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