|Rev. Jim Jones
Using sports as a high-powered economic engine — one that drove out the erstwhile reputation of Indianapolis as Naptown — is practically a civic creed here.
When the nation's eyes are on Indy, it's usually because of sports, especially events such as this weekend's men's Final Four.
But Thursday at the Statehouse, where many of the most powerful people in Indy sports gathered, it wasn't about building a dome before the city even had an NFL team. It wasn't about race cars. Or confetti raining down on Final Four champions. Or national acclaim from hosting a Super Bowl.
It was about using the local clout of sports to help move a seemingly intractable social issue — even if it didn't move nearly far enough for many — and to do so with urgency. Downtown Indy is about to be flooded with thousands of college basketball fans for the Final Four.
Purdue history professor Randy Roberts, who has written several books about sports, couldn't think of anything else like it in Indiana.
Ryan Vaughn, president of the Indiana Sports Corp, was among the city's sports leaders who stood behind lawmakers at the Statehouse as they announced a "fix" to the "religious freedom" law. The law has brought national scorn onto Hoosiers as bigots with little regard for LGBT people.
It was clear that the people who run sports in this city had much to lose from the national perception problem, and they played huge roles in trying to correct that.
"It's always about more than a game here," Vaughn said. "It's about who we are." . . .Yes, Star reporter Mark Alesia went there. He declared that sports is now our civic creed in Indiana--on Good Friday of all days. Keep the sheeple crowding into the Coliseum while Rome burns. And you think I'm crazy for telling you Indiana's brain trust sits in Langley, Virginia?
A fact unknown to most people is that Indiana native, Rev. Jim Jones of the People's Temple infamy, worked for the CIA as part of its MK Ultra mind control program. After the intelligence agency helped him build up his multi-million dollar "religious" organization and lured his brainwashed followers to their ultimate doom in Jonestown, Guyana, he threw down the Bible and declared himself to be their true God in living flesh. His followers worked long hours in what was essentially a heavily-armed slave camp where they all wore identification bracelets like you're given to wear at the hospital. Every psychotropic drug known to man at the time filled the medicine cabinet shelves in its clinic. The men were emasculated and told the women could only have sex with Jones. The men were told they were all homosexuals who could choose between sex with him or between themselves.
Immediately before 913 of his followers, dozens of whom were from Jones' home state of Indiana, were forced to drink the Kool-Aid, the CIA assassinated U.S. Rep. Leo Ryan (D-CA), who learned the truth about who was behind Jones and was preparing to board a plane to return to the U.S. to report his findings. Jones' last recorded words before that fateful day were, "Get Dwyer out of here before something happens to him." Richard Dwyer was the local CIA agent assigned to the American embassy in Guyana. When the House Foreign Affairs Commitee prepared a whitewash report in 1979 covering up the truth about the assassination of one of their fellow members and the massacre of 913 Americans, Dwyer was made out to be a hero. Three Indiana congressmen affixed their names to that report, including Lee Hamilton, Dan Quayle and Floyd Fithian. How fitting. Former CIA Director George H.W. Bush would shock Republicans when he tapped the little-known Quayle to be his running mate in 1988. Hamilton would later serve on the 9/11 Commission, which whitewashed the CIA's role in orchestrating the events of that fateful day, after he played a key role in the cover up of the CIA's role in smuggling drugs into the U.S. as part of the Iran-Contra Affair. In his retirement down in Bloomington, Hamilton works as an external adviser to the CIA.