Monday, February 13, 2006

More on Gary Wonderlin and The Murder of John Gilbride


(picture of MOVE Headquarters)

In a recent post I wrote the following:

There is a little boy out there, somewhere, hidden away mostly, but who is considered very important to the leaders of MOVE."

I was, of course, speaking of Zack Gilbride.

Having been removed from MOVE and the Philadelphia area for well over a year it is nearly impossible for me to know what is going on with MOVE on a day to day basis. Yet every once in a while, a little nugget of information gets tossed my way via readers of this blog.

Obviously, I have to be careful not to compromise the integrity of my sources while simultaneously verifying that the information that I have been provided is in fact correct. I have to also weigh whether or not the information that I have is worth disclosing at a particular time.

Sometimes the answers to these questions can be unclear and I opt not to disclose such information for any number of reasons and other times I just have to put it out there and see what happens. Such is the case with the following information regarding a man who I believe played an integral role in the murder of John Gilbride and that is Gary Wonderlin.

Wonderlin is apparently still involved with the real estate business as he is listed as an agent for Century 21 Alliance in New Jersey. He apparently works in the Mount Laurel branch of the company, but it is not clear just how active he is with the company, as he has, for some time not had any properties on the market.

While the occupation of Wonderlin is not all together that important, I do believe some information about the child he considers his son is pertinent and provides credence to my hunch of a quid-pro-quo between Gary Wonderlin and Alberta Africa.

It appears that Zack Gilbride is no longer known as such. He has a new name and that is Zack Gilbride-Wonderlin. This is an interesting change because as far as anyone can tell, Gary has not adopted Zack nor has he legally married Alberta. Therefore, the name change is likely symbolic. This information was verified when I was provided with information that led me to a website where Zack’s swimming competition record is posted online. You can view this at the following site using copy and paste:

http://www.sports-tek.com/TMOnline/sATHRESULTSWithPSMR.ASP?db=upload\JERSEYWAHOOS.mdb&ATH=2067&FASTEST=1

While casual observers may see nothing strange with a child competing in swimming sports, I can assure you that in MOVE it is by no means a common occurrence. Most of the children born into the MOVE sect are kept in a state of near poverty and are allowed only minimal contact with the outside world. The notion of organized sports is something that would be alien to most of these “MOVE” children. But Zack has never been treated like the other “MOVE” kids. As I have pointed out before, he is provided more education, more outside contacts, and resides in a suburban home, far from the rough urban environment that his MOVE peers are forced to inhabit.

But back to Wonderlin. He has apparently had all of his dreams come true. He has the woman that he has obsessed over for years and he is the father figure to the child who has the misfortune of being tapped to be MOVE’s next leader.

As someone who was around MOVE for nearly a decade I find Wonderlin’s ascendency in the MOVE hierarchy to be nothing but highly suspicious. Gary was a joke around MOVE. He was a freak in tribe of freaks and was openly mocked and ridiculed by even neophyte devotees of the group. Alberta herself, did not hide her contempt for Wonderlin’s level of intelligence and never gave any of us any indication that she had any positive feelings for the man at all. If anything, one could presume the exact opposite.

The news of the pairing of the two could not have come as any more of a shock to any of us.

But for me. I don’t think there is much of a mystery to their coming together. I believe it comes down to a payoff.

Gary Wonderlin is what you could describe as a “true believer” in MOVE. He believed and probably still believes everything that comes out of MOVE members mouths and he accepted their orders to him without question or hesitation. This is a man who does not inhabit the same plane of reality that most of the rest of us do. From my experience with Gary, he eat, sleeps, and breaths MOVE. The group is his entire world. He literally has nothing else and he clearly adored Zack, whom he always seemed to be desirous of attention from.

Now imagine yourself as Gary Wonderlin. MOVE is your world, it’s members are your surrogate family and you are completely smitten with the group’s leader and her progeny. You are told on a daily basis that the child’s father is abusive. You are told that the child you love is abused by his father and that his mother was battered by this same man. The courts seem to be leaning towards giving the father what he wants, but you know that if given what he wants, this child will be viciously abused and taken away from his loving mother, possibly for good. You are asked to do something that will ensure that the child you love will never be harmed again by his cruel and abusive father, something that you think might be wrong, but you are reminded that the edicts of John Africa state that “...what is right is necessary and what is necessary is right”. You are told that if you do this one thing, save a little child from a lifetime of abuse, that you will be handsomely rewarded. That everything you ever wanted you could have. If you were Gary Wonderlin, what would you do?

Now it doesn’t matter that none of the abuse allegations against John Gilbride were ever proven at any time to be true, what matters is that Gary believed that the allegations were true.

Perception is reality and in any authoritarian cult situation, ones perception is skewed towards the desires of the sect, often to the detriment of the individual.

From my vantage point, the love that Wonderlin has for MOVE and it's members, was exploited and cynically used in the most vicious and cruel way. And at the end of the day while Gilbride lay dead in a pool of his own blood, it is likely that Wonderlin was somewhere contemplating his up-coming role as husband and father.

It has been said that Gary Wonderlin has spoken to investigators for the Burlington County Prosecutors Office. I challenge him to go back, though this time, I challenge him to tell the truth, while he still has the chance to do so.

He was used and his emotions exploited just like all of us around MOVE were, by leaders of the group during the conflicts with John Gilbride. While Wonderlin may have been a victimizer he certainly started out as a victim himself and people should not forget that. He is and was a simple man whose emotions were cynically exploited by those who cared not for him and do not care for him now.

He is simply someone else around MOVE to be carved up and discarded when he is no longer useful. Hopefully, he comes to his senses before that happens. Hopefully, he comes forward before MOVE begins to question his commitment.

Like all of us who were in MOVE, Wonderlin has been betrayed. His loyalty exploited, and his good intentions being used to pave the way to his own personal hell.

I plead with him, as a former friend and comrade to do the right thing and begin to make right what has already gone so wrong. Nothing can bring John back, but we can bring those responsible for his death forth to face justice and be exposed for the charlatans that they are.

Let us not live in fear, but be emboldened to speak out and bring those responsible for John’s death down to justice.

While casual observers may see nothing strange with a child competing in swimming sports, I can assure you that in MOVE it is by no means a common occurrence. Most of the children born into the MOVE sect are kept in a state of near poverty and are allowed only minimal contact with the outside world. The notion of organized sports is something that would be alien to most of these “MOVE” children. But Zack has never been treated like the other “MOVE” kids.

As I have pointed out before, he is provided more education, more outside contacts, and resides in a suburban home, far from the rough urban environment that his MOVE peers are forced to inhabit.

But back to Wonderlin. He has apparently had all of his dreams come true. He has the woman that he has obsessed over for years and he is the father figure to the child who has the misfortune of being tapped to be MOVE’s next leader.

As someone who was around MOVE for nearly a decade I find Wonderlin’s ascendency in the MOVE hierarchy to be nothing but highly suspicious. Gary was a joke around MOVE. He was a freak in tribe of freaks and was openly mocked and ridiculed by even neophyte devotees of the group. Alberta herself, did not hide her contempt for Wonderlin’s level of intelligence and never gave any of us any indication that she had any positive feelings for the man at all. If anything, one could presume the exact opposite.

The news of the pairing of the two could not have come as any more of a shock to any of us.

But for me. I don’t think there is much of a mystery to their coming together. I believe it comes down to a payoff.

Gary Wonderlin is what you could describe as a “true believer” in MOVE. He believed and probably still believes everything that comes out of MOVE members mouths and he accepted their orders to him without question or hesitation. This is a man who does not inhabit the same plane of reality that most of the rest of us do. From my experience with Gary, he eat, sleeps, and breaths MOVE. The group is his entire world. He literally has nothing else and he clearly adored Zack, whom he always seemed to be desirous of attention from.

Now imagine yourself as Gary Wonderlin. MOVE is your world, it’s members are your surrogate family and you are completely smitten with the group’s leader and her progeny. You are told on a daily basis that the child’s father is abusive. You are told that the child you love is abused by his father and that his mother was battered by this same man. The courts seem to be leaning towards giving the father what he wants, but you know that if given what he wants, this child will be viciously abused and taken away from his loving mother, possibly for good. You are asked to do something that will ensure that the child you love will never be harmed again by his cruel and abusive father, something that you think might be wrong, but you are reminded that the edicts of John Africa state that “...what is right is necessary and what is necessary is right”. You are told that if you do this one thing, save a little child from a lifetime of abuse, that you will be handsomely rewarded. That everything you ever wanted you could have. If you were Gary Wonderlin, what would you do?

Now it doesn’t matter that none of the abuse allegations against John Gilbride were ever proven at any time to be true, what matters is that Gary believed that the allegations were true.

Perception is reality and in any authoritarian cult situation, ones perception is skewed towards the desires of the sect, often to the detriment of the individual.

From my vantage point, the love that Wonderlin has, was exploited and cynically used in the most vicious and cruel way. And at the end of the day while Gilbride lay dead in a pool of his own blood, it is likely that Wonderlin was somewhere contemplating his up-coming role as husband and father.

It has been said that Gary Wonderlin has spoken to investigators for the Burlington County Prosecutors Office. I challenge him to go back, though this time, I challenge him to tell the truth, while he still has the chance to do so.

He was used and his emotions exploited just like all of us around MOVE were, by leaders of the group during the conflicts with John Gilbride. While Wonderlin may have been a victimizer he certainly started out as a victim himself and people should not forget that. He is and was a simple man whose emotions were cynically exploited by those who cared not for him and do not care for him now. He is simply someone else around MOVE to be carved up and discarded when he is no longer useful. Hopefully, he comes to his senses before that happens. Hopefully, he comes forward before MOVE begins to question his commitment. Like all of us who were in MOVE, Wonderlin has been betrayed. His loyalty exploited, and his good intentions being used to pave the way to his own personal hell.

I plead with him, as a former friend and comrade to do the right thing and begin to make right what has already gone so wrong. Nothing can bring John back, but we can bring those responsible for his death forth to face justice and be exposed for the charlatans that they are.

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