Sunday, November 18, 2012

Grand Daddy Of Them All - The Jonestown Anniversary

"Nobody joins a cult. Nobody joins anything they think is going to hurt them. You join a religious organization, you join a political movement, and you join with people you really like."
-- Deborah Layton, a member of The People's Temple, issuing a warning about two of the most dangerous affiliations a person can make uncritically.

Life is funny, placing this year's Jonestown anniversary right after an election when Mitt Romney didn't convince millions of Republicans to forget their misgivings about him (and their own supposedly-rock-solid beliefs) but watched as they willingly abandoned them for another purpose - fixing the economy.

It was incredible. Merely by outlasting his opponents - which he could easily do with his wealth - the notorious Mormon flip-flopper who will say anything got the American Right to do the same, in mass, and without reservations. The term "drink the Kool-Aid" has rarely been so apt.

And now, post-election, there's talk of their delusions. Of seeing things that were never there. Of principles left by the side of the road. Shape-shifting identities, and a general lack of direction, now that reality has once again revealed itself. Where'd it go?

And for what? A Mormon bishop who insisted we had no right to really know him or his "church," but continuously gets busted (still!) saying things that indicate he doesn't like us very much. Evidence of this was already available through his much-touted "charity" that went almost exclusively to one group - his own. He made cockamamy, and even crazy statements, sometimes displaying a level of ignorance that (to my ears anyway) seemed criminal in an election for the highest office in the land. But, still, his new found supporters would not be deterred.

Common sense, reason, documented evidence - even of Romney lying about what were described as his most deeply-held beliefs - none of it could be allowed to have an effect, but were either dismissed, excused, or so well-wrapped in lame excuses they could now be delivered as early Christmas gifts.

And of course, let's not forget the ritual of marginalizing the messengers, as must be done to all apostates, right or wrong, along with critical thought, fairness - compassion even - for those hurt by cults, or who had left Romney's and are now struggling to make a new life without it's influence. As the French are fond of saying, "This is not done." The Right wanted what it wanted, and if anyone vulnerable got crushed under their boot, too bad. This was the time for one thing and one thing only - bloodsport of the highest political order. And that goes for your little dog, too.

"I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."
-- Groucho Marx

I could go on like this - because it's fun - but, instead, I'll show you a photo from Nazi Germany:

See that guy? That's a picture of me. It's a picture of me then, and a picture of me now. It's me anytime, and faced with all the many ways, the rest of you decide to clown yourselves over anyone, or anything, you really know nothing about. Because of that tendency, I fear I will be holding this pose forever.

If more did so, there would be many lives still happily walking the planet - at least 6 million - plus 900 that needlessly died in a South American jungle 34 years ago today.

Not to mention a whole lot fewer totally demoralized voters,...