Thursday, November 13, 2008
MSNBC's Jonestown "Witness" Documentary Verdict: PERJURY. And Tonight-- More Of The Same From CNN?
Move over Stanley Nelson. You've got company.
As predicted, MSNBC's "Witness To Jonestown" carried all the earmarks of a Rebecca Moore behind-the-scenes production. One of my readers, "Dave," had this to say about the two-hour program last Sunday:
"I observed all the same criminal omissions. The most glaring being the way they always present the People Temple's accommodation of old people and children as 'humanitarian' and ignore that it was the primary source of income. (California child welfare and social security checks were coming in at the rate of $65,000 per month.)
Moore and her ilk have reduced the label for these destructive, con-games-on-a-massive-scale to the word 'cult' and have then dismissed the word.
She should be ashamed of herself.
As a religious scholar, she needs to know that putting cults and the worship of God on the same plane diminishes religion. Period."
An unquestionably cogent observation, Dave. Bravo.
Unfortunately, however, for a flaming cult apologist like our "religious scholar" Moore, it's next to impossible for her to feel ashamed until she changes her shameless ways.
Becky Moore and husband "Mac" McGehee's San Diego-based "Jonestown Institute" offers up an endless dunghill range of cult apologist propaganda, to any and all gullible individuals, with extra heavy shovel loads for knuckle headed producers, directors, editors, and reporters. To make it truly palatable, Mac & Becky market their message with an insidious concoction of fact & fantasy that works the public like some macabre supermarket tabloid.
They're willing, able, and ecstatic dispensing all the data, just as long as it's spiked with compelling "evidence" promoting all the wonderful, cheery facets of this so-very destructive cult.
And the Moore/McGehee dynamic duo knows exactly how to play such corporate media outfits like MSNBC, so that a nice, sturdy apologist undercurrent will run in the script just enough to chalk up another "mission accomplished."
And so it was with "Witness To Jonestown." One after another of Becky's friends testified to the "bad" as well as the "good" of the Jones Cult. Interesting, though, because Producer Stephen Stept seemed to have not cared less about interviewing a very relevant source named Pat Lynch.
Pat Lynch is a former NBC (as in the corporate chunk that completes MSNBC) Nightly News producer who had prepared a series of reports on the increasingly dangerous People's Temple cult in the months preceding November, 1978.
Last year, with the circulation of Stan Nelson's outrageous People's Temple whitewash ("The Life and Death of Peoples Temple"), Lynch could no longer remain silent. She wrote in the Huffingon Post about NBC's withholding of hours of footage she had produced:
"I didn't realize the extent of the media cover-up," said Lynch, "until I began revisiting these issues 28 years later. How could NBC lose -- or worse, destroy historical footage of an event like Jonestown? Why? And what about my interviews with the people who predicted from firsthand experience what would happen if the Ryan party entered Jonestown? The documentaries aired recently as the anniversary approaches are a revisionist history of the event. 'Lovely people. Tragic story.'
The real story has yet to be told and must be told for at least three reasons. First, there's the matter of accountability for 918 needless deaths. Second, there's the issue of journalistic responsibility. Those who made these fateful decisions at NBC, including former company president Fred Silverman, former NBC News president Les Crystal and NBC lawyers, are still alive. Finally, at a time when the media is criticized for missing the truth about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and for its own lack of transparency, telling this story is not only a way to come clean but a cautionary tale for all news organizations."
Come clean, indeed. Not a hopeful scenario as long as media moguls like Fred Silverman continue keeping it all swept under their very dirty little rug.
In addition to Dave's comment about the "Witness" load of half-truths, I received this little invite from one of Mac & Becky's cronies, named "Roger":
I am a family friend of the Moore's (Rebecca and Mac McGehee). I've written many articles on the website and I've invited your father to write an article for the Alternative Considerations of Jonestown website. Trust me, they have NOTHING against you or your father. Recently at our annual gathering in San Diego, I suggested we solicit Les to write an article of his experience....."
Well, Roger, please don't think me ungrateful, but this side of the fence will have to take a rain check. One of the more obvious sticking points is the fact that Rebecca's father, Rev. John Moore, delivered--quite cunningly--the contents of my father's briefcase (containing Temple exposes) to Jim Jones himself in 1975. This was to be my father's last-ditch effort to stop the cult--two entire years before Marshall Kilduff rose from his lazy, negligent duff to finally do his job responsibly. Rebecca, meanwhile, has lied outright about why my father left the San Francisco Examiner, in her apologist magnus opus, "A Sympathetic History of Jonestown: The Moore Family Involvement of People's Temple."
We'll discuss that particular Moore scandal a little later, in all its sordid details.
In the meantime, did anyone out there bother taking up my little wager (in the last posting) on the odds that MSNBC would cover up, distort and serve up a generous serving of half-truths, per the "Jonestown Institute's" schematic?
Incredibly, there are other apologists like Moore who continue to sing praises for the "bright side" to The Guyana Gulag That Jim Built. Denise Stephenson, Becky Moore's college roommate, produced the atrocious 2005 book "Dear People: Remembering Jonestown," containing "joyful" letters cult captives frequently were forced to send back to the United States.
Some of the letters in particular raved about the "marvelous" food available at Jonestown. Interesting. What a flagrant contrast to then-12 year-old Tracy Parks's (daughter of slain cult defector Patricia Parks) account of the "People's Temple Agricultural Project."
In a recent interview with the Ukiah Daily Journal--a newspaper that once served as one of the many mouth organs for Jim Jones--Tracy recalled the reality of Jonestown:
"It turned out to be hell on earth," she said. "Once we were there it just finally sunk in and I said, 'Oh my God, I'm going to die here.' We couldn't really get caught talking to each other. Because they knew if you did that you would be planning something."
Diaz [her current married name] said that although the community was advertised as a self-sustainable jungle paradise, that couldn't have been further from the truth.
"My breakfast consisted of rice and milk with bugs in it," she said. "And I joke today that that's how I got my protein. We were just severely malnourished. We found out later it was the rice they fed to the hogs. They would test you periodically. You had to know Chinese, Russian. You had to teach yourself these things. If they asked you something when you were line for food and you didn't know the answer you'd get turned away. It was a constant fear, exhaustion to keep you from rebelling and keep you more able to brainwash, keep you pretty sedate."
Sedated, fearful, and exhausted.
Oh, AND brainwashed,too??
Not a chance--that is, if our renowned Cult Apologist Queen and her pals can help it.
Rebecca Moore and Massimo Introvigne, on an official 2006 visit to the California headquarters of "Unarius," a flying saucer cult. Introvigne is founder and managing director of CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions), as well as a proud director of the Transylvanian Society of Dracula. One of Introvigne's more well-known "scholarly papers" was entitled: "'Brainwashing': Career of a Myth in the United States and Europe."
NOTE: Tonight, Thursday, November 13 (9 p.m. EST), CNN will debut its own Jonestown anniversary special, "Escape From Jonestown." They have disclosed recently the discovery that Jim Jones and his inner circle--including Moore's two sisters, Annie and Carolyn--had been importing cyanide every month into Jonestown, for at least two years before their mass murder of the rest of the cult in 1978.
Of course, the real question is whether CNN, like MSNBC, fell prey to the toxic revisionist charms of Mac & Becky's Jonestown Apologist Institute.
Stay tuned, one and all.