By Imam Hakim Abdul-Ali
Afrikan-centered scholar, lecturer and educator Dr. Ray Hagins visited the Lowcountry last weekend on June 30, 2018, and gave a thoroughly thought-provoking message entitled “Wanting to Last” to those who were attendance at his lecture. Dr. Hagins is founder, chief elder and spiritual leader of the Afrikan Village and Cultural Center, which is based out of St. Louis, Missouri.
The lecture, which was sponsored by the local Afrikan Village and Cultural Center branch, was held at the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church Fellowship Hall in North Charleston, It was delivered in Dr. Hagins’ typical upfront informative and articulated format as a sense of Afrikan awareness was permeating the air and good vibrations were on display everywhere in the hall.
Strongly anti-organized religion, Dr. Hagins is an outspoken, critical teacher in sharing his immense knowledge of studying worldwide religions, especially as they relate to Afrikan-centered academic, spiritual and philosophical institutions. This native of New Brunswick, New Jersey, with a lifelong connection to the Newark and Patterson, New Jersey areas, is a celebrated, controversial and an in demand orator, who revealed that he’s on this mission to inform Black folk everywhere of the necessities of learning what and how dangerous miseducation in all arenas among us (really) is all about.
From breaking down the fact that Christianity, e.g., as most Black think of it to be, but it is not what it is, Dr. Hagins challenged and asked the audience to go back further into their own thinking patterns and questioning modes when he revealed what the true origins of the Christian belief systems were about. He seemed to hold nothing back as he spoke of the European hoax of Christianity throughout the ages with countless verbally offered evidence to support his positions, as he unabashedly informed and uttered to the audience’s attentive ears and minds.
Before continuing on, I might add that this lecture was livestreamed to the nation on Dr. Hagins’ regular internet broadcasting channel. Also, the above mentioned point concerning Christianity may be viewed on YouTube under Dr. Ray Hagins’ “The Time of The Church is Over and Gone” video.
Having served honorably in the U.S. Marine Corps, Dr. Hagins informed me, prior to his scheduled 3p.m.-6 p.m. speech and in our one-on-one interview, that it was while he was in the military that he began to question certain things that were told to him and he had just accepted without much thought, especially religious things. This period affected him deeply causing him much spiritual consternation.
He said, “I read the Bible nine times through and the Old Testament eight times through, and I realized that a lot of things that I had been taught in my life simply weren’t in the Bible. That stirred up in me a desire to understand the sacred text in its proper context.” Things obviously didn’t quite add up as being truthful to him as he progressed as a student of discovery, research and learning while then being in and later continuing in the ministry.
The words truth and truthful play heavily in Dr. Hagins’ Afrikan-centered way of looking at things and understanding what Black people have to do in order to remove themselves from the yolk of indoctrination and hypocrisy. Just having written this thus far, as you read on, probably would scare the majority of some so-called African-American folk today from listening to where Dr. Hagins is coming from or leading to.
As I listened objectively to his lecture, there were certain things that I heard from Dr. Hagins that I vehemently disagreed with on, e.g., the denials that certain key religious figures even existed. But, on the other hand, Dr. Hagins laid the undeniable cases for some of his bold historical findings, and pronounced spiritual conclusions with clear evidences for one and all to verify, or reject, with truthful intent.
Maybe, that’s why the Fellowship Hall was not filled to capacity with many other area Black folk, especially some of them who claim to be over-the-top religious folk, in hearing this cognitive psychologist speak to and about the numerous historical and grossly incorrect inaccuracies about Afrika, religion, history and spirituality. Dr. Hagins doesn’t beat around the bushes when he speaks, and he is very succinct in what he feels what miseducation and religion, in all of their persuasions, have done to the minds, wills, desires and souls of most comatose Black folk.
My interview with his sixty-five-year-old Afrikan spiritual activist was respectful, warm and cordial, even though we differ on some religious issues and spiritual concepts. I must admit, though, that the fact that we, coincidentally, both have longstanding past connections to the New Brunswick and Newark areas, in particular, made the interview process go smoother, and I found Dr. Hagins to be a sincere person and a very easy going brother to talk with.
Though viewed by some as controversial because of some of his political stances, defiant religious opinions and in-your-face social views, Dr. Hagins, nonetheless, is a staunch believer in the Afikan-centered spiritual belief system of Maat or Ma’at. This belief system stands generally for the ancient Egyptian concepts of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice.
In propagation of and in defense of his beliefs and teachings, some of Dr. Hagins’ more popular internet videos like “Living Without Thinking”, “The Council That Created Jesus”, “Where Did Negroes Come From”, “The False Teachings of the Apostle Paul”, “Mind Manipulation and the Battle for the Bible”, “Understanding Racism”, “Idiotic Concepts in Religion”, and “Undressing a Well Dressed Lie” speak volumes about what this gentleman feels, has to say and projects in his more than forty-plus years career as a pastor, researcher and teacher.
The topics in all of his videos, as it was in his lecture’s subject matter, are explosive to put it frankly, but the info delivered by this dedicated student should be the stuff that all clear thinkers in the Afrikan-American communities and elsewhere need to investigate, “if” they are to free themselves from mental flaws, religious half truths and psychological bondages. Dr. Ray Hagins challenges one and all to look at Afrikan spirituality in an entirely new light.
Those in attendance at his lecture were ardently enamored with what Dr. Hagins was relating to as he, in every part of his speech, challenged them to go and study for themselves, in order, to see if what he was saying was “the truth.” He spoke from where his truth was at on June 30 and that must have been in his heart. Everyone sensed that.
Special recognition has to be extended to the House of Heru for their dynamic opening drumming performances and also to the master of ceremonies, Edwin “The Chef” Wright, who along with the many others operating behind the scenes made Dr. Ray Hagins appearance in North Charleston last Saturday an Afrikan-conscious success.