The Inspiration for The Madness of Mercury
I was living in San Francisco during the years that the Reverend Jim Jones and his People’s Temple were at their zenith in popularity and recognition. Like a lot of people in that city at that time, I didn’t pay much attention to Jones or his church until the murder of Congressman Leo Ryan and four others. Following that, as we all know, were the mass suicides (some forced) at Jonestown in the jungles of Guyana.
When I decided to base Julia’s first adventure on a similar type of figure as Jones, I researched that history and was shocked to learn of the power Jones held in San Francisco at that time — enough influence to threaten the life of anyone who stood in his way. In the Madness of Mercury, Julia speaks out against a power-hungry preacher and must fight for her life and livelihood.
Following is a brief synopsis of the real life preacher’s troubled history and the tragedies he created.