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Speech Delivered by King Leopold II to the Missionaries Journeying to the Congo in 1883
(This speech reveals the motives and methods of colonialism. It shows that the relations between the former colonialists and the formerly subjected peoples has not changed in substance but in its sophistication.)

….Revered Fathers and Dear Compatriots; the task asked of you to accomplish is very delicate and demands much tact and diplomacy. Fathers, you are going to preach the Gospel, but your preaching must be inspired by first, the interest of the Belgium government state. The main goal of your mission in the Congo is not to teach the Negro the knowledge of God, because they already know him. They talk and commit themselves to their God. They know that killing, stealing, adultery and blasphemy are not good. Your role essentially will be to easily facilitate the task of the administrative and industrial personnel. That is to say, you will interpret the gospel in a way to protect and serve the interest of Belgium, in that part of the world. To do so you will see that our savages be not interested in the riches that their soil possesses in order that they not want them. Thus, they be not involved in murderous competition with us and dream to live a luxurious life.

Your knowledge of the scriptures will help us to use special text that recommended the fidels to love poverty such as, “The Beatitudes”, “Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the Kingdom”; “It is hard for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven”. You will do all that you can to cause the Negro to fear being rich in order that they may go to heaven. From time to time, keep them from rebelling and to keep them in fear that you will use violence. You will teach them to endure anything, even when they are insulted or beaten by your compatriots (administrative). You will teach them that whosoever uses vengeance is not a child of God. You will cause them to follow the example of the Saints who turned the other cheek. You will take them away from anything or act that procures them with the courage to confront us. I am alluding myself here to their magic, i.e., Ju-Ju, Voodoo. They should not feel like abandoning their Ju-Ju, and you will do your best to take them away at the same time. Your action will be essentially on the younger people that might not rebel. If the commandments of the Father is conductive to the parents, the child should learn to obey what the missionary teaches him because he is the father of his soul. We must force them into submission and obedience.

Dear compatriots, these are some of the principles you must apply, you will find many more in the book that will be given to you at the end of this session. Teach the Gospel to the Negroes in an African style, in order that they are kept submissive to the White colonist.

They would not rebel against the injustice done to them by the colonist. Make them always meditate on “Blessed be those that weep/cry; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Convert the Blacks always by means of the whip. Keep their wives in submission for nine months, so they can work for you graciously. Require from them an offering of recognition to you; goats, chickens, eggs, each time you visit their village.

Avoid, by all means, the Blacks becoming rich. Cause them to each and every day that it’s “Impossible for a rich man to enter Heaven”. Make pay tithes each Sunday for church. Utilize this money, that is intended for the poor, for our own business investments. Institute a system of confession which will make you good detectives in order to denounce/put down every Black which has a spirit of rebellion against the system. Teach the Negroes that their statues, idols, are works of the devil, confiscate them and fill our museums with them. Teach the Negro to forget about their heroes in order to worship and give praise to ours. Don’t give a seat to a Negro when they come to see you, at the most just give him a cigarette.

Don’t invite him to break bread with you, even if he gave you a chicken every time you went to see him. Consider all blacks as little children, and require from them to refer to you as father. My dear compatriots; if you apply to the letter all this, the interest of Belgium in the Congo will be protected for many centuries. I thank you.

King Leopold II
(Translated from French by Prince Asiel Center for International Studies, USA)

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