Archived Site: Jonestown Survivor

Information Concerning this Archived Site

Source: (Inactive)

This is the archive of a large website of articles and blogs published in conjunction with the book, Jonestown Survivor: An Insider’s Look. The book and all the material in this archive were written by Laura Johnston Kohl, a member of Peoples Temple who survived the tragedy in Jonestown by being in Guyana’s capital city of Georgetown on 18 November 1978.

Following the twentieth anniversary of the Jonestown tragedy, Ms. Johnston Kohl became a prolific writer and active public speaker, work she continued to do until shortly before her death on 19 November 2019. She also made herself available to family members of those who perished in Guyana and scholars who try to understand the calamity of the ending. Finally, she was a generous contributor of articles and remembrances for the Alternative Considerations site, all of which may be found here.

In the interest of preserving the information from her site for future generations of Jonestown scholars and researchers, the managers of this site obtained permission from Laura’s husband Ron Kohl to archive her work in its entirety. Both the archive and the book itself are published with his permission.

Jonestown Survivor – 2nd book in the Works!

JONESTOWN SURVIVOR - Book 2 is in the Works! I am excited to say that I am resuming my work on my second book. I am setting the deadline for my first draft mid-June 2019. This book will have four parts: Updates on all things Peoples Temple/Jonestown that I have learned since I wrote my first book Jonestown Survivor: An Insider’s Look in 2009 and published it in 2010. Putting Peoples Temple and the rise of Jim Jones in Historical Perspective. Jonestown and Guyana - last March, seven of us returned to Guyana and Jonestown. My husband Ron, and son Raul, Jordan Vilchez (a fellow ...

» continue reading

JONESTOWN SURVIVOR – What if Congressman Ryan had NOT visited Jonestown?

What if Congressman Ryan Had NOT Visited Jonestown? A question that comes up often, and did again today, from a researcher/friend, is: Would the deaths in Jonestown have happened without Congressman Leo Ryan's visit tipping Jim over the edge?   Here are my 2 cents: Basically, there was a lot going on affecting Jonestown and Jim in the summer of 1978 - Jim was increasingly paranoid, mentally ill, isolated, and more addicted to drugs Jim learned that Jonestown would never be self-sufficient for the residents - 1,000 and another 1,000 waiting to come over - his original plan was for 600 but he oversold it. The ...

» continue reading

Jonestown Survivor Interview on All Out Attack Podcast

  JONESTOWN SURVIVOR Interview on All Out Attack Podcast with Harry Robinson I was interviewed for All Out Attack Podcast this last week. During the 40th Anniversary of Jonestown, many of us survivors expected the interest in/curiosity about Jonestown and Peoples Temple to slow down. Afterall, it had been 40 years. The opposite has been true. Since November 18, I have had many students, researchers, and historians reach out for interviews. This month, I have had people from around the world contact me for interviews - from Sweden, England, and other countries, and numerous students who were competing in the National History ...

» continue reading

Jonestown Survivor with son, Raul, at 40th Anniversary Ceremony

[caption id="attachment_2264" align="alignnone" width="600"] Laura with her son Raul at the 40th Anniversary Ceremony.[/caption]

» continue reading

JONESTOWN SURVIVORS at 40th Anniversary

Kohl Speech for 40th Anniversary It is wonderful to see everyone here. Some who could not make the trip are awaiting our photos and thoughts as well. When I reflect on my nearly 9 years in Peoples Temple, I feel that it was both one of the highlights and one of the deepest traumas of my life. When I was in Peoples Temple in both California and in Guyana, I felt committed to an idea, even a dream, that took me outside of my personal needs. I found a community that asked much of the members. I thought that I was making ...

» continue reading

Jonestown Survivor Shares Information about Book by Judy Bebelaar and Ron Cabral

Judy Bebelaar and Ron Cabral were teachers at Opportunity High School in San Francisco. They got to know many of our Peoples Temple youth. Now, they've written a book about them -- And then, they were gone. Here is the link: Teachers recall students they lost in Jonestown in ‘And Then They Were Gone’ Sam Whiting November 6, 2018 Updated: November 16, 2018, 9:20 am Judy Bebelaar with an unidentified student at Opportunity II High School.Photo: Mary Delema, Margaret Copeland/TerraGrafix Each November the names of the dead come to Judy Bebelaar as if she’s back in class for roll call. Rory Bargeman, Wesley Breidenbach, Marilee Bogue, Joyce Brown, Dorothy ...

» continue reading

Jonestown Survivor Posting about David Chiu’s Rolling Stone article

David Chiu wrote a wonderful article about the Peoples Temple choir. Here is the link: ‘He’s Able’: Inside the Jonestown Cult’s Forgotten Gospel Album In 1973, Jim Jones’ followers released their own private-press LP. Survivors recount how it came about — and the unthinkable tragedy that would take the lives of many of the participants By DAVID CHIU         Surviving members of the Peoples Temple Choir recount the joyous creation of their private-press gospel LP and the tragedy that followed. California Historical Society, PC 010.08.0912 Serial killers’ personal effects, morticians’ instruments, human and animal skulls, autopsy photos of John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, an electric chair, ...

» continue reading

Jonestown Survivor Fall 2018 News

Laura's Fall 2018 Update 091518 My Fall 2018 did not slow down as much as I expected. I was diagnosed with cancer in May, 2018 and am working through the daily Radiation treatment. So, I canceled out-of-town trips and scaled back on my (numerous) local commitments. But, life is full! I finished my articles for the jonestown report. I wrote on the Migration/Emigration of Peoples Temple, the Legacy of Peoples Temple, my March 2018 Return Trip to Jonestown, my donation of my documents and memorabilia to University of Southern Indiana Communal Studies Archive, and my understanding of the Guyanese perspective through personal ...

» continue reading

Plans for the 40th Anniversary of Jonestown – November 18, 2018

Jonestown 40th Anniversary Plans Sunday, 11/18, Ceremony at 3 p.m. at Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland: First, is a memorial service at 3:00 p.m. at Evergreen Cemetery (6450 Camden Street, Oakland, CA 94605). Monday, 11/19, Open House at California Historical Society from 10 a.m.-12 noon. This is a chance to see some of the books, projects and Ca Historical Society Archives - important especially if you are looking for photos of loved ones. For authors, you can show your writing and projects, but it is not a time to sell any products. Please contact Patricia Pforte by October 25, 2018 if you would like ...

» continue reading

JONESTOWN SURVIVOR – Fall 2018 Heading Towards 40th Anniversary

JONESTOWN SURVIVOR - A Busy Time - Fall 2018 As we head towards the 40th Anniversary of the 918 deaths in Guyana, I am busy trying to finish up a number of projects. Every year, I write several articles for the annual  jonestown report which is published by The Jonestown Institute. I will be finishing up these articles: My Return Trip to Jonestown in March 2018, The Legacy of Peoples Temple, some article of Guyanese Connections, Donations to University of Southern Indiana Communal Studies Department, and possibly one or two more.  I also worked with my husband on his article about ...

» continue reading