft drink.

Now, though, he is embarked on what would amount to his biggest miracle of all – persuading Liberia’s government to show faith in his bizarre plan to rid the country of Ebola. The deadly virus may have no cure known to medical science, but he says it can be seen off with the help of a three-day prayer session, an exorcism of the presidential palace – and several bottles of Vimto…

“The presidential building is our country’s gateway to Heaven, through which our leaders speak to God, but it has been desecrated,” said Mr Adjei, who aired his plan in local newspapers in Monrovia last week.

“Now nobody speaks to God through the palace any more, so He has turned his back on our country. And when that happens, we lose protection against things like Ebola.”…

He said it would require a three-day prayer session, which would also involve a ceremonial scattering of the blood of Christ around the building. It is here that his plan – to British minds at least – takes its most unexpected twist of all.

Rather than using communion wine as the blood of Christ, he uses Vimto, the British-made soft drink famous for its distinctive pink hue. “Communion wine is rather expensive, so we use Vimto instead,” he said, brandishing a large bottle from a store in his vestry. “We use it for consecrations here in Liberia all the time, such as in houses and pieces of land where evil acts were committed during the civil war.”

He’s chagrined that the Liberian government isn’t taking him seriously. I can’t imagine why.

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  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    This will never work. God only likes the smell of burning animals. The odor pleases him. And Dr. Pepper. He loves Dr. Pepper.

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    A message to all moderate religionists: your “ground of being/g*d is love” mushy g*dspeak provides cover for the likes of this chap. You own this guy. Oh, yeah, you own the Caliphate, too.

  • peterh

    Such a plan is on the same level as the witch doctors in Swaziland claiming that AIDS can be cured by having sex with a virgin.

  • John Pieret

    A message to all moderate religionists: your “ground of being/g*d is love” mushy g*dspeak provides cover for the likes of this chap.

    Easy does it! Does that mean the secular community also owns the MRAs and PUAs among it?

    Communion wine is rather expensive, so we use Vimto instead

    Glad to know you’re “all in” on this crisis.

  • raven

    Communion wine is rather expensive, so we use Vimto instead

    Glad to know you’re “all in” on this crisis.

    I’m sure Vimto works as well as Communion wine. Or water. Or Tequila.

  • John Pieret

    Actually, Raven, I’d guess Tequila would be the most help in this crisis out of the four (Communion wine would be better than nothing but it generally sucks).

  • Johnny Vector

    They’re not taking him seriously because Vimto. I mean really.

    Everyone knows that you have to use Irn Bru.

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    John Pieret @ 4

    Easy does it! Does that mean the secular community also owns the MRAs and PUAs among it?

    Moderate religious belief provides cover for the religious extremists. Where is the huge regional moderate Islamic uprising against the vile neocaliphate? Oh, nowhere to be found! Because calling out the extremists also calls out their own weak and mistaken beliefs.

    In what way does secularism have the first thing to do with the likes of the PUAs and the MRAs?

  • abb3w

    Vimto?!?

    Why is it that the semi-exotic is so often associated to shamanic mediation to the paranormal? It somehow seems linked to the way humans consider secrets reflexively valuable — which itself is a bit philosophically tricky at the “why” underpinnings.

  • grumpyoldfart

    When the mainstream American churches send their missionaries to Liberia, I wonder if they are advised to preach against the lies told by ‘bishop’ Adjei, or are they told, “We’re all on the same side so don’t rock the boat.” ?

  • abb3w

    @4, John Pieret

    Does that mean the secular community also owns the MRAs and PUAs among it?

    In a sense. They’re a non-trivial sub-segment within the broader demographic. Some of the broader demographic deny that the demographic constitutes a community; others deny that the MRAs and PUAs are a “problem” (although mostly from the MRA/PUA community.) However, it appears the majority of atheists admit that these bozos are too damn numerous, and at least express disapproval of them.

    @8, Kamaka

    In what way does secularism have the first thing to do with the likes of the PUAs and the MRAs?

    Correlation.

    There’s room for debates on the exact social psychology metrics to use, and at what thresholds to draw the line, of course. But, oversimplifying to sweep that under the rug for a bit, among secularist groups, the MRA/PUA segment appears to constitute a noticeable sub-demographic, who are present disproportionately to the level in the overall population. There’s been a few infamous incidents you might have heard of — the fallout from Elevatorgate, the unprofessional conduct of Bora Zivkovic leading to his resignation from ScienceBlogs, the arrival and rapid departure from FTB of Thunderf00t, the questionable conduct of Michael Shermer the editor of Skeptic magazine, further questionable conduct by DJ Grothe of the JREF. These almost certainly are not statistically representative of the whole population, but rather appear to be the most noticeable outliers — the pustules symptomatic of an underlying infection.

    From my own anecdatal observations of local and on-line groups and from what I’ve read in sociological studies of Atheists, this seems likely to be linked to secularist group members tending to have higher levels of Social Dominance Orientation.

  • steve78b

    BOURBON …… BOURBON … son!!!

    Soda is bad for your system. Nothing but good smooth bourbon for me.

    Bishop my ass. I think I’ll upgrade my rank to ARCH-POPE. Arch-Pope BOURBON.

    Just call me Steve

  • raven

    Bishop my ass. I think I’ll upgrade my rank to ARCH-POPE.

    Sure. Why not?

    You have as much spiritual power and authority as any Pope or priest.

    These titles aren’t earned. They are claimed.

  • some bastard on the internet

    Where is the huge regional moderate Islamic uprising against the vile neocaliphate? Oh, nowhere to be found! Because calling out the extremists also calls out their own weak and mistaken beliefs.

    Your Google-fu is weak.

  • some bastard on the internet

    Forgot to specify that my response was to Kamaka’s comment @8.

  • Kevin Kehres

    I’m really confused. Not about the story itself … grifters gotta grift.

    But where’s the money? I don’t see where the grifter gets his cut. Does he expect the government to pay him for his little exorcism? In which case, why not use wine? In solid-gold chalices! That he conveniently stores for a later use.

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    some bastard @15

    From the article you cite:

    The Secretary General also distanced Islam from the actions of the militant group known as ISIS, saying they “have nothing to do with Islam and its principles…

    Hardly a ringing condemnation. Reads like *failure to take responsibility* to me.

    Really, a caliphate is what Islam does and always has. The Islamic states should be putting down these murderous theocrats, but they won’t, partly because they like murderous theocracy just fine.

  • some bastard on the internet

    Kamanaka #17

    Wait, so somehow it doesn’t count as condemnation because they used No True Scotsman? How does that work?

    Believing in wacky shit does not preclude anyone from condemning other wacky shit.

    I’m also curious as to how those states are supposed to simply take them out when their militaries combined would still be hard pressed to even find ISIS when our own better funded military intelligence can’t even accomplish that (especially since our armed forces are part of the reason that their forces are so limited in the first place).

  • http://wordsgood4598.wordpress.com/author/wordsgood4598/ wordsgood

    Dr. Oz, have you changed your name?