When Jim was adopted by Jones, he was the first African-American child adopted by a Caucasian family in the state of Indiana, but says he didn't know it because there was no race in his family. "I had Koreans in the family. I just thought I had a better tan."
Jim says that when he went with his father to Jonestown at age 17, he believed they were going to create a new world. "The common theme was people wanted to make a difference," he says. "We had an organizational structure, an agricultural team, the education projects, the infirmary or hospital team. It was a whole community."
Toward the end, when other members of the Peoples Temple said Jones was getting sicker, Jim says he didn't see it. "I didn't want to see it," he says. "I always thought the ends justify the means. What I didn't understand is that if the means become the foggiest, that changes the ends."
Jim says he did notice some changes in his father, but he believed they were due to the pressure people put on him. "I saw the preaching all night long, the tirades of discipline against other people," he says. "People were punished severely. I saw that and I thought, you know, did it sit right with me? No. But did I step up against it? No, I didn't."