Saturday, December 04, 2004
Missing the Point?
Like many media sensations, Rollen's story suffers from the same urban myths or "broken telephone" misconceptions.
I found a weblink that talked about how Rollen "... would purchase the best seats possible at the greatest sporting events" and then went to Los Angeles with a plan "... to hijack a jet to another continent," but that something went wrong "... probably at check-in, and he ended up taking hostages." Sounds like it would make a great movie, but where did this person get his info from?
First of all, not once did Rollen purchase the best tickets. Occasionally, these were given to him. Instead he would either walk down to those seats and sit in the aisle or get the people sitting there to make room for him. And of course, some people would offer up their seats, if only for a few minutes, because they agreed with his message and wanted to help him get it out.
Secondly, the event in which Rollen found himself arrested was in an L.A. airport hotel. Rollen took two Mexican immigrant workers with him to gain access to the hotel, and after they ran away, he barricaded himself in a hotel room with the goal of getting world-wide satellite time to spread his message. He didn't realize that a maid was in the room. She locked herself in the bathroom and had nothing more to do with him - nor he with her.
A dumb idea - sure. But one which resulted in three life sentences - for kidnapping? No way. Rollen of course sealed his fate by not accepting the crown's offer for a twelve-year sentence because he wanted more media attention.
Rollen's case and the resulting sentence is hardly on par with history's grave injustices, but the fact that 2005 is approaching and that there seems to be no end to his jail term does strike me as unfair. I have agreed to help Rollen raise money for paper, stamps and incidentals and later - if more money does come in - to hire people to continue his John 3:16 campaign, if he cannot, because of this injustice. Agree or not, Rollen's sentence exceeds the penalties usually laid out for an equivalent crime. Perhaps being the Rainbow Man worked against him.