Rastafarianism (here’s the Wikipedia version) is not about love and justice, but about rejecting Western culture in favor of international socialism. Rastafarian ideas are useful for elites who see traditional Western culture as an obstacle to their vision of a better world. The following is a history of the movement and how it became a tool of globalism.
Rastifarianism was created by Leonard Percival Howell. The movement is a product of Black supremacist and communist ideas that Howell, a Jamaican, acquired while in New York City.
Leonard Percival Howell
In 1920s New York, communism was fashionable. Major New York banking houses were openly sympathetic to the Bolsheviks in Russia and funded the Revolution and the early years of the USSR. But all was not well in the Party.
Howell was introduced to communism during a crisis in communist thought. The Great War was supposed to precipitate a proletarian revolution which never happened. Intellectuals at the Frankfurt School attributed the failure of their cause amongst the people to brainwashing. These intellectuals though that Western Culture had blinded people to the superiority of international socialism. Therefore, Western Culture had to go.
Communists needed a total rejection of Western values. Traditional ideas of monogamy, sexual restraint and gender became “repression.” The African American community became a target for communist intellectuals, who saw Blacks as likely supporters of property redistribution and ambassadors for sexual license. Black communist representatives like Claude McKay did little to disabuse the Bolsheviks of these notions. To achieve their ends, the Communist Party in New York attacked the Black middle class economically. This was the political climate that Howell entered in 1924.
In New York, Howell befriended George Padmore and later turned to him for financial assistance. Padmore was a Trinidadian involved in COMINTERN — the Bolshevik’s revolution-exporting bureau and head of the Negro Bureau of the Communist International of Labour Unions.
Howell was also influenced by Black nationalist leaders and spiritualists such asMarcus Garvey and Robert Athlyi Rogers. Howell’s Black supremacist influence (and much of the language of Howell’s tract The Promise Key) comes from the The Royal Parchment of Black Supremacy by Rev. Fitz Balintine Pettersburgh.
When Howell returned to Jamaica he patched together the ideas he collected in New York in order to form the basis of his new religion, which he summarized inThe Promise Key. Every important premise in The Promise Key had been taken from somewhere else. None of Howell’s ideas were new, but they were put together in a way that suited Howell’s personal ambitions.
Howell created a religion that used the weakness of his target group — lower class Blacks — to his advantage. He used the cultural-assault tactics that he learned from his communist teachers in New York.
Howell built a politically cohesive group by encouraging tribalism among his followers. He preached Black supremacy to counter feelings of inferiority among the Black lower class. Black supremacy is not equality or social justice — it is simple, unrestrained privilege for the Black race. Howell’s teaching was hypocritical but excellent demagoguery. He took religious justification for this by re-interpreting “Israelites” in the Old Testament to mean his followers. He claimed “chosen-ness” for the Blacks.
While part of The Promise Key sets out “cleanliness” laws, most of it is a rant against Western civilization. Howell, like his communist teachers, was attacking the culture that stood in the way of international socialism.
The Promise Key claims that Ethiopians (meaning all Black peoples) have been in a six thousand year struggle against Western civilization. Western culture is the “indomitable, incurable, accursed, deadly disease” that has infected “Abraham Adam Anglo Saxon the White.”
Just like his brethren in New York, Howell attacked the Black middle class in Jamaica. Howell condemns Black people who work alongside White people or don’t reject Western culture. They are “crooks”, “hypocrites” and “Black-White”. He calls people of mixed-race “third-class people” and forbids intermarriage between the races. Howell calls for complete “race enmity.” [All quotations are from The Promise Key.]
Both Howell’s teaching and communism attack traditional morality as taught by the Church. In The Promise Key, Howell calls the Pope “Satan.” He says that that Christianity is a lie because it is a “smoke screen to keep people in ignorance.”
Howell’s Rastafarianism is materialistic. Like communism, power and wealth are desirable as long as they benefit the man in charge. The Promise Key states that the “Anglo-Saxon King” (of the British Empire) has bowed down to the MessiahHaile Selassie, to whom “all the Kings of the earth (are) surrendering their crowns.” Howell calls Emperor Selassie and his wife “paymasters of the world, Bible owner and money mint,” which he means as praise.
Howell departs from his communist teachers on the subject of racial equality. New York communists attracted followers by promising that everyone could be equally wealthy. Howell’s religion attracted followers by promising privilege. Howell realized that “scapegoat” politics — blaming all Whites for the problems of the Black Diaspora — would be a more effective message than equality. Howell’s hatred of anything Caucasian matches his communist teachers’ hatred for anything bourgeois.
Howell preached that poverty stems from Europeans, as there will be “gross prosperity as soon as the Anglo Saxon White peoples all die out.” Howell even calls for genocide: “Adam Abraham Anglo-Saxon the leper has no place on this earth if you please.” [Again, all quotations are from The Promise Key.]
Howell chose Haile Selassie, the despotic emperor of the last Black-ruled territory in Africa, to be the Rastafarian messiah-figure. Ironically, Selassie considered himself Semitic, not Black.
Howell claimed that Selassie would give Black people supremacy in Africa and over all other peoples. The Promise Key says that under Emperor Selassie, White people will “sit in the dust on the ground”; White people will be denied political sovereignty; and that “Adam Abraham-Anglo-Saxon whit[e] people are not entitled to any eternal reward.”
The choice of Haile Selassie was remarkably convenient. The Ethiopian Emperor was very popular among Western intellectual elites and bankers who supported Woodrow Wilson’s plans for a world government under the League of Nations. Selassie’s cachet as a noble African ruler standing up against Mussolini (the fascist who threatened banking interests) was highly attractive. Selassie was paid homage with waves of complimentary press in the Anglophone West. Selassie was not popular in Ethiopia and he was eventually deposed during a military coup in 1974.
Howell taught dis-empowering behavior so that his followers would be more dependent on him, the self-styled “great teacher” or “Gong.” He was an expert at manipulation. Howell showed his followers an African emperor dressed in all the trappings of a European king and told them Selassie was divine. He used racism to turn people against their neighbors. Howell used the desire for privilege to help build a new type of tyranny: communism. He promoted intoxication (marijuana) as a method to get closer to God. Education beyond Rastafarian teachings was “college filth.” The family was not sacred: He slept with his married and unmarried female followers alike (to the point of his upper-class Jewish wife Tyneth committing suicide).
Howell and His Heirs Enter the Establishment
Leonard Percival Howell went into the drug trade and helped finance the British elite’s puppet government in Jamaica. By 1944, Howell controlled a marijuana plantation where 4500 Rastafari (mostly women and often single mothers) worked for him for room and board. The Gong lived well, chauffeured around in his own limousine. Leonard Percival Howell was not in the business of empowering his people, but exploiting them more perfectly.
Howell became a major supplier of marijuana in Jamaica. The Jamaican drug trade was tolerated for some time, but in 1953 Norman Manley, leader of the opposition party in the colonial Jamaican government, was told by Winston Churchill that he needed to bring an end to the lucrative business. In order to carry out Churchill’s command, Manley called Howell’s collaborator Mortimo Planno.
Mortimer “Mortimo” Planno is more than a gangster. He is the bridge between Howell’s teaching and the popular modern Rasta movement. He is a key figure in the connection between the Rastafarian sect and politically powerful circles in Jamaica and abroad. Mortimo was reggae star Bob Marley‘s manager/spiritual advisor and is credited with the idea of using commercial music as a vehicle for spreading Howell’s teaching. Mortimo re-fashioned Rastafarianism as a tool of globalism.
Bob Marley: Reggae Star and Promoter of Rastafarianism
Bob Marley (self-styled “Tuff Gong”) trumpeted social change and glorified the Rastafarian lifestyle. Marley’s promoter, Chris Blackwell, is from a wealthy Jamaican family who founded the first synagogue on the island. Marley, like Howell, rejects traditional Western Culture, but the racist element is toned down. (Which makes the message more palatable to mainstream international socialists.) Marley was consciously marketed for world-wide appeal.
The World Bank loves Bob Marley. In February 2005 a celebration called “Africa Unite” was held to commemorate what would have been Bob Marley’s 60th birthday. The event had venues in Ethiopia and Jamaica, and was organized by the Bob and Rita Marley Foundations, the African Union, the government of Ethiopia, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), UNICEF and The World Bank.
The aim of the celebration was that the “entire world recognize Bob (Marley) as the world’s greatest music icon,” according to event manager Jacqueline Knight-Campbell, who also pushed for Marley to become a national hero in Jamaica and that his birthday be made a national holiday.
A video documentary of the celebrations was produced by UNICEF, Tuff Gong Pictures and Louverture Films. It is supposed to showcase Marley’s message of “revolution by any means necessary” but especially “the process of re-education and re-orientation of values and belief systems which would lead to social transformation over time.” The documentary makes special note of Marley’s regime-change activities in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
South Africa and Zimbabwe are the two countries where Howell’s teaching has been most perfectly implemented. Mugabe’s racist government has destroyed the middle class in the name of “ousting White rule.” South Africa’s former president, Thabo Mbeki, refused to recognize Mugabe’s atrocities as a “crisis,” while South Africa is careening towards the same fate.
So why is the World Bank — the public relations organ of the debt system — so in love with Bob Marley?
Marley is an asset to the debt system because his songs defect criticism from its heart. Instead Marley lays the problems of the Diaspora at the feet of “oppressive” Western culture, while pushing communist ideas that have always been supported by financial elites. By hiding the cause of the debt problem, Marley and Planno have done more for oppressors than a boatload of gun shock troops could ever do.
The debt system is possible because corrupt local rulers cooperate with private banking interests to steal from their constituents. The deal is sweetened for both parties by Western governments (who are also heavily indebted) agreeing to make the payments or negotiate refinancing if the local rulers default. The losers are Western and local constituents.
International banks benefit most from the debt system. They make money selling bonds based on debts that the World Bank organizes. This is easy money with little risk of default, thanks to developed-world taxpayers.
You won’t get any of this information from the platitudes of Bob Marley’s songs.
The result of the globalist system is perpetual, crushing debt. The ex-British colonies in Africa and Jamaica are much more heavily in debt now than they were under the British. Jamaica is a typical example: Since the 1960s their economy has grown by a multiple of three, but their debt has increased by a multiple of 1400 (at least!) as of 2005. If corrected for population growth, Jamaican debt has grown seven hundred times faster than their ability to pay.1
The “debt forgiveness” movement is also a boon to international banks. Groups like “Jubilee 2000” have spearheaded debt forgiveness campaigns, resulting in a massive write-off in 2005. As soon as the forgiveness was implemented bank lending to the same debtor countries started to grow again. 2 By getting Western governments to pay to cancel these debts, “Jubilee 2000” gave the bankers an opportunity to create and sell even more debt-bonds. Thanks, Bono!
Turning racial grievance into a religion is a great way to manipulate people. So is lying. The Rastafarian message which is spread by the international media and the World Bank uses both tools to promote globalism while attacking their strongest enemy: traditional Western Culture.
Planno — now dead — is regarded as a Rasta philosopher by adoring acolytes. Bob Marley is canonized as a symbol of peace and love. It all works in the bankers’ favor: Imagine the entire world as a pot plantation…but never missing a payment.
Elizabeth Whitcombe (email her) is a graduate of MIT in Economics with a concentration in International Economics. She is a financial analyst and free-lance writer living in New York City.