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Author Annie Dawid’s Novel “Paradise Undone”

A Novel of Jonestown

Enjoy this fascinating visit with Annie Dawid
Audio-only version of our visit

Show Notes with Links:

  • Annie introduces herself and discusses her fascination with the stories of Jonestown victims.
  • She explains her decisions to follow four characters: two nonfiction (Mother Marceline–Jones’ wife, and Ambassador Virgil Nascimento–not his real name, but a real person) and two composite characters (“Watts,” an African-American man who escaped on the day of the massacre, and “Truth,” a young, white devotee).
  • I ask Annie if the victims of Jonestown–@300 minors, 300 elderly, 300 adults, mostly poor, female, and African-American–were easy targets for a cult leader.
  • Journalist Kenyatta’s interview of Watts, which flows through the novel, is fascinating and reads like an actual transcription.
  • We discuss Jones’ quotations throughout the novel and how they demonstrate his slide into megalomania.
Tribune article
  • We discuss “Mother Marceline” and how she was able to turn the other cheek when it was clear Jones was sleeping with many women. “No one gets to have everything.” How she became a sort of martyr, and her complicity in the ultimate mass murders.
  • We talk about the Shakahola Forest Incident/Massacre (May of 2023) and I ask how we can educate people are ignorant of cults.
  • Annie talks about the warning signs of possible cult behavior.
  • Annie will speak at the Salida Regional Library on May 8th at 5:30 p.m.
Paradise Undone

Links to Annie Dawid’s social media and previous interviews:

 Talk Radio Europe, 11/30 for recording,

 Podcast BOOKABLE SPACE, UK,  2/1/24 live

 CookieBiscuit Q&A Blog November 18

Dec 27 youtube w/Peter O YouTube on the 31st Dec.


1. The Jonestown Report:

2. Women Writers Website, UK, 11.18.23 

Laurel Stuff:

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Laurel lives and laughs and publishes and podcasts in Colorado's Rocky Mountains! She has published several multi-genre books and hosts the podcast "Alligator Preserves," where she interviews fascinating people, talks about the human condition, and shares scary stories from her "Dark Ebb" collection.

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