Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mother, Mother, Mother, Please......

Have you ever heard it?  The Jonestown recording.  I've listened to it at least a dozen times.  


The first time you listen to it, you'll focus mainly on Jim.  His voice.  His words.  The obvious slurring of his speech.  His tangential thought processes.  The disturbing fatherly hold he has on his people.   Your brain will stagger as he convinces 1000 of his people that the only logical conclusion is "revolutionary suicide."  And, at least judging by the sound of cheers and encouragement from his audience, he succeeds.

The more you read and learn about what happened there, the more you hear.  The next time you listen, you may focus intently on Christine's argument, and her tete-a-tete with Jim.  The obscene backlash she faced from others and Jims' smooth mask of protection over her.  As he preaches ardently and proudly on communism, he gives this woman freedom of speech, of dissent, and at least verbally protects her as though he were exactly what they called him- Dad.  Though Christine was fierce, her protests were eventually quelled, and she acquiesces to the inevitable.  It is my firm belief that she was one of the many who were forcibly injected and killed.

The subsequent times you listen, you will begin to focus more on the background.  The eerie music dubbed in from a previous recording (Jim frequently reused tapes over and over again, causing the previous recordings to bleed into the current ones.  That is the music you are hearing).

You will hear the screams.  The screams.  The crying.  Of children.  Dying.  Jim's wife makes a lame attempt at soothing parents' fears and urges them to keep their children calm.  Jim repeatedly says that it is not painful, it is merely a "stepping over."

"Everybody relax and you'll have no problem." He says.

Some nameless followers pass the microphone around to give their thanks to "Dad," who eventually loses patience with them and puts a stop to it.  "Let's get on with it," he says.

And babies cry.  "I wanna see you go.  I don't wanna see you go through this hell no more.  No more, no more, no more."  He says.

And babies cry.  And scream.

They "appreciate the way our children are going."  Because Dad has convinced them that, because of the murder of Senator Ryan on the airstrip, the outsiders will do nothing less than parachute in there and slaughter their children.

Screaming babies.  Listen closely.  How many are being forcibly injected?  How many are trusting their parents and drinking the Kool-Aid? (It was actually Flavor Aid by the way).

They're dying with dignity, Jim says.  And babies scream.  How many are in their parents' arms?

"Lay down your life with your child, but don't do this."  This.  We can only imagine what "this" is.  Protests?  Desperate pleas?  Terror?  Outright refusal?

"Don't lay down with tears and agony........ Stop the hysterics!"

Oh, God.

And babies scream.

Free at last.

A child screams "No! No!"

"I don't care how many screams you hear, I don't care how many anguished cries.  Death is a million times more preferable than 10 more days of this life."

As he calls on the adults to "stop this nonsense."  Nonsense?  And again, you question.  Protests?  Desperate pleas?  Terror?  Outright refusal?

The screams of the children become ominously more scant.  And it hits you once again exactly what it is you are listening to.  Even in the silence.  Especially in the silence.  The silence tells of the number of children who were screaming, and the number of children who now are not.  The silence that you hear is death.  Children lying in the grass with the bodies of their parents.  No longer able to scream.

And yet he just wants peace, he says.

One after another, those who have not yet "stepped over" praise Dad for his kindness.  Proud of their revolutionary struggle.  Proud that Dad has given them the choice to lay down their children this way instead of giving them over to those who would most certainly slaughter them like pigs.  And to these people, at all makes sense.  Wonderful, transcendental, peaceful sense.

And babies scream.

And then Jim cooly interrupts a speaker by calling for a "vat."  A vat....... "so the adults can begin."

Congratulations.  Long about the 5th or 6th time you've listened to this recording, you realize you have listened to 41 minutes and 25 seconds of babies and children being murdered, either by their willing parents or forcibly injected by Jim's henchmen if the parents protested.  And the adults had not even begun.

"....... an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world."

Music.

Warped, dubbed voices.

Utter silence.
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