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JONESTOWN, PBS, American Experience, the meaning of "Voluntary"
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: March 09, 2009 10:40AM

PBS American Experience made a doc called JONESTOWN, about Jim Jones. Its out on DVD now, most libraries would have it.

Looks like its online to watch here, for now.

Jonestown: The Life And Death Of Peoples Temple

Its worth watching.
but the only problem with these types of docs, is they only seem to focus on the Doomsday cults where people die.

Also, unfortunately, they don't carefully explain the precise techniques used by people like Jim Jones, but only refer to the techniques in passing. This makes it seem like a mystery.
But obviously Jim Jones became more insane over time, and he clearly planned on mass suicide/homicide for a long time.
But he also knew the techniques to control people.

One thing that strikes you though, is that many of the people at Jonestown did drink the poison in a way that seems "Voluntary", although many did not of course. There is the audiotape of him talking people through it.

I will hold my tongue for the moment, but it does remind one of the current cultish groups that say everything is "Voluntary". Yeah, well Jonestown mass suicide was "Voluntary" for some of the people too. That needs to be explained more carefully by researchers and scholars and psychologists.

But even though this ended in a mass homicide/suicide of 900 people, there are still similarities to current groups, even though they are not homicidal.

For example, they ONLY listened to information from Jim Jones.
Which current group states in their LGAT seminar waiver, that people are to ONLY read materials by their current Guru during the LGAT?
That is the Jim Jones method. He played his voice on speakers 24 hrs a day for that reason.

But there need to be some docs made about the precise techniques used by these charismatic leaders on people, and not only when it ends in mass death.

Long before, he was running a "church" and talking people into turning over all their money to the church, and recruiting, and Love-Bombing, and everything else in the book.

But possibly the most important thing about this is, is the aspect of something being "Voluntary".
"Voluntary" is not absolute, when in the hands of skilled persuaders.

But that is what they do now.
Now they have disclaimers you sign that says "its all Voluntary". That is their last defense. "Its Voluntary".

But there needs to be some docs made about groups that don't end up in mass homicide/suicide.
Groups that stop before then, and just create a "community" or even now, just a distributed community of the mind.

The reality is that these Guru's know these techniques and methods, and they make them appear "Voluntary" even though they don't take it to the point of homicide/suicide.
They just take it the level of extreme financial and personal exploitation.
But that is exactly what Jim Jones was doing all along, up until near the end.
He was deliberately faking that he had supernatural Christ Consciousness powers of healing as well, its was deliberate and planned out.

When some group fills their LGAT seminar waiver with the phrase...ITS ALL better run for the hills. This means they are totally conscious of their extreme persuasion techniques, and that they can get people to do things they would not normally do, and are trying to protect their own asses.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/09/2009 10:44AM by The Anticult.

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Re: JONESTOWN, PBS, American Experience, the meaning of "Voluntary"
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: March 09, 2009 11:59AM

This appears to be audio from Jonestown's final moments.

The Jonestown Death Tape (FBI No. Q 042) (November 18, 1978)
An audio recording made on November 18, 1978, at the Peoples Temple compound in Jonestown, Guyana immediately preceding and during the mass suicide or murder of over 900 members of the cult.

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Re: JONESTOWN, PBS, American Experience, the meaning of "Voluntary"
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: March 09, 2009 12:06PM

Its here too with transcript.

Jonestown Audiotape
Transcript prepared by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.

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Re: JONESTOWN, PBS, American Experience, the meaning of "Voluntary"
Posted by: Sparky ()
Date: March 09, 2009 12:23PM

Hey, The Anticult...

I hear Jim Jones became insane "over time" because of his advancing syphylis.

I also heard from Rick Ross News, that Harvey "MILK" the gay super-hero that is the soup du jour of Hollywood with the sickeningly one-sided treatment of
"SAINT MILK" not to mention that he was a HUGE JIM JONES SUPPORTER, actually traveling to Jonestown to TALK TO THE CULT-VICTIMS INTO STAYING AGAINST THEIR "WILL" (Thank's, Harvey! <You fucking bastard!>) but hey, Harvey Milk was getting a boat-load of monet from Jonestwon so FUCK the victims, right Harbey?. Sadly, if thisinfo from Rick Ross is true, "MILK" was assassinated in the comfort of the USA instead of drinking the "koolaid" that he apparently forced victims to drink at Jonestown and he SO deserved... Rot in HELL, Milk!

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Re: JONESTOWN, PBS, Jim Jones, Harvey Milk
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: March 09, 2009 01:23PM

well, I don't know all the facts so I can't go that far, and have not seen the Harvey Milk movie.
Its bizarre those two San Fran murders of Moscone and Milk, happened right after Jonestown. They were both connected with Jim Jones.
Search google for...

"jim jones" "dan white"

But, here is a letter from Harvey Milk to President Jimmy Carter, on behalf of Jim Jones about 9 months before the massacre, Feb 1978. Milk is saying what a wonderful man Jim Jones is.

Harvery Milk is fighting against 2 parents trying to get their child out of Jonestown, and that child was murdered in Jonestown.
Of course, its complicated by the fact these same "parents" left their child in Jonestown with Jones. (that part is in the doc above).
The entire thing is madness. To be honest, some of the survivors stories don't make sense either. One guy, saw his wife and child die, and then escaped with a suitcase with about 1 million dollars, which he "ditched"?

Letter from Harvey Milk to President Carter, on behalf of Jim Jones.

HArvey Milk and Jim Jones explanation. (not buying it, considering his signed letter to the Pres).

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Re: JONESTOWN, PBS, Jim Jones, Harvey Milk
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: March 09, 2009 01:36PM

by the way, just to be clear, the Dan White killings may have nothing to do with Jim Jones directly, or maybe it did somehow, who knows.

There seem to be some wild conspiracy theories that Jonestown was a CIA mind-control experiment, etc. Again, that is the type of thing that misses the point with these cults.

You don't need the CIA.
Jim Jones knew how to lead people, how to lure them in, and he was also a mentally disturbed person since childhood, who went over the edge, also using drugs, etc.


Once these cult Gurus get a large flock, the POWER goes to their heads, and they can just go berserk.

Its a shame some folks seem to get into CIA mind-control theories, and miss the point.
These cult guru's don't need the CIA, and they don't have to kill people to create harm.
They just know the techniques of how to lure certain people into their trap.

The techniques have to be demystified.

and maybe celebrities and politicians will THINK TWICE before letting these people promote their modern culty groups on their shows. Jim Jones was a media darling for a while too.

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Re: JONESTOWN, PBS, American Experience, the meaning of "Voluntary"
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 09, 2009 10:49PM

Here is another take home lesson that is not emphasized strongly enough in most
documetaries and news analyses:

Many, many corrupt gurus and cult leaders make a point of cultivating the local political and religious establishment, as Jim Jones so successfully did.

And often these corrupt gurus and leaders make a point of supporting good cause
projects--food pantries, social justice and civil rights projects, free clinics.

They get themselves an automatic halo. Any time worrying reports bubble to the surface about their internal affairs, their supporters will loudly point to the good cause work and shame potential critics into silence.

What few understand is that many crooks love to do social justice work, precisely because it provides them with instant credibility and an excellent deflector shield against criticism.

We had some charming people who managed to get jobs at a homeless service organization where I used to work. One guy was so charming that our boss did not take care to fact check his resume or even see if he had any criminal record.

The guy was great at certain things--he could do things like cook Eggs Benedict for 50 people, which he did at our women's shelter. He was handsome, and charming and a delight to be with.

He also used his keys to sneak upstairs and loot the cash boxes in the offices.

He's back in prison now and it turned out he had a scary ass prison record before he applied to work with us.

I heard legions of stories about f--d up people who abused power who seemed to gravitate toward homeless service work. One of them egregiously abused her girlfriend, who looked like she was dying in side.

I met a sadistic priest who left a trail of damage at the hospital where he worked, but families who complained to nursing staff about him were never believed--because Father X was skillful enough to charm the nursing staff, who then refused to believe the families who tried to tell them Father X was abusing them.

I learned some of this from a woman whose brother died of AIDS at that hospital. Father X had been nasty to him and to her and got away with it because he had the nurses on his side.

I later talked with a social worker and said, 'I think its possible that some of the most sadistic and dangerous people are drawn to working with persons who carry labels of mental illness or are poor or elderly. Because if they complain about being abused, their outcry is so easily written off as delusional, and that means anyone who abuses them can get away with it, while getting social approval for serving a sector of society most of us are afraid of."

The social worker suspected this was true. We both agreed that anyone who wants to do good cause work amongst the homeless, those carrying diagnoses of mental illness, the elderly and those who are poor--those wanting to do such work should actually be screened more carefully, much the way we have learned to (or should have!!) learned to do background checks on anyone who seems a bit too eager to work with children.

I am at a point where I am not satisfied if some religious figure is famous for running clinics and serving the poor, especially in places like India where one dollar has tremendous purchasing power.

All too often these ventures and the political alliances they foster turn out to be window dressing that enables a con artist to escape accountability for his or her actions until it is too late.

Serving the poor and oppressed in the name of God does attract saints, and for that very same reason it attracts dangerous scoundrels who impersonate saints.

And dont call me cynic. I am a student of history and have seen too much with my own eyes--things I am sorry to have seen because I found it painful as hell and dragged Gods good name through the mud.

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JONESTOWN, Jim Jones, Harvey Milk, Tom Kinsolving
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: March 09, 2009 11:10PM

This blog by Tom Kinsolving has some harsh criticism of Harvey Milk, and he DESPISED the doc above as a propaganda piece trying to whitewash Jonestown, as it didn't detail all of the horrors.

He does make a good point that the horrors in the early years of Jim Jones while still in the US were not detailed, like "child abuse, extortion, beatings, cattle prods, malnutrition, sleep deprivation, and other tortures".
He also mentions Stalinism, which clearly was being copied to a degree.

Jonestown Apologists Alert

Les Kinsolving []

I don't really see the film that way, as it seems they never set out to tell the entire story, and instead to just interview survivors from their own POV.
But the film made it clear that Jim Jones was a predator, a liar, a killer.
That being said, a lot of what was said does not add up.
also, at the end, when they say that Jim Jone's Jr also "lost a father" was ridiculous.

There is also the film,
Jonestown: Paradise Lost []

but it does make one wonder, did this doc leave out most of the techniques of control, out of ignorance, or on purpose, or due to just wanting to make a film that interviews survivors?

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Re: JONESTOWN, Jim Jones, Harvey Milk, Tom Kinsolving
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: March 09, 2009 11:44PM

this Harvey Milk and Jim Jones connection is bizarre.
I don't know much about Harvey Milk, and did not see his movie, but clearly he is seen as a hero in the activist community.

Some supporters of Harvey appear to be saying that Harvey thought Jim Jones was a wackjob in secret. That doesn't make any sense at all. That sounds like complete bullshit.

If one carefully reads the text of the letter he wrote to Pres Jimmy Carter about Jim Jones, that is horrifying. []

by that time, Jim Jones had been exposed a number of times, so Harvey Milk was not duped about the nature of Jim Jones. Maybe he didn't believe what was being said?
So maybe Harvey Milk wrote that letter to Pres Carter as he believed in Jim Jones, as Jones did preach acceptance of homosexuality?
The letter reads that Harvey Milk willingly supported Jim Jones, for more than just political expedience.
And he did make those speeches down in Jonestown.
Something doesn't add up.

But regardless, its terribly wrong that they appear to have left that out of the movie about Harvey Milk. They should have at least put it in, and opened the question.
After all, Jonestown was a massacre like 911, in its day. And if a politician had written a letter of "character reference" for Osama Bin Laden 9 months before 911, then that would be relevant, to say the least.

Something doesn't add up.

Letter from Harvey Milk to President Carter, on behalf of Jim Jones.

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Re: JONESTOWN, PBS, American Experience, the meaning of "Voluntary"
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 10, 2009 12:10AM

To repeat--Jones did not just manipulate his immediate followers.

Jones brilliantly manipulated the context--social, political, even journalistic-- in which people made thier choices.

He didnt just put items on the menu--he chose the paper that menue was printed on!

We cant stand to face the extent to which the context of our choice making can be manipulated.

But if we can face this steadily, this awareness is infinitely more liberating than any ideology of false empowerment which claims 'there are no victims' and 'you are free to leave.'

By using his charm and social justice projects, Jones adroitlynot only ran a cult--he also manipulated the paracultic milieu as well--the secular and political social context of the City of San Francisco.

It wasnt just his own members Jones manipulated--he used members of the SF political establishment as chess pieces, and used his social justice projects as flypaper.

Here is a present day example of how this strategy works:

(quote)Former cadre Whitnack believes by maintaining the pretense of the mutual benefit association, NATLFED entities keep their organization alive, retain high profile members and business partners, and appear like a just another service group.

“They have a ton of doctors and lawyers,” says Whitnack. “The bigger fish, they let them have independence. They don’t want to lie to them. It’s all basically flypaper to suck in new members.”



Substitute 'politicians' and you have Jim Jones.


*(quote) An anonymous, former full-time volunteer who NATLFED convinced to drop out of college about ten years ago – I’ll call him Bob—explained his feelings about this tactic: “It’s my understanding the number one thing they want is not to help poor or increase donations. The number one thing they want is to recruit more members that will allow them to continue their organization, just to keep it going. New organizers come so terribly slowly that they have to reach thousands to get one to be full-time.


"“They try to make you believe there is no plan on the planet that can address the problems of poor people like theirs can…I had a difficult time saying no. When someone says to you, ‘I have given up my job and an ordinary life to pursue the goal of ending world poverty,’ you can’t just look at them in the eye and say no like you can to a salesman…They are genuine, but manipulative to the point that it’s not funny.””


This was a secular political cult.

But this same strategy of using establishment figures as wallpaper (and making no demands that they participate in the cult!!) and using the poor and good cause projects for the poor as 'flypaper'--and as PR window dressing was taken to virtuouso heights by Jim Jones--

for in toto, it amounted to manipulation of the para-cultic social milieu of politicians, sympathetic journalists, newpaper readers and disadvantaged neighborhoods who appreciated Jones social projects--Jone's 'flypaper' which resulted in too many people ending up 'stuck on him.'

The sidebar on the article makes a statement about NATLFED that is just as applicable to Jim Jones and gurus who give a few thousand dollars to charity concerns in India but keep millions more for themselves--

'They use the poor as flypaper'.

Again, at the risk of making future saints go through a checkpoint, one has to check the bonafides of anyone doing good cause work.

It has served as a cover for too many scoundrels.

Bernie Madoff was reputed to be a pious man.

And...there are hints that long term, over years, Madoff reportedly became friends with SEC regulators, making himself psychologically invisible to them, making it become unthinkable to them that he could ever be seen as capable of doing wrong.

That too is a way to manipulate context. Befriend the guardians of society--and do it gently, softly, gradually. No sudden moves. Patience, patience. Buy a lot of lunches. Schmooze. Give people pleasent memories of you.

Make it unthinkable for them to re-frame you as even a potential crook--or cult leader.

Someone once said more money has been stolen or conned away in Gods name or in the name of 'love' than was ever taken at gun point.

Mel Brooks, in one of his 2000 Year Old Man routines, mused on how it was we had a skull over our brains but nothing to cover our private parts.

Brooks then suggested why this is so:

'You dont want some stranger coming along and stroking your brains. You might get confused, make a mistake with your checks, loose money.'

Well, the reason we have is a lot of folks are out there trying very hard,and succeeding all too well in 'stroking our brains.'

Having a cranium for protection is just not enough anymore.

And The Anticult has done brilliant work showing use exactly how this is done.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 03/10/2009 12:25AM by corboy.

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