The Jonestown Report
October 13, 2009, Volume 11
The Department of Religious Studies at San Diego State University:
Alternative Considerations of Jonestown and Peoples Temple
No one who knew David and Gladys Smith could ever comprehend just what it was Gladys saw in her husband.
For openers, "Big David" – as David Elbert Vester Smith was known during his years with Krishna Venta’s WKFL (Wisdom Knowledge Faith Love) Fountain of the World cult - was 20 years older than his wife was 20 years older than his wife and reportedly fairly self-centered.
When the couple belonged to the Fountain, where living arrangements were always sparse, Smith decided it would be healthier for Gladys if she slept on the floor while he took the one couch made available to them. It made no difference to him that his wife was pregnant. After all, the Fountain – where members had taken a Nazarite-like vow to not cut their hair or trim their beards, and to wear robes but not shoes, until world peace had been achieved – was all about sacrifice. And Smith was all for Gladys learning to make sacrifices.
As if Smith’s ego was not enough of an irritant, he freely admitted that he did not like to work and tried to avoid it whenever possible. On one occasion, the man had actually gone to the Fountain’s nurse hoping some minor cuts and scrapes on his hands might get him out of washing dishes. Plus, the thought of keeping a full time job in society literally terrified him.
When Smith and his first wife Marilyn were contemplating joining the Fountain in the 1950s, his fear of responsibility was probably a factor in his decision. It may have also been one of the reasons he and second wife Gladys joined Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple a decade later.
What is interesting, if not ironic, about Smith belonging to first the Fountain and then Peoples Temple is that, in November 1958, advertisements in the Los Angeles Times referring to Krishna Venta as “The World’s Greatest Living Prophet” and Jim Jones (or "James Jones") as "A dynamic, thought-provoking preacher" had literally been positioned one atop the other in that newspaper.
The paradox of Smith joining the Fountain and then Peoples Temple is that, by doing so, he unwittingly placed himself in environments where he would wind up laboring twice as hard as he would have, had he just taken a job in mainstream society.
Winfrey and Smith went to Guyana seeking deliverance from the United States, a nation Jones had convinced them no longer understood them. In the end, Winfrey, the Smith family, and more than 900 others who’d represented the dream of Jonestown, all lay dead on a tract of land far removed from anything that any one of them would have called home. 
 See Numbers 6.
 "Prophetic charisma occurs in more complex societies and adheres to the prophet who proclaims a divine mission or radical political doctrine. This form of charisma leads to revolution and social change." Oakes, Len. 1997. Prophetic Charisma: The Psychology of Revolutionary Religious Leader. Syracuse University, p. 28.