Photo Gallery: Who Was Jim Jones?

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Charismatic, politically savvy, visionary, persuasive, persecuted, manipulative, abusive of women, abusive of drugs, and, finally, murderous. Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones carefully revealed only as much of himself as he needed to to any given audience — his inner circle, the larger congregation, local politicians, or his various female companions. Much of the time he hid behind his sunglasses and let others project their hopes and fears onto him.

http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_01.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_01_t.jpg|

Jim Jones speaking in 1972. He captivated followers with his vision of a coming social revolution, and convinced them to give up their decision making to him.

|From the Peoples Temple Collection, Courtesy of the California Historical Society;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_02.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_02_t.jpg|

Temple member Venus Harris holds up a sign in support of Rev. Jim Jones.

|From the Peoples Temple Collection, Courtesy of the California Historical Society;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_03.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_03_t.jpg|

Jim Jones holds the hand of an elderly woman in this 1973 photo.

|From the Peoples Temple Collection, Courtesy of the California Historical Society;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_04.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_04_t.jpg|

Peoples Temple offered just token financial contributions to politicians and various causes, but Jones’ ability to mobilize volunteers and guarantee large crowds led many civic leaders to invite Jones to appear on stage with them.

|James W. Jones Jr.;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_05.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_05_t.jpg|

Jim Jones stands with a group behind San Francisco mayor George Moscone.

|From the Peoples Temple Collection, Courtesy of the California Historical Society;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_06.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_06_t.jpg|

An article about Jones’ political power appeared in the San Francisco Examiner in 1977.

|The San Francisco Examiner;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_07.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_07_t.jpg|

A woman washes a Peoples Temple bus that displays a sign about brotherhood. Jones’ inclusiveness appealed to many. He rallied against the Supreme Court’s Bakke decision, which limited how race could be used in university admission policies, denounced South Africa’s Apartheid government, and allied himself with groups fighting anti-Semitism and homophobia.

|From the Peoples Temple Collection, Courtesy of the California Historical Society;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_08.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_08_t.jpg|

Peoples Temple included this photo of the Rev. Jim Jones surrounded by a racially diverse group of children in one of its brochures.

|From the Peoples Temple Collection, Courtesy of the California Historical Society;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_09.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_09_t.jpg|

Jim Jones stands next to California politician Jerry Brown.

|From the Peoples Temple Collection, Courtesy of the California Historical Society;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_10.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_10_t.jpg|

Peoples Temple meetings often featured healings. To the believers in the audience, they reinforced Jones’ power and legitimacy. However, many of those healed were Temple members who had been instructed to come in disguise or feign an illness.

|From the Peoples Temple Collection, Courtesy of the California Historical Society;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_11.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_11_t.jpg|

Jim Jones embraces an elderly African American woman in his congregation.

|From the Peoples Temple Collection, Courtesy of the California Historical Society;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_12.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_12_t.jpg|

Jim Jones jumps in the air during a Peoples Temple service.

|From the Peoples Temple Collection, Courtesy of the California Historical Society;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_13.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_13_t.jpg|

Jim Jones’ insistence that the Peoples Temple was always on the verge of attack by American authorities probably helped to unite his congregation and consolidate his power. In fact, by 1976 Treasury Department officials had begun investigating the organization.

|From the Peoples Temple Collection, Courtesy of the California Historical Society;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_14.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_14_t.jpg|

Jim Jones stands next to his son Stephan and two other men.

|From the Peoples Temple Collection, Courtesy of the California Historical Society;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_15.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_15_t.jpg|

Jim Jones stands with others at Jonestown, Guyana on November 18, 1978, the day Peoples Temple members carried out the largest mass murder-suicide in history.

|The San Francisco Examiner;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_16.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/jonestown_gallery_16_t.jpg|

Peoples Temple members pick up trash off the street. On existing tapes of staff meetings, Jones did not give direct orders to his staff but instead let others suggest courses of action that would “please Father.”

|From the Peoples Temple Collection, Courtesy of the California Historical Society

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