May 1, 1998
I've neglected writing you for so long due to my own slackness. Your previous two letters, post-marked April 13 and April 14, about the origins of the name Rastafari and the electronic message from Trevor Ivy certainly stimulated me for days and I was about to write addressing these topics that you mentioned. I am so happy now, in retrospect, that I prolonged my response. I could never have hoped at this juncture in my spiritual odyssey to be blessed with the self-righteously high-minded "SIN" memo from Tommy, posing as a spokesperson for Niah's Brethren. The poor thing can't help himself. He's so busy behind the scene pretending to be some type of defender of the Grail and interpreter of who is a true brother and who is a false brother that he has overlooked the simlicity of who I am. "No matter what you think I am, Tommy et al, I am your brother." (Or your sister)
I realize that this egotistical turd most certainly expresses the sentiments of a goodly number of the sisters and brothers who once congregated in the name of love and unity, showing kindness, mercy, and an unlimited capacity to forgive one another. But the old carbuncle does not, and will never, speak for all of those sisters and brothers who once walked hand in hand, bearing a message of redemption, not condemnation. Whether or not Tommy cares, and I am absolutely certain at this point he does not, I would like to take this moment to let him know that I, for one, am capable of thinking for myself and speaking for myself and, therefore, I am not in need of a spokesperson to represent me or to talk for me. Those days are long gone.
Addressing, first of all, Tommy's "SIN" memo to me through you. I thank you Carl for your efforts, whatever they may have been, in facilitating this wonderfully invigorating communique. I thank you Tommy, and anyone else who may be with Tommy in any fashion, for deeming it necessary to consider the "corruption in his (my) nasty little spirit" for even a millisecond of their otherwise sanctified meditations. Are you really inviting me now to "talk his (my) sin"? I will gladly talk my sin, write my sin, e-mail my sin, or use any method at our disposal to convey this ominous load to you if this is, indeed, what you really want. But I doubt it. I suspect a more sinister motive behind the directive "Tell Jim Tramner [sic] (it's correctly spelled Tranmer) to talk his sin". Try and remember correctly, Tommy, that we, Big Bob, Howie, and I, called you over 100 times from both Florida and Arkansas in 1989 and 1990 to talk over all things, including my sin. I remind you that you terminated the connection each time with a click. I have no fear of my own deeds nor do I fear the truth. My deeds, any good that I may have done and the multitude of lascivious activities that I have induldged in, are all a part of my testimony along with my perception of the pathetic condition that the brethren and sisters have regressed to. And try to accept this in the spirit in which I attempt to paraphrase it in, "if you say you have no sin, you are a liar and the truth is not in you." I'm sure that your "bag of sin" does not contain the loathesome array of sodomite degeneracies that mine does, but I assure you that your haughty condemnation of me and other brothers and sisters who once walked with you as equals in that holy spirit that nourished us all is a despicable, selfish perversity that is spiritually as debilitating to you as any of my countless fleshly perversities were to me. Before you, I, or any of our dearly beloved compatriots of Ivy's remuneration for sin can realize just what it is that we have, we must all come down from the perches on high and sit in the dust, "there's no difference here". Do you really think that God loves you more than me or anyone else? Contemplate the matter again, beloved. Not so in God's sweet council, better things in store. I do not possess the authority to condemn anyone but I can comfort and encourage a remorseful soul and share the wonderful and unique understanding of spiritual matters that I received from Ivy and that has withstood all of the muck which I chose to indulge in over these many years.
The Coptic experience, and I define this as the time period about a year after Ivy's death in Papine when we began to congregate in Trelawny and Wally came up there with the 4, 3, and 8 routine, as a prolonged, and continuing to this day, diversion from the original blessedness which we received. A hierarchy, a religious and political pecking order, was established that became inviolable from the truth. No different in nature than the Catholics protecting the nefarious activities of the Papacy or governments guarding the treachery of their operatives, both public and private. How many times did we mouth, "Thou art redeemed us, O Lord God of truth, a man"? Yet the truth was not what we dealth with at all! We built this deified "calf" in the persons of Keith, first, and Wally, second, make no mistake about that, whose conspired skullduggeries led to this devestation that is upon us now. As numerous and as vivid to me as my own individual forays into the flesh are, so is the list of truly ungodly, calamitous, and vile deeds, utter misrepresentations of spiritual works that I witnessed and partook of under their leadership and tutelage. You, Tommy, had a very close-up view of the same little drama that I did and yet you choose, willingly, to represent the experience as something divine, something godly, which is not true. I have no quarrel with you or with the Legacy of Keith, Wally, Coptic, nor do I fear for a second that you can resurrect that spirit beyond the schizophrenic little club of sycophants you may have assembled. I realize this may be a bit harsh, but, nonetheless, true.
Keith and Wally are forever in my memory in the roles which they fulfilled in this mystery and, though you may be outraged to hear this or incredulous that I could say this, I love each of them for what they were and for what they are. If "Rastaman doesn't trim" as you declare, then, by definition, I am not a Rastaman because I trimmed hair and beard countless times. Surely, if you heed the warning of Wally, then you cannot trust me. But I assure you that I am not your enemy, though I know you can't accept this simple truth. I have never turned on you, personally, but I will never cease in my determination to see that body reassembled with all of its members. As you so eloquently state, "All these stumbling blocks must remove."
Allow me a bit of humor, please. I am aware of the origin of the spelling of the word LOUV. I choose to resist using that spelling because many of those who profess to love (louv) have attempted to alter the spirit as we received it and exclude a large segment of my cherished, long-sufferers who await the fulfillment of a promise, as you also await. Your statement that "you are either an Isrealite [sic] or a Sodomite" strikes me as humorous because, as you villified me through innuendo for not spelling Louv in the manner which you suggest it must be spelled, you mispelled Israelite. By the way, as you already know, I am a Sodomite a thousand times over but I am washed in the blood of the lamb ten thousand times over. I know this is difficult, if not impossible for you to accept but you take it upon yourself to limit true LOUV. How many times do you forgive your brother or your sister? I am thankful at this point that I have tested for myself the height, the breadth, and the depth of Goud's Louv and I've found it to be all that and then some. I can't condemn anyone. I can condemn illicit acts, but not the illicit actors. I will leave that determination to whom it belongs. It's not you.
The way has already been strewn with the carcasses of those beloved souls who have been cast-off by that shamelessly selfish spirit of self-delusion. Herbie, Marv and Andy, Mike Matteson, Grumbles, Howard, Joel and Jane and countless others whose names are written in the book of life. I count it as an honor and a privilege if I can be numbered with these saints. Big Bob, I love you always, you big goof. What a kabob! My Booblius. Skewered to perfection in the fire of renunciation by those he loved most.
My greetings to Trevor whose old man was, indeed, the embodiment of that ancient spirit who found it possible to resurrect itself (genderless) at that time and convey to us the mystery of Louv's love. No matter what one may do, no matter what one may say, this precious gift I have can never be taken away. Ivy said that Rastafari was the 72nd and final advent of God. Beyond this I do not know nor do I care. Haile was just another mercenary diversion. He had his role to fulfill as have so many others, but none like unto the one that dwells amongst us.
In spite of all I have put her through and the tribulations I have brought upon our family, Judy continues to love me and, in her blessed faithfulness and humility, keeps me in check lest I should think of myself as something other than what I am. Though we are sown apart and it gives us inward pain, we will still be joined in heart until, perchance, we meet again. Carl, my friend, I am indebted to your diligence. You are correct that the covenant is in your heart. And good night to the Prophet Scatini, wherever you are. I remain, myself. Jim
P.O. Box 26030
Beaumont, TX 77720-6030