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Mark Lane and Jonestown
I have started Lane's new book, Last Word.

Only on page 32 so far.

But here is my question: Exactly what was Lane's association with Jim Jones before the tragedy?

Were he and Garry both attorneys for the people's temple prior to the kool aid?
Jim DiEugenio Wrote:I have started Lane's new book, Last Word.

Only on page 32 so far.

But here is my question: Exactly what was Lane's association with Jim Jones before the tragedy?

Were he and Garry both attorneys for the people's temple prior to the kool aid?

That has always been my understanding. If not so, Lane has not gone to much length to make people think otherwise. Amazingly, Lane has not to my knowledge been interviewed at length about his associations with the People's Temple and what happened there.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
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There are dedicated Jonestown threads on DPF here and others with much Jonestown-related material here and here.

Below are relevant passages from John Judge's "The Black Hole of Guyana" together with original footnotes:

Quote:Other survivors included Mark Lane and Charles Garry, lawyers for People's Temple who managed to escape the massacre somehow.[71] In addition to the 16 who officially returned with the Ryan party, others managed to reach Georgetown and come back home.[72]

(71) "Suicide Carnage," Baltimore Sun, 11/21/78 ("write the story"); Hold Hands, pp. 127, 221 (Lane, Garry lawyers for People's Temple); NYT, 11/23/78 (Garry once called Jonestown "paradise," says Jones "lost reason"); NYT, 11/21/78 (picked up in jungle by Guyanese troops),

(72) Raven, p. 572 (survivors); Guyana Daily Mirror, 11/23/78 (32 captured by Guyanese); NYT, 11/30, 12/3,7,30/78 (reports of returning groups, totalling 30, more remain).

Quote:After his arrival in Ukiah, his methods were visible to those who took the time to investigate.[125] His armed guards wore black uniforms and leather jackboots. His approach was one of deception, and if that wore off, then manipulation and threats. Loyalty to his church included signing blank sheets of paper, later filled in with "confessions' and used for blackmail purposes, or to extort funds.[126] Yet the vast membership he was extorting often owned little, and he tried to milk them for everything, from personal funds to land deeds.[127] Illegal activities were regularly reported during this period, but either not investigated or unresolved. He clearly had the cooperation of local police. Years later, evidence would come out of charges of sexual solicitation, mysteriously dropped.[128]

Those who sought to leave were prevented and rebuked. Local journalist Kathy Hunter wrote in the Ukiah press about "Seven Mysterious Deaths" of the Temple members who had argued with Jones and attempted to leave. One of these was Maxine Swaney.[129] Jones openly hinted to other members that he had arranged for them to die, threatening a similar fate to others who would be disloyal.[130] Kathy Hunter later tried to visit Jonestown, only to be forcibly drugged by Temple guards, and deported to Georgetown.[131] She later charged that Mark Lane approached her, falsely identifying himself as a reporter for Esquire, rather than as an attorney for Jim Jones. He led her to believe he was seeking information on Jones for an exposé in the magazine, and asked to see her evidence.

The pattern was to continue in San Francisco. In addition, Jones required that members practice for the mysterious "White Night," a mass suicide ritual that would protect them from murder at the hands of their enemies.[132] Although the new Temple had no guards or fences to restrict members, few had other places to live, and many had given over all they owned to Jones. They felt trapped inside this community that preached love, but practiced hatred.[133]

Following press exposure, and a critical article in New West magazine, Jones became very agitated, and the number of suicide drills increased.[134] Complaints about mistreatment by current and ex-members began to appear in the media and reach the ears of congressional representatives. Sam Houston, an old friend of Leo Ryan, came to him with questions about the untimely death of his son following his departure from the Temple.[135] Later, Timothy and Grace Stoen would complain to Ryan about custody of their young son, who was living with Jones, and urge him to visit the commune.[136] Against advice of friends and staff members, Ryan decided to take a team of journalists to Guyana and seek the truth of the situation.[137] Some feel that Ryan's journey there was planned and expected, and used as a convenient excuse to set up his murder. Others feel that this unexpected violation of secrecy around Jonestown set off the spark that led to the mass murder. In either case, it marked the beginning of the end for Ryan and Jones.[138]

At one point, to show his powers, Jones arranged to be shot in the heart in front of the congregation. Dragged to a back room, apparently wounded and bleeding, he returned a moment later alive and well. While this may have been more of his stage antics to prompt believers' faith it may also have marked the end of Jim Jones.[139] For undisclosed reasons, Jones had and used "doubles."[140] This is very unusual for a religious leader, but quite common in intelligence operations.[141]

Even the death and identification of Jim Jones were peculiar. He was apparently shot by another person at the camp.[142] Photos of his body do not show identifying tattoos on his chest. The body and face are not clearly recognizable due to bloating and discoloration.[143] The FBI reportedly checked his fingerprints twice, a seemingly futile gesture since it is a precise operation. A more logical route would have been to check dental records.[144] Several researchers familiar with the case feel that the body may not have been Jones. Even if the person at the site was one of the "doubles," it does not mean Jones is still alive. He may have been killed at an earlier point.

(125) Hold Hands, p. 87.

(126) Hold Hands, pp. 88, 182-3.

(127) Hold Hands, pp. 84, 100-1; "Jones Linked to Extortion," LAT, 11/25/78; NYT, 12/3/78.

(128) Hold Hands, pp. 96, 172, 210-11.

(129) "Seven Mysterious Deaths," Kathy Hunter, Ukiah Press-Democrat.

(130) LAT, 11/25/78; NYT, 11/21/78 (Jones threatens to kill defectors).

(131) Journey to Nowhere, pp. 49-50, 67, 102.

(132) Assassination of Leo J. Ryan, p. 316 (Debbie Layton affidavit); LAT, 11/18/78; NYT, 11/20; 12/5/78 (White Nights).

(133) Hold Hands, pp. 71-2, 180; NYT, 11/21,28/78 and 12/7/78 (abuse complaints, ignored).

(134) "Inside People's Temple," Kilduff, New West, 8/1/77; "Jim Jones: The Making of a Madman," Phil Tracy, New West, 12/18/78; LAT, 12/8/78.

(135) Hold Hands, pp. 16, 130, 136-7; "Scared Too Long," SFE, 11/13/77 (Houston death); NYT, 11/21/78.

(136) Hold Hands, p. 127, 133.

(137) Hold Hands, p. 136 (against advice); NYT, 11/21/78 (Speiers makes out will).

(138) Personal interviews with Joe Holsinger, Ryan's aide, 1980; NYT, 11/21/78, 12/16/78 (panic).

(139) Hold Hands, pp. 87-8, 100.

(140) White Night, p. 226; Hold Hands, p. 232, SFC, 11/23/78 ("doubles").

(141) The Second Oswald, Popkin (Berkeley, 1968).

(142) See footnote 34.

(143) White Night, p. 227 (autopsy, identification); Hold Hands, p. 262 (photo); "New Mystery: Is Jones Dead?" NY Daily News, 11/23/78.

(144) NYT, 11/24/78 (fingerprints).

Quote:The Strange Connection
to the Murder of Martin Luther King

One of the persistent problems in researching Jonestown is that it seems to lead to so many other criminal activities, each with its own complex history and cast of characters. Perhaps the most disturbing of these is the connection that appears repeatedly between the characters in the Jonestown story and the key people involved in the murder and investigating of Martin Luther King.

The first clue to this link appeared in the personal histories of the members of the Ryan investigation team who were so selectively and deliberately killed at Port Kaituma. Don Harris, a veteran NBC reporter, had been the only network newsman on the scene to cover Martin Luther King's activity in Memphis at the time of King's assassination. He had interviewed key witnesses at the site. His coverage of the urban riots that followed won him an Emmy award.[228] Gregory Robinson, a "fearless" journalist from the San Francisco Examiner, had photographed the same riots in Washington, D.C. When he was approached for copies of the films by Justice Department officials, he threw the negatives into the Potomac river.[229]

The role of Mark Lane, who served as attorney for Jim Jones, is even more clearly intertwined.[230] Lane had co-authored a book with Dick Gregory, claiming FBI complicity in the King murder.[231] He was hired as the attorney for James Earl Ray, accused assassin, when Ray testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations about King.[232] Prior to this testimony, Ray was involved in an unusual escape plot at Brushy Mountain State Prison.[233] The prisoner who had helped engineer the escape plot was later inexplicably offered an early, parole by members of the Tennessee Governor's office. These officials, and Governor Blanton himself, were to come under close public scrutiny and face legal charges in regard to bribes taken to arrange illegal early pardons for prisoners.[234]

One of the people living at Jonestown was ex-FBI agent Wesley Swearington, who at least publicly condemned the COINTELPRO operations and other abuses, based on stolen classified documents, at the Jonestown site. Lane had reportedly met with him there at least a year before the massacre. Terri Buford said the documents were passed on to Charles Garry. Lane used information from Swearingen in his thesis on the FBI and King's murder. Swearingen later served as a key witness in suits against the Justice Department brought by the Socialist Workers Party.[235] When Larry Flynt, the flamboyant publisher of Hustler magazine, offered a, $1 million reward leading to the capture and conviction of the John F. Kennedy killers, the long distance number listed to collect information and leads was being answered by Mark Lane and Wesley Swearingen.[236]

With help from officials in Tennessee, Governor Blanton's office, Lane managed to get legal custody of a woman who had been incarcerated in the Tennessee state psychiatric system for nearly eight years.[237] This woman, Grace Walden Stephens, had been a witness in the King murder.[238] She was living at the time in Memphis in a rooming house across from the hotel when Martin Luther King was shot.[239] The official version of events had Ray located in the common bathroom of the rooming house, and claimed he used a rifle to murder King from that window.[240] Grace Stephens did, indeed, see a man run from the bathroom, past her door and down to the street below.[241] A rifle, later linked circumstantially to James Earl Ray, was found inside a bundle at the base of the rooming house stairs, and identified as the murder weapon.[242] But Grace, who saw the man clearly, refused to identify him as Ray when shown photographs by the FBI.[243] Her testimony was never introduced at the trial. The FBI relied, instead, on the word of her common law husband, Charles Stephens, who was drunk and unconscious at the time of the incident.[244] Her persistence in saying that it was not James Earl Ray was used at her mental competency hearings as evidence against her, and she disappeared into the psychiatric system.[245]

Grace Walden Stephens took up residence in Memphis with Lane, her custodian, and Terri Buford, a key Temple member who had returned to the U.S. before the killings to live with Lane.[246] While arranging for her to testify before the Select Committee on Ray's behalf, Lane and Buford were plotting another fate for Grace Stephens. Notes from Buford to Jones, found in the aftermath of the killings, discussed arrangements with Lane to move Grace Stephens to Jonestown.[247] The problem that remained was lack of a passport, but Buford suggested either getting a passport on the black market, or using the passport of former Temple member Maxine Swaney.[248] Swaney, dead for nearly 2-1/2 years since her departure from the Ukiah camp, was in no position to argue and Jones apparently kept her passport with him.[249] Whether Grace ever arrived at Jonestown is unclear.

Lane was also forced to leave Ray in the midst of testimony to the Select Committee when he got word that Ryan was planning to visit. Lane had attempted to discourage the trip earlier in a vaguely threatening letter.[250] Now he rushed to be sure he arrived with the group.[251] At the scene, he failed to warn Ryan and others, knowing that the sandwiches and other food might be drugged, but refrained from eating it himself.[252] Later, claiming that he and Charles Garry would write the official history of the "revolutionary suicide," Lane was allowed to leave the pieces of underwear to mark their way back to Georgetown.[253] If true, it seems an unlikely method if they were in any fear of pursuit. They had heard gunfire and screams back at the camp.[254] Lane was reportedly well aware of the forced drugging and suicide drills at Jonestown before Ryan arrived.[255]

Another important figure in the murder of Martin Luther King was his mother, Alberta. A few weeks after the first public announcement by Coretta Scott King that she believed her husband's murder was part of a conspiracy, Mrs. Alberta King was brutally shot to death in Atlanta, while attending church services.[256] Anyone who had seen the physical wounds suffered by King might have been an adverse witness to the official version, since the Wound angles did not match the ballistic direction of a shot from the rooming house.[257] Her death also closely coincided with the reopening of the Tennessee state court review of Ray's conviction based on a guilty plea, required by a 6th Circuit decision.[258] The judge in that case reportedly refused to allow witnesses from beyond a 100-mile radius from the courtroom.[259]

The man convicted of shooting King's mother was Marcus Wayne Chenault. His emotional affect following the murder was unusual. Grinning, he asked if he had hit anyone.[260] He had reportedly been dropped off at the church by people he knew in Ohio.[261] While at Ohio State University, he was part of a group known as "the Troop," run by a Black minister and gun collector who used the name Rabbi Emmanuel Israel. This man, described in the press as a "mentor" for Chenault, left the area immediately after the shooting.[262] In the same period, Rabbi Hill traveled from Ohio to Guyana and set up Hilltown, using similar aliases, and preaching the same message of a "black Hebrew elite."[263] Chenault confided to SCLC leaders that he was one of many killers who were working to assassinate a long list of Black leadership. The names he said were on this list coincided with similar "death lists" distributed by the KKK, and linked to the COINTELPRO operations in the 60s.[264]

The real backgrounds and identities of Marcus Wayne Chenault and Rabbi Hill may never be discovered. But one thing is certain: Martin Luther King Would never had countenanced the preachings of Jim Jones, had he lived to hear them.[265]

(228) Hold Hands, p. 256; NYT, 11/21/78 (biography); also Strongest Poison (interviews).

(229) White Night, p. 224 ("fearless"), NYT, 11/21/78 (biography).

(230) "The Case Against Mark Lane," Brill, Esquire, 2/13/79; "Mark Lane: The Left's Leading Hearse Chaser," Katz, Mother Jones, 8/79; "People's Temple Colony Harassed," SFE, 10/4/78 (Lane charges CIA attack); NYT, 11/30/78 (Anthony Lewis critique); 12/5,7,16,29/78 (rumors and denials that Lane and Buford drained Swiss bank accounts), 2/4/79 (contradictory remarks), 2/4, 4/4, 9/21/79 (more charges, fake identity, theft), see Strongest Poison for comparison.

(231) Code Name Zorro, Lane & Gregory (Prentice-Hall, 1977).

(232) Hold Hands, p. 222; NYT, 6/14/78 (Lane as Ray's attorney); Investigation of the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), Hearings, Vols. 1-9 (GPO, 1979); NYT, 8/8,16/78 (Lane's view of HSCA, conspiracy against him), and Strongest Poison.

(233) "Ray's Breakout," Time, 6/23/77.

(234) "Tennessee Clemency Selling Scheme," Corrections, 6/79; "A Federal-State Confrontation," National Law Journal, 5/11/81.

(235) NYT, 1/6,20/79 (Swearingen, documents), see also 1/16-18,27/79 Swearingen); Code Name Zorro, op cit.; NYT, 1/20/79 (Swearingen, Chicago FBI to 1971); "Investigating the FBI," Policy Review, #18, Fall, 1981; David Martin "Breitel Report: New Light on FBI Use of Informants," First Principles, 10/80; "Prying Informants Files Loose from the Hands of Attorney General -- SWP v. Atty. General of U.S.," Howard Law Journal, Vol. 22, #4, 1979.

(236) Personal call, 1978.

(237) Strongest Poison, p. 402.

(238) Code Name Zorro, pp. 165, 204-5.

(239) Ibid., p. 165.

(240) Ibid., Let the Trumpet Sound: The Life of Martin Luther King, Oates (Mentor, 1982), p. 473.

(241) Code Name Zorro, p. 168.

(242) Ibid., pp. 161-4; Let the Trumpet Sound, p. 476.

(243) Code Name Zorro, pp. 165-70.

(244) Ibid., pp. 165-8, 205.

(245) Ibid., pp. 168-70.

(246) NYT, 12/22/78; 1/1/79 (Buford at Lane's home); Strongest Poison, p. 402 (unconvincing denial), and see p. 1114 ("our house in Memphis").

(247) "Memo Discusses Smuggling Witness to Guyana," Horrock, NYT, 12/8/78; Strongest Poison, p. 144 (testimony to HSCA).

(248) "Memo Discussing Smuggling," op. cit., footnote 247.

(249) "Seven Mysterious Deaths," op cit., footnote 129.

(250) Hold Hands, pp. 18, 223; Assassination of Leo Ryan, pp. 3, 52-3 (text); Journey to Nowhere, p. 163 (Lane quote); NYT, 12/8/78 (discouraging Ryan).

(251) Hold Hands, p. 222; "Ryan's Ready," Reiterman, SFE, 11/17/78.

(252) Hold Hands, pp. 212-3, 223 (sandwiches); NYT, 12/8178; 1/12/79 (no warning).

(253) Hold Hands, pp. 43, 44; Strongest Poison, p. 175 (underwear); WP, 11/21/78.

(254) WP, 11/21/78.

(255) Hold Hands, pp. 212-3, 222, citing Anthony Lewis in NYT.

(256) No note is given in the original manuscript.

(257) Let the Trumpet Sound, p. 470 (brother, A.D. King with MLK day of death); NYT, 7/1/74 ("accidental drowning" death of A.D. King); Trumpet, pp. 472-3 (wound described), also Robert Cutler analysis, Grassy Knoll Gazette, 1983; NYT, 10/25/74 (Dr. Herbert MacDonnell, "no way" from window), 8/18/78 (Dr. Michael Baden to HSCA, "shot from below").

(258) NYT, 2/14/74 (Ray gets rehearing); NYT, 7/1/74 (Alberta King murdered 6/30/74); "Ray's Day in Court," Newsweek, 11/4/74; NYT, 10/18/74 (Ray v. Rose reheard); "Did James Earl Ray Slay the Dreamer Alone?" Writer's Digest, 9/74.

(259) NYT, 10/30/74, "Tennessee Effort to Block Testimony Overturned."

(260) "Another King Killed," NYT Magazine, 6/8/74; "Third King Tragedy," Time, 7/15/74; "Murder in a Church," Nation, 6/20/74; NYT, 6/30, 7/1,9,12/74 (Chenault biog., trial); "That Certain Smile," Newsweek, 6/15/74; NYT, 7/1,10/74 (psychiatric exam); NYT, 9/13/74 (blows kisses, points finger "like a gun" at judge, prosecutor).

(261) NYT, 7/1-5/74 (Ohio "visitors" in Atlanta, Dayton link to ministers, legal fees paid anonymously, FBI suspicious, Justice says "no conspiracy").

(262) Dayton Journal Herald, 7/2/74ff; NYT, 7/9/74 ("The Troop" -- Steven Holinan, Walter Brooks, Ronald & Robert Scott, Ramona Catlin, Almeda Water, Harvey Cox, Jr., Marcus Wayne Chenault); NYT, 7/4,8/74 (biography of Rev. Hananiah Emmanuel Israel, or Rabbi Israel, AKA Rabbi Albert Emmanuel Washington, personal interview, Journal Herald reporters, 1974.

(263) Journey to Nowhere, pp. 63-4; "Hill Rules," CPD, 12/4/78, footnote 188 (Hill); NYT, 12/4174 ("Black Hebrew" Chenault).

(264) NYT, 7/1,3,7,8/74 (Chenault tells Abernathy of Troop plan "to kill all Black civil rights leaders," "religious mission partly accomplished," and death list found in Chenault apartment: Jesse Jackson, Hosea, Cecil Williams, Martin Luther King, Sr., Ralph Abernathy, Rev. Washington (a cousin), and Fr. Divine(!), already deceased).

(265) Let the Trumpet Sound, op cit., footnote 240.
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