Huffpost WorldPost
Harry Shearer Headshot

Who Is Terry Jones?

Posted: Updated:

LONDON -- The American media seem spellbound by Terry Jones as a stuntmaster. They can't stop talking about his threat to burn copies of the Koran on the 9th anniversary of 9/11, or asking other notables, from generals to cabinet members, to comment about it. The only thing it doesn't seem fascinated by is Terry Jones the person.

The British and German press are shedding some light on that issue. Germany's Der Spiegel quotes Andrew Schafer, a Protestant church official responsible for monitoring cults in the Cologne area, where Jones once had a congregation numbering 100, as saying:

"Terry Jones appears to have a delusional personality."

The Times of London (hidden online behind a paywall, but I have a paper copy I borrowed from the BBC), has some blunter reporting about Jones' background:

He (and his second wife Sylvia) left Germany in 2008 after one of their three adult children... along with a former church elder... accused them of financial and labour (sic) abuses... (the Florida church) is funded by TS & Company, a furniture shipping business owned by the church, which buys vintage pieces from Europe and sells them at profit in the U.S. The workforce is comprised of the Jones's disciples, who work for no wages and live cost-free in tatty properties owned by the (Joneses).

Tatty is Britspeak for rundown, or crummy.