Recently I was made aware of a concerning situation that has taken place at Scott’s Pass, headquarters for the Nyabinghi house of Rastafari in Jamaica; with the House of Elders based there.
The fact that the movement of Rastafari started from the isle of Jamaica, that country is seen as a Mecca of sorts for Rastafari. It is the wish of many Rastafari brothers and sisters to visit this Mecca, to see and feel the vibrations of Rastafari in the land, and among the people it sprung from. Many are the places and spaces attributed to early Rastafari development that are visited by those making their pilgrimage to Rastafari Jamaica.
For Nyabinghi brothers and sisters, an Ises (Praises) at Scott’s Pass is an activity they would want to experience. Scott’s Pass, located between Toll Gate and Porus is the headquarters for the Nyabinghi house of Rastafari in Jamaica, with the House of Elders based there. The land was bought by Bob Marley and given to the Binghi for that specific purpose.
This is why when I read the account of the closure of Scott’s Pass under the orders of the Marley family I was saddened.
What I read came from a brother who on Facebook carries the title “Tired White Lion”. In his estimation of the above stated closure of Scott’s Pass he asserts, “I have disappointing and troubling news of (false) Rasta activities by the Marley Foundation. These Revelations would make Prophet Bob rebuke and refute his family members. The Hon. Robert Nesta Marley, OM would spit at his family members faces for their wicked evil and cruel deeds.”. Although I do not agree with the labeling “False Rasta”, I do feel the brother’s anger and disgust as it pertains to this situation.
He went on to say in no uncertain manner that, “The Marley Foundation has evicted fellow Rastas from the Scott’s Pass Tabernacle grounds during these days of tribulation, plagues and judgment. They have acted with dishonour and have placed the lives, health and protection of I & I family at risk during Corona. RASCLOTTS I WOULD SAY.”. His words were accompanied with a video and a couple pictures relating to the situation.
For this video of the eviction notice being enforced you can click this FB link
Below is an interview with an elder Rastafari Mama related to the matter at hand.
In one picture, as shown below, it states that an eviction order was posted six years ago. This one picture conjured up many a question in my mind. At the head of my questions was, why would the Marley Foundation choose this time of the coronavirus COVID-19 to enforce the six year old eviction notice? Other questions in my mind include, why was this ( the eviction ) ordered in the first place, and what was the response action of Nyabinghi internationally in support of retaining their Mecca? I am thinking that the sharing of this information by “Tired White Lion” on social media, is an action rooting in rallying international condemnation for the actions of the Marley Foundation as it relates to the subject of this article. I also see it as a call for assistance and interventions on behalf of Nyabinghi Rastafari from their international community.
It is to this international community of Rastafari, Nyabinghi in particular, that “Tired White Lion” concludes in saying, “THE MARLEY FOUNDATION AND FAMILY HAVE CREATED AN UNNECESSARY RASTA HUMANITARIAN CRISIS THAT THE DEVIL WOULD WISH FOR AND THE PROPHET WOULD HAVE ABHORRED. IT IS AN ABOMINATION TO JAH TO ACT THIS WAY.”.
What can be done? Can anything be done? Should anything be done? What I know for sure is, that the will of the “MOST HIGH” will be done.
It is hoped that these few words encourage more investigation into the situation, leading to just outcomes.
Let the hungry be fed, the naked clothed, the sick nourished, the infants protected and the elders cared for.
As Rastafari I’n’I (We) look and listen to Haile Selassie I for guidance in times of uncertainty. Thus here are a few words of advice from the Emperor:
Wise men have always known the deep and pervading truth that it is better to give than to receive, for even as it conflicts with selfish and ambitious desires, it moderates and controls them.
Giving always demands sacrifice. To overcome the temptation to enjoy mere daily comfort, to press resolutely and patiently forward on the scheduled way, are true tests of the high degree of determination that should bind you together. Memories of past injustices should not divert us from the more pressing business at hand.
We must live in peace with our former colonizers, shunning recrimination and bitterness and fore-swearing the luxury of vengeance and retaliation, lest the acid of hatred erode our souls and poison our hearts.
Let us act as befits the dignity which we claim for ourselves as Africans, proud of our own special qualities, distinctions, and abilities. We must speak out on major issues, courageously, openly and honestly, and in blunt terms of right and wrong.
If we yield to blandishments or threats, if we compromise when no honourable compromise is possible, our influence will be sadly diminished and our prestige woefully prejudiced and weakened.
On this day which men of earth and angels of heaven could neither have foreseen nor known, I give thanks unutterable by the mouth of man to the living God who has enabled me to be present among you.
Today is the beginning of a new era in the history of Ethiopia.
Since this is so, do not reward evil for evil, do not commit any act of cruelty like those which the enemy committed against us. Do not allow the enemy any occasion to foul the good name
We shall take his weapons and make him return by the way he came.
We believe in cooperation and collaboration to promote the cause of international security, the equality of man and the welfare of mankind.
We believe in the peaceful settlement of all disputes without resorting to force. And in accordance with the charter of O.A.U. we will strive to eradicate colonialism, racism and apartheid from the face of the earth, to frustrate the efforts being made by foreign powers to dictate the destiny of the African continent, and we will continue to stand. – Haile Selassie I