Book notes

The following are books and articles about Jonestown which have been published within the last few years or will be published soon.

A book which includes a chapter on Jonestown and a comparative look at Peoples Temple in the context of other apocalyptic religious conflict comes from John R. Hall with Philip D. Schuyler and Sylvaine Trinh, Apocalypse Observed: Religious Movements and Violence in North America, Europe, and Japan (London: Routledge, 2000).

Another comparative study comes from Catherine Wessinger, titled How the Millennium Comes Violently: From Jonestown to Heaven’s Gate (New York: Seven Bridges Press, 1999).

Mary Maaga’s Hearing the Voices of Jonestown (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1998) looks at the role of women in Peoples Temple.

From Italy see, Enrico Pozzi, Il carisma malato. Il People’s Temple e il suicidio collettivo di Jonestown (Naples: Liguori, 1992), and Massimo Introvigne, Idee che uccidono. Jonestown, Waco, il Tempio Solare. (Milan: Pessano MIMEP-Docete, 1995).

Laurie Efrein Kahalas, a former member of Peoples Temple, published Snake Dance: Unraveling the Mysteries of Jonestown in 1998 (available through The book provides an insider’s autobiographical view and makes the case for a “far right wing conspiracy” against Peoples Temple. Kahalas is currently developing On the Record: The Book of Documents, which provides several hundred quotations from an array of internal documents, including public records and news reports as well as information from Peoples Temple files. She is also writing a spiritual diary of the events at Jonestown titled And the Angels Wept. Kahalas manages the website , now archived on this site.

An interesting article appears in Lobster 37 by Jim Hougan, Jonestown: The Secret Life of Jim Jones. A Parapolitical Fugue (Summer 1999). Lobster is a progressive British publication focusing on right-wing terrorism and spying; edited and published by Robin Ramsay at 214 Westbourne Avenue, Hull, HU5 3JB, UK; e-mail Hougan’s e-mail address is

Two letters written by Annie Moore, who died in Jonestown, appear in Letters of the Century: America 1900-1999, edited by Lisa Brunwald and Stephen J. Adler (Dial Press, 1999). One of the letters was written either during or after the deaths in Jonestown.

For an apostate view, see Deborah Layton’s Seductive Poison: A Jonestown Survivor’s Story of Life and Death in the Peoples Temple (New York: Doubleday, 1998).