JONESTOWN SURVIVOR Writing for Jonestown Report

I am excited, and determined, this week to finish up two articles for THE JONESTOWN REPORT (November 2016 on-line edition). One article will be a review of Eusi Kwayana's A NEW LOOK AT JONESTOWN, from the Guyanese perspective. I love Eusi and his wife Tchaiko, who have been mentors (to me and to my son Raul) over the years as I tried to be a teacher who opened my students' eyes to the "REAL" history taking place all around us. I get to re-visit his book and all the reasons I felt enriched after reading it, as it evolved before being published.

The second article is a comparison between the leaders of the two cults I have lived in – Jim Jones in Peoples Temple, and Chuck Dederich in Synanon. I am going to approach it in Venn Diagram format – what were their similarities, and what were their differences? I have many entries in both areas. I acknowledge that power corrupts. After living in both Peoples Temple and Synanon for ten years each, I have many reflections and thoughts. Since I have many contacts from both groups, other Peoples Temple survivors, and former Synanon residents, I have continued to gain more insights.

I can't wait to take these on. I have other writing to do – teaching a class on the 1970s and looking at Peoples Temple in its historical perspective for a 4-hour OSHER class at U of Utah, and a presentation at the Communal Studies Association Conference on Peoples Temple as a "Millennialist" community.

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