interview was originally held by Jamaican
Radio Station IRIE FM, and it has been
transcribed by Messian Dread for authorized
online publication on RAS
ADAM WEBSITE and here on the
Greetings in that divine name of our lord
and Saviour Jesus Christ , who has been
revealed to us, in that wonderful
personality of his Imperial Majesty Emperor
Haile Selassie 1st. Greetings through the
Twelve Tribes of Israel , which was once
lost and scattered abroad, and has now been
founded in the Island of Jamaica by our
beloved Prophet brother Gad, and functioning
I all so greet you in that orthodox
faith, which is not a function of writs and
writes, but a mystical co-operating function
of ones heart, in plain words, to be born
again. INTERVIEW with Dr. Vernon Carrington:
The Beloved PROPHET GAD
on Jamaican radio station IRIE FM's
Interview by Ms. Andrea Williams
Transcribed by Messian Dread of the
Printed with kind permission of Brother
Gad(Manchester U.K. April 1998)
The resistance to slavery, colonial
domination, and racism have been the
struggles of the sons
Inerview by Andrea Williams for IRIE FM
The resistance to slavery, colonial
domination, and racism have been the
struggles of the sons and daughters of
Africa in the Diaspora since we were taken
to the new world. African resistance began
on the slave ships and Continues up to the
present. The right to basic human rights
were not Guaranteed after the emancipation
act went into effect in 1834 and the chance
of former slaves to now live as free men and
women in dignity and to develop a human
potential to the fullest had to be fought
tooth and nail against former slave masters.
The list of martyrs for black liberation are
many, and the struggle for complete freedom
and self-determination have come in all
shapes and forms. One of the most glorious
moments of our struggle was during the
organizational work of the honorable Marcus
Garvey and the U.N.I.A. which linked the
effort and the continent of Africa for
majority rule, equal rights and justice and
the struggles in the Diaspora with the now
famous words: "Africa for the Africans,
those at home and those abroad. We should
move forward also with one God, one aim and
In 1930 in Ethiopia, Ras Tafari Makonnen was
crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords with
the throne-name Haile Selassie the First and
a new chapter in the struggle, one with
religious connotations, was opened. God was
finally real and the Christian doctrine was
no longer the monopoly of white missionaries
with headquarters in Rome. The bible was
studied and any reference to Ethiopia took
on added significance.
Ethiopia, being attacked by Italy at the
start of the second world war galvanized
interest and concern in the struggle of good
over evil. During this period, the Ethiopian
World Federation was formed in the United
States of America under the guidance of the
Emperor Haile Selassie the First, to unite
the support for the restoration of
Ethiopia's sovereignty. After the war, and
the defeat of Italy, the Emperor showed his
appreciation by donating land at Shashamane,
to anyone of African descent in the west who
wanted to return to the mother-land. Time,
however, was creating Africans with various
aspirations. New generations were producing
new societies of Africans in the West.
Independent nations were beginning to form
and black majority rule was imminent. In
Jamaica, the reverence of Emperor Haile
Selassie continued to create distinguishable
movements, such as Nyabinghi, the Ethiopian
National Congress or Bobo dreads, the Twelve
Tribes of Israel.
The Twelve Tribes of Israel, founded by the
Prophet Gad, has added another dimension in
the liberation movement, to include
liberation for all races through the
teaching of the bible, and the acceptance of
Jesus Christ. Membership is not limited, but
inclusive. By identifying the spiritual sons
of Jacob and finding truth for oneself
through reading the bible "a chapter a
day", man can find salvation. The
divine lineage continues through the
Ethiopian Monarchy, the seed of David, of
which it is said, "The scepter shall
not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from
beneath his feet, until Shiloh comes and
unto Him will be the gathering of the
Running African caught up with the Prophet
Gad at his Hopewood home, and for the first
time ever, he consented to speak publicly on
Can you tell us first of the history of the
"I was being converted in 1961 and I
read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation
twice. But I was being sent, I was called
and sent, resurrected and sent to do this
work and when I read the bible I strongly
see that there is a gap that is there to be
filled and I believe that I am one of them
that send to do it Do the work."
Where did the movement start, where were you
at the time?
"At Trenchtown. But I was called when I
was living at Outlook Avenue, that is at
What form did it take, how did you convince
people of what it is that you were sent to
" Well, I keep telling them that if
they read the bible a chapter a day, they
will see that what I'm doing, if it is right
or wrong. Well, majority read the bible and
them say, what I am saying is there, so they
be a part of it."
How is the different tribes identified, how
did you know who was Simeon and who was Levi
and so on...
"Yes, well there's a record in the
bible, if you see it you see, that Ruben
represent the eye, and Simeon represent the
ears, and such like, it is all there, but
there is a part there that the maid, that
the maid have two children and the other one
have two. So that is how come the Twelve
Tribes of Israel. It's all recorded there
you know. I have seen most of things I'm
doing in the bible."
Okay. Some more about the Tribes. and how
they identify themselves.....
" By a month. Each month, like Ruben
represent April, Simeon represent May,"
Glad You said that. I'm Simeon. (laughs)
" And June represent Levy and
How did you make the connection with the
tribes and the months. How did you know that
May was Simeon?
Alright. (At this point Gad points to body
parts that correspond with the different
Tribes) Well, you see, I mean, Rueben, you
see, so you know that is April, an your Ear
: that is May, June, July, August,
September, October, which is your back,
November your penis, October, November,
December: the knee, January, February, and
Alright. The 12 Tribes of Israel have been
accused of being elitist, catering to the
middle class and whites. Is that a fair
"No that is not a fair criticism.
Because we are not catering for only one set
of people, out of one blood is all nation,
so it is all called, but we know that not
everybody is going to see what we are all
So this talk..because I know a lot of people
are listening now are saying to themselves:
But no, we always did think that only a
certain type of people were members of The
12 Tribes of Israel, and isn't it
interesting that a Rastafarian group cared,
when most Rastafarians are saying:
"Down with the with the white
downpressors" that 12 Tribes of Israel
actually embrace all races.
"That is correct. We read in the Bible
that out of one blood all nation, so it
would be wrong for us to say only one race,
we wouldn't survive that way, God make all
of us, so, that is where I stand."
The 12 Tribes of Israel is seen as closer to
Christianity than other Rastafarian groups.
Is there a basic difference in the doctrine?
"Yes there is a basic difference
because we see Christ, and that die and rose
again, and that die for our sin, we see that
person. So that is, you know, a different
teaching, because is not many see this
teaching, that Christ is the person."
I want to remind you that we're speaking
with the Prophet Gad who is the leader, the
head, the founder of the 12 Tribes of
Israel. We want to move on now to the
doctrine. Recently we've had much debate on
this program "Running African" and
other programs about the Divinity of His
Majesty the Emperor Haile Selassie as it
relates the return of Jesus Christ. What are
your thoughts on the matter?
"Well, Christ is to return and sit on
the Throne of David, so I strongly believe
that, you know, Christ is going to come and
sit on the Throne of David."
I want you to.. You said something very
important here and something that may
disturb the Rastafarian Movement in Jamaica.
Christ, You're talking about the return of
"Yes I am talking about the return of
Christ who is going to sit on the throne of
Are you making a differentiation between
Jesus Christ and Haile Selassie.
"Yes I am making a differentiation.
Because Christ the same yesterday, today and
forever. And even after His Majesty say, Him
saved not by the man character but by the
blood of Jesus Christ."
Alright, let's move on. The doctrinal
principals of the 12 Tribes of Israel at the
outset of this program. I said that you as a
head of a Rastafarian organization yourself,
you don't wear dreadlocks. Do you have
specific principals as it relates to hair,
diet and the reading of the Bible?
"When I read the Bible I see you know,
there is not a hair-doctrine. Yet we know
that man, you know, him hair is too long,
but there is no law to compel him to trim.
So as for me now, I say everyone have the
right to wear him dreadlocks as long as him
want to wear it. And nobody shouldn't have
anything to say about it. I read the bible
and I choose, prefer to, pole your hair.
When you pole your hair, you comb your hair,
like I don't trim, but I pole. So you have
some of the dreadlocks dread and you have
some that pole them hair."
I have heard it said even on this station
IRIE FM, that if you don't have your
dreadlocks you can't go to Zion. How do you
respond to that?
"There is not a hair doctrine. You see,
by grace through Christ, so hair can't save
What about diet?
"Diet. Well, it is already recorded in
the book what you must eat from what you are
not to eat. Yet, a man free to do what him
want to do. But it's specifically recorded
there in the bible what to eat (ie:cloven
footed)and what not to eat." (that
through the cut?)
I know members of the 12 Tribes of Israel;
that I have come in contact with, one of the
differences that I found is that 12 Tribes
of Israel members will eat meat, for
example, whereas most other Rastafarians are
"Yes well, there is so many things to
eat before meat it was vegetables,
afterward, you see, that you must eat this
meat and you must eat that meat and you
mustn't eat that meat. But before it was
vegetables. And then afterward Noah and the
flood then now we get meat to eat. And
separate from what not to eat."
Alright. Many argue, but before we get to
that, let us look at the reading of the
bible, because I know that one of your main
principals is reading the bible. Tell me
"Yes well, it show to me, His Majesty
even give we a little hint , that in the
Bible you know, Him glorify in the bible,
and from a little child Him was taught to
read the bible. Now, when I look I see, that
to understand fully, it is good to read
timely and to read for yourself. A chapter a
day it is preferable, still anyone free that
they can the bible how they want to read
You've been in this movement for very long
time, you're the founder. Does that mean
that you have continued to read the bible a
chapter a day until now, so you must have
read it a couple of times.
"Yes I read it a couple of times,
twice, and now again I go through it. But I
don't read it as much as, you know"
Many argue that the bible is not 100%
reliable but that the reading of the bible
actually is a main principal of yours and of
the 12 Tribes of Israel. How do you respond
to the skeptics who say that the bible is
not reliable and burn the bible so to speak.
"Anytime it show that you'll have them
curse God, curse the king, and such a like,
so I don't expect for them to accept certain
things, but those who accept, well, give
thanks to them."
Moving on to rights of passage. How does the
movement, the 12 Tribes of Israel address
birth within the movement, the adolescence
period, when the child is a teenager, and
marriage and also death?
"Well, if I could understand clearly, I
know that, you have a birth, and after
birth, you have child, adolescence, and when
they grow up they're supposed to married,
and after they marry they're supposed to
help their fellow man, and when death come,
it come. But right now we're trying to avoid
that death business. But when that come, you
can't run from it. As for us, we don't die.
We only sleep, waiting for the
Are there any specific ceremonies concerning
for instance birth. Is a child within the 12
Tribes of Israel christened or blessed by
you as a prophet?
"I don't do any christening. I wasn't
told to Christen so I don't do any
christening. Them can Christen when your
born you have to Christen and then.."
Not necessarily within any strict rules and
so on. What about marriage are there any
"Marriage is a holy vow. And I know
that marriage is right. So if you see a
partner and you love them, get married. That
is as far as I'm concerned on marriage"
Okay, moving on. The 12 Tribes of Israel is
currently not having regular meetings. When
can we expect the resumption of these
"We were discussing about it, I think
the time has come for it to start. But we
was organizing for years and keeping a lot
of meetings, so we take a break, a rest.
Cause the same teaching over and over, so we
take a rest but soon de we hope an trust
that we open back to proceed as we was
before, and then taking back some of the
members who would like to be a part."
Do you have any idea how soon, within a
couple of months, or anything like that?
"Not yet. I can't say it. Probably a
little more, but not right at the
How does one who is interested in becoming a
member of the 12 Tribes of Israel, how does
one do that?
"They have to wait until we announce
the time when we are going to take in
members and then they can."
So listen out for that The monarchy.
Discussions on the monarchy have served
within the Rastafarian movement to separate
the movement. Many see Haile Selassie as the
final king. How does the 12 Tribes of Israel
view the continuation of the monarchy in
relation to the current political climate in
"Well, His Majesty won't be the final
king, cause he is not here now, and we have
other kings to come, right, so, as for me, I
strongly believe, that the monarchy will
establish, when, due time."
So Haile Selassie, contrary to what a lot of
other people are saying, is not the final
"No, he is not the final king."
Well, could you tell a little bit about the
"The succession His Majesty you know
him name Amha Selassie already, as the heir
to the throne, and he is not at the moment
there, and him also name Yacob, but Yacob is
there now, so we are looking for the
speedily return of Yacob to Ethiopia."
How does this fit in with the teaching of,
not necessarily of the 12 Tribes of Israel,
but of Rastafarians in general, who, because
of the (well, at first you answered that
anyway about the divinity of Haile Selassie
and you've actually made a distinction
between Haile Selassie and Jesus Christ).
But many Rastafarians don't see anything
outside of Haile Selassie which means that
he is the final king to sit upon the throne,
how do we resolve that?
"Well, I have said before, he's not the
final king, but I strongly believe that
Christ is going to sit upon the throne, but
HIM His Majesty is not the final king, you
have more kings, because Amha Selassie is
there, he is not there, and then you have
Yacob supposed to be seated shortly."
Do you see the monarchy being restored in
Ethiopia, as a matter of fact, because what
is happening in Ethiopia now, we know that
Amha Selassie tried to go back recently, we
don't know what happened with that, he
didn't go back but do you see the
restoration of the monarchy in Ethiopia?
"At Now they don't accept the monarchy,
but at least there is an amount of people is
there that looking forward, because that is
the only person they believe could able to
get back the unity of the Ethiopian
How do you see it happening, the restoration
of the monarchy?
"When the time come, you know, we will
overturn and overturn, and who's right it is
them will give it to them, so, when the
fullness of time come, we don't know when ,
but we're sure that it must happen."
Is this according to prophecy? That the
monarchy must be restored?
"Oh yes, Oh yes."
Is the monarchy a dinosaur in the age of
democracy do you think? and could it be
could it be anything more than a
"Well I don't fully overstand
Right now, when Amha Selassie was trying to
return, the last time, he was told that he
could only come back as a constitutional
monarch with no powers whatsoever. Do you
see anything else happening apart from that,
or do you see the monarchy restored at such
a point, where the monarchy is once again as
it was in the days of Haile Selassie, ruling
"Well, I keep saying over and over that
when the time come, then we sure that we are
going to have a king to seat up. It is going
to take some time, but he is going to be
seated for sure."
Rumors have been circulating that Prince
Zere Yacob is mentally deranged and
therefore not fit to succeed. What light can
you shed on this matter?
"Well I bredda Gad don't know him as
somebody that is mentally disturbed. He was
here the last time and nobody see him and
such a like, him is functioning normal as
far as I understand, when I left him in
Manchester. But I don't see him as a
deranged person. It really, you know,
I must point out at this point, I don't know
if you want me to do this, but Zere Yacob is
very close to the 12 tribes of Israel.
"Oh yes he is very close. He's ....
with bredrin them and sister in
Is he a member of the 12 Tribes of Israel?
"He's a member of the 12 Tribes of
Ermias, prince Ermias the nephew of Amha
Selassie, will visit Jamaica in August, what
is his position in the royal family?
"I have not much knowledge about him
but I read that he is one of the Crown
Counsels, that is as far as I know. I don't
say further what he is doing and what he is
saying, but I do no have much knowledge
about him, but I know that he is one of the
has Ermias been in contact with you?
"No we haven't spoken and I don't know
him and he don't know me."
Have you been officially informed of his
visit in August?
"Yes, when I say officially I mean I
read this, our document there before that he
was planning to come, and now it's time for
him to arrive to be here in August."
The future of the monarchy. Is it a part of
the doctrine of 12 Tribes of Israel, that
the monarchy must be physical restored,
you're touched on that before that it is
prophecy, but is it a part of your teaching?
"Yes, that is a part our teaching that
the monarchy must be restored, just like how
the sun and the moon and the stars is there,
that nobody can remove them, same way,
monarchy must restore."
The 12 Tribes of Israel currently has the
largest settlement on Shashamane. Is
Ethiopia the final home and what about the
rest of Africa?
"Just Shashamane is not the final home.
The whole of Africa, because One King shall
rule over them all. And also, the whole of
Africa, especially Jerusalem."
Okay, you say the whole of Africa,
especially Jerusalem, and I am sure a lot of
people are saying "but Jerusalem is not
"Yeah, Jerusalem is Africa. Jerusalem
is a part of Africa is only certain things
happen, and it break away. But there is no
argument that Jerusalem is not a part of
Africa, we are sure!"
So when we speak of a new Jerusalem, what
are we talking of?
"When we are talking about a new
Jerusalem, we are talking about Jerusalem in
Asia Minor. New Jerusalem is a different
thing all entirely, definition."
I wanted to look just a little bit more at
that, Jerusalem being the final home, all of
Africa, especially Jerusalem. How is that,
if you will, how will that work? How will
"Consider they take out a lot of
Ethiopians there if you notice the history
show you that they always were saying that
the people in Ethiopia is not the Jews.
Alright? But then suddenly there is a
changes, that them is the Jews, them take
out most of them and carry them Jerusalem.
So we see everything clear there that the
people who is Israel and was in Ethiopia,
them ancestor was from Jerusalem, and them
send them back. So here is some of us out
here, now it was quite interesting that,
those who them take from there, and they
carried there, they say they are the tribe
of Dan, so them might then identify themself,
as one of the tribes, of Dan. The people
them who leave and go to Jerusalem, that
them take out from Eritria, Falashas,
Okay, who should lead the repatriation
exercise, because there are so many
different organizations all over the world,
African organizations, non-African
organizations, but how involved should they
be in helping black people who want to go
back to Africa.?
"The first thing the OAU supposed to be
the countries that come together and help
voice for the return of the people in the
western hemisphere back to Africa. I
strongly believe they supposed to should be
playing a part to help we to come home, who
want to come."
What about reparations from Europe, from
America, from Britain?
"Yes, well, we are going to need help
because, you know, the ship is there, the
plane is there, so we're looking for them to
help to transport us back as even them said
that they say the only thing to do now is
away back the people them, and people that
them send away, those are the people that
help back the country."
So we get to back to who should lead, who
should lead this exercise, this back to
Africa movement. Who do you think should
"Well the Rastafarian must come
together and elect a person to represent the
body. And then out of that them know we can
able to write, to these different people and
to tell them that we are united. We would
like them to help us."
The Shashamane land-grant is still in
"The Shashamane land-grant is still in
effect but there is a lot of things to clear
up within the settlement."
Do you want to elaborate on that, some of
the we need to clear up?
"Not at the moment."
Alright, so you say it is still in effect
but there is things that need to be clear
up. Now what is the 12 Tribes position on
the EWF claim that all settlers, who of the
land, that people who settle in Shashamane
are squatters, if they do not settle through
the permission of the EWF?
"I really surprise them to know that
they are saying that who is there on the
land, squatters. How can African going home,
going back home, can become as a squatters,
it is unbelievable. Squatters,
Is there need for Rastafarians to organize
"Oh yes, there is an urgent need for
the Rastafarian to organize. Yes, there
How do you think this process can begin?
"Well, somebody that is capable of call
a meeting and if they're sincere, they call
a meeting and hope and trust that from there
we can get somewhere."
But you as a leader of the 12 Tribes of
Israel you see a great need. Do you see
yourself playing any part in that?
"I strongly believe that I will help
and play my little part that I can as a
person with organizing over the years when
that process, you know.."
Alright, should there be a political as well
as a spiritual arm of Rastafarians?
"There's political movements, it is
there, but I am not here to deal with it. I
am not fighting them. I am here to deal with
the spiritual part of it. Not
What are your thoughts on the Rastafarian
Centralization Organization, the RCO ?
"I have no knowledge at the moment I
only know that them is here so is only left
now to see what they are saying, before I
can give a definite statement about them,
but I have no knowledge presently."
The RCO, they have been around for a little
while. Haven't they contacted you
officially, informing you of the
organization and inviting you to join with
them in the centralization process?
"It came here they send a letter
inviting us to help with the school, but we
never get to it, so that is the only letter
that I know I have so far but I don't get
any letter them invited me and such to
That is quite interesting that that is
happening, that we have a Rastafarian
Centralization Organization, and that the
head of the biggest, the most organized
Rastafarian movement in the world has not
been invited to be a part in that
centralization process. If you were invited,
would you talk with them and see what's
"Yes, I believe the time must come for
me to play a part of, you know, I think I
would go and hope and trust that they
proceed orderly and they have no commotion,
because I don't deal the commotion, the
confusion. I strongly believe that the time
has come for Rastafarian to come
I feel very good to hear that. The 12 Tribes
of Israel have undoubtedly the most
organized body of Rastafarians in the world,
as I have said before, what role should the
movement play in organizing Rastafarians in
Jamaica, and in the rest of the world?
"Well, at least we are organizing for a
good while now, we have the organ, the 12
Tribes of Israel, in Jamaica, it start here,
it is in Ethiopia, it is in the United
States, it is in United Kingdom, Sweden, it
is Germany, New Zealand, Tobago, Ghana,
Australia, Kenya, and Grenada."
That is 12 Tribes.....
"That is 12 Tribes organization in
these other country, and some other country,
it is still there, but..."
I am thinking that since the 12 Tribes has
done so well in organizing the 12 Tribes of
Israel, is there a particular role now that
the 12 Tribes could play in helping then to
organize the rest of the Rastafarians?
"Yes, well, I just said a while ago
that I think that I could help, to play a
part, to give a helping hand, not as
somebody to come to take over nothing, but
as a helping hand, to help organize them. So
we're looking forward....."
The Prophet Gad. The man who boldly declares
Jesus Christ. The head of a Rastafarian
movement who doesn't wear dreadlocks. The
man who coined the phrase: "A chapter a
day". The Kebra Negast, or the book of
The Glory of Kings of Ethiopia, has been in
existence for at least a thousand years and
contains the true history of the origin of
the Solomonic line of kings in Ethiopia. It
is as the ultimate authority and the history
of the conversion of Ethiopians from the
worship of the sun, moon and stars, to that
of our Lord God of Israel.
Jesus Christ, and Menelik, the son of
Solomon and the queen of Sheba, were sons of
Solomon, and so, they were akin to each
other. But Christ is the Son of God, and
therefore, being the Kinsman of Christ,
Menelik was divine.
The Kebra Negast asserts that the kings of
Ethiopia who were descended from Menelik
were of divine origin, and that their words
and deeds were those of God's. Haile
Selassie , a devoted Christian, reflected
that divine nature and maintained the
struggle of good over evil continually
inspiring the Rastaman.
end of transcript
Printed with kind permission of Brother Gad
(Manchester U.K. April 1998)
COMMENTS: We have added an
MP3 file of the interview as well. The sound
quality is not really that great, but it's
HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE MP3 FILE
The interview is important, and crucial,
as is shown by the fact that it is mentioned
in many discussions, it is also used and
quoted in the book DREAD JESUS, which covers
Christology within Rastafari.
The leader and the head of the biggest
Rastafarian Organization, the 12 Tribes Of
Israel, is not a person to give man
interviews. In fact this is one of the few
known interviews in which he speaks out
about some crucial issues. Some remarkable
things are said in this interview, that
cause some controversy. Gadman is speaking
out in the Interview about the person of His
Majesty, and that he sees Selassie as
different from Christ, because Christ is the
Savior and Selassie is the King, but not
The 12 Tribes Of Israel is the biggest
Rastafarian Organization in the world. Bob
Marley was a member and so are many more
well known artists. Gadman, not many know
this, originally formed the well know vocal
trio "Israel Vibration". The
organization has been painted for years as
teaching, that Selassie is Christ returned.
Now it seems that this is not the case, and
therefore I think that this interview is
very important. You can see that many things
are written about Rastafari that are not
There is no official website of the 12
Tribes of Israel, and the organization also
does not really publish that much things. So
it is possible, that many people think the
12 Tribes of Israel preach Selassie to be