What the fuck was this guy’s ideology...

What the fuck was this guy’s ideology? I was arguing with a Catholic the other day about socialism and he kept citing Jim Jones as Christianity being perverted by socialism. Was the guy really a Christcom or was he just a Bernie-tier retard who called everything he do communism?

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He was a CIA psyop.

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Stealth Ismail thread

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He drank the kool aid.

Let's not be fooled here. His argument aims at identifying their ritual suicide with the "socialism" part of their religion. Meanwhile, they lived in a self-sustaining commune, just like the ancient Christians (read: Christianity not yet corrupted by state-religion status and the riches).

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It's a bizarre case - but no, he wasn't a Socdem as far as I know. His parents were communists if I'm remembering correctly, and he actually was on board with that before he (probably cynically?) attached to Christianity. And specifically to a Christian form of African-American socialism.

But the thing is, astute observers will notice some inconsistencies. For instance, in the tapes of the suicide he cites Huey Newton's Revolutionary Suicide to justify and explain the action. This is conspicuous because anyone who'd read the fucking book would know it's not about randomly killing yourselves en masse - he probably knew this and was betting on his followers having also not read the book or at least not understanding what the title referred to. There's a very obvious element of deception at play here.

he was a psychopath narcissist grifter rapist that used any excuse he could to get followers and then went down in flames when his brainwashimng was looked into.
don't look too deep into meaning with these guys, jeez
he's a record holder for cult deaths

As someone who has read just about every book about Jim Jones and even communicated back and forth with a few survivors, I'll respond:

As a child Jones was fascinated by the various Protestant churches in his rural community. His father was a disabled WWI vet whom Jones claimed belonged to the local KKK, whereas his mother was a worker who believed her son had supernatural abilities and would grow up to do great things (and reminded him of this "fact" regularly.)

Jones claimed he started reading up on Marxism after seeing the USSR suddenly denounced once WWII ended: 'Now, all of a sudden, the Russians are sons of bitches. I couldn’t buy that. So, the more I heard it, the more I studied what the hell this was all about. Communism. I didn’t even know what it meant. I began to read about Russia. In the school books I read something, and then they’d change the school books. Pull out one text, I remember, and put another passage in. And I read in there about Communism, and even the way they painted it, I said “Sounds mighty good to me. Sounds mighty good to me.'"

He claims he considered himself a communist in high school: "I got on my soap box for Marx, more Lenin than Marx, I didn’t know that much about Marx at that age. Hell Das Kapital was tough for me. . . . I entered Indiana University, and immediately became an activist. [Communist] Party organizer. Didn’t belong to the Party but I organized people to join the Party. Did a lot of work for the Party. It was decided, I guess by party leadership that I was not to join the Party."

At the same time, as McCarthyism was in full swing, Jones saw Christianity as a vehicle for political action. A New York Times article from 1977 quotes his wife: "Mr. Jones's Marxist twist to religion came to him when he was about 21 years old, his wife said. She said that he told her then that 'in order to bring people out of their superstition you have to give them a substitute.' She recalled that he pointed out that Jesus told the rich man, 'Sell what you have and give it to the poor.'" "'Jim, has used religion to try to get some people out of the opiate of religion,' she said. She quoted him as saying to her, 'Marcie, I've got to destroy this paper idol,' as he slammed down the Bible he held in his hand."

Thus, the rationale behind creating Peoples Temple. However, Jones (who behaved bizarrely even as a kid, stuff like coercing his friends to attend funerals of roadkill he'd hold in his makeshift "church services") turned his role as a minister into a cult leader. He wasn't content to just fake faith healings; he had trusted members go through a person's garbage or enter their house on a false pretext (e.g. car broke down), take note of personal items and letters, and then at a later date Jones would use his "miraculous" powers to tell someone something Jones supposedly had no way of knowing (like the color of the couch in their living room, the heart medication they took, the letter their aunt recently sent them, etc.)

The Temple's actual theology morphed into a rather un-Christian direction, with belief in reincarnation among other things. Jones claimed that the Bible as we know it was fabricated by King James to keep people oppressed and that Jones, as the reincarnation of Christ and Lenin (among others), was in touch with "actual" Christianity, with "real" religion. He taught that there was no such thing as a "Sky God," that Heaven would have to be created on this planet, and so on.

I wouldn't call him a "Christian communist" since, again, his theology was rather remotely Christian, and he privately claimed to be an atheist (albeit he simultaneously claimed he nonetheless had the power to heal people, see into the future, etc.) In Jonestown there was no religious iconography and Bibles were prohibited; by that point was just Jim Jones, with his "powers."

He privately claimed to be a Marxist-Leninist, although obviously he had a very… peculiar take on Marxism, and admitted that he wasn't very well read on the subject (he liked recommending "Introduction to Socialism" by Monthly Reviewer editors Huberman and Sweezy, and his knowledge of Marxism doesn't seem to have extended much beyond that text.)

As for what his "socialism" sounded like when he was in California, check out this sermon by him where he answers the question what the greatest contradiction is, race, religion or class: www-rohan.sdsu.edu/nas/streaming/dept/scuastaf/collections/peoplestemple/MP3/Q929.MP3

While his answer is somewhat simplistic by Marxist standards, it isn't difficult to see how he could captivate an audience which knows nothing about socialism.

Newton actually met with Jones a year before the mass murder-suicides. He was in exile in Havana at the time and Jones paid him a visit (as part of a Temple effort to examine life on the island), and even then Newton and Jones got into an argument over what "revolutionary suicide" meant. To quote myself elsewhere:

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He was just a careerist petty-bourg radical, like Pol Pot. He didn't have an ideology or principles, it was just personality politics that got fucking crazy

I didn't know about that meeting, that's crazy!

I’m seriously intrigued by the inability of westerners to comprehend Das Kapital. Most western “leftists” I encounter always say that the book is too hard to understand and most of their theory comes from beginner’s guide to leftist books like the manifesto or just straight up made it up as they go along. And the same can be said for anti-communists.

How can someone be for or against something when they know nothing about it in the first place?

Jones’ ideology looks like some weird combination of Posadism and Zig Forums pot what the shit.

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He didn't harbor a grudge against urban society like Pol Pot did, but yeah he exalted the supposedly more "natural" living conditions in Jonestown. To quote from an article he wrote about a year before the mass murder-suicides:

Of course Jones is exaggerating (Jonestown residents definitely didn't "have the best nutrition" and in fact there were medical problems associated with the unfavorable climate and poor variety of food), but there were residents of Jonestown who knew only poverty, racism and/or drug addiction back in the States and who, as far as they were concerned, were now in the best place of their life, despite its increasing hardships.

Jones actually did have a sort of Posadist fantasy back in the 1960s when he "prophesied" nuclear war and prepared his followers in military training, life in the wilderness, etc. in preparation for when they would supposedly emerge unscathed from a big ol' cave and take charge of society, building it anew on the principles of what Jones called "Apostolic Socialism."

But the nuclear war never came, and Jones became more interested in the idea of setting up a communal settlement abroad, hence Jonestown.

He was based and did nothing wrong. Once we reach full communism all seven billion of us will engage in mass-suicide per the glorious leader’s will

fuck off back to reddit, dengoid

There is a whole other side to the story that nobody has mentioned yet. These articles make a good argument that the "official narrative" regarding Jonestown is bogus


There's no evidence that either Jonestown was destroyed by the CIA or that the CIA itself set up Jonestown as some sort of "MKULTRA experiment."

Jones did claim that the CIA had it out for him, and obviously it'd make sense for the CIA and FBI to monitor Peoples Temple and/or Jonestown considering their avowed leftism and connections with "subversive" groups (Black Panthers, American Indian Movement, CPUSA, as well as the embassies of various socialist countries in Guyana), but as for having a hand in Jonestown's demise, no.

For example, the link you gave claims Green Berets were involved, but there's no evidence that Green Berets were in Guyana. See: jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=34281

Back to >>>/marx/

So your theory is that le crazy guy killed his own people because…? Makes total sense

None other than Jim Jones recorded himself ordering his aides to prepare the vat of poison, and urged his followers to take it as quickly as possible: jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=29084

You can hear screams of people dying from cyanide in the background of the tape. There are survivors who saw with their own eyes their friends and loved ones dying from the cyanide being swallowed or injected into them.

Not to mention that Jones himself constantly talked about "revolutionary suicide" and prepared his followers for the day in which they would be "forced" by external enemies to resort to it. For example, over a year before the mass murder-suicides took place Angela Davis had to persuade Jones to call off a threat to kill everyone: jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=19021

You don't consider it possible that Jones legitimately thought he was going to be massacred by state authorities and felt like this the only way to die with dignity? You might be right, but it seems too absurd to imagine that he would kill everybody for literally no reason

If you have to ask the question "what motivations did Jim Jones have to kill himself and his followers," you lack even a basic grasp of Jonestown that you could get from a minutes' reading on Wikipedia.

Long story short: relatives and ex-members of Peoples Temple were convinced Jonestown was a concentration camp and sought to rescue their loved ones from it. They had a Congressman named Leo Ryan visit to check on the allegations that people wee being held against their will. Once in Jonestown he found out that yes, there were indeed people being held against their will.

Jones believed this was the beginning of the end. In addition, there was a case in the Guyanese courts to bring John Victor (whom Jones claimed was his son whereas an ex-member claimed the child was his) out of Jonestown, and Jones made it clear he would never give up his son to outsiders.

As Jones complained on the aforementioned recording, "They won’t leave us alone. They’re now going back to tell more lies, which means more congressmen. And there’s no way, no way we can survive."

Jones had Congressman Ryan and members of the media that came with him executed. Then he argued that the residents of Jonestown either kill themselves or be killed or captured by the American army.

It's understandable that Jones felt pressured and legitimately thought a US government conspiracy was against the Temple and Jonestown. He regularly compared himself to figures like MLK and Malcolm X.

But it was Jim Jones and his close associates who killed people at Jonestown. Not the US government.


Yes, as I said earlier in the thread:

Hey, apologize! Nobody talks to Ismail like that!


The Mitrione coincidences are curious aren’t they? What do you think of his stay in Brazil?

There's a long article debunking the whole "Jim Jones was a CIA agent" stuff, including the supposed Mitrione stuff: jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=80865

Jones relocated to Brazil since he thought a nuclear war was coming in the United States and read in a magazine that a certain Brazilian region was a good spot to avoid the fallout of said war (this same magazine also suggested a location in California, which Jones later took up when he returned to the US.) His initial goal was to relocate Peoples Temple to Brazil, but that didn't pan out first because he didn't exactly have a thriving presence among Brazilians and second because he received letters from home saying he was losing control over his congregation to conservative pastors who were taking his place.

Revisionists like Ismail must be bullied off the board

Who cares? He was a cluster B person and as such was a parasite who gained high social status which he used to take wealth and females so that others lack them. They are going to adopt whatever is the most convenient for them to evolutionary out-compete others, if I had been in this shitty commune I would have shot him myself and fled to the police.

Fuck Ismail, he's a useless internet oppurtunist who sits at home sucking the dicks of all the global revisionists, including the imperialist-capitalist Xi Jinping


No. Platform. For. Dengists.

Not quite sure what makes me an "opportunist," unless you just like throwing words around.

I heard he was a DSA member.

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Hmm… based if you think about it. Hundreds of his followers were willing to kill themselves because they cared so much about Jim Jones' thought. Let's not be too judgemental here.

He had actually been a registered Republican in northern California, because he was in a rural area and tried to make nice with local politicians to avoid scrutiny. Then when he moved to San Francisco and Los Angeles he changed his party registration to Democrat.

But in private he attacked most bourgeois politicians as hypocrites and liars, e.g. he would attend a campaign event with Rosalynn Carter (Jimmy Carter's wife) but then later privately tell his congregation that Rosalynn wouldn't hesitate to put them into concentration camps.

As I noted earlier in this thread, Jones claimed to help out the CPUSA in the early 50s when he was in Indiana (and before he set up Peoples Temple.) Once he was in Guyana he supported the ruling People's National Congress (which had an ideology of "cooperative socialism" and was on friendly terms with Cuba and the DPRK) since it was the ruling party and provided cover for his activities. This was despite the fact that the PNC's rival was the Soviet-backed People's Progressive Party which was Marxist-Leninist and thus ostensibly closer to Jones' ideology.

Wtf - drop that krypto-colonialist BS already. Jeez…


Every time this subject comes up, I think of the only contribution /marx/ ever made to YouTube: youtube.com/watch?v=_QwKCBa2Gsc