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03/26/2009

Video: Molotov cocktail burns both Milk and truth

by Jeremy Hooper

Jim-Jones-FACT: The connection between San Francisco politicians and Jim Jones' Peoples Temple is the subject of great debate. It is fair to say that many politicians of all stripes supported early version of Jim Jones' "church," as did many Bay Area residents (thus the reason why his crew grew so large). And it's true that various campaign workers tapped into the Peoples Temple's network, as the "church" was very politically active, and seemingly in support of many appealing ideals (inclusivity, fairness, nondiscrimination, etc.).

-FACT: But it wasn't just Democrats who initially praised Jones. For one, the complete San Francisco Board of Supervisors gave Jim Jones a Certificate of Honor. Also, a Republican senator by the name of Milton Marks was an early Jones supporter, even passing a Senate resolution honoring the work of the Peoples Temple.

-FACT: However, as the extent of the Peoples Temples' cult-like behavior became known and the harsh treatment of its members became clear, there is considerable evidence that Harvey Milk, George Moscone, and other SF politicians moved away from Peoples Temple support. In fact, some people believe Milk and Moscone were planning to blow the lid off Jonestown (and there are even conspiracy theories saying that's why the two were killed).

-FACT: Even while supporting Jones/using his network, there is firsthand evidence that Harvey had his suspicions. In The Mayor of Castro Street, Randy Shilts quotes Milk as saying of Peoples Temple:

"They're weird, but they're good volunteers," Harvey told her. "You take help where it comes from, but don't trust them."

-FACT: Modern people must remember that it took investigation to learn the extent of what was going on with Jim Jones. Remember, investigating the truth of Jonestown is exactly what Congressman Leo Ryan (a friend of Moscone and, presumably, Milk) was doing in Guyana when he was assassinated by Jones' cohorts. The truth was largely unknown before that horrific instance.

-FACT: Hindsight being 20/20, it's easy for folks to now condemn anyone who had connection with Jones. But this crystal-clear hindsight is often anything but. It may be politically opportunistic to exploit the hindsight -- but it's rarely fair.

jonestown-time-FACT: The Peoples Temple members actually drank cyanide-laced Flavor Aid, not Kool Aid. It's a common fallacy.

-FACT: In regards to Milk's record: In his short time in office, Harvey proved to be an amazing leader. Remember, he was instrumental in keeping Prop 6 from passing. This is no small fete considering the Anita Bryant hysteria of the day.

-FACT: Nobody can fairly say that Dan White shot Harvey Milk merely because Harvey was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Evidence does not support this, as firsthand accounts reveal that there were several other people Dan White could've shot (Willie Brown, Dianne Feinstein, various aides) if his desire was only to kill those who got in his way.

Okay, now you can go watch this new video from conservative flamethrower Molotov Mitchell:

***

*Video source: Harvey Milk drank the Kool-Aid [WND]

***

-FACT: The two letters that are referenced in the video are actually one. In one letter to President Carter dated 2/19/1978, Harvey did, in fact, defend Jones against Timothy Stoen. And it was wrongheaded for Harvey (or anyone) to do so. But again, this was well before people wereMilkletter aware of what the Peoples Temple was really all about. Plus -- and this is an important detail -- the father mentioned in the letter, Timopthy Stoen, had signed a document swearing that his son was not actually of his DNA, but rather the product of Jim Jones' sperm. Stoen fully admits to signing this letter, but has since said that its testimony is untrue, and that the son (later murdered at the hands of Jonmes' cult) was his. However, Harvey had no way of knowing this at the time. As far as he knew, Tim Stoen was unfairly trying to take a son that Jim Jones had fathered. Again, you have to remember that Jim Jones in 2/1978 was not the Jim Jones we know in March of 2009!

-FACT: We're actually quite okay with you using the word "assassin" to refer to Dan White. In fact, if one insisted on giving a choice between "assassin" and "homophobe" (even if there's no reason why the two should be mutually exclusive), we would easily choose the former.

-FACT:
Molotov Mitchell's video is offensive, short-sighted, unmeasured, disrespectful, and even borderline libelous. Even for WorldNetDaily, it is a low.

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Your thoughts

my god. wnd gets more and more evil every day.

Posted by: remix | Mar 26, 2009 3:44:00 PM

If I hear "FOR THE RECORD!" one more time, someone's going to get hurt.

Posted by: Brooke | Mar 26, 2009 8:12:59 PM

I remember the day that the San Francisco Headquarters for the Election of Jimmy Carter opened up in 1976, in a empty store front on Market Street. It was a media event, and I arrived early. My cameras were stolen the day before... but I was still in the roped off media section. I was surprised that except for the media, it was almost empty 20 minutes before the event was to start. Then 3 school like busloads of members of th People's Temple arrived and nearly 100 people filled up the empty hall. I was wearing a real peanut lapel pin, and as Jim Jones was walking past me and noticed it. He asked me if I had any extra... because he said he was going to be standing next to Roselyn Carter and would like to give her one. I had extra, because the guy who made them gave them to me. Just as the event was to start, I noticed that Jones was giving one to Carter's wife and had put one on,too. I was unable to take photos... but that was the one and only time I met him. I later had heard that Mayor Moscone, had made the arrangements for the People's Temple members to be there.

Posted by: jerry Pritikin | Mar 27, 2009 9:23:41 AM

Jerry: I love, love LOVE your firsthand insights. Please don't ever stop sharing them!!

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 27, 2009 10:24:28 AM

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