In 1978, the world was shocked by the horror of an assassination and mass suicide at a remote jungle outpost called Jonestown. Jim Jones was tried and convicted in the press without hearing or trial, and his hapless followers dubbed "brainwashed."
Twenty years later, a voice of clarity and humanity has emerged to set the record straight. As a survivor and custodian of a secret archives, Laurie Efrein Kahalas witnessed the portents of doom as they successively passed through her hands. Snake Dance is the story of how a thousand, largely minority people, courageously struck out from the inner cities to create a life they cherished, only to be trampled by the press, then crushed by exigencies the most seasoned spymaster could not have foreseen.
With an artist’s eye and loyalist’ heart, Ms. Kahalas chronicles with raw honesty one woman’s journey from darkness into light. The result is a startling labyrinth of revelations encompassing politics, humanity, and a moving quest to redeem her perished friends. In an eerie blend of reality and the surreal, the author writes movingly of how spiritual forces guided her through the storm, and why Snake Dance is both an act of conscience and a mission of love.
"Did the Angels come for my friends at Jonestown?," the author queries. "I believe They did. I believe it because I am human. I believe it as a child of God. Because I heard the Angels weeping for Jonestown and I am haunted by Their song." You may be haunted too, when you read this insider’s tale of what really happened that terrible night.
Snake Dance is a well-documented and well-written book that kept this reviewer riveted, unwilling to stop turning to the next page. Twenty years ago, a bizarre mystery left the world shocked and confused. Snake Dance tells us the why’s and how’s and is, in this reviewer’s opinion, THE premiere work about the Jonestown Tragedy!
"Laurie Efrein Kahalas is a Jonestown survivor who has stepped forward to offer her account of what really happened in a new book entitled Snake Dance: Unravelling the Mysteries of Jonestown. This is not an easy book to read. Ms. Kahalas’ detailing of a conspiracy to bring down Jim Jones and trigger the mass suicides is both difficult to swallow and, at the same time hard to put aside.
"The very essence of a good conspiracy theory is that they contain elements of truth and that is what makes them so attractive for persons who are alienated from the established order. Frankly, I usually look askance on conspiracy theories, but the tale of what happened at the Guyana jungle has been unsettling to me from the beginning… I do hope that scholars, journalists and public officials will read this book and determine for themselves whether Snake Dance sheds light and insight on this terrible moment in history that claimed so many lives of innocent people."
Professor Jeffrey Hadden
"My God, I am in amazement. I have finished your book, Snake Dance, and am sitting here in complete shock over what you and the others suffered at the hands of the media and government. You are a brave woman.
"My parents were involved in a religion that was sued by the State of California immediately after the Jonestown incident. Your book brought up a lot of memories.
"I would like to name Snake Dance as one of our editor’s picks.
We are launching a national Internet service called Net OnQ…. I would definitely like to feature you.
In gratitute and admiration, I am,
Deborah L. Beeksma
You may also listen to audio interviews on www.steinonline.com and www.clydelewis.com ("Ground Zero").
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