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Faith, mental illness, or con artist?

Moorish Science Adherent Arrested After Claiming Change of Identity

Yesterday's Tampa Bay Times reports on the jailing in late November in Pasco County Florida of Shanita Marie Burden on charges of driving with a counterfeit car tag, driving without a Florida license (her South Carolina license was suspended), and giving a false name to police. Burden insists she is Zuri Akila Betiti Matawala Zurj-Bey, a "grand sheikess" in the Moorish Temple of Science of the World. She insists that black people are not subject to the United States government, but instead are Moorish. In September, she was stopped when she was found driving a car with license tags reading : "Moorish American Republic 070117-004." She claimed that a piece of paper with a fuzzy photo from the Moorish Divine National Movement of the World issued to a Zuri Akila Betiti Matawala Zurj-Bey was her drivers' license. The woman claims she was born of a religious conversion last year and that she declared her former self, Shanita Burden, dead. She then made herself the personal representative for Burden's estate and filed court papers declaring this. At a Nov. 19 arraignment on the traffic charges, Bey, identified herself only as "flesh and blood."  She told Circuit Judge Susan Gardner that she was appearing as the personal representative of Burden, but the court ruled that since she wan not an attorney, she could not do so.  The court then issued a warrant against Burden for failing to appear in court. She was arrested eight days later when she attempted to file papers in the clerk of court's office ordering Judge Susan Gardner not to issue any more unlawful warrants against Burden.
Much larger article with more info at the Tampa Bay link inside the article above.

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 9:24 PM on Dec. 17, 2012 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • CON artist. My phone thinks it knows better than me.

    Answer by DusterMommy at 11:04 AM on Dec. 19, 2012

  • That was an entertaining read. I am leaning towards mental illness. I would've said congrats artist, except she kept going with it, through court and beyond. That's just nuts.

    Answer by DusterMommy at 11:04 AM on Dec. 19, 2012

  • I'd leave that decision up to a psychiatrist.

    Answer by SWasson at 9:53 AM on Dec. 18, 2012

  • She is a conartist.

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:06 AM on Dec. 18, 2012

  • If you are not a captive of a country, then you are living there willingly, and have willingly subjected yourself to their laws. If you do not like their laws, leave. Its really that easy.

    Answer by Nimue930 at 11:46 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • okay that was an excellent trip of knowledge (got to learn all sorts of new things!)

    so on the home page of the Moorish Temple's website says that they follow all laws of the country, are not involved with any sovereignty movement, and encourage all their ppl to follow the laws of the land. so this aint about faith. the Moorish Temple also doesnt have "grand sheikess". so yeah...shes most likely a bum/con artist trying to get out of taxes & what not.

    the most hilarious part of all this is that the sovereign movement is based in racism. so for a black woman to be using it as a reason she's not a citizen is hilarious!

    Answer by okmanders at 11:14 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • I'm voting for mental illness. She sounds delusional.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 10:53 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • OK then deport her back to "moorland" because she is here illegally. I believe that means seisure of property too, doesn't it?

    Answer by Dardenella at 10:37 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • im gonna have to look up a lot of things to understand exactly what all these new ideas thank you! i love research and that i have the time to do it! :)

    but as of right now, it sounds like she thought she found a way to not pay all those parking tickets & fines...

    Answer by okmanders at 10:04 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • Just imagine the implications if she were allowed to use that.



    Answer by jsbenkert at 9:53 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

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