Founder/CEO

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Wisdom Be Born; Earth Science Interview



In Episode 52 of Atlantis Build Radio I feature an exclusive build with one of my Earth Sisters, Wisdom Be Born. Wisdom began learning this culture at the age of 12 and in this episode she talks about her journey of gaining KOS [Knowledge Of Self], 120 Lessons, her experience with First Born Prince Allah, some of the Nation initiatives she's been doing in Southern Ontario, Canada specifically with sisters other cultural elements.



Peace,
Saladin

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Allah Team: Modern Day Gobots in a Transformers Universe

Gobot Road Ranger knock-off of Transformer Optimus Prime

Nothing could rival the Transformers when they came out in the 80's. Nothing! And just like with anything good, eventually comes the cheap knock-offs. In this case it was the pitiful Gobots. When the Tonka company heard that Hasbro had that fire coming, they [Tonka] hurried up and dropped the Gobots; one of the biggest duds in toy making history. While Transformers took several elaborate steps to transform into these well crafted sophisticated robots, Gobots took maybe a few steps and ended up looking like a burnt-out sometimes faceless version of the same thing; a Burger King kids meal toy. The bootleg cartoons were just as horrible and torture for a Millennial to watch today. Bottom line is Tonka shoulda stuck to trucks and that's the same advice that many of us should take when it comes to sticking to what we know. Let me tell you about an archetypal Transformer before I get to the Gobots.

A common misconception some people have about The Five Percent is that we are a Muslim group; some religious spin-off, branch or denomination of the Islamic faith. Some believe this because our founder Allah, The Father, was once a Registered Muslim in the Nation of Islam [NOI] under Minister Malcolm X at Harlem's Mosque #7. When he left the NOI in 1963, he also left their belief system, religious hierarchy and name Clarence 13X behind. What he did retain were a series of lessons, 120, that became an integrated part of a unique cultural curriculum. A curriculum which primarily included Supreme Mathematics and the Supreme Alphabet; an Alphanumeric system of principles and values that was uniquely devised by him. This non-religious curriculum formed the basis of the Five Percent cultural worldview, which contained an original language, standards and customs that the Father and his companions began to teach youth in the streets of Harlem, AKA Mecca, in 1964.

As the Five Percent we honor The Father's legacy, from his upbringing in Danville Virginia, his military service in Korea, his brief time in Mosque #7 and his formation of the Five Percent Nation in the mid 60's. As with the The Father and every human being, all of our experiences were and are important in making us who are and neither experience single-handedly defines our identity. This is important to communicate because some Muslims have a very bad habit of claim-jumping when it comes to successful people like Yahweh Ben Yahweh, Muhammad Ali, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz [Malcolm X.], Dr. Sebi, Khalid Abdul Muhammad, Kool and the Gang Musicians, The Father and etc. who left their religion behind. It's like a high school basketball coach trying to claim credit for a player who became a superstar after they left or were cut from the team. In my mind, if it's multiple players that left or were cut from the program but then go on to do become superstars, the program starts to look questionable; its system, its coaching staff and possibly its athletic director. Five Percenters are like street ball players who questioned that Muslim program, either as former players or those who never wanted to play for that program, in that system or with that coaching staff. Some Five Percenters are highly critical of that program while others really don't give it much thought. Sometimes you have those who can't make their mind up; they want to play for that program yet also play in the street. If they are undecided, the program makes up their mind for them because there are certain restrictive laws that go along with being a part of that program. And if you don't follow the program, you're not eligible to play. You also have those who started playing street ball but then decided to join the program. That's fine, when it's respectfully articulated to those in the street. A problem arises when players who join the program try to act like they're better or even front like they're in the street in order to recruit street ball players to that program. This is like the religious program being NOI Muslims and street ballers as The Five Percent. The above group of undecided/Muslim recruiters are synonymous with a clandestine group called the Allah Team that operated in secret before making themselves public on the campus of Morehouse University in 1998. As can be surmised, this caused friction with the Five Percenters and these undecided/Muslim recruiters called the Allah Team separated themselves from the cipher. While there have always been short lived bootleg versions of us since the 60's, it was at this moment that we, the Transformers [Five Percent] began to see the creation of the Gobots.


Allah Prince Sha'Divine builds on his experience with The Allah Team


A couple of famous quotes of The Father during a November 15th 1967 Interview regarding religion are "you gotta keep the children together and kill all religion" and "And the Five Percenters, I'm teaching them that they can't go on under religion because religion has never did anything for them." Obviously this wasn't a declaration to kill people, this, along with other quotes from this Interview, made it absolutely clear that The Father wasn't an advocate of organized religion. The Father wanted us to kill or destroy the division, hierarchy, lies and manipulation that binds religious people: as religion comes from the Latin religare meaning "to bind." Some Muslims would argue that, "Brother Clarence 13X used some of the religious teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad so he must have been religious" to which I would retort, "using the Arabic numerals 0, 1-9 doesn't make everyone a Muslim." The principles and values The Father learned throughout his life, which included as a registered Muslim, were mathematically practical, not religious. This is the reasoning behind the Five Percenter's creation of Supreme Mathematics and the Supreme Alphabet; it's an Alphanumeric system that practically unlocked 120 lessons, and lessons in life, that were often purposely veiled by religion. Most of the words we speak in English are derived from a different language, culture and associated religion. It doesn't automatically mean we are that culture or associated religion if we use them. To call us Five Percenters Muslims even though we clearly do not practice the 5 Pillars of Islam, follow the Sunnah, attend a mosque, temple or masjid or follow an Imam/Minister is disrespectful to Muslims who do. A core belief of Allah Team group members is the confusing idea that you can somehow be a Muslim and Allah simultaneously. In their mind you can submit to the will of Allah as a Muslim, be a demigod [small "g" god], pray to THE God in the person of Prophet Master Fard Muhammad who wasn't the first God to create the universe, but we're all "Allahs" [yes, with an "s" on it]. 



Five Percent Universal Flag and Allah Team Logo

   The Father taught the youth our culture for five years until he was assassinated on June 13th, 1969. In May of 1965 after being arrested with several other men for unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct at a rally in front of the Hotel Theresa in Mecca [Harlem, NY], he was arraigned in criminal court before Judge Francis X. O'Brien and held on a $9,500 bond. Four months later he was shipped off to the Psychiatric Unit at Bellevue Hospital. Allah would remain there until a final psychiatric report submitted to Judge O'Brien stated that "he did not understand the charges against him" thus remanding him to the NYS Department of Mental Hygiene for indefinite confinement. At the age of 37, Allah was confined in these institutions, Bellevue and Matteawan State Hospital, for two years, and released in April of 1967. During this time he taught, different youth received different instructions. Instructions that often sound like contradictions. While it's clear that The Father was anti-organized religion, he did instruct some, not all, young Five Percenters to become Muslims by joining the mosque when he was gone. They obviously would benefit from the structure that religious program would offer them and it also shows that the Father wasn't confident in their ability to manage without that and him. I teach preschool and facilitate an after school program for 9 to 12 year olds so I definitely understand his reasoning. Some students I encourage to do some things while others get a different set of instructions. However, regardless of those individualized instructions, there were always anti-religious Five Percenter axioms that the Father taught regardless who he was speaking to, and those axioms were rooted in the unique language, standards and customs of our cultural worldview.




Two of the main axioms of the Five Percent is that we don't adhere to a hierarchical structure and we do not have a single leader. We teach collective leadership and that each person should follow to the extent of learning to lead themselves; self-sufficiency. If you're a believer, registered Muslim in the Nation of Islam who follows a leader, whether it's John Muhammad [Elijah's brother], Silias Muhammad, Solomon Royall, The Son of Man [Marvin Muhammad], Ahmad A. Muhammad or Minister Louis Farrakhan, you cannot simultaneously be non-religious and without a leader, it's a fundamental contradiction. Now I've heard some say that if you work or go to school your Manager or Teacher is your leader but here's the difference; they cannot tell you what to do at home like a religious leader does. If Minister Farrakhan says to his believers, "I want you all to start wearing this green & yellow Dianetics pin on your lapel every day to display our partnership with the Church of Scientology", you have to do it as a follower, at home and abroad. If you question or disobey that order you're considered a hypocrite, disbeliever and etc.

Another Five Percenter axiom is the propagation and preservation of our unique cultural curriculum; 120 lessons, Supreme Mathematics and the Supreme Alphabet. I emphasize "unique" because no one does this. No religion or other culture. Not only are we required to share and maintain our culture, we consistently test one another on it. I remember in the late 90's being at a Wu-Tang Clan concert and A Son Unique [Ol' Dirty Bastard], upon seeing my Universal Flag, questioning me on one of the lengthiest lessons in 120. Knowing 120, extracting and articulating the wisdom of 120 and understanding 120 equals 360 degrees; a complete cipher [120+120+120=360]. It is through one's immersion in our unique cultural curriculum, via Five Percenters who live it, that they learn our chronology, gatherings, honor days, language, standards and overall customs. It's impossible to learn this as a cultural tourist, academic or undecided/Muslim recruiter. So whenever I've looked at or engaged members of the Allah Team, males and females, there was always a clear disassociation from some of the chronology, gatherings, honor days, language, standards and overall customs of the Five Percent. In terms of chronology, they didn't have or maintain a strong lineage to a family tree actively connected to the root. They didn't actively attend or participate in any of our cultural gatherings or honor days and if given a choice they primarily honor religious days such as the Muslim's Annual Savior's Day and fast for Ramadan. They weren't fluent or couldn't properly articulate our language nor our lessons. When is came to standards and overall customs, it was obvious they were not like me and other brother and sisters of the Five Percent. Now some would and have argued that they do live the culture "personally" but just don't come around because of so and so -but that actually proves the point that they aren't living the culture. Why? Because it's impossible to live the culture, share and preserve, it by our lonesome. In fact, it will die with us. Always keep in mind that we received it from somebody. Plus civilization requires socialization, collective work and responsibility and cooperative economics. In the most simplest terms, if a person isn't adding on, they're taking away. Some would argue that one of our Prophets, W.D. Fard, "came to North America by himself" and that is true in a sense that no one personally traveled with him to his destination. It's also true that his family sent him, he most likely took a vessel with other travelers, and when he got to Detroit he became a part of his uncle's community. He still wasn't "alone", even when Elijah was supposedly looking through a keyhole to see if he slept and saw an eyeball staring back at him.

I know this was kinda lengthy, and will probably be revisited, so let me wrap this up. The main reason for this article is to point out that since out formal 1964 inception to today, there has been and continues to be people, impostors, trying to call themselves Five Percenters when they are not. Whether it was Robert Walker in the 60's or the Allah Team, they are not us. Even though some of them are aware of our way of life, none of them "primarily" share and preserve the unique chronology, gatherings, honor days, language, standards and overall customs of our Five Percent culture. That's fine to be aware, other Muslims, Moors, Nuwaubians, Khemetians, Hebrews, Christians or etc. are also. Just don't claim to be something you're clearly not. It's disrespectful, disingenuous, confusing and outright clownish to those of us who are the real Five Percent.

Peace,
Saladin

Monday, November 13, 2017

Is Mumble Rap Killing Hip Hop?

     
   Some time ago I interviewed Dej Loaf, a platinum-selling Hip Hop artist from Detroit MI, after a concert in Toronto Canada. We discussed her career and what her thoughts were on being compared to the 90’s rapper Boss; another platinum-selling artist from Detroit known for her popular song “Deeper.” Dej Loaf’s response was, “Who is Boss?” I knew at this moment that something a lot deeper than unintelligible lyrics, vocalator effects and Lil Uzi Vert shoulder rolls was happening in Rap's transformation.

 
   Hip Hop culture consists of five elements: MCing, DJing, B-Boy/B-Girl, Graffiti and Knowledge. From its 1970s inception these elements were considered dissonant, vandalism, criminal and counter culture by the mainstream society. As the DJ and MC took center stage and park jams spread around NYC, record labels began to see the marketability of a new music genre called “Rap.” While some record labels were genuinely interested in giving artists a platform, many simply saw dollar signs. This symbiotic and often parasitic relationship between artist and record label began in 1979 when Curtis Blow recorded the first solo album on the Mercury label.

    In the late 1980s and mid-1990s, Hip Hop’s Golden Era, we witnessed some of the most diverse, creative and socially conscious rap music this genre has ever produced. From the mid-1990s onward we’ve also witnessed its mainstream decline; where rap music lacking diversity, creativity and social commentary reached its zenith. Today many of these rap artists. and their inaudible mutters. have come to be known as Mumble Rap.

Telefone by Nonome

     Coming from an era where lyricism was important to listening to incoherent artists is challenging. Yet I refuse to proclaim that Hip Hop is dead. Not because of a stubborn nostalgia to linger in its past, I simply have confidence in our millennial artists to expanding its cultural legacy. Sure there’s a control mechanism in ‘corporate rap’ that has co-opted many mainstream artists, yet there has always been an underground; a subterranean world of sight and sound that infuses Hip Hop with color, consciousness and the creative content we seek. Artists like Noname, Bishop Nehru, Earl Sweatshirt and others are leading the way. In this millennial age where the internet created a direct-to-consumer business model, artists are more accessible and now have a platform to build their brand and distribute their products/services without a mainstream label. Given these factors, Hip Hop is independently alive more than ever before. 

Peace,
Saladin

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Lord of All Worlds: Basir Fhem and his Journey Abroad


In Episode 51 of Atlantis Build Talk Radio I feature an exclusive build with one of my God Brothers [Basir] I taught over 20 years ago; Basir Fhem. Once he gained KOS [Knowledge Of Self] he moved to Jerusalem and lived there for some years. He then moved to Benin and eventually settled in Ghana. In this build we discuss his personal journey, cultural differences and similarities, growth and development opportunities and much more!! You can listen/download the interview below:

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Apatheticons: The Non-Transformers


     As I grow older, and willfully wiser, my tolerance level for outright ignorance and apathy was begun to wane. In the age of so-called "Wokeness", I've never seen so many people asleep. Not sleep in a sense of being unaware; there's a lot of people who can recite Bodak Yellow, breakdown the season finale of Game of Thrones and recognize conscious posts to reshare on social media. I'm talking about sleep in a sense of inactivity. For example, I've had various jobs; I've worked as a cook, a roofer, I worked at the library in college and even worked as Dr. Frankenstein at a Haunted House before. In all of these instances I've worked with people who put more energy, effort and intelligence into avoiding their job than just doing their job! These people either constantly hid from work or they mastered the art of looking busy and not doing a damn thing. The worst part about it is that these people were oftentimes the Supervisors and Managers. It's frustrating and sometimes exhausting because now you gotta add a bunch of other duties to your job description. I'm not talking about duties as in "picking up other peoples slack." I'm just talking about the mental work of coming up with all kinds of stratagems to deal with their bullsh*t each and every day. THAT is a major issue many people have at their job and in their careers. Sometimes it's not the job or career itself, sometimes it's just the people. 

   Within the Nation of the Five Percent there exists some of the same lowly elements. At times I get tired of seeing and hearing the same bullsh*t from folks whose only claim to fame is a fancy sounding name. There's Facebook Groups I've been a part of I once deemed progressive that have deteriorated into group target practice on snapshots. We have nickel and dimers who will sell you anything to get paid, including sympathy for a loved ones death. You got people living in cities relying solely on social media to learn like they're being held hostage in the house and you have people who use children for photo ops to catfish people into believing "they're in the community." That's just some of the mess I've witnessed and none of them are doing anything significant to assist others, especially the most vulnerable members of our families and community. Although these individuals don't reflect the general mindset and body of the Five Percent, like with any group, it's important to address nonsense like this. Why? Because people need to know, including other Five Percenters, that this is not what we teach or what we're striving to achieve as a Nation. In fact, these people are what I call Apatheticons. 

   The Apatheticons are the main antagonists in the universe of the Enlightened and are usually led by one undeviating goal: to not do a damn thing. The "con", in addition to their apathy, is the self-deception and trickery they use to get out of doing anything. An easy way to identify them is the way that they move, no pun intended, on social media. They always have some criticism about what's going on yet never present their criticisms with evidence of a solution or what they're actually doing about it. It reminds me of someone I once had a conversation with who was going on and on about how our youth need a tutoring program and they would do it IF they got a grant. Mind you, we're standing right in front of the public library where citizens can reserve meeting rooms for free, a block away from the Dollar Store and this person has a decent paying job. It didn't even cross their mind that they could've just done it themselves by getting some supplies down the street, reserving a meeting room at the library and talking to parents about offering tutoring services. Hell, maybe they did. When I brought it to their attention they nodded their head in approval. Five years later they still haven't done anything and that "grant" still hasn't materialized. 

   Even though it's frustrating to deal with them, I don't want you to think that all hope is lost. In my book GAMES I outline various ways to deal with people like this, but here are some points related to Apatheticons:


  • My book GAMES is a humorously sharp reference guide to transactional analysis, trick-knowledge and the psychology of people running game. In other words I teach readers how to recognize, analyze, and define various Games being played on them or Games they may be participating in such as Shoulda, Coulda Woulda. I also teach a person how to dismantle Games and replace them with behavior patterns that promote healthy relationships. You can check out Games and my other titles here: Quanaah Publishing.
  • If a person, your own peer or older, is not convinced about the purpose or benefit of doing something, don't lose time searching for activity that clearly doesn't exist. They may become aware in the future, they may not, which is not a practical benefit right now. If a person cannot presently see it then don't expect them to be it. Work with those who already see the purpose and benefit of doing something. 
  • I always start with three solid people when it comes to getting something done: Me, Myself and I. Once you get those three on board then it's easier to get others to add-on.
  • In the age of social media people try to make a living off of selling others the idea of living. There's life coaches who don't have a team, IG models from the neck up and dudes recording videos in cars that aren't going anywhere. Something common among them, and others, is there is no practical evidence of what they're actually doing every day. Whatever their niche seems to be, research others who're in that field/industry to connect with those who are actually doing the work. An excellent example of a person who is actually doing the work is my God Brother Salim Adofo; a Multi Media Journalist, DJ, Freelance Writer, Video Producer, Social Justice Advocate, Photographer, Community Organizer and Educator in the DMV area. There's a consistency with what he shares on social media and what he's doing every day. His real life activism, outreach and visibility is a practical standard to use as an assessment tool for those who claim that they're doing the work. 
  • If people aren't willing and able to put their own money up, they're not about that life right now so don't expect anything from them, right now. I emphasize "right now" because they may be willing to do it in the future. Whether they do or not, it's not our job to stand there to see if that seed grows; we got work to do right now. According to BlackEntrepreneur.com, black buying power in America was projected to reach $1.3 trillion by 2017. So it's oftentimes not about people not having money. Yes this is the case, sometimes. Most of the time it's about our priorities and what we're spending our money on.
True transformation, on a personal level, within our families and inside of our communities require us to be proactive. We must be willing and able to step up and do the work because no one is going to save us. In doing the work we must be mindful of those who simply don't want to do the work and those who work harder to not do the work than just doing the work to begin with. We must learn effective stratagems to deal with them. Our sanity, sanctuary and sustainability of our world depends upon it.

Peace,
Saladin

Friday, September 29, 2017

Institution Building and The Atlantis School For Gifted Youngsters

   
   In Episode 50 of Atlantis Build Talk Radio I feature my Sept 2nd, 2017 interview on Do Tha Knowledge Radio where I discuss the monetization of "Wokeness", my current projects, the Atlantis School For Gifted Youngsters I'm building, my journey as a youth advocate, author, nomination for the 2017 BP Awards in Atlanta Georgia, the October 6th-8th Region 5 Growth & Development Conference I'll be attending in Dallas Texas and other sciences of life!



Peace,
Saladin

Monday, September 11, 2017

Virginia Department of Corrections Removes Five Percent Nation STG Label


"Despite discomfort with labeling the NGE a religion, the Nation occupies a place in my heart, mind and life parallel to that filled by the orthodox belief in God/a Supreme Being in more mainstream religions which are widely accepted in the United States." -Kalvin Donnell Coward [Coward v. Robinson, Chief of Corrections Operations] 

   In a recent August 28th, 2017 Virginia Department of Corrections Court Decision, U.S. Eastern District Judge Leonie Brinkema ruled that, "After twenty-one years of tracking Five Percenters, the (Virginia Department of Corrections) has not produced sufficient evidence supporting its position that the gang designation is warranted and furthers a compelling state interest," This decision is two-fold: 1.) It removed the STG [Security Threat Group] label within the VDOC and 2.) It now recognizes the Five Percent Nation [AKA The NGE or Nation of Gods and Earths] as a religion. As a religion and no longer a STG, Five Percenters within the VDOC are now free to exercise their right to practice and have the equal protection under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States that was established in the 18th Century: 1791. As a religion, Five Percenters are now approved to operate in VDOC facilities along side other faiths such as Orthodox Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Asatru (Odinism), Eckankar, Integral Yoga, NOI [Nation of Islam], Santeria, Wicca and others that are less known

  Under the STG label, inmates who identify themselves as Five Percenters have not been allowed to practice the culture of the Five Percent, congregate, possess any of our literature, placed in solitary confinement because of their affiliation and even physically assaulted because of their unwillingness to denounce the culture. This is not something I'm speaking about as hearsay. These are experiences returning citizens have shared with me and what I know to be true from operating my Prison Correspondence Project for over a decade. There have been many occasions my books have been denied in facilities around the country, my letters and and work has been used as positive character evidence to support legal action to remove STG labels and Volunteer Service/Chaplain Departments contact me to request materials for Five Percenters in their facility. 

   Although many are unaware, according to a survey conducted by the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA), correctional departments in thirteen states don't recognize the Five Percent Nation as a religion. These states are Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and West Virginia. In these states Five Percenters are also often labeled a STG, singled out receive the harshest treatment. In contrast, there are fifteen states with correctional departments that do recognize the Five Percent Nation as a religion. Those states are Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island. In those states where the Five Percent Nation is recognized as a religion, members are afforded some privileges such as access our Lessons [120], Supreme Mathematics, the Supreme Alphabet, permission to gather, observe honor days [holidays] and have dietary alternatives.

   While there is a general consensus among the Five Percent that any STG label needs to be removed, one of the larger concerns that Five Percent Nation members outside of correctional departments ["in the free cipher"] have with this decision, and other department of corrections court decisions, is the lack of inclusion and the religious designation. In regards to inclusion, while some would argue that the decision of a few is a victory in the best interest of the many, the many have argued that they were not informed about or included in the decisions of the few until they read this and other court decisions in the news. 

   Since our formal inception we have consistently taught and fought the stereotype that we are not a gang. In fact, following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in April of 1968, the Father [Allah] and many of his young Five Percenters accompanied Mayor John Lindsay walk the streets of Harlem to deter rioting/looting and express condolences to our community. It was the Father himself who once declared that we should "kill all religion." This kill religion declaration did not mean its members. This declaration meant to destroy the hierarchical structure that religions use to arrest the development of its members by keeping them blind, deaf and dumb while its leaders make themselves rich from their labor. All you need to do is take a cursory glance to see followers of any religion living hand to mouth while their leaders live in mansions. Some among the Five Percent even strive to do the same thing. This is one of the main reasons the Father worked diligently to disassociate himself and his Five Percenters from religious bodies or any groups or organizations that functionally undermined the elements of cultural freedom. In taking this non-religious stance, the Father and many other Five Percenters paid and still pay dearly for it. In my article American Horror Story: Asylum Allah & Azreal I elaborate on how his being remanded to the NYS Department of Mental Hygiene and confinement in Bellevue and Matteawan State Hospital for two years at the age of 37, was a direct result of his non-religious stance.

   On one side of the spectrum some members of the Five Percent are insensitive to the needs and plight of our brothers and sisters in the belly of beast. Their conservative perspective is, "They shouldn't be in there in the first place" and somehow deserve to be denied free access to our culture and all of its elements -even though most of these brothers and sisters are incarcerated for non-violent offences and clearly not a part of a gang or a STG. Their illogic seems to be that, "You can be the God, Earth or Civilized Person when you get out." I call it illogical because imagine where we would be as a people if everyone who was incarcerated waited until they got out to add their cultural contribution to the society. Think about that.

   On the other side of the spectrum are those who are anti-religion. They want nothing to do with the word itself, words related to it or actions that look like it. Some of them have been traumatized by their experience with religion. From their perspective, these brothers and sisters in correctional facilities filing lawsuits for the Nation to be designated a religion are selling our Father's birthright for creature comforts and to be accepted in society. You have those who think court decisions like this are a victory for us. Some think it's a lack of foresight and a failure. In all fairness, everyone who is sincere, who has the right attitude and the proper aptitude, should have unrestricted access to learning our culture. Then it only becomes a question of, how can we make that possible while maintaining its integrity? 

   In this August 28th, 2017 VDOC Court Decision, even though its plaintiff Kalvin Donnell Coward and witnesses Starmel Allah [Ricky Panayoty] and Born King Allah [Donald Palmer] articulated that the Five Percent Nation [AKA The NGE or Nation of Gods and Earths] is a culture, not a religion, it was Judge Leonie Brinkema's conclusion that: 

"the Court finds that the VDOC violated the plaintiffs rights under RLUIPA and the First Amendment by designating the NGE an STG thereby enforcing a zero tolerance policy that prohibits plaintiff from possessing his sacred texts and associating with other NGE adherents, and refusing to recognize the NGE as a religion. In accordance with this finding, the Department will be ordered to remove the STG designation from the NGE, recognize it as a religion, and afford it the rights and privileges enumerated in the Department's operating procedure for Offender Religious Programs, including but not limited to permitting NGE adherents to observe their four honor days, possess their foundational texts, and engage in communal worship, subject to the availability of an approved spiritual leader and under the necessary visual monitoring. This holding does not preclude the Department from placing restrictions on NGE adherents as necessary to maintain security and order, provided that the Department does so within the confines of RLUIPA and applicable prison policies. An appropriate order entering judgment consistent with this finding will be issued with this Memorandum Opinion."

   Because this Court Decision is now on record in the VDOC, as are similar decisions in department of corrections in other states, the question we must ask ourselves now is, "What's the next step?" For those who disagree with the VDOC Court Decision, are we willing to support legal action and be upstanding citizens who produce the cultural contributions that help define our identity within the context of culture? As I stated earlier, many of my contributions, what I presently do, and the public positions I hold is empirical evidence that we are not a religion or a gang. Keep in mind that this religious designation was credibly weighted by the plaintiffs religious "expert" and Muslim Prof. Michael Muhammad Knight who posits "the Nation [of the Five Percent] is every bit as much of a religion as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and other forms of Islam" and representing that "this view of the Nation is shared by most scholars in the academic study of religion." Although Knight, academics who study religion and other outsiders are respectfully entitled to their opinion, that opinion is not the perspective of our Founder or the general consensus of those of us who are of the Five Percent. Whether inside or outside of correctional facility, our culture is not a belief system, we don't engage in communal/corporate worship, we don't have a spiritual leader and we don't teach, as Coward stated in the court record, "a continued existence beyond this dense physical world, a continued existence that most religions refer to as the afterlife." 

   For those who agree with this or any Court decisions that designate us as a religion, are we willing to also support legal action and be upstanding citizens who produce the cultural contributions that help define our identity outside of the boundaries of those religious designations? Now that more of our brothers and sisters have access to our culture within the VDOC, how can we help ensure that they're learning this correctly and not manufacturing some quasi-religious hybrid that has no semblance of what the Father taught?

   In conclusion, I encourage you to not only read this court ruling, and other court rulings for that matter, but to research the court documents themselves in order to get a better understanding of what's going on and what you can do actually about it. Knowledge is the foundation, not assumption. You can research/download this document below


Peace,
Saladin