Jim Jones: The fake early years


Note: My only source at this point is the primary source of all lies and false history,  Wikipedia. My thinking is jaded by presupposition – after reading Wiki about Jones and Jonestown, all I could think was “fake, fake, fake.” Therefore be advised that my writing will be riddled with confirmation bias.

The gruesome image above is an aerial photo of Jonestown in the aftermath of mass suicide by cyanide, the origin of the phrase “drinking the Kool-Aid,” and what was in “fact” we are told Flavor-Aid. We are told that Jim Jones and 918 of his followers died that day. I printed the above photo and used a Sharpie to black out each body as I counted. I came up with about 200, tops.

Where are the others? We’ll have to fill in that story later; readers are counted on to help out. Below is another photo, and it is the same stage and the same bodies, nothing new added. In fact, every photo I find on the Internet is, as I view them, of this scene and perhaps 200 bodies.

Jonestown 2

For right now I want to focus on the man James Warren Jones, his origins and life up until 11/18/78, the day Jonestown became a Jungian archetype in our subconscious.

Jones was born on May 13, 1931 in Crete, Indiana, and died on November 18, 1978 at age 47. Tracing his ancestry back on Geni.com* (I am not a member but am able to use their resources if I don’t attempt to log in), I find him to be descended from Thomas (died 1798), John (1838), Edmund (1874), Warren (1902), John Henry (1941) and James Thurmon (1951).

(*Fill in the name you are researching in the “Search People” box upper left, but DO NOT CLICK ON LOG IN. Merely hit your return button and results will appear.)

On his mother’s side I come across Shanks, Stauffers, (Warren’s wife’s maiden name is not shown), and Morris (for both John and Edmund). These names are all in The Peerage.com, Morris especially prominent, and “Stauffer” appearing with one “f” only. I will leave it to readers to help me understand how John (1755-1838) and Edmund (1789-1874) were both married to Frances Morris (1760-1844). This is an advantage of crowd-sourcing. I don’t have to understand every little detail. Further, the name “Jones” is so common that its appearance anywhere could be merely coincidental.

The clan originated in Virginia and moved to Indiana in Warren’s time, and stayed there after.

I am impressed that we can trace this man back six generations to the Virginia colony. Ordinary people cannot do that, as records for ordinary mortals are scarce or not kept at all. We are lucky to go back three generations. In fact in research of this type this is a routine occurrence. When I worked on John Brown, I found that his ancestry went back to Massachusetts colonial times. It seems that the people who appear to rise up out of the landscape to accomplish great and infamous deeds are usually people of The Peerage.

We are told that Jones was a voracious reader who studied Stalin, Marx, Mao, Gandhi and Hitler in depth. That is according to a 1982 book about him called “Raven,” by Tim Reiterman, footnote 10 in Wikipedia. My research will broaden to take in some movies and documentaries, but not books. I leave that to others. I know I am missing out in so doing, but it’s a blog, and quickly recedes from view.

If any of this Jones early-years narrative is true, however, we have by other sources come to suspect that each of these men that Jones studied “in depth” were actors on the grand stage, none genuine. Interesting that Jones knew to select that group.

(Also, it should be no surprise that the Reiterman book appeared shortly after the event. As I see it, each event of this nature comes with an author assigned to write the book, and a producer hired to make the documentary, and another for the motion picture. This is merely a means of sealing fake history in stone.)

Childhood acquaintances called him “really weird.” It is said he frequently held funerals for small animals and stabbed a cat to death. That footnote happens to be number 11, and is a dead-end. Follow it here, see if you can find what it is sourcing. Maybe I overlooked something, but a site-wide search produces nothing. Of the two possibilities, true or false, therefore, I would choose “false.” None of that happened. It is not even good writing. How much more prescient would it have been if he had poisoned his cat rather than stabbing it.

Finally, we are told that Jim’s Dad, James Thurmon, was an alcoholic and was associated with the Ku Klux Klan. I don’t know how much more stain can be applied to this guy – are we next to learn that he was childhood friends with Jeffrey Dahmer?

This appears, however, to be seeding and setting the stage for the monster who later occupies center stage in our lives for a brief period. Of course they are going to tarnish him in any way possible, as this all advances the narrative of Jonestown. So they make up stuff. I doubt young Jim Jones studied Gandhi and Hitler or Chairman Mao. More likely, he read those things he was told to read while in school, and none of these men are included in the American schooling literary curriculum.

Jones did not speak with his father after he refused to allow a black friend in the house, so we are setting the stage (along with KKK) for most of the Jonestown victims being black. He suffered an early marriage, moved his mother to Indiana, where the Jones family had lived since the mid-1800s, and graduated high  school with honors in December of 1948.

In 1951 Jones attended gatherings of the Communist Party USA in Indianapolis. Later he becomes “flustered” by the treatment of communists during the McCarthy hearings. Anyone who studies this group, CPUSA, in any depth knows it was a false front. It’s membership probably had more Intelligence agents than true believers. After all, communism offers very little to believe in, certainly nothing more than a scintilla of belief in impossible outcomes for an American citizen. But for some reason, perhaps the year 1978 still being deep in the “Cold War,” the authors of this fictional chronicle see it necessary to tarnish Jones and Communists by association with one another.

In 1952, on seeing how effective faith healing spectacles were on the very gullible, he decided that he could gain wealth in that manner. He is said to have wanted to accomplish “social goals” with that wealth. Note at this point that most of what we know about Jones in this period will come from a 2000 book by Catherine Wessinger, a professor of religious studies at Loyola University New Orleans who takes everything known about Jim Jones at face value, not a hint of skepticism. Her book is footnote #1.

In 1956, Jones organized a very large religious convention in Indianapolis headlined by the Rev. William M. Branham, said to be “highly revered” at that time, even as much as Oral Roberts. Following that event, Jones organized his own church which would eventually become the Peoples Temple.

That’s a good stopping place. At this point I invite readers to review my material and my sole source and search for errors and add new sources and ideas. By what I have reviewed above, it appears that Jones comes from the Peerage and was selected for his role long in advance, and has in 1956 (and will continually) receive notice and help from people in high places.

So the question is, naturally, could anyone have known in 1956 the events of 1978? I tend to think not. What I do see is a landscape littered with religious preachers who are gaining fame and wealth, and for this I refer you to Kevin’s work, The Pro$perity Pu$hers, to reaffirm his evidence that these people don’t happen on the scene by accident. Perhaps Jones’ mass-suicidal part in the big tent religious revival of that era was an audible called during the game. It’s so weird.

I look forward to readers’ thoughts and additional insight.

PS: I urge readers to read the comment string in this introductory article from a week or so ago. I have not done so, as I don’t want conclusions jumping all over the place while I try to work things out for myself. But in the end, everything will be integrated into a solid whole.

The complete five-part Jonestown series:
Jim Jones: The Fake early years
Jonestown: Introduction
Jonestown: More Questions than answers
Jonestown: Not so remote after all
Jonestown: The end

21 thoughts on “Jim Jones: The fake early years

    1. Yes He is ! The Old Man was in the Navy at the time so it was a Military Intelligence Project .The Old Man’s daughter was sick at the time . He needed the cash .


  1. Mark, Great start! I added links to articles I read in your “announcement” article. I feel deeply that there was CIA involvement and MK Ultra experiments going on once the “People’s Temple” moved to Jonestown. I also found it synchronistic when Gaia mentioned in her comment that manganese mining was taking place. The Jonestown “event” happened in 1978, glyphosate, released in 1974 is destroying manganese in the soil….maybe by 1978 this was a realization and TPTB saw the need for manganese supplementation and dollar signs that led them to mine for that much-needed mineral. Here is a Seneff article that speaks to the depletion of manganese in the soil via glyphosate


  2. Odds and ends: The expose’ that sent Jones and friends to Guyana was authored by SF Chronicle reporter Marshall Kilduff which puts me in mind of Malcolm Kilduff, the man who announced JFK’s death to the press on 11/22/63.
    Zal rule: Actor Powers Boothe(!) won an Emmy portraying Jones in a TV movie. Nice allusion to another famous ‘killer’.
    (Boothe’s tree has a number of ancestors named after presidents, first and last names included, plus peerage surnames galore- which makes me wonder, of course, whether Powers (b.1948) was related to Jones)
    The Jones/Temple portion of the saga that involves Frisco smacks of Manson’s pre-fame networking in musical Hollywood. JJ pressing flesh with all the political movers and shakers the way Charlie did with Laurel Canyonites.
    A target rich environment, this-


    1. I watched the Jonestown TV movie and Powers Booth looked so much like Jones it was spooky…so spooky, in fact, that I can no longer watch Powers Booth in any movie or TV show in which he may appear.


    2. That name, Kilduff, is odd enough that there is a strong chance of a family connection. I note that the spelling of the famous Boothe, John Wilkes, had the “e” on the end, and that Claire Booth Luce dropped the e so that people would not make the connection.

      The idea that Jones moved 500 of his followers to Guyana due to the threat of a newspaper expose’ strains credulity. One, newspapers don’t operate like that, doing real exposes unless the target is weak and without connection. Two, the idea that a newspaper story can spawn such a large movement of people, something that must have cost a fortune (I am not convinced the Guyana people were the San Francisco people), looks like a setup. Jones was going to Guyana no matter what.

      So much more to learn here.


  3. Good start Mark, and nice to have it as a group effort finding more clues to this puzzling story.

    Something that I haven’t seen mentioned in videos (but admittedly I haven’t watched them all) by the “survivors” is the huge climate difference between coolish San Francisco or warm-but-dry Mediterranean climate southern California and the almost unbearable tropical sticky heat of Jonestown, pre-Peoples Temple a village of 50 people, in the interior of Guyana.

    For anyone it is a killing climate, but especially for US Americans used to air conditioning in California in the 1970s…

    One would expect people mentioning this all the time, but as far as I’ve heard it was like that extreme climate (coastal Georgetown: 90 inches of yearly rain!, average day temperatures of 85 degrees Fahrenheit…) difference didn’t exist.

    Things one cannot experience in videos and photos, but only by actually being there, revealing a lot of the staging.

    More conspiracy candy:

    In the spring of 1977, Ryan, a liberal but maverick Democrat, spoke with a longtime friend, Associated Press Photographer Robert Houston. Houston, who was ill, told Ryan that Houston’s son Bob, 33, had been found dead in the San Francisco railroad yards, where he worked, just one day after he had quit the Peoples Temple. Though authorities said his son died as the result of an accidental fall, Houston claimed the cult had long threatened defectors with death.


    For genealogy lovers, notice one of the few “survivors”: Odell Rhodes.

    And one of the photographers:

    While I was raging through the Miami airport, Tim Chapman, a husky twenty-eight-year-old photographer for the Miami Herald, was doing some of the best work of his life. In Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, he had talked his way onto a flight to Jonestown, where the bodies still lay, three days after the massacre that culminated in the death of more than 900 members of the Reverend Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple.


    “The first body I saw,” he said, “was off to the side, alone. Five more steps and I saw another and another and another; hundreds of bodies. The Newsweek reporter was walking around saying, ‘I don’t believe it, I don’t believe it.’ Another guy said, ‘It’s unreal.’ Then nobody even attempted to speak anymore. It was overwhelming. Bizarre.”

    When the other reporters left for Jones’ house Chapman decided to stay with the bodies, and he moved through them alone. He stopped for a moment, and in the stillness, he heard a body working. “It was … gurgling. And it came from a black woman in a red shirt with viva written across the front. She wore gold earrings and she was arm and arm with a black man. Her head was swollen to the size of a bowling ball. Her eyes had popped completely out of her head. The entire eyeball was resting outside the socket.” Chapman paused. “It didn’t bother me then,” he said. “I knew it would get to me in a few days.

    “It was really sickening at this point. The bodies were all, well, they were oozing – literally. Fluids running out of the bodies on top of bodies. Some of them had guts hanging out. They had burst in the heat. Eyeballs, intestines, bodies virtually held in by clothing. Somehow it all reminded me of Salvador Dali’s Resurrection of the Flesh. Did you ever see that? And I thought, ‘What I’m doing here is a form of art.”‘

    Right. Propaganda is now “art”. Comparing this scene to the great surrealist painter Dali, shame on you Timmy.

    There were some dogs that had been shot and some dead cats. Chapman decided not to photograph them. He thought there were a lot of sick people in the world who would be more angry about them than “this mind-boggling, nihilistic thing, this questioning of the very value of human life.”

    Chapman chose not to shoot any photos of Jones. It had been done, and besides, he felt that somehow any more photos would glorify the man. He never got closer than fifteen feet to Jones. “He was wearing a red dress shirt and it looked to me as if it had burst open because of the swelling. From where I stood, it looked as if he wore a soaked white T-shirt. Either that or his skin was bulging out, because you could tell it was holding in liquids and goo.

    “His head was all blown out of proportion. There was a wound under his right ear and it was oozing. One arm was up over his head, stiff in rigor mortis. The skin was stretched tight over the hand, and it looked desperate, like a claw.”

    There was something else, something about the arrangement of the bodies that struck Chapman. Jones was on his back. Most of the others were face down, their heads pointing to Jones. “I could tell,” Chapman said, “that it wasn’t their final statement. It was Jones’.”


    Guyanese soldiers stood about conspicuously. Reporters occupied most of the tables. The survivors were confined to the third floor, sometimes two, three and four to a small, un-air-conditioned room. They were forced to leave their doors and windows open for the breeze, and they lay sweating under yellowing canopies of mosquito netting. When they couldn’t stand the rooms anymore, they came down to the ballroom, where the reporters swarmed around them like hungry locusts on a single ear of corn.

    That kind of reports would dominate every eye witness account indeed. Why don’t we hear the survivors themselves mentioning this?

    Off to the side, over bottles of Banks beer, the survivors talked to reporters. You’d hear the most heart-wrenching, bloody awful details – “Part of her skull landed in my lap”; “… lost five children out there… “; “My child was dead, and my wife was dying” – over the din of laughter and applause and Christmas carols.

    What were they drinking, Skull Aid??

    Odell Rhodes is a soft-spoken, articulate 36-year-old, an eyewitness to the first twenty minutes of the massacre at Jonestown. The first time we met, he spotted a forty-ounce duty-free bottle of Jack Daniel’s in my case. We drifted up to my room, where it was quieter.

    We sipped the bourbon, strong and sweet and straight, out of Park Hotel water glasses. Odell had been a junkie for ten years. He’d been through two drug-treatment programs, and both times he had gone back to drugs and some sleazy hustle on the street. “They tell you an addict shoots junk because he likes it,” Odell said. “I never liked it. I had to shoot it.”

    The Detroit street scene got more and more sordid. Once a lady friend of his dropped by with some drugs. “She liked to take it in the neck,” Odell said. “I used to hit her.” But this time Odell missed her by five minutes. Someone else had hit her up, and it turned out that the drugs were bad. When Odell found her, she was dead, the needle sticking out of her neck. “Five more minutes,” Odell said, “and I would have hit her up and killed her. Probably killed myself too.”

    Odell was down and out, ashamed even to see his family. Once he was in jail on traffic violations, sick, wondering where he was going to get bail, knowing there were no drugs for him that night. Dozing, he felt someone “messing with my foot.” It turned out to be a white businessman. The man explained that he had this thing for feet. If Odell would just let him sort of… fool around … the guy would pay his bail the next day. So Odell lay there in the dark, weak and sick, while some guy drooled over his feet.

    “I hated being an addict,” Odell said.

    When the Peoples Temple buses came through Detroit, an alcoholic friend decided to join. The next time they came through, the friend looked up Odell. The friend was dry, sharp, well dressed. “He looked like a successful businessman,” Odell said. And Odell, who had failed twice trying to kick his habit, decided to check out the temple.

    The ideal actor to play his role for a good sum of money. Apparently there was 500 grand in a suitcase that was “destined for the Soviet embassy but lost”, so money was not the issue here…

    It was a massive job, loading up all the corpses at Jonestown, and it took eight full days. On the ninth day, the government allowed about fifty news ghouls into the jungle enclave. We flew up to Matthews Ridge and were ferried the twenty or so miles to the ghost town in one helicopter accommodating twelve. There was a dash to be on the first flight. TV crews claimed they should get preference, because they needed the light. Newspaper reporters were shouting, “Fuck that TV shit. I have to see, too.” The boarding process looked like a Tokyo subway at rush hour. It was, all in all, a shameful disgrace that led several young Guyanese soldiers to laugh out loud.

    So 8 days to prepare the scene for the whorenalists? Why were the bodies not taken to morgues or hospitals to be identified? A dead body has an unforgettable very distinct smell. 909 bodies after 8 days of tropical heat and fast decomposition would be the most unbearable hell imaginable…

    Everything was ironic. The last bodies to be removed had been in such a state of decomposition that bits and pieces kept falling off. Guyanese workers were plowing the whole area under, using tractors that had belonged to the people, bits and pieces of whom were being plowed under.

    Exactly. So how come these “bodies” seen in the photos look so clean and perfect??

    See the photo in that article:

    Why in this fisheye photo are all the clothes so clean?
    What is the meaning of all those crossbows?
    What makes that all but one of the “victims” are laying face-down? If people would die from poisoning, you would expect a statistically more logical distribution of x % face-up and y % face down (with sideways to either side), not nearly 100% of y.
    Where are all the “guts hanging out, bursted bodies, eyeballs, intestines”, Mr. Chapman??
    Why are all those people unrecognizable?
    Why does it look like some local actors lying in a pen?

    By the way, the “Jonestown massacre” also follows the Wallace rule, having been re-propagandized in Seconds From Disaster.


  4. This stuff is getting so weird that it’s difficult to know what to believe. Do you think that there were actually some murders? How about the senator and his party? Seems that Jones himself remained unidentified, what do you think?


    1. I don’t see the need to have actual murders. If the script writers can get away with the suggestion of murders, why go through the hassle (and backfire) to actually kill people off?

      It is storytelling, as we’ve seen so often already. This time in a very remote area where no peeping toms are around and the military had 8 days to “prepare the scene” for the whorenalists to photograph. Which in the case there would have been real murders wouldn’t make any sense; bodies are taken to morgues and hospitals after the forensic team would have done their work (which remains private for them, not publicized).


    1. The more I read everyone’s analysis, read the submitted links, and place this operation in a bigger context, I am not sure what to think of it all.
      The legitimatizing of Jones in SF Society, the constant flow of money to him in the build up of his adoring flock, and the way this operation killed the local Bay Area Community/neighborhood action groups which were making major inroads in alleviating unfair housing, pushing diversified school curriculum, protesting police brutality, and building bonds between citizen action groups. This operation also links to the death of Harvey Milk which sparked outrage and provided the fire for a more politically active Gay community which would be a critical part in pushing the LGBT? agenda which is one of the means to destroying the traditional family by fomenting distrust, placing sexual freedom over everything else, identity confusion, using sexual identity as a defining characteristic of who someone claims to be rather than where they live or their ethnicity which in turns leads to the erosion of National sovereignty which is supposed to lead to the population needing and wanting One world government . It makes my head spin sometimes.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. “Decomposition begins as soon as somebody dies. Internal chemicals and bacteria break down the body’s tissues and initiate the decaying process. In the first stage, flies and ants arrive. After that the body becomes bloated as other insects – maggots and beetles – feast on tissues under the skin and lay larvae. The beginning of the active decay is marked by the body deflating as larvae hatch, pierce the skin, and release the body’s gases, which are the source of the putrid older. Once most of the flesh has been removed, the odor dissipates and many of the insects that were feeding on the body leave. In the last phase of decomposition, other scavengers – centipedes, millipedes, snails, and cockroaches – consume what is left until only bones remain. ” (The Education of a Coroner, John Bateson, p 31)

    Heat, of course, accelerates this process. In the tropics, it has to move quickly. After seven days, they were dealing with piles of insects, bones and stench. If that is what happened.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Have you heard them tooting a horn on a two-night special on Jonestown? “TERROR IN THE JUNGLE”. I think after all the noise “you”made, you may have finally gotten their attention.


      1. Looking at the photos without the accompanying story does not scream ‘TERROR IN THE JUNGLE’ at all, rather does it whisper loudly a staged scene with crisis actors.

        It is like watching a horror movie without sound.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I know, I can’t believe they’re even putting that garbage out. They’re still trying to force-feed the public that “SHIT”,after all these years. I suppose if you tell a lie long enough,people will begin to believe it.


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