Survivor Profile: Juanita Bogue

Juanita Bogue and her family became first associated with the Peoples Temple in Willits, California. She then traveled with the Peoples Temple to San Francisco. However, her family was separated at times. Her mother Edith Bogue, stayed in Redwood Valley, California. Her father Jim Bogue, was one of the first people to go to Jonestown in Guyana before his family joined him. Juanita eventually got to Jonestown in August of 1977 and joined her family. Juanita’s family the Bogues, had given all their money and property when they first joined the Peoples Temple. They had a long history to the Peoples Temple, however upon their arrival at Jonestown, they became very unhappy. They did not like the living conditions due to the controlling environment such as mail being read before it was handed out. There was limited food and overwhelming hard work. Juanita remembers Jim Jones conducting loyalty tests for the Jonestown members. The most memorable day was September 9th 1977, when Jim Jones conducted a white night ritual. She remembers this date because she believed she was going to die that day.

The family planned to escape even before Congressman Leo Ryan came to visit Jonestown. Escaping through the jungle was a difficult task, and a lot of planning was done. Juanita remembers in the interview in Serial 1681-21, that she and her family were scared for their lives if Jim Jones found out they were trying to escape. After a failed escape, the Bogues decided it would be best to leave with Congressman Leo Ryan. The family expressed that they wanted to leave and left with other members of Jonestown that wanted to leave as well.

Juanita remembers being anxious to leave Jonestown and sensing that trouble was coming their way. She became even more suspicious when Larry Layton joined them to leave as well. Juanita remembers interviewing Larry Layton on why he was leaving Jonestown and not believing him. Juanita warned Congressman Ryan about the danger of Larry Layton being with them. She then told Congressman Ryan that she saw Joe Wilson hand Larry Layton a handgun. She warned Congressman Ryan again, but it was too late. The shooting began and Juanita and others were inside the plane and were able to close the airplane door. Juanita survived the shooting and after everything was quiet she exited the plane to find dead bodies. She expressed still being scared after surviving the shooting because she thought other members of Jonestown would be sent to kill the rest who survived. She hid in the jungle and the next day was taken in the custody of the Guyana police.

Source: Alternative Considerations of Jonestown and Peoples Temple

Serial 1681-21

Bogue Family Tree




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