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Main Article: Jonestown In the summer of 1977, Jones and most of the 1,000 members of the Peoples Temple moved to Guyana from San Francisco after an investigation into the church for tax evasion was begun. Jones named the closed settlement Jonestown after himself. His intention was to create an agricultural utopia in the jungle, free from racism and based on quasi-communist principles. Jones told his followers to think of him as the incarnation of Christ and God. People who had left the organization prior to its move to Guyana told the authorities of brutal beatings, murders and of a mass suicide plan, but were not believed. In spite of the tax evasion allegations, Jones was still widely respected for setting up a racially mixed church which helped the disadvantaged. Around 70% of the inhabitants of Jonestown were black and impoverished. The religious scholar Mary McCormick Maaga argued that Jones' authority waned after he moved to the isolated commune, because there he was not needed anymore for recruitment and he could not hide his drug addiction from rank and file members. Consequently, he lost some of his power to inner-circle members, according to McCormick Maaga. In November 1978, U.S. Representative Leo Ryan led a fact-finding mission to the Jonestown settlement in Guyana after allegations by relatives in the U.S. of human rights abuses. Ryan's delegation arrived in Jonestown on November 14 and spent three days interviewing residents. They left hurriedly on the morning of Saturday November 18 after an attempt was made on Ryan's life. They took with them roughly twenty Peoples Temple members who wished to leave. Delegation members later told police that, as they were boarding planes at the airstrip, a truckload of Jones' armed guards arrived and began to shoot at them. When the gunmen left five people were dead: Representative Ryan, a reporter from NBC, a cameraman from NBC, a newspaper photographer and one defector from the Peoples Temple. The present-day California State Senator Jackie Speier, a staff member for Rep. Ryan in 1978, CIA officer Richard Dwyer and a producer for NBC News, Bob Flick, survived the attack. Later that same day, the remaining 914 inhabitants of Jonestown, 276 of them children, committed mass suicide that Jones referred to as "revolutionary suicide" on Jones's instructions by drinking cyanide-laced Flavor Aid, by forced cyanide injection, or by shooting. Jones was found dead with a shot in the head, sitting in a deck chair. The autopsy on his body showed levels of the barbiturate pentobarbital that could have been lethal to humans who have not developed physiological tolerance. His drug abuse (including various LSD and marijuana experimentations) was confirmed by his son, Stephan, and Jones' doctor in San Francisco.
Jones was married to Marceline Jones. They had one biological son, Stephan Gandhi Jones, who did not take part in the mass suicide because he was away, playing in the Peoples Temple basketball team. Jones claimed to be the biological father of John Victor Stoen, who was the legal son of Grace Stoen and her husband Timothy Stoen. The custody dispute over Stoen had great symbolic value for the Peoples Temple and intensified the conflict with its opponents who consisted of, among others, a group called the "Concerned Relatives". In MacArthur Park, Los Angeles on December 13, 1973, Jones was arrested and charged with soliciting a man for sex in a movie theater bathroom known for homosexual activity. The man it turns out was an undercover LAPD vice officer. Jones is on record as later telling his followers that he was "the only true heterosexual", but at least one account exists of his sexually abusing a member of his congregation in front of the followers, ostensibly to prove the man's own gay tendencies. One of his sources of inspiration was the controversial cult leader Father Divine. Jones had borrowed the term "revolutionary suicide" from Black Panther leader Huey Newton who had argued the slow suicide of life in the ghetto ought to be replaced by revolutionary struggle that would end only in victory (socialism and self determination) or revolutionary suicide (death).
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