- Religion and Philosophy
Jim Jones, People's Temple Leader And Founder, Part II
In the spring of 1976, Jim Jones began openly admitting that he was an atheist. In one of his sermons he stated that if people are going to get any help they have to help themselves. That no one was going to come out of the sky. And that there was no heaven.
The People's Temple moved to San Francisco, California in 1975. In the summer of 1977, Jones and several hundred followers moved to their "Agricultural Project" in Guyana, after learning an article was to be published in which former members claimed they had been physically, mentally, and sexually abused. Jones then named this place Jonestown, after himself.
He started building Jonestown in 1970. He wanted to create a socialist society and get away from the ever-pressing media. He wanted to create a communistic community. He bragged that he believed he and his followers were the purest communists ever. This was one of the reasons he did not permit his followers to leave Jonestown.
Jones believed he and his followers would all die together and be transported to another planet, where they would be in paradise!
He claimed he was the biological father of John Victor Stoen, even though the birth certificate says differently. He also fathered a son, Jim John (Kimo) with Carolyn Louise Moore Layton, who was a temple member.
The reasons Jones gave for mass suicide was that he believed there would be people coming in and shooting their children and torturing them. And, torturing the older people there. Jones and several of his followers argued the group should commit "revolutionary suicide."
Jim Jones had a big drug problem, including usage of LSD and marijuana, which was confirmed by his son, Stephen, and his own doctor.
He told his his followers that he was the only true heterosexual. However, on December 13, 1973, he was arrested and charged with soliciting a man for sex in a park in Los Angeles. The man was an undercover Los Angeles police officer. Atleast one account exists of Jones sexual abuse of a male follower, in front of other followers. He banned sex outside of marriage, but he himself engaged in sex with both sexes. He claimed he hated homosexual activity and did so only for his member's own good. He claimed to connect them symbolically with him.
It seems to me that Jim Jones became nuttier as time went on. Or, maybe he was this crazy to began with?
I will be writing Part III soon!