March 2, 1999
I received the packet of correspondence from you that came to you from the various folks who have a genuine interest in the communications network you have created through your diligence and determination. Your conviction that we have a story to tell and that this story must be told is a premise on which I concur. Obviously others have some interest in this subject matter and have presented you with some input. I am grateful for my inclusion in this process and I am stimulated by each of these offerings that you have elicited. I will respond in a very minimal way considering the multitude of thoughts within me concerning these people and the matter of these events and circumstances. I can only suspect that we are all influenced to some degree as out story begins to unfold.
I heard about Samson passing on a few weeks ago. I wrote a letter to Jane and Joel last week and I made a copy of it to send to you. I made some references to the Dougie book as I comprehend it. It seems easier to just send this along to you rather than repeat it at length again. I know that my perception of this spirit among us these many years will not be the popular stance with most of our contemporaries in this story, but I assure you that I only briefly touched upon a side of the man that hardly anyone chose to gaze upon. My motivation in doing this, is that I have experienced a vast array and a huge amount of ridiculous facades and I prefer that we know one another as we are, not as we choose to present ourselves. I am not hiding my own weakness, my own humanity, and I am struggling daily to ward off the temptations of my own flesh. I know that pretending something does not exist does not prevent the existence of that something, whatever it may be. Identifying darkness and subterfuge prevents those elements from existing. Reducing a facade to rubble allows us to more readily examine what may have been concealed be the facade. I am not presenting myself as anything other than one of the players in the story we are attempting to recreate from our collective testimonies. I don't think anyone could deny that I had a substantial participation in the story that began in earnest for me on March 8, 1971 when I journeyed to Ivy's camp in Hall's Delight near Papine, Jamaica and continued through the entire Coptic era to this present day. I am but one of many players and I have a voice to express what I have done and what I have witnessed. I do not seek to vilify nor to glorify anyone. God will get the glory regardless of what anyone says or does. I will speak and write what my remembrances are to the best of my knowledge and I will not camouflage what may appear to someone else as an unseemly event or happening. I may initially appear to be focusing on the less attractive facets of our experiences and of the characters in our experiences, including myself, but I am determined that our story must be told without the deceitful "spin" of political wizardry. Thou art redeemed us O Lord God of truth! I welcome any voice from whatever part of this story you may have knowledge of or whichever characters you may have associated with. If someone has a less than delightful remembrance of me or has some testimony concerning me or anything you know I have done with you or to you or for you, do not hesitate to articulate whatsoever it may be that you know. I will withstand who I am for I know I am not consciously hiding anything.
Progressing right along here. Some of your basic questions in your letter to N. & C. I cannot say that I am aware of the significance of the name Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church. I will say that during Ivy's advent we did not refer to ourselves as such. The word "Coptic" was on a small signboard on one of the walls as part of a declaration, but I do not recall the wording or even the gist. There were many of these mystical sayings relating to the man's revelation. The "EZCC" official name came, in my consciousness, from a collaborated effort between Wally and Keith. The recollected knowledge of their own from Louva Williams' teachings and history to arrive at this name. I cannot explain it further, but if you are fortunate enough to get any response from some of the other sisters and brothers then you may receive some enlightening information. I only say that I have no recollection of this name during any of Ivy's teachings in my presence. Ivy said that Rastafari was the 72nd and final advent of God. Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus, etc. My perception of this is what I saw in Ivy. Now the name is associated by almost everyone with the Ethiopian Emperor Selassie (now deceased) and the Dreadlocks (with Bob Marley as their icon). I do not relate to that perception at all. And yes to your third question. The incorporation of the church was a stumbling block and more. It was a sham. An imitation of the thing, not the thing. Ivy uplifted the consciousness, both spiritually and morally, of hundreds directly and of thousands by mystical osmosis of spirit. This consciousness of spirit and moral understanding will reassert itself in us and in others to come. The Coptic experience as manifest under the leadership of Keith in collusion with Wally, and Dougie, and Kootman, Inc. and the rest of us in the roles we played will never ride again because that type of pernicious legacy is not eternal. It may have appeared for a moment to be the thing, but it was not the thing. Isaiah Williams (Kootman) and Laurenton Dickens (Dougie/Samson) fell into bad graces with Keith Gordon and were subtly ostracized by whatever hierarchy existed among them at those times. The legality of the true church of God's people is not a viable concept. We will be known, if we are known, by the love that we show one to another. These are our credentials along with a testimony and a civilization. All other strivings are vanity and, yah, vexation of spirit. Some things don't change. I feel quite confident that N. & C. will contribute some information of substance to you in your quest to revitalize the communication lifeline of this body.
Your communications with Dennis Ivy are especially pleasing to me. Nice moments of thoughts remembering some of the old characters of that time. I remember Dennis and some of the situations as he recalls them. I remember the time he was accused and disciplined severely, unbelievably so to me at the time, for stealing some money. I remember that some of the Jamaican brothers did mistreat him, I believe he was around 12 years old at the time, and perceived him in an ungracious manner. However, the aura emanating from Ivy was so overwhelming and the manner and scope of his teaching subjugated whatever else may have been occurring to a role of less consequence to us as guests. I do not mean to trivialize Dennis' heart felt outpouring. In my mind Ivy had everything under control, but I realize that I was limited in terms of what I could know of so many other people. I remember Rupee as a kindred spirit to me and as a man of great humbleness, kindness, and understanding toward me. I remember Winston Williams, Mitchie and to some extent Fisher if he is the furniture maker from Barbican. Many of Ivy's brethren were relegated to a status of insignificance under the Coptic banner because they did not fit into the business which we always referred to as "the work." "The work" was everything and the results of "the work," when or if this story is told, will speak tomes in revealing what actually happened. Not everyone's remembrance of events will be exactly the same and not everyone had a privy knowledge of everything that was transpiring at any particular time. But with a bit of sincerity and honesty, this story you speak of, Carl, could easily be reconstructed. I realize that there is some degree of denial here and some would maintain that perhaps I should get a life and stop dwelling in the past, etc. I do have a life, what amounts to a "life" sentence in prison. I have no problem with this. I would only suggest that not one of us individually nor all of us collectively will achieve anything in a spiritual sense until we face up to a consciously deal with this influence and these people from our past. We have something of great value and unrealized purity awaiting to be heard. To me it's just this simple ... all creation awaits the manifestation of the people of God. I have seen no evidence that anyone on this earth has even a clue concerning the mysteries we have been shown. And this was just a taste of what remains in store for us.
I would like to add a note from my perspective concerning a few of the points which Dennis made to you. I will establish from the outset that my purpose is not to elicit argument. We are discussing a mutual experience which is a focal point of our lives, a common ground among us all. I only hope to ensure that the actual truth be our guidance in this matter. I cannot agree that Ivy never attempted to export ganja to America as a means of procuring a "raise." This is not a matter of vital consequence one way or the other, it's just that I am aware of some things that perhaps Dennis was too young to have known about at the time. Another point, although this is brought to mind by your comment, Carl, that Ivy was born with the stigmata that resembled crucifixion markings. Some were from birth, some were incurred from a trauma of some sort during his lifetime, and at least one, an angry looking wound on the bottom of one of his feet, was a current, in 1971, reminder to Ivy of wounds from a previous, historically spiritual event. One day while Sister Blossom was washing and tending to this open sore, Ivy showed me all of the various markings and explained the origins on him and the significance relative to a previous manifestation in his consciousness. A very vivid and detailed description of a hanging including the final expulsion of the bowels when the neck of the person being executed snaps. Overall, it was quite a different perspective of this noted event than the conventional scenario presented by the various religions of Christian-dumb. I had no question in my mind at that time and none now as to the validity and certainty of what was presented to me. I will say that during the interim, however, between then, 1971, and now, 1999, I stumbled, fell, doubted, and, for lack of a more accurate description, forgot what manner of individual I was called upon to bear witness to. Fortunately, none of my own frailties or my spiritual incontinence altered or negated the majesty of Ivy's divine Sonship, the authority of his being. Another minor point alluded to by Dennis that I have heard many times before. I cannot say with any certainty because I do not know. I can only say how I see the matter. I do not know the cause of Ivy's death in the biological sense, but I do not believe that he was poisoned or otherwise intentionally waylaid by any of the sisters or brothers who were with him or attended to him at that time. I don't know of any autopsy reports or what medical science may have concluded by examining the carcass he left behind. The way I see this matter to have progressed from that time until the present is really quite simple and appears obvious to me. All of us, and I am now specifically referring to those of us who directly experienced the unparalleled magnificence of Ivy, allowed the spirit Ivy instilled in us to be poisoned and temporarily killed by our own acceptance of an insubstantial counterfeit that catered to our cowardice, our insecurities, our pathetic vanities. We cast aside godliness for a hodgepodge of religion, politics and commerce masquerading as godliness. What a farce! It is difficult for me to comprehend how so many of our beloved sisters and brothers opt to cling to the malicious repugnance of condemnation. But everything will come in its allotted time, so I await in a stoically confident state for the regeneration of us all.
The communication you sent me between you and Tom Brown warrants at least some response from me because a reference was made to something I wrote to Robert Lawrence. Robert and his wife Asia, by the way, have been two of the most loyal and genuinely humble friends that I have ever known. They independently arrive at revelations that I attribute to my association with Ivy in my own consciousness. I revere the source of the upliftment. I cannot recall exactly what I wrote in the letter to the Lawrences that Tom subsequently received and was made to feel bad about a reaction I expressed, apparently toward what is generally referred to as homosexuality. I do not kill "queers" nor do I advocate killing anyone who has a propensity for any form of reprobate sexual activity. I resist and attempt to kill the wantonness of lust from my own consciousness and I would encourage anyone who strives for a "purity of spirit," Tom's words, to likewise resist such behavior. Homosexuality, sex with folks of the same gender, is merely one form of the miscreant lewdity that stifles true God consciousness. Smoking ganja without a knowledge and practice of the holy civilization inherent to spiritual purity means nothing. If someone has indulged in any of the various salacious misbehaviors and realizes that this is wrong and attempts to overcome these onerous forces, I can empathize with this and I understand the nature of the spiritual warfare. If someone realizes the vileness of these abominable activities but lacks the fortitude, patience, and humility to cease the enticements of these carnalities, I can relate to this moral weakness with experience of my own. I know these two lingering stages of unbelief can be outdistanced. But for those who proclaim their right to oral and anal intercourse, whether homosexual or heterosexual, and presumptuously assert the merits of tolerance and understanding of these deviant practices claiming enlightenment of some sort and speaking of godliness immersed in depravity, I will not expend undue argument to try to convince them that the seemingly archaic perceptions of morality are essential to civilized behavior. If someone wants to participate in corruption of whatever form, feel free. Get a good load and try to sate whatever appetite you may have developed for those desires. I personally resist whenever confronted with my own proclivities to the flesh and I know that this battle has raged in my consciousness for most of my life. I do not think that the path to spiritual purity and enlightenment, a consciousness of Godliness in us, is different for anyone. But I will not attempt to impose values on anyone. Morality does not need a spokesperson. Purity is not something that we can determine through obfuscated reasonings. These principles predate the ravings of our ancestors gone awry and will survive our maudlin meanderings. Just a couple of cautionary notations regarding Tom which he is already aware of. I am naturally wary of anyone who either refers to themself and/or allows/encourages others to refer to them as Reverend. I just can't relate to this. The other would be Tom's perception of the EZCC. He can't possibly know what happened nor does he know the characters who performed in that drama. He knows about "Our Church" in Arkansas and the people who partook of that particular episode of the sacramentality of the herb. When I first heard about Tom and his associates and what the were doing I wrote to him expressing my admiration for his stance and the courage they exhibited in resisting the accepted mores of a misguided social system. But later, as he and friends expounded further on their perceptions of an herbal consciousness, I realized how different our understanding of the basis of civilization really was. I have confidence in the source of the understanding we have attained to, Carl, and I know it is not something we arrived at on our own. If the sisters and brothers were united in the love we know, it would be much easier for people like Tom and his associates to comprehend the divine nature of an herbal civilization. As I mentioned previously, all creation awaits the manifestation of the people of God.
I remember the name Melanie Dreher from the Star Island days but I do not recall her exact role. I know she was friendly to us. A little confusion as in the Marcia/Dennis Ivy letters. I'll get up to speed soon enough with your patient explanations.
Just a little anecdote about Garvey and ganja which I'm sure you've heard already. In the 20s and 30s the U.S. Government, hence the U.N. and world governments, had not yet made ganja illegal. Marijuana was readily available in pharmacological establishments and was widely accepted as a treatment of sorts for asthma. I heard from the brothers in Jamaica that Garvey was often seen in his travels warding off the debilitating effects of asthma by firing up an asthma cigarette. I don't know the validity of this bit of folklore, but in my evaluation of things old Marcus must have gotten a hold of some helluva Mah-ka-vah to have seen so clearly into the human soul and the dilemma that faces mankind. I can't say what Louva Williams did but all the time I was with Ivy we burned the herb furiously from the moment we awoke to the moment sleep overtook us. He gave me a nice plug of sweet bud for Judy to carry in her bosom so that we could refresh ourselves on our journey through. I know your concerns for the danger to our wellbeing because of the tyranny against ganja by the religious/political/commercial beast. I honor your decision to abstain and you know I support all of the endeavors your spirit directs you to do. Although my own plight seems to be an useless waste to many, I remain content simply because it's ganja my life is being ravaged for and I can withstand whatever persecution may come to me as a result of my affiliation with ganja. I cannot say I would choose this role if I had my druthers, but it is upon me and I accept it graciously. Keep rollin', my friend. No difference here.
P.O. Box 26030
Beaumont, TX 77720-6030