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Losing My Mind With Francis E. Dec, Esq. and the Reverend Jim Jones

12 June 2008

I was looking at the Kooks Museum, an old favorite website haunt, when I rediscovered the paranoid schizophrenic rants of FRANCIS E. DEC, ESQUIRE, 29 Maple Ave, Hampstead, NY, whose Burroughsian ravings sought to expose the Worldwide Communist Ganster Computer God that controls the Frankenstein Earphone Radio, Frankenstein Eyesight Television and the Computer God Parroting Puppet Gangster Slaves that control us all. Dec mailed bundles of flyers to random addresses and media establishments; he also plastered cars and telephone polls around New York City with his “Worldwide Frankenstein” conspiracy theories.

One such bundle of flyers landed in the hands of a DJ, now known as DOC ON THE ROQ. “One chilly Sunday in ‘86,” he recorded a 41-minute tape of Dec’s rants “using odd music tracks…mixed in quite at random.”

That tape is available for download here.

This recording is a must-have for fans of NEGATIVLAND or the CHURCH OF THE SUBGENIUS, and it should attract the interest of anyone who owns a few BILL HICKS and/or WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS CDs. Doc on the Roq does an excellent job spewing breathless, rapid fire, schizophrenia on “The Secret to Save the Entire Human Race”, “Demanding a Re-Hearing (Finish Him!)” and “Hangman Rope Sneak Deadly Gangsterism.” “Gangster Computer God Worldwide Secret Containment Policy” parodies those oh-so-friendly corporation propaganda tapes, where a soothing voice espouses all the virtuous qualities of said corporation. On “Undetectable Extermination,” Doc delivers Dec’s deconstruction of 20th century American politics with the authority of NPR’s CARL KASELL.

The final track, “Three Young Seekers Consult Mr Dec Regarding Frankenstein Controls Before Being Dragged Away to Extermination,” can be considered the album’s “bonus track.” It’s really an interview with Dec conducted by three fans shortly before he died. It’s a rather one-sided dialog, as Dec was too sick, scared or psychotic to respond.

I think it has to be said that people who are easily offended by racial slurs will probably find this album offensive, as there are many taboo words that involve African-Americans, Jews and Homosexuals. However, when we take Dec’s severe mental illness into consideration, these slurs become less hate-speech and more paranoia-speak.

I’d also like to point out that these recordings, and my overall approach to Dec and his writings, are in no way mocking him or his mental illness. I called his rantings “Burroughsian” and, as an avid fan of William Burroughs, I stand by that comparison. Dec’s writings have a certain rhythmic imagery that reminds me a lot of Naked Lunch and the cut-up trilogy that evolved out of it. On that level, I find his work fascinating.

While you’re here, you may as well take a look at STEVE LIGHTFOOT’s Website, which “proves” that JOHN LENNON was actually killed by STEPHEN KING on orders from RICHARD NIXON. Really.

And now for something completely different.

Several months ago, my girlfriend and I started watching the cable channel, DISCOVERY TIMES, which is now INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY. We caught a number of programs about the REVEREND JIM JONES and the PEOPLE’S TEMPLE, and after some searching on Google, I found the entire Jonestown Death Tape available for download here.

FBI No. Q 042 (November 18, 1978) is one of the most frightening forty-four and a half minutes I have ever heard in my life. It was recorded on a tape recorder with failing batteries over a tape of religious music that was recorded at a different speed, so there is an eerie drone under the recording.

The tape begins with Jones explaining to his congregation that “if we can’t live in peace, then we must die in peace” because somehow he knows that Congressman LEO RYAN is about to be killed, which will set off a chain reaction that can only end in the butchery of the people and their children. About five minutes in, a lady from the congregation, CHRISTINE, pleads with Jones and the congregation to re-think the suicide and move to Russia, but Jones argues against this reasoning and the congregation grows increasingly hostile to her. After 15 minutes, she gives up.

The tape continues with Jones’ urgent provocations to “Get movin’.” At the 26 minute mark, one of Jones’ female cronies icily tells the people to keep in line and that the children are not crying from pain.

We all know how the story ends. When I first downloaded and listened to this tape, I couldn’t sleep for a week. Listening to it now as I write this, I’m still frightened by it, by Jones’ urging insistence that “it’s not to be feared, it’s a friend,” by the people yelling at the congregation to relax and die, by the cries of children in the background…

This November marks the 30 year anniversary of the Jonestown Massacre. I know that on the 18th I’ll have the victims in my thoughts, and when I’m sitting at the Thanksgiving dinner table, I will be thankful for all that I have.

 

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