Friday, March 28, 2008
38 Years Ago Today: Temple Cult Assassins Devour Their First Victim--In California
The very first victim of Jim Jones's brand of "revolutionary suicide" didn't have her life snuffed out with a force-feeding of cynanide punch. No, turned out it was a hangman's noose.
Daniel remembers that terrible moment being woken up in the middle of the night in his home in Talmage, California. It was March 28, 1970, more than eight years before the cult's mass slaughter in a South American jungle. Maxine Harpe's young son and two daughters discovered their mother's lifeless body in the garage of their house. Their nightmare as cult captives would now go into overdrive.
The Temple's squad of enforcers made certain to conceal all the evidence, so the very cooperative local powers-that-be conveniently glossed it over as a "suicide." There would be five other killings to follow in the cult's "Golden California Years" that proceeded the mass flight to Guyana in 1977.
Like Maxine Harpe, the others all had suspicious deaths. The kind that have "unsolved murder" written all over. Ones which our sterling film maker Stanley Nelson just didn't care a damn about investigating.
Daniel Harpe today remembers life in that "loving church," recalling: "At temple meetings, we were not allowed to talk, go to the bathroom, or fall asleep. Jones said if you got caught chewing gum at a meeting, you were to be automatically thrown into the pool. One day a black man wearing a suit got caught and he got thrown into the pool....There were these men walking around, keeping people awake, and moving people who where talking.
These men also wore guns on their sides....These meetings would go on all night. With locked doors, no one in, no one out. Several nights a week. I saw a grown man pass out and piss all over himself. I would be like a zombie in school each following day--totally out of it."
That wasn't all, either. Daniel was forced to undergo the cult's "kids' survival training", chock-full of generous servings of mental and physical abuse. Surely Daniel is not the sole child survivor today, either. But somehow, that amazing Nelson "documentary" flew blindfolded right over all these details. He just couldn't be bothered with the trivial matter of all the abused and battered children, like Daniel, who managed to survive the horror.
Then again, one has to understand that Nelson is a true believer in achieving a sparkling whitewash of any and all unsavory, incompatible realities that would stunt his landmark docuganda.
But don't worry, Stan. We'll be happy to address all the ever-widening chasms in your credibility. Coming up next time is more about Daniel's ordeal and the brutality carried out against his doomed mother.
Maybe one day Mr. and Mrs. Nelson (his writer) will offer up confessions on why so many film makers behave no different than the armada of morally bankrupt politicians currently running this country into ruin.