Iranian-born Daniel James, 45, who was the personal interpreter to General David Richards, told the Old Bailey that he used pictures, dust, candles and seashells to cast spells protect his boss.
He also said he did Tarot card readings for other personnel at the Allied HQ in Kabul to predict the future…
Giving evidence, James swore on the Bible but said he embraced all religions before telling the court how he converted to Voodoo while on his yearly trips to Cuba to research salsa in 2003.
He claimed to be a priest who had recorded 10 Voodoo DVDs.
It’s unclear from the article whether this was really Voudon or Yoruba. James’ story gets stranger:
Corporal James told the court he ran salsa dance lessons from his Brighton club “Capital of Salsa” and dubbed himself “King of Salsa” before selling his businesses in 2005 just as he was called up to Afghanistan as a volunteer in the Territorial Army.
And even stranger:
He was caught with two secret reports on NATO troop numbers and movements on a memory stick as he prepared to board an RAF plane back to Afghanistan along with pictures of RAF spy drones and a NATO aircraft manual, it was said.
Papers strongly advises its readers against the “but I was protecting the general with magic!” defense on an espionage charge.
If nothing else, this story attests to the wild, weird spiritual marketplace in which we live, in which a boy born in Iran can grow up to live and work in London, become a Yoruba priest in Cuba, and be shipped off to Afghanistan to take on the role of translator/soldier/wizard/spy/salsa dancer.