If we accept the government’s version of Jonestown, if we go along with the corporate media version of this incident, does this mean we are willing to ignore a mountain of evidence, facts and our common sense? Does that mean we are willing to ignore the lesson we’ve been taught from childhood, not to accept just one side of the story? Is it easier on our psyche if we accept that one side – the government’s side – of this event? If we are not willing to look beyond the obvious, to look a little deeper below the surface and really examine this horrendous event, we will never solve this mystery.
Without questioning or a second thought, we are asked to believe that, for the first time in recorded history, more than 900 American citizens committed mass suicide. More than 900 men, women and children, who had a lot to live for, followed the suggestion of one individual, and one after another drank from a vat of poisoned Kool-Aid.
If we only see the side of this story that fits our mind set, we won’t look any further. But on its face, the government’s version is so preposterous, so absurd, it baffles the imagination. Yet to admit otherwise would be like pulling back the covers on a relative and exposing the true parts of something we’d rather not see.
My personal theory of what actually happened looks at some of the main aspects of this case: Our government decided to deploy an aerial release of one of our most lethal chemicals weapons of mass destruction, configured to be used as an aerosol, spraying the commune that night with a chemical so deadly, one drop touching the skin or inhaled kills within seconds.
I believe the government’s rationale was, conducting this type of operation will solve many problems in one fell swoop, including gauging the effectiveness of this chemical with a live, in-field test and recording the results. At the same time, it sent a shock-and-awe message to any dissident or disaffected group: don’t entertain any ideas of independence, and don’t think of leaving the country, or you could end up like this.
Let’s look at some of the evidence. Most of the people of Jonestown were women and children, poor, nearly voiceless. Yet they decided to make a sacrifice, move thousands of miles from the country of their birth, leaving families and friends, yet filled with hope of building a more just society. They worked and sweated, establishing one of the most successful agricultural settlements in Guyana. Why would they kill themselves afterenduring the hardships?
Let’s weigh a few other facts:
• We do know, the people of Jonestown were considering defecting en masse to the Soviet Union, thus giving our Cold War adversary a propaganda victory.
• We do know, much of the evidence from this event is still being kept secret by our government.
• We do know, for this first time in our nation’s history, a sitting congressman was killed while on duty, yet much of the investigation into his murder has not been revealed.
• We do know, more than 900 questionable deaths occurred, yet the government conducted only seven autopsies.
• We do know, a self-confessed government agent, Michael Prokes, killed himself after reading a statement saying the government was heavily involved in the events of November 18.
• We do know, the government diverted the bodies to an Air Force base on the east coast, even though most of the families of the dead lived in the west, and requested extra strong embalming fluid to be used on the bodies once they were returned to the States.
• We do know, once the establishment media began painting the group as kooks, cultists, and religious fanatics, the one-sided suicide story could be sealed in concrete.
Once the government’s involvement in horrendous tragedies proved a success – both in execution and in cover-up afterwards – it knew it could move ahead with other plans and manipulations. In my view, all of the tragedies of the past quarter century, ranging from 9/11 to the D.C. sniper to the crisis in the Middle East deserve a closer look.
(Richard Williams is writing a manuscript which examines the issues he raises in this article. He can be reached at email@example.com or at 919-943-5051.)