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Jim Jones


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    Jim Jones died in Guyana on November 18, 1978. Today, there is a cult leader in America who is far more dangerous than Jim Jones was.

    His name is Donald Trump:

    https://tohell-andback.blogspot.com/2018/11/forty-years-later-history-repeats-itself.html

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    Good article Arizona. You have drawn parallels between the psychotic behavior of Jim Jones and Donald Trump. Indeed the followers of both actors should be described as "cult like" although most of the Trump's 62 million supporters in the 2016 election are certainly not all cult followers. Many have just been duped by a master con artist, not unlike the politicians in San Francisco who elevated Jones in prominence.

    It is hard to understand the sway that authoritarian figureheads like Jones and Trump have over their rabid followers. Chris Carlsson writes in her essay on the topic: "In Julia Scheeres' well-researched book "A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown," she shows how years of Jones' authoritarian tactics had cowed most of his followers into confused and fearful obedience."

    "Confused and fearful obedience" appears to be prevalent in Republican circles now as they have adopted Trumpism as their party platform and fear going against Trump. Lindsay Graham is a good example.

    Psychologist Robert Altemeyer writes that "research indicates that a bed rock 20-25% of the adults in North America is highly vulnerable to a demagogue who would incite hatred of various minorities to gain power." And that 20-25 percent probably constitutes Trump's hard core base of followers who are capable of anything to protect their messiah. Matt Whitaker, our new attorney general, is likely one of them. That scares the shit out of me.

    Thanks for writing and sharing your essay.

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    Schmidt said:

    "And that 20-25 percent probably constitutes Trump's hard core base of followers who are capable of anything to protect their messiah"

    All the more reason for an exponential progressive tax code. There is no reason for a threat to this country coming a citizen that can undermine human rights by buying power.

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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Good article Arizona. You have drawn parallels between the psychotic behavior of Jim Jones and Donald Trump. Indeed the followers of both actors should be described as "cult like" although most of the Trump's 62 million supporters in the 2016 election are certainly not all cult followers. Many have just been duped by a master con artist, not unlike the politicians in San Francisco who elevated Jones in prominence.

    It is hard to understand the sway that authoritarian figureheads like Jones and Trump have over their rabid followers. Chris Carlsson writes in her essay on the topic: "In Julia Scheeres' well-researched book "A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown," she shows how years of Jones' authoritarian tactics had cowed most of his followers into confused and fearful obedience."

    "Confused and fearful obedience" appears to be prevalent in Republican circles now as they have adopted Trumpism as their party platform and fear going against Trump. Lindsay Graham is a good example.

    Psychologist Robert Altemeyer writes that "research indicates that a bed rock 20-25% of the adults in North America is highly vulnerable to a demagogue who would incite hatred of various minorities to gain power." And that 20-25 percent probably constitutes Trump's hard core base of followers who are capable of anything to protect their messiah. Matt Whitaker, our new attorney general, is likely one of them. That scares the shit out of me.

    Thanks for writing and sharing your essay.

    Yes good article Guy, of course I fully agree with Schmidt's comments; indeed an very weird country, the Trump "cult" may destroy this country.
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    I'm not the only one who sees similarities between Jim Jones and Trump.

    The article, which was published in June of 2018, popped up on my news feed this motning:

    https://psmag.com/news/a-sociologist-explains-the-similarities-between-cults-and-trumps-gop?fbclid=IwAR1Lvby2K8WI5Xonh3lRBJOn_PbBLlHbhogLqKz8dDn_LrPpP3lm0UqKkOU

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    I started a thread on this topic last year, but was reminded of the connection again this morning when The History Channel - This Day in History reminded me that it was on this day in 1978 that the mass suicide occurred.

    The Republicans who are defending Trump during the impeachment process (especially Jim Jordan) are perfect examples of the kind of people that belong to Trump's cult.


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    "It has become a cult’: Steadfast Republican and former Oklahoma Congressman Mickey Edwards has left the GOP and ‘will not be going back’

    He was national chairman of the American Conservative Union. He was one of the three founding trustees of the Heritage Foundation. In 1977, he flipped the seat in Oklahoma, becoming the state’s first Republican elected to Congress in half a century.

    And now, Mickey Edwards, 83, has left the Republican party. He said he “will not be going back.”

    In an essay published in opinion website The Bulwark, Edwards bids his party goodbye, and scathingly so. But not before outlining his 64-year commitment to the GOP: How he climbed the ranks within the party, eventually serving eight terms in Congress. How he helped charge a “national movement” that led to Ronald Reagan’s presidential victory in 1980. He talked about some of his earliest memories with the party, like the day he registered to vote as a Republican.

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/01/16/nation/it-has-become-cult-steadfast-republican-former-oklahoma-congressman-mickey-edwards-has-left-gop-will-not-be-going-back/

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    I guess people here forget "cause and effect" again! No one mentioned the steady "media drum beat" . The "media" is the guilty one, because no one has put "limits" on what "lies" they can "spew" into the air , over and over again, which indoctrinates and then creates an "cult" . Thus don't blame the "cult" but blame the "media". Put "restrictions" and "limits" on what they can do. "Free speech" without limits allows all of this; so "review" who spews all this misinformation and lies and either "limit" it or revoke their license to broadcast. This is the CAUSE of what we are facing now.
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    Dutch -- Don't lump "the media" into one stereotype. We have far left media and far right media and everything in-between plus social media, conspiracy theory media, religious media, etc. etc.

    The point is that people look for what they "want to believe" and they can certainly find that by browsing. I go back to the cultures that people grow up in. Right now we seem to have a good dosage of Christian Nationalism mixed in with white supremacy. They are doing what they believe in. It certainly qualifies as a cult as well.

    Most media came about to fill a need for their respective political and cultural tribes. But the crazy beliefs were there already just waiting for the "right media" to support their beliefs. Oh and they all make money selling their respective brands of Kool Aide. If they didn't make money, their Kool Aide stands would cease to exist.

    It will be worrisome for Biden and Democrats because for the hard core they really believe they are doing "God's work" and that Trump was sent by God. You cannot change those brains easily...maybe never. Many have pledged to die for Trump or drink the "Kool Aide".

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    Marjorie Taylore Greene recently had this to say about Trump:

    Ms. Greene, the freshman Georgia lawmaker who is under fire for her years of making hateful and bizarre comments, believes the problem is old-guard Republicans who won’t recognize what she believes is the new reality.

    The vast majority of Republican voters, volunteers and donors are no longer loyal to the G.O.P.,” she said this month. “Their loyalty now lies with Donald J Trump.”

    The picture below was posted by a conservative relative this morning:

    May be an image of 1 person and food

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    Schmidt, the point is that this is an country without laws and rules. I've written about that many times. Under Dutch law it is possible to "limit" lots of things in the press etc. If the law here says "freedom of speech" it is actually open ended, then you are asking for all this B.S. spewed in the aether. This is one of the reasons you get "cults" here. If you try the same things as here in other countries you will end up in jail. I travelled the whole world and did business all over with contracts so I know a bit of legalities in other countries. Here they boast about "freedom of speech" especially in the media they beat their drums day in day out. You can't control an country if you allow such,which is now the case. Chaos becomes then the "normal" thing.

    Rules and laws serve as an guide on how to behave in an culture; especially if an country is an "melting pot" of all kinds of people with different backgrounds and culture. You can only "manage " such with stringent rules and laws; not the "wild" west as it still is here. That is why the US gets itself over and over again in lots of "chaos" because using the old English system is asking for trouble. In the past the Brits lived on an "island" and did not have an "mixture" as it is here of immigrants as well punishment was brutal if you did not follow what the "kings" wanted you to do; ask Robin Hood.

    By transferring such British "culture" to the US is asking for trouble because this country is an "immigrant" country and therefore had only about 300 years to learn the lessons from other countries existing more than 2000 years. Neither had this country ever an "foreign" invasion or "real" wars on their soil. Also the "arrogance" on this "island" to "dictate" the world will be like an kid dictating an "grown up".

    As long as this country sticks to its "outdated" system and has only a few incomplete "laws" written in the 18th Century, with only very few also outdated Amendments, as well an zillion lawyers who are only there to fill their pockets and make the "mess" only bigger, then no wonder that we each time run into "chaos". Weirdo's galore because nothing is consistent neither thought out or "updated" to the times. Keep stirring in the same mixture in the old pot that will help.

    Sorry this country is only digging an deeper hole for themselves by continuing on this same path.

    Biden can do his extreme best, but will run into the same trouble over and over again because of these convoluted laws here and an polarized two party system.

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    This morning, our conservative relative in Arizona (the same one who posted the picture shown in my thread of 1/31) posted yet another Facebook entry that was complementary to Trump.

    May be an image of 1 person

    I normally do not respond, but today I left this comment:

    "After the events of January 6, NO ONE should still support this man.

    Which got me to thinking ...

    I wonder if there is an organization that can get people out of the Trump cult.

    There is.

    https://newrepublic.com/article/152638/escape-trump-cult

    As Schmidt has mentioned, you're never going to convince them with facts. If they believed in facts, they would not be Trump fans to begin with.

    The article above is worth reading in its entirety, but here are a few key points:

    ***************************************************************************

    So, how do we get those caught up in the cult of Trump to leave it?

    Daryl Davis has played the blues for over 30 years, including with the likes of Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis. He’s also spent 30 years talking to Klansmen, over 200 of whom have quit the KKK as a result of their conversations, handing over their robes to Davis—who is black. “When two enemies are talking, they’re not fighting,” Davis told NPR in 2017. “I didn’t convert anybody,” he explained. “They saw the light and converted themselves.”

    As psychologists Rod and Linda Dubrow-Marshall write in The Conversation, it’s extremely difficult for people to admit they are wrong, and it’s crucial for them to arrive at that realization on their own. (1)

    Javier Corrales, a political science professor at Amherst College and expert on the Chavez regime, has written that one lesson from Venezuela’s experience is for the opposition to avoid fragmentation within the broader electorate and, when possible, polarization. When it comes to Trump, he told me that rather than pursuing impeachment, which could backfire by polarizing institutions and the general environment even more, “the opposition needs to focus on strengthening institutions of checks and balances, and embracing and defending policies that produce majoritarian consensus rather than just cater to the base. The more defections they can get from voters that would otherwise side with the illiberal president, the better. If the opposition can get the other side to split, they win.” (2)

    Testimonials from former cult members can be particularly helpful in fueling disillusionment, she says. (3)

    Power said that conflict transformation in the United States would likely involve local, grassroots community development in the areas that Trump likes to hold rallies. “I don’t mean that progressives should go to these communities and start knocking on doors,” she explained, “that would be the worst thing that could happen to exacerbate tensions. I mean that there should be a focus on real community development in these areas.” (4)

    Trumpism is not primarily a story of globalism’s dispossessed, but rather one of identity politics. But there is reality, and there is perception, and the truth is that Trump voters perceive themselves as victims who have been culturally dislocated, disdained, and in danger of being left behind. (5)

    Important work to overcome divides is done at the grassroots level—through NGOs, religious initiatives, social service programs, schools, at the workplace, etc.,” she said, adding, “Civil society organizations that cut across identity borders can promote reconciliation and reduce conflict.” (6)

    “When the cultic behavior is on a national scale, [breaking it up] is going to take a national movement,” Lalich says. Such an approach promises no immediate gratification. But it also might be the only way to move forward, rather than continue a dangerous downward spiral. Andrés Miguel Rondón, a Venezuelan economist who fled to Spain, wrote this of his own country’s experience of being caught up in an authoritarian’s fraudulent promises: “[W]hat can really win them over is not to prove that you are right. It is to show that you care. Only then will they believe what you say.” (7)

    I put numbers next to some of the paragraphs listed above to show you what concrete steps we can take to achieve our goal of returning to normal political dialogue.

    (1) Several of the folks who participated in the riots have come to the realization that Trump lied to the. That includes the lady who flew in on our private jet, and Jake Agneli, both of whom have admitted they duped by Trump. As more of the rioters express that same view (including some of the 200+ that were arrested) that's an important first step.

    (2) Having Merrick Garland is an important first step here, and so is the purging of Trump officials from various organizations, such as the Pentagon and the Post Office, but also in the courts

    (3) More than 30,00 Republican voters reportedly quit the GOP in the weeks following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Tens of thousands of voters have become former Republicans.

    (4) Barack Obama got his start in politics by being a community organizer. If the Democrats can beef up those programs, that would help a lot

    (5) The reason so many people switched from being Obama supporters to Trump supporters is that they felt left behind. Adding LOTS of "green deal" jobs would help tilt the field the right way.

    (6) There are a million ways that these programs can be expanded - as long as you can find the right programs and the right leaders

    (7) The hardest one of all If you know someone who is a Trump supporter, try to reconnect with them once the virus had died down. Don't criticize them for supporting Trump, but find some areas where you can both agree.

    None of these solutions will happen overnight - so be patient.

    The chaos of January 6, and the impeachment trial, will have real political consequences in 2022.

    Even people in northwestern Georgia are not going to be dumb enough to vote for Marjorie Taylor Greene twice, and it's possible that a few people (Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Any Biggs, Paul Gosar etal.) will face criminal penalties due to some of their actions immediately prior to January 6.

    At that point, we can all say this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRP8d7hhpoQ