Seductive Poison

  • by Deborah Layton
  • Narrated by Kathe Mazur
  • 14 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Told by a former high-level member of the Peoples Temple and Jonestown survivor, Seductive Poison is the "truly unforgettable" (Kirkus Review) story of how one woman was seduced by one of the most notorious cults in recent memory and how she found her way back to sanity.
From Waco to Heaven's Gate, the late 20th century saw its share of cult tragedies. But none was quite so dramatic or compelling as the Jonestown massacre of 1978, in which the Reverend Jim Jones and 913 of his disciples perished. Deborah Layton had been a member of the Peoples Temple for seven years when she departed for Jonestown, Guyana, the promised land nestled deep in the South American jungle.
When she arrived, however, Layton saw that something was seriously wrong. Jones constantly spoke of a revolutionary mass suicide, and Layton knew only too well that he had enough control over the minds of the Jonestown residents to carry it out. But her pleas for help - and her sworn affidavit to the U.S. government - fell on skeptical ears.
In this very personal account, Layton opens up the shadowy world of cults and shows how anyone can fall under their spell. Seductive Poison is both an unflinching historical document and a riveting story of intrigue, power, and murder.


What the Critics Say

"A suspenseful tale of escape that reads like a satisfying thriller, Layton's account is the most important personal testimony to emerge from the Jonestown tragedy." ( The Chicago Tribune)
"A fascinating account of a debacle that continues to resonate" ( Entertainment Weekly)
"A chilling account... Truly unforgettable" ( Kirkus Review, starred review)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Bought on audible. I was transfixed from the get go. A lesson for us all. So sad.
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- Ruthie76

Honest memoir

It's hard to review someone's personal experience. Overall I enjoyed the book as it gave a personal account of what the author experienced when she was a troubled teen, looking for help and was introduced to a church by her brother. I found the narrative slow to start but gripping later. What spoilt it a little for me was the introduction which tells the reader what happens at the end. Although I knew a little of the history this revealed a lot of details I didn't know. I would rather have read the memoir and then have a commentary filling in the details. Also there wasn't any attempt to analyse what happened, it is simply one person telling her story which I think made it more powerful for me.
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- Suzy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 14-01-2014
  • Publisher: Random House Audio