…a People’s Temple whitewasher. And published by Praeger, no less.
Jones’s seductive rhetoric attacking racism, capitalism, and homophobia, which helped delude his supporters, has deluded Moore as well. In the Jonestown aftermath, the Left quickly distanced itself from Peoples Temple to save face; 30 years later, Moore highlights the Temple’s role within the American Left to revive the Temple’s reputation. If not exactly an attempt at innocence-by-association, this is at least an effort to use Jones’s associations with prominent Democrats and radicals to highlight what Moore sees as the Temple’s overlooked redeeming aspects.
Indeed, Jim Jones was a power player in Bay Area politics and thereby a player in national Democratic Party politics. Local politicians and activists benefited from the slave labor that he could provide on little notice to people political rallies and hand out campaign literature. In gratitude, Moscone appointed him chairman of San Francisco’s housing authority and Willie Brown likened Jones, a man who would eventually kill more African-Americans than any Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard, to Martin Luther King, Jr.