Johnny Brown: The Passion and the Revolution

One must have an attitude of gratitude.
– Johnny Brown

When Johnny Brown was speaking in general, you could feel the passion. When he was speaking in detail – meaning, when he was talking to you – you could sense the revolution swelling inside of him, a revolution tempered only by his dedication to Jim Jones and his love of the cause of Peoples Temple. Even without Jones and the Temple, Johnny was his own force to be reckoned with. You knew deep down inside that, if you really fucked up, Johnny might take you out.

Johnny’s fear – and the only fear that I was aware of him having – was that of failing. He never failed in that, once he started, there was no ending until defeat or death. In the meantime, he might take you for a walk and talk, to explain to you why we do what we do, to remind you that there is no greater cause or purpose than the one we are involved in. So get your shit together and get it together now. And I’ll go talk to Father and get things smoothed over.

Got it?

(Eugene Smith was in Georgetown on November 18 clearing items from customs. Numerous members of his family – including his mother, wife, and infant son – died in Jonestown. His other articles for this edition of the jonestown report are Time Is a Funny Thing and Hunting Time. His previous articles may be found here. He can be reached through this website.)