[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

#741: # 22 for the Duvaliers: Dannenbaum writes

From: Perez_Dannenbaum <mpperez@mail.utexas.edu>

Eric Dannenbaum writes:

I would never claim to know what may have been in the mind of Duvalier. But
looking from the outside in it would appear that the number 22 was significant
to him for several reasons. Some reasons likely had to do with esotericism or
occult doctrine, while others were surely motivated by his knowledge of Haitian
history. Number symbolism in esoteric thought is a very complex subject and not
likely to be of interest to all but a few. But anyone at all familiar with the
Tarot or the Cabala will appreciate that the number twenty two is indeed
conspicuous. Works such as "The Tarot of the Bohemians: Absolute Key to Occult
Sciences" by the 19th century French Rosicrucian "Papus" can be consulted to
get a feel for what I'm talking about.

As is well known, Duvalier was very fond of comparing himself with a divinely
heroic Dessalines. Steeped in mysticism and the creator of a demagogic ideology
reminiscent of that enjoyed by other totalitarian and populist leaders this
century, Duvalier was no doubt quite deft at finding portents of his own divine
providence on all sides. And were we to envision a sort of Holy Trinity of God
(Dieu), Dessalines, and Duvalier, the number of letters in this most powerful
and telling of equations would be 22. Countless permutations of this sort would
undoubtedly reveal themselves to those willing to look for them.

Focusing and giving direction to purely mystical considerations is the fact
that the number 22 does figure prominently in the reckoning of several
important events in Haitian history even before Duvalier was sworn into office
on October 22, 1957. The most striking date is without a doubt August 22, 1791.
It was on that date that the slave revolt which had been planned at Bwa Kayman
the week before exploded with irrevocable force. Another telling date that was
sure not to have been overlooked by Duvalier is April 22, 1804. It is on that
date that Dessalines is recorded to have said upon feeling certain that he had
succeeded in seeing to it that all whites had been exterminated in Haiti, "If I
die at this moment I will go to my grave happy. We have avenged our brothers.
Haiti has become a blood-red spot on the face of the globe." Interestingly
enough (even before these highly symbolic events were to take place) it was on
October 22, 1789 that the National Assembly in France first accepted a petition
of rights from the free citizens of color in St. Domingue. It is not improbable
that all of the above considerations (and many others besides) conspired in
Duvalier's mind to make this a particularly important number for him well
before he ever took office in 1957.

Looking forward to the Duvalier era it is easy to see that he did feel that the
number 22 was invested with profound significance, and it seems quite likely
that both historic and esoteric considerations informed his conclusion. What is
undeniable is that he orchestrated to the best of his ability that important
events in his own administration should fall on that date. A few examples will
suffice to make the point: Duvalier was elected on September 22, 1957, and
sworn into office (the first time) on October 22, 1957. He was then sworn into
office for the second time on May 22, 1961, and made President for Life on June
22, 1964. Duvalier's death was announced on April, 22, 1971, just before his
son was himself sworn into office the very same day. During the course of
Duvalier's period of governance, countless decrees and important government
actions were also taken on the 22nd of some month or another.

Undoubtedly, all of this is just the tip of the iceberg. If one were to delve
deeply into this matter it is not at all unlikely that one could determine that
the number symbolism was very well thought out and not purely arbitrary. It is
also possible that many other permutations of names, numbers and other symbols
were researched and employed for a calculated effect (real or imagined). We may
hope that perhaps someday someone with first-hand knowledge of the significance
that the number 22 and other symbols held for Duvalier, or of the thought
processes or specific influences that went into informing his esotericism in
general, will inform us further on these points.