Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Tura Satana (July 10, 1938 – February 4, 2011) was a Japanese-born American actress and former exotic dancer. She was best known for her role as "Varla"
Three strippers seeking thrills encounter a young couple in the desert. After dispatching the boyfriend, they take the girl hostage and begin scheming on a crippled old man living with his two sons in the desert, reputedly hiding a tidy sum of cash. They become houseguests of the old man and try and seduce the sons in an attempt to locate the money, not realizing that the old man has a few sinister intentions of his own.
Columbine Shooting:It makes me so sad that this can happen and people do not see or hear whats going on around them .................
Anger scares the shit out of me i don't relate and I feel really sad for them..............
On 18 November 1978, more than 900 people died in the largest mass murder/suicide in American history. Most of the deaths occurred in a jungle encampment in Guyana, South America, where members of a group called Peoples Temple lived in a utopian community and agricultural project known as Jonestown. Most died after drinking a fruit punch laced with cyanide and tranquilizers, although some may have been injected; two residents died of gunshot wounds. Earlier that day a few other residents of the group had assassinated a U.S. congressman along with three members of the media and a departing Jonestown resident. And in Guyana’s capital city of Georgetown, yet another member of the group killed her three children and then herself after receiving word of the deaths in Jonestown. In all, 918 Americans lost their lives that day.
Since that time, Jonestown and its leader Jim Jones have entered American discourse as code for the dangers of cults and cult leaders. The expression “drinking the Kool-Aid”—which means both blindly jumping on the bandwagon, and being a team player—is one manifestation of this. The story of Jonestown, and of its parent organization Peoples Temple, however, is more complicated than sound-bites comparing strict parents to Jim Jones, or pundits relating religious violence (such as the suicide air strikes of 11 September 2001) to Jonestown. Instead, Jonestown serves as a lesson in how a combination of media, government, and citizens can create a climate of persecution and fear. It also provides an example of how uncritical acceptance of the status quo and social and geographic isolation can lead to violence and even death.
Three high ranking Temple member survivors claim they were given an assignment and thereby escaped death. Brothers Tim and Mike Carter, 30 years old and 20 years old respectively, and Mike Prokes, 31, were given luggage containing $550,000 US currency, $130,000 in Guyanese currency and an envelope, which they were told to deliver to Guyana’s Soviet Embassy, in Georgetown. The envelope contained two passports and three instructional letters, the first of which was to Feodor Timofeyev of the Embassy of the Soviet Union in Guyana, stating:
Dear Comrade Timofeyev,
The following is a letter of instructions regarding all of our assets that we want to leave to the Communist Party of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Enclosed in this letter are letters which instruct the banks to send the cashiers checks to you. I am doing this on behalf of Peoples Temple because we, as communists, want our money to be of benefit for help to oppressed peoples all over the world, or in any way that your decision-making body sees fit.
The letters included listed accounts with balances totaling in excess of $7.3 million to be transferred to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The Carters and Prokes soon ditched most of the money and were apprehended heading for the Temple boat (Cudjo) at Kaituma. It is unknown how they were supposed to reach Georgetown, 150 miles (240 km) away, since the boat had been sent away by Temple leadership earlier that day.
Just before the start of the final meeting in the pavilion, lawyers Charles Garry and Mark Lane were told that the people were angry at them. The lawyers were escorted to a house used to accommodate visitors. According to the lawyers, they talked their way past armed guards and made it to the jungle, before eventually arriving in Port Kaituma. While in the jungle near the settlement, they heard gunshots. This observation concurs with the testimony of Clayton, who heard the same sounds as he was sneaking back into Jonestown to retrieve his passport.
Five more people who were intended to be poisoned managed to survive. Grover Davis, 79, who was hearing impaired, missed the announcement to assemble on the loudspeaker, laid down in a ditch and pretended to be dead. Hyacinth Thrash, 76, Realized what was happening and crawled under her bed, only to walk out after the suicides were completed. Odell Rhodes, 36, a Jonestown teacher and craftsman, volunteered to fetch a stethoscope and hid under a building Stanley Clayton, 25, a kitchenworker and cousin of Huey P. Newton, tricked security guards and ran into the jungle.The fifth survivor, a 5 year old boy known only as "Michael", escaped by hiding in the surrounding forestation. Upon his rescue (by Guyanese government officials) he was returned to the United States, adopted, and believed to have been raised in or around Portland, Maine.
Heaven’s Gate is a destructive, doomsday cult centered in California. 21 women and 18 men voluntarily committed suicide in three groups on three successive days starting on March 23, 1997. Most were in their 40′s; the rest covered an age range of 26 to 72. Two months later, two additional members, Charles Humphrey and Wayne Cooke attempted suicide in a hotel room a few miles from the Rancho Santa Fe mansion; Cooke succeeded. Humphrey tried again in the Arizona desert during Feb 1998 and was successful.
They followed a syncretistic religion, combining elements of Christianity with unusual beliefs about the nature of UFOs. They interpreted passages from the four gospels and the book Revelation as referring to UFO visitation. In particular, they emphasized a story in Revelation which described two witnesses who are killed, remained dead for 3 1/2 days, were revived and taken up into the clouds. They look upon earth as being in the control of evil forces, and perceived themselves as being among the elite who would attain heaven. They held a profoundly dualistic belief of the soul as being a superior entity which is only housed temporarily in a body. Applewhite said that bodies were only “the temporary containers of the soul…The final act of metamorphosis or separation from the human kingdom is the ‘disconnect’ or separation from the human physical container or body in order to be released from the human environment.”
Members called themselves brother and sister; they looked upon themselves as monks and nuns; they lived communally in a large, rented San Diego County (CA) home which they called their monastery. Most members had little contact with their families of origin or with their neighbors. Many followed successful professional careers before entering the group. Some abandoned their children before joining. They were free to leave at any time. They dressed in unisex garments: shapeless black shirts with Mandarin collars, and black pants. They were required commit themselves to a celibate life. Eight of the male members, including Do, submitted to voluntary castration. This seems to have been a form of preparation for their next level of existence: in a life that would be free of gender, sexual identity and sexual activity.
Thirty-eight group members, plus Applewhite, the group’s leader, were found dead in a rented mansion in the upscale San Diego community of Rancho Santa Fe, California, on March 26, 1997. The mass death of the Heaven’s Gate group is said to be one of the most widely-known examples of cult suicide. In preparing to kill themselves, members of the group drank citrus juices to ritually cleanse their bodies of impurities. The suicide was accomplished by ingestion of phenobarbital mixed with vodka, along with plastic bags secured around their heads to induce asphyxiation. They were found lying neatly in their own bunk beds, with their faces and torsos covered by a square, purple cloth. Each member carried five dollar bills and a few quarters in their wallets. All 39 were dressed in identical black shirts and sweat pants, brand new black-and-white Nike tennis shoes, and armband patches reading “Heaven’s Gate Away Team”. The suicides were conducted in shifts, and the remaining members of the group cleaned up after each prior group’s death.
Sharon Tate and Roman
The family in the desert ranch.
The Manson Family was a cult started by Charles Manson. Manson was born to Kathleen Maddox, an unwed sixteen year old girl, in 1934. It is said that his mother, an alcoholic, sold him to buy beer. When he was returned to her she had him sent to a boarding school. After a number of years living with his religious aunt and uncle, he returned to his mother who rejected him. After a number of robberies, he was put in jail for the first time. One month before his parole hearing in 1952, he raped a boy in jail by holding a razor to his throat. Two years later he was paroled. Manson began to pimp a young woman he met and eventually took her, and a second woman to New Mexico to work for him as prostitutes. He was caught and tried under the Mann Act (a 1910 act that prohibited white slavery and trafficking for immoral means).
In 1967 he was released (having spent more than half of his life in institutions). Upon release, he requested permission to move to San Francisco which was granted. When he arrived he became part of the Hippie movement centered around the Haight-Ashbury region and he set himself up as a guru. He moved in with 23 year old student Mary Brunner and convinced her to allow other women to join them. Eventually eighteen other women were living with them – this was the beginning of the family.
By 1968, Manson had established a home for the “family” at a ranch owned by George Spahn. Manson convinced one of the family members, Lynette Fromme, to sleep with Spahn in order to get free rent. Manson began teaching his followers that social uprisings were coming – using the assassination of Martin Luther King as evidence. He also told them that the social turmoil he had been predicting had also been predicted by The Beatles. The White Album songs, he declared, told it all, although in code; in fact, he maintained, the album was directed at the Family itself, an elect group that was being instructed to preserve the worthy from the impending disaster.
In 1969, on August 8, Manson told Family members at Spahn Ranch, “now is the time for Helter Skelter.” That evening the family, under the direction of Manson, would commit the famous murder of Sharon Tate, leading to other murders over the two day period.
Church of Bible Understanding
The Church of Bible Understanding (formerly known as the Forever Family) is a destructive cult started in 1971 by former atheist and vacuum repairman Stewart Traill in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The cult targeted teens as young as 13 by drawing on their weaknesses. Throughout the 1970s, the cult expanded to many other parts of the United States.
Traill, born in Quebec in 1936 is the son of a Presbyterian minister, who teaches that he is the reincarnation of Elijah, and that he knows the date of the return of Christ. Members of the cult live in a commune and donate 90% of their income to the cult. Traill amassed a fortune and owns four planes and a half million dollar mansion. According to former members, Traill controls every aspect of members’ lives through harsh criticism, shame, and public humiliation.
Ron Burkes, a staff member at a residential treatment center for former cult members says this:
“[Traill] has one of most effective means of shutting down critical thinking I’ve ever seen. Of the hundreds of people I’ve treated, COBU is definitely in the top five in terms of harm and psychological damage.”
The cult also runs a mission in Haiti, where some former members claim Haitian children are indoctrinated in exchange for food and clothing. According to an article originally appearing in the Manassas Journal Messenger, COBU receives government funds for its Haiti Mission as part of President Bush’s Faith Based Initiative.
Anna May Wong
(January 3, 1905 – February 3, 1961) was an American actress, the first Chinese American movie star, and the first Asian American to become an international star. Her long and varied career spanned both silent and sound film, television, stage, and radio.
Born near the Chinatown neighborhood of Los Angeles to second-generation Chinese-American parents, Wong became infatuated with the movies and began acting in films at an early age. During the silent film era, she acted in The Toll of the Sea (1922), one of the first movies made in color and Douglas Fairbanks' The Thief of Bagdad (1924). Wong became a fashion icon, and by 1924 had achieved international stardom.
Frustrated by the stereotypical supporting roles she reluctantly played in Hollywood, she left for Europe in the late 1920s, where she starred in several notable plays and films, among them Piccadilly (1929).
She spent the first half of the 1930s traveling between the United States and Europe for film and stage work. Wong was featured in films of the early sound era, such as Daughter of the Dragon (1931) and Daughter of Shanghai (1937), and with Marlene Dietrich in Josef von Sternberg's Shanghai Express (1932).
In 1935 Wong was dealt the most severe disappointment of her career, when Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer refused to consider her for the leading role in its film version of Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth, choosing instead the German actress Luise Rainer to play the leading role. Wong spent the next year touring China, visiting her family's ancestral village and studying Chinese culture. In the late 1930s, she starred in several B movies for Paramount Pictures, portraying Chinese-Americans in a positive light. She paid less attention to her film career during World War II, when she devoted her time and money to helping the Chinese cause against Japan. Wong returned to the public eye in the 1950s in several television appearances as well as her own series in 1951, The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong, the first U.S. television show starring an Asian-American.She had been planning to return to film in Flower Drum Song when she died in 1961, at the age of 56.For decades after her death, Wong was remembered principally for the stereotypical "Dragon Lady" and demure "Butterfly" roles that she was often given. Her life and career were re-evaluated in the years around the centennial of her birth, in three major literary works and film retrospectives. Interest in her life story continues and another biography, Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story, was published in 2009