I was a kid when this happened. I remember the adults walking around in shock.
the grape drink was prepared and it was not Kool Aid, although that became the expression
Drinking the Kool Aid… it was actually this brand of drink: it was grape.
in college, I did a paper for my Anthropology of Religion class
I got access to audio recordings of the white night practice nights
Jones had started out as a white preacher who was inclusive of black people and asians.
The Rainbow Family he and his wife and their son and adopted children were known as.
Jones started doing drugs and became obsessed with nuclear war and he lead his followers to Jonestown.
where he controlled their work, eating and sleeping and the follower’s intimate relationships.
It is often considered the measure of a cult vs religion – how much free time you have.
a measure of nuance with no actual meaning when people allow religion to inform their lives and in-group loyalty control it.
Anyway, Jones held nightly rituals of people pledging allegiance to him
the one I remember the most from the audio recording was Jones hyena laughing as he goaded a 6 year old boy to luridly describe how he would kill his own mother if she tried to take him away from Jones. it’s 2016 and sometimes, I still have nightmares about Jim Jones’s hyena laughter
The day of the mass murder and suicide of the Jones cult, in Jonestown proper, at their Liason office and even back in America.
The children were made to drink first and that ended almost all of the adult resistance.
Some did hide or try to flee and the guards shot most. A few survived to tell the tale.
Jones himself was too cowardly and one of his guard shot him in the head.
What Jim Jones did, along with Jerry Faldwell, Billy Graham and other proto-megachuch ministers who use TV broadcasting and expanded from parishes to university’s and mini-cities…
was to provide instant crowds and letter campaigners for politicians who would cater to their block vote.
proving that religion is not charity and that the separation of church and state has failed.