18 / November
18 / November
Don't Drink the Kool-Aid on Jonestown

Thirty years ago today more than 900 followers of Jim Jones committed "revolutionary suicide" by drinking cyanide-laced Flavor-Aid.

"I just want to say something to everyone that I see that is standing around and are crying. This is nothing to cry about. This is something we should all rejoice about. We can be happy about this. They always told us that we should cry when you're coming into this world, but when we're leaving and we're leaving it peaceful ... I tell you, you should be happy about this. I was just thinking about Jim Jones. He just has suffered and suffered and suffered. He is the only god and he don't even have a chance to enjoy his death here. (clapping and voices in background)... I wanted to say one more thing. This is one thing I want to say. That you that've gone and there's many more here. He's still--the way, that's not all of us, that's not all yet. There's just a few that have died. A chance to get ... to the one that they could tell ... their lies to. So and I say I'm looking at so many people crying, I wish you would not cry, and just thank Father, just thank him. I tell you about ... (clapping and shouting) ... I've been here, uh, one year and nine months and I never felt better in my life. Not in San Francisco, but until I came to Jonestown. I enjoy this life. I had a beautiful life. I don't see nothing that I should be crying about. We should be happy. At least I am. Let's all be the same."

This comes from an unidentified woman on the FBI death recording from Jonestown, Guyana. Within minutes, she would be dead. For anyone familiar with the National Socialists' "night of the long knives" or the Soviet Socialists' show trials, replete as they were with a socialist dictator's victims professing their love and allegiance for that dictator in the moment of death, the pathetic hosannas to Jim Jones by the people of Peoples Temple plays as a disturbing socialist deja vu.

On November 17, 1978, Jim Jones was a hero to American leftists. On November 18, 1978, Jones orchestrated the killings of 918 people and strangely morphed in the eyes of American leftists into an evangelical Christian fanatic. An unfortunately well-worn narrative, playing out contemporaneously in Pol Pot's Cambodia, of socialist dreams ending in ghoulish nightmares, then, conveniently shifted to one about the dangers of organized religion. But as The Nation magazine reported at the time, "The temple was as much a left-wing political crusade as a church. In the course of the 1970s, its social program grew steadily more disaffiliated from what Jim Jones came to regard as 'Fascist America' and drifted rapidly toward outspoken Communist sympathies." So much so that the last will and testament of the Peoples Temple, and its individual members who left notes, bequeathed millions of dollars in assets to the Soviet Union. As Jones expressed to a Soviet diplomat upon upon his visit to Jonestown the month before the smiling suicides took place, "For many years, we have let our sympathies be quite publicly known, that the United States government was not our mother, but that the Soviet Union was our spiritual motherland."

Jim Jones was an evangelical communist who became a minister to infiltrate the church with the gospel according to Marx and Lenin. He was an atheist missionary bringing his message of socialist redemption to the Christian heathen. "I decided, how can I demonstrate my Marxism?," remembered Jones of his days in 1950s Indiana. "The thought was, infiltrate the church." So in the forms of Pentecostal ritual, Jones smuggled socialism into the minds of true believers--who gradually became true believers of a different sort. Unless one counts his drug-induced bouts with self-messianism, Jones didn't believe in God. Get it--a Peoples Temple. He shocked his parishioners, many of whom certainly did believe in God, by dramatically tossing the Bible onto the ground during a sermon. "Nobody's going to come out of the sky!," an excited Jones had once informed his flock. "There's no heaven up there! We'll have to have heaven down here!" Like so many efforts to usher in the millenium before it, Jones's Guyanese road to heaven on earth detoured to a hotter afterlife destination.

The horrific scene in a Guyanese jungle clearing could have been avoided. Thousands of miles north, for years leading up to Jonestown, San Francisco officials and journalists had looked the other way while Jones acted as a law unto himself. So what if he abused children, sodomized a follower, tortured and held temple members at gun point, and defrauded the government and people of welfare and social security checks? He believes in socialism and so do we. That was the ends-justifies-the-means attitude that enabled Jim Jones to commit criminal acts in San Francisco with impunity. The people who should have stopped him instead encouraged him.

Mayor George Moscone, who would be assassinated days after the Jonestown tragedy, appointed Jones to the city's Housing Authority in 1975. Jones quickly became chairman, which proved beneficial to the enlargement of the pastor's flock--and his coffers, as Jones seized welfare checks from new members. One of the Peoples Temple's top officials becoming an assistant district attorney, a man so thoroughly indoctrinated in the cult that he falsely signed an affidavit (ultimately his child's death warrant) disavowing paternity to his own son and ascribed paternity to Jones, similarly enhanced the cult's power base within the city. How, one wonders, did victimized Peoples Temple members feel about going to the law in a city where Jones's henchman was the law?

Going to the Fourth Estate was also a fruitless endeavor, as San Francisco media institutions, such as columnist Herb Caen, were boosters of Jones and his Peoples Temple. When veteran journalist Les Kinsolving penned an eight-part investigative report on Peoples Temple for the San Francisco Examiner in 1972, his editors buckled under pressure from Jones and killed the report halfway through. Kinsolving quipped that the Peoples Temple was the "the best-armed house of God in the land," detailed the kidnapping and possible murder of disgruntled members, exposed Jones's phony faith healing, highlighted Jones's vile school-sanctioned sex talk with children, and directed attention toward the Peoples Temple's massive welfare fraud that funded its operations. "But in the Mendocino County Welfare Dept. there is the key to Prophet Jones' plans to expand the already massive influx of his followers--and have it supported by tax money," Kinsolving wrote more than six years before the tragedy in the Guyanese jungle. "The Examiner has learned that at least five of the disciples of The Ukiah Messiah are employees of this Welfare Department, and are therefore of invaluable assistance in implementing his primary manner of influx: the adoption of large numbers of children of minority races." Unfortunately, four of the series' eight articles were jettisoned after Jones unleashed hundreds of protestors to the San Francisco Examiner, a programmed letter-writing campaign, and a threatened lawsuit against the paper. The Examiner promptly issued a laudatory article on Jones. A few years later, after Jones had moved operations from Ukiah to San Francisco, California, a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle penned an expose on the Peoples Temple. A Chronicle editor sympathetic to Jones spiked that piece, which ultimately made its way to New West magazine and so alarmed Jones that he hastily departed San Francisco for his agricultural experiment in Guyana.

By virtue of producing rent-free rent-a-rallies for liberal politicians and causes, Jim Jones engendered enormous amounts of good will from Democratic politicians and activists. They allowed their political ambitions to derail their governing responsibilities. Frisco pols like Harvey Milk never seemed to care how Jones could, at the snap of his fingers, direct hundreds of people to stack a public meeting or volunteer for a campaign. City Councilman Milk just knew that he benefitted from that control, and therefore never bothered to do anything to inhibit the dangerous cult operating in his city. Instead, he actively aided and abetted a homicidal maniac. It wasn't just local hacks Jones commanded respect from. He held court with future First Lady Rosalyn Carter, vice presidential candidate Walter Mondale, and California Governor Jerry Brown.

A man who killed more African Americans than the Ku Klux Klan was awarded a local Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award and won the plaudits of California lieutenant governor Mervyn Dymally, state assemblyman Willie Brown, radical academic Angela Davis, preacher/politician Jesse Jackson, Black Panther leader Huey Newton, and other African American activists. From Newton, whom Jones had visited in Cuban exhile in 1977, Jones got his lawyer and received support, such as a phone-to-megaphone address to Jonestown during a "white night" dry run of mass suicide. This was appropriate, as it was from Newton whom Jones appropriated the phrase "revolutionary suicide"--the title of a 1973 Newton book--that he used as a moniker for the murder-suicides of more than 900 people on November 18, 1978. "We didn't commit suicide," Jones announced during the administering of cyanide-laced Flavoraid to his flock, "we committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world." Newton's comically idiotic slogan boomeranged on him, as several of his relatives perished in the Kool-Aid carnage.

It's worth remembering that before the people of Peoples Temple drank Jim Jones's Kool-Aid, the leftist political establishment of San Francisco gulped it down. And without the latter, the former would have never happened.

posted at 12:52 AM
Comments

Leftists are amazing at blaming their own failures ont heir enemies. They never fail, they never learn, and we are constantly on the defensive, becuase they convince everybody that "reactionaries" were responsible for their atrocities.

Jim Jones has entered social consciousness as a RELIGIOUS fanatic, so that the angry anti-God people, of whom Jones was one, can continue their fantasy in which traditionally religious people are insane and dangerous, while they themselves are cooly rational.

Posted by: xantippe on November 18, 2008 12:09 PM

They are as rational as children who refuse to grow up.

Posted by: asdf on November 18, 2008 12:34 PM

Well, email to info@ bounces, so here goes. Great article. You might spell "Pentacostal" according to the more conventional (i.e., correct) spelling of "Pentecostal".

Posted by: BB on November 18, 2008 01:42 PM

The premise of this article is that a leftist worldview informed, protected and was ultimately complicit in the suicides and murders of those at Jonestown. Nonsense. May I suggest that you read Eric Hoffer's seminal "The True Believer." I submit that radical atheistic liberalism was no more a factor in this event than radical Christian fundamentalism was a factor in the David Koresh killings at Waco, Texas, but they both had much more in common than this article intimates.

Posted by: Philip Wik on November 18, 2008 02:07 PM

That may be a good point as both men ultimately thought of themselves as divinities.

However, Koresh didn't run in political circles necessarily. Jones thrived on it.

Posted by: asdf on November 18, 2008 02:14 PM

Hi Philip,

"The True Believer" is my favorite book. I've read it many times, quoted from it at length in my own book "Intellectual Morons," and frequently refer to it on this site. The reasons they cited for killing themselves--revolutionary suicide to protest the conditions of an inhumane world and the paranoid view that evil American agencies (the CIA and the military) would brainwash their babies and torture them if they didn't kill themselves--certainly come directly from their leftist worldview. I'd be interested in why you disbelieve, particularly in light of your enthusiasm for Hoffer, the idea that a close-knit radical political movement wouldn't have been influenced to partake in destruction as a result of their ideas. "Nonsense," I'm afraid, isn't much of a rebuttal.

Posted by: Dan Flynn on November 18, 2008 02:19 PM

I thought the premise of this article is that because politicians in California shared a world view with Jones and could get something from him, they looked past and covered up his crimes until it was too late. I think that has a lot more to do with human nature than political ideology.

Posted by: PookyBear on November 18, 2008 02:34 PM

Phillip,

Read the article again. There is little (if any) suggestion that the San Fransisco liberals were complicit in the poisoning. The point is that he was a product of the Left and nobody cared about his charismatic hold over, or abuse of, his parishioners as long as he could furnish instant protests for the political machine.

I'm kind of two minds about this. I know that liberal always like to talk about how brainiacs could have averted any spillage of milk, because some expert dredged up after the fact says they were watching precisely that. Despite that I have liberal sympathies, I hate liberal politics and so eschew that sort of blame game so popular among them--the recent claim that every issue was a result of "failed policies".

But on balance, I feel I don't have to engage in liberal-esque sensationalism in order to say that I think that Dan is right: had more pressure been put on Jones when he broke the law, he might have had a little less momentum and might not have thought of himself as a law unto himself.

Posted by: Sea King on November 18, 2008 02:49 PM

When I first heard about Jonestown, my opinions were formed by the media reports of the day: another crazy Christian fundamentalist fanatic commits a faith-based atrocity. And, I must admit, I accepted this conventional 'wisdom' of the time. Then I learned, to my utter surprise, that Jones was an out and out leftist; walked and talked, wined and dined in leftist circles and was praised and admired by leftist leaders. And then it all made sense. He was a leftist political fundamentalist! Leftist political orthodoxy is the religion of the left; the fundamentalism. Its all they've got. If the world, as it truly is, is more complex than Marx and doesn't operate according to marxist principles, then your entire belief structure is kaput. Your 'god' is dead. The answer: revolutionary suicide. Jonestown is irretrievably tied to leftist political ideology.

Good article Mr. Flynn and thanks for reminding us of the true nature of Jonestown. Expect the left to whine and cavil.

Posted by: Doug Rivers on November 18, 2008 04:09 PM

Your argument is interesting, but the conclusion you seem to be reaching for is a stretch. You seem to be suggesting that San Francisco leaders could have behaved differently and that would have changed the outcome in Guyana. How?

Jones and his followers were not under American jurisdiction at the time of their mass suicide. How could Jones have been stopped, short of being prevented from going to Guyana in the first place, say because he was in jail? Actually, he could probably have ordered his "revolutionary suicide" just as easily from Alcatraz. Who knows? He could have converted inmates by the thousands and coordinated mass suicides all over California.
It's pointless to speculate on what could have happened if only the San Francisco left had acted more responsibly. Water under the bridge, I'm afraid.

Posted by: Diane on November 18, 2008 06:46 PM

By the way, MSNBC has been running a great special on Jonestown if ya'll haven't seen it.

Posted by: Ken on November 18, 2008 08:33 PM

"How?" By arresting Jones for kidnapping, among scores of other crimes, in San Francisco in 1977, Jones could not have committed greater crimes in Guyana in 1978. Instead of arresting a criminal, the mayor appointed him to the city's public housing commission. Instead of joining the courageous Congressman Leo Ryan, SF city councilman Harvey Milk shamefully wrote President Carter that Jones was "a man of the highest character" and characterized two parents attempting to retrieve their kidnapped son from Jones as blackmailers and liars, incredibly buying Jones despicable lie that he was the father of the boy. Despite engaging in some far-fetched speculation of your own (Jones would have organized mass suicide in the prisons???!!!), you label my speculation "pointless." History isn't "pointless," and for any who believe that it is, consider that many of the villains in this story still hold public office, and others are considered heroes in San Francisco (Willie Brown, Harvey Milk, George Moscone, Herb Caen). Yes, San Francisco's leaders could have behaved differently, and yes, it would have positively affected the outcome in this case. I struggle to think of another city in America where Jones could have committed his crimes with impunity, let alone committed his crimes with the complicity of elected officials.

Posted by: Dan Flynn on November 18, 2008 08:51 PM

It is indeed fallacious to suggest that liberals were complicit in the Jonestown joyjuice cult. But what I suggest is false is the implication that "liberalism" (whatever the heck that is!) was the ground from which this cult sprung, any mroe than I would suggest that Koresh's Waco was a result of New Testament Christianity or the Hale-Boggs UFO cult was a result of Star Trek. It rather had to do with a certain cast of mind, making all cultists brothers under the skin despite what Hoffer and I regard as superficial doctrinal differences. (I might also mention that is was the so-called liberal mainstream media who exposed the Jonestown cult for what it was and paid for it with their lives.)

I go into the point Hoffer amde so effectively a half century before in more depth on my blog, here:

http://www.mymallandnews.com/truebeliever.htm

Posted by: Philip Wik on November 18, 2008 09:04 PM

Complicity? Phil, liberals/leftists were the Jonestown cult.

Posted by: Dan Flynn on November 18, 2008 09:52 PM

Sure, Dan. But conservatists and rightists are also the apostate Mormon polygamists of Arizona and Utah, the Buddhists who assault Hindus, the Hindus who assault Christians, the Protestants who assault Catholics, the Catholics who assault Jews, the Jews who assault Moslems, and the Moslems who assault Christians, Jews, and Moslems. They-- victims and victimizers-- are true-blue conservatives, prepared to shed their blood and the blood of others to protect their established folkways, their traditional mores against the encroachment of the new and the different.

That Jim Jones was a "liberal" is a trivial observation that explains absolutely nothing to anyone but the true believer.

I found this blog as a link on The Corner on National Review Online. I can think of no better confirmation of my argument than to compare the posts from that site to The Daily Kos, sharing as they do they same kind of temper and shape of the mind despite their differences in public policy. They are the same flies that are intoxicated by the same honey of fanatacism, as far apart and as close together, as Hoffer notes, as Saul and Paul.

Posted by: Philip Wik on November 18, 2008 11:11 PM

Phil: I understand and largely agree with the general point you are trying to make--that ideologues of all stripes are capable of horrible acts in pursuit of some end deemed glorious by the ideology (I wrote a whole book about this phenomenon)--I just don't think the examples you offer butress that point. Sure, many of the religious groups you point to contain conservatives (and folks of various other views as well). But Catholicism, Judiasm, Islam, etc. aren't the equivalent of any given secular political belief system. The Peoples Temple was a secular, leftist group run by a professed atheist. In other words, it's not that leftism was tangentially related to the religion. Leftism was the religion.

Another of your errors here, which anyone can plainly see by your conflation of Jonestown with traditional God-based religions, is the convenient placement of Peoples Temple in the same category as Catholicism, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. This is convenient for self-described secular rationalists/humanists, as it in one stroke absolves them of association with a suicidal cult and dishonestly classifies that suicidal cult of political leftists with groups that you at least label as "rightist" and "conservative."

Classifying this group of suicidal secularist leftists with decidedly non-suicidal religious conservatives doesn't make sense and serves to disconnect Jonestown from its true antecedents--the larger scale socialist experiments of the 20th century that promised heaven on earth but delivered mass murder.

Posted by: Dan Flynn on November 18, 2008 11:40 PM

Diane,

Although I don't believe that any disaster of Jones' making could definitely have been averted, Your scenarios sound a little far-fetched. Being included in the SF power structure lent him credibility that he would not have had otherwise.

Phil,

It's hard to say something is "just like" the Jones' sect, because the Jonestown suicide is singular. Yes, you can find examples through history of all sorts of fanatics killing each other, but you have to go back to the Masada to get a mass suicide like this, and those people thought they would face rather brutal Roman torture.

To me, it's significant that fanaticism of this type can come out of leftist America. They seem to regard that as long as no one has to look at creches or stone tablets, fanaticism is in check. You may say that there is no difference, but the libs have tried to put the evangelical gloss on this, because they really don't believe that fanaticism comes from their side.

I think it's also significant from the perspectives as libs as champions of the weak, because it's not the case when there's political hay to be made.

Posted by: Sea King on November 19, 2008 01:48 AM

I can think of no better confirmation of my argument than to compare the posts from [National Review] to The Daily Kos
Yeah, that's what I think of your argument too. Incredibly, you think that's a defense of your argument.

Posted by: bgates on November 19, 2008 10:20 AM

I think there is something else here that needs to be mentioned. Comparing Jonestown to Waco is way off base IMHO. The folks at Waco had done nothing wrong, and were executed over an alleged NFA tax that was not paid. This was carried out by the same agency that did the same at Ruby Ridge while a left of center government was in place in the US.

Posted by: Mike on November 19, 2008 10:29 AM

Well Sir, I must say I was quite educated by this article and as a way of saying thanks, I shall get a copy of book. I believe it should be an interesting read.

Posted by: Kyle on November 19, 2008 05:13 PM

My memory of Jonestown is through the lens of a movie about the same made a few years afterward, with (in an excellent bit of Hollywood casting, IMO) Tommy Lee Jones cast as Jim.

Recreating the horrible audio footage of a funereal organ playing while people sobbed and wailed in the foreground, the made-for-TV movie, whose title I can't recall, showed Jones, cool yet cold, in his final minutes simultaneously trying to calm yet lecturing to his congregants:

"Would I lie to you?

Would I EVER lie to you?"

Chilling.

Posted by: KJW on November 19, 2008 05:28 PM

KJW: It was Powers Boothe, not Tommy Lee Jones. The movie was called "Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones".

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080832/

Posted by: gus3 on November 19, 2008 06:32 PM

I was so glad to hear this article read on Glenn Beck this morning because I was wondering if I was the only one that sees this!

I explained all of this to a lunch party I was with yesterday. I am 40 years old and only knew a little of the story.

I have become so fascinated with this story over the weekend and have spent numerous hours reading article after article and have REACHED THE SAME CONCLUSION!

This was nothing more than another example of socialism leading to destruction of innocent people. After reading the accounts, the majority of people involved were good decent people involved in helping others. They were sincere. However, when he changed, they protected him because "the ends justified the means."

I see so many parallels in our society its scares me. That was why I was so passionate about telling what I say in the Jonestown story. It is great to know others see the very same things.

I think this past election had many similarities. We are headed down this same road and will end in the same results if we are not careful.

It has happened time and time again. The Russians, the Germans, etc. All starting off somewhat good. The common goal of all to better the society as a whole. And then the wrong person gets in charge, or their motives revealed, and people die. It gets to a point where it is too late to stop it.

Many were murdered that day because it was too late to resist. Think about it.

Oh it can't happen to us. Oh really.

How about universal health care, standardizing (controling) education, the Fairness Doctrine and media control (Jones speaker system). Many more very similar examples if you choose to look.

Posted by: Major Dan on November 19, 2008 06:53 PM

Liberalism is a death cult,somebody will re-write the story one day and blame it on Bush..SO DON'T WORRY LIBTURDS THE FUTURE ALL YOURS YA DUMB A** MF'ERS!

Posted by: Kelly on November 19, 2008 07:19 PM

FACT: Jonestown was a CIA operation and Jones was a CIA asset. WHY is that not in this article????

Posted by: SmarterThanU on November 19, 2008 08:11 PM

David Koresh was NOT a product of fundamental Christianity. While Jones was supported and encouraged by leftist political leaders, Koresh was isolated and kicked out of fundamentalist churches. I know because Koresh aka Vernon Howell was a member of my church here in Tyler. We threw him out on his ear when he started all that nonsense. We didn't give him humanitarian awards. He was persona non grata in the Christian Community and we did our best to rescue misguided folks from his collectivist commune.

Big difference there. The Christian Right never approves of people like Koresh or abortion lab bombers. The left, on the other hand, clasps guys like Ayers and Jones to their bosoms.

Posted by: Tom King on November 19, 2008 08:40 PM

Dan,
Thanks for a fascinating article. I'd like to read your book too. I admire intellects like you who are able clearly explain their arguments and see the truth behind evil socialism and leftward thinking. It's amazing how quickly Americans have forgotten what happened in the Soviet Union where millions died because of failed socialist/communist policies. And now we find our leaders flirting with similar ideas...Scary.

Posted by: Luke on November 19, 2008 09:24 PM

Jim Jones and the socialist heaven he spent his life trying to convert people to ended in tragedy. I mourn all those lost souls on this somber anniversery. However, when men are treated and elevated to a God-messianic statute, there can be no doubt of the tragic outcome. This elevation puts at risk. Jim Jones and the president elect share the same attributes in this respect. Newsweek magazine is already comparing him to Abraham Lincoln. Tell me has anyone missed the "special collectors" gold coin, or the NBC cd on the life of Obama? Give me a break!!! The media would have been harping down our throats that a depression is immennet if McCain had won, instead they are telling us to shuck out money on a "great man" who hasn't accomplished anything save getting elected president, who if you haven't been paying attention hasn't actually been president yet. We are being told that a utopian earth can be achieved by simply saying "yes we can". This is no different than the leftist message Jones was talking about, save his message is disguised through christianity.

Jones and, although politically incorrect it may be to say, president elect Obama are no Christians. First there is only one hope in the world for Christians and that is Christ. To say you are the embodiment of hope is anti-christian. (take that however you like, it is only my opinion) Secondly only one man can make a utopian society in the world when it comes to Christians, again Christ during his millenium reign as spoken of in Revalations. Thirdly, people are to give their money to the poor on their own free will. According to the Bible Jesus tells the rich man to give everything he has to the poor in order to be able to enter the kingdom of heaven, thus proving he has taken his message to heart. He did not say let Ceaser take all your money to redistribute it to the poor masses.
Since the left bleieve in all this how can anyone say Jones or any leftist is really Christian? Note I find myself questioning the mythology found in the bible all the time, and I don't personally believe Jonah lived in the belly of a whale, nor am I convinced that the Adam and Eve story could have taken place, so don't write me off as a religious hack, because I am not. It is just my observation that the left and Christianity are not palpable and that when are tied to be that disaster is always at hand.

Posted by: keith on November 19, 2008 10:14 PM

History unfortunately, does repeat itself. Love the Lord The God will all thy heart, mind and body should never be replaced with the idolatry we see today. Hollywood and the uber-left is trying to erase Christian beliefs and values. So many young people are so enraptured by what they see and hear, to them it's all about what I want, when I want it and feel that's all that's important to them. The late Henry Adams once said "The press is the hired agent of a moneyed system set up for no other reason than to tell us lies where their interests are concerned". This is so true given the recent election of Obama and his idol-like persona. He was never put under the microscope like Governor Sarah Palin, nor was he investigated like Joe the Plumber who had his privacy invaded by the press and the government checking into his tax situation. Obama is a book. I see the cover, but I don't know what is inside. Jonestown was a sick, perverted cult example. My only hope is that the American people watch carefully, listen intently and don't become sheeple.

Posted by: Gail Thomas on November 19, 2008 11:22 PM

Thank you so much for this article. I did some research on Jim Jones tonight, and I hate to admit that I, too, accepted the 'religious cult' narrative of the Jonestown story. I never took the time to do my research, I just accepted it as it was told. Thankfully you helped spark my interest, and now I know better.

I would recommend reading "Organizing the Movement: The Roots and Growth of ACORN" by Gary Delgado if the Jim Jones story peaked your interest. ACORN uses the same exact tactics that Jones did. It's frightening.

Posted by: Joey on November 20, 2008 12:22 AM

By the way, 'Smarterthanu', that whole CIA garbage is a CONSPIRACY THEORY, not a fact, and it's a pretty outlandish and crazy one, at that.

Posted by: Joey on November 20, 2008 12:34 AM

To Keith, the mythology of Jonah in the belly of the whale is not in the Bible but a hollywood fantasy., he died in the fish and was vomited on land. he was trying to get to spain to avoid preaching to ancient Iraqis whom he feared. that is why Christ said 'no sign will be given you except the sign of Jonah, which was a type of death and resurrection resulting in salvation. But back to Jim Jones, the reason why it is a relevant story is because millions in America want to believe the utopian fantasy and completely ignore 0r are ignorant of history that murder is often the consequence of attempting to burst the bubble of creating heaven on earth.

Posted by: my own fact checker on November 20, 2008 01:49 AM

So, what do yall think of dan white?

Posted by: ilovepie on November 20, 2008 02:06 AM

Thanks to this article I now understand the madness at Jonestown and the man who led that madness. Conveniently, Americans are never told that Jones was a communist and a liberal. All we hear is that he was a Christian fanatic who led a cult that all committed suicide. His political leanings are never discussed and now I know why. Jones was a Marxist who never, ever believed in Jesus Christ except as way to get his followers to follow him. No, the people in the press who write about Jones always leave out that bit of information. Thank you Dan Flynn for bringing this truth to light so believing Christians don't have to feel guilty for what this evil liberal, Marxist did to those poor people. Also, I will now keep my eye ever more closely on Obama who claims to be Christian when I know he isn't. This is a very dangerous man Americans have voted in charge of them!

Posted by: Ray on November 20, 2008 04:28 AM

Come on!just look at the idiot who posted that the CIA was involved and all that paranoia crap...DONT TELL ME THIS CANT HAPPEN AGAIN,WE GOT AT LEAST ONE FLAVOR-AID MOTHER F'ER POSTING HERE!

LIBERALISM THRIVES OFF MISERY AND PARANOIA,AND IF UNCHECKED, PEOPLE ALWAYS END UP DYING!

Posted by: Kelly on November 20, 2008 10:57 AM

So, everybody has submitted great arguments either for or against this tragedy. But, can any of you tell me whether or not Jones had political intent or was this simply an act of a man who suffered from an enlarged ego?

Posted by: Ashley Thomas the 9th Grader on November 20, 2008 11:43 AM

Barack Obama is a media creation no less than was Jim Jones deviously misrepresented by the mainstream liberal media as a Christian pastor. The left will stop at nothing to advance their interventionist agenda.

Posted by: Barry Jackson on November 20, 2008 11:59 AM


Whatever idiology Mr. Jones have because he was an atheist overall he was an insane. He should only have killed himself and not implicating those innocent children.

Posted by: dory udasco on November 20, 2008 12:18 PM

I too grew up remembering the awful images coming from Jonestown as 'religious cult' material. Now as an adult and one who really studies the issues - especially in light of the recent election - the whole thing finally makes sense.

We are rapidly losing our country over to socialism and if ever there was a case study for how it works - this is one to look at.

It amazes me how quick Americans are to embrace all things Hollywood and Government (but not CIA) as being good for us. Interesting how 30 years after this 'revolutionary suicide' Hollywood is releasing a movie glorifing Harvey Milk - and casting the largest communist lover in Hollywood, Sean Penn in the lead.

Wake up American and take back the country, no one else is going to do it for you.

Posted by: Wendy on November 20, 2008 02:26 PM

It would have been cooler if the commies self-immolated.

Posted by: bob on November 20, 2008 03:33 PM

It's worth remembering that before the sheople of Sheoples Temple drank Obama's Kool-Aid, the leftist political media of America gulped it down. And without the latter, the former would have never happened.
Tonight on America's Rerun Channel, watch History's Blunders Repeat like you've seen them before.

Posted by: james on November 20, 2008 03:36 PM

It doesn't take an expert to see that all of these crazies (Jonestown, Waco, Manson etc.) have one thing in common. They are all socialistic communes where all must follow the Leader and no one can be allowed too think for themselves.

Posted by: Wally on November 20, 2008 04:24 PM

Thanks for this article. The 'dying testimonials' extolling socialism and communism were terribly disturbing especially in light of recent election results!

Black racism played a huge role in Jones' gaining control over his victims. Unfortunately, today, black and white liberals teach that blacks cannot be racists because blacks lack power. Thus the hate that hate produced is alive and well in America.

I speak from experience - blacks are under tremendous pressure to be racist and practice racism. In addition to the many apparent justifications for black racism, there are Black politicians, Black Muslims, Black Liberation Theology and many so-called mainstream Black Christian churches who all promote black racism.

I am afraid that those forces, coupled with the herd mentality passed down generationally to many blacks from the slave experience (i.e forefathers being treated as cattle for centuries) many blacks remain at high risk for Jonesesque type manipulation and control.

It takes a true spiritual conversion to even desire to be racist free.

Posted by: jemimah on November 20, 2008 07:03 PM

The left have been masters of re-writing their own history... They are also kings of throwing people under the bus...

The following were once poster boys of the left but are now relegated as Right Wing Problems...

Mussolini: Once applauded as the great Socialist hope of Europe, once it all went bad, the left then adopted the term Fascist as a curse word for right wingers. Cole Porter even changed the words to 'Your The Top' to remove any mention of Mussolini

Joseph McCarthy: As much as the Left loves to push the McCarthy era as everything that is bad with Right Wingers... they like to keep quiet that he was once a Democrat...

Jim Jones: see this article.

I for one, am very sick of the way the Left try to wikipedia their own history. When their anointed one goes bad, they will throw him under the bus, the same way he threw Rev. Wright under the bus when it counted.....

Posted by: Rex Hump on November 20, 2008 09:46 PM

For all the commenters above,

Do yourselves a favor and get a copy of Dan's Conservative History of the Left. It goes into more detail on Jim Jones and other looneys of teh left. The book is fantastic and very well written. I enjoyed it thoroughly and I guarantee all of you will as well.

Posted by: Bruce Wayne on November 21, 2008 01:01 AM

Dan, thank you for sharing your research with such great talent and zeal for the truth. It would appear that another great homicidal abuse of power is crying out for the same type of expose', David Koresh and the Waco massacre.

Posted by: Davy Crockett on November 21, 2008 01:50 PM

Ilovepie: What do I think of Dan White? I think he was a sick individual who committed two terrible murders, was tried and convicted and later committed suicide. However, I think the city of San Francisco has used the excuse of him to lurch to the extreme left ever since.

Posted by: NancyLK on November 22, 2008 11:41 AM

Thank you for this account - another excellent eye-opener of how the left operates.

The recent election of "The One" brings to mind another well written account - "The Ominous Parallels" by Leonard Peikoff....The end of freedom in America.

Posted by: DonnaB on November 22, 2008 08:53 PM

The story of Jonestown is chilling and beyound mind buggling but unfortunatly history continues to repeat itself. We are continuously being betrayed by our elected officials and Preachers just for their selfish intrest. I am afriad that until "WE" as a people learn to continuously question our elected officials, some of the "SO Call Preachers" Religous Fanatics" and the media, the lessons of JonesTown will be lost.

Posted by: Joy on November 22, 2008 11:52 PM

you all sound so afraid. so worried and fearful. there is such a thing as good people in the world who want to make this world a better place. if that is such an awful thing, then i guess i don't know what to do. all i know is that i out and out reject your fear. for the Lord has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.

do not be afraid, people. be the change you so desire.

i, for one, am full of passion about the future and how i can be a part of it.

Posted by: greg on November 23, 2008 08:31 PM
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