Thursday, January 21, 2016

Former Jim Jones Cult Member: "Donald Trump Scares Me"

By Robert Wenzel

Last  night here in San Francisco, I attended a small private local book club meeting where the book on the agenda to be discussed was Seductive Poison: A Jonestown Survivor's Story of Life and Death in the People's Temple by  Deborah Layton, who was a high ranking member in the Jonestown cult but who managed to escape before the mass suicide of over 900.

Since she is living just across the bay in Berkeley, a club member arranged to have her at the meeting to discuss her book and experiences.

I wasn't sure what to expect. The suicides occurred in 1978. This was more than 35 years later. At most, I was expecting an old lady retelling dim stories of the past. I wasn't expecting super bright.

But there she was, super bright and stunningly beautiful, even many of the women members commented about her beauty. Most remarkable were her eyes. They were the most powerful eyes I have ever seen. They looked razor sharp and right at you. I immediately thought of the way Ayn Rand's penetrating look has been described.

As she spoke, it became clear that this intelligent woman thought a lot about how she got hooked into the cult and how Jones was able to control everyone. I found most interesting her comments of how the cult members feared each other as possible spies for Jones. No one could trust anyone for fear that they could be reported to Jones, she said.

I have long held the view that government spying creates a type of mental prison which prevents us from talking freely. Layton's comments confirmed to me what such spying at the extreme looked like. Total suspicion of everyone, a mental prison of the mind.

I asked her if she saw any Jones-like characteristics in any of the presidential candidates, specifically Donald Trump. "What about the masses he is getting to follow him" I asked, "is that Jones-like?" She said, "No," but she added, "Donald Trump really scares me."

Coming away from the meeting, I realized how much spying and the possibility of being spied on played such a major role in the ability of Jones to control so many. It has hardened my belief that government spying is exceptionally dangerous, to the point I believe it has the potential to be one of the most dangerous things government does. Government shouldn't spy on anyone, ever.

Jim Jones would have loved the Homeland Security slogan, "See something, say something." It is clear after listening to Layton that instilling such a perspective in his members was a key piece of his ability to control.

Layton's book has been adapted into a screenplay that will be the basis for a major motion picture. Production is expected to began later this year.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher at and at Target Liberty. He is also author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics


  1. Nothing more creepy than the herd instinct. Great article. Thanks.

  2. I asked her if she saw any Jones-like characteristics in any of the presidential candidates. She said, "No." I pushed her on Trump.

    Not the answer wanted, try again.

    "But what about the masses he is getting to follow him?" I asked her. She said, "Donald Trump really scares me," but she added she did not see Jones type characteristics in him.

    Did she ever attend a Ron Paul rally? I attended several and, to put it mildly, they all were full of incredibly enthusiastic people, myself included.

    And, no, I do not care for Trump. I still am not sure if I will vote. Ron Paul is who kept me in the voting last two cycles, after giving up on the GOP. I had been involved with the GOP since 1992. I had been reading Ron Paul since, about 1989.

  3. I think its healthy to be scared of any politician who seeks the power of the presidency.

  4. I was at the meeting also. I could not agree more with your description and take-aways.

  5. What scares me is that we are taking advice from an ex-Jim Jones member.

  6. Robert, Very interesting.

    You should have asked her about the MK ultra connections to Jonestown and the CIA connections to to Jonestown camps.

    If only you had some more facts at your disposal when you were interviewing her you mat have gotten to some real revelations instead of being mesmerized by her gazing eyes.

    My god Robert, get a clue.

  7. Good PBS documentary on Jonestown: . Deborah Layton is in it. Disturbing stuff.