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Laura Johnston Kohl, Jonestown Survivor

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After participating with the Black Panthers, and attending Woodstock, Laura moved into Peoples Temple in California in 1970, and was an active and enthusiastic member until the day it ended.  She moved to Guyana in March 1977.  She frequently traveled between Georgetown and Jonestown, a 24-hour boat ride, but moved into Jonestown in October 1978.  Laura’s survival was a fluke.

It took twenty years for Laura to rebuild her life and have the determination to research this tragedy.  The first ten years were spent in Synanon.  Then, she reunited with many of the other survivors to put the pieces together and to get some understanding.  After ten years she wrote her autobiography.  

Today, Laura is a bilingual teacher, a member of ReadLocal San Diego, on the Speakers’ Bureau of The Jonestown Institute, a bilingual international speaker, a Quaker, and a Board Member of the Communal Studies Association.  She is interviewed often by national and international media, most recently on television, internet and radio programs.

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