Episode 131 - Jonestown Massacre aka Peoples TempleAug 22, 2023
Well, here we go three one two three What's up? Everyone, welcome to this
episodeof True Crime and Cocktails. We are very happy that you are here, as always. I'm your host Lauren Ash and, as always, I'm joined by my co-host. with the most Christy Oxbow desks how do you feel um really yeah, yeah, I just mean, I think it's only 40. um, sure, uh, but it's also just a preview of what's to come, sure, sure, We have to have a beastly
episodethis week. Listen to what we make of you, it's kind of weird, um, it's probably the longest I've ever done and listen, if you're an OG listener, you know I tend to be the one with a Dickens likes verbosity in my writing or the verbosity in my writing, so this is weird, it's weird that you're the one who wrote something wrong, but I know this case never ends, there's so much information, yeah, oh yeah, we could have relied on it. our entire podcast about this.
I wouldn't, but we could have because it's just endless, yeah, like there's this endless story that I did a little bit earlier when I was commenting on the anxiety I was feeling about this episode and my my husband was like, oh, you've been feeling like for a while I did it's like a never ending story, I absolutely did it, that's it, I love it, I did it, I love it, um like mine, yeah, also some would say a shared brain, oh. absolutely yes, we are not a whole brain separately, you know, together, maybe yes, yes, absolutely together, a fully functioning brain that is also so anxious it might implode, um, yes, now listen to a quick little update for me because everyone on this podcast has come along for the journey to my music career, whether they like it or not, oh of course they love it, so Tuesday morning I wake up, I know the charts are out, I set an alarm and I look through them and there's a lot to go through and I can't find, I can't find anything and I'm like, well, I guess that's it, I guess it didn't happen next time and yesterday I was at Disneyland for a day like I want to do and it works out. an alert that someone tweeted me and I was like, What is this?
It's an article about Billboard newbies who made the Billboard charts and then I realized that when I was checking the charts there was a whole section of them that I missed on Tuesday. tomorrow and absolutely debuted at number five on the Alternative Digital Downloads chart and number 14 on the Rock Songs Digital Downloads chart, what do you think? It is exciting. I actually went and cut a little video, uh, before, which was basically pulling clips of me in this. podcast that talks about how I want to be on the Billboard charts and then I edited it into the chart screenshots.
I put it on The Tick Tock there, but what a true joy in my life, what if I said, this is this is the dream. It really is and I think all the listeners that supported me and bought the song because that's literally the reason I'm there was because people bought the song and for that I'm forever grateful to them for being a part of it. help make my dreams come true and what a beautiful thing there's a lot of ugliness in the world that we talk about a lot on this show but I think it's similar to today's episode exactly yeah so I think it's important to recognize the beauty and I .
I think it's a really beautiful thing. Oh, I think this is great. I love that you had a goal and you went for it. I did it. I had it. He hasn't finished his shirt yet. That says something about billboard. No, oh, you're right, I should. I definitely have something that's like wondering about when I chart it on Billboard Billboard Chart Artist. I just felt like I'm not saying t-shirts for everyone. I say yes, because I know that sometimes you like to randomly show up and you're wearing a shirt that you made for yourself oh yes, I often make them happier so I thought maybe I love that you know that yes, oh, that's going to happen because it's the truth, but listen, it won't end there, it won't end there, no, my next single.
It's coming very soon, dangerously soon, it's coming out on June 30th, but the pre-sale date is still changing, it will be sometime next week, before this airs, so people will probably already know if they follow us on social networks. but anyway, let's do it again friends, let's do it again, you know. I have already announced the song correctly. Yeah, oh, I just wanted to make sure you guys knew that they already said what I did and I just said it. again yeah, I'm devastated you're great you're doing great you're doing great listen or rather you're doing your best we're just two women we haven't said that in a long time we haven't It's always good to read um, It's always good to revisit some of our oldest phrases, yes, yes, because it's nice and comfortable when they come out.
It's like a hug. Yes, as if not. When was the last time you had a bag of worms? Thanks for using. as a verb it's a big question, I don't even like to change it, yes you know I do, so our slogan I can use it, however I see that it wasn't accurate the first time I used it, so I'm going to push it more precisely . I love that, yeah, look, it's where I get my yayas from today, it's where you get them from or where you get them from. Yes, I love it so much that in reference to the fact that you have written whatever you want in a slogan.
I did it again, that's how I get my yayas. I mean, I guess maybe this world where people want to get the Yayas, but I thought, you know, let's get the Yayas out, but I mean, again, it absolutely is and see if you think. I'm not going to consider that after we finish recording we go out and then take that sound button and stick it, no we don't, we don't, um look, I've been wading through this world for probably a week and a half in this period and I think it has slowly started to eat my brain, yes, shout out to the Canadian band The Odds and their hit single Eat My Brain.
I love it, I thought: Where are we going? Don't know. because my ADHD brain, as everyone knows, activates song lyrics, so I was going to sing that song and then I thought that's a specific demographic. I think I'll give them full recognition. I respect that too for someone who's like a constant brain lyrics yeah I mean the billboard was inevitable great point maybe I should write a song about that that's how I'll get my yayas yeah yeah that's the best that's the best just no Does it make sense is it part of a problem or maybe it's part of the magic I don't know, I can't say anymore, yes, absolutely part of the magic, always, yes, always, listen before we get into this because we're going to jump quickly because there are a lot to overcome.
What are you drinking? out there, uh, well, I have water as a backup, uh, because I have a lot of things to say out loud, so I need to keep it wet, no, I need to keep it wet, wow, okay, I meant my voice, well, buckle up the belt. Dear listeners, uh, and then what shouldn't I be doing? I have a Coke with a splash of cherry whiskey. I don't know if they realize I'm out of this. You're blushing a little, so it feels like it's doing the trick. He's doing this. I also just talked about being wet on the show and I didn't mean to keep it wet, baby Jesus, what a mess, well listen here, I have water like always, I have a large Diet Coke from Chipotle of all places and a High Noon handle, nice, yeah, just keep it real, you know, just keep it round, listen, let's dive.
Let's break this down quickly, like I said, because we have a lot of information to convey, of course, we're discussing the
templeof the people in this episode of the podcast. This was our April patron survey on patreon.com, doing a great job on patreon.com. True Crime. and Cocktails uh we have a monthly subscription based service where you can vote for an episode we do once a month here on the main stream of the show we have additional episodes live monthly uh Q&A on all of the above so Check it out if you're interested, this was of course April's winner and we're going to get to it right away.
Oh, it looks like I'm keeping it too wet. Oh my God, here we go, Reverend Jim. Jones believed in equality for all, he started a church called the people's
templewith the mission of feeding the hungry, caring for the elderly, helping the needy and making the world a better place and while Jim's initial dream may having been admirable, his addictions to sexual drugs and power allowed him to go astray. Jim's insatiable need for control led him to create a popular temple settlement in South America, where he planned to isolate his followers to gain his eternal devotion.
When Jim became embroiled in a tense custody battle, it set in motion the act of a desperate man who knows he's going down, so he decides to take hundreds of people with him, yeah, this, this ain't gonna be light yeah I'll say that I'll say that um a disclaimer from above as always this episode will contain mentions of suicide sexual assault substance abuse physical abuse and child death so trigger a warning for those that they need her, so Lynette Putnam, who was later renamed Lynetta, for no reason, believed that she was destined for greatness, so around the age of 16 she tried to escape from her little one. city by marrying a man named Cecil Dixon, however that did not work out and they divorced after two years the following year, Lynetta married Elmer Stevens, but their marriage ended after just three days in 1926, Lynetta believed that she I had won the jackpot.
James Thurman Jones, a World War I veteran who had suffered severe damage to his lungs after a German gas attack, was not only single but also belonged to a very wealthy family. Unfortunately for Lynetta, the James family wanted the young couple to win. his own fortune, so instead of giving him a large sum of money or a house, James's father made a down payment on a small farm outside Crete, Indiana. Unexpectedly, Lynetta and James worked the land themselves. However, they had no farming experience or money to hire help, so they often struggled and since James was injured, he was unable to work for long periods at a time, which meant Lynetta had to take on extra jobs and resented James for that.
When Lynetta became pregnant, she thought that surely her wealthy in-laws would finally step in and help her. Financially they did not and although Lynetta spent most of her life believing that her in-laws hated her, in reality it was quite the opposite. James's father was impressed with Lynetta's tenacity and not helping her financially was the father-in-law's way of showing respect, but Lynetta didn't see it that way. On May 13, 1931, Lynetta gave birth to James Warren Jones, known as Jim or Jimmy in 1932. Jim's father suffered a nervous breakdown and needed to be hospitalized for months. Lynetta took on most of the child's care even after James returned home.
Unfortunately for Jim, Lynetta didn't have much maternal instinct, so she spent most of her childhood alone, which made him crave attention in her adulthood. Here we go, she also got away with a lot of things, like stealing chocolate bars. a local store but never got in trouble for it because it turns out that once a week Lynetta would go to the store and simply pay for what Jim had had that week, the idea that Jim believed he could break the rules without facing any consequences and his insatiable hunger for attention were just small glimpses of the man Jim would later become.
Jim grew up in the small town of Lynn, Indiana, where he scared other children by holding elaborate funerals for small dead animals. The worst thing is that the kids say that some of those times Jim was responsible for the deaths of animals, oh boy, during World War II, when all the kids his age were playing soldiers. Jim was more fascinated with Hitler and the pageantry of the Nazis, especially how large masses were obedient to one man again, definitely foreshadowing. As for what Jim would be like as an adult, some other random things about Jim worth pointing out at school.
Jim had a complete disdain for authorities as he often defied teachers. He also stood out because he chose to wear his Sunday Best every day of the year. during the week and because he refused to talk to kids who talked to him first and would only respond to someone if Jim was the one who talked to them first. Yes, he believed even from a young age that he was destined for greatness, so he had plans to do it. He became a minister in the summer of 1948. Jim and his mother moved 16 miles south to Richmond in December of that same year.
Jim graduated from Richmond High School six months ahead of the rest of his senior class after graduation. Jim worked at Reed Memorial Hospital. As a night orderly he seemed to have a knack for the job and quickly impressed the senior staff and it was at Reed Hospital that Jim would meet his future wife Marceline May Baldwin was born on January 8, 1927. Not much is known about Marceline's childhood, but she was described by many as a loyal, kind, gentle and generous person whenMarceline was a final year nursing student at the end of 1948, she asked for a nurse to help her prepare a corpse, the nurse she was given was Jim Jones and while Marceline was 21 and Jim was just 17.
They quickly fell in love, which they did , it's disgusting, but it's interesting that this time it was the other way around. Yeah, you know, we're always backwards. Yes, in January 1949, Jim resigned from Reed Memorial and moved to Bloomington, where he got his start. taking classes at Indiana University six months later, Jim and Marceline were married on June 12 in a double wedding with Marceline's sister, Eloise, and her husband, Dale Klingman, shortly after Marceline's parents said no. They believed that people of different races should sometimes marry. I'm not sure how the topic came up but Jim got so angry that Marceline wasn't allowed to contact her family for years and honestly one thing about Jim is that I respect his true belief that everyone, regardless of race, should being treated as equals, that does not compensate. for the horrible things he ultimately did, but at first Jim seemed to have a genuinely positive message in May 1951.
Jim's father died of a respiratory illness at the age of 63. According to author Jeff Gwynn's quote, no one remembers seeing Lynetta or Jimmy at the funeral. but it wasn't long before Lynetta filed a widow's claim on her husband's military pension and, speaking of Jeff Quinn, she wrote a book called The Road to Jonestown Jim Jones and people's Temple. I read it as part of my research for the episode. You're looking for more details about the story. I recommend it, it's a horror show because of the theme, but I mean you'll find out soon enough. In the summer of 1952, Jim was hired as a student pastor at Somerset Methodist Church. in Indianapolis and while delivering sermons there every Sunday, Saturday and weekday, Jim held revivals and prayer meetings in tents and fields on the outskirts of small towns in Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Ohio, and when I say revivals, I I mean the exact stereotype that you see in the movies.
Loud, joyful music, a large passionate audience, and a preacher who claimed to have healed people with the simple power of prayer, but I'll talk more about his revival later. There came a time when Ronnie, Marceline's nine-year-old cousin, needed a home. His father died. when he was only four years old and his mother was considered unstable, so Ronnie went to live with Jim and Marcelyn. After a year, the couple planned to officially adopt Ronnie, however, Ronnie said no because he wanted to be reunited with his mother and his two brothers. disappointed, but Jim was outraged and immediately sent the boy back to live with his mother, whether she was ready or not, but by then Ronnie's mother had gotten better and the family prospered, but Jim was still angry, so he left.
He contacted Ronnie's school and spoke to the principal trying to convince Ronnie to come back and live with him. Ronnie again refused. It got to the point where Ronnie was completely terrified of Jim and ran away from him at a family gathering because he simply couldn't stand to be around him without Ronnie in his life. Jim and Marceline decided that they wanted to increase their family, but since Marceline had medical problems stemming from her childhood, it was believed that pregnancy would not be an option, so in 1954 Jim and Marceline adopted an 11-year-old girl named Agnes Pauline as well. in 1954.
Jim and Somerset Church decided to separate. If you ask Jim, he would say that he was asked to leave after trying to bring African Americans into the congregation, but if you ask Somerset, he would say that Jim was fired after members accused him of lying. and steal money, but I'll let you decide who you think was telling the truth. Spoiler alert. He didn't let her dismissal get him down. He decided that instead of going to work for another church, he would simply start his own. It was initially called Community Unity. until Jim bought a building at 10th and Delaware streets that had the word Temple carved in stone outside.
Jim wanted his church's name to reflect both the word Temple and his own philosophy, so it became the People's Temple, and to be clear, there is no apostrophe in people, as the apostrophe symbolized ownership and Jim's goal was to free people from their obsession with material possessions and I have to tell you that nothing drives me as crazy as getting rid of that apostrophe for someone who tries to spell that word repeatedly, but I digress. What he's done at the lowest level is what makes me angry, but the apostrophe is what really bothers you, sure, yeah, currently, it's the worst thing you did after that, it's right after he removed the apostrophe, everything It was downhill from there, of course.
I'd let that be a grammar lesson, yeah, yeah, I mean, there was animal death before that, okay, it's always been bad, it's been bad, always bad, uh, soon it wasn't enough for Jim to just be the leader from the people. Temple wanted to be someone who could make real change in the city, although if you ask me, it was more like the beginning of Jim's insatiable thirst for power, which if you already know this story you'll know no amount would be enough for him. Jim became interested in civic issues such as street repair, school maintenance, and zoning issues.
He realized that the city's African American community was not adequately involved when it came to these issues, and as you may recall, Jim's initial platform in his rise to power was that everyone, regardless of race, be treated equal. The problem was that Jim didn't know how to get politicians and people in positions of power to do the things he wanted them to do. He enters Marceline as the daughter of a former city councilman. Marceline knew exactly what. To do so, he began attending all the local meetings he could with neighbors, neighborhood associations, school administration, town halls, everyone.
Jim did not attend any, as it was said that he had no patience for any meeting in which he was not the featured speaker, yes. uh, which says a lot about Jim's personality, Marcellyn took notes on the topics she read through the policies and then taught Jim what she had learned, so when Jim finally showed up at a meeting, people were very impressed that Jim had made educated suggestions and a solid understanding of the issues and while Marcellyn did all the work, Jim got all the credit and a boost to his reputation within the community as the People's Temple grew, many of his Members were elderly people who ended up in publicly funded nursing homes when Jim and Marceline visited them, they said the conditions were deplorable and they couldn't sit still and watch their members suffer, so they decided to renovate their own house so that it would qualify for certification and soon, with the help of his assistant Esther Mueller, took in several elderly members of the Temple as inpatients. meaning they received money from the government and surprisingly at the time it was legit, Jim and marcelyn really cared about these people and wanted to see them taken care of properly.
The house received regular visits from Marion County Welfare Inspectors, who were very impressed with the setup, esp. with Marceline, who they said was kind and very competent, but the Jones house could only accept a limited number of patients, so they formed a corporation and took over several nursing homes, this not only provided jobs for the members of Temple but also helped generate money for several Temples. shows with the money Jim was able to buy radio time on local stations where he was given 15 minutes every weekday to spread his gospel. The money from the nursing homes also allowed Jim to open a coffee shop which he called the Free Diner, as the name suggests. they were able to eat there for free on the first day they served 18 people the second day they served almost a hundred soon the restaurant was feeding about 3,000 people a week people who were invited to choose people were also invited to choose from a selection of second-hand clothes the temple had children's programs that included dance troops and a children's choir, all of which was organized by Marceline as she had a deep love for children to the adult members.
Jim urged them to vote by helping them with everything from registration to transportation to the In polls at this point, the People's Temple seemed like a positive thing, its main focus was racial equality and helping the less fortunate, and if that had been enough for Jim, then the People's Temple people would probably still exist, but as I mentioned before, nothing was enough for Jim Jones to enter Father Divine now, no one knows for sure, but it is estimated that Father Divine was a man named George Baker who was born around 1876 in Rockville, Maryland , for the sake of consistency.
I will continue to refer to him as divine father. sometimes he is Divine because just saying father baffles me, it's okay. Around 1912, Father Devine began referring to himself as the messenger and set out to spread his gospel that the true Heaven could only be found on Earth. He began to say that he was God and that he had the power. to heal, which earned him a large number of loyal followers. Divine moved from Harlem, where he found accommodation for his followers in exchange for them following his strict rules: no swearing, no smoking, no drinking, no sex.
Divine claimed or claimed to follow his own rules saying that while he was married to his wife, it was only a spiritual union and they had never consummated that relationship. Of course, I'm immediately skeptical, but there's no way to know for sure. There were supposedly rumors that Divine was being inappropriate with his young followers, so somewhere around 1915, Divine married a Penina who was not an older follower, potentially just to stop the rumors. Divine then created a collective job where he placed his followers in various jobs where all the money was pooled to cover expenses like food, lodging, and clothing.
He then expanded The Collection Collective to include job training and physical therapy for those who needed it soon. The hotels and restaurants owned by his Collective were the least fortunate. They paid what they could in 1920. The man who now called himself divine father had thousands of followers, all living together. a commune in Sayville, New York, when Father Devine toured the Revival circuit, drew crowds across the country and soon there were offshoots of the Sayville commune known as peace missions. At one point, disillusioned members went to the police and claimed they had been mistreated. Like most men in power, Divine said all the claims were lies, but in 1932 he was convicted of fraud and sentenced to a year in prison;
However, he was released a few weeks later for no reason, shortly after Father Divine's movement purchased a ton of farmland in Ulster County, New York, which they called The Promised Land, his group of theologians made their own food to try to become completely self-sufficient in 1942, another former member of the divine flock accused him of stealing money and property, a judge ruled in favor of the member. So Divine moved to Philadelphia, oh I stole you and they know, ah, I guess we're leaving town, but soon Divine's wife Panina got sick, but Father Divine was a healer, he showed it in his Revival shows, unfortunately he couldn't. heal his wife and Penina died in 1943.
But when Divine married secretly in April 1946 it had to be kept secret mainly because he had not yet publicly announced the death of his first wife, another problem: his first wife was a woman. older African American, his second wife was a much younger white girl from Canada, oh God, Divine was worried that his mostly African American followers would not take kindly to his sudden marriage, but in August 1946, Father Divine introduced to his new wife, who he claimed was still his first wife, non-stop, are you confused? Well, Divina claims that when he promised to cure his sick wife, he had not failed because Penina had simply decided to move her spirit from her old body to the new one, hence his new wife.
Despite being very different, she was actually still his first wife, so Devine asked his followers to refer to his new wife as divine mother, conveniently Father Devine then began talking about reincarnation in his sermons almost like an afterthought and to somehow justify these claims, and I admit it. I believe in reincarnation, but what I don't believe is the idea that a spirit entered the body of a person who was alive for many years at the time. Yes, Divine's new wife was born Edna Rose Richings in April 1925 in Vancouver, British Columbia, in At the age of 15 she became fascinated with Father Divine's sermons and left her job as a stenographer in early 1946 and traveled to Philadelphia hoping to meet him, which she did and then,somehow, she almost immediately married him at the time of his marriage to Edna. she was 21 years old.
Divine was about 70. Oh God, he claims they never had sex. I don't think so, but you know he could be wrong. But the new mother Divine or rather the mother in her new form was much more active in the movement and soon became loved by hundreds of thousands of followers. In 1953 the theologians lived in a huge mansion in an exclusive suburb of Philadelphia while controlling all aspects of his followers' lives circa 1956 Jim Jones requested a meeting with Father Devine after all that Father Divine was doing everything that Jim was doing with the People's Temple, but Father Divine was doing it bigger and better and Jim wanted to know what his greatest interests were in movement-run businesses and community life after the meeting.
Jim adopted some of Devine's practices, including asking members to recommend for him and Marceline as father and mother, Jim also changed his sermons and began pushing the idea that the devil was everywhere trying to undo the work of the Mister. Jim then decided that his public image as a happy family man was critical to his success, so he suggested that he and Marceline should add more children to their family through adoption and that's when Jim came up with the idea. from a rainbow family. Jim wanted to show his followers how much he believed in racial equality, which is why he wanted to adopt children of so many different races.
In October 1958, Jim and Marceline traveled to California, where they adopted two Korean-American orphans, a four-year-old girl they named Stephanie and a two-year-old boy they named Lou Eric, shortly after Marceline discovered she was pregnant in May 1959. While Marceline was bedridden due to her pregnancy, Jim took his other children and a group of members on a weekend trip to the zoo in Cincinnati on the way home. Stephanie Jones was traveling in a vehicle with other members when her car was hit by a drunk driver. Six members of the People's Temple died in the accident, including Mabel Stewart Barbara Payne Pearl Nance Dallas Johnson Robert Zinser and a four-year-old boy.Stephanie Jones Jim and Marcelyn, of course, were devastated Three weeks later, Marcelyn gave birth to Stephen Gandhi Jones and although it is pronounced Stephen, it is spelled with an n at the end in honor of Stephanie, so it basically looks like Stephanie shortly after they contacted the adoption agency in California where they learned that Stephanie had a six-year-old sister who lived in a Korean orphanage.
Jones immediately adopted the girl and named her Suzanne in November 1961. Jim and Marceline decided to adopt her once again, so they visited her. a local orphanage with plans to adopt another girl while they were visiting an African American baby started crying there was no one around so Marcelyn picked up the baby and he stopped crying they knew right away that this child was meant to be their child , but at that time the state of Indiana disapproved of interracial adoption, but the Joneses said so and because they became the first white couple in the state to adopt an African-American child and probably as an addition to the system they named him Jim.
Jones Jr again, at this point I agree with Jim's beliefs, but this is basically the point where he loses me, so he had me and then you lost me, something worth noting because there was nowhere else to put it in my notes. Timothy Tupper, the son of a member, began living with the Jones family at one point, eventually being legally adopted around 1972, when Timothy was approximately 13 years old. So 1961 was a big year for the Joneses, not only did they welcome Jim Jr to the family but Jim also took over as director of the Indianapolis Human Rights Commission, the position was said to be more honorary, but Jim didn't shy away from the annual salary of seven thousand dollars, which is equivalent to about 71,000 in 2023. 1961 was also the same year that Jim started receiving threats from Anonymous, so he made sure he had guns in the house to protect himself. night while his family slept.
Jim claims that he heard multiple gunshots when he went outside and found a bullet hole in a pillar. On his porch, Jim called the police, who questioned the whole thing, such as how none of the family's three dogs reacted to this alleged shooter and how, based on the angle of the bullet hole, it seemed more likely that the bullet it would have been shot from the house and not at her. Jim, of course, told the congregation that he had been shot for the good work he was trying to do for the downtrodden, claimed that he was only alive because of God's protection, then took it up a notch and started fomenting fear of the nuclear energy. war, oh my goodness, since the Soviet Union's successful series of nuclear tests in 1955, the United States had been preparing for an all-out nuclear attack and I would like to thank the love of my life, the 1982 classic Grease 2, for making me laugh inappropriately every time I hear the word nuclear because in my head I hear the T-Birds pronounce it nucleoid every time it's a gift in my life we're lucky to be able to say it on this show without it always being nucleoid it's a shelter nucleoid.
Anyway, it's my favorite thing in the world, in June 1961, President John F. Kennedy gave a speech on national television stating that Americans should be prepared in case of a nuclear attack, so months later, Jim began pushing the idea of this possible attack by claiming he had a vision. of a future nuclear attack, he believed that the attack would occur on the 16th, but he did not know what month or what year, but he knew that it would definitely happen at 309, but he did not know if it was am or pm, he also added that several major cities would be the target, including Chicago, but that Indianapolis would be erased.
His word is so specific, like it's oh, that's exactly the point of so many different countries coming to Indianapolis oh 100 to help alleviate the fears of his fans. Jim said He would look all over the world for a place where the People's Temple was safe and thanks to an issue of Esquire magazine he knew exactly where to look in the January 19, 1962 issue which was technically published in December 1961. Esquire published an article called Nine Places in the World. To hide the idea of nuclear war again, I made everyone scared, it's like in the early days of Covid when we were all washing our groceries, you know, yeah, basically just a constant low level fear of death, basically in the case of a nuclear war. would destroy most life on the planet, so this paper used climate and wind projections and scientific recommendations to identify the places where post-nuclear survival was most likely.
Those nine places include Eureka California Cork Ireland Guadalajara Mexico Mendoza Argentina Chiles o Chile uh Central Valley of Chile Bello Horizonte Brazil OMG uh antana rivo Madagascar Melbourne Australia and Christchurch New Zealand Bowser, that was harder to beat than I thought, so that for the sake of his followers, Jim took a sabbatical from the People's Temple to find a safe place for them. Live, he left his loyal follower, the Reverend Russell Winberg, in charge while he was away. Winberg was a minister at the Laurel Street Tabernacle and met Jim in 1954, so, with a new Reverend at the helm, Jim and his family left the country first and headed for British Guyana, which is.
Located on the northeast coast of South America, a fun fact of history in 1831, three colonies combined to form British Guiana, which at the time was a British colony, but in 1966 it became an independent nation that was later would know as Guyana. Jones spent some time in British Guyana before heading to Hawaii, Jim and Marceline loved Honolulu so much that Jim applied for a job at Church of the Crossroads, unfortunately he was not hired, so the Jones family headed to Bello Horizonte, Brazil, with a stop in Mexico along the way and at first, Jim believed he might have found the right place for the People's Temple, but of course he wanted his followers to move to another country isolating them from their friends and family, which which makes them much easier to control.
Jim and his family officially decided to settle in Brazil and Jim was so confident in this move that he resigned as director of the Human Relations Commission. It is surprising that he was very confident even after hearing that Reverend Winberg was making a mess at home. When Jim spoke to his close associates, they said that Winberg was changing. He improved the structure of the People's Temple and focused his sermons on more traditional Bible-based preaching as opposed to Jim's usual emphasis on socialism. Winberg also invited other preachers to give guest sermons despite Jim's distaste for outside influences and although the changes at the People's Temple may have made Jim nervous.
They did not make him nervous enough to return home, he decided to stay in Brazil with his family and act as a missionary and eventually his followers joined him in Brazil. The thing is, at that time Jim was just one of many white missionaries who took over. Brazil, which made it difficult for Jim to do what he wanted to do at home. He gained many followers through the Temple's outreach programs, such as free food and clothing; However, in Brazil, Jim did not have the money to earn anything. If that happened, the locals would also distrust Jim, especially since he claimed to be a missionary and yet he didn't have a copy of the Bible, just a different style after feeling that he wasn't making any progress.
Jim eventually moved with his family to Rio de Janeiro where he taught English at a school, Jim tried to impress the local government by raising money for an orphanage, but many of the locals were poor so finding the money was not easy, but Jim was referring to a prominent diplomat whose wife supposedly took a shine to Jim Jones According to Jim this woman doesn't believe this but this woman offered to donate five thousand dollars to the orphanage but only if Jim slept with her oh boy okay Jim claims that women had been throwing themselves at him for years but he had always refused because he was a married man, sure, but in this case, damn, he really wanted to help those orphans, you know, so he talked to Marcellyn and she agreed it was the right decision.
Jim then claims that he gave that woman so much physical contact. ecstasy for having made the five thousand dollar donation those were his words I'm so sorry disgusting uh and it's a story that Jim would tell over and over again because he believed it showed his true dedication to the socialist cause and look, he never I will do that. I know what really happened, but I don't believe for a second that Jim was an exceptional lover, mainly because of the stories I'll tell later, but her claim that she only donated money because he was so good at sex is ridiculous. she offered the donation in exchange for sex, if so she would have paid regardless of whether it was good or not, and Jim bragging about that story is pathetic, you weren't dedicated to the cause, you were a pretty woman.
I take it back, Vivian actually was. good on his work well said of him, thank you uh, the Jones family stayed in Brazil for a while, but Jim never managed to establish his own church. Reverend Reverend Winberg left the temple in June 1963 and when JFK was assassinated five months later, Jim took it as a sign that America was falling apart and he was needed back home, so Jones returned to Indiana in December. 1963, where Jim again pushed his Apocalyptic Vision that the end was near, but now said that the attack would specifically occur in July 1967. Then, in the summer of 1965, Jim led a caravan of 90 Temple followers throughout the country to their new home in Northern California.
LOL. I know we're just getting started. There's a big chunk of the story to come, but I'm already paralyzed and preemptively horrified, so let's take a quick break, have another drink, hit the can, and we'll be right back with more information on this town's True Crime and Cocktails episode in Temple, two against three, one, two, three, welcome back to the people's house. Temple episode of True Crime and Cocktails before the break things didn't seem to be getting too crazy yet and I have a feeling they're about to go from zero to eighty uh yeah this is we're going downhill now yeah in a rhythm remarkable but you know what the summer of 1965 is like.
Jim Jones and 90 members of the People's Temple arrive in Ukiah California hoping to be safe from the nuclear attack that Jim had prophesied for July 1967. once the Los Temple members found jobs and were expected to donate every leftover penny to the church. Jim worked as a history and civics teacher at a nearby high school and Marceline was hired as a health inspector for the state of California once everything was settled, another 50 to 60members. from Indiana made the trip to California and even after moving to what Jim claimed was a safer location, he assured his followers that he had discovered a cave in the hills north of Ukiah and that it would be large enough to provide protection. against nuclear fallout. he said it was deep and vast enough to easily accommodate all the members plus the supplies they would need to thrive after this supposed attack.
The thing is, he never officially showed anyone this cave and refused to give directions to the cave, so everyone just trusted that Jim was telling the truth even when July 1967 arrived and passed without a nuclear attack, no one questioned Not even to Jim about it. Now the next decade of Jim's life can be grouped into four categories: personal vices, money, and church abuse. That's a horrible round of danger if I Maybe so we're going to go back in time a little bit just because it's easier to understand some of these when they're grouped together so first we're going to focus on the church, as I mentioned, the revivals. above were a big reason for how Jim was able to gain a large following, yes he did a lot of the right things that people said, a lot of the right things that people wanted to hear, he was also charismatic and a hell of a lot of people.
Showman raised his voice at the right moments to make a point. He took advantage of people's fears about a possible nuclear attack to try to make them think that he was the only one who could keep them safe. He leaned further into fear by claiming that the FBI and CIA were secretly listening in on his conversations and waiting for the right moment to strike. He talked about how the devil was everywhere waiting to send people down the wrong path. He said he believed everyone. They should be treated equally regardless of skin color or financial status he had the audience on the edge of their seats hanging on his every word he was basically a master manipulator doing the same thing most politicians do now to make people vote for them create fear and a common enemy and make the masses believe that their This is the only way they can be safe, but something that also happened in these revivals were healings at random points during the sermon.
Jim would stop and call out to a random person in the crowd, someone who always had some kind of ailment. After a few words or after laying hands on them the person's ailment would disappear sometimes it was arthritis or migraines or tremors or some kind of pain and if the person didn't feel good instant relief, it was their fault because they didn't feel it. I think so. Enough, oh boy, there was a woman with cancer that Jim claimed to have healed. When the woman's cancer got worse, she refused to seek medical treatment and instead simply blamed herself for not praying enough.
Jim's power over these people was intense and maddening and I promise I will shout it out later, so how did Jim know these people were sick long before the sermons? Jim walked through the crowd taking notes of anything he heard that he could use during his show as his events grew. He had close temple members like Patty Cartmel be his eyes and ears and get that information for him, but there were times when Jim seemed to heal the impossible like broken bones, there were times when Jim blatantly faked everything, like when a woman walked into the room. crowd seemed blind. and unable to walk after a brief blessing from Jim Miraculously not only could the woman see but she was also running up and down the aisles of the church.
It turns out that the woman was actually just one of Jim's secretaries. Then there was a woman who had a broken leg. Jim cut the cast off the woman. and she was surprisingly able to run, the woman couldn't believe it, but the thing is, the woman's leg was never broken, one of Jim's cronies drugged that poor woman and put a cast on her while she was unconscious and when she woke up It seemed in the cast she asked obviously what happened the people told her oh you fell and broke your leg and she thought oh that was such a horrible fall.
I don't remember it's because it never happened oh my goodness the people Jim recruited to help set up the The curators accepted his role as they were told that everything was necessary to gain followers and that, while it may seem like a hoax, it was done For the common good in the early 1970s, Temple people purchased 12 older model Greyhound buses for use in the Revival. tours, each bus was built to hold about 40 people, but there were 60 to 70 on each, the children were placed in overhead luggage racks and some of the adults were left sitting in the aisles.
Each boss was assigned two drivers who would take turns driving. four-hour shifts when the other person wasn't driving, they were on a mattress in the luggage compartment under the bus, oh my God, which feels, I don't know, it's terrible, no, yeah, but the members willingly followed Jim, since he claimed to have done it. God's powers sometimes used those powers to heal once he claimed he prevented a storm in Canada, he didn't, he said he raised 30 people from the dead, neither and then there was the claim that he had literally walked on water , no, so if Jim had these god-like qualities and was able to do these amazing things that meant he and his followers were free from a senseless tragedy right or wrong one night after a particularly long series of meetings, Joyce Swinney, member From the People's Temple, he drove his car around Dawn and headed towards her. work in Ukiah on the way Joyce fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into another vehicle, killing her instantly when Jim announced Joyce's death, he openly blamed Joyce, told his congregation that he had asked Joyce to meditate for two minutes before that she left after the meeting and she didn't, he died like her death was totally his fault, oh my god, but of course, nothing was Jim's fault, whatever it was that didn't go his way , he would make an excuse as to why it wasn't his fault, then his followers wouldn't lose faith in him.
Every negative thing, everything negative, was someone else's fault, especially a stranger. Jim told all of his followers that the US government, the CIA and the FBI, were after him. He claimed that he had been marked for death because he did not want him to spread the gospel of him, but would anyone really want Jim Jones to die? In May 1972, during a potluck in the church parking lot between sermons, shots were fired. shots? Jim collapsed and one of his sons' dogs ran towards a nearby vineyard. At the church, Jim miraculously stood up and told his followers not to go in the direction of the dog but in the opposite direction and then collapsed again.
Some members fled after this potential shooter others stayed to help Jim enter the church with his shirt covered in blood. He had two bullet holes right in his chest, but less than an hour later, Jim was back at the church giving a sermon. He had healed himself. His bloody shirt was shown to the congregation as proof of Jim's divine healing powers, but as they already know about Jim's divine healing powers. The powers did not exist, everything was faked using blank spaces and Jim deliberately led the followers in the opposite direction so that they would not realize that the shooter was one of their own when they were chasing a bad guy, always trust the instincts of the dog, yes, Jim later.
He admitted to sending his followers in the wrong direction, but simply because he knew that once they caught the shooter they would tear him apart with their own hands and he didn't want to have the killer's blood on his hands more like Jim had a taste for drama and loved. The attention it brought him even Jim's son, Stephen, later said quoting my father was hungry for attention from a very early age and never diminished, at least it intensified in 1972 Jim opened temples in Los Angeles and San Francisco in a At the time the San Francisco Temple burned down, Jim used it in his sermons as an example of how everyone is after him and how the outside world is dangerous for people.
Temple the reality is that one of Jim's most loyal followers set fire to the church probably because Jim asked him to. He needed to make his followers believe that outsiders were trying to attack them, which is no surprise since he was again a master manipulator and liar, which brings us to the second category of Jim's life, his personal vices. Members of the Temple were given strict rules. They couldn't drink, they couldn't smoke, do drugs or have sex. Television and movies were prohibited. Jim believed that every minute he didn't spend working for the church was a waste, although unbeknownst to fans, Jim loved escaping to the movies, his particular favorite being Chinatown. and mash Betty loved that Hawkeye ah but I'm not going to shame Jim for his secret love of movies what am I going to do shame him for his secret sex life I think it's fair I think so too uh in 1969 Jim and Marcelyn had I've been married for 20 years and all that time Marceline had suffered from chronic back pain, something she had been dealing with since childhood.
Sometimes her back would get so bad. Marceline was confined to bed. Giving birth to Stephen really took its toll on Marceline, especially since Stephen disagreed, but after that, Marceline told her family that she and Jim could no longer live as husband and wife, meaning sex no longer happened. existed, so Jim did what any loving and understanding husband would do and went and got a His girlfriend Carolyn Moore was born in Sacramento in July 1945. She studied to be a teacher while in college she met Larry Layton. The couple married in 1967. Carolyn became a teacher at a local high school and Larry worked at a mental hospital at first.
After their marriage, the couple lived in Davis, but in 1969 they moved to Potter Valley, which is about 18 miles or 29 kilometers north of Ukiah. The couple then went looking for a new church when they found the People's Temple and immediately became devout followers soon after joining. part Patty Cartmel, one of Jim's closest associates, approached Caroline Carolyn and told her privately that Marceline was crippled by physical and psychological problems that were so serious that Marceline should be institutionalized, but Jim, uh, Jim was too kind to let that happen. In order for Jim to maintain his spiritual gifts, he needed emotional support and physical release and, unfortunately, Marceline could no longer help Jim with that.
Patty told Carolyn that Jim had specifically chosen Carolyn to help him with that release because she believed Carolyn would subpoena. provide the quality and devotion required, oh and by spiritual gifts, Patty meant that the healings that Patty knew about first hand were absolutely false, but to be clear, a 40 year old woman asked a much younger woman to have sex with her preacher because she somehow needed orgasms to do her job and yes, I know Patty was incredibly devoted to Jim and was willing to do anything for him, but trying to trick Carolyn wasn't the decision, especially when Carolyn refused and Patty kept telling her, oh come on, Jim needs this right now, Jim.
I was 38 Carolyn was 24. Oh, it reminds me of those pricks in high school that told girls that blue balls caused them physical pain just so the girls would think they had to suck them, which they don't do at all, nor at the time of the disgusting request Carolyn was happily married to Larry and it is even more disgusting when you remember that Jim used to forbid his followers from having sexual relations because he told them that a sexual relationship was selfish and took away from the commitment of the church, Jim , You're going to learn. It's very "do as I say, not as I do." It took Patty a few days to convince her, but Carolyn finally agreed to leave her husband and be Jim's new girlfriend, and although Jim didn't openly tell her followers about Carolyn, he absolutely told her children. .
In fact, Jim sat down his children, the children at that time were between 8 and 26 years old. and Marceline or he sat them down and said, well, Marceline doesn't satisfy me sexually anymore, so think of Carolyn as your special friend. Carolyn lived in her own house. and Jim just alternated nights between his house and his, so his wife absolutely knew what was going on, yeah, and he just did it to her anyway and I want to make it clear that that's what embarrasses me because some of his other things. I'm not ashamed, but I specifically appreciate this.
I appreciate and respect it. Carolyn sent letters to her parents telling them all the wonderful things about this new church and her charismatic leader. After not hearing from Carolyn for several months, her parents drove to Potter. Valley where they found Carolyn living alone, she told them that she and Larry were getting divorced and that she was in love with Jim Jones and from what I can tell, Larry and Carolyn were still ancouple when that affair began and when Larry found out. the affair, oh, he was so devoted to the temple that he happily stepped aside, Larry soon married fellow Temple member Karen Tao, who, spoiler alert, would also eventually become one of Jim's girlfriends and yet Larry remained devoted to Jim.
I can't think of other girlfriends at first. The only woman Jim slept with was Carolyn Layton, their relationship was not public information, but like most of his followers, because you know sex was forbidden, but after two years, Jim decided that Carolyn was no longer enough , so he started looking for other women in the world. temple in 1971 Jim started sleeping with Larry's new wife, oh my god, Larry knew it, he accepted it because it was good, if it's good for Jim it's good for the temple, only those closest to Jim knew about his activities extracurriculars and the only person who seemed upset. about that it was Carolyn, but Jim said well that's Carolyn's problem, not his after Karen Jim went on to other Temple members saying he was doing it as much for them as for himself, oh because these women and this is a date, no sex necessary. with father for his self esteem the sex board the sounding board when we need it Jesus I know that's vile, sex with father is easily the most disgusting thing I think I've ever had to say out loud, yeah , it's pretty high up, yeah, yeah, uh.
Oh, and remember those Greyhound buses they had where they put too many people on long trips. Well, bus number seven was Jim's bus. No, they removed the seats from the bus to create a special private area in case Jim needed a place for a private meeting. quiet conversation or reflection where all of us adults here know what that really means: it means that the gym would bring young women onto that bus, have sex with them, and act like it did them a favor and, unfortunately, sometimes that sex was actually complete. -About sexual assault, Debbie Layton, Larry's nineteen-year-old younger sister, because he won't stop with Liberty God.
Larry keeps going, it's crazy, so they invite Debbie Layton to ride in Jim's private bus compartment. Jim was 41 at the time and Debbie was 19. ..said without warning Jim unbuttoned his shirt, unbuttoned his pants and climbed on top of her, it was all over before she realized what happened. Jim said and this is another quote. I'm doing this for you to help you, no and I also quote don. Don't worry my daughter, you needed it, this is nightmare fuel, oh this man is a horror show. Jim also allegedly sexually assaulted a 14-year-old Temple member; once his parents found out, they left the church, but did not go to the police. because they still believed in the cause and they didn't want it to ruin the cause.
Heck, yeah, Jim started pursuing so many young women that his closest associates, aka his inner circle of about six or seven people, had to create what they called a schedule. enough, it was a notebook that listed who Jim was having sex with and when, and not only did Jim pursue women, he also made moves on male followers. One follower who recently joined said he was surprised when Jim approached him and bluntly said: this is a direct quote I'll fuck you in the ass if you want that was them, that was their meeting in public after a sermon wow, the young man politely declined uh Jim said quote well, if you ever want, I can, I want to be honest.
I'm going to make this clear Jim, uh, any man could, yes, Jim also refused to admit that he was bisexual even though he clearly was, he went so far as to say that everyone on the planet was gay except Jim, oh, for , Jim, oh, come. He literally said that Jim Jones is the only heterosexual on the planet, which is the craziest statement coming from a man who openly had sex with men. Yes, this is going to be a long episode. I don't have time to focus on this, but My point is that yes, he slept with a lot, but look, he sleeps with whoever you want, as long as he agrees, but ends the age and all of the above yes, right, but you also have a wife who loves you, stop being an idiot.
Yeah, you know, yeah, anyway, so we have Tim Stone, 29, who graduated from Stanford Law School and went to work for the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office. After Tim joined People's Temple, he would send any of his clients who were having problems in their marriage or with their children to various programs at the People's Temple. At that time the temple had drug counseling programs and a drug clinic. health, so it makes me want to say that Jim was really trying to do something good for people, but honestly he was trying to use those programs to attract more people to his church basically, whoever ended up depending on him, was his main goal when Tim joined the temple.
He brought his 19-year-old fiancée Grace with him in 1970. Tim and Grace were married in a temple ceremony. officiated byJim Jones Tim soon became Jim's chief legal advisor and as soon as Jim brought Tim into the Inner Circle in early 1971, Jim began sleeping with Tim's wife - there it is, yes - and soon Grace became pregnant and on January 25, 1972 Grace gave birth to John. Victor Stone, a week after John Victor was born, Tim Grace's husband signed a statement that he said, and I quote. I, Timothy Oliver Stone, acknowledge that in April 1971 I begged my beloved pastor James W Jones to father a child with my wife Grace, who had previously had my insistence begrudging but graciously consented there as well.
James W Jones reluctantly agreed to do so after I explained that he very much wanted to raise a child but could not after my extensive attempts to father one myself. My reason for asking James to do this is that I wanted my child to be fathered, if not by me, then by the most compassionate, honest and brave human being in the world. I already did, yeah, no, I don't love the use of the word father, no, it's scaring me, no, uh, given. What I already said today about Jim Jones, it's probably no surprise that Tim later admitted that everything about that statement was a lie, but, ugh, Jim had asked Tim to make the statement so that Jim would be protected in case Tim will ever try it. take the child away from him, and to be clear, Grace wasn't the first follower to get pregnant by Jim.
She's just the first one Jim didn't force to have an abortion because you know no one was allowed to have sex. no one should get pregnant but I guess it makes sense if this woman gets pregnant because she's married so maybe she'll stop doing it so in the late 60's and early 70's Jim was having sex with temple followers of anyone, the followers of the temple of the people, here we go, that he wanted. At first she limited it to her inner circle, but she eventually branched out and began having sex with as many men and women as she could, so we shouldn't be surprised when Marceline returned home after traveling to inspect some state nursing homes to see. her job when Marceline told Jim that she had fallen in love with another man and that she was leaving him and taking care of the children.
Yes, although Jim had multiple affairs, he still wanted to appear that his loyal and obedient wife had his back. He was so possessive that there was no way he would allow Marceline to be with another man or take her children, so Jim went to her children and told them that mom wants to break up the family. He told the children that Marceline was putting her own wishes first. what was best for everyone and that this man was going to take the children away from everything they loved because Jim was a sexist asshole, he alone asked his children what they wanted and who they wanted to live with.
The children all said they wanted to live with Jim, understanding Jim. games Marceline said that she would leave anyway and take the children with her. Jim became enraged in front of his children and said: "If you ever take my children, you will be dead and with that Marceline stayed with him for the rest." rest of her life oh my god, oh yes, because she refused to leave those children in his care and in the end she cared more about those children than he did, but of course, I digress, so in the private meetings of the Temple, Jim used to tell his favorite story.
Do you know that time in Brazil when a diplomat's wife gave him five thousand dollars, sorry, a five thousand dollar donation to sleep with him and Marcellyn, who attended those meetings, had to sit there and listen to him and at this point I? I started to think that Marceline might be a blanket girl. She got trapped with a man she couldn't escape from and he made her life an absolute hell after one of those recounts that happened after she Marceline threatened to leave. Marceline announced to everyone quote. I agreed to share it with people who needed to relate to the cause on a more personal level.
It has been very difficult for me to live with and has caused me many headaches, but then she added: "I have been very selfish and I want to make a public statement tonight. I am willing to share my husband for the cause and I will not resent it." more. Marcellyn leaves the room. Jim laughs and says, "I hope Marcy is an unexpected offer and doesn't cause too much of you for being uh to start demanding me I'm already overworked in this area disgusting he's so disgusting that he never deserved her for example Jim could sleep with whoever he wanted whenever he wanted but if he slept with a man's wife that man He was no longer allowed to have full sexual relations with his own wife A crazy quote he said when we were in bed.
I had to stop before the actual penetration. It was supposed to be Jim's privilege. I can't, that's so disgusting, but then in the summer. 1974 Jim's main girlfriend, Carolyn Layton, disappeared. Jim told his friends followers that Carolyn had been sent on a secret mission that was crucial to the Temple's existence, so she would be away for a while. Months later, Jim announced that Carolyn had been sent to buy the components for an atomic bomb because Jim believed that if the church had a bomb, then the government would respect them and leave them alone, honestly. Jim, if the church had a bomb, especially an atomic bomb, that would probably be the time the government would watch you the most closely instead of yeah, that's it.
I'm going to put you on some lists, yeah, but this guy was delusional and he was a liar and we don't have time to get into that completely, but Jim tells everyone that Carolyn went to buy these bomb parts, but oh no, the Then, magically in the Mexican prison in the spring of 1975, Carolyn returned to the temple with a new husband and a baby who had probably been missing for, maybe, eight or nine months, but for some reason, oh , sorry, then her husband and the baby that Carolyn and Michael Proakes had had. They supposedly welcomed Jim John Proakes on January 31, 1975, but for some reason they never openly said that Jim John, who they later called Chemo, never openly said that Chemo was Michael's baby, instead , Jim told people that the chemo was Carolyn's cousin's unwanted baby, but sometimes he told people that the baby was the result of Carolyn's rape in that Mexican prison.
Well, in a way she was in a metaphorical prison, but yeah, great decision. Great decision about that, according to Carolyn's father, who was a reverend. Carolyn contacted her parents in August 1974 to tell them that she was pregnant and needed to stay with them for a while. Her parents of course welcomed her with open arms and as soon as the baby was born Carolyn asked her father to make a marriage ceremony between Carolyn and Michael prokes Carolyn told him Father Jim Jones wanted it that way, but I think we all know that Jim Jones was the father of chemotherapy.
I mean, she called him Jim, but neither here nor there, but why not just say that Michael was the father of the child instead of claiming that Carolyn had been raped? probably because Jim didn't want to claim that his child belonged to another church member and of course at that point Jim was still acting like he wasn't sleeping with anyone even though he absolutely was, but you know what else was doing Jim? He forbade his followers from using so many drugs in 1971, when he began sleeping with women other than Carolyn. Jim began using virtually any pill he could get his hands on.
Jim also only slept two to three hours a night, so he would take amphetamines to stay awake during the day and then take even more drugs to help him fall asleep at night. He was taking so many drugs that his eyes were constantly bloodshot, which is why in later years he was always seen wearing those dark sunglasses, but if you ask Jim about the glasses, he would say that he wore them because the spirit of the Lord He was so powerful that if someone looked him directly in the eyes, they would burn in the flesh.act.
I can't take this nonsense ah God anyway the drugs not only seriously affected his judgment but also made Jim super paranoid. Jim spouted conspiracies to anyone who would listen, he claimed that the CIA and FBI were tapping church phones and the government was planning to put all African Americans in concentration camps. Yes, indeed, he used the fears of his followers to try to make them even more dependent on the church and more distrustful of the outside world and who they really should have been. What he distrusted was Jim's lying ass, which brings us to the section on finances.
Jim founded the town temple in 1955 and soon began asking members to donate portions of their paycheck to the church. When Jim moved the temple to California, he initially pushed harder for members to contribute. He suggested 10 percent of members' income, but soon asked for a minimum of 25 percent. Members gave up televisions, jewelry, furniture, even houses. No one was forced to do it, but I think Jim had brainwashed most of them. They were sold in second-hand stores operated by Temple, they also made money with a laundry, a printing press, nursing homes, and a ranch for troubled youth. Jim also helped raise money for the church by selling photographs of himself for five dollars each, oh boy he made between two and three thousand dollars for each sermon from the photos Jim also sold apostolic blessing plans which for a donation of some amount Jim would offer to include that person in his personal daily prayers.
I don't know why I went a little south to a south. emphasis on that, but oh God, it felt good, so in April 1969 Jim had the temple treasurer, Eva Pugh, transfer all the money from the church treasury to an account that would only be used by James or Jim to your discretion. By 1975 there was a lot of money. money in people's Temple accounts, as well as in Jim's own private accounts, at which time Jim was opening savings accounts with various family members. Marcellyn had personal accounts totaling two hundred thousand dollars, although I'm pretty sure she didn't know Lynetta, Jim's mother. he had almost ninety thousand dollars spread across eight different banks hmm Jim also opened bank accounts in Switzerland under his and his children's names later that year Jim sent most of his loyal followers, including his lawyer Tim Stone, to Panama, where They deposited large amounts. of cash into new bank accounts, members taped wads of money to their legs and strapped the bundles to their torsos with belts just to get through customs.
They also brought items that they claimed were missionary supplies, but were actually cash hidden inside and since Customs agents in the area were men, Temple members used boxes of Kotex sanitary pads so the guards They were too nervous to open the box and too embarrassed, but if they really opened it, it was full of money in 1977. When Marceline had to quit her state inspection job due to health problems, Temple members worried about the family. Jones because they believed that Marceline's income was the only income the family had, so once Marceline was no longer working, the Temple people's board voted to give Jim an annual salary of thirty thousand dollars which is equivalent to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars today and Jim accepted them very bravely, but financial oddities were not the only suspicious thing that happened behind closed doors, the members also suffered physical and psychological abuse at the hands of Jim and other members who were deemed to have acted inappropriately. or they had spoken and soon the punishment increased and people were verbally abused and even beaten with boards and whipped with rubber hoses after a private meeting with a 15-year-old African American.
The member was surrounded by other members before being stomped and beaten simply because the boy had talked back to an adult because all of Jim's meetings were recorded. There's footage of this kid being approached and hit by a room full of adults. You can hear Jim. yelling and calling the kid, I quote Gangland Punk and one former member said that after he got his ears pierced, the members held him down while they ripped the piercings out of his ears because he didn't ask Jim's permission to put them in in the first place. place and some may say why the members did not flee once the abuse began, probably because most had nowhere to go, but also because they were told that if they left they would be hunted down and killed in September 1975.
Jim encouraged the psychological abuse random. offering wine to his followers, which was strange because no one was allowed to drink, but there was a small vineyard near the church and, although they were not normally allowed to drink alcohol, Jim, out of the goodness of his heart, he decided that his followers had earned it. a small treat once everyone had their glass of wine, Jim said, "Oh, by the way, it was poisoned, you have less than an hour to live." People started screaming, they were panicking, and then about an hour later Jim said, "Oh, by the way, there was no poison." This was a test, one follower said we proved we were willing to die, but what that night really proved was that Jones was considering the possibility that at some point he would kill us all, which brings us to the beginning of the end in the Spring 1973 Jim Jones told his congregation a quote: I know a place I can take you, where there will be no more racism, where there will be no more division, where there will be no more class exploitation.
I know exactly the place, except for six months. Jim refused. to tell someone where that place was in September of that year, the People's Temple board of directors authorized an investigation of development sites and locations for an agricultural mission whose goal was to be completely self-sufficient, you know, exactly like Fr. Devine. In Philadelphia, eh, I didn't want to need anything from the outside world. Three weeks later, the board voted unanimously that Guyana was the most suitable location, so Jim was authorized to take any and all actions necessary or advisable to establish a branch of the church and Agricultural and Rural Development in Guyana.
Why Guyana Jim? He wanted the new settlement to be isolated so that they could live in peace. What he really wanted was to keep his followers away from America so that they would be isolated and be able to control them completely. Furthermore, Guyana was or is the only country in America. from the south. where the official language is English, Jim openly told Marceline that she was going to Guyana and that she would take her children with him and that Marceline would stay to run the temple in California. Oh wow, after everything he's done and sacrificed for you, you're telling him. she has to be separated from her children, you selfish idiot, Marceline's entire life was her children, so separating her from them was incredibly unfair.
Marceline asked permission to see a psychiatrist. Jim granted it and then the psychiatrist told Jim everything Marceline talked about. Wow, that's atrocious. right, yeah, so Jim told Marceline's mother that Marceline was mentally ill and the only reason they were still married was because of Jim's incredible compassion. Oh, stop, I can't handle this monster. Can't. In September 1972, the newspaper Examine published an exposé on the town's temple with the promise of publishing a total of eight articles, eight articles about possible fraud. Jim, of course, panicked and decided right then and there that he needed to get out of the country, so he came up with the idea of creating a self-sustaining agricultural mission that would allow Jim and his followers to flee the government and avoid the fields. of concentration.
There weren't going to be concentration camps, Jim, but you know that. In December 1973, a five-person team led by Tim Stone was sent to Georgetown Guyana to talk to government officials about the possibility of reaching their own agreement at the time when Guyana was going through a difficult time economically, for So when a group of Americans showed up and offered to invest a minimum of four hundred thousand dollars a year in their country and provide jobs for the locals, the government was more than happy to welcome them, not to mention that the Americans were going to help inadvertently with a kind of territorial issue.
Venezuela is a larger country northwest of Guyana when Guyana became an independent nation. Venezuela began to dispute the border believing it was the real border. between them stretched hundreds of miles into Guyana and since Venezuela's army was large and well armed while Guyana was not, there was concern that Venezuela might try to invade; However, if a group of Americans lived in the area that was under dispute, Venezuela might reconsider that invasion, so the government suggested that a site for the settlement of the People's Temple in a region about 190 miles or 306 kilometers from the nation's capital, Georgetown, Jim wanted to lease 25,000 acres, the government said let's start with 3,000 and see how they do.
He leased it for 25 cents per acre, the problem was that the area was nothing more than dense jungle, so clearing it for settlement would require a lot of work. In March 1974, half a dozen followers were sent to Guyana to begin in the hope that the first settlers would arrive. It was to be shipped in August, however cutting down the trees proved to be more difficult and took longer than they had planned. The trees were so thick and strong that the chainsaw blades broke. They tried to remove them without mentioning wild animals and weather conditions. What these people were not used to, in December they had cleared and planted approximately one hundred acres.
When Jim came to visit, he was disappointed not to see vast fields of produce, but when he returned to California he told his congregation that there were vast fields of produce everywhere and even showed a photo of himself holding fruit in front of a field. , what he did not mention is that he had bought that fruit at a city market and simply brought it to the field to take photographs. The new settlement would be named Jonestown in Jim's honor, but to make this happen they needed a lot of money, so Jim began lobbying for donations by sermonizing him asking for pledge envelopes.
Followers wrote their weekly earnings on the outside of the envelopes so the temple could verify that the donation was at least 25 percent of their earnings. Jim also asked all members to cash out their life insurance policies and donate their money to the Jonestown project, oh my God, yes, and while Jonestown was being built, things started to go wrong in California, Grace Stone, who was considered by many to be Temple royalty due to the fact of her relationship with Jim, you know , and she was also the mother of Jim's son, John Victor, even if Jim did not openly admit it.
In the summer of 1976, Grace decided that she needed to get out. and once the idea came up, she had to get out quickly or risk being beaten for disobeying the temple, so one night Grace grabbed the clothes and ran, but if Grace was going to go out, she wouldn't have a chance to look for her son. before entering. In the temple, all children were raised together in community. John Victor lived gracefully for the first two years of his life, but after that he was sent to live with a group of other children. Jim had all the members of the Temple sign off on guardianship of their children for the Jim, who had previously not admitted to being the father of the child, was now saying that he had intentionally impregnated Grace because she had hinted that she might leave and he wanted to keep her involved in the movement. and some people may say that if Grace didn't feel safe she should have taken her child and not left without him.
I want to point out that at that time Grace's son was safe. Grace wasn't. Grace also didn't have access to her son, so she decided to go for her own safety and then use the courts to get her son back after she left. Grace had to stay hidden since her members had threatened to kill her for leaving and if that wasn't reason enough to fear the temple. During Grace's time as a member, Jim asked her to sign a stack of blank sheets of paper after turning those papers into letters that made it seem as if Grace was confessing a multitude of sins, including sexually abusing her own son and planning to murder to the president.
Oh my god, none of that was true, but it was her signature and Jim was just using these false confessions as a way to scare people into staying. Jim used the same tactic with other members who wanted to leave when Yolanda Crawford left Jonestown. Jim forced her. to sign documents stating that she was against the Guyana government and a confession that she had killed someone and dumped her body in the ocean. Jim told Yolanda that if she ever caused any trouble to Jim or the people at Temple, he would take those documents to the police and while Grace had left the temple, her husband Tim not onlyremained but remained a devoted member;
In fact, when Grace filed for divorce and requested custody of her son Jim, her son Jim sent Tim Stone and John Victor to Jonestown believing it would protect him from the temple. Jim also began sending more and more followers to Jonestown to help give the appearance that he was confident and in control, but Grace was determined to get John Victor back and when Tim left the temple in June 1977, he was determined to help her in August. . Grace formally requested custody of John Victor through the San Francisco courts, who gave Jim one month to show cause as to why Grace should be denied custody.
Jim sent Debbie Layton to San Francisco with the purpose of finding Tim to bribe him to stop custody. situation where he was told to try for 5000, go up to 10 if he needed it. Tim turned it all down when that didn't work. Jim had dozens of her followers testify that Grace was inappropriate with her son and that she had tried to seduce some minors. boys in the temple Jesus, none of that of course was true in September instead of adhering to the courts, Jim told his followers in Jonestown that they were under attack, people stood for three days with guns and shovels waiting for this big siege that Jim said was coming but never happened, this fake siege was called a white knight and was the first of many that Jim would stop over the next 14 months, it was always the same people that came to take the children Be careful, they are trying to destroy. our beautiful Society sometimes Jim blamed the American government sometimes uh they were mercenaries that came to look for them sometimes they were former members According to Jim someone always came to harm them so they had to remain vigilant in February 1978 Jim used the public address system to call To his followers at the Pavilion, he told everyone that their enemies would come but that they were going to steal a victory that they all needed to take their own lives.
People brought out buckets of Aid flavor, which is a cheaper version of Kool-Aid, and told everyone. was poisoned and each one had to fill a cup and drink. He told them they would all be dead in less than an hour. Some drank voluntarily. Others had to be forced to drink by armed guards. They were all assured that their deaths would be peaceful within the hour. Later, Jim announced that there was no poison, this was just a test and everyone passed. Jim then privately went to the doctor in Jonestown and asked him to order a pound of sodium cyanide, which cost about eight dollars and 85 cents at the time, was enough for him.
Meanwhile, in the United States, a judge officially granted custody to Grace and ordered Jim Jones to produce the child in court by October 6, 1978. Jim said: "I am staying with John not because I want to deprive her of him, but because I think she is deeply detrimental to him because of her long history of mental imbalance. Jim believed that as long as he remained in Guyana he would be safe from the courts. A Guyana court ordered Jim to order John Victor to be or the Guyana court ordered. Jim produced John Victor before a court in Georgetown, but Jim refused, the judge issued an arrest warrant, but the guards at the front doors of Jonestown refused to physically touch the warrant, which was eventually nailed to the door.
Jim believed that if he left Jonestown things would fall apart in his absence and John Victor would be kidnapped, so he knew he could never leave safely, so why didn't Jim let Grace keep his son? If he had done so, his legal problems would have disappeared, but there was no way Jim would keep his child. Voluntarily giving up John Victor, not out of any affection for the boy, simply because of Jim's need for power. John Victor at this point was a symbol, if he returned to his mother, he would show all the other members of the Temple that they could take his children and return.
To America, Jim refused to appear weak or lose even the slightest amount of control over his followers, leading to the Jonestown
massacrea year earlier, in October 1977, the father of People's Temple member, Maria Katsaris formed a group called Concerned Relatives, which is exactly what it sounds like. a group of people who feared for the safety of their loved ones who the families believed were trapped in the people's temple. The group's goals were to ensure that no human rights abuses occurred in Jonestown and that their loved ones were free to leave at any time. A month after its formation, Tim Stone joined the group and took over as leader, the group took their concerns to California Congressman Leo Ryan for help.
I don't have much time to spend on Leo Ryan's background. Quick Summary Born in Nebraska in 1925 he served in the Navy during World War II returned to Nebraska where he taught high school English and history in 1956 Leo moved to San Francisco where he won a seat on the South San Francisco city council and He stayed in office for six years until he was elected to the California State Assembly, the thing about Leo Ryan is that he took a really hands-on approach when it came to issues after the Watts riots in 1965. Leo moved in with an African American family in the neighborhood to try to witness the living conditions of He himself took a job as a substitute teacher at a local school to see what prison reform was really like in 1970.
Leo was admitted to Folsom Prison under a false name. as a recluse and spent a week there living as a recluse. an unknown prisoner to see what the conditions were like, so once Leo Ryan learned of a problem, he wanted to immerse himself in it to fully understand it. In 1972, he was elected to the United States Congress from California's 11th district. He continued that practical approach. with problems including a trip to Newfoundland where he physically put himself between a harp seal pup and fur trappers, wow, that's cool, yeah, I get it. I've always cited the seal side anyway, go on look, I've always been on the seal side.
The label side is uh, I'm going to say it, it's a great name for the album, yeah, just an idea, just an idea, so oh boy, in 1977, Leo was contacted by an old friend named Sam Houston, whose Son Bob had died mysteriously shortly after leaving the people's house. Temple Sam's main concern was that he had been unable to contact Bob's ex-wife or his children who were living in Jonestown at the time, between January and November 1978. Relatives of people in Jonestown made 27 official requests to the embassy American in Georgetown to do well-being checks on his loved ones, so when Leo heard from concerned relatives.
Group that now included temple dropout Debbie Layton, who had described Jonestown as a prison camp atmosphere, Leo knew he needed to act on November 15, 1978. Leo arrived in Georgetown with his assistant Jackie Speer. a small camera crew, a journalist and four members of the concerned family group, despite being members, Tim and Grace Stone did not make that trip. They had been told they would have their brains blown out if they ever set foot in Jonestown. The settlement of Jonestown was situated about 160 miles or 257 kilometers from Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, there were no intervening roads and Jonestown was so isolated that it would take a 19-hour boat trip to get there from the capital.
The quickest option was to fly to the small town of Port Katuma and travel from there and, although it began as an acre of jungle, the original settlers of Jonestown had created an entire community, there were cabins, a doctor's office and pharmacy classrooms, a great cuisine and, although the People's Temple tried to publicly portray Jonestown as a utopian paradise, it was far from it, there were almost a thousand people living in a place that was built for about half that time, there was not enough food or water , the latrines. They were constantly full of people Jim and his favorites, which included Carolyn John Victor and chemotherapy, all living in a private cabin that had better beds than a private bathroom and a generator that powered their fan and mini refrigerator.
All incoming mail was opened and read by a committee. before being delivered to the intended recipient and outgoing mail was censored if the committee did not like what someone had written the person was given their letter with changes and asked to rewrite it the horrific verbal, physical abuse and psychological events that occurred in the church in California continued, in Georgetown there was a punishment known as the box, which was a deep hole covered with a sheet of plywood, if someone did or said something bad, they would be blindfolded and told the box was full of spiders or snakes or something horrible and then they pushed the person out and covered the top.
Other punishments included being brutally beaten, publicly humiliated, or buried alive. At this point, the drugs had completely taken over Jim Jones, he was urinating randomly everywhere, his speech was slurred, and while it may be easy to think if things were that bad, why didn't people leave for come to Jonestown in the first place? These people gave up all their possessions and money and Jim kept his passports, so there is no way to get on a plane. All the passports were kept in a suitcase in Jim's private cabin, but everyone was free to leave whenever they wanted, I only have their passports to keep, I'm sure, idiot, yes, not to mention that by now most of these people already They had no contact with their friends and family at home.
So even if they could somehow miraculously get a flight where none of them had access to money, they would have nowhere to go while some remained devoted to Jim and the cause, most of the followers were simply stuck in a terrifying situation in the one where Leo Ryan arrived. Guyana on November 15, but Jim refused to let Leo into Jonestown. The US embassy told Leo that he was alone. Three days later, Jim invited Leo to Jonestown, but why wait those few days? Probably because Jim needed those days to teach his followers what to say. When asked about living there, as they all gave the same overly positive, clearly rehearsed answers, Jim also spent those days warning his followers that Leo Ryan was secretly a member of the CIA who was there to take everyone's money away. children, he was not of course, in any case, Leo was actually coming to check on the well-being of the people there, so on November 18th Leo arrived and Jim welcomed him with open arms, they had music, a full celebration, the Atmosphere felt positive and all Jonestown citizens gave glowing reviews.
The agreement and everything seemed to be going well until Vernon Gosney, a member of the Temple, gave Leo a note saying that they were being held there against his will and that they needed help. Leo questioned Jim, who said that everyone was free to leave any time they wanted. Well, if that were true, then why was Jim holding his passports and Jim makes this whole speech about how if one follower wants to leave, he absolutely can and 26 of them leave? Yes, yes, we would actually like a lot, including Vernon Gosney, Patricia Parks, Monica Bagby. and super loyal follower Larry Layton oh my god, who knew Larry, who knew Larry was still there, yeah, how many new partners of his did he have sex with Jim this time?
No, I don't think he ever remarried after Karen, I wonder. Why do I actually not even know if he and Karen ever got divorced? To be honest, there you have it. Jim makes a big show of handing the deserters' passports to Leo, who is standing talking to the people when Temple member Don Sly runs up to him and grabs him. Leo from behind and puts a knife to his throat, fortunately at the time Leo was not seriously injured, but he took it as the time for him to get out of Dodge. As they were leaving the settlement, a man named Al Simon approached the vehicle carrying two young men. children Al told Leo that he wanted to leave and take his children with him.
Al's wife, Bonnie, ran screaming that Al couldn't take his children. Al and Bonnie then physically pulled this kid back and forth because of course there's footage of it, um Leo. He tried to help them come to a mutual decision, but they both refused and Al finally relented and he and the children stayed in Jonestown with Bonnie's Land Rover. Leo Ryan left the settlement with the news crew and his assistant Jackie. There was another truck transporting deserters. After they left, Jim warned his followers that if they took 20 today, they would take 60 tomorrow. After an argument with Jim, a group of 12 armed men between the ages of 16 and 56 climbed onto a trailer pulled by a tractor and They followed Leo to the landing strip. then a date was cryptically announced I think Larry Layton is going to do something, he's very loyal to me when Leo Ryan's convoy arrived at the runway around 4:15 p.m. m., the twin otter plane that brought them there earlier was landing and fortunately there was also aCessna plane that would require unexpected additional passengers.
There was also a group of Guyanese soldiers guarding an inoperable military ship. Jackie Speer starts packing people into the Cessna and defector Larry Layton insisted that he had to get out and he had to get in that one first. plane with Leo Ryan while everyone was preparing to attract the tractor appeared pulling a trailer with armed men who simply made a circle around the planes and opened fire several people were injured some ran to hide in the nearby jungle a man with a scarf Red exited the trailer and using a pistol shot at point-blank range the victims who were on the ground, including Leo Ryan, who was clearly the main target as the shooting continued.
Larry Layton pulled out a gun and began shooting inside the plane. He shot Vernon Gosney and Monica Bagby before anyone could take the gun from him during the shooting, the Guyanese soldiers decided not to get involved because they didn't want to be blamed because it was two groups of Americans attacking each other and they weren't going. to stand in the middle of it, so they just sat and watched in horror, but once they took Larry Layton's gun away, the soldiers offered to take Larry to a local jail. Larry's plan was to shoot the pilot once the plane was in the air, causing the plane to crash into the jungle killing everyone on board, unfortunately for him, there were two planes, so he had to choose which one to take on his plane. mission was to make sure the congressman didn't return home.
Jim Jones told his followers the plan. but I stated that I didn't plan it, but I know it's going to happen. Everything that happened in the People's Temple was planned in advance by Jim Jones. In the end, five people died, including Congressman Leo Ryan, temple deserter Patricia Parks, NBC soundman Bob Brown, the newspaper's photographer. Greg Robinson and NBC correspondent Don Harris, many other people were seriously injured, including Leo's assistant Jackie Speer, and Anthony Quetzaris, from concerned relatives in the settlement as the gunman made his way to the airstrip. Jim made a radio call to People's Temple followers who were in Georgetown for a basketball tournament that included Jim's children, Stephen Tim and Jim Jr, as well as supporters Chuck Beekman and Sharon Amos.
Jim asked to talk to Jim Jr and said, "You're going to meet Mr. Frazier," which was date code for everyone to commit suicide. Jr responded: can't we do something different? and his father said, "The avenging angels will take care of things; you have to step up and lead this." Jim Jr. and Stephen ran to the United States Embassy in hopes that someone could help them stop him. what was about to happen but the embassy was closed at the time they returned to the house where they were staying they discovered that Sharon Sharon Amos uh who was in the room when that message was received had taken her three children and her niece along with member, uh, Chuck Beekman, went into the bathroom and locked the door, there were horrible screams coming from the bathroom, blood started coming out from under the door, but when these guys that had I was 18 at the time when they could .
Breaking down the door, they discovered that Sharon, 42, her daughter Krista, 11, and her son Martin, ten, had died from having their throats slit. Sharon's daughter Leanne, 21, also suffered knife wounds to the throat and died soon. later but her nine year old niece Stephanie managed to survive Chuck Beekman was found with a knife in his hand but he claims to be innocent and that it was all Sharon Chuck who was described as an illiterate marine who did what she was told. she arrested for the crime Sharon Amos I should add that she was a trained social worker who once told Jim that she would feed her children only birdseed so she could save extra money and give it to the church.
Surprisingly, Jim had told him that wasn't necessary at the moment. Around 4 pm on the camp loudspeaker, Jim's son Lou announced that everyone would be joining a meeting at the Pavilion when they arrived, Jim told them that it was time for everyone to die, but it wasn't a suicide, it was a revolutionary act to deny it. his enemies of victory, the whole moment is horrible, but what makes it worse is because it was Jim talking, which means everything is recorded, you can hear people screaming, children crying, Jim, who is clearly so high that he drags the words, he calmly tells everyone, uh, those people.
They were coming to kill them because of Leo Ryan, so they were going to kill themselves before someone else did, to quote Jim at the time. My opinion is that we be kind to the children and the elderly and take the potion like they used to do in ancient Greece and take a step back in silence because we are not going to commit suicide, it is a revolutionary act, we cannot go back, they will not let us in peace, now they will tell more lies again, which means more congressmen and there is no way we can survive. things really escalated in that act uh they did they really did yeah Wowzer well listen there's usually more to come this is the point in the show where we take another break and then come back and chat but guess what There is so much in this episode.
It's so full we're going to take one more break, hit the can again, have another drink and we'll be back for some more on this town's True Crime and Cocktails episode in Temple, okay, third clap, here we go, three one . two three welcome back to this episode of True Crime and Cocktails of course we're talking about the people's temple the true human nightmare Jim Jones oh my god what's next? Well, I'll give it to you. I'm going to be very direct, this is the part where things get uncomfortable, right, yes, the children and elderly people of Jonestown were brought to the front of the line, they were all given cyanide.
The thing about cyanide is that death is particularly gruesome and probably quite painful. causes seizures and foaming at the mouth because the cyanide prevents the body's cells from absorbing oxygen into the blood basically it's slow asphyxiation the Jonestown nurses used syringes to spray the cyanide into the babies' mouths oh the audio because of course they recorded the whole thing what at any point Jim spoke the audio recording is truly the stuff of nightmares uh people are screaming they are panicking in the gym in a very broken voice says quote die with respect die with a degree of dignity it's nothing mortal it's just move to another plane don't be In this way he also said: "Cite how much I have done everything possible to give you a good life, but despite everything I have tried, a handful of our people with their lies have made our lives impossible ".
Jim also referred to the outside world. as inhumane, but really the only thing inhumane was how he forced these innocent people to die. Jim's wife, Marceline, started screaming at the top of her lungs, she was screaming, you can't do this, she had to be physically restrained and she fought against those people and fought to the last. The boy was killed when Marceline starts screaming. Again Jim says his quote, please mother, don't do this, give your life for your children, don't do this. I guess that's when Marceline was forcibly injected because you hear Jim say marcelyn, you have 40 minutes.
It's also horrible to think that a lot of people think about the People's Temple and think about this moment and think that Marceline was the loyal wife who was by his side helping him do all of this; She absolutely wasn't, she was also a victim and some of her followers were willing to dismantle or participate in this supposed revolutionary law, but most of her wanted nothing to do with it. A small group sneaked into the jungle and walked 30 miles to safety. The people who stayed willingly drank the taste. with cyanide or forcibly injected with cyanide at gunpoint, it was a day before the Jonestown
massacrewas discovered and by then the bodies had been exposed to intense heat for so long that advanced decomposition had already set in some of the corpses had opened completely. five people died at the Port Katuma airstrip, four, including Sharon Amos, died in Georgetown and 909 people died in Jonestown.
That number includes 304 children under the age of 17. Oh, based on the abscesses believed to be from cyanide injections, it is estimated that at least a third of the followers were forcibly injected and keep in mind that is not a third of those 900. That would be a third of the 600 because all the children were forcibly injected, of course, since Jim Jones was discovered in a On the Pavilion stage, his nurse Annie Moore was discovered in Jim's private cabin. Jim and Annie were the only people in Jonestown who died from a gunshot wound to the head. Is it possible that in the Final Act of Defiance someone shot Jim?
His body was so decomposed that the doctor's examiner could not detect gunshot residue on his hands. Jim was one of seven people who had autopsies performed. The pathologist said that Jim's wound was consistent with murder or a self-inflicted wound and, although his death was ruled a suicide, it was stated that homicide cannot be completely ruled out due to a lack of reliable information. A weapon was found several meters from his body. I think it's also possible that Jim witnessed the horrible and painful deaths firsthand and realized that he didn't want to suffer like everyone else and instead chose a gun, also the dogs and the pet chimpanzee in the settlement.
They were also shot. Jim Jones told his followers again that it was not suicide and in most cases he is right, most of these people were murdered and those who drank voluntarily. Aid had been so brainwashed by Jim. I consider his deaths to be murder. Plus, it was all pointless. A massacre caused by a man trying to exert control for the last time due to an advanced state of decomposition. It took officials four and a half months to identify as many people as possible in the end. 409 could not be identified. Heck, the bodies were taken to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where they were buried in a mass grave or claimed by family members.
The unidentified bodies were buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland in May 1979. Two black granite memorial stones bearing the names and ages of the victims were placed in 2008. Two more stones were added in May 2011 with the names and ages of the remaining victims. Jim Jones' controversial name is included in At that Memorial, his body was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Atlantic Ocean and one more thing about Jim real quick, before I focus on some real victims as his people starved because they didn't They had enough money and Jim begged his followers. to give him every penny they had so the settlement members could eat, it turns out that Jim had a lot of money hidden, including 635,000 US dollars in cash in his cabin and Guyanese currency worth twenty-two thousand dollars was found, and keep in mind account. that total of 657,000 is in 1978, which means it's equivalent to more than 3 million today.
It was also discovered that there were over 8 million in various secret Temple accounts around the world again, that's numbers from 1978 so it's closer to 37 million in 2023. He kept a secret ledger in a Bible that lists all these secret stories, the Bible was never found after the massacre. What I mean is that if Jim really wanted to feed his followers, he absolutely had the means, but he simply decided not to. Why, to quote Jim Jones himself, keep them poor and keep them tired and they'll never go away. So what happened to the survivors in December? They were all able to return to the United States.
The United States and the Guyana government agreed that someone had to answer for the 918 deaths. So Larry Layton and Chuck. Beekman were arrested. Chuck, who was with Sharon Amos when she killed her children, was sentenced to five years after his release in 1983. He returned to Indiana, where he died in 2001. He was 65 years old. Chuck's wife, Rebecca, 37, and her 12-year-old son. His son Ronald died in Jonestown. His 21-year-old son Tom survived the massacre while in Georgetown receiving medical treatment at the time on the runway. Larry shot two Temple deserters who managed to survive, however Larry was charged with murder but later acquitted.
Larry was extradited. to the United States and accused of plotting to murder a congressman even though Larry was believed not to be the shooter. I guess it was conspiracy, not outright murder. The first trial ended with a hung jury. The second trial. Larry was convicted. He turned 18 years old. before being paroled in 2002. Jackie Speer, an aide to Congressman Leo Ryan, was shot during the airstrip massacre. She remained on the ground for 22 hours before being rescued. She was hospitalized for two months and then dedicated her life to public service to continue. For Leo's workRyan, was elected to Congress in 2008, where she represented Leo Ryan's district.
She officially retired in January 2023. Hyacinth Thrash was a member of the temple and was asleep at the time of the massacre, when members came in to check on her and saw her lying down. She was there and they just assumed she was dead, so they left her and when she woke up, she found just bodies everywhere and she had no idea what was going on. I can't even begin to imagine how horrible that is, yes, Michael provokes the man he married. Carolyn Leighton, after giving birth under chemotherapy, held a press conference in March 1979 at a motel in Modesto, California, delivered a statement defending Temple and Jim Jones, then returned to her room and shot herself in the head. the head while he was. 31 years old in Michael's room, the police found other statements in which Michael urged the police to fully investigate Jonestown, yes, it doesn't make sense, I know, Tim Stone tried to return to a normal life, he spent four years as a lawyer corporate before working for a private firm he ran unsuccessfully for the California State Senate in 1998 and in 2000 Tim eventually returned to the District Attorney's Office in Ukiah in 2015 Tim published a memoir called Marked by Death My War With Jim Jones the Devil of Jonestown Grace Stone has tried to live her life as far from the spotlight as possible since the massacre.
Grace has remarried and has at least two children that I know of, and while I would like to honor the victims by saying their names and ages, as I usually do, the numbers here are impossible. high, so I'm just going to name the Jonestown victims that were mentioned earlier in this episode mainly for the sake of time, such as 49-year-old loyal Patty Cartmel, 70-year-old treasurer Eva Pugh, 24-year-old nurse Annie Moore, and the 76-year-old woman. Assistant Esther Mueller, the main reason Leo Ryan got involved was because his friend was looking for his daughter-in-law and grandchildren and unfortunately, Phyllis Houston, 34, Patricia Houston, fifteen, and Judy Houston, 14 , among the casualties were the man who held a knife to Leo Don Sly's throat, 42, also died, as did Al Simon, 33, and his wife, Bonnie Simon, 29, who were the ones who physically fought over their son when Al tried to leave their six-year-old children.
Four-year-old Crystal, four-year-old Al Jr, and two-year-old Summer were also killed. The oldest victim in Jonestown was Amanda Poindexter, 97, who had been living in Jonestown under the name Rejoice because the youngest victim was two years old. Charles Gary Henderson, one month old, so what happened to the Jim Jones family? Jim's mother, Lynetta, died in Jonestown a year before the massacre. She was around 73 years old at the time. 10 members of the Jones family died during the massacre, including 47-year-old Jim Jones and 51-year-old Jim Jones. Marceline, his adopted daughter Agnes, 35, and his adopted son Lou, 22. Also lost in the massacre were Lou's wife, Terry, 24, her 19-month-old son, Jim, and Carolyn's three-year-old son, Chemo, Jim, and six-year-old Grace. -Eldest son, John Victor, and Jim's longtime girlfriend, Carolyn Layton Sandy, 33, the wife of Timothy Tupper Jones, 22, were also murdered in Jonestown, as was Yvette, 20 years, that not only was she the wife of Jim Jones Jr, but she was also pregnant.
At the time, Jim Jones Jr was 18 or 19 at the time and he was one of the people who tried to go back to stop him, but of course it's such a long journey they would never have done it. Suzanne Jones had left the Temple of the people around the same time as Grace Stone, while Suzanne occasionally spoke to Marcelyn, she refused any contact with Jim. Suzanne died of breast cancer in November 2006 at the age of 54. Stephen Jones, 19, Jim and Marcelyn's only biological child, spent three months. in a Guyana jail as officials learned who was responsible for the deaths of Sharon Amos and her children.
Chuck Beekman, of course, was eventually blamed and Stephen was released. Stephen Jim Jones Jr and Timothy Tupper returned to the United States to try to rebuild their lives. Timothy died of a heart attack in April 2019 at the age of 60. As of 2019, Stephen works for an office furniture company, is married and has three daughters. In 2018, Jim Jr works in healthcare, is married and has three children when asked about his father Jim Jr said: "Mental illness was exacerbated by drug abuse and absolute power when no one challenged him. When you prepare that cocktail, the mind can get out of control and that's what Jim Jones did.
It got out of control and it got out of control." destroyed what comes up again and again with Jonestown is that people want to know why so many followers went ahead with this, just like the victims of Heaven's Gate, the victims and even the survivors of the People's Temple are called crazy and use The phrase, don't drink the Kool-Aid, has become something of a bad joke, but these people were human beings looking for a better life and a connection with another person, they were lost souls who wanted to belong to something and make a difference. in the world. world and may have started out innocently, things quickly evolved as Jim Jones craved more and more power and eventually many of the people became stuck and simply had nowhere else to go, so for Jim Jones the Mass suicide was a revolutionary act that would go down in history. but for the rest of the world it was a meaningless census.
The massacre of over 900 humans while Jim spent years telling his followers that the government and other Outsiders were the enemies, in the end the biggest threat to the People's Temple was Jim Jones himself reporting for True. Crime and Cocktails I'm Christy Oxborough wow sir, yes, Wowzer, yes, well listen, I'm going to go over my thoughts real quick, sure, you know, it's shocking to me the first part of this because I know a lot about this case, but Obviously , I learned a lot from your impeccable research. It's really sad that it started off so well with the details at the beginning, where it was like they really did a good job, they were actually helping people, it wasn't just a scam.
They really seemed to be doing what they said, yeah, it's very sad to move on from that because again, very often when we hear these stories, the intention is never there and it feels like it was at first and that's so tragic. Um, the idea that in this story you were talking about the divine father marrying Peninnah to stop the rumor that he was sleeping with younger girls and then you were like, "Oh, actually, this is still my wife when she's not "It wasn't at all, that's marrying an older woman." woman to hide the fact or pretend that he doesn't sleep with younger women and then she dies and he absolutely marries a super young woman but then he also pretends that it's all pretend that the young wife was the new one was the old wife exactly for me.
It was like just stop it, a piece of garbage, I know and it's funny because I wrote at the time that this guy reminds me of Joe Francis, which of course was last week's episode and then several times, in this case, talking about Jim Jones, there were so many similarities with me about different details and then the specific when you said that Jim Jones had his own bus and he would take girls there and sometimes he would not only have sex with him but he would also sexually assault them. I thought the parallels between the two were wild.
It's crazy, these were the episodes that were backed up and had to be back to back. I just don't know and in many ways, even though Joe Francis hasn't killed anyone as far as we know, he's still that kind of cult leader. vibe right um so charismatic but also completely brutal um yeah it really surprised me that twice I said oh that reminds me of Joe Francis that reminds me of Joe Francis and then the similarities kept flowing um it's so interesting to me that Jim Jones seemed to have this real white savior complex from very early on, even when he did legitimately good things, he was always focused on the black community, the black community, the black community, and I'm not saying that's bad, it's not wonderful, but it was just interesting. to me that seemed to be the place where he was focusing his energy and then well, I mean, we all know how it turned out, um and then at the end when you mentioned your comment, his comment, the quote of his about keeping them poor and keep them tired and they will never leave.
I thought he was deliberately targeting marginalized communities because he felt they were easier targets for him. Was he trying to seem like a savior to those communities so he could then draw them into his network, does it feel like there has to be some kind of correlation because it just came up over and over and over again, yeah, and the intention, yes it was a pure intention. , is correct, is wonderful, but only for me, given everything I felt. I feel like that was calculated oh 100 yeah he knew what he was doing the statement you made that really shook me and you're going to love this because it's not going to be what you think you were you know you were talking about how he was doing well these fake cures and it was all necessary to gain followers and it just made me think about the current world we live in where practically everyone, not everyone, but practically everyone who participates in social media cares about their followers and wants to get followers um certainly for people that it's part of their job, it's not even that they necessarily want it, it's that they kind of need it and this concept again, anything to gain followers, it just stuck, kept hitting me the whole time, like that. which was as it is.
Isn't it an interesting parallel that this was a cult leader who murdered over 900 people? Yes, and the impulse has somehow been programmed in all of us similarly not to kill, but you know what I'm saying, it's like that. was so extreme that he was willing to do anything to get people to follow him and then the literal parallel now is like the things that people will do to get followers, whether it's exploiting yourself exploiting other people trying to jump trends trying to seem relatable, it felt like it was hitting me in the face how this new social media culture is almost pushing us to be narcissistic in ways that in you know, the '70s would have only been associated with men like this or people like this, yeah, it's like that girl who claimed to be Madeline McCann, yeah, and her family said she wanted attention and she said all she wanted was followers and her accounts went up.
Millions, hundreds of billions and it was, of course, in the end, she's not, not at all, she put that family through something that shouldn't have 100 percent followers and there's a difference between, oh, I'm going to post harmless content and I hope people follow me and like it and I'm going to say that I'm a deceased girl from one of the biggest True Crime cases of all time to get followers, obviously, there's a very big spectrum and a gulf between those two things, oh yes. but it's interesting to me that when you distill it it's the same concept oh 100 and again that's a concept that 30 or 40 years ago was given to my God.
I just thought the 1970s were 30 or 40 years ago, it's more than 50. ...let's not even think about it too much anyway, you do. I just thought it was an interesting sociological concept that I hadn't thought about before until I heard the words "um, him, someone shoot him so he could heal himself." a snake oil salesman I never even remembered that detail when you said it I thought oh yeah that sounds familiar but it's crazy yeah then I wrote sex with girls on a bus this is Joe yeah Joe so I. I accidentally typed Joe Jim 41 Debbie 19 but again it's a parallel um don't worry my son you needed it and the detail that their associates created a quote schedule yes those are their words not mine yes exactly, oh, that's probably what I would do.
I've called him out, I mean this is all very interesting to me too, he said I'm the only straight person on the planet, everyone else is bisexual, was that to make them think that everyone should have sex with him, but then He was also having sex with all of them, so yeah, I don't know, that's a very fascinating detail. Oh God, there are so many things here, the dark glasses. I also think about dark glasses with David Koresh and that's what. these cult leaders and they have tinted glasses I don't know, I mean well in this case, they hide their massive use of drunk, well, yeah, exactly, um, the fear of Kotex.
I just wrote that I was at Disneyland yesterday and opened my backpack. and there were so many tampons and that man almost threw them at me it was like yeah thank you looking in my bag thank you uh it's so pathetic to me that's true then and true now um again so this detail that this black kid was hit next to this room full of adults again, this is our white savior, this is the guy who this whole time has been championing all these black causes and then that happens, absolute proof to me that it's like no, this was it , Nothing of thatIt was real even when it felt like it was rooted in altruism from the beginning.
It wasn't the detail that he gave them things to drink and he said he was poisoned when in reality he wasn't. He is so creepy. He didn't know that detail. Creepy it was basically like he was trying to get them to trust him and that they would always do it so that then when he threw it, it would happen. He absolutely just wanted to see how many people, how many times he could do that and people would stay, yeah, yeah. Absolutely, um, the detail of Marcelyn asking to see a psychiatrist or psychologist and him saying it was fine and then having the person tell him everything.
I just broke my heart. I mean, his whole story breaks my heart, but I like the idea that you're asking me. legitimately helping and then being betrayed like that by a therapist is so bleak. Having cash that people collect from their life insurance policies to give to the church is incredible and here's my question: him hoarding all that money, what was he going to do with it? Did he think he needed so much money for drugs because it wasn't exactly like he was living a lavish lifestyle? I understand that he was living a better life than the other people who were in Jonestown, but he wasn't living the way he was.
It's not like he was in a mansion, what was he doing with all that money? What did you think his medications were going to be? He was just taking them from Jonestown Pharmacy and his doctor brought them. He is so sickly. He feels like it's really that statement that he made, which was basically keep them poor, keep them tired and they'll follow you forever, how disgusting, especially yeah, there are so many kids it's so hard to even think about it. the potion potion you're not Harry Potter 100. um, yeah, and then I wrote what happened to Grace's son and then you said and I said, of course, that's also a tragedy that she legitimately went through all the right things. channels to get that kid out of there and they failed like the system is broken, it's broken, uh, and then the last thing I had to comment on very quickly, Hyacinth, the woman who slept through a mass suicide.
I'm not laughing because it's funny and I'm not trying to be glib, but it's just the idea of how crazy that must have been, like I went to bed to take a nap, woke up and everyone had committed suicide or been murdered at the same time. force, I mean, it just must have felt like That Armageddon type moment, you know what I mean, a dystopian like Am I Dreaming is real, yes, while the bodies were everywhere, of course, and also, no, no one could get there for a day so she lived there for a day and she had no way to get out, get out, she had nothing.
I hope she received help. I really hope she got some help because that's a level of trauma I can't. I even understand my head, oh, I think I would be convinced at that moment that I never woke up, yes, that you were then trapped in a nightmare forever, yes, yes, oh percent, 100 My God, what a difficult job. Christy Oxford, amazing, amazing search, as always, this was really. amazing and again as someone who really felt like he knew everything about this case he was proven wrong like you always do and that's a joy to me he doubled down on the ball he said it was nasty yeah I think it might have been okay , I mean the whole thing. and the kid's death mostly uh wasn't cool.
It might have been okay if they didn't record everything if there was an audio recording that I listened to, um, which uh, a lot of listeners who are going to see the documentary that I recommend for this. uh we'll also hear parts of it um that documentary is produced by Leonardo DiCaprio who is currently in talks to play Jim Jones in a biopic and to Leo I would say, sir, say on your yacht that we don't want you, nobody needs you. and I'm not saying we don't want you in a movie playing him, we don't want anyone playing him or somehow trying to glamorize what that monster did, so I don't think so, yeah, I am.
I have to be honest, I think it's strange, it's strange enough that we as a society love True Crime as much as we do and this is coming from someone who hosts a true crime podcast, but the dramatization parts where we then portray the person by famous actors. I think you know you're giving them exactly what they wanted, like these true full-blooded narcissists, like legit, check every box like there's nothing Jim Jones wouldn't want more than to have one of the biggest movie stars in the world playing him in a movie that would be bigger than I think, because if it was Jim Jones or a true narcissist, the only person they would want. playing them more would be themselves because they are 100, possibly incredibly delusional and selfish, but again, yeah, I just don't know if this is a story we need to see dramatized.
I think documentaries are important. I think it's important. remember these stories in the hope that we will not repeat them again. I think it's important to honor the victims, but I think we need to make an important movie where we show the death of 900 people. Really I do not think so. no because also how are they going to achieve that and three hours because you know it's going to be three hours it's always three hours we barely get through this in three three hours yes no, it's a lot of information and well, that's when you start cutting corners in those scripts that's when it becomes They lose the details, you know all the above.
I just, yeah, I think this is one for me that I would say no, thank you, come in, yeah, and I am especially because I have concerns. I don't want to know how they're going to portray Marceline if they try to make it seem like she was super involved in those deaths. I will be angry, yes, she was trapped and stayed to be with her children, he would have left her. Wow, he tried to make her stay back, but she said, I'm going to go where my kids go, yeah, that's right, you didn't deserve her, no, I'm sticking with it, listen, Christy Oxboro, really fantastic job, we're so grateful. always.
You really went all out on this one, so thank you so much for everything you do. I'm happy to be on the other side. I think we all are and thank you, dear listeners, for joining us on this dark journey. We appreciate you very much. listening and supporting us if you haven't already followed us on social media on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube at your crumb and Cocktails on Twitter at no detectives if you want to learn more about patreon, visit patreon.com truecrimin cocktails to see everything we have going on there and the only place for official True Crew and True Crime and Cocktails merch is of course truecrewmerch.com so check that out too if you're interested Christy, do you want to tell people about this? episode of the week, oh, I think they would like that honor.
I would absolutely do it in the next True Crime and Cocktails. The X-Files discovered, that's right, dear listeners, my favorite television show of all time. I'll take a handful of episodes breaking them down for you. giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what happened in those episodes and then telling you the real-life stories that inspired them. I am enthusiastic. I asked: wouldn't I be happier? It will be a real game and a half. uh Christy, do you want to say goodnight? people, since I'm already depressing everyone for the last two hours and some, good night, treat Williams, oh, good night, Williams tree.
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