JONESTOWN, THE CIA AND MIND CONTROL
"When 912 followers of Jim Jones committed suicide in Guyana 15
years ago, people said it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing and
never could happen again, but it has happened in Waco," states
Boston "cult expert" John Gillespie.
Until the Waco tragedy, self-proclaimed "cult experts" and the
media routinely mentioned the ominous name of "Jonestown" in just
about every story on the latest "religious cult" or community.
But despite all the references, the reality of Jonestown and the
reasons behind the bizarre events remain a mystery. The details
have faded from memory for most of us since November 18, 1978,
but not the outlines. Think back a moment and youll remember...
You Know the Official Version...
A fanatic religious leader in California led a multiracial
community into the jungles of remote Guyana to establish a
socialist utopia. The Peoples Temple, his church, was in the
heart of San Francisco and drew poor people, social activists,
Black and Hispanics, young and old. The message was racial
harmony and justice, and a criticism of the hypocrisy of the
world around his followers.
The Temple rose in a vacuum of leadership at the end of an era.
The political confrontations of the 1960s were almost over, and
alternative religious movements and "personal transformation"
were on the rise. Those who had preached a similar message on the
political soap box were gone, burnt out, discredited, or dead.
The counterculture had apparently degenerated into drugs and
violence. Charlie Manson was the only visible image of the
period. Suddenly, religion seemed to offer a last hope.
Even before they left for the Jonestown site, the Peoples Temple
members were subjects of scandalous attacks in the media. A
veritable persecution campaign had been launched in the United
States against Rev. Jim Jones and other members of the
organisation. Fleeing the U.S., over one thousand members
emigrated to Guyana in South America. Establishing "Jonestown" as
a successful and prosperous community, these American families
defied poverty and lack of rights that were their lot back home.
This act of political protest, of a kind never known in the
United States before, angered certain powerful elements in the
U.S. Establishment. But accusations continued to be made about
Jones, and these soon came to the attention of Congressional
members like Leo Ryan. Ryan decided to go the Guyana and
investigate the situation for himself. The nightmare began.
Isolated on the tiny airstrip at Fort Kaituma, Ryan and several
reporters in his group were murdered. Then came the almost
unbelievable "White Night," a mass suicide pact of the Jonestown
camp. A community made up mostly of Blacks and women drank
cyanide from paper cups of Kool Aid, adults and children alike
died and fell around the main pavilion. Jones himself was shot in
the head, an apparent suicide. For days, the body count mounted,
from 400 to nearly 1,000. The bodies were flown to the United
States and later cremated or buried in mass graves.
Pete Hammill called the corpses "all the loose change of the
sixties." The effect was electric. Any alternative to the current
system was seen as futile, if not deadly. Protest only led to
police riots and political assassination. Alternative life styles
led to drugs, "creepy crawly" communes and violent murders. And
religious experiments led to cults and suicide. Social utopias
were dreams that turned into nightmares. The television urged us
to go back to "The Happy Days" of the apolitical 50s. The message
was, get a job, and go back to the local church your grandparents
attended. The unyielding nuclear threat generated only nihilism
and hopelessness. There was no answer but death, no exit from the
grisly future. The new ethic was personal success, aerobics,
material consumption, a return to "American values"; and the
"moral majority"; White, Christian world. The official message
Suppose It Didnt Happen That Way...
The headlines of the day of the massacre read, "CULT DIES IN
SOUTH AMERICAN JUNGLE: 400 Die in Mass Suicide, 700 Flee into
Jungle." By all accounts in the press, as well as Peoples Temple
statements, there were at least 1,100 people at Jonestown. There
were 809 adult passports found there, and reports of 300 children
(276 found among the dead, and 210 never identified). The
headline figures from the first day add to the same number, 1,
100. The original body count done by the Guyanese was 408. The
final count, given almost a week later by American military
authorities was 913. A total of 16 survivors were reported to
have returned to the U.S. Where were the others? At their first
press conference, the Americans claimed that the Guyanese "could
not count". These local people had carried out the gruesome job
of counting the bodies, and later assisted American troops in the
process of poking holes in the flesh lest they explode from the
gasses of decay. Then the Americans propose d another theory -
they had missed seeing a pile of bodies at the back of the
pavilion. The structure was the size of a small house, and they
had been at the scene for days. Finally, we were given the
official reason for the discrepancy - bodies had fallen on top of
other bodies, adults covering children.
It was a simple, if morbid arithmetic that led to the first
suspicions. The 408 bodies discovered at first count would have
to be able to cover 505 bodies for a total of 913. In addition,
those who first worked on the bodies would have been unlikely to
miss bodies lying beneath each other since each body had to be
punctured. Eighty-two of the bodies first found were those of
children, reducing the number that could have been hidden below
others. A search of nearly 150 photographs, aerial and closeup,
fails to show even one body lying under another, much less 500.
It seemed the first reports were true, 400 had died, and 700 had
fled to the jungle. The American authorities claimed to have
searched for people who had escaped, but found no evidence of
any in the surrounding area. At least a hundred Guyanese troops
were among the first to arrive, and they were ordered to search
the jungle for survivors. In the area, at the same time, British
Black Watch troops were on "training exercises", nearly 600 of
their best-trained commandos. Soon, American Green Berets were
on site as well. The presence of these soldiers, specially
trained in covert killing operations, may explain the increasing
numbers of bodies that appeared.
Most of the photographs show the bodies in neat rows, face down.
There are few exceptions. Close shots indicate drag marks, as
though the bodies were positioned by someone after death. Is it
possible that the 700 who fled were rounded up by these troops,
brought back to Jonestown and added to the body count?
If so, the bodies would indicate the cause of death. A new word
was coined by the media, "suicide-murder". But which was it?
Autopsies and forensic science are a developing art. The
detectives of death use a variety of scientific methods and clues
to determine how people die, when they expire, and the specific
cause of death. Dr. Mootoo, the top Guyanese pathologist, was at
Jonestown within hours after the massacre. Refused the assistance
of U.S. pathologists, he accompanied the teams that counted the
dead, examined the bodies, and worked to identify the deceased.
While the American press screamed about the "Kool-Aid Suicides",
Dr. Mootoo was reaching a much different opinion.
There are certain signs that show the types of poisons that lead
to the end of life. Cyanide blocks the central nervous system.
Even the "involuntary" function like breathing and heartbeat get
mixed neural signals. It is a painful death, breath coming in
spurts. The other muscles spasm, limbs twist and contort. The
facial muscles draw back into a deadly grin, called "cyanide
rictus". All these telling signs were absent in the Jonestown
dead. Limbs were limp and relaxed, and the few visible faces
showed no sign of distortion.
Instead, Dr. Mootoo found fresh needle marks at the back of the
left shoulder blades of 70-80% of the victims. Others had been
shot or strangled. One survivor reported that those who resisted
were forced by armed guards. The gun that reportedly shot Jim
Jones was lying nearly 200 feet from his body, not a likely
suicide weapon. As Chief Medical Examiner, his testimony to the
Guyanese grand jury investigating Jonestown led to their
conclusion that all but three of the people were murdered by
"persons unknown". Only two had committed suicide they said.
Several pictures show the gunshot wounds on the bodies as well.
The U.S. Army spokesman, Lt. Col. Schuler, said, "No autopsies
are needed. The cause of death is not an issue here." The
forensic doctors who later did autopsies at Dover, Delaware, were
never made aware of Dr. Mootoos findings.
There are other indications that the Guyanese government
participated with American authorities in a cover-up of the real
story, despite their own findings. One good example was Guyanese
Police Chief Lloyd Barker, who interfered with investigations,
helped "recover" $2.5 million for the Guyanese government, and
was often the first to officially announce the cover stories
relating to suicide, body counts and survivors. Among the first
to the scene were the wife of Guyanese Prime Minister Forbes
Burnham, and his Deputy Prime Minister, Ptolemy Reid. They
returned from the massacre site with nearly one million dollars
in cash, gold and jewellery taken from the buildings and from
the dead. Inexplicably, one of Burnhams political party
secretaries had visited the site of the massacre only hours
before it occurred. When Shirley Field Ridley, Guyanese Minister
of Information announced the change in the body count to the
shocked Guyanese parliament, she refused to answer any further q
uestions. Other representatives began to point a finger of shame
at Ridley and the Burnham government, and the local press dubbed
the scandal "Templegate", and accused them of taking a ghoulish
Perhaps, more significantly, the Americans brought in 16 huge C-
131 cargo planes, but claimed they could only carry 36 caskets in
each one. These aircraft can carry tanks, trucks, troops, and
ammunition all in one load. At the scene, bodies were stripped of
identification, including the medical wrist tags visible in many
early photos. Dust off operations during Vietnam clearly
demonstrated that the military is capable of moving hundreds of
bodies in a short period. Instead, they took nearly a week to
bring back the Jonestown dead, bringing in the majority at the
end of the period. The corpses, rotting in the heat, made autopsy
impossible. At one point, the remains of 183 people arrived in 83
caskets. Although the Guyanese had identified 174 bodies at the
site, only 17 (later 46) were tentatively identified at the
massive military mortuary in Dover, Delaware.
Isolated there, hundreds of miles from their families who might
have visited the bodies at a similar mortuary in Oakland that
was used during Vietnam, many of the dead were eventually
cremated. Press was excluded, and even family members had
difficulty getting access to the remains. Officials in New Jersey
began to complain that state coroners were excluded, and that the
military coroners appointed were illegally performing cremations.
One of the top forensic body identification experts was denied
repeated requests to assist. In December, the President of the
National Association of Medical Examiners complained in an open
letter to the U.S. military that they "badly botched" procedures.
As noted, these military doctors were unaware of Dr. Mootoos
conclusions. Several civilian pathology experts said they
"shuddered at the ineptness", of the military, and that their
autopsy method was "doing it backwards". But in official
statements, the U.S. attempted to discredit the Guyanese grand
jury findings, saying they had uncovered "few facts".
Guyanese troops and police, who had arrived with American Embassy
official Richard Dwyer, also failed to defend Congressman Leo
Ryan and others who came to Guyana with him when they were shot
down in cold blood at the Port Kaituma airstrip, even though the
troops were nearby with machine guns at the ready. Although
Temple member Larry Layton was charged with the murders of
Congressman Ryan, Temple defector Patricia Parks, and press
reporters Greg Robinson, Don Harris and Bob Brown, he was not in
position to shoot them. Blocked from boarding Ryans twin engine
Otter, he had entered another plane nearby. Once inside, he
pulled out a gun and wounded two Temple followers, before being
disarmed. [Later, Laytons own father called him "a robot" and
relatives described how he was in a "posthypnotic trance".]
The others were clearly killed by armed men who descended from a
tractor trailer at the scene, after opening fire. Witnesses
described them as "zombies," walking mechanically, without
emotion, and "looking through you, not at you" as they murdered.
Only certain people, like Ryans aide Jackie Speier, were not
harmed further, but the killers made sure that Ryan and the
newsmen were dead. In some cases they shot people, already
wounded, directly in the head.
At the Jonestown site, survivors described how a siren began to
scream. The men rushed to the storeroom where they had hunting
rifles and cross-bows. Meanwhile bursts of submachine-gun fire
could be heard from the edge of Jonestown as "mercenaries" shot
defenceless people. Agent provocateurs who had been infiltrated
into Jonestown created panic in order to allow the trained and
programmed killers, like the "zombies" who killed Ryan, to go
about their murderous business.
A special squad broke through to Jim Jones and killed him. After
that the mass extermination of people began. When the last shots
were fired, there were still several hundred left alive in the
compound, mostly women, children and the elderly. They were
assembled near the central pavilion so as to receive a
"sedative". The "cocktail" took effect instantly as the first
victims began to collapse and die. Now everybody understood the
nature of the brew offered by the murderers. Some people began to
resist taking the poison. They were shot at point blank range.
Others had poison poured down their throat by force. The
murderers also used ampule injectors. People were forced to lie
on the ground with their faces down, and were then injected into
their upper arms right through their clothes, an unlikely spot
for a suicide shot. Most of those who had fled into the jungle
were rounded up and killed. One survivor clearly heard a group of
people cheering, 45 minutes after the massacre.
Back in California, Peoples Temple members openly admitted that
they feared they were targeted by a intelligence agency "hit
squad", and the Temple was surrounded for some time by local
Survivors included Mark Lane and Charles Garry, lawyers for
Peoples Temple who managed to escape the massacre. In addition
to the 16 who officially returned with the Ryan party, others
managed to reach Georgetown and come back home. However, many of
these people were later murdered. Jeannie and Al Mills, who
intended to write a book about Jonestown, were murdered at home,
bound and shot. Evidence indicates a connection between the
Jonestown operation and the murders of Mayor Moscone and Harvey
Milk by police agent Dan White. Moscone, a friend of Rev. Jones,
was killed in his office a few days after the Guyana tragedy,
thus preventing him from realising his plan to make a press
statement on the true reasons behind the destruction of Jim
Jones and his community. Another Jonestown survivor was shot
near his home in Detroit by unidentified killers. Yet another
was involved in a mass murder of school children in Los Angeles.
Who Was Jim Jones?
In order to understand the strange events surrounding Jonestown,
we must begin with a history of the people involved. The official
story of a "suicide cult" led by a religious fanatic adored by
his idealistic followers, doesnt make sense in light of the
evidence of murders, armed killers and autopsy cover-ups.
If it happened the way we were told, there should be no reason to
try to hide the facts from the public, and full investigation
into the deaths at Jonestown, and the murder of Leo Ryan would
have been welcomed. What did happen is something else instead.
Jim Jones grew up in the grinding poverty of the Great Depression
in the rural town of Lynn, southern Indiana. His friends found
him a little strange as he was interested in preaching the Bible
and in social justice issues. In the early 1950s, Jones graduated
from Butler University and was ordained by a Christian
denomination in Indianapolis. It was during this period that he
met and married his lifelong mate, Marceline. He also had a small
business to support his Christian ministry, selling monkeys,
purchased from the research department at Indiana State
University in Bloomington.
A Charismatic evangelist and faith healer, Pastor Jones held
revival tent meetings in Indiana. With his wife, Marceline, he
adopted many children of different races. Because of his strong
convictions and social activism, he and his family were the
targets of intense harassment and racially-motivated violence.
Seeking an atmosphere that would perhaps be more receptive to his
outspoken work, Jim Jones moved to California and established the
first Peoples Temple in Ukiah in 1965. There, despite continued
harassment, Peoples Temple flourished and grew to thousands of
members. Branches of the organisation were opened in several
cities, and the work of rehabilitating drug addicts, finding
jobs, and homes for destitute people, providing services for
youth and the elderly went on in each area. Despite all this,
Jones kept up a gruelling schedule of evangelistic rallies,
speaking five or six times a week to thousands of people, mostly
urban ghetto-dwellers, all across the state. Periodically he
would journey across the United States holding revival meetings
in a number of cities.
Not a meeting went by that Rev. Jones did not integrate his
Charismatic, revival gospel with a comprehensive expose of the
smug corruption, blatant hypocrisy, and contradictions of the
American system. He was scathing in his denunciation of the
military-industrial complex, corporate greed, profiteering, the
politics of neglect and genocide, and a host of other abuses
both within the U.S. and around the world. He established a hard-
hitting newspaper Peoples Forum that exposed U.S. corruption
within, and U.S. imperialism without - and distributed each
issue free to over half a million people. The foundation
scripture of his ministry was Christs admonition recorded in
"Matthew" chapter 25, verses 35-40.
The Peoples Temple newspaper Peoples Forum revealed Pastor Jones
perspective as well as some of his powerful enemies. An October,
1977 column titled "For the Ambitious, Curious, and Concerned"
provides commentary on some of the topics the Establishment press
prefers to pass over in silence. Among the questions raised here
are the following:
"The Rockefeller brothers: How they got their fortunes and
daily. Their influence over U.S. policy. How does Henry
hop right over from being Secretary of State to become a
Board member of
the Chase Manhattan Bank."
"The multinational corporations: By what network do they
governmental decisions? Is it possible for any major
decisions to be made
independently of the corporate structure?"
Many questions are related to the deteriorating conditions at
"Schools: Why do they cost more and more and teach less and
less? Why are
colleges in deep financial trouble? What kind of job market
facing and why?"
"Prisons: Whats behind the push to build more of them? What
is the extent
of medical experimentation on prisoners? Psychosurgery?"
"Medical care:....Is there any way to reverse the gigantic
which cuts anyone but the wealthy off from extended medical
controls the nursing home circuits?"
"Environmental controls: How widespread is: pollution? Lack
standards? Poisonous chemicals in food and other products?"
Thus, it was by no means a "sect of religious fanatics advocating
the cult of suicide" who published the newspaper Peoples Forum.
There can be no doubt that the newspaper served as a vehicle for
radical Christianity, as a mouthpiece of those who fought against
the dictatorship of the monopolies and for freedom. As one letter
to the Editor frankly stated, "The only crime Jim Jones is guilty
of is bringing the poor together from various religious, racial,
and ethnic backgrounds."
Many professional people from stable family backgrounds were
converted to Joness dynamic vision. During this time Timothy
Stoen, a Stanford graduate and member of the city D.As office,
the Layton family, Terri Buford and other important members
joined the Temple. Bufords father was a Commander at the
Philadelphia Navy Base for years. Larry Schact, later to become
Jonestown medical superintendent, stated Jim Jones got him off
drugs and into medical school during this period. George Blakey
was from a wealthy, British family. He donated $60,000 to pay the
lease on the 27,000-acre Guyana site in 1974. Lisa Phillips
Layton had come to the U.S. from a rich Hamburg banking family in
Germany. Many of the top lieutenants around Jones were from
wealthy, educated backgrounds.
For a number of years Stoen worked in close cooperation with
Jones whom he followed to Guyana as the communitys legal adviser.
It subsequently turned out that since his years at college Stoen
had been a CIA agent and spent some time in West Germany on a CIA
mission. In 1977, Stoens link to the CIA was exposed and he was
expelled from the Jonestown community. Under instructions from
the CIA, the agent provocateur set up and headed the so-called
"Concerned Relatives" organisation. It demanded the liquidation
Jonestown survivor, JFK researcher and attorney, Mark Lane,
writes in The Strongest Poison: "I believe Tim Stoen was a CIA
operative, if not from the beginning, then certainly long before
the end. Where was the money coming from to keep him on the
Temples case full time with an office, to hire a private
detective (Mazor), and a prominent San Francisco public relations
firm (Lowery, Russom & Leeper) [a legal firm that fabricated
suits and charges against the Peoples Temple] to work against
the Temple. Where was the money coming from to send relatives
and attorneys to Guyana and put them up in the best hotels while
they did their dirty work? There was too much money behind Tim
Stoen...Stoens announced goal was the destruction of Jim Jones
and the Temple..."
This period of rapid growth of the Peoples Temple also marked the
end of an important political decade. Nixons election had ushered
in a domestic intelligence war against the movements for peace,
civil rights and social justice. Names like COINTELPRO, CHAOS,
and OPERATION GARDEN PLOT or the HOUSTON PLAN made the news
following in the wake of Watergate revelations. Senator Ervin
called the White House plans against dissenters "fascistic."
These operations involved the highest levels of military and
civilian intelligence and all levels of police agencies in a
full-scale attempt to discredit, disrupt and destroy the
movements that sprang up in the 1960s. There are indications that
these plans, or the mood they created, led to the assassinations
of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, as unacceptable "Black
One of the architects under then-Governor Reagan in California
was the former Attorney General Edwin Meese. He coordinated
OPERATION GARDEN PLOT for military intelligence and all police
operations and intelligence in a period that was plagued with
violations of civil and constitutional rights. Perhaps you can
recall the police attacks on Peoples Park, the murder of many
Black Panthers and activists, the infiltration of the Free Speech
Movement and anti-war activity, and the experimentation on
prisoners at Vacaville, or the shooting of George Jackson. Meese
later bragged that this activity had damaged or destroyed the
people he called "revolutionaries."
This was also the period in which the CIA and its allies began to
infiltrate the Peoples Temple. Michael Prokes was approached by a
government agent and promised two-hundred dollars a week payment
if he would join the full time staff of the Temple and spy on Jim
Jones. Prokes joined the Temple in October 1972. Mark Lane
relates how, during a visit to Jonestown on November 17, 1978,
only days before the massacre, Mike Prokes confided to him that,
"it would be a mistake for me to underestimate the duplicity and
cleverness of the American intelligence agents. He said, on the
eve of the destruction: 'I wouldnt be surprised if they have
agents infiltrated in here and in San Francisco [Peoples Temple
U.S. head office]'." (The Strongest Poison)
Four months later, on March 13, 1979, Prokes called a press
conference in a California hotel. To the assembled reporters he
made available a forty-two-page statement and then silently rose,
entering the bathroom behind him. He closed the door and shot
himself. He was pronounced dead at a Modesto Hospital three hours
"In both his oral and written statements to the press, he
asserted: 'The truth about Jonestown is being covered up because
our government agencies were involved in its destruction up to
their necks. I am convinced of this because among many other
reasons, I was an informant when I first joined the Peoples
"Prokes attached to that statement a four-page document in which
he detailed his role as a government agent... All of this
information was available to the reporters at the press
conference... Among those Mike mailed his final statement to
were: The New York Times, Newsweek, and Time. They, however, did
not print a word from the statement. Not a single national daily
in the United States, not a single magazine, radio or television
company, not a single news agency made public what Mike Prokes
had written in the last minutes of his life." (The Strongest
Shortly before Jonestowns tragic end, the Peoples Temples leaders
launched an open challenge against the U.S. authorities. On
October 4, 1978, The San Francisco Examiner, and the next day The
Sun Reporter announced that the Peoples Temple based in Guyana
were going to file a multi-million-dollar suit against U.S.
federal agencies, including the CIA, the FBI, Treasury
Department, Post Office, and the Internal Revenue Service, within
90 days. The suit would charge, the newspaper said, the agencies
of being involved in a government-inspired plot to destroy
Jonestown. The suit potentially threatened to cause great
embarrassment to the White House, the State Department and the U.
S. intelligence community. When, 45 days after the publication of
the news of the forthcoming suit, the majority of Jonestowns
residents were murdered, the question of the law suit was removed
from the agenda.
Under pressure from influential relatives of some of the members
of the Peoples Temple and responding to the slanders of Rev.
Jones in the press, Congressman Leo Ryan took a personal
interest in Jonestown. Ryan had some years previous fallen out
with the U.S. intelligence community. The CIA was displeased
with him because in 1974 he and Senator Hughes had moved an
amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act which was to limit the
CIAs operations outside the United States. Later CIA operative
Tim Stoen would complain to Ryan about custody of his step son,
who was living with Jones, and urge him to visit the commune.
Against advice of friends and staff members, Ryan decided to take
a team of journalists to Guyana and seek the truth of the
situation. Some feel that Ryans journey there was planned and
expected, and used as a convenient excuse to set up his murder.
The CIA and MK-ULTRA
Significantly, the press and other evidence did indicate the
presence of a senior CIA agent on the scene at the time of the
massacre. This man, Richard Dwyer, was working as Deputy Chief of
Mission for the U.S. Embassy in Guyana. Identified in Whos Who in
the CIA, he has been involved with the agency since 1959. Present
at Jonestown and the airport strip, his accounts were used by the
State Department to confirm the death of Leo Ryan.
Other Embassy personnel, who knew the situation at Jonestown
well, were also connected to intelligence work. U.S. Ambassador
John Burke, who served in the CIA with Dwyer in Thailand, was an
Embassy official described by Philip Agee as working for the CIA
since 1963. Burke tried to stop Ryans investigation. Also at the
Embassy was Chief Consular officer Richard McCoy, who worked for
military intelligence and was "on loan" from the Defense
Department at the time of the massacre. According to a standard
source, "The Embassy in Georgetown housed the Georgetown CIA
station. It now appears that the majority and perhaps all of the
Embassy officials were CIA officers operating under State
Department covers..." Dan Webber, who was sent to the site of the
massacre the day after, was also named as CIA.
The direct orders to cover up the cause of death came from the
top levels of the American government. Zbigniew Brzezinski
delegated to Robert Pastor, and he in turn ordered Lt. Col.
Gordon Sumner to strip the bodies of identity. Pastor was Deputy
Director of the CIA under Reagan. One can only wonder how many
others tied to the Jonestown massacre were similarly promoted.
Almost everywhere you look at Jonestown, U.S. intelligence rears
its ugly head.
"(The) possibility is that Jonestown was a mass mind-control
experiment by the CIA as part of its MK-ULTRA program," declared
Ryans friend and aid, Joseph Holsinger, in response to reports of
the involvement of senior CIA agents in the tragedy. A close
study of Senator Ervins 1974 intelligence report, "Individual
Rights and the Governments Role in Behaviour Modification", shows
that the CIA and military intelligence had certain "target
populations" in mind, for both individual and mass control.
Blacks, women, prisoners, the elderly, the young, and inmates of
psychiatric wards were selected as "potentially violent". There
were plans in California at the time for a "Centre for the Study
and Reduction of Violence", expanding on the horrific work of Dr.
Jose Delgado, Drs. Mark and Ervin, and Dr. Louis Jolyn West,
experts in implantation, psychosurgery and tranquillizers.
The history of MK-ULTRA and its sister programs (ARTICHOKE,
BLUEBIRD, etc.) records a combination of drugs, drug mixtures,
electro-shock and torture as methods for control. The desired
results ranged from temporary and permanent amnesia, uninhabited
confessions, and creation of second personalities, to programmed
assassins and pre-conditioned suicidal urges.
One goal was the ability to control mass populations especially
for cheap labor. Dr. Delgado told Congress that he hoped for a
future where a technology would control workers in the field and
troops at war with electronic remote signals. He found it hard to
understand why people would complain about electrodes implanted
in their brains to make them "both happy and productive".
Along with the notorious MK-ULTRA-linked psychiatrist Louis
Jolyon West, Rabbi Maurice Davis is involved in an advisory
capacity with the Cult Awareness Network. The Rabbi worked
closely with Dr. Harris Isbell in the Lexington, Kentucky federal
prison. This MK-ULTRA program included the intentional
administering of LSD to federal prisoners to evaluate the drugs
use in mind control and modification. It may be more than a
strange coincidence that Rabbi Davis arranged for Jim Jones to
use an empty synagogue in Indianapolis for his early activities.
In a further cruel irony, Louis Jolyon West received the Cult
Awareness Networks 1990 "Leo J. Ryan Award", in recognition of
his work against "religious cults".
Joyce Shaw, who spent six years in the Temple but left before the
move to Guyana, wondered if the reported "mass suicide" story was
a cover for "some kind of horrible government experiments, or
some sort of sick, racist thing..."
Were the residents of Jonestown the victims of an elaborate U.S.
government plot, as their leaders publicly claimed only weeks
before their murder? Was the CIA, through its agents within the
Peoples Temple, actively involved in subverting the community in
a bizarre MK-ULTRA mind control experiment?
On the evening of November 18, the Soviet Consul in Guyana was
approached by two extremely agitated members of the Peoples
Temple. One of them told him she had received news from
Jonestown, "Something terrible is going on there. I dont yet know
the details, but the life of all commune members is in danger.
The settlement is surrounded by armed men. Something has happened
to Ryan. He was attacked by some unknown men when he was
returning to Georgetown."
The Consul relates in the book The Jonestown Carnage, how
returning home that evening his wife told him that Jim Joness
assistant, Sharon Amos, had called from the Temple office in
"Sharon was weeping and said that Jonestown had been surrounded
by armed men. In spite of the poor reception she had received a
radiogram which said that military helicopters were circling over
the settlement. 'Help us!' she screamed. 'Jonestown is being
destroyed! They wont spare anyone! Somebody is trying to get into
my flat. Do something! Save us!' Then they were cut off. My wife
immediately phoned the Guyanese police and was told that a
reinforced police detachment had been sent to the Amos home. But
it was too late. Amos and her three children were dead. They were
slaughtered by Blakey who was also a CIA agent infiltrated into
the Jones organisation. Later he was declared insane, and then
vanished from view. That terrible night of the 18th to the 19th
of November was the scene of a monstrous massacre."
On November 19 the Timehri airport in Guyana was unusually busy
and crowded with American servicemen. Standing on the runway was
a giant S-141 aircraft of the U.S. airforce out of which American
troops were unloading disassembled helicopters, jeeps, and some
small armaments. The bewildered Guyanese soldiers and officials
stood by speechless. One airport employee said he did not know
why a U.S. military plane was at a Guyanan civil airport. Nobody
knew why it had landed. That was not the first plane to have
arrived that day, the airport employee stated.
Operations aimed at mass extermination of civilians in different
countries have been widely practised by the CIA as a means of
attaining political goals. Over the last 25 years alone the U.S.
Central Intelligence Agency has undertaken over 900 major secret
operations and several thousand smaller-scale terrorist actions.
One such operation, carried out in Vietnam under the code name
Phoenix, took about 80,000 lives.
What makes the carnage in Guyana so different from other CIA
crimes is that its victims were not foreigners; they were
Americans who had left their home country because they did not
want to live under the U.S. socio-political system. To this day,
the mass murder of hundreds of U.S. citizens in Jonestown has
never been investigated by U.S. authorities and the perpetrators
of the crime have been neither identified nor punished.
Yet, Jonestown is deeply etched into the religious and social
history of the modern world. The media routinely reminds us of
the dangers of sinister Peoples Temple like "Armageddon cults"
and "Bible-based suicide sects". Jim Jones is remembered as the
sinister "Bible-thumper" and evil demagogue who led his
brainwashed followers to a bizarre mass suicide.
This is, of course, the Establishment view. The image that
psychiatrist Louis Jolyon West and his friends in the Cult
Awareness Network do not want us to forget.
"Jonestown," wrote Jonathan Vankin, "bloomed in the moral and
spiritual abyss of the 1970s...its members were said to be
brainwashed - living proof that human beings were just so much
wire and circuitry. Cult members were often kidnapped back by
their families. The hired kidnappers were called 'deprogrammers'.
They might better have been called 'reprogrammers'."
(Conspiracies, Cover-ups and Crimes)
However, the Peoples Temple was not some strange, fringe-dwelling
"cult" and Jim Jones was not a small time preacher and part time
hustler. Back on March 31, 1977, journalist Bob Levering wrote
the following in The San Francisco Bay Guardian, before most of
the members moved to Guyana:
"The biggest religion story these days is the phenomenon of
Peoples Temple...that has been in San Francisco less than five
years but has already become the largest single Protestant
congregation in the state (more than 20,000 members),
participating in activities as diverse as supporting the tenants
at the International Hotel (more than 3000 church members turned
out for a demonstration last January) and publishing...the
monthly Peoples Forum (they distribute between 600,000 and 1,000,
000 copies to every neighbourhood in San Francisco)...The church.
..also has a free meals program...It conducts a massive human
service program including...its own medical and legal clinics, a
home for mentally disabled children and four nursing homes..."
The propaganda cover-up for the massacre of Jonestown was
provided by the U.S. intelligence agencies version of "the
suicide of religious fanatics."
The real tragedy of Jonestown is not only that it occurred, but
that so few chose to ask themselves why or how, so few sought to
find out the facts behind the bizarre tale used to explain away
the deaths of more than 900 people, and that so many will
continue to be blind to the grim reality of our intelligence
agencies. In the long run, the truth will come out. Only our
complicity in the deception continues to dishonour the dead.