JONESTOWN SURVIVOR – Why Revisit Jonestown and Guyana?

 

Jonestown Survivor – many Jonestown survivors – will return to Guyana for a Visit, Likely in March 2016

I have been in contact with many survivors who plan to go back to Guyana, on an arranged trip, in March 2016. In response to some of the concerns people brought up, I have thought more about why I am interested in going. This is what I wrote to those already committed to go, and those who are making up their minds now.

Hi everyone,

A couple of people have spoken to Melissa, and/or me about thoughts about the return trip to Guyana. Really, this is my bottom line. I don't think that another trip will happen for me. This one is the one. I look forward to many parts of it. I want to see Jonestown one last time, and have time to myself as I reflect on what we had there, both good and bad. I never went back to Jonestown after everything happened. Really, Jonestown was my home, not Georgetown.

Another important part has to do with the friendships I developed in Peoples Temple – before, during, and with the survivors afterwards. I have searched and I have made many, many intimate friends over these last thirty-seven years. Nothing really comes close to the Peoples Temple friendships. It is awesome to me that we are so diverse – not just racially, or age-wise, but in our unique and individual perspectives of what happened. We cover all points of view and remain friends. Peoples Temple brought us together in spite of our differences, from the beginning. Even with all the other positives in my life today, I treasure that part of Peoples Temple – knowing and despairing that only we survivors can share that now. We live in different parts of the country, and we are aging ourselves and losing others who were part of this journey. I look forward to that brief time that we can share this experience together, and I feel like the time is right. I am not so interested in making the trip alone.

The last part has to do with my intense desire to record our history in a Peoples Temple Archive. It does not fix the horror. But, our history acknowledges what we know – that wonderful, smart, dedicated people were sacrificed. I feel that the more we can give people a look at who we were, what we wanted, why we worked so hard, and how the unimaginable happened – all of it will educate those who are curious about what really happened. I am really excited about adding this to our Peoples Temple Archive.

The very next step is to sign the contracts that Melissa Thrasher and Ken Musen handed out on Monday in Oakland, and that we have sent out electronically. Nothing moves until they have confirmations from those of us who want to go on this trip. I sent mine out yesterday.

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