Helen Ukpabio, Witch Hunter, May Be Coming to Texas

You may have heard of Helen Ukpabio, the evangelical Christian from Nigeria who holds some despicable beliefs:

… Ms. Ukpabio’s critics say her teachings have contributed to the torture or abandonment of thousands of Nigerian children — including infants and toddlers — suspected of being witches and warlocks.

Seriously, a horrible excuse for a human being. And she’s supposedly set to tour the United States to spread her Gospel of I-Made-This-All-Up:

Even though the poster says the events are taking place in March — and I had someone lined up to go to the event and write up a report for this site — it looks like the tour has been postponed… maybe because word is spreading this Ukpabio is crazy, even for evangelicals.

In the meantime, a new website has been created to attack atheists who are trying to shine the light on Ukpabio. It may be a Poe, but who knows. It’s called — and it’s not a typo — “The Atheists Ploy to Destroy Christianity.”

You are however doing the works of your master — the devil. You don’t believe in God, Helen Ukpabio believes in God. You don’t believe in Jesus Christ, Helen Ukpabio believes in Jesus Christ and owns him as her Lord and personal savior. You don’t believe in the Holy Spirit, Helen Ukpabio believes in the Holy Spirit and is filled with the power of the Holy Ghost. How does that make you feel?

Craaaaaaaaaazy.

My new goal in life: Get featured on that website.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Anonymous

    what a kook! i noticed the bottom of her poster says “come and receive your freedom from the lord”. yes, i think everyone could use freedom “from the lord” maybe she needs a class in better grammatical skills.  perhaps “come and receive your freedom (er…enslavement) that comes from the lord.” yep.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/NISTSJ7BP5PPFJVBRAH54NP76A BlankSlate

      Although as a fellow Nigerian, I don’t share Helen’s beliefs, her grammar is correct by British standards. The Brits word sentences differently from Americans, (that’s not news btw). But yea, she’s crazy. The not so funny thing is she’s not the only one who believes in witchcraft, sorcery and the like. In fact, she’s in the majority.  Hell, my own parents believe the same, but thankfully they don’t respond to that belief in the same way. 

      • Annie

        Is there a correlation between these abusive practices in your country and the introduction of Christianity? 

        • Paul D.

          My impression is that the traditional churches in Nigeria (Catholic and Anglican) have had positive effects in denying backward and dangerous superstitious tribal practices. However, the new wave of Pentecostalism that is sweeping certain areas promotes and reinforces a superstitious, pre-enlightenment worldview and is extremely prone to abuse.

          • Demonhype

             Sounds like they denied the old backward and dangerous superstitious practices by introducing new ones, like giving an addict a new addiction to replace the old one.

             (Well, actually, a lot like the spread through Europe–I remember asking “why do we call it ‘Easter’?  Where did that word come from?”  I understood Christ-mas, but not that.  People always just changed the subject really fast, not wanting to talk about it.  They also didn’t like to be asked where we got December 25 as the official date for Christ’s birthday.  And don’t get me started on the saints…)

    • Jett Perrobone

      That’s exactly what I thought!  It took me about a minute before I worked out what it really meant.  Some of those statements can be gramattically correct yet still ambiguous.  For example, I remember reading about a sign on a church someone saw which said “We love hurting children.”  Um, yeah.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Meghan-ODonnell/304800100 Meghan ODonnell

    I clicked the link  on her beliefs and it is horrifying what they are doing to children. I see there is a documentary, I might be skipping that one because I don’t know how much more of this I can take. What is wrong with our world? I read everyday about abused children in this country (US) or other countries who treat their own citizens like animals. It makes me sad. And people fear us atheists are the ones who have no morals. If these are the morals they are speaking of, I’m glad I don’t have them.

  • Glasofruix

    I really like the “comments” on her website, crazy how they look like they’re written by the same person.

  • Donna

    If this is a Poe, its a very good Poe. Fortunately, I know Staise Gonzalez and she’s doing a great job of keeping up with this. Go over to the Facebook page and show her some love. 

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stand-Against-Helen-Ukpabio/300276600023391

  • http://twitter.com/xfreelancerx Nicholas Jones

    That is some pure, unadulterated, undiluted freaking crazy over there. And the comments are amusing in their sockpuppetry:

    John Doe sez: “Evil Staise Gonzalez not know what Jesus has in store for her fire! What Fool!”
    Little Janie Not-a-made-up-American-handle sez: How dare minion of Satan Staise not know God as true God. She burn in hell in Jesuses say so! She even more fool!”

  • Anonymous

    Doesn’t the US have legislation preventing the entry of particularly heinous criminals into the country? This monster, this waste of oxygen, this stain on the human race*, has no business anywhere except in a jail cell. The idea that she would not only be allowed entry into the US, but actually looked upon as some sort of religious authority makes my blood boil.

    *If you perhaps think I’m getting a little carried away with the characterization, I would encourage you to watch this or this.

    • Annie

      I was going to “like” this comment, because I appreciate the information you supplied, but I just can’t bring myself to click that word in this case.  I almost made it through the first video, and won’t be watching the second.  My blood is boiling too…

      • Reginald Jooald

        Like it so it gets bumped up to the top. This woman is sickening.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      There is a petition to have her visa denied.  It needs more signatures.

      http://www.change.org/petitions/the-president-of-the-united-states-deny-entry-to-the-usa-for-helen-ukpabio 

      • Mairianna

         OMG…..I signed the petition in a heartbeat!  This woman is an absolute lunatic.  Do Salem Witch Trials come to mind?????

      • TiltedHorizon

         Rich, thanks for linking the petition.

        SIGNED!

      • BrentSTL

         SIGNED!  This woman is nothing short of a menace. How the Nigerian government lets her get away with this crap is way beyond me.

      • http://childmyths.blogspot.com/ Jean Mercer

        Just an addition– if anyone would like an explanation of the “mermaid spirits” thing, I’ve discussed this on my blog, http://childmyths.blogspot.com.

    • http://twitter.com/happy_skeptic David

      Ohmygoodness, that’s disgusting. As a former fundamentalist Evangelical (whose father once tried to exorcise the demons out of him), I know all too well how such things get started and manage to survive, but this is truly scandalous. There has to be some way to stop people like her, and to protect children from monsters like that.

    • Johnk

      If we denied her entrance (which every thinking person would do) then I’m sure the ACLU would be happy to sue whoever was blocking her. What about her rights?
      I’m going to sign the petition right now…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_A3OAFDTFTUEX6ZHNS2R7S56IIM fester60613

    Can we burn her at the stake? Please please please please please, can we huh? Please?

  • Paul D.

    Ukpabio “owns Jesus Christ”? They’ve taken the whole “my personal saviour” bit to a whole new level.

  • Anonymous

    I think I heard about her last year.  She’s very dangerous, her methods harken the age of literal witch hunts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-T-Bennethum/686259677 Paul T Bennethum

    She is koo koo for Cocoa Puffs!

  • http://www.facebook.com/erehwonmai James Stringer

    I’m from Houston, where this person is supposed to appearing soon … sadly yes, she’s real. She’s come here before (last year). I so wish this is Poe, but it isn’t.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jinxmchue Jinx McHue

    “Ms. Ukpabio’s critics”

    Who shall apparently remain nameless.

    “say”

    People can “say” lots of things.  Proving what they say is an entirely different matter.

    “her teachings have contributed to the
    torture or abandonment of thousands of Nigerian children — including
    infants and toddlers — suspected of being witches and warlocks.”

    And the proof of this is what, now?  Has she actually told people to torture or abandon their children?  Has anyone every stated that they did these things because this woman told them to?

    It’s funny how your skepticism flies straight out the nearest window when the accusations are being made against evangelical Christians…

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Has she actually told people to torture or abandon their children?  Has anyone every stated that they did these things because this woman told them to?

      Yes.  Watch the videos that I_Claudia posted.

      • http://profiles.google.com/jinxmchue Jinx McHue

         Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to filter through the entirety of that documentary to find the relevant parts.  Can you give me the time stamps for them?

        • Anonymous

          I suggest you find the time to watch it. It will be educational. I watched the documentary some time ago and it made me physically sick. There was a scene where a small child was walking is some campus and suddenly this large man shouted at her/him “I want to kill this child” or something to that effect. The look in the child’s eyes was pure terror. 
          It made my stomach turn. The child was no more than 5. Probably younger. 
          There is no situation I can think of wheres an adult can talk to a child like that. There is no child that age that can possibly be or have done anything even remotely deserving of that treatment and hate.

          When you think that this coward felt justified in making that threat because of his religious beliefs it’s even more disgusting. 

          Do we lose some of our skepticism when it comes to religious zealots? If so it’s because time and time again they were found deserving of our contempt so when we hear once more that one of them is doing something crazy, hateful and demeaning we tend to believe it. 

          Take the time to watch the video and next time do not come here passing judgement without doing your homework first. 

          By the way, so that you don’t waste your precious time, part of their evil is precisely that they do not command the community to exile or murder their children, but take the necessary steps of condemning the children so they are assured that their followers will shun them and kick them out. So no, they do not espressely say “Kick them out and let them roam the streets alone” but they do say”Your child is a witch” which amounts to exactly the same thing. 

          And guess what’s the cure for these children? You guessed it: exorcism administered by the very same preacher accusing them. For a fee. Ultimately, it comes down to a simple scam. And those families that cannot afford to pay are forced to put their own children in the streets.

          Shame on you for defending these evil people. Shame on you.

          • http://profiles.google.com/jinxmchue Jinx McHue

             So you can’t, in fact, provide any evidence to back up the claim that this woman ordered such things.  That’s the only explanation I can glean from your hostile post which tries to switch the blame for your failure on to me.  I have actually seen part of the movie and at no point was any blame placed on this woman in it.  I strongly suspect the movie is just another smear-job like the “Jesus Camp” movie.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              Yes, well, even Fred Phelps has the right to strongly disagree with things.  And if you actually think kids in Nigeria are using evil spells to poison food, then you might think this woman is a benevolent woman of God, so I’m sure your heart is in the right place in defending her.

              • http://profiles.google.com/jinxmchue Jinx McHue

                 The claim is that she is personally and directly responsible for the torture and abandonment of children.  This other poster, cconti, failed to provide any proof whatsoever that she ordered any such thing.  Can you do any better?

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Ok Jinx, you’re right.  She doesn’t directly call for the torture of kids.  What she does is offer (for free, from the goodness of her heart) excommunication services.  And she publishes both a movie and book ‘how to’ to determine if children are bewitched.  One of the signs is that a child under the age of two screams out in the night.  And people in the village get mysteriously ill.

                  So, she is telling people how to determine if kids in the village are witches causing the death of other people in the village.  And hey, for some reason kids in these villages are ending up shunned from their homes and hacked up by machetes.

                  So since you’ve somehow found the time to stick around this long, how about you tell us what you think of her?  Does she really know how to tell if kids are witches, like she claims she does?

            • Anonymous

              Apparently, reading comprehension is not your forte. I have never said that this woman directly ordered for these kids to be persecuted. There is no need for her to do that on an individual basis when she can just exercise her power on the community’s superstition and accomplish the same goal. It doesn’t make what she does any less reprehensible and it makes you just as morally bankrupt as she is for claiming technicalities to apologize for her. 
              And if there was any doubt left, your “Jesus camp” reference tells me the rest of the story and who you are. It almost makes me wish your superstitions were true, because if they were your god would certainly not stand for the shameful persecution of children in his name. The fact that this sad state of affairs is allowed to go on unpunished is as much proof of his non existence as anything.

              But at least there is something I can thank you and the preacher for. Next time someone argues atheist have a lower moral standing than religious people, your posts and Mrs. Ukpabio life work are going to be my best evidence against it. 

              • http://profiles.google.com/jinxmchue Jinx McHue

                The reading comprehension problems are all yours.  Here were the questions I asked:

                “Has she actually told people to torture or abandon their
                children?  Has anyone every stated that they did these things because
                this woman told them to?”

                Here is your answer:

                “Yes.”

                So obvious, you did claim that she told people to do these things.  Now you’re walking back that answer in the face of being unable to provide any proof whatsoever that she said any such thing or that anyone has even claimed that she told them to do such things.  Utterly pathetic, obvious, half-assed and impotent smear job.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Sure you don’t…

          How about a video that SUPPORTS her, along with testimony that no money is asked for and no requests for the harming of children.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ff29Qyh0PLg  Testimonial also that children were infected by witchcraft be being fed yams.  

          I’ve got news for you.  These kids aren’t witches.  There’s no such thing as a witch.  I don’t give a shit if you believe in talking snakes and virgins giving birth.

          Even if she is only guilty of what she openly admits, promoting the idea that witches exist in a place where being labeled a witch will get you tortured and killed, then she’s a liar or  a lunatic.  And a deadly one.

          But that’s not all.  Here’s a playlist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbGzFN_NalI&list=PLCB1EE2F36DB76BDF

          You want a timestamp?  Sure.  Go to 4:30 of part 4.  And after you tell me “hm, I didn’t see her actually say to hurt any kids”, anyone who isn’t on her payroll will know you’re playing “Not touching!  Not touching!”

          • http://profiles.google.com/jinxmchue Jinx McHue

            Went to 4:30 of part 4 and I didn’t see anything other than protesters occupying (we like occupying now, right?) some nebulously defined conference.

            • Uzza

              At stake are children who are being literally tortured to death, and you don’t “have time” to watch a video explaining it, but you do have time to sit around writing comments defending the torturers. 
              Fuck off and die. 

    • Anonymous

       Here’s an article specifically about her. Her specialty is preaching about the way Satan possesses children and turns them into witches.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/22/us/22beliefs.html

      You can find “End of the Wicked” on YouTube, a movie the criminal made supposedly showing how children become witches and curse other people.

  • Anonymous

    Is there anything we can do to discredit and marginalize these people? About helping the children? As a community we have been able to raise almost $40K for Jessica.. That was a fantastic sign of unity and purpose. We should be able to raise much more to at least help take care of the victims of these nuts.

    In know there are NGOs working there on their behalf. I would make their donation a staple of this and other blogs. This is something that needs to be close to our conscience. This is not something we can forget or react to only when we read another post. 

    I am unable to watch those movies again. The first time was hard enough, but those images haunt me. 

    I would start with raising money to help whomever is taking care of the kids so they can take care of more of them. 

    Then I would move on to hiring investigators to collect evidence against these charlatans (somehow, I seem unable to find adjectives sufficiently evil to describe these people) and try to find allies among influential personalities.

    Finally, I would like to see the initiative gain enough steam to bring these people to justice and effectively terminate their activities.

    I don’t care if we need to form an alliance with the Catholic church or any other Church that finds these preachers abominable. I would not want to do this to further the cause of atheism and humanism or because I want to relive my guilt for having a roof over my head and a warm meal a day. 
    I would like to do this because it’s the right thing to do. Because these are among the most innocent victims and they deserve to be avenged. 

    Maybe I am reacting too emotionally, maybe I am crazy, but we must be able to do something.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.bauwens Joe Bauwens

    Helen Ukpabio is effectively powerful enough to be above the law in Nigeria, but there would be a good chance of brining a prosecution against her in the US, something that needs to be thought about seriously.

  • T-Rex

    If anything she comes off as some kind of sooth sayer or “witch doctor” for her particular cult. Bitch is crazy and needs to be shown some of her own medicine.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Don’t think ”
    The Atheists Ploy to Destroy Christianity” is a Poe.  As someone on “Fundies say the darndest things”  (
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/darndestthings/10150699637855309/ ) spotted, it’s based in Nigeria.

  • marvin

    My comment is awaiting moderation but somehow I doubt it will be posted. I’m channeling a suitable dose of “teh crazy” and responding in her own language, just to make them MORE paranoid: 

    marvin says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. 
    February 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm
    I am the possessor of Helen Ukpabio. I am possessing her spirit and using her to spread my gospel.
    Helen Ukpabio is my minion. Her gospel is condemning her and thousands to my hell.
    I am LILITH, I am CAIN, I am BELIAL, I am LEGION. I possess Helen Ukpabio, I am BAAL, I am LUCIFER.
    HATE is my weapon, JUDGMENT is my sin, LIES are my words.

  • Scott Maddox, CPA

    I believe Leo Igwe in Nigeria’s life may be in danger from the Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries. They have a photo of him on their website here: http://libertyfoundationgospelministries.org/images/scan0008.jpg
    They also have a link with his name on it here: http://libertyfoundationgospelministries.org/images/leo_igwe.jpg The church and Helen Ukpabio is against him because he has spoken out against their child “witch” killings. I think they are trying to spread his photo around so that they can hunt him down to kill him probably. Here is the website where I found the links. There may be other incriminating stuff there. http://libertyfoundationgospelministries.org/images/ I think Leo is currently outside of the country, but it probably isn’t safe for him to return to his home any time soon.

  • BrentSTL

    Pardon my ignorance here, but I’ve seen the term “Poe” tossed around here a time or two and also at a couple of other sites.

    What exactly is a  “Poe”?

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      It current usage,  it means someone being satirical, in particular pretending to be an over-the-top religious nut.  It comes from “Poe’s Law” which is that it is impossible to tell good satire from actual true believing religious nuttery.  aka, there is no fake crazy crazy enough to be more crazy than actual crazy.

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Poe's_Law 

      • BrentSTL

         Thanks Rich! =)

  • Carmel

    Stepping
    Stones Nigeria and their Nigerian partner organisations have launched a global
    campaign to Prevent Abuse of Children Today (PACT).

    Witchcraft is often seen as the source of problems within Nigerian society with
    vulnerable children being the group most at risk of witchcraft accusations.
    Children stigmatised as witches face abandonment by their families and
    communities, torture, public humiliation, disgrace and even murder. 

    PACT aims to bring long-term positive social change to vulnerable Nigerian
    children, particularly those who’ve been accused of witchcraft, are at risk
    from traffickers or have been abused. I urge you to stand with us to Prevent
    Abuse of Children Today – please sign the PACT petition and see the website to
    find out more about how you can help: http://www.makeapact.org or
    find PACT on facebook here: http://ow.ly/9j8im  thank you.


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