10 Things I Learned After Reading "Knowledge Of Self: A Collection of Wisdom On the Science of Everything in Life"

With Wu-Tang Clan, Brand Nubian and other Hip Hop luminaries involved with the Nation Of Gods & Earths, DX broke down a recently published book on Five Percenters.

Present as a guiding force for the rhymes of Poor Righteous Teachers and Brand Nubian and a constant theme in the songs of the Wu-Tang Clan, the teachings of the Nations of the Gods and Earths (NGE), otherwise known as the Five Percenters, carry deep roots in Hip Hop. Founded by Allah, known previously as Clarence Edward Smith and Clarence 13x, the NGE teaches, at its base, that the Original Man, or Black Man, is God. Allah first began by spreading his message among the youth in Harlem until he was killed in 1969. By this time though, his message had already been adopted by the “First Born” disciples who initially started following his teachings, and since then, the NGE has became a worldwide conglomerate of like-minded individuals bonded by a pursuit of knowledge of self as well as the effort to spread their message of truth to the ignorant masses.

Knowledge Of Self: A Collection of Wisdom On the Science of Everything in Life
, a self-published collection of essays edited by Dr. Supreme Understanding Allah, C'BS Alife Allah and occasional HipHopDX contributor Sunez Allah, serves as a comprehensive starting manual for those curious about the philosophy of the Five Percenters. Covering everything from personal knowledge of self narratives told from the belly of the beast to in-depth re-readings of The Bible, Knowledge Of Self is a cumulative look at what the Gods and Earths teach, spoken in their own words.

As a recent response to another book review of "Why I Am A Five Percenter," HipHopDX was asked by this works' publishers to make our readers aware. In doing so, we give a glimpse of what you'll encounter in Knowledge Of Self, here is a list of 10 things we learned from reading this collection of essays:

1. The term “Five Percenter” stems from the NGE worldview. They say that 10% of the world know the truth – that the Black man is God – yet conceal it from the 85% so that they can control this vast, ignorant majority. Members of the Nation of Gods and Earths, the remaining five percent, know that the Black man is God and work to spread that truth. Members of the NGE are also known as “Poor Righteous Teachers.”

“The Black man is God” means that the true power of oneself is harnessed not from growing close with a divine force (what they refer to as a “mystery god”) but from cultivating yourself from within. In the book's introduction, it is stated that “The Nation of Gods and Earths teaches we are the creators of our entire universe and subsequent reality” (8).

2. Members of the Wu-Tang Clan were first introduced to the NGE by a man named Popa Wu (also known as God Freedum Allah). He brought the knowledge to Ol' Dirty Bastard (Unique Ason Allah), RZA (Ruler Zig Zag Zig Allah) and GZA (Allah Justice).

3. Numbers and letters are very important to the NGE because they think science and mathematics explain the harmony found throughout the universe. Studying these connections allows one to become aware of a greater philosophy for how to properly live life according to nature's patterns and principles. Members are encouraged to gain knowledge of self through learning more about science and mathematics in general, but the specific NGE teachings for studying numbers and letters are called the Supreme Mathematics and Supreme Alphabet, respectively.

Lord Jamar of Brand Nubian thinks he got his role as Supreme Allah on the HBO series Oz because he didn't compromise his NGE teachings when first speaking with series creator Tom Montana. Jamar told his manager he wanted to start acting, and though he was first only able to secure an appearance at the HBO premiere for The Sopranos, several people from the show Oz were there as well. After exchanging numbers with a cast member, Jamar eventually landed a meeting with Montana. Jamar was hoping to use his role as a platform for the NGE because of their strong presence in the penal system, which at that point was not represented on the show. When he started to explain the NGE philosophy to Montana, he mentioned that the Black man was God, which prompted the creator to retort “So if the Black man is God, does that mean the White man is the devil?” Lord Jamar told him that's exactly what it meant, and Montana liked it. He believes not backing down in that key moment is what secured him his role.

4. While the Nation of Gods and Earths has historical ties to the Nation of Islam, the two aren't actually affiliated. The connection stems from NGE creator Allah, who was previously an understudy of Malcolm X known among other members of the Nation of Islam as Clarence 13X. He later parted ways with the Nation of Islam when he began to preach that the Black man is God, a divergence from the Nation of Islam's belief that creator Wallace Fard Muhammad was the Messiah. After being excommunicated from the Nation of Islam, he started the NGE by preaching to the youth in the streets of Harlem, which explains why members of the NGE call Harlem “Mecca.”

5. The NGE think that the White man was created. Since melanin is a naturally occurring substance in humans and it's a quality White people lack, the NGE argue that the only way to explain that discrepancy is through continued selective breeding to create a race of people born without melanin. Their claim is supported by evidence that suggests climates do not dictate a person's skin color. According to their teachings, a man named Yacub grafted the white man, who was only created roughly 6,000 years ago. For a greater connection here, some fundamentalist Christian interpretations of The Bible claim the Earth was created roughly 6,000 years ago, and while the NGE says there is plenty of evidence refuting that theory, they claim that particular time stamp traces back the creation of the white man. According to "The Build: The Whiteman Is The Devil," written by Shaikhi Teach Mathematics Allah:

“In the book of Genesis it is revealing the beginning or origin of the devil (or whiteman) through a genetic process . . . Those who write our history in advance predicted that Yacub would produce a generation of people that would be unalike his own. So there in the book of Genesis you read about Jacob (Yacub) grafting a flock of animals. The secret is that the animals are used as a symbolic term for people in order to hide the truth of the devil's origin” (123).

For this reason, Caucasians are also referred to as the “colored man” by members of the NGE because their skin color has been changed from its original, darker shade.

6. Unlike the Nation of Islam, where there is a clear chain of command, the Nation of Gods and Earths prides itself on having no hierarchy. According to Sha-King Cehum Allah in “Allah and Indigenous Anarchy,” “Allah [the creator of NGE] taught us to be leaders and therefore we have no 'central' lead figure. Yet, we do have leadership. Those qualified with moving forward with certain issues and actions. We have no hierarchy, except between the 'best knower' and those 'seeking to know'” (174).

7. When the NGE first started, Allah was technically their figurehead until he was shot to death in 1969. Members of the NGE think the killing was ordered by the government as a tactic to stop the spread of their message. However, since the Nation teaches that Gods gain power through knowledge of self, every member is considered an equal. Since Allah's death, there has been no attempt to establish any form of hierarchy within the NGE.

8. Members of the NGE are not permitted to marry or reproduce with White people. Marrying or reproducing with White people would be considered diluting the race because white people are believed to be inherently “devilish.” As Eboni Joy Asiatic Earth states in her piece “To Be or Born the Earth,” “We, as a nation, have our agreed upon restrictions – no pork, no marrying / mating with Caucasians. Outside of that, we are free to live our culture through the proper application of the math” (196). Freedom Allah echoes the same sentiment in his essay “Who is the 5%”: “Allah, the founder of the Five Percent Nation, was not hateful and neither are we. He taught that we should not fear competing against nor interacting with Caucasian people. He taught us that it is fine to socialize with them however, we should not mix our seed with them, for that would be grafting out the originality of our seed” (140).

9. One rite of passage into the NGE involves choosing your own name. Unlike your “government” name, which is typically given to you by your parents, members of the NGE feel that you should be able to choose your own name. Self-identification is very important to the culture since it lets one choose how they project themselves to others. Your name traditionally points out character qualities you feel exhibit who you are or who you strive to be.

10. While members of the NGE used to choose Arabic names, a similar trait adopted from the Nation of Islam, they decided to later use English terms to avoid any confusing connections to the NOI. C'BS Alife Allah explains this in his essay “A Good Name Is . . .” when he says “Being that the Gods and Earths came through the temples of the Nation of Islam we started out with Arabic names. At a certain point in our history we moved from adopting Arabic names to names that reflected the language that we speak here in North America, English” (150).

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33 Comments

  • jon

    Question. Why would yacub create the white race?

  • Don Fox

    Thank you for awakening me to self awareness and away of being conscious without our people making such knowledge available people would still be chasing a white man fantasy

  • HonEliYah

    I don't really care What Degree you have Obtained in your life. Without the Esoteric Knowledge of the Self Realization. You are EMPTY

  • Anonymous

    Yall are so full of crap , lol this is all coming from a guy who ended up dying due to gambling. Yall have no evidence of your knowledge. Nation of Islam doesn't even have all the way right. Lol so you mean to tell me black men created the universe? Hahahahahaha yea sounds like Yall just can't let go of the past and want to feel imperior. And speaking of the universe it couldn't of just appeared out of no where. When you were a kid did your Legos build themselves? No. No man is my god, and Yall just look stupid trying to preach it. Jesus is the true bringer of peace (and I believe Jesus was black).

  • E_veryday_J

    Wake up... all of this stuff is nonsense. What is the point of gaining all this wordy knowledge? To make you feel more than a human? To make you feel empowered? Why? It is pointless and has no spiritual fulfillment! 1 Corinthians 3:18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He catches the wise in their own craftiness; 20 and again, The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile. 21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to comeall are yours. 23 And you are Christs, and Christ is Gods.

  • Wilbert Williams

    The Holy Bible states in Psalms 82:6,"I say 'Ye all art gods and children of The Most High God....'" In the Sanatana Dharma it teaching Way Better than the teachings of the Poor Righteous Teaching. The 5%ers my have knowledge of Self; But, Do they have Divine Consciousness who is the True Self of all self. Om Om Om Hare KRSNA(Bhagavan Krishna) Hare Rama---Om Om Om

  • THE G.O.D

    PEACE! ITS ABOUT KNOWING YOUR CHARACTERISTICS AND HOW YOU RELATE TO EVERYTHING ELSE. 1. WHAT IS BLACK? BLACK IS THE UNIFICATION OF ALL THE OTHER COLORS. EXAMPLE, TAKE ALL THE COLORS AND MIX THEM IN A BIG BUCKET, AND WOW, YOU GET BLACK (2ND GRADE PAINTING CLASS). ITS NOT A QUESTION OF MELANIN, BUT THE BLACKNESS. THE BLACKER THINGS ARE, THE MORE ENERGY THEY CAN ABSORB. WHY? BECAUSE BLACK IS UNITY OF COLOR OR LIGHT, AND LIGHT IS ENERGY (ANY PHYSICS CLASS). EXAMPLE, ROCK ALL BLACK WHEN ITS 100 DEGREES OUT. YOUR CLOTHS BECOME HOT DUE TO THE LIGHT/COLOR THEY ABSORB. YOU WITH ME? GOOD. SO WHEN WE STUDY OURSELVES AND OUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE UNIVERSE, WE SEE ENERGY OR LIFE COMING FROM THINGS THAT ARE DARK/BLACK. JUST LOOK INTO THE NIGHT SKY. WHAT COLOR IS THAT? HAVE YOU HEARD THE SAYING THE DARKER/BLACKER THE BERRY, THE SWEETER THE JUICE? WELL THAT'S BECAUSE DARKER PIGMENTED FOODS ARE MORE NUTRITIOUS WHICH CONTINUES TO FOLLOW THE PATTERN I'M TRYING TO DESCRIBE. SO EAT YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES LOL. 2. THE BLACK MAN'S POTENTIAL. OK, SO SINCE BLACK IS UNIFICATION OF ALL COLOR, THAT MEANS EVERY COLOR IS AN ASPECT OF BLACK. THIS IS WHY THE BLACK MAN IS THE FATHER OF THE "HUMAN RACE" AND CIVILIZATION (ANY ANTHROPOLOGIST OR ARCHEOLOGIST). EVERYBODY ON THE PLANET IS AN ASPECT OF THE BLACKMAN, EVEN THE WHITEMAN. THE BLACKMAN IS THE ORIGIN AND HAS THE POTENTIAL TO MAKE ANY KIND OF MAN. A BLACKMAN HAS THE POTENTIAL TO MAKE A WHITEMAN, BUT A WHITEMAN CAN NEVER CREATE A BLACKMAN (ANY GENETICS CLASS). THUS, THE BLACKMAN IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF LIFE KNOWN IN THE UNIVERSE, BEING THAT MAN IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF BEING AND THE BLACKMAN HAVING THE DOMINATE TEMPLATE. NOTHING IS HIGHER THAN THE MIND OF THE BLACKMAN. THE BLACKMAN IS GOD! YOU MAY NOT KNOW IT, BUT THE SCIENTIST AT HARVARD DO. GO ASK THEM. 3. WHY THE WHITEMAN CAN'T HAVE PEACE ON EARTH. IF THERE WAS PEACE ON EARTH AND EVERYTHING WAS EVERYTHING, AND THE NATURAL PATTERN OF THE UNIVERSE WAS ALLOWED TO FLOW, THE WHITEMAN WOULD BE GENETICALLY ANNIHILATED. THAT'S WHY HE APPEARS TO ALWAYS BE GOING AGAINST NATURE. WHEN YOU MIX A PERSON OF COLOR WITH SOMEONE MELANIN RECESSIVE, THE RESULT IS A PERSON OF COLOR. PEOPLE OF COLOR OUTNUMBER WHITE PEOPLE MORE THAN 11/1. SO IF THERE WERE NO COLOR LINES AND PEACE ON EARTH, WHITE PEOPLE WOULD DISAPPEAR, BECAUSE JUST LIKE THE BIG BUCKET OF PAINT, THE UNITY OF COLOR IS BLACK. SOMEONE WHO IS GENETICALLY RECESSIVE WILL NEVER TEACH THIS TO A PERSON OF COLOR. THE SCIENCE IS JUST TO HEAVY, SO TEACH YOURSELF AND KNOW THYSELF. PEACE! RIP TREVON

  • john

    This just seems like another psychopathic cult to divide and conquer the human race so that pathological individuals can stay on top. Its too bad these people don't do their own research and think critically but instead choose to act as authoritarian followers of some psychopathic doctrine. I guess the leaders of this movement rely on preying on those most insecure and give them the fantasy that they are "special" and better than other races, thus drawing out the pathologicals from society to their ranks.

  • Anonymous

    *7) peace to the NGE's! White people are quick to observe shit as racist mind you they were the first to introduce the idea of a master race. Claiming all non whites to be uncivilized and using supremacist/racist theories to justify them enslaving a great majority of the planet. Our lessons break down their devilish ways however they are not required. World history shows the European white male's actions against non whites. From the Crusades to manifest destiny , eugenics etc. Sorry folks but its the truth. Your people's history is evil.

  • Nick The Devil

    '5%ers'. You talk about science. Here's some disproving all your claims. Please show me your counterargument. By the way you interpretation of a quote from a 2000yr old book doesn't count, jus sayin. 'About 70,000100,000 years ago some modern humans began to migrate away from the tropics to the north where they were exposed to less intense sunlight, possibly in part due to the need for greater use of clothing to protect against the colder climate. Under these conditions there was less photodestruction of folate and so the evolutionary pressure stopping lighter-skinned gene variants from surviving was reduced. In addition, lighter skin is able to generate more vitamin D (cholecalciferol) than darker skin so it would have represented a health benefit in reduced sunlight if there were limited sources of vitamin D.[1] Hence the leading hypothesis for the evolution of human skin color proposes that: From ~1.2 million years ago to less than 100,000 years ago, the ancestors of all people alive were dark-skinned Africans. As populations began to migrate, the evolutionary constraint keeping skin dark decreased proportionally to the distance north a population migrated, resulting in a range of skin tones within northern populations. At some point, northern populations experienced positive selection for lighter skin due to the increased production of vitamin D from sunlight and the genes for darker skin disappeared from these populations. The genetic mutations leading to light skin, though different among East Asians and Europeans,[2] suggest the two groups experienced a similar selective pressure due to settlement in northern latitudes.[3]' [1] Jablonski, Nina G.; Jablonski, George; Chaplin (2000). "The evolution of human skin coloration" . Journal of Human Evolution [2] Norton, H. L.; Kittles, R. A.; Parra, E.; McKeigue, P.; Mao, X.; Cheng, K.; Canfield, V. A.; Bradley, D. G. et al. (2006). "Genetic Evidence for the Convergent Evolution of Light Skin in Europeans and East Asians". Molecular Biology and Evolution 24 (3): 71022. doi:10.1093/molbev/msl203 . PMID 17182896 . [3] Juzeniene, Asta; Setlow, Richard; Porojnicu, Alina; Steindal, Arnfinn Hykkerud; Moan, Johan (2009). "Development of different human skin colors: A review highlighting photobiological and photobiophysical aspects". Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology 96 (2): 93100. doi:10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2009.04.009 . PMID 19481954 .

  • 2gnoME

    Great article! After reading the book, what would you say is the best way to gain self-knowledge? We would love some feedback of our site where we are trying to help students and adults gain self-knowledge through anonymous feedback! bit.ly/2gnoME @2gnoME

  • Supreme Self

    SUNEZ!!! You da man! I love when you be building on melanin! Gotta go to the P.E.A.C.E. Course. Earth Izayaa's build was on point to in that book. She reppin' hard for the Earths!

  • Born

    Thanks Sunez for getting the word out there of who we really are. Peace!

  • Regular Guy

    This is some ridiculous stuff. Now I'm all for being the best you can be and realizing your full potential, but to say 'the white person is the devil' because of a lack of melanin is maybe the craziest thing I've ever heard. That is not a science, that is an opinion. A person is who he is because of how he was raised, the environment he was brought up in, personal morals and beliefs etc. Taking a passage out of the book of genesis and saying this is what it means, even though it's not what it says (jacob grafting a flock of animals has nothing to do with white people) is proof of nothing. If anything the world would be a much better place if we could bridge the gap, and eliminate racism, but saying 'don't marry or reproduce with a white person' is just making the gap wider. And these 5% justify racism by saying all white people are inherently devilish? How ridiculous. It's these 5% that make the world a worse place to live in. By all means realize your full potential, but don't try to justify racism.

    • Steve Case

      When the Gods and Earths use the word devil they do not mean evil. Devil simply means opposer or adversary, and the understanding is that it is the European or white man's natural disposition to oppose the original man. He is at odds with himself, the earth, the sun, and others. Devil doesn't mean they are evil. It simply means they have a recessive and weak physical body that is limited. In turn, a weak physical makes one more susceptible to wickedness.

  • Lol

    This is some of the stoopidist shit ive ever heard. To each their own to believe what they want to believe.

    • Anonymous

      you missed the whole point. the NGE doesn't deal with belief. Everything is questioned, including the lessons. This can all be proven through many of the different sciences we deal with, mathematics, philosophy, history, etc!!

  • Humble Just

    The Science of Self drops this month!

  • Humble Just

    Excellent article! I hope this article will give shine to the book and start a conversation that must be had.

  • Hypocrisy

    ITS NOT RACIST BEACUSE WE'RE BLACK.

  • Azreal 3

    There are white Five Percenters. They aren't second class citizens. It is equality.

  • Jus10 (a white guy)

    I don't feel like the devil... (lol), and I know myself better than anyone else (whom I know of) knows theirself.

    • mario

      Just to clarify the history that is being spoken now by the 5% is a 25,000 year cycle, after that the history will be renewed, so when you speak of the neanderthal man that is a whole different history, also there are too many gaps for you to say that blatantly we all have neanderthal dna there could've been a selection of people tnat might of interbred with them, b.u.t that's beyond the point, and diseases are germs so if its foreign to that certain group, it may have a negative effect to it, the only reason why the blackman wasn't wiped out like the natives were because they were susceptible to certain germs.

    • ReelWorld

      How come there is Neanderthal DNA in modern humans? Answer: Africans, aka Homo sapiens, migrated and interbred with Homo neanderthalensis residing in Europe. This IS why White People have lighter pigmentation. Careful who you call a devil: These same Africans brought with them tropical diseases that wiped out an entire subspecies of human and probably many others.

    • Anonymous

      ...It's the nature of the white man. This is a science. They are speaking specifically about; why the white man is deficient in the SUN. The SUN is the natural source to all humans, but the white person is vulnerable to it. The black DNA is more dominant....White supremacy told the world that, "Black People" was 3 / 5 human, but it's actually the other way around!!!...I know a white person would take offense to this, but it's true. When they talk about the white man being the devil, they are speaking of the white mans nature, meaning: because white people lack melanin in thier body it makes them more "COLD HEARTED"!!!...Seriously!!...THIS IS A SCIENCE, NOT AN OPINION!!!...I know it's offensive, but white supremacy did more damage to whites than anybody!..How?!...it made white people believe those ignorant lies that are not true, thats why they debate against it!!!...

  • Second Golden Age

    Good read. Its not teaching hate but self knowledge for the black man. I heard about the 5 percent teachings before but I might cop that book to understand it more. Also read the auto-bio of Malcom X he was a deep brother with good lessons to remember for a young black man. GOLDEN AGE 4EVA.

  • Assassin221

    Interesting read and philosophy although I kind of have to dismiss any overtly racist religion or philosophy on principle. Funny to me how they try to hold onto the Black supremacy ideology while avoiding the implications of it, like "He's the Devil, but it's cool if you want to hang out, spit rhymes, or smoke blunts with him." WTF? That aside, I like the idea of developing and cultivating yourself to the maximum instead of focusing all your energy on connecting with a mysterious god in the sky.

    • article

      Great response. Removing the mind from its connection with god (self) by using drugs, alcohol, or any other substance has to be just as worse than "diluting seed" with white people. This knowledge must be taught to not only all people of color, but ALL people. This is not hate but TRUTH. The white man will tell you there is no god, they come from a common ancestor of great apes and no one questions this trash. Rise, Learn,and teach