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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 10/25/12

Modern civilization: The Next Jonestown Massacre

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Message Michael Stedman
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Most would agree that it was a devastating event in November of 1978, when 918 people died after committing mass suicide by drinking poisoned grape flavored Flavor-Aid.   Unfortunately most of you who feel that it was a tragedy, yet remain oblivious to the fact that our entire modern civilization is not that much different.   One difference is that Jim Jones came right out and told his group that they were going to die, whereas our society deludes us into believing that we will not only survive, we will be better off.   Another difference is that Jim Jones convinced several hundred people to kill themselves, while our modern civilization has already claimed millions of innocent lives, and given enough time will claim BILLIONS more.   I am sure there are many of you who are questioning my logic regarding this issue.   I just ask that you bear with me and hear me out.

Let's look at some of the similarities:

1)     Jim Jones convinced his followers that he had an ideal solution for a utopian way of life that would benefit the common good.


The ruling power in the U.S. has convinced the American people that "Democracy" is the ideal way of life, and even goes so far as to force it upon other nations.


2)     The utopian dream that was promised by Jones, failed to deliver.   Living conditions were highly regulated and cramped.   People were forced to work long hard days in the heat under the pretext that it was for the common good.   Anyone who had any idea of questioning this way of life and contemplated leaving were met with armed guards around the compound.


The "American Dream" has also failed to deliver (unless you happen to be part of the ruling class).   Everything in life has become regulated by some branch of government.   Living conditions for millions are sub-standard, and for millions this even means living on the street.   Practically the entire population has been reduced to working long hours, in meaningless jobs, for very little pay, in order to afford to live.   Those who question the system, or try to propose any other way of life, are chastised and ostracized, and in many cases even intimidated, abused, beaten, oppressed, and/or detained by armed guards (police, FBI, NSA, Homeland Security).   Furthermore, it has even reached the point that to simply leave on holiday to a foreign land; one must endure the TSA's groping, degradation, nude scanners, and more.


3)     Jim Jones would inundate his followers with a steady stream of his rhetoric and propaganda all day, and even into the night.


Our society uses the media to pummel its citizens with a constant stream of rhetoric and propaganda 24/7.


4)     The community began to crumble, after several of Jones' followers brutally murdered Congressman Leo Ryan (Representative from San Mateo, CA) and fellow members who were trying to escape with Ryan's assistance.   Then in order to coerce his followers into participating, Jim Jones began to use fear mongering by telling his followers that "W hen they start parachuting out of the air, they'll shoot some of our innocent babies," and "If these people land out here, they'll torture some of our children here. They'll torture our people, they'll torture our seniors. We cannot have this."


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Michael Stedman is an activist, actor, singer, writer, photographer, and all around artist. He was born and raised in Boulder County, Colorado. He spends most of his time pursuing self education, as well as looking to find ways to educate, inform, (more...)
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