Did any of you know someone that was a part of this creepy cult?
San Franciscans on here: Did you ever see/meet or interact with the Rev. Jim Jones?
When the news broke out about the Guyana tragedy, did the rest of the country think this was more California weirdness (Manson/SLA)?
Strange times in California ('68 - '78).
PBS has a great DVD on this called Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple.
How about the move.
Powers Booth was amazing, and this movie creeped me out so badly.
I'm from San Francisco and Jonestown happened in November 1978, the same month and year when Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone were killed. One year and 11 months before John Lennon was murdered and two years before the first documented case of AIDS in the US.
I am an artist and I was working in my studio in SF and listened to those tragedies unfold while doing my artwork. Very disturbing indeed.
Just terrible, terrible sad times. Hard to process. Congressman Leo Ryan spoke at my high school about 10 years before he was killed at Jonestown. A wonderful man.
I often thought as I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge over the years that more people died at Georgetown than on the GG Bridge. Now the number of suicides is higher at the bridge although they don't publish the numbers any more, it's well over 1,000.
Jones was a madman, but many of his followers were innocents caught up in the culture of the times. Most were murdered, children, moms, dads, and others. May Jones rot in hell forever.
That's sad R4. :( Thanks for sharing your thoughts on those awful times.
Many of the People's Temple survivors were later murdered.
It it mentioned in many reputable journalists'/writers' accounts of the cases. I don't understand why this was never followed up.
I saw two docs on PBS re: Jonestown and both were interesting. The book Raven is also an interesting read. I can't remember the author's name.
BTW r4, you have Moscone and Milk to partially thank for the final massacre. Jones was smart enough to attach himself to prominent politicians in order to avoid scrutiny. The pols got votes/photo ops and Jones was allowed to operate without anyone scrutinizing him or listening to the people who were claiming it was a dangerous cult.
You are welcome, #5. This sure has brought back a lot of memories. Artistically, the Bay Area culture was thriving. Such a creative place to be. But such a horrible dark side. The serial killer Leonard Lake was active then, too. Now I think I shall go watch House Hunters and cleanse my mind.
Interesting, #6. I was not aware of that. I was pretty apolitical at the time, and young. I was aware of all the players but not the politics that allowed Jones to thrive. Congressman Ryan was on to him though, and paid with his life.
LA pols and leos do the same thing now with Scientology. Haven't learned much...
[quote]Many of the People's Temple survivors were later murdered.
How? What happened.
r10, That's what no one will say. I've read many articles in non-fiction mags like Vanity Fair, all established authors, not crazy internet stuff, and they will say flat out that survivors were murdered afterwards.
They quote Temple members saying this and some authors just state it flat out, with no follow up.
I wish I had my shit together and my downloaded articles indexed, I could pull a few up for you.
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and I was 7 years old at the time of the Jonestown Massacre. It was a very big thing that happened at that time in the SF Bay Area. I remember everyone was talking about this tragedy, and my mother was just horrified and disturbed by what happened. My father and older brother at the time were watching the news as usual together ,and when I walked in the room, they blocked the screen when they showed the bodies lying face down on the ground in a row. I was just creeped out by the whole thing when I was a little kid. I recall most of the victims were African American, such a sad tragedy.
I watched the movie about Jim Jones years later of course, and I forgot the name. They said Jim Jones was gay ,and he manipulated some guy who followed him to become like his mistress.
Years later I worked with this lady that knew congressman Leo Ryan who was murdered at Jonestown and Harvey Milk. She said I lost two good friends of mine at the same time. She said it was very painful and shocking.
I could easily see something like this happening again. A few megachurches banding together and buying land somewhere because they realise they're losing ground on things like gay marriage.
I don't think when it happened it was associated with CA. It was associated with where it happened---South America.
I didn't know there was a SF connection until I saw Tales of the City.
There was an enormous People's Temple in L.A. and we always had to drive by it when we were going to some specific place. (Can't remember the destination.) It was very ominous to drive by even though after the massacre the place was obviously shut down.
A relative went to the temple in SF for a while, but her mother begged her to stop because she had a bad feeling about Jim Jones. She was afraid something would happen to her. She talked her into going to school in another part of the country to get away from his influence.
Not long after she left, they went to Jonestown.
I was a teenager when this happened and was somewhat confused by the television news coverage at time, It was only when I pulled our NEWSWEEK out of the mailbox with a photo of bodies on the cover did I began to understand and piece it all together. As with the R14, I really didn't associate it with California until then and based on the news reports on tv could not understand why the Congressman was there or really what all these Americans were actually doing in Guyana.Remember news and how and what we got it was very different. There wasn't CNN and it was only one of many stories on the nightly news
The 70s were a weird, scary time in the US, especially for a kid.
I bet your average 'mo has killed more people.
The Jonestown Massacre has always been one of the most shocking tragedies ever. Out of curiosity I've listened to a few tapes from Alternative considerations of Jonestown, You can listen to tapes they made in Jonestown and earlier before going to Jonestown. They are disturbing to listen to... They mostly consist of Jones berating his members, and controlling everything they do. By listening you can clearly hear by the way he talked and the way he is towards his members that he was going crazy. In some tapes you can tell that he's under the influence of something while talking to his members. In this one tape he was drunk. I can't imagine living in Jonestown with the amount of craziness that was going on there.
I always see the question of well how can anyone follow Jones, but if you listen to the tapes from earlier on and from the survivors themselves they constantly say that he was caring, loving, for everyone's rights he was the champion of the people etc... even listening to the tapes from earlier on, you can hear the enthusiasm in his sermons, the charisma. You have to remember who he attracted, and the times. In the 1960's 70's racial tension was high, so a man with charisma promising a better world for black people or anyone who felt like an outcast, would be attracted to this.
I think the biggest mystery for me, is if he actually cared about his people, or if it was just a ploy to draw them in. This will always be a mystery...
I worked with a guy who was a friend of the pilot who got Ryan's secretary out.
I saw a docu-drama on this on Netflix a few weeks ago and Im still creeped out. Situations like this really piss me off. So many innocent lives lost because of a crazy man and naivety.
r22 You can thank politicians like Harvey Milk who used the cult for their own political ends and did nothing to investigate reports from their constituents about the dark side of Jones.
Not that he deserved to be killed, but I couldn't help but think that he lived by the sword and died by it, too.
I remember how the death toll kept growing --
The first count was an estimate from helicopters flying over, but once they got on the ground, they started a formal count, and then realized they were dealing with several layers of bodies...
Document one case where H. Milk was asked to take action against PT and didn't.
This scene from "Guyana Tragedy" where Jim Jones seduces one of his male followers in front of the guy's wife seriously turned me on when I was little. In fact, it still seriously turns me on. (Start at 7:00).
Kent State, Three Mile Island, Munich, Patty Hearst SLA, Watergate, Laos/Cambodia, recession, inflation, Jonestown, MOVE, Mayaquez, Iran hostage crisis, Lennon murder. Then.... Reagan. The deal was done. America shook hands with the devil.
R6, the survivors were murdered to cover up what really happened. The media portrayal is a fabrication.
[quote]to cover up what really happened.
R29, check out the video at R20. Those guys are obviously lying. And read all the comments in the comments section.