It is easy for us as Americans to overlook events in a continent away while so many issues of our own are brewing at home. However, the Kony 2012 movement is blowing up the Internet, forcing all of us to take a hard look at what is going on in the East African country of Uganda and a man that most of us knew little or nothing about until now. Joseph Kony.
Joseph Kony was born around 1961 in Odek, Uganda. He was raised in the Catholic religion, but was known for a quick temper and a propensity for violence to get his point across. This character trait would translate to his adulthood in a much more menacing fashion. By the age of fifteen, Kony had given up his Catholic ties and became an understudy to the local witch doctor, which just happened to be his older brother. When his brother Jamie Brow passed away, Kony took his spot. From there, he would develop his own doctrines that he would eventually grow into a full-fledged movement. He was first acknowledged on the international scene way back in 1986 by heading up a religious group in the wake of the Holy Spirit Movement of Alice Auma, who it is widely theorized that Kony was related to. This attempt at a movement was easily quashed by the National Resistance Army in Uganda, but the quashing inspired a lot of bad feelings toward the NRA. This resulted in a young man named Joseph Kony gaining incredible momentum among his fellow people.
Kony resurfaced with a group called the United Holy Salvation Army. They didn’t make a big blimp on the NRA radar this time, which allowed Kony to use his popularity from previous attempts to expand his ambitions. By 1988, the UHSA was a major player on the Ugandan government scene. Kony used his prominence to assemble the Lord’s Resistance Army and they enjoyed some success defeating the NRA in skirmishes. The NRA responded in a heavy-handed manner, severely diminishing the organization. They responded with new tactics. They no longer limited their attacks to NRA servicemen. They attacked anyone and anything that supported the NRA. Kony said that this tactic was revealed to him by a spirit.
With us so far? Doesn’t sound so bad. A real freedom fighter, right? Get this. Most of Joseph Kony’s army were children. Some say there were as many as 104,000 children in Kony’s army. Kony recruited the children with unimaginable tactics. He killed their parents, neighbors, and relatives, leaving them with little choice but to go with him and join his movement. In 1992, Kony’s group kidnapped forty-four girls from schools. Then, the Lord’s Resistance Army gained even more steam as rebels in Sudan came under the cause as well.
Joseph Kony believes that he is guided by the Holy Spirit. He tells innocent children that if he sprinkles them with holy water and paints a cross on their chest, bullets will not be able to hurt them. His mission statement? The Ten Commandments. He believes that his movement is about fighting for the Ten Commandments.
In 2005, an arrest warrant was issued for Joseph Kony by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. The charges in his indictment include such atrocities as murder, enslavement, enslavement for sexual purposes, and outright rape.
The United States did get involved, but so far, Kony has escaped unscathed. In 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law provisions to further efforts to capture Kony and disarm the Lord’s Resistance Army. But still, the atrocities committed by Joseph Kony and company were mostly unnoticed in the population. Now, the documentary “Kony 2012” has caught fire on the Internet, causing thousands to rally behind the cause to bring this man to justice. The video was made by Jason Russell for the group Invisible Children to hopefully raise American involvement. It seems that it is working well. People are responding, and the video is going viral as we speak.
Common Sense Conspiracy has requested permission to embed the video here, but until then, you can watch this hard-hitting documentary here.