‘Help Us Get Out of Jonestown’

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‘Help Us Get Out of Jonestown’

In this series, Newsweek reconstructs the events leading to the Jonestown Massacre as it happened in 1978, day by day.

November 17, 1978: On Friday morning, Temple lawyers Charles Garry and Mark Lane flew to Georgetown on the same flight to strategize with the Temple leadership. When Garry discovered that Lane was on the plane, he refused to talk to him, still blaming Lane for fanning the flames of Jones’s paranoia.

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When the duo arrived at Lamaha Gardens to talk to Jim Jones over the ham radio, however, they found there was one thing they did agree on: the Temple leader must welcome Ryan into Jonestown. Barring the congressman would only validate Ryan’s contention that Jones was hiding something, and when he returned to Washington, he’d probably hold hearings on the matter. Jones began ranting about conspiracies again, but Garry cut him off. “Cut the horseshit,” Garry said, threatening to resign if Jones didn’t host the congressman. After a few moments, Jones responded in a weak voice, “very well.”

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