The maniac behind the deaths of 912 people (over 200 of which were children) was the "Rev" Jim Jones, who led the Peoples' Temple "Church" in San Francisco.
But Peoples' Temple wasn't a "church," it was a Marxist cult that led a communal existence. Warning signs were ignored for years (Glenn Beck radio show part 1 & part2), because the Temple "got by with a little help from their friends," who included the Bay Area and California's liberal elite.
Friends like re-elected 1970s California Governor Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown.
Martyred San Francisco Mayor George Moscone...
...and yes, gay martyr Harvey Milk, who wrote a letter to then President Jimmy Carter supporting Jones...
...and even wrote a handwritten note to the cult leader, stating his support was "written in stone."
In the years since, most of these liberal politicians, enabled by the media, have escaped scrutiny for enabling this madman. Some family members of those who were in the Temple, like Rebecca Moore, have emerged in recent years as apologists for the socialist commune that was People's Temple. Movies, plays, books have been written about the "good works" the Temple put on, as well as the "integrated" nature of the Temple, despite the fact that Jones can be seen as having killed more blacks at Jonestown than any Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan.
The misinformation continues this year, in another piece at The Jonestown Report, entitled, "The Extremes Are Sometimes Closer: Peoples Temple, the Tea Party, and Anti-Governmentalism Then and Now," by Dereck Daschke.
While the current “Tea Party” movement is both too geographically diffuse and focused on congressional reform through party primary challenges to make a very exact analogy with Peoples Temple – or even the militant anti-government groups of the 1990s – there are several ways in which the Tea Party’s rhetoric and political concerns eerily echo those of their more strident ideological brethren, including Jim Jones. What’s interesting, however, is that while those various descriptions of the governmental threat are very much of a piece with each other, the Tea Party and Peoples Temple are on opposite sides from one another on several issues where they share concerns.
...While there has not been an outbreak of outright violence at any Tea Party rally or protest, the intimations are most definitely there. Signs and t-shirts advocating not only defiance of the federal government but the possibility of armed revolution have
been a defining aspect of those gatherings. They proclaim, “We came unarmed . . . this time,” as well as repeat Thomas Jefferson’s famous statement, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Some individuals not necessarily associated with the Tea Party movement but certainly ideologically of a piece with it appeared armed with handguns and automatic weapons at town hall forums on health care where the president himself was in attendance. Several Tea Party rallies have explicitly promoted gun rights as a check on government power by encouraging people to bring as many guns as possible. According to an article at Truthout.org from January 3 of this year, one protestor who wore a Tea Party shirt at a rally in New Mexico “said his loaded gun was a ‘very open threat’ to anyone who might ‘try to take over the country completely as a socialist communist [state].’” The Republican nominee for Senate in Nevada, Tea Party-affiliated Sharron Angle, suggested as much herself when she warned that “Second Amendment solutions” may be necessary if there is not sufficient changeover in Congress after the 2010 midterm elections.
By contrast, until the ill-fated day of Representative Leo Ryan’s intended departure from Jonestown, violence in the Peoples Temple community was arguably pervasive yet abstract and symbolic. Jones routinely underscored the deadly threat of the outside world, most notably the nuclear danger that prompted the moves to Ukiah, California and to Guyana. He also an asserted that torture awaited any defectors once they left the safe confines of the community (Moore, p. 158). At the same time, however, the acculturation to violence within Peoples Temple through the regular rehearsal of the White Night revolutionary suicides and the emotionally aggressive (many would say “abusive”) “catharsis sessions” had the effect of normalizing the
threat of violence from within. Whereas the fear of government interference in their lives has prompted Tea Party members to take a defensive stand directed outwardly against governmental representatives, including the president, the response of Peoples Temple was to use external threats as a means of social solidarity and, ultimately, an excuse for separation from the social-economic system they opposed. Still, while Jones and his ministry resided in California, he fairly actively engaged in politics, supporting and being supported by prominent figures in both parties in ways that Tea Party activists, who have successfully challenged even some of the most conservative Republicans in Congress for not being conservative enough, would never tolerate.
Perhaps, then, it is ironic that the murder of Representative Ryan, otherwise uncharacteristic of Peoples Temple’s anti-governmentalism, became the catalyst for the deaths of 917 other people. Yet it is also the point at which the Tea Party’s reactionary stance and Peoples Temple’s revolutionary one most likely overlap. For the Ryan murder, while occurring in a very different context than that which gives rise today’s anti-government rallies, is a chilling example of what that major party candidate for U.S. Senate called a “Second Amendment solution” to the perceived threat of federal intrusion into a cherished and, some would say, divinely ordained lifestyle. As much as the Tea Parties and Peoples Temple are to be found on the opposite ends of the spectrum on many issues, those issues themselves do in fact draw the two movements together. They are both examples of principled citizens highly motivated to right the wrongs in society perceived to have been perpetrated by the American federal government – by any means necessary, it is suggested. For all their differences, this may be a case where the maxim is true: sometimes the extremes are closer to each other than to the center.
For all his smearing of the Tea Party as advocating violent revolution, Dereck Daschke ignored the violence and assassination threats toward President George W. Bush from 2002-2009. More recently, Dylan Ratigan of MSNBC promoted a book by liberal cartoonist Ted Rall which advocated violent, Left wing revolution. Just today, John Podesta of the George Soros funded Center for American Progress suggested that Obama use military force to implement his socialist agenda against the will of the American people.
But that didn't make Dereck Daschke's radar, and there's a good reason. Daschke is a certified liberal Bush basher. He has written an essay, "A Destroyer Will Come Against Babylon: George W. Bush's Oracles Against the Nations," appearing in a new book "Cry Instead of Justice." Daschke, in a book entitled City of Ruins: Mourning the Destruction of Jerusalem Through Jewish Apocalypse, attacked the War on Terror after 9/11, including calling al-Queda in Iraq a "fantasy enemy."And speaking of Kool Aid drinkers, it looks like Dereck has taken a major league swim in the Obama Kool Aid. Check out his "likes" section on his Facebook profile.
Daschke also wrote the following in the "City of Ruins" tome about "The Anointed One," in such glowing language similar to some of Jones' blinded worshippers of over 30 years ago.
If there has been mourning in the present for Americans, is there a vision of the future in the offing, one that will finally restructure and recover the country’s sense of itself in the aftermath of both 9/11 and a draining, misbegotten war set into motion by melancholic rage and vengeance? The 2008 presidential election certainly seemed at the time to have offered just such a vision in the campaign of Barack Obama. Obama, who spoke out against the war as an Illinois state senator, explicitly ran on a platform of change and hope that in many specific ways brought to light and rejected the melancholic compulsion to return to the initial wounded response that followed 9/11 and begat the Iraq War.
Here is the crux of what liberals like Daschke, and the Temple apologists like Moore, Carter, and others cannot understand about conservatives. They look for hope in a person or persons who set themselves up as having the answers to all of life's problems. The world would only be a better place if everyone gave this one person their blind faith unconditionally. That's how liberals fell for a smooth talker like Jones, and to this day look for other false idols to believe in, while demogauging those who believe in individuality as the real cultists.
As a contrast to Daschke's delusional word drool, David Conn, a man who first saw through the evil that was Jim Jones in the early 1970s, wrote an interesting piece in 2008 entitled "Jonestown: It's Portent Has Arrived."