A written account from Bro. Christopher Bennett-Bey expresses candidly why he left The Moorish Science Temple of America Inc. (aka, 34 group, MSTA1913) headquartered within Washington DC under the leadership of R. Jones Bey.
The Beginning of The End
My first encounter with the Chief Minister/Shaykh Ra Saadi El Present Supreme Grand Sheik of The Moorish Science Temple of America-1928. Elihu said to Mary and Elizabeth “there are no happening, that law governs all events”. So when I look back on my first conversation with the Chief Minister Bro. Ra Saadi El, I realize this was a conversation that had to happen and could not have happen any other way. It started with a phone call from Bro. JL Williams-Bey ofTemple#12, which I was the Grand Governor and Grand Sheik of at the time. The brother called me asking for help concerning a telephone conversation he just hung up from. I could tell from his voice he was really disturbed and seemed shaken. I asked him what the issue was and he stated that he didn’t know that saying my name would get him into so much trouble.
I was confused by this and asked him to explain what he meant. He told me that he went online to look for some books and information about the Holy Prophet Noble Drew Ali. Since the Moorish Science Temple of America Inc., the Grand Body which we both were under, didn’t sell any books on Moorish History or study material, he decided to look elsewhere.
Which lead him to The Moorish Science Temple of America – 1928. He stated that after seeing some items that interested him he decided to place an order. At first all seem well until the Bro. Ra Saadi El asked him what temple he belongs to?
Bro. JL Williams-Bey, thinking this is an honest question and since he as a faithful Moor, said that he was a member of Temple #12 in Charlotte, North Carolina. At that point Bro. Williams-Bey said the conversation changed. He states that the Chief Minister “went off on him” asking him was he a member of “that Temple where the brother (that brother being me, Bro. C. Bennett Bey) was going around saying that if you’re not a member of his Temple then your not a Moorish American?”
Brother Williams-Bey said that he wasn’t sure what Bro. Ra Saadi El was talking about, but did explain to him that his Grand Sheik was Bro. Bennett Bey and Bro. Ra Saadi El explain to him that I was the brother he was referring to. Bro. Williams-Bey said from that point on the conversation was…let’s just say the words Islam or Peace weren’t being used. He wanted to know if I could help him because all he wanted to do was to purchase some material to study and Bro. Ra Saadi El refuse to sell him anything. I ask the brother for the number and decide to give Sheik Ra Saadi El a call. As I starting dialing the numbers to call the man who just beat up one of my members, my Higher Self ask Allah for the words to say in order that we may have a peaceful conversation.
As the for phone rang I realize this was the brother that I had heard about who started a Moorish University, which by the way I didn’t give much credence to since it wasn’t part of the Grand Body I belong too. A man answered the phone and I asked may I speak with Bro. Ra Saadi El. The voice on the phone stated that this is the Chief Minister Ra Saadi El speaking, “How may I help you”?
I told him that this was Bro. C. Bennett Bey from Charlotte, NC and wanted to know if I could speak with him for a moment. He said in a very excited voice, “OOOOOH BRO. BENNETT- BEY…. YEAH, WE CAN TALK!!! HOLD ON A MOMENT!!!”
At this point I could hear the sound in the phone change which told me he had just put me on speaker phone. This also indicated to me that he was ready to let me have some of what he just gave to Bro. Williams-Bey. And by putting me on speaker phone he wanted everyone in the room to hear the beat down he was about put on me and I was sure my dosage was going to be much worse than that of Bro. Williams-Bey.
Before we started talking I remember saying to him that this conversation was long overdue and that we should have spoken earlier and not under these circumstances. I mention to him that Bro. Williams-Bey called me upset because he spoke rather harsh to the brother. And that the brother only wanted to purchase some books from him. And the lesson states, if your brother needs your assistance, as a Moor you should assist him.
The Bro. Ra Saadi El stated I was correct; however since I was in North Carolina telling the news paper, that if you weren’t a member of my Temple and Grand Body that being of the Moorish Science Temple of America Inc under Bro. R.Jones Bey, you weren’t truly a Moorish American.
And if that’s the case, he wasn’t required to sell anything to Bro. Williams-Bey, since by my standard he (Bro. Ra Saadi El) wasn’t a true Moorish American anyway, “isn’t that right BROTHER!!!”
I explained to him that my comments weren’t directed at him but more towards the individuals that were going around the state of North Carolina calling themselves Moors and stealing homes and property in the name of our Holy Prophet Noble Drew Ali. During our conversation Bro. Ra Saadi El voice went up a few octaves but all-in-all he spoke calmly. In that first call the he shared with me some of the history concerning the battle between Bro. Mealy El and Bro. Kirkman Bey. I told him that I wasn’t really interested in talking about that.
I said to him that on Judgment Day when I will stand before Allah and have to give an account for my actions. That when the record book is opened, what I do not want written down beside my name is that, I played a part in continuing an 85 year old argument, that hasn’t done this movement any good but has only harmed it. He agreed that the argument didn’t make sense but stated, if you are going to be a Moorish Leader you must know your own history and understand how the movement got to this point.
I couldn’t argue with what he said because he was correct. I knew little about the history since very few Moors in the Grand Body I was a part of never really talked about what happen after the Untimely death of Our Holy and Divine Prophet. Anyway, our conversation lasted for nearly an hour and the Chief Minister was never rude and didn’t use a single profane word towards me. By the end of the conversation he said something to me that would change my life forever. He stated “Brother I can work with you” and it was in a tone much different than the one he answered the phone with.
By the end of the call we agreed to continue talking to each other and I expressed a desire to learn as much as he was willing to share. He agreed he would help me anyway he could, then said tell Bro. Williams Bey to call him back and he would ship the books right out to him. When I hung the phone up I felt the call went really well, especially when I considered the beating he gave Bro. Williams-Bey.
A True Defender of the Faith
An eyewitness account of The Chief Minister Shaykh Ra Saadi El meeting with two Imams who sit over the largest Al-Islamic communities in the State of North Carolina and who are the head Chaplains for North Carolina State Prisons; how the Chief gave a solid lesson on Islamism as practice by true Moorish American Moslems in defending the rights of inmates who chosen to become members of The Moorish Science Temple of America-1928 under the leadership of Shaykh Ra Saadi El.
That First call with the Bro. Ra Saadi El was on July 26, 2011, and as promised he continue to talk with me and educated me on what it meant to be a Moorish American, a member of the Temple, a Sheik, Divine Minister and most importantly what it means to be a Moslem. You see what I learned from him was that the title of Sheik, Divine Minister and even the title member. Can all be given to you by someone in a leadership positions, even if the person handing out the titles hasn’t really earned the title themselves.
However the title of Moslem, you have to earn that. No man can give you the title of a Moslem, you are either living the life of a Moslem or you’re not and Allah will judge you accordingly. We talk nearly every day on the phone for hours at a time. The brother would share with me some of the issues that he was having with some of the prisons in the state of North Carolina. “Some of the issues were due in part to the position that some chaplains had taken in regards to what he was teaching”. He was also being met with opposition from The Moorish Science Temple of America Inc., which he would refer to in our conversations as the 34 group. He asked me would I accompany him to a meeting in Concord,NC to meet with Betty Brown, who is the head of Chaplain Service for all the North Carolina State prisons.
Since I was in agreement with everything that he was teaching and it was obvious that he was clearly more qualified and a much better teacher than anyone in the 34 group including myself.” I agreed to go to the meeting with him. I was going to this meeting to give my support to the Chief and express my desire to work with him when it came to teaching the Moors in the North Carolina prisons”. Mind you, the Chief wasn’t asking me to come with him in order to get my permission or anyone from the 34 group permission. He just asked me to come with him to show them that there isn’t any issue between he and I, since I was then the actual Grand Governor for North Carolina.
The Chief, along with his wife, Grand Gov. Yssis Saadi El, Shaykh. Jakada Makkah and I arrived for the meeting on December 22, 2011. We were told that we would be meeting with Chaplain Betty A. Brown, Director of Chaplaincy Services, Chaplain Oliver S. Mohammad and Chaplain Khalil A. Akbar. Chaplain Mohammad and Chaplain Akbar I soon found out, both work for the prison system as Muslim Chaplains. Before the meeting started we were informed that Chaplain Betty Brown would not be at the meeting because she was not feeling well.
“The ironic thing about this was, the Chief had already told me in a previous conversation before the meeting, that Betty Brown wasn’t going to be at the meeting and once again he was correct. But what surprise me was that he told both the Imam’s that he knew she wasn’t going to be at this meeting”.
The meeting started off with the both Imam’s explaining the purpose of this meeting was to see if there was a way to allow the Chief to come into the prisons in North Carolina. Especially considering that there was already a religious body representing the Moorish Science Temple of America under the leadership of Bro. R Jones–Bey.
The Chief explained that R Jones–Bey’s leadership wasn’t really going into the prisons in North Carolina and that a number of the chaplains have voice complaints that they were not able to get literature nor were they able to get anyone to return many of their phone calls. Both chaplains at the meeting agreed that they have heard the same complaints. The Chief went on to explain that what Jones–Bey’s leadership was teaching, when they did go into the prisons, “wasn’t what the Prophet taught the Moors”.
He gave an example of this by referring to a letter that Bro. C Warner–Bey wrote. Bro. C Warner–Bey (who was also a member of the N.A.A.C.P.) was the previous head of the prison ministry under R Jones–Bey. Bro. Warner-Bey had written a letter to the bureau of prisons stating that the Moors didn’t practice Ramadan, or wear kufis. That the Prophet Noble Drew Ali brought us Islamism which is different from the Islam Prophet Mohammad brought.
The Chief explained to them that since Bro. Warner–Bey’s death, Bro. V Jones–Bey is now the head of the prison ministry, under Bro. R Jones Bey. And that V Jones–Bey sent in a letter stating that Moors did practice Ramadan but that they are not force to do so. The Chief stated Moors are Moslems and he directed them to the back of the Questionnaire, where it clearly states we derive our power and authority from the Great Koran of Mohammed. He also point to Chapter 45 at the end of its verse 1 of said Koran of the M.S.T. of A., Whereas Our Holy and Divine Prophet Noble Drew Ali, does actually declared and explain to us, “That this is the uniting of the Holy Koran of Mecca, for the teaching and instructing all Moorish Americans”.
Then to further make his point he explained that on every Moorish American Nationality Card it states that our Prophet declare us to be Moslems under the Divine Laws of the Holy Koran of Mecca. After pointing out these facts he said “this proves that Warner–Bey and V. Jones–Bey are wrong in what they are stating our Prophet brought us.” Chaplain Akbar said that they had spoken with Warner–Bey in the past and explained to him that some of the inmates were concern that some Moors wanted to were Kufis and have prayer rugs. That this was causing a problem because if the Moors were allowed to have Kufis, prayer rugs and Ramadan, that other inmates would confuse them as being Muslims.
The Chief said, “That is not my problem” in a very clear voice; he went on to say, “We are Moslem and just because the 34 group (Moors under Bro. R. Jones–Bey-leadership) didn’t want to practice Islam, that didn’t give anyone the right to tell us that we can’t teach what our Holy and Divine Prophet Noble Drew Ali actually brought and originally taught to us. This doesn’t given him or anyone else the right to dictate to who us, who and what we can and cannot practices, simply because the 34 group didn’t want to practice Islam. That didn’t give anyone the right to tell us what we can’t teach and what the Prophet brought”. The Chief Minister included the fact that the 34 group said that the Prophet didn’t tell Moors how to live they lives.
This is why they allow their members to be homosexual; this was a point he made a number of times. Each time he would mention the 34 group and how they didn’t practice Islam or wasn’t following the teaching of the Holy Prophet he would be looking in my direction. Now the Chief knew I was in total agreement in what he was teaching, especially that you can’t call yourself a Moor or a Moslem and be practicing homosexuality.
But he kept looking in my direction so many times that Chaplain Akbar looked at me and asked “aren’t you a member of the 34 group?” I said as quickly as I could “I’m with the Prophet!” I also explained to him that I’m in agreement with the Chief. I said to myself, “The Chief got one more time to look at me and say something about the 34 practicing homosexuals; if he does we are going to have some words when this meeting is over.”
But I realize he was trying to make a point with the Imams. That the 34 Moors can’t speak for the 1928 Moors if the 34 is not living according to the Law. He went on to mention a court case were the Nation of Islam sued the Nation of Islam and that there were two Nations of Islam. He went on to mention a court case were the Nation of Islam sued the Nation of Islam and that there were two Nations of Islam. All because the newly found Nation felt that under Minister Farrakhan the teachings of Elijah Mohammad had been changed. Both Imams knew of the case and agreed that there were two Nation of Islam groups. They also admitted that they both were members of the Nation of Islam for a number of years before converting to Sunni Muslims.
The Chief proceeded for two straight hours , not only did he tell them about the history of the Nation of Islam, but on a number of occasions quoted their former teacher Elijah Mohammad. The Chief told them stories of how he was a gang member in prison and would go to the hole fighting others inmates that wouldn’t allow Sunni Muslims to say Allah was God. That for 40 years they followed a white man until someone came and taught them differently.
He quoted the Quran of Mecca to them, one Sura after another. He point out that the Holy Quran of Mecca doesn’t say Mohammad is the last prophet Allah would send to humanity. He said in a very firm voice that Allah is not an Arab and neither was he, that he doesn’t have to learn Arabic, dye his beard or wear his paints rolled up as Arabs did in the past to be a Moslem. And that Allah will judge us where we differ. Those Imams just sat there in silence not saying a word. But the one thing the Chief said that did get them to speak was when he quoted their leader Warith Deen Mohammed.
The Chief Minister looked them in the face and said that Warith Deen said, Prophet Muhammed didn’t say you have to pray 5 times and he didn’t say in order to be a Muslim you have to said, Muhammed is Allah’s Messenger. At that point both Imam’s perked up and said that they didn’t agree with the Chief. That they knew Warith Deen very well and don’t believe he said that. At that point the Chief reached into his bag and pulled out a booklet of a speech Imam Warith Deen gave at The Wisdom University Conference and showed it to him. Imam Akbar admitted that he did have the booklet and had to admit the Chief was correct. The Chief stated that after all the fighting he did for them, going to the hole and standing up for them, that they now won’t stand up for him? When all he’s trying to do is invite his people to Islam. And told them a Moslem should want for his brother what he wants for himself.
Shortly after the meeting ended I remember riding home in the car just smiling to myself, because what I just witness was classic. I saw the Chief beat on TWO IMAMS and not once did he yell, swear or get openly angry. He just beat on them with the truth and it was beautiful. I said to myself that day, “I want to be just like that!” I want to be able to defend my Prophet and what he brought the Moors the same way and with the same passion as I just witness.
Why I chosen to remove myself from being under the leadership of R. Jones Bey who is the present head of The Moorish Science Temple of America Inc headquartered in Washington DC. The Chief and I continue to talk for months leading up to my going to the Moorish National Conference in Chicago. The more we talked the more I learned things I should have known years ago. During one conversation the Chief mention the Adept Charm. I told him I didn’t wear my Adept Charm and that it’s in a box on the shelf in my closet because I really didn’t know the full meaning of it. I had a little understanding of it but not enough to wear it in public. I told him how I had asked the Grand Sheik Bro. R Jones–Bey.
To explain the meaning of Adept Charm to me and the only thing he told me was to go look up the word amulet. I recalled during an Adept Meeting, Bro. R Jones-Bey told a room filled with Sheiks that if we knew what the charm meant we wouldn’t be wearing it in public. That there were people who did know what the charm meant and if they walked up to you and questioned you about it what are you going to say?
Then he said “especially if it flipped over on the side with the sword and star, you really might get questions then”. I remember sitting there in that meeting listening to Bro. R Jones-Bey and thinking. He knows what it the charm means and knows that we don’t and he’s not going to tell us?
A few days later while on a call with the Chief he told me to go in my closet and get my charm off the shelf, I asked why, and he said in very strong voice “Brother JUST DO WHAT I TELL YOU!!!!”
I remember thinking this is probably the tone he used when first talking to Brother Williams-Bey. So I went to my closet and got my charm and the Chief proceeds to explain to me the meaning of the very Adept Charm that I was given back in 2007, over 4 years ago when I was first made and I Adept. He gave me the answer to the question that I had asked my Grand Sheik but never got an answer to.
He told me I should wear it every day, especially in public. I thanked him for explaining it to me. He went on to give me history about the Temple and things he had learn from Bro. G Cook Bey, who sat with Prophet Noble Drew Ali. He told me the good, the bad and the ugly about what had happen with the Moors, things he was taught by the elders that were with the Holy Prophet. He even told me about a conversation he had with the Prophet’s wife, Sister Peal Ali.
I remember talking to the Chief right before going to the National Convention, and in our conversation the Charter came up. I remember asking him, why does the Charter now said The Moorish Science Temple of America Inc.? But during the time of the Prophet the Charter didn’t have the Inc on it.
He said because Bro. C Kirkman-Bey changed what the Prophet left. That after the Prophet’s death the Moors even introduces new rules and regulations in1934.This is why he refers to the Grand Body under R Jones-Bey as the 34 group.
I have to admit that even after he told me this and even sent me evidence on everything he was saying, and after all the lessons he was giving me. I still was reluctant to simply believe what he was saying about Bro. Kirkman-Bey. Most of my reluctance was coming from the fact that I just didn’t want to believe that for the past 20 years I had been in the temple, I was being lied to. I just didn’t want to believe that.
I went to the Annual Moorish National Convention in Chicago, which is held the week of September 15-20, 2011. During the convention I ask Sister Warner-Bey (who is considered the Moorish Historian in the 34 group) about the Charter. I asked about the Inc., why was it on the Charter now but that during the time of the prophet it wasn’t there.
She said that Bro. Kirkman- Bey changed it. That he change the movement to a non-profit organization. I remember just looking at her in disbelief and totally confused because she said it in such a calm tone. She didn’t seem upset or bothered by what she was saying. I asked her why would he do that and she stated that when I had time I should call her and she could share with me some history. Once again, the Chief was right.
A couple of months later I called Sister Warner-Bey and I ask her to explain to me what she meant by, Bro. Kirkman–Bey changing the charter. She said that Bro. Kirkman–Bey changed the status of the organization from a religious organization to a non-profit organization and that’s why Inc., is on the charter.
Once again I asked her why would he do this. And she said that he needed to keep up with the times. What do you mean he needed to keep up with the times, was my question to her? And she said that the brother did what he felt needed to be done to keep the movement going forward.
I said to the sister, the Prophet said if I’m not right, the temple is not right and that the lesson tells us that the truth doesn’t change!
She started telling me how Bro. Kirkman –Bey was the Prophet’s “right hand man” and that the Moors wanted him to lead the movement after the Prophet’s death. She went on to tell me how Kirkman–Bey, was made a member of the Supreme Grand Body by the Holy Prophet.
This was proven false based on documents that the Chief had shown me. She even stated that Bro. Kirkman-Bey, was more spiritual than Bro. E. Mealy El, who was appoint the First Supreme Grand Sheik by the Holy Prophet. The hold time she was talking to me, I keep hearing the words of the Prophet; “let me find you where I left you”.
I knew that my Prophet didn’t leave me in a non-profit organization; he left me in a Divine Religious Movement. After that call I knew that I could no longer remind were I was. A few months later I would step down as Grand Sheik of Temple #12 and Governor for the state of North Carolina under Bro. R Jones-Bey. And then the phone calls began.
I received a call from Bro. Clendenin Bey, out of New York, who was the former Chairman of M.S.T. of A Inc. under Bro. Jones-Bey. He called me because his daughter called him to say that I stepped down as Grand Sheik and Governor. And since she was my Assistance Governor, this meant she would have to step up and run the Temple and the State. She called him crying because she wasn’t ready for that responsibility.
However, it was Bro. Clendenin Bey who was the former Chairman of Movement and her mother his former wife Sister Gains-Bey, who was the Grand Governor of North Carolina at the time that agreed to make their daughter a Sheikess. They sent her though the Adept Chamber, when they both knew she wasn’t ready.
Bro. Clendenin-Bey wanted to know why I had stepped down. I told him what Sister Warner-Bey had told me and he stated that, he had never heard that before but would look into it.
The next call I received was from Bro. Fuqua-Bey out of Temple# 25 in Detroit,MI. He called because word got to him that I stepped down and he wanted to know why. I told him about my conversation with Sister Warner-Bey; he stated that no one has very been able to show him the difference between corporation and incorporation and what difference it makes concerning the movement or the Charter.
I said that the Prophet didn’t leave us in a non-profit corporation, that we are a Religious Corporation. He said that all religious corporations have non-profit status. I agreed with him but said that not all non-profits are religious and if we incorporate; we become part of the State and no State can support any Religion. By incorporating in the state we lose our Religious Status.
He stated the Prophet never dissolved the civic part of the movement and so it doesn’t make a difference if the Charter has the Inc on it or not. He and I never came to an agreement on this point but we did however bid each other peace and ended the call. It was clear to me that the brother was satisfied with what Kirkman-Bey did and that didn’t sit well with me.
The next call I got was from Bro. A. Hopkins-Bey, of Temple#11 in Philadelphia PA. He called stating that he heard some distributing news and wanted to know if it was true. Was I stepping down from my position? I told him yes and I also told him what Sister Warner-Bey had told me.
He said that he had never heard that before and would have to look into it. Bro. Hopkins-Bey and I talked for a while and I express my disappointment with what I had learned. When I asked him about what he knew of Bro. Mealy El not remaining in charge of the movement after the Prophet’s passing.
He stated that the Moors back then were “diametrically opposed to Bro. Mealy El being in charged”.
I said to him, if the Holy Prophet laid his hand on that brother and appointed him and the Moors were diametrically opposed to the Prophet’s choice. Then they were diametrically opposed to Allah, since the Prophet was Divinely prepared. Bro Hopkins-Bey stated “you’re right”.
He tried to tell me how you can only fix a problem from the inside and not the outside and I should stay to help put things back in order. I told him that these present day Moors, under R Jones-Bey, are not going to change. And that after all these years I was made to believe something was the truth when in fact it was a lie.
I told Bro. Hopkins-Bey I didn’t feel safe in that Grand Body anymore. Again before hanging up the phone he made it clear that he was unaware that Kirkman-Bey changed the status of the movement and that he would look into that. He did however say that Sister Warner-Bey was incorrect about Bro. Kirkman-Bey being made a member of the Supreme Grand Body by the Prophet. Proving that what the Chief had shown me was correct.
The last call I received was from Bro. N Revels-Bey, out of New York, who was the former Assistance Grand Sheik of the M.S.T of A. Inc. He too called me because he had heard I stepped down and want to know why. I told him the same thing I told everyone else. Bro. Kirkman-Bey changed what the Prophet left.
Once again he also said “Brother that’s news to me and I’m going to look into this”. He tried to explain to me that the movement is still chartered as a religious organization. That in New York where his Temple is, they have filed the paperwork with the state and that is how the temple is registered. I tried to explain to him that a state can’t support a religion! That it’s a direct violation of the federal and state constitution. We didn’t come to an agreement but just like the other brothers I had spoken with, he stated he was going to look into whether Kirkman-Bey had change what the Prophet did.
After a week went by I realize something; I had just told some of the highest ranking officials in the M.S.T. of A. Inc., that what our Prophet left, they no longer had. That the man they give honor to as the First Supreme Grand Advisor and Moderator of the Temple came and change the work of the Prophet.
After the Prophet told us:
“I brought you everything it takes to save a nation, now take it and safe yourselves”.
To this day I never got a called back, from Bro. Fuqua-Bey, Bro. Clendenin-Bey, Bro. Hopkins-Bey or Bro. Revels-Bey, which means they knew all along and they are okay with what Bro. Kirkman-Bey did.
When I look back on everything, I think I had to go to that meeting in Concord with the Chief as an unbiased witness. I had to see things just the way I did and exactly from where I was. Although I went to the meeting with the Chief and was in agreement with what he was saying, I was still the Grand Sheik and Grand Governor under Bro. R Jones –Bey.
The Chief knew this but never once questioned me about why I was willing to learn from him but following someone else. He never refused taking my calls and on many days he would call me when I didn’t call him. He always treated me as a brother and I will always love and respect him for that.
I shared with the Chief one day, that while I was going through a really tough time in my life I prayed to Allah for help and guidance. I asked Allah to help teach me what I needed to help myself be a better Moslem and a better leader in the Temple. I said to Allah that if I’m going to continue to be the head of His Temple, I needed the proper tools. I give Praise to Allah for Bro. JL Williams –Bey making that phone call; I truly believe Allah answered my prayers with that beating the Brother receive from Chief. Because without it, who knows when I would have had my first encounter with the Chief Minister Shaykh Ra Saadi El; and when I would have ever leaned the truth.
Bro. Christopher Bennett-Bey known faithfully as Sheik Bro. Alii Ben Bey is presently an active member and officer within The Moorish Science Temple of America-1928 under the leadership of Shaykh Ra Saadi El.