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         Peoples Temple & Jonestown Mass Suicide:     more detail
  1. Seductive Poison: A Jonestown Survivor's Story of Life and Death in the People's Temple by Deborah Layton, 1999-11-09
  2. Il carisma malato: Il People's Temple e il suicidio collettivo di Jonestown (Anthropos) by Enrico Pozzi, 1992
  3. Dear People: Remembering Jonestown
  4. Gone from the Promised Land: Jonestown in American Cultural History (Second Edition)
  5. Hearing the Voices of Jonestown (Religion and Politics) by Mary McCormick Maaga, 1998-05
  6. Death of a Cult Family: Jim Jones (Days of Tragedy) by Sue L. Hamilton, 1989-11

1. Religious Movements Homepage: People's Temple (Jonestown)
of this page by John R. Hall has proven to be an excellent source not only for thehistory of the peoples temple and the jonestown mass suicide, but also for
Peoples Temple (Jonestown)
Special Report!!
On November 18, 1978 over 900 persons died in Jonestown, Guyana. For twenty years a small group of people have attempted to make the name Jonestown synonymous with Auschwitz. The tragedy of Jonestown is not diminished in the slightest by declaring this to be an inappropriate analogy. Indeed, this linking of one of the most horrible events of the 20ththe systematic annihiliation of Jewswith the tragedy in Guyana presumes that all there is to know about Jonestown is already known. The model of psychopathology and criminality that informs this perspective is most likely wrong and, further, it discourages inquiry that might advance our understanding of this terrible event. It also invites bigotry of the highest order against all new religious movements. On the occasion of this 20th anniversary, three new documents of considerable significance have been added to this page:
  • A petition to the Congressional House Committee on International Relations asking for the declassification of important Jonestown documents. The Petition is important because it calls attention to the unfinished business of seeking a clearer understanding of what really happened in Jonestown. The failure of the government to declassify materials thwarts these efforts and also feeds fuel to conspiracy theories.
  • New Information on Jonestown is found on an important new web site that presents over a hundred original source documents previously unavailable. Using the Freedom of Information Act, Brian Csuk obtained more than 6,000 pages of declassified materials. Over 100 of these documents are now available on his web page and additional documents are being added; and
  • 2. Jonestown
    Jones and the peoples temple committed a mass suicide in northern Guyana at a site called, jonestown. The charismatic who set up the peoples temple in San Francisco and
    Jonestown Examining the Peoples Temple Left: Jim Jones with Councilman Lindsay ( Right: 914 dead ( BEFORE YOU SCROLL: We have conceived of the Peoples Temple as a reflective cultural marker. We designed this Web page to emphasize the relationship between the Jonestown cult and the culture out of which it grew. When following our links to other sites, keep this in mind. When following the link to the "Cold War," for example, consider why a new religion such as the Peoples Temple might have emerged as a response to the existing Cold War environment. Ask yourself, "How does this cult reflect and/or react to these more general cultural instances?" It is extremely important, however, to constantly remind yourself of the decontextualizing nature of the Internet. Information exists on the 'Net outside of existing scholarly structures. You must be MORE critical of what you find on the 'Net, always asking, "Who put this here?, Can I be sure of that?, Why did that person put this here?, What did they intend for me to think?, What does this mean?, How am I differently affected by images and texts that I get off a computer screen than those that I find in books or journals?, Can this information from the 'Net be used in good conscience?," and so on. If our attempt at understanding Jonestown as a cultural reflector fails, it will probably be because we were unable to find the right information on the 'Net: we did not have the time to ask enough questions about each link that we have provided. We do not have the computer skill necessary to shorten the topical searches (to find concise information about a specific issue quickly). We freely admit that most of the links provided represent the first interesting site to appear in response to a given keyword search such as "counterculture" in Yahoo, Alta Vista, and cetera.

    3. CNN - Jonestown Massacre + 20: Questions Linger - November 18, 1998
    jonestown massacre + 20 Questions linger. jonestown mass murdersuicide scene in 1978 the People's temple. Alternative Considerations of jonestown peoples temple - sponsored by the

    WORLD ASIANOW U.S. ... news quiz
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    Jonestown massacre + 20: Questions linger
    Jonestown mass murder-suicide scene in 1978
    November 18, 1998
    Web posted at: 12:56 p.m. EST (1756 GMT)
    In this story:
    SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) Twenty years after the world was shocked by the mass murder-suicide in the supposedly utopian community known as Jonestown, the questions linger: How and why did 913 people die? Some believe answers may lie in more than 5,000 pages of information the U.S. government has kept secret. "Twenty years later, it would be nice to know what went down," said J. Gordon Melton, founder and director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion.
    Time to declassify?

    4. Jonestown, Jim Jones And The People's Temple
    Hell's 25Year Echo The jonestown mass suicide. Jones disciple recovers from, recalls painful past The End To Innocent Acceptance Of Sects. Most peoples temple Documents Still Sealed
    This page contains information The Rick A. Ross Institute has
    gathered about Jonestown.
    Visit the Jonestown Memorial website
    (Link takes you outside the Rick A. Ross Institute web site) He lived to tell
    Brief sojourn to hell still vivid 25 years later

    Hell's 25-Year Echo: The Jonestown Mass Suicide

    Jones disciple recovers from, recalls painful past
    The power of persuasion

    Dead followers of
    Jim Jones lay before his "throne"
    Jerry Brown and Jim Jones
    The Rick A. Ross Institute email: URL:
    Rick Ross. Home Database Cult News Search ... FAQ

    5. People's Temple, Jim Jones, Jonestown - Religious Cults And Sects
    in jonestown, Guyana, more than 900 members of the peoples temple cult, led by Rev such as the peoples temple which was involved in the jonestown mass suicide in 1978
    People's Temple, Jim Jones, Jonestown
    An Apologetics Index research resource
    People's Temple
    Peoples Temple, Jim Jones, Jonestown
    Back to A-Z Index About The Color Key The Group
    What Happened
    About this page

    The Group
    People’s Temple Christian Church , Jim Jones, Jonestown, Guyana: Jones, influenced by Unitarian Humanism, Father Divine, and Marxism, founded his church in 1977. He later claimed at various times to be God, Buddha, and Lenin. In 1978 at Jones’ command, 914 people (including Jones) committed suicide or were murdered. The group is now defunct. Source: Watchman Fellowship: Index of Cults and Religions
    What Happened
    On Nov. 18, 1978, in Jonestown , Guyana, more than 900 members of the Peoples Temple cult, led by Rev. Jim Jones, an American, committed suicide by drinking poisoned punch. The mass suicide immediately followed the murder of Rep. Leo J. Ryan (D-Calif.), who was visiting Guyana to investigate Jonestown and was ambushed along with several others at the Port Kaituma airstrip. Source: Associated Press, Aug. 7, 1985
    What happened at Jonestown was beyond imagination. Jones, who had founded the Peoples Temple near Ukiah and later moved to San Francisco, had promised to create a utopia, where people of different races, education and skills could work together for the common good.

    6. The Jonestown Massacre
    jonestown, jonestown cult suicides, Jim Jones, peoples temple, jonestown massacre, Leo J. Ryan murdered followers of American cult leader Jim Jones ("peoples temple") died in a remote South American jungle years after the mass suicide and murders, that "jonestown was a tragedy
    The Changing Face of Cults
    The Jonestown Massacre
    February 2001
    By Rick Ross
    On November 18, 1978 912 followers of American cult leader Jim Jones ("Peoples Temple") died in a remote South American jungle compound called "Jonestown" in British Guyana. Some members were shot, others were forced to drink poison, but most willingly participated in what Jones said was an act of "revolutionary suicide." Jim Jones began his ministry in 1953 as an independent minister in Indianapolis, but was later ordained in 1964 by the Disciples of Christ. By the end of 1971 he had moved his congregation to California eventually establishing two churches there. His main church remained in San Francisco, but a second was also opened in Los Angeles. The Peoples Temple peaked during the 70s to include perhaps as many as 8,000 members. Though racially diverse, most of Jones followers were African Americans. Jim Jones was once a popular community activist in San Francisco who contributed cash and coordinated volunteers to support both causes and political leaders. He could turn out thousands for almost any event or effort. During the 70s he appeared with many prominent politicians including then State Assemblyman Willie Brown. In 1976 Mayor George Moscone gave Jones a seat on the San Francisco Housing Authority Commission. Governor Jerry Brown was even seen attending services at the Peoples Temple. But after the tragic deaths at Jonestown Willie Brown said, "If we knew then he was mad, clearly we wouldn't have appeared with him. But it's not fair to say what you would have done if you knew the kind of madness that would take place years later.''

    7. Jonestown - Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
    Remembering jonestown, NPR interview with mass suicide survivor, Laura JohnstonKohl; Alternative considerations of jonestown and peoples temple, San Diego
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    (Redirected from Jonestown mass suicide Server will be down for maintenance on 2004-06-11 from about 18:00 to 18:30 UTC.
    Alternate uses: See Jonestown (disambiguation)
    Jonestown was a town in Guyana established by People's Temple cult leader Jim Jones . It was located about six to eight miles (10 to 12 km) from Port Kaituma (7°44'N 59°53'W). Notoriously, on Jones' direction the inhabitants committed mass suicide in . The group had been formed in Indianapolis, Indiana from the . Under pressure the group had moved to San Francisco and following a report in the New West magazine in Jones leased 4,000 acres (16 km²) of land in Guyana and moved himself and his most devoted followers there. Calling it the People's Temple Agricultural Project they grew food and raised animals. Table of contents 1 Life in Jonestown 2 Mass suicide 3 Bibliography 4 External links ... edit
    Life in Jonestown
    When accounts of child abuse, false miracles, and various problems within The People's Temple surfaced, their leader Jim Jones took his followers to a jungle north-west of Georgetown, Guyana

    8. Atheists Anonymous - Atheist News Archive
    Hell's 25Year Echo The jonestown mass suicide » and joined the Disciples of Christ denomination. peoples temple was a model of racial integration and social action

    9. Hell's 25-Year Echo: The Jonestown Mass Suicide
    Hell s 25Year Echo The jonestown mass suicide. Jungle reclaimed jonestown yearsago. microphone in hand, addressing a rainbow of peoples temple members from
    Hell's 25-Year Echo: The Jonestown Mass Suicide
    A reporter who was in the vortex of the cult catastrophe finds survivors still coping
    Los Angeles Times/November 19, 2003
    By Tim Reiterman
    Oakland On a grassy slope in Oakland, more than 400 take their final rest, mostly children who were unclaimed or unidentified. And across San Francisco Bay, a U.S. congressman is buried in a national cemetery not far from a park that bears his name. Their lives converged 25 years ago Tuesday in a South American jungle clearing that has come to symbolize the worst that organized religion, cults and madness can reap. "The people of Jonestown were a precious people, family people," the Rev. Jynona Norwood, who lost 27 relatives in Jonestown, told mourners in Oakland. "It is an injustice when people say they were unintelligent.... They had a natural desire for a better life for themselves and their children." Jungle reclaimed Jonestown years ago. But even now I can see them together in the open-air pavilion there - Rep. Leo Ryan (D-San Mateo) on stage, microphone in hand, addressing a rainbow of Peoples Temple members from the heartland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Taking their cues from the Rev. Jim Jones, they applauded Ryan on the opening night of his mission to find whether the settlement was the brutal work camp described by escapees or the utopia extolled by supporters. Within 24 hours, virtually all would be dead. Ryan was shot to death on a nearby airstrip, along with a church defector and three of my fellow newsmen. Then the temple members were killed at the pavilion in a ritual of mass suicide and murder. The final toll: 913.

    10. Content Pages Of The Encyclopedia Of Religion And Social Science
    not unprecedented and compares jonestown suicides with those Hall (1981) analyzesthe peoples temple as an circumstances that made the mass suicide option more
    Encyclopedia of Religion
    and Society
    William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor Table of Contents Cover Page Editors Contributors ... Web Version PEOPLES TEMPLE
    The Peoples Temple is most well known for the tragedy at Jonestown, Guyana, that took the lives of over 900 Americans in 1978. Started by the Rev. Jim Jones in the mid-1950s, the People's Temple migrated from Indiana to Ukiah, a small town north of San Francisco in the mid-1960s, and a few years later established a larger church in San Francisco. The Peoples Temple was unusual in that, even when it began in the still-segregated 1950s, it actively and successfully encouraged integration in its congregation. In the mid-1970s, spurred by conflicts with local government officials and concerned relatives of members, a group from the church formed a settlement in the jungle of the Northwest District of Guyana that was soon after known as Jonestown. The membership of the Peoples Temple differed from that of most new religious movements of the 1960s and 1970s in several key ways. During this period in the United States, most members of new religious movements were young, white, middle class, and relatively well educated. The origins of the Peoples Temple were in the Christian Church, mainly in Pentecostalism. Its membership was predominantly black and working-and lower-class white. It included a number of elderly members and had a middle-class, educated, white elite. The Peoples Temple provided a wide range of social services for its needy members and tried to promote sweeping social reform, then decided to withdraw from U.S. society when it was clear that reform was not working (Weightman 1989).

    11. NPR : Remembering Jonestown
    peoples temple leader Jim Jones. Nov. 17, 2003 Tuesday marks the 25th anniversaryof the mass suicide and murder in jonestown, Guyana.

    12. NPR : Remembering Jonestown
    shot and killed by members of peoples temple at an The jonestown massacre began laterthat day in the Guyanese capital, Georgetown, the day of the mass suicide.
    Visit our text-only page NPR Programming List All NPR Programming Most Requested Morning Edition Day to Day All Things Considered Weekend Edition Saturday Weekend Edition Sunday Talk of the Nation Talk of the Nation Science Friday Fresh Air with Terry Gross Car Talk Performance Today The Tavis Smiley Show NPR News All Things Considered Day to Day Hourly News Morning Edition NPR Now Weekend Edition Saturday Weekend Edition Sunday Talk The Connection The Diane Rehm Show Fresh Air with Terry Gross The Motley Fool Radio Show NPR Talk Talk of the Nation Talk of the Nation Science Friday The Tavis Smiley Show Music All Songs Considered Creators at Carnegie In Rehearsal Jazz Profiles JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz NPR Basic Jazz Record Library The NPR 100 World of Opera Performance Today PT 50 SymphonyCast Sunday Baroque The Thistle and Shamrock Additional Programming Along for the Ride American Radio Works Car Talk The Changing Face of America The DNA Files Justice Talking Latino USA Living On Earth Lost and Found Sound Musings with Alphonse Vinh National Press Club National Story Project NOW with Bill Moyers The NPR/Kaiser/Kennedy School Polls Only A Game On the Media Present at the Creation Radio Expeditions Says You!

    13. Jonestown Massacre
    On November 18, 1978 a shocking mass murder/suicide took place in jonestown, Guyana AlternativeConsiderations of jonestown peoples temple An extensive
    zJs=10 zJs=11 zJs=12 zJs=13 zc(5,'jsc',zJs,9999999,'') About History 20th Century History Home ... Free, Email Newsletter zau(256,152,145,'gob',''+gs,''); Decade By Decade Great Events of the Century Holocaust Horrible Disasters ... Help zau(256,138,125,'el','','');w(xb+xb);
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    Subscribe to the About 20th Century History newsletter. Search 20th Century History Jonestown Massacre
    Guide picks On November 18, 1978 a shocking mass murder/suicide took place in Jonestown, Guyana that left 913 men, women, and children dead - most were followers of the cult leader, Jim Jones.
    An extensive scholarly site that explores the people who belonged to Peoples Temple who were committed to the ideals of racial justice and human equality. Also looks at the involvement of governmental agencies. Examining the Peoples Temple
    An examination of the era and a look at how the Peoples Temple came to be. A good resource from two religious studies students at Rice University. Frank E. Smitha: Jonestown

    14. Timeline Of The Peoples Temple
    of Jim Jones and the influence of the mass suicide. On the 20 th Anniversary of jonestown,this site a brief summary of the People s temple, their beliefs, and
    by Elizabeth Fraines, Anna Gutierrez, and Daniella Sahagun THST 398: "Revelation and Apocalyptic"
    Fall 1998 – Prof. Felix Just, S.J.
    Timeline Jim Jones becomes a Student Pastor at a Methodist Church. He preaches racial equality. The People’s Temple is founded in Indianapolis as an integrated church combining evangelical, enthusiastic religion and loosely socialist politics. Jim Jones, the founder and pastor of the church, performs healings that attract many members. The congregation is predominately black. Jim Jones is appointed director of the Indianapolis human rights commission The People’s Temple Full Gospel Church, as it came to be called, becomes a part of the Disciples of Christ. Jones is ordained by that denomination in 1964. Jones moves the Temple's headquarters to Ukiah, California, a city near San Francisco which he thought would be a safe haven in case of a nuclear war.
    • The People’s Temple attracts more members and much favorable coverage in the press and from the political establishment as the Temple and Jones himself become more active in the community. Jones is even appointed to the San Francisco Housing Authority. Jones and his staff start planning a migration to their "promised land."

    15. Why The Peoples Temple?
    temple cult, and specifically the mass suicide of so eventual selfdestruction ofthe peoples temple should shed The jonestown cult was born of that culture
    to promote a multidisciplinary view of the religious, spiritual and esoteric phenomena. About Us Links Search Contact ... Back to New Religious... Religion sections World Religions New R. Groups Ancient Religions Spirituality ... Extremism Science sections Archaeology Astronomy Linguistics Mathematics ... Contact
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    Why the Peoples Temple?
    Martin Heidegger theorized that cultural truths are revealed only when specific cultural manifestations cease to work properly. He called this concept "breakdown." The larger meanings of culture itself, according to this understanding, are primarily invisible to those within culture until part of it breaks down. An aberrant occurrence or anomaly, as referred to by Mary Douglas, represents such a breakdown. In turn, the development of new religions and cults exemplify Douglas's idea of anomaly. The Peoples Temple cult, and specifically the mass suicide of so many of its members, represents an anomaly, and therefore a breakdown, in the culture of mid-twentieth century America. An examination of the development and eventual self-destruction of the Peoples Temple should shed light on that culture. The Jonestown cult was born of that culture and in turn reflects back upon it, that is, the Peoples Temple was effected (created) by mainstream American culture of its time and in turn affected that same culture.

    16. Alternative Considerations Of Jonestown & Peoples Temple
    The Second Wave of jonestown Literature A Review Essay, pp 113134 In New ReligiousMovements, mass suicide, and peoples temple Scholarly Perspectives on a

    10 September 2002

    Primary Sources
    • California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
      415-357-1848, website: . Hours the library is open: Wednesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. The North Baker Research Library of the California Historical Society maintains the Peoples Temple Archives. The archives comprise five collections of documents that are referenced by box and file number:
        MS 3800 Peoples Temple Archive : 130 boxes, descriptive guide
        A collection of documents compiled by the Peoples Temple Receiver after the deaths MS 3800a Ross E. Case Papers : 1 carton, unprocessed MS 3801 Peoples Temple Papers from Guyana : 15 cartons, inventory
        These are documents taken from Jonestown, Guyana by the U.S. government MS 3802 Moore Family Papers : 23 boxes, inventory MS 3803 John R. Hall Research Materials : 2 boxes, inventory

      Government Documents
      • The Assassination of Representative Leo J. Ryan and the Jonestown, Guyana Tragedy
        Report of a Staff Investigative Group to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives, May 15, 1979

    17. Jonestown
    developed immediately out of the peoples temple event has feared the Davidians wouldcommit mass suicide (Wessinger, 2000 since the time of jonestown have had

    18. People's Temple Definition Meaning Information Explanation
    in -. The People s temple was a cult that is bestknown for a mass suicide at jonestown on November 18, 1978.
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    People's Temple
    The People's Temple was a cult that is best known for a mass suicide at Jonestown on November 18 . The Temple was founded in , at Indianapolis, Indiana by Reverend Jim Jones and it was at the time a group advocating and aiding social justice. In Indianapolis, and at the California cities of Ukiah San Francisco , and Los Angeles , where Jones extended new branches of his church, they earned a good reputation for aiding the cities' poorest citizens, especially racial minorities, drug addicts, and the homeless. Soup kitchens, day care centers, and medical clinics for elderly people were set up, along with counseling programs for prostitutes and drug addicts that want to change their lives. Then disturbing accounts began to spring up, told by a few people who had succeeded in leaving the cult . Jones was stealing from his followers, faked the miracle healings, was punishing the members severely and now considered himself the new Messiah By now, journalists, law enforcement officials, and politicians were showing interest in Jones' group. Jim Jones reacted with frequent long and angry speeches, where he claimed that the defectors lied, and the outside world was trying to destroy them. At the time, more former members told of beatings and abuse within the People's Temple, and relatives of members insisted that members were being forced to remain there against their will.

    19. Fragile Millennial Groups
    leaving with some longtime peoples temple members This assault killed five peoplein the party The jonestown mass suicide and murders were prompted by stresses
    517 words) Fragile millennial group members usually believe that they are being persecuted by opponents in outside society. These opponents may be law enforcement agents, government agents and agencies, news reporters, apostates, concerned family members, and anticultists. The cultural opposition (Hall 1995) may indeed be present, but the radical dualistic worldview of catastrophic millennial groups, which sees good battling evil and which translates into a sense of us vs. them, amplifies the magnitude of any degree of opposition in the minds of the believers. When the members of a fragile millennial group become convinced that they are failing to achieve their ultimate concern, they might resort to violence to preserve their religious goal. They might direct their violence outwardly to kill enemies or inwardly to commit murders and group suicide. Often the violence is directed both outwardly and inwardly. Catherine Wessinger Loyola University, New Orleans Hall, John R. 1987. Gone From the Promised Land: Jonestown in American Cultural History New Brunswick: Transaction Books.

    20. Study: Cult, "Mass Suicides Timeline"
    The government called the deaths a mass suicide in fires set 18, 1978 in jonestown,Guyana, more than 900 followers in the head, led the peoples temple in San
    Study Resources
    Cult Mass Suicide Timeline
    psychological manipulation, cult groups, sects, and new religious movements
    Cultic Studies
    Cult general
    Mass Suicides Timeline
    March 22, 1997 in St. Casimir, Quebec, five members of the Order of the Solar Temple die in a fiery mass suicide. Cult devotees believe suicide transports them to a new life on a planet called Sirius. Over the past three years, murder-suicides by Temple followers have resulted in 74 deaths in Europe and Canada.
    Dec. 23, 1995 16 members of the Order of the Solar Temple were found dead in a burned house outside Grenoble, in the French Alps. Most of the bodies were arranged in a star shape on the floor.
    Oct. 5, 1994 Swiss authorities found the bodies of 48 people linked to the cult in a farmhouse and three chalets, all consumed by fire. Five more bodies were found the same year in Morin Heights, north of Montreal.
    April 19, 1993 Branch Davidian leader David Koresh and 80 followers including 18 children died by fire or gunfire, six hours after the FBI started filling their cult compound near Waco, Texas, with tear gas. The government called the deaths a mass suicide in fires set by cult members after a 51-day armed standoff.
    Dec. 13, 1990

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