In this issue of TIME magazine Monday, July 02, 1923
Dr. Oguntola Shapara, Nigerian physician, was decorated by King George. Dr. Shapara discovered an African secret society which worshipped smallpox as a fetish. The members spread the disease as part of their rites, making it impossible for the health officials of Nigeria to stamp out the plague. Dr. Shapara was initiated into the society and took part in its secret ritual in order to learn how to combat it. With this knowledge the Government of the colony was able to abolish the clan and to control smallpox.
This African secret society worshiped Sonponna, the Yoruba deity of Smallpox.