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Follow Up to African Avatars

Nov 22, 2001 02:26 PM
by nos

Thanks once again to Tom for permission to republish his work - This is
a follow up to the first article written a few months later and after
Tom received some more information from people who had read the first

A followup to the Simeon Toko Story

Tom Dark 

"Upon the clouds, cometh the son of Man, in His power and glory"

Can it be said that there is one human being, who acts as a sort of
nerve center of all the hopes and fears and potentialities of humanity?
An individual with a soul so expansive, so filled with the energy and
knowledge of the ages, that it unites all the souls of all the
individuals of the planet into Himself? 

Of course many people will reply "yes" with an exclamation point, and
perhaps slap a pamphlet in your hand complete with picture and Wise
Sayings attributed to Him.

There are quite a few of Him. Last February (2000) a book came into my
hands seriously in need of rewriting, which purported to tell the story
of one Simeon Toko, whom many Africans believe is Christ returned. I
decided to do what independent research I could do on the matter, write
an article about it, send it across the internet, and see what happened.
At this writing, two or three months after the publication of the
article in Nexus Magazine, I am still receiving phone calls and e-mails
about it. Here follow a few reader reactions to my "African Avatars and
the Secret of Fatima" story, Nexus magazine, August/September 2001:

A woman left this message on my answering machine (30 September, 2001):

"I'd like to talk to you... I think a few years back coming back from a
trip down south, I saw... in the clouds... a silhouette in the
clouds... at first I thought it should be a Egyptian face, but it
didn't look like that... just now I was reading the article in Nexus...
[the face in the clouds] looked just like Simeon Toko... it would be
nice to talk to you..."

Others who had read the Nexus article had called me from around the
globe: scholars and merchants and people from ordinary walks of life;
the excitement in most of the voices was unconcealed. All felt a
strangely compelling interest in the strange story I'd written, which,
just as strangely, Nexus had accepted for publication.

After reading the Nexus article, a medical doctor in Arizona dreamed
that Simeon Toko had spirited him off to Angola -- for this, he decided
to take a trip to Angola to visit the sites showed him in the dream; a
housewife in Michigan dreamed an epic dream of a tall, homely black man
(my article didn't mention that Simeon Toko was exceptionally tall); an
Australian couple remembered awaking a couple years ago to see a tall,
homely-looking black man standing and looking at them in the middle of
the night; a Protestant Minister from Canada saw Simeon Toko standing in
his back yard, and now wondered if he hadn't gone crazy; 

A fragile 83 year old woman, voice as twittery as a bird's, came to my
little apartment to discuss this article. She sat down gingerly on the
swivel chair I offered her, and explained to me that there are 9 Christs
on our planet at any given time, and Simeon Toko is one of them. 

Then she explained that higher beings from the planet Venus were sending
rays to enlighten the nervous systems of all who were open to this
remote-controlled therapy. She learned this in a class she was taking.

She then asked me to put my two hands together and hold my fingers
forward. Sure enough, as she suspected, my index fingers are identically
curved. This means that I am one of the Elect of God, one of the
144,000. I believe Pastor Melo, the main author of the book, had told me
the same, in one of his first letters to me.

Then the old darling showed me a nasty scar which had healed on her left
upper arm. She explained that the CIA had loosened the pinions of her
porch roof last year, and it fell in while she was standing under it. 

She assured me that the CIA and the FBI both are out to destroy all
religion; they'd rough up an 83-year-old woman to achieve those ends.
They know who the Elect are and where they live. They tried to get her
-- but us Elect are meaner than any mere collapsing roof.

I don't know if I like being one of the Elect. Obviously, it's an
important enough position to get CIA men crawling around invisibly in
your woodwork, but the reward -- getting to bow up and down day and
night for all eternity before a big faceless Light (capital "L") --
doesn't sound much better than the punishment for unrepentant sinning,
which is to swim around aimlessly in a huge lake of fire with everybody
else, also for all eternity. So describeth the book of Revelation. 

Another woman, a government worker, came dressed properly and speaking
rationally, to tell me that she had heard Pastor Melo speak in Himmel
Park, here in Tucson, Arizona, the previous Sunday at the end of August.
She decided that Simeon Toko indeed must be Christ -- or more properly,
"Christed." One of the Ascended Masters has revealed Himself to the
world at large, for divine purposes. She did not wish to join the
Tokoist church.

Dear Readers will forgive me if I have this wrong; I understood her to
mean that one is Christed with Divine powers, to raise the consciousness
of all the peoples of the earth -- or at least be available
telepathically from some exalted hiding place for those who believe it

Of the dozens of letters I received about the article, only a single one
was negative. A South African man warned me that these people were
nothing but communists who practiced witchcraft, up to trickery. His
letter seemed as
crazy as any of those willing to "believe," having merely read a story.

While he was here staying with me, Pastor Melo told me one of Simeon
sayings: "Everybody I attract is crazy. I'm crazy, you're crazy -- but
everyone else is even crazier." 

Perhaps a thousand years from now, the Tio Toko Tabernacle Choir -- the
greatest choir ever assembled by man -- will ring out with combined
voices of the most majestic singers mankind has ever heard. The Holy
Spirit will be upon them, just as it was on that July night in 1949.
They will resound, echoing from the Vaults of Heaven in Holy Jubilation:

I'm Crazy
You're Crazy
Everyone else is Even Crazier!

Pastor Melo tells me that Simeon Toko in his lifetime had a profound
sense of humor. Toko insisted that no one call him "Papa" or "Father."
He said that the world had had enough of that sort of thing, and so if
they had to give him any such title, to call him "Tio" -- "Uncle," in

Tio said he will be returning; in historical terms, he should be
returning pretty soon. He mercifully made his wife mute before he died,
Pastor Melo says, and said that she would speak again to indicate when
he had returned. His wife is now past age seventy. Simeon Toko left a
wife and two daughters.

There, Where Eagles Gather

A young Angolan Tokoist named Avelino told me that he was present to
hear Tio give his farewell speech, a week before his death, in 1984.
Some thousands were present, listening intently. He said that Simeon
Toko pulled out a handkerchief from his pocket and told the crowd to do
the same. He said "when a sparrow is about to leave a branch, he gives
it a little shake to say goodbye and thank it for its support." Holding
out his handkerchief, he said "I will now shake my branch like the
sparrow. I would like you all to shake your handkerchiefs with me." The
crowd did that, and a week later,
Tio died. 

The newspapers announced that Simeon Toko, 66, died of heart failure.
His body remains undecayed and intact, they say, in the fashion of
Paramahansa Yogananda and other holy men, high on a Mountain in Angola.

Unless Ye See Signs and Wonders, Ye Shall Not Believe

Come on. Somebody REALLY got chopped to pieces and pulled himself
together, four different times? Got killed by unbelievers, then came
back to life? Well, Tio himself was fond of saying "what's happened
before will happen again."

Next thing you'll try to tell me is that this already happened two
thousand years ago. The "Christed" Jesus bin Nazareth was insulted and
beaten and tortured, nailed to a cross, poked through the chest with an
iron rod, dumped in a heap in a tomb, and then rose from the dead,
flying up into the sky, 40 days later. 

That's quite a story. Is it possible? By strange coincidence, I happened
to beat my dog to death not too long ago -- even though I knew it had
done nothing wrong. I was jealous of its gentle wisdom and supernatural
powers. This morning I noticed it had dug its way out of the compost
heap and was flying around the yard. I've been ignoring it, since I'm
sure it's only trying to make me feel guilty. If I give in, I know next
it will want money. Maybe a dog that brought itself back to life doesn't
any need of my money, but experience shows his appointed representatives
may want a lot of it. 
(Note: this sardonicism is, of course, entirely fictitious. The author
is very fond of dogs and does not even advocate hitting animals. Plus,
if Christ Himself can't take a joke, we're doomed beyond recognition.)

The scholar Acharya S has thoroughly detailed in a book called THE
CHRIST CONSPIRACY that before Simeon Toko, and before Jesus Christ,
civilisation had long been paved with stories of god-humans Who died,
came back to life, and offered eternal life to believers through their

If mankind as a species were less literal-minded, this would not be
scandalous news, entertained solely by an embittered intellectual elite.
Most people with a little ancient history in their reading can name a
few of these human-gods. Dionysus and Mithra and Osiris and Hercules and
Persephone come to mind. People believed that these were human beings,
whatever else they were, who were killed and returned to life. Were they
all fakes? 

Acharya S homes in on the story of the Egyptian God-Man Horus, the Son
Man, born of Ra. He was called "KRST," or "Christ" in modern english.
uncertain long time before Jesus, Horus was born of a virgin of a royal
house; he had a token earthly father named Joseph (in Egyptian, "Seb");
he confounded the elders with his wisdom as a boy; Horus raised Lazarus
("El-Azarus") from the dead, multiplied loaves and fishes for the
multitudes, preached 8 Beatitudes from a Mount, was crucified, died, and
was buried. 

Horus rose again in 3 days, and after a bit, took his seat at the right
hand of Ra, from there to judge the living and the dead. Forever and
ever, amen.

"Amen" isn't even a Christian word. Nor is it latin or greek or even
hebrew. It's the name of the chief Egyptian god, aka Ammon; all
Christians living and deceased, have unwittingly been giving lip service
to the Egyptian Alpha and Omega, Ammon, for two thousand years. Amen or
Ammon was known also in the ancient world as the planet Jupiter. The
ancients, obviously, could see that planet in ways we now can not. 

The idea that the dead can return to life is not new to us through
operating-table accidents of the past century. The Egyptians left
instructions on how to bring them back; they also provided tips on how
to fend off an entire armada, just by dreaming it away (Budge, EGYPTIAN

Acharya S and those of her school -- which may go back in history as far
as the myths do -- dismiss the entire thing as a myth, a raft of
delusion floating on a sea of fabrication already several thousand years
deep. I wrote to inform her that once again, in our time, stories were
spreading from obscure parts of the world (as was Jerusalem) of men
performing great miracles, speaking memorable epigrams, and physically
returning from the dead before the eyes of witnesses. She did not
respond to my inquiry.

Simeon Toko willed an ocean-going ship into a port, witnessed by the
some-thousand passengers on it. The captain had refused to stop in that
port, so "Tio" simply made it sail there by itself. Most of those
passengers must still be alive, and some must be willing to testify
about it. Acharya S might call this a "myth," if kindly. 

The problem is the word "myth." A myth is a thing that never happened.
Facts exist, myths do not. Case closed. 

In so doing, scientists throw out their own baby with the bathwater.
Many scientific disciplines have similarly misty origins. Chemistry, as
we learn in elementary school, originated with alchemy, with its
incantations, magic, and intent to transform elements -- not so much
water into wine as lead into gold. Cyclotrons have finally done this
trick, but not very well. For another instance, Isaac Newton believed
that gravity came from God. We bolstered his belief and studies with a
patchwork of revisions to make the movements of our rockets and
satellites predictable to our ken. 

And as with Christianity, evolutionary theory began with testimony, not
proof. Darwin looked at rock pigeons and fossils and testified loudly to
the "truth" that they were related by descendancy, no differently than
his celebrity bible-beating father testified to the Crucifixion.
"Darwinism" captured the imaginations of millions in a surprisingly
short time, and re-set the course of science and society. Since then,
science has spent a great part of its history seeking proofs for
Darwin's ideas and garnering funds and political influence. Is that not
the same process that unfolded from the events described, true or false,
in the New Testament? The only difference in the final analysis may be
in funny hats. 

The idea that an ordered universe appeared due to random bumpings of
inanimate objects over billions of years, or that every few million
years a fruit fly would accidentally grow a wing that seemed,
coincidentally, to work, is as ridiculous as any. It's a myth. 

Acharya S points out, rightly, that the Christ myths by whatever name
center around healing. This is how the story of Simeon Toko began, with
the healing and raising from the dead of hundreds, if not thousands of
people, by his claimed prophet, Simon Kimbangu, in 1921 (Pastor Melo
says that Kimbangu wrote in a private letter to his sister that "when
you see a young man from northern Angola doing as I did, you will know
he is the one.") 

With this in mind, and with this risen Son of Man named Simeon Toko in
mind, I asked Pastor Melo -- who has been called Simeon Toko's "special
-- to do me a favor. 

Beth is a beautiful young woman who lives in Ohio. She suffers from a
serious brain ailment that keeps her in almost constant pain. She says
that she is a believing Christian. Therefore, I asked Pastor Melo if he
would sign a copy of the book I had to send her, and if he would pray
for her, to see if this would help her pain, or help her with some kind
of healing.

Very kindly, he agreed. Pastor Melo asked for a few moments alone, to
pray for Beth and consider what to write to her, on the inspiration of

I stepped outside into the yard, under the evening sky. Without
intending so, I glimpsed Pastor Melo praying in my lighted room, through
the window. His eyes were turned upward. His face had the greatest
expression of sincerity. It was beautiful sight to see a man so totally
engrossed in his prayer, as solid and unmoving as a mountain. Quickly, I
turned away to leave him entirely to his privacy, wondering if Beth
wasn't effecting a full healing at that very moment, two thousand miles
away, somewhere in Ohio.

Finally, Pastor Melo inscribed the book for her, using a quote from
Isaiah, and let me know he was finished. I sent the book off to Beth. 

Weeks went by, and I hadn't heard from Beth. I sent her an e-mail asking
how she was. Perhaps she had effected such a cure that she'd scampered
off to live a normal twenty-one year-old's life, and forgot all about me
and Pastor Melo and Simeon Toko. Shortly I got a reply:

"I am so sorry for my absence. I have broken my leg and ankle so badly I
won't be on it for 4-6 months if I am lucky. So needless to say I
haven't had a chance to read anything but the inscriptions my mother and
I have both absolutely loved. I am having the worst evening I have had
in ages and just want the hell out of my house but don't have the
freedom to go anywhere at all for the next 4 months."

No change in the brain ailment, either. 

Not good news. 

Wars and rumours of war 

The philosophical questions of science and religion are the same: who
are we, what is life, and where does it all come from? These are
wearying questions in some time periods, and highly energizing in
others. They become most important when life and happiness seem most

In Angola, where 250,000 Tokoists were claimed to have gathered in
Luanda in celebration of Simeon Toko's 1949 convocation of the Holy
Spirit last July, war continues. The atrocities Simeon Toko's
supernatural story symbolizes continue. 

At this writing, the United States government is bombing a defenseless
Afghanistan with its high tech air force in a "crusade" against presumed
Islamic terrorists -- and whatever innocent civilians happen to be in
the way. Even so, America's Angolan Ambassador, Christopher Dell, claims
that the decades old Angolan conflict "is making increasingly less

Diamonds and oil make Angola potentially the richest country in Africa.
Angola supplies 13% of U.S. oil needs. An estimated $1 million in rough
diamonds are smuggled out of Angola daily to help support warring
activity, which has indiscriminately killed at least .5 million and
displaced over 4 million poverty-stricken people since 1975. Despite
this behavior, the Luandan government and official Angolan editorials
seem to hope for American
planes to come bomb their own rebels, increasing the agony. 

So, for many, life and happiness seem impossible in present day Angola. 

Churches remain deeply involved in this conflict. Bishop Francisco de
Mata Mourisca, the head of the Angolan Catholic peace movement, sees
great contradictions in the warring factions claiming to wish peace (The
Daily Trust [Abuja] October 1, 2001). Catholic Bishops are being awarded
prestigious peace prizes for their efforts. 

Elsewhere, a Catholic monk named Brother Juno of Jesus wrote an
allegedly true story, published in June 2001
In it he characterized African Christians as "baptized negroes," and
warned that the rest were "pagans," given to "laziness and ferocity." He
wrote that a missionary named Father Lazzaro de Sacerdo was martyred by
Tokoists. "Filled with fury and under the influence of alcohol," they
tied this Catholic missionary to a stake and danced around him with
machetes, cutting him into little chunks in a display of wanton

Brother Juno claims that the true third secret of Fatima refers to the
the alleged dismemberment of a saintly Catholic missionary by drunken
"baptized negroes" who had turned to communism and Simeon Toko. 

As we know, the Tokoists contend the true Third Secret of Fatima refers
to the return of Christ, whom they say is Simeon Toko. The Church Toko
founded is called The Church of Jesus Christ in the World. Members
aren't allowed to drink or smoke or engage in extramarital sex. Polygamy
is also forbidden. They are pacifists, and certainly aren't communists,
as Toko himself did not approve of the "godlessness" of communism. The
Tokoists' main activity is to set up church choirs to sing inspired
hymns, as Simeon Toko did, in 1949. 

(Pastor Melo brought me a recording of his own small tabernacle choir.
They sing quite beautifully. Some of the songs were written by Toko
himself, and others came to various members spontaneously through
"inspiration of the Holy Spirit." All of them are songs of praise of
Jesus Christ, or chronicles of the story of Simeon Toko.)

The Tokoists hope, if eagerly, that the Pope will at last reveal the
true Third Secret of Fatima, and they prophesy that Lucia dos Santos
will not die until the true secret is finally revealed. As Lucy is now
95, we may not
have long to wait to see the efficacy of this prophecy. 

Between the peace-prize gathering Catholic Bishops, the horrendous tale
by their own brother Juno of Jesus, and the Tokoists I have met
personally, something isn't quite right here. 

Contradictory religious beliefs are a factor in the war of "less and
less sense" in Angola. Although it's currently called a 26-year war,
it's so that the spate of mass murder has been going on since the famous
prophet Simon Kimbangu was condemned to death by a Catholic priest,
heading a military tribunal, in 1921. 

The Catholic Church is a "respected social force" in Angola. It is the
dominant religion in a country where religion is subject to government
approval. Perusing almanacs, one finds that Angola is claimed to be as
high as ninety-seven percent Catholic. This unlikely figure is put down
to about 70 percent in other almanacs. The Kimbanguist Christian church,
which was finally approved by the government after members agreed to
stop their un-Vaticanly celebrations of dancing and singing according to
inspirations from the Holy Spirit, is said to number at about 7 million.
It is difficult to determine how many Tokoists there are. As one Nexus
correspondent who had lived in Angola 20 years wrote, "there could be
lots of them and the police would be keeping it a secret." 

What could compel the psychological and political influence of the
Vatican away so well as the return of Christ Himself? "Give me back my
heart," Simeon Toko-Christ demanded of the European doctors, who cut it
out of his chest for themselves. True or false, Simeon Toko's life
represents the tribulations of Africa at the hands of Western culture
and economics. 

I'm Crazy, You're Crazy, Everyone Else is Crazier

I asked three psychologists what they thought of all this. One, a
specialist in teen drug abuse in Vermont, copped out with a "good for
them!" The next, from Berkeley, California, snubbed the whole idea,
writing "I couldn't care less if Jesus Christ were walking the planet
today. It is the Christ that lives in your heart that matters." A native
European, he opined that the claims of persecution of African natives
were "self-serving." 

Dr. Jan Merta is a multi-talented Canadian psychologist who has been 
investigating various paranormal phenomena for many years. He is of the
opinion that an extraordinary claims call for an extraordinary proof. 

I asked Dr. Merta if there is such a thing as mass schizophrenia. It is
more or less common amateur's knowledge that an individual who has, for
example, been grossly mistreated in childhood, can develop multiple or
"split" personalities; some schizophrenic "alter-egoes" can seem to be
of the order of a superhero -- representing, perhaps, the sense of power
that was beaten out of the individual by cruel parents. He replied:

"So far all the evidence presented seems to be hearsay. Given the fact
that supposedly multitudes of people saw Simeon Toko's manifestations,
and since thousands must be still living, sworn testimonials from a
large number of first-hand witnesses would go far in supporting these
extraordinary claims. However, certain types of mass hysteria, or on an
individual basis in some cases, even schizophrenia could not be ruled
out. For me, for now, the case is in the open."

What is most easily verified is that for 80 years, the peoples of
central Africa have been battered by persecutions of all kinds from
foreign influences, as well as among themselves.

I proposed a scenario to Dr. Merta
which I had learned from the books by Jane Roberts, usually referred to
as the Seth material. This excerpt is from THE WAY TOWARD HEALTH:

"One of the most rare and extraordinary developments that can occur in
schizophrenic behavior is the construction of a seeming superbeing of
remarkable power -- one who is able to convince other people of his

"Most such instances historically have involved males, who claim to have
the powers of clairvoyance, prophecy, and omnipotence. Obviously, then,
the affected individual was thought to be speaking for God when he gave
orders or directives. We are dealing with "god-making" or
"religionmaking" -- whichever you prefer.

"In almost all such instances, discipline is taught to believers through
the inducement of fear. Put very loosely, the dogma says that you must
love God or he will destroy you. The most unbelievable aspects of such
dogma should, it seems, make them very easy to see through. In many
cases, however, the more preposterous the legends or dogmas, the more
acceptable they become. 
In some strange fashion followers believe such stories to be true
because they are not true. The inceptions of almost all religions have
been involved one way or another with these schizophrenic episodes."

(THE WAY TOWARD HEALTH, p. 306, copyright 1997, Robert F. Butts,

Whether Horus, Mithra, Krishna, Christ, or Simeon Toko existed (the
various photographs and documents of Tio notwithstanding), they were men
around whom legends grew of unrealistic superpowers. They appeared
during times of tremendous social and political stress, built into their

Christianity still spreads fear with the threat of eternal punishment
even for seemingly small misdeeds. Devout Catholics are still held up to
the "ideal" of martyrdom ("All Christians must undergo a degree of
martyrdom," writes Brother Juno de Jesus). Tokoist vates -- the church
prophets, speaking for Simeon Toko -- have warned of deadly supernatural
to its erring members, but that's another story, for another time. 

Few who study it would deny that the times are ripe for a Messiah. There
seem to be many candidates, from the small-time religious psychotic Jim
Jones, to the rafts of Hindu gurus from India, to the mysterious
Maitreya of theosophical foretelling, said to be now living in secret in

Simeon Toko is the first among this raft of candidates to stand up to
meticulous interpretations of biblical prophecy. Even the famous "like
lightning from east to west" line, thought to mean that Christ appears
somehow in a perpetual abstract, is covered by the Tokoists: the
appearance of the Virgin at Fatima was preceded by lightning, flashing
east to west every time. She was announcing his birth, which occurred 9
months after her initial appearance. Who is he, really?

Historically, there is no doubt that there have been many Christs --
that is, great speakers around whom legends and civilizations have
formed, with vast schools and fashions of thinking and expression. Do
they "appear" only when mankind begins to go dangerously crazy? When
men become most prone to forcing each other into ideologies? When the
subjective value of "meaning" itself is overriden by rule of law and
seeming practical necessity? 

What has subjective meaning in life can not be entirely detailed in any
holy book of any size. We learn from history that Christs or Messiahs or
Avatars, despite their once-and-for-all "eternal" messages, do grow old
and die, in a sense, as their words and the stories of their dramas no
longer capture the
imaginations of the peoples they intended to unite. 

No one who has the unqualified experience of it can deny the existence
of telepathy, or of spontaneous bodily healing, or of seemingly
miraculous "coincidences" of events which seemed to solve otherwise
unsolvable problems. The empirical methods of science are of little use
in "proving" such events; the more "scientismists" poo-poo it, the more
the credibility of institutional science erodes. The more religious
institutions rely on materialistic scientific data for its
rationalizations, and sheer social motivation for its activities, the
more it, too, erodes. People simply move away from it. 

The universe each individual perceives does not come through microscopes
or telescopes or imaginings based on dried-out externalized dogma. There
is always a forced quality to the expressions of those who attempt to
believe "the Truth," at the expense of the spontaneous sense of
individual being. Yet mankind seems to have a built-in need to believe
things in common, while at the same time experiencing a subjective sense
of individual uniqueness to each moment. 

Perhaps, then, a hero appears periodically on demand for all, who seems
to contain in full form the same potentials a human being senses within
himself to whatever degree, with no other accoutrement than his own
flesh through which these potentials may play. In any case, this story
is far from over. 

Tom Dark is an editor, music producer, and leads a small world-wide
dream experiment group.

He may be reached at 

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