Escape from Jonestown: Julia Scheeres describes the lives of people in the last days of the infamous compound.
They’d only told him the day before that he was leaving for South America. His head was still spinning with the quickness of it all. He was glad to get away from the never-ending church meetings and rules. But mostly he was excited about seeing his father. Jim Bogue left for Guyana two years earlier, and although he’d called home using the mission’s ham radio, the conversations were rushed and marred by static. His father sounded proud of all the pioneers had accomplished at the mission post, and Tommy was eager to see it for himself.
At Port Kaituma, Pastor Jim Jones finally emerged from the wheelhouse, wearing the dark-lensed, gold-framed sunglasses that rarely left his face. He welcomed them to the village—which seemed to consist of little more than stalls selling produce and used clothing—as if he owned it. Tommy listened attentively to Pastor Jones, who was only there for a short visit. Guyana was a fresh start for him and he wanted to make his father proud.[more inside]
"We didn't commit suicide. We committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world."
31 years ago today, 918 people died in the Jonestown Mass Murder-Suicide. One week later, CBC Radio aired this comprehensive examination[MP3] of the events leading up the tragedy, including cult leader Jim Jones' rise to power, the founding of the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project in Guyana, and the ill-fated investigative delegation headed by Congressman Leo Ryan which precipitated the tragic event.
The music of the People's Temple. Five years before Jim Jones coerced 900 of his church members to commit suicide in Guyana, the People's Temple cut an album. [more inside]
"What do we call it: suicide or murder?" An interview with filmmaker Stanley Nelson about his new documentary, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple. The documentary has some never-before-seen footage and features two Jonestown survivors. "I think by the end of the film you feel that it's kind of both at the same time." [more inside]
Alternative Considerations of Jonestown & Peoples Temple. Was it a religion, a revolutionary social movement, a cult, or a combination of them all?