Jim Jones And The Jonestown Massacre Essay
1322 Words6 Pages
On November 18, 1978, followers of Jim Jones shot and killed United States Congressman Leo J. Ryan and four others traveling with him on a fact finding trip to Guyana. Ryan was there to investigate complaints about the community called "Jonestown," which was largely inhabited by his former California constituents.
After murdering a United States congressman Jones knew the end of his rule was near. He ordered his entire following, some 914 people, to commit what he called "revolutionary suicide." This included more than 200 children.
Jones began his group in San Francisco and was once a respected community leader. He started programs to help the elderly and poor. His circle of friends once included leading politicians, who…show more content…
After the tragedy at Jonestown these politicians found it difficult to explain how Jim Jones so easily took them in.
One of Jones' long time followers Tim Stoen explained, "There wasn't anything magical about Jim's power. It was raw politics. He was able to deliver what politicians want, which is power. And how do you get power? By votes. And how do you get votes? With people. Jim Jones could produce 3,000 people at a political event.''
Agar Jaicks, Chairman of the county Democratic Central Committee seemed to agree with Stoen's assessment when he said, "What you had here was a ready-made volunteer workforce&he was very strong&here was a guy who could provide workers for causes.''
Jones first step on his path to political influence began in the Fall of 1970. He created a fund for the families of slain police officers. This was the beginning of a viable process he used to make valuable friends through charitable contributions.
The first bad press Jones received in the Bay area was a somewhat critical story run by the San Francisco Examiner in 1972. The paper exposed that Jones had claimed to be a "prophet" and said he could raise the dead.
Perhaps to preempt any further embarrassment Jones subsequently gave out grants to 12 newspapers. He even bussed his people to demonstrate in support of reporters who had been jailed for not revealing confidential sources. Ironically, the man who would later flee from the press and oppress dissent within his
The Jonestown Massacre: Jim Jones Essay
Have you ever heard the term, “Don’t drink the Kool-Aid?” or “You have drank the Kool-Aid.”? Well, ”Drinking the Kool-Aid” means you have done something that others have told you to do or did yourself. This saying comes from the cult society led by Reverend Jim Jones, named Jonestown. Jonestown was a small community in the jungle of Guyana, South America. After getting word of people coming to investigate the society, Jones had committed a mass suicide by poisoning Kool-Aid and giving it to the people of Jonestown.
A cult society is an organization that basically disguises itself as a religion. In a cult, they normally perform rituals. There are usually many people in these societies. In Jim Jones’s cult, there were at least one thousand people in this community.
Jim Jones was the notorious cult leader of the Peoples Temple. Jones was born on May 13, 1931 in Crete, Indiana. He was a self-appointed pastor from a church in the Midwest. Jim had been popular for always wearing dark glasses, black suits and slicked-back hair, which made a splendid impression on the pulpit of the churches he had preached at or had been to. He then, in the mid-1960s, moved his congregation to California to, what he had wished, avoid the start of a nuclear war. Then, in 1974, he moved his people to Guyana after he was faced with financial abuses, criticism, and church beatings.
Guyana, South America is South America’s monarch. It is located on the northern border of South America and is also part of the Anglophone Islands. After Jones and his flock moved to this country, he started a cult. He named this the Peoples Temple.They were located in the jungle of Guyana. In this community, Jones proclaimed that all men, except for him, were homosexual. He also split families up and made them tell about the others. According to the survivors, Jim Jones led Jonestown like a prison camp. His believers received small amounts of food, and were forbidden the access to leave. If they even tried to leave, they would have a hard time, because there were armed guards who stood at the perimeter of Peoples Temple. There were often drills or rituals performed in the society, such as a suicide drill. During suicide drills, the people were woken in the middle of the night and were told to drink a “poisonous liquid”. After drinking it, the people were told they were not going to die, they had succeeded a loyalty test. Jones did those tests because he was afraid of a conspiracy against him.
In 1977, there were many members, or ex-members of Peoples Temple going against Rev. Jim Jones. One of them, a member, Grace Stoen, had been asking the Guyanese government for help to regain custody of the son, John Victor, from Jones. An ex-member of the group, Deborah Layton Blakely had been speaking publicly about Jim Jones. A congressman, Leo J. Ryan from California, went to Guyana to investigate himself.
Ryan made it to Jonestown mid-August. On November 18, 1978, Leo explored Jonestown,...
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