Jim’s Sunglasses: Inaccuracies vs. Facts Part 5

by Jolene McDonald

(Editor’s Note: This blog was originally posted here.)

Claim: Jim wore sunglasses 24/7 and his eyes were bright red and watery

Fact: There are plenty of photos and footage of him without sunglasses and his eyes look fine

In 1971, which is said to be the year Jim’s heavy drug addiction began, he started wearing his infamous sunglasses. He did wear them a lot, there is no denying it, but he was said to wear them twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, to hide his red, watery eyes caused by drug use. Really though, there are plenty of photos and footage throughout the 1970s when he is not wearing them. From moments when he is preaching, to candid photos and even as late as Jonestown, his eyes can be seen. From 1976 onwards he wore the tinted sunglasses in between the dark ones, so his eyes were still visible even though he was wearing them, and they looked fine. There are a handful of times over the decade when they do look bloodshot and watery, but they are not that way as often or to the extent reported. The idea he never removed his sunglasses because he was hiding his eyes is reported in many places, including reliable books.

Originally posted on January 6th, 2020.

Last modified on December 26th, 2020.
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