Those who grew up during the burgeoning of the Civil Rights movement in the United States likely recall the multiple groups active at the time, all contributing, in various ways, to the altering of the national consciousness and conscience about the treatment of our African American citizens. One of the more provocative organizations was the Nation of Islam, who’s most visible advocates were/are erstwhile leading member Malcom X, Mohammed Ali and more recently political rap group Public Enemy. The Nation of Islam pursued an ambitious and complex program promoting positive archetypes of Black identity and self-empowerment, powerful ethical codes and a rich alternative mythology encompassing world history and religion. One of their more controversial policies was support of Black separatism, which caught the eye of George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party and led to Rockwell, speaking at a NoI meeting or too (which entirely blew the chances of any deeper alliance! read about it here: http://www.vice.com/read/when-malcolm-x-met-the-nazis-0000620-v22n4). More recently, the group made a somewhat surprising move… embracing L.Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics and collaborating with the Church of Scientology! According to Wikipedia:
“Since the announcement in 2010, the Nation of Islam has been hosting its own Dianetics courses and its own graduation ceremonies. At the third such ceremony, which was held on Saviours’ Day 2013, it was announced that nearly 8500 members of the organization had undergone Dianetics auditing. The organization announced it had graduated 1,055 auditors and had delivered 82,424 hours of auditing. The graduation ceremony was certified by the Church of Scientology, and the Nation of Islam members received certification. The ceremony was attended by Shane Woodruff, vice-president of the Church of Scientology‘s Celebrity Centre International. He stated that “The unfolding story of the Nation of Islam and Dianetics is bold, It is determined and it is absolutely committed to restoring freedom and wiping hell from the face of this planet.”“
The entire Wikipedia article bears a read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation_of_Islam
While I won’t vouch for the factual accuracy of all the information included (well, I personally can’t vouch for the accuracy of history books used by the majority of public schools that give short shrift to the period of American History called “Reconstruction” at best or mangle the facts available in the historical record all together at worst) all of it gives valuable insight to the thoughts, hopes and fears of one of our nation’s great peoples.