The Jonestown Death Tape

39 years ago today, U.S. Rep. Leo J. Ryan, D-Calif., and four others were killed near Jonestown, Guyana, by members of the Peoples Temple; the killings were followed by a night of mass murder and suicide of more than 900 cult members. Why did this happen? According to all of the books I own on the subject, as well as RollingStone magazine:

A 6-Year-Old Boy Was the Catalyst That Led to the Tragedy: Tim and Grace Stoen were a married couple and followers of Jim Jones during the Temple’s early years in California; Tim was an attorney for the Temple, and Grace was a member of Jones’ inner circle. In 1972, Grace gave birth to a boy named John Victor Stoen, and Jones claimed to be the father. Complicating matters about the paternity, Tim signed an affidavit confirming Jones as John’s father. When Grace defected from the church in 1976, she left her son with Jones, fearing that her life and John’s were in danger. Together she and Tim, who left the church a year later, sought to get John back through the U.S. courts. By that time, John was already in Guyana, and Jones adamantly refused to hand him over, despite court orders that he must do so. The dispute over John’s paternity symbolized the bitter conflict between the Temple and its opponents: If the Stoens prevailed in getting John back, it would signal the loss of Jones’ far-reaching power over his people and galvanize other relatives of Temple members seeking the return of their loved ones from Jonestown. In the end, John Victor Stoen was among approximately 304 people aged 17 years or younger found dead in Jonestown.

What follows in a transcript of the ‘death tape’, the final recording ever made of Jim Jones and members of his People’s Temple in Jonestown, Guyana on 18 November, 1978.


JIM JONES: How very much I’ve tried my best to give you a good life. But in spite of all of my trying a handful of our people, with their lies, have made our lives impossible. There’s no way to detach ourselves from what’s happened today. Not only are we in a compound situation, not only are there those who have left and committed the betrayal of the century, some have stolen children from others, and they are in pursuit right now to kill them because they stole their children. And we are sitting here waiting on a powder keg.

I don’t think it is what we want to do with our babies–I don’t think that’s what we had in mind to do with our babies. It is said by the greatest of prophets from time immemorial: “No man may take my life from me; I lay my life down.” So to sit here and wait for the catastrophe that’s going to happen on that airplane–it’s going to be a catastrophe. It almost happened here. Almost happened when the congressman was nearly killed here. You can’t steal people’s children. You can’t take off with people’s children without expecting a violent reaction. And that’s not so unfamiliar to us either–even if we were Judeo-Christian–if we weren’t Communists. The world (inaudible) suffers violence, and the violent shall take it by force. If we can’t live in peace, then let’s die in peace. (Applause.) 

We’ve been so betrayed. We have been so terribly betrayed. (Music and singing) But we’ve tried and as (inaudible) … if this only works one day it was worthwhile. (Applause.) Thank you. Now what’s going to happen here in a matter of a few minutes is that one of those people on that plane is going to shoot the pilot–I know that. I didn’t plan it, but I know it’s going to happen. They’re gonna shoot that pilot and down comes that plane into the jungle. And we had better not have any of our children left when it’s over because they’ll parachute in here on us. I’m going to be just as plain as I know how to tell you. I’ve never lied to you. I never have lied to you. I know that’s what’s gonna happen. That’s what he intends to do, and he will do it. He’ll do it. What’s with being so bewildered with many, many pressures on my brain, seeing all these people behave so treasonous–there was too much for me to put together, but I now know what he was telling me. And it’ll happen. If the plane gets in the air even.

So my opinion is that you be kind to children and be kind to seniors and take the potion like they used to take in ancient Greece and step over quietly because we are not committing suicide; it’s a revolutionary act. We can’t go back; they won’t leave us alone. They’re now going back to tell more lies, which means more congressmen. And there’s no way, no way we can survive.

Anybody. Anyone that has any dissenting opinion, please speak. Yes.(Inaudible.) You can have an opportunity, but if the children are left, we’re going to have them butchered. We can make a strike, but we’ll be striking against people that we don’t want to strike against. What we’d like to get are the people that caused this stuff, and some, if some people here are prepared and know how to do that, to go in town and get Timothy Stoen, but there’s no plane. There’s no plane. You can’t catch a plane in time. He’s responsible for it. He brought these people to us. He and Deanna Mertle. The people in San Francisco will not–not be idle. Now, would they? They’ll not take our death in vain you know. Yes, Christine. 

CHRISTINE MILLER: Is it too late for Russia?

JONES: Here’s why it’s too late for Russia. They killed. They started to kill. That’s why it makes it too late for Russia. Otherwise I’d say, yes, sir, you bet your life. But it’s too late. I can’t control these people. They’re out there. They’ve gone with the guns. And it’s too late. And once we kill anybody– at least that’s what I’ve always–I’ve always put my lot with you. If one of my people do something, it’s me. And they say I don’t have to take the blame for this, but I don’t live that way. They said deliver up Ujara, who tried to get the man back here. Ujara, whose mother’s been lying on him and lying on him and trying to break up this family. And they’ve all agreed to kill us by any means necessary. Do you think I’m going to deliver them Ujara? Not on your life. No. 

MAN 1: I know a way to find Stoen if it’ll help us. 

JONES: No. You’re not going. You’re not going. You’re not going. I can’t live that way. I cannot live that way. I’ve lived with–for all. I’ll die for all. (Applause.) I’ve been living on hope for a long time, Christine, and I appreciate you’ve always been a very good agitator. I like agitation because you have to see two sides of one issue, two sides of a question. But what those people are gonna get done once they get through will make our lives worse than hell. Will make us–will make the rest of us not accept it. When they get through lying. They posed so many lies between there and that truck that we are–we are done-in as far as any other alternative.

MILLER: Well, I say let’s make an airlift to Russia. That’s what I say. I don’t think nothing is impossible if you believe it. 

JONES: How are we going to do that? How are you going to airlift to Russia? 

MILLER: Well, I thought they said if we got in an emergency, they gave you a code to let them know. 

JONES: No they didn’t. They gave us a code that they’d let us know on that issue; not us create an issue for them. They said that we–if they saw the country coming down they agreed to give us the code. You can check on that and see if it’s on the code. Check with Russia to see if they’ll take us in immediately, otherwise we die. I don’t know what else you say to these people. But to me death is not–death is not a fearful thing. It’s living that’s cursed. (Applause.) I have never, never, never, never seen anything like this before in my life. I’ve never seen people take the law and do–in their own hands and provoke us and try to purposely agitate mother of children. There is no need, Christine; it’s not–it’s just not worth living like this. Not worth living like this.

MILLER: I think that there were too few who left for twelve hundred people to give them their lives for those people that left. 

JONES: Do you know how many left? 

MILLER: Oh, twenty-odd. That’s a small … 

JONES: Twenty-odd, twenty-odd. 

MILLER: Compared to what’s here.

JONES: Twenty-odd. But what’s gonna happen when they don’t leave? I hope that they could leave. But what’s gonna happen when they don’t leave? 

MILLER: You mean the people here? 

JONES: Yeah. What’s going to happen to us when they don’t leave, when they get on the plane and the plane goes down? 

MILLER: I don’t think they’ll go down. 

JONES: You don’t think they’ll go down? I wish I would tell you you’re right, but I’m right. There’s one man there who blames, and rightfully so, Debbie Blakey for the murder–for the murder of his mother and he’ll–he’ll stop that pilot by any means necessary. He’ll do it. That plane’ll come out of the air. There’s no way you can fly a plane without a pilot. 

MILLER: I wasn’t speaking about that plane. I was speaking about a plane for us to go to Russia. 

JONES: How … to Russia? You think Russia’s gonna want–no, it’s not gonna, it’s, it’s, it’s–you think Russia’s gonna want us with all this stigma? We had some value, but now we don’t have any value. 

MILLER: Well, I don’t see it like that. I mean, I feel like that–as long as there’s life, there’s hope. That’s my faith. 

JONES: Well–some–everybody dies. Some place that hope runs out because everybody dies. I haven’t seen anybody yet didn’t die. And I’d like to choose my own kind of death for a change. I’m tired of being tormented to hell, that’s what I’m tired of. Tired of it. (Applause.) 

I have twelve hundred people’s lives in my hands, and I certainly don’t want your life in my hands. I’m going to tell you, Christine, without me, life has no meaning. (Applause.) I’m the best thing you’ll ever have. 

I want, want, I have to pay–I’m standing with Ujara. I’m standing with those people. They are part of me. I could detach myself. I really could detach myself. No, no, no, no, no, no. I never detach myself from any of your troubles. I’ve always taken your troubles right on my shoulders. And I’m not going to change that now. It’s too late. I’ve been running too long. Not going to change now. (Applause.) Maybe the next time you’ll get to go to Russia. The next time round. This is–what I’m talking about now is the dispensation of judgment. This is a revolutionary–a revolutionary suicide council. I’m not talking about self –self-destruction. I’m talking about that we have no other road. I will take your call. We will put it to the Russians. And I can tell you the answer now because I am a prophet. Call the Russians and tell them, and see if they’ll take us.

MILLER: I said I’m not ready to die. 

JONES: I don’t think you are. 

MILLER: But, ah, I look about at the babies and I think they deserve to live, you know? 

JONES: I agree. But also they deserve much more; they deserve peace. 

MILLER: We all came here for peace. 

JONES: And we’ve–have we had it? 


JONES: I tried to give it to you. I’ve laid down my life, practically. I’ve practically died every day to give you peace. And you still not have any peace. You look better than I’ve seen you in a long while, but it’s still not the kind of peace that I want to give you. A person’s a fool who continues to say that they’re winning when you’re losing. (Inaudible.) What? I didn’t hear you ma’am. You’ll have to speak up. Ma’am, you’ll have to speak up. 

WOMAN: (Inaudible.) 

JONES: That’s a sweet thought. Who said that? Come on up and speak it again, Honey. Say what you want to say about… (inaudible). No plane is taking off. Suicide. Plenty have done it. Stoen has done it. Somebody ought to live. Somebody… (inaudible) I’ll talk to San Francisco–see that Stoen does not get by with this infamy–this infamy. He has done the thing we wanted to do. Have us destroyed. 

MILLER: When you–when you–when we destroy ourselves, we’re defeated. We let them, the enemies, defeat us. 

JONES: Did you see–did you see, “I will fight no more forever?” 

MILLER: Yes, I saw that. 

JONES: Did you not have some sense of pride and victory in that man? Yet he would not subject himself to the will or whim of people who tell them they want to come in whenever they please and push into our house. Come when they please, take who they want to, talk to who they want to–does this not living? That’s not living to me. That’s not freedom. That’s not the kind of freedom I sought. 

MILLER: Well I think where they made their mistake is when they stopped to rest. If they had gone on they would’ve made it. But they stopped to rest.

JIM MCELVANE: Just hold on, (inaudible) would have made that day. We made a beautiful day, and let’s make it a beautiful day. (Applause.) 

JONES: We win when we go down. Tim Stoen has nobody else to hate. He has nobody else to hate. Then he’ll destroy himself. I’m speaking here not as the administrator, I’m speaking as a prophet today. I wouldn’t (inaudible) talk so serious if I didn’t know what I was talking about. Has anybody called back? The immense amount of damage that’s going to be done, but I cannot separate myself from the pain of my people. You can’t either, Christine, if you stop to think about it. You can’t separate yourself. We’ve walked too long together. 

MILLER: I know that. But I still think, as an individual, I have a right to–

JONES: You do, and I’m listening. 

MILLER: –to say what I think, what I feel. And think we all have a right to our own destiny as individuals. 

JONES: Right. 

MILLER: And I think I have a right to choose mine, and everybody else has a right to choose theirs.

JONES: Mhm. 

MILLER: You know? 

JONES: Mhm. I’m not criticizing…. What’s that? (Inaudible woman’s voice.) 

MILLER: Well, I think I still have a right to my own opinion. 

JONES: I’m not taking it from you. I’m not taking it from you. 

MCELVANE: Christine, you’re only standing here because he was here in the first place. So I don’t know what you’re talking about, having an individual life. Your life has been extended to the day that you’re standing there because of him. 

JONES: I guess she has as much right to speak as anybody else, too. What did you say, Ruby? (Inaudible.) Well, you’ll regret that this very day if you don’t die. You’ll regret it if you do, though you don’t die. You’ll regret it. 

WOMAN 1: (Inaudible.) … You’ve saved so many people. 

JONES: I’ve saved them. I saved them, but I made my example. I made my expression. I made my manifestation, and the world was ready, not ready for me. Paul said, “I was a man born out of due season.” I’ve been born out of due season, just like all we are, and the best testimony we can make is to leave this goddamn world. (Applause.) 

WOMAN 1: You must prepare to die. 

MILLER: I’m not talking to her. Will you let–would you let her or let me talk? 

JONES: Keep talking. 

MILLER: Would you make her sit down and let me talk while I’m on the floor or let her talk? 

JONES: How can you tell the leader what to do if you live? I’ve listened to you. You asked me about Russia. I’m right now making a call to Russia. What more do you suggest? I’m listening to you. You’ve yet to give me one slight bit of encouragement. I just now instructed her to go there and do that. (Voices.)

MCELVANE: Alright now, everybody hold it. We didn’t come–hold it. Hold it. Hold it. Hold it. Let law be maintained. (Voices.) 

JONES: Lay down your burden. I’m gonna lay down my burden. Down by the riverside. Shall we lay them down here by the side of Guyana? What’s the difference? No man didn’t take our lives. Right now. They haven’t taken them. But when they start parachuting out of the air, they’ll shoot some of our innocent babies. I’m not lying–I don’t wanna (inaudible). But they gotta shoot me to get through to some of these people. I’m not letting them take your child. Can you let them take you child? 

VOICES: No, no, no, no. 

WOMAN 2: Are we gonna die? 

JONES: What’s that? 

WOMAN 2: You mean you want us to die … 

JONES: I want to see (voices shouting) … please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please. 

WOMAN 3: Are you saying that you think we could have smaller blame than other children were? Because if you’re saying … 

JONES: Do you think I’d put John’s life above others? If I put John’s life above others, I wouldn’t be standing with Ujara. I’d send John out, and he could go out on the driveway tonight. 

WOMAN 3: Because he’s young. 

JONES: I know, but he’s no different to me than any of these children here. He’s just one of my children. I don’t prefer one above another. I don’t prefer him above Ujara. I can’t do that; I can’t separate myself from your actions or his actions. If you’d done something wrong, I’d stand with you. If they wanted to come and get you, they’d have to take me. 

MAN 2: We’re all ready to go. If you tell us we have to give our lives now, we’re ready–all the rest of the sisters and brothers are with me.

JONES: Some months I’ve tried to keep this thing from happening. But I now see it’s the will–it’s the will of Sovereign Being that this happen to us. That we lay down our lives to protest against what’s being done. That we lay down our lives to protest at what’s being done. The criminality of people. The cruelty of people. Who walked out of here today? See all those who walked out? Mostly white people. Mostly white people walked. I’m so grateful for the ones that didn’t–those who knew who they are. I just know that there’s no point– there’s no point to this. We are born before our time. They won’t accept us. And I don’t think we should sit here and take any more time for our children to be endangered. Because if they come after our children, and we give them our children, then our children will suffer forever. 

MILLER: Do you mind if I get up? 

JONES: I have no quarrel with you coming up. I like you. I personally like you very much. 

MILLER: People get hostile when you try to… 

JONES: Oh, some people do–but–yes, some people do. Put it that way– I’m not hostile. You had to be honest, but you’ve stayed, and if you wanted to run, you’d have run with them ’cause anybody could’ve run today. What would anyone do? I know you’re not a runner. And I–your life is precious to me. It’s as precious as John’s. And I don’t–what I do I do with (inaudible) and justice and (inaudible). And I’ve weighed it against all evidence. 

MILLER: That’s all I’ve got to say. 

JONES: What comes now folks? What comes now? 

MAN 3: Everybody hold it. Sit down. 

]ONES: Say. Say. Say peace. Say Peace. Say Peace. Say Peace. What’s come. Don’t let–Take Dwyer on down to the east house. Take Dwyer.

WOMAN 4: Everybody be quiet, please. 

]ONES: (Inaudible) … got some respect for our lives. 

MCELVANE: That means sit down, sit down. Sit down. 

JONES: They know. (Groan.) I tried so very, very hard. They’re trying over here to see what’s going to happen (inaudible). Who is it? (Voices)  Get Dwyer out of here before something happens to him.* Dwyer. I’m not talking about Ujara. I said Dwyer. Ain’t nobody gonna take Ujara. I’m not lettin’ em take Ujara. It’s easy, it’s easy… (Inaudible.) Yes, my love. 

*What raises questions about the authenticity of the audiotape is that U.S. Embassy official Richard Dwyer was wounded at the Port Kaituma airstrip while the suicides were in progress. 

WOMAN 5: At one time, I felt just like Christine herself. But after today I don’t feel anything because the biggest majority of people that left here today for a fight, and I know it really hurt my heart because– 

JONES: Broke your heart, didn’t it? 

WOMAN 5: Broke my heart completely. All of this year the white people had been with us, and they’re not a part of us. So we might as well end it now because I don’t see … 

JONES: It’s all over. The congressman has been murdered. (Music and singing.) Well, it’s all over, all over. What a legacy, what a legacy. What the Red Brigade doin’ that once ever made any sense anyway? They invaded our privacy. They came into our home. They followed us six thousand miles away. Red Brigade showed them justice. The congressman’s dead. (Music only.) Please get us some medication. It’s simple. It’s simple. There’s no convulsions with it. It’s just simple. Just, please get it. Before it’s too late. The GDF will be here, I tell you. Get movin’, get movin’, get movin’. 

WOMAN 6: Now. Do it now! 

JONES: Don’t be afraid to die. You’ll see, there’ll be a few people land out here. They’ll torture some of our children here. They’ll torture our people. They’ll torture our seniors. We cannot have this. 

Are you going to separate yourself from whoever shot the congressman? I don’t know who shot him. 

VOICES: No. No. No. (Music.) 

JONES: Let’s make our peace. And those who had a right to go, and they had a right to–How many are dead? Aw, God Almighty, God. Huh? Patty Parks is dead? 

WOMAN 7: Some of the others who endure long enough in a safe place could write about the goodness of Jim Jones. 

JONES: I don’t know how in the world they’re ever going to write about us. It’s just too late. It’s too late. The congressman’s dead. The congressman lays dead. Many of our traitors are dead. They’re all layin’ out there dead. (Inaudible.)  I didn’t, but my people did. My people did. They’re my people, and they’ve been provoked too much. They’ve been provoked too much. What’s happened here’s been since Tuesday’s been an act of provocation. 

WOMAN 8: What about Ted? If there’s any way it’s possible to, eh, have and to give Ted something to take then, I’m satisfied, okay?

JONES: Okay. 

WOMAN 8: I said, if there’s anyway you can do before I have to give Ted something, so he won’t have to let him go through okay, and I’m satisfied. 

JONES: That’s fine. Okay, yes. Yes. Yes. 

WOMAN 9: Thank you for everything. You are the only. You are the only. And I appreciate you. (Applause.) 

JONES: Please, can we hasten? Can we hasten with that medication? You don’t know what you’ve done. I tried. (Applause, music, singing.) They saw it happen and ran into the bush and dropped the machine guns. I never in my life. But not any more. But we’ve got to move. Are you gonna get that medication here? You’ve got to move. Marceline, about forty minutes. 

JUDY IJAMES OR JOYCE TOUCHETTE: You have to move, and the people that are standing there in the aisles, go stand in the radio room yard. Everybody get behind the table and back this way, okay. There’s nothing to worry about. Everybody keep calm and try and keep your children calm. And all those children that help, let the little children in and reassure them. They’re not crying from pain. It’s just a little bitter tasting. They’re not crying out of any pain. Annie Miguel, can I please see you back … 

MCELVANE: … Things I used to do before I came here. So let me tell you about it. It might make a lot of you feel a little more comfortable. Sit down and be quiet, please. One of the things I used to do–I used to be a therapist. And the kind of therapy that I did had to do with reincarnations in past life situations. And every time anybody had the experience of going into a past life, I was fortunate enough through Father to be able to let them experience it all the way through their death, so to speak. And everybody was so happy when they made that step to the other side. 

]ONES: (Inaudible.) It’s the only way to step. That choice is not ours now. It’s out of our hands. (Children crying in the background.) 

MCELVANE: If we have a body that’s been crippled, suddenly you have the kind of body that you want to have. 

JONES: A little rest, a little rest. 

MCELVANE: It feels good. It never felt so good. Now, may I tell you. You’ve never felt so good as how that feels. 

JONES: And I do hope that (inaudible) will stay where they belong and don’t come up here. 

What is it? What is it? They what? Alright, it’s hard but only at first– only at first is it hard. Hard only at first. Living–you’re looking at death and it looks–living is much, much more difficult. Raising up every morning and not knowing what’s going to be the night’s bringing. It’s much more difficult. It’s much more difficult. (Crying and talking.) 

WOMAN 10: I just want to say something for everyone that I see that is standing around or crying. This is nothing to cry about. This is something we could all rejoice about. We could be happy about this. They always told us that we could cry when you’re coming into this world. So we’re leaving it, and we’re leaving it peaceful. I think we should be happy about this. I was just thinking about Jim Jones. He just has suffered and suffered and suffered. We have the honor guard, and we don’t even have a chance to … (Inaudible.) 

I want to give him one more chance. (Inaudible.) That’s few that’s gone. There’s many more here. (Inaudible.) That’s not all of us. That’s not all yet. That’s just a few that have died. I tried to get to the one that–there’s a kid (inaudible) I’m looking at so many people crying. I wish you would not cry. And just thank Father. (Inaudible.) … (sustained applause.) I’ve been here about one year and nine months. And I never felt better in my life. Not in San Francisco. But until I came to Jonestown. I had a very good life. I had a beautiful life. I don’t see nothing that I could be sorry about. We should be happy. At least I am. (Inaudible.) (Applause, music.) 

WOMAN 11: … Good to be alive today. I just like to thank Dad cause he was the only one that stood up for me when I needed him. And thank you, Dad. 

WOMAN 12: I’m glad you’re my brothers and sisters, and I’m glad to be here. Okay. 


JONES: Please. For God’s sake, let’s get on with it. We’ve lived–we’ve lived as no other people lived and loved. We’ve had as much of this world as you’re gonna get. Let’s just be done with it. Let’s be done with the agony of it. (Applause.) It’s far, far harder to have to walk through every day, die slowly–and from the time you’re a child ’til the time you get gray, you’re dying. Dishonest, and I’m sure that they’ll–they’ll pay for it. They’ll pay for it. This is a revolutionary suicide. This is not a self destructive suicide. So they’ll pay for this. They brought this upon us. And they’ll pay for that. I leave that destiny to them. (Voices.) 

Who wants to go with their child has a right to go with their child. I think it’s humane. I want to go–I want to see you go, though. They can take me and do what they want–whatever they want to do. I want to see you go. I don’t want to see you go through this hell no more. No more. No more. No more. We’re trying. If everybody will relax. The best thing you do to relax, and you will have no problem. You’ll have no problem with this thing if you just relax. 

MAN 4: … A great deal because it’s Jim Jones. And the way the children are laying there now. I’d rather see them lay like that than to see them have to die like the Jews did, which was pitiful anyhow. And I just like to thank Dad for giving us life and also death. And I appreciate the fact of the way our children are going. Because, like Dad said, when they come in, what they’re gonna do to our children–they’re gonna massacre our children. And also the ones that they take capture, they’re gonna just let them grow up and be dummies like they want them to be. And not grow up to be a person like the one and only Jim Jones. So I’d like to thank Dad for the opportunity for letting Jonestown be not what it could be, but what Jonestown is. Thank you, Dad. (Applause.) 

JONES: It’s not to be afeared. It is not to be feared. It is a friend. It’s a friend … sitting there, show your love for one another. Let’s get gone. Let’s get gone. Let’s get gone. (Children crying.) We had nothing we could do. We can’t–we can’t separate ourselves from our own people. For twenty years laying in some old rotten nursing home. (Music.) Taking us through all these anguish years. They took us and put us in chains and that’s nothing. This business–that business–there’s no comparison to that, to this. 

They’ve robbed us of our land, and they’ve taken us and driven us and we tried to find ourselves. We tried to find a new beginning. But it’s too late. You can’t separate yourself from your brother and your sister. No way I’m going to do it. I refuse. I don’t know who fired the shot. I don’t know who killed the congressman. But as far as I am concerned, I killed him. You understand what I’m saying? I killed him. He had no business coming. I told him not to come. 

WOMAN 13: Right, right. Music and crying.) 

JONES: I, with respect, die with a degree of dignity. Lay down your life with dignity. Don’t lay down with tears and agony. There’s nothing to death. It’s like Mac said, it’s just stepping over to another plane. Don’t be this way. Stop this hysterics. This is not the way for people who are Socialists or Communists to die. No way for us to die. We must die with some dignity. We must die with some dignity. We will have no choice. Now we have some choice. Do you think they’re gonna allow this to be done–allow us to get by with this? You must be insane. Look children, it’s just something to put you to rest. Oh, God. (Children crying.) Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, please. Mother, please, please, please. Don’t–don’t do this. Don’t do this. Lay down your life with your child. But don’t do this.

WOMAN 14: We’re doing all of this for you. 

JONES: Free at last. Keep–keep your emotions down. Keep your emotions down. Children, it will not hurt. If you’d be–if you’ll be quiet. If you’ll be quiet. (Music and crying.) It’s never been done before, you say. It’s been done by every tribe in history. Every tribe facing annihilation. All the Indians of the Amazon are doing it right now. They refuse to bring any babies into the world. They kill every child that comes into the world. Because they don’t want to live in this kind of a world.

So be patient. Be patient. Death is–I tell you, I don’t care how many screams you hear. I don’t care how many anguished cries. Death is a million times preferable to ten more days of this life. If you knew what was ahead of you–if you knew what was ahead of you, you’d be glad to be stepping over tonight. 

Death, death, death is common to people. And the Eskimos, they take death in their stride. Let’s be digni–let’s be dignified. If you quit tell them they’re dying–if you adults would stop some of this nonsense. Adults, adults, adults. I call on you to stop this nonsense. I call on you to quit exciting your children when all they’re doing is going to a quiet rest. I call on you to stop this now if you have any respect at all. Are we black, proud, and Socialist, or what are we? Now stop this nonsense. Don’t carry this on anymore. You’re exciting your children. 

No, no sorrow–that it’s all over. I’m glad it’s over. Hurry, hurry my children. Hurry. All I think (inaudible) from the hands of the enemy. Hurry, my children. Hurry. There are seniors out here that I’m concerned about. Hurry. I don’t want to leave my seniors to this mess. Only quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly…. Good knowing you. 

No more pain now. No more pain, I said (inaudible). No more pain. Jim Cobb is laying on the airfield dead at this moment. (Applause.)Remember the Oliver woman said she–she’d come over and kill me if her son wouldn’t stop her? These, these are the people–the peddlers of hate. All we’re doing is laying down our lives. We’re not letting them take our lives. We’re laying down our lives. Peace in their lives. They just want peace. (Music.)

MAN 5: All I would like to say is that my, uhm–my so-called parents are filled with so much hate– 

JONES: (Clapping–not applause.) Stop this, stop this, stop this. Stop this crying, all of you. 

MAN 5:–Hate and treachery. I think you people out here should think about how your relatives were and be glad about that the children are being laid to rest. And all I’d like to say is that I thank Dad for making me strong to stand with it all and make me ready for it. Thank you. 

JONES: All they do is taking a drink. They take it to go to sleep. That’s what death is, sleep. You can have it (inaudible) I’m tired of it all. 

WOMAN 15: Everything we could have ever done, most loving thing all of us could have done, and it’s been a pleasure walking with all of you in this revolutionary struggle. No other way I would rather go to give my life for socialism, communism, and I thank Dad very, very much. 

WOMAN 16: Right. Yes, eh. Dad’s love and nursing, goodness and kindness and bring us to this land of freedom. His love–his mother was the advance –the advance guard to socialism. And his love (inaudible) will go on forever unto the fields of– 

JONES: Where’s the vat, the vat, the vat? Where’s the vat with the Green C on it? The vat with the Green C in. Bring it so the adults can begin.

WOMAN 16: Go on unto the sing, and thank you Dad. 

JONES: (Inaudible.) … Don’t, don’t fail to follow my advice. You’ll be sorry. You’ll be sorry. If we do it, than that they do it. Have trust. You have to step across. (Music.) We used to think this world was–this world was not our home–well, it sure isn’t–we were saying–it sure wasn’t. He doesn’t want to tell them. All he’s doing–if they will tell them– assure these kids. Can’t some people assure these children of the relaxation of stepping over to the next plane? They set an example for others. We said –one thousand people who said, we don’t like the way the world is.

VOICE: Take some. 

JONES: Take our life from us. We laid it down. We got tired. We didn’t commit suicide, we committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world. 


The Final Recording


The Birth of Horror Films, Part 2

It was during my stint taking online film classes that I learned of such early cinematic icons as Georges Melies, F. W. Murnau, and Robert Wiene, among many others. Melies was particularly lauded as he created films during a time when most people had no idea what a camera even was. I had to study his classic A Trip to The Moon, which was definitely an interesting work. His short film Le Manoir du diable or The House of the Devil, released in the United States as The Haunted Castle and in Britain as The Devil’s Castle, is credited as being the first horror AND vampire movie.

All of the films of this period – the 1890s – are short – and a great many of these were created by Melies, including Conjuring a Lady at Robert Houdin’sThe Bewitched InnPhotographing a Ghostand Le Diable au couvent (see above video).  During the early 1900s,horror films were still short – it wasn’t until A Night of Horror (Nächte des Grauens) that film goers got their first feature length movie, and this one actually depicted vampire-like creatures! It was, of course, a silent film. – Wikipedia

I was surprised to discover that the first Frankenstein movie was a short that was made in 1910. I had always thought it was the Boris Karloff version of 1931 that was the very first. Another movie that was unexpected is The Werewolf of London (1935). I had, of course, considered An American Werewolf in London the first of that type, and that they had been inspired by the late Warren Zevon’s Werewolves of London. You learn something new every day.

Monster movies became popular for decades once creatures like Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolf man became fixed in the mind of the movie-crazed public: King Kong, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, Godzilla, The Fly, and The Little Shop of Horrors; then came the 60s & 70s – Reflecting the social revolution of the era, the movies were edgier, featuring controversial levels of violence (“Blood Feast,” (video below) “Witchfinder General”) and sexuality ( “Repulsion”). Films like “Peeping Tom” and “Psycho” were precursors to the slasher movies of the coming decades, while George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” changed the face of zombie movies forever. Horror luminaries of the time included Alfred Hitchcock ( “Psycho,” “The Birds”), Vincent Price ( “13 Ghosts, ” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “Witchfinder General”), Herschell Gordon Lewis ( “Blood Feast,” “Two Thousand Maniacs”), Roman Polanski (“Repulsion,” “Rosemary’s Baby”) and Mario Bava ( “Black Sunday,” “Black Sabbath”). 

The ’70s pushed the envelope even further than the ’60s, reflecting a nihilism born of the Vietnam era. Social issues of the day were tackled, from sexism (“The Stepford Wives”) to consumerism ( “Dawn of the Dead”) to religion ( “The Wicker Man”) and war ( “Deathdream”). Exploitation movies hit their stride in the decade, boldly flouting moral conventions with graphic sex ( “I Spit on Your Grave,” “Vampyros Lesbos”) and violence ( ” The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “The Hills Have Eyes”), the latter reflected particularly in a spate of zombie movies ( “Dawn of the Dead”) and cannibal films ( “The Man From Deep River” (video link follows). The shock factor even pushed films like “The Exorcist” and ” Jaws” to blockbuster success. Amid the chaos, the modern slasher film was born in Canada’s “Black Christmas” and America’s “Halloween.”– Thoughtco

The 1980s saw some great horror franchises but by the end of the decade, horror was no longer what it once was. It took a movie that I still consider a thriller (and one of my top 10 favorite films of all time), The Silence of The Lambs, to bring horror back to the front of the race. The 1990s brought back the slasher flick with the Scream series, and there were such gems as Se7enThe Sixth SenseMiseryCandymanInterview With The VampireFunny Games, and the spawning of the ‘found footage’ subgenre with the often nauseating The Blair Witch Project.

Unfortunately, horror has lost its edge since the millennium. There have been remakes & reboots galore, the rise of the ‘torture porn’ subgenre – which the Saw franchise belongs to – bad CGI (Final Destination series is one of the main standouts for this), and while there have been great foreign films (High TensionThe Devil’s BackboneFrontier(s), and I Saw The Devil to name a few), most movies are ho-hum, don’t hold my interest after the first half hour, and are just too damned predictable. I hope to breathe fresh air into the genre in 2018, so watch out. Horror shall have a new queen soon.

The Devil’s Backbone

The Birth of Horror Films, Part 1

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

I meant to write this post back in October but hey, the month got away from me! That’s what happens when you have 8 little yapping puppies to care for till you find homes for them, 2 grown dogs that seek attention all the time, and two small cats – kittens, really – that are all over the place unless they are sleeping, while trying to find the 10 year old ginger male who keeps escaping. I just had no time!

Today, only a week before Turkey Day, I bring to you the post I meant to publish a couple of weeks ago – how horror came to be. I find this interesting because horror is my favorite movie and book genre and has been since I was fifteen years old. I love thriller/suspense, true crime, and biographical stuff as well, but horror is my escape from reality, my comic release from a world that’s grown more insane as each year passes.

The first horror film on record is Le Manoir du Diable (1896), created by one of film’s earliest visionaries, Georges Méliès. Although it has a running time of a little over three minutes, this supernatural story still manages to pack in the genre paradigms: bats, devils, witches, cauldrons, ghosts, trolls, all appearing and disappearing in puffs of smoke.

The Golem (1915, re-released in 1920) dubbed ‘the first monster movie’, is based on the Jewish legends about a clay man created by a magically-inclined rabbi. The 1915 version, purportedly about an antique dealer who discovers a four centuries old golem and uses it as a personal servant, has been lost, but it was so successful that it generated a comedy about an actor in a golem suit (The Golem And The Dancing Girl’ made in 1917) and a prequel, made in 1920, which is the only one of the three films to survive. The poster for the 1915 Golem is typical of the Expressionist film art of the era — and nightmare-inducing.

Paul Wegener directed and starred in the origin story of how the golem came into the world. He is brought to life by Rabbi Loew to save the Jews of sixteenth century Prague from persecution. However, this noble intent is defiled by the Rabbi’s assistant, who tries to use the golem for his own nefarious ends, causing chaos in the ghetto. 


Karl Freund’s camera work and Hans Poelzig’s strange, twisted sets had a lasting impact on the genre. The Jewish legend influenced Mary Shelley during her creation of a monster a century earlier, and a decade or so later, this cinematic golem is a clear influence on Whale’s and Karloff’s depiction of Frankenstein’s Monster.
 – Horror Film History

I’m not much of a fan of early movies of any type – my tastes tend to run towards the classics of the 70s through the 80s, with a few gems here and there since. However, I do take my hat off to the early masters because without their innovations, where would the horror film be today? As things stand with most modern horror, the genre has gone rather downhill since the 90s though you will find a couple of jewels among the cut glass.

The first genuine vampire picture was also produced by a European filmmaker – director F. W. Murnau’s feature-length Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror (1922, Ger.) (aka Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens). Shot on location, it was an unauthorized film adaptation of Stoker’s Dracula with Max Schreck in the title role as the screen’s first vampire – a mysterious aristocrat named Count Graf Orlok living in the late 1830s in the German town of Bremen. Because of copyright problems, the vampire was named Nosferatu rather than Dracula, and the action was moved from Transylvania to Bremen. The emaciated, balding, undead vampire’s image was unforgettable with a devil-rat face, pointy ears, elongated fingers, sunken cheeks, and long fangs, with plague rats following him wherever he went. In the film’s conclusion, the grotesque, cadaverous creature was tricked by the heroine Nina (Greta Schroder) into remaining past daybreak, so Orlok met his fate by disintegrating into smoke in the sunlight.


One actor who helped pave the way for the change in outlook and acceptance of the horror genre was Lon (Alonso) Chaney, Sr., known as “the man of a thousand faces” because of his transformative, grotesque makeup and acting genius as a pantomime artist. He appeared in numerous silent horror films beginning in 1913 at Universal Studios. He was soon to become the first American horror-film star and Hollywood’s first great character actor. His first grotesque character role as a fake cripple (a contorted figure named the Frog), his breakthrough role, was in The Miracle Man (1919) (a film that only partially survives). Chaney’s films, collaborating with director Tod Browning on ten feature films over a decade, included these examples of lurid melodrama (and horror) and crime:

  • Universal’s The Wicked Darling (1919) – Chaney’s first film partnering with Tod Browning, portraying a thief named Stoop Connors
  • Universal’s Outside the Law (1920) – a crime drama with Chaney in a dual supporting role as Black Mike Sylva and Ah Wing
  • MGM’s The Unholy Three (1925) – with Chaney as a criminal ventriloquist named Professor Echo; it was later remade by MGM in 1930 by director Jack Conway (again with Chaney) – it was Chaney’s first and only talkie before he died of throat cancer
  • MGM’s The Blackbird (1926) – Chaney portrayed the dual roles of Dan ‘The Blackbird’ and The Bishop
  • MGM’s The Road to Mandalay (1926) – Chaney took the role of Singapore Joe
  • MGM’s London After Midnight (1927) – Browning’s first Hollywood vampire film (a lost film) in which Chaney starred as a sunken and dark-eyed vampirish character
  • MGM’s The Unknown (1927) – Chaney portrayed Alonzo the Armless Knife-thrower, a circus performer, with an obsession for a carnival girl (Joan Crawford in an early role) in its tale of a love-triangle
  • MGM’s West of Zanzibar (1928) – Chaney was cast as English magician named Phroso, now crippled and bald-headed and known as ‘Dead-Legs’ in “A Story of Love and Revenge in African Jungles!”
  • MGM’s The Big City (1928), a lost film
  • MGM’s Where East is East (1929) – the last collaboration between Browning and Chaney (a film that only partially survives); Chaney starred as Indochinese animal trapper “Tiger” Haynes

According to Guinness World Records, the character most frequently portrayed in horror films has been Dracula, with nearly 200 representations (at the present count). With Tod Browning’s direction, Universal Studios produced a film version of Lugosi’s 1927 Broadway stage success about a blood-sucking, menacing vampire named Dracula (1931), released early in the year. [Lon Chaney, Sr. was one of many actors considered to play the title character, but he died in 1930.] The atmospheric, commercially-successful film adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel played upon fears of sexuality, blood, and the nebulous period between life and death. The heavily-accented voice and acting of Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi in his most famous portrayal as the 500 year old vampire was elegant, suave, exotic and stylish – and frightening to early audiences – while the undead villain hypnotically charmed his victims with a predatory gaze. – Film Site

The Rancho Tehama Shooting

A gunman killed four people in a remote Northern California community on Tuesday morning, but a much bigger death toll was averted when the killer was unable to break into an elementary school. The staff at tiny Rancho Tehama Elementary School west of Corning moved quickly when they heard gunfire nearby just before classes were set to begin, Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said.

Doors were locked and students dashed inside and hit the floors underneath desks and tables. The shooter, who was killed by police at another site, rammed a stolen pickup through the school’s locked gate, walked into the schoolyard, and fired his rifle through windows and walls. He tried doors, but the buildings at the Rancho Tehama Reserve school were secure. Only an outside bathroom was open, but the gunman found no one there.

The killer apparently chose most of his victims at random, sometimes firing at passing motorists, homes and also gunning down someone after he purposely crashed into another car. At least 10 people were wounded or hurt in the string of shootings in Rancho Tehama, about 125 northwest of Sacramento. The gunman had a tactical vest with extra magazines for his guns, Johnston said, who viewed surveillance video of the shooting. The wounded victims from the spree included a mother who was driving her children to school when the attacker opened fire on them “without provocation or warning,” the assistant sheriff said. – CNN

What has this country come to? It seems that every week, there is some type of mass shooting and it is very disheartening. I am afraid for my nieces and nephews, especially the boys because to be male in America these days – particularly minority males – is extremely dangerous. It’s more so when you live in certain regions of the country, especially inner cities. Young Black and Hispanic males are the main victims of homicides in my city, most of it due to drug & gang violence (though there are deaths as a result of love triangles gone wrong). At least we don’t have mass shootings in my area. Not yet, anyway. Who’s to say what might happen in the weeks, months, and years to come?

Police in Northern California say the gunman in a deadly shooting rampage was feuding with his neighbors. They were his first victims. He targeted seven locations in the rural community of Rancho Tehama, including an elementary school that went on lockdown before he came in. Four people were killed in the assault that lasted 45 minutes and 10 more were injured, including at least one young student. Police killed the suspected shooter, Kevin Janson Neal.

They say he chose random targets and stole two vehicles during the rampage. Officers recovered one semi- automatic rifle and two handguns. One of the stolen vehicles, a white truck with bullet holes in the windshield, was removed from the area Tuesday night, reports CBS News correspondent Jamie Yuccas. Neal was known to authorities and had at least one prior arrest. His neighbors had complained he had fired multiple rounds for days before this rampage that ended up at this elementary school.

Officials are still trying to learn about the shooter’s past, including an alleged assault earlier this year against one of the neighbors he killed Tuesday. The motive for the shooting is still unclear.  – CBS News

The media, true to the nature of such a whitewashed entity, is already calling the perpetrator ‘mentally ill’. White mass shooters are always referred to as ’emotionally unstable’ rather than the domestic terrorists that they are. Paint the shooter any other color, and he’s deemed some sort of threat to the safety of the American public. The killer is dead, so there’s only one side of the story here – those of his family, who will do and say anything to keep the violent rampage of their relative from having negative fallout for them. Apparently, Kevin Neal had a thing for nature – so he left his family behind in Raleigh, NC, to go live in Northern California (which is what my fiance and I had been strongly considering doing next year.) His family thought he was trying to ‘run the demons out of him’.

The whirlwind of emotions — both the good and the bad — were often too much for Kevin Neal and his family as they watched his mental health deteriorate from afar. Neal, the suspected shooter behind a rolling rampage in northern California, confided in his mother daily, according to his sister. The phone calls were exhausting and often detailed his precarious welfare and the growing suspicion his neighbors were running a methamphetamine lab.

“He would get wound up and I think she spent a lot of time calming him down,” Neal’s older sister, Sheridan Orr, told the Daily News. “He would be irrational, irate and uncontrollable, and scream and yell. It was difficult to manage him. I don’t know how she put up with it.”

Orr and her mother poured over news reports of the shootings Tuesday and came to grips with the nightmare Neal may have caused. Nearly a dozen injuries and deaths of four innocent people at the hands of her brother has given Orr a new calling. “If he couldn’t get the health care he needed, he had zero business with guns,” Orr said. – NY Daily News

The Rancho Tehama Shooting

Collection of Complaints About Youth Throughout History

“[Young people] are high-minded because they have not yet been humbled by life, nor have they experienced the force of circumstances.

They think they know everything, and are always quite sure about it.”

  • Rhetoric, Aristotle
    4th Century BC

“The beardless youth… does not foresee what is useful, squandering his money.”

  • Horace
    1st Century BC

Our sires’ age was worse than our grandsires’. We, their sons, are more worthless than they; so in our turn we shall give the world a progeny yet more corrupt.

  • Book III of Odes, Horace
    circa 20 BC

In all things I yearn for the past. Modern fashions seem to keep on growing more and more debased. I find that even among the splendid pieces of furniture built by our master cabinetmakers, those in the old forms are the most pleasing. And as for writing letters, surviving scraps from the past reveal how superb the phrasing used to be. The ordinary spoken language has also steadily coarsened. People used to say “raise the carriage shafts” or “trim the lamp wick,” but people today say “raise it” or “trim it.” When they should say, “Let the men of the palace staff stand forth!” they say, “Torches! Let’s have some light!” Instead of calling the place where the lectures on the Sutra of the Golden Light are delivered before the emperor “the Hall of the Imperial Lecture,” they shorten it to “the Lecture Hall,” a deplorable corruption, an old gentleman complained.

  • Tsurezuregusa (Essays in Idleness), Yoshida Kenkō
    1330 – 1332

Youth were never more sawcie, yea never more savagely saucie . . . the ancient are scorned, the honourable are contemned, the magistrate is not dreaded.

  • The Wise-Man’s Forecast against the Evill Time, Thomas Barnes

… I find by sad Experience how the Towns and Streets are filled with lewd wicked Children, and many Children as they have played about the Streets have been heard to curse and swear and call one another Nick-names, and it would grieve ones Heart to hear what bawdy and filthy Communications proceeds from the Mouths of such…

  • A Little Book for Children and Youth – Being Good Counsel and Instructions for Your Children, Earnestly Exhorting Them to Resist the Temptation of the Devil, Robert Russel

“Whither are the manly vigour and athletic appearance of our forefathers flown? Can these be their legitimate heirs? Surely, no; a race of effeminate, self-admiring, emaciated fribbles can never have descended in a direct line from the heroes of Potiers and Agincourt…”

  • Letter in Town and Country magazine republished in Paris Fashion: A Cultural History

The total neglect of this art [speaking] has been productive of the worst consequences…in the conduct of all affairs ecclesiastical and civil, in church, in parliament, courts of justice…the wretched state of elocution is apparent to persons of any discernment and taste… if something is not done to stop this growing evil …English is likely to become a mere jargon, which every one may pronounce as he pleases.

  • A General Dictionary of the English Language, Thomas Sheridan

The free access which many young people have to romances, novels, and plays has poisoned the mind and corrupted the morals of many a promising youth; and prevented others from improving their minds in useful knowledge. Parents take care to feed their children with wholesome diet; and yet how unconcerned about the provision for the mind, whether they are furnished with salutary food, or with trash, chaff, or poison?

  • Memoirs of the Bloomsgrove Family, Reverend Enos Hitchcock

We remarked with pain that the indecent foreign dance called the Waltz was introduced (we believe for the first time) at the English court on Friday last … it is quite sufficient to cast one’s eyes on the voluptuous intertwining of the limbs and close compressor on the bodies in their dance, to see that it is indeed far removed from the modest reserve which has hitherto been considered distinctive of English females. So long as this obscene display was confined to prostitutes and adulteresses, we did not think it deserving of notice; but now that it is attempted to be forced on the respectable classes of society by the civil examples of their superiors, we feel it a duty to warn every parent against exposing his daughter to so fatal a contagion.

  • The Times of London
    Summer, 1816

On the use of you in place of thou in speech:

I know not any we may so properly refer the grammar of the matter to, not only derides it, but bestows a whole discourse upon rendering it absurd : plainly manifesting, that it is impossible to preserve numbers, if You, the only word for more than one, be used to express one…

  • William Evans, ‎Thomas Evans

…a fearful multitude of untutored savages… [boys] with dogs at their heels and other evidence of dissolute habits…[girls who] drive coal-carts, ride astride upon horses, drink, swear, fight, smoke, whistle, and care for nobody…the morals of children are tenfold worse than formerly.

  • Anthony Ashley Cooper, the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, Speech to the House of Commons
    February 28, 1843

… see the simpering little beau of ten gallanting home the little coquette of eight, each so full of self-conceit and admiration of their own dear self, as to have but little to spare for any one else… and confess that the sight is both ridiculous and distressing… the sweet simplicity and artlessness of childhood, which renders a true child so interesting, are gone (like the bloom of the peach rudely nipped off) never to return.

  • “Children And Children’s Parties”, published in The Mothers’ Journal and Family Visitant, S.B.S.

Household luxuries, school-room steam-press systems, and, above all, the mad spirit of the times, have not come to us without a loss more than proportionate…[a young man] rushes headlong, with an impetuosity which strikes fire from the sharp flints under his tread…Occasionally, one of this class…amasses an estate, but at the expense of his peace, and often of his health. The lunatic asylum or the premature grave too frequently winds up his career…We expect each succeeding generation will grow “beautifully less.”

  • “Degeneracy of Stature”, The National Era, Thrace Talmon
    December 18, 1856

A pernicious excitement to learn and play chess has spread all over the country, and numerous clubs for practicing this game have been formed in cities and villages…chess is a mere amusement of a very inferior character, which robs the mind of valuable time that might be devoted to nobler acquirements, while it affords no benefit whatever to the body. Chess has acquired a high reputation as being a means to discipline the mind, but persons engaged in sedentary occupations should never practice this cheerless game; they require out-door exercises–not this sort of mental gladiatorship.

  • Scientific American
    July, 1858

A mendacious umbrella is a sign of great moral degradation. Hypocrisy naturally shelters itself below a silk; while the fast youth goes to visit his religious friends armed with the decent and reputable gingham. May it not be said of the bearers of these inappropriate umbrellas that they go about the streets “with a lie in their right hand”?

  • “The Philosophy of Umbrellas”, Robert Louis Stevenson

‘We want to get married, but there is nowhere we can set up a house of our own. It is either a case of waiting goodness knows how long, and we’ve waited all the war, or, going to live with Mary’s mother.’ How often is a similar remark heard in those days, for it is the problem that young people all over the country have to face. Thousands of young fellows have come home from the war intent on setting up a home with the girl of their heart only to find that there are no homes to be had… Many men, of course, have not waited for houses, but have got married and gone into rooms or to live with relatives, but neither course can be considered very satisfactory.”

  • Nowhere to Set Up House, Dundee Courier

Never has youth been exposed to such dangers of both perversion and arrest as in our own land and day. Increasing urban life with its temptations, prematurities, sedentary occupations, and passive stimuli just when an active life is most needed, early emancipation and a lessening sense for both duty and discipline, the haste to know and do all befitting man’s estate before its time, the mad rush for sudden wealth and the reckless fashions set by its gilded youth–all these lack some of the regulatives they still have in older lands with more conservative conditions.

  • The Psychology of Adolescence, Granville Stanley Hall

“We defy anyone who goes about with his eyes open to deny that there is, as never before, an attitude on the part of young folk which is best described as grossly thoughtless, rude, and utterly selfish.”

  • The Conduct of Young People, Hull Daily Mail

…[The screen artists’] beauty, their exquisite clothing, their lax habits and low moral standards, are becoming unconsciously appropriated by the plastic minds of American youth. Let them do what they may; divorce scandals, hotel episodes, free love, all are passed over and condoned by the young… The eye-gate is the widest and most easily accessible of all the avenues of the soul; whatever is portrayed on the screen is imprinted indelibly upon the nation’s soul.

  • The Pentecostal Evangel
    November 6, 1926

The bad manners of all parliaments, the general tendency to connive at a rather shady business transaction if it promises to bring in money without work, jazz and Negro dances as the spiritual outlet in all circles of society, women painted like prostitutes, the efforts of writers to win popularity by ridiculing…the correctness of well-bred people, and the bad taste shown even by the nobility and old princely families in throwing off every kind of social restraint and time-honoured custom: all of these go to prove that it is now the vulgar mob that gives the tone.

  • Hour of Decision, Oswald Spengler (translated by C.F. Atkinson, 1942)

“The Chairman alluding to the problem of young people and their English said his experience was that many did not seem able to express or convey to other people what they meant. They could not put their meaning into words, and found the same difficulty when it came to writing.”

  • Unable to Express Thoughts: Failing of Modern Young People, Gloucester Citizen


“Probably there is no period in history in which young people have given such emphatic utterance to a tendency to reject that which is old and to wish for that which is new.”

  • Young People Drinking More, Portsmouth Evening News

“Cinemas and motor cars were blamed for a flagging interest among young people in present-day politics by ex-Provost JK Rutherford… [He] said he had been told by people in different political parties that it was almost impossible to get an audience for political meetings. There were, of course, many distractions such as the cinema…”

  • Young People and Politics, Kirkintilloch Herald

“Parents themselves were often the cause of many difficulties. They frequently failed in their obvious duty to teach self-control and discipline to their own children.”

  • Problems of Young People, Leeds Mercury

“…in youth clubs were young people who would not take part in boxing, wrestling or similar exercises which did not appeal to them. The ‘tough guy’ of the films made some appeal but when it came to something that led to physical strain or risk they would not take it.”

  • Young People Who Spend Too Much, Dundee Evening Telegraph

“How to bring young people into membership of the Church was a pressing problem raised at a meeting… Sunday School teachers in the audience had found that children were apt to leave Sunday School when they had completed their day school education. They were not following on into the church.”

  • Why Do Young People Neglect Religion?, Shield Daily News

“It’s an irony, but so many of us are a cautious, nervous, conservative crew that some of the elders who five years ago feared that we might come trooping home full of foreign radical ideas are now afraid that the opposite might be too true, and that we could be lacking some of the old American gambling spirit and enterprise.”

  • The Care and Handling of a Heritage: One of the “scared-rabbit” generation reassures wild-eyed elders about future, Life

“Many [young people] were so pampered nowadays that they had forgotten that there was such a thing as walking, and they made automatically for the buses… unless they did something, the future for walking was very poor indeed.”

  • Scottish Rights of Way: More Young People Should Use Them, Falkirk Herald

“A few [35-year-old friends] just now are leaving their parents’ nest. Many friends are getting married or having a baby for the first time. They aren’t switching occupations, because they have finally landed a ‘meaningful’ career – perhaps after a decade of hopscotching jobs in search of an identity. They’re doing the kinds of things our society used to expect from 25-year-olds.”

  • Not Ready for Middle Age at 35, Wall Street Journal

“What really distinguishes this generation from those before it is that it’s the first generation in American history to live so well and complain so bitterly about it.”

  • The Boring Twenties, Washington Post

“The traditional yearning for a benevolent employer who can provide a job for life also seems to be on the wane… In particular, they want to avoid ‘low-level jobs that aren’t keeping them intellectually challenged.’

  • Meet Generation X, Financial Times

“They have trouble making decisions. They would rather hike in the Himalayas than climb a corporate ladder. They have few heroes, no anthems, no style to call their own. They crave entertainment, but their attention span is as short as one zap of a TV dial.”

  • Proceeding with Caution, Time

And one more reflection:

“He felt that the people who were giving that kind of charge, that sweeping condemnation, were generally out of touch with the young people… ‘I think that if we knew the boys and girls — and I am thinking particularly tonight the young people of Britain — of those modern times, we should feel that after all they are very much like ourselves. They think very much like ourselves only their expression of their thinking is a little bit different.’

  • Modern Young People: ‘A Glorious Lot’, Cornishman


  1. when the young are to be silent before their elders; how they are to show respect to them by standing and making them sit; what honour is due to parents; what garments or shoes are to be worn; the mode of dressing the hair; deportment and manners in general.

  2. And though only the best of them will be appointed by their predecessors, still they will be unworthy to hold their fathers’ places, and when they come into power as guardians, they will soon be found to fall in taking care of us, the Muses, first by under-valuing music; which neglect will soon extend to gymnastic; and hence the young men of your State will be less cultivated.


Native Lives Matter Too

Native Americans are the forgotten minorities of the US. These people, who were in this country first (though it wasn’t called America at that time), are the most ill-treated, maligned, and poverty-stricken of all the ethnic groups, including Blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims. For instance, Natives are killed at much higher rates when dealing with the police, more so than any other race: 12% higher than Blacks, and more than three times the number of Whites. (When I use the term ‘Natives’, I mean both Native Americans and Native Alaskans.)

Yet we don’t hear about any of this. Why is that? While it appears the annual number of Natives who Lakota Woman, and ever since then I have had an interest in the issues facing them today: crime, substance abuse (alcohol in particular), incest, abject poverty, and living on reservations the White man forced them onto in conditions that can only be likened to third world countries.

have been murdered by law enforcement is small – 22 on 2016, and 18 this year so far – when compared with the population (5.4 million according to the 2014 census), it is quite a large number.  I first learned about the problems of our Native people when I discovered the book

Minorities have never had good relations with the police – even police who are minorities themselves – and for the Natives, it appears to be the worst relationship ever. Take the tragic story of Paul Castaway, for example. Paul Castaway’s death in the summer of 2015 was one of those controversial shootings that moved his family to fight for wider attention to police violence against Native Americans. A district attorney’s report gave the following account of Castaway’s death:

On July 12, 2015, Castaway’s mother called 911, breathless. “My son, he pulled a knife on me. He’s mentally ill and he’s drunk,” she said. Castaway had entered her home without her permission and poked her in the neck with a kitchen knife before running out the back door. When police arrived, they chased Castaway, who demanded that police kill him and then pressed the knife to his own throat.

Video surveillance footage appears to show Castaway was still holding the knife to his throat with both hands as he walked toward one of the officers. That officer backed away and fired his gun three times, hitting Castaway twice in the torso. Castaway fell to the ground, and police handcuffed him. He died at the hospital, according to The Denver Post.
 – CNN

Police are heavily armed. I used to watch COPS back in the day, I watch the First 48, and I also watch Live PD. My cousin almost became a police officer. I know what weapons they have on them: extra strength Mace, a ‘billy club’, department-issued gun, and a Taser. Usually, the suspects they deal with are not even armed though there are many that are. Some of these people don’t even have guns – they are carrying knives, wrenches, bats, or some other item being utilized as a weapon. Sure, you can be killed by a knife-wielding maniac, millions have been over the years. But if you’re a cop, carrying all those weapons that you can legally have at your disposal, in the company of fellow cops just as heavily armed as you, how much damage can an ice pick or a rock do to you? My belief is that most cops have an itchy trigger finger, and they know nothing will come of it if they do kill the perp, who just might be of an ethnic group they happen to dislike. What’s to stop them from killing you simply because you put them through a high speed chase, or have a rap sheet miles long, or your skin is the ‘wrong color’?

His brother’s death was not the only link Black Elk had to police shootings. His mother’s nephew, Benjamin Whiteshield, was killed by police in Oklahoma in 2012. According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, his family had brought him to the local police station because he had been “acting delusional.” Police said he was holding a wrench and was shot in the mouth after a confrontation with an officer. Then Black Elk’s cousin, Raymond Gassman, was killed in South Dakota less than a year after his brother died. He was shot by tribal police while resisting arrest.

And in June, a member of Black Elk’s tribe, Zachary Bearheels, died after a violent encounter with police.

On June 4, Bearheels, 29, was on his way home to Oklahoma when he got kicked off a bus in Omaha, Nebraska. When he failed to make it home, his mother, Renita Chalepah, called police to let them know her son was lost and suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, the police investigation found. Omaha police found Bearheels shortly after midnight at a convenience store. The department reported that officers put him on the phone with Chalepah.

“I heard him say ‘Mama, mama,'” she later told the Omaha World-Herald. She could tell from his voice that he was off his medications. According to the police investigation, officers agreed to take Bearheels to the bus station. They handcuffed him and put him in the back of a police cruiser, but he slipped out of the car. That led to a scuffle. Police video shows officers shock Bearheels repeatedly with a Taser, drag him by his belt and ponytail, and punch him in the head.He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. Two former officers are now facing assault charges. Both have pleaded not guilty. The police department’s investigation found the officers’ use of the Taser an “egregious violation” of policy.

“Zachary Bearheels committed no crime,” Douglas County Attorney Donald Kleine said at a press conference. “Zachary Bearheels was simply a human being suffering from a severe mental illness that was quite obvious to anyone who came in contact with him. Our laws should protect those who are most vulnerable, particularly those who suffer from mental illness.” 

Hollyweird Sex Scandals List

From the New York Times (

Nov. 9

Louis C.K.Comedian and producer

ACCUSATION Sexual misconduct with five women, including exposing himself and masturbating in front of them. »

FALLOUT Movie release and comedy special were canceled. Media companies cut ties. »

RESPONSE“These stories are true. … I have been remorseful of my actions.” »

Nov. 8

Benjamin GenocchioExecutive director of the Armory Show art fair

ACCUSATION Sexual harassment, including unwelcome touching of five women. »

FALLOUT Replaced. »

RESPONSE“To the extent my behavior was perceived as disrespectful, I deeply and sincerely apologize and will ensure it does not happen again.” »

Nov. 3

David GuillodCo-chief executive of Primary Wave Entertainment agency

ACCUSATION Sexual assault of four women. »

FALLOUT Resigned. »

RESPONSE“Mr. Guillod denies any allegations of nonconsensual sex,” his lawyer told TheWrap. »

Nov. 1

Jeff HooverKentucky speaker of the House

ACCUSATION Sexual harassment and inappropriate text messages. »

FALLOUT Resigned leadership position but remained in the Legislature as of Nov. 10. »

RESPONSE“I engaged in banter that was consensual but make no mistake it was wrong on my part to do that. And for that, I am truly sorry. … I want to reiterate that at no time, at no time did I engage in unwelcome or unwanted conduct of any kind.” »

Brett RatnerProducer and director

ACCUSATION Rape, sexual assault and harassment of six women, including exposing himself and masturbating. »

FALLOUT Stepped away from activities related to Warner Bros. »

RESPONSE“We are confident that his name will be cleared once the current media frenzy dies down and people can objectively evaluate the nature of these claims,” read a statement from an attorney of Mr. Ratner, who is suing his rape accuser for libel. »

Oct. 31

Kirt WebsterMusic publicist

ACCUSATION Sexual assault and harassment, including unwanted touching. »

FALLOUT Stepped away from his firm, Webster Public Relations »

RESPONSE“Mr. Webster has had multiple relationships over the course of his professional life, all of which have been consensual,” a representative said in response to the first accusation. »

Andy DickActor

ACCUSATION Sexual harassment, including groping. »

FALLOUT Fired from film. »

RESPONSE“I didn’t grope anybody. I might have kissed somebody on the cheek to say goodbye and then licked them. … I’m not trying to sexually harass people.” »

Michael OreskesHead of news at NPR and former New York Times editor

ACCUSATION Sexual harassment of three women. »

FALLOUT Resigned. »

RESPONSE“I am deeply sorry to the people I hurt. My behavior was wrong and inexcusable, and I accept full responsibility.” »

Oct. 30

Hamilton FishPresident and publisher of The New Republic

ACCUSATION Complaints by female employees. »

FALLOUT Resigned. »

RESPONSE“Women have longstanding and profound concerns with respect to their treatment in the workplace. Many men have a lot to learn in this regard. I know I do, and I hope for and encourage that new direction.” »

Oct. 29

Kevin SpaceyActor

ACCUSATION Sexual assault of multiple men and sexual misconduct with a minor. »

FALLOUT Suspended from “House of Cards” and cut from other projects. »

RESPONSE“Kevin Spacey is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment,” said his representative in a statement. »

Oct. 26

Ken BakerE! News correspondent

ACCUSATION Sexual harassment of two women, including unwanted kissing and inappropriate messages »

FALLOUT Pulled from air while NBCUniversal investigates. »

RESPONSE“I am very disturbed by these anonymous allegations, which make my heart ache. I take them very seriously.” »

Mark HalperinNBC News and MSNBC contributor, author of “Game Change”

ACCUSATION Sexual harassment of at least five women. »

FALLOUT Dismissed from MSNBC and NBC News and had upcoming book and HBO adaptation canceled. »

RESPONSE“I am profoundly sorry for the pain and anguish I have caused by my past actions. I apologize sincerely to the women I mistreated.” »

Rick NajeraDirector of CBS’s Diversity Showcase

ACCUSATION Sexual harassment, including inappropriate comments to performers. »

FALLOUT Resigned. »

RESPONSE“We are heartbroken and confounded by deliberate and cruel defamations,” said his family in a statement. »

Oct. 25

Knight LandesmanPublisher of Artforum

ACCUSATION Sexual harassment of at least nine women, including groping. »

FALLOUT Resigned. »

RESPONSE“I fully recognize that I have tested certain boundaries, which I am working hard to correct.” »

Oct. 24

Leon WieseltierA former editor at The New Republic

ACCUSATION Sexual harassment of several women, including inappropriate advances. »

FALLOUT Fired from Emerson Collective, which canceled publication of a magazine he was editing. »

RESPONSE“For my offenses against some of my colleagues in the past I offer a shaken apology and ask for their forgiveness.” »

Oct. 23

Terry RichardsonFashion photographer

ACCUSATION Sexual harassment of models. »

FALLOUT Banned from working with Condé Nast. »

RESPONSE“Many of his professional interactions with subjects were sexual and explicit in nature but all of the subjects of his work participated consensually,” a spokeswoman said. »

Oct. 21

John BeshChief executive of the Besh Restaurant Group

ACCUSATION Sexual harassment »

FALLOUT Stepped down. »

RESPONSE“I alone am entirely responsible for my moral failings. This is not the way the head of a company like ours should have acted.” »

Oct. 19

Lockhart SteeleEditorial director of Vox Media

ACCUSATION Sexual harassment of at least one person, including unwanted kissing. »

FALLOUT Fired. »

RESPONSEVox Media’s chief executive said Steele had admitted to “engaging in conduct that is inconsistent with our core values and will not be tolerated.” »

Robert ScobleTech blogger and co-founder of the Transformation Group

ACCUSATION Sexual assault of at least two women. »

FALLOUT Resigned. »

RESPONSE“Each of the women who have come forward used grains of truth to sell false narrative.” »

Oct. 17

Chris SavinoCreator and showrunner of “The Loud House”

ACCUSATION Sexual harassment, including unwanted sexual advances, of as many as 12 women. »

FALLOUT Fired. »

RESPONSE“I am deeply sorry and I am ashamed.” »

Oct. 5

Harvey WeinsteinProducer and co-founder of the Weinstein Company

ACCUSATION Raping three women. Sexual assault and harassment of dozens of others — including masturbating, exposing himself and unwelcome touching. »

FALLOUT Fired from his company and expelled from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. »

RESPONSE“I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.” He denied the accusations of nonconsensual sex. »