Laura Johnston Kohl survived the largest mass-suicide in modern history. She was a member of the Peoples Temple and lived in Jonestown, South America when over 900 of her friends died under the direction of Jim Jones in 1978. This was a huge event, and it was a fluke that Laura survived. We talk with Laura about what it was like living in Jonestown, trying to change the world, and all the good things the Peoples Temple did. We also talk about Jim Jones getting busted soliciting an undercover cop for anal sex, the time Jim Jones killed a congressman, Jim’s obsession with power and wanting people to worship him, and Jim (probably) having anal sex with a lot of male Peoples Temple members.
Later Laura tells us how she went back to normal life after all her friends killed themselves in Jonestown, and argue about how much money the People’s Temple had. Jon Judge says the Peoples Temple had up to $2 billion and the money was wrapped up in “narcotics, espionage, human flesh, and death.” Laura Johnston Kohl says, “John Judge doesn’t know what he’s talking about!”
JONESTOWN SURVIVOR: An Insider’s Look
Check out Laura Johnston Kohl’s book JONESTOWN SURVIVOR: An Insider’s Look for an intimate look into what it was like being a member of Peoples Temple. Click the image below to get more information or order the book.
Here’s the documentary we refer to throughout the episode that Laura Johnston Kohl is in: Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple
Check out Laura’s website at JonestownSurvivor.com
Laura has lots of amazing photos from the early Peoples Temple days on https://www.flickr.com/photos/peoplestemple/