Greetings in the name of His & Her Imperial Majesties Qedamawi Haile Sellasie I & Itege Menen Asfaw,
So, we continue with this series of lines drawn between Ras Tafari and Freemasonry.
Now, we have come to the fourth installment of this sure to be controversial series.
In the third installment of this series we traced the theories of the origins of Freemasonry through the Knights Templar, along with influence of the Crusades. The so-called “discovery of the New World,” and the happenings in Europe and also the rest of the world Now, we will continue on in drawing the lines between Freemasonry & Ras Tafari.
[I KNOW YOU ALL HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS PART OF THE SERIES TO COME, SO HERE IT IS…]
So, if you haven’t heard,…there has lately been comparisons, and speculations of Ras Tafari having a “Freemasonic influence.” These inquiries have even brought about the questioning and accusations of Ras Tafari, “H.I.M.self” being a member of the Freemasons, along with those who have involved themselves in the movement which sprung out to become the most dynamic of this time.( Ras Tafari movement)
Now, the controversy on this issue runs deep,….mainly because at Ras Tafari’s roots, its initiators were at one time apart of masonic lodges, but not in the sense of today’s mainstream Freemasonry.(we’ll touch on this later in the presentation.) Accreditation due to what Ras Tafari knows, as the “GONG,” or Leonard Percival Howell is known as “the first Rasta.”
Leonard P. Howell (Ras Tafari’s first proclaimer)
Howell made clean & clear statements of the salvation of the descendants of African slaves in the Western Hemisphere was a life of their redemption only if they returned to the roots spiritually, mentally and ultimately physically to their origin. Joseph Nathaniel Hibbert, Archibald Dunkley, and Robert Hinds, were three individuals who had ties into Freemasonic Lodges, that were “Prince Hall” affiliated but, in lieu of, their individual epiphanies they seem to even find themselves in search of a new truth, or so to speak even from the confines of Freemasonic thought.
(pictured above-top) Ethiopian painting of the Trinity & (on bottom) Ras Tafari painting that could clearly represent the initiative movement of Ras Tafari’s founding.
Quite an interesting, piece of evidence to this very intricate story, huh?…I know, but let’s not get caught up on what we’re hearing because, they’re pieces of the story that we’ve yet to uncover & we’re not near our conclusion of this controversial plot. So, let us go on…shall we? ok
Now, there were more very prominent members of the Ras Tafari community in its beginning steps that were affiliated with what is known as Freemasonry, but like I said, earlier let’s really look at all the evidence of this situation before we pass judgement.
The first thing we will take a look at is another form of masonry. (which I’am almost certain that you’ve probably never heard of…) We came to the conclusion in earlier installments of this subject matter that Operative Masonry(Occupational Masonry) and Speculative Masonry(Freemasonry) were NOT, one is the same. Now, we will compare what is known as “mainstream” Freemasonry and Prince Hall Masonry. I know these are terms you may or may not have heard about but, doing some research on these will open your eyes to what we are presenting here at Ras Tafari Renaissance in this series comparing Ras Tafari and Freemasonry.
[IS PRINCE HALL MASONRY “REGULAR”?]
Prince Hall, (ca. 1735 – 1807), a mason who started Freemasonry’s AFRICAN LODGE #1 in the United States of America. Has been dubbed the “father of African Freemasonry“
Who was Prince Hall?…. Prince Hall, was known for his abolitionism in the 1700s. Supposedly a free black man in North America that lived in the New England area, and later became the founder of a Freemasonic sect that hails his namesake. Hall’s birthplace is attributed to a place in the Caribbean; either Barbados, or one of the surrounding islands. But, Hall is suspected to have at one point been a slave to a William Hall but gained his freedom, somewhere around the time of the Boston Massacre. For others reasons than the obvious, he clearly also gained the knowledge of reading and writing English, whether being self-taught or assisted. Hall supported and tried to push the envelope of the free black and enslaved, to have a place in education, military, and also later Freemasonry in the U.S.
another depiction of Prince Hall
Now, I won’t give you anymore information on Prince Hall as of now…I’ll leave the rest of his work up to your own individual research and understanding.
For now, I would like to continue with the series and show, why he helped to establish his sect Freemasonry in the United States & how “mainstream” Freemasonry differs. (even from there own testimony)
Many Freemasonic writers met Prince Hall and his establishment of African Lodge #1 (ie. Prince Hall Freemasonry) with resistance from within Freemasonic ranks.
Now, in the earlier posts of this series, I mentioned how Freemasonic texts can be very discreet in their language; mainly because of their affinity for keeping the inner workings of the organizations at bey from those who are not affiliated in their circles. But, I noticed something that continued to keep coming up in regards to Prince Hall Freemasonry when compared to “mainstream” Freemasonry by Freemasonic writers, themselves….? What was so noticeable was this word CLANDESTINE….this word Clandestine comes up so much when in regard to Prince Hall Freemasonry it compelled me to go in further on what was such the commotion.
-clandestine= kept or done in secret, often in order to conceal an improper purpose; surreptitious; irregular; stealth. (from clandestin Latin 1560s) “to hide” or “secret.”
It turns out that Prince Hall Freemasonry or otherwise known as Negro Masonry, has been dubbed CLANDESTINE, since the inception of Prince Hall and his affiliates organizing and forming the AFRICAN LODGE; and this notion hasn’t been overturned since. The questioning of Masonic “legitimacy” is and has been under scrutiny for the Prince Hall Masons. Until this day in 2013, the stamp of CLANDESTINE-NEGRO/PRINCE HALL MASONRY has not been uplifted or challenged by any other Lodge of Masonry, save the works of Prince Hall, himself, and other Prince Hall Freemasons. hmmm?? peculiar
[sources: Mackey, Albert G.; 33°; Masonry Defined/ Blight, Reynold; 33°; Freemasonry At A Glance ]
Peculiar, I say, because in the beginning stages of the Ras Tafarian movement in the 1930s there were many who were affiliated with Prince Hall Freemasonry.
Take the Ras Tafarian movement’s founders; Leonard P. Howell, Joseph Nathaniel Hibbert &, H. Archibald Dunkley , who are accredited for the formation of the grassroots organizing of the Ras Tafarian movement.
In the literary work of Dread Jesus: A New View of the Ras Tafarian Movement by William David Spencer, I(Lidj Yefdi), along with probably a number of other Ras Tafarians have our own grounds to stand on in disagreements with some of the information presented in this work, but in its essence of giving the initial recognition of Ras Tafari’s start-up in the shantytowns of the Caribbean island of Jamaica, it is a pretty good work.
here is a selection from the piece by Spencer, which I only have one gripe with but in displaying the connection of the founders Ras Tafari in Jamaica to their Freemasonic affiliation; it is right on cue! (Ras Tafari Renaissance will add our own evidence on disputable matters)
“Spencer insists on the role played on the foundation of Ras Tafari religion by three preachers: Leonard Howell, H. Archibald Dunkley, and Joseph Nathaniel Hibbert. As far as, Dunkley and Hibbert are concerned, he insists on their membership in the Great Ancient Brotherhood of Silence, or Ancient Mystic Order of Ethiopia, one of the “black” (or “Prince Hall“) Masonic organizations. Spencer claims that a number of features of Ras Tafari religion derive from this branch of Freemasonry (including the name “Jah” for “God”, coming from the Masonic form “Jah-Bul-On”)
Now, Spencer presents a very credible case for the affiliation of three of the known founding fathers of Ras Tafari to Prince Hall Freemasonry in the Ancient Mystic Order of Ethiopia. But, as far as, the word “JAH” coming from out of the midst of “Jah-bul-On”, I will have to bring about a objection to that statement. Why? Mainly because, it is known that the Ras Tafarians are Biblical & scriptural influenced people & no where in any Bible can you find “Jah-bul-On” in scripture. Maybe, in the Freemasonic Lodges of the “mainstream” but, clean & cut, the word “JAH” can be found in the King James Version of the Bible in English, right there in Psalms 68:4 .
Ps. 68:4 =
Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.
Also, to make another note, that Ras Tafari is not a religion, it is a faith and culture of a people.
For Ras Tafari, sighting JAH, in the Bible in the language they were coerced to learn in subject to their oppression away from their origins(English); it was a subtle step in returning to their linguistic past in calling upon their God whose name also, in contraction inanglicized, could be known as Yah (יהּ) in the Hebrew. From the Tetragrammaton= YHWH.
Now, to the “Jah-bul-On” its for certain if you asks most Ras Tafarians, what does Jah-Bul-On mean, they won’t be able to even give you the slightest explanation. But, JAH is something they could elaborate on days at a time! Only in the the Freemasonic circles, texts, and ideologies will Jah-Bul-On, have ground to stand on, surely; & even there it may only be known to the high ranking of Freemasons. (ie. Royal Arch Degree)
[sources: Duncan, Malcolm C.; Duncan’s Masonic Ritual and Monitor/ X, Francis; The Secret Rituals of the O.T.O.]
So, with all this said and cleared we now move on to the Ancient Mystic Order of Ethiopia. Research from Ras Tafari Renaissance is still in the works on this order of supposed Prince Hall Freemasonry, but it is certain and we can confirm that this order has no holdings in “mainstream” Freemasonry. So, by process of elimination we have come to a conclusion that is pending on the origin of this mystical order. But, what we can assure of is that solid evidence in the world and of the testimony of those who make claims of it, state a hard case to debate, falsehood.
H.I.M. in regalia
We’ll now introduce you all to a treat by one Ras Tafari’s own, whom we have looked to in our initial education and growth in Ras Tafari. Presenting a well written article, along with others here you will be able to check out is our bredrin in spirit and truth, Negus Amlak. This bredrin produced works with a showcase that was named in times past Ras Tafari Rising, which touched on many aspects of the movement of Ras Tafari, and other subjects the like. But, here brother, Negus Amlak, has produced a writ that goes into the very essence of Freemasonry & gives the groundbreaking truth on its origin, its original teachers, and originial schools (Operative, meaningly!…)
[the article follows the editorial pattern of the title Masonry From Whence We Came] link below:
hope you enjoy & we will catch you in part 5…..JAH RAS TAFARI!!!
Joseph Nathaniel Hibbert (one of three of the initiators of the formation of Ras Tafari in Jamaica, in articles of clothing resembling that of a priest)