Profiteering ‘prophets’

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My dear Pastor Jerome,

I thought of writing to you like this because I am not sure where you are, although you have said you will return to Paradise today. It must be a novel experience for you, isn’t it, being almost unknown among the general public a week ago and becoming the hot topic of discussion a few days later?

We heard that you had left the country suddenly, when one of your videos went viral. However, you say it was a trip planned much earlier. Whatever it was, at least you knew where you were heading; you didn’t have to fly first to the Maldives, then to Singapore and finally to Thailand.

You left the country just as your passport was impounded. But then, our CID and Immigration allegedly allows British citizens to be State ministers, so that is not surprising. On the other hand, that shouldn’t be too hard for you because you claim that you perform miracles!

Since hearing about the controversy surrounding you, I tried to figure out what all this fuss was about. You said Lord Buddha was the ‘Enlightened One’ and Jesus was the ‘Light’, so Lord Buddha must have been looking for Jesus! Honestly, Jerome, I don’t know why everyone is so excited about this.

First, Lord Buddha passed away long before Jesus was born so he couldn’t have been looking for someone who was not there. Your argument doesn’t make any sense. You are just playing with words. You remind me of little children who try to prove they are superior to their friends by saying ‘I have a bigger house than yours’ or ‘I have a more expensive car than yours’. Jesus would have been really ashamed of you.

Second, most people believe that religions are not about one being superior to the other but being helpful in guiding everyone, no matter what religion they subscribe to, to become decent human beings. Is that why even the Catholic Church has been very quick to disown you, Jerome?

While some found your comparisons offensive, others are jumping up and down, threatening you with dire consequences.

These are the same ‘saadhu’s who had been in hiding until now who are suddenly putting their heads above the parapet and giving ‘voice cuts’ to ‘save’ Buddhism in Paradise. That is something we usually see whenever an election is near. So, this makes us wonder why this is happening now?

We have seen many dramas enacted for our benefit. Four years ago, it was about how eating ‘koththu’ could make you sterile, and how a King of Snakes emerged from the Kelani River and slipped into a plastic bottle to indicate that a new King would emerge. We now know how all that ended, don’t we?

We heard that even Uncle Ranil has ordered an investigation into what you said. I suppose it won’t hurt him to score some points from the electorate, especially if he wants to go for a snap poll; but what would be more interesting is if he inquires into not only your preaching but also your money.

That is because you draw your inspiration from another of your kind, Uebert Angel, and you seem to follow not only his style in preaching but his taste in clothes as well. This chap from Zimbabwe appears to have mesmerised not only his countrymen but even our Mahinda maama too.

You must be aware, Jerome, that Uebert is now being accused of money laundering involving the sale of gold. You need to be careful too because some have raised questions as to how you fund your extravagant preaching sessions. Nandalal, who is on the lookout for scammers, may be interested!

I do feel sorry for Mahinda maama though. Whenever some crook is exposed, a photo he has taken with Mahinda maama surfaces from somewhere. Now, a photo of Uebert with him is doing the rounds and Mahinda maama has to issue statements saying that he only met him in an official capacity.

If it was someone else who was involved, we can imagine the ‘pohottuwa’ chaps having a field day, urging us to usher in yet another Mahinda era, so he can once again save the ‘rata jaathiya’ from alien forces. That is difficult now, when there are photos of Mahinda maama with the alleged offender!

Though your comments hurt the sensitivities of Buddhists and those of other faiths, you don’t truly represent what Jesus preached. We know this is all a drama staged for our benefit. We will all be fine!

Yours truly,

Punchi Putha

PS: Since your link with Zimbabwe’s Uebert came to light many compared the plight of Paradise with Zimbabwe: Led for years by a leader who ‘liberated’ the nation, where corruption was rife and now is in ruins economically. That leader was Robert Mugabe or ‘RM’. Are we just the other way around?


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