The Nation of Gods & Earths
The Five Percent Nation is an Islamic organization that Father Allah manifested as I God, between 1962 thru 1964 (Father Allah left the NOI in 1962 and in '63' some of the first borne are lifted up (9 Born), by 1964 there are 500 young Five Percent).
The group's military structure and young members has prompted the South Carolina Department of Corrections to label the group a security threat, and treat it as a gang. Because of their affiliation with the Five Percent Nation, about 60 South Carolina inmates have been in solitary confinement for the past 7 year. They are only allowed 5 hours of exercise a week, but the service makes them stay in handcuffs and leg chains, they also only receive limited visits per month.
Where the Department of Corrections sees a threat, Five Percent (NGE) and members of the Nation of Islam see religious persecution. Four of the 60 inmates in lock-down filed suit in the U.S. District Court against six prison administrators, including, (DOC) the Director. Moore the Director, ordered the lockup of 300 inmates a week after riots rocked the Broad River Correctional Facility. Inmates rioted after the system implemented a policy forbidding long hair and beards. The Director of the South Carolina ACLU, said that because a few rioters were associated with the Five Percent Nation the department placed 300 suspected members in lock-down across the state. Those who have been released had to convince officials that they were never of the Five Percent or renounce their faith by signing a form.
The four plaintiffs represented by the ACLU and Southern Center for Human Rights say ‘they were not involved in the riots and claim they are in lock-down indefinitely because they refused to sign a paper renouncing their ‘religion’. The attorney representing the plaintiffs, said, 'Due to the harsh conditions of solitary confinement, several prisoners have recently signed renunciation forms' after being confined in solitary for nearly a year. (DOC) has also banned all Five Percent literature and some prisons forbid the writings of Elijah Muhammed. The Five Percent claim a scripture unique to their culture, many in the nation often read the Holy Qur’an, and Bible.
The department's policy manual requires that a report of rules violation be completed for every inmate placed in solitary. A report for (Five Percent) Mario Wagner lists the reason for his segregation as, 'Pending investigation for inciting or creating a disruption of institutional operations'.
Citing the lawsuit, department officials refused to discuss the inmates in lock-down, the classification of gangs, prison policy regarding gangs nor what criteria are used to determine a legitimate Religion was discussed. Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesperson Faye Pollard initially said that the group was considered a gang, but later amended that comment to 'security-threat group'. She said, "They are not a significant management concern for us at this time". Pollard stressed that 'the government does not track inmates based on their religious beliefs, but can track according to behavior and conduct'. The federal prison system reserves judgment as to whether the Five Percent are members of a religion or gang.
Georgia's Department of Corrections has paid 'closer attention' to its small group of 'suspected' Five Percent, according to Representative Mike Light, but does not treat them as a gang. He stated, "We're sort of watching them like they were a loosely affiliated group of people with similar interests".
This group that causes corrections departments to split hairs over terms like 'gang' and 'religion' was founded in 1964 by Father Allah who the Muslims called (Clarence 13X Smith) after he left the Nation of Islam in 1962.
Born Clarence Smith in 1928, he moved to Harlem from Virginia in 1946 and joined the NOI several years later. He worshipped at Temple No. 7, then under the leadership of Malcolm X, was a gifted speaker and rose quickly to the position of Minister. When Clarence 13X left the NOI in 1962, he took the lessons of the honorable Elijah Muhammed to the streets of New York. Five Percent doctrine remains closely linked to the NOI teachings.
The 'Father' added to Elijah's teachings, reasoning that the collective so-called Black man is God. The Culture is 'I God', and the so-called religion/culture would be Islam. Thanks to 'Father Allah’s' close relationship with Mayor John Lindsey, in 1967 the Five Percent leased a prime piece of Harlem property from the city with a lease of 99 years. The Allah School in Mecca still serves as The Five Percent headquarters. Unknown assailants killed 'Father Allah' two years after Allah School in Mecca was opened, but some of the Five Percent believe city police were behind the plot.
'Father Allah taught that once a man achieved mastery of self, he became a God, to the extent that he controlled his own destiny'. Five Percent men refer to themselves as Gods and women as Earths, and the culture is commonly referred to as 'I God and or Islam'.
Five Percent depart from NOI in their teaching with the use of the Supreme Mathematics, Supreme Alphabet and 12 Jewels, an arcane system devised by Father Allah wherein each letter or numeral denotes a concept with an accompanying parable. 'A' stands for Allah, 'B' is Be or Born, 'C' is See and so on.
For example, the 14th degree of the Supreme Alphabet 'N' stands for Now Nation (End), and begins something like this, 'now is the time for the knowledge of self for the original man to wake up and come into the realization of his self as God, which is his true Self, or end in a pit of ignorance'.
The Father’s esoteric gnosis was delivered in a 'rapping rhythm' that elevated the New York City youth. The Gods are trained to deliver their 'science', and the group has won converts by the hundreds. Today the group numbers in the millions in the US and over seas. In an environment where a bowel movement is a public event and every request a power struggle, adherence to a ideology that defines the collective Asiatic Man as God is a political act, a manner in which to register protests against the institutions of the 'system'.
There are, Gods who joined The Five Percent for knowledge wisdom and understanding of God and man. The movement tends to flourish in environments of impoverishment and decay because the message speaks directly to the disenchanted.
By the seventies, the Five Percent had become part of the American inner city experience, and 10 years later the group had organized meetings on the West Coast from Seattle to Mexico. Rap artists like Wu-Tang Clan, Brand Nubian, Nas, KRS One, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane and La’kiim Shabazz etc., use the Five Percent flag on album covers and have written lyrics influenced by '120 degrees'. The Five Percent continues to be dominated by young adherents. Part of the allure is that there is no leader but 'Allah' and the group's meetings; called 'Parliaments' generally occur in public places.
The group was viewed as the most threatening Islamic group by the system because they are young and win converts preaching racial consciousness with a potent inner-city jargon. While Five Percent are Nationalists, they do not preach violence. Bilal Allah noted in an article, "The task at hand is to maintain one's own righteous existence while teaching others to be righteous. We place major emphasis on being articulate and well-read."
Arguments in court revolve around what constitutes a legitimate religion. Bensing pointed out that the Fourth Circuit has recognized Wicca as a religion, a group with a loose structure. Any decision could affect the treatment of the Five Percent Nation across the country in the 'institutions of the system'.