"Tell me straight out, I call on you-answer me: imagine that yourself are building the edifice of human destiny with the object of making people happy in the finale, of giving them peace and rest at last, but for that you must inevitably and unavoidably torture just one tiny creature, that same child who was beating her chest with her little fist, and raise your edifice on the foundation of her unrequited tears-would you agree to be the architect on such conditions? Tell me the truth."
To call what MOVE does to the children of the cult "child abuse" is perhaps, a disservice to these most innocent and powerless victims of the group.
The cheapening of these children’s lives begins not at birth, but prior to it.
People familiar with MOVE are also familiar with the fact that the cult forces it’s young female members to act as barely literate breeding machines. But what might not be so widely known is that these children having children also forego pre-natal and post-natal health care, instead they rely solely on the voodoo of John Africa to carry them through.
And while there are those on the peripheral of MOVE who would bristle at this idea, I only invite them to ask their MOVE idols if what I am saying is true, or better yet I dare them to do so. The answer just might be a surprise.
This gambling upon the wisdom of a madman who effectively killed himself and caused the death of the six children in his care back in 1985 should not be over looked. And neither should the race of these children. They are nearly exclusively black. Were this not the case, I would not be the only person to call attention to this brutality. That much I am sure of.
But, I would argue that race is not the primary core of the lack of outrage at this situation. The primary issue is one of a purported faith.
As long as MOVE members make the claim that their deeds are born out of belief, than many are hard pressed to question the validity of their claims. For in our society, it goes without saying that the default position of any organized madness is in the trenches of "belief".
Imagine for a moment that the crude theology of John Africa were erased from the equation. What would remain is a small group of primarily, but not exclusively, African-Americans forcing their children to be ignorant of all but the most basic of knowledge. These children, once they hit puberty are than forced to reproduce prodigiously. And the support structure of this entire assault on the life of young minds and bodies consists of primarily white people.
How long would such an outrage stand? I would argue, not long. And I would further argue that people would call it what it is, and that is modern day slavery.
But hide this whole vulgar enterprise behind some platitudes harkening submission to a higher power and all is good.
It is not "good" enough for me and should not be for anyone else.
And while I am with Freud in thinking that as long as there is darkness and death, that there will be those who attempt to mitigate these fears via metaphysical means, I also am given to the notion that not all "faiths" are created equally, that some have proven to be demonstrably dangerous and deadly to those within their orbits.
It is there where I believe a line ought to be drawn.
Should a parent force the veil of Islam upon their child? Or worse yet, the clitoral desecration of infants still practiced in some Islamic states?
Should children raised in fundamentalist Christian churches have their minds poisoned with the not-even-a-pseudo-science-known-as-"creationsim"?
My answer to all of the above is obviously no.
But even as abhorrent as all of the aforementioned physical and emotional impositions of superstitious barbarisms are, I don’t think they rise to the level of MOVE’s crimes against children.
Physical wounds can be healed and undone. Adherents of various religious texts can read them and therefore raise challenges, and are than empowered to make a conscious choice to either accept or reject the mythology forced upon them. They have some semblance of a choice.
Children of MOVE have no choice and barely have a chance.
They are viewed not as individual entities or even subjects of their parents, but are seen as property of the sects hopelessly corrupt leaders. I saw this myself as parents in MOVE were routinely undermined and the child’s rearing be steered by senior MOVE members who ostensibly knew better.
The written teachings of MOVE founder John Africa are not open for review by MOVE’s young devotees (who couldn’t read them anyways). They told what John Africa allegedly taught and are expected to take the word for it. It pretty much goes without saying that what John Africa taught always seems to coincide with the deeds and desires of MOVE’s leaders. It is Animal Farm with dread locks.
Reading and writing is frowned upon, but mind numbing TV shows and violent movies are fine for the children of the sect.
And what of attending some of the institutions of higher learning where MOVE’s propagandists have reaped a wealth of money?
MOVE members can speak there, but none will be allowed to even conceptualize the thought of going there to learn.
Which leads to my next point.
In order to keep a complete authoritarian situation in place, MOVE’s leaders must, by definition, be anti-intellectual, stifle abstract thoughts, crush intellectual dissent, and keep the children who eventually become adults as dependant as possible on the cult for all of their primary needs as a person. And that is precisely what is done.
The "marrying off" of barely pubescent girls is not so much an extension of some kind of sexual perversion, or at least not that I am aware of, but rather a mechanism of control that is as old as it is vile. Young girls who are birthing babies at twelve years old are not exactly prone to abandoning their entire support system, particularly when they have never had any access to any kind of independence, either physical, or mental.
What is perhaps most sad and disturbing about all of this is that these children are not inherently dim-witted. On the contrary, they are clearly bright and inquisitive and like all children, want to embrace the world around them, but are prevented from doing so.
And the far-left who has romanticized MOVE have also romanticized the children of MOVE. This was apparent in the coverage of the recent protests on behalf of Mumia last month. It was pointed out that a group of MOVE children "under the age of ten" were busy telling the crowd why they all were there, to "Free Mumia".
But what I want to know is who is working to free the children of MOVE?