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Friday, December 28, 2007

Grieving Relative of Jonestown Victim Wants Those Responsible To "Pay For Their Treacherous Ways"

Of all the Big Media, the most noxious right-wing ideologues are those talking blockheads at "Faux" News. After their amazing partisan performance in 2000's Presidential Installment Circus, there was absolutely no doubting it: Rupert Murdoch's raging Republican mouthpiece had won the crown as The American BBC ("Bush Broadcasting Corporation".)

Such is--in the words of that supreme faux, Blathering Bill O'Reilly--the talking point of the above portrait of an ersatz "Live" report of the massacre taking place on their watch.

Sensational, false, and harmful; this is the "entertainment/ratings at ANY COST" nature of news that so much of our mainstream media has degenerated today. But the past, it turned out, was merely the calm before this storm. At that time, the problem was too often lazy, slipshod, or sleeping-on-the-job journalism. All of this helped produce Jonestown, a tragedy of epic proportions, the accountability (of silence) from which nearly all these media groups run.

But leave it to Fox News to be probably the only Big Media group to actually offer any coverage on the 29th anniversary this year. Of course, they stuck to the typical formula glimpse at the People's Temple cult. Their "Line Up" show host asked Jonestown survivor Thom Bogue about the "changes in Jim Jones", which he might have noticed "in Guyana".

In Guyana?? So, in other words, St. James really actually wasn't all that bad in those years preceding his escape to Guyana in 1977? Interesting, how easily Big Media has developed amnesia over Jones's fraud, extortion, unsolved killings, and child torture that went on all those years in California. They're real adept, though, when it comes to hammering politicians running away from other large and small private & public scandals, aren't they?

Bogue did manage to tell Fox about the "punishments" at Jonestown, which he said became "more intense" (which should have prompted the reporter to ask about all the others in the past.) He talked about what the cult called the "Green Eyed Monster", an electro-shock treatment machine used to torture children, one of which was as young as four years.

Too bad Fox lacked the integrity to ask about the "Blue Eyed Monster" torture, a ghastly practice carried out on the cult's children during its California years. This one involved sending terrified small children into dark rooms, where Jones's thugs would convulse them with cattle prods. No, reporters like Marshall Kilduff and others were too busy pursuing Jones "early and often" at City Hall to be bothered with such "unsubstantiated" matters.

This, then, is the first of the Top Ten Talking Points to present in the spirit of the ritual end-of-the-year round up. But there's something very important that belongs with with Point #10.

It is an appeal for the still long overdue accountability. By someone who understandably still suffers for the terrible, senseless loss of her loved one at Jonestown. For others, it might be two, five, or even twenty-five lost relatives.

While I don't agree with everything Lela Howard says in this letter sent to my father last November, there is much that touches me, much that rings true. Yes, there were many well-meaning people that were a part of People's Temple, that were lured in by Jim Jones's call for "spiritual redemption" and "social justice." Many of them, I'm sure, did not outright participate in the crimes ordered by Jones's little politburo, but rather were victims of it.

Victims of thought reform. Mind control. Brain washing. Call it what you will. Cult apologists like Becky Moore and Mac McGhee desperately want to dismiss this, by perverting reality and revising history. They won't succeed.

The Greek statesman Demosthenes once said: "Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true."

Here, then, is the voice of one of the many, many grieving. She'd like, among other things, to confront all those that aided and abetted Jim Jones while he marched over 900 men, women, and children into the hell of cult captivity, and slaughter.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Mr Les Kinsolving:

My aunt died that horrible day in Jonestown and last year I found her picture on the 'Who Died' list on Mac and Becky's website. They have allowed me to voice my thoughts about growing up listening to the awful comments about my aunt, which no other format exists to do so. I decided to contact you after reading your son's blog, speaking harshly about them. The frown on my face won't disappear until I hit the send button. I can't understand how or why the good they've done is being twisted.

I am not contacting you to debate, but simply to be a voice for my aunt. She did not deserve to die. Her name does not deserve to be defined as one of those 'drinking the Kool-aide' crazy people.

Yes, there are many who should step forward and explain their roles in the deaths, but as you know, that's not going to happen. Yes, I would like to know the names of those responsible. Yes, I would like to confront them and ask 'Why?' Yes, I would like them to pay for their treacherous ways.

But most important to me is to let the world(i.e., you, your son, the media,
educators, etc.) know that Mary Pearl Willis was my aunt. She deserves to be here today living her life, having Sunday dinners with her family, getting old and gray.

Unfortunately, she lays six feet under a sealed lead casket, identified as 'Body #71-E and a Member of the People's Temple' by the State Department. Her identity has has been taken from her and it is used to take jabs at others, not giving thought to how her family feels as we approach another year marking the day she ascended into heaven.

Why not write about how survivors and families have been made to feel ashamed? How we've been treated as their lives didn't matter? Forced to see biased movies, showing our loved ones as anything other than human? Stanley and Tim's movies are the closest it comes to showing them as individuals, see it from that point of view. I can't make you do it, but for one moment think how good it felt to see a project showing my aunt as a human being and not a robot.

If you or your son are willing to hear a different perspective, contact me. I would love to end the 'Hatfields vs. McCoys' type of blogging and explain how it feels to not have the massacre taught in schools as a part of history. Personally, I have contacted schools asking to have it added and will continue to pursue this until it's done.

Every interview I've given before the cameras roll, I make the reporters promise not to say 'suicide,' because it was murder! The latest projects are the first to show that, don't you think that's great? It's educating people about facts, instead of the spoon-fed fiction for nearly 30 years. With your voice, help educate, getting the facts out about that horrible day.

How much longer can fingers be pointed? Let's get on the same page. You've called out the ones who did wrong--now let's talk about getting the media to spread the truth.


Lela Howard

Agreed, Lela: Let those responsible for backing Jim Jones step forward and face the music. If they don't, then we'll just give 'em a bugle blast warning and charge right in. I understand the part about Stanley Nelson's film humanizing the members of the Temple, which it certainly does and should. The problem with Nelson is his appalling dishonesty in telling the WHOLE story of the People's Temple. He deliberately rearranged, embellished, and outright deleted so many facts that it devolved into an insidious patchwork of cult apologist half-truths.

Of course, it surely exceeded the wildest dreams of our friends at the "Jonestown Institute", didn't it, Mac and Becky??

Okay, can stop applauding now.

In the next post, the year's Talking Point #9 will feature the exclusive story told of a former cult member who'll describe what it was like to be a child in the People's Temple during its Redwood Valley, California years, a time where Nelson was quoted claiming the Temple "shared a lot of love."

A "lot of love"? More importantly for this boy, and his sisters, was the probability that cult operatives had murdered his mother.

Now try and guess just exactly how much screen time Scrupulous Stanley offered for this little tidbit of background on that "loving, activist" period of Rev. Jones's Apostolic Socialist Experiment.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Jonestown Anniversary Gets Near-Universal Blackout--By The Same Media That Largely Condoned People's Temple Terror

A week ago this day they gathered, as they've done on the same date each passing year of the cataclysm, to mourn what was so utterly avoidable.

The lonely tombstone on an Oakland hillside stands watch over the 400 murder victims resting in the mass grave. For too many years, it has been essentially ignored by the Big Media. This year appears to be little different than most of the rest.

Many, if not most, of those in this mass grave are the children and babies slaughtered in one of the worst cult crimes in history. But on this, the 29th anniversary, a dramatic difference unfolded. Members of a group calling themselves the Guyana Memorial Wall Project were holding a ceremony, in which they did more than light a candle for each of the children and read off their names.

They announced, at long last, that a memorial wall--featuring a special dedication written by famed poet Maya Angelou--is finally going up in Evergreen Cemetery.

The project's executive director, Jynana Norwood, suffered the unspeakable loss of 27of her closest relatives, including her mother. “Our wall is in the spirit of others whose lives were lost due to hate or ignorance," said Norwood, citing the Jewish Holocaust, African slave trade, Vietnam War, and other modern-day tragedies.

Norwood added that this memorial "will honor the children and others, who were victimized by Jim Jones, including Congressman Leo Ryan and the UPI news crew. We will donate a percentage of the funds to help educate any child that wants to attend college or a technical school. Our focus is for the future.”

What, readers? You mean you DIDN'T HEAR A WORD OF COVERAGE about this event last week??

Oh, well, a few of you were lucky enough to catch one of the two local TV news broadcasts, or even unearth this story from an online edition of the Black newspaper, New Pittsburgh Courier.

But for the vast public they supposedly are to keep informed, our Big Media once again has deliberately fumbled the ball. Just as they did in prostrating themselves before Jim Jones in the 60's and early 70's, until those publishers and editors regrew their backbones, and exposed his destructive cult--too little, too late.

Yes, they'll likely oblige a bit of perfunctory coverage on next year's magic number 30 anniversary of the Jonestown massacre, especially if this wall is finished and officially dedicated. But don't expect the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, or any of the broadcast networks to give you any thing different than the same old fabricated slop they claim was the Rise and Fall of People's Temple.

Especially now that they've championed Director Stanley Nelson's cinematic apologia that impresses viewers with all the "good things" about that cult nightmare, that none of us really could fully appreciate until Stan's editing wizardry was showcased.

Nelson, like the reckless, irresponsible media directors that ushered into power Miracle Man Jim Jones, has been gullible enough to swallow all the fairy tales from cult-friendly sources.

His primary fountain of disinformation is Rebecca Moore, head of the "Jonestown Institute," who does a magnificent job of fusing truth and fiction when doling out "the facts" about People's Temple, Jonestown, and cults in general. But the "C" word is absolutely verboten around Becky; no, cults--even the most destructive--must be dolled up in palatable terms: "New Religious Movements".

But let's not give Prof. Moore ALL the credit. She's got lots of friends, such as her two equally flaming cult apologists, Douglas Cowan and Catherine Wessinger. The three of them produce "Nova Religio," a Univ. of California Press journal purporting to give "scholarly interpretations and examinations of alternative religious movements."

Certainly. "Scholarly interpretations" much like those planted throughout Moore's (and husband "Mac" McGehee) website, such as the statement about "mixed reports" on conditions at the Guyana Gulag. "Work was hard, and as Jones seemed to grow more paranoid, never-ending," she concedes in her FAQ section. Then Moore tosses in this clever little canard: "...At the same time, however, audiotapes the community made of its own meetings reveal a sense of camaraderie, laughter, good times, and high purpose."

A "sense" of "good times"?

It's a shame that film maker Nelson was too lazy to consult with some ethical, genuine expert sources on cult social psychological dynamics, especially after Moore spoon fed him all this hogwash.

Dr. Moss David Posner, for instance, could have easily provided an antidote for Nelson's subsequent delusion. An excerpt from Posner's paper entitled, "How to Control Americans--Thought Control, Mind Control, Disinformation, and Other Naughty Things":

"Have you ever asked yourself—-how on earth can he or she believe such-and-such a story? Sometimes we are not even sure if a speaker, or news commentator, or whoever—actually believes what they are saying. The truth of the matter, however, is often more subtle:

There are degrees of awareness; and in those cases where we know that what we are hearing is patently absurd or indefensible, that speaker may have started by knowing better; but over a period of time, by virtue of their motivation, known or unknown, they have come to be convinced otherwise....

.....Consider the song from 'The King and I:'

'Whenever I feel afraid
I hold my head erect
And whistle a happy tune
So no one will suspect
--I’m afraid.'

Later on, we hear:

'The result of this deception
Is very strange to tell
For when I fool the people I fear
I fool myself as well.'

Please take this very seriously. Several years ago there was a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden. The customers were taken hostage and held for several days, clearly against their will. Days later when the authorities came subsequently to rescue the hostages, not only did they not welcome the police, but many of them actually threw themselves in front of the robbers in an attempt to shield them from being killed in a hail of bullets. This phenomenon is recognized as “The Stockholm Syndrome.”

It was I believe the film “Bridge over the River Kwai,” in which the leader of a British force captured by the Japanese is ordered to build a bridge. At first, with resistance, then with reluctance, he begins to build the bridge. By the time the Allied forces come to rescue him and his men, he was at the point of attacking his allies in order to defend his creation. In one dramatic moment, he looks squarely at the camera and says, with quiet horror, 'My God! What have I done?'

On a wider scale, we see this behavior in the success of cults. On the other hand, cutting off a person from the outside world, constantly and repetitively indoctrinating them, and accompanying this with threats of social group disapproval on the one hand, and loving acceptance based upon obedience, on the other, can drastically change a person’s behavior changed in a chillingly short period of time."

And if simple mind-control didn't complete the enslavement of those at Jonestown, besides the menacing armed guards, "Dad" Jim employed drugs to ensure the continuation what Becky Moore points to as not only "good times", but a "high purpose."

Yes, "high" would be one way to describe conditions at Jonestown. According to one of the post-massacre reports from the S.F. Examiner, entitled "How Jones Used Drugs," surviving Temple defector Dale Parks recalled:

"If a person wanted to leave Jonestown or if there was a breach of rules, one was taken to the extended-care unit," he explained. "It was a rehabilitation place, where one would be re-integrated back into the community. The people were given drugs to keep them under control."

After a few days or weeks, Parks said, the patients lost their desire to leave the commune and no further behavioral problems were anticipated.

Asked about the use of drugs for brainwashing, Parks said, "It is a reasonable assumption that such went on in the extended-care unit."

The report ends with a chilling list of the drugs cult enforcers used to ensure--as Moore claims--"camaraderie":

The following are examples from a partial inventory that has been independently authenticated by law enforcement sources.

1. Thorazine (chlorpromazine), 10,000 injectable doses and 1,000 tablets in a size normally given only "for severe neuropsychiatric conditions." The drug acts "at all levels of the central nervous system." It is effective for the "management of the manifestations of psychotic disorders" and for control of the manic depressive.

2. Quaaludes, 1,000 doses of the sedative-hypnotic drug frequently used in suicide attempts.

3. Vistaril, 1,000 doses. Used for total management of anxiety, tension and psycho motor agitation; can render the disturbed patient more amenable to psychotherapy in long-term treatment of neurotics and psychotics.

4. Noludar, 1,000 pills. A sleeping aid that produces both physiological and psychological dependence. Moderate overdoses can produce delirium and confusion; large overdoses, stupor leading to coma.

5. Valium injectable, 3,000 doses. Useful in treating neurotic states manifested by tension, anxiety, apprehension, fatigue, depressive symptoms or agitation.

6. Valium tablets, 2,000. An overdose of Valium in either form tends to make suicidal patients more likely to make a death attempt.

7. Morphine sulphate, injectable, 200 vials. This strong pain killer can be habit-forming and have complex psychological effects.

8. Demerol, 20,000 doses. A narcotic analgesic, it should be used with great caution and has multiple reactions similar to those of morphine.

9. Talwin, 1,150 doses. Similar to Demerol in morphine-like actions. The drug has a history of creating psychological and physical dependence.

10. Seconal, 1,000 pills. An extremely dangerous sedative and hypnotic that can be habit-forming. Must be used under medical supervision.

So, if a week-long stint in one of the cult's wooden "punishment boxes" (where children were sent, as well) didn't produce a "good times were had by all" attitude, then forcing a cultist to get wasted on multiple hits of Demerol or Quaaludes surely would.

What is so absolutely reprehensible is that anyone would seriously promote the "positive" sides of the People's Temple, be it the cult's California years or its hellish final phase in Guyana. For Becky Moore, and for that matter, her disgraceful father, Rev. John Moore, maintaining this charade is obviously their way of coping with two family members--Carolyn and Annie--that were cult enforcers and, in the end, executioners of the children that lie under that tombstone today in Evergreen Cemetery.

Jynana Norwood had the courage and wisdom to resist the cult, and at least rescue her son, instead of degenerating into a Temple apologist and pathological liar.

She might consider, however, before handing out educational grants from the Guyana Memorial Project, that all recipients have in their required courseload, a class that will teach all the danger signs of destructive cults.

That, of course, would be the prerequisite to the other mandatory course:

Confronting the Cult Apologist Plague on the College Campus.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Remembering The Victims Of The Cult Crime Of The Century

Yesterday I spent part of my afternoon with friends in a joy-filled, nourishing park called Cordornices, in the lush hills of Berkeley, California, where I had grown up in the sixties and early seventies. Now, as then, children frolicked on that wondrous cement slide built into a hillside sheltered by a magnificent oak tree. In all my childhood outings, I have remembered this slide as one of the all-time unchallenged thrill rides. I tried it out again, wondering if it just might still pack the same punch.

Yes, it did.

I really needed some renewal, too, after the experience earlier that day. A great sadness was still suffocating me from an earlier visit to the mass grave of more than 400 people on a hill in cemetery in neighboring Oakland.

As I placed the flower and said a silent prayer at the simple tombstone, I couldn't help but wonder how old today, and how many children they would have had, if those scores of children and babies entombed from that nightmarish day in Jonestown had been spared. I thought about it again, watching the many kids running about joyfully in the Berkeley park, and knowing that some of those babies slaughtered by Jim Jones and his executioners by now would be old enough to be some of those parents, smiling, and savoring the joys of watching their little ones play.

This Sunday, November 18, is the 29th anniversary of the massacre. Perhaps it still won't get the same media attention as the 25th or next year's big 30th. But certainly there will be the annual memorial service. The cult apologists and creators of the official historic fiction account of the People's Temple cult will be there in strength, as well.

Count on them never admitting the real truth about the events that produced Jonestown. Count on the reporters to not report the facts that they hide from the public. And count on a continuing refusal by those that are accountable--the cowardly editors, the immoral clergy, and the sleazy, self-serving politicians--who aided and abetted the setting of the stage for the slaughter.

Another dark anniversary.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

"Strike 3" For Nelson's Cult Apologist Propaganda--While ESPN Honors Big Media Coverup Of Jonestown Prelude

Three weeks ago, the Television Community shut down Stanley Nelson's "Jonestown" film fraud, denying it even one single Emmy, just as the Movie Folks had down earlier this year when their Academy refused him an Oscar. And for damn good reason. Bravo.

Now comes more bad news for the smoke and mirrors show our director was hoping would throw everyone into a half-nelson stranglehold on reality.

Late last week, the International Documentary Association released its official 25 Best Documentaries List. So where did Stan's Grand Sham fall on the list? If not number 1, was it, oh, number 5? How about 10th place? Twentieth? Don't tell me---last place?

No, it appears that the Indie folks are just as wise as those in the TV and Academy communities in recognizing a wildly disingenuous work of art. Thumbs down.

So, three times a loser you are. No matter how many naive bloggers or disreputable media mavens sound the praises for this 90-minute delusion fest, the real vote is now IN. Stan, you might want to temper your habit of making idiotic statements about the things you "learned" from Cult Apologists Central, i.e., Becky Moore and "Mac" McGehee.

"It was something that was sane, rational and made people feel good," claimed Nelson when questioned about the cult's pre-Jonestown horrors that went on for years in California, prior to the exodus to Guyana. Of course there's little chance our official media pundits will provide any real information whatsoever regarding the San Francisco Examiner's--and rest of Big Media's--disgraceful cowering at Jim Jones's cloven feet throughout the 1972-77 period, when the Temple cult was building a nightmare.

If anything, our mass media, from the New York Times all the way down to the lowliest radio station, either neglected their duty, or outright promoted Jones's "socially progessive church" facade that concealed a criminal enterprise that featured fraud, extortion, death threats, forced labor, child abuse, and very possibly, a least six still-unsolved murders in California (including "unneeded member" Maxine Harpe, a mother of three.)

And the elites that run these newspapers, radio, and TV networks today want VERY MUCH not to talk about it.

It is time for them to fess up, instead of covering up. Be brave and tell the truth for a change. How much longer will we continue receiving this vintage sludge on the People's Temple saga, that "Fair and Balanced" kind of myth-making that the right-wing partison Fox News Channel so efficiently shovels out to us each and every day?

THAT, in essence, is what facilitated the tragedy at Jonestown. The media editors and publishers today almost universally agree to continue in the cover up of their companies' craven behavior. They were shaking in their wingtips over the thought of being sued by Jones's legal strongman, Tim Stoen (who, despite his apology to my father, continues to deny much of his key role in the Temple litany of crimes.)

There has, however, been a faint glimmer of hope recently that the wall of media silence could start breaking down. Last August, Southampton Press (N.Y.) columnist Tom Clavin wrote this follow-up to a story earlier in the summer by former NBC reporter Pat Lynch. For those with a conscience, let the blood boil...

Jonestown: Was the Story Spiked?

Pat Lynch, the first female investigative reporter for NBC Evening News, was in the midst of her second consecutive hot story. She had already broken the story about the money schemes and the intimidation tactics of the Synanon cult in California, and as a result had her life threatened numerous times. In the fall of 1978, she was taking on another cult: Jim Jones and his followers of the Peoples Temple.

Apparently, she was undaunted by the threats, even though that May, while filming Synanon's property from a deserted public road in Marshall, California, she and her crew were confronted by armed men and women with shaved heads who held the journalists captive at gunpoint for three hours. Lynch later learned of a lawyer who had successfully sued the cult and who almost died after being bitten by a rattlesnake hidden in his mailbox. (The 20-year-old son of the band leader Stan Kenton and a second Synanon member were charged with the crime.)

Her "Segment 3" reports on Synanon that aired on NBC Evening News (anchored at that time by John Chancellor) had earned so much attention from viewers and others in the news media that NBC went ahead with a series on cults in America. The Peoples Temple was next up. Lynch and her crew had filmed as much as a dozen hours of interviews with Jones' followers, his detractors, and former cult members, and that tape had been edited down to a multi-part series. It was to begin airing in October 1978, shortly before a delegation led by Rep. Leo Ryan was to travel to Jonestown to investigate complaints by former cult members of abuse.

The Peoples Temple was founded in the 1950s in Indianapolis. Jones had become the head of it by 1965, when he and 140 followers moved to Mendocino County in California in the belief that they stood a better chance there of surviving a nuclear war. In 1974, the group leased 3,000 acres in Guyana, and Jones and over a thousand members of the cult moved there three years later.

Gordon Lindsay, a British journalist, had interviewed former Peoples Temple members who detailed physical and psychological torture, drug use, child abuse, and other actions that were taking place in Jonestown. Also described was Jones' use of alcohol and drugs and his increasing paranoia, plus the so-called "white nights" when Jones would have members rehearse a mass suicide. Reading Lindsay's report is what prompted Lynch to pursue the cult as a story after the Synanon series.

The Peoples Temple series was never broadcast. It still has not seen the light of day. Of the hours of footage Lynch turned in, NBC claims that only 18 minutes exist.

"It's the story of The Insider with NBC replacing CBS as the network that caved in," said Lynch, referring to the movie starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe about 60 Minutes initially refusing to air a segment on malpractices in the tobacco industry. "This is a similar story of a journalist who got hold of a great story that was going to cost the network a lot of money and a lot of grief, and they backed off."

Lynch stated: "I believe that if the story was broadcast when it was supposed to be, showing how dangerous a man Jim Jones had become, the people in Jonestown would not have died. Instead, the story was buried along with those unfortunate people."

The two top NBC executives involved at the time were Fred Silverman, president of the network, who had been a successful producer of shows like Charlie's Angels, and Lester Crystal, president of NBC News (and now a producer with PBS). Synanon members had staked out the apartment building in New York where Silverman and his family lived. (The headline "NBC Boss Life Threatened" blared in The New York Post.) Letters containing death threats had been sent to NBC, with Silverman and Crystal turning them over to the FBI. According to Lynch, her Jonestown series was spiked because NBC executives feared there would be a violent response from Jones's followers.

Instead, NBC reporter Don Harris and a crew with Bob Brown as cameraman were assigned to go to Jonestown and cover the activities of the Ryan delegation and reports that some cult members were being held against their will. "I really didn't see it coming, I was so idealistic then," said Lynch.

She tried desperately to reach Harris by phone or in person while he was in New York on November 13 to brief him on the mental deterioration of Jones and his followers, but he and NBC executives refused to talk to her. That same day, NBC issued a press release stating that a show about cults was being "temporarily halted" for valid journalistic reasons. The press release added that "NBC News has not been pressured by anyone to drop the work on this story."

Five days later and only an hour after he had deliberately asked Jones several provocative questions, Harris was dead. So was Brown, Ryan, a news photographer, and 918 residents of Jonestown, including 300 children, victims of murder and suicide. The twisted mind of Jim Jones had finally snapped.

"I was in New York, and Gordon Lindsay was the first to call me." Lynch recalled. "He was in Georgetown [Guyana's capital], and it saved his life that Jim Jones would not let him into Jonestown with the NBS crew. A plane had just come in carrying the most severely wounded and some of the dead. 'Pat,' he said, 'it's happening right now, the white night is happening.' And they all died."

Lynch resigned from NBC and looked for another job. Though a young woman, she was already a veteran newsperson. She began as a staff writer for CBS News, then was a writer and producer on the Twenty-First Century science series with Walter Cronkite. After leaving NBC, she went to work for ABC News. But after Silverman and Crystal were ousted -- the latter denied in a January 3, 1979 article he penned in Variety that any threatening letters had been received -- Lynch returned to NBC to work with Tom Brokaw.

Her next hot story was on the seemingly illegal activities of Lyndon LaRouche, who has run for president every four years since 1976 and whose organization has been accused of being an anti-Semitic cult. He was convicted in 1988 for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and tax code violations, and served five years in prison. Lynch went on to return to CBS on Street Stories with Ed Bradley and Eye to Eye with Connie Chung. Among the kudos for her are two Emmy Awards out of 10 nominations and a DuPont Award from Columbia University for investigative reporting.

"I've never written about the Jonestown story, but that doesn't mean I haven't kept thinking about it," said Lynch, interviewed at her home in Southampton. "I had sort of resigned myself that it would never be told . . . but then things changed."

What revived her desire to get the story out is that recently Lynch has received queries from editors and producers in the U.S. and from Canada, South Africa, and Australia who are embarking on Jonestown-related stories to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the founding of the cult community in Guyana. All have asked the same question of Lynch: "Did you shoot more than 18 minutes of film?"

"We shot in 20-minute sections and then put the film in a canister," Lynch recalled. "There were between 20 and 30 canisters. In addition to that, I personally screened more than three hours of dramatic footage shot inside Jonestown by the cameraman who died doing his job. What happened to it?"

Lynch said that after the Jonestown tragedy the canisters of film were put under lock and key by NBC. Only the FBI was granted access to them, and the agency made copies of the film Lynch and her crew had shot and footage that had been recovered from Harris's crew. Lynch said, "It is very hard to believe now that all that material was just accidentally lost."

She added: "The recent queries from filmmakers have inspired me to start my investigation of the Peoples Temple once again. In two years all the classified material about the massacre is supposed to be released to the public. The government has kept their secrets well for almost 30 years."

Theories abound as to why the FBI, CIA, and the State Department have kept documents about the Peoples Temple classified for decades. One was voiced by Rep. Leo Ryan's mother, who told Lynch, "It's a massive government and intelligence cover-up." Ryan had co-sponsored a bill in Congress that required prior congressional approval of all CIA covert operations, and testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee revealed that Jonestown was part of a CIA covert operation in Guyana. Ryan may have been the target of an operation that went terribly awry.

"I can confirm based on the investigating I've done for almost 30 years that the U.S. government knows a lot more about the Peoples Temple and what happened at Jonestown than it has ever admitted to," stated Steve Katsaris.

Katsaris lives is Montana and is the founder and head of Concerned Relatives. The organization was founded after the Jonestown massacre to press for more information about the alleged involvement of U.S. government and Guyanese government agencies in Peoples Temple activities and the subsequent deaths of over 900 people. Katsaris's daughter, Maria, had been the treasurer of the People's Temple and died with most of Jones's other followers on November 18, 1978.

"The whole thing has a lot of seamy sides to it, and has never been adequately explained," said Katsaris, who was in Guyana trying to persuade his daughter to leave Jonestown when the final "white night" took place. "It can only help the effort to find the truth with Pat Lynch renewing her investigations."

Lynch is aiming to tell "the real truth about the Jonestown massacre" in a book, which would include how her Peoples Temple series was compiled and then scuttled. A priority is to try to track down the missing NBC footage. Lynch has obtained from the Jonestown Institute in California, which collects primary source information on the Peoples Temple, a three-hour pirated tape with footage lensed by Bob Brown and proof via a Freedom of Information Act request that the FBI is in possession of the 12 hours of footage from NBC. The institute has launched a lawsuit to acquire all Peoples Temple material that the FBI has.

Another part of the story is the possibility that Lynch was the object of gender discrimination. There was very little support at the time in television news for female investigative reporters, and Lynch was on her own at NBC. "This wouldn't have happened to a man, I'm sure of it," she said. "I don't know why I just didn't say that then. Those were macho times. I was an alien female in a man's world, which is what investigative journalism was back then. Don Harris was a macho guy who had covered the war in Vietnam. He wasn't going to heed warnings from a woman. And that killed him."

Lending support to Lynch's efforts has been Ken Auletta, a Bridgehampton resident who is a prize-winning journalist, the author of several nonfiction best-selling books, and a writer for The New Yorker magazine.

"The real story should be told for at least three reasons," Auletta said. "First, there's the matter of accountability for 918 deaths. Second, there's the issue of journalistic responsibility. We ought know more about those who made those fateful news decisions. Finally, at a time when the media is criticized for missing the truth about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and for its own lack of transparency, telling this story is not only a way to come clean but a cautionary tale for all news organizations."

Accountability, indeed. So many in this Temple Hall of Shame that still need to come clean in the role they played in helping a cult monster devour over 900 people. ESPN today will air a program about how basketball saved the life of Jim Jones, Jr. (who was away in Guyana's capital in a tournament when the mass murder unfolded). The program will feature his son, Rob Jones, now a star basketball player who is attending college in San Diego--ironically enough, the headquarters of Becky Moore's "Jonestown Institute", which cranks out one apologist myth after another.

Her father, Rev. John Moore, took a key role in aiding and abetting Jones. Just six months before the November, 1978 massacre, Moore--after visiting Jonestown--told the L.A. County District Attorney's office: "...We came away from the People's Temple Agricultural Project with a feeling for its energy and enthusiasm, its creative, wholesome ways...and an understanding and high sense of adventure it holds for its residents."

Rev. John Moore, with daughters Carolyn and Annie Moore, two Jonestown executioners that ultimately perished with their victims, the infants, children, and elderly.

Three months later, Moore assured Gordon Lindsey (the same British journalist that had contacted Pat Lynch on the day Jones carried out the slaughter) that "Jim Jones is in touch with the pain and suffering of people...I think that anyone who can lead 1,200 people from their country to settle in a new country has got it together."

"....Creative wholesome ways....and high sense of adventure it holds for its residents...." --Rev. John V. Moore

There are many, many other Jones allies yet to be discussed. Predictably, you won't find much of this, if anything, in today's ESPN special on Basketball & Jonestown. Because Media Giant ESPN, after all, is still a part of the "team".

Finally, the Jonestown Apologists Alert would like to present the last of the four exposes censored by the gutless wonders-in-charge at the San Francisco Examiner. This one is perhaps the most revealing of the true depravity of a cult tyrant.

Just imagine how history would have changed, if only those editors had possessed the backbone to wipe out a scourge when there was still time. Read it. Feel the outrage.

Cult Leader Jones (Right), hobnobbing with then-San Francisco Police Chief Charles Gain (Center) and one of his most ardent supporters, Rev. Cecil Williams (Left), Pastor of San Francisco's Glide Memorial United Methodist Church. Like virtually everyone else that made possible the Slaughterhouse That Jim Built, Williams currently runs the popular coward's course. Together with Willie Brown, Rev. John Moore, and media elites, they follow in the tradition of fellow Jones ally, the late-S.F. Mayor Moscone, who after the Jonestown Massacre insisted "....I'm not taking any responsibility."

By Rev. Lester Kinsolving
Examiner Religion Writer

UKIAH,CALIFORNIA, SEPTEMBER, 1972 -- When the Rev. Jim Jones, charismatic pastor-prophet of the nearby People's Temple Christian (Disciples) Church in Redwood Valley, was teaching classes in the local school district's night school program, he illustrated his instruction with extensive and numerical accounts of his personal sex habits.

One of his former students, Mrs. Betty Bailey, distinctly recalls that in his advocating that young boys be taught to masturbate, the Rev. Mr. Jones provided graphic, detailed accounts of his own masturbating. ("I masturbated five times a day until I got married," Jones reportedly told his pupils.)

Mrs. Bailey, a stocky, feisty and good-humored lady, recalled that this unusual pedagogy was offered by The Prophet in his teaching of this class--in U.S. History.

"I wasn't impressed either by those two bodyguards who always preceeded him into the classroom," commented Mrs. Bailey, "nor did I believe this stuff about his own extrasensory perception. So I said that I'd be impressed if he could tell me my grandmother's maiden name. Instead of doing so, he shot back: 'You're fighting me!'"

Mrs. Bailey also recalls the The Prophet became so furious that he screamed at her, and on a separate occasion referred to another student as a "son of a bitch," while angrily chasing this student to the classroom door.

"Jones comes on TV as something like St. Francis and the angel Gabriel," commented Mrs. Bailey, "But as a Catholic, I didn't really appreciate his telling the class that the Catholic Church opposes birth control in order to try to rule the world."

Why is such conduct tolerated by the local school district?

"I've written complaints to the school board and even to Dr. Rafferty," recalled Mrs. Bailey, "but Max Rafferty simply referred it back to the local board--and they ignored it. After all, so many board members are either members of the People's Temple or are afraid of it."

Another of The Prophet's former night school students was Pat Rhea, now 21. She recalls that teacher Jim Jones included lengthy discussions of both extrasensory perception and syphilis--in a Civics class.

The course (for credit) had neither assigned texts nor examinations--for teacher Jones informed his pupils that they would be graded entirely on their performances when he engaged them in discussion. Rhea recalls that somehow Jones overlooked her entirely in this regard--but she received a grade of "B".

The Prophet's recurrent references to sex are vividly recalled by many witnesses.

Denise Kindopp, who has attended People's Temple, recalls:

"Almost every Sunday, there was some reference to sex. More than once I have heard Jones tell the congregation that 'I have been propositioned by many women.'"

In addition to this recurrent emphasis upon his personal sex life, The Prophet is remembered by some witnesses as having almost invariably been critical of the U.S. Government--in striking contrast to what they recall as no such criticism of such nations as Soviet Russia, Maoist China, or Castro's Cuba.

Jones, they recall, has expressed his admiration for Fidel Castro, having told his congregation that he once ministered in Cuba.

And while no one has contended that the Rev. Mr. Jones is a Communist, there are reports that The People's temple has distributed a paperback volume entitled "Introduction to Socialism,"--which members are ordered to burn when they finish reading.

While this rumor may be apocryphal, a copy of one other paperback book has been given to The Examiner, with a written affidavit that it was distributed to members of The People's Temple. (Note: The paperback was turned over to the FBI by the reporter.)

It is a songbook, entitled: "A Little Boy of Sunshine, Little Grain of Truth."

The affidavit notes that The Prophet Jones has "led the congregation in singing each and every one of these songs."

"Simple Grains"

"We are glad for emancipation from the profit motive lie...
We'll have to work together to survive, to overcome the systems and their lies...
It'll be a great day when the system's overcome...
We will shout Hallelujah living in communal beauty... There's a highway to Utopia walking in a revolutionary way..."

As for the Rev. Mr. Jones' alleged extrasensory perception (or divine omniscience, if you will), there are witnesses who are skeptical on the basis of experience.

One lady traveled to Redwood Valley from the Bay Area, with relatives in the Temple knowing of her impending visit. While she was en route, her 18-year old daughter received a phone call from a purported survey firm.

The line of questioning soon became so personal that a visiting neighbor asked to be included and proceeded to provide a series of answers which reflected a serious if entirely mythical set of personal problems.

Within the hour, during the Redwood Valley church service, the lady was asked to come forward by Prophet Jones--who proceeded to reveal the names of both her daughter and the neighbor. He then solemnly outlined the neighbor's reported problem.

Such ethics extend to children of The People's Temple, especially those in custody of members who have been ordered to divorce or separate from a spouse who is unwilling to follow The Prophet's orders.

There are witnesses who have had the bitter experience of listening to their children give prepared speeches (as one 7-year old inadvertently admitted) of resistance to their non-Temple-member parent.

These have taken the form of youngsters threatening to accuse a father of indecent exposure, or a mother of countenancing rape.

One divorced father discovered that his visiting daughter, accompanied by the daughter of one of People's Temple's assistant ministers, had made copies of his most confidential papers.

If such methods as practiced by People's Temple children seem horrifying, it may be due in part to the hardening provided by such rugged experiences as "Survival Training"--led by the Prophet Jones himself.

A 17-year old, who spent a month in People's Temple residences, recalls that while he was on what is called "Survival Training," all teenagers were ordered to walk into a cold river, at midnight.

The next morning, they were allowed to plunge in their bathing suits, but forbidden to change into dry clothing for the rest of the cold, overcast day.

For the youngest among them, who were non-swimmers, the experience was even more drastic.

These small children were strapped into life jackets and dropped into the middle of the river, in depth far above their heads--no matter how loudly they screamed.

This horrendous scene hardly fazed The Ukiah Messiah, however.

He subsequently informed the group that this was mild in comparison to the discipline he had imposed upon one young child of The People's Temple.

The little boy threw up at the table, which prompted Jones to force him to eat his own vomit.

When the child gagged and again threw up, the Prophet again forced him to eat his vomit.

The Rev. Mr. Jones is an ordained clergyman of the Disciples of Christ (Christian) Church, while attorney Timothy O. Stoen is a member of the Board of Directors of that 1.9 million-member denominations's Northern California-Nevada Conference.

President of this conference, headquartered in Oakland, is the Rev. Dr. Karl Irvin.

When asked about the People's Temple and the Rev. Mr. Jones, Dr. Irvin mentioned an emphasis upon faith healing, social services, large congregations and "a high feeling for Jim Jones."

"They give a sizable financial report, although there isn't much of a breakdown provided and I don't know how they keep their records." explained Dr. Irvin. "There is a great deal of local autonomy in our denomination."

But The Examiner has received a photostatic copy of a 4-page letter of deep concern, sent to this headquarters on Sept. 4, 1970, asking among other things that an M.D. be asked to analyze the exhibited "cancers" which Jones claims to have taken out of people's bodies.

The letter was acknowledged in a letter written by the conference's acting president, Elizabeth Kratz.

While the Disciples of Christ have thus far announced no investigation of the Rev. Jim Jones, who proclaims himself Jesus Reincarnate, the Indianapolis Star has investigated this new version of Father Divine.

The Star reported "numerous property transactions involving real-estate transfers which wound up in his name, or that of a profit-making corporation controlled by the Rev. Mr. Jones, his wife, and his mother."

This corporation, titled "Jim-Lu-Mar", reported The Star, "lost its corporate charter on June 1, 1970, because, according to the (Indiana) Secretary of State: 'No annual reports were filed.'"

Sunday, September 16, 2007

An Emmy for the Stanley Nelson's Cult Hokum Cinema?

“Why should we even bother?” wrote Variety Asst. Managing Editor Stuart Levine last July. “Seriously, why should we even care?”

About what, Stu? Oh, that's right. You were lamenting over tonight’s Emmy Awards Show’s nominations.

“It’s obvious at this point,” he fumed, “that the TV Academy not only doesn’t watch TV, its members don’t read either.”

Levine was definitely on to something. It’s far more than can be said for the rest of that collective media rat pack. Tonight we’ll witness the most flagrant sign of this deplorable condition: The trotting out of Stanley Nelson’s Emmy-nominated “Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple.” At least the Academy Awards folks were astute enough to correctly throw a thumbs down on awarding or even nominating cult apologist Stan’s outrageous fraud.

Win some, loose some. There’s of course a larger, infinitely more serious problem. And, movie fans, it’s worsening all the time, thanks to “revolutionaries” like Nelson who conduct lethal mind control with high-tech yarns that corrode authentic history with sulfuric acid efficiency. Not all that different from the hokum we get from hell-bent, corrupt politicians like Bush—he just won’t stop his deadly misguided rampage, any more than any of these prima donna directors will dismount from their “artistic license” steamrollers.

To the deadly roar of their “editing for time & continuity” credo, Nelson and the Reality Makers crush onward with their creative swath and never, ever look back, cutting, chopping, and dicing any and all “inconvenient details” posing the slightest blemish on pricey scripts or partisan politics.

History, and the public, continues sadly to be damned.

The gobs of films demolishing reality, of course, didn’t start with “Jonestown.” Too many to list, but here are three notables:

“Braveheart”. You don’t have to go far in the History vs. Hollywood files to see how Nelson’s fellow “revolutionary” Mel Gibson turned truth to mince meat by embellishing a 13th century warrior with every bit the ruthlessness that Stan dressed up his 20th century cult star.

Chances are, like me, you were deeply moved by Gibson’s Best Picture Oscar winner. Reviewer Paula Stiles, however, has been one of the many to run up more than one red flag. Her synopsis:

Braveheart is a rousing tale of a Scottish medieval outlaw in the first and final thirds of the film. Historically, it's a mess.


Prima Nocte (First Night) is a myth that during the Middle Ages, local lords could force a new bride to have sex with them on her wedding night. Quite aside from the potential for justifiable revolt every time a lord did this, it was flagrantly adulterous in the eyes of the Church and a good way to die in a state of mortal sin with your angry wife's knife in your back. In other words, it never happened. While rape, murder and all sorts of pillaging certainly occurred during the English invasion of Scotland, Prima Nocte did not. That Braveheart prettifies the chaotic brutality of medieval warfare with a 19th century power fantasy is a little disturbing.


The Bruce did not betray Wallace. A servant, Jack Short, betrayed him (and possibly a Scottish lord named Sir John Menteith) according to English chroniclers and 15th century minstrel Blind Harry.

The Bruce didn't dither for years while Wallace forthrightly acted. Being a major claimant to the throne, he had far more to lose, and was a bigger target, than Wallace. Wallace was not born poor or landless. He was a second son whose older brother would inherit everything.

The REAL Braveheart--sorry ladies, he's no Mel Gibson....

Wallace was not a highlander. He was a lowlander who wore mail armor in battle. He wore neither highland tartan nor the blue woad of Roman-era Picts. He certainly didn't wear a kilt. Braveheart deliberately makes Wallace look like a rowdy peasant outlaw and not the medieval knight that he was.


Isabella the "She-Wolf of France" (She was King Philip IV (the Fair)'s daughter) was as formidable in real life as in the movie and then some, as her husband, Edward II, found out when she took a lover and had Edward deposed and murdered in 1327. But Edward I never would have sent his daughter-in-law to negotiate with a rebel and outlaw. That would have given Wallace far too much legitimacy. Plus, Isabella was only ten when Wallace died in 1305, so she couldn't have borne his child, either. The future King Edward III wasn't born until 1312, seven years after Wallace's death, anyway. Isabella didn't even arrive in England to marry Edward II until 1308, three years after Wallace's death and a year after Edward I's death. So, not only did she never meet Wallace, she probably never met her father-in-law, either.

PIERS GAVESTON (c.1284-1312)

Edward I never shoved his son's alleged lover, Piers Gaveston, out a window. Gaveston outlived him by five years, eventually being executed in 1312. We're not even sure that Gaveston and Edward II were lovers; Isabella and her lover might have drummed up the charge posthumously to justify her husband's murder.

Aye, captain. We got snookered, big time. But like “Jonestown”, it was a powerhouse production. So, hey, what’s the big deal?

The Hollywood’s High & Mighty leapfrogging from exaggeration to disingenuous to bald-faced lies is a sport-for-killer-profit simply too hard to resist. Again, it’s an equal opportunity pathogen. Close your eyes and see which politicians you’ve watched belt out the familiar smoke & mirrors standard when they’re neck-deep in nefarious political muck, here at home, or somewhere afar. Southeast Asia. Middle East. There’s just no limit.

Moving up the Hollywood Fantasy History Timeline from Medieval Britain to the grinding depths of America’s Great Depression, the enormously talented director Ron Howard offered up “Cinderella Man”. It’s a cinematic masterpiece, alright, sparkling with poignancy, as it should. You probably wanted to cheer at the screen as Braddock beat the odds. Still, a grave problem. It turns out that Howard had no compunction whatsoever in grinding out some very cruelly distorted facets in his little gem, namely in his appalling maligning of boxer Max Baer.

Ron Howard's reprehensible ersatz version of Max Baer, Sr.

Howard smears Baer as a brutal, lewd, and vicious sort of beast. Some boxers, sure, might be candidates for this kind of portrait. But Baer, no, he didn’t deserve this at all. The same book upon which the movie was based clearly demonstrated the real man as kind, charismatic, and beloved, a far different demeanor from the brute we watched in the film. True enough, he did accidentally kill someone in the ring, Frankie Campbell (the second boxing death was never proven).

But there was more to the story.

What Howard covered up was that Baer refused to move from his fatally stricken opponent’s side until the ambulance arrived a half-hour later and later went to the dying Campbell’s bedside in the hospital. When hearing of his passing, Bear broke down and sobbed uncontrollably. Doesn't sound like a ruthless killer to me.

The REAL Max Baer--not Genghis Khan, after all....

Nor would Howard bother to tell us about the aftermath, as related in this account:

The next day, local sportswriter Bob Shand reported that "Nobody feels sorrier over the tragic ending of the bout than Baer. The big kid is heartbroken and ready to quit the racket" and that "in one of his earlier bouts, Baer was reprimanded for not stepping in and finishing his man. He never forgot that advice."

After Campbell's wife and his mother refused to press charges, the District Attorney charged Baer with manslaughter. Appearing before San Francisco Municipal Judge Albert J. Fritz, Fritz remarked to Baer, "You are in a difficult position." to which Baer replied, "Its not so bad for me your Honor, but it sure is tough for Mrs. Campbell." Referee Toby Irwin claimed that because it was well known that Frankie Campbell 'played possum' during fights so that his opponents, thinking he was hurt, would leave themselves open to attack, "waited until he was certain that Campbell had been knocked out for fear the audience would claim the fight was faked."

Charges were later dropped and Baer received a one year suspension of his boxing privileges in California. According to his family members, Baer was in a deep depression and did not leave the family home for over 2 months, endlessly smoking, drinking and eating very little. Baer later said for weeks he was "unable to sleep for more than an hour a night" as visions of the fifth round replayed themselves over and over in his mind.

Baer later held an exhibition fight which raised over $10,000 for Ellie Campbell and reportedly put her children through college. After the exhibition fight, when Ellie was asked whether she forgave Baer, she replied, "I have no resentment toward Mr. Baer. There's only room in my heart for sorrow."

Director Howard shamelessly manipulates viewers ignorant of the facts, so they'll feel nothing more than revulsion and animosity for Baer. You see, if someone's true character, or a cult's true character for that matter, doesn't "fit in the scope" of the director's artistic license, ho-hum, that's the breaks.

Finally, the mind-boggling movie that does another bit of a reversal, from bad to benign. For the past 45 years, the public has been duped into believing a genuinely ruthless, depraved killer was largely a sweet, misunderstood turtle dove.

Director John Frankenheimer’s classic “Birdman of Alcatraz” got a truckload of award nominations, that’s true. Unfortunately none of them fell under the “Best Mythologizing” Award, which might have thrown a lifeline to audiences drowning in a whirlpool of delusions. One of the many accounts on the true colors of this raging psychopath:

The real Stroud had been described as a vicious, unrepentant killer who, according to all accounts, was disliked by most of his fellow inmates. He was kept in segregation not out of vindictiveness but because he was considered extremely dangerous. While incarcerated, Stroud was also known to write pornographic fiction, much of it involving children. These surviving documents point to the fact that Stroud may have been a latent pedophile in addition to his other crimes.

Yes, indeed--spitting image of Burt....

One inmate, upon hearing of the "Free Robert Stroud" campaign that accompanied the film, reportedly quipped, "They don't want to pardon Robert Stroud. They want to pardon Burt Lancaster."

The stupefying power of film, when placed in the care of unscrupulous, dangerously adept hands.

Who knows when Stanley Nelson was seduced by these malevolent winds. Or, for that matter, which propaganda film really inspired him. What is certain is that he was completely swallowed up by Cult Apologists, Inc. Rebecca Moore and Fielding “Mac” McGehee, who run the San Diego-based “Jonestown Institute”, are possessed by the bizarre notion there is some inherent goodness in cult captivity. They claim there was plenty of “camaraderie, laughter, good times, and high purpose” to celebrate in People’s Temple, even when the members were enslaved for their final death march through the Guyana Gulag.

Stanley Nelson, Creator of the Citizen Kane of Cult Apologia Theatre

“They delivered on their promise,” claims Nelson, as well. “They shared a lot of love.” “Love” you say, Stan? The kind that features the regular torture of children, mixed in with extortion, forced labor, malnutrition, fraud, and quite possibly at least six murders (still unsolved) in California?

Moore and McGhee’s website provides this cheery little synopsis of the cult’s path from Indiana, to California, to Guyana:

How did Peoples Temple begin?

Peoples Temple began in the 1950s in Indianapolis, Indiana under the leadership of Jim Jones. Jones and his followers engaged in numerous activities to help the poor. In addition, they made racial integration central to their work and mission. The church affiliated with the Disciples of Christ denomination while in Indianapolis. In 1965 Jones, his wife Marceline, their "rainbow family" of adopted children, and about 70 followers moved to northern California in search of a place which might be safe in the event of a nuclear war. The movement spread from Redwood Valley, in the California wine country, to San Francisco and then to Los Angeles, but it was most active in San Francisco, where it became highly visible in political and social justice causes.

In 1974 a small group of Temple pioneers moved to Guyana to begin clearing the jungle near the Venezuelan border for an agricultural settlement. In 1977 many members migrated to Guyana, with the permission and welcome of the Guyanese government. By 1978, only a handful of Temple members remained in Redwood Valley, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Almost a thousand people lived in the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, which came to be known as Jonestown.

Well, gee wiz—-it sounds so very noble, with all those sugar-coated terms like “church,” “the movement,” and, a flourish of Americana, “Temple pioneers”! And Stanley clearly agrees, which explains why he provides a near-identical smoke & mirrors presentation that carefully steers away from any “inconvenient” details regarding extortion, child torture, or murder. And he definitely made sure that nasty ol’ buzz word “cult” was papered over with “church”.

Nelson’s film is exactly the kind of snow job that a cult apologist coterie would custom-order, a dazzling package brimming with false and misleading propaganda, now delightfully immortalized. Find “Jonestown” a well-lit spot in the Disingenuous Documentaries Hall of Fame and have Mac & Becky cut the ribbon.

The other half of this scandal is the mass media’s disreputable, gutless behavior in mishandling the rise and fall of the People’s Temple. But once again, Stanley Nelson is more than happy to help keep these "inconvenient details" covered up. Which must please Mac & Becky to no end.

But last July, former NBC Nightly News producer Pat Lynch apparently had more she could stand after observing Lord Nelson’s Great White Wash. She provided this devastating inside look at the cover-up:

Jonestown Filmmakers Missing the Mark

by Pat Lynch

The phone calls about Peoples Temple and the Jonestown, Guyana tragedy began coming in last spring. Young people who hadn't been born when the tragedy happened November 18, 1978 asked the same question: "Didn't NBC shoot more than 18 minutes of footage inside Jonestown?" They represented companies from the United States, Canada, South Africa and most recently Australia.

As the NBC Nightly News producer who began shooting a series on destructive cults in March, 1978, the story had come full circle. I personally screened more than three hours of dramatic footage shot inside Jonestown by the cameraman who died doing his job. What happened to it? These queries started my investigation of Peoples Temple once again. In two years all the classified material about the massacre is supposed to be released to the public. The government has kept their secrets well for almost 30 years.

For me, the story began May 2, 1978. My crew and I were filming the Synanon cult's property from a deserted public road in Marshall, California, when armed men, women and children with shaved heads held us captive for three hours. The story flashed across the AP wire, phoned in by Pulitzer Prize winner Dave Mitchell, owner of the Point Reyes Light weekly. My employer, NBC News, ignored the story. I didn't understand why, but it was a foreshadowing of what would happen when my far more dangerous story about Peoples Temple was ready for air in October, 1978.

The war between me and the management of NBC and its lawyers had begun. What I didn't know at the time was that our new corporate president Fred Silverman was calling the shots. And Les Crystal, the new young president of NBC News, was doing Silverman's bidding and caving in to corporate pressure. My work on Peoples Temple and the destructive cults was in serious jeopardy as was I, the first woman investigative producer on NBC Nightly News. But I didn't know it.

Synanon, I learned later, had taught such cults as Peoples Temple and Scientology how to manage the media through intimidation and litigation. (Two members of Synanon would be arrested only weeks before the Jonestown massacre for putting a live rattlesnake in a critic's mailbox, almost killing him.) I was able to get a watered down series about Synanon on Nightly News that June though NBC lawyers toned down the reports to avoid a lawsuit. After the series aired, Les Crystal made his first move to kill any further work on the "destructive cults," which now were calling themselves religions. Only the I.R.S.'s grave concern about cults avoiding taxes by labeling themselves a religion stopped Crystal from killing the project outright.

It wasn't clear to me why Crystal wanted to kill these reports. So I got to work.
I interviewed former Peoples Temple members and Concerned Relatives who told stories about brainwashing, drugs, guns, beatings and suicide drills called "white nights." They also told these stories to the State Department and U.S. government officials in socialist Guyana, where the Reverend Jim Jones had moved almost 1,000 of his followers. Many in this colony feared their loved ones would die if "outsiders" tried to enter Jonestown.

My interviews were completed in October. I wanted to get the Peoples Temple story on the air as quickly as possible. California Congressman Leo Ryan announced he was going to Jonestown in November to see for himself what was happening to the people in his district. I was warned by Concerned Relatives and former members that the trip would end in disaster unless Ryan was provided with heavy security. I believed NBC's airing of my dramatic material would help provide that security.

"NBC BOSS LIFE THREATENED" proclaimed the New York Post banner headline November 2, 1978. "GUARD ON TV CHIEF."

Fred Silverman, I later learned, was so upset being stalked, the mass cult picketing, written death threats (that were sent to the FBI without me knowing about them), the Synanon rattlesnake attack, and cult followers reportedly getting into his apartment building and threatening him and his family that he let news management know my report shouldn't air. Instead, Congressman Ryan's Jonestown trip in November would be covered as a news event by a California crew rather than as a more hard-hitting investigative report. I tried to reach the reporter. My calls were not returned. I felt like a pariah rather than a journalist who had unearthed an important story.

On November 13th, the NBC crew passed through our New York office en route to Guyana. Again, the reporter did not return my persistent calls. And then, what had been predicted in my spiked report, happened. On November 18th, 918 people -- including hundreds of children and senior citizens -- were murdered. Some committed suicide. Congressman Ryan, the NBC reporter and cameraman, a photographer and a Temple member who wanted to leave were assassinated on the airstrip by Jones' enforcers, firing from a truck sent by their demented leader. Jones' mass suicide was a massacre, unlike anything in American history.

I was told that the original footage was kept under lock and key by NBC's law department and that a dub was bought by the FBI for its own investigation. We were given another set of dubs to edit for air. Only then was I put back on the story -- because I knew the story and the people.

NBC News' failure to air my reports before this tragedy aroused media criticism. Les Crystal replied that "intimidation had nothing to do with his decision to stop the investigation of the destructive cults." He wrote in a bylined article in Variety, January 3, 1979, that NBC had begun some "preliminary filming on the growth and influence of cults in the United States, but there never were any threats made. There never were any demands that we drop the project." He ended by saying that "after much heart-searching and sleepless nights, we have concluded that it was not possible for anyone to foresee the unprecedented events that took place in Guyana."

Not possible to foresee the events? I wanted to scream, "You killed the story, Les." But without the evidence I have now, I knew I'd sound like a disgruntled employee kicking the graves of the NBC staffers who died there. I left NBC News voluntarily. Later that year, Les Crystal was fired. Fred Silverman prevailed until 198l. In March of '81 syndicated columnist Jack Anderson got on to information about my suppressed investigation and interviewed people I had worked with, but too much time had elapsed. By then the government had classified everything important. His story died quickly. So when, 28 years later, I started getting calls about missing NBC footage, the story that haunted me for so many years came back in a rush.

The NBC archivist stuck to her story that she had only 18 minutes of Jonestown film. 18 minutes? I had personally screened 30 film cassettes about the destructive cults and at least three hours of dramatic footage shot in Georgetown, Guyana and in Jonestown the week of November 13, 1978. The dramatic confrontational interview with Jim Jones by the poorly prepared, aggressive NBC reporter whose ignorance of danger and Jones' mental condition, made worse by drugs, also was missing. What had happened to the original film? I called the soundman and field producer who survived Jonestown. They corroborated my recollection of the amount of footage shot -- and the interview with Jones.

Then I got in touch again with the archivist at NBC. She stuck by the 18-minute story but would "keep looking." I told her I viewed a pirated version of the NBC coverage that ran over three hours. Nevertheless, no one from the network archives could give me an answer about that missing film. The NBC lawyer assigned to the Jonestown project "couldn't remember." (The Jonestown Institute, which collects primary source information on Peoples Temple -- and which provided me with this pirated tape -- sent me proof they had obtained through the Freedom of Information Act that the FBI is in possession of 12 hours of footage from NBC. They are suing the FBI for everything.)

Leo Ryan's mother, Autumn, told me in 1981: "We will never get to the bottom of what really happened in Guyana and why Leo died. It's a massive government and intelligence cover-up." Ryan's top aide, the late Joe Holsinger, claimed in testimony before a House Foreign Affairs Committee that the C.I.A. had conducted a covert operation in Guyana, and that Jonestown was part of it. Ryan had co-sponsored the Hughes-Ryan Amendment -- the law which requires prior congressional approval of all CIA covert operations. CIA operations in Guyana remain classified.
I didn't realize the extent of the media cover-up until I began revisiting these issues 28 years later.

How could NBC lose -- or worse, destroy historical footage of an event like Jonestown? Why? And what about my interviews with the people who predicted from firsthand experience what would happen if the Ryan party entered Jonestown? The documentaries aired recently as the anniversary approaches are a revisionist history of the event. "Lovely people. Tragic story."

The real story has yet to be told and must be told for at least three reasons. First, there's the matter of accountability for 918 needless deaths. Second, there's the issue of journalistic responsibility. Those who made these fateful decisions at NBC, including former company president Fred Silverman, former NBC News president Les Crystal and NBC lawyers, are still alive.

Finally, at a time when the media is criticized for missing the truth about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and for its own lack of transparency, telling this story is not only a way to come clean but a cautionary tale for all news organizations.

There are only a few things here I disagree with, such as the CIA conspiracy theory. She should have also put a caveat besides her reference to the cult apologist “Jonestown Institute.” And, yeah, next time Lynch might bother to mention that she wasn’t ALONE in getting Temple exposes censored. Still, what is important is how Lynch points to the obvious: That Nelson’s film is a revisionist history.

If only the public would wake up to this.

The cult apologists want everyone to remain comatose and kept spoon-fed their special diet of revisionist horse manure. Sometimes they come out swinging, too. Mac & Becky’s pal Gillian Lindt, for instance. The former Religion professor left a scathing (but very revealing) comment on this blog that included the amazing claim excusing the “shape” of the film:

There was no way he [Nelson] could include everything in the scope of his documentary, so he had to choose how to deliver his information and how to format…Nelson's telling of the story showed me the existence of evil as I had not seen it before.

No doubt about that. People producing films that deceive and cover up demonstrate an obvious existence of evil.

Every now and then, too, a crank comment slithers into the blog, something too inane and devoid of any substance to merit publishing. Yet another crony of Mac and Becky’s, a wound-up little fellow named Josef Dieckman, of Woodburn, Oregon, has a website dedicated to the Ham Radio traffic in Jonestown. He’s left more than one comment here, but unlike Lindt, “Joeyjosef”—as he called himself—couldn’t come up with anything more than pitiful, sophomoric cracks.

“Joeyjosef”, or Joey, or whatever you call yourself today, I’m glad to see from your website that our Jonestown Institute has given you something to do: “…all materials and my work surrounding them will be forwarded to the guy I answer to…..Fielding McGehee….”

But next time, Mac, Becky, why not just dispense with using minions—at least those with a semblance of gray matter—and stand up on your own?

Regarding tonight’s Really Big Show. Should “Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple” actually win the Emmy, all future awards shows should add a new category:

“Exceptional Merit In Flimflam-Fiction Filmmaking.”

One final thing. Here’s another of the censored 1972 Temple exposes that would have turned the tide against the monster Jones, had it not been for the media’s grotesque cowardice…..oh, but of course—it didn’t fit into “the scope of his documentary.”

Congratulations, Stanley.

By Rev. Lester Kinsolving
Examiner Religion Writer

SAN FRANCISCO - [September, 1972] One of Northern California's leading black clergy has confirmed reports that the Rev. Jim Jones, prophet pastor of the People's Temple Christian (Disciples) Church of Redwood Valley, has accused him of sexually propositioning two of the Temple's young girls.

"I welcome the fact that this thing can be settled in the courts -- for I have an eyewitness to what he said," noted the Rev. George L. Bedford, Pastor of the 1500-member Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church on Sutter Street and President for the past decade of the influential Baptist Ministers Alliance.

During a lengthy interview in his attractive home near Mt. Davidson, in the company of his assistant pastor the Rev. William Sterling Jones and Deacon Butler Thomas (who said that he had heard Prophet Jones make the accusation), the venerable pastor told The Examiner:

"Our people opened their homes to Jones and 40 of his parishioners when they came to visit out church. My wife and I welcomed six of them -- including one elderly couple -- into our home. This is the setting in which this man has contended that I propositioned two young girls!"

Was the Rev. Mr. Jones among these house guests?

"No, he stayed at the San Francisco Hilton," replied Dr. Bedford, "I know he stayed there because our Church picked up his bill."

Dr. Bedford is a member of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, to which post he was appointed by the former Mayor John Shelley. He is also Treasurer of the California Baptist State Convention and delivered the keynote address this year at the national convention of the 6.3 million-member National Baptist Convention in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Rev. Mr. Jones was not available for comment in Redwood Valley. But he made precisely this same accusation on Sunday Sept. 17 before more than 1,000 of his flock at People's Temple services in the auditorium of Benjamin Franklin Junior High School on Geary Blvd. He did not mention Dr. Bedford's name, however.

Dr. Bedford said that his first encounter with the charismatic part-Cherokee Disciple of Christ pastor came shortly after the death of Martin Luther King, when he wrote an article suggesting that racial tensions could be eased if black and white congregations would on occasion worship together.

"The following Sunday, Jones was in our church with 18 of his members, three of them black," recalled Dr. Bedford. "He asked if he could come again next week along with more of his congregation. He asked if they could bring sleeping bags and sleep in our parish hall. But our insurance doesn't permit this and so we opened our homes," recalled the Macedonia Church pastor.

Dr. Bedford went on to recall that Jones urged him to make reciprocal visits to the People's temple in Redwood Valley, which his congregation did, twice, with six rented buses and some 40 private cars.

Following these visits, Dr. Bedford said that he was surprised to learn that the Rev. Mr. Jones had begun to hold meetings in the nearby Regina Beauty College -- owned by the clerk of the Macedonia Church, Mrs. Virdella Duncan.

The pastor was infinitely more surprised, he recalled, when one of his Deacons, David Garrison, subsequently approached him with an offer to buy the Macedonia Church -- for the Prophet Jones.

Dr. Bedford declined this offer -- and forthwith learned that the Prophet Jones had more than 40 of his parishioners attending regular services in Redwood Valley, along with Church Clerk Duncan and Deacon Garrison (who remain members of the People's Temple.)

He soon learned that the handsome and virile Jones had come on to the black community like an ecclesiastical pied piper -- for he learned that other pastors have reported substantial losses in parishioners to the People's Temple.

The Rev. L.S. Rubin, Pastor of Olivet Baptist Church on Ellis Street, told the Examiner:

"I can recall some 40 of our people who were attracted enough to start attending up there, but I am happy to say that they have returned. This man Jones is what is known in ministerial circles as a classic "sheep stealer."

Dr. Bedford said that he had learned that both the Friendship Institutional Baptist Church as well as the Third Baptist (oldest black church West of the Mississippi) had also lost members.

"But I think we took the heaviest loss, because we opened the arms of fellowship to a stranger -- and found that we had embraced something of a Geronimo!" declared Dr. Bedford.

He added that he had heard reports that the Prophet Jones had predicted he would not survive through 1971. "But I have managed to survive, and five of our parishioners have returned -- while I have recently buried three more, who became involved with Jones and the People's Temple."


Saturday, June 2, 2007

Jonestown: A "Paradise" Lost?? How Much Longer Will Cult Apologists, Inc. Continue Perverting The True Story Of People's Temple?

It's time.

Silence be broken. Stanley, Mac, Becky, I know how much you've missed me. Please do understand. I've been miserably depressed over the Virginia Tech slaughter and its aftermath. Our self-serving politicians and corporate-suffocated media elites continue suffering a worsening case of what can be called the "Institutional Memory Lapse Syndrome".

It seems to be infecting a lot of other issues too. Yes, for example, mass killings on a much greater scale, in far away places--South America--that could have been easily prevented, right here in our own backyard.

Still amazes me, though, that even when a mental patient can commit the most horrendous school massacre in U.S. history, and all the devastating grief that follows, and all the questions & discussion about how to resolve the threat, WHAT THEN TAKES PLACE? Not one damn thing. The powers-that-be shrug and exit stage right.

What do some of our international "peers" make of all this? Here's one voice:

The Courier Mail (April 25), published in Australia, carried an opinion piece by Dr. Patrick Bishop, head of the Politics and Public Policy at Department at Griffith University, in Brisbane, which struck a pessimistic tone on whether the Virginia Tech killings would have any major impact on gun control laws in the United States:

"On the likely policy outcomes, despite talk of increased gun control (guns are in fact already banned on campus, under Tech rules), I don't anticipate there will be a co-ordinated national or federal response. Attempts to bring about national legislation after the Columbine massacre in Colorado eight years ago have lapsed.

Politicians in the U.S. Senate who have already raised the issue have been charged with insensitivity, with comments that we must wait to observe appropriate grieving and the issue should not (yet) become 'political.' This is not only the result of the action of strong gun lobby groups but the more broadly held view that an increase in gun control is a control on freedom.

"So, unlike the Port Arthur massacre in Australia 11 years ago, this incident will not result in stricter gun laws."

Depressing, and insufferable, especially when you consider all the other lobby tentacles wrapped around our honorable elected officials. Tammany Hall has never been so nicely refurbished.

What finally got my blog blood flowing out of its deep freeze back into a steady simmer started sometime about a week ago, when I was watching a Stephen King film that's been a standard on late night TV, called "Cat's Eye." Its a trilogy of your classic Kingish suspense stories, but I think only the first one is any good, concerning a guy being terrorized into quitting smoking by a crazed clinic.

Ah, James Woods. One of my favorites. But of course, at the beginning, his pal pushing him to undergo the cessation "therapy" promises, just as he goes in, "It'll turn your life around." To which the smart ass Woods character (which he overplays with screaming hilarity) has to answer:

"That's what Jim Jones said just before he spiked the punch!"

Okay. Not that those "Drink The Koolaid" references aren't all the rage, now, and mind you, this film was made in the 80's. I'm used to it, like the rest of us. But then comes mid-week and the History Channel, my favorite channel--really, it is, except on occasion--presents "History Rocks". And, yep, it's the 70's Week, one and all! They describe the show this way:

Take a whirlwind look at the 1970s through the music, footage and personalities from the time. HISTORY ROCKS pairs unforgettable news stories from the '70s with blockbuster songs from the same era. Each segment combines the thrills of a music video with the power of a documentary to create a visceral and cinematic experience. Each hour contains seven mini-documentary music videos that focus on the history of the decade.

The program takes a popular song, a known radio hit from the '70s, and explores a key historical person, place or event that clearly ties-in to that song (ex. Blue Oyster Cult's haunting classic, "Don't Fear The Reaper" paired with the tragic events of Jonestown). These visually exciting "mini-documentaries" are created our of stills, footage, expert interview bites — all set to an inspiring song that immediately takes you back to that era. HISTORY ROCKS balances a young, energetic "pop" style with real history creating a dynamic, engaging visual experience of a truly transformative decade in American history.

Ladies and gentlemen, the profoundly "Rockin'" lyrical portrait of the People's Temple, sung with some comprehensive graphics, in just under three and a half minutes, by that band (which I saw live way back when) we affectionately dubbed "The Cult":

Don´t Fear The Reaper Lyrics

All our times have come
Here but now they're gone
Seasons don't fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain
We can be like they are

Come on baby... Don't fear the Reaper
Baby take my hand... Don't fear the Reaper
We'll be able to fly... Don't fear the Reaper
Baby I'm your man...

Valentine is done
Here but now they're gone
Romeo and Juliet
Are together in eternity...
Romeo and Juliet

40,000 men and women everyday... Like Romeo and
40,000 men and women everyday... Redefine
Another 40,000 coming everyday...We can be like
they are

Come on baby... Don't fear the Reaper
Baby take my hand... Don't fear the Reaper
We'll be able to fly... Don't fear the Reaper
Baby I'm your man...

Love of two is one
Here but now they're gone
Came the last night of sadness
And it was clear she couldn't go on
The door was open and the wind appeared
The candles blew and then disappeared
The curtains flew then he appeared
Saying don't be afraid

Come on baby... And we had no fear
And we ran to him... Then they started to fly
They looked backward and said goodbye
We had become like they are
We had taken his hand
We had become like they are

Come on baby...don't fear the reaper

Sure, I like rock. The bigger question, however, is whether the effect of treating this complex history like a cheap video game is going to snuff out a thorough understanding of the dynamics of cults, which allows them to swallow up body & soul. Or the menace of ruthless demagogues like Jim Jones, hawking camouflaged highway-to-hell rides in express transports provided by power elites. If the following view is any indication, things are far from promising. It's from a blog ("Out of the Inkwell"), written by someone claiming 30 years in mass communications. Well, now--go and hold hands with the rest of those film critics who've proven that gullibility runs the gamut.

"Nelson said he remembered hearing about Jones and the Peoples Temple on the radio in the 1970s. He said that members of the San Francisco-based church were living out socially progressive ideals.

'It sounded so sane,' Nelson recalled to Reminder Publications in a telephone interview.

That perception changed when the 1978 mass suicide and the murder of Congressman Leo Ryan was reported. Nelson said the story of 'the crazy man' stopped with his death and the deaths of many of his followers.

In his research Nelson found that Jones was 'a very complicated man. It was hard to make it simple.'

Nelson went back to Jones' Indiana hometown and said that Jones 'was never normal. He was a strange guy who hid [his true feelings].'

As an adult Jones became a controversial preacher who broke down racial barriers and fought for social change. He and his wife adopted African-American and Asian children, making them one of the first multi-racial families in his home state.

He formed a successful commune in California and then decided to bring his ministry to a large city, San Francisco, where he became a political force.

Although Nelson said that 'on the surface, [the church] was very, very attractive'
to many people, there were problems revolving around Jones' sexual practices and faked healings, among other issues.

With his church under greater scrutiny, eventually Jones decided that he and his congregation could only practice their brand of religion and socialism outside of the United States. Jones acquired property in Guyana and built a small town there.

Nelson believes there was no one trigger to Jones' deteriorating mental state that led to the move to Guyana and the abuses that culminated in the suicide. He thinks Jones' problems started with childhood and grew more severe.

'With more and more power, things got worse,' Nelson said. 'In Guyana, he was totally isolated. He built a little kingdom.'

Nelson said that people who have seen the film have been affected by it.

'It's such a dark story. People joined [the Peoples Temple] with all of the best intentions and were led astray.'

'There's no happy ending to it,' he said. 'It's a cautionary tale.'


There's an old saying in show business that a performer should always leave an audience wanting more. I'm not sure if that's the best approach in documentary film making, but at the end of 'Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple' I did want more.

Nelson's film goes a very long way in humanizing the people who joined Peoples Temple. Through numerous interviews, it becomes clear the congregation was not made up of people who could be simply be written off as mindless members of a cult. Instead these were people who were swept up in the idealism of the 1960s and early '70s and saw this church as a true vehicle of change.'

"Swept up" wasn't the word for it, pal. This is what one might call the witchcraft school of cinematography, practiced to perfection by Stanley Nelson; he purposely, deceitfully avoided the facts that would compromise the "idealistic" portrait he and his wife, Marcia Smith, and co-writer Noland Walker (a former cult member) were painting. No, they neglected completely to mention the mafia-like operations that went on in Ukiah, years before the move to Guyana, and so much more. Our fawning Nelson Fan Club Member doesn't seem to have a clue. Or want to.

All those former cult members interviewed in Nelson's film, and even the people in the "extra" segments on the DVD, such as Becky Moore, offered nothing that would ever restore credibility to this utterly dishonest film maker's product. Becky Moore, whose two sisters Annie and Carolyn perished, it turned out were among the cult's primary executioners.

Moore pretends, to this day, they weren't brainwashed. They "just really seemed to like" life in that Marxist slave camp. No, no, brainwashing doesn't exist. Cults? Oh, they're really just "New Religious Movements". Now, for all this "expertise", Prof. Moore (and her cohort, husband Mac MacGhee), not only were the "official advisers" to Lord Nelson, but also to Director Tim Wolochatiuk's "Jonestown: Paradise Lost".

This TV film, which is becoming a regular on the History Channel, is, between the Stan and history rockin' mutilation versions, the hands-down lessor of the three evils. Nevertheless, it is woefully inadequate in terms of an accurate summary of what led the cult to Guyana. It was broadcast this past Friday and will be broadcast again this morning at 9:00 A.M.--for those of you interested in viewing another fable about this "New Religious Movement" that lost its paradise.

While Nelson is off the deep end in his quest to be the champion "revolutionary documentarian," Wolochatiuk should know better. But like print media reporters such as the bright and shiningly mendacious Reiterman & Kilduff, they just want the easy way out. Which means either covering up the story of the San Francisco Examiner exposes that the media failed to pursue, or outright lying. Never met Reiterman, but Kilduff escaped almost like a quarter horse when I questioned him outside the Berkeley Rep two years ago (that was in the midst of an appalling Temple apologist play, which is subject for a whole separate post).

The Jonestown Apologists Alert is currently in contact with former members of the People's Temple who will strip off the Nelson sugar-coating and reveal some of the terrible realities of life as a captive of Jim Jones during the "activist" Ukiah years portrayed so vividly in this fraud of a film.

Now, once censored by craven Examiner editors under continued threats by Temple strongman Tim Stoen, is the second in the series of Fall, 1972 exposes on Jim Jones's stranglehold on the little hamlet of Ukiah.

Had the media, or government officials, or clergy--including Becky Moore's father--just stepped forward, this clearly-revealed cult terrorist could have been driven out of town. But instead, they empowered him, and provided fuel for a holocaust.

Bob Woodward calls his book about the conniving, deluded behavior of Bush and his cronies in Iraq, "State of Denial". Let's see. Maybe his next book could cover some mass denial on the West Coast. Here, on record, is the following rave review on the brutal, torturing cultist Jim Jones, by former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, in July 1977: "When somebody like Jim Jones comes on the scene...and constantly stresses the need for freedom of speech and equal justice under law for all people, that absolutely scares the hell out of most everybody...I will be here when you are under attack, because what you are about is what the whole system ought to be about!"

If you were troubled by the lack of accuracy at the start of "Jonestown: Paradise Lost", or even that absurd title, consider writing to their management. It was anything but that, as you'll learn in this devastating story.

By Lester Kinsolving
Examiner Religion Writer

REDWOOD VALLEY, September, 1972 -- The Rev. James Jones, charismatic prophet-pastor of People's Temple Christian (Disciples) Church here, has repeatedly told his congregation that he is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ -- and that San Francisco is due for impending destruction by an atom bomb, The Examiner has learned.

Eyewitnesses to these stated claims by the Rev. Mr. Jones have signed affidavits and submitted to tape recorded interviews, both in the Bay Area and in the vicinity of Redwood Valley, near Ukiah.

Some have asked for and have been guaranteed anonymity. Two who did not, Opal and Marion Freestone, were married by The Prophet Jones. They were parishioners of his for more than a decade and followed him from Indianapolis to California.

Yet they are no longer parishioners of the Prophet Jones -- because with Marion's disablement in an accident, they cannot afford to pay the 25 per cent of gross income which the People's Temple demanded.

Marion Freestone recalls that five years ago he accompanied Jones and five of the flock to one of the caves which pockmarked the area around Ukiah. He recalls seeing Marvin Sweeney and Rick Stahl lower themselves out of sight in this cave -- which he recalls was designated as the refuge for members of The People's Temple when the bomb destroys San Francisco and other major cities. Reference to this cave were heard by a number of additional witnesses.

(Freestone still has the large medicine kit filled with bandages and vitamin pills, a staple of People's Temple secret diet, as prescribed by The Prophet Jones.)

He and other witnesses recall The Prophet Jones's repeated warnings not to look south, toward San Francisco, when the bomb drops -- due to the blinding flash.

He also recalls that The Prophet has assured all of the flock that he will warn them of this doomsday enough in advance so that they alone can escape destruction.

The Freestones and other witnesses also recall repeated instances in which Jones, (after the congregation had been carefully checked for any strangers) has shouted:

"Who am I?"

To this, the mammoth and bedazzled congregation has screamed:

"You're Jesus Christ!"

Once you can get a congregation to believe such things, the dividends can be impressive, as attested by the renowned wealth acquired by Philadelphia's famed Father Divine -- who admitted that he himself was God Almighty.

Yet that movement wilted somewhat when the alleged demigod Divine proved to be shockingly mortal -- by dropping dead.

This lesson was hardly lost upon a dynamic young faith healer named Jim Jones who, according to Eugene Corder of Indianapolis, visited Father Divine in the late 1950s. According to other witnesses, Jones has spoken affirmatively of the cherubic-looking, ingenious, and affable black deity.

While Gods are not supposed to die, Jesuses can either resurrect or ascend -- which may explain the Rev. Mr. Jones' more modest posture as Jesus Reincarnate, when compared to his apparent model in Philadelphia.

Yet the financial rewards are hardly modest, given such required donation as 25% of the gross income and some 4000 members.

Such a financial bonanza must, however, be rigidly guarded and its members impressively disciplined.

That members of People's Temple are carefully regimented was evident on the sidewalks of the Examiner, when 150 of Jones' flock picketed for hours, quietly and under impressive control.

They were protesting this writer's reporting of various criticisms of The Prophet Jones. But among these pickets were those who, just the previous week (before the Examiner had published anything about Jones or the Temple) wrote 54 letters.

Those letters are as strikingly uniform in structure as was that impressively regimented picket line. The letters all either commend this writer's reporting, or his weekly column -- most of them quoting Jones' own high commendations in this regard.

When apprised of this, Opal Freestone laughed and recalled that one of the regular requirements of People's Temple members is "letter writing sessions," where members are required to turn in as many as 10 letters per day.

These letters, she told The Examiner, are censored. If they are approved by Jones and his lieutenants, they are sent to anyone on whom The Prophet wishes to impress his desires (or the willingness of his followers to obey him).

Another regular requirement of People's Temple members is attendance at "Catharsis Sessions." During these meetings, which can last for hours, members either voluntarily confess even the most intimate sins (especially those which are sexual) to the assembled congregation -- or else they are called up and made to confess amidst ferocious critiques from other members.

Mrs. Freestone also recalls that she was given orders not to associate with non-members of the Temple, except as absolutely necessary in her secular job. As for those who leave the congregation, they are either to be shunned -- or warned that something dreadful will happen to them.

This technique has worked effectively for generations of voodoo leaders and witch doctors. And in Ukiah, given the present circumstances, it works especially well.

The city's population is 10,300 -- while the reported membership of The People's Temple is 4,700.

This awesome segment of the body politic has managed to infiltrate almost every power structure in the Ukiah Valley.

People's Temple members are employed in almost every business or industry in the area. (After eating with two witnesses late at night in one restaurant, this writer was informed that the waitress was a member of People's Temple -- as were two couples sitting one booth away.)

The cult has members on the school board, among the Grand Jury (of which The Prophet Jones has served as foreman), in the Sheriff's Department and -- most significantly, in the apex of law enforcement: The District Attorney's Office.

But in the Mendocino County Welfare Dept. there is the key to Prophet Jones' plans to expand the already massive influx of his followers -- and have it supported by tax money.

The Examiner has learned that at least five of the disciples of The Ukiah Messiah are employees of this Welfare Department, and are therefore of invaluable assistance in implementing his primary manner of influx: the adoption of large numbers of children of minority races.

Welfare Department statistics have been obtained by The Examiner which show that most categories of welfare recipients have remained generally static -- in a comparison of June 1967 with June of this year.

But in one category -- aid to families with dependent children -- the case load has soared -- from 563 in 1967 to 1, 027 this June.

In addition to ordering his followers to adopt as many children as possible, The Prophet Jones is recalled by witnesses as having recurrently issued orders as to how they are to vote.

And even if any of his massive flock should in a sinful moment care to disobey Jesus Reincarnate, their astounding public obeisance to the Rev. Mr. Jones is hardly lost upon observing political leaders -- who can easily measure the effect of a 4,700-member voting block in a town of 10,300.

If the civil government is awed, the communications media have proven downright subservient.

Ukiah has two radio stations (one with the call letters KUKI) and a daily newspaper (circulation 7,461) called The Daily Journal.

KUKI has provided The Prophet Jones with hours of free time in which to denounce his critics, in tones so hypnotically dulcet as to recall commercials attesting the gentle action of Fletcher's Castoria.

When dissenters dare to criticize the Rev. Mr. Jones on a KUKI talk show, they are ridiculed by the talkmaster.

As for The Ukiah Daily Journal, some 23 clippings about The Prophet Jones were recently hand-delivered to The Examiner (by an employee of the Mendocino County Probation Dept.) They are so effusive as to suggest that they could have been dictated by The Prophet himself.

Most recently, The Daily Journal decorated 3 top columns of its front page with a photograph of The Prophet Jones. He is accompanied by two of his adopted sons, all clad in coats and neckties, posed squatting on the front lawn with three large dogs.

Such polished political ploys apparently appeal to many -- for The Prophet Jones seems to have admirers who are not (yet) of his fold.

But there are other residents of the area -- including one who has known the Rev. Mr. Jones for nearly two decades, from the vivid vantage point of the inside of The People's Church. And for Marion Freestone, at least, the atmosphere in the Ukiah area is eerie.

This was obvious when the elderly man pointed to an object on the floor next to his chair, a holstered .38 caliber pistol.

"We're scared of those people at People's Temple," he said. "As soon as we can save enough money, we're moving out of here."

This reaction confirmed what former Ukiah Baptist pastor Richard Taylor described to the Attorney General's office as:

"An atmosphere of terror."

By others, who have also been inside the Rev. Jim Jones's People's Temple, this Ukiah Messiah is regarded as more maniacal than messianic -- in his exercising a ministry which they feel is better described as a monstrosity.