The Black Theocracy
          The concept of a theocracy is nothing new. Historically it was used in ancient Africa to inspire psychological and cultural empowerment. Considering the unfortunate plight of black people today due to white supremacy it may be necessary for us to revisit this earlier conception in order to create within the black community a natural and simple alternative to the crime, the poverty and the white racism that imprisons so many black people. The black theocracy is a system masterminded by Tony Saunders. Its structures are easily found within the street life in a simple movement called the godbody. The black theocracy, inspired by the godbody movement, has developed five basic institutions. Any community with these five institutions in place is a theocratic community and is a part of the black theocracy: black divinity, black romanticism, black eroticism, black syndicalism and black militarism.

          Black divinity is the acknowledgement made in the black community that God is self and kind not a transcendental being in the great beyond. Black romanticism is the irrationality, intersubjectivity, sensuality and creativity that are all based on living libido, that is, active and expressive sexual energy; agape (pronounced a-gaw-pae), which is unconditional love; and theocentric monism, which is the worldview that the visible and invisible, physical and imaginal, corporal and spiritual, natural and mystical, realistic and idealistic, all have a point of union that centres on the divine. Black eroticism has three main aspects: polyamory, which is free sexual and loving relationships with multiple partners; seductionism, which is the act of seducing someone till they are completely in your power; and light exhibitionism, which is the act of no longer wearing underwear. Black syndicalism, which includes both the setting up of workers’, students’, militias’ and provision parliaments to coordinate labour and distribution, and the common ownership of black businesses and productive property. Finally, black militarism, which is the organising of godbody members and training them in combat and the use of arms thereby making the state obsolete.

          The godbody movement that spawned the black theocracy mainly teaches that the black man has the potential to be divine if he masters the lessons that they share with him. At the same time, they are neither anti-white nor pro-black but are pro-righteousness. This means firstly, they stand against the unrighteous behaviours of racism, colonialism, materialism and cynicism. It also means secondly, that they believe that for black people to reach their potential as divine they must leave the savagery of gang culture and behave righteously towards their fellow black people. They are not a cult as they worship no entity outside of the self and teach that the highest power in the universe exists within the self. Their philosophy is that as the mind is able to accomplish whatever it determines to by this power they therefore need not look beyond the self to clergy or a scripture to save them.

          The movement itself was started in Harlem in 1964 and spread to the five boroughs of New York City in succeeding years. The movement’s founder, who they call Allah – not that he is taken to be any higher than the rest of them, all succeeding members of the movement take the name Allah also – made a name for himself by going into the slums and the streets and educating the young black males as to their potential. One of the main products of his educating these youths was that New York City street lifers from thenceforth valued knowledge and are therefore very well read. In the streets of New York those in the street life can debate on topics as vast as Socrates or as complex as the measurement of the wavelengths in various colours, all the way into the distance of the earth from the sun. It has been Saunders’ ambition with his books to help these underclass intellectuals to reach their societal potential and to evolve beyond the life of crime and struggling into the life of contribution and potentially even revolution.
   Black Divinity
Manifesto of the Black Theocracy Third Edition
          Black Divinity is a compelling, unique and easy to understand exposition of the intricate beauty of the New York City street culture and its value. Within Saunders challenges the socio-political superstructures of modernity from the perspective of a black revolutionist. Black Divinity is primarily a theological work, but it also has elements of social science in it. The central theological premises discussed are radical Biblical interpretations. This radicalism draws it far away from Christian views, whether Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox. In fact, though the Bible is used throughout the ideas and themes are those of the street life. Black Divinity as a whole is unashamedly street and pushes for progress in street situations. Black Divinity is also unapologetically black and uses certain black theological and anthropological references too. Of these the most notable come from ancient Egypt and the ancient Egyptian theophanies. On an Egyptological basis Black Divinity, along with numerous Egyptologists, considers the ancient Egyptian pantheon to be psychological states, each with their corresponding characteristics. Therefore, when Black Divinity begins by relaying ancient Egyptian philosophical and cosmological assumptions it does so recognising the impact these had on the psyche of the ancient people.

          Black Divinity begins by considering the historical foundations of modern society starting all the way back from ancient Egypt and continuing on to post-revolutionary America, all the way into Imperial America and what it means to be under American imperialism. It is also a revolutionary book drawing from a number of revolutionary thinkers including Malcolm X, the Black Panthers, Fredrick Engels, Peter Kropotkin and the apostles of Jesus Christ. The revolution it seeks to inspire is a countercultural one, one based on black people living an entirely new lifestyle, one in which they are free, internally and externally. Martin Luther King Jr. is used throughout to show that such a system is not necessarily a threatening or terroristic system. Revolution can be non-political and need not involve the overthrowing of government, it can be the institution of self-governing systems that function aside from government. The use of the other revolutionary thinkers is to show the reality, the realism, of this system. That it need not simply be considered a fantasy or a dream but that it not only can be enacted but is an actually existing movement in the form of the godbody. For this cause Black Divinity presents a challenge to the complacent among us to stop being complacent and to start working towards a better future for black people, within the United States and within the world. As a whole Black Divinity contains complex ideas simplified so as to allow a wide readership to grasp its basic vision. The first chapter is a historical work, the second is a sociological work, the third is an eschatological work, the fourth is an anthropological work, the fifth is a theodical work and the sixth is a theological work.

          Finally, Black Divinity is a very pro-black book, and although the godbody movement is neither pro-black nor anti-white, Saunders is very pro-black especially considering the destruction of black lives that has been occurring in recent years. The depth of the psychological fear of black people in America is catastrophic. The reason for such killing is therefore traced back not simply to racism but to fear of black bodies, stemming from a misunderstanding of black people’s psychology. Our job is not to convince white people that we are not a threat, but to organise so that systems can be put in place to protect us from those whose fear of us causes them to react violently. This is why it is a black theocracy being espoused and not just a plain theocracy. The argument presented has its basis in the black suffering that has occurred historically and is occurring presently as a result of that fear. But the fear is here recognised as double-sided. The black race has also developed a fear of blackness. That is not to say they fear their own people as such, though there are obviously those that do, but to say many blacks, particularly in the black bourgeoisie, are facing a psychological dilemma: how can they be pleasing to the white world system and avoid the negative feelings of racial inferiority. Black Divinity is therefore an instigator to inspire young black people to no longer fear their potential but to work towards improving their personal situations.

          With an outline of black suffering and the black struggle there is also a redefinition presented of black salvation. Here black salvation is not found in heaven but in black men and women building a better world for themselves and their families. This book is therefore an action plan written with the confident hope that once the black youth of today know themselves and their potential they will be willing to put the work in to make their lives, and the lives of other black people, far more effective in the world. There is no doubt that large sections of the black community are underprivileged, it is up to them now to lay hold of that privilege.
Going Beyond the 120 Lessons
          Manifesting the Divine is a simple, step-by-step explication of the New York City street culture and its opposition to white supremacy that allows the black scholar to sociologically understand its subtleties. As sociological premises since the 1960s have had an ideological basis Manifesting the Divine offers a critique of some of these post-1960s ideologies. To start with it presents the racial basis upon which most of these ideologies have been founded. As the main ideologies of modernity have had their basis in white supremacy Manifesting the Divine begins by relaying the social, psychological and discursive development of white supremacy. It also applies scientific methods to understanding whether white supremacy still exists and whether the forms being used to combat what is believed to be white privilege will be useful and effective in abolishing white supremacy. It does this by using a new sociological perspective entirely, the depth sociological perspective. Depth sociology is an advanced scientific perspective that allows one to analyse and calculate the intricacies of a social group: its limits, its historical narrative, its interactions with other groups and its origin and destiny.

          Another area of sociological advantage that Manifesting the Divine has is that it shows how late modernity and the systems of late modernity eventually lead to their own destruction. It does this using scripture as a backdrop but ultimately its argumentation is sociological. Sociologically it demonstrates how institutional racism and economic domination, as well as psychological humiliation and sexual inhibition are the product of modern miseducation and misphilosophy. By analysing the causes and effects of these four forms of modern articulation Saunders tries to introduce to the reader a new way of appreciating theological premises. That is, not from a mystical, otherworldly perspective but from the perspective of a real world sociology. That they will see late modernity and the ends of late modernity as institutions that have spiritual value. Sociologically they will be able to take scriptural books like the Bible and the Quran and analyse how their mystical elements can be applied to society and the real world and not simply looked at as heavenly or spooky. On top of that it creates a veritable alternative to the destructive chaos of late modernity using scriptures in the Bible and Quran that are in one stroke liberating and egalitarian. Thus as the modern system and modern ideologies begin to self-destruct the black theocracy will have a fully functioning system able to outlast them all.

          A third area Manifesting the Divine shows its sociological value is in the issue of sexuality within the black community. First, there is an aesthetic analysis of sexuality within certain black R&B girl-groups followed by a theoretical consideration of the reasoning behind not only the sexuality of black people but also the sexualisation of black bodies. The challenge is to present a conclusive argumentation for black sexual behaviours as opposed to simply judging them in view of white moral standards and objections. Here the delicate issue of sex is given a high and respectable position, one that goes beyond personal opinion and systematic stereotypes and is based on the cultural structures existing in many black communities. Such structural expediencies are a result of the libidinal inclinations existing in all people which most modern people inhibit so as to show themselves superior to black people, who have been relegated to the body position in the mind/body dialectic. Nevertheless, black people, particularly black women, feel no shame exhibiting the benefits of a sexually liberated life. The godbody take this mentality even further by prohibiting marriage. Such is not necessarily a bad thing. In the gospels Jesus says that the angels of God neither marry nor are given in marriage. Therefore the performative of marriage is not necessarily a distinctive gospel requirement, however, the godbody are distinguished from monks, nuns and Catholic priests by a simple qualifier: they do have sex and behave hyper-sexual at times. As Manifesting the Divine has already provided an explanation for the libidinal it will merely be necessary at this time to annunciate what systems are in place within the godbody movement and the black theocracy to keep them from becoming dangerous with their sexuality.

          A final sociological benefit offered by Manifesting the Divine is that it offers an in-depth alternative to neoliberalism in the black community. Neoliberalism is reviewed from its roots in early liberal theory to its historical development in the 1970s, all the way into its current orthodoxical permutation. All these are critiqued or delineated in order to show how neoliberalism has in fact given white people the obsessive mystical fantasy of white domination and left non-white people in a position of trying to play catch-up. The dangers presented by both white and black bourgeoisies are therefore identified and articulated so as to keep the black world from missing the mark of becoming a truly divine people. However, though offering a critique of neoliberalism it is neither anti-American nor anti-corporation, it is merely anti-white supremacy. The fact of the matter is that if black people spent more time saving themselves from financial or societal difficulties rather than hoping the white man or the system or Jesus Christ will save them then they will be genuinely empowered. It is here that Saunders truly makes his mark.
Learn more