Letter to the Editor

Man recalls memories in Brazil

Sunday, March 20, 2016

To the editor:

I was a resident of Staunton during the time of the People's Temple massacre in Guyana in the late 1970s. I was asked at the time by Ken Beckwith if I would consent to an interview by the Brazil Gazette to somehow explain the tragedy to their readers. I had just completed a book length manuscript entitled STRANGE FIRE, primarily based on my experiences when younger with the Children of God group. I didn't particularly want the publicity and turned him down.

I had extended family overseas with the Children of God and feared for their safety. It wasn't until early 2005 that that group was shocked with a murder and suicide of two of their own. More information is available in Don Lattin's 2007 book JESUS FREAKS.

Google Mick Bysshe Strange Fire to get one chapter of my manuscript. Eric Hoffer's 1950 book TRUE BELIEVERS gives an overview of political and religious movements.

I visit Clay County in my dream life some; National Printing Converters, my home in Staunton and, at least once Benwood Mt. Lebanon Church, where I served as minister in part of 1982 and 1983.