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THE MYSTERY OF CHRISTAFARIANISM OR "CHRISTAFARIANISM 2.0, THE POLITICAL CORRECT UPDATE"

Get Print Copy At Cost Price

Read "Christafarianism , or: "Don't Be A Rasta, Be Like A Rasta"

Christafari's "Response To The Essay"

READ ONLINE

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CHAPTER 11. SILENTLY SEPERATING STAR

You Are STAR!”

Mark Mohr, in a private e-mail to JAH Mark Ragsdale

“I wanted the truth about STAR out in the open before any revisionist history could be posted.” 

JAH Mark Ragsdale, exclusive interview 

Before Mark Mohr was planting churches at Trinidad, he tried to find artists for his Lion of Zion complex in several other ways. But a returning theme in the life of the Christafarian is that of confrontations with the purity of Reggae Music. Confrontations, symbolized in clashes with others in the Reggae Culture and Reggae Industry and in failed projects such as JAH Yard and The Gathering.

Reggae Music originated in Jamaica. Jamaica is an island and therefore the culture that came with Reggae is unique. What Reggae Culture showed, is that people could find themselves in spite of religious and moral differences. Rastas, Pagans, Christians, they all found themselves in the dancehalls and in the studio’s and they simply had to deal with eachother.

This is what makes Reggae so unique. You wouldn’t find Christians pretending to be Rastas in order to show the Rastas that they are wrong. All would simply say what they had to say and that was it. The next time they would work together or meet together again.

The music that originated on Jamaica is so much influenced by the Jamaican Culture, that it would be foolish to think that to re-create a particular sound of that time and age would make “authentic Reggae”.

Reggae Music, as well as the Movement of Rastafari, have long gone outernational. But Jamaican Culture is allways accompanying Reggae Music in some way or another. This has to do with the Freedom Mentality within and behind the music. It is this very Freedom Sound that many seek in the form of some sound or even a Carribean Location for recording. But their quest will proof to be as fruitfull as the Babylonian Mystery Religion’s not-so-eternal quest for the not-so-holy not-so grail.

Reggae appealed especially to those that felt first hand what it means to live in what the west disdainfully calls “third world” or “development” country. This ment, for Jamaica, more or less the complete population apart from an ultra rich elite that “coincidently” ruled politically as well. Strong ties with either the CIA or their so called enemy Fidel Castro kept the population in a paradigm of left and right and they never got out of the situation. In fact, it got worse.

Reggae Music was Voice of Freedom for the downpressed. This Freedom Call, is what appeals to people on a world wide scale too. Through the UK and other places, this Jamaican Sound of Freedom spread from pole to pole. Bob Marley delivered a strong message to the people of the world and he is still being seen as a symbol of Freedom from Babylon System.

Rastas play a very influential role in all of this, too. There is an endless debate between those who are religious and those who are not religious as to how much “Rastafarian” Reggae Music is. Some claim that only Rastas can play Reggae, others even claim that Rastas should not play Reggae but keep themselves strictly to the hand drums in local congregations. But it is a matter of fact that in Reggae Music, the Rastas are the most influential group.

This in itself doesn’t make, but is a sign of, the fact that Reggae Music due to it’s very nature of freedom is a great music to feel something from JAH Rastafari, the Creator. It means, that you will find Rastas, Yesus Dreads, Christians, and many other names of this spiritually conscious group.

Take for example Yabby You. Also known as the Original Jesus Dread, he is a well known character in Reggae Music. As a producer he has been of tremedous influence to many singers. Michael Prophet, to name just one.

Because Reggae gone outernational, the world wide group of those involved in the Reggae Music Industry became global too. The Christafarian saw a gap: if he could just create some network or web around all the “Christian Reggae Artists”, maybe they would be some food for his goal to reach to the top in the Christian Industry.

He hoped, that the artists wouldn’t see the difference between the Christian Industry and the Music Industry. He hoped, that the artists wouldn’t see the difference between a Christian Reggae Artist and an artists who makes “Christian Reggae”.

Some didn’t see the difference and some did. Most didn’t see the difference enough. Most didn’t realize how knowing the difference has everything to do with what the Paulus calls “discerning the Body”. With that, the Apostle means to point out to a spiritual ability to see whether something is inside the Body of Kristos or outside.

The point is this: when you want to set up an organization, and you claim how that organization is an organization within the Body of Kristos, and when that organization is not a local gathering of people who believe in Yesus Kristos, then your organization is not an organization within the Body of Kristos.

Such a local gathering is called a congregation. Today, we would call it a “church”. We would look to denominations and churches which all have interlocal and international headquartes and historical ties to Rome with her Antichrist form of “Christianity”.

There are “independant churches”, but they often are forced into a a greater “conglomerate of independant churches” or something like that. The more organization, the better. The more global the organization, the better. Everything is possible in “Christianity Today”, everything but a strict limitation to organizing a local representation of the Body of Kristos.

And so, what we know as “churches” are not “church” at all, but part of an organization.

This may sound kind of harsh to many Christians. But I challenge these very same Christians to show me from the Bible they claim to uphold to give me an example of an organization of Christians that is not a local gathering. The only thing one can come up with is the twelve apostles. But the 12 apostles have a unique place in the True Church.

Today there is a whole system of denominations which can all be traced back to the Roman Church System. To serve this system of denominations, mistakenly called “the whole Body of Kristos”, there are many organizations called “ministries”. And several industrial complexes, too. All of this can be seen as Babylonian Christianity.

We have seen in the previous Chapter, how Mark Mohr claimed to have studied the whole new testament but the book of Revelation when it comes to the True Church. When he would have studied that book, however, he would have seen how these very same twelve apostles have a special place in heaven[1].

There is the True Church, the Body of Yesus Kristos. This Body has local congregations in which there are elders. There is also the Body of Kristos in it’s generality. All true believers of all times and places. This Body can not be unified here on earth, for the simple reason that not all members are on the planet. Some have gone to heaven allready, and some are not even born yet.

And so, here on this earth, we have the situation that there are many different churches and organizations which all claim to be some part of the Body of Kristos. But when you check these organizations, you will find that they will allways contain a mixture of members of the Body of Kristos and false Christians.

The Christafarian himself is completely caught within this system. He is trained to work for the One World Religion without him even knowing it. This will become clear when we realize how he is actively promoting the Eucemenical Movement.

Mark Mohr will be the first to admit, how in every Church and so-called “Christian Organization” there is this mixture of true and false Christians. He will be the first to admit, that you can “find christians and non-christians in all churches”. But the conclusion he draws from it, is that a unification of the denominations will “bring the Body of Kristos together”.

But unifying the denominations that are all documentated to derive from the Roman System of Babylon has ofcourse nothing to do with “promoting unity among believers”.

Yet, it is this false interpretation of what really is the Body of Kristos that drives the Christafarian in many ways. This is why he doesn’t really care about doctrine either. This is why he sets up organization after organization and claims how all these organizations are supposed to be connected to the Body of Kristos.

One thing is for sure: many of these organizations have no longer any connection with Christafari anymore. And STAR Network is, like the Gathering, one of these organizations.

Let’s start at the beginning.

As said, I have been part of this particular organization that was set up by Mark Mohr and a Dreadlocked Reggae DJ called Travis Freeman. Pretty soon after that beginning, an enthousiastic Christian called Mark Ragsdale joined STAR. He had read about the organization in a Christafari newsletter, and thought it was a good idea.

He says:

I actually volunteered to work for STAR. I received an email from Mark Mohr, telling the mailing list about the new network called STAR. I designed the first website on my own and presented it to him and Travis Freeman, who is the co-founder.

Travis at that point was "running" the organization and was not very organized. I couldn't keep updated information on the site and at that time, the big deal was the membership list, for the members to contact each other.

So, after a few months, they both agreed to have me take over the administration of STAR.[2]

Now, several years later, he was willing to be interviewed for this book. Mark Ragsdale, or JAH Mark as he is better known, doesn’t neccesarily agree with all the conclusions in this book. But he loves the truth and has nothing to hide either.

JAH Mark:

I wanted the truth about STAR out in the open before any revisionist history could be posted.

In these early days of STAR, the Dubroom Website interviewed Mark Mohr about his –back then- newly planted organization and we asked him the reason for the organization:

I began learning about a few other Christian reggae musicians that had great potential but were literally unknown in the U.S. This concerned me. My personal vision for STAR from the beginning was to put together a database of all of these artists. I wanted to unite these artists and give them a networking system for them to connect with each other, labels, managers, agents, labels, radio stations, etc..... My goal was to promote, encourage and empower these artists. Instead of being scattered, and considered a novelty, I wanted Gospel reggae to be a united force that could not be ignored..[3]

The Christafarian made an interchangable use between two completely different terms: Christian reggae musicians and Gospel reggae.

When you’re a Christian and you’re a Reggae musician, you don’t automatically make Gospel Reggae. The difference is subtle, and definitely another candidate for the now infamous list of “superficial issues in the public’s eye”.

Or isn’t it?

As we shall see, this is where the public’s eye and Mark Mohr’s eye, or vision, differ significantly. Because for Mark Mohr there is a huge difference between a musician in the Christian Industry and a Christian Reggae Artist, as we shall see. And he calls it a mystery, too.

The difference is and is not hard to find.

For that, we have to go to LionOfZion.com, where you’re welcomed to the “World Music Webstore: The largest collection of Gospel Reggae & World Music and more[4]”.

And yet, the difference is not in there either.

A mystery? It definitely is.

But the answer is hidden in plain view.

Let’s take a look at the Website’s introduction notes again. Because there is something contradictional going on.

Because it may be true, that Christafari’s “World Music Webstore” is in reality The largest collection of Gospel Reggae & World Music and more”.

But The largest collection of Gospel Reggae & World Music and more” is totally different then a World Music Webstore!

The Christafari Webstore sells Gospel Products. And it may be so, that a lot of Christian Reggae Artists make something which is called Gospel Reggae. But is Gospel Reggae the same as: “Reggae Music created by Christians”?

The answer to this is: No.

So when you check out the meaning behind the phrase Gospel Reggae as defined by the Christafarian, it is definitely not so, that being a Christian Reggae Artist makes you automatically someone who creates Christian Reggae.

For Mark Mohr, the difference lies in the fact whether the product of the artist is in the catalogue of the Christafarian’s Market Place! After all, that’s where you will find his personal judgement as to what is Christafarian Correct!

And everytime he has to choose between True Christianity and the Christian Industrial Complex, it’s unfortunate and sad to establish that the works of the Christafarian show where his heart is: In the Christian Industry.

Let’s take a look at two Christian Reggae Artists who are definitely not Artists in the Christian Industrial Complex. And let us allow the Christafarian to identify them:

“But what about Christian Dub artists? Besides Christafari's one release (DUB Sound&Power) and the ever enigmatic Yabby You and Messian Dread, many have searched long and hard for a true Christian roots artist that is devoted to DUB 100% of the time. Search no longer: introducing Solomon Jabby, AKA "The Dub Revelator."[5]

Is it a coincidence that only those artists that he sells are called “True Christian”? It can’t be that Yabby You and Messian Dread are not Christian in the sense that they don’t love Yesus Kristos as their Lord and Saviour. But the Christafarian can only sell the products of certain Christian Reggae Artists. And whether he can sell their products, does not depend on whether they are Christian or not, but whether they can fit in “the gospel section at your local record store[6]:

The Yabby You issue is a mystery to me (...) If I was in a room with him (...) I would ask: "Who is Christ to you?" "Who is Selassie to you?" and: "Do you smoke ganja?" How he answered those questions would determine whether or no I would label him a "gospel artist" and add him to our webstore.[7]

To the Christafarian, there is a difference between a true Christian and a gospel artist and he calls that difference a “mystery”, although he perfectly describes it in the three questions that he would like to ask Yabby You.

Yes, for the Christafarian there is a “Yabby You issue. This issue is a mystery.

Could that mystery be Mystery Babylon?

As we see in the quote, the issue is whether or no he would label him a gospel artist and add him to the Christafari Webstore. “Can he be sold?”, and therefore the Christafarian has to ask him three questions.

These three questions reveal the mystery, because: What does smoking ganja have to do with being a Christian? Nothing, as even Mark Mohr knows. I can not reveal the identity, but I know for example this ganja smoker who has worked with Mark Mohr in what they both considered to be a Christian Organization.

So Mark Mohr’s mystery is related to what is political correct in the Christian Industrial Complex: Babylon System!

The Christafarian does everything he can to stay acceptable in the public’s eye, and that public is formed by his public: customers and sponsors in the Christian Industrial Complex. Even when that means he has to disdainfully talk about Jamaican Rastas and  question the faith of one Yabby You, a true legend in Reggae Music who carries the name Jesus Dread. The Christafarian again:

While the Jamaican Rasta contigent may call him a Christian, or "Jesus Dread", they are notorious for mislabeling individuals.[8]

Is there a reason as to why Mark Mohr claims that Jamaican Rastas are notorious for mislabeling individuals? Oh yes, of course there is another referance to the fact that many Rasta believe the Ethiopian Emperor to be JAH Rastafari. But when we want to find out just why he says so, it turns out that the Christafarian has to conform himself completely to a System.

A system that doesn’t have the best interest of the Jamaican Rasta Contigent in mind.

It’s that system which the Bible calls Mystery Babylon.

We have also seen how his affiliation with the Churchical system of Ordained Pastors led him to write a letter of seperation to the Gathering. That unchristian system of “ordained Pastors” or “initiated leaders” is also a direct Babylonian “empty tradition”.

Every time the Christafarian has to make a choice between the Christian Industrial Complex, aka Mystery Babylon, and the Body of Kristos, aka True Christianity, he chooses for the safety of Babylon’s prison walls.

It’s a pattern.

The very same pattern can be found back in the history of STAR Network. Because it was in this organization, that the wolfes and the sheep met each other. It was in this organization, that the Christian Industrial Complex met the Christian Reggae Artists.

The confrontation was deep and intense.

I also became a member of STAR. Yabby You’s Webmaster became a member. Both Yabby You and I, not that we are musically equal, are Dreadlocked “Christian Reggae Musicians” if you will. But our products can definitely not be labeled “products of the Christian Industrial Complex”.

We have allready touched a little bit about the Christafarian’s writings about the Original Jesus Dread.

We also know how Messian Dread is described:

“(...) a divider and not a uniter. (Messian Dread) has been rebuked both publicly and privately for his marijuana use, his compromising blend of Rastafarianism and Christianity, (is) propaganda that contradicts the very foundations of our Judeo Christian belief system.. ”[9]

The incapability for Mark Mohr to step out of the walls of the Christian Industrial Complex became painfully visible in STAR. Because at first, there was no problem for the Christafarian when Christian Reggae Artists joined the Network with no intention at all to do anything within the Christian Industrial Complex.

He gladly had himself interviewed about STAR Network on the Dubroom. He didn’t mind an article, of which the opening paragraph contained the following quote:

Christian reggae is as old as reggae itself. It is not a musical style, such as roots or dancehall, but a spiritual movement. A movement as diverse as the movement of Rastafari, with whom christian reggae is also closely connected..[10]

To form an organization where people who love Jah through Yesus Kristos and make Reggae Music can come together is something different then to organize a gateway to the Christian Industrial Complex. Mark Mohr knew that. That’s why he isn’t interested in the doctrines of the other artists. As long as they could be considered “Christian” for the Christian Industrial Complex, they were welcome.

He stated, again to the Dubroom:

STAR is a Non-Denominational organization that has interdenominational members. Our members represent a wide spectrum of denominations and churches within the Judeo Christian faith.

How different is the True Church from a wide spectrum of denominations and churches within the Judeo Christian faith?

Again, we see how the Christafarian identifies Babylon System[11] as his “church”. But the difference is subtle. It’s a mystery, an enigma. And yet the mystery is hidden in plain sight!

Only when you analyze the words and action of the Christafarian, can you see that he applies scriptures about Christianity and the Church to the Christian Industry.

While one may be thinking that Mark Mohr speaks about “unitingChristianity and the Church, in reality he is being a gateway to the Christian Industry!

And everytime he sets up an organization, he deliberately sets up a gateway to the Christian Industry. When he finds that people who he tempted into that organization with words about “uniting” Christianity and the Church do not think that this unification has to be done within the Christian Industrial Complex, he simply leaves that organization.

This is exactly what happenned with STAR Network.

A lot of people joined STAR, as they thought it was a good idea. Everyone had their own reason to join, though. One simply wanted to have some reasoning with others, to talk about perhaps difficulties in the music industry. Others wanted to start a carriere in the Christian Industry and considered STAR to be the Gateway to that very Christian Industry.

JAH Mark again:

I thought that STAR was a good idea at the time, for reggae artists, "fans", record labels, concert promoters, etc. to get together and interact with each other, with the stipulation that everyone was a christian. This was in the days before forums, Yahoo Groups and the like, which, I suppose, have taken over what STAR was designed to do.

Indeed, STAR doesn’t exist anymore.

At least, not in the way it was originally set up by the Christafarian: as a gateway to the Christian Industrial Complex!

JAH Mark:

STAR is still around, but much different than when it started. Both of its 'founders' have left and have nothing to do with it. Mohr no longer has a link to STAR on his site. Travis mainly withdrew to spend more time with his job and family. Of the original people, I am the only one left. Mohr once said to me "You are STAR", so I feel that it is mine to do with what I wish. 

Just like the Gathering, it turns out that the Christafarian had different roots and fruits in mind than some of his fellow workers when he speaks about the Gospel and Christianity. There is a huge difference between Christians working in the Reggae industry and people working in the Christian Industrial Complex. And in the long run, Babylon Christianity and True Christianity do not work well together.

Time after time after time we see this pattern returning in the story of the Christafarian’s life ministry. And it seems like the Mark Mohr is driven by the judgements of his potential customers and sponsors rather then being a true pioneer and work for the unification of all conscious people within Reggae Music. Everywhere he goes, he seems to be followed by the judgement of the very Industry that he is working for.

When STAR was founded by Mark Mohr and Travis Freeman, the idea simply was to unite people within Reggae Music who love Yesus Kristos. And that is different then being a gateway to the Christian Industry.

But not everyone realized that right there at the start.

Full of enthusiasm for the idea, JAH Mark and Travis Freeman went on to set up a serious database and website for musicians who loved Yesus Kristos and happenned to play Reggae Music too. They spent significant amounts of time and effort in order to get something going. And they did everything in communication with the Christafarian, too. JAH Mark again, about these early days:

From the outset of the website, the plan was to feature two songs from each of the member artist's CDs, including cover artwork. The purpose behind this was to help the individual artists expenses. They could go to a concert promoter, for example and say we would like to play at your venue. To hear samples of our music, go to STAR's MP3 page. While there, you can also find photos, press releases and biographies. This was to save them money, to do this, instead of printing all this information and handing out CDs.

While this was the plan, the only thing that got done was the MP3 page. The MP3 page only was done through Travis sending me his extensive CD collection, to rip two songs from each CD, and my time to do this. Other than these initial MP3s postings, only six other artists ever took advantage of this.

A word about the MP3 page. The computer I had at the time was extremely slow. It would take, on average, an hour and a half to rip and upload each song. So this took quite a long time to accomplish.

Of course, this idea is not new. But it was, in those early MP3 days. Sites like MP3.com enabled a whole new generation of online artist to become, to paraphrase the Christafarian, “a united force to reckon with”. And the promotional possibilities for “offline artists” were also significantly increased because of the MP3 format.

It was only a natural move to make an MP3 page with tracks from STAR Artists for them to promote themselves and for others to discover the many styles of Reggae that were being represented in STAR.

I'm sorry, I said six other artists took avantage of the MP3 page, there was another one, who picked out their songs and once I had them posted, decided that money was more important than what we were doing at STAR.

It was around this time, that the Music Industry started to target the online community. Spearheaded by Metallica, MP3 was being stigmatized as a “pirate’s format” that would surely make artists (read: recording companies) lose money.[12]

Mark Mohr heard from “within his organization” how putting MP3’s online would “effect sales”. Where before that, he picked and chose two songs for every album he made under the name “Christafari” so that the STAR Website could have them online.

JAH Mark tells us:

Mark Mohr chose which songs from each of his releases. At that time it was 8 songs. He emailed me and told me which ones he would like posted. He knew that we were doing this and chose which songs to be posted. After this was done and online (remember it took me about 1 1/2 hours each song), he came back and told me that people had told him (people in his organization) that with so many songs available to download, people would burn their own CDs and they (Christafari and the organization) would be loosing lots of sales. So, for me to take them down.

This did not land that well with JAH Mark. He didn’t volunteer to spend 12 hours doing what he was asked to do, only to be told to undo what he achieved in these twelve hours. Not only was it a literal waste of time, but it was also in complete contradiction with the very idea behind STAR Network.

Take a look at the following quote from an email by Travis Freeman to to JAH Mark:

The site is going to feature all of the STAR members in a repective pages, perhaps access to the starlist database of all the members, a page containing all the performing artists, a page for each of those artists, with soundbites from two songs of each disc that they have available. The artist page will feature bio’s of the artist(s), graphics, and then links to the soundbites.[13]

Now it was so, that Mark Mohr even hand-picked the tracks that STAR was going to put online. The Christafarian totally agreed with this, and as we see it was a part of the ideas concerning the original STAR Network. And after JAH Mark spent 12 hours uploading them, the christafarian changed his mind and “ordered” an undo of his previous order.

Did that make JAH Mark into a servant of the Christafarian, or of Kristos? To JAH Mark, the answer to this question was kind of obvious.

I discussed this with Travis, for my feelings were, tough, man, you chose the songs, and it took me so long to post them, they are staying there. Travis couldn't believe it either, but said to take them down. I still have Travis' email down in the archives, which I can send for verification. He said if they are so interested in money more than ministry, then they have chosen that path and fire burn them. (I paraphrase).

That was the beginning of the end of Mark Mohr's involvement with STAR.

This is where the Christafarian clearly showed, how “Christianity” of the “Christian Reggae Artists” is being considered of less value than the price of a “Gospel Reggae” album.

When uniting a wide spectrum of denominations and churches within the Judeo Christian faith threatens to affect sales, Pastor Mark becomes President Mark Mohr and chooses the money over the “love and unity” that he allways refers to whenever people critisize him.

This may sound far-stretched, but again we have to consider the Christafarian’s own words and actions. And we have to consider too, how these words and actions landed with his fellow founder Travis Freeman and JAH Mark.

I have seen the letter that Travis Freeman wrote to JAH Mark. And Jah Mark’s description is an understatement. Travis clearly stated how he witnessed Christafari was expressing their love for the money-driven Christian Industry over spreading JAH Message in the decision to have the MP3’s taken off.

What caused them to make this conclusion?

JAH Mark again:

I remember Travis, Mark and I having discussions about the name, in email and on the phone. Ultimately, it was Mark's call.

As time wore on, and he started Lion of Zion, the breakup of the band happened, he became more distant and instead of being involved, gave 'orders'. 'I would like to see this done, so do it' sort of thing, instead of 'I have an idea, what do you think and how can we get it done?' See the difference?

I would say that one way Mark Mohr changed is that he became more self-centred. Everything revolved around him, everything was about him and the 'image'.

Before this started, he would email (or call) and say something like "What do you think about doing this?" and we would discuss whatever it was. After the 'change', it became,"I had an idea, we need to do this." A quick one or two lines in an email, that was it. I could also email him as a friend, about different things and he would answer the emails. After the 'change', it was more like, "I receive hundreds of emails a day, and I can't answer every one, so only email me the important things."

When I started doing the MP3's, he was still involved, although the distance had started.

There was a clear distance and it had to do with the events that dominated the Christafarian’s life ministry. Not that Travis and JAH Mark were aware of everything that was going on. But they did see how Mark Mohr was developing an image around himself that had nothing to do with serving JAH. And because they considered themselves to be servants of JAH rather then of “Pastor Mark”, they didn’t accept the Christafarian’s growing attitude.

Jah Mark:

He would come around every once in a while and give 'orders'. That never did set well with either Travis or myself. So it became less friendly. We would only do what he 'ordered' if it sounded like a good idea, if it didn't, we would do what seemed best to us.

There was one particular event that symbolized this more fully.

JAH Mark recalls:

He had wrote an email with a version of history of reggae music, which I turned into an article and posted. Instead of using the 'standard' photo, I found a snapshot of him somewhere. Just a candid photo with a good smile. So I edited the photo and used it with the article. He decided that he didn't like that one, so either he sent or had me go and get a bunch of photos that he and Vanessa had made from a photographer and use one of those instead. Why? I have no idea.

Was Christafari really worried about people burning their albums after downloading eight mp3 files? The mere argumentation didn’t match. How can people download a full album when there are only two tracks available from four different albums?

And there were even things going on of which Travis and JAH Mark were completely unaware of.

The photo’s that JAH Mark speaks about, were also used on: Christafari’s MP3 Download page on MP3.com! Where STAR wasn’t allowed to put the music online that the Christafarian himself had put on there, with some mp3 burn argument, Christafari had put complete albums in MP3 format themselves!

Where The Christafarian ordered JAH Mark to take eight mp3 files offline because people would be downloading them and burn a CD from it, a few months later Lion of Zion announced on their own website:

CHRISTAFARI & STITCHIE ON MP3.COM (Help Support Us!)

Mar. 6, 2001 - LION OF ZION ARTISTS ARE FINALLY UP ON MP3.COM!!!

HELP SUPPORT US BY PLAYING OUR SONGS:

Great News, Christafari and Stitchie are finally up on mp3.com. For those who are looking for a chance to preview our songs before buying the CD's, mp3.com is the place to visit. Christafari's page presently has 23 tracks from Word Sound and Power, DUB Sound and Power, and Palabra Sonido Y Poder. And keep checking this page regularly for more additions, including tracks from Reggae Worship.[14]

Evidently, there was no more fear about people downloading the music for free and burn CD’s from them. Twenty-three tracks is quite more then eight! Even the tracks on the MP3.com page that were labeled “streaming only”, could easily be downloaded[15].

JAH Mark and Travis sensed it, without even knowing this. When we did the interview for this book, JAH Mark turned out to be quite surprised. At STAR, they surely didn’t know about this Christafari MP3 page.

MP3.com was the place to be for the online artist community. The Reggae and DUB sections of the website were blessed places to dwell. The website was a true threat for the established Music Industry because MP3.com had developed a program in which artists could receive royalties over downloads from the MP3.com websites. The visitor could download the music for free and the artist would receive a royalty.[16]

Christafari used argumentation about their choice to not have MP3’s online through the STAR Network, and by that they gave an impression to JAH Mark and Travis how this all had to do with business, “money over mission” so to speak. And truly, it was.

But there was more going on, that JAH Mark and Travis were quite unaware of. Because it wasn’t just the MP3 issue which led Mark Mohr to “silently seperate” from STAR.

For that, we have to go back to the early days of STAR.

As we recall, JAH Mark had originally designed a website for STAR, which he showed to Travis and the Christafarian. That website was hosted on Angelfire.com, a “Free Webspace Provider”. This means, that the Star Site was packed with annoying advertizements and pop-up screens. And that obviously had to change.

JAH Mark:

Mark Mohr called me on the phone one day in late 2000. He offered to host STAR on the Christafari/LoZ server. He said that his web guy could design an interface to make it easy for me to update the site. He even offered to buy out the STAR Store, the complete inventory, and donate a percentage of sales from LOZ's store to STAR. He even offered email addresses for me to use that would be something like 'star@christafari.com'. I declined the email address offer right away. I didn't spend all that time ‘separating’ STAR from Christafari only to go and have email addresses that would only confuse people only further. After long consideration, I decided that this would be good thing for STAR and accepted his offer to host the STAR site. STAR would still be separate, just hosted on Christafari's server.

Was this some last attempt by the Christafarian to keep or regain what he preceived as “control” over the STAR Organization? As we shall see later, behind the back of JAH Mark and Travis, Mark Mohr got into some serious trouble with potential customers and sponsors concerning some other STAR members.

But after JAH Mark Ragsdale was weighing the consequences of Mark Mohr’s offer, he decided to positively respond. After all, STAR was founded by Mark Mohr and it was allready well connected to Christafari, in the public’s eye that is.

When he assumed his work for STAR Network, Jah Mark Ragsdale had to answer many e-mails from people who wanted to know about the Christafari-STAR connection. Many assumed that STAR Network was part of Christafari, as Mark Mohrs band was prominently featured on the STAR site.

JAH Mark again:

People asked me if STAR was a part of Christafari, in the beginning. I think it was a simple misunderstanding.

When I first put the STAR website together, the only band I had any information on was Christafari. No other band had 'signed' up yet. There were bands listed in the Guide, but that came from Travis and I had no contact with these bands and artists. People such as Al G, The Ambassadors, Carlene Davis, etc.

The only information I had to post such as news and releases, etc. was from Christafari.

So, people who contacted me asked if this was a Christafari fan site, or another Christafari site, etc. I think these people just didn't look hard enough at the site and the information presented there, or they would know the answer.

Anyway, after a while, it really got boring and tedious and a bit agrovating to answer emails every day "No we are not Christafari, we are not a fan site" and so on.

So, very early on I had to make a sharp distinction between STAR and Christafari.

So, while JAH Mark was telling the public’s eye about the distinction between Christafari and STAR Network, the Christafarian was telling JAH Mark about the connection between Christafari and STAR Network.

What JAH Mark didn’t know, was how Mark Mohr had allready gotten into trouble. According to his own saying, the Christafarian had received countless complaints and questions concerning let’s say the difference in the catalogue of artists at Lion of Zion and at STAR Network.  

The offer that JAH Mark in the end couldn’t refuse, implied a complete transformation of the STAR Website into the allready existing infrastrcture of the Christafari Website. JAH Mark would simply have access over a little part of the Christafari website, where he could basically do nothing more then posting messages. The Christafarian wouldn’t let STAR sell albums from the website, and there were some other conditions too.

But because the public’s eye allready had STAR Network well connected to the Christafari “ministry”, and because it’s not easy to host the STARsite on a free webspace provider, JAH Mark decided to basically hand STAR over to Christafari.

However, it didn’t work out completely like that and JAH Mark sees this as a sign that Jah did not want this to happen.

JAH Mark:

Six months went by and I didn't hear another thing from him. Six months. This was his idea, after all. That is when the Spirit led you to offer the Dubroom's server for STAR. I knew that STAR and The Dubroom would still be separate, and I didn't see that as a problem at all. It was basically the same offer as I had from Mark Mohr, only with The Dubroom. I guess that really provoked things with Mark Mohr. After STAR went to the Dubroom's server, I heard nothing at all from Mark Mohr. So that and his withdrawl from the MP3 page was the end of his involvement with STAR. Now you will see no (to the best of my knowledge) mention of Christafari on the STAR site. I don't think that Mark Mohr's name is even listed..

Why was hosting the Starsite on the Dubroom a reason for Mark Mohr to “seperate in silence”? To get an answer to that challenging question, we have to consider a variety of aspects, some of which are kind of private and involved me, the writer of this book.

I happen to be the Webmaster of the Dubroom Website and I happenned to have offered JAH Mark free webspace without any strings attached. It’s about all I could do for an organization which I joined. To make this offer, to me it was done after a long meditation too.

I joined the organization basically to get in spiritual contact with others who found themselves in a similar situation as I: involved in the production of Reggae Music and being a Christian too. After getting into quite extensive and intense contact with Travis Freeman, I came to the overstanding that STAR was not a gateway to the Christian Industrial Complex and I joined.

Travis also brought me into contact with JAH Mark. We, JAH Mark and I, have developed a very strong spiritual relationship and have even helped each other through very difficult personal situations.

I was more then welcomed in STAR Network, by especially Travis and JAH Mark. They knew, that I was definitely not a candidate for the next Christian Reggae Album as defined by the Evangelical World.

I have the same views on western Christianity that many Rasta’s and Rootical Christians have: it is a part of the system we have come to know by the name “Mystery Babylon”. I definitely do not wear dreads to “be all things to all men”, and I definitely do not apply the colours red gold and green for marketing. Additionally, I am not against the use of marihuana, which basically makes me a heretic in the eyes of the avarage adherant of Christafarianism.

The Christafarians don’t apply the name “heretic”, though. Until the publication of my previous book, they called me “Rasta” and by doing so they didn’t intend to confess that a Rasta can in fact be a Christian. In fact, it wasn’t ment to be a sign of respect at all!

They used it in the same way that so-called churches use the word “heretic”.

And the fact that I was a member of STAR, made them think that they had to “correct” me. After all, they considered STAR Network to be a part of the Body of Kristos.

And the Body of Kristos, as defined by the Christafarian in an interview with the Dubroom about STAR Network, is: a wide spectrum of denominations and churches within the Judeo Christian faith.

That is exactly why Christafari calls my meditations and writings about my faith in Yesus Kristos Propaganda that contradicts the foundations of our judeo-christian belief system.

It turned out, that Christafarian STAR members kept falling over this paragraph on my homepage called “Messian Dread Identification”:

Although some Rastafarians have the same look on His Majesty and Christ Jesus as I do, and therefore I could call myself a Rastafarian without a doubt, I wish to call myself Messian Dread". Not to be another and a new style, or distinction from either Rastafari (the movement) or Christianity. I stand for the One Who gives I life, Jah. A Conscious Dread. A Lion Dread. The truth is, that dreadlocks is a sign of livication to Jah, even ordained by Jah! It is not a style or fashion to wear, dreadlocks is strictly livication to Jah. Other can wear locks, but they're not dreadlocks as in "Dread the Most High". There are Rastas who would say I can not call Iself Dread, there are Christians who would also like to see I cutting I dreadlocks. It is their interpretation, we can still find eachother in Jah, there are are numerous Rastafarians and Christians who think differently![17]

Clearly, everyone who is slightly familiar with the doctrines of Christafarianism, knows how diametrically opposed the above is to everything that Christafari claims to stand for.

In the previous book and in the previous chapters, we have seen how a Rasta is equal to a Satanist in the eyes of the Christafarian as well as in the practical work out of his theology. The fact that the preceeding essay forced him to admit how a Rasta can be “saved”, didn’t change the core of his philosophy. A philosophy that is based in the thesis that a “Rasta” can not be saved.

However, neither Travis nor JAH Mark ever gave me that vibe. They never judged me for basically being who I believe JAH made me to be. And I hoped that STAR Network could be used to get into some fellowship.

I also got in touch with those who are inside the Christian Industry.

Let me quote Christafari’s public confirmation of this statement about this and then let me give you an example. First, a quote from an article called “A Final Rebuke To Messian Dread”:

(Messian Dread) has been rebuked both publicly and privately for his marijuana use, his compromising blend of Rastafarianism and Christianity. [18]

Now, back to the year 2001. It was around the same time as the location of the STARsite was in question and I had to face a dilemma. I had a website and there was enough space for a Starsite. This site could easily be developed apart from the Dubroom.

JAH Mark and Travis had never given me the impression that they considered me to be a compromising blend of Rastafarianism and Christianity. And as much as STAR Network made it clear that they were absolutely not a part of Christafari, in fact quite the contrary was true, I would make it clear that STAR Network was neither a part of the Dubroom.

Because there were STAR members who did consider me to be a heretic and in an attempt to make me more conformed to Christafarianism, they wrote me letters.

In june 2001, I received the following letter:

Greetings in the name of the most high Jesus Christ!

I am (name deleted because of privacy reasons), a fellow STAR member and a Christian Reggae artist/Jamaican missionary.  I am a good friend of Christafari's as well as (name deleted because of privacy reasons) and many others. 

Brother, first of all I would like to say Nuff Respect for your faith and dedication to God. As I have talked with friends and read your website I have felt God giving me a burden to write to you. 

I feel that your message is a little confusing and may lead some people astray.

I respect very much that as a Christian you are trying to identify with Rastas and people of your heritage as well as trying to honour your roots and culture, but I find that as you do this you send mixed messages.

I know that you would not want to lead people astray so I felt that I should bring this to your attention. 

As you big up Selassie as being a great man that respresented Christ I am afraid that you have hailed him up too much and he has become the center of your faith.  I agree that Selassie was a great man but we should not elevate him, but elevate the Lord whom he worshiped. 

By calling yourself a Christian Rasta you send an unclear message because you cannot be both.  The bible says that there is only one name and that is the name of Jesus Christ, but Rastafarians claim there is another Haile Selassie.  Please read this quote which I took from Christafari's website.  It is Mark Mohr's answer to the Question: 

Is it wrong for a Christian to call him/herself a Rasta?”

(Long Christafari Quote Snipped)

Brother, Messian Dread, I pray that you may understand what I am saying, and please do not take it as a Judgement.  I understand your love for Rastafarians and Jamaican people, God has given me the same burden, I do not mean to insult you but to inform you of something you may not have been aware of.  Please pray about this, and feel free to respond to me or talk to Mark Mohr of Christafari.  God bless you my brother.  Big up and Keep the vibes!

In Christ,

(name deleted because of privacy reasons)[19]

Now this particular artist was indeed close friends with Christafari’s. Everyone knows his name and there is no doubt that the above letter was indeed one of the “rebukes” Christafari claims to have sent at my adress. It was obvious how he first had some contact with Mark Mohr and then started to write this letter.

Appearantly, the artist thought that I was having dreadlocks, expressing myself with the Red Gold and Green, and writing about the Ethiopian Emperor because of some “Missionairy Approach”. In fact, he assumed that I was being “all thing to all men” and assumed that I was “going too far” in that “missionairy approach”. He assumed even, how he and I would be the same because of some “love” which he also called “burden”:

love for Rastafarians and Jamaican people, God has given me the same burden

Now this is obviously diametrically opposed to everything I stand for. I simply owe much gratitude to the movement of Rastafari, with which I know myself to be connected. I do not have anything to say to “Rastafarians and Jamaican People”, other then: “Thank you very much for showing me the Way to my Creator”. And also, I would say: “Thank you for identifying Babylon System!”

Mark Mohr and the Christafarians he created, however, see Jamaica and the Rastafarian Movement as some “pagan country and people”. We’ve allready seen how Mark Mohr went to Jamaica with his parents, to find out that Reggae and Ganja worked well together. How Reggae music, in his own words, gave him some excuse to smoke ganja and have a religion close to that of his parents. How he later would set up all kinds of organizations and mission trips to Jamaica in order to make that Carribean Island and the culture it exported to the world completely conformed to the western system mistakenly called “Christianity”.

So, the Christafarians have much to say to “Rastafarians and Jamaican People”. And what they have to say is this: “No more JAH, here is God again”. They call it “love” and “burden” and it refers to a missionairy mentality which is in reality colonialism, Post Modernisn in American Export Quality!

I do not have dreadlocks and I do not express myself with the Ethiopian Colours because of some “All Things To All Men” craziness. My honouring of the Ethiopian Emperor has nothing to do with “All Things To All Men”. I truly have dreadlocks because JAH Rastafari told me that I am a dreadlocksman. I express myself with the Ethiopian Colours in order to chant down the Red White and Blue of Babylon System. And I truly consider the Ethiopian Emperor to be an Ikon of Christ in His Kingly Character, in other words: A living symbolical and prophetical referance to the coming eternal King: Yesus Kristos!

In short, I am not an adherant of Christafarianism. Quite the contrary: I am (almost?) one of the people who the Christafarians try to “witness to”! And therefore, it is extremely painfull for me, personally, to deal with what I can only perceive as perverse charicatures of myself.

Letters such as the quoted one only symbolize this great “gap”, which simply can not be plugged without doing some serious damage to core elements of the Christian Faith. And this is so for the Christafarians as well as for those outside of the Christian Industrial Complex.

For Christafarianism is not only a perverse way to reach those that do not have to be reached with a message that they allready know as well. Christafarianism is also a bizarre and perverse charicature of true Rastas, and true Yesus Dreads.

When Yesus was crucified, He prayed: “Jah forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. In some way, the same thing applied to the Christafarian Artist who wrote the letter. For he really didn’t know what he was doing. He only did what his mind set told him.

It was obvious, how this artist supposed several things. First, he assumed that I was just some extremist within Christafarianism. He assumed that by pointing out to my membership of STAR and linking “Pastor Mark” to his rebuke he would have some form of credibility.

And there was more going on. Not only did this artist write to me and revealed how he expected me to be some kind of extreme Christafarian, it turned out that there was a massive amount of communication between Christafari Headquarters and their “fans”, and again “Messian Dread” was the subject.

What was the case?

The fact that I had joined STAR Network, of which Christafari was also a member, made many people believe that somehow there was a connection between Christafari and Messian Dread. They (claimed to have) read my extensive writings about the subject “Rastafari and Christianity”, and there was one big question to many Christafari fans which had to do with my music.

Mark Mohr and Christafari received a lot of letters by people who wanted to know a couple of things about me. Not that they would write to me about that, they would write to the Christafarian to ask him what they should think about “me”. And the reason why they wanted to think about “me” was simply that they liked my musical productions very much but were unable to buy them through the channels of the Christian industrial Complex.

And within the Christafarian Artist community that joined STAR there was quite a controversy going on as well. This is what one artist wrote in an e-mail to another STAR member:

(...) concerning the Messian Dread thing (...) I mean I use the word Jah, and the colours red, gold and green as a stepping stone for rastas but I cannot use the term Rasta or say I follow Selassie because those are the parts of Rastafarianism that is wrong.

On his website he states he is a member of the “Rastafari Ring”, one message on his site starts out saying “Rastafari love” and continues saying “Jesus is earth Rightfull Ruler – Jah Rastafari” – what?????

It also says if you are worshipping Selassie you must be worshipping Jesus cause Selassie worshipped him! That doesn’t make sense.

Messian Dread says in his meditations that he doesn’t worship Selassie, but , he certainly does. When you spend so much time saying all these good things about someone and how you love them and follow them you are worshipping them.

When Messian talks about STAR at the end he says Selassie would approve of this organization, I say who cares what Selassie thinks he was only a human being!

People will wonder if you are a Christian or a Rasta with a site like this cause you can’t be both!

He also talks about Ethiopia as being seperated from the Bible in Christianity. That may be true but SO WHAT? It’s just a country like any other – there is nothing Holy about it nor is there anything Holy about even Betlehem – and our savior was born there!

I have talked with Mark Mohr and I believe he is very spiritual and he agrees with me. I have also had people ask me my opinnion about Messian Dread because they were confused and didn’t know what to think. To me this shows that people are being mislead by his words.

I stay away from Rastafarianism but not from Rastafarians. Tell them about Jesus, tell them who Selassie worships but then leave Selassie out of it because it’s all about Jesus!

I am sorry if I am sounding sarcastic, I am not intentionally putting Messian Dread down it just doesn’t make sense biblically.

The only page that seems at all okay to me is the Redemption page although I don’t think when quoting John 3:16 he should have changed the word God to JAH.

I just hope this does not put a bad name for me or make my enemies.

LOVE AND RESPECT IN THE NAME OF JESUS

-signed-[20]

So then, here we have an issue in the public’s eye.

But the letter is an exposure as to what is hidden in the dark, back stage as it were. This is how the Christafarians speak amongst themselves concerning the Biblical Truths which are simply being spoken of in the Bible as well as the Movement of Rastafari. “That may be true but SO WHAT?”, they ask themselves. And Mark Mohr is a very spiritual man and agrees, too.  Oh yes, they will tell you in public how Selassie is a Godly Man and all, but in private they simply state: “Who cares what Selassie says?”

STAR Network, founded by Mark Mohr and being linked to Christafari’s ministry, in one organization with a “Christian Rasta” as they seem to call me.

And then, there was the big issue: marihuana, also known as ganja or herb.

Ganja? What has marihuana has to do with being a Christian or not? For the Christian Industry, a lot. And for the Christafarian, even more! For as we know, his initial connection with Reggae Music came through Mark Mohrs love for marihuana. He saw Reggae Music as “a justification for marihuana usage”. But as STAR Network continued to grow, it became evident that whitin the group of people who love Yesus Kristos and are involved in the production of Reggae Music, there is a big diversity.

We allready saw how the Christafarians in STAR Network had a major problem with the theology as layed down by me. I am a Yesus Dread, and not a Christafarian. Some people can not see the difference, but the christafarians surely did!

This is why I received that letter.

In the meantime, JAH Mark also received letters from Christians about “Ganja”. He was forced to write some public statements on the STAR website concerning the use of marihuana. And so he wrote them down. The question about ganja on the STAR FAQ really was a frequently asked question.

Basically, the answer contained JAH Mark’s personal opinnion on this subject. He doesn’t feel like smoking herb is a thing for a Christian to do. And he has his reasons for that, too. However, this didn’t mean that he was teaching this as the ultimate truth so to speak, for he also pointed out to FAQ’s that said something different.

After all, isn’t “the public’s eye” simply entitled to be able to check out all the possible argumentation?

JAH Mark:

There was several questions asked me by different people about ganja. Some were like 'Reggae music goes with ganja. Does STAR support smoking ganja?'

I don't remember anyone saying something like MD smokes, so does STAR support it? I know there was questions asked about you and I pointed them to your FAQ[21] for an answer to their questions. Your FAQ seems fairly straightforward to me.

Indeed, he did receive letters and people did read my FAQ, and they went on to Mark Mohr to ask him what he thought about this all. I received a letter from the Christafarian in which he asked me to write on my website whether I was a smoker of marihuana or not. I refused to do that and instead wrote an article that basically showed people how they had to find things out for themselves instead of imitating others:

QUESTION: I've read what you wrote on herb. I still want to know if you smoke it yourself, and if so, how much?

ANSWER: I suppose I could say yes or no, but I won't. If I would smoke herb, I would not think different about it, then if I would not smoke it, so it won't actually add anything to what I already said about it. And if I would answer that question, after explaining my stance towards it, I would drive attention to myself instead of what I say. And I do not think that I am that important. Besides, I would like to challenge each and everyone to think for one's self, and not do or don't do something just because someone else is or is not doing it.[22]

This answer didn’t satisfy the Christafarian and one time he publicly called it “the answer of a politician”. It didn’t matter to him what I said about herb, the only important thing to him was the answer to the question if I smoke herb or not.

In this time, there was an extensive thread[23] of postings of the Christafari Message Board concerning me. The thread started with the question why Messian Dread wasn’t sold on the Lion of Zion store. After all, he was a STAR member too...

Mark Mohr’s public statements which followed that question were kind of shocking. In an article, he choose to disrespect my decision not to say whether I personally use marihuana or not and choose to reveal:

Does Messian Dread smoke marihuana? Yes! He told me so. He is an avid user of marihuana and he even wrote to me that he wanted to get high (meditate) in Amsterdam with me. I asked him to write on his website whether he smokes or not and his answer sounded like that of a politician. I love this man’s music, and I am blown away by it, but I do not feel comfortable selling this man’s music because he is an avid user of marihuana.[24]

Mark Mohr did not mention how I am simply unwilling to have my music sold at LOZ. Although he did anwer the question “Why isn’t Messian Dread music sold at LOZ?” with “because I do not feel comfortable selling the music of one who is known to be an avid user of marihuana”, he should also have mentioned that he was unable to sell my music because I never wanted that in the first place.

It was around that time, that I wrote an article about Christafari which I never published. It was an article that was later used as foundation for the first book on Christafari. After I wrote the article, I asked Mark Mohr to read it and give comments so that the article would be, as the saying goes in “Bush Country”: “fair and balanced”.

On september 11, 2001, Mark Mohr wrote me the following letter:

Greetings dread,   

I was initially excited to read the honest and fair article that you wrote on Christafari, until I learned that it was (in my interpretation), an apologetical writing set out to tear down the belief systems and ministry approach of  Christafari.

It has been clear from day one that we have disagreed on many things in many ways.  But I clung to the fact that we both state that Christ is Lord. When various members of STAR wrote with me numerous questions for Christafari's FAQ section about you and your belief systems, I chose not to write about you.  As you are sure that I am wrong in my ways, I felt likewise about you, but chose to try and win you in love, rather than airing my opinions on the world wide web for the world to see--Just what we do not need, more Christians tearing down each other in the public's eye.  But the Bible states that they will know that we are Christians by our love--not our divisions.  And Satan would love to see to two prominent Christians in the reggae industry divided over minor schisms. 

My opinion was that at least the Gospel is being preached, he may be deceptive in his approach, and surrounded by a cloud of Ganja Smoke, but as Paul said, at least the gospel is being preached.  So, you can imagine that I was a little overwhelmed by your rants--especially after you gently courted me with the thought of a kind, but honest view of our ministry.  I thought that I answered your questions that you gave me, but maybe they were lost in the shuffle (I have been out of town on tour for the last 2 1/2/ months).  Regardless, I guess that you did not get them given by your villainizing footnote.

The sad truth is that I agree with most of your belief systems and arguments.  You are right, there are many various sects within Rastafari.  It is a very large mansion with many rooms, each one of them with numerous views of God.  I dedicated a section of my book to this as well as a strong clarification in the beginning of my writing stating the same.  Perhaps this portion was never sent to you.

I guess that I am at fault for taking the broadest view of Rastafari for My FAQs.  As you well know, the thrust of my writings have dealt with the belief in the deity of Rastafari.  And as far as the Rasta culture here were I live, it is greatly represented by this belief system.  Yes, we can debate for years about a people group, cult or belief system, and any generalization will always fall short of representing everyone.  But Christafari has set out to reach those who worship Selassie as God. 

Ironically, I thought that this was who you are choosing to reach also, yet you appear to have no problem in shooting down your fellow advocate.  A house divided against itself shall not stand.  Are you willing to deny the fruit of Christafari's ministry?  Will you throw out the thousands that prayed the sinners prayer this summer at our concerts?  This may not be your intentions, but this WILL be the fruit of your words. 

If only you could use this energy towards saving the lost.  In many ways, I have always felt that our arguments/reasonings have been fruitless.  We both are devoted to what we do and it is my opinion that an endless argument about ministry approaches  is simply majoring in the minors and a serious distraction from the true works that God has placed before us. 

WE BOTH BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS LORD AND SELASSIE IS NOT GOD.  Are our major disagreements over sin issues?  I think not--just different approaches. We are both dreads, for various reasons.  However warped you may think my motives are, the passage that my website quotes states clearly that I do this so that "For the sake of the Gospel I might win some." 

Is it a sin to have dreads? No.  My wearing dreads to reach Rastas is easily comparable to Paul becoming like the Jews to win them.  The Jews took the nazarite vow because it was biblical, so Paul took it to reach them.  Rastafari is a Biblically based religion, and they too site the Nazarite vow. Is it a sin to do the same as Paul?  I think not.  And yes, I am adopting to a culture-- in what other ways do you adapt to a culture beyond hair, dress, music and language?  It is not like I am calling God "Allah" in order to reach the Muslims.  I am using biblically based principles to reach the lost. And they are being reached. 

So your way may be different, but that is why God made us unique individuals and different parts of one body. Paul used whatever platform he could take to spread the Gospel, whether it was a house, a prison, a Synagogue, or the pagan Mars Hill.  And in each of these places he adapted to the culture and the language so that his gospel approach would be best received.  In the end there was a great harvest.  That is what this is all about.     

I humbly apologize if I sound harsh in this letter.  I also apologize for over generalizing the Rasta faith that you so strongly defend.  Perhaps it is not wisdom to call our fans Christafarians, and I can see how you could consider this an apparent contradiction.  But if this your basis for attacking me, and yes, I do consider it an attack-- then I would suggest that you pray about the your actions and true motivations.  Why do you choose to nullify our ministry?  Is it for the glory of God?  What Good shall come of this?  Have you fasted over this article?  Have you asked your pastor and members of your Christian church congregation for their wisdom?

I have said what is on my heart and now I have peace.  With this in mind, write what you will, the Lord is sovereign and all powerful.  If I had my say, I would not publish it or use any of my quotes/misquotes.  But this is for your website so do what you must.  God is my defender and I refuse to subject myself to the menial task of editing YOUR writing.  If what you are doing is of the Lord it will stand.  Only God knows your heart and intentions.

If I am in the wrong in any way, I pray that God will reveal this to me so that in His time I can be in the center of His perfect will.  I am not afraid of controversy and my vision does not waver when blatantly called a "hypocrite."   

Beyond this, I hope that you will understand that I am married and am the head of two ministries, so my time is precious.  With this in mind, this will be my last response to you regarding this matter.  As I have already spent a few hours of my night dealing with this article and "majoring in the minors".  So please do not hold it against me if in the future, if I choose to attend to my hierarchy of priorities rather than pick apart every word of our ongoing debates.  You may respond to this if you wish, but consider my chapter closed.  And please let me know If you ever do publish your opinions, whether edited or not.

With Love in Christ,

Mark Mohr[25]

With this letter in mind, I decided –then- not to publish anything either. I saw, that Mark Mohr admitted to many things which I brought forward, such as the fact that within the movement of Rastafari there were members who he would not consider “unsaved”. I truly had hoped that this simple fact would make him see how his whole, what he calls, “approach” was based on unbiblical thoughts.

But the letter contained contradictions which also revealed how the Christafarian’s theology was seriously and literally off-base. A key-part in this context is:

As you are sure that I am wrong in my ways, I felt likewise about you, but chose to try and win you in love, rather than airing my opinions on the world wide web for the world to see--Just what we do not need, more Christians tearing down each other in the public's eye.  But the Bible states that they will know that we are Christians by our love--not our divisions.  And Satan would love to see to two prominent Christians in the reggae industry divided over minor schisms.

Mark Mohr con-fuses two completely different things, and although he calls it a superficial issue in the public’s eye again, it surely is not. It is, spiritually spoken, a literal matter of life and death!

First, he claims that he wanted to “win” me, and then he called me a Christian a bit further on. But he also claims, how he has dreads to “win” people too.

He noticed that I wasn’t in the Christian Industry. Perfectly able to see the difference between the Reggae Industry and the Christian Industry. Did he want to win me into the Christian Industry? JAH knows I tried to warn him against this industry[26]!

However...

He continued by refering to a certain part in the bible, where there was a mention of someone using the message of Christianity for personal gain. Paulus told his readers that they should rejoice over the fact that in spite of that, the Gospel was still being preached or at least mentioned. But the one who was preaching the gospel for personal gain was not a Christian, obviously:

Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. (Phillipians 1:15-19)

The situation in which Paulus wrote the above, was during the last phases of his life on the planet of the earth. While he was in prison, people were allready “preaching the gospel” because of personal gain. This is how the Christafarian looked at this situation, too.

With that difference that Paulus wasn’t trying to “win a Christian”!

Why does Mark Mohr want to win Christians?

Why does it appear to be relevant that Mark Mohr and I are in his words prominent Christians in the reggae industry? And why does he state that a neccesary debate is simply Christians tearing down each other in the public's eye?

To answer these questions, we have to take into consideration that all of this is simply written to tell the story about Mark Mohr’s silent seperation from STAR. He got numerous questions about a fellow STAR member. And these questions all boiled down to what Mark Mohr called “a difference in approach” that could not be understood by the Christians who wanted to know...

Another mystery?

The letter that the artist wrote to me, radiated the same vibe. They seemed to think that they found in Messian Dread someone who was also “adapting a culture” in some “missionairy approach”. Someone who was also using a charicature of Rastafarian and “Jamaican” Culture to get some place in the Christian Industry. Someone who was “following the teachings of Christafari”, as it were. And after all, that’s where STAR was for...

Or wasn’t it?

To the “numerous” people who e-mailed Christafari with questions about my Identity mistakenly called “Mission Approach”, it was a big enigma. A mystery.

They could easily see how my Identity would never be accepted in the Christian Industry. Especially not, since they heard from the Christafarian himself how Rastas were Pagan where I was clearly saying something diametrically opposed to that absurd lie. Let’s recall Mark Mohr’s letter:

Christafari has set out to reach those who worship Selassie as God. Ironically, I thought that this was who you are choosing to reach also, yet you appear to have no problem in shooting down your fellow advocate.

This is the core, indeed. Christafari’s “vision” which I would rather call agenda, is diametrically opposed to mine. Christafari “adapts a Culture” with the only result that their “ministry” is nothing more than Christian Contemporary Entertaintment!

And my “agenda”? Let’s call that an enigma for now. Later in this book I will explain that to the fullness.

We are still in 2001. On September 11, Mark Mohr wrote me that letter. Christafari and a few other artists silently seperated from STAR, just like Mark Mohr silently seperated from the Gathering.

JAH Mark had just recovered from the “mp3 issue” with Christafari and had been given an offer by the Christafarian. An offer JAH Mark couldn’t refuse, and in the end he couldn’t. A strange situation had come into existance: the two founders had each gone their own way and had left JAH Mark with the message: “You are STAR”.

JAH Mark:

STAR is still around, but much different than when it started. Both of its 'founders' has left and have nothing to do with it. Mohr no longer has a link to STAR on his site. Travis mainly withdrew to spend more time with his job and family. Of the original people, I am the only one left. Mohr once said to me "You are STAR", so I feel that it is mine to do with what I wish. 

A strange situation indeed. Is STAR Network on the Christafarians private list of “regretable fruits of my labor?”. Only JAH knows. We are left with a heritage of Mark Mohr: a gateway to the Christian Industry, with no one actually ever volunteering or joining STAR Network. 

JAH Mark:

I interpreted his actions about the MP3's as being more interested in making money than ministry. As Travis told me at the time, one person could have heard one of those songs and have his heart changed. Instead, he is more interested about losing a $1 in sales than the eternal soul of that one person.

The offer to host STAR and buy the Store is harder to interpret not knowing what he was or is thinking.

Based on that, I would say that he has ideas, communicates them to the appropriate people, then forgets what he is doing, having so many 'irons in the fire'. He is doing or trying to do so many things at once and sometimes don't even remember what it is he is doing.

Either that, or something happened that changed his mind and he never asked, confronted or resolved whatever that might be (or is).

We have established, how there was something going on before and behind the scene: Mark Mohr called it a confrontation between two prominent Christians in the reggae industry.

The Christian Industry doesn’t go too well with Reggae Culture, that’s for sure. After all, it seems like those who are within this Reggae Culture have to come out of that and join the Christian Industry, become of charicature of themselves and try to get more into that very same Christian Industry.

Of course that doesn’t fly with Reggae Culture. Of course that doesn’t fly with the movement of Rastafari. Of course that doesn’t fly with Yesus Dreads.

Christianity, even “churchical Christianity” if you will, has allways been a part of Reggae Music. With singers like Carlene Davis, Sugar Minott, Yabby You and many others, there was “Christian Reggae” years before the Christafarian was even born or born again.

What is “Christian Reggae”?

Another superficial issue in the public’s eye?

Appearantly, there are many different definitions and Mark Mohr obviously doesn’t mean “Reggae Music created by Christians”. Mark Mohr thinks about what’s political correct in the Christian Industry and everything he sells is called “Christian Reggae”.

It’s his life ministry to build a “World” and “Reggae” Empire in that very same Christian Industry and everything he does is to get recognition in this industry. If it means he has to use his “Pastoral Authority” in the Christian Public’s eye, he does it. If it means he has to “adopt a culture”, he does it.

And thus far we have seen that every organization he has set up in which he was working with his Christian brethren and sistren outside of the Christian Industry, be it in music (STAR) or be it in ministry (Gathering), he chooses the safe side of the “Christian” System with it’s Industrial Complex of churches, record labels and Jah knows what more.

This whole Christian Industry is based on false doctrines, a false gospel and a false Christ. The system of denominations can all be traced back to the Pagan Roman Catholic Religious System of which the “wealth of the west” is based on.

Mark Mohr didn’t silently seperate from heretical Ganja Smokers. A simple look at JAH Mark’s position on Ganja makes that clear.

His silent seperation was a seperation from fellow Christians whose only crime was that they were not correct enough for the Christian Industry. And it was silent for no other reason then his position in that very same industry. He would have to make a press release and tell the very same public’s eye why he choose mp3 files only to have them taken off, et cetera.

JAH Mark has left STAR Network over to the network: the members. He started Star Recordings and is working on some releases. The Christafarian’s departure from STAR Network caused JAH Mark to consider what to do with the Christafarian Heritage.

JAH Mark:

I started Star Recordings as a different way to release conscious reggae music. We do not deal with the 'gospel' or CCM market. We deal only with the regular or 'secular' market. We do not limit ourselves to "Christian" artists. I still will release "gospel" reggae artists, as long as the music is top notch, not the watered down, weak 'reggae' that you can find in the 'gospel' (CCM) places.

There is a move to be in the bookstores (Christian Bookstores, retail outlets for the CCM industry), I resist such a move purely on principals. Sure, the money is there, but who wants blood money in their pocket? Not even the Pharisees would touch the blood money..

FOOTNOTES

[1] Revelation 21:14 reads about the New Jerusalem: “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”

[2] Exclusive Interview with JAH Mark Ragsdale

[8] Christafari Article on Yabby You. Link

[11] Studies of (especially) Western Church History from the days just after the death of the last of the 12 apostles until the 21th century, reveal how all the denominations in what is known as the “Judeo Christian Faith” derive in some way from Rome or the Roman Religious System. This system is called “Mystery Babylon” in the Book of Revelation or the Apocalypse.

[12] For an in-depth report on the MP3 developments in relation to the online artist community and the Recording Industry, see my artile “Confessions Of An Online Artist”. Link to PDF

[13] E-mail from Travis Freeman to JAH Mark, Feb 21, 1999

[15] There are many ways to download an mp3 file, even when it’s supposed to be “streaming only”. For example, one could open the playlist in progams such as WinAmp, after which one could simply download the MP3 files from the links provided in the playlists.

[16] See “The Ballad Of MP3.com”. Link

[19] Private Correspondence, from Messian Dread’s personal archive.

[20] Taken from off-line CRC Archives.

[21] F.A.Q.: Frequently Asked Questions. Many websites have a “FAQ section” where answers to “Frequently Asked Questions” is given.

[24] Summary. Link

[25] From Messian Dread’s personal e-mail archives

[26] During the last minutes of the phone conversation that the writer had with Mark Mohr, the difference became clear. The writer of this book told Mark Mohr, that he wanted the Christafarian to “step out of the Christian Indutstry”. Mark Mohr responded with a sound that exposed “recognition” and seemingly perceived it as a call to totally abandon his personal religion.

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