The Mass Murdering Warlord Turned Christian Evangelist Who Was Known as General Butt Naked

This is a guest post by Dan Lewis. Dan runs the wildly popular daily newsletter Now I Know (“Learn Something New Every Day, By Email”). To subscribe to his daily email, click here.

Today I found out about the mass murdering warlord turned christian evangelist who was once known as General Butt Naked.

Joshua Milton Blahyi, pictured above, is a preacher living in Ghana who turned 40 years old on September 30, 2011. About two decades earlier, he was a much different person than the apparently peaceful religious man he is today. So different, in fact, that if you ask him if he should be brought before the Hague on charges of war crimes, his answer is “yes.”

At age 11, Blahyi was initiated as a high priest of the Sarpo tribe in his home country of Liberia. The initiation, according to Blahyi, involved horrors which would make even the most iron stomach churn. As recounted by the Daily Mail, Blahyi, naked throughout, killed a girl not much younger than he was at the time. The murder was part of a ritual sacrifice which continued over the course of a few days, culminating with him eating the girl’s heart and some other body parts. In completing this task, he rose to a position of local prominence. And by his late teens, Blahyi became a key tribal general in the First Liberian Civil War.

There, he got his nom de guerre: General Butt Naked.

Blahyi believed that charging into battle with nothing but a gun and a pair of boots made soldiers impervious to bullets. Yes, in his mind, the birthday suit was not only sufficient armor, but ideal for armed combat, so his troops fought armed but undressed. His squad was nicknamed the Butt Naked Battalion and he earned the General Butt Naked nickname which he is now best known by. (Search Wikipedia for his real name and you will find yourself redirected to the entry titled “General Butt Naked.”)

But while that nickname is certainly deserving of the oddity from which it stems, Blahyi’s true legacy should be for the atrocities he perpetuated in the name of war. As noted in the Daily Mail article cited above, Blahyi’s army was made up of mostly children, a group he turned into the worst kind of murderers.According to his Wikipedia entry, Blahyi confessed to a brutal pre-war ritual which boggles the mind and conscience:

“So, before leading my troops into battle, we would get drunk and drugged up, sacrifice a local teenager, drink the blood, then strip down to our shoes and go into battle wearing colorful wigs and carrying imaginary purses we’d looted from civilians. We’d slaughter anyone we saw, chop their heads off and use them as soccer balls. We were nude, fearless, drunk yet strategic. We killed hundreds of people–so many I lost count.”

In another interview, he stated,

Sometimes I would enter under the water where children were playing. I would dive under the water, grab one, carry him under and break his neck. Sometimes I’d cause accidents. Sometimes I’d just slaughter them.

Blahyi cites Satan’s influence as the driving force behind his madness. The devil, claimed Blahyi, appeared to him, instructing him to continue such sacrifices and practices — including eating the hearts of the children he sacrificed — in order to gain and maintain power. He further claims that in 1996, Jesus appeared to him and told him that if he did not repent, he would die — and as such, Blahyi changed his ways. He told the BBC that he “now preach[es] against murder and making human sacrifices” and that he is not proud of his past, but rather “ashamed.”

His victims were unavailable for comment.

Bonus Fact:

  • Liberia’s flag (pictured here) looks a lot like the American flag, and that’s not a coincidence. Liberia was colonized by freed American slaves starting in 1820 and brought American culture with them. Other examples include a reference to natural law in the LIberian Declaration of Independence (“We recognize in all men certain inalienable rights; among these are life, liberty, and the right to acquire, possess, enjoy, and defend property”) and the decision to name the capital Monrovia, after then-President James Monroe.

If you’re interested in learning more on General Butt Naked, There is a documentary: The Redemption of General Butt Naked

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  • Favorite line: “His victims were unavailable for comment.”

    What a way to end a dark redemptive story.

  • I’m appalled by the line “His victims were unavailable for comment.” How disgusting and distasteful. An incredible man’s journey about how he was redeemed, left with a terrible taste. Can you imagine how the families of those victims feel? If you were family of one of those victims how awful and rude it would feel to make a joke out of something so terrible? Disgusting.

    • I agree, Jessica. I am known to a sick sense of humor, but even I find that last line too distasteful to be funny.

    • The author- makes one funny comment for comic relief. And hes disgusting, awful, and rude?

      General Butt Naked the Warlord- sacrificed kids or just killed them for fun. Was on drugs all the time and claimed to see Jesus and he changed his ways. Hes an “incredible man”?

      This is whats wrong with America

    • Yes, this man is undeniably incredible, but not in a good way.
      He is a self described mass murderer and quite frankly he should be executed for his crimes on the spot.

      I honestly don’t care how many times he has had breakfast with Jesus and how contrived he is for his past behavior. We are not talking about some kid with a dubious past, we are talking about somebody that would be in good company with the very worst mass murderers in history.

      So what if he is a preacher now? If he wants to show how reformed he is, he should turn himself in to receive the just punishment that’s coming to him.

      He believed in magic when he went to was butt naked with a wig and a rifle and he has just changed his delusions to something more mainstream. His murders however are still real. He is scum. He will remain scum forever.

      • Daven Hiskey

        @MarcoC: This once again brings up the fascinating question of whether our courts and prison systems exist to enact revenge, or do they exist to hold people who have proven they can’t function civilly in a society until that point in which they’ve been rehabilitated and can once again be productive members of the human race?

  • lets all kill kids and eat them its OK Jesus will forgive us right?

  • Wow, Jessica. You call this evil thug an “incredible man”? Do you think the families of this monster’s victims are hurt by a line on a website hurts these families? The barbaric monster that you praise is the one responsible for hurting these families.

  • Did you miss “…if you ask him if he should be brought before the Hague on charges of war crimes, his answer is ‘yes.’?”
    He was corrupted as hardly more than a child. He has agreed that he should be put on trial for his crimes, which infers that he will confess to all that he is able to recall. Has he said anything like, “I’ll never be taken alive?”
    Some reformed abortionists have agreed that they should be tried, convicted and punished for their many murders. However, only if other abortionists are also held to account.
    This man, who appears to have repented of his sins, should not be singled out while others who committed the same kinds of crimes are not so much as sought.
    It would be fair if, say, five others who committed similar crimes were put on trial along with him.
    And what of the many others who were corrupted at ages like his (11)? Are they not to be sought out? And the corrupters? What of them? I realize that not every criminal can be found and brought to account. Yet if only those who publicly repent, confess to their sins and voluntarily expose themselves to trial are punished, how does that serve justice?
    The demons that invade and overcome such as Blahyi are never held to account in this era.
    Still, some punishment should be applied. It is not the place of civil government to forgive. Perhaps a lengthy prison sentence but with his service of speaking to deter others from committing evil?
    I once knew a man who was (unjustly, but that’s not my point) convicted of manslaughter as the result of defending himself from a burglar who attacked him in his home. The prison warden provided him with a couple of suits, a state car and credit card, and an itinerary to speak against recreational drug abuse to high school audiences. He did that for the three years of his sentence.

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