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From Silver Lake to Suicide: One Family's Secret History of the Jonestown Massacre
L.A. Weekly ^ | October 22, 2008 | Barry Isaacson

Posted on 10/28/2008 9:25:05 AM PDT by forkinsocket

A cache of letters hidden in the basement brings to life a house, a family and the tragedy that would change everything

“Dear Folks,” the letter begins, “I think of you when I hear a Beethoven symphony or the words of a childhood hero repeated and more beautiful as I approach my forties. The strength and principles you planted into me at an early age, though inconsistent with the larger culture I grew up in, is now flowering in fertile soil. I see your faces in my mind and remember the courage both of you demonstrated during the McCarthy period when you were alone. How fortunate that Gail and David can grow up in a community that supports their ideals — it shows — they are so strong and independent, you would be proud. I work hard. I’m the administrator of the medical system in Jonestown. It’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. There is a song we sing that begins, ‘It feels good to rise with the morning sun,’ and ends, ‘It feels good to see all the work we’ve done and to know the future is now,’ it sums up my feelings about my life here. I am thousands of miles from you, the electronic communications are limited between us, but I am more your daughter than I’ve ever been before.”

The letter, signed simply “Phyllis,” is written to her parents, Herbert and Freda Alexander, who raised their only child in the hills above the Silver Lake reservoir. It is dated April 15, 1978, when Phyllis Chaikin was 39 years old, her husband, Gene, 45, and their children, Gail and David, 17 and 15.

(Excerpt) Read more at laweekly.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: deathcult; godsocialist; jimjones; jonestown; koolaid; letters; massacre; sanfransicko; sfvalues; socialism; starkravingsocialism
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1 posted on 10/28/2008 9:25:05 AM PDT by forkinsocket
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To: forkinsocket

Redefine koolaid.


2 posted on 10/28/2008 9:26:11 AM PDT by Sundog (Palin --- She who can shoot a moose can shoot a Russian bear.)
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To: forkinsocket
What's interesting is that so many of the people discussed in the article were communists before they fell under the spell of Jones.

Followers of one totalitarian movement easy prey for another.

3 posted on 10/28/2008 9:32:01 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse - TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: AnAmericanMother

San Francisco gave us the Manson Family (before they moved to LA), Scientology, and Jim Jones’ Peoples’ Temple.


4 posted on 10/28/2008 9:37:29 AM PDT by weegee (Barack Hussein Obama is a SOCIALIST.)
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To: AnAmericanMother

“...Followers of one totalitarian movement easy prey for another.”

Actually they fell for the same as Jones was a communist. Listen to his final recorded audio and try to pick up any religious statement or allusion....there are none but there are references to communism and socialism. They committed “revolutionary suicide”.


5 posted on 10/28/2008 9:40:00 AM PDT by Monterrosa-24 (...even more American than a French bikini and a Russian AK-47.)
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To: weegee

Sounds like that’s the sump into which the craziest people in California tend to drain . . . yikes!


6 posted on 10/28/2008 9:40:56 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse - TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: weegee

“San Francisco gave us the Manson Family (before they moved to LA), Scientology, and Jim Jones’ Peoples’ Temple.”

And don’t forget that the Bay area gave us the Symbionese Liberation Army and all those great influences from the Haight and those others from the Castro.


7 posted on 10/28/2008 9:42:41 AM PDT by Monterrosa-24 (...even more American than a French bikini and a Russian AK-47.)
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To: AnAmericanMother

Regardless of their politicalbeliefs, first and foremost...they were all cuckoo losers.


8 posted on 10/28/2008 9:42:43 AM PDT by stuartcr (Election year.....Who we gonna hate, in '08?)
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To: Monterrosa-24

The word “People’s” in the name is a dead giveaway, although you have to say they weren’t your average bunch of commies. Most Reds prefer that OTHER people commit suicide — with their assistance and approval, of course.


9 posted on 10/28/2008 9:44:20 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse - TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: weegee

Jim Jones was an Indiana preacher who got his start in Chicago.


10 posted on 10/28/2008 9:45:10 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: forkinsocket

How do people get so impressionable


11 posted on 10/28/2008 9:48:56 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heros have always been cowboys--Reagan and Bush)
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To: forkinsocket
From the article:
Jones was beginning to use astonishing powers of suggestion, persuasion and manipulation to establish a kind of alternative social universe among his followers, and by the mid-’70s, liberal-minded individualists like the Chaikins and the Janaros had been conditioned to accept — without protest — punishment of adults by public spankings during temple meetings, as well as Jones’ practice of sodomizing young men in order to humiliate them into absolute loyalty. Jones had a keen sense of the power of transgression, and he realized that bondage could be successfully repackaged as freedom.

12 posted on 10/28/2008 9:49:13 AM PDT by Steely Tom (RKBA: last line of defense against vote fraud)
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To: SJSAMPLE
Jim Jones was an Indiana preacher who got his start in Chicago.

And his grandson is still a pretty decent basketball player.

13 posted on 10/28/2008 9:50:34 AM PDT by CT-Freeper (Said the frequently disappointed but ever optimistic Mets fan.)
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To: Steely Tom
he realized that bondage could be successfully repackaged as freedom.

"Freedom is slavery." George Orwell, 1984.

L

14 posted on 10/28/2008 9:51:16 AM PDT by Lurker (She's not a lesbian, she doesn't whine, she doesn't hate her country, and she's not afraid of guns.)
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To: AnAmericanMother

Barack Obama has said he will call it The People’s House.

“I expect that the White House will be the People’s House.”


15 posted on 10/28/2008 9:52:08 AM PDT by weegee (Barack Hussein Obama is a SOCIALIST.)
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To: AnAmericanMother

“...Most Reds prefer that OTHER people commit suicide...”

Ha! Good point.


16 posted on 10/28/2008 9:52:25 AM PDT by Monterrosa-24 (...even more American than a French bikini and a Russian AK-47.)
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To: SJSAMPLE

And Charles Manson was a career criminal born in Ohio and raised in Kentucky.

Where the did People’s Temple operate?


17 posted on 10/28/2008 9:53:12 AM PDT by weegee (Barack Hussein Obama is a SOCIALIST.)
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To: forkinsocket
Peoples Temple’s nominal affiliation with the Disciples of Christ further solidified its reputation as a “black church.” Devout African-American families, recruited both in Indiana and California, were welcomed; many were already comfortable within Jones’ religious world. At this moment, however, the organization’s cultural center of gravity was about to undergo a radical shift reflecting Jones’ now apparent disillusionment with religion, a shift that would have been inconceivable without the professional and educational resources of a core group of atheist middle-class white liberals like Gene Chaikin, who were raised to address social injustice via secular activism rather than organized religion.

Sounds very familiar.

18 posted on 10/28/2008 9:54:54 AM PDT by 6SJ7 (Welcome PUMAs!)
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To: forkinsocket
Phyllis Chaikin's parents are portrayed as victims here.

They were Communists and they wholeheartedly supported the mass murders planned and carried out by Josef Stalin.

It is not surprising that these bloodthirsty automatons had a daughter who became a bloodthirsty automaton - murdering her own children out of devotion to her own Stalin, Jim Jones.

19 posted on 10/28/2008 9:54:59 AM PDT by wideawake (Why is it that those who like to be called Constitutionalists know the least about the Constitution?)
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To: weegee
I read an article (forgot the source) where it mentioned how Rev. Jim Jones had the Mayor, DA and other VIPs supporting him. Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who now appears as an “expert” on CNN and MSNBC, supported Jim Jones before and after the “suicides.”
20 posted on 10/28/2008 9:57:16 AM PDT by apocalypto
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To: apocalypto
I read an article (forgot the source) where it mentioned how Rev. Jim Jones had the Mayor, DA and other VIPs supporting him. Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who now appears as an “expert” on CNN and MSNBC, supported Jim Jones before and after the “suicides.”

The article also points out Jones' bringing about his communards' support for Moscone, who appointed Harvey Milk, who both convenientlly became martyrs for the (disguised) communist cause. Dianne Feinstein, president of the Board of Supervisors, succeeded to replace Moscone as Mayor, and the rest is history.

Oh, except for that the trial of the assassin gave us the now-renowned term, the Twinkie defense.

See what happens when you hang around with communists, children?

21 posted on 10/28/2008 10:14:05 AM PDT by Albion Wilde ("Stand up and fight. We're Americans, and we never give up."--John McCain acceptance speech)
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: weegee

Indianapolis in 1952.
Then it moved to SF in 1975.
I think he centered around Michigan City and Chicago during the 1960s.


23 posted on 10/28/2008 10:40:24 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: forkinsocket

Thanks - looks interesting & I’m pinging it for later.


24 posted on 10/28/2008 10:47:41 AM PDT by leapfrog0202
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To: forkinsocket

Thanks, it was a great read.


25 posted on 10/28/2008 11:59:35 AM PDT by Creme Brulee
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To: Monterrosa-24

Communist all the way. I read a book by one of his close confidantes, Deborah Layton. She was lucky enough to escape. Before it hit the fan, Jones’ goal was to move to the USSR or Cuba. The Soviets told him to get lost, if I recall correctly.


26 posted on 10/28/2008 1:20:34 PM PDT by JZelle
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To: forkinsocket

The communist parents of Phyllis Alexander Chaikin were cold fish. Did you read the last letter they wrote to her? They also never claimed her body or those of their grandchildren. Brrrrrr...


27 posted on 10/28/2008 9:47:03 PM PDT by TenthAmendmentChampion (Lord please bless our nation with John McCain as president and Sarah Palin as Vice President! Amen.)
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