Politics - News Analysis

Congresswoman Who Fled Jonestown While Covering the Cult Compares Trump to Jim Jones and It’s Terrifying

We had no idea.

Congresswoman Jackie Spear (One of everyone’s favorites), a Democrat from California, is a Jonestown survivor when she covered the event as part of the media. It would seem as though if anyone had any unique perspective on life in cults and the dangerousness that cult leaders represent, it would be Rep. Spears. It turns out she has noticed many similarities between the two men, despite the biggest difference, one led a few thousand poor souls following him in South America, and one led the United States.

Spears told Brian Stelter:

You look at Donald Trump, a charismatic leader, who was able to continue to talk in terms that appealed to those who were disaffected, disillusions and who were looking for something, much like those who became part of Jim Jones’ congregation, the Peoples Temple.

They were lost souls, and the only difference between Jim Jones and Donald Trump is the fact that we now have social media. So all these people can find themselves in ways that they couldn’t find themselves before.

Social Media does bring people together, although the platforms generally do so in order to sell your “likes” and interests to advertisers, there is no question that social media propelled Trump into the presidency and the only difference between Trump and Jim Jones, the the breadth of their message.

How often have we seen the term or shirt, “Jesus is my Lord, Trump is my president”? Putting the two names on the same shirt indicates an association that goes far beyond “unhealthy.” How many times have we reported on the fact that Trump could get his crowd to disbelieve their own eyes, including his latest, “the love that was in the air” at the riots? The last week, a Civiqs poll told us that 80% of Republicans believe that the election was stolen.

Spier’s next paragraph is even more chilling:

“The big lie has now been embraced by the majority of members on the Republican side in the House of Representatives. They are now paralyzed to speak truth. They know that the election was not stolen. They know that it was held properly. They know that there was not massive fraud, and yet they will continue to mouth those words because their leader, Donald Trump, wants to hear them.”

We knew this. We knew that members of Congress were aware that the election was not stolen. But it had been an article of faith among the left that Congress was just following their voters, not so much Donald Trump. But Spiers implies we have it backward, that the legislators are part of Trump’s cult and want to please him, the electorate that follows must just be a bonus.

Donald Trump is never going to get his followers to drink the wrong Kook-Aide, but he is certainly not doing enough to keep them from dying of COVID, refusing to wear a mask when a mask was akin to what we had as a vaccine to battle COVID and only very recently encouraging his followers to get the vaccine, and in a lukewarm way at that.

The similarities are stunning. Thankfully, Rep. Spiers was able to survive her experience in Jonestown, warning us about the fact that we’re never that far removed from another cult leader, especially with today’s social media bringing them together.

[email protected] and on Twitter @JasonMiciak



meet the author

Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He now enjoys life as a single dad raising a ridiculously-loved young girl on the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He is very much the dreamy mystic, a day without learning is a day not lived. He is passionate about his flower pots and studies philosophical science, religion, and non-mathematical principles of theoretical physics. Dogs, pizza, and love are proof that God exists. "Above all else, love one another."


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