Inside Jonestown

The author of Jesus Land: A Memoir knows a thing or two about living with a high-control cult in the middle of the jungle, which is one of the reasons that some survivors of the People’s Temple massacre in Jonestown, Guyana agreed to talk to her. She also had access to documentary sources that had not been published before, which goes a long way toward explaining how Julia Scheeres’ book about Jim Jones’ murderous cult, A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown can call itself the “untold story” of a gruesome tale that has been told many times in many ways. What she does differently is give us the stories of a handful of people that we can follow all the way through, and a close-up view of how otherwise sensible people could end up in a situation that became so deadly—and how they were unable to get out of it.