Jonestown survivors lost only life they knew, built new ones
OAKLAND, Calif. – The mass murders and suicides of more than 900 people at Jonestown in Guyana, South America, took place 40 years ago this week.
Dozens of Peoples Temple members survived because they had slipped out of the settlement or happened to be away on Nov. 18, 1978.
Those raised in the temple or who joined as teens lost the only life they knew: church, jobs, housing — and most of all, family and friends.
Plunged into a new world, they have journeyed through grief over lost loved ones, feeling like pariahs and building new lives.
Some have come to acknowledge that many had a role in enabling the Rev. Jim Jones to seize control over his followers and orchestrate the horrible mass murders and suicides that remain nearly unimaginable even today.