The CIA Connections To The Jonestown Massacre?

First Published: January 13, 2018 Last updated: August 30th, 2020 Written by: Marcus Lowth Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes Posted in: Conspiracy, Government

On 18th November 1978, the bodies of nine-hundred-plus people were discovered in what would be described to the world as one of the largest “mass-suicides” in history. Cyanide poisoning – administered with apparent consent – was the cause of death for most, with some having died from gunshot wounds.

Jim Jones with a CIA emblem superimposed underneath

Jim Jones, Leader of The People’s Temple Sect

The People’s Temple Sect would wear the label of “cult” throughout society, with Jim Jones, the cult’s leader, viewed as a charlatan and conman. Close inspection of some of the apparent ties of Jones, however, would make some look a little closer at the seemingly tragic and misguided events in Jonestown. Indeed some argue that this was the first step towards the removal of freedoms, firstly in the United States, and then replicated elsewhere. Steps that are continuing today.

If there is any truth to these accusations, then it is likely that such events as the Waco Siege in Texas in 1993, the Oklahoma Bombing of 1995, and even the Twin Towers attacks in 2001, are all part of a much larger, and darker agenda? If there isn’t, then these events are a good example of political opportunism in using tragic events to the world government’s (and more to the point, the corporate interests they uphold) own ends.

Either way, it doesn’t paint a pretty picture by any stretch of the imagination.

The People’s Temple Sect’s Exodus To Guyana, Via California

The People’s Temple Sect would begin life in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1955 under the founding of Jim Jones. According to Jones, the temple practiced “apostolic socialism”, preaching that “those who remained drugged with the opiate of religion had to be brought to enlightenment!”

By the mid-1960s, the People’s Temple Sect would migrate west to California. It was during this time that Jones began to experience something close to celebrity status among his potential and loyal followers. Those who were not as convinced were more than cautious of Jones and his intentions. As well they might, as we will see later, his background is intriguing, to say the least.

Spending time first in Redwood Valley, before moving again to Los Angeles and finally, by the early-seventies, settling for a time in San Francisco, the unit was soon (albeit unofficially) on intelligence services’ radar.

However, by the winter of 1973, amid the defection of several of the temple’s members and increasing public scrutiny, came the decision to establish their own town – Jonestown – in Guyana. It was merely an “outpost” at the time, but Jones would see it as a “socialist paradise” away from the gaze of the US government and media. It was also, according to some, the desire of Jones to obtain influence from what he saw as a small and independent government in Guyana.

More and more members of the sect would relocate there following the initial five-hundred after encouragement from the sect. By 1976, the town received official approval from the Guyanese government, and Jonestown was born.

The Entrance to Jonestown

The Entrance to Jonestown

The “Setting Up” Of Leo Ryan?

On the morning of 18th November 1978, Leo Ryan – who had traveled to the temple in Jonestown as part of a fact-finding mission – was shot dead as he prepared to board a plane. The whole incident appears to be one of double-crossing. And one that would begin to lead researchers to connect the apparently relevant dots.

Ryan was a Congressional Representative and had intended to stay at the temple for several more days. However, after highlighting numerous human rights abuses, as well as attracting a group of fifteen followers who wished to return to the United States, an attack by a sect member with a knife would leave him with minor injuries, forcing him to return with the rest of the group.

One of the people who wished to return to the United States was Lawrence Layton. Despite pleas from fleeing members of the group that Layton was an ardent follower of Jones and not to be trusted, he received permission to travel to the awaiting plane.

An Ambush!

It proved to be an ambush. A group of Jones’ followers – on Jones’ orders – opened fire on Ryan and the other returning people before they could board the plane. One of those doing the attacking was Layton.

We will look at Layton’s connections and why he is of such importance in a moment. Interestingly or not, however, it was this act that would prompt the mass-suicide later that day.

To some though, as the connections to the CIA surfaced, it was more than suspicious that Leo Ryan would meet such an end. He certainly wasn’t on friendly terms with the CIA. This was mainly due to his involvement in the Hughes-Ryan Amendment. This would, essentially, make the CIA accountable for their actions. It certainly didn’t do the agency any harm that Ryan was dead. When you look at the person who was likely involved in having Ryan where he was that day, the connections grow even more intriguing.

The video below is brief footage – only seconds long before cutting off – of the ambush on the runway.

“Get Dwyer Out Of Here!”

Given his CIA connections, as well as his serving as the deputy head of the US Embassy in Guyana at the time of the Jonestown incident, it was apparent to most that Richard Dwyer’s influence had placed Ryan in Jonestown that day. And more specifically, on the runway ready to board the awaiting plane.

It would also come to light on audio recordings of connections between Dwyer and Jim Jones. During part of the audio – recorded during the carrying out of the suicides – Jones clearly says, “Get Dwyer out of here!” US intelligence would state this was simply nothing more than “mistaken identity” on Jones’ part. Other connections, however, appear to suggest it wasn’t.

Going back to Lawrence Layton, his family connections were also of interest. His father, Lawrence Layton Sr. enjoyed a background in top secret military research and development of biological warfare and genetic experimentation. According to many researchers, he was a huge financial investor in the Jonestown incident.

Layton Sr.’s wife had a substantial fortune of her own from the I.G. Farben group – essentially the same people who bankrolled the Nazi’s and their death camps. Layton Sr.’s sister’s husband, George Phillip Blakey, is a former “contract agent” for the CIA. It was Blakey, according to some research, who paid for the property at Jonestown where Jim Jones would eventually live for the final years of his life.

To say there are areas of suspicion that require further investigation would be an understatement. Before we look at some of those, check out the video below. It contains the “suicide audio” of the Jonestown incident.

Accusations of Mind Control and Cover Stories

According to those who subscribe to theories of a “world elite” who are increasingly restricting and enslaving the rest of us, there is a constant barrage of signals, drugs and chemicals designed to control our minds, and in turn our actions.

Many others who have researched the Jonestown incident have gone on to claim there is genuine evidence of MKUltra style experiments having taken place. According to the book Was Jonestown A CIA Medical Experiment by Michael Meiers, there were several more questionable connections that suggested the People’s Temple Sect was more akin to the Nazi concentration camps than anything else. Interestingly, many of the MKUltra CIA experiments have their roots in Operation Paperclip. This is essentially, Nazi scientists continuing their work under the watch of the US intelligence services.

Followers moved around Jonestown wearing “hospital tags”. And while the rest of the camp was poor, the hospital and medical facilities were top of the range. Even the make-up of the sects – predominantly made up of former prisoners, members of the black community and poor women were identical to those shown in official “tentative mind control research” carried out by the CIA.

Jim Jones Worked For The CIA?

Meiers certainly didn’t pull any punches in the aforementioned book. He claimed unreservedly that Jim Jones was a “CIA asset” and had the support of (then) Governor Ronald Raegan upon moving to California. Furthermore, this was the reason the group had moved from Indiana to California in the first place.

Meiers would go on to state that the Jonestown incident was the “final field experiment” of MKUltra. According to Meiers, following its relocation to California, the group would take charge of the Mendocino State Mental Hospital. This would provide the group with test patients (the Nazis, during their grotesque experiments, referred to these TPs). Within weeks, not only patients but the entire staff of the hospital had either joined the sect or was replaced by a sect member.

We have already mentioned Jones’ apparent connections to Richard Dwyer. Was he aware of his involvement with the CIA, or was he being used? If so, why did he commit suicide? Was he himself under a form of mind-control? Or was he murdered? Autopsy results show the gunshot wound to be self-inflicted. However he also had a barbiturate level so high, it is conceivable he would not have been in such a condition to carry out such an act. Of course, despite the “autopsy report” no official identification was ever carried out on his body. This would lead some to believe he managed to vacate Jonestown with the help of Dwyer and the intelligence services.

Check out the video below which looks at Jim Jones in more detail.

Other Statements and Miraculous Finds!

The Chief Medical Examiner for the Guyana government, Dr. Leslie Mootoo would go on record stating it was his belief that “no more than two-hundred people” looked to have died of their own accord.

Furthermore, with the identification of bodies still taking place, things would suddenly stop. With only four-hundred of the nine-hundred bodies discovered orders would come from US official, Robert Pastor. They should cease all activities and stop identifying the dead. Regarding the five-hundred missing bodies? According to official reports, they would be discovered “under the four-hundred identified bodies!” No proof of this bizarre find has ever surfaced.

Given statements such as these, as well as the CIA connections above, it is perhaps not hard to understand why some researchers believe that the Jonestown affair, including its perception by the media and in turn, the public, was nothing more than a cover story to allow the CIA the chance to train rebel fighters who would then do the CIA’s dirty work in the region.

The labeling of the People’s Temple Sect as a cult would also serve the intelligence services and world government’s well over the following years. In fact, intelligence services would kill several birds with the stone that was the Jonestown incident.

The Mix of Opportunism and Predetermined Action

In a case of intriguing connections, perhaps one of the strangest is that of Mark Lane. Lane, among other things, was at the time investigating the death of JFK. He was also acting as attorney for James Earl Ray, the man accused of murdering Martin Luther King. Many believed Earl Ray was a convenient scapegoat for the killing (including Lane).

Lane was also the attorney for the People’s Temple Sect. He would even publicly claim Jonestown to be a “paradise on Earth”. Following the “mass-suicide” many people distanced themselves from Lane. And his assertion that James Earl Ray was innocent of King’s murder. This would allow the perception to take hold that anyone who questioned such things was “crazy – like Mark Lane!”

If there was CIA involvement in Jonestown, then it is easy to see what they would have to gain. Their MKUltra projects could continue and provide information on how such experiments would play out “in the field”. It also gave them the chance to train hundreds of “rebel fighters”. These would be ready to deploy them on some of the CIA’s “grey area” missions. Of course, this would be easier to keep under wraps for the intelligence services given that the main thrust behind the drive for more CIA transparency, Leo Ryan, was now dead, and the attorney who was asking questions about previously alleged assassinations now discredited.

Check out the video below that looks at the CIA’s alleged role in Jonestown.

Jim Jones’ Hit List?

Perhaps one last chilling twists to the whole affair, and perhaps reason to believe that Jim Jones did indeed escape Jonestown alive, is his apparent hit list. In the months following the mass suicide, some of those names would meet untimely ends.

Just nine days following the Jonestown incident, the Mayor of San Francisco, George Moscone, died following a shooting at city hall. The People’s Temple Sect had contributed heavily to Moscone’s campaign. And this connection likely paved the way for many of the sect to gain employment in the City Welfare Department. This, in turn, would give them access to poor and vulnerable people.

Jenny Mills, a one time member of the group who had since been less than complementary about the sect, and in particular Jones, was shot dead along with her husband and daughter at their family home around six months following Jonestown in summer 1979. Journalist, Kathy Jones, would report on several strange deaths connected to the People’s Temple Sect. And would have several bizarre experiences when visiting the group. She too would end up dead in the months following the suicides.

If Jones was alive, were these killings personal revenge? Or was it a case of tying up loose ends? An elimination of anyone who could expose the real reason and background of the Jonestown incident?

Check out the video below which looks at the tragic events of November 1978.



The stories, accounts, and discussion in this article are not always based on proven facts and may go against currently accepted science and common beliefs. The details included in the article are based on the reports and accounts available to us as provided by witnesses and documentation.

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About Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years experience. Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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