Posts Tagged ‘35th Anniversary’

SURVIVORSHIP – by Jonestown Survivor

SURVIVORSHIP I am a survivor. I have escaped many mishaps in my life as I learned about myself and the world I live in. The one I carry around with me at all times – really part of my living and breathing – is my survival from the death of the dream of Peoples Temple. I lost 913 of my very dearest friends and adopted family members and just escaped with my own life. I know the tragic stories of the other survivors and many of the families who lost their loved ones. ...

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Entering my Third Trimester of Life

MY THIRD TRIMESTER OF LIFE Today, I begin my last third of my life. I know it will be astounding, as the others have been. My first segment was my formative time – growing up, emerging from my mother’s womb and her day-to-day nourishment. And, it included my entering into the unknown while trying to find myself – and barely surviving the deaths in Jonestown, Guyana. These were my formative years. I learned about the person my mother trained me to be, and then I learned to be strong enough to survive an unimaginable experience and keep going. The second trimester, I ...

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JONESTOWN SURVIVOR – Has Evolving Perspective of Peoples Temple

Recently, a family member of another survivor contacted me. She said that she sensed that some of my reflections in my book have changed over these years. I published my book in March 2010. I wrote the book in 2009 and early 2010. I have changed in my understanding and feelings in several ways. Here was my response to her: When I went to PT, I was in heaven. I had already strayed enough - as you read in my book. When I went to PT, I had the integrated community, and wonderful friends ...

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JONESTOWN SURVIVOR 2014 Introductory Sheet

JONESTOWN SURVIVOR 2014 Introductory Sheet

When 914 members of Peoples Temple and four visiting Americans died in Guyana, South America on November 18, 1978, Laura Johnston Kohl survived. She was one of 87 who lived through the trauma. After participating with the Black Panthers, and attending Woodstock, Laura moved into Peoples Temple in California in 1970, and was an active and enthusiastic member until the day it ended. She moved to Guyana in March 1977. She frequently traveled between Georgetown and Jonestown, a 24-hour boat ride, but moved into Jonestown in October 1978. Laura’s survival was a fluke. It ...

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THE MORPHING OF PEOPLES TEMPLE SURVIVORS

THE MORPHING OF PEOPLES TEMPLE SURVIVORS As always when I write, I represent only my own opinion about things I see and reflect on. Some of what I say may not match your perspective – as fellow survivors or close friends. We survivors and family members just held the 35th anniversary gatherings of the calamity of Jonestown. Each year, the actual dynamics of the events on the anniversary vary widely, depending on who shows up to our community dinner and to the cemetery. The tone of the gathering really depends on those who are in the room ...

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JONESTOWN SURVIVOR Speaks at York College of PA

This article was posted in the YPC Spartan school newspaper about my visit to York College of PA on October 21, 2013. Jonestown Survivor Laura Johnston Kohl Visits York College of Pennsylvania By Melanie King November 18th, 1978 is a day that drastically changed Laura Johnston Kohl’s life; on that day, she and several others became survivors. Kohl was a guest speaker on the York College of Pennsylvania campus on October 24th, 2013. She talked about her life and her time with the Peoples Temple. Kohl’s life started in Washington, DC with a mother who was involved in politics and believed that we ...

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Sam Levin of East Bay Express writes about Evergreen Cemetery Panels

Sam Levin did a wonderful job of listening to all sides in this discussion of including Jim Jones' name on the panels recently placed at Evergreen Cemetery. The Long Division of Jonestown Survivors Thirty-five years after the horrific mass suicide in Guyana, former Peoples Temple members and relatives of the deceased are conflicted on the best way to honor the dead at the East Oakland gravesite. By Sam Levin @SamTLevin On May 29, 2011, Jim Jones Jr. felt a new kind of peace regarding the mass murder-suicide led by his father, the Reverend Jim Jones, three decades earlier. That Sunday two ...

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JONESTOWN SURVIVOR on Leadership

Transition of Leadership in Peoples Temple, the Branch Davidians, and Synanon by Laura Johnston Kohl I presented this paper to the Communal Studies Association Conference in Old Economy, Butler County, PA, on October 4, 2013. There are regulations and procedures for transitions of leadership in businesses, the military, politics, and mainstream churches. They existed as well – if in separate and distinctive ways – in three groups which are the subject of this paper. The “Transition of Leadership” in Peoples Temple, the Branch Davidians, and Synanon each developed uniquely. Jim Jones was the first leader of his own church, and – from ...

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JONESTOWN SURVIVOR Going on the Road

Dear Colleagues: I am one of the 87 Jonestown survivors. I have written my memoir and, along with teaching bilingual education, I travel around the country speaking at many universities and in other venues. In the past six months, I have addressed classes at Western Washington University, University of Puget Sound, Fresno Pacific University and in many libraries and other settings. I have presented in English, and, in Mexico City, in Spanish. I speak in New Religion, history, sociology, writing, and psychology classes. I am a survivor, a writer, a public speaker, a Board member of the Communal ...

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JONESTOWN SURVIVOR goes to Jury Duty

This week, this last week of September, I finished up jury duty for the San Diego Superior Court. It was really fascinating. It made me feel proud being part of this legal process. Last week, on Thursday, I was invited to appear at Jury Duty in downtown San Diego. I live about an hour away, during rush hour. I had the choice of appearing at a closer venue, in Vista, but opted for the express bus and downtown. After all, I am NEVER selected. For the past twenty years, I have been repeatedly asked to show up for Jury Duty, but ...

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