officials, these vigorous young men impart a crisply efficient tone to the meetings of the organization. They impress nonmembers of the Negro communities with the massed and ready power of the Muslim organization and the accomplishments they have achieved through faith in Elijah's teachings. But the FOI has other functions.
Besides the protection of officers and property of the cult, the FOI enforces compliance With the many cult rules imposed on all members. Probably most important of these many rules is that every Muslim must sell the NOI newspaper, "Muhammad Speaks." The FOI sees to it that the members fulfill their obligation to sell the paper. To discipline those members breaking the rules, as well as nonmembers who cause trouble for the cult, goon squads have been organized in some of the temples. These small groups of selected men, frequently led by former professional boxers, well-trained in karate and judo, have been employed to threaten or, on occasions, to brutally assault other Negroes. Charts have been used to show vulnerable spots on the human body, and instructors demonstrate the lethal blows that can be used. One instructor advised members of his group to "obtain salt brine" and soak their hands in it to toughen them enough to break planks.
The FOI is deadly serious. In one temple preparing for a visit from Elijah, the captain told the FOI to "be more like soldiers" and not to be smiling