Posts Tagged ‘communal groups’

JONESTOWN SURVIVOR VISITS HEALDSBURG LIBRARY

An Insider’s Look at Jonestown on NOVEMBER 21, 2014 Thirty-four years after Jonestown, the repercussions of the mass suicide in Guyana still resonate. Over 900 members of the People’s Temple and four visiting Americans – including a member of the U.S. House of Representatives – died literally “drinking the kool-aid.” For Laura Kohl, a survivor of the Peoples Temple calamity, it was as personal as it could be. An idealist and activist for civil rights, Kohl met Jim Jones, the head of the People’s Temple, and joined the cult first in California, later following the messianic leader to South America. Her survival was a “fluke” she says today, of ...

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JONESTOWN ANNIVERSARIES

JONESTOWN ANNIVERSARIES                The 36th anniversary of Jonestown just passed. As the anniversaries move in to the more distant past, the ceremonies at Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland change too. We have two groups of former members, family members, and friends who gather each November 18. The morning group meets at 11 a.m. and is led by Reverend Jynona Norwood. She drives up from LA with a group of her parishioners, shares messages from some local or regional political leaders, and gathers with a handful of people more closely involved with the past. She lost many relatives in Jonestown. From Day 1, ...

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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 Presenting at Communal Studies Association Conference

I have been presenting my scholarly research papers at the Communal Studies Association Conference for seven years. Two years ago, I was elected to the Board of Directors of the CSA. This year, the Conference will be in Amana, Iowa on October 9-11. The conference theme this year is: “Form Follows Faith: The Influence of Belief on the Architecture and Crafts of American Communal Societies.” Papers that explore the ways in which religious and social beliefs and ideals informed the distinctive community and social organization, architecture, crafts and other products of communal societies are encouraged. Laura Johnston ...

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JONESTOWN SURVIVOR VISITS THE SOUTHEAST USA

JONESTOWN SURVIVOR VISITS U OF TENNESSEE-CHATTANOOGA AND THE AREA I have just returned from a wonderful Jonestown Survivor: An Insider’s Look book tour in Georgia and Tennessee. I was invited to speak to Psychology classes at University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, and I contacted other local venues to set up speaking engagements. My husband and I arrived at the Atlanta airport and drove the two hours to Athens. An Athens Quaker family provided serene housing in the countryside of Danielsville. On April 12, I spoke to a gathering of the Athens Society of Friends. I was delighted to ...

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JONESTOWN SURVIVOR – on examiner.com

Join “Never a Niche Live” on March 13 at 8 pm Pacific time to learn more about the life inside Peoples Temple and Jonestown through Laura Johnston Kohl’s experiences. Vicki Perry will interview Laura! from examiner.com: March 9, 2014 Everyone has heard the term, "drinking the Kool-Aid." This phrase has become part of American lexicon, although most people who use the term have no idea where it began. Jonestown is a term used to describe an agricultural project and town that was being built within the triple canopy rain forest of Guyana, South America. Peoples Temple moved almost 1,000 people of the congregation ...

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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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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 NOTES PEOPLES TEMPLE LEGACY

A FURTHER LEGACY OF PEOPLES TEMPLE The 35th anniversary of the deaths in Guyana is this November 18, 2013. Many of us continue to be haunted by that day. We survivors have each found our own way to memorialize the event, and certainly those lives lost. My own way, for these last fifteen years, is to discuss it and reflect on it. Sometimes, I speak publicly about my involvement in Peoples Temple. Sometimes, I do it with fellow survivors, sometimes I do it with chosen friends. Since I first was able to raise my head ...

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JONESTOWN SURVIVOR is a Proud Member of the Occupy Movement

I am a proud member of the Occupy Movement. Why? This vignette tells it all. I have a friend who has spent her life caretaking – AIDS patients, her daughter, many others during her lifetime. We sit at different activist events and I am delighted to share the table/bench/banner with her. Last week, she attended an event in our local park – a green park with swings and kids’ climbing equipment, a railroad museum, and multitudes of homeless men and women. The event was to bring attention to some of the voiceless in our society – ...

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