November 2013 was a month of key political anniversaries in America, with 150 years having passed since Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and 50 since the assassination of John F. Kennedy. While Lincoln articulated the United States as a Proposition Nation ordained to illuminate the world with freedom in 1863, Kennedy’s execution a century later revealed in brazen fashion the inescapable reality of oligarchic rule in democracy. Though the importance of these events should not be diminished, another anniversary has eluded our attention: that of the mass-murder suicide of 913 cultists from the People’s Temple in Jonestown, Guyana. Thirty-five years later, Jonestown is now mostly remembered for its signature cocktail of cyanide-laced grape Kool-Aid. Yet it is this tragedy, brushed aside as the handiwork of a lone maniac, that heralds the results of the liberal experiment.
Long before collecting children from third-world countries became chic among Hollywood celebrities and megachurch Evangelicals, the eccentric Marxist Reverend Jim Jones and his wife Marceline had already formed their own “Rainbow Family” in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the early 1960s. This was comprised of three Koreans, an African-American boy, an American Indian girl, a White adopted boy, and the couple’s own biological son. Jones, a Pentecostal preacher who sold monkeys on the side, was known as “Father” to his mostly inner-city Black congregation, which he named the People’s Temple, itself an extended Rainbow Family upheld as the prototype for humanity’s future development. Soon finding the Midwest inhospitable territory for his progressive vision, Jones took the People’s Temple to California, where by 1974 it would flourish in the counter-cultural laboratory of San Francisco.
One striking note in interviews with survivors is their conviction that the People’s Temple was a wondrous “mosaic” of harmony and fusion between different peoples. The white members who joined seemed positively intoxicated by the sense of racial equality on display in Jones’s church; here was a chance to demonstrate avant-garde morality and strike a blow for progress. And over decades of coverage of the Temple, from heady days of prominence in San Francisco to post-massacre trauma, the news media have helpfully reinforced this narrative. What should have been a project for a bright new tomorrow suddenly “went wrong,” as the story goes. Its leader, after all, was a drug-addled madman. But Jones was not merely some charismatic charlatan who managed to deceive society for a time; he embodied the ideals of the American civic religion—pluralism—and played them out to their ultimate conclusion.
Almost from the moment of the Columbian discovery, America has been subject to mystical speculation over its role in inaugurating a New Order of the Ages. Sir Francis Bacon, one the greatest minds of the Elizabethan era, imagined a thinly veiled virgin continent as the New Atlantis under Rosicrucian rule. A ready refuge for centuries of Quakers, Shakers, hucksters, and heretics, America would accommodate the growth of innumerable sects and religious crazes due to a combination of popular pietism and constitutionally encoded state indifference. The appearance of an organization like the People’s Temple was therefore less of a novelty even in the conservative Midwest than it was a familiar facet of national life.
In the revolutionary spirit of 1776, Jim Jones was first and foremost a fire-breathing egalitarian. Sunday services at the Temple, headquartered at a former synagogue in the rundown Fillmore district, featured a carnival-like atmosphere of revival preaching flavored with leftist activism. Once raucous Gospel music, dance routines, and comical faith healings lathered the crowd into a frenzy, “Father,” clad in trademark shades and choir robe, would descend to the pulpit from his elevated chair, an American flag on one side and a poster-sized Declaration of Independence on the other. Warming up with down-home vulgarity, he’d then launch into extended harangues on socialism, racist government persecution, and his own divine greatness. By channeling the ressentiment of his followers and playing upon their hopes and fears, Jones effectively became both Norman Mailer’s alienated White Negro and an unscrupulous Superman who drew his strength from mass manipulation. And Jones’s rants were remarkable not only for their length, but especially for their consistent inversion of orthodox Christian doctrine, rejecting the Kingdom of Heaven for a perfected kingdom of this world.
For all of Jim Jones’s efforts at innovation and originality, the People’s Temple was just a new rendering of the chiliastic temptation, that “City on a Hill” so central to the American messianic mythos. Seventh-century Puritanism had long since devolved into secularized forms, but in the marketplace of ideas, its zealotry still manifested in moralistic social movements like suffrage and civil rights, as well as fringe sects like the Temple. Jones’s syncretistic brew of holy-rolling Communism was reflective of a counterfeit spirituality ascendant after Enlightenment rationalism and materialism had so successfully wreaked havoc upon the traditional worldview of Western man. Deprived of divine Truth or programmed to disdain such embarrassingly outdated notions, moderns have chased after simulacra of transcendence by adopting every manner of surrogate religions, from the Prosperity Gospel to self-help psycho-twaddle and New Age magical narcissism. Here the California-born Sufi writer Charles Upton provides especially useful context from his own experience:
As the early and mid–20th Century had called for culture and education for the masses, we called for mass enlightenment… The legacy of old-fashioned American revivalism abruptly encountered psychedelic drugs, exotic religions, 20th Century ideas of evolution and progress, and the shock of the war in Vietnam to produce a ‘go for broke’ attitude: ‘give me Enlightenment or give me death; Apocalypse Now.’
Due to increasing press scrutiny of torture, brainwashing, and sexual abuse within the People’s Temple (Jones was omnivorous in his depravity, carrying on numerous affairs with the women surrounding him and sodomizing his male adherents), the cult hurriedly left San Francisco for its jungle outpost in Jonestown, Guyana, in 1977. Like the Jacobins and Bolsheviks before him, Jones promised the citizens of his new society a radiant paradise of freedom, equality and brotherhood, only to deliver them unto misery and death. Having killed a U.S. Congressional Representative on a fact-finding trip to Guyana a year later on November 18th, the patriarch of the Rainbow Family opted for revolutionary suicide rather than see his life’s work unravel. Invoking the words of Doors frontman Jim Morrison, Jones showed himself an “erotic politician” on a mission of annihilation, a veritable medium for demonic forces unleashed upon the world.
Anglo-Saxon democracy does not appear at first glance as destructive as the maximalist programs of a Robespierre or Trotsky, yet America is acquiring certain features characteristic of the People’s Temple. Lest anyone raise the objection that Jim Jones was an un-American Communist psychopath, it’s worth remembering that the United States was founded upon the same revolutionary abstractions of liberty and equality that time and again have given rise to tyranny. Liberal pluralism, a potent weapon of the plutocrats who seek our enslavement, first produces spiritual, moral, and physical chaos, which in turn serves as a convenient introduction to the militantly tolerant police-state panopticon. Jones would have exalted in the capabilities afforded him by an NSA total surveillance grid, and he certainly would have given hearty approval of mass immigration and Washington’s plans to further “diversify” the country through population resettlement. Far from promoting friendship and brotherhood, the false virtues of egalitarianism lead only to paranoia, envy, hatred, and the murder-suicide of nations.
Though the People’s Temple was conceived as a universal model for all mankind, it was at its most basic level a Black church. For that simple reason primarily Black Americans suffered at the hands of their prophet at Jonestown; around 80 percent of the victims were identified as such. In a cruel irony, Jim Jones, the all-loving “Father,” the tireless anti-racist advocate and integrator, flew hundreds of African-Americans to their deaths at a tropical slave plantation maintained by armed guards and a fanatical inner circle of White female administrators. Other suspicious circumstances have even suggested the whole bizarre saga was possibly a mind-control operation conducted by U.S. intelligence agencies.
With the passing of decades since Jonestown, the Black community in the United States remains just as vulnerable to government social engineering and corporate exploitation, often acting as a test subject for whatever new cultural pathogen our controllers have devised. The record includes unethical medical experiments, the taxpayer-subsidized ruin of the Black family (with a resulting surge in crime), and the CIA’s facilitation of the crack cocaine epidemic in the 1980s, not to mention the relentless, full-spectrum promotion of degeneracy by media organs quite openly intent upon smearing everyone in filth. And any principled black voices willing to oppose this system are studiously ignored. “Integration” with the regime benefits self-appointed spokesmen such as Al Sharpton and public sector unions, while calls for integrity and autonomy from the likes of Booker T. Washington and Malcolm X have been forgotten in an atmosphere of corruption and decay.
To best understand the People’s Temple as an American phenomenon, we must look to its “white-bread,” all-American congregants. What sort of fever impelled educated, professional young White women, or young couples raising families, into the embrace of Jim Jones? The road to Jonestown was paved with the lofty expectations of American pluralism, transmitted through cradle-to-grave indoctrination. Countless times in their upbringing, at school, on television, or at home, children in the United States have learned that our nation is a proposition, a place for every tribe of man to merge as one in the pursuit of happiness, i.e. plentitude and pleasure. As ancestral memories often fade within a generation, Whites in particular, long the main source of “human capital” in this enterprise, have consequently defined identity according to the universalist constructs bequeathed us by the Founders and their disciples.
There is a terrible price to pay, however, for imposing the reign of equality. If the Brave New World is to survive, rites of blood tribute must be performed to satiate its dark gods. In 1978, Jim Jones and his impeccably progressive inner circle murdered nearly 1,000 sect followers, mostly Black families, rather than relinquish utopia. Today U.S. policy elites carry out war and subversion to export liberal democracy across the globe while racial antagonism at home takes on ever more vicious forms. The latest nationwide trend, often known as the “knockout game,” consists of groups of young Black males attacking most commonly White (and sometimes Asian or Jewish) pedestrians. Hoover Institution fellow and Black columnist Thomas Sowell has forthrightly identified the implicit racial motivations behind the acts, and Mike Tyson, a man who knows a thing or two about knockouts, called the perpetrators “evil.” The media, meanwhile, strives mightily to misdirect its audience with regard to the nature of this violence, in the process hoping to salvage the imploding pluralist dream, an illusion that no amount of entertainment spectacle, debt schemes, or overseas adventures can sustain.
The original Rainbow Family met a gruesome end in the jungles of South America, but its spirit still infuses all major social institutions in the United States. Jonestown’s millennialist Marxism and international capitalism both reduce existence to the purely material plane and man to an economic unit stripped of any higher meaning. What we know to be the actual diversity and dignity of creation among mankind must be abolished and re-engineered into Diversity, Inc., as life attains all the depth of a Doritos commercial. A coming unified race of Wal-Martians is to worship at the altar of Mammon, whose incarnation will utter blasphemies earlier foreshadowed by the Reverend Jim Jones:
I am freedom. I am justice. I am peace, and I am equality. I AM GOD!