Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Thursday, September 09, 2010

ISLAMOPHOBE'S PAST IN GERMANY

Demonstrators in Kabul called for the death of US President Barack Obama at a rally against Terry Jones' plans to burn the Koran


Terry Jones Accused of 'Spiritual Abuse' at Cologne Church
By Yassin Musharbash and Dominik Peters

Spiegel Online

US fundamentalist pastor Terry Jones, who wants to burn copies of the Koran on Sept. 11, ran a church in the western German city of Cologne until last year when members of the congregation expelled him. Former members have spoken of his hate-filled sermons and insistence on "blind obedience."

The world is holding its breath -- and it's all down to a tiny Christian fundamentalist church in Florida.

Next Saturday, on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Rev. Terry Jones and his colleagues plan to burn hundreds of copies of the Koran on the church's property in Gainesville, Florida.

The White House has condemned the plan, and Muslim organizations around the world have warned of the consequences should the Koran-burning go ahead. But the church is sticking to its plans.

Naturally the radical Islamophobes know very well that their deliberate provocation could trigger potentially violent protests and riots. But they have washed their hands of any responsibility. "Let's just make one thing clear," the wannabe Koran-burners write on their blog. "A small church, in a small town, down a back road, burning copies of its own books, on its own property, is not responsible for the violent actions anyone may take in retaliation to our protest."
Terry Jones, the man behind the action, is the pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center, a church that manages to attract a Sunday congregation of just 50 people, members of the radical fringe of the evangelical movement. Jones, a 58-year-old former hotel manager with a distinctive mustache, is also the author of a polemic book titled "Islam Is of the Devil."

'Climate of Fear and Control'

In the United States, Jones has already attracted attention on several occasions as an Islamophobic provocateur. What is less well known is that the pastor led a charismatic evangelical church, the Christian Community of Cologne, in the western German city up until 2009. Last year, however, the members of the congregation kicked founder Jones out, because of his radicalism. One of the church's current leaders, Stephan Baar, also told the German news agency DPA that there had been suspicions of financial irregularities in the church surrounding Jones.

A "climate of fear and control" had previously prevailed in the congregation, says one former member of the church who does not want to be named. Instead of free expression, "blind obedience" was demanded, he says.

Various witnesses gave SPIEGEL ONLINE consistent accounts of the Jones' behavior. The pastor and his wife apparently regarded themselves as having been appointed by God, meaning opposition was a crime against the Lord. Terry and Sylvia Jones allegedly used these methods to ask for money in an increasingly insistent manner, as well as making members of the congregation carry out work.

Andrew Schäfer, a Protestant Church official responsible for monitoring sects in the region where Cologne is located, confirmed the accounts. "Terry Jones is a fundamentalist," he told SPIEGEL ONLINE.

Both major churches in Germany have "sect commissioners" who monitor the activities of religious groups, sects and cults. Although they are obviously not totally impartial, the officials' findings are usually considered to be trustworthy.

'Delusional Personality'

Former church members are still undergoing therapy as a result of "spiritual abuse," Schäfer said. According to Schäfer, Jones urged church members to beat their children with a rod and also taught "a distinctive demonology" and conducted brainwashing.

"Terry Jones appears to have a delusional personality," speculates Schäfer. When he came to Germany in the 1980s, Jones apparently considered Cologne "a city of Hell that was founded by Nero's mother," while he thought Germany was "a key country for the supposed Christian revival of Europe," Schäfer says.

Terry Jones used his powers of persuasion to expand the congregation. By the end, Schäfer estimates, it numbered between 800 and 1,000 people. They had to work in the so-called "Lisa Jones Houses," charitable institutions named after his first wife who has since died, under very poor conditions.

Increasingly Radical

Jones became increasingly radical as the years went by, former associates say. At one point he wanted to help a homosexual member to "pray away his sins." Later he began to increasingly target Islam in his sermons. A congregation member reported that some members were afraid to attend services because they expected to be attacked by Muslims. "Terry Jones has a talent for finding topical social issues and seizing on them for his own cause," says Schäfer.

By the end of 2007, the community had had enough. Members confronted him and tried to change the direction of the church. But Terry Jones refused to make changes, they say. In the end, Jones, his wife and their fellow preachers were expelled from the church and he moved back to the US. "The community imploded," says Schäfer. It only has some 80 active members today.

Now the whole world is condemning Jones for his planned burning of copies of the Koran. Schäfer, for his part, sees Jones as a fanatic who is courting global media attention because he couldn't cope with the "immense loss of power and significance."


4 Comments:

Anonymous Brother Jonah said...

I don't much worry about reactionary Muslim attacks. The Reactionary so-called Christians like Terry Jones is a different matter. Already in the past two weeks they've gotten a construction worker at the Ground Zero monument attacked for "looking muslim" whatever that means, and a cabdriver stabbed to death for not bowing down and begging forgiveness for something somebody else had done, allegedly muslims, although with all the pure bullshit that's proceeded from the sources of such information, that too might be more lies.

And they've gotten a Community Center in Murfreesboro Tennessee burned.

Their leaders had also wired up von Brunn to attack the Holocaust Museum, killing the man who stood in the way of him murdering a group of AMERICAN schoolchildren. Nobody says what religion or ethnic background the children were. Their Leaders, with similar hate speech, got a Coward named Scott Roeder to shoot a man in the back during a Christian church service.

And got another Coward to try to kill the children, always the kids first, what's up with these freaks? at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and took two American Christian lives before being wrestled to the floor.

Their newest crop of Terrorists has by keeping the Established Order in place with their "no Obamacare!" rallies, killed 120 Americans a day, more Americans in every month than died at the WTC, and that's the ones who HAD private insurance... the ones like my late wife Martha who aren't insured, die uncounted from Denial of Medical Care.

They have no visible conscience about dividing America into religiously administered Capitalist fiefdoms, under the formerly Slave-state doctrine of "States Rights".

9/9/10, 11:26 PM  
Anonymous Brother Jonah said...

And I'm a Christian of evangelic roots.
When it's CHRISTIANS who have the most to fear from their fellow Christians, one would think that would wake a few people up.

In a way, yes. But Terry Jones and his congregation, are afraid more of their Fellow Christians than they are of Islam.

They show it in their actions, especially the Church Shooting rampages.

It was "Christian soldiers", one of the names adopted by the Ku Klux Klan, that burned and in one horrible incident bombed churches... but not "white" churches. Usually not. They'd kill and still will Kill Americans, christian or white or whatever, who get in their way.

9/9/10, 11:31 PM  
Anonymous Brother Jonah said...

Now pastor Jones is offering to at least temporarily halt the scripture-burning Hate-Feast If Imam Rauf, on the day before his project is scheduled to be attacked by Jenes' Fellow Travelers, travels to Florida to kiss his Arse.

9/10/10, 10:06 AM  
Blogger Bruce Gagnon said...

The "good Reverend" Jones is likely being advised by the GOP and FOX News operatives.....

9/10/10, 10:08 AM  

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