A Konformist Special:
The Jonestown Jenocide
by Robert Sterling
A LONG, LONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY...
John Travolta, 70's icon thanks to "Welcome Back Kotter", "Saturday
Night Fever", and "Grease", is enjoying a incredible comeback in
critical and commercial smashes such as "Pulp Fiction" and "Face
Off". Speaking of "Saturday Night Fever", the Bee Gees are in the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Black Crowes and Lenny Kravitz wear
bell-bottoms and platform shoes. The biggest box-office attraction
this spring was "Star Wars", and "The Eagles Greatest Hits, Volume
One" has now sold 24-million copies in the U.S. And the biggest
concerts of last year were by KISS and The Sex Pistols.
It should be obvious by now that America is in the middle of a huge
love affair with the seventies, the wacky and wild decade that was a
by-product of the sixties rebellion. But all is not well from that
era of long ago. Take the combative anti-gay Anita Bryant politics,
for example. Or how about double-digit inflation and high
unemployment rates? And then there's that whole ABBA thing.
One recent ugly element of the seventies has returned in the news
recently: krazy kults led by psychotic would-be dictators, a la Jim
Jones and The People's Temple. Of course, there is the Aum Supreme
cult of Japan, the "Branch Davidians" of Waco, Texas, and, with the
most disturbing sense of deja vu, the 39 "suicides" of members of
Heaven's Gate. Yes, we were told from the korporate media (with a
strong dab of paranoia), the threat of such uncontrolled cults
preying on the weakest members of society is certainly something to
beware, especially now that cults have the nefarious internet as an
ally. The undercurrent of such talk, of course, is that something
must be done about these cults, or a whole bunch of mass suicides
are sure to ensue.
What happened at Rancho Santa Fe (as well as in Waco and Tokyo) is
still not completely clear, but the real story behind the events in
Guyana are fairly evident during an honest inspection of the facts.
And when one compares the level of deceit in the reportage of the
deaths in Jonestown, there is little doubt that the "mainstream"
korporate media is an unreliable source for truth in this area.
THE SUICIDE HOAX
Let's start with the biggest lie of the whole Jonestown affair: that
this was a mass suicide. This has been repeated so many times that
it is accepted as fact, and the association is so great that when
most people hear "Jonestown", the first thing which pops in their
head is "Kool-Aid".
The association is false.
The source of the "Kool-Aid Suicide" stories was the U.S. State
Department, who presented the story immediately after the "suicides"
were reported as though it was the only obvious truth. A U.S. Army
Spokesman pronounced with complete authority, "No autopsies are
needed. The cause of death is not an issue here." The bodies were
then allowed to rot in the jungle, making it impossible for American
officials to perform any such unneeded autopsy.
Despite the lack of need, Dr. C. Leslie Mootoo, the top Guyanese
pathologist, was at Jonestown hours after the deaths, and, refusing
the assistance of U.S. pathologists, accompanied the teams that
examined the bodies. His conclusions? Dr. Mootoo found fresh
needle marks at the back of the left shoulder blades on 80 - 90% of
the victims. Others had been shot or strangled. A surviving
witness stated that those who resisted were forced by armed guards
to comply. Dr. Mootoo's opinion, and that of the Guyanese grand
jury investigating Jonestown, was that all but three (only two of
which were "suicides") were murdered by "persons unknown."
If one was to go over the deaths in Auschwitz, it is almost a
certainty, considering the horrendous conditions those who were
there were under, that 0.2 % of all deaths could be attributed to
suicides. Yet, if anyone was to argue that Auschwitz was a suicide
camp housing a bunch of religious freaks and not the compounds of
murder that they were, they would (rightfully) be condemned for
intellectual dishonesty, and their motives would be questioned. No
such actions are taken on those who continue to insist the same
about Jonestown, despite how the facts speak to the contrary.
BODY COUNT BAD MATH
But that is merely the beginning of the deception. The original
count of numbers of deaths was 408 (an odd number to use if the
number was an estimate), with the added claim that 700 had fled into
the jungle. The final total was changed to 913. To explain this
rather minor difference in arithmetic, American authorities first
explained that those backward ignorant Guyanese "could not count."
Perhaps because the first "official" explanation of the bad math was
so insulting, it was then proposed that they missed a pile of
bodies, as if a pile of dead bodies is something easily overlooked.
Finally, the "official" explanation that settled the whole question
was presented: bodies were stacked on top of each other.
Of the 150 photos taken of the massacre, not one shows any body
lying under any others. Those who first worked on the bodies, to
release the gasses of decay, had to puncture the dead, making it
unlikely that they missed any of the dead. Even without these
facts, one must wonder how 408 bodies - 82 belonging to children -
could cover 505 others.
With minor exceptions, pictures show the dead were found in neat
rows, face down. The pictures also show drag marks leading to the
bodies, indicating that victims were murdered elsewhere and placed
there by someone else.
These facts have lead to another likely conclusion: 408 was indeed
the correct original body count. The other 505 were hunted down and
slaughtered, then dragged back.
But who would do such a thing? And why? And why were American
officials giving such deceptive answers about Jonestown? To answer
these questions, one must unravel the mystery of who Jim Jones was.
GANGSTER WITH A BIBLE
On May 13, 1931, James Warren Jones was born in Indiana, the state
that would later give us whiny hard-rock megalomaniac Axl Rose and
dim-witted heartbeat-away-from-President Dan Quayle. His father was
in the Ku Klux Klan.
Jones became a Bible-thumping "faith healer", with a side business
of selling monkeys. He used wet chicken livers as evidence of
cancer which he removed by "divine powers." He adopted eight
children, both black and white. Already the stench of criminal
activity surrounded him, and his landlady referred to him as "A
gangster who used the Bible instead of a gun." Fortunately for
Jones, the local police chief at the time was Dan Mitrione, a friend
from childhood. Mitrione kept him from being arrested or run out of
Mitrione would later enter the International Police Academy, a CIA
front for training counterinsurgency and torture techniques.
Despite having few sources for known funds, Jones found the money to
travel with his wife and family to Brazil in 1961. Coincidentally,
Mitrione was there as well, having advanced quickly in the IPA, and,
while training security forces in torture and assassination, had
beggars kidnapped so he could keep in practice. Mitrione was later
kidnapped and murdered by guerrillas in Uruguay, which became the
basis of the Costa Gavras film "State of Siege". Jones made regular
trips to Belo Horizonte, site of CIA headquarters in Brazil - and
where Mitrione was located.
Apparently, this wasn't the only curious intelligence link to Jones.
He claimed he was part of U.S. Naval Intelligence to some of his
neighbors. The U.S. Embassy provided him with transportation,
groceries, and a large home. "Some people here believed he was an
agent for the American CIA," one person was quoted as saying.
Considering his dear friendship to Mitrione and the funding of
"ministries" in Latin America by the CIA, the belief makes quite a
bit of sense.
In any case, according to his neighbor, Jones "lived like a rich
MADMAN OR MESSIAH IN UKIAH?
Soon after the JFK assassination, Jones returned to the states with
$10,000. In 1965, he formed the first People's Temple in Ukiah,
California, and set up Happy Havens Rest Home. Without trained
personnel or proper licensing, Jones' camp drew in elderly,
prisoners, people from mental institutions, and 150 foster children
transferred often by court order. Among those who contacted him:
"missionaries" from World Vision (an international evangelical order
that often fronts for the CIA), the local chapter head to the John
Birch Society, and leaders of the Republican party, whom his
"church" members did voter organization and fund-raising for the
Dick Nixon '68 campaign. His advisers included a mercenary from
UNITA, the CIA-backed Angola army. Also jumping on board was the
Layton family, whose patriarch, UC Berkeley chemist Dr. Laurence
Laird Layton, had worked on the Manhattan Project and was chief of
the Army's Chemical Warfare Division in the early 50's. (Mrs.
Layton was the daughter of Hugo Phillips, a German
banker/stockbroker who became rich representing Siemans & Halske and
I.G. Farben, two notorious Nazi Holocaust profiteers.)
Despite his rather right-wing history, Jones suddenly declared
himself a liberal and a socialist, and a reincarnation of Jesus
Christ and V.I. Lenin. At this point, suspicions were developing of
his church, which was backed by jack-booted armed thugs who dressed
in black uniforms. Using blackmail, extortions, and any other way
possible to swindle money from those in his clutches, Jones took all
he could from his followers, much of it in the form of welfare and
social security checks. The local press reported about "seven
mysterious deaths" of those who attempted to leave the "church" due
to conflict with Jones. Accusations of kidnapping, beatings, and
sexual abuse began to be whispered.
To escape controversy, Jones moved to San Francisco, and became an
important fund-raiser for the political establishment there. Soon,
he was schmoozing with the liberal and radical elite, meeting with
(among others) Rosalynn Carter and Angela Davis.
Jones was rewarded with being put in charge of the city Housing
Commission, and key followers were awarded jobs in the Welfare
Department. The bulk of their membership came from the unemployed
and dispossessed people found here. The cult preyed on the poor and
helpless, going out of the way to enlist women, children, and
minorities. They recruited many of their members directly from S.F.
mental hospitals. The move did little to change the controversy
surrounding his "church", and a 1977 expose was called an attack by
Jones. He then moved his Utopia to Guyana, aided once again by the
KOUNTDOWN TO NOWHERE
After receiving complaints lodges by relatives of cult members,
Congressman Leo Ryan visited Jonestown of November 18, 1978 to
investigate human rights abuse. Congressman Ryan was a noted CIA
critic, and had authored the Hughes-Ryan Amendment, which would have
required CIA disclosure in advance to the congressional committees
on all covert operations. Ryan had been given no answers or help
from the State department despite the numerous inquiries. He
arrived with U.S. Embassy official Richard Dwyer, as well as some
journalists, including Tim Reiterman (who had covered the Patty
Hearst story for the San Francisco Examiner.) It is likely Ryan
already suspected what was going on.
And then all hell broke loose.
At the airstrip, Leo Ryan soon became the first congressman to die
in the line of duty, along with four other reporters. (The Hughes-
Ryan Amendment was killed in congress soon afterwards.) The
assassins were described by witnesses as "glassy eyed",
"mechanically-walking zombies", and "devoid of any emotion." Others
were shot, including Dwyer and Reiterman. Soon after that, the mass
A plausible explanation for the events that unfolded is that Jim
Jones (or someone else) ordered the murders when Ryan's unexpected
visit threatened to expose what was happening. In the chaos that
followed, a mass extermination was carried out.
Just who were the zombie assassins? Well, besides the 913 dead,
there were 167 survivors who returned from the camp. All news
reports concede there were at least 1100 individuals at the camp
(and most place it at 1200.) Who are these 20 or more people
The survivors report that there was a special all-white group that
were armed, well-treated and free to exit the compound. These
guards were never accounted for by any news reports. Perhaps it is
these same guards (assuming the total population was 1200) a
congressional aide was referring to in a AP quote which stated,
"There are 120 white, brainwashed assassins out from Jonestown
awaiting the trigger word to pick up their hit."
Of course, they may have had a little help. Over 300 American Green
Berets - trained for CIA covert assassinations - were in the area at
the time. So were nearly 600 British Black Watch commandos, who
were there on a "training exercise." Suddenly the death toll seems
DAN WHITE'S LITTLE GAME OF SOLITAIRE AND OTHER CURIOUS DEATHS
But these weren't the last strange deaths involved with Jonestown.
Nine days later, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor
Harvey Milk were slain by Dan White, who was either a "disgruntled
police agent" or "angry about gays." These explanations were
supplied to explain his utterly irrational behavior during the
killings, as, sure enough, he was described as being in a bizarre
zombie state. During the trial, his lawyers came up with the
inventive but deservedly mocked "Twinkie defense", in which they
claimed he went insane by a sugar high caused by eating too many
sweets. Implausible, but easier to report in the news than stating
he was a brainwashed assassin. Moscone and Milk had extensive
financial backing from Jones during his stay by the Bay, and soon
they both were going to be investigated in connection to missing
funds from the People's Temple. That is, until a lone gunman took
care of them.
Michael Prokes, a Jones aide, held a press conference and stated the
CIA and FBI were withholding an audiotape of the massacre. He also
stated that he was an FBI informant. Right after that, he went to
the restroom... and never left. His death was proclaimed a
In Georgetown, several Temple members were killed after the
massacre. The man charged with the murders, Charles Beikman, was an
early follower of Jones and had become an "adopted son" of his.
Beikman was a Green Beret.
Jeanne and Al Mills, who were writing a book on Jonestown, were
bound and shot to death at their home. In Detroit another survivor
was killed near his home, and another was involved in a mass murder
of school children in Los Angeles.
Ironically, the dead may not have included Jim Jones himself, as was
claimed. The body alleged to be his didn't show his tattoos in the
photographs. Fingerprints had to be checked twice, and his dental
records were never looked at. He was known to use doubles.
THE CIA AT GUYANA AND THE TWO BILLION DOLLAR BLACK HOLE
As the massacre unfolded, Jones is tape recorded as yelling, "Get
Dwyer out of here!" Jim Dwyer was later found at the airstrip,
methodically washing his hands.
In 1968, Dwyer was listed in the publication entitled, "Who's Who in
the CIA". When asked if the allegation was true, he replied, "No
Of course, Dwyer isn't the only link to CIA in Guyana. Besides
those previously mentioned, John Burke, the U.S. ambassador, and
Richard McCoy, another official, were both heavily involved with the
intelligence community. The U.S. Embassy in Georgetown also housed
the Georgetown CIA station. At the time, Guyana had a socialist
government, and thus was a likely target for covert operations. Dan
Webber, sent to Guyana after the massacre, was CIA as well.
The "official" attorney for the survivors, Joseph Blatchford, was
involved in a scandal involving CIA infiltration of the Peace Corps.
Then there is the missing money that just "disappeared" after the
mass death. Conservative estimates place the amount at $26 million.
Others place it at $2 billion. Judging the history of bank loot
understatements, the second figure is likely closer to the truth.
At the time, a major international money laundering operation was
headquartered in Italy involving the Vatican and a mysterious
fascist quasi-Masonic lodge known as the P-2. (The operation
probably led to the murder of Pope John Paul I, but that's another
conspiracy.) The P-2 had a major operation located in nearby
Panama, and had numerous CIA links themselves. All this was
disturbingly echoed in the S & L swindle of the eighties, which had
CIA and Mafia prints all over the place.
Add in the FBI files on the Black Panthers and Weathermen found at
the site, an attempt to lure Mark Lane (JFK assassination critic and
James Earl Ray lawyer, among other things) and Donald Freed (Lane's
sometime JFK collaborator and recent Simpson case investigator who
has linked the Brentwood murders to Mafia in the L.A. underworld) to
Guyana (which succeeded in having Lane witness the airstrip murders
after Jones hired him as a lawyer) and a bizarre plot to kidnap
Grace Walden Stephens (witness to the Martin Luther King
assassination) and smuggle her to Jonestown, and you have the
makings of a full fledge spook operation.
DID JIM JONES READ "CATCHER IN THE RYE"?
Perhaps the strangest CIA connection of all to Jonestown was the
previously mentioned World Vision. As stated, the evangelical order
often fronts for the CIA. They performed espionage work for the CIA
in Southeast Asia while Operation Phoenix (the murderous project
that left 40,000 people dead) was in full effect. In Honduras, they
were a presence at CIA Contra recruiting camps in the war against
the Sandinistas. In Lebanon, their camps were where the fascist
Phalange butchered Palestinians. In Cuba, their refugee camps
hosted numerous members of the anti-Castro terrorist group Alpha 66
of Bay of Pigs fame.
After the Guyana massacre, World Vision developed a scheme to
repopulate Jonestown with CIA-linked mercenaries from Laos. Laos,
of course, was where the CIA was running it's "secret war" during
Vietnam, which for the most part was a smokescreen for a widespread
opium trafficking operation.
One particularly important World Vision official was John Hinckley,
Sr., an oil man, reputed CIA officer, and friend of George Bush.
You may have heard of his son.
Less than four months before Hinckley Jr. became known as Jodie
Foster's biggest fan, another member of the World Vision order, Mark
Chapman, gunned down John Lennon in what may have been a practice
run for the bigger hit on President Reagan. A policeman who found
him was convinced he was a mind-kontrolled assassin. Chapman was
clutching the novel "Catcher in the Rye" - which was also owned by
Hinckley Jr. (The book was written by J.D. Salinger, who worked in
military intelligence with Henry Kissinger in W.W.II.) Before going
to trial, Chapman plead guilty after a voice in his head (he
attributed it to God) commanded him to do so.
Considering the history of World Vision and what went on previously
in Guyana, it is likely that the real purpose behind repopulating
Jonestown was to create another breeding ground for brainwashed
zombies like Chapman and Hinckley. Even after the massacre, nearby
there was a place called Hilltown, a compound of 8,000 blacks that
followed kult leader Rabbi David Hill, who held his flock with an
iron fist. Hill had so much power behind him that he was referred
to as the "vice prime minister" of Guyana. There was also another
place in Guyana called "Johnstown", as well as similar operations in
the Phillipines and Chile. It appears that Jonestown (and World
Vision's later attempt) is hardly the exception to the rule of using
obscure locations in Third World nations as laboratories for kult
KRAZY KULT OR KONCENTRATION KAMP?
The site in Guyana was originally a Union Carbide mine, and was
loaded with an abundance of precious natural resources. It is very
likely that the site was chosen to exploit these resources with
cheap labor - and cheap labor was plentiful. Members of Jim Jones'
"church" were bound and gagged immediately after landing in Guyana
and taken to the compound. They were pumped with drugs, and
Jonestown had enough to drug 200,000 people for over a year. Among
the drugs found: Quaaludes, Valium, morphine, Demerol, Thorazine (a
dangerous tranquilizer), sodium pentathol (a truth serum), chloral
hydrate (a hypnotic), and thallium (which confuses thinking), and,
of course, cyanide. They had both cramped living quarter and meager
rations of often spoiled food. They were then forced to work slave
labor for 16-18 hours a day and required to stay up day and night
listening to Jim Jones lecture. Among the charming punishments the
flock endured were forced druggings, sensory isolation in an
underground box, physical torture, public sexual rape and
humiliation, not to mention your average ordinary beatings and
If all this leaves a strange feeling of deja vu, the reason may be
because all these drugs and treatments were used in the CIA's
notorious MK-ULTRA program, which was implemented to test and
implement brainwashing and mind control techniques, supposedly to
protect us from some nefarious "communist threat". A 1974
government report admitted that certain "target populations" were
used, namely blacks, women, prisoners, the elderly, children, and
inmates of psychiatric wards. The Orwellian-named Center for the
Study and Reduction of Violence, using the research of
Strangelovian-doctors Jose Delgado and Louis "Jolly" West, was
attempting to draw guinea pigs from the "target populations" to test
drugs, implants, and psycho surgery techniques on at an isolated
military missile base in California. The dead at Jonestown were 90%
women, 80% blacks, and included 276 children.
Which leads us back to Auschwitz and the ultimate deja vu.
Auschwitz, after all, was not just a death camp: it also was a slave
labor camp for chemical monolith I.G. Farben. There, the outcasts
and refuse of society that no one cared about were treated to
similar abuses while a select few profited from the misery. The
brains behind the Final Solution became much of the brains behind
MK-ULTRA. The MK is often said to stand for "Mind Kontrol" -
representing the Germanic origins of the project. Going the full
ten yards, however, it is possible that MK merely stands for "Mein
SOME OPINIONS THE HISTORY BOOKS FORGET TO INCLUDE
Much of this was known by Congressman Ryan, who probably suspected
that Jonestown was a front for something even more sinister. In
1980, Ryan aide Joseph Holsinger received a paper, entitled "The
Penal Colony", which explained that CIA MK-ULTRA operations did not
terminate in 1973, as officially proclaimed, but were instead
continued in public hospitals, prisons, and religious kults which
were used as fronts. Holsinger later stated at a S.F. psychologist
forum on Jonestown that he believed the CIA worked with Jones to
perform medical and mind kontrol experiments at People's Temple. If
Congressman Ryan had not been killed - a big if - much of this
information would have undoubtedly been uncovered, and many
skeletons in the CIA closet would have been uncovered with a domino
Michael Meiers, author of "Was Jonestown a CIA Medical Experiment?",
had this to say: "The Jonestown experiment was conceived by Dr.
Layton, staffed by Dr. Layton and financed by Dr. Layton. It was as
much his project as it was Jim Jones's." Layton, remember, was head
of the Army's Chemical Warfare Division.
Former Temple member Joyce Shaw said it best, when wondering out
loud if Jonestown was "some kind of horrible government experiment,
or some sort of sick, racist thing... a plan like that of the
Germans to exterminate blacks."
In October of 1981, Jonestown survivors filed a $63 million lawsuit
against Jonestown era Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and CIA
director Stansfield Turner. The suit stated that the State
Department and CIA conspired to "enhance the economic and political
powers of James Warren Jones," conducting "mind control and drug
experimentation" there. The suit was dismissed four months later
for "failure to prosecute timely," and all requests for appeal were
denied. (Turner would become a director of Monsanto, now best known
for providing the world with the benignly named poison and brain-
damaging substance "NutraSweet".)
All this, of course, is forgotten in "official" or "mainstream"
accounts of the event. Instead, the "acceptable" version of
describing Jonestown blames the victims, echoing the ignorant grunt
uttered by Pete Hamill, who dismissed the dead as "all the loose
change of the sixties."
Hanging over Jonestown was a mocking sign that proclaimed, "THOSE
WHO DO NOT REMEMBER THE PAST ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEAT IT." One of
the most elegant slogans of Holocaust survivors is "Never forget."
Jonestown makes it clear that, no matter how well meaning, all these
slogans are but words. Never forget? We obviously already have.
That Jonestown could unfold before our eyes without the realization
of precisely what was going on says volumes. Certainly the blame
falls partly at the feet of a powerful military-industrial complex
that feels no shame for its deeds, and certainly partly at a
Korporate Media that has become the witting mouthpiece (and
collaborator) for this same cabal. But ultimately, the blame falls
at the feet of the people, their brains dulled from all those Brady
Bunch episodes and Bay City Rollers albums they consumed during the
glorious seventies. By the time the Guyana massacre rolled around,
the masses were too ignorant and apathetic to neither know nor care
about the truth. Instead, they swallowed the official version and
waited obediently for their next piece of mindless glop.
What's worse, if one was to try to inform people of the truth,
instead of outrage at those behind the evil deeds, the attacks would
be leveled at the informant for uttering such disturbing facts. See
Gary Webb (of CIA-crack fame) and his treatment from his editors and
his fellow "journalists" for proof. Or try bringing up this story
in polite company and see the kind of response you get.
Could the Holocaust happen again? It already has, and will continue
to happen. One wonders if it ever really ended.
"The Black Hole of Guyana," John Judge
From "Secret and Suppressed," edited by Jim Keith
Most of the infomation in this report is taken directly from Mr.
Judge's work. It is highly recommended to all interested in
learning more to read this vital source.
"Operation Mind Control," Walter Bowart
"Who Killed John Lennon?," Fenton Bresler
"Psychic Dictatorship in the U.S.A.," Alex Constantine
Donald Freed, Interview by Author
"Raven: The Untold Story of the Reverend Jim Jones and His People,"
John Jacobs and Tim Reiterman
"Guyana Massacre: The Eyewitness Accounts," Charles Krause
"The Search for the Manchurian Candidate: The CIA and Mind Control,"
"Was Jonestown a CIA Medical Experiment?," Michael Meiers
"The Big Book of Conspiracies," Doug Moench
"A Sympathetic History of Jonestown," Rebecca Moore
"Conspiracies, Coverups, and Crimes," Jonathan Vankin
"60 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time," Jonathan Vankin & John
"The CIA's Greatest Hits," Mark Zepezauer