Gavin Eugene Long, the 29-year-old ex-Marine who shot six police officers in Baton Rouge, La., on Sunday, killing three, wrote and self-published three books under the name Cosmo Setepenra, which he also used in online forums.
The books are a combination of New Age-style jargon, pseudoscience, motivational bromides, health tips and racial theory. Titled "The Laws of The Cosmos: Wisely Follow or Blindly Suffer -- The Definitive Law Guide To Spiritual Success," "The Cosmo Way: A W(H)olistic Guide for the Total Transformation of Melanated People Vol. 1 The Detox" and "The Cosmo Way: A W(H)olistic Guide for the Total Transformation of Melanated People Vol. 2 The Ascension," the three books were still available for sale Monday on Amazon.com.
The so-called holistic guides lay out what Long called "the laws of the universe." The self-published books appeared on Amazon in October and November 2015.
An author biography on Amazon — typically penned by publishers or authors themselves — describes Long as "one of the Corps most physically fit Marines" during his five years in the military, and "a highly esteemed and sought after nutritionist and personal trainer" who learned about spirituality during a trip to Africa.
In his book "The Laws of the Cosmos: Wisely Follow or Blindly Suffer -- The Definitive Law Guide to Spiritual Success," Long lists 124 "cosmic laws," which he defines as "effort[s] to describe accurately how something is, not how we have perceived it to be."
The "cosmic laws" include "The Law of Harmony," "The Law of Clarity" and "The Law of Surrender." Long includes inspirational quotes from disparate sources: Michael Jackson's song "The Man in the Mirror," Louisa May Alcott's novel "Little Women" and a motivational record by Zig Ziglar.
"I love you, our Creator loves you, and remember — you were born to win but trained to lose," Long writes in the afterword. "The Laws of the Cosmos help equip you to win, in this life and the next. This is Cosmo Setepenra signing out."
In retrospect, the phrase "this life and the next" is particularly chilling. Long shot police officers in Baton Rouge on his 29th birthday and was subsequently killed by SWAT team members.
Another book by Long, "The Cosmo Way: A W(H)olistic Guide for the Total Transformation of Melanated People, Vol. 1: The Detox," claims to help readers "achieve [their] optimal nutritional, physical, emotional and spiritual goals." In the book, Long harshly criticizes Western medicine.
"It is obvious that the current Western system of health is ruinous to Blacks, and is affecting us at a much higher rate than any other race (The reasons for this will be shown later)," he writes. "The Western ways of health and nutrition are surely not the answer for melanated people and apparently not for anyone else either."
Long rejects the germ theory of disease, and claims that health ailments can be cured by lifestyle changes, including eschewing sugar,dairy and alcohol in favor of "nitriloside and thiocyanate rich plantfoods."
He dedicates three chapters to the importance of staying hydrated. At the end of the book, Long notes that he is a distributor of "Kangen Water," which he says is "5x more absorbent than tap water, delivering more energy, endurance, up to 8.5x more antioxidants than green tea...and it tastes amazing." He encourages readers to email him to arrange for a purchase.
Long's follow-up to that book, "The Cosmo Way: A W(H)olistic Guide for the Total Transformation of Melanated People, Vol. 2: The Ascension," concentrates on the importance of melanin and the pineal gland.
The book's foreword is credited to an anonymous writer, and reads in part, "Cosmo lost a great deal of money due to external forces who relentlessly attempted to suppress the information within this book from getting out to the public. This is because they know that information changes situations. ... Despite the obstacles Cosmo still managed to create an amazing and phenomenal book filled with priceless treasures of wisdom that will definitely transform your mind and possibly your life if applied properly."
In the book, Long describes melanin, a dark pigment found in the skin, as "what gives Black people 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."
Long says that reduced melanin in 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 closes the book with a call for unity. "Let us all, every race, creed, color and religion stop succumbing to the divide and conquer tactics of the few," he writes. "I am risking my life for speaking out about this and for writing this book, but enough is enough. We cannot keep fighting each other because of the small-petty differences that exist between us, while a small select few sit back laughing and reaping rewards from our strife and division."
For all their strangeness and inflated claims, the books do not seem to herald the kind of violent actions Long took on July 17. While they were still for sale Monday morning, by noon on Monday the books' pages on Amazon had been removed. As one commenter had noted earlier, "He killed my cousin and his poison should not be allowed to be sold on the internet."
12 p.m.: This article has been updated to reflect the books' changing sales status on Amazon.