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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."


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