I didn’t see this email coming:
Reading your book has revived my suspicion of how the media treats the memory of Jim Jones and the People’s Temple. The Peoples’ Temple was a leftist project, but leftists dismiss it as a “cult.” Jones (and the Unibomber) is an aberration. Now I find that Jones:
Called his theology – apostolic socialism. He ridiculed what he called “white Christianity.”
During the murder/suicide, Jones warned his followers that their children would be stolen and tortured. He said, “You can’t steal people’s children. You can’t take off with people’s children without expecting a violent reaction. And that’s not so unfamiliar to us either–even if we were Judeo-Christian–if we weren’t Communists.”
As his followers were dying around him, Jones made these statements: “So my opinion is that you be kind to children and be kind to seniors and take the potion like they used to take in ancient Greece and step over quietly because we are not committing suicide; it’s a revolutionary act.” “This is a revolutionary–a revolutionary suicide council.” “This is a revolutionary suicide. This is not a self-destructive suicide.” “Take our life from us. We laid it down. We got tired. We didn’t commit suicide, we committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world.”
Yet Left rants about the fascist threat from conservative Christians; Andrew Sullivan calls them “Christianists.” If a white Christian minister had duped, intimidated over 900 members of his congregation to literally “drink the Kool-Aid”, our media would still be talking about him. But Jim Jones was a non-white leader of a inter-racial, pseudo-Christian, leftist “temple”, who destroyed his followers because they failed to create heaven on earth. Sounds familiar.
Update: Sorry, folks I didn’t read closely enough. The reader incorrectly calls Jim Jones non-white. And as anyone who saw Powers Boothe’s magnificent portrayal of Jones can remember, Jones was definitely a white guy. For the record, since I’m here, I just though the email was interesting. I haven’t decided where I agree and disagree with all of it.