U.S. televangelist Pat Robertson says Haiti cursed by devil pact

January 13, 2010
haiti palace

Haiti's Presidential Palace after the earthquake in Port-au-Prince, 12 Jan 2010/Reuters TV video grab

Controversial U.S. televangelist Pat Robertson said on Wednesday that earth-quake devastated Haiti was cursed because of a past pact that the island’s inhabitants had made with the devil.  The comments, which have spread like wildfire through the blogosphere and eslewhere on the Internet, were made during a broadcast of his Christian Broadcasting Network.

“They were under the heel of the French … and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French.’ True story,” Robertson said in a matter-of-fact tone on the broadcast.
“And so the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal. .. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after another,” he said.

Haiti’s slave revolt led to the establishment in 1804 of the first republic run by freed black slaves and has long been an inspiration for national liberation movements especially in Africa.

Robertson, a former Republican Party presidential candidate, has made controversial comments before.  In 2005, he called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Chavez, a constant critic of then President George W. Bush. Robertson later said he was misinterpreted and eventually apologized.

He has also claimed in the past to have a direct line to God. In January 2007 he said God told him a terrorist attack would result in “mass killing” in the United States in the second half of 2007.

Here’s the video of his comments. Let us know what you think of them.

Follow FaithWorld on Twitter at RTRFaithWorld

27 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

almost all of the evagelists and other church heirarchy sit with the devil everyday, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Posted by Pali | Report as abusive

Pat Robertson is lucky to be a holy prophet who has direct conversations with God.

Because if he was simply senile, arrogant and deluded, his comments might be considered grossly inappropriate.

Posted by Anon86 | Report as abusive

He (Pat Robertson) is a knucklehead, blockhead person and has no sense of compassion… From an article written by Jean R. Gelin, Ph.D.: “I was born and raised in Haiti, and I am a graduate of the State University in Port-au-Prince. I am also a believer in the Lord Jesus-Christ in accordance with the Bible. In all of my studies of Haitian history, however, I have yet to find a good evidence of even the idea of Satan’s assistance in the Independence War, let alone a satanic pact…. The tragedy of our age is that repeated lies are often mistaken for the truth, especially when repeated long enough. That’s particularly the case in religious circles where faith on the part of the audience is generally expected, but that should never be so for those who believe in the Bible.” Jean R. Gelin, Ph.D.

Windsor, Life Coach

Posted by CoachWindsor | Report as abusive

Pat Robertson is the epitome of much that is on the wrong side of the ledger in the USA; religion for profit; fairy tale beliefs for national ethos; racism, exploitation and thinly disguised bigotry that’s supposed to be excused because of holy white collars.

Robertson would be better wearing some colour and a red nose. As a real clown he’d contribute far more to society than he does now.

Why no dig deep Pat and get your parishners to contribute something to help these people.

Posted by J0ck | Report as abusive

The idea of the Haiti “pact with the devil” has been current in neo-Pentecostal circles for some time (there’s a comparable story about how the Japanese emperor dedicated Japan to the Harlot from the Book of Revelation). I’ve got some background on my blog:

http://barthsnotes.wordpress.com/2010/01  /13/earthquake-blamed-on-haitis-pact-wi th-the-devil/

Posted by Bartholomew | Report as abusive

Sadly, Pat Robertson has a large and credulous following here in Virginia. This is only the latest in a long run of offensive utterings to come from the old, addled-brained faker. Most of them never get picked up by the news media. For instance, during the depths of the recent economic downturn on one of his regular fund raising campaigns he twisted the New Testament’s teaching about God taking care of his own to mean that one should not worry about paying one’s bills or manage one’s finances responsibly and thus should give generously to Robertson’s ministry. In short, Robertson worries a great deal about his own finances, but you shouldn’t because God will somehow manage to pay your bills for you (that’s how I balance my checkbook!) He’s just like all the rest of his type, it doesn’t take him five minutes to get around to asking for money. He’s a parasite who only values two types of people — people who give him money or non-believers he thinks he can convert (and who will then give him money).

Posted by IntoTheTardis | Report as abusive

Sounds like old Pat is off his medication again.

Posted by oldschool | Report as abusive

I am a Christian and I am embarrassed by Robertson’s comment. In fact this is not the first time I’ve been embarrassed by him. In my opinion, he is a foolish old man with a terribly misguided theology who is bringing dishonor to Christ and his people by making such unwise public statements. A far more Biblical view would take account of the teaching of Jesus who, in the wake of a natural disaster in his own day, said: “Think of those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?” (Luke 13:4) His answer is “No, those who suffer from natural disasters do not suffer because they are more sinful than others.” They are not more sinful, for instance, than materialistic Americans who have exploited Haitians for decades. Nevertheless, Jesus does affirm that natural disasters serve as reminders that this world is not paradise. C. S. Lewis once said, If I find in myself a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, then that is evidence I was made for another world. Things in this world are not the way they are supposed to be. But we all have a desire to live in a world without suffering and injustice. So, confronted with a natural disaster such as Haiti has experienced, we should 1) examine ourselves to see that we are no better than those who suffer, 2) reach out in mercy and compassion to those who suffer, and) seek to enter the redeemed world that God in Christ has prepared for all who call on him.

Posted by Davido | Report as abusive

Interested in the earthquake in Haiti and international response? Watch the PBS show Basic Black tonight at 7:30 p.m. for a LIVE panel discussion about the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti, as well as a discussion about the race for the late Senator Kennedy’s seat in the upcoming Massachusetts elections. You can watch on channel 2 in Boston, or online at http://www.basicblack.org. Be sure and comment in our chat, which is now live!

Posted by saltzmas | Report as abusive

If Robertson knew his history, he would know that the Devil was on Bonaparte’s side.

Posted by vinlander | Report as abusive

Pat Robertson says some pretty silly things, even some incendiary things. (Must be good for his career.)
But if people can discern meaning in natural disasters, who’s to say the survivors shouldn’t or can’t use such insights to improve their lives going forward? Maybe even if people make lots of mistakes while trying to figure out the meanings, that’s better than assuming there are no meanings.
Somehow I don’t think I’m the only person who feels a little hopeless when one of these backward countries experiences a natural disaster.
It does seem to me that God’s having a lot of difficulty trying to get through to some people. I don’t assume God will stop trying.

Posted by tvlover | Report as abusive

I feel sorry for Pat Robertson. He is a shameless publicity shark, feeding on human tragedy to further his own skewed Christian agenda. A true man of God with his resources would not be on TV spewing this garbage. He would be in Haiti right now doing whatever he possibly could to help his fellow man…..with NO FANFARE OR PUBLICITY. That’s WHAT JESUS WOULD DO.

Posted by FMS | Report as abusive

Dear,Mr.Pat Robertson,
Praise The Lord.,
I am a man of progressive and a humanist.
I have read lot of religious works from several authors.
I have read Bible, and attended to many Christian Pastors speeches at many churches in India.
Happy to say that, many pastors,sisters,nuns and Missionary workers had visited to my house and we had many joint prayers.
What you said on Haiti!s earthquake disasters are not acceptable any rational beings and who have some insights on religious sayings.
These disasters are because of some unknown reasons.
At the same time, we can not ignore scientific findings, more and more new technological advances for our day today living.
Very bad things are happening in form of accidents,curtailment of real freedom, ethnic,economic,social,political and physical crisis and its effects are visible and known to us from time to time.
Now, we have to help to these unfortunate people and bring them to normal life at the earliest.
If you have enough time, as a man of general interests, please answer to the following questions by very correct logical reasons:-
1.I have observed that, many natural disasters happens in poor countries with traditional mind sets.
Many rich and highly influential persons are spared.Why?
2.What is the proper remedy for these natural disasters, violence by nations,individuals,groups,sects etc.,
3.Why there are vast gap between rich and poor among us.
I hope that, i will get some interesting answers from you as a well read,well experienced scholar at the earliest.
There is a strong saying among us-We can fight against Nature,but, you can not win against Nature.
Best wishes.,

Posted by mdspatsy | Report as abusive

Pat is bad,bad,bad.however this site has not shown rush limbaughs statements or showed his video when he was saying terrible things about hait.

Posted by what | Report as abusive

This man had lost his marbles long ago.

Posted by sunnyusa | Report as abusive

Guess not all people would welcome the sad truth. Although our Haitian brothers are suffering greatly and it’s quite untimely to say the least, to comment on this. However, if there is truth about this “pact with the devil”; then, truth can help set a nation free from the bondage. I am one in praying that God will show Himself as Jehovah at this hour, and show mercy upon the people of Haiti; and I will encourage the Haitians to look back, if ever, to their past; If they found the ‘statement” true, then let us renounce this pact made by the generations past; go back to God as He alone can set our hearts free to receive which that He has intended for us, for His glory. Ask forgiveness and God in His faithfulness will forgive their sins and heal their lands.
My advice to our Christian brothers, please refrain from getting too emotional on dealing with this. Sometimes, the seed has to die so a new life can be established. This is not the time to throw stones, but in love, present the truth.

God’s judgment prevails so it is just right to altogether seek God and stand in the gap for our people and those that have sinned against him; to seek forgiveness and to be restored back to Him. After all, we are called for this.

Be Still and Know that He is God

Posted by truthinlove | Report as abusive

The French, the devil…tough call

Posted by Dbundock | Report as abusive

Pat!?! You should know better!
G-d destroyed in the great flood, but after that promised to never again destroy the world. Hence the rainbow, a sign of His promise.

G-d is love, and His love is everlasting.
Remember … for G-d so loved the world, he gave his only son … Keeping in mind, that the L-rd is G-d, and the L-rd is one … Pat must be a devil worshipper? After all, it is the adversary who steals, kills, and destroys.

I used to respect Pat Robertson, but this is strike two.
I still love ya’ Pat, since Yeshua taught us to love … but dog gone! Stop letting your backside do the talking huh?? You’re better than this!

Posted by t3ln3t | Report as abusive

Here’s the link to part one of Jean R. Gelin’s article mentioned by CoachWindsor above:

http://www.blackandchristian.com/article s/academy/gelin-10-05.shtml

And I have to agree with FMS: Jesus would have been there, doing what he could, with no need to tell others he was doing it.

Posted by mr_vanhorn | Report as abusive

Why do you all let the statments of others get you worked up? Its a total waist! We all beleive diffrently and you will never change anyones beleifs so just worry about yourselves. I hate all the drama that is created by people including the posts here. Lets just buck up and help Haiti and whoever else needs help while praying for them as well!

Posted by rebbawuppa | Report as abusive

Everybody say what you will say but in the end we are responsible for ourselves and our own actions. I don’t with how Pat has responded to this and Haiti is in great need right now and needs people to respond quickly and not get so caught up in why it happened! Just be careful what you say because words have the power to come right back at you.

Posted by mcherey | Report as abusive

The responsibility of us, as christians, is to bind this curse on Haiti. The people living now had nothing to do with this “pack with the devil”. What we must do now is pray for God’s mercy toward these people. “His mercy endures forever”
Please let us be careful not to even repeat this curse.

Becuaseicare

Posted by BecauseIcare | Report as abusive

For a population that has a mixed belief belief in Voodoo and Christianity this statement isn’t inappropriate.

Posted by Bumby | Report as abusive

I don’t know why the media is so hard on Rev Pat Robertson but I will tell you a story. A man went to his doctor for some heart problem he was having for some time.
The doctor after having examined him told him that he has got high cholesterol.
The doctor said:-“This is because of your eating habits, you are eating the wrong things and too much of it” and pointing to the protruded man’s belly he continued and said “you need to stop your gluttony and start eating the right thing and in reasonable proportion.
Guess what? That man got offended and said to the doctor:-“Do you mean I am a glutton.” After that he left slamming the door behind him thereby rejecting the doctor’s recommendation. My question is: – Who is the stupid guy in this story?

Well Rev. Pat Robertson never said that this earthquake was God’s judgment. Rather by analyzing the various misfortunes of this nation and examined its history he made the comments which is causing such an uproar. He was just pointing to the root cause of these misfortunes and not only of the earthquake. To those who are skeptical about the consequences of making a pact with the devil, please watch this video:-
http://www.sidroth.org/site/News2?abbr=t v_&page=NewsArticle&id=8827&security=104 1&news_iv_ctrl=-1

The fact is the Haitian leaders back then did make a pact with the devil. Anyone can verify this claim. On 14 August 1791, a black slave and witch doctor named Boukman led the slaves in a voodoo ritual. They sacrificed a pig and drank its blood to form a pact with the devil, whereby they agreed to serve the spirits of the island for 200 years in exchange for freedom from the French. The slave rebellion commenced on 22 August 1791, and after 13 years of conflict, the slaves won their independence. On 1 January 1804 they declared Haiti the world’s first independent black republic. To this day an iron statue of a pig stands in Port-au-Prince to commemorate the “Boukman Contract”. This Pig Statue is proof of what has happened 200 years ago.

Well the devil is not a nice guy. Just because you made a pact with him, he does not feel obligated to bless you. In fact as the Lord Jesus said the devil has come to steal, kill and destroy. This is what the devil stands for. But there is HOPE for the people of Haiti because our Lord Jesus has crushed the devil under his feet on the cross for us and if we would just believe in the Lord Jesus we can overcome this curse and break the pact with the devil. So as Christians we need to pray for the people of Haiti and do everything we can to bring them to Christ and help them break this curse and this pact with the devil.

Coming back to the video link above, I just want to relate the story of the young missionary that God sent to a village in an African country. Upon arriving she noticed that the people there were very poor and in addition to this there has not been a single drop of rain for years with the result that food was scarce and the people were starving. She then led the people into repentance and turn to The Lord Jesus. Guess what happen just after they have done this, rain started to fall.
Here is the link again to this video:
http://www.sidroth.org/site/News2?abbr=t v_&page=NewsArticle&id=8827&security=104 1&news_iv_ctrl=-1

Posted by madpro | Report as abusive

So what, God sends disasters to kill those who don’t worship him?

If you are Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Orthodox or Misc, then God sends a disaster your way to kill thousands of people? And if you are Catholic (or American Protestant) then God spares you from disasters that should have otherwise had your number?

Absolute bull.

So what about New Orleans then? Were they a city of hoodoo devil worshippers? Or just some unlucky Christians who were in the wrong place while God was on the phone?

This is just a sign of the manner in which some weak willed people respond to natural disasters and suffering:
-If it happens to someone else: “They must have done something to deserve it”, or
-If it happens to them: “It must be part of God’s plan”.

Or perhaps Occams razor should be applied here (i.e. Plain ol’ racism)

Or in Pat Robertson’s case it is because his head is so firmly lodged up his self-righteous ass, he can’t stop speaking crap.

But if you agree with Pat’s nutzo comments, or even entertain the possibility, you should have a good look at the reason for why you do. You might not like what you see.

For the rest of us civilized people, donate something to help these people in suffering. After all, it is what Pat Robinson would do (If he wasn’t such a f—ing hypocrite).

Posted by Anon86 | Report as abusive

Jesus said, if Sodom and Gomorrah would have repented it would be here this day. Why do people refuse to believe God has the right to judge nations. Do we not call other nations evil, therefore we judge them as such. We can judge, but God cannot? At the end, when we all stand before God, many will realized that God is not an American (Freedom of Expression) free to do evil. God has and always had the right to dictate what is right and what is wrong. Not man’s law. (You are free to murder your child while in the womb). In conclusion, we are by nature evil and we do not want anyone impose righteousness on us.

Posted by traveler6104 | Report as abusive

People like Pat Robertson are those who bring the teachings of the Holy Bible under dispute. These denominations must be disowned by all leading Theologians and Main Stream Churches. Simply a Nut.

Posted by Aftab68 | Report as abusive