Friday, November 24, 2006

Details but no context to explain Jonestown horror

Michele Kenner in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reviews Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, directed by Stanley Nelson.
Nelson's investigative coups are his interviews with two of the Jonestown residents who escaped after watching their loved ones die in their arms. Their interviews, plus TV footage and audio tapes of Jones urging his followers to "die with dignity" on that fateful day, will curl your toes.

What does Kenner mean by the missing context?
A comment or two from a historian that compares Peoples Temple with other religious movements such as the Unification Church, led by Sun Mung Moon, would help lend perspective to the horrific conclusion of Jones' "mission."

The comparisons suggested to me by the review would be to other religious movements on making "a kind of New Age utopia" or their relationship to electoral politics or the meaning of "death with dignity".

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