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Timothy Stoen
Marked for Death

On November 18, 1978, Jim Jones, in Jonestown, Guyana,  killed 907 people by cyanide and 5 other innocents, including a US congressman, by gunfire. Among those poisoned was a 6-year-old child, John Victor Stoen, the son of the author. This book traces Jim Jones's "development" from utopian to devil. It is Tim Stoen's firsthand account of his experiences as Jones's attorney, enemy, and postmortem target.

In the early 1970s, first-time author Stoen joined what he thought was a “utopian movement called Peoples Temple,” led by a charismatic leader named Jim Jones, and spent the next seven years as Jones’s personal attorney. Stoen’s deeply moving memoir traces his path from true believer to horrified spectator as Jones orchestrates the deaths—mostly through suicide—of 912 people in Jonestown, Guyana, an event that shocked the world in 1978. The Jones story has been told before, but Stoen’s role as an early participant in the growth of the Peoples Temple in northern California and San Francisco, as well as its move to its own community in Guyana, adds much to the story. Stoen admirably attempts to explain the “concern about economic inequality” that led many to embrace Jones, as well as the slow slide into manipulation and a desire for power in which Jones “turned himself over to Satan.” Stoen is also excellent in his description of the post-massacre media firestorm in which he was falsely accused of using his long fight to regain custody of his son to push Jones “over the edge,” as well as his successful struggle to overcome the guilt he felt over the experience and the tragic history of the Peoples Temple. (BookLife)

5.0 out of 5 starsStoen's Book Exposes America's Most Notorious Mass Murderer, Jim Jones, Stoen's Client and Master Manipulator.

By Don Claybrook on January 5, 2016Verified Purchase

Tim Stoen's book on Jim Jones and Jonestown comes straight from the mouth of the man who was Jones' attorney during several of the early years of Peoples' Temple. Stoen's wealth of knowledge on a myriad of subjects boggles the mind. He takes that acquired knowledge and blends together perhaps 20 other disciplines into a beautiful tapestry that reveals the ultimate truth of Jim Jones and the settlement he named after himself in Guyana, South America.
We finally get to the ultimate truth of what really happened as Jones' journey progressed from a benevolent and charitable "giver" to an evil and despotic dictator and finally to a mass murderer. The book answers so many heretofore unanswered questions but raises others that did not seem to exist until Stoen wrote his account of one of the United States' biggest tragedies. The book is thoroughly vetted and cross-checked in a most scholarly manner. Get it. You won't regret it.

5.0 out of 5 starsThe Cost of Evil

By BillMcG on January 31, 2016

Truth indeed is stranger, and in this case, scarier, than fiction. The author, Jim Jones’ attorney, has a broader and deeper view of the whole People’s Temple, Jim Jones, Jonestown phenomena than probably anyone else. Stoen presents that view in a way that is incredibly well documented and that pulls no punches regarding his own personal failures and blind spots. If Jones and his story was fiction, this would be another exciting page turner of a story. In fact, however, it is far more because it is all disturbingly real. Malignant narcissism is at the core of human evil and somehow it developed or emerged in the case of Jim Jones – perhaps another inevitable result of absolute power corrupting absolutely. Author Stoen has given us honest and genuine insight into the reality of such evil, the risks of not confronting it soon enough and the hope of recovery for those who have somehow survived.

5.0 out of 5 starsClearly a remarkable story of the human spirit

By Vickie Smith on January 13, 2016Verified Purchase

Tim 's personal account about his experiences with Jim Jones is a masterfully told story that clarifies so much about those dark days. His tale delves into the psychological personalities of Jones and himself as well. It is told with pure honesty, total humility, and a courageous spirit. This is a story that Tim had to tell and one that we each need to read. It is extraordinarily human.