Both the jonestown report and the Alternative Considerations website have gone through a number of notable changes since the 40th anniversary of the Jonestown deaths in 2018. They include:
* the jonestown report has altered its editorial approach, in that we are issuing an open invitation for our readers – members of the larger Peoples Temple community, academic scholars and students of the Temple, and commentators – to submit articles for consideration of publication. We have compiled a list of subject areas which we believe have not been explored as much as they could be, but we are more interested in the ideas and proposals that others want to develop. Please write the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions you might have.
As part of this new approach, we are accepting articles on a continuing basis and posting them on an interim basis to the What’s New? page of the website. We invite you to stop by throughout the year to get a preview of what will appear in the next edition of the jonestown report.
* We have added two new sections to the left hand menu bar to reflect two areas of recent growth on the site. The Jonestown in the Arts section catalogues the site’s articles about the artistic interpretation of Peoples Temple over the years. The Jonestown & the Freedom of Information Act section presents the various documents which the site managers have obtained from federal agencies since 1978, especially the FBI’s investigation of the Temple after the Jonestown deaths, code-named RYMUR. This new section is separate and apart from the research which has been developed from those documents, located both in the Jonestown Research and the Primary Sources sections.
* Several sections have undergone major revision.
The Jonestown Research page has been reorganized to reflect which collections of documents represent compilations of Temple documents, and which represent original research by the managers and contributors to the site (with our special and continuing gratitude to former Temple member Don Beck and the late Jonestown researcher Michael Bellefountaine).
The appearance of the page of Speakers & Resources may seem to be the same, but the contents of individual pages have been updated and streamlined. The entries on the various pages are the ones most subject to change, however, and we encourage our readers to let us know when any document or article catalogued on this page goes off line. We are especially grateful to Henri Helander, for his compilation of youtube videos placed online during the fortieth anniversary year of 2018.
A number of changes have been logged at the Photo Gallery page, including a reorganization of the site’s page on Flickr, as well as links to new collections of photos through the California Historical Society, through San Diego State University Special Collections, and through a new collection by Brian Holtz.
* Finally, we note two pieces of significant original research in the past year.
The first is a timeline created by Rebecca Moore on the movements of Guyana’s chief pathologist, Dr. Leslie Mootoo, in the days and weeks after the Jonestown tragedy. This timeline was developed in conjunction with her article on The Forensic Investigation of Jonestown Conducted by Dr. Leslie Mootoo in the 2018 edition of the jonestown report.
Following a number of inquiries, this website undertook an effort, which continues to this day, to document the locations of burial for everyone who died in Guyana on November 18, 1978. As we note in the introduction, the page “makes several presumptions – the principal one being that those who were not identified by April 1979 are presumed to be at Evergreen – although we have been able to confirm the burial locations of many of the others. Nevertheless, we ask that anyone who has additional information to write to us so that we may update this page.”
Most of the information on that page was researched and produced by Don Beck, and the editors are deeply grateful for his work.We are also indebted to Natalia Danesi, who logged countless hours on the initial groundwork in uploading names to https://www.findagrave.com/, as well as to the library at the California Historical Society, which continues to open access to their files for research such as this.