Source – ratical.org
– “…The man convicted of shooting King’s mother was Marcus Wayne Chenault…he was part of a group known as “the Troop,” run by a Black minister – Rabbi Emmanuel Israel…Chenault confided to SCLC leaders that he was one of many killers who were working to assassinate a long list of Black leadership. The names he said were on this list coincided with similar “death lists” distributed by the KKK, and linked to the COINTELPRO operations in the 60s”
Jonestown & the Strange Connection to the Murder of Martin Luther King – By John Judge
One of the persistent problems in researching Jonestown is that it seems to lead to so many other criminal activities, each with its own complex history and cast of characters. Perhaps the most disturbing of these is the connection that appears repeatedly between the characters in the Jonestown story and the key people involved in the murder and investigating of Martin Luther King.
The first clue to this link appeared in the personal histories of the members of the Ryan investigation team who were so selectively and deliberately killed at Port Kaituma. Don Harris, a veteran NBC reporter, had been the only network newsman on the scene to cover Martin Luther King’s activity in Memphis at the time of King’s assassination. He had interviewed key witnesses at the site. His coverage of the urban riots that followed won him an Emmy award. Gregory Robinson, a “fearless” journalist from the San Francisco Examiner, had photographed the same riots in Washington, D.C. When he was approached for copies of the films by Justice Department officials, he threw the negatives into the Potomac river.
The role of Mark Lane, who served as attorney for Jim Jones, is even more clearly intertwined. Lane had co-authored a book with Dick Gregory, claiming FBI complicity in the King murder. He was hired as the attorney for James Earl Ray, accused assassin, when Ray testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations about King. Prior to this testimony, Ray was involved in an unusual escape plot at Brushy Mountain State Prison. The prisoner who had helped engineer the escape plot was later inexplicably offered an early, parole by members of the Tennessee Governor’s office. These officials, and Governor Blanton himself, were to come under close public scrutiny and face legal charges in regard to bribes taken to arrange illegal early pardons for prisoners.
One of the people living at Jonestown was ex-FBI agent Wesley Swearington, who at least publicly condemned the COINTELPRO operations and other abuses, based on stolen classified documents, at the Jonestown site. Lane had reportedly met with him there at least a year before the massacre. Terri Buford said the documents were passed on to Charles Garry. Lane used information from Swearingen in his thesis on the FBI and King’s murder. Swearingen later served as a key witness in suits against the Justice Department brought by the Socialist Workers Party. When Larry Flynt, the flamboyant publisher of Hustler magazine, offered a, $1 million reward leading to the capture and conviction of the John F. Kennedy killers, the long distance number listed to collect information and leads was being answered by Mark Lane and Wesley Swearingen.
With help from officials in Tennessee, Governor Blanton’s office, Lane managed to get legal custody of a woman who had been incarcerated in the Tennessee state psychiatric system for nearly eight years. This woman, Grace Walden Stephens, had been a witness in the King murder. She was living at the time in Memphis in a rooming house across from the hotel when Martin Luther King was shot. The official version of events had Ray located in the common bathroom of the rooming house, and claimed he used a rifle to murder King from that window. Grace Stephens did, indeed, see a man run from the bathroom, past her door and down to the street below. A rifle, later linked circumstantially to James Earl Ray, was found inside a bundle at the base of the rooming house stairs, and identified as the murder weapon. But Grace, who saw the man clearly, refused to identify him as Ray when shown photographs by the FBI. Her testimony was never introduced at the trial. The FBI relied, instead, on the word of her common law husband, Charles Stephens, who was drunk and unconscious at the time of the incident. Her persistence in saying that it was not James Earl Ray was used at her mental competency hearings as evidence against her, and she disappeared into the psychiatric system.
Grace Walden Stephens took up residence in Memphis with Lane, her custodian, and Terri Buford, a key Temple member who had returned to the U.S. before the killings to live with Lane. While arranging for her to testify before the Select Committee on Ray’s behalf, Lane and Buford were plotting another fate for Grace Stephens. Notes from Buford to Jones, found in the aftermath of the killings, discussed arrangements with Lane to move Grace Stephens to Jonestown. The problem that remained was lack of a passport, but Buford suggested either getting a passport on the black market, or using the passport of former Temple member Maxine Swaney. Swaney, dead for nearly 2-1/2 years since her departure from the Ukiah camp, was in no position to argue and Jones apparently kept her passport with him. Whether Grace ever arrived at Jonestown is unclear.
Lane was also forced to leave Ray in the midst of testimony to the Select Committee when he got word that Ryan was planning to visit. Lane had attempted to discourage the trip earlier in a vaguely threatening letter. Now he rushed to be sure he arrived with the group. At the scene, he failed to warn Ryan and others, knowing that the sandwiches and other food might be drugged, but refrained from eating it himself. Later, claiming that he and Charles Garry would write the official history of the “revolutionary suicide,” Lane was allowed to leave the pieces of underwear to mark their way back to Georgetown. If true, it seems an unlikely method if they were in any fear of pursuit. They had heard gunfire and screams back at the camp. Lane was reportedly well aware of the forced drugging and suicide drills at Jonestown before Ryan arrived.
Another important figure in the murder of Martin Luther King was his mother, Alberta. A few weeks after the first public announcement by Coretta Scott King that she believed her husband’s murder was part of a conspiracy, Mrs. Alberta King was brutally shot to death in Atlanta, while attending church services. Anyone who had seen the physical wounds suffered by King might have been an adverse witness to the official version, since the Wound angles did not match the ballistic direction of a shot from the rooming house. Her death also closely coincided with the reopening of the Tennessee state court review of Ray’s conviction based on a guilty plea, required by a 6th Circuit decision. The judge in that case reportedly refused to allow witnesses from beyond a 100-mile radius from the courtroom.
The man convicted of shooting King’s mother was Marcus Wayne Chenault. His emotional affect following the murder was unusual. Grinning, he asked if he had hit anyone. He had reportedly been dropped off at the church by people he knew in Ohio. While at Ohio State University, he was part of a group known as “the Troop,” run by a Black minister and gun collector who used the name Rabbi Emmanuel Israel. This man, described in the press as a “mentor” for Chenault, left the area immediately after the shooting. In the same period, Rabbi Hill traveled from Ohio to Guyana and set up Hilltown, using similar aliases, and preaching the same message of a “black Hebrew elite.” Chenault confided to SCLC leaders that he was one of many killers who were working to assassinate a long list of Black leadership. The names he said were on this list coincided with similar “death lists” distributed by the KKK, and linked to the COINTELPRO operations in the 60s.
The real backgrounds and identities of Marcus Wayne Chenault and Rabbi Hill may never be discovered. But one thing is certain: Martin Luther King Would never had countenanced the preachings of Jim Jones, had he lived to hear them.[265
In the face of such horror, it may seem little compensation to know that a part of the truth has been unearthed. But for the families and some of the Survivors, the truth, however painful, is the only path to being relieved of the burden of their doubts. It’s hard to believe that President Carter was calling on us at the time not to “overreact.” The idea that a large community of Black people would not only stand by and be poisoned at the suggestion of Jim Jones, but would allow their children to be murdered first, is a monstrous lie, and a racist insult. We now know that the most direct description of Jonestown is that it was a Black genocide plan. One Temple director, Joyce Shaw, described the Jonestown massacre as, “some kind of horrible government experiments, or some sort of sick racial thing, a plan like that of the Germans to exterminate Blacks.” If we refuse to look further into this nightmarish event, there will be more Jonestowns to come. They will move from Guyana to our own back yard.
The cast of characters is neither dead nor inactive. Key members of the armed guard were ordered to be on board the Temple Ship, Cudjoe — at the hour of the massacre they were on a supply run to Trinidad. George Phillip Blakey phoned his father-in-law, Dr. Lawrence Layton, from Panama after the event. At least ten members of the Temple remained on the boat, and set up a new community in Trinidad while Nigel Slingger, a Grenada businessman and insurance broker for Jonestown, repaired the 400-ton shipping vessel. Then Charles Touchette, Paul McCann, Stephan Jones, and George Blakey set up an “open house” in Grenada with the others. McCann spoke about starting a shipping company to “finance the continued work of the original Temple.”
That “work” may have included the mysterious operations of the mental hospital in Grenada that eluded government security by promising free medical care. The hospital as operated by Sir Geoffrey Bourne, Chancellor of the St. George’s University Medical School, was also staffed by his son Dr. Peter Bourne. His son’s history includes work with psychological experiments and USAID in Vietnam, the methadone clinics in the U.S., and a drug scandal in the Carter White House. The mental hospital was the only structure bombed during the U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983. This was part of a plan to put Sir Eric Gairy back in power. Were additional experiments going on at the site?
In addition, the killers of Leo Ryan and others at Port Kaituma were never accounted for fully. The trial of Larry Layton was mishandled by the Guyanese courts, and the U.S. system as well. No adequate evidentiary hearings have occurred either at the trial or in state and congressional reviews. The Jonestown killers, trained assassins and mercenaries, are not on trial. They might be working in Africa or Central America. Their participation in Jonestown can be used as an “explanation” for their involvement in later murders here, such as the case of the attack on school children in Los Angeles. They should be named and located.
The money behind Jonestown was never fully examined or recovered. The court receivership only collected a fraction. The bulk went to pay back military operations and burial costs. Families of the dead were awarded only minimal amounts. Some filed suit, unsuccessfully, to learn more about the circumstances of the deaths, and who was responsible. Joe Holsinger, Leo Ryan’s close friend and assistant, studied the case for two years and reached the same unnerving conclusions: these people were murdered, there was evidence of a mass mind-control experiment, and the top levels of civilian and military intelligence were involved. He worked with Ryan’s family members to prove the corruption and injustice, but they could barely afford the immense court costs and case preparation. Their suit, as well as a similar one brought by ex-members and families of the victims, had to be dropped for lack of funds.
The international operations of World Vision and the related evangelical groups continue unabashed. World Vision official John W. Hinckley, Sr. was on his way to a Guatemalan water project run by the organization on the day his son shot at president Reagan. A mysterious “double” of Hinckley, Jr., a man named Richardson, followed Hinckley’s path from Colorado to Connecticut, and even wrote love letters to Jody Foster. Richardson was a follower of Carl McIntyre’s International Council of Christian Churches, and attended their Bible School in Florida. He was arrested shortly after the assassination attempt in New York’s Port Authority with a weapon, and claimed he intended to kill Reagan.
Another World Vision employee, Mark David Chapman, worked at their Haitian refugee camp in Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas. He was later to gain infamy as the assassin of John Lennon in New York City. World Vision works with refugees worldwide. At the Honduran border, they are present in camps used by American CIA to recruit mercenaries against Nicaragua. They were at Sabra and Shatilla, Camps in Lebanon where fascist Phalange massacred the Palestinians. Their representatives in the Cuban refugee camps on the east coast included members of the Bay of Pigs operation, CIA-financed mercenaries from Omega 7 and Alpha 66. Are they being used as a worldwide cover for the recruitment and training of these killers? They are, as mentioned earlier, working to repopulate Jonestown with Laotians who served as mercenaries for our CIA.
Silence in the face of these murders is the worst possible response. The telling sign above the Jonestown dead read, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The genocide will come home to America. How many spent time studying the rash of child murders in Atlanta’s Black community or asked the necessary questions about the discrepancies in the conviction of Wayne Williams? Would we recognize a planned genocide if it occurred under similar subterfuge?
Leo Ryan’s daughter, Shannon, lives among the disciples of another cult today, at the new city of Rajneeshpuram in Arizona. She was quoted in the press, during the recent controversy over a nationwide recruiting drive to bring urban homeless people to the commune, saying she did not believe it could end like Jonestown, since the leader would not ask them to commit suicide. “If he did ask me, I would do it,” she said. Homeless recruits who had left since then are suing in court because of suspicious and unnecessary injections given them by the commune’s doctor, and a liquid they were served daily in unmarked jars that many believe was not simply “beer.” One man in the suit claims he was drugged and disoriented for days after his first injection.
The ultimate victims of mind control at Jonestown are the American people. If we fail to look beyond the constructed images given us by the television and the press, then our consciousness is manipulated, just as well as the Jonestown victims’ was. Facing nuclear annihilation, may see the current militarism of the Reagan policies, and military training itself, as the real “mass suicide cult.” If the discrepancy between the truth of Jonestown and the official version can be so great, what other lies have we been told about major events?
History is precious. In a democracy, knowledge must be accessible for informed consent to function. Hiding or distorting history behind “national security” leaves the public as the final enemy of the government. Democratic process cannot operate on “need to know.” Otherwise we live in the 1984 envisioned by Orwell’s projections and we must heed his warning that those who control the past control the future.
The real tragedy of Jonestown is not only that it occurred, but that so few chose to ask themselves why or how, so few sought to find out the facts behind the bizarre tale used to explain away the death of more than 900 people, and that so many will continue to be blind to the grim reality of our intelligence agencies. In the long run, the truth will come out. Only our complicity in the deception continues to dishonor the dead.