Anyone know somebody involved? Watching a somewhat documentary/renactment of it on History Channel right now. For some reason it always fascinates me.%0D\
Fun fact: Congressman Leo Ryan''s daughter was a member of the Rajneesh cult. This was AFTER Ryan was killed in Guyana.
Crazy kids, they never learn
I''ve met Larry Layton''s brother Tom. He''s an archeologist at San Jose State University in Calif. Nice guy, very intelligent and accomplished -- he discovered some artifacts north of San Francisco & then wrote a book about the 19th century opium trade (at the link). I didn''t ask him about his family, thinking that he might not want to talk about it -- my dad has met him professionally several times & says that Tom has never raised the subject.
I know someone in SF who is from a wealthy white family. She was raised by her aunt because her parents died in Jonestown. I''ve known several others (black) who lost a relative there (sibling or child). The "church" was originally very progressive and attracted a wide range of folks. Incidentally - and this is totally unrelated - I lived in a shared household of Rajneeshies, but did not become one myself. I was done with cults early in life after having "survived" the est training when I was a teen.
Crazy Bay Area Native
CIA mind control experiment, most likely.
There was a great thread about a year ago on this topic. It''s a shame we lose such good threads.
It fascinates me, too. Powers Boothe as Jones was great in the TV movie from long ago. I thought he would be a much bigger star than he is. %0D\
I saw a documentary a while back in which they spoke to Jones'' son. His son was very good-looking.
Bumping this for r126 on the Betty Broderick thread.
Thank you r7. Wow, I have a pretty limited view on Jonestown. I have read at least 4 books on it, including Reiterman's and Debbie Blakey's. She was there and doesn't mention conspiracy and mind control but anything could have happened. I would love to hear from more who were touched by this, even if it was just a friend.
Yes his son Stephan is good looking r6, and tall. Coincidentally he and the JT basketball team was away at a game during the final "white night".
r2 How odd that Layton would write a book about something other than the one thing that has been piquing our interest for years and which he could shed some light on. I don't believe Larry should have been let out of prison and if he wants to use the brainwashed excuse then it should be used back against him, "Uh, Mr. Layton, how do we know you won't fall victim to another cult? Should we assign someone to go shopping with you to make sure you don't accidentally ingest razor blades or cyanide?"
We were discussing how crazy the '70s in California were on the Sara Jane Moore thread. Add Jonestown as another CA-related phenomenon, though the suicides took place in Guyana. It's headquarters in S.F. Over 900 died. Still unreal to think of.
I know, r11. Consider that Jonestown happened 9 days before the Mayor Moscone/Harvey Milk assasinations in SF. Crazy indeed.
Shit! I didn't realize that Moscone and Milk were assassinated so soon after. I was marveling that Ford's assassination attempts occurred within 17 days of each other. I was in junior high in N. Cal when all of this was going down. Strange, strange times.
Jones was a dem supporter and a friend of Jerry Brown. I think he and MIlk were tight on a few things too. He had someone cover up his slutty activities and his propositioning a UC cop in the city. I can't see how anyone who knew him could have thought he was harmless. He was textbook narcissistic and only getting worse from drugs. I think he was also trying to start the race war that Charlie dreamed of. He was from Indiana, not SF so he was raised in a different way.
Layton's out of prison? He killed five people including a congressman and injured a handful of others. How did that happen? Jared Lee Loughner killed six people, including a federal judge and 9 year old, and seriously injured others, including a congresswoman. He's going to spend the rest of his life in jail. Unreal.
Not sure I know the details, but prison sentences were usually not so severe back in 70s.
Yes r15, he has been for ten years. His culty sister and another former cult member testified on how swell he is.
Whats the name of the gay guy who survived Jonestown only to contract AIDS later in life? How is he doing these days, anybody know?
If anyone is truly interested like I am , I recommend "Raven" by Tim Reiterman. And then read "Seductive Poison" by Debbie Layton-Blakey for the Larry sympathetic version. Once you get to Julia Scheer's book it goes downhill but still worth a read if you are like me.
[quote]How odd that Layton would write a book about something other than the one thing that has been piquing our interest for years and which he could shed some light on.
He's an archeologist, so that's what he writes about. If my family were like his, I might not want to spend time thinking about them either.
No I know r20 but let's face it, he's a fucking Layton and his name conjures up the wrong kind of skeletons.
Raven is available on Kindle...gonna buy it.
I was teenager when this story took place, and I remember being horrified.
There was a great thread a while back and it is a shame those threads couldn't be archived somehow...maybe take a vote of some sort to determine if a thread should be.
r24 Please do buy it so we can talk! Raven is an excellent book. If you are so inclined, you should also buy "Seductive Poison". I am the Jonestown weirdo in my circle and nobody knows enough about it to converse with. I was 6 when it went down and will never forget the pictures of the bloated bodies on my mom's Newsweek.
I guess that the groupthink is what I am so fascinated with. Everyone in Jones' church knew he was wrong, but they all went along with it, to their own detriment. It's not unlike a certain music festival in Michigan where they attendees know that there is something wrong with the rules but don't try and change them.
Well, the 60/70s were times of strange cults, murders, etc.
The 90s/00s were mass murders were committed by assault weapons. I guess folks 40 years from now will wonder about these times....
I don't think so r27. Cults will always be more fascinating. Any fucking loser kid with bad skin can grab a gun. Cults took some actual work and Jones will go down in history.
Who was it that warned people to "stay away from Jim Jones?" Was it Milk? Or Moscone?
agree r28 to a certain extent. The Sandy Hook massacre is an example of the craziness that is currently going on. Twenty 5/6/7 year olds get gunned down? Sounds more than just a pimply kid with a gun.
Some kind of modern day insanity is taking place...
Like there is (supposedly) ten percent gay people in the overall population there will always be a great deal of people who act willingly as sheep being led to the slaughter or the next ATM to spend money on some stupid shit sold by a snake oil salesman.
Cults and magic lore will always attract weak minded people and gives them something they like to believe in.
It was probably both r29. I can tell you who it wasn't, it wasn't Jerry Brown because he and Jones were homies and I always wonder how he feels now. Milk was no dummy so I can see him keeping his distance.
r31 You are right, we call them Darwin's waiting room. Even the ones who were harmless probably did us all a favor because if you are that susceptible to a charlatan then you are probably one of the people that should live in a group home so that people can make sure you don't accidentally swallow any arsenic or razor blades while you are out shopping. The sister of Jones' head nurse and the one who shot him, runs an anti cult site where she defends them. She thinks that by calling them a cult, you negate them and their great intentions. She is clearly a delusional dipshit whose hair is way too long for her age.
[quote]He was textbook narcissistic and only getting worse from drugs.
Um... I think when you're talking about Jim Jones, you've surpassed textbook narcissism and are firmly in psychopath territory.
Visited Guyana a couple of years back. Beautiful country with an abundance of natural beauty. But asking any native over a certain age about Jonestown is still a big, BIG no-no.
r35 Seriously? Why? God, I would love to pick your brain, I am way to obsessed with this. By all accounts, the Guyanese were snowed just like everyone else. They certainly weren't to blame and I don't think any of them died. What do they feel bad about? Fuck, Jimmie Carter and Jerry Brown thought Jones was a standup guy so they weren't alone in being fooled.
Jim, had a huge dick
R36, more than anything else, when I brought up the name Jonestown they got this disturbed look on their face, like why on Earth would I want to mention such an awful atrocity and that it's something unspeakable that should be left in the past. They probably thought I was very morbid, and really, they weren't far off the mark.
Good thing I never mentioned that I wanted to visit the site, and probably would've if it wasn't such an arduous and expensive trek into deep, deep jungle.
The impression that I get is that a lot of Guyanese who remember Jonestown think/thought it brought bad juju to the country and that it's better left forgotten in the past. I guess I can't blame them because for years it was their only claim to fame in the world (never mind the breathtaking waterfalls and wildlife), and they wish to no longer be associated with a mass cult suicide-murder that involved crazy Americans.
Ironically, only recently has Guyana pondered turning Jonestown into a sort of tourist attraction. Guess they finally realized there are enough morbid weirdos who will support what they call "dark tourism" and they want to cash in.
What were his CIA connections?
According to wiki Jim Jones fathered his first child when he was 12?!
It's weird to think about this incident. I remember so clearly that I was in my college dorm and saw a blurb about it when it happened. Because of the time of night and day, I thought it was some skit on SNL. Stupid, I know, but that was my first thought.
I didn't see it mentioned that Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) was seriously injured in the gunfire that killed Ryan. She was an aide of his at the time.
Yeah she was r42. I think she has mentioned it a few million times in her dumb moves for re-election. I think her hubby was killed also. Anything for a vote.
Another good book on the subject is "A Thousand Lives; the untold story of hope, deception and survival at Jonestown" by Julia Escheeres.
One thing that everyone should know about Jim Jones is that he was NOT corrupted by power. It wasn't a case of a good man gone bad; he was ALWAYS bad, always a very disturbed, creepy guy. I remember some guy who knew Jones before he became a famous preacher. They worked in a nursing home or something. The man said that he was preparing to shave an infirm man, lathering him up in preparation. Jones happened by and said no, that's not the way to do it. He took over and proceeded the shave the poor man dry, just scraping the razor over his face. Jim Jones was always a nut job.
It still amazes me that people went off with him, gave him all their money, trusted him, believed in him. He was good at manipulation but at a certain point you would think common sense would kick in. And they KILLED their children for him, made them drink poison and die an agonizing death. Sure, he filled up their heads with the notion of creating a paradise where everyone regardless of color, or creed would live happily together away from all the ills of normal society. But to blindly poison your children because "Father" says they'd be better off dead? What the hell is WRONG with people who do things like that?
By the way, many of the people who died at Jonestown were murdered. They did NOT take the poison willingly and had it forced down their throats or were injected with it.
They shot Speier at point blank yet she survived.
Jackie Spieir's husband was killed in a car crash years later.
The Patty Hearst kidnapping was another weird CA 1970s thing.
Also, that mysterious murder in Palo Alto, in the church at night. The girl was raped and murdered on an altar!
r48 Jim had a way of taking care of the non-believers.
The Guyana Tragedy? Cut the crap, OP, and stop being coy. It's the Jonestown Massacre.
Ay, the SLA robbing Hibernia National in SF and later the LAPD burning down their safe house. The Zodiac Killer was finishing up. It's so staid now.
r50 drank the kool-aid in thinking it was kool-aid.
Its drinkaid and its no longer ib business
It's because everybody's in new cults - the cult of technology, the cult of online identity, the cult of self as marketable product through memes like gaybro, the cult of red vs. blue, the cult of celebrity. These cults kill minds differently, twisting the knife sloowly
r54 I invented cults, those things you mentioned are childs play.
By the way shill at r44, Julia's book sucks and you spelled her name wrong.
They didn't have 24 hour cable news back then. They had news updates every hour during commercial breaks on the three networks. I think they went every half hour when big news was breaking. That's why SNL had "Weekend Update," originally a brief sketch.
ABC didn't yet have Nightline when the Jonestown massacre occurred, but I remember sometimes there were late night news shows. There was Goodnight, America with Geraldo Rivera, but I doubt that show was still on the air when Jonestown happened because Geraldo would have hogged the camera down in Guyana and I don't remember that happening.
But I remember watching late night news programming about Jonestown in the aftermath. I think it was deemed inappropriate to show during prime time hours bevause of how disturbing the footage and descriptions of the deaths were, so the more extensive coverage was aired after the 11 pm local news shows.
I could not understand why the media kept calling it suicide when it was more murder then suicide. I'll never forget how horrified I felt by the story.
OT, I remember my grandparents sending Kool Aid or Kool Aid-like powders/tablets to my uncle in Vietnam. The soldiers had to use tablets in the water to disinfect it (possibly chlorine tablets?) before drinking it, but this made the water taste awful. So Kool Aid type powders and fizzy tablets were added to the water to make it slightly more palatable. I guess it could cover up the taste of drugs if Jones was drugging the water the inhabitants of Jonestown drank. There were shitloads of tranqs found at Jonestown. Valium, Quaaludes, Seconal, even Thorazine.
Was Jonestown a deliberate, planned mind control experiment or was it a mind control situation which sort of sprang up, making itself up as it went along? Nobody can ever know.
My husband and myself lived in SF during that period. I worked for the travel agency that ticketed all of the people to Jonestown. I would type up piles of invoices for one way tickets. Some of the agents would refuse to ticket people because of whispers of mind control. I quit because the owner was a giant prick. An ever so chic "Wilkes Bashford" queen. He was an ugly overweight A gay. Bleechhh! He didn't care about the stories of abuse. Then the mass suicide/ murder happened and then the Moscone/Milk assassinations. It was a bizarre period.
Yes, it was definitely murder. You could not pretend to drink the cyanide. Armed men made sure people drank the cyanide and shot those who resisted. There was no escape for anyone within the visual fields of the gunners and of Jones. Most people who escaped were away from the camp that day.
I have not seen Kool Aid for years. I would have thought it would have gone out of business because of the proliferation of cheap sodas. I remember it as a kid but always found it kind of insipid tasting.
Can you go into it more, R60? You have a great perspective. My question is, SF people, although a little overenthusiastic and spacey, can be discerning and intuitive as well. It seems to me more people up there would have been on to him. Based on your description, there was already overt talk of mind control. Was this common knowledge?
"By the way shill at [R44], Julia's book sucks and you spelled her name wrong."
I'm not a shill. I read some of the book a while back and liked it. I spelled her name wrong because I tried to remember it from memory; it's been some time since I read the book.
You are quite the cunt, Marceline. Piss off.
r60 Yes, if you can remember how to get home, please enlighten us.
I think the first time I saw him in the pulpit wearing mirror shades I'd think "this guy is high off his ass" and head for the exit. I think the members must have been either poor and desperate or very damaged, like the Vietnam vet in the MSNBC Jonestown special. However, I was just 12 when it happened. Maybe those were different times.
There was a city government guy who warned the rest about Jones, only to be ignored. He was in one of the 30th anniversary specials. Can't remember his name, but he was obviously still haunted by his failure to do anything to stop it.
I wonder about Angela Davis, who sent tape recorded messages of solidarity to Jones in Guyana. I've never seen any evidence of her regretting her support for Jones. Considering that she stood by her callous denunciations of the Prague Spring dissidents, I'd be surprised if she did.
I'm looking forward to reading Shiva Naipaul's book about Jonestown, Road to Nowhere, which I recently picked up.
Hi shill at r66. Who the fuck is Shiva Naipaul? Not anyone who is connected with you or Jonestown, nice that you casually threw that in, Super organic.
Jesus Christ, R67. Shiva Naipaul, who was not only an accomplished writer but the brother of the Nobel prize-winning novelist V.S. Naipaul, has been dead since 1985. I'm not shilling for him. I just happened to pick up the book a few weeks ago on Amazon for a penny. Lawd.
Some of us actually read books around here.
r64 I am sorry, I bumped this thread and should be happy it is getting action but I guess I am Jonescentric. Why do you think that is? I maybe trying to find an answer to my own issues, I would have loved Jonestown.
R43 -- are you a Republican? Or is it that you just don't like her?
r71 I just don't like her, and isn't she a republican? Christ , her stories about being "wrapped in the flag" when she was picked up from Jonestown are pukeable. She uses her Ryan connections and victim status to get votes and she still loses.
Powers Boothe absolutely brought Jones to life. Superb performance.
R72 - she is a Democrat. Using the event like that would piss me off, too.
r73 Swf, I like you anyhow but Powers can only bring what was already brilliant. I know you are stuck looking after your folks and are probably bored, download "Raven" and then let's talk more.
r68 I'm sorry. I have this weird urge to stick up for Jim Jones, all the time, trolldar me and you will see. My logic goes out the window when Jones is involved.
R75, my library has Seductive Poison and the Julia Scheers book - which is best?
r77 You should read then both, but , gun to my head, I would go with Debbie Layton's book, But you must read "Raven" to tie it in.
When teenage boys in the cult came of age they would be summoned to a private meeting in Jim's office. Everyone knew what that meant.
IF you go on YOuTube there is a full documentary and a lot more on Jonestown mas killings, uncluding the Powers Booth movie. The documentaries are pretty good.
ok, thanks, R78. Maybe I can get Raven through an inter-library loan
r79 is right, in a manner of speaking, Jim brought Tim to the office and said, "You know if you want me to fuck you in the ass, I will." Tim declined and had quite the attitude about him, all up to and through his wife's killing his kid and herself.
I went to a christian school and was in junior high when the TV movie came out. I went to a christian school and they talked a lot about Jim Jones and cults warning us because kids raised like us were more susceptible to cults because you are taught to follow without questioning.
R60 here...There was a lot of office gossip regarding the People's temple. Some family members complained to local authorities but were ignored largely because Jones was well connected politically. It was Utopian bullshit. Stories were circulating. Rep. Ryan went down and was assassinated on the tarmac waiting to depart with members if the Temple who were trying to flee. I added up thousands of dollars of accounts receivables for one way tickets. I left about 6 months before the massacre. I always hoped that the boss was never paid. He was such a selfish asshole. It was a stunning two weeks. After Milk and the Mayor were murdered people in the city and surrounding Bay area were in shock. So much death in such a short period of time. Of course all of this was small in comparison to the devastation that was right around the corner with AIDS.
Interesting r83. So JJ was used as a cautionary tale?
Yes, used as a cautionary tale, my school was very conservative so my hat's off to whomever thought of doing that. One of the girls that went to our school was part of the Manson Family so that probably played a big part in it.
I think a lot of black people followed Jones because he could protect them. The elderly blacks came of age when lynchings were common, the KKK ran Indiana and Jim Crow was southern law. Many of the elderly had grown up in the south and headed north after the great Mississipi floods. They had no power.
Along comes this white guy who tells them he loves them and says, "I will protect you" -- and he does protect them. (He also takes their SS checks).
He moves to CA and they follow him. He becomes an important vote-deliverer for political figures. Now young blacks join, too. They had no power. But this white guy does have power. He says, "Come on in! I'm progressive; I hate racism. I have the power to protect you." And for the first time in thir lives, they're not in danger from the police, from greedy, racist politicians, from unscrupulous landlords, from gangsters. They're safe. They're aligned with political power.
Jones talked about equality and justice. He got decent housing for them as the chairman of the housing authority. They'd never had the same kind of access to politicians, to corruption and bribery that whites had had for 300 years. They've always known that whites were politically corrupt, but they could never get in on the same game. Now, they finally could. Do you know how much that meant to people who had never felt secure in their own country?
When Jones told them they'd have even more power in Guyana, they followed him there. But they found they could't leave once they got there.
Wasn't the father of the Layton clan a bigwig in biowarfare research and development?
r87 I love what you said and you are very astute. What do you think kept people there and would you stay there?
Board acting weird so hope this isn't a repeat. I saw in a documentary that in Guyana they were physically worked hard and not fed much. Hunger + Lack of sleep = submissiveness.
If you are stupid enough to join s cult, you deserve everything that happens to you.
[quote] What do you think kept people there
What kept people in Guyana were armed guards and the fact that they hadn't a clue about where to go if they managed to escape. They were in the jungle in a country that looked favorably upon Jones.
Jones subjected them to mind control techniques -- incessant droning over the PA system, ritualized punishment, working in tropical heat all day long, telling everyone that the CIA had infiltrated (in truth, they had. There were a few informants in the Peoplws Temple). The CIA was going to kill them, they were told. Jones woke people in the dead of night and subjected them to gunshots coming from the jungle and told them they were under attack. They needed to take their own lives rather than fall into the hands of The Man.
Keep in mind the FBI had burned the SLA to the ground, had infiltrated the Black Panthers and destroyed them; the CIA was bringing opium into the US through Laos and police brutality had been an everyday occurrence in black neighborhoods. Hell, in the 1920s, blacks were rounded up by sheriffs, police and the Klan and forced at gunpoint to sandbag white communities in Louisiana while the levees were dynamited in black villages to spare New Orleans.
. Whites didn't know this kind of history, , but blacks had known it for more than a hundred years.
Jones knew exactly which buttons to push with his black followers. And BTW, his People's Temple "planning commission'" -- ie, the church hierarchy -- was almost entirely made up of white women.
The regular church members were overworked, sleep deprived and poorly nourished. In addition, they were surrounded by armed guards, snake-infested environs, and a possibly hostile government authority many miles away through dense jungle growth. If it was discovered they were missing, guards were sent to look for them. . It was slavery all over again.
To add a crazy conspiracy theory, maybe Jones was plied with drugs and underaged sex partners by TPTB who then blackmailed him into doing mind control. Perhaps TPTB wanted to see if an entire population could be programmed to feel unsafe; to be overworked; to be told they were lucky to be employed and lucky to be alive; to be made to believe things that were said repeatedly by broadcasting propaganda 24 hour a day; to accept conditions that are detrimental their well being while others live lavishly; to fear reprisal and slander; to want to be a member of the group so badly that they'll accept abysmal living conditions and denounce anyone who questions the poor quality of life as being anti-whatever.
Cuz it worked!
It worked in Jonestown and it worked in America from 1980 onwards.
r43, just die in a grease fire already. You are ignorant. Jackie Speier is my congressional rep. She is a kind, liberal, progressive Democrat and a friend to the gay community. She graduated from UC Hastings Law school -- one of the top law schools in the US. Jackie has had an exceptionally remarkable life and has never used traumatic events to gain votes. She easily wins elections by massive margins because she is so popular.
The Governor in Walking Dead reminds me of Jim Jones. He sets himself up as he protector of the resides of Woodbury. They are exhausted by running from zombies, theyre traumatized Tom seeing their loved ones destroyed in a brutal fashion, they're unsafe, they've been thrown off- balance, they're looking for safety and a leader.
The gov is kind to them; he says he wants to protect them; he provides creature comforts. The people trust him. He seems great. But ... he keeps a zombie daughter in a cage (and gets rough with her when she prefers a handful of fresh, bloody meat to Dada). He has a zombie head aquarium, he shoots up a national Guard squad who might be a threat to his absolute power. Only his trusted henchmen are allowed to leave the compound. He physically punishes people who disagree with him. He ultimately causes the deaths of his followers and most of his henchmen.
But unlike Jim Jones, he gets away.
An eyewitness account of retrieving the bodies and sending them back to the US
Good grief, 96; that's a harrowing story. Must have been a tough job removing decomposing bodies in those conditions.
What struck me about the link above was how the helicopters used in airlifting corpses were scrapped because they could not get the smell out of them.
Here's a link to an interview with survivors. Incredibly, an openly gay member, Vern Gosney, was shot on the runway along with the congressman. He took five bullets and survived. Later, he because Hiv positive and survived two partners.
Is Louise Lasser in that link, too?
I lived in SF for three months from September -December 1978, when Jonestown happened and Moscone/Milk were assassinated. I remember the secretary in my office putting down her phone, saying the mayor has just been killed, and bursting into tears. The whole travesty of that injustice coming right on the heels of the Jonestown Massacre shocked people into silence. I marched in the silent candlelight parade down Market (seen in "Milk") and I remember being insulted by passing cars as we marched along. ("Faggot!") Then, after the travesty of Dan White's so-called Twinkie-Defense "trial," the city erupted in indgnation. I didn't take part in the violence at City Hall, and it seems so long ago, but in many ways it feels like it was just yesterday.
That's cool r101. You were a part of history. I am sorry you got shit from creeps insulting you, but man, what a story. I wish I knew you.
Isn't it nice to remember that YOU stood up for them? You were brave and stood for something, R101.