RE: [gardeners]

Margaret Lauterbach (
Tue, 11 Aug 1998 12:07:15 -0600

>How he gonna do dat?
Pat!  Glad you're back.  Hope you had a good time.  As I recall, you were
going 600 miles to attend a party.  

I was going to "share" (i.e., unload) a problem with you.  Several weeks
ago, a fellow posted a query about chiles from Indonesia. I answered him,
and asked him if he'd be interested in swapping some Indonesian chile seeds
for some of my chile seeds (South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Mexico,
the Caribbean, etc.).  He said he would be, and we individually got seeds
in the mail.  I received his, planted them, and asked him if he had
received mine.  He said he was convinced they were in his country, and that
eventually they'd be delivered to him (very quixotic -- still don't
understand that).  Then all hell broke loose in Indonesia.  I emailed him,
asking if he were all right, and received no answer.  

Then last week he sent a brief message with an attachment, asking the
addressees to forward the message to anyone we thought could help.  I
couldn't open the attachment (klutzy or something), so Jaime volunteered to
open it, translate it and send it back.  I forwarded it to her, and she
said the attachment contained nothing.  I always thought the whole thing
forwarded at once, but the attachment may indeed have been empty.  I
queried some of the other addressees and received weird replies.  One said
she thought his address had changed, and she'd get back to me.  Another
just returned my message to me.  A third was an unknown party to that ISP. 

I finally wrote the fellow in Indonesia and asked if he could send text.
He used someone else's email account to send as anonymously as possible,
and the message was quite shocking.  He and some other fellows were
horrified and appalled at the "riots" in their country because truckloads
of men were delivered here and there in the city and countryside, always
released outside the home of Chinese.  The men would then rush in and
brutally rape the women (many deaths resulted).  They saw raped dead women,
blood still flowing, and a few minutes later the corpses had disappeared.
The message is about 46K long, detailing one account after another.  The
message is from an apparently ad hoc committee of good men, the secretary
of which signed his name followed by S.J.  (he's a Jesuit priest, as you
probably know).  I'm glad Jaime didn't get the message.  She's too unstable
to handle that, and in fact it's so graphic it nearly bowled me over.  I
printed out the message and gave it to the Associated Press Bureau chief
Friday.  He was apparently rattled by the message as well.  He did not
forward the message on Friday because the wires were full of the embassy
bombings, but said he would get the word to their Indonesian bureau on Monday.

I sent it to a fellow I've known for years in Montreal, and he's shaken by
the post too.  He suggested forwarding it to the State Department's
Indonesia desk.  I started running searches, looking for an email address
for the State Dept., and have vacillated about sending it to some places I
found such as the International Rescue Committee (although I think this is
long past rescue), the Human Rights Watch (same story), or to specific
senators on the Foreign Operations committee and the Foreign Relations
committee.  Do you have any ideas?  

Thank you for "letting me" bend your ear (what choice did you
have?)...Best, Margaret