Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Reflections Of Fading Anniversary -- And For Many, A Lesson Still Lost
The world rocks and rolls into 2009 in just over an hour as we watch our Jonestown Turns Thirty year officially sink into oblivion.
One of the most ironic things about self-appointed "prophet" Jim Jones was that painfully prophetic sign hanging over his jungle kingdom's throne, bearing Santanya's warning that "those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
Consider carefully the cult carnage of the Branch Davidians, Solar Temple, Heaven's Gate, and the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God. All were a senseless slaughter like that madman's "revolutionary suicide," all a hideous byproduct of brainwashing and coercion.
All taking place in the years after the Guyana holocaust. Grim oracle indeed.
How many more will we witness? Moreover, how much longer will cults, if not committing outright murder, continue exploiting, brutalizing, and destroying lives? That really depends on the direction of the raging battle by present-day cults and their apologist brigades for today's hearts and minds gullible enough to fall for the dangerous false advertising of "New Religious Movements (NRM)."
Such a perky little euphemism, don't ya think? Throw it onto the rest of the pile, along with so many well-used ones. My favorites include some of the military gems, "pacification," "ethnic cleansing," and "enhanced interrogation techniques." The last one, in fact, is real close to home, isn't it?
But George Bush's torture tag teams have to share some credit. Our Jonestown "pioneers" -- as Becky Moore likes to call them -- had their own special little waterboarding parties just for uncooperative kids, in a quaint ritual called "Big Foot," where terrified children were repeatedly dunked at the bottom of a dark well. On the other hand, film maker Stanley Nelson told the world: "I see them in Jonestown and part of me sees a huge party, you know what I mean?....They can party as hard as they want. All the people are there, everybody that you know and love, you can go put the kids to bed, and they're safe in their beds..."
Ah, so then perhaps the children were treated to the Temple Waterboard Ride around lunchtime, Stan?
What we can almost certainly count on in 2009 and beyond is more of the same doling out by cult aplogist hordes of generous servings of thought-crushing cliches and propaganda pyrotechnics. Sometimes even the most noxious cultists such as Lafayette Ronnie Hubbard's science fictionologist flakes manage to have a rampaging Tom Cruise be their featured act on a leash.
Recently I heard from reader, Alan Havlick, who shared the frustration of having to deal with an especially twisted cultist in Texas, Doyle Davidson, who's been menacing the public from the airwaves.
"A few years ago," wrote Havlick, "I came across a cult leader and decided to inform cult-stopping groups of his activities. I went online thinking, 'After Jim Jones, there must be hundreds of groups out there, keeping track of these evil men...'
"Sadly, I was wrong.
"I had to open my own website and expose him. We have removed him from every TV station but one and now no one can search his name without also seeing the truth about him at my site. But I am still amazed by the people who continue to follow him -- they have been to my website and seen the truth. Several ex-members post there and confirm the truth, yet they refuse to get out.
"I think you're right about his (Jim Jones) adopted son; he is hanging around with the wrong people. 'Villainized'?? Get real, Jones, Jr.
"While researching Jim Jones I saw that there are several former members and family who still excuse everything with that crud about 'Oh, we helped the poor and elderly.' I would ask, 'So you don't mind if I kill 900 people as long as I help the poor and elderly?!'
"Again, I say: 'Get real.'"
Below is a sampling of the "Water of Life" ministries Grand Guru Doyle, warmly embracing a sinful follower, in a room that appears populated with department store mannequins.
Davidson, besides bedding down with a married member of his flock (and going bonkers when she finally returned to her spouse & children), also equates modern medicine with "witchcraft."
Scientologists, you got a friend.
Speaking of friends, not all my readers are quite as agreeable as Alan is. "Joanne" (no last name) takes a psychoanalytical, if not just plain heated viewpoint.
"I can't help but look," she wrote, "at all these different websites and filmakers and make a spectrum. Rebecca Moore and Mac all the way to the left....you all the way to the right. I don't understand why you can't wrap your head around the similarities you have with Moore and McGhee. You are obviously warped by your father's experience. You can't see past what information you get from that. Rebecca is obviously warped by her family's experience.
"I just don't understand YOUR obvious hatred. There were people in power in the Peoples Temple that were evil and believed in the evil they were doing. But there were many people, who were never in a position of power, who were predominantly black, who were desperately searching for something better. Yes, they were duped, but how can you shamelessly ignore the positive efforts of some of these people?? I believe that's what Stanley Nelson's intentions were...
"To me you are so filled with hate, rage, and self righteousness, I can't read any more of your blogs. You are the equivalent of a four year-old having a temper tantrum..."
Sometimes I never know when it's one of Mac or Becky's pals writing in, so I'll just have to give my critic Joanne the benefit of the doubt. I will say this, as I've said before: I do not hate Becky or Mac.
What I hate is what they're doing. Because cult apologist promotion is WRONG. It's unethical. It's outright dishonest. They have been dishonest and I have proof.
Yes, it does make me feel enraged to know that the imprisonment, abuse, and mass murder of over 900 Americans was entirely preventable, Joanne. PREVENTABLE. That doesn't seem to make any more difference to you than trying to grasp the social psychological dynamics of thought control.
Meet Frankie Fountain (L), David Sanders (R), and Jewel Fountain (above). Two brothers and a sister that helped make up the nearly 300 children slaughtered by Jim Jones.
Frankie was five years old, David, nine, and Jewel, well, this little girl was all of four years old when she was murdered by selected Temple mass murderers. You ever wonder if or how many times they got beaten up, abused, or receive that horrifically cruel cult water torture?
Four year-old Jewel. Maybe she had a temper tantrum when they held her down and forced cyanide down her throat.
Say hello to Dr. Lawrence Schacht (top), Annie Moore (L), and Carolyn Moore (R).
Top-ranking Jonestown death camp executioners who, after their unspeakable crimes, took their own lives. Becky referred to this as "poetic justice."
Wondrously convenient things, these euphemisms.