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.
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.