MOVE's Words of Hate
"At the heart of every totalitarian enterprise, one sees outlandish dogmas, poorly arranged, but working ineluctably like gears in some ludicrous instrument of death."
-Sam Harris, The End of Faith
It wasn't enough for MOVE members and supporters to try and ruin John's life and the lives of his family.
It wasn't enough for them that he was savagely murdered by cowardly thugs as he sat in his car.
It wasn't enough for them to create and propagate cruel and hateful lies about him after his death.
MOVE had to go further. They had to torment the man's family with hateful and vile words designed to illicit fear, silence, and even more pain.
What follows is a letter to John Gilbride's father from the MOVE Organization. It is a letter to a man who had to endure the murder of his only son and then, not long after, the untimely loss of his wife to cancer.
It is a letter that illustrates the extreme lengths that MOVE will go to in order to inflict suffering upon those that they consider their enemies. It is a letter that MOVE would rather people did not see, which is of course why I am reprinting it here.
I have also included my, as of now still unanswered, "Open Letter" to Alberta Africa, MOVE's current leader and ex-wife of John Gilbride.
I think that MOVE's own words do more to make my point that this is a group wedded to a destructive and vile ideology. Rather then being the example of revering and protecting life, as they claim. MOVE is a source of misery and hatred.
Letter from MOVE
Jack Gilbride Don't you ever try to label our sister, Alberta Africa, as a murderer. Her Belief, MOVE Law, don't teach murder, her Belief is Life! If anybody is guilty of murder you are, not our sister. All she ever did was love John, and take care of him. She encouraged him to be right, strong. You, on the other hand, abused him mentally and physically. You never loved him, all you ever did was resent him, out of jealousy because he was better looking than you, taller than you, he was young and you were old. Everything John ever had in his life that was good you tore it down and took it away from him. You're a jealous, hateful old man, and its you, if its anybody, who's responsible for John's death. Just like you're responsible for Francis death. You drove that woman to her death with your hate, spite and vindictiveness. She wanted to be a grandmother to the son John and Alberta had, and they both wanted her to be that too, so did MOVE, but it's you who stood in the way of all the love and family we all could have had, steadily pushing your hate, bigotry, racism and goddaming pride and ego, all rooted in your own personal self-hatred and jealousy. Just look at what you've done. You've messed everything up for everybody. John loved you and trusted you, he believed in you, but you weren't really a father or a friend to him, and you manipulated his love and trust for your own maniacal schemes. You took John away from his family, his wife, his son, his home, and you took away his happiness. You took John away from his son, leaving his little child without a father, you took Alberta's husband away from her, you took our MOVE brother away from us, and you took Francis' first grandchild, her grandson who she loved, away from her. You are truly a demon straight out of hell Jack, and The MOVE Org. hopes you live a long time so that you can feel some of the hurt, pain you've caused life to suffer, but don't you ever call Alberta Africa, or no MOVE member, a damn murderer, because it's you who's the one that believes in murder, not MOVE.
The MOVE Organization
An Open Letter To Alberta Gilbride a.k.a Alberta Africa
I read with great interest and disgust the vile and obscenely cruel letter that your Organization wrote to Jack Gilbride. The heartlessness and audacity displayed in this letter once again reaffirms to me that the choice I made to abandon MOVE and its causes was not only proper, but long overdue. I do not have the words to express the contempt for you and your cynical manipulations, but am comforted by the fact that I know that justice is coming for you.
You have said that all you ever did was love John. That is a falsity worthy of only you, Alberta. Was it love that caused you and yours to attempt to have John fired from his job? Was it your affection for him that was the impetus for you to attempt to frame him in court as being a wife-beater? When you were calling him a "fag", a "government agent", a "racist", a child-abuser, were you thinking heartfelt thoughts? Was it love, Alberta, that caused you to send your followers down to John's parents house with poisonous tongues filled with lies of sexual abuse?
After John's death I saw little evidence that you or anyone else in MOVE was seriously disturbed about his untimely passing. The only time I saw you shed a tear was during the press conference you gave a few days after the murder and that, I must say, was hardly an award winning performance. Far from being locked into a time of grief, I saw and heard you quite happy with yourself and how the situation had turned out. I received probably a half-dozen letters from the MOVE 9 talking about how wonderfully things had "worked out" with the "custody case." And a mere month and a half after John's murder I saw you in your white wedding dress marry another man. You seemed anything but broken up about John's death. In fact, your demeanor was quite the opposite, you were quite happy and not because you had married a man that you, on number of occasions, expressed contempt for..
Since in the letter, the issue of your belief "MOVE Law" was mentioned, I wonder if you would be so kind to tell me where in John Africa's teachings is it mentioned that you should, as a black woman use the best science that money can buy, in the form of in vitro-fertilization to ensure that you have a white child? Were you not denounced by other exiled MOVE members for this transgression against your so-called belief? Where is it in your belief that you should globe-trot around Europe drinking Champagne and eating caviar while many of your MOVE compatriots live in desperate economic circumstances? Wasn't it John Africa who said that "crime lives in the den of excess?" How can you explain your indulgences while at the same time holding yourself up as the most "clear" and best example of what a MOVE member should be?
Now I could personally care less what you did to have a child, or how you manipulated the natural order to give yourself a white child, or where you chose to vacation or what you do with your large amounts of money. I mention your hypocrisy only to make the point that, like many corrupt and deviant leaders of the past and present, you are merely using religion to further your own indulgences and vanity, while cynically manipulating your misguided supporters to do your bidding. For you, "John Africa's revolution" is just a means to a bourgeois end.
In the letter, Jack Gilbride (John's father) is characterized as a literal monster, a foul beast of boundless cruelty, but need I remind you that John left you and left MOVE to return to his family. It was you, not his father, that John labeled as an abuser in court records. It was you and your wicked ideology that was abandoned, not Jack Gilbride. It was you who physically attacked John not long before his death, it was you who attempted (unsuccessfully) to frame him as a wife-beater, and it was a MOVE member who threatened John's life only weeks before he was found shot dead in his car.
So when you add up the facts, Alberta, it looks like the demon in this situation is you.
It is sickly ironic that in MOVE's letter, Francis Gilbride is spoken of in an almost empathetic fashion, given the cruelty that you have visited upon her family. Remember, Alberta, it was you who dragged her son through a living hell, simply because he wanted to see his son. It was you who falsely labeled Francis as a child-molester in your sick and deluded efforts to emotionally torture the Gilbride family. It is you who continues to subvert and obstruct justice in regards to the murder of her son John.
Alberta, you may bristle at the notion of being branded a "murderer," but MOVE is not exactly a stranger to violence and untimely death. You know that it was MOVE members in Powelton Village in August of 1978 who shot James Ramp, as well as numerous other police officers and firefighters. You know that the bullet that killed Ramp came from a gun purchased by Phil Africa and you know that the ballistic trajectory matches a shot from the basement, despite your years of contending otherwise.
I believe that you also know exactly what happened to William Whitney Smith, a former MOVE member who ended up dead in the Schulkyll River before he could testify against John Africa in 1981. You know that former MOVE member Louise James has indicated that it was MOVE who was "responsible" for the death of this man that you all had branded a traitor much in the same way that you smeared John Gilbride before his murder. And you also know that MOVE attempted to blame the government for William's death, much in the same way that you tried to do with John.
Alberta, you know quite well that your former husband John Africa created the "confrontation" on Osage Avenue. You know that the children in that house on that day were almost without exception the children of imprisoned MOVE members, children who could not be defended or spoken for, children that could be used for wicked ends. You know that those kids did not have to be in that house and that if John Africa was half the saint that you make him out to be that he would have made sure that they were safe and out of harm's way. You also know that MOVE is as much, if not more responsible for the deaths of those children, than the cops you claim to have so much disdain for.
For an Organization so committed to the preservation of life, MOVE certainly has a great deal of blood on its hands, including the blood of their own children. What exactly has MOVE done to justify its terrible existence?
In case you missed it, some months ago the "Philadelphia Inquirer" ran an article on their front page titled "Life in MOVE." In that article, I was quoted as saying that MOVE transitioned "from a religious cult to a cult of personality. It's all about self-absorbed narcissism now. It's not just that MOVE lies. It's that MOVE itself is a lie." In MOVE's unsigned letter to the Gilbrides my point has been made more clear than ever.
You see, Alberta, MOVE will not fall under the weight of police attacks or even prosecution for the murders of their former comrades, MOVE is faltering under the weight of its own momentous contradictions. Contradictions that you, in all your deceit, exemplify.
In your letter to the Gilbrides, you said that you hoped that Jack would live a long time so that he would feel some of the pain that he has caused. The Gilbride family is in pain and is hurting, but it is through the actions of you and your well meaning, but misinformed, supporters that they suffer. But I believe that one day soon, justice will be served and I hope that you will be shown the same degree of mercy that you have shown your enemies.
I hope, Alberta, that you live long enough to fully reap the harvest of falsity and hatred that you have sown in the hearts of those who still believe in you. I know that eventually most of those around you will rise up and reclaim their lives, their dignity and, through an examination of conscience, reject you and MOVE.
Yes, Alberta, gone are the days when you could spew lies without repudiation. Gone are the days where you could pretend that MOVE stood for anything other than its own material comforts. Remember, before you fix your mouth to condemn me through clumsily constructed falsehoods that I know who and what you are and most importantly what you have done. Remember that my complete opposition to you is not merely due to my reading of newspaper articles about MOVE or through conversations with cops, it is due to my direct knowledge from what I physically saw, heard, and know from my eight years around MOVE.
Fiat justitia-ruat caelum