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Saturday, November 18, 2006

 

Jonestown tragedy had liberal roots

- By Michael M. Bates

This week marks the deaths of 913 people, including 276 children, in the Guyanan jungle. Most of them died by their own hand, voluntarily drinking a cyanide-laced grape punch (not Kool Aid, contrary to the idiomatic expression). The ones who wouldn’t kill themselves were shot. Babies had the lethal concoction forced into their mouths with syringes.

Orchestrating the 1978 holocaust was "Reverend" Jim Jones, founder of the People's Temple. His church had been based in San Francisco until allegations of brutality, financial irregularities, and mistreatment of children became widely publicized. In 1977 he set up shop in South America.

Jones is sometimes described as a religious fanatic, as a man who used faith to do monstrous things. The truth is his faith wasn't, as many presume, in Christianity. He believed in Marx more than in Christ.

Jones baptized people "in the holy name of socialism" and called himself the Socialist Worker God. His church's newspaper featured a picture of him shaking hands in Cuba with Black Panther Huey Newton. Jones wanted his followers to learn Russian. He'd left instructions for assets to be sent to the Soviet Union..............................................
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