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The Ghosts of November

Samples from Chapter One

Life in the Tropics


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Jones regarded any disagreement with his dictates to be "treason." According to Blakey, he labeled any person who left the church a "traitor" and "fair game." He is said to have maintained that punishment for defection from the organization was death. Severe corporal punishment was frequently meted out to Temple members, giving the death threats a frightening air of reality.

Jones began to see himself as the victim of a consiracy. His identification of the conspirators would frequently change, depending upon what vision of the world he held on a particular day. He told members of his congregation, that because he was their leader and he was the victim of a conspiracy, they too were targets. He told black Temple members that if they did not follow him to Guyana, they would be put in concentration camps and killed.

According to Blakey, "White Temple members were instilled with the belief their names appeared on a secret list of enemies of the state that was kept by the CIA and that they would be tracked down, tortured, imprisoned, and subsequently killed if they did not flee to Guyana."

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Jones would declare a "White Night" or state of emergency at least once a week. This was ushered in by the blaring of loud sirens that would awaken the entire population of Jonestown. Jones' trusted lieutenants would move from cottage to cottage and make sure everyone was responding. All the residents would gather in the Pavilion for a mass meeting where they would be informed by Jones of some new crisis...

"We would be told that the jungle was swarming with mercenaries and that death could be expected at any minute," reported Blakey.

These "White Nights" were bizarre rehearsals for the real moment when Jones would have his doctor and nurses dispense a potion of cyanide combined with strong anticonvulsants, sedatives, hypnotics, tranquilizers and muscle relaxants mixed, not with grape Kool-Ade from the United States as popularly reported, but with Fla-Vor-Ade, a powdered drink mix manufactured in the United Kingdom.



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