http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/peru/7942298/Killer-vampire-bats-attack-500-people.html

Inside the Jonestown massacre

CNN/November 13, 2008

By Leslie Wagner-Wilson

Thirty years ago, 909 Americans were led to their death by the Rev. Jim Jones in a mass murder-suicide pact in a South American jungle, shortly after Jones’ gunmen killed a visiting U.S. congressman and four others at a nearby airstrip.

Of the nearly 1,000 church members who began the day in Jonestown, a cult commune, only 33 survived to see the next day.

What happened? More than 900 Americans died in a South American jungle upon the orders of Rev. Jim Jones, who had tried to create a socialist paradise that survivors called a slave camp.

What led up to this? When California Rep. Leo Ryan arrived on a one-man investigative mission, bringing along a TV camera crew and various reporters, 15 church members asked to leave with him. Jones sent gunmen to a nearby airstrip, where they killed Ryan, an NBC correspondent and his cameraman, a newspaper photographer and one of the departing family members.

Who was Jim Jones? He was a self-appointed minister from a small town in the Midwest, who first led his flock to California, where he hoped to avoid fallout from a possible nuclear war. He then moved his people to Guyana when he came under criticism for church beatings and financial abuses.

Where did the money come from? Jones was a phony faith healer, and much of his money came in mail-order donations from the desperate. Elderly members handed over their Social Security checks, working adults gave 25 percent of their wages to the church and some signed over all their property. Government investigators would later find at least $10 million in Swiss banks, mainly in Panama. Another $1 million in cash was recovered in Jonestown.

Did anyone survive? Thirty-three people who began that day in Jonestown escaped with their lives. There were two main groups of survivors. Eleven people, four of them small children, walked almost 30 miles through the jungle to another town. Fourteen departing church members lived through the airport ambush — five of them youngsters who were lost for three days when they ran into the jungle to hide. See list of survivors

What happened to the killers? All but one of the airport gunmen died in the mass suicide. Larry Layton, who posed as a defector, was captured after badly wounding two people inside a plane trying to take off. He was not paroled from an American prison until 2002.

How did Jones die? He did not drink the cyanide. He was shot in the head, probably by a trusted aide, at the very end. His body was among the first to be identified — through fingerprints that had been taken after a vice squad arrest five years earlier in the men’s room of a Los Angeles movie theater.

What is left of Jonestown today? Nothing. The settlement has disappeared, the buildings dismantled and carried away by native Indians. Jungle weeds and trees have overgrown the area again. The only notable relic left to be found are the remains of one small rusting garden tractor. What persists is simply silence.

How a good idea got very very very bad.  Maurice Brinton’s article “Suicide for Socialism?’, outlines the rise and fall of Jim Jones and his use of ideology, as well as a round up of cults in history.

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Thumb that fell from the sky into car park belongs to missing kebab store worker

On Monday, almost 32 years after the vanishings and the bitterly slow acceptance of five families that the search for answers would never end, it suddenly did.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/nyregion/24newark.html?th&emc=th

Residents of a small outback Australian town have been left speechless after fish began falling from the sky.

Hundreds of spangled perch bombarded the 650 residents of Lajamanu, shocking local Christine Balmer, who was walking home when the strange ‘weather’ started.

She said, ‘The fish were all alive when they hit the ground so they would have been alive when they were up there flying around the sky.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1254812/Hundreds-fish-fall-sky-remote-Australian-town-Lajamanu.html#ixzz0h3QVojRm

Released on March 8th 2010.
Please pre-order the single by clicking here -http://bit.ly/bj2ieH (UK residents) or here -http://bit.ly/ahKs8l (Eire residents). Or text SPELL – all in capitals – to 78789 (UK only). The text costs £1.50.

Please join our Facebook Group to ‘Make Shane MacGowan and Friends number 1′ here -http://bit.ly/9ZMxWA

So moved by the plight of the people of Haiti, Shane and his long term girlfriend, writer Victoria Clarke made calls to friends and associates from which began the process of recording a track from which ALL proceeds go to Concern, a charity who have provided assistance to some of the poorest countries in the world including Haiti, even before the earthquake struck. Some of the stars on the record include – Nick Cave / Bobby Gillespie / Glen Matlock / Johnny Depp / Chrissie Hynde / Paloma Faith / Eliza Doolittle.

Aurel Schmidt

March 1, 2010

“When I was a teenager I was making very angsty detailed drawings on all sorts of wonderful satanic themes. I drew everyday, I loved it so much. Then I got really embarrassed of them, I hid them all under the bed at my mothers house. Now I have come full circle, I draw rotting corpses all day, I have never been happier.”



More from Aurel Schmidt

Buy her book “Burn Outs”

Article in the New York Times on how sadness makes us smarter, a paradox in evolution.

Keith Barry does brain magic

February 24, 2010

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