Friday, September 30, 2016


I was so embarrassed about my muscle spasms. I've been told not to be embarrassed about my muscle spasms. My mom was telling me to find a safe place to spaz. I'm able to stand but i think its good advice


Because of those muscle spasms during my yoga I'm forced to relax due to my back

Seizure during yoga

I've had a couple of those. I need to relax till it passes and then go

Scarred up feet

My feet are scarred. I took some pain killers and did a ton of exorcise so I'm hoping my feet are healing

Mexican food

I'm eating a ton of mexican food. 3 tacos and 2 burritos

Low blood sugar

I've been having some low blood sugar episodes. I'm finr just gotta be careful

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Murder of Leiby Kletzky

On July 11, 2011, Leiby Kletzky, a Hasidic Jewish boy, was kidnapped as he walked home from his school day camp in the mainly Hasidic neighborhood of Boro Park, Brooklyn in New York City, New York. Kletzky's disappearance sparked an all-out search by New York City police and a block-by-block search by up to 5,000 Orthodox Jewish volunteers from New York and other states coordinated by the Brooklyn South Shomrim volunteer civilian patrol. His dismembered body was found in the Kensington apartment of Levi Aron, aged 35, and in a dumpster in another Brooklyn neighborhood, Greenwood Heights, on Wednesday morning July 13. Videos from surveillance cameras along the boy's route showed him meeting a man outside a dentist's office and then apparently getting into his car. The dentist's reception records led police to Aron at his apartment, where he showed them parts of the boy - and told them where he had dumped the rest of the body. The kidnapping and murder of the eight-year-old boy shocked the insular Brooklyn Hasidic community, whose streets are considered relatively safe. Aron gave a 450-word handwritten confession to police after his arrest, but pleaded not guilty at his first court hearing. Before the case went to trial, on August 9, 2012 Aron pleaded guilty to one charge of second-degree murder and one charge of second-degree kidnapping as part of a plea bargain agreement worked out between prosecutors and defense attorneys. On August 29, Judge Neil Firetog sentenced Aron to 40 years to life in prison. Aron would be eligible for parole in 2051, which includes credit for time served. The case drew drawn comparisons to the 1979 kidnapping of six-year-old Etan Patz from nearby SoHo, who was snatched while walking to his school bus for the first time. Disappearance: Yehudah Kletzky, known as "Leiby", was the third of six children and only son of Nachman Kletzky and Esti Forster Kletzky, Boyaner Hasidim and residents of Boro Park. He was reported missing late Monday afternoon while walking home from a day camp held at his school, Yeshiva Boyan Tiferes Mordechai Shlomo. Kletzky had begged his parents to let him walk home from the camp instead of taking the school bus. It was the first time that his parents allowed him to walk alone and they had practiced the route the day before; his mother waited for him at a predetermined point a few blocks away at 50th Street and 13th Avenue. The boy missed a turn upon leaving camp and headed in the wrong direction. Search: Kletzky's mother called the Brooklyn South Shomrim volunteer civilian patrol to report a missing child at 6:14 p.m. Brooklyn South Shomrim, which says it receives 10 calls of missing children per day, immediately checked candy stores, other shops, and homes of friends and relatives where the boy might have gone. By 8:30 p.m., Shomrim contacted the New York City Police Department, which declared a Level 1 search, something normally undertaken after a child is missing for 24 hours. The police search involved canine units, mounted police, and helicopters. On Tuesday morning, Brooklyn South Shomrim, together with Shomrim organizations in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Flatbush, and Williamsburg made an all-out call for volunteers to join the search. Five thousand Orthodox Jewish volunteers from the local community and from as far away as the tri-state area, joined in a block-by-block search. Bangladeshi residents of nearby Kensington also joined the search. State Assemblyman Dov Hikind posted a $5,000 reward for information leading to the return of the child, which was eventually upped to $100,000 by members of the community. Meanwhile, Yaakov German, a Bobover Hasid and father of Kletzky's yeshiva rebbi, went door-to-door on Tuesday morning with his son to examine videos from surveillance cameras posted in stores and offices along the boy's route. The videos showed that after leaving his school at 1205 44th Street, between 12th and 13th Avenues, at about 5:05 p.m., Kletzky missed his turn at 13th Avenue and continued down 44th Street. Other videos showed the boy walking by Shomrim Locksmith at 44th Street and 15th Avenue, and then along 44th Street at 17th Avenue. On 18th Avenue, the boy was seen talking to a man who then crossed the street and entered a dentist's office. When the man came out, Kletzky followed him and appeared to get into his car. After examining the videos, police located the dentist, who alerted his receptionist, who gave them the name and address of the suspect who had come in to pay his bill that day. After midnight on Tuesday, police also managed to identify the car in the surveillance video as a 1990 gold Honda Accord. Forty-five minutes later, two Flatbush volunteers searching for the missing boy in Kensington spotted the car and sent in the license-plate number, which matched Aron's details. Police went to the suspect's apartment in Kensington around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. They arrived to an open door, and when they asked Aron where the boy was, he allegedly nodded toward the kitchen, where the police found blood-soaked carving knives and bloody towels in bags. The boy's severed feet were found in the freezer. The suspect told police where to find the rest of the remains: in a red suitcase thrown in a dumpster on 20th Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues. Aron was taken into police custody at 2:40 a.m. Wednesday morning. Confession: According to a 450-word handwritten statement in which he confessed to killing the boy, Aron claimed that Kletzky had asked him for directions and accepted a ride, saying he wanted to be dropped off at a bookstore. Aron suggested that they drive together to a wedding in Monsey, New York; they returned around 11:20 p.m. Aron claimed that he planned to return the boy to his family on Tuesday, but when he saw the missing child posters the next day, he said he "panicked", returned to the apartment, and smothered the boy with a towel. Then he dismembered the body and stuffed it into bags, which he placed in a suitcase and left in a dumpster in another neighborhood. A video from the security camera at the Ateres Charna wedding hall in Rockland County confirmed that Aron was at the wedding, but no sign is seen of Kletzky. A color surveillance video taken later that night at a Sunoco gas station on the Palisades Interstate Parkway showed Aron and Kletzky getting out of Aron's car and going into the bathroom. The video was time-stamped 8:15 p.m. There was no evidence that the victim had been sexually abused. Aron was unknown to Kletzky before meeting the boy on the street. Child abductions by strangers are extremely rare in New York State, with none of the 20,000 children who went missing in 2010 having been taken by a stranger, according to state statistics. Funeral: Kletzky's funeral, held on Wednesday in the parking lot of a Boro Park synagogue was attended by thousands of Orthodox Jews, many of whom traveled from throughout the Tri-State area to attend. Attendance was estimated at 8,000 by the Shomrim civilian patrol, and 10,000 by Arutz Sheva. Perpetrator: Levi Aron is an Orthodox Jew who grew up in Brooklyn. His father, Jack, works at the Hasidic-owned B&H Photo in Brooklyn; his mother, Basya, died five or six years previously. Aron lived in the attic apartment of his parents' three-family home on the corner of Avenue C and East 2nd Street in the Kensington neighborhood. He was married twice; in 2004 he married Diana Diunov, an Israeli woman, and in 2007 he married Deborah M. Parnell of Tennessee, a divorced mother of two whom he had met online and with whom he moved to Memphis, where he worked as a security guard. Both marriages ended in divorce. Aron worked as a clerk at a hardware-supply company in Brooklyn. He was described by his coworkers as quiet and socially awkward. Aron had injured his head when he was hit by a car while riding his bike at the age of 9 and suffered problems stemming from that accident. It is believed that this caused extreme shyness and neurotic behaviors with Aron in later life. He had no prior arrest record. He had been served with an Order of Protection in January 2007 and had received a fine for a seat belt violation and one speeding ticket. In Brooklyn, authorities cited a summons for public urination. Legal proceedings- Defense attorneys' statements: Aron appeared in Brooklyn Criminal Court on July 14, 2011, and pleaded not guilty. At the hearing, his lawyer stated that Aron "suffers from hallucinations" and "hears voices". The court ordered Aron to be sent to the prison ward at Bellevue Hospital Center for a psychiatric evaluation. After Aron had been hospitalized, his lawyers stated that he was "seeking to quiet the voices in his head by listening to music". They also described his demeanor as "abnormal". In December 2011, another of Aron's attorneys, Howard Greenberg, sparked outrage when he remarked of his client, "Look, everybody knows when blood relations have offspring, there can be genetic defects... There's inbreeding in that community" – the latter referring to the Hasidic Jewish community of New York City. Autopsy findings: On July 20, 2011, the office of the New York City medical examiner released autopsy results revealing that Kletzky had ingested a lethal mix of four different drugs and had then been smothered. The cause of death was determined to be intoxication from a combination of cyclobenzaprine (a muscle relaxant), quetiapine (an antipsychotic), and hydrocodone and acetaminophen (two analgesics), followed by smothering. Upon release of the autopsy results, the case was officially ruled a homicide. On August 9, 2011, the New York City medical examiner's office revealed that Kletzky had ingested a fifth drug, Duloxetine, which is used for generalized anxiety disorder and as an antidepressant. The blood tests revealing this drug took a few weeks to process at an outside lab. Indictment: Hours after the autopsy results were released on July 20, a Brooklyn grand jury indicted Aron on eight counts of murder and kidnapping – including two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree kidnapping, and one count of second-degree kidnapping – which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole. A day after the indictment was handed down, one of Aron's lawyers, Gerard Marrone, resigned from the case, saying that he could not represent the defendant as "the allegations were too horrific". Attorney Jennifer McCann joined Pierre Bazile for the defense. The case was prosecuted by the Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney's Office. The lead prosecutor was veteran Assistant District Attorney Julie B. Rendelman of the Homicide Bureau. Ms. Rendelman was the attorney who successfully prosecuted Horace Moore for the stabbing murder of NYC bus driver Edwin Thomas. Also assigned to the case was Assistant District Attorney Linda Weinman. Arraignment: Aron was declared competent to stand trial in an arraignment at the New York State Supreme Court in Brooklyn on August 4, 2011. Results of the psychiatric evaluation, obtained by Associated Press, indicate that Aron was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder. The suspect was said to be "confused and apathetic", with a "'practically blank' personality". In addition, the psychologist apperceived him as reserved, apathetic, sad and cooperative, and diagnosed a schizoid personality disorder. Details also emerged that Aron had a younger sister who died while institutionalized for schizophrenia. Aron was held at Rikers Island on round-the-clock suicide watch. He gave his first media interview to the New York Post on August 12, 2011. He did not refer to Kletzky by name, and kept referring to the smothering and dismembering of the boy as "the incident". He did not explain why he took and kept the boy, saying, "He looked familiar. I thought I knew him". On August 23, 2011, the State Supreme Court justice assigned to the case, Justice Neil J. Firetog, chided Aron's lawyers in court for discussing the case on their Facebook pages, accused them of leaking the court-ordered psychological examination to the press, and questioned their ability to handle such a complex case given their lack of experience. Pierre Bazile, who passed the bar in 2007, had defended only one homicide case, while Jennifer McCann had defended six cases, three of them ending in acquittal. A veteran criminal defense lawyer, Howard Greenberg, subsequently joined the defense team pro bono to offset the judge's criticism of lack of experience. Pre-trial hearing: On October 24, 2011, Aron appeared at a brief hearing in the State Supreme Court via video conferencing. Outside the courtroom, his lawyers claimed that police forced Aron to write his 450-word confession, stating that he was not sane enough to be aware of his actions. They also told reporters that they were pursuing an insanity defense. Denial of change of venue: In November 2011, the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court denied Aron's counsel's request to move the trial to Suffolk County or The Bronx in light of unfavorable media coverage in Brooklyn. However, it reserved the right to allow the defense to re-apply for a change of venue after the jury pool was questioned. In March 2012 Aron appeared in court via video conferencing while his attorneys scheduled a new trial date. In May 2012 he appeared before the court again via videoconferencing; the video showed that he had gained at least 50 pounds (23 kg) since his arrest. Plea bargain agreement: On August 1, 2012, it was reported that prosecutors had struck a deal with the defense in which Aron would plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of at least 40 years to life in prison. The Kletzky family supported this decision, wanting to avoid reliving the murder if the case went to trial. On August 9, 2012, Aron changed his plea to guilty of one charge of second-degree murder and one charge of second-degree kidnapping at Brooklyn Supreme Court. He answered a series of questions from the judge in which he admitted to killing Leiby Kletzky. On August 29, 2012, Judge Neil Firetog sentenced Aron to 25 years to life on the second-degree murder charge and 15 years to life on the second-degree kidnapping charge. Aron would be eligible for parole in 2051, which includes credit for time served. Civil lawsuits: On August 17, 2011, Nachman Kletzky filed a $100 million civil lawsuit against Aron in Brooklyn Supreme Court, seeking damages for the “abduction, kidnapping, torture, murder and dismemberment” of his son. On August 23, Kletzky filed a $100 million civil suit against Aron's father, Jack, for neglecting to monitor his son or protect Leiby while the latter was in his home. Proposed legislation: In the wake of the murder, State Assemblymen Dov Hikind and Peter Abbate and State Senator Diane Savino said they would introduce a bill called “Leiby’s Initiative”, which would grant a $500 annual tax credit to any New York City property owner who installs and maintains surveillance cameras on their property. New York City Councilman David Greenfield has said he would propose “Leiby’s Law,” a bill under which businesses could volunteer to be designated as safe places for children who are lost or otherwise in trouble. Employees would undergo background checks and business owners would put a green sticker in their store windows so children know it is a safe place to get help. On August 16, 2011, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office announced a similar program called “Safe Stop”. So far, 76 stores have signed up to display a green “Safe Haven” sticker in their windows to help lost children. In September 2013, Assemblyman Dov Hikind and State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos announced the implementation of the Leiby Kletzky Security Initiative, which will provide the installation of 100 security cameras on public lampposts throughout the Midwood and Borough Park neighborhoods. Paid for by a $1 million state grant, the cameras will be maintained by Secure Watch 24, a private security firm and LLC controlled by Agudath Israel of America. Recorded data from the cameras will be retained for up to five years. According to Agudath Israel of America, camera footage will be accessed only by the New York City Police Department. Memorials and legacy: On July 20, relatives of Kletzky launched a website for the newly established Leiby Kletzky Memorial Fund (, which aims to raise $1 million to help children and families in crisis and need. In its first day of operation, the website garnered $61,581 from 1,365 donors. In early August, Hasidic singer Lipa Schmeltzer released a ballad called "Leiby Forever" and a seven-minute music video showing home movies of Kletzky growing up. After the beginning of the video, a CCTV footage of the abduction plays.

25 Days of Christmas

25 Days of Christmas (also known as Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas, previously known as Fox Family's 25 Days of Christmas, and as ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas) is an annual programming block that has been shown on Freeform (formerly ABC Family) and its predecessors since 1996. As the title implies, the special programming is shown every year from December 1 to December 25, showing classic holiday programming (such as Rankin/Bass' classic TV specials), as well as new Christmas-themed television movies each year; generally few of the network's original series air during the time period, outside of Christmas special episodes. In 2006, the channel aired fewer seasonal films and added general-interest family movies such as Harry Potter, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as well as Disney films including Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. Starting in 2007, ABC Family extended the "25" days into November with a Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas block. List of original specials: = 1996 – Home and Family Christmas Special = 2001 – Donner = 2008 – A Miser Brothers' Christmas = 2009 – Gotta Catch Santa Claus, Holly and Hal Moose: Our Uplifting Christmas Adventure = 2010 – The Gruffalo = 2011 – A Very Pink Christmas = 2013 – Melissa & Joey, Baby Daddy = 2014 - The Fosters, Switched At Birth, Chasing Life, Pretty Little Liars, Baby Daddy, Melissa and Joey = 2015 - Young & Hungry, Pretty Little Liars: 5 Years Forward, Behind the Shadows: The Making of Shadowhunters List of original movies: Every year since the block started in 1996, at least one new holiday-related TV film has been produced (except in 2002). Starting in 2005, two TV films have been produced. In 2007, three films were created for the block, due to the popularity of the previous year's films. The Family Channel era- The Family Channel's 25 Days of Christmas: = 1996 – Christmas Every Day = 1997 – The Christmas List Fox Family era- Fox Family's 25 Days of Christmas: = 1998 – Like Father, Like Santa = 1999 – The Ghosts of Christmas Eve = 2000 – Special Delivery = 2001 – Three Days ABC Family era- ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas: = 2003 – Picking Up & Dropping Off = 2004 – Snow = 2005 – Chasing Christmas; Christmas in Boston = 2006 – Christmas Do-Over; Santa Baby = 2007 – Christmas Caper; Holiday in Handcuffs; Snowglobe = 2008 – Christmas in Wonderland; Snow 2: Brain Freeze = 2009 – The Dog Who Saved Christmas; Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe = 2010 – The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation; Christmas Cupid = 2011 – Desperately Seeking Santa; 12 Dates of Christmas = 2012 – The Mistle-Tones; Home Alone: The Holiday Heist = 2013 – Holidaze, Christmas Bounty = 2014 – Toy Story That Time Forgot = 2015 – None Listed Freeform era: Christmas specials: The following non-original (originally premiered direct to video, or on some other TV network or cable channel, or as a theatrical featurette) Christmas specials, or Christmas-themed episodes of television programs are presently being featured during 25 Days of Christmas (including Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas): - The Bells of Fraggle Rock - The Cat in the Hat - A Chipmunk Christmas - The Christmas Toy - Cranberry Christmas - Dr. Seuss on the Loose - Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury - Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas - Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas - A Flintstone Christmas - Frosty's Winter Wonderland - A Garfield Christmas - The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat - How Murray Saved Christmas - Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas - Jack Frost - Jingle All the Way - Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special - The Little Drummer Boy - The Little Drummer Boy, Book II - The Lorax - Merry Madagascar - Mickey's Christmas Carol - Mickey's Christmas Special - Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey - Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation - Pinocchio's Christmas - Prep & Landing - Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice - Puff the Magic Dragon - Rudolph's Shiny New Year - Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town - Twas the Night Before Christmas - Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too - The Year Without a Santa Claus - Yogi Bear's All Star Comedy Christmas Caper Christmas movies: The following non-original (originally premiered theatrically, or direct to video, or on some other TV network or cable channel) Christmas movies are presently being featured during 25 Days of Christmas (including Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas): - A Christmas Carol - Arthur Christmas - Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas - Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas - Buster & Chauncey's Silent Night - Deck the Halls - Ernest Saves Christmas - Elf - Eloise at Christmastime (only in 2009) - The Family Man - A Flintstones Christmas Carol - Four Christmases - Fred Claus - Home Alone - Home Alone 2: Lost in New York - How the Grinch Stole Christmas - I'll Be Home for Christmas - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - Jack Frost - Jingle All the Way - The Little Mermaid - Mary Poppins - Meet the Santas - Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas - Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas - Miracle on 34th Street - The Muppet Christmas Carol - National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - The Nightmare Before Christmas - Once Upon a Christmas - The Polar Express - Richie Rich's Christmas Wish - Rise of the Guardians - Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys - Scrooged - Santa Buddies - Santa Claus: The Movie - The Santa Clause - The Santa Clause 2 - The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause - Santa Who? - Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups - The Search for Santa Paws - This Christmas - Twice Upon a Christmas - Unaccompanied Minors - Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas: In 2007, due to popular ratings from the previous year, ABC Family launched the first official countdown to the programming block, which began on November 21. Although this was the first official early start, in previous years holiday programming had unofficially begun during the last week of November, showing mostly older original films, some of which pertained to Christmas and some that did not. "Countdown to the '25 Days of Christmas'" returned in 2008 on November 16. 2010: In 2010, it started later in the month, on November 20. In 2012 the countdown began at an earlier date of November 18. 2014: The Countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas ran again in 2014. In 2014 the countdown event which started on Sunday, November 23 was even with previous years. The highest rated programs of the eight-day event were Finding Nemo at 1.8 million viewers, Despicable Me at 2 million, and an airing of The Hunger Games at 1.7 million. Other highlights included Ratatouille on Thanksgiving night which garnered 1 million, Cars 2 gained 1 million, and Brave which had 1.8 million tune in. 2015: The Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas schedule was released on October 29. The 2015 lineup includes family classics such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Jingle All the Way, Monsters, Inc., Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and the cable premiere of Disney's Planes. A Monday, November 30 airing of The Polar Express was watched by 1.5 million viewers, the highest rating of this year's Countdown. A Saturday, November 28 airing of Wreck-It Ralph was also watched by 1.5 million viewers. The network premiere of Planes on Thanksgiving night garnered only 0.699 million viewers. 2016: Ratings- 2006: The network premiere of The Polar Express was watched by more than 4 million viewers. An encore airing on December 9 was watched by a record 5 million viewers. It became the most watched programming to ever air on ABC Family. The debut airing of the film, Santa Baby, was watched by 4.7 million viewers. 2007: The first week of programming averaged 2.3 million viewers. 2008: In 2008, the first week of programming attracted 2.7 million total viewers. The entire lineup had an average 2.5 million viewers. 2009: The third annual "Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas" was watched by 1.2 million viewers. The network premiere of The Santa Clause 3 was watched by 1.6 million viewers, while an airing of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was watched by 1.5 million viewers. The premiere of Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe was watched by 3.8 million total viewers. 2010: The fourth annual "Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas" was watched by 2.1 million viewers. The lineup began its first week with record breaking 3 million average viewers. The December 12 premiere of Christmas Cupid was watched by a total of 3.4 million viewers. Total viewers for 2010 broke records, averaging 2.8 million viewers. An airing of How the Grinch Stole Christmas drew 1.3 million viewers. 2011: The first week of the 25 Days of Christmas was watched by an average of 2.2 million viewers, down 27% from last year. During the second week, viewers increased to 2.4 million, thanks to the premiere of 12 Dates of Christmas. However, this was still down 30% from the previous year. Overall viewers for the 2011 lineup averaged 2.3 million viewers. 2012: In 2012, the programming block had its most ever total viewers in its debut week, with 2.9 million. An airing of the film Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas on December 2 became the lineup's most watched program ever, with 5.4 million viewers. Other notable airings included, the network premiere of Despicable Me, watched by over 4.3 million viewers, and a Christmas Eve airing of The Santa Clause 2, watched by 3.9 million viewers. The programming block averaged 2.8 million viewers for 2012, on pace with 2010. 2014: In its 17th year, '25 Days of Christmas' powered ABC Family as the top cable network in primetime among women 18-34. The entire line-up averaged 2.5 million viewers. A Friday, December 5 airing of Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas was watched by 3.7 million. The network premiere of Toy Story That Time Forgot gained 3.4 million while an airing of the classic Toy Story 3 gained 2.7 million viewers. The highest rated airing of Elf gained 3.5 million viewers while the highest rated airing of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation gained 3.2 million. An Airing of the Tim Allen classic The Santa Clause with limited commercials gained 2.9 million viewers. Christmas Eve ratings on the network saw ratings of "The Polar Express" at 2.2 million, Home Alone at 2.7 million, and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and Elf each at more than 4 million each. The holiday airings of Pretty Little Liars gained 2 million viewers while Chasing life gained 1.2 million. The comedies of Melissa and Joey and Baby Daddy gained 1 million and 800,000 viewers respectively. 2015: In 2015 the highest rated event was an airing of Elf on December 5 at 3.7mil, and another airing on December 24 at 3.1mil. Ratings on Christmas Eve were down on the network due to increased competition from other networks. Elf proved once again to draw large audiences. On December 1 The Polar Express gained 2.4mil, an airing of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas gained 2.4mil, 2.7mil, and 2.9mil on multiple dates. The highest airing of The Santa Clause was December 2 gaining 2.6mil. An airing of the Toy Story trilogy on December 13–14 gained 2mil, 2.5mil, and 1.4mil. Christmas Eve on the network was National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation at 2.4mil, and Elf at 3.1mil. Christmas Day was weak, averaging less than 2mil per airing.

13 Nights of Halloween

13 Nights Of Halloween (previously known as 13 Days of Halloween) is a programming special on Freeform (formerly ABC Family), which originally began airing in 1998 after The Family Channel became Fox Family, two years after their "25 Days of Christmas" special premiered. The "13 Nights of Halloween" special was created mainly due to the success of the latter. The special lasts from October 19, until Halloween Night. Programming: The programming block since its creation has consisted of ABC Family original programming, airing with their holiday programming. In 1998 they aired specials such as Casper: A Spirited Beginning, then starting in the 2000s (decade), the lineup shifted towards films, such as Hocus Pocus, The Haunted Mansion, The Addams Family, Addams Family Values and "Harry Potter Weekends" (consisting of the first six Harry Potter films). The programming block was not aired in 2003 as ABC Family's new programming executives decided not to air the block for reasons that remain unclear, but the programming block returned in 2004 after a one-year hiatus. In 2011, ABC Family switched the focus of the programming block to its original purpose (primarily Halloween/Horror related films). With more appropriately themed content airing during the programming block. Films that air during the lineup are usually edited for time constraints and profane content, such as language or sexuality, to appeal towards all audiences. Current programming: 13 Nights of Halloween has been a staple for ABC Family for 17 years. The 2015 lineup was released to the public on September 2. Freeform's first Halloween lineup schedule was released on September 14, 2016. - Addams Family Values - The Addams Family - Sleepy Hollow - Monsters, Inc. - Monsters University - Halloweentown - Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge - Corpse Bride - The Hunger Games - The Sorcerer's Apprentice - ParaNorman - Toy Story of Terror! - Frankenweenie - Dark Shadows - Hocus Pocus - Scooby-Doo - Scooby-Doo: Monsters Unleashed - Matilda - The Nightmare Before Christmas - Poltergeist film series - Spooky Buddies Former programming: The following are films and specials which have previously aired as a part of the lineup, but have since been removed. - An American Haunting - Beetlejuice - Bewitched - The Black Cauldron - Boogeyman - Boo to You Too! Winnie the Pooh - Casper - Casper: A Spirited Beginning - Casper Meets Wendy - Clue - Donald Duck and the Gorilla - Ella Enchanted - Gremlins - Halloween is Grinch Night - Harry Potter Weekend - The Hollow - The Initiation of Sarah - It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown - Stephen King's It - Jumanji - The Lake - Lonesome Ghosts - Lost Souls - The Mask - Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium - Nature of the Beast - Pirates of the Caribbean - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - Scary Movie - Scary Movie 2 - Scary Movie 3 - Scary Movie 4 - The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad - The Sixth Sense - The Spiderwick Chronicles - Tower of Terror - Trick or Treat - Van Helsing - The Village - Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit - When Good Ghouls Go Bad Ratings: In 2008, viewers averaged 1.2 million. For 2009, the lineup averaged 1.4 million viewers, up from the previous year. Hocus Pocus drew record numbers of near 2.5 million, while Edward Scissorhands drew over 1 million viewers. Total viewers dropped in 2010, averaging just 1.2 million viewers. In 2011, Pretty Little Liars Halloween themed episode, "The First Secret", at the time, the lineup's most watched program. The special episode aired with more than 2.5 million viewers. Viewers for the entire lineup broke record, averaging 1.6 million viewers in 2011, thanks to debuts such as Coraline. The October 29 airing of Hocus Pocus drew the 13 Nights of Halloween's highest viewers ever, with 2.8 million. 2012: In 2012, the second Halloween-themed episode of Pretty Little Liars, "This is A Dark Ride" guest-starring former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert drew 2.8 million viewers. ABC Family announced that the episode had become the lineup's most watched programming in their key demographics in the block's fourteen-year history. Due to the success of previous years airings of Hocus Pocus, multiple airings were scheduled throughout the 2012 lineup. The first initial broadcast of the film on October 23 was watched by 1.6 million viewers. Broadcasts of the film on the nights of October 28 and October 31 were watched by 1.9 million and 1.3 million viewers respectively. The network premiere of the film The Sorcerer's Apprentice on October 28 was watched by 2.1 million viewers. Overall viewers for the 2012 season were down from the previous year, with an average of 1.5 million viewers. 2014: ABC Family released the 2014 schedule on September 10, 2014. The popular programming event, now in its 16th year, started October 19 and concluded on October 31. The schedule features brand-new Halloween-themed episodes of Melissa & Joey and Baby Daddy, an all-new Pretty Little Liars fan appreciation special, plus the scary prank specials Freak Out. The stunt will also include the network television premieres of Dark Shadows and ParaNorman, and prime time airings of Hocus Pocus, Beetlejuice, and Monsters Inc. Ratings for the 2014 event were generally even across the board with prior years. October 19, the first day of the event, held ratings of Harry Potter, 1.5 million viewers, Toy Story of Terror, 1.7 million, and a prime time airing of Monsters Inc. gaining 1.7 million viewers. The Pretty Little Liars special airing October 21 had 1.3 million viewers while Melissa and Joey registered 1.1 million. The network airing of Dark Shadows on October 24 registered a mediocre 1 million viewers. An airing of The Adams Family had a decent 1.21 million viewers while a Halloween airing of Casper had 1.4 million viewers. The highest rated programs of the event were Monsters Inc at, 1.7 million on October 19, and Hocus Pocus on October 26, also at 1.7 million. 2015: The 2015 line up was released on September 2. The highest rated event for 2015's 13 Nights of Halloween was the premier of Monsters University at 2.081m viewers, up from 2014's high of 1.7m. Hocus Pocus, which aired a staggering ten times during the event saw its highest rated showing at 1.7m viewers, even with previous years. The Adams Family highest rated showing peaked at 1.6m viewers. Overall the rest of the event peaked around 1 million viewers. The 2015 lineup averaged 1.1905m viewers, down dramaticly from previous years. 2016: ABC Family rebranded itself as Freeform in 2016, but has confirmed that it will continue airing 13 Nights of Halloween. Freeform's 13 Nights of Halloween lineup was released on September 14, 2016. The 2016 line up features film classics such as Hocus Pocus, Corpse Bride, The Adams Family, Scooby Doo, Monsters University, Practical Magic, and Death Becomes Her. The line up for Halloween day includes Steven Spielberg's classic The Goonies, Scooby Doo, The Adams Family, and two back to back airings of Bette Midler's classic Hocus Pucus.

Hinterkaifeck murders

Hinterkaifeck was a small farmstead situated between the Bavarian towns of Ingolstadt and Schrobenhausen, approximately 70 kilometres (43 mi) north of Munich. On the evening of March 31, 1922, the six inhabitants of the farm were killed with a mattock. The murders remain unsolved. The six victims were the farmer Andreas Gruber (63) and his wife Cäzilia (72); their widowed daughter Viktoria Gabriel (35); Viktoria's children, Cäzilia (7) and Josef (2); and the maid, Maria Baumgartner (44). Hinterkaifeck was never an official place name. The name was used for the remote farmstead of the hamlet of Kaifeck, located nearly 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) north of the main part of Kaifeck and hidden in the woods (the prefix Hinter, part of many German place names, means behind), part of the town of Wangen, which was incorporated into Waidhofen in 1971. Crime: A few days prior to the crime, farmer Andreas Gruber told neighbors about discovering footprints in the snow leading from the edge of the forest to the farm, but none leading back. He also spoke about hearing footsteps in the attic and finding an unfamiliar newspaper on the farm. Furthermore, the house keys went missing several days before the murders. None of this was reported to the police prior to the attack. Six months earlier, the previous maid had left the farm, claiming that it was haunted; the new maid, Maria Baumgartner, arrived on the farm on the day of the attack and was killed hours later. Exactly what happened on that Friday evening cannot be said for certain. It is believed that the older couple, as well as their daughter Viktoria, and her daughter, Cäzilia, were all lured into the barn one by one, where they were killed. The perpetrator(s) then went into the house where they killed two‑year‑old Josef, who was sleeping in his cot in his mother's bedroom, as well as the maid, Maria Baumgartner, in her bedchamber. On the following Tuesday, April 4, neighbors came to the farmstead because none of its inhabitants had been seen for several days. The postman had noticed that the post from the previous Saturday was still where he had left it. Furthermore, young Cäzilia had not turned up for school on Monday, nor had she been there on Saturday. Investigation: Inspector Georg Reingruber and his colleagues from the Munich Police Department investigated the killings. More than 100 suspects have been questioned through the years, but to no avail. The most recent questioning took place in 1986, fruitlessly. In 2007 the students of the Polizeifachhochschule (Police Academy) in Fürstenfeldbruck got the task of investigating the case once more with modern techniques of criminal investigation. They came to the conclusion that it is impossible to completely solve the crime after so much time had passed. There is a lack of evidence because the investigation techniques were primitive. In addition, evidence has been lost and suspects have since died. Nevertheless, the students did establish a prime suspect, but did not name them out of respect for still‑living relatives. The police first suspected the motive to be robbery, and interrogated several inhabitants from the surrounding villages, as well as traveling craftsmen and vagrants. The robbery theory was, however, abandoned when a large amount of money was found in the house. It is believed that the perpetrator(s) remained at the farm for several days – someone had fed the cattle, and eaten food in the kitchen, and the neighbors saw smoke from the chimney during the weekend – and anyone looking for money would have found it. The death of Karl Gabriel, Viktoria's husband who had been reported killed in the French trenches in World War I, was called into question. His body had never been found. Despite this, most of his fellow soldiers reported seeing him die and their reports were believed by police. The day after the discovery of the bodies, court physician Johann Baptist Aumüller performed the autopsies in the barn. It was established that a mattock was the most likely murder weapon and that the younger Cäzilia had been alive for several hours after the assault. Lying in the straw, next to the bodies of her grandparents and her mother, she had torn her hair out in tufts. The corpses were beheaded, and the skulls sent to Munich, where clairvoyants examined them, but to no avail. Aftermath: The six victims are buried in Waidhofen, where there is a memorial in the graveyard. The skulls were never returned from Munich, after having been lost during the chaos of World War II. The farm was demolished a year after the attacks, in 1923. Close to where the farm was located, there is now a shrine. Media: There are two movies with the name Hinterkaifeck: one by Hans Fegert from 1981, and one by Kurt K. Hieber in 1991. Hinter Kaifeck is a mystery thriller from 2009 made by director Esther Gronenborn and producer Monika Raebel, starring Benno Fürmann and Alexandra Maria Lara. In 2006, German writer Andrea Maria Schenkel wrote a novel entitled Tannöd where she tells the story of Hinterkaifeck using different names for the locations and people involved. Also the novel The Murdered House, written by French writer Pierre Magnan, is allegedly inspired by this case. In this novel, the youngest victim of the massacre survives and returns to the farm as an adult to investigate the crime. Munich journalist Peter Leuschner wrote two books with the title Hinterkaifeck: Der Mordfall. Spuren eines mysteriösen Verbrechens. in 1979 and 1997. The second book is an extension of the first book. The title means Hinterkaifeck. The Murder Case. Traces of a mysterious crime. In this book, Leuschner quotes the original police files. In 2013, the Connecticut-based musician Dan Barrett released an EP called Hinterkaifeck under the name Giles Corey.

Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs

The beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses are based on the Bible teachings of Charles Taze Russell—founder of the Bible Student movement—and successive presidents of the Watch Tower Society, Joseph Franklin Rutherford and Nathan Homer Knorr. Since 1976 all doctrinal decisions have been made by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, a group of elders at the religion's Brooklyn headquarters. These teachings are disseminated through The Watchtower magazine and other publications of Jehovah's Witnesses, and at conventions and congregation meetings. Jehovah's Witnesses teach that the present world order, which they perceive as being under the control of Satan, will be destroyed by a direct intervention of Jehovah (God), who will use Jesus Christ to fully establish his heavenly government over earth, destroying existing human governments and non-Witnesses, and creating a cleansed society of true worshippers. They see their mission as primarily evangelical (disseminating "good news"), to warn as many people as possible in the remaining time before Armageddon. All members of the religion are expected to take an active part in preaching. Witnesses refer to all their beliefs collectively as "the Truth". Source of doctrines: Doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses are established by their Governing Body. Until late 2012, the Governing Body described itself as the representative and "spokesman" for God's "faithful and discreet slave class" (the approximately 10,000 "anointed" Jehovah's Witnesses), which Witnesses were taught Christ used as a channel for God's progressive revelations and to direct Christians on biblical matters. The Governing Body seeks neither advice nor approval from any "anointed" Witnesses other than high-ranking members at the Brooklyn headquarters. At the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Watch Tower Society, the "faithful and discreet slave" was defined as referring to the Governing Body only. Jehovah's Witnesses are instructed to welcome changes to their religion's doctrine, regarding such "adjustments" as "new light" or "new understanding" from God. The view is based on their interpretation of Proverbs 4:18, which they believe refers to a continuous progressive advancement in doctrinal knowledge and scriptural understanding for "righteous ones", with the holy spirit helping "responsible representatives of 'the faithful and discreet slave' at world headquarters to discern deep truths that were not previously understood". Watch Tower literature has suggested such enlightenment results from the application of reason and study, the guidance of holy spirit, and direction from Jesus Christ and angels, however, the Governing Body also disclaims infallibility and divine inspiration. Robert Crompton, author of a book on Watch Tower eschatology, has noted that it is difficult to trace the development of doctrines because explicit changes are often not identified in Jehovah's Witness literature, leaving readers to assume which details have been superseded. The religion makes no provision for members to criticize or contribute to official teachings and all Witnesses are expected to abide by the doctrines and organizational requirements as determined by the Governing Body. Watch Tower Society publications strongly discourage Witnesses from formulating doctrines and "private ideas" reached through independent Bible research. Members who promote privately developed teachings contrary to those of the Governing Body may be expelled and shunned. Organization: Jehovah's Witnesses believe that God uses an organization both in heaven and on earth, and that Jehovah's Witnesses, under the direction of their Governing Body, are the only visible channel by which God communicates with humanity. The organization is said to be theocratic, "ruled from the divine Top down, and not from the rank and file up". Witnesses teach that people must choose between God’s organization and Satan’s. Watch Tower publications teach that the Bible is an "organizational book" that does not belong to individuals and that the Bible cannot be properly understood without guidance by "Jehovah's visible organization". Witnesses undergoing baptism are required to publicly confirm that they are associating themselves "with God's spirit-directed organization", thereby submitting themselves to its direction and judicial system. Watch Tower Society publications urge Witnesses to demonstrate loyalty to the organization without dissent, even at the cost of family ties. Loyalty to the organization is said to require full involvement in public preaching and regular meeting attendance. Disagreement with the Watch Tower Society's concept of God's organization figured prominently in events that led to a 1980 purge of high-level members at the religion's Brooklyn headquarters. A summary by a Governing Body committee of "wrong teachings" being promoted as "new understandings" included the suggestion that God did not have an organization on earth. Former Governing Body member Raymond Franz, who was expelled as part of the purge, subsequently criticized the Watch Tower concept of organization, claiming the concept—which posits that God does not deal with individuals apart from an organization—has no scriptural support and serves only to reinforce the religion's authority structure, with its strong emphasis on human authority. He also claimed that The Watchtower has repeatedly blurred discussions of both Jesus Christ's loyalty to God and the apostles' loyalty to Christ to promote the view that Witnesses should be loyal to the Watch Tower Society. Sociologist Andrew Holden has observed that Witnesses see no distinction between loyalty to Jehovah and to the movement itself, and other researchers have claimed that challenging the views of those higher up the hierarchical ladder is regarded as tantamount to challenging God himself. Restorationism: Witnesses believe that after the death of the apostles, the Church embarked on a "Great Apostasy", diverging from the original teachings of Jesus on several major points. Influenced by Restorationism in the 19th century, Charles Taze Russell and his associates formed a Bible study group in the 1870s in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, developing teachings that they considered to be a revival of "the great truths taught by Jesus and the Apostles". Watch Tower publications claim both the Great Apostasy and Russell's subsequent "restoration" of original Christianity were a fulfilment of Jesus' parable of the wheat and the weeds at Matthew 13:24-30,36-43. Although many of their eschatological teachings have changed over the years, Jehovah's Witnesses have consistently claimed to be the only true religion. Based on their interpretation of Revelation 18:2-24, Jehovah's Witnesses believe all other religions are part of "Babylon the Great", a "world empire of false religion" under the control of Satan; consequently, they refuse all ecumenical relations with other religious denominations. Bible: The entire Protestant canon of scripture is seen as the inspired, inerrant word of God. Jehovah's Witnesses consider the Bible to be scientifically and historically accurate and reliable and interpret much of it literally, while also accepting it contains much symbolism. Jehovah's Witnesses base all of their beliefs on the Bible, as interpreted by the Governing Body. They use the terms Hebrew and Christian Greek Scriptures rather than Old and New Testament to avoid implication that the Old Testament is outdated or inferior. They believe that the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) contain prophecy that was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and that the books of the Christian Greek Scriptures (New Testament) are primarily directed to the 144,000 chosen by God for life in heaven. The Watch Tower Society's New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures—the main translation used by Jehovah's Witnesses—renders the name of God as Jehovah, rather than God or LORD as found in English translations such as the King James Version. God: Jehovah's Witnesses believe God is the Creator and Supreme Being. Witnesses reject the Trinity doctrine, which they consider unscriptural. They view God as the Father, an invisible spirit "person" separate from the Son, Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is described as God's "active force", rather than the third part of the Trinity. They believe God, whose personal name is Jehovah, is "infinite, but approachable"; he is not omnipresent, but has a location in heaven; it is possible to have a personal relationship with him as a friend; he is kind and merciful, and would not eternally "torture" wicked people. Being respectful of the principle of free will, he does not force his sovereignty on people, choosing to save only those who want to serve him, even though the course of mankind in general may lead them to harm. Witnesses teach that God must be distinguished by his personal name—Jehovah. The name is a common modern Latinized form of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton, or four-letter name, transliterated as YHWH. The use of his personal name is regarded as vital for true worship, and Witnesses usually preface the term God with the name Jehovah. The title, LORD (Greek: Kyrios), is rarely used by Witnesses when speaking about God. Because no other religion uses the name Jehovah with the same prevalence, they believe only their religion is making God's name known. Jesus Christ: Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus is God's "only-begotten Son", and that his life began in heaven. He is described as God's first creation and the "exact representation of God", but is believed to be a separate entity and not part of a Trinity. Jesus is said to have been used by God in the creation of all other things. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the Archangel, Michael, "the Word" of John 1:1, and wisdom personified in Proverbs 8 refer to Jesus in his pre-human existence and that he resumed these identities after his ascension to heaven following his death and resurrection. They also identify him with the "rider of the white horse" at Revelation 6 and 19. His birth on earth was accomplished when he willingly allowed himself to be transferred, by God, from heaven to the womb of the virgin, Mary. While on earth, Jesus was executed as a sacrifice to atone for mankind's sins, becoming the "eternal father" to the human family. They believe that after his death, Jesus appeared to his disciples, convinced them of his resurrection, and then ascended into heaven to sit at Jehovah's right hand until he would become the promised king of God's heavenly kingdom. Jesus acts as the mediator of a "new covenant" referred to in Jeremiah 31:31, Luke 22:20, and Hebrews 9:15; 12:24, directly mediating only for those going to heaven (the 144,000). Those with an earthly hope are said to be beneficiaries of that covenant. Even as king of God's kingdom, Jesus remains subordinate to God. Witnesses reject the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, who they believe bore more children after Jesus. Cross: The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society used the Cross and Crown symbol on tombstones, and on its publications until 1931. Since 1936, Jehovah's Witnesses have rejected the idea that Jesus died on a cross, and instead teach that he died on a single wooden stake (crux simplex), asserting that the Koiné Greek word σταυρος (stauros) refers to a single upright post. They consider the cross to be of pagan origins and an object of idol worship. Some Jehovah's Witnesses have been persecuted or killed for not bowing down to or kissing a cross. Satan: Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Satan was originally a perfect angel who developed feelings of self-importance and craved worship that belonged to God. Satan persuaded Adam and Eve to obey him rather than God, raising the issue—often referred to as a "controversy"—of whether people, having been granted free will, would obey God under both temptation and persecution. The issue is said to be whether God can rightfully claim to be sovereign of the universe. Instead of destroying Satan, God decided to test the loyalty of the rest of humankind and to prove to the rest of creation that Satan was a liar. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Satan is God's chief adversary and the invisible ruler of the world. They believe that demons were originally angels who rebelled against God and took Satan's side in the controversy. Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe that Satan lives in Hell or that he has been given responsibility to punish the wicked. Satan and his demons are said to have been cast down from heaven to the earth in 1914, marking the beginning of the "last days". Witnesses believe that Satan and his demons influence individuals, organizations and nations, and that they are the cause of human suffering. At Armageddon, Satan is to be bound for 1,000 years, and then given a brief opportunity to mislead perfect humanity before being destroyed. Writers including James Beckford and former members James Penton and Barbara Grizzuti Harrison have stated that Jehovah's Witnesses' have a fear of demons, which Penton says is "sometimes so extreme that it becomes quite superstitious". However, Penton also notes that avoidance of "demonistic practices" has released many people in Africa and Latin America from fear of spirits. Watch Tower Society publications state that Witnesses need not harbor dread or superstitious fear of demons, because their power over humans is limited. God's Messianic Kingdom: Publications of Jehovah's Witnesses teach that God's kingdom is a literal government in heaven, established in 1914, ruled by Jesus Christ and 144,000 humans raised to heaven. The kingdom is viewed as the means by which God will accomplish his original purpose for the earth, bringing about a world free of crime, sickness, death and poverty, and ultimately transforming the earth into a paradise. The kingdom is said to have been the focus of Jesus' ministry. Death: Witnesses regard the soul as mortal, based on the statement at Ezekiel 18:4 that "the soul that sins, it shall die" (MKJV) and thus believe the soul does not continue to live after one dies. Death is considered a state of non-existence, based on their understanding of Ecclesiastes 9:5: "For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all." Witnesses believe that the only hope for life after death is in the resurrection, which they say involves re-creation by God of the same individual with a new body. They believe that 144,000 people will be resurrected to life as spirit creatures in heaven to be priestly rulers under Christ, but the vast majority, to physical life on earth. Watch Tower publications teach that hell (hades or sheol) is not a place of fiery torment, but rather the "common grave of mankind", a place of unconscious non-existence. Gehenna, the Bible word commonly translated "hellfire", is said to describe a judgment of complete destruction, from which resurrection is not possible. They reason that complete destruction does not allow for literal "torture" of the wicked, as the deceased person is not conscious. Based on this, they believe that parables such as that of "the rich man and Lazarus" should not be interpreted literally, and that such references are speaking of symbolic death, not the physical death of actual individuals. Witnesses teach that wicked angels (demons) sometimes pretend to be spirits of the dead, and that their deception is the basis for many beliefs about ghosts. Salvation: Jehovah's Witnesses' believe that faith in Jesus' ransom sacrifice is essential for salvation. They reject the concept of universal salvation and the concept of predestination. They believe that all intelligent creatures are endowed with free will, and that salvation is dependent on God's "undeserved kindness", but also requires faith in God and in the "ransom sacrifice" of Jesus Christ, demonstrated by "zealous" preaching activity. According to Watch Tower Society theology, salvation requires Christ's mediation as part of God's purpose to grant humans everlasting life, either in heaven (for 144,000 "anointed" Christians, or the "little flock") or on earth (for the "other sheep", the remainder of faithful humanity). For anointed Witnesses, salvation is said to be achieved through their death and subsequent resurrection to heavenly life to share with Christ as a co-ruler of God's kingdom; for others, it is gained by preservation through the Great Tribulation and the battle of Armageddon. Watch Tower Society publications state that salvation at Armageddon is also contingent on baptism, accurate knowledge of Bible truth, adherence to God's standards of conduct and morality, use of the divine name "Jehovah" in worship, membership of God's "organization", and active support of anointed Christians. 144,000 anointed: Based on a literal interpretation of scriptures such as Revelation 14:1–4, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that exactly 144,000 faithful Christians go to heaven as spirit creatures to rule with Christ in the kingdom of God. They believe that most of those are already in heaven, and that the "remnant" at Revelation 12:17 (KJV) refers to those remaining alive on earth who will be immediately resurrected to heaven when they die. The Witnesses understand Jesus’ words at John 3:3—"except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God"—to apply to the 144,000 who are "born again" as "anointed" sons of God in heaven. They associate the terms "Israel of God" (Galatians 6:16), "little flock" (Luke 12:32), and "the bride, the Lamb's wife" (Revelation 21:9) in the New Testament with the "anointed". Members who claim to be anointed are not given special treatment by other congregation members. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that being "anointed" involves a personal revelation by God's spirit which "gives positive assurance of adoption" to the individual alone. Only those claiming to be anointed partake of the unleavened bread and wine at the yearly commemoration of Christ's death, or Memorial. According to The Watchtower, "the Governing Body does not keep a list of all partakers, for it does not maintain a global network of anointed ones." Other sheep: Watch Tower Society literature states that Jesus' use of the term "other sheep" at John 10:16 indicates a separate class with an earthly hope. Those of the "other sheep" who die faithful to God will receive the "resurrection of the righteous" ("just" KJV) mentioned at Acts 24:15. Those who die without faithfully serving God will receive the "resurrection of the ... unrighteous" ("unjust" KJV). They will be given the opportunity to join Jesus' "other sheep" and live forever on a paradise earth. Those destroyed at Armageddon and other specific judgments by God are not resurrected. Those of the "other sheep" who survive Armageddon without needing a resurrection, are referred to as the "great crowd". Eschatology: Watch Tower Society publications teach that Jesus Christ began to rule in heaven invisibly as king in October 1914. They assert that the Greek word parousia (translated in most English Bible translations as coming when referring to Christ) is more accurately rendered presence, perceived only by a composite "sign". As such, the Second Coming is considered an invisible presence, lasting for an extended period of time, and ending with Jesus' "coming" to separate the Sheep and the Goats. They believe that when Jesus became king, Satan was ousted from heaven to the earth, bringing a period of "woe" to mankind. Witnesses base their beliefs about the significance of 1914 on the Watch Tower Society's interpretation of biblical chronology, based on their belief that the destruction of Jerusalem and the beginning of the Babylonian captivity both occurred in 607 BCE. (The secularly accepted date for the fall of Jerusalem is within a year of 587 BCE; exiles were taken in various years, with most Jews exiled to Babylon following the siege of Jerusalem of 597 BCE.) They believe that Daniel chapter 4 prophesied a period of 2,520 years starting with 607 BCE and ending at 1914 CE. They equate this period with the "Gentile Times" or "the appointed times of the nations", a phrase taken from Luke 21:24. They believe that when the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, the line of kings descended from David was interrupted, and that God's throne was "trampled on" from then until Jesus began ruling in October 1914. Witnesses believe their doctrine is confirmed by world events since 1914, including wars, famine, earthquakes and increasing lawlessness, which they see as fulfillment of the "sign" of Christ's presence. They believe that their preaching is also part of that sign, citing Matthew 24:14. Witnesses teach that in 1918, Jesus resurrected those of the 144,000 (the "anointed") who had already died to heavenly life; since 1918, any "anointed" are individually resurrected to heavenly life at the time of their death to serve as kings alongside Christ in his heavenly government. The current world era, or "system of things", is considered to be in its "last days", facing imminent destruction through intervention by God and Jesus Christ, leading to deliverance for those who worship God acceptably. This judgment will begin with the destruction by the United Nations of false religion, which they identify as "Babylon the Great", or the "harlot", of Revelation 17. This will mark the beginning of the great tribulation. Satan will subsequently attack Jehovah's Witnesses, an action that will prompt God to begin the war of Armageddon, during which all forms of government and all people not counted as Christ's "sheep", or true followers, will be destroyed. The Society's publications make no explicit claim about whether small children or the mentally ill will survive, but say God's judgment will be righteous and merciful. After Armageddon, Satan will be cast into an abyss and unable to influence humanity, then God will extend his heavenly kingdom to include earth, which will be transformed into a paradise similar to the Garden of Eden. Most of those who had died prior to God's intervention will gradually be resurrected to a "day of judgment" lasting for the thousand years referred to in Revelation 20. This judgment will be based on their actions after resurrection rather than past deeds. At the end of the thousand years, Christ will hand all authority back to God. Then Satan is released for a final opportunity to mislead perfect mankind; Satan, his demons, and any who fail the test will be destroyed, leaving a fully tested, perfect human race who will live forever. Defection: Watch Tower Society publications assert that members of the religion are not compelled to remain part of the congregation. However, Jehovah's Witness doctrines provide no method for baptized members to leave the religion on good terms. Those who choose to depart and announce their decision to terminate their membership are regarded as abandoning God's organization and protection and voluntarily entering the world of Satan, becoming part of the antichrist. Watch Tower publications define such individuals as being "more reprehensible than those in the world" and direct that they are to be shunned by other Witnesses, including close relatives, with no social or religious contact and no greeting given. Sociologist Andrew Holden claims his research indicated many Witnesses who would otherwise defect because of disillusionment with the organization and its teachings remain affiliated out of fear of being shunned and losing contact with friends and family members. Apostasy: Watch Tower Society publications define apostasy as the abandonment of the worship and service of God by members of the Christian congregation, and equate it with rebellion against God. Apostate behavior is said to include the rejection of biblical teachings or requirements, the rejection of Jehovah’s organization, association with or support for another religion and celebration of religious holidays. It is grounds for expulsion from the religion and subsequent shunning. Promotion of personal doctrinal views that deviate from official teachings is also regarded as apostasy. The "identifying marks" of apostates are said to include attempts to gain followers, disregard for the Witnesses’ preaching activity, rejection of God's visible organization, public criticism of other Witnesses and attempts to hinder their work. Other identifying behavior is said to include deviation from the truth, twisted, empty speech, hypocrisy and involvement in deeper forms of ungodliness. Watch Tower Society literature says apostates are motivated by vitriolic bitterness and that their writings are poisonous, distorted and false, display the characteristics of "cunning, contrived error, prideful intelligence, lack of love and dishonesty" and are designed to undermine the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Apostates are described as proud, independent, ungrateful and presumptuous, mentally diseased, displaying jealousy, fits of anger and other unchristian conduct and are said to often fall victim to drunken bouts, loose conduct and fornication. Witnesses who are defined as apostates are said to have become part of the antichrist and are regarded as more reprehensible than non-Witnesses. They are described as "anti-God" and doomed to destruction. Witnesses are told they must loathe and hate in the "biblical sense of the word" those who are defined as apostates and show no curiosity about their ideas. Apostates must be shunned and Witnesses are warned that those who greet one become "a sharer in his wicked works". Education: Jehovah's Witnesses are encouraged to make their preaching work the top priority in their life. Higher education is discouraged, based on their belief that it is futile to plan for secular advancement in a world that faces imminent destruction, as well as fears about succumbing to "worldly thinking" and concerns that advanced education might lead to a lack of humility or involvement in immorality. Because evangelistic activities take priority over educational success, young Witnesses rarely progress to college or university, which Holden describes as a source of regret in subsequent years among those who are raised in the organization and later choose to leave. Watch Tower Society publications advise parents to recommend alternatives to university education for their children, suggesting associate degrees from community or technical colleges or short courses in subjects such as office administration, automotive repair, computing, or hairdressing. They urge young Witnesses to pursue higher education only to gain skills to obtain a reasonable living while maintaining flexibility to pursue their "true" vocation, serving God. Author James Penton's major study of the Witnesses, Apocalypse Delayed, noted that of those Witnesses who do progress to university, few are likely to take studies in such areas as the humanities and the social sciences, "disciplines that are most threatening to the Witness world-view". Jehovah's Witnesses provide religious training programs for their members, focusing on improving skills for their ministry. These include literacy classes, Pioneer Service School, Bible School for Single Brothers and Gilead School. Some of these programs are by invitation only. Holden observed: "Despite the fact that Witnesses claim to reason from the scriptures, their theology is taught in a highly mechanistic fashion, and written publications encourage the members to learn almost by rote."

Sex reassignment surgery

Sex reassignment surgery or SRS (also known as gender confirmation surgery, gender reassignment surgery, genital reconstruction surgery, sex realignment surgery, or, colloquially, a sex change) is the surgical procedure (or procedures) by which a transgender person's physical appearance and function of their existing sexual characteristics are altered to resemble that of their identified gender. It is part of a treatment for gender dysphoria in transgender people. Related genital surgeries may also be performed on intersex people, often in infancy. A 2013 statement by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture condemns the nonconsensual use of normalization surgery on intersex people. Another term for SRS includes sex reconstruction surgery, and more clinical terms, such as feminizing genitoplasty or penectomy, orchiectomy, and vaginoplasty, are used medically for trans women, with masculinizing genitoplasty, metoidioplasty or phalloplasty often similarly used for trans men. People who pursue sex reassignment surgery are usually referred to as transsexual; "trans"—across, through, change; "sexual"—pertaining to the sexual characteristics (not sexual actions) of a person. More recently, people pursuing SRS may identify as transgender as well as transsexual. While individuals who have undergone and completed SRS are sometimes referred to as transsexed individuals, the term transsexed is not to be confused with the term transsexual, which may also refer to individuals who have not undergone SRS, yet whose anatomical sex may not match their psychological sense of personal gender identity. Scope and procedures: The best known of these surgeries are those that reshape the genitals, which are also known as genital reassignment surgery or genital reconstruction surgery (GRS)- or bottom surgery (the latter is named in contrast to top surgery, which is surgery to the breasts; bottom surgery does not refer to surgery on the buttocks in this context). However, the meaning of "sex reassignment surgery" has been clarified by the medical subspecialty organization, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), to include any of a larger number of surgical procedures performed as part of a medical treatment for "gender dysphoria" or "transsexualism". According to WPATH, medically necessary sex reassignment surgeries include "complete hysterectomy, bilateral mastectomy, chest reconstruction or augmentation ... including breast prostheses if necessary, genital reconstruction (by various techniques which must be appropriate to each patient ...)... and certain facial plastic reconstruction." In addition, other non-surgical procedures are also considered medically necessary treatments by WPATH, including facial electrolysis. A growing number of public and commercial health insurance plans in the United States now contain defined benefits covering sex reassignment-related procedures, usually including genital reconstruction surgery (MTF and FTM), chest reconstruction (FTM), breast augmentation (MTF), and hysterectomy (FTM). In June 2008, the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates stated that the denial to patients with gender dysphoria or otherwise covered benefits represents discrimination, and that the AMA supports "public and private health insurance coverage for treatment for gender dysphoria as recommended by the patient's physician." Other organizations have issued similar statements, including WPATH, the American Psychological Association, and the National Association of Social Workers. Differences between trans women and trans men SRS: The array of medically necessary surgeries differs between trans women (male to female) and trans men (female to male). For trans women, genital reconstruction usually involves the surgical construction of a vagina, by means of penile inversion or the Sigmoid Colon Neo Vagina technique or more recently non-penile inversion techniques that provide greater resemblance to the genitals of genetic women, whereas in the case of trans men, genital reconstruction may involve construction of a penis through either phalloplasty or metoidioplasty. In both cases, for trans women and trans men, genital surgery may also involve other medically necessary ancillary procedures, such as orchiectomy, penectomy, mastectomy or vaginectomy. As underscored by WPATH, a medically assisted transition from one sex to another may entail any of a variety of non-genital surgical procedures, any of which are considered "sex reassignment surgery" when performed as part of treatment for transsexualism. For trans men, these may include mastectomy (removal of the breasts) and chest reconstruction (the shaping of a male-contoured chest), or hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of ovaries and Fallopian tubes). For some trans women, facial feminization surgery, hair implants and breast augmentation are also aesthetic components of their surgical treatment. Medical considerations: People with HIV or hepatitis C may have difficulty finding a surgeon able to perform successful surgery. Many surgeons operate in small private clinics that cannot treat potential complications in these populations. Some surgeons charge higher fees for HIV and hepatitis C-positive patients; other medical professionals assert that it is unethical to deny surgical or hormonal treatments to transsexuals solely on the basis of their HIV or hepatitis status. Other health conditions such as diabetes, abnormal blood clotting, and obesity do not usually present a problem to experienced surgeons. The conditions do increase the anesthetic risk and the rate of post-operative complications. Surgeons may require overweight patients to reduce their weight before surgery, any patients to refrain from hormone replacement before surgery and smoking patients to refrain from smoking before and after surgery. Surgeons commonly stipulate the latter regardless of the type of operation. Potential future advances: Medical advances may eventually make childbearing possible by using a donor uterus long enough to carry a child to term as anti-rejection drugs do not seem to affect the fetus. The DNA in a donated ovum can be removed and replaced with the DNA of the receiver. Further in the future, stem cell biotechnology may also make this possible, with no need for anti-rejection drugs. Standards of care: Sex reassignment surgery can be difficult to obtain, due to a combination of financial barriers and lack of providers. An increasing number of surgeons are now training to perform such surgeries. In many regions, an individual's pursuit of SRS is often governed, or at least guided, by documents called Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People (SOC). The most widespread SOC in this field is published and frequently revised by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH, formerly the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association or HBIGDA). Many jurisdictions and medical boards in the United States and other countries recognize the WPATH Standards of Care for the treatment of transsexualism. For many individuals, these may require a minimum duration of psychological evaluation and living as a member of the target gender full-time, sometimes called the real life experience (RLE) (sometimes mistakenly referred to as the real life test (RLT)) before genital reconstruction or other sex reassignment surgeries are permitted. Standards of Care usually give certain very specific "minimum" requirements as guidelines for progressing with treatment for transsexualism, including accessing cross-gender hormone replacement or many surgical interventions. For this and many other reasons, both the WPATH-SOC and other SOCs are highly controversial and often maligned documents among transgender patients seeking surgery. Alternative local standards of care exist, such as in the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy. Much of the criticism surrounding the WPATH/HBIGDA-SOC applies to these as well, and some of these SOCs (mostly European SOC) are actually based on much older versions of the WPATH-SOC. Other SOCs are entirely independent of the WPATH. The criteria of many of those SOCs are stricter than the latest revision of the WPATH-SOC. Many qualified surgeons in North America and many in Europe adhere almost unswervingly to the WPATH-SOC or other SOCs. However, in the United States many experienced surgeons are able to apply the WPATH SOC in ways which respond to an individual's medical circumstances, as is consistent with the SOC. Most surgeons require two letters of recommendation for sex reassignment surgery. At least one of these letters must be from a mental health professional experienced in diagnosing gender identity disorder, who has known the patient for over a year. Letters must state that sex reassignment surgery is the correct course of treatment for the patient. Many medical professionals and numerous professional associations have stated that surgical interventions should not be required in order for transsexual individuals to change sex designation on identity documents. However, depending on the legal requirements of many jurisdictions, transsexual and transgender people are often unable to change the listing of their sex in public records unless they can furnish a physician's letter attesting that sex reassignment surgery has been performed, in other instances legal gender change is prohibited even after genital or other surgery or treatment without recourse, while in other cases, such statutes may specify that genital surgery has been completed. Quality of life and physical health: Patients of sex reassignment surgery may experience changes in their physical health and quality of life, the side effects of sex steroid treatment. Hence, transsexual people should be well informed of these risks before choosing to undergo SRS. Several studies tried to measure the quality of life and self-perceive physical health using different scales. Overall, transsexual people have rated their self-perceived quality of life as ‘normal’ or ‘quite good’, however, their overall score was still lower than the control group. Another study showed a similar level of quality of life in transsexual individuals and the control group. Nonetheless, a study with long-term data suggested that albeit quality of life of patients 15 years after sex reassignment surgery is similar to controls, their scores in the domains of physical and personal limitations were significantly lower. On the other hand, a research has found that quality of life of transsexual patients could be enhanced by other variables. For instance, trans men obtained a higher self-perceived health score than women because they had a higher level of testosterone than them. Trans women who had undergone face feminization surgery have reported higher satisfaction in different aspects of their quality of life, including their general physical health. Looking specifically at transsexual’s genital sensitivities, trans men and trans women are capable of maintaining their genital sensitivities after SRS. However, these are counted upon the procedures and surgical tricks which are used to preserve the sensitivity. Considering the importance of genital sensitivity in helping transsexual individuals to avoid unnecessary harm or injuries to the genitals, allowing trans men to obtain an erection and perform the insertion of the erect penile prosthesis after phalloplasty, the ability for transsexual to experience erogenous and tactile sensitivity in their reconstructed genitals is one of the essential objectives surgeons want to achieve in SRS Moreover, studies have also found that the critical procedure for genital sensitivity maintenance and achieving orgasms after phalloplasty is to preserve both the clitoris hood and the clitoris underneath the reconstructed phallus. Erogenous Sensitivity is measured by the capabilities to reach orgasms in genital sexual activities, like masturbation and intercourse. Many studies reviewed that both trans men and trans women have reported an increase of orgasms in both sexual activities, implying the possibilities to maintain or even enhance genital sensitivity after SRS. Psychological and social consequences: After sex reassignment surgery, transsexuals (people who underwent cross-sex hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery) tend to be less gender dysphoric. They also normally function well both socially and psychologically. Anxiety, depression and hostility levels were lower after sex reassignment surgery. They also tend to score well for self-perceived mental health, which is independent from sexual satisfaction. Many studies have been carried out to investigate satisfaction levels of patients after sex reassignment surgery. In these studies, most of the patients have reported being very happy with the results and very few of the patients have expressed regret for undergoing sex reassignment surgery. Although studies have suggested that the positive consequences of sex reassignment surgery outweigh the negative consequences, It has been suggested that most studies investigating the outcomes of sex reassignment surgery are flawed as they have only included a small percentage of sex reassignment surgery patients in their studies. These methodological limitations such as lack of double-blind randomised controls, small number of participants due to the rarity of transsexualism, high drop-out rates and low follow-up rates, which would indicate need for continued study. Persistent regret is not unheard of, even after sex reassignment surgery. Regret may be due to unresolved gender dysphoria, or a weak and fluctuating sense of identity, and may even lead to suicide. Despite some studies to have found only few patients who experience sex change regret, other studies have begged to differ. During the process of sex reassignment surgery, transsexuals may become victims of different social obstacles such as discrimination, prejudice and stigmatising behaviours. The rejection faced by transsexuals is much more severe than what is experienced by LGB individuals. The hostile environment may trigger or worsen internalised transphobia, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress. Many patients perceive the outcome of the surgery as not only medically but also psychologically important. Social support can help them to relate to their minority identity, ascertain their trans identity and reduce minority stress. Therefore, it is suggested that psychological support is crucial for patients after sex reassignment surgery, which helps them feel accepted and have confidence in the outcome of the surgery; also, psychological support will become increasingly important for patients with lengthier sex reassignment surgery process. Sexual satisfaction: In general, the majority of the transsexual individuals have reported enjoying better sex lives and improved sexual satisfaction after sex reassignment surgery. The enhancement of sexual satisfaction was positively related to the satisfaction of new primary sex characteristics. Before undergoing SRS, transsexual patients possessed unwanted sex organs which they were eager to remove. Hence, they were frigid and not enthusiastic about engaging in sexual activity. In consequence, transsexuals individuals who have undergone SRS are more satisfied with their bodies and experienced less stress when participating sexual activity. Most of the individuals have reported that they have experienced sexual excitement during sexual activity, including masturbation. The ability to obtain orgasms is positively associated with sexual satisfaction. Frequency and intensity of orgasms are substantially different among transsexual men and transsexual women. Almost all female-to-male individuals have revealed an increase in sexual excitement and are capable of achieving orgasms through sexual activity with a partner or via masturbation, whereas only 85% of the male-to-female individuals are able to achieve orgasms after SRS. A study found that both transmen and transwomen reported that they had experienced transformation in their orgasms sensuality. The female-to-male transgender individuals reported that they had been experiencing intensified and stronger excitements while male-to-female individuals have been encountering longer and more gentle feelings. The rates of masturbation have also changed after sex reassignment surgery for both trans women and trans men. A study reported an overall increase of masturbation frequencies exhibited in most transsexual individuals and 78% of them were able to reach orgasm by masturbation after SRS. A study showed that there were differences in masturbation frequencies between trans men and trans women, in which female-to-male individuals masturbated more often than male to female The possible reasons for the differences in masturbation frequency could be associated with the surge of libido, which was caused by the testosterone therapies, or the withdrawal of gender dysphoria. Concerning transsexuals’ expectations for different aspects of their life, the sexual aspects has the lowest level of satisfaction among all other elements (physical, emotional and social levels). When comparing transsexuals with biological individuals of the same gender, trans women had a similar sexual satisfaction with biological women, but trans men had a lower level of sexual satisfaction with biological men. Moreover, trans men also had a lower sexual satisfaction with their sexual life than trans women. At birth: Infants born with intersex conditions might undergo interventions at or close to birth. This is controversial because of the human rights implications. History: In Berlin in 1931, Dora Richter, became the first known transgender woman to undergo the vaginoplasty surgical approach. This was followed by Lili Elbe in Dresden during 1930–1931. She started with the removal of her original sex organs, the operation supervised by Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld. Lili went on to have four more subsequent operations that included an unsuccessful uterine transplant, the rejection of which resulted in death. An earlier known recipient of this was Magnus Hirschfeld's housekeeper, but their identity is unclear at this time. The Iranian government's response to homosexuality is to endorse, and fully pay for, sex reassignment surgery. The leader of Iran's Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa declaring sex reassignment surgery permissible for "diagnosed transsexuals". Eshaghian's documentary, Be Like Others, chronicles a number of stories of Iranian gay men who feel transitioning is the only way to avoid further persecution, jail, and/or execution. The head of Iran's main transsexual organization, Maryam Khatoon Molkara—who convinced Khomeini to issue the fatwa on transsexuality—confirmed that some people who undergo operations are gay rather than transsexual. Thailand is the country that performs the most sex reassignment surgeries, followed by Iran. India is becoming more efficient to serve the 1 million transgender population through Affordable sex change surgery. On 12 June 2003, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of Van Kück, a German trans woman whose insurance company denied her reimbursement for sex reassignment surgery as well as hormone replacement therapy. The legal arguments related to the Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights as well as the Article 8. This affair is referred to as Van Kück vs Germany. In 2011, Christiane Völling won the first successful case brought by an intersex person against a surgeon for non-consensual surgical intervention described by the International Commission of Jurists as "an example of an individual who was subjected to sex reassignment surgery without full knowledge or consent".

Peoples Temple

The Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ, commonly shortened to Peoples Temple, was a new religious movement founded in 1955 by Jim Jones in Indianapolis, Indiana. Jones used the Peoples Temple to spread a message which combined elements of Christianity with socialist politics, with an emphasis on racial equality. The group moved to California in the 1970s and established several locations throughout the state, including its headquarters in San Francisco. At its peak, the Temple boasted 20,000 members and connections with left-wing political figures. The Peoples Temple is best known for the events of November 18, 1978, in Guyana, when 918 people died in a mass murder/suicide at its remote settlement, informally called "Jonestown", as well as the murders of Congressman Leo Ryan and members of his visiting delegation in nearby Port Kaituma. The mass suicide and killings at Jonestown resulted in the greatest single loss of American civilian life in a deliberate act prior to the events of September 11, 2001. Before California- Indiana formation: Before forming a church, Jim Jones had become enamoured by communism and frustrated by the harassment communists received in the U.S. This, among other things, provided a seminal inspiration for Jones; as he himself described in a biographical recording, I decided, how can I demonstrate my Marxism? The thought was, infiltrate the church. So I consciously made a decision to look into that prospect. Although he feared a backlash for being a communist, Jones was surprised when a Methodist superintendent (whom he had not met through the American Communist Party) helped him into the church, despite his knowledge that Jones was a communist. In 1952, Jones became a student pastor in Sommerset Southside Methodist Church in Indianapolis, but left that church because it barred him from integrating African Americans into his congregation. In 1954, Jones began his own church in a rented space in Indianapolis, at first naming it the Community Unity Church. Jones had previously witnessed a faith healing service at the Seventh Day Baptist Church, and concluded that such healings could attract people, and generate income, helping accomplish his social goals. Jones and Temple members knowingly faked healings because they found that the increased faith generated financial resources to help the poor and finance the church. These "healings" involved chicken livers and other animal tissue, claimed by Jones (and confederate Temple members) to be cancerous tissues removed from the body. In 1956, Jones bought his first church building, in a racially mixed Indianapolis neighborhood. He first named this church "Wings of Deliverance", and later that year renamed it the "Peoples Temple Full Gospel Church", the first time he used the phrase "Peoples Temple." Jones' healings and purported clairvoyant revelations attracted spiritualists. Indianapolis expansion: In order to increase publicity, the Temple organized large religious "conventions" with other Pentecostal pastors, Jones continuing to disguise the fact that he was using religion to further social goals. Those conventions drew as many as 11,000 attendees, as Jones and the other preachers conducted "healings" and impressed attendees by revealing private information—usually numbers, such as addresses, phone numbers, or Social Security numbers, which private detectives could easily discover beforehand. Jones and Temple members also drove through various cities in Indiana and Ohio on recruiting and fund raising efforts. The Temple stressed egalitarian ideals, asking members to attend in casual clothes so poor members would not feel out of place, and providing shelter for the needy. While the Temple had increased its African-American membership from 15% to nearly 50%, in order to attempt further gains the Temple hired African-American preacher Archie Ijames (who had earlier given up organized religion). Pastor Ijames was one of the first to commit to Jones' socialist collective program. In 1959, the church joined the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and was renamed the Peoples Temple Christian Church Full Gospel. This affiliation was a successful attempt to both raise the dwindling membership and restore the reputation of the organization. In February 1960, the Temple opened a soup kitchen for the poor, and expanded their social services to include rent assistance, job placement services, free canned goods, clothing, and coal for winter heating. Jones and his wife helped to increase the Temple's soup kitchen service to an average of about 2,800 meals per month. The Temple's public profile was further elevated when Jones was appointed to the Indianapolis Human Rights Commission. He engaged in public attempts to integrate businesses, and was the subject of much local media coverage. Changes and "religious communalism": Jones had read extensively about Father Divine, the founder of the International Peace Mission movement. Jones and Temple members visited Divine several times, while Jones studied his writings and tape recordings of his sermons. The Temple printed Divine's texts for its members and began to preach that members should abstain from sex and only adopt children. In 1959, in a sermon in his Delaware Street Temple, Jones tested the new fiery rhetorical style that Divine had used. His speech captivated members with lulls and crescendos, as Jones challenged individual members in front of the group. The speech also marked the beginning of the Temple's underlying "us versus them" message. Jones carefully wove in that the Temple's home for senior citizens was established on the basis "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need", quoting Karl Marx's "Critique of the Gotha Program". He did so knowing that his Christian audience would recognize the similarities with text from the Acts of the Apostles (4:34–35) which stated "distribution was made to each as any had need." Jones would repeatedly cite that passage to paint Jesus Christ as a communist, while at the same time attacking much of the text of the Bible. The Temple began tightening its organization, asking more of its members than did other churches. It required that members spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with its Temple "family" rather than with blood relatives, the beginning of a process to wean members from families and redirect their lives toward a total commitment to the Temple's social and political goals. Jones began to offer a deal towards a socialist collective, which he referred to as "religious communalism", in which members would donate their material possessions to the Temple in exchange for the Temple meeting all those members' needs. Pastor Ijames was one of the first to commit. However, the Temple had little luck converting most midwesterners to communist ideals, even when disguised as religion. Admiring Fidel Castro's 1959 overthrow of Batista in Cuba, Jones traveled to Cuba in 1960 to attempt to convert poor Cuban blacks to move to his congregation in Indiana, but the plan failed. The Temple's religious message transitioned during this period, to one treading between atheism and the subtle notion that Jones was a Christ-like figure. While Temple aides complained privately, Jones said that the new message was needed to foster members' dedication to the Temple's larger goals. Jones maintained such implications until the mid-to-late 1970s. In 1961, Jones claimed he had had a vision of Chicago coming under a nuclear attack. He claimed that Indianapolis would also be destroyed, convincing aides that the Temple needed to look for a new location. A 1962 Esquire magazine article listed the nine safest places to be in a nuclear war, with Belo Horizonte, Brazil, topping the list, because of its location and atmospheric conditions. Jones traveled through Brazil from 1962 through early 1963. He requested money from the Temple while in Rio de Janeiro, but the Temple lacked adequate funds for such a request because of shrinking finances in Jones' absence. Jones sent a preacher that had become a follower in Brazil back to Indiana to help stabilize the Temple. In California- Move to California: Jones returned to Indiana in 1963. While Jones had always spoken of the social gospel's virtues, before the late 1960s, Jones did not reveal that his gospel was actually communism. By the late 1960s, Jones began openly revealing in Temple sermons his "apostolic Socialism" concept. The concept often loosely mixed tenets of socialism. During this period, Jones preached to new members that the Holy Spirit was within them, but that Jones' healing power demonstrated that he was a special manifestation of "Christ the Revolution." He also preached that the United States was the Antichrist and capitalism was "the Antichrist system." Jones preached of an imminent nuclear holocaust, and that the surviving elect would then create a new socialist Eden on earth. In 1965, he predicted this would occur on July 15, 1967. Accordingly, Jones preached that the Temple must move to Redwood Valley, California. Jones led approximately 140 members, half of whom were black, to Redwood Valley in July 1965 and officially opened his church in Redwood Valley, California. The addition of deputy district attorney Timothy Stoen greatly increased the Temple's credibility in the area, quickly increasing membership. Jones began deriding traditional Christianity as "fly away religion," and rejected the Bible as being white men's justification to dominate women and enslave people of color. Jones authored a booklet he would distribute in the Temple titled "The Letter Killeth," pointing out what he felt were the contradictions, absurdities, and atrocities in the Bible, but also stating that the Bible contained great truths. Jones preached that the "Divine Principle" equated with "Love," and Love was equated with "Socialism." He stated that the Bible only contained beliefs about a "Sky God" or "Buzzard God," who was no God at all. Urban expansion: Because of limited expansion in the Redwood Valley-Ukiah area, eventually moving the seat of power to an urban area appeared to be a strategic necessity. In 1970, the Temple began holding services in San Francisco and Los Angeles. It established permanent facilities in those cities in 1971 and 1972, respectively. By 1972, the Temple was calling Redwood Valley the "mother church" of a "statewide political movement". From the start, the Los Angeles facility's primary purposes were to recruit members and to serve as a way station for the Temple's weekly bus trips across California. The Temple set up a permanent staff in Los Angeles and arranged bus trips to Los Angeles every other week. The substantial attendance and collections in Los Angeles helped to support the Temple's inflated membership claims. The Los Angeles facility was physically larger than that in San Francisco. Its central location at the corner of Alvarado and Hoover Streets permitted easy geographic access for a large Black membership from Watts and Compton. Recruiting drives in Los Angeles and San Francisco helped to increase membership in the Peoples Temple from a few hundred to nearly 3,000 by the mid-70s. Later, when the Temple's headquarters shifted from Redwood Valley to San Francisco, the Temple convinced many Los Angeles members to move north to its new headquarters. Organizational structure: Although some descriptions of the Peoples Temple emphasize Jones's autocratic control over Temple operation, in reality, the Temple possessed a complex leadership structure with decision-making power unevenly dispersed among its members. However, within that structure, Temple members were subjected unwittingly and gradually to sophisticated mind control and behavior modification techniques borrowed from post-revolutionary China and North Korea. The Temple tightly defined psychological borders over which "enemies", such as "traitors" to the Temple, crossed at their own peril. While the secrecy and caution he demanded in recruiting led to decreased overall membership, they also helped Jones to better foster a hero worship of himself as the "ultimate socialist". In the 1970s, the Temple established a more formal hierarchy for its socialistic model. At the top were the Temple's Staff, a select group of eight to ten unquestionably obedient college-educated women that undertook the most sensitive missions for the Temple. They necessarily acclimated themselves to an "ends justify the means" philosophy. The earliest member was Sandy Bradshaw, a 24-year-old socialist from Syracuse, New York. Others included Carolyn Layton, a 31-year-old Communist since the age of 15 who was the mother of a child with Jones; Sharon Amos, who worked for the social services department; Patty Cartmell, Jones' secretary; and Terry Buford, a Navy brat turned pacifist. The group was often scorned as being elitist within the egalitarian Temple organization and were viewed as Temple secret police. The Temple's Planning Commission was its governing board. Membership quickly ballooned from 50 to over 100. During the week, members convened for meetings in various Redwood Valley locations, sometimes until dawn. The Planning Commission was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Temple, including key decision making, financial and legal planning, and oversight of the organization. The Planning Commission sat over various other committees, such as the Diversions Committee, which carried out tasks such as writing huge numbers of letters to politicians from fictional people mailed from various locations around the U.S., and the Mertles Committee, which undertook activities against defectors Al and Jeannie Mills. A group of rank-and-file members, referred to by outsiders as "the troops", consisted of working-class members that were 70–80% black who set up chairs for meetings, filled offering boxes, and did other tasks. Many of these were attracted by the Temple's quasi-socialist approach both because of the Temple's political education offers and because the Temple's highly passionate congregations still maintained the familiar forms of evangelical prayers and black gospels. Jones also surrounded himself with several dozen mostly white, privileged members in their twenties and thirties who had skills in law, accounting, nursing, teaching, music, and administration. This latter group carried out public relations, financial duties, and more mundane chores while bringing in good salaries from well-paying outside jobs. Recruiting, faith healings, and fund raising: The Temple used ten to fifteen Greyhound-type bus cruisers to transport members up and down California freeways each week for recruitment and fund raising. Jim Jones always rode bus number seven, which contained armed guards and a special section lined with protective metal plates. Jones told members that the Temple would not bother scheduling a trip unless it could net $100,000–$200,000, and the Temple's goal for annual net income from bus trips was $1 million. Beginning in the 1970s, the bus caravan also traveled across the United States quarterly, including to Washington, D.C. In June 1973, Representative George Brown, Jr. entered a lengthy and laudatory description of the Temple into the Congressional Record. The Washington Post ran an August 18, 1973, editorial-page item stating that the 660 Temple visitors were the "hands down winners of anybody's tourists of the year award" after spending an hour cleaning up the Capitol grounds. The Temple distributed pamphlets in cities along the route of these fund raising trips bragging of Jones's prowess at "spiritual healing", while not mentioning the Temple's Marxist goals. Stops included large cities, such as Houston, Detroit, and Cleveland. Temple members pretended to be locals and acted as shills in the various faked healings and "revelations". Local viewers did not realize that they were in the minority in the audience. The weekly take from offerings and healing services was $15,000 to $25,000 in Los Angeles and $8,000 to $12,000 in San Francisco. There were smaller collections from trips around the "mother church" in Redwood Valley. The Temple also set up Truth Enterprises, a direct-mailing branch that sent out 30,000 to 50,000 mailers monthly to people who had attended Temple services or had written to the Temple after listening to Temple radio shows. Donations were mailed in from all over the continental United States, Hawaii, South America, and Europe. In addition to receiving donations, the Temple also sold trinkets, such as pieces of Jones' robes, healing oil, Temple rings, key chains, and lockets. In peak periods, mailer revenue grossed $300 to $400 daily. This figure even surprised Jones. Although Jones had earlier asked Temple members to destroy photos of himself, because he did not want members worshiping him as Catholics "worshiped plaster statues", Jeannie and Al Mills (who would later defect) convinced Jones to sell anointed and blessed photos to help raise money for the Temple. Jones used to fret "they're gonna get me for mail fraud someday." In 1973, the Temple also formed Brotherhood Records, a subsidiary that produced records from the Temple's "large interracial youth choir and orchestra". Size and scope: Despite exaggerated claims by the Temple of 20,000 or more members, one source claims its greatest actual registered membership was around 3,000. However, 5,000 individual membership card photos were located in Temple records after its dissolution. Regardless of its official membership, the Temple also regularly drew 3,000 people to its San Francisco services alone, whether or not they were technically registered members. Of particular interest to politicians was the Temple's ability to produce 2,000 people for work or attendance in San Francisco with only six hours' notice. By the mid-1970s, in addition to its locations in Redwood Valley, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Peoples Temple had also established satellite congregations in almost a dozen other California cities. Jones mentioned locations in San Francisco, Ukiah, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Fresno, and Sacramento. The Temple also maintained a branch, college tuition program, and dormitory at Santa Rosa Junior College. At the same time, Jones and his church earned a reputation for aiding the cities' poorest citizens, especially racial minorities, drug addicts, and the homeless. The Peoples Temple made strong connections to the California state welfare system. During the 1970s, the Peoples Temple owned and ran at least nine residential care homes for the elderly, six homes for foster children, and a state-licensed 40-acre (160,000 m2) ranch for developmentally disabled persons. The Temple elite handled members' insurance claims and legal problems, effectively acting as a client-advocacy group. For these reasons, sociologist John Hall described Peoples Temple as a "charismatic bureaucracy", oriented toward Jones as a charismatic leader, but functioning as a bureaucratic social service organization. Kinsolving series: In 1972, the San Francisco Examiner and Indianapolis Star ran the first four parts of a seven-part story on the Temple by Lester Kinsolving, its first public exposé. Kinsolving reported on several aspects of church dealings, its claims of healings, and Jones' ritual of throwing Bibles down in church, yelling, "This black book has held down you people for 2,000 years. It has no power." The Temple picketed the Examiner, yelled at the Examiner's editor in a car (seated between burly Temple "Red Brigade" security guards), and threatened both papers with libel suits. Both papers cancelled the series after the fourth of the seven installments. Shortly thereafter, Jones made grants to newspapers in California with the stated goal of supporting the First Amendment. Defections: Some defections occurred, most notably in 1973, when eight mostly young members, commonly referred to as the "Gang of Eight", defected together. Because members of the Gang of Eight were aware of sinister threats to potentially defecting members, they suspected that Jones would send a search party to look for them. Their fears proved to be correct when Jones employed multiple search parties, including one scanning highways from a rented airplane. The Gang of Eight drove three trucks loaded with firearms toward Canada, avoiding watched U.S. Highway 101. Because they feared bringing firearms over the Canada–US border, the Gang of Eight traveled instead to the hills of Montana, where they wrote a long letter documenting their complaints. Former Temple member Jeannie Mills later wrote that Jones called thirty members to his home and forebodingly declared that, in light of the Gang of Eight defection, "in order to keep our apostolic socialism, we should all kill ourselves and leave a note saying that because of harassment, a socialist group cannot exist at this time." Jones became furious, waving a pistol in his Planning Commission meeting while threatening potential defectors and referring to the Gang of Eight as "Trotskyite defectors" and "Coca-Cola revolutionaries". While the Temple did not execute the suicide plan to which Jones referred, it did conduct fake suicide rituals in the years that followed. San Francisco Temple: The move to San Francisco permitted Jones to return to urban recruitment and made better political sense because it permitted the Temple to show its true political stripes. By spring 1976, Jones openly admitted even to outsiders that he was an atheist. Despite the Temple's fear that the IRS was investigating its religious tax exemption, by 1977, Jones' wife, Marcy, openly admitted to the New York Times that Jones had not been lured to religion because of faith, but because it served his goal of social change through Marxism. She stated that, as early as age 18 when he watched his idol Mao Zedong defeat the Nationalists in the Chinese Civil War, Jones realized that the way to achieve social change in the United States was to mobilize people through religion. She admitted that "Jim used religion to try to get some people out of the opiate of religion" and had slammed the Bible on the table yelling, "I've got to destroy this paper idol!" With the move into San Francisco, the Temple more strenuously emphasized that its members live communally. It stressed physical discipline of children first, and then adults. The San Francisco Temple also carefully vetted newcomers through an extensive observation process. The Temple distinguished itself from most new religious movements with its overtly political message. It combined those genuine political sympathies with the perception that it could help turn out large numbers of votes to gain the support of a number of prominent politicians. Jones made it known after he moved to San Francisco that he was interested in politics, and legal changes strengthened political groups like the Temple. After the Temple mobilized volunteers and voters instrumental in George Moscone's narrow election victory in 1975, Moscone appointed Jones as Chairman of the San Francisco Housing Authority Commission. Jones and the Temple received the support of, among others, Governor Jerry Brown, Lieutenant Governor Mervyn Dymally, Assemblyman Willie Brown, San Francisco mayor George Moscone, Art Agnos, and Harvey Milk. Willie Brown visited the Temple many times and spoke publicly in support of Jones, even after investigations and suspicions of cult activity. After his rise in San Francisco political circles, Jones and Moscone met privately with Vice Presidential Candidate Walter Mondale in San Francisco days before the 1976 Presidential election. Jones also met First Lady Rosalynn Carter on multiple occasions, including a private dinner, and corresponded with Mrs. Carter. Jones used his position at the Housing Authority to lead the fight for a period against the eviction of tenants from San Francisco's I-Hotel. The Temple further forged an alliance with San Francisco Sun Reporter publisher Carlton Goodlett and received frequent favorable mentions in that paper. It also received frequent favorable mentions from San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen and other local newspaper and television reporters. The Temple aroused police suspicion after Jones praised the radical Bay Area group the Symbionese Liberation Army and its leaders attended San Francisco Temple meetings. Further suspicions were raised after the defection of Joyce Shaw and the death soon after of her husband, Bob Houston. After tension rose between the Temple and the Nation of Islam in San Francisco, the group held a large "spiritual" jubilee in the Los Angeles convention center attended by thousands, including prominent political figures, to heal the rift. While the Temple forged media alliances, the move to San Francisco also opened the group to San Francisco media scrutiny. After Jones and hundreds of Temple members fled to Guyana following media investigations, Mayor Moscone issued a press release stating the Mayor's office would not investigate the Temple. During this time, Harvey Milk spoke at Peoples Temple political rallies and wrote a letter to President Jimmy Carter after the investigations began, praising Jones and stating that the leader of those attempting to extricate relatives from Jonestown was telling "bold-faced lies". Mass murder/suicide at Jonestown agricultural commune: In 1974, the Peoples Temple signed a lease to rent land in Guyana. The community created on this property was called the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, or informally, "Jonestown". It had as few as 50 residents in early 1977. Jones saw Jonestown as both a "socialist paradise" and a "sanctuary" from media scrutiny that had started with the Kinsolving articles. Former Temple member Tim Carter describes the reason for the move to Jonestown as "in seventy four (1974), what we saw in the United States was creeping fascism." Carter explained, "It was apparent that corporations, or the multinationals, were getting much larger, their influence was growing within the government, and the United States is a racist place." Carter said the Temple concluded that Guyana was "a place in a black country where our black members could live in peace", "it was a socialist government" and it was "the only English speaking country in South America." Increasing media scrutiny based upon allegations by former members placed further pressure on Jones in 1977, in particular, an article by Marshall Kilduff in New West Magazine. Just before publication of the New West piece, editor Rosalie Wright telephoned Jones to read him the article. Wright explained that she was only doing so before publication because of "all the support letters we received on your behalf, from the Governor of California (Jerry Brown)" and others. While still on the phone listening to the allegations contained in the article, Jones wrote a note to Temple members in the room with him that said, "We leave tonight. Notify Georgetown (Guyana)." After Jim Jones left for Guyana, he encouraged Temple members to follow him there. The population grew to over 900 people by late 1978. Those who moved there were promised a tropical paradise, free from the supposed wickedness of the outside world. On November 17, 1978, Leo Ryan, a Congressman from the San Francisco area investigating claims of abuse within the Peoples Temple, visited Jonestown. During this visit, a number of Temple members expressed a desire to leave with the Congressman, and, on the afternoon of November 18, these members accompanied Ryan to the local airstrip at Port Kaituma. There, they were intercepted by Temple security guards who opened fire on the group, killing Congressman Ryan, three journalists, and one of the Temple defectors. A few seconds of gunfire from the incident were captured on video by Bob Brown, one of the journalists killed in the attack. On the evening of November 18, in Jonestown, Jones ordered his congregation to drink a concoction of cyanide-laced, grape-flavored Flavor Aid. Aftermath: In all, 918 people died, including 276 children. It was the greatest single loss of American civilian life in a deliberate act until the events of September 11, 2001. This includes four that died at the Temple headquarters in Georgetown that night. The Temple's San Francisco headquarters came under siege by national media and relatives of Jonestown victims. The event became one of the most known events in U.S. history as measured by the Gallup poll and appeared on the cover of several magazines, including Time magazine, and newspapers for months. In addition, according to various press reports, after the Jonestown suicides, surviving Temple members in the U.S. announced their fears of being targeted by a "hit squad" of Jonestown survivors. Similarly, in 1979, the Associated Press reported the claim of a U.S. Congressional aide that there were "120 white, brainwashed assassins out from Jonestown awaiting the trigger word to pick up their hit." Temple insider Michael Prokes, who had been ordered to deliver a suitcase containing Temple funds to be transferred to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, committed suicide in March 1979, four months after the Jonestown incident. In the days leading up to his death, Prokes sent notes to several people, together with a thirty-page statement he had written about Peoples Temple. Columnist Herb Caen reprinted one copy in his San Francisco Chronicle column. Prokes then arranged for a press conference in a Modesto, California, motel room, during which he read a statement to the eight reporters who attended. He then excused himself, entered a restroom, and fatally shot himself in the head. Prior to the tragedy, Temple member Paula Adams had engaged in a romantic relationship with Guyana's Ambassador to the United States, Laurence "Bonny" Mann. Adams later married Mann. On October 24, 1983, Mann fatally shot both Adams and the couple's child, and then fatally shot himself. Defecting member Harold Cordell lost 20 family members that evening during the poisonings. The Bogues family, which had also defected, lost their daughter Marilee (age 18), while defector Vernon Gosney lost his son Mark (age 5). Bankruptcy and dissolution: At the end of 1978, the Temple declared bankruptcy, and its assets went into receivership. In light of lawsuits, on December 4, 1978, Charles Garry, the corporation's attorney, petitioned to dissolve Peoples Temple. The petition was granted in San Francisco Superior Court in January 1979. A few Temple members remained in Guyana through May 1979 to wrap up the movement's affairs, then returned to the U.S. The Temple's buildings in Los Angeles, Indianapolis, and Redwood Valley are intact, and some are used by church congregations. The Central Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church is currently located at the Temple's former Los Angeles building at 1366 South Alvarado St. The Temple's former San Francisco headquarters (1839 Geary Blvd.) was destroyed in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake; the site is now occupied by a Post Office branch. The House Foreign Affairs Committee kept 5,000 pages of material related to the Temple classified. Freedom of Information requests from multiple persons over the past three decades aimed at the release of this information have been unsuccessful.