Skip to comments.From Silver Lake to Suicide: One Family's Secret History of the Jonestown Massacre
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. Im the administrator of the medical system in Jonestown. Its the most exciting thing Ive 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 weve 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 Ive 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 ...
Followers of one totalitarian movement easy prey for another.
San Francisco gave us the Manson Family (before they moved to LA), Scientology, and Jim Jones’ Peoples’ Temple.
“...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”.
Sounds like that’s the sump into which the craziest people in California tend to drain . . . yikes!
“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.
Regardless of their politicalbeliefs, first and foremost...they were all cuckoo losers.
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.
Jim Jones was an Indiana preacher who got his start in Chicago.
How do people get so impressionable
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.
And his grandson is still a pretty decent basketball player.
"Freedom is slavery." George Orwell, 1984.
Barack Obama has said he will call it The People’s House.
“I expect that the White House will be the People’s House.”
“...Most Reds prefer that OTHER people commit suicide...”
Ha! Good point.
And Charles Manson was a career criminal born in Ohio and raised in Kentucky.
Where the did People’s Temple operate?
Sounds very familiar.
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.
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?
Indianapolis in 1952.
Then it moved to SF in 1975.
I think he centered around Michigan City and Chicago during the 1960s.
Thanks - looks interesting & I’m pinging it for later.
Thanks, it was a great read.
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.
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...
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