Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Remembering The Victims Of The Cult Crime Of The Century
Yesterday I spent part of my afternoon with friends in a joy-filled, nourishing park called Cordornices, in the lush hills of Berkeley, California, where I had grown up in the sixties and early seventies. Now, as then, children frolicked on that wondrous cement slide built into a hillside sheltered by a magnificent oak tree. In all my childhood outings, I have remembered this slide as one of the all-time unchallenged thrill rides. I tried it out again, wondering if it just might still pack the same punch.
Yes, it did.
I really needed some renewal, too, after the experience earlier that day. A great sadness was still suffocating me from an earlier visit to the mass grave of more than 400 people on a hill in cemetery in neighboring Oakland.
As I placed the flower and said a silent prayer at the simple tombstone, I couldn't help but wonder how old today, and how many children they would have had, if those scores of children and babies entombed from that nightmarish day in Jonestown had been spared. I thought about it again, watching the many kids running about joyfully in the Berkeley park, and knowing that some of those babies slaughtered by Jim Jones and his executioners by now would be old enough to be some of those parents, smiling, and savoring the joys of watching their little ones play.
This Sunday, November 18, is the 29th anniversary of the massacre. Perhaps it still won't get the same media attention as the 25th or next year's big 30th. But certainly there will be the annual memorial service. The cult apologists and creators of the official historic fiction account of the People's Temple cult will be there in strength, as well.
Count on them never admitting the real truth about the events that produced Jonestown. Count on the reporters to not report the facts that they hide from the public. And count on a continuing refusal by those that are accountable--the cowardly editors, the immoral clergy, and the sleazy, self-serving politicians--who aided and abetted the setting of the stage for the slaughter.
Another dark anniversary.