Is Louis Farrakhan trying to merge Islam and Scientology?
Is the founder of the U.S.-based Nation of Islam planning on uniting his group with the late Ron Hubbard's controversial sect?
BY: Billy Hallowell, Assistant Editor of The Blaze
devils," in the the group’s parlance. Scientology’s followers, who include several well-known celebrities and other wealthy people, are overwhelmingly white (although membership is open to all) and its founder reportedly was a racist who long defended South African apartheid.
It’s difficult to delve into the exact details or to discern exactly what this partnership looks like, but there is at least one NOI member who has spoken about his personal experience utilizing Scientology’s teachings. “Brother Jesse Muhammad,” a member of NOI Muhammad Mosque No. 45 in Houston, Texas, and a writer for The Final Call, described his experience with Scientology in detail. He explained, in a blog post for the Houston Chronicle last year, that he became convinced that Dianetics was worth pursuing after Farrakhan told adherents in 2010 that it would help African Americans to get past all of the horrific crimes that have been committed against them.
“It leaked out and some became rattled, confused and even upset by the fact that Minister Farrakhan would bring to his body of followers a teaching from a White man,” wrote Muhammad. “I have been a student under the leadership of Minister Farrakhan for sixteen years now, and he has yet to lead me astray.”
Rather than joining in the angst, Mohammad, one of Farrakhan’s devoted NOI adherents, decided to pick up Hubbard’s “Dianetics” book and to check into all that Farrakhan was touting. He continues, describing what happened next:
That summer, Minister Farrakhan started sending groups of student officials to the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles. A few of them were from Houston and I was personally hearing their testimonies about what they were learning ,seeing, feeling and experiencing as a result of the rigorous study regime and Dianetics auditing process.
In August he called for another conference in Rosemont, Illinois centered on the NOI’s new relationship with the Church of Scientology. This time I was blessed to be among the over 800 invited to experience it for ourselves. Before going we were required to read the book “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health” by L. Ron Hubbard.
I was intrigued and impressed by what I read in that book plus, I read other pamphlets regarding the teaching methodologies they use in the field of education.
So, Mohammad went to the conference, watched videos about Dianetics and auditing and learned everything that goes into the process. He was so moved that he decided to further embed himself in the teachings. He describes “co-auditing“ with a ”twin or partner” at the conference and claims that he is a witness that auditing works.
In his post, Mohammad goes on to claim that the experience helped him cope with horrible memories from his childhood that have previously held him down; he also reports shedding tears in the process. As a result of the experience, he decided to become a registered auditor – a process the NOI member describes as a three-week string of reading, sketching drawings, listening to audio messages from Hubbard, writing essays and “passing auditing drills.“ He claims that he was ”mentally fatigued” at times but that he was overjoyed at his ability to finish the process. His is only one story out of a great many.
While he hasn’t given many specific details, Farrakhan has been more than open about the overarching relationship. In an April 2011 article, The Final Call proudly touted its connections to the Church of Scientology, claiming that Farrakhan has “introduced Black America and the world to modern equipment.“ This ”equipment,” of course, is the use of Dianetics and auditing — tools that NOI claims will “help in the salvation and liberation of Black people in America and others who are poor, downtrodden and oppressed.”
Farrakhan believes that the use of these elements will bring NOI members closer to their savior Wallace Fard Muhammad. Additionally, he believes that Dianetics can help Christians get closer to their savior — Jesus Christ.
“We are Muslims but if Scientology will help us be better, then I want the technology of this to help us to be better Muslims. Christians can accept it and be better Christians. I don’t care who gets it. Just get it and be better at who you say you are,” Farrakhan proclaimed.
“I hate spiritual cowards who don‘t want to look at things and who feel that because I have something great I can’t improve what I have by finding something that will make me a better representative of what I represent,” he added.
In a 2011 speech, Farrakhan said something similar, but took his rhetoric even further saying that Hubbard “civilizes” white people and that whites should flock to them. Doing so, he said, would prevent them from being “devil Christians” and “Satan Jews.” But what about Hubbard’s allegedly racist past? Wouldn’t it be too much for Farrakhan to bear? Nelson continues, providing more background on the odd nature of Farrakhan’s support for the father of Scientology (and here’s a list of allegedly racist comments that Hubbard once purportedly uttered):
Astoundingly, L. Ron Hubbard, the late Scientology founder for whom Farrakhan has nothing by praise, reportedly was a notorious racist who supported South African apartheid and described black Africans as barbarous, savage and primitive, and once allegedly wrote his wife, “You shouldn’t be scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees. Get yourself a nigger; that’s what they’re born for.”
Somehow, Farrakhan is tuning this out – along with the fact that Hubbard himself was white, which should be an insurmountable problem in itself. Central to NOI theology is the idea that whites are devils, created 6,000 years ago by an evil scientist for the sole purpose of oppressing blacks. They are seen by NOI members as so inherently evil that they cannot be redeemed unless they commit “mental suicide” and “erase the mentality of white supremacy,” according to scholar Mattias Gardell, author of the 1996 book, In the Name of Elijah Muhammad: Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.
While many believe Farrakhan truly embraces Scientology as a means to help his people, there is also the factor of control — something that he may be able to exercise more fervently by integrating Hubbard’s theories. Nelson also mentions a theory that is advanced by Chip Berlet, a senior