Anti-Kava Propaganda

Posted by on Jan 18, 2009 in Kava News | 4 comments

Anti-Kava PropagandaAloha my online friends!

It makes me angry when any group, whether they be religious or political, attempts to infringe on other people’s freedom. As you all well know, I am an advocate of kava use as a way to soothe one’s soul and attune one’s focus. I recently discovered that the New Methodist Church in Fiji began to preach against the “evils” of kava consumption.

I consider myself to be a very spiritual person. However, I do not follow any particular organized religion, although I am very supportive of peoples’ rights to pursue any religion or spiritual path they choose. That also goes for their right to imbibe kava as a healthful way to relax and unwind after a long day.

The native Hawaiian religion, which I grew up in and around, has greatly influenced my spirituality. “Hawaiian religion” is really just a blanket term used to describe the traditional spiritual beliefs and practices of the Hawaiian people.

The principle I have most identified with in the Hawaiian religion is that spirits are found in non-human beings and objects such as animals, the ocean, the sky, the sun and the moon. I’m very interested in shamanic rituals, the significance of spirit animals, and the power of the universe. I am especially drawn to the moon and have a very special, life-long connection to it.

Leaders of the New Methodist Church in Fiji have been railing against the “evils” of kava consumption. The Church’s General Superintendent Senior Pastor Atu Vulaono said in a Fiji Times article that many leaders preach against drunkenness, and talk about young people going out to clubs and doing drugs, yet live in apparent hypocrisy, since these community and religious leaders are themselves getting “drunk” on kava.

“Kava is like a grandfather to all these things. They should not fool themselves,” Vulaono is quoted as saying in the article. He claims that the New Methodist Church is the fastest growing denomination in Fiji with its numbers exceeding 10,000.

I believe he is simply using kava as a scapegoat for drug abuse. He also links issues like unwanted pregnancies, broken families, glue sniffing, and poverty to kava and suggests that Fiji must go back to be ruled by the word of “the Lord”.  If that is the case, why then did the Lord put kava on this great green earth of ours?

I found the next day’s news following the end of the conference amusing. Kava stands and bars in and around the facility where the New Methodist Church convention was held reported record sales of kava during the convention. Reading that made me giggle. I love to laugh!

One vendor said that kava was his number-one seller, with food trailing far behind at number two. He actually ended up replacing a food concession stand with a kava bar because business was so good. The reports I read stated that 50 percent of the people living in the town that hosted the conference benefited from its business.

What followed was the announcement that Methodist church ministers were ordered to stop drinking kava. There are more than 500 clerics and thousands of lay preachers of this church, which boasts the largest Christian denomination in Fiji. The order went out that they should abandon their traditional, cultural kava practices, because it “affected the spiritual lives of their flock,” and that “the abuse of yaqona would destroy lives.” Yaqona is the name of the traditional kava drink of Fiji.

This is anti-kava propaganda, plain and simple, and it is designed to inspire fear of retribution and deflect from the real problems of “their flock” – those of drinking and drugging. If more people would drink kava, possibly they would stop using drugs. There are studies on this topic which I will share with you sometime in the future. But for now, I must go check on the farm.

Aloha no!

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  1. Thank you for the article. The comments from this leader in Fiji are very disappointing. This level of ego and influence is a problem when leaders abuse a format like church. Unfortunately, any organized group with leaders carries the chance that a leader can start to abuse his/ her influence to push a personal agenda. I am glad that people chose to not listen to the speaker and decided to think on their own about Kava Kava.

    On a different and positive note. I do attend a non denominational Christian church and a propionate woman on the leadership team is the one who recommended Kava Kava to me. As I have had a very positive experience, I have shared with many friends from my church and in my community. It is a great alternative to western medicine. It works great and unlike many prescription medications with severe side effects. My head feels clear and focused when I take it. I usually take Kava Kava if I am anticipate a high stress day. It has been an amazing herb and I hope that the positive feedback from those who do take it gets out there so that more people can experience the benefits as well. Thank you for your articles 🙂

  2. Greetings!

    Thank you for your thoughts in your blog. Just one correction. Please note that The Methodist Church of Fiji (which is the biggest church in the country) said nothing of the thought you are suggesting in the first paragraph. It was the New Methodist church led by one Pastor Atu Vulaono. They are a small breakaway group who are poles apart from the Methodist church of Fiji and all the other known churches.
    Thank you, Simione

  3. Pastor Atu Vulaono said that kava is evil, I wonder which part of the bible he is getting his ideas from. To my understanding, kava is never mentioned in the bible. Wine was mentioned. In the wedding at cana there was a shortage of wine and Mary the mother of Jesus told Jesus about it, of coarse we all know what happened next. The problem is, we have here a preacher who never went to any theological college to study bible and trying to intepret the bible as is. It is my prayer that like minded people will eventually see the real light of Christ. Sa dri yani

  4. Hello!

    Can I just make one quick comment. I had some kava drink on a recent visit to Oahu. Never had it before and let me say the effect was pleasant.

    I live in Australia and ordered some Vanuatu kava via ebay. I presently have a bad cold and a sore throat from hell. I brewed up some Vanuatu kava tonight had a couple of sips and no exageration my sore throat was gone instantaneously. The effect wore off after 3 hours, no matter a couple of more sips and its gone again! Why didn’t someone tell me about this 30 years ago ohhhhhh so much unnecessary pain!!!! Goooo kava!!!!

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