In the Guyana Monastery (2001)
Later that same afternoon, “revolutionary suicide” came to stand for the religious life. Often wearing an abbot’s clothing, Jones entered the compound barefoot as a lifelong penance. His personal autonomy was prostrate. He was on a fact-finding mission seeking a jungle airstrip and a scapula extract. His diet was sparse, consisting mostly of undyed wool and chloral hydrate. Translation: an Anglo-Saxon free meal. Was his socialist philosophy a meager belonging? Was his blood sugar problem due to leg bindings? His monastic life cut his throat, and all spouses slept in separate beds. His brethren made their way in a dump truck filled with prayer and manuscripts, but Jones was only a copy. Contact was inevitable -- cinched at the waist by a rope. In the South American fields, Saint Benedict was shut up for eight hours on Sundays. Dig a shallow grave of oratory -- an electronic form -- precarious and deranged. During his California days, a rosary was as sociological as a cult to Jones. Both took brainwashing and much practice. “Dad” appears to have shot himself, but in his drawstring pouch were cyanide and a strict vow of silence. But, after hearing an evil thing, probably the chatter of lice, Jones consolidated an ambush and a large vat of purple Fla-Vor-Aid. The final body count was 914 dead. No laughing was allowed for weeks. For the dead children, defectors all, the outside world was a very bad influence. Now, they are very stoic, ascetic, and have too much time to spend alone.
Using the "cut-up" composition method popularized by William S. Burroughs, two blocks of text were run through a virtual cut-up machine. The result: a randomly scrambled "found" text mirroring chaos theory and yielding new meanings.
The two texts used here and merged were:
1) an article on the final days of the People's Temple--
2) an article on monastic life and dress--
Were you wondering, given the composing process, if every cut-up would shake out with comic overtones?
Dead followers of Jones lay beside his "throne."