(UPDATED – first posted late 2010) Jim Jones was a hard-core atheist/socialist. It wasn’t a “religious cult,” rather, it was a cult in Marxian ideology. Here is one example from a sermon of his:
Remember, as NATIONAL REVIEW makes the point, “Willie Brown, Walter Mondale, and Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter ranked high among his [Jim Jones] supporters.” Continuing with the line of historical connections between “Leftism” and Jim Jones, NR also clearly reports that the media still gets their biased views mixed up with reality:
…But the first draft of history depicted the political fanatics as Christian fanatics, despite the group’s explicit atheism and distribution of Bibles in Jonestown for bathroom use. The words “fundamentalist Christianity” were used in a New York Times article to describe Jones’s preaching. The Associated Press called the dead “religious zealots.” Specials on CBS and NBC at the time neglected to mention the Marxism that animated Peoples Temple.
Beyond the ideology that inspired Peoples Temple’s demise, the media whitewashed the politicians who aided and abetted them.
Learning that San Francisco mayor George Moscone appointed Jim Jones to the city’s Housing Authority Commission, a body of which he quickly became chairman, piqued my curiosity, which led to my writing Cult City: Jim Jones, Harvey Milk, and 10 Days That Shook San Francisco. This revelation, particularly shocking in light of the fate of his tenants in Jonestown, led me to come across this: Willie Brown, who would become the speaker of the California State Assembly and then mayor of San Francisco, compared Jim Jones to Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. Harvey Milk described Jonestown as “a beautiful retirement community” helping to “alleviating the world food crisis.” California lieutenant governor Mervyn Dymally actually made a pilgrimage to Jonestown that led to a gushing reaction typical of ideological tourists.
The politically inspired delusions of San Francisco Democrats proved contagious. Jimmy Carter’s running mate, Walter Mondale, met with Jim Jones in San Francisco in 1976. Carter’s wife, Rosalynn, found Jones so impressive that she campaigned with him, ate with him, allowed him to introduce her during a campaign speech, telephoned him, and put him in touch with her sister-in-law, Ruth Carter Stapleton. Friends in high places suppressed investigations in the United States, misled officials in Guyana into dismissing allegations against the lunatic in their midst, and biased State Department hands into siding with Jones in his fight with outraged relatives of the captives in his concentration camp….