Commentary & Opinion

Commentary & OpinionHistorical accounts of life in Peoples Temple, and especially of the events in Jonestown, elicit strong opinion and analysis of what the Temple was, why people joined and stayed, where it succeeded and where it failed, and what went wrong at the end. This page gathers together some of the commentary which has been submitted to this site. This forum includes thoughtful discussion from a wide range of perspectives written by people who were not part of Peoples Temple. In effect, this section of the site is our newspaper op-ed page which features shorter, non-academic articles which have a point of view.

Looking Past the Stereotypes, by Anonymous (2009)

Reflection on Jonestown, by Jodie Arnold (2013)

Two Commentaries by David Ballard NEW
Meet the New Boss (2023)
One Must Consider Context (2023)

Sikamikanico Blogs, by Nico Bell (2020)

Jonestown Memorial Coda, by David A. Berdass (2011)

The Other Side Of The Story, by Nicole Bissett (2009)

Message from Jonestown, by Scott Blackwood (2009)

The Pain of Restoring Humanity, by Mighael Botha (2013)
Scars Of The Past, by Mighael Botha (2013) 

Writings of Sara Brody

Commentaries by Amy Brown

Those Who Do Not Remember the Past Are Condemned to Repeat It, by Jaime Caron (2010)

Commentaries by Erin Clymer

Born in San Francisco, Raised within a Group, by Esther Cohen (2018)

Commentaries by Niels Colesky

Commentaries by Seriina Covarrubias

A Terrible Solitude on Every Side, by Rev. Barbara Crafton (2006)

In Defense of Alternative Considerations, by Darren Crawford (2012)

You Meet the Strangest People…, by Gregory Curtis (2023) NEW

The Memorial to Jonestown Victims at Evergreen Cemetery, by Natalia Danesi (2011)

An Apology to Peoples Temple, by Amanda Davis (2021)

Commentaries by Laurie Davis

Reviews, Commentaries and Stories by Annie Dawid

The Deaths of Children, the Death of Childhood, by Jane Devin (2008)

Commentaries and Observations by Leigh Fondakowski

Reviews by Matthew Fulmer

Peoples Temple seen through the eyes of Asperger’s, by Esben Lykke Gadgaard, Elg (2016)

Reviews by Mark Gallaga

Reflections on the 45th Anniversary of Jonestown, by Michael Gangitano (2023) NEW

The Children of Jonestown, the Children of the Church, by Genexxa (2013)

Commentaries by Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons

Writings and Poetry by Carmen Gillespie

What I learned about Peoples Temple, by Kimberly Gomez (2008)

Commentary and Articles by Jeff Guinn

Conspiracies sell…but who’s buying?, by Henri Helander (2020)

Commentaries by Susan White Hicks

Commentary and Articles by Jeff Hood

Among the dead: Arkansans died at Jonestown in 1978, by Preston Jones (2022)

Jonestown: Community, by Michael Kaplan (2012)

Commentary on Q 170: “Jones announces defection of Teri Buford”, by Ian Kehoe (2018)

Commentary and Articles by Tom Kinsolving

Leading to the Final Question by Phil LaMonica (2007)

Children of Jonestown and the Children of God, by Don Lattin (2008)

Lines and Strings, by Kelly Lavoie (2019)

San Francisco Laid Low by Jungle Fungus, by Bart Lee (2008)

Commentaries by Mike Lieber

The mystery of Liane Harris’ death, by Dagmara Łuczyńska (2021)

Running Away, by Sharon Maas (2013)
A Guyanese perspective of Jonestown, 1979, by Eileen Cox (2013) 

Commentaries by Sylvia Marciniak

Writings of Jolene McDonald

Calling Out Tim Stoen, by Jessica Mendes (2021)

The “C” Word, by Ken Musen (2016)

Commentaries by Bill Neri-Amadeo

Craving Knowledge, by Catherine Peters (2018)

Writings of Ken Risling

Joining the Temple Community, by Daniel Russell (2011)

Haunted By a Panicky Phone Call From a Peoples Temple Member, by Elayne Savage, PhD (2019)

Writings of Norman Scott

Empathy: A Personal Relationship with Jonestown, by Matthew Sochocki (2013)

Why did the Reverend Jim Jones not preach on Philemon?, by Robert L. Smith, III (2022)

The Why People: Aphrodite Child’s 666, Jim Jones and the Doom of the 1960’s, by Lincoln Swain (2012)

Jonestown & Humanity, by Steven Van Neste (2016)

Oprah!, by Amanda Veazey (2010)
What do you hear in these sounds?, by Amanda Veazey (2010)

Understanding the Note, by Danielle Walker (2020)

I’m not drinking it! by James Welborn (2006)

The Role of the Arts in Examining Jonestown, by Ken White (2018)

Essays and Stories by Laura Woollett

The Profound Loss, The Profound Conversation, by Pete Wypyszinski (2017)

Should Jim Jones’ Name Have Been Included on the Marker? A Catholic’s Perspective, by Theresa Yugar (2011)

Remembering Jonestown: A Homage to the Dead, a Prayer for the Living, by Chuan Zhi (2011)