Outline for the history of the Peoples Temple Movement
Brief Summary: There will be a prologue which shall include a history of the Movement, including a biographical sketch of Jim, culminating in the treck [trek] of 1965, when he took his followers West to Redwood Valley. The main history will be in the following segments: 1965 – 1969 “the select few”, 1969 – 1974 “the mass movement”, 1975 – 1976 “power and impending doom, the attempt to go national”, in 1977 “Exodus”. There will be a postscript, that describes present life in Jonestown, in the organizational reminants [remnants] in the States.
Prologue: Jim was born in the small town of Lynn Indiana in 1931, to a poor family. His mother was a worker and his father a disabled WWI veteran. His parents didn’t get along. There was much poverty. The small town was racist and bigoted. He always despised that. He early had peculiar talents – healing. Was a bright youngster and did well in school. Wild escapades. In teens got interested in Socialism, Paul Robeson and the [blank line] Party. The liberalism of mid-late ‘40s. Teaching Credential from [blank line]. Worked as an orderly at [blank line], married Marceline at the age of 17, on [blank line]. Got his Ministerial certificate (whatever DD or ?) from Butler U. Early participation in the church movement – intentionally as a reform vehicle having rejected both politics and Union activities as too controlled. His career in the church and the mid-west, adoption of multi-racial children, the “life of example”. The development of the early followers. Peoples Temple in Indianapolis. Revolution in Cuba – harassment at home. Loss of the Radio. The Human Rights Commission, more harassment. The revelation of atomic disaster. Illness. Trip to Brazil, two years there. The search for new home.
Main History: 1965 – 1969. Visit to R.V. [Redwood Valley] in 64. Marceline comes later. Jim was the group in mid-65. “The word” had gone before him. Difficulty in getting established. Teaching days. The peace march. The development of the “small group”. Early key persons of the “number group” join. Tone and tenor of meetings. Building a church. Slow expansion South. The SF gold mine.