Mermaid infestation? Who you gonna call?

Mermaid infestation? Who you gonna call?

WHY, Helen Ukpabio, of course.

This grotesque Pentecostal preacher who claims to have the power to protect people from “wizards”, “witches”, and, more bizarrely, “mermaids”, would be a figure of fun but for the fact that she has proved a real danger children over the years and ought never have been allowed into the UK this month, activists say.

They called on the authorities to deport Helen Ukpabio, a woman who wears clownish clothes and headgear and who calls herself a “Lady Apostle”.  This Christian charlatan is the founder of the controversial Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries in Nigeria, which has 150 branches in Africa and Europe.

Ukpabio’s “speciality” is “liberating” victims of the black arts in “deliverance sessions” and has been holding meetings in London with people who believe she has power to exorcise demons.


Said Gary Foxcroft, Executive Director of the Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network.

There have been numerous cases of children in the UK being tortured and sometimes killed due to the beliefs that Helen Ukpabio espouses.

As far back as 2009, Online Nigeria described her as:

Astute and ruthless in her determination to ensure her comfort that even when presented with the outrageous fallouts of her mission she remains nonplussed and unrepentant. It is an indication of this that to date, Ms Ukpabio has not apologised for the agonies that she has caused to thousands of children in Nigeria and elsewhere for stigmatising them as witches.

Foxcroft called on Home Affairs Minister Theresa May to deport Ukpabio immediately, adding:

Whilst the government has moved swiftly to block entry to the UK for Islamic preachers whose presence is harmful to the public good, there have been no cases of Christian pastors facing such measures.

Ukpabio advises parents:

If a child under the age of two screams in the night and is always feverish with deteriorating health, he or she is a servant of Satan.

In recent years, an 8-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy were tortured and killed by guardians or relatives who said Satan had entered their bodies, though in these instances there is no reported links to Ukpabio.

During the last ten years, British police have investigated 81 cases of African children being abused, tortured and sometimes killed after treatment by so-called spiritual mediums.

According to the Bartholomew Notes blog,  the Evangelical Alliance as long ago as 2007 issued a statement that condemned accusing a child of witchcraft as “abusive, immoral, and unbiblical”, and that highlighted efforts by the African and Caribbean Evangelical Alliance to ensure the issue was addressed within black-majority churches. However, there are many small African churches operating in the UK, and journalists have uncovered a few cases where little-known pastors from Nigeria and Congo continue to identify children as witches.

Ukpabio’s current visit to the UK is low-key, and probably deliberately so: after she came to wide attention in 2008 following the broadcast of the documentary Saving Africa’s Witch Children, she claimed that a mob had “almost killed” her when she visited London shortly afterwards. In 2010 she cancelled a planned visit to a Liberty Gospel franchise in Houston following bad publicity.

As it was, her latest London venue had to be hastily rearranged after her original booking at the Albany in Deptford was cancelled; the theatre has issued a statement:

We only cancel bookings in very exceptional circumstances. In this instance we were not given full information about the nature of the booking by the booker, which is at odds with our terms and conditions and ethical policies as an organisation.

Leo Igwe, who has been at the forefront of efforts over the years to expose this woman as a dangerous fraud, said this week:

Leo Igwe

Leo Igwe

We must commend the person(s) who helped draw the attention of the owners of Albany to the true nature of the program. Authorities in the UK and other Western countries must be on alert. African witch hunting pastors and churches are targeting African diasporic communities. They are seeking to roll back the gains of enlightenment under the pretext of re-evangelising the West.

Helen Ukpabio is desperate to extend her witch hunting ministry to Europe and America. She wants to establish international branches of her Liberty Gospel Church to enhance its clout and credibility.

He added:

Abuses related to witchcraft cannot stop if the authorities continue to allow African ‘evangelical witchdoctors’ into the UK to recharge the witchcraft narratives in black communities. Obviously witch hunters like Helen Ukpabio are not acting alone. They have individuals in African diasporic communities who, for some reasons, are facilitating these events – booking venues, printing and circulating posters, and mobilising for the event and serving as contact persons.

UK authorities should monitor the activities such persons as part of the efforts to stamp out witchcraft related abuse in the country. They should not fold their arms and allow another Victoria Climbe or Kristy Bamu to happen.

Ukpabio’s publicity for her London visit did not focus on child-witches; instead, the three-day event (10-12 April) was billed as a “Season for Disconnections from All Spiritual Attacks”, and her flier asks:

Are you under:
Witchcraft attack?
Ancestral spirit attack?
Mermaid spirit attack? 

Bartholomew pointed out:

It should also be remembered that Ukpabio has actively obstructed efforts to protect children: in 2009, she orchestrated a raid on a hostel for children who have been abandoned due to child-witch stigmatisation, and when the Governor of Akwa Ibom intervened she warned him to “remember what happened to Saddam Hussein”. Ukpabio also sent thugs to disrupt a conference on the subject of child witches organised by the Nigerian sceptic Leo Igwe, and in 2010 her lawyer left a comment on this blog expressing glee that Leo’s father had come to harm due to Leo’s anti-corruption campaigning.






65 responses to “Mermaid infestation? Who you gonna call?”

  1. Broga says:

    Meanwhile The Archbishop of Canterbury, certain in his uncertainty, cannot bless gay marriages because that would split his church by upsetting the hordes of demented Christians in Africa. Does this mean that Justin Welby, in his anxiety to appease the unappeasable, cannot take a stand on witchcraft, devil infested children, FGM and generally cruel and vile system of beliefs?

  2. barriejohn says:

    Broga: Just what I thought when I switched on the news this morning.

    He’s “struggling” with the issue (seems quite straightforward to most of us!), but he’s scared shitless of the reaction from those bigoted and backward African prelates, who seem able to dictate policy nowadays, in much the same way that that bully Putin is doing over eastern Europe. Haven’t they learnt from history that if you appease people like this they will, like blackmailers, only come back with even more outrageous demands?

  3. andym says:

    So Welby is scared about approving gay marriage because it might inflame homophobia in Africa. Just what the word missed in Christian leadership in 1930’s Germany.

  4. andym says:

    That was supposed to be “world”, but I suppose “word” would do just as well.

  5. Broga says:

    @barriejohn and andym: So what does Archbishop Welby and his church offer: an endless search for compromise; a readiness to appease; a striving for “balance” (a word he uses); an accommodation with some of the most vile elements in his church? And where must this leave him? The answer is sleepless nights; meetings with some people in any group who will detest him and a search for the easiest option.

    And yet isn’t he supposed to be an exemplar of virtues unattainable, one must assume from the Christian perspective, to flawed and misguided atheists? Not all his finery, his tall hats, his rituals, his pontificating can disguise the taint of hypocrisy and timidity. Doesn’t his God, his bible and his prayers guide him to a stance he should take and stand by?

    Other Christians have decided what to believe and hold to. Wasn’t it Martin Luther who said, “Here I stand. I can do no other.” Justin Welby has a choice. Endless and distressing equivocation or standing firm and if he is consumed by the bigotry of his church then he loses with his self respect and the admiration of others intact. This way he looks weak as he yields to the most contemptible opinions of his church.

  6. Vanity Unfair says:

    I still haven’t got over Glynis Johns in Miranda.

  7. barriejohn says:

    Someone has posted this, for what it’s worth:

  8. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: I spent an hour on the bank ofLoch Ness, with camera, when my son was a young boy as he tried to convince me that the monster would appear. He was in his “dinosaur period” after a visit to the Natural History Museum. Any fears I had that he had become gullible were removed when he wanted to swim across the loch as an alternative bit of excitement. I stopped him.

  9. Angela_K says:

    Speaking of coming out of the closet, the old closet Gay christian Cliff Richard said “If I was Gay would it make any difference” His Grammar is as bad as mine, he should have said “If I were…”

  10. Broga says:

    @Angela_K: I think Cliff is dipping his toe in the coming out water and doing it a long way from England. I think coming out would make a difference as his fans appear to be Daily Mail reader type matrons. Many, I guess, would be shocked and stunned. They like their heroes hetero-sexual, pure i.e. no playing away from home, married or celibate and, ideally, UKIP supporters. They are no longer “living dolls”.

  11. Angela_K says:

    Sorry, I just realised I posted in the wrong thread, pesky red wine.

  12. Matt Westwood says:

    “… unless there have been secret submarine trials going on in the loch, …”

    And that is *not* a more plausible explanation than a clan of plesiosaurs? Or perhaps it’s even a dedicated Nessie-hunter in his own private submersible.

    Now that really *would* muddy the waters: two of the above, having disguised their machines to look like aquatic dinosaurs, encountering each other in the lake, saying, “Look! We’ve both got independent evidence of Nessie!”

    I say: bring it on, and bring some more much-needed tourism money to Scotland — bring them to Loch Ness and thereby keep the Mailers away from the rather more remote and even more beautiful and untouched spots.

  13. Paul Cook says:


    Thanks for the picture. yes it looks like a boat on a canal. making a wake.
    wtf is it supposed to be to these clowns.

  14. Robster says:

    This person’s obviously been reading the religious best seller: “The Big Book of Silly”. This wonderful tome outlines all the religious people need to look really dumb, sillier than the regular gospel nonsense, dumber than a room full of lemmings. Suppose if you’re dumb enough to fall for the talking snake and various other biblical nonsenses then you’re obviously silly enough to believe the nonsense trotted out by this nasty piece of work. She needs a friendly vet with a big syringe.