Jonestown- The Peoples Temple by the Jury Room

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Sources


https://www.nytimes.com/1979/03/15/archives/excerpts-from-transcript-of-tape-describing-thefinal-moments-at.html

https://www.indystar.com/story/entertainment/2018/11/14/jim-jones-jonestown-massacre-cultleader-indianapolis-tour-miracles-monkeys/1737578002/

https://www.indystar.com/story/entertainment/2018/07/13/jonestowns-massacre-survivor-shewoke-up-and-everyone-dead-jim-jones/778750002/

https://people.com/crime/jim-jones-jonestown-guyana-mass-suicide-gallery/

https://digitaljonestown.library.drake.edu/hyachinth-thrash/

https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=30300

https://www.nytimes.com/1988/11/18/us/ghost-of-jonestown-haunts-survivor.html

https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=35419

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/jonestown-nov-18-1978/

https://murderpedia.org/male.J/j/jones-jim.htm

https://www.npr.org/transcripts/523348069

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/jonestown/

http://www.bookrags.com/biography/jim-jones-cri/#gsc.tab=0https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/

https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=64878#_ftn14

https://medium.com/its-me-jennyb/this-is-why-i-will-never-drink-kool-aid-7a35e402755b

https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=27339

https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=33190

Jonestown – Massacre, Guyana & Cult – HISTORY

https://www.rollingstone.com/feature/jonestown-13-things-you-should-know-about-cultmassacre-121974/


An apocalyptic cult, 900 dead: remembering the Jonestown massacre, 40 years on | World news | The Guardian

Transcript

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(0s):
Welcome to true crime by Indie Drop-In each week we feature an episode from the best independent creators hit subscribe for more great, true crime content. If you would like to help indie drop in support indie creators, you can buy us a coffee. Just go to buy me a coffee.com forward slash indie drop-in or click the link in the show notes below today’s episode is from the jury room. Don’t forget to check out the show notes for links to subscribe and follow us on social media. Enjoy the show begin. We are precious. Every single one of us. We are a magnificent human beings who have been given an almighty gift.

(41s):
The ability to create our own lives without any limits warning. The following podcast contains mature content. Listener discretion is advised. Hello, and welcome to the jury room where we dissect some of the most heinous, some of the most unthinkable and some of the most monstrous crimes to ever scar the earth from cannibalistic serial killers, two decades old unsolved mysteries. These stories are Sentencer enough to keep you up at night. Are you looking for a miracle?

(1m 22s):
Let me welcome you to Jonestown. On November 19th, 1978, hyacinth thrash a woman in her late seventies had under her bed in Guyana, South America. The Alabama born woman had been living in a clearing in the guy on a jungle known as Jonestown for some time. Now, ever since her prophet, Jim Jones had led his devout followers there.

(2m 2s):
Thrash was one of the early followers of Jones. She met the charismatic preacher when he was performing healings in Indianapolis, he was easy to fall for a white Christian philanthropist who fought racial injustices in a city that was deeply segregated. Thrash, who was black, was living in Indianapolis. When the city actively supported the KKK in the 1920s to see a white man preach about integration. And the quality was remarkable.

(2m 43s):
He seemed bold, brave, and kind a giver Jones even started a soup kitchen and had a clothing giveaway. He put coal in black folks bins and gave them shoes and things always willing to help somebody. And I was willing to go along with him because at the time he was really doing good thrash and her sister zipping sold their home for $35,000 and gave the money to Jones. Then they followed him to California and onward to Guyana.

(3m 28s):
By 1978, thrash was beginning to see through the cracks. The liberal minded preacher she had fallen for had transformed into a sadistic cult leader, and she was tired of it. On that late November day, she heard the sound of gunshots echoing from the tangles of the long limbed trees in the jungle. She was scared when Jones called for his followers, all of them to gather in the main pavilion, she had a bad feeling. She didn’t want to go. Her sister went ahead, but thrash chose to hide.

(4m 13s):
Joan’s guards went from room to room, bed to bed, looking for stragglers, making sure everyone was right where they were supposed to be. That no one was left behind thrash they’ll remain undetected. The lights were off and she was small enough to cradle her body near the wall, beneath the bed. The guards didn’t see her thrash waited for her sister to return from the meeting. She never came, thrash assumed it was just running long.

(4m 56s):
So she crept into her bed, pulled up the covers and went to sleep. It was a strikingly quiet night. So she slept soundly until morning when she woke the other beds in the small cramped cabin were still empty. Her sister wasn’t there, she made her way outside. Confused, still emerging from the thick fog of sleep. She figured everyone must have gone to breakfast once outside, though, she nearly stumbled over 15 dead bodies.

(5m 39s):
She didn’t know there were nearly 900 others just waiting to be found. Thrash spent the remainder of the day and that night alone among the dead. She had to grapple with the death of her sister and some of her closest friends. While coming to terms with what she was seeing, it wasn’t just adults. It was children to babies. She saw them limp and lifeless and the dirt, her heart broke a thousand times over as she sat among the sea of corpses.

(6m 23s):
It’s enough to make you scream your lungs out. Thinking of those babies dead. She told reporters in 1995, a nightmare thrash lived through that day is unimaginable. The photographs alone are shocking. The sheer number of corpse is hard to grasp. Even after the third or fourth examination, masses of bodies piled together like dominoes, people of all ages, races, backgrounds, all of whom were seeking a better life.

(7m 6s):
When they found hope in a man named Jim Jones are blanketing the ground in death to think of thrash alive. Among them is a horror beyond the scope of imagination. She was among a handful of survivors, but that day across those acres and acres of land, she saw no one else living. She screamed into the cruel, quiet of the morning, the stench of death floating through the humid jungle air. Oh God, she recalled shouting.

(7m 47s):
They came and they killed them all. And I was the only one alive rash sister first saw Jones on a TV broadcast in the late 1950s and was in chanted right away. She encouraged, thrash to check them out. As they looked into his piercing, black eyes on the television screen, enthralled in his sweet words of harmony, healing and happiness. They knew only one thing. They have to meet this man, Jim Jones and see what he was all about.

(8m 32s):
Maybe just maybe you could change their lives forever. Jim Jones was born in Crete, Indiana in 1931, but moved with his family to the small town of Lynn. When he was the toddler, he spent his formative years living in a rundown with no plumbing. He was a child of the great depression, his parents or James Thurman Jones, a veteran of world war one. And Lanetta Putman.

(9m 12s):
James was left disabled in the war and unable to work. He spent hours glued to the family radio and had little interest in fathering. His son. The only thing that he did seem to care about was the KKK who he supported. Vehemently Jones was closest with his mother. Leonetta worked as a waitress and a factory worker, but she was one of the few college educated women in the rural town of Lynn Indiana. While she was not at all religious, she did suffer from deeply seated paranoia that she fed to her son from a young age, according to Jeff Gwen, author of the road to Jonestown Jones.

(10m 5s):
His paranoia is actually rooted in his childhood where he had a mother who believed that she was reincarnated through many lives and that in a vision, it was revealed to her that she would give birth to the greatest man, whoever lived. So here he’s hearing from the time he can understand words, you are something special. You have special powers. Then his mother would constantly harp about all the outsiders who were against them, who were holding her down, who are holding their family down.

(10m 46s):
By the time he is a public figure himself, he’s already. From the time he was a child accepted the fact that he is being stood up and attacked by enemies, everywhere dinner was spent listening to Linetta is rant about the meaning of life. She taught her son that no one would ever help him that if he wanted to survive in life, he needed to learn to be self-sufficient Jones had freedom to pretty much do anything he wanted. His parents were hardly a tentative to him, Moneta, because she was tied up at work for long hours, James, because he simply didn’t care.

(11m 34s):
Jones spent hours wandering his little town on one occasion. He stumbled upon a Pentecostal congregation. The gospel tabernacle, the congregation practice, spiritual healing and Jones was fixated by the healing miracles he saw there. He began obsessively reading about religious and dreamed about becoming a preacher and then FBI tape transcribed by the Jonestown Institute. Jones remembered because I was never accepted or didn’t feel accepted.

(12m 18s):
I joined a Pentecostal church, the most extreme Pentecostal church, the oneness, because they were the most despised. They were the rejects of the community. I found immediate acceptance. And I must say in all honest, about as much love as I could interpret love at home. And that I had taught her son to love nature and animals. She felt that to love animals was to maintain a connection with the spirits of the wilderness Jones, practically collected pets as a child.

(13m 3s):
He had chickens, cats, dogs, and even snakes. He crammed them into pens in the family barn while his mother worked and his father was sucked into the radio. The pets provided Jones. Some of his only company, they also supplied an active audience for his new passion. Preaching Jones took two standing on the Bardens creaky loft, where he would look down at his family of animals and preach to them.

(13m 45s):
He scattered flowers around the barn and lit candles and preparation for his sermons. Eventually he expanded his audience to a slew of neighborhood kids who would gather in the barn to hear this strange child speak in many ways. This was the future preachers. First church. He regular, literally through spiritual healings for animals, where he would perform interspecies blood transfusions that he claimed were scientific.

(14m 26s):
Other times he would hold funerals for any pets that passed away. According to alternative considerations of Jonestown and people’s temple, a research project sponsored by the special collections of library and information access at San Diego state university. Some of the dead pets were killed by Jones in the hours before the funeral, contrary to the violent end, many of his pets met young Jones was devoted to love. Jones was drawn to outside there’s losers people.

(15m 7s):
Yeah, and even animals that he felt were neglected or mistreated. He had a lonely childhood and likely saw pieces of himself within them. He was even known to nurture plants that he felt pity for. If it was a living creature, it deserved love and attention. And an FBI tape Jones laments that the first time I felt guilt. When a little dog died, I wanted to commit suicide, but I had still some little dogs and cats in life that had me alone to take care of them.

(15m 50s):
Of course, Jones was known to lie about his childhood. He often bragged that his mother was part Cherokee, which as it turned out was entirely false. Cause it’s hard to know what a truth might be a lie if it came from Jones’s mouth. But one thing’s for certain Jones was drawn to the NSF. So the vulnerable and the first time he saw something delicate broke, whether a dog by accident or a cat on purpose, he was affected deeply.

(16m 31s):
It altered the course of his life. By the time he was a teenager Jones had religious tunnel vision while other boys were playing sports or beginning to date Jones was preaching on street corners. He claimed to possess a special wisdom and knowledge that he was obliged by God to share with the world he preached in black and white neighborhoods alike. Speaking of brotherhood and unity to anyone who would listen, he gave the poor or downtrodden special attention.

(17m 16s):
He felt he could sympathize with their plight because he had pains of his own soon. He made with the only black man in town and invited him to come to the house in the FBI recordings. Jones remembers I had early developed a sensitivity for the problems of blacks to probably feeling as an outcast. I brought them the only black young man in the town to visit my dad to visit my home. And my dad said that he could not come in.

(17m 57s):
And I said, then I shan’t. And I didn’t see my father for many years in 1945, following the incident with his friend Jones and his mother left his father and moved to Richmond Indiana there Jones dived head first into his studies, eager to learn all about the world. It was at school that he was introduced to powerful historical figures and became interested in how a person can come from little and gain a lot. You’ve ever consciously read the teachings of Karl Marx, Joseph Stalin, and Adolf Hitler, his perception of the world and of his own place within it was shaped by these readings as well as his mother’s praise for him.

(18m 55s):
Her adamant that Jones was someone special Jones worked part time at the local hospital. And it was there that he met Marsland Baldwin, a young nursing student who was drawn to Jones, devotion towards patients. Jones gave the six special attention, charming them with his charismatic speeches, Baldwin viewed Jones. As a man of the world, he cared deeply about social issues and treated everyone. He met with kindness. The couple married a year after Jones graduated high school, which he did early with honors.

(19m 42s):
The early years of marriage were dark. Jones was a college student, his confidence and his ego had grown. He had a keen desire for power, but his insecurities were his greatest weakness, terrified of being abandoned. He was possessive of his new wife and angered. If she ever spent time with someone else, Baldwin was wary of the shockingly jealous side of her new husband, but she believed that marriage was a lifelong commitment.

(20m 22s):
So she was determined to make it work at school. Jones was learning more about the world and the more he learned, the more he struggled with his faith, how could his beloved God allow for poverty, racism, and genocide. For a few years, he denounced God completely unable to reconcile his faith with the painful realities of the world. Whatever Jones believed was the only thing to believe. He told his wife that if he ever caught her praying, he would kill himself.

(21m 5s):
If Jones said there was no God, there was no God. In 1951 Jones. Now 20 became interested in communism. He attended meetings of the communist party USA even bringing his mother with him on occasion. This was in the height of the cold war when communists were considered enemies of the state and were heavily investigated by the FBI. After one meeting an FBI member harassed Linetta in front of her coworkers humiliating her Jones deeply angered by the incident, decided he needed to do something big to just demonstrate his devotion to communism and his resentment towards the U S government and an FBI tape.

(22m 6s):
John says, I have decided, where can I demonstrate my Marxism? The thought was infiltrate. The church Jones began his education into becoming a pastor. I’m assume working as a student pastor at the Somerset Methodist church in a lower class white neighborhood in Indianapolis. He truly did agree with the teachings of Jesus Christ, considering himself, a believer and a doubter at the same time, regardless of his faith was more happy to preach the teachings of Jesus particular of helping the poor and loving thy neighbor in his spare time.

(22m 58s):
Jones attended services at black churches and invited the people. He met there to attend secret services in Jones’ own home. After only a few years, Jones was preaching for large crowds at Pentecostal meetings. He spoke of healings and his belief in miracles, drawing in anyone who needed to believe in something to believe that their hopes could come to fruition, that their pains could be healed motivated by his success and recognizing his unique ability to entranced total strangers.

(23m 42s):
He left the Methodist church and started a church of his own, which he called the people’s temple. In the beginning Jones’s church was committed to helping the needy, even with limited funding, it established a soup kitchen Jones and his wife adopted a black child, a Korean child and gave birth to their first biological son. Their family represented to Jones flock. John’s commitment to a peaceful world, free of racism or division.

(24m 21s):
This was the late 1950s Jones and his wife or the first white parents to adopt a black child in the state of Indiana. During services Jones performed miracle healings that were published about and newspapers drawing in big crowds of desperate sickly people. His church grew fast. According to Gwen, Jim Jones was a tremendous performer instinctively. He understood the things that he would need to do in front of a crowd, not just to get their attention, but to hold it and be remembered by them.

(25m 9s):
He taught himself and then taught a few followers how to assist them. He would concoct being able to summon cancers from people’s bodies, which were actually rotten chicken parts that he would have planted earlier. Even the small number of followers who understand this was all a ruse convinced themselves that it was necessary for Jones to trick people at first, in order to bring them into the church. Gwen explains, they tell themselves Jim is doing what he has to do to bring people in for the greater good, because at the same time he is doing these terrible things.

(25m 54s):
He’s making things up. He’s tricking people is also out there working for integration for civil rights, for women’s rights as his followers grew. So did his ego Jones felt invincible. He published an ad and in Chicago paper for the most spiritual healing ministry in the land today, the pamphlet claimed that Jones could make the blind, see the deaf here at one time. He even faked his own death before resurrecting himself on stage audiences went nuts.

(26m 39s):
Jones was quickly addicted to the control. He had the power. He started sleeping with members of his flock, barely trying to hide it from his poor wife. Sex was another way for him to exert control and get people to stay close to him, to worship him, to follow his lead. Without question, he had a strategy when it came to convincing new members to join the church. And it wasn’t all rotten chicken guts. He was after desperate people because he knew that someone’s seriously down on their luck in need of America will be the most likely to blindly follow the promise of hope.

(27m 29s):
He took his flock on bus tours of the American West, where he would stop in city after city to attract new followers. He invited the sick and the poor to big auditoriums where buffets of food would be waiting for them. Along with physicians to check out blood pressure and perform diabetes checks. There were others available to help people apply for welfare and social security. Finally, Jones would ask everyone to take a, see a band would perform music before Jones stepped onto the stage to perform a healing.

(28m 18s):
When explains how this whole event would draw people in. So you get entertainment, but more than that, you get hope. And so it can be any wonder that at every one of these stops, there are always some people who want to get on the bus and go with Jim Jones and the people’s temple. He understood psychology and he took full advantage through all of his recruiting and spectacle Jones never stopped giving back. He threw himself into fighting for civil rights.

(28m 58s):
His commitment to good and to unity was noticed by the local government in Indianapolis. He was soon invited to be the head of the Indianapolis human rights commission, a job he was thrilled to take on. In addition to his work as a church leader, his strong, controversial beliefs, however, drew widespread criticism Jones told the local news that he was receiving death threats and was regularly harassed on the streets. None of these claims, wherever founded Jones stepped down from his new possession just months after it began.

(29m 47s):
During this time, Jones became paranoid of an upcoming nuclear attack, whether fueled by the widespread fears of the cold war as mothers, rantings, or Jones’ own warped perception of the world, it was enough to scare Jones into leaving Indianapolis. He decided to take his congregation somewhere where they could be safer in search of the perfect paradise for his flock Jones traveled to Hawaii and Brazil over the course of two years.

(30m 28s):
It was during this time that he first set foot in Guyana, he was drawn to the small countries, socialists doctrines right away, and the seeds were planted for the future move with his congregation. In 1964, Jones convinced his followers to move with him to Mendocino County, California. He had read an Esquire. The County was a safe place to live in the advent of a nuclear attack. About 80 followers, sold their houses and gave Jones the money to cover the cost of the journey in California.

(31m 13s):
The church continued to grow sewn. It expanded into several congregations with the San Francisco based headquarters. Jones began a coveted membership program. That was the key to establishing fiercely loyal followers. And the beginning of the church’s transformation into a cult in the beginning payment for membership was optional, but the donations were publicly announced. So there was a mounting social pressure to open wallets. Jones also made it clear that the amount you donated was directly correlated to your commitment to the church.

(31m 59s):
So if you gave very little, you must care. Very little soon. Payment was no longer voluntary at a minimum. A person was required to give 25% of their income to the church. Jones gave special praise and attention to those who chose to live at the people’s temple facilities handing over their personal property and savings Jones was a big believer in communal living, calling it the spiritual ideal because it kept people away from the sinful influence of the destructive materialistic outside world.

(32m 45s):
With his most devout followers, isolated from regular society Jones was able to convince them that the only safe place was the people’s temple. Now one on the outside could be trusted. The world was an enemy. New members had to undergo an intense initiation. A practice that Jones hoped would make joining the congregation that much more desirable. It was competitive exclusive an honor, that had to be earned. Not only that, but after going through initiation members were far more committed to the church and to Jones members received a place to sleep and a $2 allowance in exchange for joining the church, but they were required to relinquish any affiliations with biological family members Jones explained that they were part of a new family now and no longer needed the influence of centers or people outside of the church.

(33m 59s):
If a person argued or refuse to adhere to the strict and often heartbreaking new rules Jones out of them as a person of weakness who suffered from a lack of faith, these people would be punished by the rest of the community. Punishments included public beatings, especially of children. Parents were required to publicly beat their children for misbehaving. Husband and wives were also expected to punish each other by making his own members responsible for his punishment.

(34m 40s):
Jones made it impossible for members to publicly turn against them. They also believed that the punishment must be just one member. Debra Leighton explained that as fathers influencing creased, the members became unwitting ponds in his quest for more and more personal power. The deeper a person got into the church, the more they were expected to sacrifice in order to prove their devotion, the members that were completely devoted, who never questioned Jones or succumb to punishment, lived a life of harmony and peace.

(35m 27s):
This motivated new members to keep quiet and focus unbelieving the teachings were becoming more intense and bizarre Jones claimed he was devoted to wiping out racism in America, by whatever means necessary. Even if it meant mass murder or suicide Jones began telling his followers that he was the reincarnation of Jesus and that he had Holy visions of the end of the world and extermination of the black race. If his followers wanted to survive, they needed to stick with Jones members were forced to accept Joan’s authority.

(36m 15s):
Without question, by the time he was preaching about the inevitable end of the world, most of his flock had already given him their life savings. They were in too deep to leave or to admit they may have made a grave mistake in trusting him as Jones’ ego grew along with his control over his followers. He became violent, threatening and downright cruel to his devotees late in lamented that as Jones power grew, we entered more and more threats and suffered tighter and tighter restrictions.

(37m 4s):
In 1968, Jones applied for affiliation with the disciples of Christ, which he was granted. The affiliation came with tax exemptions and made the people’s temple. An officially recognized religious organization. Jones sent 30,000 newsletters across the nation month after month and began radio broadcasting. His sermons by 1973, the people’s temple had two and a half thousand members.

(37m 45s):
As Jones became more sucked into his new power and esteem. He threw himself into his sexual affairs more than ever. His wife suffered from back problems that kept her from engaging in sex herself. So Jones justified in his plentiful sexual encounters. He told his wife and his followers that sex with other women was nothing personal. It was necessary. It made him feel better, stronger, more energized. And he needs that feeling in order to devote himself to the cause.

(38m 26s):
He occasionally slept with male members to claiming that he used sex to remind them that they weren’t the ones in power that he has the control. In addition, shouldn’t have sex Jones also turned to drugs. He took him pheta means to stay awake longer. Then he took sleeping pills. When it was time to go to sleep, he started wearing his signature sunglasses. At this time, he told his followers that the glasses texted them, that to look directly into his eyes would burn you up because his vision was so powerful.

(39m 8s):
In reality, he wore the, I says because his eyes had turned bright red from all the drugs he was using as Jones congregation grew by the thousands. So did his drug fueled paranoia? The people’s temple was gaining recognition from the press and it wasn’t good. According to the history channel, negative reports began to surface about the man referred to as father by his followers. Former members described being a forced to give up their balloons, ohms and even custody of their children told of being subjected to beatings and said, Jones States faked cancer healings.

(39m 56s):
The FBI began investigating the group and feeling threatened Jones decided it was time to leave America once. And for all in 1974, he obtained permission from the government of Guyana to build a commune there and an opening in the jungle, 140 miles from Georgetown. It was a completely isolated place, totally estranged from the rest of the world. If Jones wanted to continue his practices and make them more extreme, this was the place to do it. A small group of Jones’ most devout followers traveled to Guyana to begin the construction.

(40m 43s):
By 1977, it was moving. Randy Jones convinced over 1000 of his followers to follow him to this new land, promising a life of peace and unity in South American paradise, where everyone would be completely safe from the evil outside world world upon arrival, Joan’s confidence, skated, passports, and personal possessions, including medications ensuring that no one could leave the commune. He even armed the isolated road through the jungle with watchful guards, anyone who tried to escape with succumb to a deadly fate, it was apparent right away that this place was no.

(41m 36s):
Parent members had left everything behind to gift here. And there was nothing like they had expected it to be instead of safe and comfortable living. They were crammed into tiny, dirty cabins. They were required to work long days in the fields. And if they dared question Jones authority, they were punished. Mom’s made sure that his members didn’t sleep a strategy meant to keep them from acting out. If a person is over worked and overtired, not think hard enough to question anything and won’t have the energy to fight it back.

(42m 20s):
Even if they did, they were forced to attend long meetings late into the night in order to stay awake. On some occasions, Jones had his followers participate in suicide drills. He said that they would have to commit mass suicide. If Jones failed to create world peace, family members, followers grew concerned when they weren’t hearing from their relatives. They published reports that they believe their loved ones were brainwashed and being tormented by Jim Jones in November, 1978, Leo Ryan, a U S representative from California, decided to go check out the situation himself.

(43m 13s):
When Jones, I heard that a U S representative would be visiting. He became overwhelmed with rage and paranoia. He commanded his followers to say only good words about the compound and not to reveal any of the abuse they were suffering. If they did, they would face severe punishment. Ryan brought news reporters, photographers, and even some concerned relatives of cult members. They had no idea what to expect of their destination, but were haunted by the stories of brainwashing and abused.

(43m 58s):
They had been told they arrived on November 17 and were surprised to receive a warm welcome from the compound Jones, even through a big dinner and put on a concert for them. Ryan interviewed as many as the followers as he could. And they each told him that they were happy with their new life in paradise. He told them that anyone who wanted to leave could come with him. Only 15 people agreed to this, which shows just how devoted Jones’s followers really were or how afraid a day after his arrival, Ryan and his group got ready to leave Johnstown while waiting for his plane on a nearby jungle airstrip.

(44m 53s):
They were ambushed. Gunman sent by Jim Jones fired bullets at the unsuspecting group, Ryan and three others were shot in the carnage. Ryan died. Gwen describes the event. Jones had determined the night before that he couldn’t let Ryan and a few people from the temple who’d wanted to defect get away. His thought was, if you let a few people go then more and more are going to want to go. If you let this congressmen go, more congressmen will come. So he did what he thought he had to do.

(45m 34s):
He had them killed the not so distant sound of gunfire sent thrash under her bed for safety, sewn, armed guards were going from cabin to cabin, gathering followers and telling them to meet in the main pavilion. Jones had something important to share with them with over 900 followers gathered and listening Jones explained that all hope was lost. The congressman’s visit represented that even this isolated South American jungle could not provide safety for any of them.

(46m 15s):
That there is no way to truly hide from the evil of the outside world. It was time to engage in mass suicide. According to Jones, there was no other alternative. The followers were handed Kool-Aid laced with cyanide, one cup for them. And one for their children, armed guards gathered around the group to ensure that no one could escape. Gwen explains Jones left his followers, no choice. Even those who protested, even if they didn’t voluntarily drink the punch they’d be held down and injected.

(46m 58s):
He was the general. He made the decision that his soldiers would die to make a statement. He was not going to give them the option of saying no. In a haunting recording of the final event. Jones tells his followers that it’s the end. We are not committing suicide. It’s a revolutionary act. We can’t go back. They won’t leave us alone. They are now going back to tell more lies, which means more congressmen. And there’s no way, no way we can survive.

(47m 37s):
Anybody. Anyone that has any dissenting opinion, please speak. Yes, you can have an opportunity, but if the children are left, we are going to have them butchered. Some of his followers beg for their lives, suggesting alternatives to this mass suicide. One woman, the only to continuously argue with Jones suggest fleeting to Russia, but Jones has already made up his mind. We had some value. Joan says, now we don’t have any value.

(48m 20s):
Well, I don’t see it. Like that says the woman. I mean, I feel like as long as there’s life, there’s hope. That’s my faith. The woman later, please with Jones for the life of the children, Joan tells her that death is the only way they’ll find peace. They argue for minutes and minutes more. It’s awful to listen to the sound of panic in her voice. As she tries so hard to save her life, the lives of the children, other followers shut her down, tell her to listen to the prophet, respect them.

(49m 6s):
They are so sucked in that killing their children. Doesn’t seem unthinkable on the contrary. It’s a necessary service Jones convinces his followers that if they don’t commit this act, government officials will come in and massacre their children themselves. At the end of the tape is the horrifying sound of children, weeping and whimpering. As their parents feed them poison at the demand of Jones, I call on you to quit exciting your children. When they’re all doing is going to quiet rest.

(49m 48s):
Finally, Jones concludes we didn’t commit suicide. We committed an act of revolutionary suicide, protesting the conditions of an inhumane world. His 900 remaining followers and their children drop like dominoes. Jones holds a gun to his head and pulls the trigger. In total. There were 33 survivors of the terrifying event. Thrash was one of them alone among the wreckage left to grapple her own understanding of how this could have happened, how she could have been sucked in along with so many others, how it could have all gone.

(50m 38s):
So horribly, horribly wrong. The people’s temple was founded on the virtues of love, unity and peace. It was a place where miracles could be real hope, could be possible. It was all too easy to get sucked in, to latch on to this idea that life doesn’t have to be painful. That better days exist. He was nice at first thrash once told the New York times any one of us down on their luck in need of hope of love of friendship could have been sucked right in just like thrash was on that fateful day in 1957, when her sister turned on the TV.

(51m 33s):
Thanks for listening. And remember, you never know. What’s lurking in the shadows lingering around the corner, walking past her house at night. So watch out, stay safe and keep listening. This has been the jury room. Thanks again for listening to true crime by Indy. Drop-in if you would like your show featured, reach out to us at Indie Drop-In on all social media or go to Indie Drop-In dot com.

(52m 17s):
See you next time.

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