Thom Bogue: Where is the Ex-Peoples Temple Member Now?

As a documentary series living up to its title in every way conceivable, Hulu’s ‘Cult Massacre: One Day In Jonestown’ can only be described as equal parts baffling and haunting. That’s because it recalls the events leading up to the fateful November 18, 1978, when 918 individuals lost their lives in Jonestown, Guyana, owing to Jim Jones and his heinous, merciless orders. Thom Bouge was one of the lucky survivors, though – he managed to escape that very same day alongside his younger sister, but it wasn’t without issues, chaos, and trauma.

Thom Bouge Was Raised in the Peoples Temple Cult

Although born on September 2, 1957, in Sacramento, California, shortly following his birth, amidst his trouble for numerous years, I joined the Peoples Temple Cult when I was just five years old. However, by the time he was a teen, he’d grown to hate his organization and everything it stood for as he believed in gradually came to believe he was just a handyman with skills. In fact, per his own accounts, he’d even tried to run away on several occasions, that is, until he was sent to Jonestown from the US so as to learn some discipline.

“I attempted to escape on several occasions and was severely punished for my efforts,” Thom once candidly said. It was decided he needed severe discipline so as to stop his rebelling, just to keep getting in trouble and having a plan to run away, but 1978 was the year he knew he’d leave. Little did he know his father and younger sister would be by his side too, just in time for Congressman Leo Ryan to announce as a response to countless complaints from former members that it was a cult and they were utterly right.

But alas, having defectors like Thom affected leader Jim Jones to no extent, driving him to order a shooting for them at the airstrip while they were escaping. Three men with guns came in and opened fire, but he and his sister ran into the forest, with him being well aware his father had taught him to do so. It thus took a while for Thom to even notice he’d been shot right in the leg, yet he managed to live in the forest for three days before the US officials rescued them. He had no idea at the time that everyone else in Jonestown was killed by Jim, influencing them or forcefully giving them to cyanide.

Thom Bouge Settled in San Francisco as an Automotive Repairman

It was in 1978 that Thom was able to return to the US, following which he made his way to San Francisco to settle down but faced post-traumatic stress disorder. Per his narrative, he became addicted to drugs and was even homeless for three years before realizing the only way he could beat Jim and his past was if he stepped into society as an independent working man. He thus took up a few odd jobs before eventually opening up his own smog check and repair shop in Dixon in 2005.

Thom has since stated, “Through this venture, I have been able to provide assistance to numerous young individuals struggling with drug addiction, similar to the challenges I faced during my youth. By supporting and providing guidance helped these young individuals transform their lives and reintegrate into society.” Though by this point, he’d already married the love of his life, Janelle Bogue, with whom he proudly shares nine children and even a few grandchildren. It’s not been an easy road for him, but he has made it clear that it’s been worth it.

Thom Bouge is a Politician Today

It was in 2010 that Thom was elected to serve on the Dixon City Council, which is where he learned that he could multiply his passion for helping those in need tenfold if he was in a position of power, so that’s what he began embracing. His efforts were actually so evident that he was even elected as Dixon City Mayor in 2016 before later being reelected to the Dixon City Council in 2022 – the latter is a post he proudly holds and maintains to this day.

And now, Thom is even a candidate for the California State Senate District, a decision he did not take lightly in any way, shape, or form because he knows that if he wins, he’ll be a senator with great power. This Republican plans on tackling issues such as not having great educational programs, high taxes, homelessness, and crime rates, amongst many others, if he wins, which he has even made clear on his social media platforms.

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