FF-1 Article critical of Temple

FF-1-113a – b

[Editor’s note: The Review Of The News was a publication of the John Birch Society.]

[Handwritten notation at top of page: “Bonnie is trying to contact Heady – I discovered this article a few days ago. We have not taken any action. Dick T. [Tropp]”]

The Review Of The News, April 6, 1977

The Left

The Reverend Jim Jones is the controversial minister of the People’s Temple, an activist church in San Francisco which is affiliated with the Disciples of Christ. The People’s Temple boasts a membership of more than 8000 in San Francisco and claims to have 20,000 members statewide. Reverend Jones, who was recently elected chairman of the San Francisco Housing Authority, airs his views in the People’s Forum, a “community news service” put out by the People’s Temple. The Forum has grown from a small publication to a full-sized newspaper and has published columns that will be right at home on the pages of the People’s World or the Daily World.

Attack on Chile

January 1977 issue of People’s Forum featured a long article on page one titled “Laura Allende: Woman of Courage,” reporting on the “special” guest speaker’s visit to the People’s Temple. Ms. Allende was a government official in the Marxist regime of her brother, Salvador Allende. The Forum reports that the People’s Temple was “deeply honored” to have Comrade Allende speak on the “barbarity and horrors of the Pinochet regime.” She addressed a crowd of “several thousand,” telling them of the alleged atrocities being “committed against the Chilean people.” Ms. Allende “called for an investigation into the violations of human rights,” which she asserted are being committed by the present anti-Communist regime, and begged North Americans to “apply pressure to their Congressmen and Senators to stop America’s financial aid” to that country. She concluded: “The people of Chile are not afraid; they are organized and struggling in a tremendous resistance against fascism. And the unfortunate example of Vietnam – we will overcome. Chile will be free!”

Ever since the overthrow in September 1973 of the Allende regime the Leftist media have been portraying Salvador Allende as an anointed martyr. Those interested in a less biased report on Chile, before and after Allende, should read Dr. Susan Huck’s article, “Freeing Chile,” in November 1974 American Opinion.

Praise for Cuba

The People’s Forum for March 1977 features on its front page a photograph of Reverend Jim Jones shaking hands in Cuba with Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party who fled to Cuba in August 1974 after he failed to appear in court to answer several felony charges including murder. Under the headlines “Socialist Nation Has Come A Long Way,” the Forum article said that the Reverend Jones traveled to Communist Cuba in February of this year where he met Huey Newton and talk to “hundreds” of Cubans to find out their impressions of life under Castro. According to the Forumreport, Jones “found in optimistic people, highly enthusiastic about the way things are being run in Castro’s Cuba.” The standard of living is “fantastic – fine restaurants, with prices considerably lower than those at comparable American restaurants, high-quality clothing, movies, a lovely, free amusement park for children, and a secondary education that ranks with the best our country has to offer.”

The People’s Forum explained that some of Huey Newton’s relatives “have been members of the People’s Temple for many years, and Rev. Jones went to Cuba initially out of concern for him, having heard rumors he wanted to return to the United States.” Newton told Jones that he wants to return to “clear his name and work, in a non-violent manner, for the emancipation of poor people in our own nation. Huey stressed that in Cuba he felt complete freedom from harassment… He noted that the needs of his own family were being met completely by the Cuban government, and that, by law, every citizen must be provided with a job.”

Jones is said to have talked with Cuban clergyman, asking how they felt about the Cuban government. He reported that only one minister admitted that Marxism is atheistic, but “even the staunchest critics of socialism as a philosophy conceded that they enjoyed total freedom of worship, and that the people fared better, in practical terms, under Castro’s administration, and under Batista’s rule.”

According to the Forum, the Reverend Jones “found a refreshing willingness among people to criticize themselves…” Such self-criticism is part of the Communist technique to control people; Mel Tse-tung called it the “Marxist-Leninist weapon.” Jones said of the Communist leaders with whom he met and talked: “It was the honesty and humility that I appreciated most.

The Reverend Jones “urged the Cuban leaders to make every overture toward President Carter to promote renewed relations between our two nations.” The Cuban solution, says Jones, “it may not work for America but it definitely seems to be working for Cuba. We should respect them for what they have achieved for their people and for the high ethical and moral values they live by…”

The picture of paradise painted by Jim Jones is very different from the one seen by two Canadians, a farm journalist and a radio broadcaster, who recently returned from the Communist island. Their story was reported by Paul Fromm in “A Look Inside Red Cuba Exposes The Fraud” in The Review Of The News for December 29, 1976.

So much for the People’s Forum, official publication of the People’s Church run by the Reverend Jim Jones. The question must be asked: is the Reverend Jones, who once told the San Francisco Chronicle that he favors “some form of democratic socialism,” a radical sleeper uses Christianity as a front?