Friday, October 24, 2008

SHEEP, CATS, CHRISTIANS & Pagans

Feeling good today, are we? Well here's something to fix that. New article about the right Reverend Jim Jones and his be-jungled Jonestown.

Read it, and I promise: in no time flat you'll fall into a pink-pickled funk.

Turns out the author moved into the house of the parents of the woman who, in 1978, deep in the jungle in Jonestown, Guyana, helped pass out the poison punch that killed the entirety of Mr. Jones' 1000+ Christian congregation.

In his basement, this dude found a suitcase of letters this poison-punch jungle lady periodically sent back to her parents.

Unfortunately, like everything else I've read about Jonestown, this article too goes belly-up in explaining the big buster question in everyone's mind: how could one dude get 1000+ people to drink cyanide-stamped Koolaid, and then lie down quietly and die?

In your wildest dreams could you imagine even one Pagan committing such tomfoolery?
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thnx to hagit for the foto; go HERE to see more.

6 comments:

Brian Charles said...

Thanks for the link - fascinating reading. I think that what is in operation here is the messaianic dream that we have inherited from the desert religions. It is an extension of the desire to surrender authority to some paternal figure who will rescue us from the monsters in the dark of our own deep psyches. Jim Jones filled that space, as did Hitler, Stalin, David Koresh, Charles Manson and countless others to numerous to mention.

I hope that pagans are immune from the desire for an authoritative certainty but have my doubts since the messaianic delusion is heavily embedded in our culture and hence our collective psyche. The need for vigilance remains.

Athana said...

I totally agree, brian. All of us in the "developed" countries are living in cultures based primarily on authoritarianism stemming directly from our state religions. I suspect that's one of the main reasons we're *able* to live in large "developed" nations run mostly from the top down: our religions condition us to need and accept top-down authority.

I'm thinking I'm going to put one of those "Question Authority" bumper stickers on my car. Maybe there's no hope for our generation, but we can at least try to condition the next to despise and loathe authoritarianism.

Athana said...

brian, one thing that gives me some hope re: Pagans, here, is that old adage about Pagans and cats. You know the one: "leading Pagans is like herding cats"?

Souris Optique said...

I had always heard that a lot of people *didn't* want to drink, but that he had them surrounded with armed guards?

Athana said...

ACtually, you're right, souris, that some didn't want to drink. The article I quote in the post says that these people were escorted by guards to "the dying place." Also, some escaped into the jungle.

Athana said...

ACtually, you're right, souris, that some didn't want to drink. The article I quote in the post says that these people were escorted by guards to "the dying place." Also, some escaped into the jungle.