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Thread: Was Jonestown a CIA medical experiment?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Thorne View Post
    The book (the Jonestown book) might take an extra day or two, which will make it more likely to appear early next week, maybe by Tues or Wed. I have the whole volume but need to take care of a couple of miscellaneous things first.

    As a taster though, here's an eye-opening (and somewhat standalone) chapter from late in the book, where Meiers - following his analysis of Jones and Jonestown - casts his eye over the other Jonestown volumes that have appeared to date, and discusses them in some detail. Mark Lane's work on the subject, in particular, is discussed in some depth. This chapter appears near the end of WAS JONESTOWN A CIA MEDICAL EXPERIMENT?, and follows the main narrative, so it doesn't spoil the book to read it beforehand. Alternatively, folks can wait until I have the entire book ready sometime next week.

    A couple of the reviews written by Meiers here make mention of events called the "'H' file homicides". The reference might not make sense here out of context, but it is explained in detail in Meiers' book, and it is one of the most haunting parts of that volume.




    Even with all the preparation and execution, the CIA's task was only half finished with the completion of the experiment. There were many loose ends that, if left untied, might expose the agency's sponsorship of Jonestown. The situation called for a small army of agency propagandists who embarked on a massive disinformation campaign designed to disguise the true nature of the experiment. Before one can understand the post-Jonestown propaganda campaign, the often misused word "propaganda" must first be defined. The word has its origin in the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith; a committee of Roman Catholic Cardinals in charge of the foreign missions. Propaganda refers to the activity of any organization or movement working for the propagation of particular ideas, doctrines or principles, or those ideas, doctrines or practices. By definition, every work published or promoted by a group is propaganda. In recent times, it has become synonymous with deception and distortion and it is in this context that the word propaganda is used in this chapter; a study of those who are responsible for the mostly false public opinion about Jonestown.

    Jim Jones had always manipulated public opinion about his Peoples Temple but the State Department and the CIA did not begin their disinformation campaign until late in the story when they neglected to warn Congressman Ryan of the danger he would face in Guyana. In the wake of the tragedy, Prime Minister Burnham's CIA-installed government refused to allow FBI investigators into Guyana. The CIA, however, was allowed in. The U.S. military personnel who removed the bodies were allowed in. Even independent reporters and researchers were allowed in, but each was shadowed by an agent in a "buddy system" intended to direct and deceive those who would relay the story to the world. Yet the FBI was denied entry. There would be no official investigation into the assassination of Congressman Ryan or the death of over nine hundred Americans in Jonestown.

    The CIA's stonewalling continued as exemplified by the experience of one Fielding M. McGehee. McGehee, a journalist with a "personal and professional” interest in Jonestown, petitioned the CIA under the Freedom of Information Act for all of their records on the Peoples Temple and Jonestown. There was an initial flurry of activity following his request in early December of 1978, but the agency was more concerned with investigating Mr. McGehee than in giving him access to their files. No reports were released. Two years later, McGehee filed suit in federal court and the CIA was ordered to respond by May of 1981. There were a total of eighty-four agency documents on Jonestown. In the end, only twelve were released in full. Eighteen additional documents were released but these were substantially edited. To this day the CIA refuses to comply with the court order to release the rest. In January of 1983, a three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the CIA had acted in "bad faith" in denying McGehee's request. It had taken them two and a half years to release only a small fraction of the information they possessed from the very beginning. Their behaviour has been attributed to a desire not to disclose the identity of their operatives in Jonestown, but very few suspected that one of those operatives was Jim Jones. Fielding McGehee's experience was typical of the uncooperative stance taken by the CIA in the wake of the White Night.

    There were so many books on Jonestown, published in the few years after its demise, that one writer's guide to book publishing used Jonestown as a prime example of why there should be a registry of works in preparation. Whether justified or not, the effect of this 1982 guide was to discourage writers and publishers from producing any further works on what the unnamed "senior editor" considered an overworked subject. To date, at least thirty books have been published on the subject of Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple and/or Jonestown. Many are foreign or out of print and difficult to find. Together these full-length reports and lesser works on the subject comprise the database from which a false public opinion has been formed. This chapter will review each of the major works on the subject and attempt to provide a logical reason why all fell short of reporting the truth about Jonestown.

    GUYANA MASSACRE: THE EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT by Charles, A. Krause with exclusive material by Laurence M. Stern, Richard Harwood and the staff of the Washington Post. New York: Berkley Publishing Corporation, 1978.

    Charles Krause graduated from Princeton University in 1972 to join the editorial staff of the Washington Post, where he covered local Washington politics until 1978 when, just prior to Jonestown, he was promoted to Latin American Correspondent. Krause was one of the reporters in Ryan's Party. He survived the assault at the airstrip by hiding in the baggage compartment of the Cessna. Krause and the Washington Post’s writers' group, under the direction of
    executive editor Benjamin C. Bradlee, published Guyana Massacre in December of 1978. Laurence Stern, who was the chief of the Saigon Bureau during the Vietnam War, contributed much to the book as did Richard Harwood whose career included covering the Kennedy assassinations and the Kent State killings. Though less noted, the contributions of former Washington Post reporter John Jacobs had a major influence on how The Guyana Massacre viewed Jones and Jonestown.

    Krause's book is one of the best introductions to the subject but it is by no means a definitive work as it was compiled, written, edited and printed in less than a month's time. It was the brainchild of the Washington Post which intended to capitalize on the then-current news story by being the first to publish "The Eyewitness Account" when, in fact, Krause witnessed very little from the plane's baggage compartment (at the airstrip) and absolutely nothing of the events happening in Jonestown. As of this writing, Charles Krause is the Washington Post’s Chief Correspondent in Latin America and is largely responsible for the print and electronic media's reporting about this politically explosive part of the world.

    by Marshall Kilduff and Ron Javers--staff correspondents of the San Francisco Chronicle. New York: Bantam Books, Inc., 1978.

    Marshall Kilduff and Ron Javers, along with their colleagues at the San Francisco Chronicle, published The Suicide Cult in December of 1978 as the West Coast counterpart to the Washington Post’s Guyana Massacre. Both would later be referred to as "checkbook journalism." They were hastily prepared and shallow; concerned more with the financial timing of the work than the accuracy of the information it contained. In both cases, the time from conception of the book to availability in the book stores was less than a month.

    Kilduff had been writing about the Peoples Temple for about two years, ever since Jim Jones had asked him to cover a story at the "Pink Palace;" a low income apartment house under Jones' control as director of the San Francisco Housing Authority. Ron Javers began his journalistic career in Philadelphia where he was one of the first reporters to recognize the importance of the "MOVE" organization formed there in 1972. (The Primarily Black organization was founded by Donald Glassey; a Caucasian who was the son of the national vice president of the Boy Scouts of America. Glassey had once admitted that he was a government informant.) Only months before the White Night, Javers was hired by the San Francisco Chronicle and subsequently assigned to the Ryan party. He was wounded but survived the airstrip assault. Following the massacre, the staff of the San Francisco Chronicle, including Kilduff, Javers and columnist Herb Caen wrote The Suicide Cult. As soon as the book was finished, as if it were the only reason Javers relocated to the West Coast, he returned to Philadelphia to accept a position as editor of Philadelphia Magazine where five years later he once again rose to national prominence as the authority on the MOVE organization. MOVE's headquarters had been stormed by the police in August of 1978, just three months prior to Jonestown, and nine members were arrested. This led to a second confrontation in mid-1985 when police dropped a bomb on their Philadelphia stronghold; a bomb that started a fire that would destroy over eighty houses in the neighbourhood and kill eleven people. Over the years, MOVE had protested for or against several causes. Most notable was their campaign against the Quakers and their stated purpose in working for the demolition and rebuilding of their neighbourhood. Ironically, in the end, the City of Philadelphia did their bidding by levelling the neighbourhood and, in their subsequent public humiliation at an act of government violence unprecedented since the fire-bombing of the SLA's headquarters in Los Angeles, they agreed to rebuild the neighbourhood, exactly what the MOVE people wanted, but at the cost of seven adult and four child members who died in the fire-bombing. Of MOVE, Javers has been quoted as saying, "They always seem to be on a death trip. It's a group that needs to feel the world is imploding on them to have inner group solidarity." Javers’ description might better have been applied to the Peoples Temple. It is odd that Javers would be the "foremost expert" on two Black organizations that would both meet a questionable and violent demise.

    The Suicide Cult, like The Guyana Massacre, is a good primer but too commercial to be considered anything but an "instant book" intended to capitalize on the topical interest.

    THE BROKEN GOD by Bonnie Thielmann with Dean Merrill.
    Elgin, Illinois: David C. Cook Publishing Co., 1979.

    Little more can be said about author Bonnie Malmin Burnham Thielmann than has not already been reported. Briefly, Bonnie had conspired with Jones ever since their early days in Brazil. Her father had ordained the minister and Bonnie would remain very close to the story for years to come when she escorted Mayor Moscone to the Peoples Temple, Congressman Ryan to Guyana and Moscone to Ryan's funeral. Following Ryan's assassination and Moscone's funeral, Bonnie took the advice of a literary classic and got herself to a nunnery. The Broken God was written at the Cenacle Retreat House in Warrenville, Illinois. Under the protection of two Catholic nuns and with the help of professional writer, Dean Merrill, Bonnie composed the third instant Jonestown book which was first printed in January of 1979. The Broken God is not recommended reading but due to the author's lack of experience and short-term deadline, her true relationship with Jim Jones is easy to see without even reading between the lines. It is for this reason, and because Bonnie Thielmann lasted the full cycle of Jones' career, that her life is well worth publication and The Broken God is as good a place as any to start. It should be studied and only sometimes believed.

    THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE by Michael Prokes. Unfinished,
    unpublished, previewed on March 13, 1979.

    The People’s Temple is a forty-two page partial manuscript of dubious intent that would become the author's last will and testament.

    In 1972, Michael Prokes was a twenty-five-year-old reporter who covered the Stockton area for KXTV in Sacramento. He lived in a luxurious home on a golf course, complete with fancy cars and all the amenities of an upper income California lifestyle. Prokes was CIA and, when the agency called, he gave up his job , his family, and his home to join the Peoples Temple in Ukiah as Jones' press secretary. As the highly skilled mouthpiece for the Temple, Prokes worked closely with Terri Buford to develop a working relationship with columnist Herb Caen, reporter John Jacobs and investigative journalist David Conn as well as many others who professed an interest in the Peoples Temple. As the Temple's media propagandist, Prokes was privy to at least some of Jones' false public image as he was responsible for creating it. Minutes before the White Night in Jonestown, Jones sent Prokes on a mission to deliver a token amount of money to the Russian Embassy as his last duty as the Temple's disinformation minister. Prokes' job was in public relations, not medicine so he was not told about the experiment and, being so ill-prepared, was shocked and dismayed at the news of the death he so narrowly avoided. He would remain in Guyana for two months with John Jacobs and other American reporters.

    Prokes returned to San Francisco in January 1979 to testify before the U.S. Grand Jury. His request for immunity was denied by U.S. Attorney William Hunter. Prokes appeared at the hearings but said nothing.

    Disillusioned and depressed over being deceived into his part in the atrocity, Prokes called a press conference scheduled for March 13 1979 in room 106 at the Motel 6 in his hometown of Modesto. He had promised the press a good story. First he read a portion of his work for the electronic reporters and then circulated copies for all eight reporters in attendance. The statement was a confession of his work as a government informant and even detailed how he was paid two hundred dollars a week by a case officer he identified as Gary Jackson.

    The question and answer period was too short. Prokes admitted to working for U.S. Intelligence and when asked if Jones was as well, he excused himself and went into the motel room's bath, closed the door and was never heard from again. A shot rang out and Prokes was found on the bathroom floor with a .38 calibre bullet in his head. A note read, "If my death does not prompt another book about the end of Jonestown, my life wasn't worth living." He died a few hours later. John Jacobs wrote his obituary for the San Francisco Examiner. No one reported what Prokes had said during the press conference. The New York Times did not even report his death. The only surviving copy of The People’s Temple comes from conspiracy attorney Mark Lane who received the manuscript in the mail a few days after Prokes' alleged suicide. Lane's copy was an admission of Prokes' guilt but a defense of Jim Jones; a continuation of the work of the Temple's press secretary.

    SIX YEARS WITH GOD: LIFE INSIDE REV. JIM JONES’ PEOPLE TEMPLE by Jeannie Mills. New York: A & W Publishing, Inc.,

    Elmer and Deanna Mertle changed their names to Al and Jeannie Mills in 1975 when they left the Peoples Temple. They had become disillusioned with Jim Jones and with what they came to view as his mistreatment of the congregation. Al had been the Temple's chief photographer, while Jeannie directed publication of the Temple's literature. Both were in public relations which, in this case, might better be defined as propaganda. Because of their jobs and high rank in the Temple, the Millses knew at least some of Jones' secrets and their view of his false public image contributed to their discontent and eventual defection.

    In what has been described as a rambling house in Berkeley, the Millses opened the Human Freedom Center, a group dedicated to helping former cult members readjust to life in mainstream society. They formed the Concerned Relatives and along with Tim and Grace Stoen, Bonnie Thielmann, Tim Carter, Deborah Layton and other ex-Temple members of dubious intention, they petitioned Congressman Ryan's help in securing the release of their family members living in Jonestown. There were two subgroups within the Concerned Relatives; those who, as the name implies, were honestly concerned about their relatives, and those who were using the organization to entice Ryan into a situation where he would be assassinated. If the Millses were of this second, covert, group, their cover was very deep as there is little evidence to even suggest they were co-conspirators.

    It was Tim Stoen who encouraged Jeannie to use her skills as a writer publisher to produce a book about the Peoples Temple, which she began immediately following the tragedy in Guyana. Six Years With God was published in late 1979 by A & W Publishers, Inc. Jeannie is said to have used her $30,000 advance to purchase a Mercedes Benz. She did not hold the copyright which went instead to MBR/Investments; an unidentified entity that may have been her patron and the source of the rather generous advance for a previously unpublished author.

    Six Years With God is a well-written account of life in the Peoples Temple with particular attention paid to Jones' manipulation of his followers. Though the book does not expose the true nature of Jones or his experiment in Guyana, it is believed to be accurate within the limited awareness of Al and Jeannie Mills. As somewhat of an autobiography, the book is tainted by the author's attempts to justify her involvement with Jones but, overall, it makes for interesting reading. The many photographs, especially those of Temple documents from Al's collection, are of particular value.

    On February 26, 1980, about a month after Six Years With God first appeared in the bookstores, unidentified gunmen
    entered the Human Freedom Center in Berkeley and executed Al, Jeannie and their daughter Daphene. Al and Jeannie were each shot once in the head and died instantly. Their teenaged daughter was shot twice in the head and died in the hospital when doctors disconnected her life support system. There was no sign of forced entry. The house was not burglarized. The murders remain unsolved. At first, the police accused the couples' young son who was present in another part of the house but no charges were ever brought against him. Days later, an associate of the Millses reported to police that a former psychiatrist with The Human Freedom Center was responsible for the murders but again no warrant was issued. The case has been closed, unsolved.

    Six Years With God did not contribute much to the story that had not already been published. It does not appear that the Millses were murdered for revealing some secret about Jones but their deaths did serve to seriously discourage other would-be writers lest they suffer the same fate as these two noteworthy Temple adversaries. A & W Publishers fared no better, declaring bankruptcy soon after publishing Six Years With God.

    York: Pilgrim Press, 1979.

    Steve Rose had already established a reputation as a prolific religious writer, journalist, editor and composer when, in late 1978, a religious publisher commissioned him to write a book about Jonestown. Jesus and Jim Jones is half unedited documents related to the Peoples Temple, and for that it is a valuable record but this coldly logical presentation of the evidence does not carry through to the other half in which Rose attempts to draw irrelevant parallels between Jones and Jesus, using quotations from The New Testament to try to explain Jonestown. Actually, Jesus had nothing to do with the mind control experiment known as Jonestown, nor did Jim Jones have anything to do with Jesus, except to claim to be the reincarnation of Christ. He did not worship Christ or his Father whom Jones called "The Impotent Sky God." He often spat on the Bible and threw it down from his pulpit to show his disrespect for organized Christian religion. The Peoples Temple was not a religion. It was a social movement sanctioned under the tax-exempt laws as a religion. It was the Church's defense of that relationship that prompted the Pilgrim Press to publish Jesus and Jim Jones. It is recommended only as a good source of Temple documents or as a study in organized religion's attempts to disassociate itself from Jim Jones in the aftermath of the religiously-sanctioned massacre. Other works of the same genre include Deceived by Mel White and The Bible Said It Would Happen by Paul Olsen.

    Yuridicheskaya Literatura.

    Despite its rather intriguing title and the research abilities of the KGB, this Russian work fails to identify the true nature of Jonestown. It claims that the community was a legitimate experiment in socialism that was destroyed by CIA mercenaries from the outside and CIA infiltrates (like Mike Prokes) from the inside. It exposes individual agents but, is blind to the their collective project. Perhaps it was born out of their embarrassment at being deceived by Jones or perhaps, like other works, it relied too heavily on statements made by Jim Jones.

    PEOPLE’S TEMPLE: PEOPLE’S TOMB by Phil Kerns with Doug Wead

    Phil Kerns and his sister Jeanette lived with their father in Key West, Florida. Their mother Penny duPont and sisters Ruth and Carol lived in Redwood Valley, California where they were counted among the Caucasian members of the Peoples Temple. In 1967, at age fifteen, Phil moved to California to live, not with his mother, but in the home of assistant Temple Pastor Archie IJames. His sister Jeanette, who followed, was received with equal honor, being assigned to live in the Temple's showcase home with Tim and Grace Stoen.

    Although Phil Kerns would later recount his teen-aged years in the Peoples Temple with some disdain, the "forced labor" he was subjected to was no more than a part time job and he and his family enjoyed many privileges granted to only the elite Caucasians of the cult. Phil graduated high school in 1970 and promptly left the Peoples Temple to join the U.S. Army, his rank and specialty have not been reported. He would later write that he left the Peoples Temple after he and his sister Ruth suspected foul play in the death of Maxine Harpe, the first of the 'H' file victims. Even though they suspected that he was capable of murder, Phil and Ruth left their family in the hands of Jim Jones. After serving in the Army, Phil married and along with his new bride, joined his sister Ruth in a "born-again Christian cult" living in a mansion in Northern California. Phil Kerns resided there for over a year yet failed to name the group in his book. Between growing up in the Peoples Temple, serving in the Army and voluntarily joining another cult, Phil Kerns had been brainwashed and trained by the best of them to the point where his history indicates a need for such external control of his life.

    According to his book, Kerns continued to investigate Temple-related murders with a growing concern for the welfare of his mother and sister who remained in the cult. He had a few frustrating meetings with Joe Mazor: a private detective whose friend/foe relationship with Jim Jones warrants a study unto itself. Kerns called him "Mr. Mazzore" out of respect for his privacy or fear of a lawsuit. He also communicated regularly with Al and Jeannie Mills; which was not surprising as anyone seriously interested in the anti-Temple movement eventually gravitated to The Human Freedom Center. Since his mother, Penny duPont, and sister, Carol (who now called herself Karen Kerns) moved to Jonestown, Phil Kerns and his sister Ruth Reinhardt qualified as Concerned Relatives. Ruth was among a core group of twenty-five Concerned Relatives who signed a petition entitled, "Signatures of Petitioners for Elimination of Human Rights Violations in Guyana by Rev. James Jones." This April, 1978 document was followed by a second petition entitled, "Human Rights Abuses by Jim Jones" that was signed by Phil, Ruth, and fifty-five other relatives in early May. Whether intentional or not, the effect of both petitions was to help convince Congressman Ryan to visit Jonestown and assess the validity of their claims. Phil also corresponded with the White House and a presidential aide was dispatched to his Portland, Oregon home to question him about the Peoples Temple. These in-depth discussions with the White House aide , which included accusations of murder and the threat of mass suicide, took place before the massacre.

    When news of Ryan's death in Port Kaituma reached Portland, Kerns immediately went to his telephone and, in the next two days, placed over one hundred phone calls. He made twenty-eight calls to the White House and the State Department and would later report that, despite his Washington contacts, he was shuffled from one federal agency to another in a vain attempt to enlist the government's help in preventing what he claimed would be a mass suicide in Jonestown. He failed, but later took credit for helping to avert a similar fate in the Temple's San Francisco headquarters. Though the bodies were never positively identified, Kerns' mother and sister were listed among the dead in Jonestown.

    On November 20, 1978, in the midst of his reportedly near-frantic phone calls to Washington to save his mother and sister, Kerns made one long distance call to Logos International, a somewhat obscure New Jersey publisher. This was the birth of People’s Temple: People’s Tomb, written by Phil Kerns with the help of Doug Wead, a professional writer who specialized in political issues. It was published by Logos International in 1979. People’s Temple: People’s Tomb has its strong points, most notably an excellent appendix of reprinted data and at least a limited insight into the 'H' file homicides but, though it is an essential addition to any serious library, it is not recommended as an accurate history. Most of the book is devoted to Phil Kerns' life experience outside the Peoples Temple and a defense of his family's activities inside the Temple. One needs only to read other works on the subject to see that Kerns' portrayal of his mother and sister as totally innocent was not universally accepted. Like Steve Rose, Kerns too often quotes the Bible to explain the events surrounding Jonestown and, in the end he poses several questions calculated to imply that Jones may have been working for the Soviets. It is odd that Kerns could view Jones as a government agent but not from the United States where the preacher had such a powerful influence on government officials and agencies. People’s Temple: People’s Tomb may have been written to cover-up more than just the story of the Kerns family and Jim Jones.

    Logos International disappeared as quickly as it had appeared; going out of business soon after publishing the book. Kerns and also Wead "are donating their royalties to provide ways for those who have been involved in cults to receive spiritual help." Like many of the other characters in this chapter, Kerns, Wead and Logos International could be either villain or victim but, regardless, their book People’s Temple: People’s Tomb contributed to the then-forming public opinion about Jonestown.


    As described elsewhere in this work, John Nugent came from a background in African politics. He was Newsweek magazine’s chief African correspondent in the early 1960's and wrote books like Call Africa 999 that earned him a reputation as an authority on the subject. Today he advises several elected federal officials on US African relations. Jonestown was born as a British-managed camp that sent mercenaries to Angola Africa and so it was in full circle that an authority on African conflicts would write a book about Jonestown. White Night does report an awareness of CIA influence in the politics of Guyana and other South American and African countries but it fails to see the obvious connection between Jim Jones and the CIA. Though Nugent's book falls short of the mark, it is recommended reading for any serious student of Jonestown.

    BLACK AND WHITE by Shiva Naipaul. First published in England in 1980 and then in America by Simon and Schuster in 1981 under the title Journey to Nowhere: A New World Tragedy

    Like John Nugent, Shiva Naipaul was a journalist who specialized in African politics. He had written North of South: An African Journey and other works that had earned him a reputation as a gifted writer. Also like Nugent, Naipaul recounted the CIA's covert activities in Guyana as well as the U.S. State Department's protection of Jonestown, but neither viewed Jim Jones as an agent of the U.S. Government. Naipaul did go so far as to support suspicions that Jonestown was a CIA experiment in mind control, but in some twisted perspective he assumed that Jones was also drugged by the CIA and as much a victim as the others.

    Under a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation, Naipaul left his London home for his native Trinidad and then on to Guyana and Jonestown to begin his assignment. In Georgetown, he was shadowed by a suspicious character who offered him money. Naipaul questioned the stranger's motives but passed him off as a small-time con man and not an escort to monitor the author's activities. Naipaul arranged for a military tour of Jonestown. Along with a group of fellow journalists (most of whom were escorted to the airport by their respective guides), Naipaul travelled to Jonestown where the Guyanese Defence Force conducted a "keep moving -- don't touch anything" tour.

    Naipaul then flew to California searching for some logical reason for such an insane act. He found it in California, and would devote a large part of his book to detailing the bizarre aspects of life in San Francisco to explain the deaths in Jonestown. He failed to see that the Peoples Temple had its origins, not in San Francisco or even in Redwood Valley, but in Indianapolis. The Peoples Temple was not a "crazy California cult." Naipaul, born in Trinidad, educated at Oxford and residing in London, failed to accurately describe life in California. He ridiculed and belittled everything he saw in San Francisco, mainly because he endeavoured to seek out only the extremists in order to draw irrelevant geographical parallels with Jones. Naipaul's warped perspective of California might best be seen in his description of the unique town of Sunnyvale. Perhaps, after writing so many negative things about the California lifestyle, he felt it only fair to present what he termed "outwardly normal people." According to Naipaul, the residents of Sunnyvale are conservative, flag-waving patriots who hate big government and, between trips to grandma's house for apple pie and junior's Little League games, exude what he called the clean-thinking humanity known as Middle America. Sunnyvale is unique, and anyone who knows it would not recognize Naipaul's distorted description of the small city. Most of the city's professionals work in top-secret government jobs for the many defence contractors who have set up shop in the maximum-security corridor that surrounds Moffet Field, Ames Research Center and Lockheed Missiles and Space Company. There are more CIA operatives per capita in Sunnyvale than in any other city or town in the United States. It is a community full of people who are not allowed to tell you what they do for a living. They do not hate big government, they work for it. There are noticeably few children in Sunnyvale to play Naipaul's Little League games as most adults are more concerned with advancing their careers than raising a family. The favourite local pastime is CIA infidelity. Since workers with security clearances cannot divulge anything about their work, even to their spouses, many use the blanket of national security to cover their extra-marital affairs. A phone call in the middle of the night is typical. The husband tells his wife that the office needs him and he leaves. She knows he cannot tell her why or where he is going or what he will be doing or even when he will return. Secrecy is part of his job and she has come to accept it just as he has come to use it as a benefit that was no doubt presented as such by his recruiter. The trend started centuries ago with the king of England who liked to host royal orgies but needed to maintain a holy image as the head of the Church of England. To solve the dilemma of his conflicting roles, the king would grant a special dispensation to those who grant participated in the orgies. It was called "Fornication Under the Consent of the King" or F U C K for short. There is really nothing new under the sun.

    Sunnyvale wives are privy to at least the rumours about their husbands' work. Like the time that everyone was disappointed when job #388 was cancelled. All work is conducted under job numbers so as not to disclose the identity of the customer but, in this case, everyone knew the product was a reconnaissance satellite and the customer was Iran. The nearly completed project was cancelled when Iranian "students" kidnapped the U.S. embassy personnel. To the surprise of many, job #388 was reinstated during the ongoing Iranian Hostage Crisis. One night there was a phone call. "Flight #388 is up, report to work." In his amazement he drops his guard and tells his wife that they just shot the Iranian satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base. He leaves to track his "bird" from the "Blue Cube" at Lockheed. A few days later she reads the newspaper accounts of the aborted rescue attempt in Iran and wonders what part her husband's satellite played in the failure. She knows she will never be told the whole truth.

    That is the real Sunnyvale. A Sunnyvale that Naipaul failed to see for reasons that fall somewhere between incompetence and collusion. More important than how he reported Sunnyvale, is why? He never gave a reason for visiting this small city that, until this work, was never reported as having anything to do with the story of Jim Jones or Jonestown. Jonestown's CIA arms supplier, Frank Terpil, operated a front business there but the major connection between Jonestown and Sunnyvale was Congressman Leo Ryan. Ryan's work in Washington was almost exclusively concerned with curbing or at least trying to control the illegal domestic CIA operatives in Silicon Valley and especially Sunnyvale. What possessed Naipaul to visit Sunnyvale and give such falsely glowing reports about the place remains a mystery. The missing piece to the puzzle is his true motive.

    Soon after his return to London, Naipaul's account entitled Black and White, was published in England. A year later, it was published in the United States under a new title; Journey to Nowhere: A New World Tragedy. Black and White was acceptable in the less-censored British market but it was too close to the true nature of the Jonestown experiment for the United States. The U.S. title strongly implies a fruitless, unexplainable journey while the subtitle places Jonestown in the "New World" or implied Third World arena. Naipaul fails to see that the tragedy was not born in an imaginary New World or the Third World or Guyana or even California. The tragedy was born in Indiana, in the minds of the "clean-thinking Middle Americans" he so articulately defended.

    Under either title, Naipaul's book is more of an account of his own travels than those of Jim Jones. It is easy to see how he walked through his assignment and produced the equivalent of a "What I did on my summer vacation" school report. The book is extremely well written but that could be expected from Naipaul, whose command of the English language might have been enlisted by someone behind the scenes. After all, the Guggenheim Foundation had paid for Naipaul's tour of the Caribbean and California. His report (which should have been entitled The Impressions of a Gifted British Writer Who Was Hired To Write About Jonestown) was a corporate idea. Naipaul got a free trip and handsome book royalties, and his sponsors presumably got what they paid for. No library on the subject of Jonestown would be complete without a copy of Journey to Nowhere but, though many of Naipaul's observations are interesting, the readers must constantly question the author's motives.

    THE CULT THAT DIED: THE TRAGEDY OF JIM JONES AND THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE by George Klineman and Sherman Butler and David Conn with research by Anthony O. Miller. New York:
    G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1980.

    The Cult That Died was born in 1970 though it would not be completed and published for another ten years. Larry Lee Litke, an attorney for the San Francisco East Bay county of Alameda, was there at the Bay book's inception as was David Conn, an undercover operative for what he (and later his Washington contacts) would define only as an agency of the Federal government. Conn was ostensibly employed as a surveyor with Chevron Oil, though some reports claim he worked for Standard Oil. The generally accepted theory is that Conn was an undercover agent who allegedly worked for the Treasury Department but his rather flimsy cover might be an indicator that his actual employer was the CIA.

    Under Litke's direction, Conn continued his unexplained investigation into the Peoples Temple until the fall of 1976 when he joined forces with his son-in- law, free-lance journalist George Klineman. Together they met with government officials and ex-Temple members to gather source material for atrticle that they claimed presented a case against Jim Jones. Actually, in the fall of 1976, Jones was preparing to depart for Guyana and the anti-Temple articles were just the evidence of public persecution he needed to justify, or at least help explain, his sudden move to South America.

    In March of 1978, Larry Litke "helped lay the keel" for The Cult That Died (under a different title) when he enlisted the help of Sherman Butler, a literary friend who would edit and polish the rough drafts of Klineman and Conn. While Conn maintained communications with Tim and Grace Stoen, Al and Jeannie Mills, Mike Prokes, Deborah Layton and the other ex-Temple propaganda ministers, Klineman traveled to Indianapolis to research the early life of Jim Jones. He was in Indianapolis when news of the assassination and mass suicide reached the United States. With time now of the essence, Klineman hired private detective Anthony O. Miller to continue the research while he and Conn concentrated on feeding Butler near-finished copy.

    The Cult That Died was published as a group effort in 1980. The authors would like the reader to think they were privy to classified or at least exclusive information and that they were in hot pursuit of the story from the beginning. To some extent they were, but even though they admit to knowing about the planned mass suicide as early as June of 1978, they did nothing to help avert it. These "experts" on the subject even failed to meet Congressman Ryan though there is some evidence suggesting that they fed information about Temple murders to the Concerned Relatives who forwarded it to Ryan's office where it was filed under "H."

    David Conn will never publicly admit to working for the federal government nor will he give even a hint as to how an oil company surveyor came to recognize a major story in a then-obscure cult eight years before they were to make headlines. His motives are never stated. His ten years of research certainly were not for profit. The book royalties, divided four ways, would not have offset expenses. Why did Conn spend his time and money investigating the Peoples Temple? He had no relatives in the cult nor are there any reports that the Temple had ever touched his life. Since the motives for his long-term involvement are suspicious and undefined, one is left to wonder if Conn was, as many have said, an agent of the federal government; a CIA agent who wrote CIA propaganda about a CIA experiment. The histories of Litke, Klineman, Butler and their sources could prove as interesting as Conn's but that is speculation because little has been s published. Litke could have had contact with Tim Stoen as both attorneys worked for the same county, but that is only speculation. It is possible that The Cult That Died had its origin, not outside, but inside the Peoples Temple. Despite its dubious intent, the book is highly particularly for its accurate recommended, accounting of life in the Redwood Valley Temple.

    THE STRONGEST POISON by Mark Lane. New York: Hawthorn Books
    (A division of Elsevier-Dutton) 1980.

    The story of Memphis attorney Mark Lane's relationship with Jim Jones warrants a book unto itself. Due to space limitations, it is presented here in outline form with the hope that someone else will give it the detailed attention it so deserves. More than any other character in this story, Mark Lane's presence strongly suggests the presence of the CIA. For years, Lane was recognized as the authority on CIA conspiracies to assassinate President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He had represented Lee Harvey Oswald's mother and James Earl Ray and wrote several books on the subject. Whether he realized it or not, Lane's investigations were getting closer and closer to exposing the truth. Mark Lane was a problem to the agency; a problem that was solved when his last client, Jim Jones, killed a congressman.

    When James Earl Ray was released from a Saint Louis prison, he had more to be thankful for than most new ex-cons. Ray had a generous sponsor, a mysterious benefactor who had given him more money than he had seen in years and instructions for a job that he did not fully understand. As ordered, he bought a gun and rented a particular room in Grace Walden's rooming house. Grace (who sometimes used the surname Stevens after her common-law husband) remembered Ray checking in with just a few possessions he brought from prison. She also remembers him leaving to go shopping for a car. She swears that while he was out, a stranger entered his room and gunshots were heard. The stranger quickly fled. The shots, said to have been fired from Ray's window to the balcony of a nearby motel, were those that killed Martin Luther King, Jr.

    The police found Ray's gun, his toiletries and a radio he had brought from prison in the room. Ray was quickly picked up, charged, tried, convicted, sentenced and sent back to prison. No one questioned the identity of his mysterious benefactor or how Ray came to know that King would be staying in that particular motel, or even why he wanted to kill him.

    Grace Walden could have proved him innocent and she tried. Following Ray's arrest, Grace insisted that the police had made a mistake, that Ray was not even in the room at the time of the shooting. Grace insisted for only a few days before she was kidnapped and, through alleged due process, declared incompetent and locked in the Tennessee State Prison Mental Hospital where she would remain drugged for the next eight years.

    By 1977, Mark Lane had presented sufficient evidence supporting his conspiracy theory to prompt the House of Representatives to allocate six million dollars for an official investigation they entitled the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Their hearings, scheduled for November 1978, may well have dictated the schedule of the White Night.

    Actually, Ryan's House International Relations Committee junket to Jonestown and Lane's House Select Committee on Assassinations were synchronized with the experiment or perhaps vice versa. Lane planned to call James Earl Ray and Grace Walden as his star witnesses and those a who really killed King were not about to let that happen.

    Also in 1977, Ray escaped from Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary with the help of Larry Ed Hacker, a fellow inmate who masterminded the escape but remained behind to be released under an early parole from Tennessee Governor Ray Blanton. A month after the White Night in December of 1978, Governor Blanton and several of his aides were arrested by the FBI and charged with extortion and conspiracy to sell paroles. Cited in the complaint was the case of one Larry Ed Hacker, who may have been rewarded for helping Ray escape prison and, more importantly, the House Assassination hearings. Everyone agreed that Ray had fled the country but speculation differed as to where he had gone and how he got there. Some reports claimed s claimed he had gone to South America. If in fact he did, Guyana would have been the logical choice because it is the only English- speaking South American country. He may have even gone to Jonestown but, regardless of the route he took, he ended up at Heathrow Airport in London where he was arrested and returned to the United States. Many people questioned how Ray could have supported himself in his travels abroad. This question should have been asked years earlier regarding his unnamed sponsor who had instructed him to buy a gun, check into Grace Walden's rooming house and leave everything to go shopping for a car.

    In early 1978, Lane secured legal custody of Grace Walden and she was released from the prison mental hospital into his care. Lane left assistant G. Robert Blakey in charge of the day-to-day affairs of his campaign while he took Grace into hiding in California. Where in California, no one would say, but the care of mental outpatients was one of the specialties of the Peoples Temple. While in California, Lane placed large ads in forty-two newspapers around the country requesting information about the assassinations of President Kennedy and Dr. King. One of the respondents was Terri Buford. Buford had an interesting tidbit of information about King's assassination to entice Lane. She promised that Jim Jones had much more and that he, too, the recipient of the Martin Luther King Humanitarian of the Year Award, was being attacked by the CIA. She paid Lane to fly to Jonestown and exchange ideas. He was to address the congregation in exchange for the privileged and private intelligence of Jones. Lane arrived in Jonestown in the fall of 1978 with colleague Donald Freed with whom the he had written Executive Action; a book about the conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy. The six million dollar House Assassination hearings ultimately hinged on one man -- Mark Lane -- who, just weeks before the hearings was deep in the jungles of South America. Such was the importance placed on the information he was promised by Buford. Jones was a master in persuasion and that, combined with a $7,500 monthly retainer (paid in advance) convinced Lane to represent Jones in his imaginary fight against the CIA and other agencies of the federal government. Lane was also to suppress Gordon Lindsay's National Enquirer expose on the Peoples Temple and support pro-Temple articles he was to place in left-wing publications. In late September, as he was leaving leaving Guyana, Lane held a press conference in which he said...

    There has been a massive conspiracy to destroy the People's Temple and a massive conspiracy to destroy the Rev. Jim Jones... that was initiated by intelligence agencies of the United States.

    Lane returned to the United States by way of San Francisco where, on October 5th, he announced to the press his intention of filing suit against the CIA and other federal agencies on behalf of his new client Jim Jones. And so began the final days of his credibility.

    On November 1, Terri Buford travelled from Jonestown to arrive at Lane's Memphis home where she would remain for several years to come. This trip is generally accepted as Buford's defection from Temple but Jones' number two aide traveling from Jones to his attorney could hardly be considered a defection.

    On November 3, at Jones' insistence, Lane called the office of Congressman Ryan regarding his plans to visit Jonestown. Ryan was not in but his aide assured Lane that he would return the call. He did not.

    On November 4, Lane received a return call from one of Ryan's aides. Lane explained that Jones had requested his presence during the Congressman's visit but that he would be in Washington for the House Assassination hearings.

    On November 6, Lane wrote a letter to Ryan outlining the phone conversation and suggesting that they, "could no doubt work out a date which would be satisfactory to all of us."

    On November 10, Congressman Ryan sent Lane a letter in which he expressed some token regret that their schedules did not coincide but that Lane's "own personal schedule" was not as important as that of the House International Relations Committee's. His congressional visit to Jonestown would proceed as planned but no firm dates had been established as yet.

    On November 11 or 12, Lane received Ryan's letter.

    On November 14, Lane appeared before the House Select Committee on Assassinations. He had been preparing for this opportunity for years but most of his work was in vain. The committee refused to permit James Earl Ray's testimony, perhaps because of his recent prison escape. Ray, who should have been the star witness, would not even be permitted to defend himself. Grace Walden was not banned from the hearings but it was obvious from the onset that the committee was out to discredit her. Most of the opening testimony came from a team of Grace's former doctors who described her behavior in the prison mental hospital more than just implied that she was mentally unstable and not to be believed. The newspapers reported that Walden's testimony would be "useless" an opinion reflecting the tone of the hearings. It was apparent that the committee was going to try to discredit Lane's witnesses even before they testified.

    On November 15, Jean Brown (who had since assumed Terri Buford's job in the Temple) informed Lane that Ryan had left for Jonestown where Lane was needed immediately. In the midst of the doctors' testimony, lane screamed, "You people make me sick." He left his assistant G. Robert Blakey in charge of the duration of the hearings and stormed out, disgusted not only with the hearings, but with what he thought was fate for having scheduled two of the most important events of his career at the same time, but thousands of miles apart. Between Brown on the one side with the official Temple position and Buford on the other with the alleged opposing view of a Temple defector, Jones' two top aides had Lane right where they wanted him: on a flight to Guyana.

    On November 17, Lane caught up to Ryan's party in Georgetown where they were delayed awaiting Jones' permission to enter Jonestown. Jones was waiting for Lane who he insisted be present during the Congressman's tour. When Lane arrived so did Jones' permission and the delegation boarded a chartered flight for Port Kaituma and Jonestown. There was several hours delay at the airstrip when Jones refused to allow the reporters and Concerned Relatives to enter Jonestown until he could talk privately with Lane and Ryan.

    On November 18, it was Lane who helped wrestle the knife from Ryan's attacker. He was later guarded by that same man and allowed to escape about the time Jones called for the poison. He and Temple attorney Charles Garry made their way through the jungle from Jonestown to Port Kaituma, missing the carnage in both locations because of the planned scenario and timetable written by Jim Jones. Lane was not supposed to be killed. He was too famous a critic of the CIA and his murder, especially during his report on CIA assassination conspiracies, would have drawn too much attention to the truth. Lane was to be used and then discredited. He was. He was so shaken from the experience that he never returned to the House Assassination hearings. He would not have been believed anyway. In the past, he had been the foremost authority on the assassination conspiracies but only after the fact. This time, he was deeply involved in a political assassination before the fact. His career as a front line conspiratorialist lay in irreparable ruin. Despite his absence from the House hearings, the committee ended its investigation where it should have begun, with a statement that there probably was a conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy and King.

    If his well-publicized, two month association with Jones was not enough to totally discredit Lane, the media barrage that followed was. He was accused of knowing about the planned mass suicide months earlier and failing to warn Congressman Ryan of the dangers in Jonestown. It was reported that he traveled to Switzerland with Terri Buford to withdraw $13 million dollars from a Temple bank account in her name (or living in Lane's Memphis number). Buford was still home and, at last report, still is. Grace Walden is supposed to live there as well but no one had seen her since Lane checked her out of the prison mental hospital. A memo from Terri Buford to Jim Jones was discovered in the rubble of Jonestown. It was covered reprinted in the New York Times on December 8, 1978, under the headline, "Memo discusses Smuggling Witnesses into Guyana."

    Jim, I got a message over here that you wanted
    me to tell Mark Lane that he should look into
    some alternative means of getting Grace Walden
    to Guyana because the C.I.A. might try to stop
    her from entering the country. Therefore Mark
    should try to get her another passport. I will
    relay the message to Mark and see what he says.
    I will do so in person as I don't feel it is
    wise to discuss this over the phone. If he
    doesn't have those kind of contacts -- do you
    think we might ought to offer the tampering of
    Maxine Swaney's passport -- we have her passport
    here and it might be something that would be
    similar to Grace Walden and also if it doesn't
    look like her, maybe we can swap the picture.
    The drawback of this would be of course if a traitor were to look at the
    immigration list, we would be caught in a
    minute. The good points of this would be we
    wouldn't run the risk getting caught by a passport on the white market. Teri.

    The New York Times reported only that the memo, titled "Confidential -- Confidential," was dated earlier in that year, leaving many to question how much earlier. When was Mark Lane's first contact with Jim Jones? Was it, as has been recorded, in September or was it as early as Ray's alleged flight to South America? And what of Grace Walden? She never testified before the House Committee. She has never appeared in public. At last report she was living with Lane and Buford but could she have been among the unidentified corpses in Jonestown? Was Lane tricked into being an accessory to murder? Buford denies writing the memo found in Jonestown and any evidence left behind is suspect, but Lane admits that sending Grace to Jonestown was discussed.

    With Terri Buford's help, Lane wrote The Strongest Poison, which is half her propaganda and half a defense of his personal involvement in the tragedy. The Strongest Poison does present an interesting perspective on the story, but Lane's , brief encounter with Jones is only too apparent in his often shallow interpretation of the man. The basic flaw in the work is Lane's inability to view Jones as a government agent. He concentrated his efforts on trying to prove a CIA conspiracy against the Temple and totally missed the point that the Temple itself was a CIA conspiracy.

    There are several different ways to view Mark Lane's role in this story. Some investigators claim that ever since he was an Air Force Intelligence agent during World War II he has worked for the CIA. They compare him to a vacuum cleaner that sucks up any and all information on agency projects in order to identify security leaks and the individuals who possess evidence that could harm the CIA. Though there are agents provocateur who perform this function, it is unlikely that Lane is one of them because such an operative would never have pressed for a congressional hearing into the agency's conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy and King. In the end, the only service that Lane provided for Jones was to tell the public that the CIA was an enemy of the Peoples Temple. For this, he was not rewarded but discredited.

    It makes far more sense to view Mark Lane as the honest investigator he claimed to be. If he was guilty anything it was his greed. If he was of motivated by it was money; money that his anything self-appointed position earned him in book royalties and lecture tours. Lane probably had good intentions in beginning his work for Jones but was deceived or bought along the way. If the stories are true, Buford's $13 million dollars was more than enough to compromise a man whose main motivation was the acquisition of wealth.

    Regardless of how one sees Lane's inclusion in the story, it obviously stems from his work on the King assassination. He was within days of proving his conspiracy theory when he was tricked into participating in yet another political assassination.

    AWAKE IN A NIGHTMARE: JONESTOWN, THE ONLY EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT by Ethan Feinsod. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1981.

    Odell Rhodes was born to poor Black parents, who after their divorce, sent the young boy to be raised by relatives in Detroit. Though he seldom saw his father, Odell followed in the footsteps of this career soldier when, at age seventeen, he quit school and joined the Army. In the spring of 1960, he was sent on the first of three tours patrolling the DMZ in Korea. Following his first tour of duty, Rhodes reenlisted and was assigned to Fort Carson, Colorado where he was trained in a special forces unit that was the pet project of President Kennedy and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara. When the company had completed its training, President Kennedy visited Fort Carson to inspect and congratulate his elite fighting men. Rhodes was selected to carry the company's colors past the President's reviewing stand. Rhodes claimed that soon after being honored as the best of the Army's best, he was court-martialed for a minor offense that he did not commit. After serving out some of his sentence at the Army's maximum security prison at Fort Leavenworth, Rhodes was released for retraining under an Army program to parole first offenders. His dishonorable discharge rescinded, he was assigned to the Army Chemical Corps at Fort McClellan, Alabama where his company stood ready to do combat with the civil rights demonstrators whom Dr. King had rallied in nearby cities. After additional training in jungle combat, Rhodes was sent to Vietnam in 1967 and then back to Korea during the politically tense period when North Korea seized the U.S. spy ship Pueblo. In May of 1968, after eight years in the Army, Rhodes was honorably discharged in Washington, D.C. He returned to Detroit where he claims to have done nothing with his life except become addicted to heroin. The Temple's traveling bus caravan is said to have discovered Rhodes struggling to exist on the streets of Detroit. He was transported to San Francisco where this alleged reformed drug addict was put in charge of a Temple foster home for several years before the children in his care were shipped off to Jonestown.

    In the fall of 1977, Rhodes again boarded a Temple bus for a cross-country trip, this time to l Kennedy International Airport in New York for a flight to Trinidad and on to Guyana. He was met in Georgetown by Stanley Clayton, a Black ex-con who was his closest friend in San Francisco, and the two men boarded a Temple ship for the long journey into the interior-They arrived in Jonestown in the early morning hours to be welcomed by Jones who had stayed up all night to greet these two latest additions to his community. Both Rhodes and Clayton were unique as the only Black Temple members given positions of responsibility in Jonestown.

    Clayton was a guard who worked in the kitchen. He was in the kitchen when the medical staff came to retrieve the vat used to mix the poison during the final white night. Being a guard himself he had little problem piercing the circles of armed men who surrounded the compound. He hid in the jungle until everyone in Jonestown was dead. He returned to the kitchen, made dinner for himself, changed his clothes, found his passport and left to spend the rest of the night in the home of a local Guyanese. The next day Clayton appeared in Port Kaituma.

    Rhodes was much closer to the deaths. He walked among the dying with Marceline Jones, encouraging and comforting the victims, like his "good friends" the Mitchells and Judy Houston, who had been particularly close to Rhodes in Jonestown. According to his account, he was able to slip away from the pavilion area when Dr. Schacht called for a stethoscope. Rhodes offered to get it for him and passed through the armed guards and right into the jungle. He arrived in Port Kaituma about midnight with the first report of the mass suicide in Jonestown. Despite the fact that Port Kaituma was incommunicado, Rhodes was said to have relayed his eyewitness account to Cecil (Skip) Roberts, the Police Commissioner in Georgetown, who had a long history of dealings with Jones and the Peoples Temple. The next day, Roberts picked up Rhodes in a helicopter and the two men surveyed Jonestown from the air. Later, it would be Rhodes who identified those few corpses that were identified. Stanley Clayton moved to Georgetown where he met and married a Guyanese woman within the month so as to gain a dual citizenship in case he faced any charges in the United States.

    Both Rhodes and Clayton soon joined forces with Dr. Hardat Sukhdeo; a Guyanese-born psychiatrist and a professor at a New Jersey medical school who had a research interest in cults. Dr. Sukhdeo arrived in Georgetown within a few days of the tragedy to offer both his professional help and even money to those survivors who now had to readjust to life outside the Peoples Temple. He was employed by the CIA or at least he was paid by what he calls the "secret service "for his work as a "consultant" on the post-Jonestown investigation. Dr. Sukhdeo gave Rhodes and Clayton the airfair to San Francisco and enough money to support themselves during the summer of 1979 which they spent during the summer of 1979 which they spent in the living room of Ethan Feinsod. Feinsod was a free lance journalist friend of Dr. Sukhdeo. Out of their conversations, Feinsod wrote Awake in a Nightmare, published two years later in 1981. The book is not the work of the author as Feinsod was used only his writing skills. The book is really the work of Odell Rhodes, Stanley Clayton and Dr. Sukhdeo and its credibility depends almost entirely on how one views the motives of the three men who wrote it.

    IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE: THE STORY OF THE LAYTON FAMILY AND THE REVEREND JIM JONES by Min S. Yee and Thomas N. Layton, Laurence L. Layton and Annalisa Layton Valentine. New York: Holt, Rine-hart and Winston, May, 1981.

    As discussed earlier, In My Father’s House began as Thomas Layton's ethnology of the Peoples Temple; but, after the experiment, the family enlisted the help of Min S. Yee to produce what had evolved into a cover up of the true nature of the Laytons' involvement in the Peoples Temple. Like Feinsod, Merrill, Naipaul and Butler, Yee was commissioned to write the story as told to him by the true authors, in this case, the Laytons. Yee 's journalistic skills served them well as did his experience and position as Editorial Director of a west coast publishing house, which helped in placing the book with Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

    Surprisingly, In My Father’s House does cover many of the relevant aspects of the story, like Dr. Layton's work in biological warfare but the evidence presented as a defense and not an admission of guilt. The book was published four months before Larry's scheduled court appearance. It influenced his trial and provided royalties that the family used to pay for his legal defense. Typical of the many distortions is Deborah's rather poor attempt to disguise the fact that after the tragedy she married Jones' heir apparent, Mike Cartmell. So, when In My Father's House arrived at the bookstores, Larry was about to be tried for conspiracy to murder a congressman, Deborah was married to Jones' number two man and busy managing secret Temple funds and Dr. Laurence Layton harbored a terrible secret.

    OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HELL: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF JIM JONES by James Reston, Jr. New York: Times Books, 1981.

    James Reston is a skilled investigative journalist who is no stranger to political intrigue, having written Perfectly Clear, a bestselling book on the Watergate scandal. He is a prolific nonfiction writer who is always on the lookout for a new story. Soon after the news of the mass suicide reached his North Carolina home, he prepared to travel to Guyana on the first leg of a fact-finding tour that would be the basis for Our Father Who Art In Hell, which is one of the best of the published books on Jonestown. With a keen eye for worthless propaganda and a totally objective viewpoint, Reston came as close as any to exposing the true nature of Jonestown. Though he even speculated that Jones could have been working for the CIA, his book falls short of the truth due to the Influence of Dr. Hardat Sukhdeo, Paul Persaud and Louis Gurvich.

    In Georgetown, Reston lunched with Dr. Sukhdeo, a CIA consultant who attempted to influence everyone involved in the post-Jonestown investigaton. Dr. Sukhdeo argued that Jones' followers were in a perpetual brainwashed state and not cognizant of their actions. He claimed they had been hypnotized and he outlined his own plans to hypnotize the survivors to wipe out Jones' subconscious suggestions and help them readjust to mainstream society. As an example, he told Reston that he could give him a post-hypnotic suggestion that their waiter was going to kill him, place a gun on the table and bring him out of the trance. When the waiter returned with dessert, Reston would shoot him. Such was the power hypnotism that Sukhdeo attributed to Jones and apparently himself.

    It was inevitable that Reston would meet Paul Persaud an elderly Guyanese information broker known as "the pundit of Georgetown." Like Shiva Naipaul, Reston took a brief, military-conducted tour of the rubble of Jonestown after which he returned to Georgetown to find one of his fellow journalists packing for an unexpected trip home. [TAR note:] He told Reston that he had discovered the terrible truth about Jonestown from Paul Persaud and was so frightened that he was abandoning his investigation and getting out of Guyana as soon as possible. He would not write about it or even tell his editors what he had discovered. He referred Reston to Persaud but advised him not to print the truth as, It will make you the most celebrated writer in America, and you will die for it."

    Persaud was expecting Reston when he appeared at the "pundit's" well-appointed home a few days later.

    Persaud was accustomed to hosting guests. As a stringer for several foreign newspapers and magazines, he held daily "court" in his home office. Guyanese officials, foreign, diplomats and, in the past, Peoples Temple personnel, would line up for an audience with Persaud who forwarded their information to his foreign employers. Much of the news about Guyana that reached the outside world came from Paul Persaud. Persaud reminded Reston of Petit Pierre, a character in a Graham Greene novel; but unlike Green's character, Persaud never gave a direct answer. He spoke instead in riddles. "Don't ask me any direct questions, chief," he continually cautioned Reston. He would test the author's knowledge with questions like, "How could such a community as Jonestown exist without the CIA infiltrating the place at the highest levels?" He would taunt him or perhaps prompt him with statements like, "Jim Jones did what the entire U.S. government, with all its power, could not do; he succeeded in breaking up the Guyana-USSR friendship." Reston attended Persaud's "court" several times and, after one particular meeting with the Brazilian ambassador, Persaud warned Reston, "Don't ask me about Jones' stay in Brazil in 1962-63, chief." Persaud was not trying to leak the truth to Reston as much as he was baiting him to find out what he knew or suspected about Jonestown and the CIA. The same techniques had been used on Persaud by Sharon Amos, the director of the Temple's Georgetown headquarters, who reported her audience with Persaud in the following memo to Jim Jones,

    I made some confusing comment about the CIA, and
    Persaud said Prime Minister Burnham asked him once how he
    could be sure that Persaud wasn't CIA. Since he
    worked as a stringer for Time magazine, he said
    it was tough to deny he wasn't Agency. 'Well
    chief,' Persaud answered, , 'journalists and
    Prime Ministers are always the prime suspects,
    aren't they?' The Prime Minister simply smiled.

    Persaud was later asked to testify before a congressional hearing but he refused to take the oath and tell what he knew about Jonestown and the Congressman's assassination.

    Reston returned to the United States where he somehow, perhaps through Persaud, enlisted the help of Louis Gurvich the father of Jann Gurvich, a top aide to Jones who supposedly died in the mass suicide. Reston would devote an entire chapter of his book to Jann Gurvich, and in addition, moreover, Louis Gurvich contributed much to the balance of the work.

    Louis Gurvich was a first-generation American whose Aryan parents had emigrated from Europe. He lived in New Orleans where he was the head of a three-hundred-man private detective agency with operatives nationwide. His pretty, blue-eyed daughter Jann was raised in high style and high society. The family's mansion was directly across the street from Louisiana Governor Claiborne's home. Louis's house guests were the elite of the intelligence community. Among those who took a liking to young Jann was a professional soldier from Texas who had trained the bodyguards for the
    CIA-installed Shah of Iran.

    Jann Gurvich attended Ecole Classique, Newcomb College, Vassar and Berkeley where she excelled in language with a talent she inherited from her father . In the fall of 1974, she somehow met Jim Jones (the juncture has never been defined) and immediately went to work for him as a paralegal spy to the left wing organizations in California. She worked extensively with attorney Charles Garry on the San Quentin Six trial before he agreed to represent the Peoples Temple. She also helped cover up the Temple's plans to kidnap Patty Hearst in the law offices of Leonard Weinglass who represented Emily Harris; the accused in the kidnapping trial.

    Louis Gurvich told Reston that Jann had moved to Jonestown without his knowledge or approval. He claimed that, after failing to contact his daughter, he enlisted the help of his soldier-of-fortune friends in planning a commando raid on Jonestown to rescue Jann. But, according to Gurvich, he did not travel to Guyana until receiving news of the tragedy. Guyana was closed to the FBI but not to Gurvich who was one of the first outsiders on the scene in Jonestown. He reportedly sorted through the corpses looking for Jann but the "super detective" gave up the search, never establishing whether his daughter was dead or just missing. He did mention that the corpses were toe-tagged and that the daily jungle rain had washed away most of the written words but he never speculated as to who could have tagged the dead after the massacre.

    Since just about all of Jones' female aides escaped the carnage, Jann Gurvich was an exception if she was among the dead. She probably escaped and her father's aborted search for her body was just a token act to profess his ignorance of the true fate of his daughter.

    Despite the influence of Sukhdeo, Persaud and Gurvich, Our Father Who Art In Hell is highly recommended. James Reston's command of the language is impressive but not as important as his ability to assess the environment that surrounded the experiment in Jonestown. Reston was so close to the truth as to know it as fact and his failure to report the whole story might well be attributed to fear; fear that he would become the most celebrated writer in American and die for it.

    RAVEN: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE REV. JIM JONES AND HIS PEOPLE by Tim Reiterman with John Jacobs. New York: E.P. Dutton,
    Inc., 1982.

    Jim Jones used several code names during his career. In radio transmissions from Jonestown to Temple headquarters in Georgetown and San Francisco, he was known as "Henderson Hill" or simply "Henderson" or "Mr. Hill." To the CIA he was known by the code name "Raven." The CIA often uses bird names to identify their operatives as suggested by such contemporary works as “Three Days of the Condor”, “The Falcon and the Snowman” and “The Scarecrow and Mrs. King.”

    In 1982, Tim Reiterman, a reporter who survived the airstrip assault, and his colleague John Jacobs published Raven, which was intended to be the most comprehensive, all-inclusive, definitive book on the subject of Jonestown. The best review of this work comes from its dust cover comments of psychologist professor Margaret Singer, who wrote,

    Tim Reiterman, with the aid of John Jacobs, has
    produced what can be considered the definitive
    psychohistory of Jim Jones and the Peoples
    Temple. There has been a plethora of hastily
    written works on the People's Temple, but none
    made Jim Jones and the Temple fathomable.
    Reiterman and Jacobs have succeeded. They convey
    the essence of the psychological and social
    processes that Jim Jones, the master
    manipulator, set in motion. Jones is no longer a
    mystery...This book is a major contribution.

    Margaret Singer was paid to write that review as she was paid by Time magazine for her comments on Jonestown and by the prosecution for her testimony in the Patty Hearst trial. Margaret Singer is a professor of psychology at the Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute but she supplements her income by providing medical terminology to explain criminal behavior. Hers is not the only bridge between the Patty Hearst story and Jim Jones. Tim Reiterman, then working for the Associated Press, had won awards for his coverage of the Hearst kidnapping. He then joined the staff of the San Francisco Examiner in 1977 and, in the following year, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and received "Top News Story of the Year Award" from the Hearst Foundation for his coverage of the Jonestown affair.

    Like Reiterman and so many others in this story, John Jacobs had graduated from U.C. Berkeley, after which he pursued a second degree from the State university of New York at at Stony Brook. From 1977 until 1978 he worked as a reporter for the Washington Post and, according to Raven,

    As a reporter for the Washington Post, John Jacobs spent three months investigating the CIA's MK ULTRA program, wrote several articles on the subject for the Post in the summer and early fall of 1977, and personally reviewed thousands of pages of CIA MK ULTRA documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.

    Just before Reiterman left San Francisco for the congressional tour of Jonestown, Jacobs joined the staff of the San Francisco Examiner and would eventually assume Reiterman's responsibilities while he recovered from a wound he received during the airstrip assault. Jacobs would travel to Guyana where he would remain for two months after the tragedy. He met with Dr. Sukhdeo, Paul Persaud, Mike Prokes and anyone else involved in the post-Jonestown investigation. With only two years work experience, this novice cub reporter was responsible for the San Francisco Examiner’s account of the Jonestown tragedy. He also acted as a "special correspondent" to the Washington Post, his former employers (who were then compiling data for their book Guyana Massacre).

    As with most of the other books on Jonestown, the background of the authors is as important as the story they tell. In this case, the foremost authority on the CIA's MK ULTRA mind control experiments teams up with the award-winning authority on the Patty Hearst kidnapping to write a book about Jim Jones that fails to see the obvious connections between Jones, MK ULTRA and Patty Hearst.

    Raven is purposely impossible to rival. Its detailed, well-indexed, six hundred and twenty-two page text is supposed to leave no questions unanswered but the authors have gone suspiciously too far in trying to convince the reader Jones was an insane drug addict, leaving one to wonder [TAR SIC] such why Reiterman was spared at the airstrip? Why did he and his colleague fail to report the obvious connections between Jim Jones and their former fields of expertise? Why did they choose to support Jones' own propaganda campaign to define his actions as those of a crazed drug addict? And finally, how did they know to title their book Raven?


    Making Sense of the Jonestown Suicides is the seventh book in a series that The Edwin Mellen Press titled Studies in Religion and Society. Considering that volume four was titled The Nazi State and New Religions and volume five was concerned with the cult brainwashing/deprogramming controversy, it is only logical that Mellen would include a book about Jonestown in their series. Weightman contends that she was not commissioned to write the book which she says began as a college term paper. Though this is probably true, it is also true that her college roomate was the daughter of the editor who who published the book. Regardless of nepotism and the question of who initiated the project, Weightman's work makes an extremely valuable contribution to the study of Jonestown. Making Sense of the Jonestown Suicides is the finest collection of quotations and referenced information on the subject. The footnotes, bibliography and index are essential tools for the serious investigator Weightman outdid her colleagues for several reasons. Since she wrote her book after most lf the first-generation works had been published, she benefitted from more data than had been previously available to other authors. Also, since she was not personally involved with the Peoples Temple, she could assume an objective point of view which she shared only with James Reston but, unlike Reston, Weightman set out to expand on a research paper and such was the scholarly approach to her work. Raven was written in the same well-referenced format but it presented only the authors' opinions and not the complete spectrum as did Weightman who was the first researcher to combine objectivity, scholarly discipline, and talent to present all the evidence even though the different accounts often conflicted. She even mentions that Jones might have been working for the CIA but only as an example of what she considers to be one of the off-the-wall theories.

    Weightman's strict adherence to scholarly research procedures is as much a deficit as it is an asset. She relies too heavily on material referenced to other works which has the effect of perpetuating the mistakes and cover-ups of her predecessors. Though she occasionally questions the motives of other authors, she so fills her pages with their work as to allow little room for free thinking or even a fresh approach to the subject. Her technique is essential in scientific reporting but inappropriate for unravelling a criminal conspiracy. Weightman accurately reports a true life horror story but fails to see any evil in the characters she portrays. She even contends that each of the Jonestown residents made an individual decision to commit suicide voluntarily. Despite her innocent, sometimes naive, interpretation of the facts, Weightman's book is highly recommended.

    by Rebecca Moore. Lewiston, New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1985.

    After being incriminated by their close association with the Laytons and Jim Jones, it was almost inevitable that the Moore family would publish a defense of their involvement with the Peoples Temple. The Reverend John Moore and his wife Barbara were two of the Temple's most outspoken supporters. Their eldest daughter Carolyn had married Larry Layton and gave birth to Jim Jones' son Kimo. Carolyn's work in the Temple's hierarchy culminated on November 18th with her death in Jones' cabin. The Moores' youngest daughter Annie was a high-ranking medical technician in the experiment. She expected to survive the White Night that she had helped to engineer but at the last minute she was shot to death in Jones' cabin. It was the Moores' middle daughter Rebecca who, like Thomas Layton, was detached from the family's project in order to champion their reputation in an autobiography.

    Rebecca Moore worked at an undisclosed job in Washington D.C. from the time her sisters joined the Peoples Temple (1968-1970) until just a few months after the massacre when she moved to Reno, Nevada to join her mother and father. In the mid 1970's, Rebecca had divorced her first husband and married Fielding M. (Mac) McGehee, a federal government employee.

    After the massacre, John Moore petitioned the FBI for their files on Jonestown while Fielding McGehee sued the CIA for their records under the Freedom of Information Act. Rebecca Moore McGehee started a six year project to produce a book. All three endeavors failed to expose the truth. It is entirely possible that Rebecca Moore was a communications conduit between the experiment and the faction of the federal government that sponsored it. "Moore vs the FBI" and "McGehee vs the CIA" spearheaded the unproductive investigation into the government's prior knowledge of and participation in Jonestown. The FBI, the CIA, Rebecca's father and Rebecca's husband controlled the flow of censored information from Washington.

    The Edwin Mellen Press (Box 450, Lewiston, New York 14092) is a scholarly publisher that prints research works for distribution to libraries and universities. They pay no royalties to their academic authors whose remuneration is recognition, career advancement, and salary increase only. Soon after they published Making Sense of the Jonestown Suicides, Mellen was approached by Rebecca Moore and agreed to publish her family history. A Sympathetic History of Jonestown is expensive ($69.95) but highly recommended so long as the reader understands that it is a defense of the Moore family and questions that it is a defence of the CIA.

    All in all, over thirty books have been published to date. Some are government propaganda, others are a defense of the author's or the church's involvement with Jim Jones. Some were conceived with honest intentions but deceived by those who fed false information to the author. Still others fell prey to the most common mistake -- they believed Jim Jones. They knew he was a mass murderer, a fraud, a con man, a thief and a master manipulator but they could not envision him as a liar. They believed or wanted to believe what Jones had taken so much time and energy to record. They believed him when he said he was a Socialist or a Communist. They believed him when he said the CIA was out to get him. But they never understood the man.

    Motion pictures and television also played a major role in shaping public opinion about Jonestown. "Guyana, Cult of the Damned" was a full-length movie filmed in Mexico that was almost universally criticized for its distortion of the truth. CBS Television produced a two-part docudrama entitled "The Guyana Tragedy -- The Story of Jim Jones" that further confused and misled the public with its mixture of fact and fantasy. Actor Powers Booth received an Emmy for his leading role which attests to the acclaim the film received. CBS airs the program about once a year which tends to perpetuate their portrayal of Jones as a crazed drug addict while protecting the identity of the Stoens, the Laytons and even Larry Schacht. Another television series, hosted by the popular actor Leonard Nimoy and entitled "In Search Of..." explored the life of Jim Jones within the confines of its thirty minute format. The program included film clips of one of Jones' videotaped promotional tours of Jonestown in which he pointed out to the camera the community's stockpile of food, making special effort to show and describe their inventory of Kool-Aid. In another Temple-produced clip, Jones danced with a live snake he held up to the cameras. It was irresistible sensationalism and the "In Search of..." producers were probably not aware that including it helped Jones to convince the public that he was crazy. "In Search of Jim Jones" is also aired about once a year which helps reinforce the post-Jonestown propaganda.

    Of equal importance are some of the related films produced for television, like the ninety-minute docudrama "The People vs. Dan White" aired by the Public Broadcasting Corporation. Much of the story line was accurate and the writers even elected to include three extraneous references to Jim Jones but it was more for the setting of the times than an implication that the Peoples Temple was responsible for the assassinations of Moscone and Milk. "The People vs. Dan White" fell short of the whole truth, perhaps deliberately. It was made possible through a grant from Esquire Magazine.

    Perhaps the most unusual medium used in the propaganda campaign was radio. In May of 1980, three CIA-types, dressed in vested suits and the trademark aviator sunglasses, stormed a U.S. radio station and held the staff at pistol-point while they broadcast a statement claiming that Jonestown was an experiment in mind control orgainized by the United Council of Churches. Though there was but a small listening audience within the limited range of the station's signal, the account of the hijacking and the unauthorized broadcast was repeated nationwide as a minor news story of the day. The entire scenario had been planned from the beginning to take the heat off the CIA which, by 1980, was under fire for their role in Jonestown.

    Many of the electronic productions used excerpts from the tape recording of the final hours of Jonestown. Jones had recorded the entire White Night on a recorder tapped into the pavilion's public address system. That alone is evidence enough to question the tape's credibility because it recorded only what the congregation heard, not the behind- the-scenes instructions that Jones was continually issuing to his aides. Even though it is incomplete, the tape is precious. News of its existence first appeared in the Washington Post in early December, 1978. In mid December, about a month after the Event, Attorney General Griffin Bell announced that the FBI possessed the original tape but that it would not be released to the public. He admitted to not knowing much about the death of Congressman Ryan and over nine hundred other Americans and added "I do not suffer from morbid curiosity;" a calculated statement if ever there was one. How the FBI acquired the tape so soon after it was made is a mystery because they were banned from entering Guyana. The first outsiders on the scene were the CIA, the Guyanese military and the Prime Minister's wife. The Guyanese government is said to have a copy and somehow one other cassette copy was made and sold to Beau Buchanan, president of International Home Video Club, Inc. From his New York office, Buchanan sold a copy to the New York Times, which published transcribed excerpts in May of 1979. Buchanan also sold copies to Mark Lane and the House of Representatives committee investigating the assassination of Ryan and the massacre in Jonestown. Congress had to buy a copy on the open market because neither the CIA or the FBI would give them that piece of evidence. By the time the tape got to Buchanan, or at least by the time he had copies to distribute, it had been crudely edited either by the CIA, the Guyanese government, the FBI or Buchanan because there were no other parties involved. Audio experts who later examined the tape, reported that the recording machine had been turned on and off, interrupting some forty-seven times. What was edited out is not known. The original is secured in the FBI's files and not available to the public. The New York Times followed suit and further edited and even misrepresented the tape by substituting "applause" for the screams and protests of those who did not want to die. The Times mentioned the music and singing in the background but failed to say it was a record and not the jubilant "mass suicide" they tried hard to defend after having coined the expression in their previous sensationalistic headlines. Though it was probably out of self defense, the New York Times article served to further disguise the truth about the White Night.

    Most of the Times articles were written or influenced by Robert Lindsey who was not a stranger to by CIA intrigue, having authored The Falcon and the Snowman and The Flight of the Falcon, both of which outlined the life of CIA cryptologist and convicted spy Christopher Boyce. But the most interesting aspect of the New York Times’ treatment of the Jonestown subject is not the contributors or distortions but, oddly, the placement of the articles in their newspaper. Most are adjacent to the articles on the CIA and the Nazis. A prime example is the December 4, 1980 edition which included the CIA's ultimate defense. The article, entitled "House Committee Clears C.I.A. of Role in People's Temple Cult" reported,

    The House Intelligence Committee has found "no
    evidence at all" that the Central Intelllgence
    Agency was involved with the People's Temple
    commune in Guyana before the mass murders and
    suicides there in November 1978.

    The House Intelllgence Committee [TAR note: Sourwine] was responding to Congressman Ryan's staff and others close enough to the story to at least suspect that the CIA sponsored the experiment. Their "no evidence at all" statement was one of the most blatant lies in the post-Jonestown propaganda campaign. Adjacent to that story, the Times printed an article entited, "C.I.A. Linked to Mind-Control Drug Experiments." Citing documents released a day earlier under the Freedom of Information Act, the story outlined how the CIA had conducted a mind-control experiment on eight Black inmates at the Federal Addiction Research Center in Lexington, Kentucky back in 1963. Previously released documents detailed the CIA's mind-control experiments with LSD at that same facility but these later experiments used a mysterious hallucinogenic called BZ that "is a very long lasting drug which causes marked changes in mental functioning." According to the article, "The Army had a similar program," (presumably within the Army's Chemical Warfare Division under the direction of Dr. Laurence Layton) It was more than just a coincidence that the CIA would be absolved of any wrongdoing in the Jonestown affair on the same day that they released documents incriminating themselves in a smaller scale experiment. The uncanny timing suggests that the agency's MK ULTRA division was plea-bargaining. Cleared of the major crime, they admitted to a lesser one. An overall study of the Times’ habit of placing articles on Jonestown adjacent to articles on the CIA and the Nazis raises questions as to their motives. Perhaps they simply recognized that these three seemingly unrelated subjects would interest the same type of reader but there is a strong chance that the New York Times recognized the truth about Jonestown but were either afraid to print it or censored from doing so. By placing articles on these three subjects together, they implied a connection to the amazement of conspiracy researchers and, no doubt, the irritation of the CIA.

    Jim Jones' relationship with the San Francisco print media and especially the Hearst Corporation, sometimes appears amicable and other times adverse. It is difficult to ascertain but one thing remains certain, Jones had a long- standing, sometimes controversial, relationship with both The San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle. Most of their encounters have been outlined elsewhere in this work but one final human interest story warrants inclusion in this chapter. On November 22, 1978, The San Francisco Chronicle published an article entitled, "Chronicle Photo Leads to an Arrest." The day before, the paper had printed a photo of Shelby Byrd, a Black man inquiring at the gates of the San Francisco Temple about his aunt and two nephews who were in Jonestown at the time of the tragedy. Grief-stricken does not fully describe the look of desperation and anguish on his face. As it turned out, his aunt, Beverly Oliver was wounded at the airstrip while his two nephews, Bruce and William, died in the White Night. Within a few hours of the paper's release one Daniel Doherty "told police that a man, photographed outside the People's Temple in San Francisco Monday, was the same man who robbed him of $40 last month at the Pink Palace housing project." Until a year earlier the Pink Palace had been managed by Jones as the Director of the San Francisco Housing Authority. With uncharacteristic expediency, the police arrested Byrd within minutes. The last report from the Chronicle was that the "strong-arm robbery suspect" was being held in city jail. Byrd may have been guilty as charged but more than likely he was being discredited for the public display of his honest grief. In other words, he was framed to take away from the public sympathy his photo generated. Such was the rather frantic activities of those in charge of the post-Jonestown cover-up.

    Weekly news magazines, like Time and Newsweek, also contributed to the public opinion through articles heavily influenced by Gordon Lindsey, Paul Persaud , Margaret Singer, Mike Prokes, the Millses and several other characters whose activities have earned them a mention elsewhere in this chapter.

    Obviously, there was a concerted attempt to suppress information, stifle investigations, censor writers and manipulate public opinion. The propaganda campaign that assaulted society following the experiment in Jonestown is extremely complex and, in many ways, more difficult to comprehend than the experiment itself. The story is full of agents and counteragents, provocateurs and informants of dubious intention. Some worked for Jim Jones or the CIA, others for themselves as a self defence of their personal involvement with the Peoples Temple. Those few who worked for the truth were too often misled by their sources. The only conclusion that can be reached with any certainty is that the group of people who helped formulate the public's opinion of the White Night was comprised of various villains and victims.
    Thanks so much for posting this Anthony and for sharing a copy of the book. I had read about 200 pages of it online via library but it was a pain. I finished the other book the Second Holocaust and he talks about H files in one chapter. Scary scary stuff... I think Meiers first book is going to turn out to be one of the books that changes my outlook on everything. In a way, it seems to suggest that Jonestown is the pinnacle of conspiracies of the 20th century. The linking of Marcus Foster, Richard Welch's, George Moscone, Harvey Milk with Jones and just how powerful he was..... truly terrifying...

  2. Default

    My take is when he moves off Jonestown he goes astray - he also had an odd perspective on the Bay of Pigs. Both his books have sections that make you scratch your head a little. People will be able to judge his Jonestown work when I post the full volume next week. Does his Mark Lane discussion hold water to anyone here?

  3. #63


    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Thorne View Post
    My take is when he moves off Jonestown he goes astray - he also had an odd perspective on the Bay of Pigs. Both his books have sections that make you scratch your head a little. People will be able to judge his Jonestown work when I post the full volume next week. Does his Mark Lane discussion hold water to anyone here?
    I think he has a very balanced and sanguine analysis of Lane - both this participation and his book. I had respect for Lane until the events of Jonestown...but whether Lane is to blame for this or this was the plan is up for grabs. I'd say both are true to some extent. Lane was to be destroyed as a researcher and legal advocate for CIA assassinations - and tainted for this association with a 'cult' that in the public mind committed mass suicide [even if that aint so]. To my thinking, Lane has never told all he knows or could have found out. Many questions were asked about him which he chose never to answer - further casting doubt on him IMHO.

    The manipulations of Ray, the witness who could state that Ray was not in his room during the shooting of MLK, and the entire HSCA are CIA 'classics'...but then so were the events of Guyana and Jonestown - including the killing of Ryan and manipulation of Lane. The truth is SO FAR from the consensual public reality on most events in history [and this one in particular] as to make 'history' as presented in schools and the media a joke.

    Looking forward to the full version.
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  4. #64


    The Secret Life of Jim Jones:
    A Parapolitical Fugue

    by Jim Hougan

    What follows is an interim report about Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple. In so far as it has a central thesis, it is that the “mass-suicide” that took place at Jonestown in 1978 was, in reality, a massacre. It seems to me that this much can be proven by reference to the medical evidence—particularly the evidence collected by the Guyanese pathologist, Dr. Leslie Mootoo.
    The importance of this conclusion should be obvious. To suggest that hundreds of members of the Peoples Temple murdered their children and killed themselves is, in this writer’s view, a blood libel on those who died there. Indeed, it seems comparable to contending that because Jews worked in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, and walked to their deaths in gas-chambers, they, too, committed “suicide.”
    A second argument put forward in these pages is that Jones instigated the massacre because he feared that Congressman Leo Ryan’s investigation would disgrace him. Specifically, Jones appears to have been terrified that Ryan and the press would uncover information that the leftist founder of the Peoples Temple was for many years a witting stooge, or agent, of the FBI and the CIA. This concern was, I believe, mirrored in various precincts of the U.S. intelligence community, where it was feared that Ryan’s investigation would embarrass the CIA by linking Jones to some of the Agency’s most volatile programs and operations.
    This may be why the cult-leader’s 201-file was purged by the CIA immediately after Jones’s friend, and suspected case-officer, Dan Mitrione, died.[1] And it may also be why Congressman Ryan’s contingent was escorted to Jonestown by the CIA’s undercover chief-of-station in Guyana, Richard Dwyer.[2]
    What I believe and what I can prove are, in some instances, two different things. There is no smoking gun in the pages that follow. But I think the reader will agree that there are certainly a great many empty cartridges lying about—enough, perhaps, to stimulate further investigation by others.
    That said, it must also be said that I am hardly the first to suggest that the Jonestown massacre was the outcome of someone’s secret machinations. The affair is inherently mysterious, and conspiracy theories abound—the most prominent among them that “Jonestown” was a CIA mind-control experiment.
    The view has been put forward in a number of venues. Congressman Ryan’s close friend and chief-of-staff, Joe Holsinger, is persuaded of it. The Edwin Mellen Press has even published a book on the subject, answering its titular question — Was Jonestown a CIA Medical Experiment? — in the affirmative.[3] By no means, finally, there is the work of well-intentioned conspiracists such as John Judge, one of the first writers to approach the story with as much skepticism as horror.
    In the Fall of 1978, with Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, Congressman Leo Ryan (D-CA) flew to Georgetown, Guyana accompanied by a contingent of “concerned relatives” and members of the press. The purpose of the trip was at once simple and difficult: to determine whether or not American citizens were being abused or held against their will at the Peoples Temple agricultural settlement in Jonestown.
    Reports to that effect had been received from a number of sources, including former members of the Temple, their relatives and the press. Whether those reports should be believed was a separate matter. An American-based political organization that used the trappings of religion to attract members and avoid taxes, the Temple was a controversial institution—a personality cult that put itself forward as a vehicle of “apostolic socialism.” Though its membership was predominantly black, the group was run by a white matriarchy that was, in turn, under the spell of a Bible-hating, charismatic sadist named Jim Jones.[4]
    Escorted by Richard Dwyer, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy, Congressman Ryan and a part of his contingent visited the remote commune on the afternoon of November 17, a Friday.
    Though the visit was an unwelcome one, and filled with tension, Temple attorneys Charles Garry and Mark Lane arranged for the delegation to be given a tour of the settlement, food and a place to sleep. Accordingly, members of the Ryan party met with the Temple’s leader, Jim Jones, and spoke with many of the organization’s rank-and-file. Speeches and entertainment went on until late at night.
    By Saturday afternoon, November 18, though Ryan himself had spoken favorably about several aspects of the settlement, a number of “defectors” had declared themselves, saying that they wanted to leave. It was then, as the congressman and his company were preparing to depart, that Ryan was suddenly, freakishly, attacked by a knife-wielding man. Though the scuffle was quickly broken up, and Ryan uninjured, the provocation put an end to the uneasy truce that both sides had cultivated.[5]
    Driven to the airstrip at Port Kaituma, where two small planes waited for them, Ryan and his party were ambushed as they prepared to embark. When the shooting ended, five people, including the congressman, lay dead on the tarmac. Nearby, and in the surrounding jungle, survivors of the delegation, having fled from the shooting, hid from sight, tending each other’s wounds. Meanwhile, as the death-squad returned to Jonestown, one of the small planes, its engine damaged, took off for Georgetown, transporting both flight crews and all the bad news it could carry.
    As night fell, both the wounded and the well concealed themselves in a rum shop at Port Kaituma, awaiting evacuation in the morning. Meanwhile, some five miles away, and unknown to anyone in Port Kaituma, a holocaust was unfolding in Jonestown.
    Guyanese defense forces arrived at the airstrip shortly after dawn that Sunday morning. Securing the runway, the troops turned toward Jonestown, marching down the long, rough road to the commune. Arriving there at mid-morning, they were horrified to find a field of cadavers: men, women and children lying in an arc around the settlement’s central pavilion.
    Some two-hundred bodies were quickly counted, but the numbers of dead continued to climb throughout the days that followed. Revisions to the toll were continual, and sickening: 363, 405, 775, 800, 869, 910, 912, 918… To newspaper readers and watchers of the evening news, it seemed almost as if the slaughter was on-going, rather than a fait accompli.
    Amid the confusion and horror, the escalating body-count provoked suspicions, though explanations abounded. It was said, for example, that the count was consistently low because the bodies of children lay unseen beneath the corpses of adults. Skeptics, however, pointed out that some of the earliest reports listed 82 children among 363 dead.[6] Baltimore Sun, November 21, 1978. A subsequent report, by the Associated Press on November 25, listed 180 children among 775 cadavers. The final count, recorded by the Miami Herald on December 17, reported that 260 children were among the dead. It seemed fair to say, therefore, that the children’s presence was known from the beginning, and ought to have been taken into account. Moreover, even if the dead had been counted from the air, and even if one assumed that all of the children had been hidden from sight—which, as photos attest, was not the case—the body-count ought to have been more than 600 from the very first day.
    But it wasn’t. Of course, conditions were primitive, and the circumstances ghastly. Mistakes were inevitable. Nevertheless, 789 American passports had been found at Jonestown within a few hours of the troops’ arrival.[7]This discovery, coupled with the low body-count, had somehow caused those at the scene to believe that hundreds of “cultists” were “missing.” Indeed, it was to find these supposedly missing Templars that military search-parties were sent by foot, plane and helicopter to comb the surrounding area.
    And meanwhile, incredibly, the dead lay in plain sight—nearly a thousand of them in an area the size of a football field.
    It was a almost a week, then, before the body-count stabilized at 918 and, when it did, skeptics wondered how it was possible that 363 bodies had concealed 550—particularly when 82 of the 363 were said to have been small children.
    Even mathematically, and from its inception, “Jonestown” did not make sense. Something was wrong with the reports from the very first day.
    More than 900 men, women and children were suddenly, violently dead under circumstances that, even at this late date, remain mind-boggling. The mounting body-count, as well as the subsequent handling of the bodies, threatened to make conspiracy-theorists of even the most gullible.
    It was alleged, of course, in newspapers and instant-books,[8] that upwards of a thousand brainwashed religious fanatics committed suicide in the jungle because their leader, Jim Jones, told them to. One by one, they’d come forward without protest to drink cyanide-laced “Kool-Aid” from a vat.[9] It was as simple as that. Jonestown was proof-positive of the effectiveness of brainwashing, and of the dangers inherent in the new religions.
    As it happened, however, this was only a theory and, as it turned out, an inaccurate one. Viz.:
    Seven months after the massacre, the New England Journal of Medicine commented on the handling of the bodies at Jonestown.[10] Citing the criticisms of forensic experts and organizations,[11] the Journal noted that:
    only one-third of the bodies at Jonestown had been positively identified more than six months after the massacre;
    no death certificates had been obtained on any of those who’d died in Guyana;
    a medicolegal autopsy ought to have been performed on every body to establish the cause and manner of death in each case.
    In fact, however, only seven autopsies were carried out among the 918 victims—an appalling figure. (As one forensic expert, Dr. Cyril Wecht, remarked: every American who dies under suspicious circumstances has a right to an autopsy.) Even then, the autopsies that were carried out were hardly conclusive: all of the bodies had been embalmed in Guyana, using a procedure that “ripped up” the internal organs, almost a month before the autopsies were conducted.[12]
    This was unfortunate, to say the least.[13] Indeed, six leading medical examiners described the handling of the bodies (by the military and others) as “inept,” “incompetent” “embarrassing,” and a case of “doing it backwards.”[14] Dr. Rudiger Breitenecker, who assisted at the seven autopsies, agreed. There had been “a series of errors,” he said. “We shuddered about the degree of ineptness.”[15]
    Despite the difficulties, “probable cyanide poisoning” was listed as the cause of death in five of the seven autopsy reports—though, as it happened, only one of the five bodies, that of Maria Katsaris, showed any traces of cyanide (“although carefully searched for…”).[16]
    Still, the suspicion of cyanide poisoning in the absence of cyanide itself is not as strange as it may at first seem. As one of the examining physicians pointed out, cyanide is unstable in “the postmortem interval.” Perhaps, then, it broke down in the victims’ tissues. In any case, the “relevant body fluids” may have been contaminated by the embalming process itself or, in the course of that procedure, the fluids may have been diluted or discarded. The fact that Diphenhydramine was found in the stomachs of several victims and in the “poison-vat” as well, suggested that the victims had drunk from the vat’s contents. That the contents of the vat included cyanide could not, however, be proven from an examination of the vat itself—which, upon study, betrayed no traces of the poison.[17] (The explanation was offered that the vat had an acid pH at which cyanide is unstable. The assumption, then, was that the poison broke down in the days after the massacre.)
    “Probable cyanide poisoning” was, therefore, a conclusion based upon circumstantial evidence: i.e., reports, including press reports, from the scene. These accounts noted the presence of cyanide salts in the inventory of Jonestown’s medical dispensary; and, also, the discovery of cyanide in syringes and bottles in the area around the pavilion. Finally, there was the account of Dr. Leslie Mootoo, chief medical examiner and senior bacteriologist for Guyana, who examined scores of bodies within a day or two of the disaster. According to Dr. Mootoo, who labored long and hard, taking specimens and samples from many of the dead, cyanide was present in the stomachs of most of those whom he examined. Unfortunately, evidence of his findings disappeared soon after it was collected. According to Dr. Mootoo, his specimens and samples were given to “a representative of the American Embassy in Georgetown, expecting that they would be forwarded to American forensic pathologists.” They weren’t. No one knows what happened to them.
    Of the two remaining bodies that were autopsied, Jim Jones was found to have been killed by a gunshot wound to the head. As for Temple member Ann Moore, her death was attributed to twocauses because it was impossible to say which came first. She had been shot in the head; and, unlike the others, a massive quantity of cyanide was found in her body’s tissues. (Why the poison should have broken down in the bodies of the other victims, but not in the body of Ann Moore, is unknown.)
    All in all, physicians were able to determine the cause of death in only two of the more than 900 cases—though Dr. Mootoo’s field-work lent considerable weight to the conclusion that most had died of cyanide-poisoning.
    As for the manner of death, whether suicide or homicide, the best evidence was again Dr. Mootoo’s. The Guyanese physician, trained in London and Vienna, concluded that more than 700 of the victims had been murdered. This conclusion was based on several observations. In the case of the 260 children, for example, they could hardly be held responsible for their own deaths. They’d been killed by others. As for the adults, Dr. Mootoo reported that 83 of the 100 bodies that he examined had needle-punctures on the backs of their shoulders — suggesting that they had been forcibly held down and injected against their will.[18] (A second possiblity is that they may have given coup de grace injections, perhaps after feigning death.) Moreover, Dr. Mootoo noted, syringes containing cyanide, but lacking needles, lay everywhere on the ground at Jonestown — a circumstance which led him to conclude that the syringes had been used to squirt poison into the mouths of those (children and others) who’d refused to drink. Still others seem to have duped into thinking that they were taking tranquilizers: bottles containing potassium cyanide, but labelled “Valium,” were scattered on the ground around the pavilion.[19] Based upon this evidence, a conservative estimate would be that as many as 700, and possibly more, of Jonestown’s victims were murdered.
    No other conclusion seems reasonable.Once Dr. Mootoo’s findings are accepted with respect to thecause of death, cyanide poisoning, we have little choice than to accept his judgment upon themanner in which the vast majority of the victims died. As the only physician to gather evidence at the scene and to examine the dead where they lay, Dr. Mootoo based his findings upon the best (and, sometimes, the only) evidence that was available.
    An eye-witness account would help to answer many of the lingering questions, but none would appear to be forthcoming. Those who survived the massacre — Charles Garry, Mark Lane, the Carter brothers, Michael Prokes, Odell Rhodes and others — did so because they fled the scene.[20]The only exceptions to this were an elderly woman named Hyacinth Thrash, who slept through the massacre and remembered nothing of it; a man named Stanley Clayton, who hid through the night in a tree;[21] and a third person whose identity will be discussed subsequently.
    Just as the cause and manner of death were to be obscured by the decision to embalm the corpses before they could be autopsied, identities of those who died were also encrypted. Why this was so is a mystery in its own right.
    “Lots of people had identification tags on their wrists, usually their right one,” said Frank Johnston, an American magazine photographer who toured the commune shortly after the massacre.[22] Some of these tags were hand-made, apparently by the communards themselves, while others were issued by the medical clinic at Jonestown. Still other victims had been identified on the ground by Ms. Thrush and others who’d known them. These bodies had then been tagged by the military. Relatives of the dead, including Stanley Clayton, saw the tags. So did anyone who glanced at theNewsweek cover to the issue in which the massacre was reported.
    Inexplicably, however, the wrist-identification bracelets and tags were removed prior to the bodies’ return to the United States.
    In a real sense, therefore, the bodies were dis-identified, though no one is able to say why. According to Newsweek, however, the order to remove the tags was issued by Robert Pastor, the National Security Council’s staff coordinator for Latin American and Caribbean affairs. Asked about this, Pastor denies that he gave such an order, adding that it would have been senseless for him to have done so. He’s right, of course, but the mystery remains: why were the tags removed?
    A great deal more could be said about the mishandling of the bodies. It may be enough, though, to call attention to news reports published as recently as last year. According to UPI and the Los Angeles Times, three of the Jonestown dead were discovered in January, 1986 stacked in caskets inside a Storage-R-Us facility in Southern California.[23] They’d been forgotten, and were still awaiting burial.
    As Dr. Mootoo’s best evidence established, most of the people at Jonestown were murdered. How is it, then, that Jonestown has become synonymous with “mass suicide”? An “After Action Report” of the Joint Chiefs of Staff helps to establish the chronology of the myth.
    According to the Pentagon, which took responsibility for transporting the dead back to the United States, the National Military Command Center (NMCC) was first notified of a disaster in Guyana at 7:18 P.M. on Saturday, November 18.[24] This information, apparently based upon the reports brought back from Port Kaituma by the escaping small plane, was that Congressman Ryan had been shot at the jungle airstrip.
    At 8:15 P.M., a Department of Defense MEDEVAC was requested by the State Department. Its mission: to evacuate the wounded from Port Kaituma, and to return the bodies of those who had been killed at the airstrip.[25]
    At 8:49 P.M., the State department relayed a request from the Prime Minister of Guyana, Forbes Burnham, asking that a pathologist accompany the MEDEVAC. Why Burnham should have requested a pathologist from the U.S. is, under the circumstances, a considerable mystery. The information available to him at that time would seem to have been restricted to the news that Congressman Ryan and others had been ambushed by small-arms fire. At the very least, therefore, it may be said that Burnham’s request demonstrated remarkable prudence — if not prescience.
    At 3:04 A.M. on November 19, the C-141 MEDEVAC left Charleston, N.C. for Guyana.
    Twenty-five minutes later, at 3:29 A.M., the JCS chronology indicates that “CIA NOIWON reports mass suicides at Jonestown.”[26]
    All entries in the JCS chronology are Eastern Standard Time. In Guyana, however, it was one hour and fifteen minutes later than it was in Washington, D.C.—which means that the CIA notified the Defense Department of the “mass suicides” at 4:44 A.M. (Guyana-time).
    This is clearly one of the most important mysteries in the entire affair. How did the CIA know thatanyone was dead in Jonestown — let alone so many as to justify the notion of “mass suicides”? And how could it be so mistakenly certain of the manner in which the dead had died: i.e., suicide as opposed to murder?
    Obviously, the CIA somehow learned of the massacre in Guyana prior to 4:44 A.M. Which is to say, while it was still dark, and hours before Guyanese Defense Forces arrived at the commune.
    How the Agency was able to do this is uncertain—the matter remains classified nine years after the events. Satellite imagery is only the most remote possibility, given the darkness and the low-priority of Guyana as a surveillance site. Radio intercepts are a second, more likely, possibility; at present, however, it is unknown if there were transmissions from Jonestown that would have permitted an eavesdropper to report the occurrence of “mass suicides.” A third possibility, and the one that seems most likely, is the existence of a CIA officer or agent in Jonestown at the time of the massacre.
    We’ll return to this third possibility momentarily. Before we do so, however, it is worth quoting from the “narrative summary” of the JCS report:
    At approximately 1800 that same evening (November 18), Reverend James Warren Jones, the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple cult, held a meeting of all members. He convinced them that they and their children would have to die. The members of the cult lined up and began receiving a poison drink. Guards were stationed around the compound to insure that no one left the camp…”[27]
    While we do not know the extent to which the military’s perspective was shaped by the press reports that followed, it may be assumed that the CIA’s early notification, alleging mass suicides even before the bodies had been discovered by the Guyanese, must have affected the way in which the tragedy came to be seen and reported.
    But how did the CIA learn of the deaths? Who was its witness?
    Author’s note: When this article was first written, suspicion fell on Richard Dwyer, the Deputy Chief of Mission, who accompanied Congressman Ryan to Jonestown and, fatefully, to the Port Kaituma airstrip. That suspicion is elaborated in the paragraphs that follow, but the reader should know that, in fact, the elaboration is mistaken in its central premise. While Dwyer was certainly a spook, his likely affiliation was with the State Department’s Intelligence & Research Bureau, rather than with the CIA – and that, moreover, it was not he, but the actual CIA chief of station in Georgetown, who was the first to notify Washington of the horror in Jonestown. (How Adkins learned of the murders and suicides, and got the word out, is discussed in my article, Jonestown and the NOIWON Alert.) With that proviso, I leave my original text unchanged in the paragraphs that follow, so that the reader may be able to consider the persistent mysteries that surround Dwyer’s identity and whereabouts during the massacre.
    Dwyer’s background is that of a sheepdipped CIA officer whose State Department cover had long ago worn thin. After graduating from Princeton in 1957, he’d gone to work at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research until February, 1959. In the years that followed, he was posted to Damascus (1960-63), Cairo (1963-66), Washington (1966-68), and Sofia, Bulgaria (1970-72).[28] After returning home in 1972, he was subsequently shifted to Chad until, in 1977, he was brought home again to become part of the State Department’s Inspection Corps. In that role, he traveled throughout much of western South America: Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Ecuador. Finally, on April 14, 1978 he arrived in Georgetown, Guyana to take up his responsibilities as Deputy Chief of Mission.
    That Dwyer was a deep-cover CIA officer is apparent. Dr. Julius Mader, an East German author with ties to the Stasi intelligence service, alleged as much in a book that he’d written ten years prior to Jonestown: Who’s Who in the CIA. Joseph Holsinger, Leo Ryan’s best friend and chief of staff, echoes the charge, citing congressional sources. Not finally, the same allegation is made by the defense attorney for Larry Layton, recently convicted for his role in the assassination of Congressman Ryan.[29] Unfortunately, Justice Department attorneys (representing Dwyer) and the judge (who presided over the Layton case)[30] refused to let Layton’s defense attorney question Dwyer about his work for the CIA.[31]
    The information that a CIA agent (or officer) was at the scene of the Port Kaituma ambush was given to Joe Holsinger by a Washington colleague whom Holsinger regards as an unimpeachable source. Despite the efforts of Layton’s defense attorney, this evidence was not admitted in court. Nevertheless, it’s clear that the CIA man was present at both the ambush and the massacre.
    A tape-recording found at the scene of the massacre was transcribed by the FBI. This is the so-called “Last Tape” that Jones recorded while urging his followers to commit suicide.[32] Against a background of wailing and screams, one hears
    JONES: “And what comes, folks, what comes now?”
    UNMAN[33] [in background]: “Everybody…hold it! Sit down right here…” [loud background noises, agitated]
    JONES: “Say peace, say peace, say peace, say peace…what comes, don’t let…take Dwyer on down to the middle (?) of the East House. Take Dwyer on down.”
    UNWOMAN: “Everybody be quiet, please!”
    UNMAN: “Show you got some respect for our lives.”[34]
    UNMAN: “Let me sit down, sit down, sit down.”
    JONES: “I know… (Jones begins to hum, or keen.) “I tried so very very hard… Get Dwyer out of here before something happens to him.”
    UNMAN: “Ujara?”
    JONES: “I’m not talking about Ujara, I said Dwyer.”
    The Last Tape is anything but indistinct, and there would seem to be only one way of making sense out of it: that is to say, it means what it says. Jones is giving orders to his followers to protect “Dwyer” by taking him to East House (a part of the Jonestown encampment from which attorneys Charles Garry and Mark Lane had already escaped). There is no other “Dwyer” associated with the Peoples Temple, so it would seem fair to conclude that it was Richard Dwyer whom Jones intended to protect. Why Jones should have wanted to protect a CIA agent is an interesting and important question. So, too, it seems important to ask whether or not Dwyer’s appointment to the Embassy post in Guyana was in any way connected to the presence of the Peoples Temple in that country. And, also, whether it was a coincidence that Congressman Ryan’s tour-guide at Jonestown was, secretly, the CIA’s Chief of Station in the country?
    Here, however, we are concerned, not with Jones’s motives and relationships, but with tracking down the origins of reports about the supposed “mass suicides.”
    According to Richard Dwyer, he did not leave Port Kaituma that evening. On the contrary, he says, he tended the wounded throughout the night. If few people noticed his presence, as some have remarked, athen it must be because he was moving back and forth between the two locations at which the wounded were being kept.
    “What reasons people may have had for saying these things, I don’t know,” Dwyer has testified. “I was not present in the tavern, obviously, when I was at the tent. I wasn’t present in the tent when I was in the tavern. But that’s it.”[35] One would like to enlighten Dwyer about the reasons why people felt that he had left Port Kaituma that night but, unfortunately, the Last Tape was not admitted into evidence in the Layton trial—which meant that no questions were asked about its contents.
    We might speculate about the means by which the CIA was notified of the supposed “mass suicides.” A burst-transmitter, concealed in an attache-case, has been suggested, but there is no way of knowing for certain if Dwyer carried such a device.
    The CIA’s relationship to Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple, and therefore to the Jonestown massacre, is an important issue that will be discussed in subsequent pages.
    Here, however, we are concerned with the initial reports of the massacre. And, in particular with those responsible for labeling the disaster a “mass suicide” — contrary to the evidence being gathered by Dr. Mootoo. And while the CIA report was undoubtedly a significant source of misinformation, an even more important source of spin was a psychiatrist named Dr. Hardat Sukhdeo.
    Dr. Sukhdeo is, or was then, “an anti-cult activist” whose principal interests (as per an autobiographical note) are “homicide, suicide, and the behavior of animals in electro-magnetic fields.” His arrival in Georgetown on November 27, 1978 came only three weeks after he had been named as a defendant in a controversial “deprogramming” case.[36] It is not entirely surprising, then, that within hours of his arrival in the capital, Dr. Sukhdeo began giving interviews to the press, including the New York Times, “explaining” what had happened.
    Jim Jones, he said, “was a genius of mind control, a master. He knew exactly what he was doing. I have never seen anything like this…but the jungle, the isolation, gave him absolute control.” Just what Dr. Sukhdeo had been able to see in his few minutes in Georgetown is unclear. But his importance in shaping the story is undoubted: he was one of the few civilian professionals at the scene, and his task was, quite simply, to help the press make sense of what had happened and to console those who had survived. He was widely quoted, and what he had to say was immediately echoed by colleagues back in the States.
    That Sukhdeo’s opinions were preconceived, rather than based upon evidence, seems obvious. Nevertheless, it is clear that he was aware of the work that Dr. Mootoo had done—which, as we have seen, contradicted Sukhdeo’s statements about “mass suicides.” In an interview with Time, Sukhdeo refers to an “autopsy” that had been performed on Jim Jones in Guyana. This can only have been a reference to Dr. Mootoo’s somewhat cursory examination, in which Jones was slit open on the ground. It is difficult to understand how Sukhdeo could have been aware of that procedure’s having been conducted without also knowing of Mootoo’s finding that most of the victims had been murdered.
    Dr. Sukhdeo was himself a native of Guyana, though a resident of the United States. He claimed at the time that he’d come to Georgetown at his own expense to counsel and study those who had survived. But that is in dispute.
    According to his own attorney, Robert Bockelman, the psychiatrist retained him to prevent his having to testify at the Larry Layton trial in San Francisco. Dr. Sukhdeo’s primary concern, according to Bockelman, was that it should not be revealed that the State Department had paid his way to Guyana. You see the problem: was Sukhdeo there to help the survivors—or to debrief them on behalf of some other person or agency?[37]
    Nor was this all. Prior to retaining counsel in San Francisco, Dr. Sukhdeo had himself been retained by Larry Layton’s defense attorneys and family. (Indeed, he testified in Layton’s trial in Guyana, where “most of his testimony concerned cults in general and observations about conditions at Jonestown.”)[38] And, during the time that he was helping Layton’s defense, Dr. Sukhdeo was meeting—surreptitiously, according to his own lawyer—with FBI agents. Asked about this, Sukhdeo says that at no time during these meetings did he disclose any confidential communicatins between himself and Layton.[39]
    The suggestion that Dr. Sukhdeo may have secretly “debriefed” Jonestown’s survivors on behalf of the State Department (or some other government agency) may seem unduly suspicious. On the other hand, a certain amount of suspicion would seem to prudent when discussing the unsolved deaths of more than 900 Americans who, in the weeks before they died, were preparing to defect en masse to the Soviet Union. The government’s interest in this matter would logically have been intense.[40]
    It is true, of course, that not every psychiatrist agreed with Dr. Sukhdeo’s analysis. Dr. Stephen P. Hersh, then assistant director of the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), commented that “The charges of brainwashing are clearly exaggerated. The concept of ‘thought control’ by cult leaders is elusive, difficult to define and even more difficult to prove. Because cult converts adopt beliefs that seem bizarre to their families and friends, it does not follow that their choices are being dictated by cult leaders.”i
    The massacre, according to Dr. Hersh, was “an isolated thing” and “not something the public should fear from other” groups. “We have no information that…(the new religions)…are vulnerable to this type of extreme behavior,” Dr. Hersh said.[41]
    That said, there is more at stake here than public perceptions. Investigators of the Guyana tragedy have a responsibility to both the living and the dead: to find out what actually happened, and to make certain that it cannot happen again.
    To understand the fate of the Peoples Temple, one must first understand why the intelligence community seemed (against all odds) to ignore the organization for so long—appearing to become interested in it only when Congressman Ryan began his investigation. Consider:
    The Peoples Temple was created in the political deep-freeze of the 1950s. From its inception, it was a leftwing ally of black activist groups that were, in many cases, under FBI surveillance.[42] During the 1960s, when the Bureau and the CIA mounted Operations COINTELPRO and CHAOS to infiltrate and disrupt black militant organizations and the Left, the Temple went out of its way to forge alliances with leaders of those same organizations: e.g., with the Black Panthers’ Huey Newton and with the Communist Party’s Angela Davis. And yet, despite these associations, and its ultra-left orientation, we are told that the Temple was not a target of investigation by either intelligence agency.
    In the early 1970s, suspicions began to surface in the press, implicating the Peoples Temple in an array of allegations including gunrunning, drug-smuggling, kidnapping, murder, brainwashing, extortion and torture. Under attack at home, and feeling the pressure abroad, Temple officials undertook secret negotiations with the Soviet Embassy in Georgetown, laying the groundwork for the en masse defection of more than a thousand poor Americans. According to the CIA, it took no interest in these discussions.
    Nevertheless, when Congressman Ryan began to scrutinize the Temple in 1978, two things happened. First, according to his aides, he was stonewalled by the State Department. Second, upon arriving in Guyana, he was given an escort who had been identified a decade earlier as a ranking CIA officer.[43]
    This second fact would seem to explain how it is that the CIA was the first to learn of the deaths at Jonestown, describing them as “mass suicides” — hours before the bodies were discovered by the Guyanese Defense Forces.
    Under the circumstances, only the most naive could fail to be skeptical of the disinterested stance that the FBI and the CIA claim to have taken. But what does it mean? Why would these agencies give a de facto grant of immunity to the Peoples Temple? And why would the CIA maneuver its Chief of Station into position to surveil Congressman Ryan, the co-author of legislation curtailing CIA activities abroad, on his trip to Jonestown?
    The answers to those questions are embedded in the contradictions of Jones’s past and, in particular, in that most mysterious period in the preacher-man’s life: the 1960-64 interregnum that every biographer has preferred to gloss over. As I intend to show, the enigmas of Jones’s beginnings do much to explain the bloodshed at the end.
    Jim Jones was born in Crete, Ind. in 1931. When he was three, he moved with his family to the town of Lynn.
    His father was a partially disabled World War I vet. Embittered by the Depression and unable to find work, he is alleged (without much evidence) to have been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Jones’s mother, on the other hand, was well-liked, a hard-working woman who is universally credited with keeping the family together.
    Jones’s religious upbringing took place outside his own family. Myrtle Kennedy, a friend of his mother’s who lived nearby, saw to it that he went to Sunday School, and gave him instruction in theBible. While not yet a teenager, Jones began to experiment, attending the services of several churches.[44] Before long, he came under the spell of a “fanatical” woman evangelist, the leader of faith-healing revivals at the Gospel Tabernacle Church on the edge of town.[45] (This was a Pentecostal sect of so-called “Holy Rollers,” a charismatic group then believed in faith-healing and speaking in tongues.) Whether there was more to their relationship than that of a priestess and her protege is unknown, but it is a fact that Jones’s association with the woman coincided with the onset of nightmares. According to Jones’s mother, he was terrorized by dreams in which a snake figured prominently.[46]
    Whatever the nature of his relationship to the lady evangelist, Jones soon found himself in the pulpit, dressed in a white sheet, thumping the Bible. The protege was a prodigy and, by all accounts, he loved the attention.
    In 1947, 15-years-old and still a resident of Lynn, Jones began preaching in a “sidewalk ministry” on the wrong side of the tracks in Richmond, Indiana — sixteen miles from his home. Why he traveled to Richmond to deliver his message, and why he picked a working-class black neighborhood in which to do it, is uncertain.
    What is certain, however, is that, while in Richmond, Jones established a relationship with a man named Dan Mitrione. Like the child evangelist, Mitrione would one day become internationally notorious and, like Jones, his violent death in South America would generate headlines around the world. As Jones told his followers in Guyana,
    There was one guy that I knew growing up in Richmond, a cruel, cruel person, even as a kid, avicious racist—Dan Mitrione.[47]
    Myrtle Kennedy has confirmed that the two men knew one another, saying that they were friends.[48]
    That Jones knew Mitrione is strange coincidence, but not entirely surprising. A Navy veteran who’d joined the Richmond Police Department in 1945, Mitrione worked his way up through the ranks as a patrolman, a juvenile officer and, finally, chief of police. It is unlikely that he would have overlooked the strange white-boy from Lynn preaching on the sidewalk to blacks in front of a working-class bar on the industrial side of town.
    What is surprising about Jones’s statement, however, is his description of Mitrione as a “vicious racist.” There is nothing anywhere else to suggest that Mitrione held any particular views on the subject of race. Communism, certainly — but race, no.[49]
    Which is to say that either Jones was wrong about the Richmond cop, or else he knew something about Dan Mitrione that other people did not.
    If Mitrione were to play no further part in Jones’s story, there would be little reason to speculate any further about their relationship. But, as we’ll see, Jones and Mitrione cross each other’s paths repeatedly, and in the most unlikely places. Neither family friends nor playmates (Mitrione was eleven years older than Jones), their relationship must have been based upon something. But what?
    Two possibilities suggest themselves: either Mitrione was counseling in Jones in the way policemen sometimes counsel children, or their relationship may have been professional. That is to say, Mitrione may have recruited Jones as an informant within the black community. This second possibility is one to which we’ll have reason to return.
    Very little research seems to have been carried out by anyone with respect to Jones’s early career. It is almost as if his biographers are uninterested in him until he begins to go off the deep end. This is unfortunate—particularly in light of the possibility that Jones may have been a police or FBI informant, gathering “racial intelligence” for the Bureau’s files.
    What is known about his early career is, therefore, known only in outline.
    He graduated from Richmond High School in about January, 1949, and began attending the University of Indiana at Bloomington.[50] He was married to his high school sweetheart, Marceline Baldwin, in June of the same year.
    In the Summer of 1951, Jones moved to Indianapolis to study law as an undergraduate. While there, he began to attend political meetings of an uncertain kind. Ronnie Baldwin, Marceline’s younger cousin, was living with the Joneses at the time. And though he was only eleven years old, Baldwin recalls that Jones sometimes took him to political lectures. On one such outing, Baldwin remembers, he and Jones went to a “churchlike” auditorium where “communism” was under discussion. They didn’t stay long, however. Soon after they’d arrived, someone came up to Jones and whispered in his ear—whereupon Jones took his ward by the arm and exited hurriedly. Outside, Jones said “Good evening” to a man whom Baldwin believes was an FBI agent.[51]
    It’s a peculiar story, and Jones’s biographers don’t seem to know what to make of it. What sort of meeting could it have been? The assumption is made, in light of Jones’s later politics, that it was a leftist soiree of some kind. After all, they were talking about communism. But that makes very little sense. Indianapolis was a very conservative city in 1951. (It still is.) Joe McCarthy was on the horizon, and the Korean War was beginning to take its toll. If “communism” was being discussed in anything other than whispers, or anywhere else than a back-room, the debate was almost certainly one-sided and thumbs-down.
    It was at about this same time that Jones gave up the study of law and, to everyone’s surprise, decided to become a minister. By 1952, he was a student pastor at the Somerset Methodist Church in Indianapolis and, in 1953, made his “evangelical debut” at a ministerial seminar in Detroit, Michigan.
    By 1954, Jones had established the “Community Unity” Church in Indianapolis, while preaching also at the Laurel Tabernacle. To raise money, he began selling monkeys door-to-door.[52]
    By 1956, Jones had established the “Wings of Deliverance” Church as a successor to Community Unity. Almost immediately, the Church was christened the Peoples Temple. The inspiration for its new name stemmed from the fact that the church was housed in what was formerly a Jewish synagogue—a “temple” that Jones had purchased, with little or no money down, for $50,000.
    Ironically, the man who gave the Peoples Temple its start was the Rabbi Maurice Davis. It was he who sold the synagogue to Jones on such remarkably generous terms. Today, Rabbi Davis is a prominent anti-cult activist, a sometime deprogrammer, and an associate of Dr. Hardat Sukhdeo.
    By the late 1950s, the Peoples Temple was a success, with a congregation of more than 2000 people. Still, Jones had even larger ambitions and, to accommodate them, became the improbable protege of an extremely improbable man. This was Father Divine, the Philadelphia-based “black messiah” whose Peace Mission movement attracted tens of thousands of black adherents and the close attention of the FBI, while earning its founder an annual income in seven figures.
    For whatever reasons, beginning in about 1956, Jones made repeated pilgrimages to the black evangelist’s headquarters, where he literally “sat at the feet” (and at the table) of the great man, professing his devotion. With the exception of Father Divine’s wife, Jones may well have been the man’s only white adherent.
    It was not entirely inconvenient. Living in Indianapolis, Jones could easily arrange to transport members of the Peoples Temple by bus to Philadelphia—where they were housed without charge in Father Divine’s hotels, feasted at banquets called “Holy Communions,” and treated to endless sermons.[53]
    That Jones made a study of Father Divine, emulated him and hoped to succeed him, is clear. The possibility should not be ruled out, however, that Jones was also engaged in collecting “racial intelligence” for a third party.
    Whatever else Jones may have picked up from his study of Father Divine, there is reason to believe that it was in the context of his visits to Philadelphia that he was introduced to the subject of mass suicide. Among Jones’s personal effects in Guyana was a book that had been checked out of the Indianapolis Public Library in the 1950s, and never returned. In the pages of Father Divine: Holy Husband, the author quotes one of the black evangelist’s followers:
    ‘If Father dies,’ she tells you in the calmest kind of a voice, ‘I sure ’nuff would never be callin’ in myself to be goin’ on livin’ in this empty ol’ world. I’d be findin’ some way of gettin’ rid of the life I never been wantin’ before I found him.’
    If Father Divine were to die, mass suicides among Negroes in his movement could certainly result. They would be rooted deep, not alone in Father’s relationship with his followers, but also in America’s relationship with its Negroe citizens. This would be the shame of America. (Emphasis added.)[54]
    In January, 1959, Fidel Castro overthrew the Batista dictatorship, and seized power in Cuba. Land reforms followed within a few months of the coup, alienating foreign investors and the rich. By Summer, therefore, Cuba was in the midst of a low-intensity counter-revolution, with sabotage operations mounted from within and outside the country.
    Within a year of Castro’s ascension, by January of 1960, mercenary pilots and anti-Castroites were flying bombing missions against the regime. Meanwhile, in Washington, Vice-President Richard Nixon was lobbying on behalf of the military invasion that the CIA was plotting.
    It was against this background, in February of 1960, that Jim Jones suddenly decided to visit Havana.
    The news of Jones’s visit to Cuba—one is tempted to write “the cover-story for Jones’s trip to Cuba”—was first published in the New York Times in March, 1979 (four months after the massacre in Guyana). The story was based upon an interview with a naturalized American named Carlos Foster. A former Cuban cowboy, Baptist Pentecostal minister and sometime night-club singer, Foster showed up at the New York Times four months after the massacre. Without being asked, he volunteered a strange story about meeting Jim Jones in Cuba during the Winter of 1960. (Why Foster went to the newspaper with his story is uncertain: news of his friendship with Jones could hardly have helped his career as a childrens’ counselor).[55]
    Nevertheless, according to the Times story, the 29-year-old Jones traveled to Cuba to expedite plans to establish a communal organization with settlements in the U.S. and abroad. The immediate goal, Foster said, was to recruit Cuban blacks to live in Indiana.
    Foster told the Times that he and Jones met by chance at the Havana Hilton. That is to say, Jones gave the Cuban a big hello, and took him by the arm. He then solicited Foster’s help in locating forty families that would be willing to move to the Indianapolis area (at Jones’s expense). Tim Reiterman, who repeats the Times‘ story, adds that the two men discussed the plan in Jones’s hotel-room, from 7 in the morning until 8 o’clock at night, for a week. More recently, Foster has elaborated by saying that Jones offered to pay him $50,000 per year to help him establish an archipelago of offshore agricultural communes in Central and South America. Foster said that Jones was an extremely well-traveled man, who knew Latin America well. He had already been to Guyana, and wanted to start a collective there.
    After a month in Cuba, Jones returned to the United States (alone). Six months later, Foster followed, on his own initiative, but the immigration scheme went nowhere.[56]
    The anomalies in this story are many, and one hardly knows what to make of them. Foster’s information that Jones was well-traveled in Latin America, and had already been to Guyana, comes as a shock. None of his biographers mentions Jones having taken trips out of the United States prior to this time. Could Foster be mistaken? Or have Jones’s biographers overlooked an important part of his life?
    An even greater anomaly, however, concerns language. While Reiterman reports that Foster was bilingual, and that he and Jones spoke English together, this isn’t true. Foster learned English at Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx — after he’d emigrated to the United States.[57](Reiterman seems to have made an otherwise reasonable, but incorrect, assumption: knowing that Jones did not speak Spanish, he assumed that Foster must have been able to speak English.)
    Today, when Foster is asked which language was spoken, he says that he and Jones made do with the latter’s broken Spanish.
    The issue is an important one because Foster is, in effect, Jones’s alibi for whatever it was that Jones was actually doing in Cuba. That the two men did not have a language in common makes the alibi decidedly suspect: how could they converse for 13 hours at a time, day in and day out, for a week—if neither man understood what the other was saying?
    As for Jones’s own parishioners, those who’ve survived have only a dim recollection of the trip. According to Reiterman, “Back in the States, Jones revealed little of his plan, depicting his stay more as tourism than church business.” This sounds like a polite way of saying that the trip served no obvious purpose. Nevertheless, he did bring back some strange souvenirs. “He showed off photos of Cuba… One picture—a gruesome shot of the mangled body of a pilot in some plane wreckage—indicated that Jones witnessed the pirate bombings of the cane fields. Jones told his friends that he had met with some Cuban leaders, though the bearded man in fatigues standing beside Jones in a snapshot was too short to be Castro.”[58]
    It would be interesting to know just what Reiterman is talking about here. The presumption must be that there is a photograph in which Jones is seen with a man who might easily be confused with Castro — if it weren’t for the latter’s diminutive size. In fact, however, it probably was Castro. When Jones arrived in Brazil in 1962, he carried a photograph of himself and his wife Marceline, posing with the Cuban premier. Jones said that the picture was taken on a stopover in Cuba on the way to Sao Paulo.[59] That is to say, in late 1961 or early 1962.
    How Jones met Fidel Castro—and why—is an interesting question. So, too, we can only wonder at his proclivity for taking photographs of mercenary pilots in their crashed planes. Pictures of that sort could only have been of interest to Castro’s enemies and the CIA.
    Returning to Carlos Foster, if the tale that he told to the Times was a pre-emptive cover-story, a “limited hang-out” of some sort, what was Jones actually doing? Why had he gone to Havana? At this late date, and in the absence of interviews with officials of the Cuban government, there is probably no way to know. What may be said, however, is this:
    Emigration was an extremely sensitive issue in the first years of the Castro regime. The CIA and the State Department, in their determination to embarrass Castro, did everything possible to encourage would-be immigrants to leave the island. As a part of this policy, U.S. Government agencies and conservative Christian religious organizations collaborated to facilitate departures.[60]Jones’s visit may well have been a part of this program.
    But there is no way to be certain of that. Cuba was in the midst of a parapolitical melt-down. While the CIA was conspiring to launch an invasion, irate Mafiosans and American businessmen had joined together to finance the bombing-runs of mercenary pilots. Meanwhile, the Soviets had sent their Deputy Premier, Anastas I. Mikoyan, to Havana for the opening of the Soviet Exhibition of Science, Technology and Culture.[61] The visit coincided with the Soviets’ decision to give Cuba a long-term low-interest loan, while promising to buy a million tons of Cuban sugar per annum. The “Hilton Hotel” at which Jones was staying was the temporary home of a Sputnik satellite that the Soviets had put on display. According to former CIA officer Melvin Beck, the CIA was trying to photograph it, and the lobby was crawling with spies from as many five different services (FBI, CIA, KGB, GRU and DGI).[62]
    While one cannot say that Jones’s 1960 visit to Cuba was necessarily a spying mission, the circumstantial evidence suggests that it was. That is to say, virtually every element of the trip can be shown to have been of particular interest to the CIA: encouraging Cuban emigration; documenting the destruction of aircraft piloted by mercenaries; the Sputnik at the Hilton; and, it would seem, Castro himself.
    Cuba wasn’t the only country to which Jones intended to travel in 1960. On June 28 of that year, at about the same time that Foster arrived in Indianapolis from Cuba, the State Department issued a passport (#2288751) to Jones for a seventeen-day visit to Poland, Finland, the U.S.S.R., and England. The purpose of the trip, according to Jones’s visa application, was “sightseeing – culture.”
    Which presents us with an enigma. According to State Department records, this was Jones’s first passport. How, then, did he travel to Cuba in February if he did not receive a passport until the end of June? Did he enter the country “black”? Was he using someone else’s documents? And what about Carlos Foster’s certainty that Jones had previously traveled throughout Latin America? Was Foster mistaken, or had Jones in fact visited Guyana?
    It is almost as if we are dealing with two Jim Joneses. And perhaps we are. It’s a subject to which we will need to return.
    Here, however, I want to point out certain coincidences of timing in the lives of Jim Jones and Dan Mitrione, and to discuss Jones’s own file at the CIA.
    Passports typically require about 4-6 weeks to be mailed out. Since Jones’s passport was issued on June 28, 1960 his application would have been filed in early May. As it happens, it was during that same month that Dan Mitrione was in Washington D.C., being interviewed for a new job with a component of the State Department’s Agency for International Development (AID), the International Cooperation Administration (ICA). An acknowledged cover for CIA officers and contract-spooks such as Watergate’s E. Howard Hunt and the JFK assassination’s George de Mohrenschildt, the ICA would become infamous during the 1960s, funding the construction of tiger-cages in Vietnam, and training foreign police forces in the theory and practice of torture.
    A few years earlier, in 1957, Mitrione had spent three months at the FBI’s National Academy.[63]The connections he’d made stood him in good stead. Immediately after his interview with the ICA, he was hired by the State Department as a “public safety adviser.” Three months later, in September, 1960 he was in Rio de Janeiro, studying Portuguese; by December, he was living with his family in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
    Whether Mitrione was an undercover CIA officer in South America is disputed. The Soviets say he was.[64] Officially, however, Mitrione was an AID officer attached to the Office of Public Safety (OPS). But OPS was very much a nest of spies: in the Dominican Republic during the mid-1960s, for example, six out of twenty positions were CIA covers.[65] Moreover, Mitrione’s partner at the time of his 1970 kidnapping in Uruguay was a public safety officer named Lee Echols — whose previous assignment had been as a CIA officer in the Dominican Republic.[66]
    Whether or not Mitrione was an undercover CIA officer, it is a fact that the CIA’s Office of Security opened a file on Jones, and conducted a name-check on him, coincident with Mitrione’s departure for Rio. Why it did so is a mystery: the Agency won’t say.
    It is speculated, of course, that the file and name-check were sparked by the Soviet Bloc destinations for which Jones had applied for a visa. But that could hardly have been the case. The visa requests had been made in May, and the passport issued in June. It was not until November, some five months later, that the Office of Security sent agents to the State Department’s Passport Office, there to examine Jones’s records — an activity that would hardly have been necessary if the passport application had stimulated the name-check in the first place.
    Given the CIA’s reluctance to clear up the matter, one can only speculate that the Agency may have been “vetting” Jones for employment as an agent.
    Two points should be made here. The first is that the CIA claimed, in the aftermath of the Jonestown massacre, that its file on “the Rev. Jimmie Jones” was virtually empty. According to the Agency, it had never collected data — not a single piece of paper — on Jones or the Peoples Temple.
    Nevertheless, CIA records indicate that Jones’s file remained open for 10 years. It was finally closed, without explanation, in the wake of Dan Mitrione’s assassination by Tupamaro guerrillas in Uruguay.
    Which is to say that the lifespan of Jones’s file at the CIA coincided precisely with the dates of Dan Mitrione’s rather suspect 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.
    To understand the significance of next occurred, one has to go back more than one hundred years. It was then, in the Northwest District of Guyana, that a prophet named Smith issued a call to the country’s disenfranchised Amerindians, summoning them to a redoubt in the Pakaraima Mountains—the land of El Dorado.
    Akawaios, Caribs and Arawaks came from all around to witness what they were told would be the Millennium. “They would see God,” Smith promised, “be free from all calamities of life, and possess lands of such boundless fertility, that a… (large) crop of cassava would grow from a single stick.”
    But Smith had lied. And “when the Millennium failed to materialize, the followers were told they had to die in order to be resurrected as white people…
    “At a great camp meeting in 1845, some 400 people killed themselves.”[67]
    One-hundred-and-thirty-three years later, in the Fall of 1978, at a great camp meeting in the same Northwest District of Guyana, upwards of a thousand expatriate Americans, most of them black, and about as poor and disenfranchised as the Amerindians who’d preceded them, died under circumstances so similar as to be eerie. They, too, had been promised that they would be freed from the calamities of life, and that they would possess lands of boundless fertility. Like Smith, their charismatic leader had a generic sort of name and he, too, had lied.
    This time, 909 people died in front of a large, hand-lettered sign that read: “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”
    The coincidence here is so dramatic that is impossible not to wonder if Jim Jones knew of Smith’s precedent. Because, if he did know, and if his politics were, as seems very likely, a fraud, then the Jonestown massacre is revealed to have been a ghastly practical joke—the ultimate psychopathic prank.
    According to Kathleen Adams, the anthropologist who first related the story about Smith and the Amerindians, Jim Jones was in fact familiar with the suicides of 1845. He had learned of them, she said, while working as a missionary in the Northwest District.
    Adams does not tell us when this was, but the implication is that it was long before the establishment of Jonestown. The possibilities here are two:
    The first is that Jones’s Cuban friend, Carlos Foster, is correct when he says that Jones was well-traveled and had been to Guyana prior to 1960. The difficulty with this, of course, is that Jones’s biographers are ignorant of any such travels. But if Jones did not go to Guyaya prior to 1960, he must have learned about Smith’s precedent while doing missionary work in Guyana — after his 1960 visit to Cuba. But when could that have been?
    The answer would appear to be at about the end of October, 1961. Arriving at that conclusion is by no means an easy matter, however, given the chronological confusion that his most responsible biographer, Tim Reiterman, relates.[68] Because this confusion raises a number of interesting questions about Jones’s activities, whereabouts and true loyalties, the matter is worth straightening out.
    In the Fall of 1961, Jim Jones was becoming paranoid. Under treatment for stress, he was hearing “extraterrestrial voices,” and suffering seizures.[69] Hospitalized during most of the first week in October, he resigned his position as Director of the Indianapolis Human Rights Commission.[70] It was then, according to Reiterman, that Jones confided in his ministerial assistant, Ross Case, that he’d had a vision of nuclear holocaust.
    “A few weeks later, Jones took off alone in a plane for Hawaii, ostensibly to scout for a new site for Peoples Temple….” (At a loss to explain why Jones should have gone to Hawaii, Reiterman implies that Jones viewed the islands as a potential nuclear refuge—a ludicrous notion in light of their role as stationary aircraft carriers.)
    “On what would become a two-year sojourn, Jones made his first stop in Honolulu, where he explored a job as a university chaplain. Though he did not like the job requirements, he decided to stay on the island for a while anyway, and sent for his family. First, his wife, his mother and the children, except for Jimmy, joined him. Then the Baldwins followed with the adopted black child…. During the couple of months in the islands, Jones seemed to decide that his sabbatical would be a long one.”[71]
    According to Reiterman’s chronology, therefore, Jones left Indianapolis for Hawaii near the end of October, 1961. He then sent for his family, which joined him in what we may suppose was November. The family remained in Hawaii for a “couple of months”: i.e., until January or February.
    In January, 1962, Esquire magazine published an article listing the nine safest places in the world to escape thermonuclear blasts and fallout…. The article’s advice was not lost on Jones. Soon he was heading for the southern hemisphere, which was less vulnerable to fallout because of atmospheric and political factors. The family planned to go eventually to Belo Horizonte, an inland Brazilian city of 600,000.
    Jones’s biographer goes on to say that, after leaving Hawaii, he subject traveled to California, and then to Mexico City, before continuing on to Guyana. There, Jones’s visit “made page seven of theGuiana Graphic.”[72]
    That Jones made page 7 of the local newspaper is a matter of fact. Unfortunately for Reiterman’s chronology, however, he did so on October 25 (1961). Which is to say that the head of the Peoples Temple is alleged to have been in two places at that same time: in Hawaii and Guyana during the last week in October—with intervening stops in California and Mexico City.
    Obviously, Reiterman is mistaken, but the issue is not merely one of a confused chronology. There is evidence (including, as we’ll see, a photograph) which strongly suggests that two people may have been using Jones’s identity during the 1961-63 period. Because of this, rumors that Jones was hospitalized in a “lunatic asylum” during that time should not be dismissed out of hand. The rumors were started by a black minister in Indiana who is said to have been jealous of Jones’s success among blacks at the Peoples Temple. While the allegation has yet to be documented, there are many other references to Jones’s having been under psychiatric care at one time or another.
    Ross Case says that Jones sometimes referred to “my psychiatrist.” Others have suggested that the real reason Jones went to Hawaii was to receive psychiatric care without publicity.
    In later years, Temple member Loretta Cordell reported shock at seeing Jones described as “a sociopath.” The description was contained in a psychiatrist’s report that Cordell said was in the files of Jones’s San Francisco physician (probably Dr. Carleton Goodlett).
    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, and he has been repeatedly refused permission.
    “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 Jonestown’s foremost psychiatric interpreter, Dr. Hardat Sukhdeo. Interestingly, virtually every survivor of the Jonestown massacre seems to have been treated at Langley-Porter. This occurred as a result 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.)
    Returning to the Guiana Graphic article about Jones’s visit to Guyana, it is worth pointing out that the story throws a crimp in much more than Reiterman’s chronology. It makes hash as well of Jones’s motive for going to South America. The Esquire article, published in January, 1962 could hardly have prompted Jones to go anywhere in October, 1961.
    So, too, the story in the Graphic provides clear evidence of Jones’s immersion in political intrigue.
    At the time of his visit, the former British colony was wracked by covert operations being mounted by the CIA and MI-6.
    By way of background, the most important political group in the country was the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), established by Dr. Cheddi Jagan during the 1940s. A Marxist organization, the PPP’s activities had caused the British to declare “a crisis situation” in 1953. Troops had been landed, the Constitution suspended, and recent elections nullified in order to “prevent communist subversion.”
    Over the next four years, MI-6 and the CIA established a de facto police state in Guyana. Racial tensions were exacerbated between the East Indian and black populations—with the result that the PPP was soon split. While Jagan, himself an East Indian, remained in charge of the party, another of its members—a black named Forbes Burnham—began (with the help of Western intelligence services) to challenge his leadership.
    Despite the schism, the PPP was victorious in 1957 and, once again, in 1961—just prior to Jones’s visit. Coming on the heels of Castro’s embrace of the Soviets, Jagan’s re-election chilled the Kennedy Administration. Accordingly, the CIA intensified its operations against Jagan and the PPP, doing everything in its power to increase its support for Burnham, provoke strikes and exacerbate racial and economic tensions. It accomplished all these goals, secretly underwriting Burnham’s political campaigns, while using the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) as a cover for operations against local trade unions.
    Eventually, these operations would succeed: Jagan would be ousted, and Burnham brought to power. A decade later, that same Burnham regime would facilitate the creation of Jonestown, leasing the land to the Peoples Temple and approving its members’ immigration.
    It was in this somewhat dangerous context that Jim Jones arrived in the Guyanese capital. Putting on a series of tent-shows, replete with faith-healings and talking in tongues, he warned the local populace against thieving American missionaries and evangelists—who, he said, were largely responsible for the spread of Communism.
    Even Reiterman, who accepts almost everything at face-value, is puzzled by this: “Entering politically volatile South America,” he writes, Jones “seemed to want to put himself on the record as an anticommunist.”[73]
    Exactly. And how convenient for the CIA, whose activities were being hindered by reform-minded missionaries.
    After entering Guyana, and making anti-communist speeches, Jones seems to have dropped off the face of the earth. Following the Guyana Graphic article of October 27, he disappears from the public record for almost six full months.
    It is possible, of course, that he journeyed into the interior of that country to work among the Amerindians—but the evidence for this is so slim as to be invisible. Indeed, it consists solely of a remark by anthropologist Kathleen Adams, who wrote that Jones had at one time worked as a missionary in Guyana. Where and when is left unstated, but it was presumably during that period that Jones learned about his homicidal predecessor, the Reverend “Smith.”
    The only disturbance in the empty field of Jones’s whereabouts from 10/61 until 4/62 is the information that Passport #0111788 was issued in his name at Indianapolis on January 30, 1962.
    This is a considerable anomaly. As we have seen, Jones already had a passport—#22898751, issued to him in Chicago on June 28, 1960. This earlier passport, which he had planned to use on a trip to the Soviet Union, was still valid. Why, then, did someone make an application for a new passport, and who picked it up? Moreover, how is it possible that Jones’s second passport had a lower number than the one that he’d received more than a year before?
    These questions cannot be answered at this time: the evidence reposes in the files of the State Department. What may be said, however, is that there is good reason to suspect that someone was impersonating Jim Jones during this period; and that, in fact, a photograph of the impostor survives. We’ll return to this subject shortly.
    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…”[74]
    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, 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.[75]
    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.
    Jones took rooms in the first-class Hotel Financial until he and his family were able to move to a house at 203 Rua Maraba.[76] This is a pretty street in an attractive neighborhood on a hill in one of the best parts of town. Accordingly, his new neighbors were almost all professionals: doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, and journalists. It was not the sort of place from which one could easily minister to the poor.
    Not that it mattered. Jones’s stay in Belo Horizonte had little or nothing to do with alleviating poverty.
    According to his neighbors, Jones would leave his house early each morning, as if going to work, and return very late at night. Sebastiao Carlos Rocha, an engineer who lived nearby, noted that Jones usually left home carrying a big leather briefcase; on a number of occasions, Rocha said, he saw Jones walking in Betim, a neighboring town.[77]
    Elza Rocha, a lawyer who lived across the street and who sometimes interpreted for Jones, says that her neighbor told her that he had a job in Belo Horizonte proper, at Eureka Laundries.[78]
    This is a huge dry-cleaning and laundry chain, a quasi-monopoly whose central plant is serviced by more than a score of pick-up points (small storefronts) throughout the city. In essence, a customer delivers his laundry to one of the stores, where it is later collected by a delivery truck. The truck takes the dirty clothes to the central plant, where they’re cleaned, and then returns them to the store from which they came. It’s a big business.
    But it’s not one in which Jim Jones ever worked. According to Sebastiao Dias de Magalhaes, who was head of Industrial Relations for Eureka during 1962, Jones’s claim to have been an employee of the laundry was false.[79] Senor de Magalhaes, and two other Eureka workers, have told the press that Jones lied in order to conceal what they believe was his work for the CIA.[80]
    Still, if you didn’t know better, Jones’s cover-story served three purposes: first, it explained where he went during the day—to work. Second, it offered a theoretically visible means of support: he had a check from Eureka (everyone knows Eureka). And third, it gave Jones an alibi for a mysterious period during which he’d vanished from Belo Horizonte. According to Elza Rocha, when Jones returned, he told her that he had been sent to the United States for “special training” in connection with the machinery used by Eureka. Where Jones actually went, and why, is a unknown.[81]
    Eureka wasn’t Jones’s only cover, however. He didn’t mention Eureka to Sebastiao Rocha. Instead, he claimed to be a retired captain in the U.S. Navy. He said that he had suffered a great deal in the war, and that he received a monthly pension from the armed services. The implication was that he had been wounded in the Korean conflict. According to Senor Rocha, “Jim Jones was always mysterious and would never talk about his work here in Brazil.”[82]
    Yet another Rocha, Marco Aurelio, was absolutely certain that Jones was a spy. At the time, Marco was dating a young girl who was living in the Jones household.[83] Because of this, and because Rua Maraba is a narrow street on which parked cars are conspicuous, he noticed that a car from the American Consulate was often parked outside Jones’s house. According to Marco, the car’s driver sometimes brought bags of groceries to the Joneses—which, if true, was definitely not standard consular procedure.
    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 moved shortly thereafter.[84]
    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. According to an autobiographical fragment that was found at Jonestown, Mitrione
    …was known in Belo Horizonte by everybodyto be something other than a mere “traffic
    advisor”. There were rumors that he participated with the military even then, doing strange things to dissenters… Mitrione’s name would come up frequently.
    Subsequently, according to that same fragment, Jones went out of his way to socialize with the Mitrione family.
    I’d heard of his nefarious activities in Belo Horizonte, and I thought “I’ll case this man out.” I wasn’t really inclined to do him in, not me personally, but I certainly was inclined to inform on his activities to everybody on the Left.
    But he wouldn’t see me. I saw his family and they were arrogantly anti-Brazilian…
    Because Jim Jones was a sociopath, a suspected agent of the police/intelligence community, and a man whose historical stature was intimately entwined with his false public identity as an “apostle of socialism,” there is good reason to be skeptical of the sincerity of his pronouncements about Dan Mitrione and his family. If Mitrione was, as seems likely, Jones’s first “control,” then Jones would obviously fear the revelation of that fact. In particular, he would fear the chance discovery of their past association, and the questions such a discovery would raise. To allay such suspicions, Jones may well have acted to co-opt the discovery—explaining it away in advance. Thus, he tells us that he knew Dan Mitrione as a child, and that, in Brazil, he wanted to “inform on his activities to everybody on the Left.” So it was, we’re told, that he decided to “case this man out,” and came to know his family.
    This may explain the presence of a consular car outside Jones’s house: if Jones was socializing with the Mitrione family, the consular car was probably their’s. But who are the people on the Left to whom Jones refers? Whom was he going to tell about Dan Mitrione? So far as anyone knows, Jones’s acquaintances in Brazil were all conservatives. Indeed, like Bonnie Thielman’s father, the Rev. Edward Malmin, they should more accurately be described as right-wingers. And, as such, they would undoubtedly have approved of Mitrione’s work.
    Nevertheless, while there is every reason to be skeptical of Jones’s memoir, it is interesting that he characterizes his relationship to the Mitriones as that of an informant, or spy. Given Jones’s sociopathic personality (not to mention his rightwing sermons in Guyana and the implications of his CIA file), it is very likely that Jones was working for Mitrione rather than against him.
    While Jones is said to have gone to the U.S. Consulate often, the only person whom he is known to have seen there was Jon Lodeesen.[85]
    On October 18, 1962, Vice Consul Lodeesen wrote a peculiar letter to Jones on Foreign Service stationary. The letter reads:
    Dear Mr. Jones:
    We received a communication and we believe its your interest to come at the Consulate at your earliest convenience.
    Signed by Lodeesen, there is a redundant post-script to the letter, requesting that Jones “Please see me.”
    While the letter itself is entirely opaque, an attachment to it is not. This a passport-type photograph of a man who, despite his mustache and receding hairline, looks remarkably like Jim Jones — or, more accurately perhaps, like Jim Jones in disguise. While one cannot be certain, it may well be that the photo is related to the peculiar circumstances under which a second passport was issued to Jones — while the first passport was still valid.[86]
    That it was Jon Lodeesen who contacted Jones is significant in its own right. This is so because Lodeesen has been a spy for much of his life. According to Soviet intelligence officers, he is a CIA agent who taught at the US intelligence school in Garmisch Partenkirchen, West Germany — a sort of West Point for spooks. Subsequently, he worked at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow — until he was declared persona non grata for suspected espionage activities. Kicked out of the Soviet Union, he went to work for Radio Liberty, a CIA-created and -financed propaganda network based in Munich. There, he was Deputy Director of the Soviet Analysis and Broadcasting Section.[87] More recently, Lodeesen was recommended for work with a CIA cover in Hawaii.[88] In a letter to the proprietor of the cover, Lodeesen was described as “fluent in the principal Russian tongues” and an expert on “Soviet double agents, dissidents and escapees.”
    Just the man, in other words, to handle the passport problems of an American psychopath who’d applied for a visa to visit the Soviet Union; who’d made repeated trips to Castro’s Cuba; who had two valid passports at the same time; and who seems to have been the victim of, or a party to, an impersonation.
    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.[89]
    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.
    There is, in other words, a nine-month period in which Jones’s whereabouts are at least somewhat questionable. One would think, of course, that there would be a great many records and witnesses to the matter. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Those members of Jones’s family, and his associates, who might have seen him in Rio either died at Jonestown—or were too young at the time to be certain where they were in 1963.[90]
    The issue should have been settled, of course, by the newspaper articles that appeared in Brazil after the Jonestown massacre. These were stories with local angles, describing Jones’s life in Brazil. Curiously, however, none of the articles originating in Rio quote identifiable sources. This is quite unlike counterpart articles written about Jones’s stay in Belo Horizonte. In the latter, almost everyone seems delighted to get his name in the paper. In Rio, nobody wants to be identified.
    By far the most extensive account of Jones’s stay in Rio de Janeiro was published in a newspaper that is thought by many to have been owned, or secretly supported, by the CIA. This was the English-language Brazil Herald.[91]
    According to the article, it was “through a friend in Belo Horizonte” that Jones “found a job as a salesman of investments” in Rio. The source for this information is unstated, as is the identity of Jones’s friend in Belo Horizonte.
    The company for which Jones is said to have worked was Invesco, S.A., which had offices in the Edificio Central in downtown Rio.[92] At least, it did until the firm went bankrupt, under scandalous circumstances, in 1967. Though this occurred more than ten years before, Invesco’s former assistant manager—Jim Jones’s boss—was still in Rio at the time of the Jonestown massacre. An American who’d come to Brazil in the late 1940s, and stayed, he was willing to confirm Jones’s employment at Invesco—but not much more. And he did not want his name used.
    “As a salesman with us,” he told the Herald, “(Jones) didn’t make it. He was too shy and I don’t remember him selling anything,”
    Applied to Jim Jones, this is a remarkable statement. Is it possible that someone who sold monkeys door-to-door in Indianapolis during the Fifties could be too timid to sell mutual funds in Rio de Janeiro during the bull-markets of the Sixties? The mind boggles. Here is a man who is said to have talked 900 people into killing themselves for what he hoped would be his greater glory…and he was “too shy”?!
    “We hired him on a strictly commission basis and as far as I know he didn’t sell anything in the three months that he worked for us,” the former assistant manager said.
    This, too, is an interesting remark because it implies that, while Jones worked for Invesco, there would be no record of the fact as a consequence of his failure to record any sales. Without putting too much of a point on it, the reader should know that commission-only sales’ jobs are favorite covers for CIA agents in foreign countries. This is so because the agent is not required to produce any cover-related work-product for his civilian boss (i.e., he doesn’t need to sell anything at all)—because he’s working strictly “on commission.” At the same time, salesmen working on commission are expected to travel, and to cultivate a broad spectrum of acquaintances.
    Thus, whether Jones was working for Invesco or not, it served as a good cover for whatever else he might have been doing.
    Still, if the sales-job which Jones is supposed to have held down produced no income at all, how did he support himself? According to the Brazil Herald, he “was receiving donations of checks sent by his followers in the US. His ex-boss notes having seen Jones’ briefcase filled with checks.” This is possible, of course, but extremely unlikely. Membership in the Peoples Temple had plummeted during Jones’s absence, dwindling from 2000 members in 1961 to fewer than 100 parishioners at the time of the Kennedy assassination. By the end of 1963, the electric and telephone bills had gone unpaid, and disconnection threatened. The idea that parishioners were supporting Jones in high style, by sending him personal checks, is ludicrous. Not only did they not have the money, but Jones would probably have starved had he depended upon cashing small personal checks, written on Indianapolis bank accounts, in Rio de Janeiro.
    Elsewhere in the Brazil Herald story, the December 4, 1978 article in Time Magazine is cited. According to Time, Jones spent a part of 1963 working at the “American School of Rio.” Asked about this, the American School issued the following statement: “Neither the salary records maintained in the business office nor the personnel records maintained in the headmaster’s office reflect this name (i.e., Jim Jones) as having been connected with our school as an employee.”
    Jones’s former boss at Invesco was not the only source for the article in the Herald. A second source was a Cariocan who claimed to be a Jones’s closest friend in Rio. In the article, she is identified only as “Madame X.”
    After leaving Invesco, Madame X said, Jones went to work at the Escola Sao Fernando, while his son, Stephan, attended the British School. As it happens, however, there is no “Escola Sao Fernando” in Rio, and the British School denies that Stephan Jones was ever one of its students.
    Elsewhere, Madame X says that Jones decided to return to the U.S. upon hearing of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination (on November 22). The trip to the States was supposed to be a temporary visit. Jones intended to straighten out the problems that the Peoples Temple was experiencing in his absence—and then to return to Brazil. Accordingly, Madame X added, a friend of the family continued paying Jones rent on the apartment in Rio. Eventually, when it became clear that the Joneses would not return, Madame X sold their furniture and other goods, and donated the money to charitable causes.
    The “friend of the family” is, like Madame X and Jones’s boss at Invesco, never identified.
    So who is Madame X?
    The author of the Brazil Herald article, Harold Emert, doesn’t know. The reason he doesn’t know is that he himself never spoke to her. Jim Bruce did. Who, then, is Jim Bruce? According to Emert, Jim Bruce was at that time an American freelancer based in Brazil. It was he who inspired the Jim-Jones-in-Rio story and he who provided the sources: i.e., the Invesco executive and Madame X.
    Why Bruce failed to write the story himself is unclear.[93]
    II. 9 Invesco

    There have been persistent rumors that Jim Jones worked for a CIA cover during his stay in Rio. The cover is said to have been an advertising agency, but no one can say why they think so. TheWashington Post‘s Charles Krause and then-New York Times reporter John Crewdson each pursued the story, but neither was able to track it down.
    Clearly, Invesco was at the heart of the matter, though its connection to Jones cannot have been more than a faded memory when Crewdson and Krause were looking into it. The only public reference to Jones’s association with the firm was in the weekend edition of a small, almost ephemeral, newspaper. The sources for the story were anonymous, and the newspaper itself no longer existed, having long since been swallowed up by a rival. As for Invesco, its 1967 bankruptcy had taken place under military rule amid strict censorship of the press. Because bankruptcies reflected poorly on the economy, and therefore on the ruling junta, their occurrence—however scandalous—often went unreported.
    For these reasons, then, Invesco has remained almost entirely unknown.
    Here, it needs to be emphasized that, for whatever reason, Jim Jones felt the need for some sort of cover in Brazil. That’s why he lied to his neighbors in Belo Horizonte, telling some that he was employed by the Eureka Laundries and others that he was a retired Navy captain living on a pension. In Rio, which has a small and gossipy expatriate community, the need for a cover would have been even more strongly felt. And for Jones’s purposes, Invesco was ideal.
    In essence, the company was an offshore analog of Bernie Cornfeld’s Investors Overseas Services (IOS). In South America, at least, it pioneered the practice of selling shares in mutual funds.
    Created as a venture-capital firm in 1951, its original name was Expansao Tecnico Industrial, S.A. (ETIN). It was a subsidiary of Victorholt, S.A. Industria e Commercio, whose President was Lewis Holt Ruffin. According to an old Rio hand, ETIN was set up by employees of Price, Waterhouse, including a man who was reputed to have been a German spy during World War II.
    While ETIN/Invesco has always had Brazilian investors, its affairs have tended to be dominated by the participation of Rio-based Americans, English, Germans and “Swiss. ” This last contingent includes a number of individuals who arrived in Brazil in the mid-to-late 1940s. While they claimed to be Swiss, they are thought to have been Germans.
    Sources in Rio say that several of Invesco’s principals are associates of a former owner of theBrazil Herald, Gilbert Huber, Jr.[94] Among other business activities, Huber is a part-owner of American Light and Power, and publishes the Rio de Janeiro “Yellow Pages”.[95] Huber is credited by many Brazilians with helping to pave the way for the reign of terror that followed the 1964 coup d’etat. By this is meant that Huber was one of two people credited with founding the Instituto de Pesquiasas e Estudos Sociais (IPES). Known in English as the Institute for Social Research Studies, IPES was established in 1961 by conservatives who were alarmed by the Cuban revolution and the leftward drift of the Brazilian government. Similar in many ways to the John Birch Society, IPES was almost certainly funded by covert American sources.[96]
    Initially, IPES was an instrument of propaganda, saturating the cuntry with films, books, pamphlets and lectures attacking communism and “the threat from within.” but propaganda was only a part of its strategy. Within a year of its founding, the Institute had begun to organize armed, paramilitary cells. It had also established a clandestine hand-grenade factory, and developed plans for a civil war. At the same time, it had hired a network of retired military officers “to exert influence on those on active duty.”[97] One of those retired officers was General Golbery do Couto e Silva. His job was to compile 40,000 dossiers on Brazilians whose loyalties were considered suspect. When the coup succeeded, Golbery came out of ‘retirement’ at IPES. Moving to Brazilia with ‘hundreds of thousands’ of files, he established Brazil’s first intelligence service, the SNI — a South American fusion of its counterpart services in the United States, the FBI and theCIA. Many of the men and women in Golbery’s political dossiers suffered mightily under the junta. Some were placed under house arrest or imprisoned, while others were tortured. Still others fell prey to theesquadraos da mortes (death squads).
    While Gilbert Huber’s connection to Invesco is merely rumored, another Huber’s is not. This is Joyce Huber Blumer, who owned 55,000 shares in the firm.[98] British by birth, she has attracted a certain amount of attention in the Brazilian press for what has been characterized as a “baby-selling” enterprise. Two other owners of Invesco were a Swiss or German national named Werner Blumer (24,000 shares), and an American named Scott McAuley Johnson (54,000 shares). Blumer owns an art gallery in Rio, while Johnson is described by various sources as “a mystery man” of independent means.
    The Train Robbers
    Which brings us to an interesting story.
    In the same year that Jones went to work for Invesco, a British hoodlum named Ronald Biggs participated in what came to be called “the Great Train Robbery,” sharing more than $7-million in cash and valuables stolen from a Glasgow-to-London mail-train.
    Apprehended, and sentenced to 30 years, Biggs escaped from prison in 1965. Fleeing to France, he relied upon an international criminal network to obtain plastic surgery and passage to Australia. Tracked by the police as the “most wanted” man in the world, Biggs subsequently found his way to Rio de Janeiro (where extradition is, at best, a rarity). According to a reporter who was ultimately instrumental in revealing Biggs’s whereabouts, the fugitive’s patrons in Rio were the same people who owned Invesco: Joyce Huber, Werner Blumer, Scott Johnson and others.
    How Biggs, while hiding out in Rio, came to live at Scott Johnson’s apartment, where he was patronized and protected by Huber and the others, is an important question.[99] 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.[100]
    In this connection, Piers Paul Read’s The Train Robbers is of interest.[101] Read undertook to write the book more than a decade after the robbery, and long after several other books had already been published on the subject. What made these unpromising circumstances auger well, according to Read, were two things: first, he had the cooperation of most of the men who’d pulled off the robbery. Previously, only Ronald Biggs had given an account, and Biggs was considered an outsider by those who’d conceived and executed the plan. Second, and even more importantly, the gang confided important new information to Read. This was that the train robbery, and several of the subsequent escapes, had been financed and finessed by Gen. Otto Skorzeny. Among other things, this explained why it had never been possible to account for more than half of the money stolen in the robbery.
    An unrepentant Nazi, Skorzeny had been Hitler’s favorite commando. After the war, he’d re-established himself in Madrid as an arms-dealer and, with even greater secrecy, as the mastermind behind Die Spinne — the underground railroad that obtained forged documents and plastic surgery for war criminals and others requiring safe-havens in South America and the Middle East. As the proprietor of a de facto intelligence agency with connections throughout the world, Skorzeny made millions as a consultant to countries and organizations whose politics were compatible with his own (e.g., Nasser’s Egypt and the Secret Army Organization in Algiers).
    Train-robber Buster Edwards and his wife gave Read a detailed description—names, dates and places—of how Die Spinne had smuggled him from England to Germany to Mexico.[102] A woman named “Hannah Schmid,”[103] whose father had served with Skorzeny in the Second World War, saw to it that he received plastic surgery and the documents necessary to travel. Edwards recuperated for nearly a month in the home of a Prussian aristocrat, “Annaliese von Lutzeberg,”[104]and was then sent on his way to Mexico—but not before he’d purchased shares (under an assumed name) in a business that Skorzeny owned.[105]
    While in Mexico, Edwards and two of the other train-robbers reunited with Schmid, who “proposed that they should run guns to the Peronists in Argentina; or train troops for a planned putsch in Panama…”[106] Edwards and his friends declined: it just wasn’t their scene.
    In checking Edwards’ story, and the stories of the other robbers, Read found that every verifiable detail was confirmed. Before finishing his book, however, it was left to him to interview Ronald Biggs in Rio. Accordingly, he got on a plane.
    Finding Biggs was not that difficult. He was living at Scott Johnson’s apartment. What he had to say, however, was in flat contradiction to the accounts of everyone else. According to Biggs, there were no Germans.
    Read was flabbergasted. Had he been hoaxed? Or was Biggs lying on behalf of what Read suspected were his Nazi protectors? Read couldn’t be sure.
    At best (Biggs) wished me to disbelieve the Skorzeny connection so that he himself could break it to the world and reap the benefit; at worst he was still in the care of Skorzeny’s organisation and had been told to persuade me that it did not exist.
    The more I pondered this last possibility, the more convinced I became that this was the explanation — for it still seemed inconceivable to me that June (Edwards) had invented her meeting with Skorzeny in Madrid, or could have discovered that he was a friend of the Reader’s Digest editor who spoke fourteen Chinese dialects. I suddenly realised how thoughtless and foolhardy I had been to come to a country (Brazil) known to be a nest of ex-Nazis. Clearly Biggs had been saved from extradition not because of his child, but because of neo-Nazi influence in government circles. The woman who had been with him at the airport, Ulla Sopher, a German-Argentinian with blonde hair and blue eyes, was part of their network. All the strands of the story came together to form a noose around my neck.[107]
    And yet, despite this cogent explanation for what had happened, and despite the evidence that Edwards and the others had provided, Read demurred. Over drinks in a sidewalk cafe, “I began to believe that Biggs was telling the truth.”
    A bizarre turn-about that occurs at the very end of the book, Read’s conversion to Biggs’ account makes no sense at all. Biggs’s own fugitivity, which (like Edwards’s) was facilitated by plastic surgery and forged documents provided by an unnamed criminal syndicate, is the best argument against the story he tells.
    One wonders if Read would have ended his book differently if he had known about Jim Jones, Scott Johnson and Invesco.
    Not that Read didn’t have clues to the fact that Biggs was living in the parapolitical twilight — a world defined by the inter-penetration of criminal syndicates and the intelligence community.
    One such clue pertained to Biggs’ son, “Mikezinho,” who was born while his father was a fugitive in Rio. “Little Mikey” had a very interesting godfather, a man with powerful European connections and who, like Werner Blumer, was in the business of selling art.
    This was Fernand Legros, who concerns us here only because his association with Biggs’s, and Biggs’s friends in Rio, adds perspective to what might be called “the Invesco circle.”
    Legros has been described as a “playboy, millionaire, art dealer and CIA agent…”[108] A native Egyptian, with apartments in Switzerland, France and Spain, he was a homosexual whose lovers included the Secretary-General of the United Nations (Dag Hammerskjold) and members of French cabinet.[109] A naturalized American, Legros resorted to at least four passports: French, American, Canadian and British.
    It is alleged (by author Henrik Kruger and others) that Legros played a lethal role in the mysterious (and still unsolved) kidnapping and murder of the Moroccan dissident, Ben Barka—who disappeared from the streets of Paris (where Legros owned an art-gallery) in October, 1965. According to Kruger, Legros had been in contact with Ben Barka in Geneva, where the art-dealer had a second gallery and both men had apartments. Lured to France, Ben Barka was kidnapped, tortured and killed. While his disappearance remains unsolved, the operation has often been attributed to French gangsters (including a man named Christian David) acting on Legros’s orders. Legros himself is believed to have been working at the time for either the CIA or France’s SDECE.
    In 1967, Legros fled to Brazil upon being implicated in the authentication and sale of forgeries attributed to modern masters. Sold for millions to gullible investors around the world, the forgeries are believed to have been painted by Elmyr de Hory, Clifford Irving’s friend and neighbor on Ibiza.
    But Legros’s influence seems not to have been much diminished by the notoriety surrounding the forgeries. According to Kruger, the art-dealer was “a personal friend of Henry Kissinger’s,…(and) the man the CIA assigned to snoop on UN secretary-general Dag Hammarskjold. Legros helped the CIA kidnap the African leader Moise Tshombe…” Not finally, Legros became an associate (in France and in Brazil) of the legendary French gangster Christian David.
    While in Rio and Sao Paulo, David established a Brazilian-based narcotics syndicate to fill the vacuum created when the so-called “French connection” was broken.[110] In this task, he was abetted by fugitive French collaborators and war criminals living in Argentina, Paraguay, Chile and Brazil.
    Arrested by the Brazilian authorities in 1972, David was eventually deported to the United States, and then extradited to France—where he was sentenced to death.[111] Meanwhile, David’s pal, Fernand Legros, was himself in a Rio prison—occupying the cell next to Ronald Biggs. The circumstances of Legros’s imprisonment are murky, but it has been suggested that he was locked up as an exercise in protective custody, supposedly for having helped the CIA to arrange David’s arrest. While that allegation is unproven, it is certainly true that Legros had a rather easy time of it behind bars. “Each day…he was brought lavish meals including lobster, champagne, cognac and fat Havana cigars.”[112]
    All of which is to say: what? That Jim Jones was somehow involved in the 1963 Great Train Robbery, or in the 1965 murder of Ben Barka? Hardly. Do I mean, then, to suggest that Jones was a party to the making and breaking of the “Brazilian Connection,” or that he was implicated in the wave of forgeries that culminated in Clifford Irving’s “autobiography” of Howard Hughes? Of course not.
    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 banal. 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—deserve scrutiny. The coalescence of organized crime and the CIA during the early 1960s was responsible for parapolitical enormities which continued to resonate beneath the surface of American politics and culture for the remainder of the century.
    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.
    (An adaptation of this article also appears on Mr. Hougan’s website and on the Scribd website.)
    Notes[1] As we’ll subsequently see, Mitrione was, first, a policeman in Indiana, and then a counter-insurgency expert in South America.
    [2] The evidence that Dwyer was a CIA officer is abundant, and that he was COS is flatly stated by Guyana’s former Minister of Information, Kit Nascimento.
    [3] Was Jonestown a CIA Medical Experiment?, by Michael Meiers, Studies in American Religion, Volume 35, Edwin Mellen Press, 1988.
    [4] My description of Jones is intended without rancor. That he was charismatic is obvious to anyone who ever met or listened to him. That he was a sadist is apparent from the “boxing mis-matches” that he staged, and from the homosexual attacks that he carried out upon some of his followers. That Jones was Bible-hating, as well as Bible-thumping, is clear from his instruction that the Good Book should be used as toilet paper. Other evidence of Jones’s hatred for the Bibleabounds in a Journal found at Jonestown. In its pages, the anonymous diarist quotes Jones as saying that “The Bible will be used to put you back into slavery.” “…[T]he white man used the Bible to keep blacks in slavery.” “That God up there doesn’t look after the good people down here…. If Harriet Tubman hadn’t torn it up, we’d still be in slavery. We’ve got to get rid of the Bible or the white man will use it to lead us back into slavery.” On the same page, the writer notes that “Jim claimed superiority to Jesus.” Elsewhere, we are told that “Jim led the congregation in singing, ‘The Old Bullshit Religion Ain’t What It Used to Be.’” And, by no means finally, the writer quotes Jones to the effect that “Religion is the opiate of the people….Jim told of God’s creation of Lucifer, who led away one-third of the angels. God fouled up. ‘Some of you get nervous when I say that.’ He said religion was used by the ruling class to control us. ‘They” steal, ‘they’ lie, but they tell us niggers, ‘Nigger, don’t lie.’ They kill all the time, but ‘thou shalt not kill.’”
    [5] Credit for stopping the attack is usually given to the attorneys. In reality, however, it should probably go to one of the Temple’s own members, Tim Carter, who seems to have been the first to intervene. Interestingly, Carter reports that Don Sly’s attack on Ryan was at best half-hearted. “It was like he wanted to be stopped,” Carter told me.
    [6] Ibid.
    [7] Los Angeles Times, November 24, 1978.
    [8] It is literally true that, even before the dead could be buried, both the San Francisco Chronicleand the Washington Post had published books about the massacre.
    [9] In fact, the sweetener used was Flavor Aid.
    [10] New England Journal of Medicine, “Law-Medicine Notes: The Guyana Mass Suicides: Medicolegal Re-evaluation” by William J. Curran, J.D., LL.M., S.M. Hyg., June 7, 1979.
    [11] Among them: the National Association of Medical Examiners and the Reference Organization in Forensic Medicine and Sciences.
    [12] It was Dr. Rudiger Breitenecker who commented on the procedure used in Guyana (trochar embalming). Dr. Breitenecker was the only civilian who participated in the seven autopsies conducted by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology team at Dover Air Force Base. Those autopsied were: Laurence Schacht; William Castillo; James Jones; Violatt Dillard; Maria Katsaris; Carolyn (Moore) Layton; and Ann Moore.
    [13] But it was also understandable. The dead were infested and putrefying in Guyana’s heat, which made their handling exceedingly unpleasant, and their identification difficult.
    [14] “Medical Examiners Find Failings By Government on Cultist Bodies,” by Lawrence K. Altman,New York Times, December 3, 1978.
    [15] Op cit., American Medical News. See also, “Coroner Says 700 in Cult Who Died Were Slain,” by Timothy McNulty and Michael Sneed (Chicago Tribune Service story), The Miami Herald, December 17, 1978.
    [16] The quote is taken from the autopsy report on Carolyn Moore, prepared by Dr. Robert L. Thompson.
    [17]With respect to the absence of cyanide in the vat, see page 4 of the autopsy protocol (AFIP #1680274) for Laurence E. Schacht.
    [18]American Medical News, “Bungled Aftermath of Tragedy,” by Lawrence Altman, MD, p. 7.
    [19]“Some in Cult Received Cyanide by Injection, Guyanese Sources Say,” by Nicholas M. Horrock, New York Times, December 12, 1978.
    [20] In an interview with this writer, Rhodes emphasized the presence of armed guards, some with rifles and some with crossbows, who formed a perimeter to prevent people from escaping the encampment. (Rhodes himself escaped on a pretext.)
    [21] According to Stanley Clayton, he heard screams and gunshot throughout the night, and saw flashing lights.
    [22] Miami Herald, “Army to Identify Bodies of Cultists,” 22 November, 1978, p.1.
    [23] Los Angeles Times, 9 January, 1986, I:2:5; UPI, 9 January, 1986, National/Domestic News, PM cycle, Los Angles.
    [24] “Guyana Operations,” After-Action Report, 18-27 November, 1978, prepared by the Special Study Group, Operations Directorate, USMC Directorate, Joint Chiefs of Staff (distributed 31 January, 1979). All times are taken from Appendix B, “Chronology of Events.”
    [25] Ibid.
    [26] Ibid. The JCS chronology cites the following reference: “CIA 191138Z Nov 78”. NOIWON is the National Operations and Intelligence Watch Officers Network.
    [27] Ibid., p. 6.
    [28] These dates are believed to be accurate within a year. More precise information is most likely to be available in depositions that Dwyer gave in the Larry Layton trial.
    [29] Los Angeles Herald Examiner, August 26, 1981: “Jonestown murder trial: Claim of CIA involvement.” Layton’s defense attorney, at the time, was Tony Tamburello.
    [30] Judge Robert Peckham.
    [31] Not that it matters. In a recent interview with this writer, the former Guyanese Minister of Information, Kit Nascimento, stated flatly that Dwyer was the CIA’s Chief of Station when he escorted Ryan to Jonestown.
    [32] The tape was obtained from the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). I’ve quoted from the FBI’s transcript of that tape.
    [33] “Unman” = Unidentified Man. More recently, this man has been identified as Jim McElvane, a Temple member who arrived in Jonestown a few days earlier. He also died that day.
    [34] On the tape-recording that I have, it appears that this is actually Jones’s voice, and that he says, “Keep Dwyer alive!” and then adds, “Sit down, sit down, sit down.”
    [35] Dwyer deposition in Layton trial, Book II, p. 221.
    [36] Sukhdeo was named with “deprogrammer” Galen Kelly in a suit brought by the Circle of Friends on behalf of Joan E. Stedrak. The suit is believed to have been filed on November 6, 1978.
    [37] Asked about this in a recent interview, Sukhdeo continued to insist that he paid his own way to Guyana.
    [38] United States v. Layton, Federal Rules (90 F.R.D. 520/1981), pp. 521-22, in re a “Memorandum and Order Denying Plaintiffs Motion to Compel Production of Sukhdeo Tapes.”
    [39] Ibid.
    [40] The CIA has stated that, in deference to its Charter, which prohibits the Agency from collecting information on Americans, it took no notice of the Temple’s approaches to Communist Bloc organizations in Guyana. The disclaimer is widely disbelieved.
    [41] Associated Press, story by Chris Connell, November 21, 1978.
    [42] For many years, the FBI maintained a “Racial Intelligence” file. A 1968 Airtel sent to that file refers to the Bureau’s concerns the possible emergence of an American “Mau Mau,” the “rise of a (black) messiah,” and “the beginning of a true black revolution.”
    [43] Who’s Who In the CIA, by Dr. Julius Mader, East Berlin, 1968.
    [44] Raven: the Untold Story of Rev. Jim Jones and His People, by Tim Reiterman with John Jacobs, E.P. Dutton (New York, 1982), pp. 9-21.
    [45] It is Jones’s biographer, Tim Reiterman, who characterizes the unidentified woman evangelist as “fanatical.” See Raven, p. 18.
    [46] The possibility that Jones was sexually abused as a child should not be ruled out — particularly in light of his own abusive sexual behavior as an adult. Even those who remain loyal to Jones, insisting that he was somehow “misunderstood,” lament his enthusiasm for sexually humiliating those who had displeased him — not occasionally by resorting to homosexual rape.
    [47] The quotation is from type-written fragments of an autobiography found amid the carnage at Jonestown.
    [48] It was independent researcher John Judge who asked Kennedy about Jones’s relationship to Mitrione.
    [49] A book about Mitrione, and his 1970 assassination in Uruguay, is Hidden Terrors, by A.J. Langguth, Pantheon Books (New York, 1978).
    [50] Jones moved from Lynn to Richmond in the Fall of 1948.
    [51] Op cit., Raven, p. 40.
    [52] One hardly knows what to make of this bizarre fund-raising method. There can’t have been that much demand for the beasts. Nevertheless, the practice is worth noting, if only because it constitutes, however tenuously, Jones’s first known link to South America. Contrary to some reports, the monkeys were not obtained from university research laboratories in Indiana, but from suppliers below the Equator.
    [53] When Father Divine died in the summer of 1965, years after Jones had moved his own congregation to California, Jones nevertheless arranged for a caravan of buses to cross the country to Philadelphia—where Jones announced that he was Father Divine’s white reincarnation. In that capacity, he said, he was quite prepared to take control of the Peace Mission movement (and its considerable assets). Mrs. Divine said no.
    [54] Father Divine: Holy Husband, by Sara Harris, pp. 319-20.
    [55] New York Times, “Jim Jones 1960 Visit to Cuba Recounted,” by Joseph B. Treaster. As evidence of his veracity, Foster provided the Times with letters and an affidavit that Jones had signed, promising to support Foster if he should emigrate to the United States.
    [56] Foster came to Indianapolis in August, 1960. He accepted the hospitality of the Peoples Temple for the remainder of that Summer, and then decamped for New York (where his fiancée was living).
    [57] Ascent, “Lure of the Cowboy Mystique,” by Aubrey E. Zephyr, October, 1983. This is an article about Foster’s Urban Western Riding Program (for inner-city youngsters).
    [58] Op cit., Raven, p. 62.
    [59] The reference to a Cuban stopover on the way to Brazil, and to a photo of Jones, Marceline and Castro, is told in The Broken God, by Bonnie Thielmann with Dean Merrill, David C. Cook Publishing Co. (Elgin, Ill.), 1979, p. 27.
    [60] Religion In Cuba Today, edited by Alice L. Hageman and Philip E. Wheaton, Association Press, New York, p. 32.
    [61] Mikoyan was in Havana from February 4-13.
    [62] In this connection, an interesting coincidence concerns the presence of New York Times reporter James Reston at the Hilton. He was there to cover the Mikoyan visit, as well as the Soviet exhibition, and it seems fair to say that, in a literal sense, at least, he must have crossed paths with Jim Jones.It is ironic, then, that nearly twenty years later, his son should one day write a book (Our Father Who Art In Hell) about the decline and fall of the Peoples Temple. And in that book, a peculiar story is told:
    In December, 1978, James Reston, Jr. [met] a journalist friend at the Park Hotel in Georgetown. The journalist announced ominously that he now knew the full story behind Jonestown. But he would not write it. He would not tell his editors he knew it. He would forget it and flee Guyana as soon as possible. He told Reston the name of his informant. “He will contact you at your hotel. If you want it, you will get the full story. I have just heard it, and I’ve sent the man away. If I were you, I wouldn’t take it either. It will make you the most celebrated writer in America, and you will die for it.”
    Reston felt a nervous laugh rising from his belly and controlled it.
    Reston seems not to have pursued the matter.

    [63] Mitrione was then Chief of Police in Richmond.
    [64] Op. cit., Who’s Who in the CIA.
    [65] “U.S. A.I.D. In the Dominican Republic – An Inside View,” NACLA Newsletter, November, 1970. This was according to David Fairchild, the Assistant Program Officer for USAID in Santo Domingo. (NACLA is the North American Conference on Latin America.)
    [66] “Echols takes dead aim on laugh,” San Diego Union, June 12, 1986, p. 11.
    [67] Guyana Gold, by Wellesley A. Baird, Three Continents Press (Washington, 1982), pp. 164-181. The quotation is from an Afterword by Kathleen A. Adams. Ms. Adams wrote her doctoral thesis (for Case Western Reserve University) on the impact of the gold-mining industry on Amerindian tribes in the North West District of Guyana.
    [68] Op cit., Raven, pp. 75-78.
    [69] Dr. E. Paul Thomas was Jones’s physician.
    [70] Jones’s hospital stay is related in the Indianapolis Recorder, October 7, 1961.
    [71] Ibid., p. 77.
    [72] Ibid., p. 78.
    [73] Op cit., Raven, p. 78.
    [74] Op cit., The Broken God, p. 27.
    [75] Despite Oswald’s demonstration of pro-Castro sympathies — he was arrested in New Orleans after handing out leaflets for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) — his impostor was not given the requested visa.
    [76] Estado do Minas, “Pastor Jim Jones lived and worked in Belo Horizonte with his children,” November 23, 1978, p. 23.
    [77] “To Brazilians, Jim Jones was a CIA Agent,” O Globo, November 24, 1978.
    [78] “Leader of the Peoples Temple Lived in Belo Horizonte,” Estado de Minas, November 23, 1978, p. 1; and, from the same issue, “Pastor Jim Jones lived and worked in Belo Horizonte with his children,” p. 23.
    [79] Ibid.
    [80] Besides de Magalhaes, Elineu Pereira Guimaraes and Marcidio Inacio da Silva were interviewed. See O Globo, “To Brazilians, Jim Jones was a CIA Agent,” November 24, 1978.
    [81] Estado do Minas, “Pastor Jim Jones lived and worked in Belo Horizonte with his children,” November 23, 1978, p. 23.
    [82] “To Brazilians, Jim Jones was a CIA Agent,” O Globo, November 24, 1978.
    [83] Brazilians newspapers identify the woman as “Joyce Bian.” Since one of Jones’s ministerial assistants, Jack Beam, is known to have joined him in Belo Horizonte in October, 1962, and to have brought his family with him, we may suppose that this was Beam’s daughter.
    [84] O Globo, “To Brazilians, Jim Jones was a CIA Agent,” November 24, 1978.
    [85] Besides Marco Rocha’s remarks about a car from the American Consulate, Bonnie Thielman recalls that Jones often went to the Consulate on unknown business.
    [86] The letter from Lodeesen, with the photograph attached, was provided by the FBI to attorneys in the Layton case.
    [87] See CIA in the Dock, edited by V. Chernyavsky, Progress Publishers, Moscow (1983): “Saboteurs on the Air: A Close-up View” by Vaim Kassis and Leonid Kolosov, pp. 147-67.
    [88] The letter (dated January 12, 1983) was from Ned Avary to Ron Rewald, then CEO of the Hawaiian investment firm Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald and Dillingham.
    [89] Jones’s address in Rio was #154 Rua Senador Vigueiro.
    [90] For example, Jones’s natural son, Stephan.
    [91] Brazil Herald, “The little-known story: Jim Jones’ early days in Rio de Janeiro,” by Harold Emert, December 24-26, 1978, p. 9.
    [92] There have been persistent rumors that Jones, while in Rio, was employed by a “CIA-owned advertising agency.” Invesco, while not an advertising agency, is the only firm to which these rumors could possibly refer. It is certainly the case that any number of Brazilians suspected that its American owners were working for the CIA.
    [93] Once again, there is an interesting parallel between events surrounding Jim Jones and those involving Lee Harvey Oswald. That is to say, shortly after Oswald’s arrest, a story went out on the wires describing in detail Oswald’s peculiar background as a defector, the time that he spent in New Orleans, and so forth. The author of the scoop was Seth Kantor. Like Emert, however, Kantor was not the ultimate source of the story he reported—another journalist, “too busy to write it himself” (!), had given it to him over the telephone. This was Hal Hendrix, a CIA operative working under journalistic cover.
    [94] Huber bought the Brazil Herald from William Williamson, and later sold it to the Latin American Daily News.
    [95] This information derives from sources in Rio. See, also Hidden Terrors, op. cit., p. 88.
    [96] United States Penetration of Brazil, by Jan Knippers Black, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1977, pages 82-6.
    [97] Ibid.
    [98] Ms. Huber is said to be Gilbert Huber’s sister-in-law, but that information has yet to be confirmed.
    [99] An anecdotal account of Biggs’ life in Rio, which discusses his friendship with Johnson and Huber, can be found in Biggs: The World’s Most Wanted Man, by Colin Mackenzie, William Morrow & Co., New York, 1975.
    [100] ODESSA is an acronym for Organization der Entlassene SS Angehorige (Organization for the Release of Former SS Members). Die Spinne (The Spider), which was also known as the “Swastika Syndicate,” was the clandestine operations arm of ODESSA. See Skorzeny: Hitler’s Commando, by Glenn B. Infield, St. Martin’s Press, 1981 (New York).
    [101] The Train Robbers, by Piers Paul Read, W.H. Allen, London (1978).
    [102] Since this was written, I was able to interview Buster Edwards at his flower-stall outside Waterloo Station in London. In that interview, Edwards confirmed what he’d told Read, and elaborated upon it with further details.
    [103] The name is a pseudonym that Read used in his book.
    [104] This name is also a pseudonym, according to Read.
    [105] Edwards invested 10,000 pounds in a real estate firm that Skorzeny was using to develop land near Alicante.
    [106] Ibid., p. 195. Besides Edwards, Bruce Reynolds and Charlie Wilson met with Schmid in Mexico City.
    [107] Ibid., pp. 257-58.
    [108] The Great Heroin Coup, by Henrik Kruger.
    [109] Hammerskjold died in a plane crash in the Congo on September 17, 1961. The suspicion that the plane was sabotaged is widespread, but to date unproven. See The Last Days of Dag Hammerskjold, by Arthur L. Gavshon, Barrie & Rockliff with Pall Mall Press, London, 1963.
    [110] Following the arrest and extradition of Paraguya’s Auguste Ricard, heroin refined in Marseilles was shipped to David in Brazil for transport to the United States.
    [111] The sentence appears never to have been carried out, and there are unconfirmed reports that David was freed some time ago.
    [112] Kruger tells us that, in 1974, French intelligence agents kidnapped Legros from Brazil, and brought him back to France. Imprisoned there, he was released upon the demands of Henry Kissinger, who protested the mistreatment of an American citizen.
    Last modified on March 19th, 2014.

    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  5. Default

    Readers curious about the Meiers book can now read more of it here.

  6. #66


    I'm just bumping this thread up from the Way Back Machine. It's one of the best threads at DPF!
    "We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

    "We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl

  7. Default Michael Meiers

    Yes, he is impossible to find. I did get a paperback from Amazon when it first came out as "print on demand." I think I got it for about $40. Before this, it was up around $1,000. Of course, now you can find PDFs of it now. The book is pure gold tho! I have used it extensively in my writing.

  8. #68


    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Kirkconnell View Post
    Yes, he is impossible to find. I did get a paperback from Amazon when it first came out as "print on demand." I think I got it for about $40. Before this, it was up around $1,000. Of course, now you can find PDFs of it now. The book is pure gold tho! I have used it extensively in my writing.

    Feel free to post the url for the pdf of the entire thing. I could only find one chapter after a short search.
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  9. #69

    Default Joseph Green and the Deep Truth of Jonestown

    Researcher, author, and publisher JOSEPH GREEN joins S.T. Patrick to discuss the deep truth of the 1978 Jonestown massacre, the subject of Green’s new zine, An Intro to the Jonestown Massacre Conspiracy: 1978from Microcosm Publishing. In this episode, Green discusses his favorite alternative publications of the past, the historical basis for the demographics that brought the Guyanese government to power, the parapolitics behind the Guyanese government of the 1970s, the rise of Jim Jones in Indiana, the U.S. intelligence links to Indiana University, the friendship of Jones with Dan Mitrione, the move to Ukiah and the World Vision links, Catcher in the Rye, whether or not Jones was a “real preacher,” how Reagan’s California affected events, Congressman Leo Ryan, Mark Lane’s role at Jonestown, and much, much more.
    Last edited by Lauren Johnson; 03-31-2019 at 03:15 PM.
    "We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

    "We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl

  10. Default Two Thumbs Up

    Appreciate the informative links, Lauren, bookmarked! Just wished Joseph a Happy Birthday! on LinkedIn.


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