Introducing Our Volunteers

The editors of the jonestown report are pleased to announce a new series: Introducing Our Volunteers. These are short profiles of the individuals who contribute time and energy to making the Alternative Considerations one of the largest, if not the largest, digital archive of a new religion today.

The Alternative Considerations website relies upon many people for its content—transcripts of tapes, typescripts of documents, technical enhancement of audiotapes, analysis of government records, reviews of books, podcasts, and films, and much more. None of the individuals who do this receive payment. Rather, they labor out of interest in the subject, concern for the accuracy of the site, and compassion for those who lived and died in Jonestown.

The inaugural profiles in this issue of the jonestown report focus on two volunteers. Bonnie Yates has analyzed numerous documents, to report on, for example, the use of Thorazine in Jonestown and the John Victor Stoen custody case. Emily Yaden Schneider has used her genealogical skills to trace family records of Temple members who died in Jonestown. Her work has contributed to the generation, and accuracy, of The Family Trees of Jonestown.

Upcoming profiles will feature those who have volunteered their technical expertise to analyze audiotapes and audio equipment used in Jonestown, those who have spent countless hours transcribing audiotapes, those who are in the process of developing comprehensive and accurate timelines of events, and others.

We also want to acknowledge the many site visitors who, in the course of their reading, spot typographical errors or factual inconsistencies with various postings on the site. Others have brought additional contextual information for different documents and audiotapes which we have incorporated. We appreciate them as well.

We want readers and site visitors to know who they are. And we want to publicly thank them for making this a website a reliable source of accurate information.

(Rebecca Moore is Professor Emerita of Religious Studies at San Diego State University, and has written and published extensively on Peoples Temple and Jonestown. Rebecca is also the co-manager of this website. Her other articles in this edition of the jonestown report are The Controversies About Peoples Temple and Jonestown and Lowell Streiker: A Voice of Responsibility. Her full collection of articles on this site may be found here. She may be reached at