Saturday, September 22, 2007

New Updated Index and Home Page

Welcome to Barstow Politics

Created by

Larry D. Halstead

Political Scientist, Community Activist,
Public Speaker, Writer

All post are archived chronologically in a column on the right. For Your Easy Reference and Access to Current Significant Post they are Indexed Here Below:

Background and Purpose of the Barstow Politics Blog
This blog was started in late 2006 as a communication tool for issues facing the Barstow community. Now that Indian gaming has come to control and dominate the local political agenda, this blog will reflect that obsession and follow the corruption and cronyism involved.

In The News
(Commentary and Links to Relevant Stories)

Desert Dispatch on Council's Current Brown Act Violations
Council accused of violating Brown Act over casino meeting Citizen files legal complaint; council reveals details of gathering - By Jason Smith
September 18, 2007

Shackford Apologizes for NOT recognizing Brown Act Violations
The Editor of the Desert Dispatch was dismissive when the violation was first brought to his attention, after some consideration he realized that the law was violated and that there are even more serious ramifications of the Council’s Transgressions.

The Latest in this Effort

My Passion for Ancestral Rights and Indian Sovereignty
This is my post explaining why I care about Ancestral Rights and how I see it being consistent with every fight for social justice that I have ever been involved with throughout my life. It includes my three minute statement read under the "Casino Update" portion of the Sept 17 City Council Agenda.

Who I Speak For and Who I Represent
In an effort to discredit me, Tom Shields and the Barwest Kool-aid Club have been accusing me of working for the "other side". Others think I should "tone it down" since I am the President of the local Democratic Club. This is my statement about who I represent when I speak out at Council Meetings and other public events.

September 17 Council Meeting Showdown and viewing schedule
For a over a month, the September 17 City Council Meeting has been shaping up to be a real show down and expose on local conflict of interest, influence peddling and the predicted death of the Barwest Compacts. This post outlines those reasons and has the schedule for viewing key sections on the internet.

Breaking News: BarWest Compacts are Dead
A full ten days before these Reservation Shopping, Ancestral Rights violating compacts were scheduled to expire, Senator Wiggins, the co-author of the bill kills it on her own as she is investigated for her own illegal contributions from Barwest.

The Fight for Ancestral Rights

The BarWest Scam in Barstow
This is a comprehensive work on how Barwest bought influence and stole democracy in Barstow. This post will be updated as the story of corruption, reservation shopping, Ancestral Rights violations continue to plague the city of Barstow.

It’s About Ancestral Rights STUPID!
The myriad of issues involved in Indian gaming have their roots in the fundamental concepts of Ancestral Right and Indian Sovereignty. They are sacred rights to Native Americans and are equivalent of civil rights, human rights, and the Bill of Rights.

Mayor Dale and Tom Shields
(still NOT) the Final Authority on Ancestral Rights
The Ancestral Rights of Native Americans has been worked out over the past 250 years by the federal government, state government, and the tribes involved. But that hasn’t stopped Mayor Dale and Barwest spin doctor Shields from trying to establish themselves as the final authority.

The True Story of My Involvement in Indian Gaming
As I have become increasingly vocal in my opposition to Barwest and the corrupt Barstow politicians that do their bidding, I have come under attack regarding the nature of my involvement. This post sets the record straight once and for all.

Barwest Spin, Lies, Deception, and Influence Peddling

Who is Really Buying Influence in Barstow?
The Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Verifiable Truth on who is buying influence in Barstow! Tom Shields and the Barwest Kool-aid Club has been trying to paint me as a paid hack for "the other side" but the truth is out as to who has really been buying influence in Barstow and who has sold out.

My Commentary on the BarWest Media
Blitzkrieg and all out Lobbying Effort
In all out effort of lobbying and a media blitz, Barwest tries to salvage their failed compacts that were doomed when the Governor reluctantly signed them against his better judgment.

Please DO Contact Our Leaders in Sacramento
As part of the 11th hour effort to salvage their failed compacts, Barwest urged its supporters to contact leaders in Sacramento. I am also urging concerned citizens to do so but for the opposite goal of exposing the fraud and ending the Barwest corruption in Barstow

Desperate Barwest Launches Media Blitz
Complete Media Coverage in one spot
This is a collection of repost of articles of media coverage about the desperate BarWest media blitz and all out lobbying effort to salvage their doomed compacts.

Red Faced Mayor Exposed as Pawn of Barwest
At a Special Meeting of the Barstow City Council on August 28, 07, during the Council Reports’ Mayor Dale was confronted and chastised by Councilman Gomez about his unauthorized letter to the Department of the Interior which is a vicious attack on the Chemehuevi Tribe and their legitimate Ancestral Rights.

The Index of Smoking Gun Letters
This is the collection of the letters that were distributed by Councilman Gomez at the 8.28.07 Special Meeting. Besides the unauthorized letter from Mayor Dale, the other letter document the legitimate Ancestral Rights of local tribes.

The BarWest Kool-aid Club Defined
I often use this term in describing Barstow’s sell-out politicians, other leaders in the community, and those citizens who practice blind devotion in a cult like manner toward Barwest and who are complicit in the violation of Ancestral Rights.

Citizen Oversight and Public Participation

Citizen Oversight and Public Participation
In light of the efforts by the Kool-aid club to stifle my 1st Amendment Rights, I wrote this ‘letter to the editor’ in defense of Cur constitutional rights and the responsibility of citizens to speak out.

Everything You Need to Know about How-TO do
Barstow Citizen Oversight on the Internet
Starting on October 16, 2007, the Barstow City Council Meetings are available to watch live on the internet and are also archived on the City of Barstow’s Website along with the Agenda. This post shows you how to access the portion of the Meetings that are relevant to you and to other post referenced here.

Go direct to the City’s Website - Click Here

Please DO Contact Our Leaders in Sacramento
This post contains pics, phone numbers, and emails for our CA State leaders for your easy, convenient reference all in one location.

For Further Info - Other Relevant Sites

Barstow Indian Gaming -
This is my blog dedicated to only Barstow Indian Gaming. It has none of the other issues in Barstow unrelated to Indian gaming and it has additional related stories that I didn’t write for those only focused on Indian Gaming

Real World Politics -

Politics in Barstow are warped by issues that are often unrelated to the reality of the real world. For this reason, I have recently created this new blog as an outlet for expressing my view on any issue NOT relating to Barstow. It is still under construction but you may want to check out my post on Cesar Chavez there.

The Verifiable Truth (TVT)-

The complete one stop spot for everything about Barwest and their schemes involving Reservation Shopping and other scandals across the nation. To narrow your search to Barstow related stories on TVT, the following hyperlink will allow you to review posts at TVT that are related only to BARSTOW:
Click Here to search TVT for Barstow related stories

Capitol Notes - The Official Blog for KQED’s John Myers

John Myers is Sacramento Bureau Chief for KQED's "The California Report," heard weekdays and weekends on 24 public radio stations, including 88.5 FM in San Francisco and 89.3 FM in Sacramento.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Shackford Apologies for not Recognizing Brown Act Violation

Shackford Apologies
for not Recognizing
Brown Act Violation

The Editor of the Desert Dispatch was dismissive when the violation was first brought to his attention, after some consideration he realized that the law was violated and that there are even more serious ramifications of the Council’s Transgressions.

Apparently former Barstow Mayor and City Councilman Gil Gurule had contacted Shackford to give him a heads up that while the four members of the Council were supposed to be attending the League of CA Cities Conference in Sacramento, they were actually playing hooky and spending their time lobbying on behalf of Barwest.

The fact that all four members of the Council were meeting behind closed doors in the Governor’s office, lobbying, setting policy, and negotiating upon their special interests was something that Shackford wasn’t interested in when Gurule first brought it to his attention. But after the matter exploded into view at the Council meeting on Sept 17, Shackford had an awakening and to his credit was man enough to offer up an apology. Here is what the paper’s editor had to say on his "Editor's Blog" at

Who Watches the Watchdogs?
posted by Scott Shackford

September 18th, 2007 ·

It looks like I owe Manuel “Gil” Gurule an apology.

He called me at the end of last week about the casino happenings (and lack thereof) in Sacramento. His intention was to point out to me that the meetings between the governor’s staff and four City Council members may have been a Brown Act violation. The Brown Act is California’s public meeting law, which is intended to make sure that local governmental meetings and decisions (with some exceptions) happen in a public forum, with the community appropriately notified.

I blame casino outrage fatigue for not listening, though it’s really a lousy excuse. City Council members aren’t supposed to gather in large enough numbers to define a quorum — three or more in this case — without public notification of the meeting. Their meeting in Sacramento is most likely a Brown Act violation, though they amended the situation by reporting out the content of the meeting at the subsequent City Council meeting Monday.

I was dismissive of Mr. Gurule’s call, because I’ve grown tired of folks on both sides finding ways to pick pick pick at their opponents and trying to get the newspaper involved. I’ve also been made increasingly aware by our readership that most folks out there don’t care about the squabbling, just the results.

But while this particular Brown Act violation was fairly mild — they were just there to receive information, it appears, not to plan anything — there are potential serious repercussions when this happens. What other meetings could have taken place in Sacramento without our knowledge? Could there have been strategy sessions to deal with opposition to one project? Could they have discussed dumping the city’s agreement with one tribe or the other? These are all potential discussion subjects that are obligated to happen in public.

So I apologize for letting my frustration with the nature of this debate cloud my perception about what is happening in Sacramento. Gurule was absolutely right to be concerned and I appreciate his call, in retrospect.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Desert Dispatch on Barstow's Brown Act Violations

Desert Dispatch on Barstow's Brown Act Violations

Jason Smith, staff writer for the Desert Dispatch covered the September 17 Regular Meeting of the Barstow City Council Meeting. The night was highly focused on Indian gaming due in part because of the timing on the Barwest Compacts dying their last and final death at midnight that same night.

Item # 31 on the Agenda was a lame attempt by four members of the Council to "cure" and clean up their Brown Act Violation from meeting with Cynthia Bryant, Legislative Analysis Assistant for Governor Schwarzenegger. The Council got in a heated debate before I spoke on the subject.

During my comments I brought up the immense Conflict of Interest that they all have and that combined with the Brown Act Violations caused me to file a Complaint with the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Public Integrity Unit earlier that same day.
At the end of the meeting, Jason was asking me about the complaint and I gave him a copy of the Complaint I had filed. On the next day, Tuesday, Jason wrote the following article which was scheduled to run in Wednesday's paper.

September 18, 2007 - 5:21PM

Council accused of violating Brown Act over casino meeting Citizen files legal complaint; council reveals details of gathering

By JASON SMITH, staff writer BARSTOW — At its Monday meeting, the City Council disclosed that members held a closed-door meeting earlier this month about the Big Lagoon/Los Coyotes casino compacts, leading some to believe that the council violated California’s open meeting law.

While attending the League of California Cities Conference on Sept. 6., four council members met with Cynthia Bryant, the governor’s deputy chief of staff, who handles Indian gaming issues, to discuss the issues holding back the Barstow casino compacts. City Manager Hector Rodriguez and the city’s Economic Development Manager Ron Rector also attended the meeting. No agenda was posted prior to the meeting as is normally done when more than two council members are present.

Barstow resident and frequent critic of the council, Larry Halstead, announced at the Monday’s council meeting that he had filed a complaint with the Public Integrity Unit of the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office. He accused council members of “corruption” and was upset at what he called city lobbying for a private developer.

“We paid you guys to lobby on behalf of your special interests, that’s what this was,” Halstead said.

The Brown Act, the section of state law which governs how government agencies hold public meetings, states that no more than two council members can gather together outside of a scheduled meeting. Three or more council members at the same meeting would constitute a voting majority and is not allowed under the law except when the event is previously placed on a public agenda or under special circumstances.

Council member Joe Gomez, the only member not to attend the conference, said he was disappointed that the council decided to meet as a group.

Gomez said he chose not to attend the conference because he had attended similar events in the past and said he felt the event was “a waste of taxpayer money.” He accused the Mayor Lawrence Dale of leading the council into violating the Brown Act.

“You clearly led this council, which consists of several new members, to violate the Brown act. … You met without posting a meeting. You met behind closed doors and this clearly violates the Brown Act,” he said.

Council member Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre defended the council’s actions saying that the meeting was not pre-planned and was the result of a last-minute scheduling change

“We had 20 minutes to drop everything to see her,” Hackbarth-McIntyre said.

She said that due to the complexity of the issue and differences of opinions among council members, she felt it was important that all members had the same information.

“There was no vote. We just received information. It was very important for all of us to hear what was discussed by Ms. Bryant,” she said.

Hackbarth-McIntyre said that council members were aware they would have to disclose what was discussed.

“We’re here tonight to let everyone else know what was said and done to cure what went on in that meeting,” she said.

City Attorney Yvette Abich said at Monday’s council meeting that the Sacramento meeting should have been handled differently.

“Should an agenda have been posted? Yes. But it wasn’t. But the Brown Act has a mechanism to cure situations like this,” she said.

She pointed out that the Brown Act has a provision that allows for closed door meetings to be disclosed after the fact, “curing” the violation.

Frank Vanella, Deputy District Attorney with the Public Integrity Unit acknowledged that Larry Halstead’s written complaint of the council’s actions had been received and said his office will review the allegations to determine if further investigation is needed.

He said that assuming the violation was not intentional than a warning would be the most likely penalty that council members would receive. He said that though his office did not keep statistics over Brown Act complaints for individual cities, violations were a common occurrence mostly done by officials unfamiliar with the law.

“There’s a history of Brown Act complaints in almost every city and every board,” he said.

My Passion For Ancesrtal Right and Indian Sovereignty

My Passion For
Ancestral Rights
Indian Sovereignty

For all of my life I have found myself on the front lines of standing up for issues of Social Justice. I often say that I inherited the battle for Environmentalism and Freedom of Choice in Alternative Medicine from my father, Bruce W. Halstead, M.D. From that start, I found myself involved with other issues that included: code enforcement, civil rights, human rights, equal rights, children's issues, government corruption, and corporate wrong doing.

While I received my degree in Political Science from UC Davis in 1976, I have spent my professional life in business. When I met my wife Michelle at the end of 1999, she had already adopted three children who started life as the victims of drug abuse. Together we have adopted five more of these children who would otherwise be at risk of growing up in perpetual foster care where they would be statistically inclined to repeat the sins of their biological parents.

In the process of becoming foster parents, I was exposed to the phenomenal crisis that has been created by the miserably failed war on drugs. We are now creating generations of children who are growing up in the system with little hope for the future. It was this reality that has led us to create the Earth Haven Foundation for Kids to address their needs. The goals for this foundation include educating the public about this crisis, providing methodology for handling their needs, and passing legislation that would open up loving adopted homes for these innocent child victims.

It was the search for affordable housing for these children that brought our family to Barstow. Since it is my nature to practice public participation and citizen oversight, it was only natural for me to get involved with local politics. It didn't take long for me to see what was going on here in Barstow and how this town was being run by the same kind of land baron cronies that ruined by home town of Grand Terrace.

With the advent of Indian gaming as the dominant issue of Barstow, it didn't take long for me to investigate the influence of the billionaire Detroit developer which now runs this small town. It also brought forth an interest in the questions relating to Ancestral Rights which I admit to only having a basic concept of prior to my involvement with this issue. But the more I looked into Ancestral Rights, the more that I came to realize how sacred this was to Native Americans and how it was the same as civil rights and human rights.

But standing up for my beliefs has brought me into conflict with the Barwest machine and the object of their smear campaigns to discredit me. I have always been willing to stand up for Native Americans and I would be honored to represent them in any way that would assist in their fight for self determination and Indian Sovereignty.

But since I have yet to be called upon to represent Native Americans, I highly resent the Barwest, Tom Shields ugly lies that I am acting as a paid political hack for "the other side". I can think of nothing that would offend me more than being accused of being another "Tom Shields". I see him as a sleazy, scumbag lier that would stoop to the lowest form of political manipulations for the big bucks that Barwest pays him. This morally bankrupt slime is the best at what he does which is to buy influence, corrupt politicians, and destroy local democracy. The fact that he has some local leaders like Barstow School Board Member Julie Clemmer participating in perpetuating his lies against me is a sad and pathetic statement about their moral character.

For all of these reasons and more, I felt compelled to write the following statement and read it during the "Casino Update" Item of the Agenda for the September 17 Regular Meeting of the Barstow City Council Meeting.

My Three Minute Comments
On Ancestral Rights
During Casino Update
Barstow City Council Meeting
by Larry D. Halstead

"Make no mistake about it! This battle over Indian gaming here in Barstow is all about Ancestral Rights. To those that don’t understand this simple truth, I wonder what part of Ancestral Rights don’t you understand, Ancestral or Rights? It is almost as if you have never even thought about how we went from Native Americans as the ONLY American citizens on the continent, to the ugly history of genocide and forced exile and onto these god-forsaken lands we call “reservations”.

It is like you never even stopped to think about the deplorable conditions imposed on Native Americans on those reservations. Those deplorable conditions have been undeniably turned around by Indian gaming.

Ancestral Rights and Indian Sovereignty is as sacred to Native Americans as civil rights are to non-Indians because it was paid for by their blood. Ancestral rights are not determined by Dale, Rector, or Tom Shields but was determined over a 250 year history of treaties. These days, Ancestral Rights for lands in Barstow are identified by the Native American Heritage Commission and dictated by Senate Bill 18 to be listed on Barstow’s General plan as belonging to the Serrano, Kaaiisu, Fort Mojave, and Chemehuevi Tribes.

This Mayor’s unauthorized letter to the Department of the Interior attacking the Chemehuevi and their Ancestral Rights is ugly, disrespectful, shameful, and illegal. This Council, except for Gomez, has shown a disregard for their blatant conflict of interest. This Mayor can never again expect even the slightest respect from me after his assault on the great nation of the Chemehuevi and his gross disrespect for their elected honorable leader, Chairman Wood.

Barwest politicians obsessive lobbying and acting like the paid pawns and puppets for Barwest that they are, is counter productive to Barstow ever having a casino. It is also a blatant disregard for Ancestral Rights, the Brown Act, and all laws against conflict of interest.

Barwest specializes in Reservation Shopping which is considered by tribes that respect the Ancestral lands of other tribes as an evil threat to Indian Sovereignty. The Barwest strategy for violating these rights in their greedy quest to profit from Indian gaming is to find these fledging tribes and supply them with the lawyers to fight in the courts, the lobbyist to persuade legislators, and the millions of dollars needed to buy influence and politicians like they have done here in Barstow.

Standing up for Ancestral Rights and against government corruption is something that I am proud to do. It is consistent with every battle for social justice that I have ever been involved with and I will continue this battle until justice rolls down upon Barstow like a mighty river freeing this town of the Barwest influence and the corrupt politicians who run this town."

Who I Speak For and Who I Represent

Who I Speak For
Who I Represent

Lately I have been under attack by the Barwest Kool-aid Club who have been using the lies generated by Barwest Liar-in-Chief Tom Shields that I am a paid political hack for "the other side". They have been using this smear campaign to silence me along with putting pressure on me from Dale supporters who think I should not talk about local corruption at the Council Meetings, due to my position as the President of the local Democratic Club.

In the past, they have been successful in silencing some local gadflys through their employment. Since I am self employed as a consultant, it is more difficult for them to use that leverage. So I wanted to set the record straight and do so at the Council Meeting during the Public Comment segment of the Agenda. I prefer to speak from the heart and not off of pre-written statement. However, when you are limited to three minutes and you have lots of stuff to say, I didn't want to leave it to chance. So here is what I wrote and spoke at the September 17 Council Meeting.

Public Comment
Larry D. Halstead

"I want to begin my comments with some much needed clarification as to who I speak for, and who I represent when I speak at this podium. Put simply, I speak only for myself, not the local Democrat Club, or any other person or organizations of any kind. All of my comments are my opinions and mine alone.

From early on, I have made a pattern and practice of speaking out on issues for which I have strong convictions including: the environment, civil rights, human rights, and now Ancestral Rights. In doing so, I have a track record of taking strong views against government corruption, corporate wrong doing, influence peddling, and tyranny at all levels. As such I am a strong supporter of public participation and citizen oversight.

I make these clarifications because in the efforts to silence me those with special interests have attempted to use my positions with civic organizations against me. This tactic will NEVER succeed. For me, speaking out is way more important than any positions I may hold.

To those who are offended by my comments and my accusations of local corruption, I make no apologies and offer only this warning: You are guaranteed to be even more offended by my comments here tonight and from this point forth. To those that would defend local corruption and attack my constitutional rights, I can only say that I have no concern for your opinions or the venom of your letters to the editor. My comments are not meant for your ears and I have no fantasy about winning you over to my point of view.

To those concerned citizens that care about government accountability and local democracy, I have yet another clarification directed to your ears only. You should know the truth of my passion for Ancestral Rights which I will share with you during the casino update.

For now, I want to address the vicious self serving lies about me being generated by Barwest Liar-in-Chief Tom Shields, and perpetuated by school board member Julie Clemmer, along with Los Coyotes representatives Shane Shapparosa and Tina Johnson. None of those lies have any basis in fact whatsoever.

For the record, I do not represent ANY Native American tribes or any gaming interest of any kind, not now, not ever and I have never been paid a single penny to represent them nor have I received any input from them.

To the San Manuel Tribe, I want to publicly apologize that you were dragged into this local battle that you never wanted any part of anyway. You made the one time contribution to my campaign after I solicited your assistance in fighting for Ancestral Rights locally, to offset the hundreds of thousands of dollars Barwest has spent in effecting the outcome of our elections and to control policy here in Barstow.

With these clarification out of the way, it is now time to speak some real truth!"

September 17 Council Meeting Showdown

Barstow City Council Meeting
September 17, 2007
The Showdown Over Indian Gaming

For a month now, the September 17, City Council Meeting has been shaping up to be a real show down for several reasons:

1. The Barwest Compacts were scheduled to die their last and final death on the 17th, the same day of the Council Meeting which was guaranteed to turn out the masses on all sides of the issue.

2. The last meeting of the Council was a Special Meeting on August 28 wherein the Mayor was exposed for his unauthorized letter to the Department of the Interior attacking the Chemehuevi and their Ancestral Rights.

3..Then we learned that Tom Shields had been planning a major Barwest media blitz and lobbying effort in the days leading up to Sept 17, to salvage the Compacts that were killed prematurely by the Co-author of the bill, Senator Pat Wiggins who is now under investigation by the FPPC along with Barwest partner Michael Malik for contributing twice the legal allowable limit to her campaign.

4. And finally, it was discovered that the Council (all but Gomez) had gone to Sacramento, on tax payer’s money, under the guise of attending the League of CA Cities, from Sept 5-7. What they did instead was to spend the time lobbying the legislature on behalf of their special interest Barwest. On the 6th they all met with Governor Schwarzenegger’s Deputy Legislative Analysis, Cynthia Bryant. This was a major violation of the Conflict of Interest since every one of them has financial ties to Barwest. Worse still, all of this constitutes the worst case of violations of the Brown Act.

I will be posting more information and commentary soon but I wanted to get a schedule of Relevant Comments and Agenda Item for easy reference. The entire meeting lasted over three hours and most people have neither the time nor the interest to watch the entire meeting. So I have compiled this catalogue here for your convenience.

For assistance on how to watch the meeting on the internet, see my post entitled:

Everything You Need to Know about How-TO do
Barstow Citizen Oversight on the Internet

City Council Meetings can be viewed on: the City's Website Here

Internet Viewing Schedule of Key Items
September 17 Council Meeting
Relevant Comments and Agenda Items

Note-Times for items on the video are given by how far into the meeting they occur and are listed as (hours) : (minutes) : (seconds) For example 2:43:18 would be two hours, forty-three minutes and eighteen seconds into the meeting.

Public Comment
Start Time -1:11:25

1:15:00 Larry D. Halstead
[This is my statement on who I speak for (myself) and who I represent (nobody) when speaking at the Council podium.]

Casino Report
Start Time 1:29:30 Finish 2:17:37
Recommended Action: Information Item

1:30:00 to 1:31:40 Chairman Wood of the Chemehuevi Tribe
1:31:45 to 1:54:00 Phil Wyman, Chemehuevi Lobbyist, former State Senator and Assemblyman, and lawyer
[This was a brilliant, definitive presentation on the Ancestral Rights of the Chemehuevi and the political status of Barstow Indian gaming in Sacramento]

1:54:45 to 1:58:25 Katherine Siva Saubel, Los Coyotes
1:58:50 to 2:03:08 Nephew of Katherine Soble, Kevin?
2:03:10 to 2:08:00 Tom Shields, Barwest spin doctor
2:08:00 to 2:11:25 Lance Boldrey, Atty for Barwest
2:11:30 to 2:14:36 Pat Aleman, concerned citizen
2:14:40 to 2:17:37 Larry D. Halstead
[This was my 3 minute lecture on how it is all about Ancestral Rights and why I feel so passionate about it]

Business of the Council
Start Time 2:18:30 Finish 2:25:05

2:19:12 to 2:21:23 Councilman Gomez comments about the casino issue

#31 under Business/Action Items Start 2:27:00
City Council Discussion of September 6, 2007 Meeting with Cynthia Bryant, Deputy Chief of Staff and Director For Governor Schwarzenner
Recommended Action: Receive and File

[This was a lame attempt to cure the council’s Brown Act Violations that occurred when four members of the Council met with the Governor’s representative and the conflict of interest involve it was a heated exchange that got into the conflict of interest involved]

2:27:00 to 2:31:35 Mayor Dale
2:31:35 to 2:32:27 City Manager Hector Rodriguez
2:32:30 to 2:41:00 Councilman Gomez with interruptions by Mayor Dale
and Council Member Hackbarth-McIntyre
2:41:05 to 2:44:25 Larry D. Halstead

#14 under Consent Calendar Items Start 3:05:50 Finish 3:10:05
(Pulled from the Consent Calendar by Councilman Gomez)
Recommended Action: Approve Economic Development/RDA Manager’s trip to Sacramento for September 5 through September 7, 2007.

[This item was put on the agenda to pay for Ron Rector to go to Sacramento over the Sept 5-7 to organize the lobbying effort on behalf of Barwest]

3:05:50 to 3:07:30 Council Discussion of the Item
3:07:38 to 3:10:05 Larry D. Halstead

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Big THANK YOU to TVT for the real truth!

Thank You TVT!
From the bottom of my Heart!

The Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Verifiable Truth on who is buying influence in Barstow! TVT breaks with the TRUTH again!

It can be a bit overwhelming being on the front lines in the battle against the Barwest corruption. It is hard to sustain all the assaults by the Liar-in-Chief Tom Shields, Mayor Dale, and the entire BarWest Kool-Aid Club when you know they are vicious lies meant to smear you. I have been damaged and my business has suffered as a result. Their libel and slander has consequences and the damages include some despair over the whole experience. I always believe that the truth will eventually come out and in the meantime, having TVT tell the real truth goes a long way to feeling exonerated. Thank You so much TVT! Maybe now good people will recognize the truth and help us bring and end to the Barwest nightmare.

What they need to know is that they are really hurting the children that we are trying to help and protect. I moved to Barstow for the affordable housing for the children that we have taken on and adopted. There are a total of eight children that my wife and I have taken on that are children that are born into a nine month history of drug abuse. My children are but a sample of a couple million nation wide that the true victims of the failed 'war on drugs'. These children are mostly doomed to be living in perpetual foster care where they are likely to repeat the mistakes of their biological parents. My wife and I are the founders of the Earth Haven Foundations for Kids which is dedicated to finding adopted loving homes and together we are committed to ending this crisis and injustice toward children.

I support myself as a consultant in Economic Development, Project Management, Environmental and Natural Health Product Development, Publishing, and as a writer and a speaker.

These Barwest lies have hurt me financially and put my family and home at risk. But in a way, that is not as bad as the total climate of corruption that has hurt the entire community of Barstow economically and throught the loss of local democracy. Lots of Barstow citizens are barely getting by and desperately need the higher living standards that the hope of responsible, progressive development would bring. I know we can do better. Lots better but only if we take back our city from these corrupt politicians and the plague of the billionaire Detroit developers Barwest.

Having a distinguished 'whistle blowing' website like TVT and to whomever is dedicated enough to help expose the Barwest scandals and schemes, I really appreciate the recognition and the truth. I thank you! My kids thank you too!

Larry D. Halstead

Ps: Please support Ancestral Rights and Indian Sovereignty!

Here is the TVT Post!
Here is the Verifiable Truth!


BarWest’s Buying Political Influence in Barstow,
Make NO Mistake About That

Friday, September 14, 2007

2006 Barstow Political Cash
Detroit-based BarWest - $200,000
San Manuel Indian Tribe - $2,500

In Barstow recently, there has been much ado about a $2,500 contribution from the San Manuel Indian Tribe to Larry Halstead’s city council campaign in 2006.
It’s merely a BarWest/Dale smokescreen to divert attention away from the more than $200,000 spent by BarWest and directed by Mayor Lawrence Dale on Barstow political campaigns in 2006. And that does not include the more than $100,000 in court costs BarWest was ordered to pay when it tried to stop the re-call campaign of Paul Luellig and block voters from voting on the future of casinos in Barstow.

If you want to know why Mayor Lawrence Dale and his allies on the Barstow City Council won’t back any casinos other than those controlled by BarWest, take a look at the following political payments and campaign contributions made by the BarWest controlled political committee Barstow Citizens for Real Economic Development (BCRED). More than 93% of the approximately $200,000 spent by BCRED in 2006 was paid by BarWest principals, agents and their undisclosed partners (Las Vegas). And this doesn’t even include any gifts, business deals or contributions directly to the campaign committees of any of these officials.

Councilman Steve Curran
$3,883.50 efforts to support Curran for Council
$3,883.50 efforts opposing Gurule for Council

Councilman Tim Silva
$2705.97 Printing, Newspaper Ad
Councilwoman Julie-Hackbarth McIntyre
$874.31 Newspaper Ad (total cost of ad $2,622.93)

Former Councilwoman Gloria Darling
$2002.17 Desert Signs

Planning Commissioner Mike Lewis
$1,699.93 Printing Solutions
$794.55 Quigley’s Restaurant

Lint/Krommenhoek Families (Sean Lint, Stacey Krommenhoek, etc.)

Desert Dispatch

BarWest even had to pay the members of the Los Coyotes Indian Tribe to come to Barstow as “volunteers” for their political campaign. And yet, these same individuals criticize Larry Halstead for taking $2,500 from the San Manuel tribe toward his campaign for city council.

Chapparosa Family (Los Coyotes)

Kupsch Family (Los Coyotes)


And all the above represent the “known” payments to these elected officials, individuals and their companies that were required to be disclosed because they were funneled through the political committee BCRED. They don’t have to disclose anything paid to them directly from BarWest or its agents or their friends in Las Vegas who want to control the future of any Barstow casino.

In addition, there have been thousands in luxury jet travel, nights out on the town in Las Vegas, five course meals at the Four Seasons Hotel, tickets to sporting events, and lucrative land sales to family members that aren’t reported in the political campaign disclosures of these Barstow officials.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Hackbarth Family land value dependent on future of Barwest property

Approximately six months before Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre was elected to the Barstow City Council and during the campaign to defeat Measure H, her parents managed to participate in a syndicate that purchased a 2.2 acre parcel on speculation from the estate of Marie DeChellis for $100,000.00. The property is close to the proposed BarWest casino site. Now the future value of the Hackbarth family property is dependent upon what happens to the nearby BarWest property -- Or what a prospective buyer thinks is going to happen to the BarWest property.

Read the whole story here

Curran family land value dependent on future of Barwest property

Just months before Steve Curran was elected to the Barstow City Council and during the campaign to defeat Measure H, his family sold approximately 15 acres of property to BarWest LLC for an undisclosed amount (likely $25,000-$50,000 per acre or more). His family and their partners own another 11.5 acres directly connected to the BarWest controlled property. The future value of their property is directly dependent upon what happens to the adjacent BarWest property -- Or what a prospective buyer thinks is going to happen to the BarWest property.

Read the Whole Story Here

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Welcome To: Barstow Politics

Welcome to Barstow Politics

Created by,

Larry D. Halstead

Political Scientist, Community Activist,
Public Speaker, Writer

Background and Purpose of Barstow Politics

I originally started the blog during my campaign for city council in the November 2006 election for City Council of Barstow. My intention in running was to get a bigger audience for the issues I was already dealing with in Barstow. Therefore I planned to continue the blog as a way to keep on covering the issues I care about and getting my message out.

More and more, the issues of Barstow are being dominated by Indian gaming and the billionaire right-wing Detroit developer Barwest and thier Reservation Shopping, Ancestral Rights violating casino project. Barwest partners Michael Malik and Marrion Illich have holding that include Little Ceasars Pizza, the Detroit Tigers, the Red Wing Hockey Team, Motor City Gaming, and half of down town Detroit. They are deeply involved with disgraced ex-Congressman Richard Pombo who was the primary target of the Jack Abramhoff scandal in Congress.

Through the Barwest political hack, spin doctor and Liar-in-Chief, Tom Shields of and the control they now exert over the Mayor Lawrence Dale, Council Members Julie Hackbarth-Mcintire, and Tim Silva, Economic Development Director Ron Rector, and local leaders such as Barstow Unified School Board Member Julie Clemmer, former Barstow Area Republican Caucus Chair Robert Vassuer, President of the Barwest PAC, Barstow Citizens for Real Economic Development Director Greg Lint, and a host of other local redneck hillbillies that I affectionately refer to collectively as the Barwest Kool-aid Club.

Now that Barwest has a three vote coalition on the Barstow City Council, democracy has taken a vacation and all other matters of corruption, conflict of interest, and bad government policy now have the Barwest factor in common. I will continue to cover other issues as they arise but until we get some investigations, indictments, and recalls, I will focus on the Barwest source of Barstow's crisis over corruption and bad government policy.

For the record, I speak ONLY for myself and not for any other person or organization, PERIOD. Specifically, I have not been paid one penny from any tribe or other gaming interest to represent them in any regard. I have never been asked to say anything or not say anything except from Barwest who has launched a smear campaign against me with false accusations of extortion and that I am a paid hack for San Manual and/or Chemehuevi. While nobody can prove a negative, I will tell you that it would be an honor to assist any tribe in protecting their legitimate Ancestral Rights. If I was retained in any capacity, believe it you would hear it out of my mouth first and with a sense of pride as it would be an honor. I believe that Ancestral Rights are more sacred to Native Americans than Civil Rights and the Bill of Rights are to all Americans.

All of my life I have fought for Social Justice including: Environmental Justice, Freedom of Choice in Alternative/Natural Health, Code Enforcement Justice, Civil Rights, Equal Rights, Human Rights, Anti-War, Equal Access, and against Government Corruption. I don't see a single thing about Ancestral Rights that makes it any less significant or worthy a cause to fight for. In fact if you take the time to study the atrocity of genocide that white folk committed against Native Americans and the despicable history of the Reservation system imposed upon them, how could you not care about Ancestral Rights?

Here is an Index of my various post and a lead in paragraph about each one. There is a link on each one if you want to read the entire post. Many of them are on the long side but at least I have provided as much information as possible for any open minded person to discover the truth for themselves. Feel free to contact me with any information, input of criticisms at

Thanks for dropping by,

Sunday, September 09, 2007


This just in……..


As is often the case, The Verifiable Truth had it first. What, you were thinking you would hear about it first from the Desert Dispatch? Yeah right! Snap out of it.

On Saturday, September 08, TVT reported the news under the heading:
BREAKING NEWS: SB 157 has been gutted indicating the Barwest gaming Compacts for Barstow are DEAD!
"As of September 7, 2007, SB 157 "An act to add Sections 12012.53 and 12012.54 to the Government Code, relating to gaming" has been gutted by its author Senator Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa) and is now "An act to amend Sections 23356.1, 23399.6, and 25503.9 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to alcoholic beverages." [click here for full story]

You didn’t have to be psychic to predict this outcome. The only place that you could find anyone that believed in the ratification of these compacts was in the fantasy land of Barstow, home to the BarWest Kool-aid Club. Only there can you find people that ignore conventional political wisdom and buy into the lying spin being generated by BarWest Liar-in-Chief, Tom Shields.

And I am not sure that even they really believe it but when your under the influence of the greed-tainted Kool-aid, it is too traumatic to recognize reality even when you are being challenged with it from a big mouth like mine. A couple months ago, I challenged the Barstow City Council and the Kool-aid Club to find one single objective person who believed that the compacts stood a snow ball chance in hell of passing.

Watch the video

More recently, even the city’s own lobbyist, Nick Medeiros, was reporting that the compacts would die and was blaming the Governor’s total “lack of enthusiasm” as the principal target for the failure of the compacts. And this despite that the Governor’s signature on the compacts was touted as the number one reason that local redneck hillbillies and sell out politicians were using as their best reason for wanting to violate the Ancestral Rights of legitimate local tribes like the Chemehuevi.

Of course the ONLY real news here is that in an act of euthanasia, one of the two authors of the bill, Senator Wiggins, pulled the plug on the bill a full ten days prior to the compacts natural
death when they were scheduled to expire on September 17.

One can only speculate as to why she held the pillow over this terminal patient and choked the last breath out prematurely. Since we are unlikely to ever get the real story out of Senator Wiggins, and we know we will never get the truth out of the BarWest politicians in Barstow, let us take a moment to speculate shall we?

1. Could it be that the Senator has suddenly come to her senses about her role in the assault on the Ancestral Rights of the legitimate local tribes of Barstow and is now embarrassed that as a Democrat she has abandoned the core Democrat values of standing up for Indian Sovereignty?

2. Could it be that
she could no longer justify her involvement in the BarWest schemes after Big Lagoon Chairman Virgil Moorehead announced a couple of months ago that he was pulling out of the BarWest con game in pursuit of a legitimate casino project in Big Lagoon country?

3. Could it be that
she no longer wants to be associated with sell out politicians like Mayor Dale, Council Member Hackbarth-Silva, and Councilman Silva or sleazy, lying, political hacks like Tom Shields?

4. Or is it possible that
with the on-going investigations into the multiple campaign violations of BarWest partner Michael Malik by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) which could easily implicate her as the top out-of-state donor to Wiggins 2006 campaign just prior to her signing on as one of the two authors of SB 157 the BarWest Compact legislation?

Fresh after paying a $6,500 fine for failing to report a $26,600 contribution to then Congressman Richard Pombo's County GOP Committee, Malik was desperate to find a last minute stooge to author his Reservation Shopping Bill. Now, amongst other issues, the FPPC is also investigating the fact that Malik made two contributions to Sen. Wiggins campaign in the Fall of 2006 which he again failed to report to the FPPC and which exceeded the aggregate amount he could contribute to Wiggins in the last election cycle. Malik was the top out of state donor to Wiggins 2006 campaign.

All of this has left Barstow officials scampering for cover since any comprehensive investigations will inevitably lead to the City of Barstow. And we have already documented inconsistencies, under reporting and other wrong doing in the BarWest meddling in our election process and the death of local democracy.

But by now, nobody expects that we have seen the last of Tom Shields and the BarWest thirst for Reservation Shopping schemes. As the saying goes: “you break it, you own it”. With hundreds of thousands of dollars that BarWest has spent buying politicians and influence in Barstow, we know that the billionaire Detroit developer doesn’t plan on pulling up stakes this soon.

Many of us have been speculating as to what the ‘Plan B’ will be for the local chapter of the BarWest Kool-aid Club that they have in motion, once it was uncovered that Big Lagoon would no longer be part of their schemes. But even before that, we knew that they were leaving the door open for other possibilities. BarWest was never in any hurry to turn the land over to the tribes and the sign announcing the project never bore the names of the two tribes.

"Barwest Gaming" sign in Barstow but no tribe names
Now Big Lagoon is gone and Los Coyotes
don't qaulify for a 'stand-along' project

Now they have an eleventh hour media blitz that they are running in selective districts where key legislators reside.

Watch the Video

However, even as the Barstow politicians were embarrassing themselves and the city by acting like paid lobbyist and pawns in Sacramento, BarWest and Los Coyotes were working on a stand-alone project for the Los Coyotes tribe. This despite the fact that the Governor is tired of this whole albatross that has dragged him through the BarWest Reservation Shopping mud and has already ruled that the Los Coyotes do not qualify for a stand-alone project in Barstow.

On September 5, while Barstow’s sell out politicians were knocking on doors in Sacramento, John Myers of KQED reported on his “Capitol Notes” that the Los Coyotes has reopened negotiations with Governor Schwarzenegger’s office for a stand-alone project. He also reports confirms what we have been saying for awhile now. The Governor was stuck with this albatross insider deal.

His lack of enthusiasm stems from his strong stance that the Governor took against the evil of Reservation Shopping prior to getting suckered into signing the compacts. Even the Big Lagoon Chairman came to understand that the Governor didn't really want it and neither did the local tribes and that it was a bad idea all along. I feel that by moving ahead on his own Ancestral lands Chairman Moorehead takes the honorable path and restores any integrity that the tribe might have loss due to their mere association with this greedy Detroit developer.

I salute you Chairman Moorehead!

Thanks John for getting the story and getting it right. The following passages from John's blog say the whole story! [Read the full story on John's Blog Here]

"Meantime, the vice-chairman of San Diego's Los Coyotes, Shane Chapparosa, told reporters that his tribe has now begun separate negotiations with the governor's office for a solo Barstow casino. The governor's office won't confirm whether that's the case."

At a news conference this morning at the state Capitol, the tribes announced an 11th hour media campaign, with a TV ad that they say will be broadcast in Sacramento, the Bay Area, and Los Angeles over the next few days.

But there's no indication that the casino deals will be ratified before legislators adjourn for the year early next week. While the two tribes signed formal casino compacts with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005, those compacts have been in limbo in the Legislature ever since. Critics say the projects might set a precedent for tribal casinos on non-tribal land. And several politically powerful tribes in southern California say that's why they oppose the casino deal -- even though Los Coyotes and Big Lagoon accuse those tribes of being more concerned about casino competition in the region.

So what's happened since late May?

"A lot's happened," said Big Lagoon chairman Virgil Moorehead, alluding to the ratification of amended casino deals for some of the tribes opposing his project.

"Our [compact] got pushed down, kind of to the bottom of the barrel. Why did it get pushed down to the bottom of the barrel? Because these tribes don't want us down there.

Moorehead also said he thinks Schwarzenegger hasn't done enough to cajole legislators into ratifying the deal, an accusation the governor's office disputes.

Meantime, the vice-chairman of San Diego's Los Coyotes, Shane Chapparosa, told reporters that his tribe has now begun separate negotiations with the governor's office for a solo Barstow casino. The governor's office won't confirm whether that's the case."

Read the full story her on the John Myers, KQED Blog Here.

All of this is going to be great fodder for major fireworks at the up-coming September 17 Barstow City Council which just happens to be the date that the compacts were scheduled to expire on their own. Ah, only in Barstow!

The Barwest Kool-aid Club

The sign outside the BarWest Kool-aid Club House

The BarWest Kool-Aid Club
Barstow Chapter

Captain 'Kool-aid Shields' explains to his BarWest Kool-aid Club
how he has been lying all along and the compacts are now dead

When speaking out against the BarWest influence of corruption in Barstow and the blind allegiance by which people have been bamboozled into following Tom Shields directives in supporting these compacts, I often use the term “BarWest Kool-Aid Club”. Usually I will be using that expression when at the City Council meetings and I am being limited to three minutes with about an hour of information that I would like to be covering.

'Captain Kool-aid', aka Tom Shields,
explains his strategy to the Kool-aid Club,

for how he plans to deal with anyone
who dares to oppose the BarWest Compacts

When I have used the term, I feel that it should be clearly obvious just from the context even if one is ignorant of what happened with Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple in Guyana or the history of the expression, “drinking the Kool-aid”, that preceded that mass suicide. But as obvious as it is to me, the term still seems to elude many members of the club and even those that do not support BarWest. So it seems incumbent upon me to offer an explanation for those who still haven’t caught on.

Scientific Fact: 98.5%
of all members of the BarWest Kool-aid Club
are also faithful views of Bill O'reilly. The
other 1.5% don't have cable in their trailers

So to those who still suffers from some degree of ambiguity regarding my use of the term “BarWest Kool-Aid Club”, I offer the following explanation of my use, a background on Kool-Aid the product, a brief explanation of the term, “drinking the Kool-aid”, and a rendition of the story of Jim Jones and the People’s Temple in Guyana, complete with a YouTube video on the whole event.

Explanation of my use of the expression: “The BarWest Kool-aid Club”
By definition, a cult’s leader wields tremendous influence over his followers. But as the German people proved in the case of Adolph Hitler, the blind sheep syndrome is not limited to religious cults. Likewise, in the world of big money, greed can be the driving force behind blind allegiance. This is evidenced in situations like pyramid schemes and multi-level marketing. Amway ‘sales associates’ are often made fun of as having a giant A tattooed on their forehead while their product line is the only conversation that they are capable of talking about.

In Barstow we have a phenomena where BarWest comes to town in the form of Tom Shields. The next thing you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars are thrown around and a line forms of local leaders who line up to drink the Kool-aid and they instantly start shouting the praises of BarWest. Next thing you know Mayor Dale is flying around in a BarWest Lear Jet to lobby on their behalf. President of the Chamber of Commerce Tim Silva puts the Chamber up for sale as a public relations firm for BarWest in a deal to become the next City Councilman. Business leaders across town start worshiping at the throne of BarWest. And anyone who dares to speak ill of their god is chastised and ostracized.

Background on the development of Kool-Aid the product

Kool-Aid was invented by a Gerard and Edwin Perkins in Hastings, Nebraska. In Hastings, Nebraska. Its predecessor was a liquid concentrate called Fruit Smack. To reduce shipping costs, in 1927, Perkins discovered a way to remove the liquid from Fruit Smack, leaving only a powder. This powder was named Kool-Ade (and a few years later, it was renamed 'Kool-Aid' due to a change in government regulations regarding the need for fruit juice in products using the term "Ade"). Perkins moved his production to Chicago in 1931 and Kool-Aid was sold to General Foods in 1953. The artificially flavored drink is now owned by the Kraft Foods Company.

A brief explanation of the term, “drinking the Kool-aid”
It seemed as though Kool-Aid could turn water into a yummy drink even though it was obvious Kool-Aid contained no fruit, just sugar and an assortment of preservatives. Kool-Aid’s colors are aesthetically pleasing – bright red, blue, green, etcetera. At around $.25 for a packet which can fill an entire pitcher, the expense for the package of sugar seemed small indeed which was an incentive for mom, of course. Overall, Kool-Aid was the ideal drink for an unknowing kid and because it is saturated with sugar who would notice if a cup of Kool-Aid was laced with bitter cyanide.

Even prior to Jim Jones and 909 inhabitants of Jonestown, 276 of them children, died in what has commonly been labeled a mass suicide, the expression of “Drinking the Kool-Aid” used to connote the dangerous influences over souls by the workers of iniquity and to guard against their wiles. It was a warning of evil into an everyday habit of imbibing whatever nonsense accompanies that which is cheap, looks good and smells good.

Ever since the mass suicide of the followers of Jim Jones in Guyana, “Drinking the Kool-Aid” has now morphed to the point that it represents revolutionary suicide because of the tragedy at People’s Temple.

The story of Jim Jones, the People’s Temple, and the mass suicides in Guyana

James Warren "Jim" Jones was born in 1931, in Lynn, Indiana. He became a preacher in the 1950s. He sold pet monkeys door-to-door to raise the money to fund his own church that would be named Wings of Deliverance, which he later renamed the Peoples Temple and was located in Indianapolis. He gained respectability when he became an ordained minister in 1964 in the mainstream Christian denomination of Disciples of Christ.

After leaving Indiana, the Peoples Temple cult built its home in Redwood Valley, California, because Jones believed it was one of the few places in the world likely to survive a nuclear holocaust. Jones authored a booklet, called "The Letter Killeth" pointing out what he felt were the contradictions, absurdities, and atrocities in the Bible, but the booklet also stated that the Bible contained great truths.

He was particularly fascinated with how he could manipulate people. Rather than quitting after he got what he wanted, Jones pushed the envelope to see just how far he could go before the person objected. Throughout the years the young man perfected his craft and was very skilled in his new found art. He claimed to be an incarnation of Jesus, Akhenaten, Buddha, Lenin, and Father Divine and performed supposed miracle healings to attract new members. Members of Jones' church called Jones "Father" and believed that their movement was the solution to the problems of society and many did not distinguish Jones from the movement. The group gradually moved away from the mainstream.

In the summer of 1977, Jones and most of the 1000 members of the Peoples Temple moved to Guyana from San Francisco after an investigation into the church for tax had begun. Jones named the closed settlement of Jonestown after himself. His intention was to create an agricultural utopia in the jungle, free from racism and based on socialist principles.

People who had left the organization prior to its move to Guyana told the authorities of brutal beatings, murders and of a mass suicide plan, but were not believed. In spite of the tax evasion allegations, Jones was still widely respected for setting up a racially mixed church which helped the disadvantaged. Around 70% of the inhabitants of Jonestown were black and impoverished.

In November 1978, Congressman Leo Ryan led a fact-finding mission to the Jonestown settlement in Guyana after allegations by relatives in the U.S. of human rights abuses. Ryan's delegation arrived in Jonestown on November 15 and spent three days interviewing residents. The delegation left hurriedly on the morning of Saturday November 18 after an attempt was made on Ryan's life by a man armed with a knife. The attack was thwarted, bringing the visit to an abrupt end. Congressman Ryan and his people succeeded in taking with them roughly 15 Peoples Temple members who had expressed a wish to leave. At that time, Jones made no attempt to prevent their departure. However, Peoples Temple survivors reported that a group from Jonestown left shortly afterwards in a truck with the intention of stopping the delegation and members from leaving the country alive.

Surviving delegation members later told police that, as they were boarding two planes at the airstrip, the truckload of Jones' armed guards arrived and began to shoot at them. It was here that Ryan was shot and killed. At the same time, one of the supposed defectors, drew a weapon and began to fire on members of the party. When the gunmen left, six people were dead.

Later that same day, 909 of the remaining inhabitants of Jonestown, 276 of them children, died in what has commonly been labeled a mass suicide. However, there is much ambiguity over whether many who died committed suicide or were in fact murdered. Some followers obeyed Jones' instructions to commit "revolutionary suicide" by drinking cyanide-laced grape flavored Kool-aid. Others died by forced cyanide injection or by shooting. Jones was found dead sitting in a deck chair with a gunshot wound to the head, although it is unknown if he had been murdered or committed suicide. The autopsy on his body showed levels of the barbiturate pentobarbital that could have been lethal to humans who have not developed a tolerance to the drug.

Watch the Video: