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same time that Jones’s Temple went out of its way to forge alliances with Huey Newton of the Black Panthers and Angela Davis of the Communist Party.25 A congressional report showed that various agencies had “target populations” in mind for individual and mass control including blacks and young people.26 By 1972, Jones had brought his preaching talents to San Francisco. Four years later—at the same time he started putting Temple funds into Panamanian and Swiss banks—Jones leased some 4,000 acres from the Guyanese government. Forbes Burnham, the prime minister who’d come to power with help from the CIA, approved the deal. Weirdly, the location in Guyana’s Northwest district was virtually the same place where, back in 1845, a Reverend Smith had brought together the native population to tell them that the end of time was at hand. When this didn’t happen, 400 of Smith’s followers committed mass suicide, supposedly believing they’d be resurrected as white people.27 Whether Jones was aware of this, nobody knows. It was a place of either bad karma or heavy voodoo, I’m not sure which. Jones became a fairly prominent figure, even getting appointed to San Francisco’s Human Rights Commission, with a testimonial dinner in his honor. At the same time, though, there were rumors of heavyhanded cult tactics being employed. He didn’t head for Guyana with his nearly one thousand followers until July 1977, when New West magazine was putting together an exposé of the People’s Temple. Things soon got mighty strange in the jungle compound. Jones set up loudspeakers all over and would do long readings and speeches. A State Department officer who paid a visit reported that members seemed “drugged and robot-like in their reactions to questions and, generally, in their behavior towards us visitors.”28 Congressman Ryan first heard rumblings about abuses of Americans in Jonestown from Deborah Layton, who’d been in charge of the finances in Jones’s inner circle before she “defected.” She was the daughter of Dr. Laurence Layton, former chief of the army’s Chemical Warfare Division. 29 When Ryan decided to have a personal look, at first the State Department stonewalled him. After he arrived along with a national news crew, he was met by Richard Dwyer, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy. Dwyer accompanied Ryan to the compound for a twoday visit, and was present when the congressman and his party were later ambushed at the airport—also at the massacre itself. Jones, in the “Last Tape” transcribed by the FBI, can be heard amid wailing and screams exhorting his followers to take their lives and also saying: “Get Dwyer out of here before something happens to him!”30

Profile for HAROLD ARROYO, JR.

AMERICAN CONSPIRACIES, LIES AND DECEPTION FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, JESSE VENTURA  

AMERICAN CONSPIRACIES, LIES AND DECEPTION FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, JESSE VENTURA  

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