is possible that more documents like the one I webbed
would shed a greater light on the events surrounding Jonestown.
Unfortunately, many of these documents are classified and inaccessible.
Religious scholars are arguing that after more than twenty years, there is
no reasons to continue keeping these documents secret, and that it would
enhance greatly our understanding of what exactly happened prior and
during the Jonestown tragedy.
In its press
http://www.cesnur.org/guyana_doc.htm doesn't work anymore), Cesnur quotes Dr. Gordon Melton:
"Our understanding of the Jonestown deaths
is still hindered by the unavailability of numerous key documents that
would highlight the situation at Jonestown immediately prior to and
during Congressman Ryan's visit, the relationship of the State
Department to the Jonestown community, and the state of mind of Peoples
Temple leader, Rev. Jim Jones."
http://www.cesnur.org/guyana_lett.htm doesn't work anymore) made by a group of 13 scholars states, among other:
"As scholars of religion and the religious life,
especially of new religious movements, we take this opportunity to
express our sympathy for the families who lost loved ones in Guyana and
share their concern for the further disclosure of information concerning
what occurred on that day so long ago.
Furthermore, We deplore the use of this tragedy as an excuse
for religious bigotry, especially in the stigmatization of new religious
movements as destructive cults each with a potential for the same
violence as occurred at Jonestown."
"[...] Now, twenty years later, the need for keeping
these documents away from the public no longer exists and we, the
undersigned, respectfully petition the Committee to move to make these
documents accessible to the academic community, the families of the
deceased, and the general public."