For most of its history, Peoples Temple presented itself to the public in positive, proactive terms. Promotional literature produced about the Temple – and especially about its agricultural mission in Jonestown, Guyana – focused on its services, its opportunities, and the happiness of its people. Even in letters asking public officials for assistance against harassment by government agencies and/or organized opposition in the Concerned Relatives, the Temple enclosed lengthy statements testifying to the church’s good works instead of publications attacking its perceived enemies. The Temple did confront its critics in print, but until its final year of existence, most of those criticisms appeared in the pages of the Temple’s newspaper, The Peoples Forum, rather than publicly-distributed promotional literature.
That changed in early 1978, as the Temple began to strike back against its critics among the media, the government, and family members of Jonestown residents. The Victims of Conspiracy flyer makes note of the positive work that the Temple did, but the overall message is that the group – including that positive work – is under attack. And the enemies are formidable: Nazis, arsonists, and U.S. government agencies in the forms of the Customs Service, the Social Security Administration and even the Post Office. Only on the last of the publication’s six pages does the brochure report on the “paradise” known as Jonestown.