The Rise and Fall of Detroit's Prophet Jones

Discussion in 'The Root' started by xoxodede, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. xoxodede

    xoxodede Superstar

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    Prophet Jones: Born James Francis Marion Jones (November 24, 1907 – August 12, 1971). Prophet Jones (as he was known to his worshipers in Detroit) trickled to fame as a child preacher when his mother said he gave a true prophesy concerning his father. According to the myth, prophet Jones as a child told his mother that his father would come home bloody – and hours later his father entered the house bleeding from a cut at the top of his head. His father worked at the railroad and was involved in a fight with a homeless man who took shelter in one of the box cars.

    From that moment forward Prophet Jones worked in the Preacher Business full time. He later moved from Alabama to Detroit where his ministry grew in popularity.

    In a religious sub-culture of competing claims Jones declared that the almighty God spoke solely to him and that he was the second coming of Christ and thus was the world’s ‘one and only true prophet’ and savior. As such he was God’s 'Holiness’ and sole 'Divine messenger’ on earth 'in these last days’ with the divine powers to forecast,heal,bless and condemn.

    As the Universal Dominion Ruler, Jones presided over the Dominion services from a throne atop a raised, canopied dais on an elevated stage in front of the people. He gave his inner circle royal titles such as sir, prince, princess, lord, and lady. He called his flock the “citizens” of his dominion. He taught them his 'true gospel’ from the Holy Bible in light of his 'divine revelation’.

    Many of these teachings are found in the Dominion publications: The Ritual, The Message, The Mind Awakener, and the Dominion Constitution. His teachings revolved around him heralding God’s incoming 'New World’ of 'perfect bliss’, in which the wicked would be destroyed but the faithful would live forever in incorruptible physical bodies. He claimed those that are faithful now could have heaven on earth by recognizing his 'divine’ calling and obeying his 'divine’ wisdom and rules.

    In return the citizens were to obey his Dominion rules, attend his weekly all-night ecstatic worship services, publicly testify to belief in his faith healing powers, celebrate his birthday, called Philamethyu, in lieu of Christmas and make gifts to him as tokens of their thanks, love, faith and devotion.

    Prophet Jones later suffered a stroke and a fight broke out amongst his followers and his family members over the huge sums of money that was stored in his French style Castle. One of the reports say a least a million dollars in cash was discovered in a locked bedroom were his mother died. Despite the high level of praise and worship prophet Jones received, his body remains in the same grave it was lowered into and has never been seen again.

    If you fast forward through the intro, and the singing of the National anthem..

    Source: Founding Fathers Of Black Cults: #7 Prophet Jones

     
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  2. xoxodede

    xoxodede Superstar

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    GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 8.3 (2002) 271-296

    Harlem congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr., writing in the November 1951 issue of Ebony, began an article about the need for sex education in the African American church with a story about an unidentified pastor's grief at the death of his handsome, talented young male assistant.

    In describing the funeral, Powell stressed the preacher's quavering voice, his tear-soaked eyes, his shaking body, and his attempt to leap into the grave with the coffin. "The minister's broken sobs sounded as if they had been wrung from the tragedy-twisted heart of one who has lost his lover," Powell wrote. He then played his narrative trump: "Actually, the two had been sharing an unnatural relationship for a number of years.

    The entire congregation knew about it. The whole community knew about it—and yet, that minister was and is today one of the most powerful and 'respected' Negro pastors in all America." Falling within the purview of Powell's attack on "a tiny minority of degenerate ministers," and the likely focus of his wrath, was Prophet James Francis Jones of Detroit.

    Prophet Jones, or, as some accounts said he preferred, "His Holiness the Rt. Rev. Dr. James F. Jones, D.D., Universal Dominion Ruler, Internationally Known as Prophet Jones," drew national attention for his extravagance and flamboyance during the 1940s and 1950s. His antics, fanciful teachings, and immoderate lifestyle were noted in Time and Newsweek. Life profiled him as one of the most prosperous evangelists in the country. The Saturday Evening Post dubbed him the "Messiah in Mink."

    Such exposure made Jones one of the most visible, if most curious, African Americans in the white-controlled mass media during the Truman and Eisenhower years. The self-styled preacher's rise to prominence was partly due to a strong homosexual subtext. His congregation and his community knew about, or at least suspected, his same-sex desire. Jones used the tensions surrounding his near- public sexuality to gain access to the white and African American press, yet the same press that propelled his career also destroyed it with sensational coverage of his 1956 morals arrest (fig. 1).

    The scandal not only dramatizes the potency of homosexual accusation in the 1950s but demonstrates the key role played by the mass media in constructing, and constricting, the boundaries of sexuality in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. According to the biographical information Jones often embellished for the press, he made his first prophecy at the age of two, when he told his mother, "Papa tum home buddy," meaning that his father would come home bloody. That night his father, a railroad brakeman, did come home with a gash on his head from a brick hurled at him by a hobo. Jones claimed that his religious awakening occurred at a tent revival in his native Birmingham, Alabama, in 1914, when he was six years old.

    In 1930 Bishop D. H. Harris formally licensed him to preach in Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Christ, an African American Pentecostal sect. Jones left Birmingham five years later on an evangelical tour through St. Louis, Chattanooga, and Atlanta, starting north, as he once told Ebony, "with $1.47 in the pockets of his rummage-sale pants." In June 1938 Jones and his private secretary, James Walton, arrived in Detroit as missionaries for Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Christ. By the end of 1939 he was sufficiently savvy at attracting media attention to have the Detroit Tribune, one of two local African American newspapers, report on his birthday party, complete with the guest list.

    A year later, at the time that Father Coughlin was driven off Detroit's airwaves, Jones began broadcasting over Canadian radio station CKLW, whose fifty-thousand-watt signal reached several midwestern states. His live weekly radio hour was soon the "most talked about and perhaps the most popular church sponsored program" among the city's African American population. Within six years of his arrival in Detroit, Jones enjoyed a reputation for healing and forecasting.

    Source: "Seer or Queer?" Postwar Fascination with Detroit's Prophet Jones

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  3. xoxodede

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    Prophet James F. Jones wearing white mink coat, gift from his church of the Universal Triumph congregation, while doing his shopping in a supermarket.
     
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  4. xoxodede

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  5. xoxodede

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  6. IVS

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    They took the pimping to the pulpit.
     
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