I’m not one to get all crazy about latest fads, especially ones that call for being doused in frigid ice water. Concerning the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (IBC), I feel that there are more comfortable ways to bring attention to debilitating diseases without going to such extremes, which are more sensationalized than sensible in actually educating people.
Initially, I watched some really funny ice bucket challenges by people who sincerely participated to raise awareness – and money – for ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. I cringed when the ice water overtook its subject, and I laughed at the comical responses. And then the craze just didn’t stop. Social media blew up with videos of politicians, celebrities, athletes and kindergarteners that got on board with this phenomenon.
So I began to think about the IBC: Whose idea was this? Why would people so easily agree to being drenched in icy water? Who participated and who didn’t? Why do people feel obligated to take the challenge if offered to them? What’s the purpose of calling out three other people to take the challenge? Is there an underlying meaning we are not aware of in taking this challenge, or is it simply crazy summer fun, an innocent passing phenomenon that we’ll forget about at the first sight of an autumn leaf?
No doubt that when it comes to culture and making a societal statement, symbolism and messaging is top tier. Entertainers aim to present their message to the masses. We see it in movies, in Super Bowl performances, in the Grammys: In every song or dance, symbolism is the end game. With that in mind, I investigated the phenomenon behind the ALS IBC, and I discovered the IBC to be darker rather than enlightening and quite cultic instead of a lighthearted attempt to understand a debilitating disease.
Let me explain.
Let’s begin with the bizarre, rather dark “drowning accident” of Corey Griffin, the 27-year-old IBC co-founder. Griffin died last month when he left a very successful ALS fundraiser and “dove off a building at Straight Wharf in Nantucket at 2 a.m. on Aug. 16 and drowned, according to the Boston Globe. ‘He floated to the surface [and] then he sank. He did not come up again,’ the report says. Corey was pronounced dead at 3 a.m. He had helped raise $100,000 for ALS research on the night of his death.'”
Corey Griffin appeared to be on a path to great achievements: He was a college hockey player, enjoyed a very successful financial career and was a philanthropist who raised money for children in hospitals and his friend stricken with ALS. It confounds me as to why Griffin would take such a risk with his life, especially in the dead of night? Very odd. Very bizarre. Very dark.
Such an ill-fated loss, and yet I haven’t heard a peep or read anything on a national stage about the unfortunate passing of Corey Griffin besides the post in the Boston Globe. One would think that given all the frenzy of the IBC, participants would flood social media with an outpouring of mourning or hold a vigil or something. But people seem content to film their IBC antics without giving Corey Griffin a fleeting thought. Do they even know he died? Do they even care?
I also thought about why people would pour water over their heads. Sometimes the participants drench themselves, but typically someone else is designated to this task. Now I realize that being immersed in ice-cold water is quite a challenge to take, and it would definitely attract attention; I get it. However, I couldn’t put my finger on why this didn’t feel right to me – then I saw this video on Facebook. In the video, Evangelist Anita Fuentes breaks down an assortment of cryptic and cultic messages hidden in the IBC. It’s worth watching to decide for yourself if evil influences and symbolism are embedded within the IBC, or if Fuentes – as well as myself – is looking for ghosts behind every bush and a conspiracy behind every popular fad.
See the video here:
In particular, Fuentes’ video depicts the world-renowned cultic queen of talk, Oprah Winfrey, taking the IBC. Winfrey precedes her dousing with the words, “In the name of ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge. …”[emphasis mine] Interesting choice of words.
Winfrey’s proclamation hit a nerve with me because Christians, myself included, routinely pray and make decrees “in the name of Jesus.” We specify whom we worship when we invoke prayer in Jesus’ name. However, because Oprah mistakenly believes the One True God is jealous of her, and the well-known fact that she denounces Jesus as the only way to God and basically considers herself to be a god, I found this statement to be very cultic in nature.
Fuentes also addresses the matter of pouring water over ones head and how that act directly correlates with water baptism and syncs the IBC with the sacred Christian deed of cleansing and purification, albeit, in a sacrilegious manner. She also delves into deep issues of rituals stemming from dark, cultic practices that encompass the IBC and which symbolically place America and Americans in a satanic ritual – with or without their knowledge.
Satanic ritual? Yes. Rituals abound in “Christian” America. Whenever spectators watch singers like Beyonce, JayZ, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and especially Nicki Minaj, they are indoctrinated and involved with blatantly satanic rituals that stem from the deep abyss of the occult. Some of these very same artists have taken the ALS IBC. Gaga doesn’t utter a word as she baptizes herself, arrayed in a sexy black leotard, sporting black lips, perched in an ornate black chair. Gaga doesn’t use a bucket; she instead uses a large silver bowl associated with pagan worship. Do you think she would take the IBC if it didn’t meet her pagan criteria? Not a chance.
The ALS IBC is ritualistic in nature. People are chosen to undergo a form of water baptism with cultic god Oprah leading the charge “in the name of ALS.” The Bible is clear: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Oprah is a god to millions of Americans, and those who follow her doctrine and antics have tossed Jesus off the throne of their hearts – perhaps not intentionally … or perhaps so. Yet by following her seemingly innocent IBC decree, knowingly or not, they have cast Jesus off symbolically.
What about the money? The foundation raised over $94 million in one month, stupendously exceeding the $1.5 million it raised last year. And it continues to rake in approximately $9 million per day. There are concerns about ALS using embryonic stem-cell methods, and the organization is not very clear on which research it will conduct and how any of that translates into advances to combat or cure ALS. This has left some people feeling misused or duped into participating with the IBC.
Here’s a challenge: Follow Jesus, not the masses.
Media wishing to interview Selena Owens, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.