Friday, February 07, 2003

Politics and Pine Trees:
The Last Lynchings in Southern Georgia 1978-2003 ?
Methadone and Drowning Deaths From Valdosta State College?

February 10, 2003

R L Norman

The past is never dead. It's not even past.
Requiem for a Nun, William Faulkner

Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past.
1984, George Orwell

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.
Childhood nursery rhyme

I’ld like to say again that they [James Daniels, Dean of Arts & Sciences
and Robert Fisher, Head of Graduate School] can jump up a mule’s ass.

Acknowledgements page note in original 1977 thesis text presented to VSU and signed by administrators
Harold Henry ‘Hank’ Spangle, 1950-1982

1. Introduction: Near-Accidents

Since the early 1990s, I have had a series of potentially fatal accidents driving in Southern Georgia, while trying to look after my aging Father and later my Mother. The problems escalated after 2000, with more direct incidents occurring at night, then finally in broad day light. I have been trying to make some sense out of these incidents. These notes represent part of the research. Some of the notes are facts, other parts are speculation, informed by facts. At a minimum they represent the problems of a person who has existed under extreme political pressure for a number of years. At the maximum, they represent a set of people who were targeted by Southern Georgia political interests for death and two out of at least three are now dead. The third person, myself, is looking for a way out of the puzzle.

The bulk of these notes describe the post-Civil War economy of Southern Georgia based upon the pine tree industry and how the political structure roughly evolved in tandem. They describe why to some degree there seems to have been a delayed appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among some parts of Southern Georgia. The notes further discuss some of the problems people have faced in trying to get the normal rights most people associate with the name of America put into place. Part of the notes describe how some federal authorities have generally deferred to the local power structure and simply failed or refused to carry out their constitutionally-mandated responsibilities. A very important section lays out what politically active people can learn from the experience of Southern Georgia in the 1970s.

The relationship between the local power structure based in the pine tree industry, the federal authorities and the local system of higher education is the overall theme of the notes. How this system has retarded full democracy in Southern Georgia is another way of seeing these notes. Yet another way of seeing this situation, is that of two bureaucratic organizations fighting over 'turf', with the federal foreign intelligence services dealing for about 50 years with all sorts of foreign thugs and drug dealers in the war on communism and another state agency trying to deal with the after effects of substance abuse, OASAS. It was appropriate that I wound up working for that NYS agency attempting to deal with part of the seconday problems created by America's foreign policy since World War ll. In the final analysis, the notes describe how certain activists may have been killed in these Southern Georgia political efforts and lay out some ways for rectifying these past problems.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Near-Accidents

Section 2 Post-Civil War Era and Pine Tree Economics in Southern Georgia

2.1 Slaves as Raw Commodity Producers
2.2 Pine Trees in Southern Georgia in the 1880s: The Normans of Norman Park, Georgia
2.3 Pine Tree Politics in 1880s and 1890s Norman Park, Georgia
2.3 Post-Reconstruction Standards of Society: Pine Tree Myths or
Civil Society at Valdosta State University in the 1970s

Section 3 Student Movement at VSU: 1974 to 1984

3.1 Origins of the Student Movement in Southern Georgia: 1974
3.2 The Empire Strikes Back: An Operation Chaos in Southern Georgia in 1975 ?
3.3 Life and/or Death for VSU Dissidents after Operation Chaos: 1978-1984
3.4 Complicating Factors: The Operatives and Major Families of Lowndes
3.5 The Lake Park Post : Present Day Dissent in South Georgia in the 1990s
3.6 The Major Families of Lowndes County, Georgia
3.7 Traditional Authority Boston and the FBI: Go Along to Get Along
3.8 FBI, OperationCondor, Orlando Letilier’s Death and Southern Georgia’s Dissidents

Section 4 Harold Henry ‘Hank’ Spangle, 1950-1982

4.1 Hank Spangle in Thomas County, Georgia: 1950 to 1969
4.2 Hank Spangle in College: Valdosta State College, Georgia, 1970 to 1978; Florida State University,
1979 to 1982; Methadone Death In 1982 ?
4.3 Hank’s Thesis 1976 and 1977: A Case of Pine Tree Myths Being Deflated
4.4 Circulation of Hank’s Book from 1994 to 2003: Has it Circulated Beyond a Dozen People?
Who Owns the Copyright to a ‘Vanity-Published’ Book
4.5 The Past and Future of Hank’s Book: The Thomas Press or the Web?

Section 5 William ‘Bill’ Donahoo ? to 1978

Section 6 R L ‘Banjo’ Norman 1952- Present

6.1 R L Norman’s Academic Exile to New York City: 1978 to 1995
6.2 Life of a Dissident: No Way to Live after Age 50
6.3 Sexual Innuendo From Seberg to Norman: Your Tax Dollars at Work
6.4 Sting of Norman as a Possible ‘Sex Offender’ on Airplane: Your Federal Dollars at Work
6.5 R L Norman to New York City in 1978- Return to Southern Georgia in 1995

Section 7 Spangle, Donahoo and Norman Reconsidered at Valdosta State University in 2003

7.1 Coincidences Are Not Always Coincidences; Lessons
From The ‘Agency’- Three Academic ‘Coincidences’
from Valdosta State in the 1970s and 1980s:Spangle, Donahoo and Norman
7.2 Spangle and Donahoo Reconsidered at Valdosta State University in 2003
7.3. R L Norman in 2001 and 2002: Near Accidents on the Highway

Section 8 Dissident Activity in the United States

8.1 Lessons for Future Dissidents in the Land of the Free:
Limits on Dissidence as Constitutionally-Protected Activity in the U. S.
8.2 Low Intensity Warfare in Southern Georgia: U. S. Constitution or Not ?

Section 9 Conclusions: The Future of Pine Tree Academia in Southern Georgia

9.1 William ‘Bill’ Donahoo’s and Henry ‘Hank’ Spangle’s Deaths
9.2 Southern Georgia: When Will Constitutional Government Begin?
9.3 The Future of The Pine Tree Colleges: Do Academic Sticks
and Stones Really Get People Killed in Southern Georgia?
9.4 Conclusions: The Web and Fading of Pine Tree Mythology


2. Post-Civil War Era, and Pine Tree Myths

2.1 Slaves as Raw Commodity Producers

The popular image of the pre-Civil War South is that of long cotton fields with large numbers of slaves. Actually, the South had had many other slave-based industries, before the invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney. From tobacco in the Carolinas and Virginia, to the rice fields in the Delta region, slave labor developed a strong market in many commodities. The Civil War represented a disastrous attempt by the Carolinas to maintain the slave-labor base to this system of production and war cost the South several years of production and hundreds of thousands of casualties. One-armed men with stumps for legs two dotted the South until the 1920s and the last Confederate widow has only recently died.

2.2 Pine Trees in Southern Georgia in the 1880s:
The Normans of Norman Park, Georgia

Cotton plantations were not as common in Southern Georgia as in other parts of the South. From the 1880s onward, the pine tree was the prominent factor in the economy for Southern Georgia. I am well acquainted with this model of development. In the 1870s to 1890s my ancestors created this industry in the area Norman Park between Tifton and Thomasville, Georgia. J. B. ‘Wheeler’ Norman made a fortune from the pine tree business. Around 1900, he helped found the first major school in the area, which was named for him, Norman Institute. The school lasted until about 1971, when declining enrollments and rising costs compelled it to close as a two-year college. Today, it remains a retreat for the Baptist association of Georgia. The Normans around J.B. and Marion ‘General’ Norman, ran the local banks and had controlling interests in many other businesses in the entire county.

The written contemporary history of that area is very laudatory of the Norman family. Since many of them were still alive, well-read and often well-armed into the 1920s, it was a well-considered historian who put these words to paper:

The spirit of a pure, noble and earnest life burned in the mortal tenement of the late J. B. Norman, late of Norman Park, Colquitt County, who through a series of years enjoyed high distinction in connection with the successful development of that locality.

In nearly every community are living individuals who by innate ability and sheer force of character have won for themselves conspicuous places in public esteem. Such a man is Marion D. Norman, of Norman Park…

The Hon. Robert L. [General] Norman, state senator from Colquitt County, a large land-owner in the Norman Park neighborhood, one of the leading merchants of that village and in other ways prominently identified with the affairs of the community

History of Georgia, Three Volumes, 1926, Atlanta: The S. J. Clarke Publishing
Co., p.48, 390, 54.

To this day, much of the land in the area remains in control of the descendants of the Norman family, although the political dynasty associated with the family had declined in power well by the early 1950s. Their well-cut marble gravestones mark a bygone period when they ran that area.

2.3 Pine Tree Politics in 1880s and 1890s Norman Park, Georgia

There was of course another side the story. This model of development was in many ways, incompatible with democratic norms or civil authority. Part of the problem had come from the history of the end of the Civil War and early Reconstruction. The leftist historian Eric Foner of Columbia University, may recall the era of Reconstruction with wistful tears in his eyes, but neither he not his ancestral family had to deal with the chaos of the 1870s post-bellum era, after the carpetbaggers had migrated to the South and were stealing all they could. The majority of the recently freed slaves in 1870 had relatively poor educational or political skills and were often manipulated by the carpetbagger state administrations. The violent, mysterious activities of the Klan in the 1870s were often matched by the ‘Loyalist Leagues’ of the carpetbaggers.

These administrations were maintained in power by Northern bayonets and once the troops left, the administrations collapsed as much from their own incompetence as from the political power of the opposition. Once the Reconstruction state governments fell, a new form of serfdom evolved which was only slightly better than slavery for the blacks, and by about 1890, it had evolved into the Jim Crow system.

In the Southern Georgia of the 1880s and 1890s, a few extended families controlled most of the land and each extended family was more or less the law and order for their area. Such families tended to settle personal and often business problems with violence. The Normans were no exception to this model and they ran their part of the county largely as a feudal fiefdom. They did not waste a lot of time with civil law when problems arose. In his life, my Father told me many stories about the Normans and other families, which he had either heard about in his youth during the 1920s and 1930s.

The actual veracity of these stories is difficult to confirm, the history is shrouded in the mists of time. But whether or not they are the literal truth, the stories indicate an attitude towards life strongly influenced by the problems of Reconstruction, the old Southern tradition of honor, combined with a casual willingness to use violence and minimal consideration for civil law. While such attitudes remain in the area, time has substantially weakened their power, at least in Colquitt County, Georgia. It is sometimes difficult to fairly criticize the events of the past without seeing both sides of the equation and the standards of the 1880s may or may not have been appropriate for that time, but certainly they are no longer appropriate for 2003.

2.4 The Clarion Newspaper at VSU in the 1970s:Pine Tree Myths or Civil Society and Race at VSU

I believe that this attitude has continued to a greater degree in the counties closer to the Florida line, including Thomas and Lowndes. The families who founded the pine tree industry there have remained in general control over the political economy of the area. And although it has been eighty to one hundred years since the heyday of the pine tree business, the political legitimacy of the area still resides in maintaining the ‘founding myths’ of the area.

I further contend that the people who seem to be confronting those myths publicly are seen as a direct threat by the descendants of those founding families and are basically taking their lives into their own hands. A basic respect for the ‘Lost Cause’ and a willingness to ignore the masses of blacks which largely did the drudge work of creating the pine tree business; is central to those myths. Political legitimacy seems to reside in these myths continuing, with a blind eye to the past wrongs; however gray and murky the moral lines of the past may be.

As it so happened in the middle 1970s at Valdosta State University, our student movement tended to deflate those myths. The third edition of the underground newspaper I founded in 1974, The Clarion, was entitled ‘The Ghetto Game’. There I attempted in a crude way, to describe how difficult life was in the local black ‘Quarters’. Soon thereafter, I published another edition, which tended to satirize the yearly ‘Old South Week’, sponsored by the VSU Kappa Alpha (KA) fraternity. I felt that a group of people running around in gray uniforms with rifles, might tend to offend or scare the black students. I did not in any way, seek to minimize the rights of the KAs to do as they pleased and I was not in any way denying my own past. Most of my immediate family ancestors including my own dear Father, are buried in Confederate cemeteries and most likely I will be buried in one myself, a little later.

Still a modern society has to put certain traditions on hold, in the general interest of trying to develop a true civil society, where everyone’s rights are respected. It does not mean that the Southern past was/is to be erased, or to be completely damned, as seems to be the fad these days in the world of the politically-correct minions of the Ivey League schools. It simply meant that in 1975, it was time to ‘move on’ and try to develop the South in a way that was much fairer than that which had existed between about 1880 and about 1960. I and my friends around The Clarion lived and wrote for about five years in this belief.

And from personal contact in 1974 and 1975 with VSU President S. Walter Martin, I believe that he probably approved the invasion of the campus about 1975 with either current or recently retired military intelligence agents. These agents proceeded to infiltrate the student movement and possibly to destabilize it, as had been the policy of the ‘intelligence’ agencies since the 1950s. It was another two years before the Frank Church Committee hearings in Congress over the illegal activities by the FBI and CIA from the late 1960s anti-war campaign on the college campuses, Operation Chaos. Whether or not the VSU fraternity structure was part of the operation, is a matter for rising local Southern historians to try to discern.

It never occurred to me at the time, that any of us were perceived as serious threats to the local political economy. All I thought we were doing was trying to create a slightly fairer system for all of us, not simply the blacks. In retrospect, I now believe the exact opposite, that some of the leaders of the local counties saw us as dangerous radicals, who had to either be squelched, exiled or killed. The cases of Henry Harold ‘Hank’ Spangle, William ‘Bill’ Donahoo and myself may be proof of this interpretation, or they may just be coincidences in a vast sea of problems, which seem to befall all people.

3. Student Movement at VSU: 1974 to 1984

3.1 Origins of the Student Movement in Southern Georgia: 1974

In the early 1974, after a number of disagreements about the nature of life at Valdosta State College (now VSU or, I started a small underground newspaper, the Clarion. The newspaper developed into a small student movement, then ballooned into a sizable movement, which by 1975 had begun to erode the influence of the fraternity-sorority structure and shortly thereafter, took over the student government. As in the movie, Animal House, the VSU administrators seemed to have colluded in various ways with the Greek structure to fight the new movement.

3.2 The Empire Strikes Back: An Operation Chaos in Southern Georgia in 1975 ?

Unlike in the movie, the 1970s VSU president, S.Walter Martin, appears to have also invited intelligence operatives onto the campus and these operatives infilitrated the movement. The FBI and CIA had been heavily involved in fighting the anti-war movement during the 1960s on the college campuses and VSU was probably their last major campus hit before the Church Committee hearings during President Jimmy Carter’s administration in1978.

Earlier Dr. Martin appears to have permitted a large-scale marijuana sting on campus, where many VSU students were arrested for possession of small amounts of ‘grass’. In the 1970s South Georgia, not even ‘not inhaling’ was sufficient protection from political or personal persecution. My personal experience was that the persons with the best marijuana, were probably the persons I now believe in 2003 were the intelligence operatives. Contacts are everything, even in South Georgia. I tended to avoid the weed, out of concern for such ‘set-ups’ by the local police as well as general distaste for smoke.

3.3 Life and/or Death for VSU Dissidents after Operation Chaos: 1978-1984

And unlike the ending of Animal House, where a fine sound track played, while the trailer displayed the successful later careers of the campus rebels, matters did not end as well for several of the VSU radicals. Between 1978 and 1983, two had died and one was basically exiled from the Southern academic system; myself. Later in1995, I foolishly applied to teach at Georgia State University in Atlanta, as my Father lay dying of cancer in South Georgia.. Even in 1995, I did not realize the Web of influence which the various academic thugs from VSU seemingly had woven around me.

By 1980, the majority of the movement had collapsed and by 1984, with ‘morning in America’, the old Greek fraternity structure had reasserted control over the VSU campus. It was as if the whole South Georgia ‘1960s’ movement in the 1970s had never existed. Even the master thesis by one of the dead, Hank Spangle, has remained difficult to obtain from the VSU Library. And poor Bill Donahoo is probably remembered by few except his immediate family. Donahoo, who helped lay the ground work for an ecology movement in the South, but who never lived long enough to see any successes from it.

3.4 Complicating Factors: The Operatives and Major Families of Lowndes

What precisely the campus spy operatives did has never been known, but their existence is almost a certainty. My belief is that the operatives were more likely from the military than from the civilian spy services, but again, this is a matter for future historical research. Another complicating factor, is that of the influence of the local Major Families of Lowndes County; whose members have been in major appointed positions within the university system ofGeorgia for almost 30 years. These Major Families are involved in production with heavily polluting side effects and possess some of the most polluting sites in the Southern United States, which to my knowledge have never faced Super fund sanctions.

3.5 The Lake Park Post : Present Day Dissent in South Georgia in the 1990s

There may be a linear time relationship between the harassment of the student movement in Southern Georgia in the 1970s and the problems of weekly newspaper in the 1990s, The Lake Park Post, ( see also www.LakeParkPost.Com). Tyranny tends to engender its own opposition. A small Former Nixon speech writer, Al Parsons, is the editor of the Post. Parsons has seen a litany of problems over the last ten years, concluding with a slander judgement recently rendered in civil court, with damages enough to bankrupt him and close the only local printed voice against the local tryannts of Southern Georgia. More recently, Parson’s new truck engine did not have its oil replaced in a servicing and the engine was destroyed. Two tires on his other vehicle had the air removed in the past week. Such incidents while hardly unknown in the normal world, take on a different light when a person is confronted with the combined power of tens of millions of dollars and the benign neglect of Constitutional law by federal authorities.

3.6 The Major Families of Lowndes County, Georgia

I contend that the primary source of this abrogation of the Constitution and the attempts on my life are probably from several extended families in Lowndes County, Georgia, which have enough political influence to destroy any one locally who stands in the way of their exercise of raw, naked power and that this influence extends into the White House, regardless of the party in power. These families are for all practical purposes above the law and at this time, their actions are beyond conventional legal control. These families function at the center of a larger extended network of traditional authority, most often associated historically with the organized crime; except that organized crime is well understood to exist by most Americans, while the base of traditional authority in Southern Georgia stands in plain site, but with few being willing to confront it publicly and able to survive in any normal sense of the term.

Power is more informally exercised, but at the end of the day, is as effective as any other traditional system. Needless to say, the major local newspaper, The Valdosta Daily Times, is unwilling to provide much help in dealing with the problem. Nor apparently are Georgia’s GBI investigative arm, the EPA’a Super Fund investigation unit nor the FBI. Raw political power defines the Major Families of Lowndes County.

3.7 Traditional Authority Boston and the FBI: Go Along to Get Along

Recent cases in Boston show that the local FBI field office there apparently made deals with members of organized crime to infiltrate the rest of Boston organized crime. One of the results of this Faustian bargain, was that one man, Joseph Salvati spent the better part of 30 years in prison for a murder, for which he was totally and completely innocent. Other people convicted with him, may have died in prison. Recently this man filed a $300 million dollar suit against the FBI. The proven veracity of this charge would once and for all remove from the existing FBI, the patina of its being an institution of civil authority and show it to be little more than a better-organized form of traditional authority, which simply keeps a version of peace by making deals with various local forms of traditional authority.

It might also partially explain why the center of the FBI basically ignored data from field offices as to potential Qeada operations in the months leading into September 11, 2001. Too much of the existing central authority of the FBI in 2001 had been largely concerned with keeping the peace with local authority bases and domestic dissident activity, rather than in developing a serious analysis of the evolving Qeada movement.

3.8 FBI, OperationCondor, Orlando Letilier’s Death and Southern Georgia’s Dissidents

Another area worth considering in this context was the relationship between the FBI’s monitoring of left activists in Latin America from Panama during the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. This data was turned over to the dictators of Chile, Argentina and Paraguay; respectively Augusto Pinochet, the military junta and President-for-Life Alfredo Stroessner. President Jimmy Carter’s ambassador to El Salvador, Robert White, discussed the recent 2001 release of material on this FBI operation in a New York Times article. A number of Latin dissidents were tracked down by the FBI and their locations turned over to the dictator in Chile. Operation Condor was Pinochet’s long arm of murder and terror and its eyes seems to have been the FBI in Panama.

Apparently Pinochet also had assassins working in the United States at during the Carter years, as the former Chilean economics minister and an American friend were blown up in a car in Washington DC. Orlando Letelier and Ronnie Moffit were killed in the explosion, probably the worst terror incident on American soil since the attack on the American Congress in the early1950s by Puetro Rican terrorists. The attack was planned and carried out by Michael Townley a DINA (Chilean) agent and sometime CIA asset, together with two others. If American intelligence-related operatives were prepared to kill Americans in the Washington area in 1976 for the Chilean dictator, what would have stopped them from murdering other American dissidents in Southern Georgia in 1978, if local traditional authorities sanctioned it and if the FBI was looking the other way?

4. Harold Henry ‘Hank’ Spangle, 1950-1982

4.1 Hank Spangle in Thomas County, Georgia: 1950 to 1969

One cannot drive through Thomasville without noticing some extremely fine white houses, with big green lawns and old oak trees, within several hundred yards of very poor houses, with only scrub shrubbery and dirt yards. The reality is that these fine white houses were built upon the labor of the ancestors of the present inhabitants of the poorer houses. Everyone knows this, but few people have had the poor taste or the audacity to mention it publicly and thereby embarrass all concerned, from the rich property owners to the humble great-grandchildren of the slaves.

Hank Spangle was one of those people. He came from one of the families who had been involved with the pine tree businesses. In the 1960s, he had been a running back for one of the town’s football teams. His high school pictures show a short haired, strapping boy fully capable of slamming into a pile of defensive linemen at full speed. Football has always been played in South Georgia as if it mattered the next day who won the previous night. It is played hard and it is played for keeps. Lifetime injuries can sometimes result from a single play. Hank had two serious injuries his final season in 1968. He had a tendon severely damaged in his left hand and his esophagus was damaged from a blow to the chest. He carried these scars with him the rest of his life.

4.2 Hank Spangle in College:
Valdosta State College Georgia, 1970 to 1978;
Florida State University, 1979 to 1982,
Methadone Death In 1982 ?

Somewhere either during or not long after high school, Hank seemed to have developed a reaction to the prevailing system of things in Southern Georgia. He easily could have gotten a business school degree and become a part of the system. Yet for whatever reasons, maybe his early religious training, maybe the hard-driving black player on his football team, maybe the war in Vietnam, which he later opposed; Hank took a different road. Later in college, he seems to have decided that something needed to done, and certainly something had to be said. He went into history and later produced his thesis: ‘The History Of The Black Community Of Thomas County, Georgia from 1827 to 1909’, Valdosta State College, July 4, 1977. Hank moved to Tallahassee and Florida State University in 1979 to start another masters degree. He worked in the law school lab and at FSU at the time of his death in 1982, ostensibly from a problem with methadone. Although methadone may have recently become more associated with overdose deaths, in the early 1980s very few such deaths were reported.

4.3 Hank’s Thesis 1976 and 1977: A Case of Pine Tree Myths Being Deflated

Other than mindless paranoia, it might be asked as to why this little thesis of about 150 pages would have been so feared that it existence would be denied and almost destroyed by the local leadership of Southern Georgia. Again, the foundation of this area’s economy after the Civil War was pine tree products. At first, the pine trees were useful in ships and as lumber for housing, but the pine resin or tar also had many industrial uses. In many ways, the pine industry was a form of competition to the future oil industry in Pennsylvania and Texas. Eventually, ship construction shifted to steel, but by then, other uses for the tree industry had been created, including large scale usage for paper in the evolving service industry.

More importantly, the ongoing political legitimacy of the area seems to require the continuing good name of the rich people who own the vast tree plantations and the willingness of the masses of largely black laborers to work in the often snake-infested forests. While the tree industry does not have the relative financial importance it once had, even in 2002 it is still had a worth about $19.5 billion. Most of this value still derives from the tree plantations which dominate the landscape of Southern Georgia. And the people who still do the majority of the hard, dirty and dangerous work are most often the poorer blacks, who have few other options.

4.4 Circulation of Hank’s Book from 1994 to 2003: Has it Circulated Beyond a Dozen People?
Who Owns the Copyright to a ‘Vanity-Published’ Book?

Hanks’ VSU master’s thesis was finally published posthumously as a ‘vanity’ book in 1994 by Thomas College Press, then at small imprint at what was then Thomas College and now Thomas University. It was published after his daughter approved and his Mother paid approximately $2000 for the publishing. Approximately 1000 copies were printed. Even though the book was a fairly small monograph, it is out of print presently in 2003

More importantly, again the thesis was basically printed as a ‘vanity book’, paid for by Hank’s Mother, but the copyright was appropriated by the Thomas College Press in 1994. Thomas Press is now basically defunct, according to the present Thomas University personnel I spoke with on January 23, 2003. Thomas University personnel I spoke with by phone January 22, 2003 had to search several addresses to find anyone who still knew of the existence of the Thomas Press. Academic monographs of that size printing often last for years. The thesis was well written, but not finished for a large audience. It was an academic monograph, written for an audience of historians of perhaps 200-300 at the time and for some library sales. I find it hard to believe that the initial printing of 1000 in 1994 had sold out by early 2003, not quite eight years.

Another aspect of the book was on the acknowledgements page concluding comments by the then President of Thomas College.:

'We recognized the fact that the views expressed in this book by Mr. Spangle have been gleaned from his review of historical documents, newspapers and publications which may or may not have always have been as accurate as one would hope.'

While the rest of the acknowledgements had been generally complimentary about the book in the rest of his comments, this final sentence seemed to put a bit of an ambigious tone on the book’s publication, almost as if the college was putting a bit of distance between itself and the book.

4.5 The Past and Future of Hank’s Book: The Thomas Press or the Web?

My suspicion is that there were a few ‘large’ sales of the book to people who remained largely anonymous and the vast majority of Hank’s little volume wound up in a creek somewhere or in a small bon fire, in the back of one of those fine Thomasville homes. It should be added, that it seems unlikely that Hank’s book will be reprinted anytime soon, nor will the seemingly defunct Thomas Press suddenly arise from its ashes and begin to publicize this or any of the other 10-12 volumes from their back catalogue. I believe that the Thomas Press will remain defunct, but will try to retain legal control over Hank’s research and when Hank’s family is no longer willing or able to fight over the issue, Hank’s research will become a ‘state secret’ of Thomas County as in any other totalitarian system and cease to exist for most purposes and the Pine Tree Myths will again be safe from this native son of the county.

Again on January 23, 2003 I offered to buy a few copies of Hanks book at the Thomas University book store, but was informed that the book was ‘out of print’. I was told by the manager that the college was ‘thinking about’ reprinting the book. The head of the Thomas University library was of a similar opinion, but again I doubt that it will happen any time soon. I have located some copies in South Georgia college libraries, Thomas College and VSU. The copies look pristine, as if they had been maintained carefully, say in a college vault, as was rumored for years about the original thesis copy. Of course after 1983, Hank was no longer in position to do or say anything. I was discouraged at least twice from pursuing the matter during the 1980s and 1990s. The few times I tried to get the thesis or book during the 1980s and early 1990s, I found it listed in the VSU card catalogue, but could not find it on the library shelf. And this from a thin green volume, which seems to have had very little wear and tear in January 2003. Go figure?

Of course, if someone was to put parts of the original printed thesis onto the Web and try to publicize it further, then whatever purported attempts by whomever, to ‘deepsix’ Hank’s thesis; would likely fail. Hank Spangle was a friend of mine and more than that, I respected him and his views on the South. I do not claim to have agreed entirely with his thesis, but it was a solid piece of research. And it would fit rather well on any number of Web sites.

5. William ‘Bill’ Donahoo ? to 1978

William ‘Bill’ Donahoo was the co-editor of the underground paper The Clarion, in 1976 and 1977. In that period, he had been working on ecological problems in north Florida, focusing upon the problems associated with the proposed Cross-Florida Barge Canal. This project would have sliced a ditch all the way from the Jacksonville area to the Tampa area, possibly wrecking the aquifer supplying millions of Floridians with their daily water and destroying the tourist industry surrounding Silver Springs, where clear pure water forms the basis for tourism. Eventually the project was shelved, leaving only a few scars on the landscape, including a tall concrete bridge over a small creek on U S 40 near Ocala, Florida.

Part of Donahoo’s research entailed diving into limestone sinks in Northern Florida, tracing out the cave patterns and mapping them. Bill was developing a way to try to trace the water patterns of the lime stone aquifers in Northern Florida and their relationship to the likely locations to the Cross-Florida Barge Canal at the time of his death. He and another diver were together during the fatal dive and seemingly they ‘overhot’ the extra oxygen tanks which they would have needed to complete the dive. Bill was found apart from the other diver, well into the opposite direction when his body was located. At the time, we all assumed that he had just realized that he was not going to escape and simply decided to go as far as possible into one of the cave paths. Knowing Bill, that was certainly possible.

In 2003, after some ‘problems’ of my own, I now wonder if this was actually what happened to Bill and his friend. My experience has been that a pair of large semi-trucks is fairly hard to avoid, not impossible, but still very hard. Maybe Bill had his pair of ‘semi-trucks’ under the water and could not avoid them.

6. R L ‘Banjo’ Norman 1952- Present

6.1 R L Norman’s Academic Exile to New York City: 1978 to 1995

The 1970s VSU campus story got minimal coverage in local paper, The Valdosta Dailey Times, and as far as I can determine absolutely no coverage in the state-wide or national press. I believe that I was prevented from starting my PhD at the University of Georgia (UGA) through the collusion of academic administrators at VSU with the UGA and the Board of Regents. I felt compelled to attempt admission to graduate schools out of the South. In doing so, I had to cut ties of family and friends and basically went into exile for most for the next 15 years. While in New York City, I became affiliated with a number of ‘protest’ groups during the 1980s around Michael Harrington's group, the Democratic Socialists of America. I provided various forms of assistance up through the early 1990s, with money from the conference and from City University of New York. I became acquainted with CIA dissidents including historian David MacMichaels, people who had been full members of the organization, but had become disillusioned for various reasons.

Between my 1980s organizational work, these dissident CIA contacts and my prior life in Valdosta; seemingly my life has become a long series of problems with various wealthy Southerners, their contacts within the federal government and probably some private investigation agencies as well. It took several near-death incidents between about 1996 and 2002, for me to begin to put together the pieces of the larger puzzle. For most of my life, I had never assumed that the Lowndes County Major Families, were so powerful that they could have political pull with presidents of either party, but after watching the ongoing legal problems of a local Lowndes weekly paper, The Lake Park Post, (www.LakeParkPost.Com), I now believe that these Major Families have a ‘direct pipe’ into this White House and basically carte blanche, a ‘get out of jail free’ card, with regards to most federal laws, especially those with regards to water and pollution-again, the area of concern of my late friend William ‘Bill’ Donahoo.

6.2 Life of a Dissident: No Way to Live after Age 50

People I worked with closely have died, my life has been turned inside out and at the age of 50, I am largely unemployable in the present academic system and too tired and burned out to do much else. From 1994 when my thesis was accepted, until about 24 months ago, the very existence of that thesis on drugs, death and U. S. veterans was all but hidden from view in searches of the dissertation database in Ann Arbor Michigan. Despite an innovative use of Cluster Analysis and Logistic Regression in the analsyis, a reference to Alfred McCoy’s The Poltics of Heroin in Southeast Asia; may have encouraged the CIA to want to stifle the thesis. McCoy’s book laid out the long history of cooperation between the CIA and the heroin lords of the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia.

Later when the CIA moved to support the Islamic mujahadin in Afghanistan in the 1980s New Cold War under Republican political pressure, that same deal with the Afghan drug lords seem to have again been replicated, this time with far worse results than from the Vietnam invasion. The arming and training of the mujahadin in the 1980s was a major factor in the 911 attacks upon our country. Gulbuddin Hekmaytar was among the Afghan mujahadin supported in the 1980s with United States money. Presently Mr. Hekmaytar is in eastern Afghanistan trying to develop an area from which to reassert control over the balance of Afghanistan and return the area to its former state- that of a Taliban 'emirate'.

6.3 Sexual Innuendo From Seberg to Norman: Your Tax Dollars at Work

I seem to be known as an anti-Semite in NYC and seemingly suspected as a person to kept away from young children in Southern Georgia. Needless to say, both suspicions are without foundation, but both seem to have stuck as filthy but well-placed mud so often does. From the time of at least Jean Seberg and her smearing during the Vietnam era; character assasination of American dissidents has been a staple of FBI political activity. Seberg ultimately committed suicide over that incident, but the FBI officials who created the smear and who spread it have never faced a public trial or even a private reprimand, as far as the general public knows.

6.4 Sting of Norman as a Possible ‘Sex Offender’ on Airplane:
Your Federal Dollars at Work

This is not a blind charge. On one of my early 1990s flights out of New York City to check on my Father in South Georgia, I was seated next to a clean-cut man in his early 40s. I was sitting on the aisle and pulled out my laptop computer and began working on a draft of some economic theories. As is the expected manner of New York, I basically ignored the man to my right. After a while, the man pointed up to the seat in front of us and noted that a child was in front of us. I looked up and sure enough a little child was standing up in the seat and looking back at me. I noted that she seemed safe to me, and then turned around to my left and backwards. At least three, maybe four men in their forties or fifities, all with short haircuts, were staring at me; waiting to see what I would do. At first I was infuriated, but the force ratio was at least four to one. I simply returned to my laptop.

This bit of political ‘tradecraft’ or ‘spycraft’ may have soon prevented me from having the type of cooperation from local townspeople to keep my Father alive during his years long battle with two forms of cancer. Again, it is important for average Americans to understand what kind of idiots were ‘watching’ our nation’s security on September 10, 2001.

6.5 R L Norman to New York City in 1978- Return to South Georgia in 1995

After I was denied entrance into the University of Georgia’s sociology graduate program in 1977, I applied to northern schools and basically remained in New York City most of the time until about 1993, when my Father developed prostate cancer, later in 1995 he developed lung cancer, from which he died in September 21, 1996. I began staying in Southern Georgia with him as much as possible, but was unable to get enough local help to keep him alive. He survived the cancer operation and the chemotherapy, but the after effects of the radiation were more than his fragile body could stand. Again, I believe that the lying smears from the FBI largely prevented me from obtaining the type of cooperation from local Moultrie peope, which might have given my World War ll veteran Father a better chance of beating the cancer.

I remained in Southern Georgia some after his death, trying to get family matters straightened out and attempting to deal with a bout of depression as well. Life-threatening problems began again around 1996 and have been intensifying since October 4, 2001 when a pallet was dropped in front of a car I was driving near Berlin Georgia. Since then, there have been four near-accidents with large trucks on a single stretch of road between Valdosta and Morven, Georgia. As far as I can discern, I seem to be a moving target in the area.

7. Spangle, Donahoo and Norman Reconsidered at Valdosta State University in 2003

7.1 Coincidences Are Not Always Coincidences; Lessons from The ‘Agency’-
Three Academic ‘Coincidences’ from Valdosta State in the 1970s and 1980s:
Spangle, Donahoo and Norman

What are the probabilities that three of perhaps a half dozen major dissident students in the middle 1970s VSU, would face severe academic problems or death by 1985? And what are the possibilities that the three people who had such problems, would be three who seemed to be confronting issues surrounding the Pine Tree economy? As a statistician, my belief is that the probabilities are fairly low, but this is what has occurred.

Single coincidences often occur, but as one of my dissident CIA associates, historian David MacMicheals, told me in 1996 in Washington D C; one coincidence is a coincidence; a series of coincidences is not. MacMicheals had served with the CIA in Eastern Europe, but eventually grew tired of the misleading data being sent back to the U.S. David has paid a huge personal price for his dissidence against the Agency, but his interpretations of how intelligence tends to operate in the rest of the globe, tends to resonate with how things seem to have occurred at VSU in the 1970s and since.

Hank Spangle, who wrote a scathing analysis of the history of Thomas County from the slave era to 1909, died in 1982 supposedly of a methadone-related issue. Hank was at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, finishing a second masters degree. Hank’s 1977 masters thesis had finally been accepted by the VSU library between 1978 and 1982. I have not been able to determine the official exact date of acceptance. While Spangle’s committee signed off on the thesis in 1977, one version of his acknowledgements page, a part of which is in the Thomas Press book, shows a date of 1982.

The thesis was printed as an academic monograph in 1994 by Thomas Press. However, as far as I can determine, the monograph has had very little circulation since its printing and is presently ‘out of print’, with the copyright presently controlled by this seemingly defunct book imprint, Thomas Press.

William ‘Bill’ Donahoo was the co-editor of the underground paper The Clarion, in 1976 and 1977. In that period, he had been working on ecological problems in north Florida, focusing upon the problems associated with the proposed Cross-Florida Barge Canal. This project would have sliced a ditch all the way from the Jacksonville area to the Tampa area, possibly wrecking the aquifer supplying millions of Floridians with their daily water and destroying the tourist industry surrounding Silver Springs, where clear pure water forms the basis for tourism. Eventually the project was shelved, leaving only a few scars on the landscape, including a tall concrete bridge over a small creek on U S 40 near Ocala, Florida.

In addition to starting The Clarion and writing for it for several years, I also attempted to complete a master sociology thesis in 1975 concerning drug use and other deviance among the military in Vietnam. Like the albatross around Ahab’s neck, the thesis remained an unfinished product. The final draft supposedly was lost in shipping by United Parcel Service in 1979, after I had moved to New York City to be able to attend graduate school and try to finish a Ph.D. My attempts to enter the University of Georgia had been roundly rejected in 1977 in a curt form-letter; xeroxed crookedly on a page, with no signature attached. So much for the vaunted University of Georgia’s sociology department of the 1970s. So much for academic freedom at the time.

Thank you, University of Georgia.

7.2 Spangle and Donahoo Reconsidered at Valdosta State University in 2003

If the academic sycophants in the University System of Georgia in league with the political leaders of Southern Georgia thought that they had eliminated or minimized their problems by 1985 with the 1970s VSU movement, they are in need of a serious reappraisal of the situation. At a bare minimum, I intend to see that my old associate Hank Spangle has his thesis widely publicized and treated by the school for what it is, a fairly serious and reasonably accurate history of what life was like in South Georgia from the slave era through 1909. I also intend to see that Bill Donahoo’s work in stopping the Cross Florida Barge Canal is seen as a significant contribution by the Valdosta State University of 2003. Bill’s beginning work prefigured the ecology movement in the South by several years.

An historical reconciliation which attempted to deal with the grossly unfair way in which the local Pine Tree economy was constructed during and since the slave era, would tend to incorporate the works of both Spangle and Donahoo. Such a reconciliation would tend to be more willing to tax the existing base of wealth from the Pine Tree economy and focus part of this tax base on cleaning up the mess created by the decades of pollution surrounding the existing tree industry. Also, part of the taxes might be used to try to better educate the descendants of the black people whose poorly-paid labor built all these fine homes of the rulers of the Pine Tree realm, past and present.

In the future, a honorarium might be established for an annual speech at VSU, which stood for the ideas worked for by both Spangle and Donahoo. A fund might be set up for scholarships for students willing to work towards the ideas which Spangle and Donahoo stood for. Research funds and an endowed academic chair could be established which tended to further the joint concerns of the results of the Pine Tree economy, both in terms of fairer treatment of the black population, as well as in dealing with the terrible pollution associated with pine production.

7.3. R L Norman in 2001 and 2002: Near Accidents on the Highway

My own situation is somewhat perilous presently. I have tried to develop some Web pages describing these problems and some other issues. Some of these pages seem to be attracting a fair number of hits from around the globe. This is difficult to confirm however since the pages may well be ‘covered’ by the same intelligence agencies which invaded VSU around 1975.

In addition, there is a case involved with Bell South in Federal Court in Atlanta. So, whether or not the ‘hits’ results posted by the ‘Web Trends’ software are correct, is no more than a guess. As the Federal Court case continues, it may yet be shown what is actually happening to the site; whether the site is being isolated from the rest of the Internet, possibly by either the FBI, Bell South , Bulkregister.Com (the domain ‘registrar’ for some of the names), Interland.Net (the Web ‘host’) or some combination of the above.

Since I started on the Web site in early 2000, I have had several near-accidents while driving in the Lowndes County vicinity. In one incident, an industrial pallet was dropped in front of my car while driving at night. After I generally stopped driving at night, other incidents began occurring in broad daylight, usually with large semi-trucks.

8 . Dissident Activity in the United States

8.1 Lessons for Future Dissidents in the Land of the Free:
Limits on Dissidence as Constitutionally-Protected Activity in the U. S.

What is crucial for future dissidents to understand, is that all non-violent , dissident activity is not necessarily protected by the Constitution and where that line of protection exists is very murky from my experience. Making a mistake can seriously affect your career and in some cases, possibly your very life; at least from my experience. IF you anger powerful political people, the federal agencies which we normally associate with federal protection, may simply look the other way, while you are harassed or worse.

If the FBI or some other federal agency decides that you are a political problem or a ‘security threat’, they may very well attempt to do something to ‘clean up’ the problem- you. And if you publicly broach the possibility that the CIA is engaging in operations abroad which are not necessarily in the best traditions of American democracy, you may be visited by strange, but attractive foreign ladies, who themselves will not necessarily have their whole hearts in you, but who may well see you as useful way to get a permanent visa for the U S, or even citizenship. And once you have been publicly charged with some sexual offense, your life will never return to any version of normality.

While it is commonly understood abroad that the CIA runs such ‘tradecraft’ operations , it is little understood that such operations may occur here on American soil as well. Again, Americans need to recall the 1976 terror bombing of Ronnie Moffitt and Orlando Letelier in Washington D.C. by a sometimes CIA operative, Michael Townley. To this day, the death of American Robert Hormat in Chile during the 1973 coup, has never been satisfactorily explained. The film Dissappeared, with Sissy Spacek popularized this murder.

Lately my 1994 CUNY thesis is accessible from the Web, but I am no longer seeking academic employment. I am writing these notes somewhat as a last will and testament, naming names, dates and locations. I intend to bring as much light as possible on my life, as I believe that its shows just how damned far American federal officials have been prepared to go to squelch domestic dissent since the 1970s. It could also be a guide for the next generation of dissidents as to what to expect from their ‘security’ agencies, a lot of thuggery, focusing upon your sexual orientation. At the same time, these agencies may remain ‘asleep at the wheel’ with regards to actual security threats. That was part of the problem on September 10, 2001.

8.2 Low Intensity Warfare in Southern Georgia: U. S. Constitution or Not ?

The facts from Southern Georgia need to be seen, for the U. S. Constitution guarantees American citizens certain rights; principally life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In the case of certain individuals, these rights have been largely ignored especially around the area of free speech, which I believe have largely been abbrogated in Southern Georgia. I contend that some people who have pushed free speech and academic rights here have also paid for this with their very lives; and that I have had a series of near accidents, which are a part of these ongoing attacks.

There is in short, low-intensity warfare going on in South Georgia, which bears the marks of operations run abroad by American intelligence, with at least some current/former intelligence operatives probably involved since at least 1975. I believe that these Southern Georgia operations were conducted with the implicit nod of federal agencies, and probably with their occasional assistance and almost certainly with the approval of the college administration of Valdosta State University

It is my intention that the current and succeeding generations of dissidents not face the same level of direct federal harassment as I believe has occurred in Southern Georgia since 1975. And I would like to see the federal agencies involved in Valdosta be required to make a clean breast of these activities and that the involved officials be permanently retired from federal employment and publicly named. These officials work(ed) for the United States citizens and we are entitled to their best efforts within a civil society framework defined by the U. S. Constitution, not be subjected to a regime of terror and harrassment funded by our own tax dollars. This is particularly important as the federal authorities continue to try to keep the Al Qeada from destroying the country; for if we keep Qeada at bay, but turn the rest of the country into a larger version of existing Southern Georgia, survival would have been bought at the permanent destruction of a free, civil society.

9. Conclusions: The Future of Pine Tree Academia in Southern Georgia

9.1 William ‘Bill’ Donahoo’s and Henry ‘Hank’ Spangle’s Deaths

Making seemingly absurd charges against governmental agencies is often the provinence of ‘conspiracy theorists’ and those with severe emotional problems. Establishing some proof is another matter. Proof in this instance is difficult, but not impossible to obtain. Intelligence ‘stings’ are closed down shortly after the conclusion of the operation, and the details of the operation become shrouded in mists, but dead people remain dead.

Looking into the incidents of William A ‘Bill’ Donahoo’s drowning death in 1978 and the death of Henry ‘Hank’ Spangle in about 1982 might be a good start. Donahoo died while cave diving in Northern Florida, but had been heavily involved in one of the first ecological movements in this area, an attempt to derail the proposed Cross-Florida Barge Canal. This project would have constucted a large ditch to transfer goods from Jacksonville to the Tampa, cutting through some of the fragile limestone aquifer areas of central Florida, where much of the state’s water supply exists.

Hank’s ‘sin’ against the local power barons, was to have written a thesis in 1977 on history of lynchings in the area. His thesis acknowledgement’s page tended to rather directly impugn the authority and competence of VSU’s academic administration, including Robert Fisher , Graduate School Dean and Arts and Sciences head James Daniels. The President of VSU President S. Walter Martin and Vice-President W. Ray Cleere were not mentioned directly, but no doubt shared in the grief. Of the four, I only know of Cleere’s present location, as president of Piedmont College in North Georgia. Dr. Martin and Daniels are deceased.

While Donahoo’s and Spangle’s death’s could both be readily explained by the direct circumstances surrounding the deaths, the net effect was that the two most influential South Georgia activists involved in civil rights research and ecological work in the late 1970s were shortly dead. It may not some accident that these two areas of research would have been of concern to the local political powers and that these two people died as young as they did. To my direct knowledge, Spangle’s thesis has not been easily available from the VSU library (www.Valdosta.Edu), since its initial acceptance by his committee in 1977, after several months of legal problems. Ultimately Donahoo’s work contributed to the derailing of an idiotic canal project in Florida and the only remaining scars are a few large arching bridges, one of which is located on Highway 40, near Ocala Florida. Whatever threats to the Northern Florida aquifer may exist, may be from a possibly heavily polluted pond and from the Industrial Park on the Madison Highway in Valdosta, Georgia.

9.2 Southern Georgia: When Will Constitutional Government Begin?

It is my contention, that there may well have been a tie-in between the American intelligence agencies, the Valdosta State University administration and political activities of Southern Georgia since at least 1975. Again proof is not readily available, but the events surrounding the death’s of Donahoo and Spangle and the likely presence of an intelligence operation at VSU from about 1975 to at least 1978 are suggestive as to where investigations might begin. My more recent ‘problems’ while driving in South Georgia since 1995 and Al Parson’s numerous problems as the editor of the only existing dissident publishing voice in the area are also indicators. The Web however is a way of bringing a lot of uncomfortable facts to the public’s attention, and not only the ‘local’ public, but the ‘public of the entire globe.

As the Web version of The Lake Park Post, www.LakeParkPost.Com becomes more popular, the level of political influence of Southern Georgia’s Major Families may become more transparent. As more light is thrown onto these machinations, it is likely that the more overt forms of harrassment may end. After that, a more ‘civil’ society may then be built in Southern Georgia , based upon respect for the U.S. Constitution.

9.3 The Future of The Pine Tree Colleges:
Do Academic Sticks and Stones Really Get People Killed in Southern Georgia?

Florida State University has written much of the history of Southern Georgia. An early book on Thomas County, ‘Ante-Bellum Thomas County: 1825-1861’ by William Warren Rogers was published in 1963 by FSU as well. It too had a rather non-committal view of that era. Numan V. Bartley had a more recent 1983 book on modern Georgia, with a noted break in the 1950s with the post-bellum era. The tone of Bartley’s book is noticeably milder than that of Hank’s thesis.

If Hank fell victim to foul play in 1982, it was largely for nothing. Ironically, Hank had about decided in 1981 to give the research to the Thomas County Black Community and do other historical writing. People often write a thesis and never look at it again, except from the shelf. People get tired of an academic subject and move on. This seems to have been Hank’s plans, not long before he died. Yet, if he was a victim of foul play, the ‘set up’ would have started many months earlier, to have found just the right combination of events, to have his death appear as just another ‘accident’ occurring to a person with Hank’s particular background..

Yet as a researcher who completed his own Ph.D. thesis on methadone-maintained veterans in 1994, I have some background in methadone. There is some possibility that a methadone ‘overdose’ would have killed Hank, but as methadone does not as easily cause ‘over-doses’ as other drugs of abuse. But again, Hank’s death could have resulted from a reaction to the drug. His Mother seemed to believe that Hank’s autopsy had not been handled correctly at the time in Tallahassee. And the precise situation of the 18-year old girl with Hank at his death, is still not known. There are a lot of questions , but few ways of actually knowing the truth of his last days and hours.

Accidents happen all the time to all kinds of people here in the South. I for instance drive fairly conservatively today, but this was not always so true. For a person of my background and temperment to have had a fatal car accident on a two-lane Southern Georgia highway, would not be beyond the realm of possibility, especially if the surviving ‘witnesses’ could plausibly claim that I was driving ‘ carelessly’. And our friend, Bill Donahoo who died in 1978, was known as a bit of a risk taker. After all, limestone cave diving is known for a certain number of deaths each year.

9.4 Conclusions: The Web and Fading of Pine Tree Mythology

If there is a solution to the possible problems which seem to afflict people who confront the Pine Tree Myths in Southern Georgia, first it is the wider understanding of the possibility that such problems can and do exist; and are not simply the paranoid idiocies of a few strange people. And since neither the existing academic system nor the existing media system seem able to handle the problem, the Internet may have to be the way out. Once the purported secret leaders of the Pine Tree area, understand that they can be seen and called to account in a truly global way from the Web; it is likely that they will stand down at least for a while. Certainly, any possible federal collusion with civil or criminal implications would likley cease under such circumstances, at least for as long as the existing Constitution may survive.

And as the Internet becomes more and more prominent in the South, gradually the secret power of the Pine Tree Myths may erode from their own evil and criminality. As the liars, thugs and killers who have long hidden in the shadows of the tall Southern pines are shoved out into the bright sunlight; truly the last lynching will have occurred. Hank and Bill will have died earlier than many but will have accomplished more than most.

May you rest in peace, my old friends.


Bartley, Numan V. The creation of modern Georgia, Athens : University of Georgia Press, 1983

Howell, Clark History of Georgia, Three Volumes, 1926, Atlanta: The S. J. Clarke Publishing
Co., ( p.48, 390, 54).

Norman, Jr. Reuben Lamar, Patterns of Death Among Methadone-Maintained Veterans, CUNY Graduate Center, 1994.

Rogers, William Warren, Ante-bellum Thomas County, 1825-1861. Tallahassee: Florida State University, 1963.

Rogers, William Warren, Thomas County, 1865-1900 .Tallahassee : Florida State University Press, 1973.

Rogers, William Warren, Thomas County During the Civil War. Tallahassee, Florida State University, 1964.

Rogers, William Warren, Pebble Hill :The Story of a Plantation. Tallahassee, Fla.: Sentry Press, 1979 .

Spangle, Jr. Harold Henry, The History of the Black Community in Thomas County, Georgia from 1827 to 1909, Master Thesis,
Valdosta State University; 1977. (call number F - 292 - .t4 - s62 - 1977)

Spangle,Jr. Harold Henry, The History of the Black Community in Thomas County, Georgia from 1827 to 1909, Thomasville, Ga. : Thomas College Press, 1994. (call number F - 292 - .t4 - s62 -1994)

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Pine Tree Politics in Southern Georgia
and The Deaths of Two Dissident Students
from Valdosta State University between
1975 to 1983:

Harold Henry 'Hank' Spangle
William 'Bill' Donahoo

The data for this report were compiled during
December 2002 and January 2003
by R L Norman, a friend of the deceased

The report is being edited in early
February and will be posted by the
end of February.

Monday, January 13, 2003

Problems a Dissident Might Face at the Job:

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

This section is being edited presently and more will be
posted by January 23,2003

Basically, most people in the country have not been
active against specific parts of questionable activties abroad
by the United States, have no idea as to how the
domestic political system seems to work, thus have no
way of evaluating how a domestic dissident might
have to live, in order to remain out of prison.
In societies such as former Soviet Union or Poland, or present
day Chile, political dissidents are or have been fairly
common place and while most people struggle just to
get by from day to day, these same people are aware that
local dissidents do exist; and are often inclined to cut the
dissidents a little slack where possible.

Here in America, where true dissidents are fairly rare, people
working in regular jobs are often at a loss to understand what is going on;
much less how to deal with the dissident's attendant problems.

The situation may be compounded if the intelligence system
creates other often sexually oriented 'investigations' about the dissident and tries to
create and even more hostile job environment around the dissident.

Part of my solution to this dilemma, has been to publicly state
that any of my agency's supervisors who doubt my veracity,
are welcome to obtain my federal FOIA files from whatever
investigative agencies they desire. Given my own surviving
paper records, it is not likely that the widely known federal agencies
can deny having some records about me. Thus a government
employer has to either cut the dissident some slack or have
their state or local legal department begin to write letters to the
various federal agencies.

In many ways, most state agencies seem to try to be fair or
even more than fair in my experience. A dissident should not
take unfair advantage of this fairness, as it devalues his/her
own work and makes the government system look unfairly bad.


Sunday, January 12, 2003

College Dissidents in America: Animal House or Animal Farm ?

In Memory of
Hank Spangle, William A. (Bill) Donoho and Joseph S. Murphy;
American Dissidents


In the early 1974, after a number of disagreements about the nature of life at Valdosta State College (now VSU or, I started a small underground newspaper, the Clarion, which became the South Georgia college version of the 1960s. I was basically blacklisted academically in the South as a result of my political activities and was unable to get into the University of Georgia in 1977 to finish a graduate degree in sociology. I applied to Northern schools and moved to New York City in 1978. There I attended schools and spent most of the 1980s in various dissident movements; finally completing a Ph.D. in 1994. Family health problems began pulling me back to Southern Georgia in that same year and compelled me to be there increasingly throughout the remainder of the decade. Various problems in the South began occurring in 1995 and have continued.

In the five years, I have had a half-dozen near-death incidents; primarily road way problems outside of Valdosta, Georgia. Credit cards, business papers have been stolen and other matters have occurred on the bus rides from Atlanta to Valdosta, Georgia. Part of my attempts to remain alive was to build a set of Southern Web sites and lately to set up this ‘blogger’. Presently I am involved in Federal litigation with Bell South in Atlanta over certain aspects of the sites. The daily Web ‘hits’ patterns on my sites, also suggest wide-spread interest in the sites, from other Southern corporations, a number of other foreign corporations and military and other federal sources. Either the sites are drawing an eclectic audience, with rising numbers or a very elaborate Web scam is being pulled off. And yes, I guess most of the road incidents could be explained as a series of coincidents. What is more difficult to explain is the seeming pattern of deaths among people I was working with politically, both in Georgia and New York, combined with these last five years of problems.

While opposing the rich and the powerful has seldom been a good career move historically, I have always believed in the power of the U.S. Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment. And since the Freedom of the Press seems to apply primarily to those who possess one, that is why this blogger has been created.

The following notes were written at different times over the last five years and are sometimes repetitive and not perfectly in time sequence. The sometimes conspiritorial tones of the notes represent the way I have felt compelled to live as a dissident in this country. I believe that a reasonable case can be made that many of my guaranteed rights as an American have been abridged since my college days and that for many purposes I have not been treated as a citizen by parts of the Federal government.

To the extent that this is later proven correct, these notes may be useful to Americans in the future to prevent similar harassment. I have little expectation that the civil authorities will ever face me publicly in a open court or be called to account for their actions in South Georgia in the 1970s and since, but these public notes may compel them to either stand down or make their case(s) legally. This blogger is my direct statement to either put up or shut up. As for those person(s) who may or may not be trying to create a road accident for me in South Georgia, these blogger notes may be seen as a fairly cheap life insurance policy.

Relevant Documents and Images:
(to be included)

1. Letter to Sheriff from October 4, 2001- near accident on Ga Highway 133,near Berlin

2. Letter to Sheriff on semi-truck attempts on Ga Highway 133,

3.Letter on near assault- Moultrie Ga

4. Images of GA Highway 133 at Cook Road

5. Images of GA Highway 133 at Pauline Church Road