Saturday, October 10, 2009
Cult of the Week- The Nuwaubians
Fringe religious groups have interested me for some time greatly and most people have no idea how many groups there are and what their belief system entails. Once a week, typically on a wed. I plan on highlighting a "cultic" group that have piqued my interest. First things first, please do not leave me any insufferable comments or ques. pondering whether or not I wish to start a cult or become a serial killer. Secondly, I will not be discussing any mainstream religions at all, unless they have a splinter group that fall into my field of interest. Mainstream religions in my view are 2,000 years or older, however, seventh day adventists, mormons, and jw's will still fall under the category of mainstream, therefore are considered dull right along with christianity, islam, judaism and catholicism and not really worth mentioning. The history of the Nuwaubian Nation begins in 1967. In that year Dwight York set up the Ansaar Pure Sufi organization in Brooklyn, NY, as a Sufi answer to the Nation of Islam. York called himself Imaam Issa (later adding Muhammad). The Ansaars are an ethnic group in Sudan to whom the Imaam claimed affiliation. At least one member links the advent of the group to a (portentous) cosmic event, namely the 16 March 1970 appearance of Comet Bennett (which was later claimed to be the Imam's ride from outer space). From the beginning there was a strong entrepreneurial drive: the group opened a bookstore and a series of businesses. Its doctrinal pillars were communal living, Afrocentric garb, and Arabic education. Group headquarters moved around the several boroughs of New York City through the 1970s. A major shake-up occurred in 1972, after York returned from (ostensibly) visiting the Ansaars. Prior to this, tensions over group leadership and the management of the businesses had come to a head. York purged the Ansaar Pure Sufi community of members who were only "playing" at being Muslim. He renamed it the Ansaaru Allah Community, a name it kept until 1992. Near as I can tell, this also marked a shift toward the more Egyptophilic, eclectic Islam for which the Nuwaubians are now known. From then through the 1980s, energy and capital were invested even more into their businesses, including a recording studio York owned (from his former incarnation as a member of the R-and-B group "Passion"). A second major event came in 1992, when York/Muhammad took his group to Sullivan County in the Catskills for a brief period of what he called "testing." They emerged with a new designation as Lodge 19 of "the Ancient Mystical Order of Melchizedek," and a newly-renamed leader--Malachi Z. York. Mazucci (2002) and Haddad (1993) suggest this was when mounting tensions with more mainstream Muslims came to a head and York made his definitive break from "institutional Islam." Not long after the testing experience, in 1993, the Nuwaubians purchased 476 acres of farmland on Highway 142 in rural Putnam County GA. York's family was said by one source within the group to have come from Georgia, though he lived in Massachusetts and New York. (The site was supposedly close to an Indian holy site called Rock Eagle.) There between 150 and 400 members have built an "Egyptian-based recreational village" called Tama-Re complete with pyramids, obelisks, statues of Egyptian gods, and a "Nile Road" down the middle of the property. By the time Tama-Re was underway, York had delegated the day-to-day leading and public relations duties to others, principally Marshall Chance. The group began to host "Savior's Day" festivals every June. They also continued their entrepreneurial ways, attempting to start a number of businesses. This is in part what caused the group to lock horns with their neighbors and the local government, as we will see below. After several tempestuous years, local news sources reported that the group had put their Putnam Co. land up for sale in February of 2000, seeking a new headquarters in Athens, GA. This move did not go over well with their new host community, to the extent that most members remained on the Putnam County property. York was then hit with a series of legal obstacles, culminating in his arrest on accusations of child molestation. The trial, drawn out by appeals, ended in a 2004 conviction, with York sentenced to over 100 years in prison. Since the trial and the 2005 sale of the compound, group members have mainly departed, although they continue to meet and to maintain a web presence. Cosmology The first basic principle is that African Americans (unbeknowst to most of them) are actually native Americans who crossed over from Nubia in the distant past. They have been kept unaware of this fact by the "Spell of Kingu" (or "Leviathan") cast by earthly religion, media, and schools. York claims to be "a being from the 19th galaxy called Illyuwn...what you would call an extra-terrestrial [or] extra terra-astral...an angelic being, an Eloheem from the 8th planet called Rizq" (scroll 82). His mission is "to save the children of the Eloheem ([or] Annunaqi) from being killed as you bring your planet near to what could be its total destruction" (scroll #80). He has appeared in a number of avatars, among them Murdoq and Yamasee Chief Black Eagle. His race, the Annunaki, "have been coming to this planet [since] before it had your [human] life form on it." They are in fact responsible for the creation of human life and civilization, not to mention the periodic visits of teachers like York. Yaanuwn led the first mission to Earth. "His job was to teach what are called the minorities, to take them through their earthly history, and back to their universal history," a job now fulfilled by York (scroll 82, p.80). Scientists from the planet Rizq created human beings and civilization more than 50,000 years ago. Prince Ea and Princess Ninhursag, figures in the Sumerian pantheon, were the principal geneticists. Their greatest products were the Cushites, or Nuwuabu. The Nuwaubu have the potential to become gods and commune with the Annunaki if they follow the teachers they are sent. The Annunaki will soon return to institute a Golden Age; many estimates focused on 2003. What are called UFOs are actually IFOs of the Annunaki and other higher races. This creation story also explains where the other races came from, and why they treat the Nuwaubians the way they do. Rebellious Annunaki created most other human races and their idolatrous religions. For instance, "[t]he pale race is originally from Pleiades, Aldebaran and Europa" and is aligned with the biblical serpent and represented by the pentagram and the number 666 (scroll 360, p.111). There also exist evil beings (cherubim, demons) that can invade and manipulate human brains (scroll 360, p. 112). The grey aliens of contemporary lore "are really a crossbreed between humans and reptilian species....The Greys are being used as slaves by the reptilians" (scroll 136, pp. 43-4). The pale race, though inferior, works for the evil Annunaki within powerful earthly institutions. Nuwaubian teachings focus on "facts" (i.e., the opposite of the "myths" of most systems of thought) and research--a combination referred to in several sources as "Factology." York is often quoted approvingly by members as saying "Don't believe me; check it out for yourself," encouraging Nuwaubians to question received wisdom and the status quo. Belief, the basis of all other religious systems, is bad since it is based on (subjective, changeable) trust rather than truth. He writes that "it is my job to reform all the false teachings that had been taught to Nubians in the west and restore Islaam to its pristine purity (sic)." Elsewhere, however, he amends that by saying he "used the Islamic religion to hide behind so I could give you what you wanted, so you would learn to want what I have to give, and now the time is 'NOW' right to teach you 'Nuwaubu' the right knowledge (scroll 82, p.81)." The three pillars of Nuwaubian teaching are Right Knowledge, Right Wisdom, and Right "Overstanding," the last term denoting a way of knowing not subjugated by temporal authorities, as conventional "under-standing" is. Knowledge is properly ordered and sequenced facts. Wisdom is knowing how to correctly use truth and power, mutually implicating forces. The UNNM system accounts for five stages of mind, seven chakras, five "touch-based" senses and four "perception-based (i.e. telepathic) senses" that are all involved in acquiring knowledge. Also, humans are said to have "360 degrees of what is called will. When the 180 degrees of agreeable overcomes the 180 degrees of disagreeable, that person takes steps towards becoming an ELOHEEM and even an Etherian but on a lower level because he only has 360 degrees not 720 degrees like the ANNUNAQI (scroll 82, p.18)." The Nuwaubian cosmos is composed of seven interpenetrating planes or vibrational levels, rather than this world of the senses alone (scroll 81). They are, in ascending order: the material plane; the plane of force; the spiritual plane; the mental plane; the plane of divine truth; the plane of divine reality; and the "bosom of El Eloh." Each has seven subplanes, each of which has their own seven subplanes (for 343 total, if you're keeping count). Because humans are missing what York refers to as the "barathary gland" they are limited to thinking and acting within the three dimensions of the lowest plane (scroll 82, pp. 80-1). However, Nuwabu are supposed to work to break out of those confines by gaining knowledge of the cosmos and their true nature, ultimately seeking union with "The All." The Nuwaubians is the buffet line of cults. If you want Egptology, Islam, Christianity, UFO-logy, Native Amercian Heritage, Black Supremacy, Fraternal Myststicism, and Judaism and the all of the royal costumes and bells and whistles from every disney movie all rolled up in a neat bow then this is the group. The oddest assertion that he had was that he was from the Yamassee Indian tribe, thereby being the first native american. So, you can be both an alien and a native? The leader is currently serving a 135 prison sentence for child molestation and the compound torn down, but there are remnants of the sect that remain loyal and believe that their leader is not only innocent but has shape shifted into another body and is now free. This cult and these other psuedoscience"technospiritual" cults are very deceptive in that they seem to be factual and scientific and therefore credible. Unfortunately, the science is untested and the only reliance is on the faith. Typically these type of groups are confrontational and meet a tragic end, typically at their own hands.