Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday Tales

This post has been made on reflection about what happened while I was in high school. I was prompted to write about it after watching an amazing documentary about the Jonestown mass suicide which happened 30 years ago last week. It is amazing what people do in the name of religion.

Once upon a time..

when I was in later high school (Yr 11 and 12) there was a new guy who turned up to my country high school who was a bit odd. Now odd is ok with me, some of my best friends are 'odd', but this guy was more than that. He had a very strange sense of humour and lacked a lot of interpersonal skills.

Being school everyone had a nickname. His was JC (Jesus Christ) and the reaosn he had it was due to his initials being J.C. Anyway JC turned up in Year 11 and was a fairly cluey guy, he did the same subjects as I did and went ok with them.

JC was at a disadvantage, he was coming into a small rural high school where everyone knew everyone (and we're likely related) and he was the new kid who knew no-one. His other disadvantage was that he was not good at sport. The boys in my school were sports mad, Aussie Rules Football, Basketball, Cricket, you name it. JC was bad at them.

Since I was in JC's classes all day long and as time went on the classes got smaller and smaller due to drop outs and going from Yr 11 to Yr 12 I got to know him mainly through a girl I had a massive crush on. She would talk to him, so to keep in her good books, I would talk to him as well.

As time went on I confirmed some of my comments earlier about him being odd. The reason for his oddness became apparent after finding out where he lived. You see in a location not too far from where I lived there was a community that were described by my father as "the nutters". The community was relavtively secretive and did not allow outsiders.

For a long time JC would not listen to anything that we, as outsiders, would say about his community. Of course there were rumours. Lots of rumours. Rumours that centred on the story that in the community there was a room with an 'alter'. Women from the community were taken to the alter and male elders from the community would have sex with the women as a form of renewal and also initiation for new women members, or when daughters of members came of age.

Were the rumours true? Hell I don't know but they certainly had a fair amount of truth involved.

One day JC came to school wearing sunglasses. He would not take them off in class. On closer inspection he had a black eye and bruises on his arms. JC would not say what happened other than to say he had moved out and was living by himself.

A few weeks later he admitted that after all the rumours he had heard he wanted to know for himself. He found his father, who was one of the elders, having sex with a girl who was our age (about 17 at the time). Afterwards he took a baseball bat to his father which resulted in a brawl and JC being expelled from the community.

The community was later shown in A Current Affair as a few former members made complaints about senior community men and their sexual deviancy. Court cases followed.

I now reflect on JC and how the poor guy had to listen to these rumours not believing what we said because of his up-bringing only to have his world collapse because of a lie he had been told by his father.


Jayne said...

The motivation for the likes of those elders, and the Jim Jones' of this world, is greed and power.
Greed and power through wealth, sex, adoration, whatever, they certainly don't gather their followers and brainwash them out of the goodness of their hearts.

dam buster said...

Jayne - You are correct there.

I found myself thinking while watching the show "how did he get so many people to have such a strong belief in his ideal that they went that far?" and "why doesn't someone do something?" which triggered the JC memory.

I wonder in a way what happened to the poor kid.

Jayne said...

Those mongrels usually have the gift of the gab, a silver tongue that can get normally sane people believing anything and everything.
They pick their targets carefully -mainly outsiders who don't fit in with their own family and/or community - and groom them over time until their whole world revolves around what their "master" says or opines.
From the outside looking in it's easy to see these brain-washers for what they are but sanity is something they relinquish early on to belong somewhere, to be part of something where they do fit in.

dam buster said...

Jayne - correct on the ability to pick the 'weak' within a society. The socially outcast who 'want' to belong find these places and are welcomed into the fold.