Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple

2258 Words10 Pages
Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple Jane Doe HIS145 May 29, 2012 S. Peters Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple Jim Jones was the captivating leader of the People’s Temple. His church started with hopes of changing the world from racism and poverty. However as his followers grew so did his communist belief, drug abuse, and paranoia. Jones eventually transformed his People’s Temple into a cult which resulted in over 900 deaths at his Jonestown compound. Jonestown brought attention to the affect of cults and the tragedy that occurred continues to impact American society. Jim Jones was born on May 13, 1931 in Crete, Indiana to James and Lynetta Jones. His father was a World War I veteran with health problems, therefore Lynetta had to support the family. Jones would attend the Nazarene church with neighbors and started to become obsessed with religion and death. Childhood acquaintances remember him as a “really weird kid” who would have mock services, most of them funerals, for small animals that he would “find” dead. By 1948, Jones’ parents separated and he moved to Richmond, Indiana with his mother. By now, Jones had become an enthusiastic reader “he studied Stalin, Marx, Gandhi, and Hitler, analyzing their collective strengths and weaknesses” ("The Life of Jim Jones", 2012). Jones began working at a hospital as an orderly during his senior year of high school and met a nurse, Marceline Baldwin. Jones graduated early, with honors, in 1949 and then married Marceline on June 12. They later adopted a Native American child, a black child, a white child, and three Korean children in addition to their own son. Jones called it his “rainbow family” and encouraged others to adopt different racial children. Jones continued his education; he started at Indiana University at Bloomington but later earned a degree in secondary education from Butler University. While

More about Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple

Open Document