Sunday, October 2

The Jim Jones Doctrine

You can make a certain number of people believe anything by activating the necessary mechanisms. Jim Jones was a Protestant pastor, and a fervent admirer of Stalinism, who forged great credibility among large racialized sectors of Indiana in the 1950s, when segregation was still a bloody reality in the United States. His community work against racism earned him a name that gradually degenerated into authoritarian positions that pushed him to demand absolute obedience from all those who followed him, to the point of abjuring Protestantism and creating his own religious community. The accusations against Jim Jones for his sectarian drift led him to consolidate his conspiracy message against capitalism as the antichrist that would end the world, and led his community, already constituted in the Temple of the People of the Disciples of Christ sect, to a small enclave in Johnstone (Guyana), where in 1978 it would end in the mass suicide of 909 people.

Jim Jones convinced not only unsuspecting ignorant, but was able to make relevant figures of the American left of that time believe, such as Harvey Milk, Willie Brown or Angela Davis that the persecution against his sect was the result of a conspiracy. In an address to Jim Jones himself in 1970, Angela Davis stated: “I know that you are in a very difficult situation right now and there is a conspiracy, a very deep conspiracy designed to destroy the contributions you have made to our fight. And that is why I must tell you that we also feel that we are under attack. When you are attacked, it is because of your progressive stance, and we feel that it is also a direct attack against us. So more of us need to know that we will continue with this idea, then do everything in our power to ensure their safety and their ability to continue fighting.” The conspiracy, always present, even nesting in the most humanistic and progressive values ​​and, however, nothing more contrary to the precepts of social justice, reason and critical thinking that must emanate from an ideology of progress.

Whistle in tribute to the victims of the attack on the Ramblas by a cohort of conspiracy patients. The theory is that the CNI, in collusion with the State, led to the terrorist attack on the Ramblas to give a lesson to the independence movement. It is not a joke, it is what beats behind the 17A conspiracy theory within a sector of the independence movement. A theory fueled and promoted by news of dubious origin, published in newspapers paid for by the independence movement, thanks to false dossiers leaked by the most essentialist sectors and the most tolerant left with the process for political and business interests.

In Spain we already know the behavior of conspiracy theories for political reasons, using a jihadist attack and despising the victims to try to gain an advantage. The black pawns, of unfortunate memory, spent years disseminating the authorship of ETA with the participation of high levels of the State on 11M in an attack to harm José María Aznar and achieve that Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero be President of the Government in the elections that will take place They would celebrate three days later. The parallels with the conspiracy of the attack on the Ramblas are so evident that they are nothing more than a crude copy of what the most reactionary right wing concocted after 11M, and which is still present in many of its followers. It is not trivial that the conspiracy theories of both attacks were promoted by the most radical sectors that cannot bear defeat and that their ideas do not have the prominence that their sectarian behavior considers they deserve. The conspiracy of the jihadist attack on Las Ramblas is sponsored by the most essentialist nationalism, and justified by characters like Laura Borrás. It is not secondary that whoever embraces such tactics is a totally discredited political loser. It is in those stages when conspiracies are embraced the most, to maintain a small space of power that allows one’s own survival.

Promoting sectarian thinking and conspiracy has very relevant benefits for those who live on the margins and seek to survive leading a small community. It can be built against the Jews, George Soros, globalism, science, vaccines, the State, the media, or any element with power and relevance to, through exacerbated antagonism, survive as a savior. In recent times, conspiracy and politics have become inseparable companions, nesting in each and every one of the political spaces, from the left to the right, passing through transversal movements such as independence and reaching global and international levels such as Trumpism or the denialism derived from the Covid pandemic.

Choosing an enemy, be it Soros, the State or the media, looking for a handle on reality, there always has to be something true to hold on to and, from there, build a story that helps position yourself as a victim of each and every one of the actors operating in politics. Becoming a victim of a conspiracy is a very effective communication strategy, typical of someone who no longer has the ability to propose. The burning nail of the desperate. It is always much easier to find a decontextualized alibi to build a conspiracy that provides a dogma of faith to your uncritical followers to keep you as a messiah. Building yourself a figure of emulator of Jim Jones is much more fruitful when you have stopped seducing and the times turn you into a stinker for the common citizen. Sectarian and conspiracy thinking is combated with critical thinking, internal dissension, reasoned criticism, and sound morality. That is why there is little to do and the existential drift of this time makes us foresee that unreason will be the winner in a political moment where only unwavering adhesions and simple explanations that endorse prejudice prevail. It may be a vain resistance, but let’s remember the mistake that Angela Davis made one day so as not to let ourselves be carried away by the delusions of those who see in the Jim Jones doctrine the solution to the lack of political culture.