The Nation of Islam’s historic role as a bridge between American blacks and Islam ended in 1975 when W. Deen Mohammed followed his father, Elijah Muhammad as leader of the Nation and immediately disavowed his father’s folk religion, bringing his followers to normative Islam, the Islam of the Middle East. From then on, despite the theatrics of Louis Farrakhan, the Nation has been in a long downward trajectory. Now comes evidence, thanks to Tony Ortega in the Village Voice and Eliza Gray in The New Republic, of a jaw-dropping turn by Farrakhan, 79, to Scientology; as Gray’s subtitle puts it, “America’s two weirdest sects join forces.”

The connection goes back seven years, Gray explains:

the story of how Farrakhan came to embrace it concerns a Nation minister in Los Angeles named Tony Muhammad. In 2005, Muhammad was beaten by the LAPD at a prayer vigil he’d helped organize for a young man killed in a drive-by shooting. The incident plunged him into an agitated, depressed state. A concerned friend introduced him to Scientology, which he credits with saving his life. When Farrakhan later met with Muhammad, he was amazed by the transformation and, as Muhammad tells it in an audio clip posted on YouTube, exclaimed: “Whatever you’re on—I want some of it.”


Five years later, things moved into high gear:

The first large-scale introduction of Scientology to Nation members took place in August 2010, when hundreds of believers from around the country traveled to Rosemont, Illinois, near the Nation’s headquarters, for a seminar in Dianetics, a foundational belief system of Scientology. There, they were guided through auditing sessions—a kind of hybrid between hypnosis and confession—in which a Scientologist purges painful experiences from his subconscious in the presence of an “auditor.” At the end of the seminar, Farrakhan told the group he wanted everyone in attendance to become a certified auditor.

“I’ve found something in the teaching of Dianetics, of Mr. L. Ron Hubbard, that I saw could bring up from the depth of our subconscious mind things that we would prefer to lie dormant,” Farrakhan announced on July 1, 2012. “How could I see something that valuable and know the hurt and sickness of my people and not offer it to them?” Farrakhan plans to build a Scientology training center in Chicago and has even stated that “Nobody can lead in our Nation until and unless they become clear,” a reference to Scientology’s most enlightened state. He also voiced a hope that the two organizations maintain a “long and beautiful relationship.”

In turn, the head of Scientology, David Miscavige, finds bringing blacks into his organization super cool, praising “a most influential culture. … I’m speaking of those who truly set cultural trends, and across every avenue: fashion, music, you name it. So talk about a pervasive culture, talk about a permeating and penetrating culture, or to put it another way: Most white folks wouldn’t have a clue of what it means to be cool if it weren’t for black America.” To smooth the way for NoI’s members to rise through the notoriously expensive Scientology ranks, Miscavige even cut them some financial breaks.

Comment: This fascination with Dianetics probably marks the terminal point for NoI. Normative Islam reigns supreme in America. (October 25, 2012).

Originally posted on and Blouin News on October 25, 2012. 


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Daniel Pipes is a world-renowned Middle East and Islam expert. He is President of the Middle East Forum. His articles appear in many newspapers. He received his A.B. (1971) and Ph.D. (1978) from Harvard University and has taught at Harvard, Pepperdine, the U.S. Naval War College, and the University of Chicago. He is a board member of the U.S. Institute of Peace and other institutions. His website is


  1. The Utah state government is not Mormon. The state did not declare a Ron L Hubbard Day. It was one city council and the city government is not Mormon. That is just crazy Canadian talk. Remember just because some one says or reports it on the Internet doesn't make it true. Just think MSNBC.

  2. I have casually followed our local NOI, and often read their national rag, The Final Call, which they sell the old fashioned way, on the street corner for a buck. Here in Minneapolis the local franchise has, for years, demonstrated a clean, quiet, sober and thoughtful presence on the street in the hood, and at community events and activities. Are they a cult, I am not sure. The members are focused but do not appear in a daze or anything, and the leaders I have met have been boots on the ground involved in stabilizing the community. I have had many conversations among them over the last twenty years and always felt comfortasble and satisfied with the outlook they shared with me. I know The Final Call has published some hateful stuff toward Jews, at times, over the last couple decades but it was not ALL hateful at all. And I think the expressed views have become more moderate over the years. NOI has taken some very rough characters around here and made them clean, sober and God fearing and that sure is helpful.

    As to Scientology, which I know only a little about, if that process, through the NOI, can reach into and positively re-program the many stunted, stuck, anguished and troubled individuals among the lower end of the Black community, HA LE LU YA! The breakdown, malaise, and anger of this broadening group is so huge it simply transcends individual choices and is a phenomena here, as else where.

  3. Um… No. Tony didn't "provide the evidence," this information has been documented repeatedly on the Internet long before Tony Ortega started to cover the Scientology crime sydnicate. Tony is the first person who is *credible* enough for mainstream media to cover the Islamic junction of the Scientology crime syndicate however the rest of the human rights and civil rights community has been reporting and documenting the problem since about 1995 when the famous alt.religion.scientology Usenet newsgroup was formed.

    Don't give too much credit to those who come late to the effort and have credibility greater than those who did the actual legwork.

  4. Since Farrakhan started reading Scientology books and openly preaching a few Scientology tenets to his followers, NOI's anti-Semitic rhetoric has diminished *markedly.*

    I've seen that improvement–and it is very noticeable–as a reduction in quantity and in their previous unreasoning anger.

    Let's be grateful for ALL reductions in anti-Semitism.

    I would hope Jewish Press would be grateful for all reductions in any anti-religious rhetoric.

    JP seems to me the last on Earth that would so proudly foment the religious hatred and ridicule I see in the above article.

    Always judge by:
    – If I changed the religion in this article to Judaism, would its words offend me?
    – Would my neighbor, my boss or my customers think less of me?
    – Would a schoolteacher treat my children with less respect and decency?

    Do we want to make it seem that–even today–"some" religions can be scorned? Where will that lead? And how can intolerance expand to include more and more religions?

  5. This is one of the reasons Wallace dismantled the NOI in 1975 when Mr. Muhammad died: Wallace knew the ministers were only going to turn the nation BACK INTO A DAMN CHURCH!!!!!!!!! In medicine this is called a relapse. A relapse is when medicine doesn't work and the disease reappears!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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