An Apology to Peoples Temple

I’m 32 years old. I have no personal connection to Peoples Temple or Jonestown, although my mother’s 17th birthday was on November 18, 1978. Yet I’ve always wanted to put my thoughts down in regards to this tragedy.

I genuinely believe the world lost some amazing people that day, who really wanted to change the world. I don’t see crazy cultists. I never did. Going through all the footage of the survivors returning made me ashamed. Why I should be ashamed makes no sense, considering I wasn’t even born until June 1988. But seeing how they were looked down on. Shunned from society. Made to be criminals for having the audacity of saying, “Racism is wrong. Ageism is wrong. Sexism is wrong.”

Yet here we are in 2021 and nothing has changed.

All of you deserve apologies for how cruel you were treated. So I’ll take it among myself to tell you I’m sorry. I’m sorry people made you feel like you were crazy. I’m sorry the media did everything but report the news. I’m sorry that man (I won’t say his name) sold your dreams. And I’m most sorry for the family and friends you lost.

(Amanda Davis can be reached at