Who Was Jim Jones? by Jason Jeffrey,
"Various types of belief can be implanted in many people after brain function has been deliberately disturbed by accidentally or deliberately induced fear, anger or excitement. Of the results caused by such disturbances, the most common one is temporarily impaired judgement and heightened suggestibility. Its various group manifestations are sometimes classed under the heading of "herd instinct" , and appear most spectacularly in war time, during severe epidemics, and in all similar periods of common, which increase anxiety and so individual or mass suggestibility." Dr William Sargant, a psychiatrist at the Tavistock Institute, in his 1957 book, Battle For The Mind.
While the mainstream media, influenced by Cult Awareness Network propaganda, portray Jim Jones as an 'evil demagogue', a number of independent 'conspiratologists' view Jones as a conscious agent of the CIA. For these writers Jonestown was simply a CIA organised slave labor camp and the People's Temple just an elaborate facade hiding a bizarre intelligence agency experiment.
Other researchers see Jim Jones as the victim of a U.S. government operation. His People's Temple fleeing to Guyana to escape intense U.S. government harassment.
The People's Temple began in 1954 as the Community Unity Church, a multiracial Pentecostal-style congregation in Indianapolis, Indiana. The church was founded by a twenty-three-year-old white preacher, Jim Jones (1931-1978), who had made a name for himself in Pentecostal circles throughout the United States as a healer and prophet. By 1955, Jones's ministry had been renamed the People's Temple Full Gospel Church and was attracting large crowds for Sunday faith-healing services. Jones later insisted that the healing dramas of his early ministry were conducted mainly to draw people who could then be taught his more important messages of apostolic social justice and equality. The young preacher's efforts to promote interracial harmony were heralded by the Indianapolis Recorder, a weekly Black newspaper, and earned Jones the position of director of the Indianapolis Human Rights Commission in 1961.
During the early 1960s the People's Temple set up soup kitchens, distributed free groceries and clothing, and organised other community programs. Jones was ordained as a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 1964.
Religious scholar J. Gordon Melton points out that: "Jim Jones' Peoples' Temple, labeled a `cult' after the deaths in Jonestown, was in fact a congregation within mainline Christianity. It was a full member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) which in turn is a member of the National Council of Churches.
"Liberal Protestants heralded it for its social action program, and during the mid-1970s, several denominations such as the United Methodist Church devoted an entire adult church school lesson to extolling its virtues."
In 1961 Jim Jones had a vision in which the American Midwest was destroyed in a nuclear war and moved his congregation to Ukiah, California, shortly thereafter. By 1969 Jim Jones opened a large complex called "Happy Acres" which contained a meeting hall, a swimming pool, a child care facility, and a senior citizen centre.
Jim Jones's ministry, which now claimed to have twenty thousand members, expanded into Los Angeles and into the predominantly Black Filmore district of San Francisco in the 1970's.
The spectacular growth of the People's Temple saw Jim Jones emerge as an outspoken, uncompromising foe of U.S. imperialism. Through evangelistic rallies and radio broadcasts Jones addressed literally hundreds of thousands of people in cities all over the United States. In simple, yet forceful language, Jim Jones exposed the smug corruption, the blatant hypocrisy, the abuses, disgraces, and contradictions of American capitalism. The vast congregation of People's Temple helped plan and attended en masse countless demonstrations in support of freedom movements, peace, and human rights causes around the world.
The newspaper of the People's Temple People's Forum, which reached over half a million people, tackled the sacred icons of the U.S. Establishment provocatively asking: "The Rockefeller brothers - How they got their fortunes and increase them daily. Their influence over U.S. policy. How does Henry Kissinger, e.g., hop right over from being Secretary of State to become a Board member of the Chase Manhattan Bank?
Jim Jones soon became the target of organised Establishment opposition. He was attacked and threatened. His family members, children, congregants were terrorised, beaten and spied on. Attempts were made to infiltrate the organisation with provocateurs. Peoples Temple was subjected to harassment, bogus investigations, yellow journalism, and torrents of malicious gossip and highly publicized lies.
Addressing a rally in 1977, just prior to the exodus of People's Temple to the rural community in Guyana, Jim Jones, showing signs of the covert harassment and media attacks, declared "just remember there's nothing worse than putting someone in the corner when they have tried to do righteousness..."
Jim Jones rallied his congregation with the vision that they were pilgrims on a quest for enlightenment and safety. In Guyana they would establish a community of their own - Jonestown - free from the harassment and persecution they faced in North America. Here at Jonestown they would fully practice Jone's dictum that "service to my fellow man is the highest service to God."
In a statement he made to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rev. John Moore of the United Methodist Church wrote:
"The people went to Jonestown with hope, hope which grew out of a loss of hope in the U.S. There can be no understanding of movements such as People's Temple and Jonestown apart from this loss of hope. They migrated, because they had lost hope in any commitment of the American people or the Congress to end racial discrimination and injustice. They had lost hope in the people and the legislature to deal justly and humanely with the poor...Older people went to Jonestown hoping to become free of purse snatchings, muggings, and the harshness of the urban scene. Some young people hoped to learn new skills, or to become free from pressures of peers in the crime and drug scenes. People went to Jonestown to find freedom from the indignity our society heaps upon the poor. They went with hope for a simple, quiet life...They saw themselves leaving a materialistic society where things are valued more than people. Many went as pioneers to create a new community in the jungle. Still others saw in Jonestown a vision of a new society, a wave of the future."
The leading Guyanese newspaper Guyana Chronicle, December 1977 had this to say about the Jonestown community:
"Some 800 people, all members of the Peoples Temple, are living at the giant agricultural project at Jonestown, aiming at helping Guyana with farming while also helping make Jonestown self-sufficient in food and housing.
"At the area known as Jonestown, the Pastor and founder, the Rev. Jim Jones, has come under fire from reactionary forces in the U.S.A., who see the prosperous agricultural project and the communal life enjoyed by its members there as a threat to the old established order."
U.S. Attorney Charles Garry, who visited Jonestown on November 6, 1977, told The Sun Reporter on his return to the United States, "I have been in paradise. I saw a community where there is no such thing as racism." At a press conference in 1978 the prominent civil rights lawyer Mark Lane stated: "I have been deeply impressed with what I have seen there [in Jonestown]...It makes me almost weep to see such an incredible experiment, with such vast potential for the human spirit and soul of this country, be cruelly assaulted by the [US government] intelligence organisations..." On another occasion, Mark Lane called Jonestown "the closest thing on earth like paradise I have ever seen."
The CIA and their allies launched an elaborate campaign against Jim Jones and the Jonestown community. Shortly before Christmas 1977 the U.S. government stopped sending social security payments to senior citizens at Jonestown. Reports appeared in the North American press that a father of a member of People's Temple publicly threatened to liberate his son from Jonestown using mercenaries.
In his book The Strongest Poison Mark Lane tells how one opponent of People's Temple admitted that "during September 1977 he had led a group of men armed with rifles and bazookas [to Jonestown]... He said that a huge jet was standing by to carry all of the children back to America... What they found [in Jonestown] was about ten building and a clearing - no barbed wire, no guards with automatic weapons, nothing like what they had been led to expect. For two days, the invaders watched the compound and tried to figure out what the hell was going on. The only guns they saw were shotguns used to kill snakes."
Amid mounting tension and heightened fear of attack by hostile forces the Central Committee of the Jonestown community held a press conference, via short-wave radio, with journalists assembled at San Francisco People's Temple centre.
From the transcript of this press conference it is obvious that the Jonestown community were a people under siege. In a desperate attempt to end the harassment engineered by hostile U.S. agencies, a People's Temple spokesman read a prepared statement. It said in part: "Finally we would like to address ourselves to the affect that we prefer to resist harassment and persecution even if it means death...We affirm before we will submit quietly to the interminable plotting and persecution of this politically motivated conspiracy, we will resist actively putting our lives on the line if it comes to that...We choose as our model not those who walked submissively into gas ovens but the valiant heroes of the Warsaw ghetto."
Clearly this was not the plea of a 'suicide cult'. Pushed into a corner the people of Jonestown made a public declaration to resist and if necessary, fight any aggression against their community. Consequently late in 1977 a small security force was set up to protect Jonestown. In a final, desperate bid to escape continued persecution and avoid conflict Jim Jones announced that the people of Jonestown had decided to leave Guyana and move to the Soviet Union.
As part of the preparations to relocate to the U.S.S.R. People's Temple developed close contact with the Soviet Embassy in Guyana. On September 27, 1978 the Soviet Consul Fyodor Timofeyev made a visit to Jonestown.
The Soviet Consul found a thriving community in the jungle of Guyana. Dr. Nikolai Fedorovsky accompanied the Consul to Jonestown. Jim Jones explained that they were expecting more than a hundred new arrivals. "I am not sure they'll be able to get through to us here," Jones told the Russian doctor. Adding that:"Somebody must have it in for us over there, in the States. Even the books, tools, and many other things reach us in an unstable state. The same happens to the medical supplies we receive from the USA. This must all be the job of the CIA."
Dr. Fedorovsky inspected Jonestown's medical dispensary. In The Jonestown Carnage, he states "the pharmacy did not impress me very much. Everything here was very much like in any other pharmacy of this type. Later, after the terrible events in Jonestown I tried to recall if there had been anything unusual about it. Cyanide? No, I did not see any. Tranquillizers and sedatives in tablets? Yes, I saw them, but only in moderate quantities that did not arouse suspicion. And how many of these preparations would be required to kill almost a thousand people? All that did not hang together. And another discrepancy: where did all those numerous ampule injectors come from, the ones which, according to American newspapers, the victims of the Guyana massacre used to inject the killer-poison?"
Dr. Fedorovsky's observations, detailed in the 1987 Soviet Progress Press book The Jonestown Carnage, are significant. After the massacre Guyanese troops reportedly discovered a large cache of drugs, enough to drug the entire population of Georgetown, Guyana. One footlocker contained 11,000 does of thorazine, a dangerous tranquilizer. Drugs used in the notorious CIA MKULTRA project were also found in abundance. Were these drugs planted in Jonestown by the killers?
Back in the United States, The Sun Reporter, October 5, 1978 carried an article titled People's Temple Strikes Back. Conspiracy to Destroy Jonestown Charged. The report announced that: "People's Temple plans to launch a massive, multi-million-dollar lawsuit against various government agencies, which the temple says have conspired to disrupt its activities and destroy its operation..."
Mark Lane was quoted as saying "the intelligence community in the United States has participated in deliberate efforts to destroy People's Temple, Jim Jones and Jonestown".
Lane said he thought the government targeted People's Temple because its experiment in socialist living was an "embarrassment" for the United States government. "Twelve hundred Americans have fled to the jungles of Guyana in search of human rights and an opportunity to lead fulfilling lives-opportunities that are not available to them in the ghettos of America," Lane added.
The last visitor to Jim Jones and the People's Temple in Jonestown was U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan. Accompanied by reporters, 'concerned' relatives of Jonestown residents and People's Temple lawyer's Mark Lane and Charles Garry, Leo Ryan arrived on November 17, 1978.
Congressman Ryan was warmly received at Jonestown and toured the community. After dinner Ryan told the assembled crowd: "I can tell you right now that by the few conversations I've had with some of the folks here already this evening that...there are some people who believe this is the best thing that ever happened in their whole lives."
People's Temple member Richard Tropp told Washington Post reporter Charles Krause that Jonestown was a living and working experiment in how society should work. "I think it's a tragedy we couldn't do it in the United States." Asked by Krause why he thought the People's Temple was under attack in the U.S., Tropp replied, "Because we believe there is some group, some force that is working to disrupt and agitate against the People's Temple". (Guyana Massacre)
Leo Ryan told Jim Jones that Jonestown was a "beautiful place" and he found no proof of the allegations about the Temple which were in circulation in the United States. Ryan and the rest of his group left for the nearby airstrip. Charles Krause sums up the results of the investigation into Jonestown:
"I rather admired Jim Jones's goals... The People's Temple hadn't struck me as a crazy fringe cult... It seemed to me that the People's Temple had a legitimate purpose, a noble purpose, and was more or less succeeding... No one...had offered any proof that the 900 or so people at Jonestown were being starved, mistreated, or held against their will... The hundreds of people still at Jonestown, who had chosen not to defect, seemed ample proof that they were relatively content." (Guyana Massacre)
Preparing to board a small aircraft for the return journey Congressman Leo Ryan and some members of his entourage were shot and killed. News of the assassination soon reached Jonestown, panic swept the community.
What happened on the night of November 18? Genuine information was supplied by those few people who survived the massacre and escaped into the jungle. They said that Jim Jones had called a general meeting of all the residents of Jonestown in order to set out a course of action in the wake of Ryan's assassination.
Attorney Mark Lane, who was at Jonestown, told a November 20 press conference in Georgetown, Guyana, that he counted 85 bursts of semi-automatic weapons fire when the community gathered for the supposed "mass suicide". Jim Jones shouted "Mother, mother, mother, mother!" Lane said. "Then there was the first burst of shooting." Lane said he and lawyer Charles Garry then fled into the jungle, but they heard "lots of gunfire and people screaming, including children".
Jim Jones was found days later at the foot of his chair in the centre of the meeting hall. He had been killed by a gunshot to the head. Surrounding him were dead bodies of hundreds of members of People's Temple.
Prof. I.R. Grigulevich, a distinguished Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, after studying the Jonestown massacre wrote:
"The United States has closed the case of the People's Temple by dismissing it as 'one of those irrational episodes in our mad world'. A thousand political protestants were declared 'votaries of a cult of death', a bunch of lunatics who committed an unparalleled act of mass suicide. This version which had been tailored long before the Jonestown massacre not only made it possible to conceal the crime but also to use it for discrediting the People's Temple: it was labled a 'sect of suicides' and was formally disbanded.
"In spite of the incontestable proof that the Jonestown commune had been deliberately destroyed, the authorities in Washington...did not stir so much as a finger to conduct a fair and objective investigation into the tragic death of several hundreds of their fellow-countrymen. On the contrary, the authorities in Washington went to great pains to put the lid on the whole thing.
"The Jonestown massacre was part of an extensive complex of actions undertaken by U.S. punitive agencies (Operation 'Chaos' and others), whose goal was to clamp down on political movements, such as the Black Panthers, the Weathermen, the New Left, etc. To carry out this program, the CIA set up a highly secret group concerned with 'special operations'...
"We hope that now everybody will know about the act of savagery committed by the American imperialists in Guyana in order to suppress political dissent, to kill those who dared to build a new life free from the omnipotence of capital. The crime committed by the CIA laid bare the monstrous hypocrisy of the Washington administration which spares no words about defense of human rights. It was the Washington administration that gave the go-ahead for the extermination of people in the Guyanese jungles, those men and women for whom human rights became a reality only after they had made a clean break with the American capitalist system.
"The political refugees from the United States were killed because they had thrown down the gauntlet to the oppressive regime in the United States."
© Copyright New Dawn Magazine, http://www.newdawnmagazine.com. Permission granted to freely distribute this article for non-commercial purposes if unedited and copied in full, including this notice.
The following article is taken from New Dawn magazine - a magazine exposing consensus reality and pushing suppressed information.
Jonestown, The CIA and Mind Control
"When 912 followers of Jim Jones committed suicide in Guyana 15 years ago, people said it was a once a-lifetime thing and never could happen again, but it has happened in Waco," states Boston "cult expert John Gillespie. "There are many Jonestowns and Wacos potentially sitting out there," warns CI-linked psychiatrist and Cult Awareness Network advisor Louis J. West.
Until the Waco tragedy, self-proclaimed "cult experts" and the media routinely mentioned the ominous name of "Jonestown" in just about every report on the latest "religious cult" or community. But despite all the references, the reality of Jonestown and the reasons behind the bizarre events remain a mystery. The details have faded from memory since November 18, 1978, but not the outlines. Think back a moment and you'll remember...
You Know the Official Version...
A fanatic religious leader in California led a multiracial community into the jungles of remote Guyana to establish a socialist utopia. The Peoples Temple, his church, was in the heart of San Francisco and drew poor people, social activists, Black and Hispanics, young and old. The message was racial harmony and justice, and a criticism of the hypocrisy of the world around his followers.
The Temple rose in a vacuum of leadership at the end of an era. The political confrontations of the 1960s were almost over, and alternative religious movements and "personal transformation" were on the rise. Those who had preached a similar message on the political soap box were gone, burnt out, discredited, or dead. The counterculture had apparently degenerated into drugs and violence. Charles Manson was the only visible image of the period. Suddenly, religion seemed to offer a last hope.
Even before they left for the Jonestown site, the Peoples Temple members were subjects of scandalous attacks in the media. A veritable persecution campaign had been launched in the United State against Rev. Jim Jones and other members of the organisation. Fleeing the U.S., over one thousand members emigrated to Guyana in South America. Establishing "Jonestown" as a successful and prosperous community, these American families defied poverty and lack of rights that were their lot back home. This act of political protest, of a kind never known in the United States before, angered certain powerful element in the U.S. Establishment. But accusations continued to be made about Jones, and these soon came to the attention of Congressional members like Leo Ryan. Ryan decided to go the Guyana and investigate the situation for himself. The nightmare began.
Isolated on the tiny airstrip at Fort Kaituma, Ryan and several reporters in his group were murdered. Then came the almost unbelievable "White Night," a mass suicide pact of the Jonestown camp community made up mostly of Blacks and women drank cyanide from paper cups of Kool-Aid, adults and children alike died and fell around the main pavilion.
Jones himself was shot in the head, an apparent suicide. For days, the body count mounted, from 400 to nearly 1,000. The bodies were flown to the United States and later cremated or buried in mass graves.
Pete Hammill called the corpses "all the loose change of the sixties." The effect was tragic. Any alternative to the current system was seen as futile, if not deadly. Protest only led to riots and political assassination. Alternative life styles led to drugs, "creepy crawly" communes and violent murders. And religious experiments led to cults and suicide. Social utopias were dreams that turned into nightmares. The television urged us to go back to "The Happy Days" of the apolitical 50s.The message was, get a job, and go back to the local church your grandparents attended. The unyielding nuclear threat generated only nihilism and hopelessness. There was no answer but death, as an exit from the grisly future. The new ethic was personal success, aerobics, material consumption, a return to "American values"; and the "moral majority"; White, Christian world. The official message as clear.
Suppose It Didn't Happen That Way...
The headlines of the day of the massacre read, "CULT DIES IN SOUTH AMERICAN JUNGLE: 400 die as suicides, 700 flee into jungle." By all accounts in the press, as well as People's Temple statements, there were at least 1,100 people at Jonestown. There were 809 adult passports found there, and records of 300 children (276 found among the dead, and 210 never identified). The original body count done by the Guyanese was 408 The final count, given almost a week later by American military authorities was 913. A total of 16 survivors were reported to have returned to the U.S. Where were the others? At their first press conference, the Americans claimed that the Guyanese "could not count". These local people had carried out the gruesome job of counting the bodies, and later assisted American troops in the process of poking holes in the flesh lest thy explode from the gasses of decay. Then the Americans proposed another theory - they had missed seeing a pile of bodies at the back of the pavilion. The structure was the size of a small house, and they had been at the scene for days. Finally, we were given the official reason for the discrepancy: bodies had fallen on top of other bodies, adults covering children.
It was a simple, if morbid arithmetic that led to the first suspicions. The 408 bodies discovered at first count would have to be able to cover 505 bodies for a total of 913. In addition, those who first worked on the bodies would have been unlikely to miss bodies lying beneath each other since each body had to be punctured. Eighty-two of the bodies first found were those of children, reducing the number that could have been hidden below others. A search of nearly 150 photographs, aerial and close-up, fails to show even one body lying under another, much less 500.
It seemed the first reports were true, 400 had died, and 700 had fled to the jungle. The American authorities claimed to have searched for people who had escaped, but found no evidence of any in the surrounding area. At least a hundred Guyanese troops were among the first to arrive, and they were ordered to search the jungle for survivors.
In the area, at the same time, British Black Watch troops were on "training exercises", nearly 600 of their best-trained commandos. Soon, American Green Berets were on the scene as well. The presence of these soldiers, specially trained in covert killing operations, may explain the increasing numbers of bodies that appeared.
Most of the photographs show the bodies in neat rows, face down. There are few exceptions. C shots indicate drag marks, as though the bodies were positioned by someone after death. Is it possible that the 700 who fled were rounded up by these troops, brought back to Jonestown and added to the body count?
If so, the bodies would indicate the cause of death. A new word was coined by the media, "sue-murder". But which was it? Autopsies and forensic science are a developing art. The detectives use a variety of scientific methods and clues to determine how people die, when they expire, and the specific cause of death. Dr. Mootoo, the top Guyanese pathologist, was at Jonestown within hours after the massacre refused the assistance of U.S. pathologists, he accompanied the teams that counted the dead examined the bodies, and worked to identify the deceased. While the American press screamed about the Kool-Aid Suicides", Dr. Mootoo was reaching a much different opinion.
There are certain signs that show the types of poisons that lead to the end of life. Cyanide affects the central nervous system. It is a painful death, breath coming in spurts. The other muscles spasm, limbs contract and contort. The facial muscles draw back into a deadly grin, called "cyanide rictus". All these telling signs were absent in the Jonestown dead. Limbs were limp and relaxed, and the few visible faces show no signs of distortion.
Instead, Dr. Mootoo found fresh needle marks at the back of the left shoulder blades of 70-80 of the victims. Others had been shot or strangled. One survivor reported that those who resisted were forced by armed guards. The gun that reportedly shot Jim Jones was lying nearly 200 feet from his body, not a likely suicide weapon. As Chief Medical Examiner, his testimony to the Guyanese grand jury investigating Jonestown led to their conclusion that all but three of the people were murdered by persons unknown". Only two had committed suicide they said. Several pictures show the gunshot wounds on the bodies as well. The U.S. Army spokesman, Lt. Col. Schuler, said, "No autopsies are needed. The cause of death is not an issue here." The forensic doctors who later did autopsies at Dover, Delawae, were never made aware of Dr. Mootoo's findings.
There are other indications that the Guyanese government participated with American authorities in a cover-up of the real story, despite their own findings. One good example was Guyanese Police Chief Lloyd Barker, who interfered with investigations, helped "recover" $2.5 million for the Guyanese government, and was often the first to officially announce the cover stories relating to suicide, body counts and survivors. Among the first to the scene were the wife of Guyanese Prime Minister Forbs Bunham and his Deputy Prime Minister, Ptolemy Reid. They returned from the massacre site with nearly one million dollars in cash, gold and jewelry taken from the buildings and from the dead. When Shirley Field Ridley, Guyanese Minister of Information announced the change in the body count to the shocked Guyanese parliament, she refused to answer any further questions. Other representatives began to point a finger of shame at Ridley and the Burnham government, and the local press dubbed the scandal "Temple-gate", and accused them of taking a ghoulish payoff.
Perhaps, more significantly, the Americans brought in 16 huge C-131 cargo planes, but claimed they could only carry 36 caskets in each one. These aircraft can carry tanks, trucks, troops, and ammunition all in one load. At the scene, bodies were stripped of identification, including the medical tags visible in many early photos. Dust off operations during Vietnam clearly demonstrated that the military is capable of moving hundreds of bodies in a short period of time. Instead, they took nearly two weeks to bring back the Jonestown dead, bringing in the majority at the end of the period. The corpses, rotting in the heat, made autopsy impossible. At one point, the remains of 183 people arrived in 3 caskets. Although the Guyanese had identified 174 bodies at the site, only 17 (later 46) were tentatively identified at the massive military mortuary in Dover, Delaware.
Isolated there, hundreds of miles from their families who might have visited the bodies at a similar mortuary in Oakland that was used during Vietnam, many of the dead were eventually cremated. The Press was excluded, and even family members had difficulty getting access to the remains. Officials in NewJersey began to complain that state coroners were excluded, and that the military coroners appointed were illegally performing cremations. One of the top forensic body identification experts was denied repeated requests to assist. In December, the President of the National Association of Medical-Examiners complained in an open letter to the U.S. military that they "badly botched" procedures.
As noted, these military doctors were unaware of Dr. Mootoo's conclusions. Several civilian pathology experts said they shuddered at the ineptness", of the military, and that their autopsy method was "doing it backwards". But, in official statements, the U.S. attempted to discredit the Guyanese grand jury findings, saying they had uncovered "few facts".
Guyanese troops and police, who had arrived with American Embassy official Richard Dwyer, failed to defend Congressman Leo Ryan and others who came to Guyana with him when they were shot down in cold blood at the Port Kaituma airstrip, even though the troops were nearby with machine guns at the ready. Although Temple member Larry Layton was charged with the murders of Congressman Ryan, Patricia Parks, and press reporters Greg Robinson, Don Harris and Bob Brown, he was not in a position t shoot them. Blocked from boarding Ryans twin engine Otter, he had entered another plane nearby. Once inside, he pulled out a gun and wounded two Temple followers, before being disarmed. [Later Layton's own father called him "a robot" and relatives described how he was in a "post-hypnotic trance.]
The others were clearly killed by armed men who descended from a tractor trailer at the scenter opening fire. Witnesses described them as "zombies," walking mechanically, without emotion, not looking through you, not at you" as they murdered. Only certain people, like Ryans aide Jackie Seir, were not harmed further, but the killers made sure that Ryan and the newsmen were dead. In some cases they shot people, already wounded, directly in the head.
At the Jonestown site, survivors described how a siren began to scream. The men rushed to the room where they had hunting rifles and cross-bows. Meanwhile bursts of submachine-gun fire could be heard from the edge of Jonestown as "mercenaries" shot defenceless people.
Agent provocateurs who had been infiltrated into Jonestown created panic in order to allow the trained and programmed killers, the "zombies" who killed Ryan, to go about their murderous business.
A special squad broke through to Jim Jones and killed him. After that the mass extermination of people began. When the last shots were fired, there were still several hundred left alive in the compound, mostly women, children and the elderly. They were assembled near the central pavilion so as to receive a "sedative". The "cocktail" took effect instantly as the first victims began to collapse and die. Not everybody understood the nature of the brew offered by the murderers. Some people began to resist taking the poison. They were shot at point blank range. Others had poison poured down their throat by force. The murderers also used ampule injectors. People were forced to lie on the ground with their faces down and were then injected into their upper arms right through their clothes, an unlikely spot for a suicide-shot. Most of those who had fled into the jungle were rounded up and killed. One survivor clearly heard a group of people cheering, 45 minutes after the massacre.
Back in California, Peoples Temple members openly admitted that they feared they were targeted by an intelligence agency "hit squad", and the Temple was surrounded for some time by local police forces.
Survivors included Mark Lane and Charles Garry, lawyers for Peoples Temple who managed to escape the massacre. In addition to the 16 who officially returned with the Ryan party, others managed to get to Georgetown and come back home.
However, many of these people were later murdered. Jeannie an Al Mills, who intended to write a book about Jonestown, were murdered at home, bound and shot. Evidence indicates a connection between the Jonestown operation and the murders of Mayor Moscone and Harvy Milk by police agent Dan White. Moscone, a friend of Rev. Jones, was killed in his office a few das after the Guyana tragedy, thus preventing him from realising his plan to make a press statement on the true reasons behind the destruction of Jim Jones and his community. Another Jonestown survivor was shot near his home in Detroit by unidentified killers. Yet another was involved in a mass murder of school children in Los Angeles.
Who Was Jim Jones?
In order to understand the strange events surrounding Jonestown, we must begin with a history of the people involved. The official story of a "suicide cult" led by a religious fanatic adored by his idealistic followers, doesn't make sense in light of the evidence of murders, armed killers and cover-ups.
If it happened the way we were told, there should be no reason to try to hide the facts from the public, and full investigation into the deaths at Jonestown, and the murder of Leo Ryan would have been welcomed. What did happen is something else instead.
Jim Jones grew up in the grinding poverty of the Great Depression in the rural town of southern Indiana. His friends found him a little strange as he was interested in preaching social justice issues.
In the early 1950s, Jones graduated from Butler University and was ordained by a Christian denomination in Indianapolis. It was during this period that he met and married his life-long mate, Marceline. He also had a small business to support his Christian ministry, selling monkey, purchased from the research department at Indiana State University in Bloomington.
A Charismatic evangelist and faith healer, Pastor Jones held revival tent meetings in Indiana with his wife, Marceline, he adopted many children of different races. Because of his strong convictions and social activism, he and his family were the targets of intense harassment and racially-motivated violence.
Seeking an atmosphere that would perhaps be more receptive to his outspoken work, Jim Jones moved to California and established the first Peoples Temple in Ukiah in 1965. There, despite continued harassment, Peoples Temple flourished and grew to thousands of members. Branches of the organisation were opened in several cities, and the work of rehabilitating drug addicts, finding jobs, and home for disadvantaged people, providing services for youth and the elderly went on in each area. Despite all this, Jones kept-up a grueling schedule of evangelistic rallies, speaking five or six times a week to thousands of people, mostly urban ghetto-dwellers, all across the state. Periodically he would journey across the United States holding revival meetings in a number of cities.
Not a meeting went by that Rev. Jones did not integrate his Charismatic, revival gospel with comprehensive exposes of the smug corruption, blatant hypocrisy, and contradictions of the American system. He was scathing in his denunciation of the military-industrial complex, corporate greed, pointing to the politics of neglect and genocide, and a host of other abuses both within the U.S. and around the world. He established a hard-hitting newspaper Peoples Forum that exposed U.S. corruption within, and U.S. imperialism without - and distributed each issue free to over half a million people. The foundation scripture of his ministry was Christ's admonition recorded in "Matthew" chapter 25, verses 35/40.
The Peoples Temple newspaper Peoples Forum revealed Pastor Jones' perspective as well as some of his powerful enemies. An October, 1977 column titled "For the Ambitious, Curious, and Concerned" rvds commentary on some of the topics the Establishment press prefers to pass over in silence. Among the questions raised here are the following:
"The Rockefeller brothers: How they got their fortunes and increase them daily. Their influence over. policy. How does Henry Kissinger, e.g. hop right over from being Secretary of State to become a board-member of the Chase Manhattan Bank."
"The multinational corporations: By what network do they influence governmental decisions? Is it possible for any major decisions to be made independently of the corporate structure?"
Many questions are related to the deteriorating conditions at home:
"Schools: Why do they cost more and more and teach less and less? Why are colleges in deep financial trouble? What kind of job market are students facing and why?"
"Prisons: What's behind the push to build more of them? What is the extent of medical experimentation on prisoners? Psychosurgery?"
"Medical care:....Is there any way to reverse the gigantic machinery which cuts anyone but the wealthy from extended medical care? Who controls the nursing home circuits?"
"Environmental controls: How widespread is: pollution? Lack of safety standards? Poisonous chemicals in food and other products?"
Thus, it was by no means a "sect of religious fanatics advocating the cult of suicide" who published the newspaper Peoples Forum. There can be no doubt that the newspaper served as a vehicle for social Christianity, as a mouthpiece of those who fought against the dictatorship of the monopoly-capitalists and for freedom. As one letter to the Editor frankly stated, "The only crime Jim Jones is guilty of is bringing the poor together from various religious, racial, and ethnic backgrounds."
Many professional people from stable family backgrounds were converted to Jones' dynamic vision. During this time Timothy Stoen, a Stanford graduate and member of the city D.A's office, the Layton family, Terri Buford and other important members joined the Temple. Buford's father was a Commander at the Philadelphia Navy Base for years. Larry Schact, later to become Jonestown medical superintendent, stated that Jones got him off drugs and into medical school during this period. George Blakey was from a wealthy British family. He donated $60,000 to pay the lease on the 27,000-acre Guyana site in 1974. Lisa Phillps Layton had come to the U.S. from a rich Hamburg banking family in Germany. Many of the top lieutenants around Jones were from wealthy, educated backgrounds.
For a number of years Stoen worked in close cooperation with Jones whom he followed to Guyana as the community's legal adviser. It subsequently turned out that since his years at college Stoen had been a CIA agent and spent some time in West Germany on a CIA mission. In 1977, Stoens link to the C.I.A. was exposed and he was expelled from the Jonestown community.
Under instructions from the CIA, the agent-provocateur set up and headed the so-called "Concerned Relatives" organisation. It demanded the liquidation of Jonestown.
Jonestown survivor, JFK researcher and attorney, Mark Lane, writes in The Strongest Poison: I believe Tim Stoen was a CIA operative, if not from the beginning, then certainly long before the end here. Where was the money coming from to keep him on the Temples case full time with an office, to hire a private detective (Mazor), and a prominent San Francisco public relations firm (Lowery, Russom & Lepe) [ legal firm that fabricated suits and charges against the Peoples Temple] to work against the Temple. Where was the money coming from to send relatives and attorneys to Guyana and put them up in the best hotels while they did their dirty work?
There was too much money behind Tim Stoen...Stoen announced that his goal was the destruction of Jim Jones and the Temple..."
This period of rapid growth of the Peoples Temple also marked the end of an important political decade. Nixon's election had ushered in a domestic intelligence war against the movements for peace, civil rights and social justice. Names like COINTELPRO, CHAOS, and OPERATION GARDEN PLOT made the news following in the wake of Watergate revelations.
Senator Ervin called the White House plans against dissenters "fascistic." These operations involved the highest levels of military an civilian intelligence and all levels of police agencies in a full-scale attempt to discredit, disrupt and destroy the movements that sprang up in the 1960s. There are indications that these plans or the mood they crated, led to the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, as unacceptable "Back Messiahs."
One of the architects under then-Governor Reagan in California was the former Attorney General Edwin Meese. He coordinated OPERATION GARDEN PLOT for military intelligence and all police operations intelligence in a period that was plagued with violations of civil and constitutional rights. Perhaps you can recall the police attacks on People's Park, the murder of many Black Panthers and activists, the infiltration of the Free Speech Movement and anti-war activity, and the experimentation on prisoners at Vacaville, or the shooting of George Jackson. Meese later bragged that this activity had damaged or destroyed the people he called "revolutionaries."
This was also the period in which the CIA and its allies began to infiltrate the Peoples Temple. Michael Prokes was approached by a government agent and promised two-hundred dollars a week payment if he would join the full time staff of the Temple and spy on Jim Jones. Prokes joined the Temple in October 1972. Mark Lane relates how, during a visit to Jonestown on November 17, 1978, only days before the massacre, Mike Prokes confided to him that, "it would be a mistake for me to underestimate the duplicity and cleverness of the American intelligence agents. He said, on the eve of the destruction: I wouldn't be surprised if they have agents infiltrated in here and in San Francisco [Peoples Temple US. head office]'." (The Strongest Poison)
Four months later, on March 13, 1979, Prokes called a press conference in a California hotel. For the assembled reporters he made available a forty-two-page statement and then silently rose, entered the bathroom behind him. He closed the door and shot himself. He was pronounced dead at a Modesto Hospital three hours later.
"In both his oral and written statements to the press, he asserted: 'The truth about Jonestown is being covered-up because our government agencies were involved in its destruction up to their necks. I'm convinced of this because among many other reasons, I was an informant when I first joined the People's Temple.'
"Prokes attached to that statement a four-page document in which he detailed his role as a government agent... All of this information was available to the reporters at the press conference... Among others, where he mailed his final statement to, were: The New York Times, Newsweek, and Time. They, however, did not print a word from the statement. Not a single national daily in the United States, not a single magazine, radio or television company, not a single news agency made public what Mike Prokes had written in the last minutes of his life." (The Strongest Poison)
Shortly before Jonestowns tragic end, the Peoples Temples leaders launched an open challenge against the U.S. authorities. On October 4, 1978, The San Francisco Examiner, and the next day the news reporters announced that the Peoples Temple based in Guyana were going to file a multi-million-dollar suit against U.S. federal agencies, including the CIA, the FBI, Treasury Department, Post Office, and the Internal Revenue Service, within 90 days. The suit would charge, the newspaper said, the agencies of being involved in a government-inspired plot to destroy Jonestown. The suit potentially threatened to cause great embarrassment to the White House, the State Department and the U.S. intelligence community. When, 5 days after the publication of the news of the forthcoming suit, the majority of Jonestown's residents were murdered, the question of the law suit was removed from the agenda.
Under pressure from influential relatives of some of the members of the Peoples Temple and responding to the slanders of Rev. Jones in the press, Congressman Leo Ryan took a personal interest in Jonestown. Ryan had some years previous fallen out with the U.S. intelligence community. The CIA was displeased with him because in 1974 he and Senator Hughes had moved an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act which was to limit the CIA's operations outside the United States. Later CIA operative Tim Stoen would complain to Ryan about custody of his step son, who was living with Jones, and urge him to visit the commune. Against advice of friends and staff members, Ryan decided to take a team of journalists to Guyana and seek to find-out the truth of the situation. Some feel that Ryan's journey there was planned and expected, and used as a convenient excuse to set up his murder.
The CIA and MK-ULTRA
Significantly, the press and other evidence did indicate the presence of a senior CIA agent he scene at the time of the massacre. This man, Richard Dwyer, was working as Deputy Chief of Misin from the U.S. Embassy in Guyana. Identified in Who's Who in the CIA, he has been involved with the agency since 1959. Present at Jonestown and the airport strip, his accounts were used by the State Department to confirm the death of Leo Ryan.
Other Embassy personnel, who knew the situation at Jonestown well, were also connected to intelligence work. U.S. Ambassador John Burke, who served in the CIA with Dwyer in Thailand, was an Embassy official described by Philip Agee as working for the CIA since 1963. Burke tried to stop Ryans invitation. Also at the Embassy was Chief Consular officer Richard McCoy, who worked for military intelligence and was "on loan" from the Defense Department at the time of the massacre. According to a standard source, "The Embassy in Georgetown housed the Georgetown CIA station. It now appears that the majority and perhaps all of the Embassy officials were CIA officers operating under State Department covers..." and Weber, who was sent to the site of the massacre the day after, was also named as CIA.
The direct orders to cover up the cause of death came from the top levels of the American government. Zbigniew Brzezinski delegated to Robert Pastor, and he in turn ordered Lt. Col. Gordon Sumnar to strip the bodies of identity. Pastor was Deputy Director of the CIA under Reagan. One can only wonder how many others tied to the Jonestown massacre were similarly promoted. Almost everywhere you look at Jonestown, U.S. intelligence rears its ugly head.
"(The) possibility is that Jonestown was a mass mind-control experiment by the CIA as part of its MKRA program," declared Ryans friend and aid, Joseph Holsinger, in response to reports of the involvement of senior CIA agents in the tragedy.
A close study of Senator Ervins 1974 intelligence report, "Individual Rights and the Governments Role in Behaviour Modification", shows that the CIA and military intelligence had certain "target populations" in mind, for both individual and mass control. Blacks, women, prisoners, the elderly, the young, and inmates of psychiatric wards were selected as "potentially violent". here were plans in California at the time for a "Centre for the Study and Reduction of Violence" expanding on the horrific work of Dr. Jose Delgado, Drs. Mark and Ervin, and Dr. Louis Jolyon West, experts in implantation, psychosurgery and tranquilizers.
The history of MK-ULTRA and its sister programs (ARTICHOKE, BLUEBIRD, etc.) records a combination of drugs, drug mixtures, electroshock and torture as methods for control. The desired results ranged from temporary and permanent amnesia, uninhibited confessions, and creation of second personalities, to programmed assassins and pre-conditioned suicidal urges.
One goal was the ability to control mass populations especially for cheap labor. Dr. Delgado told Congress that he hoped for a future where a technology would control workers in the field. He found it hard to understand why people would complain about electrodes implanted in their brains to make them "both happy and productive".
Along with the notorious MK-ULTRA-linked psychiatrist Louis Jolyon West, Rabbi Maurice Davis was involved in an advisory capacity with the Cult Awareness Network. The Rabbi worked closely with D. Hris Isbell in the Lexington, Kentucky federal prison. This MK-ULTRA program included the intentional administering of LSD to federal prisoners to evaluate the drugs use in mind control and behavior modification. It must be more than a strange coincidence that Rabbi Davis arranged for Jim Jones to use an empty synagogue in Indianapolis for his early activities. In a further cruel irony, Louis Jolyon West received the Cult Awareness Networks 1990 "Leo J. Ryan Award", in recognition of his work against "religious cults".
Joyce Shaw, who spent six years in the Temple but left before the move to Guyana, wondered if the reported "mass suicide" story was a cover for "some kind of horrible government experiments, or some sort of sick, racist thing..."
Were the residents of Jonestown the victims of an elaborate U.S. government plot, as their leaders publicly claimed only weeks before their murder? Was the CIA, through its agents within the People's Temple, actively involved in subverting the community in a bizarre MK-ULTRA mind control experiment?
On the evening of November 18, the Soviet Consul in Guyana was approached by two extremely agitated members of the Peoples Temple. One of them told him she had received news from Jonestown, "Something terrible is going on there. I don't yet know the details, but the life of all community members is in danger. The settlement is surrounded by armed men. Something has happened to Ryan. He was attacked by some unknown men when he was returning to Georgetown."
The Consul relates in the book The Jonestown Carnage, how returning home that evening his wife told him that Jim Jones' assistant, Sharon Amos, had called from the Temple office in Georgetown.
"Sharon was weeping and said that Jonestown had been surrounded by armed men. In spite of the poor reception she had received a radiogram which said that military helicopters were circling over the settlement. 'Help us!' she screamed. 'Jonestown is being destroyed! They won't spare anyone! Somebody is trying to get into my flat. Do something! Save us!' Then they were cut off. My wife immediately phone the Guyanese police and was told that a reinforced police detachment had been sent to the Amos home but it was too late. Amos and her three children were dead. They were slaughtered by Blakey who was also a CIA agent infiltrated into the Jones organisation. Later he was declared insane, and then vanished from view. That terrible night of the 18th to the 19th of November was the scene of a monstrous massacre."
On November 19 the Timehri airport in Guyana was unusually busy and crowded with American seamen. Standing on the runway was a giant S-141 aircraft of the U.S. air force out of which American soldiers were unloading disassembled helicopters, jeeps, and some small armaments. The bewildered Guyanese police and officials stood by speechless. One airport employee said he did not know why a U.S. military plane was at a Guyanan civil airport. Nobody knew why it had landed. That was not the firs plane to have arrived that day, the airport employee stated.
Operations aimed at mass extermination of civilians in different countries have been widely organised by the CIA as a means of attaining political goals. Over the last 25 years alone the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has undertaken over 900 major secret operations and several thousand small terrorist actions. One such operation, carried out in Vietnam under the code name Phoenix, took about 80000 lives.
What makes the carnage in Guyana so different from other CIA crimes is that its victims were foreigners; they were Americans who had left their home country because they did not want to live near the U.S. socio-political system. To this day, the mass murder of hundreds of U.S. citizens in Jonestown has never been investigated by U.S. authorities and the perpetrators of the crime have been neither identified nor punished.
Yet, Jonestown is deeply etched into the religious and social history of the modern world. The media routinely reminds us of the dangers of sinister Peoples Temple like "Armageddon cults" and "suicide sects". Jim Jones is remembered as the sinister "Bible-thumper" and evil demagogue who led his brainwashed followers to a bizarre mass suicide.
This is, of course, the Establishment view. The image that psychiatrist Louis Jolyon West and his friends in the Cult Awareness Network do not want us to forget.
"Jonestown," wrote Jonathan Vankin, "bloomed in the moral and spiritual abyss of the 1970s...its members were said to be brainwashed - living proof that human beings were just so much wire and circuitry. Cult members were often kidnapped back by their families. The hired kidnappers were called 'de-programmers'. They might better have been called 're-programmers'." (Conspiracies, Cover-ups and Crimes)
However, the Peoples Temple was not some strange, fringe-dwelling "cult" and Jim Jones was no small time preacher and part time hustler. Back on March 31, 1977, journalist Bob Levering wrote the following in The San Francisco Bay Guardian, before most of the members moved to Guyana:
"The biggest religion story these days is the phenomenon of Peoples Temple...that has been in San Francisco less than five years but has already become the largest single Protestant congregation in the San Francisco area (more than 20,000 members), participating in activities as diverse as supporting the tenants at a transitional Hotel (more than 3000 church members turned out for a demonstration last January) and publishing...the monthly Peoples Forum (they distribute between 600,000 and 1,000,000 copies to every neighborhood in San Francisco)...The church...also has a free meals program...It conducts a massive human service program including...its own medical and legal clinics, a home for mentally disabled children and four nursing homes..."
The propaganda cover-up for the massacre of Jonestown was provided by the U.S. intelligence agencies version of "the suicide of religious fanatics."
The real tragedy of Jonestown is not only that it occurred, but that so few chose to ask themselves why or how, so few sought to find out the facts behind the bizarre tale used to explain away the deaths of more than 900 people, and that so many will continue to be blind to the grim reality of our intelligence agencies. In the long run, the truth will come out. Only our complicity in the deceit continues to dishonor the dead.
© Copyright New Dawn Magazine, http://www.newdawnmagazine.com . Permission granted to freely distribute this article for non-commercial purposes if unedited and copied in full, including this notice.