The term "Five Percent" originated in the 1930's with Elijah Muhammad and Fard Muhammad. These men produced a series of "lessons" which consisted of 122 questions and answers which were asked by Elijah Muhammad and answered by Fard Muhammad. One of the questions was: "Who are the 5%?" The answer was that the "5%" were a group of people who knew and understood the "true" knowledge of God and were also called the "Poor Righteous Teachers."

In the 1960's, Clarence Smith (a former member of the Nation of Islam) left the Harlems' Mosque #7 in New York and took the "lessons" with him. Smith taught his followers that they were God - "Five Percenters" and "Poor Righteous Teachers". Smith believed and taught that 85 percent of the population are deceived, 10 percent are the oppressors [or devils] who know the truth but refuse to accept it. The remaining 5% are those who know the truth, and their mission is to teach and guide the ignorant 85%. The group became known as the "Five Percent Nation of Islam" and they currently call themselves "The Nation of Gods and Earths." The Five Percenters believe the black man (the original man) is god, and that black women are "earths". They also believe that white men (or iceman) are devils.

Orthodox Muslims reject both the Nation of Islam and the Five Percenters as heretical. The Nation of Islam also rejects the Five Percenters.

Nation of Islam
Information on the Nation of Islam

"Five Percenter" webpage

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