I have often pondered what my life would have been like without the Jonestown experience, wondering if I would have gone on to college, then on to a fulfilling career and a comfortable life. Or would I have taken the opposite path to self destruction. I could see myself going either way. But those are just thoughts of a man reflecting upon what might have been as he grows old.
Reality is, from my experiences I have faced many challenges. When times were particularly tough, due to my JT experiences, I found hidden strength and endurance which served me well. Does this mean I would want to relive where I came from? No. But what it does mean is we have had a gift thrust upon us in a cruel fashion, but a gift all the same.
Do not take what I write as a diminishment of this piece of history or to lessen the impacts it has had on our lives. All I can say is that it makes up part of who we are today. I often repeat that saying in my mind, “what doesn’t kill us, only makes us stronger!” I honestly believe that, because we survived, not only Jonestown but the Peoples Temple experience, we have been given a unique outlook and wisdom on life! Enjoy it! I do!
(Thom Bogue is a City Councilman in Dixon, California, and an automotive repair and smog shop owner. His other article in this edition of the jonestown report is “I want to go with you but they won’t let me.”He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)