The Story Of The Pastor Who Killed 900 Church Members
View pictures in App save up to 80% data. Can you go from a Humanitarian of the year to a mass killer? In Summary, Members of a San Francisco-based religious group called the Peoples Temple, died after drinking poison at the urging of their leader Reverend Jim Jones and others at gunpoint in a secluded South American jungle settlement.
When Jones implemented the actual suicide plan in Jonestown, there were armed guards with guns and crossbows to ensure that no one gets out alive
A look back at the infamous mass murder-suicide in 1978, one of the most harrowing tragedies in American history.
On November 18,1978, Peoples Temple founder Jim Jones lead hundreds of his followers in a mass-suicide at their agricultural commune in a remote part of the South American nation of Guyana. View pictures in App save up to 80% data. Jim Jones and his wife
Jim Jones was a charismatic churchman who established the Peoples Temple, a Christian sect, in Indianapolis in the 1950s. He preached against racism, and his integration attracted many African Americans. In 1965, he moved the group to Northern California settling in Ukiah and after 1971 in San Francisco.
In the 1970s, his church was accused by the media of financial fraud, physical abuse of its members and mistreatment of children. In response to the surging criticism, the increasingly paranoid Jones invited his congregation to move with him to Guyana, where he promised they would build a social utopia. Three years earlier, a small group of his followers had travelled to the tiny nation to set up what would become Jonestown on a tract of jungle.
Jonestown did not turn out to be the paradise their leader had promised. Members worked long days in the field and were subjected to harsh punishments if they questioned Jones authority. Their passports were confiscated , their letters homed censored and members forced to attend lengthy-late nights meeting.
Jones the declining mental health and addicted to drugs, was convinced the U.S government and others were out to destroy him. He required Temple members to participate in mock suicide drills in the middle of the night.
In 1978, a group of former Temple members and concerned relatives of current members convinced U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan, a Democrat of California, to travel to Jonestown and investigate the settlement. On 17th November, 1978, Ryan arrived in Jonestown with a group of journalists and other observers. At first Ryan's visit went well but the next morning as they were set to leave a group of Jonestown residents approached the group and asked them for a passage out of Guyana. Jones became distressed at the defection of his followers and one of Jones' Lieutenants attacked Ryan with a knife.
The congressman escaped from the incident unarmed but then Jones ordered Ryan and his companions be ambushed and killed at the airstrip as they attempted to leave. The congress man and four others were murdered as they boarded the planes.
Meanwhile In Jonestown, Jones commanded everyone to gather in the main pavilion and commit what he termed a ''revolutionary act.'' The youngest members were the first to die. Adults then lined up to drink the poison-laced concoction while armed guards surrounded the pavilion. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
When Guyanese officials arrived at the scene the next day, they found the it carpeted with hundreds of bodies. View pictures in App save up to 80% data. A few residents managed to escape into the jungle into the jungle as the suicide took place while others including Jones' sons, survived because they were in another part of Guyana at the time.