Blog Post

Baton Rouge Shooter’s New Age Beliefs

laws of cosmosGavin Long, the former Marine who killed three policemen in Baton Rouge last weekend was a self-styled New Age guru who penned three books containing a wide variety of esoteric ideas about how to become healthy in mind, body and spirit.

According to The Times Picayune, Long wrote under the pen name Cosmo Setepenra and described himself as a "nutritionist, life coach, dietitian, personal trainer, author and spiritual advisor."

In one of his books, entitled, The Cosmo Way: A W(H)olistic Guide for the Total Transformation of Melanated People, he describes a spiritual revelation he had while in college that caused him to sell all of his material possessions and head to his ancestral homeland of Africa. He claimed to have traveled across the continent learning from its “native spiritual practitioners and elder holistic healers.”

"Not only have we not been taught how to treat our bodies and spirits in order to live a healthy and holistic lifestyle, we have also lost touch with the ancient teachings of our spiritual elders that would help us to live a healthy holistic life in harmony with nature," he wrote.

He also authored and self-published The Laws of the Cosmos: Wisely Follow or Blindly Suffer – The Definitive Law Guide to Spiritual Success in which he lays out the “cosmic laws” of the universe such as "The Law of Harmony," "The Law of Clarity" and "The Law of Surrender." In total, the book contains 124 "cosmic laws," which Long defines as "effort[s] to describe accurately how something is, not how we have perceived it to be."

This book, along with Volume 2 of The Cosmo Way, is described by the LA Times’ Michael Schaub as “a combination of New Age-style jargon, pseudoscience, motivational bromides, health tips and racial theory.”

He also appears to have bought into the New Age alternative market, calling Western medicine “ruinous to blacks” and embracing nutrient-rich plant food diets. Long also recommended staying well hydrated and was a distributor of “Kangen Water” which is one of a variety of supposedly ionized waters that are better than tap. (Scientists refer to these waters as “snake oil on tap.”)

One of his books also invents a theory about the abundance of melanin in the skin of Black people which he claims gives them “that Soul, that ‘glow,’ that ‘bop’ in their step that ‘swag’ in their demeanor that ‘jazz’ in their talk. Mentally, it is what makes us natural creative geniuses in terms of all arts: music, literature, dance, performance, science, etc."

On the other hand, he claims that the reduced amount of melanin in the skin of white people is responsible for their "continual and incessantly historical rap sheet of countless atrocities, wars, genocides, oppression and repeated acts of savagery behavior upon one another, and more specifically, upon people of color."

"The abundance of Melanin in Black humans produces a superior organism both mentally and physically," Long writes. "In the same way Blacks excel in athletics, we can also excel in all other areas, just as we did in the past once we return to an Afrikan (W) holistic Consciousness..."

Long was killed by police during the July 17 ambush which occurred along the Airline Highway in Baton Rouge.