There has been a proliferation of diasporans attempting to take elements of African Vodun or traditional African spirituality and brand it as an American version for their own marketing purposes. This is fraudulent!
In the world of commerce, a “brand” is a name, term, design, symbol or other feature that distinguishes one seller’s product from those of others. However African traditional spirituality did not originate with humankind but from the spirits themselves; therefore, it does not lend itself to such branding. Only those that created it can make such changes; and, it is not us!
Traditional spiritual systems pre-date all organized religions. People born to serve in these systems are not to do so for financial gain but to serve humankind as vessels of the divine. The act of serving for financial gain goes contrary to the very tenets of said systems; and, those that do so are generally charlatans who are frowned upon by their peers and eventually chastised by the spirits themselves.
In the United States, however, these brazen charlatans generally have no authentic peers, from the traditional African priesthood leadership, because their own claims, to the African priesthood, are generally built on a web of lies and/or fraudulent initiations for the express purpose of financial gain. They assume that a few staged photographs, dripping in the robes and finery of those who have been authentically initiated, coupled with our distance from Africa, will cloak their deceit. The problem, however, is that those who live in the United States and are authentic servers, within the African priesthood, can see clearly through their illusions. Our problem, however, has been in helping those that have been duped, by these thieves, to see the truth. But I, as others, will continue to call them out!
We do not take that which was given to us, by the spirits, to be used in the service of humankind, then, re-arrange, attach labels or attempt to brand these things as our own for marketing purposes. These spiritual tools did not originate with nor belong to humans for such branding. They were given, by the spirits themselves, to be used in the service of humankind but not for financial gain. To do otherwise is to defile that which is sacred, holy and pure. Therefore I am going to say this, with absolute clarity, as I have before and as I may again about other spiritual irregularities that I might notice later down the line. There is no such thing as an American Ifa.