Stephan Jones: Where is Jim Jones’s Son Now?

When a total of 918 individuals lost their lives on November 18, 1978, in Guyana as a result of cult leader Jim Warren Jones’ manic actions, the entire world was left shaken to its very core. After all, as explored in Hulu’s ‘Cult Massacre: One Day In Jonestown,’ he’d aimed to build a utopia with his Peoples Temple organization but ended up spiraling to such an extent he ordered a shootout and mass murder-suicide. But alas, a few of his followers managed to survive, amongst whom was none other than his sole legitimate biological son as well as heir — Stephan Jones.

Stephan Jones Almost Always Despised His Father

It was in 1959 that Stephan was born to Jim Jones and his wife Marceline as their only biological son, joining their already well-established brood of adopted children from all ethnicities. He was number five in a line of nine, meaning he grew up surrounded by eight siblings/half-siblings — apparently, his father had later gone on to father two children with different women from within his cult. That’s when things changed for Stephan; as per the production, he started hating his father when he began treating his mother wrong and even tried to force a bond between him and his mistress.

Stephan thus grew rebellious, making Jim even more strict and distanced because he couldn’t have his own son publicly disrespect him or his authority again and again. However, since the former did believe in the hope and the vision of Peoples Temple, the leader sent him to their agricultural mission in the small South American coastal country of Guyana during his teenage years. That’s when he realized there was scope for them to build something incredible, but he admits everything turned upside down once his father arrived.

According to Stephan’s own accounts, his father was such a deeply insecure man that his perception of himself came from what he believed was other’s perception of him, making him paranoid, manic, and downright abusive at times. So, his arrival at the agricultural mission soon resulted in the building of Jonestown and their entire community being shifted there, just for no one to then be allowed to leave back to the US. In fact, to ensure this much, the leader took everyone’s passports, too, resulting in worried family members in the US complaining to officials and them coming over to investigate in 1978.

But alas, when Congressman Leo Ryan stepped foot in Jonestown, Stephan was not there—he was 150 miles away in the nation’s capital of Georgetown for a basketball tournament. It was the Peoples Temple team against the Guyanese national team, which he refused to forfeit even after his father had radioed and ordered him to do so, owing to their guests and his desire to have more people around. The team lost by 10 points, yet they still went to the movies as a celebratory event because they were close, unaware his father had ordered the shooting of the Rep and those that came with him because there were defectors and then the entire institution’s mass suicide.

It thus comes as no surprise that when Stephan, the heir apparent, was found alive and well by authorities, many believed he could have had a hand in his father’s actions when that was not at all the case. He was questioned and interrogated, but all he felt was defensive and disgusted — he didn’t want to be associated with Jim’s actions anymore, and he also had no interest in protecting his image because he understood the gravity of the situation. However, he does admittedly feel guilt because he knows he would have made efforts to stop things from going as far as they did if he was there in Jonestown.

Stephan Jones is Has Moved on From the Past

It was in late 1978 itself when Stephan was able to return to the US for good, following which he settled down in San Francisco, California, in the hopes of building a new life for himself. And from what we can tell, he resides in this beautiful city to this day, where he’s also now surrounded by a loving, unwaveringly supportive wife as well as their three beautiful daughters. As for his professional standing, he is a successful salesman with nearly four decades of experience in identifying, acquiring, cultivating, plus maintaining meaningful as well as fruitful client and business relationships.

It appears as if Stephan started as an installation manager at Lindsay-Ferrari and Nor Cal Moving in 1990, where he developed and managed their commercial furniture installation as well as service team right until 1998. That’s because this was when he moved on to become a contract salesman/project manager at Modular Office Resource, another thriving modular furniture installation company. Then came his joining MB Contract Furniture in 2003, just for him to gradually rise up the ladder and ultimately evolve into the Vice President of Operations, which is a position he holds to this day.

Stephan does feel guilt and regrets every now and again over the past, but it appears as if he’s now doing his very best to move on from the past while keeping the memories of those lost alive in his heart. “There were many people that were dear to me and a good number of them that I was dear to,” he said in the 2018 documentary ‘Truth and Lies: Jonestown – Paradise Lost.’ “I often thought about what it must’ve been like for them for us not to be there, you know. And I ask their forgiveness.”

Read More: Yulanda Williams: Where is the Ex-Peoples Temple Member Now?