Flying Saucer Armageddon

Mathias Gardell. Countdown to Armageddon: Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. Hurst, 1996.
This is the first major academic study of the 'Black Muslims' since the creation of the second Nation of Islam group under Farrakhan. For Magonia readers the main interest will be in the extent to which popular folklore has absorbed elements of popular culture. In particular, it is the portrayal of Farrakhan as a UFO contactee in the tradition of George Adamski and George King. In Nation of Islam theology flying saucers are 'baby planes' which carry messengers of God, and are emissions from the giant mother ship or 'Mother Plane' inhabited by God. This is the some as Ezekiel's Wheel.

Farrakhan claims to have visited the Mother Plane in a vision which took place in the Mexican hamlet of Tepotzlan. In this vision he walked to the top of a mountain where a UFO appeared, and he was taken on board in a beam of light. This UFO, with an invisible pilot, took him to the Mother Plane where he heard the voice of Elijah Muhammet who revealed that he was still alive. Farrakhan then had a 'scroll' implanted in his head, which gave him the commission to lead his people in the Lost Days, The information in this 'scroll' was to be revealed when the right time comes,

He is then taken back on board the 'baby plane', shown the new Jerusalem, then deposited in Washington, DC in time to give his final warning to the US Government, On waking he forgets the vision, only to be reminded of it in the great Mexican earthquake two days later.

At Armageddon the baby planes will be used to destroy the Whites by using powerful dynamite bombs, The US Government's 'Star Wars' programme was an attempt to combat this, and the Challenger shuttle was a spy plane destroyed by them.

On a broader level, for those like myself who had only a hazy notion of the Nation of Islam, what is a revelation is just how radically un-­Islamic it is, with on ideology of semi­-polytheism which one imagines must come close to being the epitome of heresy for devout orthodox Muslims. The doctrine of the physical nature of God suggests borrowings from Mormonism, and possible thence back to Muggletonianism, with elements of theosophy and 'I AM' thrown in.

It is ironic that such a radical anti-Western and anti-European ideology appears to owe more to European occultism and popular pseudoscience than to Islam. Even the movement's racism, which Gardell seeks to gloss over, seems to be a transplanted form of late nineteenth century Aryanosophy, with the word 'Black' substituted for 'Aryan' in on almost mechanical matter. Thus do religions of the oppressed borrow from their oppressors. There is on interesting aside on the radical Right's courtship of Farrakhan, particularly such Third Position activists as Patrick Harrington, one time would-be councillor and former UFO magazine publisher. -- Peter Rogerson, from Magonia 59, April 1997.

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