Monday, January 30, 2012

What Really Happened In Jonestown?

There are still many of us alive today who recall vividly the macabre imagery which the news media played continuously concerning the alleged mass suicide of members of the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project in Jonestown, Guyana on November 18, 1978. Its specter was haunting, gruesome, and unprecedented. Nine others were murdered prior to the alleged suicides, including Congressman Leo Ryan. But did it happen the way the media reported? The answer is a resounding no.

The media version of events states that a coterie consisting of Ryan, his aide, reporters, and legal advocates went to Jonestown to investigate a child custody matter involving Timothy and Grace Stoen and their alleged son John.

The day following Ryan’s arrival, he and reporters were murdered at Port Kaituma airstrip, 7 miles from Jonestown, allegedly by Peoples Temple members acting upon Jones’ command.

The story was processed like so much Velveeta until it assumed its present form, but initial accounts were in a high state of flux. The main theme of the story is that Jim Jones was a highly charismatic leader who brainwashed a band of foolish followers into following him into a crackpot Eden where he ruled like a ruthless tyrant. Like sheep, they all followed over the edge of a cliff when he ordered them to take a drink of Kool Aid containing cyanide.

After considerable time, a more natural story emerged which better explains the events. The results may shock you.

The Peoples Temple was a very pacifist and communal association of people who rallied the compelling Jones. Their origins were Indianapolis, Indiana in the 1950s but they migrated to California in the 1960s. Their ethos was communal existence, forsaking of worldly material concerns, and commitment to social justice – indeed a very counter cultural philosophy.

Coming under the watchful eye of the State of California and the FBI, the group began to receive negative publicity and persecution from individuals and organizations later identified as CIA operatives.

We suspect that the reason for persecution was due in part to the Cold War paranoia of the police state and J Edgar Hoover’s abhorrence of radical ideas. More specifically we believe that the FBI and CIA identified the group as a conduit of Soviet infiltration and thus targeted the group for destruction.

Realizing that the FBI and CIA would not abandon their rabid pursuits of the sect, Jones lead his people to Guyana where they developed a kibbutz style community consistent with their proto-Christian ideals as documented of the early Christians in the book of Acts.

A new variable entered the CIA’s calculus of the Peoples Temple project. The group had made plans to relocate from Guyana to the USSR. As implacable Cold War zealots – the same people who murdered JFK for alleged treason and who attempted to compel him to launch a nuclear strike against the USSR during the Cuban missile crisis – the CIA must have seen more red than since the Tet Offensive.

We do not interpret this proposed move as anything but an expression of the group’s philosophical and theological beliefs. The group was not a front for Cold War espionage. However, the troglodytes of the police state did not interpret matters thus, so they sought to destroy the group.

Opportunity for doing so presented itself when Congressman Ryan became involved with the custody case of Timothy and Grace Stoen. Jones had fathered a child by Grace after her marriage to Timothy fell apart. The couple had originally posed as church members but in reality were poseurs who were seeking ways to discredit the sect. Grace and Timothy relinquished custody rights to the son, John, whereupon Jones assumed responsibility.

Later, the Stoens reunite in a political pact to recover custody rights. To do so, their compatriots including Elmer and Deanna Mertle aka Jeannie and Al Mills, David Conn, Joseph Mazor – convicted felon, Jim Cobb, and some other minor players spent a few years painting the church as mind control cult with coercive and violent methods - and later - whose squalid compound in Guyana was no place to raise a child. All of these people were directly or indirectly managed by intelligence agents.

Ryan was perhaps the fiercest enemy of the CIA in Congress whom the CIA had targeted for murder. The passage of the Hughes-Ryan bill requiring the CIA to notify Congress of covert activities did not earn the Congressman any friends in Langley, especially after he exposed CIA involvement in the Angolan civil war.

Expecting to find the worst, the Congressman found affairs to be quite the contrary and told his aide that he would make a good report of the Peoples Temple. This finding was very consistent with high praise and accolades which the group received from civic and governmental leaders and agencies in California. Ryan's finding triggered an assassination squad of the US Army to murder him at the airstrip. Eight other people would also die there.

The evidence for a military assassination comes from the tape of murdered NBC photojournalist Bob Brown who was filming the departure of the contingent at the air strip. Uniformed armed men, from an emergent vehicle not part of the entourage appearing from nowhere, assume a diamond formation to entrap the Congressman whom they kill at point blank range with dum-dum bullets at about 4:30p on Saturday November 18.

After this disaster, Jones was under the mistaken belief that some of his people killed the Congressman which started a spiral of tragic events which according to the death tape resulted in the decision of mass suicide. This tape, however, was highly edited so we are not certain of its veracity. However, some key statements on the tape include Jones’ clear statement that he did not order the murder.

Fearing retribution from US military forces, eviction, and interminable legal battles, Jones called his flock together to decide how to respond. The final decision was to not fight – but any alternative was unacceptable so suicide was the preferred solution. The deaths started in the early evening of November 18 and were completed no later than 3:30a November 19th when CIA radio NOIWON reported the deaths.

At this point, I must interrupt the narrative to state that I believe that the tape is not entirely reliable and that the peaceful community did not have the means to produce a mass suicide. There is evidence on the tape of gun shots. The people were not well armed or predisposed toward this kind of an ending. It contradicted their core beliefs.

What kind of a peaceful non-violent group keeps around enough cyanide for a rainy day to kill 900 people? It is a preposterous thought given what we know of the Peoples Temple. And just to be clear, what we know from the state controlled press is not the truth.

Many failures – which we believe were deliberate attempts to obfuscate the facts – attended the handling of the Jonestown deaths. In the first place not a single autopsy was performed to ascertain the presence of cyanide in the bodies. All bodies were embalmed before stateside autopsies could be performed and very few were conducted in Guyana.

Coroner Leslie Mootoo working in Guyana told Freedom Magazine that 187 persons showed lethal cyanide injections in parts of the bodies which an individual could not reach – such as the shoulder blades. Others were victims of gunshot and arrows.

However, Mootoo’s team did not arrive until late Monday November 20th or November 21 – at least two days after the killings occurred. By then the bodies had begun to decompose badly in the tropical sun - a foreseen event intended to obscure the causes of death and to make forensic autopsies impossible. On the other hand, Green Berets were in the Jonestown camp about 5 hours after the deaths were complete. The CIA was aware of the deaths at 3:29A on November 19th. So we surmise that the Green Berets left Panama around 4:00A to arrive in Georgetown, Guyana 3:40 hours later – the flight time from Panama. From there, they were ferried to Jonestown about 1:10h away by helicopter.

Within hours of the report of the massacre, the Joint Chiefs of Staff shipped body bags to Georgetown – an operation which USAF Colonel L Fletcher Prouty stated required significant lead time and advance planning. Thus the carnage at Jonestown was a premeditated action.

With that bit of information along with the timeline constructed above, we have totally transformed the event from a mass suicide to a mass murder. US assassination squads under the direction of the CIA were sent into Jonestown to murder Congressman Ryan, and then to murder the 900+ inhabitants at Jonestown. They brought in the cyanide to perform some of the murders while bullets were reserved to finish the job when the chemicals were proving too slow.

All of Saturday and Sunday were spent arranging bodies to create the scene of a happy mass suicide. By Monday the perpetrators were ready to unleash the carefully staged drama of a suicide through the state controlled media.

While our explanation of events requires a bit more research to confirm, we believe that the facts justify the conclusion.

Copyright 2010-12 Tony Bonn. All rights reserved.


Unknown said...

I just finished watching a documentary called "Witness to Jonestown" It was nearly 100% media revision, however, in one part of the death tape that is played Jim Jones says something to the effect of "the GDF will be here shortly". Who is he refering to?

Tony Bonn said...

I believe Guyana Defense Force.

Mays said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tony Bonn said...

To Mays - I have removed your comment, not because you disagree with my hypothesis but because it failed to meet the rhetorical standards of this website.

If you wish to try again with a response meeting the standards of a college freshman rhetoric course, your comments will most likely be allowed to stand.