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Sunday, May 07, 2006


Peter R. Ramsaroop, MBA

Over the past five years, we have seen a significant shift in the way the Jagdeo administration conducts business. These alterations are evident in every level of the way the ruling government operates, including the areas of public relations, legislation and even its approach to education.

The Jagdeo administration has taken huge strides away from the policies of Dr. Cheddi Jagan and the PPP party today does not look at all like the party Dr. Jagan built. Many PPP supporters are disappointed at the party and its policies.

In fact, I had one PPP supporter, a very poor person, crying because her house lot was taken away by the Housing Minister because she could not come up with the $58,000 payment needed to build a house within the allotted time period.

Many PPP supporters live in poverty and have no electricity. Many still cook on a fireside and do not even have running water. These PPP loyalists are often destined to cut sugar cane for the rest of their lives while they continue to live on promises.

As such, logical reasoning would surmise that the PPP is more of a cult than a political party. Its members unite together on the rancid doctrine of racism preached to them on a daily basis. However, apart from this treacherous solitary factor, they have very little else in common with the agenda of today's PPP.

After listening to recent pronouncements by the President, the cabinet secretary and top advisors, one cannot help but recall the last major cult in Guyana that was led by self-appointed saviour, Jim Jones.

Jones' trusting supporters allowed him to twist their reasoning and common sense to the point that they willingly drank poisoned kool-aid. They ignored any warning signs of imbalance or impropriety to be a part of a group that claimed to be ordained of God and to have the keys to an eternal paradise. They allowed themselves to be brainwashed with destructive ideologies.

It is easy to stand on the outside of that cultish environment and pronounce judgement on those naïve followers because we were not foolish enough to fall prey to the smooth words of a twisted, charismatic leader.

However, twisted leaders are not exclusive to religious groups alone. They can be found in every segment of society, including the political realm.

In Guyana today, we find a different, yet just as dangerous, type of cultish environment. PPP supporters have been programmed through constant propaganda and empty promises from trusted leaders to believe they will one day soon have the promised electricity, running water and a Berbice Bridge .

It would seem that stark logic and good reason would prove these promises to be nothing more than a manipulative ploy to maintain the loyalty of the party faithful. But cultic behaviour defies all logic and will often defend the constant failures and misdeed of its leaders – even to death if necessary.

It is indeed a precarious situation when a democratic nation finds a majority of its citizens to be the pawns of a manipulative political party since these are the same individuals who decide who will lead the country. Blind allegiance to any leader will eventually lead to a tragic outcome.

We are called upon to use our reason and good sense when choosing leaders. If a leader cannot be trusted, then good sense demands the expulsion of such a leader. Yet in Guyana , we pledge our loyalty to unscrupulous leaders merely because they are a certain race – as if race has anything whatsoever to do with integrity or trustworthiness.

Followers of the PPP cult will dogmatically assert that their party is bringing progress and economic reform to the country in the face of very little national development and abject poverty. They defend the inappropriate actions of their leaders and regurgitate the propaganda fed to them even though in their hearts they know none of it is true.

In the quest to be part of an elite group, even if the group is wrong, followers of a cult would rather die in their error than admit their group is a failure. Such is the state of Guyana today. As crime overtakes our streets and our educational system falls into a state of utter disrepair, the Jagdeo administration continues to proclaim that we live in a paradise.

The empty promises of today's PPP will not provide jobs for their supporters or make them prosperous; yet still the followers are happy to settle for a fake paradise rather than shake the cult that has indoctrinated them and never delivered.

Freddie Kissoon, the renowned professor and columnist, made a profound discovery when he showed that none of the leaders practice what they preach. He cited the example of Dr. Luncheon's recent illness when he went to the great United States instead of Cuba where he sends his supporters for, as the President describes, the best medical care.

When Dr. Jagan was ill, the US Air Force sent a plane to pick him up and took him to Walter Reed Military hospital. I helped with that mission. It was well known that the same man had no love for the US . In fact, he and his wife spent decades demonising America and its social policies, yet on his dying bed he realised that this is where the best medical care was, not communist Soviet Union at the time.

The Passport Office is filled everyday with Guyanese who are primarily PPP supporters. So it is obvious that although they verbally remain loyal to their cultish party, they still know the party has failed them. While they do not have the strength to leave the party on Guyana 's shores because of a fear of their family and friends, they flee to other countries in search of prosperity.

The PPP leaders demonstrated their dictatorial methods, a component of this cult, once again this week when they rushed through an amendment on the election process. This is especially callous considering the fact that the elections are about all the political parties and all the people – not just the PPP. They have once again totally disregarded others' views and proven what the next five years will look like if we allow this cult to get stronger. Even a so-called ex-PPP executive seemed still tied to the party by supporting his beloved cult by his recent vote on the amendment.

If Guyana does not wake up to the reality of this cultic political situation, we are likely to die a slow death just like the followers of Jim Jones. Reason and logic should take precedence over any allegiance to leaders who promise the world, but deliver fear and poverty.


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