Upon returning to the states, Jim says he went by the common name James Jones for 15 years. It wasn't until they used the name Jim at work that he took the name back. "I realized that's who I am. I'm Jim Jones Jr. I'm the African-American son that was adopted in Indiana by a Caucasian family. I'm part of an organization that tried to build a new world," he says. "Nine hundred people died, and I miss them every day. But I also recognize that they tried. They tried something—they failed horrifically—but they tried, and out of that, I've taken a lot of pride to realized that I'm Jim Jones Jr. I can't hide from that."
Despite Jones' wrongdoings, Jim says he has forgiven his father. "The mental illness was exacerbated by the drug abuse and the absolute power where no one challenged him. When you put that cocktail together, the mind can spiral out of control, and that's what Jim Jones did. He spiraled out of control and self-destructed."
Published on February 17, 2010