The Jonestown Massacre

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“I love socialism, and I’m willing to die to bring it about, but if I did, I’d take a thousand with me.”— James Warren Jones, September 6, 1975 The Jonestown Massacre occurred on Nov. 18, 1978, in Jonestown, Guyana. Over 920 people died with 294 of them being children. Their cause of death was suicide by the consumption and/or injection of cyanide-laced Kool Aid, a brand of punch. To understand as to why an entire town of people would go about killing themselves at the same time, one must first understand Jonestown and what it was all about. Jonestown, first and foremost, was a cult. The 920 individuals who killed themselves did so in the name of the cult and what it believed. Rev. Jim Jones was the man who had founded and led Jonestown.…show more content…
He united the races, and combated the racist attitude which may have lingered within members. He supported the poor and elderly people in the community. The people in his congregation were very well looked after, and people began to see him as a sort of role model to them. As Laura Kohl said, "He was a role model for me - adopted children of all colors, hard worker, lived in modest circumstances, never made fun of anyone, took care of business but was inclusive of the youngest to oldest, newest to oldest member ALL THE TIME. And, he was a socialist. He was a political animal - very ego-driven and very successful. That is what I saw. Things were going on behind closed doors that I never saw - or at least never tuned into. But what I SAW was someone with power how used mostly for good. Since the good was so overpowering - I didn't spend much time being critical or even accepting the other." Such a moving statement allows us to empathise and understand why this man, who is seen as a villain today, was so widely respected and immortalised. He provided them with so much which ultimately led to unimaginable loyalty and trust to this man. These people were betrayed by the actions of their hero, their role model but they cannot be blamed for entrusting such faith in him, as he misled them to believe him to be a demigod, perfect in so many ways and what he said. What he told them to do was truly thought to be the right thing to
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