On November 18, 1978, 913 people died in Jonestown, a small compound carved out of the jungles of Guyana, a small country on the northeast coast of South America. The media at the time reported that it was a fanatical group of followers of the Rev. Jim Jones, lead to the jungles of South America to get away from the oppression of life here in America. They also reported that his followers willingly followed their leader into the great beyond by sipping on some cyanide cocktails, flavored with purple Kool-Aid. In fact, the notion of a mass suicide at Jonestown has been repeated so many times that it is accepted as
fact, and the association is so strong that when most people hear "Jonestown," the first thing which pops in their head is "Kool-Aid." This association is false.
WHAT THE MEDIA WON'T TELL YOU: JIM JONES WAS A CIA OPERATIVE CONDUCTING MIND CONTROL EXPERIMENTS
The source of the "Kool-Aid Suicide" stories was the U.S. State Department, which presented the
story immediately after the "suicides" were reported as though it was the only obvious truth. A
U.S. Army spokesman pronounced with complete authority, "No autopsies are needed. The cause
of death is not an issue here." The bodies were then allowed to rot in the jungle.
Despite the lack of need for autopsies, Dr. C. Leslie Mootoo, the top Guyanese pathologist, was
at Jonestown hours after the deaths, and, refusing the assistance of U.S. pathologists,
accompanied the teams that examined the bodies. His conclusions? Dr. Mootoo found fresh
needle marks at the back of the left shoulder blades on 80 to 90 percent of the victims. Others had
been shot or strangled.
A surviving witness stated that those who resisted were forced by armed
guards to comply. Dr. Mootoo's opinion, and that of the Guyanese grand jury investigating
Jonestown, was that all but three (only two of which were suicides) were murdered by "persons
If one was to go over the deaths in Auschwitz, it is almost a certainty, considering the horrendous
conditions those who were there were under, that 0.2 % of all deaths could be attributed to
suicides. Yet if anyone was to argue that Auschwitz was a suicide camp housing a bunch of
religious freaks and not the compounds of murder that they were, they would (rightfully) be
condemned for intellectual dishonesty, and their motives would be questioned.The suicide hoax is merely the beginning of the deception. The original death count was 408 (an
odd number to use if the number was an estimate), with the added claim that 700 had fled into the
jungle. The final total was changed to 913. To explain this rather minor difference in arithmetic,
American authorities first explained that those backward ignorant Guyanese "could not count."
Perhaps because the first "official" explanation of the bad math was so insulting, it was then
proposed that they missed a pile of bodies, as if a pile of dead bodies is something that is easily
overlooked. Finally, the official explanation that settled the whole question was presented: Bodies
were stacked on top of each other.
Of the 150 photos taken of the massacre, not one shows any body lying under any others. Those
who first worked on the bodies, to release the gasses of decay, had to puncture the dead, making
it unlikely that they missed anyone. These facts aside, one must wonder how 408 bodies -- 82
belonging to children -- could cover 505 others. Talk about bad math.
With minor exceptions, pictures show the dead were found in neat rows, face down. The pictures
also show drag marks leading to the bodies, indicating that victims were murdered elsewhere and
placed there by someone else.
These facts have lead to a more likely conclusion: 408 was indeed the correct original body count.
The other 505 were hunted down and slaughtered, then dragged back.
But who would do such a thing, and why? Furthermore, why were American officials giving such
deceptive answers about Jonestown? To answer these questions, one must unravel the mystery of
a man named Jim Jones.
Jones became a Bible-thumping "faith healer," using wet chicken livers as evidence of cancer which
he removed by "divine powers." He adopted eight children, some black, some white. Already the
stench of criminal activity surrounded him, and his landlady referred to him as "a gangster who
used the Bible instead of a gun." Fortunately for Jones, the local police chief at the time was Dan
Mitrione, a friend from childhood. Mitrione kept him from being arrested or run out of town.
Mitrione would later enter the International Police Academy, a CIA front for training
counterinsurgency and torture techniques.
Despite having few sources for known funds, Jones found enough money to travel with his wife
and family to Brazil in 1961. Coincidentally, Mitrione was there as well, having advanced quickly
in the IPA. Mitrione had honed his skills at torture and assassination by practicing on kidnapped
beggars. He himself was later kidnapped and murdered by guerrillas in Uruguay, an incident which
became the basis of the Costa Gavras film State of Siege. Jones made regular trips to Belo
Horizonte, site of CIA headquarters in Brazil -- and Mitrione's town of residence.
Apparently, this wasn't the only curious intelligence link to Jones. He told some of his neighbors
that he was involved in the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence. The U.S. embassy provided Jones
with transportation, groceries, and a large home. Considering his dear friendship to Mitrione and
the funding of "ministries" in Latin America by the CIA, the theory that Jones was a U.S.
intelligence asset makes quite a bit of sense.
In any case, according to his neighbor, Jones "lived like a rich man."Soon after the JFK assassination, Jones returned to the states with $10,000. In 1965, he formed
the first People's Temple in Ukiah, California, and set up Happy Havens Rest Home.
trained personnel or proper licensing, Jones' camp drew in prisoners, the elderly, people from
mental institutions, and 150 foster children, many of whom were transferred by court order. Among those who contacted him: "missionaries" from World Vision (an international evangelical
order that often fronts for the CIA); the local chapter head to the John Birch Society; and leaders
of the Republican party, for whom his "church" members conducted voter organization and
fund-raising activities for the Dick Nixon '68 campaign. Jones' advisors included a mercenary from
UNITA, the CIA-backed Angola army. Also jumping on board was the Layton family, whose
patriarch, U.C.-Berkeley chemist Dr. Laurence Laird Layton, had worked on the Manhattan
Project. Dr. Layton was also chief of the Army's Chemical Warfare Division in the early 1950's.
(Mrs. Layton was the daughter of Hugo Phillips, a German banker/stockbroker who became rich
representing Siemans & Halske and I.G. Farben, two notorious Nazi Holocaust profiteers.)
Despite his rather right-wing background, Jones suddenly declared himself a liberal socialist -- in
fact, he called himself a dual reincarnation of both Jesus Christ and Lenin. At this point, a cloud of
suspicion began to gather around his church, which was staffed by jack-booted armed thugs who
dressed in black uniforms.
Jones took everything he could from his followers, much of it in the
form of welfare and social security checks, using blackmail, extortions, and any other available
means. The local press reported about seven mysterious deaths of those who attempted to leave
the "church" due to conflicts with Jones. Accusations of kidnapping, beatings, and sexual abuse
began to circulate.
To escape controversy, Jones moved to San Francisco and became an important fundraiser for
the Bay area political establishment. Soon, he was schmoozing with the liberal and radical elite,
meeting with (among others) Rosalynn Carter and Angela Davis.
Jones was rewarded by being put in charge of the city Housing Commission, and key followers
were awarded jobs in the Welfare Department. The bulk of Jones' flock came from the
unemployed and dispossessed people found there. The cult preyed on the poor and helpless, going
out of its way to enlist women, children and minorities. Many members were recruited directly
from San Francisco mental hospitals. However, the move to San Francisco did little to quiet the controversy surrounding his "church,"
and a 1977 expose put Jones on the defensive. He then moved his Utopia to Guyana, aided once
again by the U.S. Embassy. After receiving complaints lodged by relatives of cult members, Congressman Leo Ryan visited
Jonestown on November 18, 1978 to investigate allegations of human rights abuses. Congressman
Ryan, a noted CIA critic, had authored the Hughes-Ryan Amendment, which would have required
the CIA to disclose to Congress -- in advance -- details of all covert operations. The State
department offered Ryan no answers or assistance, despite numerous inquiries. He arrived with
U.S. embassy official Richard Dwyer, as well as some journalists. Among the reporters was Tim
Reiterman, who had covered the Patty Hearst story for the San Francisco Examiner. In all
likelihood, Ryan already suspected what was really going on at Jonestown.
That was when all hell broke loose.
At the airstrip, Leo Ryan soon became the first congressman to die in the line of duty, along with
four reporters. (The Hughes-Ryan Amendment was killed in Congress soon afterwards.) The
assassins were described by witnesses as "glassy eyed," "mechanically-walking zombies," and
"devoid of any emotion." Dwyer and Reiterman were also shot. Soon after that, the mass slaughter
began. A plausible explanation for the events that unfolded is that Jim Jones (or someone else) ordered
the murders after Ryan's unexpected visit threatened to expose what was happening. In the chaos
that followed, a mass extermination was carried out. Just who were the zombie assassins? Well, besides the 913 dead, 167 survivors returned from the
camp. All news reports concede that there were at least 1100 individuals at the camp (and most
reports place the number at 1200.) Who are these 200 or more people unaccounted for?
The survivors report that there was a special all-white group that was well-armed, well-treated and
free to exit the compound. These guards were never accounted for by any news reports.
it is these same guards (assuming the total population was 1200) whom a congressional aide was
referring to in an Associated Press quote which stated, "There are 120 white, brainwashed
assassins out from Jonestown awaiting the trigger word to pick up their hit."
Of course, they may have had a little help. Over 300 U.S. Green Berets -- trained for CIA covert
assassinations -- were in the area at the time. So were nearly 600 British Black Watch
commandos, who were in Guyana conducting a "training exercise." Suddenly, the death toll seems
relatively low. The killings didn't stop in Guyana. Nine days later, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and
Supervisor Harvey Milk were slain by Dan White, who was either a "disgruntled police agent" or
someone who was "angry about gays." These explanations were supplied to explain his utterly
irrational behavior during the killings; sure enough, he was described as being in a bizarre "zombie
During White's trial, his lawyers came up with the inventive but deservedly mocked "Twinkie
defense," in which they claimed he went insane during a sugar high induced by eating too many
sweets. Moscone and Milk received substantial financial backing from Jim Jones during his stay by
the Bay; afterwards they were both investigated in connection to missing funds from the People's
Temple. That is, until a "lone gunman" took them out.
Michael Prokes, a Jones aide, held a press conference and stated that the CIA and FBI were
withholding an audiotape of the massacre. He also stated that he was an FBI informant. Right after
that, he went to the restroom... and never left. His death was proclaimed a "suicide."
In Georgetown, several more Temple members were killed following the Guyana massacre. The
man charged with the murders, Charles Beikman, was an early follower of Jones who had become
an "adopted son." Beikman was also a Green Beret.
Jeanne and Al Mills, who were writing a book on Jonestown, were bound and shot to death at
their home. In Detroit another survivor was killed near his home, and yet another was involved in a
mass murder of school children in Los Angeles.
Ironically, the dead may not have included Jim Jones himself. The body alleged to be his didn't
show his tattoos in the photographs. Fingerprints had to be checked twice, and his dental records
were never looked at. He was known to use doubles. As the massacre unfolded, Jones can be heard on a tape recording yelling, "Get Dwyer out of
here!" Richard Dwyer was later found at the airstrip, methodically washing his hands.
In 1968, Dwyer was listed in the publication Who's Who in the CIA. When asked if the allegation
was true, he replied, "No comment."
Of course, Dwyer wasn't the only link to the CIA in Guyana. Besides those previously mentioned,
U.S. ambassador John Burke and another official named Richard McCoy were both heavily
involved with the intelligence community. The U.S. embassy in Georgetown also housed the
Georgetown CIA station. At the time, Guyana had a socialist government, and thus was a likely
target for covert operations. Dan Webber, sent to Guyana after the massacre, was also with the
CIA. The "official" attorney for the survivors, Joseph Blatchford, was involved in a scandal
involving CIA infiltration of the Peace Corps.
Then we have the missing money that just "disappeared" after the slaughter. Conservative estimates
place the amount at $26 million. Others place it at $2 billion. At the time, a major international
money laundering operation was headquartered in Italy, involving the Vatican and a fascist
quasi-Masonic lodge known as the P-2, or Propaganda Duo. (This operation probably led to the
murder of Pope John Paul I -- but that's another conspiracy.) The CIA-linked P-2 had a major
operation located in Panama, not too far from Jonestown.
Add in the FBI files on the Black Panthers and Weathermen found at the site, an attempt to lure
Mark Lane (JFK assassination critic and James Earl Ray lawyer, among other things) and Donald
Freed (Lane's sometime JFK collaborator and Simpson case investigator who linked
the Brentwood murders to Mafia in the L.A. underworld) to Guyana (which succeeded in having
Lane witness the airstrip murders after Jones hired him as a lawyer), and a bizarre plot to kidnap
Grace Walden Stephens (a key Martin Luther King assassination witness) and smuggle her to
Jonestown, and you have the makings of a full fledge spook operation.
One of the strangest CIA connections to Jonestown was the previously mentioned World Vision,
an evangelical order which often fronts for the CIA. They performed espionage work for the CIA
in Southeast Asia while Operation Phoenix (the murderous project that left 40,000 people dead)
was in full effect. In Honduras, they maintained a presence at CIA contra recruiting camps in the
war against the Sandinistas. In Lebanon, the fascist Phalange butchered Palestinians at World
Vision's camp. In Cuba, their refugee camps hosted numerous members of the anti-Castro terrorist
group Alpha 66 of Bay of Pigs fame.
After the Guyana massacre, World Vision developed a scheme to repopulate Jonestown with
CIA-linked mercenaries from Laos. Laos, of course, was where the CIA was running it's "secret
war" during Vietnam, which for the most part was a smokescreen for a widespread opium
One particularly important World Vision official was John Hinckley, Sr., an oil man, reputed CIA
officer, and friend of George Bush. You may have heard of his son. Less than four months before Hinckley Jr. became known as Jodie Foster's biggest fan, another
member of the World Vision order, Mark Chapman, gunned down John Lennon in what may have
been a practice run for the bigger hit on President Reagan. One of the policemen who found him
was convinced that he was a mind-controlled assassin. Chapman was clutching a copy of the novel
Catcher in the Rye, which was also owned by John Hinckley Jr. (The book was written by J.D.
Salinger, who worked in military intelligence with Henry Kissinger during World War II.) Before
going to trial, Chapman plead guilty after a voice in his head (which he attributed it to God)
commanded him to do so.
Considering the history of World Vision and what went on previously in Guyana, it is possible that
the real purpose behind repopulating Jonestown was to create another breeding ground for
brainwashed zombies like Chapman and Hinckley. Nearby Jonestown there was a place called
Hilltown, a compound of 8,000 blacks that followed cult leader Rabbi David Hill, who held his
flock with an iron fist. Hill had so much power that he was referred to as the "vice prime minister"
of Guyana. There was also another place in Guyana called "Johnstown," as well as similar
operations in the Phillipines and Chile. It appears that Jonestown (and World Vision's later
attempt) is hardly the exception to the rule of using obscure locations in Third World nations as
laboratories for covert cult operations. The Jonestown site in Guyana was originally a Union Carbide mine, and was loaded with an
abundance of precious natural resources. It is very likely that the site was chosen to exploit these
resources with cheap labor -- and cheap labor was plentiful.
Members of Jim Jones' "church" were bound and gagged immediately after landing in Guyana and
taken to the compound. They were pumped with drugs, which were available in vast amounts at
Jonestown -- enough to drug 200,000 people for more than a year. Among the drugs found there:
Quaaludes, Valium, morphine, Demerol, Thorazine (a dangerous tranquilizer), sodium pentathol (a
truth serum), chloral hydrate (a hypnotic chemical agent), thallium (which confuses thinking), and,
of course, cyanide. Jonestown residents lived in cramped quarters and ate meager rations of often
spoiled food. They were then forced to give 16 to 18 hours of slave labor per day. When they
weren't working, they were required to stay up day and night listening to Jim Jones lecture. Among
the charming punishments the flock endured were forced druggings, sensory deprivation in an
underground box, physical torture, and public sexual rape and humiliation, not to mention your
average ordinary beatings and verbal abuse.
All of the drugs and environmental conditions forced upon Jonestown residents were also
employed in the CIA's notorious MKULTRA program, which was implemented to test and
implement brainwashing and mind control techniques. A 1974 government report admitted that
certain "target populations" were used, namely blacks, women, prisoners, the elderly, children, and
inmates of psychiatric wards. The Center for the Study and Reduction of Violence, using the
research of Strangelovian doctors Jose Delgado and Louis "Jolly" West, drew guinea pigs from the
"target populations" to test drugs, implants, and psychosurgery techniques at an isolated military
missile base in California. The dead at Jonestown were 90% women, 80% black, and included
276 children.WHEN THE BODIES WERE SHIPPED BACK TO AMERICA, THERE WERE NO AUTOPSIES DONE, THEY WERE BURIED, AND THE FAMILIES WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE THEM
Which leads us back to Auschwitz and the ultimate deja vu. Auschwitz, after all, was not just a
death camp: It was also a slave labor camp for Nazi military-industrial monolith I.G. Farben.
There, the outcasts and refuse of society who no one cared about faced similar abuses, while an
elite few profited from their misery. The brains behind the Final Solution became the brains behind
MKULTRA. The MK is often said to stand for "Mind Kontrol" -- representing the Germanic
origins of the project. Going the full ten yards, however, it is possible that MK merely stands for
"Mein Kampf". Congressman Ryan probably suspected that Jonestown was a front for sinister covert activity. In
1980, Ryan aide Joseph Holsinger received a paper entitled "The Penal Colony," which explained
that CIA MKULTRA operations did not terminate in 1973, as officially proclaimed, but instead
continued in public hospitals, prisons, and religious cults which were used as fronts. Holsinger later
stated at a San Francisco psychology forum on Jonestown that he believed the CIA worked with
Jones to perform medical and mind control experiments at People's Temple. If Congressman Ryan
had not been killed -- a big if -- many skeletons in the CIA's closet may have been exposed.
Michael Meiers, author of "Was Jonestown a CIA Medical Experiment?" had this to say: "The
Jonestown experiment was conceived by Dr. Layton, staffed by Dr. Layton and financed by Dr.
Layton. It was as much his project as it was Jim Jones's." Layton, remember, was head of the
Army's Chemical Warfare Division.
Former Temple member Joyce Shaw wondered if Jonestown was "some kind of horrible
government experiment, or some sort of sick, racist thing... a plan like that of the Germans, to
In October 1981, Jonestown survivors filed a $63 million lawsuit against Jonestown-era Secretary
of State Cyrus Vance and CIA director Stansfield Turner. The suit stated that the State
Department and CIA conspired to "enhance the economic and political powers of James Warren
Jones," conducting "mind control and drug experimentation" there. The suit was dismissed four
months later for "failure to prosecute timely," and all requests for appeal were denied. (Turner
would become a director of Monsanto, now best known for providing the world with the
brain-damaging, cancer causing poison bearing the innocuous moniker "NutraSweet".)
All this, of course, is forgotten in official accounts of the events at Jonestown. Instead, the more
palatable -- but less accurate -- version of the Jonestown story blames the victims, echoing the
ignorant grunt uttered by Pete Hamill, who dismissed the dead as "all the loose change of the
sixties."Hanging over Jonestown was a mocking sign that proclaimed, "THOSE WHO DO NOT
REMEMBER THE PAST ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEAT IT." One of the most elegant
slogans of Holocaust survivors is "Never forget."
Jonestown makes it clear that, no matter how well meaning, all these slogans are but words. Never
forget? We obviously already have. That Jonestown could unfold before our eyes without the
realization of precisely what was going on says volumes. Certainly the blame falls partly at the feet
of a powerful military-industrial complex that feels no shame for its deeds, and certainly partly at a
Korporate Media that has become the witting mouthpiece (and collaborator) for this same cabal.
But ultimately, the blame falls at the feet of the people, their brains dulled by sitcoms and soap
operas, their reality gradually drawn within the boundaries of the cathode ray tube. By the time the
Guyana massacre rolled around, the masses were too ignorant and apathetic to know or care
about the truth. Instead, they swallowed the official version and waited obediently for the next big
lie. What's worse, the truth itself has become untenable. Instead of outrage and calls for justice,
attacks are most often leveled at those who openly question the official account of the Jonestown
massacre, or OTHER government/media coverups. Witness the treatment of people trying to expose the lies and coverups surrounding 9-11. Or try bringing the 9-11 coverup, Jonestown, or any of the other hundreds of covert government operations up in polite company and see the kind of response you get. Could the Holocaust happen again? It already has, and will continue to happen. One wonders if it ever really ended.
Robert Sterling - R.J.E.