Thursday, January 04, 2007

Jonestown: A Child's Nightmare

I received a pack of old newspaper articles in the mail today, which I will post here and on the Articles Archive in the days to come. This one is interesting, further corroboration of the abuses of children in People's Temple. The special correspondent mentioned in the story, Kenneth Wooden, later wrote a book called The Children of Jonestown

Jonestown: A Child's Nightmare

CHICAGO (UPI) - The 276 children who died at the Jonestown, Guyana settlement of the People's Temple cult lived a nightmarish life of beatings and sexual abuse, the Chicago Sun-Times reported in a copyrighted article today.

In the first of a series of articles on the children of Jonestown, Sun-Times special correspondent Kenneth Wooden said children were raped, beaten, drugged, forced to strip almost nude before their elders and were given electric shock for months before joining their parents in a mass suicide ritual.

The Sun-Times said Jones planned the mass deaths before the People's Temple left California for the Jonestown settlement and that government officials were informed of Jones' plans in a mass mailing to the US Congress eight months before the deaths of 912 members of the cult.

Child beatings were commonplace at Jonestown, the Sun-Times said. Jones forced parents of children under 18 to sign notarized releases giving him legal permission to administer the punishment.

Jones once told a woman member of the cult that he was "sexually excited by crying children and that one young boy in particular aroused him when in pain."

"Mild discipline gave way to making young girls strip almost nude in front of full membership," Grace Stoen, a Temple defector, told the newspaper. "Unequal boxing matches gave way to beatings with paddles, then electric shock and finally, something he, (Jones) called the "blue-eyed monster," which hurt and terrorized the younger ones in a darkened room."

The "blue-eyed monster" apparently was an electric shock device which was applied to the bare chests of young boys and girls whose shirts had been ripped open with knives by adults.

Children were awakened as early as 2 and 3a.m. for beatings and a microphone was held to their mouths so the entire settlement could hear the screams. Although Jones rarely hit anyone, the Sun-Times said, he once hit a boy with a wet rubber hose so violently the boy's penis had to be cauterized to stop the bleeding.

Jones exploited children for his political activities and assigned teen-aged girls to perform oral sex on at least one San Francisco politician, the newspaper said. It did not name the politician

(Date unknown at this time. Whether or not this is the full extent of the article, unknown)
It's worth noting that the children did not "join thier parents in a mass suicide ritual" - they were injected, or force fed the cyanide-laced kool-aid, as can be heard on the Jonestown Deathtape


  1. Get over it — Stoen's gone, for Chrissakes.

  2. Gone but not forgotten, and many people across the country with ties to that thread of the story follow what is happening here as a result of him remanifesting himself here.

  3. What "corpulant XY" on a platform would overlook the lieutendant who helped orchastrate a mass murder with the dismissive "Get over it?"


    You think that it makes no difference that a local political official who still holds office gave a person with that biography power?

    Turn in your clearly have lost all perspective.

  4. Getoverit?

    Excuse me, you're talking about a guy who hired an *attorney* with history of disbarment for moral turpitude-he still isn't choosey. A background check for Humboldt County dog catcher is more rigorous than that for DDA.

  5. Oh no. One of the real issues still is that Paul Gallegos recruited and hired Tim Stoen to be his #2! For two years Stoen gets a big salary and only succeeds in screwing everything up, convicts NOBODY, and then leaves in shame. The issue is PG's extremely poor judgement as a public official. I can't get over that and the damage is has done to my (and Your) county.

  6. I steadfastly maintain that Stoen's past is extremely relevant because the things he did here so closely mirror things he did back then. In short, Tim Stoen has not changed.

    He attached himself to a new "Jim Jones" - he went about conducting propaganda campaigns, this time with the help of the activist community and the internet, he wielded his position of power as a weapon, and used it to intimidate perceived enemies, and that's just for starters. He had a new cause, and he would do anything for the cause.

    He came to apologize to Les Kinsolving, and his letter of apology begs the question - will he be issuing a similar apology to Debi August and Palco 30 years from now?

    He is still one of the most glaring examples of Gallegos' bad judgement - the mystery is how Gallegos came to bring him on board. Certainly not by conducting a "nationwide search."

  7. No, Stoen isn't gone, for Chrissakes! He's just 140 miles down the road working for the DA in Mendocino County which is where he always returns to after he botches one of his forays out into the real world. This man has been on your ballot 3 times, Anonymous: for congress, senate & assembly & now that his illustrious boss, Norm Vroman, is dead he may well show up there again. Stoen never goes away.

  8. Maybe PG can hire him back here at the Humboldt County DA's Office? At Top Step salary of course.

  9. Maybe we should get a crew to overturn Prop 36 so Paul won't be able to give the druggies a Pass. Then he'll be too busy doing his job (cough) uhemmm, to bring another hack in here.

  10. I hope "Fat Guys on Film" read the books before reviewing the new Jonestown movie. Don't just take director Stanley Nelson's word for the idea that Jonestown was one big party.

    “I see them in Jonestown,” related Nelson, in an interview with Greencine Magazine, “and part of me sees a huge party, you know what I mean? When I see clips that NBC took of that last night, when they got that band playing…..and they’re in the middle of the jungle, and—you think about that—that band can play as late as you want them to play. They can party as hard as they want. All the people are there, everybody that you know and love, you can go put the kids to bed, and they’re safe in their beds, and you can come back and party all night long. Hey. Looked fun to me.”

    I suggest you read Jeannie Mills book first, so that you fully understand the day to day effect of the cult life on the kids, the taking of the kids away from their parents, the parents letting it happen, the signing of blank notarized pieces of paper and concocted "confessions" - and the taking of member's life savings, property, social security checks, etc... all the legal i's dotted and t's crossed by the "Temple's attorney." And think about what that MEANS. That man is still not only practicing law today, he held the second most powerful law enforcement position in Humboldt County AND prosecutes others for crimes far less egregious.

    And with respect to nelson's comment above, you'll understand that that "party" he is referring to is a forced act, not exactly a barrelfull of fun.

    You oughtta review it though, the thing is being touted as "award worthy"

  11. Can someone explain to me why Stoen was never tried for crimes against humanity?


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