Sunday, November 16, 2008

Historical Accuracy

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
They can also be viewed here:

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


  1. Uh oh Rose. You shouldn't be posting about San Francisco. Stephen won't be happy.

  2. I'm missing something, Eric, why would Stephen be unhappy about SF?


  3. CNN downplays democratic connections? So, in your opinion, CNN should have made 'Escape From Jonestown' a Democratic party hit piece?

    Can you name any Jonestown survivors who should be exposed for their Democratic connections? Can you explain why? Should all democrats apologize for their party affiliation? Or are you referencing one individual?

    Some clarity, please.


  4. Here's some clarity for you, Dred - that is the title of the link. In other words, those are not Rose's words.

  5. so take that Dred"lock" .......

  6. Sounds like Eric is feeling sorry for himself, a bit?

  7. Actually, dred, if your READ the linked piece, the guy ends by saying - ...Jim Jones was more than just a face in a photo-op. He benefited from the attention and praise of several notable Democratic politicians of the era. In a two-hour program, that relevant part of history should have been reported.

    The comments thread there is interesting, too, and sure to tick you off.

  8. Rose wrote the intro to the linked title. The piece mentions some pretty tenuous democratic connections. Those connections have no bearing on the Jonestown massacre. Those political connections play a minor biographical roll. Was I wrong in thinking the piece takes an unfair swipe at democrats?


  9. Mayor George Moscone appointed Jones to San Francisco's Housing Authority. I don't see where a few minutes spent in a photo op with Hubert Humphry or Roselyn Carter was of great benefit. Had he political ambitions and sought higher office, they could have come in handy.


  10. "Rose wrote the intro to the linked title"

    Dred, the there isnt anything in what Rose wrote that mentions the democratic party other than what she linked - and the linked title is not her writing - she is quoting.

    Now i as am tired of her demo bashing as many of us here, but this is not one of those times.

    You ask for clarity and yet you obfuscate.

  11. Eh, well, I'm tired of the 'conservative bashing' too, so we're even. And I guess we remain polarized.

    Doesn't change the fact that many important things are left out of the coverage of Jim Jones, People's Temple and Jonestown. Mostly because it is too enormous, too complicated and too devastating to condense into a 750-1500 word articles, and a 2 minute piece on the news.

  12. Rose, Congressional Representative Leo Ryan was a member of the Democratic Party. I know what you want to say Rose, that is was all Barack Obama's fault.

  13. I'm missing something, Eric, why would Stephen be unhappy about SF?


    His view is that we shouldn't be writing about San Francisco if we're living in Humboldt County. We should only write about Humboldt County.


    And here.

    Or it may be just that I'm not supposed to write about San Francisco. Or that we only write bad things about San Francisco.

    Then again, he got mad when I wrote about the fire on Angel Island. It's not in San Francisco, but it's close enough I guess.

  14. Hi Rose,

    I haven't been posting here much because I haven't been inspired to comment on your topics recently. But now that Eric's trying to slander me here with more lies I will post.

    Eric's quite unhappy that I criticized his dragging San Francisco, Bay Area politics up here to Humboldt County and accused him of using SoHum as his bedroom community like so many other people with disposable incomes having two homes not available to those in Humboldt County not servicing pot growers, i.e., the majority of working class people here. Eric got so tweaked about my pointing out his elitist attitude that failed to understand why one cannot serve two masters at the same time as he tries to do, i.e. his one foot in Humboldt County and his other in S.F., Eric started censoring my critical S.F. posts and now he's trying to bash here on my friend's Rose's blog.

    Eric, you do have a screw loose about your attachment to San Francisco that you bring up on your blog every week. Why do we in Humboldt County care about San Francisco or it's politics that you seem to think it needs exposure in your "SoHum Parlance" that already one of your bloggers suggested you rename "San Francisco Parlance".

    And actually, as I pointed out on your blog, it is your fanatical political involvement in our county that to me is the problem. You bring with you a Big City political ideology that matches the Progressive gangster mentality that constantly seeks to divide our Humboldt community that also has arrived here in Humboldt County with such political transplants as you and Salzman and Cobb, all of you trying your best to remake Humboldt County into your Big City political/cultural dreams without the Big City's ability to produce those goodies. I'm talking about industrial economic base that you and your fellow Big City pols want to wipe out here in Humboldt but yet reap the benefits by importing them from your Big City.

  15. " you and Salzman and Cobb,...".

    And George Clark. He's been up here a while but his politics, especially the divisive tone of them, seem to be the same.

  16. Have you whacked anyone lately, Stephen? Fred has tossed another victim upon your bonfire of rage. Words like inclusive and divisive take on different meanings depending on who is blowing on the fire. Nice bellow you have there, Buster.


  17. Eric started censoring my critical S.F. posts

    I left them in the one thread. The post I removed was in the next thread and it was pretty much identical. You post the same thing all the time.

    I wasn't aware that Cobb and Salzman came from San Francisco.

  18. "You post the same things all the time." Eric, you are the last one to criticize another person's obsessions, I mean just look through your own blog and see a fanatical politico totally obsessed with political battles, local, state, national, and through in Jews and Judaism on top of that obsession.

    And you don't read your critics well either, constantly leaving out critical items of what they actually say, e.g. "I wasn'aware that Cobb and Salzman came from San Francisco." My "Big City politics" not registering at all in your consciousness that's always looking for the spin angle to try to "win" the debate instead of learning something.

  19. San Sodum and Gomorah?


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