IEET > Technopolitics > Technoprogressivism > Rights > CognitiveLiberty > FreeThought > Affiliate Scholar > Hank Pellissier
Leo Igwe’s iDOUBT Critical Thinking workshop seeks to End Superstition in Africa and The Philippines
Hank Pellissier   Mar 6, 2018   Brighter Brains  

Leo Igwe PhD, a Nigerian journalist and activist, has designed a 5-Step Critical Thinking (CT) workshop called “iDOUBT” that aims to obliterate dangerous superstitions in Subsaharan Africa, and in tribal groups of The Philippines.

Igwe recently received his doctorate from the University of Bayreuth in Germany, after completing his dissertation on Witchcraft in Ghana. He is a regular contributor to the Institute of Ethics and Emerging Technology (IEET), a technoprogressive USA think tank, and he received the 2017 award for Distinguished Services from the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU). He is also a Board member of the Brighter Brains Institute (BBI), a USA nonprofit that provides $50-$100 to any group (colleges, schools, community centers, women’s collective) that offers Igwe’s Critical Thinking workshop to participants. Thus far it’s been presented twelve times, in Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, Malawi, and The Philippines.

Igwe’s workbook defines the five steps as a series of “applications” that enable students to analyze their belief systems, and to subsequently dismiss many as irrational, societal-destroying superstitions.

The following conclusions have been realized in the workshop:

Uganda: 1) Villagers in the small town of Kanyenze, and students at the Africa Ark College of Management in Kasese, concluded the “bulletproof” magic promoted by witchdoctors in a recent civil uprising does NOT work; 2) in the tiny Ruwenzori hamlet of Buhanga the residents determined rain was NOT the result of the Bakonzo King’s elaborate ritual; 3) in the impoverished community of Nyakiyumbu (near the Congo border) the inhabitants decided albino children are NOT the result of women impregnated by octopuses; 4) In the southwest city of Kanungu the men decided sex with Batwa (pygmy) women does NOT cure backaches; 5) everyone concluded eating pork will NOT give you a disease, despite the Islamic taboo.

Cameroon: Participants in a Critical Thinking workshop in the city of Burea reached these conclusions 1) Rainbows are NOT deities plotting an attack against humans. 2) Mount Cameroon is NOT a god that must be “fed” an albino every year, or it will have a volcanic eruption. 3) Giving money to a church will NOT produce riches for the donor.

The Philippines: Mangyan (Mindoro Island) tribal villagers realized 1) If a certain bird enters a Mangyan house it is NOT bad luck - your family does not have to vacate the house; 2) it is NOT dangerous to plant cassava on Tuesday or Friday, cassava planted on those days are Not poisonous. 3) Married women that bathe are NOT doing this because they cheated on their husbands.

Sample reports:

Buhanga, Uganda:

Nyakiyumbu, Uganda:

Kanungu, Uganda:

Mangyan school, The Philippines:

Kanyenze Report #1, Uganda:

Kanyenze Report #2:

ESARDEF, Cameroon:

Leo Igwe and everyone else at BBI are very pleased and excited by these results; they want to offer the workshop to dozens of other groups. If you are working in a community that can benefit from Leo Igwe’s 5-Step iDOUBT Critical Thinking method, please contact us at We are especially interested in offering CT in Africa, and other highly superstitious areas.

Hank Pellissier serves as IEET Managing Director and is an IEET Affiliate Scholar.

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