Eileen Granfors's Reviews > A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown

A Thousand Lives by Julia Scheeres
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Nov 03, 11

bookshelves: biography, environment, families, highly-unusual, local-color, medical-issues, men, psychological-thriller, religion, war, women
Read from October 30 to November 02, 2011

goodreads giveaway. Looking forward to some insight here.


Insight and then some. The Jonestown mass suicide has haunted me since it happened. Though I read many magazine and newspaper accounts, Scheeres goes into the lives of those who joined Jim Jones. We see his early influence in building a following, the promise of freedom in their new colony in Guyana.

Once the people get to Guyana, it is not what they had expected. Jim Jones is following a downward spiral into drugs and madness. The congregation becomes not only fearful, but hungry: emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Their needs are not being met.

Intelligent people as well as the easily swayed outsiders joined this movement. Almost all met with death. Again, some went willingly and others were simply murdered.

The death of Congressman Ryan, investigating the outpost at the behest of families, is truly a tragic moment in the quest of goodness to outlast and overcome evil.

"A Thousand Lives" is well documented, told with a compassion towards the people, and definitely flags a warning to those who give over all their worldly goods to a megalomaniacal con man.
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