The Peoples Temple Essay

1511 Words7 Pages
“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. He was the founder and leader of "The People's Temple," a religious organisation that was not originally a cult, but rather a division of the Christian church that was an offshoot of The Disciples of Christ denomination. Firstly we must understand why so many people became such devout followers of The People’s Temple. It is important to note that this organisation first surfaced in 1955 and its membership grew rapidly up until the mid 70’s reaching up to a supposedly 20,000 members. The 50’s, 60’s and 70’s were an era of great changes and restlessness within American society. Jones emerged as a revolutionary preacher establishing a religious community with no racial prejudices. His ideals appealed to many people from all racial backgrounds who felt rejected by society or even just those with a socialist political agenda who wanted to be a part of the change. It is clear that from being a member of such an organisation these people felt accepted and fulfilled as part of this strong community all fighting for the cause of equality. Jim Jones appeared to be a great person, and he convinced so many people that he was doing great

More about The Peoples Temple Essay

Open Document