Immersed In Occult, Hussein Led Largely Through A Reputation For Immortality And Magical Power That Dismally Failed
By Michael H. Brown
Known almost solely for his political leadership and brutal ways, former Iraq leader Saddam Hussein had another dark underside: a deep involvement with magic and the occult that aided his stay in power.
As The Christian Science Monitor has noted, many Iraqis were convinced that Hussein, "a lifelong dabbler in the occult," would never be found by coalition troops scouring the country. His trick, they said, was a magic stone that supposedly protected him from harm.
But the drama of his capture put the lie to that and also proved that his personal wizard, who said Saddam would be found dead, is a false prophet. The magician predicted in wire service reports that the former dictator would be found dead 55 miles north of Baghdad in Dhuluaiyah, according to Ireland On-Line -- giving the lie both to the predictive and protective powers of occultism.
According to press reports, the wizard, 62, described as "one of Iraq's leading magicians," had said Hussein had even tried to learn for himself how to “summon genies” and also traveled around with a pair of golden “magic statues” and other tokens for protection.
"Mr. Hussein and his inner circle were obsessed with the dark arts," said the Monitor. "His son Uday even advertised on his own television channel for those with supernatural powers to come forward and serve the ruling family. In a country where decades of isolation and repression have cut people off from the modern world, belief in the occult is commonplace, and Iraqis regularly consult soothsayers to find stolen cars or tackle mental illness. Many believe Hussein has shrouded himself in his dark powers."
The newspaper quoted Qassem Ali, an electrician in Baghdad, as saying before the capture that Saddam "never takes any step unless he consults with his magician advisers. I'm sure he has two or three with him now."
"He brought them in from China and Japan because he wanted specialists," added colleague Ali Mahdi.
As they talked with a reporter, a crowd had gathered around to earnestly chip in their stories about Hussein's supernatural prowess. "Saddam is indestructible because of these powers," Mr. Mahdi had insisted -- echoing a widespread belief in the shattered nation.
"Such a belief, widely but by no means universally held here, has contributed to the atmosphere of fear and mistrust that is hindering coalition attempts to rebuild the country," concluded the newspaper.
This belief may explain the reluctance of many in Iraq to support American involvement -- a reluctance that may now significantly diminish. U.S. forces have known from the beginning that they had to capture or kill Hussein to convince the Iraq people the dictator no longer could cast his dark shadow. The most popular belief was the one concerning a magic stone that warded off assassins' bullets. "It's all true about the magic stone," car dealer Mokhaled Mohammed to the Monitor. "First of all, he put it on a chicken and tried to shoot it. Then he put it on a cow, and the bullets went around it."
The belief that it is impossible to assassinate him may still linger because, unlike his sons, the dictator was taken alive -- but the aura of invincibility is now severely damaged. Hussein himself appears to have believed in his own powers and this may explain why he was willing to take what seemed on the outside like insane risks.
The interest in the occult was widespread in the Iraqi leadership, according to other reports. In fact, the picture drawn is one of a regime that, like the Nazis, was powered by it. "Hussein's vice-president, Izzat Ibrahim, was said to have brought a sect of seers and shamans, the Kaznazani, from his native northern district of Iraq and housed them in Baghdad," said the Monitor.
Hussein's seemingly omniscient network of eavesdropping devices and informers, which allowed him to know in advance of any impending plot, also contributed to his reputation for supernatural powers.
It is a country filled with tales of spells and curses. Many are those who believe that Hussein is "the reincarnation of a great ancient king, that he bio-engineered giant scorpions, and that was tinkering with alien UFO technology and even sheltered extraterrestrials," notes another website, which added that Hussein himself believed he was the literal reincarnation of King Nebuchadnezzar II. "It is well known that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has connected himself with Nebuchadnezzar, spending over $500 million during the 1980s on the reconstruction and the re-establishment of ancient Babylon, the capitol of Nebuchadnezzar," noted mythologist William Henry. "Over sixty million bricks have been made to place in the walls of Babylon, each engraved with the inscription 'To King Nebuchadnezzar in the reign of Saddam Hussein.'"
Henry also believes there is a connection between Saddam and Planet X, the alleged "12th Planet." This phantom planet, Nibiru, maintains Zecharia Sitchin in his many books on the subject, was the home of the Elohim -- the gods of antiquity and Genesis - who created humanity through genetic manipulation. "Saddam controls an asset infinitely more important and powerful than oil, or even, nuclear weapons," writes Henry. "He controls access to the temples that housed the history [of] humanity's origins, and potentially, the secrets of stargates. Buried deep beneath the sands of Iraq are the secrets of the Shining Ones of Planet X. Saddam's actions reveal that he knows the political value of these secrets."
Such outlandish beliefs include that notion that Saddam is immortal -- one that may still linger. "An Iraqi army deserter named Adnan Mohammad Yousef told Raghaven that Saddam has seven lives and cannot die,' says the website. "He illustrated that belief with a story about an attempted assassination of Saddam by one of his Republican Guard. When the soldier pointed the gun at the dictator and pulled the trigger, it jammed. Saddam then allegedly grabbed the gun, pointed it at the soldier, saying, 'This is how you do it,' and shot him dead."
Such folklore is due in part to the brutal isolation of Iraqis from the rest of the world and the nurturing of such beliefs by Hussein, whose own mother tried to foretell the future using sea shells.
"In such a climate, myths of Hussein's supernatural prowess have survived his regime's demise, and contribute to the climate of fear still hindering reconstruction," noted the newspaper.
That spell may now have been broken by the actions of a Christian U.S. President.
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