So, as the Anniversary of the Jonestown Massacre approaches, there are specials on the various networks, and stories in the paper. It's that time of year when Tim Stoen has to endure yet another few days of exquisite torture; interviews, attention and notoriety. This year is a big one, the 30 Year Anniversary.
Everyone 'knows' what happened, or thinks they do. This article in the Chronicle 10 days that shook S.F. gives a pretty good accounting with one major, repetitive flaw.
The Chronicle always leave out the early exposés written by Les Kinsolving. He was the Religion Writer for the San Francisco Examiner back then, and he had been approached by people who were very concerned about what was happening in People's Temple. They were begging the paper to 'do SOMETHING!'
His series was killed because of pressure from the Temple, including pressure from the Temple's Attorney, Jim Jones' second-in-command-right-hand-man, Tim Stoen.
Kinsolving's pieces can be viewed here, including the pieces that did not run.
1. THE PROPHET WHO RAISES THE DEAD Examiner [September 17, 1972 Page 1]
2. 'HEALING' PROPHET HAILED AS GOD AT S.F. REVIVAL Examiner [Monday, Sept. 18, 1972]
3. D.A. AIDE (Stoen) OFFICIATES FOR MINOR BRIDE Wednesday, September 20, 1972
4. PROBE ASKED OF PEOPLE'S TEMPLE Wednesday, September 20, 1972
5. THE PEOPLE'S TEMPLE AND MAXINE HARPE (never ran)
6. THE REINCARNATION OF JESUS CHRIST -- IN UKIAH (never ran)
7. JIM JONES DEFAMES A BLACK PASTOR (never ran)
8. SEX, SOCIALISM, AND CHILD TORTURE WITH REV. JIM JONES (never ran)
They can also be viewed here: jonestownapologistsalert.blogspot.com/
Stoen apologized to Kinsolving a few years ago. (Press Democrat) presumably that apology is meant to cover not only getting the stories killed but the plot to kill Kinsolving himself.
The Chronicle would do well to get over whatever its reason for ignoring Kinsolving's work. Leaving out this important part of the story does a disservicve to their readers.
The story of the people who tried to do something, who tried to stop the madness long before the massacre is one that really ought to be told. No one took them seriously, no one listened, and they risked their lives to get the truth out. IF anyone had paid attention, 900 people might be alive today.
His weren't the only pieces that were squashed by pressure from the Temple (Indianapolis Star reporter Carolyn Pickering had the goods on Jones years before that....), there's alot to be told. And the newspapers have alot to atone for.
(And CNN isn't makin' it any better: CNN's 'Escape From Jonestown' Downplays Democratic Connections)
30 Years Later, The Tragedy Which Could Have Been Prevented
Tom Kinsolving gets a mention on Malkin Remembering Jonestown