Seductive Poison by Deborah Layton
A Jonestown Survivor's Story of Life and Death in The Peoples Temple

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Synopsis

Told by a former high-level member of the Peoples Temple and Jonestown survivor, Seductive Poison is the "truly unforgettable" (Kirkus Review) story of how one woman was seduced by one of the most notorious cults in recent memory and how she found her way back to sanity.

From Waco to Heaven's Gate, the past decade has seen its share of cult tragedies. But none has been quite so dramatic or compelling as the Jonestown massacre of 1978, in which the Reverend Jim Jones and 913 of his disciples perished. Deborah Layton had been a member of the Peoples Temple for seven years when she departed for Jonestown, Guyana, the promised land nestled deep in the South American jungle. When she arrived, however, Layton saw that something was seriously wrong. Jones constantly spoke of a revolutionary mass suicide, and Layton knew only too well that he had enough control over the minds of the Jonestown residents to carry it out. But her pleas for help--and her sworn affidavit to the U.S. government--fell on skeptical ears. In this very personal account, Layton opens up the shadowy world of cults and shows how anyone can fall under their spell. Seductive Poison is both an unflinching historical document and a riveting story of intrigue, power, and murder.
 

About Deborah Layton

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Deborah Layton was born in 1953 and grew up in Berkeley, California. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area, where she is raising her daughter.
 
Published August 18, 2010 by Anchor. 368 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Religion & Spirituality, Self Help. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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But in December 1977, when Layton and her mother traveled to the movement’s new headquarters in Jonestown, Guyana, they discovered appalling conditions, near-starvation, and physical abuse;

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Publishers Weekly

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Published on the 20th anniversary of the suicide-murder of more than 900 followers of Reverend Jim Jones in the Guyanese jungle, Layton's book is the first by a former high-level member of the People's Temple.

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BC Books

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Or better yet, as my grandma would say, “The sweet talking ones are always the biggest bullshitters.” Page 1 — Page 2 — Page 3

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BC Books

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Jones would also claim he was sending out people to pretend that they wanted to leave, so if someone came up to you, claiming they wanted to leave, you would then need to report this person, and those who did not, Jones would know you were “a defector” and one who was not true to “The Cause.” So ...

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BC Books

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Jones had raped her on several occasions, tested his members’ “loyalty” by telling them they were drinking poison (as a means of seeing just who would do it willingly and who would cause a stir), beat his members regularly in front of the church (including Layton herself), made them strip down in...

Jun 16 2009 | Read Full Review of Seductive Poison: A Jonestown...

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