Is Falokun a fake?

June 25, 2013 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Finding your way in Ifa-Orisha 

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If people who call themselves babalawos aren’t acting like babalawos, I stop calling them that. Instead I call them… well… I prefer not to call them at all. By now I am getting sick and tired of the diseased, obsessed, indeed insane behavior of the sorry lot that constitute the “Charles Spencer King Witch Hunt Pack”. This has nothing to do anymore with keeping Ifa-Orisha clean or decent… this has become a pathetic, sick, hypocritical mania, presently headed by a gleeful gloater.

I am not a man of particularly good character, a sad fact that, however, I never tried to hide. But even I can see that what’s going on here has become the self-righteous obsession of an apparently disturbed person.

 

The “Charles Spencer King Witch Hunt Pack”

Witches HatIn various places, for example in his Facebook article and subsequent thread at Three Authors: Ayo Salami; Awo Falokun Fatunmbi (David Wilson); Philip Neimark and Why they are in Hot Water the venerable Don Quichotte, in his present reincarnation as Charles Spencer King, attacks the three priests mentioned in the title of his diatribe. The first, Ayo Salami, I know kinda zilch about, and that suits me fine. The third, Philip Neimark, I exchange the odd bit of pleasantries and/or bickering with, and that also suits me fine. Neither of them is sufficiently familiar to me in order to have any educated opinion about them being crooks or not.

Now the second in the little row, Awo Falokun Fatunmbi, is another matter. He was the Awo who initiated me as priest of Oshoosi and omolawo of Ifa in October 1994. I’ve known him for a long time, and quite closely. That happens, you know, when you both are present in Igbodu. I haven’t seen him for quite some time now, but when he was in Amsterdam back in 1994 he carried a lot of Ashé, made a very positive difference in the lives of me, my family and various other people around us, and he was very effective as a priest. In fact during my initiation procedure something happened to me about the aftermath of which he said with a healthy bit of self-mockery: “Jaap, I must have done a better job than I thought I did” (wide grin)! About Falokun I do have an opinion, and I believe a sufficiently informed one. I am strongly convinced that he’s the “real deal” who, after the simulataneously despicable and hilarious behavior of his so-called “elders” in Ode Remo, probably is a lot better off without them.

The witch hunter…

As for the “Witch Hunter General” Charles Spencer King… although every now and then I feel a wave of nausea and anger coming up when I read his never ending diatribes (some initial liking and respect I had for the man has by now gone), I have come to mainly think of him as “Oh, it’s only Charles”.

What else to think of a man, according to his own words a Senior Lucumi Babalawo with the Fourth Odu and the Knife, who in a reply to one of Falokun’s friends refers to Falokun who is several decades his senior as: “your boy the old omo awo”?

And also writes: “the white man you claim to be the paragon of virtue”? Nobody claims Falokun to be the paragon of virtue, and whaddafugg has his skin color to do with any of this???

And what about Charles’s tasteful statement to the aforementioned friend: “the old omo awo Falokun whose urine you sniff? Tell us lap dog….”

Oh dear… If this is what you lot in America and/or Lucumi expect from a Babalawo, I am increasingly glad that I ain’t one, don’t claim to be one, and don’t want to become one. Every day, in every way, I am gladder and gladder to be Independent.

 
Charles Spencer King, in my opinion, disqualifies himself as a decent babalawo by the way he uses words and terms to describe the subject of his witch hunt.

…and his pack

And then we get to the illustrious crowd that presents itself in Charles’s thread as the “Ode Remo Babalawos”. These are the people who claim that it took them twenty years to find out that their initiate Awo Falokun Fatunmbi acted as (wouldya believe it?!) an Awo, something that the whole world knew… including their own chief AKA the Araba Adesanya Awoyade, who already in 1995 had stated to a Nigerian friend of mine that he knew and approved of my initiation by Awo Falokun.

Let’s examine some stuff written about Falokun by the “Ode Remo Babalawos” in Charles Spencer King’s crusade thread. For the benefit of y’all I have given some small comment on each statement. By the way: the first “white man” referred to is myself, the later reference being more general.

“(…) the foolish white man (…)”

Having any problem with my skin color, Black men of the “Ode Remo Babalawos”?

“(…) How can you be an Ifa diviner and not be an Ifa priest (…)”

By, f’rinstance, not being a Yoruba in the Orunmila system. Ifa in Africa is quite a bit larger than just your village, state or even country.

“(…) not to listen to these white men cry (…)”

Again: having any problem with my skin color, Black men of the “Ode Remo Babalawos”?

“(…) we have no idea about any initiations he was making on people (…)”

Oh c’mon, grow up. In 1995 Lekan Babalola spoke with your Araba Adesanya Awoyade about me having been initiated by Awo Falokun. The Araba was fully aware and sent me his blessings.

“(…) he was doing that for money and fame (…)”

I don’t know about fame, but he certainly didn’t do it for money. Unless you call 1500 dollars including roundtrip ticket Oakland-Amsterdam-Oakland “doing it for money”.

“(…) The people that he initiated should collect their money back from him and contact us to redo their initiation (…)”

Which, undoubtedly, you will do not for money and fame, but in modest silence and for free (sarcasm off). Geez guys, GROW UP! This is the classic trick! It’s an oldie! We’ve all seen it dozens of times! Anyway, the REAL cat seems to be out of the bag.

Oh dear… Again: if this is how Ode Remo babalawos speak and behave, I’m damn glad I ain’t one of them.

 

Indeed, it’s the oldest trick in the Ifa-Orisha world: telling the unsuspecting punters that the initiations they had done by others are “invalid”, and offering to do them over. In the Diaspora, where nowadays these things are increasingly talked about, hundreds of thousands of dollars must already have changed owners this way, and Nigeria apparently isn’t far behind. Take the advice of a cynical old man: if, in whatever branch of Ifa-Orisha, people tell you that your initiation wasn’t genuine and that they will redo it for you… run. Run like hell. You’re being taken for a ride.

Asking for what he already has?

On December 19, 2011, the “Ode Remo Babalawos” wrote to Charles Spencer King about Awo Falokun: “(…) Seven years ago (note: that would have been in 2004 then. JV.) he sent $100.00 to Awo Sina Kuti and requested all the 256 Odus written down and translated sent to them (…)”
Now there’s something very interesting going on there because… Falokun already had that material that he allegedly was asking for in 2004, in his possession for over a decade… so I’m pretty sure he did not “ask for it” in 2004!

 

 

Seems pretty clear to me. If Awo Falokun Fatunmbi was able to let his students have copies of this stuff as study material in 1994 he must, quite reasonably, have had it in 1994… at the very latest. Otherwise he couldn’t have given it to me and my co-student Ellen AKA Iyawo Taiwo. I never asked when it was supplied to him, but I sure know when he supplied it to me: October 1994. Why would Falokun in 2004 ask for study material that had already been supplied to him at least a decade earlier? Beats me. I think the story is bull.

The text on the front page of the collection in the video also puts an end to the accusation that Falokun plagiarizes without giving credit to the “Ode Remo Babalawos”. It’s really printed there: “By Awo Sina Kuti. Egbe Ifa Ogun Ti Ode Remo”

The Araba knew, and he approved

As for the “Ode Remo Babalawos” and their claims that Falokun Fatunmbi is a fake without permission to work as an Awo: my friend and spiritual brother Lekan Babalola is a blood relative (some sort of nephew) of the Araba Adesanya Awoyade of Ode Remo, in fact Lekan’s mother comes from Ipero Remo, only a few kilometers from Ode Remo. He travels often between Europe and Nigeria, and a year after my initition, in 1995, he visited his uncle in Ode Remo and spoke with him about many things, among which my initiation the previous year by Awo Falokun… which turned out to be perfectly alright with the Araba. Lekan told me afterwards: (I paraphrase, not remembering the exact wording): “Jaap, I spoke with the Araba about you. He knows about you and your initiation by Awo Falokun as a priest of Oshoosi and an Omolawo of Ifa. The Araba sends you his blessings”.

There’s yet more to it. When I was about to get initiated, Awo Falokun invited Lekan Babalola (remember: a nephew of the Araba!) to assist in the initiation. Lekan couldn’t attend on account of business elsewhere, but that’s irrelevant. What is relevant is: if Falokun was doing things that he shouldn’t, couldn’t, and had no training and permission for… in short, if he was doing something sneaky that the Ode Remo crowd shouldn’t know about… why on earth would he, of all people in the world, ask the Araba’s very own nephew to assist him??? Think about it. Does any of you still reckon the accusation makes sense?

It’s a mess

I have the advantage of not (anymore) belonging to a lineage, egbe or ilé… I only belong to Ifa and myself. It’s possible that this makes it easier for me to see the mess the religion is in, than it is for others who are constantly surrounded by the elders, youngers and peers in their branch. I dunno. All I know is that every day, in every way, I am gladder and gladder to be Independent.