It is often tempting to be wholly dismissive of the kind of excruciating commentary as put forth by the likes of Kevin. But while this visceral reaction is a tempting one to follow, I think it unwise to let him off the hook. And not because he matters in the whole scheme of things.
At least for now he is throwing his life down the toilet that John Africa built, and no kind of appeal to rationality or common sense will at this point deter him from the misapprehension that it is John Africa who is tending the light at the end of the tunnel.
So while I don’t know Maureen Faulkner, or am not, or ever will be a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, I chose not to sit idle while Kevin, with the blessings of his leaders, the ever loyal tool that he is to, presses forward with his Internet based assault on the truth.
For me that is the issue.
I am sure that after years of this kind of assault that Maureen Faulkner has developed the thick skin needed to be a public figure and is in no need of my defense. She, is, by all appearance a strong person and does not need me to defend her. She has done a good enough job on her own through these years.
My usual approach to this kind of situation is to literally take apart the statement at hand and subject to a kind of analytical evisceration. I won’t do this today. Partially because I think on the face of it Kevin’s screed is self-evidently absurd and was produced for the sole benefit of "true believers", but more importantly I think is the issue of motive.
It is a fact that those who lack facts in an argument employ a host diversionary tactics in order to turn attention away from the fact that they don’t have a clue what they are talking about, one of which is to question the motives of the person making the argument. But sometimes it is motivation that lies at the heart of the matter, and for Kevin I think this is at least a good place to start. Perhaps at a later time I will take on the easily discredited, yet cynically cruel assault on a woman whose husband was viciously and savagely murdered.
First, a little bit about Kevin. He came under the influence of MOVE when he was only fourteen years old. I know because I helped to recruit him. He hails from Norfolk VA and joined our "Free Mumia" coalition while he was just in high school. Because of his enthusiasm and quite frankly, willingness to follow blindly, he was quickly swallowed up by MOVE. I recall, even then, a nervousness about his naivete and would privately tell people that Kevin would go out and protest for Charles Manson or Tim McVeigh if someone in MOVE told him to.
There seemed in him a complete lack of critical thought and a disturbing tendency towards "fitting in" at any and all costs. This upper middle class white kid with all privileges at his disposal threw away a promising future, adopted the guttural slang of MOVE, and embraced without the slightest hesitation the lies of those around him.
Lies he now spews today without the slightest bit of shame, hesitation, attention to fact, or the impact his words may have upon people. Thinking back, I shudder that I helped to bring this situation about. If he stays in MOVE he has nothing but a life of perpetual and persistent crippling of the mind.
For MOVE is a place where the life of the mind is a toxin to be purged. Free thought and expression are signs of weakness and allegiance to the hated "system". To question the dictates of MOVE’s leaders is a "violation", to question the teachings of John Africa is to spit in the face of God.
It is difficult to explain to someone who has not been in an authoritarian sect
the kind of "mind fuck" for back of better words to explain the psychological devastation that is wrought upon those who give up their power of self-control and awareness for the reward of adulation and security of a "family" whose love is temporal and wholly contingent upon loyalty. The longer you stay with the group the greater the damage done, the more you give yourself over, the less you have when you leave.
This is the reason that children who grow up in authoritarian cults such as MOVE have such a difficult time adapting to the "real world" if they are lucky enough to escape the trappings of their environment. From the cradle they are treated more as property than sentient individuals with particular needs or talents or desires. All of those things must be subordinated to the group or else a steady diet of humiliation ensues.
Kevin knows first hand this humiliation, as does anyone who has grown close to MOVE. The leaders build you up to the point where you are usable and than break you apart to ensure that you do not grow to uppity and get the clue that you might not need them. It is a kind of enforced state of manic depression that renders ardent followers not only physically dependant upon the "community", but psychologically dependant. Happiness is given and taken away by the group. Your body no longer is yours and your mind becomes your only refuge. And that is under relentless attack.
In MOVE, the word "personality" is a dirty one. Individuality is something that is a fundamental enemy of the cult, because it is the antithesis of group think. But while this kind of thought control provides the basis for the cohesiveness of the core group of MOVE members, so to is it’s undoing. For it’s methodology flies in the face of the human spirit. That is why MOVE cannot maintain a steady membership. That is why so many come and go. That is why the group must find some kind of way to hook you in.
Kevin doesn’t care about Maureen Faulkner. I doubt if he is particularly concerned with Mumia. He clearly has no regard for the truth and is clearly content with making extraordinary and unsubstantiated claims and than prodding onward oblivious to the fact that his "facts" are anything but.
However, let me be clear, he isn’t in it for the "facts". He is in it for the same reason a junkie shoots up. He needs that sense of worth, that feeling of being alive, if just for a moment, that pat on the back from Pam Africa, the hug from Ramona, or that ever-so-valued conversation with Alberta Africa herself.
To you and I this sounds like nothing, but to a slave to MOVE, these are the only things that at the end of the day matter. Facts, repercussions, the cruel reality that he belongs to a group that worships a man who taught that clouds are pollution, mosquitoes are genetic inventions of the system, and that girls should be illiterate and pregnant at 11 years old are of no consequence.
None of that matters to Kevin. Why should the fact that Mumia blew Daniel Faulkner’s brains out trouble him in the least?