"When you meet the friendliest people you have ever known, who introduce you to the most loving group of people you've ever encountered, and you find the leader to be the most inspired, caring, compassionate and understanding person you've ever met, and then you learn the cause of the group is something you never dared hope could be accomplished, and all of this sounds too good to be true-it probably is too good to be true! Don't give up your education, your hopes and ambitions to follow a rainbow."
(Update: Today, while at a bookstore, I ran across the 2008 Guinness Book Of World Records and got yet another reminder that MOVE is run by a bunch of increasingly senile, ignorant, fascists. The tiny blurb about MOVE mislabels the group as "The MOVE" and than lists the date and the death toll. That is it. There are no pictures or explanation about what MOVE is, nothing. The tiny section that mentions MOVE was so easy to miss, that I had to really study the page to find it. This leads me to believe that the protest may actually be about the fact that The Branch Davidians got more ink than MOVE did.)
According to Ramona Africa
, the 2008 edition of the nerd guide-book, Guinness Book World Of World Records
has MOVE listed under "Mass Suicides
", based on the May 13th 1985, MOVE instigated catastrophe that ended with the deaths of eleven people and a devastated community.
Not surprisingly, the good people at Guinness also saw fit to put MOVE in a list of cults
MOVE’s chief spokesperson, Ramona is livid, and is currently in the midst of attempting to gather the faithful in an effort to punish any and everyone that she thinks may have had a role in what she claims is a an ongoing conspiracy to "defame" the cult (I mean Organization, sorry MOVE.)
Ramona goes so far, which for a MOVE member isn’t really a stretch, to claim that the listing in the Guinness Book is just another way for un-named "officials" to mistreat the cult (oops I did it again) and ultimately "murder" members of the cult.
The statement from Ramona is of the same paranoid, self-important, rambling, didn’t-even-run-it-through-spell check, rubbish, style that anyone familiar with the group is used to.
At first I was going to give this one a pass, but a couple of things about MOVE’s latest "revolutionary activity" just screamed for me offer my take on the whole stupid spectacle.
The first is that MOVE’s statement literally could be offered up as prove that the group is not just an Organization, but a cult in the most pejorative sense. According to Ramona, the British "Cult Information Centre",
whose website is not-surprisingly omitted from her info about the group, is listed as the source for Guinness. Interestingly, a quick search of the site turned up no mention of MOVE, and the sect is not listed in the Centre’s index of cults that are listed on the site.
However, the Centre does have a quick guide to identifying a cult.
According to the Centre, cults usually share the following characteristics:
"It uses psychological coercion to recruit, indoctrinate and retain its members
It forms an elitist totalitarian society.
Its founder leader is self-appointed, dogmatic, messianic, not accountable and has charisma.
It believes 'the end justifies the means' in order to solicit funds recruit people.
Its wealth does not benefit its members or society."
I personally challenge anyone to make the case that MOVE does not fit this criteria down to the letter.
Another indication that you may be dealing with a cult is that they do not often bother with facts or reasoned argument and instead rely on the psychological bonds of adherents, and in MOVE’s case, a political affinity, to act as a substitute for arguementation. This is how Ramona has the audacity to claim MOVE is not a cult without providing any kind of evidence to support her claim. Nor does she employ the use of some kind of false analogy, which incidentally a current member of a cult (not MOVE) tried to use on me in an arguement just this afternoon.
Ramona simply assumes what should have to be proven and relies on the faith of the fools that still follow MOVE’s exhortations to do her bidding. The group-think dynamic replaces the personal critical faculties that would cause someone not under MOVE’s spell to toss her diatribe against Guinness into the recycling bin and wonder in amazement at just how intelligent people can so readily fall for such nonsense.
She also claims, again without offering proof that MOVE "did not commit suicide" on May 13th 1985. Which, if she were speaking strictly of the children who died that day, would have a nugget of truth. These children, who instead of being treated as the hostages that they were by Philadelphia officials, were quite clearly treated as expendable "collateral damage", if they were considered at all. But, for all of the missteps of the city that day, the reality is that MOVE killed those kids.
But, Ramona is not taking responsibility for her role in the May 13th confrontation, and she never has. She and the other MOVE adults would have been better to have just put a bullet in the back of those kid’s heads than to cause them to suffer the living hell of smoke, heat, fire, and bullets. The terror that John Africa wrought was as merciless as it was suicidal. That house was stocked with children, guns, two fortified and reinforced bunkers complete with gun-ports, and most terrifying, the delusional mind of a man who exerted complete control over the lives around him, and who had clearly had that mind set upon death.
John Africa and his tool Ramona, along with the other MOVE adults brought the children into that house they knew was to be used in a confrontation with authorities. They did not allow the children to leave when they could have. They fired on the police to instigate the shoot-out and than waited till all hell had broken loose before trying to get the children out.
On that day, like days before, and since, MOVE members were the bringers of death, not the defenders of life that they claim to be.
The actions of John Africa on May 13th were qualitatively the same as that of Jim Jones a few years prior. The adults committed suicide and the children were murdered. Ramona being alive to spread MOVE’s toxic brand of martyrdom and manipulation is proof only that the tiny spark of humanity left in her temporarily overwhelmed her allegiance to John Africa’s psychotic, mind-fuck and she fled from what was to be her destiny. Fact is, that if the police were out to kill "everyone in that house" as she has stated countless times, she wouldn’t be still hammering out missives for the group and guilt tripping naive college students for a living.
I wouldn’t ask anyone to just take my word for it. Read the books about the "confrontation", the findings of the MOVE commission. Most importantly look to the words of MOVE from that day and the days leading up to it.
In MOVE’s current statement are possible plans for "direct action" aimed at bookstores.
Perhaps the example of Muslims protesting bookstores over cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad seems to MOVE like a good idea. Which it may well be, given the invertebrate response to these protests, or even the possibility of such a protest by bookstore chains and news-outlets. Interestingly, The Philadelphia Inquirer was the first paper in the States to run the now infamous cartoons on their pages, and they were picketed for doing so.
From my view, the idea of a pro-MOVE rabble, throwing one of their babyish-profane tantrums in front of Borders Books actually seems to me to actually be strangely appropriate.
That MOVE, who is against the very idea of ideas, would target a business that traffics in them would hardly be out of character for the group. Furthermore, the bitter irony of an "Organization" that deprives from it’s young the written word protesting a book store is just madness personified and makes The Guinness Book’s inclusion of MOVE in it’s list of cults that much more satisfying. Just another front on in the battle MOVE wages against the life of the mind.
And if MOVE does decide to sue publishers over the issue, I will offer my humble services to in the defense of the publisher’s right to publish things that are offensive and more importantly true.
I also know of a certain book that will go on my Christmas list and I am sure "The Guinness Book Of World Records" will appreciate the free publicity, tiny as it is, from MOVE and it’s minions with all of their impotent pissing and moaning about which they have no factual, not to speak of moral, ground to stand on.