I wrote this on September 6, 2013, before the just un-anointed Messiah arrived:

“In seeking counsel from yet one more foreign expert, I reckon that us lot are showing another of our national cultural traits. With over 120 churches and a Census reported minimum of 22 main religious denominations, Bermudians are strong believers in Messiahs and Prophets. Probably stronger even than those people who moaned and complained and grumbled their way into Moses’s
Canaan land.

This Bermudian cultural trait shows in the way we place so much faith in halos of credentials and cloaks of wisdoms borne of experiences in other places.

Recall Dr Henry Johnson who, in 2007, was appointed as Acting Commissioner of Education for Bermuda’s Ministry of Education. Dr Johnson came with a halo of credentials and a cloak of wisdom and experience. So did the just retired Dr Wendy McDonnell.

Now, over the western horizon, just waiting to don his cloak, mount his steed, and ride into town is yet another halo’ed one — Dr Edmond Heatley.

But Dr Heatley is different. Surely, Dr Heatley will be the ‘promised one’ because this time it’s different. This time it’s the real Education Messiah.

This process of always seeking an ‘overseas messiah’ seems to be one of our strong national cultural traits.

Despite the stabbings and gunshot deaths, I reckon that all those churches and preachers and pastors and bishops have been more successful than they think. Maybe they’ve converted this nation into a nation of people who sit waiting for a Messiah — for everything.”

It’s now April 16, 2014, just seven months and ten days after that was first published. Today we see Dr Heatley resigning. In leaving before the end of his full contract, Dr Heatley follows the Messianic path trod by Dr McDonnell and Dr Johnson — and many others. The lesson for me — and it should be the same for you — is that we Bermudians are not God’s Chosen People. That there will be no Messiah, but that there will be lots of snake-oil salesmen who will sell us their cure-all snake-oils, if we let them come here and talk long enough. 

Us lot, we Bermudians, we are the fools, we are the suckers, we are the gullible people who seem always in a rush to believe — even now — in any Bernie Madoff if he but steps off a plane that flew in from somewhere out past North Rock. And our belief seems even deeper if we invite him here.

The fact that Dr Heatley — and all the others — were invited by us speaks to the depth of a persisting national cultural trait that says: “Trust a Messiah before you consider a Bermudian.” 

More is broken now

There’s a lot more ‘broken’ now than in 2013. Are we going to seek more foreign Messiahs for the increased number of needed fixes? Is that what this Government will continue do?  [Bill Hanbury is such a Messiah…]

Bermuda’s problems are inextricably intertwined. Economic issues, Government sector issues, private sector issues, social issues, crime issues, racial issues, education issues…. They are all interwoven with our culture, our demographics, and our geography.

The only persons who will understand Bermuda’s complexity will be Bermudians who have bothered to study and dig into and get a grasp of this Garden of Eden’s Gordian knot of problems. That should, all by itself, rule out any
Messiah from out past North Rock.

I don’t like to think this, but increasingly I do and I am slowly coming to believe it. 

I think that in the places out past North Rock, there is a persistent whisper that says to the world’s multitudes of snake-oil salesmen: “Go to Bermuda. Lots of suckers customers there. They pay well too.”