Murder/Suicide in Guyana
Posts - History - 111608)
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from the MSNBC report, broadcast
last night, "Witness to Jonestown" ...
(Rebecca Moore) of some of the
victims (lost two sisters and a nephew), com-
menting on her thoughts after news reports
of the tragedy first started coming in:
"Nobody knew for sure what had happened.
Nobody knew how many people had died,
and my mother seemed to think that my
sisters were alive and that, in fact, my
younger sister Annie had led some chil-
dren to safety in Venezuela. She was in
total denial. I knew that my sisters were
dead from the get-go because they were
true believers, they were absolutely com-
mitted, There was no way they would
abandon the cause."
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When I reflect on this horrible real life
nightmare, I think back to my upbringing
in a religious environment, an upbringing
in which I was taught from the youngest
age that the 'right' religion was 'good', that
'faith' was admirable/desirable, that 'belief'
would impart power to those who followed
that almighty all-powerful being in this life,
and would yield everlasting pleasant immor-
tality in the afterlife, that disbelief was evil,
that disbelievers were dead wrong, that
horrible immortal torture awaited those
who dared to disbelieve.
Some might view the mass murder/suicide
in Guyana as a freak departure from the reli-
gious 'norm', one in which a maniac misled
his followers to doom.
I simply see the risk religion entails, with its
calls for faith and following, with its believers
subject to the edicts issued by a religious
leader and fellow peers as if they were legit,
freed from the constraints of dissent and
alternate views, embodied in an atmosphere
that encourages belief as a 'good', entrapped
within a system by which disbelief is dis-
couraged/demonized and dissent is bottled
up and characterized as 'sin'.
The formula in that, calling ancient writings
by mostly unknown individuals with mostly
anonymous agendas apart from conveying
they had/have contact with the will of the
supposedly most powerful being in the
The same exact formula used in every reli-
gious service ever attended, whether in
Jonestown or Mecca or Rome or Dallas
or anywhere on or above the planet.
So, I caution you, one and all, to not treat
doubt and disbelief as the evil that religious
entities assert it is, to not buy into the notion
that religion/faith/belief is a 'good' by virtue
of its good deeds or good promises regard-
less of its threats/anti-humanism, and to
make this one and only *certain* chance at
life last as long and as pleasantly as possible
for you, for yours, and for everyone, truly
free from the downsides and risks inherent
in the seductions & threats of religious faith.
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"Witness to Jonestown" at MSNBC:
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