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The Strongest Poison - How I Survived the Jonestown Guyana Massacre Kindle Edition
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I do believe the Guyanese and American governments should have had a more active role in watching the Jonestown settlement. Lane writes about how Jones was becoming more desperate as the jungle farming wasn't working out. So according to Buford and sources, Jones admitted that socialism had failed and would send his followers back to the states where he feared for their safety, backlash, and lives. Ironic, since Jones was drugged up most of the time and dying as well. Was suicide the final solution? It didn't have to be but Jones had brainwashed his followers down to then jungle where they worked tirelessly, exhaustively, and hungered for better food and living conditions.
Some of the stories were more likely coerced by the leaders of Jonestown. Of course, there was plenty of illegal activities going on since of course, Jones was the final judge and jury. His most devoted army of soldiers were armed with firearms on that fateful sun-drenched day in the jungle where they all gathered to the pavillion to die together. Of course, they were murdered by Jones' final orders.
There were always dissenters who were the first to take the poison as was a practiced in the past and documented by Deborah Blakey who defected six month earlier and verified by Terri Buford who was second in command next to Jones. Jones was holding John Victor Stoen hostage while his parents who were former members, Timothy (assistant district attorney in San Francisco and Jones' former legal eagle) and his mother Grace who defected earlier. Jones held John Victor's life along with hundreds of others. With the fifteen defectors with Ryan, Jones had felt defeated and lost. He should have walked away quietly and died but he didn't.
He called his followers most of whom knew what white nights were all about to the pavilion. 267 children and infants were among the dead. They were murdered by Jones' orders. His wife, Marcie, who had stayed and endured an abusive marriage had tried to stop her husband but it was useless. He had held Marcie hostage longer than anybody else in an abusive, humiliating marriage by threatening to kill their own children if she ever left him. Jones was a paranoid, maniacal, diabolical monster on the same path of destruction as Hitler was to Germany.
Still, I am sure Lane believes that more could have done to stop the madness in Jonestown but what's done is done. The dead have been buried and long forgotten but not by those who remember them. We can't keep blaming the governments for failing to stop such disasters. From the shooting at Port Kaituma, Ryan should have had a army to protect him and the others. It was a deadly lesson.
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