Jim Cobb was one of the lucky members of the Peoples Temple. He started out in the Peoples Temple at a young age, Jim was ‘cured’ by Jim Jones for an ailment in his ear. Later, in his young adult life, Cobb defected from the Peoples Temple along with seven other younger members — the group would be known as the ‘Gang of Eight,’ an integral part of the group of defectors that grew over the span of the Peoples Temple movement, up until the day of the final White Night. Cobb felt like the Peoples Temple inner circle was too white, and along with the other members, thought that the double standard between expectations of the members and the leadership were too conflicting.
Later, Cobb filed a lawsuit via lawyer Tim Stoen for “intentional infliction of emotional distress” and libel.
When the Congressional envoy went to Jonestown, Guyana, Cobb accompanied Congressman Ryan and a few other Gang of Eight members who had previously defected. Jim Cobb was there as a part of the representation of the Concerned Relatives group in addition to representing himself as a defector. He was concerned about the conditions of Jonestown as well as helping the other concerned relatives members return their relatives back to the U.S. and into their custody as parents or relatives.