View Full Version : Remember Jonestown? The untold story of Jonestown

Adele Edisen
09-19-2012, 02:00 AM
Tue, September 18, 2012 4:05:28 PM
The untold story of Jonestown
From: Brasscheck TV <news@brasschecktv.com>


Dan Mitrione, US torture expert -
portrayed in the movie "State
of Siege" - came from the same
town as Jim Jones of Jonestown

They also happened to be in Brazil
at the same time. (Jones was there
to "study" before he started his
cult back in the US.)

The two men also shared an affiliation
with a three letter government

What no one ever told you about
Jonestown. Hold onto your hat.

Video: 11.41 minutes long


- Brasscheck

P.S. Please share Brasscheck TV e-mails and
videos with friends and colleagues.

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Phil Dragoo
09-20-2012, 07:31 AM

What follows is a work in progress about Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple. In so far as it has a central thesis, it is that Jones initiated the 1978 massacre at Jonestown, Guyana because he feared that Congressman Leo Ryan's investigation would disgrace him. Specifically, Jones was afraid that Ryan and the press would uncover evidence that the leftist founder of the Peoples Temple was for many years an asset of the FBI and the CIA. This fear was, I believe, mirrored in various precincts of the U.S. intelligence community, which worried that Ryan's investigation would embarrass the CIA by linking Jones to some of the Agency's most volatile programs---including "mind-control studies" and operations such as MK-ULTRA.
This is, I believe, why Jones's 201-file was purged by the CIA immediately after Jones's case-officer, Dan Mitrione, was murdered in Montevideo, Uruguay. [1 (http://jimhougan.com/JimJones.html#Foot1)]



Which is to say that the lifespan of Jones's file at the CIA coincided precisely with the dates of Dan Mitrione's tenure at the State Department. What I am suggesting, then, is that Richmond Police Chief Dan Mitrione was recruited into the CIA, under State Department cover, in May, 1960; that a CIA file was opened on Jones because Mitrione intended to use him as an agent; and that Jones's file was closed and purged, ten years later, as a direct and logical result of Mitrione's assassination in 1970.


In a recent interview with this author, Dr. Sukhdeo confirmed that Jones had been treated at the Langley-Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute in San Francisco during the 1960s and 70s. According to Sukhdeo, he has repeatedly asked to see Jones's medical file from the Institute, but to no avail.
"I have asked (Langley-Porter's Dr.) Chris Hatcher to see the file several times," Sukhdeo told this writer. "But, each time, he has refused. I don't know why. He won't say. It's very peculiar. Jones has been dead for more than 20 years."
"The nation's leading center for brain research," Langley-Porter is noted for its hospitality to anti-cult activists such as Dr. Margaret Singer and, also, for experiments that it conducts on behalf of the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). While much of that research is classified, the Institute has experimented with electromagnetic effects and behavioral modification techniques involving a wide variety of stimuli---including hypnosis-from-a-distance.
Some of the Institute's classified research may be inferred from quotations attributed to its director, Dr. Alan Gevins (see Mind Wars, by Ron McRae, St. Martin's Press, 1984, p. 136). According to Dr. Gevins, the military potential of Extremely Low Frequency radiation (ELF) is enormous. Used as a medium for secret communications between submarines, ELF waves are a thousand miles long, unobstructed by water, and theoretically "capable of shutting off the brain (and) killing everyone in l0 thousand square miles or larger target area."
"'No one paid any attention to the biological affects of ELF for years,' says Dr. Gevins, 'because the power levels are so low. Then we realized that because the power levels are so low, the brain could mistake the outside signal for its own, mimic it (a process known as bioelectric entrainment), and respond when it changes.'"
The process is one that would no doubt fascinate Dr. Sukhdeo. (As an aside, it's worth noting that virtually every survivor of the Jonestown massacre was treated at Langley-Porter. This occurred as a consequence of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone's request that Dr. Hatcher undertake a study of the Peoples Temple while counseling its survivors. (Hatcher's appointment was made with surprising alacrity since Moscone himself was assassinated only nine days after the killings at Jonestown.)



According to the Brazilian Federal Police, Jim Jones arrived by plane in Sao Paulo on April 11, 1962. There does not seem to be any surviving record of his point of embarkation, but it may well have been Havana. According to Bonnie (Malmin) Thielman, who met Jones at about this time, there was "a picture of him and Marceline standing on either side of Fidel Castro, whom they had met during a Cuban stopover en route to Brazil..." [69 (http://jimhougan.com/JimJones3.html#Foot69)]
An American family, making "a Cuban stopover," seven to eleven months after the Bay of Pigs? Physically, transportation would not have been difficult to arrange. Both Mexico City and Georgetown were transit-points for Havana. But Cuban visas were by no means issued automatically---especially to Americans making well-publicized, anti-communist speeches in Guyana. How much harder it must have been for Jones to arrange to have a photo taken of himself with Castro (who was at that time the target of CIA assassination attempts planned by yet another Indianapolis native, the CIA's William Harvey).
It's a peculiar, even eerie, business. I'm reminded of the man who impersonated Lee Harvey Oswald while applying for a visa at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City during 1963. [70 (http://jimhougan.com/JimJones3.html#Foot70)]
Whatever his reason for visiting Cuba during the Winter of 1961-62, and whatever the reasons he was permitted to enter the country, Jones had no trouble entering Brazil that April. Given a visa that was valid for eleven months, he and his family traveled to Belo Horizonte where, as we have seen, Dan Mitrione had settled in as an OPS adviser at the U.S. Consulate.


Marco Rocha's interest in Jones was more than idle, however. According to him, he was keeping a loose surveillance on the American preacher at the request of a friend---a detective in the ID-4 section of the local police department. The detective was convinced that Jones was a CIA agent, and was trying to prove it with his young friend's help. Unfortunately, the policeman died before his investigation could be completed, and Jones left town soon afterwards. [79 (http://jimhougan.com/JimJones3.html#Foot79)]
Gleaning the purpose behind Jones's residency in Belo Horizonte is anything but easy. He is reported to have been fascinated by the magical rites of Macumba and Umbanda, and to have studied the practices of Brazilian faith-healers. He was extremely interested in the works of David Miranda, and is said to have conducted a study of extrasensory perception. These were subjects of interest to the CIA in connection with its MK-ULTRA program. So, also, were the "mass conversion techniques" at which Jones's Pentecostal training had made him an expert.
Whether these investigations were idle pastimes or Jones's actual raison d'etre in Belo Horizonte is unknown. Neither is there hard evidence that Jones's presence was related to Dan Mitrione's work at the Consulate---though Jones was certainly aware of Mitrione's post.


Friends of the Jones family in Belo Horizonte are agreed that he lived in the city for a period of eight months, beginning in the Spring of 1962. He then moved to Rio de Janeiro.
Once again, Jones seems to have been following Dan Mitrione's lead. In mid-December, as the Jones family packed for the move to Rio, Mitrione left Belo Horizonte for a two-month "vacation" in the U.S. At the beginning of March, he returned to Brazil---but not to Belo Horizonte. Instead, he found an apartment in the posh Botafogo section of Rio de Janeiro.
There, he was not far from Jim Jones, who was recumbent in equally elegant surroundings, having found an expensive flat in the Flamengo neighborhood. [84 (http://jimhougan.com/JimJones3.html#Foot84)]
According to Brazilian immigration authorities, who are said to keep meticulous records, the Jones family left Rio for an unknown country at the end of March. And they did not return.
According to Jones, however, he and his family lived in Rio until December of 1963. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy (in November of that year) was the stimulus for their return to Indiana.


Among other things, it suggests the possibility (indeed, the likelihood) that the firm which provided cover (or an alibi) for Jim Jones's activities in Rio was part of the so-called ODESSA network. [95 (http://jimhougan.com/JimJones3.html#Foot95)]


My intention has only been to demonstrate that the milieu in which Jones found himself in 1963---the Invesco milieu, revolving around Scott Johnson, et al.---was anything but ordinary. A suspected CIA conduit, Invesco was owned and operated by men and women whose connections to criminals such as Ronald Biggs and spooks like Fernand Legros---and to gangster-spooks such as Christian David---are worth a deeper look. The coalescence of organized crime and the CIA during the early 1960s was responsible for parapolitical enormities which continue to resonate beneath the surface of American politics and culture.
Jones's connections to Dan Mitrione and Jon Lodeesen, his resort to cover stories, his use of multiple passports, and his strange involvement with the Invesco circle, strongly suggests that the 1978 tragedy in Guyana was set in motion in Cuba and Brazil some fifteen years earlier.

Jan Klimkowski
09-20-2012, 05:55 PM
Jim Hougan's research is fascinating.

There are several Jonestown threads on DPF.

For starters:

Was Jonestown (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?2195-Was-Jonestown-a-CIA-medical-experiment&highlight=jonestown) a CIA Medical Experiment?

Jonestown and Jim Jones (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?4268-Jonestown-and-Jim-Jones&highlight=jonestown).

Mark Lane (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?220-Mark-Lane-and-Jonestown&highlight=jonestown) and Jonestown.

The MK-ULTRA Iceberg (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?223-The-MK-ULTRA-iceberg).

Lauren Johnson
09-20-2012, 06:31 PM
Watching the Brasscheck video and then reading some but not all of Hougan's stuff, there are some striking differences. Hougan claims the autopsys were botched or not done at all. The Brasscheck video alleges there was an onsite pathologist who examined the bodies and saw fresh needle marks under a should blade, evidence of gunshot wounds, and drag marks. These two sources aren't even close.

Since Hougan makes fewer, less sensational claims, I would tend to go with him. His reputation is first rate.

Jan Klimkowski
09-20-2012, 06:37 PM
Watching the Brasscheck video and then reading some but not all of Hougan's stuff, there are some striking differences. Hougan claims the autopsys were botched or not done at all. The Brasscheck video alleges there was an onsite pathologist who examined the bodies and saw fresh needle marks under a should blade, evidence of gunshot wounds, and drag marks. These two sources aren't even close.

Since Hougan makes fewer, less sensational claims, I would tend to go with him. His reputation is first rate.

Lauren - see John Judge here (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?2195-Was-Jonestown-a-CIA-medical-experiment/page2&highlight=jonestown):

The headlines the day of the massacre read: "Cult Dies in South
American Jungle: 400 Die in Mass Suicide, 700 Flee into
Jungle."[13] By all accounts in the press, as well as People's
Temple statements there were at least 1,100 people at
Jonestown.[14] There were 809 adult passports found there, and
reports of 300 children (276 found among the dead, and 210 never
identified). The headline figures from the first day add to the
same number: 1,100.[15] The original body count done by the
Guyanese was 408, and this figure was initially agreed to by U.S.
Army authorities on site.[16] However, over the next few days, the
total of reported dead began to rise quickly. The Army made a
series of misleading and openly false statements about the
discrepancy. The new total, which was the official final count,
was given almost a week later by American authorities as 913.[17]
A total of 16 survivors were reported to have returned to the
U.S.[18] 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 they
explode from the gasses of decay.[19] 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.[20]

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.[21] A search of nearly 150 photographs, aerial and
close-up, fails to show even one body lying under another, much
less 500.[22]

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.[23] At least a hundred Guyanese troops
were among the first to arrive, and they were ordered to search
the jungle for survivors.[24] In the area, at the same time,
British Black Watch troops were on "training exercises," with
nearly 600 of their best-trained commandos. Soon, American Green
Berets were on site as well.[25] 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. Close shots indicate drag marks, as
though the bodies were positioned by someone after death.[26] Is
it possible that the 700 who fled were rounded up by these troops,
brought back to Jonestown and added to the body count?[27]

If so, the bodies would indicate the cause of death. A new word
was coined by the media, "suicide-murder." But which was it?[28]
Autopsies and forensic science are a developing art. The
detectives of death 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. Refusing 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.[29]

There are certain signs that show the types of poisons that lead
to the end of life. Cyanide blocks the messages from the brain to
the muscles by changing body chemistry in the central nervous
system. Even the "involuntary" functions like breathing and
heartbeat get mixed neural signals. It is a painful death, breath
coming in spurts. The other muscles spasm, limbs twist and
contort. The facial muscles draw back into a deadly grin, called
"cyanide rictus."[30] All these telling signs were absent in the
Jonestown dead. Limbs were limp and relaxed, and the few visible
faces showed no sign of distortion.[31]

Instead, Dr. Mootoo found fresh needle marks at the back of the
left shoulder blades of 80-90% of the victims.[32] Others had been
shot or strangled. One survivor reported that those who resisted
were forced by armed guards.[33] The gun that reportedly shot Jim
Jones was lying nearly 200 feet from his body, not a likely
suicide weapon.[34] As Chief Medical Examiner, Mootoo's 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.[35]
Several pictures show the gun-shot wounds on the bodies as
well.[36] 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, Delaware,
were never made aware of Dr. Mootoo's findings.[37]

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.[38] Among the first to the
scene were the wife of Guyanese Prime Minister Forbes Burnham and
his Deputy Prime Minister, Ptolemy Reid. They returned from the
massacre site with nearly $1 million in cash, gold and jewelry
taken from the buildings and from the dead. Inexplicably, one of
Burnham's political party secretaries had visited the site of the
massacre only hours before it occurred.[39] When Shirley Field
Ridley, Guyanese Minister of Information, announced the change in
the body count to the shocked Guyanese parliament, she refused to
answer further questions. Other representatives began to point a
finger of shame at Ridley and the Burnham government, and the
local press dubbed the scandal "Templegate." All accused them of
taking a ghoulish payoff.[40]

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.[41] At the scene, bodies were stripped of
identification, including the medical wrist tags visible in many
early photos.[42] Dust-off operations during Vietnam clearly
demonstrated that the military is capable of moving hundreds of
bodies in a short period.[43] Instead, they took nearly a week to
bring back the Jonestown dead, bringing in the majority at the end
of the period.[44] The corpses, rotting in the heat, made autopsy
impossible.[45] At one point, the remains of 183 people arrived in
82 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.[46]

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.[47] Press was excluded, and even family members had
difficulty getting access to the remains.[48] Officials in New
Jersey began to complain that state coroners were excluded, and
that the military coroners appointed were illegally performing
cremations.[49] One of the top forensic body identification
experts, who later was brought in to work on the Iranian raid
casualties, was denied repeated requests to assist.[50] 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, and that a simple fluid autopsy
was never performed at the point of discovery. Decomposition,
embalming and cremation made further forensic work impossible.[51]
The unorthodox method of identification attempted, to remove the
skin from the finger tip and slip it over a gloved finger, would
not have stood up in court.[52]

The long delay made it impossible to reconstruct the event. 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."[53]

Phil Dragoo
09-20-2012, 08:13 PM
A nugget from one of many lodes:

The direct orders to cover up the cause of death came from the top
levels of the American government. Zbigniew Brezezinsky delegated
to Robert Pastor, and he in turn ordered Lt. Col. Gordon Sumner to
strip the bodies of identity.[226] Pastor is now Deputy Director
of the CIA.[227] One can only wonder how many others tied to the
Jonestown operation were similarly promoted.


Brzezinski tapped by David Rockefeller for Trilateral Commission.

Brzezinski co-writing with Robert Gates (with the curious GHWB/GWB/BHO pedigree) 2004 CFR "Iran: Time for a New Approach"

The current experiment folds Islam into Oceania as it won't mix with Eurasia or Eastasia.

Jim Jones was set up with his Gilbert Chemistry set--now, the mess had to be cleaned up, and sanitation is what these Black Watch and Green Berets do (GBs in Thy Will repeatedly)

Surely it had a corollary of pacification vis-a-vis access to resources on the part of large corporate devices, those quadriped transformers twenty-stories tall, beams from their eyes spreading infinite love

Smith and Jones

And the kinder gentler MK-ULTRA

Execution of the fleeing resistors

Resistance is futile

Placement in the gridlocked information highway with the kidnapped HSCA

Any truth which escapes will be hunted down, murdered, labelled as cult-related

Lauren Johnson
09-20-2012, 11:26 PM
Most of what you write is brilliant. HAVING SAID THAT, what is the following quote supposed to mean?

The current experiment folds Islam into Oceania as it won't mix with Eurasia or Eastasia.

I presume that this has something to do with DBA Obama, whatever DBA means. Since DBAO has between a 75% and 95% chance of winning according to Nate Silver @ the NYT, mind filling me in a little? I doubt you are calling Obama a Data Base Assistant.

Phil Dragoo
09-21-2012, 10:14 AM

DBA OBAMA. Doing Business As Obama.

The person doing business as Obama is not the son of the Kenyan nor the son of the Dunham.

On the basis of research done by a score of others over several years he is the son of Malcolm Little aka Malcolm X aka El Hajj Malik Al-Shabazz and a Lebanese daughter of an Arabist of the American University of Beirut.

He is not related in any biological way to the American Communist Frank Marshall Davis, an important mentor from ages nine through eighteen.

He perhaps studied under Brzezinski. At any rate he used Brzezinski as an advisor. Brzezinski and Gates (whom he used fresh from the eevil Boosh) authored the CFR "Iran: Time for a New Approach".

Even now the JCS is enforcing dhimmitude. Number three at DOJ is a Taliban lawyer. SecState is run by a Saudi agent of influence. POTUS is subservient to the Saudi king.

Islam and the pretend-Left DBA OBAMA are a double helix. The language (as we learn from Orwell) charts the way. There is no way to say Islamic terrorist in government jargon.

FBI agents are sensitized. Mueller is rewarded with two more years.

CIA and NATO advance the Arab Spring, the Islamization of regimes: out go the secular tyrants; in come the Islamist democrats.

Putin and Beijing have zero tolerance.

Washington has limitless tolerance.

Ft. Hood was workplace violence. NASA is Muslim outreach. American is no longer a Christian nation, claimed the POTUS who celebrates all Muslim holidays and no Christian holidays, who did Letterman but not Netanyahu--for zionists will have to take the back seat said Jesse Jackson in whose home Michelle grew up.

I'm not in the least judgmental. This is descriptive. It is no longer speculative nor arguable.

There remains the triad of states in the Orwellian model. The contention is in the quadrilateral--just as in 1984.

Jim Jones filled a role in acclimatizing the people to violence and control, to lies regarding what was before their very eyes.

Who are you going to believe: The Castle or your lying eyes.

All political and religious contention is manipulated for maximum profit as a measure of power and control.

The basic premise is that that level is not seen, but rather felt by the ripples going out in the world.

The percentage probability of a candidate is what the power deems.

Soros said Obama and Romney not much difference.

And Soros is if anything the third string sent to the out of bounds line to bark like a dog.

Brzezinski said it wasn't time to destablize Iran. Nothing Syrious will transpire to alter the trilateral balance.

Everyone can relax, play Solitaire, watch Survivor.

The economy is recovering. The economy is recovering gloriously--if we could only crush Emanuel Romnstein.

Lauren Johnson
09-21-2012, 07:14 PM
Instead, Dr. Mootoo found fresh needle marks at the back of the
left shoulder blades of 80-90% of the victims.[32] Others had been
shot or strangled. One survivor reported that those who resisted
were forced by armed guards.[33] The gun that reportedly shot Jim
Jones was lying nearly 200 feet from his body, not a likely
suicide weapon.[34] As Chief Medical Examiner, Mootoo's 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.[35]
Several pictures show the gun-shot wounds on the bodies as
well.[36] 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, Delaware,
were never made aware of Dr. Mootoo's findings.[37]

Come to think of it, Hougan in his Secret Agenda seemed not quite willing to "go all the way to eleven" in the name of staying the perfect "investigative journalist."

Peter Lemkin
12-22-2012, 03:27 PM
Remember the (CIA) Jonestown Massacre
21st December 2012

Also see: “The Truth Behind the Jonestown Massacre“

By Anthony Asadullah Samad
Remember the (CIA) Jonestown Massacre*November 18th, 1978 is one of the most tragic days in American history.

Tragedy takes many forms in our society, but there is nothing more tragic than the violation of one’s faith. People believe, sometimes, because they have nothing else to believe in. Some people believe because they don’t know what to believe, and in search of truth they become vulnerable to false doctrine and disingenuous propagation. People can be convinced to believe almost anything. In fact, some do. Manipulating people is not a new phenomenon. It just takes on different forms.

Thirty four years ago this week, religious fanaticism took the lives of 918 people, including 305 children. In a place that was termed “Jonestown,” Guyana, named after a cult leader named the “Reverend” Jim Jones. Jones led a church called “the People’s Temple.” False prophesy and hidden agendas always come framed in the context of “the people.” If people think it’s good for them, whether it is or not, they’re likely to be open to ingesting false doctrine.

Jones led hundreds of following out of the country, under the guise of spiritual “deliverance” and destroyed their lives on false doctrine. Many of Jones’ followers were African American. Most of those who died on that day were African Americans. Yet we seem to forget about the lives and families of those who were touched by such tragedy. Why is that?

Do they not deserved to be remembered for falling victim to “freedom of religion” turned religious fanaticism? No more than people who died when “Free Speech” turned to hate speech, be it racial fanaticism or ideological fanaticism (i.e. fascism), we memorialize the people who fall prey to fanaticism.

So, why not the victims of the Jonestown massacre?

In reality, Jonestown is one of the biggest cover-ups lost to history. The facts are the facts in the eventuality of what occurred, but the biggest fact discovered was that Jones had mislead his followers, was under Congressional investigation for operating as a church when it was actual enslavement of persons against their will. Congressman Dan Ryan and three journalists went to Guyana on a mission to get a firsthand observation. As they returned to their plane, they paid with their lives. Within three hours, over 900 people—including Jones—were dead.

The U.S. Government terminated its investigation of the People’s Temple, shipped the bodies home and buried many of them in mass graves. An ugly tragedy, with an ugly finality and no real justice to speak of. Time has passed and much of that reality hasn’t changed. It has been left to family members to try to do three things; 1) heal themselves amidst an unexplainable tragedy, 2) keep the memories of their loved ones alive, and 3) keep the truth about Rev. Jim Jones alive as remnants of the People’s Temple try to elevate his memory as some “savior figure.” That last one is an insult to everyone that died that day on the Jones church’s Guyana compound. It insults our intelligence, sense of dignity and distorts our framework of social reality by belittling the memories of the victims. It is important that people live in dignity and die in dignity. Being buried in a mass grave, without as much as a marker, is not dignity. It’s history being forgotten.

In Oakland, California, at Evergreen Cemetary, 406 people—mostly the children of the Jonestown Massacre, lay in a mass grave, their humanity unrecognized, their dignity forsaken and nearly lost to history—outside of their families. When their families go, the memory will go.

Efforts are being made nationwide to build a memorial—a healing wall to forever remember the children of Jonestown. Do they not deserve to be remembered? Or are they among the forgotten?

Who will be the forgotten ones, when history is told, should be the preoccupation of all. It rarely is. Most will live and die without a legitimate cause, and become invisible in time without as much as a footnote. Others died for a reason not of their own volition, and should be remembered for the cause in which they gave their lives—or in which their lives were taken. In other words, they should be remembered for the tragedy—their tragedy, our tragedy. The rebuilding of the Twin Towers in New York is such an occasion where we memorialize those who died on that fatal day, and each one of the 3,000 people who perished has their name around the new building. “Ground Zero” was a mass grave for the many whom were either incinerated or never found. It is now sacred ground, a place of closure and healing for the families of 9/11.

The same sacredness should be given to the children and families of the Jonestwon Massacre. Thirty four years is too long to ignore the pain of Americans who fell victim to religious fanaticism. We cannot ignore it as “their choice” no more than we can ignore violence against blacks, Jews, gays or others simply because they used free speech to stand up against society’s fanatics. Fanaticism is a social problem of which people fall victim to. When they do, and a great tragedy ensues, it is society’s duty to honor memory and make a statement against fanaticism at the same time. That is the lesson we’ve learned from September 11th, 2001.

What are the lessons we’ve learned from Jonestown 34 years ago? Or are there any?

Support the “Cherish The Children” healing wall for memorializing the children of Jonestown at www.jones-town.org. Don’t let another 34 years go by without acknowledging this societal tragedy.

Anthony Asadullah Samad, Ph.D., is a national columnist, managing director of the Urban Issues Forum (www.urbanissuesforum.com) and author of the upcoming book, REAL EYEZ: Race, Reality and Politics in 21st Century Popular Culture


Remember the (CIA) Jonestown Massacre If you have the uneasy feeling that mass media are in the business of censorship and oleaginous opinion formation, please consider a donation to The Constantine Report to ensure we can keep giving you information that the controlled press distorts to shape political perceptions and program you.