In February, after I posted photos that renegade animal rights activist Richard "Kudo" Couto claimed were evidence of brutal animal sacrifices, I was beckoned to the Hialeah office of Oba Ernesto Pichardo. The Santería high priest took a 1993 case involving animal sacrifices all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won. When he met with me, Pichardo said Couto was practicing "hate speech" and demanded his arrest for breaking various laws.
I knew that Pichardo was tape-recording our interview, but I didn't know he was going to broadcast it on an online radio station in a segment called "How to Strong Hold the Media 101".
Unless you happen to have more than three hours free, I wouldn't recommend listening to the entire broadcast. But I did listen to parts of the program -- on which Pichardo spoke after our "interview" had aired -- and the most surprising part is this: Apparently the priest was restraining himself when we first spoke. On the radio, he accused Riptide of "yellow journalism," called Couto and his supporters "freaks," and urged listeners to "talk to your Orishas" -- religious deities -- and tell them: "Look, there's a guy down here in Miami, and this is what he's doing."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
If this guy wants to be educated, I'm not a therapist. I'm not a psychiatrist. I'm an orisha worshipper. Shango throws thunder stones at people and stuff like that, you know. He doesn't go around doing psychotherapy. You call upon the fire; then you deal with the fire. Here I am. I'm dressed in red.
RADIO HOST: Red and white. Yes.
No, no, I took out the white. I'm dressed in red on an overdose of steroids. I will put some white later when I need to calm down.
RADIO HOST: Spiritual steroids, yes.
Meanwhile, Couto -- the target of Pichardo's religious 'roid rage -- blithely posted three new photos on his 4,600-follower Facebook page. His comment and the photos are below:
3 dogs were found sacrificed today by an ARM investigator in Miami, Florida. All dogs were headless and many bones broken. The dogs i'm sure tortured for sometime before death. The heads were not found. ARM is investigating.