In September of 1973, eight young radicals decided to leave Peoples Temple as a group. The eight “revolutionaries” included Jim Cobb, John Biddulph, Wayne Pietila, Vera Biddulph, Terri Cobb, Tom Podgorski, Lena Flowers, Mickey Touchette. The group accused Peoples Temple staff of not being sufficiently socialist and too demanding of the time and energy of Jim Jones.
The defection of the “Gang of Eight” devastated the Temple leadership, including Jones. This group had been involved enough in the Temple to know its secrets and the anxiety induced by their defection would live with the members of Peoples Temple until the end.
The annotations provided here will be on an uncorrected transcript of the letter, which included many errors. For a corrected transcript and the original PDF, see Alternative Considerations of Jonestown and Peoples Temple.
The letter is currently in the California Historical Society and is part of the Moore Papers (MS 3802). A PDF copy is also archived here.