I recently saw a portion of a Jonestown documentary. I didn't see the whole thing, but in the segment I saw, the red haired lady who wrote "the Voices of Jonestown" seemed to be the sole expert - and she had it all wrong - talking about the beauty of the Temple until they got to Jonestown... Either I missed the part where they got it right, or she completely missed, or the filmakers intentionally ignored, the fact that the "White Nights" practice sessions had been going on for months long before they left the States...
According to the other books, the survivor's accounts, it started with Jones offering them wine, which was normally forbidden. AFTER they drank the wine, he told them they were about to die. That the wine had been poisoned. As his sermon droned on, and the time passed, he said that it had all been a test, a test of their loyalty and devotion.
It became a regular occurrence, and the sermons focused on the notion of mass suicide - to send a message. Some of the accounts claim it was Tim Stoen who introduced the notion, who came up with the idea and researched the means of poisoning large groups of people.
Conditioned as they were, having gone through the drill as many times as they did, many of Jones' followers went along willingly at the end. Others pled for their lives. But they were trapped. They stood in line to drink the Kool-Aid. Those who refused were injected or shot. They killed the babies and children first.
This 45 MINUTE YouTube tape, titled Jonestown 'Deathtape' lets you listen to "The complete tape found in a tape recorder under Jim Jones' chair after the mass suicide in Jonestown on November 18, 1978." (Update: 1/4/07, the link has gone dead)
It is very disturbing as you listen to the children and babies in the background. They are being killed.
It's hard to listen to, BE FOREWARNED.
Some 910 people died that day, 287 of them were children.*
* The facts about
the children of Jonestown
A recent Berkeley Repertory Theatre play "The People's Temple" also ignored or left out astoundingly relevant material - Tim Stoen, the second-in-command-right-hand-man never got more than a brief two-line mention, when it was the battle over the son he signed away, and arranged to have sent to Jonestown to keep him away from his wife, it was Stoen's custody battle that led to Congressman Ryan's fateful trip to Jonestown - the absence of any mention of the systematic torture, abuse and rape, not just of women and children, but men, too - the catharsis sessions - and most importantly, the White Nights rehearsals that culminated in the final grotesque murder-suicides...
The revisionist history portraying Jonestown, and People's Temple as a happy loving place tends to ignore Tim Stoen entirely, and is being perpetuated by a new docu-ganda - Stanley Nelson's Jonestown documentary at the Rafael Film Center in downtown San Rafael, today, Sunday, November 5.
Les Kinsolving and his son confronted Nelson in Silver Spring, MD, back in June, Les' daughter followed suit in San Rafael today.
Les talks about it here: Jonestown: Low point in American journalism.
NCJ - Standing in the Shadows of Jonestown
* The facts about the children of Jonestown
Alternative Considerations of Jonestown and Peoples Temple
(Search Stoen - go to Transcript Q800)
Madman in our Midst - Jim Jones and the California Cover Up
wp - Signing away his kid
wp - Stoen's "Diversions Department" AKA "the Dirty Tricks Department" - plots to murder Les Kinsolving and poison the water supply of Washington DC
wp - "Paul can't trust anyone in that office except Tim."
SF Chronicle & Examiner - $3 million for hit list, says ex-Jones aide
Press Democrat - STOEN APOLOGIZES TO REPORTER'