Deal reached in Florida voodoo skull ...

Deal reached in Florida voodoo skull case

There are 57 comments on the FloridaToday.com story from Apr 1, 2006, titled Deal reached in Florida voodoo skull case. In it, FloridaToday.com reports that:

A Haitian woman facing federal charges after a human skull with teeth, hair and skin was found in her checked luggage, may avoid deportation in a deal reached by attorneys, her lawyer said Friday.

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Ayesha

United States

#1 Apr 13, 2006
I believe, she should be deported to Haiti. Thanks
amad

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#2 Apr 13, 2006
for praticing voodoo, i though America was the land of the free what happened to freedom of religion?
rene

Burlington, Canada

#3 Apr 13, 2006
Amad! America is the land of the free and freedom of religion but ! when it involves human heads, there is a fine line in what you call religion. I am sure that no one would mind so much anyone practicing in any way they wish, as long as you did not have to dig up my grandmother to do it....
amad

United States

#4 Apr 14, 2006
look what did was totally stupid, but the last time i check there was no law for deporting someone for being stupid. and whether you think that she's no praying to the right god or practicing the right religion isn't relevent . what's relevent is that she's free to practice any religion she wish to practice.
Rene

Burlington, Canada

#5 Apr 14, 2006
Amad !! Please look back and see what I have written! I did not indicate that she or anyone else is "not" free to practice any religion. You are so right when you say; that no one should be deported for being stupid. If that was the case or law, then there would not be too many people left in the usa. I did not indicate that she was praying to the wrong god, or the type of religion she choses is not relevent to her actions. What I did say is; that as long as there are laws around the world that says; to dig up someones body parts to practice a religion, or to transport body parts (in a plane) from one country to another, is not considered stupid! Its a crime! and my dear Amad! If you think that law should be changed, for any reason (maybe to practice your religion) then perhaps you should call or write to your parliment and work towards having that law changed (good luck) Perhaps the usa is not looking into everyones rights when it comes to using skulls and bones, to practice someones religion! but ! If you study haitian laws, there too! it is against the law, to not only dig up someones remains but! also against the law to transport body parts into haiti. I am pleased to say; that I do not at this time need a kidney but if the day comes, I will be sure to call you....
Zabulon

Cathlamet, WA

#8 Sep 25, 2006
sandra wrote:
<quoted text>
MAYBE WE SHOULD ALL START PRACTICING VOODOO, JUST LIKE THEY DO IN HAITI, AND MAYBE WE SHOULD ALL START POISONING EACH OTHER WITH MERCURY TO MAKE THE TARGET PLIABLE AND EASY TO MANIPULATE AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF. ANYBODY CAN DO THAT. ANYBODY CAN BE EVIL.
A SICK PERSON CAN'T OUT THINK A WELL ONE. MAYBE WE SHOULD RENAME THE USA AND CALL IT LITTLE HAITI SO THAT IT WILL BECOME AS HORRIBLE TO LIVE IN AS HAITI ITSELF AND THEN WE'LL ALL WANT TO FLEE THIS COUNTRY TOO.
I AM SO AMAZED TO SEE THAT PEOPLE WHO HATED THEIR COUNTRIES SO MUCH THAT THEY WOULD DO ANYTHING TO LEAVE IT, AND THEN COME HERE AND DO THE VERY THINGS THAT GOT THEIR HOME COUNTRIES IN THE MISERABLE HORRID SHAPE THEY ARE IN TODAY.
MAYBE IF HAITIANS COULD THINK CLEARLY, DEVOID OF VOODOO POISONING THEY COULD BUILD THEIR OWN GREAT CITIES, ROADS, HOUSES, FACTORIES AND LIVE HAPPILY IN THEIR HOMELANDS.
THINK THINK THINK IF YOU CAN.
Dear Sandra
While you and I both agree that BLACK MAGIC is wrong in our taste.
How do you decide, as a foreigner, that this is what caused Haiti to bein its current state. Have you ever considered the thought that way bigger things are at play here...?

As far as this woman thinks probably, those practices have helped her get through life. Again, that may sound stupid to you and I, but those are her beliefs.

Should she be prosecuted for her actions? Heck yeah

Should she be deported? Heck no. That has nothing to do with the issue.

Period.
Zabulon

Cathlamet, WA

#10 Sep 26, 2006
Ludy wrote:
<quoted text>
I really don't care what other people do in their religious practices as long as the practices are not harming innocent people. But, then EVERYONE should be concerned if she is harming herself because we have to live in the world with her and if she is destroying her brain cells by handling poisons it affects everyone who comes in contact with her(family,friends, co-workers,etc.) and worst of all mercury contamination(vapors) has health consequences that will affect whoever buys/rents or house for years.
Poisoning cannot be acceptable in religious practices and also here in Tampa the graves are being robbed. The mother of the child whose grave was robbed had a nervous breakdown. Religion that brings sorry, misery and sickness in the land CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO FLOURISH. It will affect every facet of society.
In order to have healthy minds we must have healthy bodies.
was poison involved in this case? I guess I don't know the full facts
rene

Burlington, Canada

#12 Sep 27, 2006
Ludy!! Lighten up! Bottom line! A woman broke the law by transporting a human skull into the usa. I fully agree with Zabulon, should she be prosecuted? Heck yeah! should she be deported? heck no! Lets face facts; the women will be going for her citizenship and sure that having been charged in the pass will not help her in her request. If everyone that does weird crap in the usa were deported! there would not be too many people left( including canada before all americans jump on me!)Bottom line! this woman broke the american law and should be charged the same way as an american breacking the law in Haiti. If it turned out being a federal law that she broke? then she should be deported and if the american jusdice agreed on a misdemeanor? then she should be charged as such and sure that it will not help her when she faces the imigration panel for her citizenship. "Have to agree that traveling with a human skull is a little weird! however we should be placing our concern on the ones that are trying to blow up our planes,over a nut case that needed to stransport someone head. "Maybe she was trying to get grandma to imigrate to the usa (a piece at a time..hehee) "lighten up! be more concerned about guns, explosives and terrorists entering usa, rather than a fool bringing in a skull instead of a great art work back from haiti. "If a person was traveling back from France with a skull! we would only say; shes crazy period but because she is coming from haiti! its another way for the media to have something hit the front page, to make "haiti look bad once again... If you are that concerned about " mercury and lead contamination, then you should start at the goverment level so that they stop industries in the usa from contamination there lakes,I am sure they are doing more harm than a nut case with a skull...
rene

Burlington, Canada

#15 Sep 28, 2006
Sandra! What if there was only good and no evil ?? "so you see Sandra! we can "What If all we want", voodoo is here and here to stay. We may not agree with it or its practice but! we must accept that it will be here long after we are gone. We can "what if all we want" and it will not change nothing. "What if I am a handsome prince and still 25 years old? God knows! I am not 25..lol. What if I married the most ugliest woman on this planet and I gaved all my money to a doctor so that he could give her a face lift and found out! that there was one even uglyer underneat it? "What if" will not change anything.
jean

Stoughton, MA

#16 Sep 28, 2006
Sandra wrote:
What if your child died and you went to visit the grave and the ground was disturbed and the grave was robbed?
What if you spent a million dollars on a new york apartment and found out later, after you became gravely ill, that voodoo practitioners had contaminated the property and it would take 15 years for the contaminate to evaporate???
What if you met the ugliest woman on the planet and suddenly she became so attractive to you that you married her and gave her all your money after being voodooed??
What if you lost the most important thing you have - your health - to a voodoo overdose.
Worst of all what if the overdose was so strong you lost your life - personally i believe that is what has happened to Anna Nicoles young son. Every mother should cry for her.
Voodoo has to be stopped. It is an ancient religion. Now that scientific evidence has proved it harmful, intelligent practitioners should want and be glad to stop it - unless they are evil.
Dentist were using it to fill teeth before they knew of its affect on health - now they have stopped. Voodoo practitioners need to stop this senseless harmful thing that is destroying them and the public - plain and simple. Only the evil will want to continue.
Sandra, I think most of your reasoning emanate from a possible voodoo phobia. You know how it goes often times; someone sees a Haitian, and right away he/she thinks he/she a voodoo practitioner. Some even go as far as calling Haiti or the Caribbean voodoo countries. I am not saying that you do that, but these fallacies or that blatant ignorance may affect your reasoning. Remember how without any tiny shred of facts you "believe that is what has happened to Anna Nicoles young son" i.e. a voodoo overdose?

As a Haitian man myself, I am not a voodoo practitioner. Personally, I don't like the practice. But, guess what? Many Haitians living in Haiti right now have taken the same position as you did. Point being: please avoid erroneous generalizations.

Furthermore, Just like many Haitians and foreigners, I had to educate myself about voodoo just like I did for all "mainstream" religion. I can bear witness to the fact that the way the media portrays voodoo is wrong.

Did you know that 80-90 % of voodoo ceremonies have nothing to do with casting spells, "doing evil" to someone. They are for healing, protection and blessing. Once again I don't practice the religion, but I am telling you what I have read from what anthropologists and researchers have published on the subject.

As far as manipulation is concerned, anybody in any religion can manipulate with no mercury added. Also, it belongs to the practitioners to eradicate harmful practices in their worship or risk prosecution (not persecution) because the practice might adversely affect other people's lives. ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU CANNOT DESTROY A WHOLE RELIGION BECAUSE THERE IS ALLEGED OR PROVEN HARMFUL PRACTICES. Remember the polygamist Warren Jeffs? Prosecutors are after the practice either for marrying older men to children or his participation in arranging such nonsense. They will probably never be able to destroy the religion. Hence, as Rene pointed out, voodoo is here to stay. One only needs to advocate the destruction of harmful practices not the destruction of the religion itself.

Advanced medicine used to use mercury to treat patient. They probably don't do it anymore, but anybody advocated the destruction of medicine? That would be UNREALISTIC.

If may offer you a suggestion, Sandra, I'll say read a little more about the practice of voodoo so that you can speak about it with more correctness. That won't make you a practitioner, trust me.
rene

Burlington, Canada

#17 Sep 28, 2006
jean wrote:
<quoted text>
Sandra, I think most of your reasoning emanate from a possible voodoo phobia. You know how it goes often times; someone sees a Haitian, and right away he/she thinks he/she a voodoo practitioner. Some even go as far as calling Haiti or the Caribbean voodoo countries. I am not saying that you do that, but these fallacies or that blatant ignorance may affect your reasoning. Remember how without any tiny shred of facts you "believe that is what has happened to Anna Nicoles young son" i.e. a voodoo overdose?
As a Haitian man myself, I am not a voodoo practitioner. Personally, I don't like the practice. But, guess what? Many Haitians living in Haiti right now have taken the same position as you did. Point being: please avoid erroneous generalizations.
Furthermore, Just like many Haitians and foreigners, I had to educate myself about voodoo just like I did for all "mainstream" religion. I can bear witness to the fact that the way the media portrays voodoo is wrong.
Did you know that 80-90 % of voodoo ceremonies have nothing to do with casting spells, "doing evil" to someone. They are for healing, protection and blessing. Once again I don't practice the religion, but I am telling you what I have read from what anthropologists and researchers have published on the subject.
As far as manipulation is concerned, anybody in any religion can manipulate with no mercury added. Also, it belongs to the practitioners to eradicate harmful practices in their worship or risk prosecution (not persecution) because the practice might adversely affect other people's lives. ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU CANNOT DESTROY A WHOLE RELIGION BECAUSE THERE IS ALLEGED OR PROVEN HARMFUL PRACTICES. Remember the polygamist Warren Jeffs? Prosecutors are after the practice either for marrying older men to children or his participation in arranging such nonsense. They will probably never be able to destroy the religion. Hence, as Rene pointed out, voodoo is here to stay. One only needs to advocate the destruction of harmful practices not the destruction of the religion itself.
Advanced medicine used to use mercury to treat patient. They probably don't do it anymore, but anybody advocated the destruction of medicine? That would be UNREALISTIC.
If may offer you a suggestion, Sandra, I'll say read a little more about the practice of voodoo so that you can speak about it with more correctness. That won't make you a practitioner, trust me.
"very well said; Not only by a well read person, but also by someone who has done his homework. " One question for Sandra! When we speack of voodoo practice, why does everyone speack of haiti and not the other hundreds of countries that practice it? also on the same note! Why does the christain church look outside theire church when speacking of voodoo? "Theres an old standing joke in haiti that says; '33% in haiti are christians! and 100% are into voodoo...I will take Jean stand and say; that I also do not agree on voodoo, however! there are many religions out there that claim that they are doing gods work, that I do not agree with also.
jean

Stoughton, MA

#19 Sep 29, 2006
sandra wrote:
I agree that Haiti seems to always be in the forefront when the media speaks of voodoo but we know there are many other countries practicing it as well. I am too schooled on voodoo and everything I am learning is horrifying.
Please read these statistics out of New York city.
http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~scintech/m...
If 38 botanicas in New York City sell between approximately 2.5 and 13 capsules of mercury a day, 179 capsules are sold a day. Multiplied by 300 days per retail year, this equals 53,700 capsules a year.
"I am too schooled on voodoo and everything I am learning is horrifying.". You just proved the point made in the first sentence of my last post. You will read nothing but horrifying stories if your source is the National Enquirer (and that was a joke).

Look, If I were to be school on religion by atheists or those who believe that any organized religion is a form of psychosis (mental disorder), I would only hear horrifying stories too;the crusades, 100-year war, Inquisition, etc; The point is that what we call (mainstream) christianity today has a violent past. It's the same for many "non-christianity" religions. All those religions and their derivatives/factions still exist. THE VIOLENT COMPONENT IS THROWN OUT in most cases, but those religions remain till today.
rene

Burlington, Canada

#20 Sep 29, 2006
Well the facts are out! "Anna Nicole Smith" son died of an overdose of methadone and a combination of 2 other antidepressant drugs. At least thats one case that cannot be blamed on voodoo and for the record! If I was Anna Nicole son! I would have probably done the same thing (only sooner).
jean

Stoughton, MA

#21 Sep 29, 2006
Now back to your link, Sandra. It is an interesting reading. I never knew about Santeria or the other practices the study referred to. However, the study admitted being limited in its procedure due to lack of cooperation and the secretive nature of the religions being studied.

I thought there was ground for more research. What I am interested in knowing is how Haitian voodoo practitioners use mercury in both their ceremonies and everyday lives. The closest I could get to an answer is a document published by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Here is the link:

http://www.epa.gov/superfund/action/community...

Here is one interesting paragraph:
"Although a significant number of studies have been completed, it is difficult to draw many solid conclusions from them. Data gathered to date are largely based on self-reports. Problems identifying willing participants result in small or non-representative samples, or both."

More:
"Dr. Edouard noted that her visits to various botanicas in Haitian and Latino neighborhoods revealed that mercury is readily available and widely used. Mercury is well known by Haitian spiritual healers and their customers. Haitians refer to mercury as vidajan, the old French word for mercury, vif argent refers to quicksilver. Latino spiritual leaders and their followers call mercury by the name azogue."

more:
"Mercury can be used in a variety of ways. Haitians and Latinos mix mercury with perfume or dusting powder and then rub it on the skin. It is used as an ingredient in some traditional medicines, then ingested, sprinkled on the floor for good luck or used to wash the floors, kept inside vials or charm bags as a talisman, and placed in oil lamps or candles and burned."

"Informal surveys and literature searches conducted show that mercury is mostly used for traditional medicine and as talisman but not often as part of rituals of Voodoo, SanterĂ­a, or other religions. Rituals are difficult to change, but traditional medicinal uses are possible to alter."

All in all, mercury is well-known by the Haitian voodoo practitioners, especially by the voodoo leaders. There is evidence based on this study that they use it. To make matters worse, according to the same doc, "Many [political and community] leaders in Latino and Caribbean communities are UNAWARE that mercury is used in rituals or for any other cultural reason by members of their ethnic group." They believe mercury has beneficial effects. They don't go around willfully making people sich with that thing, at least based on the study

There is cause for concern about the use of mercury in those religious circles.
jean

Stoughton, MA

#22 Sep 29, 2006
rene wrote:
Well the facts are out! "Anna Nicole Smith" son died of an overdose of methadone and a combination of 2 other antidepressant drugs. At least thats one case that cannot be blamed on voodoo and for the record! If I was Anna Nicole son! I would have probably done the same thing (only sooner).
yeah, as i found out many other people believed voodoo had something to do with the death of her son.

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/200...
jean

Stoughton, MA

#23 Sep 29, 2006
A few more quotes from the document, Sandra.
Another one:
"Dr. Edouard served as a speaker on the practice of Voodoo, which she stated is a secretive religion[....] although voodoo is not a centrally organized religion and is practiced differently in varying regions, its rituals are practiced to achieve three basic things: REMEDIES FOR ILLS, SATISFACTION OF NEEDS, AND SURVIVAL."

What is so horrifying about achieving these basic things? All religions on the face of this earth seek to achieve the same things, only do so differently.

Another one:
"People have been forbidden to practice Voodoo through slavery and the suppression by the Catholic church for centuries. The rituals have persevered throughout this time and will not cease [hate it or love it]."

what is more troubling is this:
"Coal-fired power units like the Tennessee Valley Authority's Cumberland Fossil Plant near Clarksville, Tenn., are responsible for 40 percent of the mercury emitted into the air across the United States."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6910067

Once it is in the air, we all know the logical conclusion.
jean

Stoughton, MA

#24 Sep 29, 2006
PS: the last link was not referenced from the EPA document and is a separate story.
jean

Lexington, MA

#28 Sep 29, 2006
fabienne wrote:
<quoted text>
VOODOO PRACTITIONERS ARE IN HOSPITALS TOO. WHERE THEY CAN EASILY GET METHADONE. POISON IS POISON. THE FACT THAT METHADONE IS IN HIS SYSTEM IS A BIG ONE, SINCE HE WASN'T A HEROIN ADDICT.
You are giving me fiction here. your point is a conspiracy theory at best. Do you have facts? Is methadone used in voodoo practices? come up with facts, would you?

Besides, how do you know the guy was not a junky? How close were you to him? The fact that he died from an overdose of methadone only proves to the intelligent mind that he was.
jean

Lexington, MA

#29 Sep 29, 2006
SANDRA wrote:
<quoted text>
My question to you is this, "If voodoo is not used for evil purposes to manipulate and control victims WHY the heck is it done in secret??"
Why don't we see a voodoo church on every corner just like christian, moslem, hindu and most other religions.
If voodoo practiioners really want us to believe they are not doing evil, their churches should be open to everyone.
First of all, are you invalidating the government report? I did not say it, you saw it right? Moreover, I can give countless other references that do not say otherwise, but I love to cite Dr. Paul Farmer, an American doctor who has been working in Haiti for more than twenty years, when he said in a book(Mountains beyond Moutains) about him and his work, that he wish people knew the facts about this predominant peaceful aspect of voodoo. would you call the work of this medical doctor and anthroplogist junk science? Dr. Farmer recognizes that the world, in general, is miseducated about Haiti. That's why he said he tries to either educate or reeducate the world about Haiti. His account is a first-hand account.

"If voodoo is not used for evil purposes to manipulate and control victims WHY the heck is it done in secret??"

No, my dear, voodoo is not practiced in secret... maybe you infered that from what I said about the practitioners being secretive. There is a big difference between being secretive about a practice and practicing in secret. voodoo is not practiced in secret. The practioners do not or are reluctant reveal their "secrets" to outsiders. and that's it.

"Why don't we see a voodoo church on every corner just like christian, moslem, hindu and most other religions.If voodoo practiioners really want us to believe they are not doing evil, their churches should be open to everyone."

In fact, their churches are open to evryone. Do you need an invitation? Their churches are named something other than churches, like pieristil. And yes, there are a lot of those in Haiti open for observers. You see, because the majority of people don't know the three things for which a voodoo ceremony takes place, voodoo practitioners fear violent persecution when they are not in their country. They practice in their homes. but there are voodoo "churches" in the US. There is even one mentioned in the goverment report. I am glad you asked.
Zabulon

Cathlamet, WA

#30 Sep 29, 2006
How do you guys allow yourselves to stray so far from the topic?

Just to clarify one thing about practicing 'secret' religions... Well, learn that every country, every religion has an alter ego that does quite the opposite of what they are supposed to do. Don't think that your current and past presidents have not involved in some kind of black magic and secret societies.

You have to understand, once again, that voodoo is a religion, black magic is something else.

I have an interesting article for you to read about BLACK MAGIC:
http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/n1257.cfm
Again, that is Black magic.
Educate yourself.

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