Sunday, October 27, 2013
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Wrist-chains, waiste-chains, ankle-chains, shackles;
Chain-gangs: wooly-haired, black-faced bumblebees shuffling in chains, grading dirt roads, hacking weeds in ditches as pale-face men, tall sticks in hand, sit on horseback looking on.
Chains - the sound of chains; never-forgotten-chains. Perhaps they harken back to the day on the Goodship Jeasus, wherein the dark of night Capt. John Hawkins, slave-ship runner, piloted stolen bodies across the dreaded Middle-Passage, on back to tobacco fields in Virginia before Kunta Kunte morphed into Toby.
Bondage is a terrible thing to behold -
Cellgates open; flashes of the past chained to measured steps of the present; walking eyes take in men paired-off in cell tanks, standing for inspection: contraband, insolence, rabbit in their feet; for evidence of willing compliance. Tank-after-tank all to see. Can the men see looking out at what is seen looking in?
Control of another is a terrible thing to behold, mass control far worse. But the resilient spirit endures forever.
By HERMAN BELL... Free political prisoners of War...
As played out in the Black Civil Rights Movement of the 60s and 70s, the f.b.i.'s counter-intelligence program (Cointelpro) sought to repress black-america's long standing demand for social justice in U.S. society. In calling for an end to segregation, racial discrimination, mob violence, and police brutality, black-americans were defying the U.S. Jim Crow apartheid caste system. Their demand for fair wages, access to decent housing, health care, education for their children, just and fair treatment before the law served notice that they were no longer tolerant of their marginalized status in the land of their birth. It's not that blacks were violent in their demands, but that at every turn they made to improve their lives, they were met with violence. As regards to that, the f.b.i would investigate the boyscouts, if it had anything to do with black folk.
Cointelpro is a powerful, sophisticated, government instrument of repression and social control. It was designed to repress; traces of it can be found back in the most ancient of times where the drama is enacted of "haves" against "have-nots"; of weak against strong; of rich against poor; of who will be master, who will be slave; of who will be dominant, who will be subordinate.
It's fair to say that the Black Civil Rights Movement back then comprised a dangerous mix of disaffected social elements that posed a direct threat to both the hegemony of capital and its unfettered access to profits, and to the fiefdom of white supremacy and its historic cultural domination. Accordingly, the f.b.i. sought to crush this movement and the groups allied with it. Movement activists were covertly surveilled; their finances audited; backgrounds checked; employers and landlords interviewed. What indiscretions or infidelities that came to light were skillfully used against them. Groups were set against groups. The weak and faint-hearted were turned against their colleagues. Well placed news articles and not so subtle editorials cheered on this illegal f.b.i. activity. And much of the same activity goes on today.
In the wake of the 9/11 Twin Towers attack in New York City and the subsequent U.S.A. Patriot Act, cointelpro now finds itself with even more repressive powers. And the politicians, governors, policing agencies, and special interest groups that wish to fashion U.S. society (its institutions, behavior patterns, and beliefs) in their exclusive image, have taken to these new powers like pigs to slop. Consequently, the political climate today is such that an authority can casually construe the most harmless, inconsequential statement or act as a conspiracy or threat to national security. It's a climate where people feel reluctant even to donate charitable dollars to humanitarian organizations lest their name appear on a government "terrorist watch list." Surveillance cameras abound in public spaces, and cell-phones, CPS-systems, credit cards, personal computers, enable that a plethora of information on U.S. citizens be gathered and stored. Why collect all this information if not for manipulative or sinister purposes?!
Hence, on the ground and in cyberspace, our increasing reliance on electronics renders us even more vulnerable to cointelpro's pervasiveness. Vulnerable to its "watch list" and to what it has already done to our civil liberties and personal freedoms. The push of a button (as punishment for resistance to its authority) could make all our pertinent information -- our personal finances, records, credit cards, SS#s, licenses, our very names -- "disappeared" from the stream of U.S. electronic social interaction. Does that mean the sky will fall? No! But it could well mean strangers at your door in the middle of the night, electrodes at your genitals in a padded room, or worse.
Have we reached a point in our society where the rights we thought we once had no longer exist? And if so, why is that? Could it be complacency, insensitivity, preoccupation, be that we are too trusting of government, too accepting of what politicians tell us, that we failed to see them "bend the knee" before the banks and corporations on Wall Street? Failing to see that it is they who have let loose on us the Darthveda-like jackboots from walled citadels of no returns. Now don't that piss-you-off! Or does it?
Friday, October 25, 2013
So far we have given little or no attention to the evidence of comparative religion. The study of ancient religious history is important, for religion, like philosophy, changes but slowly. Institutional religion, being conservative and static in its outlook, has preserved much ancient lore that would have otherwise been lost to the modern student.
The Greek philosopher Xenophanes (572â€“480 B.C.), pointed out a profound truth when he observed that the gods men worship very closely resemble the worshippers. In the words of this ancient sage: “Each man represents the gods as he himself is. The Ethiopian as black and flat-nosed the Thracian as red-haired and blue-eyed; and if horses and oxen could paint, they would no doubt depict the gods as horses and oxen.” This being the case; when we find the great nations of the world, both past and present, worshipping black gods, then we logically conclude that these peoples are either members of the black race, or that they originally received their religion in toto or in part from black people. The proofs are abundant.
The ancient gods of India are shown with Ethiopian crowns on their heads. According to the Old Testament, Moses first met Jehovah during his sojourn among the Midianites, who were an Ethiopian tribe. We learn from Hellenic tradition that Zeus, king of the Grecian gods, so cherished the friendship of the Ethiopians that he traveled to their country twice a year to attend banquets. “All the gods and goddesses of Greece were black,” asserts Sir Godfrey Higgins, “at least this was the case with Jupiter, Baccus, Hercules, Apollo, Ammon. The goddesses Benum, Isis, Hecate, Diana, Juno, Metis, Ceres, Cybele were black.” (Anacalypsis, Vol. I, Book IV, Chap. I.)
Even the Romans, who received their religion mainly from the Greeks, admitted their debt to Egypt and Ethiopia. This may be well illustrated by the following passage from The Golden Ass or Metamorphosis, by Apuleius. The author, as an initiate of the Isis cult is represented as being addressed by that goddess: “I am present; I who am Nature, the parent of things, queen of all the elements â€¦ the primitive Phrygians called me Pressimunitica, the mother or the gods; the native Athenians, Ceropian Minerva; the floating Cyprians, Paphian Venus â€¦ the inhabitants of Eleusis, the ancient goddess Ceres. Some again have invoked me as Juno, others as Bellona, others as Hecate, and others Rhamnusia; and those who are enlightened by the emerging rays of the rising sun, the Ethiopians, Ariians and Egyptians, powerful in ancient learning, who reverence by divinity with ceremonies perfectly proper, call me by my true appellation, Queen Isis.” (Doane’s Bible Myths, Note, p. 478.)
A study of the images of ancient deities of both the Old and New Worlds reveal their Ethiopic origin. This is noted by Kenneth R. H. Mackezie in T. A. Buckley’s Cities of the Ancient World, p. 180: “From the wooly texture of the hair, I am inclined to assign to the Buddha of India, the Fuhi of China, the Sommonacom of the Siamese, the Zaha of the Japanese, and the Quetzalcoatl of the Mexicans, the same, and indeed an African, or rather Nubian, origin.” Most of these black gods were regarded as crucified saviors who died to save mankind by being nailed to a cross, or tied to a tree with arms outstretched as if on a cross, or slain violently in some other manner.
Of these crucified saviors, the most prominent were Osiris and Horus of Egypt, Krishna of India, Mithra of Persia, Quetazlcoatl of Mexico, Adonis of Babylonia and Attis of Phrygia. Nearly all of these slain savior-gods have the following stories related about them: They are born of a virgin, on or near Dec. 25th (Christmas); their births are heralded by a star; they are born either in a cave or stable; they are slain, commonly by crucifixion; they descend into hell, and rise from the dead at the beginning of Spring (Easter), and finally ascend into heaven. The parallels between the legendary lives of these pagan messiahs and the life of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible are so similar that progressive Bible scholars now admit that stories of these heathen Christs have been woven into the life-story of Jesus. (These remarkable parallels are discussed and interpreted in a pamphlet, Christianity Before Christ, by John G. Jackson, New York, 1938.)
The late Mr. Maynard Shipley, President of The Science League of America, made a very scholarly study of the various mythologies and religions of the world, and in the concluding passage of a brilliant essay, Christian Doctrines in Pre-Christian America, he offers a profoundly thought-provoking statement:
That the ancient pagan creeds, legends and mythsâ€”part of the universal mythosâ€”should be found embodied in the religion of the ancient Mexicans, and that all these again are found to be but the original sources of the modern orthodox Christian religion, is by no means inexplicable, and need not be attribute to the subtlety of the Ubiquitous Devil. The explanation is that all religions and all languages of the civilized races of men had a common origin in an older seat of civilization.
Where that original center of culture was is another story.
The evidence seems to show that the “original center of culture,” referred to by Mr. Shipley, was that vast domain known to the classical geographers and historians as Ethiopia. A study of religious images throws much light on this early civilization. The tau (T-shaped) cross is thought by many Christians to be a unique emblem of their faith. The fact is that this cross is of ancient Ethiopian origin. In the words of an outstanding student of symbolism: “The Ethiopic form of the tau is an exact prototype of the conventional Christian cross; or, to state the fact in its chronological relation, the Christian cross is made in the exact image of the Ethiopian tau.” (Sex Symbolism. P. 9, by William J, Fielding, Little Blue Book No. 904.) The cross was known to all the great ancient nations, and was sometimes shown with the image of a man upon it. The Church Father, Minucius Felix, writing in the early part of the third century, severely rebukes the Pagans for their adoration of crosses: “I must tell you that we neither adore crosses nor desire them; you it is ye Pagans â€¦ for what else are your ensigns, flags and standards, but crosses gilt and beautiful. Your victorious trophies not only represent a cross, but a cross with a man upon it.” Commenting on the preceding extract, the American scholar, T. W. Doane, notes that: It is very evident that this celebrated Christian Father alludes to some Gentle mystery, of which the prudence of his successors has deprived us. When we compare this with the fact that for centuries after the time assigned for the birth of Jesus Christ, he was not represented as a man on a cross, and that the Christians did not have such a thing as a crucifix, we are inclined to think that the effigies of a black or dark-skinned crucified man, which were to be seen in many places in Italy even during the last century, may have had something to do with it. (Bible Myths, p. 197, 7th Edition.)
It is very evident that this celebrated Christian Father alludes to some Gentle mystery, of which the prudence of his successors has deprived us. When we compare this with the fact that for centuries after the time assigned for the birth of Jesus Christ, he was not represented as a man on a cross, and that the Christians did not have such a thing as a crucifix, we are inclined to think that the effigies of a black or dark-skinned crucified man, which were to be seen in many places in I
The same writer also refers to “the Mexican crucified god being sometimes represented as black,” and that “crosses were also found in Yucatan, as well as Mexico, with a man upon them.” (Ibid., p. 201.) The numerous black madonnas and infants in European cathedrals are discussed in detail by Sir Godfrey Higgins in The Anacalypsis, Vol. I, Book IV, Chap. I, to which the interested student is referred. However, the remarks of Mr. Shipley on this point are worthy of our attention: Very suggestive is the fact that representations of the virgin mother and infant savior are often black. This is true in the case of the paintings and images of Isis and Horus, of Devaki and Krishna, and in many cases of Mary and Jesus. The most ancient pictures and statues in Italy and other parts of Europe, which are adored by the faithful as representations of the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus, reveal the infant draped in white, but with face black and in the arms of a black mother. â€¦ How does it happen that the Virgin Mother of the Mexican Savior-God so closely resembled the Black Virgins of Egypt and Europe? Had they not all a common origin?” (Sex and The Garden of Eden Myth, pp. 50â€“51, by Maynard Shipley, Little Blue Book No.1188.)
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Monday, October 21, 2013
In the beginning was only the sky above, water and marshland below.
The chief god Olorun ruled the sky, and the goddess Olokun ruled what was below. Obatala, another god, reflected upon this situation, then went to Olorun for permission to create dry land for all kinds of living creatures to inhabit.
He was given permission, so he sought advice from Orunmila, oldest son of Olorun and the god of prophecy. He was told he would need a gold chain long enough to reach below, a snail's shell filled with sand, a white hen, a black cat, and a palm nut, all of which he was to carry in a bag.
All the gods contributed what gold they had, and Orunmila supplied the articles for the bag.
When all was ready, Obatala hung the chain from a corner of the sky, placed the bag over his shoulder, and started the downward climb. When he reached the end of the chain he saw he still had some distance to go.
From above he heard Orunmila instruct him to pour the sand from the snail's shell, and to immediately release the white hen. He did as he was told, whereupon the hen landing on the sand began scratching and scattering it about. Wherever the sand landed it formed dry land, the bigger piles becoming hills and the smaller piles valleys.
Obatala jumped to a hill and named the place Ife. The dry land now extended as far as he could see. He dug a hole, planted the palm nut, and saw it grow to maturity in a flash. The mature palm tree dropped more palm nuts on the ground, each of which grew immediately to maturity and repeated the process.
Obatala settled down with the cat for company
Many months passed, and he grew bored with his routine. He decided to create beings like himself to keep him company. He dug into the sand and soon found clay with which to mold figures like himself and started on his task, but he soon grew tired and decided to take a break.
He made wine from a nearby palm tree, and drank bowl after bowl. Not realizing he was drunk, Obatala returned to his task of fashioning the new beings; because of his condition he fashioned many imperfect figures. Without realizing this, he called out to Olorun to breathe life into his creatures.
The next day he realized what he had done and swore never to drink again, and to take care of those who were deformed, thus becoming Protector of the Deformed. The new people built huts as Obatala had done and soon Ife prospered and became a city.
All the other gods were happy with what Obatala had done, and visited the land often, except for Olokun, the ruler of all below the sky. She had not been consulted by Obatala and grew angry that he had usurped so much of her kingdom.
When Obatala returned to his home in the sky for a visit, Olokun summoned the great waves of her vast oceans and sent them surging across the land. Wave after wave she unleashed, until much of the land was underwater and many of the people were drowned.
Those that had fled to the highest land beseeched the god Eshu who had been visiting, to return to the sky and report what was happening to them.
Eshu demanded sacrifice be made to Obatala and himself before he would deliver the message. The people sacrificed some goats, and Eshu returned to the sky.
When Orunmila heard the news he climbed down the golden chain to the earth, and cast many spells which caused the flood waters to retreat and the dry land reappear. So ended the great flood..
Amma put an end to the male being's disorderly acts by transforming him into a jackal, an animal that occupies a very important position in Dogon ideology. This small, wild creature, which is known more properly as Vulpes pallida, goes about only at night and never drinks water from ponds near the village-which, for the Dogon, explains why the fox was chosen to symbolize this enemy of light, water, fertility, and civilization. [But this "pale fox" also learned the first power 'word' and ever since then can reveal the future and hidden truths to those who can read his tracks properly.]
Unable to restore total order to his universe, Amma sought to mitigate the disorder let loose by the jackal; he sacrificed Nommo, the other male twin who had stayed in the egg. Nommo's dismembered body purified the four cardinal points of the universe, and the blood that flowed forth gave birth to various heavenly bodies, edible plants, and animals.
Amma then burst a minuscule grain into which he had "rolled" all the elements of creation; these elements emptied into an ark of pure earth (the remains of the placenta). In that ark Amma also placed Nommo, whom he had already brought back to life, and his other "sons," the four pairs of heterosexual twins who are the ancestors of the human race. He lowered the ark from the heavens by means of a copper chain; the ark crashed onto Yurugu's earth at the time of the first rainfall, which formed the first pool of water. The sun also rose for the first time. Nommo went to live in the pool while the eight ancestors settled on the spot where they had landed. Using the pure earth from their ark, these ancestors created the first cultivated field, and cultivation then spread throughout Yurugu's impure earth (the bush)
The ancestors initially communicated by means of cries and grunts until one of the Nommo twins, the master of water, life, speech, and fertility, taught them language at the same time that he instructed them in the art of weaving. He then revealed to the ancestors such other fundamental techniques as agriculture, blacksmithing, dance, and music. The first human society was thus founded; marriage was introduced when the ancestors exchanged sisters.
The four male ancestors founded the four major religious cults, which are also the pillars of social organization; among the Dogon, social order cannot be dissociated from religion. The eldest of the ancestors, Amma Seru ("witness of Amma"), is associated with the creator god and with air (sky).The ancestor Binu Seru is associated with water, and his ritual is celebrated in sanctuaries whose facades are periodically redecorated with paintings done in thin millet paste . The ancestor Lebe Seru ("witness of Lebe") who, having died, was subsequently brought back to life in the form of a large snake; this ancestor is associated with Earth (the planet and soil, as well as the mythic archetype Earth), and with vegetation. The fourth ancestor, Dyongu Seru ("witness of healing") was in effect the first human to die, following the breach of an interdiction. His cult is celebrated by the mask society (which exists only on the cliff and on the plateau) and is associated with fire, death, the wilderness (in his role as hunter and healer), and, consequently, disorder-connections that, in turn, link his cult with the mythical fox Yurugu who, on a more mundane level, is commemorated in divination rites.
Because of a dispute in their Mande homeland, four brothers of supernatural origin decided to leave Mande and found a new land where their descendants might live peacefully. Before leaving, they took a symbolic emblem of fertility and continuity. In different versions, this symbol takes the form of either a duge, an amulet left them by their supernatural ancestor, Lebe Serou, or a piece of the earth of Lebe Serou's tomb in which this ancestor had died and was reborn as a serpent. During their migration, Dyon, the eldest, rides on a horse carrying Arou, the youngest, on his shoulders. The two other brothers, Domno and Ono, accompany them.
As the four brothers reach the cliffs, Arou shouts out a claim to all the land. Enraged by
his youngest brother's boldness and disregard of the proper order of descent and
inheritance, Dyon abandons Arou at the side of the road. Arou encounters an old woman
at the side of the road who is pleased by his respectful manner and offers him gifts of
supernatural value. These gifts will later serve the migrants with the tools of defense,
domestication of animals, and rain-making. Arou receives these supernatural gifts and
rejoins his brothers. Together the four brothers found the new land