A Special Section: 40 Years After Jonestown

Forty years ago, 918 people died in a remote South American country few had heard of. In recognition of the significance of this anniversary, the editors of the jonestown report approached scores of Jonestown survivors, former Temple members, and relatives to offer their perspectives on what their lives have been like in the intervening four decades, what they believe the lessons from the tragedy are for American society – both learned and unlearned – and how “Jonestown” will be perceived by future generations. We also asked authors, scholars, and others who were connected to the Temple to consider the same questions. The writings below provide insights that will inform many future efforts to understand the complexity and nuances of this all-too-human event.

Survivors, Members and Relatives

  1. 40 Years Of Memories, by Jack Arnold
  2. Moving on Forty Years Later, by Don Beck
  3. Snapshots from a Jonestown Life, by Phil Blakey
  4. The Conversations I Can’t Have, by Greg Bower
  5. The Responsibility of Surviving Kin, by Dorothy Brooks
  6. Jonestown: A Conundrum, by Tim Carter
  7. My Life Forty Years Later, by Mike Cartmell
  8. After the End, by Jean Brown Clancey
    1. Flo and Forgiveness, by Jean Brown Clancey
  9. The Value of Gratitude, by Denise Davenport-Fabrizio
  10. My Journey to and from Peoples Temple, by Dominique Z. Delphine
    1. Tim Reiterman Interview with Joyce Cable Shaw-Houston (Dominique Z. Delphine)
  11. Not Like the Others: The View from Forty Years Hence, by Laurie Efrein Kahalas
  12. On losing anger, by Hue Fortson Jr.
  13. Living Through Martin’s Dream, by Dawn Gardfrey
    1. Two Poems, by Dawn Gardfrey
  14. The Unacknowledged Murder, by Dan Harpe
  15. Who Was She?, by Lela Howard
  16. The Legacies of November 18, by Laura Johnston Kohl
  17. Looking Back, by Deborah Layton
  18. Jim Jones and Me, by John V Moore
  19. Prepare To Meet Thy God, by Hattie Newell
  20. “It”, by Glenda Randolph Bates
  21. Understanding Dread, Trusting Intuition, by Andy Silver
    1. If Robin Williams were still alive, by Andy Silver
  22. Not Surviving Jonestown, by E. E. Smith
  23. My Wife, My Children, by Guy Young

Writers and Scholars

  1. Jonestown After Forty Years, by David Conn
  2. 40 Years Later: Hope, by Craig Foreman
  3. Still Unanswered, by Archie Smith, Jr.
  4. The Closing Window, by Jeff Guinn
  5. What I Learned from Jonestown, and What Our Nation Has Yet to Learn, by John C. Wathey
  6. American Horror Story: On the Cult of Personality, by Taylor Black
  7. Jonestown 2028, by Brad Crowell
  8. The Myth of “Another Jonestown”, by Massimo Introvigne
  9. Lessons from Jonestown 1978 for America 2018, by Mary Maaga
  10. Synthetic Study of Post-WWII American Left is Needed, Possibilities for Study of Peoples Temple, by David Mihalyfy
  11. Jonestown Recollections Forty Years Later by Philip G. Zimbardo, Ph.D.