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April 13, 1979 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-04-13

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PION-01, 04' ilk

Page 4-Friday, April 13, 1979-The Michigan Daily

Jones followers disagree

THE ILR'UtKE Ot RNAL
"Let's go downtown and see 'The China Syndrome' - th' boss said
it has a really wild and unreal plot!"
t r3idigan 1 tI
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Iighly-Nime Years of Edit orial Iree dont

Vol. LXXXIX, No. 155

on spiritual
Was there a Word, a Bible-
based spark of theology in
Reverend Jim Jones' religion?
Or was People's Temple the
result of religious opportunism, came away with
in which scripture or spirituality organizational model
played no central role? proach to world proble
Depending on which members JONES TRANSLAT
of the Temple, past and present, Divine's famous slog
you talk to, the answers come it's wonderful" intou
down starkly on one or the other opposition to war, p
side of the question. the war in Vietnam.
ONE CERTAIN fact is that Archie Ijames reme
People's Temple in its beginnings Father Divine sugg
was firmly rooted in Christianity. Jones should join up w
Archie Ijames, Jones' assistant become his success
minister, says that he joined declined his offer.
People's Temple in Indianapolis, however, empty one
27 years ago after confirming Divine's nursing ho
that Jones shared his view of Divine's death, and br
recreating the communal those elderly people t
lifestyle of Christ's apostles in a home which he est
modern setting. Ukiah, California.
Ijames says that his conversion The scriptural ins
to Christianity at age 17 followed which Jones based hi
his inspirational acceptance of a wood Valley templ
passage in the Acts of the parable of the loaves
Apostles describing how the From its beginning, t
apostles shared everything they provided an incredibl
owned without the notion of money to support c
private possessions. dividuals and progra
JAMES BECAME a minister which seemed to be m
in a fundamentalist apostolic produced from
church but soon clashed with his congregation. In addit
fellow ministers who claimed to miracles of support w
accept the Bible literally but who healing - reserved ft
denied that the communalism of Temple members.
the Acts of the Apostles had any AL AND JEAN Mi
practical contemporary value. couple who defec
He left the church and began People's Temple, cha
preaching on his own. Then, he of the faith healing
heard a Jim Jones radio sermon produced by Jones w
and immediately went down to The Mills subsequent
meet the man. "This is my the Human Freedom
vision," Ijames told Jones. "If Berkeley-based half-
you don't find it here, you won't dedicated to encourag
find it any place in the world," defections.
was Jones' reply. But Tim Clancy, a
For Ijames, Reverend Jones lost a wife in Guyan
and People's Temple "became handles most of the c
the channel and the vehicle by ween the Temple and
which I was seeing my vision of insists that both the M
people working together because entire anti-People's T
they had a common cause and a paratus are part of a
common interest in one another conspiracy aimed at
and in the total humanity." the Temple and its idi
THIS VISION was then proach to the proble
modified by socialism and Father world.
Divine. "I've seen things
The socialism came easy. Clancy's soft voice re
Jones was using a modern voice "I sincerely believe t
not only to update the Biblical can recover miracul
admonitions against excessive illnesses and disease
riches, war, and the sins faith." The key to Jon
associated with greed but also to according to Clancy
push his version of com- Biblical observation th
munalism. love."
The Temple was in many BUT JEAN MILLSi
respects an adaptation of the Jones had little to d
organization put together by Bible and that actuall
Father Divine, the black minister fear-inspired administ
who useda hcombination of Birdie Marable,abl
religion, faith healing, com- who was recruited int
munal living and collective Temple in the early
business enterprises, to shepherd days, but defected t
tens of thousands of blacks that Jones did use fear
through the Depression.' Jones tee his control. Bi
visited Divine's "heaven" in brought her sister an
Philadelphia several times and into the Temple and w

r

By Reginald Major

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Free elections I Uganda

both an
and an ap-
ims.
'ED Father
an "peace,
unswerving
particularly
mbers that
ested that
ith him and
sor. Jones
He did,
of Father
mes after
rought all of
to a nursing
ablished in
piration on
s new Red-
e was the
and fishes.
the Temple
e amount of
causes, in-
ms - funds
iraculously
a poor
ion to these
as the faith
or People's
lls, a white
ted from,
rge thht all
miracles
ere faked.
ly founded
Center, a
way house
ing further
man who
a and who
ontacts bet-
the press,
ills and the
Temple ap-
n elaborate
destroying
ealistic ap-
ims of the
happen."
flects awe.
hat people
ously from
es through
nes' power,,
, was the
hat "God is
insists that
o with the
y he ran a
ration.
ack woman,
to People's
California
wice, says
to guaran-
rdie, who
d husband
who moved

basis

of cult

from San Francisco to Ukiah to
run the nursing home Jones
established to accommodate the
elderly ex-parishioners of Father
Divine, told of a banquet that was
organized for the newcomers.
In the midst of the banquet, a
seemingly angry Reverend Jones
ordered three of his aides to drop
dead. They complied, and lay
lifeless in full view of over 100
people for a half hour.
HE THEN relented and revived
each of the three individually.
The two men and one woman
each praised Jones when they
were revived, begged his
forgiveness and stressed, in fear-
filled voices to the audience
(which had long before aban-
doned their food) that the
Reverend Jim Jones should
always be obeyed.
Temple loyalists, however, in-,
sist that no such episode oc-
curred. They argue that Jones'
record of good works - his free
food programs, health clinics,
drug rehabilitation project,
educational programs along with
the direct support of good :auses
- speaks louder than the falsified
statements of those who no longer
are members of People's Tem-
ple.
"Jones preached Apostolic
socialism," Al and Jean Mills
claim. The Temple "was pseudo-
.political, but more with a church
front," they say.
AGAIN, loyalists like Frances
Johnson - a warmly animated
black woman whose smiling face
occasionally reflects the pain of
losing her mother and son at
Jonestown - flatly reject the
idea that People's Temple was a
religious front just because so
many of its activities were
political. "Even Martin Luther
King had to use toe church as a
platform to reach a lot of his
people," Ms. Johnson observes.
One explanation for the con-
tradictory stories about the
strange events in People's Tem-
ple history may lie in the dif-
Oferent experiences of regular
members and those who belonged
to the inner circle of Jones ad-
visors, the Planning Commission.
In many ways, the Planning
Commission was an organization
separate from, though part of
People's Temple. Ex-Temple
members, many of whom were.
on the Commission, insist that
only. Jones- and the actual Plan-
ning Commission members knew
exactly who was on the governing
body. As a result, it was possible
for Planning Commission mem-
bers to have vivid memories of
events which were not witnessed
by regular members.

It was to Planning Commission
members that Jones reportedly
said, "I can no longer rule with
love, I am going to have to start
ruling with fear," shortly after
the defection of eight Com-
mission members in 1973.
UNTIL THAT year, the Plan-
ning Commission was
predominantly white. But, then,
following the defections, Jones
brought in some blacks and ex-
panded the governing body.
Defections continued. Now, most
of the vocal defectors and many
of the survivors of Guyana are
white.
Some of these defectors have
charged that the predominantly
white Planning Commission
really reflected Jones' own
racism. But professional or mid-
dle class blacks - people who
shared the backgrounds of the
majority of white Planning
Commission members - were
less likely to become active Tem-
ple members in the first place.
Neither the defectors nor the
loyalists say anything about
Jones' religious message that
could account for the alleged
willingness of Jonestown residen-
ts to kill themselves, now the
single most compelling fact about
the Temple.; If mind control was
the method by which Jim Jones
moved folk to suicide, there is no
indication that a religious
message was the vehicle. The
. Temple sought rewards here on
earth, not in an afterlife.
That was the promise and the
program of People's Temple.
Now the Temple is destroyed,
most of its members dead and the
survivors in San Francisco are
asking the court to distribute the
remaining assets of the Temple
among the relatives of the 912
victifis.
There are only, a few Temple
members who hang on to the need
to believe that Reverend Jones
was a victim rather than the vic-
timizer.
If at some point in the future,
they decide that Reverend Jones
did create all that havoc, they
will have to live with the ac-
cusation implicit in the last verse
of Jones' inspirational gospel
quote:
"Verily I say unto you,
inasmuch as ye have done it unto
one of the least of these ..: ye
have done it unto me."
Reginald Major, author of
Justice in the Round on the
Angela Davis trial, and The
Panther is a Black Cat on the
Black Panther party, is a
veteran observer of black
politics. He wrote this piece
for the Pacific News Service.

A FTER A FIVE-MONTH war with
the remaining loyal Ugandan
soldiers, the invading force of Tan-
zanian troops and Ugandan exiles have
finally captured Kampala, the Ugan-
dan capital, effectively toppling
President Idi Amin's eight-year mur-
derous reign. And though Amin's loyal
forces still retain one-third of the coun-
try, the long conflict between the two
bitter rivals appears to be at an end.
But now that the struggle has ended,
what will the future hold for Ugandan
citizens? Will the new leaers duplicate
Amin's atrocious behavior or will
democracy be restored? And should
the United States have any role in the,
future of Uganda?
Fortunately, the signs for a return to
democracy in Uganda have been very
encouraging. Yusufu Lule, the 67-
year-old academic who assumed the
presidency of a provisional Ugandan
government, told Ugandan citizens
that elections would be held as soon as
conditions permit. Lule also vowed to
create a system in which the "rule of
law" would safeguard human rights.
These initial promises, however, will
be difficult to implement within a short
period of time. The country has been
torn apart by the five-month conflict,.
Uganda's economy is in shambles; it
has no foreign exchange, its basic in-
stallations and facilities are crumbling
and its currency value has dropped to
one-tenth its face value. The nation's
citizens have been completely
demoralized by Amin's regime and the
bitter war. In short, it will take a
massive effort to put the pieces of
Uganda back together.

Soon after the capital was captured,
U.S. officials said they would recognize
the new government and took steps in
Congress to restore aid to Uganda.
These quick acknowledgements by the
Carter administration should be
followed up by a determined effort to
insure that free elections in Uganda
are held as soon as possible. The
president and his associates should try
to use diplomatic channels to push the
elections process up as quickly as they
can, because without a constitutional
mandate from its citizens, Uganda's
leaders will be holding power illegally.
And the coalition of Tanzanian
troops and Ugandan exiles, whose
combined effort toppled Amin and now
control most of the country, must move
toward elections and a restoration of
basic civil, liberties-so often ignored
by Amin's officials. Ugandans must
decide for themselves who they want to
be their new rulers.
EDITORIAL STAFF
Sue Warner .............................. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Richard Berke, Julie Rovner.........MANAGING EDITORS
Michael Arkush...................... EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
Brian Blanchard ................UNIVERSITY EDITOR
Keith Richburg ................ ........ .CITY EDITOR
Shelley Wolson.................. PERSONNEL DIRECTOR,
Elizabeth Slowik ... ............... FEATURES EDITOR
Dennis Sabo............. ........SPECIAL PROJECTS
R.J. Smith, Eric Zorn..................... ARTS EDITORS
Owen Gleiberman, Judy Rakowsky ..... MAGAZINE EDITORS
STAFF WRITERS-Sara Anspach, Ron Benschoter, Lenny
Bernstein, Julie Brown, Rick Blanchard, Mitch Cantor, Joe
Ceterski, Stefany Cooperman, Amy Diamond, Monica Eby,
Marianne Egri, Julie Engebrecht, Mary Faranski, Bob Feld-
man. Joyce Frieden, Greg Gallopoulos, Ron Gifford, JohnbGoyer.
Pat Hagen, Marion Halberg, Vicki Henderson, Alison Hirschel,
Steve Hook, Elisa Isaacson, Tom Kettler, Paula Lashingsky,
Adrienne Lyons, Chester Maleski, Jeff Miller, Tom Mirga,
Mark Parrent, Beth Persky, Kevin Roseborough, Beth Rosen-
berg, Amy Saltzman, Steve Shaer, Tom Sinkevics, Bill Thom-
pson, Charles Thomson, Jon Vogle, Joe Vargo, Howard Witt,
Jeff Wolff, Tim Yagle

Letters
F aculty supports divestment

To the Daily:
The following will be presented
to the Board of Regents at their
meeting next Thursday, April 19:
AN OPEN LETTER TO
THE REGENTS OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF
MICHIGAN
The controversy surrounding
the events at the Regents'
meeting of March 15-16 has ten-
ded to obscure the central issue
that is posed for the University
community: should we make a
real commitment to the cause of
ending the brutal system of apar-
theid in South Africa? We, the
undersigned, believe that the
University has a moral and
educational responsibility to
make such a commitment. In our
view, the University's present
policy amounts to an effort to
continue "business as usual"
while abdicating responsibility to
take a clear-cut moral stand. We
urge therefore that the Regents
and the University ad-
ministration reconsider their
position and move to join other
universities in support of the anti-
apartheid movement by
divesting forthwith all holdings

Weisskopf, Associate Profess
of Economics.
Said Abdi (Political Science)
W. H. Locke Anderson (Economics)
Michael Balinsky (Campus Minister)
Frithjof Bergmann (Philosophy)
Robert E. Beyer (Biology)
Barbara Bono (English)
Charles Bright (Res. College)
Larry Brilliant (Public Health)
Stephen G. Bringardner (Camp. Min.)
John Broomfield (History)
Vern Carroll (Anthropology)
Vincent Castagnacci (Art)
Chun-shu Chang (History)
Mark Chesler (Sociology) '
Ann Coleman (Campus Minister)
Donald Coleman (Campus Minister)
Philip E. Converse (Poli. Sci.)
Paul Courant (Economics)
James Crowfoot (Natural Reasources)
Harold Cruse ( History )
Margaret Dewey (Campus Minister)
Norma Diamond (Anthropology)
Penny Eckert (Anthropology)
Jeffrey Evans (Res. College)
Raphael S. Ezekiel (Psychology )
Lincoln Faller (English)
Paul Federbush (Mathematics)
Barbara J. Fields (History)
Andrew Foster (Campus Minister)
Daniel R. Fusfeld (Economics)
Marsha Hewitt Gates (Art),
Oscar Gish (Public Health)
Thomas Gottlieb (Poli. Sci.)
Susan Hansen (Poll.:Sci.)
Susan Harding (Anthropology)
Bobert Haurt (Ethics & Religion)
Max Heirich (Sociology)
Clement Henry (Poli. Sci.)
Bert G. Hornback (English)
Liam Hunt (History)
Robin Jacoby (History)
Lemuel A. Johnson (English)
Elizabeth Kaufman (ILIR)
Judith B. Kerman (Extension)
John0. King (History)
Ira Konigsberg (English)

'or Vonnie C. McLoyd (CAAS)
Alfred G. Meyer (Poll. SciL)
RebeccaNMuller (Counselling)
Margot Norris (English)
Norman G. Owen (History)
Max Owusu (Anthropology)
Jacqueline Parsons (Psychology)
Robert Paslick (German)
Don Postema (Campus Minister)
Glenda W. Prins (Campus Minister)
Peter Railton (Philosophy).
Susan Ranney (Economics)
Roy A. Rappaaport (Anthropology)
Chris Roberts (Anthropology)
William G. Rosenberg (History)
Erci Ross (Anthropology)
William D. Rudolph (Camp. Min.)
Joel Samoff (Poli. Sci.).
Arlene Saxonhouse (Poli. Sci.)
Karen Sayer (Michigan Media)
Thomas Schomaker (Camp. Min.)
Arthur J. Schwartz (Mathematics)
Arthur R. Schwartz (Economics)
Joan Scott (Campus Minister)
Patricia Sharpe (English)
William G. Shepherd (Economics)
Josep M. Sobre (Romance Lang.)
Donald Spivey (History)
Pauline Stone (Poli. Sci. )
Thomas F. Storer (Mathematics)
Michael Taussig (Anthropology)
Leslie Tentler (Social Sciences)
Thomas Tentler (History)
G. H. Uzoigwe (History)
John Vandermeer (Biology)
Alan Wald (English)
Kendall Walton (Philosophy)
GordorW. Ward, Jr. (Cam. Min.)
Steven B. Webb (Economics)
Robert Weisbuch (English)
Susan Weisskopf (Women's Studies)
Thomas Weisskopf (Ecomonics)
Gary Witherspoon (Anthropology)
John Wright (English)
Frances Wyers (Romance Lang.)
Aram Yengoyan (Anthropology)

levels of ,radiation or whether
they want to face the gruesome
consequences of a nuclear
catastrophe.
Analogies to auto deaths and
dental X-rays are misleading and
downright fraudulent. Medical X-
rays, though not without danger,
are highly localized and con-
trolled and the trade-off is
willingly assumed. It is the
peculiar nature of radiation-
induced illnesses (e.g. leukemia,
cancer) that they cause distress
and death a long time after. the
exposure. This has given rise to
the absurd industry claims that
nuclear power has caused no
deaths. Automobile deaths, on
the other hand, are usually im-
mediate and there is no question
as to the cause.
Since there is no level of
radiation where cancers etc. are
not produced, the government's
"acceptable" limits imply that
the deaths caused by low-level
radiation constantly emitted
from normally functioning plants
are acceptable. Unfortunately,
no public debate was ever en-
tered upon to discuss this
inescapable facet of nuclear
power production. Instead,
utilities glibly announced that
accidents are "inconceivable."
We have seen such an attitude

' W - ~" I

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