June 24, 2024 in News by RBN Staff

source:  blacklistednews

Published: June 23, 2024


There’s a new TV miniseries out on Hulu titled, “Cult Massacre: 24 Hours in Jonestown,” which details the rise of notorious cult leader Jim Jones, and the horrible mass-murder and mass-suicide that he ordered in Jonestown in 1978.

“Cult Massacre” was produced by Hulu, a subsidiary of Disney, and National Geographic, which is also owned by Disney.

spoiler alert

The story begins in California, delivering a speed-run introduction to Jim Jones, the leader of the Jones-launched “Peoples Temple,” describing him as an inspiring Christian reverend who brought congregants into the fold through raw charisma and a sense of renewed purpose.

There are some allusions to the fact that the 60s and 70s were very divisive times in America, but the filmmakers did not go into detail about what exactly it was that separated this “church” from the other churches throughout California.

Most notably, it was that Jim Jones was an avowed Marxist, and that he preyed upon impoverished black American with the promise of a more just and more equal society under socialism and communism.

By the 1970s, Jones came to reject virtually the whole of Christianity, and publicly reoriented his worldview and his “church” around communist principles. Of course, as a proper cult leader, he insisted that he was a deity, and that he was brought to earth to advance socialism and communism.

In “Cult Massacre,” the viewer quickly discovers that Jones, like most communist leaders past and present, was a power-hungry sociopath.

But unfortunately, the people behind the documentary misrepresented through omission and wildly muddied the waters around the ideology guiding Jones and his “church.” They did a good job making it clear that Jones was wildly mentally unstable, and overall, a complete and total lunatic. Yet somehow, the ideas that he most fervently promoted never made it into the script.

“Cult Massacre” completely skips over the real ideology that Jones publicly declared, over and over again, that was governing his cult. Additionally, the production team sprinted past the Peoples Temple’s shockingly robust connections to the Democratic Party.

For quite some time, The People’s Temple was effectively leveraged as a campaign arm of the Democratic Party.

Jim Jones met with Walter Mondale during his Presidential Campaign.

Kamala Harris’s “mentor,” Willie Brown, was his biggest defender, having met with Jones over a dozen times. Brown protected Jones from legal and political scruitny and even suggested appointing him to state office.

Former California Govenor Jerry Brown also acted as a political patron to Jim Jones.

The Hollywood-revered leftist Angela Jones, who the corporate media often labels a “humanitarian,” gave a fiery defense of Jim Jones just months before the massacre.

And the list goes on.

Noticeably, the docuseries makes no real attempt to elaborate on why or how the upper echelons of the Democratic Party got so close to Jim Jones.

It isn’t until around halfway through the series that the audience is given the smallest of hints that Jim Jones was a devoted communist revolutionary. In the clip, Jones references his “Red Brigade,” which refers to his armed guard that gunned down a visiting U.S. congressman outside of Jonestown.

Jones’s connection to communism would only come up one more time (from my recollection). When the Jonestown massacre was occuring, it was mentioned that Jones dispatched a Jonestown resident to deliver suitcases of cash to the Soviet embassy in Guyana. But it’s described as a way to “stick it to America” one last time, and not as a means to show a continued commitment to communist ideals.

For Jones and his followers, it was both the cult of personality that surrounded Jones, and the ideology of communism that drew them together. Ultimately, it was those two combined forces that sent the people of Jonestown to their horrific fate.

Jim Jones said of Jonestown: “I believe we’re the purest communists there are.” His wife described Jonestown as “dedicated to live for socialism” and “total economic and racial and social equality.” The people of Jonestown left the United States to live in a remote area of Guyana because they were dedicated to communism, and it was Jim Jones’s aspiration to these “ethics” that led to over 1,000 Americans to pack up their things and move to the jungle of South America.

Those familiar with the history of communism know all too well how the “purest” attempts to pursue communist governance ultimately end up. From China to Ethiopia to Russia to Cambodia to North Korea and beyond, it always leads to poverty, misery, and lots of violence. Jonestown was no exception to the rule that has followed attempts to install revolutionary communist societies. The Russians had Stalin. The Chinese had Mao. The Cambodians had the Khmer Rouge. The devoted utopians of Jonestown fell victim to Jim Jones, just as the revolutionaries who came before them fell prey to their respective leaders.

With all of that being said, “Cult Massacre” is still worth watching, as the miniseries is super compelling, maintains stellar production quality, and pulled in an impressive roster of former cult members and eyewitnesses. But the story massages over the guiding ideological light for Jim Jones and his followers, leaving those in the know with a bad taste in their mouth. If you’re going to watch the show, at least you now know what was left out.