Jonestown, 30 years later: "Father Cares," NPR radio documentary from 1981 (audio)

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5 Responses to “Jonestown, 30 years later: "Father Cares," NPR radio documentary from 1981 (audio)”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Xeni, why “We still don’t really know all the facts of what happened”? Almost everyone died, so there went a lot of the information. Hundreds of bodies, festering in the tropical weather, which were difficult to access… not great for autopsy. Read “Raven” from the previous post. We know enough, except for when will it happen again?

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      @Anonymous, many documents, recordings, and chunks of material that help us understand how this happened are lost, destroyed, or otherwise inaccessible.

      We know enough, except for when will it happen again?

      Enough? Who decides that? You? Me? I don’t think so.

      I’m not implying there’s some yet-undiscovered conspiracy theory that would explain everything in some radically different context.

      But I’m pointing out the fact we have only a partial understanding of this recent and tragic episode in history, because we have only partial access to the facts of that history.

      I believe that understanding history helps us create the future, and maybe helps us understand what might cause something like this to happen again. The unknown parts of this story, including Jones’ political connections, stories of rape and sexual abuse used as a religious practice inside the church, questions about whether/how the CIA or other government entities were involved, however tangentially that may be — all of that is fascinating to me.

      I was a child when Jonestown happened. So it’s always seemed mythical to me. Facts reveal what’s real in myth.

  2. randomcat says:

    I recently saw an interesting article written by a Zen Buddhist teacher about the faith people put in religious (and other) authority figures on suicidegirls.com. Site may be NSFW:

    http://suicidegirls.com/news/culture/23418/

  3. kiki1971 says:

    Also see,

    http://www.boingboing.net/2008/02/19/jonestown-death-tape.html

    If you are fascinated/horrified by jonestown…an interesting audio file to check out is the FBI’s copy of Jim Jones’ final sermon.

    http://www.archive.org/details/ptc1978-11-18.flac16

  4. Anonymous says:

    I actually went to Jim Jones’ house in Indianapolis. It wasn’t so eerie. What WAS eerie was that some six-flags-over-jesus church bought the house and used it as community outreach.

    Talk about irony…

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