December 4, 1978

Cover Story

Cult of Madness


The star-spangled Soviets



Cover Story

Cult of Madness

He saw himself as an amalgam of Christ resurrected and “a reborn Lenin." He called himself “the father” and “a prophet of God.” But to scores of defectors from the People’s Temple cult, its master, the Rev. Jim Jones, was a crazed “little Hitler.”



The star-spangled Soviets

As the tiny mechanical womb sped on and on, the soft strumming of a guitar lured their thoughts from the interminable emptiness. For cosmonauts Vladimir Kovalenok and Alexander Ivanchenkov, music provided a precious link with the planet from which they had been separated longer than any men in history.



While I am happy that you saw fit to report on Charles Colson’s recent visit to Toronto in Nixon to Jesus . . . (Oct. 30), you are incorrect in stating that Colson “is the bright hope of the born-again Christian movement." Jesus Christ is the hope of born-again Christians.


A life in the theatre seen from the waist up

"Damn, damn, damn,” curses an irascible Sir John Gielgud in Alain Resnais’ most recent movie, Providence. He is, perhaps, the only actor alive who could manage a short symphony out of those three same syllables. As the dying writer alone in a mansion killing time and copious bottles of the best white wine, baring his soul, Gielgud gives his greatest screen performance, perhaps the only great performance delivered, virtually, from the recumbent position.



Just a quiet night in front of 40 TVs

The Hummer Sisters, the self-styled “postfeminist, neo-terrorist, martial show-biz cult,’’have gone for the jugular again. This time around, the Hummers have x-rayed sex, and come back from the lab laughing and crying at the same time.



The party’s over in the West: spare a sigh for the Liberals

There are certain secrets hidden well away from public view. Such as the recipe for the bullet-proof lacquer on Fred Davis’ hair. The name of the construction firm that makes Dolly Parton’s bra. And the design of the computer subtle enough to measure Michael Pitfield’s charisma.



For Jane Fonda, the act of wearing a skimpy green bikini in her upcoming movie California Suite seemed conduct unbecoming of a lady—a 40-year-old lady at that. Although never famous for her modesty, Fonda had to be coaxed into doing her bathing-suit scene by the film’s director, Herbert Ross (The Goodbye Girl, The Turning Point).



This sunken treasure is pure history

Just 30 feet down in the icy Labrador waters, archeologist Robert Grenier and his three-person diving team spied the wreck. There on the harbor floor in Red Bay, hidden by thick layers of silt and sea kelp, lay the missing hulk of a sunken 16th-century Spanish galleon, named the San Juan.


Canadian News

A bottom line for government

Like Monty Python’s 16-ton weight, the annual report of the auditor-general dropped on the floor of Parliament last week and the government side shook from the vibrations. In 746 pages, Auditor-General James J. Macdonell and his staff painstakingly documented their case that, in spite of past warnings from them, the government was dragging its feet in efforts to bring its spending under control and, in some cases, had done nothing at all.



A might-be politician’s view from the saddle

It’s a scruffy, old-West honky-tonk in Billings, Montana; smoky, crowded, noisy, with a poker game crammed into a corner. There’s almost a nostalgic decadence to the joint, particularly with all the men wearing cowboy hats and spurs. One towering figure dominates the room.

November 271978 December 111978