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Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Beast And His Jonestown Baby Killers-- Commemorate Them??

Bitterness and controversy on the right way to memorialize the dead of Jonestown just won't go away.

A few months ago I got this elated message from "Rhonda" (who's requested anonymity), a survivor of the Jonestown Massacre:

"I wanted to advise you," she said, "and I am glad to report that the memorial plaque constructed by Lela Howard bearing the name of Jim Jones along with the names of the real victims has not and will never be placed in the African American Historical Society in San Francisco. They are sensitive and understanding about the insensitivity of placing such a permanent fixture in their museum on a permanent or temporary basis. So I guess Lela best move on to perhaps the City of Los Angeles or some other city that will deem Jim Jones a victim of himself."

The above photo from the Jonestown Massacre's 30th Anniversary Memorial Service is something altogether different, of course. Shown is one of the first two panels of a granite memorial wall unveiled at the site of a mass grave of Jonestown victims, most of them children, in Evergreen Cemetery nestled in the hills of Oakland, California.

Seen praying over one of the panels at the far right is Jynona Norwod, who has overseen the project to build the wall. She has as good a reason as any other surviving relative, having suffered the devastating loss of 27 family members to Jim Jones and his executioners in November, 1978.

She is rightfully adamant the monster that destroyed so much of her family never, ever be recognized as a "victim," which would honor him with all the men, women, children, and babies he savagely murdered.

Other concerned parties, however, strongly object. They formed a rival group that constructed a separate memorial--a Lucite plaque--featuring the name of certain "faith healing" mass murderer. They apparently echo the sentiments of adopted son, Jim Jones, Jr., who claimed at the memorial service that "the tragedy is we're villianizing Jim Jones....also a victim, of his own madness. We need to memorialize all the bodies, as a great loss."

Granted, this was his adapted father. But it just can't change the fact that Jim Jones, Sr. was little more than a sadistic, psychotic killer. Memorialize a perfectly hideous beast that caused such unspeakable suffering, years and years even before the Jonestown Holocaust, as a "great loss"??

The revisionists and shameless cult apologists that we're so well acquainted with might be well pleased, because their desperate hope will forever be to one day dupe today's public that the People's Temple's demonic essence was shadowed by its bright, cheery sides.

"....Peoples Temple members were engaged in the world, and tried to make concrete differences in individuals' lives and in society as a whole." --Rebecca Moore
San Diego State Prof. of Religion and
Sister of Temple mass murderers, Carolyn & Annie Moore

Food kitchens--and extortion. Miracle healings--and fraud.

Foster families--and child torture. Spiritual redemption--and brain washing.

Drug rehab--and murder.

All brought to us by that racially enlightened Marxist marvel, Comrade James Warren Jones and his near lily-white politburo, The Planning Commission.

Jones, honored? Along with his murderous organized crime family, including Sharon Amos, Larry Schacht, Annie & Carolyn Moore, Jim McElvane, and those gun-wielding death camp guards that so efficiently coerced all the other cult members to the slaughter?

Commemorate baby killers? Are you kidding??

Rival memorial group leader Lela Howard is deadly serious. She's the one Rhonda spoke of in her message. Howard lost an aunt at Jonestown and said, "This is the first time they will be recognized as human beings. It restores the humanity of these people and gives their names back."

It's hard to say where Howard and her group will place their memorial, now that it's reportedly been rejected for permanent placement in San Francisco's African American Historical Society.

That clearly will do little to cool down the rage and resentment Howard has for Norwood. At the end of 2007, she wrote to the Apologists Alert claiming:

"A memorial wall at Oakland cemetery is great! But I thought money was collected for that many years ago--what happened to those funds? It seems as if there's an unnecessary competition in regards to memorials for the victims, which takes away from the focal point of remembering them.

This makes me very sad and confused, because this separates us or leans towards a school yard 'choosing sides' type of mentality, instead of family and survivors coming together and honoring our loved ones. It's more about the living and their egos, rather than those who perished...very, very, very sad."

Then, about a year later, came another attack on Norwood. This time from another critic claiming anonymity as "Confused and Getting Upset." It was an even harsher denunciation [see November 9, 2009 JAA post], questioning both Norwood's financial accounting as well as her personal integrity.

Without any outright evidence, there's no way to go beyond mere speculation that this diatribe came from someone in Howard's group or Howard herself.

The attacks have outraged Norwood. She's issued a very lengthy rebuttal.

Some of the highlights:

"Your named and anonymous bloggers," she wrote, "are attempting to distract our focus in memorializing the 305 innocent babies that Jim Jones murdered. Remember that these are the types of tactics that was encouraged and taught by Jim Jones. I remember as a teenager that whoever did not join Jones's church was to be misaligned at home, within the family, and in public....

....It has to do with what is right or wrong. It is about correcting a wrong. In your blog an anonymous contributor compared me with Jim Jones and called me a charlatan because I minister in the five-fold ministry, of which the gift of prophecy is one such anointing....

....I have never said that I would list the names of the murderers at Jonestown. This is another lie. Our decision to include the names of all the fallen except Jim Jones is not complicated. We are neither judge nor jury. We do not know with any certainty all of whom were actually involved in the massacre, but we do know who the leader was.

Would your bloggers also desire that I not accept the support, prayers and commendation's of the political, civil and community leaders who were deceived into befriending Jim Jones? They did not know that he would cause the murder of babies that included over 900 loving people. Therefore, instead of picking through the ruins, we are moving up from the valley of tears to build a monument to repentance, renewal and revival....

....Lela Howard garnered support from leaders and built a memorial honoring everyone including Jim Jones in her 2008 ceremony in San Francisco. She had the audacity to inscribe Jim Jones's name next to the victims and innocent children. She tried to have it placed in the African American Center in San Francisco where she held the ceremony, but when the African American community and leaders found out that she was honoring Jim Jones they called the center and put a stop to it....

...My books are open and I have nothing to hide....As soon as my CPA finishes his YTD report we will make these records available to the Office of the Attorney General and any reputable organization. Therefore, I call upon good people of the nations to help us do good in the face of evil and continue to love in a sea of hate. If we can do this together, we will never see another Jonestown massacre again

One can only hope.


Gretta said...

Things like the Jonestown massacres are so disturbing. I just don't understand how anyone could do such a thing or how people could go along with it.

Tom Kinsolving said...

I know it, Gretta. It's almost as if the whole thing came out of a Stephen King novel or something. But as the saying goes, truth so often is far stranger than fiction.
What really continues rubbing salt into this horrific wound on humanity is the fact that Jonestown NEVER HAD TO HAPPEN. The powers that be, mass media, politicians, and whoever else, all took a part in aiding Jim Jones, or just looking the other way.
Even more shameless is how they report on the massacre today--conveniently leaving out or playing down to a whisper their disgraceful active/inactive role in all this. The coverup continues and it's utterly inexcusable.
As far as the question of how people could take part in cult atrocities, there's an abundance of research available on the web that explains the insidious workings of mind control.
A good place to start is with cult experts Rick Ross (who used to be a deprogrammer) and Steven Hassan, who's a therapist for former cult slaves. They both have websites, just Google them.
Do watch very carefully if you should run into ANYONE out there in your research that might use term "New Relgious Movements" rather than cults....these folks invariably are university "professors of religious studies" wearing second hats as raging cult apologists.
They'll fill you up with enough specious double talk to make even the worst cult monster look like he/she wears a bright, soothing halo....but has been unjustly smeared by "apostates."
Good luck!

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