• Print

 

Pat Robertson’s Pact with the Devil

Bill Lavender


[The Haitians] were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, “We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.” True story. And so, the Devil said, “OK, it’s a deal.”
—Pat Robertson, on the earthquake in Haiti, January 12, 2010

Now we gonna have us
a little history lesson.
You all know that Haiti,
way back when,
signed a pact with the devil
to expel the French,
and that’s the reason God
gave ‘em an earthquake
in 2010, but there’s another
little bit of history almost
nobody knows, goes like this:

In 1948 there was a young man
named Marion Gordon Robertson,
son of Absalom Willis Robertson,
United States senator from
the state of Virginia
and lifelong proponent of them
“separate but equal” decisions
by the Massachusets Supreme Court of
1850, unfortunately and un-
constitutionally overthrown
by desegregation orders of 1956,
and this young man Marion
lived with his father in
that great state of Virginia and
the great city of Lexington
surrounded by the usual Southern
luxury and a bevy of Negro
servants, cooks and nurses,
many of whom had come
from Haiti once upon
a time.

And one day Marion Gordon Robertson,
who was at that time 18 years of age,
was in his house attempting to show
one of the boys from the field
how to properly stow jam in
the basement, and when that boy
bent over to replace a jar
and thrust out toward
Marion Gordon Robertson
his shapely posterior
made partially visible by the angle
of his attitude and the slackness
of his pants, why it was
just then that Marion Gordon
felt rise within him an urge such
as he had never felt before.

Now, I know what you thinking.
But no, it wasn’t that.
It wasn’t that at all.
He did not desire to fall
upon that servant’s buttocks,
his for the asking,
nor, indeed, if he had,
would that have been anything
out of the ordinary, since
he’d already entertained himself
in that way many times
in his younger days.
No. This time what Marion
Gordon Robertson felt rising
inside him was the desire
to get down, to trade places
with that humble servant
boy bent over in front of him
and let him have a turn
at playing master.

And you know what they say,
that power tends to corrupt,
absolute power corrupts absolutely,
and an 18-year-old white
boy in a basement with his man-
servant is a power
that knows no bounds.

And you know, too,
that secrets like these,
they don’t last forever.
It wasn’t that long until
Marion Gordon’s mother
began to notice those
tell-tale stains on
her favorite nighty
and the funny way
Marion walked some days,
and as Josephine was
hardly ignorant of
the proclivities of rich
Southern white boys,
she quickly began
to suspect the worst.
Her fears were confirmed, finally,
when she returned home
earlier than expected one day
and found her son Marion
bent over the sofa with
his tongue hangin’ out
and that big strapping black
buck working him from behind.

And upon this sight
Josephine Ragland Willis Robertson
did cry out:
“Oh Lord Jesus won’t you
save my son, for a Haitian
devil has got him in the ass.”

Straightaway the senator
was called home, and straightaway
the Haitian devil was
punished for his sin
and never heard from again.
And Marion Gordon Robertson
was confined to his room
with his Bible
the reading of which
might rectify his error
and also assuage his pain.

But Marion Gordon Robertson
could not be consoled.

For the first day he
cried like an animal,
like a puppy
who has lost its mother.
On the second day
he howled like
a lonesome hound
under the moon.
On the third day
he laughed like
a hyena.
On the fifth day
his mother and father,
fearing he would
harm himself
if not someone else,
sent in his old nanny
and former wet nurse,
to see if she could
comfort the boy and
bring him out of his fever.

When that old
woman went into
the accursed room,
she knew there was only
one thing for this boy.
So she unrolled her drapo
and lit the sacred candles.
She took some dust
from a leather pouch
and sprinkled it on
the flame to make smoke,
and before you know it
out of that smoke there
come a certain loa.
Now this loa he was
uncertain, looking all
around, but the old
woman she went up
and whisper in his ear:
“Tell him you is Satan.”

So the loa he turned himself
all big and red, and he grew
him out a big pointy tail,
and he says to Marion Gordon:
“Son, I am Satan, at your service.
What seems to be the problem?”

And Marion Gordon said:
“Oh my darling Beelzebub,
can you bring me back that
Haitian boy who was so recently
my servant? I’ll give you anything.
Do you want my soul?”

“Oh,” said the loa,
“I don’t really need no more
souls; I got plenty. And besides,
they don’t do that much for me.
What else you got?”

And Marion Gordon Robertson,
who was soon to change his
name to Pat, thought very hard.
He put his chin in his hand
and tapped his finger on his
head to roust out the thoughts,
and this is what he come up with:

“OK, Satan, I’ll tell you what.
You bring back my Haitian boy,
and I’ll be such a servant as you
have never had. What I’ll do is
pretend to be your constant
enemy, but I’ll really be
your constant friend,
spreading your message
across the whole wide world.
I’ll hold up a picture of Jesus,
but it will really be you.
I’ll call myself a priest, but I’ll
really be your lackey.
I’ll call the saints sinners and
the sinners saints.
I’ll blame victims for their
suffering, and heap fortune
on bloodthirsty beasts.
I’ll take the God of love
and turn him into pure hate.
I’ll steal money from the poor.
I’ll live off the coffers of guilt-
ridden charity.
Anyone who says the truth
I’ll call a liar, and those
who lie out of pure
meanness I’ll call prophets.
What do you think, Satan?
Has anyone ever made you
an offer like that before?”

“Well, you know,” said the loa,
“you talk a good game, but so
does every priest with his hand
in his cassock.  But you seem
so sincere, and you know it’s
what’s in your heart that matters,
not what’s in your head, or hand,
so I’m gonna try and help you out.
Now, there’s not much to
be done, just now, about your
Haitian boy, since they already
strung him up out on the back
forty, but I reckon we can find
someone for you. Hell, you pretty
good lookin’, I might just give
you a try myself.
So you go on and do
what you done said,
and more, and every night
when you go to bed,
you just sprinkle a
little of this dust
on your candle,
and stick your bum in the air,
and me, that is Satan,
will come take good care.”

True story, every word.
And Pat Robertson said,
“OK, it’s a deal.” And ever since,
he have his loa,
and that loa have him,
and will have,
till the real Satan come
take him back
where he belong
and where he long
to be, way down
in that deep,
black
hole of hell.