Page:1965 FBI monograph on Nation of Islam.djvu/43

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made by the dissident, former NOI member from Boston in  article that appeared in "The Saturday Evening Post," on'. February 27, 1965. According to the latest FBI information, these membership estimates are about 2,000 too high.

Concerning the NOI's membership,  said no one in the NOI hierarchy had any positive idea of the actual number of members. As has been known by the FBI for years, the membership at any given time could only be estimated, as there is a constant influx of new persons, which is balanced by an egression of old members. New people begin attending meetings on a fairly regular basis. They have their names entered in the "Book of Life," maintained in Chicago, and obtain their "X" names. But as new members enter into the cult's activities, many others at any given time are in various stages of disillusionment--they fail to attend meetings regularly, fail to make the required contributions, do not accept the temple leaders' discipline, and are soon completely out of all the cult' activities.

 has said that approximately 100 new persons a month join the Chicago Temple but that "members leave as fast as new ones join" and, therefore, for a number of years the total membership in Chicago has remained almost the same. Several years ago one of Elijah's sons, speaking at a meeting of the Chicago Temple, complained that during the 1961 annual Muslim convention 500 persons "signed up" for membership but only five of them remained in the temple.