Ray Hagins does John Henrik Clarke impersonation par BLACKMUSICS 

Greetings SaaNeter and All Brothers & Sisters,

Once again, here we are, having to waste precious time trying to straighten out unnecessary misunderstanding and misrepresentations within our community.

I wonder if and when we will begin to involve ourselves in those issues that REALLY matter in our growth and liberation? How can we when we keep spending precious time degrading and trying to assassinate the character of another Brother or Sister among us?

There is a proverb that states, Never explain, because your friends don't need it and your enemies won't believe you anyway. I have certainly found this to be true, and yet there is something in me that says there are those brothers and sisters in our community who are wounded by the division, factions and bad mouthing that they see going on within the ranks of so-called conscious people. So, it is for those who are confused and disillusioned by un-Afrikan behavior among us that I write this open letter.

On Saturday, April 24th, I was in Harlem NY at the invitation (booking) of one of our Brothers, known as SaaNeter, to speak on the question "Is Islam An Afrikan Religion?" I did speak to the audience, but not within the parameters of what the planners wanted me to say, and this caused a retaliatory response from the promoter of this event, Brother SaaNeter (who felt as though I didn't fulfill my obligation to him).

Below, I will list my reasons for my actions and comments regarding this event. But please understand that my reason for doing such is to NOT to justify my actions, but rather to provide and explanation for those who are disillusioned by the apparent confusion and lack of unity within our community.

On October 20, 2009, I sent the following open letter to SaaNeter because he planned a “debate” between me and the Hebrew Israelites. As you read this letter, perhaps you will understand why I did what I did on Saturday night:

Hotep Brother SaaNeter,

This missive is to inform you that I will have to decline your invitation for what I thought would be an open forum discussion with one of our Hebrew Israelite brothers. My reason for such is as follows:

Today I received about 10 to 12 communications (via email, texts, and phone calls) about the event that you posted on YouTube advertising Dr. Ray Hagins -vs- The Hebrew Israelites on Dec. 5! When I watched the promo/announcement I got this very twisted feeling in my gut. I was very disturbed that this event is being promoted like a Don King boxing match.

When you asked me if I would come and discuss my research about our Ancient story with a brother who professes to be a Hebrew Israelite, I agreed to this on the basis that our discussion would be an intelligent, respectful presentation of our views and the facts that support them. But this is NOT the “spirit” that is being projected in your promotion of this event.

For the sake of clarity, let me be VERY specific about what my mission is (as far as our people are concerned). I am convinced that the sole reason why I came out of my mother’s womb is to be an instrument of returning our people back to the level of spiritual existence and empowerment that we had before other cultures invaded our Motherland with their religions and the literature that is associated with them. In this way, we will experience the unity that our oppressor has spent so much time destroying. Consequently, when we begin to unite in spirit and mind, our healing will be the inevitable result. That's what I am about,and that ONLY!

In your promotion of this event you used the abbreviation of the word “versus” (Dr. Hagins vs The Hebrew Israelites). I am not going to assume that many people know what this term means, so let me state it for those who may not. The word “versus” means against! It denotes two entities (or factions) in opposition to each other; in contrast with another.

So, SaaNeter, what you are actually advertising is that I am “against” or “in contrast with” The Hebrew Israelites! That is a gross misrepresentation. I am not against (or in contrast with) any of my people (whether they claim to be Hebrew Israelites, Christians, Muslims, Rastas, Buddhists, Atheists, or whatever). The ONLY thing that I am against is racism and the stratagems of white supremacy that are used to divide, suppress, oppress and destroy us.

One of the most beautiful brothers that I know of is Ben Ammi Ben-Israel. When I was making my transition to Afrikan Consciousness, his contribution to my life helped me to become the minister and teacher that I am today. I love him dearly. Even though I do not agree with the eponymous identity that he has chosen to label himself and his followers by, I have the highest respect for this brother and those who follow him. So, it is incorrect to say or advertise that I am
“ against” The Hebrew Israelites. These are my brothers and sisters, and many of them are dear friends. One of the ministers of this organization, Min. Moriel Aziel, is a very dear friend of mine and has been a guest speaker at The Afrikan Village in St, Louis on several occasions. When I invited him to speak, I knew that he was a Hebrew Israelite (and he knew that I wasn’t), but we understand that our unity is based on the fact that we are brothers in a war and OUR enemy is racism and the social injustices that emanate from white supremacy.

The same can be said for my brothers and sisters who claim Islam as their way of life. One of the greatest instruments in the hands of God that I have ever had the privilege to listen to is the Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan. Many of his ministers and followers are as family to me (i.e, Minister Jamil Muhammad, Minister Ava Muhammad, Minister Louis Muhammad (in Youngstown, OH), Minister Donald Muhammad (in St. Louis, MO), Professor Griff, Brother William Freeman X and my Muslim family in Memphis, TN, and I could go on and on). All of these have been my guest and have been featured speakers at The Afrikan Village in St. Louis. And of course I cannot leave out my Rasta brothers and sisters (especially Brother Diamond, Ethelbert Harrison in Nassau, Bahamas and the family there). And I could continue to name so many more…

You see, SaaNeter, I am watching the Almighty do a GREAT work through The Afrikan Village. When I travel and lecture, brother and sisters from ALL of our backgrounds come and join in unity. This past Sunday, we were blessed to start another fellowship in Columbia, SC. We had close to 300 brothers and sisters there. The beautiful (and most powerful) part of it was there were Christians, Muslims, Hebrew Israelites, Rastas, Kemetians, pastors, and others there. And it was AWESOME because in The Afrikan Village we simply gather and fellowship as “Afrikans!” There are no “sides” or factions at any event that I speak at because we are family (regardless to whatever paradigm one holds at this point in their development).

My brother, you and I have known each other for some time now. And even though you are one of the main “bootleggers” of my DVDs, as I have told you before, I do appreciate you getting the message of liberation out to the masses. I am not ignorant of the fact that many of our people know of me and the message that I speak as a result of your selling and distributing your copies of my DVDs. I have gone into more Black book stores than I can count and seen my lectures re-packaged by you. One brother was actually at one of my lectures (and his table was 2 tables from mine) selling re-packaged DVDs of my lectures that he ordered from you. It was so deep that all I could do was laugh. LOL! But (while I am on it), it would be nice if you would send in a donation every now and then to help me keep getting this message out there. (I just had to get Jthat in there).

SaaNeter, on the real, you are a good brother and soldier. And you know that I have no problem coming to speak for you. But this time, I have to decline ONLY because of how it is being presented to our people. I am very willing to have an open forum and share the results of my research with anyone, but I cannot do it under the context of a debate or a promoted conscious boxing match (especially when the end result is to sell as many tickets as possible). That's not me, my brother.

I am a spiritual leader of a lot of people, not a competitor! When those who look to me as their spiritual leader, and others of our people sit and listen to me, I want them to see and hear a man who is about uniting and empowering us, not trying to prove who among us is right or wrong.

I have sent this as an “open letter” because of the Internet posting of the debate that you had planned. It is very important to me that our people understand what I am and what I am NOT about. Hopefully we can reschedule something for which I feel much better.

In Maat,
Brother Ray.

NOW leading up to Saturday night's event...

Brother SaaNeter called me MANY, MANY times asking me to come to Harlem to speak. In light of the position that I thought that I had made VERY clear to SaaNeter in the letter above, He said to me, “Dr. Ray, we want you to come to Harlem my Brother. Harlem misses you, and we just want you to come and speak to us. YOU CAN CHOOSE WHATEVER TOPIC YOU WANT TO SPEAK ABOUT…YOU CHOOSE THE TOPIC. We just want you here my Brother.” It was ONLY because SaaNeter said that I could speak on whatever topic that I wanted to speak on that I agreed to his invitation. I repeat, this was the ONLY reason I accepted his invitation.

I told him that I would find out the costs of airline tickets, hotels rooms and car rental for me and my staff to come there. The cost of these things came to $2,160.00. SaaNeter knows that I DO NOT charge the community for coming to speak. I did not charge him one dime! He knows this and he is trying to say that I “STOLE” his money, and he knows that these funds were for 4 airline tickets, 4 hotel rooms, and a rental car.

SaaNeter went to a NY branch of the bank that I use and deposited the funds so that I could purchase the tickets before the price went up any higher. I purchased the NON-REFUNDABLE airline tickets the same day.


I knew then that I was in a Catch 22 situation. I knew that the ONLY way that SaaNeter was going to get the point that I DO NOT participate in these Don King intellectual boxing matches under the guise of Afrikan liberation was to just wait until the event and publicly say it to the entire audience (with the hopes that perhaps someone on SaaNeter's staff will get the point).

I am not upset with SaaNeter for what he did any more than I would be upset with a fish for swimming, or a bird for flying! This is what SaaNeter does! HE IS AN EVENT PROMOTER. This is how he feeds his family. And I have no problem with that! What I am upset about, is how he has disrespected me and has since engaged in trying to smear my name because I refused to participate and play a role in his production. SaaNeter just doesn't get it, I DON'T PARTICIPATE IN THESE DON KING TYPE EVENTS BECAUSE IT DOES NOT HELP TO EMPOWER OUR COMMUNITY! As I stated to the audience in Harlem, these events are nothing more than a display of intellectual masturbation only resulting in egotistical ejaculations.

I spoke with Dr. Wesley Muhammad right after SaaNeter told me what he had decided to do. Dr. Muhammad apologized to me for what even he felt was misleading on SaaNeter's part. I told him that I don't participate in such events. After further discussion, we agreed that we would NOT allow our people to see us at odds each other. We spoke on a couple of occasions to reaffirm our position on the community seeing ONLY unity among us because we both knew what the REAL agenda was in this event.

SPECIAL NOTE: For the sake of definition let's define what a debate is. A debate is 1) the formal discussion of a motion before a deliberative body according to the rules of parliamentary procedure; 2) a regulated discussion of a proposition between two matched sides. (Webster's

So, you see, SaaNeter (and those who think that I was wrong) evidently does not understand that a discussion IS a debate. A rose, by any other name smells just as sweet. You can call a rose a stinkweed, but the smell is still that of a rose. You can call a rose a skunk-blossom, but that does not change the fragrance. So, call it what you will…the result is the same! Everyone kept saying, THIS IS NOT A DEBATE, THIS IS A DISCUSSION! Even Dr. Muhammad made it clear that the word “debate” was not to be used, but rather a “discussion.” So what, a debate IS a discussion between two different or opposing perspectives.

The TRUTH here is that the event in Harlem was to be a Don King type intellectual boxing match between two scholars within our community. Now, whether you want to accept this fact or not doesn't change the odor of it one bit.

To our Brother, SaaNeter, I believe that you are angry because I exposed your agenda for financial gain! The truth of the matter is, this is how you eat, by promoting events in the name of liberation. And I am okay with that. In my opinion you could had this discussion on your radio show and a couple of thousand people could have learned the same information for FREE! But no, you wanted to sponsor an intellectual boxing match at $20.00 a ticket. And one of us was to be judged the WINNER.

I know that you wanted me to disprove and invalidate Dr. Muhammad, but what would have been gained by that? WHAT? The only thing that would have been gained by that is a lot of good brothers and sisters (who are Muslims) would have left there confused and in doubt. Not only that, but Dr. Muhammad would have had to deal with the consequences of not defending his religion as he should have. I refused to let you use me for that! I don't do those things, my Brother! Dr. Muhammad is a good and very sincere Brother. I look at him and see myself all over again. I was not about to invalidate that young brother's research in front of all those people. I don't do that. His presentation was ACCURATE (within the parameters of his research), and THAT'S why I said that I didn't disagree with one thing that he said.

Dr. Muhammad did NOT prove that Islam was Afrikan, he only proved that there were Afrikans who practiced Islam! I do not disagree with that at all. But, I was not about to damage the credibility of his scholarship before that audience.

SaaNeter, stop ranting about the money that you stated as food that I took out of your children's mouths. Come on Brother, keep it real, you made your money back and then some. There were well over 300 hundred people there at $20.00 a pop! The $2,160.00 that you spent was an investment and you know it. So stop ranting as though you lost money.

In closing, I must ask, What have I learned from this experience? I learned that I must not allow people to use me as a drawing ticket any more. I will only speak at those events where I KNOW that the purpose of this event is to gain the knowledge necessary for the empowering and unity of our people.

Hotep, my brothers and sisters, I wish you the best. And, PLEASE stay focused on what our REAL mission is. The mission of The Afrikan Village & Cultural Center, where I serve as the Chief Elder and Spiritual Leader is to be an Afrikan-centered, scripture-based ministry of Excellence whose purpose to Evangelize (take right knowledge to those who do not know), Edify (build and uplift one another), and Equip (prepare our members to effectively carry out our purpose) its members, through the knowledge of the Truth, to serve the community and reach the world with the message of Afrikan of liberation while striving to be compassionate in our love, excellent in our service, holy in our living, and reverently spirited in our fellowship.

In Maat,
Dr. Ray Hagins

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