Tuesday, October 18, 2005

When Does A Movement Cease To Be?

When is the gig up for a “political “movement?

When it has long since passed the point of diminishing returns?

When the vast majority of references to it on the internet are years old?

When it’s events that used to draw thousands barely attract a hundred?

Or when it is realized that the “cause” espoused by the movement has been found to be one that is shrouded in deceit and subterfuge.

Or maybe the end is realized when it is discovered that the “leader” of the movement is little more than a cult-member who used the “movement” to enrich her sect.

It is hard to know exactly when the heart of a movement actually quits beating, but I think that it is safe to say that the “free Mumia” cause is on it’s final approach towards the dustbin of history.

Of course there are those who still believe that Mumia is an innocent man just the same as there are those who doubt that the holocaust ever occurred. Such people exist, but thankfully we don’t have to pay them much mind.

As much as I delight in the dissipation of faux causes and the demagogues who feed off of them, I do feel more than a tinge of sadness when I consider the tremendous amount of time, energy, and moral capital squandered in a bid to free a man undeserving.

How much more effective could all of that drive been if it had been channeled towards the abolitionist cause as a whole, or programs like the “Innocence Project”, which actually do something for people who are truly innocent and on death row? Would the “left” now have more moral credibility had so many within it’s ranks not sacrificed their skepticism at the crooked alter of Mumiaism.

These questions are difficult to answer and any of the Mumia fans who are still standing would be quick to argue that without Mumia and his cause that none of these issues would have come to light. The uncomfortable flip-side to this equation of course being that with Mumia these issues have been obscured by the fact that they are being championed by supporters of an unrepentant killer.

It is important to remember that Mumia’s epiphany concerning the death penalty occurred after he shot Daniel Faulkner in the face and blew his brains across the sidewalk at 13th and Locust. This fact hardly makes Jamal a steady figure to balance a movement ostensibly consumed with “peace and justice”.

Still, I do not believe that Jamal should have ever faced the death penalty, not because I don’t think he deserved it, but because I oppose the death penalty in general.

A far better and more appropriate punishment for a morally bereft entity like Mumia is the punishment that he is currently receiving. He is having to watch powerlessly as his “friend” Pam Africa flies the movement meant to free him straight into the ground. Furthermore, he has to live with the reality that he has literally whored his limited talents for every nominally “leftist” cause that one could possibly think of. He has stood in defense of tyrants, militant Islamists, and must live with the fact that he has to forever be the apologist extrordinaire for the MOVE Organization. A terrible punishment in and of itself. ( I know, cause I have been there.)

Perhaps, most importantly, Jamal is forced to realize that for all of it’s flaws that the criminal justice system does sometimes get it right. He is still right where he belongs despite there at one time there was a “Millions for Mumia” movement.

Now, he has to realize that it is Mumia who?
A nothing, a nobody, a whore for barbarians and a con-artist with no one left to con.

Justice done in my view.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

MOVE And The Psychological Destruction Of Their Children

The more I learn about cults the more I learn just how un-exceptional MOVE is. Remove the group's overwrought rhetoric and "revolutionary" posturing and all that remains is a retrograde authoritarian cult. Pure and simple.

The methodology of control that MOVE's leaders employ in order to control members of the sect are no different than any other group of it's kind.

And the treatment of children in such fascistic groups is as typical as it is vulgarly criminal.

MOVE's children are older MOVE members slaves. Pure and simple. These children exist to serve and obey. Deprived of education and deprived of all ability to live separately from the cult, these children's existence is something akin to life on cotton plantation circa 1830.

I have offered, on this website, and in other places, a series of anecdotes and observations about the treatment of children raised in the MOVE cult. What I have not done until now is introduce professional insights into the abuse of these children.

As it turns out, there is a wealth of knowledge out there concerning the effects of cult-life on children's development. What follows is a partial explanation of cults and their mechanism of control with regards to children.

"Mystical Manipulation—“divine authority” mandates dysfunctional and/or abusive parenting. This authority allows any means toward a “higher end” or goal. Verbal and non-verbal messages are given to infants that interfere with the development of trust.

Demand for Purity—absolute separation of good and evil within self and within the environment. Good children behave in proscribed ways and do not “act” like children. Children are often forced to participate in rituals that are not age-appropriate. Shame and doubt interfere with development of autonomy or the belief that it’s okay to think and feel for oneself.

The Cult of Confession—one-on-one or group confession (by child or on behalf of child) for the purpose of humiliating the confessor and creating dependency upon the leader for one’s definition of goodness. Humiliation discourages risk-taking; the child develops a sense of guilt and is fearful of exhibiting initiative.

Sacred Science and Doctrine over Person—the teachings of the CHDG and/or leader is the Ultimate Truth that allows for no questioning. The individual is always inferior to the Ultimate Truth of the group or leader(s). This necessitates denial of self and self-perception. When parents or caretakers encourage a child to become self-directed the child develops a sense of competence. The inability to question or to value one’s own ideas lead to the development of inferiority. The child is always secondary to the doctrine or leader(s).

Dispensing of Existence—anyone not in the group or not embracing the “truth” is insignificant, not “saved,” or “unconscious”; the outside world or members who leave the group are rejected. The developmental tasks of adolescents are to separate from their caretakers and create their own identity. This cannot be done without thinking for oneself and adopting one’s own set of values. Yet to do so in a cultic environment is tantamount to rejecting “Truth”. The only way to survive is to dispense of self.

Loading of the Language—use of terms, jargon that have group-specific meaning; phrases that will keep one in, or bring one back into, the cult mindset. In the case of a child growing up in a thought reform environment theses meanings are the only ones the child will learn. The loaded language is the child’s first language. Upon leaving the group an adolescent or adult questions his or her competence at understanding the language, behaviors, and customs of the culture.

Judith Herman, in her widely respected book Trauma and Recovery (1992) states that

(r)epeated trauma in adult life erodes the structure of the personality already formed, but repeated trauma in childhood forms and deforms the personality. The child trapped in an abusive environment is faced with formidable tasks of adaptation. She must find a way to preserve a sense of trust in people who are untrustworthy, safety in a situation that is unsafe, control in a situation that is terrifyingly unpredictable, power in a situation of helplessness. Unable to care for or protect herself, she must compensate for the failures of adult care and protection with the only means at her disposal, an immature system of psychological defenses (p. 96)."

-August 2005
Born or Raised in High-Demand Groups: Developmental Considerations Leona Furnari, L.C.S.W.

The exactitude of the above words in explaining MOVE's intensive and unhealthy control of the children in their midst is simply chilling.

Chances are though, that the author may have never even heard of MOVE, or if they were aware of MOVE, their knowledge is likely only superficial.

The tactics and methods employed by MOVE and other groups of its kind are such that an intimate knowledge of day to day operations of a particular sect is no longer necessary.

Jim Jones, Charles Manson, John Africa,...it is all the same.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Returning to the Anti-MOVE Blog

"…to do anything that suggested a taste for solitude, even to go for a walk by yourself, was always slightly dangerous. There was a word for it in Newspeak: ownlife…"
-George Orwell, 1984

There are plenty of reasons why I have returned to this blog.

My posthumous friend John Gilbride still cries for justice to be done.

The children of MOVE are still in a literal state of slavery, deprived of education, destined for nothing but a life of emptiness.

There are plenty of reasons to come back to this humble endeavor. Perhaps most important to me at this moment is to say why I stopped writing this blog in the first place.

I needed to get things in my life straightened out. I needed to delve into the deepest regions of my soul. I needed to understand why it was that I had ended up in the situation that I was in. How did I go from an eighteen year old suburbanite in Virginia Beach to joining up with Philadelphia’s most notorious and violent cult? I needed to find out and more importantly I needed to ensure that it was a place that I would not return.

Basically I needed to grow up and I needed to grow up fast. Because if I didn’t all could be lost.

When you leave a life-ruling cult such as MOVE you leave a world of certitude. You learn the meaning of the world of angst. At one moment you have the world figured out, things are black and white, shades of grey are few, and you are different and special. But when you leave, you leave all of that behind and the world becomes a very different place for you.

You are no longer in a tribe apart from the world, you are in a state of disconnect. You know that you can’t go back, but you are partially afraid of going away from what you know, even if what you know is fraught with danger and an abiding sense of evil.

Certitude, as I have found out, is not a matter of the intellect, it is a matter of psychology.

You can leave a cult and fall apart. Or you can leave and be overwhelmed, and against all sense run back to yet another authoritarian entity to seek fulfillment. The trend of leaving one sect for yet another is more common than one might think. Call it “cult addiction” if you will. I call it insidious.

Or you can chose to embrace the freedom that you have found and you can succeed.

Having seen the face of evil and been nearly beaten down by it, I choose to live against it.

There is so much to be had away from MOVE and groups like it. To not live a life of plagiarized emotion and slavish devotion to a mythology is to awaken one’s true spirit

To not live to put a polish on the vanity of leaders whose existence amounts to cynical manipulation and the destruction of the individual is worth a few lonely nights and days of uncertainty.

Without MOVE I am free to be me. There is no pressure external or internal to wear a mask of devotion and unquestioning stupification. For in MOVE, those supporters who are most revered are the most dogmatic, the most obedient, the biggest emotional cripples. To seemingly not be able to live without MOVE is to be the most embraced by it. The subordination of the will that leads to the destruction of the soul.

My mistakes are my own. My words are my own. My successes are my own and I can proudly look my little girl in the face and know that she comes before all else. I don’t know if there is a God or a heaven, but I know that she is here and that is enough for me.

I care not to claim allegiances to a faux movement that seeks to obscure truth rather than bring it forth.

Everyday away from MOVE is a day of discovery. I am free to explore the worlds of Dostoevsky, or Proust or to be truly frivolous if that is what I so desire to do. I don’t have to pretend to be anything. I don’t have to mouth the lies of those around me to earn love that I deserve. I don’t have to pretend that I am pure and untainted by the world. My history and my present is not obscured by a veil of self-doubt.

MOVE is no family. It is the antithesis of family. Their supposed love for you is predicated upon your willingness to submit. Your willingness to give and give and give until you have nothing at all left and there is no more you, only them. A real family cares not for your political or social affinities or failings. Walk away from MOVE and you will feel their embrace...and while you leave you will see the true face of your so-called "MOVE family".

I had to go away for a while. I had to see those who did not make it. I had to look at my own mistakes and find out why I made them. I had to step away to learn to live, to find out who I am and where my heart truly lies. I had to feel the pain of loss and realize the promise of a future uncertain.

I lay no claim to absolution. There is no need. I am only certain that no one else can lay claim to it either. I have learned to say “I don’t know”. You don’t have to have all of the answers or to try and feel the imagined hand of providence pushing you forward. You can do it on your own. Try it for a while, you might just like it

So now I am back. Battered but certainly not broken. I am not living to discredit MOVE. They are doing a damn fine job on their own. So much of what the group does and says is self-evidently absurd that it needs no commentary from me or anyone else. Just look at the crumbled “Mumia” movement to see just how good MOVE is at running things squarely into the dirt. But every once in a while I will pop up here on this blog to set some things straight and settle some old scores. And I will always make sure that no one in MOVE’s orbit will be able to forget the name of John Gilbride and the cruel fate that befell him because he dared to take a stand for freedom and against a cult of death and nihilism.

Till tomorrow.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Another Challenge To MOVE


On Sept 27, 2002 John Gilbride’s bullet ridden body was discovered in front of his Maple Shade, New Jersey apartment only hours before he was to have his first unsupervised visit with his son. A visit that MOVE members vowed would never take place.

Three years have passed and no one has been arrested, but everyone has their justified suspicions.

As someone who spent years in the midst of the MOVE cult I have my own and have not been quiet about them.

When John was killed he was in the midst of a highly contentious custody dispute and was hours away from having his first unsupervised visit with his son. A visit that MOVE members and their loyal cadre of supporters vowed would never take place.

Seventeen days before John was killed his life was threatened by a MOVE member.

And as far back as January 1997, Gilbride was being told by MOVE members that "my attitude towards my wife was going to cause a situation that would involve my death."

During the custody dispute, MOVE members and their ilk attempted to get John fired from his job. They slandered him with fictitious allegations of child and spousal abuse. They protested judges involved with the case. And when all of these cheap shenanigans failed, they boarded up there house and threatened a re-creation of the events of May 13th, 1985. I know, because I was there, in the thick of the MOVE emanated muck.

And that is the climate in which John Gilbride was killed.

After John’s murder, a cloud of suspicion hung over the MOVE Organization, but the immediate danger of a war between MOVE and the police was at least, temporarily avoided. MOVE quickly switched from a group that was preparing to go the distance with the civilized world to a group that wanted nothing more than to fade into quiet anonymity.

The wooden slats that were placed over the windows at MOVE Headquarters were unceremoniously removed. The crude signs protesting the "oppression" of the sect disappeared almost over night. MOVE supporters were told not to speak or write about John’s death, because the "system" wanted to frame a MOVE supporter for the crime. We were told that the cops had done the deed in order to hurt MOVE’s leader and John’s ex-wife, Alberta Africa. We, MOVE supporters, were told lots of things, none of which I now believe to be true.

As suspicion continued to swirl around MOVE, the sect attempted to deflect uncomfortable questions with sad and convoluted conspiracy theories. Yet for many, certainly for me, it is clearly obvious that the only ones to benefit from John’s murder were his adversaries in MOVE.

Now, three years on and the question about who is responsible for John Gilbrides murder remains unanswered. For their part, the Burlington County Prosecutors Office tells us that the investigation is still on-going and active. And MOVE members continue to deny any role in the killing of Gilbride.

I, for one, think that it is about time that MOVE’s leaders put there money where there foul mouths are.

If they truly had nothing to do with the killing of John Gilbride than they should have no trouble taking a polygraph test to prove it.

And in the spirit of fairness I would be willing to travel to Philadelphia on my own dime to do the same.

So how about it Ramona, Sue, Alberta?. If MOVE members had nothing to do with the killing of John Gilbride why not take a few hours of your day and show the people of Philadelphia how honest and open that you really are. Show us how innocent you are.

I can't wait to hear your answer.

Guess Who Is Back???????????????????????

In Response to the Month-long MOVE Exhibition at The Africa-American Museum In Philadelphia Starting October 7th

One wonders what should be done about an “Organization” that at one time kept it’s mostly African-American neighbors under a state of siege for nearly a year. An “Organization” who’s founder sacrificed the lives of eleven African-American’s in pursuance of his convoluted and hopelessly violent delusions. An “Organization” that to this day deprives the African-American youngsters in it’s midst of any semblance of an education.

The people who run the African-American Museum in Philadelphia seem to believe that such a group should be given a platform to spread their nihilistic fantasies and revisionist history

This group is MOVE, and even now, as I write these words, a specter of suspicion lingers over the group due to the still unsolved murder of one of it’s former members, John Gilbride. Eight members of the group are currently imprisoned for the 1978 murder of a Philadelphia Police Officer and the groups chief proponent Mumia Abu-Jamal, is himself on Death Row for the slaying of another Philadelphia Police Officer.

So why would a Museum which has received funds from the city be providing a forum for a group that has been found responsible for the deaths of two city employees?

I am of the opinion that the administration of the African-American Museum owe an explanation to not only the victims of MOVE’s violence throughout the years, but also to the taxpayers who are unwittingly helping to foot the bill for MOVE’s month long propaganda mission. I say this as someone who was once close to MOVE, lived in their homes, spewed their lies, and who has since come to reject the groups, message, tactics, and hatred.

Having MOVE set up an exposition at the African-American Museum would be like having a neo-Nazi group set up camp at the Holocaust museum in D.C.

It was MOVE who violently attacked their black neighbors on Osage Avenue. It was MOVE who tormented these same neighbors with a bullhorn at all hours of the night. It was MOVE who took an African-American neighborhood hostage for an entire year and than turned the neighborhood into a war-zone, complete with a heavily fortified bunker. And it would be MOVE’s leader, John Africa, who would send 10 African-Americans to their death in his pointless war against the city of Philadelphia. A war that would lead to the devastation of a nearly all black, working class, neighborhood in West Philadelphia.

It was MOVE who constructed the now thoroughly discredited movement to “Free Mumia”. A movement that would ensnare in it’s deceptive grasp a number of well-meaning, but misguided, black politicians, intellectuals, and activists, who have found their respectability diminished by their involvement with the faux Jamal cause.

As if this were not all bad enough, it is MOVE’s leaders who actively work to keep the children in their grasp as ignorant as possible. Girls of twelve are expected to not only have sex, but have children. These same girls can barely write their own names. They know nothing but MOVE and they have almost no chance at freedom. They are, for lack of a better word, slaves.

Perhaps the African-American Museum should have an exhibition on MOVE. One that chronicles the war that the group has waged on the African-American community for over thirty years.

I would encourage people to contact the Museum directly and query them as to why they are providing a group that has wrought so much destruction and death upon the African-American community a voice.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia 701 Arch Street (7th & Arch Streets) 215.574.0380 | Fax: 215.574.3110

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