I have been asked again and again by journalists and politicians: “Is there some possibility of another Jonestown in your commune?”
It is absolutely impossible. Even to think of it is absurd, because my whole philosophy of life is just the very opposite of Jim Jones’. What happened in Jonestown can happen anywhere in the world – but not here. One thing is completely forgotten: Jim Jones was a Christian priest. He was a reverend, and nobody has tried to discover the roots of his philosophy in Christianity – where they are! If he is related to anybody, he is related to Jesus, not to me. What happened was bound to happen; in fact, Jesus himself has a suicidal tendency.
Because you have been brought up, conditioned by Christianity…. To me, Christianity is not Christianity, but Crossianity. Its symbol is the cross, not Christ. It is based on the crucifixion. If there had been no crucifixion there would have been no Christianity; nobody would have remembered even the name of Jesus. It was the foolishness of the Jews that they crucified him and created Christianity. If he had been simply ignored by his people…and there was nothing much in it. What he was saying were very simple truths which have been known for thousands of years. There was nothing new in it, there was nothing dangerous in it.
To crucify him was absolutely baseless. But it seems Jesus wanted it to happen, because before the crucifixion he was aware that he was going to be caught if he went to the festival; if he went into Jerusalem he was going to be caught and crucified. He was fully aware, it was known to everybody. There was no need to go there, but he was pulled toward Jerusalem as if pulled by a magnet, irresistibly. He was filled with this idea that “crucifixion will prove my messiahhood.”
You have to understand the background. Jews have certain things that a messiah has to fulfill; one of them is crucifixion and resurrection. But resurrection is possible only if crucifixion happens. And Jesus was declaring himself to be the messiah, the awaited one, for whom the Jews have been waiting for centuries, who would redeem them from their suffering, their misery, and who would open the doors of heaven for them. They could not believe that this poor carpenter’s son, utterly uneducated, was the messiah – that “he is going to redeem us, he is going to redeem the whole of humanity from suffering.”
And that’s why they were insisting that the only test would be the cross. Jews were insisting on the cross, because that would prove whether he is a messiah or not. And Jesus was hankering for the cross and crucifixion, because unless crucifixion happens, resurrection is impossible. It might happen, it might not happen, after crucifixion, but it could not happen without crucifixion – that much was certain. So when he heard the news that he was going to be crucified at that year’s festival he started moving toward Jerusalem.