A Jonestown Survivor's Story of Life and Death in the Peoples TempleBook - 1998
Twenty years ago, on November 18, 1978 in Jonestown, a commune in the depths of the Guyanese jungle, 913 followers of the Reverend Jim Jones obeyed his orders to take their own lives, dutifully swallowing fruit-flavored punch laced with cyanide. It was the worst mass suicide in modern history. The Peoples Temple had started out years before as a respectable church involved in community service and civil rights activism. Jim Jones's followers grew in number, and the organization gained prominence in the San Francisco community, recognized by such high-profile figures as Mayor George Moscone and First Lady Rosalyn Carter. But by the time Jones and his followers had begun their emigration to the "promised land" in Guyana, the group had become increasingly militant and paranoid. Deborah Layton saw that something was seriously wrong the minute she arrived in Jonestown, and six months before the massacre, she escaped the guarded compound she had imagined would be paradise. Her warnings to the press and to the U.S. State Department of an impending disaster fell on disbelieving ears: Exactly four days after her testimony in Washington, D.C., Congressman Leo Ryan, three reporters, and over nine hundred Peoples Temple members, including Layton's mother and countless friends, were dead. Layton's return to the world outside of the Peoples Temple was slow and painful. Her brother remains in prison, the only person alive today held accountable for the tragedy. After years of shame and silence, she is finally telling her story. From Waco to Heaven's Gate, the past decade has seen its share of cult tragedies, but none quite so dramatic or compelling as Jonestown. In this very personal account, Layton opens up the shadowy world of cults that pervade our existence and shows how any race, culture, or class of individuals can fall victim to a cult's strange allure. Vividly written and powerfully told,Seductive Poisonis both an unflinching historical document and an enthralling story of intrigue, power, and murder.
Publisher: New York : Anchor Books, 1998.
Edition: 1st ed.
Branch Call Number: 289.9 Lay
Characteristics: 309 p.