If you’ve never heard of the Jonestown Massacre than you’re just too young. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “Drink the Kool-Aid” this is in reference to that very tragedy. Let’s begin here.
Jonestown Cult Mass-Suicide
Jonestown refers to the cult mass-suicide that happened in Jonestown, French Guyana in 1978. The town was named after the megalomaniac preacher Jim Jones. Jones started his the Peoples Temple in Indiana in the 1950’s practicing Apostolic Socialism. In the day and age the church was established people were less than tolerant of all races and in turn, the People’s Temple was kicked out by the fine God fearing people of Indianapolis. The church moved to California and took up new roots in the San Fernando Valley and San Francisco.
Jones became close with many high profile politicians while in the Bay Area. He became chairman of the San Francisco housing commission and rubbed elbows with many socialites and politicians of the era. Nobody quite bought what Jones was selling and once again the People’s Temple picked up stakes and moved to French Guyana.
The People’s Temple Moves to French Guyana
Once the People’s Temple found themselves in their new habitat they spent 5 years toiling to create the cult’s new home base named by the blue blocker donning Jim Jones. Apparently Jim Jones was a fan of the extradition laws or the lack thereof. Jones adopted the North Korean philosophy of 8 hours a day of work followed by 8 hours a day of study.
During this time, Jones subjected his followers to mind control and behavior modifications techniques adopted from North Korea. After time followers started seeing Jones as the monster he was and wanted to defect from the cult. Some followers attempted to leave the cult but were picked up by armed guards that patrolled the outskirts of the Jonestown complex. They were subjected to torture and drugs such as Thorazine, Sodium Pentathol, and Chloral Hydrate. People were imprisoned in 6ft plywood boxes. Children were lowered into wells sometimes upside down overnight in what was dubbed the “Torture Hole”.
Because of growing concern that Jonestown was just what people thought it was Jones faked a sniper attack which he called “White Nights” a.k.a the 6-day siege. He lied to his members telling they were under attack.
Jim Jones Loses it and Fakes a Sniper Attack
On November 14 Congressman Leo Ryan along with a crew of reporters flew to Jonestown to see what was going on in this cult-ridden culture. When they arrived members of the People’s Temple wanted to defect and go back to America with the congressmen and crew. When Ryan and crew tried to leave they were attacked by soldiers from the People’s Temple and everyone was shot dead.
Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid, The End of the Peoples Temple
Jim Jones convinced the surviving members of Jonestown that they were under attack by the American army. He urged his followers to commit revolutionary suicide. A total of 909 members chose to drink the cyanide-laced grape Kool-Aid and commit suicide. Brainwashed men and woman even administered this elixir to their children. Every last person aside from 2 died from cyanide poisoning while Jim Jones ate a bullet.