Assuming the pen name of Ruby Garnett at the request of her family, the author recounts the circumstances that led her to eventually be enticed by the religious extremist dogma of one of the most charismatic, influential underground cult leaders Black America has seen since since the likes of Father Divine... Garnett has a candidly-intimate conversation with the reader about her state of mind from beginning to end.
She wrote "Soul Sacrifice" for the children that came forward to let someone know about the sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of Nuwabian cult leader Malachi York. Despite the threats, harrassment and lack of support (from some of their own brainwashed parents), these brave survivors of abuse are the reason this story needs to be heard...
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Soul SacrificeOne Story of Many
By Ruby S. Garnett
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Ruby S. Garnett
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Beginning of the End
Phone ringing ... "Hello?" "Val?" "Ma?" ... sneakers screeching against the gym floor ... whistles being blown by coaches warming up their basketball teams ... yelling echoing in the background ...
"Where are you? are you sitting down?" "I'm at the gym with Steve ma!" having to yell a little ... "Well sit down ... are you sitting down yet?" "Yeah Ma! What's going on?!?" but I was still standing in the bleachers looking for a good place to sit ... "Ok, well Winston was in Georgia and while he was in Georgia he picked up a paper and saw that Dr. York was locked up and charged for child sexual abuse!"
The news makes me literally sit down right where I was standing ... yet, I wasn't surprised about the charges ... just surprised he got locked up for them ... "Whaaaaaat?" I said (the news did make my legs weak) as I flopped onto one of the bleachers ... as I soaked in the news about my ex-husband ... while my current husband looked over at me to see if I was ok. I signaled to him that I was ok, but he saw the look on my face and noticed my demeanor changed and started walking over to me. "Ma, does Winston still have the paper that the article was in? What's the name of the reporter that covered the story?" "Yes he has the paper, I told him to save it for you ... Are you ok?" "Yeah ma, I'm ok ... I'm just shocked ... wow ... well I'm in Herndon with Steve right now and I'll call you when I get outta here." "Ok honey ... talk to you later" "Ok ma, love you." "love you too honey ... bye". "Bye." "what happened Val? what's going on?" my husband waited impatiently to ask. "Yo ... Steve ...." I was halfway staring off into the distance at nothing as I told my husband ...
"My mother just told me that Dr. York got arrested for child sexual abuse! she said Winston was in Georgia and saw it in one of the papers!" "Damn!" he said "Damn! so now what?" "I don't know! I gotta find out who the reporter was and what paper it's in so I can look it up online." "You ok?" "Yeah I'm good ... I wonder what's happening to everybody there? ... I have to see if I can find out where my friends are ... my ex-co-wives and their kids ... they must be out there losing it!" "We'll find out ... let me get out here and start this game.." "Ok" I just sat there in a daze, anxiously waiting till we got home so I could get on the computer and get the rest of this story. My mind started drifting back to a memory of something I'd tried to forget since I'd left georgia. Six years passed already?
Chapter TwoFlash back
It was a sunny fall afternoon in Eatonton, GA, and I was just about done with cleaning the house when I heard the front door fly open and little feet scrambling around downstairs. A few people were shuffling around the house and as I listened closer I heard a little voice screaming in arabic over and over again; "qadibu baba kanna fiy fam-mie! qadibu baba kanna fiy fam-mie!" This little voice and the little feet carrying this little person were coming upstairs to where I was. No-one else in the house understood what was coming out of this child's mouth except for me; and the other little person running up the stairs (at least that was what I was hoping). I instantly froze because in translation—I was hearing this little 8yr. old girl scream out that the equivalent to what was her step-father had just had his penis in her mouth.
It all happened in slow motion ... I turned around to look at the steps to see which one of my 'babies' was coming to look for me. It was Luwra. Little Luwra had cocoa brown skin with toffee brown eyes that contrasted with her skin the way you bite into a truffle and notice the subtle layers of chocolate contrasting one another ... her dark brown curly hair cascaded down her back; she was a baby-doll.
The look I saw on her 8 yr old face that day; I'd never seen before. her cocoa-brown face was red and tear-drenched ... her big toffee-brown eyes were darting from side to side so fast that I don't even know how she found her way to me. She was hyper-ventilating and gagging and I had to first try to calm her down, and take her somewhere to find out what happened to her.
Luwra's "sister"—another one of my co-wives daughters, Mela was horrified and tried desperately to protect her Baba (her "father") by denying what Luwra wanted everyone in ear-shot to hear. I was hoping that I was hearing wrong. How could this be true?!?! I spoke to her as calmly as I could and took Luwra and Mela to one of the bedrooms downstairs where we'd have some privacy, and I told Luwra to lay down.
Even though it was the middle of the day; I tucked her into bed, sat beside her and asked her to tell me what happened. she was staring past me as she took a deep breath and started to talk. In between muffled sobs, she turned her tear-stained little face to me and told me that she and Mela were playing and Baba (who was my husband and their mother's husband as well) wanted them to come to see him in his trailer.
His trailer was where he stayed while he was having his main house built. Then she told me that it was there that Baba told her to put his penis in her mouth. I turned to Mela to ask her if anything happened to her, and she fearfully and silently stood in the doorway just shaking her head from side to side; denying that anything had been done to her, but I had serious doubts.
"Luwra, idhaa hadatha ayyu-shayin mara'thaaniy; ikhbira niy" (translated: if anything happens again; tell me). As she drifted off to sleep, her breathing was still labored by the hysteria and shock I'm sure she was feeling. She'd just been exposed to a nightmare in broad daylight. Her Baba, the father she'd come to love and trust as her own, did something to her that her young mind couldn't even conceive. All she knew was that something was horribly wrong with what just happened to her. I wanted to somehow take her back into time so she wouldn't ever have had to know that kind of pain and helplessness. I wanted to be the one to make sure that she could feel safe again, but I didn't know how I could do that for her.
When she was finally asleep, my panic set in and I started pacing back and forth, thinking of how I was going to stop him or let him know how wrong he was to expose a child to behavior like that! He just didn't know better and I would be the one to go over to his trailer and explain to him the damage he'd just done.
As I watched over Luwra, I saw myself riding in my Grandfather's friend's RV—trusting him and smiling at his conversation on the way to IHOP. I was two years older than Luwra at the time, and me, and my brother were spending the weekend with our Grandfather in long island. while we were playing, my Grandfather's friend came over and offered to take me, my 9yr old Aunt, and her 8yr old cousin out for breakfast.
It didn't take much convincing for me to come along with them because I was hungry and I loved myself some international house of Pancakes! "I'm going to IHOP..I'm going to IHOP.." I danced around my brother singing. "Val stay here with me and we can eat some cereal! Don't go with them!" pleaded my brother.." I ain't tryina eat no cereal! I want some IHOP! I'm going!" cereal couldn't beat hot pancakes and syrup on a Saturday morning ... I just had to go.
The three of us got ready with the quickness and were laughing and skipping out the front door and into ol' salt and Pepper hair's RV. as my aunt and her cousin went to play in the rear of the RV, I plopped myself right next to him as he drove because I wanted to see the road. "You know you gon be a star when you grow up? Wit dat perty smile n 'em long pigtails." "Really???" I chimed back with a smile from ear to ear. "Yup ... I can tell these things." "I DO wanna be a singer when I grow up too!" I just knew my dream was going to come true because someone I didn't even know was saying this about me ... The morning couldn't have been going more perfect with the sun on my face, the open road in my sight and my Aunt and her cousin were in the back enjoying the trip too ... It got even better once he announced we were finally in front of IHOP. "Yeah!!! We all screamed and jumped around the RV. I could just taste the chocolate chip pancakes with whip cream on top I was gonna order ..." Alright gurls ... when I git back, I'mon give a dollar to the one who kisses the best!" As the other two screeched with excitement; (having obviously played this game with him before), I blurted out "My Mommy already gave me money! I don't need a dollar! see!?!" As I held it out for him. He laughed and went down the steps of the RV, closing the door behind him. I ran over to the window and watched him walk over to the IHOP across the street with my stomach both knotted-up with terror and grumbling with hunger. I ran frantically from one side of the RV to the other, wanting to escape this "game" he wanted to play with us. We were driving for a long time and I had no idea how I would get us back home if I got us out of there. Forever passed and I was praying he would forget all about the "dollar game". Eventually, the RV door opened ... "Alright I'm back!" and nasty ol' Salt and Pepper hair still wanted to play. "Who wants to go first!" waving the dollar in my direction as I backed up shaking my head from side to side ... "No ... I don't need a dollar.." He backed me into the rear compartment of the RV where the beds were and where my aunt's cousin was laying down. I froze there with my arms out-stretched hoping to find the strength to keep this nasty man away from me. I found that my little arms were no match for Salt and Pepper's grasp as he pulled me to him and I felt something hard jutting from his pants and poking me in the chest. Then he bent down as he had my arms pinned somehow and started to stick his slimy tongue into my mouth. I moved my head around trying to turn it away from him but somehow I still felt the slimy thing wriggling around and around inside my mouth ... I just left my mind while it was happening and then he stopped suddenly to my surprise and relief. My Aunt saved me by yelling out.. "My turn! My turn!" and he took my little Aunt into the bathroom as I watched him prop her up onto his lap behind the frosted glass door. The ride back was an uncomfortable blur and this despicable—sorry excuse for a man let us off at the beginning of the cul-de-sac talking about ... "Now if you gurls tell anybody what happened, you gon' be in big trouble!" All the while waving his finger and looking at me in particular ... I was scared and I felt so helpless ... all I wanted was to tell on him, but I didn't want to get in trouble. I spent years feeling like I did something wrong and afraid to let my Mother know what happened to me.
How could my leader—my 'husband' do this same thing to a child? ... I couldn't imagine that he would do such a thing and actually be in his right mind. Maybe he didn't know any better ... I just didn't know what to do or what to think ... all I knew was that this little child had just been sexually violated by her step-father; my 'husband'. I wanted to be her strength but I found myself scared again ... and did nothing. I thought about finding her mother and bringing her to see her daughter, but I was being ignored by "Doc" (that's what he wanted us to call him) and because of that reason, I had a strong feeling that her mother would think I was lying or something. As fast as I thought that there was actually something I could do; I also thought that it wouldn't be good if I let him know that I knew what he did AND that I thought it was wrong.
So I kept the secret with me and struggled with the reality that this place I gave everything up for, was being led by a glorified pediaophile. Over the next few weeks I had no energy to talk to anybody because I knew that since Doc wasn't speaking to me; no-one would want to be seen speaking to me either ... I started sleeping in the attic space, only coming out to use the bathroom and eat.
Even before the incident with Luwra, my eyes were beginning to open wide enough to see things for what they were, and I started to say something about them. Because of my mouth, I'd been labeled a trouble-maker by a couple of my co-wives; and the final axe came down when Doc accused me of flirting with his grown son Ishmael.
I should've seen trouble coming when Afiyfa (who was one of my co-wives—and very close to Doc) saw me greeting Ishmael as I passed by him one day. "None of us speak to Ishmael! what makes you think YOU can?!?" she chastisingly said to me. "I BEEN speaking to Ishmael since I was in Brooklyn with his wife at the hospital! What's wrong with that?!?" was my response and I kept walking. I was about to have my question answered ...
Chapter ThreeThe Promised Land
There were two houses set up for the women on the property at that time. there was a smaller house that sat off of the lake where he housed the wives that were in his good graces, and their children. Then there was a much larger house that you could tell had been converted from a barn. the big house (which was what I called it), housed his least-favored wives, his son's wives, other brother's wives, and all of their children. while his house was being built from the ground-up, he was staying in a mobile-home that sat near the construction site and close to the smaller house I mentioned earlier. the work trailers were located in between both the large and small houses, so the distance from each house to the work place was about the same.
The land was beautiful. Across from his mobile home was the tennis and basketball court where the children and wives were allowed to play during our spare time. There was a long, winding dirt road lined with a white wooden fence that led all the way to the front of the property. There was so much land that I never saw all of it. I used to see the brothers coming from somewhere across the field, but I never knew where they lived. We were never allowed to cross that field to the other side ...
Doc encouraged us to go to the lake to fish, and even though we worked hard, the work load seemed lighter than it had ever been. We all had so much more time on our hands to go for walks, take naps during the day if we wanted, read, exercise, and pretty much do whatever we wanted to do. Doc even suggested that our brain function would be better if we started to work at night and sleep periodically throughout the day, and THAT was like a vacation! to not have to get up and go to work at 5am was a beautiful thing ... and we stopped waking up so early to pray because we were no longer living as Muslims. that's how it was ... if Doc suggested something, we did it and it became our lifestyle until he decided we do something different.
Just a few months before I was chosen to move to the land in GA, I was dealing with the agony of possibly never being chosen to go to the "promised land" with the "lamb". Out of the blue, he sent one of my co-wives Wasiyma back to Brooklyn with their two very young children and Wasiyma used to be a favored wife! She ran the publishing and manufacturing part of Doc's business in Brooklyn and Upstate NY, bringing in money ... and in turn, he rewarded her with two very expensive diamond rings. He made sure we knew that Wasiyma got two rings because she made money. So when he didn't pick Wasiyma to join him on the land in GA, I was expecting to be sent back to Brooklyn too.
Wasiyma was a no-nonsense type of person and she didn't get along very well with many of the other co-wives cause she had what I call a "stone face". I knew her to be a sweetheart because we shared a room in Brooklyn for a while until she was picked to move in with Doc. She was like a big sister to me ... beautiful, strong and always had advice to give me. The thing that rubbed people the wrong way was that she was just "to—the—point" and if she didn't like you, she let you know ...
Excerpted from Soul Sacrifice by Ruby S. Garnett Copyright © 2011 by Ruby S. Garnett. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
THE BEGINNING OF THE END....................1
THE PROMISED LAND....................8
THE YOUNG MIND....................41
THE NEXT STEP....................48
BLAST FROM THE PAST....................84
BUSTED AND DISGUSTED....................91
GOING BACK TO BROOKLYN....................98
BACK ON BUSHWICK AVE....................107
SEEING THE MAN....................160
THE MOVE UPSTATE....................165
ON THE ROAD AGAIN....................173
ABOUT THE AUTHOR....................183